Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Early Verdict on 'Susan Hero"

After watching over half of the footage, 20 hours thus far, again after nearly a year -- much of that due to chronic homelessness, in part caused by the unethically pulled HD Cinema 10/rainbow Media deal which SEVERELY destabilized my current revenue structure-- I can honestly conclude thus far that...

...Susan Hero will probably be a cult/midnight movie with decent sell through on DVD and limited art-house theatrical. It will perpetually bring in a modest but steady flow of revenue.

It will play well at edgier "A" level fests, ala Rotterdam, but it's probable that Sundance won't want to take a risk on it seen as they are generally very conservative overall.

It probably won't be hurt by piracy unless it breaks through, in which case our low overhead will probably allowe the picture to recoup itself (and efforts) fairly rapidly.

We'll see though, just an estimate. Could be a piece of sh*t in the end, could have that magic. But DVD will be the main revenue source for the movie, and domestic license fees for fiction features in the US are so pathetic, unless there are huge names attached, that its better to focus on just MAKING IT A GREAT MOVIE.

After all, been making movies since I was 12 years old, and I plan incidentally to put that first movie, "The Hit Man" on the DVD release of Susan Hero!

Fun nontheless, to finally be cutting and logging. Finally getting my hands on it...out here in Kampuchea.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Somehow we're moving again

Too busy (literally back to back blocks of time with no slack) to write in the blog since last time. Rented a deck from a local Khmer production house for $50 precious dollars and tried to load the first reels of footage onto my hard drive, but a mysterious firewire error kept me down. My laptop --old, weathered, creaking -- is starting to go I can feel it.

Anyway, after a marathon 48 hour loading session, I discovered that all the footage would have to be reloaded, and the $50 bucks was gone as well. F*ck.

Thus, after another gruelling week of teaching and hustling to survive, managed to borrow a deck from A local company here, Fit Media, one of the guys who runs the place is also an American...anyway he lent me their deck for the weekend and again, another 48 hour mrathon session...

Still had the firewire bugs but somehow managed to load 225 gigs of material willload the other half in the near future.

Believe the case for the firewire enclosure could be faulty, it certainly heats up more than I am comfortable.

Now, 6AM, heading to my morning class. No time. Little pay.

Did enyone every mention that most filmmakers who "make it", esp doc folks, come from wealthy/patrician families to begin with? It's true, not being cynical, etc, just its objectively true.

(Except that most don't like to mention this, would rather cultivate their "war stories" instead. And how can you have a good war story when, in between your struggles, you're going to the Catskills to relax?)

Anyway, finally started logging takes, and the project moves forward, somehow, once again. No catskills for me though, maybe a day or two in Sinnoukeville...

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

I KILLED HIM WITH MY BARE HANDS!

And then I watched School of Rock, a movie of the ilk that only Hollywood can make best (due to enormous licensing fees for the music--only they can afford Led Zep, etc)

But it's a great movie, f*cking laughed my balls off, and also saw my good pal Mike Fewx in the opening club scene as one of the hipsters. Though we were both hired to do background (be extras) because we're both in SAG (Screen Actors Guild), Mike usually gets placed in the foreground somewhere -- he's in almost every movie that's shot in New York.

So, yesterday, sitting in Mondo Burger, I took out my newly sharpened pencil, ordered a special 'Three Ply Burger" (three layers of meat, but what kind of meat?) and scoped out my potential lesson for the day, which I'd teach to my private student, a cool dude from the Ministry of Finance.

He pays me an unheard of fee which is actually slightly higher than I earned recently in the States. But still, think about this: I have a better quality of life, thus far, in a third world country than I had in the US -- and I'm not an NGO guy!

Anyway, regarding my student, the other day I went to his house to teach him and he invited me first for lunch. We ate small, giddy looking catfish which lay, whiskers and fins trimmed -- upon the plate.

"Beef Soup?"
"Why certainly"

And so we ate, an odd, tinny Cambodian soap on TV.

"The curve of that girls leg reminds me of the girl I brought home from Martini's. Taught, firm. As is the meat of this fish."
I thought, while digging for the last moreseled cake of flesh that lay behind the fish's cheek.

