Last month we finished principal photography on our documentary "Ghostumentary". We did a few investigations, talked to people on the streets, and interviewed one of our new favorite people, Dr. Loyd Auerbach. Being a skeptic is difficult when you converse with someone who has intelligent answers to your stubborn questions.
We just scheduled our screening for the 18th of October in a 700 seat venue. More info on that to follow.
I've completely lost control of my email. I can't even archive it fast enough. There was a time when I used to label for later. One of the biggest files? The mass forwards of jokes my Dad used to send me. Not only did my Dad forward me dozens of jokes a week, he's ask me about them the following week.
"Did you like that joke I sent about the Nun?"
"Sure Dad" [Giant lie]
I miss my Dad and in a weird way I miss the forwards.
Probably why this folder isn't going anywhere.
Maybe one day my life will be spent forwarding these to my kids.
It doesn't help either that the reality TV shows looking for them never find anything. Ghost Hunters has been on Television for a decade(ish) and hasn't ever produced any real evidence. And they have a budget that could feed my fat family Golden Corral for a year.
Yet most people I know HAVE seen something. Generally only armed with an iPhone. I never assume they are lying when they tell me their tales. I truly believe they think they saw something. I just don't believe it's a ghost.
A few years ago I decided I'd actually try to have my own ghost story. A friend I were going to drive from "haunted" location to location and film our investigations. It seemed like a fun project. And it almost happened until he did a bunch of cocaine in my house and almost punched my girlfriend.
We no longer talk.
But on SuperBowl Sunday I learned that good friends had a relative that purchased an old brewery in Virginia City, NV and have been bombarded with supernatural activity. I watched a view videos and decided it was time to try again. I hooked up with a fellow filmmaker, grabbed our ladies and headed down last weekend for a sleepless quest.
We still have a long way to go to finish this film. More locations, gobs of interviews and research. Things to make it more informative that just a few people with a camera trying to find a ghost.
But... as I continue to film and dig through footage, I will post little chunks of good stuff we find.
It's new video day!!! I came up with an idea for a video, my good friend Ben Dickson rush and wrote it, I called up a few amazing actor friends, grabbed my camera and less than a day later. I give you this
I work in advertising, I think I've said this. To get paid to be creative has always been my goal.
The Discovery Center asked us to make a commercial off a very small budget. So I used all my local actor friends, my daughter, some coworkers... and even me as actors. I grabbed the Canon 5D and was off. It's going to air as a trailer before movies at the surrounding theaters. It's not my first commercial but this one is close to my heart.
There are a few scenes that didn't make it, as well as this gem of a blooper with my coworker Joe.
A few years ago I had a dream that I was living in Boise and playing with my daughters. At the time I was currently 1000 miles away residing in Los Angeles and saw them on Holidays and extended weekends. I thought it was enough until that night. Within two weeks of that dream and waking up sad that it wasn't true, I was packing up and moved to the Potato State (Yes... I know it's the Gem State).
I've adapted moderately since the move. I almost have winter clothing. I bought a 4x4 SUV, I've manage to surrounds myself with the local actors, artists and awesome people. I even met an amazing girl who thinks I'm funny.
But adapting isn't easy. It's a daily challenge. If only someone could have let me know a few things in advance... so I could have prepared.
So if you just woke up from a dream that is going led you to a journey to Boise, Idaho... here are 10 things you should know. (It was going to be 11, mentioning that the BSU Bronco fans here are all Bandwagon fans... but really... isn't that everywhere?)
1. Boise has no sense of urgency.
Whether it's traffic related, construction, food, whatever. Don't expect something in a hurry. When a stop light turns green be sure to allow the 18 second delay for Neurons of the drivers ahead of you to ooze like syrup through their Central Nervous System and make their foot slowly press on the accelerator. Then clinch the wheel firmly as they crawl their way to the next light, or down the interstate.
Road construction is just a permanent fixture. In LA, you'd see workers on the job day and night to get a project done. In Boise, get used to your streets being blocked off, or cones diverting you on the interstate. Just don't get used to seeing people working in those spots.
