Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Moment of Clarity

...and for the first night in a long time he felt ok. He could feel the rage of the specter from the depths, beating against its chained doors and he knew they wouldn't hold for long, but at the moment, none of that mattered, at the moment he would enjoy his moment of clarity.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Lack of Posting

Dear me, I haven't posted in over a week, which is kind of terrible, seeing as to how I was supposed to try to post 3 times a week. However, despite the fact that I'm no longer working 15+ hours a day my crazy schedule has still managed to prevent me from writing much of anything here. However, there are some eventful happenings.

1.) Saturday, Monday and Tuesday I worked as a PA on a documentary on Cab Calloway for a producer at PBS, though not directly or permanently related to PBS, Gail Levin, the director of this film, is a documentary filmmaker who, in short, gets the job done in a new and innovative fashion, so I'm glad that I have the opportunity to learn from her.

2.) Spent 5 days chewing up a mountain in Vermont... although really just 2 days, 2 days were reserved for traveling and the last day was spent Duck Pin Bowling and mini-golfing in the cold Vermont winter. More on that some other time?

3.) I finally hooked up the mothership, after 5 months of it sitting in its box, my baby has been taken out and once again plugged in, though I still have yet to power it back up... tomorrow perhaps.

4.) I have more drawings that have been done/finally completed... and those will be posted... whenever I scan them in?

That's all for now.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Drawings (Finally!)

I FINALLY got around to scanning in a couple of drawings that I have done. One of which I did in Hawaii, another of which I did some time last month and the last of which I did today (or yesterday, depending on how technical you want to be).

On that same subject, however, my ever faithful, badly beaten and quite well traveled notebook/sketchbook that I've had since Junior year is finally near full, meaning I have two blank pages left.

Honestly, this sketchbook has become a major instrument in my life, having been bought and started second semester Junior year because of my class "Lyrical Resistance," which encouraged the constant writing down of our thoughts or ideas or whatever in a notebook or journal, which I did and I'm ever so grateful that I started and have not stopped. This notebook has been with me everywhere I've traveled, from Holland and Prague (Czech Republic) the summer between junior year and senior year to Arizona and Hawaii this past year, and within it lies all sorts of memories and improvements; you can really see my growth through the past two years. At the same time, however, you can also see just how much has painfully stayed the same. I still have some things (drawings) I need to complete in there and some ideas I need to flesh out more and use this notebook as a reference to pull from, so it's not going in some box in my attic, no, actually it will probably stay right here on my desk, although once the last 2 pages are filled it will not be traveling with me in my backpack anymore; I'll have to find a new one for that.

That and I don't think it can stand very much more travel, honestly I must have taped the front cover back on at least 3 or 4 times in its life span.

Anyway, here's what I advertised, the long awaited drawings... don't get your hopes up, I haven't been drawing much so my already crappy drafting skills have only gotten worse.

It's really weird seeing Christmas decorations up while people walk around in shorts and short sleeve shirts.

This was actually drawn around my friend's actual birthday (Mid to late November) but I just never got around to scanning it and uploading it until now.

Here's a drawing I did today while my friend (same as above) was practicing piano. As you can see my drafting skills need work... especially on the actual person... I don't really mind how the piano came out too much.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Let the Beat Build -- Again

I'm back from Hawaii, which was interesting, and pictures will be posted at some point in time.

In other news, my friend Nyle's music video "Let the Beat Build", the one that got on Kanye West's blog and him a lot of attention has continued to move. I was told today by my friend Nick that the music video, directed by Chadd Harbold and his company Last Pictures, has been voted number 4 top music video of 2009 by Spin Magazine, beating out Lady Gaga by 16 spots. Congrats Nyle.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Hawaii Pt. 4 - Beach Hatred

He had been plagued by his ghost all week and rather unable to have much fun so finally he headed out to the beach behind the hotel, determined to have fun and swim a little, maybe get some exercise in. 3 steps into the ocean he cut the big toe on his left foot. Ignoring the cut he continued to swim for a while before wondering just how bad the cut was. Taking a brief break he dipped his head under the water and took a look at his toe; it looked like it was bleeding, it was hard to tell under water.

Making his way back to the shore he looked a bit ridiculous; he was a terrible swimmer, doggie paddle all the way. He sat on the beach looking at his cut; it was bleeding, but ultimately he told himself "if you're gonna cry about the boo boo on your toe, you can go to the urine filled kiddie pool, be around all the other babies," so he sucked it up and headed back out to sea... only to cut his other foot.

"Fuck it," he said, having had enough "I'm going in."

And so he learned to hate the beach.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

100th Post

Wow, is it my 100th post already? I did not expect to reach 100 that quickly. Actually, I can remember when I first started this blog... about 6 months ago... (late June) wow... 6 months... has it already been that long? Anyway, a lot has happened since I started this blog, I guess... For one I'm now employed... but still over working myself. OK, so maybe not that much has changed, but some things have and as things continue to change I'll continue to post about them... hopefully in some interesting way. Additionally, I swear, once I get around to scanning things or loading pictures, pictures and drawings will be loaded and displayed here. That's all for the post on the 100th post. In reality it's not really THAT special, but I think it's still worth mentioning.

Now, onto the real post:

Hawaii Pt. 3 - Safeguards

They had spent the day shopping, wandering through a botanical garden and then visiting a coffee factory/plantation; overall, nothing he was really into. He did, however, spend some time napping, which helped make some progress in safeguarding in the event of the return of his ghost.

Further structural repairs needed to be made but some significant progress had been made. He had, however, made two purchases, one of which might be offered to the source of his haunting problems; he wasn't sure if it would be, he hadn't decided. What he had decided, however, was that it would be an interesting month before his ghost's master returned, a lot was in store for him.



Ok, so apparently this isn't the official 100th post. It's my 100th post including my drafts... which can't be seen by everyone, so this is my 93rd to everyone else, but my 100th to me, so this is the unofficial 100th post.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Hawaii Pt. 2 - Haunting

He decided that sightseeing was terribly annoying. Going to see a giant hole in the ground and spending all day to see it from different angles was not his idea of a day well spent. It didn't help that his guardians were forcing him to do so all the while he was being haunted quite severely by his ghost.

For the past week or so he had been once again plagued with yet another case of extreme hauntings. Usually he would be way too busy and too tired to pay attention, but now that he was on "vacation" monotonous work and over exhaustion weren't available means of shutting out the screams from this spectral haunting.

About three days earlier he had discovered that constantly playing music would drown out this recent batch of screaming, but slowly and steadily the voices managed to get louder and louder, piercing through his acoustical barrier. Steadily he grew grumpier and grumpier until he would refuse to speak to people, just wandered off on his own, throwing up his wall of sound and trying to ignore the damned ghost; it didn't really work. Eventually he gave up and put away the music, facing the ghost head on. It wasn't a pretty fight.

He had a plan for combat; he would pretend that the worst had happened, even though it hadn't, and see how he dealt with it, slowly strengthening himself under it. That was the battle plan, a plan to constantly defeat himself; no matter he was destined to suffer, and suffer he did. Thrashed and beaten he sunk lower and lower in despair; the ghost looking ever greater and unbeatable. Finally he was at a loss, not knowing what to do except admit defeat, and just as he did, the ghost disappeared, suddenly he was triumphant.

He did not know where the ghost had gone or why it had left but it had disappeared and he didn't question it; instead he would enjoy his victory, but knowing that it would be back. However, he hoped this moment of tranquility would last, until at least he returned home.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Hawaii Pt. 1 - Arrival

He stepped out of the airport and outside onto the sidewalk. The December wind blew gently against him as he stared down the sodium vapor-orange highway. It was a warm night, it felt like summer here. The hoodie he wore began to feel a bit too warm. He had arrived.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Vacation Mischief

By the way, I'm going on vacation tomorrow to somewhere that requires I get on a plane, which means I get to finally do this:

Bag Check

Stand By Me Pt. 2

Here's a clip from the Stand By Me music video I went from PA to Gaffer on. Check it out.

