May 27, 2003

Rules for La Salle Student Films

Over the course of the past several years, there has been a seeming set of constants governing La Salle student films - at least those that are shown in the Charlie Awards and on La Salle 56. I offer this list then, as a series of rules based on my observations.

(DISCLAIMER - I actively support student films. I think when they're great, they're incredible, and even when they're bad, they offer some artistic insight into life. Don't take these the wrong way, these are all meant in fun. The Charlies keep getting better and better, and I want the trend to continue. So, please, instead of being offended, take some pleasure in it and laugh instead. Remember: it takes fewer muscles in the face to smile than to frown!)

  1. Make sure that you add enough generations between your editing copy and the presentation copy as possible. This makes sure that the colors are washed out, the sound becomes garbled, and the film itself becomes static-y and painful to watch...technically.

  2. Need a soundtrack? Pick up a Radiohead CD.

  3. Forget about what Sid taught you in Video Production about proper mic-ing...just use the on-camera microphone.

  4. While you're forgetting about proper mic-ing, forget about the proper ways of using lighting as well. Shoot into the sun, shoot at night with minimal light or in dimly lit interiors - it'll all look great, especially coupled with rule #1.

  5. It is a must that your film must contain running themes of drug use. When at all possible, have characters snort, shoot up, or otherwise use drugs.

  6. A corollary to the previous: if the drug of choice is cocaine, then it must be "cut up" with the actor's La Salle student ID

  7. Emulate Kevin Smith. There are no other directors to emulate. This means: include random conversations about comic books/Star Wars/Sex/other innanity that go nowhere, include lots of profanity, and just otherwise attempt to remake Clerks/Mallrats/Chasing Amy/Etc. Remember: losers innovate, winners imitate.

  8. Don't use exotic shooting locations in Philadelphia when you can just use La Salle's campus! Every character in the film must live in North Halls, St. Miguel, The Apartments, or Neumann. Just be sure not to refer to the location by its proper name...make it seem mysterious. Nobody but the La Salle student body, staff, administration and faculty will know that it took place in your bedroom.

  9. Be sure to include a shot along the road by the Peale Estate - man, that's a gorgeous shot, and nobody ever goes there!

  10. You don't need a tripod. Who needs a tripod? Who needs steady shots anyhow?

  11. Your credits should be done in PowerPoint and should not resemble actual, professional credits in any way whatsoever - i.e.:wacky fonts, weird colors, etc. This rule applies to shows on La Salle 56 as well.

  12. Corollary to the previous: In your credits, your name should appear no less than 5 times: DIRECTED BY, PRODUCED BY, STARRING, AUDIO, COSTUMES, LIGHTING - these are all intelligent credits to give yourself, even if these are categories that you've ignored (especially if you've been following these rules thus far!)...also consider MUSIC BY, CASTING BY, and GAFFER. Nobody knows or cares what these people do on a real set anyway, so include them!

  13. Remember, La Salle is a Catholic school, so be sure and defame and offend God in any way possible. Blasphemy, heresy, whatever it takes...A priest doing drugs? Sure! A nun shooting a gun? Why not!

  14. Finally, your movie's title must reveal some deep, inner meaning to your work and why you did it. However it must also serve as a suitable name for a Porn movie.

So there you have it. I'll probably continue adding to this list, but if you have any, feel free and Comment on them

Posted by Matthew at 12:42 AM | Comments (4)

May 26, 2003


So, whats happened since the 21st?

Not much. Worked a good deal - mainly in the theater this past week. Chidren's Theatre Association of Baltimore contracted out the theater on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. It was easy work; I wound up not having to change the light plot that was hanging (since "And Then There Were None") much at all. Mainly carried some stuff in in the morning, and out at the end of the night. The actors were professional, most around college age, and good-spirited about the entire thing. Their set was a couple of painted blocks, a little "clubhouse" that was made of 2 flats with a door and a window cut into them, and some pipe and drape backdrops.

