Friday, November 27, 2015

The Demon Hunter

I saw the most amazing reading last Wednesday of Nat Cassidy's The Demon Hunter.

 It was genius. It's a very "small" play -- just two locations and it uses the conceit of a psychiatrists' office. Which in Nat's hands is... brilliant.

The play is freaking terrifying. The reveals happen in a very tight and beautiful story. I mean, it's amazing. And in a reading it was terrifying. Nat built a narrative which expands into a story about the whole of history but, you know, with only four characters.
This is why Nat Cassidy makes the big big bucks.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Avery Cates

There shall come a time in the future when we as a species will realize what a brilliant and seminal and near-perfect a work as Jeff Somers' Avery Cates series is.
The thing is freaking genius. And dark.

It's sci-fi noir with like 75% noir. It's cyberpunk without the embarrassing dating stuff. It's a tough-guy first person narrator who is so self-effacing that the unreliability of him as a narrator occurs even to him.
Physical and mental modifications, that break down. Androids with the consciousness of other people. Computer viruses which kill you and zombify you via freaking nanobots. The end of the world. The end of the end of the world. The end the end the end of the end of the world.

Should these books be made into a movie? No. They should be a 6-season series. Maybe 7 seasons.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Someone's Things For Today

I love Language: A Feminist Blog. Here she discusses the differences between gay and lesbian lexicons and the problems with trying to figure out what they are or even if you're asking the right questions.
New Jersey in the Paleolithic.

Filmconvert. I'm not 100% sold on it. Ian Hubert likes it though.

I feel that this article on VOD will be used to delude a lot of filmmakers into thinking there's money in VOD. 

I should probably just go ahead and get another of these hard drives. They're fast enough to edit on and they're portable.
Yeah yeah, I know. You have to run a backup because they're twice as likely to fail (in theory). UPDATE: huh. Blogger refuses to put in this link apparently.

Friday, November 13, 2015

All the stuff from today

Camtasia Studio is three hundred bucks. If I want to do any computer tutorials I really need to have it. But for three hundred dollars it's gonna have to wait a while.

Polari is the lost language of gay men. "Language" might be a bit of a stretch but I totally want to get this book.

You can dive a missile silo. What part of that isn't awesome?

You know you want to go to stunt driving school.

Filmspecific and Startupfilmmaker. I don't have anything to say about them. My feeling is "meh". Other than that I dunno.

I've been reading

QOTD "No buyer cares how cheaply you made a movie for." This was said in the form of a threat. So no more tips about ultra-low-budget filmmaking. ;-)

Monday, November 09, 2015

Grass Growing in Slow Motion

Ian Hubert. Genius.

Here's his feature length motion picture entitled Grass Growing in Slow Motion.

It is impossible to overstate how utterly brilliant this is.

356 Broadway Update

The office down the hall from ours is being rented out. 

Remember kids, don't trust 356 Broadway further than you can throw them!

Huh. This office is more expensive than ours is.



$600 / 125ft2 - PRIVATE OFFICE (TriBeCa)

image 1image 2
© craigslist - Map data © OpenStreetMap
Clean, quiet, private space with locking door and private mailbox.

Great for Entrepreneurs, professional and creative enterprises:
Computer based arts. Video editing. Fashion Design. Architecture.

No cubicles. No shared desks.

WiFi available.
Shared Conference room.
Heat and A/C included.

Located 1 flight down from Broadway.
No Windows.

In Tribeca, near Soho, Chinatown, Government center.
Located close to all subways.

Deposit & references required.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

How to Fin

As the worst scuba diver (non-dangerous division), I have a lot of skills I need to work on. Buoyancy, trim, and finning among them. (Note that we never call them "flippers", always "fins".
Because we have to take the fun out of everything.)

Nobody ever tells a penguin they have lousy trim in the water. Then again they don't do a lot of cave diving. Night and ice diving, sure. But they're all like James Bond in that they show up in evening wear just as they come out of the water.

Finning techniques:

I got those links from the pretty cool /r/scuba Reddit.

The Further Adventures of 356 Broadway

So apparently one of our landlords, Ben Schneeberg, came into the office today and talked to my partner. First, Ben saw that I'd put the letter up on the door. He said something to the effect of "Oh, so Andrew's advertising." Then he took the letter down saying "This is silly" and left it on my desk.

I'm not sure if he means that them sending us the letter is silly, or if he means me thinking everyone with offices should read it is silly. Either way, I put it back up.

Then, apparently, he told my partner that we didn't have to leave after all. No no no. We "just have to keep the door closed".

