Numb on Dumb and Dumber

So it’s official. A big movie studio has exhumed another mid-90’s corpse and made a sequel.

Dumb and Dumber was -like anyone else growing up in the 90’s, was one of my favourite flicks. I played the hell out of that VHS (kids, ask your parents) until it needed the sort of manual tracking that requires Viggo Mortenson dressed as Aragorn. I was totally into the animated series (the existence of which now baffles me, but hey they made a Beetlejuice cartoon so why the fuck not?) and -to my surprise, discovered a favourite actor I’ve yet to shake from my list in Jim Carrey.

Oh yeah, and that dog van. I totally fucking wanted a dog van.

They see me rollin’, they hatin’

And then this appeared on my dash just today:

This is what “I’ve defaulted on my mortgage repayments” looks like.

Why? You were doing so well! Okay, so the whole Ace Ventura/Mask thing got a little old and the last role I remember seeing Jeff Daniels in was “Roger” in ‘101 Dalmatians’, but come on!

I truly do wonder what more needs to be said of Harry and Lloyd? I guess you could say the same about the guy whose movies I totally dig (doubly so, for his fondness for dick jokes), but I digress. Besides, neither the Farrelly Brothers or Dumb and Dumber changed (or saved, for that matter) my life.

Perhaps I’m exaggerating. I don’t not like the idea of Dumb and Dumber To (bit of a shame you wasted Dumb and Dumberer, hey?), I just don’t care. I don’t see the point aside from reliving a blip of people’s childhoods.


At the same time, I remain hopeful that it isn’t terrible. It’ll be like seeing a friend you haven’t seen in 10 years and you hope to christ he isn’t addicted to meth or something. And hey, if we’re really lucky? The Vaughans release a new song in time for the DVD:

(Given the content of my first notable achievement, I could probably blame this for 90% of the jokes in HiOP)



6 Things Nobody Tells You About Independent Filmmaking.

So around 2010 I woke up stupid one day and decided “you know what? I want to make films for a living”.

….That’s about it. No big story or anything. I woke up, decided that whoring myself out on the internet via youtube, blogs, webcomics and a DeviantArt account I never used wasn’t enough and wanted to make me some goddamn moving pictures (coincidentally, this is also the point where every dyed-in-the-wool “I was born to do this” filmmaker I meet give me an uncomfortable polite smile and leave to talk to someone who actually has a story to tell).

In 2011 I finished off my webseries and went to film school to learn the ropes and hopefully make a career out of it because frankly, you can read, listen to and watch all the “behind the scenes” stuff you like and I figured that was only a smidgen of the process. Turns out I was right.

1) The Paperwork Involved

If there is any industry responsible for the Final Solution-esque killing of trees, it’s the film industry. “Think Green! Read from the screen!” only means so much when you’re printing out reams upon reams of paper for each production (admittedly, it also doesn’t help that reading off of a computer screen is like staring into the sun).

On average, your typical student short film involves the following:

-First Draft Script
-Second Draft Script
-Third Draft Script
-Final Draft Script
-Production Schedule
-Budget spreadsheet
-Budget Application Forms
-Actor Release Forms
-Location Release Forms
-Safety Report
-Callsheets for every day of shooting
-Tax Invoices
-Budget Reconciliation Forms

Ontop of this, a few of these (scripts especially) are printed out en masse to give to actors, lecturers, crew etc and all are required to ensure a smooth production. While a lot can be sent via email, hardcopies are usually made to have them on hand and easily referred to without having to fumble through your smartphone and reading it in squint-o-vision.

2) You’re Going to Work With Jerks (Unless You’re Lucky)

Watch any behind the scenes footage of your favourite DVD. Chances are, everyone’s all cheery and joking around on set, deliberately screwing up takes to get stuff for the blooper reels and what have you. What you don’t see, are the arguments, impatient crew members and directors, set walk-offs, temper tantrums and the list goes on and on. While ultimately, you’ll meet some amazing people, there’s going to be one or two productions you’re involved in where it all falls apart.

More to the point, this eats up time like a World of Warcraft addiction. Wasting time means more work to be finished by the end of the day or -if it comes down to it, having to put it off until another day to ensure it gets done.

