Friday, July 25, 2008

Ginkers: The Blog

Rob has a new blog up on the web, powered by Blogspot and fueled by the passion of the Ginkers. It's a good read, giving you insight into the subjects of the documentary and also the behind the scenes stuff that goes on when our rowdy little bunch gets together and starts shooting.

You can find it here:

I'll post a permalink on the side too. It's hard to believe I've been attached to Rucksack Films for so long. Almost since I've been back in New Jersey, I think. We started with The Boy Roach, in it's various iterations and now we're onto the Ginkers. I think we've actually shot more in a few short months than we did in the years of TBR. A lot of that comes from the nature of the projects. With Ginkers, there are subjects and we just ask questions. TBR had a script and actors and a whole slew of other things that come with a feature film and sometimes the bottom would just drop out on you. Regardless, it's been a lot of fun and I'm proud to be part of the group.

It seems like only yesterday that I met Rob, answering an ad on We met at Barnes and Noble and I got there early and asked just about everyone in the cafe area if they were Rob. Then, while perusing through Video Watchdog and Fangoria, I heard someone call my name,

"Hey douchebag, you have to pay for that. This isn't a library."

After outwitting the dim-witted employee, I heard another voice,

"Clean-up in the restroom."

Putting down the copy of Playboy, I left the bathroom and went back out into the cafe. There I met Rob and he gave a nice boy with little credits outside of some student films and some work at an NBC affiliate a job as a PA. I asked if the job paid, and he said it did in the spiritual coin. I accepted gleefully, knowing that the exchange rate on ghosts was through the roof. Little did I know at the time that spiritual coin was not actually accepted to exchange at the bank due to an embargo on the spirit world. Undaunted, I pressed on and at the first shoot I attended, met the rest of the crew, including "Merry" Matt Ziegler and a whole bunch of people who aren't involved anymore. There was a guy who went to Pittsburgh and got angry when my team stomped his, and I think a PA who might have been 40 at the time and in a car accident. My memory is hazy. I just remember thinking--"This is fucking awesome." Then we had sushi, I'm pretty sure.

Later on, at one of the Rutgers Gardens shoots, I stepped in dog crap. I have a tendency to do that. It might be a special power. If it is, I think I'll trade it in to be Potato Salad Man.

Now we've been through a lot and got a job outside of retail and digging graves, I'm a husband and a father and I'm a cameraman now too, backing up the magnificent Matt on the shoots with my trusty HV20, and I must say, it gets better with every minute and I can't wait to see the finished product. And once that embargo ends, I'm going to cash in my coin and be a millionaire. Unless there's an arcade that accepts it, in which case, I'm going to play me some Galaga.

Rock and fucking roll.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


The film shoot yesterday went well, from what I could make of it. I had to bounce early due to a prior commitment with a 1st birthday party. We got some good footage on what became a tour of Ginker hangouts in East Brunswick. There was some cool stuff and the first one was almost like doing Ginker archaeology, as the location was hidden for a long time until construction uncovered it and all the wonders within.

Moreover, it gave me a chance to test some of my equipment in the field. I'll have to review the footage to check the audio but I think the test of my new microphone went well. The new UV filter helped cut down on some of the glare. I would have tried the circular polarizer but there wasn't time but I did check that today and it works nicely.

My biggest test was the new bag. I had upgraded from my small camcorder bag that I had been putting in a backpack to a backback bag by Canon, the 200EG. It has more than enough space for my gear with room left over for some more items should I get them. The compartments are made with little velcro pads that you can rearrange to fit your specific needs. I had to make the camera area smaller as the HV20 is a pretty small but awesome camera. I had to enlarge another space for the Rode Videomic, as it is bigger than my camera with any lens attached.

It was easy to access my equipment in the car as we traveled and even quicker to put away. I didn't get a chance to test my tripod straps until today but they were goodly as well. All in all a great purchase at a much better price than some of the Lowepro bags, which are nice but a little more than I wanted to spend. At $40 bucks on Amazon, the Canon bag is a great deal.

I'll review the footage when I get a chance. Maybe tonight if I'm lucky.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Circular Thinking

My circular polarizer came today. I couldn't try it out though since my free time was non-existant until later on, after the sun went down. I shall give it another try tomorrow. Or maybe Friday. I'd like to use it this weekend but I need to play with it first before the shoot. At least the UV filter works. Worst case scenario, I use that.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

The Brothers Solomon

I'll have to admit that this movie was way under my radar. I never even heard of it until my buddy J told me about it, so when I saw it was playing on Starz, I taped it and gave it a viewing. Verdict? Goodly, actually. The movie centers around two brothers, Will Arnett and Will Forte, who decide that by having a kid they can bring their father out of a coma. Unfortunately for them, they're not quite savvy with the ladies, thus making their endeavor even tougher than expected. When Kristin Wiig and Chi McBride show up on the scene, all hilarity breaks loose as they help the brothers along on their quest. It should be safe enough for the whole family to watch though there are quite a few swears in it, thanks to Chi McBride. Definitely worth checking out if you need a good laugh.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Shiver Me Invisible Dukes

As a side effect of being off for a week, I have plenty of time to watch movies with my baby while the wife earns a paycheck. So far, I've watched three.

Shivers: One of David Cronenberg's first films, it explores themes that you can find throughout his body of work, namely sex and the human body. In this tersely paced film, an apartment building is the setting for an infestation of parasites that turn people into sex crazed maniacs. It turns out that a professor had been experimenting on a girl he was seeing but she was seeing several other people, spreading the parasite unbeknowst to the professor. Hijinx ensue, as well as lots of nudity, including full on for a radiant Lynn Lowry and I believe a wet t-shirt scene for Barbara Steele. It's dated a bit but the film still stands as an exploration of human sexuality and venerael disease. Worth checking out if you're a fan of either or Cronenberg.

The Invisible: David Goyer's latest film is a remake/new adapation of a Swedish book about a boy who is violently beaten and lies in a realm between life and death where he has to try and make contact with the world of the living so he can save his dying self. A little long and fairly pretentious at parts, it's a solid movie with decent performances from it's teenage cast and also contains some wonderful cinematography. Better than some of the dreck out there so it's worth a watch.

Dukes of Hazzard: I'm a little late on this adaptation of a hit television series from my youth starring Seann William Scott and Johnny Knoxville. It was a pleasant enough experience. The comedy comes pretty fast and furious as Bo and Luke try to save their Uncle Jesse's farm. Decent performances all around though they made the Duke boys into dunces which I'm not really fond of, playing more like a Dumb and Dumber with a car on it. Worth seeing for some mindless fun.

That's it for now. More to come.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Back in Jersey

I'm back from my trip to Louisville. I'll have photos soon. I think. At least of bourbon. Beautiful, beautiful bourbon.