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Friday, October 29, 2004  

All Your 8mm Are Belong To Us
As stupid as it sounds, coming up with a clever title has held up this post for nearly a day. I apologies for the flashback like it's 1998.
The point is, last year about this time I posted about a film screening that I attended called Attack of the "Fifty Foot Reels." The idea is each of the selected film makers are given one roll of Super-8mm film and challenged to created a 3 minute short film shot all in order, no edits, no second takes.

Well this year I am one of those selected film makers. After several re-writes and false-starts, I have completed my film and sent it off to the screening organizer. I have to give the Mad Props to my cast and crew with out whom I would have been dead in the water. I shot my film on a co-workers vintage Nizo Super-8 camera over a couple of days last week, and I am very excited to see the results. You see, the film will screen on November 10th at the Egyptian Theater and that will be the first time I (or anybody else) will see the results!

The biggest challenge of the whole thing was telling a story in 3 minutes, and then sticking to that pace while shooting. In fact I ran out of film (or "rolled-out" as they say in teh buisness) sometime during my last few shots, but didn't realise until I was through. Thus the ending will be a surprise to everybody (including me!) The film, "Grindstone," is about a struggling writer and the little things he enjoys to get through the rat-race. But really shows him as a slave to "little addictions" that sap his energy and ability to be creative after the grueling 9-5 day. Contrary to popular belief it was conceived less as autobiographical and more as a universal fear. The audience for the screening is a lot of "hipster filmmakers" and it was my goal to create a film that most of the audience could relate to.

The shoot was fantastically fun, and it was a real rush to be in-charge of a shoot again (it had been WAY too long.) So, if you are around LA on November 10th, head on up to the screening and help cheer me on (or cheer me up if nothing comes out!)

posted by JMV | 10/29/2004 05:15:00 PM

Betting Man
A coworker just sent me this link to a Snops story about how, for the past 68 years, the Washington Red Skins have been able to predict the outcome of Presidential elections. It seems that if they loose their last home game before Election Day, then the incumbent candidate will also loose. This Sunday the Skins host the Packers. I never thought I'd want to see the Packers win, but LETS GO GREEN BAY!!!

posted by JMV | 10/29/2004 01:21:00 PM

Wednesday, October 27, 2004  

Motherfucker. I've been laid-out for the past three days with a head-cold from hell and have been unable to do much of anything. So yeah, that is my lame-ass excuse. Deal with it.

I have watched a few movies while bed-ridden (or in this case mostly couch-ridden.) First off was Marty S's "Gangs of New York" which was just ok. It looked good, and it was interesting to see the way he squashed his typical mobster-movie into the framework of 1800s New York. It felt very much like the prequel to "Mean Streets." Second we had "Clerks" which I hadn't seen in a couple of years. I was struck by the terrible acting and student-film level cinematography. It just proves that it is all about the writing. And then we have "The Day After Tomorrow" which was, in a word, disastertastic. I was looking for a dumb way to kill 2 hours, and it certainly filled the bill but not much else. The highlight has been "Flirting with Disaster" (which I watched before symptoms hit but during my incubation period.) The film is an off-kilter screwball comedy starring Ben Stiller; I would summarise the plot, but it isn't really necessary. Suffice to say the script is brilliant both in structure and dialog; there is a great mix of those uncomfortable situations that Stiller is known for and off-the-wall interactions between the ensemble cast. If you enjoyed I :Heart: Huckabees then chances are you'll enjoy Flirting.

I'll follow this up with some news later this afternoon (which probably means tomorrow...)

posted by JMV | 10/27/2004 01:42:00 PM

Wednesday, October 20, 2004  

Bow to Our RoboDromedary Overlords
This article is a MUST READ, but here is the break-down anyway: Qatar is moving way from their practice of using children as jockeys in camel races, and beginning in 2005 will replace them with ROBOTS!

This says two things to me; first that Qatar is on the cutting-edge of robospots, and we in the U.S. really need to play catch-up and get on the development of some robot athletes. Secondly, this means that the first assault from our future robot overlords will be conducted by a division of camel-mounted cavalry...

I suggest we develop some robo-slaying pikes...

posted by JMV | 10/20/2004 05:43:00 PM

Monday, October 18, 2004  

In Case You Missed It
Low-Fi clip of Jon Stewart taking the gloves off during his appearance on "Crossfire" last week.


posted by JMV | 10/18/2004 04:23:00 PM

Saturday, October 16, 2004  

Signal Got Lost...
Does a song ever reach into your chest and squeeze you heart?

