Wednesday, April 23, 2014

I Have No Idea What I'm Doing - The Movie.

I knew this post would have to written one day, if for no other reason than for the awsome title alone...

One of my classes this semester is an introductory course in video editing. As with almost every course, we have group assignments and this class was no exception. In fact, EVERY assignment for this class needs to be done in some sort of group. The project I recently finished involved those folks I wrote a letter to not too long ago when we were going through some... um... compatibility issues.

Anyway, we got through it and managed not to kill each other (even though some very angry words were said between one or two members of the group). The assignment was supposed to be a short film but since a local film company just happened to be holding a short film competition around the same time, the lecturer gave the class the option of making our movies for entry into that instead.

And they voted to go for it.

The rules were simple. The movie was supposed to be max five minutes long, be along the lines of one of the themes provided and, most importantly, shot with either a smartphone or tablet. No professional cameras - or any, for that matter - allowed.

As I said, our group had issues. A few slackers and one busybody who didn't really do much but provoke everyone else to argue left the bulk of the pre-production work to two of us. Eventually, when it was time shoot most people got their acts together. I co-produced and acted as cameraman, since it was my phone which served as the camera for the project. Busybody did some acting and one slacker helped carry stuff (I believe in making the best use out of my resources). In the end we managed to pull off something decent.

You'll forgive me for not sharing what we did since my real name's in the credits and I'd like to at least pretend my half-assed attempts to keep my real identity (mostly) a secret on the blogosphere have been working. Allow to maintain that delusion, will you?

We submitted out film on the deadline day but, to be honest, I wasn't very optimistic when we viewed the other groups' projects in the following class. We had choppy sound due to the high winds during the shoot, my phone's camera quality was okay-ish at best and the final editing was rushed. I didn't think we had a chance in hell of our movie getting selected over theirs. And that was just when I compared what we did with the other groups in our little class. This competition was open to the whole country.

Then, a week ago, we found out our movie was the only one from our class to make it into the competition, in the People's Choice category.

While the others were good, one of our in-class competitors was disqualified when that group went over the time limit, while the other had audio problems that couldn't be overlooked. Still, we were proud (and shocked) that we at least made it that far. During the last class, our lecturer casually mentioned that a newspaper also wanted to interview us. That's when the other producer/director of the group fainted (not really but she could have).

I checked our standing against the other movies in the People's Choice. With two days left before voting closes, we're nowhere close to having enough votes to win. Still, we never even expected to get this far.

You never know.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Internet Rules Are Meant To Be Broken. Aren't They?

I've been tagged! We all know the internet is full of all kinds of awards, games and memes designed to spread like digital STDs. I've gotten my fair share (by the way, if you've stopped by here, you may want to get yourself tested. Just sayin') and thanks to Joe of Mostly Harmless Drivel, I've now been hit with a new strain: the "My Writing Process Blog Tour".

By the way, you should really go check Joe's blog out. He's a talented writer and I find his fictions are always thought provoking - especially his "700 Hoboes" posts. I'm posting this one a day late, I'm afraid, so I'm offering my apologies as well.

I'm already off to a bad start with following the rules.

I blame it on my slow return to being enthused (or stimulated in any way, to be honest) about-well-anything and everything in general. I was down. I wrote about it here (the one where I swear a lot). I was actually going to post this yesterday but stuff happened at work (I'll share that later) and it threw things off.

Anyhoo, excuses aside, let's get to the matter at hand. Shall we?

First, I answer four questions:

1. What Am I Working On?

Um... I got nothing. I post when something hits me (of course, I'm sure it would make for an interesting story if someone hits me as well). I already questioned whether or nor I'm "writer" enough to try writing a book but the jury's still out on that one.

There has been an idea nagging me for some time, though. Something fiction, something funny. I'd say more but  I don't trust you all not to steal my idea is still in a pretty raw and undeveloped state right now. Maybe I'll stop procrastinating long enough to get it started and we'll see how it goes from there.

2.  How Does My Work Differ From Others Of Its Genre?

Easy. Mine sucks. Next question. What? More? Okay.

To be honest, I never really thought about it. I just write whatever comes to me. It could be funny (at least to me anyway), or just something for me to vent my frustration (link already provided above). I do draw, on occasion, but that's not really original either. Truth be told, I've never really compared myself to other writers out there. I just do my thing here in my little corner.

