Tom Ramcigam (magicmarmot) wrote,
Tom Ramcigam


I feel good today, for no apparent reason. Or at least I did until I got to work. The normal things that get me down every day just aren't doing that today... it's weird.
Had a dream last night about how we had a war on bread. Somehow, Uncle George and his cronies had managed to declare martial law which suspended the constitution and halted all elections, and we all had to carry these little books around with the proper way for all right-thinking americans to act in any given situation.
I also had some weird half-dream about being interviewed on a talk show about being a filmmaker, and being compared to Michael Moore. I had to explain that we were completely different, and the analogy I came up with was that Michael Moore is an artist, like a painter whose brush is his camera and whose canvas is controversy. No matter what you think of what he has done, it evokes emotion which to me is the very definition of art.
Whereas I am a craftsman. I'm like the guy who hand-makes furniture. There may be some amount of art there, but it is almost entirely craft. There is a process, with known tools, and a plan for an end product.
MM's technical filmmaking is raw. And that's part of his style. It doesn't have to be anything other than what it is, because he is capturing content, capturing the moment. Where my push is toward creating the fantastical, telling stories that weren't there before. I would rather shoot in a studio where I have control over the lights, sound, and weather; that would be antithetical to MM.
Then Bruce Campbell came out and agreed to be in my next movie. :)

Understand, I'm not knocking MM's style, or his abilities as a filmmaker. Just saying that we have very different reasons for doing what we do.

Of course the biggest difference between MM and I is that he's made his own movies, where I have so far just worked on other people's. That will be changing.

I wanted to start on production sketches last night. Then I realized that I have no pencils. Odd thing, that; I usually have bunches of pencils around. Something I might want to try is the trick that I saw watching "The Triplets of Belleville" DVD, which is the use of blue pencils for the preliminary sketches, then ink over the blue for the final. Apparently the blue doesn't show up on photocopies.
Then again, I probably shouldn't worry about it too much. My drawing skills are pretty sub-par. I still want pencils though.

Caught a look at my legs last night. They are actually starting to look really nice. A long way to go yet, but definite progress. I doubt that my modeling career will be taking off anytime soon though.

The Tron Guy: jmaynard. Getting picked up by Jimmy Kimmel-- I don't know whether to be happy for him or not. I feel like he's getting used, like he's the butt of some joke-- he's not on Kimmel because of the workmanship of his costume. On the other hand, it's exposure and the 15 minutes of fame that come so rarely to us, and he sems to be enjoying it. Hell, think about it: there's got to be at least one hot geek babe out there who thinks he's "cute".
Personally, I'd rather be a guest because of the quality of my work, but I wonder if I'm enough of a fame-whore that I'd be doing the same thing?
Aw, who am I kidding. Of course I would. Hot geek babes are delish.

Speaking of hot geek babes, why isn't there a geek dating service? I mean if there's anyone out there who needs help finding the right match, it's us. Come on, the first time you mention your Star Wars collectibles, or your framed Detective Comics #13, or your penchant for dressing up as Jar-Jar Binks and being spanked, you lose a large chunk of the population.
Of course, that's probably a good thing. It does act like a kind of filter. I just have to think that somewhere out there, there's a woman that really wants to turn me on by dressing up like an Orion slave girl...
Come to think of it-- for those of us geeks that are coupled in some serious fashion (like married or cohabitating or dating for at least a year), how many of you are coupled with another geek? And of those, how many of you consider yourselves to be primary geeks (as in having something sci-fi or fantasy being a major part of your life)?

I still don't know where I fit in in that role. My geekdom comes in more with film and horror than sci-fi and fantasy. I've played D&D, I have a small comics collection, and I understand the difference between a morningstar and a mace. But I am far more passionate about making movies and creating creepy figures than I am about whether Kirk or Picard was a better captain, or how many Green Lanterns there are in the multiverse, or whether a vampire is inherently stronger than a human of the same physical size.
The things that I like about geekdom have much more to do with telling a good story than the trappings of the genre. One of the reasons that I like a good horror film has to do with the sense of isolation. I have felt isolated most of my life, socially, emotionally, or otherwise. I identify with the protagonist/victim in the horror movie. Suspense films fall into a similar category, particularly when I feel like I'm being persecuted or singled out.
Most sci-fi and fantasy is escapist. Star Trek has a huge following because of the quasi-utopian society that it expounds, and not because of the half-nekkid Vulcan chick (though I'm not knocking half-nekkid vulcan chicks-- see hot geek babes above). Lord of the Rings has the Heroes Journey (Joseph Campbell), as well as elements of both togetherness and isolation. The Thomas Covenant series (Lord Foul's Bane, et al) is wonderful (if absolutely huge) partly because of the analogy of Thomas's disease ravaging his body.
My favorite novel of all time is Neuromancer. I've gone through three copies of it. It is one of the best examples of compelling storytelling that I've ever seen, and it was the first novel that I ever read that I literally couldn't put down for the first three times that I read it. Once I tried analyzing it for style, and got so caught up in the story again that I completely forgot about the analysis. That is a good book.

I also like to watch bad movies. I will often buy them on purpose. Not so much for entertainment value as for learning: you can learn more about the craft of filmmaking (and storytelling in general) from a bad movie than from a good movie.
It says something that the only Star Trek movie that I own is 'V'.
I have watched "Ankle Biters". Twice. Intentionally.
I especially love low-budget indie films. A film that was made with passion has an energy that is unmistakeable, no matter how bad the execution. For example, I give you Ed Wood's Plan 9 from Outer Space. Many folks label this as one of the worst movies ever made, but it is one of my favorites purely because of the passion and the love that went into making it. It may not have good technical execution, but it has a spark that is pure and lovely.
Compare that to a big-budget Hollywood studio release (say the Hulk, or League of Extraordinary Gentlemen or Van Helsing) that was made purely for the money.

Passion is everything.

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