currently writing this section…
I have quite a few film projects that are upcoming, sooner or later. They’ve been stuck in what the film industry calls “Development Hell“. The reasons for which are numerous, and I apologize to anyone I’ve disappointed by making the mistake of announcing projects before having them more than 89% complete. My current focus is on the “AUA” ‘franchise’ at the bottom of this list.
Clip: Prototype Intro Reel.
“Quagmire” isn’t really the title. It all started shortly after making my TWYS video, in 2006. I had watched the Infowars film “Terrorstorm (2006)“, and thought it would be cool to throw together a relatively short compilation using only the pre-9/11 chronology segments combined with those from “Road to Tyranny (2002)“. Appropriately, it was to be titled “Road to Terrorstorm”, as evidenced in that little scary car ride segment at the end of that intro prototype. Eventually I over-expanded the idea and hit technical brick walls which I’ll explain later. (Read the blue section below to learn about my idea for making it into a retroactive open source online project.)
I felt that context was perhaps more important than the actual ‘story’ of 9/11. The goal was to show ‘how did we get there’, not ‘what happened’ on 9/11. I wasn’t just trying to make another 9/11 film, nor did I seek to tell what happened on 9/11. It was to end on 9/11. And the parts related to 9/11 weren’t to include much of anything theoretical, but rather historical facts presented in chronological order. The scope was to be much greater, as I re-thought what the film was to become. I wanted to show how we became who we are as a nation, our place in history and the world, and the reality of the system we’re all enslaved to.
Cultural Amnesia became the major target of the project. In my vision, attempting to explain what even happened on 9/11 (a great deal of which is highly debatable) would hardly be needed given the right context. I eventually decided that for the total wake up call, I would need far more segments not found in the original 2 films that inspired it. So then I began to reach for a broad range of elements from a broad range of films and sources. Doing this helped me get the concept of what would make the film unique, and eventually spelled its doom.
A key challenge in the project was how to mix in and out of so many different sources, which became my ‘TV Emulator’ concept. An overall objective of the film was to deprogram any brainwashed viewers, and TV’s are the key source of the ‘brainwashing’ indoctrination of the masses. Then the concept was to be as if the TV signal was interrupted, the TV taken over, to go back in time and chronologically deprogram the viewer with the massive history and context we’re denied by the system.
A major problem I’ve often encountered with film making is over-ambition, and this project was the first form of it. The project could have easily been over 6 hours long, as I realized I didn’t quite have a PC worthy of handling the whole thing it actually ‘melted down’. That was a major setback that lasted months, having to use ever lower par parts. I went on to build a nice machine for this purpose, but by the time I did my interests had shifted to smaller projects such as “DARPA A.I. Control Grid (2007)” and “The Killing Machine: Iraq (20??)” and then other things that life brings.
Another issue I had was indecision. For one thing, I couldn’t decide on a title. Before I went beyond the original concept I had already thrown together a custom little into segment (spooky car scene in the intro reel) for the “Road to Terrorstorm” incarnation. But as I made it more custom I could no longer keep that title for a greater project, out of respect in particular. Well that sucks when you already had a friend help out on some graphics work for the title ending of the segment. But indecision about what to add, borrow, or make, that is, what should even be in it. At some point it became overwhelming.
Other events in 2007 didn’t help matters for this project, and I’m sure it disappointed some people. The biggest was my computer took literally 2 lightning strikes in a period of about 3 weeks. That is, my badass machine and then my backup. And work was slow around then so I went a good while not being able to edit. However, I did manage to squeeze out the core original R2T concept film which is online. Did it in just a few days using the subpar machine, as it was quite simple compared to the evolved version. Using that title, I decided I didn’t want to put in anything that wasn’t from Infowars, and figured I’d make the more evolved version with a totally new title. I don’t think that appeased too many of the people who were excited about the evolved idea I announced almost a year before. Anyways, by the time I got my mean machine back up the Ron Paul presidential campaign was full tilt and I decided I had to make something in support of it. This turned into my next example of over-ambition, as what was supposed to be a tiny little parody clip turned into a full 2 hour film titled “Neocon Wars (2008)”.
