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Sunday, February 29, 2004

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. It was a clean sweep for the epic film, winning a total of 11 Academy Awards and tying with fellow Best Picture epics Titanic and Ben-Hur. Of course, there were other highlights during the 76th Annual Academy Awards...among them being Charlize Theron, the fact Billy Crystal did a great and humorous job as the show's host ("I first hosted the Oscars 13 years ago...back when Bush was in office, the economy was tanking, and we just finished a war with Iraq." Hi-larious!), Jeff Black and Will Ferrell singing a song ("You're boring!") that made fun of Oscar winners whose acceptance speeches went a minute too long, and Ben Stiller wearing his outfit from his upcoming film, Starsky & Hutch. Overall, this was a pretty interesting Academy Awards ceremony--if you ignore the fact there was as much suspense in wondering who the Best Picture winner would be as watching the ending for The Passion of the Christ. Of course, I hadn't watched the show in its entirety since Gladiator (I think) and Titanic (you didn't hear me say that). I was rooting for L.A. Confidential to win that year. No I wasn't.

The Witch King

Saturday, February 28, 2004

The Passion of the Christ. Two of my friends and I went to Downtown Disney today to watch the 7:00 PM showing of the film. So what did I think? Overall, it was intense...pretty powerful actually. On the other hand, it may have been too intense. I think there were some parts of the film where Mel Gibson just overdid it on the depiction of Jesus getting roughed up by the Romans. And it's no wonder why the Jewish community was concerned that this film was going to spark more rounds of anti-semitism. Watching certain parts of the movie, I thought to myself, "It's no wonder why Jews have been getting persecuted for the past 2,000 years. And why a million of them died in World War II." What was Mel Gibson thinking??? Anyways, the shot of Jesus rising from the dead inside the tomb was the saving grace of the film (what a surprise, heheh)...considering for the previous 2 and a half hours Jesus was covered in blood and scars and whatnot. We should ALL be glad the Roman Empire is gone. Those heathens!! Although I don't know why, in my faith, we're called Roman Catholics...

And discussing the depiction of Satan in the film: Why am I not surprised that he wears a black hood for most of the film? A la the Sith in the Star Wars films, the Ringwraiths in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Voldemort in Harry Potter & The Sorcerer's Stone, and even the mummy Imhotep in The Mummy (1999). Villains seem to be getting more stereotypical in fantasy and epic films these days...


By the way, Jim Caviezel did a commendable job playing the Messiah.

The Passion of the Christ

Friday, February 27, 2004

Woohoo, I found my cell phone!! It was hidden by the large plastic sheet that I put over my Playstation 2 so it won't collect dust on the table in my room. So anyways... Woohoo! I think I'll show my relief by calling up what's-her-name. Hopefully, it'll only be her business card that's now kaput.

...

Just kidding about calling her.

The Return of the VX3100L!!!

DON'T R.I.P., LG VX3100L (Oct. 2003 - present day)

Thursday, February 26, 2004

BATMAN BEGINS. That's the official title for the fifth Batman movie...minus the period at the end. That's a pretty original title...as opposed to films whose titles start with "Chasing" or "Saving"...like Saving Silverman or Chasing Papi (Saving Private Ryan and Chasing Amy still rule, though). For more info, go to cinescape.com, batman-on-film.com or...

Batman 5

Well that pisses me off. Today I just found out that I lost my cell phone...which in of itself wouldn't piss the crap out of me hadn't it been the third thing I misplaced over the past two months. The first thing I lost was my wallet...which actually got stolen when I had to pull over the side of the freeway after I accidentally got in a small fender-bender with a pick-up truck in front of me. The guy was cool and all while I was talking to him and exchanging insurance info. Then the next day came, when I was informed that someone used one of my credit cards for gas after I called up the credit card company to close that account. What are the chances that someone else would pull over in that same exact spot on the freeway that I was on (on the SAME day) and find my wallet??? Not very big...and I was stupid enough not to call that bastard right away because of... God-knows-what (laziness?). I got a letter from one of my credit card companies with a form to fill out in case I do find fraudulent charges on my next invoice. The form said to give the info of the person who I THINK may have stolen my card. I still have that guy's phone number and address, so I'm THIS close to doing so.

