I am now convinced that Isabella Rosselini is crazy, and that Robert Redford will produce anything.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
(The irony of me doing a video about Corey Delaney when my YouTube name is "almostfamous83" is not lost on me. If I could change it, I would. But I picked it years ago when it was my favourite movie. I'm stuck with it. Move on.)
The video, over the past few months, has been deluged with comments from both Corey lovers and Corey haters. The comments which I actually appreciated the most were the ones who identified the problem - that the media is the most responsible for making this kid a star, and righfully point out MY video as part of the problem. Foxtel is using a Corey look-a-like to promote some of their movie channels for God's sake.
To give you an indication of just who is leaping to Corey's defence, I thought I would share some of his supporters' comments. Exactly as they appear on the comments page.
lol @ all you clowns hating on him.. all the kid did was throw a party, you faggots. you've never had a party before? fkn nerds. im sure you wouldnt mind getting all this attention for something like that.
i agree all u haters fuck off least the kid is living for fuck sack and ur all pissed of cause u didnt think of the idea ur all jelous fucks and if ur not jelous then ur some nerd who believes in some shit this guys a legend for fuck sack leave the kid alone ur all jelous fucks
WTF just cause u's weren't at the Party it was the Bomb
he gonna be on big brother this yr!!!!!!
so watchin it it will be sexc!!!
you fuckin deserve to get your ass kicked so fuckin bad...seriosluy that corey delaney video was fucking so horrably gay
corey is so m uch cooler than you you cock sucking bitch. your jeolous that he is famous and your "almost famous" even tho your fuckin not and everyone wants you to rot in hell...
so next time dont talk shit about someone who has way more balls, and is sooo much cooler than you
burn in hell
nd suck a fat cock, asshole
what a fuckin shit vid not corey is not only a goose but u makin this vid and postin it up make u as fucked as him. ahahahaha that was fuckin hilarious not in this life time
almost famous u will never be famous u should b best mates with him
Ladies and gentlemen... Corey Delaney's supporters. WOW.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Firstly, from an article written two years ago entitled "Law School By Default" by Cameron Stracher, who writes about the high percentage of lawyers who grow disenchanted with the profession, realizing it is not all what it is made out to be. I was particularly drawn to this paragraph...
"If I wanted to be a screenwriter, waiting tables would have kept my options open, too. In fact, many wannabe screenwriters find themselves going to law school, misled by adults into thinking that it will help them get into the movie business. It won't. Sure, you can be a talent agent or a movie producer with a law degree, but you can be one without a degree, too. Most of the skills you learn in law school (and legal practice) won't help you make a movie, and the few that will may not be worth the cost (more than $120,000, including tuition, living expenses, as well as three years of forgone experience and salary). Rather than keeping options open, the crushing debt of law school often slams doors shut, pushing law students to find the highest-paying job they can and forever deferring dreams of anything else."
What you often hear is that the best thing you can do is go to a corporate firm and get corporate experience. I don’t discount that, but my story shows there’s another way to do that. The big issue is that you have to immerse yourself in that world – know people in the industry, read trade papers, and just generally know the business. I know that that’s a big reason why I’ve been able to build a client base, because my clients know that I know the filmmaking business.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
High concept premise: a man falls in love with a sex doll. You think you know exactly what kind of movie this is going to be. But it's not. It's from one of the writers of Six Feet Under. It's a highly original script.
Lars (played by Ryan Gosling, who is now officially one of my favourite actors) is a devout Christian so the thought of sex with the doll never even comes into his head. He's an incredibly shy and lonely man who lives in his brother's garage. One day, he announces to his brother and his sister-in-law that he has a visitor who is Brazilian, wheelchair bound and doesn't speak English, and asks if she can stay in the house instead of sharing a bed with him (Christian fear). They are then shocked to discover that the visitor is a Real Girl doll. However, since the Real Girl is finally allowing Lars to come out of his shell and interact with people again, they are encouraged by the town doctor (played by the again brilliant Patricia Clarkson) to go along with it. Slowly, the whole town is convinced to go along with his delusion and soon everyone is accepting "Bianca" as one of the town's own.
