Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Stomach Flu Sucks

I woke up at 3am to an upset tummy. I spent the rest of the day throwing up, feverish, weak, achy ... it's been a while since I've had stomach flu. I hate it so much. I'm anxious to get back to the office tomorrow to start digitizing footage. I want to have everything imported and handed off to Brian by Saturday. We'll shoot a few last shots on Saturday at Ramsey Park. I'm psyched to be done with it. Stupid flu setback. I hate being sick.

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Worker - Day Four

We still have one more day of shooting to go. But that won't be for a few weeks. This Saturday's forecast = rain. Bummer. I was excited to get it all done before I left for New York. It'll have to wait for my return. Scott, Tai, Stacy, Alexis and I finished up today with everything in the office. We spent about 11 hours getting cutaways, establishing shots, weirdo shots, eating at Zen ... It was fun and laid back.

Last night I was at the office until 2am watching footage. By about 7pm tonight I became a exhausted, cussing, nonsensical mess. When I get ridiculously tired after shooting several days on no sleep, I resort to saying mother f%$%#$#$#%er a lot. Everything seems to end in motherf%$^%$#$#%er. I don't know. So yeah, anyways, I'm thankful, delirious, thrilled, excited, anxious, totally beat ...

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Worker - Day Three

Day Three continues as I sit alone in the worker's "office" watching every ounce of footage that we've shot so far. Greg went out and bought some fancy schmancy HD monitor this morning so we wouldn't be out of focus anymore. I think I might be spoiled by watching the footage like this. It's gorgeous. And not watching it upside down is nice. I'm finding a few hints of softness. Less than I expected, which is good.

So with the exception of Stacy and Brian, I'm working with a whole new crew. Many have very little experience and you'd never guess it. We're a small, fun, silly group. We got crazy lucky with Scott, an intern at AFS. I want to keep him forever and ever. My god, he's awesome. Ryan, one of my teen students helped all day long. He's 14, smart, confident, loves the camera like mad. He boomed, helped light, set up shots. He's not a big talker, but I think he had a good time. He didn't seem to want to leave when his mom showed up.

I'm not sure how screen credits will go. Many folks have taken a hand in shooting, lighting, gripping. It's been a collaboration in every sense of the word. I can't scream loud enough how incredible this cast and crew has been. I know it'll be a few months before it's all put together, but I'm so excited I can't stand it.

Tomorrow, Tai, Scott, Stacy, Alexis and I will get lots and lots of cutaways. Lots and lots of cutaways of clocks.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Bleary Eyed, a little nauseous and super tired

Just got home from watching the footage. The funny thing is, it's all upside down because of the 35mm adapter that Greg has. So Brian, Greg and I watched it with our heads cocked upside down the whole time. I felt like throwing up by tape 3.

It looks beautiful. Different from anything I've ever done. The way it's shot, acted, designed ... I hope I'm proving that I can do something besides teen drama. Or drama in general. This is a fun little world we've created. And to see it come to life upside down on a big HD monitor is pretty awesome. I'm about to collapse from exhaustion, but I'm really happy.

The Worker - Day Two

Day Two - Done! Awesome! We had paper snow, transparency shots, tear jerking performances, ridiculous production design. I felt really in a groove today. Day 5 of the script is my favorite. From Anne's falling apart on screen to a snow falling room, it was magical. And David Lowery even dropped in to say hello. Tomorrow we shoot Day 3 and pick up a bunch from Day 1 and 2. Mark brought food for lunch and stayed and gossiped with my art girls for most of the night. It was good to have him on set until he started laughing out loud during the takes. Did I mention my crew is crazy wonderful? I'm waiting for Greg and Brian to watch all of the footage we've shot so far. No sleep until Tuesday.

