December 26th, 2005


Spackling neurons

With all of the cleaning, a metric shit-ton of animal dander got thrown into the atmosphere. This is going from the living room to the kitchen to the basement stairs to my bedroom, and it was enough to make me nasty sick all day yesterday.
Of course, dealing with Mom on top of that wasn't the best situation, but I managed to survive. She's heading back home in the morning.

Unofortunately, I still feel crappy. I did put the HEPA filter in the bedroom so it was at least clean air in there while I slept, but I'm still pretty solid in the let's-not-eat-anything stage. Which sucks, because there is actual food in the house. I will be having some wonderful roast beef and turkey bags in the freezer for some time to come.

The good news is that there was some major smackdown laid on the crapfest that is the house. It's still bears resemblance to a toxic waste site, but it's no longer immediately fatal-- you can actually come in the front door without having to walk through a maze. And my bedroom is looking more college-dorm-room and less Chernobyl-reactor. There may even be a day soonish that I can have people over without fear of losing one or two to the CHUDs that live behind the various piles. We never did find my niece Vicki, though we did find some suspicious bones and a crudely-written note saying next time more cumin, but that's another story, and one that according to my lawyer I should just not talk about at all.

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Notes from waking up too early:

Love does not come in your mailbox.

That's the creepy old guy from two doors down.

Dreams about living in a big apartment complex that turned out to be filled with student filmmakers. I was running a workshop on filmmaking in the common area, kind of an outdoor porch area. One of the girls was asking me about titles, and had the words Boggy, Creek, Good on the page, and was making a film called The Legend of Boggy Creek. When I woke up, I googled it, thinking that there was a recent film being made by that name, and lo and behold, I found a total stinker from 1972.

It did add a couple of branches to my filmmaking curriculum though:

1.) Shooting with a still camera
In this segment, you don't have access to a motion-picture camera, but you have a digital still camera. You have to make a movie of seven minutes or less in length. Note that even if the digital camera has a movie mode, you can't use it.
This is ultimately very flexible since it opens up to a wide variety of formats from stop-motion to slideshows.

2.) No edits
In this segment, you have a motion picture camera (film, video, or what have you), and you have to shoot a short movie in one take. No edits, including in-camera edits, but you can do as many takes as you need to. Again, seven minutes max.
That ultimately leads into:

3.) in-camera edits
The very first special effects ever created for films used in-camera editing. It's extremely primitive by what we can accomplish today, but it is still an extremely useful tool. It focuses a lot of thought onto getting it right, because you only get one chance. Realistically, this is a CUT TO transition, and can be used as such, but I don't want to limit the thought to just that.

There's more stuff at an intermediate and master level, but this struck me as being a really good intro to the technical elements of storytelling in a visiokinetic medium.