AGAIN, I WILL TELL YOU: I KILLED HIM WITH MY BARE HANDS!

Later that afternoon, as I slunk past the sleeping cyclo drivers, I bought a sliced pineapple for a thousand Riel - 25 cents - and gobbled its juicy flesh down my parched and sticky gullet, cause I cannot just turn on the faucet and get drinkable running water, I have to boil and then chill the water in gruelling, complicated regimens to quench my thirst, the thirst which feeds my myriad pores.

Thus, like my primate friends whose families slink overhead on the powerlines around Phnom Penh to steal the lunches of dozing workmen, I attempt to get my nourishment from the pulp of fruit (and fruit-like vegetables.)

No movies today, more waiting for money to come through; but now just about ready to buy 250 gigs to start digitizing and editing the long awaited cut of Susan Hero--

AND THEN I KILLED HIM WITH MY BARE HANDS!!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

((A Contribution from the Founder of Clone Rights United Front)))

Was working downstairs, tweaking the Camerado website in anticipation of repackaging and reselling some old material [BOOKWARS] while hoping to picth some new doc ideas, including a new one for the Cambodian Circus, when I get a string of messages from Randolfe Wicker, on my MSN Messenger.

Didn't remember at first who he is, but after a while messengered him back and recalled that he's the founder of a group called Clone Rights United Front (see www.clonerights.com), and a big advocate of human cloning...I'd contacted him a while ago regarding Susan Hero, our cloning road movie which deals with cloning issues.

Anyway, Randolfe became our latest Pope of Camerado!! (actually, an Anti-Pope, as per his request) with a much needed cash infusion, sent via PayPal to our camerado@camerado.com address.

++ Are there any other potential Popes out there who can make a contribution at this critical time? If so, visit out page at http://www.camerado.com/popes.html ++

All contributors become an Official Pope of Camerado, which means you get your name listed in the credits of the picture for all posterity.

Go ahead, check out www.camerado.com/popes.html and you'll see it's painless and easy, and it will make a HUGE difference.

Anyway, Randolfe's contribution came at a CRITICAL TIME: I was teetering on the brink of being able to make the first hard drive purchase to keep going with postproduction of Susan Hero here in Cambodia--had to sell off my Mac and other items back home after shooting, due to production costs and the financial woes of the New Mexican economy--and so I have to build a DV editing system from scratch over here.

Giacomo, back in New York, had been editing on his own system, but his firewire bus went bust and besides, it was too difficult to coordinate a long distance cut of the picture from New York to Phnom Penh.

AGAIN: if you can chip in anything, $20 bucks, $50 bucks, whatever you can afford, it'll mean a great deal to the project as we keep clawing forward.

That page again is: http://www.camerado.com/popes.html Go ahead, Randolfe kicked in some ca$h, and so can you. It'd be HUGELY appreciated.

Gotta go now and price hard drives...so much to do now, have to keep up the new found momentum...exhausted from teaching, and from building things up again after living on the edge so long...but have come a long way since sleeping in my car in New Mexico following the financial drain of shooting Susan Hero.

Anyway, there are big cottony clouds are in the sky today in Kampuchea, and dragonflies are playing in the mighty afternoon.

Anyone who wants to come over and visit Phnom Penh for a while can bring their hard drives, I'll cook the rice!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

"Internet. Internet? Yep, yep, yep, yep yep!"

Finally got wired here with my own Internet setup, actually shared through the Adventure Travel company next door, Local Adventures.

Achieving this step is a great leap, roughly similar to the scene in 2001 A Space Oddyssey where the monkey/chimp (actually a dwarf in a rubber suit) discovers "tools" and celebrates by tossing--ecstatically--the thigh bone of a boar into the sky, the same bone he used to vanquish his larger bully enemy, which revolvingly and famously becomes the turning space station...

Yet I too have Internet access again, no more Internet cafes (my staple necessity for the past three months). Accordingly, I have tweaked the Camerado index page (www.camerado.com) as part of an overall plan to rebrand and revitalize the Camerado entity. **Go ahead, check it out -> http://www.camerado.com

On the down side, it's rainy season here which means constant humidity; bought an industrial size bottle of talcum powder from the new Pencil supersaver nearby, noticed the shelves were heavily stocked along these lines...problem with the humidity is, if you're not aclimated, one is prone to rashes from the constant sweating. Fans must always be turned on, undershirts washed EVERY DAY.

