Snowed In

I might be able to go to work at noon, but I will probably stay home and try to shovel us out. So far I shoveled out the back so that the dogs can go out and poop, because they were starting to poop in the porch. The front steps need to be shoveled out and the side door, but I’m not sure if we will be able to open the doors. My cute friend is in BC where there were also blizzards, so I hope she’s okay. I wrote a dramatic email to her saying we could have died. One fun thing I got to do is put the wiener dog in his fleece winter coat, because it is minus 31 degrees.

I have some work to do on my video, but I can’t be creative all the time so I’m going to take breaks to play Katamari and watch Birth with Nicole Kidman. I’m curious about it and I much prefer when she does serious work. She was great in The Others. Dogville was amazing, although intense, but the ending kicked serious ass and made up for the 3 previous hours. I hope Lars Von Trier is out of his abused victimized women thing. He fucked Bjork up while shooting Dancer In The Dark to the point where she says she will never act again, even though she was amazing. I’m glad he kept to Dogma, but I still think Thomas Vintenberg’s Celebration was the best Dogma film made. It was so intense.

If you haven’t seen The Celebration, it’s about a father’s birthday party and his grown son who takes the occasion to confront his father about sexually abusing him and his sister who recently committed suicide. In front of the entire family. And it’s really amazing to watch how they react, because it shows the dynamics of disclosure in families but compressed into 24 hours. I highly recommend it.

I think shooting with a small crew gets some really emotional stuff out of actors that is harder to find when there are twenty people standing around, especially since often they draw from their own life experience to act and can be REALLY vulnerable. I don’t think I ever want to work with a large crew. Kubrick used small crews. So do a lot of the dogma folks. I think there’s more trust between the director and the actors when there isn’t someone having to run around screaming at cast and crew. In fact, film sets are abusive, and I think the way they run counteracts any feelings of comraderie or safety or trust among everyone. If people acted the way they do on film sets in any other employment sector, they would be fired immediately.

I’m also lucky in that a friend I used to work with on shoots is now becoming a DOP, which is cool because she knows my style and if you don’t get along with your DOP then you can’t get the kind of shots you want.

Once another friend was location scouting in a haunted convent and we were looking at her digital photos when suddenly she screamed “There’s a face!” Sure enough, there was a clearly defined face looking right into the camera, yet somewhat, well, it wasn’t solid that’s for sure. It was just disembodied and floating. We were trying to figure out what caused it but we still don’t have a good reason for it being there. If it really is a ghost it’s probably the clearest image of a spirit which I have ever seen.

When my contract on this research job runs out I’m hoping to get an editing gig on Wapos Bay, a stop motion Aboriginal children’s show shot here in Saskatoon. My friend Diana makes the heads for it. The only job I would want in the Industry would be editing. It’s ridiculously fun, although I can see how it would drive some people spare. Especially when you spend five minutes assessing the exact frame which you want to cut at, and when you have to watch the entire thing over and over to be sure it works, and make copious notes about various shots. But I like that for the most part it only involves you and the director, and even though things get stressed when the deadline nears, it’s still better than desperate crew members trying to get a shot before the light is gone. My first job ever was as a production assistant, but fourteen to fifteen hour days wipes me out, can’t do it. Especially now that I have health issues that require good sleep patterns.

I should go do some work now. Or play. I am not sure.

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