Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Intellectual Whoredom

After Angeline sent me the link, I found myself wondering.

Am I an intellectual whore?

I've decided that I might just very well be, a lot of the time.

After all, even at the wedding I recently attended, the girls just said, "Oh, you're so funny!" all the time. OK, someone did say, "Nice tie" and "Nice jacket". And granted, they were my secondary school classmates. But still.

I feel so used.

Venting My Frustrations

I've been feeling pretty frustrated lately. As usual, it's mostly because of my job. The truth of the matter is, I hate casting. No, correction, I hate casting for the people I'm working with right now. I didn't mind casting before, so why should I hate it now? I've attributed it to the team.

You see, some of the people in this team aren't really in my good books. Some might use terms like "sycophant", "unrealistic", "picky" and "hypocritical" to describe them. I just prefer to use "fucked up".

When you're in a team, you look out for each other. If anyone has a problem, it's the problem of the entire team. When you feel like the project is your project, even if you're just a little cog in the wheel, then you've got it good.

Unfortunately, with the current people I'm working with, they seem to be more concerned with delegating responsibilities all over the fucking place, to the extent that they will refuse to step in and fix what is deemed as someone else's responsibility. Even if it's just a few simple phone calls. Even if they know that person will not be returning to the office soon. Even if the deadline is pressing. Nope, it's his responsibility, he should take care of it. In fact, it's so much his responsibility that even if schedules have been changed and a new draft came out and hey, we decided to change a cast member after the fucking rehearsal, we don't have to keep him in the loop. Let him find out for himself when he returns and only has, oh, a few hours to fix everything.

Fuck them.

And about being picky... God, they would die if they ever did a real docudrama with the usual team. There aren't as many good actors out there as you think there are, and even if there were, I can't be bothered to find them. Not if you give me six days per episode. And especially not if you pick on perfectly fine people and reject them for silly reasons. It's no point telling me "everyone must be able to act". Wake up and smell the coffee sometime. We're not living in Hollywood where everyone wants to be an actor. Sometimes all we need is a warm body to stand there and say the words. I know what kind of calibre we need for the roles. I will find people that can do the bare minimum. If you have such high standards, find them yourself.

Oh, and coming to me every few hours and asking what the progress is will not earn you any points in my book. It'll just piss me off.

The AVP told me I shouldn't just wall myself off in the corner and do my own little thing. I should be going to meetings, suggesting things left, right and centre. Getting more involved. I smiled and nodded.

Hah! How the fuck can you expect me to get involved in something I don't give a flying fuck about? And when do I care about something? When I respect the people working on it and their work ethic. Otherwise I'm just going to do my bare minimum and provide you with warm bodies. Because I. Don't. Care.

Yes, I take forever to cast. I don't spend all my time calling people up and getting them to come in for auditions. But that doesn't mean I do the same for things I give a shit about. In fact, I wrote an outline for a sitcom episode while on public transport one evening. If I can be that productive, you'd do well giving me more work like that, right?

My frustration got to the point where I had to do something - anything - to let off some steam. So I shaved my head last Wednesday. Well, not exactly shaved, just cut really really short.

However, yesterday I got the news that I was to be taken out of the team in the middle of next week, and put on the writing team of a drama. Given the proper incentive, I casted like I never did before, staying till almost 9pm and confirming a whole bunch of people that I'd been sitting on.

I mean, when I don't have the incentive I'll just come in and be a zombie and do a little shit here, do a little shit there, and basically just make sure you have all the warm bodies you need on the actual day of the shoot. Anything more is asking too much. But when I have a goal... Well, the results speak for themselves.

And I think the head-shaving gesture had a little to do with it. As did my piss-poor attitude. Can't help it. If I don't fucking care, I don't fucking care.

Speaking about people I hate in the office, some colleagues came up with an idea. They split the office into The Dark Side and The Light Side (or whatever they call it in Star Wars). As such, we have people like Jabba the Slut and Boba Flat (both not typos) hovering around. It was a good laugh. As expected, the people I hated ended up on The Dark Side.

