fri 16 feb 2007 20:04:31 raamgracht
synopsis what's missing
there are big gaps in my journal keeping for 2005 and 2006. i think it's because i've done so much communicating by email, i felt like i had written down everything that was happening. so i'm gonna write in some here of what i remember.
in 2004 once i was living in the center of town, i started spending even more time at mulligan's irish bar, on the amstel. and generally enjoying amsterdam life a bit more. it was easier to get places and do things. from a situation in summer 2003 where i felt i knew almost no one, i went gradually to having more friends here than i've ever had anywhere else. it's just because this one introduces you to that one, and you go somewhere with them and meet somebody else, etc etc.
in spring of 2004 i got a new mac G5 and a separate internet server installed here in my front room, with copious assistance from my friend dvr. up until then, i'd been doing all my work on a G4 laptop i'd brought from the states.
in june 2004 i made another trip to paris, with pani. it was important for me to visit the musée d'orsay to see manet's painting "olympia", i was researching for a story i wrote called "a kitten at the feet of olympia".
i started corresponding frequently with D2, a writer and one-time filmmaker i'd known since i worked at vizwiz in boston in 1989. he and his wife lived in california for years.
i went to massachusetts again for a meeting with hologic, and we started talking about movies for their upcoming appearance at the november radiologists' conference in chicago. by this time i had made their movie "one of eight" for breast cancer awareness, and a couple other little movies. they found me by accident over the internet -- even though i'm from boston i'd never met them until i moved to amsterdam and someone from there found my web site.
in october 2004, we made a corporate image movie for hologic called "the difference we make". it was my first project with extensive location shooting here in holland, filmed in HD 1080p. barrie R was the producer. aj came over from boston to work on the art direction with me, and it was nice to spend some time with her, and we spent too much time at mulligan's.
in spring 2005 i made a music video called "take it from me" for the expatriate bulgarian metal band called "artery". it was for a song from an album they'd made years earlier. during this period artery was playing out frequently and i became friends with some of their fans. i think the first guy to turn me on to them was nantko. we shot some of the movie at singel film studio and some of it right here in my apartment with a black backdrop so i could easily juxtapose images in the compositing. this is how i met kitty. she was a friend of friend of band, appeared in the performance scenes, then later by complete coincidence it turned out she was also a friend of my friend sok. so i met her again, and because she was kinky and into performing, i asked her to be in the film some more. i got this project going cuz i really wanted to do some artsy surreal thing. much of the compositing was purely additive double-exposure looking, as if i had an optical printer and was using it sloppily.
in august / september 2005 we made a film for hologic called "time to act" in which the world-champion marathon swimmer, edith van dijk, was the star. pani, barrie and cathelijne were involved. we did some filming on various bodies of water, including the north sea, the ijsselmeer, and some lake clear enough for underwater shooting. and hg did some timelapse photography for me.
also i saw the boys from avid at their appearance for IBC conference 2005, and they asked me to make another film for their new workgroups technology. that involved crowds of people, including a choir, which we filmed against a white backdrop at amsterdam studios.
also in fall 2005 i went to massachusetts to shoot some product films for hologic, and i got to see my brother's family, saw some of my allston friends, and spent some good time with aj, who was acting as producer / production designer.
until 2005 pani was living at my place much of the time, with frequent comings and goings. when i'd first met her in 2003 i was infatuated with her, and i don't think i got over that until sometime in 2004. (this corresponds with my final realization that i was irreparably in love with aj, and that nothing was going to get me "over" her.) pani and i sometimes infuriated each other, and tripped over each other a lot once we were living in a smaller place. but she turned out to be one of my best friends, with a valuable critical contribution to make to my creative work. by the end of 2004 i began to realize and appreciate that more seriously. once it became clear that she was actually settling in amsterdam, she started looking for her own place, and ended up living with a group of christians over in bos en lommer.
around christmastime 2005, i renegotiated with michael who owns my apartment, to stay longer and pay a higher rent (he'd actually been losing money on the deal). my original contract was for a year with an option to renew once, so after the first two years it was unclear whether i might need to move somewhere else. i was happy to stay here.
in early 2006, starting in january, i made two more music videos for artery, "electricity" and "me and you". i got my friends to help. it still cost me a bunch of money. their CD "art of bleeding" released at a great party on 02 april 06 at the wilhelmina pakhuis cafe.
in march of 2006, i made my first trip to ireland in 20 years (had been there once in 1986). we were in the healy pass, an extraordinary rugged landscape, filming something for avid. this is how pani first met bazek. we went out in cork city on the night she turned 30. bazek was nice to her.
it was strange for me to be in cork, the land of my ancestors. many people there are called collins. i don't know how to explain it, i could smell the fact that i did not belong there precisely because i did so much belong there. maybe the urge to emigrate was already in the genes, or in the potatoes, or something.
by may 2006 i was hanging around with ianko a lot, the guy from artery. i decided i was going to go to pomorie, his home town, on the black sea coast of bulgaria. i went there for the first two weeks of august 2006, and hg came too, and so did mayke and cathelijne and some other artery friends from amsterdam. we mostly all came by different routes.
i spent my first night there as guests of the bulgarian border police, who detained me for 18 hours because they suspected my passport was false. i had to stay in a little room with lots of cockroaches. so that was an inauspicious beginning. but they released me at about 10 in the morning after some conversation with the US embassy in sofia, who confirmed that i was me and that my old passport was real. (i got my new passport as soon as i returned to amsterdam).
when i went there i brought my little handicam, and shot enough stuff to make a little personal documentary called "our little star". it had lots of impromptu cool balkan music in it, and some staring at my friend's dissolution by drug abuse.
it gets very hot there in pomorie. it was also pretty hot here in amsterdam that summer, the whole world is getting warmer. but when i got back in mid august it was a delightfully chilly soggy evening, so i was really happy to be back. in general amsterdam is pretty temperate.
in september 2006 i went to massachusetts again and shot some more product films for hologic, so i got to see and work with aj again.
pete k came to visit me i think in mid september, just for a day. he'd been visiting england. somehow his visit here precipitated some emotional turmoil in his life.
in october 06, pani and i went to paris and then southern france for a few days to film scenes for hologic's annual image film, that was called "act of life" and i was pleased with the outcome. this time i was shooting HD but with one of those little HDV cameras, so it was handheld and more personal, kinda like the style of "one of eight". i published it in 720 progressive, which meant i had to downconvert and de-interlace everything because the HDV camera i was using only shoots 1080i.
since then i haven't had any more big jobs, and in fact i'm quite poor because of the taxes. but i've been spending a lot of time improving my web-design skills, learning more PHP and re-teaching myself how to design things in flash. made a web site for de nachtwacht, the steak restaurant i frequent in thorbeckeplein. and now almost finished with site for instrumentarium, which is christophe's harp shop in paris. supposedly i'll also make a site for bazek.
as of now i've been living at raamgracht 17 for three years. i have just applied for my fifth verblijfsvergunning. my rent is paid through july. i'm now doing a small movie for a dutch client, via my friend in hilversum. so hopefully i will get some more money soon enough. meanwhile i've been economizing a bit.