Returning to the White Pages

I’ve been largely absent from this blog this year. That’s in large part due to my interest in music. I’ve really enjoyed learning more about music theory, production and sound design. After completing “Doctor with the Red Houseware,” I needed some time before I felt ready to tackle another project.

I have a terrible habit of overthinking details. This results in the phenomenon of “Analysis leads to paralysis”. I’ve flirted with several premises I would like to develop but have yet to take the plunge and commit to any of them. There are a few main reasons for this – but the greatest pitfall has been the almighty dollar.

I feel filmmaking is somewhat unique to other branches of entertainment. If you are a great musician, comedian, actor, or even writer, your number one asset is yourself, your number 2 asset is exposure. The creation of a film has much less to do with talent, ability, and skills, and much more to do with budget. You can create an outstanding film with less, sure, and you can use your problem-solving skills to tackle obstacles that pose a risk to production. But at the end of the day, you’re going to need money if you intend to create a film that can rub shoulders with major box office productions. You will want the best camera, best sound, best effects, and most famous actors you can afford.

Acquiring that money is the obvious challenge, but of course there are unlimited strategies to accomplish that. From watching interviews with other filmmakers online, I’ve arrived at a variety of potentially successful avenues. The common thread for soliciting investments, however, tends to involve having a product worth selling – so obviously you must begin with a completed script.

As any writer knows, each project requires an overwhelming amount of time, effort, and anguish to complete. The major salt on the wound for writers is finding a single reader is even more of a challenge.

Part of the joy I’ve experienced in filmmaking has been the knowledge that I would produce and shoot the scripts that I wrote. As I begin work on a new feature length script I can’t help but confront the obvious – I am going to need external financing to complete a 110-130 page story.

I have developed several daily habits that require 30 minutes or less. I find that the more I limit my time the better I manage it. I’m actively considering ways in which I could post a new video to youtube each day. I feel that developing a fanbase could help me reach my goal in more ways than one. I also fear, however, that I will be tempted to devote more time to each video.

Another habit I am considering implementing has to do with knocking on doors. By routinely networking with other producers, distributors, and production companies, I can greatly improve my odds of having an ear open for me when my story is ready to pitch. I can begin to immerse myself in the business of filmmaking rather than hiding in the fantasy of it all.

I would like to return to the idea of crowdfunding the film. Of course, before I can launch a kickstarter campaign I will need to have the script completed and a sizzle reel shot. The sizzle reel is something I can take care of without any hefty investments. This would include a single location with legitimate actors that provides the overall tone and promise of the story I would like to tell.

Just wanted to share some thoughts today. I hope to do so again tomorrow.

Filming Day 5 – Part 2

So I arrived late and we began preparing for the “Edward Youtube Video.” The idea for this scene was that my character would be browsing his wife’s facebook and come across a man he recognizes – Edward. In episode 4 of Mountain Cult, my character meets Edward during a quest. Edward offers my character a drink that was roofied, resulting in my character to failing to reach his destination.

So I had to make a youtube video and a facebook page for Sebastian Sage (Edward). Sebastian brought along 3 different button down shirts and we intended to take some creative pictures with each of them. In the end, we didn’t have enough time for a single picture.

The youtube video was fun because we didn’t have to work off a script, but there was still a few rehearsals to be done. The most important thing was for Sebastian to remember each ingredient and mix them in a creative way. In one instance, he spills salt all over the counter top then brushes it into the mixing bowl with his barehand.

At noon Piper Supplee (Shiloh) arrived. She had 2 lines offscreen and one onscreen. She enters the kitchen after I leave and asks Edward who the visitor was. He avoids the question with a witty response and the scene ends. Much thanks to Piper, she helped me realize that their interaction at the end was lacking any true punch. She came up with the idea of recommending Edward expand on the flavors he offers beyond simply vanilla. One of my favorite characteristics of “Edward’s Tasty Cream” is that Edward is obsessively fixated on vanilla being “the only real flavor”. Piper adding this button to the scene allowed him to end on a comically infuriated note.

