Saturday, January 24, 2009

manifesto of creative passion

an artist thinks deeply about creation. let us compare only in jest, our creative art to the true creative powers that bring us reality. we have perceptions. we have perspective. arrangements and presentations but nothing more.

this is not scripture but the undoings of spiritual knots. the adjustment of rods and stones, the foundations and skelatal back bones, the desperate scratchings of an impotent beast.

my life is the object. my arti is my reproduction. everything is filtered and biased.

also, my art is an object for your to see. filtered again, through your psyche. art made new again as removed from me the creator as i am removed from reality.

interpretations of interpretations. yours are more important. they are so much more grand. they are not the stretching and pulling of your own soul but the story of a martyr who you watch and experience vicariously. of course, i am nothing of a christ but in your mind.

and i start to believe it. reflection redefines the object.

the artist does not generate beauty. he recognizes it. he isolates it and reproduces it. the foundations and skeletal structures are all stolen. also the flesh is picked and scavenged from everywhere i've been.

focus enough to retain a story but not so much that you forget to notice the extremities. the corners and shadows and little forgotten places where ideas come from.

perspective enough to move forward and not get stuck but never to be so wise as to move too swiftly. may i never cease to feel frustrated. embrace the feelings of anxiety. you've been around these parts enough and you're a local and you know it like the back of your hand but you're curious still.

and there is a bigger world out there.

Friday, January 23, 2009

french wine and monster road rap

took tess to see bruce.

i was an hour late because i took a shower and i washed my car. i drove fast and caught the eye of a traffic cop. nothing happened but i got frightened and i slowed down.

bruce was a bit shy of tess at first but as we talked about writing and art, he really opened up. tess had seen monster road and was excited to meet bruce.

talked openly about the plan for bruce. the new game, i told him, is to go strait for the audience and bypass the sutdios. if you build the show, the producers will follow.

its crazy. audience first, product second. so read this blog.

we flesh out pirate mike and tess plays guitar. at some point, bruce tells me a story about how brian once dragged him out to see a dan bern show.

"everything was in the high register," he said. "i kept waiting for it to get better but it never did."

he then gave us a tour of the garage. clay figurines from the frank zappa animation days. soon, i will post pictures. i have access to a canon 5d slr that i don't know how to use. also, i have access to a cheap canon high def camera. it probably sells for $800 but i'm a snob when it comes to cameras.

watch this vlog!

before we left, bruce reminded me of carrie robinsons birthday party. i offered to take him sunday night and he laughed.

"oh good! this way i can get drunk."

you would have to know bruce bickford to know how funny this is.

he then told us how he loves to drink fine french wine and drop some mean blues raps. he's done it a couple times with some ex-zappa musicians. project object, he said.

this is obscure. do i get 1000 hipster points for this level of obscurity?

bruce tells me another story about dabbling in caffeine. he drank 5 cups of coffee one afternoon and stayed up all night thinking about the joker story. he said he worked out a bunch of good stuff but he couldn't sleep and he got all these nasty physical side effects.

i love you, bruce. i freaking love you.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

wasted time at the library

did some work for bruce in the library, killing time before my 230pm appointment. one hour of work and it was all lost. i copied to the clipboard and forgot to paste in an email to myself before i closed word.

i should invest in a thumb drive.

or i should start using google docs. there are tools to save me from kicking myself in the ass. use them.

nine bucks for parking at the library.

never been so often mistaken for an attorney.

Friday, January 16, 2009

meeting producers. meeting girls.

showed up late. the gate was open and bruce was waiting by the door. must have heard my car.

i woke up with a splitting headache, he tells me as i come in.

greg mcclellan sent me the word files for 'those days' and 'space cowboy' and i sent him a reply e-mail. i don't know who is involved here at bruce's house and i want to learn more before i start stirring up the pot.

bruce says there are some publishers he wants to contact. groth at fantagraphics. tawd dorenfeld at last gasp in san fransisco.

tawd introduced bruce to some guy at disney. martin olsen. he invited bruce to submit a proposal for a children's television show. this was back in september. the story idea was pirate mike.

also, dark horse publishing is interested in something. mike richardson is familiar with his work. he says they might be able to help him with the joker story.

he called dark horse and told them he wants to break into comics. he knows who i am. i used to do work for frank zappa in the 70s. they said mike will be back monday.

we start working on pirate mike. several hours later, we got tired. i check the stranger for that 'i saw you' my ex-girlfriend told me about.

it is the second one about me this winter. same girl, i suspect. she probably got drunk with her friends and couldn't stop talking about me and her friends probably encouraged it. they might have written it themselves.

bruce asks about the pictures of girls in the classifieds and then says the world is a dangerous place, that so many people in new york has venereal disease.

i ask him if he wants to keep working and he says he has a brian block.

he recalls a story from 4th grade. he had a mean teacher who humiliated him in front of the class. the teacher had a reputation for being cruel.

he often said 'you ought to be beaten until the oil boils out of you.'

luckily, the administration had stopped him from literally beating students but he had always been a verbally abusive monster.

after sitting next to me for a long time, bruce complains about the circulation in his legs and he moves from the wicker chair to the concrete kitchen floor.

the cabinets and things are all painted army green and the house somewhat resembles a forest ranger outpost, overlooking kent and renton and tuckwilla.

rugs cover the floor. they collect all the dirt. they are older than he is, he says. grandma made this one and that one was in the old house. he has memories of it as a kid. rug memories.

before i leave he has me pull up the stranger lovelab again. he tells me he looked up brooke shields pictures and speculates how much time she spends on her hair and looking good. and having her picture taken.

one of them didn't look so flattering, he said. she must have had a bad day. i think she was pregnant.

