I've hit up against some sort of digit impasse with Photobucket. That's where I park the images I post on this blog. For the last few days, I just wasn't able to upload anything. And so, with a back-log of blog (and doesn't that sound delightful), I decided to take action. I returned to Flicker. The problem was, I couldn't remember my account info. So, I had to start all over from scratch. Because Flicker is owned by Yahoo, I had to open a Yahoo account. It's bad enough having a MySpace account, but I've had months to come to terms with that. This entrée (well, re-entrée … as I forgot my ancient Yahoo info, as well) into the insidious corporate muck of Yahooery has left a bad taste in my mouth. But I now have a plan B for photo posting.
Saturday we had a production/rehearsal meeting for Sam Lerma's series of SAL Film Festival promo vids. Here we have some of the cast and crew. The rehearsal (more of a table read) went quite well. The first of the four promos (we seem to be calling them PSAs) is pretty funny.
Earlier in the day I shot a drum demonstration over at URBAN-15. The drummer was from Austin, and he was explaining some techniques he had learned in Brazil. I don't know this type of music very well, but I gather it was some sort of fast beat samba. It was a bit unnerving for me, because as I was wrestling with the audio equipment which fed into the camera, the drummer was warming up. I was about four feet from him and it was painfully loud. Sometimes you just have to tune out certain things. And when we were ready to shoot, I had set the audio levels for the drum. But then he began talking. I wasn't aware this was going to be the sort of instructional piece with a meandering lecture, occasionally pausing for monstrous loud and fast drumming. I called “cut.” I had him start up again, but this time I had the two sound channels coming into the camera radically split, so that one will serve as the voice, the other, the drumming.
After that, things flowed quite well.
For the last three days me and Russ have been editing the Luminaria film, “The Prometheus Thesis.” It will screen this coming Saturday (March 15) at the Kress building on Houston Street. The piece will be on a loop (with one or two other projects) on a plasma screen in one of the storefront windows of the Kress. Also, it will be projected in the back space inside the Kress Building (there will be two spaces for film projects to be projected — the lobby area, and a larger room in the rear). This projected screening will happen around seven o'clock.
There is probably another two nights of tinkering to get the piece where I want it. But we've locked the version that will screen this weekend. My plan is to add a bit more Foley, add some minor but necessary digital visual effects, and beef up the third act. Hell, it's only a four minute piece, but it has shaped up nicely. Anna's performance continues to impress and amuse me.
Wednesday I showed the current cut to Hector Garcia (one of the actors) and he seemed to like it well enough. I had dropped by URBAN-15 to give Hector a copy of the DVD. Herman showed up. I didn't have the original miniDV tape, but Herman used the computer in the basement studio to rip my DVD and convert the file to QuickTime. He then compressed to for the web. I thanked him and stuck the file on my jumpdrive. But the problem is, he didn't take into account that the piece was composed for a wide screen format, and the image is stretched vertically.
I want to post the piece on line, but, I think I'll wait until I can have the opportunity to compress it myself. Hopefully I'll have it up by Friday.
“The Prometheus Thesis” will also be on view at my friend Alston's art event this Friday. Here is the inside skinny in her own words:
“I want to invite you to an art event Friday, March 14, from 5:30 to 8:30pm. It will be at Magnolia Gardens, 2030 N. Main (on the corner of Main and Ashby by SAC). There will be art on display (including some of mine), opportunities to make art, free food, beer and wine. This will be an evening to connect with the San Antonio arts community and to celebrate creativity.”
I'll certainly be there. And amid all the art, free eats and drinks, there will be a viewing and listening station which will screen, on a loop, “The Prometheus Thesis,” as well as a short experimental piece or two by Russ.
Get there early, because the parking can get damn dense in the hipster neighborhood. Also, you don't wanna get there only to find the free buffet reduced to Cheetos, French onion dip, and light beer. Come on out!
Wednesday morning, I headed over to a certain west side taqueria to have breakfast with Deborah and Ramon. But because I'm a bit strapped at the moment (though the Luminaria folks say they'll mail my 200 clam honorarium Monday morning), I had to consolidate the change I keep in a battered ceramic atole mug with the change I keep in the ashtray in my truck and head off to the HEB and feed it all into their change machine (ah, yeah, banks used to do this sort of stuff and they did it free). Eight bucks!
I was a bit late. But we had a nice time. Deborah is building a mandala on the sidewalk across the plaza from the Alamo. She'll have an Indian (from India) dancer moving about in the mandala. And before her event, she'll have Ramon (an Indian, in the native-American sense) give a blessing. Ramon will also be showing a few of the canvasses from his Forget the Alamo show he had Friday at Centro Cultural Aztlan.
Here we have it from Deborah's invite:
“You are invited invited to Luminaria, a city-wide celebration of the creative spirit Saturday, March 15th! I will be making a Sand Mandala on the plaza across the street from the Alamo from 12:30- 6:00. Dr. Sreedhara will perform a Mandala Dance at 6:15 and 7:15. Ramon Vasquez y Sanchez will be displaying some works from his Alamo Art Show around the mandala from 6-12. Native American Blessing at 6:00. Erik Bosse will be showing an original film in the Kress Building. We hope to see you there! Deborah.”
And she added this black and white photo of Ramon, me, Dr. Sreedhara, and herself. We're standing where the mandala will be. You might recognize the Alamo in the background.
Spring is here. The last couple of days have been sunny and warmish. I've been back on the bike trail three days in a row. Mid-seventies. And here we see, finally, the trees waking up.
By May 1, there will be that beautiful pale green mist of young shoots and tender leaves sprayed across the whole city. The crickets are waking up. And the ladybugs are landing on me, at least twice a day.
This had better be the light at the end of a very long and dank and miserable winter. Monday was a prime example of what we had way too often the last few months here in San Antonio. I was buried under the covers, dead to the world, when the phone rang. It was Carlos. He and Shelly were sitting in a dead Windstar van between their home in Seguin and the South Park Mall here in San Antonio where Shelly works. Carlos is the kind of guy I can't say no to. He's a loyal friend who's always there for me. Besides, I had no other plans.
I fired up the truck and head off. I'm not too sure what time it was because daylight savings had happened over the weekend, and I wasn't always sure what clock on what electronic device I had reset. But it was early. And pissing down like a champ.
Carlos and Shelly were in surprisingly good spirits. The van, it seemed, had finally reached the terminal point with an ailing transmission. It was hauled off for good.
I did get to hear all about Carlos' recent gig as a featured extra in a new Disney film to be titled “Will.” He's tenaciously working the acting circuit in Austin. Wisely he's making a name for himself as a dependable extra. And because I've used him as an actor, I know that the people who hire Carlos are getting more than they expected. He's slowly moving along, and soon I'm sure he'll be appreciated as the talented and committed actor who I know him to be.
And then these film folks will give him the money to buy a dependable car.
I know most people think I'm completely on top of things. The consummate professional. Yeah, I get that a lot. Why, just last night I had a friend ask me to vet his investment portfolio. (The fact that he's five, and the portfolio is a three-ring binder full of photos of plastic dinosaurs and Matchbox cars should be considered irrelevant.)
Therefore, it might surprise — nay, shock — most of my readers to learn that while I was digging around in the piles of miscellany here on my desk, I came across a check from the San Antonio Museum of Art of 150 bucks. What??? Wait, that should read: What the Fuck??? The check was dated April. Of last year.
I can really use that money. Tomorrow I'm running it through my account and hope there will be no problems. They'd better not cross me. You know, just saying….
Hey! Maybe I should dig a bit deeper. Take the paperwork strata all the way down to the tabletop. Who knows what else I might discover?