Friday, February 20, 2009

Scuba Diving, Jungle Treks and Beach Activities

I'm hopping on a plane tomorrow afternoon and flying to the Island of Tahiti, one of the islands in a chain which is known as French Polynesia. Maybe you're pretty geographically savvy yourself, but a surprising amount of people I know have no idea where in the world Tahiti is located. I've heard people claim it's both in the Caribbean and off the coast of Africa. So I've made the map below to give you a better representation of where I will physically be.
It's always fun for me to imagine my tiny body, to the scale of the map, flying through the air from one destination to the other. It's so hard to believe that in these modern times we can go from one distinct geographical region of the planet to another with such ease.

As you may or may not know, I'm going to fulfill my role as "stunt camera operator" on a travel/adventure show called Get Out!. In reality, I will be directing, producing shooting and running my own sound on many of my own segments. I've done this in the past, but this year I really am on my own. For some segments it will just be me and the talent, taking small planes to outlying islands such as Moorea and Bora Bora to shoot scuba diving and other adventure activities. Also different this year is the extremely short production schedule. In the years past we've taken around 18 days to shoot 13 episodes. This year we're shooting the entire show in 5 and a half days. We're just shooting with 3 camera "crews." I put the word "crews" in parenthesis because my crew consists of me and only me. Adventure, here I come.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Guilty Pleasures

I've been listening to a lot of hip-hop lately. A direct result of my work with a graffiti supply company. This particular set of songs, The Hood Internet Mixtape Volume III has been in a pretty constant rotation on my iPhone for the past few weeks, although I think I've finally retired it. I also enjoyed this song by Kanye West called "Gifted."

I've been subscribed to the Jackass World RSS feed for quite a while now, but I let it get away from me and had about 90 posts waiting for me last week. I'd been hearing murmurings about a new show featuring one of the great stunt performers and showmen of our age, Travis Pastrana, called Nitro Circus and had been looking forward to seeing it 
on MTV. But it turns out that it's executive produced by Jeff
Tremaine and the Jackass boys, and they're actually posting the entire show on the Jackass World Website. I love watching human beings fly through the air, it's true. And when Travis Pastrana jumped out of an airplane WITHOUT A PARACHUTE, my jaw dropped open. It was a shocking sight. And then I dreamt about it all night (it happens in episode 1). Jackass could be hit or miss from skit to skit, but in my opinion, Jackass was high art. Let it be known that I also absolutely LOVE Wild Boyz.

I could keep going, but I don't want you to get the wrong impression of me. I also like tea and classic literature. But let's keep it honest.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

New News

•I desperately want a Kindle 2. It's thinner than an iphone and can hold up to 1,500 books. I know this device will change my life in a way. Once I have it I will wonder how I ever lived without it, I just know it. Too bad it's $350+ and I'm trying to save money for my trip to New Zealand and Australia in May.

•I'm making a movie. You know that secret I've been alluding to? Well, the cat's out of the bag. Although I don't know how much more you'll hear about it, because unlike my previous projects, The Liberation Commission and Around The World in 30 Days, this time I'm going to focus on the project and not focus on documenting the progress. Maybe this way I'll actually finish what I start.

In fact, why not make a short list of things I want real quick, so maybe I can get it off my chest and relieve some of the desire to buy.

1. Yakima Bike Rack for my Saab 9-2x
2. Panasonic HPX-170 HD video camera
3. Pit Bull Puppy
4. Designer World War I style boots
5. Scuba certification
6. New Brooks Running Shoes
7. Digital SLR camera (Nikon, Leica, Canon, any of those)

It just took me 15 minutes to think of those 7 items. Really all I want to do is put all of my necessities in a backpack and go explore the planet, yet another reason I don't buy much.

10 days 'til Tahiti.

