Apr
27
2009
0

Watch Peter Podgursky’s Cheerbleeders NOW!


Count Gore De Vol presents "Cheerbleeders!" from Gore De Vol on Vimeo.

Peter is made of friggin' awesome!

Written by Dave in: Film |
Mar
12
2009
0

Manifest Destiny

My original idea for Manifest Destiny came from a dream that I had. In the dream, there was a girl who could manifest herself psychicly in a number of ways. Her name was, duh-duh-DUN, Destiny. Being able to manifest multiple numbers of herself and perform all kinds of psychic tricks was great for the dream, but I wanted to flesh it out a bit and figure out more about Destiny and "The Box" that had created/warped her. It was also pretty fun to think of a schitzophrenic with psychic powers who escapes the thinktank institution...but what is a loose canon with a serious mental condition to do with it?

From an early draft of my notes:

We are in the Box. All of the "staff" inside the box work four hours shift rotations. The "scholars" sleep when their natural sleep cycles tell them to. When awake, they are subjected to numerous tests, quizzes, psycho-narcotics, study sessions, observation sessions, and other more rigorous physical and mental abuse scenarios. They are put through various test situations which allow them to "think outside the Box" and solve real-world problems.

In the Box, there are Scholars, Scientists, Agents, and Cleaners. Scholars are the patients, or test subjects/lab rats that the Agents capture, Scientists study, and the Cleaners eradicate when necessary. The scientists are objective creatures of habit, studying their specimens in a non-ethical space; if rape-study is required, rape and murder studies are performed and documented in the utmost scientific scrutiny. The Agents deal with finding new Scholars and catching the few escapees; they also deal with the day-to-day security needs of the Box. The Agents also make sure that the world at large know nothing about the Box. It has an exclusive clientèle. The Cleaners clean up any messes. This includes Scholars that get out of hand or anyone who gets wind of the Box.

The scene begins with the Box. White walls, white floors, white lab coats, white gloves. Everything sanitary and clean beyond description. Details fade into the whiteness of the Box. There seems to be no light fixtures of any means of incandescence, yet it is white beyond belief and well-lit to a fault. This is the test environment; all of it. Even the scientists working are lab rats working on lab rats, being evaluated by lab rats, sometimes killing lab rats. The Box is an ultimate in objectivity and scientific reason; it is a self-defined test environment. All are included in the test and evaluation.

It has evolved to a much different place now. It is definitely a hyper-secret, some would say highly unethical, corporate organization such as those represented in Dollhouse or The Pretender or pretty much any film or television series that has incorporated the huge corporation with an illicit science wing. But it isn't as sterile and controlled as in the original notes that I had on the place.

Destiny, and others like her, is a pet project, a case study for them to evaluate and perhaps use in the future. Unfortunately, their scientists have difficulty figuring out what makes her tick, so they have to work with Embeds. Embeds are neural simulations that represent memories. Using nanotechnology (because nanotech is cool and can do ANYTHING, right?), these Embeds can make a subject either believe they have been through a situation or engage a situation as though they are knowledgable of it. It is a far cry away from the wiping or personality infusing technology or situational editing in Dollhouse, Minority Report, or Final Cut.

Right now I'm in the quick-writing phase where I throw as many ideas at the dartboard as possible, write like crazy (when I get time), and try to suss out at least ten 9 minute episodes to film this summer. There are a lot of things happening this summer, but I'm hoping I can jump in and get some of it done beforehand--read: before some of my favorite peeps leave town for the great unknown.

So, here's a little bit of what I'm looking for in case you are interested in passing:

Destiny

Young woman with psychic powers. She has been subjected to so many experiments within the organization that her personality has split severely. Combined with her powers, these personalities can manifest themselves. Age range 16-24. She has several manifestations so wide expression variety is needed.

Character Content: Nudity. Extreme violence. Language.

NOTE ON NUDITY: I am targeting YouTube and Vimeo primarily with MySpace video and my site as secondary  targets. The nudity will be constrained to TV standards, though the violence and language may not be. Varying degrees of nudity may be required during shooting, however, in some scenes.

Young Destiny

Destiny as a child. She is taken to the organization and subjected to a number of tests.

Ross

Ross is a detective at the police department. Age range: 30-38. Has seen a wide variety of action in his days. In a long-term relationship with James which requires intimate scenes.

Character Content: Nudity. Same-Sex Intimacy. Extreme violence. Language.

