Wednesday, December 24, 2008

CC: The Reason for the Season

When you wake up this Christmas morning, make sure that you don't lose sight of the true meaning of the day. It's not about Santa or presents, shopping or cooking, family or Jesus. December 25 is the anniversary of the day that the fellowship of the ring set out from Rivendell (at least according to wikipedia). So this Christmastime as you're enjoying your time with your family, spare a thought for poor Legolas embarking on a dangerous mission against the hosts of Mordor.

A happy Christmas to you all from all of us here at There and Back Again: An Elf's Endeavour (except for Dan who doesn't believe in fun)!

Keep checking in next month for my final preparations before I set off on my adventure.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

DV: Sticks and Stones

Sticks and stones will break my bones...

but soon you leave the country

Monday, December 8, 2008

CC: Daisy, Daisy....

I'd just like to congratulate Dan on discovering the most boring possible arrangement of 41 words that the world has yet to see in the previous blog post. I know he's been spending a lot of time lately working on becoming even duller than ususal, and it just makes me so happy that he's decided to share the fruits of his labour with us. Look out HAL, the world has a new sentient computer that will soon take his place in the history of cinema. He wouldn't hesitate for a second to cut out my life support systems either if he could.

DV: An editor is me?

I shot a documentary the summer before last.
I'm making a longer cut.
This has nothing to do with Elves.

Nov 20: Full Transcript (done)
Dec 15: Paper Edit
Dec 25: Rough Cut
Jan 15: 2nd Cut
Feb 10: Picture Lock

Monday, November 24, 2008

CC: The Horse and His Elf

“Show me the meaning of haste!” I whispered into the ear of my mighty steed, clasping his reigns, prepared for a wild ride. I mustn’t have been speaking clearly though – he seemed far more intent on showing me the meaning of his indifference toward anything I wanted him to do.

My elven training had lead me to “The Ranch” in Oakville. For who could call himself an elf who could not ride a horse? Though I had a girl doing a radio documentary as well as my loyal producer there with me, Voshart was nowhere to be seen. He had decided to ignore the fact that we’d been trying to set up these lessons for weeks and go visit New York instead. That’s ok. When Peter Jackson needs to cast someone for the horseback scene we know who he’ll choose.

Trying to jump onto the horse

The lesson lasted only an hour, but we didn’t waste a minute. The first order of business was to teach me to get onto a horse. But not in the usual way. Being an aspiring elf, my instructor decided that it might be more appropriate that I learn how to grab onto the horse’s main and swing myself onto its back. She was also of the opinion that elves would be beyond saddles, so I got to learn to ride bareback on my first lesson. It was a crash course on learning how to work with horses designed to teach me as much as possible in as little time as we could. Needless to say, my comfort or the idea of easing me into it were completely irrelevant.

Nonetheless, I emerged from my adventure more confident, and able to direct my horse to take me where I need to go. I even made it through a driver’s test style series of pylons. Although I only made it to riding at a jog and not quite a full gallop, I can’t wait to show Dan up the next time we both make it out next time for more lessons.

Friday, November 14, 2008

DV: The Quantum of Ciosk

The "Chris is a Failure Party" has passed like a kidney stone.

With almost 30 attendees Chris reached his goal of finishing his film by November 13th and managed to screen something that was "watchable".

Quantum of Solaceme on the other hand was unanimously panned by everyone who migrated from the party to see this midnight screening. I heard from multiple sources that this year's Bond film was "worse than Chris' film"

How is it possible that man with the intellect of a dead penguin could out-do a bond film?

#1 The most likely scenario:
Bond was so disparagingly awful that guests were thankful for Chris's straight-to DVD release.

#2 My theory:
The Director of 007 spent all his spare time cleaning his kitchen.
Chis however, neglected his duties as a member of society and focused only on finishing his film.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

CC: The Final Push

Just now as I've been killing time while my video renders, I read that Baz Luhrmann (one of my favourite directors) is now in his final 24 hours of production on Australia, a film that he's been working on for the last four years of his life and is now scrambling to finish on the last possible day, less than a week before its premiere. It looks as though we both have something in common. Although with only two years on mine, I'll concede that it may only be half as good as Baz's.

