Random thoughts on most things from A. M. Craig.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Did I mention I've been playing with some software to make Quicktime VR Tours? They're what you see when you go on a real estate website and you can take a tour of the house. It's pretty easy, and lots of fun. Here is a sample.
NOTE: This is a series of pictures stitched together. This image would, when complete, be fed to a program that would convert it to a virtual tour.

This is D. Smith in the Robot Getup Justin and Dan made.

Unexpected Consequences: Part 2

Sorry I left you hanging, there. Didn't have time to explain. I got home last night at almost midnight, even though I was done with the shoot at 7:30. Most of the time, you're not in front of the camera. It takes a long time for them to set up the camera and the props, so most of my time on set was just sitting around. And while my Sidekick II is entertaining, it's no replacement for actual company.

I talked to a few of the other extras, made some friends that I might see again if I keep doing extra stuff. Right around the time we were finishing, I started talking to one of the girls there when she asked what agency I was with. Agency? Sweetheart, I signed up for this online through UtahExtras.com, I'm not with a talent agency. Oh, Really? she says, you should sign up with the agency I'm with. So she tells me all about Tru Talant on Highland Drive in SLC, and how great they are, and how many gigs they get her for acting and modeling, and we just kept talking about any number of things. Right about the time we're going to turn in our work hours, she asks what I'm doing after this. Me? I'm just driving home. What are you up to after this? Nothing, she says, and do I want to go get something to eat and keep talking. Well...ya. That would be great.

So we drop off our bags at our cars, and head back into the Gateway, and debate about where to go. She says I pick, I say I'll narrow it down, we finally decide on Happy Sumo. Good food, and great sushi, if you ever get the chance. We got the Vegas Rolls and the Brooklyn Rolls, both really excellent, with eel sauce. Trust me, it's good.

We continued to talk. Actually she did most of the talking, which was fine with me. Through the course of the evening I pretty much got the life story of her and her whole family. She was born in Fort Worth, but moved to Utah ten years ago. Middle child. Studying Photography. Honestly, I could give a lengthy background.

We went to Chili's after to get dessert. Shared a milkshake, her idea. It was just like a old movie, or a Norman Rockwell painting.

This is certainly not how I normally operate, but I have to think it's pretty common for her. Great girl, really pretty, obviously friendly. Not what I would normally peg as my "type", but what does that mean anyway? What is my "type"?

I drove her back to her car, and right before I was going to ask for her number, she beat me to the punch. "So, are you going to ask for my number?" Well, ya, that was the next move. I was just about to. Next time I'm in SLC, I'll give you a call.

1) I'm never in Salt Lake, and if I am, it's usually for a specific reason, time already taken.
2) What are we going to go do if I call her? Take her out on another date? I'm certainly not getting into a long distance thing.

But it was a lot of fun. And it would be fun if I did call her and we went out again. Don't hold your breath, but I'll let you know if anything happens there. But really, don't hold your breath.

Pretty silly, Pretty girl, totally unexpected, probably never to be duplicated. It was a good time.

About the movie we were shooting. It's called Oreskaband, features Lucas Grabeel, who is much smaller than you might expect, and is most likely going to be a Disney Channel flick. I'm going to be embarrassed to be seen in that, but it was fun, all the same.

Interstingly, when I was leaving Salt Lake and getting on the freeway, what comes on the radio, after 12 hours on set with the Japanese ska band? Turning Japanese, by the Vapors.

P.S. Somebody should be paying me for product placement. I mentioned a bunch of different money making ventures in here, most of them positively.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Unexpected Consequences

Very interesting development. Tell about it later.

More Pictures

Here are some more, of the band, the star, the crowd, etc. And as I've
said before, I wish my phone had a video camera on it. I would have
caught footage of Lucas Grabeel teaching the Japanese band to cuss in
the King's English. He said they had taught him all the worst Japanese
words, so it was a fair trade. I say he should be a better embassador.

Almost Done?

