Seeking Resurrection – Song #82 of #365songs – A Musical Memoir

I tried watching The Leftovers on HBO when it first came out. Didn’t really grab me, and left it after a few episodes. I keep reading, however, about how amazing the third and final season was, on a lot of levels. So, I started again, with episode 1 of season 3. And HOLY SMOKES, no pun intended, it’s great. So far it is beautifully written, acted and shot. Really liking it, and it’s right up my alley. Dark, intense, but funny and real. They are taking chances that would (and did) lead many to accuse the show of being pretentious. I can see that, and also firmly believe that if you’re not willing to risk being seen as pretentious (often a code word for ‘ambitious’) then you risk creating things of little consequence. Which is fine, but the world is already jam-packed full of the mediocre and inconsequential. Why add one more piece of thoughtless crap to throw on the trash heap of culture. The effort to NOT do that is worth it. As my pal Krishna once said to Arjuna during happy hour: “We have a right to our labor, but not to the fruits of our labor.” The process is its own reward. The only real reward.

 

 

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Nowhere to Go – Song #57 of #365songs – A Musical Memoir

Half a tank of gas and nowhere to go.

Nothing but wrong turns out here.

Crashing Plains from the Kamikaze Gospel release.

Always a fun one to play live.

 

 

State of Mind –  Song #51 of #365songs – A Musical Memoir

Another one from the sampler sessions.

I forgot about this song and this recording. This was on a CD-R with no cover or notes mixed in within bunch of CDs I was putting in a box today as I was cleaning house. I haven’t played in a band in such a long time, sometimes I forget that I can do more on the guitar than streamy strum strum. I kinda like the simple double lead guitar solo.

 

13 Years in A Broken Down Rocket Ship –  Song #29 of #365songs – A Musical Memoir

This is an oddball song for a few reasons. For one, it doesn’t fit neatly into any of the categories/eras of songwriting I sort of put every song in…it’s not a Matt and Bill song, wasn’t a Crashing Plains song – I wrote it in the middle of sort of a musical desert when I was writing a fair amount but wasn’t really recording or finishing much. This one I decided to finish a recording of, and sent the drum and guitar track to Jason Bays, who recorded a bass track and I plopped it in. I wrote this, specifically, for a TV series proposal I was writing, about a space ship that the captain knew was going to crash, and all 10 episodes happen that 24 hours while he prepares himself and – eventually – the crew for the inevitable.

Another odd note is despite my lifelong obsession with 60’s pop, I think this is the only song I ever played an electric 12 string guitar on. (Could be wrong about that, but I think so).

And I like the sheet of noise guitar solo (as opposed to a wall of sound).

Hanging around at the airport

Waiting on my flight back to PDX. 4 days in Santa Monica (with a brief foray into Hollywood). I’ve not attended the American Film Market before, never felt the need to, but thought I’d give it a whirl this year. It seemed to me that Lower Boom had a few projects that might make it worth subjecting myself to the cold calls, cold meetings, and uncomfortable (for me) networking. I opted to not get too worked up about number of meetings scheduled, especially since I was not there pitching a completed feature film, which is the majority of the action here. What Lower Boom DOES have is a really diverse set of projects, and by diverse I mean in multiple senses of the word. Women-created projects, women-driven narratives, diverse characters in the narratives – and platform diversity as well. I came down prepared to talk about an episodic documentary, an episodic narrative about Portland, a video game and VR experience, and the Lower Boom Discovery app.

I didn’t get a lot of meetings, despite considerable elbow grease applied, and I avoided most of the networking events. I felt like saving my energy for the meetings I did get, and using the remaining time to write, reflect and work.

And turns out the meetings I did get were 100% worth it – fun, friendly, informative. I am glad I didn’t come down here with a do or die attitude, make or break etc. There’s a time and place for that, this didn’t seem like the time or place to run around sweaty and desperate. I’ve plenty of other opportunities for sweaty and desperate, believe me!

I was able to meet with the CEO of one of the top doc companies on the planet, with multiple Academy awards noms and wins to their name, about our Jump the Fence project, and it really couldn’t have gone better. We shall see, of course. When by the end of a meeting that goes twice as long as planned you’re talking about mutual love of David Bowie, Barcelona, the Ramones etc., it’s probably a good sign. My goal was to get meeting #2 with someone I really wanted to work with, so mission accomplished. I also met with a company who I wasn’t really sure was a great fit in terms of our projects and their focus – but I really liked the attitude they showed off on their website. They seemed like kindred spirits, perhaps, attitude-wise.

And that turned out to be accurate! A really fun meeting, and though she correctly saw that our projects weren’t necessarily a good fit with her company’s vision, she got on the phone, and connected me with other folks she knew who she thought might go for the projects, and then asked if I had any features in development. I hadn’t planned on pitching any features, but decided to pitch her the feature script MUSCLE CARS. And she loved it, and requested the script and pitch package. She called her next meeting and bumped them, and we spent over an hour talking projects.

Who knows! Lower Boom is a boot-strapped start up, so coming to the American Film Market was a gamble in terms of potential ROI – it wasn’t cheap, and neither is staying in Santa Monica, and of course the expense account comes right outta my wallet.

That said, I head back home to Portland knowing that both our projects and our presentations were worthy of the time, energy and money spent. Maybe nothing comes of this trip other than that knowledge.

For right now, that’s good enough for me.

Lower Boom current projects

54 days until #AFM2017!

It’s pretty helpful to have such a focused goal…going to the American Film Market in November. It’s making Lower Boom set priorities on projects, and put a few things on the back burner so that other projects can get our full attention.

For instance!

We’re currently editing the first episode of Jump the Fence: Around the World in 7 Days. We shot for almost a month in Brazil, and are excited to craft that edit into Episode to show off at AFM. We’ve been fortunate to already have gotten some nice press…this article appeared on the Resource magazine website…it’s a great interview with the stars of Jump the Fence, and a great overview of the project:

http://resourcemagonline.com/2017/08/around-the-world-in-seven-films-an-international-tour-of-indie-filmmaking/80388/

CPR – my new directing gig

Shooting a short film in October…my good friend, the insanely talented Kimberly Warner has written a very interesting treatment…no dialog…and has asked me to direct/produce. We are waiting to hear if we can use Kickstarter to raise some funds…we have a small budget to start with, hoping to augment…

Here is our tumblr…CPR...with some stills from a test shoot, and some footage I shot as we shot…I edited into a short little tease. It will be a beautiful thing!

Here’s some stills I shot during test shoot….