Saturday, March 31, 2007

Doc Challenge

So last weekend my filmmaking partner John and I participated in the "Fairfax Documentary Challenge." A bunch of people were in it and we all met at 9:00 a.m. in Fairfax, CA to go over the rules. Well, they did. I was late. I get lost going to Fairfax every single time. It's actually quite funny. John and I went to a bar there last Friday to see if we could sniff out some good stories and then a scant 12 hours later I was driving to the exact same spot and got lost. Anyway...

At the meeting, competitors found out these three elements that every doc had to have in them: grass, trees and the word "Fairfax." Since Fairfax is a tiny town nestled into a hillside, those elements were pretty easy to include. So we met at the bar again and got started on a few different ideas.

Both John and I asked around a bunch and we kept hearing about this whacky local guy named "Snoopy." He apparently wears really short shorts and knee high socks and always has 2-3 18 year old girls with him. He also rides around in a big ole convertable car. We decided he was our guy and embarked on a quest for Snoopy. We found him and had him give us a tour of Fairfax in his big ole car. Some random girl came along and we all piled in and cruised around town. I was half hiding in case anyone saw me in the passenger side of his car-it had no seat- and I half wanted someone to take a picture of me, John, Snoopy and some random girl driving around Fairfax on a Saturday morning.

After a good 40 minute tour we hunkered down (in the bar...I still wasn't drinking at that point) and edited a four minute film we titled "Riding with Snoopy." Somehow John found a kid that ahd actually written a song about Snoopy and we included it in the doc. Pretty serendipitous! I think it came out really, really good! I also learned that "swiss chard stems are the toothbrushes of the colon" so that was helpful.

I'm heading out to the awards now so hopefully we'll win something!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Moving on...

So I realized I never fully wrapped up my SXSW trip so here goes.

That bad photo you see was taken at HOOTERS after I barely beat Film Threat's own Mark Bell at a mini-hoops free throw shooting contest. Yeah baby! I won 10 free wings, a shirt (which I gave to Pete to give to his wife) as well as that polaroid and supposedly my name on the HOOTERS marquee for a week. I walked by it later that week and it wasn't up there. BOOoooo. Anyway...

After the FT guys left, I got my own room at the Doubletree. It was sort of off the beaten path and was WAY too expensive, but it was a ncie hotel. The very first night I was flying solo I went and saw Peter Case (of the Plimsouls), 2 Cow Garage, The Drams, Tommy Womack and Mic Harrison (of the V-Roys) ALL together in one showcase. It was awesome!!! I had a bunch of beer and proceeded to stumble on up the street. Well, I wasn't 2 blocks into my 10 block walk when I got pulled over by some bully asshole cop who said he "got a call I was urinating in the street."

I wasn't peeing in the street. It's something I would do and have done, but on this night, I didn't do it. I was really tired and drunk and just wanted to go to my room and go to bed but this ass was like...pushing me. At first he got in my face trying to get a reaction and I just stood there and said, "I didn't pee in the street." Then he got all investigative and asked how many drinks I'd had, where I was coming from, going to...etc. I calmly explained my evening and of course lied by about 10 beers when I said I'd had 5-6. He kept like...prodding me verbally...trying to get me to spazz out but I didn't. it took about 15 minutes for him to run my ID and make me stand there lile a common criminal. I didn't make a peep and when asked (repeatedly) about peeing I said, "I swear, I didn't pee in the street."

He eventually let me go to my hotel with a stern finger point in the direction i was to walk. F-ing dick. The irony is that about 3 blocks over from me was 4 blocks of wall to wall partying and he chooses to harrass me. Ugh. It really pissed me off once I got over been scared to death. I was already kind of in a funk from missing my flight and this experience really upset me. So much so I "took the next day off" from treating myself poorly. Then Friday, my last night there, I decided that when I got home I would go on the ole wagon for a month. It's been a week today and I feel exactly the same as usual...except with no beer. In the end it'll save me money and save me inches around the waist, but I'm spoiled and I want what I want. Blah. Oh, friday, my last big night I had an awesome time. I had a chicken fried steak at Threadgills, hitched an illicit ride from a hotel van and saw Steve Poltz then Is aw Carrie Rodriguez and grabbed a cab outside the show to save me a walk. Truth be told, I was scared of getting pulled over so it was a lifesaver.

To cap off my trip I went to the Texas Chili parlor and had a last beer which I savored, then I walked to 7-11 and got nachos and went to bed. Neat!

So, I'm home now and getting I'm adjusted. OH! STRINGERS got into the Sonoma Valley Film Festival so John and I are stoked!! Should be an great time and it's just in time for my month of wagon riding to be over. Look out Sonoma!

Tomorrow John and I are doing this documentary challenge where you get one day to shoot and edit a 4 minute documentary. That should be fun...especially since I won't have a hangover.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Home again, home again jiggedy jig.

Sorry for not posting, but I have some good excuses. While in the end I had another amazing time at SXSW, the trip was kind of plagued with boneheaded moves courtesy of yours truly.

When I last posted, I said I was leaving in the morning for SXSW. Friday morning I got up like it was Christmas morn I was so excited. It was like Christmas morn when I was a kid though, not Christmas morn now. Now when I wake up I groan at how much money I spent or feel bad for not spending enough because I'm broke. Anyway, I was really excited. My wife drove me to the airport and I went to check in. Only, there was no reservation for me. Huh? I was plenty early so I know I didn't miss it and I then became baffled. I had my mom book my flight because she's too sweet to me and has a bunch of sky miles (and, I'm broke) so I called her and got the confirmation number. I told the airline lady and still, nothing. I kept thinking of that Wilco song "Reservations" and the line "Iiii've got res-er-vations..." But I didn't. It was then airline lady, myself and my mom flight was THURSDAY. DAMN IT!!! I missed my flight by a DAY! What a total moron I am!