Stand By Me Music Video Clip

Friday, December 4, 2009


Today I got my first paycheck from USA Studios. Yay! I'm surprised at how good that feels.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Lack of Things to Blog About

Lately the amount of things to blog about has fallen to a very low point, and not because there's nothing going on in my life, quite the contrary, there is way too much going on in my life, leaving me with barely enough time to sleep, much less socialize. No, the lull in things to blog about is due to the fact that all the things that are going on in my life are extremely monotonous, a lot of quality checking tapes at my new freelance/part time/whatever job and a lot of the same thing at PBS (yes, I am working both my internship at PBS AND my new freelance job at USA Studios. I actually believe I mentioned that before.) My friend Ashna has warned me that I'm working too much, but I guess we'll see? I did, however, think up a comic I'd love to try to draw or something... just a strip of something... will post it if it ever gets done...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


He felt the part of his face around his left eye. The pain was almost entirely gone, save for a single tender spot near his temple. This all was the result of a miscalculated step-in, one that resulted in his brother's fist unintentionally thrust in his face while sparring this past Thanksgiving. It was all a rather entertaining and laughable situation, a story sure to guarantee laughs around tables, camp fires and the like for years to come.

The minor injury to Matt's eye was just one of many miscalculations within the past few months that had resulted in needless pain; the others not nearly as entertaining or funny when thought about in retrospect.

Matt had spoken to several people about the issues he was going through, which helped a lot because it released a good amount of the pressure building up inside of him. However, as the ghost haunting him evolved and changed and the time of reckoning drew nearer he felt his brain chemistry begin to do a 180. All of this was scary because he felt the irresistible urge to act in ways he, prior to this entire mess, would have immediately identified as irrational. He was afraid he was losing it.

This was his second sleepless night in a row, probably 5th this past month alone. His friend told him she was concerned for him and told him he aught to get his insomnia checked out. Insomnia; he never thought of it that way, putting a name to whatever was plaguing him made it seem like there was actually something wrong with him, he didn't like to admit that there was something wrong with him; it made him seem handicapped and complaining about a handicap was too similar to making excuses for his liking. This was some ridiculous logic, he knew it was, but all the same he held fast to it, resigned to take the harder path.

He offered up an excuse for his insomnia; "the ghost," he said, "I blame the ghost!"

"That's certainly a stress er, but you were an insomniac workaholic long before you even crossed paths with your ghost," the friend replied, "you need to take your health into consideration, lack of sleep can ruin your mental state later down the road if not immediately, you need to give yourself time to rest,".

He offered up some pitiful response in defense of himself, knowing that she meant the best and that ultimately she was right; he should listen to her. However, still, the word felt odd; workaholic, what an odd way of describing him, if anything he felt like he wasn't working hard enough.

Maybe that was the problem.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Shooting Another Music Video

I did it again; I missed the third post I was supposed to make this past week but didn't. Living at my grandma's place most nights out of the week has put me in a tough spot for internet access since she doesn't use computers. However, this weekend I crewed on another music video doing G&E work again. This one was more challenging than Prince Royce and I don't think I did as good a job as could have been done, but I think I did the best I could with the resources I had. We were shooting a vid for an R&B artist named Jesse Boykins iii

Will post the music vid when its done. Aside from that, not much going on, hopefully I'll post something creative up here soon.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Stand By Me

Over the weekend (actually, starting on Friday) I PA-d on a music video for the classic song "Stand By Me" performed by a Hispanic R&B Artist named Prince Royce. This music video was directed by a guy named Danny Hastings and produced by an NYU alum named Andrea Wong (whom I had met earlier through Nyle when I was following him around) and their (Danny's) production company called Atomicus Films. This was a great experience for several reasons, some being:

1.) I was pa-ing with an acquaintance and now friend named Jackie Soller (we took Advanced Production Sound together and both got this job through our mutual friend Anthony (Ant) Jones.

2.) I was able to wow people on set with my G&E skills.

By the end of the first day Danny said "I like this kid, I wan him on all my sets," by the end of the second day he had said it several more times. If you couldn't guess already I had essentially been upgraded from PA to Gaffer and lit the shit out of the stuff we had shot in the studio he second day using 4 Kino's and 2 babies. The first day was all exteriors with no lighting except for the second half where we shot outside and used two battery powered LED panels on essentially c-stand bodies (minus the legs) that we boomed in Strawberry Fields, Central Park.

I was on a production high from that music video, essentially since everyone was so eager, rather talented and a lot of fun/easy to kick it with. I know that I would work with any of them again in a heartbeat, that's a feeling I got from Hayden 5 Media too.

BTW, check out Prince Royce: this is his website, I think he's pretty good and when the music video comes out I'll post it here.

How I started working 17 hour days

Ahh!! The streak of at least 3 posts a week has been broken! Shame!!

First and foremost, my apologies to anyone actually bothering to read this blog for my scarcity in posting, I've been unusually busy recently and this busyness looks like it will be continuing for an indefinite amount of time. Additionally, for the past five days or so I have been staying at my grandma's house, which has left me internet less and effectively stranded from the going on-s of the normal world, but enough of that, my post below.

"Did you eat dinner yet," she asked over the phone. "Yes," I replied over the phone. I had straight out lied because I knew that if she knew the truth she would yell at me and I didn't have the energy for that. It was 9 PM Tuesday night and the truth was that I hadn't eaten anything sustainable since 10:00 that morning, when my grandma sat me down and made me eat breakfast before rushing off to my internship at PBS. Now, I was standing in front of several racks of tape decks, the number of which was an impressive one, but not as impressive as the Dubs facility in PBS, and I'd imagine pretty standard for a post house specializing in duplication and the like.

I had begun freelancing as a junior editor for USA Studios Monday evening. USA Studios was the afore mentioned post house and the reason I had cut my hair two weeks prior (I had an interview with them) and I was now working the graveyard shift qc-ing (quality controlling) masters sent to us and the dubs made of them. The work wasn't very exciting or an area where I imagined I'd make many valuable connections, but work was work and no matter how much I loved interning for American Masters, I wasn't getting paid. So, when this opportunity came up I jumped on it, even though I had just come off a half day (7 hour) shoot that I had gotten up at 5 AM for, although more on that shoot later. I arrived for my first day at USA Studios at 4pm and left at 11:30pm, being dismissed by the head of production, Roger, but I was asked to return the next day, which I did, this time starting at 6pm and finishing at 5am.

I began my day at 6pm because I figured out that I could leave PBS at 5:00 and make it across town to USA Studios in half an hour, which would give me enough time to grab something quick for dinner. However, as usually occurs on days I need to get somewhere, I worked up until 5:30pm, wrecking any chances of getting food and being on time. I decided that it was best not to be late on my second day, so food was passed up for work.

Finally, I had gotten off work at 5:30 am, when the guy in charge of the overnight hours wanted to go home and kicked myself and my friend Sania, who's been working with the place for the past 2 or 3 months, out so he could lock up. I hadn't taken a lunch break the entire time because I'm terrible at telling myself to eat so when I got out I was pretty hungry, but then I ran into the dilemma of 1) finding food and 2) taking the hour long trek back to my grandma's place to get some sleep so I could get up the next day to go to PBS again, even though I was told not to come in b/c it was the day before Thanks Giving. Again, I passed on food and headed back and went to sleep but missed out on PBS, so not eating was kind of pointless.

However, I've figured out that I can work 14 hour days and still get enough sleep, so I'm staying at PBS while I work for USA Studios.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Mysteriously Sleepless Night

Tuesday night I had a terrible night entirely due to the fact that it was entirely sleepless. The puzzling thing is that there doesn't seem to be a cause for the inability to sleep that night, it just happened.

Of course, staying up late and running on no sleep really messes with your brain. For starters your judgment easily becomes impaired and even worse, your mood shifts easily to negative because the impaired judgment makes all your problems seem a lot worse and overwhelming. There's a scientific explanation for this, as was explained by a friend, I just don't remember all the details so I'm not going to bother trying to explain it.

What I will explain, however, is what came out of that night. Plagued with sleeplessness, despite my exhaustion and the fact that I was lying in bed trying to sleep, I finally gave up and got onto my computer and began to write. Somehow, a short screenplay has begun to become birthed from my horrendous night, which is probably a good thing since I haven't written anything in ages, so more on that screenplay upon completion.

I actually realized that this post would be a lot more interesting if I actually posted what I was struggling with (aside from my body's stubborn inability to fall asleep) but I'm not going to go on a long diatribe ranting and raving about all my problems, especially since I'd rather not think about a good amount of them since there is not cure for those diseases except to acknowledge and move on, an action I thought was taken a while ago but apparently ghosts like to linger... that's all you get, and no, I don't want to hear your guesses as to what I'm talking about.

Moving away from that, though, I went into PBS on 3 hours of sleep, finally managing to fall asleep at 6:30, 7:00, (as my parents were getting up to go to work) and waking up at 9:00 and doing my "wake up, get ready to leave and go to sleep for an hour because I have that much time before I have to leave" bit and finally leaving my house at 10 (I went in an hour later, no one noticed or even really cared because there's not much going on right now).