The Future of “Quagmire”, an Open Source project:
Today this project isn’t a priority in terms of being a single film release. It could easily end up being over 24 hours long, especially if the timeline were to extend into the future. As I already mentioned issues with indecision about what to include, and what not, a project with this potential is too limited for just being a one time render film.
Today I envision a retroactively editable online presentation: A streaming channel, with chronology as the framework, and a group of people all finding or creating, and deciding on materials for it. It could be setup where people can start watching from the start of the loop, or jump in in ‘real-time’, or click on a list of time periods from which to start.
Picture History Commons, meets a streaming site like Disclose.tv, with a dope interface that automatically mixes the chronological selections, and a team of editors to verify the validity of proposed additions.
It might be easy for the right person(s) to setup. A streaming video player that grabs clip after clip and mixes them in specified order, where you can add clips / segments into the chronology at will. If the video player applet could be made to transition the clips using the TV static concept, it would save volunteers from hassle. To go with this, it would be very worthwhile to have a bar (or panel even) with info & clickable links that changes as topics and names are mentioned in the presentation. Another cool thing the video applet could do is display a different channel number representing each editor, and then have a panel where you can choose to watch each channel stream individually.
There exist a lot of compilation films out there. I think there’s a lot of good talent out there in terms of compiling films. Films shouldn’t only be made if the maker is good at all facets of filmaking, meanwhile there are tons of projects out there that don’t get enough recognition. Just the same, there are lots of people out there talented at other facets of filmaking etc that don’t necessarily have the will or technical means to pursue a full length film. So I envision a central project where people of all talents can collaborate on a project as I’m proposing (and other more specific type films) which would be easier to promote.
I suppose existing streaming sites could be approached with this idea, but I haven’t done this. If you’d be interested in contributing to this sort of project drop me an email and maybe we can establish a better form of communications and collaboration for a group effort. I’d love to help direct a project like this, but with my other projects there’s no way I can go out and get the whole thing going without others.
“The Killing Machine: Iraq”
I developed the concept for The Killing Machine while working on the Vietnam section of the ‘Quagmire’ project. The goal of my custom contribution was to use the Biohazard song “Remember” similar to how I used the Slayer song “Expendable Youth” for the above segment. I had meant for the Iraq film to be fully interlockable and in the same concept as the ‘Quagmire’ project. I felt it’d be beneficial experience in working back towards the greater project. In attempting to visualize all of the death and COSTS of the Iraq war, I realized how difficult it would be to do the same with the deaths of 58,000 US troops and millions of others in the Vietnam war.
And what an excruciating process. For that clip alone I reviewed, over and over, thousands of brutal images from the war. For the greater project I had reviewed 100+ hours of Iraq war documentaries. But it wasn’t only the content that was excruciating, it was also the process.
Here’s another prototype clip that was to be more towards the beginning of the film:
Clip: 9/11 segment prototype.
The film wasn’t going to just be ‘music videos’, those were just key custom parts. The rest would be actual video quotes of people like Bush, and other little snippets from other documentaries and so on. The custom parts are what kill you. You can easily spend hours or even days on one minute of pure custom rendered film.
Thinking back, I had a majority of the work finished on some of the most complex parts of the film. I worked on it with pretty good focus until the lightning came. Very disappointing to not have it finished! The problem is I’ll now need to completely (and manually) rebuild the number counters on the bottom, and then spend a week or more reviewing all of the Iraq video happenings since Obama took office. Those counters were a pain, and with the methods I was using with all of the rest of the elements (side bars especially), the best I ever had it look ended up being a file that was about 1GB for 15 seconds of film.
I lacked the HD space back then. I might have been able to able to render a reasonably sized end product, but all of those layers of video had to be rendered individually as HD gorging RAW uncompressed data. Using non raw elements kept giving me videos artifacts and other quality issues that bothered me and made it hard to actually get the full presentation. Thinking ahead, rebuilding the counters are a major deterrent. What a tedious process, the best I could figure out how to do it even. Now I’m more concerned with my flagship, “AUA”. But as long as the Iraq war continues this film will be on my action item list. I really want this thing done!
“An Unholy Alliance”