Tip o' My Brain

January 30, 2007

It’s the Two-for-One Gullible Special, and I’m Buying!

Filed under: Shallow Thoughts — kryptobrent @ 7:23 pm

My wife just informed me that she had inquired at a local gym about getting some personal training. The sales rep told her that they were running a special–something like 35% off–but it just so happened to expire at 8 o’clock that night–two hours from the time she called me. Uh-huh. I didn’t know the 30th was such a logical choice for a day to end a promotion (unlike, say, the 31st?). We talked it over, and decided that the money wasn’t there. I hang up. That’s that, right? Hah!

She calls me five minutes later. The sales rep calls over “her manager.” The manager quotes an even more reduced rate, but Darcy has to take advantage of it RIGHT NOW.

Gymnasium reps. I don’t think there’s a single one I’ve met on the gym floor who didn’t seem to be salivating from his/her eyeballs every time they looked at me. And the “let me call my manager” bit? Here’s an idea–why don’t you just call your manager over NOW and save me the trouble of staring at the form, trying to figure out how to say “no thanks?”

I mean, seriously, do they think I was born yesterday?

Well, Darc and I talked it over, and we’re getting her the training. And for all of you who want to wish me a belated birthday…you’re off by a day.  And get bent.

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January 29, 2007

Someone please kill me for three hours…

Filed under: Staff Meeting Blues — kryptobrent @ 1:16 pm

We had another staff meeting this morning.  I’ve recently taken a new, more-involved role in my office.  So I should feel more like the business items being discussed pertain more to me, right?  Maybe…and after this morning, it occurs to me:

“Staff meetings are like being on an airplane next to a baby that screams in a pitch that only you can hear.”

Random Things I Discovered this weekend…

Filed under: Movies are, like, so cool,Weekend Discoveries — kryptobrent @ 1:04 pm
  • University Presbyterian Church has a lot of nice married people that are fun to hang out with at a marriage retreat (this is more of a rediscovering)
  • The Fountain is a weird, weird movie. I actually knew this going in to see it, and so I enjoyed it. I’d like to say it made me think, which is true: It made me think, “Dude, this movie’s weird.”
  • Hugh Jackman is bald in this movie, which I guess is a reaction to him being Wolverine, who has a lot of hair.
  • Sitting in my Lazyboy at home, catching up on television I missed, is my favorite way to kill time. I’ve dedicated significant time to this point (the time it’s taking me to finish this sentence) and I think it’s accurate.
  • I could probably talk a full ten minutes about Lorelei Gilmore’s relationship missteps from the show Gilmore Girls. Does this make me less of a man? Maybe. And you’re ugly.
  • I could talk another ten minutes about the subtle and not-so-subtle nuances of Battlestar Galactica. Does this redeem my manhood? I should add, it’s becoming harder and harder for me to be in a room when there’s sports on the television.

Well, that’s enough for me–back to my knitting!

January 23, 2007

Random Things I Discovered this Weekend…

Filed under: Movies are, like, so cool,Weekend Discoveries — kryptobrent @ 10:37 pm

What do I do to recover from two straight weeks of learning about film? Why, sit around and watch films, of course! Here’s what I learned…

  • Pans Labyrinth is a great movie. Great story (it’s a fairy tale that’s told in tandem with a historical subtext–namely, the Franco regime in WWII Spain), with winning characters and a decent creep factor (there’s this guy with eyeballs in his hands-awesome!) and some interesting spiritual touchpoints. It’s violent (fascists don’t usually talk through their differences) but I recommend it.
  • Amadeus is a great movie to revisit. I’d seen it a long time ago, but it stands up today. It’s interesting to watch a period piece in which the actors don’t even try to fake ye olde accents.
  • The Final Cut is okay, right up until the end, which is lame. When Robin Williams tries to be serious, he needs another emotion to capitalize on, like anger. This time he just seems bland.
  • The Richard Donner cut of Superman II is worth watching. There’re things in it that are much better than the original version. One thing worth noting: In one particular, pivotol scene, the folks who recreated the film from Richard Donner’s footage had to rely on a screen test with Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder. It comes off really disjointed and, frankly, weird plot-wise, but it’s interesting to see how far they went to preserve the movie’s original version.
  • The ending of the Nintendo game Resident Evil 0 is very cool and cinematic.
  • The beginning of the Nintendo Wii game Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is very cinematic. I can’t wait to play it again next weekend.
  • Star Wars Episode I doesn’t get better with multiple viewings, darn it. It’s too bad kid Anakin wasn’t more skilled in the ways of the Force–he could have used it to be a better actor. And I know it’s been said a million times (literally), but Jar Jar Binks lowers the audience age requirement to, I don’t know, six.
  • Also, as my one item unrelated to film, I learned that there are just times when you don’t want your birthday to be your birthday. Thus, in a move that defies logic (and legality) Darcy and I have decided that we will celebrate my birthday (January 22) in another month. So there.

