I make films. I'm also a nerd.

Archive for 2010:

AA, JW on BK (on Twitter)

Much is revealed, I think, in this exchange–not just about our respective readings of Buster Keaton films, but about our respective approaches to producing films.

ALEJANDRO ADAMS: “Saw Sherlock Jr. Sorry but The General and Steamboat Bill Jr are so much better than this meta-for-its-own-sake stuff that excites academics”

JARROD WHALEY: “Agree. STEAMBOAT BILL JR. is superior on every level. It’s worth remembering, though, that this was before Barthes, et al.”

AA: “The metacomment(s) on the nature of film editing are tiresomely cerebral compared to organic sprawl of General & Steamboat.”

AA: “This notion of every shot containing an idea–I find myself craving shots that banish ideas altogether. A film as a bared muscle.”

JW: “No argument at all. STEAMBOAT, GENERAL are magic. SHERLOCK shows how the tricks are done.”

JW: “The ideas ought to exist between the shots–in the cuts.”

What a weird legacy for ol’ Bob.


Test scene, THE GLASS SLIPPER, 6/20/2010

On stage with other filmmakers; closing night, Cinequest 20.

Street, direction, Palo Alto




Overheard at a child’s party

1. “I’m James Bond, but with cancer.”
2. “I have to go pee, but when I get back I’ll go to jail.”
3. “Keep your eye on that person doing the robot.”
4. “Candy is bad for you.”
5. “Two monkeys: green and yellow.”
6. “Time is money.”
7. “Everyone take off your blue hats, it’s really annoying.”
8. “What the fudgemuffin!?”
9. “Are you the kid I kept knocking out?”
10. “Burning cupcakes just became possible yesterday.”
11. “Happy Cannibals Club!”
12. “We maked a snakehole!”

Preview Audience Reactions: THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS


These are the contents of several audience comment cards, collected at the first screening of THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS on March 16th, 1942 (image: page 117, THIS IS ORSON WELLES, Bogdanovich & Welles). Based on comment cards like these, AMBERSONS was mangled by RKO executives. Welles’ career went down the toilet.

This audience, by the way, had been shown the film after actually paying to see a bit of Dorothy Lamour fluff called THE FLEET’S IN. This is all a bit like asking an A-TEAM audience to focus-group a Haneke film.

Q & A: Music and Control-Freakiness

Anonymous: You seem to have a hand or three in every aspect of production….Have you ever/do you ever plan to compose music for your films?

My response: Let me address the control freak bit first and then circuitously wind my way toward an answer to your actual question.

My habit of sticking my fingers into every slice of Filmmaker’s Pie is the eventual result of having been forced to work that way when I started out. It’s hard to find a long list of willing collaborators when one’s resume is still thin, and even harder when that scenario unfolds in a sleepy Southern town whose residents seem to take pride in only claiming actually to do things. So it made sense to work nearly (and in some cases, completely) alone when I started out as a filmmaker. It continues to make sense because that early rogue sensibility infused my thought process; I made a virtue out of it in order to allow myself to keep going. It simply became the basis of my artistic personality.

Now, music: I have, in fact, scored my own films in the past. Short Change (one of my earliest mid-length “shorts”) is one example which comes to mind. Would I consider doing it again? Maybe. It would depend on the film. I can imagine scoring one kind of film myself, and on another kind of film collaborating with a composer. This is all academic (at the moment, at least), however, because I currently have very little interest whatsoever in the inclusion of music in my films.

Ginger’s sangria is frickin’ fantastic.