I don't take kindly to being told "no" when I really want something so I scrambled to find another flight. All of them were booked solid. There was a flight leaving in an hour for Houston and I thought maybe I could get that one and have my buddy Pete pick me up. But, that flight couldn't be transferred via the Skymiles and it cost $625.00. Crap! Crap crap crap. I called my wife and had her come pick me up. I pouted all the way home and when we got back, I crawled into bed and pulled the covers over my head. Even Igby couldn't cheer me up.

After some late night harrassing text messages from Pete and Mark, I woke up and did it all over again. My sister Kiff drove me to the airport (Thanks, Kiff!) and away I went. Finally. But this flight was a long one and I didn't get into Austin until like, 8:30. Basically, I missed two days of the fest and the opening night parties. Grrrrrrr. My buddy Zack picked me up at the airport and WTF-fest continued as the airline had lost my bags. Grrrrr. I like to clean up after a long flight, especially if I'm going out so that was frustrating. Real frustrating. But, we all met up at the hotel and went and saw the crappy zombie sheep movie BLACK SHEEP.

The next day I had some screenings plus I was tired from the long flight and late night. When I woke up, Pete and Mark were gone so I hopped in the shower (my luggage was at the hotel when we got back). I have stayed at the Courtyard Marriott before and I really like it. The rooms are big, free breakfast, free internet. it's great. I was just about to get out of the shower when I started to slip. I caught myself and thought, "damn, this shower is slippery!" Then I turned back around to turn off the water and totally ate shit. In the shower. Like some old man in a rest home. Needless to say, 6"4/275 pounds of wet, naked DLew ain't too pretty. I have a big pruple bruise on my ass cheek to prove it. And it hurt. And thus, WTF-fest ambled on.

Things picked up from there and I saw some great films and saw some old friends. I brought my camera but as always, forgot to use it. Then Wednesday rolled around and Mark and Pete took off. I was all alone to brave the music part of the festival. More on that later...

Thursday, March 08, 2007


Tomorrow morn I leave for South by Southwest in Austin, TX and I simply cannot wait. I need to just get away, have fun, see great films, hear great music, see old friends, drink free beer, eat good food. It's my vacation and I cannot wait. Seriously. like, remember when you were a kid and you'd chew on paper on your back teeth and it would feel weird and good? That's how I feel right now. Ugh...wish I was there now.

Rather than go item by item of my insane schedule, I will instead post a list of the bands I saw that are playing and have the best band names. Keep checking here, and for updates...there will be lots.

Here's my list of favorite band names. These are real bands playing clue if the band is worth a shit:

my! gay! husband!
What Made Milwaukee Famous
Holy Fuck
Fucked Up
Nervous Hospital
Les Breastfeeders
Smoking Popes (five a.m. considered this name....briefly)
I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness
Holy Shit!
Bubonic Plague
I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch in the House
Windom Earle (it's a major geek factor)
Medicine Fuck Dream
Green Milk From the Planet Orange (they're from Tokyo no less)
Yuppie Pricks
Two Hoots and a Holler
Lesbians on Ecstacy
Cat Scientist
River City Rapists
Big Balls
Patty Hurst Shifter
The Faceless Werewolves

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


I just did a post over on my Petaluma 360 Blog so I won't do it twice. Plus, I could use some hits o'er there. Read all about my SWAG bag HERE. There's photos too!

Also, the radio interview was alot of fun. I mostly just tried to keep up as the host had seen the movie the guy I was with did, but hadn't seen STRINGERS. It was a good time and a good experience to have so early on in my career as a filmmaker.

It was funny though because the guy I was with, John McDonald really did it "right" with his doc "The Ghost Mountain Experiment." He had interns and nice equipment and he even had a helicopter to get some shots! He told a story about landing at some remote cafe to have breakfast to which I replied, "Jeez, all we did was sit in the back of a 1986 police car and grab In and Out Burgers at 3:00 a.m."

Monday, March 05, 2007

Whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh...on the radio...

So my short film STRINGERS is playing the Cinequest Film festival this week. I'll be there Wednesday March 7 for the 4:00 screening BUT...if any of you loyal blog readers can go to another screening (there's one Saturday AND Sunday) and VOTE for us to win the audience award, that would be swell. Real swell.

Also, tonight (Monday March 5) I'll be live on San Jose's own KFJC discussing STRINGERS (I think) at 5:30 p.m. You can figure out how to listen live on the internets by going to:

You can even call in and ask me questions...I think. Hope you'll check it out. Once again, ehre are the showtimes for STRINGERS at Cinequest:
Stringers is in Shorts Competition Program 5: Docu-Nation
March 7, 4:00 p.m.
at the Camera 12 Cinema
288 S 2nd St
San Jose, CA 95113
(408) 998-3300

9:30 PM
Camera 12 Cinema

4:15 PM
Camera 12 Cinema yet again.

Cinequest info can be found at:

Thanks for your support!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Hooray for the Hollywood Reporter!

And their excellent taste in quoting people! Notice the blurb on Jackie Earle Haley...right hand side...