December 2005

  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 906.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::init() should be compatible with views_handler::init(&$view, $options) in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 744.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 607.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 607.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_boolean_operator::value_validate() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_boolean_operator.inc on line 159.
  • warning: strtotime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/modules/node/views_handler_argument_dates_various.inc on line 72.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_style_default::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_style_default.inc on line 24.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 134.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 134.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/themes/STP/node.tpl.php on line 7.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/themes/STP/node.tpl.php on line 7.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/themes/STP/node.tpl.php on line 7.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/themes/STP/node.tpl.php on line 7.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/themes/STP/node.tpl.php on line 7.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/themes/STP/node.tpl.php on line 7.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/themes/STP/node.tpl.php on line 7.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/themes/STP/node.tpl.php on line 7.

And that's a wrap everyone!

So it’s the end of the working year and even Rita and I have decided to have a couple of days off (Rita would have worked right through Christmas, but I think a representative from Leongatha came to Melbourne and told her that if she didn’t go home she’d have her citizenship revoked). It’s all terribly exciting because the film is really progressing and I’ve started watching it again in my lounge room and muttering three words to myself over and over again. Three words I have come to love with all my heart:

That’s a wrap.

There are two people in Standing There Productions who are allowed to use the magic words that’s a wrap: Eva Tandy (our 1st AD) and Rita Walsh (our producer). Once you’ve had the right to say that’s a wrap bestowed upon you (and yes I think there is some kind of ceremony), the big secret is how to use the phrase. In other words, when to use the phrase. In other words, how to refrain from using it until everyone else has either passed out or gone mad waiting to hear someone say that’s a wrap. It’s a fine art, getting the timing right. Rita and Eva are brilliant at it. Sometimes, though, you have to be careful because a wrap doesn't always mean a wrap. That's a wrap can be shouted at a film set hours before everyone gets to go home. Sometimes, though, you really need to hear it.

Rita said that’s a wrap yesterday. “Well that’s a wrap on the sound”, she said. I nearly married her.

So, we've wrapped the sound, we've wrapped the picture, it's just boring producer type stuff from hereon in. So - and I'm going out of my jurisdiction here - I'd like to declare that that's a wrap on 2005. Thanks everyone for visiting our website, helping us out, supporting us, and hacking our site for no apparent reason. Have a great nondenominational holiday period and we'll see you in the new year. Have fun!

Artistic Vandalism

Well, it simply does not get more exciting than this. Our website has not yet been up for a month and Standing There Productions has been hacked by robots. Yes, robots.

Yesterday afternoon, human time, our film site (www.icouldbeanybody.com.au) was suddenly not quite as informative it once had been, at least not about our film. I was extremely busy at the time, having a drink in a bar full of rowdy construction workers, so I couldn’t make out what Stewart was saying when he called. Stewart (who is fast earning his credit as post production supervisor) is sick with a head cold at the moment, so it was like talking on the phone to Barry Manilow from the back of a Guns N Roses concert. Eventually, with my hand over my ear, I deciphered “website” and “hacked”, which was somewhat alarming, except for the fact that these two words were closely followed by the word “Nick”. U.S. Republicans say that Al Gore claims to have invented the Internet, but I suspect they are overlooking the possibility that he could have had quite a bit of help from Nick Jaffe, who helped us set up our website, became virtually our entire camera department on I Could Be Anybody, and who I’ve now discovered also apparently battles robots. Of course he does.

I asked Nick who it was who hacked our site and why they targeted Standing There Productions – had we become an international symbol of all that is wrong with contemporary do-it-yourself filmmaking? Was this a political protest? A cry for help? Were we being targeted because of the subversive secret messages in Rita’s biog?

No, apparently. We were targeted because our password was so crap that a robot could decipher it.

That, and the hacking wasn’t even interesting. I'll post the actual hack image above this when I finally work out how to do it. It's very dull. Nevertheless, this act of vandalism will not go undramatised. We will be holding high level meetings in the New Year to develop new security measures (ie a password that isn’t the actual word PASSWORD) and our spirit shall not be weakened. It is true that our art has been defaced and our spirits dampened, but we are determined to get on with our lives despite the activities of our robot oppressors.

We humans must be strong. Fight on, good friends.

Exhaustion and Grades

Man how exhausting is this time of year and that’s a rhetorical question but you can feel free to answer. I feel like those people who collapse in marathons - they always slow down the footage of them in the opening montages of sports shows and you can see the muscles quivering and then giving way in their spindly thighs as their legs buckle beneath them and they crumple onto asphalt.

After just an hour in the city at the moment, my spindly thighs are killing me.

The film is still "nearly finished". The Sound Magician is mixing the sound brew, the Picture Fairy is fiddling with the smoke and the mirrors on a couple of bits, and there is also something called a grade, which apparently is looming on the horizon and about which I am blindly ignorant in every respect. If anyone out there knows anything about what a grade might be, please notify me immediately. Grades at school were fairly simple to understand once you got the hang of them, so I can’t imagine it can be that difficult to comprehend. Can it?

Website design

Thanks everyone for the overwhelming responses we've had to our website. To answer the one question we're getting from everyone (who designed it?) the answer is yes, his name is Clark Kent and no, none of us can work out why he always arrives late for meetings, muttering about bad traffic and tucking his shirt in.