There’s also the problem of shooting outside. As a Cinematographer, you have to contend with a big-ass fireball in the sky which moves as the day goes on and can cause a shitload of continuity errors. Have fun with that.

3) Not All the Jobs are Awesome (Unless You’re Lucky)

Don’t get me wrong, dear reader. Filmmaking is tons of fun. However like any other job, you’re probably going to end up in a bottom-rung position sooner or later. Welcome to the job of being a runner

Being a runner has it’s perks, as you get to network with people, help out on set and so on. It’s also one of the most frustrating positions to be given unless there’s tons of work to do. More often than not, you’re sent to the break-room to make sandwiches for people.

What’s worse is, you’re only as good as the time you spend on set. Pissing off for a smoke break means there’s one less person to do your job if the need arises and chances are, if you’re not going to be around when needed, you will easily be replaced by other people who are on set.

Worser still, being as runner is like the entry-level grunt roles in any job. Unless you have the experience, you will ultimately land this role while you’re still inexperienced.

3) You need to be both technical and creative (unless you’re lucky).

Being able to write a script is one thing. Granted, it’s a very good thing because -in my experience? Not many people are good at it. How about being able to turn that script into a finished product? Alternatively, how about being able to use all your technical know-how and make your own movie? Cause in my world? You get to do both.

Sometimes you don’t get to sit in a cushy chair and order people around. Sometimes you have to arrange lights, direct, use the camera, data wrangle and then edit the damn thing. If you’re lucky? you’ll even get to sleep.

Sure, it’s impressive getting your name mentioned 60 times in the credits, but is it worth the headache? Make a few contacts before you venture out into this big scary world, eh?

 4) Goddamn Murphy’s Law

Fucking Murphy!

So what’s the worst that can happen at your average job? Shit takes too long to get done, the manager shouts at you for some shit you did/didn’t do, and chances are you fail so badly you’re given a one-way ticket to Firedtown, just up the road from Reundantville.

Yeah well, it’s kinda the same in filmmaking except, you know, people can fucking die

Thankfully, Murphy only rears his ugly head to make sure nobody charged the camera battery or didn’t backup footage/sound half the time. Maybe a light -the only light without a spare bulb will die on the same day that the lead actor is stuck in traffic and  catering is hours behind schedule. Really unless you’re doing some pretty hardcore stunts, you won’t have to deal with a lawsuit on your hands. Still best to expect Murphy. Sitting, waiting to strike. Kinda like a fucking annoying and costly Batman.

It doesn’t get any easier on smaller shoots, either. Chances are, you’re already well into the red and the actors/crew are working for free, so you’re not going to be able to throw money at any problems, either.

5) Outside interference

So I’ve already covered the sun thing, right? What about the goddamn public?

I get it. Seeing a bunch of important-looking people huddling around a bunch of lights and a camera makes for an interesting water-cooler story. Hell, I remember rubbernecking at a shoot for a Muhammad Ali film during a trip to LA. It’s something you simply don’t see often. So it’s understandable that you lot want to whip out your phones and Instagram that shit.

But no, we’re not looking for extras, or crew, or someone who “could like, totally nail all the lines in one take!”. Sure, we’ll wax lyrical for a few seconds and tell you what we’re doing, but after that? Take your picture, update your Facebook and move on.

And that’s just the general public milling around and hey, to their credit you guys are mostly alright. Unfortunately, in Sydney we get all sorts.

There’s always going to be that one drunk or drugged-out guy who just won’t leave. Or keeps making noise, or wants to help out so much that he shouts out ideas from the sideline in between having a heated debate with a nearby streetlight and pissing on himself.

6) Nobody likes filmmakers. Especially businesses.

Go into any business and say “Hey, so I’m shooting a film. Can I pay you money to have a bunch of people stand in your store and play make-believe for six hours?” Bonus points if you live in a small town and it’s your first time directing.

The ideal situation would be they say yes. In which case you and your producer (read: your best friend who you suckered into producing because he knows a thing or two about film) high five, share a beer and start writing up a release form.

The more likely scenario? They’re either going to say no, want more money or they have to “talk to the manager first” (read: They’ll share a joke or two about it and never get back to you).

