Thursday, October 30, 2003

We watched a good movie in class last week, called "Shattered Glass." It's about the journalist Stephen Glass, who was an assistant editor for The New Republic while in his early twenties. When did some fact checking while preparing to write a follow-up story to his piece on hackers, they were unable to verify any of his sources or events mentioned. It came out that he had plagiarized in part or in full over half of his articles for the magazine. I really enjoyed the movie, which I thought was well-cast (Peter Sarsgaard in particular was wonderful) and entertaining. However, several others in my class didn't seem to like it. In talking with them, I've come to a conclusion as to why the material engaged me.

I like A&E. My favorite show on A&E is the Bill Kurtis-narrated "American Justice." That show tells stories of crimes both large and small, in a non-sensationalistic manner. It is interesting. I enjoy it. And "Shattered Glass" was, to me, very reminiscent of that style of storytelling. Although it was a fiction narrative film based on fact, and not a documentary, it still had that air of reality about it that I found very refreshing. It would have been all too easy for writer/director Billy Ray to change some details or even create new story points to make the film bigger and showier; it happens in almost every feature biography that is made. But he chose to stick to the facts, which in light of the film being about journalistic integrity I think was a wise and thematically topical choice.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

I feel like I'm living in the end times.

There is a lot of smoke in the Los Angeles area, in case you haven't heard. Because of fires, apparently. The smoke is so pervasive that the quality of light reaching the LA Basin has changed; the sun is a different color, and one can look at it directly without any problems. Throughout the entire day, even at noon, the light is like it is during magic hour, that brief time before dusk. It was this strange, sickly orange-ish light; everything was dim and odd looking. Not only that, the smoke makes my contacts dry and irritated, and the air smells funny (-ier than usual).

I was distressed by the sun, more than anything. The sun on a normal day kind of freaks me out, just in general. But today it was all wrong. After twenty-one (21) years of life, I'm fairly familiar with what the sun should look like, but today it was just so bizarre, it creeped me out. Exceedingly so. I did not like being outside, able to see the strange, wrong sun.

How much is inside... This website is brilliant. These people are my heroes. They figure out how much stuff is inside various things, with cute little pictures and snarky play-by-play. Check it out.

Monday, October 27, 2003

I want to take some completely random, crazy elective in my last semester as an undergrad. Something like whittling. Or midwivery.

We're watching "The Human Stain" this week in Maltin's class. Blech. This movie looks horrible, has gotten bad reviews, and is the kind of film I generally despise: arty, pretentious, serious. All of which = dull. Why do people make boring movies? Why not make fun, interesting, cool movies? This is why I don't understand the industry bias against science fiction and fantasy; they look down on movies that are actually entertaining, while hyping movies that just look painfully boring. Sigh.

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Man alive. Last week I had scheduled the first rehearsal meeting for the final in my acting/directing class with my two actors. One had a migraine, one got stuck in traffic coming back from Las Vegas. So we had to cancel it. I rescheduled for tonight. One ended up having to shoot a film because her actress was only available tonight, and the other needed to work on a paper that is due tomorrow. I had to cancel yet again. [Chandler] Could they be any more difficult? [/Chandler] I don't understand people who so vigorously schedule their lives. I need free time. I need time that isn't devoted or obligated to anyone or anything else. I can choose to do things during it, like go work or do homework or meet with actors, but I have to have that time free to begin with. I think the problem is, a lot of people don't leave themselves that time, so when push comes to shove they just can't be flexible enough to do what needs to be done. And nice, wonderful people like myself get caught in the middle, and end up sobbing with frustration and impotent rage whilst in a fetal position underneath the bed.

Seriously, y'all. Scheduling with actors is the big-ass suck.

Saturday, October 25, 2003

Donal Logue's Ultra Personal Homepage. Dude y'all, I love Donal Logue. I first saw him on XF, in "Tooms." Now he's on "Grounded for Life," which is the cutest show, really. Donal? I heart him. Such a neat guy. He reminds of Jack Black, in that he's funny and kind of manic but also someone I could totally hang out with in real life, as opposed to some celebrities, who seem like absolute, pretentious bores.

Eminem releases a ragtime song. Right click and save, please.

