Chapter Twenty Nine
Boy, 29, living in Colorado by way of Chicago. I try to write things. I always watch things. Movies raised me.

I focused on art pretty much from 4th grade through High School (painting, film, media) in the suburbs of Chicago (Schaumburg), and decided to try and "be normal" by entering the University of Illinois as a Marketing major. But I had previously bought a miniDV camera after watching American Beauty, and taught myself iMovie and FCP for editing throughout High School. I still have about 20 miniDV tapes from those days I plan on converting and re-editing soon.
After about 3 weeks in my business courses, I looked around my at peers, scanned all my syllabi, and said "fuck that!". I was already enrolled in Intro to Film as a gen ed and absolutely loved how small the class size was, how passionate the professors and even TAs were and decided to take as many film courses as possible.

I ended up officially changing my major after my second year Undergrad. I began hanging out with people who worked at Illini Media (radio station and student newspaper folk), and based on being able to carry on a conversation entirely in movie quotes and my ability to small talk about nothing other than film, I was asked to run a blog for the student paper and also cover premieres and live events like Roger Ebert's Overlooked Film Festival we put on every year.

Through those opportunities, I was able to meet more like minded people, some from up in Chicago with their own indie production companies and basically networked my butt off. Had a weird hotel room experience with Joe Pantaliano, met Bordwell, Rufus Sewell and Ken Brannagh one awesome Ebertfest year. Couple that with my fanatic reading of all of my required textbooks and some books from classes I wasn't even enrolled in (sorry to the kid that wasn't able to buy books that semester), I just put it out there that my life is film and people gravitated towards that.

I met a local indie filmmaker in the corn fields of IL and we had a drink at an after party even and he asked if I wanted to come work for him while I was in school, so I got my first production internship in a really small company and learned more editing and directing skills mentoring a megalomaniac big shot in a small town type guys. I learned a few things that are pretty standard on most sets, do not talk to actors, basically keep your mouth shut at all times and do the one job you were assigned to do. But I also learned that there are so many things in film that are DIY or trial and error. I taught myself how to build props and edit trailers basically by watching Internet vids and reading a massive amount of opinions and choosing which ones best fit my idea of film's purpose.

When I graduated, I moved to the city and found a job as an intern in an underground comedy club that doubled as a production office for comedic films. We did a few SNL type movies with the cast and writers and a few comedies from the creator of Meet the Parents and some other small items (Harold, and a weird movie with Danny DeVito). It was a huge step up from using B and C list actors in college.

I learned how to write copy (financial offering memorandums for financing, budgets sheets, casting sheets, LLC creation), essentially the Producer role stuff. I just showed a huge initiative and stayed over nights in the comedy club working on the business end and even got to sit in on a few Comedy Central pitch meetings. I was an intern for about a week before I was promoted to intern coordinator and associate producer on everything we touched.

That's why us Midwesterners do so well in LA, we work are asses off for nothing else then to be a part of the process.

In my spare time, I was also being mentored by Jerry Cleaver, a Northwestern Writing professor in his "The Loft" classes which really taught me a lot about story. I was the only young guy in a room full of bored housewives which really put all the attention on me. I was in this for a reason and not out of boredom. I then read Robert McKee's Story and everything by Syd Field. THESE ARE THE ONLY BOOKS YOU NEED. I know because I have read everything else- On Writing by King, Elements of Style, and checked out every book from three different libraries on writing- most of them are ways to make a failed fiction writer income. The Tony Robbins' of literature.

Soon we found out the managing producer was funneling money from our budget and everything kind of collapsed, leaving me without a job and a way to pay rent. I moved to Colorado where my sister had a spare room and began working for TiVo. It's a shitty call center, but I have found call centers and bars are where the creative types make their way as they work on stuff in their spare time.

Just based on being me, I became the "movie guy" in the office and soon everyone wanted to talk to me and know what I was up to and what my plans were. I managed to find a group of about 5 people that has at least a passion for film and to make them, but very little training and understanding of the process.

I set out last year to gain as much knowledge about independent filmmaking as I could so that I could quickly bring everyone up to speed. I searched blogs, message boards, print magazines and started buying up equipment. We soon were testing and producing our own small items, but nothing I would ever show or really be that proud of... even right now.
Chapter Twenty Nine
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"You don’t have to be pretty like her. You can be pretty like you."
One of the most freeing things I have ever heard (via firecannotkillabadwolf)
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Putch yo haands in da muffukkin aaair… #dieantwoord #yolandivisser #riotfest @prawn_star
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MTV True Life: I just ate pierogies and applesauce off a dumpster. #riotfest
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#beesandmud #riotfest #chicago #woodstock94
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Truck driver diet. Minus the meth. #roadwarrior #windshieldtime #work
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Home.
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thekhooll:

Wilfred Lang
thekhooll:

Wilfred Lang
thekhooll:

Wilfred Lang
thekhooll:

Wilfred Lang
thekhooll:

Wilfred Lang
thekhooll:

Wilfred Lang
thekhooll:

Wilfred Lang
thekhooll:

Wilfred Lang
thekhooll:

Wilfred Lang
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Too Hot Peppers (2014)
#fivestar #chicago #photography #design #lighting #pretentiousdouche (at Five Star Bar)
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dorkstrangerfilmschool:

this article stolen from here.
Joss Whedon is most famous for creating Buffy the Vampire Slayer, its spin-off Angel and the short-lived but much-loved Firefly series. But the writer and director has also worked unseen as a script doctor on movies ranging from Speed to Toy Story. Here, he shares his tips on the art of screenwriting.
1. FINISH IT