I expected to have a terrible day, but I didn't because there wasn't really anything to do and everyone at PBS is nice and they have brains so it's hard to have a bad day here, but ghosts from the night I had just gone through still lingered about so after work I called up a friend, got some ice cream and let the ice cream and etc do its job. Suddenly the world is better, although I hope that I can still finish that short script... I'll be sure to.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Somehow on Sunday night I had managed to keep myself too distracted to go to sleep. In fact, by the time I actually got myself to crawl into bed it was 6:00 and my dad was getting up. I had planned to go into the city and do some work, maybe meet up with some people as well, but that just didn't happen because I woke up at 1:30 and figured that it would be a waste of time and $10 since I'd have to be back home around 5 or 6 anyway so I spent the entire day until my parents got home in my room staring at my computer, although I managed to watch an old John Wayne western "B" movie called "Stolen Goods," it was rather hilarious because it was just so campy.

Aside from that movie I also watched Sergio Leone's Spaghetti Western called "Once Upon A Time in the West," which was rather entertaining, especially since I had seen the opening about 5 times throughout my time in film school but never saw the entire film. Charles Bronson was actually pretty bad ass in that film... unlike in Death Wish 2 and 3 where he's just... shooting things, which I guess in its own right is kind of bad ass. However, I'm getting off the point.

I haven't been writing or researching or doing much of anything that I should be doing and its driving me crazy because I'm frustrated at my laziness but at the same time I'm too lazy to do anything about it. Some catch-22 I got myself into, huh? I have, however, been drawing on occasion, so once I get myself to scan some stuff in I'll post them, I promise.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


"Why are you so awkward?" My friend Jessica asked me as I half mumbled "We're good" while sheepishly turning away from the sales associate at Men's Wearhouse. I had tagged along on a shopping/hunting trip to help Jessica's friend Kitty or Katy (I can't seem to remember perfectly what her name was) help her friend John find acceptable attire to wear for a wedding. Currently we were searching for a vest, which the rest of the day would provide no form of success for that specific item, though we did managed to find the shirt, tie and pants he would wear otherwise. I also learned throughout the day that I am not very knowledgeable about the art of buying clothes and clothing in general, but that's aside from the point and not an area I care that much to improve upon anyway.

Back to my original point, and while the question of "Why are you so awkward?" may have been pertaining only to that particular moment, it was still a question that more or less defined the entire day, as I stumbled and bumped into various things both on the streets of Manhattan and in the various department stores we visited. However, "why are you so awkward?" doesn't really just headline an off day in the life of Matthew Chao. No, although it becomes a much more apparent trait of mine on such days, "awkward" is really an element that defines a large portion of my character.

Throughout my many attempts to cover up my awkward, spastic behavior, which works with most first impressions but never over a long period of time, I have come to realize something. If ever I care to get to know someone well, in any capacity, they will have to come to understand and accept that I am an awkward person. This awkwardness does not make me any less capable in what I do, nor does it make me any more difficult to me around than I already may be. This is a trait that is just part of me, like someone that pronounces certain words differently or bites their nails. Ultimately it is something that should be embraced by the one who possesses it and overlooked by others. So in short, I am so awkward because I am an awkward person, although, that should have become readily apparent after the second time anyone has hung out with me. (Or if you've ever talked with me over the phone.)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Misc. Update

A movie I wish was made instead of Twilight:

Additionally, I got my diploma in the mail today... whoop-di-doo.

Lastly, I also had a Mandarin Fail of sorts today, but... more on that some other time.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Today, as I walked into the lobby of the building PBS Channel 13 is in, I was immediately surrounded by 3 little girls in green uniforms with badges on them (in case you can't figure it out, they were girl scouts) and they immediately mobbed me to get me to buy some cookies.

I decided to get a box of Samoas, my favorite kind of Girl Scout Cookies (I like thin mints, but not as much as everyone else, I just think they're o.k.) and bought one at the giant table covered in cookies. The box is now more than 1/3 done and that just about encompasses all the excitement my day has had.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Happy Birthdays Pt. 2

Before I forget! Happy 40th Birthday to Sesame Street! (Below is the google gadget commemorating their 40th anniversary)

Below are some clips of great moments from Sesame Street:

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Craziest Acid Trip I Never Had

Across The Universe is perhaps the tripiest film I have ever seen (yes, even more so than the drunken elephant bubble scene in Dumbo).

This musical tale of war, protest and, of course, love follows Jude, a young man from Liverpool who comes to the U.S.A. to track down his father, a janitor at Princeton University. From there he meets up with Max, a delinquent Ivy League brat who loves to piss off just about anyone he can. Through Max, Jude meets Max's sister Lucy and it is this couple that our story follows.

When Across the Universe finally came out in 2007, myself and quite a few friends were eager to see it because for a few days it had taken over the street in front of our dorm on 5th Ave. Freshmen year. Additionally, its release had been pushed back several times and we kept seeing previews for it and wondering when it was going to be released.

I personally know some people who went to see it when it came out and I heard some mixed reviews; finally I got around to seeing the film, and as stated earlier, its tripy. The music is enjoyable (I mean, it's the Beatles, how can it not be?) and the cinematography is amazing too (and not just in the obvious parts like in the bowling alley), although some choices didn't quite work for me, but eh, not a big deal.

Story wise I'd say this film is so-so. It more or less delivered on what it was trying to say, it just took a rather long route in doing so, spanning over 2 hours, it could have been cut down in a few areas. Overall though, not a bad story, just try not to forget about it during the extreme tripy moments of the film (and there are quite a few).

I personally enjoy choreographed musicals so it was kinda fun for me to watch, if that's not what you enjoy, avoid. My recommendation, if you have 2 hours to spare, it wouldn't hurt to check out the film.

Off To Festivals We Go Pt. 2

I just submitted my previously mentioned documentary HAM to another festival called Full Frame. For those of you who don't know what Full Frame is, and are too lazy to click on the conveniently placed hyperlink to find out, Full Frame is a documentary festival held every year in Durham North Carolina. This is a very prestigious and well known (amongst the docu community) film festival and I can only hope I can make it in, as, I guess, is the case with the other film festivals I submit to.

On an entirely different note, some time last week, as mentioned in this past blog post, my friends at Hayden 5 Media finished that Doritos spot and it looks pretty good. Check it out:

So go Richard Gianotti and the rest of Hayden 5 Media. Congrats!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Cut Hair

For the first time in 5 months I cut my hair. It's pretty short now, although not as short as it used to be when I was in high school and etc, but yea, nowhere near as long as it was... I guess 2 hours ago? Which seems pretty obvious because hair cuts generally do that. (Make your hair shorter.)

At any rate, I have no pictures, nor will I probably be taking any in the near future, reasons for cutting my hair will be divulged... maybe in a week or so? I don't want to jinx any chances... not that I really believe in that stuff anyway... At any rate, I do still plan on growing my hair out so I can cut it and either donate it (or sell it, depending on how desperate I am at the time) but that plan is taking a 2 and a half to 3 month detour.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Happy Birthdays

Today Nick Park's Wallace and Grommit turns 20, which is shown on Google's Google Doodle

So, as a tribute to Wallace and Grommit (as well as Nick Park) here's the youtube interview posted on the Wallace and Grommit Birthday Website

Additionally, here in America the google doodle shows big bird's legs because Sesame Street is turning 40, however, they don't really turn 40 until the 10th, so this post isn't about them.

Despite that, below are the google doodles from the version abroad as well as here.

Wallace and Grommit:

Sesame Street:

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

More Crazy-Hour Shooting

On Monday I got up at 8 to return the wireless lavs to Gotham Sound. (As a side note, if you ever need audio gear, hit these guys up, they're the best sound rental house in New York City and they sell a lot of equipment at good prices as well.) Afterward, as stated in my previous post, I sent my film to Tribeca (which was received today) and then spent the rest of the day doing miscellaneous chores.

By 7:00PM I was checked into an edit suite on the 10th floor of Tisch and passed out either in the chairs or on the floor of the suite, mainly because I didn't feel comfortable passing out on the couch on the 8th floor like I used to do, but that's a different story. 9:00 rolled around and I got up and made my way over to Astoria where I would spend the remainder of the night until 7:00 in the morning shooting a 30 second spot for the Doritos Superbowl Competition for my good friend and line producer on Nyle Emerson's F.A.N.G music video, Richard Gianotti, as well as the rest of the Hayden 5 Media crew (Todd Wiseman and Milos Silber). Afterward I went with and helped out with returns and unloading until 10:30-ish and then went to my internship where I did research and fought the urge to pass out in front of my computer; it was a loosing battle.

