Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Winner and Still Champion...

So Friday night our boys, B.C. and Sean, had a joint birthday party at this club in SoHo. They rented out a vip room and it was open bar from 10-12. It was all very Super Sweet Sixteen. The cool thing was that we had no scruples in how we ordered and at one point my boys Brian, Phil and I all had three drink in front of us. It ruled. We all got very very drunk and for once I didn't throw up. About a week or so prior to this however, we were at my apartment after a shoot and we were drinking and our homegirl Divya challeneged me to a chugging contest. I informed her that I don't chug from bottles and that she would win. I accepted the challenge however, and she won. I was not upset because I knew I would lose. Divya, on the other hand wouldn't let it go. I told her that next time we drink, we would race from a glass. So at this club, we get two glasses and two Stellas ( a very good beer to chug). Brian officiated the contest and here is what transpired.

The challenge:

The Race:

The Victor:

Go me. That's all for today. As always, get your feet off the ground and reach for the stars. Go big or go home. Pain heals, chicks dig scars and glory lasts forever. Carpe diem bitches.

Your heart is free, have the courage to follow it.

-M, p & z

oh ps - My old computer wont turn on long enough for me to copy my music on to my external hard drive. If you have these cds (bill you can help me out a lot here) please burn them for me and send them to me. I will make it up to you. Bright Eyes (I'm wide awake its morning), architecture in helsinki, fiest, jay z (black album), the hold steady (almost killed me), Miles Davis (complete birth of the cool). Anyways, these are cds I cant find the hard copy of and I would really like to because my life is not as good without them. Please send help.

Monday, October 16, 2006

TV is Good Again...

So I realized that my last few blogs have been nothing but self promotion for my terrible movies. I apologize for boring you, if I did. I have a couple of things to talk about that have nothing to do with film school so feel free to actually read this blog. The first thing I want to talk about is how good tv shows are this year. I mean, it's incredible. The only shows that I have been glued to for the last couple years have been Grey's and Entourage. Not only are both of those shows having awesome seasons so far, but there is an entire lineup of other shows that are awesome. Heroes, Studio 60, Friday Night Lights and Six Degrees all have my attention and I have Tivo make sure I never miss an episode. Last year, I wrote a blog about how terrible tv was and how sad I was that there are no more shows that rules, well, I am glad that they were listening to me. I don't want to get too in depth on of them in particular, but I will rank them (behind grey's and entourage of course) so you know which one is more important to watch if you aren't watching any of them. Studio 60 is the best; Aaron Sorkin is pretty much a genius and it reminds me a lot of how good the West Wing was for it's first 5 seasons, until he left. Heroes gets the edge over Six Degrees simply because the story line is pretty original. At first I thought it might be lame but it actually has a really good story that isn't entirely revealved yet which is cool. Six Degrees is awesome and it also helps that Shiri Appleby is in it. I am gonna go out on a limb and put her tied with Rachel McAdams in my top 3 who aren't married. Friday Night Lights is good, but I wish they would cut out the ridiculous hand held shots. It's not quite as good as the movie but it might be because the cast isn't as good.

NYC is pretty ridiculous. I thought for sure I would get homesick within a short time of moving out here, what with the lack of nature. However, I have been pleasantly surprised by some of the parks here. The cool thing about manhattan is that it is an island. It is almost impossible for me to miss home and lake huron when there is water all around me. Beyond that though, there is an intrinsic beauty in the city. Somehow everything here is so distinctly new york. I bring my camera everywhere I go because there are scenes that I come across everyday, simple mundane scenes, that somehow seem grand and special. It could be the honeymoon effect I am still experiencing with the city, but if it is, I hope it doesn't go away. I'll be posting some pictures on here as often as I can.

Anyways, that's it for now, I'm extremely tired and I can't think. It's funny, we spend all week (or in this case the last couple weeks) developing a story and flushing it out and thinking about it constantly, that it takes away the rest of my brain capacity and I can't formulate thoughts on anything else. Whateva. Get your feet off the ground and reach for the stars. Go big or go home. Pain heals, chicks dig scars and glory lasts forever. Carpe diem bitches.