January 17, 2007

MTI Days 13 and 14

Filed under: Deep Thoughts — kryptobrent @ 4:12 pm

Well, it’s all over but the shouting. Which will also pass for our graduation ceremony. For almost every day for the past two weeks, I’ve been learning about film theory, film technique, and I’ve gotten some hands-on training.  Today it ends, and while I’ll be glad to get some sleep, and a chance to eat better (I like my learning to be extra-chunky), I’ll really miss the guys I’ve met here.

I think, though, the biggest impact these two weeks have had on me is it’s given me a renewed hope that God has given me this desire to tell stories and make films.  Campus Crusade leadership has taken great pains during these past few days to tell us students that they want us to go forward with this, that they NEED us to.  Well, normally I can be cynical about that kind of thing, but I don’t think I will be this time.  I’ve wanted this for a long time, and I think there’s really no reason any more to hold back.

So I’m telling you this right now.  I’m going to go forward.  I’m going to work with my friends, I’m going to write, and I’m going to make films.  To do any less would, frankly, be  to dishonor God.  Oh yeah!

January 16, 2007

MTI Day 11 and 12

Filed under: Uncategorized — kryptobrent @ 8:56 am

Today we primarily watched the directors of our pro shoots edit their work.  Which is cool if you’re them, but not as cool to watch.  But we also watched clips from Amistad and Chariots of Fire, as kind of a reminder that film is powerful, not just entertaining.  And I’d love to hear from some of you–what comes to mind when you think of powerful films?

January 15, 2007

MTI Day 9-10

Filed under: Deep Thoughts — kryptobrent @ 1:27 pm

These two days we had a professional shoot here in Orlando.  The group was split into two production teams that were paired with paid directors, directors of photography, gaffers and even actors.  It showed me a couple things.

–It’s truly amazing the thought, time and effort that goes into what can amount to a matter of two or three seconds of a film

–Filmmaking sometimes involves a lot of sitting around, wondering what all your friends are doing on a Sunday afternoon.  Not that this constitutes a complaint.

January 12, 2007

MTI Day 8

Filed under: Deep Thoughts — kryptobrent @ 8:46 am

On Day 8 I learned two things that I already knew–when you have lots of down time (like, when your editor is taking longer than expected to get your footage onto the computer), a nice, long nap is called for.  The second thing–Crusade HQ has some very comfy couches.

January 11, 2007

MTI Days 4-7

Filed under: Deep Thoughts — kryptobrent @ 8:52 am

We’ve learned more filmmaking stuff like lighting.  But what we’ve mostly been doing is creating our short film.  The class was split into three groups of eight people.  Then, on Days 4 and 5, we started our pre-production phase–writing and approving our strategy and audience, writing and approving the script, choosing and storyboarding shots, and scouting locations.

On Day 6, we finished preproduction and divvied up roles.  I ended up being the co-writer and director!  (I suspect I was chosen because I’m, frankly, one of the least qualified.) We finished up prepro and immediately started shooting at 10  pm.  We finished and left the building at 3:30 am!

On Day 7 we continued shooting starting in the afternoon, shooting our “martini shot” right at 10 pm.  And that’s how it was with what I consider my first real short film.  Oh, what a feeling!  I’m dancin’ on the ceiling!

Now, let’s see how it looks after the post-production phase…

January 6, 2007

MTI Day 3

Filed under: Deep Thoughts — kryptobrent @ 7:25 pm

 What did I learn today?  I learned that:

–You better know everything you can about a film you’re making before you actually go out and shoot it.  You draw your shots, like a comic strip, which is called storyboarding.

–A master shot means your camera is running from one position for a whole scene; that way you can use it for scenes that didn’t work out from another camera.

–There are a ton of people more proficient at filmmaking than me.  Yikes!

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