Oh, right. So the whole "We are no longer allowing offices to be shared" was just a what, bargaining point? So the entire substance of the termination of our lease at 356 Broadway was, as it turns out, not important at all. 

But that's not the most ridiculous part. The most ridiculous part is the reason the landlord doesn't like us having our door open. So if we keep our door closed, we can stay.

As a rational human being you might wonder to yourself: "Why would you need to keep your door closed? Are other tenants complaining about you? Are you doing immoral things there? What's going on?"

Oh. Oh no. The reason is so much more awesome than that. What is their new reason for wanting us to keep our door closed? Oh you'll just love it. 

Are you ready?

"It intimidates prospective tenants."

It is honestly beyond my abilities to parse what that could possibly mean. Especially considering that there are more tenants in the space now than when we'd first arrived. 

I suspect that the real problem that Ben and Jody have with us is that Brian down the hall has moved and they like to have someone they can needle. So the new person to needle is us. 

Why landlords have to be so psychotic is beyond me.  Everybody told me when I moved in that the landlords lie all the time. I figured they can't be worse than my last landlord. No, but they're ultimately just about as bad, what with the attempts to intimidate us just for fun only to back off when we call their bluffs. 

356 Broadway, 'twas nice while it lasted.  

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Further thoughts on landlord insanity

I am convinced the entire problem leading up to our order to vacate the premises at 356 Broadway was that we didn't make a stink when they did the carpet.
Everybody else fought with them. We didn't. Let me explain.
This is what happened. We tenants got this email the afternoon of Thursday the 24th of September about the offices being closed the next day.
From: imail <>
Date: Thu, Sep 24, 2015 at 12:50 PM

356 Office Tenants,

Please take notice:
The offices will be closing early tomorrow, Friday, September 25 for professional rug shampooing.
There will be NO ACCESS beginning at 3:30.

The OFFICES will be CLOSED and INACCESSIBLE from 3:30 pm tomorrow until Saturday.

If you can avoid being there at all this weekend, that would be the better scenario 
as it would allow the rug more time to dry properly and without footprints.

We apologize for the late notice.  This is the only time the cleaners are able to schedule us.  We are all sure to appreciate the results.

Best regards,
 - Ben & Jody
Now, there's a law office and professional photographer and a whole bunch of companies that have, you know, deadlines to meet. And so this ridiculous thing made for at least one screaming match between a tenant and the landlord because he had clients coming in on Friday. But the Mad Duke and I decided that wasn't a hill worth dying on so we just made plans to be out of the office for the next day.

So there were many arguments with many tenants. Just not us. And that becomes important the following week: because when I came in on Monday, Ben Schneeberg came into my office and was really aggressive about how the problems with the Internet were my fault. (The Internet there has always been fairly bad, and FiOS isn't available on that block. Most of the tenants have their own service but there's a few of us who share.)
I pointed out that my one computer wasn't even on, and my other computer wasn't connected to his network. That did not amuse him. I even brought up the network properties on my computer to show how little bandwidth we were taking up.
And while he was doing this I realized: oh, he just wants to get into a fight.
It took a while for him to back off. And I realized that he just had a weekend where fought with everyone else, but he didn't get a chance to fight with me
Hanlon's Razor suggests that my landlords aren't just trying to pressure us into renting two offices, but rather just that they're dumb. But Heinlein suggests we shouldn't rule out actual malice.

I'm still not sure what Maduka and I are going to do. Finding a consistently sane and stable landlord is, as it turns out, difficult to do.There are options out there. We'll see. In the meantime I have three movies I need to finish.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

356 Broadway

November 3, 2015

So my landlord comes into my office with a smirk on her face and says "What? You don't have a response to the email we sent?"

Like what she wanted was some kind of response, some sort of emotion out of a notice requiring us to vacate the premises.

I said "Yeah, I had a response."

In fact, the entirety of my response had been in an email which I sent back to her within minutes of her sending the lease termination was as follows: "Wow. This is... sudden. I hadn't realized this was a problem. Perhaps someone should have said something before it became a "lease termination" issue."

But my big concern is getting our security deposit back. My thinking is thus: if they're willing to invoke the nuclear option of terminating the lease and surrendering the property by the end of the month, they're probably thinking they can just hold onto the security deposit for either good or bad reasons.

I'm so pissed off that I have to put pictures of squirrels here to get my calm.
I told her I was appalled at how she tried to get me to help her find someone to fill one of the other offices within five hours of sending me the lease termination. She muttered something about how she hadn't realized that Ben needed to send out that termination on that day.

