Thursday, November 12, 2009

Google Wave and the Great American Novel

Hey, look! A blog!

So, the past few days have been fun. Research: Paranormal is currently on a week-long investigation of the Shanley Hotel in Napanoch, NY. We made our way up on Tuesday, stopping for the night in Gettysburg and meeting one of our fans (that's weird to say, we have fans). The next morning, we toured the Jenny Wade house and stopped by the North Carolina monument on the Gettysburg battlefields.

We even broke out some equipment and had an impromptu investigation with the Ghost Box. Nothing really happened, but who knows...

Currently, I'm sitting in the common room of the Shanley, taking a break from my NaNoWriMo novel. I've done considerably well for someone who typically tries to do anything to get out of writing when I can do something else... like cleaning. Especially while I'm on the road. That's nigh impossible to accomplish.

Especially when the distractions keep piling up. Tom, one of my fellow bloggers from the FiveAwesomeBloggers project sent me an invite to Google Wave. I've been playing with that amazing new product when I break from writing. Got a few friends to talk to, and Google still has a few features to work on. For example, Wave will be able to update my blog posts directly to blogspot. It's only available in the developer's sandbox right now, but it looks like it's going to be a lot of fun when it's made public. Until then, I'll just keep writing blogs "the old-fashioned way."

The word count is right now at 11,476. Still a long way off from 50,000, but I am finding it easier to write during my little blurb sessions.

I'll sit down not knowing where I want this story to go, then I start writing, and the words just flow out. The next part of the tale just spills out of my fingers like it truly does want to get out into the world.

Perhaps I've kept all these stories in my head too long, their like a nine-month old child (well, more like 12 or 13 months at this point) ready to be born into the world.

To keep my motivated, I'm re-reading Ray Bradbury's Zen in the Art of Writing. I think he must be a fan of the NaNo process. Earlier, I read this segment from one of his essays:

"What can we writers learn from lizards, lift from birds? In quickness is truth. The faster you blurt, the more swiftly you write, the more honest you are. In hesitation is thought. In delay comes the effort for a style, instead of leaping upon truth which is the only style worth deadfalling or tiger-trapping."
-Bradbury

The more I write in the spur of the moment during these novel sessions, the more I see the truth in that statement. If I wrote in the convention of write, then review and write more; I'd never get any writing done. I'm going to continue to write this way after November is done with and my 50,000 word novel sits in the rough upon my laptop.

Bradbury goes on to say that he wrote at least a thousand words a day since the age of twelve.

I'm a few years behind his start date, but that's still an admirable goal for someone who wants to spend their life writing.

Here's hoping that my future labors produce the amazing fruits that his has over the years.

Now, back to writing.


William the Bloody Zen Redd

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The First Days of NaNoWriMo

I have a few words about these first two days of NaNoWriMo, but first I need to say a few things about...

Halloween:

Now, like most of you, I grew up loving Halloween. I used to love getting dressed up, going Trick or Treating around the neighborhood and coming home with a ton of candy that would slowly diminish over the course of the next few weeks (probably quicker than it should have). But, as time went on, the magic went away.

It became a hassle to have to think of some awesome costume to wow the crowd and walk around begging for candy.

Then came college.

College, where the sole theme of Halloween was: "Girls, dress slutty and get drunk while the guys dress like idiots and also get drunk." Unfortunately, this was no fun for me because I don't drink. I was taking the intellectual high ground of "why in God's name would I want to do any of that?"

The last time I really did anything of consequence was when we made a trip to Chapel Hill on Halloween to walk Franklin Street (a yearly tradition of drunken debauchery and costumed shenanigans). Even then I just opted for my Silent Bob "costume" (a trench coat and a backwards hat) and walked around enjoying the madness.

Last year I stayed home editing Five Minutes 'Til on Halloween. Oh, and running to pick up the director of the aforementioned short from the drunk tank at 4 in the morning.

This year, however, has definitely topped even my childhood memories for the Best Halloween EVER!

And here's why:


That's right players at home, Joliet Jake and Elwood Blues made an appearance in Downtown Wilmington this year, and lo did they have a blast.

We hit up a few parties, then went downtown. Most of Front Street was slammed with people, so we went to the Browncoat Pub and Theatre. And there, amongst characters like Betty Boop, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, the Warriors, Penny Lane, She-Ra, Erin the E-Surance girl, Ash Williams, Lady Gaga, the Dude, Silent Bob, a marshmallow covered Ghostbuster, Bubba from Night of the Scarecrow, and a cast of hundreds Jake and Elwood hopped up on stage and performed "Soul Man."

There's video of this momentous event, and I'll post it here as soon as it's uploaded.

Without that costume and my amazing friend J alongside me as Elwood, it never would have happened. Something opened up in me that night, and a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders.

And it was just in time, because Sunday was November 1st; the first day of NaNoWriMo.

For the uninitiated. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. Every November, thousands of writers throw caution to the wind and attempt to write a 50,000 word novel in a month's time.

Are we crazy? Maybe. Are we determined? Hell Yeah!!

I tried NaNo last year and didn't even start writing. Unmitigated failure? Oh yes. And I don't think I truly recovered. It's why I've had trouble writing (well, it's one of several reasons I've had trouble writing). Maureen Johnson's BEDA (Blog Every Day April) was the start of a long process of getting into the habit of writing. After BEDA, I started slipping. Life got in the way (tired excuse, I know, but what can you do?) and there was no light at the end of the tunnel (will the cliches ever end!?).

But, something seems different. After Saturday night, I have some new drive that's actually keeping me active and on the ball. Am I changed? Did that performance release something that's been lying dormant all this time?

I hope so. I really do.

For the love of Pete, just look how much I wrote in this blog! If I can keep this intensity going all month, I'll have no problem reaching 50,000 words.

As it stands, I'm a little behind on the daily goals, but I haven't really had time to sit down and do nothing but write. Tomorrow will be a writing day, so we'll see how far along I am.

Currently, I'm sitting on 1,253 words (based on averages, I should have something akin to 4,000 words by now). We'll see where things stand tomorrow.

Now, I'm off to bed. So tomorrow I may write!


William the Bloody Changed Redd

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Where the Wild Things Have Issues

First, for all those interested, I've said the things that needed to be said and I think things are better.

At least, it seems that way to me.

Tonight, I finally went to see Where the Wild Things Are. SUCH A GOOD MOVIE!!!! I mean, I had faith, of course I did, but I was still a little blown away by it.

The look of the Wild Things was PERFECT! I remember reading the book way back when and later comparing the Wild Things to Jim Henson's monsters (considering them essentially the same type of fantastical beast), so seeing a combination of practical "man in suit" character design mixed seamlessly with digital effects for facial expressions makes these beasts seem completely real to me.

Then there's the story. While I always loved the story from the book, I did wonder what they were going to add to make the movie stretch out to a feature length. Because, let's be honest, it's a really short book. But, leave it to Spike Jonze to find all the right stuff to add.

Just like all of us, the Wild Things deal with depression, loneliness, anger, fear, and love. However, unlike most of us, they have a unique way of dealing with these issues. Mostly, they fight, bite, slash, claw, dismember, and even devour each other to solve their problems. This makes sense, they ARE monsters after all.

It's funny, I forgot how much I had in common with Max growing up. While I didn't run around in a wolf costume "causing mischief", I did (and still do) a lot of things that only seemed to make sense to me. Even other kids my age didn't really "get" me. I can't say that I blame them, there are a few things that I did (and, again, still do) that make sense at the time, but moments after even I would think "what the hell was THAT about?"

I've always been one of those "seemed like a good idea at the time" kinda guys.

I also still have quite a bit in common with Max, and the Wild Things.

Of course, I think we all do.

I mean, that's the point, right?



William the Bloody Wild Thing Redd

Friday, October 23, 2009

Can't Sleep

My God!

Has it really been that long since my last blog?

I can't believe I let things go this long.

Well, the drought is officially over, I'm back. Right now, I'm just looking for something to keep my mind occupied because I can't sleep. The problem is, I don't know why.

