Musings on Wings and Things
I’ve learned two things this week. First, it’s really had for me to write a blog during the week. Aside from a surprisingly rigid schedule (It’s a surprise that I actually have a rigid schedule. I always like to think of myself as free-wheeling and spontaneous), I am a lot more morose during the week. I am really tense and bleak. That may be because of the schedule or the crazy stuff going on with the films that only happens during the week. On any given weekday, I’m very annoyed or frustrated about something out of my control. It comes out in the drafts of blogs I’ve tried to write mid-week. Even I wouldn’t want to read those. The dust has usually settled for the time being by Friday night, and I’ve had a day of cooking therapy before attempting to write. Thus, I saved my stories from the shoot and other adventures for today. The second thing I learned as that I’ve developed a capacity for eating huge amounts of Buffalo wings . I don’t really have them when I go out. They’re always too spicy or not tender. I didn’t typically make them for the Super Bowl. My friends preferred a Betty Crocker creation called Mahogany Wings (wings baked with a molasses, soy, ginger sauce). I supposed that I was feeling more traditional that night, so I made a pile of Buffalo wings thinking I’d snack on them all week. Maybe it was the thrilling game or something. All I know is that I had about seven wings left from a three pound bag. Just disgraceful. I’m making more today.
Holi-daze part one 2009
The blog is three years old. That’s really hard to believe. It became more than a promo tool for the books a long while ago. I’m really pleased to have so many readers from all over everywhere. And I’m still tickled at how many stay after wandering onto the page from a Google search. And yep, I still get yelled at by people looking for topic on a search that I happen to be ranting about. I’m waiting for irate Amish folks affronted by my derision of those heaters. I don’t think they’d send an e-mail though. It’s not boring.
A belated Gung hay fat choy for the Year of the Ox. Since I am a Taurus and that’s sort of an Ox, I’m claiming this as my year as well. I think we’ve had a good start. It’s always fun to shoot something. Doing something proactive is far more satisfying than waiting for phone calls. The shoot and pot stickers from my favorite Chinese restaurant made for a nice start to the lunar New Year.
Having Blood Oath was fortunate these past few weeks. Since the New Year, we’ve had little movement on any of our projects with funding pending. Finally, Ralph let loose with a flurry of irate phone calls demanding a status report. Basically, few funding sources want to proceed with films while the SAG situation remains unsettled. While we understand this hesitation, it was a bit vexing to not be told what the issue was until we were yelling at them. While this isn’t a no, it’s clear it’s not a green light. They didn’t want to tell us this out of fear of us moving on. No one involved in film knows how to say no, or more to the point, they don’t want to say no absolutely for fear that the project will gain success elsewhere. Our favorite casting director said that the reluctance to pass on a project goes back to Star Wars. A lot of people who turned that film down before Fox accepted it were fired. From then on, it is really hard to get someone to officially pass on a film. That’s how a producer ends up in a situation like Watchmen. In short, Fox was pitched the concept about 15 years ago. They did nothing to develop it. In fact, some execs were derisive about the script. When it finally gets made by Warner Bros., Fox sues saying that they never released the film for development elsewhere. And they win. That is really galling, and I don’t give a hang about Watchmen. The trailer is gorgeous, but I have no clue what it’s about. Jon who is a huge fan of the comic can’t really explain it to be in five minutes or less. I believe all this fighting is for a film that will be a flop, because a general audience will be fixated on why one of the characters looks so much like Batman. The principal of the thing is, if you don’t want a film, let it go. We have a script that’s been in the possession major actor’s film company for over 10 years. We’ve thought of sending it birthday cards. Ralph recently had an opportunity to ask about it at said company. It’s still ‘under consideration.’ Bullocks!
Where was I? Oh, yeah. The upshot is that the Gunslinger and Luv U 4 Ever won’t have start dates until some time after SAG has settled with the studios. Meanwhile, post has begun on Blood Oath.
Anime vs Yaoi: Blood Oath Shoot Part Two
I never interfere with Jon directing. That surprised a number of people who know how much I like to be involved in productions. There can only be one person in charge on set. What we do while in script page is work out a common view on what we want to happen on screen. This is usually pretty easy. Jon and I have been doing this for a long time, after all. In this case, we made assumptions about each other that proved to be problematic during the shoot. We are both anime heads, that’s for sure. Thus 80% of what Jon wanted to see on screen for this pilot presentation was the same. That 20% caused some moments of tension. In a shoot that short with a very long shot list, sudden changes and additions have a big ripple effect. Jon was focused on the emblematic anime moves. I needed to see some more of the tender moments between Rik and Vincent. Don’t get me wrong. There were a number of very pretty kisses, but I wanted more of something Jon calls the ‘wa’ moments (Basically, he’s using the term from Japanese baseball as the moment before a ball is pitched. It’s a being completely in the moment while anticipating the next). Those were difficult to fit in during such a jam-packed shoot. However, there was one bit I insisted upon. It was a playful spar between Rik and Vincent that was a corollary for the beach meditation scene. I emend to have those scenes inter-cut during the opening credits. It got shot and it was really cute, too. Our Rik and Vincent can do both playful and dangerous very convincingly. The scene was worth pushing for. The other very Vincent thing that Jon set up blocking for was Vincent fiddling with the food (tasting and seasoning) the guys were eating in the abandoned warehouse. He wanted to establish the character as a talented cook. By the way, the meal they are was my Boeuf bourguignon. They guys had to really eat the food, and I wanted them to have something nice.
The biggest problem we had during the shoot was with Goggles’ red scarf. It wouldn’t stay up on his face even with double stick tape for more than one take. The constant fussing with that danged scarf was quite reminiscent of Dr. Bassett’s ever changing neck ties in Demon Under Glass. In that case, Jon was shooting scenes from several different days. The lab coat and pants and shirt were always the same, but the necktie was supposed to be different every day. Keeping up with the continuity almost from take to take nearly put a strain on our marriage. The scarf wasn’t as bad, especially after I told them they could pin it. Jon had been reluctant as it was one of my scarves from our last trip to Paris. It cost 3 Euros. I could cope with the holes to speed things along.
Thanks for all those who wrote notes congratulating us on overcoming the specters of Demon Under Glass. I appreciated the thoughts, but we had some mishaps in this project that are an ongoing concern. They will be resolved this week, however, leaving us free to deal with the biggest challenge of the whole presentation – post production. Oh, the whining there will be during that. And for those writing for a more in—depth explanation of the trauma during the Demon shoot. I may indulge (the stories are usually very funny to everyone but the survivors), but not this week.
The most exciting part of completing the Blood Oath shoot is I’ve got stories in my head again that are eager to be written. Jon and I worked out what needed to be in the full pilot and what could be in episodes. As soon as we had a working frame, whole scenes began popping into my head. I haven’t had that strong an urge to write since well before Christmas. As always, that kind of creating makes my general outlook a lot brighter.
There’s much more to tell and more photos (go the weblink for more photos) to share, but I have to get on with the rest of my day. Stay tuned.