Monday, February 22, 2010

3 New Things I Learned During This Year's 168 Project

As opposed to last year, when I experienced 168 Madness, after which came, 168 Clarity, I give you the following:

  1. In moviemaking, money gives you time.
  2. Time is fixed in this competition, therefore
  3. It doesn't matter how much money you spend.
And that last one goes in either direction, meaning, it is possible to spend almost no money in making a 168, beyond the aforementioned entry fees. If indeed I have mentioned them before.

Time is Money

A cliche I'm sure you've all heard before, which leads to the following syllogism: Time is money. Money is power. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts, absolutely. Therefore, man is inherently evil. As money approaches zero, and your time is running out, it's necessary to think creatively, and quickly. We had a situation where we didn't have a boom. Was borrowing the mic, but we didn't have the needed boom pole to go with it. Had we had the budget for it, I would've probably purchased one myself. However, we did have a C stand. Or two. Problem solved.

Let's "Fix it in Post!"

Well, almost. Turns out we had some buzz on the cable, that made it to the editing process. As I couldn't afford a sound guy, complete with boom, mic, and mixing box included, we plugged the mic directly into the camera. I did this last year on Three of Clubs, with no problems. Probably because I had a guy that had his own boom and cables. Not so this time. Prayed. Made a few phone calls. Prayed some more. The writer called in a favor. We were indeed able to fix it in post, however, not without a lot of headaches, and stress.

Money, Money, Money!!!

In conclusion, I do always wish that projects like the 168 could be filmed for next to nothing, however, we did indeed incur some expenses. Without boring you with the details, my friend was wrong. You may remember before this whole thing started, that I posted that I had two naysayers. I probably had more, however, only two were vocal about it. One was right, but for the wrong reason. I wasn't able to make a movie for $4400. Had I had that much, I probably could've made at least three, and had some money left over for a great wrap party. I'm reminded of an oft misquoted verse in The Bible, which I'm sure you're aware of, as most will tell you, "Money is the root of all evil." Wrong. Read the entire verse, which I shall quote here, and link to: For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. I Timothy 6:10, from the King James Version, to be exact. Other translations read slightly different, and I ask you to compare and contrast, to get the gist.


In any case, well, really specifically this one, Having a million dollars would've been a good thing, however unnecessary. Maybe next year....

72 and sunny in Redondo Beach.

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Real First Rule of 168

Prayer. Simple, and succinct. One word, and I've got about 495 to go, therefore, I'll ramble on into general incoherence, which can only lead to one thing: Specific incoherence.

I once heard a talk where the speaker said, "Every once in awhile, God will do something to show that he's God of your life, and not you." Dr Larry Poulan is the name I remember, but I'm probably spelling it wrong. He spoke at the first Campus Crusade for Christ Christmas Conference (try saying that three times fast) I ever attended. The year was 1980, so, someone that knows how to search for things online can go look it up. Or, I could, but I may not have the time :)

Why won't I have the time? Well, we're on final countdown to turn in for our 168 Project film, Black Friday. I have other stuff to do, however, I figured I'd come here and blog a prayer request that no one will read, simply because I may have time to do that. Oh, about 29 and a half hours before the clock hits zero as I type this sentence, in case you were wondering.

Today was suppose to be my free day, as the plan was to turn the film in yesterday. The phrase, "Man plans, God laughs" comes to mind, as all did not go according to plan. At least mine. This may be some sort of great plan for me that to my knowledge, God hasn't let me in on yet. But that's probably an entirely different guest blog post that I have as yet been not asked to write.

To continue, or maybe your question is, what went wrong? Well, it would seem that my sound quality of the film that was beautifully shot by my DP is not up to snuff, to the point where my post production sound mixer doesn't want to put his name on it. this is the aforementioned thing that God did to show me. Or not. I don't truly know. What I do know is this: all of our hard work will have been wasted, if we can't fix the quality of the audio. What I do know is, I need prayer for what some would consider to be a miracle, however, I feel confident in my team's ability to pull it off.

This has been a Link Free Blog Post™. Thanks for reading this far, and praying for my team.

72 and sunny in Redondo Beach.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I forgot the first rule of 168...

This is a production sound mixer Lance Lundstr...Image via Wikipedia

Which is simply this: Don't try to stay awake all 168 hours. You can't do it. Or, maybe you can, however, I know I can't. My record is 43. And that was in college a lifetime ago. As result, I'm too tired to properly compose this entry. So, sleep is a good thing.

I like the new Apple keyboard, as it allows me to tap my fingers on the keys without actually typing. Impressive. When attempting to pad one's word count, it is ok to embellish with random facts. As you can see, I've degraded into random incoherence. Which may be redundant. And as you know, in the dictionary under redundant it says, "See, redundant."

I could talk about how we wrapped principle photography at approximately 337pm PST yesterday, however, that might not be entirely true, as, it was closer to 4pm. I just like the number 337. Don't know why, I just do. Actually, it's when I looked at my cellphone before we got the last shot.

So, for me now comes the hurry up and wait process of filmmaking. I have music cues to listen to, so that the composer can do his thing, while I wait for the editor to do her thing, after which the post production sound mixer will do his thing. Then they all get put together into an 11 minute short film, based on the verse I drew what, two weeks ago? Then more waiting, after I turn it in to the festival, to see how it's received.

So, I could attempt to get some sleep, but I made arrangements to discuss things with the editor in a couple of hours, and my fear is, I won't be in any condition to take the call whether or not I get some much needed sleep, as I may have made a mistake when I got up at two in the morning....

