{Like Spinning Leaves: April 2006

Like Spinning Leaves

Friday, April 28, 2006

Last Night A [Gameboy] Saved My Life

Sitting on a curb in Tribeca in perfect weather at 730pm last night, I kind of did and kind of didn't know that the rest of the evening would mark the beginning of what could very well be the best filmmaking experience of my life up to this point.

We have officially started shooting PLAY.

Owens is cutting all the footage right now so, unfortunately, I don't have any stills to share. I'll see if Levering can send me some pictures from his digital camera. In a week or so, we'll have a short video up as the first in a series of teasers and tastes of what people can expect from the final product.

Last night's lineup in order of appearance:
The Animal Style
Nullsleep (you must actually check this out)
^listen to Galaxy Tonight

Nullsleep in particular delivering an incredibly energetic show that everyone really got into (especially those crazy, slam-dancing 14 yr olds in the very front). It was also nice to have Jason, Paul, and Chris show up - made it feel like more of an event.

There was also this really cool guy named Jeff who had done some programming on a Commodore 64 and projected it in all its pixely goodness as a backdrop for the show. It really took me back to the days of screwing around with Kid Pix in the computer lab when I was in second grade and my sister, parents, and I were taking a tour of the middle school as my sister got ready to enter the 7th grade.

That kind of sums up the whole evening beautifully: a ton of feel good nostalgia. Even as I write this, I'm thinking of the day we brought home the Atari and plugged into a tv on a stand in our living room. As Pac Man glowed to life, it was the first (and last) time my family would ever gather around an entertainment system without my parents wanting to throw it out the window. Did you know that my mom and aunt used to play Mario 1? I can't believe I forgot about that. Everytime they jumped, they thought they had to jerk the controller upward in addition to pressing the appropriate button.

Maybe they'd like The Wii (nee Revolution) ?

Otherwise, there's some very exciting news from an editor concerning an article about PLAY in a major magazine but I won't say which until I actually have a copy of it in my hand (or a link to a page online)

Anyway, that's it for now. Time to go hang with the Maysles crowd. Have a good weekend my loyal one or two readers.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Defrost Gamestate

Hey everyone. One or two things of interest to report tonight. First, PLAY.

See the Myspace Page

Things have really picked up in the last five or six days. The site broke 1,000 hits and we got about 200 new friends with more requests coming in every 90 minutes or so. Some smaller, more obscure bands have found their way to the project so the word is trickling downward nicely. We've even got a couple of visual artists joining the fold.

(16X16 Acrylic on Canvas)

This is a piece by 8-bit Artist. That link will take you to some more of his paintings (check out the one of Peach). I'm currently working on a drawing myself though I don't know what it'll be used for (most likely a web advertisement of some sort...maybe a tshirt). Just know that it involves NES Link & N64 Link jamming on their respective instruments.

Even More Exciting: The guy who runs VG Cats has agreed to mention us on his site. His page sees a lot of traffic from the gaming community and once that link goes up, our hit/friend count is expected to make a major leap. I don't know when that's going to happen but I suspect it'll be in the next day or two so we'll see how it ends up paying off by the time I post here again.

We're also waiting to hear back from T. Tallarico about officially serving as Executive Producer (it was his idea) so that we can start using that as a selling point for the film when we promote it and look for funding. He says that he receives an average of 500 emails a day so it takes him a while to get through them all. Once that happens, things are really going to get rolling.

We'll finally be able to buy our own equipment
. Jobs requiring lights and sound in addition to cameras will no longer be out of reach. We won't have to answer to equipment rooms, rental houses, or producers reluctant to keep us employed in the first place. We'll even have our own sweet G5 setup just for editing DocuBoys projects.

(give me a second to savor the realization for the 100th time)


The last bit of news I have for PLAY is that we have our first show coming up in a week. Owens and I are going to shoot a show featuring Nullsleep, OMAC, and Animal Style. That video will be the first small taste of what the documentary will eventually be. I'll let you know when we post it on the film's myspace. We're also planning on shooting a big show in Baltimore June 17th. More details on that as they come.

Ok, on a slightly more personal note. There is some Maysles news to report.

