February 21, 2009
I Will Live In This Moment
Don't tell me not to leave.
Posted by David Lowery at 1:40 AM
February 20, 2009
You Won't Miss Me, That Evening Sun and the Barlow Jacobs factor
A day off...
...but not really. So many things to do. I was just vicariously reminded that I need to do the end-credits for St. Nick. A long afternoon of handwriting awaits me.
Kris and I have made a pact to force ourselves to make sure we actually see all the movies we want to see at SXSW next month (as opposed to spending the whole time eating room service french fries in hotel rooms). One film that I'm particularly excited about is Scott Teems' That Evening Sun, the trailer for which can be found here. It looks like a beautiful, elegant work of Southern Gothicism - and of course, I wouldn't expect anything less from a director whose production company, Tarwater Pictures, is named after a Flannery O'Connor character.
Fun fact: last summer in New York, I shot a screen test with Barlow for the film. I think he was already a shoo-in for the small part he was reading for, but the producers wanted to see footage before officially casting him. So we printed out the script and shot the scene, and I played the Hal Holbrooks part. Quite badly. Maybe it'll show up as an easter egg on the DVD. Barlow got the part, and one line from that scene even made it into the trailer.
Barlow is actually in four movies at SXSW this year - Scott's, St. Nick, Alexander The Last, and Ry's new movie, You Won't Miss Me, which is of course at the top of my to-see list. I saw a strange assembly of footage well over a year ago, back when it was still being shot, and couldn't quite tell what it was; but now, after reading Tom Hall's review out of Sundance and seeing the outstanding new trailer, it's suddenly resolved into sharp relief.
On a related note: I took part in the annual Spout.com SXSW Filmmaker Questionnaire. I guess it's about time to start getting used to seeing my words in print again....
Posted by David Lowery at 2:44 PM
February 16, 2009
It's a longstanding tradition for the UPM or AD to put funny and pertinent quotes on each day's call sheets. Since the first week of production on Bryan's film, these have been attributed to a charming photo of the lead actress' daughter. This was yesterday's:
Apparently, my sense of humor is dry to a fault.
Posted by David Lowery at 12:24 AM
February 14, 2009
Our final final posters, as designed by the amazing Yen Tan, are done now too. Soon to be printed up and plastered in abundance around Austin...
Elsewhere. The night before last I decided with some degree of certainty what I wanted to pursue for my next project. 24 hours later I layed in bed for many hours, coming to the conclusion that perhaps it was time to stop making movies. Not because it was too hard, or yielded too little; more because, after a solid two decades of myopia, I'm just not sure I loved it anymore, and without love there's no reason to continue doing this. And luckily I'm at a point, I think, where stopping isn't necessarily equivocal to giving up.
I don't know if I'm that courageous, though.
February 13, 2009
And now I'm back in Austin, having arrived just in time to discover that PJ Harvey is going to be playing at SXSW next month! That might even be more exciting than St. Nick premiering. There's not a chance I'll be able to get in to see her with my paltry film badge, but that doesn't mean I won't die trying.
I ran ten angry and upset miles yesterday and Rid Of Me carried me over the halfway point. I just spent an hour on YouTube, trying to find the best live performance of that song. I think this is the one:
Click the HQ button to see it in the proper aspect ratio.
Posted by David Lowery at 3:24 AM
February 11, 2009
- Over the past two months I've shocked a handful of people by casually mentioning that, excepting Home Alone and its sequel, I've never seen any John Hughes movies. Jaws literally dropped, without fail, when I'd make this pronouncement. A trip to the video store and a marathon viewing session in Park City was organized by several highly concerned individuals, but I wound up being too busy to partake. I don't know why I've never seen them; I just haven't. They're on that list of pop cultural necessities that, through a combination of age, lack of television and older siblings and general bad timing, I've entirely missed out on, like The Goonies and Jaws.
