Archive for the ‘Last Night’ Category

 

SXSW 2012 Day 3 – 16. March, 2012

Today I stood in what will probably be the longest line I have to endure.

SXSW 2012 Day 3 - 01

Two hours, not for a band but for Franklin’s BBQ.

SXSW 2012 Day 3 - 02

It was damn good BBQ.

I was then off to catch my first show, the lovely Ximena Sarinana.

SXSW 2012 Day 3 - 03

Holy, she is a cutie, and she plays but accordion…

SXSW 2012 Day 3 - 04

…but my heart will always belong to Julieta Venegas. Another girl also played with Ximena.

SXSW 2012 Day 3 - 05

Also very cute, and very good, but it wasn’t doing it for me today.

I then ran next door (love that about this fest) to catch The Delta Spirit.

SXSW 2012 Day 3 - 07

A few years ago I caught these guys at SXSW by pure accident and it was one of the best accidents to ever happen to me. They’re a great rock n’ roll band. I’ll have to pick up their new album when it drops.

After a quick nap (tons of food makes me sleepy) I hit up the Sarah Jaffe show.

SXSW 2012 Day 3 - 08

She was very good but I wasn’t feeling it so I ran to check out Foam Lake.

SXSW 2012 Day 3 - 11

Again, they were very good but they didn’t catch my fancy, which was apparently very hard to catch this evening. No, seriously, I wasn’t in a great mood and it was going to take a lot to break me of my bad spirit.

Next up was The Mowgli’s.

SXSW 2012 Day 3 - 12

When I first heard their track, I was reluctant. When I saw them during their sound check, I was sure I was going to bail after two bars. To my surprise, they did something no one else could this evening: they made me smile.

Next it was a race across 6th to see Letting Up Despite Great Faults.

SXSW 2012 Day 3 - 15

Despite the clumsy yet wonderful name, these guys were plagued by bad audio. All I could hear was the bass rumbling the last of the brisket in my belly.

I fought through the thickening crowd on 6th street to catch Chappo.

SXSW 2012 Day 3 - 16

(I feel a disclaimer is in order here. I know a lot of my pics are kinda fuzzy. The lighting doesn’t help but also I don’t spend the whole show trying to take the perfect pic. I’m here to have a good time and catch a great show, not take a pristine pic.)

These guys were a complete riot. First, I loved the dress (are they Native?). Second, they did all kinds to strange things like blow balloons until they popped or shooting confetti canons at the audience. Plus they sounded pretty sweet.

(Okay, what I said earlier, that was kinda dickish. I do like taking a good pic but tonight I was in a bad mood).

With sore feet (thank God I got some new Puma for this), I hiked up to the very not-fire-safe 512 Rooftop to see Class Actress.

SXSW 2012 Day 3 - 21

Oh, where do I start? First, I don’t like this venue. Second, she started 20 minutes late. Third, the sound was limp. Fourth, her character. As a filmmaker, I feel I’m allowed to critique her “performance”, especially if she’s going to call herself “Class Actress” (I used to be a teacher).

I know looking like you stepped out of an early 80s video is your thing but stop playing with your hair (first you run you hand from the back of your head to your face, then you turn away and whip around, then you do this again, and again, and again. What, are you afraid you’re not pretty enough so you have to hide your face?  Trust me, you’re plenty pretty.).

(Yikes! Man, I’m in a bad mood. Class Actress, I’m sorry. I’ll buy your next album, probably not see your next show, but I apologize… a bit.)

After elbowing my hundredth hipster, I escaped that fire trap and caught //TENSE//.

SXSW 2012 Day 3 - 24
(He/they are there, I swear)

Ya know, dark dance music was exactly what I needed.

I ran up a block to next catch White Rabbits.

SXSW 2012 Day 3 - 26

These guys gave a solid performance. I have to remember to pick up their album.

I jogged back down the street (no wonder my feet hurt) and caught the end of Prof.

SXSW 2012 Day 3 - 27

What little I heard wasn’t bad.

My final act of the evening was The Peach Kings.

