I started editing all my footage together with a focus on Not Making Another Boring Fucking Art Flic. Early on i realized all my attempts at steady shots were the boring bits, and i started using mostly the moments just after i turned the camera on, or was trying to quickly put it away. As I added more and more footage to the mix, I kept taking shorter and shorter cuts. By the end it's nearly single frames of footage.
(the finished result is on display in the viewing room, by the way)
One of my favored shots came when i decided the bus driver was going to crash and kill us all (he'd told the guy in the closest seat that was glad to have some one to keep him awake with chatter. The guy fell asleep in the next 10 minutes, and the bus driver started jerking himself away every 30 seconds). I was convinced we would crash, and i should get a video record of what happened. So i turned on the night vision. checked that the other passengers were all in fact asleep (yep. or doing a damn good job of playing it). And kept it rolling on the bus driver for a good long time. the shot came when the bus driver noticed my recording light glowing in the dark (or something), and flipped on the lights to glower in my direction. I think that moment of footage is terrifying.
I'd also like to point out this one great shot of a discarded condom behind the bleachers at the bike race, with a beautiful translucent bug wing stuck to it's side. Unreal.
Somewhere near the end of editing this (again all linearly save a few mountain range and cloud formation sequences) I decided i needed a song that built like the footage built. The final verse of NIN's "somewhat damaged" of The Fragile, was a cosmically cool accident. love it.
Decided to end it with quick shots of all my Oregon buddies taken at El Presidente, while we met Waldow's new girlfriend. Love the quick shots here of friends looking worriedly over, with faces saying "are you recording this?" Answer : yes.
The final shot of me just grinning away sunnily, was actually taken (by me) as we pulled out of portland, for home. The final leg of the journey. My mind was pretty much gone. I was having some psycho exhausted thought that "this picture" didn't have enough of ME. Had to show off my infantile joy to simply go home. Love the way this shot caps off the exploding pressure, and becomes me taking glee in having made the audience endure this.
In the Summer of 2000, I got the feeling my pal eli was hating life on the east coast. So, I thought I'd pay him a visit. Cept i didn't have much cash. So i decided to take a bus, and my video camera.
What i didn't realize (despite many friends' advisings) was that bus trips are a special kind of hell. And i'd completely overlooked my fears of sleeping in moving vehicles and letting someone else drive me around (thanks to two nasty car accidents). But this came into focus in the first 20 minutes of a 3 day bus ride extravaganza.
When i got into portland at midnight (about 1 hour in), I had my first waiting time of a mere hour. I hadn't considered the layover times of my trip. So I immediatly decided to start smoking again. Which meant walking over to Burnside from the station with all my huge ass bags hanging off me, begging the street shit to mug, rape, and kill me (but thanks to my natural skill of "being nobody," i actually got all the way there and back again without any real problem). Thank god for addictions.
So we headed off to idaho, and a total psychotic breakdown (another of my natural skills). I can't remember many useful details from the trip (like which cities we passed through, or what day it was), but it's all in this video. sequentially. I do vaguely remember that we didn't go east, we went south, then north, then south, then north, etc. But it's honestly all a blur.
Highlights of the trip there where:
a friendly woman and child (my first seat mates) being hit upon by an over-friendly recent prison releasee, who got off at their stop and followed them into the city. A 300 pound 6 foot tall sweaty redneck falling asleep on my shoulder. learning that Salt Lake City area has the most dangerous freeway traffic in the world. A buncha guys crowded around sinks in a small restroom, one of whom ended up casually washing his privates in said sink. junk food, grease, heat, and strangers. An incoherent call to my friend eli telling him i wasn't sure what state i was in, or what day it was. My hair taking on the distinct smell of rotting fish oil. Learning the tricks of keeping people from sitting next to you. the chaos of finding the right line to be in at the right time. Learning the joy of being end in line, and getting your own half full bus if the first overfills (pretty fucking cool really). The peculiar cool of a way-too-old bus station. Lots of great countryside and skylines, videotaped through dirty plastic bus windows at 60 miles an hour. Realizing air conditioning just flat out fucks up my sinuses. Nodding off with my nose on the air conditioning vent. etc. all a blur of pavement.
Then i had a sanity restoring great time visiting my pal Eli, and wife Lara. Good people. Not as depressed with the east coast as i'd assumed. i watched my first and last episode of survivor in a greasy burger dive somewhere in pittsburg, where i got the hands-down-worst philly cheese steak i've ever had. Also got to visit the coolest cd/dvd/video/comic/collectible shop i've ever been in, where i picked up a used copy of the Richard Kern Hardcore Collection. The trophy of the trip. Oh yeah, and we drove back west a bit to go to two pearl jam concerts, which was pretty fucking sweet. Aside from spending more time on the road.
Highlights of the ride back:
Clean clothes and a full night's sleep, a much better beginning. Finding out in chicago that our bus driver just decided not to show up, so we'd have a 6 hour layover waiting for the next bus. Finding out that this would add a whole 'nother day to the trip home. Lightening storms. Lots of friendly freaks trying to buy or sell me weed. Taking an overflow bus run by another franchise, and wondering if i'd ever actually get back on track. A bum inviting me to come back into the alley with him and meet his friends. Killing 10 hours in Salt lake city after 3 days without sleep. Walking 30 blocks with 30 tons of expensive luggage so i could see a damned movie during said layover (which was 'the cell'. sigh). Finding a bathroom stall splattered with blood. Finally becoming "that crazy guy who talks to you even though you don't want him to" on the drive home from portland.
But the highlight of the ride home had to be these poor fucks from the east coast heading to Olympia, Washington. They were damned friendly. too friendly. Turned out in chicago they got mugged while trying to buy some sweet stress relieving weed. Then in The-Hottest-Town-On-Earth they got too friendly with some drunks in a bar, and their ladyfriend was overly hit upon. then while I paraded around Salt Lake City with "mug me" luggage hang off all sides of me, they stayed in the bus station to play it safe, only to end up getting in a fist fight with some fuck who decided their lady friend really wanted some sex. I like to think i syphoned off all their good luck.
...but the best part of the whole thing was popping my new spendy video camera out, as subtley as possible, to record it all.