It will be 72 and sunny in Redondo Beach, but not for awhile.

Adjust your expectations accordingly.


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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Black Friday

Final Draft (software)Image via Wikipedia

Or, 168 Project Team #13 2010 Edition Day 1. Of shooting, not day one of the competition, as I spent yesterday putting all the final elements into place, and prepping my shot list. Which I need to complete before I get ready for the longest day of the shoot, which will of course, be today. What's wrong with this picture? Why am I blogging instead of continuing to prep? Simple.

It's been said that every once in awhile, God will do something to prove that he's the God of your life, and not you. Currently, this boils downto, Final Draft not working on my computer. Now, I understand that you may not know what that means, however, in 25 words or less, I opened up the script this morning, and am still waiting on the template move I just did. That's right, going on ten minutes now, and the beach ball is still spinning. For those of you that just joined us, I'm on a Mac.

I'm thinking faster than I'm typing, and I really should get back to it, so, to review, pray that God will allow us to successfully complete a film that will glorify Him. Please, Retweet.

Sun's not up yet in Redondo Beach.

Adjust your expectations accordingly.

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

They say you can't go home again...

So, I won't, as I don't really have one. My childhood home in North Hollywood was last occupied by members of my family in '92, as I'm the last surviving member of said immediate family. During that time, I landed a job at KKLA, FM 99.5, which at the time was also located in NoHo as we called the fledgling art district back then. It's since grown beyond expectations as the Red Line stops there on Lankershim. Just off Lankershim on Magnolia Blvd. rested what was The Magnolia Theatre, which has since been turned into a saxophone shop which was next door, into something else entirely as I rode by it the other day after visiting my alleged agent, Jack Scagnetti.

KKLA has since moved to Glendale, and I was there for part of that time as well, as anyone that has perused my Linked In profile can attest. Why is all this relevant? What does it have to do with my 168 Project?

Simple. As some of you know, or, hopefully all of you, my 3 loyal readers, the first few scenes of Black Friday are set at a radio station. The personalities involved are DJ's. So, in true fashion, we searched high and low for locations, and we locked down KKLA. We'll be shooting there on Monday.

Pray for me. And for them. And my crew. And Scarecrow most of all :)

72 and sunny in Redondo Beach.

Please, Retweet.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Thought I was going to do this everyday....

But as 168 Madness continues, I've let things slip. Like blog entries, for which I apologize. Also, this affects my fundraising ability, so, that's a problem, as I have none. Funding, that is. Yes, it's another plea for money!!! God is providing in miraculous ways, as we have a great script, a good cast, and most of the crew needs met. Still waiting on a location, plus some equipment. And a sound guy. I really need a sound guy. That's the guy that makes the movie have sound. Having used a borrowed PC that didn't have sound capabilities the past 3 months, I can tell you, sound is important.

So, as always, 72 and sunny in Redondo Beach, and, please, retweet.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

In a Shining Bit of Irony....

If you've read the previous post, you know that I received my verse(s) Tuesday night, and I bet you're dying for me to tell you what they are. So, without any further ado, well, really without any ado actually, the winning lottery numbers Bible verses are: Matthew 7:24-25. Now, I could post what that reads here, but I don't think I need to pad my word count, so, you may simply click on the link.


Where's the irony in that, you say? Well, I'll tell you. It turns out that when I handed John Ware the stone with the verse attached, I accidentally called it a rock. The he corrected me, and said, "It's not a rock, it's a stone." Then I said something on the order of, "Stone, rock, same thing." And he reiterated, "It's a stone." then I read about building your foundation on a rock, to uproarious laughter. Even got it on video, with my new Flip Mini that I won. Will post when I get my Mac back, which should be today, so, be looking for that soon.

Oh, and pray for me, and my team. #13 in case you forgot :)

72 and sunny in Redondo Beach.

Please, Retweet.
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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

3 Things to Remember on Verse Selection Night

Golgotha Crucifix, designed by Paul Nagel, Chu...Image via Wikipedia

Yes, of course this is another 168 Project post. Simply because, I'm participating in the 168 Project. Again. Did I want to this year? No!!! God had other ideas. As tonight is the night for selecting the verse that starts the writing ball rolling, I figured I'd do yet another list post, in order for Guy Kawasaki to read it. Maybe he'll use the donate button in the upper right.
  1. Don't prepare for a specific verse,
  2. Ask God to lead you to the stone, and finally
  3. Remember, it's not about me.
I've read through the entire Bible in my lifetime, and I don't consider myself an expert by any means. The challenge as always in this competition is to take the verse you draw and create a ten minute short film based on it. The temptation is to try to get a jump on what you think your verse will be, and I've been guilty if this in years past. This year's theme is Hearing God, and according to the founder of the festival, this means the entire Bible is fair game.

The second point basically boils downto, pray before you go up on stage, and draw. As opposed to a hat, the stones are arranged in a cross, and team members go up in order of entry, (Remember, this year I'm #13) and point to a specific stone, at which point, the aforementioned founder will hand it to you, and you get to read aloud your verse for the first time. Again, having a preconceived notion as to what verse to choose has not necessarily been a good thing, and ultimately, the odds on guessing which verse you'll get, are astronomical.

In conclusion, this isn't about me. It's about God. Praying that He will give me a verse that allows me to make a film that glorifies Him, is hopefully a prayer that he will answer in the affirmative.

Oh, one more thing. If you're not Guy Kawasaki, and you've read this far, you may still use the donation button on the upper right. Because ultimately, I can't do this without you.

72 and sunny in Redondo Beach.

As always, please, retweet.
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