Thursday, August 28, 2008

There Is A Warm Feeling Here

One of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite comedy directors.

Albert Brooks plays a man attempting to convince a casino manager to give back the life savings that his wife has lost at the casino.

Lost In America

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Some Inspired McCain Stencils

Courtesy of Bubs, some nice variations on the McCain stencil.

Unconnected Tuesdays



Bare-Assed Editing

A quick update of my progress with the short film, Streaking for the Shy.

All footage from the weekend of 08/01-08/03 has now been captured to my incredibly sexy 1 TB external HD, and I have begun the editing process.

I have spliced together the first several minutes of the movie, including the first of a series of scenes of bare-assedness. So far, it's going well.

I have a little bit of shooting left to do, which I'm planning on completing on September 6th -- I need the opening shot, a shot of some woo-woo girls, and some cutaways of the location at 37th and Loomis.

E.Y.E. Hurricane

Albert Brooks - E.Y.E. Hurricane

That McCain Sticker

Oh, you know that McCain sticker on a NO TURN ON RED sign I referred to in a previous post?

This morning, I peeled it off and threw it away.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Inimitable Stupefaction

Hi, please find enclosed more sound files pronouncing some of my favorite words.

01. diphthong
02. stupefaction
03. gargle
04. groat
05. nymph
06. oscillate
07. ad infinitum
08. crackle
09. hepcat
10. debouch
11. debouch (alt. pronunciation)
12. inimitable
13. frumpy
14. onomatopoeia
15. burgle
16. treacle
17. ninny
18. pillow
19. whomp
20. lanolin


An Incitement To Negative Graffiti

Last week, my mom sent me this nice little article from the LA Times about pro-Obama street-art. She had sent it to me because she was wondering if some graffiti in Chicago referred to in passing was the same graffiti I had blogged about last November (I think it was).

This article got me thinking about the cumulative effect of pro-Obama graffiti. Personally, I think it's really positive, but I don't know if it's enough. I think that anti-McCain graffiti might be a necessary step for graffiti artists who hope to see Obama win the 2008 Presidency.

I don't really discuss my political leanings too much (well, apart from that Go Away, Bush thingie on my right sidebar), but I do not want John McCain to win.

I feel kinda weird about writing a post that attempts to inspire others to attack another person. Well, I'm not so much asking people to attack McCain, but discuss his policies, and why he would be a terrible President. Still, maybe I shouldn't? Am I just being a wishy-washy liberal (yeah, probably)? I just wanted to say that in this incitement for negative graffiti, I *have* thought about it, and after thinking about it I still think negative graffiti is required to defeat John McCain, and that its use is appropriate.

Earlier this year, I found a post on Bold Lentil, following a linkback from my Obama post.

The author had created a John McCain stencil as a tool for any interested parties in spreading McCain "fever", and said people were free to reuse, change the text, etc. He was essentially doing what I'm trying to do now, but wasn't being emphatic about it.

Okay. This is the emphatic part.

Graffiti artists. Street artists. People who just like slapping stickers on shit in public spaces. LISTEN TO ME. YOU NEED TO GET GOING. YOU NEED TO TELL PEOPLE ABOUT JOHN MCCAIN. For every pro-Obama sticker you put up, put up an anti-McCain sticker. Get it?

Regarding the stencil above, I personally don't think the "BEAT IRAQ" message would be terribly effective. I'm thinking "PRO-WAR" -- "PRO-RICH" -- feel free to add your own succinct slogan in the comments.

As I was walking to work from the train today, I saw a somber, black oval sticker on a NO TURN ON RED sign. It had small white letters that read "John McCain '08". Any doubt I had about this incitement to negative graffiti immediately evaporated.

So what are you waiting for? GET GOING.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

And Now, Breakdancing

Just because it's my goddamn blog, and I feel like it, a video of breakdancing from the 1984 show Graffiti Rock.

I am pretty sure that the breakdancers in this video got each of their names from an erotic lubricant (although I think I'll do without the Lil Lep, thank you very much).


Thanks to everyone and their thoughts, well-wishes, prayers to the FSM, etc.

I sat down last night and recaptured the footage that had gone all wonkily blocky with my initial capture. This time around everything worked!

I only have a few more scenes to capture, then everything will be in my cozy little external HD.

Onward and upward,


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Embrace The Comix

Hi kids.

