Monday, November 26, 2012

Not Safe For Tourists - Indie Incubator Screening

Our short film Not Safe For Tourists unfortunately didn't make it among the top 15 finalist picks in the National Film Challenge. But we still like our film, like supportive parents, we'd pin a blue honorable mention ribbon on its bulletin board.  Or give it a trophy with a plastic, gold looking movie camera on top. Though our friend Alex Gianopoulos of Ultimatum Pictures made it with his film The Missing Link, so we can't act like "we're too cool for the competition anyway and it's all political" because he's a good guy who makes good films. We hope he wins!

So, we're unveiling our piece at the Indie Incubator Film Fest tomorrow night. If you're in Chicago, you should try and check it out. 

Oh, and here is a trailer. Remember, this was written, shot, and edited in 72 Hours. I muddied my work shoes and got honked at by Metra conductor for this one! Wood Sugars Donny almost got hit by a train. And Wood Sugars Eliaz didn't sleep much over the course of that weekend. But we all got to eat pizza and play make believe on a nice October weekend, so goddamn it, we in turn are victorious after all.

Not Safe For Tourists [Trailer] - National Film Challenge from Wood Sugars on Vimeo.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


Wednesday evening I settled in my living room to eat some leftovers and watch something on Netflix. I heard a piercing knock outside my apartment. I stopped, look toward the bay windows, but let it go, resumed my meal. Maybe it was the wind causing an odd creak. A few minutes later I heard it again. Followed by another tap against the glass of the window. Being on the second story, this resembled the romanticized activity of throwing pebbles to gain the attention from an object of desire. 

I stood up to look out the window, and sure enough their was a boy, late teens, serious face, looking up to window with seemingly dark intents. I shuddered at his intensity, as though he'd been out there for some time throwing objects up my way, ready to toss potentially a brick to make a hateful mess of shards. 

Awakened in me was a long standing fear of people outside my window. From a childhood dread of aliens hovering outside my window to beam me up and make cuts to my skin tissues, to the chatter of a neighbor across the street one day in my early teens reporting a strange man had been lurking in the woods behind her house. She had called the police, who chased the man off. To more recently, several years prior I had a falling out with a friend whom I feared may belligerently show up to my previous apartment, on the first floor, and break through the window to come bludgeon me in my bed. Though I did have one pleasant memory of a stranger outside my window, when I had first moved to Maine at 10 years of age, I was in my room and heard some rustling outside my window. I had looked down, saw a kid named Chip I knew vaguely from school. I went to down to see what was up, he and some other friends were playing hide and go seek. I soon joined in the game and made some new friends.

So Wednesday night with the sight of this guy I thought about turning off the lights and hiding. He continued to stare up at me as I debated retreat. To nip it in the bud, to learn more on the mystery of the encounter, I opened the window and asked, "can I help you?"

He walked closer to the gate and spoke, but I couldn't hear him. I repeated. He spoke, again inaudible. I noticed the storm window was down, I slid that barrier up and repeated my inquiry.

"What apartment does Angel live in?" He asked.

"Um, I don't know an Angel that lives in this building, sorry."

"I'm looking for Angel!"

"I don't know an Angel around here, sorry."

He continued glaring up at me.

Then he turned and ran across the street. I closed up the window, resumed my dinner.

A few minutes later I heard the door to the foyer below open, and then some footsteps coming up the stairs. My girlfriend had left for a Zumba class not too long before, and it would be another hour before she returned home. Who the fuck then was coming up the stairs, toward my door?! It had to be this guy unsatisfied for not having tracked down Angel! I thought about whether the wood of the door could withstand unreasonable ferocity. I scanned the room for a beer bottle in case defense was necessary.

A key inserted and opened the door. My girlfriend entered, her Zumba class having been cancelled. I told her how relieved I was, told her about the guy throwing pebbles and wanting to find a dude named Angel. 

"Weird, " she said. "When I parked my car there was somebody across the street staring up at our window." Timing wise, I placed this after he hustled off.

