Saturday, January 9, 2010

An Act Of Kindness Is A Blown Fuse

Writing from the Frozen confinement of my home. Its 9 degrees outside at the moment and last night are heater went out. Our house uses the old shotgun shell type fuses, and this has happened every winter since we have lived here. Hoping to get an HVAC guy out in a few days. We have been confining ourselves to certain areas of the house and using space heaters. Its really not so bad, but you can’t walk around the house as much as I’d like.

On Friday night i went out to dinner with Eric Conard and Kyle Kellerman. We went to see Terry Gilliams new film “The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus”. We had planned to meet at the cinema, and then head to dinner first. I got a call from Eric saying he was having car trouble right around the corner. It seems the transmission had failed either from regular use, or just not agreeing with the cold weather. It was not going to work that night, so we left it at the gas station and went to dinner and the movies.

“The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus” of course is the final film of Heath Ledger, and was reworked after his passing to get the movie finished. In this regard it works incredibly well. Ledger has much more screen time than I expected, while Johnny Depp, Jude Law, And Colin Farrell double for him at times when inside the Imaginarium. The art direction is wonderful, and there are some real world examples of the art he made famous in the Monty Python series.

I am a Gilliam fan, (though not a huge fan of the Pythons) his work in “12 Monkeys” and “Brazil” are probably my favorites. This movie defiantly leans more towards Brazil. Losing Ledger is especially heartbreaking for Gilliam as he has had problems in the past getting movies finished. Watch “Lost in La Mancha” to see his failed attempt at “The Man Who Killed Don Quicote”.

After the movie I took Eric and Kyle home and found my way back to the Interstate down a country road in the snow. I got in about 2 a.m. and the heat was out. I swapped fuses, and within a half hour they were out again.
This morning I went to purchase new fuses and try and find a space heater. Roxie had been sick on Friday, but I figured she was better off in a warm car/store than in a cold house. I got the fuses (Home Depot had for four dollars the same product Lowes was charging twelve for), and found out that both places were sold out of space heaters. It seems that the one inch of snow Nashville received this week put people in a panic. I stopped by Sam’s club (which i rarely do), and found that they had sold out, but had a display model. I talked the manager into selling it to me, and giving me a discount on it. I get to the register with both Roxie and Marie in tow, and discover that are membership is expired, and they won’t sell it to me without renewing. Rather than give them 50 bucks, I walked around the store conceiving a plan.

I struck up a conversation with a middle aged Hispanic woman, who didn’t understand me very well. I explained our heater was out, and I could not afford a membership and asked if i could stand in line with her and pay for the heater. I don’t think she ever exactly understood what i was asking, but could see that my children were weary, and I was worried. I offered to pay for the bag of bread rolls (which is the only thing she had). She smiled graciously and wished me well. I was sad that I didn’t catch her name, but later realized it was on the receipt. Sara Laratrejo showed me a great kindness today.

So now my children sleep in a warm room. Jessica and Marie both had school canceled the later half of the week, and we have been getting things in order around the house. I finally watched “The Hangover” and thought it was funny. I did think the ending *SPOILER ALERT* where he takes the wedding ring back was a bit strange. They never get anything annulled and though he splits from his girlfriend and plans on coming back i kind of expected them to live happily ever after.

I slept through most of the Dallas Cowboys game tonight, but it is nice seeing them win, especially after Texas and TCU football was heartbreaking this week. I’ve always like the Cowboys, but never been really into college football. I had stopped watching most sports (other than baseball) until i bought an HD television a few years ago. I do have a long standing relationship with the Cowboys though, and I’m hoping for the best.

I got my hands on a FLIP Mino camera which should do well for Video Blogging. Its a cool little device, and is great for the pocket. Been making some checklists on things i need to get my movies done, and talked my stories up to a few people this week (as well as getting Final Cut in order). It’s kind of scary putting that kind of info out to the masses as it increases fear of failure ten fold. I think its that exact reason I am putting the experience in front of others, as I have to answer to more than just myself.

Been a bit nostalgic this week listening to Jimmy Eat World Bleed American, Surfjan Stevens Illinoise, Franz Ferdinand self titled record, and Foo Fighters In Your Honor. I also did a run through this Space Ghost album that was kooky.

Anyways, off to find fame and fortune via the interwebs. I found this cool series of videos that shows you modern day shooting locations of films. Its very creative and worth checking out.


Joe Francis said...

How do you like your Flip? I'm hoping to score one for my birthday later this month. I'm excited to do more Ian Shows with it, and test it out just to see what I could do with three and a feature script...

Cameron McCasland said...

I like the Flip so far, its pretty limited in certain areas, and is a bit shaky when panning. So far me and Marie have just been playing with it filming each other. A Five year old can use it, so thats promising. It has next to no zoom options which is fine for using it at arms length, and I have hopes that I'll be able to use it in some tight areas as a static camera.. I got it for dirt cheap (60 bucks new from a guy i know) which is why i picked it up.

What i really want is a few Sanyo Xacti HD2000s. They are a bit pricier, but the pistol grip ergonomics and full HD on an SD card makes it a better choice for shooting a movie I think. They also make an underwater version which could be used for some cool stuff. I've even seen these used upside down with a DOF adapter for some cool footage. Price tag is about 500 bucks, but if I could get a few for half that I would buy them up.