They did three performances of "Rumplestiltskin" on Wednesday and Thursday for a bunch of young schoolchildren - must have been like 1st through 3rd grade, if that high. For me it was incredible to watch the kids reaction - the absolute trance that the play had on them. They were enthralled by what was happening on stage, almost seeming hypnotized to the show. It was a simplistic set - hell, even the back wall and the flys were visible to the audience (which bugged me to no end) but the kids loved it. I love when theater does that on some level...I love being a part of that incredible vision of reality up there on stage that totally mesmerizes and entertains.

I got to walk through the theater at the end of each performance and see the looks on the faces of the kids...they were so taken in with it, just wanting to touch the actors or the set or the stage. Absolutely incredible. I remembered being that same way in grade school, watching the dress rehearsals at Sacred Heart High and being so incredibly taken in by it all and wanting to do it myself.

Anyhow, CTA out of Baltimore is an incredible group, and they do really amazing stuff with limited time and resources (see 2 entries ago about doing a show in 20 minutes of prep/load in time.)

Other than that, the townhouses are extremely quiet this weekend. Veitz came over with a friend on Friday night to hang out, and we wound up sitting around until 3AM doing random stuff. We had a great game of Catch Phrase going, and then Chinese food...just good to see my friend again. I showed them the tape of my appearance on "It's Academic" from CHC, and we all played along. I had forgotten how much I needed a haircut on that tape.

Saturday, Alice, Rachel Ann, and I went out to dinner at Bennigans after getting incredibly lost in NE Philadelphia off of the Boulevard (I'm still convinced that it was built to keep outsiders out of the Northeast.) It was a lovely dinner, a great time, and felt good just to get the heck out of La Salle.

Today was slow. I dropped John off at his house earlier on, came back with a sandwich from Wawa and cleaned some parts of the downstairs and my floor. Spent some of the day continuing hanging up photos and posters because the room felt bare.

I'm missing people right now...the downside to having the house all to yourself. The campus is dead, as it rightfully should be, but it just doesn't feel right. I'm really hoping that the rain clears up tomorrow so that the Barbecue that a couple of us have planned could actually happen...

So have a good Memorial Day, all, and pray that the rain stops and the sun comes out.

Posted by Matthew at 01:29 AM | Comments (0)

May 21, 2003


Posted by Matthew at 11:36 PM | Comments (0)

May 20, 2003

Monday's Theater Group

Sunday, May 18th 2003

11:30PM - fall asleep for tomorrow is an early morning. Set alarm for 7:30AM.

Monday, May 19th 2003

7:45AM - Wake up, looking at clock, realizing you forgot to turn the alarm on. Jump in the shower.
7:55AM - Get phone call from Angie, saying that she is stuck in traffic. Run out the door of E7 expecting heavy load in at the theater.
8:02AM - Arrive at theater. No one is there yet but your boss. Open the curtains, turn on the lights, open the loading dock doors.
8:20AM - Angie arrives. Suggests that perhaps the stage should be cleaned off. You agree.
8:30AM - Begin to wonder where the acting troupe is.
8:40AM - You've replaced all of the lamps that were out on the first electric. Angie has finished sweeping the steps to the green room, revealing their natural color (brown.)
8:45AM - Tidy up the lights on stage right, in the hope that someone won't hurt themselves walking around the area.
8:50AM - Still no sign of actors.
9:00AM - You keep walking through the theater to figure out what to do.
9:10AM - Angie leaves to get breakfast. You hit play on the CD player just to get some music - whatever was left in the tray whenever it was last used. It turns out to be a nice instrumental piano CD.
9:13AM - A version of "Ring Christmas Bells" comes on the CD. You think "How strange. It is May, and I am listening to "Ring Christmas Bells."
9:18AM - "Ring Christmas Bells" is now stuck in your head.
9:25AM - The group shows up and load in begins. They're professional so it begins smoothly.
9:27AM - You ask what time the show starts, and are told "9:45AM." You casually mention that you never got their light plot, and that that perhaps would be helpful. They explain what they need.
9:30AM - Angie begins to cut gels. You try and hook up their microphones into the house system. Thank goodness Dave just happens to walk in now to help out.
9:35AM - Mics successfully patched. You go to the catwalks to begin programming the specials that the group requires.
9:40AM - the lights are gelled.
9:45AM - You begin programming the board with some simple cues as the house is opened and the schoolchildren shuffle in.
10:00AM - The show begins. You're treated to a historical piece about the Shriver family of Union Mills, MD and their struggles during the Civil War.
11:00AM - The show ends. You breathe a sigh of relief and go downstairs for load out.
11:05AM - The head of the production company introduces himself on stage and says that for the next show they'd like a little more light in some of the scenes.
11:07AM - You're told that there will be a second show beginning at 11:15AM, just as soon as the troupe has gotten a bite to eat.
11:15AM - You're at the lightboard in the catwalk waiting for the show to begin.
11:20AM - Still waiting. "Ring Christmas Bells" repeats in your head for the hundredth time.
11:22AM - You pull out your Palm Pilot and read Sunday's news, since that was when you last used it.
11:28AM - Still no show. The audience has been in the house for 10 minutes now, and are getting restless. Finish reading the NY Time's sunday electronic edition.
11:35AM- The second show begins. You're treated to a historical piece about the Shriver family of Union Mills, MD and their struggles during the Civil War. AGAIN.
11:45AM - You realize their script has a break of thirty pages between things you have to do. THIRTY PAGES.
12:45PM - The show is over after a long Q&A session.
1:00PM - Load out commences.
1:35PM - The group leaves.
1:45PM - Your boss says she'll see you at 3PM and lets you have an incredibly long lunch.
1:55PM - You turn the lights off, and leave the theater.

