...so I played,

and it was amazing. Somehow in the last five years I had forgotten the pure joy of playing soccer. Just giving yourself over to playing. The second you stop thinking and start doing. Soccer has to be one of the most Zen of all sports, forcing you to constantly be "in the moment".

My body slicked with sweat, legs pumping, moving the ball down the field. A wall of defenders hurtling towards me.
"Break through! Break through!'
I kick the ball towards one of the few openings I see and jump, jump, jump, over the tangle of legs, landing with just enough time to pass the ball before the defenders are on me, over me, past me, onto the ball again.
"Good job!"
Yelled in passing, a pat on the back, and were off, chasing, seeking, looking, doing.


Most Popular Sport in the World

This entry is dedicated to Holli and Mark. Separately, because they've never met.
Mark plays soccer in a local adult league. Holli plays soccer, well, everywhere. I played soccer a little bit, a few years ago, hardly enough to mention.
After talking to Mark I decided that I need to play this fall, in one of the leagues around town. I got some new boots and started braking them in. I thought a nice light jog would do that well. I left my house, jogged down the hill and across random peoples lawns (they didn't seem to mind really). I decided to jog around the outer edge of the mall parking lot, nice wide flat stretch of grass to run on. As I rounded the far side of the mall, I heard a sound coming from up above me, high on a hill. I looked left, right, and then jumped the fence that separates the mall grounds from whatever wooly wilds lay beyond. I trudged up the hill, through bushes, sticks, and briers. I emerged from the overgrown foliage onto a soccer field. Actually two soccer fields. I was in awe. There were dozens of children ranging from grade school to high school running drills. A coach made his way over to me and asked if I wanted to train with the high school boys, they could use another man. I declined. He took this as modesty and said "Well, there's a pretty serious game across the street at the main fields." (Main fields? I didn't know Bellevue had ANY fields.) "Come back sometime if you wanna' help out though." Not wanting to look like an idiot I headed out the main drive and across the street. Walking up to the pitch I was scared. Standing on the sideline I was scared. When the man first asked me "You sub blue?" I was terrified. He came to the side line and asked "Why you don't wanna' play?" I responded that I was no good.
"You want to know how get better?"
"Then play."
He grinned at me and ran back onto the pitch. A few minutes later he ran off the field and stood beside me panting.
"You play now."
So I played.


Just the two of us

Originally uploaded by spartickes.

Tea In the Sahara

Holy crap. Holy crap and wow. In one week I finished my biggest project yet and screened my first short for a group of strangers.

The big project was filming and editing a half hour comedy special that took place at The Belcourt Theatre. It was a great show and I'm really happy with the way the DVD turned out. Many thanks to Matt Sterling and Jonathan Richter for the animation and advice.

Notice that I said I FINISHED my biggest project to date, I still have a HUGE FRIGGEN' project with Joe Southards thats due at the end of the month.

The short was shown as part of a sketch comedy show that took place at Bongo Java(whose site is down otherwise I'd give 'em a friendly link). Actually I got to show three things I've been working on: a commerical for Nashvillestandup.com, a mock news feed featuring the aforementioned Joe Southards, and an "anti-drug" PSA, concieved by Damian Anaya, who was also my editing partner for that bit. I will try to get the commerical and the PSA online soon so my adoring fan can fawn over it. The show itself was solid and I recieved great responses on my material. Once again many thanks go out to Matt Sterling, for the projector and screen and many bloody laughs.


Umm also just like his daddy?

Crazed Baben!
Originally uploaded by spartickes.

My son needs to eat WAYYY less sugar.


Just like his daddy

He's a rocker, he rocks out
Originally uploaded by spartickes.

Just someone to listen to stories I tell.

See, sometimes, it's the telling of the story that matters. That's where change starts. It's not the reaction, not the response. It's the telling that often contains the magic. Stories are things that love to be told. They also love to be heard, but to ever have that chance they have to first be told. I love them. I have devoted the majority of my life to them, through film, photographs, song, paint, and pencil I have told them. You use what tools you know but they must be told. I have fallen in love with people I've never met. I've danced in halls that never existed. I have been privy to events that shake my soul and shape my beliefs. It can be Arthur Conan Doyle or The Bible, I believe with all my heart that stories make life worth living. Sondheim and Soderbergh, Neil Jordan to Neil Gaiman, these people and thousands more taught me about life, love, and, how to be a better person. How else could we share our lives with others? Real, make-believe, it doesn't matter. On a screen 40 feet high or around a table in a diner with friends. Truth and fiction both can teach us about real life. Telling the story often makes us feel better, taking our thoughts and experiences, organizing them, and, throwing them into the world is freeing. Much like this short essay which I now offer to you. It all starts with the telling. The telling helps. Sometimes, it's the telling of the story that matters.

Stories I Tell-- Toad The Wet Sprocket

Don't give me answers for I would refuse
"yes" is a word for which I have no use
And I wasn't looking for heaven or hell
Just someone to listen to stories I tell

Now what is a blessing and what is a dream
Caught between portraits and none's what it seems
And why is it people expect there's a change
When I feel I'm a part of something I can't see
I feel the same

Now don't ask me questions or I will retreat
Fame is a cancer and ego its seed
Now I wasn't looking for heaven or hell
Just someone to listen to stories I tell

Do we ever wonder?
And do you ever care...