I went to the window, couldn't see him, but still fear there is an impulsive teenager out there who thinks somebody named Angel lives in my apartment and he'll stop at nothing to get what he wants from said Angel.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Being a King & Shit

I think I would like to be King someday! After nearly 3 decades as a living specimen trying to figure it out, I've found my vocation. I do have some royalty in my blood after all, so, I really should give this a shot. But, in this day and age of blowing our wad over the sweet sound of liberty and the sacred document handed down from God called the Constitution, I have to be very discreet. I've found a way to do this actually, I've been learning about this thing called an LBO. Stands for Leveraged Buyout. Where we restructure an institution, say a candy company, load them up with a shitload of debt, get my cut from that, but do that line of credit in that company's name, so they have to pay for it, hahahahaha. But I'll get really good with statistics, at least in presenting statistics so it looks like a pretty enticing package that anyone who is like "yeah, I want to grow my company!" will snack on, especially a candy company, ahahaahaha, 1 pun point for me.

But when the company starts to struggle because everyone start wising up to things like diabetes, and rising resulting health care costs, and so they try cutting back on candy, hell no am I going to not collect on my due profits, what do I look like a fucking idiot? So therein lies the next step to being a little King without everyone knowing it. We'll force the people doing all the work for me, hahahaha, to take pay cuts, or else we'll have to lay off staff because we're falling on hard times . If I'm effective here, I'll keep on raking in some sweet wealth and can have a ball living the high life of kings, while they take the hit and have trouble with the bills, oh well, in life there are winners and losers am I right? 

If the workers start getting a little testy though, which I've seen happen from time to time, I ain't going to shit my pants because I'm going to spin it like they're a bunch of fucking assholes trying to squeeze a bunch of money because they are so greedy and un-fucking-civilized, and would rather have no job than make a little less money. Then I'm going to turn the public on them, and then they'll be unemployed too, and I can turn the public on them even more. If this little plan B ends up being the case, it might even work out better for me if I want to be King, because then I can get rid of unions all together by making it look like they're raining on everyone's parade, because they're a bunch of thugs who only care about themselves and have no regard for what it would be like for an executive to have to eat lunch at an Olive Garden instead of the finest Italian trattoria. I mean think about how that would feel, that would be stupid embarrassing. Once I can get rid of the unions, then I can really start pushing that excessive government regulation, like minimum wages, are holding us back. I'll really do it up here, and say things like "oh the tyranny that is choking us job creators! We just want to help you by giving you jobs!" But what I really want is my own kind of tyranny by getting a real kind of liberty going that allows me to be tyrannical, now that's liberty brosef. Man, if I can just get people to work for me on food scraps from my feasts, that would be best for my bottom line and this is feasible if I can stir up enough shame to weigh them down on top of their own debt. That will really get me feeling overwhelmed with joy when I watch 4th of July fireworks because the freedom to be King without having to call it that, because I don't like labels, I'm hip believe it or not, man this kind of freedom is all I ever wanted. A little serfdom bringing in my surf and turf, hahahahaha.

I'm going to wish upon a star, maybe the headlights on a the limousine of a candy CEO heading to a bankruptcy hearing, hahaha, or better yet, I'll put this on my vision board, because dreams really do come true.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Election Day Exercise Schedule

I exercised today! Naw, naw, didn't go to the gym. But I did exercise my right to vote. Though I recognize this is only one smidgen of our duties as citizens, and that there is so much more I can be doing in my community, to continually participate in democracy. And I hope that no matter the outcome of our fevered contests, whether it's national or local, no one rolls over and plays defeatist like it’s all over. That's what pansies do, not 'Mericans. Get up and educate, respectfully persuade with your well thought out findings. Don’t blitz or relay messages you haven’t digested. That’s how propaganda gets its foot hold, tipping our emotions up and over like dominoes. Politics isn’t a football game, though it’s become its own genre in the entertainment industry, a hybrid of competitive sports and soap opera. Fascinating stuff.

If your party doesn’t win, instead of proclaiming half the nation a bunch of idiots, ask yourself if you did what you could to effectively communicate the meaning and consequences of your beliefs. 

Democracy isn’t a once a year thing when we show up at the polls. Let us get involved with our communities and get creative. Politicians are not our saviors, though their rallies draw the kind of reverence typical of a mega church. Election season is the Easter when the believers show up.

I’m just as guilty of all of the above as all of you. I am trying to be a better citizen. We can all do with a little reevaluating from time to time of the effectiveness of our citizenry, and better fend off societal rot.