{Like Spinning Leaves: August 2006

Like Spinning Leaves

Thursday, August 31, 2006

"And i...Loved it."


When I took it out of the box yesterday, I felt like Walter Donovan in Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade when (he thinks) he's holding the Holy Grail. The score, the lighting, the soft focus...everything.

I know buying it was a ridiculous luxury expense but now that I've already enjoyed it on a perfect nighttime bike ride through the abandoned industrial backroads of Bushwick and on what is now a painless subway commute, I'm confident that I did not choose poorly.

*Incredible dork that I am, my ipod, external drive, and computer are named after the three pieces of the Triforce.

Post Script: Ugh. It's sad how this contest is slowly transforming this work blog into a more personal one but what the hell: I walked out my door this morning feeling happy for the first time in a long time. I suffer (in a completely non-clinical way) from reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder. The second the air gets colder/crisper, it's like waking up from the greatest nap of your life. Everything just feels better - I feel sharper and more productive while remaining relaxed and level headed. This is going to be a good Fall, I can tell.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Good Block / Bad Block

Bad Block:
I don't care who's doing what songs. The cover of the soundtrack to The Nightmare Before Christmas by the likes of Fall Out Boy and Marilyn Manson is not a good idea. Look it up if you don't believe me. I can already hear Patrick Stump mewling his way through "Jack's Lament" and Manson's same tired slurring and moaning (peppered with bouts of larynx shattering screams) bastardizing something like "Oogie Boogie's Song." Arggh...All I can think of in response to all this is the baby boomer I walked by in the West Village who, without a hint of irony, exclaimed, "W. T. F., right!?!"

Good Block:
Tomorrow's my last day in this office. It's as close as I ever hope to get to understanding the plight of the Wernham-Hogg gang. Also, I spent a good amount of time on TMOPMO last night and actually moved from the sketchbook to penciling the actual panels. Hope to finish inking tonight. No firm decisions on the interviews this weekend but we shall see.

I really need to buy a digital camera.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


It's about 2am right now. Just got back from some quality DVD Authoring/X-Files/Cold Pasta time with Jason...and when I say "quality," I mean dozing off in a reclining chair everytime something renders for longer than four minutes only to be interrupted by Jason tapping me on the shoulder inbetween pages of Astro City.

This would be a lot more enjoyable if I didn't have to put on a tie in 5 hours and waste the best part of the day at a desk.

Monday, August 28, 2006

They're In The Archives

I used to keep track of PLAY's myspace hit/friend count on a weekly basis. It's been over a month now. Let's check it out.

Okay, my last recording was on July 26th:
696 friends (+24 from the previous week)
6082 (+321...)

Anytime we had any sort of publicity, whether it was the VGDJ podcast, the myspace interview, or the article in Metro, I would make a note of the date and see if it had a noticeable impact on the numbers.

Alright let's see, in the last month we've gone up to:
759 friends
7316 hits

hmm. I suppose that breaks down to something resembling our weekly average...an average that has consistently shrunk over the past month or so...make sense - this hasn't been a great month for production save that one meeting we had.

Alright, I suppose this qualifies as a post for now, lame as it was.
4 more days.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

A New Olde Video

And when I say "new," I mean May, 2006.

Father-Son Talk

( R.I.P., My Life In Park Slope).

There's something up with the image quality that makes me think we shot this with two different cameras but I honestly can't remember anymore. What I do remember is watching young yuppie families react to a bag of human blood. It's just about as funny as it sounds, no more, no less.


I have cause to be excited. After a nearly 5 week hiatus, things are back on with the vgm documentary. The current tentative plan involves the other guys coming up to my place this weekend to shut ourselves in and edit, shoot, and sleep video games. This could also be the weekend we do the Bitshifter / Nullsleep / Tugboat conversation - a missing key element to our Electronic Press Kit. Rather than have a straight on, static shot interview, we're sitting these three guys down for a conversation. Jesse (Tugboat) will be our plant of sorts, asking the questions we come up with beforehand to get the katamari rolling and then take it from there.

Should be cool.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Warning Signs

Clearly I never came back to address/edit the filler post from yesterday...what a shame. I get the feeling that's going to happen more often. Not that anyone reading this could care less but it does upset me.


Deciding on a company logo for 2 Player Productions has proven to be a pain in the ass. We've been toying around with a number of ideas over the last few months but can't seem to settle. Below is an example of the kind of thing we've been tossing around and tweaking.

And, regardless of what the design is, criticisms like "phallic" "suggestive of homosexuality" or "won't look good on a business card" always find a way in there. Unfortunately, no combination of the readily available symbols (!@#$%^&*) can sufficiently convey my hair pulling frustration so I'll just leave it at this sentence and move on.

According to this morning's round of emails, it seems as though we're leaning towards going back to the simple, original two player arcade button. Apparently, the test audiences who have mistaken it for a restroom sign can "[get fucked] in the ear." Amen. Levering's got a good idea for an animated logo. More on that when we finish.


