Saturday, December 17, 2005

What do erections, Pennsylvania, and John Travolta's producer have in common?

As I risk another acid reflux attack to savor a glass of Scotch (15 year Glenfidditch, if ya hafta know), I contemplate the past week's events with consideration. On Monday, I spent the day with my wife at Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom and Epcot (thanks to a generous donation from the beautiful Brittany Shreve) before heading down to West Palm Beach for the taping of "The Screening Room with Jonathan Krane." Disney highlights: saw a bat give another bat a blowjob and renewed an old rivalry with a curmudgeonly cuddlefish.

"The Screening Room" was a fantastic gig. They put me up in a swinging hotel room, drove me around in a limo, and fed me lunch. Krane was an extremely gracious host and showered both "Naked" and "Love is Deaf" with generous praise. Granted, he also seemed to like another short film whose name we dare not speak. Regardless, much fun was had by all. Krane also talked at length about his passion for building a film industry in Florida. Very exciting stuff for a Florida boy like me.

On Wednesday I saw KING KONG and thought, "eh." I really wanted to fall in love with this movie. Moments of it were inspired. Whole scenes were acts of self-involved indulgence. If Spielberg's fatal flaw is his belief in happy endings, Jackson's is his belief that bigger is always better.

Thursday I went Christmas shopping with a friend and found time to work in some flirtation with a nice Italian Hooters girl (okay, so I watched my friend flirt with a nice Italian Hooters girl -- I've never mastered the art of flirtation with attractive strangers) and an early evening viewing of SYRIANA. Now this is a film I loved. It is possibly the most difficult to follow political thriller I have ever seen. To quote the EW review: "A dense, proudly complicated drama of geopolitical intrigue that has a lot of big, important things to say about big, important things and doesn't care whether audiences understand what's being said." EW gave it a B- for this, but I say it is refreshing to see a film that asks me to become more intelligent in order to join in.

Anyway, that brings us to today. Today I painted and did a little work in my yard,at which point I failed 1st grade math (20 sq. ft. is 5 ft. by 4ft.? Dagnabbit, that means I need like 4 times as many rocks as this! That's at least 130 bucks. Fuck.). Tonight I went to school to watch Ryan's dailies and to show Ryan and Jason Kupfer my first cut of "Melissa With A Heart Around It."

The footage from "History of Pennsylvania" looks fantastic. This is honestly some of the best looking, most polished and professional raw footage I've seen at UCF. I think this film will look like it cost a lot more than the $13,000ish it came in at. I'm incredibly proud of Ryan and DP John Deeb for what they've captured, and I consider myself very lucky for getting my name and my company attached to this one.

On the flipside of that, Ryan and Jason really responded to my cut of "Melissa." There's still work to be done, but they both felt like it is really working well so far. In particular, they both connected strongly with a music sequence I put into this cut. While I have always planned on using music I wrote myself for this film, I have laid in some temp tracks of different 70s songs that kind of inspired the tone of the songs I wrote. One of the songs works so well, however, that I'm actually beginning to think about trying to get the rights.

The name of the song is "Honey Hi," by Christine McVie from Fleetwood Mac's album TUSK (whose name hails from drummer Mick Fleetwood's favorite erection euphemism). It doesn't surprise me that the song really affected Jason and Ryan, as that album has been a huge inspiration to me this semester. I listened to it for about three straight months non stop during the making of "Melissa," and truth be told, without even editing to the music, the song naturally fits over the sequence in an emotionally powerful way. I think I'd have to be an egotistical fool not to try and get the rights. The only reasons not to would be financial and because it would mean not all the songs were written by me. Well, my mother just gave me $1,000 to put toward post production, and I have to accept the fact that no song I write or record will be as good as this one. Besides, writing several songs for the soundtrack is still impressive. I don't need to provide them all. This song has left its imprint on me and on my film without my looking for it. It is an organic direction that I think I need to follow. Anyway, I began looking up publishing/label information tonight and will have to place some phone calls on Monday. Hopefully I can get the complete rights for under $500. I don't want to settle for festival rights in case I have a chance at DVD distribution.

Ah, but all of that is so very far away. For now, more rough cuts. More glasses of Scotch. More bats giving other bats fellatio. A new year is almost upon us, we must enjoy the old one while we can.

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