Thursday, January 18, 2018

Been “underground” for a bit. Lots of reasons why, and lots has happened since. Some of which we may unpack on future BLTD podcasts (yes, there will be more - Christopher Warren and I are about to head to Kentucky to work on a feature for several weeks, so probably sooner rather than later) but some may just be dealt with via the art, like always. Yeah, that means there’s more art on the way, too.
Here are the major bullet points. Bad news first, as I prefer it (plus that’s a timeless hook):
BAD: Ran into some serious business issues with my LLC last summer. Long story - this is what I might unpack on the podcast as it’s a good learning experience/cautionary tale - but basically it put me (and my company) in a really bad place…and part of it grew out of me being in a pretty bad place to start out with. I mean, I never really fully recovered from all the stuff I detailed in that blog way back when. Still debating how much I want to reveal here…some of it is really raw, but anyway, let’s just say things fell apart and it sent out shockwaves that I’m still dealing with. Also important to note that it all reached a head literally DURING Hurricane Harvey, which, as you may have heard, thrashed Houston. At least we didn’t lose our home…but the hurricane DID lead to flooding at our storage unit where we kept most of our equipment. Most everything there was ruined (except for the big lights, which spent a great deal of time in sewage soup but still fired up later). However, lots of our expensive camera and other gear was lost. So…I was dealing with the figurative and literal destruction of my company at the same time. That was a real eye opener/kick in the balls/shotgun to the face. Let me also add that Harvey happened during what was to be the first week of school. Meaning my daughter’s first week of Kindergarten was also tied up in all of this, and I couldn’t just mentally check out or be pissed off or hate the world all the time – I can’t really do that much anymore period, but you get what I’m saying here. Daddy had to be on the clock even though my last 22 years of work was crumbling (or mildewing) in front of my eyes. Meanwhile, there were a lot of near misses…got tapped for a Weinstein gig which never came to fruition (blessing in disguise?) and then got ghosted by another production..who then called me back during their shoot as soon as the guy they hired ended up not wrking out. Too late. Anyway, these jobs which wouldn’t have completely solved the issues, but would at least have gotten my positive momentum going again. All this going down as I careened towards my 41st birthday.
GOOD: nothing really turned on a dime, I really just took things as they came. I kind of had to. I probably started to feel a little bit better after hanging with Chaka, frontman of NYHC legends BURN, after their show here in October. We started talking about doing a video, etc…and it was just dope to have a meaningful creative conversation with someone who’s music I’ve been enjoying since high school. And to be collaborating on some cool shit. So…that keeps me going for a bit. [Burn, bottom left pic by jcphotomedia, Chaka on the left, and Gavin Van Vlack on the right]. Then Chris and I knock out a video for Century Media artists Oceans of Slumber. Of course, we did this shoot at half power and missing a bunch of our still-not-replaced-gear (f%$k you, insurance company). Of course, the crew is just Chris and I (his concept/direction, me shooting and editing). Brutal, harrowing, hard work - but it comes together well and gets a shit-ton of views and really quickly builds positive word of mouth. [Top left, Oceans Of Slumber, “The Decay Of Disregard”]. That quickly led to the next video for Oceans of Slumber, which I think tops our work on the last one, and should be released in the next few days. [Top right, choir shot]. Chris and I decide to finally officially form our own shingle to represent our longstanding production collaboration (info on that soon, or just check out the credits on that Oceans video when it drops). Next up, the aforementioned video for Burn (side note: I still can’t believe we’re doing a video for one of the stalwarts of my favorite musical scene), which we are working around our Kentucky Fried Cinema Adventure. More on that soon too. Finally, the pic in the lower right is of the release art for BAD APPLES (formerly WICKED TRICKS), which is a movie we worked on almost exactly two years ago out in L.A. It hits VOD in February. Check it out if you can…it’s the project that somewhat birthed the BLTD podcast – mainly because we drove out to L.A. and back twice during the holiday season that year to take part. I can’t wait to see the finished product (Congrats to writer/director Bryan Coyne and everyone else involved).
I literally began my 40’s by getting back behind the camera and shooting/editing/directing (Jeff Caudill’s “Reset The Sun”, as well as the 4 other videos from the EP that followed in the spring - check em out on YouTube, I'm very proud of them all). While the year that followed kicked/is kicking the crap out of me and drained a lot of the gas that the RTS project put back in the tank, I feel like I’m grabbing the ropes and pulling myself back up to take another swing. Sometimes that’s all you can do.
- Regan is currently selling Girl Scout Cookies, so if anyone needs their fix, she's your Houston Heights Cookie Connection.
- X:Men - Grand Design is fantastic. Don't sleep on it.
- On that note, so is Tom King's current Mister Miracle series.
- I finally saw RETRIBUTION, my 80's horror great white whale. Remember the promos vividly, couldn't track it down until recently.
- if anyone has any great culinary recs for Chris and I in the Louisville/Nashville/Bowling Green area let us know. I'm sure the crafty will be great...but we DO have weekends off, so...

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