Paul Daniel is our website designer. You can call him Superpaul. He is a professional website designer and if you'd like him to do your site, go to www.pauldaniel.com.au and contact him there. He is currently at large in Eastern Europe but he's back soon and we will be holding a parade in the street to hail his return. It is obviously a bonus to have a clever and creative website designer who also leaps tall buildings in a single bound.

Superpaul is also - now stay with me here - somewhat of a font nerd. Take him to a sign, a website, a letter, a subtitle to a movie, even a portion of someone's handwriting, and ask him what font it is. Time him. If his head doesn't explode from trying to decide between two seemingly identical (but apparently vastly different) styles, he'll have your font downloaded, printed out, and walking around the room within thirty seconds.

This was all an enormous surprise to me, because for me FONT always meant Times New Roman. Little did I know there's a whole world out there in which words like 'dingbat' have an entirely serious meaning. Good to know.

Breakfast and Standby Props

We keep getting messages from people who would like to eat our baked beans. (Photo at top of page). Not so many people are interested in the eggs though. Interesting. I wonder if that’s because, subconsciously, everybody realises that eggs aren’t usually that white and that in fact those eggs are cold tofu.

That cold tofu was brought to you by Robin Gerardts-Gill. The man is clearly a special effects genius. Robin was technically the second AD and standby props, but there wasn’t much he didn’t do. Nick Jaffe was the same. Like most people, I never knew what all the jobs on a film set consisted of. Then when I’d been on a few sets I realised it was different wherever you went. It’s like in theatre when I finally worked out what stage left and stage right were, only to then discover that a whole heap of other people call it “Prompt” and “Off-prompt”, which hardly seems fair. To this day I have no idea what anybody’s talking about. I find “walk that way” is an easier way to get everyone on the same page.

Anyway, the point is, the tofu isn’t real and the baked beans are cold. And that is the magic of filmmaking. Just ask Tim Stitz, who accidentally ate some in the middle of a scene. He’s a consummate performer, Tim is, but if you freeze on the moment he swallows, you can see the very real struggle between a man’s taste buds and his years of experience as an actor. It’s a short but tightly fought battle and the actor wins. Just. A weaker man would have gone down fighting.

Green Screen

I think probably the most alarming moment for me was the day the film turned green. All the black in it went green. I was showing it to Fez The Sound Magician when the opening shot FADED UP FROM GREEN. To be fair, it remained consistent and faded to green at the end as well, but it wasn't the consistency that was bothering me. Fez maybe thought he was doing the music for a sci fi film, but I was sitting there in the sort of blind panic where your brain tries to make up for its overwhelming inability to deal with the current situation by applying the logic it uses for situations it understands better. Mine was going, "It's okay - this way you can make another film. A better film. At least this way you've had the experience of shooting one without having to show it to anyone. This is really a blessing in disguise."

There have been some frustrating moments along the way to making this film happen, but it's a tragic situation when you're typing "what happens when your film turns green" into google. (Apparently it's never happened before, by the way. I got nothing).

I can't remember what happened, maybe the Magician did something, maybe the editing program just changed its mind, but for some reason or another, the green disappeared.

I was typing in some changes to the postproduction script the other day and I did contemplate for a moment (purely for my own amusement) writing at the very bottom of the final page of the script, "Fade to Green". But it's not funny yet. One day maybe, but not yet.

- Lorin.

Post production

Our credits are currently in danger of going for longer than our film. I don't think I know anyone who hasn't helped us in some way. Except of course for some of the friends I used to have (back before preproduction), who may be under the impression that I have died. People have literally become engaged and married and quite possibly pregnant and then not pregnant any more since I last saw them. But the thing about having wonderful people helping you out for free is that you really want to do a good job and make their work look excellent. The film is looking really exciting now - there are some finishing touches we're putting in as we speak, but everyone's hard work is about to pay off.

Spent the other day with Fez, the sound magician, who is so great to watch. It's funny - at every stage of this production, I've had a new favourite bit. Today my favourite bit is the outside shot at the dinner party scene. The picture was always so striking, but with Fez's sound design behind it, I must confess to having watched it a couple of dozen times more than is strictly necessary. Spent Wednesday night talking to Wayne, quite possibly the most helpful person on earth, who offered a few creative solutions which made me realise we're nearly there. Not quite there. But nearly there.

- Lorin

Film vs theatre

If you have a background in theatre, it's probably best not to make a short film. If you have a background in trying to teach a rhino how to make fine china, then maybe it'll be more suited to you.

The point is, patience is (apparently) a virtue. I'm not trained in patience. I'm used to the mad scramble towards opening night. I'm used to sitting in the audience and thinking "Now it's out of my hands. It's up to the actors". Working on I Could Be Anybody, though, has taken from about July until about December and I can honestly say that right now it feels like I could work on it forever.

How do people watch their own films? I wonder if there are shots in Citizen Kane that made Orson want to stab himself in the eye with a fork. Doubt it. Maybe I should just get fatter and more arrogant and smoke a cigar. Must ask Rits about our cigar policy.

- Lorin