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questions?


100_4542
Originally uploaded by cwdaniels.

today we captured 2 of the 3 hours of footage we have for liars and cheaters, overall i am really pleased. I see the mistakes I made as the director, and have written down notes on what i can learn from this experience already, i know the list will continue. about 90% of the stuff i am really happy with, of that 30% i love. that missing 10% is not as good as i had hoped. the outside shot with Felix was tough, kids in the background, not enough cutaways, we may have to re-shoot if we can’t doctor it in premier and the last scene, at the warehouse has very low audio. I hadn’t accounted for the extremely large space the room had, and the difficulty the boom had in picking up sound.

michelle, my script supervisor for the short, was at sundance this past week, she said after seeing the films that i need to be doing this, she said she knows i can do what they are doing. i am troubled by the comment. that messes up my 5 year plan. I don’t know if this is what i am to do, i don’t want to go after chasing pipe dreams, but even if that’s what they are i’ve had them since i was 6. How does this all play together, how can i be a passionate quaker theologian, a minister of people, and a short-film maker? Are these all juxtaposed? I know they don’t have to be, but it seems like i have spent a lot of time going in the wrong direction, being the wrong me?! is this true?

confusion ensues.

I am glad that Emily supports me in what i do, my mom has also said that i should “go for it,” and now i have friends saying the same thing. now all it takes is to muster up enough courage to try something, to be willing to be a failure, be shamed in front of people, too look like a fool. I am not sure if i am ready for that. as Will said while working on the “ring drop” scene in LnC “its a lot easier to direct this scene then it is to do it!” he was right, and that is how i feel about my life. it is easy for others to think about what i should do or not do, in fact it is easy for me to “think” about what i should do, but when it comes down to brass tacks…oh Lord…all i want to do is fulfill some intergalactic purpose in life, save the world and have everyone be proud of me, is that so much to ask?

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runaway


100_4456
Originally uploaded by cwdaniels.

Yesterday an Amtrak train crashed here in LA killing at least 5 people, Bush recently gave his second inaugural speech, the Tsunami happened in India killing 150,000 people just a few weeks ago, I finished my shooting my film last weekend, Matt Taflan and I shot a short monologue for his “Destination West” project, this weekend I am going to shoot a music video for Books Died On, and plan my 4 talks for Wyldlife weekend retreat coming up in a couple weekends. I am exhausted and need to run away. God right now i don’t feel like giving a talk let alone one that will save, right now I don’t feel like doing anymore school work, i feel like taking two weeks off, crawling under a rock and crying. God grant me mercy, and make my talks full of your power. Holy Spirit draw me closer. hold me under your shadow – as the world falls apart let there is one thing we can count on and that is your mercy.

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Liars and Cheaters


100_4601
Originally uploaded by cwdaniels.

See other shots from the behind the scenes of the film by clicking on the picture and going to “cwdaniels’ film stream”

I felt like I needed to get this all out tonight, or at least the first of a few spillings of the past three days of my life. Not to sound contrived or forced, but in some ways my life will be measured differently from this point on. As director for such a big production (this is said with tongue in cheek as we spent all of around $200.00 on the whole product) I learned how to lead, how to keep something moving toward a goal, how to love when totally exhausted, how to make art out of and bring to life a simple idea. Tonight at 8:00 pm we finished the shooting of our film, Liars and Cheaters, we started friday at 8:00 am and spent 35 hours in the past three days shooting. It took 19 of us to pull this short film off, it took directors of photography, script supervisors, actors, extras, sound technicians, gaffers, key grips, grips, craft services and 4 locations. I am extremely grateful that God afforded me such a unique opportunity, to write/direct/actor in a film, work with such awesome people, and have so many awesome things fall into place for it all to work out. I am at this moment writing from all of my excitement, and pride. I am in a sense proud that I was able to do this. I don’t mean that my short is better than anyone elses, I don’t me that I as a director is better than any other student my age, I also don’t mean that this film will be good when it is out of the editing room because as any of you know that have done this in the past, editing can make or break a film. On the other hand (from all this excitement) I found that me saying “that’s a rap” was anti-climactic. I realized that what I had done was no different, no better or worse but yet I took it so seriously, I spent so much time, so much friend power, and worked so hard at it and why? Why do I care so much if my film is good, or that it looks just right? Why didn’t i make a 5 min short, in stead a 15 min one? Why did I try to utilize so much prowess? I may never make another short in my life? I imagined for a moment, this being my first and last, and how hollow that made me feel, how inconsequential, how pointless it all seemed. Then again, there is another part of me that wants to apply for film school, I am thinking of new ideas, I am driven to get better, write tighter, film more precise.

Friday we were at Paige Alloco’s. We had a blast. We took a long time, it was our first day, I was a virgin to the art of directing, knowing what the heck i was doing, a virgin made me naive, made me motivated to do things that anyone with a clue would never have done – shoot a 16 page script in 3 days.

Saturday the exhaustion kicked in around 1:00 am, everyone that there hit a lull, i felt like i was loosing everyone, that the film would be a flop. But when we moved from Wall’s garage (a location) to the exterior of the warehouse, I in my “homeless lady” costume for my character in the movie, we gained speed again. We started feeling the energy come back. I can honestly say that this whole weekend was a blast. I enjoyed every moment, every person, every “action,” every “cut,” every camera touch, every laughter and snap. I in one sense felt “in my element” but I am afraid to admit it, I am afraid of what it does or doesn’t mean…

Sunday. up at 8:30 and at the coffee shop at 9:30 am. We started shooting at 10:15. Today was the most fun, I had two days under my belt, the characters in the movie were dialoging together, there was more energy, more interaction, more laughter and more people to have a good time with. the extras were there, we had great coffee given to us by Pasadena Coffee Company and wonderful food provided all weekend by my amazing wife Emily Daniels (craft services). It felt real, professional, surreal in a sense, I felt like the real deal. I felt like a phony also, but the surrealism of the atmosphere overpowered all that.

