It’s already been a very busy week. I went to Cincinnati for a TV interview about my last book and the other things on AMAZON.COM for sale. I didn’t even solicit this one; it just came to me. I’m amazed I own a car that can make 2 trips to Cincinnati in 2 weeks and not die on me. Viva La Employment!
Thursday night, I judged the high school film festival again. There were fewer entries, but the quality increased. I think that’s a sign of success of Lisa Dale-Press, the teacher. If the students actually LEARN, then the success shows. Every year I’m impressed by what high school kids can do in their spare time or with an elective. This is the opposite of how I feel towards many of the newbies and wannabes in my film community. I guess it’s because they don’t seem to learn anything or progress at a microscopic level. Ironically, some of the movies the high school kids did rival (and surpass)
Social Networks, like the now passé MYSPACE, and the current fad of FACEBOOK have an amazing ability to RE-connect people. Several people I knew over 20 years ago in a long forgotten chapter of my life living in El Paso Texas have literally started to haunt me. I say “haunt” because VHS home movies we made in junior high (9th grade was still Junior High in El Paso) are now surfacing in their video pages. I haven’t felt embarrassed since my birthday party when a movie I worked on anonymously credited me by name on YouTube and I was showing off how bad the movie was and BAMM! There was my name.
I can laugh at myself. I don’t mind that these videos are out there. Forgive me if I don’t promote them as feverishly as I do my current works, but I think it’s humbling to have something truly humiliating out in the world. The worst part is the “music videos” we made for Van Halen songs… before I learned how to play guitar. I really did learn to play most of the Van Halen catalog in the late 1980’s and into the 1990’s. Now even some of our “narrative” sketches are making their way online. I forgot so much of what I did then, that these are a surprise to me.
I do remember one thing we did. We did a spoof of a sci fi movie, the name escaped me until I was told it was going to be online soon, “Space Herpes”. Even though it was 5-6 of us fooling around with a camcorder, I recall coming up with how to shoot this linearly (a term I wouldn’t learn for 17-18 more years), and edit in the camera. We took one of the guys and had him be both the bad guy (wearing a Darth Vader Mask) and would “cut” (meaning stop the camera), then shoot the other angle of him still there. I had some innate knowledge of how to do this without any schooling in it. It was as if something else was driving me, or some ghost whispered the ideas into my head. I wish I had listened to that voice more and continued to do something with it then. I lost 15 years of productivity to the wanderings and muse of the song.
Ah, well. As the Talking Heads once said, These Memories Can’t Wait. I cannot change fate or time, at least according to Daniel Farraday who (SPOILER ALERT) may or may not be dead.
At least I can now see that not all my time in El Paso was bad. I made some friends who were good people, and still are I think. So much of what I remember of my time there was nefarious at best, but these are good memories.
Peter John Ross