NOTE ON NUDITY: I am targeting YouTube and Vimeo primarily with MySpace video and my site as secondary  targets. The nudity will be constrained to TV standards, though the violence and language may not be. Varying degrees of nudity may be required during shooting, however, in some scenes.

James

James is Ross's partner. He is an architect and all around good guy. He never expected to have his life turned upside down by a scitzophrenic psychic. He is the guy who puts a smile on the face of everyone who meets him.

Character Content: Nudity. Same-Sex Intimacy. Extreme violence. Language.

NOTE ON NUDITY: I am targeting YouTube and Vimeo primarily with MySpace video and my site as secondary  targets. The nudity will be constrained to TV standards, though the violence and language may not be. Varying degrees of nudity may be required during shooting, however, in some scenes.

Eunice Salinger

Eunice is an agent for the organization. Her job is to track Destiny. She was raised in the organization. She is an addict.

Character Content: Extreme violence. Language.

 

Bower

Agent Bowers is an agent for the organization who loves his paycheck but questions some of the motives while receiving it. He is the philosophical element of the agency.

Character Content: Extreme Violence, language.

Rais

Rais has a lisp. He is Destiny's handler and the chief researcher responsible for her. He is also deeply interested in everything she does. He is also an extremely creepy man. Definitely not the kind of guy you would want around your children.

Character Content: Extreme violence, language.

G

G is a psychic operative. She works through Embeds, creating potential scenarios. She can be cold, stunningly sunny, or horribly abusive. She has quite the range.

Character Content: Nudity. Extreme violence. Language.

NOTE ON NUDITY: I am targeting YouTube and Vimeo primarily with MySpace video and my site as secondary  targets. The nudity will be constrained to TV standards, though the violence and language may not be. Varying degrees of nudity may be required during shooting, however, in some scenes.

Dog

Dog is an operative without a name. He is considered disposable and is on his last leg while tracking Destiny. While there are a lot of Dogs in the world, this is one that may be put to sleep soon. He has been embedded with a pheremone tracking system.

Character Content: Nudity, extreme violence, language.

NOTE ON NUDITY: I am targeting YouTube and Vimeo primarily with MySpace video and my site as secondary  targets. The nudity will be constrained to TV standards, though the violence and language may not be. Varying degrees of nudity may be required during shooting, however, in some scenes.

Sarah

Sarah is Ross's sister and a middleschool teacher. Her apartment is being painted and she is staying with Ross and James. She is very sweet and very smart and very skeptical. Her life is about to be turned upside down.

Character Content: Nudity, Extreme violence. language

NOTE ON NUDITY: I am targeting YouTube and Vimeo primarily with MySpace video and my site as secondary  targets. The nudity will be constrained to TV standards, though the violence and language may not be. Varying degrees of nudity may be required during shooting, however, in some scenes.

Those are some of the ones I have written now and will be revising. None of the "content warnings" are set in stone at this time and will be revised. But that is where I'm at right now and what I'm thinking.

If you can even begin to think of anyone who might be interested in a quick, public, free film project about secret organizations, psychic powers, and violently whacky situations, let me know.

Written by Dave in: Film |
Feb
12
2009
0

Pioneer Slasher

So, I have refined my idea a bit on the slasher flick. I had mentioned that I wanted to do a slasher flick, and while I doubt I can get anywhere near the style of Peter's Cheerbleeders, I think it would be a fun project. Bloody, horrifically bloody and violent; and very, very fun.

After thinking and tooling around with Celtx for a while, I realized that I wanted something a little different than the typical teen in the cabin sub-genre of slasher flicks. I began to think about the various slasher flicks that I've seen in the past and thought that something was missing from the lot; a western slasher.

Now, the very idea of setting anything as a "Western" suddenly brings up the imagery of cowboys, guns, and lots of period costumes and sets. So I began to try to figure out how to drop the requirements a bit. First off, I had always pictured it as a "cabin in the woods" film, so the idea of homesteaders trying to make it in the middle of nowhere sounded like a fun idea. And while homesteaders had a gun or two or three (depending on how many children they had and how many they could afford), it could up the ante a bit for the murderers as well. Especially since guns and ammo were limited by funds; and homesteaders were often scraping funds no matter how many movies have them hootin' and hollarin' and shooting their guns into the air.

