journal page 28

december 27, 2005
ive been reading about philosophy and time. one of these guys writes about hypothetical supercomputers that could log and track every molecule of your brain, so it could thereby predict all of your decisions and movements before you'd really think of them. mostly arguments about free will versus people just being automatons to their random chemistries. it made me have a dream about time travel and explosions last night. nothing in time was ever fixed or determined to be repeated.. if we flipped a coin heads and hopped on a time machine to thirty seconds ago, the coin would just have as much chance again as coming up tails. time isn't fixed, so it was irrelevant that we'd already observed it once in history as doing the opposite.. every time you'd go back, everything would have a fresh chance of doing something new. traveling back to watch an old super bowl wouldn't be like replaying a video tape, rather every play would have a fresh chance of coming out differently. not because of your time traveling interference but because time is chaos and has free will. i like that. maybe it's even true. i'd been thinking about this sort of thing for the last couple months. if "ok" becomes expanded it might tangle with some of it, so time wouldn't really exist in the linear way we live in (and tell stories in).. and that everything since year 0 has all just been sort of happening at once..
december 20, 2005
jetted out to austin last weekend on short notice for a big secret animation show meeting that seemed productive.. though it may appear at times that the show is bleeding like a stabbed little piggy, rest assured the zombie heart continues to pump and the 2006 edition will probably be in theaters late summer, with what sounds like some interesting new approaches + experiments. big news tonight is i think i officially wrapped initial photography on "everything will be ok".. the whole film's now in the can, barring reshoots and end credits. it hasn't sunk in yet that i'm only a couple months of editing and sound away from already having a new film and if it all continues on this swimmingly i think it's all but certain that "ok" will just be the first chapter of something larger, if the new writing comes together. i think i'm almost sure about moving to austin in the spring. trucking the giant camera across the country will be an adventure but i think not impossible. every time i leave california i am reminded of how friendly people are in the rest of the world. and i am a bit tired of the housing prices here now starting at half a million for a damp closet under the overpass. if you are lucky.. even the cost of living in the ice machine behind the 711 has skyrocketed. every other week i seem to be picking up a new manner of head cold so i should probably cut this short as it feels like there's sand and tar clogging my forehead
december 1, 2005
wrapped up another round of photography last week and only have a few scenes left to shoot until "ok"s all in the can and ready to edit.. final running time could easily top 15 minutes.. i really pushed the latest footage into experimental-land and will dig in even further for these remaining shots. i've had so much fun with the writing and production of this i'm giving serious thought to expanding the story after the short's done, maybe into something on television.. it's a good possibility. will start up shooting again on friday. tomorrow i'm back in LA for more DVD work.. tonight i need to start finishing a couple of these bastard audio commentaries. i'm starting to relax a little more with the DVD tho.. everything seems to be coming along well and the films are gradually looking better. i haven't figured out a few of the odds and ends yet but i think the toughest parts are behind us. at night the weather here is freezing. egg nog was already on sale and i have had no self control. behold its noggy goodness...mmmust... must inject nog into foot..

november 9, 2005
tonight i think i've just wrapped up animating "everything will be ok". i have a bit of still photography work left to take care of for it and then probably about two weeks / 800 feet of shooting this last third of the movie. happy. i still need to collect props and things for some of these experimental shots, odds and ends like the aforementioned octopus. i was also in particular need of animal teeth, preferably dog. my search for those kept hitting dead ends and by golly i was just about to head down to the local pound and adopt a dog with a set of pliers in my back seat (eyes widen... line of drool spills down chin)... but i just found some animal teeth things on e-bay that should do the trick. it looks like the bitter films dvd should be out now in spring. i will probably be working in hollywood on all of this assorted stuff at least once a week now for a long time. i need to clean the tub again
i was awake for 24 hours a few days ago and when i finally slept i dreamed i'd murdered a bunch of people and buried them around town. but i had grown sloppy and the police discovered one of the bodies and i was suddenly realizing it was only a matter of time before it was identified and traced to me.. and my life was about to be over and i couldn't remember where i'd buried everybody else and what an idiot i was to not have done a better job of murdering. some of the bodies were in sand but i couldn't remember how many there were and i also had a severed head inside a bucket of bleach hidden in my closet that i now had to desperately dispose of. weirdly though, i didn't feel guilty at all in the dream about having killed everyone.. i was just freaking out that i'd get caught. discuss.
"people different from us"
In July, police in Lawrence, Kan., gave Ezekiel Rubottom's foot back to him, convinced that, contrary to a neighbor's inquiry, it wasn't evidence of a crime. Rubottom, 21, had tried to explain that he'd had his clubbed left foot amputated and merely wanted to keep it as a memento in a bucket of formaldehyde on his front porch. A spokesman for Lawrence Memorial Hospital told the Journal-World newspaper that there have been "women that want their uterus ... people take (home) tonsils ... they take (home) appendixes." Rubottom added a porcelain horse and a can of beer to his bucket to make it what he called "a collage of myself." [Lawrence Journal-World, 7-26-05]