I am so glad this week is over. I mixed student films all day yesterday, which is just exhausting. You only have two hours per mix, and invariably there is some hold-up with loading the film up, or laying it back to mini-DV, so you don't get full two hours to start with. Then, I had one director decide during the bloody mix that she wanted to change her music. And unfortunately, her professor agreed with her. So I lost my lunch break while she cut her old music out, uploaded new score from a CD, and cut the new in. I had another guy that had at least eight (8) million effects in his five (5) minute film, all labeled very clear things on Pro Tools like "DXCCR 879 honk442.prt.no2." It was so nice of him to make it easier for me, especially since he was apparently incapable of putting like effects on the same track. It's quite simple. Put all your hard effects on two tracks, your foley on two tracks, your backgrounds on two tracks, and your music on one track. Then I know where everything is. Don't show up with, "This is my effect track, but it has foley on it, too. And one background. And two regions of voice-over. And my two-pop."

Today I had to Machine-Room-Operate. Which is a much easier job during mix week, now that we're doing everything on Pro-Tools and are laying back to mini-DV. In the past, you had to load up off of mag film, and lay back to DA-88s and the 16mm optical track. Which is a bitch. MROs had to spool film up, patch cables, and do all kinds of wacky techno stuff. Now, we just stick the mini-DV tape in, log the timecode, and hit record. Which is a non-bitch.

I can't wait to see "Elf." It looks absolutely hilarious. I'm like those home movies of people's toddlers you see on AFV: I'll be in the other room, hear Will Ferrell's voice, come running to the television, and stand entranced, staring at the TV. "SANTA! I know him! I know him."

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Added the link to Cat's brand new blog to the left, as well as some shiny new quotes.

I have the flu, which sucks mightily. I have to mix all day tomorrow, so that's probably going to be an experience, unless I get better right quick. And I'm not holding my breath. I hate being sick. I hate the fact of being ill more than I hate the actual symptoms of being ill. What's the point of having an immune system if it doesn't bloody work?

We finally got our air conditioning replaced. It hasn't worked all semester, which has been irritating, up until this week. It's been over ninety (90) degrees the past several days, and it's just been ridiculously hot in our apartment. There is no sleep to be had when it's that hot. But now, new shiny air conditioner! Whee! So much joy, I think my heart just expanded a size.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Please check out the link to a brand new blog in the side column. Mourn the loss of the old, but celebrate the new. Punch in the fellowship hall afterwards, okay?

Baby went double platinum his first week. Am v. proud. Will purchase another album (just for the pull-out poster, mind you) in another few weeks or so. Must keep Baby's sales up.

Monday, October 20, 2003

We watched a great documentary today in my sci-fi screenwriting class. "Forgotten Silver" was written and directed by Peter Jackson, pre-LOTR, and it's the story of a New Zealand filmmaker named Colin McKenzie, whose work was recently recovered. A true cinema visionary from the turn of the century, he is only now getting the recognition he deserves as one of the pioneers of early film. If you get the chance to see this film (I think it's available at Netflix), definitely check it out.

The KC Chiefs are 7-0. We are so awesome, it hurts.
Just to mix things up a little, I'm going to fondly remember the Starbuck's Holiday Menu. Gingerbread mochas! Eggnog lattés!

Saturday, October 18, 2003

So, for quite some time, I have been mulling over the next transportation breakthrough. Some people theorize it will be fully electric, feasible automobiles. Others, flying cars. Still others, cars powered by water. My question is, why the hang-up on different kinds of cars? That is clearly not the answer. Traffic on the interstates surrounding most major cities is hell, and cars are expensive. Lord knows I can't afford one. So what then is the future of transportation?

Giant pneumatic tubes.

You know. Like they have at the bank. You drive through, take out the plastic capsule, put your money or check or whatever inside, and put it in the tube. Press the button, and bwoooop! A powerful vacuum sucks the capsule up through the tube and into the bank. Now, imagine giant pneumatic tubes. Climb into a giant plastic capsule with a little seat inside, press the button, and bwooooop! Off you go. Giant pneumatic tubes could be elevated ten or so feet above sidewalks, so you could quickly run errands close to where you live. Tourists will love the giant pneumatic tubes. And the interstates can be replaced with colossal pneumatic tubes. Family-sized plastic capsules with room for the dog or the suitcases for summer vacation. Need to go overseas? Jump in the amazing colossal underwater pneumatic tubes! Zip right through the Atlantic or the Pacific, or any other large body of water for that matter, while watching the sealife pass you by in your amazing colossal pneumatic tube.

I think I'm going to patent this, because it's a brilliant idea, and I'm sure others will agree with me soon enough.

