steev's blog

Truth On The Line Pre-Production

I'm in the middle of pre-production for a new project which I do not think I've mentioned before on this blog. Truth On The Line is a TV/web show which will be a hybrid of fiction and nonfiction, news journalism and drama. I like to say that it's a cross between "Slacker" and "Broadcast News", and the news will be real.

I first came up with the idea for this project almost 2 years ago, and have been gradually thinking about it and keeping it simmering on the back burner of my creative stove every since. It was this spring that I finally finished the script for the pilot episode and began.

I cast 5 of the 15 speaking parts first, people I knew. Then I did a casting call about a week and a half ago. Since then I've been working a lot on casting, sorting through the dozens of responses to my call and holding auditions. It's been incredible. Fun, but lots of work. It's great though just to meet some very creative actors, and I find myself wishing I could work with almost all of them, but of course, I can't and I have to make some choices. Hopefully a week from today, or so, I will have made those choices.

The other thing I'm doing is trying to decide if I should create a new blog for the project. It will eventually need a website. I'm tweeting in twitter about it using the #totl tag. But should it have its own blog?

I'm very inspired lately reading the blog of Christopher Sharpe. He's been diligently blogging and tweeting about his film, The Spider Babies, which is in pre-production too. He plans to ask his main castmembers to tweet from the set as well. That's a really cool idea. But he hasn't created separate site or blog for the film yet, as far as i know. So, maybe I shouldn't either. Yet, at least.

Anyway, stay tuned for more on this project as it progresses.

Cinematic Mashups That Probably Wouldn't Work

I got into a Twitter game/meme/virus yesterday - combining movie titles with common words to make crazy imaginary mashup movies that were pretty funny to think about. My tweets from yesterday show how into this concept I got:

  • 09:42 working on editing the Battered Immigrant Women's video again. #
  • 09:42 Cinematic mashup that probably won't work: Snakes on a Mystery Train #cmtpww #
  • 10:08 Cinematic mashup that probably won't work: Little Miss Sunshine Cleaning #cmtpww #
  • 10:27 Cinematic mashup that probably won't work: Good Will Hunting For Red October #cmtpww #
  • 10:52 Cinematic mashup that probably won't work: Sling Blade Runner : "Yes ma'am, I reckon I want more life, fucker!" #cmtpww #
  • 11:38 Cinematic Mashup that probably won't work: Eternal Miss Sunshine of the Spotless Mind #cmtpww #
  • 11:57 Cinematic Mashup that probably won't work: The Quiet American Graffiti #cmtpww #
  • 12:24 Cinematic Mashups that probably won't work: Inland Empire Strikes Back To The Future #cmtpww @novysan @mikl_em #
  • 13:18 Cinematic Mashups that probably won't work: Roger (The Rabbit) and Me and You and Everyone We Know #cmtpww #
  • 17:39 just getting done with meeting about revising the film I did for the Sierra Club. now, TGIF #
  • 17:41 Cinematic mashup that probably won't work: Down By Law and Order #cmtpww #
  • 17:46 oh my god my office is easily the hottest room in the house. about 110 degrees. #

click to see even more from others...

Latest From Juarez on the Femicides

This is great news. From Frontera Norte-Sur News:

Historic Femicide Trial Gets Underway

Thousands of miles and a continent away, it

recent tweets

Been too busy to blog lately and since it's been a week, i'll post some twitters. if there was no twitter would i blog more? seems possible. but not as often as i twitter, right? what's the total worth calculus? damn.

  • 06:28 up early, drinking coffee. #
  • 06:44 trying to listen to a Chris Morris monologue and read a Momus blog entry at the same time. not working. #
  • 08:47 watching video about a phoenix baptist minister talking about getting beat up by border patrol. ... #
  • 12:55 back from getting new car tires. now off to post office on my bike. that sure was enough car-related activity for the day. #
  • 14:39 editing one more - but it really is the last, at least for a good while - Tucson Roller Derby video... Tucson vs. Philly, last september #
  • 19:48 cooking dinner cuz the screening i went to was done early. #
  • 19:55 going to start a spreadsheet to keep track of cast and crew for my tv series. #
  • 20:46 making tea and getting ready to watch last night's colbert report #

Tax Day Message About My Film About Taxes

"Happy" Tax Day, everyone!

A month ago I started an online fundraising effort to raise additional
funds for the war tax resistance film that I've been working on.
(See this blog post for more background.)

Anyway I just wrote up something for the Facebook folks and spruced up my
spiffier, flashier fundraising web page:

Here's the FB cause announcement I just sent out this morning:

Today is the day, more than any other, when citizens of the U.S. think
about where their taxes get spent.

