The Reverence Chronicles 2001 - Frontier Pop Issue 6: The Future Of Tampa Indie Film

FRONTIER POP: Features - The Reverence Chronicles 2001. Blog posts from C. A. Passinault from late 2001.

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The Reverence Chronicles: The lost blog entries

August 27, 2010

I was looking for files on my computer tonight for the new issue of Frontier Pop about the future of Tampa indie film, and I stumbled upon 60 pages of blog posts that I made in late 2001. Late 2001 was a critical part of my life, and a lot of what happened there defined the rest of the decade, and resonates on everything that I do, today. It should be noted that I will be publishing other posts like this on Frontier Pop in the future.
Many of these blog posts also chronicle my first attempt at making an independent film, a feature film called Reverence, well before digital production technology was quite there. Today, nine years later, it’s finally here, but back then, it was way too expensive (for example, a digital camcorder good enough to make short films is now under $300.00, and I am looking at a camera right now for $160.00 which can do the job. Granted, these are DVD resolution single CCD cameras which write onto 8 to 16 Gig memory cards, but they can roughly do what an $4,500.00 XL-1 could do back then; the only advantage the XL-1 really has being a 3 CCD camera, with the CCD’s allowing better color performance. Another example would be computers and storage. Today, a $600.00 laptop can outperform just about anything available back then. Back then, a Terabyte of hard drive storage cost about $19,000.00, and this was one of the things that killed my film. Today, a Terabyte costs less than $100.00!
This is truly the time for anyone with the talent and the determination to get into filmmaking, as it can be done cheap. I am now getting around to doing this myself, and it’s going to fulfil a goal that I began working for 20 years ago, as well as become a primary factor of my future. The wait is almost over, and I can’t wait!
At any rate, the following blog posts are educational, especially for Tampa indie film. I do have some personal things in the posts, but I don’t mind. It’s totally me, off the cuff, and uncensored.
C. A. Passinault
Frontier Pop

October 16, 2001

I’m very happy about the direction that the script of “Reverence” is going. We’re close to deciding the roles of the characters, too.
Yesterday we had a great shoot; a combination head shot and a portfolio session for one of my staffers. Clocking in at over 18 hours, with over 300 frames shot at 3 locations and in the studio, it was very inspirational. She turned out to be an impressive model, and came up with some great ideas for some of the compositions (see images below). We were talking (her about taking different types of head shots, and me from the view point of a casting director on the pitfalls of head shots), and she helped me come up with a great idea for head shot packages. I’ll have to run it by Mike; it’s brilliant, and actors would really benefit from it. As an FYI, there is a big difference between head shot photography and modeling portfolio photography. A head shot needs to be an accurate representation of what you look like to aid a casting staff in auditions. A model’s composite card, and their portfolio, serves to demonstrate the model’s range of possible looks for the client, and seldom is an accurate representation of what they truly look like. A big difference. At any rate, never let anyone say that you can’t learn new things, and be inspired to create new things, by working with a client. The Aurora PhotoArts microportfolio technology, and this new head shot idea, came about from experience in the past two weeks.
During the change outs between sets, I managed to have enough down time to listen to music and go over archived pictures from the last five years. Don’t ask me to give a number of how many shoots that Aurora PhotoArts has done, because I honestly don’t know. There were a lot of pictures, and the shoots seem to go back forever. There was a dramatic change in the style of the images after Diana Furka became involved with our work, and we began to turn out some of our best work. We couldn’t have done it without her. She’s a very gifted artist, and an
amazing model.
Moving onto a related subject, we have the big photography projects. There’s Lowie’s Calendar project, which she is doing an excellent job with, and the three year, 48 session RTR 60 Project. I dug out some old prints from a shoot that Diana and I did with a model named Stephanie, and the look that underscores RTR 60 was right there; a retro neo 60's look with modish clothing and saturated colors. It’s enough to inspire some really unique creativity.
So, the auditions go on. In reference to the film auditions, I would like to tell all of you actors something. It’s a story that you may be able to relate to.
I am one of you. I was (am... I’ll explain shortly) an actor, too, and it’s in my blood. There’s an old story that’s been in my family for years, and that story goes that there was a certain great Grandfather on my mothers side who was a very intriguing personality many years ago. His name was John Barrymore.
Looking at my family, I tend to believe it. A love for the arts, and entertainment, is rich among them. My mother was a talented actress. My brother used to love art, until he got into racing cars.
In a way, we were an entertainment orientated family.
I’ve taken that niche to a certain level, though. For me, it is a passion of indescribable proportions. It is my life. Before I even knew what I wanted to do with my life, I was performing.
I really got serious about my career, and entertainment, in the early 1990's. A Fraternity President in college, nothing was more gratifying than planning parties that no other Fraternity could approach in sophistication and entertainment value. Later, it became plays and DJ’ing events. I used to write my own scripts, and loved to do voice over work and voice acting in theme music mixes called “Cassette Program Releases”, or CPR’s. There were over 32 of them made, and each one was 90 minutes in length. As for writing, I’ve done that since my elementary school days in the 1970's.
I realized, however, that talent alone wasn’t going to cut it. So, I made sacrifices with my financial and personal aspirations and worked hard to turn talent into skills that would fortify my career. Contrary to what a lot of people believe, it didn’t always come easy for me. It wasn’t always fun to do, either.
Late 1994. It was a Saturday night in a television studio near downtown Tampa. I was working with mass communications interns through the University of Tampa, and it was my first night on camera doing live television. People, you don’t know pressure until you get your camera technique mixed up your first time on it. When the Director called for me to pan to the host, and I went to one of the guests instead, the profanity that pierced my headset only made it worse. Fortunately, the Floor Director, a professional actress who was also a certified camera person, came to my rescue. “Haven’t you ever heard about a reaction shot?” She shot back. The profanity stopped. I relaxed, and after a post show pep talk from her, she offered to coach me in the craft. After a few more shows, my skill grew into a degree of ease, and I became a Floor Director,
I had fun, too. There was this certification test with 3/4 inch Sony based editing. I managed to find some rather dull video of the station engineers working and goofing off, and mixed it into a music video with a 2 Unlimited dance mix soundtrack that I pre-recorded in my home studio near Carollwood. I passes at the top.
I wish that I could tell you that I have had to audition for roles that I was offered. That was rarely the case, and I consider myself either very lucky, or very good with people such as Casting Directors. I was doing television commercials and Indy film work before I knew what a head shot was. As a matter of fact, I never did get head shots done. That’s an exception, though, and not a rule. I do practice what I preach, though, and do have plans to obtain them through one of my Photographers who works for Aurora PhotoArts. Yes, I am paying full price, too, if only to show respect for what we’ve built, what we do, and to help maintain the equipment. Equipment and supplies, as well as a professional photographer’s time, doesn’t come cheap. There’s overhead there.
I remember a Scala/ key/ graphics design course that I took in early 1995. The instructor was a local television producer, and although I did well in the class, the lessons changed from rotating a logo across a computer monitor to a lengthy discussion on the joys of H.R. Puff n’ Stuff. After a few songs of “Sigmund the Sea Monster”, I was never short on television work to do, and never had to go to auditions. I did, however, get griped at about never having head shots.
Once, during a reading of some original work by some local writers with a theater group, I did get some unwanted attention. They didn’t know that I did a lot of voice acting, and a few directors that were present offered me leads in plays. I declined, though, as I didn’t have the time, and hated to memorize lines. I acted on occasion, but as a writer myself, had more of an inclination to be on the creative end.
So, fellow actors, I’ve been there. I respect everyone’s dedication to their craft and their passion for what they do. If you don’t get the part that you’re after, it is not personal, nor does it have to be a barometer on your abilities. It may mean that you simply did not fit the roles that were available. There will be more projects.
There was a time, in 1995, when I was working around USF trying to get my Fraternity, Alpha Beta Delta, established there. I answered a casting call that was right for me, voice acting for a Japanese Anime’ that was being produced in Tampa and Jacksonville. I didn’t get the part, but I made some great friends with some great people. They taught me a lot. The ironic part of that adventure? They were supporting themselves with work as a commercial photography company. Professional lives have cycles too, I suppose. Some things don’t change.

Saturday, October 20, 2001

It’s been a really busy week. We’ve solved the CD burner problem, had a backup computer repaired, and am still prepping press releases. It looks like I’m going to have these hand delivered to my friends in the media, but people should see a lot of us on news talk programs and articles in the next few weeks as a result. It looks like people are finally getting tired of watching the daily terrorist news, and the time is right for a little PR. Did you know that I was going to send out the first batch of press releases on Monday, September 10? That would have been a waste of postage..... for sure.
On the 9th of September, the day before I planned on mailing over 20 Press releases, I had a big shoot in Clearwater with two of my best models. Before the shoot, I sat down and coached them on how tricky press conferences could be, as we expected to be on TV Interviews by the middle of September. We didn’t know what was coming two days later. It’s a different world now, but where there’s a will, there’s a way. This is going to get interesting. I’d say what I am thinking about the American reaction to this, but I’d prefer to keep those thoughts private. Freedom of speech will get you in trouble these days. When in a sea of lemmings stampeding toward the coast, stay quiet, and discretely work your way off to the side. If you go directly against the flow, you will surely be crushed by the masses.
My thoughts on this that I will share: We all die eventually, anyway. I’m not letting a bunch of terrorists change my lifestyle. If I die with Anthrax, or by some other act, so be it. At least I die true to myself, happy and content with having lived my life advancing art and entertainment. I’m an artist, so I can naturally distance myself from this madness. Every day will be one of creation and expression for me, and when it’s over, I welcome it. I am mortal, I will pass, but nothing can destroy the ideas in my work, and the beauty of the art that my associates and I create. It lives forever. As it was once said; ideas are a virus. They replicate, and spread, well beyond the scope previously imagined. Those ideas take on a life, an existence, of their own. They transcend mortality. They inspire true passion.
America once realized this. We’ve forgotten. That’s why everyone is in a panic. Come on, did the Kamikaze pilots of the Japanese fleet cause our Navy to panic and give up? What is it that has changed? This is just history repeating itself, another cycle of life. It’s nothing new.
There is nothing to fear but fear itself. A cliché is infused with new life. Pity.
We’ll adjust. We’ll adapt. I just pray that it’s soon. We can’t change what happened, we can only deal with it. We just need more than fabricated courage. We need to really believe in what we’re doing.
I’m not seeing that at all. As an old Public Enemy song once went; “Don’t believe the hype” (Then Snap countered with “This one’s real so believe the hype, don’t believe the hype is a sequel”..... Eh. I guess you have to be a DJ to understand).
Oh, here’s one from the Bible: “Without a vision, a people shall surely perish.” We had a vision back in WWII, and that’s why our country is as great as it is today. Well, the inheritance is almost gone. Do we have a vision as a country today? Look around you, and look how people are behaving, and decide for yourself. Open your eyes, deal with it, and move on.
Is it living life to merely exist, or is it life to grow and live?
That’s it for that subject.
I promised a few days ago that I’d give some more info on Net Worth. Let me start with this: In some ways, the way that some Americans have abused our constitutional rights is far more terrible than September 11. What is worse: To kill the mind, spirit, and potential of a young person while screaming “freedom of speech”, or to cause mass murder, infringing upon the rights of others to exist?
Think about it.
I went on the Net tonight, and did a bit of research. My old friend, a source of a few minor security leaks, the girl who sold herself out, has adapted to being exploited. I have never felt so much shame in all of my life. I’m really ashamed of having known her, as she is obviously a broken remnant of what she was when we were close friends. Even so, I am still her friend. I have to put judgements aside, and accept her for who she is. It is a tragedy, though, and I was powerless to stop her from making her mistakes.
I’m not surprised. Her life has degraded as much as I believed it would.
When I visited her in that voyeur house, it was not unlike visiting a zone of despair. The couch smelled of urine (one of the girls fell asleep on it one night, drunk, and didn’t bother to stagger to the restroom. Suffice it to say, the couch and I were no longer on good terms after I found out.), some of the girls performed raunchy acts in front of web cams to customers that seemed to have forgotten about school shortly after head start, and others seemed to be not unlike a wild animal in a Zoo. These observations weren’t judgements on my part, but rather sincere, unbiased observation. I spent most of my time away from the chaos in the quietness of her room, trying to forget about the five different camera lenses drinking in every cold corner. We had some good talks in there. Our friendship almost returned to normal. The cameras constantly observed, though, to God only knows how many of what kind of people. Consider the target market.
There was good with the bad, however. It gave me the research, and the insight, to create a movie that may impart some genuine value to the impressionable people watching. It’s my hope that it will inspire some confused, but talented, girl to take a chance and do more with her life.
In the end, her experience proved my words of advice against moving there in the first place right. Sometimes, I hate being right. It was her mistake.
I suppose that it is her right to make mistakes, though. Decisions have their consequences, though, and hers have caused a true friendship to die along with her individuality. I don’t know her anymore. I feel sorrow for potential lost, and a life surrendered without a fight.
You see, some of these ethical dilemmas will be addressed in the independent film “Net Worth”. It will be a powerful drama that, while entertaining and informing, will actually make the audience stop and evaluate their values afterwards. Would you want your daughter, or sister, to be exploited by others under the guise of free speech?
That is why I will welcome whatever is to come. This life is full of great beauty, but I’ve found that human beings, because of their very nature, can be very ugly creatures. Pity.
In a way, I already had my September 11 long ago. It was the day my good friend moved into a house of exploitation. I dedicate “Net Worth” to the memory of who she was.
Take the good with the bad, though. It’s up to each and every one of us to decide who we are, discover the real us, and stay true to it. It’s not how much money you make, it’s not who gets ahead of who, it’s how you live your life.
At the end of your life, how you’ve conducted yourself will be all that matters.
Well, with that said, I need to turn in. I have a party to do next weekend, need to meet up with Marlon this afternoon, have tech support coming out, and plan to meet Melissa in Ybor late tonight (V.I.P. Club list, baby!). I really miss her, as I haven’t been hanging with her since April. Sometimes, friendship is forever.
For now, I’ll await the answers to my sad questions in my dreams. It’s funny, though. I sleep very well when I do. I suppose you really are what you do, and I’m very happy with who I am in this God-awful world. No one can ever take that away.
Good night, and have a great weekend, everyone!

