They Live (1988)

Posted by – November 24, 2008

The x-ray specs device is perfect for lofi scifi — super-striking and cinematic.

The movie is pretty entertaining, and like most Carpenter stuff goes between smart and stupid in the same movie. There’s some smart stuff near the end with some dialogue that says that to the aliens, Earth is third world — a concept I’ve always thought about teasing out.

Bit Torrent Link

Alleys Are Beautiful

Posted by – November 24, 2008

Part of Michael Cho's "back alley" series

Michael Cho, illustrator of the above alley drawings (click thru), is cool with us using this series as a visual element — perhaps as transitions.

A-List Babies

Posted by – November 24, 2008

We have access to one, probably multiple, babies with parents who are “cool”.

I have resisted posting a picture of Sidney here, but needless to say: STAR QUALITY.

Babies are weird and strange.

Minorly Alternate Universes

Posted by – November 24, 2008

Instead of the universe being one where the Nazi’s won, it’s a tiny tiny change — it’s a universe where all water is actually blue instead of clear (excepting seawater, which is green). Or a universe where people’s internal clocks are so slow to adjust that it takes immigrants years to sync up, condemning them to years of a nighttime existence. Each world could be a different episode.

I’m thinking they could be accessible via the alleys, since alleys are betwixt and between, themselves.

The Phantom of Liberty (1974)

Posted by – November 27, 2008

Flick suggested this to me after seeing Infest Wisely as having a disjointed (though disjointed in a different way) story structure. This scene made me think of the minorly alternate universes idea.

I found the movie engaging on a “how will he shock us next” kind of way, but it feels more like a comedy sketch or music video, lacking any emotive power.

Positions Available

Posted by – November 27, 2008

If we can find good people for these roles I’d like to assign them early in the process.

  • Music Supervisor: Someone familiar with the Toronto music scene with an ear for music that would work well in a movie. We’re also thinking of getting a band to watch the movie and play during it — kind of an improv jam thing — for cues and other instrumental parts.
  • Visual Effects and Animation: There will likely only be a few minutes of effects, but we’re looking for someone who is capable of working with both live action and drawn assets.
  • Production Manager: Coordinating scheduling between crew and actors, researching and implementing the legal steps required to clear locations and actors.
  • Alleyologist

    Posted by – November 27, 2008

    I was talking about the alley theme with Sean last night and he brought up this guy who gives alley tours, which made me say “Alleyologist”. It rolled really nicely off the tongue, and I’ve been picturing a trailer:

    A tall, good looking young man with a doctor’s bag walks through an alley.

    He’s peering at small things in the alley very closely, an earnest look on his face.

    A close up on his mouth as he speaks into a small dictaphone: “The city… is sick.”

    A hipster girl, arms crossed, gently mocks him. “So what — a bit of garbage in an alley makes you panic?”

    He responds intensely: “Of course not. Alleys are the lower organs of the urban organism. Garbage, grafitti, all these things are like flora in the lower intestines. They’re natural. It’s something else.”

    I’m seeing alleyology as being this slightly arcane practise passed down from his father — they’ve been monitoring, and in some cases treating, the cities they live in for generations (I’m imagining a great great father who was an ex-flâneur in France). He’s slightly out of step with modern life due to his passion and focus, but the girl has a serious crush on him…

    Mixing It Up

    Posted by – November 27, 2008

    This is where I begin my campaign to utilize a different kind of structure for this project. Learning from the episodic nature of “Infest Wisely” (and the countless anthology features our there), I propose to move the genre forward into new territory.

    Much like a big feature film has a director, second unit director, director of visual effects, etc. I think it could be interesting to split up the four or so directors into similar roles, and “interlace” or “blend” together elements from all the directors into a single cohesive film, instead of sandboxing everyone into their own episodes.

    A few ways this might be achieved:


    • Have a different person take on the plot, sub-plot A, sub plot B, visual storytelling sequences, animation or CGI elements…
    • If we go with the ‘alternate universes’ concept, it could be broken down to: real world, alleyway, alt world A, alt world B…


    I believe the benefits of doing it this way could be… beneficial? It’s a new and fresh way to tackle the anthology genre (people like new things), creatively it would be a challenge, not only to write, but to delegate who does what and what the overlap would be (but that’s part of the fun). Serializing it online wouldn’t be a problem, and I think it might give the people involved more ownership and involvement. 

    Potential problems could include:


    • “I’m not getting equal screen time with my part” (but that could be with countered with the ol’ “it’s not the length of your part, but how you use it”)
    • “My best scenes are on the editing floor” (this could be handled with a main vision, like Jim or a third-party editor, or screening feedback, as well as acting like adults)


    Anyhoo, I’d thought I’d get the seeds planted on an idea like this so we have many nights to mull it over.

    It’s time to think outside the bun, people.

    Lighting and Sound Skillshare

    Posted by – December 3, 2008

    What the next movie's gonna look likeI’m going to this Trinity Square Video workshop this weekend on Lighting and Sound. It had a max of 4 and is full, unfortunately, but I’m thinking I could probably take notes and (along with one of the other more experienced directors) run a free workshop for this project’s participants. If you’d like to participate let me know in the comments (Dec. 21 aft is good for me). Any other skillshares that would be good?

    Crossing our Is and dotting our Ts

    Posted by – December 3, 2008

    Update: You can see what we’ve decided to do in No to ACTRA, Yes to Releases, Maybe to Cyberhats but I’ll leave this here for archival purposes.

    I’m thinking about doing stuff legally with this movie, where it doesn’t cramp our style. It’d keep our options open for a broadcast sales, and doing paperwork at the beginning of the process is easier than at the end when I’ll be wanting to promote the movie and get it out there and move on to the next project. Some issues I have to look into are:

    • If we use ACTRA union actors, we have to clear it with the union before hand — I have heard differing reports on how difficult this is;
    • Locations permission forms, rather than just a blind eye turned — I’m thinking alleys might be public space, or at least quasi public space, and may not require locations permissions;
    • We need to get actors and extras to sign release forms — I’d like to have them read it before the shoot rather than just thrusting it into their hands.

    I’m planning to meet with a couple of experienced movie makers and I expect to have many more bullets to add after consulting with them, but any input is appreciated.