Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Unnecessary Closeup

This is the last shot of the last day on Earthkiller. Robin Kurtz is directing and DP at this point. This is my mouth.
Blood Moon looks like a kinda cool werewolf picture. It stars Naomi McDougall Jones. It was produced by Triboro Pictures.
As far as I can tell, I can't upload .zip files and expect them to be downloadable via http anymore on my server. I'm not absolutely sure that's the issue. But it seems to be. Renaming the files something like ".barf" seems to work.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Sexy Jews

See Romeo and Juliet in Yiddish on July 8th at Lincoln Center! Written and directed by Eve Annenberg, who was in Apostasy.

The Legal Blue Book is apparently the thing that used to tell lawyers to double-space after a period. Now it's come around to telling lawyers to single space. Apparently the double-space issue in law is one that causes lawyers to initiate epic flame wars on message boards. This is all according to my niece.

By the way, since we don't use typewriters any more, you only use a single space after a period.

As a cranky, drunk, guy, I watched a little bit of Leverage (what is this, written for children?) the beginning of an episode of Burn Notice (does every line of dialog have to be on the nose?) and giving up I selected a free episode of Firefly and it was like being given a big soft comfy chair after people were hitting me with sticks. I know, I'm a fan boy. What do you want? Well, what I want is for the dialog to be off-the-nose.

I'm reading all about workers and the number of hours they work. Hey, I'm happy if I can get someone to work four solid hours in a day with no distractions.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Iron Your Shirts

You may think that ironing a shirt is the most boring thing conceivable. Well, you'd be right. But I've always wanted to know how to do it properly. I'm unnecessarily afeared of burning my shirts. When I worked at the New York Shakespeare Festival I would try to get this wardrobe supervisor to show me how to iron a shirt and she would always say "I have two older brothers, I know what you're trying to do -- get me to iron your shirt." But that isn't what I was trying to do. Really! She never showed me how to properly iron a shirt.

Anyway, here is a video of shirt ironing. Enjoy.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Source my crowd

A tsunami in New York City. If you could make the visual effects of a movie about a tsunami in NYC look as good as the video in that post, you could probably make a bit of money. But the big question is: after 15 minutes of that, what more do you want? It's kind of like producing porn, nobody watches more than 15 minutes of it. What are you going to do, develop characters and show how their lives are changed or whatever? Nobody cares, it's a freakin' tsunami!
Note that our official position is that you shouldn't use laser pointers to play with cats as it really frustrates them. Just get some aluminum foil and a string and the cat will be more than happy. Add catnip to the equation and your cat will be in heaven. 

So you too can invest in a Broadway musical. It's crowdsourced! Sign up here!
Actually, you'll note that you cannot sign up there. The minimum investment is a thousand dollars. Note that this is not a Kickstarter project -- you're actually becoming a member of an LLC when you fork over your cash. As the producer points out, he had to become a Series 63 Licensed Registered Representative (Securities Agent).
Funny Pictures - Cat Gifs
see more Lolcats and funny pictures, and check out our Socially Awkward Penguin lolz!
Now the State of New York, with it's lovely regressive policies, bills an LLC $100/member per year. That means if you've put in, say, $1000 to an LLC, the value of that money to the LLC is only $700 over three years. So the State eats at multi-member LLC's which have small investors.
The only advantage to having a whole bunch of members in your LLC is that the fees are topped off at $25,000 per year. So over three years the fees paid to the State will "only" be $75,000. From New York Small Business Law:
LLCs generating income in New York must pay an annual filing fee of $100 multiplied by the total number of members in the LLC with a minimum fee of $500 and a maximum fee of $25,000 (single member LLCs have to pay $100 annually).
I figure that the costs of operating the Godspell LLC will be somewhere in the order of $300,000. That's my guess. And that's just to operate the LLC -- no actual production costs or salaries. Just lawyers, accountants, and fees. Theoretically those costs could be as low as $150,000 or as high as half a million dollars.
The State, making it as hard for small businesses as they possibly can.

