The Correct Answer Is…

All my life. As this is not Jeopardy, I’ll give you the question: How long have you been acting? As I’ve touched on before elsewhere, I’ve fully embraced the Shakespeare quote, “All the world’s a stage…” etc.

Whether you’re in the industry, or even the business we call show, or not, it’s imperative that you embrace the fact that you are indeed for the most part, acting. You could be acting up, or out, or even re- but make sure you know that you are in fact, being observed.

I know this may sound like morning pages, as opposed to mourning pages, however, one, it’s the afternoon, and B) I’ve thought a lot about this today, based on these are the words you are reading, put in some semblance of order, and extemporized here for your pleasure.

Now, what brings you here, and more importantly, me here today is the need to acknowledge that I may have more experience in my areas of expertise, simply because I’ve been on the planet longer, and we have roughly the same level of ability to accumulate information at similar rates. This may be why I started in the industry as an actor, however, I’ve added writer, director, producer and even magician to my resumé.

I inherited that last one, but that’s probably a story for another time, on an entirely different blog.  Image

I’ve achieved various levels of success, which can be read about at my site devoted to all things 168 Project. If you go there, be sure to come back and comment here as well.

This may goto the part where people believe they can be only one thing, however, as someone that I respect once told me, you can be more than one thing at once. Which is why some may refer to me as a filmmaker.

I made a choice this 168 season to put myself in front of the camera, simply because I believe that’s where I was led. This may create an article at the aforementioned site, that I linked to previously.  Not sure yet.

I’m not sure that I’ve hit my artificial word count yet, so, I’ll continue. A magician is truly an actor, playing the part of a magician, and the converse may be true, as all of the above disciplines goto the art of illusion. Some of my older readers may remember the logline for the original Superman movie, “You will believe a man can fly.” Lot’s of visual effects work later, we did. This includes the various incarnations of Superman as a live action TV series, as well as the sequels that came and went.

Unless they’ve been able to hire an actor that can fly that I don’t know about. In any case, how many remember the TV series from the 50’s, when the villains would attempt to shoot Superman? The bullets would harmlessly bounce off, and when they ran out of bullets, they’d throw the empty gun at him.

And then, he’d duck!!!

Doesn’t make sense, does it.

All I know is, that most superpowers have been demonstrated on screen, or in print, and there’s a VFX guy out there that can reproduce them.

However, you have to be able to imagine that they exist, by writing about them first.

Which may answer another question entirely, that I’ll put to you: If you could have any superpower imaginable, what would it be, and why?

 

 

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One Thousand Words

A picture is worth, or so they say. I did the math on this recently for an average feature film length of 88 minutes, and it comes to, wait for it, 126,720,000 words to describe a movie, if you were to take each frame separately.  24 frames per second, or fps, and you can do the rest of the math yourself.

The phrase comes from journalism, and if Mrs. Meiners taught me anything, it’s that sometimes, you don’t get a photo to go with your story.  You might have to write the thousand words to describe the 1/24th of a second that you observe at any particular point.

That makes this, an opinion piece. Simply because I have one, and like the other thing that everyone has, yours may be different. Similar, yet different.

Ready, okay!

My goal for this piece of my opinion may or may not be limited to the aforementioned words numbering one thousand.  That’s not the goal.

It’s simply this: to explain away the travesty that is my current state of mind. For those of you that don’t know, the Mind State lies somewhere between CA, NV, AZ, and quite possibly UT.

That’s right, you won’t find it on any map. Every notice how most sites have a site map? Turns out, all it really is, is an outline of the hierarchy of your web pages. It’s a good thing to have one, so that the appropriate search engines can find things on your site.

Word pictures must be painted.

To continue, as opposed to moving forward in the same direction, it follows that in your average movie, and believe me, most are below average, the picture taken at any point a that is somewhat near point b will contain most if not all of the same information, or data.

Computer Science teaches this, actually.  Everything boils downto zeroes and ones, and Moore’s Law is in full force at any particular time.

If this were to be a picture, at the beginning of this paragraph, I would have had six hundred and seventy seven words left to write.  Fortunately, telling you this fact means that now I have somewhat less left to go.

Here’s some more math for you: A thousand words a day, times 365 in a year give or take, gives us 365,000 words, approximately.  A simple division of 126,720,000/365,000 equals 347.18 years to create the average movie.

