Category:projects

November 12, 2003

outline for Wed. Seminar

Ignore me. I'm making notes for a seminar at CCNY that Paul Myoda invited me to speak at and screen some of the films. I should probably make a Venn Diagram for this...

Production diary of my own films
Ideas behind my own films (including development of some scripts, why the hell I'm doing a musical)
Influences and inspiration, whether filmmakers, artists, writers
Subject matter, themes, background and continuing dialogue/unfolding events (death, grief, 9/11, memorials, architecture)
Art & architecture I like, because it impacts me and my worldview
Other peoples' filmmaking news, experiences
Filmmaking trends I find relevant (DV, Machinima, Animation, DVD, documentary-style, video game-film dialogue)
Topics that develop a life of their own (shipping container architecture, powerpoint, Liza Minnelli for a frightening minute there-blame Gawker-- Sforzian backgrounds and the entertainment techniques of politics, putting this war in context, religiosity, WTC Memorial Competition)
Insights and interviews with filmmakers I think are worth paying attention to/learning something from
Self-admittedly brilliant ideas I'm confident everyone in the world will benefit from reading (note: heavy overlap with other categories)

Gerry, still, Gus van Sant

Don't know how I missed this; in Feb., Gus Van Sant talked to The Onion A.V. Club about making his films. The sequential filming mode from Gerry was used again on Elephant; with a small, light crew, Van Sant was practically flying along, shooting whatever he wanted. It was an approach he'd missed since his first feature, Mala Noche.

One review of Gerry deadpanned that Los Angeles is enough of a desert itself, why go to Death Valley; since reading it, I've wanted to do a shot-for-shot remake of Gerry, set in teeming east LA. After all, for a west-side anglo, being stuck on foot in East LA could be as alienating and threatening as an empty desert.

[Update: I finally found it; It was a Voice interview with Van Sant, who said: "In the West, as soon as you get out of town, depending on which direction you go, you can hit desert, especially in L.A. I mean, L.A. is really a desert anyway."

Unfortunately, there's something screwy going on with the DVD release of Gerry. Criterion is apparently handling it, but there's no mention of it at all on their site.

Sent off entries to festivals in Rotterdam and San Jose, even though Rotterdam's short film deadline was last week (I got as close to special dispensation as they're willing to do in these circumstances, pleading and dropping the heavy name of the festival that accepted the film for December.)

The memefeeder online film project doesn't have a upload deadline Monday, it goes live on Monday, so I'm scrambling to shoot, edit, digitize and upload that by Friday night. Net net: the storyline I posted a couple of days ago may only be released on the DVD...

There are a lot of thanks to give out. First, Evan of Blogger, who kindly annointed this site and brought it to the attention of some people besides those Googling "Albert Maysles and Glitter"; travelersdiagram, Ftrain, Camworld and boing boing, where I've tapped some rich info veins lately; fellow filmmakers Ryan Deussing, Stefan DeVries, and Roosa, who've said very nice things; folks at themixture.com, who were also very kind; Tyler at MAN, whose site is a great read despite all the comments I post on it; Eric Banks and Nico Israel at Artforum for alighting (from the heights of print) on the net for a good exchange.

If all these thank you's sound elegiac, don't worry; I'm only going to the gym.

from to

Currently prepping to shoot a 1-minute scene for an online collaborative film at Memefeeder.com. I'm doing Scene Three, "Commute," for which the first and last shot of the scene has been provided; what actually happens in the scene is up to me.

The story: previous instances of missing his ride flash through the mind of a commuter worried about being late once again.
shot 1: a failed attempt to hitchhike in Greenwich, CT
shot 2: missing the bus
shot 3: searching unsucessfully for a cab
shot 4: missing a flight at JFK
shot 5: running for the closing subway doors

Web links I'm using: Planespotting.com's JFK runway guide, Cached maps of JFK. Apparently, original map images have been removed from the web. No telling yet if the planespotting roads are still accessible. The Pan Am (now Delta) terminal's rooftop parking most certainly is not

Here is the first completed version of a screenplay for a short short film (and I AM thinking of shooting it in film), called Penguins (at least until I make some progress on the larger project that this would fit into). Check it out, don't steal it, and let me know what you think.

