Monday, February 28, 2011

Jayne Russell RIP 2.28.2011

The original OUTLAW, (thanks to Howard Hughes)  With measurements of 38D-24-36 and standing 5'7" its easy to see how, in my opinion she was at the top of her class when it came to cheescake time.  Probably the reason I love brunettes, and the reason I wear glasses to this day and have to shave my palms, there will never be anyone like here ever again.... the truth is the current crop of broads in the public eye couldn't carry this womans bra on their best day. RIP Jayne Russell.... Thank you for being a young boys first fantasy! 

Editing out the dead wood... TV show update #4

At some point in any given project its obvious that the thing is going to grow beyond your ability to "do it all" for lack of a better term.  Certainly thats the case with the the TV show.  Hell, I knew that even before we shot so much as one frame of video.  Once I sat down and started mapping the project out, the one thing that really stuck out like a diamond in a goats ass as being one of those areas that I was going to need help in, was post production.  Not that I cant edit.  I can certainly do that, and WOULD be doing that. No, what I needed was the equipment.... So in a day in age when spending a grueling ten minutes with Google makes you pretty much an expert in any given field of inquiry, I had, in short order, a list of companies that seemed like good prospects for involvement in helping me get this off the ground.  I narrowed the list to three possibles. One, (my dream company) looked like it would cost a million dollars to get in the door.  My hearts first choice, but my bank accounts last one...  Never the less  I had kept em on the list regardless.  (Just because I'm a penny less fuck with no production budget and doing this on a shoe string doesn't mean ill ALWAYS be that way).  The second company on the list was my "plan B guys" just in case, and finally company number 3 looked appropriately small sized and approachable. So I made a call and had a meeting. Things went well, and it seemed like a good working relationship was going to be established in short order.  Eugene, the principal at "VIP" was very reassuring, and all smiles as we talked about the concept and how to get a satisfactorily engaging and pitch-able show in the can, as it were. 

However, it takes more than a bit of enthusiasm and that aforementioned reassuring attitude to actually get shit done.  As well intentioned as I do, to this day, believe Eugene was- ultimately he proved to just  be a flake that didnt really care about the project.  That or he got busy with actual paying customers.  I dunno.  Either way, the end of the road came pretty quick.  But not before it cost me two weeks, and a couple of sleepless nights.  Mostly what Eugene never did was something as simple as just return my calls.  If even for something as simple as to tell me to screw off.  Whatever. At least that would've been helpful in getting me to stop trying to second guess the reasons as to why we werent getting anywhere in the editing process. 
Luckily though, no money had exchanged hands, so to a large degree it was a "no blood no foul" kinda deal. Fine. Ill move on.  
Ok, time for the Plan B guys.  Remember them from the first paragraph?  Yeah, well turned out they are a FAITH BASED company that make videos for gawd.  TOTALLY unusable for my project.  That little bit of revelation left me smack dab on the doorstep of my dream company, with nothing more than a nearly depleted checkbook and a smile. With more than just a little trepidation I dialed the phone and made a call.  After a very nice dialog with the owner of the production facility, a meeting was scheduled, which ultimately led to another and then a series of negotiations that found me a home with what should have been the guys I should have been dealing with right from the beginning.  And, more importantly at a very workable price. 

Firmly ensconced now in the editing process, it feels nice to be dealing with a company that actually answers its phones, has professional people working in all aspects of its day to day operations, and takes what it does as seriously as I do. 
Finally getting down to the raw nuts and bolts of the editing process has gotten me engaged and excited again about the show, and watching the teaser/ trailer come together frame by frame is a lot like watching your dream house being built brick by brick.  Patience a virtue be, indeed.  And although I am two weeks behind where I wanted to be, at least now, I know for a fact I'm going to get as a good a product out of this as possible at the end of the day. 

Next time, we talk about the ethos of editing - and how easily it turns out you can get sidetracked with bells and whistles. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

The revolution takes shape.... TV project update.

