Clouds In The Head


Gresford Show videos
15 March, 2013, 6:49 am
Filed under: Daily maily


Off they go. Perhaps not as strong as last year’s but still some really keen ideas in there.

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Project 3 making movies
8 February, 2013, 3:25 pm
Filed under: Daily maily

So with the career careering god knows where, it’s time to return to basics and to my passion.

I want to make films when I grow up. Again. Which means writing scripts (daily), helping others (part of how one learns, dude), making shorts (again), calling on friends, and getting a move on with the things that are some way down the path.

Lovelily enough, I had a keen idea for a short last week, wrote it this week. Already have a schedule – shooting in April I believe – and have posted the script to friend Michael, writer producer of the feature Bathing Franky.

Why is this interesting? Because when you are re-making yourself, you have to come from action not just thought. This is action. This is a forward step. It has to fit in with the rest of my life, and it has to be inspired, and taken at the flood.

Why blog this?

Well, it wouldn’t fit in a tweet. (or would it? Hmm. I’ll try the tweet as well. See who salutes what.)

Anyhow, starting mid April, or thereabouts, I hope to be casting 9 “larger-than-life” non-speaking comic roles for a short film called “Ovation”. Crew and location will be required. Though if I’m not directing, I’ll probably be First AD as well as producer.

I wonder if I should go onto Pozibles and try to raise some dosh for it? Hmmmmmm. Pozibly.

Update on projects 1 & 2. The injured wrist is inhibiting my yoga. Getting caught up in intense writing makes me forget my posture. But the solipsism is proving successful for my blogging career. 

The key to the posture seems to be to continually tweak and explore. I’ve started “opening the eyes of my chest” and “adjusting my inner groins”, and both seem to help. Having the attention span of a mite, I need the constant influx of fresh detail to my postural adjustment to keep me engrossed in it. Oh, and I ask My Love for help from time to time too.  She’s a love. 



Project 2 my yoga practice
31 January, 2013, 8:49 am
Filed under: Daily maily

I’ve been putting it off forever but the time has come to start developing my own personal yoga practice. I’ve got a book (given to My Love by a student), lots of resources by such luminaries as Moyer, Iyengar, Farhi, Grzybowski, Yee, Walden, Corne. I’ve got mats, blankets, bolsters, belts, blocks and even as of Christmas (thanks Nini & Denis) a back bender I share with My Love.

And I’ve got injuries, difficulties, needs, attitudes …

What I don’t have, despite having a yoga teacher for a wife, is much of an idea about how to proceed. Donna Farhi talks about the necessity of developing one’s own practice and how surprisingly uncommon home practice is for students of regular classes. “While having a teacher’s guidance and outer direction is imperative at many stages of Yoga practice, we make a quantum leap when we begin to direct our own practice.” (I love that use of “quantum” – the tiniest difference in energy possible within an atom’s electron field is used to describe a massive change of state in the macro world.) Ms Farhi talks about the “inner guide” we have to trust, and lists the range of qualities that guide might have.

She makes it sound like an exciting, if at times difficult, adventure. “When we start to practice on our own [she uses the US spelling of “practice”], it is as if we light a fire under ourselves. This fire brings the deep essence of the teachings to the surface. Just as a rich stew, once eaten and digested, becomes a part of our body, when we practice on our own the teachings become a part of us.” She also advises to consider the inner teacher as separate to us, not only to ensure I/he turn up for class every day or so, but also to allow that inner guide not to simply or entirely be a projection of our own self vision. She suggests setting realistic goals, keeping a notebook, starting by following the style or practice of people you admire, incorporate other ideas to keep things fresh, not neglecting the other yoga limbs, making friends with your inner teacher …

“An empty room, a mat, our body, and focused awareness — these are the simple means we use to open to the wholeness that waits within.”