Your heart is free, have the courage to follow it.

-M, p & z

oh ps - I used to watch movies constantly. I mean at least one a day, usually one and a half and oftentimes twice a day. After moving here I have found myself not watching movies at all. I have only been to the movie theater twice and have only watched a couple of dvds. That's like an average of one movie a week. It's kind of ironic, no? Also, I am back on the starving student diet; I even had ramen yesterday. Rules. The picture at the top I took at the 82nd St. Station in Queens and the one below I took in Battery Park City on the lower west side. That's the statue of liberty on the left side of the pic.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Tigers Rule...

I am just going to start off with a couple of sports thoughts here so if you are a girl or someone who does not care for sports (bill i'm looking at you) then skip to the next paragraph. I have been a Tigers fan forever and every year I tell my boy Shawn, that this is their year. This is the year that they put it all together and win the world series. Of course for the last 10 years they have been woeful and have broken my heart year after year. Of course this year, it is Oct. 12 and they lead the series against the A's 2-0, 2 games away from the world series. My point is that I hope they play the Mets so I can go see them win it all. As far as the Lions go, I want to reiterate the fact that I am the only human being in Michigan who thought that Joey Harrington, or Joey Ballgame as I like to call him, was truly the glue that held our pathetic team together. After we got rid of him, the media seemed to think that Kitna and McCowen, an old and young version of a poor man's joey, were the answer to our problems. That suddenly our recievers were going to be good and our offensive line wasn't that bad. Well I will say it again, the only reason we didn't win games was becaue of our offensive line. Joey is a good quarterback and now that he has a shot down in Miami, you can bet your ass he is gonna be good. I am going to find Marinelli and spit in his eye for getting rid of him. I wish Joey the best and hope he throws for 8 TDs in a game.

Okay, moving on. Film school is what I have been waiting my whole life for, Since I was little, every single teacher I had always said I could do better and had unlimited potential (things they say to all kids who don't do well, though with me they were serious). I had always maintained that it was becaue of a lack of interest and desire and that when the time came I would buckle down and work my ass off. There were flashes of it during the summer of '04 when I had the most productive summer of my life, with 2 jobs and 12 credits and LSAT classes. But it didn't last and faded shortly after I took the LSATs. Well, it turns out, I was right. I find myself convincing others to not skip class, and to show up on time and to do extra work so that when it comes time to shoot everything goes well. It's an odd feeling when I have spent the better part of my life skipping class to play Bond, or more recently, Halo 2. I didn't think the time would come when I would stress over things and worry about menial things that ordinarily would have been brushed away as useless.

It is because of this that I am not happy with my last project. Don't get me wrong, I think it's funny and works well, but when you work really hard at a vision and it comes out differently that you hoped, it's dissapointing. I feel like one of those artists who hates everything he does. This is new territory for me. I have never cared enough about things to let the outcome of them affect me (again with the exception of the LSAT). The good thing about this attitude is that I am always trying to get better and one up myself. The problem is that I don't think I will ever be satisfied. I hear that is a sign of a good filmmaker, I think there's an old adage to that effect - something about never being satisfied, but I don't quite remember so nevermind. My point is that I am happy that I am finally able to do something that I truly want to do. I don't mean to get on a carpe diem high horse, but all of you should be doing what you want to. This is the only life we have and we probably shouldn't waste it trying to get a degree in something we care nothing about.

Anyways, here is my latest project. It's quite funny (or at least I think so). The shot composition isn't as good as it should have been and I was upset about some of the exposures. But other than that, check it out. It is probably the best work I have done so far.

New addition to my signature.

"Your heart is free; Have the Courage to follow it." - Braveheart

As always, get your feet off the ground and reach for the stars. Go big or go home. Pain heals, chicks dig scars and glory lasts forever. Carpe diem bitches.

