Monday, October 24, 2011

Plan 9 Film Competition

Huzzah! The time has come citizens and denizens of the Internet, to cast your gaze upon the entries of the Plan 9 From Outer Space Film Competition held by Darkstone pictures! Long time readers of the blog will realise how I am a bit of a fan of the original 1959 cult classic sci-fi horror film and it's eventually upcoming remake as I have blogged about it before. Good news! All that hard word and tricky cinematography (I tried so hard to make it look good, when really I could have made it deliberately abysmal...) my entry to the film competition from way back has been accepted and bam! Voting for round 2 is open!


You go to there and it will have all the entries for your viewing pleasure! I recommend mine: The 9th Plan for the one you should vote for, but in all fairness I suppose you could vote for someone else if you think theirs is the best, or worst, depending on how you're really judging these things by...

BUT YES, VOTING! Why is it important? Because if I get into Round 2 I get to make another film (and we all know I love that) and EVEN BETTER it gets to be on the DVD release of the remake by Darkstone pictures!

DUDE! I WANT TO BE A ON DVD! DON'T YOU WANT ME TO BE ON A DVD? YOU'D LOVE ME TO BE ON A DVD! (It's better than VHS! And oh boy does it walk all over Beta-max!)

For those averse to clicking on that link and scrolling:

Here's the idea: You have until November 20th to vote for your favourite. Email with the subject "VOTE" and in the message say the name of the film you'd like to choose. Mine again is called "The 9th Plan". I could tell you the name's of the other entries in all fairness... or you could just visit the website/Darkstone's youtube channel  to find what the other films are called you lazy person.

Yeah. I feel like I should've tried... less... because as I recall there was the idea to reimagine Plan 9 From Outer Space (to go with the idea of the remake) but there was also a separate prize for the worst entry... (this competition is being updated really slowly, far apart, and doesn't seem to be entirely consistent but shhh, I might win it) and other people's have gone for way more overboard cheesy bad special effects whereas I tried to blend the bad and cheap paper sets with something newer and better. Why did I even bother working so hard to make it look like I had 3 walls to shoot when I only had 2? Could've had a brick interior for half of the space ship and gotten away with it! So everyone else's is this brilliantly awful accomplishment in deliberately poor special effects or quality and mine tries to look good while attributing it's "bad" qualities as homage. Oh no, I'm my own worst critic.

Awww.... oh well.

Though I like Plan 9.1 From Outer Space for it's costume's and that glowing grave thing. That was cool... I too tried to mimic the original costumes but they did it better. They had better make up and their zombie was bald. Damn.

But the description of the competition says "the top 2" will go onto the next round so yeah! Doesn't matter that 9.1's costumes are better than mine (dude did you see Andrew's alien uniform though? You can't tell but it's actually purple, just like in the coloured version of the original film) because even if they get more votes than me, I think I can get more votes than the other entries. YAY!

But ignore all that positive praise I just had for other entries... forget I said it and vote for me instead, please. I don't think I'd be allowed to give you any incentives for voting so you're going to have to rely on your own sense of self-satisfaction for participating in the greatest tradition: Internet democracy. Yep. I hope it brings a warm and fuzzy feeling to your heart to know that you were one email closer to getting me on a plastic disk.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Dear Tumblr, we should see other people.

Oh poor Tumblr. You are an oddity.

Let's talk about Tumblr for a moment. It is one of those websites that doesn't like user feedback. It goes "I want to change something" and it does, and everyone complains. "Isn't that about standard for a website? I mean, everyone complains when Facebook updates" you're saying. Well yes, actually quite a few changes in layout have been unimportant and met with criticism but then died down when everyone got used to it (and could no longer remember what the old layout even was). I complained once when the dashboard changed and moved all the helpful things I wanted to look at to a new page off the dashboard and it didn't seem as optimal as the old system and just an update for the sake of an update! Awful! Then I started running a 2nd blog and suddenly it made sense! It was really convenient the way they'd set it out once I had 2 blogs.

But then they started messing with the ask box. They limited the amount of messages you could send in an hour, which OK fair enough make a vague amount of sense when you think about it from the perspective of stopping spam. Youtube has a similar system, but it does it in a smaller time frame so as to not be really annoying (take a hint David Karp). People were really annoyed at that! Especially the social ones (on a website that has it's own little culture of being socially awkward). Well that is such an annoying thing to do why didn't they just stop us from sending links instead? Oh then they did that. Then they got rid of the ability to press "enter" in ask boxes. What? Why? What possible reason could you have for bunching text together? OK well at least that's where it ends... oh no wait it doesn't. They give us 500 character limits. What? That basically destroys any attempts to communicate effectively.

Our entire social interaction with people we know solely on tumblr is turned into an even more limited and constrained messaging system that a youtube comment (and we all know how great that is for communication).

There was a rumor that they had also imposed a reblog limit of 100 per hour. I tested this and found this to be untrue. Whether or not they got rid of this (I doubt it, that involves listening to people) or whether this never was true I don't know. It seemed like such a stupid thing to enforce as it is actually kinda difficult to amount that many posts to reblog in under an hour.

So people complain and Karp goes "NO! NO I DON'T WANT THE WEBSITE TO BE WHAT YOU WANT! LET ME HAVE IT MY WAY!" instead of listening to everyone complain over actually important things that significantly lower the functionality and our enjoyment of the site. I thought good business was listening to the consumer but no. Karp is insistent that it's his website, he can do what he want. Fair enough, it is his website and as long as people keep going there he will keep doing what he want. Not that it's all bad though! Please do not think I think him and his team the intellectual equivalent of intelligent monkeys with the intent on ticking off the human race. No he's had some good ideas, like making ask boxes have the "answer privately" feature which was a massive improvement to the ask box system and actually seemed to arise from people's habits of answering people in their ask boxes instead of publishing the answer, a habit that ilyketurtles would do constantly for everyone who wasn't anonymous. That or they just thought it'd make sense. Who knows? Probably the latter.

Ah! But this is not why I have been absent! No, actually I've stopped going on because it was taking up too much time. It just wasn't practical to stay on it for hours each day making sure I never missed a post. I just didn't do much else while I was on the computer, distracted by this great big collection of images, videos, posts, music, everything. It was awful to my productivity and made me feel like I was wasting too much of time doing absolutely nothing. So I've followed in the footsteps of Mark aka Ilyketurtles who decided one day that he'd quit Tumblr for a week and see how that helped him with his study/life/etc and then after a week of being free from it's grasp realised "WOW! I HAVE FREE TIME! I CAN DO THINGS!" and all that jazz so he left, again. Permanently, with the exception of a few posts updating this and that, like his trip to Spain and such. OK well oddly enough that was actually my advice that I gave to him... sorta. He blogged about how Tumblr took up a lot of his life so I gave him a motivational speech and said "DO IT! No excuses, just log off and do it! Even if you fail you'll have learned a few things in the attempt!" and a few more things, I can't remember what but then he's like "Ok guys, thanks to (me) encouraging me I'm going to quit Tumblr for a week. See you all then!" and I got a few new followers. Then he quit for real and I was thinking "gee I sure hope no one blames this on me..." But they haven't. And that's good because he did all the work, it was his idea in the first place I just encouraged him and there are probably a lot more factors than just me going "DO IT! DO IT!". I miss his posts on my dashboard, but he's off living life free from the time consuming grasp of Tumblr so he'll probably do a lot better in his exams now. Then he can get into UWA doing medicine so that'll be awesome. Go Mark!

