Thursday, July 26, 2007

2nd Week of 5th Quarter

Well, here it is, the 2nd week of my fifth quarter at film school. That's why I haven't made any entries in almost 2 weeks. It's been crazy. On top of that I was going through some health issues, but I finally got a clean bill of health so now I can exhale. Lots of changes this quarter that I am finding both interesting and challenging. Unfortunately, another one of my favorite professors left school as well. Professor MacGillivray took another position we were told. I wish him much luck and he will be missed. The professor who replaced him is Professor Marshall and he is very cool and very funny (not to mention very easy on the eyes too}! I have a feeling that I'm going to really like this Script Development Class. I've already had to submit 3 ideas for a film that will be my thesis film that will be shot next quarter. I've decided to do a narrative short and all I can say is that I'm writing it to star one of my favorite actors that I worked with earlier this year on my PSA, Wayne Chang. He is a great actor and my short is a comedy and if there is anyone who can pull it off, I know it's Wayne. Plus he's a joy to work with. I only hope he can fit it in his schedule and is available when we go to production.

I'm also taking a Video Production/Editing class that meets 3 days a week and is taught by 2 professors. Professor Ezovski teaches the Editing part on Monday and Wednesday while Professor Garcia teaches the Production part on Tuesday. Like every quarter we are expected to produce a project for our final grade. For this class our project is the EPK (a/k/a Electronic Press Kit) and since the quarter only goes 10 weeks this summer, we have to do it at a more rapid pace than projects in the past quarters. I think I have a client but I don't want to say right now because I don't want to jinx myself. Whatever happens, I have a feeling that it will be fun doing it and not as crazy as the last 2 projects. Professor Ezovski says that most of us will probably wind up doing lots of EPKs when we get out of sch00l because the time factor that it takes to make them and they can be lucrative to make some $$ to pay for your other camera and editing equipment (not to mention: paying off the massive student loans!)

For some reasons they are the only 2 Digital Film classes that I have on my full schedule this quarter, sort of. I am also taking Career Development which is suppose to prepare us toward finding an internship that is my requirement for next quarter. Even though it's technically a general education course, it's geared specifically to the Digital Filmmaking and Multimedia Program. Professor MacIntosh, who teaches this course is an industry professional who is actually taking off for 4 weeks to attend some film festivals that she has her work in at the time. She is very cool and I have a feeling that I'm going to like her class a lot. I also think that I will DEFINITELY find an internship that I will like after taking this class. She already got us to volunteer for the upcoming IFP (International Feature Project) Market thats happening in September here in New York. Well at least some of us in class registered for it already, I don't know if some of my classmates are really into "volunteering" as opposed to getting paid. Boy, won't they be in for a rude awakening in the real world once school is over for them. While all of us sitting in the front row are updating our resumes and doing our research, everyone else from the back of the room are known to watch movies and play computer games. Imagine, paying 40K to go to school just so you can surf the web? But I digress. In the meantime, I am busy working on my resume that desperately needs to be updated to reflect my current career aspects. I just have to remember to take off my resume that position that I had for a brief time period as a fluffer. Hmm, good times. Good times.

Anyhoo, my other courses this year are general education courses that I think will be easy. I'm taking History of Western Civilization and Verbal Communication (something that I've NEVER had a problem with). The only bad thing about both of these courses is that they both meet once a week so, I really can't miss ONE class because participation is 10% of your grade. However I already missed one (my second of 9 classes - no class on Labor Day) Verbal Comm classes because I had to go to the doctor for a follow-up for a procedure I had done 2 weeks ago. I had an "internal struggle" (Ya see, the script development classes are working already!) trying to debate whether or not I should skip the class to see the doctor (it was the only day he could see me at the clinic) but in the end I realized that my health is more important. BTW, it's better knowing that you are healthy even if it jeopardizes your 3.92 GPA. I just have to work extra hard to make up for the class that I missed on Monday. I actually had to give a speech. I emailed my professor and she told me to be prepared to give it next class. I actually prepared a speech about one of my favorite directors whose work has always been an inspiration to me, John Waters. Monday afternoon when I go into my class the speech must be
ON POINT because I really can't afford to get a bad grade. I only wish I could afford to go see "Hairspray" (which just opened to RAVE reviews BTW) over the weekend, but funds are low. However I'm open to any guy that would like take me on a date to see it! :-) Of course, I'm a EXCELLENT date when dinner is include as well! (wink, wink)

The history class is interesting too. I know I'm going to like it because it's a small class and Professor Jacobs seems to make the class very interesting despite the subject matter. It's funny but I never appreciated subjects like math and history when I was in high school but now, I guess because I've grown older, I have a better respect for these subjects. This class has LOTS of reading, but it's actually rather interesting so far.

