Breehn's Production Journal

June 2005 Archive

Pictures Rick took on Sunday



I opened up a yogurt, and underneath the lid it said, "Please try again."

June.29.05 | 8:58 AM

I have completely reversed my sleep schedule, and now spend days half awake and in the sun as much as possible. I wake up now between 3 and 5 AM, and the days feel very long. Rick stopped by to take a first look at a rough cut of the film, and he seemed to genuinely enjoy himself, which has put some wind in my sails. Small reactions from friends can be huge.

Alls about Monday

June.27.05 | 6:04 PM

called to tell me that they are finally fixing my computer. Both of the parts they tried using to replace my Mac's parts were defective. But since this has taken so long, Apple is going to cover the cost of the repair. I almost wept. I need to skip or something.

Last night we got our final shots with the help of Sean Galloway, a crazy-talented D.C. comic book artist (Teen Titans Go!) who kindly agreed to appear in a few scenes, one of which I made up minutes before he arrived. Today I went out and photographed some elements for his sequence, and now I got to fotoshop them shits. I also need to snap pictures of some beans for Jason.

Dr. Tran DVDs
have been selling really well this last week, probably due in some part to this fan.

Did you know that during pregnancy, a human baby's kidneys and ears develop at the same time, so people who have kidney problems are also likely to have ear problems? Ears and kidneys are partially made of the same stuff. Because of the similar molecular structure, they can be damaged by the same drugs, like diuretics. Correction of certain kidney problems by transplantation sometimes halts the progression of hearing loss.




Rick Cortes

A quiet moment on the set. Rick plays the hands of the chef, and below is Christy's rogue hair puff in the foreground.

Left a message


returned my call, but I was away from the office. Jason, if you're listening, I called to discuss the Cooking scene, but I think we have it mostly figured out.

The "KILL..." woman will work at that size. Somehow I've always seen it playing smaller and less intrusive than her other scenes, but still upstaging the rest of the images on the screen. She's featured earlier - I'll send some of that to you later.

I took some steps to even out the end of the cooking sequence. I extended the shot of the hand removing the slice so it stays in frame longer, and faded in the yellow face shot from black so it doesn't have to be on screen as long. I also scaled it down a little to feature it less.

I'm going to wait on cutting the hot cheese shot shorter, until I can watch it in context. Christy likes it extended because she likes to see the frown, and we may need that breath before the cut after the chaos of that NO-NO-NO price sequence.

Talk to you later.

Moccodity T-shirts


Does a link constitute a journal entry? No?

We went to McDonald's (booo) before the midnight showing of Land of the Dead, but I didn't eat anything. A really destitute looking man asked me for exactly sixty-eight cents on Sunset and Vine, but I didn't give it to him. I'm here working again, Jason hasn't called me back, I really need to do a load of laundry, Apple still has my computer (with no finish date in sight) and the Creme de la creme of the chess world in a show with everything but Yul Brynner (I really want to get that song out of my head).


June.23.05 | 6:09 AM

Living at the computer. I watch zombie movies while the shots render out. I eat fruit. My neighbors have a new tiny dog that cries horribly while they are gone. That trash bag is getting ripe. My eyebrow has dandruff. I had a late dinner for breakfast in Little Tokyo. Brad explained to me why he hates dogs, and he has pretty solid reasons. I can't believe it's the 23rd. When I get tired, I spill juice. I found out that eating nutmeg can induce a severe psychotic delirium. I'm taking out that trash.

7PM Breakfast

June.21.05 | 11:11 PM

Chef shot

I'm listening to the soundtrack to the Nicole Kidman movie, Birth. Listen with headphones, if you find it, which you ought to.

I added some new T-shirt styles to the Dr. Tran Sexy Summer Apparel Line.

I now sleep all day and work all night until around Noon. There's no stopping it. It's a force that defies all will power. But I'm getting a lot done. Internally, we're having a debate over how much is too much with one of our sequences. It's amazing how complicated and philosophical a discussion about a dirty joke can be.

Stern drops


I was at a party a few months ago when a friend told me that he'd heard small audio samples from Here Comes Dr. Tran being used on the Howard Stern Radio Show. He said he heard it a few times over a few days, and then never again. He was going to look into it and find out which drops Stern had used, and possibly where they had gotten the samples, but I never heard back from him (he's a busy guy). Anybody else hear it? It would have aired mid to late 2004.

One shot left

June.19.05 | 3:19 AM

We got damn-near the last of the bluescreen shooting out of the way tonight, and now we only have one quaint, unfunny shot left before shooting is complete. The mustache has now been spent. We transferred the whole Final Cut project over to a drive with more room on it, as we were quickly filling out our little 10 gigger. Keith sent me his first pass at the shot he's animating for us, and it looks great. I rented Wild Things.

Apparently, Dr. Tran loves Clan Nightwolf.

