May 2, 2012 by jjosh
March 3, 2012 by jjosh
August 21, 2011 by jjosh
May 29, 2011 by jjosh
April 30, 2011 by jjosh
March 27, 2011 by jjosh
just flipping through old dream journals…came across this one, it's a doozy:
Spring, a bunch of us out running. Running from Thor, who'd taken the form of a wolf — a giant wolf, white.
Somehow I realized that I was the one to be sacrificed.
Thor yelled out – "I'll take the new green!" which I knew to be me.
I ran up a tall tall tree and Thor started to come up after me.
I had no choice but to jump… …and I began to fly. Not all graceful, but hard n fast like a jet.
I realized that it had all been Thor's way of making me fly!
We flew to a boat and some other stuff happened.
March 24, 2011 by jjosh
March 24, 2011 by jjosh
March 18, 2011 by jjosh
March 17, 2011 by jjosh
February 25, 2011 by jjosh
Ok, let's follow this path a little bit, and see what we're talking about as far as unlocking creativity.
First off, there was this short short film that I really wanted to make. Got an invite to submit a film to Moviehouse a few weeks ago, and so we made A Minor Revelation, which I have linked to before, but will do again for the sake of completeness.
So that played at the Moviehouse film night, and there was a vote to see which of the 14 2-minute films would win. The vote was decided by applause, and we won, which was pretty exciting. Such a democratic way to vote too, it was a blast. What did we win, you ask? We won the first swing at the pinata they had for the rest of the party. So they handed me a big wooden stick, and told me to give it a go.
I took one crack at it, and decapitated the thing. Done. One blow. It was fun as hell. Someone got a great pic of it:
Then, it keeps going. Unbeknownst to me, friend HB and MRT made off with the head and hatched a whole plan to hit me like that scene with the horse's head in The Godfather. Last weekend was such a monster — we were out trying to see an event at 3:30am on Saturday morning, then had guests visit for Saturday & Sunday (and they are guests who like to drink), so it was late nights all round. Monday I knew I was staring at a full day of work, so really Sunday morning was the only time I had to try and sleep in, recover. Went to bed late Saturday night after a heavy round of drinking, so stoked to turn off the alarm and just sleep as long as I wanted…
And was awakened to the pinata head, and MRT filming me and giggling. When you watch this, look at me, look at how I'm hiding from the camera, I'm in so much pain, both physical and spiritual. All I want to do is hide.
I don't know if you caught it, but the only way I was able to get her to turn off the camera was by saying "You wouldn't want me filming you when you wake up in the morning." Because believe me, she wouldn't. Let's put it mildly and say she's not a morning person.
So she left me alone, and I was lying in bed, frying my brain because I couldn't get back to sleep after that crazy experience. My brain was on overdrive, and I hit on the idea that what we needed to do with our afternoon was to shoot a remake of that Godfather scene, shot-for-shot. And since MRT had put me through some pain that morning, I was pretty sure I was in a good place to demand that this happen.
We loaded up the scene from youtube, had it on the iphone, and made a shot-for-shot remake. It was a good time, 'cuz our friend who were visiting were tv folks too (an AP and an editor) so we all got really into it. Loaded it up, put the original sound under it, and AK who was staying with us dialed up an awesome sepia color-correct to try and match the original…it came out well…
But the real fun is with youtube doubler, which I have come across a number of times, and with which you can run the original and our remake at the same time to see how close we got…not bad for just an afternoon…you'll know it's in sync if the audio sounds normal (no echo)…if it won't sync up, try going to the original page, and if it still won't sync there, try hitting refresh a bunch…
Yeah, that's a lot of good stuff.