We filmed with Piper until 3 pm, which took much longer than it should have. She did a great job but during her time there I was not being frugal with the sunlight we had. As an example, I recorded her voice over lines from the kitchen, outside the bathroom door, and inside the bathroom door.

During the previous days of shooting, all of which I intend to recap here, I began knowing sunlight and time would be a major issue. During day 1 I used my folk’s house – and only had 3-5 hours to get it done. Day 2 was at the antique shop, where the business owners were waiting to close up for the night. Day 3 was with Katie, where we raced against the sun in exterior shots to avoid the camera overheating. Day 4 was with Patrick – filmed guerilla style in a seldom used parking lot behind businesses. For day 5, we were using Pat’s kitchen – Pat is a member of my filmmaking group and a strong supporter to all filmmakers. She was willing to give me as much time as was needed.

So now it’s about 3 o’clock and we are FINALLY getting to page 1 out of the 4 we still have to shoot. Fortunately I had to set up the set before we filmed Piper’s sequence. This involved: A table mat, the ice cream cartons, the sign for his business, the mixing ingredients, the lights, and the potted plant. It never ceases to amaze me how lengthy the list of props becomes prior to shooting. Nothing is more aggravating than making a 30 minute trip to a store the night before because you don’t own the measuring cup that you need after the 6th line on the 3rd page.

It’s so funny how the minor considerations never end. As we prepared for take 1, I recognized a potential issue – the blinds. Pat’s blinds were rather transparent. That means as dawn sets in it will become obvious that the time of day has changed when the scene is meant to portray only a five minute interaction. I decided the blinds would be visible in the first shot, but the set up later on would exclude them. This produced another minor consideration that I swear stumps me every time I film.

There is a 180 degree rule in filmmaking that is simple enough for a child to understand. Whenever you flim something, create an imaginary line between two points in the room. Pick one side of that line and film every take only from that side. You can’t go wrong.

What tends to happen is you find your best angles and framing in a room and wind up with a list of 3 – one of which breaks the 180 degree rule. What I like to do is organize my shot list so that the 180 degree rule will be broken during specific moments of the scene. In the kitchen scene, I stand up my chair and address Edward Directly. At this point the imaginary 180 degree line falls directly behind us. Prior to that, when I am seated and addressing Edward who stands near the counter, the imaginary line is drawn from my left shoulder to his right. It is only when I stand up to intimidate him that the line is reset.

Once the takes get rolling (my favorite part of filmmaking) we come across a few obstacles. 4 pages of dialogue can be lot to remember. One missed line, or out of place line, can corrupt the entire take. Because the script calls for Shiloh to interupt us from off screen, we had a difficult time remembering when and where she interrupts us. Remember now, Piper left hours ago.

Thankfully, Pat was more than willing to assist us. She remained seated off camera and would provide the verbal cue to let us know Shiloh had a line. Another minor consideration – the script. Modern day microphones are amazing and pick up sounds and noises that you may not even hear during filming. Because Pat did not know the lines, she would need to hold the script in her hands and discreetly turn the pages to know when to speak. I forget my solution to this, but I’m pretty sure she tore the pages apart and taped them to her wall. I can’t emphasize enough that I couldn’t do this without Pat.

<— That’s Pat

Finally, we were getting all the shots that were needed just as the sun was setting. And it was setting fast. But there was another reason I meant to arrive much earlier than the actors that morning – I needed a shot of me breaking and entering into the residence.

With the sun disappearing so rapidly I didn’t even have enough time to think about it. I knew that it was too dark for the shots to be believable but I still wanted to get them. You see, Pat lives an hour away from me – and I vehemently detest reshoots.

So I ran outside, opened the aperture to 1.4, and took one take of each of the following – myself walking through the backyard, opening the gate, and parking on the street. Each take required me to set up the tripod and find an angle that worked. Lastly, I got a clip of me grabbing the hammer from the passenger seat. It was pretty funny to edit this material because I had my lav mic running and later on I got to hear myself cursing angrily. It felt like getting gas when you’re already 10 minutes late to work and traffic is gridlock.