There are some things going on that are causing me some concern, but nothing that I would think would keep me up at night. At least, I didn't think so.

Yet, here I am, awake at 4:45 in the morning after not being able to get comfortable in my bed and returning to my laptop to find some sort of solace online. And I sit here writing, with nothing in the world to talk about (because my concerns can't really be expressed right now, even if I could find the words, quarter to 5 is not the proper time).

So much is up in the air right now. I wish there was someone I could talk to about my whirlwind mind, but all the sane people are busy sleeping. Having dreams of better things (possibly some of worse, statistically speaking there would be a few nightmares in the mix). Even when awake, I tend to keep my troubles to myself, not wanting to bother anyone with my seemingly small issues.

Maybe they aren't small, but my lack of confidence tells me they are to other people, and so I don't share because I don't want to bore or annoy.

Self-loathing and self-doubt, two of the worse enemies a body could have, especially when they tag-team you into submission on a regular basis.

I just wish I could get out of my head for a while. Just turn off the ol' melon and do something mindless. Unfortunately, as much as I try to shut out all thoughts, they just keep slowly filtering back in. Even when I'm trying to focus on something like my reading, I find myself suddenly thinking of something entirely different.

Also, I haven't been writing. I've tried (or, I've tried to try), but nothing has come of it. I have plenty of ideas, too many ideas, I just can't start writing. This is the first thing I've written that isn't a private thought never to see the light of day in weeks. I'm hoping this is a sign that my creative energy is going to be directed back to the proper avenues.

If you see more posts from me, it would appear that is the case, if not...

I almost shudder to think what happens if I stop writing again.

NaNoWriMo starts in just two weeks. Gotta start getting in the habit of writing daily to prepare for the challenge of writing part of a novel every day of the month. Part of the problem there is I have several ideas for plot lines, but no idea which one to write!

Maybe I could just start writing on November 1st and we'll see where it goes.


Here's hoping I post something... ANYTHING tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day...



William the Bloody Optimistic Insomniac Redd

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Alan Lastufka and Tom Milsom are "Taking Leave"

DFTBA Records co-founder Alan Lastufka has a strong draw to music. Whether it be from his early work recorded on mini-cassettes, or his music video work with bands like imadethismistake and solo artists like Charlie McDonnell. So, it's no surprise that his album "Taking Leave", a collaboration with "internet sensation" and musician Tom Milsom (known as hexachordal on YouTube), is pure musical genius.

Beginning with "Just a Boy", Alan and Tom create a unique sound and a song about the loss of innocence. Using what sounds like a child's piano (the one that sounds a bit like a xylophone) with masterful electric piano (or synthesizer?) to back it up, this song brings us right into the world of a man who is lost in his life, possibly due to the influence of his father years earlier.

"The Wind" takes us into the mind of a girl in love. So in love, in fact, that she is almost weightless, pushed and pulled by the wind after seeing the object of her affection. This is a song of a love so strong that nothing else seems to matter. The music and lyrics are so marvelously interwoven and powerful, we almost want to fly with her.

Now, for the other side of this powerful love, we have "Can't." Seeing things from the guy's perspective, how he feels controlled by her, but in a love to strong to give up. The electropop sound of this song creates a mechanical beat that matches the lyrics perfectly.

In "The Mirror Song", featuring Kristina Horner along with Milsom, we hear both sides of the relationship as they look back on better times. A simple but beautiful piano accompaniment adds volumes to this song.

While the final song on the EP, "Forgiven" seems (to some) like a slight departure from the rest of the album, it is actually a natural progression in the "story" being told. Plus, it is bridged by a spoken-word track from author John Green called "The Sparks Fly Upward" (a passage from the Book of Job). Also, though "Forgiven" seems stylistically different from the beginning tracks, the progression is more of a build-up to the grandeur of the final piece. It sounds as if "Forgiven" includes music from every instrument featured in previous tracks, creating a musical epilogue that wraps up the story nicely; both instrumentally and lyrically.

"Taking Leave" is both extremely catchy and remarkably deep at the same time.  It's an album that I haven't been able to stop listening to since it arrived, and I find more in it with each new listen.

If you're a fan of thought-provoking, extremely well-done music; "Taking Leave" is a must!

Need a little taste?  Check out the video for "Can't":





Click here to buy "Taking Leave" by Alan Lastufka and Tom Milsom for a mere $6!

I know what you're thinking: "William, did you say that album is only six bucks? Impossible!"

But, I can assure you, dear reader, it's absolutely true!!


William the Bloody Impossible Redd

Monday, July 13, 2009

Nothing To Talk About

So, I've been trying to write a blog for the past few hours now and nothing is coming.

It's not that I don't have anything to write about. There's the cruise I took with my family last month, the state of my film work, the flooding of my street and my car and the NEAR flooding of my apartment, the fact that I'm going to turn 30 in seven days...

The list goes on.

I, however, have just been sitting here staring at a blank screen trying to figure out where to begin. Maybe by writing about my lack of drive to write, something will come of it.

If anything, it's another blog post that will hopefully break my writing funk and get me back into the swing of things. My blog isn't the only thing suffering either. I can't seem to get back into the habit of writing ANYTHING!

Not to say that I can't write, or can't come up with ideas. Actually, I think my problem is that I have far too many ideas and not enough of a filter to work on just one thing at a time.

See, the way my mind works, I just seem to flitter from one thing to the next, not always finishing my previous project before I shift to the next. This leaves me with a few hundred unfinished projects.

If I could just finish one thing, get it out there for the world to see, I think that might help.

But I'm rambling about nothing, as I'm so prone to do. So I'll end things here.

If anything, Jeff will be happy that I wrote a blog.



William the Bloody Blocked Redd

Sunday, June 7, 2009

More CFIFF '09 Highlights

William Lilly, a filmmaker out of the Raleigh/Durham area, has put together a video of his experiences at this year's Cape Fear Independent Film Festival. Check it out:

2009 CFIFF Highlights (Low-Definition) from William Lilly on Vimeo.


Since they were filming all weekend, this video is much more in-depth than mine.

He had a film at the festival which everyone should check out. It's a very personal story for him. Be sure to watch Letting Go:

Letting Go (New Audio Mix) from William Lilly on Vimeo.


Also, there was a really great short running on the CFIFF Trailer Park reel called Run:

Run (Rough Cut) from William Lilly on Vimeo.


Another must see.

I was originally going to post his CFIFF video as an edit to my CFIFF blog post, but realized I also wanted to mention his other videos. So, all new post.



William the Bloody Embedded Redd

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Sister City Film Festival


May is just the month for festivals, or festivals that I attend. As stated in my last blog, the beginning of May heralded the Cape Fear Independent Film Festival. Well, on May 23rd there was yet another of my favorite festivals, the Sister City Film Festival in New Bern, North Carolina.

One reason this is one of my favorite festivals is because this one takes place in my home town.

So, the day begins at 8:30a.m.

*HITS SNOOZE BUTTON*

The day begins at 9:30a.m.

I was a little late to the festival, so I missed the documentaries, though I heard they were all good.

After the documentaries block was a little segment they refer to as "The Regulars". As you can guess, this block includes regular submitters and hometown folk, including myself. This year we had four shorts playing in the festival.

First up was The Chore:


This was followed by the rough edit of the Homosoypian short (which is still in the works. I'll post it when it's available).

Just for fun, I tossed together a teaser for the upcoming Jersey Jones re-release I've been working on (that too, will soon be posted).

Then, I wrapped up my portion of festival entries with Five Minutes 'Til...:


The rest of the Regulars block included two shorts from Jay Tyson, a really cool Doctor Who short (done with puppets, because that's his thing) and a work in progress about an alien invasion gone wrong, and a really funny short about a girl dating Death from Bill Hand.

After this, we had a little lunch break.

Upon returning, we were treated to the Superkiiids! feature film, "Lightning Salad Moving Picture":


If you haven't seen this ridiculous, funny movie, you should definitely try to find it. Go to the Superkiiids! website and order one if you have to.