February 17, 2011 by jjosh
When I bought the latest Brian Eno record (which is fitfully awesome) I got on the mailing list for the Warp label (which is a CLASSIC electronic label), and they recently announced this competition they were running to mix your favorite tracks from 2010, and post it up to mixcloud where they’d judge it. I don’t know why (I certainly have enough projects going on), but I decided to give it a shot…
So here’s my mix of my favorite electronic tracks of 2010. Much like the band I’m rocking out with, these tracks favor an analog/digital mix of electro and organic sounds. Sounds pretentious, I know, but hopefully the mix fares a little better. Even if electronic music isn’t typically your thing, you might wanna give it a spin, see how it works for you…
I don’t have much hope for the competition — a week or so before the deadline I found out the first round to get to the top ten is based on how many plays the mix gets on this mixcloud service (basically a sneaky marketing way to spread the word about mixcloud), but I was close enough that I figured I would finish it…
I think it came out pretty well, give it a listen if you have time…good for background music while working…should enable you to get sh*t done…in a little bit I’ll post a link to the file for download so you can have it in your library…
lemme know what you think…
February 12, 2011 by jjosh
We shot a short short film yesterday morning — remind me never again in one day to attempt to shoot a short, edit it, then watch the Superbowl, then finish the edit — and got it all polished up today. It came out pretty well, and was a blast to do. It’s been ages since I’ve done a small film, shooting for no reason other than the fun of it. And this was actually even a bit above that as it was super simple narratively, but we did rent a bunch of equipment (7D! doorway dolly!) from rental places in Manhattan to make it look really good. And I think it does. Maxine did a stellar job with the camera work, and Vince was so solid in the main role.
The reason I felt we had to get it done yesterday was that there was a deadline for a 2-minute film submission today. We got it all done, I burned the DVD and then rode a bike over to 3rd Ward to drop it off. Sunday is the 4th anniversary of Moviehouse, a kind of film art collective screening night (or something) and they had an open submission for 2-minute films to potentially show at their event. I didn’t really read too much about it, just saw the open submission, knew I had been desperate to make something fun, and put the plan in motion. At one point I said to Vince, and realized it was true, that with this kind of project, “a deadline is almost as good as getting paid.” And it really is true. Having a deadline helps so much, gives you that push.
There were a lot of factors contributing to the fact that I hadn’t made a fun film in a long time: moving to New York meant kind of a social reset and it took some time to find like-minded folks, Maxine and I have been pretty swamped trying to take Hitman to the next level, and working on Musicwood at the same time, and — and this one was a tougher realization — it’s been secretly hard for me to get into the swing of things because this was something that Mike and I always did together, and with him gone, it’s kind of a tough reminder. It’s been 6 years (really, 6 years?) and it’s definitely dialed down a bit, but it’s still tough. Last Wednesday, Mike’s birthday, I finally got around to digitizing all the films we made in the 90’s (those VHS’s are getting close to crumbling) and I’m in the process of getting them up on vimeo. I’ll post the link when they’re up.
There’s an even weirder thing, which is that I have this raw footage for a film Mike and I shot in 2001 or 2002, and have since lost the finished piece. You have to understand, we were making little films whenever we could, although, since neither of us had a camera or any kind of editing equipment, we had to find people to borrow it from all the time. So at one point we decided we were going to apply to be a team on ABC’s Amazing Race. We made up this whole narrative for our team, where Mike and I had been best friends but then he stole a girl I was really into and we hated each other, but then they broke up so now we’re trying to patch our friendship back together. You know, the kind of stuff that reality tv eats up with a spoon.
For the application you also had to send in a video of the team, so they could see how you did on camera. And for some reason, we thought it would be best for us to make this completely bizarre video where Mike was this shirtless guy living in an old abandoned shopping center in Annapolis (Parole, now a crazy mall/America place), and I was his friend who used to live there but somehow got out. He phoned me, and I was imploring him to leave the crazy shopping center, and finally he does, extolling the fact that “there’s a whole world out there!!” The implication being that Amazing Race would allow him (and us) to experience that world. It was totally bonkers. I was working as an editor for TLC at the time, so we cut it on the AVID I had access to, and recorded it out to VHS.
