journal page 29

january 14, 2007
wow, check out the headshot we're using for sundance. i look like i just cannibalized my arctic team. what a weird angry bastard. well it's been a real busy week and there's still plenty of stuff i gotta wrap up before hitting the road for seattle and then straight to sundance. in the last few days i've tried to keep on animating every night, stayed awake for 39 hours, finished the deal to let mtv show "billy's balloon" and "intermission" tonight, did a couple more interviews and stayed atop the new press stuff, cleaned and boxed a heavy load of "ok", "meaning of life", and "rejected" artwork for a february gallery show in chicago, shipped more boxes of stuff to the shop, shipped out three more prints of "ok", helped with
the animation show pre-show thing, worked on still photography for the next movie... i think there was some stuff going on too during the 39 hour blitz but i can't quite remember what that was all about. so if you are a film festival and you receive a film can with rocks, a sock, and a box of cheerios in it, that was probably on hour 38. say, i'm told there is a "my spoon is too big" joke hidden in this xbox game "prey". that's kinda cool could somebody send me a screenshot of that? so tomorrow it's thermal shopping and then it's pack the bags and go. i'm told it's been -2 in park city which i hope is some sort of not funny joke. my hands are cold all the time just in my apt. first up though i'll see you all at the seattle premiere. truth be told i've not had the time this year to have been nearly as involved with the animation show as seasons past so i'm not even totally sure of what's in store for us next week. i guess let's all cross fingers and hope that's it not two hours of popeye cartoons. see you soon

december 9, 2006
we're going to the premiere of "inland empire" this weekend and then, randomly, disneyland. i'm not sure if you could come up with a more thematically conflicting set of weekend plans. the last few weeks have been really good for "OK", lots of people have been saying it's my best movie which has been a very nice surprise.. january's going to be busy though and we're trying to make sense of all the travel... i don't know yet which cities i'll be able to visit with the animation show this time but it's looking like seattle and chicago are probably certain so far. i just bought myself an early xmas present, a daniel johnston drawing that i couldn't say no to. i'm tired of doing interviews. i hate interviews. i'm terrible at them. i wish i could just quietly work. and never have to answer questions. the same questions. over and over. this week i am animating a scene involving a leaf blower. it looks like i'm out of paper towels

november 10, 2006
i found myself in a deserted sears the other day and grew oddly depressed wandering all the empty, empty rows of washing machines and stove tops and mysterious kitchen mixers. it's been a weird and lazy few weeks and i think i might be getting sick again, which would make for about five colds in a row this month. the first nine months of this year were overwhelmingly busy and then all the work sort of crashed to a sudden halt and i wonder if all that burnout has just been catching up with me in spades. or possibly cancer. the weather has turned cold and i've been watching an alarming about of tv which is odd because i almost never watch tv and i require a stick to wedge myself upright. i feel like i've only animated again in earnest as of a couple days ago, i drew scenes involving falling snow, a running cat, and a woman behind curtains. last month somebody jenna works with reported a black demon appearing regularly in her living room every evening at 7:00 and occasionally possessing her boyfriend. no kidding. they called in catholics and seers who prayed for 24 hrs and cast a spell that determined it was an evil curse placed upon them by someone, but they do not know who. the black demon is gone now but the seer regularly visits in a spirit form from mexico to check in on them, and occasionally moves plants around. we, meanwhile, only had one crummy trick or treater all night. today was windy and there have been distant sirens in the neighborhood all evening.
november 8, 2006
rumsfeld resigns? republicans lose the house and the senate? did i wake up this morning into some sort of bizarro fantasy dream world? should i be buying lottery tickets today?

october 1, 2006
as i type this i have it on good faith that the dvds are on their way to the bitter films shop to happily begin dispersing out to mailboxes and prison post offices all around the world. given all the delays and speed bumps so far i'd say i'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop but so many shoes have dropped it appears i am living below a giant multi footed creature who takes several weeks to remove all of his assorted footwear. so hopefully he is all out shoes now and it is only socks. with the dvd and "everything will be ok" more or less finished i began animating part two of "ok" already last week. was it last week? i can't remember. but the whole piece is written now and i'm maybe 30 seconds to a minute into it though working a little slower than i'd like. collectively i think these will be the best things i've ever written. i have to go to baltimore next weekend. last night i came up with an idea for a really amazing war memorial. this is a scene i'm working on right now between doing interviews.