SXSW 2012 Day 3 - 32

The one song of theirs I knew reminded me so much of The Kills (in a good way) that I was disappointed the rest of their stuff didn’t. Still, that girl has a got a great voice and damn she’s a cutie. She needs to get in the right hands and she could be shaped into a very successful act.

The end of day three. If you’ve been feeling my vibe, then you’ll easily guess my pick of the day: The Mowgli’s.

[audio:The Mowglis – San Francisco.mp3]

Hopefully tomorrow I’m in a better mood (but I wouldn’t bet on it).

Posted in Last Night

Don’t Retreat, Reengage – 26. January, 2011

So last year I set some goals for myself. I failed miserably. I wrote nothing. I didn’t direct anything. I…

Okay, it wasn’t all doom and gloom. I did manage to lock picture on my film, LAST NIGHT, but I still need to go back and tweak a few shots. And I need to finish it so I can move on to the next project. I also traveled to Europe. These are good things, but overall 2010 was a wash. Why? Well, without getting into it, things just sucked.

So how can I turn 2011 around? It took me a while but I realized it while I was about to fall asleep last night. I can’t take on anything new. No, that’s too much. I can simply look back at the things I liked in my life and reengage. This means working on my film, writing a new feature, writing those long overdue FRINGE and CHUCK specs, playing the guitar, etc.

That’s it. It’s simple but it’s a good way to get back on track (which needs to happen before I can move forward).

The Agony of Playing LAST NIGHT in HD on my PS3 – 8. November, 2010

Christ, there are so many damn festival deadlines approaching/passing. The Sundance deadline was just a few weeks ago but recently there’s been the Berlinale, Slamdance, the Miami International Film Festival, the San Francisco International Film Festival, SXSW and Tribeca. By the end of the month I’m looking to submit to the Cleveland International Film Festival, the Independent Film Festival of Boston, the Dallas International Film Festival, Rooftop Films, the Seattle International Film Festival, the Sarasota Film Festival and the Los Angeles Film Festival.

Lucky for me, I have a locked cut of my film to submit.

Still, being the neurotic perfectionist that I am, I want to hold a few screening before proceeding with the sound edit/mix and color correction. Now, I could just screen my SD DVD but I shot high-def, I have a nice TV and a PS3, why the Hell shouldn’t I screen the best possible version I can? Really, what’s stopping me?

Well, nothing but time, technology and storage space.

Warning: I’m about to peg the geek/nerd/techie meter.

I shot my film with the Panasonic HVX200 so my footage is all 1080p/23.98 DVCproHD. I color corrected my locked, festival submission cut in After Effects with Colorista and Looks. So far, so good.

Now, the PS3 can handle H.264 but wants that in an MPEG-4 wrapper. That’s straightforward, right?

Yes… and no. After Effects won’t output a multi-pass codec so I needed to create an intermediary version. I went with ProRes. Why not the Animation codec or ProRes HQ? While those codecs deliver a higher quality image, the trade off in time is crippling. My After Effects ProRes output of a five reel film took 60 hours! ProRes HQ is roughly 20% larger than the vanilla ProRes I used, so that would have taken 72 hours. I couldn’t afford to tie up my computer for three full days. The Animation codec is lossless so God only knows how long that would have taken.

With my ProRes version in hand the next step was to create an H.264 version with AAC audio in Compressor. I think that took about a day, can’t really be sure because I farmed this work out to another computer; like I said, I have other work to complete, work that requires the use of my MacBook Pro.

After that it’s an easy passthrough in QTPro to wrap the file as MPEG-4 (thank you Stu for this tip).

Done.  Next, I had to transfer the film to my PS3 and I’m done. Not quite. My film is about 30GB but I only have 20GB left on my PS3 HDD. Solution: buy a new HDD (thank God the PS3 makes swapping the HDD easy). After hours/days of research I learned that I needed to purchase a 2.5″ 5400rpm 500GB SATA II HDD with a 16MB cache. I found a nice Hitachi on Amazon and I’m golden.

Well, no. See, they send me a drive with a 8MB cache. I send the drive back but in the meantime I do a bit more research. It looks like no one makes a 2.5″ 5400rpm 500GB SATA II HDD with a 16MB cache. You either get a 5400rpm with an 8MB cache or a 7200rpm HDD with a 16MB cache. I’m thinking I really could use the 16MB cache in regards to the heft of my file’s data rate but boards suggest that some folk have had issues with the 7200rpm drives in their PS3s. Ugh. Fine, I’ll go with an 8MB cache HDD.