An hour lunch just doesn't happen. The servers here are excellent and this is no jab at them. But the restaurants here love you so dearly they just don't want you to leave. Due to this, expect it to take 90 minutes to get good food. (P.S. there is actually really great food here).
No one in Boise is in a hurry.
2. You will drink a ton of beer.
This isn't a horrible thing. I mean, who doesn't love beer? Maybe I can't answer that but I can tell you who really loves beer, Boise. In LA I'd have meet ups with writers, actors, and friends who'd meet in coffee houses or amazing sandwich shops. Here, it's bars... always bars. People always searching for the best happy hours, best beer deals. In turn, I've turned into a beer snob myself. I find myself constantly testing out new local craft beers, in high volumes.
10 pounds later I realize I now too... love beer.
3. Boise is an ancient Native America word meaning "Land of Excessive Stop Lights".
Ever want to drive and stop every 50 feet? Move here.
4. The Further you get from Downtown, the Redder gets.
I live close to downtown, I work downtown and most of the people I converse with are downtown. We hug trees, defend Obama, and laugh at religious zealots. But the further away the zip code from the North End, the more you'll find Fox News blaring in the Dentist offices and Jiffy Lubes. Ada (Boise) County didn't vote in their Conservative, Anti-Gay Marriage, Drunk-Driving, Asshole Governor. They leaned blue. But all the surrounding counties drank the Kool-aid and voted with their 8th grade education. If you still think Romney was the answer... Meridian (one city over) might be a better locale.
5. No one gives a courtesy wave.
Let someone in front of you in traffic... do not expect a wave. You're welcome a-hole.
6. Dating Profile Pictures proudly display dead animals and guns.
You move to a new town, you're single, you online date. But good luck finding a girl whose profile pictures aren't littered with dead animals she proudly killed mixed in with duck faces. And duck faces while standing over dead ducks. With dead faces.
7. The sushi is moderate but there's a ton of it.
This town does love its sushi but since it borders cow pastures... don't ask what you're eating. Just smile and say thank you. In the two years I've been here I'm still finding new sushi places. No Dragon Roll left behind.
8. Everyone has dated everyone.
It's pretty incestual, and weird.
9. They don't know how to Farmer's Market.
If you're looking for amazing produce you'd think this would be the place. But after buying most of my vegetables from the LA Farmer's Markets, I expected Idaho would rock my socks. But here you'll find over-priced ukuleles and odd jams. The little produce they have is over-priced, turning the Boise Farmer's Market into a place where you just show up to drink coffee and run into other people. Or exes... whatever.
10. You'll meet some of the greatest people in the world here.
Just that. I've met some of the most amazing people in my life in the few years I've been here. No town is perfect. No city is flawless. You live where you fit in and even though I'm still years away from being a true local, I find myself slowly fitting it.
I hate Thanksgiving, Easter is bogus, Christmas is borderline tolerable.
There aren't many holidays I get excited about. 4th of July gets me giddy. Halloween makes me go absolutely nuts... in a good way.
Fortunately my girlfriend is nuts too... in a good way.
This year we decided to pay homage to one of our favorite films. Monty Python's Quest for the Holy Grail. By doing so we created Tim the Enchanter and The Rabbit of Caerbannog costumes. Emilee (my amazing girlfriend) made her costume 100% by hand. Including the hood and ears. Which she made quicker than I could cut rough edges in my Tim cape. This girl is a pro.
My good friend Matt decided he wanted to play. So he built The Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch from scratch and came as Brother Maynard.
The people who figured out who we were cheered. The people who called me horny Gandolf were thrown from the bridge of death.
We received a gaggle of smiles and won a costume contest.
These two DVDs I'm sending back represent the end of a 15 year relationship. But it was time to admit it was turning into a one-sided relationship and that Netflix didn't love me anymore.
I mean, not like they used to.
Of course they still give me night time love. When we're in bed... with some steamy streaming. But that part of the relationship I still needed died years ago.
I was just too stubborn to admit it.
Netflix doesn't want you to get DVDs in the mail anymore and they aren't shy at hiding it. It slowly began while they were attempting to beef up their Instant Play. I can't blame them... it was obviously the way of the future and ahead of its time. People needed to understand how incredible it was, and in time. They did.
