"" bshawise: December 2008

Sunday, December 28, 2008

BESTOV '08: SNL episode

In my opinion, the best episode this year was the one with Josh Brolin. It had numerous quality sketches. Marky Mark made an appearance. The best sketch was the very last one about Fall Foliage. Unfortunately, no one else agrees with me. You can't even find its transcript online. This pains me because I thought it was genius. Buttery oranges, crimson browns. Please tell me that one of you also appreciated this brilliant sketch. Anyone? Anyone? So, because I can't share its buttery goldness with you I'll have to settle with giving you the runner-up.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Home Is Where The Scotch Is

Leah and I spent about seven hours in the car today. We woke up in Fremont, Ohio, ate some cereal and drove to Youngstown, Ohio where we ate some pasta made by some 80 year old lady they call Grandma and after that we drove home to Cincinnati. Christmas is bananas. Sing that song, Bing.

So after a wild day I'm sitting here watching college football, drinking a single malt scotch out of a customized glass inscribed with my yet-to-become-mainstream nickname, "Hurricane" (both gifts from lil' Brenty) while Leah puts together her new ultra-violet indoor herb garden (gift from her bro Justin). The smoky-sweet, golden juice is melting away the stress of crisscrossing the heartland to bask in extended-family Christmas cheer.

I can think of a few things to write about. Lots of different emotions this Christmas. For whatever reason I choose to comment on an email I just received. My friend Baranabas (Mr. Bee) from Jos, Nigeria just signed up for Facebook. He wants me to be his online "friend." I've long been a Facebook skeptic. I'm not a hater. I just don't really get it. Real life friends make fun of me for being the only one not a part of the online friend book. That fuels my holdout. But when Mr. Bee signed up I was intrigued. I thought about how cool it would be to keep in touch and see photos of him, the Ultimate, Smally, Rogers and Aliyu (our drill crew) changing entire villages in Jos. So who knows if I'll join the dark side. The irrational rebel in me has a pretty strong hold on my life. But this is definitely the first time the Book of Face has made any kind of sense to me.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Break

Happy Christmas Eve, party people. Leah and I just exchanged gifts and are heading home for a nice break and to see our families. Among various candies and nuts she gave me a Sake set. I don't really enjoy the taste of the rice booze. But I LOVE the process of pouring it out of a little jug into a tiny glass.

The {re}gifter finished its run. What a strange feeling. I hope to have the opportunity to shoot the stage portions on video and have a finished product on DVD. If you're rich and want to bankroll that endeavor please send me a messenger pigeon. One of the better stories I heard is of this seven year old boy who leaned over to his grandma at the end and said, "I think I'm going to cry." And then they both did. It was fun to see how much kids enjoyed the show. This has much to do with how great Banjo Boyd was as the lead. He said a thousand words with his non-verbal work. Every time the music came on people sat up in their seats anticipating what he was going to do. Christopher Day was as funny as I thought he would be. Actually, he was funnier. He stole the show. I have a feeling this is the beginning of quite a ride for young Stopher. Sean Murphy's dramatic work made the show. I told him before we shot his fight scene that it was the key to the entire show. No pressure. Man, did he deliver. Authentic with just the right amount of subtlety. Jes Brookes brought a lot of depth to her character of Paige that wasn't there in the script. And the kids were fantastic. I heard many people say their favorite scene was the kids' interaction with Sam at the dumpster.

All in all it's a bittersweet end. Frankly, I'm not quite ready to process it all. I just want to reflect and hear others' reflections on what they enjoyed about each of the characters and scenes. Selfish? Perhaps. But to move on and finish with the processing means that it's really over. That can happen in 2009.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Bon Voyage

Well, we set sail on our three day voyage last night. Regretfully, I didn't smash any champagne bottles anywhwere. Can you do that mid voyage? Does that bring scurvy/ bad luck? Anywho, opening night was a success. I have so many thoughts and emotions (the manly kind, of course) right now that it's hard to decide what to reflect on. So many stories have emerged from all the volunteers gathering together to tell the one story of the {re}gifter. I hope to log them all in some fashion some day. I think the feeling for most of the cast and crew is that the actual performances are simply the icing, the cherry on top. The real fun was the work leading up to it. I really feel like for the most part I was able to enjoy that work in the moment this year. I didn't want it to hurry up and end so we could get to this point. But it does make me think about how often we set our sights on the story's conclusion and miss out on all the tiny stories that emerge along the way. I know Hallmark makes cards with that general message. But those are my thoughts this morning. It's all about the tiny stories.