Are we there yet? I've been here all day, and to be honest, it's not
extremely rewarding work. I'm bored. A man can only rock out so much.
Also I'm hungry. And this isn't really my crowd.

For some reason, Show-biz attracts the unseemly sort. Probably because
more decent people will choose work with an inherent good to it, not
entertainment. Not that entertainment isn't good. But it's like sugar.
You need to be careful how much and what kind you take.

Anyway, we can't be here too much longer. We've been on set for 11

Update Upfront

I got moved from the seat I was at to the front of the Venue right
before they started shooting. I am one of the cool kids. I'm sure you'll
be able to see me in the final show. Pretty sure.


Lunch was mediocre at best. The meal, not the actual time. I met a few
more people. You find a pretty diverse group here as extras. There was a
pretty flamboyant 29 year old guy and his friend who have been doing
this for a while. There was the 18 year old girl, pretty, married for 8
months, mother for 10. There is the 20 year old theater boy, studying at
the U. There was a 15 year old at our table, don't ask me how this takes
precedence over school. And there was the almost 20 year old girl that
joined us halfway through lunch. Nice girl, very friendly.
We're shooting a night club scene now. I got lucky, I'm sitting down,
though I won't be as close to the camera. The outfit has done me good.
They were calling people out of the mass of extras, and after they had
pulled a few out, we decided that they were getting the younger,
trendier looking kids, the ones who look like they would actually be at
a club. I get to be one of the cool kids.
Anyway, don't let anybody fool you about movie magic. The magic is when
it's all done and a coherent film some how is the result. This
stuff...there isn't anything special about this. Except maybe getting
paid for sitting here.


Well, we're done with the first shoot. I wonder when I'm supposed to
change wardrobe and get ready for the second shoot.
They're getting lunch ready. I wonder if it'll be any good.
It's a pretty eclectic gathering for the Extra crowd. This is obviously
not a skilled labor job, so it's jusdt a bunch of people who...I
guess...had nothing better to do. A few kids who look like they're in
high school, some people my age, and some people that must be in their
late twenties through thirties. I wonder if this is their first gig, if
they're doing this for fun too, or if they have regular jobs. Lets be
honest, most productive people can't just spend a whole day standing
around clapping in front of a camera.

Forgot the Pictures

Here they are.

Get your Genres Right

So I highly doubt we were supposed to actually dress emo. I think that
was somebody at casting not understanding the subtle (and not so subtle)
distinctions between emo, indie, punk, ska, etc. Kudos to David Smith
for predicting that one.
We're shooting now. I'm just some dude in the plaza rockin' out to this
band. That's my part. Lucas Grabeel of High School Musical fame is the
big name of this one, so I have to assume this is a Disney Channel
original. My nieces would be proud.
I'm supposed to smile and dance and clap. The smiling isn't a problem,
because when I feel dumb and embarrased, I tend to smile. But the
dancing and clapping...I just need to pretend I'm at my apartment by
myself or with my roommates. There is plenty of idiotic dancing and
clapping that happens then
They split us extras into groups, then pairs. I'm supposed to walk up
to where the band is playing with Mary, a nice girl from Magna. Here is
a picture. Also, here is a picture of the set and scene.
More to come, and Emily, the outfit isn't that exciting. I'll post a
picture later on.
So, when I find out, I'll let you know when you can see me smiling and
clapping and dancing like a big dummy on Disney.

Next Time

I've got to get somebody to come with me next time. A smartphone can
only provide so much, I need some company. All who wish to apply may
inquire within.