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Worker - Day One

We wrapped at 1opm. I made a quick trip to the grocery store to stock up for tomorrow and then headed home. Working on my new shot list for the morning. I'm wide awake. Amped up on a kick ass shoot. We're totally behind, but it's ok. We got our groove on today. We had to knock out all of Chris' scenes. But I'm pretty sure we got everything we need from him. I had to remind everyone and myself that we couldn't laugh during his takes. Damn him for being funny. And then he tagged team Anne and we spent the second half watching her weirdo expressions. It was great. It's all falling into place. I'm trying new things, directing comedy. I love it. Talking the actors through it. It works. I'm anxious to watch the footage. It's not perfect by any means, but I could give a rats ass. It's fun. And my crew/collaborators rule!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

In the morning

We'll start getting set up for the shoot. I'm so excited I can't stand it. I haven't been on my own set in a long time. 2 years. I'm anxious to direct again. Play, have fun, learn. I'll be a director, grip, dolly grip, script supervisor, craft services and many more this weekend. But I don't care. I learned how to build a dolly tonight. That's what it's all about.

Clocks, clocks, clocks

One of the main pieces of The Worker is time. Anyone who knows me well knows that I'm a freak about time. Everything in my life revolves around time and keeping track of it. Knowing that there's enough of it. Never getting ahead or behind it. So in the short there are many clocks, watches, alarm clocks. So my last minute efforts are detailing what time it says on what clock at what point in the script. Tedious. Very tedious. And confusing.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Worker Comes To Life

Tonight was awesome. Anne has nailed The Worker. She's hilarious. Between her and Chris playing The Boss I've got a rockin' cast. It's all coming to life. The set is totally bizarro. Greg and I shot a bunch of stuff and it looks so cool. I felt like a little kid. Giddy, excited and silly. Don't get me wrong, I'm still nervous and anxious, but in a good way now.

My Window

Michael Stipe sings to me about the flowers of Guatemala. I've been jamming to Clinic, soothed by Cat Power and reminiscing to REM. It's been a good day. Quiet. Productive. Our good friend Zach took an old window, painted it and reconstructed it for the short. Amazing. He brought it up at lunchtime. It's just been standing in the middle of the office all day. For some strange reason, it's calming. Like the image through the window of Ratcatcher. I look over at it every so often and it makes me smile. It takes me out of my spreadsheets and lists and pushes me head first into my imagination. I love it. Thanks Zach.

Nervous, Terrified, Panicky

We start shooting on Friday. My nerves are running wild. Trying to calm myself with a quiet office, Crooked Fingers and packaging DVDs for the JOB crew.

I feel unprepared, disorganized, overwhelmed and scared. I almost feel like I've taken on too much. And then heading to NYC the weekend after this one. What was I thinking? Vacation? Ha! So yeah, I feel like I'll crumble before the first shot. My students asked last night if I get nervous before a new project. Are you crazy? I'm a nervous wreck. I don't think it matters if it's a short, feature, big budget, low budget ... I'm panic stricken.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Go Fall Weather Go!!!

Yesterday was the first cold day in Austin. I savored every bit of it. Got to wear layered clothing at last. Was anxious to run my hands under warm water throughout the day. Spent some time at Book People browsing. This morning I bundled up for a cool brisk run through Hyde Park.

One of my favorite falls ever was the time after my ex and I split up. The months that followed were magical. The time hanging out with my friends, not worrying about anything but my own sanity and well being. Long walks, hot baths, late nights playing 4-Square or taking trips to the country to look at the stars, reading tons of books, falling in love. So every time fall hits, I think of that time. So I'll relax and enjoy not being tied down to much besides teaching, which I feel privileged to be doing. Try to get back into that "take care of myself" mindset. Balance and play.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Stacy Schoolfield Rules

1) She has one of the kindest hearts I know.
2) She loves unconditionally.
3) She tries to take care of everyone else before herself.
4) She remembers everyone's birthdays.
5) She loves Zen just as much as me.
6) She sends thank you notes.
7) If I tell her someone's down or hurt she'll remember that and ask about that person a few days, a few weeks, a few months later.
8) She's fragile. And she's tough.
9) She's a sucker for dark chocolate and red wine.
10) She's adventurous.
11) She's an awesome mom.
12) She's super smart.
13) She's a gifted writer, photographer and filmmaker.
14) She's a kick ass friend.
15) She sticks to her guns.
16) She's not afraid to talk to anyone. Or at least she doesn't let on to it.
17) She reminds me of what's important in life.

