Friday, December 30, 2005

Happy New Year from Cambodia!

Hello all--

HAven't been updating the blog so much lately for several reasons:

1) I don't have INternet at home anymore, until/unless i get new service which thus restricts me to Internet cafes

2) Have been busy teaching this new video class at Royal University of Phnom Penh as well as working on my own other projects, bidding for a new NGO doc

3) Have been making most entries in the form of the hardcopy diary, HURRICANE...

Somehow, I feel like I'm pulling away from the blog since the blog isn't tactile, and I'd prefer to print up a few hundrd pulp paperbacks out here of my experiences in the form of HURRICANE (which has been the ongoing production diary of the making of our most recent feature, SUSAN HERO, as well as other assorted "experiences")

Also: the nature of bloggin is inherently exhibitionist, and I'm not sure I want to continue in this direction exclusively.

BUT, with this having been said, hello again from Phnom Penh, where the new introduction to video production class I'm teaching (built syllabus as well) has really been quite a success...loosly modelled after my own NYU sight and sound classes, we have about twenty students who have formed their core groups and have each produced a short video, thus 20 short videos produced thus far!

The topics they have chosen are pretty unique and have some interesting titles: GRASS CUTTING MAN, THE PHONE STICKER (about a guy who makes a living putting plastic coverings on cell phones), MEATPASTE, COCONUTS, RUBBISH COLLECTOR, SAMPLE FARMER, and more.

About seven of the videos produced thus far are strong enought o be put into some sort of collection, and I will try to submit them to the 3rd annual upcoming Cinema Cambodia festival.

So, now with two days off, I can at last unwind. Maybe work on my updated reel, do some research into bidiversity (topic of proposed NGO vid) New English class to teach as well, two hours a day in the evening, so I will try to savor these two days of nothing.

No word yet on SUSAN HERO, which we've already submitted to four fests. Hope, as they say, that no news is good news.

All the Best in 2006!

JR

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Nutha Day, Nutha Dolla

Back from teaching at Royal University of Phnom Penh, where I'm helping put together (and teach) their brand new video production course in their communications department...am modelling some of the excercises on my own old days at NYU.

Have just started building up a DVD library of movies which I think are solid, can be learned from -- and which can be acquired at the Russian Market (bootlegged)

Amongst them: Taxi Driver, Lawrence of Arabia, Eraserhead, Star Wars, Rashoman, and others.

Meanwhile, back in New York, G has just about finished tweaking the cut of Susan Hero, now with the 500Gigs of HD in hand, brought graciously back to NYC from Cambodia by my pal Cormac Creed who was just visiting here.

So, as of today, Susan Hero has been submitted to a few fests, basically the ones who waived the entry fee due which I needed to request due to my slim Cambodian salary (though huge by Cambodian standards)

Basically now waiting to hear what happens with the current fest submissions, now writing and working on a couple local ideas in clkuding a fictional work -- just now in its early formative stages -- about the secret bombing of Cambodia.

For this, will make a trip to the "Parrots Beak", and area near the Vietnam border where the US command was convinced the enemy held a huge swatch of sanctuaries, including the jungle equivalent of our own Pentagon. Heavy stuff, not sure about angles or storline yet, just more research needs to be done.

Anyway, updates soon as to whether Susan Hero gets into any of these major fetss we've submitted to!