Put up or shut up

I think our 50s Invasion Cookout was a success. I’m told people were having fun, anyway. Hosting is always a weird endeavor since my main effort for at least two hours was devoted to making sure everyone was getting fed. Despite nature and technology we did screen The Blob, or part of it before every guest left. In truth, I didn’t expect us to finish the film. Drive-Ins traditionally start at sunset, and you have your car to keep the weather and insects out. In our neo-retro iteration, by the time everyone was fed, and conversation was had, and a good many of us were bug-bitten, folks (and their children) just wanted to go home. It was late, and hot, and they were partied out. The next time we host such an event, which should be later in the summer, we’ll be sure to implement what we learned with this party. I hope you all attend again. I’m thinking a Tiki theme with The Creature from the Black Lagoon and mai tais. My hope for the party; the inclusion of 50s attire and drive-in theme was to get back a piece of the summer that doesn't exist anymore. Drive-ins don't screen drive-in movies anymore, they screen blockbusters so that they can stay open. So the chances of seeing The Blob, Invaders From Mars, The Day the Earth Stood Still are nonexistent. I think it was successful more or less, mosquitos and speaker trouble notwithstanding.

On a completely different note, in an effort to clean my computer, I ended up deleting the work I had put into creating the VCoT Season 3 intro. It was more or less complete, and I now have to start from scratch…again. In the words of my father, “Anything worth doing is worth doing three or four times.” At least I had the foresight to put the first draft on YouTube so that I could see what I had done. I’m also hoping to record some audio this week and get the first episode done this weekend. I’m toying with the idea of color for this season. We’ll see how it looks. That’s one of the reasons for the slow down. I want the sound to be good, and a quiet place to record has become hard to come by in my house. I’ll put together a temp track and it won’t derail my animation like my old workflow used to. My old way of doing things meant everything was tied together and changing an animation for the sake of sound took hours of editing and render time. Now I just move some sliders and it works.

For those of you who don’t know, I used to make video reviews on YouTube. My main series was a look at John Hughes’ films for a series called “The Hughes Reviews”. These originally aired on the Cigarette Burn Pictures Channel in 2010-2011…I think. This is back when I was producing two videos and four blogs a month. This is also before YouTube got purchased by Google and became a more tightly wound machine. Now it is very difficult to draw the same crowds, but that’s neither here nor there. Looking back on them, the sound is terrible, but the writing and presentation still hold up and they are, without a doubt, the main source of views for my channel these days. I get at least a few comments a month on these old reviews thanking me or asking me to do more. I want to, I really do. I have plans to do the more adult Hughes films as an addendum to the original series. I just need to stop talking about these and start doing them.

In 2009 I was building fences with a man named Tim. We spend much of the day taking to one another about life, our marriages, and our art. We were both artists. I kept telling him about my plans to buy an editing computer so that I could make movies. Up until that point I was using my cousin’s iMac to do the bulk of my work and the machine wasn’t always available, so getting my own just made the most sense. After months of hearing about this, Tim finally told me to put up or shut up. I was kind of startled by his reaction and wonder if there wasn’t something else in his reply. But I think of that moment every time I get in a creative funk or find myself hit with creative paralysis. I can talk all day long about doing things (or write blogs about them), but talk doesn’t get them done. I need to remember that. Expect a preview in the coming weeks.