If I had a dollar for every  email that went unreplied to, every manager who said they can’t accommodate us and every store owner who wanted more cash, I’m pretty sure I could open my own store and film in it. It’d be like a clubhouse for anyone who’s working on that perfect script (in other words, Starbucks). Don’t even get me started on airports. If they’re willing to gouge you out of $18 for a meatball sub, they’ll probably ask for your bodily organs for a few seconds worth of screen-time.

Everyone requires a release form and an administration fee. Everywhere treats you like an inconvenience. If this is your first time starting out, hope to fuck you can pull some strings.

Oh, you think your friends are going to help you out? Well… yeah. They do. But unless they can cut you some pretty awesome breaks, expect to shoot your first venture in an apartment, a house, or a different kind of apartment.

Location-scouting is one of those situations you’ll encounter where it’s great to have “a guy who knows a guy”. Incidentally, this is why you’ll see a lot of films with the same backdrop because take it from me, once we find a place that’s 100% film-friendly? We jump on that shit.

At the end of the day, though.

If you’ve made it this far without thinking “maybe I should go into accounting instead”. This is for you: It is all completely worth it.

Everything I’ve listed is such a small part of a much larger and more enjoyable picture. From sitting in your underwear typing up that first draft to finally seeing the finished product, it’s a hell of a slog each and every time, but let me put it this way: Would you rather be able to say: “Oh yeah, I closed the McSurly account this week. Thank god that’s over”? Or “We filmed a gunfight in an alley that smelled of piss for six hours. Thank God that’s over”?

Even if I spend the next ten years only screening my films to my ex-girlfriend’s dog, I’m gonna take Piss Alley, each and every time.

Shut the Fuck Up and Make Some Art

So a friend of mine from ye olde stomping grounds visited me a few weeks ago. We were shooting the shit and eventually he quipped “you know, I’d really like to write a novel some day”. Naturally -me being someone who threw away any sense of responsibility and job loyalty to go to film school, immediately went into “MAKE ART!” mode and more or less said that he had no excuses not to. If anything, because everyone should be as miserable as I am now I’m not earning a steady paycheck and relying on people to be really generous with tips.

But honestly, If I can impart any advice to any readers of this blog? You have no damn excuses not to go out and do what you want to do.

I’m not saying it’s easy, I’m not saying you’ll be appreciated for it, hell, most people won’t even be into what you’re doing. Even worse, they might not even understand why you’re doing it in the first place. Who cares? Throw caution to the fucking wind and make some art. More importantly, make a whole lot of bad art and get better so you can make good art.

Got kids and a mortgage? Great, I know people in that same situation.

No time? Make some time.

No finances? We live in a Kickstarter world, boyo.

Can’t write/draw/make films/dance/play an instrument? Then go out there and fucking learn, find someone to help you, or work it out yourself. I -a not very smart man, made a webseries armed only with a camera, a DVD collection spanning into the hundreds, and faint memories of how the layout looked in the shooting script to “Beavis and Butt-Head Do America”.

No excuses. None. Ever.

A wise man with an impressive beard once said “Art can’t save the world, but it makes the world a lot easier to take”.

An equally-wise-if-not-wiser, with an equally-impressive-if-not-more-impressive-beard said “There’s no time for plan B. Fuck it.”

What risks are there? That you’re going to be putting your heart and soul into something that -sooner or later, people might enjoy? Could it be that you might find something you’re good at? OH NO! It’s not often I side with the #YoloSwag generation, but let’s face it, you really do only live once.

I mean, fuck. What’s the point of working in a shit job you don’t like, dealing with people you don’t like, in a shit little town you don’t like, if there’s no counterbalance? Why live in a “shoulda, coulda woulda” bubble filled with meaningless excuses? I’m not even talking to people who want to be creative, either. Shit, go plant a tree or something if that’s what you always wanted to do. Anything your heart desires is within your grasp. Whether you bother reaching out is up to you.

Some Things to Remember this R U OK? Day.

Yeah, so I never miss an opportunity to tear someone’s good intentions apart like a rabid dog. It’s the misanthropy, I swear,

Today is the 12th of September. A day after the entire western world united and hated brown people back in 2001, and still a few days shy of my favourite holiday, ‘Talk Like a Pirate Day”. Thankfully, this relatively new phenomenon known as “R U OK Day” is here to fill the gap between pirates and mob-mentality racism.