I'm out

-M, p & z

oh ps - A few years ago Bill and I went to a show and stumbled across the band, "The Hold Steady." We left after their set and both bought their cd the next day. They are awesome. Their second cd came out last year and was even better than the first. Their third cd came out a couple weeks ago and is ever better than the second. It is ridiculous how good they are. You need to do yourself a favor and pick it up. I actually like the first one the best I think, just because it was my first experience with them, but I feel like whatever cd you listen to first, it will be your favorite. Anyways, pick it up.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Drinking in the City...

After 6 years at MSU, I felt like I had mastered the art of pre-gaming. The routine for a night out would progress as follows: get home from class or work around 5:30 or 6:00, turn on Halo 2 as I walk in the door, go to the fridge and grab a beer and start drinking and playing halo for a couple of hours. Around 7:30, I would start to worry about the line at Rick's (those of you who have waited in lines with me can attest to my absolute pure hatred for lines) so i would get in the shower. Drinking in the shower is one of the best things in the entire world. Then I would come out and usually play halo until 8:30 or 9. Then I would start to freak out about the line and make everyone leave around 9 or 9:30 and be comfortably drunk by 10:30 or so. Then I would continue to drink until around 12:30 or 1 and go home either because I was too tired, I wanted food, I wanted to play more halo, or my roommate had ditched me for some Rick's whore. He never met a girl he could say no to. Anyways, thats how many people operate in Mi, only maybe not so much Halo. In nyc, it is an entirely new ballgame. Bars here have last call at 3:30. Not 1. That means people take my schedule and push it back for 2 hours. Pre-drinking here doesn't start until 9 sometimes and people don't go out until 11. It's very cool and terrible at the same time. Cool because the bar is open until 4ish. Terrible because I like to go to bed early and am usually ready (on account of my routine for the latter part of my life) to leave by about 12:30 or 1. My point is, well I guess I don't really have a point I just felt like talking about that. In summation, pre-drinking is esential in ny b/c bars are expensive.

I felt like I owed everyone a real blog after my tirade yesterday (I know the blog says Oct 2 but I actually posted it yesterday). I was very upset about the way my film turned out and I want to explain why. On our projects we are assigned a crew. Our crews are pretty much our team, if they fuck up we lose. I am not tying to blame my failure on them, actually I feel like it is entirely my fault which is why I was so mad. As a director we are not allowed to be behind the camera. We have to direct everything that is going on and that's not possible from behind the camera. So when I got my footage back on wed. I was shocked at how bad it was. At first I was mad at my dp (director of photgraphy) but then I calmed down and realized it really wasn't completely his fault. He didn't mean for the footage to suck, it just did. I had to put together that piece of crap and it made me mad that I couldn't do a re-shoot. I did not want to put my name on it because I wasn't happy with it. I know my first film sucked, but I was proud of it. It was the first thing I shot on actual 16mm film and the exposure was awesome. Since this was my 2nd project and I was shooting outside (the outdoors are very east to shoot because of all the natural light) I had very high hopes. When you spend a long time coming up with and idea and writing an outline and a shot diagram and a story board and you think everything went well, it is the biggest let down in the world. I have never been so dissapointed in my life. I was genuinely upset that it turned out so poorly. Anyways, I dirgess. My point is that I have lived my life always making sure that if I had a group for anything I would take on all the responsibility. I don't care if I did a group project by myself, I hate depending on someone else to do their fair share because in reality some people just don't care. It makes it hard to work with people when you don't trust them to do a good job. I know a lot of people feel the same way about groups and would rather have a tremendous amount of work than leave it up to someone else who might do a bad job and make you pay for it when you did nothing wrong in the first place. I suppose that I am going to have to trust people otherwise I am shot out of luck. There is only so much that one person can do on a set and if people fuck up then I am going down with the ship. I was trying to figure out why I posted my last film and I realized that I am actually living my creed, go big or go home. Sure it sucked and was awful and made no sense, but it's mine. I made it. I am going down with my ship and you all should too. I was talking to a friend from highscool who said that it was cool that I was doing what I really wanted to do and it got me thinking that even though he was in law school and doing very well he wasn't doing what he wanted to do, or at least he wasn't following his dreams. If you aren't following your dreams you are toiling away. Life's too short to toil. I am trying to figure out why people don't follow their heart when they have to opportunity to do so. I get that sometimes people can't for reasons they can't control, but if you have the means then why not? Why not do what you want? Because you might not make money after doing so? There is a very good chance I will have no job after this year but I am going to try nonetheless. I am not going to say that this was a waste of time if it doesn't work out. We only have this one life so why not do everything with it that you want. I have dreams of making kickass movies and winning and oscar. They are dreams not fanatsy. The difference is that dreams come true and fantasies don't. Sure I may never win an oscar but I will be happy being a dp who gets no credit at all (which is egregious) just as long as I am doing what I want with my life. So I implore you all to stop toiling and do what makes you happy. There really is no time like the present and you need to stop living for a future that you can't predict. What's the point in working hard to have a job that you don't like jut because you will have a secure income. Money is overrated. To quote the movie 'Rudy.' "In this life you ain't go to prove nothin to nobody but yourself." Despite the double negative, I completely agree.

