Monday, November 30, 2009

Still Sick

Going on three weeks tomorrow. Saturday it returned to my sinuses and last night I had a bad sore throat...again. And the cough...well, it's become an every day thing. My new best friend.

I'm going to try and get a solid night's sleep and see y'all on the flip side. As in tomorrow.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

George Harrison

Eight years ago today, the world of rock'n'roll lost the great George Harrison. It was my lucky day to photograph the opener of his Dark Horse Tour and, years later, have the opportunity to visit his amazing home, Friar Park, in Henley-on-Thames where I also snapped some pics.

2/24/43-11/29/01


One of my favorite infectious George Harrison songs...







You can order any of the three above photos of George in Limited Edition or Open Edition fine photographic prints...available at half off during my sale. The top one is also available as a museum quality lithograph for only $10 during the .


You can also see more pictures (including photos I took of his fabulous house, Friar Park) and learn more about George Harrison and the 47 other musicians in my tribute book, for only $19.95.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Way Back When...

...I was really young.

In continuation of Thursday's post, these are some of the other photos I scanned...shot by one of the Deep Purple roadies on the sailboat they took me out on for my birthday. I'd have to go deeper into the pictures to find the rest of them but I think I was the only girl with four or five of them. Yup, that's the way I like to roll.

But seriously, even though I can't remember any of their names, it was a very memorable day. And, believe it or not, just good clean fun.

I really wish I still had these sunglasses. They rocked...as did my 'I'm too cool for school' attitude...

I could also be friendly...
But I think I really should have gone into modeling...

...just kidding. I was actually pretty dorky. The t-shirt I was wearing had a cheesy plastic heat transfer picture of Linda Ronstadt emblazoned on the front. Like I said...dorky. And my dorkiness remains intact today.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday

It's here. In the U.S. The day after Thanksgiving when retailers slash their prices for one day, open at ridiculous hours in the middle of the night and shoppers turn out in droves, sometimes killing each other to get that last toy on the shelf. It is called Black Friday because it is the day that many of the stores hope to sell enough merchandise to finally make it into the black for the year.

Fun times.

I am having my own Black Friday. Except my Black Friday will run into Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and then run that cycle one more time. During my two-week Black Friday my one-of-a-kind merchandise will be available at 50% or more off.

Here are the deals...



Retail - $60
My discounted price - $40


_______________________________________


16 x 20 Fine Photography Prints
Edition 0f 75 Numbered and Signed
(
over 100 photos of 48 musicians to choose from)

Regular Price - $400

(only 5 per artist available at this price)



16 x 20 Fine Photography Prints
Edition 0f 75 Numbered and Signed

(over 100 photos of 48 musicians to cho0se from)

Regular Price - $200

_______________________________________

Ringo Starr


Regular Price - $400 (L.E.) and $200 (O.E.)

_______________________________________


(2 to choose from)

Regular Price - $30

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Three Pictures

This was not supposed to happen. I had a list. Two pages. Things I need to get done during this holiday weekend. I even had a plan yesterday for what I was going to post today. It was going to be some photos of REO Speedwagon because yesterday when I was looking for the Turkey Trot on youtube I came across this...



Thought that, along with a couple of REO photos, would make a delicious Thanksgiving post. So much for plans. I couldn't find my REO negs. I recall seeing them a while back so I know they're around but...not today.

From that search I started looking through some slide boxes for a blog post spark. I found some pictures in a slide box labeled abstract. These are three that I picked to scan and post. This became a huge time suck for me. Spending all the time browsing for pictures then pulling out a total of 15 to scan, scanning (I've done 5 so far), retouching out the dust spots (total time suck), adding a border to one, writing this, etc, etc. Seriously, figure three hours. Sheesh.

Anyway, I think it's worth it. I really like these pictures. If you've been reading me at all since September, you know I love taking photos when I'm on the bus. Turns out it's not a new habit. I've been doing it since I got my first real camera. Back when I was a mere teenager. I believe this was taken in Toronto. Probably on the trolley. I like this shot because I think it's cinematic. People shot from the back seem to have a story to tell. It makes me really curious to know who they are and where they are going. I stare at the photo waiting (and hoping) for them to turn around and reveal their faces...

