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Thursday, October 8, 2009

August 14th, 1999

We shot the little Paul attacks Rick thing in a parking garage. No permission, and it is actually the garage you see Aric Blue drive out of at the beginning of HH. The garage attendant came up and asked what we were doing--one guy beating up another guy and then putting a knife to his throat.

I said we were shooting something for class, a phrase I learned was the filmmaker-liar's gold. I'll go find some video and post it--I've never shown any of it anywhere.


August 14th, 1999


I begin making plans. In the interim, I have bought a 16mm Bolex, non-reflex. Non-reflex means that you can't exactly see what you're shooting. You have to look through a viewfinder which gives you an okay approximation, but it's not that good, especially when you're changing lenses.

I got it from eBay, along with some extra lenses. I find that wide-angle lenses(which is just about anything lower than 15mm, but the nice ones are 10mm) are extremely expensive. Most 10mm lenses go for over $400, with fish-eye lenses(8,6,4mm) going for almost double.

Bolexes take C-mount lenses, in case you wanted to know.

Anyway, I got the Bolex and some film from Kodak(1-800-621-FILM) in 100 foot spools. I got reversal film, which means that whatever I shot could be projected through a projector and would look regular. If you shoot negative(which most professionals do) and project it, all the colors will be freaky, like if you hold a photo negative up to the light.

I shot some stuff, just bizarre things like Rick walking through fire with my gun and a laser sight cutting through the smoke. (At this point, I’m living in my girlfriend’s grandmother’s house, so I’d stacked up some paper on her front lawn, lit it on fire, and had Rick walk through it, keeping the paper below frame. You should have seen the bald spot on the front lawn that was there after three takes)

So we shot things like that. It came out pretty good, especially when you consider that reversal film has little leniency in lighting.

I decided to go out and shoot a little spoof about my brother, Paul, stalking Rick. Rick leaves a movie theater and Paul goes after him, beats him up and is about to kill him, but he finds out Rick isn't who he thought he was. He leaves a bloody Rick lying on the ground contemplating the misfortune. It came out pretty good, all things considered. Four cop cars stopped by to ask what we were doing, and I promptly lied to each of them. If you want to be a guerilla filmmaker, become acquainted with the words, "We're just shooting something for class".

I sold that Bolex and got a reflex Bolex, so I could see exactly what I was shooting. In case you didn't know, the Bolex is a great camera(first camera we shot on in Film 101). Built rugged and hard to break, it's why you can reasonably buy one that's 40 years old and it still works like a charm. The only problem is that you can't shoot sync sound with them, even if you buy a crystal-sync motor, because they're still too loud.

I notice on the newsgroups that there are frequently people with professional-level film cameras looking for work. I've looked at renting cameras and most of them are at least $1500 a week, and that's not counting film. Most of the people I talk to want between $1200 and $2000 for a week, plus travel expenses paid for. It's not bad, because you're getting someone who knows what they're doing, but it's money I don't have.

I come up with a way to make money. More precisely, hello, eBay.

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