Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Apr 16 2003

After work today I was about to catch a cab over t…

After work today I was about to catch a cab over to Dihua St. to scout out some shooting locations when I ran into Xiao Bing near the CKS Hall. I’ve known Xiao Bing forever, and coincidentally enough, CKS Hall was one of the first places he took me when I first arrived in Taiwan. He was also one of the first friends I made here. He was on his way to take a test though, so we didn’t have too much time to chat.

Dihua St. is famous for it’s old Japanese-era architecture and its Chinese medicine shops and candy shops. It smells great, and efforts have been made recently to clean it up a bit. Being near the river, it’s one of the oldest parts of the city. I found a few places that might be suitable for shooting. I’ll have to go back there and to CKS at night with my camera to take some test shots.

I walked south looking for some more old neighborhoods, but I guess a lot of the streets in the West Gate District have been rebuilt since the Japanese era. Wanhua probably has some old neighborhoods, come to think of it. While I was there I checked out microphone/digital recorders I can use to gather sound for the film without having to go through the camera. On the way I visited a couple of bookstores. One had already sold all of it’s share of the damn book, and Eslite only had two copies left. I offered to sign them, but they cited their policy of not letting authors sign books because “some customers might open their book and say ‘Ew, someone’s written in my brand-new book!'”. Whatever.

Getting all the stuff together for the film is going to be a real headache as well as a pain in the wallet. I’m still looking forward to starting shooting, however. It feels good to actually be doing something instead of just whining about it all the time. I’m going to need at least two vehicles, a motorcycle (Sandman has volunteered his; thanks, Sandy!), a wheelchair or some other kind of pseudo-dolly system, mics, lights, mirrors, little terra-cotta soldiers, and some mini-discs, among other things. It’s a goddamn scavenger hunt. I love it. Alphadogah and Tall Paul’s film The Big Cheese, both starring Dean (much to his dismay), are going to be shown at the Urban Nomad film festival on Saturday, and Dean, Maurice, Dolly and I are planning to go after we meet for dinner so we can discuss parts. Azuma and friends are going to be dressed up in their favorite Star Wars outfits for a Star Wars novel-related event earlier that day as well, so Saturday’s going to be pretty busy.

The square in front of the Taipei Art Museum was full of girls trying to dance like the LA Boyz when I arrived there this evening for sword practice. Our group had been relegated to a dark corner near the back. When the girls finished practicing their awkward jerking movements, they left behind them a shitload of trash strewn all over the square. My teacher just shook his head and sighed. “Parents don’t teach their kids anything these days,” he said. “Once when we were practicing at the CKS Hall a guy rode up there on his scooter, going round and round. I finally had enough and just waited for him to come round again. When he did I knocked him off his bike.”

Needless to say, my teacher is cool. He told us about trying to use your brain as little as possible when doing Tai-chi: “Your body is made of of millions of little brains that know far more than your one big brain. Every cell of your skin is a little brain, and you have to learn how to listen to them and trust them.”

And now, for no reason whatsoever, my first digital watch. It may have been my first watch, period; I don’t remember. It’s certainly the most memorable, though. I got it in 3rd grade and spent most of the time I should have been using to practice multiplication tables or watch films entitled “The Dangers of Being Run Over by a Schoolbus” just sitting and pressing the button to make the time (and date!) appear.

posted by Poagao at 3:48 pm  

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