Cory from the Superkiiids! was there and held a Q&A session with a parachute (you remember these, from camp and such, everyone grabs the parachute, they raise it up, and someone goes underneath to ask a question). It was a hoot.

After this there was a block of the more "risque" films, mainly due to gore and language. These were a decent bunch of films.



I had my FlipCam on hand, so I took a little video. Check it out:



This year's festival was quite eventful, I felt. The turn out was not as large, but considering how short the preparation for this festival was, that's not surprising. I'm going to see what I can do to help get the word out about next year's.



William the Bloody Festival Frenzied Redd

Friday, May 22, 2009

Cape Fear Independent Film Festival


The first weekend in May was quite a busy affair for me. It's fortunate that BEDA ended the day before, because I would not have been able to blog from the 1st through the 3rd. I was Downtown at the Cape Fear Independent Film Festival!

There are two major film festivals in Wilmington (I'm not including the Final Cut Film Festival because that's a different format), and CFIFF is, for my money, the better of the two. There are several reasons for this, the main being that the general atmosphere of CFIFF is much friendlier. You actually feel like hanging around and talking to the people who come to this festival. And, unlike that other festival (which will remain nameless), those people genuinely seem to want to talk to you.

So, things started Friday as I was volunteering and went down to 16 Taps to help with registration. I got to talk to a lot of people as they stopped by to pick up their passes, some friends from around town, some I met last year, and several new folks who are just finding out about this marvelous festival.

After registration, we went over to the local Carmike Cinema to see the invitational feature "The Jailhouse". Definitely a well done local production. Even though I'm not the biggest fan of the cinematographer (solely for personal reasons), I will admit that the movie looks great. The guy does good work, I can't fault him for that.

When "The Jailhouse" was done, it was back to 16 Taps for the kick-off party with Labeling Deloris (formerly based in Wilmington, and returning to show the love). Great show, great end to the ending.

Saturday started early with short films screening and a few panels about the business of filmmaking (along with an actors panel). This year, I focused more on the panels than the screenings. Well, other than the blocks showing my shorts. This year, I had three shorts playing. They were "Five Minutes 'Til...", "How I Raised My Film Budget", and "The Chore". Unfortunately, Five Minutes and Film Budget ran concurrently with the Actors Panel, so there was not a large turnout.

Sunday was the final day and the one Q & A session I got to be a part of with "The Chore". It would seem I had some of the best answers, particularly when asked about our budget. I answered honestly, the budget was only around 20 or 30 dollars, but that got a massive laugh. Not surprising, since most people think you need to pay a fortune to get films produced. I wish I had thought to get someone to record the Q & A session so I could make it a part of the video I put together for the festival:



Sunday night ended with the awards ceremony. It was a good time, as always.

This year's festival was hosted by Joe Manganiello. He was on One Tree Hill for a while, he played Flash Thompson in Spider-Man, and he's had recurring roles in ER and How I Met Your Mother. I got the chance to speak to him briefly and he seems really down to earth.



Also got to meet an actress from L.A. who had a short playing in the festival. The movie was called Death in Charge and the actress was the lovely Marina Benedict:



Marina has been in several television shows (I recognized her from something, but couldn't place it until I asked her what she'd been in). She was the kooky best friend Luna in "Nikki", she played a musician possessed by a demon in an episode of "Angel" (which is where I remembered seeing her), and she has been on a few episodes of "Southland."

Jenn and Will Mullins once again outdid themselves in putting on a great festival. It was an absolute blast and I can't wait for next year.

Oh, actress and fellow YouTuber Michele Seidman (known on Youtube as MicheleMidnight) also has a festival video, be sure to check it out:




William the Bloody Photo-Op Redd

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The End is the Beginning is the End

This is to be played while you read:


Here we are, the final day of BEDA. I can hardly believe it. When this month started, I thought for sure I was not going to complete this thing successfully. I certainly never thought I'd end up with 30 blog posts. Fifteen was certainly possible, maybe somewhere in the twenties, but to actually reach thirty? And have something to say most of those thirty?

What can I say? I severely doubted myself. After the failure of my collaborative vlog channel last year, and my aborted NaNoWriMo attempt (didn't even start writing), I was beginning to feel that I was not a "closer". I have always had this tendency to start projects and never actually finish them. For the longest time, my father kept a trash can in his shop that I was planning on turning into a robot. The plans were from an old Boy's Life magazine where you essentially take a remote control truck, remove the chassis and place an inverted trash can over the base, then use vacuum tubes for the arms and a plastic container for the head with electronic components placed inside to make it look real.

I never moved beyond the inverted trash can stage.

But, here we are now, it's the final day of BEDA, and I have 30 lovely blog posts to look back upon for the month. Also, I get to cross an item off my buried life/bucket list. This actually leads me to my next point.

What do we do after BEDA? I for one, am certainly not stopping. I've made too much progress in a month to stop now. I might not blog every SINGLE day in the future, but I'm certainly going to keep writing blog posts, and I know they will be more often than they were before April. Before BEDA, I had written a measly 27 blog posts on a blog I started in March of 2008. In one month, I have doubled my blog productivity. That's impressive.

Also, while I was researching the total number of blog posts, I realized I have a new follower on my blog. My friend Corbie has been the lone follower for quite some time, but now he has been joined by the lovely Amanda (another good friend). So, welcome aboard.

I'd also like to take a moment and thank all the wonderful BEDA readers who've been following me during this month. I'm going to keep posting to the ning, hope you will too. Let's keep writing and reading each other. This has been great.

As for the future (to get back off topic after several deviations), I want to announce what you'll be seeing from me. I have been working on this for a while, and I'm finally ready to begin production. Starting in May I'm am putting together a web series for YouTube and other video sites that I'm calling "30 by 30". This show will focus on myself (and others) completing items on my buried life/bucket list. I will be posting blogs to update the status of that and each video will be posted as a blog as well.

It's been a great month. I hope we will all stay in contact with one another. Hopefully, I'll see you all on the ning, or elsewhere on the marvelous interwebz.

So, for all of you that have successfully completed this marvelous month, and for those who had a few slips here or there, or even for those who feel they failed miserably (only when we truly give up on life do we ever fail); for all of you:

Take a Bow:


OH! And an extra special thank you to Maureen Johnson for bringing about this marvelous month of activity. You, lovely lady, have helped me more than you may ever truly know.


William the Bloody Successful Redd

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

ADR Is Fun

So, it's been a busy day (technically two days since I'm writing this on Thursday, but posting it on Wednesday. Time travel, you marvelous bitch!).

The day started early as I had a meeting regarding a potential job (well, the potential for a potential job, actually). After the meeting, ran to meet up with Mike to get a DVD including a scene from the horror movie we've been working on for quite a while, The Artifact. The scene was so I could get ADR of that scene for one of the actor's, J.

J is one of the Lost fans I always watch the show with on Wednesday nights, so Mike's plan was to have me take everything over there and grab the audio (ADR, for those who don't know, stands for Automated Dialogue Replacement or Additional Dialogue Recording), but that didn't happen because LeAnne, one of our other Lost watchers, was feeling really tired, so I drove her to J's and then we left right after. I knew this going in, so I didn't even plan to record. J and I just set up a time on Thursday when we could get together to record.

He came over today (Thursday) and we made short work of the ADR. You would think it was fairly simple to mimic yourself after you record, but it can be quite difficult depending on the situation. I think that sometimes your way of speaking changes based on outside factors and it's hard to repeat the same performance exactly.

Also while he was here, we recorded a brief bit of audio for Jersey Jones, a project I've been re-editing for a while now. I'm finding bits that need additional material as I edit to incorporate two shorts into a single narrative. Also, it's amazing how much footage we shot. J and I both noticed how two shorts, originally 9 and 17 minutes each, are now going to be re-cut as 5 10 minute segments.

So, I'm going to jump back in to editing, and borrowing certain techniques from other sources to add a little something to the re-cut.

Well, after I make the jump back in time to post this Wednesday night.


