Monday, April 28, 2008

Episode 7 Up

So I just posted Episode 7, "Hi, Hi, Bernie" of Grande Con Carne. I'm looking forward to seeing what the reaction is on this one since it has a couple of industry "in" jokes.

But in keeping with the age old internet tradition of keeping your eyeballs glued to this page forever - here it is:

Friday, April 25, 2008

For Your Consideration

Well, for those of you who may not know, which accounts for the whole entire world, minus about 12 people, "Grande Con Carne" has been submitted for Emmy consideration.

A few weeks ago, I got a comment on this blog (here) encouraging me to submit. Apparently there is a special category for "Short Form" programming and last year the Emmy folk decided to make broadband an acceptable form of broadcast to qualify for Emmy consideration.

So, seeing the obvious potential upside should I actually win the lottery and even receive a nomination, I submitted.

Now the problem is, I'm sure the folks from "The Office" and "Medium" and all those other gigantic Alphabet shows out there that do "webisodes" in addition to their normally and regularly scheduled programming, are going to submit as well. And, unless I'm gravely mistaken (and I have a feeling I'm not) all those networky networking types are going to start running ads in Variety and HR and sending out fruit baskets and various and sundry marketing swag type items to all and anyone who has any sort of voting capability with the Emmys. All of which I, as an independent writer-producer-director-boom-pole-operator do not have the ability (or even a small fraction of the cash) to do. So here's my compromise. To any and all Emmy voters out there willing to consider voting for my tiny, and underfunded little webisodic efforts, I will offer, right here and now, my hearty and sincere thanks.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Missing Language

In my blog rolling adventures I came across this link at another blog. It's a glossary of film terms, yet I find it sorely lacking. Anyone who's been around the business long enough will certainly have heard terms that get every day use, but are not included in this list.

For the initiated:

Mickey Rooney (used to describe a dolly move)
Groucho (a direction given to an actor)
Cowboy (a camera angle)
Two T's (another camera angle)
Producer Tape (expendables)
C-47 (grip equipment) (and one of the most commonly heard terms on set)
C-Stand (also grip equipment and another of the most commonly heard terms on set)

There are other's I'm sure, but my brain is still trying to absorb the caffeine I pumped into it this morning, so if I think of anything else, I'll include it.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Retroactive Script Notes

A Script Supervisor is one of those positions that, when you are making something for a very low budget, seems superfluous. It's also one of the jobs on set that can be extremely important. The job of a Script Supervisor is to record every shot, every action, to take notes on the script as it's being shot. They also assign scene numbers that go on the slate. Though in reality the convention of how scenes are numbered is fairly straight forward, Sc 1 Tk 1 -> Sc 1A Tk 1, etc, they can get a little tricky at times and as a camera assistant and later as a director I depended on them to help me keep track of what was happening and most important, what had happened and what was going to happen.

I'm just thinking about that now, I as I sit here, going through all the footage from the last shoot and making retroactive script notes.

As a 2nd AC, especially on a film or series, you tend to work very closely with the script supervisor for a long period of time. I have fond memories of more than one.

UPDATE: As an update, I went trolling through some of the blog rolls of the sites I frequent and came across this blog Script Goddess. If you have some time and are interested, give it a look - watch the film she has posted about sleep and read the piece on Brent - he was a good guy - someone who helped me when I was just starting out. In fact, I'm going to crack open the nut that is my blog roll, over one the left there, and add this one.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Grande Con For Sale

"Grande Con Carne" is looking for a home. 

I realize that while we look like a slickly produced, big-budget, high-concept, years-in-development webseries with gobs and gobs and gobs of venture capital™ firms pounding at our door, dying to moentize® our efforts,  such, I can assure you, is not exactly the case.

"Grande Con Carne" has been produced on a shoestring budget, independently and with a only a few bottles of water and a bag of Chips Ahoy as craft service. 

Of course, to the layman, the casual viewer, the porn-weary web surfer, we are an oasis of comedy gold, but little do they know the peculiarities of the entertainment industry.