One more gift from the Farhi – all referencing her book Bringing Yoga To Life – is a wonderful chapter on “Intention”, which she likens to the paper upon which the words we are reading are written, structuring and enabling those words to exist. “I cannot stress enough the importance of setting an intention at the beginning of practice, for this sets the stage for all that will follow.”

where it happens

where it happens

I’ll follow up on “intention” later. What might some intentions be? How can one hold onto them? How different might a class with or without an intention feel?

For the moment, given my sprained wrist, I’m gong to start with Donald Moyer’s “Three Diaphragms” practice – leaving out the poses that might hurt my wrist and adding to the poses that won’t. It’ll be about a half hour class and I’ll throw in my first go on the back bender along the way. My intention will be to listen carefully to my body and “be” in the pose with certainty rather than trying to go too far.

Wish me luck.

Update on Project 1 my posture. The hard part is realising and then re-connecting to the better posture – “OMFG I’m all slouchy, wait on, er, let’s see, pelvis, hips, front body, sacrum, er, and I was making tea wasn’t I?” Hopefully the shift will become automatic before too long.



Project 1 my posture
26 January, 2013, 6:27 pm
Filed under: Daily maily
Project begins: The "before" picture. Please don't kick sand in my face.

Project begins: the “before” picture. Please don’t kick sand in my face.

This year I have a bunch of projects I want to achieve. Some of them are simply to do with our home – eg we have to re-fence the house paddock before we let the neighbour re-agist cattle in June. Some are to do with writing and filmmaking – eg working with Scott Patterson on a couple of features, editing Russell Workman’s book. Some to do with my loved ones – I’m in a band for some reason, possibly, maybe. And some with me personally – starting with improving my posture.

And I’m doing them all yogically! (Which the word-completer thing changed to logically.) About which more soon.

Project 1 is my posture. Since my teens I’ve had a slouch, a hump, a Quasimodo-like Igoresque creature on my back. My neck protrudes forward, my adam’s apple is like a rock in my throat. My lower back over-sways, my C7 thrusts backwards. My shoulders are rounded, my chest a little sunken, my arms start from sockets that are further forward than they ought to be. It’s a wonder I’ve ever managed to get so many chicks.

I’ve worked on it sporadically for years. From Colin at the Powerhouse telling me to tighten up my buttocks, to others (possibly mothers) telling me to push my chest out. My yoga teacher wife has tried various fixes too. Sacrum back, drop your shoulderblades, lower ribs back, lift your chest.

I haven’t been religious about it though and a few days ago I discovered why. My Love has often suggested practising Tadasana (the mountain pose – feet together, stand straight, that’s more or less it (!) for this core yoga pose) against a wall. I’ve tried it, tried taking what I learn from it into my yoga and into my day. But it’s never felt “right”. Never made me say “ah”. Until last week, when a simple movement of the pelvis/hip girdle made me say “ah”.

I tilted my front pelvis down, without lifting my sacrum or back pelvis, without thrusting my cock forward, and then lifted my torso out of that place. My front body and sides I lifted from the front pelvis. My back body I lifted from my  back pelvis. My whole body changed perceptibly according to My Love.

I’ve been doing it ever since. Not all the time. You don’t change the rotten habits of a lifetime overnight. (The dream cure would have been a simple adjustment and then my whole spine going click click click into a brand new macho alignment that can’t revert to its old horror-movie shape.) But when I remember, and make the adjustment, stretching my sides up, I find myself taking a breath that is shorter and more constricted, and then another breath that is full and fantastic and seems to reach sections of my lungs that had been boarded up for years. Or something. Finding words for this new sensation is not easy.

And I walk different. More of a swagger, with a bit of a clomp. More male. Bit like Jackie Chan. Slower. And my arms are different. They hang from the sockets in the middle of my body (side elevation) rather than forward and always gripped. They’re just there. And my head sits differently.