Actually, I think I can put most of the writers here in The Dark Side too. They're just so incredibly lazy and unwilling to do research. When I went to the guy in charge of the drama I'm supposed to be writing next week and proposed a certain scenario, he said he didn't want to write it because there was too much research involved. I was blown away. No wonder the scripts have been so shitty thus far, he just didn't want to get down and dirty with the material.

It does not work when you don't do the research, and when you do your homework, it shows so very clearly. Given this, I cannot fathom how a writer can refuse to do research, it should be illegal. It pissed me off so much I decided to write that scenario and thoroughly research it and write the best fucking episode ever. Just so I can wave it in their face and say, "Fuck you." Seriously, they should just be fired. Maybe that'll give them a wake-up call.

I also read the script for an upcoming fantasy-drama. Jesus fucking Christ, it's fantastic. The best script I've read in Singapore thus far. It gave me the shivers just reading it, and I'm all psyched for it now. It's good that they're waiting till they have half the scripts before launching into pre-production, because at least the quality will be there. In fact, I was so excited after reading it that I SMSed the exec producer:

I love it! I wanna be on it. I'll do anything... except casting.

So yeah. Good things in the future. Hopefully.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Overdue Update

I've found that after I don't write for a while, either due to lack of time or motivation, it's rather difficult to overcome the inertia and start up again. I also realize it's pretty much the same for everything: writing, reading, and the number one killer - exercise.

So I've decided to nail at least one of those motherfuckers.

Anyway, during the course of my absence, I got roped in to play an accident victim in a Civil Defense drama. It meant four overnight shoots, and since I also had to turn up at the office sometimes during the day for meetings and such, it got tiring pretty quickly. I can't complain though, since one of the stars, Gurmit, was rushing between rehearsals for his musical in the day and the shoot at night. He's pushing 40, God knows how he survives.

So here I am in my Dead Guy Makeup. Vinson did a really good job the first day, and no one else on the rest of the shoot measured up to him.

My Dead Guy Makeup

And here I am all bloody on another day. The blood kinda hides the fact that the makeup isn't as hot.

Bloody Me & Chew Yen

Chew Yen is beside me. She's really nice, and lent me her mini-fan on the last few days of the shoot. Unfortunately I was stupid and left it in the car wreck on the last day, so it's gone now.

Why would I need a mini-fan? Am I a pampered little pussy? Well, you try sitting for hours on end in a tiny car with the seat pushed all the way to the front (to simulate the results of the crash), all cramped and folded into an uncomfortable position, with no ventilation except for open windows. As luck would have it, there was no breeze most of the time, and even though it was all shot at night, it was so fucking stuffy (especially with the heavy makeup) that I was sweating buckets every single instant in there.

This is my car. Well, for the purposes of the scene anyway. They're tossing a gas cylinder on the windscreen to smash it.

Gas Cylinder Hits Windscreen

They had to drop two cylinders on it to get it to look this way:

Shattered Windscreen

So the story is that the car I was driving was hit from behind by another car, causing it to smash into the end of a truck full of gas cylinders. Because our budget was limited, we couldn't have had the gas cylinders explode, which would've been really really fun.

Highly flammable things are always fun...

Danger Highly Flammable

...like this car here.

Burning Car

And here's the cast having fun with that same car. And fire. See, fire is fun!

Fun With Fire

But anyway, back to my car. So we're stuck, and I'm dead, and the Civil Defense guys arrive and try to get us out. Which they're good at. Go SCDF!

Opening Car Door

They also save the lady from the other car, by wrapping her up like a mummy. Once she gets out, she proceeds to do Michael Jackson's Thriller dance. Her name's Sue, and she's very cool.

Thriller Sue

By the time they get my girlfriend out, I've expired and she's lost a leg. She doesn't seem all that down about it though.

Her Leg's Gone!

They've got very cool vehicles, like an ambulance...

Shadows on Ambulance

...and a big-ass firetruck...


...which was good, because Sue's car later exploded. I have the explosion on video, and it was awesome to see. I think I need to work on more shoots that blow stuff up.

Every night was a rush for time because there was just so much shit to shoot. As dawn crept upon us, we'd be rushing like mad for time, and trying to avoid the sky in the shots. People would run around muttering, "The color temperature's all fucked" to themselves.

