January 18th, 2005

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Back from black(out)

One of the things iTunes has allowed me to do is to sample a bunch of music I may have had passing interest in but no desire to buy or seek out on the radio or television, which takes a lot more time than simply using the music store to do a search and download a short clip. This has lead to a couple purchases, chiefly the Chris Isaak Christmas album, but none I wasn't considering anyway (I've been a big Chris Isaak fan for like 5-6 years, and I think his Christmas album is refreshing in its use of some of his laid back California/Mexican cool to combine with the warmth of the songs) I have also been listening to clips from the cheesy pop tunes that are topping the charts right now, and I have to say that they manage somehow to be both catchy and completely forgettable. While you're listening to them they all seem incredibly well produced and smooth and enjoyable, but 10 seconds after you're done listening to them you can't, for the life of you, remember anything about them. This is in opposition to songs like "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" or "Who Can it Be Now," which stick in your mind for days, weeks, months, or even decades after you've heard them. I think that the more expensive and technologically advanced production methods now can turn incredibly average "talent" into a listenable experience but iron out all the interesting little quirks that make the older songs last.

Maybe I'm just getting old.

I've been doing a lot of writing lately, and while none of it's been good it's been consistently getting better, which is pretty outstanding in and of itself. One of the things I've been learning is how to get in and out of scenes quickly. I have a tendency to try to make scenes "real" and include a lot of filler in with the actually important parts of it (The gags or plot relevant dialog/action) because that's the way people actually talk. As it turns out that tends to create scenes with a lot of drag in them and saggy middles. While I'm not convinced that the Hollywood style "Cut it to the bone" style is the best, for a bunch of reasons (A) It doesn't give viewers time to reflect and think about what's going on on-screen, which mutes the impact of a lot of what you can do B) It's sometimes best to shoot or write longer and trim it down rather than doing it the other way around, and others) I do want to be writing and shooting things that don't bore and lose the attention of the audience needlessly. Looking back at the longer script I wrote there are areas that I definitely need to take the scalpel to. In truth I've sort of stagnated on writing that, partially because of those earlier problems and partially because I'm not SURE where I'm going at the moment. On the other hand I have been working on shorts that I could actually shoot with the resources I have available, and that's been pretty rewarding. I'm teaching myself something about structure and timing and a lot of other important aspects of writing, so I'm comfortable doing that for a time. It won't be making me money any time soon, but a couple good short scripts could get me in to film schools so there might be material rewards along with the process and the learning.

The most important thing, in my estimation, is that I'm writing. This was a goal I set for myself about a year ago, to write everyday, and achieving it feels pretty great. I'm not writing as much or as well as I'd like, but I'm writing, and the other stuff will come. I'm glad that I can still develop productive habits with enough willpower. That means everything to me right now.

P.S.

I haven't been using my cellphone, and I lost it for about a week. As it turns out the Israeli MBA came back into town and had called me seeing if I wanted to catch a flick or something. I missed the messages and I would've actually liked to see the Aviator with him. Without my even knowing it the Cellphone has infiltrated my life.

DAMN YOU VERIZON! DAMN YOU WIDELY AVAILABLE CELLULAR TECHNOLOGY.

P.P.S.

I got lonely tonight for the first time in a very long time. I'm watching this terrible movie, called "Ring of Darkness", which as it turns out is targeted at closet homosexuals who want to look at muscular male bodies while pretending to look at busty women (I'm watching it to learn about bad movies and how to avoid their mistakes, not because I'm a...oh forget it.) Anyway, there's nobody here to mock it to, and it is so amazingly mockable. It makes me sad. I mean it's a movie about an undead boy band that features a character named Gordo McSteel. GORDO MCSTEEL!!!!! It also features Ryan Starr, who has an unbelievable body and the acting abilities of half-cooked penne. You aren't sure whether you want her to show up on screen so you can stare at her abs and phenomenal chest or not because you really don't want to deal with her 3rd grade level dialog recitation. It's a movie that begs to be watched with others. I'm watching it alone. *sigh*
  • Current Music
    Fountains of Wayne
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God rest me merry Gentleman

I finally managed to get my new computer speakers working. This is a happy thing. It's probably been close to a year since I've had functional computer speakers, and frankly I think that using earphones as much as I was wasn't good for me. Also since my Xbox is out for the count I am going to have to use my PC as a DVD player, and I don't want to be leaning forward on the short headphones leash. I got a good deal on them too, Altec Lansings for $20 on sale and then about $6 extra for an adapter. I am very happy with them except for one critical problem. They lake a headphones jack. Now this isn't a huge deal for music and such, I can just keep it low and rely on the thick walls of my building to protect me, but it creates a porn problem. See I've grown accustomed to watching my porn with sound on via headphones, but I don't feel comfortable doing so with the speakers on, even set to low. It's not a huge deal if someone hears you playing Steppenwolf a little bit loud late at night, but there are definitely sounds you don't want others attributing to your apartment. I can always unplug the speakers and put headphones in when I need a little self-massage with release, but it's a pain in the ass. I guess every rose has its thorns.

I'm back to work for now and I've decided that I really do need a job. When I stay home and write I get some work done but I end up feeling miserable. I feel like I'm consuming and learning but not contributing anything to the world. Basically all of the writing I'm doing now will be thrown away as learning curve stuff, even if some of the ideas might be recycled later. I have a yearning to actually do work that's valued right now, not to mention earning some money to defray all the expenses I rack up. I need a job. It's a pain in the ass because with working exercising and basic life maintenance my time for writing and directing is limited, but I guess that's just the balancing act that is modern life, or some shit. I'm too tired for lessons and I need to finish two short scripts before tomorrow evening.
  • Current Music
    Steppenwolf