12-09-07 Pre-Production

    I know I wrote that I would try and make this a daily journal, but sometimes I just get crazy busy. For instance, this week I drove to Los Angeles twice and didn’t get back until 11:00pm for two nights. That, in and of itself wouldn’t be significant except that I awoke at 6:00am the previous mornings, and didn’t actually get to sleep the nights before until 1:00 - 3:00am. So, yeah. I’m pretty tired.

    Even so, some really awesome things happened.

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    One of my friends, Matthew Wayne Selznick is an amazing sci-fi/fantasy author. He just ran a kickstarter campaign… you know, I think I already mentioned this, that I emailed him and I’ll be using either his forthcoming (as of now) novel or his previous novel “Brave Men Run” as a prop in TRK. Anyway, when his campaign ended successfully, I called him up and told him I wanted to buy him a drink to celebrate, and then another when he finishes his aforementioned forthcoming novel.

    So, on Wednesday we met. We talked about his campaign and he had some great ideas of how I could run my forthcoming campaign. We also talked about TRK, and he has some pretty good connections in Hollywood, as well as possible hookups for the campaign/release interviews with hackers. So, that was cool.

    The whole meeting took place at Lord Windsor Roasters, my friend Wade’s coffee shop. There are two scenes that take place inside coffee shops. One of them is perfect for Lord Windsor Roasters. Wade thought it was a fine idea and was totally cool with it.

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    Later, Wednesday night I had dinner with my friends Earl Newton and Matt Wallace. Earl is a fellow director and the one immediately responsible for my choosing to go into filmmaking. Wallace is an amazing writer and has become a friend. The odd thing about my relationship with Earl and Wallace, and with Selznick is that I started out as a fan, eventually mustering up the courage to approach people whose work I liked. It turned out that they’re all super-cool guys and incredibly helpful.

    I love hanging out with them. I live and do most of my work in Costa Mesa. There really isn’t a community of filmmakers here and sometimes it’s lonely. I mean, I’ve got my wife who is awesome beyond reckoning, but it’s nice to get together with other creative people who are also pursing similar dreams. With Earl and Wallace I feel an energy, like something great is about to happen.

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    Thursday morning I met with Jeremy and talked about what he wants as an actor. He brought to me to some of the locations to which he has access and they’ll work perfectly. I’ve spent probably 12-15 hours with him and my opinion of him hasn’t changed a bit. He’s awesome and I can’t wait until we’re working together.

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    After leaving Jeremy, I headed to Los Angeles to meet with Film Independent’s Filmmaker Advisor. She had some really good advice. One of the things I’m not used to is working within the industry and she had some real insight there, including several contracts which she promised to send me.

    I have this to say about Film Independent: It is easily the best investment I have made into learning the movie industry. For the price of a year’s subscription, I get access to lectures by people in the industry. Every cent I have spent there has been the equivalent of a Master’s class in film. If you’re in Los Angeles and still think of yourself as an aspiring filmmaker, join Film Independent.

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    Afterwards I met with Miles and delivered a printed copy of TRK. We chatted for about two hours on the project, on what he might be able to do if he chooses to connect [it’s called attach] himself to the project. I’m really excited to work with him and I told him so. I know people are supposed to be casual about that kind of thing, that it’s a sign of being an amateur or immature, but I’m not that way. I tell people how I feel about them when it’s good. People like praise. I mean, within reason. I’m not going to go all fanboy on someone… and to be honest, I rarely actually feel that anymore. Though, who knows what I’ll be like if I’m ever in the presence of Ridley Scott.

    Anyway, Miles is really connected, is moving and is always busy. I know if he signs on things are gonna happen in a bigger way, and that’s what I want for this project.

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    After I left Miles, I went to meet with Faye Mata. She was someone Xander turned me on to. She’s another woman who is beautiful and brilliant and a total geek in real life. If anyone complains that the hacker girls are too attractive, I’ll just reference Faye and Michele and say, these women are really this way. True, they’re acting, but when they’re not acting they’re playing Guild Wars 2 or World of Warcraft.

    The meeting with Faye went wonderfully well. We got along well. The really cool thing is, when I was asking Faye about Bitchan’s motivations, she totally got her, which means either I wrote a woman similar to Faye, or Faye’s got good instincts, or both. I think I’m going with the third option. I’m stoked that Faye has signed on.

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    So, finally to today, Friday.

    A few months ago (closer to six months) I ordered a small computer about the size of an iPhone, called a Raspberry Pi. It runs Linux and is not at all easy to get. They are so severely backordered, it’s crazy. When mine came in the mail I tweeted it… and Kaiser responded, asking me where I got it. I told him that I was using it for a prop and that when I’m done with it, he can have it. He’s a +11 Geek, so you can imagine how excited he got. Not quite a girlish squeal, but definitely some happiness.

    I brought it to Kaiser’s house to help me figure out how to make it work. By the time I left we had installed Debian (one of the Linux distributions) and had it up and running. So, yeah. Kaiser is definitely qualified to be Chief Technical Consultant on TRK.

    Before I left his place he told me he wanted me to send him the latest draft, to make sure I had correctly implemented his notes. I’m a little nervous about his response because if it doesn’t pass his inspection… it means back to work. I feel like the project’s starting to get some real momentum and I don’t want to slow it down in any way. Another draft will definitely do that. 

    But, if there is something wrong it would be far more foolish to leave the problem unsolved and continue. In my opinion, it would be a violation of everyone’s trust who have already signed up. They didn’t just sign up to be a part of TRK, they are trusting me with their careers; I take that trust very seriously.