Extra Work

Well, I'm here in SLC waiting for them to call me on the set. It's
funny, I guess there are plenty of productions going on in the area,
because as soon as I signed in, Gayle, the woman in charge of casting
extras, asked if I wanted to work on Thursday too. It pays twice as much
as today, runs for half the time, is at Thanksgiving Point, and I'd play
an 80's paparrazzi. Cool.
But back to today, I'm just waiting at the train station here in the
Gateway, the shoot is out in the shopping center. They checked my
wardrobe right when I got here, and loved it. I was supposed to come
dressed as an emo rocker. BIG thanks to Dave S., Dave P., Rob Brill, and
Christian Axelgaard for helping me get in character (or at least look
the part). Between my own too-tight shirts, Christian's fadded white
80's Levis, and Dave P.'s Commie shoes, I'm the Emo-est kid in town. I
got high praise from the wardrobe girl who checked me.
I brought snacks, but somehow failed to bring a book, and I'm going to
be here all day. Heaven be thanked for smart phones, I'll find something
to read online.
The production is called "Oreskaband", and I don't know if it's a
feature, a short, a music video, or what. They don't give the extras a
whole lot more info than we need. I'm sure its something I'll be
embarrassed about later. I'll have to get a copy of whatever this thing
is and show it to my friends (they already know I'm here), and they'll
say, "you were in THIS movie? I don't even see you anywhere." And it'll
be some stupid thing, some movie that is either embarrasingly cliche, or
morally offensive, or just low production value.
Actually, strike that last one, the production value is going to be
just fine. Before I came to where the extras are supposed to chill, I
wandered on the set. They have a budget to work with, and nice
equipment, and professionals putting it together, it looks like. So high
production value, but could still be an aesthetic artistic mess. I mean,
this could be the set of the next Bratz movie, for all I know.
The band I mentioned before is here, of the same name as the film.
Google it, look at their Myspace page, "Oreskaband". It sounded like
Japanese ska from what I heard, they're all Japanese girls, sitting
right in front of me as I write this, actually. Not really my scene, but
I don't have anything against it.
Anyway, I'll update you later, when I actually do something. For now,
I'm going to get some more food and find something to read.

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Best for the Job

I'm not as politically active as I'd like. I'd like to make time to volunteer for my candidate of choice, and really search out the candidates and issues so that I know exactly what I'm talking about. But to be frank, I don't have, or rather, haven't set aside the time to do so. I have a life, and a busy one at that. So, while my knowledge isn't exhaustive, I have tried to understand the various candidates in this expansive race for the U.S. Presidency, and there is one I would choose above the rest without hesitation. I support Mitt Romney not because we share a common faith, any more than that faith has shaped him as a person, because it is Mitt Romney the Man, not Romeny the Mormon, that I support completely. His traditional values, fiscal responsibility, and genuine desire to serve are what impress me. And he is just so darned capable. There is a reason he has gone from being somebody you'd never heard of in 2000 to a prime candidate for arguably the most powerful position in the world. He looks like a president, for crying out loud. He is carismatic, funny, charming, and while you may try to claim that image doesn't really matter in the Presidency, I would flatly refute that. Image matters more now than ever. I think Mitt Romney has a spotless image, and I think he can keep it that way, because that's who he is. It's not an act.
Anyway, I'm ranting. If you'd like a fuller expanation to why I like him most, read this letter from Mark DeMoss. I'm not an Evangelical Christian, so I can't say I was familiar with DeMoss before reading this, but I agreed with virtually everything he said.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Those of you that know me will know that this little video combines some of my favorite things. I wonder if you can name them...

I'll help get you started.
-Robots (obviously)
-The band Spoon

You take it from here.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Big Break

Okay, so it probably isn't my "big break", but I am going to go be an extra on Monday. They said to call today if I wanted to come, but they didn't give a number. I looked at their website, still no number, but back on an old email it was listed at the bottom. I called and they said that sounded great, and not only could I work Monday, but they asked if I could come Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Monday. I'm still working through the end of this week, so no on Thursday and Friday, but I'll be there Saturday and Sunday. They want me to come like I'm "At an L.A. nightclub." It pays essentially minimum wage, so I'll get something like $75 for a full day, but it's easy stuff, and it'll be fun. They sounded pretty desperate for people (I wonder if thats because nobody has their number), so if you want to come, I'd love to have company.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Extra! Extra!