And so I sit here, getting this all out, hoping for a night of peaceful rest – for the first time in a week. No anxiety, no shooting schedule, no extremely important shots that I can’t miss. But before I do that I want to remember all that helped.

I couldn’t have do this weekend without a single person. It is amazing how close a film team must be, how important each person is, how much of a difference everyone makes. I really enjoyed working with matt taflan a director of photography on our first project together, I think we really work well together, we seem to understand each other, i trust his eye, his movements, he is a great cameraman, his eye is unstoppable. Rafe’s gaffer abilities made our sets glow with color, warmth and realism. Another thing is it helped speed up the process to have someone know what they are doing with lights. Richard’s help as personal assistant, running the slate board, keeping track of shots all was very important and his personality helped keep things light and enjoyable. Eric’s acting as Dante was done so well, I loved it, I wrote that part for myself but He really was a wonderful Dante, I am glad he did the part. Michelle’s experience in acting on stage, and great ability to edit made the who script, and acting come together in a way that I couldn’t have imagined without her. She was so awesome, and i love her ability to just say whatever she needs to say, its nice to have someone who doesn’t hold anything back on you – i needed that too. Will’s ability really came out in the last three days of shooting, and he added a ton to the shoot – not to mention all the work he did behind the scenes as boom-man and do whatever else needs to be done guy. Chris sikoworski’s experience in real film helped up take a student film with no-experience to one that will look much more professional – and if it doesn’t you can blame him…but really he was a huge help as a director of photography. The there is Selena who was fabulous as Dana the unfaithful wife, an petite asian girl dress up as a trashy 80’s “has been.” She also helped keep track of shots which was greatly needed. Rob her husband was a great key grip and extra and I always love having rob around, he is brilliant and brilliantly funny. Dave the barista made our whole shoot possible because he offered to work at his coffee shop today from 9:15 to 8:00pm tonight for free, as a service to us, he also served us coffee, played a small role, and was a huge help in taking behind the scenes photos. My wife made it all possible also because she fed up, and boy is it hard to shoot a film when you have nothing in your tummy, she was also very selfless in giving me up for the past…well month. She is also my biggest fan and keeps imaging “if…” the only two i haven’t said anything about are Julianne and Joel my two prized extras, how much they were needed for such small roles, thanks to the both of you and I was just happy to have both your personalities there with us. And also thank you soooo much Paige for giving us your house for a day and half I am not really sure what we would have done if you said no…and plus your house was sooo photogenic. Oh and Wall your garage was awesome, thanks for letting us use it, and stab knives into its walls…oh did you know we were going to do that?

Okay for those of you who weren’t there, I realize that last paragraph was really cheesy but I wanted to say something about everyone so that I could remember how much I appreciated them all, what they did and let them know that I am more thankful than I personally can express.

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the flux of life finds a resting point in silence


the flux of life finds a resting point in silence
Originally uploaded by cwdaniels.

Life is influx. The faces keep changing. Memories keep fading, while new roads we travel. i don’t see the future as clear as I would like to. I am like the blind beggar, wondering where my next meal will come from, will there be a meal, when I receive this masters. Will a phd put emily and i into a bind that we will ever recover from. Am i a thinker? an intellect? the kind of man like who like George Fox changed the world when he spoke? Am i the unsettling kind of person, who will disrupt the flow of the universe? Don’t i want to be? but what about creativity, which flows from my pores? which flows from all that i know, every open and closed door? not to over-estimate myself but i love to create and bring to life, i want to create a monster that moves counter to the flow for which humanity is sucked into death. I want my monster to reach out his hand, only to touch the dying, the poor, the hurt, and the young mothers weeping for their aborted children, weeping for their aborted fathers, and mothers and memories that were washed away with this rain of deceit, and greed, and capitalism and democracy, and nostalgic christianity that means bullshit. I want my monster to reach out with the hand of a mother and the face of a father, the heart of a lover and the words of a professor, with the strength of a construction worker and the softness of a nurse – with the breathe of life and the eyes of death – with the purity of Jesus and the blood of pilate. This monster will be friend and foe, like Christ is to me, and all the people i know. understanding that life is here and there, moving to and fro, to the depths of pain and discomforts to the pleasures of rest and warm fires. Though i hate that i only see through this window into the cold southern california rain, and see no further than my own troubles, i realize that there is hope and that my Life is influx.

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Wallis on Bad Theology

emily and i are watching this special on Bush and his faith on PBS. I was so happy that Jim Wallis from Sojourners was on there, because there was at least one person there saying look people this is “bad theology.” There is no such thing as righteous war, there is no such thing as a righteous nation, or a nation that is God-ordained. We are in the post nationalist age, we are in the age of Christ’s mission, the body of Christ is the only thing that is ordained by God, and yet we know that we make many mistakes, but the one thing we have is our love of Christ to all people, the terrorists as well as the…southern baptists…

I like what the commentator said, “George Bush has commented that his faith has led his to make his decisions, when most of these decision reflect conservative christian agendas.” A holy empire? Constantinianism? We are moving toward a very danger place when we beging to rule moral by coercion. this is what constantinople did a thousand years ago when the empire killed hundreds of thousands because they would not convert…maybe that’s what america could do, maybe we should force everyone to do as we say! that sounds excatly like nothing Jesus ever came anywhere near suggesting.