journal page 38

january 8 2012 for the last few years i've had a dream sort of recur where i'm on a big airliner that for some reason has to make a routine emergency landing, onto a six lane freeway or in the middle of a village in africa, and we then have to drive the rest of the distance in the plane, looking out the window at cars and people go by, with a vague sense of relief. it's raining here and i've sort of been in slow motion for weeks. i should probably be writing but there are too many heavy things

my niece: bear! i get bear! it's in my woom! [runs to get bear] bear! now cuddle him! again! again!! now they're underwatah! and DANCING

january 6 i hate sleep

i am no longer the cassette tape in your car
december 19 denver, san francisco, all four screenings wonderful, thank you,. ive been home again for a week, sort of not unpacking, sort of slugging around the house, watching a load of movies, sort of working on this new script again as well as somewhat thinking about the graphic novel that has been half buried in the yard for a very long time. i think i'm going to add a robot to it. most things seem to be improved with the addition of a robot. but i will probably paw at this script for a while first. 2012 is going to be busy with these things and we're also announcing a whole mess of tourdates. the ground is slimy with rain and leaves butthe sky just turned really pretty

december 17 last night i dreamt you were a flight attendant

december 12 "graphic blandishment" was how animators were credited in the old peanuts cartoons but today sounds like a reason a movie would be rated r

december 9 hello sf airport there is a girl sitting next to me who has a really cute cough, it is sort of like, snarf snarf in a high pitch

december 6 Aware he was dying, Thoreau's last words were, "Now comes good sailing," followed by two lone words: "moose" and "Indian."

sf, denver
december 4 ""your xmas present will be the *thought* that i might remember your birthday"
reached the bay area, driving too fast in a weird rented cube with four more shows down: SB and LA, thank you, somehow we did it, three q+a's in one night, sold out screenings and a lot of complimentary mr pibb, a strange hotel room with a silver bean bag chair and view of palm trees and purple buildings. i actually forgot to pack my toothbrush. for the teeth in my mouth. the other teeth i have a separate brush for. san francisco you're next

december 1 i hope you don't mind, i am doing a crossword puzzle on your book

november 20 the first three shows are checked off the list and the movie is out of the oven and floating around the lower atmosphere in a fancy little suit. i added one last-minute short to the program lineup the night before the first screening here and i think that was a good move. the two austin shows sold out in advance faster than anything i've been involved with and you will be pleased to learn that the majority of my q+a's no longer consist of glares, gardening tips, and long, slow groans. west coast you are next week, briefly, and then a whole bunch of stuff is being cobbled together for the first few months of the new year. i am going to paint some rooms around here. we resawed a hole in the house a few weeks ago to get the 2nd giant acme camera inside. the cameras look handsome standing together and i've given them horse's names. here is austin and houston:
don hertzfeldt

november 14
austin, i have no idea if the lineup of films i've selected for the show this week is actually going to work in a satisying way. you are my guinea pigs. horrified, screaming guinea pigs. november 10
it's still hard for me to believe fewer than ten people have seen "it's such a beautiful day" yet, i am clawing around the walls waiting to show this to you. a secret screening was held in montreal earlier this week for a few film festival staffers at the sommets du cinema d'animation de montreal (dec 3+4):
"After the 23 minutes, when the lights turned on, I heard that the four of us were all crying quietly, and nobody said a single word. I don't know if you realize what you "did" - how big (?) is "this" - how far you make us go during these 23 minutes. My English being very poor, all this sounds quite stupid and empty for sure, but I just wanted to tell you that after the screening, I thought :
1. If there is one human being like this on Earth, it's ok. Then, it's ok.
2. I would like you not to burn or explode as they all do one day or another (the unique artists like you).
Thank you for everthing, merci pour tout."

whew... thank you marie-pierre and marco! tomorrow night a screening at the bradford animation festival in the uk. next week usa premiere shows in austin and houston, and beyond. hello, hello hello i'll see you soon

november 7 getting tired of doing interviews and will now answer every question with, SNAKES.
"As an artist, what would you like your audiences to take away from your films?" SNAKES.

