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Irascible Rankery

Slowly the wheels turn. Already got 1 rejection and 5 confirmations of playing one of the two TV series in various markets. No offense to the Population 17,000 market, but Pittsburgh picking up FRAMELINES represents a gain of about 300,000. Pittsburgh is also a much bigger film town. We’re weeks away from a premiere in Pennsylvania, and possibly CLIP FRAMES as well.

I suspect that many of these packages I sent out for CLIP FRAMES and FRAMELINES will go unanswered, whether they play the shows or not. The shame is that if they play them, I have additional episodes and no way of knowing if they can use more of them. I have to assume rejection on the part of any no-responses. I will follow up in mid December to any with contact info.

I laid out two more episodes of CLIP FRAMES tonight. They are skeletons as I need about 10 minutes of material for each episode, but that puts me at 25 total episodes. I like to lay in new material as I have it, so so more FRAMELINES leftover content as well as Behind the Scenes from a few friends round out the shows. Since we have 2 more Roundtables to edit for FRAMELINES, that means I should have no trouble filling in these shows.

I’m formulating my plan on what projects to embark on in the interim before ACCIDENTAL ART, the feature film. I was planning on directing 2 more CELL PHONE MONOLOGUES, but it might be 3-4, depending on a few factors. A couple scripts started to cohere in a way I did not anticipate. I’m not much of a writer to be honest, so when something starts to work, I jump on it.

We’ll see what’s next soon enough.

Posted by: Peter John Ross on Nov 19, 2011 at 7:36:14 pm

Elucidating the Erudite

Elucidating the Erudite

After over $100 in shipping and over 50 packages, I suddenly find myself with less to do for the briefest of moments. I'm taking a weekend off, more or less. I spent today cleaning, and doing a major rearrangement of furniture in the mancave of Rossdonia.

I have many docs on my computer(s), usually transcribed from handwritten notes on one of several notepads. In it are many ideas from THINGS TO DO, to lines of dialogue to project ideas. Because contract negotiations with a key cast member do not permit me to shoot on my feature ACCIDENTAL ART for a few months, along with weather, I want to fill my time with some creative work.

I can’t stand be idle. It happens by the nature of doing something artistic (my own work may not be judged ‘art’ by some). Sometimes the muse just doesn’t visit. Other times, life distracts you from creating.The already released CELL PHONE MONOLOGUES are an example of something I wanted to start, then become more of a producer for others to facilitate the making of more. The concept is simply to pair great actors with great cinematography to do the otherwise poorly shot acting monologue. There are two more of these that I would like to direct myself, then let others loose on writing, directing, shooting, and making others.Now that I’ve been screening these, there is some interest by others to participate.

That brings up two other similar ideas I have percolating. Well, one more idea that is meant to be done by others that I help with, and another is just a set of simple ideas I had to do.

Firstly, I wanted to do one or two of these other series, based on an old Peter Seller’s joke from the 1960’s, done as a short. I think it has legs in that the concept is modernizing and warping something from someone I idolize.

Secondly, I wanted to create some very short video blogs, but strangely make them quite cinematic. I have only a handful of ideas sketched out, but I think they could be very cool. These I have for myself, but if others want to take similar ideas and run with it, then by all means. I just think these will be far harder to keep up than the Monologues and my homage to 60’s humor.

I want to do the first few of these projects, set a tone, then let people go wild. Seek out some people to make other movies in the series, help provide gear, guidance, or hell even some degree of funding.Yeah, because I’m not busy enough in life as it is. I feel it necessary to create another MOUNTAIN of work. I’m not providing broadcast content for PBS, Educable, and teaching a class, as well as working full time producing and editing.

Combine that with my antisocial tendencies of late and you might start to wonder why these ideas are pervading my mind.....

Posted by: Peter John Ross on Nov 12, 2011 at 8:20:25 pm

Waggery and Whimsy

Focus is the key. Staying on track and not letting things help you stray from your chosen path; this presents the most common mistake in getting lost. Even on a bad day right now, I still get a lot done. Whether it's for FRAMELINES or CLIP FRAMES, I digitize a tape, synchronize 4 cameras on a multicam timeline, or I edit. My nose presses firmly to the grindstone right now.

And I'm teaching.

