Monday, June 29, 2009
Saturday, June 27, 2009
If you watch nothing else, forward to the last five minutes, it's beautiful.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Not on did I get beaten, she rubbed it in my face. Ah sweet humiliation.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
THE CHALLENGEJoin endurance bibliophiles from around the world in reading Infinite Jest over the summer of 2009, June 21st to September 22nd. A thousand pages1 ÷ 92 days = 75 pages a week. No sweat.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Friday, June 19, 2009
Listen on a long drive, or somewhere quiet. And listen to the show in it's entirety. Let Radiolab explain everything, it just might set your world back on it's axis.
Monday, June 15, 2009
In the past, I've either been paid for portions of my travels or I've had immediate work lined up upon my return. On the trip to New Zealand and Australia, not only was I paying out of pocket to finance most of the movie (Jonathan financed the camera dept.), I was also paying big bucks for the Australia leg, which comprised two-thirds of our time abroad. I came back to the states having spent most of my money, having put much of the expenses on credit cards and then to make matters worse, I lost my best client, who I'd planned on doing work for in Dallas shortly after returning. So not only was I broke, but I had no work lined up in the foreseeable future. Just like every major trip before it, the excitement and power I'd felt while surviving on the road turned into a feeling of worthlessness and uselessness immediately upon returning to normal life back in the U.S. This is to be expected, but when it's upon you, it's inescapable and overwhelming.
I'm happy to report that life is back on track and I'm feeling happy, fulfilled and useful again, possibly more so than ever. Success in a career as a filmmaker is very dependent on relationships, on having friends in the business. In a panic, at three in the morning, the day before I left L.A., I began writing emails to everyone I knew, to inform them that I was back in the States and that I was looking for work immediately. One of my friends, a successful editor wrote me back soon after, saying that I sounded desperate. He was either genuinely concerned for my mental well-being or condescending, I couldn't tell. I wrote him back and said, "yes, I am desperate." I wasn't asking to borrow money, I was asking to work, there's no shame in that. While I was driving across the desert, I got a call from another friend who is a successful director of photography. I'd emailed him as well. I explained my situation and he offered me a favor. He said that he would pull some strings to get me into a union and then help get me a job on his next show. It's a gig that would start in September and continue for six months until February 2010. He needed my absolute commitment, but gave me two weeks to decide. The job is a slight detour from my current career path, but pays more money than I've ever made on anything, so I'd be honored to have the position. Six months seems like a lifetime, but with the money I will save, I will easily be able to finance my next movie. Just having the opportunity available has lifted my spirits a great deal. Knowing that I will be able pay off my credit card debt if I take the job, takes a huge burden off my shoulders.
Now I'm back at home, my parent's home, working on our movie, "More Than It Is - A backpacker love story in New Zealand," marrying the audio from the digital recorder to the video we shot on the Canon 5D Mark II and organizing all of the footage. Not having any paying work is actually a huge blessing. I haven't had time to focus on my personal projects in the last year and now I have at least a month before I have any job prospects, so I'm working feverishly to get this movie laid out in a way that it will be easy for our editor to cut. Having finally produced a movie is a very fulfilling feeling. I feel proud of what Jonathan and I have created (with a special thanks to Cherie Ditcham, Beth MacDonald and all of the backpackers we met along the way).
Making movies is hard, I love it.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Monday, June 08, 2009
After far too long in Sydney, rainy days that just would not stop, including a very wet and mild journey to the Blue Mountains, we took a sunny respite to Arlie Beach in the tropic of Capricorn and then on to a three-day SCUBA diving cruise around the Whitsunday islands and outer Great Barrier Reef. We flew back down to Brisbane, a city on a winding river, just inland from the East Coast and about halfway down the country. We spent one night, more concerned with finding a good, cheap dinner and a full night's sleep, than seeing the sights of the city.
In the morning we flew to Alice Springs, the red, dead-center of the Australian Outback. The tourism pull for Alice Springs is a place called Uluru, the site of a giant, red, sandstone monolyth, the largest in the world, alone in the flat desert. We found upon landing that Uluru, or "the rock" as the locals called it, was a four hour drive South, pending safe travels at 90 mph, past suicidal Kangaroos, cattle, wild horses and giant, wild camels.
At the airport, a tall, kind, young African man working for one of the hostels in town, gave us the phone number for a car rental company called "Central," the only one in Alice Springs with unlimited kilometers. Clint tipped the African man five dollars for his altruism, Central picked us up from the airport for free and with warm hearts, having saved hundreds of dollars, we were off, into the heart of the outback.
(Camel that wandered across the road in front of us)
Driving at night is strongly cautioned against in the outback. There are no fences, dusk is the main feeding time for wombats, there are more than two million human sized kangaroos in the Northern territory, cattle wander unfenced, nine foot tall wild camels strut across the road, packs of wild horses run free and giant desert eagles munch on the roadkill, taking off over your hood like Pterodactyls. Then there are the road trains. In the U.S., eighteen wheeler tractor-trailers rule the interstates. In Central Australia, 700 horse-power super trucks, three times the size of their American cousins roar across the desert, pulling three double-decker trailers at 130 kph. Overtaking them is nothing short of exhilarating.
We arrived just after dusk, at the Ayer's Rock (Uluru) Resort, a hospitality monopoly within eye shot of the rock. Our overpriced beds in our 20 man dorm were the most comfortable on our trip so far. The resort was boring, but with it being the off-season and the only overcast days of the year, it was to be expected. We rose before dawn and drove into the park, paying twenty five dollars AUS for a three day pass. There are two parking areas, one for the sunset side and one for the sunrise. The rock was shrouded in a mid-rise cloud that never lifted.
(Uluru, shrouded in fog at dawn)
We drove back and took a nap before heading over to the other side of the park to see Kata Tjuta (formerly called "The Olgas"). We did the short hike into one of the canyons. The peaks of Kata Tjuta are actually higher than Uluru and walking between them made us feel tiny.
(The steep sandstone walls of Kata Tjuta (The Olgas))
We drove back over to Uluru and took our time walking the nine kilometer trail around the rock, almost missing sunset. It was still overcast, but our view of the rock was unobstructed and Jonathan shot a good time-lapse of still images on the RAW setting using his Canon 5D Mark II.
A group decision was made to check out the following morning, so that we could take a 350 km detour to hike Kings Canyon, petrified ancient sand dunes, split down the middle by shear 270 meter high cliff faces. As we drove in we were pleased to find the park to be free. The dense clouds broke revealing a blue sky and we slapped on sunscreen in the parking lot, elated by the vitamin D finally coursing through our veins. The hike was great fun and a unique landscape of barren red undulating sandstone.
(Photo by Jonathan Nicholas)
We spotted a large kangaroo and chased him off the track, having to lower ourselves down a small chasm and across a still pool to find our way back out of the park.
The clouds closed behind us as we drove through the arch of a rainbow on our way out of the park. Dusk turned into darkness and it was a harrowing three-hour drive to a desolate rest area called Erldunda. Our hostel room would be a fantastic setting for a horror movie; we were all happy to have each other’s company and we bought each other three rounds of beers to celebrate a safe end to the evening.
It was a smooth, fast drive back into Alice Springs, where we enjoyed a nice lunch at the café inside the Royal Flying Doctors museum, a little hidden gem in the city. Now we are flying back to Brisbane via Sydney; twelve hours of driving in two days before we fly from Sydney back to L.A. on June fifth. The plan is to turn the footage Jonathan has been shooting into a pilot, then to sell that pilot and turn this adventure into a lifestyle.
More pics from Anton's facebook here.