Monday, October 22, 2001

I’m glad that the weekend is over. It had its moments, though. We were without Internet access for 24 hours while we upgraded computers, and I made a very interesting trip into Ybor to deliver a picture and meet Melissa at a night club that she works at. The night club was an experience. I was more observing than participating, but it was an assault on the senses that was really entertaining. The only thing that perturbed me was reeking of cigarette smoke on the way home. If anyone ever see’s me in public, please keep the smokes away from me. I seldom like to go out in public, as I’m usually up to my ears in production work holed up in a sterile environment.
I tried out the new broadband stuff tonight (hey, I know it’s for business, but one of the perks of owing entertainment companies is having access to all of the cool toys anytime I’m in the mood. Once, I went hiking with an exclusive Digital camera rig. I got some great pics!). Fun, blazing fast stuff. With the broadband, new hardware, and the LAN setup, we now have four times the production capacity and ten times the studio power. I’m loving this! In regards to DSL, I downloaded some MPEG film clips from some indie film companies; a few made me wish that I hadn’t wasted the 45 second download time. Heh heh. Hey, if you’re going to make a “B” movie, at least make it funny, ok? Count us out in that department.
I’m going to be busy until Tuesday. I have some shoots to line up, some boring banking stuff to do, and the press releases need a polish. I need to check out the Clearwater location for the next R2 audition this week and schedule it, too. Reminder: Our E-mail address will be changing soon (the one that isn’t Hotmail, for those in the loop.).
Before I turn in and catch up on sleep, my DSL surfing revealed a few entertainment resource web sites that are charging people for our audition information that was stolen off of other web sites. We frown on that. If people are going to pay for information, please make sure you make up your subscribed content with original content. We don’t send out free audition information for others to take it and sell it. It’s free, for God’s sake! I’m concerned that information from us on “pay” sites that we don’t submit it to will misrepresent us in the perception that we endorse the site. If you see any of our notices on a pay site, it is without our consent or endorsement.
At any rate, a cease and desist would be overreacting. Those sites are in a legal gray area that we simply frown upon. If anyone wants to re-post our notice information on bulletin boards or other free resources, that is perfectly fine. Just don’t charge people for it.
For now, I’m going to pop in a DVD, curl up on the couch, and go to sleep. “American Beauty” or “Save the last dance” are the contenders. Well, I’m exhausted, and I’m out of here.

Wednesday, October 24, 2002; 11:30PM

It’s two months before Christmas. 8 more weeks, and then the barrage of new years parties. I can’t wait. I’ve just spent the past three days downloading over two gigs of music; roughly 500 MP-3's. I have a party this Saturday, and more coming up. When Marlon and I did that Homecoming two weeks and a half ago, I realized that I didn’t have a clue what a lot of the requests were. I suppose that it was a long time ago when I started to DJ, so I’m old school. Melissa and Marlon both told me to update some of my music, and I’ve done just that. It’s going to get fun from now on.
We have some CD releases in pre production, as an FYI. We have some new additions that I’m dying to give a run. I had to go out and buy a lot of equipment and new software. Because we have DSL, I had to install new firewall software. We also obtained new anti virus software, which caught three virus’s among some downloads (Sneaky.... one was a Trojan Horse designed to open up my system to the Internet. Even though it wasn’t sent to me, and was attached to a file, I was not amused. At least it wasn’t Sircam ,though. I’ve had three models that are happy because I had told them about it after I dodged the bug two months ago. They were ready for it, and recognized what it was before they thought about opening it.). It took me a day to close off my ports with the firewall, and we even had the image files and text files encrypted on the hard drive. I even placed special file decoys on the drive just in case. Trust me, a hacker doesn’t want to take them. It would render their toys useless. There is a reason for all of the security; years from now, many people will be going “Oh, so that’s what he was working on, and was rarely out!”. Anyway, it was a lot of work. We can now burn two CD’s at once, and can even offer broadband delivery of large files such as pictures.
Reminder to myself; upgrade my site traffic software and IP index. As traffic grows, I want a way to track it in less time.
Well, tomorrow I leave to re-enter civilization. I have some important meeting to conduct in Tampa, and have several clients to call. Hopefully, I can book three shoots this weekend in addition to the party that I already have. The studio is back up to spec, and I have two workstations tweaked to work. Now, if only I could find time to organize the media.
I’ll get to write some more on Reverence tomorrow night. I want to have the script done before the next R2 audition next month. I intend to have the actors perform the campfire scene during the process.
Well, I have to set a list for my computer to process tonight. Another 600 Meg download...... joy. On second thought, it’s thundering over the Bay, so I may just shut the studio down tonight. The computers have been running for three days, and they need a break.


I did another party last night with Marlon. This one was a middle school in Brandon, and the group of 400 students was very well behaved. It was good to get out. This is my life: Days of isolation, and then days of intense driving, meetings in person, and overwhelming human contact. I spent 96 hours straight sealed in the studio this week alone. Upon emerging around hour 96, the weather and climate had noticeably changed. This, however, is not common, but I had a lot of studio work to finish. That’s my life; extremes of either one thing or the other. I’ve never had the luxury of a comfortable median. It’s kind of funny; my only human contact consisted of two of my staffers on day one and ten hours of teleconferencing in the other stretch. I also had an Internet chat with Lowie on day three (I think). I couldn’t tell you how many people I talked to yesterday, as it’s a blur. When it comes to teenagers and parties, though, Marlon has termed me the “Gestapo”. I’m tough on them. Teenagers today are insane compared to when I was one in the 80's, but that could be a tainted, biased observation, as I kept to myself a lot back then. I’ve been known to be hard on young people, my teenage staff included, at times. I must say, though, that the teenagers that work for us are great, and I seldom have issues with any of them. I need to loosen up with the younger crowd, but there is something that people need to be aware of: If anyone tries to take advantage of the young people on my staff, they will see a side of me that is very unpleasant. I take the welfare of teenagers very seriously, as I remember how it was for me to be one, not know quite who I was, and get taken advantage of by people of bad character. I survived, but most don’t.
There is a difference between my companies and other entertainment companies. The difference is that we actually care about people. People come first with us, art comes second, and money comes third. Remember that next time, say, if you’re a photographer and want to take pictures of a 16 year old in a T-back. I frown on such activity, as it is not appropriate. Indeed, I often advise models in their 20's against such shoots. Consider the motive behind the work: Does it gain attention and earn money at the possible expense of another? It’s all about professional ethics, standards, and judgement. Our work speaks for itself. As a businessman, I’m not out to win popularity contests, but I demand respect. We have the respect of businesses and people that actually count. I’m quite sure that people will try to slander us along the way, but in the end, people really have to consider the source when it comes to information. Information is a commodity, you see, so don’t think that we don’t have the full, accurate story (fortified with facts) on anyone or any company that we get involved with. You are what you do, and if you’re the real deal, you’ll find a potent, powerful ally in our companies. As a side note, I would not condemn a model for doing such a shoot, but I would not be happy about a possible lapse of judgement on their part. Remember, ladies, pictures are forever. Think before you do. If you had a daughter, would you be comfortable with her doing the same type of work. Probably not. On another note, I’d have a real problem with a model if they went crazy on their 18th birthday and turned to something like exotic dancing. I would no longer work with them, and I’m sure that a lot of photographers would be overjoyed at the prospect of having a more willing prospect.
The odds say that it could happen, but I’d like to have faith in my associates and believe that it won’t.
Incidently, the scenario above is purely hypothetical.
Respect, by default, wins repeat clients. The only people who we alienate are people who have no genuine significance because they have no vision, ethics, or real professional aspirations.
If anyone wants to compromise and take shortcuts, don’t bother doing it around me. Here’s another example: We had a porn actor E-mail us about a part in one of our films. I didn’t have much of a sense of humor about that, simply because the inquiry alone meant that they DID NOT PAY ATTENTION AND READ OVER THE SITE first. After we shot a few E-mails back and forth where he compared my views to the views of a terrorist (Jeez... how left field was that comment?), we finally ended the argument. It’s too bad, as this person had literary talent. In closing, I pointed out that he could go legitimate. I’m not sure if the advice fell upon deaf ears (eyes) or not, but no harm was done. We have several films in the works, and NONE of theme have any scenes that require nudity, primarily because it is not necessary and would serve to taint the career of any actress who does the part (ahem...... Kristen).
Don’t hate us because we strive to do the right things in our projects, and do what is best for our staff. Accept it. I’ll give you an example: Last January, I ended a friendship with a model who I’ve been friends with for twelve years because she wanted to have nude work done, and I told her no. We got in a fight over it, and I stood my ground. It doesn’t take talent to shoot a nude girl, and if talent is applied to such a project, it is degraded. At any rate, that was one of two reasons that I ended it. The other was that I didn’t want her around teenage models in our employ, as we are responsible for the environment and influences around them.
I’m far from perfect, I have flaws, and I’m not a saint. I am, however, a real person. As someone once told me, “You have to have guts to make it in this world”.
I would like to think that a strong backbone and a powerful belief in what you’re doing equate into that formula as well.
Well, enough about my little rant. Some people may not understand where we are coming from. If they truly had an open mind, and applied that open mind to our position, it’ll all make sense.
We’ve learned from our mistakes. Why is it that others seldom do?
In closing, here’s a reminder for people to look beyond their immediate perceptions. Most won’t, though, and that’s fine.
As a business, we’re counting on being underestimated.

