Thursday, August 27, 2009

Je suis de retour

Le Far West is back. This time I'm reporting from the far west of Eurasia, not far from a place where Roman soldiers went to retire and enjoy the hot springs of Aquae Sextius, now known as Aix-en-Provence. More specifically I'm in Puyricard, a village where the Michel family has been been breeding corn for upwards of 15 years. Audrey, being quite fed up with the summer's corn castration, wanted a break from anything that reminded her of maïs. So we went to the beach.

The beach was my idea, and though it was great, it didn't do the job of creating a rupture between working the corn and the start of the school year that Audrey desired, so we went to St. Michel (no relation).

St. Michel is a tiny village two hours north from here, where the Michel's have a home. The surrounding region (like innumerable other regions) is famous for its cheese:

I also ate pigeon for the first time (as far as I know). We also tried some horse sausage... don't tell Alida.

Two days ago we visited Saint Antoine l'Abbaye, an abbey known for its honey production. We bought some Hydromiel, which is simply water and honey left to ferment. It's muscat-like but better, in my estimation.

We also visited the Fountain of Old Piss.

Now we're looking for apartments and I'm looking for a job. I start school September 22. So... voilà. A la prochaîne fois!

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Sanctuary

So my friend Nate Neal has just finished a 170+ page comic book called The Sanctuary, which will be published soon by Fantagraphics - quite an achievement I must say. One night I told Nate that we should do a video project together, since I have a camera and full access to a edit suite. At the time Nate sort of laughed at the Dionysian intensity of my insistance, but the next week Nate showed me a very well done storyboard he had made. We talked about it for a while, then went to scout out a good location. After a couple of hours of driving around, we found a nice blank wall that seemed to meet our lighting and audio requirements.

The next morning we shot the video. It stunk a bit there, and there was quite a bit of garbage, including used underwear, in the environs. Dad found what looked like a handgun bullet on the ground. We started shooting at around 10:30 and finished slightly after noon. Me and Nate had lunch together, then after a short repose went straight to the edit booth. I popped the tape into the deck, pressed play, and to my spine-scorching horror saw amateur porn on the monitor. See, we were using a DV tape that my Dad had given me. He had recently found a DV camera downtown (in a planter in front of a bank) and this was the tape that was in it. I knew that there was some black guy shooting himself fucking a girl on it, but I thought I had rewound it completely before shooting! For some reason the first part of what we shot didn't get recorded well. There was half porn, half our garbled footage for the first 5 minutes. Luckily we ended up not really needing the stuff that got corrupted, but it was quite a scare nonetheless. After around 3 hours we were essentially finished editing.

The next day we came back to add a few details and upload the video on the web. It was just so fun to have a fun project come together so harmoniously, and in so little time. I hope you enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed making it.