If You Build It, They Will Come.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Later, I'm throwing dice in the alleyway, Officer Leroy comes up and he's all like, "Hey I thought I told you..." and I'm like, "Yeah, whatever!"

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Another thing then it's off to bed.

Let me tell you why I have started to hate movie theaters. Not because of the establishments themselves, apart from how overpriced everything is, they're cool. No, I hate the theaters because of all the seats they have within them. Because inevitably other people, besides myself and my friends, end up sitting in those seats. So I guess it's not movie theaters I hate, it's other people. Yes, that's it. I hate people.

Today I decided to go to the movies. I felt stressed out, and it was something I hadn't done in a while. So I arrive at the UA in Portage at around 4:45, without doing any prior research into showtimes. As it had turned out, everything was already starting except for Scary Movie 3. So I decided I wasn't in the mood for anything serious anyway, I might as well go see that. At 5:25. So I get my ticket, and I sit in the lobby until the theater was seating, and I went inside. No one else there, I grabbed the prime spot in the center of the theater, and relaxed. The twenty minutes of commercials started up, during which two college guys came in and took seats in the back left of the theater. Not two minutes later, the two fourteen year old girls walk in and sit directly behind me. Out of any available seat in the theater, save the three that were occupied, they take the ones behind me. And they started talking. The one girl, we'll call her Janet, was apparently part of the Scary Movie 3 fanclub, as it became obvious she had seen this movie on more than one occasion already. The second girl, we'll call her Olga, was apparently a foreign exchange student, as she had no idea about any of the pop culture references this movie made. I know this, because Janet explained every joke to her, loudly.

"See that, that was from the movie 'The Ring' where there is this videotape that if you watch it, you get a call... see she's getting the call now, that you die in seven days. Did you ever see that movie? I saw it once it was really scary, you should watch it. My brother has it. Maybe you can come over this weekend and we'll watch it."

The worst part was, as this was evidently her third or more viewing of this film, she'd often explain the jokes, loudly again, about thirty seconds before they happened.

"Ok, see this part, this part in like a second he's gonna go in and take off the shawl this girl has on and it's going to be Michael Jackson, it's really funny. It's from that movie "The Others." Did you see that? I only heard about it, but I heard it was pretty good. Do you like Nicole Kidman? Did you ever see Moulin Rouge? That was good too."

And then they were bleching, loudly again, and laughing like they were frat guys with little annoying giggly laughs. I could have said something, I could have told them to shut up. But I didn't for two reasons. 1.) Starting a fight with two fourteen year old obnoxious fat girls is not a fight I can win, because they play with a level of immaturity I am not prepared to sink to, and 2.) About two minutes into Scary Movie 3, I remembered that I absolutely hated the first two films, and this wasn't shaping up to ba any better. The jokes were even more retarded and gratuitatous than in the previous films. I had heard that Shawn and Marlon Wayans didn't do this movie, and so if it ever had a glimmer of hope in my mind, that was it. But no folks, Scary Movie 3 borders on the most terrible pile of crap with which man has ever bore witness.

Two minutes in I was read to leave. The movie starts out with Jenny McCarthy and Pamela Anderson sitting on a bed together wearing tight tanks tops, and I was ready to leave. Do you know how bad a movie has to be to start out with a scantily clad Jenny McCarthy and Pam Anderson and have a young 23 year old man in the audience who hasn't had a girlfriend in almost two years, who spent $5.50 on a ticket which is an hours wage at his current job think to himself, "Man, this sucks, I should get up and leave."

But I stayed. I stayed through the annoying girls and the even more annoying movie, again, for two reasons. 1.) I think that Anna Faris is really attractive, and 2.) Leslie Nielsen is in the movie, (unfortunately at the very end) and Leslie Nielsen can be quite funny. Sadly, he can also be very not funny (see: "Spy Hard", or "Dracula: Dead and Loving It".... or of course "Scary Movie 3"). All the jokes sucked, including the Matrix: Reloaded spoof featuring the room with all the TVs and George Carlin playing the Architect, that had seemingly already been done, much better I might add, by MTV. There was one joke in the entire movie, and only one, that I found at all funny, and even managed to make me laugh a little bit. And fortunately was not blown by Janet behind me, because it was a reference to a movie that was before her time. The two main good guys square off against the main bad guy, the girl from "The Ring" and Leslie Nielsen who plays the president opens the door and says, "I just want to tell you both good luck. We're all counting on you." There it is folks. I've ruined the only good joke in this waste of film. Trust me, spare yourself the pain and discomfort and spend the hour and a half getting a proctology exam.