I don’t have that kind of time, and probably neither do you.

Of course, this precludes the collaborative process, and if you have roughly 348 people creating the thousand words a day, it may only take one year to bring your vision to the big screen. Or mine for that matter.

Given this fact, and several other variables that may or may not be predicted with any semblance of logic that may or may not be fuzzy, how does anyone get their vision to the big screen?

I’m reminded of an old joke: A guy drives up and asks, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” “Practice!” is the punchline.  I heard that for the first time during the 60’s. Yes, I am that old if you’re a first time reader. Or even, the second time as I didn’t mention it last time, either.

Time is God’s provision for everything not happening at once, and space is His provision so that it doesn’t all happen in the same place.  However, within your own life, or the life of any particular average movie, it may seem like a lot of things are taking place at the same time in the same place.

I sure do hope that last sentence parses.

And it won’t be the last sentence, either.  Why the concern with word count, one may ask. If you don’t already know, this is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for those that do.  30 days, and fifty thousand words later, and you have your novel. That averages out to about 1700 words a day, give or take.

As I’m a filmmaker, I choose months that have 30 days in them to write a screenplay instead.  In April, Script Frenzy, or Screnzy as some would call it, is all the rage.  The goal in this case is to write 100 pages of screenplay in a month, and that divides out nicely to three and a third pages of screenplay a day.

I admit, I’m a little behind, as I’ve got 65 dynamite pages of a web series, however, only ten or eleven days left depending on when you read this, in order to get to the finish line, which ticks out to about 3.5 pages a day.

I once wrote on I believe this blog/site whatever it is this week, that it should be possible to write one great page of screenplay a day, at which point in a year you can create 3.65 screenplays if you stay on track.

I’m painfully behind on that one, as I have a life outside of writing as it turns out.  Therefore, it follows that I’ve had to give up most if not all of my social media commitments.  Ironically, you’ll probably see this missive posted about in one of three places first, Twitter, Facebook (or, the book of the face, OR Fakebook as I refer to it), or quite possibly Linked In.

I hope that those that read it out there, will leave comments there, as well as here.  However, I know that most will simply gloss over it, and move on without so much as nary a thought.

So, to review: Word count, page count, and the like are probably not as important as the fact that you’ve read this far, and I’m dangerously close to reaching the artificial word count I established in the title, therefore, I should probably continue to put words in some semblance of order to form sentences to reach it.

The fact that I’m behind may be because I’ve lost my muse. However, that’s probably another post on an entirely different site for another time.

Why, you may ask? It’s, The Law!!!

3 Tips For Dealing With Trials | healingfromgod.com

3 Tips For Dealing With Trials | healingfromgod.com.

And tip #4: Avoid them in the first place.

I thought I had more on this, however, apparently, I don’t. Might write a song about it. Maybe I already have. Temporal mechanics being what they are.

I’ve touched on this phenomenon both here and elsewhere before, however, for the 2 or 3 of you that are reading me for the first time, it follows that I write something before you read or hear it. Unless I say it, and don’t write it down. In which case, short term memory being what it is, you may never hear or see it again.

However, in any case, I take my action before you take yours, meaning, you’re actually reacting.  Neat, huh? Maybe not. You may not like what I say, do, or think. Then I get a negative comment in the boxes below. Or, more likely, you don’t say anything.  Then I continue to displease you until such time that you stop reading.

This makes me sad. Of course, this wouldn’t be a trial, as that implies a verdict.  And I was nowhere near Queens. If you get that reference, you may stop reading, and continue directly to the comment section.

Of course, this implies that I have more to say, write, do, etc. here, which is most likely not the case, as my breakfast, lunch, dinner is cooking depending on which timezone you’re in.

I believe that life is a game of Fizzbin.

Adjust your expectations accordingly.

72 and sunny in Redondo Beach, as always 😀

I’m a Filmmaker, And I’m Okay…

I work all night, and I sleep all day.

If only that were the case. I received an email from the fine folks who press the word, that I’ve been doin’ this for six years. So, HB to me!!!

My problem is, are, was, were, not even grammatically correct. Damn!! Time to go back to English 10AB w/Fred Doucette.

Was @Castle recently, and started playing Fizzbin with random guests, just to pass the time. I have to create a new act that I can film and submit to the entertainment committee in order to qualify to maybe perform Close-up magic @ some point in the distant future, in the only place I truly ever want to perform it.

