Match Frame

Thoughts from an American editor and filmmaker in New Zealand about film and video production and post-production. Plus whatever else I feel like talking about.

Location: Balmoral, Auckland, New Zealand

A work in progress.

Monday, September 17, 2007


from xkcd, my discovery of the morning:

Sunday, September 16, 2007

welcome to paradise!

Where the streets are safe and the speech is free!

Oh, wait.

The former story speaks for itself, I suppose, other than to say Remuera and Herne Bay are relatively nice areas - this is roughly equivalent to the story taking place in Hillsboro or West Bloomfield, for Portlanders or Detroiters.

As to the latter: while the idea of the American system, where a parent can take her four-year old to see HOSTEL: PART II bothers me, the Kiwi system where a film can't even be released, even if it's age-restricted to those over the age of 18 (and a test screening shows the majority are in favor of it being released), is even more disturbing.

And this is someone who is basically against the HOSTEL movies and thinks that, all things considered, the world would be better if they hadn't been made. (To be fair, this is completely uninformed as I haven't seen them; however, everything I've read about them persuades me that it's cheap provocative bullshit designed to pander to those who get off on massive brutality. And I say this as someone who actually mostly liked Eli Roth's first film, CABIN FEVER.)

But I am basically pro-free speech, and there's no guarantee the next banned film won't be something that I do value.

quote of the day

from an interview with filmmaker Craig Zobel by Steve Erickson:

Do you have any advice for beginning filmmakers?
Battle your impatience. There's a saying that a movie can be high-quality, inexpensive or fast, and you can only get two of those at the expense of the third. The only one you can sacrifice is speed. If you're on a low budget, take your time and plan everything. Time is the only thing working in your favor. It took three years to get this movie made — which is not as long as some people. It was shot in the summer of 2005. I had written the first draft of the script in 2001, started casting in November 2004 and by the time we were shooting I had shot lists of everything. We were sometimes trying to do nine pages a day. We had diagrams of what we were going to shoot next. Everyone had to be on the same page or we weren't going to be able to get it done. I've seen movies that are good but flawed in ways that come out of the attitude that velocity is more important than planning.

I'm a little wary of the filmmaking of Great World of Sound simply in terms of taking advantage of the unaware, but I'm still quite curious to give it a look.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

less talk, more pictures

I decided I should finally design a business card.

Armed with my purchase at Borders (Design Elements: A Graphic Style Manual, by Timothy Samara) and possibly more enthusiasm than taste, I have come up with five designs:

Any preferences? Thoughts? Cautionary tales about what business card printing is apt to do?

Friday, September 14, 2007

getting things off chest

A whole lot has happened in the last little bit. Some of which I don't feel like talking about here. But anyway.

* I'm going back to America over Xmas. My plan is, roughly:
Dec 11-19 - Portlandia
Dec 19-20 - Denver
Dec 20-Jan 3 - Detroit area (with a 2-day trip to Chicago/South Bend in there)
Jan 3-10 - LA
Jan 10-15 - "The Bay Area" (I always say San Francisco here, but I'm rarely actually ever IN San Francisco.)
Jan 15 - back to New Zealand

I've only bought the ticket over and the Jan 3 ticket, need to buy the rest shortly. Agonizing slightly still over the Mike Gunn reunion in Houston Dec 16th plus my
general desire for more Texasness (friends food fun), but it's a bad time of year to drop in on long-lost friends unexpectedly and will add, I imagine, roughly $1000 and/or $1000 worth of inconvenience on other people to the cost of the trip, which is already stupidly expensive. Plus it would mean cutting Portland absurdly short.

* I'm starting a job on Tuesday, cutting the Cocktail World Cup for a production company I've never worked for, Two Heads. Looking forward to it. It will keep me busy until roughly when I fly to America.

* As an aside - my half-assed job-hunting recipe was a small batch of sending a few emails and a much bigger helping of sitting around and waiting til somebody called, dashed with a soupcon of complaining to editor friends that I'm unemployed. It took two months for this to yield results (via a contact I hadn't spoken to in eight months) that were more than a day or two's work here or there; ironically, in the two-three weeks since I got the job, I've had six (SIX) unsolicited job offers of varying duration projects. (Thankfully, one of those yielded a long-term job for another friend.)

Possible lessons here:
1) Try harder.
2) Spend August and early September outside the country because there's no work and it's dank here.

* Truth is, though, a huge chunk of the reason for that lazy job approach was that I've only really gotten better in the last week from my sickness - I had some kind of virus, so the doctor claims, and then I had post-viral rhinitis, which lingered for several weeks of coughing so hard I couldn't sleep, etc. Thankfully, that's finally done. Another good reason to have left the country?