Happy Birthday Ms. Schoolfield!!!

Playing Hooky with Alice Sebold

I played hooky yesterday from the whole wide world. Slept in until 8am. Read my new book. Went back to sleep for about 1/2 an hour. Got back up read for a few more hours. Went for a long walk with Mark. Read some more. Took a hot bath, read some more. Cleaned up the house, read a little more. Watched America's Next Top Model and then finished my book. I read The Lovely Bones a few years back and fell in love with it. So over the weekend, I picked up Lucky, Alice Sebold's memoir about her rape at age 18. I couldn't put it down. She has a real distant voice in her writing that I like a lot. She separates herself emotionally. It's a strange tone, but one that I can get into. I was just telling someone that I need to read more. I have many on my list it's just scooting everything aside and not worrying about the world beyond those pages. It's hard for me to do, but I want to make an effort to do it more. I like getting lost in someone else's world.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Why I love Richard Linklater

1) He's shy and awkward. And nice.
2) He makes movies because he's madly in love with movies.
3) He makes films I love and he makes films I'm not so crazy about.
4) He makes movies as experiments and exercises.
5) He takes a lot of risks.
6) He savors the process.
7) He loves Austin and is super humble about being the reason why Austin is a mecca for indie filmmakers.
8 He doesn't wait for permission.
9) I just think he's really cool. And today when I saw him speak at the NAMAC conference I wanted to tell him "You're so cool". I felt like a silly, giddy groupie. But whatever.

Ann Richards Film Club

My girls rule. They make me laugh. The gut busting kind. They're silly and fun and make my Thursday afternoons.

Box Office Report - Why Austin?

Check out this article on Box Office Report about Austin.

The Worker - Panic

So my stomach is turning and I'm getting super nervous. I've taken on a beast. I guess I should really say that I've created a beast. I've mentioned before that my shot list is long, long, long.
I've been staring at it, rearranging it, combining some stuff and trying to create order to what seems super overwhelming. Normally I shoot about 25 set ups a day. I've double my set ups on this short. And added a few dolly shots. I just have to create as much ease and smoothness from one to the next and take it in a relatively calm manner and I can get through it.

Everything else seems to be coming together. The free standing window, the paper snow, the costumes, set pieces, lighting tests ... But I'm anxious and worried. It's normal. In the past I've found myself sleepwalking before and during a shoot. I'd wake up at 3am directing actors and light placements in my bedroom. Hopefully I'll continue to sleep through the night. That would be a good thing. I like sleep.

The NAMAC conference starts today. I met with my fellow panelists yesterday. I'll be speaking about how digital media has democratized the filmmaking process and allowed new and underserved voices to be heard. I'm looking forward to it. I meeting a whole new world of educators and filmmakers.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Friday, October 12, 2007

Shortcomings by Adrian Tomine

I just place my order. I'm so excited I can't stand it!!!! I love Adrian Tomine. I love him so much.

Funny Pumpkins

Karen sent these yesterday. They made me giggle.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

No More

A month and a half ago I put in my notice at Cycorp. As of today, that month and a half have gone by. In three hours and 18 minutes, I'll say goodbye to "day job hell" and spend the rest of the afternoon with a friend from Houston, my Ann Richards' girls and storyboarding with Greg.

