Art

My First Film and John Cleese

Several years ago I become consumed with film writing. After many interviews of anyone semi successful around me, I basically received the same advice from everyone. Just create. Make something. Pull whatever you can together and just do it, and keep doing it. The advice also included submitting your stuff to as many film festivals as you can.

I am an idiot. I took this advice to heart, but for some reason – maybe call it my background as a poor only child from a single parent home with some need to validate myself or whatever – but I felt I needed a big name involved with my first short. It is a comedy piece, but also should make people think a bit. The whole thing is narrated. So I picked my top five favorite comedians that I thought would do a good job at narration, and I tried to reach out to them.

At the top of my list: John Cleese.

John_Cleese_2008_bigger_crop

I am an ultimate Monty Python fan. It’s a long long story, and I have the whole thing written out somewhere, but I’ll summarize for today in saying that John agreed. It was a very exciting moment. I assumed this meant I had found my destiny. Well, after many discussions with agents and lawyers, John backed out. I was not Hollywood enough. In the period of 7 months I went from an ultimate creative high, thinking I was going to work with a comedy god and someone I really admire, to an ultimate low. I then got a bit pissed off, but also realized that it was dumb to need a big name to validate anything. Though it is still nice to think that John Cleese assured me he liked the script but bureaucracy got in the way. So I wrote something else. It is not a comedy, again because I was in a bit of a low place. I have a masters degree in marriage and family therapy, and through those studies I learned about professional burn out. Basically when a therapist doesn’t have his own crap in check for whatever reason, and they start becoming more of a detriment to their clients than helping them. Ultimately a counselor may end up needing counseling themselves, which is an ironic, sad, and kind of funny outcome.

So – I wrote a piece about that. I took all the advice I had received: I pulled together some friends and acquaintances, and made my first short film Burn Out. It was truly a wonderful experience. Elwon Bakly and Mitch Hall are phenomenal actors. The energy in the room with these guys was so thick I was breathing it in. It is such an amazing feeling to be there on a set, and feel like the words you wrote are coming to life, but also that it’s a real circumstance and you are just a ghost in the room watching. So cool. I am really proud of this film for my first effort. We finished this thing years ago, but I have not released it until now. Primarily because there are some things about it that really suck. Above all, I learned what all film makers must learn, which is the importance of killer audio. I really wish that we had lined up some better audio for this video. I have thought about doing ADR (automated dialog replacement) but it has not panned out.

Since shooting this film I have gone on to be apart of many other projects, and I have many more things in the works. But for now, I figured it was time to dust this off and show it to the world. Thanks so much Clark, Elwon, Mitch, Aaron, Sid, and the hot secretary for this great experience! Check it out here: https://vimeo.com/233698458

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Done better see some live music son

concert

If you are a music fan, particularly a live music fan then you must have your reasons for forking over $20-200 to see a group play. Now keep in mind when I say “live music” I don’t consider New Kids On The Block, or any other group where the lyrics say things like *”I’ve been waiting for you to get naughty” and song titles like **”Sexify My Love” as music. My next door neighbor is a die hard “Block” fan, so without trying to bash her or the group too much – for the purposes of this discussion lets focus more on live rock music and move on from talking about lame kinds of groups before I get into a rant.

Why would you want to go see a group play live? For me nothing can beat the experience of watching a musician pour out their craft in a live setting – blowing your mind, melting your face, and busting your guts. To be a part of the process of art, whether its watching a painter make something amazing out of what was before just a white canvas and colors on a pallet, a dancer practice, actors on a stage, or a choir rehearse – it solidifies the art and makes it more personal. If you can’t be with your favorite bands when they wrote the music and recorded it in the studio, which is likely – then the closest you can come to the raw art is going and seeing them live. Plus if the band can wail live  it will just make you love them even more. If they suck, oddly it still provides some sense of satisfaction that at least you now know they are only any good in the studio. It is simply just cooler to be a part of the process instead of only having the end product – the finished painting or the studio CD.

So go see some live music! The next time one of your favorite groups is coming to town save up and go see them!

*Actual New Kids On The Block lyrics
**Actual New Kids On the Block song title