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Busy

Sorry I’ve been MIA but holy fucking shitballs have we been busy. I mean busier than we ever could have expected. But I promised myself I wouldn't let this blog fall to the wayside like so many of mine have before so I'm squezzing (sic) in this blurb before I head back up to the diner. We knew we would be busy but we greatly underestimated the amount of staff it would take to handle it. So far I have been at the diner from open to close everyday. This weekend was ridiculous. I mean wer’e so busy that Amy’s Mom, Dad, and both their respective significant others were bussing tables and doing dishes for us most of both days. Even on Tuesday, which is traditionally a pretty slow day in this biz, we did better than our busiest day ever at the stupid rail market. I hope everyone loves their food and the atmosphere. We really do just want to serve great food and provide a cool place to eat it.

Luckily Amy and I were able to take a small dose of chill on Monday and hang out with David, Yen, and Jim. We had a nice dinner and were able to see Jim off proper like. He was our houseguest last week. Unfortunately we didn’t get to do much visiting so I’m glad we found some time to actually sit down and hang out with him. He’s a cool mo-fo. I’m constantly amazed at the group of friends I’ve amassed.
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food vs. film

Well, at long last we got our final inspection for Spiral Diner. It looks like we’ll be opening on Saturday. What a crazy time this has been. I think that most people like Amy and myself who are driven by a passion for something have a neat little ability to downplay the risk and all-consuming time factor of any given task. I know this is true of all my fellow Deadroom directors and most musicians and artist I know. The thought “Man this is gonna be really hard” is just an understood. “Yeah, but who cares.” Hemorrhaging money, time, stress, exhaustion, blood, sweat, tears; all these are requirements of the drive to create something great. They don’t even affect the decision really. It’s accepted that those things are part of the process.

But what if you fail?
Whaddya mean?
What if it doesn’t work?
Of course it’ll work!

That’s the other thing that those with passion often ignore. The risk of catastrophe. The reality is that actually doing what your driven to do is the success. In doing that thing that drives us we can never fail. Failure is just not part of the equation. Unless we don’t do it, then we fail. Better to die broke than be alive full of regret.

It’s amazing to me that making films exist in this whole other world. Getting Spiral ready has been a huge task full of red tape and all sorts of rules and regulations. When you want to make a film you just do it. If you want to open a restaurant you can’t just rent a space and open up. That’s pretty much how it goes with any business. There are rules and regulations. However, if you decide to make a film. Well there you go. Just get some equipment, actors, and a crew and do it. No red tape (at least on the indie level.)

Anyway, having this all done is a huge weight off my chest and I can finally start concentrating on film again. I really would like to get a damn script finished. I've started a bunch but just haven't had the capacity to stay on task and finish them. Amy’s really concerned with me staying off the schedule at Spiral so I can spend time getting some writing done. Now ain’t that cool. I plan to not let her down. David has written 12 complete scripts to my three. I gotta catch up to that sonofabitch (just as soon as I finish reading and giving feedback on his 12th, Henry Lee.)
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Deadroom in Filmmaker

Deadroom is in the new issue of Filmmaker Magazine. A pretty amazing feat considering it's the best magazine about Independent Filmmaking in the country. This came about due to an old connection David and I have with the writer Mary Glucksman. It's not much of a connection but in 2001 my short film "The Knocker" was playing at the Deep Ellum Film Festival. Through a set of circumstances David and I ended up having dinner with John Pierson and Mary was there with him. After dinner she passed us her card and said to let her know what we got going on in the future. Well, here it is three years later and Deadroom's what we got going on so we sent her an email. Amazingly she remembered us and said we could send her a media kit and she'd look it over. Well, she liked what she saw and whalla we're in Filmmaker. It's amazing to know that even a fragile connection such as that still means something in this business. Anyway, please pick up a copy at your local newsstand and show your support for a great magazine.