Looks like I also like to shoot on trains. This may have been a train trip I took from Toronto to Sarnia to visit my Grandmother. Although I don't remember being in a dining car. I do remember the trip back. I was in a seat facing a guy and a girl. Before the girl introduced herself I told her I could guess her name. She didn't believe me. I said her name was Susan. I was right. And then said her last name was McDonald. Right again. It really freaked them out. But not as much as it freaked me out. I had no idea how I did it. There was no trickery involved. I just spit it out. Turns out I'm psychic...but only when I'm on that particular train.

This is one of my favorite pictures. A double exposure in the camera. I don't remember the guy's name but I remember I really liked his looks. Especially his nose...in profile. Yeah, I'm weird. He's from England. One of the guys that was working with Deep Purple that took me to the beach and sailing on my birthday. It was my first time in L.A. on my own and I was staying at the Continental Riot House. I think there's a story about it in the "My Story" section of my book, Everybody I Shot Is Dead. Click on this one to see it bigger. There's a lot to see. I impressed myself with my precision in lining up his head in each of the shots. I have no idea why there are two completely different scenes happening in the sand for each of the shots. Crazy...

To my US readers...I hope you all had (are having) a wonderful Thanksgiving. And are as stuffed as your turkey.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Eve

Most of you are probably either traveling or in mad preparations for your Thanksgiving feast. I'm doing neither. I am not going anywhere to celebrate the holiday and I've made the last minute decision not to cook a Thanksgiving dinner this year - even though I make a rockin' turkey.

I've had a really busy past few weeks, I'm behind on everything and am still fighting off the remnants of the flu bug that some anonymous person bestowed upon me as a most unwanted birthday gift. I've been hacking ever since, thank you very much.

In light of that and other set-backs in my efforts to move forward, I have (so far) been unsuccessful in coming up with a list of things I am thankful for. I'm sure I could come up with something but to be perfectly honest, I'm just not feeling it at the moment. The only list I've put together this evening is a master To Do list. It already has 22 items (that's just a few things I rattled off the top of my head) not including the massive cleaning and laundry pile I need to get through over the weekend.

Sorry if I've taken you out of the holiday spirit...here's a little something to bring you back up...



Happy Turkey Day.

Wow... suddenly I am thankful for something... thankful that I am not responsible for the demise of any turkeys this year.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Albert Collins

Sixteen years ago today we lost The Iceman...

10/1/32-11/24/93

The Iceman gettin' down and crazy...



They just don't make 'em like this anymore.


You can see lots more pictures and learn more about Albert Collins and the 47 other musicians in my tribute book, .

Monday, November 23, 2009

Dizzy

Me. Tonight. Something wrong with my head. This is my new theme song. Hopefully not for long.

Enjoy...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

T-Rex

Not the Marc Bolan T-Rex.

The Tyrannosaurus Rex my dog Pumpkin met on our walk this morning.

It seems I live in a neighborhood of people who like to personalize their automobiles. I had seen this car before and it made me smile. Today Pumpkin noticed it for the first time today. She stopped in her tracks and stared right at it. Her gaze did not waver. After a few seconds she barked at it. Pumpkin rarely barks. Then she stared more. Waiting for it to do something. I think she expected it to jump off the hood. Maybe she wanted to play with it.


Her encounter with the neighborhood Tyrannosaurus Rex made me smile more.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sacfrifice

Don't let the Saturday night 11:59pm date fool you. It's really Sunday 9:40am. I just took my puppy for a walk and was thinking about how, in spite of my mental state last, I edited all the pictures I took the night before for Justin Dildine's short film. And the only reason I got them done was so that I would have the three pictures I wanted for this blog post. And that thought wandered into the thought of 'gee, I can't remember what I wrote in the post.' Well, duh. You prepped the pictures and didn't do the post dumbass.

So here is yesterday's post...today...dated yesterday, because in my mind I did it last night.

Friday night began around 6:30pm when we - aka "the crew" - arrived at a warehouse on the far west side of L.A. to assist Justin in the making of his epic short film, Sacrifice. I guess you can guess my crew position.