Meanwhile, on this side of the equator I'm currently expending my last reserve of energy to try to get Adventurer finished before Vosh's 'Chris is a Failure' party. Only difference is Baz doesn't have a DVD to author too. Lazy. I'm gonna need every ounce of processing power on this computer to get this DVD finished by the deadline. It will be interesting to see how this all pans out. I wonder if Dan is going to have a trailer for our documentary ready for me to put on the DVD like he said that he planned to on our facebook group. That would be embarassing if the tables were turned tomorrow night.

So if you find yourself free of any sort of plans this Thursday, come by our place for a 'Chris is a _____ (soon to be determined) party'. Drinks! Adventurer screening! Midnight Quantum of Solace! What more could anyone ask for?

The menu is ready, but will Dan deliver his half of the content?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

CC: We Have a Runner!

Tonight at Milestones I found myself working at the service bar next to the kitchen. Every minute or so the expediter in the kitchen would yell “Can we have a runner?” (to run food out to a table) which basically became the key element in my night’s soundtrack. As time went on and I got increasingly tired, I started to feel like I was back in the trenches again, waiting for my cue – “We have a runner!” – for me to pull out my rifle and run the length of the trench.

It was one of my first ever experiences being an extra, and also probably the most uncomfortable. Dressed in a Canadian outfit from the First World War, I spent the majority of my days huddled for warmth with the other soldiers in our flooded trench, waiting for our brief moment of action. I know the actual soldiers we were portraying had to live in those conditions for ages and deal with the stench of death, but putting in a twenty hour day in a genuine uniform in a genuine replica trench was more than enough to convince me that if I ever find myself reincarnated in the 1910’s, there may be one particular historical event that I want to steer clear of.

On the other hand, singing and dancing in a forest glade might be an entirely different experience when I’m an elf. Unless I’m fighting orcs in the Battle of Five Armies!

You'll never see a shot this clear of me in Geoff Webster's Beyond the Line.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

CC: What a little moonlight can do...

According to legend, elves came into being before the earth had a sun. Basking in the bright light of the stars and the moon, they would play music through the everlasting night.

I’ve unfortunately found myself in a situation similar to those early elves. I now spend most of my time sitting at my computer underneath Dan Voshart’s giant Chinese moon lantern. Its function: to make the night seem as bright as the day and keep me awake through the (seemingly) endless night as I struggle to keep up with my editing schedule. I underestimated how long the inserts would take me and have fallen horribly behind. Thoughts of the upcoming Chris is a failure party haunt me as I race toward the deadline.

I have pulled out my old electric guitar though, and spend my break time trying to learn to play properly for once. I’m not sure how an electric guitar would sit with the elves, but I feel closer to them already, filling my rest time indulging in their foremost passion of music.

Full Moon Fever

Monday, October 27, 2008

DV: Degrassi Knoll

Chris entered my room this morning, scratched MY head in the most pedophelic way, and said " "You should post about Degrassi"

I didn't want to post until we got the images from Degrassi but I also don't want him touching me again. I digress.

Being an extra is boring, and depressing. During a 3 hour wait in the holding area some dude closed the only window we had. Not only is being an extra the most depressing job in the world apparently it attracts vampires.

On set I was nothing more than a meat puppet and it sucks hard. My 5 second appearance on Degrassi will be the worst television experience since the JFK assassination. I try not to think about why I'm planning 18 months in advance to be one in The Hobbit. This flight of fantasy is much too real.

Degrassi lost 164 dollars to Apartment 705 today

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

CC: Past the Point of No Return?