I actually had a dream about this last night. There was a phonecall. Pack your bags, we've got tickets to fly to New Mexico on November 1st. Most people don't remember a majority of their dreams. Unfortunately, the pure elation I felt upon hearing that news remains vivid and firmly entrenched within the folds of my frontal lobe. This disappointment will haunt me for the rest of the day.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Doorknob? Did we really say that?

Here's my "safety" post for the day. I really hope this doesn't end up being it.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

I'm Telling You Now, I'm Telling You Now

Come September 12th, it's quite possible that, outside of film work, I may enter a very serious period of isolation for a few days.

Only Revolutions

A few years ago, a friend let me borrow Mark Z. Danielewski's House of Leaves. I'll spare you the details of our sappy love story but just know that I don't think I'd ever been that consumed by a book since James and the Giant Peach, the first book I ever read in one sitting. I still remember how just one word at the end of a chapter gave me genuine chills, the slow, nauseating horror that crept over me as I decoded an encrypted letter contained in the book's text, and turning off the bedside lamp as the sunlight gradually filtered in through the curtains of my cousin's room in Bangladesh on the morning I read the last page.

Unfortunately, the book (along with the rest of my luggage) was lost en route to The States somewhere in depths of the Charles de Gaulle International Airport. Telling my friend I had lost his (and, for a time, my) prized book was one of the more embarrassing things I had to endure during my college years. Occasionally, I'll mentally revisit this incident and slap my forehead, remembering that, over two years later, I still have yet to replace it.

Perhaps I'll grab a copy when I pick up Only Revolutions.

One Week Away From Retirement...

If the ole movie cop cliche is true, today is the day I die.

Hopefully I'll go out like the officer at the beginning of Last Action Hero (Favorite Second Cousin Frank's house blows up, impaled by palm tree, etc. incase you've forgotten). Who am I kidding? Surely everyone remembers that cinematic milestone.

But yes, it's true: There is officially one week left till I leave my first "Real World" job. Following a brief vacation (possibly DC), I'll be hitting to road everywhere within the triangle created by Westchester, PA, Virginia Beach, VA, and Franklinville, NJ to meet up with my partners and really bury myself in work that actually matters. You can expect more relevant updates once that period begins.

For now, you'll have to settle for this filler crap.

I don't even have a link for you today.

Post Script:
Katamari Damacy 3 should revolve around restoring Pluto's status as a planet.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Sub Xerox

Hmm, this will have to be it for now incase I don't get a chance to update at work. Still, I shouldn't leave you emptyhanded.

Incase you haven't already seen it: How the New York Times looks to The Right Wing.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

CollaboRaizin Part II

Hey remember when I shot those video backdrops for Raizin's play? Well it's time for an Ocean's Seventeen style reunion. I'm guest illustrating an upcoming issue of his web comic: Tip Me Over, Pour Me Out.

It felt good to break out the sketchpad yesterday. Can't really remember the last thing I did beyond the casual doodles I rely on to get me through work. The smell of India Ink in particular was like an old friend.

I remember a time (4th-6th grade being the peak years) when a lot of people thought I was going to be comic book artist. It was one of those things were everyone makes the same reasonable assumption about you and you just kind of shrug your shoulders and accept it because you're too young to know any better. But given the relationship between Comic Books:Storyboards:Cinematography, I guess it does make sense.

I think TMOPMO is the closest I'll ever really come. Like so many others, I've daydreamed about an Ender's Game movie for over a decade (burn in hell, Wolfgang Petersen). I even got as far as writing part of a screnplay a few years ago. Of course, I have no delusions - they were just the idle musings of a fanboy. But it wasn't until recently, say about a month ago, that I thought what I could do was make it a graphic novel. I would be totally free from the input of others, budgetary restrictions, and having to deal with finding not one, but a handful of brilliant child actors (Kubrick knew).

Anyway, I don't want to get too carried away with that right now. The point is, TMOPMO is just what I needed. It's something that will demand a lot of effort but remains manageable. I just hope I can live up to Lisa Hanawalt's work.

In the meantime, you can check out this cool directory of online comics and see if there's something that catches your eye.


WOW. I've been picking through that web comic catalog...what an incredible resource! I haven't stumbled upon anything really mind blowing yet but it's a really great way to recognize people's work. Be sure to check it out and pass it around.

Monday, August 21, 2006

[They] Have A Dream

Nintendo Amusement Park
These guys in my neighborhood are trying to create a video game obstacle course where you strap into a bungee powered harness cleverly disguised as Mario's overalls and jump on Goombas the size of those nasty kiddie pools of frosting they'd root around in on Double Dare.

