Latest entry: Entry 32,
Friday August 12, 2005
Entry 10. By David,
Sunday, March 30, 2003
I recorded a rough version of the HERMAN script
and a MiniDisc a couple weeks back. Nicola is of course better
known as "comics girl Nicola Hardy", but we're trying
her out in the role of "Sabrina Lloyd", Leonard
Palumbo's assistant. The rough recording will go together
with the storyboards, some quick FX and bits of music to make
the animatic. I just need to fix up the last batch of storyboards
to make use of Jeremy's excellent suggestions.
One of Jeremy's most excellent suggestions was
to hold a screening of HERMAN at the Old Melbourne Magistrate's
Court next to RMIT. This building, located at the corner of
Russell and La Trobe St in Melbourne's CBD, has a long and
interesting history -- Ned Kelly was sentenced to death in
it in 1880 (and was hanged next door, at the Old Melbourne
Gaol). The court was closed in 1994, and the Magistrate's
Court moved to William St, where everything else that's law-related
in Melbourne is found.
Now the Old Magistrate's Court is a stately
old building that doesn't seem to be used for much. A few
years back it was bought by RMIT. Apparently, everything on
the block is owned by RMIT, except the Old Melbourne Gaol.
So I figured if I talked to the Property Services
people at RMIT, they might let me put a projector in there
for a night. At the same time, I was a little concerned that
they might have a problem with letting their majestic, historic
former Supreme Court be used to show a cartoon about a dog
lawyer, even if he is cute.
"WHY WOULD WE LET YOU TRAMPLE YOUR DIRTY
FEET ALL OVER OUR NICE CLEAN HERITAGE-LISTED COURTHOUSE? OUT,
OUT DAMN SPOT!"
I talked to Marcus
Westbury the other day. Previously Fearless Leader
Is Not Art, he has moved to Melbourne to be Artistic
Director of Next Wave, a big Melbourne youth arts festival
which is held every two years. I made a
small contribution to Next Wave's film festival
in 2002, and I got a neat
bag for my trouble, so I thought I'd like to get
involved again. Marcus asked me how I would do that. I suggested
this whole HERMAN thing. He reminded me that Next Wave is
an "events-based" arts festival, and there'd need
to be some kind of "event". I said, "Well,
when it's done there'd be a screening." He wondered what
would make this screening special enough to warrant it being
its own event (as opposed to just putting HERMAN in a larger
screening with other films).
I brought up Jeremy's screening-in-the-old-law-courts
idea, and Marcus said:
"I can set that up for you easy."
He reckoned the Property Services people had
ASKED HIM to find artists to USE THE OLD LAW COURTS FOR SOMETHING!
Also, after a wait of a year and a half, NAKEDFELLA
COMICS #7 is done, and will be in stores in the
next couple of weeks! It's a hefty 44 pages, Swish! And NAKEDFELLA
COMICS #8 doesn't look too far off either.
And this week I started accosting people with
a video camera in the hopes of scoring some "documentary
footage" for use in the HERMAN "making of"
film: HEARTS OF BARKNESS. As with a lot of things I do, I'm
only doing it because I came up with an awful, awful pun for
the title and I'm loath to waste it.
Entry 11. By David,
Wednesday, April 9, 2003
Date: Sat, 05 Apr 2003 19:54:33
From: David Blumenstein <email@example.com>
To: Jeremy Parker
Subject: funny fun
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii; format=flowed
was on the street the other day and a guy came up and asked
where he got his shirt (it was his Herman
shirt). Jim told him, and the guy said, "yeah,
I was one of the assessors at the AFC
that turned it down". Then he talked to Jim for 20
mins and explained to him why I didn't get the grant. Apparently
he said I was too young, I don't have a production team,
the film's too long, I didn't ask for enough money for the
film, and my producer
is not a mover and shaker. He told Jim I should give him
a call, but Jim reckoned he was a bit less interested in
talking to me after he found out I'm only 22.