Update Monday, 29 October, 2001

Another week.
The script for Reverence is almost done. I didn’t get to work on it yesterday, as I had to go with my family and visit my Grandmother in the hospital. God, I hope that she’ll be ok. Years ago, when I lived in Tampa, I stayed with her for a while. She hated my music, my DJ’ing, and my video game collecting, but she was a good Grandmother. It was a good home while I was in poverty and had to study production and acting.
Somehow, I need to stop distancing myself from my family, and my friends for that matter. I’ve never had to deal with losing someone close through death, but it will happen eventually. That will be the moment that I’ll regret time not spent with them.
My priorities aren’t perfect, I suppose.
Anyway, the studio is up 200%, and we updated the Aurora PhotoArts web site this weekend. I had to take our prices down, and focus more on benefits in our marketing. We had too many hits on that site last week, and IP traces have revealed that some of them were other photography companies. People like to shop the competition’s rates, I suppose. No more pricing information is up there, so everyone can call if they need to. The rates have been adjusted due to some new services, and I’m happy to report that we now have capabilities that few can approach. By the end of next year, the work that Aurora PhotoArts does will surpass every company in Florida, and may even gain international respect. RTR 60 and some other clandestine projects not yet revealed will utilize new technologies that no one else has.
We’ve been working on the portfolio section of the Aurora PhotoArts web site, which will showcase the quality and innovation of our work. It will also double as a catalog for our new Stock Photography service. We’ve been doing commercial photography now for a year, and hardly anyone, including those on our staff, has seen that work. In related news, I’m shopping for a small laser, and will be ordering an optics kit soon with mirrors, lenses, and a beam splitter.
I understand how business works. I would like to network with the good photographers out there, though. Networking with DJ’s the past two years has been very productive. I just don’t want to deal with anyone who is into anything shady. The search goes on. I already have a short list of photographers that we will not be working with, primarily for artistic differences. The same goes for models.
Fortunately, the experiences that I’ve had with other photographers has mostly been positive. Most models have been great to work with, too. As far as I’m concerned, we’ve been fortunate to have the best models in the state working in our ranks. I’ve been proud of all of them, and we’re looking forward to expanding their skills in other areas utilizing the unique interlocking business arrangement of the companies of Passinault.Com, the Passinault Entertainment Group. There isn’t an opportunity like that anywhere else.
Two models on my staff are about to be promoted. Those models are going to be offered a partnership status and future stock options. They’ve earned it. I also want to welcome Melissa back. I can’t wait to get her in front of the camera again. Her, Lowie, Roxy, and Diana are pure magic during shoots. I have seven models waiting to work with us now that I’m sure will be just as great, so again, I can’t wait.
Well, it’s getting late, and today is going to be a long day. This week will see the mailing of press releases (finally), some shoots lined up, more work on Reverence, and some more meeting with local agencies. In closing, the date for the next R2 audition, which will be held in Clearwater, will be on Sunday, November 25, 2001; very close to my 32nd birthday. Joy to me. More information will be E-mailed to actors soon, but please note the date.


Well, it’s the day before Halloween.
Before I get ahead of myself, I have the best treat for all of you out there today. It’s my soon to be famous Halloween eve story.
Anyway, read the story. Consider what it’s saying for yourself. If you have the guts, go to the parking garage at the point for yourselves one night. Walk through the parking garage. Remember this story, and, don’t forget to run.
Before we present this special story, please note the following:
It’s “R” rated material. This is not appropriate for kids to read. There is strong language and adult references in this story. It was necessary for the characters, as well as the story.
The story is not autobiographical, nor are the characters real. The characters are not inspired by real people, and, no, I never behaved like these characters behave.
The story of the garage being haunted, and the back story, IS REAL, If you believe in that sort of thing. Keep that in mind as you lose yourself in the point.

This story has some elements in it that are real. There really was a girl who died in front of her Fiancé in the circular drive. There are some, too, that swear that the area, primarily the parking garage, is haunted. I’ve been there late at night before, and I can swear that there is something creepy in there. I used to hear weird things there, too.
I hope that you enjoyed the story, which I sat down and wrote from scratch today. It’s my gift to the visitors of our site. In closing, please remember that even though I have no plans to publish this story or turn it into a film, that it is protected material. It’s copyrighted, and it belongs to us.
Happy Halloween!

Update for 1 November 2001

Ola! I take it that everyone has survived the night of horrors?. I was locked away in the studio, cleaning and relaxing after a day of faxing financial stuff to New Jersey. Joy. It was fun, and no, I didn’t get trick or treaters. I did hear them screaming outside the studio window, though. Ha ha. No one was home.
It’s going to be a long month. The holiday season has started, and it ought to be interesting. Speaking of the holidays, I have two more short stories on the way. There will be one for Thanksgiving, and will be about family, and then one around Christmas, based on Dimension Stageforms’ theme event “Noel”. I’m thinking about a romantic dinner one for Valentine days, etc. It might be a good tradition, and a creative diversion. The next few stories will be PG fare, so don’t get used to me writing stuff like “The Point”. When I wrote it, I went with what I felt.
Tomorrow will be a special update. It is an important anniversary, and I’m going to give you all a scoop on some things that a lot of my staffers don’t even know.
If you don’t understand our philosophy, and our views, now, you will tomorrow.
Fix some coffee or tea, though, because it’s going to be like reading a book. It’s long.
I talked to Melissa, Lowie, and some of the other models on Halloween. No one read my (sniff) story, but they’ll get around to it in a day or two. I’m meeting up with Lowie on Friday to check out the photography studio. It’s going to be busy, with the calendar, RTR 60, and a photography project with Renegade Films in November. The next R2 audition will cap it off for the month.
I need to find time to wrap the Reverence script somewhere in there. Fun, fun.
Going back to tomorrow’s update, I wanted to remember an old work horse that was known as Geomedia 2, which was our production studio from 1995 until 1998. We did some great teleplay projects with that studio, and toward the end, it even had a primitive Internet capability.
One project that I’m reminded of is 1997's black comedy “Rush Hour”. I had two actor friends cast for it, and we recorded a great performance. The actress was Charlotte Durnell, who was from London, England. She played the newscaster “BMW”. Our traffic reporter, “Air Dog”, was the brilliant David Baker, who parodied the voice of radio legend Wolfman Jack. The script was originally started back in 1995, and was inspired when a mob of protestors jammed up the traffic at the Intersection of Dale Mabry and Columbus during a few of my rush hour commutes home in a car that overheated whenever I ran the air. It was worse than my stressful day at the bank, as it gets HOT here in Tampa. Grrrrrr.
Anyway, I took a few nights and finished it in 1997, when I was back in Riverview. Another draft to the end, and it was ready for production. The night I gave it to Charlotte, she about fell out of her chair laughing about the weenies in the script (I had an actor read it during the August 5 R2 audition, and my people were laughing kind of hard. He had me crying. Great delivery of something that I was used to hearing via a soft, British female voice. Angel got on my case about it though, and it was about the weenie part. You’ll “get it” when you read the script).
The reason that I brought up Rush Hour is, oddly enough, the fact that the events of September 11 reminded me of it. Rush Hour, you see, is a parody on urban disasters, both natural and man made. It is barely politically correct, and almost goes over the edge in some areas. The content jabs at peaceful assembly, nudists, yuppies, hot dog vendors, perverts, gays, anorexics, freaks, geeks, panhellenic fraternal organizations, religious people, diet supplements, radio personalities, and the media. It even cracks on the television shows “Cops”, and “Friends”.
You’ll see. Keep an open mind, and you’ll find humor in it.
Soon, we intend to secure ASCAP rights to the music and release it as a CD. When we recorded it, we were pushing Geomedia 2's analog based technology as far as it would go. At the time, we were pushing audio cassette technology to it’s limits. Unfortunately, the project was a bit to ambitious to complete with that limitation. The goal was to make it sound like a real time radio broadcast, and the format was just not up to it.
Until Geomedia 3. Innovations made with computer based technology in the past four years, and a technology curve forced by our photography, Internet, and film requirements, have enabled us to complete this project. It will see life as a pair of 70 minute CD’s, and will be a total of almost two and a half hours. The beauty of it is that the recordings that we did kick butt, and were of excellent quality. We can use them. After digitizing the voice tapes, the program can be done 100% digitally, with a ten fold quality increase over the original specifications. We have the technology. We can make it better. Crisper. Smoother (no more timing servo controlled pause buttons for this DJ!). More believable (homage to “The six million dollar man”).
If I find the original master, which fell apart due to line noise at the 40% complete mark, I’ll rip it into a MP3 file and post it for download. It’ll be a small download, honest! It’ll only be 40 Megs...... (this DSL has spoiled and corrupted me in the past two weeks, I’m sure of it. My hard drive and CD burner swear their revenge).
We have more CD’s in the works, too. The new “Party Zone X”, the “Club Zero” Trilogy, “Futura 3", Futura RMX”, “Love Lost”, Generation 2: Union”, “Waveform RMX”, and “Daytona” are but a few. I’ll tell more about them in the future.
We have fun working in the studios. We had a blast on Rush Hour. While Charlotte and David didn’t record together, working on separate days, we had fun taking video game breaks and scarfing down lots of Pizza. These are traditions which are here today, too. One model, who used to stay the weekends, used to sing, as we were set up for that.
I hope that the fun never leaves. I’ve added a few pics especially for that little recollection.
Well, I have to go take a shower and sleep now. Come back tomorrow, and spend a few days reading what’s to come.
Be good, everyone. Eyes will be opened in tomorrow’s update.

November 2, 2001

Ten years after the disaster

In memory of the beginning

Today is the tenth anniversary of a pivotal incident. This was an event that was destroyed by rioters, marked the end of my fraternity and early DJ days, and was the start of a difficult transition period to what was to come. While not a fraternity event, the party was supposed to unveil new fraternity developed entertainment technology.
November 2, 1991, the ancient predecessor of Passinault.Com was Party Systems Incorporated, or PSI. Back then, everything centered around DJ’ing, dance and hip hop music, and throwing the best parties. Aurora PhotoArts was still three years off, not even remotely near planning, and independent film making was a wishful dream. I was 21 years old, about to turn 22, and my fraternity and sorority had been disbanded and banned from three college campus’ just twelve weeks before. We were rebels who possessed some very innovative event technology.
I had been DJ’ing for just over a year, and had been throwing parties for three. Known as “DJ Wiz Kid” because I looked to be around 17, I had produced 20 cassette program release mix tapes full of hip hop, pop, top 40, and dance music since I started. Most of those were of a controversial, and at times an obscene nature. Some of the titles of the tapes were words that the networks still don’t allow.
Around this time, my best friend and I got involved with the wrong girl. Her name was Samantha, and, yes, she is the reason that I’m as strict as I am today. I was about to learn a harsh lesson in entertainment ethics.
The party was called “Sex on the Beach”, although there was no sex, and there was barely a beach. We named it after the drink. In those days, alcohol consumption was a mandatory part of any party, as the venues that we got together in were too small to dance that much in.
Here is a brief synopsis of the painful lesson that I learned.
Life has rules and boundaries for a reason. They are the basis of society. Those that have no respect for them and disregard the rules eventually pay a price.
Love triangles suck.
People of bad character can not be trusted.
If you are different, insecure people are afraid of you.
Some people will play like they believe in your dream to get what they can out of it. When times get hard, they leave.
Samantha was, and still is, a bitch.
A free play is an oxymoron. There’s no such thing as “free” (especially after September 11 of this year).
Don’t fall in love with a promiscuous girl.
Morals and ethics define the person that you are.
Easy girls do not make the best friends.
Alcohol + minors + moronic people = big trouble
Budget cuts to security staff because the guests are mainly “trusted” friends are a prelude to disaster.
People don’t care about what they don’t understand.
People who take short cuts are not worth the investment (I was reminded of this in 2000 with the lovely Kristen, who was a model. Now, she is nothing. She’s naked on the Internet all day. What a waste. Take an unstable person, put them in a situation where they have to face up to their responsibilities, and crazy things happen. Nothing is worse than a person who actually has talent, beauty, personality, and brains flush her life down the toilet. It still makes me sick 18 months later.)
Samantha burned everyone she knew, including her family and daughter (Is it obvious that I have no respect for this person? Did I say person? I meant to say noun, which could be a person, place, or THING. If a human being conducts themselves as an animal, are they human anymore? Hmmmmm... food for thought.)