Rushing for Time

I'm glad there was a good cast for this, even though I think most of them were rather under-utilized for the shoot. Hopefully as the series progresses we'll see more development for them. They really seemed to click and get along well with each other.

Cast B&W

I think this next shot looks so good, it can be a promo poster.

Beyond the Call Poster

There was a new guy called Justin in the cast, and apparently it's his first role in, well, anything actually. For a first-time actor, I think he did great, and he might have potential to be the Next Big Thing. So keep an eye on him, folks. Of course, it helps that he's a real nice guy and we hung out quite a bit on set and off. The one bad thing about him is that he's Canadian.

Kidding! I love Canada. Even if Americans don't. Canada rocks. Even Niagara Falls is cooler in Canada.

We had some visitors over the course of these four nights too.

Hello Doggie

Big-Ass Moth

Here's Justin kissing that big-ass moth.

Kissing Moth

And we even had a bunch of free extras, courtesy of your friendly neighborhood banglas! They were real nice and never got in the way, so we let them hang around. It was probably the highlight of their week, the poor guys.

Row of Bangla

All in all, it was a pretty good experience. Except after four days the adhesive they used to stick the cut on me kinda burned into my face. Ouch.

My first time working on such a big-scale shoot... well, I guess I wasn't really working. I might be more critical if I actually was working on it. At this point I think I might possibly write for the series, but we'll see how that works out. I really like the cast, and I think I'll enjoy working with them if the cards fall that way.

I guess I'll end this post on a positive note and leave the bitching to another time.

Thursday, May 12, 2005



Morning: A butterfly lies dying on the wet pavement.


Tuesday, May 10, 2005

This One's For You, Nate

I know I said I'd stop, but well, someone requested.

Wet Dreams - Juvenile
The Interpreter - Diplomatic
The Hidden Blade - Honorable
Millions - Perfection

I know, they're not very witty, and a little obvious. My creativity seems to be drying up. Damn.

I do have this to say about Millions, though. In a rather dismal weekend, it was the thing that got me back up again and restored my faith in the human condition. Well, perhaps I exaggerate, but it came pretty close. Quite simply, it is perfection. Many movies claim to make you "laugh and cry at the same time", but a very select few actually deliver on that promise. This one does. And it made me happy.

Very happy.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

An Evening At the "Theatre"

On Friday, I returned to my junior college for my drama group's performance. The last time I saw one of their annual performances was in 2001, when I actually helped out a little here and there. And I was actually kind of looking forward to it. Of course I knew it'd be amateurish, and clumsy at parts, and silly at times, but at the same time, perhaps I can look at them and see a little of me, back when I was their age, and had my life utterly consumed by this performance.

I think I can safely say I got what I expected. There were bits that were decent (for their level of ability), and there were parts that were so atrocious I would throw up my hands in horror, amazed that this was actually going on onstage. Yes, they weren't very good actors, for the most part, but you could tell they'd worked hard at it. The writing was mostly clunky, but then again, what did I know at that age about structure and build and things like that? You did what you could. At least content-wise, I thought they did better than us, even though it was very depressing material.

And it was kind of unreal too, because you could completely tell that this was the world seen through the perspective of a teenager, a completely unique viewpoint that would change once that age had passed. What they thought of love, homosexuality, family, etc. were on display, but I don't know if it was that obvious to them. Watching their plays, I was brought back to a more naive and innocent time, an age when notions and opinions about the world at large are in the process of being formed. It was kinda sweet really.

It's also funny to see how some mistakes are passed on from year to year without anyone realizing them. For one thing, the heavy influence from Chinese dramas and soap operas on TV was the most glaringly obvious. From plot twists to dialogue to acting styles, everything was reminiscent of TV - and mostly bad TV. It's a land where people spout monologues for no apparent reason other than to fill the silence, a land where exposition is given freely and often, a land where people look and feel awkward once they have no lines to say, and sometimes even while they're saying it.

Another point is how these young actors have a tendency to lean forwards when they're acting, especially when they're delivering impassioned lines, such that their ass is sticking out behind them. It's a funny position, and looks rather awkward. However, everyone does it, for some strange reason. We did it when we were their age, and they're doing it now. Awkward blocking and stage movement for no apparent reason is also pretty much a standard problem. They're blocked only for the portion of the audience in front of them, and audiences can't really see much from the sides, because they're all standing in a row and blocking each other from the sides.

