Monday, June 30, 2008

Montana to Wisconsin

Greetings from the middle of Montana, driving East on highway 13. Montana is massive. I really should have looked a little closer at the map before deciding to make the drive from Kalispel to Minneapolis in a day. We got on the road at 6:30am, have been driving diligently for 7 hours and we're only half way across the state. There was a stretch on highway 2 where the highway actually turned into a dirt road! And this is a major highway mind you. America is just full of surprises.

If big open country, full of grass lands and free of oil dericks and telephone lines, is your thing, then Montana is your place. I get full of idealistic ideas about patriotism and environmental splendor when I drive through a place like this, nevermind the anti-meth ads painted on broken down vans as you drive through the little towns. Those plains, that's God's country.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Around the World in 27 Days

My ticket home, Vietnam to Tokyo to DFW. Oh and the best part, I'm on the waiting list for business class, please-please-please-please!Wheeeeeeee!

Going to Bhutan

Bhutan is a small country North East of India in the Himalayas and it is like no other country on earth. First of all, it is one of the world's last remaining kingdoms. Travel there is difficult for various reasons, but it's not THAT difficult. And I'm going...did I mention I'M GOING.

Things you need to know:

Independent tourism is not allowed in Bhutan. In order to obtain a visa, you must go through a certified Bhutanese travel operator. There are only two entry points into Bhutan, by land, through the Indian city of Phuentsholing and by air, on Bhutan's only airline, through Paro (PBH) airport. On top of that, it costs around $250 per day just to be in the country. That cost is for a single traveler, but it only costs $40 more per person for up to 3 people. I'm going in July, which is the only month that is off-season, so I am only paying $200 per day.

Also, interestingly, Bhutan is a completely unevangelized Buddhist enclave. I'm going to respect their religion, even study it, but you better believe I'm going to be climbing those mountains praising Jesus!

If you've got specific questions on how to get to Bhutan, feel free to email me: anton @ doubleapictures.com (take out the spaces).

Monday, June 23, 2008

Leaving For A Little While

First leg: Dallas to Nairobi, Kenya.

Second leg: Kenya to Southeastern India (Vishakhapatnam)

Dallas to Nairobi, Nairobi to South Eastern India, Vishakhapatnam (Bay of Bengal) to Delhi, Delhi to The Kingdom of Bhutan, Bhutan to Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, somewhere in the South Pacific, the U.S. That's as far as I've gotten, but those tickets that are shown above have already been purchased.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Go Buy Viva La Vida, NOW!


I'm a big Coldplay fan in the first place, but their new album, Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends) is one of the best records that I have ever heard. It's about an hour long and I listened to it 10 times yesterday. I realize that sometimes, when someone you know is geeking out over something, it might make you hesitant to get into it. I mean, there's nothing worst than having high expectations not met.

So don't just listen to me you can check out a beaming review for the album here, or you can just buy it on Itunes, RIGHT NOW for only $7.99 and judge for yourself.

The album was produced by Brian Eno, who also had a heavy hand in the production of the U2 Album, The Joshua Tree (one of the other best albums of all time). Viva La Vida is a great companion piece.

I Love What I Do

This morning, Saturday, I crawled out of bed at 6am and drove to a small house in North Dallas to work on a commercial shoot. It was an 11 hour day, shooting on the Red Camera for JPS hospitals. My job, officially was DIT, but really I was editing the spot. In fact, not only did I edit the entire spot during the shoot, I even did 2 versions, one in English and one in Spanish. This may not sound like any grand feat, but it was a narrative spot, dramatic, and it felt good to get so much done in a single day. Did you hear that, I actually finished something!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Anton Explores Cyprus


This video was shot last summer while I was visiting Cyprus for my friends David and Andrea's wedding. In the video I ride a 4-wheeler around Ayia Napa, go to the tomb of Lazarus, go to Kykos Monestary and attend David and Andrea's real Greek Wedding.