On the up side I learned that my dear friend Ashna has finally quit smoking, today is her first day so anyone that knows her, please give her all the support you can to make this transition as easy a transition as possible for her.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Off To Festivals We Go

I just sent my aforementioned short documentary Ham to Tribeca via fedex. More on that later I guess. Probably more later as well as the day continues, I have my footage from the Nyle documentary with me as I sit in Tisch so maybe I can get around to looking at that soon. I'm hopeful.

In other news, Halloween was interesting (I told everyone that I was going as an unemployed college graduate, which isn't really a costume since its true, as LeeLoo from the Fifth Element pointed out after Nyle's (who was dressed as Bishop from X-Men) performance at the Bowery Poetry Club. I had planned on elaborating if people didn't find my excuse for a costume (or lack there of) scary enough, it went somewhere along the lines of "we come in hordes, like zombies, but instead of eating your brains and flesh we go for your retirement savings," I never got around to saying that line but I wish I did. Additionally, I learned that 1.) taxis are hard to get on Halloween Night and 2.) Taxis don't take people that are passed out (we walked by someone on the street and tried to help, eventually we convinced her friends/cousin to let us just call 911 and left once the cops arrived to take care of them.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Quick Update

I haven't had much opportunity to update this week so I'm going to do that quickly and write a bit about what's going on now with me.

1.) Recently I've finished my Ham Radio documentary and screened with for Sam Pollard, who I always screen for because I trust him to tell me the complete truth, most importantly what he has issues with, and I really respect and appreciate that he does that for me. He told me what he has issues with but said at this point not to worry about it. I'll reserve his critiques until later because I don't want anyone to have a bias when seeing the film. I've filled out the online application for Tribeca Film Festival and will be sending DVD screeners soon. If you haven't checked out the trailer yet, it's here, go check it out.

2.) In early to mid September, in an effort to stay active I decided to practice my doc treatment writing and wrote a treatment on a documentary on Nyle Emerson. I'm pretty sure I've mentioned him before so I'm not going to go much into detail on him here.

Anyway, I showed the proposal to Sam Pollard and he said it sounded pretty good and to go do a preliminary shoot. Of course, upon hearing that I was like "yes! it's good, let's do a prelim. shoot!... wait, crap, how do I do that?"

Long story short I figured out how to do the preliminary shoot for very little money and that's what I'm doing now until Saturday night/Sunday morning. I'll be sure to give a further update on that as it happens, maybe I'll even post a clip or two up here.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Commercials and Walk it Out

This past weekend (meaning Friday) I worked on a commercial for Bowlmor Lanes directed by fellow recent NYU graduate Todd Wiseman, shot by also fellow recent NYU graduate Milos Silber and produced/AD'd by last fellow recent NYU graduate Richard Gionotti. Together they make Hayden 5 Media Productions, a company they put together themselves and through which they, among many other things, take on clients and do commercials. For this particular production I was PA-ing. It was a last minute spur-of-the-moment decision that was made partially in part because I was doing nothing else with my time, partially in part because it paid a little bit (which was better than nothing), but mostly because I thought it would be a good opportunity to meet and get to know these guys. Networking is always an important thing to do (especially now that our greatest social lubricant i.e. college is done and over with) and if you have the opportunity to network with people while demonstrating your competency on set, all the better.

On Friday we were shooting at previously mentioned friend and rapper Nyle Emerson's apartment in Brooklyn. There I also seized the opportunity to talk with him about the upcoming preliminary shoot for the doc on him we had talked about earlier last month as well as took the chance to show him a little of what I've been doing since I last saw him for any significant amount of time.

Among what I showed him [my two trailers and a bunch of pencil/animation tests I had done] was my 3-D walk cycle from this summer, to which he was thoroughly entertained and insisted that I put it to Unk's "Walk it Out" so I could get a million hits on Youtube. Anyway, below is the result. Perhaps I'll go back and make some changes one of these days to make it a little more interesting, but eh, at the moment I am without the means to do so.

Walk It Out from Matthew Chao on Vimeo.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Impending Changes


Oddly enough, this seems to have been the topic of conversation between myself and my friend Jessica as well as with my grandparents and parents. In case you're too lazy to read the article, it's about the rapid change in Manhattan's Chinatown in language of Cantonese speakers to Mandarin speakers.

This is a significant change because, not too many people know this, but Mandarin (the official dialect of China) and Cantonese (the dialect spoken most frequently in southern China and Hong Kong [as well as Macau]) are not mutually intelligible, meaning that most of the elderly population that does not speak Mandarin and only speaks Cantonese, are becoming increasingly isolated. Additionally, this comes as sort of a blow to me, albeit a much less severe blow to me, because I was raised in a Cantonese speaking household around Cantonese speaking relatives whom frequented a Cantonese speaking Chinatown.

Upon realizing and finally acknowledging the fact that Cantonese is a dying dialect, my first reaction is to fight the change. However, that's a losing battle and a pointless one at that. Those whom refuse to change with the times tend only to get swept up in them and lost. The greatest strength a human can possess is the ability to adapt and change to his or her environment. The tendency for many of us to resist change only harms us in the end. Provided, some changes are frivolous, harmful even, but that is why attention must be paid to what is being changed.

To categorize all change as either good or bad is a fool's move and one that will ultimately lead to failure, however, careful and knowledgeable discernment will allow for proper judgement when the need for change arises, or, inversely, the need to stay the same.

The point of this all being that upon reading the above article on which my friend posted on her facebook, I was reminded that some changes, even if for the better, are not changes we want to make. Personally, I hate the fact that the Cantonese speaking population in Chinatown New York, as well as elsewhere (even Hong Kong), is dwindling. If possible I would have Cantonese thrive as a dialect all over the world, because that's part of the culture in which I was raised as well as my heritage. However, that wish is not practical at all and resisting this particular change is neither going to benefit me nor is it something that will honor this piece of my cultural heritage. In actuality it does nothing to serve anyone. The best way, I believe I have realized, to keep this part of my culture alive is to pass it down, along with the changes that are occuring. Trying to keep something intangible in its original form, its original idea, is never something that can be done. The best we can do is pass it along and allow it to change how it will be changed and allow people to trace its lineage.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Lesson in Sound Design

I found something great that I think is worth sharing and looking at.

Here's a good lesson in the use of sound design to tell a story:

I think Valve is like the Pixar of gaming to me. They just make some great stuff and this series of advertisements are a good example that.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Ham Trailer!!

I finally finished my Ham Radio documentary and cut a trailer today. Here it is.

Ham Trailer from Matthew Chao on Vimeo.

Personally I think it can be about 5 seconds shorter but I can't figure out where I should take stuff out.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Old Pencil Test Pt. 1

I found an old pencil test I did in Action Analysis 2 this past spring and uploaded it to Vimeo and thought I'd post it here.

I'm considering making my way over to Tisch and sneaking into the Action Analysis classes to audit them and sharpen my dulling animation skills. If I do that, however, I have to make sure that I keep going and do all the work otherwise I'll just be disrespecting my teachers and I wouldn't wanna do that.

Anyway, here's an injured bird taking flight.

Flight Pencil Test from Matthew Chao on Vimeo.

Friday, October 16, 2009

To Infinity and Beyond!

I saw the Toy Story double feature in 3-D today with my friend Jessica. In short, they're both just as amazing now as when they first came out. On top of that, the fact that I now know a lot of the references that they make to other movies makes it even better. I think that this, as of now, goes to prove that Pixar films have a timelessness to them. The storytelling is impeccable as is the animation. They're truly masters of their craft.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

On More Free Work

The plan, originally, was to continue my internship with American Masters (PBS) until September, but as prospects of employment continued to look bleak I abandoned any ideas of leaving and stayed put, thinking it was better for me to stay at my internship and not get paid than sit at home doing nothing and not get paid.

The thinking i still support and plan to continue, yes, at PBS. On Wednesday I spent a bit of my free time surfing the classified ads on Mandy.com looking for some work that I was qualified for. I applied for about 4 or 5 positions and none have gotten back to me, except one, probably unpaid, post production internship.

The company's name is citybuzz and I was contacted by the editor/production associate for an interview on Monday at 11am. (I got this interview possibly only because I'm an NYU graduate and she is also an NYU alum, I mean the email went; "As a former NYU graduate, I would love to have my boss interview you for the Final Cut Pro internship at citybuzz.") I sought to take on this internship with the hopes of having something to put on my resume to make me look more legit as a post production person. Honestly, despite the fact that I know I know how to fluently use the editing systems Final Cut and Avid, my resume doesn't reflect that. I believe that on the entire resume I have one thing that's related to editing and that's my documentary on Ham Radio which is listed as director and editor. Additionally, if I get this, hopefully this is something that can lead to some paid work in the future.