I have a neat idea. I have already contacted a few people privately about this, but thought, what the heck, it wouldn't hurt to put it all "out there" for any interested parties.

I am planning on doing a Comix Week at I, Splotchy later this year. As of now I am thinking of doing it during the first week of November, 2008.

What Comix Week is this -- during that week, the only blog posts I do will be in comics form. Any text in the post will have to be part of a cartoon.

I am the first to admit I am pretty awful at drawing stuff. I thought it would be neat if I could get contributions from a variety of people.

There are some stipulations to participating in Comix Week. Either the comics will be created based on something I write, or created as a result of my direct collaboration with the artist. What I'm trying to say is that I want to be some kind of creative force in any of the comics posted on the blog. All the comics posted during the week will be assembled into a digital comic book and made available for free download.

I'm announcing Comix Week with lots of lead time because I know it's not easy making the fancy drawings.

So, let me know if you are interested!

Oh, Snurf

I diligently logged and captured footage on the rest of Tape 1 and all of Tape 2 last night.

I connected my new 1 TB(!) external HD to my laptop via a FireWire 800 cable.

Next, I connected the camera to the laptop via a special cable. I haven't really done any footage-dumping to a computer, so it's a neat experience for me. I actually control the camera from the editing software I am using.

Anyways, the process of logging and capturing begins with logging the shots. Logging consists of marking start and end points of a shot, and giving it some sort of name. At this point your editing software stores the endpoints' digital timecode (there is timecode on all the footage).

After you have logged some shots, you can then capture them. Basically, you're giving the software a set of endpoints, and it will take these endpoints, find the relevant timecode on the tape, and capture the footage into a digital file.

Everything was working great, until my last capture session. I had logged about fifty clips and kicked off the batch capture process. The capture process has to be done in real time. In other words, if you have a ten minute clip to capture, it will take ten minutes to capture the clip. So, I let my computer chug for a while and came back to it around midnight.

Something is wonky with the last batch of footage I captured. Any motion on the screen goes blocky, mosaicy. The original footage does not look like this. I can't use shots with this blockiness. It looks horrible.

I am relatively confident that my footage is okay, and there's something else at play. Maybe I tried to capture too much footage at the same time, maybe my computer couldn't handle it. I talked to Lance, who told me, based on my description of the blockiness-in-motion, that it might be a compression problem.

I'm going to review the footage again tonight, and recapture it if it still looks crappy, but do smaller batches of clips per capture.

Wish me luck, okay?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Unconnected Tuesdays



There Is A Movie On My Computer!

So, I went over to my friend Lance's house last night. He showed me how to capture video footage to my computer, and also gave me some helpful editing tips.

Over the next couple days, I am planning on transferring the footage to my laptop. Shortly after, editing will commence. I still have a few more things which I need to film, and I need to do this sooner than later, but 98% of the movie is shot.

While we were messing around with the editing software, I took two of the shots, trimmed them and spliced them together. I played it back and behold! The juxtaposition of images! The magic of storytelling! The thrill of a conversation in a car!

It is absolutely pure joy seeing this movie start to come together.

Editing really suits my personality -- intense concentration, attention to detail, etc. I am looking forward to assembling this movie. It will take time, but I hope to enjoy every minute of it.

I still can't believe I'm making a movie.

Yeehaw, man. Yeehaw.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Help Me Celebrate A Blogoversary

Hi everybody!

My other blog Who's In Charge Here? is a little over a year old.

In celebration, I am providing five bands to vote on (instead of the customary one per week). There will be a new band each day, starting today and ending this Friday.

Hope to see you there.

Let your voice be heard!

I Was Born, Lucky Me

The Kinks - Victoria

A Line Of Dialogue For A Kids Movie I Have Yet To Write

A kid, up to some shenanigans, gets in trouble with his parents.

As he is being grounded/punished, he shouts, "This is worse than 9/11!!"

Friday, August 15, 2008

Are Any Of These Items On Your Bucket List?

1. Hear Florence Henderson (Mrs. Brady) sing the Star Spangled Banner
2. See Bill Murray fall from the sky
3. Witness Gary Sinise play music in a "rock band"

If so, satisfy them all today at Chicago's Air and Water show.

More here.

Sound Effects

Tk tk tk tk tk tk tk tk tk







Thursday, August 14, 2008

Alright, Alright! Move on, Morrissey! Trouble The Top Of My Blog No More!