Like I said, it sounds silly and high concept, but it is hands down one of the sweetest and funniest movies I've seen in a long time - I am tempted to even put it above Juno. Ryan Gosling gives a DeNiro-like performance, physically and emotionally changing himself so much and creating such a sweet and sympathetic character with Lars that it's impossible not to break his heart and shatter the illusion of who he has fallen in love with. It was also great to see Kelli Garner on screen again as Margo, Lars' workmate who has a not-so-secret crush on him.
It's a simple idea really isn't it? As humans, we dote on inanimate objects all the time. Two of Lars' workmates have action figures and teddy bears which they invest their emotions in. When one of the hangs a noose around Margo's teddy bear, she is distraught beyond all comprehension. She is in tears. Objectively, it's irrational, but it's totally believable. Why is it not forseeable then that that same emotion is extended to a larger inanimate object?
Performances and writing from everyone involved were top notch. It even had one or two audience members crying at the end (not to spoil it) but it's a testament to all involved that if you can make an audience invest emotionally in the fate of a doll, why can't the characters?
Was gypped at the Oscars, but it did pick a nomination for Best Original Screenplay (beaten by the favourite Juno).
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Unfortunately, it didn't win anyway. Daniel only alerted me by text, so he didn't give me a detailed breakdown, but he did assure me that the one which won deserved it, so I can't argue with that.
It's been fun. But what now??
I've decided to retire The Westpac ATM from any more competitions/festivals. It's had its day. It's not going to be featured on YouTube outside of Australia and New Zealand (which it has). It's two years old now. Word on the grapevine is that Westpac are changing their ATMs after seven years, so it will soon become redundant, plus, it's gotten more coverage than I ever expected with the Revue, YouTube and the Comedy Festival.
There's another two engineering videos coming soon - one of which I shot last weekend out at UQ and have inserts to shoot tomorrow in my room; the other is the second Confessions video to come after I finish the current one.
Thursday, April 3, 2008
I wrote in one afternoon, recorded the next afternoon, animated and edited over 24 hours.
I'm quite proud of this one - short, stupid, rude, fast, smutty and silly.
Even my mum liked it. And she hates my stinking guts.
I really cannot explain why this has happened in such a short time. At first I thought it was an April Fools Joke and if you clicked through, you'd be rickrolled. I mean, I'm honoured, but I was stunned at the first time, let alone the second.
This time it's the latest engineering video I've done for the QRC - it's "The Bubbles Incident" from the "Confessions of a Vac Work Student" series I want to continue. As at me writing this (after 24 hours), it has picked up about 11,000 more views. Average ratings so far - it wasn't really meant for all of YouTube to see, just kinda for engineering kids.
The Westpac ATM was featured around Valentine's Day - racked up about 70,000 more views. Two weeks later, Feeling Off was featured. It's had about 40,000 views since then. Thanks to Steve at SpaceboyProductions, who guest edited the front page that second time - PLEASE check out his videos, they are slick, funny and one or two are frankly quite heartstring tugging.
Have about 60% of the next Confessions done (all shot, just needs retooling), but am working on another one before I polish that one off. Hoping to shoot this weekend, but am just waiting on a cast member to call me back.
I also witnessed the new show by The Delusionists - the UNSW and USyd Revue guys who put on one of my favourite shows last year. This was their second show, with one or two casting shuffles and a well-rehearsed script that had been fine tuned in Sydney comedy venues before bringing it south.
It was in a MUCH smaller venue than last year - in contrast to the RMIT Kaleide theatre, this year they were in the rehearsal room of Town Hall, where noise from the outside hall echoed annoyingly and badly. The set was very minimalist - a table, chairs, curtains to the side. Very fast changeovers between scenes. The show was quickly paced for one hour - highlights for me were a pre-recorded interaction with Nostradamus (always a fascinating character to me to make fun of), the Spartans deal with Human Resources, the time travel effects of daylight savings, Jesus on a blind date that literally turns into a BLIND date and Dr. Seuss gets angry. Overall, not as consistent show as last year, but I still think these guys are talented writers and actors as a group, and it'll be good to see them keep doing shows.