Anyway I'm trying to sell some of my textbooks back to the bookstore but they just want to give me "some" credit and not cash (the cheapskates!). I went to Barnes and Noble on Fifth and 18th Street to sell some and either they didn't want them because they had them in their system as "no value" or they wanted to pay me $5 for a book that cost over $85. I don't think so!

BTW, I wasn't really kidding before about the date to see Hairspray, however I was kidding about my prior employment as a fluffer. It was really more of an internship.


Saturday, July 14, 2007

John Amaechi and Amaury Nolasco: Why do I feel having like a sandwich now?

Right now I've had a couple of Vicodin and I'm currently feeling no pain. I had the Vicodin because I'm recovering from a minor surgical procedure that I had a on Wednesday of this week. So now I'm just on my laptop about to post an entry wondering if anybody is out there reading my blog about my exploits as a film student being a black gay man of 40 plus...

Speaking of being Black and Gay, I finished John Amaechi's book, "Man In the Middle" a few weeks ago and I want to put down some of my thoughts about what I thought. First of all I have to say that I find John Amaechi incredibly HOT! and I hope that I get the chance to meet him in person one day. He is OH SO MY TYPE! Reading his memoir it read like I was reading about my life in many ways growing up feeling "different." Like him, I was was a overweight kid who had issues with my size growing up and was constantly picked on by other children. I resorted to reading and buried myself in books too. I felt that I related to a lot of what he was saying as a gay man too. I would love to have a family even though society may feel indifferent to a gay man raising children. He is now a psychologist living in the U.K. and he has proved that not all athletes are big and stupid. He is a very bright man and, in my book, what I would call "husband material." He's funny and has a good head on his shoulder and is very comfortable in his skin. Just like me. Maybe I should move to Manchester, England? I'm sure if he is single, he won't be for long. Besides what would he want with a 43 year old unemployed college student with a 3.94 GPA? Okay, it's the Vicodin talking now. Moving on....

I saw the film "Transformers" on the 4th of July with my friend Donald. No, Donald wasn't in the movie, I just went to the theater with him to see the movie. Am I making any sense? Anyway I was happy to see that another HOTTIE was in it: Amaury Nolasco. Of course he was a totally hottie as well in the film. Oh the film itself was pretty silly plot wise, but technically it was GENIUS! The whole time I'm sitting there watching it, I'm thinking to myself, "how'd they do that?". The mix of CGI and SFX with the live action was seamless. I had no clue whatsoever as to what was going on story wise, but I was so taken away with the techniques incorporated to make these "Transformers" transform before my eyes on screen. I was never a fan of the original cartoon that the film was based on but I am a fan on great SFX. I smell an Oscar nod.

I picked up my books for the next quarter yesterday. I'm excited because it looks like my 5th quarter will be very exciting too. Oh I also wanted to mention that if you get a chance to get to the New York International Latino Film Festival later this month, don't forget to check out "Lola". It's a short film written and directed by one of my favorite professors, Betty Garcia. I remember back in March around my birthday Betty had asked me to assist her with her shoot but because of a scheduling conflict I wasn't able to do it and she shot this short. In just that short amount of time she wrote, shot and directed and now it's premiering later this month at this film festival. I'm so happy for her I know that it will be a success.

Friday, July 6, 2007

The Grades Are In!

Okay, so my grades are back and I'm still on the Dean's List for this quarter. Yeah! I made and A in four subjects and an A minus in one. The A minus was from Composition and Motion Graphics, Professor Byrne's class. Honestly, I thought that was generous. But I feel lucky for having gotten an A in both of my general education courses, English Composition and Critical Thinking. Okay, I knew that the A was in the bag for English, I'm a writer after all.

I'm on my second week of vacation from school. I've been re-editing Daphne's music video. (I got an A on it by the way). I've also been preparing my documentary, "Measure of Life" for distribution to film festivals. I guess even though class is out, I'm still keeping busy. I suppose that is the life of a film maker. I better get used to it.