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Monday, October 24, 2005

Cowboy News

Nice Guyjin have been ranked #11 on Japanese itunes in the category of Rab/Hip Hop.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

A Bit All Over the Place

Finally back in London! Rolled into Rob's at 4:30. Caught up. Friday morning, Patrick and I excitedly boarded the bus in anticipation of seeing the flat. We waited out on Old Compton Street for the agent to show. But, when he did, he had just gotten off the phone with the news that his nan had just died! He took us up to the flat, and it was the wrong one. But, the poor guy was in such a state that we could do nothing about it.

The other flat was already taken. I was a little pissed at Adam as he was supposed to see the flat two days earlier, but he couldn't because of work.

We've got an appt. on Monday to see two others near Holborn station. One, says the agent, is the size of a football field. I'll believe it when I see it.

I will not be beaten! We will find a flat in central, and it will be cool.

P's job has been put back a week, but that will give him the opportunity to re-acquaint himself with the software.

Patrick and I have been together for nearly 4 years.

Mom wants us home for Christmas. How am I going to manage it.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Things I Don't Spend Money On

On the boat back to London. Got up at 5 a.m. to make the 3 hour drive to Gothenberg to get the boat. Couldn't sleep last night anyway. Stayed at Goren's, and he has's a farm! They were running around all night. We had to sleep with the light on, and then they were quiet.

Made two appts to see flats on Friday.

We're both really looking forward to being back in London. My plans? Work up at the film school as many days as they will let me. Editing at night. Writing on the weekends. Patrick got put up for a job by R. It's asst. editing, and it pays quite well, so we are excited about that.

Just want to get settled in a flat, activate our love film account, get out UGC cinema cards back and start editing again. Staying at R and H's for two weeks until we get a flat.

As for my idea about publishing in London, I wrote down 20 ideas. I bought the "Writer's Yearbook," and I'm going to give it a go. If I can get published here, that will be three countries who have published my work. I'd love to get some of the poetry published, but I will take just about anything. In Tokyo, I had to do loads of writing for free before I got my paid gigs. I don't think it will be any different in London.

I feel that this coming year has good things in store for Patrick and me. A better quality of life, some regular would be nice to actually make a living as opposed to just scraping by. Here is a list of things that we haven't spent money on in years:

hair cuts--why pay for them when you can do them yourself (in P's case) or not at all (in my case)
the dentist--floss and brush after every meal, no sweets, powerful mouthwash
dining out--why when you can cook
CDs--borrow them
make up--never wore it anyway
clothes--hand-me-downs from fashionable friends
shoes--they last for years
socks--I'm a darn good darner
hair gel--shaved head and long hair need none
gym--walk faster

Things that I give up meals for:

the cinema
the TV license

I think our financial situation will get better in the coming year. I'd like to stop begging for money. I mean, what makes me different from the beggars on the street. I'm using the money begged to pay rent, while they are using it to buy smack. One man's rent is another man's smack.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Small Things of Note

Spent the day yesterday transcribing the Ueno footage of Nice Guyjin. Had a phone call with Channel 4 telling me what they were expecting for the pitch.

Friday, October 07, 2005

The Next Best Day

Yesterday, Channel 4 called. I've been short listed for the Channel 4 Sheffield Documentary Pitch for another idea I had. That was a bit unexpected, but very nice. I told her I was in Sweden and had to figure out how to get back to London. So, booked a flight on Ryan Air to go back to London next week.

CA gave me a contact for a Japanese marketing company in London. Who knows what will come out of it, but it's worth an introductory email.

Our patron came through with some money as well. This allowed me to pay off the overdraft debt on my account, which has been hanging over my head for a year. My account is now zeroed out. It seems like the plan is working. NV Peale suggests cultivating a relaxed trust in God. Prayerize, Pictureize, Actualize. When you have a problem in your life, talk it over with God,test it according to his will. Now I'm sounding like a mad Jesus freak, but I do have a strong faith, and it does work when I'm not whinging, so who cares?

