Friday, July 27, 2007

People looking at the camera

From the upcoming Darjeeling Limited. One taking it down the street, nevermind the bogies. Can't wait.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

It's Video Game Hour Live!


Talk about a blast from the past. This is a picture someone took of us on their television screen years ago. What crazy things bored google searches find. I'm now on a quest to find any surviving video of the show.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Mi Verano en Ecuador - Part 1

Unemployment sucks. It gives me too much time to edit these videos. I think I have enough footage to make 5 more. Here's part uno, the second video. Please keep in mind the camera I shot this on is worse than Hi8, which is actually a really unique and fun format to shoot with. Anyway, I decided to make this one even less coherent than the first video. Think of it in terms of "Fever-Vision". Possibly a fever brought on by a monkey bite or a bad plate of chaulafan. Enjoy.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Sketch Comedy


Here's a link to a on-going sketch comedy show called Backpack Picnic. I'm doing production side things and it's being made in Austin. These guys are a tight unit and are all rugged land, sea and air specialists. I make a few cameos. Check them out here. Bookmark the page because more are coming soon.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Mi Verano en Ecuador - Part 0

Here's the first part (rather the prologue/test) of a series of video blogs culled from the footage I shot while in Ecuador. They'll be short and hopefully interesting. If not, then I wasted a lot of money on a very expensive video blogging trip. Enjoy.

Regresar

Back in Austin. Made the essential visits to the points of interest: Kerbey, Polvos, La Mexicana, HEB, Logan's House.

I'm working on a series of animations roughly based on my Face Bake short, but different to be sure. Something may come up at the end of August with a friend of mine, Ben Idom and something to do with a western in West Texas border land.

Glad to be back to the land of plenty of different kinds of beer.

-Balks

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Are you Panamerican?



2880 miles from Austin to Quito by airplane.

Cue the Dick Dale surf guitar...

So I´m at the beach. Sands everywhere, naturally. It´s more overcast this week than the last time I was here. I´m wearing my shades constantly because the other night me and the guys and Ms. Teen Argentina (who also just so happens to simultaneously hold the title of Ms. Teen Toronto) were down at the cabanas, you know, listening to the requested and dutifully played Phil Collins and Huey Lewis, enjoying out coconut drinks with our big peices of pineapple on the side. The sea breeze at night leaves everything cool without any overiding smell of brine. The drinks kept coming and the dancing became less organized, or catalogable as dancing.
As it happens, these things lead to other things and people become heros of the night.

Embarking into the surf, the sky was pitch black behind the thin grey wave washing in and out into the Pacific. I had asked Oliver to watch my pants. Nobody had agreed to any cash amount to the bet, and the dare was never issued: there wasn´t any possibility of me not stripping and running from the beachfront club into the sea.

The crew slowly followed, giving pause to meter their own aptitudes under the influences of the festivities. Possibly also to see how I faired, a reverse-Columbus claiming the sea for no one. I saw another one come whooping out into the water followed by a few more. Eventually most everybody was in at the same time, yelling at the elements and to the night, together audibly punching a sonic bookmark into this leg of the trip. Boy, was I tired. The salt and sand together with the drinks make you feel like a mummy waking up in the tomb the next morning, embalmbed and stupified.

The shrimp is still good here. Probably won´t hit the town like that again here in Ecuador. I hope to end my trip when this week´s out. Chad is not right when he says my homesickness is manifesting itself physically. I´m just rejuvinated about the possibilities that await me back in the states. Jobs, money, movies, writing, doin´stuff, researching for projects and stories, eatin´stuff and other similar junk like that.

I´m in the middle of realizing the complexity of airtravel negotiations with airlines. The panicy frustration. The sloth-like mode of communication and the slow as cold syrup feel of getting anywhere over the phone. I may be going by stand-by. I may be finding out how to get home from Mexico City, a place much closer to home than Quito in many ways.

The pictures have stopped. We´ve been here long enough to grow tired of the calcuable time spent to stop, unpack the camera and posse and frame and retake pictures. In many ways, the traveling is becoming real exploring; growing out of the tourist mentality and finding value in living here rather than visiting here. We really have lived here. We´ve lived the hell out of Ecuador.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Pffffffft.

