Trish and Harold's Weblog

News, information, and random thoughts from the busy lives of Trish Egan and Harold Phillips.

Monday, November 23, 2009

This Is The Life I Lead...

12:20 PM The phone rings. "Hi Harold, this is the producer on the short you were supposed to shoot today... yeah. We're not going to be able to get to your scene today - the first scenes of the day are taking longer than we expected to shoot, so we're going to have to reschedule."
"Oh, ok... well, cool. Call me when you wrap for the day and we'll talk about when we can re-schedule."
12:30 PM "Hey Trish... looks like I don't have a shoot today after all!"
"Great! Can you drive me, my sister and our friends who are going to see Hats down to the PCPA so we don't have to pay for parking?"
"Sure! Why not?"
12:35 PM Hm... A text message from my friend and frequent collaborator Mercedes Rose. "Hey! When do you wrap shooting today?" "Well, actually, my shoot got cancelled today. What's up?"
12:36 PM The phone rings. "Hey, it's Mercedes! So... __________ was supposed to shoot a short with me tonight, but he's sick and isn't able to do it. Wendy, the producer, asked if I know anyone... are you available?" "Uh... well, sure!" "Hey, Trish..."
12:40 PM "Hi, Harold! It's Wendy Downing! It's been a long time since we worked together... hey, Mercedes says you might be able to step in for our sick actor. Here's the details, and the location... can you come down right away to meet the production team? Oh, and you should probably bring some wardrobe options, too." "Uh... yeah. Just let me get my wife, her sister, and their friends to the play they're going to see... oh! And I'll have to leave set for about an hour so I can pick them up and bring them home - would that be ok?" "You mean you have to be wrapped in time to take them home?" "Oh no! I'll come back once I've taken them home - I just need an hour or so to deliver them." "Oh, ok... that'll be fine!"
12:45 PM Shave! Comb hair into more appropriate style for the character! Check my "go bag" to be sure I've got the standard equipment packed - black socks, t-shirt, towel, comb, etc.! Throw some some sweaters on top, a different colored pair of shoes, a different colored belt. Throw some shirts and pants into my garment bag. Pack it all in the car as Trish's sister and their friends start to arrive at the house.
1:10 PM Pack all six of us into my Prius (a tight fit but we manage) and drive to the PCPA. Find out when to pick them up. Drive to location and meet the production team. Work with the wardrobe person to find the clothing options.
2:55 PM Leave set to pick up Trish from Hats, which is slated to let out at 3:15.
3:15 PM Park and wait.
3:20 PM Still waiting. Text message from the producer of the short I was supposed to shoot proposing re-schedule dates.
3:30 PM Pick up Trish, her sister and their friends and get them home
4:05 PM Head back to set (stopping to get Mercedes Diet Coke - a must for my good friend when she's on set.
4:30 PM Arrive back at set, start shooting...
6:00 PM Lunch Break. Text message from Steve Coker re: Dex Dixon. Call him back, leave a message about talking tomorrow.
8:00 PM Shooting. Email from producer of the short I was supposed to shoot earlier - the proposed dates won't work for one of the other actors. Check my schedule on the Blackberry and give him other open dates in the next couple weeks.
12:30 PM Shooting wraps - a great time had by all, and great footage captured. Time to go home...
1:00 AM "Oh, Trish, sorry! Didn't mean to wake you up! Let me just put out the garbage for the morning pickup and I'll join you in bed..."
There ya go. Just a day in the life... not an uncommon day, in fact. Thankfully, I answered the phone, had my "go bag" packed, and was able to make the time for an opportunity when it came my way...
But now, really. I'm headed for bed.

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

This Week Is Brought To You By The Letter F

Howdy Folks

Don't fear the title - those of you who know my Alaska-trained mouth might think that the "F" I'm referring to might be a tad... profane... but really, I'm not here to offend your delicate sensibilities or singe your virginal ears. I'm just grabbing some food before Trish and I head out to the Experience New Moon event in St. Helens, Oregon, and I thought I'd pause to update you on a few things that have been happening in our world of late.
First, F is for Floors: Money's been a little tight for everyone this year (shock, huh?), but we really needed to do some repairs on our hardwood floors - especially now that the rainy season has begun and we're tracking in more water and mud from outside. Luckily, we've been working with our wonderful financial advisor Andy Pollack for years to build up a savings account on the off chance that times would get tight... so we had a few dollars to throw at the project.
After receiving a bunch of bids from local contractors, we decided to go with Empire Today - and I don't mind telling you, we're extremely happy with the way the job turned out! The guys working on the job were very nice and well mannered, and they busted their butts to do things right! Plus, as an added bonus, we got a business discount because, as actors, we run our business out of our home. I'd happily recommend Empire Today to anyone who needs new floors - they were FABULOUS to work with.
I snapped a few photos of the process with my cell phone camera if you'd like to take a look... just click here.
F is for Food: Because the house was in such disarray earlier this week, Trish and I weren't able or willing to do much cooking. On the way home Tuesday night, I was tasked with picking up some Thai food to get us through. Now, we had a great Thai restaurant in our area, but it closed about a year ago... so I just plugged "Thai Food Powell Blvd. Portland" (I was driving down Powell at the time) into the web browser on my Blackberry Storm and went to the first spot that came up on the search.
Boy did I luck out! The first place on the list was Lemon Leaf Thai Cuisine (across from Cleveland High School) - great food at a good price! If you're in the area and want some pretty decent Thai Food, check this place out. It's a real find!
F is for fighting: If you haven't already seen it, check out this great "behind-the-scenes" video that Animus Cross director A.L. Steen put up on Vimeo - it'll give you a taste of the action to come when Series II launches in April, 2010!

