12-08-17 Pre-Production

    I fired my friend H last night. It broke my heart.

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    I woke up at about 5:00am, tried to fall back to sleep and at 5:20am realized the futility of it and got up. Of course, I caught up on Twitter in bed. So, really it was about 6:00am when I finally got up. Normally, my wife wakes up at 6:15am, which helps keep me on a pretty regular schedule. I like to wake up with her and have breakfast. When she leaves for work, I head into the office (spare room) and start work. Having to wake up at 6:15am every morning really keeps me from staying up too late because if I do, I know I’m not going to get anything done the next day.

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    The thing about being the driving creative force behind all my projects is that there really isn’t anyone behind me saying, “Keep going. You can do it!” There is only the knowledge that, every day I procrastinate is just one more day I have to wait for my dreams to become a reality.

    There was a time in my life when I was writing novels and short stories, where I would send them out and then have to wait for a reply saying they were going to be published. It generated a mentality in me that I could wait and somehow, someday someone would come along and usher me into my rosy-colored glasses future. It took nearly four years of nothing happening (and a blog post from my friend Earl) for me to realize that the angel of my future was never coming and if I didn’t get up and make my dreams a reality, then they would forever remain only dreams.

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    Anyway, I woke up, caught up on Twitter, woke up my Mac and checked Google Analytics. Yeah! Today set this month’s record of 8 visits. Then, on to Google+, then Facebook. I read some friends’ status updates and made some comments. I don’t know what it is about Facebook, but it’s not nearly as appealing to me as Twitter. So, I’m not as present on Facebook as I should be.

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    After the social media stuff was taken care of, I sent an email off to Jeri Ellsworth and asked if she’d be open to an interview. She is brilliant and is the model I’m using for the Bitchan character. I’d been procrastinating because getting to Seattle, where Jeri lives and works, will take me about a week, and about $400 in gas, to say nothing of food or shelter.

    To try and make it more financially viable, I tried to think about who else lives there, or on the way there. I know Neal Stephenson lives near Seattle, as does William Gibson. Now that I’m thinking about it, I think Bill Gates lives somewhere near there (Redmond, maybe?).

    I asked a long-time friend Ian if he wanted to play Ukrainian Hacker. He is reluctant, but I think he’ll say yes when he sees how little is actually required of him. The reason I bring that up is that Ian lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, which is on the way to Seattle. I could film that scene. 

    Also, I’m distantly hoping to get in touch with Mark Zuckerberg or Sean Parker. Both would be perfect interviews for TRK. Also, Steve Wozniak lives there. But, how reachable are these people. For Jeri Ellsworth, my friend Cameron is friends with her and he made an introduction. Do I know anyone who knows any of those other people?

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    I went to the city of Costa Mesa to ask them about filming on public property. It turns out a permit costs about $460, plus some other fees, depending on where I’m filming. They also have some pretty specific regulations when it comes to filming things that are… legally questionable. For instance, the scene where Will and Bitchan phreak into the POTS box? I’d need written permission from the phone company to do that. I’m pretty sure the would never give me that permission. Of course I’m going to ask. But, expectations are low.

    I am currently studying APOCALYPSE NOW, which has an invaluable audio commentary by Francis Ford Coppola. One of the things Coppola likes to do is make the production of his movie similar to the subject of the movie itself. So, APOCALYPSE NOW was a nightmare to film. In fact, when I told Xander I was studying it, modeling certain aspects of TRK after it, he got kinda scared. I quickly reassured him filming TRK would be nothing like that.

    But, it’s got me thinking. It would be fun to do the whole TRK guerrilla style, steal everything we need, shoot without permission. It would make TRK almost impossible to sell to a distributor, but it sure would cut down on costs. It would also make the whole thing riskier. I mean, the production could get shut down at any moment. What’s worse, when I finally do release it, I could be sued out of existence, or arrested (will the United States reinstate debtors’ prison by then?). Also, since most of HUNGER was shot without permits, I know it’s more exhilarating and much, much faster.

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    Jason, a friend from college started a company called Column Five and their offices would be perfect for the LAN Party scene in Vernor’s office. I went by there today to check it out and to talk to Jason. He is totally cool with it.

    When I got home, I started chatting with Cameron Kaiser (known henceforth as Kaiser) about the script and how great his notes were. We got around to talking about using his house as Bitchan’s house. My wife thought he wouldn’t be open to it since he’s got some pretty nice computers. So, I wasn’t about to ask more of my friend who had already given so much. As it happened, he brought it up. So, unless something changes, that’s two locations I’ve got pretty solid. Of course, the exterior of Bitchan’s will have to be somewhere else for continuity, but that’s easy.

    While I was instant messaging with Kaiser, in came a reply from Jeri Ellsworth. She said, and I quote, “Sounds like fun to me”. I had to stop typing for about five minutes while I pretty much just vibrated in my chair with excitement.

    To think, Jeri Ellsworth the DIY Hardware guru lined up. And Larry Wall the creator of the programming language Perl are already recorded. Either one of those interviews will get over 10k hits when I post them. Together…? Plus, who knows what else will come together.

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    When I started today I thought it was gonna suck because of my firing a friend. It turns out, it’s one of the best days so far! I can’t wait to see what else happens.