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I have recently been having anxiety dreams about family and finances. This has likely been compounded by my current single angsting as well.

Which brings me to an interesting conversation I had with Margie on Saturday. We were talking about socialising and how difficult it can be to motivate yourself.

I am finding that I’m reaching a point where I just can’t take up the chase anymore. I just feel exhausted even thinking about it. Which is a bit of a shame, as I’m kind of giving up before I even start.

Hopefully this is a temporary malaise. Admittedly I’m finding that I’m not so sad about being single – I do like the freedom – but I wonder if I’ll feel the same when I’m heading into retirement?

Conan

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The scan was an interesting experience yesterday. I went in and initially just had to lie down while being put through the machine.

Then the radiologist advised that I was going to need a contrast injection to help them see how everything was working. At this point a very pleasant woman came up gave me some small talk and injected a needle into my arm while the radiologist wheeled out a weird contraption that they hooked up to the needle.

At this point the machine started pumping in a solution that caused this strange sensation – I’m pretty conscious of the workings of my body, and the woman advised me that I could experience a hot flush all over my body or a metallic tang in my mouth and nostrils, or even feel that I was urinating when I wasn’t.

I didn’t get any of those. I felt the solution moving through my bloodstream. It was a weird sensation like swigging black sambuca into my heart. Once it reached there, I felt it spread out to my hands and feet – not hot or cold, but a kind of rush of pins through the veins.

It was kind of cool.

Results are still to come in.

In other events, I completed playing [PROTOTYPE] last night. It is a remarkably addictive game, with insane parkour free-running and crazy epic scale battles between infected monsters and US Marines in the middle of Manhattan.

Not as polished as inFamous, but still a lot of fun. I will write more on it later!

Conan

Today I am off work to get a CT scan – nothing major, just possible kidney stones. But what a day to have off!

iPhone OS 3.0 has been released today! The thing is that Apple seem to have underestimated the volume of people who chose to download it.

The server that authenticates the dowloads keeps getting overloaded, meaning it can take several attempts to update your phone before the update actually activates.

But it certainly is worth it. The update doesn’t do too much that is obviously major – rather it subtley improves on the existing workflow. Which isn’t a bad thing, as the iPhone workflow is remarkably user friendly and intuitive.

What has been added is great! Voice memos are great, with an impressive quality of sound. Copying and pasting os another great addition, with a nice select system that allows you to select words with one digit as opposed to needing both thumbs.

I’m yet to test MMS, but I suspect it will also provide great services.

All in all, I like the improved usability provided.

On the matter of iPhones, I have been looking at plans for data usage. I have now confirmed that my monthly usage will likely be in the 250MB range quite comfortably. What is interesting is that vodafone’s iPhone bundle is ultimately calculating out to be a rip-off.

Even with financing, buying an iPhone outright and connecting to Telecom’s XT network is shaping up to potentially save me the equivalent of $80 a month!

See, I do a lot if txting and so the $40 a month VF plan is too small. However, the $60 a month plan only provides 200 txts a month and additional minutes beyond 60 @ 79 c or so.

If I choose an XT plan, I simply build a plan to suit my usage. For $60 I can get 50 mins, 600 txts and 240 Mbs with additional mins costing me 59c.

Now 400 txts sound like a measely exchange for the lost 10mins and 10 MB that I’d have on VF. Until you do the maths.

400 extra txts on the VF account is equal to $80.

10 mins is $5.90 extra on XT. Plus $1 for an extra 10 MB.

Feel free to correct me if my figures are out – I’m typing this while walking, so I am working off memory.

To further compound the disparity. XT offers an open term agreement, which means you can always opt out. VF requires you to be on a 24 mth term. I haven’t seen any t&c that advise an open term if you buy the phone outright.

So it should come as no surprise that I am seriously considering the move – it was the whole reason I chose to go prepay. VF were EXTREMELY rude to me when I started investigating getting an iPhone – from making it sound like I was not the ideal customer for their system to expecting me to legally bond myself to overpriced plans if they deemed me worthy of an account.

Conversely, Telecom has been naturally eager to get people on board and were pleasant, understanding of my needs and queries. So there is a bit of bias on my part. VF fear competition, but rather than improve customer service and offer competitive plans, they seem more interested in legally binding customers to stay with them.