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Oh wow. This might rival the Kikkoman soy sauce commerical for the funniest random thing I've ever found on the internet.
Note from Shannon: I'm just copying my post about the Clay CD Release Party from the Clay board I post at, because there's really no point in writing it out again. I've clarified a few things, but the strange user names are just people I know, so deal.

The Night We Followed Fred Bronson to Virgin


The LA CD Release Party!

Clay dropped by. Fred Bronson (from Billboard magazine; he writes the "Billboard Number One Hits" books) told us to all run outside, so we did, like a bunch of good little meerkats. A white van drives by, and a good quarter of the crowd start screaming. Some rather confused teenaged boys get out. We wait. A ginormous black limo monstrosity pulls up, and Clay sticks his little head out. We cheer. He stops. People swarm. Clay leans out of the window so that everything from the waist up is outside the limo (I start worrying about overzealous fans pulling him completely out of the vehicle), thanks us for supporting him, apologizes and explains he has to get on a plane to NY. Clay leaves. We all return to the hotel.

Fred's Q&A was very cool. I will point out, however, that there are many stupid people who happen to be Clay fans. One woman very seriously asked Fred if Clay was happy. Zuh? He's not his therapist, people.

We had door prizes, and zakaroni won several Billboard magazines. If we could only bottle her happiness...she bounced the length of the ballroom, hugged Fred, and came back to the table shaking. It was honest-to-God the most adorable thing I've ever seen in my life.

We're all dispersing to go over to the Virgin Megastore to get Ultimate Clack. zakaroni, Halos, LG and myself (along with my roommate) are some of the last out of the door. LG is following the rest of us over. First, zakaroni gets a little turned around in the parking lot. We come up to the correct exit, and one of the lanes is empty. So she zooms to the front, to find out that it's for people with keycards. We need to get over to the right lane to pay the parking, so we have to cut someone off. We turn around, and it's Fred Bronson. We just cut Fred Bronson off.

We figure, hey. He probably knows how to get to Virgin. We'll just follow him. So we let him pass, and we start to follow. We drive a bit, and he drifts over to the side of the road. Doubt sets in. Is Fred lost? Does Fred not actually know the way to Virgin? We pull up beside him, and we're all, "Dude? You lost, man?" No, he's just dropping someone off, and we're dumbasses. I think we flustered him, because he took off, offering a half-hearted "goodbye" to whomever it was he gave a ride to. Halos starts laughing. We keep following Fred. We realize we cut the guy off, started following him, pulled up beside him and questioned his driving ability, and are still following him. We are all laughing. Halos hits the dashboard so hard the Clay Demo CD skips.

Halos: Now he's going to stop and get a burger, and we're going to have to stop and get a burger too, because we need him to lead us to the Virgin Store.

Fred Bronson: *pulls into the In-N-Out Burger parking lot next to the Virgin Store*

Car: *dies*

Fred Bronson was able to hear us laughing through his own rolled-down windows. We are as losers.

Virgin! Krispy Kreme! Cinnamon Toast Crunch! Someone brought along their three-inch black and white TV and we all watched the Invisible performance. We buy CDs. We come outside. It's Fred! He's talking to the party coordinators. Will Fred sign our album liners? I mean, we did follow him here. And he does. Mine reads: "To Shannon-I'm so glad we met-this is the night for Clay! Love, Fred."

I got Frack! Woo!

'Twas a great night. tanandae and her husband were there, and I heart them. It was great sitting around and snarking on all the weird people who were there. (And y'all, there were some weird. ass. people. there tonight.) Permaswooned took people out to her car to listen to JoJo. She has the cutest picture of them all sitting in the car, enrapt. Briefly got a chance to talk to ncgurrl but apparently missed a few other PRoCers in attendance since I didn't even know artquest was there. And...I'm spent. No snappy conclusion to this post. We are tired, we have the precious, we're signing off.

End of Clay CD Release Party post. Yes, good times were had by all. Fred Bronson kind of has a reputation in the Clay fandom, because he's been very complimentary of Boyfriend. It was the uber-cool that he came to the party.