Submitted for your approval: my Mom and Josh's Aunt Lisa firmly and sincerely believe that "Grande Con Carne" should be made into a TV show, and I, for one, am not going to dissuade them of their opinions. And it may well be so that "Grande Con Carne" should, in point of fact, be made into a TV show. But it's also the case that I've been so busy making the damn show that I haven't exactly had time to get the word out. Well, this, my loyal reader(s) (and any agents, managers, producers or new media™ titans who occasion to happen upon my humble blogging efforts), is the official getting out of the WORD. 

"Grande Con Carne" is for sale. Kind of. What we'd like is to find some nice production company or web portal™ to finance or "partner" with our further efforts (while leaving us in complete creative control, with 99.995% ownership). It's not that I want the money, heaven knows I have no desire to sell out my artistic ambitions, but it's just that I feel it's "unfair" to all those viewers out there who have yet to see "Grande Con Carne" to keep it to ourselves.  So if you, or someone you know is the next Pierre Omidyar or Chad Hurley, please shoot us an email. We'll be happy to talk.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

I wanna be Judd Apatow's friend.

There was a time when it seemed like being a Coppola was a sure ticket to Hollywood success. I'm not sure if all of these names are related to the grand-master Francis (though a staggering number of them are), but I'm sure their surnames didn't exactly hurt their careers. In fact, while I was shooting my first film, "Learning to Surf," (winner: Best Achievement in Directing at IndieVision Fest 2002 (just in case anyone was wondering)) my good friend and D.P. Steve Vernon, C.S.C, counseled me to change my name to Coppola. "If anyone asks," he said, "whether or not you're related, you can always tell them, 'I really don't want to talk about it. I prefer to achieve success on my own terms.'"

Alas, I kept my name and here I am, blogging about my adventures producing a small webseries with a budget the size of Jerry Bruckheimer's pocket change (assuming Jerry hasn't been to an ATM in a while).

But things have changed and the new man about town, the king maker, the man with the midas touch, is Judd Apatow and I am here to officially announce my desire, my longing, my fervent need to become his friend. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

There Once Was a Man From Nantucket

The LA Times writes today about Judd Apatow's engorged efforts to thrust the display of male genetalia more securely into the modern film age. The story outlines an episode in the new "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" where the main character, played by Jason Segel, is fully and frontally nude for quite some time. The scene, according to the article, prodded the audience at South by Southwest to fits of laughter. Apparently serious comedic benefits can be accrued by filmmakers willing to sling their sausage in the faces of movie goers. Given that the title of this blog and of my webseries, Grande Con Carne, is in fact a thinly veiled double entendre regarding the aforementioned male appendage, I am sympathetic to this argument. The problem with the article is that the author assumes this is a new thing when in fact phallic comedy is as old as the hills.

In 411 BC Aristophanes used erect phalluses to great comedic effect in his play "Lysistrata".

Here are just two examples, though more abound throughout the play.

CINESIAS:(To the audience and pointing at his jolting prick)

My God, this prick! It’s worse than starving Hercules, waiting for his lunch.


and then later:


That’s a… that’s a… Spartan message rod.


Hah! If that’s a Spartan message rod then so is this (Indicates his own phallus)

Don’t worry friend, I know what’s up. You can tell me the truth. How are things with you men in Sparta?

SPARTAN HERALD: (Moral relaxation ensues after the disclosure but he is still visibly, very uncomfortable physically because of the affliction (ed note: the "affliction" is an erection))

All of us, Spartans, as well as allies, have stiffies like this one. We all need a fuck!

(ed. note: the original Greek word for "fuck," according to Google is: γαμω)

Friday, April 04, 2008

The Web Series: Episode 6

For all my adoring fans and loyal readers here is episode 6 without the added heartache of navigating away from this page:

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Shecky Director

We shot three more webpisodes yesterday. It was a fun day, especially, I think, for the guys on set. It was rough for me, no more than it usually is shooting with no budget and no crew (just me and Steve), except that for whatever reason all my on-set jokes fell flat. It was a pathetic sight, too, toward the end. You know you're in a hole when all those people who aren't laughing start to feel bad for you.

I guess it's tough to Shecky Director when you're trying to watch a monitor and hold a boom pole at the same time.