Category:production notes

It is about this time that we realized we were in a room of fundamentalist film students, for they were laughing appreciatively with the person in the position to one day give them work, and sneering at the representative of a free press. In short, they are fully prepared for Hollywood.
- bwahahaha, Fox Searchlight gets all Rathered up, planting (aka "inviting") a NYT's gossip reporter [sic] in a Columbia U. screening and Q&A where my boy, David O. Russell, worked the crowd into a frenzy against her by criticizing Sharon Waxman's leg-humping I Heart Huckabees article.

Hey Pal, Where's the Lousy Compassion? [Boldface Names, NYT]
The Nudist Buddhist &c., &c. []

Whatever it takes to get the story, I guess. A serious shoutout to the Times' Sharon Waxman, who had my boy David O. Russell [boxers, not that anyone asked] rub up against her on the set of I Heart Huckabee's.

That's the tip of the antics iceberg, though. Check out Waxman's report covering the last 18 months of the production.

Interestingly, she's very cagey about the finished product itself. She was very circumspect on the reactions at a cast/family/friends screening. Meanwhile, the film seems to be rocking 'em in Toronto.

The Nudist Buddhist Borderline-Abusive Love-In [Sharon Waxman, NYT]
Tom Hall ♥'s I ♥ H [Indiewire, via Greencine]

[9/22 Update: Defamer reports [sic] that D.O. is P.O.'ed about Waxman's NYT article; seems he thought she was writing a book. Which, technically, is true. It's called Rebels on the Backlot: Six Maverick Directors and How They Conquered the Hollywood Studio System.]

Ben, Jen, Kevin on the set of Jersey Girls

On his illustrious entertainment portal Movie Poop Shoot, Kevin Smith is publishing a weekly production diary of Jersey Girls, his latest, which he calls "hands-down, the best movie we've ever made." The dates are a little ambiguous. The Week One entry is dated July 12, and the Week Two entry isn't exactly dated, but the original schedule had the 11-week shoot wrapping on November 1, er, tomorrow. It's got Ben Affleck and Jen Lopez in it, who also star in the unofficial off-the-set production diary, E! Online. Bonus: There's a big show tunes musical number in it.

Since the eerie gap in this online production diary overlaps perfectly with the lag on Full Frontal (where it was Week 3 for two+ months), my theory is Miramax had some kind of summer web embargo, or fired their sysadmin and couldn't do updates, or something.

Joseph Smith Sphinx, Gilgal Garden, Salt Lake City [image via pjf]

Unable to stay asleep, I read Paul Ford's excerpt of Benjamin Franklin's autobiography, wherein I learn that Franklin's worth more than a Benjamin. At age 79, he recounts his clearheaded pursuit of Moral Perfection, determining that:

on the whole, tho' I never arrived at the perfection I had been so ambitious of obtaining, but fell far short of it, yet I was, by the endeavor, a better and a happier man than I otherwise should have been if I had not attempted it; as those who aim at perfect writing by imitating the engraved copies, though they never reach the wished-for excellence of those copies, their hand is mended by the endeavor, and is tolerable while it continues fair and legible.

Since it's much more fun to get (morally) high together, I invite you all to listen in to the semi-annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints which takes place this weekend. A well-spoken crop of 79-year olds (give or take a few years) will be imparting the Word from The Pulpit.

This in turn brought to mind the shiny corporate newness of the giant conference center that recently usurped the more famous Tabernacle as the official seat of the Conference. And for a moment, I was sad to see only one Google citation of my preferred name for the center, the Meganacle.

And which kindred wordsmith, laboring alone until now to propagate this term, accurately points out the building's resemblance to ancient Babylon or "government buildings constructed during Franco's era in Madrid?" Terry Tempest Williams, who's more Word Whisperer than wordsmith, I guess.

Lacking a serene slate terrace and a morning dew-covered chair from which to watch the fawns scamper, I've never read TTW's books. (Although they sure love her over on the NPR.) But this essay--which includes an interesting story of visiting her ancestors' graves and "sharing genealogies, a typical Utah pastime," with fellow cemeterygoers--also gives a great deal of attention to Gilgal Garden, a brilliant and unusual work of Mormon artistic expression I'd always thought we weren't supposed to talk about. See more photos and the original brochure.

Kevin Smith's irreverent but brilliant Dogma just ended on Comedy Central (albeit in highly edited form). I sat behind Smith and his posse when it premiered at the 1999 NY Film Festival, but I haven't seen it since. It really is great--a serious exploration of real issues of faith in an unexpected way (and by an under-the-radar believer). Smith is certainly an influence in terms of his career and his smart use of the net--via his View Askew site--to connect with his audience, if not in his actual films. Don't get me wrong; I love his movies, but I haven't really studied them. Here is Kevin's online production diary from Dogma. Begun in March 1998, it's the earliest moviemaking "weblog" I've found.

Adapted from Victor Khong's site, DV Cinematography

A reasonable checklist of equipment and accessories for shooting using a Sony VX-1000. It makes fairly clear the difference between hiring a PM and a crew (the old/OPM* model) and prepping a shoot yourself, essentially from scratch (the new/MM** model)

wide angle adaptor

3 f-stop neutral density filter

Ultra-violet (UV) filter


Diffusion filter - Cokin Warm Sun #694, Tiffen Pro Black Mist, Tiffen Pro White Mist, Tiffen Hollywood F/X filters

Warming filters - 81a, 81b, 85

Graduated grey filter

Red filter

XLR Adapter from Beachtek

[2] Lav wireless mike kits and [1] pin mike

Shotgun mic - Sennheiser MKE 300, 416, ME66 (not gonna do it)

Boom pole, extendible painter's rod or aluminium shower curtain (same here)

Manfrotto 055 tripod with the Manfrotto 136 fluid head (Victor's choice)

Headphones with mini jack

Softcase camera bag

Reflectors - white/silver reflector, bounce card

white balance card

lens cleaner cloth (photoco)

[4] camera batteries

[2] AC Rapid battery chargers, [1] DC Rapid charger (Sony AC/DC-v700)

1, 2, 3 closeup diopter filters for macro shots

Gaffer's tape

Vellum sheets

light kit (detail pending)

Indie Films Online has an interesting article and tips for lighting DV from Cinematography World

* Other People's Money

** My Own Money

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Since 2001 here at, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting that time.

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Category: production notes

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