Next week I get my own class for 11.5 months. That's a hefty responsibility, but one I look forward to. I don't know as much about the radio side of the course, but I have learned much and the support for radio is tremendous at the school. The Graduate Assistants seem to almost all have a forte in broadcast radio, so it will balance out.

I have over 50 packages to mail out. Thank god a big payday hit. Now I can afford to start the shipping. At least 20 are going out tomorrow, plus some film festival submissions and other opportunities.

I heard yet again today about someone seeing one of the shows on TV, this time CLIP FRAMES, and at a hospital. That was cool. It takes time to build an audience. In prior decades, shows took time to find their place. CHEERS was 87th out of 88 shows. SEINFELD was dead last in the ratings for their first entire season (all 4 episodes!). I have the luxury of not having to deal with ratings or fight for timeslots. CLIP FRAMES is not wonting in terms of content or episodes. I have 23 half hour shows completed already. FRAMELINES' quality vastly outweighs CLIP FRAMES because it goes out to PBS and in HD. Of course, some FRAMELINES material is airing on CLIP FRAMES, but by the time it gets to the other show, the heavy lifting is way over and only represents a fraction of effort put into a single episode.

We've put together 6 "vignettes" as I call them from last year's 48 Hour Film Project. This is material that never made it to air on FRAMELINES, but makes perfect bonus DVD, web content, and filler for CLIP FRAMES. There was some minor ill will to this year's 48 in Columbus, so some videos reminding everyone about team spirit, good times, hard work, and pure enjoyment seem to fit the prescription. Being an unbiased outside party doesn't hurt either. So far, these web videos are the most popular clips we've put out there so far. The last two are due out over the next week.

Soon we'll get cracking on finalizing another episode of FRAMELINES. Thank god the Interns have been so incredibly helpful on these. It's been so much easier once we get a style established to follow it and I only have to do minor tweaks to the cuts, as opposed to the he

Posted by: Peter John Ross on Nov 8, 2011 at 6:59:47 pm

Engaging the Epithets

Acolytes of Boo, your faithful narrator has returned in more ways than one. As always, I have kept busy, but soon the results of which will be seen by many. A few bouts of insomnia along with some creative bursts of energy have propelled my endeavors to new heights. My research has yielded some fruit in terms of distribution (of sorts) for the Education show CLIP FRAMES. I have completed and authored 23 half hour shows total including the latest Sonnyboo content and FRAMELINES overflow material, as well as contributions from other select people.

To maximize the output and breadth of coverage, I did some homework and found 41 additional channels within the state to play this on. Of course, a decent percentage will turn it down, so I cannot expect them all to love my show as I do, but even if only half play it - that will be an enormous score for getting the work seen. Outside of Ohio, I plan to send to direct contacts to 17 more channels in Michigan, Indiana, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Kentucky. Given a lack of funding for Education channels, 23 totally free episodes of television stands a decent chance of getting air time.

Too many people are extremists of one side or the other. I do believe the television business models are decaying, but they are not gone yet. People are still channel surfers. Getting your work seen is still more likely on cable TV than on the Internet because the web has so much content drowning it. I still think the Internet is the future, so why not hedge your bets and do both? I certainly won't write off any potential outlet for material.

I am making a substantial investment in DVD-R's, the delivery format Du'Jour. 23 episode x 41 channels = 943. Yikes. I'm starting off with the first 2 episodes only (82 DVD's) and sending those out to see which channels say YES and email me back. Then whoever accepts the show, starts the marathon burning sessions. Thank god we have 3 duplicators that can do 100 DVD's at a time. And they all 3 have disc printers no less.

At the same time, I am going to create retail DVD's of the FRAMELINES episodes on This will allow the show to get on IMDB quicker, and also it will contain the bonus content not from broadcast like the extra interviews, extended episodes, roundtable outtakes, etc. There will be practically no profit to the discs as we want to just make them available to the schools that have requested copies. Along with those, an updated INDIE FILM TIPS DVD will be available on AMAZON first in a few weeks, then a modified SONNYBOO HD SHORTS disc too. Then I'll retire some content like the MOVIEMAKING TECHNIQUES disc and the old Sonnyboo discs.

So many things wrapping up at the same time. Season 1 of Framelines, Cell Phone Monologues, Clip Frames show, and who knows what else. Clearing the decks for the next feature. Nothing left undone. Back to work mein freunds.

Posted by: Peter John Ross on Nov 2, 2011 at 8:19:35 pm

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