Last week on my way to the set of Degrassi, I figured I might as well pick up a book to read since I'd probably have lots of down time. So I headed up to Elliot's Bookstore, just north of Wellesley, to pick up a copy of The Hobbit, which I am ashamed to say I haven't read in years. When we got to the Tolkien section though, there wasn't a copy in sight. There was something else though that did catch my eye: a copy of The Simarillion, Tolkien's legendarily boring book about ancient middle earth containing all of the stories and legends that are referred to in Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Apparently it's almost exclusively about elves and chronicles their long history. The sort of thing only a die hard Tolkien nerd would ever read, and has been hailed by The New York Review as "an empty and pompous bore". But really how bad could it be? All the bad press has to be exaggerated. Right?

From the minute I saw it, I knew that I had to read it, no matter how painful it may be. How could I claim to be the perfect person to play an elf if I hadn't learned all of their long back story. The man at the counter confirmed my suspicions that I was entering seriously nerdy waters. "It's like reading stereo instructions," he told me when he saw what I was buying. "It gets better once you get into it though. The language stuff is pretty cool, but everything else is really dorky." Hmmm... dorkier than a make believe fully grammatically functional language created for fictional characters in a fantasy book. I was baffled. We told him about our plan to be elves to explain the purchase. "Did you lose a bet or something?" he replied. "You're seriously starting to enter 'dying a virgin territory'". This is coming from a man who's working in a used book store and has read The Simarillion on his own accord for fun of it. I'm starting to wonder what I've gotten myself into. On set I managed to read the first twenty pages, a creation story of middle earth that reads like the book of Genesis. I'm about to give it another go right now, since my computer is being fixed and I can't work on Adventurer tonight. Wish me luck.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

CC: Tough Words from Dan Voshart

Isn't it nice to hear a rant about how people complain too much about working from someone who regularly has as many days off each week as he has at work? Or who just came back from a week of film screenings and parties in Vancouver? I'm sure it's tough. And no, I don't think life is about doing something that you don't enjoy for money. I know that lots of people sell out like that, and I know I'm spending a lot of my time now doing that in order to get this trip off the ground, but I don't think Peter Jackson's foremost thoughts as he was working his ass off on The Lord of the Rings were about how he wasn't enjoying it or how he was filling a niche in the marketplace.
Anyway, moving on...
In other news, we're revamped our blog to make it less rambling and more imagefull, so if you haven't gotten around to it, now's a better time than ever to check out our back entries. We also have an RSS feed so you can constantly keep up to date. Add us on your google homepage!
I've also finally got around to scanning our Ryersonian article. Please forgive my hurried efforts at pasting it together in Photoshop as it was too big to scan at once. It's a pretty nice overview of what we're trying to achieve and does a good job at capturing the tone for the project. So once again, our thanks go out to the (now confirmedly) wildly talented Clare Hill and all the good folks at the Ryersonian who helped get this out there.
You can click on the image to read it in full resolution or take a look at the text version online.

DV: The End of Ranting

As I type this I'm imagining Peter Jackson biking between 5 sets all filming simultaneously with garbage sized bags under his eyes. Why didn't he just take a nap? get drunk and go to a crazy party last night....

If the world economy comes to a crashing halt you can surely blame it on Chris and I. I'm not talking; housing crisis, 700 billion bailouts or some other rubbish. I'm talking about people whining about doing work they don't want to do.

This is the fabric of our economy. People doing what they hate and getting paid for it. Good ole' fashion: "I hate my job, but I do it anyways".

Economists have a saying about business: "Find a need and fill it" which roughly translates to: "You will get paid to do something that someone else doesn't want to"

What am I getting at? I'm referring to this crazy idea about becoming an elf in The Hobbit and whining on a blog about how things are tough.

I'm talking about Chris giving his two weeks notice for his serving job at Jack Astor's . I'm talking about the woman sitting next to me on the Toronto Transit reading The 4 Hour Work Week (If only those starving Africans read the same book). I'm also talking about our recent blogs that have the literary depth of a teenager's Diary.

Can we get back to working hard without complaining?

This letter is real. I have Video.

I followed to make sure it was real. Can you spot the red ribbon?