And sent it in, and I think I saved the project for ages, and then somehow it vanished. No trace of the finished film has ever turned up, but I have the raw footage on a miniDV. I know at some point I’ll try to re-create it — although it won’t be 100% because I know there was music of some kind, and I had MIke do some voice over for it — but right now, I’m too too busy to think about it…
At some point though, it’ll be a blast.
Oh, and no shock, we didn’t get into the Amazing Race, although I remember Lee K was really digging the film.
And then hey, Thursday I got an email that said Moviehouse is going to screen it Sunday Feb13th as part of the mini festival we submitted it for! Amazing! Stop by 3rd Ward if you’ll be in the area, it should be fun…looks like about 10 films, so it’ll be great to see our film projected large, and with an audience…I will report how it goes…
February 7, 2011 by jjosh
<hit number 2 on google images when searching "not just a dream">
Last week after band practice, I came home and before crashing out I sat on the office couch in the dark and rode the ipod on shuffle for a while…the mix wasn't spectacular or anything, but it hit this one track…and actually, iniitally I was gonna skip it, and then something said, no check it out…
It's from this record that my old band-mate JE digitized for me, and I can't remember where he got it from. It's an anti-drug record from the 60's, but it takes this bizarre form of an announcer who is going to take you on audio versions of all these different drug trips. He's using his BIG ANNOUNCER VOICE, and then he'll pick a drug, like pot, and start talking to you, "You feel very good, very relaxed. Things don't seem to bother you. Maybe you'll get up and go outside…ahhh, why bother. Might as well sit here. Sitting feels good." And so on. Predictably, the LSD one goes into a bad trip, and soon you're in your own grave, trying to claw out of the dirt, and his voice is using all these weird, vaguely sci-fi 60's trip-out sounds. There's one on uppers where you're all wired up. I can't remember the rest, because it was actually kind of boring, and not at all like Bill Cosby Talks to Kids About Drugs (a hoot), or A Child's Garden of Grass (a stone cold classic!). The funny thing is, they don't really have any way to make the pot one sound bad…I think it's just a lack of motivation mainly, but mostly its about how good everything is.
Anyway, this track was the LSD trip. And while I didn't have any interest in listening to that bad trip, I listened to the beginning of the track and heard this great sample about pretending it's a dream, but not a dream. Just amazing. I began to loop it on the ipod, continually hitting the skip-to-beginning-of-track button, and it had a great rhythm.
So then, a few days later when I saw it was PD's birthday, I got stoked! PD and I are working on a project about dreams, and have been dropping dream-related stuff on each other for the past month or so. So I took that sample, got a good loop going, and dropped in a beat and fx and some sampled speech and so on. It was just a goof really, but I kind of like the sound of it…
See what you think…
January 31, 2011 by jjosh
<all right chaps, put the meat on the head!>
I was working late one evening, assistant editing for the production company I worked for. We were working on a show about buffalo that we had produced for a late 90's series that was on TNT called "Wild! Life Adventures" (yes, they did have that "!" in there). The conceit of Wild! Life Adventures was that it was a nature show, but it was hosted by a celebrity! GENIUS!
The first one we did was about the return of the wolves to Yellowstone, and it was hosted by Matthew Fox. It was an amazing shoot, going to areas only accessible by horseback, and carrying the camera equipment on a mule. The mule would go on ahead of us with these handlers, and by the end of the shoot it had gotten to the point where they were doubling as grips, and would have the camera and tripod set up for us by the time we got to the location.
