my thoughts . my memories . my family . my projects . my fears

Archive for the ‘“Nice Boy”’

Exporting Video

March 20, 2009 By: admin Category: "Nice Boy", Music, Video

Exporting Video is like watching paint dry. Or waiting for a prom date to “get the courage.” Either way, this was inspired by a Facebook status post of mine where I wrote “If any of you musician types could write me a punk song about exporting video, I’d be grateful.” This is my pal, Mary Bichner, of Box 5, doing just that:



“Los manos arriba! Arriba!” “They’ve GOT them up!”

October 21, 2008 By: admin Category: "Nice Boy", Music, Video


So, I had this great (and then not) dream the other night…

I’m working on a music video inspired by my favorite movie, “Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid.” It’s the first time I’ll be DIRECTING, which is to say it’s the first time I’m doing fiction. No “follow the story” type stuff this go ’round, just straight-up “I am responsible for every single element in evey single shot” type of stress. Awesome.

Anyway, as the story is set in the Wild West (why?????) and has the heavy “Butch & Sundance” influence, Paul Newman and Robert Redford have been on my mind. And, as my mind has a tendency to skip around in an “A.D.D. Bunny” kind of way, naturally I found myself dreaming about present day Robert Redford at none other than the Sundance Institute for film in Utah…

Okay, all the sickos out there who are picturing me doing fabulous things with “Bob”… you go right on picturing it…;) Girl, if any man could make me straight… whew!

Anyway, so the dream was much less exciting than what I just alluded to. In fact, it was downright humiliating. Here’s what happened… I’m sitting in an office. I’ve somehow been brought into the guts of the Sundance world because it seems someone liked the video. A lot. Great, right? I’m thinking I’m being tapped as “the next big thing,” right? Wait… So, Bob comes by. Fuckin’ BOB REDFORD. I do, if I might say, a phenomenal job of masking my “I’m not worthy” flop sweat as the God of Indy Film sidles RIGHT THE HELL UP TO ME. He smiles and says he really liked the video. I smile (then throw up… no… not really…) and tell him thanks. Then, without missing a beat, Bob tells me that “Maryanne”–a woman who has just MIRACULOUSLY appeared beside me–is going to take me somewhere to get “set up” in some way. “Set up???” I’m thinking I just won the lottery and that Bob somehow just hired me to direct his next big something! Except, no… that’s not at all what happened… So, I follow Maryanne as she winds through a series of hallways (someone quickly remind me what long, windy hallways in dreams mean). Again, I think we’re going to end up on some gorgeous indy soundstage somewhere where I will be trained on the latest wicked-cool camera, yadda yadda yadda…. but no, again, that’s not at all what happens. Instead, we end up in a makeup and hair room.

Confused? So was I until Maryanne–

showed me to a chair.

The punchline: Bob wanted me to get a haircut. I shit you not. Robert Redford’s impression of me wasn’t “genius” it was “scruffy.” I was to be, literally, groomed.

As you can imagine, I woke up feeling even more unfashionable than I usually do and desperately wanting to make that appointment with the expensive Bostonian hairstylist that I’ve been putting off.


Anyway, the really, really, really good news in all this is that Caren and I had a nice sit-down, our first official production meeting, about the video. I played her the song and she threw out some great ideas. Now it’s up to me to come up with shots for the whole goddamned thing while she finds locations.

“Who are those guys???”

