This is the year of the wedding for me. I have 2 weddings in the next 2 weeks: one in Seattle and one in Tucson. It is going to be fun, but busy. I have made arrangements for PugPuggy to stay with the-one-and-only Erin. PugPuggy is stoked, she told me.
Jen & Darrell - I am getting pumped for the trip to Tucson. I can not wait. If I remember this time before my wedding, I was going nuts. I have no advice, just get through it and have fun. I will see you in about 9 days!
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
Austin City Limits Festival started on Friday. ACL is a 3 day music festival in Austin each September. For those who were at my wedding, ACL Fest was the reason hotels were so hard to find. :)
Megan & I had 3 day passes to ACL Fest this year. Megan's brother Freddie and his friend Heather came in from the concerts. We saw Robert Earl Keen, Dan Foggerty, the Foo Fighters, Beck, Gnarls Barkley, Patty Griffin, Jakob Dylan, What Made Milwaukee Famous, Vampire Weekend and a bunch of other people. It was a good group of shows. We had a blast.
This year was a return-to-the-dust year. When it is dry in Austin during ACL Fest, the dust becomes a problem. This year was dusty. But it was not as bad as my first year at ACL Fest... I think that was 2003 or 2005... holy-dust-storm, it was horrible & hot. But the weather cooperated nicely. It was a cool 90 degrees with a nice breeze.
Freddie, Heather, Megan & I had a good time. Both Megan and I were recovering from colds, so I did not see as many shows or stay as long as I would have liked. But it was still a blast. It was a good party, but I am tired today.
I will get some sleep and post more later.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Last night, I saw my personal favorite movie of Fantastic Fest: Role Model. This movie is right-up my alley. It is super-funny. I will never look at a bagel dog the same way. Also, I now have added "whispering eye" to my vocabulary. Thank you, Role Model. The best part of the night was the Q&A with director David Wain and Paul Rudd. The audience had a blast. Today at FF, everyone was still talking about how much fun it was today. The movie made me laugh my ass off.
Right before Superbad & The Ten were shown at SXSW, I met David Wain. Paul Rudd, Jonah Hill and Martin Starr ended up in the backseat of my Tahoe after a night of karaoke. Megan and I gave them a ride back to their hotel. Now I can not see any of them on a movie screen without saying, "they were in the backseat of my car". It is annoying for everyone but me.
It was fun to see Meg Hartig last night. Meg is the coolest. She gave me a kick-in-the-pants about starting a film class with Kat Candler. Thank you so much, Meg.
When it comes out, go see Role Model. It rocked.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Yesterday was an awesome day at Fantastic Fest. I saw several movies:
The Animated Shorts
Zombie Girl: THE MOVIE
Short Fuse: Live-Action Shorts
The Wildman of Navidad
I will have entirely separate blog entries about JCVD & The Wildman of Navidad (both of which I loved). But this blog entry is about a short I saw yesterday.
The name of this short: MUTO.
Holy crap. This short is a stop-motion form of street art. The filmmaker transforms urban landscape into a moving palette of crazy-ass art. This is by far the most ambitious animation project I have ever seen.
I have never been more amazed by a short in my life. Seriously, watch this short and think about the time & talent it took to make this. I am totally floored.
MUTO a wall-painted animation by BLU from blu on Vimeo.
Thank you, Fantastic Fest.
Yikes! That was a bad date.
So I saw "Zombie Girl: THE MOVIE!" last night. It has nothing to do with the picture above. The story was about a 12-year-old girl who made a feature-length zombie movie. This movie was the documentary about the making of that movie. It was awesome. I loved this movie.
The documentary followed Emily Hagins as she created her first feature length movie. The documentary's strong central theme was the relationship between Emily and her mom. Her mother should get a mother-of-the-year award. Seriously, her mom was holding the boom mic, picking-up supplies, driving to Target for props, swinging-by the costume shop to pick-up fake blood, etc. It was fun to watch... and made me tired just thinking about the level of energy that goes into a making a feature length movie.