The second one was not as glamorous, but it was definitely weird. It was about Bison, and was hosted by Harry Hamlin. You know Harry Hamlin, right? The star of LA Law, and, more importantly, the original Clash of the Titans. I was a PA on the shoot and got to spend a lot of time with Harry. Once he found out I was geeking out over Clash, he began to tell me all these tales of working on the movie. Which was a hoot, because it was a low-budget b-movie shot in Italy, but it had Lawrence Olivier in it and all these other surreal touches. I remember he told me about the Medusa head prop having all this raw meat on the bottom of it to make it look shredded and bloody, but it was so hot that the meat kept rotting and stinking the place up. So in between takes they would take the meat off the prop and store it in a cooler. Then before each shot, the British AD would intone over the walkie talkie "Ok chaps, put the meat on the head!" For a while, making the Bison film, we would say "put the meat on the head" all the time.
Anyway, we were editing this show, and it wasn't going that well. Partly because Bison don't really DO much (although we had an amazing shoot in the middle of a rut!), and partly because Hamlin was only available for half the shoot. For the other half of the shoot (and show) we were focusing on a character named Bison Pete, who was a ornery old cuss out of Wyoming who got his name because he dealt in Bison furs. Since the production was trying to save money, they had me sharing a hotel room with Bison Pete. Which was fine, in theory, I mean I've shared rooms with lots weirder than that Bison skinner.
But the weirdness quotient increased because Bison Pete liked to sleep naked. Fair enough, sure, but also the man wasn't just called Bison Pete because of his job, youknowhatI'msayin? And he snored like a freight train! I didn't get any sleep, and when you're on those shoots, they start REALLY early and run REALLY late. And when you're the PA on those shoots, you get up even earlier to get everyone breakfast, and you run even later to make sure the next day's shoot is prepped. So I was completely shot. That day was brutal.
The next day I told the producer that I didn't care, she could take the hotel fee out of my pay, but I NEEDED MY OWN ROOM. And they got it for me. Very considerate. I continued to ride from location to location in Pete's truck with him, and had some great conversations.
ME: You know, it's amazing being out here in the West, it's so open…
PETE: Sure is.
ME: But I guess there's houses up there on that hill, and I wonder if you've seen it change in your lifetime?
PETE: Sure have. Didn't used to be houses up there.
ME: So do you think it's inevitable that everywhere will eventually just fill up with people?
PETE: Sure do.
ME: Why, do you think?
PETE: Cuz there's more and more people. And there's more and more people 'cuz people just keep on fuckin.
ME: Sounds right.
Anyway, the show was having a tough time coming together and we were having to put in some late nights. The producer and associate producer had rented an AVID and it was in the AP's house. She lived on a street in Annapolis in an ok area, across from the library on West St. So it was a bit late at night, like maybe 10:30, when there was a knock at her front door. Which was kind of weird.
The producer, AP, and editor all got nervous, and were like, hey Josh, you're the only man here, why don't you answer the door. Which seemed a bit like bunk, but ok, sure. I went to the door and opened it, leaving the screen door part closed. It was summer, and outside was standing a medium height black guy with a beard, wearing a backpack and no shirt. He looked a bit distressed.
"I'm really sorry sir," he said, "I know this looks weird, but I was wondering if I could just come in and use your bathroom for a minute?"
When I balked, he continued, "You see, my friends left me here, they drove off without me, and they played a trick on me, they put something in my pants."
And it took my mind a while to process what the hell this could all mean. It certainly didn't sound right.
"I don't know buddy, I'm not sure about that."
"I know, I know, but look, my friends drove off! They put something in my pants…"
"Well, it's kind of late, that's a strange story…"
"I know, I know, but if I could just use your bathroom for a moment…"
And I was in this strange mindset. I felt a little guilty, I kept thinking if this was pioneer times I would let the poor guy in, what if something happened, what if they really did play a trick on him, what if they —
and then I would hit the part where his situation just rocket blasted off into weirdness, and think, all of that might be the case, but what in the world does it mean that they put something in his pants?! Why would he mention that?
I eventually had to close the door on him, and he was pretty disgruntled about the whole thing. I tried to explain that it was too late, that I just couldn't, that it wasn't my house. What I should have said was, maybe if you had kept your pants out of it, we could make something happen. What I should have said was, alright chaps, put the meat on the head!