The trailer & narration crack me up. We just got in touch with these guys and will probably be going down there to check it out with our cameras in tow as part of the VGM documentary...I'm not sure how it'll be implemented within the actual film but I think it's certainly worth including in the Electronic Press Kit we'll be sending around when we start pitching this project to investors. If Master P has taught us anything, cross promotion is the only way to obtain gold plated ceilings (which, as we all know, is what I'm really after in this life).


Here's the Silver Lining update I promised earlier. So a castrated version of our behind the scenes documentary is going out with the initial DVD release for domestic distribution.

The good news? The folks at LDE are currently working on the Director's Cut version that will be used for all foreign distribution. That DVD will feature the compromised (but still acceptable) 30 minute version we'd been fighting for. I'm not saying it's the greatest thing that ever happened but I think it's a fair middle ground.

This disc will also include a great interview with the Boss himself that was just shot last week. He breaks down his perspective on each character and how he drew from real life acquaintances to shape them. He even cried at one point. Good stuff. It'll be much better than a similar short we did that appeared on the DVD for The Woodsman.


Things have been kind of slow on my end in regards to this project...Thankfully, I've only got 8 days of work left (!) and will be able to fully devote myself to the film after that. We've got a conversation with Bitshifter/Nullsleep/Tugboat in the works and I'm still keeping my fingers crossed about meeting up with Dino from Chromelodeon at some point. Overall, exciting prospects loom on the horizon.


I know I keep saying I won't talk about this till I'm there but if we don't leave for New Mexico this November, we'll have to wait till next spring (deja vu). As I understand it, that's something they can't afford.

It all remains to be seen.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

New Video


I made this a few months ago but never put it online. Here it is.

Filmed At The Brooklyn Aquarium

Music = Iconography by Max Richter

This actually kind of depresses me. It makes me wish I was actually out there in the water shooting instead of dreading going back to work on Monday...still, only three more weeks of this crap till I take a nice long vacation out of state.

Post Script:

For the sake of formality, I forgot to mention that when I first got interested in shooting, I really wanted to operate camera for the Discovery Channel (ocean life in particular). Some day I'll submit this (or something like it) to them and see if they'll find any use for me.

The sad part is, I might really suck at deep sea diving.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Planting The Seeds For Drama

Alright, just incase this turns out to be an incredible disaster, I thought it best to document the beginning of what could very well be the end of an era.


Amidst concerns that the feature length documentary would shed an unfavorable light upon our employers, we were willing to comply with their request for two toned down versions. One would be a 10-15 minute featurette that would more closely resemble the typical fare: O.K. interviews spliced with slightly amusing, but more importantly, safe, anecdotes from the set.

The second half hour version was essentially our feature length fly-on-the-wall-and-nothing-else approach stripped down to its bare essentials. Not that there's anything wrong with that - it was still true to the spirit of what we'd been trying to achieve as we've shaped this documentary throughout the last two years.

We were just happy that some of what was good, new, and interesting was still there. There were still those vital moments from preproduction during all the wheeling and dealing that no one ever gets to see...that no one would ever see had it not been for our boss' willingness to show the reality of the process at his personal and professional expense.

But this morning's rude awakening was more than the usual dump trucks thundering down Meserole Street at 7am. The first email I read this morning, the first piece of information I'd really processed after realizing I was already going to be late for work, informed me of their decision to scrap the good stuff and just keep the short 12 minute featurette.

All the work we'd done to distinguish ourselves within the Behind The Scenes "genre" (said with a tone of self aware mocking, mind you) was apparently for naught.

But I shouldn't get too far ahead of myself. We haven't even had a chance to counter yet. We are planning on fighting this thing as best as we can. I just thought I should introduce the situation now and get it off my mind so I can concentrate on yet another day in the tedious grind of corporate america. Maybe that Korean bum who sits on the corner of 53rd and Park all day smoking his pipe and ranting about how fucked everything is has a point.

I should see if I can get a picture of that guy.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Asleep On A Train, Passing Milestones.

Ridiculous titles aside, The Lord of The Rock surpassed 1000 Youtube views sometime in the night.

::grumbling:: It only took about two months...

A couple of quick things:

Oh man.

Village Voice

"Still, there's a certain pleasure to be derived from watching the actors attempt to dig out from under the rubble that William Lipz's screenplay repeatedly dumps on their heads. Mirren and Gordon-Levitt keep a straight face. Gooding seems vaguely embarrassed, especially when baring his ass. Dorff is only too happy to whip out his scene-stealing schlong. Mo'nique hints that she's in on the joke. Ferlito clearly has no clue."

very hard to resist my first (and last) usage of "pwned."

They're finally putting the DVD for this thing together which means the first DocuBoy project will finally see its release*. Owens and I will be editing the final version of the featurette this weekend in Philly. I will return unchanged for the most part...maybe a little relieved...it remains to be seen.

* The Woodsman thing doesn't count because we didn't really shoot the whole thing. My sincere apologies to whoever did for totally stealing that credit.


We might be changing our name to Chip Tunes. More on that later.