To be a car guy of my generation was to grow up absorbing a largely mythical history.  Mythical that is in stature. Characters, artists and car builders that were legendary - even in their own day, populated a landscape rich with ingenuity and originality. Form followed function, and that function was to be as cool as humanly imaginable. Style and common sense were the currency of the day when it came to chopping a top, or frenching a set of headlights.  In that America, the good guys always won in the movies, red shirts always died on star trek, and cars made sense. The stark reality of today however, is quiet different my friends. Fueled largely it seems, by people bent on fist fucking our kulture for every penny they can get, there is a virtual cacophony of show promoters, car "builders", johnny come lately hipster wanna be artist types and, know nothing tv producers. All fighting, it seems, to be the biggest fish in the pond.  But not doing it through thoughtful construction of anything meaningful. No. These mouth breathers are catering to the lowest common denominator." Weld more barb wire to that cowl, johnny... cause if a little is good, then alot must be TV level cool". (assuming that tv level is some crap the discovery channel would churn out).  Things today seem to be getting lost in a morass of stupidity gone wild. And whats on television is no exception. In fact, its leading the way.   
With any luck, the latest project that Im taking on will serve as a jumping off point to change all that, or at the very least inspire someone to not shoot more, bigger, or any holes actually into their car in a vain attempt to show the rest of the world what a moron he is. ( or is that bad ass... I forget.) 


Portland. What an experience it was shooting there. Even though we were there during a month that at its worst in recorded history noted a cumulative total of nearly a foot of rain, the weather gods, it seemed were smiling on us, and granted us better than fair weather with which to shoot our little odyssey.  Friendly people (with the obvious exception of the jerk offs at Burnside skate park, who for the record can eat a bowl of dicks for all of me) decent cars, and more than a surprise or two, in what I found as I explored a city I thought I knew. 

It makes almost no sense to go into what it was we did shoot while we were there, because the reality is, that soon enough you will see it for yourself.  But suffice it to say, my worst fears were laid to rest. Those fears notably being that the worst elements in our kulture had begun to take over in what may well be one of the northwests most beautiful cities. 
5 days of work, and by calling on more than a few favors produced just slightly more than 141 GIGABYTES of video from which to cut a show.  Editing now is the word of the day, and after a short hicup in my post production plans (of which Ill go into in detail in the next post) The only thing lacking it seemed was music. 

Music it has been said, is the river in which our lives flow. I have been told by older, much wiser men than myself, to never trust someone who doesn't listen to music. How then, can you do a creative project without that magical component that at its best blends elements together, and helps to make sense of whatever it is your doing. The short answer is; you cant.  So all along this process in the back of mind I knew I needed a band to work with. Someone that can provide the spiritual backbone to what it was I am doing. 
It turns out I didnt have to look far. In fact, they were right in front of me. LITERALLY. My first friday night in town Dex and I went to Duffs, and playing that night at the bar was a band that certainly fit the bill. I give you, the Twangshifters. Frankly I was blown away by what they had going on. It was more than obvious that somehow, I had to get them on board with the show. (or at least get their permission to use some of their music)  So, after introductions we decided to meet up later in the week.  That Wednesday we had a very productive lunch with Sean, Sara and Ruby, in which we laid the plans to divide and conquer the western world. And more importantly I had an awesome band and a fitting soundtrack to go along with the video we were shooting.  Taylor made rockabilly goodness provided by a band and a group of people that "get it". You couldn't ask for anything more.  

By that Saturday we had wrapped principal photography, and Monday morning I was headed to the editing facility to begin work on the final phase of creating this thing. . . But as with so many things in life, what seemingly would or should be the most straight forward and easy tasks sometimes get to be the biggest stumbling blocks. Next time, business 101....... (or hey, maybe just return my phone calls, Eugene). 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

pinup update for the week.... its a video.

Miss Karla Joy, and one of my favorite "I love Lucy" episodes, like - EVER. Smart, original, sexy and fun. Done in the TRUE spirit of burlesque. Nicely done!! 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

As if I had written it myself..........

TV show update Feb 15th 2010 what are we doin' exactly!?

So now that the cats out of the bag, its time to get everyone up to speed on the latest with the show.   First, let me give you guys a short history review just so we are all on the same page.