In the end, it all worked out. Because this scene occurs early on in the episode, I realized in the editing room I was able to make it appear that I arrived at Edward’s place so early the sun had not come up yet. It is only at the end of the scene that we see daylight burning through the blinds.

The lav mics that we used worked great – they blocked a lot of the echo in the tiled floor environment. I’m grateful I placed my light were I did because it was difficult to tell the time of day during my shots of Sebastian. Piper did an outstanding job and her appearance got a good laugh out of one of my coworkers. The point of her role was comic relief, and it worked.

Today I’ll be working on a trailer which I hope to publish here shortly. If you’d like to view the final edit of Edward’s youtube video, you can do so by watching the video below.

Influencing Value

It takes less than 5 seconds to gain access to a free song or a free movie. We all have Netflix, Youtube, and Amazon. On these platforms you can casually stream content that required millions to manufacture. You pay in other ways – your privacy data, your subscription fee, your viewing of advertisements.

How do you begin making a dime creating what you love in a market like this? There is endless advice, insights, and “shortcuts”. But no matter which way you look at it, your success relies on unknown strangers willing to risk their time viewing your creation.

My mind has been running in circles trying to figure out my next step. My goal for 2022 is to secure funding and distribution for a feature film. It is no small task, but it is possible. If it were not possible, then nobody would do it.

I have a plan of action for how to do it – film a sizzle reel for story I like, put a 5 page treatment together, and begin making phone calls. But nothing can help my chances with investors better than demonstrating I was able to turn a profit during my latest film production.

I am constantly weighing methods to generate revenue for the short film I have just created. The only clear answer is to launch a kickstarter campaign, likely in January. The important aspect of this campaign is to succeed. I must hit the ground running with impeccable organization, an enticing trailer, and consistent updates. I have many of the rewards prepared that I will offer during this time. Obviously, supporters of the kickstarter campaign will have free access to viewing the episode on its release.

I cannot rid myself of the desire to place a paywall before the episode for a general audience. I am completely aware of how limiting that can be for a film of this magnitude. The issue I have is that artists today are so hungry for fame and recognition that they’ve devalued their own artwork. Imagine a hundred strangers have surrounded you to view, judge, and survey the artwork you’ve poured your heart, soul, and blood into. Is it really fair to any artist that they receive only a handful of pennies? It is the platform that is reaping the reward, not the artist.

But I get it… nobody wants to throw a dollar when there is much better, social-proofed content available for free in the blink of an eye.

This is where I feel you must cease viewing your work critically and instead view it as a salesperson. If someone wants something, they are not going to hesitate to fork over a buck to receive it.

The key to successful advertising is to create a need that wasn’t previously there. But why in the world would any person feel the need to view your artwork, poetry, or story?

There is a youtube channel called “Mr. Beast” that routinely features outlandish giveaways and enormous cash prizes. It is incredibly successful at generating views and sponsors. Its success is largely, if not entirely, due to the engagement of their fanbase that hopes to win this sort of lottery.

It seems that by upgrading my wordpress to a paid account, I will be able to offer a giveaway with the assistance of a plug in. Now if I am able to offer a $100 cash prize to one lucky viewer, I feel that my odds on receiving a $3-5 payment for viewing episode 5 improve drastically.

Another option I have is my youtube channel. By regularly uploading content that speaks to the behind the scenes efforts of “Mountain Cult” production, I feel I have a free method of generating interest for viewing the episode in its completed form. If I can build a fanbase for the show, I can also offer merchandising in the form of Coffee Mugs and T-shirts.

I know from experience that the effort to convert your work of passion into a fruitful pursuit is the greatest undertaking an artist can pursue. But I have also learned that the same steps and plateaus that cause you to stumble will also trip-up those around you. It is only by standing and learning to climb a different way that you will continue on your journey. Many will lack that fortitude. By educating yourself, taking action, and putting forth consistent effort any obstacle can be overcome.

