Wednesday, March 26, 2008

When the blind follow the blind, Y'all walk off the cliff together. Well, I'm teaching again so I suppose I'm looking fer some good ol blind folk to give me a shove. It is a strange bedfellow, the idea of teaching a messy subject such as story. I can't really claim to be a master, pro, or even semi-pro at this gig... more of a survivor. I've been at it for ten years now (hard to believe...been hitched for just as long...Lawdy Lawdy), and I've had many ups and downs trying to tell stories in this fickle business. But what I really love, and have always loved, is the pure energy that comes from working the job and exploring ideas. It is from this approach that I've always really gotten a jazz (that's right... A JAZZ)from teaching. I've done it in the past (brick and mortar style) and think I was ok at not messing up anyone's hopes or dreams. I've always looked back fondly at those who mentored me in such a way as to let me have my opinions and gave me the room to discover my own voice. Sometimes I was lazy and these teachers would kick my ass...sometimes I was cocky and they'd take me down a peg...sometimes I was discouraged and they helped me dust off...I think it is the human side of the job that makes it important and worth doing. There is no "right" or "wrong" way to break story...there are mechanics and techniques that bring craft and focus to the job, but for me, story is all about communicating ideas. The trick is honing in on the idea worth telling, and then figuring out how to get that idea out there without getting it all bloated and gooey. Ain't nothing worse than a good idea that was dropped under the fridge and matted with old cat hair. So the class will deal with mechanics and break down the fundamentals of story structure, but the meat will be the conversations that come from going back and forth from the assignments that will hopefully generate strong ideas. I don't think I'm completely full of crap (83% crap to be precise), but I've had my share of successes and failures and I'm willing to pass on what I knows.

Check out all the great stuff they've got going on over there at Schoolism. I am truly intimidated at the wealth of brilliance they have teaching the other classes... it is humbling to be in such incredible company. Mr. Chiu and Mr. Silver are old friends that have really built up the foundation for this enterprise.

I'm great at spillin', lousy at pluggin'. spa-tooon.


Monday, March 10, 2008

Down by the bay...

"In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king".
a line from Singapore, by Tom Waits.

Always makes me think of the animation business.
Hey I only have one eye that works good anyway. I ain't king of shit. Where is this land o the blind. Its good to be I've been told. Of course, the higher one rises, the harder one falls. We'll see.

I'll stay a one eyed grunt for the time being. Better to eat crumbs and survive. Here, here, to all ye kindly rodents in the dark wet holes of the earth. Be ye muskrat, mouse or beaver, ye be kin. Smile and chew your wood and don't complain when your gums bleed...a little wet salt softens the stump. Yummy.

Thanks Mr. Waits for the muse. Buy "Rain Dogs" if you like good things. It is a good thing to put in your ears.

Hope all is well in the land of the blog.
Cris Perrin of the provincial lot, 3B, Longwoods way around Iroquois Shore, behind the Black Oak, third house on the left. Where the wild cheese grows.