Subtle salvation in poems we know
Hiding our heads in a shadow of home
Now I wasn't looking for wreaths or for bells
Just someone to listen to stories I tell
Stories I tell


My possessions are causing me suspicion

The M. Night Shyamalan documentary is a hoax, there is no buried secret, it's just a stunt to build publicity for The Village, his upcoming movie. I for one think it's a cool idea. I was always interested in Orson Welles' "War of the Worlds" and I think this is an evoloution of that. Apparently a lot of people view it as "untrustworthy" because it was marketed as a real documentary rather than a publicity piece. It just amazes me, that in this age of "reality" shows people are getting mad about this stunt.

Ok go check out the website for Garden State. Spend some time there, check out both trailers, read Zach's blog, find the hidden footage. I know I've mentioned this one before but it looks amazing.

Ok, I'm trying to figure out how to get pictures up on this thing so expect that later on tonight, or tomorrow, depending on how lazy I am!


New Slang

I filmed a one man show last night at a bar called Hair of the Dog. I'm not sure if you've ever seen anything like this before. It was truly amazing to see someone perform an hour and twelve minutes of stand up bits interspersed with longer stories. The crowd was very attentive and respoded well. The performer Craig Smith is also the organizer of Nashville Standup's Mock the Vote campaign, which is registering voters at several local comedy shows.

After the show a bunch of people walked over to Craig's house (which is about two blocks away). On the way there we kept passing cd cases that had been thrown on the sidewalk, with the booklets and rear inserts still in them, but alas, no actual cds remained. After passing Journey, Joan Osbourne, and Eagles (Hotel Califorina! Damn heathens!) we stumbled across Janis Joplin's Greatest Hits which for some reason struck the fancy of Craig's girlfriend and it was decided that she would take it home with her. This struck me as odd, as I know that they have that cd with a fine looking case within the ranks of their audio entertainment. For the remainder of the evening she would not inform me as to the expected fate of said case and inserts. I can only hope she will be using it as part of an art project that reveals to the viewer the dangers that come in the form of THE GREATEST HIT ALBUM!


Judy is a Punk

So I'm thinking of dyeing my hair again. I'm thinking something really odd this time, maybe blue or red or green. On second thought better stay away from red, it has the tendency to look pink. I haven't been able to do anything too wild with it for a few years but now that I'm not working for THE MAN anymore I can do what I please.

Do you ever find it hard to be creative when you are sick? Yeah, I'm feeling it right now. BLAH.

I think that sometime soon I may turn this blog into an actual site, complete with pictures and what not. Although no fourms, I've learned my lesson about how hard those are to maintain from Mark, one of my favorite local comics.


I'm Spiderman! no really this time I am!

Ok, I'm not actually but I did see his new movie! Yes, I went to the 12:01 showing of Spiderman 2. First off I loved it. It was a darker film than the first, and even more character oriented. Pretty emotionally complex for a superhero movie to boot. Secondly every one in the theater was very attentive and quiet, that never happens for me! My only real complaint was the wonky sound system that overcompensated for the loudness in some of the action scenes by dropping the volume, in the middle of an explosion. I'm not sure if the amps were clipping or what, but it sucks when you hear BOOOOOoom. Now I'm off to try to wind down enough to go to bed.

Hey, he stole that guys pizzas!

Trust me, it'll be funny when you're older.


I'm Batman!

My geek side rejoices! Ok to be truthful I don't really have a "geek side" its pretty much just all geek.

I think this is great news for the new Batman movie. The studio seems to have picked up the trend of taking a talented "indie" director and giving him the reigns of a big budget actioner. This is becoming more and more prevalent as of late, first there was Peter Jackson getting tapped to do the Lord of the Rings movies and then Sam Raimi with the Spiderman franchise and most recently Alfonso Cuaron helming the latest Harry Potter flick. They've also gone with more "indie" actors this time around as well. I've only seen Cillian Murphy in two movies so far but he has blown me away in both of them, it will be interesting to see how he handles this role. Most actors tend to go over the top when they play villians but Murphy has been very humanistic in his choices in the past. At the very least it seems like it will be a good ride.


Cold Shot

I spent several hours this evening reviewing the footage I shot last weekend for Joe. It's only an hour and 45 minutes of footage but nearly every bit of it is usable. We decided to cut way down on filming time by shooting detail shots and then writing voice-overs for it, rather than try to ad-lib lines on location. So far our plan has worked, but now I am faced not with finding the "good" take out of several but with writing from the ground up, using the footage that I think will be good enough for him to write bits about. It seems that while I saved us a lot of time and hassles in the field I have inadvertanly created much more work in the editing room for myself. Ah well, live and learn and all that jazz.

On the plus side, it looks like I get to order the firearms for the movie tomorrow! WooHoo! That makes me much more excited than it really should.

Thank you Damian and Ryan for the great ideas and support.