While Justin was behind his camera capturing the moving pictures, I was behind mine capturing the stills. But previous to the shoot, I also was given the opportunity to cast these two badasses for the leads in his film...


And this is one of my favorite stills from the night...

We wrapped just after 3 in the morning on Saturday. I was then up at 8:30am madly finishing my animation project (which I didn't actually finish-finish) before going to Photoshop class from 2-6. My sore throat was back by the time I got home so I ate what was left of my chicken soup, watched an episode of Dexter, edited the pictures, thought I wrote this post and ceremoniously crashed.

And now it is Sunday.

Friday, November 20, 2009

TGIF

I'm getting picked up in about 3 seconds to crew on another filmmaker's short. He put 6pm-3am on the schedule. God, I hope not. I'm no good after about 9:30pm plus I'm totally redoing my animation project that I have to have ready by 2pm tomorrow.

Thanks to Queen Kellee I was able to get my footage output to MiniDV and screen my dailies last night. Even though they were run through a projector they look pretty darn good. Now we will see what I can do as an editor. Hopefully, I have some hidden talent.

Here's the picture[s] of the day...don't know if I'd want to drive it around but I absolutely love this car...



Creativity at its best.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tom Evans

Tommy Evans tragically passed away 26 years ago. Evans was the bass player and songwriter with the fantastic 70s band Badfinger.


6/5/47-11/19/83

I've posted this video before but it deserves another go:



I wish he could have carried on.



You can see lots more pictures and learn more about Tom Evans and the 47 other musicians in my tribute book, .

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Kill Me Now

Technology is like a man (or a woman, depending on who's talking)...you can't live with it and you can't live without it.

My problems continue with getting my movie - well, the dailies - onto a format that is required for screening in my class. It has to be miniDV. It's currently in Final Cut Pro. I went to school today and spent way too much time (think full time hours here, people) and was completely unsuccessful. Completely. My computer doesn't have a Firewire 400 port. Apple thought it was dying format. Forget the fact that all video devices use it. Apple just decided not to.

My only choice was use stick my external hard drive between the devices. But even though the Final Cut on my computer could make the miniDV deck start and stop and record, nothing showed up on the tape. Tomorrow I shall trudge out to Best Buy or the Apple store and buy a 400/800 cable and hope and pray that the tape deck will be happy to oblige me. If not, I am sunk.

Fun. Fun. Fun.

If anyone has had success in getting 7 1/2 minutes of HD 1080i footage from the newest MacBook Pro computer to a tape using a Sony MiniDV deck please let me know how you did it. Maybe someone out there can save me some time and my sanity. Much appreciated.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Official Sick Day

I have been home sick all day. Cough. Cough. Cough. Two hour + naps. Cough. Cough. Cough. Stomach pain.

Managed to get to the market tonight. Picked up some bone-in chicken breasts. Put one in the oven. When it's done it's going in a pot of water/chicken broth to simmer the meat off. Then out with the bones and in the morning I will add carrots and simmer some more. Then egg noodles. Then eat. Then I will be well.

I won't take a photo of myself because that will scare everyone away but I did find this picture from a year ago...it represents what I feel like 'cept I'm not nearly as cute...

My brain is now officially turned off. I will be watching Ghosts of Girlfriends Past. From the first ten minutes I concluded that brain is not necessary in the viewing of this film.

Monday, November 16, 2009

My Crazy Day

My flu/cold thing became laryngitis. My goal is to heal but keep the deep and raspy voice.

I wish I could have slept all day...maybe tomorrow. Today was the wrap-up to yesterday's shoot. I had to capture all my footage from the camera's P2 cards. I had done the Final Cut auto version but realized it dropped my slate frames and other frames in its attempt to find and maintain the time code. So I had to go back in and manually capture each clip. Once that was done I need to reformat the cards before returning the camera. The thought of doing that seriously freaked me out. What if my computer crashes and I lose all my footage?