For those not in the know, I’ll let the event’s Facebook page speak for itself:

The R U OK? Foundation was founded by marketing executive Gavin Larkin (d. 2011) in 2009. Inspired by the suicide death of Larkin’s father Barry Larkin, it was hoped that by encouraging meaningful conversations, more people would take the time to connect with any person experiencing a problem.

R U OK?Day is our national day of action on the second Thursday of September (12 September 2013), and dedicated to reminding people to regularly check in with family and friends.

It’s kinda a token effort, but it’s a good start, seeing as mental illness and “people in crisis” are rarely talked about in depth. More just given a half-arsed pat on the shoulder and then ignored. Like that creepy uncle at Christmas.

When my brain finally popped and I was more or less* diagnosed with anxiety and depression, I felt I had very few people to confide in. Most people -some of whom I thought were good friends, effectively told me that I was being a twat and to shut the fuck up when the problems were first apparent. Whether their actions were justified or not (they weren’t, but they were probably -and understandably, sick of my bullshit. So whatever), nothing was really done about it. I didn’t sit down and say “here’s what’s wrong. Help me”, and they didn’t say “Hey fatty! You look like you’re not having much fun. Put down that carton of mars bars and let’s talk”.

So yeah. I get the intent of  R U OK? Day, and it’s a very good thing. But -using text-speak aside, I have my issues. Namely the token effort thing, and that people are pretty fucking unprepared to deal with anyone having issues, so it ends up being a bit of a dog’s breakfast.

So I’m here to help. It’s what I do. I should charge for this shit one day, but today isn’t that day.

So let’s assume, dear reader, you’ve facebooked/tweeted “RUOK?” and jumped on the bandwagon. I’ll also assume your intentions are genuine. Here’s a handy-dandy set of cliffs notes, extrapolated from the RUOK propaganda, just in case you give a fuck and end up talking to someone.

-Your Problems No Longer Matter

Yes, you have your own shit to deal with. Your partner is a dickhead and got drunk again, money’s tight, and that itch in your crotch isn’t going away. Guess what? You get to wait your turn. You asked “R U OK?” So you shut the fuck up and listen. Even if you can’t help, just listen. Getting it off of one’s chest is one of the best things one can do about their problems and you’re providing them with a sounding board.

Don’t try and put it into perspective with the turmoil affecting whatever third-world country you all of a sudden care about, don’t try and one-up them with your own problems, your job right now is to shut up and listen.

-Don’t be a judgemental prick

Leave your educated opinions at the door there, Dr. Phil. It is not your job to tell them how to feel, think, or act about a given situation. It is, however, your job to take them seriously. Chances are you’re going to be dealing with some pretty sensitive material so treat it as such. You wouldn’t ask to hold a newborn baby and then proceed to use it as a football, would you?

As an aside, the “you don’t have problems” attitude people start with shits to me to tears. These are taken from a YouTuber I’m subscribed to and they really struck a chord with me. Not a good one, either.

This is
What far too many people
Have to deal with

You get a pass if their actions will inevitably get them into more trouble or cause further issues. Even then, don’t make them feel like the world’s biggest piece of shit. Be upfront and honest, but also be prepared to soften the blow a touch (plus if they completely ignore you, you get to bust out your “told you so” dance).

-Don’t expect the same treatment in return

So you consider yourself a pretty caring nice guy, right? Listening to your friend and shit? Oh, but what have THEY done for YOU? Are they going to listen to you bitch and whine about your life?

Newsflash: Being a decent human being is to not expect anything in return. Sure, it’s a cock to the eyesocket that you spent your time listening and giving advice and you don’t get a chance to discuss your issues. But unless you’re an exceptionally unlucky fuck, you have fifteen other people you can talk to at least for one day of unified and token giving a shit. You want a payoff? How about the payoff of your friend not wrapping a rope around his fucking neck?

-It’s okay to not know the answers

I’m one of these people who gets all flustered if they can’t fix a problem a friend’s having. “Sorry to hear that” and “if there’s anything I can do” don’t cut it with me, damnit.

I’d wager some of you are the same. You don’t know the answers and you feel unhelpful.