The smile that triggered the end of mankind.

Friday, October 17, 2008

CC: Running on Empty

This whole thing is finally starting to get the better of me. I’m sure it’s just this particular week, and just the wrong combination of circumstances – for all I know I’ll be giggling about everything like a child by the end of the night – but I’m really just feeling incredibly drained. I’m just not engaging with everything like I usually do – something just isn’t clicking!
I’m barely keeping up with my editing schedule (though I am keeping up!) and find myself coming home from eight hours of work (a slow, slow week with little money) to find Vosh waiting in my room to look at the cut, and then launch straight into a long night’s work only to get a few hours sleep and then repeat the cycle. So sick of working multiple service jobs every day of every week to get enough money together to do this thing. I don't even want to get started about what hasn't been getting done on this doc that should be finished by now, and the heroic amount of effort it takes to get people together and keep things on track.
I’m not really the complaining type, but I figured I may as well try not to be one sided about the awesomeness of doing a major project like this. If it was easy, I’m sure many more people would be doing it, but it seems like the more you want out of life, the more you have to work tirelessly at it. It will all be worth it when I’m standing in Rivendell or Mirkwood with legions of fellow elves.
On the bright side, things should hopefully be turning around for the better today. I made it back to the gym again after a couple unintentional days off (wrapped up in editing) which was amazing, plus me and Dan are about to embark on our first experience together of being extras. In a couple hours we will be on the set of Degrassi playing “university students”. Might be tough to get into character. Plus our friend shoots the behind the scenes on that show, so we should get all kinds of awesome footage.
Dan’s very specific criticisms of Adventurer are really helping me to rethink things and bring the doc to a better level, while Clare’s recent comments after seeing it for the first time are rather motivating. It’s nice to see that even in its present state it is something that is very entertaining/interesting to someone who's entirely unfamiliar with it.
Anyway, enough whinging (I’m starting to sound like Karl Pilkington), time to get out and make things happen!

Vosh passed out on my bed after a long night's critique of the latest edit. If only that could be me!

Monday, October 13, 2008

DV: "Chris is a faliure" party

So... a week in Vancouver and home in time for thanksgiving ... Full with turkey and joy I find a legal size piece of paper with miserable handwriting.

On my door are four requests: contact our producer Rich, get measurements for an elf costume, post on the blog, and comment on his long-neglected documentary. I was hoping for more of a letter of apology.

Now I'm hitting two birds with one stone by letting you know that the OCT 13th edit is a boring disaster. The "Chris is a failure" party will happen with amazing success.

His Documentary starts off good but quickly dissolves into a bunch of talking heads for 20 minutes. I don't know who's-who, no 1/3 captions, audio is all over the place I'm holding the volume knob while taking down notes. No music, I don't know what the question is sometimes.

This is an assembly, not a rough cut. A "rough" cut is just a term. "Rough" is NOT a description of what your aiming for.

The good news is that I laughed hard twice (having seen it in before) and I know there is enough to make a good edit. Not the 28 minute audio-visual misery that I witnessed today.

The doc is about a video game that women play in large percentages. I know about 100 million nerds who's brains just exploded hearing that. We, the audience, only find this out until 20 minutes in. My constructive criticism would be to focus on breaking this doc into three pieces. Mix things up every minute or two with music and footage of the gameplay or anything else for that matter.

Where do they live in Arizona? Why Arizona? Use stock footage from Arizona! The characters talk about the great culture surrounding the film... but no footage from the comic-con or sound bites from their archived radio show. They must have plenty of funny sound bites you can use.

Dear Chris,
You can't just package any-ole-edit. The majority of the people who watch it at your soul crushing party need to give you a thumbs up. And what you have right now needs major work.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

CC: An Elven Physique?