It was a fun day, long day.

Ring Christmas bells, toll loud and long,
your message sweet, peal and prolong,
come all ye people join in the singing,
repeat the story told by the ringing,
)ring, ring, ring Christmas bells,
ring, ring, ring Christmas bells

Posted by Matthew at 08:24 AM | Comments (2)

May 18, 2003

The Weekend

Lets see...

I left La Salle on Friday at 11:00 to catch a 12:00 train to get home to Hunt Valley. Despite the fact that the security escort never showed, I made it to the station in plenty of time. Train ride was great, and my sister met me right there on time. I love Amtrak; something romantic I guess about train travel. They have huge seats, and comfortable trains, and the view outside is fantastic. Theres one portion on the ride south where the train is on a really narrow bridge over water, so it is seemingly skimming the top of the water with no tracks visible.

Saturday was productive - went and picked up some books (including one on the GRE) and some clothes. The license plates for my old, now totalled, car were returned to the MVA. I picked up some grass seed and flower seeds for the house next year - I'm going to plant them this week, so that they have enough time to come in for August. I have a car in Philadelphia again, which is great.

Only disappointment for the weekend was passing out on the couch last night instead of hooking up with friends in Baltimore...But I guess I needed the rest.

For now, I have the house to myself for a few hours. Tomorrow starts some easy (I hope and hope) work in the theater for a group who rents the theater every year despite the fact that they're based out of Baltimore...last year they were a group of theatre grad students who were nuts and wound up making the show hilarious - their stage manager, myself, and Angie wound up in the catwalks with a running commentary. It apparently was their last performance for the season, and they pulled out all the stops and inserted lines, ad libbing, and all kinds of random stuff.

I hope its the same tomorrow!

So here's to theater!

Posted by Matthew at 09:34 PM | Comments (1)

May 11, 2003

Commencement 2003 Pictures

click to enlarge


Graduation was on the field. My pictures are available online:

Let me know what you think, especially with the stitched.jpg one - its ties together three of the pictures together.

Posted by Matthew at 02:02 PM | Comments (1)

May 10, 2003

Miguel, revisited.

I am constantly surprised at the disparity between life in the dorms and life in Miguel. Albeit that this is a atypical situation, however, that was the most excellent shower I've ever had at La Salle - constant hot water, cleanest shower stall ever...such a change from the place I was 24 hours ago.

Training was long and boring from 10-4, with a great lunch with major people from the DSA in Chestnut Hill - Alan, Dr. C, Pete, Carolyn, Kevin, Jean...I finally started moving my stuff at around 5pm. We finished with the last futon at around 11pm. John and Greg were my saviors today, helping get all of my crap here. Right now I'm unpacked, except for desk stuff, and for posters and things, and am ecstatic. We're in E7 (the rest of the hosts are at the end of D block, but D7 is offline for repairs...) and I have the entire second floor to myself. John Fallows, and Greg Fala are both on the third floor.

