Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Home for the Holidaze

Now, I come home as often as possible because I do live fairly close (about 2 hours away), but there is something remarkably different about coming home for the holiday season.

Thanksgiving seems the same, there's just a big dinner involved (well, big-GER.  My Dad uses my frequent visits home as an excuse to cook steak).

Christmas and the New Year are different though.

First, I get to see friends that I communicate with online or by phone, but don't hang out IRL with as often as we probably should.

Next, buying presents for family and friends.  I'm constantly at a loss for what to get for some people.  I always wonder if that should tell me something about myself.

Then, there is the receiving of presents from family and friends.  My favorite instance of this was when Jason, Jonathan, and I all got each other the exact same gift (the Garden State soundtrack).

I always feel much happier around the holidays, but I also feel kind of lame for not feeling that way year round.  If every day was like Christmas, I think we'd all be much more content.

Merry Christmas (or enter appropriate holiday greeting in it's place, such as: Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, the Winter Solstice, Festivus, Gurnenthar's Ascendance, etc.)

William the Bloody Redd

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Gah, I'm such a romantic!

It's like 2 in the morning and I just caught the tale end of "Love Actually".  It was the part where the little boy (Liam Neeson's son in the movie) is running through the airport trying to catch up with his crush.

Watching this, I started feeling a little emotional.  I'm such a hopeless romantic.

I keep hoping that some grand gesture like this will present itself to me and I'll be able to sweep the girl off her feet.  So far, no luck.

Maybe the few moments I have had, I haven't taken.  Or I haven't acted accordingly.

Ah, and now it's "Adventures in Babysitting".  The opening is just great with Elizabeth Shue dancing around and getting ready for her date.

What's wrong with me?

Anyway, I need to get to bed.  Christmas shopping tomorrow.


William the Bloody Hopeless Romantic Redd

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Project 4 Awesome!

Dec. 17th and 18th are the two most remarkable days of the year on YouTube.

Bigger than all the partners, bigger than the drama, bigger than P-Diddy and Oprah, these two days mark the Project for Awesome.

Last year, John and Hank Green got people from all over YouTube to make videos promoting their favorite charities.  They succeeded in taking over the front page for the day and helping to decrease world suck (which is what the Nerdfighters refer to all the bad stuff in the world as).

This year, it's happening again.

Here's my video:

My chosen charity is the Little Red Stocking Fund, which is a part of the Children's Home Society.  Children's Home is an adoption and foster care center that, since 1902, has found loving homes for many children.

Including myself.

I was adopted and I thank Children's Home for being there to make it happen and for choosing my (adoptive) parents for me.

There are a ton of other videos for so many good causes.  We're going to do some good with this.

If you have a moment, go to YouTube and look for any Project for Awesome videos.

Rate, Comment, and Favorite as many as you can.

William the Bloody Charitable Redd

Friday, December 5, 2008

The State of the State

During the Cucalorus Film Festival, I attended a panel discussion called "The State of the State".  This panel was intended to inform everyone of the current status of the film world in relation to Wilmington, North Carolina.  They are constantly replaying this discussion on the local cable access channel and I feel the need to weigh in.  Pardon while I slip into Hunter S. mode.

The room is emptier than I expected it to be, especially for something this important.  During previous years I was more interested in the screenings, trying to see as many movies as possible.  This time I hit up every single workshop and panel I could.  I have definitely started to become more focused on production and keeping my own productions going.  That's why I'm sitting here letting the drunkard next to me talk on about the usual B.S. that these people talk about during the festivals.

The folks on the panel are talking amongst themselves while the audience writes out what will turn out to be the same old tired questions that everyone asks about the "state of the State"; where do they see the film industry in Wilmington going, do they know of any major productions coming to town, how will the looming actor's strike effect us, etc.  It's honestly a little sickening.  I for one just want to make movies.  I don't really care HOW that happens, just that it does.  This is probably why I don't get along well with many "industry" people in this town.