So yes, I'm following my advice to others, and leaving Tumblr for a while. I'm not going to do what he did and leave permanently, just probably until I finish my next essay. But now I know how easy it is just to not log on every time I go on the computer I will probably learn to use the internet for research more effectively. I'll learn to do other things with my life and maybe achieve something.

So leave Tumblr! Join us and join the real world! Never mind the sunlight, you'll get used to it. They've got lotions for that anyway.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Filming in Fremantle.

So the cool thing about my degree is I get offers to film bands. Yeah, cool huh? So that's what I did last night. I traveled all the way to Fremantle to film a band that I still can't remember the name of. Yeah, I don't remember the name of bands I work for... I didn't actually get told what the band name was until I was there and now I have forgotten (but I've got them saying their name on tape so it's all good). I was a bit worried before I got there because I a) hadn't filmed a live performance before so wasn't sure how well I'd do, b) didn't know what I was doing this for exactly or what was going on other than "film this" until I got there, but it was surprisingly simple. There wasn't a big set up, it was just the band wanting me to film the performance for promotional purposes and were like "you think a static shot at the back would be fine?" That was ridiculously easy. Set up camera on tripod, adjust settings for light, press record.

Well yay. Recorded one set at the back, recorded the 2nd nearer to the front. Both times were from the left and the drummer was on the right so the poor drummer in his seat position kept getting partly covered by the dancing crowd. There was this one guy in white that I wish I could just film him. He danced in a very... interesting manner. Even when I was to the side, separated from the dancing crowd he still managed to dance to the side and into frame so the footage just has this one guy popping in and out in a strange way continuously. It's brilliant. I also learned that if there's a dance floor, like wood, that is set on top of the carpet floor then don't put a trip on that dance floor... things shake... and you will need to hold the tripod and camera continuously to minimize vibrations. Woops. I don't think it'll matter than much... 

While I was filming this old lady (not like grey hair "what's the sonny? My hearing aid is on the blink again" old) kept looking at me which seemed reasonable. Random guy with a big camera in the back of the room, sure a few people would look. Then afterwards I went to talk to the singer and the lady corners me and starts talking about how she knows what I'm doing etc and it was a bit uncomfortable and freaky until she explained that she a) taught at Murdoch for 22 years in media b) is the singers' parent and thus of course she knows why I'm here. OK well that's good.

Oh and she asked me if I'd be interested in a multi-cam shoot sometime so hell yeah. Potential new project to be part of! Increase experience and resume, obtain job in the industry in the future. Huzzah!

Oh! And the awesome thing was that I didn't get lost on my way there! I always get lost when I go to new places even when I have a map but this time it was easy. The train station, the place my friend lived that I needed to go to get the camera equipment and the pub formed a triangle on a map and so I only had to walk down a street and then turn a corner. Achievement unlocked: navigate simple street layout.

Also, if there are any local bands reading this that want a low budget music video feel free to contact me! I love doing things for no money for bands (that's not sarcasm, I'm a film student - it's what we do).

And that's the story of how I went to sleep at 3am and woke up so tired that I still want a nap at its 2 in the afternoon. Worth it.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Social Networking Porn... (you heard me)

Just imagine for a moment... that Facebook was filled with porn stars.

No, not your slut "friends" from highschool you don't talk to but still have on your friends list. Real naked people... that talk to you.

There are websites that manage to combine porn with social networking, where you can look at photos of models and favourite them, then add them as friends and say hello. That is... the weirdest combination of websites I have ever encountered. Could you imagine how awkward that would be?

"Hey, how's it going?"

"It's going well, I'm just casually masturbating to images of you also masturbating."

Part of porn is the detachment from reality, the distancing yourself from the reality of what you're watching and focusing on the fantasy of what's in front of you. It's removing you from the need for social interaction or romanticism so you can satisfy base urges. So yeah, it really is completely about objectifying women so one doesn't feel guilt. If it wasn't based on fantasy then normal porn videos are actually really homoerotic when you think about it. Seriously, you're deliberately watching a guy get naked and masturbating to a close up of his massive erection (which puts you to shame) while you only get to see the head of a woman as she performs fellatio. You're jerking off to a guy's dick as he moans. Then there's the close ups of his backside and balls as we get the under the legs shot to show off only half of the woman's rear or just her crotch as he does her. Once again, there's a whole lot of focus on that cock isn't there?

OK well this website I've found doesn't have guys on it. Yay! No need to worry about all that latent repressed homosexuality going on (because admit it, if there's a fat guy or a guy with a small dick on porn it turns you off. Of course if you watch only lesbian porn then congratulations! No sudden realisation that you masturbating to a guy unloading himself onto a girls face is kinda weird don't you think?) No, instead they've found a way to make it weird by making it have a social element. Forums. Things. It's no longer just the comment section of a porn site where you can all anonymously comment on "wow she was hot, that was a great fap", you get to go onto a models profile, read about her, add her as a friend and "favourite" her porn.

It's so weird... because suddenly these aren't strangers, those are people you know staring back at you from the computer screen. It becomes personal. It becomes uncomfortable...

And there's a profile! You can write your own profile, with those questions about basic info only with a few things about sex added in there just to make sure everyone knows everything about your sexual fantasies. See these models dress up and so you've got your geeky porn, your tattooed girls, and so on, and everyone can see on your profile which models you've "favourited".

Yeah... it's a place where you can be really open about what you do in your spare time, alone... you know, the things you edit out on all your other blogs and online journals.

And the people you're writing it about are still there, able to read it and know everything you have to say on the matter of their breasts or other womanly parts... their womanly parts!

I'm all for complimenting women on their looks but it just gets really awkward if the reason why you're saying it is they posed nude for the internet... perhaps it gets less awkward if you get used to it? Who knows?

...not that I speak from experience, this is of course all speculation based on my discovery of a site. It's amazing how much someone can say about porn without being a stereotypical male consumer of it...

...yep... totally innocent here...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

It was awesome.

Yeah. AWESOME. They've finally gotten the films good near the end of this franchise and just in time too! Hell yeah for David Yates. (Review continued after my story of how I got there)

I decided that I would go see the midnight screening (and the rescreening of Part 1 that happened before it) at Joondalup. Problem with this is I couldn't tell my mother what I was doing as she doesn't like Harry Potter. Oh well, simple enough, go with a friend and say I was doing something else. I bought tickets online and printed them off. That's important to the story later on.

Of course there were costumed people. I wasn't ("yeah just going out... dressed as a Wizard mum... no I'm not seeing the Harry Potter premier that's silly...") but there were some interesting costumes. Death eaters, Hermione, Ron, Luna - but no Voldemort. I suppose no one had the money/time/effort to make a proper prosthetic face.