I only had a couple of hours before I had to get the camera back so I quickly hit the PDF manual to see if it was possible and what it involved to copy the footage from the cards to Mini DV in the camera. Not a big deal. Just needed a tape. I had been looking for tapes on Saturday but didn't want the crappy Maxell ones they had at Staples and Rite Aid...completely forgetting that there is a Best Buy in walking distance from my place. Duh!

Even though I'm sick, I hoof it over there ( a good 1/2 mile one way) and find some lovely Sony tapes. They had a 3-pack and a 6-pack right next to each other. The 3-packs were marked $20.99 and the 6-packs were marked $19.99. Really? I grabbed both 'cause I don't believe but on my way to the cash register I succumbed to a full scale coughing fit. I had forgotten to bring a couch drop. I had water but that wasn't helping. I crouched by some display, tears streaming down my face (not sad tears...more like side effect tears) and continued to cough for what seemed like 10+ minutes. Really attractive.

No one seemed to care. Except when I walked up to their geek bar and asked for a tissue. Both girls turned away from me as if I had the plague. The one handed me a two-foot piece off one of those cheap brown paper - I hesitate to call them towel - rolls you find in smelly gas station bathrooms, extending her hand toward me while managing to stay 10 feet away from me.

I finally made it home with the $19.99 6-pack (I would like to meet the persons who would choose to take the 3-pack for a dollar more) and seamlessly dubbed the footage to a now write-protected back-up master tape. I felt relieved. Next stop - the Toluca Lake Starbucks - via bus since Tyler is still in possession of my car in order to fill his employment requirements on The Expendables (if you don't know what that is you can Google it). It was a long 2-block trek to the bus stop that would take me to the door of Starbucks. Long because I was laden with all this...

I seriously thought if I was ever going to be mugged, today would be the day. I mean some gun-toting crack-deprived addict had to know there was something good in that big orange case since I had the tripod hanging out in broad daylight. And if there was something nice in the big orange case there was probably a nice computer in the the orange bag. I was not looking forward to having to explain the loss of a mega-expensive camera (probably uninsured whilst in my grubby paws). Thankfully my premonition did not come to pass. I just saw the usual odd clientele that frequent LA's public transit system. This one guy took the cake for me. Sadly my attempt at a stealth photo is obviously sub-par...

...but this character had the worst rug I have ever seen. Bar none. What was left of his own grayed hair was hanging out the sides while the dead muskrat he found on the side of the road was somehow loosely anchored to the top portion of his skull. I was wondering if he'd been by my place this morning to pick up the gobs of Tyler's hair that was left on the bathroom floor after he so kindly chopped of his gorgeous locks for the sake of our last shots that will bookend my short film.

He insisted I take a photo of his self-created mohawk before he finished his shave...

The craziest thing about my bus trip was what happened as the driver stopped to let me off. A guy who had quietly boarded the bus at some previous stop suddenly said, "Good luck, Deborah." I glanced back at him as I was existing the bus, looking for some recognition of who he might be - there was none - and thinking,'what an odd thing to say and how the hell did he know my name?' As I walked across the street I wondered if I should by a lottery ticket or life insurance. Maybe it's time to get both.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Shoot Is Wrapped

All pretty in a bow.

Long day.

10am-8:30pm was the shoot, including three company moves.

Especially long considering that the finished movie is only going to be one minute long.

Jeez...at that rate, if I'd been shooting a feature it would have taken me 120 days to shoot.

That's 4 months.

About right for a mega-budget studio film.

Not great if I wanted to make an indie film.

Actually, I probably could have shot a 15 minute film in the same amount of time it took me to shoot a 1 minute film.

My actors and crew were absolutely fantastic. If the finished movie turns out it will be thanks to them. If it sucks it will be thanks to me.

I didn't download the stills that my photographer (also my Assistant Camera guy) shot so here's a frame or two from the shoot...


Tyler is a rock star.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Shoot

It's tomorrow. All day. I'm actually prepared. Unlike when I'm going on a trip. When I always need just one more day.

My shot lists are printed, releases are ready...food and drink bought...props prepared...don't think I've forgotten anything.

I'm using a very groovy HD camera that I've never used before. So I spent a couple of hours going through the manual and figuring out what I needed to know. I shot some test footage and captured it into Final Cut and there it was...easy as pie. Actually easy than making pie and about as easy as eating it. Pie. Yum.