Anyway, I did learn ethics the hard way. I paid a price. Let me explain myself, so all the people out there who don’t understand my stand as a professional can finally comprehend it. Mad at me because of my views and principles? Get over it. I’ve earned the right to have them. You have the right to have different views, but time will exact a price for your views, actions, and lack of ethics.
Don’t think for a minute that I’m proud of things that I did in my reckless, rebellious frame of mind a decade ago. I am not. Knowing that I learned some valuable lessons from it, and that I have a second chance to do things right, balance out historical facts that normally would a source of deep shame and regret.
I never meant to, but things that I did indirectly hurt a lot of people. I will never let that happen again.
I never believed in censorship. I still don’t. I’ve lived, and learned, a lot over the years, though. I can recognize, and act on, the difference between censorship of controversial expression and exploitation. People that scream that I “have to have an open mind” obviously have no clue, nor back bone. They’ll say anything to justify waiving professional ethics and cutting their own throat to get ahead.
In my hard learned experience, people who have no principles can not be trusted. I am not a fool, therefor those people have no business being around me.
If you want to make a difference in this world, and are a true artist, figure out who you are. Refine who you are. Don’t get involved with negative people. Get a backbone, define a code of ethics, and stick to them!
As for myself, I have earned the right to my opinions. Those opinions are based on a foundation of education and principles. I know who I am, and nothing short of death can take that away.
Actually, let me amend that. Death doesn’t even limit a creative person who knows who they are. Their art will exist, and inspire, until the end of time. The art will last, because it was created from a strong, solid foundation.
Ok, I’m off my pedestal now. If you don’t agree with me, please respect my position on entertainment ethics. You can get mad if you’d like, but please go to your nearest mirror and look in it for a while before you commit yourself to that course of action. Anger can erode from within. I know, because it almost destroyed who I was. Are you at the mirror yet? Look beyond the physical. Look in those eyes. What do you see? Do you like what you see? Do you respect what that person stands for? Is beauty on the outside, or inside as well? What is the definition of shallow? Things to consider.
If you look in my eyes, you’ll see someone real, someone genuine. I know it, and that’s all that matters.
At any rate, here is a brief story about that day. It’s all true, it really happened, and I am not portrayed in the best of light. Allow me to introduce you to one of my demons from the past. My past is a part of who I am. I am strong because of my pain. I have no regrets. I have resolution.

I may not be updating for a few days. My Grandmother is in bad shape in the hospital, and I spent time their tonight. I hope that she makes it. I’m meeting with some models in Clearwater tomorrow to catch up on some projects, have to work on some scripts, and have some serious problems to resolve.

November 4, 2001

The story of Frontier 4 gets more interesting from then on. Melissa does go to that sorority party with Trinity in the next few pages, and the sorority, as if most couldn’t guess, is the Alpha Omega Delta.
Why do we feature the same sorority in Reverence and Frontier 4? Simple answer. It’s because I really own the Alpha Omega Delta’s in real life. The organization is on ice, but the rights to it belong to me. In the next few years, when we have the capital to invest in it, the sorority will be reborn, as will the fraternity. I spent six months studying parliamentary law, and the bylaws and rush black book have been done for years.
There will be some terrorist activity in the story of Frontier 4. It was put into the story in the early 1990's, and something really expensive gets destroyed. As a note, the World Trade Center exists in the year 2020 in Frontier 4. The reason for this will be explained in the novel.
There is a reason that Frontier 4 contains several scenes set in airport, and another tidbit on some of the work that I used to do. In the late 1980's, I had a career in counter terrorism, and for a while trained those screeners that the media has been whining about lately. Don’t believe all that you hear. Airport security has always been very tight, and very professional. I used to work with people from Germany and other European countries, and those people were very good. There was one incident in 1989 where we stopped a woman trying to get a 9 MM hand gun onto an airplane. I received a commendation from the FAA (feel free to check with them. I’m sure it’s still on file somewhere). They used to send us to these classes on bomb making, weapons, and other tools of the trade. We were well trained, and knew what to look for.
If airport security had been as bad as people claim, there would have been a bad terrorist incident years ago. What we have today is just another example of Americans over reacting. People need to start thinking and use common sense. You only hear about the one test item that eludes security now days, and the thousands that are caught are never mentioned. The media has ethics? Yeah, right. Most people think that airport security is ineffective, when the truth is that it’s always been very effective. I can vouch for them, because I’ve been there. I’m just sick of hearing the manufactured facts on the news every day. Those news people should actually spend a few days working airport security before they report on it. Check the statistics. It has always been safe to fly, and contrary to what people are thinking, you can still check your mail without gloves and a mask, too.
The public panic, much like the present recession, start in the minds of the public, and were self fulfilling prophesies. As a result, we’re all paying for the hysteria. 20 whacked out people brought a nation of millions to its knees. Pathetic. Are we supposed to be the most powerful nation in the world, or what? Let’s start thinking about it. How patriotic were we before September 11? How many people had American flags on their cars before then? Why do we continue to buy gas guzzlers like SUV’s when our dependence on middle eastern oil is a big issue? Israel, and even England, have been dealing with terrorism for along time. Do you see any of their people whining, wrecking their economy, and running around with plastic flags of their country? What’s up with all of these tacky companies profiting off of all of this, too? I suppose that that’s American, too, and it’s alright to do so. As for me, it’s wrong to turn a tragedy into a marketing tool. That is exactly the reason that you won’t find an American flag and some tacky message on the Passinault.Com site. It would not be ethical to do so, and just because everyone else is doing it does not make it right.Corporate America kills me. We have so many double standards, and since we really don’t know who we are anymore as a people, we have a mess.
We need to deal with it, move on, and don’t worry about it anymore. The terrorists, you see, have won. They have accomplished everything that they set out to do. Our nation isn’t what it was back in the 1940's, when we had to have a backbone because we had to survive. We had nothing to lose. Subsequently, we developed new technology such as the atomic bomb. We lost who we were since then, and have been enjoying a free ride on the accomplishments of our Grandfathers for way too long. It’s time to wake up. It’s time to live life without fear and mass hysteria limiting our lifestyles.
I’m sorry, but I have a mind of my own. I’ll think for myself, thank you very much. It’s what being an American is all about isn’t it? Hate me for my opinion. I don’t care. Label me as un-American. It’s your right. As an American, I have the right to free speech. I’ll probably get some sort of back lash for my views. So be it. You’re more than welcome to picket my tombstone in 50 years, too. I’m just sick of all of this foolishness. A few precautions and some common sense go a long way.
I’m not downplaying the terrorist acts, though. Please realize that. What happened was truly horrible, and the victims deserve our respect. I’ve dealt with it, though, and it’s time to move on. I’m about to lose my Grandmother, and to me, that hits a lot closer to home. Why doesn’t the media start running stories on Heart care? Why don’t Americans rally for health care improvements? More people die from our incompetent medical system than in any terrorist act that has ever happened.

A writer writes what they know, and it is true that the more life experience that you’ve had, the more you have to draw from. I have had a lot of jobs, and a lot of good training, in a many types of careers in the years before I found myself. I’m not going to go into other training that I’ve had, but let’s just say that it enhances our capabilities in this crazy entertainment business. Let’s just say that I’m well rounded, to the extent that we’ve developed security systems that are better than what you can find on the market.

November 7, 2001

Another day, another dollar not made.
I did get a lot done today, though. The studio is a mess, and I’ve been cleaning, listening to some classical music, and trying to relax.
Work on Reverence is progressing. I’ve completed the story arc and are interweaving the individual character arcs. We’ve figured out some of the character roles, too. The script should be done in another week. As I told Jane the other night, the last third of the movie will be a drama about the repercussions of the initiation deaths. Some of those characters are going to be traumatized. We’re not leaving this ending up in the air, and since there isn’t going to be a Reverence 2, we’re tying this up nice and neat.
We all know a bit about film#2, which will be Invisible Ink, The film will start production as soon as Reverence goes into post production. Our third film will be Net Worth, our little drama about exploitation. My views are, dare I say, not popular. Too bad. For the record, I am not on, nor do I have any business doing, a morality crusade. I’m not exactly a saint, and I’m not religious. We do feel strongly about entertainment ethics, though, and that’s one reason that we don’t do work that can be used to defame the participants with, such as nude photography. I have a problem professionally with such work because it can hurt the model, as well as our reputation. If it’s truly artistic, fine, but most is not, and I really don’t think that the risk is worth it. I am, however, commissioned to do a Maxim style shoot with a 22 year old model shortly, which will be provocative, but not require any nudity. The model and I see eye to eye in what we have planned. As the results will show, this will demonstrate a tasteful, artistic expression.
We’ve been discussing the calendar project lately, too, and one of our pundits questioned the marketability of a calendar in which the models aren’t nude or portrayed in a risque fashion. There were some good points made. After careful thought, I think that it really depends upon your target market. Since that isn’t our target market, the people who would buy trashy calendars, it shouldn’t be a concern. Our calendars will be done in good taste, tact, and with artistic merit. The art direction and the quality of the model photography are selling points, and we’ll go with it.
Net Worth will have a serious story line. I’m even going to throw in a little suicide in the plot. I’m not going to use it to promote our views on entertainment ethics, though. We’ll put the facts in there and let the audience decide for themselves. One other thing. Even though Net Worth is about exploitation, there will be no nudity. I’d rather we concentrate on the characterization, instead.
Well, we know our position on nudity. Fine. What about other forms of controversial expression that is used under the banner of art? What of them? What of violence and profanity?
Those of you that have read my little Halloween story, “The Point”, may have been scratching their heads over this. The characters have some real flaws, and profanity is used a lot. Well, I can say that the profanity was integral to the characters. Even though I don’t talk that way, I do, as a writer, know how to craft believable characters. Some of those characters are even of the type that I’d never have anything in common with.
Violence? Well, if it is integral to the story, it’s ok. I have this story that’s been on the back burner for years now, a piece called “Brandon Gangs”. The story, which evolved from my first novel, 1984's “Adventures of the Riverview Gang” (Yes, it is a silly title. Yes, the story was goofy, too. Who cares, it was fun, and I was only 13 when I wrote it.), is quite extreme. There are extreme acts of violence, excessive profanity, drug abuse, major crime, and even a date rape. There’s even a scene where this female gang member uses a walkman cord as a garrote, and strangles a man in an alley. I’m still weighing out the artistic merit debate, so it may never be made.
I still think about the photographer in South Florida. This guy does nudes that really are artistic, and are in good taste. Most of the time, the pictures are either altered in Photoshop to the point where you can’t tell who the models are, or are composed in a way that you can’t tell. Those are nudes that are art, and, my friends, that kind of work is very rare. What of models who pose for art classes? Since that cannot be used to defame or exploit them, that’s fine, too. As long as it is art. As it says on our web site; does the artistic merit outweigh the controversy?
Nothing, as they say, is ever black and white. I search the Internet a lot, cross referencing information. Once, I found a site with Teenage girls in Bikini’s that could be seen as ok ( I was not using the words “Teenage bikini”, either, so get that out of your head. My criteria was more along the lines of “tampa model”, as I recall). The pictures were tasteful, and quite innocent. However, the manner in which they were presented was exploitive, which made it wrong. Pulling up the source code and reading the site meta tags was a deeper revelation. The key words were vulgar and demeaning ones, designed to have the site come up as a search engine result for terms more pornographic in nature. I suppose that’s one way that people find to get around the child pornography laws. I’m not saying who these people are, because the site has been set up for another reason, too: Litigation baiting. These people have some nasty legal premise on the site, and are geared to take advantage of the millennium copyright act. It seems that the site is there to bait young men, and they make money by suing these young men. That, my friends, is insane. Profiting from lawsuits because someone downloaded one picture is major over reacting, and abuse of a law designed to protect the rights of intellectual property on the Internet. After reading their site, I wanted to clear my browser cache, and maybe burn my computer, just in case.
Sometimes, the context is the deciding factor. As a professional, I have a problem with that.
Perhaps the crusade should be termed “professional respect” and “common sense in entertainment practice”.
Woah, another can of worms!
I hope that this puts the great debate to rest. I’d really like to be able to sit down an concentrate on creating works of art, now, instead of defending our views from disgruntled photographers and the like. No, we aren’t going to burn books in the future, or condone it. We do not support censorship in any form. Some of our art will be controversial, have no doubts about that, but we will not exploit people creating that art. I suppose that our “extreme” views were the first controversial work on record. I’m just tired of defending what we’re doing when it’s the right thing. This has been going on for almost two years, and it is unproductive. My guess is that society is just screwed up. Ten years ago, our views would have been applauded by the vocal majority. Now, we hear complaints from the vocal minority.
The general public seems to be tolerant of the infringements upon the rights of others because they want to avoid any confrontation. Cowards.
The bottom line: I have not defamed nor have I slandered anyone during a “crusade”. I have some observations of certain individuals and companies that are backed with facts, but those are merely that. They are observations.
You are what you do. Maybe I should curl up in a corner somewhere and not make any waves. Maybe I should keep my opinions to myself. Maybe I should be more tolerant on the way things “are”. Maybe I should be another face in the crowd, with no individuality, purpose, or independent thought. Excuse me for a moment while I quit laughing. We’re here for a reason. We’re here to set standards, and to make a difference. You don’t make a difference while compromising and blending in. That is why we only work with the best. It seems that our “extreme” views have been effective in weeding out the people who don’t belong. Perhaps it was a calculated filter. Well, whatever the alternate motivations, it worked. The quality of my staff is a testament to that.
That’s the last that I’m saying on the subject, unless directly addressed.
In reference to letting people know about details of the past, I have a good reason. Facts can be twisted if not presented in an unbiased way. I’d rather that they hear the story from us, than misconstrued from people that have been fired long ago. It’s going to come out once we become well known, and I’d rather that no one makes it an issue when it is not. Besides, this is why we have an anecdote section, anyway.
I talked to the owner of an entertainment company tonight that we are going to be working with. I’ve been impressed with them so far. It’s nice to know that there are ethical companies out there, and I’m with them on the general idea of forming an entertainment alliance here in Florida.
It will be nice to see how this works out.
Well, I have to go. Seems that I need to get to bed early tonight. I have a busy day tomorrow, and need to finalize details of some shoots this weekend. We’re using RTR 60 stuff for the first time, including some cool fractal based technology. RTR 60 should have its first shoot in early December, as we’re building some new lighting equipment, and it won’t be ready until then.
Until the next update, take care!