The new HDD arrives and I immediately make 2 backups of my PS3 HDD before swapping it out for my new one. I pray this will go without a hitch. It almost does. I had to have the PS3 OS on a USB stick in order to properly format my new 500GB HDD. I then restored my original PS3 files but that took close to 5 hours. Once I verified that all my files were restored and worked, it’s finally time to transfer my file to my PS3. I can’t use my 30GB USB stick (formatted, it’s less than 30GB and we’re all experienced that pain/agony) but I have some space on the external HDD I use to back up my PS3. I hook that drive up to my MBP and…

Failure?! Yup. See, the HDD I use to backup my PS3 is formatted FAT 32, which restricts file size to 4GB or less. What’s worse, the PS3 won’t recognize a drive formatted any other way. FUCK! How the hell am I supposed to move this 30GB H.264 file from a Mac formatted HDD to my PS3?

The answer is PS3 Media Server. It’s a Mac app that lets your PS3 browse your Mac for playable media. At first I was worried that I’d have to always stream the media but there’s a “Copy to PS3” function.

Did it work?

Hell yeah! My film transferred to my PS3, it plays in all its HD glory.

Now I need to organize a pair of screenings this weekend (all the while praying that work doesn’t ask me to come in Saturday or Sunday). Was this worth it? I think so but I’ll confirm after the screenings.  Meanwhile, if you’re trying to do the same thing with your Mac/PS3, feel free to shoot me your questions.

October 2010 Goal Check – 11. October, 2010

Sorry for the delay in updating but I have good reason.

I locked picture on my film. I submitted it to Sundance. It took a ton of work (look for a future post detailing all the grizzly details) but for right now I’m basking in the glory of being done.

No, not really. I’m looking for sound designer/sound editor and a colorist for my film. I’m looking for the next film festival submission. I’m looking to build a proper website for the film. In short, I’m looking to wrap this sucker up… and then move on to the next project, which should a new feature script, a web series, a pitch, all that stuff I wrote about before.

Rat race?

Hamster wheel?

Me.

Posted in Last Night

Seeking Awesome Festivals for LAST NIGHT – 15. September, 2010

As I’m slamming through post so I have something decent to hand in for the Sundance submission deadline, I realize it’s been ages since I’ve submitted a film to festivals. I’m out of the loop. I don’t know what are the new make-or-break festivals out there. Right now I’m planning on submitting to…

  • Sundance – I really liked the addition of the NEXT category.
  • Slamdance – I feel like they really champion smaller films, plus my friend won their big award last year.
  • SXSW – The community seems to get behind smaller, more intimate indies.
  • The Berlinale – Everyone that’s gone RAVES about this fest.
  • Cannes – THE European festival to sell your film.
  • LAFF – A great hometown platform for interesting films.
  • Toronto – Films are still selling at this festival.

What other fests should I apply to? Please let me know in the comments section of my blog. Also, leave a reason why.

Locked Picture on LAST NIGHT – 7. September, 2010

For all intensive purposes, I think I just locked picture on my film. I might just make the Sundance deadline after all.

Anyway, after coming to that realization I took a moment to celebrate by having a cold iced tea and listening to Joe Jackson. That’s when I heard one of his songs and… well, I think it’s important for you to know that I first heard it as this cover.

Suddenly I heard a ticking in my head and the BMP was set to speed metal.

Gulp.

Time to get back to work on this sucker.

September 2010 Goal Check – 1. September, 2010

What the hell happened?

I went off the rails… way off.

Goals went out the door.

Everything just crumbled.

I’ll try my damnedest to get back on top of things. This blog is one of the few daily activities that holds me accountable to myself. Actually, I think it’s the only life preserver I may have in this ocean of nothingness.

(WTF?!)

