Latest entry: Entry 32,
Friday August 12, 2005
Entry 25. By David,
Tuesday May 25, 2004
Date: Tue, 25 May 2004 00:27:11
From: David Blumenstein <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Ben Arber
So the Herman premiere's come
and gone. It was a huge disaster because the render to tape
failed that afternoon, so three out of four screenings for
the night were cancelled. I'd been up 36 hours already and
I went a little bit psychotic, but thankfully everybody
made with helpfulness. Adam
held the crowds off with talking, then I made a speech about
how everything had gone pear-shaped and asked everybody
to wait til the 10:30 session so I would have time to pissbolt
home and get a crappy VCD version to play. Everybody said
I was too fucked up to drive so Adam's brother drove my
car home while Jim
fame drove me back to my place to make the disc. Meanwhile
took half the audience to a bar round the corner and got
them discount drinks (luckily they were having a slow night).
At 9:30 they played Shit
Party and BAM and humping
brain which apparently got good response. Jeremy
from my animation course (who is Herman's PRODUCER and also
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER because I felt like it) ran back to AIM
studio and got a laptop and stuff to play the disc, which
we did at 10:30, where there was still a packed out room.
It got lots of laughs and big applause (probably as much
for our efforts to hold shit together as for the film).
A nightmare couple days, but all came good in the end, and
then Lenny and others bought me vodka drinks which I drank
happily, and I wore my fez. Then we went for souvlaki and
the taxi dropped me home at half past three and I slept
for 12 hours.
This is what happens when you try to fix shit until the last
possible second, start your render late and don't prepare
a backup plan.
So anyway, the film is finished, barring small tweaks (post-production!).
I'm pretty happy with it. With a couple fixes here and there,
hopefully it'll be in a final version soon. In the meantime,
it's time for me to find some work wit der paymönie so
I can afford to throw away my cash on film festival entries.
I've fixed the render problems in time for a lovely full-res
version of HERMAN to play at another Next Wave event (a compilation
screening of stuff by Next Wave artists) tomorrow night.
with me from a couple months back is now up at
(cheers Kate), and it even includes references to my lack
of professionalism foreshadowing the screening disaster:
Do you find
time management becomes an issue?
No, because I
dont manage my time. I end up working on things at
the last possible second a lot, though.
Entry 26. By David,
Sunday June 6, 2004
Well, I've had a couple weeks which, if not exactly relaxing,
have definitely been a nice change from tick-tick-tick pressure
bomb. I've been doing a lot of busywork that got neglected
while the big HERMAN push was on: adding to the website, catching
up on e-mail, filling orders for shirts and stuff (thanks
to those who've been asking... more coming soon, in ladies'
sizes this time -- BAM).
Also been reviewing my old list of film festivals and figuring
out which ones I should be sending to, which I can afford
to be sending to, shit like that. I was real impressed to
find out that entering a short film in the AFI
awards costs $330. I understand they need to put on an exciting,
glamorous night-of-nights in order to get FOX
FM djs and Big Brother contestants to come grace
the red carpet, but at this point I cannot justify parting
with that kind of cash so I can receive a nicely typed rejection
letter and Jackie
O can receive the good olive oil drizzled on her
asparagus or some shit. I guess maybe I'd get an invite to
the ceremony, but I'm pretty sure I couldn't contain myself
if I was there when Thunderstruck
wins the award for "best script". Now there's a
film that's not quite as annoying as Garage Days, but comes
close at times.
It's saddening when yet another Aussie flick comes out, starts
with promise, then devolves into formulaic, obvious, vaguely
insincere piss. It has Stephen
Curry, but even that can't save it. I can't believe
they made a movie which purports to seethe with the fiery
spirit of AC/DC and scores a climactic action scene with Europe's
"The Final Countdown". Nothing more to be said,
Actually, I just realised that if I skip the next twenty-nine
Australian films that come out, I'll be able to save enough
money to enter the AFIs one day.