Money

So I’m all set to begin the production process for episode 5 of Mountain Cult. I haven’t posted on here lately for multiple reasons, but the main one has been my hesitancy to begin spending money to make the 5th episode a reality. I also spent a week making a cartoon because I thought I could do it in one day.

No matter what we choose to do in life money will always be an obstacle. Part of the overarching goal of being human is to accumulate as much wealth as you can. If you are a foolish person like myself your goal is more likely “how to comfortably afford burritos.”

I’ve been saving money all year with the anticipation that episode 5 would cost me a pretty penny to make. I estimate it will wind up being $2000-3000. I have discovered recently that there are various ways to solicit investors in order to offset some of the costs. I have devoted time to better understanding various methods but they all pose their own unique challenges. I think it’s safe to say that raising money is not a strong suit of mine. My sales pitch is basically “invest if you want, but if you ask me I wouldn’t do it.”

I’ve been looking at platforms such as Kickstarter and Seed and Spark. They both offer awesome opportunities for low budget filmmakers and appear to be extremely viable options for a hustler. I do anticipate launching a kickstarter campaign but I need to be sure I do it the right way.

A major obstacle for me is branding. I feel the most effective way to attract investors for episode 5 is to build an audience. If I were pitching to actual investors, they would like to know that I have an anticipated rate of return. The reality is, however, that short films rarely if ever turn a profit. No matter how great episode 5 may be, the chance of me making money from it is minimal. The real underlying goal is to make something that is successful enough (in terms of execution and/or viewership) to take my filmmaking to the next level. I would like to make a movie or get my show picked up by a service that will pay for me to create more episodes.

So I’ve been weighing my options for how I can ask people for their hard earned cash and they don’t look good – at least right now. But I mentioned my great obstacle is branding – that’s because of the one way I can see myself successfully campaigning for Mountain Cult. I feel my best course of action would be to publish daily video journals about my process making the episode – from start to finish. By growing my platform on youtube I could guarantee an audience when the film is completed. I could also build momentum for the start of a kickstarter campaign. The branding issue exists because I don’t want to market myself as a analysis guy, advice guy, or youtube guy. I only want viewers for my films, but relying on the publication of a video months down the road is not a reliable way to build any type of community.

These are some of my scattered thoughts but expect to receive more of them in the future. I don’t truly know what I’m going to do, but the time has come for me to begin moving forward regardless. I’ll post the link to my shitty cartoon below if you want to watch it. And I’ll post the link to my $1.99 paypal button if you want to become the number 1 big-pockets investor for my project. Each donation is rewarded with a sense of deep regret and asking yourself why you are so careless with your money.

Writing Episode 4 – 7-23-20

white head

Finally, after over a month, I’ve begun piecing together episode 4. I have some strong ideas for how to make the “mountain cult” distinct from previous mobs, politically applicable to current events, and dangerous in a modern sense. The cult will also play to the theme of individualism vs. group think.

My goal is to crumple together a working script by the end of this weekend. If I do that, I can post for online submissions & auditions. My aim is to shoot in Mid August, which should give the actors and myself enough time to prepare.

I’ve already messaged my meetup group, Riverside Film Network, inquiring as to who is looking to work on another project. A few members have informed me they’d be happy to assist.

I’m also working my ass off at my primary job, working 6 out of 7 days this week. The more overtime I work, the more I can budget into the next film. I intend to pay each actor $50/day. I may use crew members as well, and can see myself allocating $25/day for that as well.

sink and blue moons

I have no reasoning for why the Sugar container is the focal point of this shot.

Since the last video shoot, I’ve purchased 2 additional lenses – a 30 mm f1.4 by Sigma and a 50 mm f 1.8 by Sony. I’ve been practicing using them all week and have been learning a lot of basic camera stuff that I never took the time to learn earlier. The biggest lesson I learned from Episode 3 is the importance of proper exposure, and also how to tell when my image is exposed correctly. I’ve already purchased 2 Led lights & a light bar that can change to 6 different colors. Yesterday I ordered my first ever variable ND filter. That will assist me in outdoor filming that requires me to turn down the exposure effects of direct sunlight. One thing that I learned late – Adobe Photoshop won’t read RAW photographs without some sort of plug-in. So the only photos I can show you from my new apartment were done yesterday with my sony 50 mm f 1.8 (done in JPG). I’ll try to upload shots from the 30 mm soon enough.

