Saturday, August 30, 2014

View from the Art Department

Pardon the "MegaMan Lounge" branding. The production I've been working on is rapidly winding down. All the departments except for accounting are gone and we've got two more weeks.

The building and office space had some quirks but it had some incredible views -- particularly the stunning view from the Art Department which you can see in the video above.

Friday, August 29, 2014

MegaMan Lounge

Several months ago, I was gilded on reddit.

From the wiki:
Reddit is an entertainment, social networking service and news website where registered community members can submit content, such as text posts or direct links. Only registered users can then vote submissions "up" or "down" to organize the posts and determine their position on the site's pages. Content entries are organized by areas of interest called "subreddits".
It's probably also the #1 reason I don't update this blog as often as I used to.

If you leave a comment or a post on reddit that someone really likes, they can upvote it and they can also "gild" it. Give you "reddit gold". It's something they have to pay real money for, which obviously supports reddit.

One of the perks of being gilded is that you gain access to a new subreddit -- exclusive to gold-owners -- called The Lounge. Each gilding gives you 1 month of access to The Lounge. I was gilded 4x so I was initially granted 4 months of access -- which I figured would get me through my latest gig. My latest gig is almost over now... but I've been gilded so much since then, I currently have 10 months and 9 days of reddit gold left.

There's more.

If you get gilded in The Lounge, you gain access to another exclusive subreddit called "Mega Lounge". In Mega Lounge, you have permanent access even if you run out of gold. Once you're in, you're in.

And if you get gilded in Mega Lounge, you gain access to "Mega Mega Lounge".

It's a rabbit hole. It goes on for a while.

All of this is a long way of setting up the fact that I created a spin-off subreddit called "MegaMan Lounge". It's invitation only, but people need to be in the Mega Lounges before they can qualify for access. What is "MegaMan Lounge"? It's hard to explain unless you're familiar with the lounges, but it's essentially a place where people can share glimpses of each other's worlds. I rarely leave NYC these days but someone on MegaMan Lounge could post a picture of the view out their window... and suddenly, I've got a glimpse of Australia. Or Belgium. A woman from Arizona might post a pic from her jogging path. There's tons of custom flair I created for the sub; it's sort of a videogame/pop-culture-themed masquerade ball offshoot from the public lounges. And yes, it's a little hard to explain/pitch unless you've been through the lounges.

To go along with the theme of sharing glimpses of each other's worlds, I used a time-lapse app to record the walk from my office to the bank:

test-a 1 from MPH on Vimeo.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The No-Girl

Thursday night, we had our production dinner for the gig I'm currently on. I did not have the highest hopes for it. I'd already survived the gauntlet weekend where I'd weathered three heavy nights of drinking-events in a row.

However, the production dinner turned into an epic bar crawl. One of those slightly crazed nights where, if you stick around long enough, you actually get to talk to some people. I actually managed to have a conversation with the No-Girl, which was oddly cathartic. She has a girlfriend, which was perhaps predictable, but she ended up being... *nice* when she finally lowered her steel guard. It's funny, sometimes you can sort of tell who a person is before they actually begin to let you know who they are.

I ended up getting home around the time I sometimes wake up to get ready for work. So I preemptive shut off my alarm and resigned myself to arriving late on Friday.

We didn't really talk more on Friday beyond a cursory, "How are you doing...?" But there was something different there. The tone of our interaction had evolved ever so slightly. I could tell she's accustomed to keeping her guard heavily up. I can only imagine how often she gets approached by randoms. So this infinitesimal shift in her physiognomy was... oddly moving. We bonded, nearly wordlessly, over shared hangover pain.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Picket Fences

After a completely absurd weekend wherein I literally lost my goddamn mind, I had a mercifully quiet weekend. This past weekend. Saturday, I went to visit some old friends (formerly Upper-West-Side, formerly Brooklyn) in their breathtaking new home in New Jersey.

Deep Jersey. $20 round-trip NJ Transit ticket Jersey.

It was kind of surreal visiting them there. First, they don't live that far from where I grew up (in Rockland County). Second... it's like I could see their entire future there in that house. I met the newest addition to their family and re-encountered their daughter who simply takes these vast leaps in maturity every time I meet her.

This is what it's like being the perennial bachelor amidst a sea of breeders.

I am present irregularly so that I see these peculiar bursts of maturation.

Everyone starts as these crying, wordless critters.

Then the next visit, their eyes begin to focus more. They see you. They recognize you.

Next visit, vocalization. Maybe not words, but experimentation with vocal chords. Attempts at communication.

Next visit, WORDS. Not full sentences, necessarily, but enough to communicate. Enough to begin to form the building blocks of communication.

Next visit, SENTENCES. Demands.

The evolution is so peculiar. It changes the entire dynamic with each visit.