You can check-out this documentary by clicking here.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Google Image Search: Word & Picture #
"Fantastic Fest update"
Fantastic Fest is rocking. I am having a blast. I just saw "I Think We're Alone Now". This documentary covers two uber-fans (maybe stalkers) of Tiffany. Yes, Tiffany has fans. The movie made me uncomfortable, yet it was really great & endearing. The Q&A afterwards was even more interesting as the director fielded very direct questions about whether or not he felt like he was exploiting the two main characters. The director really handled the questions well.
I also saw Terra this morning. As the it was described by the producer, "this is the anti-Independence Day cartoon". That is a perfect description. It is a great story and the producer talked about making it a 3-D cartoon... which would rock.
This evening, I am going to check-out:
Let The Right One In
Hooray, Fantastic Fest. This is a blast... I tried to buy a VIP badge for next year, but they sold out in 2 hours (before my first movie let out). Bummer. Next year, I will get a regular badge.
Friday, September 19, 2008
Google Image Search: Word & Picture #
"no posts since Tuesday"
I don't know what the movie "The Human Experience" is about. I don't know what it has to do with "no posts since Tuesday". But that is what came back.
So I have been out of blogging-action since Tuesday. My bad. I got busy. Then yesterday was my 4 year wedding anniversary. Hooray. Megan & I got married on the same day as Britney Spears and Kevin Federline. Using the "Federline\Spears Scale of Marriage Longevity", Megan & I's marriage has been a raging success. (Sorry K-Fed)
Megan and I went out for wine & appetizers last night. It was really nice. We talked and drank and had fun... all at the same time. Crazy.
I heard some good news from my friend Mark today. He told me that they premiered my "Ken Grows A Pen(...is)" bumper at Fantastic Fest. This is a direct quote from Mark "I saw your trailer last night before my midnight screening and the audience LOVED it, I mean L O V E D it!" Sweet. Nice to know there are other sick people in the world like me. Brian Satterwhite's music kicks-ass.
I start watching Fantastic Fest movies tonight. Here is my line-up:
7:30 Eagle Eye
10 PM Your Name Here
11:45 Tokyo Gore Police 11:55 PM
I am stoked. This is my first Fantastic Fest.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
"My teams suck"
OK, so if you want a specific team to lose, make sure that you tell me to root for that team.
Here are my favorite teams of all time:
1) The Kansas City Royals
2) The Kansas City Chiefs
3) The Arizona Wildcats (college football\basketball\anything)
Here is how my sports life is going:
1) The Royals are 18.5 games back of the White Sox in baseball.
2) The Chiefs lost to one of the worst teams in pro football: the Oakland Raiders
3) The Arizona Wildcats lost to a Mountain West football team: the New Mexico Lobos
What is really funny is that all of these teams rocked at one point. The Royals were unbeatable when they had George Brett & Bret Saberhagen. The Chiefs went 13-3 with Elvis Grbac as their quaterback! The Arizona Wildcats went 12-1 and beat Miami in the Fiesta bowl not 10 year ago.
Now all three team suck.
The only thing these 3 teams have in common: they have me as a fan.
I take full responsibility for any short-comings of all three programs.
I am going to cry now.
Friday, September 12, 2008
"Houston we have a problem"
Here comes Ike. Things look bad for Galveston. I hope everyone got out of there. The news is warning everyone of a potential "20 foot wall of water". That sounds bad. I don't want a 20-foot-wall-of-anything coming near my house.
The city of Austin seems as prepared as a city can be. They let people out of school at noon today so they could use the schools as emergency shelters, if needed. People are on edge. Now, let's see what happens. It might be Katrina, it might be another "Year 2000" scare.
I am about 180 miles from Houston. The storm is supposed to be east of Austin tomorrow morning, with rain lasting a full day. Nothing major will happen here... just trees falling and rain.