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kelly’s cat “Simba”. I like him a lot but he sheds everywhere!

It’s funny how much film has taken a backseat to other things the past 2 months. I hope that as I get closer to filming I can slow down from working so often and put more energy and focus into making short films, which is what I’m truly passionate about.

mcdonalds

Here I chose to focus on the big mac container. Not the obvious, giant McD’s bag in front of your face. Still learning.

One final note – I’ve been doing a lot of thought about story lately. The world needs more individuals who share stories that mean something to them and include a message that they believe in. When you tell a story, you have a responsibility to yourself to express your own message and life lessons through your medium. You can enjoy telling stories without making Hollywood or Penguin books your end goal. Instead of aiming to reach the widest audience, aim to provide a satisfying experience for those who choose your

Below are some more photographs from my Sony 50 mm. I’ll try and upload some from the sigma 30 mm f1.4 soon. Hope you enjoy.

new hummingbird

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I was really hoping he’d go for the in-focus blue feeder if you couldn’t tell

simba 3

Simba has mastered that classic look that says “Leave me alone.”

Preparing to prepare – 7-17-2020

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After having a smoke and stating our lives are finally headed in the right direction, Kelly glanced up to see our new neighbors.

We moved in on Tuesday. I spent all of Wednesday building a computer desk and piecing together my new “office”. After working a ton of overtime, I spontaneously purchased a FE 50 mm 1.8 sony lens that I’ve wanted for a while. I’m really excited about the prospect of filming again, and have been contemplating how I’m going to structure and shoot episode 4. I’ve also been learning more about camera basics and how to improve my own cinematography.

And then, yesterday, I finally figured out what has been causing my 2008 Toyota Tacoma repeating troubles throughout the year (I’ve changed out the sparks plugs twice and the coils once). After discovering yet another cylinder misfire I finally checked the oil cap – and underneath was a gunky, custard-yellow goo. My coolant has clearly been mixing with my oil, which means I’ve got a blown head gasket. That’ll be $1200-2000 to fix.

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The good news is I’ve been saving up all year so I can afford to have it fixed. I’ve also become accustomed to facing a once-a-year issue with my truck that winds up costing me around $1000. Last year it was a radiator and coolant overhaul.

In other words, this is going to cost me, but I don’t see it as a good enough reason to put my production on hold for any longer.

I’m aiming to begin filming in the first week of August. I want the shoot to last 1-2 days, and I’m looking to hire 2-4 actors at $50/day. I’m going to advertise the roles on Actors Access and plan on spending $200-300 in production cost.

So the next step is the script. I’ve been thinking on episode 4 for a while now. It will introduce the members of the cult and reveal to the audience who they are and what they are all about. I need a group that is capable of savage murder and danger, but I also need them to be believable as a community and have a moral order that separates them from your caricature mob cronies.

You may or may not have read a previous post I made about hermeneutics. In case you missed it, hermeneutics pertains to a perspective change regarding information. For example:

  1. Your boss tells you if you don’t get to work on time, you’re fired.
  2. You wake up late, grab your daughter’s drawing she made for you, and race along side streets to arrive on time.
  3. Stuck at a red light, you see a young girl smoking cigarettes with a group of older teens. You check out the drawing your daughter made for you and see it’s a picture of you on an airplane soaring through clouds while she waves to you from below.
  4. You text your boss “Can’t make it today, deal with it” then make a U-turn and head home to spend some time with your little girl.

The punishment for missing work hasn’t changed – you’ll still be getting fired. What has changed, however, is the your perspective on losing your job. Initially viewed as a means to make a solid salary, the events that occur in the story transform your opinion to view a potential job loss as an avenue toward strengthened familial relationships.