I had to go to the counter to get a proper ticket printed off. My part 2 ticket worked fine and they're like "here, ticket" and then they couldn't find a trace of my part 1 ticket (despite working on it for 15+ minutes). Eventually they gave up and decided to print me off a ticket anyway (which said $0.00 on it so it looked like I was getting in for free) which means I could've just photoshopped the thing and go in for free!

Watched part 1, obviously. Yay! It was in Cinema 6 and part 2 in 2D was in Cinema 5 so people who were seeing it in 3D stayed seated (not many of them were there) and people like me (nearly everyone) filed through to the secret conjoining passageway between the two cinemas at the front (that's where the mysterious green EXIT sign leads to... the next room. Whodathunkit?) Well anyway, somehow in the slow supervised walk between the rooms I had dropped my ticket for part 2. Oh no! I wasn't going to try and get through scores of fans to search for it on the floor 10 metres back and lose sight of my friend so I flashed my part 1 ticket at them (covering the bit that said "part 1") and they let me in. They didn't tear it, they barely even looked at it. It said "Harry Potter" yep, that's good enough!

Once again, I could've seen both movies without paying a cent. But I did. Because I support cinema. I'm a good guy in that way. You should also be good and pay for films. Piracy is wrong. Rar.

The audience was not too bright and a bit too eager. They thought that when the lights down it meant the movie was about to start. Wrong. Previews. Every single time a preview started they cheered and clapped and then they realised that real movies don't start with "check the classification earlier to the release date". The Green Lantern trailer nearly got a standing ovation before it even started. Oh audience, you so silly.

Then it really did start. AND VOLDEMORT WAS THERE. AND THE AUDIENCE REALLY  MADE NOISE! And then they calmed down... and it was on. Movie time. The silent anticipation and enthrallment of the audience was only broken by little bits of laughter at the funny parts, or cheers at the bits they'd been waiting for for so long like the kiss or the line "NOT MY DAUGHTER YOU B****!" (Totally OK, I will accept that some parts of the film are very cheer worthy and it is the last Harry Potter film so it didn't disrupt the viewing. Dialogue wasn't really cheered over so it was all good)

The deaths were sad. I didn't cry, but I'm sure other people did. Another interesting thing about it was that it was a bit bloodier than I'd have expected. There is blood in this film. There is a lot of blood in this film (for a Harry Potter film, not for a horror film. Let's be relative here). I don't want to spoil it by saying what parts have blood, but the film is definitely a lot darker than the series humble beginnings. It fits with the tone of the book. It's a great film and shame on those who gave up after #4 or 5 of the film franchise (you quit just before it got good).

Go see it! Go, go! It was awesome!


I passed my drivers test! HELL YEAH!


No more failing because the assessors don't know the road rules, or find some fault in my usage of the clutch that no other assessor thinks is a flaw, no more varying subjectivity of judgement of my skills! I HAVE PASSED! And now I have to wrack up 25 hours of driving time so I can progress onto my P's and drive by myself! (Yes, 25 hours, I was in before they changed it to 50 so it doesn't apply to me. Screw you more recent learner drivers!)

I was dizzy, I had stayed up past 3am that day because of the Harry Potter premier and I still passed with ease. Awww yeaahhh. It's really annoying that it took me this long because it is actually really easy. I knew that I failed before because of those freak random occurrences of situations I'd never encountered before or bad split second judgements I made under pressure. The test isn't hard. You drive around in circles, park, do a u-turn, that's it.

I rock. I finally did it without messing up. BAM!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Supanova! (Starring Optimus Prime and Corin Nemec)

I went to Supanova for the first time today! Yay! It was pretty awesome fun once I knew what I was doing and not just walking around going "I'm not buying that" and started walking around going "I'm buying that" (a remarkable change in behaviour that has led to me being completely broke).

I decided against dressing up (my alien from Plan 9 From Outer Space costume is somewhat hot, itchy and hard to get into because it's got these tiny little thingies to do something and I'm not a tailor I can't describe what they are) but that was ok because there were other people there to look at. There were some pretty cool stormtroopers, deadpool, lady deadpool, a few poison ivy's, some batman (one was really good Christopher Nolan movie costume instead of the classic comic book costume. No one was classic, all modern era) aaaaand anime characters that I don't know and never will (with the exception of L, because I've watched Death Note and it is awesome).

First thing I did was walk down Artist's Alley and at the end was Dan Green and Neil Kaplan. Guess which one I was more excited for? That's right! Neil Kaplan (good on you for not guessing Dan Green. Sure he is probably pretty cool, but I never watched Yu-gi-oh as a kid aaaannnd I just looked on his Wikipedia page and found out he did the voice of MEWTWO in Pokemon: Mewtwo returns along with some other Pokemon voices, damnit he has become interesting to me and I was around him tons without even saying hello! Damnit...) Neil Kaplan you may know from his roles as Optimus Prime in Transformers: Robots in Disguise, Tychus in Starcraft 2... or... Hawkmon in Digimon (he has also done other things). Anyway he was a pretty awesome guy I must say, very funny and happy to interact with people, he took a photo with me really enthusiastically (I didn't actually ask for that specifically... I said "can I get a photo?" and what I meant was "can I take a photo of you?" but he took it to mean "get behind my table so we've got the Starcraft 2 banner backdrop and get this person to take a photo of us together yeah!") Well I had decided that I was going to get someone to prank call my mother (by saying "Happy Birthday!" to her when it's not her birthday - which she doesn't tell people about. It's funny to me OK?) and there was a really long line for Tom Felton so I decided hey! Why not Tychus?

Well Neil being the awesome guy he is agreed on the condition that I do some community service before March 9th instead of a donation which I told him would be really easy for me as I've volunteered at the Salvos (I can walk in, go into the back where you customers can't go and start sorting through donations whenever I want, they know me from my volunteeringness. You guys should do it sometime, it's fun). I called her but she didn't answer so he was like "that's OK, we're going to call her up later, come to my panel and we'll do it afterwards." Awesome!

Well the panel was a Q & A with Neil, Shane McCarthy (he writes Transformers comic books along with Batman) and Julia White (her relation to this transformers filled panel: she plays Sam Witwicky's mother in the Michael Bay films) and it was hilarious. They joked around about the idea of a gay transformer based on the film's hair and make up trailer that they called snapticon/snapitron and then when Shane tried to get away from the topic and someone asked him about what other kind of comics he'd like to write he said "I'd love to do Robin" and then Julia made a quip about "as in Batman and - ambiguously gay crime fighters" and so Shane was trying to come up with a way to say he'd like to write Batman without it sounding gay. It took him a few tries before was like "I. Would. Like. To. Write. Batman. Scripts. With women. Lots of hot women in them that I can get on top of."

In the latter half Neil mentions how much he enjoys interacting with the fans (this should be immediately apparent when you meet him) and mentions to the entire audience for the panel that he's going to call my mother to wish her a happy birthday (he saw me in the 4th row). Now not only does he think that it's my mother's birthday, but so do his fans! (ahahahaha) Note: at this point he has no idea that this is all a joke.

The panel finishes, he comes outside and I call my mother.