Hey, check out this press release I found:
Animal Law Conference Comes to San Diego
SAN DIEGO, March 22, 2004 - The worlds animal lawyers
are coming to San Diego to participate in an International
Animal Law Conference entitled "Protecting Animals
Through the World's Legal System." The conference will
take place April 2-4 at California Western School of Law,
in downtown San Diego. Speakers will address how the treatment
of animals is impacted by laws and cultural practices around
the world and what actions can be taken to improve animal
welfare through the world's legal systems.
You can imagine how excited I was when I read the bit about
"the world's animal lawyers", but I'm pretty sure
the lawyers attending are all human. Disappointing.
Entry 27. By David,
Saturday August 21, 2004
Long time between drinks.
For the last couple months, HERMAN's heroic Post-Production
Supervisor, Chris Dea, has spent his off hours assembling
the film's final edit. This is a heavy and boring task, as
he's conforming it to the rough edit and all the dialogue
and sound fx need to be matched perfectly.
The reason this has happened is that I initially edited the
film on my home PC with an editing application which failed
to output a usable EDL (the EDL standing for Edit Decision
List; this being the little text file which theoretically
can be used by the editor to instantaneously open all the
sound and video bits and put them in the correct places).
So while he's been doing that, I've been making copies of
the rough edit (not actually so rough, and almost entirely
representative of the final film) and sending them to film
festivals. This costs an assload of money, as I mentioned
in the last post. Even festivals with free entry end up costing
a good ten bucks each once you consider the VHS tape and postage
to somewhere in Germany (lot of film festivals there for some
So I've been entering a lot of free festivals in Germany.
I have started hearing back from them now, and so far the
answer is "no". This is OK, and certainly not as
bad as the rejections from American festivals, where you've
paid US$50 up front for "WE REGRET TO INFORM..."
They should save themselves money by just printing WE REGRET
TO INFORM on the outside of the envelope and not enclosing
a piece of paper at all.
That said, HERMAN had its film fest premiere at the FUCKING
FABULOUS FILM FESTIVAL in Seattle, WA, in an animation session
laden with pieces by a bunch of Yank comics people, including
Jim Woodring, Ivan Brunetti and Tony Millionaire. Obviously
I couldn't be there, but it sounded cool.
I met twice with a chap from the AFC, ostensibly about my
plans/opportunities now that HERMAN's finished. I realised,
talking to him, how little I understand about the business
of filmmaking and bullshitting your ass off to the government
(which, in Australia at least, are one and the same).
I have a new idea for a short (this time, one that's actually
short -- less than five minutes) and I'd like to apply for
a grant to make it, although just LOOKING at the forms gives
me a headache. I'm not confident that anyone is particularly
interested in handing me money to make a cartoon. I'm mad
at them for being the Lords and Ladies of artistic patronage,
and I'm mad at me for not knowing how to give them the groveling
they require. Business-speak makes me want to punch things.
Actually, it makes me want to go away and draw, which is what
I do every time I look at the forms. I must sound like a sweaty
pit-bull trying to chase its own back legs when it hasn't
Thankfully, the numbing confusion and irritation is being
broken up by the part-time graphic design job I got, and by
the organising of a number of HERMAN screenings: one at the
Pop Culture Expo in Brisbane, one at the Newcastle
Young Writers Festival (where I'm also organising
some comics/animation forums) and one at the Builders Arms
here in Melbourne, a double feature with LAAJOOL, a full-length
film made by Cumbersome's
Aaron South. So this slightly discouraging lull should be
over soon enough.
And the really cool thing that's happened lately is that
Marcus from Next Wave social-engineered a copy of HERMAN to
Richard Fidler at ABC-TV. Richard, for those who don't know,
was one-third of DOUG
ANTHONY ALL-STARS (the third who played the guitar),
the nastiest, funniest Australian comedy group ever to sing
a song called "I Fuck Dogs". And now he's the one
who works at the ABC and has had the least embarrassing TV
career of any of them.
So now virtually all my Australian comedy heroes have told
me they like my film (or are in it). This is fucking fantastic,
and if I ever hear from Tony or Mick I may just cark it.
So I now owe Marcus murders. He picks the victims, I'll do
'em night or day. Two of his choice.
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