Newsflash the second: You’re not. This shit isn’t easy to begin with, but by putting an effort into saying “yes. I will listen to your problems and see what I can do”, you probably made someone’s day considerably less shittier already. If you have advice, can loan them five bucks, or even just take them out for a beer, bonus.

-Follow up

This should be obvious. If you give a shit and your bud’s plight twanged at your heartstrings a bit, probably a great idea to follow up and see how they’re faring. They’ll appreciate it.

That about runs the gamut of knob jokes, bad analogies and anything else I had to say. But if you’re going through some rough times, I have a message for you too:

-It’s okay to ask for help

Always think it’s okay to need someone to shoot the shit with about whatever’s getting you down. It’s not weak, you don’t need to retire your man-card (or woman card. Do women have a card? Help me out here, angry feminists), swallow your fucking pride and ask for help. Friend’s are always good and you’re able to mooch a free beer occasionally, professionals are even better for the more complicated stuff. Whatever your method is, whatever your problem. Do something about it.



Till next time…


 fine print: “more or less” diagnosed because I did see a shrink and was told “this is what’s probably wrong with you”. However, I was also going through a lot of shit at the time and it was relating to that period of my life. Usually I dance around the “anxiety” side of things. But that’ a blog post for another day.

A Not-So Modest Followup

So I emailed My last post, an open letter to the party leaders of the Greens, Labor and Liberal parties to come and play Call of Duty over a few beers out to their respective inboxes.

For those who aren’t in Australia (or don’t give a shit), here’s now it breaks down, complete with prospective gamer handles for them all:

THE GREENS – Led by Christine Milne, stand for NBN, Refugee and LGBT rights, increasing the film industry in Australia, and renewable energy. Your typical “hippie” party. In my opinion they’re pretty great.


LABOR – Current party in power, led by Kevin Rudd. Stand for LGBT rights, the NBN, the Gonski education reform, but are a little lacking in their bedside manner when it comes to asylum seekers (though points for actually stopping the boats, while Liberals are merely going to pretend they don’t exist). Famous this year for numerous leadership spills and for being completely and unfairly shat on by the media. In my opinion they’re not bad, but when they say they want to “give everyone a fair go”, they need to… you know, give EVERYONE a fair go. That includes the fucking brown people on boats, you guys.


LIBERAL/NATIONAL COALITION – Australia’s conservative “keep the rich richer and forget the poor exist” posterboys, led by Tony Abbott and Rupert Murdoch. their main policies are to throw handfuls of shit at Labor’s apparent incompetence (of course, sensationalized by the media) and call Kevin Rudd names, followed by a steady six-point-plan to keep anyone who isn’t white out of Australia and make huge cuts to essential and critical services, to get Australia’s economy into a surplus we don’t need. They recently brought out a paid parental leave scheme for people who already have shitloads of money, while threatening to cut services to the hospitals who would potentially deliver the babies they’re giving birth to. In my opinion, they’re a bit shit. Which is like saying that Hitler was “a bit mean to jews and homosexuals”.


So far the only person who has bothered to respond personally is the office of Christine Milne. Shout-out to Felicity Gray for getting back to me with a personalized, albeit short response.

Tony Abbott’s office not only spectacularly failed to give me the correct gender pronoun (opting for the formal-but-still-generic “Sir or Madam”, when my name was CLEARLY PRINTED in my initial email), but  threw in a snide remark about Labor’s “incompetence” and “untrustworthiness”. Despite the fact that the Coalition has been wonderfully non-transparent about their policies, costings, and issues.

To be honest, I’m wondering if Tony Abbott knows what an Xbox is…


No word from Kevin Rudd as of yet, but I’ll update as soon as one comes in. He’s probably figuring out his BlOps2 loadout or something for when we throw down. Sneaky bugger.


A Not-So Modest Proposal

Dear Kevin Rudd, Tony Abbott, Christine Milne, and candidates of the Grayndler electorate.

I am speaking to you as a member of the Australian public and as an apathetic swing-voter getting increasingly tired and bored of the media telling me who to vote for (so, Liberals, basically. Go media bias!)

Your parties all have policies that affect me directly as a feminist ally, bisexual, and currently-between-jobs freelance content creator, I have done my research and frankly, gun to my head? I’ll take my chances with the holder of said gun pulling the trigger.

Yeah. I’ll take death or permanent injury over having to go and vote.

