Sunday, May 29, 2005

Romania Documentary

A short documentary shot while volunteering for the summer in a Romanian orphanage. The short film chronicles the stories of the young children at the REMM orphanage and their plight.

troubles? watch it back on vMix.

Friday, May 27, 2005


I didn't finish the Asbury Film Festival review, but I did post some pictures of how I detailed my Civic last summer, as frame of reference for when I discuss [Let Go]. You can have a look.

Advertising - now in Vista Vision!

I found this on someone else's site and thought it the most marvelous thing I'd ever seen. And so I stole it.

See For Yourself.

Thursday, May 26, 2005


When I was in fifth grade back at my Christian elementary school, we had what were called "Bible Buddies." Once a week, the fifth graders would all tromp down to the kindergarten classroom, and we'd hang out with our Buddy for a half an hour, telling them Bible stories or teaching them verses. My Bible Buddy was Steve. Steve was (still is) a family friend who I'd known since he was born, and we had a great time together that whole year.

I bring this up because tonight, Steve and I hung out and played some pool together in a bar. And it wasn't until I got home tonight that it hit me how weird that really was.


Someone pointed out that it's easier for people to read your blog if you are on Xanga, because you can just subscribe and you don't have to go through the troublesome process of clicking a link. As a result, 10-4 GB will be appearing both here and at my Xanga site. I don't know how long this trend will last, but it's just one more way that 10-4 GB is here to serve you.


I got the Asbury Film Festival review about half done. Should be up tomorrow sometime.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005


Also known as "Excerpts From A Michael Bay Interview," the film creates a terrifying situation for the viewer: what if Michael Bay (Pearl Harbor, Bad Boys, Armageddon) was tapped to re-make "Casablanca?" The film references Robert Altman, Oliver Stone, John Woo, and over forty different films from several eras.

troubles? watch it on vMix.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Review: Something To Be

Something To Be by Rob Thomas

Thomas has taken a lot of flak over his short career - "shouting when a whisper would do," one critic put it; "slick, monochromatic balladry," noted another. "Matchbox twenty's embrace of that aesthetic has tightened into a crushing bear-hug, squeezing all life out of it." Thomas has taken the heat and come up smiling each time: 1996's Yourself or Someone Like You was an instant pop-rock hit, ridiculed for seeming too "cookie-cutter." Thomas followed with 2000's Mad Season - epic and much more lyrically rich - which was thrashed for being "overproduced." Thomas eventually won over critics after the release 2002's More Than You Think You Are, which was eclectic and rocking and everything that critics said that Thomas wasn't. It was also not nearly as good as either of matchbox's other albums, and therefore got much better reviews and much fewer album sales. Matchbox twenty decided to take a short break.

In the meantime, Thomas decided that he would launch out his solo career and really show those critics. Something to Be is the result: Thomas's distinctive singer-songwriter style spread in all different musical directions, supposedly cementing his place as one of the brightest young singer-songwriters on the radio today (he was named Billboard's "Songwriter of the Year" two years in a row, and received the Songwriter's Hall of Fame first-ever "Starlight Award" - created to recognize a songwriter in the early years of his career who is already making a lasting impact).

I tell you all this because Something to Be is more than an album - it's the cautionary tale of what happens when you listen to critics too closely and forget to do what you're good at. Still, you've got to commend Thomas for how willing he is to stretch himself: Something to Be features Robert Randolph, John Mayer, a gospel band called Greater Anointing, Heartbreaker Mike Campbell, and Dr. Dre's bassist, Mike Elizondo. It's a mix of excellent talent from all different genres, and the experimentation shows, to good effect - listening to him break out with bolder, riff-laden, hip-hop flavored pop-rock is pure joy: "This Is How A Heart Breaks," "Lonely No More," and "Something To Be," are the strongest songs on the album, and they all cut loose like a Texan at Mardi Gras. When he slows the tempo, things often still hold together well: "Ever The Same," "Problem Girl," and "My, My, My," all sound like b-sides from an unreleased matchbox record, yet, as Rolling Stone noted, "it still sounds fresh in this new context."