september 17, 2006
i have a cold and last night dreamt of an asteroid hitting alaska. this morning something in the city is on fire, thick ash is settling over everything and the sunlight is weird bright pink. you can't go outside really but its just as well because my head is moving in slow motion. spent the last half of the week camped out in LA shuttling between santa monica and burbank for round the clock final picture timing + sound mix sessions on "ok", which all came out fantastic, particularly the digital surround sound mix. we were lucky to land the main stage at todd-ao across the hall from where they were doing final danny elfman work on "charlotte's web" and had some really gifted people behind the dials to tackle this sound monster i'd been conjuring up here at home. will be back in burbank tuesday to give the thumbs-up on the very first film prints to come out of the gate and everything's done.
september 2 or 3, 2006
unlocked "ok" the other night to trim another 8 seconds which should be the last cut to give it that extra bit of grease. tortured further retakes out of myself all week and i think i'm finally happy with the narration too. brian and i disagree over two single frame edits - literally - so it's really come down to the fine tuning. also poring over the latest checkdisk of the dvd this weekend, still on schedule yet every time i think we're finished another little wheel comes off and it continues to suck the very bone marrow out of my face (?). i talk to myself when i take walks. actually sort of whisper. my mouth moves by itself and i stare at the ground. i think i've always done this unconsciously and it's very weird when i catch myself. usually i am having intense imagined conversations that i anticipate having with people in the future. doubtless another step towards lunatic hobo. a giant gorgeous yellow and black swallowtail butterfly came out of the cocoon but the cat got to it. no kidding. you would have cried if you were there

august 19, 2006
"everything will be ok" is finished i think. it's been a bleary week of watching it over and over and over again, stopping as i go to fine-tune but i've slowly run out of things that bother me. picture is definitely locked and i think i have a few more levels to tweak and the sound should be done too. we should get rolling on the neg cut this week, maybe spend a few more days tightening sound and then it's off to color timing and final dolby mixdown. i guess the next question is where to start sneaking it into theaters before the animation show opens in january... i can't wait to see this with an audience. hiking last weekend we found a green cocoon on a licorice branch and took it home to wait and see who comes out. i think its a swallowtail. really eager to start up animating again. i need to clean this place first. i think parts 2 and 3 of "ok" will have their own standalone titles, i don't like it when movies are numbered. so far they're shaping up to be the best things i've written. the neighbor across the window who lives above the fat children has had their tv on real loud for 48 hours straight, on some sort of baseball channel. i am wondering if he is possibly dead in there, deteriorating in his easy chair before all the ball games. tonight i realized its been two years since i last wrote you poetry entirely cut and pasted from spam texts. apologies

slot machines uncovered
get rid of the pounds you hate
Made from an African cactus
never scrub your toilet bowl again.

Choosing the right corporate structure
Free today only, hurry!
Photoshop, Windows, Office.
my peenis is able to move without interruption

Sensationall revoolution in medicine!
Full of health? Then don't click,
We cure any disease
Easy-to-clean pump container

Get paid to spend time with your kids
The pictures of Avery have been updated.
Shocking top secret wealth building program!
No anguish, just adoration.

Better success, wool moth
Let's face it, you've always wanted it.
Bahama cruise voucher winner!
make your fat friends envy you

Do you want a w-atch?
Become a law enforcement professional.
What's on your coffee wish list?
cursed by God,with a bucket and the milk can

august 6, 2006
showed about 2 minutes of "ok" to mike j last weekend and he really seemed like it... more polishing on the sound edit tonight but i'm slowly running out of things to fine-tune... i'd say the movie will just about be all locked and finished in another few days. really happy with it.

july 25, 2006
i havent really slept in 4 nights. jenna and i had dinner with david lynch friday and i drank too much. then down to san diego for the big silly comic con and the animation show screenings & panel went real well and i think everyone had a good time. it was actually really helpful for mike and me to see these newest shorts in consideration in front of an audience and the little "ok" preview seemed to go over well too. i tried to draw pictures for some people but i think i did poorly. the whole giant convention closed for good at 5:00 sunday and we drank beer across the street as we watched thousands of sad costumed poopy nerds slowly pour outside into the heat. an extremely depressed, grossly overweight mr incredible wandered down the street alone in sagging red tights... and you realize without the convention he's now just some bloppy dude in a sweat-ringed unitard in downtown san diego. we're all very tired but its right back to work. its so hot in my apt right now i can only express it by typing lower case j's in succession. j j j jj jj j j j j
july 17, 2006
these are some production pictures from the new movie......