Now, aside from something that can boost my resume, what I'm looking for in an internship is flexibility. Yes, I would like a stipend as well, but that's not as important to me as flexibility. Take, for example, PBS. I am still with American Masters (and will be staying with American Masters) because they're flexible with me. They understand that I may have freelance work or whatever going on so if I can't make a day or week or even as long as a month, as long as I provide notice ahead of time, they're fine with it. I can guarantee this internship with Citybuzz two full days a week; Monday and Friday. In order for me to work at this place as an intern I need for them to understand that my schedule is, while usually locked solidly in place, needs to have room for movement, especially if they aren't paying me, and if they can't do that, as unfortunate as it may sound, it just may be a place at which I can't be an intern.

I guess I'll provide updates on what's going on and how it all turns out.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Zombie Kill of the Week!

Zombie Land

A hilarious zombie movie about a loser kid who meets up with other more bad ass and interesting people and their journey together to learn that what they're looking for is really a family that they're already with.

This movie was hilarious. With non-stop laughter and zombie killing, what more can you ask for, there's even a pretty solid story arch in there to boot! This movie was a highly entertaining film, much like another zombie romantic comedy; Shaun of the Dead, except this one has a guy with a cowboy hat, and people that can shoot guns accurately.

I could go on a huge rant about how amazing this movie is, but I'm not going to bother, I'm just going to recommend that everyone see it and enjoy it. Seriously, how can you not find fake zombie Bill Murry hilarious. Even in death this man had me doubled over in laughter.

So once again, go watch this movie, this is yet another movie that has made my "look for on DVD" list.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Producing and Misplaced Voices

I woke up this morning feeling sicker than the past few days I had felt sick so I e-mailed in to PBS letting them know I wasn't feeling well and I should probably stay home so I don't get anyone else sick. I got an e-mail back telling me to get better, which was nice.

In all honesty I probably felt functional enough to get up and go into the city but, again, I don't think that the people at PBS needed me so desperately to do something that they wouldn't mind getting sick in the process.

Aside from that, I slept all day and tried to get better, although I was given dreams of pirate ships and zombies... I think...

The four days prior to today I was picking up equipment, shooting and then returning equipment. Somewhere in the middle of those four days I misplaced my voice and just now I've managed to find enough pieces of it to reassemble enough of it to not sound ridiculous.

All of this, however, means that we shot Aprile Ruha's film and now that's all finally done and in the can, which is a wonderful thing because I can now stop worrying about it.

The shoot, overall, went quite well and quite smoothly, despite my mad driving in a 15 Passenger Van at 70 to 90 mph to set when we were late. Yea, that was dangerous and quite scary, I've scared myself quite a few times, especially since the guy at the rental place told me to keep it at 50. Note, these cars are quite easy to flip over apparently, not that I experienced that myself, quite actually, despite the fear that I spread to the little freshmen PA's , I'd like to think that I actually drove quite well, considering the fact that we all got to set and back each day safe and sound.

The shoot itself, however, was really smooth, considering the rough time we had during preproduction, but then again, I guess a rough pre production should signal a smooth production, if not then you're doing something wrong.

On Friday, somewhere amist all the pick-ups and planning I managed to grab a few hours where I could take a friend with me to see the New York premier of PBS' Joan Baez film, "Joan Baez: How Sweet the Sound," which came out quite well. Afterwards my friend tagged along as I grabbed our cargo van and headed over to pick up more equipment and then handed off the filled cargo van to Aprile's uncle, who drove the van over to Long Island, where we were shooting.

Jessica, (my, until now unnamed friend) and I then grabbed some food and then I drove her home in the 15 Passenger van because the trains were being stupid. I found out she lives really close to my grandma.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Extra Work

On Sunday evening I sat online chatting with my friend Ashna, who is currently gallivanting through various cities and countries in Europe, about life and unemployment. She, unlike me, has this thing called common sense that I never seem to fully grasp, although I do often get bits and pieces of it.

Ashna reminded me that there are lots of small gigs that I can do, assuring me that I'm multi-talented and suggested I do anything from tutoring to headshots and then I came across an ad on craigslist for extras. I thought that it wouldn't be a bad thing to do, since any sort of incoming cashflow is a good thing, so I applied and disappeared to my basement for two hours to take my own headshot (thank you Nikon D200). The following is the result of my efforts:

You know, I'd like to think it came out pretty well. Anyway, I had a meeting with the people that placed the add today but before I got there I was feeling relatively apprehensive about the entire thing, something didn't seem right about them. However, I became relaxed as I realized that I was just meeting with them, I hadn't committed to anything, and honestly, what was the worse thing they could do to me? Offer me a bad deal?

Long story short, they didn't seem legit at all and the did offer me a bad deal, which I told them "I'd think about it,". Here's what they were offering: I pay them $75 (they offered to lower it to $50) to be put on their website for as long as I want (one time fee) and from there I could look at and apply for jobs. Then they would, I guess somewhere along the lines, put me in touch with an agent who, if I signed with, would find me jobs but take 10% commission. I was just looking for work as an extra, I don't want an agent.

Luckily I had talked to my friend and star of my movie "Big Brother," Carl Li before doing anything. He advised me not to bother with an agent since I don't need one to do background work. I should, instead, just pay like 5 dollars a month to put my name on NYCasting.com and NYCastings.com (yes, they're different sites) and one gig would more than pay for the subscription for the month. Then I don't have to go through an agent and then I have all the money for myself. It's not a bad idea and I might just do that. However, for the time being, I think I might sell my services as a headshot photographer. I offered the two stars of my films Carl Li and Steve Chan free headshots as a thank you since they acted for free and headshots can get expensive. I think that's not a bad trade off, honestly.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

"Let's go Steve, we have diem to carpe!"

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs:

I was extremely skeptical of this movie when my friend Iris said that she wanted to watch it. The thought that was running through my mind was "really? you wanna watch that?!" but it was a chance to hang out with friends I hadn't seen in a while and would like to spend more time with anyway, so I shut my mouth and tagged along. I was very pleasantly surprised.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is an endearing tale about Flint, an aspiring inventor who's dream in life is to prove to the world that he's not a dangerous hack and gain the love and adoration of those around him.

This heartwarming tale masterfully takes us through twists and turns, ups and downs, laughs, disappointment, anger and excitement all within an hour and twenty minutes. This is a film that was paced extremely well, an important quality that was missed in some of the other more highly anticipated films I had watched this past year.

While there may have been some minor issues, I felt the very beginning, (first 5 minutes) was rushed, it was something I didn't care about nor really even remember to be bothered by 5 minutes after the initial thought set in.

Although often toeing the line between breaking the 4th wall and, well, not, the humor gained from these moments masterfully added to the believability of character and the world in which we are introduced. This credibility and, in essence, reflexive extreme, all makes the slower moments that much more impacting. Additionally, Mr. T was amazing in his role as Earl Devereaux.

In short, this is a movie that I'll be looking for on DVD.

Oh yea, and just for fun; "I pitty the fool who doesn't go see 'Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs!'"

Monday, October 5, 2009

Giving Advice

I used to get pretty offended and frustrated when I gave advice and it wasn't followed or just ignored. The idea behind this was that I had just spent so much time thinking up and giving advice or a critique and it was just ignored. It, to a rather large degree, trivialized me and my opinion. However, that has changed for me. I now no longer care if people follow my advice or listen to my criticisms anymore. Ultimately, I've done what I was asked to do, whether it be because it was a duty of mine or I was feeling generous with my time, I did it and if it's not followed, who cares? Honestly, I've come to the conclusion that my advice is just that, advice and if whomever it was given to doesn't want to follow it, then they don't have to. For better or worse, it doesn't effect me.

Ultimately, the way I've broken it down in my mind is "I have nothing to gain from your following or not following my advice. My advice is for you, it's trying to help you, you can take it or leave it, it's no hair off my back what you decide to do,". I'm not sure, but this may be a sign that I'm starting to care a lot less of what people think of me, which is probably a good thing.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Business Letters

I got about half way through sending out licensing request letters to companies via e-mail and fax before I realized, I'm sending things to corporations, i.e. actual professionals. Additionally, I'm not a student anymore and even though this is for a student film, if I wanna be taken seriously I need to send this letter looking nice and professional and starting off with the letter looking like it did (just Dear Sir or Madam at the top and nothing else) wasn't gonna cut it.