All things Roy

June.18.05 | 7:26 AM

There's a new page up for Roybertito's :60 Second Spot. We will try to keep it updated with the latest news on screenings, reviews and of course, awards.

Plugging 2

June.17.05 | 4:44 PM

Chef shot

Lucky for me, yesterday's twelve hour shot needs more work. I'm getting faster at it now. I burned through some lip sync at record speed, and since much of this film is actually supposed to look low budget, the pressure is off, aesthetically speaking.

I saw Batman because Rick said Batman was good. Batman was good.

Plugging away methodically

June.16.05 | 7:02 AM

I just put together my first bluescreen shot in After Effects, complete with graphics and animation. I haven't used this program much since my Nickelodeon job, and I'm a touch rusty. This shot only took me... oh, I'd say about twelve hours. There was a lot of messing up and starting over involved. Keying out the blue was all trial and error, and I'm re-timing the live action stuff to look more like animated photos (some of it is animated photos, some is DV made to resemble animated photos) and lining it up to the narrator's words. I'm looking forward to knowing what I'm doing sometime soon.

Free movie anyone?

June.15.05 | 4:10 AM

No one will go see The 40 Year Old Virgin with me. One of the cool things about living in Los Angeles is that they constantly give away free movie passes. You can't go anywhere without being accosted by a charismatic, fresh smelling dude with a clipboard who's out wrangling the public to go see previews of movies that haven't been released yet. To see the preview you have to confirm that you're not in the entertainment industry, and especially not a member of the press. It's amazing - the movies are so damn free, so damn often that the clipboard beings can sometimes be a nuisance. I find myself trying to avoid eye contact and dodge their fresh smelling advances. But this time, the clipboard man was passing out tickets to a movie called The 40 Year Old Virgin starring Steve Carell (who I think is funny) directed by a producer on (clipboard man claimed it was the director of) Anchorman (which I liked) but no one has time to see it with me, and I really shouldn't be wasting time seeing movie previews when I could be plugging away methodically at the Mexican food film.

Ungodly hours

June.13.05 | 7:45 PM

I'm trying to reset my sleep schedule again after a failed attempt about a week ago when I got the cold. I've been going to sleep at 9 AM and waking up in the late afternoon. I kept working later and later into the night until it got pushed that far. Then last night I got tired at 3 AM and decided to seize it, and somehow I slept normally. Now I'm groggy as hell and trying not to let myself fall asleep again until a decent hour.

Today I bought a mustache.

A panel


Comic Panel

This kid is all excitement.


June.11.05 | 3:10 AM

My small Dr. Tran comic is coming along slowly but slowly. The website is undergoing a bit of an upgrade as well.

Can't think of a title

June.10.05 | 2:17 AM

Getting a cold slowed me way down. I gave myself a pep talk at the beginning of the month to keep several plates spinning and stay on top of things. Multitask like crazy, and move seamlessly between all my projects from one day to the next. "Be more like Oprah," I told myself. Really - who hasn't said this at some point?

How does Oprah go on the air when her skin hurts? Does she dose up on pain relievers and stamp out onto the stage, slapping high-fives with a one-hundred and two degree fever and a crazed smile on her face?

Well, I guess I can look at it as one more virus out of the way, caught and adapted to. Apple called to tell me my sick computer was fixed, and that all it needed was a new processor, but then they kept it overnight to make sure it didn't lapse back into a coma. Which it did. They're keeping it longer to try a few more things.

In other news, Comedy Central wants to make Beyond Grandpa available for download on mobile phones. Interestingly, on cable, Comedy Central can do almost anything they want, but over the phone they have to conform to laws regarding obscenity. So if the deal goes through, Grandpa will be free to Verizon users, but in a censored format. It'll be our first censoring, kids! Put on your Sunday best!

I think I'm feeling a little better, but now I'm way behind. I haven't heard a word from our animator in almost a month, so I'm guessing I'm not alone on that. I could use some high-fives.

How sick are you?

June.9.05 | 12:40 AM

I've been almost as sick as my good friend, Sicky McSickster, but I'm trying not to complain about face pain and Kleenex usage because Sicky really gets on my damn nerves when he does that.

Oh, I didn't mean it, Sicky. I said that in the heat of the moment. Let me buy you a root beer.

I can't summon much in the way of creativity when I'm sick, so I've been selecting takes of the narrator and dropping them into the Final Cut timeline one by one. I do it achingly, whilst groaning and leaking from various ports. I have about half of the lines in there now, and damn this thing is all packed with narrator flavor. It really cracks me up, just how confusing this could all end up being. But then, I always underestimate an audience's ability to follow along. Case in point: Here Comes Dr. Tran, which is essentially a big children's storybook, closed captioned for the hearing impaired.

Speaking of time travel, check out Primer.


