Saturday, May 22, 2010

Dream House
is up. Last upload until I put the clips from the Mou workprint up, starting in mid-June. One problem I've always had with YouTube, by the way, is that you can't choose your video's thumbnail from any part of the video you want (partners probably can), you can only choose it from the three thumbnails they choose for you. You should be able to grab any frame you want from the whole video, I want a lurid and appropriate image to represent Dream House because that's what gets people's attention, but sometimes the images are "boring" and the views of the video always suffer because of that.

With the end of Conversations with T.F. Mou's edit more "in sight", I'm starting to think about Alison in Wonderland again. Honestly, I'm probably not gonna rely on investors as much as I thought. I figured out that the film could be made for much cheaper, around $15 grand instead of $50. There are some Canon DSLR still cameras that shoot HD video that produce stunning results almost akin to that of the Red. I'm strongly considering using one of those and alternating with HDV and DV cameras depending on the shot's needs. I'm gonna start building the props and models for Alison for next May once I'm done editing T.F. Mou's work print. I'm really thinking ahead here and I think if I want it to happen I have to haul some ass myself and not wait around as much.

I'm gonna put the finishing funds for T.F. Mou up on Kickstarter, a great new site that helps artists fund their work through no-strings attached donations. Will also throw Alison up once all this is over with.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

My blasphemous, fatwa-inducing contribution to Everybody Draw Mohammad Day.

I dislike all organized religions, all are superstitions designed to enslave at worst and provide a sense of comfort to the human mind at best, but Islam is, okay, at the bottom of my favorites list. Islam isn't that bad inherently though, it's not any worse than Judaism, the problem with it is that the extremists have too much power. It's where Christianity would be if the Westboro Baptist Church was as powerful as the Vatican. My problems with Islam are because I love freedom, not because I hate Muslims.

There are a lot of good Muslims who are just being mislead by evil leaders, but powerful or not, these people cannot tell us in America and the West what we can and cannot do. It sucks enough that you can't depict Mohammad in Saudi Arabia or Iran or Derkaderkastan, but those countries are ruled by extremists, in America and Europe we have freedom of speech and the press and that.

I'm not even a big fan of South Park anymore, Parker and Stone started to lose me when they got more conservative, got more and more endorsing of the political hedonism that is libertarianism and supported the Bush Administration, but for godsakes, they should be allowed to depict Mohammad in which way they desire because we are a secular country. If you Islamics want to throw a Looney Toons stick of dynamite in my apartment, I'm not too hard to find. I wish someone would be brave enough to make a Mohammad porn flick.

I've thought about making a short mocking Islam called 72 Virgins where a bunch of terrorists sit around a camp fire in a desert eating hummus, pita and falafel and speculating about what the 72 virgins must be like. Are they all of different races? Or are they all Arab girls? Are they children or young women of varying ages? Finally, one of them can't take it anymore and blows up a train station in America to "get them". He goes to Islamic Heaven, but shreiks in disappointment as Mohammad presents him with 72 olives (some say the virgins thing is a mistranslation since olives were very cherished in Arabia in those days). I don't think I'm gonna make it, though.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

New website update with some new drawings and most notably with its Conversations with T.F. Mou page updated and expanded as the film's workprint nears completion. I may even start putting clips up in a few weeks (probably gonna put two clips from the film up every week for about 6-10 clips in total).

I was thinking a little and what's funny about Conversations with T.F. Mou is that it is oddly descended from a couple of scrapped projects of mine. Some of you may remember Gen-Y (my film company's initial name sake, actually), a twisted animated short I wanted to make about a bitter old bus driver in Hiroshima who tells the obnoxious, shallow schoolgirls he drives to school everyday the horror he experienced during the war and reminds them how lucky they are to live in such a safe, war-free and sheltered environment, a reminder that falls upon deaf ears, leading to the old man's suicide. That project came closest to being realized around the time I was doing Little Red Riding Hood (even had a friend, Kevin Schreck, on board to animate it for me), but was lost in the shuffle of the following few years, but making a darker war-themed movie about the alley of human tragedy stayed in my mind, I guess.

I also wanted to get into more serious documentary-making and do a film about China and how its economic growth is destroying the environment but I decided that it would be "way too hard to do". It's like the two projects oddly fused together in the ethereal soup of manifestation and was colored by my obsession with Hong Kong movies and curiosity about T.F. Mou around that same time. Interesting.

Dream House will be live in its whole Friday.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Okay, I caved! After a friendly, reconnecting e-mail or two with Neil, I decided to throw my short films back up on the internet in their entirety. Here's Little Red Riding Hood, Dream House will be posted next week.

Two Short Films hasn't sold that well and was kind of a disappointing endeavor but it got me to Myrtle Beach and inspired me to work even harder on future movies. I think selling DVDs of homemade films online is sort of 2001 anyways, but the main mistake I made was that everybody had already seen them and while most people like them, they don't like them enough to want to buy them to see them again nor does the difference in quality between the cuts matter to my viewers as much as I thought. Since they're not selling anyways who cares now? Nonetheless, I am going to make an updated pressing of the disc with menus and a new special feature or two available soon and encourage anyone who likes these films to buy them and support me. They'll be more interest in these when Conversations with T.F. Mou and especially Alison hits. Supporting the artists of the stuff you like is very important.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Not too much to update, but enough to be updated:
*The first hour or so of Conversations with T.F. Mou is done. Finally editing the Men Behind the Sun stuff. The movie definitely expands in its depth as it goes along. The version I'm currently editing for the premiere is really just the workprint. I'm leaving the option for new stuff to be added like clips of Mou's rarer stuff if I can get the film archives to assist open though its polished enough aesthetically to still be released anyways in case I can't. The DVD, yeah, is, for now, postponed indefinitely. I'll give some timecoded "bootlegs" of the film out for anyone who wants to review it and give me some press. The thing about the DVD is that I can't release it until the rights are cleared and paid for and by then I may have a distributor and all that and they may not want me releasing my own DVD, though I'm gonna try to talk that into the deal.

*Will have new drawings up in several days, hopefully.

*Saw a screening of Survival of the Dead in Cambridge with George Romero himself present. I was planning on getting him to sign my copies of Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead and telling him how much I love his movies, the you've been an inspiration bit, all that, but he left before the film was done screening. As for the movie, it's not as good as the first three (goes without saying I think) but I like it a little better that Diary of the Dead and about as much as Land of the Dead. Romero said he was basically "trying to make a Western with zombies" and I totally got that. It's basically a zombie version of Yojimbo and A Fistful of Dollars with Alan Van Sprang's renegade G.I. sorta (but not totally) playing the Mifune/Eastwood role. There's that great scene in Night of the Living Dead where Mr. Cooper says to his wife about Ben and his refusal to go in cellar: "We'll see who's right in the end" to which his wife retorts "That really important to you isn't it? Being right?". Thematically, that's basically Survival of the Dead in a nutshell.