William the Bloody Time-Traveling Redd

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A MovieStop-Centric Day

Today was a day full of MovieStop related things.

Aaron came over to work on the edit for the Twilight Midnight Release Party video so he can fix all the little quirks that keep bothering him. He's trying to put together an optimized version that he and LeAnne can show around. I'll be sure to post the new video when it's up and running.

LeAnne, Aaron, and I went out to Old Chicago for the first time in a long time (first time in a while that LeAnne hasn't been working on a Tuesday night) for Pizza and a Pint (since I don't drink, but it's a $5 pizza, I just order it and give the beer to whoever I'm with). LeAnne's nose doesn't seem to want to stop bleeding from yesterday's piercing. Gotta say I'm a little worried about that. If it doesn't stop tomorrow, I'm suggesting a trip to the doctor.

Afterwards, we three returned to the editing. There is finally an optimized version, but we had to call it quits around 3a.m. because LeAnne was falling asleep and I have a meeting in the morning (the fact that it's now 4a.m. and I'm writing this instead of sleeping is a bad sign).

On that note, I'm going to leave this one short and sweet. I'll fill everyone in on the meeting tomorrow.

Also, did anyone else receive their Suite Scarlett paperback today? I did. Gotta love Amazon pre-orders.


William the Bloody Idiotic Redd

Monday, April 27, 2009

Another Short In the Can

The commercial shoot went off without a hitch. We'll be editing at some point in the next week or two. I'll let everyone know when the finished product is up. In the meantime, for those interested to know more, there's a website to explain what the commercial is for. Check it out:

http://www.homosoypian.com/

After that, I gathered a few DVDs I'd decided to sell and traded them in at MovieStop. I really like MovieStop. It's the only place I feel completely comfortable buying a used DVD. This is mainly because I know the staff and I know for sure that they clean and check all traded movies to be sure they are playable. Also, I have issues with having to have most of the inserts and original packaging for a DVD, and I know used movies at Blockbuster and Hollywood don't have that. I know it's irrational, but I can't help it.

So, after spending most of the rest of my day hanging out at MovieStop most of the day, went with LeAnne to get her nose re-pierced (she had to take it out, then lost the backing so it the hole healed), then a little while later we went and grabbed dinner.

Over dinner, we discussed the summer plans for many of the next-in-the-series movies coming out this summer. We're already planning marathons for Terminator and Star Trek. I'm trying to think exactly how many of the six TOS Star Trek movies we NEED to watch for someone who hasn't really seen them in quite a while. I'm thinking, honestly, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, The Wrath of Khan, and The Search for Spock is as far as necessary (though I'd like to watch The Voyage Home just because that was the first ST movie I actually saw in theaters).

As far as the summer movies go, I'm looking forward to quite a few this year. One that I wasn't sure about was Land of the Lost. Now that I've seen the trailer though, I am definitely interested. Will Ferrell and Danny McBride engaging with Sleestacks? Sign me up! Another summer movie I'm still unsure about is G.I. Joe. Stephen Sommers is a good director, but is he what we want for G.I. Joe? He did a good job with the first Mummy, a decent job on the Mummy Returns, and fair with Van Helsing (though most people did not like that movie at all, I thought it held true to certain ideas from the Universal horror team-ups of the past). I did like what I saw in the trailer, and I like his casting choices for the most part, but I'm still up in the air.

At least, if it does fail, Hasbro has given us Warren Ellis' G.I. Joe: Resolute web series. That was absolutely brilliant. In fact, once I'm done writing this, I'm going to go watch it again. Anyone who grew up loving G.I. Joe and would love to see a serious interpretation of the series, go to the Adult Swim website and check it out.

Now, I think I've plugged enough film and television for anybody, so I'm going to call it a night.


William the Bloody Product Placement Redd

Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Finding Maria Update

So, I've mentioned before that I am currently shooting a short film called Finding Maria. Well, I just found out that I've hit another production snag.

Now, I've known for some time that one of my actresses was moving. Turns out, it's the end of this month. I know, in previous posts I've stated that we were trying to shoot earlier in this month, but everything kept falling through. This is primarily my fault I think because I don't jump when I need to all the time. I'm working on that, and BEDA is one of the ways I'm trying to get into a regular rhythm.

Well, things have once again gotten away from me, and now our time is up. DaNae (our actress) just sent me word that she has no time to shoot this week between work and preparing to move next weekend. Now, I'm more than willing to wait until she's available to come back down from Raleigh to shoot this thing, but I know I can't put John (the one main actor who's been with me the whole time) through another period of waiting. He's been more than patient with me and it's time to get this thing shot.

I have an idea of someone as a replacement actress for the part, so I'm going to get in touch with her as soon as I know for sure that DaNae is out. I hate having to recast, but it's probably my only option at the moment. It's bad enough the actress playing our title character moved to L.A. before we could finish shooting her scenes.

I do have an idea of how to fix that, but I'll have to see if my L.A. contacts are available for a little shooting in the next week or so. Hopefully, that will work out how I think it can.

On a more positive note, my friend Ryan called me up earlier about a commercial shoot he'd like some help with tomorrow. Sounds like fun, so I'm off to do that. I'll update how the shoot went tomorrow.


William the Bloody Productive Redd

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Our American Cousin

It's the last piece of entertainment that President Lincoln would ever see.

With that knowledge, I never knew that the play was a comedy. Strange what history can do to our perceptions.

Anyway, the UNCW theatre department put on this very funny play about an American visiting his English cousins and saving the day. I just got back from the show. It was really well done.

The director, a former professor of mine, Dr. Terry Theodore, followed the original concept of this play, including the performance of olios between scenes. There were little bits of humor injected into the entire play, either in the form of clever wordplay, or just in the deeds of the characters themselves.

I really enjoyed the show, as did the whole audience. At the behest of the performers, we cheered the heroes and booed the villain (to which he reacted as he should, by threatening violence upon us).

Now, I'd like to say that my love of theatre was the sole purpose of my going to the show, but it wasn't. A friend was playing the part of Florence Trenchard (quite well) and, if you follow the link to this review, you'll see her. Also, this was Dr. Theodore's final production. He is retiring from teaching and directing after 31 years. So I had to make it out and see the show.

I do have to thank Keely (my friend playing Florence) for renewing my interest in theatrical productions. I really do enjoy going to plays, and having a friend who is steadily getting parts in those plays definitely helps me get off my duff and go see them.

Speaking of Keely, I don't get to see her as often as I'd like (it's been a number of months since I saw her last... until tonight anyway). Honestly, I just now gave her the Christmas/Birthday gift I've had since the holidays, this was the first time since before Christmas that we've seen each other. That needs to change.

In the fall, UNCW is putting on a performance of Waiting for Godot, which is one of my favorite plays (alongside Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead), but I've never seen it performed. Definitely looking forward to seeing that.

The more I go to the theatre, the more I actually want to write for the stage. I'd like to write at least one stage play. I have a few ideas I've been working on, just have to see if anything comes of them, or if I decide that they will work better in another medium (not the first time that has happened).


William the Bloody Play's the Thing Redd

Friday, April 24, 2009

Looking At My Options

So, the spring cleaning is moving along, slowly, but forward.

I've started to post things for sale on craigslist, but there are no interested parties at the moment. If no one buys, I need to figure out some other options. E-bay doesn't seem to be working, and I don't really want to keep wasting money on something that won't return anything.

Don't know if anyone here would be interested, but right now there are two listings. One is a box of Hero Clix that's never been used:

http://wilmington.craigslist.org/clt/1134961900.html

The other is a series of comics. It's part of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe:

http://wilmington.craigslist.org/clt/1135025524.html

I'm going to put together a few more listings tonight or tomorrow, but I need other options.

Has anyone tried selling things at a flea mall? There's one here that only charges $14 for a space.

Damn this economy! Why do I decide to sell when nobody has the money to buy?


William the Bloody Selling It All Redd

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I Just Had A Thought

So, I've been working on an idea for a series for a while now. I always say that it's "like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but the whole team is like Xander".