She then tried to tell me that I should have known this was coming. I said that other than the conversation we had on Friday about sound, there had been no notice about anything. She was snide and patronizing "Well that's clearly the way you choose to remember it." So I (of course) said
Me: "When? When did it happen?"
Her: "Oh, many times."
Me: "Specifically, when?"
Her: "Well, I don't know, maybe Ben has something in his calendar."
Me: "The reason you cannot list a specific time is because it did not happen."
Her: "Well, that's just the way you choose to feel about it."

She tried to convince me that the notice was not the nuclear-level of hostility I was interpreting it as. She asked me "Have you read the letter?"
I said "Yes, I've read the letter." (Like seriously, do you think that of all my faults and foibles, reading comprehension is one of them?)
So she starts reading from the letter but choosing more innocuous parts in the middle and I say "No no no, read the top. What does the top of the letter say?
Her: "Well, it says 'Notice of Lease Termination', but that's just legalese, that's all..."
Me: "What does the bottom of the letter say?"
Her: "Well that's just legalese..."

What it says is this:
You are required to surrender the premises to the Landlord upon expiration. Please return the premises to the same condition as you found it upon moving in. You are required to return all keys when vacating the premises.

Jody Susler
356 Spaces, LLC

I told her she had to give me back my security deposit. She demurred that it would be given back after I vacate if it's all swept clean and there's no damage. Which is absurd because I probably have the cleanest office in the whole space and it certainly wasn't swept when I moved in

So I told her she had to pay me back my security deposit and I threw her out of my office.


Saturday, October 31, 2015

Uh. Okay. So that then. I guess we're moving.

Today one of the landlords of our studio stopped by and asked that we keep the door closed when we have a client. The Mad Duke has been editing a feature for the last couple months, so maybe someone wasn't happy with the sound? We'd asked around to make sure our neighbors were okay with what relatively little sound we do make. But who knows? Yet later, seemingly out of the blue, I get this email from the landlord:


Andrew Bellware
356 Broadway, LL10
New York, NY 10013


Dear Andrew,

This letter is notice to you that your month-to-month lease for Unit LL10 at 356 Broadway, New York, NY 10013 will expire on November 30, 2015 and will not be renewed.
We are no longer allowing offices to be shared.

We are offering to issue you a new lease on unit LL10 but only on the conditions that it is for you alone (with the occasional collaborator) and that you keep the door shut.

Henry is welcome to rent a separate office if he wishes, also on the conditions that it is for his own use only and that he keeps the door closed.  Furthermore, he would have to agree to use headphones for editing video even when he is working with a collaborator.

Please let us know ASAP your intention regarding initiating a new lease or surrendering the premises.

You are required to surrender the premises to the Landlord upon expiration. Please return the premises to the same condition as you found it upon moving in. You are required to return all keys when vacating the premises.

Jody Susler
356 Spaces, LLC

Friday, October 23, 2015

Data Management Friday

If you have an SSD drive, like I do, it's likely to be small. So you're going to be wanting to get your "user" files off of it. That's relatively easy to do, you just have to right-click on each folder inside your username and then find the "location" tab and put the directory on another drive. Windows will ask you if you want to create the new directory and move all the files to it. You say yes and violins! It's done.

But moving the "app data" directory is basically a no-go. Which is a pain in the tuchus when programs are going crazy putting junk in app data.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Eternal Prison

So I'm re-reading the Avery Cates series. I never re-read things. But the Avery Cates series is totally worth it.
I'm at The Eternal Prison. Man, for hard-boiled sci-fi noir, it sure gets into Absalom Absalom territory. There is a brilliant narrative change in the story which even when I knew was coming still blew me away.
Apparently what I think and what the tastemakers' think are polar opposites. But this series would make a great, dark, noir, TV-show. Each novel would be a 13-episode season.
Avery Cates is a great character because he's really far from being a superman. He's a journeyman hitman. But he's got a lot of rules he lives by and although he admittedly gets lucky he, as a character, has a great deal of what the kids nowadays call "agency". His decisions are the turning-points in the story.
Yeah, I'm gushing. And yes, I've made feature films stealing or borrowing ideas from these books (I even named a character after the author, Jeff Somers). But there really is that much there, that much depth, and that much excitement on each page coupled with a graceful literateness which makes the noir all that much better.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Oh, just stuff.

ScubaPro SeaWing Nova Gorilla fins. They're about two hundred bucks. The non-Gorilla versions are just a tad cheaper.

I'm selling my Mac Pro.