Me: Hey mum what's up? I've got someone here who wants to say something to you.
Neil (in the voice of Tychus): Hey there Jennifer, I hear it's your Birthday and I'd like to wish you a Happy Birthday.
Mum: Um, who is this?
Neil: I've been told you'd know me from a little game called Starcraft...
Mum: (I don't know, something about how much she really doesn't know what that is)
Neil: I see... your son is lying to me... well don't worry I'm going to give him a good marine boot up his a**, I'm going to give the phone back so you can chastise him.
Me: Hahaha talk to you later Mum bye.

Turns out my mother had actually thought it hilarious so Neil was not at all angry about me lying to him and getting him to prank call my mother. See? He's a pretty cool guy. Now to keep my end of the bargain and do that community service.

Other things that happened: I SHOOK HANDS WITH CORIN NEMEC! It was near the end of the day so didn't have $30 for an autograph but was walking near the spot where he was and he gets up and walks off towards the exhibitors booths and there's no crowd around him so I move a little and go "hey" and he's like "hey" and I'm like "I loved you in Stargate" and he's like "thanks" and shook my hand. I think he also lost a little bit of weight since his days as Jonas Quinn. What a guy.

I wish I had gotten the autograph of James Masters, Gareth David-Lloyd, Sean Maher, Corin Nemec and David Nykl but that would've costed $30 each so I was obviously not prepared to part with that money that I'd already spent. Oh well... one day...

I said hello to Ben Templesmith who is an awesome artist and has quite a few Eisner Award nominations (which are still pretty cool) and when I asked about comic book writing he redirected me to Tom Taylor. I also got signed copies of Star Wars: Invasion (vol 1: Refugees and vol 2: Rescues) by Tom Taylor and had aforementioned little chat about becoming a writer (he was also cool and liked talking with people). He was kinda forgetful and after signing my books/talking to some guy at the same time (and me) he wasn't sure if I'd payed him or not so he asked. Having a conscience I said no and gave him money, which he looked at for a moment and asked if it was the right amount (good to see that once one gets a job as a writer you don't need to know simple maths. YAY! Personal future here I come!). He also mentioned how he'd signed something to a guy dressed as Wally (or Waldo depending on what country you're in) and realised later that he hadn't actually paid for it so he had to find Wally in a large crowd. So note to anyone who wants to steal something: dress as Wally (they're never find you!)

Other things I got signed: Album cover for Indestructible by Disturbed by David Finch (not David Fincher... *sad face*). I didn't get to meet him, he was busy doing a commission of Batman (that or he was just drawing Batman despite no one asking him too. It was a really good drawing of Batman too, he should be proud) so the line didn't move (even though I was only a few people away from him...). A volunteer noticed this and helpfully went "OK who just wants something signed?", then collected the objects, got him to sign them between shading of Batman's face and returned them. Yay!

There was a Q & A session with David Nykl (Dr Zelenka from Stargate Atlantis) which was pretty cool but depressing when he mentioned that they'd recently auctioned off the props and bits of the set to Atlantis and so Stargate: Extinction was pretty much, well... extinct... (which I could've guessed from it's wikipedia entry that says that nothing is happening, nothing has been happening for a while, and it has been confirmed to be shelved indefinitely since April... but awwwww maaann)

Before that though was Kevin J. Anderson which is pretty much an incredibly impressive sci-fi author. He was writing multiple Star Wars novels at the same time, his Star Wars anthologies are the highest selling sci-fi anthologies of all time, he has also published tons of other things (some of which is co-authored with his wife) and co-authored 10 Dune books with Frank Herbet's son. It was like whoa, dude you just never stop writing. I have one of his books borrowed from the library which I am looking forward to reading. I didn't get his autograph but would've loved to have enough money to buy one of his books so I could get one.

Oh! Also, Kevin J. Anderson talked about Ewoks and how when he was writing he proposed an idea to explain where they came from. Apparently he thought they were too cute and this didn't make sense, they're just these random cute cuddly koalas so he decided that aha! They could be genetically bred to be so cute and cuddly and be kinda intelligent pets for the rich. They ended up on Endor by accident when a ship carrying a few of them crashed. The humans on board died but the Ewoks survived and were taught how to build their houses by the ships droid (which is why the Ewoks regard C3P0 as a God) so then they built their own little society. Well this was pretty big and had to be approved by Lucas himself because how it effects continuity. Lucas wrote back with a letter that said "Ewoks are cute, because they are cute" and that was the end of that idea. Oh well.

So yeah, it was fun and I will probably go next year too. Yay! Tomorrow I'm going to be reading so much of the things I got there.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Dear Krista

Hey guys guess what! I have a webcomic now!

You may have noticed from my previous posts that it has been my ambition to start a webcomic up for a while now. Well, I have achieved it! Though it is not actually the webcomic I have previously mentioned. Instead it is a different idea that is actually a little bit older, but still awesome. It is called "Dear Krista" and it is a black and white webcomic with no running storyline or characters. It's an absurdist/dark humoured webcomic with single framed images with captions, often featuring anthropomorphised animals or objects, terrible individuals - often insane, and unusual circumstances or made up things. It's kinda like Natalie Dee (by Natalie Dee) meets Pictures for Sad Children (by John Campbell). I feel like there could also be some A Softer World (by Joey Comeau) influence in there but I don't want to say that because other's might not see it, plus the format is quite different. It's not too immediately apparent from what little I've done so far but as I develop it further and post more (a busy schedule of 3 a week) it'll hopefully pick up in interest.

So guys, check it out! It's on Tumblr (I went for the free option). Also tell your friends on Tumblr about it too if you feel like it because really it is not getting much attention right now.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Semester is over! Films are finished!

It was very stressful and sleep deprived near the end but I have survived my overloaded schedule and I am free. Freeeee!

I completed two films this semester. Oh that was a disaster. I had to edit a music video for a local band that is currently in the process of signing up for a record deal (or something like that, but basically it now means I can no longer put it online for the public to view as the copyright issues may get tricky pretty quickly) and I wrote/directed my own narrative film entitled "Memory" (which you can go view here ). Oh boy that was a terrible production... so many things went wrong.

But first: let me talk about the music video. It was for a band called Bastian's Happy Flight which you may have heard if you like the local music scene and actually go outside... which I don't, so I hadn't heard their song until when I was asked to edit the footage which I hadn't seen to it. But don't worry! I had instructions from my director in the form of a few dot points and this lovely storyboard:

Interesting... interesting... I don't think I actually looked closely at this at all. I didn't read it all I just looked at it briefly and went "...uh huh..." The input from the director was pretty minimal but at least he contributed more than anyone else. I'm pretty sure the other 3 people involved (who also made their own documentary then quit and came up with a new production 2 weeks before end of semester) were the most dysfunctional group in the entire unit... oh well.

That's done. I'm going to redo the edit later for the radio edit of the song probably...

So anyhoo, Memory. Oh no not Memory... a film about a man who wakes up with no memory of who he is or how he got there. All he has on him is a cryptic message and 2 mysterious pills. As he wanders around familiar settings trigger flashbacks that eventually reveal a shocking revelation... dun dun dun!