That being said, Thomas' songwriting has clearly faltered. At times his rough-edged, stitch-it-together lyricism works to good effect, but sometimes it's woefully inadequate - on "All That I Am," Thomas channels Josh Groban to ill-effect, crooning "I am the one winged bird for flying, sinking swiftly to the ground." It might fly if Thomas were tongue in cheek, but he's deadly serious, and the deeper you dig, the more you find that it's just emotive words strung together in a vague, Cobain-lite sort of fashion. "Fallin' to Pieces" is particularly vacant, and Thomas' swing-for-the-fences funk shout-out to his "sisters and brothers, of every different color," is saved only by John Mayer's wailing lead guitar.

Something to Be isn't particularly bad, and when it's at the top of it's game, it's something to sit up and take notice of - which people inevitably will be forced to: Something to Be, already gold and still in the Billboard top 10, will have it's newest single, "This Is How A Heart Breaks," featured throughout the rest of the NBA playoffs - an excellent launching ground, just ask the Black Eyed Peas. There's nothing particularly dislikeable throughout the record, at it's worst it's bland, it never reaches the point where you reach for the "skip" button. But it's high points remind you just how much better it would be if Thomas would hole up in his room between albums and not listen to what anybody's saying about him.

Three Stars out of a possible Five.

Reviewing update

I've grown lax on reviews: I still have several promised reviews as yet unwritten, and I promise I'll write at least one tonight. I still need to do a Revenge of the Sith review, but I think I'm actually going to watch the movie again before I write a review. After all the suspense and build-up, having Sith be the poorly-written, uneven story that it is left me feeling jilted and sad. I'll need another watching to see if I can catch the fever again. I don't want to do an injustice by lashing out at such a film with such stunning visuals and groundbreaking fight scenes.

Anyone up for going with me?


A short romantic comedy/heist movie - it's like "Ocean's Eleven meets "Hitch." An overly dedicated gang of friends tries their best to help their lonely friend (Justin Ladd) win the heart of the girl of his dreams. Of course, they're not exactly sure what to do after that.

troubles? watch it on vMix.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Words and Personalities

I found an anagram site, and looked for cool anagrams of my name, but there were none to be found. The best I got was "BMW, Ye Ninja Man!" Which is okay, but most people I know can do better. For example, I ran my dad, and he got "Did Wavy Man?" Which I think is miles better. Let me know what you get.

I also ran another blogthings test. I know, I know... still, my results weren't bad: "You are unconventional, irreverant, and unimpressed by authority and rules. Incredibly perceptive, you can usually sense if someone has hidden motives." Ooooooooooh.

Your #1 Match: ENFP

The Inspirer
You love being around people, and you are deeply committed to your friends.
You are also unconventional, irreverant, and unimpressed by authority and rules.
Incredibly perceptive, you can usually sense if someone has hidden motives.
You use lots of colorful language and expressions. You're qutie the storyteller!
You would make an excellent entrepreneur, politician, or journalist.

Your #2 Match: INFP

The Idealist
You are creative with a great imagination, living in your own inner world.
Open minded and accepting, you strive for harmony in your important relationships.
It takes a long time for people to get to know you. You are hesitant to let people get close.
But once you care for someone, you do everything you can to help them grow and develop.
You would make an excellent writer, psychologist, or artist.

Your #3 Match: ENTP

The Visionary
You are charming, outgoing, friendly. You make a good first impression.
You possess good negotiating skills and can convince anyone of anything.
Happy to be the center of attention, you love to tell stories and show off.
You're very clever, but not disciplined enough to do well in structured environments.
You would make a great entrepreneur, marketing executive, or actor.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Pre-Star Wars Depression

I'm not going out to see Ep III tonight, and I don't think I'll get to see it for a couple days, which is a huge disappointment. Ah, well. I'm coping by doing crappy quizzes online.

You Are a Self Help Book!

While your advice is not always welcome...
It's always right on target.

What Crappy Gift Are You?