November 7, 2001

It’s pizza day!
Actually, it’s Wednesday, and once again, I’m working away. Snagged a little Beethoven and Mozart off of the net. It’s good stuff, and great to run while I’m working in the studio. As a DJ, I could never justify investing in it, but personally, I love it. While I’m at it, I need to get some more art of noise and Bjork, too.
The lights for RTR 60 will be ready in a few weeks, and I’m hoping to start the shoots in the new studio in early December. RTR 60 requires some advanced lighting, and I need a pair of chimeras, some rear fills, cookies, and maybe even a spot. I think that we’ve found our principle model, a seasoned professional named Ayme, and we have ten more lined up for the first sessions. I think we’ll go for a 67' look for the first shoot.
The Geomedia 3 annex workstation is ready. It took me a few days to configure, as there was a USB conflict with the CF card reader and the CDR burner. I solved it by not connecting both at once. Simple. It was designed for support of RTR 60 and the calendar project, and will see first use this weekend during an editorial session for a film that Renegade Films is doing. Finally, a company after our own heart. I’ve met with their people, and they’ve impressed me. I’ve talked with Rick Danford at length, too, and we see eye to eye, so I’m looking forward to working with them. The shoot is Saturday, and I have some new ideas to try out.
We’ve been experimenting with new technology lately, and some of those will enhance the photography of Aurora PhotoArts. Some of the best pictures that we’ve ever taken will be in the next 14 days, and I’m not talking about RTR 60, either, which will set new standards, too. I commissioned to use the workstation and our digital rig with one of our best models, 22 year old Melissa. She and I discussed some really cool ideas yesterday, and some of those ideas are really good. I can say that I’ve never done them before. Melissa and I may be working on a Club Fashion session series, too. Stay tuned.
Lowie’s calendar project is still a work in progress, too. We expect to shoot those sessions in series with RTR 60, although the editorial styles are different, and may rarely cross.
Work on Reverence is progressing. I’ve completed the story arc and am interweaving the individual character arcs. We’ve figured out some of the character roles, too. The script should be done in another week. As I told Jane the other night, the last third of the movie will be a drama about the repercussions of the initiation deaths. Some of those characters are going to be traumatized. We’re not leaving this ending up in the air, and since there isn’t going to be a Reverence 2, we’re tying this up nice and neat.
You’ve probably read on the Reverence web site elsewhere within Passinault.Com about its relation to Frontier 4. Yes, the Dr. Chris Parker of Frontier 4 and the Chris Parker in Reverence are the same character. There are even things in Reverence that set up the character for Frontier 4. By tying up Reverence, it will give the Alpha Omega Delta sorority girls in Frontier 4 a nice little legend to tell among themselves. Another crossing tidbit: Waveform is initially set in the world of Frontier 4, which is the year 2020, and Washout is a Doctor. In Reverence, Washout is mentioned as being a friend of Tobey’s. Anyway, most of Waveform will be told in a flashback, and will be set in Reverences time, which is 1995.
With Frontier 4, history deviates around the year 1998, and an incident that enables the world and technology of 2020 to exist happens. Think of the forest service setting fires to burn off the overgrowth in forests and promote new growth. That’s the only analogy clue that I’m giving. To find out, you’ll have to read the book. Here’s something interesting about Frontier 4, but may never be explored (there’s no reason to have anything set in NYC, and I may never mention it in the book), but in 2020, in that world, the Trade Center towers are still standing. How is that possible? The incident of 1998 makes the terrorist incident of 2001 impossible. You’ll see.
You can read a sample of Frontier 4 below. Just don’t tell anyone that I showed you. Frontier 4 has been a work in progress since 1989. As I explained to someone last night, it took me years to create the world that it exists in. I am a detail monger. I’m not going to make something up and use it if it couldn’t work, or there isn’t a scientific basis for it. Even the events of “The Point” could be explained as a figment of the protagonist’s warped imagination. The story was about perceptions, with a bit of psychology thrown in. I left it up to the audience to determine what was real. Reverence is like that, too.
Frontier 4 is so detailed, and so well researched, that I’ve had engineers from aerospace companies reference the samples from the Internet, and one Physicist told me to publish a paper on the time travel technology, too, as it was plausible.
Maybe I will. Who knows? I’d rather use the material as a foundation for a killer story.
Don’t ask me how I understand such advanced science. I just do. I’m a writer with a serious technical background, and a good balance of right and left brains. I would have been a scientist, but I got really bored. I’m more creative.
I’ve been getting good feedback on my special Halloween story, “The Point”, although some have asked if the profanity was necessary. Well, it was. I had to stay true to the characters. I may expand on the story sometime in the future, but I still have no plans to market it or turn it into a film. You can read the story below. There will be a Thanksgiving and a Christmas story coming up that will be family friendly. Whatever works.
Hey, here’s something that’s cool! Three years ago, I actually had free time on my hands, and I used to hack Playstation and Nintendo 64 games. I used Gamesharks to cheat, and then saved my creations to memory cards. This came in handy when we started to use video games in events, and I needed games set up with all items and courses unlocked. Some times, I’d spend days customizing one game.
Anyway, I have these devices called Dex Drives, and they allowed you to transfer game save files to and from memory cards and your computer. By default, that meant that you could download game saves from the Internet, as well as upload. I was looking on the net today, and guess what I found? My game save files on thousands of web sites all over the world, primarily the Playstation games Road Rash and Rage Racer. If you get them off of a web site anywhere, there is a 99.999% chance that they’re mine. Some of these sites tried to put their credits on them, but they weren’t able to change the configuration. It’s my work, but I really don’t care. It’s just cool. Reminds me of a line that I heard from “Talk Radio”: Deleting anything off the Internet is like removing pee from a swimming pool.
Once something is on the net, I guess it takes on a life of its own. The dominance of my dex files proves another thing, too. People would rather take and re post than make something of their own. Perhaps the same goes for pictures, eh?
The games are more than cracked files, though. I put some cool customized features that no one can remove. With Rage Racer, for example, I have a customized car that I made for a friends party back in 1997 called the “Team Mary Kay” racer. It is black and pink, with a Mary Kay logo painted on it. I guess that gamers liked it, because it’s a posted feature of every file that I could find. Too funny. Yes, I have a sense of humor.
Go to Google, type in “rage racer dex drive”, or “road rash dex drive”, and see for yourself.
Probably the coolest thing that I’ve done with the devices would be downloading 100% complete games of the Nintendo 64 game “Perfect Dark”, and using all of the unlocked features to make up my own levels. Four of those levels are classics. They are “Lair Zero”, “Predator”, “Chaos”, and “O.J. Simps”. I took a card to my friend’s video game store at the mall once, transferred “Lair Zero” to the store copy of the game, and left. When I returned, there was a line of people all the way out the door into the main hall waiting to play it. I guess all that time spent polishing it paid off. Those guys were going crazy over it. Some time soon, I may explain how the level was built, and how it was balanced out. I love games, and can’t wait to start making them.
Well, it’s time to go to the store and buy lots of water, talk to this model, and pick up my pizza. I’m hungry for some reason .Perhaps its because I sometimes forget to eat.
Ciao for now!