Anyway, thank GOD for the internet because I would not have remembered correctly how to write a business letter otherwise.

Here's what my original letters looked like:

Here's what a proper business letter should look like:

I was about to start praying that I still had my Writers Express or my Write Source 2000 books. Actually, it kind of makes me wonder if I still do have those books...

Testimonies Premiere Pt. 2

On Sunday I went up to Connecticut (I was about to say down to CT but that doesn't make any sense, I always wanna say down but... yea... it's weird) and saw Testimonies of a Quiet New England Town premier at RAHM High School (Matt Troy's old high school). There must have been at least 700 people there for the turnout, which was amazing.

The film looked great, (as expected of a Matthew Troy - Ivaylo Getov combination) and the overall events of that day was fun-filled, including the reception at the fire house after wards. Provided, the film isn't perfect, I am not afraid to say that it could have used work in some areas, but it's cool and given the limited amount of time that was had to complete the entire production, It's amazing (and also great for its intended use; supplementary educational material, i.e. stuff for teachers to show in classrooms.) Meaning, it's not the greatest story arch/conflict wise but it's true to it's facts (As true as you can get), it intrigues and it's 13 minutes long so it fits well into a classroom time period.

Additionally, I must give Paul Penczner many many kudos because he did well in covering up my production sound blunders with his post sound wizardry.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Continued Joblessness

On Friday I called ABC to see if they had filled the position yet for the position of an Overnight Avid Digitizer I had applied for a week ago; they had. While it did make sense that they didn't want me (I didn't hang up after the phone interview with a very good feeling that it had gone over well), thinking about it later, it felt like a slap in the face. This was a job that I felt more than qualified for because I knew the systems and it was a very simple task so if there was anything I was not familiar with I could easily be run through on it and I would have been fine. However, four years of film school later, even the lowest position of an Overnight (meaning 8PM to 6AM) Avid Digitizer wasn't given to me. It really made me wonder what the hell did I spend 4 years in college for if I can't even get the lowest entry level position in my field of study?

Honestly, it wasn't even like it was real digitizing anyway. It was going to be ingested clips meaning it was already digitized and all I would need to do is download it off an FTP site, import it into avid and organize it into bins, doesn't take too much to know how to do that.

The Confidence Man Pt. 3

After being turned away for the first time (and third attempted viewing) of The Confidence Man three weeks ago on Thursday the 10th, I made my way back over to Pier 40 and The Lilac, this time an hour early and with a friend; I still got turned away... well, sorta.

I had learned from Nick, whom I learned I could insult rather freely on this blog because he refuses to read it... something about getting in trouble by association, a reference to my previous blog blunder with the kind institution of NYU, that the final run of The Confidence Man was this week and its final show would be Saturday night. Saturday night was out because I had grandparents to visit so I made an appointment with my suitemate Junior year and roommate Senior year at NYU, Yeison (pronounced Jason) Rodriguez (he's a neuroscience/computer science major so you can imagine a lot of lan-ing between the two of us while we lived together) to go this past Thursday.

We arrived an hour before the show and put our names on the waiting list. The man at the table said "how many times is this now?" The answer was 3, pending my admission to this particular show. There were a lot of people and we had a sneaking suspicion that because we weren't there for the first time, our place was pushed to the back of the list. However, luckily, Nick and my colorsync teacher Tzipi Trope was there for the show and managed to get in so I stuck around to make sure she followed the correct docent that would take her to the scenes that involved Nick. My hanging around the pier after being rejected for the second time resulted in a quick check of the ship's capacity and then an allowed entrance for myself and my guest.

I got onto the boat but this time I didn't follow any docent, instead, seeing as to how it was going to be my last time aboard the ship to watch this play, I decided to just wander about and see whatever there was to see with Yeison, so after buying a beer and leaving a decent tip to support The Woodshed Collective we casually wandered about the boat for an hour and 40 minutes just enjoying the general bad-ass-ed-ness of the play, witnessing a great amount of things I had not seen before.

My only regret is that I did not give myself the opportunity to go to the play more often because there was still so much that I had missed and wished that I had seen.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Testimonies Premiere

Hey guys! Testimonies of a Quiet New England Town premieres on Sunday in Hebron High School in Hebron CT.

If you don't remember, "Testimonies" (yea, I'm not typing out that long ass name every time, it's just gonna be Testimonies from here on out in this post) was the film that my good friend Matthew Troy directed as his first independent film about three months ago.

I'll post more about the film and the screening after I finally get to see what we worked on at the premiere this Sunday. Additionally, if it goes anywhere aside from just the premiere I'll be sure to post about that as well. Who knows, this may turn into something.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I Knew It!

I was reading manga as I usually do on onemanga and came across this:

Somehow, I've always known girls are like this (not the last panel, I'm talking about the middle panel).

'nuff said, back to more manga reading. AKA my study of Japanese art/storytelling (yea, bullshit, but whatever)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Some Movie Reviews

So I've realized that I haven't really posted much of anything about film recently, which is problematic because that was what this blog was supposed to be about, but recently it's taken on the role of my xanga and picked up a lot of my random bitching and moaning about how miserable the world is, so here's a return to what this blog was supposed to be related to.

Movies I've recently seen:

District 9
The Spirit

District 9:
I was sort of apathetic about district 9 because on one side it was way too hyped up but on the other hand it was difficult for me to tune out the rage of my friend who sat next to me and absolutely hated the film. Personally I liked the style and cinematography and hell, the concept was great for me too but the characters were difficult to relate to and therefore everything that happened seemed rather distant and unaffecting. I believe the solution to that issue would be to make the main character less of an ass/less selfish. (everything that motivates him up until the last 5-10 minutes is entirely for his own benefit.

The Spirit
I went into this one expecting a serious attempt at Will Eisner's "The Spirit" and the film noir genre, I shouldn't have. This was clearly one of those movies that recognized how bad it was and just went with it, from Samuel L. Jackson as The Octopus smashing a toilet over The Spirit's head (and indeed trapping him in the bowl) to the endless supply of clone flunkies that seem to enjoy dying. This is in no way an angry attempt at making fun of the film, to me it just honestly read as that.

I was really excited for this movie, especially when I saw the trailer and even more so when I saw the short it was based off of. After all the hype in my mind I thought it was only ok though, which was disappointing. I think the characters could have been developed more (I don't really know anything about anyone) and that's the film's greatest flaw. I don't feel anything when great adversity is overcome and I don't feel anything when failure falls upon our group of heroes either. There are pluses though, I thought the animation was amazing, backgrounds and character designs breathtaking and the craft in terms of movement, spot on, but at the end of it all the story didn't quite hold up entirely for me. I might just have to watch it again, but yea, it didn't do it for me.

Ok, so that's my return to movies and stuff, hopefully soon I'll have something of my own to show and critique so I'm not just criticizing other people's stuff.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sweets Make the World Better

I found myself in quite the undesirable position of having an overwhelming urge to hit something yet not having anything around I could get away with hitting.

There was a large pile of things that got me to this point, the surface issue being that my parents had dragged me along shopping with them to Kohls, which, actually, wasn't that big of a deal, because we had finished with sufficient time for me to go home to try to meet up with some people and hit up the always-crappy but why the hell not since it's there - Bloomfield Harvest Fest. Yes Matt, if you're reading this, your Hebron Harvest Fest wins out over my Bloomfield Harvest Fest; its bigger, runs longer and there are actual hicks (not to mention people that you know and talk to.)

However, I was wrong in my assumption that I would get home in time. My dad had decided to take an early turn off the highway to visit the next Kohls, yes, just for the hell of it, making me sit around and watch the time go from 4:45PM to 5:30PM; the Harvest Fest ended at 6, or so it said online anyway. And this is why, I decided, we need a better public transportation system for the entire state of New Jersey. Buses and Trains don't cut it by themselves, I should be able to walk down the street and get to a subway station that I can take within walking distance to my house, or at least to another train that will take me within walking distance of my house.

I have to insert a disclaimer here: I recognize that there was a whole lesson about not burning people on the internet/be careful about what you put on the internet lesson to be learned from the past few weeks, but for some reason I feel its okay to vent out about this particular issue on this blog. Then again, thinking I would never see nor hear from people my blog may affect ever again was what ultimately got me in trouble last time, so maybe I should use some code.