So Jim told me where he works
and I called him up. It was only when he came on the phone
that I realised he was [name removed] (which would be how
he knew you don't move or shake). He said he really liked
the script but I hadn't asked for enough money to cover
the production of what, in length at least, is essentially
a TV pilot. He was nice and told me I should cut it down
to 2-3 mins and resubmit, but when I told him I was pushing
along with the long version he said I should resubmit for
So I'm going to do that. Also,
on the advice of my production manager, I'm firing you and
bringing on a producer who's got more contacts, money and
VIZARD. Also, I'm replacing Adam (Chuck) with
JOHNSON from Secret
Life of Us, I'm bringing in CHARLES
"BUD" TINGWELL to play Herman, JOHN
WOOD as the judge, HOLLY
BRISLEY as Sabrina and RICHARD
WILKINS as Palumbo. Product placements will be
PENSIONERS' INSURANCE AGENCY. The film will now
be a VIZARD/NINEMSN production, and I'm getting a few guys
to do all the animation work so I can concentrate on the
business and merchandising side.
With these changes made, I'm
confident we'll get the grant money we're after.
Oh, and Herman is now a beagle.
Mr. Vizard says I was wasting a perfectly good opportunity
for rhyming in the title.
I've been taking pictures of storyboard frames
for the animatic. I've been doing it outside because there's
more light. I've been wearing a hat because it's sunny. For
the last couple days, people in my street have seen me standing
outside my house in boat shoes and a cowboy hat, taking picture
after picture of the garage wall. On the plus side, I now
know that the mailman's name is Brendan and that the guy up
the street has been dumping his grass clippings in my grandparents'
Entry 12. By David,
Wednesday, April 23, 2003
Things moving very slowly. Half my time seems
to be spent heading for the post office, and most of my money
is going there, too. I've just sent a shiteload of HERMAN
press stuff out, with full knowledge that it will likely do
me little good.
I sabotage myself in this regard. I can't stand
the thought of writing a press release without some humour
in it. I hate the idea of following this dictated form --
heading, opening line, quote from subject, bullshit on, details,
contact information -- and then tossing the result on the
unholy pile, the pile of broken dreams, every freak who wants
to be noticed by the greasy almost-journalist behind the desk
queuing up in paper form, waiting to be tossed in the bin.
No attention paid, no notice taken. Every time a press release
gets thrown out, a little publicist somewhere cries.
So I try to be funny in mine. Arts/entertainment
journalists generally like a laugh, but if there isn't a story
in it it's not much use to them. And (let's face it) at this
point, HERMAN is not much of a story.
"MAN DRAWS DOG"?
But you have to try, haven't you?
I got my glossy orange covers back from the
printer, and I've been furiously stapling and folding pristine
new copies of NAKEDFELLA COMICS #7, which have been going
out with the press shit, and also, more importantly, to the
local shops: PolyEster
in Fitzroy, Alternate
Worlds in Prahran, Minotaur
in the CBD (tomorrow, ideally), Cumbersome
in Collingwood. Then, hopefully, Kings in Sydney and Ace in
I'm about half done preparing the sound for
the animatic, and all the frames are in the computer. I'll
have it done soon.
I was interested to find out that Film
Victoria have decided to start funding
animation, particularly after last year's funny
little problem wherein I submitted HERMAN to them for short
film funding, only to receive a phone call from the guy in
charge, who -- very nicely, mind you -- pointed out that they
didn't support animation. He was right. I'd written all this
info up, got background crap together, packaged it all in
an envelope and sent it in to them without noticing the words
"LIVE-ACTION" on the first page of the forms. I
do things like that.
Thing is, they accidentally sent it to their
script assessor without noticing it was a cartoon, and reportedly
the guy (girl?) really liked it!...
But they only funded actual -- filmed -- films,
so no dice.
So, as I say, I was interested to see they've
started funding toony things. I checked out the ANIMATION
CONCEPT DEVELOPMENT forms -- closely this time -- and there's
a couple interesting lines in there:
"... providing seed money to Victorian-based
producers and animators to develop animation concepts that
"... Film Victoria investment must be repayable
upon commercialisation of the concept."
That's some scary shit right there. Among the
requirements for consideration for investment are: an org
chart which details your production team and their responsibilities,
an explanation of the benefits of your concept to Victoria
at large, a Business and Marketing plan.
They want to know my TARGET MARKET. They want
to know who my COMPETITORS and BUSINESS PARTNERS are. THEY
WANT TO KNOW WHAT PROPRIETARY SOFTWARE I'M GOING TO USE.
This, truly, is not a brass ring to be leapt
for casually. This poses important questions which must be
answered thoughtfully. This requires meeting the people who
make the decisions and having frank discussions with them.
This means putting serious effort into marketing strategies
and tailoring my product for particular viewing sectors. This
could mean the employment of "audience insight management".
Which is to say, "fuck it".
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