November 8, 2001

Here again. Working.
I have some things on my mind at the moment. Besides the issues with my Grandmother and family crisis, I realized something today.
I realized that I no longer look forward to getting E-mail.
The past week, I’ve been getting complaints on some of our standards and philosophies. I had two photographers, obviously fans of nude work, voice their issues. We even had a E-fight with a porn “actor” who wanted to audition. We don’t do that kind of work, and I had thought that I made the reasons for it perfectly clear. I’m tired of getting bashed by people who are in professional anarchy, and use the first amendment to defend their lack of ethics while attacking companies that are determined to do the right thing. Here’s a CLUE: I work with kids. We are family orientated. Exploitation is not art. When I dedicated my life to the future of art and entertainment, I did not say “Gee, think of all the money that I can make at the expense of others”. End of debate.
I have come to a realization, though. I will exercise more tact in the future when posting our mission statement. I no longer seeing the point of casting pearls before the swine of the industry.
I say get over it. I no longer want to hear it. You do your thing, and we’ll do ours.
Yesterday, we were insulted by a company in San Francisco for the design of our web site.
Ahem. Number one, this site is designed for the middle market, which includes people using old computers and web TV. The design is clean, balanced, and is packed with tier three information that has been cleared for the general public. I’ve already instructed a team to design the next site, and we’re buying a server next year. The fancy bells and whistles are coming, but I like the site, and so does everyone else.
Did I tell you all about the cease and desist sent by an L.A. company a few weeks back? That’s fine, but the problem was that it was about our intellectual property! We have copyrights, a signed release on file, etc. From now on, If I get any more E-mails sent certified with an electronic receipt in a legal format, they get sent straight to our attorney. I’ll let them deal with it.
Then there are the security violations that are racking up. Why is it that the hacking attempts that our firewall has been logging have IP’s that lead back to Los Angeles? My advice: quit while you’re ahead. I’ve already notified your ISP’s, and they aren’t too happy about it. An IP spoofer won’t work, either. There are ways around that.
The final note on security: All confidential information and trade secrets have been removed from our computers, and are being archived in a physical vault. Work that is in progress is encrypted, and we have decoys in place that you don’t want. Trust me. For those of you that wonder why some of our work requires a signed NDA, this is one of the reasons.
We’ve been getting some odd phone calls, too, and in the end, we had to edit some of the information on our site, which included the removal of 40% of the information in this anecdote section.
With this said, our complaint department is now closed. If anyone has any legal issues, our attorney will be handling those in the future. I need to spend more time creating, and not put up with all of this crap.
At any rate, to all of you out there that want to audition: Please, please, please physically mail us your head shots or comp cards, a cover letter, and a resume. Our E-mail is overloaded at the moment, and we’re trying to answer everyone as quickly as possible. I have three people working on it, and we’re barely making a dent. I’m cleaning up those accounts tonight, and some of those large E-mails may be lost in the process. Sorry.
In other news, we now have long distance. Hmmmmmmm. Maybe I shouldn’t have said that. At any rate, we can call people out of the area in emergencies now. Before, we had long distance calling blocked here in the studio.
Well, I’m on the phone with Melissa now, and I’m calling Diana in Orlando tonight.
Gotta run!

November 9, 2001

Today I get to take the digital rig out into the world and experiment. There are some aperture settings that I need to get down, and I have over 60 settings to balance out with the manual mode of the 990. I’ve only used the manual mode once, and that was the “Reverence” editorial in the graveyard back in March with Lowie, Striker, and Nick. Let’s see what 115MM of precision optics can do. I’m hoping to push it to the point where I can get a decent depth of field worthy of my big camera, the 35MM with the 200MM telephoto. I can’t wait until the new lights for RTR 60 come in and we get our S1 Pro digital SLR. My 990 kicks, though, and I’ve been very happy with it. My year of research paid off. The only thing that I could whine about is the fact that I can’t see the LCD screen in bright sunlight, and since it’s not an SLR, the optical viewfinder isn’t true for compositions. It’s my fault, though, as a sunshade isn’t hard to rig. I haven’t made one yet. I get to work with another digital rig tomorrow, as Rick has a 3.3 Megapixel camera as well. With the 990 today, I’ll be downloading the flash cards into the annex workstation in preparation for tomorrow’s shoot. I then need to use the USB burner to test archiving, and try some more with the new fractal based software. That software really works well. I’ve been surprised. If you would have told me a year ago that you could take a 5 X 7 print file and enlarge it to a wall size poster, or even a bill board starting with a poster size source file, I would have laughed. It works, and I’m not laughing. I’m speechless. Incredible stuff. Designed for commercial photography work, adapted for editorial.
What is it...... 5 models/ actors to shoot? I’ll know more when I get to the location in Clearwater, I suppose. Tomorrow I’m going to have at least 300 to 400 pictures, since the annex will be there on the set for archiving them. I have a lot to do today to prepare, though.
You know, I really don’t know where I’m going. I’ll probably go over to Lowie’s early to figure that out. Maybe I can fix her computer while I’m there, I’ll have the USB burner with me, and it’s perfect for making room on her hard drive. That machine annoys me, as it’s a pain to use.
God, wait until you see the pictures that RTR 60 are going to yield. If you’ve like our work so far, the next generation will be jaw dropping. Tomorrow is a dress rehearsal, minus the custom lighting. I hope that the stylist takes their time.
This weekend, I’m also going to schedule in the exact times and the directions to the next R2 audition. I have Melissa coming over for beer, pizza, and a long review of the previous audition footage Monday evening. I need to get her up to speed, and I really need her beer out of the fridge. I don’t drink, but I hear that it’s good stuff. I’ll stick to caffeine and water, and hope that Laura come for her wine coolers one day soon, too. The beer and the coolers have been in there for over six months. My parents would be proud.
Well, everyone have a good weekend. I’ll update again in a few days, when I get the time. It’s time to get a shower, get dressed, load up the 990, exit the studio, and head into Brandon
now. Maybe I can get Krista to swing over here tonight to help me work out the settings..... I’ll find out. I’ve got a matte here already set up for it.

November 10, 2001

It’s going to be quick today, because I have to pack up equipment, eat, and drive over to Lowie’s to get ready to go to the shoot.
Besides fighting with Windows (God, I’m about to drop a lot of money on some Macs.... I’m tired of programs crashing for no reason when I’m in the middle of something. My CD-Rom just crashed, of all things..... ), I’ve been preparing for some of the projects. We just signed thirty new models, and I’m about to sign on forty actors. The models are ones that we haven’t shot before, and with the new stuff coming in, it’s going to be a whole new era of photography. Just preparing for RTR 60 has given us a lot to chew on. Sometimes to have to push ahead and work really hard to progress, and we’re doing that.
You’ll see.
I met this aspiring model yesterday in Brandon. Wow. Talk about inspiration. I told her to get me in touch with her parents, and we’ll see how this works out. I have a good feeling about a lot of these shoots coming up, though. New faces.
Today’s shoot is going to be big, and I’ll try to post some of those shots tonight. I’ll talk to the client about it.
Here’s something that’s been on my mind: agencies. Most have treated us well. Some... well, the jury is still out. We have it set up so bookers don’t have to do anything but refer us talent, we’ll do the rest, and the agency gets put in the loop automatically. If I were an agency, I wouldn’t mind that. Well, the bookers and I get along. To the agency owner that showed a new face my E-mail updates..... That’s a big no no. Those are confidential, and from now on, I’ll leave it up to the talent to deal with you. If you’re going to leave respect, common courtesy, and confidentially at the door, I will no longer deal with you. I don’t want to, nor do I have to. We have plenty of models and actors to deal with on our own, thank you very much. Some people just don’t get it.
A little common courtesy and respect go a long way with me, and some will find that ten, twenty, thirty years down the road, that I’ll remember. Dinosaurs used to be the only game on the planet. They were big, fierce creatures that ruled without opposition. They were complacent, however, and they did not evolve. One day, the environment changed, and, well...... you get the picture.
Models ask me all the time which agencies are good. I have a list of four or five that other models tell me are good, and that have earned my respect. I refer than in an unbiased fashion; one of them is one that told my photography company no thanks, but yet they have an outstanding professional reputation that I respect. I’d gladly refer them.
At the moment, Alexa in Tampa is tops in my book. Their people have been straight up with me, and they do good work. So, you see, there are a lot of agencies that we’ve had good experiences with. For every five, though, there is always one that drops the ball.
Remember: The agency works FOR the talent. If you’re a model or an actor who either can’t get representation, or can’t settle on any agencies, don’t let that stop you. Just go out there and DO IT. I have a friend who is really big on the independent scene right now as a model. She had problems with agencies at the start of her career. She took things into her own hands, and made things happen anyway. She became very successful without initial representation, and now the agencies call her! She’s one of two models that has taught me about the industry, and advises me on things that are over my head when I need it.
The business environment is different today. It’s all about networking, professional courtesy, and self promotion. Businesses (agencies) can no longer afford to be monopolistic, and dropping the ball tends to hurt feet. Indeed, some in this business are about as sharp as that proverbial ball.
Roll, roll away from me. I work with the best. I work with professionals.
That’s why I’m all for self promotion and independence. That’s why we created Tampa Bay Independent Model, which is at It is our answer to a question that models ask me all the time.
Other web based resources that I recommend include,, and These are all top notch sources of information that can put your career in your hands. Learn all you can, and make it happen. It’s really up to you.
Well, I have to get ready for the shoot. I’m keyed up, because some magazines are interested, from what I’ve been told. It’s going to be an awesome session!

November 11, 2001

Yesterdays shoot went well.
It’s been a weekend of computer problems, which we’ll get adjusted during next weekends staff meeting. The annex workstation crashed hours before loadout during routine testing, and I couldn’t bring it. It needs an OS transplant, as Windows 98 just isn’t cutting it. I though that I had fixed the USB conflict, but I started thinking “What if we can’t get images onto the computer, or if we can’t archive onto CD?” It would have been a disaster if we had all those pictures, and couldn’t get them off of the machine to use. As it was, the card reader was causing fatal errors, so we couldn’t even dump the cards onto the machine. So, we had to depend on the 990 and its 80 Megs of CF cards.
After picking up Lowie, She and I went to an office in downtown Clearwater. It’s weird how I know the area there now. Anyway, the shoot was for Renegade Films. They are doing a film called “The Pledge”, and it was a press editorial for their site and some magazine work. We met the other actresses, and I was happy to see that they were all quite photogenic. They were all worthy models for this project. The shoot was going to be a challenge, though. We needed some outdoor shots, and we barely had an hour of sunlight left. Additionally, I didn’t know all of the models. Other than two of my own, who are as close as family, there were three others that I didn’t know. So, I knew that I’d have to break the ice and get the communication going. Good communication, as we all know, is essential between the photographer and the model. Without it, a shoot may not turn out well.
That didn’t turn out to be a problem. The models were all great to work with. I was also really pleased with Renegade Films. Working with them was an inspiring experience. What I really liked about this shoot was the technical challenge that it was. Technically, it was a tough session, and I like it that way.
The first leg of the shoot was on the roof of a parking garage. It was the same roof where Lowie and I shot model Jessica Leigh on back in March. We knew how the lighting was up there; the mirrored windows of a Bank of America building to the east reflected the western sun, creating a lighting scenario that is really unique. There isn’t an outdoor location quite like it anywhere else, and we were counting on that to stretch the waning sunlight. The timing was critical, though, because half of the roof became eclipsed from direct sunlight from the buildings on the waterfront, and we only had the ambient light from those windows near the end. There was also a twenty minute window just before the eclipse where the sun directly reflected from those wonderful windows, blinding certain angles. We had obtained some really awesome photographs of Jessica there once, though, and we bet that we could do it again.
By the time we got organized, and the communication was flowing, the lighting proved to be tricky. Very tricky. We weren’t shooting the same angles as with the last shoot, and in some of the compositions I had to deal with backlit models or soft, low light. The lighting was so critical that I realized that the mere press of the shutter button could have blurred the shot and destroyed detail, as the computer on the camera would have to keep the shutter open longer to compensate for the low light and expose the frame correctly. In some cases, it did just that.
Some of you may be thinking that I should have used the flash. That is more of a problem than a solution, though. The computer thought the same thing, too, and kept firing the flash and draining my batteries. Those shots came out bad as a result. Flash photography is only useful if the flash is off axis, in other words, a slave flash connected by a cable to the camera, offset at a 45 degree angle, and held by another person at a calculated distance. With an on camera flash, not only do you have problems with things such as “red eye” because of the axis with the subject’s retinas, but that distance that you need for the right reflection from the subject limits the composition of the shot. Too close, and the return is too strong, over exposing the frame and blowing out the shot. Too far, and you’ll get what I was getting when the computer decided to activate the flash. First of all, the computer goes “well, I have a flash going, so I can afford to speed up the shutter because now I’ll have enough light.” Well, what most don’t know, but will quickly find out, is that flashes are useless beyond 15 feet. At that range, you’ll get strong returns from reflective objects, such as eyes, and the lack of exposure will underexpose the frame, creating a harsh contrast. Now, there IS a trick that press photographers use with camera flashes, which I can’t use because I don’t have a modular flash on my camera. What they do is position the flash upwards and use a white card at an angle to bounce the light onto the subject. This diffuses that light, which is far better.
Well, I’m not going to ramble on about the technical aspects of photography. Let’s just say that the lighting yesterday was a bit crazy, and to compensate, my composition options were dictated by the necessity of using a solid object to brace the camera on, which is the reason that we had to micro manage the arrangements of the model’s posturing.
It came out good, though. We were all happy. Those girls were all great to work with, and Rick and his team were outstanding. It reminded me of the independent film projects that I used to do with Jim Moss all those years back. I miss those days.
Well, I have to finish up on post production now, and drive to Tampa to deliver the pictures. Before I do, let me show you all some highlights of the shoot. If you want to check out Renegade Films, their site is at
After the shoot last night, I got back here and went to work. There are six pictures that I worked on in particular, and I used our new fractal technology to enlarge them to poster size. The technology really works. But, that’s another story. I do know that RTR 60 is going to require those new lights that we’ve developed.