One of those stories is about Stephanie. She made this junk shadow of the Cincinnati skyline a month ago. When she came to transport it from the warehouse workspace over to its destination she found it destroyed. We're thinking nogoodnik kids. She cried. This project was the first time in a long time that she got to let loose and just create. She had a rough summer and fall. This piece was more than just cans glued together. So, in a matter of a couple nights, Stephanie recreated her skyline and got it set up in time for opening night. The proud glow in her eyes after she finished on Friday night was magical. While I was in the middle of a dress rehearsal where numerous things needed fixed I was able to celebrate with Stephanie.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

BESTOV '08: Toe Tapper

This is my favorite song of 2008. Ben Folds + Regina Spector. It makes me want to write a musical for some reason. I love towards the end where they blur the lines between singing the song and talking to each other. It's the same thing Doogie did in that Dr. Horrible's Sing ALong Blog. There's magic there that I want to explore. Maybe next Christmas.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

BESTOV '08: Biggest Pimp

I don't need to explain this one. It's obvious. He's the James Bond of Muppets. I'd include his acceptance speech for this award but he goes on and on about meatballs and frankly, it's exhausting. Let this picture do the talking.

Monday, December 15, 2008

BESTOV '08: Motion Picture

If you haven't seen WALL-E please grab your coat, keys, wallet and run to an establishment that can trade you a digital video disc for money. This movie absolutely floored me. I think it was a catalyst in writing the {RE}gifter. The end credits alone were worth the $7.50 ticket. Hats off to the wizards at Pixar. They done did it again.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

BESTOV '08: Moment in TV Series

From here until the New Year (or I get bored with it) the majority of my posts will be BESTOV '08 award winners. Certainly there's plenty of things that deserve to get dubbed "The Best of 2008" by me, right? Sure.

So the BESTOV '08: Moment in TV Series goes to.... It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Charlie wrote a musical, the gang starred in it, and this is the final scene, the big finish. It's probably only funny if you watch the show. I, the only judge on the BESTOV judges panel, do in fact watch the show. So I find this moment hilarious. Award winning even. Enjoy.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

San Francisco Treat

This makes me want to move to San Fran.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Gift Idea

If you're out there searching for my Christmas gift look no further....

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Pushing Daisies

So I'm sitting on a frozen bag of corn watching one of the final episodes of Pushing Daisies feeling very sad that such a great show is getting cancelled. I'm mad at ABC for killing such a wonderful show. I'm mad at you for not watching it. I'm actually just sad. It's an amazing show. Original concept, clever writing, beautifully shot, and don't even get me started on the colors. This show alone justifies buying a hi-def television set. It's like a Thanksgiving Day meal + Fryday extravaganza for your eye balls. And stupid ABC is giving up on it.

Now having done a little moving-picture creating I can't imagine what that'd feel like. The whole cast and crew has to be like, what the fudge-cicle? To produce something that is clever, original, artistic, beautiful and funny and then just be done.... something's wrong with that. I feel like a teenager telling my parents it's not fair. If you don't watch this show I expect you to send me a hand written apology. Cause it's your fault.

The bag of corn.... I fell off a 1950s pogo stick at a rehearsal tonight and straight onto a concrete stage. Me bum hurts. What's hilarious is Brianna, the 13 year old actress in the show, told me minutes before I fell off, "to be careful." Afterwards, she reminded me she saw it all coming. Talented and clairvoyant. I should've consulted with her before falling in love with Pushing Daisies. She could've saved me from that pain as well.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Trailer #1

Blog Bragging #2

So there's a member of the crew I haven't bragged on yet. This superstar is far and away the one most responsible for this grueling process going so well. Right now, Joe is thinking this post is going to be about him. It is not. It's about Leah. I've told her all this stuff so I'm not trying to win points with her. I'm just bragging on her.

Weeks like the last one where I'm gone until well after midnight every night effect her as much as they do me. Miss Jackson alerts her when I come home so there's no real sleeping until then. Miss also doesn't listen very well to Leah talking about work, school and Perez Hilton. She mostly just whines until Leah lets her up on the couch. I've been home with just the dog when Leah is traveling and things are just better when Leah and I are both in the same room.

So it would've been very easy for Leah to be less than thrilled with me last week. Instead, she was amazing. She made me delicious lunches for me to take to work every night because I wasn't able to eat dinner with her. She took care of all the stuff that goes into keeping our house clean, paid for, etc. She stayed up and had a glass of wine with me when I finally did get home and listened to me go on and on. She sent me txt messages telling me she loves me. She supported me. And that is essential to my functionality. I cannot feel good about things unless I have her support. I had it this week and it's the main reason it was so rewarding.

