Weird Stuff

I admit I have an unhealthy fetish for abandoned and crumbling buildings. When we were together, K & I used to have an amazing time exploring (often by breaking in) dilapidated hunks of urban blight all over the world

It should come as no surprise, then, how exciting it was for me that we spent the day yesterday shooting in a disused cold war bunker built by Stalin to house the Politburo members and their families in the even of a US nuclear strike.

As it stands now, the structure is privately owned, and being repurposed for many uses; airsoft games, tours (complete with a mock nuclear attack), a haunted house, even a karaoke bar and nightclub. Still, the fucking thing is HUGE, and most of it is a waterlogged ruin.

In it’s day, however, a tunnel ran directly to the bunker from the Kremlin, and at more than 300 feet below ground, it’s likely the beast would have survived anything we threw at Moscow.

The pictures I posted here are from my phone, but I have great shots – and even better video – that will be going up once I get home. For now, let me just say yesterday was unassailably cool.

The Romans believed that Fortuna, the goddess of chance and destiny, moved your life slowly on a wheel so that you were always either on the way up, or on the way down. In between these parabola, events could describe mini-orbits that made the trip seem unstable, but on a long enough timeline, you were always somewhere on the big wheel.

I’ve spent the last four years or so making the downward trip, and it hasn’t been fun. The wheel is massive enough that it seems as if you’re wallowing around the bottom transit forever, but finally (I hesitate to say), I feel like I’m back on the rising circuit. While it’s true that I’m still broke ($14.73 in the bank at this writing), and still buried under projects that are about as creatively satisfying as frying apple pies at McDognuts, all of that seems likely to change.

Cowboys & Engines is going really well. We haven’t even set dates yet, but that’s because a lot is happening behind the scenes. A lot I can’t talk about — yet. Some people are going to be working on this project that I can’t wait to announce, and every day more doors open to make it bigger and bigger. To say that the scope and potential of this short have grown by a factor of ten since it was first conceived isn’t hyperbole at all. This movie is now becoming something that could transform the lives of everyone working on it. Well, maybe with the exception of James Deen, ‘cuz he’s on his way to being a star in his own right, so fuck him… ;)

Another thing I can’t really talk about yet is the low-budget thriller I was the DP on last November. As so often happens with films, there have been several snags on the path to delivery and distribution, but that mostly seems to have been solved. Once we finish a few days of re-shoots & pickups, it’s on its way to AFM screenings, festivals, and a theatrical release in both the US and the UK. I cannot tell you how excited I am to go sit in a movie theater and watch a movie that I shot. It may not be the greatest film ever, but for that 90 minutes, it will be to me.

Then there’s Russia. Assuming our visa’s come through as planned, on the 8th I’ll be heading to Moscow for two weeks to shoot the sculpture of an artist named Grisha for an art collective in Dallas. Not only do I get to travel to a country I’ve never been to on someone else’s dime, I’m getting paid pretty well for the privilege. When I get back, there’s work waiting on the internet series I was cast in (I’m their version of Walter White,) Behind the Green Door with Paul Thomas (which I’m also very excited about), a couple of parodies with il Douché, the completion of Rob Black’s Snow White (maybe… we’ll see…), the Nightmoves Show and shooting for Stormy in Tampa, etc., etc.

Plus I’ll be building a new editing system as soon as I get home, cramming in a lot of work for x3sixty (Paul Fishbein’s television channel), and holding callbacks for Cowboys & Engines. I’ll also finally be able to spill some of the rather large beans I’ve been keeping to myself about this thing.

On the home front, LL has moved in with me for a few months (much to Vega’s dismay) after leaving her boyfriend. We aren’t dating, and actually haven’t even banged (yet) since she’s been here, but we get along so well I have to admit it’s nice. In a very subtle way, it has reminded me what’s it’s like to be in a relationship with a real person. The only issue has been her dog’s fascination with my cats, and the cats’ irresistible desire to whack said dog when she isn’t looking.

I also want to mention that last week, I went to the live theatrical broadcast of the Rifftrax guys mocking Manos: The Hands of Fate, and it was awesome. If you don’t know Rifftrax, it’s basically the modern iteration of Mystery Science Theater 3000. If you don’t know Manos, it is (unlike merely foul movies such as Plan 9 From Outer Space) truly one of the worst films ever made, and it was one of the most popular episodes of MST3K (An exhaustive history of Manos is available here). If you don’t know Mystery Science Theater 3000, well… abandon all hope and kill yourself.

I’m assuming they have some form of internet in Moscow (coal-powered, I imagine) so I’ll try to blog from there if I don’t get the chance to post again before I go. In the meantime, I leave you with this small reminder of Clint Eastwood’s amazing performance at the RNC last night:

Well, when an adult male is chasing a female with intent to commit rape, I shoot the bastard. That’s my policy.”

It’s been almost two years since I last posted this. Here, Tim Minchin performs what is, without doubt, the most awesome song about relationships ever:

image

How I spent my evening…

I didn’t know Toys-R-Us had a “My Little Whore” aisle…

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Sometimes, when I think of what that girl means to me, it’s all I can do to keep from telling her. — Reg Smythe, Andy Capp