Now the reason for my great desire to get to my town's harvest fest is for the almost-simple reason that I wanted two things: cotton candy and a funnel cake A.K.A. greasy sugary death. Of course, the desire for these things, which are best shared with friends, stems from the need to be distracted from the woes of being unemployed and nagged constantly by my parents, as well as finding out that someone is seeing some prissy little fucker from our rival collegiate academy to the west. Oddly enough, the discovery of the last one has been bothering me only on and off for the past day or so and I wish it would either stay for a while or go away entirely because otherwise it's just being unnecessarily annoying. Additionally, part of me wonders if my being upset over said last issue is just me being unreasonable, but whatever, I digress.

After 30 minutes of waiting outside the second Kohls (I refused to go in) I call my parents to ask them if they're done yet. The answer was "I don't know where your father is, I'm over by hand bags, let me go find him. About ten minutes later they walk out of the store, empty handed. At that point what races through my mind is something like this:

"Are you kidding me? You insist on wasting time at a second Kohls and come out empty handed? Please, if you're gonna waste time by coming to a store to look at things to could have looked at 40 minutes ago at the identical first store we were at, then please at least buy something."

We manage to get home at 5:40 and I battle with myself as to whether or not I want to try to get there in time for the last 5 minutes to pass. Initially I decide "no" but as I get to my room and get ready to sit grumpily in front of my computer, I decide "fuck that, I'm not going to resign to sitting around and grumpily blogging about how much my life sucks, I'm at least going to go out and walk around.

So I get outside, yelling "I'm going for a walk" as I leave (my dad asks "are you coming back for dinner?" I respond "probably" he says "alright, call") and head down the street. Across the street from George's house I decide to give him a call to see what's up and if he wants to join, he's sitting around relaxing and answers "no, I was there yesterday..." and so I head over to where the Harvest Fest is alone.

The Bloomfield Harvest Fest, like many things Bloomfield, is wack. The festival extends one street in the center of town from the high school to a T-intersection with "Bloomfield Ave." Much to my surprise, most of the festival was still up and running. Several booths and food vendors were packing up, but everything else was still there, including the annoying high school brats that think they're "oh-so-ghetto" that I typically roll my eyes at. I text Joyce telling her about the festival still being on, but I don't expect a response, (seeing as to how my earlier text requesting deliverance from my suburban department store hell via 12 gauge shotgun or hollow point bullet seemed to have been ignored) nor do I get one.

I wander from end to end and then make my way over to a stand located on the town's green somewhere in the center of the hubbub of the festival and get what I was looking for: a bag of cotton candy; $5.00 for a small that could easily have passed for an extra large in New York. I then started to feel a little sick after eating it all by myself within a 10 minute time span.

At least I got what I went there for.

I guess it worked, because I can't bring myself to care anymore.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

I Don't Care

nd He took a deep breath and tried to relax. Blasting music as loud as the speakers would take before they distorted wasn't doing much for him, but he realized that thinking rationally before blogging would be a good idea. The deep breath seemed to make a difference but his fingers were still glittery, flying across the keyboard with an excess of motion and energy, there was news that he discovered that was... damaging to him, more so than he thought it would.

Despite all of the events that had transpired over the course of the past three months and all that he had accomplished, at the end of it all he was still feeling like a bum as the world continued to move around him; he was not in a good place.

He hadn't seen her since graduation, which was probably a great idea because it allowed for less suffering. Thoughts would occasionally drift in and out of mind, but he expected that to be normal and as time passed those thoughts lessened and faded, fading from mind almost entirely, he had other things to think and worry about.

Tonight was a mistake. He, in his bummery, laid on his back looking at the shiny device that took a large part of his attention and therefore his time every day (it allowed for games and music, sometimes simultaneously) as he surfed an equally distracting, addictive and overall unhealthy website where people pretend to keep in touch with each other by sending short 2-5 sentence messages to each other on "walls".

There was a conversation between her and her friend and he felt a little weird reading it, but he shrugged it off and read it anyway. He learned not too long ago that the internet is a public forum and nothing on it is private and justified that since that's the case, anything on it is rightfully up for grabs. He should have remembered that on this public forum a single line can burn, and that's all it took.

Upon completion of reading he put down the shiny device and sat up. "I don't care," he said heading to his door. He was lying to himself. "Damnit! I don't have anywhere to go,". He gave up and sat at his desk, looking online for a person to tell or a public forum to post about it, one where friend those he wanted to read it could read it and one where others would not. He hoped that his post wouldn't turn on him and create another burn mark.

He then decided "fuck that," and found some things to delete.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Empty Trains

I love riding on empty trains. I commute to and from Manhattan every day from my town of Bloomfield NJ, so every day I hop a NJ Transit train into Penn Station to go to my internship at PBS. Usually I take a late train home, late ranging from 10:30PM to 12:30AM and when I do the train is empty.

I'm not going to pretend that there's some deep and meaningful reason as to why I like taking an empty train, because there isn't. The reason I like taking an empty train is simply because when the train is empty I get my pick of the seats. I can sit where I want and I can sprawl out all over the seat and not be concerned about anyone else sitting next to me and since I often come home late (and therefore tired) I take advantage of the space, making sure my often heavy bag has its own space on the seat I'm sitting on. It's glorious and I get a decent amount of sleeping done as the train brings me home to Bloomfield.

Despite my late nights and empty trains on my way home, I rarely, if ever, manage to catch an empty train in. More often then not I am actually packed onto a crowded train and angry with the world because I'm exhausted from lack of sleep. Most of the time I manage to grab a small uncomfortable seat to myself where the handicapped priority seating is, but there are days where I'll walk onto the train and there are no seats available. I hate those days.

At first, when I came across days like that I would just stand for the duration of the trip, resigning myself to a corner of the section by the doors that isn't in the vestibule, brooding the entire time and cursing the world. However, one bold day I decided to continue walking through the train from car to car and lo and behold, I found an isle spot on a three-seater. (Unspoken train ettiquite states that sitting next to someone is only acceptable if you know them or its a three-seater so the middle seat is empty, or it's a two seater, but only to some people) From this I learned a valuable lesson; I can stand and brood, cursing the world for the cards I've been delt, or I can move forward.

Moving forward isn't a garuntee that things will get better, honestly, I had to move through quite a few cars that were worse than the one I was in, but eventually I found a lone seat. However, even if I didn't find that lone seat, moving forward and trying to improve my situation definately beats the hell out of standing around and brooding.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A weekend of buses, hicks and other stuff

I left Ashna's party at 11:30PM. Nick had offered to let me stay at his place but I didn't want to interrupt the privacy that he apparently didn't need but should have with this new female person that was clinging to his lips with hers. Needless to say, Ashna and myself were quite proud of him/ joyous that something finally happened for him, and that the something wasn't of the crazy variety. Eva, or as this something went by, is probably best described in this conversation with a Mr. Ant. Jones:

She's very...
(at a loss for words)

Ant. Jones
Yea, but, like, even more so

This, of course, means that they'll, knock on wood, get along together great.

However, I digress, because Nick's new girlfriend is not the subject of the story. So going back to what I was saying, I decided to leave the bar at 11:30PM with only one drink in me so I could get out of Williamsburg "Hipstersville" Brooklyn and over to Port Authority in time to catch the last bus home to Bloomfield.

I was looking forward to being home after a trip to decently borderline very rural Connecticut to visit/assist good friend Matthew Troy, who had organized an event for his town's fire department called The Muster. I was on hand to operate his EX-3, which is a very nice camera, but SxS cards are quite expensive and the SD to SxS adapters are quite finicky, so use with caution. (BTW, I'm my own damn DIT!!!)

This weekend in CT involved several trips to the Hebron Harvest Fair where we bore witness to many glorious displays of redneckery including, but not limited to:

Oxen Pulls
Tractor Pulls
Modified Tractor Pulls
Demolition Derby
Dock Dogs

Yes, what better way to show your neighbor you're better than them by getting your dog to jump further than their dog... also getting your Ox/horse/tractor to pull more weight further than their ox/horse/tractor.

Aside from all of the wonderful sights seen at the fair, I learned that country folk are really bitter with city folk, as best outlined in this conversation below:

Hey Matt, do you have a wet-nap
or anything like that?

Why, what happened?

Nothing, my hand's just muddy.

It's just mud! you'll live, city

I know that, I'd just rather not touch
Matt's $10,000 camera with my
grimy-ass hands

There's plenty of water around, just stick
your hand out in the rain!

Yes, the conversation did go like that, and yes, I know she was just teasing, but a noteworthy conversation none the less.

So after a fun time filled with freshly made donuts, fried dough and locally produced milk. (Not to forget the junk cars crashing into each other) my only regret laid in my decision to leave my cowboy hat at home.