Watching the beginning of The Fellowship of the Ring the other day, I was struck by a phrase that came up toward the beginning of the film. "Three rings were given to the elves, wisest and fairest among beings." It made me happy to think that I'm aspiring to be a character with such excellent characteristics. Then it stuck me, though I surely am the wisest among beings, I've kinda been in pretty bad shape for the last half year or so. It didn't help either when my friends kept saying they remember hearing that they cast tall supermodel types in the roles of elves, which even I won't go so far as to pretend to be. But why not try to change that, I pondered. It's certainly not the worst thing to sink some time into, it's definitely a step along the path to elfdom, plus it's never the worst thing to add a bit of jocky appeal to a fundamentally nerdy documentary.
So that being said, for the last couple weeks I've been starting to work on my regiment for developing an elven physique. Nothing too extravengent, first of all, I need to lose all the extra weight I've packed on in the last little while, and soon I'm going to start working on getting toned, perhaps talking to a trainer at the RAC about the best program to become more elflike (I'm sure that will be a fun conversations). I've taken some horribly unflattering "before elven training photos" that will never see the light of day until I have some lovely progress photos to follow, and now that I've admitted it to all of you I have even more motivation to keep on going.
So next time you see me grabbing a pop, reaching for a bag of snacks, or ordering an entirely unhealthy meal, feel free to tell me that with that attitude I'm shaping up to make more of a dwarf than an elf. I'll definitely keep you posted on how things are going.
I'm not sure if Dan is doing anything similar, he's been in Vancouver all week, promoting a film that he shot that's been accepted into both the Toronto and Vancouver international film festivals, so I've hardly had a chance to talk to him. He's skinny enough that you could almost miss seeing him when he stands sideways, but if you ever have the priveledge of seeing him topless, he looks a lot more like something you'd see in a locker room after a class of first graders go to gym than something you'd see on an Abercrombie poster.

Looks like I may have a bit of a way to go to catch up to Orlando Bloom, LOTR's most famous elf.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

CC: An Editor Is Me

Well, it's four in the morning after a long night of editing Adventurer immediately following a late shift at work and I really don't think I'll ever understand this whole process. Two hours ago I was spending half an hour losing my mind trying to get a twenty second sequence to work. Now I have the biggest grin on my face, just ridiculously excited about how many amazing things I've found to pull into this end sequence and how much better this cut has become than the class project it started out as years ago. Leave it to filmmaking to make you hate life at one minute and just lose it at how exciting it all is the next. Or that's just that the sugar and caffeine starting to kick in.
But it really does feel like it's in a very good place right now. Mind you, talk to me at work tomorrow morning and then see if I still feel so good. Or two weeks from now when I've been tweaking the shit out of it for days on end. This is why I absolutely do not want to edit our hobbit doc. Plus who wants to stare at Voshart on a computer screen for hours on end? It's bad enough seeing him in real life. I tell you now though, if this is done by November 13, we may have to take Dan's crush Chris' soul party and turn it into a screening/wrap party.
I'm really excited about the reaction that we've been getting for this project recently as well. Facebooking has honestly become a part time job for me. I wake up and there's five new messages in my inbox about people wanting to help out, wishing me luck, or helping me to arrange some new thing we're working on. I think about fifty more people have joined our facebook group since I revamped it the other night, and it still hasn't started slowing down. It's really great to see so many people excited about the project, and I'd like to thank you all for your good will.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

CC: Photoshoot

So, once again in our relentless publicity campaign me and Dan were thrust out into the public eye. This time we found ourselves being photographed wearing elven capes and filming each other in the middle of Dundas Square, while being gawked at by passers by as though we were idiots (an assumption that may not be altogether uncorrect). The occasion: our photoshoot with Lia Van Baalen of the Ryersonian.

