Saturday, July 26, 2008

Quotes of the Day

"Is there an "auto" way of doing this?"

"We're going to search the Bible."

Monday, July 21, 2008


Sometimes, the mail is your conscience. You make a purchase on the Internet and then forget about it. Then, weeks later, a package arrives or, as happened today, a mountain of boxes arrived via UPS from a mad moment at the 13Bit compound that occurred weeks ago.

We were editing one night and Meredith had a craving for some salty food. Usually, it's sugar that powers the Superbitter engine but, every once in a while, one of us wants something specific. In this case, she was jonesing for a bag of the Hawaiian Sweet Maui Onion potato chips from Tim's Chips that we had eaten for a whole previous year.

A little background - I first discovered these chips on one of my hot spring trips with the mighty Paul S. We had stocked up at the Nugget grocery store in Davis, California. Actually, he had brought them on previous trips for years and I had fond memories of ravenously, greedily eating them with great gobs of fresh guacamole by the side of remote hot springs in Idaho and Nevada. Good memories. How much better does life get than a feast of such delicacies, bottles of water, and a good soak at dusk?

Anyway, that's how I knew about them. I could not find them on the East Coast, though, and had become curious about where I could get them. I also wanted to get some for a cross country trip a year or two ago. So, I found them online ( and, on a whim, ordered a few boxes. When they arrived, I was a bit horrified because I had not thought about the fact that boxes of potato chips take up a lot of room. So, we began to eat this stuff while we'd edit. And the boxes were bottomless. We had chips coming out of our ears. We gave chips away to people. We had Hawaiian Sweet Maui Onion potato chips available for every shoot for "The System," aka "Not Blavatsky," aka "whatever the fuck we are going to call this movie." Anyway, we had chips for a long time.

And then one day, there were none left and I said a silent "hallelujah" and thanked the Universe that I lived through all those chips and vowed that I would never make the mistake again of ordering potato chips in bulk from the west coast.

Life went blissfully on. We edited. We shot. We kept on bitting.

And then one day, Meredith wanted some chips. I had a weak moment, as well, and decided to order some new ones. I went on line and was barking out varieties to her from the main workstation: "Limon con Salsa?"


"Maui Onion Rings?"


We just went into a chip frenzy, clicked "Buy," and then forgot about it.

Today, I was taking Elko out when the UPS truck stopped in front of the building and the guy ominously said "I have something for you."

He started piling the boxes up in the back of the truck.

I had only bought a hundred dollars' worth of chips, but let me tell you, a hundred bucks goes a long way in the world of wholesale chips.

When Meredith came over, I promptly blamed her for the whole episode, tried to impart as much guilt as possible through special osmosis, then we sat down to work.

20 minutes later, I felt like a chip. Just one chip. Meredith was an easy sell. She wanted a chip, too. So we both walked over to the mountain of chip boxes - a bit warily, I will admit - and we started cutting open boxes in awe.

I will not reveal what two flavors we ended up sampling, but within 20 minutes, Meredith was complaining of the dreaded 13bit Chip Fever.

We are now well provisioned for the end-of-summer writing, post production and test-screening season.


Saturday, July 19, 2008

Everything causes dementia

We are trying to order breakfast before we finish editing Quesadilla, aka "Not Blavatsky," aka "The System," aka "People Playing Games," aka "We haven't decided on the title yet even though we bought a domain name last year."

Anyway, I am off tofu because I don't want kidney stones. Meredith says it causes dementia. She also says it's "the shit part of the soybean." I dispute the latter statement, but I just am off mega soy. Between that and the drugs in the 80's, I have to really preserve my brain cells.

Anyway, I am not going to eat eggs today, either, so it's either some sandwich from S'Nice or something from Rue Bourbon. What does this have to do with making movies? Well, we need fuel to work, right? We need to share process, right? And we believe that everything is grist for the mill, so who knows? One day, we may read this blog post and come up with another film idea from it.

So there.

I'm hungry.

Monday, July 14, 2008

We break every wall

There is no first, second or third wall in the cinematic universe of 13Bit, let alone some stinking FOURTH wall.

So there.

We love you all.

"I'm feeling very choppy choppy lately..."

It's a technical editing term that we use - one that we were taught in the film school that we never attended. It's called "choppy choppy," and it's about the art of the chop, or the use of cuts that don't necessarily mirror reality as it happened. "Reality as it happened," though, is a really meaningless term when it comes to motion pictures. Isn't that the whole point, anyway? I mean, isn't it more fun when reality is plastic, when you can mess around with it, when you can alter it to your own best viewpoint? When you can engage in the black art of the choppy-chop?

Anyway, this technical term came up today when we were moving from one scene to the other in "Gaming the System," and we realized that it could also very well be state of mind: [deep British accent] "I'm feeling very choppy choppy today..."

Anyway, that's the idea. I must get back to the cutting because Meredith is trying to do some choppy choppy without my consent here.


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

13Bit Triumphal Conquest of France

It has been a month since 13Bit has posted, but what a month it has been. We have been hard at work finishing up Quesadilla, we have started writing our next narrative feature Venezuela, and we have been to the 25th Annual Avignon Film Festival.

Meredith just ran out of gas, incredibly, after two sentences, so I am taking over. Actually, it's not so incredible since we are both a teeny bit jet-lagged, but I got two hours more sleep than she did today and will cut her slack. I have to ask her how Lian is doing.

Anyway, it went well. Shoot, I am now running out of gas. What to say? It was a wonderful place. Jerry Rudes really knows how to put on a good festival - the best part of it, aside from the movies, being the atmosphere he created that put all of us filmmakers together. We did what we so often have been spastic at in the past: we talked with people - "networking," if you really must use that odious modern parlance, but that word really makes it sound like some mechanical, robotic action completely removed from real human interaction. We hung out, made acquaintances, and talked shop. It was a lot of fun and, trite as it may sound, an important part of being any kind of artist - hanging with one's peers. Now my own jet lag is showing, so please excuse the bad English and horrid syntax.

We loved Paris - I forgot how much I loved Paris - and may spend a year there one of these days, making a movie. The south was splendrous, the food was stupendous and the place we rented was a gas. When we were not at the festival, watching films, doing panels, eating at the Cinema Vox Terrace or going to other events, Meredith and Lian sped around Provence in a Citroen sports coupe and I retraced the Tour De France route on my bicycle. Well, almost.

They DID drive around in a Citroen and took magnificent hikes and I did bicycle around Provence on a mountain bike.

Anyway, it was a great time. We didn't do the writing we had planned, but it was a very loose plan and the festival took up all of our creative energies.

Now, we must work. Maybe we'll post photos tomorrow.