I started my internship there last Friday with pleasant results. They had me doing a few oddjobs for the first couple of hours but when the woman who hired me came into the office, she sat me down in the editing room and asked me to cut a trailer for an annual summer program they run so they can show it to potential investors and get some more money to fund it.

I was told that this past Monday (the other day I work there) was my last day of answering phones, looking up frequent flyer mile requirements, and dubbing/logging tapes. This is great because it means I'll be editing/assistant editing (or some equivalent) from now on. Hopefully I'll start getting paid accordingly. I could use a paycheck right about now...

...mostly because Tennessee is seeming more and more like a dream with each passing week. Tomorrow is my next bi-monthly check in/disappointment. I don't expect much so I guess I shouldn't be too upset. Between Maysles and PLAY, things are coming up Milhouse.

Friday, April 07, 2006


It's only 15 minutes into Friday so I might be updating again later today but I had to share this now.

To begin, I sent my resume/reel to Maysles this morning and got offered an internship two hours later. Unexpected. Man, that $30/day stipend two days a week is going to be sweet. Bah. Some day, real money will find it's way to my leaky checking account.

The good news is that The Pauls' meeting with T. Tallarico about PLAY went very well, lasting well over an hour. Apparently he really meant it when he said he was interested in helping the film become a reality. He mentioned the possibility of serving as Executive Producer and said he'd help us pitch the project to investors at places like Electronic Arts and IGN. This whole thing is still a few months away but this is certainly a great beginning. I remain optimistic.

I just sent an email to LDE asking for an update on Tennessee. Hopefully I'll have some news to report on that project by this time tomorrow.

Right that's all.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

How Did It Come To This?

The last couple of days have been a blur.

Day before yesterday, I got to meet Albert Maysles.

If you're not going to bother following the link, just know that he and his late brother David are regarded as two of the (if not The) founding fathers of the Direct Cinema approach to documentary filmmaking. Aside from their most famous work (Salesman), they did pieces on the likes of Marlon Brando, Truman Capote, and The Rolling Stones. If my shameless celebrity name-dropping means nothing to you then, well, what kind of a 21st century American are you?

DocuBoy Jason has been interning at his place in NY for some time now and is going to asst. edit his company's next feature about the Dalai Lama. We got to talk for a little bit and he generously ignored the fact that I may or may not have been soiling myself in disbelief at the time. He had seen the stuff I shot for the Shadowboxer documentary during Jason's interview (because J was one of the editors) and had nice things to say about it (even though he probably didn't really remember it). My absurd pipe dream is that, in time, I might find myself working on (if not shooting) one of his next projects. He said he prefers the PD170 over the DVX100 so it remains to be seen.

The next thing I know, I'm at Bard College doing little more, it seems, than editing, eating, and sleeping.

The comic genius known to many as Raizin Bob-Waksberg wrote a play called The Long And Short Of It. Throughout the play, several video sequences are projected as part of the backdrop to match (or in some cases, clash with) the emotion of each scene.
You can check out some more stills from those video clips here
(this set has some stills that will be used and some that won't)

Raizin asked me to do this a while ago but I had to turn down the opportunity because I thought I was going to be in New Mexico by now. Since I'm not, I took the job at the last minute and now I'm here in upstate NY trying to get everything worked out. It's been nice to spend some time in wide open spaces, surrounded by mountains.

Much better than that smog we saw on Atlantic Avenue last week.

Right so things seem to be in order. I'm going to stay at Bard till opening night on Saturday then go back to Brooklyn and try and temp every day of the week to make some money to go down to Philly for a few days the following week.

In other news: P. Levering and Owens have a phone meeting with T. Tallarico scheduled for tomorrow evening to discuss PLAY. This is the infamous conversation to which I have referred many a time only now, it might actually happen. I'm supposed to check in with someone at LDE tomorrow or the day about Tennessee to get an idea of how long the next inevitable delay is expected to last. Shadowboxer played at the Philly Film Fest last weekend to mixed reactions. The release date has been pushed to JUNE 9th and will be released on 125 screens as I understand it. Details concerning the documentary on TV are still hazy but I'll be sure to keep you updated.

And lastly, the honorable Dan Finnerty made the first contribution to the BKuarium project the day after I sent the clips out but I haven't thought to put it up as a teaser till now. When I get back to Brooklyn, that'll be one of the first things I do so check back because his track is really cool.

The End.