September 8, 2002

MemeFeeder online film project

And speaking of composite films by collections of directors, MemeFeeder is a collaborative online movie I am participating in. Based somewhere in the aether (the use of the phrase "first in best dressed" makes me think at least one Australian is involved), MemeFeeder has invited ten directors (and other contributors) to each create a one-minute silent film based on a scene from the storyboard they've provided. The ten completed minutes will be runtogethertomake a ten-minute short, which will screen online in mid-October. Let me know if you're interested in participating on the film/scene.

Poetry using Google Adwords: One more non-traditional (at least by contemporary standards) medium for creative expression (besides ebay and amazon reviews, which I mentioned last week.) The difference with adwords, of course, is that it costs you money ($15/thousand views these days). This guy did it in April. I did it in February. 2001.


There are two creative elements of an ad on google, of course: the ad itself, and the keywords it appears on. To drive a little traffic to my site (and to amuse myself, really) I set an ad to appear on searches for "haiku." It wasn't that the site that has anything to do with haiku, it was Google's adword format--which had launched at the end of 2000--which clearly resembled haiku:


Invite visitors
to my cluster of sites
through keyword purchase

While editing this post, I found an interesting article from the Online Journalism Review on the emergence of text ads.

When my grandfather was still farming, the shed behind their house was where he parked his tractor and combine. It's still where spare parts and empty grain bags hang at the ready and where tools fill the old kitchen cabinets.


This NYTimes article by Becky Gaylord talks about mens' sheds in Australia. There's apparently a book, Blokes & Sheds, by Mark Thomson, who's quoted in the article. Some ideas I liked:


What looks like chaos to outsiders is easily deciphered by the master of the shed. A man can put down a wrench in his shed and know it will stay in the same spot until he moves it weeks, or even years, later...
Men speak of shed coal: layers of things that build up on the floor, shelves and workbench, reflecting the depth of their lives.

October 4, 2001

My video equipment's out on

My video equipment's out on loan for a music video, and I've been location scouting in DC for the last few days and haven't been able to work on the movie at all. For cheap thrills, I'm flying out of National Airport this afternoon (good old Delta Shuttle), and will report any happenings of note.

[Just ignore the dates. There's so much going on, I'm more than a little behind on the log.] On location, day 3 - We spent most of the day following around Chad, a 32-year old farmer in Mapleton. Along with his father, he works several hundred acres of land around town, including the fields he leases from my grandparents' farm. Here's what we spent the day shooting:

  • Changing the course of irrigation water: While the irrigation ditches we shot on Wednesday are concrete-lined with pop-out steel gates, the water Chad changed today was in a field with an unlined dirt ditch. He had hip waders as he took up and moved an 8' plastic tarp that served as a dam, and then he used a shovel to close the 6 or so openings in the side of the ditch that allowed water to flow into the field. It was freakin' (sic) hot (100+ degrees) with no shade. Jeff waded into the ditch to shoot, while I scampered along the bank, pushing through weeds with the boom mike (which is tethered to the camera), trying to keep up.
  • Feeding lambs in their pens: Completely deserving of their reputations as stupid animals (the theme of Babe notwithstanding), sheep are also extremely smelly. At least when they're in pens where straw and their own manure make up the groundcover. They basically stampeded around behind each other, kicking up dust. Oh, and they licked the hell out of the lens, necessitating several midshoot wipedowns.
  • Cutting grain: We followed and rode along as Chad and his 10-year old nephew cut a field of grain with a combine (Check out ebay to see what a combine looks like.), which kicked up mad amounts of dust and chaff. Their field is located right across from a small subdivision, which was built on top of an alfalfa field. All in all, it was a hot, dirty, tiring day, and I felt like a total city poseur by the time it was over.

    So after dinner, we went to Ream's, a grocery/western wear store, and bought big silver belt buckles with our initials on them. (Sure put a stop to that whole "poseur" thing, let me tell ya).

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    Since 2001 here at greg.org, 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 greg.org that time.

    comments? questions? tips? pitches? email
    greg [at] greg [dot ] org

    find me on twitter: @gregorg

    about this archive

    Category: projects

    recent projects, &c.


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