I'm not being of much help here. Am I?

Moving right along...

3. Why Do I Write What I Write?

Because I have a natural ability to find the humor in things. I like things that make me laugh and I like telling people things that make them laugh. I have to get this out and, since I'm not much for socializing, casting my words into the void of the internet will have to do. If I'm lucky, they may even catch someone's attention.

4. How Does My Writing Process Work?

I have a process!?! Kidding! I guess you could say it starts with something catching my attention. It can happen anytime, anywhere. Once it plants itself deep within my subconscious, it grows and starts taking over most of my waking thoughts until I expel it onto paper (read as: screen). Usually, my best stories get completely written in my head well before I sit down to hammer them out.

Now comes the part where I break more rules...

I'm actually supposed to tag three people at this point so the infection can continue to spread but I spent more than a week in a funk and never got around to asking anyone.
Again, sorry, Joe. Also, sorry, internet. I'll be more compliant next time. 'Kay?

Alright, that's it. Bye!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


(EDITOR'S NOTE: I burn up my quota of swear words for the next few months in this one.)


That’s how I feel right now. Like some fucking spoiled brat, throwing a tantrum. A very foul-mouthed brat. Why? Because I get depressed sometimes, that’s why? And I hate it.

I mentioned it before, but some of you may not know/remember. I was in banking about four years ago. I was a loans officer and, mostly and I fucking hated it. Then I lost that job – mostly because of my own screw-ups – and had been bouncing around from one place to another, never able to hold down a job for more than six months. The economy was in a slump, banks weren't hiring and it took months to finally find a temporary clerical gig in a small office that paid less than half the income I was making before. That’s how the next three years would go for me. Brief stints of employment here and there, followed my months of unemployment.

As a result of this – maybe even before it (HELL! I don’t know!) – I realized I would go into these “funks” from time-to-time. The worst of it was right after I lost my job at the bank. Back then it was full-on, curl-in-the-fetal-position-under-the-covers-day-after-day depression.

Should I keep calling it that? I've never been officially diagnosed. "Real" therapy's expensive, you know. All I know is it was like a hole had opened up inside me. I felt like something was missing. Like there were things that should be there that just weren't. I remembered, even before things ended with the bank, I questioned whether the road I was on was really the one I should be taking.

As time went on I learned to deal. Or, at least, to look like I was dealing.
Eventually, I started blogging and that seemed to help a lot.

But that hole never went away. When problems started to pile up, there it was, shrouding me and swallowing me up again. True, it wasn't as bad as before. I’d lose interest in things and stop being productive to the point where every task felt burdensome. I literally have to force myself to “function”.

But things are different now. Right? I mean I've been employed since last February. First, with TinyCo – the company that seemed destined to fold at any minute but didn't – and now with the government. My income now isn't anywhere close to what I made in banking but it’s the best it’s been in years. There’s just no reason those old feelings of emptiness to be bother me anymore.

So where the hell did the last week of my life go?

That’s what I fucking hate the most about my “thing”. It’s a creeper. It's a bitch-assed, sneaky kind of gloominess and I never know when it's going to hit or even that I’m going through it. That is, until it comes to a head (or the shit hits the fan). I go into force-function mode and my sporadic bursts of energy during that time allow me to make it through each day with just enough effort to even fool myself and keep drifting along.

I don't know how I got to this state. Sure, life isn't perfect now that my job worries have eased up. I've still been taking a hit or two as a result of our finances going into disarray when I was unemployed. But... Shit, I don’t know!

I know what some of you are thinking. I should talk to someone. I think that's part of the problem. Aside from my wife, there aren't that many people I can talk to. I love her, but there are some things I'm not comfortable talking to her about. Let's not even get into family. I'm a Christian (maybe not the best example of one, but I am), as I may have mentioned and most of my family are as well. But if I have to deal with the cookie-cutter "Go deeper into prayer" answers, I may end up saying some very un-Christian things to them (Don't believe I can? Go back and read some of what I wrote in this post alone.)

The fog is lifting for now, though. I'm just really, REALLY pissed it happened again. Sorry to just spring this on you all. I just needed to vent and since I can't afford therapy and I'm too much of a loner to have "real life" friends to bitch to, the blog is the only place I can pour all this out.

I'l try to be funny next time.