Weekend Update

Sorry for the lack of posting (and, going forward, the likely brevity thereof), but things are getting pretty hectic, both at work and on the indie front. I’ll try to keep everyone in the loop, but I can see myself dropping off-line for a few stretches here and there.

I attended the massive “Stonehenge” indie film audition, and saw close to a hundred actors, some really good, others... well, not so much (but hey, they tried — no regrets). I’m hoping to get a copy of the tape, as there were a few folks I’d really like to see more of. In a lot of cases, it was hard to get a read — monologues written for the stage don’t always translate to film, not to mention the more theatrical acting style of stage performance in general (remember, you don’t have to be as broad to convey emotion).

Of course, a few folks tried film monologues, almost exclusively to disastrous effect. Whenever you perform a scene from a movie, you’ll automatically be opening yourself up to comparison. In most cases, you’ll suffer; you may be good, but you’re no Jack Nicholson (to cite an example from my own checkered acting history). But even when you don’t, it can be hard to tell if you’re really delivering your own performance or merely copying someone else’s — one actor did a great delivery of a Tom Cruise monologue, but I’m left not knowing whether he’s a good actor or a clever mimic. (And be sure to remember the context of the scene — if your monologue of choice is a character intentionally delivering an odd, stylized, or over-the-top performance, you might want to pick something else.)

And by the way, if anyone wants to help out on the last weekend in April (the 29th, 30th, and May 1st), let me know as soon as possible — we’ll be locking down various cast and crew decisions in the next couple of weeks.

Sunday was spent doing yard work, cleaning out the garage (anyone want a bunch of crap?), and trying to make headway on the camera stabilizers. I’m at a stage on those where I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but there’s still a lot of work to do — and not a whole lot of time in which to do it.

In other news, there’s a possibility that this blog may end up getting split into two separate ones based on content — there may be an option in the works to write for an online magazine, but, given the context, it might not be appropriate for me to enter into the political arena. Nothing definite yet, but I’ll keep you posted (and, as always, feel free to offer your opinions in the commenting area).


At 12:50 PM, Tom Bridge said...

And to think, Bill, you could have just gotten this quarter's Make magazine and it would have saved you $25! They have a complete guide to building a DV steadycam-like device!

At 1:33 PM, Bill Coughlan said...

Ah, the benefits of hindsight...

I may pick it up anyway, if only to see if there are any other features I should build in (while I still may have some time).

Of course, the book contains not only the plans for the stabilizer, but a whole slew of other rigs as well. At this point, I'm pplanning to build at least one new rig for each film. It's probably a schedule I can keep (both in terms of time and money).

At 1:59 PM, Bill Coughlan said...

In looking at the rig profiled in Make (and others linked to), there's a substantial difference in the versatility of the rig I'm building and these.

Granted, the end result is all that matters, but the fluidity of our stabilizers should be substantially better than these.

Not to mention that he recommends using steel piping, as PVC has too much give. Well, we're working with aluminum -- a little tougher to track down than steel or PVC, but not impossible. And much lighter than steel; I can't imagine trying to cart around the camera plus an unsupported steel stabilizer for very long.

In the end, I may be spending more time and money on these rigs, but I'm more confident in their utility. So in the end, no second thoughts.


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