Joe LaFors, out. 😉

One Hour In Defense of Discipline

October 14, 2008 By: admin Category: "Nice Boy", Food, General, Happiness, Health, Humane Food, Living, Meditation, Running, sustainability, Video, Yoga


So many books, so little time… It’s a popular sentiment for the Western busyness-obsessed. I’ve never been one of those people who has to have every second of the day filled or I’ll go insane thinking about my life, but I do admit that reading pathologically slowly has hamstrung my success. The good news is I don’t have to let it do that any more… cuz girlfriend’s got a little thing called discipline…

For the next few projects I’ve got on my plate I need to read a lot. Thinking In Pictures and The Omnivore’s Dilemma are at the top of the list. The problem is how to choose which to begin with. As I read so slowly I won’t likely be done with one before the mojo on the project requiring ingestion of the other has come and gone! What to do!??? Well, read them both, silly. Isn’t that obvious…. ? 😉

As my reading comprehension is actually pretty good when I’m researching, I’m taking advantage of that skill by focusing on each subject for a couple of hours each day. I read for one hour then make notes for an hour. I do the same for each book. Sometimes the “notes” portion of the day is just me thinking, but that’s time well spent. Back in 9th grade Mr. Sandine (the most genius English teacher of all time) assigned Wednesday homework like this: “Think.” Cool, huh? Well, I did. And, if nothing else, such exercises taught me how to think. That coupled with my video research work has morphed over the years into an ability to quickly visualize solutions to problems. I can place myself into an imagined situation very easily and therefore be much better prepared for the real-world counterpart when it finally develops.

So, when do I do all this great reading & focusing? After breakfast, after meditation, and after my run…

I know what you’re thinking… not enough hours in the day… I know… But there are enough hours IF you get up early and STICK TO YOUR SCHEDULE. Once that alarm rings telling you it’s time to do something else, you can’t procrastinate. Period. Check out this cool video of the late Randy Parse telling you how to be more efficient in your day-to-day.

I’ll see how this schedule goes and will report back here.  What I imagine I’ll discover at the beginning is that I’ll have to tweak certain times within the day such as getting up at 6:30am rather than 7:30am and allowing myself some emailing/blogging/news-reading downtime after I stretch. I’ll time myself for this first week to see how much I actually do this for, and I’ll also have to be careful about not working too late. I love making a nice dinner and sitting down to watch a movie or a show.This should be challenging…

Exploring My “Creativity” With Photoshop…

October 01, 2008 By: admin Category: "Nice Boy", House, Music, Video

These are all studies in layers and a few very, very, very simple techniques I learned from reading a magazine. This first one started out with trying some self-created brushes. I took a photo of trees and a photo of some website text. I muddied them up, trying to get a feel for 2D balance, then the lines just came to me. The busy-ness of the design called out for a message that was straight forward, edgy, and challenging. Like the text was saying “fuck you!” to the design…


This next one started out playing with motion blur on a photo of my feet looking out from Michael’s boat to the harbor. The stripes are created by adding motion blur and then turning the value of the blur WAY UP. I like the results of this filter but needed something more for this image. I LOVE the American Flag and the one abused in this photograph is one of the famous ones by Jasper Johns. I cropped it and then made the top one a brush, doubled it, and made it black & white. When the whole then felt unbalanced, I added the bottom one and took down the opacity.Again, the text just popped out.


Lastly, this is the first study I’m doing for what will eventually be the look for the band “Box 5’s” video “Nice Boy/Blow My Cover” which I am fortunate enough to be directing in the coming months!!! I want a heavy, stylized sepia quality to the final look and this is me testing light and brightness & contrast so I’ll know how to shoot this thing…


In other news Caren arrived yesterday!!!! We stayed up late talking and running around the house. Today we cleaned up her room so she could unpack her car. We got it all done with enough time for me to rush off to my acupuncture appt. I only have 2 more before I’m “righted” again. 😉

With Caren and her stuff here, the place is really filling filled out. :) The studio now has the file cabinet (a thankless, crazy-making task that I’d stab myself before repeating), and I’m slowly dealing with all the magazines from “The Bag Of Shame” as well as those I keep for reference. NOTE: I’m not a hoarder, these are magazines I actually use.

Alright. I have an FCP gig at a small recording studio tomorrow!!! I’ll be interning there for a little bit so I can learn how to use the 10-channel mixer I just bought… :) Wish me luck!!!