The only really stupid thing is that my assignment for the school year is in E6 - one house to the left of me, but they couldn't let me have that for the summer.

Oh well, La Salle is a place where logic need not apply.

I'm moving fridges in Katharines tomorrow from like 3-4, and then thats it until 6pm Sunday. My hope is to "crash" commencement again, and get pictures of people...we'll see. Pray for sun on Sunday, as they're calling for rain and rain would make the ceremony suck.


Posted by Matthew at 01:41 AM | Comments (0)

May 09, 2003

tomorrow is move out

Tomorrow is move out day, and it can't come fast enough. We have live-in training from 10-4 (with a 3 hour lunch included!) and can move starting at 9am.

I'm not fully packed. I'm at about 80% - 10% is dedicated to the computer still, which is a pain in the ass to carry and undo. 5% is the TV, 'cause that's connected to the computer still. The other 5% is just random crap sitting in my room right now.

We moved refrigerators today at work. It turned out to be better than I expected - the work went quickly, and only took like an hour and a half to move 30 of them. Also had a meeting for some of the theater work we're doing this summer - doesn't look like it'll be too bad, and it pays a little over twice what the normal job pays.

I'm still hurting, and all of this moving is probably aggrivating it. I'm hoping that we all help each other tomorrow with the moving, and that it goes smoothly (IE: doors and gates are opened that should be.) Apparently, my parents used the money from the totalling of my car to get another one, and I'll be able to take my father's current car back with me when I go home next. I'm still trying to figure out when that will be, but should be soon.

My mood has improved a lot, I think, in the last 24 hours...La Salle has finally started delivering on what its promised me for the summer. I know that sounds like entitlement, but hell... I expected a lot of stuff: They told us a week ago we could move. Instead I've been living on my floor with a bunch of displaced athletes who drink like fish. The bathroom hasn't been cleaned since BEFORE move out day last Friday, the trash cans aren't being emptied, and trash has piled up everywhere. I wanted a raise for this summer, and was expecting around $1, as I was told last summer, however, that has become an $.18 raise from last summer...

But most of that is now forgotten. I'm gonna go outside now and enjoy the cool and the calm of the CAJH quad for probably the last time for a long time (ever?).

Posted by Matthew at 12:25 AM | Comments (1)

May 06, 2003

Dr. Thunder

It hurts to laugh, it really the last couple of days have been really painful.

Sunday was Karen's graduation party. I had a great time, and it seemed like everyone else did too...tad bit chilly by the end, but somehow we kept warm with the candles that surrounded the deck. I mainly remember random conversations through the night as we all just hung out on the deck and the yard as Karen's mother yelled at us to eat more. A bunch of the seniors showed up from Neumann and Senior Week, so there was a small Masque "reunion" of sorts, although its only been a week.

Monday night was Julie's birthday at her brother's apartment. Fala drove, Veitz came with us. Good times all around, although the game of Catch Phrase was not the best way to end the night with my bruised and hurting chest...I couldn't keep from cracking up. Julie, we found out, is a decent cook. A slightly drunk Bobby Newmyer came by with Alice and Janine towards the end of the night, and it was just awesome to see him again.

Work has been uneventful and boring. Its like doing Day One without any of the fun attached. I hate filing and alphabatizing, but I love random odd jobs. Today we tested phones in Miguel, and started packets for the people coming in this coming weekend. I hope that the work picks up a little soon when we move to better digs in Miguel, and as people start coming in. I'm going to go crazy if it stays like this all summer. I need to move out of this room soon, too...the athletes who are living on the floor now are annoying the heck out of me. I just wanted to be alone down here for a while, but no...

It got so bad that I wound up complaining to my father on the phone today, who got annoyed, saying "This is what you wanted, to stay in Philadelphia." The situation has changed so much since I applied, and even in this last week. I hate not having my car - I took it for granted when it was here, but now I feel trapped here all the time. It sounds so stupid, spoiled and trite, but I can't help it.

