journal page 7

january 4, 2000
7:12 pm
"those are not your pancakes. those are my pancakes. i kill you all"
another quick update. we watched the first rough cut of "rejected" for the very first time last night in los angeles, a temporary move made thanks to the santa barbara projector being completely worthless. we hadn't even seen dailies or anything before last night, aside from scrappy video pencil tests.

as a rule, the first time you see your rough cut you're unequivocally depressed and horrified and balancing that line between declaring it all garbage and giving up and "what was i thinking?" because it's the absolute worst state the film will ever be in - and ours is still soundless to boot - yet it's oddly exciting at the same time. because now you get to do everything you can think of to save the thing. i remember while editing "billy's balloon" i was convinced that it wasn't funny to anyone but me and it would not get a single good review because it was just too strange.

so reactions? "rejected" is a mess. it is stranger. it is out there. it's running slow as molasses and the timing is naturally out the window right now. but it's a good mess and a workable mess. i think. a whole bunch of reconstruction lies ahead, as well as reshoots and added footage, beginning tonight. the thing's running all over the map. peaks and lulls all over the place, just gloriously stupid and sort of dreamlike, yet some of the final shots are somehow rather great. this monster is also somehow clocking in at over 12 minutes as of now, which is rather bewildering to me as i didn't think it would break eight. way too long. bloated. rebecca is already trimming off 30 seconds of fat this week and we'll be trimming more over the weekend. it has gone through so many permutations i've sort of lost control of it and it's scurrying around on its own now. easily the most experimental movie of the lot.

i thought it was going over here
and it's going over there

i forgot what else i was going to write. back to work

january 2, 2000
12:16 am
here i am again
just a quick hello and reassuring that don is still alive. i'm sleepy and don't have any drive to get back to work. i still haven't unpacked and am going through the usual all-by-yourself stir-crazy readjustment upon returning. and the neighbors are yelling at each other. with occasional bangy noises. if i hear blood-curdling screams or gunshots i'll let you know. i still need to move.

so i've got this giant book which is sort of a world history of photojournalism, endless chronological photos spanning the last 100 years. slowly going through them all, you begin to realize through all these thousands and thousands of photographs, how of them blend into an identical repeating pattern of people killing each other, people not killing each other and happy that no one is killing each other, people killing each other again, and repeat. it is sad and predictable as the photos sort of sail through history in fast forward: angry people getting riled up over something, one page later they're marching, waving flags and executing people, then five pages of war and smoke and piles of corpses. then a few pages of photos of people looking world-weary in rubble looking around like, "what the hell was that all about?", people in suits signing things looking proud, and then five pages later they're all killing each other again. it's a coffee table book.

december 18, 1999
12:46 am
i know we're in a culture that makes an event out of the magic 9's turning over to 0's on speedometers but i think we're ready to get this year 2000 thing over with already. i don't know if i can handle seeing one more magazine cover or news article with the words "century" or "best of" emblazoned across it.

here is a story for you, given the season. this is not my story but i don't remember where i heard it. so i am almost definitely ripping this off from somebody. isn't the internet great? so there's this guy who has a cult. and in january he announces that he's received a message from the mothership. at the stroke of midnight on new year's eve, the angry monsters from dinotopia will come down in their flying saucers and destroy the planet. he's absolutely 100% sure of this for he is the chosen one. and only those in his following will be saved because they are devoted and pure. so the cultists freak out a bit and weep and worship him. they spend the year preparing themselves mentally, saying goodbye to their families, clearing out their savings accounts, and fulfilling their leader's every wish. but most importantly, they are spreading the word, recruiting new members, and saving more souls. so new year's rolls around, and they are all ready. by now this cult has a membership of a couple thousand, and they dress in their ceremonial robes, and make a cross country trek to time's square to welcome the monsters and their death rays. they gather there as their leader stands before them. all eyes point to the heavens. the new year's countdown begins... and ends. and nothing happens. no sign of spaceships. nothing. five minutes go by, and still nothing. the people look at each other, a bit perplexed. disillusionment settles in after ten minutes. they look expectantly at their leader, who is staring at the sky, dumbfounded. the people's sadness slowly turns into frustration and anger. finally, their leader breaks his silence - "it's a miracle!" he announces, "the monsters must have granted us one more year to live!" and the people cheer. "hallelujah!"

i just read that it rains diamonds on neptune. it has something to do with crystals. and methane. i hope you are all happy and that you are being nice to each other

december 3, 1999
daylight hours
a sad girl in the post office
so things haven't been getting much better. i have repaired the problem with the projector that was chopping all the film in half, and now it is instead pouring thick white smoke out of its guts. i am considering renting my smoke machine out to local theater companies. so now i have to replace the motor and see if that does the trick. although i have not yet ruled out the cool explodey noise it would make when tossed from one of the cliffs around here.

i was watching 20/20 or something and they had these people with an amazing automotive obsessive compulsive disorder. every time they hit a bump in the road, they became hopelessly convinced they'd just run over somebody, and pulled the car over to search the area for bodies, paralyzed with guilt. this could happen a dozen times on a short trip to the grocery store. "oh my god i've killed again." sometimes they could not go more than 50 feet at a time without repeatedly stopping to check beneath the car for dragging corpses, over and over again. and the reporter said, "this may seem very strange to you... or even very funny. but it is VERY SERIOUS."

when i was little i set out one afternoon to create my own language. i sat down with a pen and a piece of paper and proceeded to write down every single word i could think of with its according translation in my new language. so "sky" was "blargh" and "clouds" was "mert" etc. the plan was that once i had translated every word i could think of, i could memorize all of the translations and could speak a brand new language. and i got through maybe a hundred words and then i hit "whale", and realized that i had to make a translation for "baleen whale" as well as "sperm whale" and "humpback whale" and "killer whale" and "narwhal" and i started running out of different new terms for all the different sorts of whales i could think of, and these were just the whales for crying out loud, and decided that this was going to take a lot longer than one afternoon. i also once tried to build my own video game out of a box and piles of paper and that didn't work either.

here is the latest world news from roberto, the troubled boy under the stairs:

NASA engineers are baffled as thier satilite spins out of control in space.
A crew of six spider monkeeys desperatly try to open the solar pannels.
The frozen wasteland may kill them.
sqeak, toto, lumpy, snowflake, ki ki, and jerold all work very hard.
snowflake cries a lot.
ki ki is just happy to be part of the team

ok so um. i think i had something actually relevant to say, but can't remember now after that. that's the way it goes around here


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