If nothing else it made for an interesting afternoon, though I definitely was having an excellent time by the end of it. When we first met at the RCC, we were met with tales of Ryersonian arts editor Rita Poliakov and Lia's expedition to Kensington market to find elven costumes for us to wear for the photoshoot (bought with their own money!) and were presented with a green 'cape' and a golden leaf broach. It started out somewhat awkwardly as they seemed to expect us to know what we were doing, and we really had no idea what to do. But after a few awkwardly staged photos, everything started to come together, we got more comfortable with each other and got a nice collection of photos, moving on from the quad at Ryerson where we posed amongst (and in) the trees to Dundas Square. All things said, it was a pretty fun and thoroughly ridiculous afternoon. I think if we can handle a full on photo shoot focused on us, we should be able to deal with being background players in a huge scene full of elves. Here's a few highlights of what we got:

All photos by Lia Van Baalen

In other news, I think I may have built up Adventurer to it's longest running time at 35 minutes. Now I just need to make sure everything's in order and I have all the narrative bridges in place that I need before my October 13 deadline after which I can move on to the fine cut. With any luck Vosh's soul crushing party might never become more than a distant threat. But it's still too early to get my hopes up.

Make sure you pick up a copy of our article in the Ryersonian this week. We'll have it up on the blog before too long, but a hard copy will be a nice thing to have when we're wildly famous and they're selling ebay for hundreds of dollars.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

DV: Regarding Chris's Incomplete Doc

I can hear Chris watching hours of tapes giggling. It's 5am .

He may be diligently re-cutting and re-editing his documentary but I have faith in his ability to fail. His planned date of completion might be a little over a month... and you think that's plenty of time.. but for Chris who I've heard speak about time on a theoretical level "it doesn't matter what day it is because its all the same" completely sober "Saturday, Monday its all the same day really"

I might be misquoting him but I'm certain that what he actually said was considerably less coherent.

Ridiculing someone over a blog isn't as fun as in person so I'm actually planning a public party on November 13th. Our apartment.

If you live in the Toronto area and you want to taunt him in person send me an e-mail. I will provide some liquid courage to help you crush this man's soul.

dvoshart [at] gmail [dot] com

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

CC: Finishing My Last Documentary

Ok, so the sad truth of my life is that I have another documentary, An Adventurer Is You, that's been recut countless times, rediscovered only to be ignored soon afterwards, and basically acted as a weight around my ankle that I've been too lazy to get around to definitively finishing. So, in order to free all of my time for this documentary, get some imdb cred as a director/producer/editor of documentaries, not to mention hopefully make a little bit of money, I've laid out an indesputable schedule that I must follow in order to put the finishing touches on Adventurer and finally get it out there. I hereby invite not only my fellow posters, but also any readers of this blog to publicly ridicule me both on this blog and in real life if I fail to meet these deadlines. Here's what they are:

October 13 - Rough cut at it's longest state
October 18 - Interviews in their final place
October 28 - Picture locked
November 4 - Sound mix complete
November 13 - DVD packaging and design done and ready to go

So have you most biting and disparaging comments for me on the ready, and hopefully I will work hard to avoid them. Plus it should be a pretty cool movie once it's finished, I'll link you to some info on it once it's up.

A still from the opening sequence of An Adventurer Is You

In Hobbitier news, we hereby declare October our official month of promotion. On Oct 1 the feature article that the Ryersonian is publishing about us hits the shelves, so be sure to pick one up before they're all gone! We'll have a transcript up online too before too long. You can also look forward to the launch of our official website, our first promotional videos, and more! Tell all your friends! We've really been picking up some momentum recently and been getting a lot more interest out of all of you than we ever expected, so we're extremely excited to get things rolling!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

DV: Looking Back - Interview with Viggo

Chris has posted about me; not posting. Which is probably the laziest thing to do since the doc he failed to finish over the course of three years. I have been routinely arriving home around 3am because of work, social gatherings and some such. I digress... The Viggo Interview Story:

My beautiful and talented friend Anna gave me a ticket to go see a Gala presentation of "Good" one of Viggo's three films at this year's Toronto International Film Festival. Meanwhile my ugly and untallented friend Chris was incapable of getting tickets to the same film. He also failed to charge the camera battery enough to capture my encounter after the film.