So yeah, that's it. No more making and bringing coffee for anyone. No more expense reports, travel arrangements, filemaker. No more fixing the copier because someone loaded paper incorrectly. No more stuffing junk mail about Human Resource Seminars and CIO Magazines into mail slots. No more ordering office supplies or making fancy name tags for visitors. No more sending reminders to people who can't learn to remind themselves. No more ordering and picking up lunches for anyone but myself and probably Stacy. No more "Good morning, Cycorp, this is Kat." No more spreadsheets that don't involve film. No more generic walls filled with calendars, reminders, lists and white paint. No more lugging cases of sodas, ice and snacks from my car into a small kitchen without anyone to help. No more senseless "projects" that involve organizing proposals that date back to 2000 that take up a ton of time and then get forgotten about. No more filing cabinets overflowing with licenses and applications. No more staring at a pegboard full of posters and information sheets about "Employee Rights". As the great Mary J. Blige said, "No more".

I will miss most of the people I've met in my 4 1/2 years here. God, has it been that long? First impressions are always wrong. I stepped into a foreign world of Artificial Intelligence computer "geeks" and eventually discovered a group of sweet, awkward, shy, wonderful human beings. That's all I'll miss about this place. The people. They've been good to me. And for that, I'm very grateful. So for those of you from Cycorp who have discovered my blog, please keep in touch. Be brilliant and do things you love. In most of your cases, you already are. I was the odd man out in this group. But for those of you who are still yearning to be set free (you know who you are) ... Go. Run. Fast.

The 1 Second Film Tour Hits Austin

Back when Roberta Wells played at Slamdance in 2004, I met Nirvan Mullick. He had this beautiful claymation piece that shared a shorts program.

Shortly thereafter, Nirvan and some buddies started the 1 Second Film project. Honestly, I'm still not exactly sure what it is or what it's about. I became a producer by donating $1 long ago. Now they have over 8,000 producers.

They're coming into town tonight on a tour that will eventually end up on Oprah's doorstep. Go say hello. They'll be at the Brentwood Tavern at 7pm. Below is a link to more info on their Austin Tour Date and beyond.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Films at the Austin Film Festival

Lots of friends have films playing this year. If you have a badge or pass or are headed to see films this week/weekend, here are a few to put on your list:

Weekend Junkies (Enrique Garcia/Feature Film)
Friday, 10/12, 11:30pm - Lake Creek Alamo
Sunday, 10/14, 12pm - Lake Creek Alamo

Paper Balls (Nathan Christ/Short Film)
Friday, 10/12, 7:30pm - Dobie
Monday, 10/15, 9:30pm - Lake Creek Alamo

A Yeti in the City (T'chaka Sikelianos/Feature Film)
Friday, Oct. 12th, Midnight - Dobie
Sunday, Oct. 14th, 9:30pm - Arbor

The Anatomy of a Frog (Sarah Dowling/Short Film)
Saturday, 10/12, 7:15pm - Hideout
Monday, 10/15, 7:15pm - Hideout

Grammy's (Bryan Poyser/Short Film)
Sunday, 10/14, 2pm - Hideout
Thursday, 10/18, 5pm - Hideout

Muertas (Ryan Williams/Short Film)
Saturday, 10/13, 4:15pm, - Stephen F Austin
Tuesday, 10/16, 7:15pm, - Hideout

Trick or Treat (Mitch Collier/Short Film)
Sunday, 10/14, 12pm - Stephen F Austin
Tuesday, 10/16, 5:15pm - Hideout

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

First New Day Films Distribution Check

Stacy got the first check from New Day Films in the mail today. We sold our first DVD to a university in September when they hadn't even been pressed yet. I can't even remember which university it was, but still. It's a small check, but a check nonetheless. We sold a bunch online yesterday and haven't even done a major press push yet. We're on our way to paying off our bills, bands and maybe someday ourselves. It's a cool, legitimizing feeling.

Kat and Stacy on 101X, Chillville

Stacy and I did an interview on 101X, Chillville Sunday morning before the big party. Ray's one of my star students this semester. He's in the middle. And that's our friend Kelly Williams to the right from the Austin Film Festival. You can check out the interview here.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Mr Robinov = Idiot

What the hell?

