Thursday, July 28, 2005


I told you I'd be out of commission for a few days.

I've been working hard and if you've paid any attention to the weather forecast then you know that it's been hot (almost 100 on more than one day) and humid. But I'm staying hydrated and coming home each night and crashing. That kind of work is good for the soul, I guess, but I will be ready to move on to Phase 2 soon.

Not that it hasn't been nice being here. Running into old friends and family has been great and spending so much time with my grandmother has been priceless. I interview her on an almost daily basis asking about the family, where she grew up, what she did when she was young, and even what kind of car they had (her brother had a Model T, how crazy is that?). She's seen a lot in her day.

In the meantime, finding the opportunity to hop online has been less-than-frequent (I bring up the fact that I am typing this after-hours in a real estate office as proof. It's eerily quiet and I am stuffing myself with free Gummi Bears). But rest assured I will keep you posted when I can and as things happen.

But hey, enough about me, how have you been? And after you tell me how you've been, step outside and get some fresh air. Sure it's hot and humid but in a few months as winter sets in, we'll be wishing it were warm once again. Enjoy it while it's here.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Pizza on You

You know what I think is cool? You can order pizza online with a credit card. But you know what would be cooler? If you, dear reader, got me pizza as a present by ordering online with your card and had it delivered to my address. I'm not picky. I like all kinds, so surprise me.

You have my address. And if you don't, just drop me a line.

I'll be waiting......Will anyone actually take me up on this? Who knows. But I'm willing to take that chance.

Monday, July 11, 2005

The 48 Hour Film Project

I had a chance to hook up with a cool group of people involved in this year's 48 Hour Film Project this weekend and had a blast, a blast I say! This is an annual nationwide (or actually worldwide) project and Chicago's weekend was this weekend (to see when it's coming to a city near you, check out the link above).

For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, here are the basics: You get a team of people together and all meet together on Friday night. At 6:55 pm you are assigned a genre of film you must make. Also, everyone is give a prop, character, and line of dialogue that must be somewhere in the film (these elements are all the same for every film, only the genre is different). Then at 7 the countdown begins and you have until Sunday at 7:30pm to write, film, edit, and turn in your 4-7 minute fully-produced film.

I saw an ad online for a group of people looking for others who'd like to help with their film and got in touch with Keith and the rest of the group from Hexxed Productions. I was there Friday to witness the drawing of the genre and the announcement of the elements and it was exciting. We figured there were about 20 different teams who signed up (one of them from Ft Wayne IN!).

The elements this year were as follows:

Character: J. Giordano, Detective
Prop: Measuring Tape
Line: "Take it back"

Also, since this year was the first year of the Project being in Chicago we also had to include somewhere in the film evidence that we shot in Chicago (anything from a landmark in the background to a Chicago phone book lying on a table). The genre category we drew was "Action/Adventure."

We were off to Keith's place where our small band gathered to work through the night (there were eight of us that comprised the entire cast and crew if I remember correctly). They had gotten together the night before to brainstorm possible ideas in every possible genre, so we had a good place to start from with our genre. We batted around ideas for a while and went with a story about a famous actress being chased by the paparazzi. After coming up with a basic plotline, we then had to write the script and storyboard the shots. Because our film included a character watching herself on TV, the first thing we had to do was film that show-within-a-show. We shot that and then finished writing the rest of the film.

By 6am Saturday morning we were ready to go. We shot all through the day and that evening we were off to edit, record ADR, and plan out any pick-up shots we still might need. I was even given the opportunity to direct a quick pick-up scene and was really pleased with what we got! I was there until about 1:30am until all that remained was the editing and we left Keith (and John) to do their magic.

It's such a weird feeling to be there during the whole shooting process and yet not know what the final puzzle will look like when all the pieces are together. You have an idea, but not much more without seeing it all cut together with music, etc.

I talked to Keith yesterday after he turned in our film and he sounded very excited about it. He seems to be pleased with the final product and I am stoked to see it. Some of them gathered ysterday to watch it, but I want to wait and see it for the first time on the big screen, which is also a little nerve-wracking (please, God, don't let me suck!).

For those of you in the Chicago area, there will be two screenings of the film this week on the silver screen. They split all of the entries into two groups; we are in Group A. The screenings are taking place at Landmark Centruy Centre Cinema, 282 N Clark St. Group A films are being shown at 7:00 on Tuesday night and 9:15 on Wednesday night (Group B is the opposite, at 9:15 and then at 7). Tickets are 8 bucks apiece (more info here), so come on out if you can!

By the end of the weekend, yes, I was worn out and tired but I was also inspired to do more. I came home and watched a bunch of things I had produced in the past and wished I had something new to edit.

Ya know, if you do something non-stop and it wears you out and by the end of the weekend you want to do more, then that's a pretty good sign you're doing what you love to do.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

A Hard Laugh is Good to Find

I was able to go out tonight and see a sneak preview of the new Vince Vaughn/Owen Wilson movie "Wedding Crashers" (yay for free passes!).

It was a great time. The film had the audience in non-stop laughter the entire time. It's been too long since I laughed this hard (and this often) at a movie. If you're a fan of movies like "Old School," "Anchorman," or "Meet the Parents" then you'll dig this one. If you go to the movies just for the plot and the cinematography, leave your deep-thinking scrutiny at the door. This movie is just trying to have fun, and I think it works.

I assume the purpose of sneak preview showings is to get some good buzz going about the film and in this case they have succeeded. Two thumbs up!

My Friend the Visionary

A couple of years ago my good buddy Aaron Marrs had an idea for a new type of business. He was so confident that the idea would work, he waited until he really knew me to divulge his secret...he didn't want anyone to take his idea and run with it.

It was indeed a great and novel idea, and if only we'd had the financial backing maybe we could have made something of it. But, alas, we didn't and, alas again, it was such a good idea someone else was bound to think of it.

This could have been us.

Woulda, coulda, shoulda, huh?

Oh well. If it makes any difference, I think Aaron's name for the business was better. But you know, that's between us.

Sunday, July 03, 2005


I think I have a stomach virus. Who wants to bring me soup? Or at least a burrito?