I’m really in love with hermeneutics and predict it will be a staple in future how-to-write-fiction advice. In my honest opinion there is a serious hole in the philosophy that your protagonist should have 1 goal that nothing can dissuade them from. Of course, hermeneutics amplifies the inner conflict of a story making it more of a dramatic production. Still, I think good stories require shifting perspectives because that is what keeps them true to the human experience. For me personally, the source of conflict and course of action makes the above story more intriguing than standard forms of conflict – ie: traffic jams, boss calling and yelling at you, construction occurring on the roadway, etc.

Anyways, I’m hoping to begin writing the script this weekend. As soon as I have it written I can set up a shooting date and send out to have the roles filled. It’s an exciting time for me and I’m looking forward to running my small production company like a legitimate business. I’ll try to upload some apartment pics tomorrow so you check out what will likely become “cult headquarters.”

Like a Small Business – 4/17/20

Mountain Cult 2

This is a barn

I’m writing this for no one, and to be honest it doesn’t exactly paint me in a great light.  But I believe in consistency, so I’m going to post despite having nothing good to report.

My buddy bailed on me for filming on Tuesday. He’s a personal trainer of sorts, and had 2 time slots get filled last minute. He’s also got a wife and a young son. That’s at least his 4th time cancelling, and 2 of the cancels came the morning of the shoot.

We rescheduled for Friday, but again something came up. He requested we shoot on Saturday, to which I initially agreed. I spent 3 hours editing the footage we had from our first day, doing my best to salvage shitty footage. I sent it to him and asked for his opinion. The real reason I asked is because I wanted him to see how necessary it was to reshoot the entire thing. After 2 hours without I response I cancelled his involvement entirely (in a much kinder way than it sounds).

It was a really difficult decision to make – after-all, the character was written specifically for his build and personality. I’ve invested a lot into the production, including props, rewrites, and even the edits I made. The worst part is – I have nobody to fill his shoes.

If you followed me years ago, you may remember I shot a project with a friend named Scott. I reconnected with Scott and he’s excited to play the re-occuring role of a private detective in the series who should be in episode 3. We’ll see how that works out.

Now, back to the title of the post. My friend has personal obligations – everyone has them. The problem wasn’t him or anything he did. The issue is that he doesn’t want to be an actor. I need to find fucking actors.

I’m taking my small ass youtube channel, with 15 subscribers and 3 mediocre videos, and I’m marketing it everywhere and to everyone. I’m hoping to collaborate with other filmmakers. I’m considering offering $50 for a days work, though I’m hesitant to do so because I will not see any financial return. I’ve contacted a former acting teacher, reached out through the Meetup app, and made a profile on several websites that are specific to film networking. On top of all that, I’m trying to learn how to build a motorized dolly for under $50 so that I can resell it. I figure if I can find a way to make extra cash, those funds can go straight to the film-expense jar.

Anyway, I’m doing fine. I put off making this post because it doesn’t exactly make me look like any sort of legitimate “Producer” – which is my title on so many of these websites. But I don’t really give a shit about any of that. I just want to film quality stories and grow an audience who will enjoy them. That’s it. I’ll try to update with something positive here soon.

The Big “L” – 1/12

loser

I don’t know that I’ve ever felt more distraught during the writing of a post. I don’t know that I’ve ever sat down and written feeling so helplessly frustrated.

Yesterday was a failure. An enormous failure. A huge, whopping, capital “L”.

The day began great, with big plans and lofty ambitions. Everything was set and ready, the props were in order, and I even purchased a knock-off “selfie-stick” to help with coverage(Just Leasing was to be filmed on my phone camera, you see).

A few hours into filming, I locked my phone into place on a cheap tripod that is built for such a purpose. The mount simultaneously pressed and held 3 buttons on the side of my phone that led to a full system reset. Not only did I lose all my contacts and settings, but the footage was immediately washed.

It gets worse.

We came close to shooting the scenes over, but doubt entered the minds of the actors, perhaps with good reason – there was an arguably noticeable error in logic for a crucial scene, and tinkering with it affects the rest of the episode.