HBO has the life

So I'm watching Game of Thrones on my parent's HBO.
HBO has an amazing track record of making good "stuff". I thought their Rome was terrific. Well-written, well-acted, and looked great. And they're able to do that level of quality really consistently. They seem to know exactly where the "soap opera" part of the show should balance against the blood-and-guts part. They know how the Shakespearean dialog should balance hot people will their clothes off. They know how awesome the scene you're in should be balanced against how cool a place you're going to is. All these things are really subtle and they do a fantastic job with each of those elements in Game of Thrones.
I mean it's like...
It's like...
 I feel... tricked. Everything they do is perfect. By "them" I mean HBO. Every scene is perfectly laid out. Every character is beautifully set with motivations and conflict. The appropriate characters are ironically setup. It's TRICKERY I say!
But of course all of movie-making is trickery. Hell, theater is trickery. All tricks. And the folks at HBO seem to know all of them. And they know how to get them out of their writers and directors and actors.
Now, when I look at Game of Thrones sometimes I think "This isn't quite up to what a big-release Hollywood picture would do." The visual effects are by-and-large kept static rather than moving. That's cheaper (and to my eye the look better) than moving the camera. There are some bits which look, albeit briefly, "TV budget" rather than "Theatrical budget". But those things are real brief and don't affect the experience of being in the world.
My question is: how does HBO make this kind of thing consistently? They're very good at consistent high-quality writing and performances. That's got to be at the executive level. I've heard that the HBO offices are the most relaxed offices on the planet. I suppose when it doesn't matter how many people are watching on Thursday night at 8 o'clock or how many people show up to the first weekend's showings, you can get pretty relaxed. Plus, you get to do anything as long as it's "good". So yeah, that'll make you relaxed.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Book Stores, Meh

Oh look, an article which references my favorite book store, Book Court. Now they're charging people to come into their literary book store.
You know what I like about Amazon? They have zero attitude about the books I read. Actually, that's true of the Barnes & Nobel I go to also.
Independent book stores. Pthththt.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Cat and Dog

The up-to-date guide to managing Facebook privacy.
A big issue for me with Google Chrome is that it has no provision for a master password. So maybe the Passter Extension solves that? I dunno. I'll find out.
Really? There's a book based on an XKCD joke? I guess. It's called Rule 34.
According to this review of Final Cut Pro X, you won't be able to export OMF files from the new version of FCP. That's a deal-breaker in our studio. It makes FCP X a complete no-go for us, we may as well switch over to PC's (again) and edit in Premiere (again).

Here is Sammy the cat snorgling up to Chien d'Or the dog. Chien manages to look put-upon all the time.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Bears are Coming

Good grief. I'm glad they didn't get my new address. Clearly these bears are coming after me. My parents only just sold their house in Metuchen. And now Metuchen has bears. Armies of cruel, steel-teethed, hungry, bears. That want to eat you. Or me. One of us is getting eaten. By ravenous bears.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Earthwar new structure

Beat Sheet Page count 90pp
Opening Image : 1 John rises from the dead
Theme Stated : 4
The Set Up: 1 to 8 John hunts Raut with Lydia the digital cat
The Catalyst: 10 John is saved by Morgan
Debate: 10 to 20 Morgan wants John to help them activate the global shield
Break into II: 20 John agrees to help them with the shield as it might help him kill Raut
B Story: 25 introduce the ensemble
Fun and Games: 16 to 45 fighting robots on the way to the repeater station
Midpoint: 45 John and Morgan get to the repeater only to find it abandoned
The Bad Guys Close In: 45 to 61 The main station has been destroyed, John and Morgan escape through the city
All is Lost : 61 John and Morgan hide from the arachnobots in an apartment
Dark Night of the Soul: 61 to 70 John tells Morgan the story of his wife
Break Into Act III: 70 John and Morgan head back to the generator
The Finale: 70 to 90
Final Image: 90

Three Things on Father's Day


Play Porn Star or News Anchor.

Groovy article on Ian Hubert's Project London. Hey, we're a Blender house too! Where are all our free animators?

Joe Chapman should totally build us a couple Mechs. Via Tana Sarntinoranont, whose name I take pride in spelling without looking up, these mechs are $350K

We need a structure-pass on the Earthwar script. And we absolutely must be shooting this movie before the end of Summer.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Your Three Things from Today


Regardless of the degree to which these older rural dialects are extinct now, the fact is not so much that the British stopped talking like Americans, so much as urban British dialects became the type of English spoken by a majority of the English populace. Particularly London.
In essence, something happened in Southern England that didn’t happen in America. Whereas the local dialects of New York City (the largest city in the US) have remained largely confined to a small portion of that metropolitan area, the dialects of London (the UK’s largest city) have been spreading their influence in various ways for hundreds of years. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Is this a bit like stalking?

"Stalking" is a very loaded term. I prefer to think of it as "extreme liking".