I don't have anything of interest to post, but I am tired of Morrissey occupying the topmost portion of my blog.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Nicknames For Morrissey

01. Moz
02. Morrie
03. Dr. Poofy
04. The 'Rissey
05. The Divine Mr. M
06. Steve
07. Ghost Dog
08. Uncle
09. Slingshot
10. Hambone

This Is The Worst Part

Even More ROT13'ed Swearwords

Hey kids, it's time for some more swearwords! Pop them in the decoder on the right sidebar for delightful profanity.

(Feel free to go to for a larger decoder window)

02. N pbpx-n-qbbqyr shpx-lbh zbeavat gb lbh, Qvyqb Tenaqr
03. By' Taneyl Gvg Rlrf
04. Sngurnq yvire-rngvat znttbg-shpxvat oneanpyr pbpxfhpxre
05. Jbeguyrff nff-fgnvarq fngva fubegf zbgureshpxre
06. Qvzjvg sybjre-ybivat srghfonatre
07. Url, Nffubyr!
08. Lrnu, lbh! NFFUBYR!
09. Fjrngl natel shpxyrff ybfre
10. Tenil fuvg oebja

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Webkinz Grind

All of my children now have WebKinz.

While they sleep peacefully in their beds, I have been logging some time answering stupid math questions and working menial Webkinz jobs with the hope that the meager "KinzCash" I earn will be enough to satisfy my children's voracious WebKinz needs. WE NEED A TOILET, STAT!!!

I think WebKinz is probably a lot like World of Warcraft, except you don't ever get to kill anything, despite the fact that it would be a really pleasant thing to do every once in a while.


John Hurt - Enchantro

Finally, Millenium Park

I finally made it to Millenium Park. It was a long time coming.

In early February of this year, I saw Cloud Gate (aka "The Bean") for the first time, during the few extremely cold minutes before I caught a Metra train down to the University of Chicago.

Last month the whole Splotchy family traveled to the park, but we didn't see any of it because we were down there to watch a cousin of MizSplotchy compete in a pro bicycling event.

So, it was yesterday when we finally devoted time to see some of the park.

We first headed over to the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. I had seen the top of it when occasionally walking around in the Loop, and I really didn't like the look of the thing from the side.

After getting a closer look at the thing, I am still going to say that from the side it's not that aesthetically pleasing, but I really did like it head-on:

I think a concert would be nice here, as I am guessing the place has a great sound system, having speakers strategically placed throughout the space. I found the intersecting lines above the field to be somehow kind of comforting.

There was a puppet show going on when we arrived, so we sat down and watched for a bit.

Oh shit, I've been spotted

The kids were getting a little restless, so we left the puppet show before it finished, and checked out Cloud Gate, aka The Bean. It was very impressive.

Under the bean was quite delightful, too.

After having a relatively inexpensive lunch (I had a "Maxwell Street" burger), we headed over to the Crown Fountain to frolic.

By this time the kids were getting kind of tired, so we wrapped it up and headed home. I know there is more to see at the park, but this was what we did that day, and I'm glad we were finally able to visit.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Just CGI It!

Last month I was wondering how I was going to achieve my desired broken windshield special effect.

I visited PJ's Trick Shop in Arlington Heights after learning they had broken glass gags for sale.

Hmm, it looks a little too "jokey"

Not very big...

Well, let's try and put it on the car. Please note that the following pics are of my rear window, as the windshield this morning was covered in morning dew. When I tested this out a couple weeks ago, I used my windshield, but neglected to take a picture.

Yes, not big at all. And the creases in the plastic look more like cracks than the cracks themselves.

You want a closer picture of this?

I still had another option. I had a discarded cracked windshield from an auto glass store. I took it from where it was leaning against my garage and set it on the ground for the night. You may or not may know this, but windshields are curved. When I came out the following morning, the weight of the curved glass not resting on the ground had snapped the windshield into two pieces. I pulled on the windshield a bit and got a small shard of glass stuck in my finger. YOWCH.

I was a little glad that the windshield was unusable. I had not wanted to try and lay it on the rental car.

So, as Freida Bee had suggested in a comment on my previous windshield post, we'll probably add the cracks in digitally.

