Sunday, October 30, 2005

Where the night shift is the day shift

So, I'm tired of saying it's a busy week. I let the #'s speak for themselves - I realized a couple weeks ago, I set a new personal record with 84 hours. This past week I finished by Sunday morning with 90 (does midnight on Sunday start counting toward the next week's timecard? Not sure). This week will be likely be higher, with a big reel deadline on Saturday. The way it works in the biz is director have to lock their reels (24 minutes of film?) so the post-post production (editing, sound) can finish, and they can start making prints. So, while the crew are still working on chunks of the movie, certain reels are done and are already getting the thousands of prints made to ensure worldwide opening on Dec 14....

So, yeah it's busy - I'm working twice more in a week than the 'average' person's week. But, I'm making the time to get out, see cultural events and socialize. Thursday night was catching 'Corpse Bride' at the Cinelounge, Saturday night was 'Hayseed Dixie', doing bluegrass covers of hard rock and classic rock tunes. Fantastic, white trash galore, and it was packed!!! Didn't think they'd be so popular in Oz / New Zealand.

Sunday was a special treat - we got a screening of Matthew Barney's 'Drawing Restraint 9', an 'avante-garde' piece from the partner of Bjork (who starred). Visual feast, some good mood settings, some amazing physical effects and props and sets. Fantastic sounds, too, mostly from Bjork and others (though no Matmos on there, :{ ) Thanks to Matthew Wallin, proprietor of 'Mantron Corp' what did the CG (helped out by a few peeps at Tippett I saw).

Halloween weekend. Not much going on around town, really, nothing special. Don't know why they don't observe Halloween around here. I miss the vibe, but I'm somewhat in the mood listening to War of the Worlds, Alice Cooper, specialty shows on streaming radio... I'll miss out on my tradtion of reading 'Call of Cthulu' every Halloween though, pick it up next year.

On to the week (this work week started mid-September, if you know what I'm sayin)

Saturday, October 29, 2005

War of the Worlds Radio Anniversary

As you may know, I'm a huge fan of vintage radio shows, and Orson Welles. Here's an anniversary I observe every year, by listening to it, either online or now with an MP3 . :

October 30th, the anniversary of the infamous 1938 Mercury Theatre's live radio broadcast of HG Wells' "War of the Worlds". Conceived and directed by star Orson Welles as a dramatic way to pull away audience from the "Chase and Sanborn Hour", featuring ventriloquist act Edgar Bergen & Charlie McCarthy.

The adaptation was done as an 'emergency news' special report - the only glimpse behind the curtain was the intro, epilogue, and brief intermission. So authentic was the performance, it led some listeners to believe the Martian Invasion was real, prompting 'mass hysteria' on the U.S. eastern seaboard (the invasion was set in Grover's Mill, New Jersey).

The event rocketed Welles to international stardom, paving the way for him to have the clout to get "Citizen Kane" in production (it also jeopardized his radio career, oddly enough - the producers of "The Shadow" moved to replace him with an unknown actor Bill Johnstone). The phenomenon has also been analyzed by scholars and media theorists worldwide.

PS - October 30, 1938 was a Sunday, as is October 30, 2005

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Mid-October, racing to the end

Week of 17 Oct to 23 Oct

Bit of interesting change of pace - been getting into thick of 'Kong New York" sequence, so I'm experiencing a different team (Mike Perry is sequence supe) & methods & tools. I'm also realizing how short my time is here, only have 3 more Saturdays!

Monday 17th - Had a really spectacular treat, historian Bob Burns came out to Wellington, with the original King Kong armature! We got to hold it, move it, get pictures of it, and hear some of Bob's great stories of the old-school artistes of early VFX animation. Here's my pic . For those not in the know, this was the exact steel skeletal frame that was dressed with rubber, rabbit fur, glass eyes, and paint (the mouth was still pink) and posed frame-by-frame under the supervision of Willis O'Brien for the original King Kong movie. Truly a great moment, and a fun reminder of how cool my job is sometimes!

Tuesday 18th - Joanna Newsom played at Indigo on Cuba. Funny to think she plays in my hood all the time in the Bay Area, but the first time I've seen her play is all the way on the other side of the world. Really fun show, the calmest one I've ever been to at Indigo (including Phoenix Foundation), hard to imagine one woman with a harp holding the rapt attention of 150 drinking patrons, but it happened.