he clicks on a picture of a teenage girl with black hair and blue eyes and matching kjeffiyeh. everything was urban outfitters. he laughs a bit as he gases on.

she wants to meet boys for dancing? no dating. and she wants to meet the president. well, good luck! everyone wants to meet obama.

any sites like this for women interested in old animators? he asks me. sorry bruce, i am not sure if there is a big market out there.

first video post

i called bruce but he was not yet out of bed. how foolish of me! i am getting a bit excited and i should not get ahead of myself like this.

breakfast at glow's. this ist he place where you eat breakfast with your lovers, old or new. today i'm eating alone so it's weird. they bring me a menu but i don't touch it. i have decided before i parked the car.

i'm reading man in the high castle because i havn't finnished it yet.

what is the big plan for bruce? am i ready for this kind of responsability? i am only 26 and yet i am already 26. too young to feel this old.

this is important. i've felt this before in madness.

we must pull an audience, i told him. we must gain trust. you are no longer the man who worked with zappa. you are alive and you are continuing to do things. today.


got off the phone with brian. he can be a handfull. every conversation seems to turn to nightmare before christmas and dinosaur and the man who took his wife away. certainly, it is a sensative subject but i want to figure out what is happening today and for tomorrow. i don't care how you introduce peter jackson to the joys of computing.

bruce comes out to open the gate.

made some phone calls regarding bruce's youtube account. who set it up? who knows the password? good to know there is someone helping. good to know its not just brian because he is crazy.

set up uplandos. mispelled it. uploandos. bruce told me he wanted to get a haircut before he did his first video blog. i expected to do a little quick capture thing and he wanted to pull out the camera and do something more in depth.

he has a little canon vixia hv30. i think he got it when his dad passed away.

bruce is getting into it a bit. i think this could be fun.

he comes over as i'm editing and i hate to tell him no but i need to get the first video up.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

transcribing stories

day two at bruce's house.

he has handwritten a story and needs my help, transcribing to digital format. he reads out loud and i type. i'm a pretty good typist but a bad speller. we make some plans to share bits and pieces of the storyboard as we move forward towards writing a film script.

those days.

he noticed i was reading 'man in the high castle' and he remembered how people have compared his writing to philip k dick.

he loves coincidences, he says. i would compare his work more to kafka. innocent and surreal.

we should be working on pirate mike. there is interest. maybe even demand.

bruce also wants to work on his joker story. but its hard to change gears. one thing at a time. and when there is so much to do, it feels like we're going to be spending a lot of time together.

Monday, January 12, 2009

get your fill at the bp station

went to brian's. he was out front smoking. i parked the gar in the yard and he watched me botch it on the curb.
those are the new tires? he asked me.
yes. we'll see how long they last, the way i drive on them.
brian is useful for some things, indeed. he bought my car out of impound last month.
he asked me about bruce and if he had cleared off the table. yes, i said.
i followed him around his house a bit and he showed me some unofficial radiohead videos on youtube.
brian told me he wants me to post bruce's bio onto his blogspot.
he gave me $20 for helping bruce friday and told me what still needs to be done. grandiose dreams lie ahead and he wants someone else to fill them.
i told him i am looking for a $10k loan to start my own business and he laughed at me. so many people have tried and failed, he said. blah blah blah. i heard this all before. he likes to talk down about my education but from what i can see, his lessons are all the same. you are not unique. you are not creative. you will fail just like everybody else who has tried this same thing before.
or is this just a test?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

monster road continues

at the gate.
is he asleep? did he forget i was coming?
this is my first day working with bruce.
he doesn't answer the phone at first and i call brian to help me.
"real simple," brian says, although it is seldom simple with a guy like brian. i guess bruce was taking a piss off the back porch, he tells me. he's coming out now and brian keeps talking.
something about bruce makes me think of nick cave. i think its how his long white hair sticks up at front. a widows peak?
bruce walks slowly to the gate. opens it. lets me in.
i drive my car slowly up his drive and he leads the way on foot. i watch has he bends over a wood pile beside his house and rearrange a blue tarm cover. he pushes a little wheelbarrow behind the house. hes been collecting wood, he tells me.
"how is the drawing coming along?" i ask him. someone from west virginia gave bruce an upfront commission to draw something, anything at all. fifty bucks. six months later, he worked on it a little.
martin olsen is also waiting for something. some guy at disney asked for bruce to send him something. some guy at dark horse comics, too. six months later, bruce has some sketches and loose outlines.
bruce recently saw dark knight. wally pfister personally recommended it to him when they met at the denver film festival.
today, we are walking around his kitchen and discussing the origins of these projects. he has an old wood country stove and an electric camping kit.
he heats up some water in an old tea kettle and offers me a cup of osmething hot.
brian told me yesterday, i was brave to accept it. the camera crew was a bit weary as if there is something in the tea. psychoactive chemicals and they'll make you crazy!
i'm glad brian isn't with us today. he can be a bit dramatic and over analyze things.
we worked on a press release together. i'm not sure if this is what he should be doing right now but i'm not sure how to orchestrate a better plan.
a photographer showed up with pictures. i told her that brian brought me and she was confused. she doesn't know him, bruce told me.
"who is brian?"
"he is a nutcase," he tells her. "he is useful for some things but he argues all the time and he alienates people."
bruce told her about his recent discovery of caffeine and his adverse reactions to it. he had this conversation with me, too.
we took a tour of the garage. bruce walked around and showed us things. some clay figurines are from the zappa years and i recognise them from videos i had seen on-line.
funny how the other day, brian said bruce was allergic to the oils in the clay. he said bruce was unable to enter the garrage because he was so adverse to the fumes. and here, bruce is walking through his history with us.
i am begining to rethink everything brian had told me.