Life is either performance art, or a broadway musical. Make your choice, and then stick to it. Use stick ’em if you have to. I told my Executive Producer this once. Two years ago. Well, maybe more than that at this point, as the fine folks in the land of 168 have changed the dates since.

I should hold Chip Chalmers personally responsible for my meltdown this season. He was the last director I asked to direct me, before I resigned to doing it myself. But Chip’s a good guy, so, I would never do that.

Others in the land of granola that may or may not be called out during this not so random rant include but are not limited to, the 1st AD, and the 2nd Unit Director.

We lost 3 hours because of this duo, that propagated throughout the rest of the project.

We had a full post production sound facility ready for us at 9a the day before turn in. We didn’t get there ’til noon. Hard out at ten pm, therefore, well, I’ve already done the math for you.   Sol7 did incredible work under the strangest of conditions. Special thanks to them above and beyond the credits they shall receive somewhere. Well, on the finished product itself. Which may be a film, motion picture, or movie.

Wow.  Artificial word count reached!!! You should all know what that means by now.

Well, if you don’t, it means I can type faster. Like this…. Except when getting a phone call from the fine folks @ the E3 after party I just confirmed attendance. For myself, and two guests. You should know who you are, however, if you don’t, then well, it’s not you.

The thoughts in the previous paragraph may be in the proper order, if not the words. Take this into account when you post your comments.

I know I’m missing something this weekend, however, I do have the capability of walking into the LA Wine Fest with my press pass from the fine folks @Soak Magazine. I should give them special thanks, too.

So, have a lost weekend, then play video games? I wonder if that’s how Ray Milland started….

A random closing phrase here, then the directives. If this were a song, it would probably be in four part harmony.

I’ve gone so far off topic in this one….

That’s my story. Hope You Enjoyed It™

Top Romantic Nerd Movies of Lurrrrv.

Top Romantic Nerd Movies of Lurrrrv..

 

I’ve always been partial to Superman, The Movie myself. For my money, being in a love triangle with yourself is the way to go, I would think.  Batman in ’89 had the opportunity to explore this as well, but it went in a different direction.

 

Michael Gough as Alfred in the Burton/Schumach...
Yeah, this guy.

 

A wrong direction if you ask me. While Alfred is family, it wasn’t his secret to share. Taking Vicki Vale to the Batcave? Seriously??? Bruce should’ve done that.

The rule, law, meme, whatever you want to call it is, disclosed classified information whenever a need to know exists. Alfred didn’t have clearance to share this secret with Vicki. It’s that simple. I’m sure that Burton did this as some sort of time saving device.

That’s basically a mini rant, as it’s all I’ve got in me today. I’m amped about other stuff, however, that’s going to remain in the family for now, and quite possibly none of you that read this site are family. At least that I know of.

Stay sane, so I don’t have to.

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Are You Linked In?

Back in the 90’s, I’m sure you remember, an actor named Kevin Bacon was apparently in every movie known to man, which led him to comment in a Premiere magazine interview in 1994, that he’d worked with most everybody in Hollywood, which inspired the game, Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. Historically, or perhaps hysterically, based on the notion of six degrees of separation, which was already a broadway play, and then became a movie of the same name.

If you’re one or two of the three people that haven’t heard of this, the concept is simple; by knowing someone who knows someone else, who then quite possibly knows a 3rd person, and so on, you may get an intro to a person that might eventually be able to help you out. See also Pay It Forward, and networking.

The concept is not new, it is however recently formalized, by the fine folks at LinkedIn. They’ve trimmed it down, as you’re only allowed to have up to three levels of connections. Of course, if one of your 3rd level connections knows someone else’s 3rd level connection, it should be possible to complete the legendary six degrees.

As with everything else in life, the Law of Unintended Consequences kicks in, and now what we have there and elsewhere, including Myspace, and Facebook to name two of the most famous social networks, is a competition to see who can get the most friends. Of course, LinkedIn is for business, so, they call them contacts, or connections, on the theory that one of these people might actually hire you to do something for someone, at sometime in the immediate or far future.

We can even take a look at the word network. It’s actually a compound word, combining the words net, and well, work. A net is something you cast, or use to catch butterflies, and work is what you should be doing instead of reading this. And believe me, networking on Linked In is no different. They have rules. You have to know the person you’re connecting to, or, have worked with them in the past or present, or, be a member of a group that your intended connection is a member of as well.

