Surprise Guest Post

August 11th, 2014 § 0 comments

Rob Here.  We’re currently in the middle of of shooting and we probably have had enough time to write a blog post, but we haven’t used that time to write a blog post. J.D. Amato is a close friend and  a post-production collaborator on several Newhard Entertainment Pictures. Last week while we were shooting/scouting a late-night location I was texting J.D. and asked him if he wanted to write a blog for us. He responded with this almost immediately.

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Rob texted me to ask if I would write a blog post for the Slackjaw production. I’m tired so I’m just going to be honest. It’s the only part of my brain that still works late at night. I’m J.D. by the way. Now you know who is talking.

Right now my life is the Konami code. It’s the Konami code of the nineties: no internet, no handbook, no guarantee. Just a series of rumors from kids at lunch telling me that if I follow their instructions something special will be unlocked. Things have been a series of up-ups, down-downs, left-right-left-rights, and fuck what were the last two— select-start? I’m exhausted. I just spent the week in Los Angeles trying to articulate the kind of things I want to make. I just spent the week in Los Angeles. I just spent money to get from New York to Los Angeles and back so I can explain the kind of things I want to make. I loved it. It was the dream—but I still can’t remember if it’s select-start or a-b-a-b?

Slackjaw is still being filmed // Nandan, Zach, and Rob are three of my close friends. Not all three of them will believe this, but they are three people who always make me happy by just being around. A mix of inspiration and humble friendship. Zach thinks I hate him, but I don’t at all. I think Nandan and Rob know how much I like being around them. I see Rob every week, I see Nandan sometimes when I come home and he’s just waiting at my door to sleep on my couch, and I haven’t seen Zach since SXSW where he last thought I hated him. They are people I like to talk about.

I don’t know how Slackjaw is going // Every new project from Newhard could have a docu-biographical novel written about it. Some are cinematic successes, and some are just experiential adventures. I am envious of both. Slackjaw seems like it’s making up for the chasm between those two categories. It’s a film based loosely on an adventure. But, the team is back together and that’s what I think is important. There was an episode of Captain Planet where not all of the planateers could be there to summon Captain Planet so just a few of them put their rings together. The resulting Captain Planet was a fucked up weak moron. He had too much Heart and not enough water or something like that. This isn’t that Captain Planet. This is the full team. Full Heart, Full Earth, Full Water, Full Wind, and Full— are there any left? Truth? Fire? Imagine if one of the planteers could just set people on fire. That would really intensify the show. Is this the same crew from the other films? Maybe this is a fucked up Captain Planet?


I hope Slackjaw will be good // My guess is that right now Rob is either annoyed by someone or annoying someone. Rob seems at the heart of a lot of that kind of thing. Not because he causes it or attracts it, but because he is a beacon of truth. Nandan always appears calm and relaxed (I think they teach you this on your journey… what’s it called? your outing? Been three minutes still thinking of the word. Had to google it: Mission) but I bet he loses it sometimes. I’d love to see that. I hope he does. It can’t be healthy to not be furious sometimes. Zach has folded himself along a delicate line of complete non-chalance and high-stress. He seems to not care that he’s stressed out. That makes it easy to stop caring about your own stressors when you’re around him. I’ve always thought Zach would make a great archer or marksman in his old age.

Screenshot 2014-07-30 23.03.00

Slackjaw is already interesting // I always wish I was more involved in Newhard. I think the films they are making are films that will be written about at least in the footnotes of essays on modern cinematic movements. Eventually there will be mainstream directors that proudly present midnight screenings of Hawaiian Punch or The International Sign For Choking in revival theaters. I am impressed by them and they make me want to get my shit together.


I have a lot to do this week. A lot of my personal future hangs in the balance. I’m trying to be very Zach about it, but it’s hard for me. It’s been unusually cold at night. I have a lot of small projects I want to make and a lot of big projects teetering on the edge of existing. I have a lot of things I want to create and suddenly it feels like I need TSA agents to get all of the ideas into a line and make sure they don’t have bombs in their shoes or too much water. I don’t have any particular source of income and I have way too many sources of outcome. I’m not tired, which is usually a good excuse. I just have to get stuff done. I rearranged my bookshelf tonight because a friend said I had non-representative movies at eye-level and it made me look bad. I gave a bunch of my clothes to goodwill today. I got all of my travel clothes washed because I’m scared of travel bugs. I’ve been having very vivid dreams about my friends. I woke up this morning emotionally troubled by something I couldn’t remember. My therapist is going out of town for the month and I think that’s great because I could use the monetary relief. I have two dozen broken light bulbs on my desk and I keep telling myself I’m going to use them for an art project but I never do. I wonder how Slackjaw is going? Do they pay for meals for everyone? Do they pay their cast and crew? I wonder how much money Bummer Summer made.

Last week I was in Los Angeles talking about projects I want to make and this week Slackjaw is being filmed // I have never been one for codes, but now that I’ve spent a bunch of time on the menu screen trying to get the timing and buttons correct, I’m getting antsy. I wish I were making Slackjaw. But, instead I’m writing this blogpost from New York. Some people just play the game and skip the menu screen. They lose health, gain coins, die, get extra lives, and eventually make it to the end.  I always believed that these people experience the game more than everyone else. It can be frustrating and time consuming, but thats a part of it. One time I gave my apartment to Zach and Rob and Nandan when I was out of town. I came home to find them half-awake on my couch at 3am trying to beat a video game. They apparently hadn’t slept and Zach was adamant they finish the game. I went to sleep. Rob and Nandan fell asleep on the couch. At 5am I heard Zach quietly celebrate. He had beaten the boss. Lazaravic was dead. I wished I had stayed up and watched him beat it, but I was tired from traveling.

I should call Rob or Zach or Nandan and see how Slackjaw is going. Those guys work hard. Also, I don’t talk to them on the phone enough. Especially Zach who thinks I hate him. Why would I hate Zach? I wonder if Slackjaw will be any good.

J.D. Amato

Screenshot 2014-08-06 03.19.13

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