A two or three-hour bus ride later landed me back in Manhattan's Port Authority, and from there to Ashna's party. This was a legitimate bus, as opposed to my bus ride there which was a coach van to some random street in Hartford. Additionally, the van was rather late in picking me up and even later in dropping me off and made entirely complete with our grumpy Chinese driver.

I left Ashna's party, as mentioned before, at 11:30PM to catch the last bus to Bloomfield at 12:45AM, which may seem a little extreme, but trust me, it's not. I got back to Port Authority at 12:30AM, just in time to discover that all the ticket windows had just closed (no shitting, they close at 12:30AM). However, a second discovery was made: despite the fact that the sign for the bus says to purchase tickets at a ticket window beforehand, you can actually purchase tickets on the bus.

The trip home was fast. I was at my desired stop in almost 20 minutes, but not before the guy in front of me blew chunks all over the seat next to him.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Here's the thing about apologizing; it's either a lot worse than you imagine or a lot better, it's never quite what you expect it to be.

Of course, when you plan out everything you're going to say in a long cinematic speech like I do, you rarely if ever get the opportunity to say what you have planned out. In the rare instances when you are actually given the chance to say everything you planned to you discover life isn't a movie and the poignant message you had all laid out in your mind is reduced to fragmented sentences and a jumble of words.

This time I was fortunate, the apology to Dean Antonio and Patty Pearson went better than I imagined, although it's difficult for it to have gone worse than I imagined when I was imagining everything from heated anger and screaming that prevented a word from escaping my mouth to physically being struck (to which I had a request planned where I asked that they give me fair warning before hand so I could remove my glasses first.) Eventually often troublesome but this time rather trusty logic prevailed as my mind reminded the rest of me that they were not the kind of people to do either of the above.

So I got my chance to say my long cinematic speech of how I was sorry and didn't mean to undermine them and the program and how I was sorry that I did and ultimately sorry for betraying their trust. Despite the opportunity, I decided on the train ride over to campus that I wouldn't give a long cinematic speech and would stick with KISS (keep it simple stupid), which was the right choice because even I couldn't mess it up then.

The worst part of the entire experience was the anticipation because no matter what I told myself beforehand, which I told myself countless legitimate things, going through the day must have been at least a bit of like what death row inmates feel like on their final day and walking through the hallway of the 9th floor to Patti's office certainly made me feel like I was a "dead man walking".

However, despite all the anticipation and worry, when I reached Patti's office I was, surprisingly enough, greeted with a smile and welcomed into her office and my short and sweet apology was accepted. While everything wasn't "fine" now that I apologized, it was better, and that's how it should be.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Big Brother Cut

Good news, and this time without bad news attached. (more on that in the future where/when events most likely will occur)

I think I may be picture locked on my senior film. I would love to get some feed back so I guess its off to showing what professors/faculty members I managed not to alienate.

On an entirely different note, today is 09/09/09. It means little of anything but I just felt it was worth pointing out. If only I started this blog at 9:09pm...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Good news, and of course, the subsequent bad news that follows

Good News:

Well, folks, the good news is that I now know that people actually read this blog.

The Bad News:

Apparently I can get in trouble with the actual people that read my blog for what I write in here.

The Story:

After a long day of interning after a long night of not sleeping I made my way down to NYU to work on my projects. While I was there I had decided to visit some old teachers and faculty administrators/members that I knew down there, an idea for keeping up good relations with those I respected.

After running into Sam and chatting briefly I made my way to the 9th floor in the hopes of catching Joanne Savio, which, of course she wasn't around so whatever. However, while I was there I thought it would be fun to catch up with Dean Antonio and Patti Pearson (assistant to Dean Antonio) since I've known them for such a long time and have a good amount of respect for them.

I popped into Patti's office and had a not-so-nice surprise awaiting me. Apparently they some how got a hold of my blog, this blog and were very much more than upset about this post, specifically the part that detailed the events of the final night.

I learned from a source whom shall remain nameless since I'm sure someone I don't want reading this is reading this and I would hate to get my source into any trouble, that my blog post was forwarded to Rudy who then sent it over to the film department.

This tells me that whoever ratted me out was either a "friend" of mine on Facebook or has some odd obsession with me because they would have had to google my name and go to the bottom of the second page, skipping over the at least 1 other Matt Chao blog just to reach mine. I have no idea who blew the whistle on me and even though I would like to know, it's not important. If whomever did this was an administrator or teacher or what have you in NYU, I can understand, it in some way shape or form was your job. I would like to put aside the child-ish reaction of saying "whoever turned me in can suck a big fat one," even though they can because they're clearly no friend of mine.

What I would like to discuss here are of a multitude of things. I would like to preface this conversation by saying in no way do I believe I was right in what I did nor do I believe that I should not be punished in some way shape or form by whomever is in charge of administering punishment in this case whether it be the university or the universe itself. I did something wrong and was foolish enough to put it on a public forum for all to see, I'm getting what I deserve.

Ultimately I wonder about the legitimacy of "evidence" such as said previous post that we find on the internet. I have been taught not to trust everything I read on the internet, or, for that matter, not to trust everything I read, so why are corporations and numerous individuals so trusting of incriminating evidence they find in people's blogs?

Something that bothers me is that I could have easily spun my situation into something that seemed as though it was a prank I pulled to test if the university was stalking me. I didn't because, despite the fact that I didn't think of it at the time, it's not the kind of person I am nor that I want to be, I'd rather not lie to keep myself out of trouble. If there's anything I've learned from Sam it's to own up to your mistakes and learn from them. However, the case still stands that I could have spun this easily to make it seem as though it had been all fabricated because it very well could have been. Aside from there being hundreds of false blogs out there (just a handful that we've just now heard of over the news), there is no physical evidence, no tangible evidence that confirms that I actually did what I said I did. People lie all the time, so why is my blog taken as immediate truth? A bragging confession?

Now, I'm not going to deny that I did what I said I did and I'm not going to pretend that I'm not sorry either, because I am, Patti and Sheril have a right to be mad at me, but I think that this internet stalking of employees has got to stop. I think that, even though there is no privacy on the internet, there's a need for additional evidence beyond a blog post because just because everyone can see who say I am doesn't mean who they see is necessarily me. On top of that, it's just fucking creepy.

Obama School Speech AKA More Politics

Read First: In school speech, Obama says education key to country's future

Again, I normally don't comment on politics but this, which has been going on for several weeks now, steps out of the realm of politics and just into the realm of plain stupid. Can someone please explain to me why president Obama making a speech to students telling them to stay in school is such a big controversy? Should he, instead of telling kids that an education is valuable tell our youth that their education is meaningless and their time spent in school is better squandered at home playing video games? Honestly, I don't see what the big deal is.

I realize that there are concerns of Obama trying to use the address to push a partisan agenda, but honestly, is that even a legitimate concern? Aside from the fact that the speech is typed out on the White House's web page for everyone to read, the idea of Obama using an address to students to stay in school to push a partisan agenda is just stupid. Are we really that concerned about our country's leader corrupting the minds of our youth? Really?

Another thing that got me pissed with this issue, and I guess with people in general is this quote I read from this CNN article:

"'The president's speeches tend to be [about] what's wrong with the country and what can we do to fix it,' said Bill Hogsett, a parent from Dallas, Texas. 'I believe this is the greatest country on Earth, and I try to teach that to my children. ... I don't want them hearing that there's a fundamental flaw with the country and the kids need to go forward to fix it.'"

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what's wrong with this nation.

During my trip with friends to go visit Mr. Holtzman we talked about the degradation of the education system and the blatant dumb-ing down of material being taught so we could make our youth "feel better about themselves". This, quote from Mr. Hogsett is a clear example of the kind of dumb-ing down that we subject the minds of our youth too. We don't want to hear that the nation has issues (which, clearly it does) because it's too difficult for us to accept our country as a great country without it simultaneously being perfect so we ignore the problems its facing. Is that something that should be taught to our kids?

Why would we teach our kids something like that? Rather, since we're not actually teaching them anything, why are we shielding them from a simple truth? Why are we preventing them from thinking about problems? Problems don't solve themselves and ignoring them certainly isn't going to provide solution to any of them. Is that what we do now as a nation? We ignore our problems? When did we become like this?

I'll tell you one thing that I just realized. the movie Idiocracy is wrong. People aren't getting dumber because of genetics (lack of smart people reproducing) people are getting dumber because we're not teaching our kids to think for themselves.

The answer to a problem is worthless unless you can use it to figure out a solution to another problem.