A long enough discussion led to an inevitable decision to postpone filming until a later date. We broke for lunch at a local taco shop. I brought in my laptop to show Jordan and Catrina, who are also involved in Cheaters Prosper, some of the scenes.

I store the footage on an external, 3 terabyte hard drive that attaches to my computer by a USB chord. When I finally found a particular scene I wanted to show, the external hard drive fell off the table and smacked a metal piece beside my seat, breaking it instantly. I am no longer able to access the hard drive, and it makes a clicking sound when I plug it in.

I can’t tell you how upset I am. I can’t even pinpoint what I am most upset about. The good news is, even if the data from my brand new $139 hard drive is irretrievable, we will only have lost about 5 pages of film, as my brother and friend still have saved copies of the remaining footage.

I don’t believe in blind persistence. I don’t believe in trying to make something work that cannot, nor do I believe in trying to do something you are incapable of doing. I do not like to waste time. I do not like to lose.

But when I deem a pursuit worthy of fighting for, I fucking fight.

So what is the lesson learned today? What is the meaning of all this?

The lesson is simple. Today was a shitty day. Bad things happened. For Spiritual reasons? For failing to be more conscious of sensitive equipment? For no reason?

You will never learn by focusing the factors that led to failure. If you want to be a critic, a hater, or another captain hindsight, go ahead and focus on the aspects of things that influence demise. But in order to find success, you must keep your eyes the actions that breed it.

Verizon saves texts message conversations in cloud storage, and I was able to retrieve the phone numbers of every person I’ve conversed with over the last 90 days. That is sufficient to store the numbers of every person whom I consider an essential part of my life.

There are specialists who have the technology to retrieve data from damaged hard drives. For an external one such as my own, the customer must pay a pretty penny ($500 is a good estimate). Perhaps the company that manufactured my hard drive may be able to help me for a nominal fee.

Or, we could always re-shoot. The actors have their lines down pat, and the only difficulty would be getting the actors to do the 4-5 hour shoot all over again. It would move faster than before thanks to having gone through it once already.

I guess my point is this – you can’t just fold once things go wrong. You can’t allow harsh critiques of your work to convince you’re not cut out for writing. When things go wrong, you must seek out ways to fix them. Errors happen, and they’re part of any game.

I’m afraid to take my next step forward, but in the walk of life the only other option is to retreat. I’m not going to retreat, and I’m not going to stop. I’m going to run until I reach that Goddamn finish line, and if I have to crawl by the time I get there, so be it.

  • Thomas M. Watt

Just Leasing (And C.P.) – 1/11

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I miss that cheeseburger. That’s my brother behind me.

Today will be the first day for filming Just Leasing. This is a secondary project that I do not consider nearly as important as Cheaters Prosper. In other words, I would like to knock out the 22 pages in a relatively short time frame.

The biggest issue we’re going to face today will have to do with filming it. Two camera persons are dedicating a ton of time to Cheaters Prosper without pay, and I do not feel right about exploiting their generosity for another project.

Subsequently, I’m left with 4 actors and no camera person. I’m currently leaning toward filming the footage on my camera phone. My friend has a tripod that I believe I can strap my phone to and get wide coverage with.

For the close shots, I honestly think I may buy a selfie-stick. I saw one at the local liquor store the other day, opened my lips to begin a joke about the kind of morons who waste money on that type of thing. I shut my lips when I realized it might be essential to filming Just Leasing.

This is going to be a rough week for Cheaters Prosper. My friend, whose home we need for a location, hasn’t been getting back to me. The people who I’ve contacted on Craigslist in order to possibly purchase their poker tables haven’t responded to me, either. On top of all that, I feel I have a responsibility to myself to attend drill night this Thursday night. I missed it last week, and am certain that devoting an hour and a half of my time to the local fire station is imperative for my future as a firefighter.

I will be posting some behind the scenes footage from Just Leasing tomorrow. Until then, enjoy some goofing around from last week’s shoot for Cheaters Prosper.

  • Thomas M. Watt