Go away, Hurricane Ike.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
So Renee asked in my comments the other day about me saying, "I never finished high-school". That is a long story that involves some Bartley-family history.
I grew-up in Kansas City, Kansas. I attended Ward High School with my sisters. Ward is located in Wyandotte County, about 10 blocks from where I lived in Kansas City. Just before my senior year, my dad accepted a job with the Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind. My mom & sisters & I stayed behind in Kansas... pretty much so that I could play soccer my senior year in high school. In December (after soccer season), the entire family moved to Tucson, Arizona. Instead of starting at a different high school for the 2nd half of my senior year, I enrolled at the University of Arizona. 5 1/2 years later, I received my college degree from the U of A (Bear Down, Arizona!).
To this day, I joke about never finishing high school. I think it is a more accurate description of my education to say "I finished high school early". But it has always sounded more shocking & funny to say I am a high school dropout.
Ward had so many good instructors... the same is true at the University of Arizona. My parents both put a huge emphasis on education. My dad has his PhD, my mom has 2 (or 3) Masters degree. They are some learned people. That is why they have 3 children with Bachelors degrees and one child with a PhD (to my sister Jodi: quit reading my blog and finish your dissertation).
So there it is. Ben Bartley, high school drop-out. :)
The book reading at BookPeople was a blast. I read "Grandma". Southpaw's song is about a liberal Grandma. It was fun. There were a bunch of talented people there. Some did funny readings. Some did sincere readings. And then there was everyone's favorite bitch in lipstick: Sarah Palin.
After Southpaw's reading\party, we went to the Alamo Drafthouse for the Billy Madison Quote-Along. I have never been to a Quote-Along before. Holy crap... near nudity, penguins, porn, trivia... it was a party. The most amazing thing: there were people there who knew every word. The guy sitting next to me was over-the-top. He was screaming Billy Madison quotes. He sang every word of the Adam Sandler\Bridget Wilson dance number with the kids. He was obsessed. It was funny & scarey all at the same time. I loved it.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Disclaimer #1: I added the red arrow in this picture to point-out Southpaw.
I am doing a reading a BookPeople tomorrow.
Here are some funny things about me doing a book reading:
#1) I have never written a book
#2) I never finished high school
#3) There is going to be free beer
Question: How does a person who never finished high school find himself at BookPeople in Austin, TX, doing a book reading?
Answer: Free beer... and I am friends with Southpaw Jones.
For those not familiar with the awesomeness of Southpaw Jones, you should really buy one of his many great CDs. Or you can check him out on iTunes.
Southpaw is having his friends and fans read the lyrics of his songs at BookPeople tomorrow. He is celebrating the release of his latest CD: Cruelty.
I am drawn to Southpaw's music by his ability to combine humor and sincerity. I could not be more excited about taking part in this. Thanks for the invite, Southpaw.
Please come to BookPeople on 6th and Lamar at 7 PM tomorrow, September 10th! Watch me pretend to know how to read.
Summary: Come to BookPeople, Southpaw is rad, I can read (maybe... find out tomorrow)!
Monday, September 8, 2008
"hot in hell"
Welcome to my blog, Shirtless Man!
Shirtless man, I have a few questions for you:
#1) Where is your belt?
#2) Where in Texas is Texas Highway 666?
#3) Does John Bon Jovi know you borrowed his pants?
#4) Who took this picture for you... and were they laughing?
#5) How many payments left on the Chevy Aveo?
... let's see what else, I know there is something else I want to ask a shirtless guy...
#6) Why did you take your shirt off for this picture?
So I finished my clip for Fantastic Fest. You can see it at FilmmakingFrenzy.com. It is entitled "Barbie and Ken". It is definitely NSFW (Not Safe For Work... for the internet-challenged). Seriously, this one is on the more disturbing side of things I have made. For those who don't watch it, think "Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story" meets "Boogie Nights". Or better yet, "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" meets "Team America: World Police". For the brave & un-offend-able (most people I know will love this), bravely click here. If you watch it, please read positive comments in the comment field.