The second thing I lost was the small remote control for the garage door opener, which I borrowed from my parents for my film shoot last month since it was the only control we had for the house [I wanted to put my car inside the garage (I normally park it outside) the night before my shoot since I already put all the props, costumes, iceboxes for beverages, and other things in my vehicle because I wanted to leave for CSU Long Beach right away the next morning]. I know that the small control is SOMEWHERE around the house, since I obviously used it to open the garage when I came back from CSULB the night I finished filming my project. I didn't begin calling the guy who I got in a fender bender with until I realized there was one important thing to me that was inside my wallet. It wasn't my driver's license (it's replaced), not my library card (who cares), not my two credit cards (also replaced), but a business card that Teary gave me on the final day of Kenya's shoot last September...to contact and ask her if she wanted to be my make-up artist once I got the script for Envious approved two weeks later. Granted, I already know what her e-mail address is, and Teary's in my film itself, but I'm pretty sedimental for a dude, and this card was the one item she personally gave to me. I know...weird, but anyways... She has a small tattoo on her back. How rebellious. I sound completely lame for saying that, and this is completely random and off-topic (and she'll freak out if she read this. Smart move, Parno.), but rebellious.


As for the cell phone, Teary's phone number was on it. Granted, I probably was never ever gonna call her again since I prefer e-mailing (yes, that IS retarded)...but to put things in perspective, I'm...like...losing everything that had the info I needed to contact her. What else is there to lose that has to do with her? My FILM?? The completed film is on a mini DV tape, I have 4 large boxes with the original 16mm camera negatives inside them, and two DVCAM tapes with my footage that went through telecine transfer. Would I want to know how I could possibly lose any of these? I don't think so.

And my cell phone is somewhere at Wal-Mart or Stater Bros (where I went yesterday)...or in the hands of some rat bastard who stole it. Or possibly somewhere in my house...its ringtone inaudible since I probably turned the phone's ringer off. PARMAN, YOU'RE TOO (EXPLETIVE) ABSENT-MINDED!!!!!!!!!

Curse the infidel who stole my VX3100L!!!

R.I.P., LG VX3100L (Oct. 2003 - Feb. 2004)

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Batman 5

WOW. Check out all the actors who are currently signed up to be in the next Batman film (currently titled Batman: Intimidation Game, might officially be called Batman Begins):

- Bruce Wayne/Batman... Christian Bale (American Psycho, Reign of Fire, Shaft, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Captain Corelli's Mandolin)
- Lucious Fox... Morgan Freeman (Driving Miss Daisy, Se7en, Outbreak, Bruce Almighty, The Shawshank Redemption)
- Ducard... Liam Neeson (Schindler's List, Love Actually, Gangs of New York, The Phantom Menace, The Haunting)
- Alfred Pennyworth... Michael Caine (Secondhand Lions, The Quiet American, The Cider House Rules, Austin Powers in Goldmember)
- R'as al Ghul (Main Villain)... Ken Watanabe (The Last Samurai)
- Commissioner Gordon... Not yet signed, but possibly Dennis Quaid (Dragonheart, Any Given Sunday, Traffic)

- And the director is Chris Nolan (Memento). Bring back Danny Elfman!

Looks like Warner Bros is trying to make up for the two abominations that Joel Schumacher came up with in '95 and '97. Of course, some of you are probably gonna say, "But...it's Christian Bale!"

Saturday, February 21, 2004

YUP YUP... Another update on my project. The current cut of the film is at 8 minutes, 57 seconds. Without the end credits, Envious is currently 7 minutes 53 seconds long. I've shown the film to some of my classmates, and so far the biggest highlight of the film is the fight scene.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

"ENVIOUS" update #3: EVERYTHING that took place during my film shoot... Wohoo, here's yet another journal entry focusing on my student film! And this one should be good (at least to me)...since this chronicles the highlights (and low points) of my film shoot.

December 12, 2003

DECEMBER 12th, 2003 (Friday):
The first day of my film shoot. Everything went smoothly with the exception that one of my actors ran into traffic on the freeway so he was a little late for his shots that were scheduled. Fortunately, there was a lot of daylight left when he showed up and the footage came out good.

On the other hand, my shoot was almost thwarted when Frank, my assistant director, called up Wendy C. (FORMERLY one of my actresses) to see if she would make her 11:00 AM call time. Turns out she would be a little late (WHAT A SURPRISE), and it just so happened she got sick at Vegas the night before my shoot. Wendy told Frank on the phone she would show up if I needed her and I was like, "Um, YEA!" So she showed up. BUT GUESS WHAT? Wendy called me up later that night and told me she got even sicker showing up at my shoot and not being at home instead. So I felt like shooting myself when she told me she was throwing up and stuff...and she sounded like she was actually crying on the phone. THAT ACTRESS DESERVES AN OSCAR!!!