But there were the people like me that had special movie needs. I needed access to those indie pieces, classic films or odd docs that weren't always a click-away. Sure I owned a crazy amount of DVDs but I can't own everything.
Why can't I dammit?
I kinda didn't need to. I mean, Netflix took the post office by their shriveling testicles and made them their bitch. They achieved next day delivery even on the weekends. I'd send a movie back on a Tuesday and get a 7am notification the following day saying they's received the film. I couldn't do that math in my head or with a TI-30 calculator. They were knocking my movie watching socks off.
But over time that slowed. Occasionally it took 2 days. Sometimes not until late that second day. Part of this was a giant devolution in their system that no one really seemed to key in on. They quit Saturday service.
So that stunk. Patiences over amazement but I kept going. I was still a movie buff. I still eagerly awaited the release of specific films. I'd visit Rotten Tomatoes and see what was being released each week. But then I'd notice something else. There was no rhyme or reason to when movies were released and to whom.
A movie could be sold at Best Buy but not rented on Netflix at the same time. RedBox would have something but not Netflix, Amazon would get something a week before anyone else even had a release date. Consistency people... it's like borrowing movies from my crazy ex-girlfriend.
So after digging through my long-ass queue last week I noticed that everything I wanted to see had a wait. A rather LONG wait. I found myself considering watching Captain America 2 just because it was available.
And like a bad relationship... I was settling just to appease myself.
So I ended it.
Netflix, it's time we see other people. I will be around for instant play. I really will. But HBOGO and Amazon have been working really hard to spend time with me. I hope you understand.
Last week I posted a video of Ira Glass giving advice to creative people. In return my brother commented to me how funny I wasn't, how talented I wasn't and that Ira Glass is a bland nothing.
My brother drives a truck for propane company and refers to Obama as the "N-word" President.
So it stung... but then I had to realize who it was coming from. My family is as creative as Racist-Vanilla.
So I turned to the creative people in my life. My uber-talented friends. One of which being Noah Moody.
Last month Noah and I talked about a vehicle in which he could show off his vocal talent. Mostly impression, V/O work... etc. After some thought I wrote a piece that was a perfect fit. Imagine Hans Gruber heading to a Xmas party and showing off some impressions while waiting for the line to the bathroom.
So with that, came this.
I love my super talented friends. They keep me happy and sane.
I am surrounded by creative people who just like me... get frustrated. Often what I see in my head isn't what I create. Occasionally I wonder if what I draw, write, film or spew out will ever been what is in my brain. Sometimes I nail it, other times I walk away and ponder. But when you see something like this it keeps you going strong.
I've been spending 2014 with an amazing girl, and two giant dogs. And when I say giant, I mean... two GINORMOUS DOGS. Emilee has two Newfoundlands. Tonka and Tully. They are sweet, loving, and giant.
Did I mention that? The giant part?
Beyond the normal things you'd experience when spending time around two Newfies, things like the amount of space they consume, the drool, the tons of drool, the snoring, the hair and the tons of hair... there's one thing I didn't know would be such a giant change.
The dog walking non-stop interaction.
I've learned that taking them anywhere on a leash gets the same attention George Clooney gets trying to get some yogurt. People love Newfies (And yogurt).
Last week we grabbed both pups and brought them to a local street fair. It was a hippiefest, the smell of hemp bracelets and crystal health orbs filled the air. We each took a 150 lb Newf by the leash and walk up to see the good.
Or at least we thought we would. Instead something else immediately began.
"Can I pet your dogs?"
"Sure." We respond.
"How much do they weight?"
"Are they hot?"
"How much do they eat?"
Questions never seemed to end. Answer... answer... answer. Thank them for petting and move on.
And by move on I mean walk five feet and repeat. Let them pet, answer questions, thank them, walk and repeat. We spent a good 2 hours at the fair and easily had 30 people approach about her dogs. This was not including individuals who walked by throwing out incorrect Newfie trivia to their easily impressed friends.
"They are Mastiffs"
"They need to be shaved"
"I love hairy Labs"
"Mitt Romney would have been a great President"
People sure do think they know a lot about dogs they know nothing about.