But hey, I think it's all forgiveable. They're young. If they're really that full of passion for theatre, they'll learn, and they'll grow. We all have to start somewhere, right?

Back then, we were so proud of what we were doing, and thought that we were hot shit. Looking back now, I'm kinda embarassed of what we put on. If I were to see it now, I'd probably diss it really badly. But that's how life goes, isn't it? You live and learn.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Number 1000

I keep a record of what movies I've seen projected in theatres. In fact, it doesn't even have to be in a theatre, it can be anywhere. However, there are certain criteria.

1. It must be in a formal setting. By that I mean that there is conscious programming, eg. in a film festival, or a screening organized by some student group, etc.

2. It has to be projected.

3. I must sit through the entire movie. Walkouts are not counted. I'm usually pretty generous, so this is usually not a problem.

4. But I can fall asleep during the screening. I can't help it sometimes. Other times, I actually force myself to sleep.

5. Short films are only counted as part of a program, eg. at the Chicago International Film Festival. But usually I don't count them. It depends on my mood.

6. Films screened during classes are not eligible, unless I see them again elsewhere.

Now, I didn't consciously come up with these rules. I pretty much made them up as I went along. I've been doing it since 1992, thirteen years ago.

It's very much an indication of how ridiculous I can be, even as a kid.

I also realize I've kinda written about this before, but this is an expanded edition.

The numbers aren't entirely accurate, because of some China kids' movies that I cannot for the life of me recall, but they're pretty alright as a ballpark figure.

Why do I mention this?

Because recently I realized I was going to hit the big 1000. Getting all excited, I went about organizing an Event this coming Sunday (i.e., tomorrow). I was going to see Millions, which was appropriate because, as Jingcai helpfully pointed out, a million is 1000 thousands. Response wasn't exactly overwhelming, because somehow when you say a movie stars two kids, and no celebrities, people can lose interest rather quickly.

But I have to announce that the Event has officially become a Non-Event.

See, when I made my new entries in my handy black notebook a few days ago, I'd neglected to put that piece of crap that was The Ring Two in it. In fact, I only noticed it when I scrolled down to my One-Word Movie Review post just minutes ago. As such, I realized with a sinking feeling that I'd already hit 1000 without even realizing it.

My 1000th movie in theatres was The Hidden Blade. I saw it in a rush, sandwiched in-between two social engagements. Alone. It was decidedly a Non-Event.

At least it was a good movie, and not something like Sahara.

And while I'm consoling myself, I might as well remember the fact that I probably hit the magic number quite some time ago, because of the few China kids' movies I saw as a little kid that I couldn't remember.

I'm still going ahead with the movie. Hell, 1001 is a nice number too. Even if it's not entirely accurate. Ever heard of The 1001 Nights?

I just realized that this post reflects how sad my life is. Please excuse me while I go slit my wrists.

Where I Am in Life (Or, A Fuckload of Nothing)

As time marches relentlessly forward, I find myself inexorably nearing the quarter-century mark. It wasn't too long ago that I entered my twenties, and suddenly I find myself at its midpoint. As me and Angeline observed a few weeks ago: Holy shit, we're in our mid-twenties! And at the risk of sounding like a walking cliché, I think I may be facing a quarter-life crisis.

Where am I in terms of a career? With the shitty management policy my company has towards their scholars, I have no fucking clue. I know I'm employed for the next few years, or more exactly, until August 2010, but I don't know how far, or how fast I can progress. My current situation seems good, but not so great at the same time. On the one hand, I'm being given chances to develop a new show with a group of other people, and I'm supposed to be writing a few episodes of a sitcom. These two things are pretty much set.

On the other hand, I'm also being tasked with casting a new series, which involves an entirely new cast of characters for every single episode. With each episode being the life story of a person, that's a lot of characters. Initially I was only supposed to help someone out with it, but recently it seems I've been more or less handed the whole fucking thing, which I really don't want. First, it's a shitload of work, that'll last until July at least. Second, I don't like it; it's mind-numbing, creativity-killing work, or at least I find it to be that. Third, I don't like taking over shitty jobs like that. Finally, if I do it, I can't work on anything else. My brain just will not function creatively in this situation, juggling so many different things. It's fine if everything is a mindless task, but to have to switch back and forth, often many times in the same day, is quite impossible for me. I can barely get into one mode before I have to change to another, and I just can't do it this way.