Did I mention that I was one of five people in the theater?

And also, when I looked up Anna Faris on IMDb, I noticed that they're already making Scary Movie 4, and are apparently greenlighted to make Scary Movie 5.

The comet is coming, people. Don't say you weren't warned.


So I found out a bit of good news about a minute ago. Napster is back. I've downloaded it, it looks really cool. There's a slight problem though. It is not the Napster of old. Instead, it is $9.95 a month for the premium service. You don't have to subscribe though, but each song you download if you are not a premium member is $.99. However it does have internet radio, which I've always thought is hella-cool, and apparently no spyware, which is why I hate KaZaa. It also is set up so you can either search for a song, or click a genre, and then the genre displays a list of artists, and by clicking on an artist it displays all of their albums, and all the songs on that album, with an option to buy the album for cheaper than you'd find it at any store. So I guess if you like music and you have ten bucks to spend every month, it's a pretty sweet deal. KaZaa is free, but it's a pain in the ass. You get what you pay for I guess.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

I want to talk about rotoscoping.

Allow me to give a brief overview of this project. As I'm sure anyone who reads this site knows, I am in the middle of shooting/editing/producing a feature length independent film. In this film there is a dream sequence where the main character is involved in a "lightsaber" duel. The duel itself has already been shot, edited together sequentially, and has ended up looking pretty nice. The "lightsabers" themselves were props built or bought using old toys and dowls marked with different colored electrical tape so I could see where they were when it came time to do the rotoscoping.

Rotoscoping is the process where you draw an image over a filmstrip frame by frame. It's essentially a mixture of animation and tracing. Here's how it works. For every frame of this duel, I have to draw a line over the spot where the 'lightsaber" is on a second layer. To explain this, imagine a picture of the Mona Lisa. Now imagine covering it with a piece of tracing paper, and drawing a mustache and glasses over her face. When you take the paper away from the painting, all you have is the mustache and glasses.

Now this entire second layer of lines I've drawn over the original filmstrip is nothing more than a bunch of white lines that on their own seem to make no sense. I then make a copy of that layer. On the copy, I add a blur effect, to make the line look softer. I then make a copy of the blurred lines, and blur them just a little bit more, and add a color. The trick is of course that I can only do one blade at a time if I want them to be different colors, so for any shot that has both "lightsabers" in it, I have to do the whole process from start to finish, twice.

Now that I have my three layers, I condense them back down into one image. Imagine taking both sheets of tracing paper, and the original Mona Lisa, and putting it on a Xerox machine. The resulting copy you get would show the Mona Lisa sporting a new moustache and pair of glasses that you could not remove. That condensed copy of the 'lightsaber" then gets turned back from a filmstrip format, which looks like one giant picture, to a movie format.

The reason this is such a pain is that my camera, as is the case with most digital video cameras, captures at 29.97fps. Meaning that for every second it's recording, it takes about thirty indiviual pictures, or frames. The duel itself is 1:41.5 minutes long, or 101.5 seconds. This adds up to a grand total of about 3,450 individual frames, the majority of which feature both blades, meaning I have to do them twice. Timing myself, I found that it takes on average, including the blurs, about twenty minutes of rotoscoping per second of film per blade. Meaning fourty minutes per second anytime there are two blades. We'll say that the average is 35 minutes per second, as three are shots that have only one or no blades in them, but they are few. Thirty five minutes per second, with 101.5 seconds of film means 3,352.5 minutes, or just about 60 hours of drawing lines, of course not counting times I screw up or my computer just decides to crash. 60 hours of work for a scene that is just over a minute and a half long. Not to mention the hours of adding in all the sound effects and foley.