a new cereal was on sale. it's waffle flavored. but it just tastes like crunchy syrup. the days are hot and sloppy. the checklist for the dvd has grown smaller. it has been a giant black brain-suck on everyone's head but we are at long last closing the door. "OK" looks awesome from the plate it is sitting on, i just need to find the time to finish it. now if we could only do something about world peace.
june 26, 2006
scrounged enough free time tonight to write a real rough outline of what'll eventually be the 2nd chapter of "everything will be ok"... i'm liking it very much and could maybe start animating already in the coming weeks. i think "ok" might end up a 3-part thing. maybe for tv, i don't really know but there's definitely more story there. the work pace has been relentless but good this month so i'm thinking i should keep it going, and it'll probably be easier to wrap all this stuff up if i have something else to jump right into. the dvd has been a massive time-hog but is almost out of my hands now and i should also be getting into final sound editing on "ok" this week. there's so much material for the damn dvd i could make a 2nd dvd of dvd outtakes. my ipod charge plug thing doesn't want to charge anymore. it can only get a charge if the thing's plugged in and held at an extreme angle. to accomplish this i have rigged up something that involves my guitar capo, a pencil, and a heavy book. santa barbara's getting hot. sometimes a cat walks by. i'm reading about prehistoric monkeys.
may 31, 2006
made four failed attempts this weekend to install a new partition that would make protools happy, each inflicting gratuitous computer trauma. tonight's unnecessary surgery resulted in horrible liquid diahhrea shooting out the floppy drive as the desktop let out an agonizing scream that sent me scurrying into the bathroom closet. it begs me to quit. beads of sweat are forming on the monitor even as i type this. soon the frustrated ape will smash his computer to bits with a mighty tapir bone in a reverse kubrickian something-something. i hate this stuff. i'm probably going to need a new computer just for audio. what i have been able to mix in the current system has made great strides this week but i'm circling the point where i can no longer stuff in any more music or effects, or finetune. scenes are growing tight and unchangeable and once i can run stupid timecode we could be locking soon after

may 26, 2006
jenna got this sierra club type map of all the trails in santa barbara. last week we did rattlesnake canyon because it was listed as a "moderate" 3.5 miles and we are pale and floppy. i saw no rattlesnakes. it was almost all uphill though which got pretty tiring. so this week we chose the nice and dumb sounding "inspiration point", listed as a "moderately easy" 3 miles. we start out ok and then it goes a little uphill. and more uphill... then it starts raining... and more uphill... we are scrambling over nearly sheer rock walls.... and more uphill?? gosh it's really raining now... 1200ft drop offs and giant boulders...wonder if inspiration point is named for the hallucinatory visions one has upon actually reaching the summit... around that corner is more uphill... and more uphill... we begin cursing the "ranger rick motherfucker" who declared this trail moderately easy... hey look, it's more uphill... 4 miles into skull island we study the map again and realize we took a wrong turn a hell of a ways ago and have in fact been scaling one of the los padres peaks, designated "very strenuous". but we're above most of the rainclouds now and the plants are all dr seuss cacti and the bugs at this altitude are giant and brilliant and weird. we sit on the edge of the cliffs and make monkey calls across the canyon, which echo like in a movie. you can see not just the channel islands but miles of ocean beyond them

may 18, 2006
in the last 20 hours i have fine tuned dvd menu special effects, worked on the "lily and jim" animatic of deleted scenes, emailed mike notes for animation show 3 programming, wrote new music maybe for the next film, worked with rebecca on a half dozen dvd menus, fine tuned menu icons, reviewed final roll of "ok" dailies and sent editing notes to brian, sent design notes on animation show box set layout and approved text, followed up on remastering the original "genre" soundtrack, tried to figure out the remaining restoration budget, discussed "what i will and won't do" for a magazine cover photo, fine tuned layout of the bitter films dvd packaging, worked with the online shop on plans for dvd pre-orders, wrestled with my computer to get this new protools upgrade to work with timecode, and helped edit a rather cool animation show mini-documentary. tonight it continues with more editing notes for a weird bonus thing that may or may not appear on the bitter films dvd, more work on packaging, more work on menus. i guess this is what they call "the thick of it". don is in the thick of it. i really enjoy all the activity, sometimes it seems the more i have to work on at once the better choices i end up making. maybe it cuts out all the dwelling. my jaw is almost better. i need a new garbage disposal. i didn't realize thom yorke has a solo album coming out. this website has elliott smith bsides. i strongly recommend the "life in the undergrowth" bbc series... and if you haven't watched the "blue planet" series by now you also have the best nature documentary i've ever seen to look forward to... lucky you. sometimes the cheese sticks to the inside oven door and the muffin flops to the floor