october 30, 2005
5 something am
lighting struck across the street a couple of weeks ago. it went BOOOOOM and then all the car alarms went off. today a shrill sequence of three very loud repeating beeps echoed around the entire block for about eight hours. at first i thought they were maybe coming from a reversing construction truck until i realized hours later that they were on an endless mad loop that i'd been tuning out. i walked around the block to locate the source but it was weird and floaty elusive. people hung around their apts smoking cigarettes and going about their daily routines as though the horrible siren beeps weren't bothering them. when i got halfway down the other street they ended abruptly mid beep and it's been quiet since. had another month of animating "everything will be ok" and i think i'm only a week or two away from finishing and then putting the final scenes onto film. for the first time since "rejected" i'll probably have the whole movie animated and shot before having started editing anything. while dvd work has sort of stalled, i've finished putting those new final polishes on "the meaning of life", and the week i locked that up i felt weirdly free and happy as tho four years of weights had unexpectedly, finally lifted that had refused to go anywhere since the film was originally released in january. most days have been good, other days i feel like i can count on absolutely no one. somehow, recent photos of me look kinda bony and reptilian. last night we carved pumpkins

september 29, 2005
the eastman house bitter films show was a lot of fun.. i'm told they did their best box office of the year and had to turn away 200 people. i guess there is not much to do in rochester. but everyone seemed really happy. for the first time we screened all the films back to back in their original scratchy formats and i did a whole bunch of talking. i think i've also finally found a safe home to store all our negatives, in the eastman house's amazing film archives.. it's like a 43 degree vampire tomb of every important film you can imagine.. i was allowed to tremble before
martin scorsese's film collection and paw longingly at a very rare print of kubrick's "fear and desire".. so it should be a step above storing my negatives in the damp hall closet above the vacuum cleaner. three flights and ten hours later i am back home to the busywork with a raging head cold that makes me breathe out of my mouth like an ape and impairs me enough to leave very awkward instantly regrettable voice mails for people. running around juggling hats again, back and forth to LA labs today and friday. some of the hats have feathers in them. others are covered in mud. there were brushfires on the side of the freeways today and it took two hours to go twenty miles, ash floating around the air, everything colored red and melty. the other day i saw a hunchback in the post office. we had thunderstorms last night. it all sort of sounds like the end of the world to me. i am maybe a month from completing animation on "everything will beok". there's a shot i'm looking forward to doing with a real octopus. time seems to be moving in spurts and starts.

september 15, 2005
camping out in a hollywood motel for three days of round the clock "meaning of life" work for the dvd. my room sort of smells like a fish tank. sometimes the walls here go *boom boom boom*. our posthouse has been having to approach "life" like a silent film restoration, as my negative has become unusually dirty and scratched to hell. i think this is probably because we A/B rolled the film to handle all its special dissolves, and more heads and tails mean more handling and wear. there's actually an all-night guy methodically removing junk from every other film frame as i write. other pieces of it are getting a fresh polish and they sparkle a little more than i'd originally been able to get out of the film negatives. it's really weird to work on stuff like this all day wit assorted assistants and editing underlings scurrying around the facility at your every whim. after a few hours of concentrating in there you sort of sit back and realize that there are five people all working really hard for you trying to make your film look beautiful and its kind of neat. the half dozen viewers with high def tvs might notice how we've transferred the whole movie literally full frame - all the way out to each rounded corner of the negative space, which is 100% of the time cropped out of projectors and regular tvs and loses a little bit of animation artwork. so it's slowly looking amazing but it's very grueling and extremely expensive and helping reiterate the fact that i love making these movies but loathe having to show them, sell them, groom them, etc. i'm going to be broke again for a while but once we get all of the shorts restored and looking right it should be downhill from there fleshing out the rest of the dvd. mostly i can't wait to just get back home to work on "ok" and disappear. i walked straight into a door corner last night and almost knocked myself out. the sad thing is the impact created a new brand crease in my forehead. there didn't use to be a line there and now there is. i'm getting old. or my skin is so dehydrated you can hit it with things and it will assume their shape.

