Thursday, May 31, 2007

Down the River

Meredith is somewhere in the Grand Canyon right now. The House of Bit is shuttered for the High Bit Holidays and I leave in a few days.

It is hot outside, but cold in the House of Bit right now. The air is musty and a cold wind is blowing through the small slats in the window at the top of the spire on the west side of the building, the one that faces west, across the Hudson.

In the distance, a pair of ravens that once followed me back from the desert are making their cawing sounds. They want to travel out west again. I will oblige them.

We will have one brief board meeting over the weekend - possibly - and then the Bit Booster Rocket will launch me and Elkobit Fuzzbot into the stratosphere, to return and resume full operations at the end of June.

Monday, May 21, 2007

What to do?

Today is an in-between day at the 13bit compound. We were aiming for a final cut today, but since we are going to add two more scenes, the final cut will have to wait.
The two scenes will serve to place lumia in a wider context. I dont want to give too much away. Anyway this is my first post - I think it is distinguished from Paul's posts by the use of - , ) poor spelling, passive verbs and dependant clauses.

In any case, our most recent discussion was about using a narrator. I was against. I believe you have to have faith in the film and faith in the director that she has a vision and she will deliver you to a destination. In this heated discussions, I always invoke the immortal image of Michelangelo Antonioni. His movies dont exactly move like "The fast and the furious" but I sort of appreciate a director that makes you work for your movie.

Maybe I its because I'm a masochist.

A film does not have to appeal to all audiences. I am ok with that.

I would also like to share with you a piece of Lumia that we cut last week. It involves Thomas Wilfred - the father of light art in america - and his early career as a lute player. All music is by fleabye and the bogus beats and sort of remindes me of kings quest circa 1984.


Sunday, May 20, 2007

People Will Accept Anything If It's Before the Titles

So we had our other showing today. Part of me wishes we hadn't done it, but ultimately I am glad that we did. It confirmed what we have been thinking the past two screenings: that we need to make a few larger changes. The trick in this life is to remain flexible. We could release this almost the way it is now and it would be a good movie, but we got very good feedback today and are going to incorporate some of it.

Cordy suggested a narrator - someone to give us a meta-view before the story really starts. A bit like the rule of journalism to "tell them what they're about to see, tell them while they're seeing it, then tell them afterward what they just saw." Well, not exactly like that, but something similar. While we do not want to underestimate the viewer's intelligence and we are not afraid of making them work, we also don't want them sitting around and wondering about certain things when it would be equally easy for us to tell them early on.

So the questions we are grappling with today are to use a narrator or ourselves. Meredith is *adamant* about us doing not using one. And, while I am proud that we have so far managed to make this movie and the last without having to resort to the crutch of a narrator, I am still not certain this is the way to go. At the same time, our doing it enables us to inject some things into the film that we could not in any other way.

Another question is where do we put it, hence the title of this post. She is starting to read over my shoulder, so I am going to post and finish this later.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Art is Our Only Excuse For Existence

Meredith is trolling the job ads and saying "I want to see 'Stupid People Wanted for a Job: Must take a Test to See How Stupid You Are.'"

We just finished making changes in our 5th cut of "Lumia" and we are very close to final. I mean, you're never really finished, but you know when you get close enough that it's there. A "release candidate," as they say in the software world. It is looking good.

We are at the point in the movie where we can quote statements from the film in our conversation and they are really applicable to whatever we are discussing. In other words, we are fluent with the film. At the same time, we are already looking ahead. Not that we haven't had plans and ideas for the next film - obviously, we can't talk about them here - but we have even more now. It's part of the grand cycle of things, at least when you're dealing with art.

And, as Chris Sidenius says, "Art is our only excuse for existence."

Friday, May 18, 2007

The Full Lotus

So, tomorrow is now today and we are here, ready to screen "Lumia." After that, we have another test screening on Sunday, make the cuts and then decide whether or not we have a final cut. Most likely, even if we do, we'll watch it one more time in 6 weeks, when we re-convene, just to be sure. It's also nice to have a little time off from it to get some perspective. Much as we like to all believe in the immaculate conception when it comes to art, our experience has been that it actually takes work, editing, difficult decisions on what to cut, what to leave, risks and perseverence. I have sounded very stern today and yesterday when talking about what it takes to make good work, but that's the way it is.

Yes, sometimes, it just flows and there it is. With a long form, though, such as a feature movie or a book, there is more involved than just letting it all come out. Of course, "On the Road" proves me wrong again, but that's okay. Perhaps our next film will just come out in one long take, of a piece, with no cuts or editing needing.

Anyway, one of the true stars of Lumia is Christian Sidenius, perhaps the last of the analog Lumia artists still alive. This is an outtake from the film, and we are thrilled that we can use it here. By the way, can *you* sit in the full lotus position?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Project X

The House of Bit always has many irons in the fire. Our mainstay is filmmaking, but we also create other things.

Tonight, we finalized our order of giclee prints for our July show at S'nice. We are super excited about these large format prints on canvas and we intend to show smaller prints there, as well.

In addition, we spent time tonight on what I'll call "Project X." Not a creative name, I know, but it doesn't really matter what we call it. We just don't want to talk about it in public yet. It's not art-related, but we are hoping it will buy us the time to make art - the eternal struggle.

So that is all to report, but it is enough.

Tomorrow we watch "Lumia" again and on Sunday we have another test screening. It is close to a final cut.

To paraphrase the immortal Sun Ra, it's all about discipline and sacrifice. Mainly discipline, though.

Hail to all chopniks.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Amazing Bread Wrapper Device

After almost three years of toil, joy, dead-ends, major discoveries, and thousands of miles logged; along with a lot of tea drunk, quesadillas eaten, and some kidney stones passed, we are on the verge of a final cut for "Lumia: The Story of Thomas Wilfred and Light Art." (working title).

We think it's an amazing movie, and we think it can go further than our initial effort, "Video Out" (

We are each taking a trip in the coming month and, when we return in late June, we will finish titles, credits, color correction and sound. We'll keep you posted along the way, partly for your entertainment and partly so that we remember what we did and can return to it for the next film. Do you really believe anything I say by this point? It's all true.

Anyway, in the spirit of wide-eyed innocence, discovery and sharing, we wanted to start posting short clips and outtakes from "Lumia." This is a little edit of Craig Antrim, a brilliant artist from San Pedro, CA, and the nephew of Charles Dockum, whom we feature in our film, describing his uncle's first experiments with light art.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

You Can't Keep Everything

The web is ephemeral. Like sand slipping through your calloused fingers. Like rain running down the tip of your nose into the sewer. Like a piece of pie at a 13bit editing session. All things disappear.

So went Meredith's Def Dictionary. It is gone. From the summer of 98 until some poor server's lights went out, it was there to illumine and guide the world, to spread HER word, the word of MER. But it is gone. We looked for it. What can I say?

The moral is: if you don't back it up, it never happened.

Welcome to the House of Bit

Welcome to the House of Bit - home of the legendary 13BIT Productions, the obscure but brilliant POPELKO, M14A holding corporation, the Amazing Superbitter, the original shittogold generator, the Original Bullshit Machine, lair of Flea Byte and the Bogus Beats,, the Robot Parade and more than you could ever imagine.

We love you all.