Thursday, October 06, 2005

The Best Day of my Life

Got up late and spent until 4 p.m. sending off emails. It's amazing all of the admin work that goes along with making a film. It's enough to drive one's creativity away.

Started to edit the first meeting with Scott. I thought I'd give it a go at Patrick's suggestion. I did a very rough assembly that clicks in at over 10 mins., but it was good for me. The first step is the assembly, and that's just cutting out all the crap and leaving all of the potentially good stuff in.

I worked a little on my goals as well...just the planning part...the financial goal. Trying to think about paying us first...that is, socking away 10% of everything we make before paying any bills. It's a really good habit to get into. Still working on our budget, which is a challenge because we don't have any income as of yet. It's's like I have to think about how much it will take for us to live in London and then figure out how to make that figure monthly. I guess we could live more cheaply if we moved out of zone 1, but central is our home. And, with my NOLA home gone, I just want to be in a place where I feel comfortable.

Trying to find flats on the Internet. Can't rely on Adam. He's working flat out and doesn't have time to look at places.

I'm going to cut more stuff myself...particularily the interviews. The best way is to transcribe, log what is good and then do a rough I did with Scott's interview.

Two new investors. It's a Godsend. But after these two, we'll only have £6000 left in the initial budget to raise. Can I finsih the film with £6000? Maybe. But, it's gonna take a lot of work...a lot of begging. Maybe do something with sweat equity.

If Patrick could just get one good gig a month, we could live off of that. But, he's been trying for over a year to break in, and he only started getting good gigs right before he left. Now, he may have to start all over again.

Haven't had a shower in days. This could end up being the best day of my life.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Put everything into little boxes...

Finished transcribing Scott's interview yesterday. That was it. I was in a mood all day. Patrick cut the singing sequence where Dave and Hiromi are practicing for the new band that Dave wants to create with him and his fiance. I'm going to cut the first meeting with Scott...look for the cinematic elements.

I wonder...I wonder...I wonder if I can get the assembly done by the end of December. That's another three months. If I can get all of the sequences cut by ...hold on there. We've cut 43 sequences...8 weeks...that's 5 sequences per week. But, when we go back, we won't be free all of the expect maybe 3 sequences a week...anyway. I should work it all out scientific-like so it's a realistic schedule to work from, but that's so depressing because at this rate, I'll be cutting for the rest of my bloody life. But, that's one of the important steps of goal setting....know where you are and know what needs to be done between now and when you want to accomplish your goal. But sometimes I feel really overwhelmed. There's all the creative stuff, and then there's the day to day crap like budgeting and money and just plain planning one's own life. It can be overwhelming.

I remember Brad Bartz, my old boss at IAC. He told me to put everything in little boxes in my head and only open one box at a time. I'm dividing them up into departments. There's the admin department, the creative department, the development department. There's the CEO. there's the personal assistant. There's the Chef, the physical trainer, the finance officer. And we're working together to run the industry that is me. I've just opened a new division...the publishing division which will try to get myself published in England. My personal assistant (me) is finding me a flat. Maybe I can use her to help me cope.

Booked the boat to go back on the 19th/20th.
Had a nice walk in the forest.

I was really testy yesterday...not thankful at all. The thing is, if I manage to just get up in the morning, then I should be thankful. And, then I get to write for an hour! That's even better. And then there's coffee and buns! And there's Tokyo Cowboys...even better.

Scott, JJ and Dave...the guys. I know the story, but how does it relate to the greater story of finding freedom on the post modern urban frontier? There's the control issue.

I've lost myself again.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Giving Patrick the Day Off

Couldn't really work yesterday. That's not so true. I transcribed part of Scott's first interview...about an hour's worth of the three hour interview. What was I thinking? I had planned to do some planning for Nice Guyjin, but it just wasn't coming. I had a lack of immagination. And now Patrick is asking me "what are we gonna cut today?" Big Momma's House? Scott's interview? But I haven't even gone through the footage yet. It's all part of the process...all part of it. Just calm the fuck down.