So late that night, I called up Sarina, my college classmates Travis, Eva and Kenya on the phone to ask them if they knew anyone who could replace that actress. I even called up Jasmine Mai, that model who I wanna meet at Hot Import Nights in L.A. on March 6, who was actually suppose to show up anyway the next day for a little cameo. I also called up Theresa Wylie...who was my original actress after Wendy flaked out on me on the callback audition a few weeks before (yes, I know...the first clue that disaster was BREWING). I didn't tell Theresa I replaced her when Wendy called and said she could do my shoot for fear I would lose Theresa as well if Wendy bailed out on me. Wendy STILL bailed on me, and Theresa said she had to go out of town during the weekend because she made new plans. I'm not mad at Theresa though...because I left her hanging when she even e-mailed me (about two weeks before) asking about what the status was on my film shoot. I got what I deserved.

I went to bed that night knowing that I DIDN'T EVEN have an actress to play Jeanine the next day.

December 13, 2003

DECEMBER 13th, 2003 (Saturday):
It was around 12:00 midnight when my classmate Kenya called me up and saved my ass. He told me he talked to Sheena Chou...an actress who actually auditioned for The Broken Table (I thought her audition went well...but due to the comments of classmates who helped me I got Elizabeth Fujimaki...who's also a really nice, talented and pretty actress). Kenya said I should call Sheena up since she was down to play Jeanine...so I did call her up...and Sheena said to e-mail her the script and call time and stuff so she could take a look at it. So I got out of bed, went downstairs to use the computer, e-mailed her the info and then went back upstairs to get back to sleep.

SIX HOURS LATER, I woke up and went to Cal State Long Beach for Shoot Day #2. Sheena was actually the second cast member to show up (after Harry, who plays the lead character Rick)...and at that moment I knew she rocked 'cause she actually came through for me. I began filming about an hour later...with Sarina, Ryan, Jarik and Sarina's Cal Poly friend Sonia showing up to say wassup (and eventually be extras, haha).

ANOTHER SETBACK was hit again. Jasmine Mai was supposed to show up around 9:00 AM, and it was already a few minutes (or an hour? I forgot) after that. So I asked Frank to call her...and it turns out Jasmine WASN'T going to attend. I called her using my own cell phone in response...but her voice mail came on (the next day, she told me in an e-mail that she had to attend funerals both TODAY and on Sunday, Dec. 13th, which is why she couldn't attend. NOW what are the coincidences with THAT??? But Jasmine apologized to me--when I didn't even bring it up in a message on her Yahoo! club--so all is well and she's still the NEXT MODEL I wanna meet at an import show). Jasmine's role was actually pretty important because she was suppose to be an attractive female student, just strolling by on a walkway, who provides the main source of motivation for the lame football jock in my story, Owen (played by Mike A.), to begin playing catch with his friend Johonn (played by Chris McLaughlin, who was filmed for a small role in Starship Troopers 2) and his girl, Julie (played by Elle, who my sister knows, and whose film shoot for Cal State Fullerton I attended in early November).

December 13, 2003

So with Jasmine out of the picture, I asked my make-up artist Teary to play this small role. Being the sport that she is, Teary said yea (albeit reluctantly, heheheh). Keep in mind that Teary is very, very pretty...and it's actually a lot cooler that she played the role, for personal reasons (and yes, much like Yen, she has a boyfriend). Teary and I hugged after her last take was filmed, so that accounts for something, haha. But seriously, she really IS a good sport, since she was only suppose to provide make-up for my show and now I'm in the position of either making her look good or bad when her scene pops up in the film. Hopefully, hopefully good.

Nothing dramatic happened after that, except the fact I couldn't get all the shots I wanted and that would have to wait for a pick-up shoot.

