Friday, November 21, 2008

This Town

I'm blank. I'm walking through the aisles at Future Shop as if in a dream. I got the 4-Pack of Fuji MiniDV tapes. $32. I see the Starbucks drive thru and think I really need an espresso right now. I turn into the plaza but decide not to do it and head straight back home.

Tammy is waiting. Rehearsing, presumably. But I'm blank. Like a dead battery needing a jumpstart. I'm blank like these blank video tapes. A double short americano would be good. Could be just the thing.

I get home and the light is perfect. And no, I don't have to worry about the heart.

I point the camera.

by Tammy Lin Foreman

Something's burning in this town
I'll put on my orange gown
You can wear your favourite sweater
Bring your dog and we can pet her
Meet our hands upon her back
As we watch the flames fade into black
We think we're so civilized
But what would we do without the disguise
Of bricks and steel and glass and clothes
The Kingdom comes and the Kingdom goes
But the heart it remains
And the truth
it upholds
This Town.
Oh this town
Is wearing a crown of
smokestacks all spewing smoke
and the smog is so thick
It's making me choke.

Monday, November 17, 2008

And he says...

I'm sitting in the cold back room. It's quiet in here. I can think.

The back room is crowded with stuff. And I'm just part of the clutter. It's also freezing in here. I have to wear my jacket. My hat. I can see my breath. I'm thinking. Thinking. What next?

I don't have an idea. I just know that I want to put something in front of the camera to make the image murky. I hear the song. I love the song. I see the image blur in my head. I see soft hues. Maybe I can put translucent glass in front of the lens. Then, move the glass slowly for effect. But how to do that without putting too much attention on the film maker? I don't want to do that.

I see the stroller. The dusty lava lamp. The old plastic storm window. These plastic storm windows were custom made. We put these up over the windows in the winter to help insulate the house. This window is damaged; it has a big gash on the plastic. It's sitting in this cold room waiting to be repaired. But wait a minute -

Maybe the plastic, the gash... This could work. But what about the heart? I could draw a heart on the plastic with a pen. Yeah. That's it.

No. Maybe I'll just cut a heart-shaped hole to get rid of the damaged part on the plastic. Yeah? I think so.

Tammy says "Hmmm!"

But the background is all wrong. No, no. I don't want to see living room furniture in the background.

Tammy says "What about those backdrops from the Sound of Music? We still have those in the attic."



Friday, November 7, 2008

Outside / Inside

I get the camera back from the Service Centre in Whitby. I shell out $79. The clerk tells me I can't play my old tapes in the camera anymore. I have to start from scratch. I ask the clerk if they sell the videotapes. No. For that, you have to go to Oshawa at the Sony Store. Oh, wait a minute... I think I've got one lying around.

The clerk pulls a drawer and says "Here's one you can just have..." and pulls out a brand new tape. Nice! Thanks so much.

A barcode is stickered to the soft styro shell. I unwrap the camera and turn it on. It makes a ding ding sound. Hmm, the sounds are back on. LCD says CLOCK SET. It's been restored to its factory settings. It is like starting from scratch.

I hit the Picture Effect button on the camera and it turns the picture black and white. I don't want to shoot the video in colour and make it black and white in the editing. I don't want to have a choice. I'll shoot in black and white; I'm ready to commit now. That's it. Black and white is like starting from scratch.

It's so nice out. Such a warm day in November. We have to shoot the video outside. Okay. Leave the gear plugged into the wall. Let's snake the cords out the window. Let's film it in the "backyard." Wear headphones. We don't want to attract too much attention.

There's construction going on at the bridge. The neighbours are getting their windows replaced. It's nice out so everybody is taking advantage of it.

Sweet + Sour
by Tammy Lin Foreman

Sweet + Sour
Changes by the hour
And I can never tell
Will it be heaven or hell

Sweet + Sour
I'm under the power
of the ebb and tide
outside / inside
Sweet + Sour

I need a steadfast way
Coz I hear what they say
And my heart it soars
or it's on all fours

It seems it's always been
Either thick or thin
Either black or white
Day or night
Black or white
Day or night...

Saturday, November 1, 2008

I Spy a Heart

"We're gonna need a heart." Yeah. "Would you happen to know where those stickers are?" Yeah. I know exactly where there are.

I run upstairs to get them. I pick up the tripod. The camera. The hearts. Each video has to have a heart. It's become one of the rules. The I Spy game started with Rolling Stone. See if you can spot the red heart placed somewhere in that one shot. There's a heart in Comes from the Sun, Stars! and Overwhelmed too. Find them all!

We only have tonight to do this. There's only six minutes left on the VS-880. That's it. Take 3 would have to do. There. If we had even the slightest idea that we were going to do a special Halloween edition that would have been days of "what can we do?" Instead it's "this is what we're doing." It just fits itself in. But only at the last minute. The instant video self-organizes.

First thing, Georgia says with Love Wind. "What's that on Mom's forehead?" It's a bindi.