Monday, February 09, 2009

ENLIGHTENMENT

The following video is of a man called James Howard Kunstler speaking at TED conference. His topic is the failure of Urban Design in America. The fact that most of urban America is myopically designed is just that, a fact. And it's leading towards a horrible infrastructure mess, not to mention an UGLY mess. Kunstler uses an illustration in his talk of an American soldier, wounded in the war in Iraq, breathing his last breath, dying for his country and imagining the home that he's dying for. Let's hope the image in his mind is not of an ugly strip mall.

The following video is a little under 20 minutes, is motivating, funny and enlightening. Please, please watch it (the last quarter is the best and most inspiring part).

(if you're viewing this in Google Reader, you'll have to go to my actual blog to view this video)
My thanks to Kevin Buchanan of Fortworthology.com for originally sharing it.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Do You Subscribe To The Sartorialist?

My friend Constance, you know, the one who was hit by an explosive tear gas canister in Bangkok last year, turned me on to the great fashion blog The Sartorialist. I grew up loving picture books even more than wordy books, so it figures that every time there is a Sartorialist post waiting for me in my Google Reader, I get a little bit elated.
He stops smartly and uniquely dressed people in the street, takes their photo and shares it on his blog. At least that's the way I understand it. I get about 75% of my fashion inspiration from he and his "guests" these days. Read his "about" page here.

My New Standing Desk

This is how I will work from now on.

As you may know, I've been training for a marathon for the past few months. Back in the days shortly after arriving in L.A., I had no bed and was therefore sleeping on the couch. The training and this horribly uncomfortable sleeping situation, not to mention the 25+ hour drive to get here, compounded into a horrible lower back injury. Because my job 40+ hours a week is as a video editor, I spend much of my time sitting at a desk, hunched over, examining video. Add to this the fact that I don't have a proper office chair and usually sit in a 40 pound wooden medieval thing and you'll see why my back hasn't healed properly in 5 months. Sometimes I would get up from the computer after a long day of editing and I would get shooting pains down my hips and up my spine and it would take a minute or two before I could actually stand up straight. This is not normal for a 25 year old man in supposed peak physical fitness. It is not right that I can run a mile in 5 minutes but I can hardly bend over and touch my knees.

Then the other day I went over to my friend Gordon's home-office and saw that he had a desk that was about three and a half feet off the ground. He'd pushed back his tall swivel chair and was rocking back and forth as he typed emails, sort of dancing to the rock music that he blares as he works. This reminded me of a documentary about Walter Murch (imdb), perhaps one of the greatest film editors of all time. He was interviewed while cutting Cold Mountain a few years ago, at the age of about 60. And shots of him working showed his six-foot-five frame, standing at a very tall editing bay cutting the film. If a 60 year old man can stand and edit all day, then so can a 25 year old Anton.

So yesterday, after getting home from the gym, I took a look at my desk and noticed that the desk was adjustable, all the way up to the shelves on top of it. So I took off the shelves, raised the desk and put the shelves underneath the whole contraption.
 I've been standing here for the last two days and have been editing more diligently than ever and my back has completely stopped hurting. Coincidence? I think not.

It hurts my eyes to even look at the old set-up. 
I'm never going back to the way things were.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

I'm Excited

Needless to say, my anticipation is quite distracting at the moment. I might only make 30k a year, but I have no complaints.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Updates on Anton from January 2009

•I wore a dressy vest and tie the other night and it felt oh-so-right.
•I love my church in L.A. more than I ever thought I could love a church.
•I'm going to Tahiti to shoot a TV show February 22nd through March 1st.
•I'm probably putting all my stuff in storage at the end of April and thus moving out of my apartment, my 13th move since college.
•I'm going to New Zealand on May 5th and coming back to L.A. via Sydney, Australia on June 5th.
•Other secret.
•I'm going to Matt and Rachel's wedding on June 13th in Fort Worth, TX.
•I'm going to Emily and Greg's wedding on July 4th in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
•When I eventually make it back to L.A. I'm probably going to need a new place to live.

This update is boring without revealing my secret. I'm bad at keeping secrets so I'm just going to sign off here. Thanks for checking in every once in a while. I'm looking forward to writing again - love you.