Once the decision was made to actually do a show (back around before Halloween) – you quickly realize that you need more than just a good idea and the best intentions to be able to produce something.  So a fair amount of time was spent first, conceptualizing, and then working out the specifics of what the thing should look and feel like once all the dust had settled.  To that end, I knew two things right off the bat. ONE: I wanted this to be cinematic in scope and feel. And TWO: it could not follow any of the already established and over used formulaic formats that already exist. What do I mean by that? Well, I give you as an example 80’s porn. Anyone who has cared to take the time and examine adult cinema from that era  realizes pretty quickly that no matter what the pretense was to get one girl and one guy together, be it a pizza delivery man, or a pool cleaner or what have you, once the bad music started you could look forward to 5 things. Oral on him, oral on her, two positions, and a pop shot. That’s it. No matter what else happened or what else took place it was; cue the looped bowbowchichabowwow music and you saw oral, oral, two positions and a pop shot. TA DA! Porn. Same thing exists today, when it comes to automotive programing. Shows are either a D I Y format, with some dude talking to you from inside a shop, showing you how to build yet another SBC. Or its some stupid lame assed  competition show. Now, certainly there are variations on those themes, just as there was in porn back in the day. (ok, this week its TWO girls and a guy, or *GASP* we throw in a black chick) Teams compete against each other, they compete against a clock, or some artifical deadline and turn the thing into some kinda goofy game show with welders. Whatever. Point is, its been done, TO FUCKING DEATH. The reality is these shows weren't that compelling in the first place. And some 4 or 5 years in they have beatin that dead ass horse beyond death and into glue.

Ok, so we want it to look like something different.  Fresh concept in place (and I don’t want to describe it too much detail at this point, so I am, for now, still going to be a little secretive about it) it became readily apparent in short order that I was going to need some help with all this. At the bare minimum I needed a director of photography. I know, I know, a DP?! You only use those on MOVIES. Right. I know. Remember what the first thing was I wanted for the show? “cinematic in feel” –  well your only going to get a cinematic feel if you shoot the show LIKE A MOVIE!
Enter Travis Haight. One look at his body of work, and you see that he gets it.  I wanted to shoot in a highly polarized way, with what they call a “skinny shutter” .  He was already doing that. I wanted to be a little darker, a little more atistic, a lot more compelling from a visual standpoint. He was already doing it. I needed someone who had experience shooting video. He had it. I needed ( for budgetary reasons ) someone who already had his own HD equipment. He did.

After a flurry of emails and more than a couple of phone calls, we had arrived at an agreement to work together. All that was left now was to establish a show outline and set a date to go shoot it.

Again for budgetary reasons, and for the fact that Portland, Or. is re-pleat with correct kulture and a host of folks that are doing it right, we decided that we would shoot in and around Portland. I made some calls to a few people to see if they would be interested in being on the show, and once we had those details figured out, it was time to establish a show outline and get a shot list figured out. Again working with Travis, by early January we had a really good handle on exactly what it was we were going to do, and how it was we wanted to shoot it. We set a date, and got ready to get down to the business of shooting a TV show.

Ok –  so that is the back story….next time, what happened in Portland, and needing a soundtrack who the hell was I going to get to make music for us? Well guess what, I found the PERFECT band. Details on them as well next time. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Jungle Pam and drag racing from the day...

Pull top STEEL beer cans,  Maui wowie, 7 second floppers. ( I mean the cars ), and the Bud man.  70's era drag racing, even late 60's drag racing was its own animal. At least from a spectators point of view.  I was thinking a lot lately about Jungle Pam and her impact on the sport as americas most uninhibited "back up girl" maybe, ever. I know, I know... there are other broads I could point to and talk about as being influential from back in the day. (think driver(s) here, specifically drivers that had a chip on her shoulders the size of a roots blower) But frankly they just were no where near as nice to look at, and were more than just a little bit of a pain in the ass to deal with.  Jungle Pam has to this day managed to keep the interest of more than a few drag racing fans. She was unpretentious, and I think, sincere- in that all she wanted to do was go out  and have a good time. Isnt that what we are supposed to be doing with our past times? Enjoying ourselves?! I care less for someone who is essentially an entertainer who forces, or tries to force some kind of social or political change on me from the grandstands, and appreciate much more, a person who honestly and frankly wants nothing more than to have a good time and unwind a bit. Anyway, enjoy some of Pams pix ... I consider myself lucky to have gotten to see her in person, in the day!

(im not "sure" this last one is of Pam, but whoever it is, let me just say; nicely done ma'am!)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

what's all this then?

A long time ago Miles Coverdale in Matrymonye (1541) offered the following sage advice; “That whych thou cannest do conueniently thyselfe commytte it not to another”.  More recently Henry Wadsworth Longfellow circa 1858 or so, distilled that sentiment into one of my favorite proverbs: If you want something done right, do it yourself. 

