Monday, October 18, 2004

Joining the assault weapons debate

Disclaimer: I’m not as nice as Scotty C, so everyone will just have to get used to the good cop, bad cop routine. Warning: this will be very boring for anyone who doesn’t care, so don’t bother. The ban on assault weapons also known as “The Brady Bill” was passed in 1994 and expired last month because congress refused to renew it, Frist and Delay made it clear they would let it expire, and the Democrats, being the strong principled type people they are, were too scared of Nov. 2nd to do what they thought was right. It’s sad but true that the assault ban was watered down, because it had to be to get the thing to pass at all. But, to say it was just cosmetic so why have it anyway is like saying the war on drugs is losing so let’s just legalize everything. If it is not doing its job we should make the ban tougher so it actually works, not just get rid of it. Here are some of the gun control regulations that work or will work. Some of which have been passed, some still waiting in the wings for congress to act. All make sense and seem reasonable and do not even come close to trying to pry guns out of the hands of law abiding citizens, yet the NRA has opposed all of them: Mandatory background checks and waiting periods for all gun purchases to assure felons can not purchase weapons for crimes. Licenses for all gun owners, that require safety courses and tests, after all we have to jump through hoops to drive a car, why not a weapon? All non-hunting firearms must be registered with the government to aid law enforcement officials in solving murders and cracking down on black market gun sales. Mandatory child safety locks on all new firearms and incentives to gun owners to install safety locks on existing registered guns. A ban on concealed fire arms in public, a gun in your nightstand to make you sleep safe is one thing, having one tucked away in your pants when you head out grocery shopping is something else. Six out of ten Americans are in favor of needed gun control and 71% favor bans on assault weapons because they know that nobody needs an AK47 to hunt. Yet Congress has been corrupted by the powerful gun lobby and has turned their back on the will of the people. Nobody is talking about taking away the 2nd Amendment, but our founders couldn’t have known that muskets would someday turn into AK47s and Tec-9s and instead of fending off the English would be used in extinguishing 30,000+ lives of its own citizens EVERY year, or they probably would have thought twice. In closing, the assault weapons ban will come to the floor in congress after the election, Senator Feinstein (D-CA) one of the creators of the original bill has already promised this. The only question is will it be a law that actually works by being tough, or will the gun lobby be able to buy favorable legislation again. No hunter needs a weapon with a 30 shot clip, to sit in a tree and spray the forest hoping to hit something. Assault weapons are called that for a reason and were created back in the early 1900s for two events, war and crime. Don’t take my word for it, the LA, NYC and Miami Police Commissioners and hundereds more in American cities support the assault weapons bans because they’re a threat to uniformed officers. Not sure I'm the one that needs some enlightenment on the issue. Out. dan

Sunday, October 17, 2004

weekend in lincoln

Here's the promised wrap-up of the shoot in Lincoln. It happened about a week ago so things might be a little fuzzy. Dan's got some detailed day-by-day stuff that he's prepared so there may be an influx of behind the scenes goodness coming soon.

We left Omaha for Lincoln at 8am on Saturday morning. We had slight delays picking a prop table and chairs for the day's shoot. The big delay on our trip to Lincoln was stopping that a gas station that "obviously" didn't have gas. We actually have this on behind the scenes, so stay tuned for that (next week or so, time permitting).

We arrive in Lincoln only slightly behind schedule, OK, maybe 35 minutes after we planned. At any rate, we should have arrived right at cast/crew call at 9:30-ish (note to young filmmakers: never put "ish" after your call time, it leaves things open to creative interpretation). ;) We get to our spot on campus, plop down our prop table and chairs and only one member of our ensemble is there (Givani gets the game ball that day). From that point on, phone calls started to filter in from everybody else about some weird thing that happened to them that caused the lateness. That's when Dan and I realized that maybe this wasn't the right weekend to shoot in Lincoln (somebody check if that rhymed).

Shooting got going around 11:00 (an hour later than we wanted). So Dan and I were a little intense about staying on schedule and getting everything done for the day. Maybe unpleasantly intense, but it was kind of a one-shot location. Everyone responded terrifically though and not only did we get everything shot, but we also managed to get back onto schedule by the end of the day. Not that our accelerated shooting schedule didn't effect the cast/crew as we had to cut a scene at the end of the night as everyone was exhausted from spending the whole day outside. Who knew you could get sunburnt in October (I did, but I really don't associate the two very often). Our supporting cast, Rose and Eric (sorry if you spell it the other way), showed up and gave great performances to round out a furious day of shooting.

We adjourned shooting for the day at around 6pm. After shooting, some of the crew went to the apartment of Dan's brother, James, to watch the Huskers get absolutely obliterated by the Red Raiders of Texas Tech. Upon the end of the game, we decided it was best to avoid sleeping on the couches and floor of James's apartment (though very nice) and stay at a hotel instead.