I love these dogs. They are my buddies and they clearly love me back. Don't tell my girlfriend but I get just as excited to see them as I do to see her. And they both loved to have their bellies rubbed. But who doesn't?
Last night I read (with permission) my girlfriend's 3rd grade diary. It was one of the great things I've ever place my eyebulbs on. Vibrantly expressing her love of cats and dresses. Proudly listing the names of every stuffed animal she owned on that day. An artist's rendering of a butt with a tongue on it. The details on paper made me know what it was like to be an 8 year old girl in the 90s.
I then think back to the boxes of school papers and art projects I've saved that were created from my offsprings. What time-capsulesque properties they will hold for them and for me. Will they marvel at how well they drew a hand-turkey just 10 years prior?
I watch my 17 year old daughter spew disgust over reading 3 year old Timehops on her phone. Re-living how bummed she was that she was sick, and wondering if she was going to puke just 3 years earlier. "Why would I say that?" she asks.
Then I went back to a 5 year old blogpost. It was expressing my love for In-N-Out burger. I took a photo of my food... and posted it. A now sin I would punish myself via death... by burgers. Oh how times have changed.
I guess I'm just wondering how much we evolve writing-wise on a daily basis. We grow and we mature but how does that relate to the words we use or the style in which we convey them. How many years until I look back at myself today and think what an idiot I was. A decade? A year? After I eat this sandwich? Or will I look back as I did on the diary written by a wide-eyed 8 year old. Will I smile and remember what it was like to love Breaking Bad and Double-Doubles so much? Should we set expiration dates on blogposts? Do we keep them up for an eternity so every few hundred years someone stumbles across our words in a screwed up web-search and learn what it was like to be us, be me for a minute. Maybe an old tweet of mine will make them chuckle.
This last weekend my good friend Jenn and myself filmed a sketchy sketch I wrote a few months ago. Production boiled down to finding a good break-a-way bottle. One that could be smashed over my head. Sorry if that's a spoiler. Either way, I learned they aren't supposed to have much liquid in them. I learned this the hard way.
During the decade before my Dad died he was in the process of handing over boxes, bags, albums and handful of photos to me. I think my Dad was a photo-hoarder. I couldn't place many of the pictures. I had to believe perhaps he found them at thrift stores and over time forgot he hadn't taken them.
Some of the pictures were complete gold.
My dad didn't talk much about his participation my earliest memories. I had to rely on his vast photo collection to know what my youth was all about.
Oddly, he NEVER talked about his youth. He never talked about the Korean War. He never told me much about his first wife. Beyond having to walk barefoot in the snow, both ways, to school every day I knew very little about my father prior to my own birth.
And now he's gone... and I have no one to ask.
A few weeks ago I was looking for some childhood photos and I ran across these.
I knew little about slide technology. I could remember sitting through some slide shows as a child. I don't remember their content or when they were taken. I just remember the "Click-click" sound and some bright lights. (No... I wasn't high).
I looked a little closer.
Oh, that's cool. I don't remember visiting this... so perhaps it's pre-me. Further inspection.
Great googly-moogly. That's my Dad. My Dad during the Korean War. Right when it ended and he was stationed in Japan. It's a Dad information Time Capsule.
I did my best to look at these one by one via my kitchen light but it was a strain and struggle. I knew I had to find an actual slide projector to make these happen. Is there a slide projector store nearby?
Well, apparently there was. An art-gallery downtown likes to find retro-type items and resell them. Emilee and I journeyed inside to find this.
My first attempt to see if it was working left the hot bulb shattering in my hand. Is there a slide projector bulb store? Emilee and I went to breakfast to scour the internet. She went on the eBay and clicked... it was then a "sit and eat and wait" game.
Days went by and the bulb arrived. I've decided I'm going to wait until my kids and Emilee are around and I'm going to do a "showing" where I can have my kids listen to "Click-click" and be blinded by the lights. But I did a sneak peak.
Bulb works... wall is a bit hindering...
But that handsome guy on the left... that's my Dad.
I will be digitizing these slides this month and I will post the best. (who are we fooling, they will ALL be the best.)