I spoke to Viggo on the red carped and asked him if he would be in the next Hobbit movie. He said "maybe the second one" and then I told him "I'll see you there". He looked at me a bit oddly and I told him that I would be going to New Zealand for the filming of the Hobbit. Overwhelmed by the contrasting nature of what I had told him Viggo gracefully walked into the screening of his own film.

You're probably thinking that's the worst story you've ever read. You've probably met the man yourself. But what you haven't done is have Viggo personally speak to your friend (a huge Viggo fan) by way of cellphone and have him thank the your friend for the ticket.

That's what I did. I gave him my cellphone, had him explain who he was and to sign the ticket to a sold-out Gala presentation of Good.

I doubt he will remember me... but at least I have a news article about it.

I did not take this photo and I don't condone the use of red font on images

* Note: The only reason Dan was able to post this disparaging entry was because he had me to remind him what the password that HE had created for this blog was. That's how long he went without bothering to post. - CC

CC: Media Frenzy (If One Interview Counts as a Frenzy)

Chris here again. That's right, Dan still hasn't taken the time to get up off his lazy ass (or perhaps sit down on his lazy ass more accurately) and get around to doing another entry. If I hadn't been holding out hope for Dan Vosharticular activity I surely would have done this next post sooner, but I'm afraid I must appologize to our loyal readers (please exist) for the long break.
Since getting this blog up we've really been gearing up the campaign and been starting to try to get some attention for ourselves. My web designer of a father came up for a couple days to work on our soon to be published website *plug* pay John Ciosk money to design stuff for you *plug*, which I will link you all to as soon as it hits the internets. We've all been shameless plugging this blog to everyone we meet too in hopes of getting a few more people interested, and hopefully some of you are reading this right now! Tell all of your friends!!!!
Even more excitingly this Wednesday we did our first official interview with the wildly talented (I hope) Clare Hill of the Ryersonian. She may not know it, but we're offically great friends now by virtue of her having done extended edition LOTR marathons not to mention actually catching all of my references! We somehow managed to waste two and a half hours of her time between me and Dan bickering about each other (everything that went wrong with the Viggo interview was his fault), my tediously incessant idealistic rants, and even a small stretch where we actually answered her questions. All things said, it was a pretty excellent interview and sometime next week we should have an article to share with all of you.
We're also heading out to do a photoshoot with the folks at the Ryersonian tomorrow afternoon. The last thing that I heard was that they were out shopping for cloaks for us to wear, so I'm very excited to say the least. I've never known a school paper to spend this much time and effort on an article, let alone to be half this enthusiastic, so my deepest adiration goes out to all the wonderful folks in the Ryersonian Arts Department!
That's about it for today, but in the meantime have fun, and keep an eye out for our Ryersonian article (tentatively coming out Oct 1) as well as our website.

Monday, September 22, 2008

CC: Looking back - Endorsement by the Creator of the TV Show 'Extras'

Hello everyone! Since this blog got started so late into our preparation for our elven adventures, we figured we'd fill you in on some of the exciting stuff that's been going on before you even knew we existed.
Two weeks ago at TIFF, me and Vosh set out to accomplish a task that no one expected we could pull off, but we thought would be an amazing way to get started: we wanted to get an official blessing for our endeavour by Ricky Gervais (creator of The Office, but more importantly the TV show Extras) while he was in town promoting his new movie Ghost Town at the Toronto International Film Festival. Thinking of the best way to get his attention, I decided we should design shirts of Karl Pilkington (his whinging bald-headed manc twat of a friend from his bestselling podcast), and after a day of meetings, drawings, and photoshop work we had created some pretty excellent shirts, if I say so myself.