Here's a pic my friend Lance quickly whipped up for me as an example:

Wow, what *can't* CGI do?

Don't like your job? CGI it!
Don't like your family? CGI it!
Don't like your president? CGI it!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Footage Has Been Reviewed, And It's Good

I went over to my friend Lance's house last night to look at the footage we shot for Streaking For The Shy. I had seen the first day's footage, but had not seen Day 2 or 3.

I think it's going to work out. There were some things I was worried about -- a nighttime scene, the crash, the post-crash, etc. -- but they all turned out great!

I still have a couple more shots to get, but I'd say at this point the movie is headed in a very nice direction.

More to come.

Splotchy Film Festival

SamuraiFrog tagged me last week with this nice little meme, and now I finally have the time to complete it.

I get to pick 12 movies to program into 6 nights at a theoretical film festival.

First, the rules:

1) Choose 12 Films to be featured. They could be random selections or part of a greater theme. Whatever you want.

2) Explain why you chose the films.

3) Link back to Lazy Eye Theatre so I can have hundreds of links and I can take those links and spread them all out on the bed and then roll around in them.

4) The people selected then have to turn around and select 5 more people.

Okay, here goes!


A Little Princess (1995)
Time Bandits (1981)
We ease into the first night with films dealing with childhood and the imagination. These are two topics that have always been important to me.

A Little Princess is a wonderful children's film filled with empathy and magic, directed by the great Alfonso Cuarón.

Time Bandits is a children's movie aimed at adults. It captures the wonder, the fear, the disappointment, the confusion, everything about being a child. It's my favorite Terry Gilliam movie.


Sonatine (1995)
Dazed and Confused (1993)
The movies of the second night have a thread of uncertainty and aimlessness. The characters are a little adrift, but not necessarily in a despairing way.

Takeshi Kitano's Sonatine pretends to be a violent gangster movie, but morphs into something odd and compelling as its characters are yanked out of their world.

Richard Linklater's Dazed and Confused pretends to be a stoner comedy, but explores the casual cruelty of adolescence.

Both of these movies are complicated, deeper and richer than the genres in which they are categorized.


In A Lonely Place (1950)
Ali: Fear Eats The Soul (1974)
In the third night, we deal with relationships, and the difficulty of maintaining them. It's all about the problem of making and keeping connections.

Nicholas Ray's In A Lonely Place features what I feel to be Humphrey Bogart's best performance. There is a romance that figures prominently between Bogart and Gloria Grahame, but I think the relationship between Bogart and his agent is even more deeply moving.

Rainer Werner Fassbinder's Ali: Fear Eats The Soul is an extraordinarily empathetic look at what first appears to be an unusual relationship, and the strains and cracks that appear in it over time. It's filled with truth, sadness and hope.


Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
Touch of Evil (1958)
The fourth night is the darkest of the Splotchy Film Festival. We explore the decay of the human spirit.

There aren't many darker movies than Alfred Hitchock's Shadow of a Doubt. That's all I'll say about it. See it for yourself.

If you haven't seen Orson Welles' Touch of Evil, please do so. Mike Vargas might be the hero of this movie, but it's Hank Quinlan that we feel for.


Escape From Alcatraz (1979)
Touch of Evil (1956)
Can we let a little hope into the festival? First we saw the decay of the human spirit, now we see its strength -- strength under oppression, monotony, repetition, indifference.

Don Siegel's Escape From Alcatraz is an incredibly watchable, suspenseful movie, filled with memorable characters. And hey, the prison warden is played by The Prisoner Patrick McGoohan himself. How crazy is that?

Robert Bresson's A Man Escaped is one of those movies that somehow communicates in the medium of film better than 99% of other movies. It's utterly engrossing, moving and hypnotizing.


2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Playtime (1967)
We end the festival optimistically. The films on the sixth night are filled with hope and a childish wonder.

Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey sees a future for humanity, beyond violence and ignorance.

Jacques Tati looks for humanity, but instead of seeking it in the future, or in outer space, he finds it in the environment around us.


So, there it is. I'm not tagging anyone else, but I'd happily read about the programming of any of your own theoretical film festivals.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Cliché Jar

You know what clichés do?

They stunt creative thought.
They drain conversations of spice.
They are a linguistic hole.

If you catch yourself using a cliché, just leave a comment on this post.

I'll do the same.

Please help stop lazy communication.