Tomorrow will be spent playing phone tag with Geico to try and get the car inspected, and then with La Salle Security, who want the car moved by graduation on Sunday...then I have to pack on the hopeful chance that we can finally move into the summer accomadations. La Salle needs to start delivering on the stuff that was promised and soon.

So for tonight I'm bored and in a bad mood. The best thing about today is that the cable hasn't been turned off yet, and Family Guy is on now...

Just gotta get through the week.

Posted by Matthew at 11:39 PM | Comments (0)

May 03, 2003

End of Year 2003

click to enlarge - more pictures @

Thank you CAJH staff for the memories...we kicked ass this year, even with our ups and downs. You all have a special place in my heart, and a space in the aircondtioning next year in Miguel. Thank you for supporting me when I needed it. Thank you for helping me grow personally, and in this job as I did. You made what could have been a really bad job, incredibly fun.

Thank you's for the year, and notes to individuals who were there for me all year:

Alice - Thank you for being the best mentee ever! Its been a pleasure to watch you grow this year and try to get La Salle to bend in the ways that it should. You're going to do great next year, because you are such a wonderful person and someone who will see the change through to completion. Anytime I can help, please call.

Brian - What can I say? We survived two years of Community Development together. Thanks for the laughs, but also thanks for just being the most genuine person that I got to know this helped me with so much stuff that you don't even realize. I hope you get your teaching job next year, and I think it'll happen. This is "see you later" and not "goodbye."

Christine - you're the best little sister I never wanted to've grown so much this year, and next year is going to be just as good.

Julie - Thanks for the dinners we've shared over the course of the semesters. I have a feeling we'll be doing a lot more of them next year.

That's all I can remember for tonight...I'll try and do more of these tomorrow. There are so many people...

I'm doing a lot better now, although my leg keeps turning different and random new bruise colors. I was voted "Most Likely to Become an R. D." tonight at the Banquet - a prophecy I want to fulfill.

So, the dorms are empty again, and the soul of La Salle has been taken away again...I miss my residents and friends so much. Thanks for the memories.

Posted by Matthew at 11:36 PM | Comments (0)

May 01, 2003

Never felt so much...

I guess it's over now
Cause I've never seen so much
Never seen so much, never seen so much
Never seen so much, never seen so much
I guess it's over now

Barenaked Ladies, "Tonight is the night I Fell Asleep at the Wheel"

First off, thank you to everyone who I've talked to over the past day, or who prayed for me, or thought of me or whatever...I think about the sense of well-wishing I've gotten from everyone and I'm floored. I don't know how to thank you enough for your support and prayers...its a wonderful feeling, and has helped me immensly come out of this thing as good as I am now.

I was in a car accident on Tuesday night when coming back from the movies with Angie, Elise and Jessica in the car with me. I was driving. Everyone is okay: it's all minor cuts and bruises. My leg is swollen up to twice its normal size, and I have a giant purple blotch of a bruise on my chest.

The important thing is that we're okay...nobody is hurt. I thank God for that. I don't care about the car right now...that'll all get taken care of in time. I'm just overly thankful that we're all okay.

I'm doing a lot better emotionally now...realizing that everything is okay now is helpful. Realizing that life is going to continue is helpful. Realizing that I've had support from so many people is more than helpful...I don't know how to put into words how much it has meant to me. Thank you.


The formals...

Something completely different to talk about, I guess...I had a great time at both. The Collegian formal was nice - there was this cool garden on the outside of the motor lodge that we just randomly found. Friday night is a blur. I danced a lot, talked to a lot of people, and just had a heck of a time.

Saturday night is also a blur. I had a great time...parting with the seniors was hard, standing in the circle at the end of the night with arms locked to "Tomorrow..." by Boys To Men. The night had some rough spots, but I think it all worked out in the end. I felt dumb for some small things and miscommunications, but they got worked out, and in the end the night was fantastic. We all got Edible Underwear to bring home...except for those who chose to partake of the delicasy there - Kevin, I'm looking squarely in your direction.

I have one exam left, today at 2:40. I also have a meeting about summer employment here to get the kinks worked out.

Thanks again...

Posted by Matthew at 01:28 AM | Comments (0)