So I started watching this series with a terrible name, "Peep Show". And I'm like, this is brilliant man. It's like 30 Rock meets Flight of the Conchords. So I go to the beginning of the series (because they're all available for free on Hulu) and I'm like, "hold on, this isn't funny at all". Then I realize that the later seasons are funnier than the earlier seasons.
I fink dat's cause the earlier seasons rely on that sort of excruciating moments-type humour (which The Office excels at) but that I don't find terribly funny. Later though, they go for more of that witty stuff-being-said (like 30 Rock) does, which I do find terribly funny.
Either that, or I'm secretly in love with Isy Suttie. Which isn't a shameful thing at all. Don't tell her though. I don't want her to think I'm a creeper.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Clearing out the tabs on my browser

Dapper Cadaver has dry blood.
Oil wheel projectors seem to only exist in the UK.
The Mathmos Space Projector isn't sold through their site in the US.
But Lamp Lust seems to have them.
Body armor. You know, for motorcycles. I think this will be the costume for Major John Keynes in Earthwar.
The Bowery Electric is a groovy club downtown.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Rap Party for Android Insurrection

It came to this. Virginia went outside for a smoke. Some random dude/neighbor of mine gave her a tract on not smoking. And she read it (dramatically) and then Nat started playing guitar so I (of course) had to join in on flute. There's video of this somewhere.
Andrew Bellware (flute), Nat Cassidy (guitar), Virginia Logan (spoken word).
We need berets don't we? And bongos. Everyone needs a beret and a bongo.
Jiah Peck being serenaded by Drew and Nat (with Virginia in foreground).
Surprisingly, by this point we were all less than drunk. I'm not so sure what causes that.
A groovy, arty, shot with Virginia reading. Note the bowl of M&M salad.
Yep, that's how we roll in Jersey City.
Virginia reads. Queen of Mars takes pictures.
Crazy kids.

I should include our recipe for zombies. It's not that we followed this to the letter. But it served as a guide.

Zombie #2 recipe

1 ozlight rum
1/2 ozcreme de almond
1 1/2 ozsweet and sour mix
1/2 oztriple sec
1 1/2 ozorange juice
1/2 oz151 proof rum

Shake all ingredients (except 151 proof rum) with ice and strain into a collins glass over ice cubes. Float the 151 proof rum on top, add a cherry (if desired), and serve.

19% (38 proof)
Serve in: Collins Glass

Read more:Zombie drink recipeshttp://www.drinksmixer.com/cat/374/#ixzz1PD8o4MGB

Saturday, June 11, 2011

"Amhn" maybe.

Dream last night was very involved but I was an actor (!) and although we had a number of hours before we shot my scenes I hadn't yet seen my lines. So. Not exactly an actory stress-dream. I was trying to convince the wardrobe supervisor that I get a Lawrence of Arabia head-piece. My character's name was something like "Amh".

Friday, June 10, 2011

Hey Zeus

Anything you can do I can do meta.
Finally, a good picture of me. Maybe it's the girl standing next to me who makes it good. Aslan Grealis took the shot.
Andrew Bellware and Sky Chari

OK, so on a list of things which are different between Macs and PCs. Macs don't seem to let you do anything in a File > Open window that you can normally do in the Finder. PC's "open" window inside applications do let you do whatever the file browser lets you do (like copy or delete files). 
Also, the default action when copying a folder in OSX is that it "replaces" rather than "merges" the data together. As we have multiple people working on multiple projects, or pieces of projects, that all go together, this can be highly dangerous. The default action on a PC is to "merge" data. I have zero idea why OSX is like this. Apparently you can use the terminal window to merge folders which is just awesome -- like a flashback to the 1980's. 
I heard a rumor they've fixed this in "Lion".

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Today in Pandoralic News

The wonderful Bill Martell reads too many message boards.
The thing I find interesting about the way the big studios make decisions is that we have to make decisions almost exactly the same way. Actually, we have a bit more freedom than they do.
I was reading this blog on electrics and he mentioned the show Samantha Who? The idea of that show, a woman wakes up with amnesia and finds that she was a horrible person, sounds awesome. But it doesn't seem to me like a concept that would last more than a couple seasons. Which it didn't.
Today I spent half the day trying to make a shot in the movie look as good as it does in the trailer. Embarrassingly it's a visual effects shot matched to live action. So I learned how to make Blender bring in a plane with the correct aspect ratio as the image it's derived from. And then I learned how to make that plane play back a movie. But right now it looks like poo because anywhere I put this plane on our space station that looks like a window just doesn't work. So... there's that.

Plus we have to animate some dinobot action happening in those shots so I wouldn't be able to finish the composite today anyway.

But I've done a big pile of work on the mix of act 3 of Earthkiller. Joe Beuerlein did some most excellent sound effects editing in the picture edit and the gunshots are awesome. Actually, the version in Final Cut is better than the mix I'm doing -- I gotta do something about that.

Idiotman, the Dream

My sister left her dog here with me and some guy and I had to take showers and get dressed. Then I realized we had no way of taking the dog on the train.
We'd left the front door of my apartment open and somebody's cat just walked in, oblivious of the dog. The guy's girlfriend was arguing with him via chat on the computer.
But then a squirrel got in through a window in the dining room and the dog, who we had to walk because she really had to go potty, was chasing the squirrel.
what about the BEARS?
10:34 AM
How would I get my sister's dog (I actually wrote "god") on the PATH? We would have to buy a "service animal" vest for her.