One of our shirt designs

After convincing some charitable first year film girls to buy us discounted $20 student tickets to the premiere (hey, it may sound like we're cheap, but we spent more than $100 printing shirts!) and getting into the theatre, things turned out more difficult than expected. First of all, the bit of red carpet where Ricky was talking to the press was completely blocked off and we had to grab a spot right at the end. Then to make matters worse, Ricky was militantly escorted down the carpet by organizers who didn't want him dawdling and throwing the screening off schedule once the press was done with him.
Knowing we might not have another chance we yelled out his name and luckily he turned around not far past us. The instant he saw our shirts he let out the most gleefully childish squeal of joy I have ever heard (it still reverberates off the walls in my brain today) and stopped in his tracks, to the organizers' disapproval, to stop and stare. After several seconds of soaking in our excellent drawings he happily exclaimed "That's fantastic! Karl Pilkington!" before being escorted along without us being able to come over and without us being able to talk to him.

Ricky sees the shirts we made for the first time...

...and stops to happily stare.

Unfortunately he never stayed to watch the movie and was well gone by the time we left the theatre, denying us of the chance we expected to have to talk to him. Afterwards however, we were talking to David Koep, the movie's director (and the writer of Jurassic Park!), who agreed to deliver the shirts to Ricky along with our letter stating our case. Ricky's been complaining on his blog recently of having to do literally hundreds of interviews a day for the release of Ghost Town, and after TIFF he headed straight off for New York for the American premiere followed by a recent appearance at the Emmies. Hopefully though once his life settles down a bit we may hear back from him yet, or at least better positioned to give it another try later on this year in New York City.
All things said and done though, I made the creator of the greatest and most hilarious show in television history giggle like an idiot. I am at peace with myself. And though we may not have got our extra cred, we were still declared "fantasitc" T shirt designers. If only we could have as much luck at catching Peter Jackson's attention sometime in the near future....
Stay tuned for word on Dan's encounter with none other than Aragorn himself.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

CC: The Adventure Begins!

At last the crew has been assembled, the plans have been planned, the logistics considered, and myself and my new roommate Dan Voshart are ready to plunge ourselves in earnest into the task of transforming ourselves into the perfect elves. When we get to New Zealand Guillermo Del Toro and Peter Jackson aren't going to be saying "Sure, I suppose they could pass for elves", but rather, "I need those two lanky gentlemen to be our elves and won't accept any substitutions. In fact, put them nearer the foreground where they're only kind of out of focus!" We've debated and discussed, I've recently started my regiment for developing an elven physique, and this week we are looking into learning the essential elven skill of horseback riding.

This adventure promises to be even more of a challenge for me as in less than five months I'm planning to go on a nearly year long across Asia, where I'll attempt to master the art of elfhood amongst some of the appropriately most epic environments and ancient cultures on earth. And at the end of it all, I'll have traveled overland all the way to New Zealand where I'll be meeting Dan. From crossing snowy Himilayan mountain passes (surely Everest is our equivalent of Middle Earth's Caradhras which only Legolas could navigate) to getting in touch with the closest I'll come to my elven-like immortal nature through meditation, to visiting remote civilizations and popping by massive Mount Doom sized volcanoes, by the time I reach New Zealand I may arrive a different person. A much more elven person to be presise.

In the meantime, I'll be showering you with updates on our latest progress in the rare bits of free time I'll have between working seven days a week to save money, finishing up An Adventurer is You, my current documentary project, not to mention elvenizing myself and planning out the trip. So keep reading and feel free to watch from the comfort of your computer chair as we struggle to realize our childhood dreams and participate in one of the most exciting movie experiences we can imagine. Or drop us a line and see what you can do to get involved or help!

DV: First Blog Post

After months of planning and grueling work we have created a blog to keep you up to date about any progress in our Hobbit Doc.

The Hobbit Doc is the quest of two room-mates to become extras in Peter Jackson's new Lord of the Rings film slated for release in 2011. Our quest is to insure beyond any doubt that our faces appear on the silver screen when millions of people watch The Hobbit.

I'll keep the posts frequent and relevant but having said that I have no promises what Chris's bizarre mind will conjure. I'm sure it will deteriorate into annoying posts about Chris proclaiming how great life is. Stick with us as I'm sure there will be some nuggets worth keeping.

-Dan V