august 22, 2005
the dailies for "ok" look beautiful, just beautiful.. the new camera techniques worked out as well as i could have hoped. there's 13 minutes worth of raw footage shot now. further work on it has been put on pause for the week as i've been rummaging through the archives (crushed, leaking boxes in the hall closet), gathering forgotten old junk for the dvd. i'm slowly getting a picture of how it will all take shape. and fans of horrible crap will be happy to learn that even the never before seen "spanky the bear" negative has found its way to the film lab for restoration, against all odds. i've also been going through every old video tape of pencil tests and forgotten footage, all the way back to 1993 + the first cartoons i ever made in high school. i've finally grown old enough to not remember a lot of these musty things at all, which is exciting at first but mostly weird. lately it seems like there's always something to turn around and get to work on. final rounds of telecine hopefully will be friday, with "lily" and "billy" being the last films waiting to go to high def. i hope it's going to feel mighty fine to close the book on all of the old shorts + "life", release the new film, and have a clean slate to go move to a brand new city and become a fisherman or something. or at least work the grill at a wendy's.
august 8, 2005
should have another 400 feet of "everything will be ok" shot in just another week. i think the story started out with a slight edge towards the somber side, but lately the comedy half has been filling in and starting to take over. just tonight i broke thru an important section that hadn't been fleshed out yet and i think now it's on the right track straight on to the end. wish i could say more, it's going to be an amazing mess of a movie. there is a chubby preteen who seems to live alone and unattended downstairs next door and at all hours i hear him play video games and scream at them in frustrated girly pig squeals. it's weird to think that if any "lord of the flies" sort of action happened today, the kids would probably just sit around and play video games. right now it's 1:30 in the morning and he's watching "top gun" at peak volume. that's sort of the way the neighborhood is.. no matter when you take a walk at night it is always completely still and beautiful out, with every window lining the street dependably illuminated blue from countless glowing monitors. speaking of the big dvd.. the original soundtrack master of "ah l'amour" had gone missing over the years, so i've gone ahead and re-recorded the entire tune with my guitar as best i could remember it, to make an alternate track to our kinda scuzzy next-best existing version of the 1995 recording. it was weird to play that piece again a little more than ten years since the original session.. which made me feel old. so it should sound a little better for the movie. either way, it's the same three stupid chords. luckily, lots of other lost "treasures" have been discovered in one piece, including the original "lily and jim" session tapes from 1996 which have been amazing to hear again. robert and karin improvised more conversations than i could've ever used, so we'll probably edit together the best of these dialogue outtakes that never were. there's still a ton of work to do and many other artifacts to locate but it's been nice so far to reconstruct a few blurry memories from all of these spare parts.

july 25, 2005
have spent the last few weeks shooting "ok" in the dead of night.. the special camerawork involved is just as important as the actual animation this time.. lots of careful rigging and experiments going on but it's all been fun and fast so far and it looks like it's meshing together thru the camera lens. got over eleven minutes of it already in the can which must be some kind of new speed record over here. no point in letting up now.. i just need to animate the third act and see where it goes from there. have also been heading back and forth to hollywood working on more of the dvd stuff.. been sleeping very little and losing weight and have had weird throbby stress things come and go in my eyes. somebody's flipped a painful switch on my control panel and i've keeping my head in the sand and working round the clock to forget about real life for a while, scattered. i don't seem to get tired anymore. cut off my hair. been watching documentaries. my apartment has spiders
july 4, 2005
summer's here. the neighborhood's been peppered with loud bangs and cracks all afternoon and every fifteen minutes there are doppling sirens in the distance of firemen whizzing to another location to collect the blown off fingers and thumbs of little patriots. on my walk the other day i passed an enormous iron-gated apartment building with a big courtyard pool filled with little floating fat kids and an enormous woman lying face down on the concrete in a very small patch of sunlight. you could hear the little "ffftt, fffttt" sound of fat kid mouths breaking the surface of water from halfway down the block. i ought to be ready to shoot over half of the new film in just a few more days i think which is going to be incredible.