Your Penis Name is: Beefy McManstick

Get your own Penis Name

American Cities That Best Fit You:

50% Atlanta

50% Boston

50% Chicago

50% Los Angeles

50% Miami

Which American Cities Best Fit You?

Your SAT Score of 1540 Means:

You Scored Higher Than Howard Stern
You Scored Higher Than George W. Bush
You Scored Higher Than Al Gore
You Scored Higher Than David Duchovny
You Scored Higher Than Natalie Portman
You Scored Lower Than Bill Gates

Your IQ is most likely in the 140-150 range

Equivalent ACT score: 34

Schools that Fit Your SAT Score:
California Institute of Technology
Stanford University
Princeton University
Yale University
Harvard University

What Does Your SAT Score Mean?

You Belong in New Zealand

Good on ya, mate
You're the best looking one of the bunch
Though you're often forgotten...
You're quite proud of who you are

What English Speaking Country Do You Belong In?

This is just so adorably, unabashedly stereotypical:

Your Mexican Name Is...

Don Jarini

What's your Mexican Name?

And just because it's appropriate:

Star Wars
Name and Title

Your Star Wars Name: Najha Skars

Your Star Wars Title: Rahkas of Iel

Your Star Wars Name and Title


I figure that maybe another thing I should list on my dork list is "taking online quizzes." Peracchio had a humourous quiz on his blog, and it pointed me to this site: blogthings. I dig it. It figured out my linguistic profile, which is tricky these days, seeing as I'm one of the few people who say "y'all," "sneakers," and pronounce "aunt" in a way that rhymes with "daunt."

Your Linguistic Profile:

50% General American English

30% Yankee

10% Dixie

10% Upper Midwestern

0% Midwestern

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Leaves (Commentary)

Directors Jeremy White and Ben Wyman sit down and analyze the tortuous and complicated process of shooting "Leaves," their no-budget project shot entirely in Jeremy's house and surrounding areas on a Panasonic Handicam.

troubles? TenFourGoodBuddy

Leaves (Trailer)

The teaser trailer for "Leaves," a short film by Jeremy White and Ben Wyman. Jeremy made this trailer, though. I don't know where he finds the time.

troubles? watch it on vMix.


I added Allegedly Ashleigh's site to the cleaned-out sidebar, because it's clever and inspiring and makes me wish I was like her.


Tonight I accidently created a Xanga site while I was trying to post a comment on someone's Xanga. Since I had the opportunity, I figured I'd make an actual page, if just to direct people back here. I designed the page, and I really like how it looks - if I didn't have to use a template, or could design the html of a page myself, this is how 10-4GB would look. Between that and the "Ten-Four, Good Buddy Films" symbol, I've been at this computer for several hours, now, without anything really substantial to show for it.

Isn't summer great?

I should mention that these were actually designed by Jeremy White to fit my specification. I'm just adapting them a bit. So, here are the symbols that I spent all this time working on:

Ben Wyman Director's Reel

This is a montage of films that I've directed or shot. Half of these were shot in Kentucky, half were shot in downtown Los Angeles. It's short. Enjoy.

troubles? watch it back on vMix.

Monday, May 16, 2005


A short film loosely based on O. Henry's "The Last Leaf," the story follows a young painter with a dark past who arrives back at his childhood home and finds his neighbors from down the street living there. Directed by Jeremy White and Ben Wyman.

troubles? watch it back on vMix.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Review: Kingdom of Heaven (2005)

Starring Orlando Bloom, Liam Neeson, Eva Green, Jeremy Irons, and Edward Norton.

Before I start reviewing the actual story of Kingdom of Heaven, I want to give it at least five big compliments. Director Ridley Scott has really achieved something here, and I want to congratulate him on it:

1. No one has ever made any war film on such a large, epic scale as Kingdom. That's worthy of congratulations - no battle footage has ever been on so grand and awe-inspiring, never before has anyone seen a two-hundred thousand man army beat the tar out of another two-hundred thousand man army out on some desert plain. It pushes beyond Lord of The Rings and Troy and into new territory - hey, notice how many of these films star Orlando Bloom? His name on a film guarantees that it probably cost more than 100 million to make. In my book, that's not a bad thing; we need more of these sort of films populating the early summer months, it eases the pain brought on by House of Wax and Monster-In-Law.