Well, every time I try to write the characters, they just end up becoming the basic "save the world at all costs" types. But, that's not the show I'm trying to make. I want this thing to be something unique. While I love shows like Buffy, Angel, and Doctor Who, the characters I'm creating aren't those people.

They're just regular guys. Well, most of them are.

As I write this, I'm watching John Green on BlogTV (after watching Dr. Noise perform for a while, it's been a good night). John just said something earlier about "Catcher in the Rye" that has got me thinking.

He was talking about how it's not an average story because Holden is just a normal person. The story is more like real life.

That's more how I want the series to be. The original concept was always supposed to be a group of "regular guys" in very irregular situations. I guess, the best way to describe it is this:

It's like the Venture Brothers, without all the super-science and costumed mad-men. Instead, it's just normal people dealing with aliens and monsters.

I'm going to try to write the series without any truly heroic exploits. These guys are just doing a job that they know needs to be done.

Think it'll work?


William the Bloody Regular Redd

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Even God is on Facebook

I originally had every intention of writing two blogs today, but after eating my feast of Chinese food, I kind of passed out. So, instead I am going to repost my FiveAwesomeBloggers blog (which I finished before dinner):

A friend sent me this yesterday:

god

So, not only does God have a twitter, he's also on Facebook. I guess that ends the Facebook vs. Myspace argument. I mean, who other than God would have the final word in... well, anything I guess.

Other than interesting images in my e-mail, nothing much going on this week.

Oh, since I brought this up originally, the Buried Life has a new trailer up:



And now that I've made this post all flashy with a picture AND a video, I shall leave it at this:

Madison: As a particular commercial (I think it's Visa?) has been saying: Go.
Tom: Your tactics for school sound very similar to mine. Sleeping in always wins.
Elayne: Hello? *hello hello hello....*
Madi: I forgot about Bones on Monday. I hate that House has been airing on Mondays. I always watch "Big Bang Theory" and "How I Met Your Mother". Of course, if I'd remembered Bones, I would have watched. BBT and HIMYM were both reruns.

While I've been writing this, my potential dinner plans were abruptly cancelled by a friend who doesn't feel like leaving the house (can't say I blame her, I've been having an "in day" as well). So, I have just ordered Chinese. I shall now await my delivery and figure out something to watch since Lost isn't on tonight.

After a discussion our group was having last week, I think I'm going to watch The Usual Suspects.

This has been your Watchful Wednesday,


William the Bloody Sleepy Redd

Madison, we'll see you tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Apparently, Today Was Moving Day

I was planning on having another day in, when I got a call from Mike. He was moving out of his house today (landlord is upping the rent towards the ridiculous, so Mike's had to go). Well, he runs in to a little hassle with the U-Haul place and doesn't get the truck when he planned, putting him four hours behind.

This, of course, is where I come in. He calls and asks for a hand getting stuff onto the truck. So, I head over and spend the next few hours completing the job he's been working hard on all day. We pack up the last bit and empty the house.

So, fun night.

But, seeing Mike throw away a lot of (at least seemingly) useful stuff has got me thinking about things. How much stuff do we actually need in our lives? I have a lot of stuff, and that's really all it is... stuff.

I save WAY too much stuff. It's become a thing with me. I can't throw things away at first. I save fortunes from Chinese restaurants. My apartment is full of stuff that I don't really need and will probably never use.

First step, I need to finally get rid of my comics. I was a collector for about 20 years. Mainly, I collected Marvel; but there were quite a few DCs in there as well. But, with all the collected editions available now, I no longer need all those individual issues. I never collected to collect, I collected to read. So, if I can get Marvel Essential and DC Showcase collected editions with about 50 issues in one book, that's what I'm doing.

So, if anyone reading this wants some comics from the 80s or 90s, let me know. Everything must go!

Back on topic, after the comics go I'm going to gather up all my toys from my parents house. I have massive amounts of toys. Growing up, I collected G.I Joes, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Legos (oh, so many Legos), and don't even get me started on my Star Wars figures.

It is Spring, so I guess I'm going to do a little cleaning.

Also, I have a ton (metric ton, seriously) of VHS tapes. Those definitely need to go. I've had to build structures against the walls to get them out of the way. It's a little sad.

On that note, I'm going to sign off for today, go clean up the bedroom a little, get my clothes organized (and maybe even get them off the bed finally. There's one pile that is very close to collapsing on me as I sleep). Might even take a pile or two to give to charity.

It is definitely time for me to lighten my load.


William the Bloody Cleanly Redd

Monday, April 20, 2009

Moments of Absolute Silliness

I'm watching an episode of M*A*S*H right now, and there was a moment between Hawkeye and Hot Lips where the two of them are desperately tired and get a case of that silly, tired laughter.

I absolutely love those moments. The times when you and a friend stay up way past times of consciousness, and everything you say becomes ridiculously funny.

That's just golden.

I need more moments like that. They seem to be fewer and fewer lately.

Had another one of those lazy days today. Need to start getting out of bed earlier. I've picked up a bad habit of sleeping until noon everyday. I know it's wrong, and I've even set my alarm much earlier, I just turn it off and roll over.

I did catch the last bit of John Green's BlogTV show today. Haven't been on in a while, so it was nice to get back into the chat.

Tomorrow, I'm going to write much earlier so my mind isn't just gone. I've been feeling a little out of it today. Don't know why.

I promise, tomorrow will be much better.

Also, I'll get back to commenting tomorrow. Now, I'm going to watch one more episode of M*A*S*H and get to bed. Hitting the sack earlier will be step one to waking up at a decent hour.


William the Bloody Procrastinating Redd

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Final Cut Film Festival

Went to the screening tonight. As always, there were some really good submissions, and some just alright ones.

Apparently, only twelve teams entered this year, and one never turned in a short. This means that, with a Top Ten screening, only 1 short didn't make the cut. That kinda sucks. I would be very unhappy if I was a part of that team.

Something seemed to be missing from this year's festival. Several people mentioned it, but none of us could put our fingers on what it was. I mean, the festival was great, it always is. Matt and Sarah are great and they put themselves through hell getting everything together for this thing every year. But, something seemed different.

I can't explain it.

I really wish I could have been a part of it again this year, but just didn't have the money. Or, honestly, the time. I really need to finish my outstanding projects before throwing myself into another one.

Next year, I'm planning on going big. It's an idea that I and my friend Jonathan have been talking about for a while, and I finally know how to start the whole thing off (the missing piece).

The only problem with this plan is that it involves part of a feature I'm writing. So, we need to have at least the necessary scene shot for this whole thing to work.

It's certainly possible that we can pull this off in a year, let's just hope we actually do.


William the Bloody Penniless Redd

Saturday, April 18, 2009

I Have Just Been Lazy Today

First, I was up late last night watching television and synching up my blogs. I decided around 11 to add all my BEDA blogs to my Nerdfighter ning page as well. Fortunately, it's a simple copy and paste, still time consuming though.

Today, I have been doing a little editing. You would think it would be easy just to add a little piece of footage into the editing timeline, but it has proven to be a complete pain in the rear. I'm thinking of just killing my original idea and just go for the old "Lucas wipe". Might be better.

In between my editing, I've been watching TV. They were running "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" on TCM earlier, and now the M*A*S*H series finale is playing on TVLand. Watching that while I write.

Speaking of TVLAND, is anyone else a little sickened by "The Cougar"... and all these dating shows for that matter? These people have no concept of love, just good television. If you were looking for true love, you wouldn't be putting yourself on national television to be part of a sideshow for all to see.

"Rock of Love". Really? Does anyone think Bret Michaels has any chance of NOT continuing the only real source of income he's got right now? Ladies, grow up. He's not gonna actually stay with any of you, he's got another season to think about.

I'm gonna keep it short today, need to go to bed at a decent time tonight (but probably won't) and I want to get that editing issue fixed before I log off.