On this day, which is also 1 month after creating this Facebook cause
and starting this experiment in online fundraising, I'm sending you
this reminder about taxes and to remind you that I'm still trying to
fund the completion of my film about taxes and war. Since starting the
fundraising campaign, I've raised a little over $400, which means I
only need less than $3200 more to finish the film. That $400 is
already going toward work on the film, because every time I raise
$100, that pays for one more day of editing, and I sit down at my
editing station and get to work! With that $400, I will soon be 4
more days closer to finishing "Death and Taxes"!

So for you on this day, I've uploaded a 7-minute excerpt from the
rough cut of the film which should give you a better idea of what the
film will be like. I've also re-vamped the fundraising webpage with
lots of exciting stills from the film, and given the page a new URL:

Check out the page and the clip and think about this day, and our
wars, and this film, "Death and Taxes". Maybe while you're thinking
of all that money going for all that killing, you can find it in your
hearts and pocketbooks to channel some dollars toward this important
film. And maybe you can tell others about this film and it's need for

Just think, if the 33 of the 36 members of this Cause who have not
donated yet were to recruit one more member each, and then if they and
all those recruits were to each donate $50, that would be enough!
That's all we'd need to finish the film, and in 2 months, it would be
all done. Kind of cool to think about it that way, isn't it?

Thanks for your support,

Steev Hise
Director, "Death and Taxes"

Growing Plants is Fun

I'm really getting into our garden this year.
house and garden - 04
It's nice at our new house because we have plenty of our own yard to do what we like in. I want to get more and more skilled and wise in the ways of growing plants, especially food, because that's a direction we all should be taking on the road to a sustainable society.

More photos of our garden are here:

How Steev

An old friend I haven't heard from in about 18 years just asked me why I spell my name the way I do now.

It's a relatively simple story: In 1990 or so, I was in a band, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It was a sort of punk/goth/noise/pop band called The Tao Puppies. The band had various problems which I won't detail here, but one of the quaint pretensions that the bass player had, being a big fan of the Ramones, was that everyone in the band should have a stage name. His was Clark Kent, if I recall correctly. I don't remember anyone else's stage name, but the point is that I thought this was a dumb idea. So to sort of purposely annoy and spite him I made my stage name something that's pronounced exactly the same, simply spelled differently: Steev.

I ended up liking that spelling quite a bit and as I continued an artistic career I kept using it, at first just for artistic purposes, but then gradually for everything in life short of legal documents.

It's gotten to the point that people who know me very very well sometimes misspell the names of other Steves that they know, because they're so used to spelling it my way. It's fun. And people think I'm Dutch or something foreign, which is also fun.

That's about it. Not much more to it.

Rewarded To Waste

The other day I went to our friendly neighborhood food coop here in Tucson, with a canvas re-usable bag full of used plastic bottles to re-use, for shampoo, conditioner, dish soap, etc. I dutifully weighed the empty bottles at the scale and went over to fill them up, feeling good that I was reducing my usage of nondegradable packaging materials.

But when I got home Greta noted, glancing at the receipt, the prices of the re-usably-contained liquid products: for example, about $4 going on $5 for the shampoo. You can buy a new bottle of shampoo at Trader Joe's for about 3 bucks. The same general story for all those bottles.

So, what incentive is there to re-use those bottles? Just the good fuzzy warm smug glow inside from being a happy smug green consumer? Maybe for some of us with overdeveloped senses of morality and responsibility - and even then, as our wallets get thinner in these dark days, it's harder and harder to be "responsible". Furthermore, for the vast majority of the populace, that will not do even in good times.

The sustainable/green/earth-friendly consumer "movement" will never really get going unless there's more reason to do it than just "do the right thing."

5th Blogaversary

As of this day I have been keeping this blog for exactly 5 years. Wow, kind of amazing, no?

This is also the 1107th entry on this blog.

Not much else to say right now, busy Sunday- hiking, cleaning, going to a meeting, writing a screenplay ( Script Frenzy ). etcetera, etcetera.

New Light on Mexico Femicides

I'm reprinting here an important story just out by Kent Paterson of Frontera NorteSur concerning the Juarez femicide. Frontera NorteSur, based at the University of New Mexico, is a great service for anyone wanting news and analysis of border-related issues. However, the only way to get their reports in a timely way is via email (information at the end about how to subscribe.) - I think they should also be posting to a blog, but they're about 7 years behind at getting stories onto their website.

March 30, 2009


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