may 1, 2006
i seem to have popped my jaw out of alignment. i think the whole shebang sorta snapped out of place in my sleep maybe or unconsciously grinding behind the wheel and now my teeth don't line up quite like they used to on the left hinge. it's quite unsettling and painful. i guess the dentist is next but i'm sort of afraid they'll have to cut my head open. been deep in sound mix and have already reconstructed one scene about a dozen different ways to find the right tone but the rest of the piece has been clicking together pretty good... i'm cutting another 30 seconds of pic to oil things some more and think i'm on track to be finished sometime in july though not sure yet where we'll roll it out first. but the dvd continues to croak along at a frustrating glacier pace. i think we'll be able to finally get those pre-orders going around the end of the month with dvds ready to ship in the julyish-augusty range. the restoration work's pretty much done as well as all the design and it's just been a matter of waiting around for everyone to stick all the duct tape and staples in. i might vanish up to the bay area while this drags on. the kitchen has termites
april 13-14, 2006
spring is here. hello spring i've missed you. my right eyelid is twitching and i've cut all my hair off. break out the yellow triaminic, have been really ill and lightheaded again. it seems like i've already been sick more times this year than all of last. i had to do three long interviews this week, two of them on camera and it will be a time capsule of how pale and deadly i must look. yet we carry on. i also have lots of vocal re-recording left to do but sound vaguely like a crow tonight and i don't think it will match. i sweat at night. there are things in my chest. i dreamed of a balcony in the sky i think. got the latest cut of "ok" in yesterday and am back here on sound editing. tonight i am going to push it deeper overboard. my headphones are broken but they still fit with tape. i did a crossword the other day and the answer for "refreshing taste" was "tang" which i thought that was a wee bit of a fucking stretch. saw the first superman movie again for the first time since i was little and was surprised by how much i liked it. where he spins the earth backwards to reverse time is just so perfect and silly. it's been raining warm and people have eye infections. it's been popsicle weather. sometimes the kitchen smells like dog food. the guy that sweeps up outside and changes the lightbulbs seems to have killed my snail

april 7, 2006
the other night i dreamt i'd drowned in a bathtub when i was little but was somehow resurrected or cloned back from the dead and grew up.. and i was only just remembering this in the sort of "oh yeah" moment you have if you just saw a picture of your first pair of shoes again or something and idly wondered whether i was still the same person who died or if i was somebody different now and how weird it was that i'd been dead once in the first place. the dream came complete with weird underwater bathtub flashbacks that faded to black. a snail moved into the dead end outside my door after last week's rain. last night he managed to get himself stuck in the corner, wedged upside down where the walls connect, neck against the ground craning north, trying to figure out which way to turn get to out of this puzzle. i've been feeding him little salads which he slithers down nightly for and always eats the carrots first. he's been overdoing it lately and can't seem to fit in his shell anymore, his head and mantle bloobering overboard whenever he goes inside to sleep. i wonder how long snails live for. jenna took this picture and i'm jealous. the weather has been spectacular. shooting DVD stuff with rob tomorrow. the packaging is done... the menus are almost done... ironically one main thing i'm mostly dealing still with are the films themselves... "genre" hit technical snags finishing its restoration but we're hoping to attack that next week. early sound editing + narrating "ok" is still trucking along and i think the only thing that bothers me is the sort of thing about hearing your own voice in an answering machine too many times. i've also written a couple short pieces of music for it a couple months ago that i'm really happy with. that little porky kid downstairs next door is yelping at his tv like a jackal again.