2. The acting done in the film is pretty solid for a epic historical movie - this is normally the sort of film where good actors look like bad actors, and bad actors also look like bad actors. But Irons, Norton, and Neeson are all excellent, and Bloom is... well, Orlando Bloom, again (see review in Ned Kelly). However, he's added an extra level of passion and depth to his pretty-boy-kills-baddies bit. It's not heart-wrenching or jaw-dropping, but it's not bad. Plus, he bulked up twenty pounds for the flick, and the extra effort shows - he doesn't look completely out of place as a blacksmith this time (yes, he's a blacksmith again). Eva Green (The Dreamers) is excellent as Sibylla, though it's a completely thankless role: the princess of Jerusalem who falls for Bloom instantly despite already being married to Guy de Lusignan (Marton Csokas), a one-note evil dude with his eyes on the throne and no interest in his wife. Bloom and Green get it on almost instantly, which is okay because:
a) Cinema Morality Rule #34: It's not cheating if the husband doesn't really care about the wife because he's too busy being evil.
b) Cinema Morality Rule #13: It's not cheating if the main character protests at first that it might be wrong, and therefore they shouldn't do it.
c) Cinema Morality Rule #1: It's not cheating if the main character, like, totally loves her.

3. John Mathieson's cinematography for the film is absolutely breathtaking. I mean, it looks simply stunning. Mathieson and Scott have done excellent work before - Gladiator, Matchstick Men - and Kingdom, coming right at the heels of last year's Phantom of the Opera, show that he's just about on the top of his game.

Okay, I'm running low on compliments, so:
4. After Alexander last Christmas, we were all starved for a decent historical epic with some good fight scenes. Thanks. You've tided me over for a bit.

5. At least at the end of this film, the viewer says, "You know what that film reminded me? Gladiator was a really good movie. I should watch that again." Whereas at the end of... Monster-In-Law, a viewer notes "Hey, you know what else sucked? Everything else Jennifer Lopez has ever been in. I think I'll never watch a movie again as long as I live." So, you see, Kingdom is really a great film in that regard - it's given us some option other than Jennifer Lopez and Paris Hilton this weekend. That's worth a lot.

Okay, now that I've been nice, I've got to start ripping on William Monahan, who wrote Kingdom and deserves a good talking to. In fact, he's getting one now.

Dear William,

I recently saw you major opus Kingdom of Heaven, and thought I'd drop you a line. You see, William, you've clearly got a lot to explain.

Alright, you wrote a long war movie in which you never take a side. How can you expect this to work? Your main character, Balian, comes in to lead the Crusaders against those crazy infidels, the Moslems. But he doesn't really want to fight the Moslems. Neither does anyone else who isn't a crazy religious zealot. So Balian spends the whole movie asking "Can't we all just get along?" And everyone else answers, "No, dammit, let's kill us some infidels!" as if the Crusades were some redneck hunting trip for religious symbols, which your screenplay tries very hard to convince us that they were.

I mean, seriously, Bill - you have the entire forces of the Crusaders riding out to meet the entire forces of the Moslems, and nobody cares, not even you - which is why we cut away and never see the battle. And the whole time we're really just hoping that everyone just gets together and talks and sorts things out. And in the final, climactic battle, with all the cool siege engines, and flaming balls launched from trebuchets, and boiling oil poured from the battlements, the audience is sitting there wondering, "so, when are they going to get together and talk this out so that they don't have to fight anymore?"

Bill, you mystify me. Haven't you ever seen a war movie? And I understand that you're opposed to war - that's very clear from this film. I also understand that you're opposed to the war on Iraq - that too, is also pretty clear, since it spends a good deal of time cluttering up your story about the Crusades. I even think that it's helpful that you tried to show us what a terrible thing the Crusades really were. But did you really have to make it so ham-handed that nobody cared at all about the battle? Isn't there a better way to do things?