Some Days I Wish I Had Freaky Terry Jones Arms

Movie TO-DOs

My more immediate TO-DO's:
  • Buy an external HD
  • Review footage
  • Capture footage to HD
  • Start editing!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Alright, Alright, I'll Tell You The Title Of My Movie

My new short movie is called Streaking For The Shy.

The idea was inspired by a post of Bubs (look at my comment there if'n you don't believe me).

Some Behind-The-Scenes Photos From My Movie

Some selected photos from the making of the movie, courtesy of Tim.

This is from Day 3 of the production, probably our easiest day. We were shooting an early scene of the film, where the character Dave gets picked up.

From Day 2. Filming the post-crash scene. Smoke effects were created by large smoke bombs (they looked like big firecrackers). For some of the shots, we may be adding some CGI fire effects.

Also from Day 2, near dusk. Filming one of the last scenes of the movie. Three of the characters, tired, lonely, holding cardboard. I wanted a high-angle shot, which is why the cameraman is standing on my crappy minivan.

Day 2. I would like you to know that despite the fact there was a director chair on set, I never sat in it, nor did I wear my monocle.

Thank You, Weather Gods

Perhaps to offset the convertible stress I was put through, my shoot of 08/01-08/03 was quite pleasant, weather-wise.

Originally the forecast was for the weekend to be in the 90's, and at one point Saturday the 2nd was predicted to get up to 95 degrees. However, as we spent the majority of that day outside in the industrial location, we were accompanied by a light breeze and a temperature that never cracked the low 80's. Sunday was a little bit hotter, but still quite tolerable.

The day after our shoot, as I was driving Tim to the train station on Monday morning, the sky was heaving rain upon us, which would have been a crappy thing to happen on any of the previous days (I wanted sunshine for my movie).

So, I'm just trying to say to the Weather Gods -- thanks!

Unconnected Tuesdays



Monday, August 4, 2008

Lesson Learned: Stay Away From Hertz

I needed a convertible for my movie. I knew I was going to need one as I was writing my script.

How would I get one? Would I put in an ad in the newspaper? Ask friends, or friends of friends, friends of friends of friends in search of one? Post a tearful request on this blog?

Well, it turns out that you can rent convertibles from your everyday car rental place. In my mind the character in my movie has a vintage convertible (like, say, a '65 Mustang), but I would be able to easily rent the next best thing -- a brand-new Mustang, which is essentially a homage/ripoff to the 1960's model.

So, I made my rental car reservation waaaaay back in early May, requesting it for the duration of the shoot (08/01 - 08/03), through the Hertz office at 909 N. Michigan.

The Michigan Avenue office opens at 7:00am, and we were scheduled to begin shooting at 9:00am later that day. We were planning on doing some dialogue scenes in the car that first day, so it was important that I get the car as early as possible.

I get to the Michigan Avenue office at 7:05am, wait in line for about ten minutes, and then step up to claim my Mustang. However, my Mustang is not there. In fact, there are no available Mustang convertibles through Hertz in the Chicagoland area. None. Nada. Zilch.

They apologize for the inconvenience. I say, "It's WORSE than an inconvenience."

I tell them they better find me a car. They call up some places and tell me one of their competitors has a convertible at O'Hare airport. I give my credit card number to a person on the phone so they will hold it.

So, I now have to drive to O'Hare airport from downtown Chicago, at the height of rush hour. I do manage to get the car (it's a Chrysler Sebring, not a Ford Mustang) and then have to drive it to the cast and crew's rendezvous point in the morning, again through rush hour traffic. I had planned on getting there an hour before everyone else, but I ended up rolling in ten minutes late.

It was a very sucky beginning to my moviemaking adventure (don't worry, it got a lot better).

I realize that my needs probably don't mesh with the normal needs of someone renting a car. I was particular with the type of the car I wanted. Maybe I expected too much.

Still, fuck Hertz and their inability to service my request that I had conscientiously made months before. If people reading this have a choice between Hertz and Some Other Company, please choose Some Other Company.

Sunday, August 3, 2008


It's been three long, sweaty, stress-filled glorious days.

There was smoke, driving, fake blood, bare asses and car crashes.

I'll write more about the last few days' events in the near future, but right now I'm dog tired.

If anyone involved in the making of this movie is reading this, please accept a deep and profound thank you from my soul to yours.