After working all of the kinks out of my body from sleeping on the rollaway from hell (the floor at James's would have been sweet relief), we found ourselves back on the campus of UNL for one more day of shooting. We knocked out a couple shots early, including the first "beautiful" shot of the Lincoln shoot and a confrontation scene in which Chelsie (I will spell your name as many ways as phonetically reasonable) had to call the entire student body "fucking sheep" as a tour bus of middle-aged/older adults unloaded and walked by. A scene was dropped due to a miscommunication and lack of personnel, so that afforded us the luxury of a lunch (whee!).

Fully recharged from food from the student union (*sarcasm*), we shot several more scenes producer Ehren Parks got in front of the camera for an amazing interpretation of one of the characters. *Pretentious insight* As a writer, I'm always amazed by some of the ways that people interpret the words on the page. Never in one million years would I have thought to read the Munson character the way Ehren did, yet it was completely sublime. *end pretentious insight* Sunday also marked the return of Bill Wassem (playing George Vallone) to an SEP production. We've worked with Bill before and today was no dissappointment.

After finishing Bill's scene, we wrapped the shoot and gathered all the equipment and headed eastward back to our home. The Lincoln shoot is done, which means episode 2 is almost completely shot. Not too bad for a couple days work, though I hope never to have such a solidly planned weekend ever again.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Why the pundits will be surprised again

On election day 2000, we were in for quite a surprise when the race seemingly tightened in the last 24 hours of the vote, America who had leaned towards the new guy Bush, had entered the voting booths and as Fat Joe would say "leaned back" to the boring smart guy Al Gore. As results rolled in, Bush's two to three point lead in the polls had evaporated into a dead heat. The news networks quickly spiraled into chaos, calling states mere minutes after polls had closed, states that after recounts were decided by only hundreds of votes. Well, if you thought 2000 was a mess, wait three more weeks, and you'll have a front row seat to the sequel. The reason is the youth vote, the vote that always has been overlooked is being treated the same this year, but there is something different: Young People Care this time around! I thought most people my age just had passing opinions, but it's not the case, everyone I talk to is voting this year, kids who have never even thought about voting are saying "I'll be there". Whether it be rumors of the draft on the internets (couldn't pass that one up), the Howard Dean campaign, tuition costs, none of the jobs we were promised at the start of college and now that we're graduated that Starbucks cashier job is sadly starting to look tempting. It's all adding up. Only one problem, the polls are missing this magma of voters, they can hear the rumbling, but have no idea the mountain is about to erupt because they don't have the means to measure it. 18 year olds in high school don't get called by pollsters because their parents get passed these calls, college kids don't get called because their number changes every year and they never make it into a phone book, I lived five different places in my five years of college, new number each time. Post-grads like me aren't getting polled, because it's 2004 and we have cell phones now and don't need lan lines. "The Man" Joe Trippi is on the same page with me, posting yesterday about the exact same topic. He thinks there may be a 3 to 4 percentage point youth swing out there that is not getting picked up at all by any of the hundreds of polls. Its not that Brokaw and Russert don't care, they just don't know, but the look on their faces on Nov. 2nd when they can't figure out why the polling and the votes don't match should be priceless.


Sunday, October 03, 2004

Chugging along

First things first, much love to the recently married Adam and Laura (Officially married 29 hours as of post time). You guys rock. Congrats and all that.

...Now back to me (because that's the real reason all seven of you read this)

Sunday brought another day of shooting, our first day with the full ensemble. We were very pleased with the results. Everyone got along and the chemistry really came through on screen. Perhaps we all got along a little too well as a couple of scenes had to be postponed due to a lack of time. But the main thing is that everything we got was good.

Real Good.

I don't want to go out on my own horn here, but I'm starting to get excited about the final project (this is with about a fifth of the shooting for ep1 done). It's pretty lame of me to say this, because launch is so far off still (JANUARY 1st JANUARY 1st JANUARY 1st). But for my money it's going to be the best webseries filmed in Nebraska about idealistic twenty-somethings trying to overthrow a system that provides liberty and justice for a few.

But I might be biased.

More good news. We actually brought and used the behind the scenes camera today, so for all of you devoted fans out there (OK, for Dan and I), we might be able to cut together some BTS eventually, just so you too can experience what it's like to be on-set of EvansAmerica. It will be a sight to behold.

Anyways, enough of my yammering. Next weekend is the weekend. We're taking our crazy circus side show on the road all the way to Lincoln, NE for three days of fun in the sun, if spending all waking hours with Dan and I is your idea of fun (may God have mercy on your soul if it is). Should be an interesting weekend, hopefully there will be some war stories.

with that I'm out.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?