* My long-gestating animation project is getting much, much closer to fruition. I also am almost done editing a final sketch for Galadina for the year. There are a number of other projects in the works. A feature screenplay that needs a re-write, now that I've finally got my head around the various notes from various people and how to change it and keep the soul of it. Another one - my ultimate lo-budget idea - that needs a write, if I can get the confidence that I can write it in such a way that the lead won't be so unlikable as to make everybody turn it off. (I just borrowed Adaptation from my friend Al yesterday for a re-watch, to see how it addresses that topic.) A third that may be a collaboration with another writer/director - it's his idea but he wants a writing partner, and I really like his short film, and it would be interesting to do a horror film (which is what he wants to do). And a fourth (a supernatural tragedy) I've written an outline for. Countless shorts in various stages of writing/pre-production. There are always projects. I thought about doing a status update each month in this blog, but it would force me to admit that I have an entirely untenable number of ideas, and I come up with them quicker than I discharge them. This is problematic.

And, of course, this is only the "filmmaking project" aspect - there's music (get one-man bandness going, write album, get drums, join band, change world); there's writing (ongoing for Nonalignment Pact, perhaps look for leads for technical film writing as a good supplemental income, perhaps look for leads for film reviewing for good way to get passes to film festivals, short stories); there's travel; there's cooking, reading, still photography, scuba diving, acting, learning languages, learning graphic design, spiritual practice, exercise, aikido, fencing, building friendships, finding that woman who would like to spend their life with somebody scatterbrained enough to have all of the above interests, finding a place that's not a transient rental but truly a home, and just basically living.

(Note: I have not actually done all of the above. This is part of the problem.)

* Semi-apropos - the one quote I have above my desk is this:

Each day your life grows a day shorter. Make every move count. All that matters is accomplishing what you envision with the greatest dispatch.

Once you do, that aspect of your interest is discharged, and you can then go on to some new interest.

If you do not engage in this ongoing process of action, you will never satisfy all the various aspects of the soul, and realization will never fully mature for you.

This is Emerson, and what I realize is now problematic is that I'm not sure that aspects of my interest are ever "discharged" - rather, they tend to grow.

* I turn 34 soon. Next Saturday, cocktails at my place. (Although I'm pretty confident nobody in the same hemisphere as I is actually reading this, or apt to take action on it if they do.) It's two days before my actual birthday (the 24th), but Monday's aren't great days for parties.

* The other week, I discovered a video featuring a dead friend of mine, Dwain Weston. He worked at Boom Vang, and seemed like - well, definitely not a normal guy, but it took a while for us to figure out that he had a second life as a BASE jumper, and one of legendary proportions.

Unfortunately, it's an incredibly dangerous proposition, and in the fall of 2003, he died attempting to execute a complicated stunt. The video below, which I stumbled upon while wondering what had happened (the initial news from the event was confused and contradictory) talks a bit about who he was and how he has inspired people).

Since finding this, a high-school friend who I'd long lost touch with has passed away, and a friend of my flat-mate, also around the same age, has died under very different circumstances. (Not my place to discuss publicly, I don't think.) Another friend had unexpected emergency surgery, which thankfully he's rebounded rather quickly from.

This is, as you might expect, a bit to absorb, and I have not much to say about it, other than being incredibly sorry for and sympathetic towards those people whose lives have been ripped apart by these events.

* I have been ruminating quite a lot, what with the lull between jobs and avoidance of my own projects and what-not, about the nature of story-telling in our lives. I have pages and pages of cryptic notes, but they roughly boil down to:

1) Humans have a compulsive need to make stories out of their lives and other people's lives.
2) This is, while understandable, a bad thing - it limits one's self to the experience of the story rather than the experience of the humanity.
3) Figuring out a way to get people out of this headspace would be, conversely, a good thing, and a reasonably satisfying thing to have accomplished with one's life.

I fully expect to expound more on this point eventually, although in what format I have no idea.

* I have finally taken steps to shut down Ertia Creations. It will be off the web at the end of the month, and any email addresses for me that end with "" will no longer work. Digesting what the Ertia experience was (and wasn't) and met could probably be a huge blog post in itself.

This is not close to everything, as there are various things that I think are probably not appropriate to share publicly. But it is something.

I think, now, I will go to Miranda Hot Springs for the day, and take advantage of being in New Zealand, something I do far too infrequently. I went to Whatipu on Monday, apropos of nothing other than a need to get away, and it turned out to be an incredible experience. Anyone who comes to visit, make sure I drag you there.

Take care. Hug someone if you can. Be glad to be alive.