Production was a nightmare. The actors availability was terrible so they were free once or twice a week, on the weekends, normally only once. It was horrible trying to organise everyone together. We kept having to push shooting back further and further so we ended up filming one scene on the 12th and everything else on Friday the 13th. (Dun dun dun!) We also changed locations to over 40kms away from where we had originally filmed and subsequently reshot the entire film. We had to redo the entire thing (minus that one scene) from the beginning in only one day. Needless to say we were forced to exclude a few things like shots for the montage or an entire scene or two... oh well. No, 3. We didn't shoot 3. The film became less than 4 minutes long when we edited if it weren't for me thinking up of a whole new thing we could put at the end from existing footage (our editor had a similar idea, but I forgot it, then came up with it again a few days later... I'm so original.) It was horribly stressful...

The assignment was due midnight on Monday, and on Monday the editor had given me his finished edit and then I got the cinematographer to come into Uni. The editor had gone off to do something so he wouldn't be home until about midnight, then go off and do something else until 7am so he was effectively done with this production and out of any further help. That was terrible seeing as how when we opened the project file it was an earlier edit! Oh no! It was before it even made sense so it was a disaster! I ran out of credit and had to use someone else's phone to repeatedly call the editor urging him to drop whatever and come back so we could do something because you can't colour grade an unfinished work! We're screwed! Aggghhhhhh!

The network crashes the previous day had then led our Tutor to extend the submission date by 12 hours for everyone. That might've been enough for us had we actually got the right things but no! We were screwed! I quickly emailed the tutor asking for even more of an extension as everything was currently going to hell and got another 12 hours. Yes! I got up at 5:40am to travel into Uni before 8 so I could get the project that the editor had put onto two USB's and left hidden in the computer labs at 7am or something and the cinematographer colour graded it.

Too bad the sound was atrocious. It was terrible! The sound guy hadn't responded to any of my texts or messages and was basically fallen off the face of the planet, still haven't heard from him days afterwards the submission date. Oh well. I had to start doing his job for him, (note: I never want to do someone else's role ever and I doubt anyone else does either. Group work on films is not like group presentations, if you slack off in your specific role then the entire production suffers and you will not be carried by other people) but I am not a good sound guy so I got my friend Eleni to work on it. She did sound for her films and was more adept at these things than I am. I basically got her to do an entire production role in under a day, on the day, with no incentive of extra marks. She was happy and fine at the start and then by the end tired and going "ugh... can I go home yet? Can I go home yet?" and I'm like "Nearly! You're nearly done! You're my favourite person ever!" She finished the sound and then I had to put in the music...

OK so I composed over 40 minutes of music this semester, and nearly none of it actually fit. Seriously, it all turned out too sci-fi electronic, some of which sounded really awesome and a little bit Tron Legacyesque but alas! That was not what I wanted! And choirs or orchestral musical didn't work either... ugh... so Eleni also composed a song for it too. I used 3 of the songs I had written, one for another film which fitted the mugging perfectly after just a little tweaking.

Done! Yay! Exporting takes 15 minutes yay! Everything is good and then... then I realise I have to export the music video for submission again. Why? Because at the start there's a little bit of singing which is ever so slightly (barely noticeable unless you look for it) out of sync... guess how much? By 2 frames! 2 FREAKING FRAMES!!!

I had to sit and re-export it for over an hour just because of that one clip being out of place by 2 frames! Halfway through I realised I wasn't going to make the last train out if I sat around waiting for this so I asked the only person left in the building to log me off once it had finished and I ran. I ran to the train station, 1.5 miles (for you Americans) from the University (a bit more actually, as I ran from inside campus, and google maps measured the distance from the edge of it on the other side of campus. Yes I checked with google maps) to get there to see the train say it was due in 27 minutes. WHAT!? I RAN ALL THE WAY TO WAIT FOR HALF AN HOUR? Then the ETA went  up. Well I don't know about you, but I firmly believe that ETA's should steadily go down. Turns out that the train was delayed... then the train was cancelled... and I was in the middle of nowhere, south of the River and mum is annoyed that I've missed the train but isn't driving all the way south to pick me up in the middle of the night.

What do I do? Well I go to the lower floor of the library to sleep of course. If I am to spend a night being homeless I might as well go somewhere familiar that one can only access after hours with a student card (which I don't think homeless drug addicts with knives and lustful urges to rape people have... unless the students were too slow and overpowered quickly by surprise). There I am, sitting in a surprisingly populated room at 2am on the bad uni computers on Facebook thinking "there are no places to sleep in here... damnit to hell."

I still wasn't finished! I had another assignment due that day! I attempted to get some done while I thought about the practicality of just staying awake for another 6 hours until I could get home... Guess what? Someone has been hired to clean the library in 3am. Why on earth does someone clean the library at 3am? With a noisy vacuum cleaner!


He stopped... eventually... and I slept uncomfortable on some chairs put together near a table. I got 3 hours sleep and kept waking up during it and seeing the same people as before, still not sleeping... some dark magic fueled them to stay awake until the early hours of the morning. It's amazing how much you can get done on an assignment with only 3 hours sleep and a desperate want to go home and not have to come back just to hand in 2 pages when you live over an hour and a half away. I got my final assignment done! YAY! FREEDOM!

So after a lot of frantic work during the last 2 weeks ending with barely any sleep and a night of homelessness I got things done! I can relax! I went home and slept. Then I watched TV. I basically haven't done anything productive at all since Wednesday morning. I started watching Community season 2 and it is awesome!!

So now I can relax for 2 months. I will do so much these holidays! I will read so much, write tons, and hopefully make a few films in my spare time. Things are going to be great and next semester I only come into uni for 2 days lectures included! Best timetable so far! And one of my units is "Popular literature and science fiction". Awww yeaahhhh.

So that was my long blog post on that then. Have a nice day while I go and just not do things while others have exams. Hahahahaha exams!

Friday, May 6, 2011


So I decided that due to poor planning, I'd just deliberately overload. Well then...

Well I started off strong and decided I would get things done in advance, I'd be a good uni student (I'm sure we all say this at the beginning of semesters) and I would not get overwhelmed by the large amount of course work. Well it started off well, it always starts off well... then eventually I decided that seeing as I did 4 units per semester in first year and so it wouldn't matter much if I did 4 units this semester. This may have been true.

But now it's nearing the end of Semester and the major assignments are crashing down. Everything is all blarg, rar, do it now do it now.

You don't have time.

So it's a bit stressful. I'm not going to have a social life for the next few weeks. People go "oh you're so lucky, you don't have exams" well screw you! My assignments are worth the same as your exams and I don't have those study weeks to prepare for them! They're due at the end of semester so I don't get extensions. If something goes wrong, if I break my bones and go to hospital I don't get a few extra days to finish something.

So I've got 2 films to do. My one, the one I care about (that I wrote and I'm directing) was scheduled to be filmed ages ago. We filmed some of it and we were meant to film two consecutive days but then it got delayed again and again and again. Now we're scheduled to film on Friday the 13th and screw superstition, screw everything we're doing this and getting it done.