This last one is especially important, as they’ve come up with a unique take on groups, including discussions within them. Another fancy way of compiling a mailing list, if you ask me. If your within the same group, you may exchange emails, even though you may not be directly connected. And circumvent the need to be introduced to your intended connection.

Another anomaly that has sprouted up, is the need to be well, everyone’s friend. Thus, Linked In Open Networkers was formed, or LIONs as they’ve dubbed themselves. These guys and gals accept all comers, whether they know of you or not. As a result of these two phenomena, the fine folks at LI have come up with limits on the number of groups you can join, as well as the number of invites you can send out. Once you’re out of invites, you’re out.

This has led to some interesting addictive behavior, including but not limited to, people joining groups, and giving out their email address to any and all members, in an effort to make someone else, or several someone else’s use up their invites. And giving out your email address to just anyone is what LI was attempting to avoid in the first place, by creating a so called safe environment where people from different backgrounds and locales, could safely meet and discuss business, or try to get work.

I read in a recent issue of some psychology magazine to be named later, that you can only maintain roughly 150 unique relationships give or take, as your brain can’t handle any more than that. So, it follows that an effort to win the infinite friend game is fruitless in its attempt to prove that you have the most friends.

So, could someone tell me what I’m supposed to do with my 278 connections?

Original Disclaimer: Mike is either a poker player, or a filmmaker, depending on when or where you ask him. He is Linked In at http://www.linkedin.com/in/allaroundneatguy and his blog can be found at http://whoisthewatchmaker.blogspot.com/ If you wish to connect with him in any way.

Newer Disclaimer: I wrote this four years ago, and it is the first in the Idea Masters™ series that I contributed to. Since then, I have gained over a thousand more connections on LinkedIn™, and yet, none of them have hired me yet….

What Do You Do for a Living?

 

 

A poker tournament in progress. Taken by me.

 

I got asked this the other day. I didn’t know how to respond right away, however, when I want to mess with people’s heads, I reply:

 

I play poker.

 

To which they’ll almost always respond,

 

You play poker?

 

Now, since you can’t hear the inflection in their collective voices when they respond, it’s usually in one of two ways. Either, unbelievably, as in, “What, are you nuts?” or, interested like, “Cool!”

 

The “What, are you nuts?” faction, herein after referred to as simply, ‘nuts’, usually walk away with a strange look on their face, after they’ve asked the follow up question with the sound of incredulity in their voice, and goes something like this, “How can you earn a living playing poker?” To which I usually reply, “I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you,” or some such other random movie quote, which doesn’t actually answer their question, simply because at its base, poker is a game of deception. And as we know, with any game, ultimately it can’t be won, it can only be played.

 

The fact is, I do, and it’s really none of their business how I do it. Unless, they wish to pay me for the privilege. Rates are available, and pretty steep. Just because I have the ability to teach, doesn’t mean that I want to. I feel that this reaction is judgmental as they’ve formed an opinion based on what I do, and not who I am, and I don’t need them as friends.

 

On the other hand, those that reply, “Cool!” usually become some of my newest best friends. People that I’d want to hangout with, when I’m not playing poker, or doing whatever else it is that I do on any given day.

 

Of course, the context of the question is sometimes taken into account. It comes down to where I am when I get asked. I was once at a poker tournament when someone made the grandiose statement, “There are no professionals here.” To which I replied, “I guess I’m not here then.” Now, at this point, I could’ve gotten up and left, however, I did achieve the desired effect, and took all his money later in the tournament. Then he got up and left, shaking his head all the way.

 

Usually, if I get asked the question at the poker table, I tell the other players that I’m a filmmaker, except as noted above. I do this, simply to mess with the players’ heads. Most of the time, if I can get you to talk about anything else while at the table, you’re not going to be concentrating on the game. It also helps that I am indeed a filmmaker, and a pretty good one at that.

 

Yes, there’s more to poker than life. No matter what it is you’re doing for a living, ultimately, it’s none of my concern. Tell me what you want. I’m not going to check you out or anything. There’s no background check involved. Of course, I’m not going to ask in the first place. Unless of course, I want to mess with your head, or, put it on virtual film.

 

Disclaimer: I originally wrote this in late November of 2008, and it was published shortly thereafter on the now defunct Idea Masters™ site. This was #6 in that series.