Monday, December 24, 2012

52 Sketches in 52 Weeks: Little Jimmy's Christmas Present

Really had to hustle to get this one done in time. Because of a bunch of callback craziness, we didn't make enough atx videos to cover my whole vacation. So I scrounged up camera equipment from my friend's Dad, a dog from my brother's girlfriend, and my Mom and cousin last Tuesday and threw this bad boy together.

Yes, the lighting's not too great. Probably a combination of the equipment and my own incompetence. But if I may complement myself for a second here, I was pretty proud of my own resourcefulness. Glad I didn't just give up because it was too hard. 

God bless my Mom, who's never acted a day in her life, jumping in there and giving it heck. (My mom doesn't give anything hell.) Even though she's a noob, I think she has a natural sweetness that makes this whole thing pretty funny. And my cousin Drew's face while he's holding my dirty socks is pretty priceless.

Directing a dog was not much fun. We had like 35 takes for a 1:30 long video. The little guy kept freaking out, haha. Maybe he heard Mom say he was getting euthanized and decided it was time to take off.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

52 Sketches in 52 Weeks: New Nanny

Brand new ATX contributor this week in the form of the very funny Candice Martin! I met her at Act Now and was thrilled when she agreed to hop on board with us.

We weren't sure how to approach this from a cinematography perspective, since the whole thing is pretty much just two people saying in one place, talking to each other. I thought of the Steinbrenner scenes from Seinfeld, and we figured we'd go that route. I like how that back of the head thing somehow gives my character this weird authority that he wouldn't otherwise have.

And of course, how can you go wrong with Zach as Mary Poppins? Sometimes I think my entire calling in life is to film that guy doing embarrassing things while wearing dresses as often as possible.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

My First Novel is coming out soon!

Okay folks, so there's this horror novel that I've been working on for the past year or so, and I can proudly say that it's all done and ready to be released.

It's called The Scarecrow and I'm publishing it on ebooks in a little more than a week.

I'll definitely keep you posted as things develop and maybe talk more about it later, but for now, check out the current book cover (made by the awesome David Miller) and save up about four bucks for Dec. 21st. I'd love your support and I'm sure you'll love the novel. It's super creepy stuff, promise.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

52 Sketches in 52 Weeks: Haze the Homeless

I have, on more than one occasion, had a homeless person grip my arm and insist that aliens or the government or Al Pacino is out to get them. Crazy, right? Then I got to thinking... What if they were telling the truth? Then I got to thinking... What if some jerks played along and validated all of their self-delusion? And Haze the Homeless was born.

One of my co-stars from KONG, the rockstar known as David Caprita, was awesome enough to be our homeless guy. Man, he really does make this one of our best videos too. Haha he was really tempted to actually jump in that lake. He kept staring at it and muttering to himself. But a cop was parked not too far away, and we didn't have permits to shoot in that park. We figured it was best not to push the issue.

I can proudly say that I edited every bit of this bad boy all by myself. It's a satisfying feeling, being in complete control of a video from start to finish. Probably gonna keep at it!

Zach and I have really started to sync up in our shooting process lately. I'll bet we shot every bit of this in an hour and a half, tops. A new problem or idea will pop up, and we'll instantly look at each other and raise an eyebrow. The decision will be made in about ten seconds. Having a reliable partner as a kind of creative safety net makes the whole shooting process a lot less frantic.

So it's onwards and upwards, folks. More great stuff is on the horizon!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

I Cry, Laugh, and Scream at a Total Stranger in the Span of Two Minutes Because Another Stranger Told Me To.

(EDIT: Just found out that I booked this gig!)

So I get called into an audition with this other young dude. I've never talked to him in my life. At this point, I haven't even said "Hi" yet. Don't remember his name.

Casting director says "You're best friends and you're watching a very sad video. Start crying."

Next thing I know we're sobbing into each other's arms, my face buried in his shoulder as we curse the world for being so cruel. "Why, God? WHY?!?!?!"

Casting director says "Video's over, and now you're both pumped up. You need to do something constructive. Build a fort."

There's a bookcase behind me. NOT part of our acting space. I grab some books out of it and we start making the crappiest fort in the history of forts. We smile and laugh at our stronghold of positive energy, still a bit emotional. "This thing is going to be a beacon for all of humanity!" I declare.

Casting director says "Now one of you makes an addition the other one doesn't like."

My best friend tries to add a secret door, which horrifies me. "This is a fort of HONESTY, man! Don't bring your lies to this sacred place!" I start building the fort in a way that blocks him from being involved. He gets mad and knocks the whole thing over, which causes a bunch of CDs that were in the books to come flying out to the floor. "YOU'VE SPILLED THE ARCHIVES!!!" I shout.

Next thing I know, we're screaming at each other at the top of our lungs and throwing books at each other, culminating in the other guy calling me something that rhymes with "stunt." The casting director says "Whoa, okay! That's enough!"

We stop and look up. They're laughing their butts off. I kinda forgot they were there. "Well... Didn't expect it to go that way," one of them says. "Thanks a lot!"

The two of us leave the room and take off going opposite directions, strangers again.

Dunno if either of us will get cast, but we definitely made an impression on those poor saps. Just
another job interview in Los Angeles...

Monday, December 3, 2012

52 Sketches in 52 Weeks: Boyz in Da House

I can proudly say that Zach March - who doesn't really think of himself as a writer - wrote every line in this bad boy. Well... with the exception of some Matt Hatfield improv at the end there, haha. In case you're wondering, the reason why Zach and I's faces are pointed away from the camera during the bread-throwing scene is that we couldn't stop laughing.

On top of all that, Zach spent hours sewing together a gigantic fat suit out of some fabric and the stuffing in one of our chair cushions. I tell ya... this little Supreme Saturdays experiment of ours would absolutely fall apart if that guy decided he didn't wanna mess with it anymore. Call Spielberg, because this man's a WAR HORSE! (Haw.)

All of those jokes with the canned laughter turned out sounding really great. I'm always really happy any time cool stuff is added in post-production, which is why I usually wind up raving about it on here. There's just something so cool about seeing things added to your performance days (usually weeks/months) after you've performed it. It's like your professor calling you up out of the blue and saying "Hey, remember that paper you got a B on last month? Now it's an A plus!"

Continuity-wise, this thing's a mess. I dunno what we were doing. Cabins open and close, people move in weird ways in between cuts, etc. But it has a charm to it that blends into the overall sense of humor kind of nicely. That repeated jump cut of Matt screaming "Football!", besides being something of a recurring ATX joke in a lot of our stuff, sets up a lot of those errors, I think, as being a part of the joke, rather than an accident. Pretty fancy editing fix, right there.

If there's one artistic discovery I've made from this episode, it's this: Fat suit = funny.

Now I'm learning!