I guess I'll probably have to speak to my VP about getting out of this shit. I feel kinda bad because they only told me to help out in casting because we're shorthanded, but then again I feel that they can always hire a freelancer to do this kinda crap. Why should I be killing my brain cells when I can use them to write?

Of course the shitty pay doesn't help. I don't appreciate that all I got was a crappy S$100 pay raise. Yes, I'm aware that there are those who didn't get a raise at all. I'm also aware that for a relative newcomer, it's already considered generous. But I don't think a company should be allowed to send someone abroad on a scholarship only to pay them peanuts when they return. Judging by the rate I'm going, I'll probably only make enough to apply for a fucking credit card in, oh, maybe four years? This is unacceptable, criminal even.

I need to change my title. In the near future. Which will hopefully come with another raise. I can't be assistant director, not if I'm writing and developing stuff. Assistant directors do stupid shit, like all the bitchwork, location researching and, oh yes, casting. Which is yet another reason to cast off the burden that is casting.

Creatively, where am I? I haven't exactly been a fountain of good ideas or scripts over the last half a year. It's like I dried up or something. Most of the time I'm just too tired to bother. It's hard trying to get into the mood to write when all I want to do when I get home is zone out. And yes, like what I said, mindless work kills brain cells.

My housing situation has become more and more unacceptable. I can't deal with the bullshit that goes on at home. Angeline commented that my flat was claustrophobic when she dropped by once, and I have to agree. Toys (courtesy of my toy collector brother), CDs, books, comics, etc. are littered everywhere. I have no space to even keep them. No space for my clothes in the shared closets and drawers, no space to tidy my crap into, no space to live, no space in general. My dad is becoming more and more antagonistic towards everyone, and not a day (or hour, really) goes by without him picking a fight with someone. It's coming to the point where I live in dread every single day: I dread going to my mindless job in the day, and at night I dread coming home. I have to think of all sorts of reasons to get out of the flat on weekends, and even if I don't have any company, I'll end up walking the streets myself, just to get away from the madness.

I can't go on like this. For me at least, family seems just like a celebrity who's had one facelift too many - they're fine at a distance, but once you get close, all the cracks start to show. I really got along with everyone better when I was abroad and only came home during the holidays. If I stay too long, then everything and everyone starts getting on my nerves, and vice versa.

Besides, parents being parents, will always be a source of pressure, no matter if they mean to or not. Even if they don't nag, don't pick fights, and are nice and quiet, it doesn't help that much. The very fact that they're there gives me pressure. It's the equivalent of someone reading over your shoulder. They don't really bother you physically, but mentally, you're being fucked with.

They really need to just shut up sometimes and let me be. I hate having to report to them wherever I'm going, and to have them respond negatively if they don't approve of my activities. I'll say I'm just going to have a couple of drinks with friends, and they'll list out all the dangers of alcohol abuse. Jesus fucking Christ, I'm not even close to the stage where I have to attend AA meetings, they don't have to overreact like that. What do they think I am, five?

Initially I'd given myself a year to move out. Now it seems I have to bump it up. My new target is to move out by the end of the year. I have to do it before I go insane. I was kept up all night yesterday by my dad and my brother bickering. The worst thing is, I'd shut my door, but for some reason they decided to open it, then continue their argument, completely disregarding the fact that I was asleep. Come on, I've seen more considerate dogs!

Moving on, I have a confession to make. I'll admit it right here: I've never been in a serious relationship. There, I've said it. You can laugh now. I know it's pathetic. I really don't know why I haven't though. Well, perhaps I'm not the sort who'll readily approach people with that intent. And maybe I make myself seem unapproachable. I also don't suffer fools greatly, and am so arrogant I think that 90% of the population is stupid. Maybe that has something to do with it, ya think?

But you know what, being alone sucks. It really does.