Animus Cross Season 2 Behind the scenes Fight choreography from A.L. Steen on Vimeo.

F is for Finance: I think I've already mentioned that I'm working with Crackin' The Code director Steve Coker on a new web series: The Episodic Adventures of Dex Dixon: Paranormal Dick. Steve and I are working hard to raise the money needed to shoot the series (and make sure everyone involved gets paid for it!). To that end, we got together Saturday-before-last to film a short video we'll be sending to prospective advertisers on the show. We're not just looking to pitch product-placement or banner ads to these prospective sponsors, though... oh no. We're going to make them a part of the show. I'll keep you posted on how things turn out once the sponsor packets are sent out at the beginning of the year.

Speaking of Crackin' The Code, F is also for Finding an audience... more on that here:

F is for FINALLY: If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you know that I recently hired Mark Roush to cut together some new reels for me. It used to be that, here in the Portland market, you didn't need a reel - we were a small enough town that everyone knew everyone else... and if you didn't know a prospective casting director, producer or director, you could probably still get in for an audition.
Well, things have changed in our little burg over the past couple of years. Aside from all the out of town production arriving to shoot in Portland (such as Leverage, Twilight, and Extraordinary Measures), we've had a huge influx of new filmmakers coming to live and work in Portland. Having a good reel is an important step in marketing yourself now... and after talking about putting one together for a year or more, I finally hired Mark to do it for me.
You may have already seen the reels posted on my YouTube channel... if you haven't, though, I've posted them on the home page of Pop on by and take a look when you get the chance!
Ok, that's all the time we have for tonight, guys... time to fly so we can make the Experience New Moon event in St. Helens. Watch my Twitter Feed this evening - I'll try to post some photos (hey, it sounds like F...) from the event so you can share in the fun.
Hope you're all doing well...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Helping A Pug In Need - Well, More Than One

Hey folks

Well, it's been a very busy few days, and I've got lots of news to share about what's been happening... but first, I wanted to share an email I got from the folks over at Pacific Pug Rescue.

Now, I'm sure you know that Trish and I are "pug people" - we try not to be too "ooey-gooey" about our love for these snorty, goofy little dogs... but they really are wonderful little companions who love to do nothing but sit in people's laps and make them happy. Our two current four-legged children were both adopted from Pacific Pug Rescue - we figured it would be better to give a homeless dog somewhere to live instead of buying a "new dog" from the paper or a pet store. There are plenty of dogs out there who need good homes, and we'd rather give someone who's had a hard life up to this point a warm and caring home than pay a breeder to add to the population.

Anyway, the point is that Pacific Pug Rescue is a great organization, and they do good work for a lot of dogs who have been abandoned or surrendered by people who can't or won't give them the care they deserve. Check out the letter below and, as the Holiday season (and end-of-year-get-the-deductions-ready-for-next-year's-taxes-season) approaches, consider sending them a few bucks... your money will go to a REALLY good cause!

2008 was an extremely busy year for Pacific Pug Rescue. We took in 129 Pugs and Pug mixes. General contributions covered the gap between adoption donations and the cost of veterinary care. These gifts make a huge difference in our ability give homeless Pugs and Pug mixes a new life.

If you would like to donate, you may do so through Pay Pal by clicking on the Donate button, or by mailing a check to: Pacific Pug Rescue, P.O. Box 820032, Portland, OR 97282-1032.

You can find out more about how you can help these little furry clowns at Pacific Pug Rescue's web site: Give it some thought... I know times are tight for everyone right now, but even a few dollars can help these little guys out.
Hope you're all doing well...

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Friday, November 06, 2009

Morning all!
Just a quick note this morning to let you know that I'll be attending the What Is Film? Conference today in downtown Portland, so I might be a little hard to reach... Keep an eye on the "What's Harold Saying on Twitter" box to the right (or, if already follow me on Twitter, just watch my "feed"). I'll be tweeting throughout the day from the conference with observations.
Unfortunately, this is the only day that I can attend the conference (I'm shooting a sponsorship "pitch piece" tomorrow for Dex Dixon), so I'll miss tomorrow's sessions on Film Distribution, new influences in teaching, and Film Production Technology. Hopefully someone else out there will keep us all informed on how those presentations go.
Enjoy the day - I'll try and share when I can!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

New Animus Cross Teaser For Series II

Hey everyone!