Yeah, so I'm back in Quito.
Whatever. That's how I feel and I'm not cautious about letting you know that I'm tired of this trip*. We went to the beach in Atacames. It was humid hot and the waves left something to be desired in any person making the leap from comfortably sipping on a drink to diving into the ocean. I've measured the limit of my fried shrimp intake. Not much new is developing. I've become shifty.

In Quito, it's the beginning of the end of the shoot in Ecuador. I'm weighing the option of out-right paying the aptly-named Cheap Tickets, possibly so for their "economy class" customer service, to change my flights. I might also research red eye'n & stand by'n my way home, which would be interesting, if it's even an option.

The food is making me sick. Period. Since I'm not eating cheese or meat, which principally entails over 60% of Ecuadorian cuisine available anywhere, I'm finding my narrowed diet is presenting some mundane problems. The same tastes everyday loose their palatability.

I wrote a short story about a man who pitches a breakfast plate idea to IHOP. His idea is stolen and he teams up with Little Richard, the original creator of the famous Tutti-Fruti, to get sweet revenge.

This is complaining. I'm well aware. I'm reading Don Delillo's Underworld. It's a beyond beefy book about the last fifty years of the US, as lived by different persons. Hopefully Chris is still at it so I'll have something to talk about next time we eat at Kerby.

Oh, man.

Would you let me wax poetic about the experience? Would you feel too embarased reading a love letter from a man to a resturant?

Kerbey Lane is like a place out of some back alley memory of your childhood that seems so distant and fragile that recalling it might ruin it's value. It's recallability comes into question. As does it's authenticity. Might you attempt to fill in the gaps where the pieces don't quite fit together with plaster, to make a duplicate whole that really really isn't the real memory and nothing close to the experience? Some things are like that. Like little league games, or first kisses, or seeing a favorite film for the first time. We need to mend our memories to keep them alive and vibrant. If unbelievable, we have to make them believable to the people we've become. In short, you don't have to mend the memory of Kerby Lane with abstract tools. You can still walk into Kerby Lane Cafe (the original on Kerby Lane in Austin, Texas a few blocks west of Lamar) after agreeing without question over the phone at the mere proposal of a meeting around 1 to 2 am. You can today, if so inclined yet entirely awkwardly without a close posse of like-minded psychos, ask for a table next to a never-again date and the two cops who love wearing their guns in public. You can order anything you like, and it will come when it's ready to be eaten and not a second before you suddenly realize and remember you ordered food. You'll be demolished emotionally if your decision is wrong, if you're unsure of the options Stephan or Kalli or the girl with the tats on her arms has offered up to you. The food must be apt and you can't really discount the experience,waste your money, the time of your friends and the time of the cafe by trying to order something that you think might improve your mood. When I order Hummus and Tabooley tacos (2 with rice and beans and unlimited chips and tomato sauce) I've been eating that meal all day long. I've been eating those folded goo tacos since I woke up and I remember we haven't been to Kerby in a day. Going during the day is taking the head off the Easter bunny and pulling down Saint Nic's beard at the mall and snottily asking "You still gonna deliver?"... cause it just won't. Maybe that's the fragility of the experience. You have to be ready and you have to accept that you can't change it. If there was any possibility of that ever happening, they'd still have BBQ Chicken-Black Bean tacos on the menu. I desire the slight odor of mold hanging under other people's meals. The discussions at 2am are brave thesises on our state and condition. We exhault the emotions of the moment and paste the walls with things we might regret saying had we been lacking the comfort of believing the event wouldn't end. You want me to separate the wait from the eating? Why don't you try and separate the sex from the birth. It's life by the forkfull and mugfull. Come drunk, leave sober. Come worried, leave accepting your worry. Whether from 30 minutes away or 5, it's the same destination. And you if I found out you didn't tip because you were unhappy with the experience, blame your self. Take some responsibility for not accepting it for what it is. You pay around $6-9 for piece of mind.
I also want to drive my car there at night down 1 while listening to some KVRX.
I'm saving myself for a couple of Hummus and Tabooley tacos back home. Home at Original Kerby.
More coffee please. Black.

-Blake