- Last night, as tornado sirens blared around us, I watched Clay's first pass at the color-corrected version of St. Nick. It looks pretty gorgeous. This evening I stopped by Jeff's studio to check in on the sound mix. So far so good; I can't wait to hear where it's at in two weeks. In spite of the film's incomplete state, I mailed off seven screeners to select members of the press today. Hopefully this wasn't premature on my part; I'm trying to be smart about this, and I'm pretty sure the film's rough edges aren't going to put it in the red; but it was a little bit scary all the same to seal those DVDs up and drop them in the mailbox. Here goes nothing.
- Today is my friend Alexi Wasser's birthday, which reminds me that I've been meaning to link to her blog, Boy Crazy, which I've become an ardent fan of. Mainly because I imagine her reading every post out loud, and that just makes me laugh a lot.
February 10, 2009
Via Pitchfork -
Toby and I have been working on this video for School Of The Seven Bells for what seems like forever. We shot tests back in LA in August (featuring both of us performing instead of the girls, which was hotter than you might think). The label finally gave us the greenlight in December. We both produced it; Toby directed it; I did the effects; we both cut it; and now it's officially been released. This should be the first in a series of videos we're going to be doing together, among other projects; we're throwing up a new shingle, as they say in the biz.
And now back to St. Nick, which Toby has been supervising the post-production for in my various absences. I just drove back to Dallas this afternoon to see how things are going. I'm sorta getting used to all this road-tripping....
February 9, 2009
Here I am pretending to be stoic.
I was driving across the state line yesterday and looking out at that thick quilt of clouds hanging over the ginger hills and remembering that it was under similar skies exactly one year ago that we began shooting St. Nick. That single span of months feels like almost five or ten.
I was looking at those clouds and thinking those thoughts on the tail end of a 1700 mile drive from Park City, Utah, down through the mountains and back to Austin. I'd made the same drive in reverse two weeks earlier, and in between these two jaunts I served as director of photography on Bryan Poyser's long-awaited sophomore feature, Lovers Of Hate. I'm currently decompressing from the whole experience. It was a little bit unbelievable; we lived in our location - a six story house right on the ski slopes - and at night we'd all sit around and drink whiskey and go sledding and unwind from some pretty intense shooting days. In spite of my position, I don't consider myself a cinematographer - whenever anyone asks me to shoot something for them, I warn them that I don't know what the hell I'm doing - but working in this capacity of late has been invaluable. Setting aside one's own sense of vision and working in the service of another director's is both humbling and emboldening; I walked away from the Martini this past Friday understanding much more about why I do what I do in the way that I do it, and also with a new appreciation for all the alternatives paths that I choose to ignore in my own work. I've learned, moreso than ever before, that my way is not always the right way, and as a result I feel like I've grown insurmountably as a filmmaker - and helped make a great film in the process.
Still helping, to be exact. The Austin leg of the shoot begins in a few days. Another two weeks; it'll feel like another production! Somewhere amidst all this, St. Nick is still awaiting completion. Files are flying back and forth across the web, covering all the distance I've been driving and then some. Colors are being timed, sounds are being mixed; I'm blissfully set apart from it all, waiting to look and see and be surprised - and then, knowing myself, to tear it all asunder and start from scratch.
February 2, 2009
February 1, 2009
The Spirit of the Age
I've endeavored these days to read a book a week, to dress myself in the morning in words and phrases and let their impressions sink in throughout the day. Quality has overtaken quantity of late (that's the sheen I'll put on it, at least), as I've turned my way through the three centuries of Woolf's Orlando and forced myself to resist telephoning friends and reciting entire passages aloud. I'll resist that urge here, too, save for the following paragraph which seemed in its simplicity to echo the intentions of so many of my friends in their work, and of my own as well, although in a different way:
"For it has come about, by the wise economy of nature, that our modern spirit can almost dispense with language; the commonest expressions do, since no expressions do; hence the most ordinary conversation is often the most poetic, and the most poetic is precisely that which cannot be written down. For which reasons we leave a great blank here, which must be taken to indicate that the space is filled to repletion."
And now I'll leave my own space here, until sometime after midnight tonight...
Posted by David Lowery at 2:30 PM