Career Options: Resolved

September 5, 2011

I’ve been spending the last few weeks getting enrolled at Morrisville State College in an online program called “Office Technology”. Once I complete this program, I hope to find work as an Administrative Assistant or a Bookkeeper. This hopefully solves the question, “What will I do for a living?”

The big challenge now is going to be balancing my class work with working on this project. I’m working on finishing catching up on my courses (I started the program a week late). I’m glad I’m doing this, but the courses can sometimes be overwhelming and time-consuming. But I’ll pull through. Soon, I hope to start approaching people I want to work with.

Now for the obligatory YouTube music link. Here’s an oldie but a goodie, from Boards of Canada, featuring 1980s UK commercial advertisements:

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Career Options, Part 2

July 23, 2011

The last time I was on unemployment, I didn’t own a car. Last summer, shortly after I got hired at my last job, my 92 year old grandmother fell ill, and could no longer drive. I came into her car. I pay for the car insurance and gas. Recently, I was stiffed with a $276 bill to replace the brake pads and rotors. Ouch! Even though I make $55 more a week than I did the last time I was on unemployment, a lot of it gets eaten up by the car and other regular expenses, like my credit card bill. In order for me to do certain goals, I may need to go back to work sooner rather than later.

I’ve been looking for ways to make some money either to 1.) extend unemployment or 2.) Get off unemployment completely. I’ve been looking for work as required of my unemployment, but I fear that I’ll have to do another customer service job. I would like a job where I can make more money and is more fulfilling for me personally. I’d like to do Administrative Assistant work, and I’ve even had interviews for this position. I know I’m capable of handling the job, but I wonder if people are willing to take a chance on me in this economy. So I’m starting to look at other options. I’m going to post the options I’ve been exploring as installments, so that you, the reader, won’t get bored. First option after the jump.

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On the Eve of my 30th Birthday

July 19, 2011

Okay, I have to do one final blog post before I turn 30 tomorrow. Because of my special birthday, I’ve been lying low in terms of working on my project. I think I deserve it.

Over the weekend, I read Cathy Erway’s The Art of Eating In. While I’m not completely broke right now, I probably should not be spending so much eating out. I read the book to understand how she buckled down for two years (!) and (mostly) ate outside of restaurants.

Reading the book gave me an idea for raising money for this movie. I’m not going to tell you what the idea is, not only because I don’t want anybody stealing my idea, but also, I need to work out the logistics of it. Recently, Sophia Takal (director of Green) recently held a fundraiser for her next collaboration with her fiancé, Lawerence Michael Levine, and The L Magazine wrote about it. I would like to do a Kickstarter and/or IndieGoGo Fundraiser as well, but I think it’s best to explore different options.

Meanwhile, for my last blog post of my twenties, I’ll leave you with this video from Kalup and Franco. Gawker blasted it, and Beck basically made the same album twelve years ago, but they look like they’re having fun. I have the song on my IPod.

Manpandas

July 11, 2011

I’d like to take a few minutes and talk about the phrase “manpanda”. It’s a phrase that I’m probably going to use more than once on this blog, so I should probably define what a manpanda is.

A manpanda is a guy who’s generally not nice to women, or a serial seducer. The phrase “manpanda” is a whimisical way of calling a guy a cad, or a womanizer. Famous manpandas throughout history include Henry VIII, Casanova, JFK, a pre-Annette Bening Warren Beatty, Pablo Picasso, Roman Polanski, Jack Nicholson, Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Clinton, John Edwards, and Gene Simmons. Current manpandas in the news would include Anthony Weiner, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The etymology of the phrase “manpanda” comes from the video “Drunk Girls”, made by the band LCD Soundsystem. My friend Eileen had heard the song on the NPR program World Cafe Live, and her, my friend Rebecca, and myself have been using the phrase ever since. I’ve put a link to video below, and watch how the behavior of the manpanda evolves.

BAM!

June 25, 2011

NY was a blast.

I went down on the 17th for BAMCinemafest. The Catechism Cataclysm was just as fun the second time around (I saw it first at SXSW). This was my first time attending a Rooftop Films event, although it was held in a parking lot across the street from BAM Rose Cinemas, so maybe it should have been called “Parking Lot Films”? Anyway, I got to see a lot of people, like the film’s director, Todd Rohal, its stars, Steve Little and Robert Longstreet, as well as Michael Tully, Sophia Takal, and Lawrence Levine.

Sunday Night, I saw The Color Wheel with my friend Brian, who runs The Film Panel Notetaker. The Color Wheel is a very offbeat road movie about two siblings who set out on a road trip after JR (Carlen Altman) is dumped by her professor (Bob Byington). Michael Tully called the film a sitcom version of Frownland. The Color Wheel has similar themes that more mainstream independent films have, but with the “developed” aspect removed, The Color Wheel‘s characters are more absurd (in the existentialist sense of the term) rather than cartoonish. At the Q&A following the screening, Carlen Altman, the co-star and co-writer of the film, was genuinely grateful to be there:

“This is the first time I’ve finished a creative endeavor,” she said. (Okay, these weren’t her exact words, but she said something very similar.)

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Career Options

June 7, 2011

Ted Hope recently tweeted that his most read post since moving his blog over to IndieWire was a post titled, “A ‘Career’ In Indie Film? Better Have That Second Job Lined Up…“. The crux of the post is basically this: whereas once you could sustain a living as an independent filmmaker, you now need to have a “day job”.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I got laid off back in February. One of the ups of being laid off was that my co-workers and I were approved for Trade Act Funding. One of our trainers at my last job busted his ass to have us all approved for this. Thus, the progress of this project has been delayed by thoughts of, “Where do I go from here?” At the risk of being self-indulgent, I really don’t want to be working at just above minimum wage for the rest of my life. It would be nice to have something to fall back on that would allow me to support myself, be independent, and be able to continue on this lovely path of making movies.

