Return of the 48 Hour Movie

Team Fun on the 48 Hour Film Shootout - 11It's been almost 6 years now since I had my first experiences collaboratively making fiction films really really fast, back in Portland. Wow. Those were the days!

The closest I've come, creatively, to those times was last weekend, when a team of people, mostly from Pan Left Productions, that included myself, took part in a contest here in Tucson called the 48 Hour Film Shootout. It was a lot of fun and the results are something to be proud of. There was some friction and some toes stepped on, but overall it was suprisingly smooth and most everyone seemed to have a lot of fun.

You can watch the finished film on the Pan Left video blog.

Live Video Performance for Synaesthesia

This happened a while ago, 2 months ago, and I edited the video coverage of it a couple weeks ago, but I never blogged about it, that I can remember.

I've started doing "VJ"ing, and my debut was for a Pan Left multimedia extravaganza called Synaesthesia, where musicians improvise to videos they've never seen before. But my set was me improvising live-manipulated-mixed video to music i'd never heard before.

It worked better than I feared. Though I'm not saying the visuals or audio was brilliant. Anyway, here's the video and more info, on the pan left site.

Anyway, I hope to do more of this kind of stuff in the not too far off future.


About 18 months ago I wrote a novel in a month as part of NaNoWriMo, and then I heard about Script Frenzy, which is the same thing but people write screenplays. Last year it was in June and I missed it because I was travelling, but I'd been looking forward to this year's ever since, and then I found out this week that they moved it to April! So, that really took me by surprise. I had been stewing in my head some ideas for my screenplay but was not really ready, creatively or just in terms of time I have in my life right now, to do it this month.

But I thought I'd try it. I have about 7 pages written but I'm finding that I don't know what I'm writing about. I have no story, just a few vague desires of subject matter to address. I'm just not ready. Also I'm finding that I feel shackled by 2 things: the screenplay format is just weird and feels very rigid, and the fact that I'm a filmmaker makes me constantly edit myself as I write, because I want to MAKE whatever I write into a film that I myself shoot. So I keep thinking, oh how would that work, I would need millions to shoot that, who would play that character, that would be too expensive, or I can't do that, or whatever.

I need to just let go and write and not worry about if it ever gets made or how. But I'm also really busy with other projects this month. Maybe on the other hand I should just pretend like scriptfrenzy is still in June and wait to do it then.

Inland Empire

I saw David Lynch's Inland Empire earlier this summer and someone just asked me what I thought. As I told him, i've got mixed feelings, more so than his older stuff. i've been a Lynch fan for a long time (i guess since i first saw Eraserhead like 17 years ago). but his last 2 films, Mullholland Drive and Inland Empire, have disappointed me. i still loved to watch and listen to them just for the sensory experience (he's always been really amazing with the sound design on his films, in addition to cinematography), but beyond that I just have felt frustrated. i feel like he's been in a rut or a formula for his last 2 or 3 films, maybe even purposely repeating himself and being annoying just to see how far he can push his fans. and the gratuitous and almost sexist softporn bits are just plain juvenile and irritating, i think.

but i guess i'd like to see it again sometime and see if i feel different after repeated viewings, or if i can actually get more meaning out of the stuff that seemed like just gratuitous meaningless bizarreness for the sake of being bizarre.

in my opinion his best works are still Blue Velvet and Wild at Heart (and the Twin Peaks tv series)...

"Blast from the past that singes the present"

There's a great review in the New York Times of 2 shows in NYC of paintings by Peter Young, a really good friend of O's (she took the photo of him in Oaxaca, below, which appears in the article, though they failed to credit her). He's an amazing guy and a great abstract painter who sort of dropped out of the New York art scene and settled in Bisbee, Arizona 3 decades ago, lives in an old hotel downtown that he bought for almost nothing in the 70s.
I like this passage of the review:

He roamed about the American Southwest and spent several months in Spain and Morocco. By the time one of his dot paintings made the cover of Artforum in April 1971, he was gone for good. In 1972 he settled more or less permanently in Bisbee, Ariz., where he continues to live and work. He stopped painting when the war in Iraq began and involved himself more deeply in political causes.

He's a member of Bisbee-based humane border activists Citizens for Border Solutions and he appears in a video of mine about a bi-national fiesta in Naco.

O is pretty excited about this. It's the rediscovery of his career that Peter has always told her would happen. She has 2 of his paintings hanging in her apartment. The review is 3 pages in the paper version of the Times today and starts on the front page of the Arts section.

Read on for the complete article that i cut and pasted in case you don't want to log into the Times site or you're reading this after they archive it into the dumb non-free part of their site.

Featured on Some Assembly Required

I'm the featured interviewee this week on the blog of Some Assembly Required, a radio show in Minneapolis about sample-based music, sound collage, etc. I think this interview happened via email at least 6 months ago if not more. But anyway, it's interesting to read because it talks about the personal experience of the host of the show, Jon, meeting me online about 10 years ago.

In other news, I had just about the worst headache i've ever experienced today, to where I was basically incapacitated most of the afternoon. It was so horrible. I'm still feeling crappy but the pain has ebbed. I don't know what's going on. Maybe a combination of not treating my back right, flirting with caffeine, dehydration, and allergies.

NaNoEdMo and A Million Other Things

Well shoot, March is National Novel Editing Month but it has slipped past my awareness, and besides I've been too busy, and now the month is almost over. Actually, for the last couple months or so I've been unclear whether I even WANT to keep working on the book I finished at the end of November's National Novel Writing Month. It's called "Palimpsest" (or, an alternate title I thought of: "Things Could Have Been The Same"), and it's based on some pretty dark times I went through last year and some pretty damaged people I know. Well, really, it's about a lot of things, but certain major characters and minor events are based on real people and events from my life. I haven't been sure it's healthy to revisit those dark times and screwed-up people, and yet the book is clearly a creative achievement that I'm still proud of, something I would like to develop, add to, and release to the world. So it's sort of dilemma.

There're a lot of other projects that are vying for my time and creative energy lately too. I really have been wanting to get back into music-making again, even performing live, and doing more artistic stuff with video again, and I'd like to write a screenplay one of these days soon too... who knows... sometimes I feel this ecstatic landscape of possibilities stretched out before me, and other times I just feel overwhelmed with "stuff to do". Suspira. Vamos a ver....

Synaesthesia Interview

I was involved with a radio interview on community station KXCI regarding the big multimedia extravaganza that Pan Left is doing tommorrow night. I recorded it. It went pretty well, though I sort of feel like the large number of us in the studio did not improve the quality of the interview. Pan Left is full of strong egos who love to talk, myself included. I tried to stay aware of that and not talk to much. (Yesterday I had a chance to talk about the show on the radio again, but I passed and let someone else do it.)

just so you know.

I and some comrades will be on the radio today at 3pm (Pacific time), on KXCI, talking about Synaesthesia, the multimedia video and performance event we (Pan Left) are doing next Saturday.

no time to blog much more than that. hungover. lots to do. sigh.


I designed this poster:

synaesthesia poster
Just picked it up from the printers last night and it looks great. 11x17 inches. It should be a cool event, and I hope the posters help get a bunch of people to come to it. I'm also working on a video collage piece for the show. It's the first extensive non-documentary video piece I've done in years. It's fun to see other people in Pan Left working on more artistic and less carefully planned-out work too. I think we all need to excercise our spontaneous creativity a little more often.

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