Oh yeah, Deadroom is on IMDb now so if you've seen it please write a review: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0418625/
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Stress and Inspiration

David handed me a book and said you have to direct this. I’ll write the script but you have to direct it. To me that’s a huge compliment. David is quite an astute critic and knowing he has the confidence in me to adapt such a work is very fulfilling. In fact it has reignited my feigning drive for filmmaking. Not that I was thinking of giving up or anything. I’m just really tired lately. Lots of long days filled with stress over getting the new restaurant open, plus the general elevated level of anxiety over how fucked up America has gotten. In thinking of my friends going to protest at the RNC it pains me to know that we’ve allowed our land of the free to become so close to a police state that they can arrest you just for being at a protest, or how the house passed a bill saying the Supreme court can’t hear a case that challenges the Marriage Protection Act. What the fuck? Traitors and every one of them should be jailed for terrorism. Our constitution guarantees a checks and balance system and yes seperation of church and state. You can’t just throw that out the window. If the Senate passed this (which they won’t) that would set a precedent meaning they could pass any law (like declaring Christianity the official religion) and no one would be able to challenge it in court.

Anyway, I finally found some time to sit down and read the book David gave me. It is pure genius. I mean really fucking good. At first I wasn’t sure where it was going or why David insisted that I should be the one to direct it. Then about half way through I got to it. Brilliant. I am going to make this movie someday. I have purposefully left out the name of the book because I don’t want to jinx it and I don’t want anyone to steal our idea and buy the rights to it before we do. I’m about a third of the way through now and I’m already picking out actors, planning locations, and developing the visual style. All this is rather futile considering it will be quite a few years before I have the clout to gather a budget for such a project. Planning never hurts.
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Why I Hate Religion

This is so fucking scary. Everyone please read this article and recommit yourself to the idea that WE CAN NOT JUST SIT BACK AND COMPLAIN ANYMORE. WE HAVE TO GET OUT AND MAKE SOMETHING HAPPEN.
Article III, Section 2 and the Wobbly Wall Between Church and State
by Maureen Farrell
"Whatever else it achieves, the presidential campaign of 2000 will be remembered as the time in American politics when the wall separating church and state began to collapse." -- New York Times Magazine, Jan. 30, 2000

Full article here.

UPDATE: Someone somewhere must have a link up to this entry because I keep getting a lot of fiery anonymous comments from religion haters out there. I try not to make a habit of allowing comments without some ownership by the author when they contain such strong words. So just an FYI, while I do appreciate your comments, please don't leave them incognito. Thanks!
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Falling in the Dark

Crawford was great. Beautiful actually. It pains me that such a vile man can vacation in that beautiful country while others suffer due to his policies. The F-9/11 screening was great. The set up was pretty amazing. They had an actual Theater screen attached to a giant blow-up frame and a van that had been converted to a projection booth. It was so sweet. All this was sponsored by the Alamo Drafthouse whom apparantly does this sort of thing all the time (not specifically for F-9/11 but outdoor screenings in general.) There were 3000-5000 people in attendence. I was glad to see several Bush supporters actually come inside to watch the screening versus the 20 or so who just stood outside with signs like "Moore Liberal B.S." or "No Moore Lies." I wonder if any of them had even bothered to watch the film. Some poeple resorted to handing out flyers about about the "59 deceits of F-9/11" (there is a great website that rebukes these here.) There were rednecks driving around in huge big-tire 4x4s with self-made Bush/Cheney signs, staring harshly at all those walking toward the screening. I suppose they were trying to be intimidating. All in all it was a very peaceful, affirming event. Moore himself couldn't make it out of Boston to attend the screening but there were some great speakers there. Please visit the website for the Crawford Peace House, http://www.crawfordpeacehouse.org/index.html, when you have a chance. It's an amazing thing they got going on.

After the screening me, Amy, Curtis, and several other friends went swimming and jumping off water falls in the dark. Actually, I just observed 'cos I didn't feel like soaking my only set of clothes. But everyone else swam and had a great time. We thought for sure Homeland Security would come make us leave but no such event occured. Then on the drive back there was a beautiful electrical storm. There was lightening landing in the fields all around us giving us hints of daytime strength strobe lighting the whole drive. At some points it rained so hard that I just had to drive 10 mph on the highway. Just yesterday Curtis told me that night a bridge on our same route home had collapsed due to river swell. Unfortunately no one knew about it and the rest of the night several cars drove off the bridge in the dark. Dozens died that way.