Come Together

See a couple of hours ago I was feeling down, sad, mopy, blah, lonely. You know, not so good. Basically the only things that've happened in the last hour or so are a couple of really good conversations, and a few compliments on the last promo piece I did. That's really all it took to remind me that I do indeed have friends and that I have been productive recently.

So here I am outside of a club typing away just because I wanted to share my joy. And talk to a friend...mainly the friend thing, but you don't feel bad about that do you? Aww baby, it's cool, we just talkin'. Yeah thats better, let me make it up to you. Have an Almond Joy. There thats better aint it?


Once in a while...

I've been having an amazing time. When I was filming at the Delorean car show this past weekend I recieved a job offer. I really cant say too much about it until I get some more information but it could be HUGE for me. Ok I know this was short but I've got to do some editing before work tonight (7:00) so I'd better get to it.


Work work work.

I got a call around 4 this afternoon to see if I could do some filming tonight. I of course said yes, then on the way home from the gig I realized that tonight was pretty much my last night to see my family for the next week and a half or so. I'm already booked every night until the first of July either shooting footage for demo reels for clients working in some capacity on my own movie.

I am so happy. It's insane really I have never really enjoyed work, but now I LOVE it! After years of dreaming of directing projects I'm finally getting to do it as my occupation. It's been over a year since I've had a "real" job, I've either done photography or film projects since then. I feel so lucky, even though I know it's not luck. It's just having the balls to do what you want to do. Not to boast or anything, but I am proud of the fact that I haven't given in and gotten a regular job (even though I've been tempted to several times, because, in a way it'd be easier to give up my dreams and just work in a factory)

Thank you to everybody who has supported me in the past few years, I truly appricate you all believing in me and my silly little movie ideas.


Reccomendations (in no particular order)

1. Television - Marquee Moon
This is just a fantastic album from 1977 that really presages the current indie sounds.

2. Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals- Live From Mars
Amazing style and soul. One disc with the full band one disc with just Ben and a guitar. The set list is a good retrospective of the first several albums with some covers thrown in.

3. Frou Frou - Details
Some of the most emotional electronic music this side of Bjork (who you should also probably check out).

4. Matthew Sweet - Girlfriend, Altered Beast, 100% Fun
A trifecta of nearly perfect albums. Beautifully crafted pop gems and really great album structure.

5. Afghan Whigs - 1965
I have no clue how to classify this album, it is by turns moody, sensual, LOUD and dense. It just rocks.

Print Media:

1. Neil Gaiman - Sandman series
Yeah, they're comic books, but it's also a great story. Neil Gaiman has a nack for taking every myth you've ever heard, twisting it on its head, and then slapping you around with it (just for good measure). If you really can't stomach being seen reading comics, check out American Gods or Neverwhere.

2. Orson Scott Card - Ender's Game
Sience fiction for people who don't like sience fiction. A book that works on several levels, I've read it time and again from the age of 10 or 11 and I still find reasons to go back.

3. James Ellroy - American Tabloid
Dizzying, stream of thought narrative coupled with politics, gangs, Cuba, drugs and Hollywood. I mean what more could you want?

4. Richard Wright - Native Son
It touches on race, class, crime, and power in America. A heartbreaking spiral that you can see coming a mile away, but are powerless to stop.

5. Alex Garland - The Tesseract
I know this is an overused cliche but I couldn't put it down. I picked it up thinking that I would read until I got tired, I read the whole damn book. A bit of a puzzle (but not a mystery). Intertwining stories that span several years to explain the events of one ill-fated evening. Stunning in content and form.

Perhaps sometime I'll post movie reccomendations but I've got work to get to now!


I know, I know

I missed posting anything yesterday, but hey it's ok. I spent the majority of my computer time last night capturing and logging footage for a couple of promo pieces that I have due this coming week. And guess what I'm off to do now? That's right more capturing and logging. It's thrilling really.


Anatomy of a scene

Damn, I am jazzed. I just got finished watching Anatomy of a Scene on Sundance Channel they were detailing Zach Braff's first directorial effort Garden State. First off I think this film just looks amazing, the cinematography is touching yet comic (ala American Beauty) and the art direction is slightly stylized and surreal.

Did that last sentence make sense to anyone who is not a film geek?

I'm supposed to be shooting the opening scene of my movie this weekend, however I'm not sure that it will happen because not all of my props have arrived yet. At this point I can either drive to Atlanta tomorrow (about 5 hours each way) or wait 'til next weekend to shoot. GAH, thats no good either, I already have a project that I'm shooting for someone else next weekend. Now I have a conundrum. I'm thinking I might just make the drive so I can shoot on Sunday.

Well, that kind of took the wind out of my sails

Damn, I used to be jazzed.


Well it IS my birthday!

Thats right, first post ON my birthday. This year I didn't make any New Years resolutions so I'm making some for my birthday. Here they are in no particular order, well, other than the fact that they are going to be on a numeric list:

1. Finish at least 3 films this year.

2. Write more. (hence this blog!)

3. Train to run in next years Music City Marathon.

4. Let the people in my life know that they matter.

5. Stop whining

It's a pretty short list but then again life is pretty good right now. I will try to update this at least once a day. Hopefully I'll get into a groove and feel more comfortable with it in the near future.