     I have spent an inordinate amount of time and energy lately bitching about the current deplorable state of automotive television.  And although I do enjoy grousing about crappy TV as much as the next guy, the truth is.... I really am not the next guy.
am a guy more likely to to try to change the status quo, for better or worse.  And taking on new projects isn't exactly foreign to me. Even if I am in an unfamiliar environment.
I'm the one, after all, that helped to bring the first sustainable kulture magazine to life with my brotha and long time co conspirator Zombie. And although people “in the know” laughed at our early attempts, ultimately the latest incarnation of that effort is the number ONE selling publication in the transportation sector of magazine sales on new stands everywhere.  It has spawned literally EVERY OTHER MAG OUT THERE NOW. Even Hot Rod has come back to the table with “hot rod deluxe”.  Does anyone think that happened by accident?  I don’t. I personally have been immersed in the automotive customizing field since the early 80’s and found my way into our specific kulture shortly after I became aware, in the late 90's, of artists like Von Franco, and Diablo, along with clubs like the shifters and Lucky Devils who showed us all the way back to our TRADITIONAL roots.

     It is with that eye towards, and knowledge of, our shared history then that it is all the more painful to watch know nothing TV producers foist barely viable content on us night after night, show after unwatchable show. Mostly these shows are crap, but more to the point they are at best a sad vestige of what could actually be accomplished if any of these producers gave a shit. Bad content is the rule of the day it seems and made all the worse with the use of “fast edits” and artificially enforced deadlines, or concocted conflict between show participants. The creators of this garbage opting for the easy buck, and throwing true creativity out the window with the baby, the bathwater, and the bathtub it would seem.  Appealing instead to the lowest common denominator, what I like to call the “WWE crowd”. -If you dig pro wrestling, you probably have no idea what I'm talking about-. Formulaic at best, insulting at worst. These shows deserve nothing more than to be erased from our collective memory.  Nevertheless, frustration builds to a boiling point, and recently after becoming aware of an even worse creation that has found its way onto TV (rat rod television) I find myself unable to take any more. It is, quiet simply, time for action.

      I have debated myself unendingly for the better part of 3 months now.  But every time I come to the end of the argument I reach the same conclusion. If I can do a better show, why AREN'T I doing it? It’s the same exact conversation I had all those years ago, when we sat down to do the first magazine. AND the same one Naga and I had when we set out to do the radio show. (which it should be noted, a little more than a year later has been a HUGE success for us).  So it is then with more than just a bit of determination in my eye, and plenty of enthusiasm from the people that are connected with the project that I am announcing the following: I am currently well into the production process of creating, directing, producing, shooting, editing, and marketing my own television show.  The first of its kind, and NOTHING like anything else you have seen.  Although I have alluded to the project for some time now, on FaceBook, or my blog, or the radio show, I have yet to come out with specific details or a line by line explanation so to speak. That time is over. Going forward I want the process to be as transparent as possible. I want it to be collaborative and all encompassing. But what I want more than anything else is for this show to be one that YOU would want to watch. One that’s honest with itself, and honest with its viewership.  The pilot has been shot, and I'm deep into the editing process as of the date of the writing of this post.  Soon I will have a “teaser trailer” or “sizzle reel” as the industry insiders insist on calling it, up on line for everyone to check out.  To date its been a labor of love that I have had the privilege to share with friends old, and new. But its been a secret labor. Well, now its time to let everyone in on the joke. 

     New posts here as shit happens, and much more detailed updates from here on in, as I want everyone to share the process going forward. Cause no matter what happens now, one way or the other, with network support or not, I'm doing this show, period.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Monday, February 7, 2011

Like a one legged cat in shit coverin contest. . .

When I was just a little boy, I remember we had an old crusty neighbor. Seasoned I guess you would call him now a days. To me his leathery skin and sandpaper rough dialog was evidence of his having lived life in a different way than my dad, or most men I knew at that time in my life. He virtually reeked of asian hookers and cordite, even at his advance age. 
Maybe the thing I remember about our neighbor the most though was this......... he had the most colorful sayings I had ever heard. One of my favorites I use to this day when I am just as busy as I can be is this one: "Im as busy as a one legged cat in a shit coverin contest on a concrete floor".  You just dont hear wisdom like that these days. But, given the events of the last couple of weeks, it certainly applies to me now. I have been extra busy with a couple different projects, and to that end I have ignored the blog. Sorry about that. This week though I will MORE than make up for any absence of late. pinup update tomorrow, and by the end of the week, maybe the biggest news Ive ever announced.  What could it possibly be? well, Im not coming out, so all you fans of mine that are of a alternative lifestyle put the lube and mesh underware away. I still love the pussy. 
Well that, and a correctly prepared cocktail. And there is always time for those two things no matter HOW busy I get!