William the Bloody Lackadaisical Redd

Friday, April 17, 2009

A Warrior's Call

Alright,

Yesterday I told you I was going to be filming a video for my friend Stan so he can enter a contest to become one of the new Vikings at Granlibakken, Lake Tahoe. Here's the final product:



While a lot of people here are running around filming for the Final Cut Film Festival, I shot and edited the gem above. And now, I'm going to do a little work on my Jersey Jones series while watching some Stargate: Atlantis and Primeval (I'm giving the show a chance, even though they refuse to accept what they are).

On the Jersey Jones front, I ran out yesterday and shot a little piece of footage for episode 3. I'm doing a Star Wars opening for that and needed the typical pan-down from the sky on to the FanBoy Comics building (which was an interesting task since they've moved since we shot there. Fortunately, there is still some signage present).

I'm going to add yesterday's footage to episode 3, which will complete the rough cut of that.

Anyway, that's all I've got today.


William the Bloody Hedonistic Redd

Thursday, April 16, 2009

More Film Talk

So, as many of you know, I'm a filmmaker (when I'm not busy writing blogs of course).

Right now (and for quite a while) I'm working on a short called "Finding Maria". I have now brought on an Assistant Director who has done a complete script breakdown for me (Brea, have I said thank you lately?) and have been in the process of trying to get some shooting days scheduled.

There are a few problems.

First, our title actress has moved to L.A. and I'm not sure when she's going to be coming back. We still have two scenes to shoot with her (one being the climax of the film). Also, I've got another actress who is about to move to Raleigh at the end of the month (and that's coming awfully fast).

This weekend is the Final Cut Film Festival. I have taken part in this festival every year it's been around, but not this year. Instead, I'm going to be trying to shoot as much of "Finding Maria" as possible.

Of course, based on actor availability, that might not be much.

Also, tomorrow I'm shooting a 1 minute short for my friend Stan who is applying to a contest on Youtube. Here's the video with info:




So, that's going to be a fun shoot. Also, he's one of actors in "Finding Maria". Have to ask if he's available this weekend and if he thinks we can get access to a library for the scene.

Anyway, here's hoping things work out and we get some shooting done.

I'll let everyone know how (and if) it goes.

Also, trying to decide if I want to sign up to be a BEDA buddy. I think it's definitely worth it.


William the Bloody Filmmaking Redd

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

What Is Disney's Issue?

Why do they try to make EVERY Disney "star" into an actor/singer?

I guess it started with Miley, but does every single "star" have to sing AND act? Let's do roll-call: I mentioned Miley, then you have Mitchell Musso, Emily Osment (that's all from one show!), the Jonas Brothers (who started as just singers, but Disney had to turn them in to actors as well), Demi Lovato, Ashley Tisdale (and the entire HSM cast)...

The list goes on, but that's all the names I can think of at the moment.

Look, I know Disney has had luck in the past with their child musicians, but let's also look at the history of those children as they grow up.

Let's talk Lindsay Lohan. Let's talk Britney Spears.

Hell, let's go back to the days of my youth with Jennifer Love Hewitt on "Kids Incorporated" (not really an example of a problem, just had the thought while writing).

Speaking of "Kids Incorporated", let's not forget Fergie. (which might be one of Disney's true success stories because she stuck primarily to the music).

Can Disney not see the damage they're doing through all that money? Do they care?

The worst was seeing Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens at the Oscars this year. During their red carpet interview, the no-name interviewer (couldn't even get a main-line interview, what a pity) said something to the effect of "it won't be long until you're back here as a nominee." That's horrible.

Giving these poor kids false hope like that.


William the Bloody Sick of "Celebrity" Redd

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Just a "Blah" Kind of Day

It's raining here right now. Raining hard.

So, nothing much has happened today. I've been working on some writing and theories for some WNU articles I plan on writing eventually.

One thing I did find today (and this will probably be the nerdiest thing I ever say... in this blog) is a date conversion chart which gives approximate dates to the Star Wars Universe as it correlates to Earth history.

That's right. I like stuff like that.

Anyway, I'm looking at timelines for multiple sci-fi and fantasy series to create a singular timeline of events for a universe that I'm creating.

Nothing else to report really, so I think that's all I'll say today.

But, I will probably continue on this theme tomorrow.


William the Bloody Nerdy Redd

Monday, April 13, 2009

Dolls May Very Well Be Evil

I'm beginning to see Libba Bray's point.

My niece has one of those talking baby dolls. Well, actually she has several, but I want to focus on just one. This one was one of those that was recalled due to a prank with the voice chip. There is a point in the babies speech function when it says, "Islam is the light."

You probably heard about this back when it happened. When it did, my sister didn't see a point in sending it back because my niece loves it, she just keeps the batteries out of it (or keeps it turned off, can't remember which).

This got me thinking though, dolls are a little creepy. And now, with the addition of all that technology to make them even more "real", it's getting worse.

Be afraid people, be very afraid...

On the plus side, this curious thought has led me to an idea for another episode of the series I'm working on writing.

So, it's not all bad.

In other news, we took a little trip to the Aquarium today and saw a lot of fish... and there were otters.

Otters are fun.


William the Bloody Otter-Lovin' Redd

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Art of Multitasking

So, it's Easter.

Hope everyone had a very happy one today.

My family decided to head down to the beach for the week, so that's where I'm blogging from now. There's no wireless signal at the moment, so I'm on Mom's computer. It's interesting trying to write one of these with your parents (specifically your mother) looking over your shoulder (keep catching her out of the corner of my eye).

Also, she almost dropped the Easter Lily my Dad got her looking for the bag of Friskies in the next room.

Fun.

Anyway, I've been thinking a lot lately about multitasking. We seem to do it more and more, especially business calls while driving (or in my case; eating, sleeping, watching a movie/TV).

On Saturday, when I first got to New Bern, I was eating lunch. Well, my parents have a cat (a Himalayan named Chelsea) who knows I will play with her. Of course, I was right in the middle of lunch, but she was very insistent. So, I grabbed her favorite toy (a piece of thick green yarn tied to a stick) and started moving it around, enticing her, and continued to eat.

That's right, I got mad skillz, yo!

Today, as often happens, I was watching television and reading online at the same time. At this particular moment it was "The Amazing Race" on the tube and Maureen's blog about writing.

This got me thinking:

I would kind of like to go on a trip around the world/another country and perform assigned tasks. But, instead of the reality television, competition style Amazing Race, I would much rather have it be like Maureen's "13 Little Blue Envelopes".

Would anyone be down to try something like this? I loved the idea when I first read about it, and would definitely love to try this for real at some point.

Anyway, I'm gonna keep this short since there are eyes on me.


William the Bloody Multitasking Redd

Saturday, April 11, 2009

But With Good Reason

Yes, I'm running late in my blogging... again!

But, I have good reason. It all started at 9 this morning.

*HITS SNOOZE*

It all started at 9:30 this morning.

I got up, hopped in the shower, burned a disc of Doctor Who Series 3 and 4 Soundtrack highlights, packed, and hit the road for New Bern.

After a two hour drive, made it safely to New Bern. This began the insanity that is the holidays at home. My sister was there already with her daughter, my niece. So, couldn't even get to the laptop right away because of essentially having to re-introduce myself to Jenny (my niece, she's 1 and 10 months, so she doesn't quite remember me when she first sees me. That look of confusion and slight worry at the age of one is still unmistakable). Then, once I did have a chance to boot-up, my friend Jason called. Haven't hung out with that kid since... well, it's been a while. So he, his youngest brother Taylor, and myself went car "window" shopping (he's soon going to be in the market for a new car, and it was a nice day, so we hit all the car dealerships in town just to browse).

Jason, Taylor, and I hung out most of the afternoon; then I had to head home for dinner. After dinner, came up with full intentions of trying to write, but Safari is always a bit of a pain in the ass when I first boot-up (still, I'm sticking with it). Then, had to show Dad how to properly google himself.

Not kidding. Apparently one of his cousins who he lost touch with years ago called him up out of the blue yesterday to catch up. When my father asked how he had found him, he said "I googled you". Dad had tried this in the past with little success, so I gave him some pointers.

