If Only de Chirico Had Painted Machu Picchu

There are two people I know who are having to travel to attend funerals this week. And I was speaking with another friend the other day who has had three important people in her life recently pass way. And so it would seem petty of me to bemoan being alone on Valentines Day. And though I do find the notion of some woman swooning over me appealing, the cold truth is, it just ain’t happening. So, I’ll do my best to remind myself that I have quite a few friends who, though not apparently swooning over me, might find my passing poignant enough to travel to attend my funerary services. So, guys, I’ll rewrite my will so as to be interred in Fiji or Machu Picchu. Start saving up now.

Today was about downtime. I’ve been busy shooting my Neighborhood Film Project short movie these last few days. Tomorrow is the final day of shooting. And then the editing begins. Right now I’m preparing my video and audio files. I’ve been shooting on a Canon 7D. To make the video files work best with my version of Final Cut (video editing program) I’ve needed to transcode all of them into the Apple ProRes format. This is fairly slow on my computer. About a minute of reformatting for each minute of video. Also, I just finished going through the SD card from my solid state audio recorder (the Zoom H4n). It had audio clips from 4 days of shooting on my project, as well as from the night I gathered sound on a short film being shot by PrimaDonna Productions. (The Zoom allows you to save to various files, but I didn’t bother to do that, so everything was in one big folder. But it was easy enough to separate them.) I’m not really looking forward to matching the audio to the video. It’s not that hard, but it’s tedious. There’s a piece of software that runs about a hundred bucks that does it for you. I’m sorely tempted.

As I’m typing this, the MPEG Streamclip program (it’s free and simply awesome!) is chomping through my video, as it turns the clips into something more palatable for my editing system. I look over to my other computer’s screen every so often. There’s a little window which shows images from the video. There’s some great stuff! I love all my actors and crew. My script might not have been terribly strong. My shooting, uneven. And to be honest, I’m not sure we’re going to win. But the truth is, I captured some wonderful performances.

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An aside. I am listening to my blip.fm channel. “The State I’m In,” by Belle & Sebastian just came up. I adore this song. Here’s what I wrote on my blip.fm page about this tune: “Though Jack Black’s explosive reaction to Belle and Sebastian in High Fidelity cracks me up, I do love this song.”

Click here for a taste of saccharine goodness:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=soMbZ7eLKlM

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Tomorrow Jacinto Guevara is showing up for my penultimate video shoot for my current film project. Jacinto grew up on southern California. He’s been here in San Antonio quite a few years longer than I have. His paintings are vibrant and colorful and alive. His portraits are quite magical. But I think I prefer his paintings of homes and other buildings. He distorts perspective in a way I can’t quite understand. He gives luminosity and life to the cityscape. He makes me think of de Chirico. Here’s a webpage with some great images of Jacinto’s works:

http://www.slabcinema.com/jacinto/

Tomorrow he’s going to play a fictional Southtown artist who has just finished a rendition of a robbery suspect in the manner of a police sketch artist.

Oh, and my on-the-scene reporter will be played by the luscious and madly-talented Nikki Young (my dear friend who I believe is one of the few people still reading my blog). (Hey, Nikki!)

Following the news crew bit, I’m off with Lisa to shoot some b-roll of her out and about in the environment. And then, we need to shoot a short scene of her at home. And I’m hoping we can use Deborah’s apartment.

Yeah, and I also have to shoot an insert of the close-up of a TV playing the news. Maybe I’ll shoot that Wednesday.

I’m also excited about the music component to this piece. I reached out to a FaceBook friend who I’ve never met before. Lisa Arnold (AKA Falling Lisa). I don’t know who friended whom. But over the months (years?) I’ve been amazed at the depth and breadth of her musical influences. Much of her work which she’s presented on social media sites is of the singer-song-writer style. Often just her and a guitar. But there are also a few tantalizing clips of her more experimental side. She called me earlier today and said she’s sending some audio files over soon. I can’t wait!

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