I imagine you can't just buy vests like that at any pet store.
But it's a good plan.
Ros Chast is kinda babely


See: Melissa Riker dancing Tuesday night "Gibney Dance Center @ 890 Broadway."

Read: There I was, an American escaped POW on an American Sherman tank, with a woman tank commander! Joseph Beryle's tale of fighting alongside the Soviets in the Second World War.

Buy: Stingray Sam

Study: the skillsets required of a VFX artist.

Make: foam Halo armor.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Keeping My Distance

I decided to calculate how long it would take the bear in my sister's yard, using public transportation, to get to my apartment and eat me. Looks like I've got a few hours in which to bear-proof my apartment.
I'm hoping the bear can't drive.

A Bear in the Woods

My sister, who lives in a place almost exactly the opposite of the place I live, has a bear in her yard, as evidenced by this photograph.
My older brother suspects it's a Yeti. I'm not convinced it's not a dog in a bear suit.
Either way, I'm staying indoors.


Here's all the places you can get to from Theatresource in 23 minutes via public transportation. Note that my apartment in Jersey City is just barely visible on the left side, there at Journal Square..

Friday, June 03, 2011

And That's the Way Things Are

Flixter sold to Warner Brothers for between sixty and ninety million dollars (according to the article.)

Oddly, I have an actor page on Flixter.
But I don't seem to have a director page.
I start to get lost with what movies were released, so I haven't included all of them here.
That makes me feel a bit derpy.
I had dinner tonight with Sky and her dad Gary. They made me eat a lot of vegan food in Park Slope.
And that's the way things are.


Look, Betty Ouyang has a page on MobyGames for her work on Grand Theft Auto San Andreas.
Look, a whole book on rotoscoping:

Look, the OECD Better Life Index.
Look, the Pandora Machine Wiki (which nobody reads) is getting fairly big.
Look, Freesound has all your sound-effects needs.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Two Clowns Walk Into a Bar

So, apparently, I can't spell "bar". I always figured that if the barre were set low, it would be a lot easier. So what do I know?
I can't get Cherie Priest's "Clementine" because there were only 200 copies made and it's sold out. I suppose I could buy it for $75. Since the Kindle edition is only five bucks, that, er, lowers the bar for the price of a Kindle by $70.
So Prey is this thing which is free and will track your laptop or smartphone or whatever in case it gets stolen.
Downstream is a movie. It has heavy color-correction. I can't quite hear the dialog in the trailer.

Moviestorm is an animation/storyboarder/animatic-type program.

Sarcasm = On

Hey remember when I proved my trashy taste when I wanted Cherie Priest's Bloodshot? Well I'll tell ya, I've been reading a lot of paranormal-gal-detective/thrillers and Bloodshot is by far the best.
Now, of course, I suppose the barre is pretty low, seeing as how those are all paranormal-gal-detective books and of course many of those books are written by people who, according to dimwit V. S. Naipal, have too many X-chromosomes.
Not to get too snotty about this, V. S., but you know how people say "Faulkner and Jane Austin" in the same breath, and they never say "Naipal and Faulkner" or "Naipal and Jane Austin" in the same breath? There's a reason for that. It's because you're simply not as culturally important as Jane Austin. And she's [gasp] a girl!
Naipaul’s misogyny aside, he made an interesting point which has been rather overlooked. “I read a piece of writing,” he said, “and within a paragraph or two I know whether it is by a woman or not.”
Yeah, V. S., you can totally tell in a double-blind study whether an author is male or female.
Take the test and see if you can tell if the author is XX or XY!
Does anyone remember when people used to argue whether The Story of O was written by a man or a woman? There were a lot of feminist lit people who insisted it had to have been written by a man.
Meh. Literary criticism back in the '80's was tiresome.
But hey, it's not just your feminovelist who has the problem with that pesky duplicate chromosome. O noes! It's also true of movie directors. That's right, you can tell right away when a movie is directed by a gynodirector or a testodirector. Haven't you noticed that with TV shows (where there are significantly more female directors than in the fairly narrow field of feature films) how the show just looks different or... or something when a woman directs it? I mean, you're watching your favorite TV show and you're all like "Hmm... something's off here... why did we just go to a wide shot? Shouldn't the camera be hand-held here?" Yep, female director. Happens all the time. Or... uh... not.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011


"You realize that intellectually I have to put up with the things you think."


I've often wondered if motorcycles with sidecars are safer than two-wheeled motorcycles. My biggest fear on a bike is someone not seeing me and making a left-hand turn in front of me. And I wonder if a sidecar helps those people see you.
For ten thousand bucks you can get this neat Russian bike that comes standard with a sidecar, the Ural T.
Another option is to simply get a bike and put a sidecar on it. Sidecars are less than $3000.

And the Royal Enfield Bullet has a list price of $5500.