Last few words and I'm done...

All week I asked Leah to come on set. I wanted her to see everything. Friday night she came down after her staff Christmas party (that I was unable to attend with her). We were shooting outside and there were huge lights everywhere. The house glowed. We were getting ready to roll when I turned around and saw Leah. She was in her white coat and knee high boots. She was more radiant than the glowing house. A few people came up to me later on (and this always happens) and said, "Your wife is so beautiful." I always respond, "I know. I'm a lucky guy." She is stunning. Both inside and out.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Too Live Crew

Here's a few members of the crew. We are two shoots away from being done. Our average end time this week has been shortly past midnight. I've been shocked and humbled that even at the end of the night everyone is still joking, laughing and having a blast. I've never seen anything like it. I've never worked on anything so rewarding. Meet a few folks I've spent quite a bit of time with lately....

This is Mark, the Director of Photography. When you see our footage you're going to want to french kiss him. He's the hardest working man on set. He never breaks. From the time we get there to when we leave he is on his feet working. Last night I decided a personal mission of mine is to make him famous. He has talent the world needs to see. He makes my scribbled down ideas into reality. A far better looking reality than I imagined.

Matt is on the far right. He's a stand up comedian who makes jokes about Batman and Swedish Fish. He's quiet but dangerously funny. When we're not rolling he's playing iPod games or writing new jokes. To the left of him is Hannah. She's a receptionist for a home health care agency. She also serves at the Cracker Barrel once a month. It's brutal, she says. Every night she drives down from Middletown. Her smile and attitude are contagious on set.

Steve (on right) is the roughest, toughest artist you'll ever meet. He and his wife opened up the doors of their iron shop last night and let us shoot there until the wee small hours of the morning. Not only that, they fed us. There was a dessert table that looked like it straight from Paula Dean. Five kinds of lasagna, salad, like eight focaccia pizzas, drinks, coffee and cappuccino from their tenant Chuck Roast. It was out of this world. Steve is also the master artist for the surprise element of the show. Prepare for your mind to be blown when you see what he's got cooking.

John, master editor for tv during day and at night on set he's a grip, photographer, jib operator, movie quoter and generator of good vibes. He and Isaac can recite every bit of Coming To America.

The other Brad on set. He's home from Chicago for a couple months working on starting a business. He's like having Andy Samberg on set. Crazy hard worker and hilarious. The ultimate win win.

Bekka. My 1st Assistant Director. She has probably put more work into this project than anyone. And that's saying a lot. I would buy her a Rolls Royce if I could. She's the real Boss on set. She can scream at everyone to be quiet on set one second and then the next talk to the kid actors and get exactly what we need from them. It's fun to watch.

The Virgin Mary. Very sweet, very quiet, and extremely plastic.

Alec, another member of the camera team. And another hard worker. He's young but has a ton of experience. Last night at 1am he was still smiling and telling me how much fun he's having. "It's what I do," he said when I thanked him.

On the right is Kyle. When you come to the show and see the shots where the focus changes from the item in the foreground to the item in the background- that's Kyle's doing. It's complicated, skilled work that he's picked up extremely fast. He is the right hand man to Mark (Director of Photography). Great dude.

Isaac, my 2nd Assistant Director. He'll also edit all the footage into movie magic. He does the best impression of an awkward teenager you'll ever see. He's the producer of this venture. Meaning he makes all the gears, wheels, whistles and bells turn and function.

Mark Mills. Call him Millsy. He's an iron worker who luckily (for us) is laid off for a couple more weeks. He's maybe one of the harder workers I've seen. And he has a photographic memory. He always knows where stuff is. I bet he kills at Memory. He's the glue of the entire crew.

The Haymaker. Ed Hatke. He's my boss at VCC. On set he's our sound wizard. The biggest compliment to him is that our stuff sounds as good as it looks. I think he's a shareholder at COSCO. Most nights, the only thing not from the superstore on his person are his tennis shoes.

This is Jenny. She's doing make-up and continuity (making sure things are in the same place in each shot). She's quick with the compliment and willing to help out however she can. At the end of each night we commiserate at our uselessness while the grips and gaffers (know-it-alls) run around packing everything up.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Caption This...

Caption these photos.

My first attempt:
Police said Jonah's Vespa was found unscathed.

My second:
Green-conscious Chinese are asking Eskimos how they typically use spilled whale mess.