Should I go be an extra in a movie that's shooting in SLC on Monday? I think they pay you, I'm not working next week, and it would be an interesting experience. That being said, extra work is not glamorous, there will be a live band that I'm not interested in hearing, and it wouldn't pay that much. It will most likely be a really stupid movie. What do you think?


Per Richard's request, I'll tell you how I blog on the go these days. It's still better to use an actual computer, but if you can't reach one, and need to LET THE PEOPLE KNOW NOW, then you can just email a message to "go@blogger.com" from your email enabled phone. You'll receive a response with a claim code. Next time you're at a computer, visit "go.blogger.com", punch in your code, and voila, you are now a mobile enabled blogger. Any messages and pictures you send to go@blogger.com from now on will be posted to your blog of choice, with the subject line of your email as the title.
It's simple, and only basic features are available, but it is just so
darned easy.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Color update.

I've mentioned the Sony Bravia adverts on here before, but just found another one. Pretty good, but not as good in my opinion. Your thoughts?

Mobile Blogging

I anxiously await the day when you carry around a single device for all
of your electronic needs. Really it's only a matter of time (and money)
till everybody has a fully functional
Console/heart-rate-moniter/thermometer/pocket-sentry-gun/iPod. I'm only
partly kidding on that. Anyway, till then (and I've got more to say on
the topic) you can use a little known Google service (also a subject I
need to discuss more) to reformat web sites for a mobile browser. Give
it a try, it's surprisingly capable.

Results: Positive

That was SO MUCH easier and faster than how I've been doing it before.
This is perfect. Let's try with a picture now. Thanks to Rob Brill for
providing his mug, bespectacled with my specs.
Also, I'm going to try sending files other than a picture, just to see
what happens. Wish me luck.


This is a test of the emergency Blogging system. I am trying a new
method for mobile blogging, and want to make sure it works.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Too Long, Too Much

I haven't written in a while. It's not for lack of subject matter, what with a world full of subject and a mind with no "off" switch. I just haven't taken the time. I've squandered it on too many fruitless persuits, instead of more productive measures. Again, no lack of those, what with a world full entropy and a body that can't hold still.
I don't know if any of this makes sense. I have a headache.
I dreamt last night that I was in school, not college or high school, but some school, and people from home were there. One of my friends who, always when I knew him growing up was a nerdy, socially awkward, kind person, was being really rude. Not just rude, but mocking, making fun of my other friends. There were other people there, and while this guy, for as long as I've known him was more often the subject of such jokes, was now shooting them at others, much to the amusement of the crowd. They all laughed, and thought it was so funny. I didn't understand why everybody was being so mean, they were like heyenas, like Jr. High. I asked them to stop, that they were making fun of a friend of mine, and that their words were hurting. I didn't understand, it didn't make sense, and I woke up.
So put your psychoanalytical caps on, and let me know what that means. I've had other dreams that I've failed to recoed here. Maybe it's for the better. How often are dreams, or my dreams at least, positive, uplifting stories or images? mine seem to be mild to medium nightmares mostly, entertaining nonsense at best.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

'Member when...

I had that dream about the zombies and the sun exploded? And in the dream, I remembered that it takes eight minutes for light to reach the earth?

Our House

This reminded me of home.
And made me laugh a lot.

I'm hardly there at all.

I had a dream last night. I have strange dreams.

I was a ghost, a wandering spirit, exploring my old haunts. I was at home, in Phoenix. I went to the Matthews house. Nobody was there, but then an old woman came out and saw me. I was surprised, because I didn't expect to be such a conspicuous phantom as to be noticed by the first person to pass my way. After a quick exchange of "Who are you?" and such talk, it came out that she was a spirit too.

I think I went to the Cannon's, too. They were still there.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Uncle Ron

You all should read E.R.C.'s post about his Uncle Ron.


I know, I know, I should post an update from my trip to South Carolina before I continue on to other topics, but I'll just get this out. Maybe the update will come tonight.

