Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Worst Week Ever...

I can't name a single person who isn't having a bad week. I'm not sure why but for some reason, everyone is having a crap time. So far this has taken me over 3 minutes to write these two sentences. Why? you ask. Because yesterday I decided I felt like cooking, so I went to Whole Foods and got a bunch of food and got in the mood to cook. I picked up Superman Returns and had dreams of watching it while I ate dinner. Alas my plans were foiled as me cutting food, quickly turned into me in the emerency room and leaving 2 and a hlaf hours later with 5 stitches in my palm. Now I admit, I do look like a bad ass and except for the time they stuck a needle in my open wound, multiple times, it didn't hurt at all. Today, however, my right arm was dead ( I had to get a tetanus shot ) and my wound also has this numbing, dull, constant pain, that doesn't hurt really, it's just very very annoying. Obviously, my 'bad week' is nothing at all, much worse things have happened to other people. I just wanted to mention it because I have never had to go to the hospital for anything. I tried to make some Grey's Anatomy jokes but the doc wasn't buying it. Too bad Izzy wasn't me doctor...

Anyways, short blog because it's hard to type. Have a safe week. Be careful out there. 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.

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

much love

-M, p & z

oh ps - here are some pics of my hand. Also, I will upload that video I asked you all to come up with an idea for very soon.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

I Make Popcorn Flicks...

For those who don't know, a popcorn flick is a movie that is meant to entertain, not provoke some deep conversation about the state of the world. I, as a director, am not concerned with making characters wear certain colors to match some idealistic version of what I think the character represents, nor do I really care about making something that has some agenda to make a point about the human condition or a social commentary. I make, or I want to make, movies that make people laugh or cry or both. Movies that are great, but not in an artsy way. Don't get me wrong, I would love to pique the curiosity of someone's mind and make people contemplate their own lives, but you can't plan that. All you can do is make something that is real enough to make people relate to it. I think people in film school get into terms and labels and want so badly to be indie and fresh and innovative that they do everything they can to distance themselves from 'Hollywood.' I, on the other hand, embrace Hollywood. As much as I dream of being able to make anything like Wes Anderson (royal tenebaums, etc.) or David Russel (i heart huckabees, three kigs etc.) I want to make a movie like Bad Boys. I want to cast The Rock in a movie, I want to make Zoolander II, I want to have CG in a movie. My point is that there is a lot of emphasis on making things real and explorative and deep, but I just want to say that that is not who I am, and the only thing worse than people who try and make an artsy movie, are the people who try and make one even though they don't want to.

Sorry that was a random rant that may have made absolutely no sense. Moving on... This is the first time in my life that I have had to pack luggage to go home for thanksgiving. It's quite sad, the thought of packing to go home. I guess it had to happen eventually, that I move far enough away that I don't drive home, but it is still a weird feeling. I am glad I am finally going home though, this is the longest I have gone without being home (two and a half months) and I am getting pretty homesick. Here are some predictions about my trip home, the first thing my mom will say is that I look skinny and I am not eating enough and therefore also not dressing warm enough and not sleeping much. This will invariably lead to a talk about school, how they don't understand my movies and why I didn't make something Spielberg worthy, which will of course lead to concern over my ability to get a job after film school is over. Anyways, it will make me feel right at home which is what I am looking forward to. I also assume that I will have to rake at some point, and probably replace every bulb that is out, fix the printer, turn off some valve in the basement and lift something heavy. I'm excited.

I think I want to see every movie that is out right now. The most important are Casino Royale, Happy Feet, Fast Food Nation and The Prestige. I have seen Stranger than Fiction and Borat, both very good, but I will try and see the rest at home because it is literally half the price.

I missed fall which is infinitely sad. I went to the park a couple times to try and get a feel for autumn, but the leaves never really changed, they just sort of fell off. Anyways, I may blog from poho but maybe not. This is shaping up to be the best Thanksgiving ever. It was already the best holiday ever, but now with not only the Lions, but also the Pistons playing and a special extended episode of Grey's, I am gonna be in heaven. Have a happy turkey day and I'll catch you on the flip side. 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.
i'm out

-M, p & z

oh ps - go download Ingrid Michaelson, her new cd Girls and Boys is awesome. You may have heard her on last weeks Grey's. She's from Brooklyn and rocks. Or get on myspace and search for her website. Somewhere between Rilo Kiley and Regina Spektor. Very nice.

pps - does no one else agree with me about Lucy Liu. That pic is pretty bomb, right?

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Triumvirate...

One of the most daunting things associated with making anything that you have to show people, is that you have to show people your work. You spend weeks thinking about something and working on it and trying to make it as best you can, but no matter how good you think it is, everyone else might think it sucks. It used to be, for our first few projects, that we would screen them for our class and directing teacher and everyone would mention what was working in the film and what was not. It was very simple and friendly, nothing to get anxious about at all. Now things have changed a little. Now that we have added sound to our repertoire, we have also added an acting class along with the best teacher I have had in a long time. Our acting teacher is amazing. It's insane how much I learn from her, partly becaue I have never had an acting class before, but also because she is just that good at understanding people ad what will help them improve.