june 18, 2005
arrived at the vegas airport yesterday morning and stood in the check-in line for about an hour. took another forty five minutes to get through security. they have tv monitors there with wayne newton doing skits and things while you wait, which everyone stands around watching, slowing things down further. security people refuse to let anybody through quickly, even those of us with flights leaving in five minutes. get to the gate too late for my flight to portland. a bunch of other people miss their flights too. everyone herded into a giant line for re-booking, which takes another hour. learn that my luggage made the trip to portland without me. also learn that all of the next direct flights on all carriers are now overbooked, except for a late night one that would probably get me in too late for the animation show. so they put me on a plane to los angeles to try and catch a portland flight from there. two hours later at lax i learn i need to exit security and take a long bus to another terminal in order to try and catch this connection. end up waiting in another check-in line for another hour, and another thirty minutes through security. i look particularly strung out at this point and the security guys are sure to call me aside for a thorough screening, certain they've got a drug smuggler. naturally can't get onto this portland flight either, and end up stranded in lax for several hours. getting to portland before 11pm grows hopeless and i eventually find a way to catch a flight home to santa barbara that night. there i realize that the re-booking lady in vegas took my luggage claim tag by accident so i'm not sure how we'll track my bag down. later learn that my luggage did the portland animation show Q+A session in my stead. thanks luggage! sorry

june 11, 2005
the constantly yapping puppies in the empty apartment downstairs are driving one of my neighbors crazy. all day he's been intermittently coming out of his door to desperately scream, SHUT THE FUCK UP!! into their window
june 6, 2005
in my post office there's a life sized cardboard cut-out of a smiling mailman that invariably catches the corner of my eye and fools me into thinking it's a real person. today i did a double take and almost held the door open for it. it's as though somebody put a stuffed sock inside of my birdcage.
june 1, 2005
just got in from burbank working on a high definition telecine of "life" for the bitter films dvd. i think its looking pretty good. the picture is due for some additional polish and finishing touches not seen in theaters.. it still feels maybe 1% unfinished to me and then i will be happy. the high definition stuff looks really nice.. i've actually never heard of indie animation getting the high-def treatment before and you can now see every scratch and blemish on the film clearer than ever before. so after the high-def bubbly sponge bath comes a meticulous cleaning and restoration process. by the end of this velvet glove treatment these films ought to look as new as ever, or possibly better. coddled little bastards. it looks like i should to be able to shoot a large chunk of "ok" pretty soon.. i really can't wait to get behind the camera with it.. i am both very busy and very lazy though which yields mixed results