My buddy Brian scored the music for the short. When he watched it the first time (after he finished laughing), he asked, "am I going to hell for having seen that"?
The answer I gave Brian: you are going to hell just for being my friend; don't blame Barbie & Ken.
I am proud of what I made, but I know my mom & dad would hate it. Sorry, parental units, I love you very much... but I am me. I must be me. And yes, your son is over 30 years old and still plays with Barbies. Good thing I married a therapist.
I love Brian's score for the short film. If you listen closely, you will hear that Brian used children's instruments in the score. From Brian's blog entry, I learned that he used: an Elmo guitar, a squeeky toy, a cute caterpillar glockenspiel, a toy violin, a toy guitar from mexico, a lightsaber, and a drum. Seriously, how f-ing talented is Brian Satterwhite?! It is crazy. He did a phenomenal job (especially when you consider he had a 24-hour turn-around time on this project). I am looking forward to seeing whatever he makes next.
Also, I need to give some major props to my buddy Les who brought his daughters Marina & Lucia to play with Barbies at my house. Marina & Lucia have bright careers in their future in the entertainment industry. I hope they include me in their imdb page some day. :) The talent pool is deep in the McGehee family. Les has good seed... wow, I can not believe I typed that last sentence.
Finally, I need to thank the lovely and talented Megan did some voice-over work for me. It was much appreciated. I also want to thank her for not stealing my Barbies. (I saw you eye-ing them.) For the past couple of weeks, Megan would ask me, "What are you up to?" to which I would respond (in a valley-girl voice), "I'm playing with my Bawbies. " or "I am going to brush my Bawbies". In the process of making this short, I decided the word "Bawbie" was funnier than "Barbie".
In other news, Master Pancake Jurassic Park got extended (AGAIN!). Both shows this past weekend were sold-out. I think we have done 18 consecutive sold-out shows of Master Pancake Jurassic Park. But this weekend is DEFINITELY the last weekend. We are performing at the Alamo Village (hooray, North Austin!) If you have not seen the show yet, this is your last chance. You can buy tickets here. Come drink a beer and watch dinosaurs with me.
In Summary: shirtless guys in Texas drive Chevy Aveos, Brian Satterwhite rocks, I play with Bawbies, come see Master Pancake Jurassic Park at the Alamo Village on Saturday.
Friday, September 5, 2008
Even though it was a short week because of the holiday, it felt like a full week. I don't know why, but I am pooped.
I have a weekend full of fun stuff: hanging out with Megan, celebrating birthdays, filming, performing and general goofing-off. It should be a good weekend.
"Fantastic Fest 2008"
Yup, I am going. I got a hook-up for a badge through a friend of a friend. Thank you for going to Russia, Brady Dial. And thank you for knowing Brady, Brian. I owe you both a beer.
I am stoked. I have been burning through the films and trying to understand the process. More importantly, I have been working on my "shaky-face" photo. A "shakey-face" photo is when you take a picture of yourself shaking your head side-to-side as fast as possible. Here is a good example:
And here is a bad example (mine):
I am not very good at it as a) my hair is not long and b) my cheeks are not loose. I am OK with the former and proud of the latter.
In all my "shakey-face" photos I look either stupid or drunk. Probably both.
The shakey-face photo will be used by Fantastic Fest for our official badge. Bad-ass, eh?
This is my first FF and I am stoked.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Megan & I traveled to the strange & distant land of Fredericksburg, Texas, last weekend. We stayed at a Bed & Breakfast. Karen & Colin watched PugPuggy (thanks you two!). Fredericksburg is about 90 miles west of Austin. It is a cute, old, German town. Speaking of cute, old Germans, check out this guy:
I don't know the identity of this man, but my guess is that he is from Bavaria.
So Megan & I drank local wines & beers. We ate & shopped & relaxed. The place we stayed had a pool... loved it.
It is good to get away. It was hard going back to work today. My brain is still in vacation mode.