That is dedication.

Sunday, October 26, 2003

you're my boy, blue...

Saturday, October 25, 2003

April 27, 2001 was the first day of this website. That's two and a half years ago. Wow.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

As if George Lucas doesn't have enough money, you now have to pay $19.99 to visit starwars.com. What an asshole.

The amount of links in this post is unnecessary.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

New Look. Still playing with it....

...and you could have it all...
...my empire of dirt...

You'll see. October 22, 2004. One year. This time next year. You'll see.

Monday, October 20, 2003

i cant do this anymore. i have to work at eleven and all i did last night was watch the clock tick down to 6:45. its now 9:15, and i have too much to do today to be this clouded.

Sunday, October 19, 2003

its 4am again. i can't sleep anymore. then when i do sleep i sleep for too long. i think im going to set my alarm and try to get back on schedule.

i said yes. who knows what i have in store.

i realized something today. something good. i'm still alive. i never thought i was dead, i've not come close to death recently. it's not another blind optimism thing. i just had this feeling today. i remembered something today. i remembered how it felt to feel alive. to fit. to have a small smile and really mean it. something happened today. something i'll soon forget i'm sure. for a small second i felt hopeful again. that maybe it wasn't all so bad. and it was because of something so small and so insignificant, but something i had long forgotten.

i have to go to bed. i have to get back on schedule.

...what have i become...? my sweetest friend....

Friday, October 17, 2003

Say there's this guy who is a sculptor. He makes statues. He loves it, but he's poor, and around $3,000 in debt. And he has yet to sell any of his sculptures. As it stands now he lives in Montana for really no reason at all apart from the friends he has there.

One day, this guy comes up to him and offers him a job in data entry. It pays enough for him to get out of debt very quickly and then make some nice money. But it's a very boring and monotonous job that he will most likely dispise, and it will likely swallow the vast majority of his time he'd like to use building statues. However, the money he makes will allow him to easily purchase plaster and supplies, and he would have the resources to create something very nice.

Apart from that there seem to be two other catches. One, he has to commit to this job for at least a few years. And two, he has to move. He doesn't know where, and he won't find out until after he says yes.

What would your advice be to this guy? Leave me a shout out.


Thursday, October 16, 2003

wow... just wow....

Sunday, October 12, 2003

steeeeeeeeeerike two!

Saturday, October 11, 2003

i guess i'll find out in like an hour. it's kind of sad that my expectations have become so low. not that this isn't a good one, it's just that it seems to be doing well only because it hasn't completely derailed by this early point in. i know what i'm doing. the same thing i always do. i'm waiting for it to completely derail.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

got em, didn't feel right, maybe it's just me, i seem to have good instincts though, who knows...

Friday, October 03, 2003

A prerequisite for the girl I marry is that she must know the Contra code off the top of her head. Any girls out there who know the Contra code, please leave me a shout out and a way to get in touch with you.

In fact, I'm now going to come up with the "Joe's Next Girlfriend Test." Get these right and you qualify. I grade on a curve of course, beggars can't be choosers. No cheating. If you cheat you are dishonest, and we will go nowhere.

1.) What is the Contra Code?
2.) Name two of the four original members of "The Who."
3.) Fill in the blanks: "Janet, Dr. Scott, _________, Brad, ________."
4.) Who is the captain of the Detroit Red Wings?
5.) What were the names of the sock puppets who had their own show on MTV?
6.) Name all five View Askew movies. (Extra credit [0.33pts] for the two not written by Kevin Smith, and the one coming out next year.)
7.) Name five of Pearl Jam's seven major albums.
8.) "Great, or maybe we could go somewhere and just eat a bunch of carmels." is a line from what movie?
9.) Who was the best President of the United States in your lifetime?
10.) "When the rain came, I thought you'd leave me, cause I knew how much you love the sun. But you chose to stay, stay and keep me warm through the darkest nights I've ever known." Name the singer and song. (One point each)

Good luck.