But it’s early days. Sometimes I think I’m doing it and My Love says “Posture!” and I have to make the adjustment again and find it again. I’m not quite sure what to do when I’m seated, especially on a sofa. Running is different. Breathing differently is confronting. Looking down at a kitchen bench while standing is a brand-new activity – how do people do it, what’s the mechanism, do I tilt from my jaw hinge or push out my neck?

But I feel like a breakthrough has been made, which is why it’s Project 1. I’ll keep the planet (I think there’s about 4 of you) informed here about progress.

References: Georges Perec, Species Of Spaces. Donna Farhi, Bringing Yoga To Life. 



Blood-soaked office satire to be forensically examined at Dungog Film Festival
25 June, 2012, 8:24 pm
Filed under: Daily maily

This year’s Dungog Film Festival has an outside-the-box sidebar (Out Of The Shed) programmed by locals.

And they’ve just scored a coup with an intensive session called:

Another Bloody Day At The Office: The Making of Redd Inc.

(Sunday 1 July at 2pm at the Cockatoo Theatre, off Dowling St, Dungog).

Redd Inc, directed by Dan Krige and starring Nicholas Hope is showing at the festival as part of a late night double. Next day, the bleary-eyed team will take a scalpel to the process of putting the film together.

This is a film that is the first drama feature in the world to include outsourced material (via their famous Redd Inc website). Auditions, sumbissions, elections and depositions poured into the film and became part of its very texture. It also drew the attentions of world-renowned special FX expert Tom Savini (Dawn Of The Dead, Friday The Thirteenth, Dusk To Dawn).

The tale of six workers chained to their desks by their sadistic boss, Redd Inc will be released in Japan in November and will get an “other media” release in Australia and New Zealand in October.

On mike will be producer/writer Jonathan Green, producer Sandy Stevens, writer Anthony O’Connor, director Dan Krige (West) and DOP Richard Bradshaw. From the interweb-driven pre-production process (“how important is it to be an early adopter in the digital age?”) to the crimson-laden shoot (“what’s the best filter for blood?” “what did Mr Savini bring to the show?”), to distribution (“why don’t Aussies want to see horror in cinemas while the Japanese do?”) and back again (“how did you get Nicholas Hope?”) – right down to some core questions (“Why violence? Why genre? Is it purer or more prurient?”). Stories, issues, lessons for novices, in a session run by cinema buff and scriptwriter John O’Brien.

This session is part of the Out Of The Shed sidebar program to the Dungog Film Festival. Out Of The Shed is “films, sounds, talks, dreams dragged out into the light from rusty hidden corners and forgotten corrugations.” Programmed by locals John O’Brien (Fireflies) and Ivan Skaines. Experience a fresh local edge to the Dungog Film Festival.

Enquiries to John O’Brien on 0427 290 209 or idowords@bravo.net.au.



Out Of The Shed – program out
21 June, 2012, 8:41 pm
Filed under: Daily maily

Out Of The Shed poster/program Here’s the official Out Of The Shed program (actually this is the poster for local community noticeboards that Donna’s designed but it’s the best we’ve got so far). Stick it on your fridge. Put it on your noticeboard. Pass it on to journalists.



Finding time to write
28 February, 2012, 4:24 pm
Filed under: Daily maily

The problem with not getting much work as a writer – of falling in a pit for a while – is that when you do get work you’re not ready. You haven’t been writing. You’ve forgotten. Maybe this isn’t every writer, but it happened to me a couple of years ago. So what am I doing about it?

So far, making resolutions. Must do better. And tweeting replies to people’s tweets, but it’s hardly writing, and verges on the triting. Oh, and churning out Dungog Community College material, but that’s mostly straightforward.

To write you must write and write and write. Voices, dreams, headaches, options. anything that works. Stuff that doesn’t. Attempt to make sense of the world. File your thoughts. Live and – well, record the living. Above all make time for it. Start obsessing. Process and churn and then type/scrawl/draw/etch.

Hopefully that’s what I’m going to be doing. To write. To make myself. Until it becomes easy again. Well, if not easy, then not such a struggle.