Wednesday - Had a chiro appt, probably be my last one. The usual mid-week dinner group, went to old standby Monsoon Poon, good group - Briana showed up after dinner, great to see her again. Dinner was a fine time, then headed to Motel. I rode my bike instead of cabbing, think I got home around 2.

Thursday - Nothing going on this night, got caught up on hours at work. Friday the same, but Saturday eve was 'Demeter's Dark Ride' .Very fun haunted-house type tour, with surrealist moments and goth aestetics. Met with Katie Hecker, George Oliver came out for it, Schnee even went into town. We hit Great India after the show, great food - ate so much I didn't feel like going onto Ben Morgan's party afterward, just went home.

Sunday - Work in the morning, then into town for the Diwali Festival - crazy amounts of people, music, lots of bread and sweets I never knew about it! 4 stages - Town Hall (dance), Illot (classical), Capital E (puppets), and the main stage at Civic Center. Karim even got pix there too.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Updated photos!

A quick note for you inquiring, patient minds - I finally updated my site with pics of my sister Rebecca's visit to New Zealand, in the first week of September! I think what took so long was that I was using my nice Canon camera, at hi-res, to take most of the snapshots, so it took a painfully long time to browse and edit them. Anyway, there are there now. If anyone wants hi-res versions of any pics, or prints, let me know, it can be worked out! As a further memory - she was in town Tuesday to Sunday, then later in the same week I flew back to San Francisco, Friday-Sunday.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Another 2 weeks go by

I'm realizing how much I'm getting behind on my blog, sorry folks. But here's the update which covers October 3rd - 16th. As I'm writing this, I need my calendar to tell me where I was each day, thinking I should post snippets more frequently but then I realize I want to write something decent. The struggle continues... First off, been working about 80 hours per, good to get the $$, but each week seems to be getting longer, questioning the value vs. cost of it. It might be an influencing factor, if I get another job lined up afterwards, I won't feel like I have to store my nuts so much...

First week, quieter. Went to chiropracor Monday, she said, it's looks normal, but then 'suggested' a treatment schedule of 3x a week. and did an adjustment which was only pressing down on my spine to crack it and took all of about 10 minutes, so it seemed like voodoo hoodoo. Made appointments and came in 3x the first week, then a couple Wednesdays, but I am going to stop, not worth it. Wednesday was dinner at Cafe Francois, over in Thorndon past the beehive. I stopped in at Roger's Tattoo Art, where I had gotten my other tattoo done, talking to Tom about doing another one, inspired by Indonesian shadow puppett (wayang kulit). Turns out he's quite an afficionado on Balinese art, he's been there several times. So I'm hopeful to get this done and pull it together before it gets too inconvenient in my sched. Halloween's coming up, want to have it to show off at all the parties... Friday was going out - hung out a bit, talked shop, with some co-workers Bill Gilman and George Oliver, then went in for Karaoke (didn't want to grease palms, so we waited for an hour but ended up not getting up to sing). Then over to Motel for Tor Olsson's going away, til late.

The 2nd week's worth - a lot going on around town, I was attempting to fit it in with all the work, so I'd go out to whatever event, then return to work til late. Maybe it'll be simple to do it as a laundry list :

11th Tues - Caught lunch w/ a former ILM co-worker, Sam Stewart (it was his birthday), and other roto folk.This was at Park Road Post, the Ranch-like cafe PJ has set up for his crew, good food, 2 blocks from work, cheap. Evening was the Kiwi-made flick "Futile Attraction", at the newly revamped Paramount. A mocku- shot on video about a couple going through a dating service. Pretty funny, but the great story behind it was how he funded it - soliciting donations through his website. Good for him, gives me hope.