Actually finishing it is what I’m gonna put in as step one. You may laugh at this, but it’s true. I have so many friends who have written two-thirds of a screenplay, and then re-written it for about three years. Finishing a screenplay is first of all truly difficult, and secondly really liberating. Even if it’s not perfect, even if you know you’re gonna have to go back into it, type to the end. You have to have a little closure.
2. STRUCTURE

Structure means knowing where you’re going; making sure you don’t meander about. Some great films have been made by meandering people, like Terrence Malick and Robert Altman, but it’s not as well done today and I don’t recommend it. I’m a structure nut. I actually make charts. Where are the jokes? The thrills? The romance? Who knows what, and when? You need these things to happen at the right times, and that’s what you build your structure around: the way you want your audience to feel. Charts, graphs, coloured pens, anything that means you don’t go in blind is useful.
3. HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY

This really should be number one. Even if you’re writing a Die Hard rip-off, have something to say about Die Hard rip-offs. The number of movies that are not about what they purport to be about is staggering. It’s rare, especially in genres, to find a movie with an idea and not just, ‘This’ll lead to many fine set-pieces’. The Island evolves into a car-chase movie, and the moments of joy are when they have clone moments and you say, ‘What does it feel like to be those guys?’
4. EVERYBODY HAS A REASON TO LIVE

Everybody has a perspective. Everybody in your scene, including the thug flanking your bad guy, has a reason. They have their own voice, their own identity, their own history. If anyone speaks in such a way that they’re just setting up the next person’s lines, then you don’t get dialogue: you get soundbites. Not everybody has to be funny; not everybody has to be cute; not everybody has to be delightful, and not everybody has to speak, but if you don’t know who everybody is and why they’re there, why they’re feeling what they’re feeling and why they’re doing what they’re doing, then you’re in trouble.
5. CUT WHAT YOU LOVE

Here’s one trick that I learned early on. If something isn’t working, if you have a story that you’ve built and it’s blocked and you can’t figure it out, take your favourite scene, or your very best idea or set-piece, and cut it. It’s brutal, but sometimes inevitable. That thing may find its way back in, but cutting it is usually an enormously freeing exercise.
6. LISTEN

When I’ve been hired as a script doctor, it’s usually because someone else can’t get it through to the next level. It’s true that writers are replaced when executives don’t know what else to do, and that’s terrible, but the fact of the matter is that for most of the screenplays I’ve worked on, I’ve been needed, whether or not I’ve been allowed to do anything good. Often someone’s just got locked, they’ve ossified, they’re so stuck in their heads that they can’t see the people around them. It’s very important to know when to stick to your guns, but it’s also very important to listen to absolutely everybody. The stupidest person in the room might have the best idea.
7. TRACK THE AUDIENCE MOOD

You have one goal: to connect with your audience. Therefore, you must track what your audience is feeling at all times. One of the biggest problems I face when watching other people’s movies is I’ll say, ‘This part confuses me’, or whatever, and they’ll say, ‘What I’m intending to say is this’, and they’ll go on about their intentions. None of this has anything to do with my experience as an audience member. Think in terms of what audiences think. They go to the theatre, and they either notice that their butts are numb, or they don’t. If you’re doing your job right, they don’t. People think of studio test screenings as terrible, and that’s because a lot of studios are pretty stupid about it. They panic and re-shoot, or they go, ‘Gee, Brazil can’t have an unhappy ending,’ and that’s the horror story. But it can make a lot of sense.
8. WRITE LIKE A MOVIE

Write the movie as much as you can. If something is lush and extensive, you can describe it glowingly; if something isn’t that important, just get past it tersely. Let the read feel like the movie; it does a lot of the work for you, for the director, and for the executives who go, ‘What will this be like when we put it on its feet?’
9. DON’T LISTEN

Having given the advice about listening, I have to give the opposite advice, because ultimately the best work comes when somebody’s fucked the system; done the unexpected and let their own personal voice into the machine that is moviemaking. Choose your battles. You wouldn’t get Paul Thomas Anderson, or Wes Anderson, or any of these guys if all moviemaking was completely cookie-cutter. But the process drives you in that direction; it’s a homogenising process, and you have to fight that a bit. There was a point while we were making Firefly when I asked the network not to pick it up: they’d started talking about a different show.
10. DON’T SELL OUT

The first penny I ever earned, I saved. Then I made sure that I never had to take a job just because I needed to. I still needed jobs of course, but I was able to take ones that I loved. When I say that includes Waterworld, people scratch their heads, but it’s a wonderful idea for a movie. Anything can be good. Even Last Action Hero could’ve been good. There’s an idea somewhere in almost any movie: if you can find something that you love, then you can do it. If you can’t, it doesn’t matter how skilful you are: that’s called whoring.
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Fanboying so hard right now. Tony Moore (Artist - The Walking Dead, Deadpool) dropped a “like” in my Insta… I’m almost 31 years old BTW.
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athenagracee:

instagram: @athenagracee / fujixT1 18mm / vsco film


September 2014
athenagracee:

instagram: @athenagracee / fujixT1 18mm / vsco film


September 2014
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A mostly accurate depiction of my life at the moment.
#gotg #guardiansofthegalaxy #starlord #peterquill #rocketraccoon #gamora #drax #groot #marvel #samsung #galaxytab #dog #ratterrier #Buddha