Meanwhile, I get a call from Jason, he and his girlfriend Karen are going to see "Observe and Report" and they invite me along.

Funny f$#king movie! Definitely not for everyone, but if you're a fan of Seth Rogen or Jody Hill (Foot-Fist Way, Eastbound and Down), you certainly will enjoy yourself.

Anyway, then came home and had to help my sister create a letter from the Easter Bunny to my niece. Then, had to check my mom's virus scan (which she says is not running the scheduled scan, but it's still set to run every week).

And now, I'm finally writing today's blog.

*PHEW*

So, how's your day been?


William the Bloody Tired Redd

Friday, April 10, 2009

Really Need To Start Writing These Earlier

I did start out well. Honest.

One problem I seem to have is keeping things interesting in my own life to actually translate in to something to write about.

Went to the Cape Fear Independent Film Network social gathering tonight at Bottega Gallery. These are always fun. Had another great chat with actor Dan Donovan and with Jenn Mullins.

Other than that, nothing really happened today.

So, I guess I'll just talk about what I'm watching on television right now.

Sci-Fi has just started running the BBC show "Primeval", and I'm watching the first episode. Seems interesting, but I wonder about the premise. I mean, a show about a group of people dealing with creatures coming through a rift in time (and possibly space)... does sound a little similar to "Torchwood". I've been reading up on it, and apparently the producers keep trying to avoid comparisons to "Doctor Who" claiming it's more "reality-based."

Honestly?

A rift in time (and possibly space) that spits out dinosaurs (and apparently future creatures) is more "reality-based" than a show about a time-traveling alien who flies in a blue police box? Or a show about a rift in time (and definitely space) that spits out aliens and artifacts collected by a team of trained investigators?

Methinks these producers have a strange grip on "reality."

I just think you should call a spade a spade and have a little Torchwood action in an episode or two. I mean, Torchwood's got a resident pterodactyl flying around their tower.

Why do shows resist obvious correlations and potential crossovers just because they want to "do their own thing"?

Just sayin'.


William the Bloody Reality-Based Redd

Thursday, April 9, 2009

I Love Getting Ideas From Something Minor

It seems like so many of my character and plot ideas build from something minor said either in real life, or in a line of dialogue from a movie or television.

Tonight, for example, on CSI there was a statement made that started giving me ideas about a character. Nothing major, just a little quirk to give a character that little something extra. This particular idea might work for a series I've been putting together for a while.

Some time this month, I might decide to post a little bit about some of these characters if I get them roughed-out enough.

On that front, I need to start writing at least rough copy of these stories I keep creating. I do tend to jot them down somewhere, but I never actually put the random thoughts together into something cohesive. Instead I just let it stew in my mind for too long and it becomes something different, and often better.

But, I need to write.

That's one of the main reasons I decided to become a part of BEDA.

As you may have guessed, I didn't really have anything to write about today, but had to come up with something to keep things going. So, I'm gonna leave things here for now.

Hopefully, more tomorrow.


William the Bloody Redacted Redd

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

It's Lost Night!!

Anyone who knows me, knows I love Lost.

My friend J got me hooked on the show when we were working at Hollywood Video together. He started watching Season 1 on DVD just before Season 2 was set to begin. Then I started during the break between Seasons 2 and 3 (just before 2 came out on DVD) and caught up quick. There was even one night when I was mid-Season and contemplated using my key (I was a Shift Leader at this point) to go get the next disc at 4 in the morning.

I didn't, but it was a very strong thought...

By the time Season 3 started, I was part of J and Brea's (his girlfriend) weekly Lost get-togethers. We would meet up and J and Brea's every week and watch the new episode. Another bonus to meeting there was that they recorded the shows to DVR, so we would start a little after 9, fast forward through commercials, and pause when questions/discussion would arise during the episode.

Lost is one of those shows that brings about intellectual discourse about all those mysteries they leave hanging. I've been right about a few, which is always nice.

Tonight, is a Lost night, and it's one of the things I look forward to each week.

Also, tonight looks like it's going to be a great episode. We get to find out more about Ben (and finally find out what he was doing at the docks before he went back to the island). While Ben is one of the most vile people ever, his back-story is absolutely fascinating!

OK, gonna leave things there for today. Gotta meet one of my other Lost friends for dinner before we head over to J and Brea's.


William the Bloody Lost Redd

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I'm A Mac, F$#K PC!!!

Microsoft is really starting to piss me off.

These recent ads with celebrities claiming proudly that they're "a PC" are just B.S. Seriously, the original point of the Mac vs. PC commercials was to show the differences between two systems using people to represent each system. Now, admittedly they chose to portray certain stereotypes about the users for each system, but it makes since when you think about it (and, honestly, I look more like the PC guy).

But, Microsoft decided to take things personally and create this new ad campaign with everyone proudly proclaiming that they are a PC. What really gets me about these ads is that they portray the Mac as some great unobtainable thing for "the cool kids". The ad they've been playing recently is about people wanting a laptop "for under $1000". The thing is, they want great laptops for next to nothing.

The thing is, you get what you pay for.

This is something that I've always lived by. You can find cheap stuff that just so happens to be quality as well (sometimes), but computers don't work that way. Cheap computers are exactly that, CHEAP! And PCs are, indeed, the cheapest computers around... for a reason.

Microsoft has yet to create a truly stable operating system. And, moreover, they are constantly under threat from viruses.

Macs, while being more costly, are much more stable computers. I've had my Mac for almost three years now, and I have only had one problem with it. The fix was quickly handled by Apple Care and the laptop was returned. The fee was a mere $300. I say mere because after looking online the issue was quoted as being about $1200 to fix at a standard repair shop.

Also, as far as I know, only one virus has been created specifically to target Macs, and it was fixed with a security update within hours of it being discovered.

So, Microsoft, learn to deal with your inferior O.S.

OR, fix the damn problem!

Just stop taking out your frustrations out on Mac. They can't help that they rock and you suck.

I actually want to make a parody commercial with myself dressed as the PC guy where I just walk out, look directly at the camera and say:

"I'm a Mac, F$#K PC!"

Middle finger flying high.

Also, before anyone jumps in on comments, I'm not a gamer, so I could care less about being able to play a game on my Mac. As long as it still edits video like a dream, I'm not switching back.


William the Bloody Mac Redd

Monday, April 6, 2009

It's An Honor Just To Be Nominated

Found out today that the short film I submitted, "Five Minutes Til...", has been accepted into the Cape Fear Independent Film Festival.

This short was also available on YouTube for a while, but it was disabled (or the audio was, can't remember which) due to a dispute between YT and Warner Music Group (for more on my feelings about that, check out my earlier post here).

Along with "Five Minutes Til...", two other shorts I worked on have been accepted. Come the first of May, we'll be showing a general audience "Five Minutes Til...", "How I Raised My Film Budget", and "The Chore" (for current versions, you can check them out by following their links). All three shorts have been re-edited and I'll be posting a new version of "Five Minutes Til..." very soon.

Needless to say, I'm very excited about this.

One of the festival organizers, Jenn, sent me a chat message on Facebook today saying:
"Do you need an official acceptance letter, or can I just tell you?"

I let it go, but she caught it soon after, saying:
"Well, I guess I just did tell you."

So, that's how I found out that we got in. It was interesting.

Last year, two of my films were accepted into the festival. This year, we've got three. Wonder what next year will bring...


William the Bloody Accepted Redd

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A Serious Question Born of Complete Slack

So, I've been fairly slack this weekend. Haven't done much of anything (other than blog, obviously).

Mainly been watching movies and Torchwood online.

I did go shopping for groceries earlier. This is where my question comes in to play.

Decided to buy a pack of sugar cookies (all done up for Easter). I've been trying to watch my intake, so I checked the serving size. One serving is two cookies. The pack, however, holds 21 cookies.

My question is, what is that about!?

For anyone with slightly OCD tendencies, this is craziness. Seriously, this drives me a little crazy. Why would you make a serving size of 2, then have an odd number of cookies in the pack? I know I'm one of few who worries about this kind of thing, but what the hell?