Jasie just tipped me off to another marketing ploy cooked up by those geniuses the White Stripes. For almost two months I've been talking about getting a Holga or Diana camera. That's part of the reason I bought the Polaroid at D.I. Similar Vintage look at 1/20 the price. That's not to say the Holga or Diana are Expensive. They're not. I don't need one, but I think I'm going to get one anyway. Dave just got a Holga, and I think I'll get the accompanying Diana.

However, if I were a rich man...

Really, you should take a look at these

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


Well, from what I can tell, I like Cincinnatti.
Not that you can really judge a city from it's airport, I probably just like airports.

There is a lot more ethnic diversity here than in Utah.
Again, that designation means very little.

They took a while to get me my sandwich at Chic-fil-a, but the woman gave me a drink to compensate for the wait. She was an overweight young black woman. Her name tag said "Joy". She was polite, but didn't exhibit any of the mirth her name tag might suggest. I appreciated the drink.

There is a bald fat man with a lisp and a goatee jabbering into his phone across from me, telling stories he must think are very funny, what with that wheezing laugh. He seems almost a characature of sorts. If I knew him, and I was a casting director, I'd keep his number handy for the next big slapstick comedy.
There is a middle aged woman with some Brit-ish accent talking next to me on her phone. She could possibly be South African or Australian, I can't tell. She just found out that an acquintance of hers died sudenly and rather young of a heart attack. She seems surprised but not too shaken up about it. She is much more interested in the friend on the other end of the phone than their prematurely departed mutual friend.
There is a man across from me, elderly, with hair white as a polar bear on his crown, then fading more to gray near his neck. He is quietly reading a book, looking through the bottom edge of his glasses.

I wonder if somebody else here happened to be taking notes on the people around them, what they might say about me. I suppose it all depends on the person writing.

Hopefully we'll be boarding soon. In the meantime, I'll continue reading my book on indie film producing.

Stay tuned. More to come.


I'm on a plane headed for Cincinnatti. Then to Charlotte. Then driving to Spartanburg.
I'll be presenting ISM to 150 educators, trying to convince them it's the greatest educational tool they've ever seen.
I'll let you know how it goes.
Wish me luck.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

It's Alive, I Swear.

This just blew my mind. I've always been impressed with Kinetic sculpture. Alexander Calder is one of my favorites. But this is the first time I've heard of Theo Jansen.

His creations look like they walked right out of fiction.

This is the commercial that got me really wanting to see more.

A little lecture he gave.

Here is a short video clip on how the "Beest" works.

His website has a few more videos, if you're interested.

Color. like.no.other.

Everybody has seen the bouncy balls. If you were interested enough in those, you probably saw the paint. And if you liked that, you'll be pleased to see the bunnies.

Half of what's so great about this is the website. The navigation is amazing. They've really pushed flash to the limit.

This, friends, is what you call effective advertising.

Special thanks to Landon for pointing this one out.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Where to Start?

There are a thousand things I'd like to write about. I'll briefly cover a few, you tell me what I should elaborate on.

-I bought a pair of Heelys. I've always wanted some. I understand that they are not cool unless you're ten years old, and I'm okay with that.

-I got a few new ties. From China. A friend of a friend went there over the summer and brought back a bunch of really nice ones, well made, good colors and designs. And cheap. Better than anything I could find here at Dillard's. Trust me, I looked.

-However, Dillard's did have a great sale on suits. I got two. Athletic cut, with ventilation slits in the back, one gray with blue pinstripes, the other black. They really look nice. Maybe not in the picture, but trust me, when I wear one...

-While I was buying my textbooks recently I decided I should get some books just because I like them. I bought several, including some practical How To guides.

The Zombie Survival Guide
How to Cheat at Everything
How to Be a Villain
Where's My Jetpack?
Written by none other than Daniel H. Wilson, see "I love this Guy" on the side bar.