It's the first time I've managed to capture without assistance. Happy to know my brain seems to be working better these days. Even when I'm on the sick side.

See?...Pictures...

The last thing I had to do was cut a cookie...

I'm going to put it in front one of the lights to cast shadows on one of my scenes.

Now that I'm done with my cookie I'm completely prepped, and I get to have a good night's sleep.

Hopefully Murphy won't show up on my set tomorrow and screw everything up.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Dreams

I dream a lot. And generally pretty vividly. Sometimes I wonder if my dream life is my real life and my real life is a dream.

Last night I had an unreal dream that, while I was dreaming it, was as real as my life. I even said to myself inside the dream, "this is only a dream" but not waking up at that point seemed to prove to me it was real. Even though I seemed to know I was sweating out the flu and my throat was sore. What did I dream that was so real to me even when I was coming out of my sleep? I was at a hotel somewhere, not sure what I was doing there, the details were fuzzy and not relevant. Somehow I ran into a female singer. She was Alanis Morrisette even though she didn't look like her. I played a tape of a song I'd written to see if she wanted to cover it. She did but also wanted another song that I had also written called "We Can." I could even hear the songs in my dream. The music and the lyrics. The second song was climbing the charts and was at #18 when I woke up and slowly realized that I wasn't going to be collecting any royalties off my song.

Bummer. What's worse is I can't remember the songs. If I could, I'd write them down. No matter that I'm not a musician, having only dabbled in poetry back in the day and barely played the flute.

Stranger yet, I happened to catch Stephanie Meyer (Twilight series author) on Oprah today. Turns out the idea for the first book came to her in a dream. She saw the Edward and Bella characters talking to each other in a forest. She remembered every word they said to each other. The vampire and the innocent. Even though she had no experience as a writer and had no interest in vampires or the horror genre, she felt compelled to write down what she had dreamed and figure out what happened to the characters. Her first word was written in 2003 and the first book hit the shelves in 2005. Even though she had never written before. Even though she had no connections in the publishing world. If you know anything about publishing you know that is break-neck speed.

On one hand I was really happy for her. On another I was wondering why I couldn't remember the songs. Other than the fact that they were really good. Or maybe they weren't. I've dreamed whole script scenarios before only to realize that they weren't quite as fantastic in my real world as they were in my dream world. Or maybe I just didn't give them a chance to breathe. Either way, I think it's time to keep a pad of paper next to the bed.

What do you dream? Any #1 bestsellers or hit songs lurking in your sub conscious?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fall

Fall in Los Angeles is like no other. I took these photos today...

Hard to see, but at the top of the tree are the leaves of a palm tree that's across the street.

In L.A. the brightly colored leaves fall on a lush green lawn.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Mission Accomplished...NOT

I felt a sore throat coming on right before I went out for my birthday dinner. I took all sorts of things to kick its ass before I went to sleep. It was gone by morning - wait, I should say it moved by morning into my lungs. Yay.

I had a lot of stuff to do today. Not the least of which was to work on my animation project in photoshop. Somehow I sidetracked into walking the dog, stopping at the market, making coffee, doing some of the dishes, needing to rest, watching TV in the background of my computer while I individually thanked every single person on Facebook that wished me a happy birthday, putting together the location maps for my Sunday shoot...and midway through that needing a three-hour nap because I felt like crap.

The other thing I did that caused me grief for the rest of the day was updating my slingbox software. Slingbox allows you to watch your television on your computer at home or wherever you are in the world with an internet connection. Somehow the installation of the updated software wasn't automatic. And I couldn't fix it. Tech genius Tyler had to come over and fix it for me, but in doing that, somehow I could no longer send emails from Entourage even though I could still receive. I didn't correlate it to the Slingbox until I was over 2 hours into a series of phone calls with at least 5 different people from 3 different countries on the Earthlink helpline. I hate outsourcing. At the 2 hour + point I quit Slingbox for no particular reason and was then able to send the test emails... although I still couldn't send the one to my co-producer with the location map attachments.