Just a suggestion, Bill. Good luck on Tripoli and Jurassic Park IV. I sincerely hope that they both don't suck.


Kingdom of Heaven gets three stars out of a possible five, because I could only think of three legitimate compliments, and - Cinema Morality Rule #74: there's no way you can give a film more than three stars if you can only think of three good things about it.

Friday, May 13, 2005

[Let Go]

Director Ben Wyman's first film attempt, "[Let Go]" follows an emotional young man as he tries to explain to his former girlfriend why he can't stop holding on.

troubles? watch it back on vMix.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Asbury Film Festival

At long last, the Asbury Film Festival piece. I've been building up to this one for a while, so I figure that I'll divide this up into multiple posts in order to not have to stay up all night typing. Thanks to Ben, by the way, who found the Lexington Herald article that had my picture in it. Even though the pictures didn't make it into the web version, it's still exciting to see one's name in an article, especially in an article about a film festival that one has recently won.

You read correctly, folks - Leaves won "Best Picture" at the inaugural Asbury Film Festival. How did this miraculous event come to take place? Let's start this back on Friday night.

Friday Night
This was a good night. Jeremy White (my partner on, and the star of, Leaves) and I were looking sharp - I was in tux and silver tie, while Jeremy sported the dark suit with charcoal sweater - and we went and took our young co-star, Christie Osterhus, out to dinner. Okay, we took her out to Applebee's, but when you're 10, I'm assuming that's still pretty cool. We all did the Veggietales wordfind on the kid's menu, and just to let you know how competitive Jeremy and I are: neither of us let Christie finish first. We were both too concerned with winning ourselves (Jeremy won. I was a close second. "Princess" was a tough find). After that, we headed back to school to grab seats for the festival.

Opening night was fabulous. Everyone was dressed to the nines, the anticipation was palpable, and the mood was electric. Jeremy's family, had, of course, turned out in force for the festival - they came both nights, and were always one of the first ones there - and so Leaves got a lot of popular support in the audience vote (there were about a dozen of them, and Leaves had a 15-vote lead at the end of the first night. Probably not coincidental).

I loved the film festival. Each one of the 13 short films selected was creative, clever, and was usually well written. In a future post I'll critique each. For now, suffice to say it was a thoroughly enjoyable viewing experience. Especially for me: I appear, or was involved, in seven of the productions.

The student films were followed by the premiere of Stolen Moments, the film shot by Asbury students early this semester (end of January to the beginning of March). There's a lot to say about Stolen Moments, so I'll critique the film later. But to answer your question, yes, I was involved in its production. I was a behind-the-scenes documentary cameraman. But I was also a storyboard artist. And I did pre-visualization for some of the bigger sequences of the film. Oh, and I did continuity for a scene or two. And I typed up the shot sheets for some shoots. And I was a production assistant once in a while. And a camera assist. And an audio assist. And I ran the camera once in a while. And I acted in the film. Oh, and I directed a few shots. I think that covers it. And it was the best time of my life. I loved every minute of it. Seeing it all come to screen was an interesting experience - both thrilling and anti-climactic. I don't know how to explain it. It's like Christmas feels these days: it's exciting and it's fun, but that pure visceral thrill that you'd expect it to be isn't there. Ah, well. It was still a great time.

Most is the Academy-Award nominated, Sundance-winning half hour film written in part by Billy Zabka (the blond guy in Karate Kid). Billy's a cool cat, and I love the film, it's beautifully moving, but it's a tough way to end a film festival when you've been there for three hours and you're starting on another film and it's a foreign film about a father having to make a choice between the life of his son and the lives of a few hundred people on a train. Tough note to close on. It mighta been better if they'd showed Most first and finished with Stolen Moments. But who wants their film to be shown after a Sundance winner? All in all, Jeff Day, the director of Stolen Moments, who put this whole thing together, probably made the right choice.