Which brings me to the point of this open letter/blog post. I have a proposal. I am 100% serious and if my vote counts like it apparently does, then I hope that you take me up on this offer to prove it. I mean, shit. Australian politics is already a farce, so why not?

My proposal is this: I will vote for the party who sends out a representative to my home in Sydney’s Inner West, to drink a sneaky midweek beer or two (or tea/coffee, if you prefer), and play a few games on my Xbox 360.

That’s it. You don’t even have to win. Just turn up and hang with a potential voter. We can chill and talk about pressing issues or point out cloud-shapes whilst lamenting the pitiful view I have from my balcony. For me, it means I can dismiss all the turmoil of deciding which candidate best represents my views, and for you, it means you score a vote regardless of your policies. It’s win/win!

I understand that the election is this weekend, so I’m also happy to have a party representative sent out at a more convenient date.

I have not decided on the game yet, but seeing as it apparently has taken over my life as of late, probably Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.

Playing via Xbox Live is also acceptable, but less fun.

If nobody turns up, then I’ll throw my vote by drawing dicks on the ballot papers or vote for some irrelevant minor party that nobody cares about, like One Nation.

I’ll also spend top dollar on the finest spirits for any party leader who turns up.

I will have a videographer onsite to assist in podcasting the entire thing and uploading it to my YouTube Channel as a living memento of our time together, said time spent drinking and shooting each-other in the face.

Again, I reiterate that I am 100% serious about this. Labor and Greens can prove that they’re the vox populi (shout-out to any Bioshock Infinite players reading), and Liberals can prove that they’re completely approachable and relatable for young adults in Australia -a demographic which I am a member of in mind only.

I hope that you  consider my proposal.

Yours sincerely,


Luke “Ruku” Sheehan.


Seth Sentry, Twerking, Batfleck, Other shit happening that has invaded my Facebook timeline.

Largely off-the-cuff and about a week late because I’ve been away. Time to play catchup! Bear with me.

I saw Seth Sentry last week. It was fucking brilliant. Him and the openers (Grey Ghost, Mantra) fucking killed it. Glad I went. Glad my first hip-hop gig was seeing the guy who raps about hoverboards.

Granted, it was in a crowded music venue and I was more toward the front than I prefer, so I got pushed around a small bit. Still had lots of fun. Want to do it all again already. Waaaah!

I am so not excited about this election. Australian politics bore me at the best of times (especially now with Julia out of the picture, I can’t be all “girl power” and “fuck the patriarchy”. YAWN) Labor and Liberal shit to me to tears and I fear the latter has a strong chance of getting in this year. Lie back and think of England, I suppose.

It wouldn’t bother me if -under Abbott, the Liberal party seems to have swung into the depths of conservatism that I dare not tread, in fear of losing my IQ. It also wouldn’t bother me if the media weren’t so intent on sucking Tony Abbott’s withered old cock.

I’ll let that mental image sink in.

Tired to death of hearing about Batfleck. So done. Affleck is a solid actor. Snyder is a solid director. Enough about Batfleck already.

Miley Fucking Cyrus. REALLY?! Nobody saw her one-way ticket into attempting to revamp her image into someone/thing more ‘ardcore? It happened with Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. Old habit do not die easily in the Mickey Mouse Club, it seems.

Wait, Miley was a Disney alumni, right? I’m an old man and I can’t keep up with your current generation y with their hippity-hop and their yoloswag.

Yeah, yeah, it was in poor taste and stunk the wafty stank of casual racism. Let’s all remember that it was a dipshit 20 year old acting like a dipshit 20 year old. Can we all just agree to not feign shock and disappointment over whatever latest pop-starlet-turned-gangsta-chic-chick appears on the TV? Thanks.

And quit with the slut shaming. For fuck’s sake.

Comic Book Men is pretty fucking great. Apparently it’s finally hit Australia. Anyone into Kevin Smith and/or comic books, hit it up.

On that note, the Sandman and American Gods TV adaptations should be out already. Chuck in High Cost of Living/Time of Your Life and Anansi Boys if you need more material. Just… fuuuuck. Gimme my damn stories already!

Actually, no. Scratch that. I want to shoot a High Cost of Living flick. Fuck off HBO.

(just kidding. I love you, HBO)