November 12, 2001

This one will be quick, as I returned from Tampa a few hours ago, and JUST NOW got this stupid $@#$@#$!@$ computer system to work. Mr. Mike, you’re needed....... The backup system is useless without a dial up account, too.
The computer is working perfectly now, but it may not stay that way.
I dropped off the CD of the shoot with Rick Danford, and then drove around until I found myself at Rachels. I got to proof some of Rachel’s writing. She’s a great writer. Her friend Brook stopped by, and the flirting with Brook made the trip well worth it. Brook is cool, and I hope to see more of her. I can’t help but wonder where Allissa was, though. Rave girl was gone all weekend, from what I understand. I’m usually too busy to let myself kick back and have fun, so tonight was a welcome diversion.
It’s going to be an interesting week. I have to finish the Reverence script this week (computer willing), settle some financial stuff, schedule in some portfolio shoots, and prepare for our senior staff meeting on Sunday. Melissa is supposed to come over today, which I’m looking forward to. We have a lot of catching up to do, and she has some video tape to review.
It’s been a really tough weekend with all of this computer crap. First, the Annex system crashes hours before an important shoot, and then, after I finish up with processing the shoot work, and I’m doing nothing significant with the big computer, my hard drive goes into warp and stays there, locking up my desktop. I managed to get it working long enough to finish the order, burn some CD’s, and update the site with pictures and text, but it acts up again while I’m putting the client CD through routine Q/A. I troubleshooted, and noticed that explorer.exe was snagging large amounts of memory as it locked up, spiking at 163 MEGS off and on during the 20 minutes that it took to crash, which took my desktop interface offline. I only have 192 MEGS of memory for my photography work, so you can see why this tied up the system. Crazy stuff. I figured that my hard drive was too full, and too fragmented, which it was, and that explorer.exe was using my memory for scratch space that would normally be on the hard drive. So, I freed several GIGS of space in SAFE MODE, and set the screensaver to 999 minutes so I could defrag. I managed to test the client CD in safe mode before I started, too. The defrag was done by 10:30 PM, when I got home, and I thought it would have fixed it. After 175,000 files, 14 GIGS, and almost six hours, my worries had to be over. It had to be fixed. NOOOOOOOOOOO! It WASN’T! Same thing. Three reboots, a half hour apiece. Each time, the desktop crashed. Finally, I used a system restore feature that Windows 2000 has from the F8 menu, and after a 20 minute boot, it worked again. I dare not turn this machine off before Sunday. Mike will be here then (I hope.)
Here is a list of things that I want for Christmas:
1.) More “adventure” like tonight.
2.) A stable O.S.
3.) World peace.
4.) Melissa’s shoot.
5.) A DP and an XL1
6.) Equipment that works when it’s supposed to, not only when I’m playing around with it.
7.) My new lights for RTR 60.
8.) A computer that works.
9.) Reliable equipment that doesn’t slow me down.
10.) More relaxation. Much more. 1+4 should do it nicely. I miss some things, and yearn for more with others.
11.) More sleep. Much more. I’m falling asleep now.

Well, I’m turning in now. Tomorrow should prove interesting. As an FYI, because of these computer issues in the studio, E-mail and updates may be slow, so please be patient with us. If all else fails, we’ll CPR both computers next weekend.
Thank you all. Good night. I need the sleep.

November 14, 2001

I will be inaccessible for routine business the remainder of the week. I have some client obligations to fulfill, am spending some time with Melissa on Friday, and have a staff meeting here at the studio on Sunday, but that’s it. Everything else has been rescheduled for sometime next week. Due to the thanksgiving holiday, and a family crisis, the next R2 may be delayed until the second week of December.
I had a death in the family this morning. My Grandmother passed away.
I want to thank everyone who has expressed concern the past two weeks while she was in the hospital. It was appreciated. While I did not get the chance to tell her goodbye before she passed away this morning, I did get to spend time with her last week. She knew that I loved her, as well as the rest of my family.
I am not sure when the funeral will be, but my critical schedule may change to accommodate those plans. Thank you.

With much sadness,
C. A. Passinault
Executive Producer

Update for 17 November 2001

It seems that my Grandmother is still alive, which is not what was reported on Wednesday morning. Wednesday, however, was a nightmare, and was easily the worst day of my life.
It is no less horrible, even now, however, as she has suffered brain damage that has killed the person that she was. I spent most of Wednesday at the hospital, and had to reschedule an appointment with a modeling client. Watching my Grandmother suffer in a vegetative state proved to be too much to bear.
I haven’t done much since then, but things are getting better. I went to sleep when I got back to the studio late Wednesday afternoon, and didn’t wake until the next afternoon on Thursday. Melissa called me several times, as did a lot of others, which did help. Friday, which was yesterday, Melissa came over and got me to leave the studio with her. She said that I needed to cheer up. Who was I to deny that? She was right.
Parts of last night are a blur, but I was in good hands. Since I haven’t really drank in six years, I’m what my fraternity brothers would have termed a “lightweight”, and no, I did not get falling down drunk, nor am I going to turn into an alcoholic. It was merely a nice night out bonding with my friend. She must have driven me home safely, because I woke up this morning, and feel much
I’d have a picture of her just before we left last night, but I’m having different computer problems now that have rendered my compact flash card reader inoperable. Thus, I can’t get them onto the machine. When I fix it, which may be sometime today, I’ll put it up. My printer drivers are offline, too, which I believe that I have fixed. As for me, I believe that Mike should refresh my entire O.S., and that will fix everything. When my computer has mapped my USB card reader as “Drive G”, I’ve got problems.
I want to thank everyone who has sent condolences, as it was appreciated. This has been a traumatic experience, and is more so because of a lack of closure. I hate to see anyone in pain and suffering, especially when it is a relative that I’m particulary close to. I lived with her for two years in the early 90's, when I studied television production in Tampa and assembled the first Geomedia Studio. I have to meet a model client this evening, but may visit her in the hospital afterwards.
Melissa and I spent a few hours here going over some things before going out on our adventure. We ate pizza (well, she did; I had a big lunch), reviewed the video tape from the past two auditions, and I showed her what else we’ve been up to. She was the first to find out about a certain big arts grant that may be on the way; it seems that certain people are extremely impressed with our technology and our work. I’m not really concerned about production money at this point. I have full confidence in the quality of our work, and that money will come. Let this be an example: There is a lot more going on behind the scenes that most will ever know about. It’s just too bad that I’m not allowed to lift the curtain entirely. For security reasons, no one person has the entire scope of our work. Each person has one piece of a very large puzzle, and it’s very unlikely that anyone will be able to figure out which person has information that is compatible with who knows what kind of information with who knows who. I’d say that six of our people are privy to critical keys of large amounts of information, and they aren’t going anywhere. They are full business partners, and they have earned my trust. For most, it’s need to know only. We also have encryption technology like “Pandora”, which has the leverage of legal deterrence.
For the rest, that’s what NDA’s are for. Hee hee. I deal from a position of strength, and like a good game of poker, the best cards are always kept close to the vest. I have all the cards, make no mistake about that. It will be clearer soon.
Well, I’m going to get some work done today. We have a staff meeting tomorrow, which will focus on the development of Reverence, our other films, and the next R2 audition. We have some of the finest actors in Florida being considered for our film roles. I’m happy, and Melissa was, too, when I explained to her our choices, and why our audition process is so rigorous. Producing films would be a poor investment if the actors aren’t any good. We will take our time with our selection, because we have to. I believe that our people are our best investment.
Life, for most of us, goes on. I’m going to make this one count for something. It’s all about the future of art and entertainment, and as Melissa reminded me last night, we’re ready to make it happen.

November 18, 2001

Last night was cool. I had dinner with a model named Sandy. I had my fill of Calamari, talked about modeling, scheduled a shoot for tomorrow morning, and even got to sketch on the paper tablecloth with crayons. I couldn’t resist. Drawing on the tablecloth is a tradition at that nice restaurant in Brandon. They are very good to me, and I entertain clients there as a
I’ll have pictures of her on the site sometime Monday evening. She’s going to be a great model; I’m sure of it. Besides being very beautiful, she’s intelligent, witty, and has a great personality. Exactly the type of model that I like to work with. You’ll see.
In a few hours, I may have some pictures of that meteor shower. I’m toying with the idea of taking the 990 to the middle of nowhere with a tripod, run it in gray with the LCD off, and use the timer combined with a long exposure setting to get the shots. The timer will keep the camera movement, such as when you push the shutter button, to a bare minimum. It’s not precise, but it should allow me to get some good shots. The night sky should prove to be a challenge to shoot, and will be quite different from shooting models.
Then again, I might fall asleep. Who knows? I’m tired, and my bed is calling me. If there is going to be a lot of humidity outside, I can’t justify the use of expensive hardware that should be used on models.
I’ll check the weather on TBO, and then reference some astronomy photography sites to benchmark their techniques.
There will be more to follow. I just found out that some of my friends are going to surprise me for my Birthday. Speaking of being ancient, I told Sandy that when I was born, the photography industry consisted of Brownies and odd format cameras. In other words, it was primitive. I told her that it didn’t even exist in that time, and it was good for a laugh, but the truth is that when I was born, in 1969, the modeling industry, and photography, were in the final act of a golden age. Anyway, I have some pictures of my parents getting married a year before I was born to prove it. Last year, I scanned in a bunch of my baby pictures to correct them with my studio equipment. Talk about a weird experience. I had to scan in re crops, and it was like taking pictures of me as a baby (when you scan in high resolutions, you can re compose the shot by cropping and adjusting it in photoshop. It’s almost like doing a shoot, but in the computer instead. A lot of practice with this has made me a better photographer, because I pretend that I’m on the workstation adjusting the image that I’m about to shoot, and that attention to detail helps to fine tune the images as I’m creating them.)
Well, I’m going to debate running out in the middle of an isolated place that could have doubled for the location of the movie “deliverance” at 3 AM. The people are dead on, too. Fun. I doubt that they would understand the technology that I’d be using, but who can say? Then again, art always comes first for me. I might just risk it.
Stay tuned.

