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Posts in Category: The Filmmaker Diaries

I Am Now a Movie Star…I Guess

I was sitting in my Screenwriting class today, minding my own business, casually checking out this really hot girl who was sitting two seats away from me, when I noticed a guy simply staring at me. When I looked at him, he didn’t stop. He just kept staring. Then, eventually, he stopped, but the damage had been done. I know I’m bizarre-looking, but that’s not license to stare at me, to contemplate a face only a cement mixer could love.

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Exciting Update on My Movie Stardom

[As we all should currently know, I am right about to become a movie star. I’ve been invited to star in some dude’s student porno, and as such the phone calls have begun. Most of my friends know I’m not a big phone guy, so I don’t get a lot of calls.

Then again, most of my friends wouldn’t call me even if I liked being on the phone.

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The Meeting

On Thursday, the Filmmaker did not arrive at class until four o’clock (class starts at two, and the break is at 3:30). After class, I asked him where, specifically, we were meeting on Sunday. This was his extremely specific response: “At Michigan and Chicago.” Okay, it was pretty general, but I knew where it was, how to get there, and what he looked like, so I figured eventually I’d find him.

He said, “I work around there, so I figured we’ll meet there at noon, and then we’ll have lunch and I’ll show you the space. I’ll call you with more details and the specific address.” My response: “Okay.”

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Shooting — Day One: Snails Get Stuck in Molasses

I decided to take the train into the city last night. I don’t have the patience for rush-hour traffic, and it seemed timed well: the 5:44 arrived at Union Station at 6:31, giving me 30 minutes to get to the space, and the last train of the night left at 12:40, which gave me 40 minutes to get there, assuming I left at midnight like I was supposed to.

I didn’t leave at midnight like I was supposed to.

Now, before I get into the dregs of this entry and cause my many fans to lapse into a boredom-induced coma, I’d like to write a disclaimer at this time: shooting this film was not filled with hilarious reverie or anything remotely fun. It was boring as all get-out, and I plan to dive into why, exactly, it was so fucking boring. Also, it was pretty irritating, so maybe that’ll at least be fun to read about.

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Shooting — Day Two, Part One: The Filmmaker, the Introvert, the Smoking Cripple, and the Incompetent Actor

Since people are often clamoring like stray dogs on the back stoop of a butcher shop, desperate for some definitive proof that I am, in fact, a human being who exists and is actually fallible, here’s a little-known factoid about my existence: I, the great filmmaker, have never, ever felt comfortable directing. Granted, I haven’t made many films, and I’ve only taken five shots of my grand, as-yet-incomplete chef-d’oeuvre, but I’ve done enough up until this point to realize that directing is not exactly my bag.

There are a few reasons why. The most notable is that I simply don’t like ordering people around. I do enjoy flying off the handle and shouting profanities at people, but that’s a whole different thing. I don’t feel comfortable when it comes to saying, “I will put the camera here, I will put the lights here, the actor goes here and does this during the shot.” I always get this nagging feeling of unpreparedness or general incompetence, like every decision I am making is incorrect, despite the fact that everything turns out all right.

But now…now, things are different. Thanks to my experience working as an actor and being directed, and seeing how badly others can do things, I feel like the most competent, confident filmmaker in the history of the universe. I am three Alfred Hitchcocks, a half-dozen Orson Welleses, and a Billy Wilder or two.

So I guess that’s one good thing about this project.

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Shooting — Day Two, Part Two: Theological Musings

One thing I forgot to mention in my extensive and boring chronicle of the shooting of this exciting film was something that occurred toward the end of last night’s shooting. As I believe I mentioned earlier, the theme of this film is that propagandists shovel shit, and people eat it like it’s cotton candy. That was a terrible analogy. So, as part of that, the Filmmaker decided some clips of Billy Graham would be appropriate. This led to a discussion about theology, politics, the war, and so on, between the Filmmaker, the Introvert, and the Smoking Cripple.

I chose not to take part, because what was the point?

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Aches

Well, I feel like crap. I used to be in pretty good shape, back when I used to play baseball. When I was seven. Since then, I’ve let myself go, and now I’m in significantly less good shape. So when I, for example, lug a lighting kit (trust me, they’re reasonably heavy) up a three-floor walk-up, I tend to hurt for quite awhile afterward.

Anyway, the Filmmaker called me as I was driving home today in a torrent of rain and hail (note to self: stop leaving the house or existing), and for some reason I had my cell phone turned on. At any rate, he said the film would be processed by Wednesday, so we should get together and take a look at it on Thursday before screenwriting. I tried to back out but was unsuccessful; maybe I’ll call him later in the week and really back out.

I have the distinct impression that it’s gonna turn out like crap, and I really don’t want to be in the room with him during such a humiliating moment.

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Conference Day

Today was filled with homework fun. Like most humans, I spend the overwhelming majority of my existence putting everything off to the last minute. Here’s an example of how much I don’t want to do my work: I sat around for an hour last night reading parts of the MovableType manual, learning the different tags I can use to customize my blog. This, to me, was more interesting than doing my homework.

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