In other news it's official, I leave for Nairobi, Kenya on July 18th. On July 24th, I'll be in India and I'm free to go anywhere I want after that. I plan to travel around the globe going East. Hopefully I will go to Bhutan, then Southeast Asia (Thailand, Laos, Vietnam) and somewhere in the South Pacific.

I'm looking for sponsors so that I can do the video blog thing right, do it live and in high-definition. Any takers? Call me at 817-996-3611 or email me at Anton@doubleapictures.com

Thursday, June 19, 2008

My Producers Are My Friends

When I was in fifth grade I used to watch David Letterman before going to bed. Sometimes during the commercial breaks I would flip over to PBS and catch various National Geographic nature documentaries. Ants, primates, jungle fowl, it didn't matter, it all fascinated me. What really got me was the fact that there were filmmakers out there, in the bush, tediously shooting these films. What a lifestyle! I wanted that. After the documentary ended I would flip back over to Letterman, often to find that the show was over. I was hooked, I wanted to be a documentarian.

Last year I got to go to Kenya and India to film a reality TV show. On the show we traveled to Masai Mara and watched huge heard migrations, saw lions coupling, Cheetahs nursing their cubs and hippos lounging in the river. It was a dream come true. And in a month I'll be back there, on the Mara.

In the mean time, to pay the bills and save up some cash, I'm editing 3 big projects. In order to focus this much on editing, I can't have much contact with the outside world. This is hard and often slightly depressing for me. But I like my producers and I can call them anytime I'm feeling lonely. Even if it's just to talk about the project, at least it's someone to talk to.

Oh yeah, and one other thing, my producers have agreed to let me continue traveling around the world, going east, after we get done in India. They're even buying the ticket for the first leg of my trip.

Where's somewhere great I should go that is relatively close to South Eastern (Bengal) India? I'm thinking that I'm going to try Bhutan first.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Air Emergency Over LAX

So we take off and quickly I notice that the plane is flying a bit strangely. Nose up, not real high altitude and my feet are getting cold. Pretty soon, as the flight attendants are running back and forth, the captain comes on the overcom to tell us that the front door of the plane has come open. So we turned around and landed back at LAX. The weird part was seeing all the fire trucks chasing us down the runway as we landed.LAX fire trucks coming to save us/put us out.
Captain comes out to check on things. Is it weird that I was comforted by his good looks?
I'm all, "this plane can't go down, not on one of the best hair days of my life!"

Anton's Adventure Travel Blog Around the World

**Update - Kevin Sites just did exactly what I want to do. For the last year he's been traveling to conflict zones and video blogging his stories for Yahoo. I want to do the same thing, minus the war. His site is called Kevin Sites In The Hot Zone and it is rad. I've gotta get in contact with him and hear his words of wisdom.

***Update 2 - They even list his gear on the site. The computer/sat phone combo are nice, but there are even smaller cameras on the market now that shoot to hard disk, so that you don't have to carry a bunch of tapes. 

----

I'm not a techie. I'm a filmmaker with a lot of technical experience, but I run on intuition, not manual-smarts. So trying to put together the perfect professional high-definition all-in-one travel filmmaking and web-broadcasting package is no simple feat.

My plan is to get a very small HD handycam, perhaps a wireless mic that inputs through 1/8 inch, a Macbook Air equipped with Final Cut Pro Studio and a little USB antenna that picks up high-speed internet through cell phone towers.

If I'm really going to do this, traveling around the globe, making videos, editing them and uploading them from various countries, my kit needs to be very light weight and yet still pack the professional punch that I get using all my big bulky equipment at home. Here's a look at some of the stuff I'm looking at purchasing:

Compare that to what I brought when I shot the documentary in Brazil in 2006.