I'm grateful to the guys for providing much-needed company, often at a moment's notice. But while I appreciate it, there are times when somehow, it's just not really enough. I call the same people over and over again to hang out, and after a while I just seem like a needy loser who's got no other friends. Or I can hang out with friends I don't often see, but that's only good for a couple of yuks. No matter what, sometimes I just want something more, something they can't really give.

I was in the elevator with a neighbor the other day and she asked me, "So when are you getting married?"

I snorted in reply, "Ha!"

And then she launched into this whole spiel about fate and meeting the right person and things like that, and I smiled and nodded and resisted the urge to punch her in the face. I know she meant well, but that really doesn't help matters, does it?

So I've done my stock take of my life thus far, and what do I have?

A fuckload of nothing, it seems.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Quote of the Day

"How would you feel if someone over-fertilizes you?"

- from a 10 year-old boy's taped audition

Random Things That Annoyed Me

I was at a petrol station (or gas station, for you Yankees) the other night with my father. Usually they have little old men who leap right up and fill your tank for you while you saunter off to pay inside the store. None of the pump-it-yourself bullshit like in the States - here we want to milk every dollar out of you imaginable, and what better way to do it than to force you to pay in the store and then try to tempt you with great deals on chocolates and crap?

So I grab the nozzle and do the deed myself. Except the damn spring mechanism keeps springing back, like the tank was already full. Now my dad has been known to be ridiculously paranoid about these things, so I ask, "You sure your tank was empty?" I try it a couple times more, before I give up, saying, "The bloody thing's broken."

At this point in time, my dear father, who's always had a penchant for putting down members of the family as a force of habit (I really don't know why, perhaps it makes him feel good about himself), spots a little old employee who comes running up.

"Come quick! My son doesn't know how to pump petrol!" he yells at the old geezer.

Of course, that pissed me off royally. Three years in the States and you think I don't know how to pump gas? What am I, retarded?

Is it an Asian thing, that you have to be humble, and perhaps even be overly-humble on your family's behalf? Or is it just him? Does it really feel that good to insult your own offspring? I dunno, but he seems to leap on any opportunity to do so.

What else? Oh, work is pissing me off, but more on that in a later post.

And this amused me more than it annoyed me. At a hawker centre, someone was wearing a T-shirt that said:

"Love That Is Endless Has No End"

My, you don't say.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Return of the Search Engine Query Post

Just for kicks, the last 20 search engine queries that led to this page. See here and here for previous similar posts, and see if you can figure out any trends.

From oldest to newest:

Salsa club
Rooftop by Jay Chou and Landy Wen
singapore hair salon in hdb flat at sengkang (??)
birthday parties
Swing Girls
intertextuality analysis 2046 (God, who'd think of finding this here?)
workout plan of ryan reynolds (Who's he?)
down's syndrome
company embarrassment crumpler canon
Naked Teens Pictures
uno chicago pizzeria (Yeah...)
used aircon
mavis Hee
caught mom panties sissy faggot (Not again...)
anglo-chinese junior college dance choreographer
firewalking blister treatment (!)
geylang whores
sexy wmx (!!)
spongebob squarepants "smoking up" (!!!)

I see there's a lot more variety than before, but I'm still kinda disturbed by "sissy faggot panties". It seems to be a perennial favorite.

The Inconsequential Post

I've recently gotten into the habit of jotting down little notes in Blogger on stuff I want to blog about and saving them as drafts, so I can flesh them out later when I'm in the mood to write. This probably started from transposing my notes on the US trip, and has continued since then.

So now I find I have two drafts sitting there. There's a more serious one where I try to take a Cold Hard Look at what the fuck I'm doing with myself, and one with more trivial, inconsequential stuff. Guess which one this is?

I went to a lecture and a part of a symposium on Hou Hsiao Hsien last week. The lecture by The Man himself was really enjoyable, because even though he's pretty old, he's still damned cool and laid back. The lecture really gave an insight into his personality and what he finds important in his movies - truth. Everything has to be truthful to the situation and the times, down to the dialects used. The actors have to be true to the moment, and he has no qualms about changing his script around to enable them to give better performances, eg. removing one actor's dialogue altogether, which I think is pretty bold.