I was just listening to True Dreams of Witchita by Soul Coughing while reading my book and I was transported to another time. The most vivid recollection of a rainy evening in my dorm freshman year washed over me. I remembered feeling very alone and far from home, even though I was was surrounded by new friends. I could SEE the wet ground of the quad, the amber lights reflected a million times. The odor of incense filled my nose and the drumming of the rain threatened to drown out the music.

As quickly as the tide of memories overtook me it receded, and as I fought to hold onto the sands the recollection was gone. I'm left feeling like where I am today is very similar to where I was 8 years ago.

I've been in LA a year, and for the most part it feels like home. But I still miss my old home and the people we left there very much. And on this gloomy saturday afternoon I am reminded of all that has led me to today, but still utterly blind to what tomorrow holds.

posted by JMV | 10/16/2004 03:29:00 PM

Thursday, October 07, 2004  

txt msg ggl rox
Google just launched its SMS search service, which means you can text message simple queries to Google and get simple responses back to your cell phone (yup, even my shitty 3-year old cell phone!) Check it out.

Currently you can get yello page listings, dictonary definitions, and the most exciting: price quotes. That means next time you are in your big retail outlet and find something that you want, but have no idea if the price is a good deal or not, you can TXT Google and they will return a few low prices for that item from Froogle!

posted by JMV | 10/07/2004 02:39:00 PM

Brain Dump
I am increasingly finding my head full of ideas that I want to post here, or events that I want to comment on, but my time/energy is preventing me from creating well-thought out posts on each individual item. So I'm just going to cop-out and dump a bunch of random shit here to get it off my brain.

ONE: X-Prize winner How much does this rock. SS1 takes the X-prize, and THE NEXT DAY Virgin announces a deal to purchase 3 next-gen sub-orbital crafts for its "Virgin Galactic" flights into sub-space. A mere $300K will take you 100km from the surface of the earth and Virgin plans to use the capitol raised by the play-boy rocketeers to lower the cost of the flights <$10,000. Sign me the fuck up.

TWO: 2 Years of Bliss Yesterday marked my two year anniversary to my super-wife Julie. We took the day off, and went to the LA Zoo (which was boss) and had a picnic in the park (also boss.) I couldn't be happier with our set up and I'd like to thank Jules for being THE BEST and putting up with all my craziness and shit! Two years down, many MANY more to go!

THREE: HDTV Did I mention that I got a new TV? It isn't a plasma or a big-screen or anything crazy, but is IS a 30" widescreen HDTV. It was an anniversary gift to each other and so far we couldn't be happier. Though, I feel bad for the average consumers who decide to buy a new HDTV and have NO IDEA what they are getting into. I deal with HD standards and this kind of technology everyday. At work we build fifty thousand dollar editing systems to create the content that Joe-6-pack will watch on their TVs, and I STILL had trouble deciding what unit to buy and how to get it all set up... But now that it is (mostly) working the way it should... DAMN! what a difference. We christened the set by watching the new Star Wars DVD and I was blown-away. Then we got our actual HD cable box so now we can watch the 6-channels of HD and hot-damn does it look great!

FOUR: I Heart Huckabees We caught the film last weekend and loved it! A stellar cast and a very original story made it one of the more memorable films this year. If it is playing near you, go check it out. I guarantee that you will either love it or hate it!

FIVE: Burnout 3 I haven't been this into a videogame in a long while, but this is one GREAT friggin game. For those that are living under a rock (or just don't follow gaming news) this the third game in the Burnout series(duh) and on the surface is an arcade-style racing game. But it is really so much more. One of my favorite features of the game is something that had been available on the Xbox and that is custom soundtracks. You can rip a CD to the Xbox hard drive and then tell the game to play THAT CD as the ingame music. Which means you can make a custom mix-CD filled with all the tunes that you have always wanted to have playing on your car stereo while you hurtled down a narrow down-town street at 190MPH. And that is my second favorite thing about the game: the sense of speed is intense! When you are flying down the track at nearly 200MPH you FEEL like you are going WAY TOO FAST. It makes everything in the game that much more intense and fun. I HIGHLY suggest that you at the very least rent this game. Even if you don't normally like racing games, I have a feeling you will find something to love about BO3.

OK. 5 items should be enough for now...

posted by JMV | 10/07/2004 01:35:00 PM
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