Here there be monsters (socratic) wrote,
Here there be monsters

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For one time only make an exception.

About my last entry, an attempt at a humorous essay.

Sometimes everything clicks and the writing is brilliant and hilarious.

Sometimes something like that comes out.

Best to keep on moving in those cases.

When I go to urinate in the morning my cat often crawls in between my legs and rubs against them, trying to stimulate me to go get her some food. This is usually unexpected (I'm groggy in the mornings) and sometimes results in her getting a few drops of piss spilled on her back. Since we all know how cats clean themselves this also has other implications. This is one of the primary differences between cats and human beings. Human beings will generally not intentionally repeat behaviors that lead to them ingesting another creature's urine.

I thought the Mother Theresa fetish thing was done. She was a mean woman who wanted poor people to STAY poor and thought suffering was the path to god, and thus something to maximize, not reduce. Just hanging around really poor people does not make you a good person. It's only if you're doing something positive for them that you should get credit. I can understand how the religious could support her but the rest of us had better cross her off the "People so much better than me that they make me ashamed to breath" list.

I spent another few hours shooting today. Frank and his girlfriend were significantly late and as they rolled up after I'd spent like half an hour standing in the sun listening to horrible loud music roll out of the campus (it sounded like they had a Limp Bizket cover band but someone forgot the Bizket and they were just plain Limp). I went up to the car and said "Okay this is the third time you've been late. You're either going to have to start leaving earlier or telling me that you're going to arrive later, either way is fine.

Marissa was very impressed by that. Both by my delivery, which was excellent, and by the fact that I wasn't raging mad and screaming at them. Of course there are a variety of reasons for this. For one, SHE was volunteering to help ME and her boyfriend with our video project. She's put in like 10 hours of her personal time with no compensation and a lot of downtime just sitting around. If she wants to waste a half hour of my time that's fair enough. I've wasted more than enough of hers. The other thing is that I don't like being hostile if I don't have to be. Hostility just provokes other people and generates bad will and uncomfortable situations. My time had already been wasted, blowing my stack at them wasn't going to bring it back and I wanted to have a pleasant time rather than one full of tension and hostility. Of course I don't really MIND waiting, I can amuse myself, except that I hate standing around in public. I'm fat and ugly and when I wait around in the same spot for 30 minutes it makes me look like a complete loser being stood up. Also the last few times I've hung around that area there have been LHG sighting. I can amuse myself by looking at the concrete and thinking funny thoughts, but I get self-conscious after awhile. That's not a huge deal though and I get over myself.

It worked. We had a decent time. It was not a particularly good shoot, unfortunately I hadn't bothered to write a script because I wanted to try some improv and that was something of a disaster. It wasn't their fault, more mine. See I was thinking that Frank sort of wanted to co-direct with me when in fact he wanted me to do the directing. I also have some flaws as a director. I watched an interview with Bill Murray once where he said that a good director talks calmly to actors, doesn't criticize them harshly, and tries to help them improve their performances rather than holding them to an impossible standard in his mind and screaming if they don't match it.

This is all good advice, but during one sequence where they were, to be honest, flat out awful I kept letting them run through the whole scene because interupting them with a "cut" would have felt rude. This led to our doing like 9-10 takes of that scene, many more than we should have. They didn't get my direction the first 8 times, and this was because I wasn't telling them exactly what I wanted but more suggesting it. After I wrote out a script of what I wanted them to say things proceeded much better. They liked my version better too, it was much cleaner and real than theirs which was overly verbose and meandering.

I had a headache during the whole time but it was fun nonetheless. I learned some stuff about film-making and that's good.

1) Always overprepare. Even if you're planning to do improv have a script to work off of if you need to.

2) If your actors aren't getting it then explain it to them. You don't need to be mean and you don't need to accuse. Clear communication is important and you look like more of an asshole asking for take after take until they stumble upon what you want through subtle guidance than if you just lay it out for them clearly.

After filming we went and got some food. It was nice although I sprayed soup all over my shirt thanks to soggy noodles and my poor fine motor control. Ugh. They're nice people and it's good for me to spend some social time with some non-geeks. They're not intellectuals, which is not to say that they aren't smart, they just don't talk about Proust or math, and it's good for me to spend time with normals. Of course they are in their 30's which just helps confirm my thesis that I get alone fine with older people and horribly with agemates. That's another issue though.
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