november 3 the wind keeps knocking over my plant. it is winter now

november 2 if the guy behind the car rental counter is wearing a white shirt, there will always be a little brown stain somewhere on it. look closely

october 29 the new movie is finished: signed off on the first release print a couple of nights ago after a long week of color work while living in the most murdery motel in glendale. tonight is santa barbara, tomorrow moving the big camera out of the studio and trucking it to austin. i was thinking of donating it to a school or something but since this other camera did not perform so dependably and i still have no eyepiece, i really need it with me now in texas. i shot "rejected" in the santa barbara studio in 1999 and everything else since, all the way through a good 90% of "it's such a beautiful day. the movie is finished + it's the end of an era...

october 24
subliminal arrows woven into the pattern of the airport carpet, to suggest movement. my flight smelled like ham

october 22
tonight i am declaring the soundtrack officially finished. almost four months to record, edit, and mix. off to the dolby lab tomorrow. collapse onto floor. i hear this soundtrack in my sleep and my soul is empty. the cat here likes to sit in boxes. also i have thought of some more album titles for you:
- let's go get haircuts!
- loud, gay chirping
- space groan
- i'm dancing in yellow
- everything is rubbable
- slithering to the lake
- i'm thinking tacos
- all animals can scream

this makes me happy. when i am 52 and sad in bed, please wheel a little tv into the room on a cart playing this, saying, "dooooon...."

october 7 the sky looks fake tonight and there are geckos all over the house and the wind keeps knocking over my plant. we have been beaten over the head with repeated little technical problems on "beautiful day" for the last three weeks.... time lost to lab errors, unexpected busywork, nonsense. the film is in no danger but i can't remember the last movie where in every department something seemed to be going wrong, all the time. most of it is out of my hands now except for the soundtrack which i am hoping not to go and ruin at the last minute. barreling very quickly towards the premiere date in mid-november. but i think we'll get there

october 4
this headline was on my news page today:

handicapped puppy melts
hearts on the today show

october 3
" Greetings for the day & Enjoy your good health!
We are the manufacturer of Toys In China.We mainly produce plush/staff and holiday toys like Christmas hat.
We also can be made customized according to your need.
Let me know any question."

jaundice sounds like a girl's name
sept29 you know how in the dark crystal those machines suck the souls right out of the faces of the little pod people? that was actually protools. they were just working on their soundtrack for the third month. when i close my eyes all i see are wavelengths. it's finally raining tonight but i feel like angry chewed gum. but in happy news we should have a few opening tour dates to announce soon

sept 14
k needed help thinking of a slang compliment for "nice legs." i came up with:
meat columns
torso danglers
lower arms
i think i am fired from helping any more

sept 12 just locked picture on "it's such a beautiful day," i think. final running time about 23 minutes exactly, longest movie to date
sept 11 3:53am
i've just synched the last note of music to the last frame of the movie.... better late than never.... things are rattling in ways i wasn't expecting but i can make it work and i think we'll have a locked picture soon [famous last words]

this just in from the grocery store: a gentleman purchasing a six pack of clamato to the tune of "we built this city on rock and roll"
september 4 i think we might be ready to sneak the movie out to a few theaters somewhere in november. i am finally running out of stuff to fix in this sound mix. if the new footage comes out right, i think one more round of editing and we'll have a final cut. so i am painting the kitchen. i also bought a new thing to put some things in and now the living room looks better. today i met some dogs
hey look some pictures from "it's such a beautiful day" are over here look do you see?
august 28 2011
roll 16 is through the camera and in the fridge, i can't believe i've gotten up to 16 now, much of it being re-re-re-shoots, and i will dive deep back into work on the sound mix tomorrow, and i am adding this extra final thought so that i can find a way to fit yet another comma into this sentence, and, well, maybe three more. late at night the cats hop the fence to watch us swim and now it's become sort of a clockwork routine for them