The thing is, it's an easy fix. All they would need to do is redesign the pack so it fits an even number of cookies. This pack has three rows which hold seven cookies each. Make the pack big enough to hold eight cookies per row.

PROBLEM SOLVED!

Alternatively, make the serving size three cookies per serving.

PROBLEM STILL SOLVED!

Now, I know this is one of those things that really just bothers me and others who get slightly OCD with numbers, but still.

Anyway, that's all I've got for today.


William the Bloody Problem Solving Redd

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Why Bruce Campbell is My Idol

So, I'm sitting here getting ready to watch "My Name is Bruce" and I wanted to talk a little about Bruce Campbell.

This guy is a cult icon. From the Evil Dead series, to Brisco County Jr or Xena, you've probably seen him around.

Lately, he's been talking up the idea that Hollywood has completely embraced the B movie (not always in a good way). His main point is that people keep confusing the term "B movie" with "independent". A B movie is the second part of a double feature, paired with a movie that was considered more viable by major studios back in the day. Most B movies were genre films: westerns, sci-fi, fantasy, horror; these are all B movies. And, if you look at most "A-list" movies now, they're B movies.

As Bruce himself likes to say:
"If you get bitten by a radioactive spider, that's a B movie!"

And, he's got a valid point. Hollywood has tried to change the term over the years as they realize that these genre films are viable and funnel more money into their production, but a B movie is a B movie regardless of the budget. Transformers might have been produced with $151 million, but the story is about a bunch of robotic aliens bringing their long-standing war for supremacy to Earth. THAT-IS-A-B MOVIE!

*brief pause for pizza and movie*

And, I'm back.

The other point he makes is about the independents. A lot of the movies being termed "independent" right now are just low-budget studio films to grab a niche market. Again, as Bruce puts it:

"If you already know your release date before you begin shooting, that's not an independent."

Again, he's got a point. An independent, a TRUE independent, is a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of thing. You really don't know how things are going to work out until the final print is ready to be screened to the public (even if that only includes the cast, crew, and family members). Ever since the independent explosion in the 90s, studios have tried to grab a little of that pie (as they always do).

The more I get involved with movies and filmmaking, the more I realize that independence is the real answer.

On that note, I guess I really need to get to work on some moviemaking.


William the Bloody True Independent Redd

Friday, April 3, 2009

Let's Talk About Film!

So, anyone who knows me knows that I am a filmmaker. After running my friends to the airport for their weekend away, I've spent the rest of the day with film festival preparations.

My associate and I are entering five films into the Cape Fear Independent Film Festival this year. Today was the absolute final deadline and, as with so many other things, I waited to the last possible minute. I burned my DVD last night and was ready to run it to the festival organizers today. Since I was heading that way, Mike (my associate) was going to give me the other four films to deliver as well.

This is where we ran in to a brief dilemma.

For some reason, Mike was having problems getting his DVDs to play right. The first set all had parts that would skip terribly. So, he started another batch using a different encoding process. This group didn't skip, but it was of a much poorer quality and looked a little blurry.

We still aren't sure what the problem is. He's still working with a PC. Of course, this is where my suspicions lie.

To me, the edits he's been working on with Sony Vegas look too much like video. I shoot everything in 24p (which is as close to film as you can get with digital video), this means that it looks like film when you put it together. I don't know what it is about Vegas, but it just kills the 24p look and makes it look like straight video... still beautifully shot, but video.

Eh, I'm just gripin' now. Moving on.

I'm really hopeful that our films will make it in. I'll keep everyone updated.

I really like the CFIFF. The people who run it are great. They always put together a fun festival. It is one of two festivals in Wilmington, NC, and it is definitely the better of the two. I could go in to detail about the other one, but I've already griped enough in this blog. Maybe later...

Along with the CFIFF, we're also going to be entering the Sister City Film Festival. The Sister City takes place in my home town of New Bern, NC. It originally started as an event called the Independent Filmmaker's Conference and was run by a student organization at Craven Community College. Now, it is a burgeoning festival put on every year by members of that organization who have graduated. It's another great festival.

I've gone on long enough about this so, I think that's where I'll leave things for today.


William the Bloody Submitted Redd

Thursday, April 2, 2009

It Can't Come To This!

It is only day 2 and I'm having trouble coming up with something to say today.

Let's hope it's just a fluke.

So, to keep myself from having a bunch of short blog posts which basically say "I have nothing to say", I'm going to just write about my drive from New Bern to Wilmington.

Nasty weather for a drive. Even with the rain being swept up by drivers in front of me, I couldn't bring myself to slow down that much. I typically drive about 5 miles over the limit.

*Brief interruption to watch Mysti Mayhem on BlogTV*
*Then Toler calls right at the end of that and wants to talk about documentary projects and such*

OK, slight deviation from scheduled blog, let's get back to that. I get the feeling those two pauses will be the subjects of future blog.

Now, back to my driving:

So, rain, speeding, other cars who can't handle a little bad weather...

I have to say, I get some remarkable road rage when I drive. I don't know what it is. Maybe my general frustrations just get vented behind the wheel so they don't affect me as much (would explain why some things don't seem to faze me). But, I do get so heated in the car, that I often wonder what I must look like to everyone else. Probably like a maniac.

Anyway, the drive back was relatively uneventful, and now I can't remember why I thought it was a good idea to talk about it.

Welcome to my world.

See why I call it "nonsensical"?


William the Bloody Glad He Tuned In For Mysti Mayhem Tonight Redd

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Today is April 1st, and I am a fool.

Along with being the most notorious day of the year, April Fool's Day, it is also the first day of BEDA (Blog Every Day April).  Today, I choose not to focus on any tricks, but instead keep my focus on my writing.  BEDA is going to be a challenge for me because I am not a "regular" blogger by any means.  In fact, every time I try, I fail miserably.  However, I have hope.  Because I want to complete BEDA successfully for myself, I feel I can actually pull this off.

It's strange that we can convince ourselves that anything is possible as long as a challenge has been laid down for us.

One benefit of my BEDA attempt is that I've already started blogging once a week as part of a collab project.  We call ourselves the Five Awesome Bloggers.  Check out the blog to read more about us.  Elayne (who is Monday on FAB) was the first person I heard talk about BEDA and I instantly wanted to be a part of it (partially because I have a bit of a crush on BEDA creator Maureen Johnson, but also because I need to get into a regular writing habit and thought this would be a good way to do so).  Also, today being Wednesday, I have to blog twice.  My FAB blog will be up later today.

So, I'll make today a quick one.  Just wanted to talk a little bit about why I decided to participate in BEDA.  I'll try to keep from mentioning it in every blog, but it seems appropriate for the first day.

Hopefully, I'll see you tomorrow for Day 2


William the Bloody Hopeful Redd

Monday, March 30, 2009

BEDA or Just When I Needed a Swift Kick in the A$$

After my last post, it may be obvious that I have been a little slack in my writing responsibilities.  I have been resolving this slowly since I last wrote, but I'm thrilled to announce this:

BEDA!  Or, Blog Every Day April.

Created by the lovely and talented Maureen Johnson, originally as a means of breaking her own blog stagnation.  She has opened the idea up to the public and has even set up a ning:

So, what is Blog Every Day April, you ask?

Blog Every Day April, or BEDA as it is being called (VEDA if you plan to vlog instead of blog) is just what it says it is; you are to blog, everyday, in April.  Not that hard... at least I hope not.

People are joining this project en masse, and I'm throwing my hat into the ring as well.  First, the manifesto:

I commit to this idea and am determined to create something EVERY DAY in April, including weekends. Every day, I will find something to say. I embrace the reality that there is always something to talk about, if you are willing to take the time to look for it. 

I William Redd promise to blog every day in April.

Blogs will be posted right here to my "Nonsensical World" blog, but I will also be posting the same blogs on the ning here.

Be sure to come back April 1st for the first post.  This is going to be an interesting change from my usual writing habits.


William the Bloody BEDA-tested Redd