And that's where I stand now. Except, in addition, my head is throbbing, my chest is congesting and almost nothing I set out to do today has been accomplished. I'm now going to take drugs, smear myself with decongestant analgesic ointment...

...fall asleep and dream for a more productive day tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Happy Birthday...

...to me.

Out celebrating.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Rorschach Test

I took this today...on my iPhone.

What do you see in this picture?

You can't say clouds. And don't forget...your sanity is on the line.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

AFM

Yes, I went to the Loews today to check out the hallowed halls of the American Film Market.

This is a photo of the Loews lobby. In year's past this lobby would have been jam-packed like a can of sardines...

I started my time at the AFM with an amazing made-to-order sandwich on the pool patio, then headed up to Cinetel's suite to check out how my art looked. This is a poster of a piece I did a couple or three markets ago...

And this is a duratrans (aka backlit) of a piece I did a couple of weeks ago. The shafts of light looked very cool backlit...I'm happy with this one...

This was another client. It's a movie still which I added the title to and had it blown up to poster size. This poster was hanging in the hall outside the client's suite. That's Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams...

I ran into a lot of people I know. Some I hadn't seen in a long, long time. And a friend (one of my favorite people) from far away that saw me across the patio and texted me. I didn't even know he was in town.

The day wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Sleep...Please

I need some down time, just don't know where I'm going to find it.

Could have easily fallen asleep in Photoshop class today. After waking up on 5 hrs sleep in order to prep for today's exam, it was pushed for yet another week.

This is the very beginnings of what I'm building for a Photoshop animation project that's due next week. It's going to eat up the majority of my time this week. If it turns out - figure a 50/50 chance - I will post it on youtube and here.

I have to sleep now. Gotta hit the AFM tomorrow and then an evening meeting. Sigh.

Friday, November 06, 2009

AFM Party

Tonight was the hot ticket party at the AFM. Fortunately, it is put on by one of my clients. It's pretty much the same every year. At the same restaurant. Same food. Same entertainment.

They take over the whole restaurant which is actually a 2-story Victorian house that also has a cellar. And they always have psychics who read your cards and a casino set-up in the main floor.

We got there on the late side this year.

This was what was left of the food...

But there was still lots of free drink...

That was not my drink, but I did have one of the olives.

I got my cards read. Be very nice to me because by this time next year I'm going to be...well, I was going to sya the shit but that doesn't sound so good...or I'll be what? Important? Way more successful than I am now? People will be banging on my door? You get the picture.

By the time I was finished with my card reading, these were closing up shop...

I really wanted to play some blackjack. I had $1000 in my purse ready to rock'n'roll but no-go-ms.-slow. I had to steal an extra grand from he who brung me so I could have enough to exchange it for a $5 Starbucks gift card.

Still, we had a good time.

Now, I'm way too tired. And I can't decide whether to stay up and slog through the studying I need to do for my Photoshop exam tomorrow or go to sleep and hope I have enough time to cram it all in before my class starts at two. Next year at this time I won't have to make these earth-shattering decisions. I'll have people to make my decisions. At least that's what the cards told me.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Toys

I went to the HD Expo in Burbank today and saw all the toys. Technologies way beyond my little brain's comprehension.

I spent some time at the Panasonic booth because I'm shooting my short on one of their cameras. One I've never used before. I did get some tips on a place I can go on their website to find things that will help me make my digital film look more like film film.

I like this picture because I captured the racing cars on the screen at a standstill while the guy coming into the frame is movement blurred. And that screen was pretty nice even though they weren't likely pitching the screen as much as some technology that you can use to make what's on the screen do something off-the-wall.

Lots and lots of cameras, including bunches of REDs. I can't afford any of the cameras they had at the show. The least expensive I came across was a $5300 camera on sale at the Samy's booth for $4900. Hey, my birthday is next week. Why don't you all get together and buy me a new camera? My very old little Sony video camera went completely pfffft a couple of weeks ago.

And the pi├Ęce de r├ęsistance of the show was nowhere near HD...

...an pre-1950s Moviola. Yes, folks, this is what they used to edit films on way back in the day.