But the things we've already filmed need to be refilmed and everything's terrible as I just don't have time. I have other assignments to do and it's going to become very very stressful very soon. I really don't see how I will get this film edited in time. I'm not the one editing it and I can't get my editor into a proper conversation, he doesn't reply to texts often and never answers his phone and is never on Facebook.

I am going to have to not have a social life for a few weeks, stay inside, and work constantly. I have to get things done.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Doctor Who Season Finales

Hey, so those Whovians who have been watching the new series will have noticed that the season finales always have to be bigger, grander, more over the top than the previous one. This is a bit ridiculous... how will Season 6 end after having to top Season 5's finale with the Pandorica?
Well here is a run down of the finales so far and my prediction for this new season.
  • Season 1 - Rose looks into the heart of the TARDIS, is given the power to destroy an entire fleet of Dalek ships trying to invade earth before The Doctor absorbs the power and regenerating. Also the Daleks have come back from the very brink of extinction just before this.
  • Season 2 - Daleks and Cybermen simultaneously try to invade Earth, killing lots of people and ending in Rose being banished to an alternate universe. Turns out the Daleks weren’t extinct, they were just hiding in the void in prison and the Cybermen have managed to find a way to travel between universes.
  • Season 3 - The Master has taken over the Earth with the help of the remains of the human race 100 trillion year into the future, (The TARDIS is cannibalized to prevent a paradox from tearing the whole of space-time apart) killed a huge amount of people and is building missiles to destroy hundreds of planets. The Doctor reverses the effects of being forcively aged through the combined psychic powers of the entire human race and The Master is killed, leaving The Doctor as truly the one and only of his entire race. Time is reversed a year to undo the destruction and conflict caused by The Master.
  • Season 4 - The Daleks resurrect their frequently killed off creator, Davros, and this is a convenient time for every single companion in the new series to bunch together into one spot (with the cast of Torchwood and Sarah Jane adventures thrown in for the sake of being completely OTT). Rose literally tears a hole between universes to be back, Jack is busy being immortal, Harriet Jones sacrifices herself to call The Doctor into the spacial distortion that puts tons of planets that have been stolen by the Daleks, Sarah has a warpstar with which to threaten to explode everything with, and Martha has the Ostenhagen key just because the world has nuclear bombs in it’s core of course. Oh yeah, also the Daleks have a device (the “reality bomb”) that threatens to destroy all matter in the entire universe. There’s also a prophecy by a crazy Dalek that death will ensue for one of The Doctor’s companions. This prophetic Dalek wasthe last Dalek but no, the Daleks have come back from being extinct (except for that just one) for the 3rd or 4th time just to destroy the entire universe… Also, Donna manages to cause a (very big word thing) which grows another Doctor to live with Rose in an alternate universe.
  • Season 5 - EVERY BAD GUY EVER builds the most unescapable prison, the Pandorica, to imprison Matt Smith's incarnation of The Doctor for all eternity because they foresee the end of the entire universe (and that's not allowed to happen unless they are the ones who do it). The plan backfires and the entire universe endsThis is caused by some unseen dark force that hijacks the TARDIS and causes it to explode, creating time altering cracks in time that eventually consume everything. All of time and space is no more, reality collapses, and the rules of causality no longer applies as Amy Pond’s older self exists outside of her personal history (her younger self ceases to exist, along with everyone else except The Doctor, River Song, Rory and of course that one Dalek that never dies no matter what. They have to become near-extinct at least once per season to fill a quota). Needless to say, The Doctor restarts the entire Universe with The Big Bang 2, but as his personal history rewinds, he sacrifices himself by being on the other side of the cracks - meaning the entire universe is rebuilt with the exception of him. Amy’s amasing mind remembers him and he is brought over back into reality once again through sheer force of Stephen Moffat says so shut up.
  • Season 6 (Upcoming) - Everything blows up 10 timesThe Daleks come back and so does Jesus, who is really a space raptor from another universe. Also, every universe blows up at least 7 times even the one with Rose and 10.5 in. Stephen Moffat himself is called into the Whoniverse and breaks the 4th wall because every universe breaking just wasn’t enoughRory also reveals that he is secretly Chuck Norris and round house kicks the multi-verse back into existence because he freaking can OK? 
Well that’s my prediction anyway.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Return of Plan 9 From Outer Space

Wow, I haven't blogged in some time. Let's get into it.

For the past month I've been working on a film for a competition to do with the remake of Plan 9 From Outer Space (yes, people are actually remaking it.) The idea is simple: reimagine the original film in 1-3 minutes so I went with a cool recapping of the main points/themes of the film (Bela Lugosi's characters death, the destructive nature of man, strange looking zombies standing around and an alien yelling "STUPID! STUPID! STUPID!") and do it all to a music track (composed by me of course) so it's all simple and can get away with a little cheesy aesthetics or cheap cardboard sets because it's mimicking the original, but turns out more arty and cool looking. That was a long sentence, let's make this one shorter. And this even shorter. Good, less run on sentences.

It has been way more work than you'd think. I've never had to organise so many actors in such a small amount of time from different locations. I had neglected the competition for a while and then decided that 20 days before it were to finish I would come up with an idea, design and build costumes/sets (the costume being a very similar style to the original) and film/edit it all. Wow. Silly me. If I want to do a proper short film I usually take an entire semester to do it so this has been an experience in quickly making a film.

There were quite a few problems and at times I even wanted to quit but I didn't and now I'm nearly done. I'm typing this as I render different clips that I've just edited with Magic Bullet in Adobe Premiere Pro. I'm giving them all a contrasty black and white look.

My poor lighting has actually given the footage a bit of a film noir look when put into black and white. Woops. Perhaps this could be to my advantage?

OK well quick run down of the film: I recreated the scene where the old man (played by Bela Lugosi in the original, played by my Grandfather in mine) dies. Originally due to Bela Lugosi's death he just walks off screen and there's the sound of a car hitting him even though his shadow is still clearly visible. Instead of the awful narrative voice over of the original I set it to sad piano music with cuts and changes in speed to the beat.
Next we have the thudding sound like a heart beat as flashes of the zombies appear on the screen. A shot is shown of a police hat and a limp hand nearby to show that they've had victims. But then, a poor lady is running away...
Cut to Jeff Trent and the detective/police guy (whoever he is in the original. I decided to exclude the general because a) I can't remember why he's there b) couldn't find an actor or costume). They walk up towards where the alien spaceship presumably is (though not shown on screen because hey, I don't have a spare ship ok?) The heart beat thud is now accompanied by dark low strings. This is me skipping forward to the end of the film, ignoring all other plot points of the film for the sake of a simple climax. (I have 3 minutes max to do this, so I figured I'd just allude to the important events that happen prior in the middle heart beat section - mainly zombies as that is the iconic part of the film).
The alien watches from the inside by himself. I did make a costume for a female, but my actress couldn't get there on the day and I didn't get her message asking for a lift until after filming. Also, in the original she plays very little purpose in the film and when she tries to do something she gets shut down 50's sexism style with a slap and the man going "women are for breeding" before being superior. I decided that it wasn't important enough to have her in there as the original film treated her as unimportant. Yeah, like I said, I'm mimicking the themes too and women being unimportant counts as one. I would've enjoyed having my actress in the film, but during filming I realised it would've been dificult to place her in the shots and work around her for the action. She really hasn't got much of an important role.
OK, so the alien opens the ship doors being all arrogant and such (like in the original) and then there's a bit of a stare off between the three. The alien yells at them for being stupid (lik in the original, it's such a great piece of dialogue. "STUPID! STUPID! STUPID!") which is the only piece of dialogue (not even recorded, just implied by his lips) in my film. This angers the man (Jeff Trent, aka the Pilot, aka the male lead) who proceeds to violently beat the alien to an unconscious pulp (ULTRA VIOLENCE YEAH!) montage style. I sped things up, rapid cuts, occasional shaky camera. It was awesome really. It could've been improved only with blood.
Seeing as in the original the spaceship catches on fire due to some random piece of machinery breaking in the fight but my set went for a more simplistic and more futuristic style (I covered my pool table in paper mache and used After Effects to make the squares painted on light up as if it was an interactive touch screen. Totally better than actually building something real) I needed a new reason to allude to the original fire. I decided that the detective, which until then played pretty much no role at all other than just being there, should light his pipe and then throw the still lit match behind him. The flames slowly grow larger as the unconscious alien lies in the background.
Dun Dun Dun.
Totally expressing the original theme of the movie about man being destructive and violent in one scene. Yeah.