I also liked the way he subtly gave the finger to egghead academics by digressing constantly from the lecture topic he was given (The Importance of Dialects in His Films), and making jokes about the whole thing. He clearly wasn't entirely comfortable with "lecturing", and his easygoing manner made the whole affair seem very informal and more like a chat, which was perfect, in my opinion.

Talking about egghead academics, have I mentioned how much they disgust me? I never was one for film academia, and opted out of so many film theory courses because I couldn't stand to over-analyze everything. A little bit is fine, but in so many classes you're made to read these self-important masturbatory essays written with the sole objective of showing off the author's solid grasp of a thesaurus. Ugh. And I like reading meanings into films, but you don't have to overdo it by looking at every little detail and seeing loads of hidden meaning behind everything. They often see much more than what was originally intended, or more laughably, an accident on set or a compromise the director had to make is viewed with dead seriousness and pages and pages devoted to it without knowing anything of the circumstances. With a film, I think you have to look at the larger picture, what the film is as a complete entity, or you're just missing the forest for the trees.

This is not to diss #1 or anything though, I know you love film theory, and I think your interpretations are pretty cool, because they're different. These people though... they can fill a whole book with bullshit.

Anyway, I've decided to stop writing on every movie I see. So often I just don't feel anything much after a movie anymore, and what's the point of writing unless I feel strongly about it?

The Hidden Blade is pretty good though. An old-fashioned, classic feel samurai flick about Honor, Dignity, Integrity, Courage and all these Themes. It's by the guy who did The Twilight Samurai, and while it's not as good as the latter, it's still pretty damn good. I mean, he did set the bar pretty high for himself.

I finally got some attachment lenses for my Powershot G5 - a wide-angle attachment and a telephoto one. I remember being pissed in the US because I didn't have a telephoto (very often) or a wide-angle lens (only in the Grand Canyon). Now I have them. They were a very impulsive buy, and set me back quite a bit, but hey, I wanted to be sure I got decent pictures at the David Tao mini-concert.

Which was kind of a letdown. A late start is expected, but to only perform four or five songs is pretty lame. Silly games are a waste of time too. I dunno, they might be entertaining to little screamy teenage girls, but they're just tiresome to me. Also, the telephoto attachment wasn't as powerful as I thought, the improvement was rather mild.

Wild singer

Wild violinists

David Tao

Yes, there are more pictures of the opening act (Wild - what a lame name for a girl group) than of David Tao. But then they're scantily-clad ladies playing instruments, which is way hotter than he is.

Making Movies

Mun approached me about making a movie. It was after we saw The Assassination of Richard Nixon, that much I remember. I decided to play along, and soon we had the bare-bones idea of a feature-length sports comedy. That's kinda crazy, because I was never much of a sportsman, and we didn't get very far beyond putting down characters and plotting out formulas and things like that. Anyway, I thought he was kidding.

It turned out he was pretty serious about it. The next thing I knew, I was getting SMSes and phone calls, asking if we should do a short film first. I thought perhaps we should, since neither of us had done any production work here before. I emailed him a script, a romantic comedy I'd written some time ago, and he liked it and we thought about it and had plans for a rewrite.

Then he got another idea which seemed to fit with a previous idea I had (it's complicated) and somehow a script was born in an afternoon. It's still missing a vital section but most of it's there. And then we started to go into details. This was where I began to freeze.

I don't know how best to say this, other than I don't know what the fuck I'm doing.

I don't know the first thing about getting equipment, getting crew, getting post production facilities, actors, the works.

I hate to say this, but I just realized, I'm out of school. The safety net, the handy resources, they're all gone. It's a confusing world out there. I found another safety net at work - at least it's within a corporation, and relatively controlled. But outside - outside's a whole different ball game. There's no camera unit just downstairs waiting for you, no wardrobe unit just a block away, or a makeup unit a short walk up some stairs.

I'm standing on the edge, I don't know what to do, and I'm scared as hell.

But I feel like I have to take the plunge, or I'll be letting Mun down. More than that, I'll be letting myself down. I said I was going to try my best to be productive and creative and all that kinda shit, and I really don't want to be lying to myself. But inertia is so hard to overcome, familiarity so difficult to shake off.