And then the after-party. Having sweated through most of the festival in nervous anticipation, I now stripped off my tie, undershirt, and vest, and wandered the party looking, as several people mentioned, "like a drunk best man at a reception." That's as may be, but Becca Harvey saw fit to mention "you look so hot right now," and Erin Channell demanded that I stay right next to her for the rest of the evening for protection. Where I come from, that's a pretty good night.

Saturday Night
As great as Friday night was, it can't touch Saturday night. To start it off, at the Media Communications Awards Ceremony, I won "Radio Producer of the Year." Which is really cool, even though I really didn't do that much radio production this year. I really won the award for my work from last year, when I really was the best radio producer. This year I was on coast, but no one else was doing radio production, so I get an award. It wouldn't matter that much to me except that the victory means that I get to go on the "Wall of Fame" in Corbitt, so my place in the Asbury Media Communication Annals is assured. And that is something to be excited about.

But the best was yet to come.

Each film only won one award, so that each deserving piece would get to leave with something. Which I agree with, but when you don't know it's coming, it sounds more like you've been swept out of competition entirely. After the first few awards had been handed out to other films, I'd already resigned myself to my defeat. After four or five awards had been handed out, I noticed the lack of repeats, and suddenly realized that "if those films have already won awards, then they won't win Best Picture, which means that maybe I..." By the time they announced Best Comedy (a tie between Beaver and Mug - more on that in a later post), it was suddenly sinking in that I was about to win a film festival. Then they announced that [Let Go] had won Best Drama, and my jaw dropped. I had written and directed [Let Go] at the end of the last semester and entered it into the film festival on a whim, offhandedly hoping that it would be entered. Once it did, I never gave it another thought - I'd moved on, and my effort was on getting Leaves noticed. But people really responded to [Let Go] (it ended up fourth in audience voting - awfully high for a drama about someone coping with losing his girlfriend in a car accident they were both in). A lot of people came up to talk to me about it, which is always exciting.

Right after they announced Best Drama, they announced Best Picture - and I got to stand up again. By this time, my face was flaming red, and I was trying unsuccessfully to look as if this was no big deal to me - I made the foolhardy decision to give Jeremy a huge high-five from three rows away, almost toppling myself into the row behind me in the process. Surefire Hollywood high-roller, right here. I sat down quickly, but then they announced the Audience Choice award: it went to Leaves, as well. Isn't that crazy? I fully expected Beaver or Mug to take it: comedies always do well, and particularly inventive ones like those two you would think would be locks for the top spot (they finished second and third, respectively). I suppose they probably split the vote between them, leaving us the opportunity to take the award.

The rest of the night is a bit of a haze, but I recall it wound down with me jumping around a lot, hugging a lot of people that I hadn't realized I was that close with, and declaring an impromptu celebration at the local coffeehouse until dawn. Admittedly, enthusiasm waned a bit before then, but this ain't New York City, and a couple hours of celebration is about all you can really handle when you're in a low-key coffeeshop and you haven't really slept for weeks. Still, props to Solomon's Porch for letting us stay an hour late to stretch out the moment, before I finally wandered, still dazed but ecstatic, back to my room.

As Plutarch noted, every dog has his day.

Keeping up with the Joneses

As promised, I've done some work updating the site, even though I've been pretty sick the past couple days. I fixed some dead links and the like, and tightened up the sidebar. Haven't had the heart to launch into a major post yet, but that's coming. I still have to find a job, too, remember.

I was updating the links, and had to replace the fat Dutch guy who dances to "Dragostea din tea." When I searched for a new version of the video, I discovered a lot of people have only seen an edited version, where pictures of random dorky guys are flashed across the screen during the video, and when O-Zone sings "fericirea," a picture of feta cheese appears. Yes, it's true, folks - the computer age will herald in new breakthroughs in communication and information.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

The Woods

A short film about a woodsy lost boy and the girl he lures out into the wilderness, "The Woods" is a short example of sweeping cinematic flavor on an intimate scale. Directed by Laura Hunt and shot by cinematographer Ben Wyman.

troubles? watch it on vMix.