First priority: my film. My editor dropped out. He was just too busy so it’s back in my hands. I have just under 20 days until the Sundance deadline. I wish I could quit my jobs for a month, hole up in a room far away from the world and just edit but that ain’t gonna happen. It’s gonna be hours of editing after 10-14 hour days on jobs that grind away at my soul. Anyone got any good tips for staying awake and focused for 20 days straight? Or how about a quick and easy method for burning the world around me to the ground?

Jesus! That! That’s the kind of s**t that’s been swimming through my head. I blame Europe. Europe was awesome. Too awesome. I came back and saw my life for what it is.

Ack, there it is again!

Okay, enough. I’m gonna stop writing because I’m sounding like my 17 year-old self (he thought THE STRANGER was the first work that really spoke to him). Anyway, I gotta run to the post office while resisting the urge to go postal and then it’s off to work where I get to sit in a dark room resisting actual darkness.

Who am I?

(For Ted: at least I didn’t say that while staring at myself in the bathroom mirror.)

(For Everyone Else: If you’re ever watching a movie and someone says “who am I?” while staring at themselves in the bathroom mirror you know you’re watching a real piece of s**t. Also, apparently I still have a sense of humor. That’s something, right?)

Posted in Last Night

April 2010 Goal Check – 5. May, 2010

I think I can sum up this past month with one phrase:

What the fuck happened?

The month didn’t get off to a good start and then, for some unknown, after Coachella everything went straight to Hell.

Time to go at it again.

March 2010 Goal Check – 1. April, 2010

25% of the year is over so it’s time to check in on those goals again.

Finish My Feature FilmMy editor finished a cut and it looked pretty good. Obviously, I had notes but we are definitely on the same page and it feels fucking awesome to move forward. Now I just need him to export a QuickTime so I can obsessively watch it at home in High-Def. You’re asking how I’m gonna author & burn a Blu-ray from my Mac, right? Wrong. I’m gonna export the HD Quicktime to play on my PS3. Stu, you’re a hero.

Write Another TV Spec – I am WAY behind on CHUCK and FRINGE but I’m still determined write for one of these shows. I think I’m gonna take a day off, hook up the computer to the TV and just plow through the second seasons of both.

Get Hired to Direct – No bites yet.

Get My Web Series Up & Running – So I had three formal pitches and about a dozen “tell me what you’re working on” while waiting for the elevator and the response has been overwhelming. Most people love it and the rest get a right hook to their prudish sensibilities. No, seriously, one woman yelled out “oh God!” in reaction to one of our randier jokes. Awesome! Also, I’ve cut together some character vlogs and need to do more but I’ve also been writing the first season. Christ, this is really happening. Also, you’ll see that I no longer use the “T” word because it resulted in my getting spammed by those interested in this “T” word.

Write A Feature Script – I started an outline but got sidetracked by the web series and, well…

As for other goals I still don’t have a sport, a class, an acoustic guitar, a way to defy death, a way to invest and I’m still trying to finish GLUE but I did go to SXSW and I had a fucking blast so that counts for something, right?

February 2010 Goal Check – 1. March, 2010

What? The month’s already over? S**t! Time to check in with those goals I set at the start of the year.

Finish My Feature Film – No real progress here but I should be looking at a cut next month.

Write Another TV Spec – This too has taken a back seat but I am plowing through season 2 of CHUCK on my iPhone and the FRINGE season 1 Blu-ray on my PS3.

Get Hired to Direct – Um, yeah, this really isn’t happening either. Okay, by now you’re asking what the hell is wrong with me. You must think I’m a flake. I’m not, I just got hit with a one-two-punch of having a roller derby girl spurn my affections (lesson: never like them more than they like you) and then the most intense flu I’ve had since childhood. That ate up about 2-3 weeks of my life.

Get My Transmedia Project Up & Running – Good news here: I have 4 pitch meetings this week. I’ll be meeting with a creative/tech agency, a talent agent, a new media producer and a web focused production company. That means I have to get this pitch prepped ASAP.

Write a Feature Script – Nope, didn’t really push the bromance but I’m punching up this horror/thriller that a director, and friend, wants to take into a genre division. And it’s due the same week as my 4 pitches.

Gulp.

As for my other goals, I’m still looking for a sport, a class, a way to defy death, an acoustic guitar, a way to invest and I really gotta finish GLUE by Irvine Welsh.