OK I actually got kicked out the computer lab while I was writing this/editing the film a few days ago and so I'm in the future now and the film is finished. Yep. I did it all. I put in in black and white, synced the music and such and it looks really fancy and you can't watch it yet (not allowed to put it on youtube as it's for a competition). I like black and white. The contrast, the blackness. The shadows become so noticeable and cool. I should just make other films in black and white too just for fun. Also, as there was no recorded dialogue I could direct people while the camera was rolling and didn't need someone to be in charge of sound. Yay! Simplicity!

But yes, finally, after nearly a month of work I've finished it and showed it to a few people who were interested in what I was working on...

...then realised that it doesn't actually make any sense to anyone unless they've seen the movie...

You see, mine doesn't have a plot exactly... it's just scene of man looking sad and walking away from his house, shots of random zombies in a graveyard, girl running, man walks into spaceship and beats up someone a foot and a half taller than him.

The end.

...hmm... OK but if you had seen the original you'd understand that it's the infamously poorly executed death scene of Bela Lugosi. Then the zombies in the graveyard during the day is an allusion to the mismatched editing of the chase scene where the vampire zombie chases a girl and it changes between night and day. The cheap sets are to mimick the cheap look of the original. It's all allusions to the original redone in a more "arty" (not that arty...) and "professional" (that is to say, less amateur) manner. The cheapness mixed with the epic music and such is like Ed Wood's talent vs intentions. He wanted to make good films with his low budget, he just didn't manage it.

I wrote the most verbose description of my entry on the submission form. It was so long I had to add in an extra line and a half to fit it in and I'm not sure I quite made my point. Oh well, it doesn't matter.

I hope I get into Round 2 of this competition.

Yay, time to spend another month working on another film! It's on.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

RIP Fweckles, 2008-2011

Well today I went to feed my rabbits, only to have them escape their cage and run around and acting weird. They were running erratically and didn't seem interested in going home or eating, which is weird because they normally swarm towards the food at the end of the day to devour it. When I had failed rounding them up I noticed that one of them was missing from the mischief.

I looked around and noticed in that shadows at the back of the cage, lying perfectly still in an odd position was Fweckles.

My heart sunk. I'm not sure how to describe the nuance of it, but rabbits have a distinct difference between the way they lie down when exhausted/tired/sleeping and how they lie when dead.

Fweckles (like "freckles" only with a kayewt w) is the matriarch of the lot. She is the grandmother of Panda Moustache-Bunny (the youngest), the largest, oldest and hence the highest in the hierarchy of bunny pecking order. She was an awesome bunny. She would hop around the place like she owned it. When we let her out she'd hop all the way up a story and a half of stairs to hop around the balcony and wait outside the back door until someone inside noticed her and gave her a carrot. Such a spoiled rabbit.

Hey, time for pictures! Let's start with the day we got her:
She was so adorable!
Here she is all grown up eating a carrot on the balcony (as aforementioned)
Here she is with her granddaughter Panda Moustache Bunny taken on a fancy Pentax camera (that beats my terrible old cheap Kodak one hands down... ugh. Everything available today beats my old kodak one)
And here she is with Rachmaninoff, one of her two daughters (that we kept. She's had way more). She got so lazy in her old age. When she was nice and young she would actually climb the framing of her cage! But after falling down from a large height a few times she decided that maybe bunnies weren't meant to climb and were meant to hop around instead.

So that was her. A bunny with an actual personality (unlike Pythagoras, her albino daughter, who is passive and uninteresting) and she has been one of my favourite pets so far.

We buried her behind the shed that is partially her cage as well (it's a pretty big cage ok? You can walk into it). Rachmaninoff stood near the grave for a while, seemingly somewhat confused about it. There there bunny, your mother is gone now but it's ok, you've still got Pythagoras, Bean, Panda Moustache Bunny, the chickens and the guinea pig Plato to keep you company. (I have quite a few pets)


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Laneway and Les Savy Fav

Yesterday I was volunteering at the Laneway Music Festival. It's this festival where they get a bunch of indie bands I've never heard of (except Cloud Control) and force them to perform for money. (My goodness!) As a volunteer I got a free shirt, free water, free access to the festival and I could leave and come back whenever I wanted (suck it everyone else, with the whole "No passouts" rule!). First off I tried to get donations from people entering the gates for "Young Care", which not even the gate manager knew what it was... so the five other people with tins and I decided that we'd just make things up every time someone asked.
"It's for elephants. Baby elephants."
"Asian's training to become Doctors. Asians with the last name "young"."
"My personal crack fund."
"It's to fund a new kind of cereal. As you can see the "Y" is a rip off of the Special K, "K"."
I was winning on the donation funds. I was good at bugging people, sometimes I'd walk alongside them holding out the tin.
Turns out it was actually about paraplegics or something... which I found at later and that seemed somewhat effective if you told people it was for the disabled (as opposed to funding my crack habit, which people care less about...). I actually saw a guy in a wheelchair and was like "would you like to donate to the paraplegics?" I also went up to people on crutches to ask them if they'd "like to donate to the crippled?"

There was some other volunteer activities. At one point I had to fill in for someone as they had lunch so I got to go behind a stage onto the street and tell people that the laneway next to me was not the entrance to the festival and they need to go down the street and turn left twice..... YEAH! I was good at it too.
Then some pretty girls in a redbull car drove up, gave me redbull and walked past where I (and someone else) was meant to be guarding into the backstage area. I'm not sure if we were meant to let them through... oh well, we got bribed with redbull by pretty ladies! And we didn't get in trouble... so an overall win.

Anyway, fast forward through the boring bits and we get to me signing off my shift just in time to see Cloud Control! Wooo! That was lots of fun, as they were the only band that I knew of/could understand the lyrics of. They seem to like mentioning water in a lot of their songs for some reason and I should try and ask them if there's meant to be some recurring metaphor behind that...