Finally, the time comes to start the panel.  Actor Peter Jurasik stands at the podium as moderator for the night.  On the panel there is Johnny Griffin, head of the Wilmington Regional Film Commission, Hilarie Burton, actress (One Tree Hill) who has recently started her own production company called Southern Gothic, Lou Buttino, chair of the UNCW Film Studies Program, Bill Vassar, head of Screen Gems Studio, recently re-elected Senator Julia Boseman, and a few others who's names I can't remember.  Also, in the audience was Duke Fire, head of Cape Fear Community College's Film and Video Production Program.  Peter asks the panel questions and they answer in turn.

Sadly, the answers were a series of "this is what we SHOULD be doing" or "this is what we COULD be doing" with no solid answers as to HOW exactly we go about doing it.  This is one of the great disappointments of this town, this self-described "Hollywood East", all the people in charge are a lot of talk.  To quote Faulkner (it's the South, why not), it was a lot of "sound and fury, signifying nothing."

I don't do well playing the political game.  I can handle the handshakes and a certain degree of B.S., but it starts to weigh on me after a while.  Why aren't we actually doing something about the state of our State instead of merely talking about it?  If we worked together, the industry here could become something really impressive.  We have actors, crew, locations, a STUDIO!  What's stopping us?  Politics, or better yet, Hollywood.

Being a branch of a larger studio, Screen Gems is lorded over by corporate control and the horrible Hollywood system.  Independent productions flounder here unless they have a lot of money to throw around.  Of course, by their nature, true independent productions don't have a lot of money.  If they did, they would not be independent (unless you're following Hollywood's new definition of "independent" with big name celebrities in the lead roles).

There needs to be a new underground film movement.  Some have gone to the web as an alternative.  During the writer's strike, Joss Whedon got his friends together and shot a web-serial called "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog" (of course, his friends include Nathan Fillion of "Firefly" and Neil Patrick Harris).  We need more creators like Joss who just say "let's do it" and get their cast and crew together.

Independent is no longer a valid term.  It's been co-opted by Hollywood and twisted to fit a new definition.  Why should the real creatives follow the lead of a system that spits out nothing but crap, remakes, or adaptations of better works?  This is where the underground starts.  It's for anyone willing to "burn their bridges" in this "small town" of Wilmington just to make what they want to make.  Because it shouldn't matter if you're friends with everybody, just those that are like-minded and focused.

There are three people on the panel who might be willing to join this little movement, but I would never approach them to do so.  They have to make that first move.

Finally, the panel comes to an end with no new findings.  There are plenty of ideas, but no way to implement them.  Everyone rushes the stage to try and meet Hilarie Burton (who I will admit I was taken by when she started talking about some of her thoughts on how the system should work and why she didn't ever plan on living in Hollywood).  I stick around and say hello to a few local actors who sat in on the panel, find out what they are up to.

The room clears out as everyone walks downstairs into the mass of people waiting in the lobby of Thalian Hall.  I pass Jason Ritter walking out, not realizing it is him until later.  The mass of people in the lobby is choking off all the oxygen, I go out to return a phone call and get some air.

It's time to make some changes to the system.  Who's with me?

William the Bloody Determined Redd

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I think I've overbooked... again!

So,  I'm finally back in Wilmington after Thanksgiving break (which didn't feel like a real break after helping my Dad move furniture between New Bern and Greenville... and then down to Emerald Isle) and I think I have once again taken on too much work.

I realized this today as I talked to my friend Aaron about two projects he wants to try to get done this week.  Along with that, I also have a short I need to script and shoot by Dec. 14th for Project: Direct with Mike from D'Mentd.  Of course, I'm trying to shoot "Finding Maria" before everyone leaves for the holidays.  Then there are my general editing duties which I've yet to finish and need to soon (very soon).

Oh yeah!  And there's the prep work I need to do for next year's YouTube project (more on that later) and the Final Cut Film Festival (anybody know where I can gain access to some wrecked automobiles in Wilmington for a weekend?).

Did I mention I'm also helping a friend move some time this week?

Why do I keep doing this to myself?

William the Bloody Stressed Redd