Caroline and I watched the most boring movie in Boringonia last week in Maltin's class. It was called "My Life Without Me." The lead character was one of the most unlikeable characters I've ever seen on screen that is ostensibly a protaganist. She's 24, with kids, and finds out she has terminal cancer and has a few months to live. So she decides to do boring, insipid, selfish things with her remaining days, while keeping her family in the dark, and having an affair with some random guy she meets in a laundromat. Dude. It was so boring. I was like, "Die! Just die already! Die of cancer noooooow!" Ordinarily, I do not feel this way about cancer patients. But man oh man did this film suck out loud. This is what I will now call an Anti-Movie Recommendation. Don't go see it, yo.

Monday, October 13, 2003

Alexis Denisof has wed. Yet another boyfriend is now married, making it more difficult to fantasize about running into him on the street, hitting it off, and making him a real boyfriend, as opposed to a fake boyfriend. I hope he has much happiness, though, and may he spawn pretty little babies.

Clay CD Release Party tonight. I'm less excited about this now than I was a few weeks ago, mostly because I'm still tired from last week, and because it's going to involve me dressing nicely. I've worn my house slippers everywhere for the past few days, which probably doesn't bode well for my fashion sense.

Sunday, October 12, 2003

I can now say, with complete sincerity, that I spent a day in a crackhouse. Now, you might say to yourself, "Self, what was Shannon doing in a crackhouse?" And the answer is: a friend was shooting a scene for her directing class and wanted me to boom, and the scene was about two people who are squatting in an abandoned house, and she found a state-owned former crackhouse she could shoot in for free, ergo, I spent all day yesterday in a crackhouse. And it was cree.pee. Graffiti on the walls, boarded up windows, and apparently someone threw a Molotov cocktail into the kitchen, so everything was burned; paint peeling off of everything, the linoleum was all bubbled up, intricate and abstract and almost beautiful charcoal black designs on the walls created by shelves and the like. There was an almost palpable negative energy to the place that on the one hand really enhanced the work that was done, I think, but at the same time made it difficult to stay inside for too long. We kept taking breaks just to sit outside and get some air.

Caroline and I went to go see "Kill Bill" today. It was most triumphant. There's a beautiful, lyrical quality to the violence that was just amazing to watch. I had never really understood the popular consensus that made Uma Thurman one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood, but I see it now. She was just incredible to watch. I've read several reviews that while praising the film, comment on its lack of humanity. See, it's just Thurman killing people, right? But I don't think they get it. Mild spoiler ahead: Thurman is "executed" at her wedding while she is very pregnant. She wakes up from a coma four years later, and the first thing she does is slide her hands down to her flat stomach. She just wails when she realizes she lost her baby, and the camera just stays on her for almost a minute. This film isn't devoid of humanity. The Bride isn't a stoic, passionless robot carrying out her revenge with a certain violent aplomb. That moment on the hospital bed, that scream of realization, is what underlies every action she takes in this film. There is so much humanity and emotion underpinning the character that I can't believe people don't see that. Point being, yes, it's violent and gory, but there's more than that, and if nothing else, it's a spectacle of what cinema is capable of. Look for the samurai fight silhouetted against a neon blue backgroud; my favorite composition in the film.

We went to Starbucks beforehand to get lemonades to sneak in to the theater. The person who took Caroline's order scribbled her name; the r-o-l kind of ran together, and the e at the end wasn't bubbled enough. When the drink-maker called out her name, she said, "Candini." Which is quite possibly the most brilliant thing I've ever heard. The Amazing Candini! Sheer genius.

Yes, I do know a lot about the JonBenét Ramsey case. Ask me your questions!

Sunday, October 5, 2003

I was looking around online when I came across what appears to be an early, rough version of the "Angel" season five credits. Very interesting. Enjoy.
I hate when I have a long, difficult week, and I look forward to the weekend with a fervor approaching insanity, and then the weekend comes, and I feel like I waste it. Even though just sitting around on my ass, on the computer, or watching TV is all my heart desired not two days before, I still feel like a loser. Sigh.

Halloween! I am ready for Halloween to be upon us. I think it is my most favoritest holiday. This year is the tenth anniversay of "Nightmare before Christmas," so hopefully they'll have some themed goings-on here this upcoming month. Caroline and I had talked about going to Knott's Scary Farm, but those tickets are over forty dollars a pop, and that just seems a bit pricey to me. I don't know; it's something to think about. I do so love Halloween, it just might be worth it.

Thursday, October 2, 2003



Oh, and the other 41.5 minutes of "Angel" were okay. A little slow, and I don't really like Eve, but I'm willing to see where they're going to go with this.

Wednesday, October 1, 2003

Watch it, yo! I mean it!