Wednesday, December 3, 2014

FANTASTIC IS HERE!!

After a year and a half, the film is finally. It's looks great. And perhaps all that saving up for that look will pay off eventually. The movie is a 20 minute live action parody of Disney's "Fantastic" with fowl language, full frontal nudity, and a lot of absurdism and existential quandaries. Basically, a pretentious art film. But the best kind! I'm rather proud of it. 


The film is going to be making it's festival rounds but if you can also buy a SPECIAL EDITION DVD RIGHT HERE. It comes with the full film, commentary, extra footage, bonus features, digital download of the soundtrack, and other films including the award-winning “Duluth Is Horrible.” Maybe you feel DVDs are old fashioned and just want a $5 digital copy? Try this link.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Finally Fantastic


I’m gearing up for the final stretch of my upcoming film, “Fantastic.” Funds are halfway there and if some of my freelance clients paid me, I’d be pretty close. The film is my epic homage/parody of Disney’s “Fantasia” with original music and visuals by moi. The music is done. It’s here – vincentgargiulo.bandcamp.com. Some of the segments are also done.


My time has been spent raising funds and editing the “Hooker Historian” segment of the film. We shot that back in January. It’s the longest segment and is coming along nicely. There is love. There is loss. There is full frontal nudity. There is a horse. There is Fisherman’s Wharf. Really, something for everyone. I also have a edited version of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s brand new song but I’m saving that one to share.

In the beginning of September, I’ll be filming the last big segment – sort of a cross between Office Space & The Red Balloon. Then there’s just a bunch of tiny little skits and sketches. Prepare yourself Bay Area actors – I have glorified extra roles coming your way. I’ve been told the SF Indiefest submission deadline is in Nov so it’d be neato to get the whole film done by then. I am the previous Woodcock Jury Prize winner and I need to go for the two-peat. If I bust my ass and become even more anti-social, I may be able to do it.

I would be a bad businessman if I didn’t mention you can still donate to the film at www.vincentgargiulo.com. I really hope someone takes me up on the “Record your DVD commentary” reward. Fantastic news & pics forthcoming. It’s gone on a little too long for my tastes and I’m excited to finish it and release it onto the masses. Should be my best yet.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Story So Far

When we last met up with me (at least on this blog), my whale documentary, Bimbo, was making the festival rounds. It was fun to not have to be funny and talk with marine biologists.  That was March. Life since then has served up a series of setbacks, failures, delays, and the occasional "huh."

Towards the end of March, I premiered a 18 song cycle entitled "The Pets" featuring 5 different animals singing depressing songs about their lives. It was my first attempt at performing "serious" material. Maybe it was successful. Hard to say as I was told after the show that most people couldn't hear me. It was not the greatest sound system. So glad I poured my heart out into those lyrics he said with heavy sarcasm. 

In April, I did a fundraiser for my film, "Fantastic." 4 local bands played and I talked in between. I played my bit like a bad stand-up comedian. I should have been more Jerry Lewis telethon. Not only did I not make much money, but was heckled for ripping off a Steve Martin joke. However, I am pleased with promo video I made for the event: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10203714818773821&l=6308646589937371766

Around this time, I learned that after 11 years of living in the same place in San Francisco, I would be evicted by greedy landlords. I tried to fight it for a while but needless to say, I'm writing this from my new temporary housing in Oakland. I will need to find a new place by the end of August somewhere. I do welcome the change in a way and I'm getting used to the warmer weather, artist friendlier streets of Alameda County. My neighborhood in East Oakland reminds me of Sesame Street circa 1978 with it's mixture of Whites, Hispanics, African-Americans, Asians, Birds, Gay People, & Monsters. My cat has not adjusted to the move and is currently going through the five stages of grief. He just recently moved from denial to anger and is driving me up the wall.
 


I'm currently editing and seeking more funding for my big budget short film parody of "Fantasia" entitled "Fantastic." It's been a slower process than I want but I hope to have all I need and ready to finish shooting in August. If you want to contribute and get nifty rewards, check out www.fearofdisney.com. For $800, you can record your own DVD commentary!
I've also taken up a series of part-time jobs. I'm a tea bartender at a lounge in the Mission. It's a hip cool space and feel slightly verified that I must be also be hip & cool to work there. I also run the Stage Werx Theater late Saturday nights for the improv troupe, "Out of Line." Meaning I sell tickets, candy, watch them perform, and take out the trash. It's a living. I also briefly worked at a pet store but was let go after the owners realized they ran a pet store and couldn't afford a fourth employee. The side jobs help me to exist while all VG Productions freelance money also goes to "Fantastic."  

I remain optimistic because why not? I will continue serving up tea and art and bad jokes and animal songs. It is my destiny (which I will have to discuss with God when he has a moment). As for now, the cat's trying to hump me again. Gotta run.

video

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Dating When You're Homeless


Just because you’re homeless, doesn’t mean you have to remain single. Plenty of women will be attracted to your easy-going, laidback attitude. You will certainly stand out from the crowd. Not only for your smell, but for your unwillingness to be confined to four walls. This shows you’re a rebel, willing to stick it to the man. Everyone loves a bad boy.