After much fussing around with the tickets, we all made it into the Festival Club at the HiFi Bar and Ballroom. Tonight was a special night. The Festival Club is always a treat - you can't pre-book tickets, you just have to turn up at the door before the show and it is ALWAYS sold out. Tonight was tough, but we luckily got in.
After waiting in our seats for forty-five minutes and after several eight dollar beers, the show finally started at midnight.
Adam Hills and Jason Byrne were emcee-ing and were very very funny. Tommy Dean and Josie Lang did solid sets. But the man of the night was Patton Oswalt - I wasn't familiar with his standup but I'd seen him in Reno 911 and of course as the main character from Ratatouille, but the Festival was making a damn big deal about him doing four shows only, so I had high hopes.
I wasn't disappointed.
The guy killed. He had a set list with him on stage, but that didn't detract from the funny. When prompted by a heckler, he launched into a hilarous bit about him and his brother drunkenly going to see Jerry Maguire on Christmas Eve 1996. He also had the joke of the night for me, likening Jon Voight's balls to the Star Wars prequels.
That ran until 2AM when we parted and I returned to the hotel.
If only I could have caught Tripod or Arj Barker again, it would have been a frigging perfect Comedy Festival In A Day for me. Alas, my flight left in several hours time and there were no more shows on that night/morning.
I made my second Melbourne Comedy Festival Trip last weekend (Friday the 28th March). Check out my MySpace blog for my in-depth yet incomplete 2007 blog on my Comedy Festival journey last year.
Anywho, this year was special because The Westpac ATM screened in the Open Season Quick and Dirty Short Film Competition, held in Federation Square. It was a humble screening - most of the audience appeared to be the family and friends of the other entrants. I was on my lonesome, as Daniel, Nick and Brendan had already purchased tickets to other shows (I changed my trip at the last moment so they weren't expecting me to be down there that weekend).
Danny McGinlay was the emcee. Gatesy from Tripod turned up halfway through to plug the Idio Clips show which I had also wanted to enter something into, but ran out of time. I'll make it anyway and save it for next year hopefully.
Out of the 11 or so videos screened, The Westpac ATM was the fourth. Which worried me at first. It was played after three awful shorts and I was worried why it had been put so close to the start. Considering the winner was chosen by audience applause at the end, people could walk away and not vote if they liked it. OR they would arrive late and not see it.
Luckily, it was well received. Not the reaction it received during the run of the Law Revue, but still it received ACTUAL LAUGHS and applause. Some people in the audience clearly remembered it from YouTube - one guy next to me said to his partner "Oh, I've seen this. This is really good." as the jazz music started up as Keckers approaches the ATM.
Cut to the end. When it came to the choosing the winner, they displayed a still from each video and the audience applauded/cheered accordingly. Several shorts by people who had friends went wild, even though their videos were not particularly funny. There were several VCA animations that were well made, but again, did not make people laugh. I make an exception for the animated short about the Australian man in the pub who wants to be an astronaut and basically becomes a friend to a lonely alien who enters the pub. It ends with a parody of An Officer and a Gentleman. Cute.
And The Westpac ATM got enough applauses and a few hoots to get it over the line. YAY! I was stunned when the emcee called me out - it took me a while to get out there. He handed me the mike, but I didn't know what to say except to say thank you to everyone for coming out and applauding for the video, and congratulations to all of the other entrants.
As Lyndal the organizer of the event mentioned to me later, it was true democracy in the most satisfying way. People who I had never met or knew liked it. It felt amazing.
Nonetheless, the prize was only $500 and a spray painted Betamax tape - neither of which I have received yet but look forward to.
Feeling Off screens in Federation Square on April 11th, but I won't be down there for it. Fingers crossed on that one. :D