Watching the rage top 50 can be a painful experience. You see the same old shit that’s been peddled for so long, with a new face and some new breasts. Pretty girl warbles, looks at camera, warbles some more, costume change, dance routine, warbling, rapper raps for a verse, more warbling, fade to black. Either that, or boy band finds old beat, sings vague words, teens enthralled, mute button pressed.

Can the record industry not sell anything else? Or don’t they know, because they never tried?

If you don’t know how to use an apostrophe, look at this: The Apostrophe Protection Society. Of course, most people who don’t know how to use an apostrophe don’t know that fact itself. The vast majority don’t read this blog, either. So spread the word: take some liquid paper next time you visit the greengrocer/vegie shop. Go wild.

The world needs more revolutionary grammarians. And fewer Bushes.

Finally a time: this coming Saturday 30 October, our film Pursuit will play with all the other films @ 7pm in the Suncorp Piazza at South Bank. We might win something! Come along (it’s free) and shout loud in the audience participation. Bring any friends who can yell.

If you can’t wait or are a long way away, you can now see it online. Alas, no voting, but it’s up on my mother’s new site: with downloading instructions. Hope you like it. Please remember the sound was all done in the last two hours before we handed it in, and yeah, nothing’s perfect. Can’t wait to see the competition.

It’s been raining, for a change. We could do with some more, but for now, the coolness is welcome.

Last night, I got to meet someone whose work I’ve admired for many years: Bill Plympton. He’s an animator who’s made some fantastic films, including 25 Ways to Quit Smoking. The Brisbane International Animation Festival (#5) had secured his new film, Hair High and him to present it. He’s a cool guy. There was a previous feature film of his, Mutant Aliens, there for sale on DVD, and he was signing anything. So here we are.

Last year’s Oscar winner for best animated short, Adam Elliot, was there too. The more famous people I see in person, the more they’re just like the regular people they should be. Sure, the most famous need bodyguards and live in gated estates, but I’m sure if they haven’t been utterly screwed up by their fame, they have as much chance as the next person to hold down their side of a decent conversation. Both of these guys (and yeah, I realise animation is not the way to fame) were friendly and approachable.

The celeb mags put forth a vision of stellar beauty and talent on a pedestal, but if you want to make a film, just make one. If you want to make music, go ahead. If you want to battle through the legions of Australian/Pop/American Idol-idolising music/TV/film industry bureaucrats, then best of luck. But it’s a lot easier to just DIY.

“Pursuit” went pretty well, and as planned. Saturday was the shoot, and apart from there being generally too much running and not nearly enough drinking of water, we got almost all the shots we wanted. Towards the end of the day at Reverse Garbage, we hadn’t really planned the end of the film so we used the backup “disappearing” plan and explained it in the voiceover.

But hang on, that’s way ahead. There was a smaller-than-expected meeting with about 15-20 groups present from the 32ish that had registered. A box held the genres (action/adventure, thriller, mystery, horror, comedy, western/musical, sci-fi, mockumentary) which don’t really inspire confidence. I mean action is just stressful (though we ran as much), thriller is tricky, mystery requires a plot, horror implies shlock, comedy is the kiss of death (I’ve written comedy before but not under pressure like that), western/musical (oh, the pain), sci-fi will be tacky like horror, and mockumentary kind of writes itself, but not very well.

We got sci-fi. Two poor teams got western/musical, one got comedy. That was almost all from the meeting, though there was some consternation from a Gold Coast team that a Brisbane landmark had to be included. Every team must also include Jerome Scott, Gigolo, a parking ticket, and the line “Why is there no wasabi in this sushi?”. An initial evening of mad brainstorming ensued.

Our plan included a voiceover to eliminate the pain of location sound, and music from Soundtrack/Garageband to pump it up. I wrote most of the voiceover with the core crew in the brainstorming session on Friday night, and it’s a chase film. SPOILER WARNING! DO NOT READ THE FOLLOWING TEXT IF YOU WANT TO SEE THE FILM! IT WILL BE ONLINE SOON!

If you want to ruin it for yourself, just select the following invisible text to make it visible:

Male criminal/asylum seeker from future lands in present, female cop/agent chases him. Jerome’s car is stolen after his parking ticket distracts him, interlude while cop looks around South Bank, crim located at Reverse Garbage, final confrontation outside, The End.

So back to the shoot. It all went OK, we covered all the shots and finished just before nightfall. Went back to watch a depressing election night on the ABC. Slept, not enough, woke up, picked up Hayley for a second opinion and voiceover talent, then cut, cut, cut for about 5 hours, music for another 45 minutes, another hour of voiceover, turned the lovely anamorphic edit into (requested) crappier matted widescreen, got in the car, handed it in @ 7.10 pm, with 50 minutes to spare.

Though I’m too close to know, I have a sneaking suspicion that it’s pretty good. There are a ton of pits you can fall into making a film in 48 hours, including:

  • forgetting to include a requested item

  • writing a crap script

  • crap acting

  • not getting all the footage you need

  • running out of time on the edit

  • forgetting about music and needing it

  • major technical issues

    And that’s just from the top of my head. Incidentally, the day after this was finished, I had some major technical issues with a firewire hard drive and my camcorder. First, the camcorder developed a firewire connection problem, so I had to use an old backup camera to get a master copy of the final edit off the computer. Right after that, the hard drive stopped mounting. If either of these things had happened the day before, we would have been royally stuffed.

    But we got there. The showing is at Suncorp Piazza, South Bank on October 30 in the evening. Not sure of the time yet, but I’ll post it. It is free, and there’s a prize for the film the audience likes best, so if you’re coming, yell long and loud for “Pursuit”.

  • So this weekend, I’ll be part of Team Funwithstuff, entering the 48 Hour Film contest in Brisbane. We have some ideas, but no script – because we’re not supposed to. Everything creative must be done within the 48 hours from 7.30 tonight. Should be fun. Though some people will stress out, we’re going to take it as easy as we can and still produce something worth watching. We hope.

    Oh, if you’re looking for a good book, and haven’t read Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson yet, do so. It’s fab. If you have read that book, try the prequel, the first in a trilogy(!) of enormous tales, Quicksilver. Great stuff.

    Will let you know how the film goes.