As always get your feet off the ground and keep reaching for the stars. Go big or go home. Pain helas, chicks dig scars and glory lasts forever. Carpe diem bitches.

I'm out

-M, p & z

oh ps - i am not sure some of you know what film stock is. It is like film from a camera. Only the cameras we use take 24 pictues a second which is captured onto a reel which then has to be developed like a rol of film on a camera. It is not like a Hi8 tape that you may have in your sony handycam at home. It is like a reel of negatives. It's probably the coolest way to shoot a movie and looks incomparably better than digital. The picture at the top is of the camera we use, it's called an Arriflex-16. It's pretty awesome, they used to be used in WWII and also during old news broadcasts.

Monday, October 02, 2006

It's Almost Been a Month...

After living here for a few weeks I feel like I am finally getting to get familiar with the city. A little bit anyways. Well, no, not really at all actually. But I'm trying.

Anyways, anyone who ever thought that making movies was all fun and games was seriously mistaken. I once thought that. Not anymore. I mean it is all fun, but it is a ridiculous amount of work when you have people who aren't as commited as you and you need to do the work that they aren't doing. It will get much easier when people drop out, and even easier after I am out in the real world and people who don't work hard won't have jobs. Whatever, don't listen to me now. I am very dissapointed at the moment. I spent all weekend (and by all weekend I mean ALL weekend - we have saturday classes and then shooting the rest of sat - mon and our shoot on sunday went from when I woke up until 230 i the morning, only to wake up agian and shoot) filming my second project only to find today that everything about it sucks. The exposures look terrible. The camera looks like a monkey was holding it while playing Clavinball. The story, once again, makes no sense. It is more frustrating than golf. Seriously. I am racking my brain trying to come up with a decent story line for my fourth film which I will shoot in three weeks, and I am having the worst brain fart of my life. My brain is a vacuous cavern and I am searching, in vain, for any sign of a story. I was assigned a group for this weekend, but seriously, my friend Brian and I decided that we were going to make our own crew. I am going to tell my new crew that I will help them out with their projects but I am going to have some people I know are not absolute retards helping me this weekend. Anyways, I am just going to show you why I am so upset. Watch this movie and tell me I dont suck. I dare you. It's only a minute or so and I added music even though we aren't allowed to. Imagine trying to watch this piece of shit with no music. I am doing you a grand favor. There are a couple cool shots but it definitely sucked balls. Let me know what you think.

As always, get your feet off the ground and reach for the stars. Go big or go home. Pain heals, chicks dig scars and glory lasts forever. Carpe diem bitches.

I'm out

-M, p & z

oh ps - if i talk to you regularly and have been out of touch from you lately it's because I am finally one of those people who claim to be busy. I always assumed people were lying, but no, there really is a level of being busy that I had never reached before. I will return your messages as soon as I can. Also, go tigers!