Living on the street puts you in touch with nature. Arrogance is a real turn-off. Eating the remains of a dead raccoon under a freeway is many things, but arrogant it is not.

Try to make a sign that is creative and with a sense of humor. If a woman passes you by on the sidewalk, it’s probably because your sign isn’t that funny. If she drops her handbag, be a gentleman. Pick it up and apologize for trying to steal it.

Spending whatever money you do make on whiskey shows you can let loose while choosing to piss behind a bush vs. on the bus shows real parenting potential.

A woman willing to go out with a homeless man is a keeper or also homeless. So get out there! Take her to a fancy restaurant, where the dumpsters are, and have a romantic meal under the stars.   

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Bimbo


This is my experimental whale doc, Bimbo. Very different than all my other work. There is not an ounce of comedy. It's had a successful festival run, getting into more than any other film of mine. It is also one of my mom’s favorites. I love this blurb written by MaryJane Schramm of the San Francisco International Ocean Film Festival.

"With edgy editing and a surreal score, this tragic tale profiles the Pacific pilot whale whose captive “stardom” at Marineland of the Pacific, triggers a descent into depression and psychosis. Launching his 6,000-pound bulk through an observation window makes a powerful statement."

I learned about this story when I bought a postcard set from the early 60s featuring the Marineland of the Pacific park. "The Mighty Bimbo" was featured prominently. Wanting to find out more about Marineland, a quick Google search surprisingly revealed sensationalized newspaper headlines about Bimbo going “psychotic.” His story fascinated me and I read up about everything I could from these old newspapers. Digging deeper, I contacted the Marineland of the Pacific Historical Society who were very helpful in providing stills, info, and access to the old park meetings minutes. I learned far more than what is in the film.

Originally, I thought Bimbo would make for a good animated film produced later in life.
But at some point, it clicked that I could do it with some archival footage, the newspaper clippings, and a song I wrote from an earlier film. The song, Banish It To The Moon, is played backwards and while still melodic, is used to reflect Bimbo’s distorted frame of mind. Much of the film is supposed to be from his POV.   

For a more linear background on Bimbo, here's a good retelling of his story: http://deadlykingdom.blogspot.com/2010/04/animal-attacks-pilot-whale.html

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Notes

A text message vibrated on my desk around 11:30p last night waking me from my sleep. Not expecting anyone, I wondered who it could be. My first thought was that it was a roommate locked out of the house. Second - a random anecdote or picture from a (drunk) friend. Third – an apology from the dickhead director I worked with earlier in the day. Fourth – the tearful loneliness of an ex girlfriend or the optimistic hello of a new one. It was none of these things. It was spam. But for those few moments laying in bed, I felt like a child on Christmas morning wondering what Santa had brought me. Finding out it was junk mail was like when you received a present you already had. You smiled, privately acknowledged your disappointment, and moved on.

I couldn’t fall back asleep. Thoughts kept racing around in my head. Everything from “Boy, that director really was a jerk.” to “Why do I have an urge to light my blankets on fire?” to “My cat makes funny meows.” to “I love my parents and it makes me sad that they won’t always be around.” This last point became too much and I had to quickly distract myself to the least serious thought – the one about setting my blankets on fire. Obviously this would do considerable damage to the bed but I thought how warm it would feel and how that would be nice, assuming that I and the surrounding items would be immune to burning. In bed, I noticed my left nostril was snotty and has been since before Christmas off & on. My left ear, my left nostril, and left shoulder all have problems. I believe when one gets fixed, the others will as well through the power of vertebral subluxation. I wondered if Covered California would accept my proof of income (or lack thereof). I just wanted to go back to sleep.  

A large colony of homicidal river otters was the basis of the movie in my dream. Since waking up, it is unclear what my role was in the film. I want to say I merely was editing it for someone else but there was a scene where I filmed myself, wearing a hardhat and climbing up a power pole. I was hanging by my head in the power lines when 3 cars consisting of my extended family members (alive & dead) drove up and stared. I felt embarrassed. When I awoke, I went into a deep depression and found myself unable to get out of bed when the reality set in that I pegged this day, “Laundry Day.” Lately, I’ve been sleeping on the mattress directly. I think I find it more comfortable but maybe I just needed a change.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Official Rejection

I just received this email.

"Mr. Gargiulo,

Thank you for submitting your list for Christmas 2013. Unfortunately, we are unable to bring you any presents. This is not an indication of you being good or bad, but we received more submissions than usual this year. Please note that your non-refundable list application fee will go to making a great great Christmas for alot of other people. We encourage you to take part in Christmas again next year. Ho Ho Ho.

Sincerely, Santa Claus."