Sorry to be a little behind in the blogging department these days... it's been a pretty busy week! In fact, I'm running between appointments at the moment... but I've to an hour, so I figured I'd pause at the Southeast Grind (one of my "satellite offices" around the Portland metro area - the coffee's good and so's the free wifi) to update you on some Animus Cross news.
If you subscribe to the Official Animus Cross Blog, follow series creator A.L. Steen on Twitter, or you've been following ME on Twitter or Facebook, then you probably already heard about this, but a new "teaser" for Animus Cross Series II has been released on the internet... you can see it at Amanda's working on getting the teaser up on YouTube and Vimeo - I'll be sure to embed it here on the blog when that happens.
Amanda's also managed to (finally) get the series listed on IMDB - though it's a little light on info just at the moment. We'll be working on supplimenting the listing over the coming weeks.
It's an exciting time around the Animus Cross camp fire... Mark your calendars! April 2010 is going to be a heck of a month!

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Sunday, November 01, 2009

A New Experiment...

... or, "Hey Ya Bastard, What's With The Ads? (Part 2)"

So, if you came by earlier today (or yesterday, or last week, or whenever...) to take a look at my new "Support Your Local Filmmaker" post, you probably noticed that I've been messing around with the site lay-out a bit this morning.

As you probably know, I'm a big fan of a few online comic strips, such as Something*Positive and Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal... over the years, as I've visited those sites and laughed at their twisted humor, I've also been impressed by the ads on them... they're contextual. They don't stand out as being inconsistent with the interests of the audience that visits the site. In fact, I found myself clicking on the banners more often than not.

When I clicked the "Your Ad Could be Here" link below these ads, I started to understand why. The company that provides these sites' ads, Project Wonderful, has a completely different model than Google's Adsense program... rather than reading keywords on a page and automatically displaying ads from Google's "pool" of advertisers (have you noticed how many "cruise ads" have popped up since I added those slide shows from Trish and my Alaska cruise?), Project Wonderful matches advertisers with "publishers" through an "auction" system - the process isn't automated, but personal.

There's a lot to like about Project Wonderful's system - I really like the human element; advertisers have to take a look at my site, understand the content of my posts, and decide if you - my readers - would respond to whatever it is they're pitching. I also like the auction-style pricing structure; the advertisers bid against each other for the top position on my site. They get to determine what the top-spot on my blog is worth (though I can set a minimum bid price to start them off).

Perhaps the best part of this system is the level of control it gives me as the "publisher -" I don't have much control at all with Google's Adsense program; I can block ads from particular advertisers, or from up to five advertising sectors... but that's it. Those cruise ads I mentioned earlier? I know most of you don't care to find out how inexpensive a cruise to Italy is... you might want to see the photos from Trish and my cruise, but that's it.

With Project Wonderful, I approve each and every ad that gets displayed on the site. If someone wants to advertise something I don't think you care about, I don't approve it - it's that easy. More to the point, I get to approve ads for things I care about - and I think you should know about. So, if a local theatre company or film company wants to advertise on the blog - I'm approving that straight-away. An editor who wants to advertise his services for reel-making? It's up there. "Male enhancement" and "search engine optimization?" No way. I've got the control.

Look, like I said in my earlier post about adding advertising to the blog, I have no illusions that I'm going to get rich off of these little ads... I'm throwing them up there for a little supplemental income, and to test various advertising models for Animus Cross and Dex Dixon. If project wonderful lets me get a few pennies AND give people I want to support a platform to advertise their goods and services... well, I call that a win-win.

And hey, like the box says, your ad could be at the top of my blog, for just a few cents a day. I get to say yay or nay (and if you're a reader, I'll probably say "yay.") Want to play around with it? Visit Project Wonderful and see how easy it is to set up an ad; then, click the "Your Ad Could Be Here" link at the top of the page and bid on an ad spot. It's cheap, and if I can drive more clicks over to your web site... well, I'm happy to do it.

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Support Your Local Filmmaker (Part 2): In The Theater!

Hey there folks

You might remember an earlier post in which I urged you to visit to pre-order Portland-area filmmaker Todd Freeman's film Pray For Hell. I won't go into all the benefits of supporting your local filmmaker again... click the link above if you want read through my usual long-winded diatribe.
I did want to let you know, however, that there's an opportunity to "try before you buy" coming up here in Portland. In advance of the November 10th DVD release of Pray For Hell, Todd's a series of showings at the Clinton Street Theater - the film runs from tonight (November 1st) through Thursday (November 5th).
Now, I'm not in this film. I do know many of the people involved, though... and I'm really excited to get the chance to see it on the big screen tonight. I'll be attending the 7PM showing - hopefully Todd and his brother Jason will be there so I can lift a glass to their success.
If you get the chance over the next few days, try and make it by the Clinton Street to see the show... and if you can't make it down, do consider ordering the film from Amazon, adding it to your Netflix Cue, or picking the DVD up at Target or WalMart after the 10th...
Maybe I'll see you tonight...

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