The last project we did was our first foray into sound. Our class was given a one page script and we split up into 3 groups with three different directors. As a director we were told to come up with a backstory for the characters and a setting for the film, and also we could turn the script into whatever genre we wanted. I learned more about directing last week than I did my first two months here. It was an ass ton of work and I can't even begin to think of how many things you have to think about when you are directing, but it was awesome. Anyways, when we screened them I found out that it was no longer going to be the happy happy joy joy screenings of yore. The first director got up and showed his project, while standing in the back of the room by the projector, and waited as our acting and directing teacher and class bent him over and tore him a new one. Now, thankfully, I didn't get anything as bad as "Poor composition and emotionally vacant." That may be the worst thing ever to hear; I mean not only was his project aesthetically bad but he didn't direct his actors very well. That's pretty much the only two things a director need to be concerned about. Anyways, I got some good advice on how to help get what I want out of the actors and I thought it was very helpful.

Last week we got these scripts in class that are around 8 lines. Like the last project, there is no context, just characters a and b having a little chat. I thought it might be fun to post the dialogue here and see what people come up with. I have already come up with my idea and shot list and everything and I am shooting tomorrow (monday) but I would be interested to see what other people would have done. Just read the dialogue and let me know what you pictured in your head as far as where the conversation is taking place, whether is a comedy or drama or whatever. I will post my idea along with the film later this week and see if it's anything at all like what you had in mind. It is as follows:

A: It's been a long time
B: Yeah
A: I never expected to see you here
B: You got a cigarette?
A: Some things never change
B: You look pretty good, considering
A: Flattery
B: There you go

Anyways, let me know your ideas on how you picture this scene. Moving on.. I used to hate Lucy Liu with a passion. I never liked anything she did and I never thought she was a particularly good actress. The I saw Kill Bill and she changed my mind, I was indifferent about her. Last night, however, I finally watched Lucky # Slevin and I fell in love. She is bomb. I love her. When did she become so awesome and hot to boot. I am sure that it has something to do with the fact that the movie was amazingly awesome, but she also made her role what it was. The movie was so good, and she and Josh Hartnett, were so good that I even mentioned the film in the same breath as True Romance, which as we all know is one of the best movies ever. Anyways, I just wanted to let everyone know that I love Lucy Liu.

As always, get your feet off the ground and keep reaching 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.
I'm out
-M, p & z

oh ps - I can't even begin to tell how how happy I am about the democrats taking back power. On the front page of some newspaper her in the city it had a picture of Britney on the cover saying, "Britney Dumps Federline," then below that and much smaller it said, "Dems take House." Silly world, eh?

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Ephemeral Elation...

As opposed to war in general as I am, and even more so against the war in Iraq, it's hard to argue with pictures like this. Reactions to Saddam being sentenced to death. I hope the sentence doesn't create more turmoil.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Bad Boys...

I have realized that my blog is becoming more and more convoluted. The problem is that I have a writing style that has no structure and more closely resembles free thought than anything else. This blog will heretofore be known as a blog that is succint and witty yet still comprehensive. Enjoy.

The Detroit Pistons open their season tonight sans Ben Wallace. Without delving too deep into my own self conflict with his absence, I will simply say that he will be missed. Once again, we are not given much respect in the media. Granted we lost an All-Star and the heart of our team, but we still have the best starting 5 in the league. We are getting deeper off the bench and somehow I am still clinging to the hope that we sign Jalen Rose to add some needed depth behind Rip. I have no doubt that we will be in the conference finals again, where we go from there we shall see. I have faith in the players but I am still unsure about Flip's ability in the clutch. I love the Bulls and I wish Ben and Chicago luck; I hope we meet in the conference finals.

School is going well. I have yet to edit my footage from last week however, I am optimistic about it. If you have not seen any of my previous projects yet (I am hesitant to call them films) then be sure and watch this one. It was shot on digital so you won't have to suffer through bad exposures and woeful lighting. If it turns out well I am going to try and submit it to festivals but that's reaching kind of far.

While I would never argue against Michigan being the greatest state in the world, I must admit that Kid Rock was wrong. He said, "ain't no party like a Detroit party, cause a Detroit party don't stop." Begging your pardon Mr. Rock, but NYC is pretty much awesome. There was a Halloween Parade two blocks east of me. A parade on Halloween. It ruled. People flood the streets here for any occasion they can all in the spirit of having a good time. I didn't hear of anything bad happening last night, unlike the shooting at the Detroit fireworks a couple years ago. My point is, NYC rules.

I guess that's all. I am insanely excited for the game tonight and I can't really think of anything else but Rip right now. 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 - I recently wrote a blog about how fantastic TV programming was this season. Unfortunately, most of America is retarded (they voted for bush), and watch shows like "Two and a Half Men," and not Studio 60. I have heard that the latest work of genius from Aaron Sorkin is on the verge of being cancelled despite my stellar reviews of it. Please watch it next monday and get the ratings up. You won't regret it. Friday Night Lights may also be cancelled, and while it is not the best show ever, it is semi-orginal and interesting to watch, which is more than I can say about Dancing with the Stars...