I can look at the footage again today. Maybe give Patrick another day off to work on "Daybreak." And just finish the Scott footage. Then I can have more of a hand in it. Just see how that works. Slow it down just a bit. And write. I should write, yes? Everything is going to work out for the best. It always does. Yes sir, it does. So, what about Scott? What about Nice Guyjin? What about the film...the story?

I went to find Cowboys on the post modern urban frontier. I went to find freedom. I heard...I thought they had a monopoly on freedom. But what was that? I was discovering that there was no one definition. There were as many definitions of freedom as there were people. So, I went through their mini-narratives trying to define it for myself...trying to find my own mini-narrative. I could pick and choose from theirs. What did I discover? Just that...there is no one definition of freedom. You can't define it universally. There is no Truth with a capital "T."

It's a personal story, sure. It's a journey back to Tokyo. But what is my relationship with Tokyo, and what new things do these characters show me about Tokyo...about the post-modern urban frontier? I hated Tokyo. I was reluctant to go back. But, there was something calling me back. Tokyo is calling me back. She'd been calling me back since the moment I left..."no, that's not the way it is. You've got it all wrong. I'm not the city of broken dreams. I am the city that fulfills dreams." So I went back because I had to. It just wouldn't let go. I thought I'd had it bad...that all of this freedom and opportunity had been the death of me. That it was all just too much.

But, the guys...the cowboys...they seemed to be able to handle it. They seemed to embrace it. And, there's something about control that Patrick and I were talking about yesterday.

Anyway, cutting today...I think I might wait. Give Patrick the day off.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Struggle vs. Fun

Getting more and more anxious about getting back to London. It looks like the flatmate won't be able to find a place on his own. Too busy with work, and he can only look at places on the weekend. Estate agents aren't open on weekends, so, we're a bit effed.

I was thinking yesterday about struggle. It doesn't have to be a struggle. It can be fun. It's only a choice...or so they say. But, remember this? Remember Christmas morning when you were a kid? Remember Christmas Eve and hardly being able to sleep? Ah, but there's no presents, you say. There's this other thing that my step bros used to do in the middle of muggy southern Louisiana summers. We'd go out into the garage and partition ourselves off from each other. Then we'd wrap stuff up in newspaper and make ribbons out of whatever was available. Then we'd give each other the presents. After opening our presents and saying thank you, we'd do it all over again. It didn't matter that they were wrapped in newspaper or that the present was an old rusty wrench (or spanner for you brits). It was almost just like Christmas. Almost.

I must do something with all of the anger and disappointment. And that something is in my films. It's in my writing. It's what gives me a voice.

Today is planning day. Nice Guyjin and Dave. When I first met them, I was really fed up with the headhunters. They seemed like a breath of fresh air. They seemd like they had something that the HHs didn't have. They were engaging. They were on top of the world. They were gonna sell a million records. We were swept up in it all. I was swept up. I just wanted to spend all my time with them. They made me feel...they made me love Japan again. They made me remember how much fun it could be. They hadn't grown up. Dave even said he felt like an 8 year old. They hadn't become serious about anything. The HHs were damned serious. Was it the money? Was it the fact that if they let their concentration slep for one minute, they might lose a couple of million (yen, that is). It was the performer/businessman dichotomy I guess. They could be crazy because they were performers. But Ken was having fun with the HH stuff. Getting confused now.

OK, when I met Scott, he was like a breath of fresh air. I met Scott through Bryan. Do I have to show Bryan? Anyway, I met Scott. And he was preaching this new kind of freedom: "Mainichi Nichiyobi" (everyday Sunday). I wanted to believe. I really wanted to, but something was bothering me. These guys were set up becaouse of Big Momma. They had a studio in their swank house in the Senju. They were very thankful to their patron, but they had a patron. It at least gives one pause. There was this other thing. The spirit of independence. They wanted to be on their own. They wanted to break from the system...the Japanese system. The music label they had been under was too restrictive. And, another thing...independence...

