Weird News

October 31st, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Zach here. It’s Halloween! Why am I blogging? Because I have some matters to discuss.

If you’ve checked out our YouTube channel recently, which I doubt that you have, you may have noticed something confusing. I’m talking about a teaser we posted for the movie with the title Bummer Summer. What’s going on? What happened to Land of the Lost??? Well, I’m somewhat ashamed to announce that it’s simply not the title of our movie anymore. Bummer Summer isn’t necessarily the title either, but it’s what I’ve been submitting to festivals as. Anyway, check out the extra spooky, Halloween edition teaser I made if you haven’t yet. I’ll make it easy for you:

As I just mentioned, I have been submitting, but I won’t discuss any details for fear of having to follow up with news of rejection. I wouldn’t have been able to make a lot of deadlines had Julia and Mackinley not really pulled through by recording and sending me ADR material for the final scene within a week. Already it has gone from painfully unwatchable to totally acceptable if somewhat eerily incomplete (there are no footsteps yet). I’m not sure where I was going with this paragraph. It’s Halloweekend. I’m tired and I’m grouchy about finally admitting to the title change.

Have a spooky day.

Puppy Whistle

October 27th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Zach here. Just thought I’d break up the recent silence with a little bit of only slightly relevant news.

Three members of our team (Nandan, Rob, and myself) were just ravaged by the weekend-long production of a brand new short film called Puppy Whistle. Nandan shot it, I was in charge of sound, and Rob himself was the co-writer/co-director/co-star of the show. Check out this very early teaser in which all of us are featured:

Check back soon for more half-assed, semi-interesting updates!

Submit to Me Now

October 21st, 2009 § 1 comment § permalink

Zach here. It’s never anyone else anymore. I wish Nandan would post something.

Last thing I wrote was about our weird screening. That was cut one. On Sunday night we screened cut three to a diverse crowd composed partially of non-ex-film students (the common man, if you will), and partially of formidably opinionated ex-film students. The general reaction was positive. There was a lot of interesting discussion about the unlikeability of characters and whether or not it necessarily meant an unlikeable movie. Luckily for me, I think we came to the consensus that it didn’t. I’m excited to see what a larger audience thinks of it, for better or worse, because I think I’ll be able to derive a lot about the nature of movies and how people perceive them. It that sense, this entire process has been experimental.

So now that the movie’s almost done (cut four is already complete), what’s next? My friend Nick, who was generous enough to host the screening I just wrote about, has since been hounding me relentlessly to submit to festivals immediately, considering the volume of important deadlines in November. This has generally come in the form of a text message every three hours or so. “u submit yet???” But the sound is a shit-show. Well actually, for being completely unmixed, the sound is awesome (thanks Dusty and Luc, seriously). But the last scene is garbled and the dialogue is completely inaudible. My friend and current generous host Katie worked with the clip for two hours last night before deeming it unsalvageable. We’re now scrambling to complete a full ADR/foley reconstruction of the scene, which includes recording dialogue from actors in three different cities. Meanwhile, the deadlines are too fast approaching. Nick insists that I submit the movie incomplete as a work in progress. Last night I exported a version with the last scene silenced and subtitled. It’s kind of artsy, actually. I’m waiting for the DVD to burn right now.

With the movie being so close to the end and all, I figured it’d be fun to post a photo from when the movie was so close to the beginning.

Photo 28

This is me, embarrassingly enough, outlining the plot of the movie on the chalkboard that Nandan painted onto the wall of our Brooklyn apartment. It was taken on September 22, 2008. Pretty wild.

Seen It

October 11th, 2009 § 4 comments § permalink

Zach here. Last night, we watched the first complete cut of the movie.

I wish I had the patience and literary competence to put the experience accurately into words. Instead, I can only say that it was weird. No one is more familiar with this movie than I am (with Nandan in a very close second place), but seeing it from start to finish was an unfamiliar experience. Even knowing every word, gesture, and expression, I was still surprised by several new, unanticipated effects that the movie produced when seen all at once and in order. I knew that this was supposed to happen, but it was wild anyway. I don’t know. I’m not trying to theorize here, so I’ll paraphrase my feelings: movies are crazy.

Anyway, we watched the thing (we were an audience of five), and afterward discussed it all in detail for a long time. One thing that it seemed like we all agreed upon is that it’s sort of a difficult movie, and not necessarily in a good or bad way. Every principle character is, at some point or another, thoroughly unlikeable, and the visual style is often alienating. This may come as a surprise if you’re only familiar with our pretty stills, good-times blog demeanor, and all-too-“indie”-toned fundraising trailer. But it’s true. When people tell me that they’re excited to see my movie, I often warn them that it probably won’t be what they’re expecting. Throughout the course of production, many of my decisions came from a strange, not-easily-explained desire to displease the audience. Last night, as part of the audience, I wondered whether I should have been more careful what I wished for. But maybe not. It isn’t a matter of good or bad, just taste.

Some bits I think are great and am proud of, some I don’t care for, some seem out of place, some are confusing, etc. But we don’t judge movies on a beat-by-beat basis, we judge them as wholes, defining years of thought and labor with a simple thumbs up or thumbs down. I’m certainly not about to do that here, (a) because I think that as a creator my opinion’s not worth much and (b) because no one has seen it and I don’t want to influence any forthcoming opinions (which I unfortunately may have already done). Try to see it sometime.

Even though there’s much work left to be done, seeing the movie for the first time really felt like the beginning of putting it behind me. In a good way. I’m getting anxious to start something new. I know that before long I’ll be able to feel that a review of the movie is not a review of me personally, but of a bi-product of me whose feelings can’t be hurt, a series of decisions I made one summer in wild, passionate haste. I was always so sure that upon moving home last December I would become quickly unmotivated and, having produced nothing, slip into a deep, long-lasting state of depression. This movie is a complete success just for existing. Not to get cheesy.

Dear Prospective Employer,

October 6th, 2009 § 2 comments § permalink

Zach here. Today Jesse and I finished reviewing all of the takes from the point up to which he had edited through to the end of the movie. Unfortunately, this included my absolute least favorite sequence and I’ve been a Mopey-Maurie about it the whole day down. I’m hoping desperately that something can be fanagled in the edit. A rare, optimistic thought: the pitiful griping of my last post is now concern-dust in the wind, and so maybe by next post this new bitch/moan cocktail will have joined the ranks of its predecessor. I’ll let you know.

Also, I heard that the first complete rough edit of the movie has been achieved. More on that when I actually see it.

Meanwhile, I check craigslist every ten minutes in search of easy money. But I’ll even take hard money at this point. I can’t crash forever lest my friends get sick(er) of me. And even without having to pay rent the money stash continues its downward march, two slices of pizza at a time. Today I applied to work as a bartender’s assistant in one of Brooklyn’s more exciting neighborhoods. The woman interviewing me asked if I’d be comfortable bouncing motherfuckers when shit got real, as well as walking her home every night with the cash. For slave’s wages. I lied and said yes. I think she saw right through it because she asked to see my “mean face”. I mostly hope that they don’t call me back. I’m sure I don’t have much to worry about.

Tonight’s reflection is all about that bastard sequence I’ve been crying about. But enough tears. The point is that any experience which yielded this photograph could not have been a waste.


I just spent the better part of a year selfishly living out a most epic fantasy and dragging everyone I know down with me. The quality of the end result doesn’t change that.

Where am I?

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