may 16, 2005
i think the new film is going to be titled "everything will be ok".
there are frequently things being smashed up outside of my window. i live above a communal dumpster wherein people regularly dismantle and smash apart their old furniture + applicances into manageable bits by repeatedly hurling them against the ground or banging them to pieces upon the dumpster's sides.
may 7, 2005
began the process of contacting old film vaults to relocate and gather all our old film elements for restoration and it's turned into quite the treasure hunt. many elements have gone missing over the years and others are in unknown condition. the big heartbreaker though was learning that one particularly incompetent vault actually destroyed my original 16mm camera negative of "lily and jim" back in 2003 without our knowledge.. the rage rises.. we have our fingers crossed now that the remaining IP and IN for the film are still in good enough condition to restore for the DVD, less somebody over there spilled their coffee on them. meanwhile, the original magnetic soundtrack to "ah, l'amour" is missing, though i think we may have unearthed the original mag for "genre", which we'd also feared gone. tonight im animating a boxing match
may 3, 2005
i think i'm losing weight. charcoaling a dream sequence tonight and continuing on at a good pace. i may already have a couple minutes of finished stuff ready to shoot here.. i will feel rather on top of the world if the film was finished before the year's out. bill's quickly become my favorite character and the writing feels really strong and coming along very easily. i spent some time jimmying with the camera the other day and am looking forward to get back in there, figured out some key shots and broke down a few walls.. we may be stretching the film form a little bit with this one, the story's being told in a way i've never really seen done before.. cool stuff is in the oven. work on the bitter films DVD is slowly coming around and i think i'll be visiting a restoration house in hollywood maybe around the end of the week with the original negative of "ah, l'amour" as a test to see what they can do.. meanwhile just compiling lists of things to stuff this DVD with. i think i decided yesterday to pull a bit of a george lucas and reshoot a scene in "meaning of life" for its final version on the disc.. i think it's like a ten second shot, nothing to get too excited about, just finally put my finger on something in there that's been kinda bothering me for a while
april 23, 2005
austin was a blast.. i think i may actually move there in maybe a year.. everyone is talking me into it and i'm ready for something new. after the final Q+A on sunday night, i tripped and took a spectacular tumble off the stage in front of everyone, spilling my glass of beer to and fro. i have multicolored bruises all over the place. i think maybe everyone thought i did it on purpose and am some sort of pratfall genius.. beer and Q+A do not mix. rob somehow managed to eat bbq five times in three days and could actually reconstruct an entire chewed pig from the contents of his colon. i've been animating a small crowd scene of people with shopping carts for a little while now which is a bit of a drag but almost done. the new film is going to be all about bill, tho i've not settled on a title yet. here's some very early pictures. on a kinda related note, the "flight" book has been published and it looks awful pretty
april 11, 2005
made huge headway on the new film yesterday and still powering onward this morning in a warm fever state.. some big breakthroughs with new photography ideas that i'm feeling really smart about.. pulled off some beautiful animation and writing too, feels like a week's worth of progress. all scary-focused and glowing. some days are just like that
april 5, 2005
you know what word doesn't get used enough anymore? abomination. nobody says abomination anymore, which is a shame.. "the experiment ended in abomination". please use abomination at least once a day this week. baby, our relationship is an abomination. sir, that taco was an abomination. it works all over the place. i'm nearly done animating a super-slow-motion sequence for new film and then i should be able to rip roar through a bunch of easier bits.. kind of bored otherwise. i am reading a book about feral children. thursday is meeting with mike and a roomful of lawyers to figure out what's next for animation show. that abomination. i saw "a certain kind of death" the other night which is really brilliant and fascinating if you can make it through the gruesome bits. "hey, the maggots ate his face".
march 25, 2005
hi from detroit. it's colder than cold here and steam rises from the manhole covers, all cinematic like. i will always think that looks cool. my taxi driver sells antique mule plows online and the guy next to me on the plane trains women boxers and tried to take pictures of the moon with his flash. i'm staying at this victorian inn place that has new orleans high ceilings and swirling edward gorey carpets and my bed has a sort of crinkly paper on it thats like sleeping on a doctor table. we just ate possibly the greasiest pizza ever constructed by human beings, delivered to us by a nice fellow who communicated in clicks and pops. i'm looking forward to seeing the art museum tomorrow. hey, why do so many people who should know better actually believe that the sky is blue because "it is reflecting the color of the ocean", or somesuch bullshit?
march 21, 2005

sunrise behind street light

running on nirvana and phenylketonurics tonight because sara doesn't think regular soda is good for me anymore tho i think this stuff makes me weird and sleepless. i'm maybe a day away from finishing the first full scene of the very new film and it's been smooth sailing.. this scene's bits will probably be some of the more difficult in the whole piece, tho an absolute cakewalk compared to anything required of "life", and it's been a happy couple weeks and i don't even mind living the nocturnal thing again. i have about 75% of this story plotted out in intricate little scribbles and diagrams on one piece of paper and i'm hungry to plunge in headfirst as soon as i can fully unlazy myself.. i think i even have the ending, which came together in the bay area.. have high hopes to break all landspeed animating records this time.
i've been doing more show interviews every other day. interviews are like arguments in slow motion. this weekend is detroit and then its over to austin and then i think we're going to be adding a visit to portland and who knows where else. "meaning of life" happily continues to win hearts and lose minds.. most people are either bewildered or madly in love with it, or both, but i think the gaps are slowly closing and it is finding its home. there are lots of questions but i think the less i say the better it will be.. don't want to be the pretentious art jerk who declares you're right or you're wrong and there can only be one reading. there's a lot going on in there, tho on one level i think the film is sort of like a painting and what you take is going to be very personal and very different than the guy next to you.. if it strikes a big chord with you, that's valid.. if it just seems beautiful but empty, that's also valid.. or if you think it's total bullshit, hey that's valid too. the weekend's critics gave it the most glowing marks yet, though it's not until you couple them with the negative or just plain weirded-out ones that you can start to assume you're probably doing something right
march 7, 2005
the four SF-berkeley shows sold out and everyone was really sweet.. all the screenings and talking and hundreds of people i'm meeting are beginning to blur together now into a vivid moosh and i almost lost my voice again but i think i'm having a better time with this so far than the 2003 tours. sorry i can't remember all of you but it's hard to recognize you with your clothes on. so i'm still up in the bay area and will likely hide out from everything here for a little while and see what i can get done with the next film in this spot of free time.. for some reason i am really eager to just shell up and knock it right out. writing, animating, walking, staring at ants in sink

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