march 18, 2006
finished one last round of reshoots last week and was up to 5 last night recording the very first go at a scratch narration track for "ok". it doesn't look like we'll be needing to tighten the movie's pace much more, if anything it moves so fast the narration often must be read at a fever pitch in order to cram everything in. which works perfect in some places and in others i'll try cutting back on some of the talk now to let a little air in. i realized i've never used narration in a movie before, it seems to sort of flip a different switch in the viewer's brain in how they take things in. hearing everything back at me for the first time has been really helpful with this and i think i'll probably be rewriting much of it every time i stop to record. the beginning and end of the film have music cues in place now too and are already running like finished products. i'm not sure yet if i'll end up doing the final narration or not. in the mornings my hands really smell like detergent and i can't figure out why
march 3, 2006
spent the last two days in another funky burbank motel. this one didn't have working phones and the ape-shaped creatures upstairs sounded like they were hurling bowling balls at each other. but i think we got a lot of work done.
a few nights ago i dreamt of the small field near my old elementary school. i used to play soccer there. it was always sunny and golden. grass stains and running around. it used to be near a creek where we searched tirelessly for crawdads even though we'd never seen one and didn't know what they looked like. i was probably 5 or 6 in the dream and most of the people i'd ever know in life were still random strangers scattered around the world. the future was weirdly open and a blank slate again yet everything was fine and time didn't seem to really exist. i'm not sure if the field is still there. i haven't been around there in years. they probably built condominiums.
then last night i had another dream with a field. this one was near an ocean where this happy seal began barking at us and bounded out of the water to play soccer with us. he was pretty good. it was like a disney animal movie or something, running around playing soccer with this big seal. then the seal hit the ball a little too excited and it flew over everyone's heads and struck a little boy in an adjacent field really hard in the chest and he collapsed. it seemed like he maybe had a heart condition because he wasn't moving. everyone sort of froze. the seal retreated to the sea. nobody knew what to do.

february 26, 2006
spent 12 hours today doing this animating dvd menu thing in front of the computer. i don't know how you cgi guys to this regularly. feelin pasty and despondent. took my daily walk around the block and then right back into the thick of it here. need to get up at 5 tomorrow for more early morning dvd work in LA. when will it end? i think this will probably be the 2nd to last film restoration session. very eager to get back to work on finishing "ok". have been having phantom chest pains. jesus christ. need something new to look forward to. before the animation show tour kicks in again i would very much like to drive across the country. my incense smells like baking cookies
february 25, 2006
"if a triangle could speak it would say that god is eminently triangular" : spinoza
february 23, 2006
working on this dvd is a lot like staring in the mirror for too long. i don't really need to see these films again for a long time. but it's all pretty much designed and figured out now except for the main menu and one other thing and once i've solved those puzzles i think the rest will fall into place. only have a couple more sessions of film restoration to go now too so hopefully soon we'll just be putting the whole thing together with staples and duct tape. i seem to have a 70s haircut. i don't know how this happened. the olympics are still on and jenna and i have developed an unhealthy obsession with all things sasha cohen. we want to adopt her and feed her and manage her career and dress her in different doll clothes. i will replace the carpets in my apt with ice so she can skate around and serve drinks. i must build a sasha cohen ice cage and she will sing little sasha cohen songs or she will get the hose
february 17, 2006
today it's raining. it smells sorta weird in here
february 2, 2006
i've been in bed for almost three days with a weird fever staring at the ceiling which looks sorta like the moon. then i think i took too many aspirin tonight because my fever suddenly plummeted and right now my temperature actually reads 94.7 ..according to the interweb anything below 97 is hypothermia. woops. i am like an arctic adventurer.
january 22, 2006
dirt in high definition
we assembled the first cut of "everything will be ok" last weekend, which clocked in at... 17.5 minutes! kinda longer than expected but it doesn't feel fatty at all when the narration's going so maybe it's just naturally big boned.. we'll see what happens after this first round of trimming. i'm sad to say life is now an uninspired routine of endless dvd production checklists and long commutes to burbank and sitting in front of multiple telecine monitors and falling asleep to cheap wine and staring quietly out of office windows and i'm eagerly looking forward to spring when i will hopefully have all this cleared out and be a little bit alive again. but it works for right now i guess as otherwife life would be an undistracted and rather straightforward trainwreck of pain and alcohol. hooray for shattering relationships. instead of cnn in the mornings i've been watching sesame street. i kinda want a dog
january 13, 2006
working on many little bits and pieces now that the bigger chores are moving out of the way. it's amazing how much time can be spent in a day doing nothing but researching music rights. maybe i should get an intern or something. editing in LA tomorrow and then back again for more dvd work monday
january 11, 2006
for the last week the phone lines have been down while they also intermittently shut off the power in my apt. next they will no doubt shut off the water and construct a giant shield to block out the rays of the sun. so it wasn't a bad two days to spend in LA, marathoning work on the dvd and "ok" while rocking the seedy motels. brian and i have assembled an early cut of the new cartoon, which is already clocking in at over ten minutes without the last two rolls accounted for yet. everything looks beautiful and i don't actually think i'll have to reshoot anything... i can't remember if that's ever happened before.. too good to be true in that dept. it feels nice to have everyone fully chugging away now on their respective tasks with all this stuff. maybe everything will be ok. ha haaaa... see what i did there?

turn the page and read on

return to main journal menu
return to main menu