June.7.05 | 11:20 PM

Entertaining dog news:

The Lurcher in the Shadows

Staff at the Battersea Dogs Home were mystified after some troublemaker released dozens of their dogs night after night, allowing them to raid the kitchen and cause chaos.  Little did they realise it was an inside job - video surveillance footage showed the culprit was Red, a lurcher who had been brought to the London refuge as an emaciated stray several months earlier.  (A lurcher is not a breed but a type of dog — usually having a member of the greyhound family as one of its parents.)

Red had somehow learned to undo the bolt on his kennel.  He would then free a group of chosen companions for a raid on the kitchen.  This happened about a dozen times.  Red has now had his kennel made more secure.

23 March 2005
- In Naples, Florida a woman testified that her neighbour's Chihuahua wandered into her yard repeatedly.  Wanda Ziglar of Golden Gate said that she was afraid of the dog.  She grabbed a shotgun and fired two warning shots.  The dog ran away, but later returned.  Wanda, 49, said that the dog attacked her, so she shot it and killed it.  She then threw the dog across the street "into the dirt."

The owner of the dog, Marisol Olegnichar, said the dog weighed less than a kilo.

Wanda pleaded no contest to one count of animal cruelty.  Senior Judge Jack Schoonover agreed to withhold a formal finding of guilt, probably because of Ziglar's age and lack of criminal record.  She was sentenced to 30 days in jail, received 6 months of house arrest, 2 years' probation, she must pay $1,200 restitution to Olegnichar, almost $600 in court-related costs, and take an anger-management course.

She moved out of the neighbourhood the next day.



June.6.05 | 2:27 PM

Did you know that the guy who played Michael Myers or "The Shape" in the original Halloween went on to direct The Last Starfighter? I didn't.


June.5.05 | 2:45 AM

This morning I got up after a few short hours of skillfully narrated dreaming to attend my first horror convention. It was uneventful but entertaining nonetheless. It would have cost us $35 each at the door, had we not accidentally come in the wrong way and seen the whole thing for free. The original three actresses from Evil Dead were there, huddled at a table, looking cute and soccer mommish. Satisfied with that thrill, we ignored the programming and left after an hour.

I came home and got ready for Rick's girlfriend's birthday party, but I fell asleep on the couch at 7:00 and didn't wake up until after midnight, drooling and baffled. I'm spending the wee hours re-reading a friend's script for which I'm doing some horror-related conceptual art, and eating the only thing I have in the house. Soup.

Narrator voice record

Saturday Morn
June.4.05 | 3:23 AM

has a friend named Carlos who was in town for a couple days from Mexicali. Carlos is also a filmmaker, and just happens to have a great sense of humor and a really cool voice. We spent about four hours recording in the sound booth, and we have our narrator! This means editing can move into high gear, and all the stuff I was afraid to start on can be accurately timed out to the pace of his voice.

Narrator Record

Unfortunately Rick wasn't able to make it because of the super short notice. In the group shot above (right), that's Sound Designer Matt Olivo in the foreground, Producer Arturo Toledo on the left, Editor Christy Beckert mugging in the middle and our esteemed Narrator, Carlos Victorica, on the right.


June.3.05 | 5:09 AM

I am done. Birds are chirping. I hate that. By the way, have you seen our new entry page?

Gotta go

June.3.05 | 12:13 AM

I have to finish the Roybertito's script tonight for a narrator voice record at 8:30 PM with a guy I've never met before.
I go.



While furiously scanning the web for any sign of my name, I discovered that Here Comes Dr. Tran was the theme at an odd little convention in Siren, Wisconsin called OmegaCon. Described as a "Relax-A-Con" or "Decadence Convention" for sci-fi and fantasy fans, Omegacon 2004 was held at a small hotel getaway where attendees gathered to hang out, chat, snack and nap, with very few scheduled activities. It is described by its founders as a time to practice "refined aestheticism, artifice, and the quest for new sensations" in the ambiance of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Apparently, OmegaCon was themed around Rejected in 2002, and Invader Zim in 2003.

The fun

It was only moments before the mood of the room would abruptly shift to panic when Kyle spots the baby Kodiak Bear breakdancing in the corner.

I didn't get permission to use this photo, but then - unless I'm forgetting something - they didn't get permission to use Dr. Tran (I'm not irate or anything). Actually I got the pic from this site, which has a lot more photos and a review of the con.

Still up

June.1.05 | 4:27 AM

So I thought - hey, let's give this comic book thing a try, and I'm still up at 4:30 in the morning. I forgot how long this takes. I created a template first, modifying the old GloomCookie page layout I made while illustrating that book a few years ago. Then I spent way too long drawing three little panels of Dr. Tran carving a bucket. I have to stop being such a perfectionist about this if I'm ever going to get anything done. I haven't done black and white for a while, and I'd forgotten how much less flexible it is than color. And now I'm about to go to bed where I'll forget everything I was trying to accomplish tonight, and in the morning (afternoon) it'll be back to the Mexican food film.


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