December 14, 2003

DECEMBER 14th, 2003 (Sunday):
"...A DAY WHICH WILL LIVE...IN INFAMY..." - Franklin D. Roosevelt (after Pearl Harbor was bombed in 1941)

YEA YEA, I KNOW... I'm getting a little overdramatic (and extremely lame) here. Or am I? Since I heard on the KROQ radio station that Saddam Hussein was captured the night before (from his "spider-hole" in Iraq) as I drove to CSULB for Shoot Day #3. It was on this day when I would grow, in an understatement, a disdain for rain, even though I usually liked it when it rained. Sure beats freakin' sweating like a biatch during the summer. Duh.

The day started off on an undramatic note...although everyone was a little late after attending the 2003 Fall Student Filmmakers Showcase on campus the night before. Today we were shooting outside the University Student Union, where Ben (played by Tommy, who's actually in charge with mixing the sound on Pro Tools for all advanced student films that will be screened at a showcase) beats the crap out of all the male characters except Rick.

The day became dramatic after the 7th shot was taken, when one of my classmates (who shall remain nameless) stepped out of place to tell me that the way I was organizing shots was taking too much time. Granted, he was right...but Frank's the ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, not this dude, and it's Frank's job to tell me how we're running on time, not anyone else. So while everyone else went to lunch, I was pacing on set worrying that I might not get all the shots I needed for this scene. HELL YEA, I WASN'T GONNA GET THE SHOTS I NEEDED!!!

Before the storm.

There're shots where Tommy tackles the other actors to the pavement during the fight sequence, and I was placing the stunt mat (actually an inflatable bed mattress I bought at a Big 5 sporting goods store) on the large stairway outside the Student Union when I begin to feel rain drops on my head. ALREADY ANGRY that I encountered insubordination on set, profanities began spewing from me. Don't know if it was Bryan, my cinematographer, or Arturo, the camera op, who told me to calm down 'cause I was making the cast and crew nervous...but I didn't care because all the frustration caused by Wendy and Jasmine bailing out on me was finally being vented out.

A rule of thumb: Never stray from your position on the set and tell someone else what to do. That's what I learned from one of my production film teachers... Even though we were classmates and close friends (most of us, anyway), that didn't mean we can just go up and tell other people what to do if they were higher up on ranking or in another department. A sound mixer doesn't tell the director of photography what to do...much as how a grip doesn't tell the production designer what to do. Etc. etc.

I tried to move on, but the minute Frank told me that I could no longer film the ground 'cause it was wet, I knew that this shoot was over. I was shooting a fight scene, and I NEEDED to show the ground. Eva, Frank, Bryan, Arturo and I were discussing having the fight scene take place inside the Student Union since it was open, but unfortunately I became so attached to what I planned in my storyboards that it was difficult for me to brainstorm new ideas for the sequence. So I told Frank to call it a wrap about an hour later, and all the equipment began getting put back into the grip truck. One of my other actors, Chris Morgan (who plays Jeanine's boyfriend) began taking pictures with my camera of himself and Sheena, and the rest of the cast in their character outfits as reference for whenever I would do a re-shoot. YOU DON'T KNOW HOW LOW I FELT DURING THIS DAY...and inside I was thinking a lot of blasphemous things about the Guy Upstairs because I was afraid that this would happen during my shoot, and it did.

Yes, it WAS cold that day.

I was still working at Disneyland during this time (I quit the following Saturday, Dec. 20th). I started working there in June, and once my teacher Rory approved my script for Envious in late September, the fear of it raining during my shoot got me preoccupied numerous times at Disneyland during a work shift. I knew a week beforehand that the weather would be crap for Dec. 14th, but the weather for the two previous days were so perfect that I thought maybe the forecast for Sunday was wrong. NOOOPE.

Another fear that became a reality this day was me making myself look bad in front of Teary. Teary and I were cool since Kenya's shoot in late September, and I was afraid that I would ruin that by showing my temperamental side (which I showed to other people). There were so many instances where I could've lost my cool during Kenya's shoot since I was the Assistant Director, but didn't. And I'm pretty sure Teary saw me throw my storyboards to the ground in anger when it began raining. It's really a shame thinking about this in comparison to when we were at Elle's film shoot in November. We got along really well during the shoot, with Teary and I talking on set about how The Matrix Revolutions wasn't so bad a movie (in hindsight, it actually was), a book her friend Ratha was reading that dealt with psychology (we discussed how a person you like will not fall for you if you make yourself too available to them...as opposed to playing hard to get), and how Teary asked me to hold up a mirror in front of her while she was checking out her make-up, since she was going to a concert on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood later that day. Okay... That last part of the sentence sounded kinda negative. Scratch that.