Sunday, October 02, 2005

The Dark Side

Patrick is saying the way to increase the power of the film is to make it highly personal. I agree. But, I must be conscious to avoid self-indulgence. Thinking about my relationship with Tokyo. When I left there in 2000, I thought I'd never go back. Tokyo, I thought, had been responsible for everything that had gone wrong in my life. I had gone crazy in Tokyo. I had lost myself. But there was was part of me. It had changed me...given me super hero powers. I needed to go back to recharge and to find something.

I knew these guys in Tokyo. They had lots of money...they had nice pads. I thought they had a monopoly on freedom. And so did they. But, the definition of freedom kept changing. It was as elusive as Tokyo herself. At first I thought that freedom was having a lot of money. I asked these guys "does money buy freedom?" And they all agreed that money did indeed buy freedom because it allowed you to do what you wanted when you wanted. You could, for example, "buy yourself into TV" according to Ken. You could buy a little island and have concubines. So, I thought the headhunting cowboys had freedom because they had a lot of money. They rode around Tokyo in flash cars, and they had rolexes and beautiful women. But they didn't seem free. They seemed enslaved by the job. And, as much as they talked about how exciting making the deal was, it was all tied up in the money. They wouldn't be doing the job if it weren't for the money. And most of them...all they wanted to do was cash out. Or, like Jason, they had to "trick" themselves into believing it was fun.

I'm looking for cowboys on the post modern urban frontier. Here's the story: I go there to look for cowboys--men who are free. And burning through an array of characters, I discover what true freedom is, and I discover what it is to be a cowboy.

Individual Modes of Expression

What did I discover about freedom on the post modern urban frontier? Freedom is in your head. It's mental. Just like the rough is mental. And the cowboys were each communicating their own brand of truth about freedom.

Still missing something. What's the feeling there? You feel like anything's possible. And, if anything is possible because you've seen it and you've talked to people in the pub who've achieved it, then you take more risks to achieve your anything. You might as well live out your wildest fantasies because it is possible and no one will judge you for it. Now that's freedom. But, there's always a dark side. Don't forget the dark side.

In the end, Tokyo called me back home like the siren she is. There's food and sake and women. There's broadband internet and video messaging and beer machines. It's safe and it's clean and you can have oodles of fun. Everyone's nice, and you can earn wads of cash just because you happen to be a native English speaker. And, yes, there's a dark side. It is, after all, the land of the rising sun so the darkness will always be there behind the sun. But you don't have to look at it because the darkness is within you and so is the light.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

I guess the worst thing

...was that I learned about it on the website...not getting the JUSFC grant, that is. The letter was en route from LFS, but I thought I'd check out the website to see if there was any news. They had posted the awardees, and the TC name was not on the list. I suppose I'm disappointed. But, not too much. It was a long shot anyway. The letter stated the reasons: funding restrictions and committment to other projects. I may apply again in the Spring with a lower budget.

As we know, one door closes and another one opens. I'm looking for that open door now. I've been repeating my new mantra "the rough is only mental." It helps.

Pre-occupied with finding a flat. We've decided that if Adam finds a place, we'll move back within two weeks instead of staying until the end of October. We're both hankering to get back to London and immerse ourselves in the thick of things.

40 years old, and I don't feel as if I've found the road yet. But, patience my dear. A lot of times we're on the road, and we don't even realize it. I have the stamina to take the long and winding road. Just keep cutting, keep moving forward, one foot in front of the other.

I'm concerned about going back to work at the film school. I love the job. I love the people. But, it takes time away from Tokyo Cowboys. So, I'll just have to get better at managing my energy. Write in the early mornings, Film School Job during the day, cut at night.