Speaking of which, if anyone cares to send a care package -- don't matter if we haven't met yet, but some fresh undershirts would be nice -- send to:

J Rosette
CAMERADO
c/o Local Adventures
#14 St 258 (Long Nget)
Phnom Penh, CAMBODIA

It's the King's birthday on Friday, which means that everything except the pickup bars will be closed. He's actually an actor filmmaker himself, but being a King [Norodom] he never had to go through the whole Rice and Beans phase which can be so frustrating, esp when it lasts THIRTEEN YEARS.

My private student, who works for the Ministry, has bailed for this week, so I cannot count on that cash in my cash flow sheet. Thus, as careful as I may be, I still might not be able to buy the drives I need to start cutting Susan Hero by this weekend.

Then again, as loathe as I am to cut it so close (still under a thousand bucks to my NAME), I might just go ahead and buy the 400Gigs or so I need to load all the footage uncompressed.

Along these lines, if anyone wants to make a donation to this cause, and in the p;rocess become an official Pope of Camerado, please visit out Popes page at:

http://www.camerado.com/popes.html

That's about it. I sweat again now, and I shall sweat tomorrow. Pitching more docs here, have to revamp my database, wish I had the cash to get laid constantly to counterbalance the gritty boring work that goes into most of this process.

PS--resubmitted new info to the IMDB for Susan Hero. That should be active in a week...

Thursday, May 05, 2005

New Small Office and Bamboo Swimming Pool

Quick note to say that I've landed a small office space downstairs, an unused room next to the adventure travel shop; this will be the new lair of Camerado.

Total rent for my room upstairs and the office downstairs: minimal.

Also, have completed the prototype of a Rattan swimming pool I had built according to my original design, and it's ready in the sweltering nick of time. It's made of Rattan--bamboo, and we just tested the liner today, actuually just a large plastic tarp. But the bamboo holds the water (with the tarp) and now we have a small pool to take editing breaks in!

Am poised to buy some new firewire HD's debating whether to blow the $16 bucks on the bus ride to Bangkok (and $16 more back) in order to access a greater selection of equipment.

With the free one month entry Visa into Thailand, and my unlimited re-entry in Cambodia given my new business Visa, it's basically like taking the bus from New York to Ohio and back...

...well, not exactly.

Anyway, also just spoke with (amazingly!) the dude from NY State Department of Labor, they actually called and got through to me to discuss my back benefits which may be forthcoming after all.

And if so, I will pay off some debts and plow the rest back into an edit station for Susan Hero and some docs I'm pitching.

Things looking up, it seems, knock on wood, at last, truly I can't believe I think I made it through the fire (past couple years of hell, attempted kidnapping at gunpoint, all my equipment stolen in NYC, etc)...then again, like Dalton Trumbo said, "I been down so low it all looks up from here"

If I can start cutting by next week, I'll reward myself with a nice gorgeous bang!

Monday, May 02, 2005

French Movie in Phnom Penh

Just worked on a French movie which has been shooting in town; I played a French detective / police officer., although I look more like a gangster, hence the pose for these photos. It's a period piece set in the 30's...see pix below:













Sunday, May 01, 2005

Another server mixup sends me someone's strange emails

From: winningsmile566@yahoo.com
Subject: Re: Donovan, please stop these things!!!!
Date: Sun, 1 May 2005 08:47:07 -0700 (PDT)
To: "Sharon Pepper" sharonpep33@hotmail.com

Sharon

Ridley is never gonna land the kid's part in the new 'Chucky's Back 3'flick if we don't acclimate him now ...tryouts are real soon(june3-4) The money is huge if this flick takes off-hang in there a few more weeks.D

Donovan--

Those darned puppets are scaring Ridley Jr senseless; last> night when I put him to bed, he swore he saw one of them> peeping out from his closet.>> I didn't believe him, of course, but when I went to look,> sure enough it was there! The WC Fields one, but he wasn't> smiling. He was ANGRY.>> Please remove those horrible things from my house at once!>> Sharon