august 24 film history: turns out that "leave the shutter open" option on the animation motor is a relic from the days of rotoscoping.... you'd flip that switch if you wanted to use the camera as a projector and load it with live action footage that you'd project down to the table for tracing one frame at a time. thus, you'd need to leave the shutter open after every advance. i noticed the other camera i have here has the same little archaic switch on it too, only this one's got a massive piece of very old red tape glued angrily across it, keeping it from ever being set to the "open" position. it seems this has beleaguered many a cameraman in the past. tonight the grocery store smelled like soapy pee and there are baby geckoes all over the house. wait that's not how you spell geckos
august 20 something of a disaster today.... it turns out the four rolls of footage i'd shot since may are all unuseable... the camera here in austin has been weirdly leaving the shutter wide open after every frame of animation was shot, thus capturing my hands moving the artwork in and out of position throughout every scene in a mess of overexposed blurs and blazing horror. i admit it looks experimental and very pretty, but it will give everyone seizures and the sudden appearance of giant hands will probably change the story in a negative way. so remember that simpsons halloween episode where homer keeps getting attacked by a cursed krusty doll? and finally they find a hidden "good/evil" switch on the back of the doll, and someone says, "well here's your problem, somebody had this doll set to evil." i've learned the camera has its own evil switch i wasn't aware of, an inexplicable stop-open switch that's been unknowingly set to leave the shutter hanging open through the last several hundred feet of animation. and i'm still trying to wrap my head around why on earth anyone would actually want to design such a thing for an animation motor that would, by design, ruin any frame-by-frame photography.... burbank, what have you done?
even though most of the ruined footage were reshoots that we could carry on without, it also contained the very last 30 seconds of the movie, which i didn't otherwise have coverage on. so the soundtrack's just about finished, all the other footage is there in the movie, we are just missing that last 3% of it... and though it is tempting to simply end the movie on "scene missing" cards, i will now shoot more camera tests, confirm that the evil switch is now properly set to good, and power through these reshoots. again. more. shooting. this will probably delay the movie being finished by a couple of weeks, but in turn that will probably delay the actual release of the movie by about a month

august 19 a week ago i dreamt i died in a plane crash. in spirit form, i could still contact people by sending thoughts directly into their heads... but they all assumed they were simply wishing i were still around, and dismissed my telegraphed messages as their own sad imaginations
august 16 i just accidentally texted someone, GET IP GAAG. i guess i'm just not going to explain it and see what happens
august 15 red ants have taken over a bedroom window and seem to be building something out of mud. tonight a car drove into a house and i stubbed my toe on the uneven sidewalk and we swam under a full moon
august 7
the cicadas in the trees rattle at all hours, the days are reaching 106 degrees, and the cat here can fluently pronounce the consonants "R" and "W."
i am getting mighty tired of listening to this soundtrack every day. there are few creative things left to do in there now and it's getting down to all the technical boredom, re-recording, polish, polish, polish, please don't put the headphones back on me. there are also reshoots and new takes left to edit in, about 800 feet of footage that i still haven't seen. all downhill to the finish line, but i've grown so mind-melded with the movie it's hard to believe there will one day be an end
there were a lot of cops out tonight and people yelling at children in the grocery store. the quote of the week was, "now your floors will never be moist." here is an unrelated picture that karinne took

" with little plumes of cigarette ash dancing off your black wings"
july 18 sometimes i mix up the word sparse with parsley and end up thinking things like, "income this month has been sort of sparsely."

july 17 i have about five minutes of film left to narrate and edit and will then have finished a rough draft of the soundtrack from beginning to end. it seems i am adding and discovering much more new music to include here and there + possibly skipping a lot of the music i had originally planned (as well as written), which gives me the strange dilemma of my long-ago-shot page of music credits being completely wrong and incomplete at the end of the movie. it is annoying and expensive to have to go in to reshoot a single page of credits, but if that's the most annoying problem i have right now i guess things must be going pretty ok

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