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It’s Going…

May 26, 2011

Still hard at work on the project. I’m hoping to go down to NYC next month (coinciding in BAMCinemaFest), in hopes that I can drum up more interest in the project. It’s a long shot, but I hope I have the elements in place by them.

Meanwhile, check out my write up for the NY Loves Film panel from the 360 | 365 Festival.

Questions? Comments? Concerns???

April 26, 2011

According to WordPress, It’s been a year, a month, and two days since my last post. In between that time, I got hired at a call center, abandoned the inital project of this blog completely, and tried to start a new blog. For the last several months, I’ve been working on a movie based on the experiences I had with this job. I was laid off by a call center in February, only to be called back to work for a month, starting in March and spanning to last Monday (4/18). Hopefully, I’ll write more about that job as I go along. In the meantime, I’m working on finding a new job, contemplating taking advantage of the Trade Act Assistance Program, and working on this movie as well.

The problem is, I was hoping to shoot the movie this summer. It’s almost the end of April, I’ve been working on the script since October, and I haven’t even finished the script yet. So embarrassing. Due to the huge backlash last year against overpromoting your movie online*, as well as not wanting to overexpose myself. But the internet has played a huge role in pushing my career forward, and it’s not like I live in a place where I have easy access to certain resources. I’m willing to do anything (well, almost anything) that will allow me to push this project forward.

Last December, I went down to NYC, where I attended a special screening of You Wont Miss Me at Cinema Village (I interviewed Ry Russo-Young back in 2009), and used the opportunity to get the ball rolling. In March, I attended SXSW, my third time attending the festival. There, I met and/or reconnected with a number of people, some of them I hope to have come up here and work on this project: Chad Hartigan, Benjamin Kasulke, Joe and Kris Swanberg, Alicia Van Couvering, Michael Tully, Sophia Takal, Andrew Bujalski, Bryan Poyser, Dustin Guy Defa, Daniel Laabs, and Alex Karpovsky. I had a fun mentoring session with Nathan Zellner. I also attended a few panels that were very helpful, some of which I documented for The Film Panel Notetaker. I also saw some great movies: Takal’s Green, The Catechism Cataclysm, The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye, Surrogate Valentine, Silver Bullets (which I hope to write about at length at some point), and David Lowery’s short, Pioneer. Tomorrow, I’ll be attending the 360 | 365 Festival in Rochester, where I’ll be doing a little more networking…hopefully. I’m also hoping to make one more trip to New York to meet with more people soon.

My main goal in keeping this blog is to keep myself motivated to finish the script and forge ahead. I need to distract myself from other things, and posting on this blog is the best way I know how. In the meantime, I’m going to leave you a link to “Hustle”, a song I’ve been listening to as I’ve been working on this:

*Brian Geldin, who runs The Film Panel Notetaker, the blog I contribute to, wrote a nice counter-argument that even Michael Tully liked.

SXSW is now officially a really, REALLY BIG DEAL

March 24, 2010

I missed out on SXSW this year. I couldn’t afford to go, and with my situation, I couldn’t justify it, either.

It was packed this year. People complained. I talked to two attendees and both said it was incredibly crowded. Here’s what Chad Hartigan (a fine director in his own right) tweeted me:

My other friend said he was able to get in and see almost everything he wanted to see, but attributed that to knowing the right people.

What prompted this post was Karina Longworth’s write up on the festival. Unlike the previous article, Longworth defers the blame to the festival’s slow burn:

If the fest’s planners failed to see the tipping point coming, perhaps it’s because it’s been so slow to arrive. In past years, it’s taken a long while for the masses to care about the stuff that SXSW audiences eat up (Greta Gerwig, the it-girl of SXSW 2007, may co-star in the new Noah Baumbach movie, but she’s hardly a household name), if they ever come to care at all (the 2009 Seth Rogen comedy Observe and Report was a major SXSW hit and notable box-office bomb). This year, the SXSW audiences were the masses.

Meanwhile, Todd Sklar of Range Life made this observation:

The “Mumblecore” movement is what prompted me to want to pursue this movie. I’ve never had too much trouble getting into the movies I want to see the last two years I attended the festival. Then again, I’ve always been there early enough. I was seriously hoping to submit this movie to SXSW once it’s finished (If it ever gets made). While this development doesn’t leave me entirely daunted, it does make me nervous.

However, if the film festival has superceded the music festival it grew out of, that is a sign of the times indeed.

Staying Positive, Staying Sane

March 18, 2010

As the days go by, I try to hold an image in my head about making this movie. That’s going to get a little tougher, though, since I found out this morning that I have seven weeks left on unemployment. I’m not really that freaked out about it, but it does mean that I may have to put certain things on the back burner for the moment. Like this movie.

Recently, I have been taking a self-directed course in Copy Editing from MediaBistro.com. It would be nice to find work in this field, specifically on the web, which is where most of the Copy Editing work is to be found these days. At this point and in this economy, though, I’m prepared for anything.

On a lighter note, an interview I did with Jon Reiss is now up at The Film Panel Notetaker. As you may recall, I reviewed his book back in January. To read my interview, click on the cover of Jon’s book below: