Saturday, August 30, 2003

More movie reviews:

Tears of the Sun
So terrible from the get-go. Ridiculous plot, characters, and value system. Why are there always love stories in war movies?

Open Range
Here, a Capitalist is casted as the antagonist; more typical Hollywood trash. The cinematography was good for sure, and I liked the characters otherwise, but the premise was that owning land was bad. The guy even had an "evil" beard. Figures. Well, maybe worth watching if you're not bothered by this stuff.

Legend of 1900
Wow - a great fable, as long as you remember that it IS just a fable and obeys all laws of fables. I would have said "best movie ever" were it not for the ending, which I felt, at first, was not correct. One can draw some great parallels from this movie though in an inverse situation; someone who is stuck in a 9-5 job everyday may not ever get the courage to get on a boat and try a new live, or "start clean" as one American immigrant says on the ship. I want to point out that the piano dual scene was magnificent. The trumpet player's eyes are bouncing around a lot and it is somewhat distracting.

Job Update:
Looking at a job with a university that teaches film and TV masters degree in production. The job is an IT position, so I think I'll like the job, get good pay, move out on my own, and maybe if i'm super lucky get time to work towards a master's degree. This is still a small chance because the place may be looking for someone a little more experienced at the university with their programs, or more experienced with the software that the university uses. That's more than two birds with one stone if I get the position though.

I also found out a friend of a friend works for R+H (Scooby Doo, Dr Doolittle, other cooler movies) and maybe I can get in there. That would be magnificent since they seem like the best employer I've researched before.

Three of my resume's came back since the address was rejected: that's over $1.50 in postage alone! What a bummer. Still keepin' on keepin' on.

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Ok, sent out about 30 resumes, followed up on a couple of them. NO responses yet! I am getting further information about getting jobs:

A job listing is posted by person "A". Let's say I want this job -- the only way for me to even get an interview is for me to know person "B" who personally knows person "A". Then I have person "B" give my resume to person "A". Isn't that crazy? Even if it's posted on or any other website, they just trash anyone else's emails, letters, or faxes. Very crazy indeed

So I'm still deliberating whether to keep going on this VFX thing or just get the engineering job. I have been struggling with exactly what i want, and Ayn Rand says that if you don't know what you want, you're worthless! I think what i want is simple though: i want to be useful while building something that matters. I also want to make money, though that would happen eventually either way i went. I'm worried, though, that I'd have to deal with that "who you know" stuff on a yearly basis as I hop from gig to gig or job to job for VFX... Of course this who you know stuff is a factor in every industry. I'm just concerned that my degree or experience leading people is of absolutely no concequence to me getting an interview. If i had won an award, however, I'd have a ticket in SOMEwhere. Or if i had gone in undergrad to film school. I could still do film grad school... but the thought of school, both the cost and the time it would take, is very much not something i'd want to do right now.

I'm fixing the rust on my car now - i have Bondo in where the rust used to be, and i'm priming it now. I'll sand in the morning, and then probably hit that with some silver paint to match my car. I'm excited to see how that turns out.

Monday, August 25, 2003

I hate these Eco terrorists - come on people! Smogged the car today - not a pretty sight. Looks like i'll be registering the car again in Illinois!

No job yet.

Gotta get some followup letters in the mail today...

Monday, August 18, 2003

Also, I finished my Demo tape finally - thanks to J.C. for the mac, to E.R. for the camera, and B.P. for the OS. I definitely would have been up a creek without a paddle without you guys. Now i have 9 demo reels ready to go to happy recruiters...

Alright, fixed my back two wheels today and also the antenna on my car - it now finally goes down all the way for the first time in 2 years. And believe me, it was quite a feat. My uncle and I really pulled out about 4 pounds of rust and added as much grease, and after about 3 hours of work, we finally got the thing running right. I wouldnt bet the thing works forever, but at least it's working for now. I also pulled the mudflaps off of the car and threw them away - they were really starting to lose it and rust out, and not only did they look bad, the rust was spreading out to the car body. Bad news.

Also, no replies on the resumes today: though i shouldnt expect them to yet. Not only have i not sent out enough yet, but its not been enough time. I'm going to have to get three more prepared tonight to send out in the mail tomorrow.

Sunday, August 17, 2003

So here I am at Kinkos. I need to update this software I have to finish my demo reel (which got destroyed, you may remember, on my drive here from nebraska). I am paying $0.40 per minute here.... already racked up a $6 bill for this computer time, but no big deal, it's worth it i think. Plus it gives me a chance to write out on the Blog.

This week i sent out probably 10 serious resumes and about 10 other semi-serious resumes. One guy from STS-Media called me, however it was about a 2 hour drive to get to his location, so it seemed impossible for me to take that job. I am now applying to Disney and Sony and DreamWorks, and after i hit some other major studios, I will focus in on commercials. I wouldn't mind doing commercials: my plan now is to look at each job as I apply, and if it seems better than engineering, i apply.

For example, TV production: worse than engineering. PA'ing: worse than engineering. Commercials: better than engineering. It's a good way for me to be realistic on the jobs I apply to. Perhaps, as another way to get in, i can put in a couple years at a regular engineering firm. That way, i will have the 2+ years of experience that these jobs I am applying for require. As of now, I appply to all jobs regardless of what the previous experience or college enrollment status is: I figure anyone that hires me gets a DARN good deal. I just have to find someone who will risk hiring me, since I am slightly inexperienced. I do have a summer internship and other corporate programming work experience, however nothing where I was at "full time" status.

Thursday, August 14, 2003

Excellent first three days on the job hunt so far I'd say. Andrew hooked me up with a PA job on an urban-style independent feature called "Girlz in the Game". Gunplay last night was cool for sure, but I don't think the work i was doing challenged me technically enough, so I am going to work on getting a post production internship or job.

I saw Shrek at the Arclight the other night - the writers were there afterwards to answer audience questions. Interesting stuff they said were that:

"Crap + 1 still = Crap" or push for better than the best thing, not just as good as the mediochre things you see in movies.
Making animated movies is good because the characters aren't concerned with "being cool."
It took 5 years to make Shrek.
New slang to improve something: "Plus it"
How to make something appeal to everyone:
- get the audience to bring their own dirty language instead of giving it to them for comedy.
- target the intelligent viewer.
- have cast enjoy being together to get audience appeal.
When a movie is done, a preview is done to get audience reaction. Then it would be interesting to do a second preview where a lot of the story is cut out. The audience rating should go down due to that, so it will be easy from that to tell what you absolutely can't cut from the movie. Then in the third preview you should have a darn good movie.
A comic hero is often a reluctant hero
Take characters to extremes (stupid, loud, etc)
If your character was in the same room with James Bond, would your character hold his/her own?

Interesting things to think about.

Sunday, August 10, 2003

Now I'm all setup at my Aunt and Uncle's place - they gave me quite a lot of room on their top floor just to live short term. I am starting tomorrow by maybe meeting up with Andrew somewhere in Glendale or just fixing up the resume, working more on my car with my uncle, and probably shoot out a bunch of emails to website want-ads for internships. I am focusing on special effects production, and I think most people that do that for movies find a good start in commercials for television. Sounds good to me!

Saturday, August 09, 2003

I am in LA now! Well, Huntington beach which is just south of long beach.

So i made demo tapes, but the things melted in my trunk while crossing the mojave desert (damn it!) and maybe my other tapes melted too. i dunno, i'll have to check here in a few days. I move into my aunt betty's place on Sunday, and i'll be all settled in by monday after I take my dad to the airport to fly back to nebraska. I had not A/C for the drive here, so that was pretty rugged. I am really looking into getting a new used car soon, but we'll just have to see. I have a feeling my damn car is about a year from just totally crapping out.

I spent a night in vegas - that place is REALLY WICKED.

Big thanks to my dad for driving out here with me, by the way.

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

I leave on Wednesday for CA!!! That would be in less than 12 hours I will be on the road. Between my relatives, my car (uhg) and savings I should be able to pull this thing off. A contact of mine in the industry says that studios are staffing up, so i'm pretty excited about this! Also I am apprehensive. This will be proof whether I can make it in the business world doing something I only have a hunch I enjoy doing. I think if I remain flexible and dedicated, I'll find success.

Arg. $350 more into my car.... looks like no digital camera :(

Just at CompUSA checking out ther 15" Powerbook. Very nice. Also, the Sony Cybershot P32 looks like a little better camera for my buck than the Sony P72 i was looking at before....

Monday, August 04, 2003

Going to just about every day lately waiting for them to announce the new G5 15" Aluminum Powerbook. Another cool site: to see what's going on over at Apple. They say september....

Another good link, if you havent heard of it yet. Using winamp, one can listen to CD quality internet radio. The stations do need donations because they have to pay royalties on the songs they play. I like it because it is legal! None of this RIAA lawsuit business...

Saturday, August 02, 2003

Also, I just decided that I'd review movies on here as I see them.

Pirates of the C... uhh...The Pirate Movie

Great movie, and definitely not what I expected. I expected some movie that makes you jump out of your seat every 10 minutes. I hate that crap. Instead they cast a great male and female lead - the female lead character was a great part too. Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow was excellent because he is very dynamic depending on how the plot twists and turns. It's a disney movie, so no gore or blood, which can be a plus, which is how i took it this time around. The ending is a crock, but I won't let that ending ruin my rating of the movie:
Andy Rating: 7.2

Comedian - The Seinfeld Movie

I wish he'd just made a movie like the series, but alas, that's his perrogative not mine. The movie was not that great to watch; in fact, i didn't watch it all the way through. The commentary was witty at times, and the special features made it worth putting it in the DVD player. Otherwise, this Doc is probably not that appealing to most people.

Andy Rating: 2.5

Uhg, Quite tired from the rehearsal dinner. Kudo's to dave's dad Gary for the beer at dinner.

Also, the new Star Wars game is suprisingly good - it gives you the option to act as a dark jedi knight. The funny thing is, it's pretty tough to get dark "points" but it is pretty easy to get "light" points. Anyway, I hopefully will get a few more hours on that game before I leave town.

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