-I stopped at D.I. today, for no real reason other than I was driving by. I walked in thinking, "What could I possibly find at D.I. that I'd want to buy?" That, friends, is what you call a stupid question. I found something I wanted, of course. I found two somethings. Item One, an old Playstation original that I had read about not too long ago. Supposedly, these are an audiophile's dream, and I had to find out for myself.
Item Two, a Polaroid Supercolor 635CL. It looks to be in absolutely perfect condition, and in an age of digital ubiquity, it's fun to have some gritty antiquity around. Pleasantly quaint and unique.

I took a picture of Dave and Mylee.
Dan managed to take a picture of the ceiling while looking at the camera.
He is an engineer who builds airplanes. Wow.

-I just read about this prodigy, and it blows my mind. I am a little jealous.

-Also, I encountered this little gem, in case you have an absurd amount of money you're interested in throwing away. Actually, if that's the case, just give me a call. I have a better idea for your $75,000.

-Invest in HTC. All over the techno-blogo-sphere, there are rampant rumors that Google has teamed with HTC for the soon-to-be-announced gPhone, or whatever they want to call it. It seems as though the rumors are too many and too specific for it all to be just nonsense, though I'm sure some of it is. These rumors have been around for years, but have really picked up momentum in the last month or two. In fact, I may actually invest a little in HTC myself. I've always wanted to give investing a try. I've had this exact thought before.

-I just saw this commercial, and really liked the music. Click on "FAQs" at the top, scroll down to "Can you tell me who sings the songs on the HUMMER commercials?", click on "TV spots". It's the second one in, Video Game. I'm a sucker for that techno garbage, really hits the right buttons for me.
Buttons...how apropos.
Too bad the band isn't a real band, but apparently a group that does mostly music for commercials. Incidentally, Dave has pointed out repeatedly that my preferred genres of music are primarily whatever they play in cool commercials.

-I am participating in a medical study. Today I drove to SLC to get an experimental flu shot (or a placebo, I may never know). I'll track my health for a couple weeks, go back in a month, and then at the end of flu season, they give me $250. Sweet. I asked if they have any sleeping studies they need people for. I'm really good at that.

-General Conference was today. I really enjoyed the Priesthood Session, and Elder Eyring's call to the First Presidency.

-I'm flying to the Carolinas on Tuesday. I'm landing in Charlotte, driving to Spartanburg, giving a presentation, then flying back. It's for work. Wish me luck.

View Larger Map

There are more, many more things I'd like to go into. But these are more than enough for now. Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

I'll never stop talking about the Show.

Jasie went to the show, and had some thoughts on the matter.

When I said I was done talking about the concert...

I lied. Optimistic was also at the show I went to, and posted a review. Thought that was worth mentioning.

I killed a Spider

And it made me think about death.

Funny how little events can spark big thoughts.

Monday, October 01, 2007

This just Happened: Part II

I've been sick. Jourdan heard. She was kind enough to bring me an elaborate and ridiculous get well gift bag.

On a totally unrelated note, I thought this was really neat.

And one last mention of the concert from last week, honest, I'm done after this. Eric apparently met LCD Soundsystem, at least the guitarist and the keyboard girl. I am jealous. Honest, I am.

I am sick

Or more specifically, I am ill physically. I have a pretty bad cold, the Nightime Sniffling Sneezing Coughing Aching Stuffyhead kind, so I am doing what any self respecting techie does when they are home from work.
I am blogging.

And let me tell you, there are some pretty interesting blogs out there. I was trying to verify some claims I heard after last week's concert, and came across this entry on one of the Arcade Fire's shows in New York. Interesting read, after having seen them myself.

Moving on from there, I somehow came across the blogs of several people who were clearly LDS, and thus read on. I thought this was very funny, seeing as dating is a constant topic of conversation in the shadow of BYU. While entertaining, though, it's ultimately a moot point. Every situation is unique, and it's never wise to operate in any specific situation based on the general beliefs of the crowd.

I think I could be friends with this guy. That sounds as though I am looking for more friends, but really I don't have enough time for my already friends.

Okay, I'm done. Have a good day. I for one, am going to take my illness as a vacation, an excuse to read a good book, watch a good movie, and eat a lot. Take care.