I would say there is no way in hell I'd let her read this post...but guess what? I said the same thing about Yen 3 years ago, and I intentionally told her about my website. And one of the first things that was brought up in her e-mail afterward was her reading what I typed about her in my entries.


So where was I? Oh yea, I made myself look bad in front of Teary. Anyways, I got back home from CSULB worrying about when a pick-up shoot would take place...and how I needed to re-constitute all the items, like food and the remaining rolls of Kodak and Fuji film that I would need for that shoot. A week later, Winter Break started, and 6 weeks of waiting to finish something I put so much time, money and effort into started.

UPDATE (March 11, 2004): Considering the fact my film didn't get into the Student Filmmakers Showcase at school, I probably won't be talking about the pick-up shoot (on January 31st & February 1st) anytime soon.


UPDATE #2 (December 17, 2004): Better days... I don't feel like typing about the pick-up shoot, but I'll post up pictures from it.


Discussing a shot with my assistant director and director of photography.

Blocking a shot through a viewing monitor.

Tommy, Chris and Mike rehearsing a tackle that will take place during the fight scene.

Chris and Mike falling onto a stunt mat (actually an inflatable bed used for camping) after being tackled by Tommy.

A wide shot of the campus location used for the fight scene.

Monday, February 16, 2004

2004 NBA All-Star Game: I just read in the newspaper today that Shaq won the MVP award yesterday. Hmm... Perhaps I should've watched the game after all.


Boondocks comic

Saturday, February 14, 2004

"ENVIOUS" update #2: BOY, AM I LAGGIN'.

The deadline to submit my film for the 2004 Spring Student Filmmakers Showcase at CSULB is this Friday, February 20th, and I haven't even finished the first cut yet!!! Of course, it's because I'm watching the film over and over again each time I splice in a new shot while I'm editing...to see where I should make the cut during the shot to give it the proper pace with the rest of the film. Perhaps I should put all shots in their respective order before I go Michael Kahn on them. Michael Kahn (A.C.E.) is Steven Spielberg's editor, by the way. I could've interviewed him for my editing class during the Fall semester of 2002...but I was too preoccupied with editing my Intermediate student film, The Broken Table.


By the way, I feel sort of weird right now. I stumbled upon certain pics online of one of the girls who worked on Envious. She was a Playboy Cybergirl... Had I seen these pics before my shoot (either the December or pick-up shoots), I might have had a different approach towards working with her. I would go into specifics, but doing so would imply who I'm talking about...if any of my high school or college friends are reading this.

UPDATE: Last Tuesday it was announced that the original Star Wars Trilogy is gonna be released on DVD this September 21st!!! Woohoo... Like the Indiana Jones and Godfather DVD sets, there will be 4 discs: the Special Edition versions of the 3 films, plus a bonus 4th one. Unlike Lord of the Rings, I plan on getting this version and whatever version ol' Lucas releases of the "Holy Trilogy" after Episode III comes out in 2005.


General Grievous and a clone trooper from Episode III

Monday, February 09, 2004

"ENVIOUS" update: I was at school till 9-something P.M. today editing my film. So far I've completed editing scenes' 1 and 2... I will start on scene 3 tomorrow (Tuesday). I love using Final Cut Pro!!! If I was using the Avid at school, chances are I'd still be syncing the audio and video clips for the very first shot in scene 1. Industry standard MY ASS!!

Panavision camera

BIIIG UPDATE: For those of you who want me to create a new website, HAR HAR HAR! I spit on THEE!!

Sunday, February 08, 2004

A week ago today I completed the shooting for my advanced student film Envious! Now it's time to go to Entertainment Post in Hollywood tomorrow to get my footage transferred to a digital tape (in a process called telecine). After that, it's editing time! Woohoo! On another note, I went to STAPLES Center today with three of my 'yearbookie' friends (Jarik, Sarina and Usha) to watch the celebrities arrive for the Grammy Awards. It was pretty interesting...especially with the Born Again Christians/Religious fanatics who were protesting outside STAPLES and condemning us for idolizing Hugh Heffner, his Playmates, Fat Joe, Gwen Stefani and Queen Latifah--who we saw exiting from their limos during the red carpet event. Actually, I only saw Hugh Heffner's Playmates and Fat Joe... I MISSED Gwen Stefani!!!

NOOO!!!!!!!

Grammy Awards