And then here are my two favorite videos from the Liberation Commission Video blog, the first one was shot on my little 5 mega pixel Sony Cybershot digital camera, just a point and shoot with a video option:

The second one was shot in HDV using a Sony HC1 video camera, shot on mini-dv tape:

The first one was shot at a resolution of 640x480 and the second at 1440x1080, but they're equally awesome. That's the power of editing and good music. I think I took both of the tracks from the Rushmore soundtrack actually.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Y: The Last Man - Graphic Novel

A GREAT graphic novel that tells the story of a plague that wipes out every mammal with a Y chromosome (all men) except for one young man and his pet monkey. If it is even possible that this might be something you'd be into, you owe it to yourself to go and buy it.

Read it now before the movie comes out. I hear Hollywood is making it into a film.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Get Out! Red Carpet Party, Hollywood


Today is the day that represents the supposed reason for coming out to L.A. for a week and a half. Originally I was just going to be attending the 100th episode party for the show I filmed in Mexico last January called Get Out! But then my friend and producer Crystal decided to hook me up with a gig shooting the red carpet party. So I went from being a guest to working the show. That's the way things go for me. So I rented a car for the day and I'm heading down to Manhattan Beach a little bit later to shoot some preliminary stuff before hitting Hollywood tonight for the Red Carpet party.

Thanks for the hook up Crystal.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Traveling Again

Late this month I'll be traveling to Montana for my cousin's wedding. This will be my first time ever to set foot on Montanan soil, and the wedding is in Glacier National Park, so needless to say, I'm quite excited. There will be some trout fishing involved.

I'm in L.A. now and I originally booked a one-way ticket, so in some sense I've been stuck here. Prices kept climbing so even though I originally planned on going back to DFW on Saturday, I went ahead and postponed my departure until Tuesday, 3 days later than planned, in order to keep my ticket under three hundred dollars.

I had also only booked a one-way ticket to Montana, so in order to avoid the same thing happening, I just crawled out of bed at 2am and booked my flight home from the north country. I'm flying back out of Minneapolis rather than Montana in order to make a trip after the wedding to see my grandparents in Wisconsin, and then flying back to DFW on July 3rd.


I also found out today that the new plan for the Mission Reality wrap up is to go to Kenya on July 10th for 3 or 4 days and then fly to India for 3 or 4 days. After that I hope to work my way back around the planet going East. That's my plan.

I'm doing an insane amount of flying and driving this summer. AA Gold status here I come.

Monday, June 09, 2008

St. Louis, Before The Wedding

This video was actually made a few days ago, but my internet connection at our hotel in St. Louis wasn't very quick or reliable so the video just refused to upload.

And to think I was planning on uploading videos via a satellite connection, like Youtube was going to allow that!

Friday, June 06, 2008

Cool Video, Though Not Mine

Late of The Pier - Focker

Etiketter:



Maybe it's just my state of mind at the moment, but I thoroughly enjoyed this video.

I'd upload one of my own (we made it I swear!) but free hotel internet is being stupid!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The Lakehouse


Today was Austin's bachelor party. Right now Grayson and I are sitting in the van, it's 4am and we've been uploading this video outside the (obviously) closed pastry shop in historic Hollister.

You're getting 1/10th of the story, so it goes...

Monday, June 02, 2008

Curtis Needs a Ride in Hollister, MO


These videos probably don't make perfect sense, I mean, we're not going into great exposition of exactly what we're doing, but that kind of epitomizes the trip in general.

Right now Grayson is dressed as the Big Bad Wold, just escaped from prison, running down the railroad tracks being chased by Steve. He's also bleeding because he fell out of a tree.

It's been a strange trip.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Funny Bathroom Sign

This is all a test of my traveling video blog skills. I'd love for there to be more to these videos, but we're already shooting a TV pilot, so the video blog thing is kind of an afterthought. I'll try to do some funny ones later this week.



In the future, I'd like to get a good HD camera and a nice mic (really micro-sized) and upload really high quality videos as I travel all over the globe. For now I'll stick with the Sony Cybershot point and shoot and the wifi I can pick up by walking down the street waving my Macbook in the air.