My Tired Little Eyes

Last night was a huge success. Big DVD Release Party full of friends, old and new, students, kids from high schools that I've talked to, guidance counselors, the SIMS Foundation folks, the mental health community, film friends, cast, crew, family, nieces and nephews ... It was pretty wonderful. Never enough time to talk to everyone, but just seeing all of the faces that I love and adore in one huge space was great. Stacy, Paul Conrad, Sturge, Scott Bate, Tai and myself stayed long after everyone had gone and spent an hour or two, just chatting and relaxing. I needed that. I'm hung over from lack of sleep and too many Diet Cokes, but I'm glad that it's over and it was a great success. It's funny because I thought, "whew, that's over". And then this morning a million "to dos" popped into my head now that we have the DVDs to sell. It never stops. It never ends.

And we have a short to work on. I CAN'T WAIT!!!! Go team THE WORKER!!!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

New Website and DVDs Available

Our new website just went live. And DVDs are available for purchase starting now.

Friday, October 05, 2007

The Office

I love our new office. It's in complete disarray. Very messy, disorganized, bare. But that's ok, soon we'll be hauling in set furniture, props, windows, dolly tracks and we'll make it a room full of magical moviemaking. Today we found the perfect office desk for our "worker". Exactly what I had in my head. I continue to work on my shot list which is long and ambitious and nutty, but I don't care. New ideas and images keep finding their way to the surface. It's gonna be cool. Or at least if it's not cool, it's gonna be fun to make.

It was a day of errands for me and Stacy. Costco, Mopac Media, KXAN, The Austin School of Film with an itty bitty bit of time for writing in there on Spider. Off to see my boy who I miss like mad these days.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

The DVDs have arrived!!!

Stacy lugged up a huge box to our office yesterday with a big old smile on her face. The DVDs have arrived. They're here and they're beautiful. All shrink wrapped and everything. Let the party begin.

And then last night with our advanced class we had a field trip to Mopac Media. We learned how to build and break down dollies, run a jib arm, put together car mounts, steadicam jrs, wrangle cable and be cool. It was so much fun. Stacy and I kept eyeing equipment for The Worker. The ideas were spilling over, but we might be fighting it out with our students for the equipment reservations. Tonight this same group has a big casting session. I love casting so much. I'm looking forward to it.

Nod's Way Official Release at Book People, 10/27

Official release for Rob Stickmanz, Nod’s Way, ancient oracle of the Dvarsh, will be 3:00 p.m., Saturday, October 27, at BookPeople. A companion to The Lands of Nod series of novels, the oracle will be released as a boxed set including a wisdom book, a journal and three custom dice. The Dvarsh, their interactions with our world and Rob's own peculiar brand of ontological fantasy were launched last February with Prelude to a Change of Mind.

Hell on Wheels hits San Francisco and New York

Bob Ray and Werner Campbell's documentary Hell on Wheels hits San Francisco and New York this month!

San Francisco DocFest

Friday, October 5 at 7:00 pm
Saturday, October 6 at 9:15 pm ß we’re in the big theater this night: 250 seats
Sunday, October 7 at 9:15 pm
the Roxie Cinema (415) 820-3907
*director Bob Ray and producer Werner Campbell in attendance for post screening Q&A

CMJ Music Marathon & Film Festival
Friday, October 19 at 11:00 am
IFC Center, NYC
*director Bob Ray and producer Werner Campbell in attendance for post screening Q&A

Monday, October 01, 2007

The Worker - Camera/Lighting Meeting

Greg, Ray and Debbie sat in our empty office brainstorming, conspiring and animating our shots and lighting scheme. What's insane is that Ray and Greg spent an hour creating The Worker's world in a 3-d model complete with furniture, filing cabinets, lights and everything. It's kinda nuts. So that's what we'll storyboard from. Our brains and visions are coming together and finding common ground. It's cool.