Goodbye vodafone. 🙂

Well back to playing with my new iPhone OS. 🙂

Conan

One of the things about creative endeavours is that you often unlock a flood of ideas as you continue to write. With the development of SiS I have found myself developing several other future productions as well.

One such concept is moving to the forefront of my mind – a kind of Charlie’s Angels for the new millennium. It’s a concept I’d probably need proper backing and resources to make it work – but the idea seems to have my trademark humour behind it.

I often find inspiration comes to me in the form of trailers. I will see how an ad would promote the show, then I’ll develop the story from there, using the set pieces and imagined dialogue as guidelines as to how the story develops.

This tends to keep me focused on the idea that every scene should potentially have trailer worthy material.

Of course the reality is sometimes a bit different to this. But I have been growing more confident in my ability as a writer – failing to get into the MA for writing at Vic University certainly threw me for a while there.

I’ve realised recently that I’m also becoming more focused on film-making. I want to be working on projects all the time.

What I should do is investigate how to get a proposal to a production company. Naturally there is a risk of me losing control over the project, but then i’d be passing control to people with more experience and developed skill than myself.

That is assuming I can successfully sell a concept in the first place. 🙂

As it is, I have SiS, TWC and TWC2 to keep me preoccupied. 🙂

Conan

The other day I was told of a bit of a horror story involving a film student director. Oddly every industry person I’ve spoken to has shared some similar tale of woe.

In this tale, actors had shown up to the shoot to discover nobody was around. The director rocked up nearly an hour late and proceeded to argue with the crew and generally was rude and defensive. Then about halfway through the scene he spat the dummy and left!

This is not the first time I have heard such tales, and it makes me wonder why it is that film schools tend to attract these prima donnas.

Clearly not all film students are like this, but so many are it raises questions about why these people are looking to make movies.

One of the most important lessons Winding City taught me about crews and cast us that you simply can’t let ego dominate. A film is the product of co-operation. Sure, there maybe one or two people driving things, but they need to be able to work well with others to get results.

I do feel that film-making is like writing- it’s not for fame, but the intent to create. Further to that, you aren’t a success if you get into film school. You are a success when you successfully make a film and the cast and crew want to come back and work with you again.

Film school provides experience, resources and contacts. Yet it sounds as if many students take these advantages for granted.

On the other hand, if you really want to make movies, you don’t need to go to school – you just need to make films.

I can only hope that I never make such a performance on set. For me, a set should be a fun place where people feel appreciated and creative. Here’s hoping that I can keep that atmosphere on my next shoot. 🙂

Conan

I’ve done it! Casting is completed and what talented folk I have in this show. 🙂

I ended up casting myself for the moment as Finn – unfortunately the only actor of the appropriate age just didn’t suit the character.

Still a bit nervous about taking the role, but it should be fun and a good challenge. Now script development begins in earnest.

One of the more difficult aspects of script writing is figuring out what needs to be said or shown. Time is at a premium and sometimes the more natural scenes can run too long.

Currently I am working on a scene set prior to a party that sets up Finn’s motivation to go to the party. However the scene is becoming a bit indulgent with Max, Finn and Ryan’s conversation.

I’m realising that the scene kind of hinges on a simple joke and then just drags on afterwards. There is also a humorous prologue that isn’t feeling funny enough.

So the question I am asking myself is how much of the funny dialogue could just be moved to the party? Much of the exposition could probably be moved to the party sequence.

I want each episode to run 10 mins maximum, so I can’t have too many locations per episode.

Hopefully I can develop this more tonight after Dark Heresy. Anyway, I’m at work now, catch you all later.

Conan

Now that I’ve started entertaining the idea of acting on my next series, I’ve found myself inspired for a variety of interesting storylines.

What strikes me is that I am moving away from Finn as central character and now I’m thinking of exploring Finn and Ryan’s friendship.

Part of this is inspired by an article Angeline sent me that pointed out that the gay best friend has become the new accessory for many female television characters.

So I’m realizing that having a show that looks at two friends – one gay and one straight & male – gives me a lot more scope to play around with.

With this in mind, much of the more complex structure is gone. The series is going to focus on four central characters – Finn, Ryan, Sascha and Debbie.

This could prove to be a lot more interesting for viewers as the show won’t be about just a gay guy, but more on how his issues are no different from his friends.

Even if I end up not casting myself as Finn, I am preferring the direction the show is going. I’ll be casting folk this weekend and sending the cast the first episode.

Of course I’ve already cast Ryan and Sascha, just have to decide the other characters.

Exciting!

Conan

It can tale time to flesh out a creative project, especially when you have to work at “repurposing” the project.

I had intended to complete my rewrites of Setting it Straight by now, however I have been a little blocked for the actual story.

I’m also working on casting. At the moment, shock horror, I’ve been toying with the thought of taking on the main part myself, mostly because I’m yet to find an actor who I feel could provide the right “tone.”

The thing is that I kind of don’t know if I’m as good as I might think I am. I haven’t acted professionally since I was 24 or so. I also tend to think it’s a bit up myself.

I could end up choking big time. 🙂

The other consideration is that it would make directing a challenge. While acting I’d be struggling to keep an eye on everything else in the scenes I’d be in.

I think what I will need to do is run my own audition, and be bluntly honest with myself about my ability. I wonder if I know someone who could be an unbiased party who could give me a second opinion.

Here is hoping I hear back from a couple of the actors who contacted me. 🙂

Conan

Yesterday I bought the Dead Like Me movie. Long time followers of my blogging will no doubt remember that I loved the quirky show about Grim Reapers in Seattle that was cruelly cancelled in its prime.

After several years if hard work, the show’s producers got the funds to make a straight to DVD movie with the hopes that it might go the way of Family Guy and be able to reignite interest in the show.

Unfortunately two of the original cast were not available, and the key creatives behind the sharp scripts and production weren’t either.

Sometimes it is best to know when the odds are against you. Yet this movie was still made. While the original cast do their best with a truly awful script and crap storyline, nothing manages to prevent this from feeling horribly awkward to watch and very weakly directed.

In short…

It’s a shit film.

Arrested Development, on the otherhand is proving to live up to the hype. I missed this show when it aired, but I find it to be incredibly fun to watch.

I’ll talk more on it after I gave finished watching season one.

Still kind of in a relationship malaise at the moment. I wonder if all these games and DVDs I’m getting is symptomatic of my feeling a tad empty? Or maybe I’m just a big old consumer. 🙂

See you all later! Have a great day!

Conan

Today I am taking annual leave as I have a specialist’s appointment tomorrow in relation to the strange pain I got a month or two ago.

Last night Nick and I watched The Grudge 2 – Japanese version – and spent a good part of the evening scaring ourselves silly. The director of The Grudge really knows how to wind his audience up.

I do feel that the best horror builds on your fears by faking you out. The Grudge franchise is all about the fake out. It is a sign on the director’s skill that even knowing what’s coming doesn’t protect you from being freaked out by creepy reflections and cruel misdirection.

In other news, just as I was planning to shelve Setting it Straight, another actor contacted me regarding the show. I’m still fleshing out the changes – but it looks to me that everything will still be go.

I’ve been having a bit of an inner struggle recently regarding dating. Some of you may be aware that my last date was nearly a year ago. I seem to suffer from perpetual fussiness and a but of low self-esteem lately.

Not super depressed, just not feeling that I’d be that attractive to the kind of guys I’m attracted to. Le sigh.

Last night kind of brought these feelings up again, because as much as I do love Nick’s company, sometimes you need more than a mate to shoot the shit with. Would have been nice to have someone to snuggle up with while watching a great horror movie. 🙂

I think part of SiS is my way of showing what it’s like to be gay and single in your early to mid thirties. Lots of guys my age either want younger bfs or want to just settle for whatever they can get.

Love seems to be not based on the person, but the exterior or physical need.

Maybe I am over thinking it all. Wouldn’t be the first time. 🙂

I have to admit, walking in from home everyday is helping. I feel fitter, and I am losing weight, which is good. Not quite ready to return to the gym, but making baby steps to get there. 🙂

Anyway, I’m in town now- catch you all later.

Conan

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