Case in point:

On this particular visit, we're all in the car exiting the parking lot of an establishment when my friend (who's driving) accidentally drives over a curb. The vehicle bumps violently over the obstruction. My friend's wife chastises him. And then their daughter chimes in: "THAT WAS *FUN*!"

We all laugh appropriately. Their daughter is now officially a new character whose voice will be added to every scene she's a part of.

And that's what's really fascinating. Her voice/character is going to change/evolve as she matures. In ways I certainly can't begin to predict (though I hazard to guess she's going to be a corker).

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Don Pardo Has a Posse

Dominick George "Don" Pardo
February 22, 1918 – August 18, 2014

Don Pardo, the voice of Saturday Night Live for nearly 40 years, has a posse.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Robin Williams Has a Posse

Robin McLaurin Williams
July 21, 1951 – August 11, 2014

Robin Williams has a posse.

He took his own life. Just makes it more devastating.

I was incredibly depressed all day today. Then news like this hits. Whenever I hear news of anyone committing suicide, it hurts. Because I can imagine how much that person must have been suffering -- that suicide seemed like the only release. It's a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

A Premiere Party, a Wrap Party and a Wedding

After so many dead weekends, a loaded one.

Friday night, a cast/crew premiere party for Steven Soderbergh's new Cinemax show THE KNICK, at a bar. In Williamsburg. The bar sucked. Expensive cash bar. I used the bar outside our private party room which took credit cards, but the bartenders were terrible and they used some fucking phone app for the credit card. Went to another bar with peeps for after party drinks. (Nothing like the bar after the bar.) Didn't eat beforehand as I'd planned which is not cool (don't drink on an empty stomach, kids), but I made it through unscathed. Took trains home.

Saturday night, a wrap party for the Tina Fey/Amy Poehler movie THE NEST at the McKittrick Hotel. Open bar. Food I didn't really sample, though I had pasta beforehand to cover myself. It was good. Not as many celebrities as I'd hoped. Thought the place would be teeming with SNL cast members, but no. John Leguizamo was there. Some smaller cast members. Managed to dance with/talk to The Girl who I kinda wanted to talk to for approximately 2 seconds.

Did you enjoy working on this job?


I was prepared for this answer from her. I don't know why I didn't follow up. She was dancing with me. I had her right there. Fuck.

After party at a surprisingly quiet bar further down the street. After-after party with movie's producer at... a K-town karaoke bar on 35th Street. Not even my suggestion. Jesus, it was like I've been training for this night for years. Some dumb girl killed one of my songs while I was singing it, I forget which one, but the whole affair was pretty fun, especially considering I didn't know most of the people in the room. Toward the end, one of the girls crossed the room and introduced herself to me. She was flirty. I probably should have played that out further. Maybe I was just stuck on my No-Girl. Me and my fucking Achilles Girls. I walked home.

Sunday, woke up past 10am. I have not woken up past 10am in months. (In over a year?) Have to pull myself together for a wedding in New Jersey. Should be easier than the previous two nights. I'll be surrounded by more familiar faces. Not sure how much I'll be able to do the after party; really depends on how I'm hitching a ride back from this joint.

I've got less than two hours to pull myself together. I didn't actually drink too much last night (for me) but enough to put a dent in me. There should be food at the wedding. I really hope it's fun. All the terrible things that could have happened this weekend would have happened the previous two nights. What could possibly go wrong...?

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Sober Night

Tonight is a sober night.

(Is it a sign of a problem if you have to DECLARE a night a "sober night"...? Nahhh...)

This promises to be a hard drinker weekend. Premiere party Friday night, wrap party Saturday night, wedding/party Sunday.

This is an Anything-Can-Happen sort of weekend.

Hence... sober Thursday night.

I realize I didn't post an update but our Project Greenlight short film has been submitted and I... kinda like how it came out. I was worried for a little while; worried we didn't get everything we needed; but at a certain point it all came together. Considering we had no crew, no sound equipment and almost no rehearsal time... I think it looks miraculous. Our actress Audra -- who we'd never even met before -- was ridiculously photogenic and couldn't have been easier to work with. There's something that Tarantino said about filming Michael Madsen; he said he always films Michael Madsen from the perspective of a woman who is completely in love with this man. That's how I tried to film Audra and she... looks... amazing. There's an interesting contrast and tension between her and Chris in the scene.

Anyone can sign up to be a Project Greenlight judge -- it's super easy. Thing is, you get a random selection so I can't just post a link to my submission video and have all my friends vote me up... which I think is good. Because I am terrible at self-promotion, and this shouldn't be a "who has more friends" contest.

(My short can be viewed elsewhere which you can find with a quantum of digging.)

It has been a very strange summer. This should be an interesting weekend.