I was not thinking about undead murderers or cannibalistic folk, but down-and-out villians who saw an easy way to attempt to take over at least part of a ranch with a hairbrained scheme. Yes, the idea is melodramatic, but it mainly sets up the situation, and there are a ton of examples of extremely stupid criminals. The rest is a game of cat and mouse with a good chunk of mayhem thrown in; especially since homesteaders are survivors by nature and not about to let themselves be killed easily.

Right now I'm writing on the initial draft so it will be very, very, very rough. But it can only get better from there, right?

Written by Dave in: Film |
Jan
28
2009
0

Great pieces of advice.

None from me. I'm not the best giver-of-advice, but I do like to read the advice given by others. Here's some great advice from some people that I quite enjoy reading:

Joss Whedon's 10 Tips for Writers

The biggest one, in my opinion, is the first one: finish it. This is an area where most people I know who write have an issue. Finishing is hard, and often times nigh impossible because we try to incorporate all of our revisioning into the first draft. And yes, I know that I need to follow this as well. Manifest Destiny is actually coming along nicely for dreaming about it two nights ago and writing it the next night while getting snockered on Jameson.

Lefsetz Letter on FedEx

Love him or hate him, Bob Lefsetz has a lot to say about the music industry, and I think that we should listen to him. He's been throwing punches around the music industry for a long time. Unlike many people who comment about the industry without being an insider, Lefsetz is an insider who does not pull punches and isn't afraid to go for the throat. His advice in this piece, while a bit rambly in comparison to his other pieces, is on good word of mouth. People who have their own businesses, who work support for other businesses, who deal with customers, who are members of non-profits, or who are interested in sharing the things they like should take notice.

You're Boring by Seth Godin

Seth's one of those great marketing minds who fits into two very distinct categories: 1) he is successful enough at what he does that people listen to him and really want to listen to what he says even if they can't quite fathom it in their practices or organization, and 2) he makes a lot of marketing people or people embedded within the status quo quite nervous, often because he makes up analogies that they just do not understand (the Big Moo, the Purple Cow, etc). He is also worth listening to since he has a great perspective on how to stand out. I've been a fan for years; now if only I would take some of his advice.

Unhappy Thespians - A Manifesto on Training

I love Jill Dolan. She's an extremely gifted mind in theatre and has one hell of a head for theory. Her Utopia in Performance, while lighter on the theory than say Geographies of Learning, is a testament to the utopian power of theatre to transform the indivuals involved in it and the spectators engaged with it. In this essay, presented at the ATHE 2008 conference "elephant in the room" session, Dolan asks fundamental questions about why departments break down the spirited enthusiasm of their students during the course of training.

Original Manifesto

Response by Fran Dorn

Rebuttal by Jill Dolan

(as a side-note, Dr. Sandra G Shannon's "American Theatre History: A Segregated and Untruthful Affair" is also an interesting read)

Written by Dave in: Film,theatre,Thoughts |
Jan
26
2009
1

Just watched Peter Podgursky’s Cheerbleeders.

Cheerbleeders is one hell of a film that was made by Peter Podgursky, a one-time alum of ISU and one hell of a filmmaker. I'm proud to say that I've tried to help out on his films in some capacity. Whether it was a little or a lot or none at all, I support him to the top.

It is good to see that he did great work at USC. I wish him well with everything he does. If you can see it, see it. It is a ton of fun. May he make many, many more.

Oh, and he as an IMDB credit (or a few, actually since he's a film school junkie!).

Written by Dave in: Film |
Jan
19
2009
1

I have a hankering to do a slasher flick this summer…

I'm still unsure as to exactly how I want to do it, but I'm thinking that 10 minute chunks (the official timestamp length on YouTube videos, though I have a feeling that it would be pulled in short order (assuming anyone actually watched it). Mainly because there are a couple of things that I want to do with it, but am unsure as to whether or not I'll be able to find the right people.

  1. Nudity. Yes, I think there will probably be nudity; and perhaps a lot of it. Often combined with the blood and bodily detritus that makes up point 2.
  2. Blood and various pieces of flesh. There will definitely be a ton of it. Often combined with the above nudity.
  3. Torture. There will probably be some serious torture scenes as well as the brutal chop-chop that happens in these movies.

All of these things point to content restrictions on YouTube or Vimeo. Yet these are the venues that I seem to be targeting in my head (yes the streaming internet videos will be free; which adds a whole "how will I make any money back that I put into 500 gallons of corn syrup and food coloring?").

Hopefully soon I'll get to post a little more on the slasher flick.

Written by Dave in: Film,stuff I'm doing |

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