Despite not knowing who anyone else was, I stuck around (hey, I'd been working and on my feet for nearly 5 hours without getting paid, the least I could do is make the most of the free admission to this festival!) and I just so happened to find myself watching a band from New York called Les Savy Fav.

Now if you've ever seen them live then you'll know why they stuck out from every other band there. If you haven't seen them live, let me give you a quick run down of what I saw (I wasn't there for about the first 5 minutes I think):

The lead singer is this very energetic strange man who decided to jump off stage, and tug at the microphone cord so he could further and further into the moshpit, crowd surf, and start to sink.

^That is the most normal thing he did all night, by far. That would've been pretty normal looking for a rock performance if he wasn't 40-50 years old, fat, wearing only short shorts, have a face painted with gold, and wearing a captains sailors hat.
I can't remember which order it happened in but then he decided to get balloons out from backstage that were in a plastic bin bag and a bin (each separate) and throw them out to the audience. The balloons got stuck in the bin so instead of pouring them, he just threw the bin into the crowd. Then proceeded to tear a hole in the bin bag so he could wear it as a shirt.
At one point he ran off to the right (facing the stage), around the crowd and into this small patch of garden where two drunk guys ran out to tackle/party with him. Not deterred by random drunk people, he deliberately jumped onto the ground and tore a bite out of nearby plant as security pried the drunken people off him.
He pushed his way through the crowd, up the stairs and climbed onto a concrete wall. I was getting a bit worried for his safety as people were tugging on his mike cord. Then he stole a professional camera on a pole (to get shots above the crowd) from a photographer trying to catch his performance and began swinging it back and forth wildly as the flash went off. I stopped caring for his safety was too busy going OH S*** NOT THE CAMERA!!!!! (do you have any idea how much one of those ones cost!?)
Nearing the end of the performance he climbed up onto the giant side speakers, then grabbed onto the frame that the lights were attached too. The whole stage was rocking back and forth. Thankfully he didn't continue to swing on it and went back to the large speaker where he decided to lie on it.
At some point lots of people were on stage, I don't know who they were or why they were there but people were hugging the guitarist from behind as he played, there was just random things happening. It was all very bizarre.

Musically I didn't think they were anything too interesting. Like, acceptable to good range of songs but I don't feel the need to go and then continue to listen to them. I was completely distracted by my lack of interest in the songs by the odd antics of this weird old man.

Les Savy Fav has definitely been the most interesting and bizarre performance from a band I've ever seen. By far. Granted, I haven't been to many festivals or concerts, but I'm pretty sure most bands don't have their lead singer run off to go violently eat foliage in the middle of a performance. I'd see them again just to see what he ends up doing, see if it's different, see how much security has to interfere, and see how badly he gets hurt.

Monday, January 3, 2011

My job sucks. Always.

Remember that blog post where I mentioned that I had FINALLY gotten a job? Well I apologise for not blogging about it sooner guys.

Let me tell you what that job was: It was Telemarketing. Yep. I had to get up at 4:50am just so I could get ready in time to catch the numerous long public transport bus/train rides into the West of the city so I could start at 7am (because we were calling people in Melbourne who are ahead of us in timezones) and call up random strangers just to have them ignore me and tell me to go away. I got paid $18 (minimum) to do this.

I got fired after 2 days.

Woops! Ok, let me explain. You see, the thing with Telemarketing is no one wants to honestly sit there and listen to you. EVER. But to keep the job you need to sell at least 0.7 sales per hour on average (they pay you extra if you manage more). The problem with this scenario (as confirmed by the fellow experienced telemarketers there) is that it was a) close to Christmas so the smart people had decided to buy things already and everyone's spending everything on other things that they know they want or know that other people want. b) the area I had started in was apparently hard to sell in and the experienced telemarketers were complaining in their lunch break how badly they were doing c) like I explained, people don't like telemarketers and so people would hang up on me even before I had even mentioned what I was selling d) NO ONE IS HOME ON A WEEKDAY AT 11 IN THE MORNING THEY ARE ALL AT WORK.

So to describe my job as accurately as I could would be "Sitting down in a room listening to the sound of a phone ring only to get endless answering machines, and on the rare occasion that someone answers they hang up a few seconds later. Repeat this process."

By rare I mean rare. We got a sheet of 56 numbers to go through and I got bored there being barely any real people answering the phones so I marked on it whenever someone actually picked up the phone. The best average I got was 11/56, though it even got down to 2/33. I got so happy whenever someone answered. I responded in this kind of shocked joy when they did, it was like "OH HELLO!" Occasionally one of these people would be an actual business themselves, and you don't market to businesses you market to individuals so that's out of the question. Most of the people just hang up after the first 2 sentences, a few would let me get to the next paragraph before telling me they weren't interested. Rarely you'd get that gem of a customer who would sit and listen to everything I had to say. The feeling of joy when you actually finish reading your script without being hung up on (some people don't even say bye, they just hang up and leave me talking...) is so awesome, so great, making it so much more annoying when they go "sorry, I just let you talk to be polite. I'm not really interested at all. Bye." To which I reply "Have a nice day." when I really want to reply "DAMNIT TO HELL! I GET FIRED IF I DON'T SELL THINGS AND THE MORE PEOPLE I CALL THE MORE LIKELY IT IS I'LL MANAGE TO SELL SOMETHING! YOU JUST WASTED SO MUCH OF MY PRECIOUS TIME! THIS IS A NUMBERS GAME NOT A JOB WHERE IF I FAIL THAT'S OK."

Well, not at the start I didn't... but by the end (two days) I was getting slightly annoyed. So yeah, you know if you get called by a telemarketer, ask them to very briefly tell you what they're selling so you know whether or not you want to listen to them or hang up. Don't waste their time, they get fired if you do...

So yeah. I sold one thing. One thing in 10 hours. That's an average of 0.1 I got a few people interested who said they'd call back after they've thought about it, but I'll never know if I got the sell because they were arranged to call back/be called back about it the day after I got fired.

I got a call and they said "we've been monitoring your progress and you're just not selling things, sorry." and I was like "so I don't have to get up really early in the morning? Awesome, have a nice day." Then walked up to people smiling going "I just got fired!"

But don't worry guys, because I got a new job!

I deliver catalogues! Yep. Instead of having to exhaust myself trying to get up at an ungodly hour to be rejected by strangers simply on the basis of my job title and not what I was saying to them, I now have to exhaust myself folding, packing and walking around for hours on end in the hot Australian summer weather to deliver catalogues to strangers and get paid way less for it! I get paid commission per magazine and it's a very small commission. Today I swear I walked for 2-3 hours sweating in the sun while pulling along tons of catalogues and I'm half done... I feel sunburnt (I probably am, I put on sunscreen but I think I was out for so long it wore off and I'm sensitive to UV light with my redheadedness), my legs don't want to move any more.

I am going to get paid $26 for this.


Or at the very least better paying.

I need a new job. My jobs are just getting worse and worse and now they don't even pay worthwhile...