12th Wednesday - Chiro appt in afternoon, not sure how effective it's going. Then evening was the 'Genghis Khan' movie, sponsored by the Wellington Chinese Society ; then afterwards I stopped by the Argentinian Cordoba restaurant for the Wednesday dinner group.
13th Thursday - This was a real treat - an special screening of The Worlds Fastest Indian at the Embassy. This was a New Zealand true story about a 65-ish man who dreamed of racing his Indian motorcycle on the salt flats at Bonneville, the mark he made for himself, and the friends he met along the way. One of the tip-top movies of the year, wonderful performance by Anthony Hopkins, hope the title doesn't scare away U.S. audiences, and it makes a splash at the Oscars. It doesn't open wide in the U.S. till January.
14th Friday - Checked out the play, "I.D" at BATS Theatre, about the murder of the South African PM Hendrik Verwoerd, by schizophrenic Demetrios Tsafendas. Very intriguing story, play went on for a bit too long with too much shouting, but great performances.
15h Saturday - Found out it was my housemate Dave's birthday, went to Cinelounge (saw 'The 40-Year Old Virgin"), then social scene at Motel, good times all round.
16th Sunday - Stopped by the last day of the Sink F69 sale, got a few bits of memorabilia. This is the retired Naval frigate the city is sinking to turn into a divewreck/coral reef. Sunday eve was Nervous Doll Dancing, a one-woman performance with cello, vocals, and noisy soundscapes, done by Francesca Mountfort, of the now-Melbourne-based band The Carousel.

I'll go back and edit this post, I promise. And try to start updating more frequently, even once or twice during the week, not just every Sunday or every other Sunday!

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Catching up on 2 weeks

Wello, here's how it's been going since I got back from San Francisco/Berkeley/Napa trip. Left SFO 9:30PM, right to Auckland (slept most of the way, in about 2-hour segments), got in 5 AM Tues morn, could've taken an earlier flight to Wellington but I stuck with original flight, got back into Welly 8 AM, got home took a shower, and went into work. The rest of the week was trying to max out on hours, 7 AM-midnight, but making time to get to the gym.

Parties going on over the weekend, though. Friday, went out to see a co-worker's band play, Koko at The Big Kumara bar down on Cuba street. They billed it as "Sweetness for the Soul." Which was about right, some pleasant R-n-B fueled rock grooves, got it shaking out there. Saturday after a full day was one of the craziest parties of the year. Saki's 'penthouse' apartment atop some office building downtown. Slick - balcony, one room converted into a dancefloor; the bed being converted to a burlesque photo shoot; the wide veranda that's a real helipad, and the hottub on the rooftop. Fire dancer putting on a show at one point. I was there till 2:30, most people left 4-5ish... epic, fine art photos here. There was a checkpoint on the road out of town, just at a curve beyond the last sidestreet, as the po-po are wont to do - they just stop you as yer going along the road and spot-breathalize you. I hadn't imbibed for hours so no worries. Made me wonder, though, how often have co-workers been busted hardcore for 'drink driving'. Then I wondered if it were like in Napa Valley or Ft Lauderdale in March - the cops ain't gonna interfere with the town's bread and butter.

Sunday was mellow, worked a 'half-day' then made it to Aidan's birthday BBQ. The place he and Guerdon and DaveW share is 5th-floor along Karaka Bay/Worser Bay, I walked over. Got there, and Guerdon suggested taking the gondola. Neat idea, but with 5 dudes (one over 6'4"), we ground to a halt 3/4 of a floor up. No technician readily available, so we ended up taking off one of the fence's panels, and crawling out.

Then onto Monday (actually, it's all Wednesday anymore).Had chiropractor visit, first time I've done that, but my sciatica is just not going away, seeing if they can actually help or if it's like that episode of Simpsons. Going back in on Monday for 'findings report'. Went out with the 'supper club' on Wednesday - first time I had, we went to Istanbul, very nice dinner. Thursday lunch took my bike in for W.O.F. checkup, evening was Kat's birthday, got out from work 10ish then headed over to Motel, martini bar behind Chow.

Friday - lunchtime went with George Oliver to the Antarctica exhibit at Victoria University. Decent art, not a lot, but it was great to have such a learned guide, he's got some fantastic stories about 'the ice'. He lived there for 5 months, working as a janitor at McMurdo Station. I'm fascinated with that place, would love to get there someday (insanely expensive for a trip, ~NZ$20g). Friday was Julian Bryant's last day, so there was a toast down in comp for him, then he held court at... Motel at night. Also, interesting event - Dreamworks Animation was on a recruiting visit, they had a reception at Duxton. Don't wanna say no more...

Sunday was seeing Shark Boy and Lava Girl. Fun, but I think the dark glasses gave me a headache all day... Got a credit tho. Took another break in the afternoon to kick out some jams with Raine, great to be playing music.