Update 19 November 2001

It’s been a long morning. I traveled to the USF area to meet the model, and she never showed up. So, I’m here, waiting for her to call. I hope that she overslept, but as mid day is here, it’s becoming more and more unlikely. I hope that she’s ok. We have five hours of light left. If we can’t make that, then I’ll have to swing Melissa in here and rig the hot studio lights for interior work. I just got off the phone with Melissa, and it’s a possibility. I hate studio photography, and would rather do location work. That will soon change, though, and I’ll explain below. If I don’t hear from her by 2 PM, I’ll cancel today’s session and go into Brandon to do errands. Melissa is calling me later, so I’ll fill her in then.
The other night (morning?), I never did get to see the meteor shower. Clouds came in, and humidity was up to 89%. It was even higher last night. I walked down to the river around midnight to think, and the air was so full of precipitation, you could hear it dropping off the leaves. Weird stuff. It saturated like rain, but it wasn’t raining, and the stars were out in amazing numbers. It was chilly, damp, but beautiful, too.
Going back to studio photography, the Geomedia 3 studio is designed to do it, but I don’t like the cramped set. It’s very hard to work in here with the lights that I have and the limited arrangement. Location work possesses more possibilities. This is the reason that we launched RTR 60 and obtained the new studio in Clearwater. The new lighting, new set concepts, and the art direction make it exciting.
As of today, I am authorizing the use of our holography technology for support of RTR 60. We’re not going to be using lasers with the models, per se, but there are some techniques and support protocols that can be adapted. I’m buying a laser, lenses, mirrors, and a beam splitter anyway, and we’ve developed ways of isolating the source pump laser and the subject from the slightest vibration using passive techniques. Holograms are very vibration sensitive, which is the reason that you can’t use a live subject very effectively with standard lasers. We’re working on a diffused, strobe laser which may prove effective with holographing live models in the next few years, but I want to make sure that it is going to be safe. Some of the techniques used in holography will enhance the performance of RTR 60, and, no, we’re not using lasers in those shoots anytime soon.
Well, I have to work on something while I figure out this shoot situation. It’s been a fun day so far.

November 20, 2001

It’s been a great day today. While I’m still waiting for yesterday’s model to call about the no show (it’s not gonna happen. I find it a bit amusing at this point. Oh well.....), I did some banking today, and selected a nice, comfortable budget that should carry us until next summer. We’re in good shape even if we did no business, but I’m not accepting that. We’re putting together a band of modeling scouts for an important mission, and that is to drive sales of Aurora PhotoArts portfolio sessions. The present economy can be worked around, and we’re going to do it with some very aggressive incentives. Our mission is to provide the model and the actor with the portfolio tools that they need to get jobs, and with Tampa Bay Independent Model we can teach them the power of self promotion. I, for one, am very proud of the level of quality that our services are at. Want to know a secret? I get my braces off on December 11, and when that is done, I get to have new head shots done. As an actor, which company am I using? Well, I’ve shopped them all, and there are only four or five local photographers that I could consider for the job. In the end, though, I’m going through my own company, Aurora PhotoArts, for the session, and am paying one of my teams the full rate. For me, as an actor as well as a photographer, it’s the best thing going on. Even if it weren’t my company, and I was not a photographer, it would be my number one choice. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Business should improve once we start dealing with the press. There will be more on that in the future.
Today I received a composite card from a model that we are considering for the principle model of RTR 60. She didn’t have a head shot, but she wants to audition for a film role in an upcoming audition. I must say that the photographer who took the head shot for the comp did an excellent job, but I realized that it would be more of effective head shot if it were scanned in re cropped. I cropped out 20% of the bottom to bring the focus to the face of the model. So, I broke out the new tools and did an experiment. Here’s the breakdown. All you photographers out there will understand the technical stuff here, but even if you’re not, or you do not, I’ll try to explain it is simple terms.
The composite was one of those laser types which are generally of good quality on medium stock. Of course, upon close examination, there are fine lines, or artifacting, in the print. Photographers call this a moire, and to the layman, it is most often seen as the patterns of dots that make up photographs in a newspaper. Now, this proved to be a problem, especially considering that I had to make a black and white 8 X 10 glossy from this composite card. Not exactly the best source.
So, I scanned it in at three times the print resolution (900 DPI. For us, print resolution is 300 DPI, although most magazines print at 266 DPI. As a comparison, web optimized images are at 72 DPI, which is the resolution of the computer monitor.) , so the pattern would be less apparent upon reduction. Even at 900 DPI, though, the image was well below the 8 X 10 requirement, and enlarging it normally would mean degradation of the image quality, as will as amplifying the artifacting. So, I used RTR 60's fractal based software to encode the file, sized it at 8 X 10 while reducing it to 300 DPI, and then used Photoshop’s unsharp mask to reduce the moire further. As a final touch, I converted the color image to a black and white with a gradient map (The picture above was altered with another gradient setting , cropped, and sharpened.). When I printed out the finished print, I was pleasantly surprised with how good it looked. Not a bad job, considering the source material that I had to work with. Anyway, I’d love to show you all the before and after, but I’ll need to get the model’s permission first. After all, the image isn’t mine.
Speaking of RTR 60, we now have the money to finish the new lighting, and we’ll probably button that up this weekend. I intend to have the RTR 60 photography sessions begin in December, and the models are eager to start. We’re going to be using new lighting equipment, such as new types of soft boxes, spots with cookies, and flexible modular lighting. Lighting is one of the keys to this project, people. It won’t be uncommon for a model to be lit just off frame by a light source which, to them, is in their face. The sets for the first few shoots will be compact, too.
Art direction is very important to this project, and will be a guiding rule, much more dominate than in a portfolio session.
Anyway, last night I stayed up all night and celebrated the end of a good day with a marathon session of the game “San Francisco Rush”. It’s old, but it was a blast. I turned in after 5 AM.
I talked to Marlon for a while on the phone, and had a 45 minute teleconference with Melissa, too. It was a good ending to an awkward day.
We’ve been making a lot of progress with our films, but something else that is shaping up nicely are the theme parties of Dimension Stageforms. I’ve been working a lot on them with Marlon, and will be returning to hard core DJ’ing shortly. That, and acting, which is the reason that I’m getting head shots done in December.

Update for 21 November, 2001

Ooooh..... It’s Thanksgiving eve, and just more than a month before what I always try to make my favorite time of the year. It doesn’t always work. I spent the day doing a lot of banking, paying off loans, and negotiating lines of credit. The people at the banks were surprised by what I knew about banking. I explained to them that I trained most of the management staff at the bank that I recently left. I’ll take my degree in finance from the school of hard work, thank you very much. I am so burnt out on finance that I can say that I will no longer work at one. Then again, if they can top my previous salary, and I have a bit of free time, maybe.
Yeah, whatever.
I really wanted to put up a Thanksgiving story today, but the subject matter hits so close to home that I couldn’t. If I do a Christmas story, it’ll incorporate elements of the Thanksgiving story that I couldn’t bear to write. Promise. Cross my heart, and hope to cry. Heh heh. With my Grandmother in who knows what shape, I still am a bit rattled. I’ll be ok. So will my family. I just wonder.... will she ever be? It feels like she already died, yet we are denied closure. As for myself, I would rather dies than have brain damage that destroyed who I am. In many ways, it is worse than dying. It is very tragic. This is going to change how I live my life. Fortunately, it will be for the better. I have learned something good.
The way I feel about my staff and associates transcends mere words. To attempt to describe those feelings in this manner would not be effective. It just wouldn’t. To me, they are all family. Melissa, Rox, Lowie, Marlon, Mike and his wife, Cynthia, Autumn..... I could go on. I am speechless by all the kind words, encouragement, and condolences that have been extended to me by the entertainment and arts community during these dark times in my personal life. Thank you all for really caring. Kitty, Manny, Jane, Kevin, and to dozens more; it meant a lot.
Things will get better. I’m sure of it.
I watched the DVD of “Crazy Beautiful” tonight just before Melissa called. That movie is really good. I did remind me a bit of the one with my cousin and Chris O’Donnell. You know the one, it was “Mad Love”. Hmmmmm. Why does the girl character always have to be the mental one? Why can’t we have some crazy guy and a bookish, uptight, anal retentive girl with a wall for once? Let’s make her average looking. Despite the similarities, I love both movies, although the Kirsten Dunst one does edge out the older film. I would have like to see more of the plane flying and the photography in Crazy Beautiful, though. The way the trailer was, I thought the boyfriend was already a student pilot with his own plane. The photography and the plane served little more purpose than glorified props, and could have defined the characters a bit more. I also winced when they were making out in the dark room...... don’t they know what those chemicals do to human hair?
Ha ha.
Great movie, though. It made my all time top 20. I wonder how good Plant of the Apes and Legally Blonde are? Maybe I should curl up with the new Spy Hunter instead. Maybe I should rent them all and find out.
I talked to Melissa for close to an hour tonight. Great conversation. Great girl. She asked about Monday’s model. I told her that I didn’t care. Things happen. We have three shoots booked next week alone, and I snagged another 64 Meg compact flash card tonight at Best Buy. More pictures on location. I may just pick up another this weekend. I talked to Delina and another model today, too. Those, however, are other stories. The world goes on. The conversation with Melissa makes me smile, though. She found out that next week is my birthday. She told me that I was in trouble.
Trouble that I’m looking forward to, I can assure you. She is planning something.
Well, it’s getting hot in the studio, the Mozart is thumping, and I really need to jump in the shower and go to bed. Tomorrow is family day. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving.
I am thankful for my health, my friends, my associates, my family, and the good food that I’ve learned how to cook. I made some chicken last night, with blue cheese dressing, which was just...... well, that’s enough. I’m raiding leftovers later.
I’m thankful for life itself. I had forgotten how good it can be. It happens to us all. When I was a child, we didn’t have much money, and I found things to do that made me happy. Raising plants and animals ( a lot of birds. I raised a meadow lark once from a baby. I also used my commercial incubator to rescue a clutch of burrowing owl eggs when the parents were killed. Most of them hatched, and when I took the chicks to Busch Gardens, the zoo staff had to figure out how to raise them. Over half of them survived to adulthood, which is great, since they are endangered.), making role playing games with graph paper and paper cut outs, and writing in scribbles in old notebooks with a pen. I miss those days.
On behalf of myself, and my staff, I want to wish you all a happy Thanksgiving. Remember to be thankful for your lives, and what you have. Cherish things while you have them.
From now on, I will.

Update 112301

It was a good Thanksgiving. I spent time with my family, and since my birthday is a few days away, a friend helped me obtain the treasure pictured above (a 20 gallon high aquarium!). It’s my new baby, and it’s missing the stock right now, bit only because I have to adjust the PH of the water and aerate the chlorine out of it first. It’s about 70% ready, and needs a hood.
I’m really anal about the quality of the fish, simply because if I wasn’t it would be an insult to the level of work that I did when I was a child. I never step backwards. When I gave up plants, pets, and tropical fish when I was 12, I was doing advanced work with genetically engineering my stock. So, it may take me a few days to negotiate the breeder stock that I need to work with. It’s a hobby that I want to get back into, and like most hobbies, I get serious about the detail that goes into it. Fortunately, I retain all of the knowledge that I learned in the past. The tank above didn’t come from a pet store, it came from a local art gallery that dealt in designer tanks. With the stock, I’ll skip the pet stores and go straight to some professional breeders that I know. Time will tell if I can restore the strains of fish that I once bred.
Since this bit of decor deals with water, I set it up in a corner of my bed room. I can’t risk a spill anywhere near the equipment in the studio, and it’s risk enough with my new carpet. Another reason that it will only be as full as it needs to be. I’m backlighting the display, and will put cover material in the bottom for the babies to hide from the parents. For the surface, I’m thinking about floating some water hyacinth, an aquatic plant common here in Florida. Well, maybe some duckweed. Roots floating beneath the surface may give it a nice environment.
For fish, the main stock would be purebred show guppies. I’d like to add a clown loach, some neon tetra’s (I’m not raising those.... I’ve never had much luck with egg layers), and some none aggressive community fish. A few platy’s would be cool, too.
Since water conducts and refracts light (think liquid fiber optics), I have some ideas for the lights. I may even add a little more water. The pouring water may need to be reduced my raising the water level if I can’t get to sleep at night.
Melissa was confused earlier when I told her that I wanted an aquarium. I explained to her that I like fish, and, realistically, they are the only pets that I can conceivably keep because of my career. If I didn’t have to record in the studio, I would have invested in an African Gray or a Cockatoo. I used to raise exotic birds, too, bit haven’t had one for fifteen years. I did have to deal with a Cockatoo last year when I was staying at a Producer’s house in Tampa for a weekend last year. The girl that I was dating couldn’t get the big bird back in its cage. Expensive, beautiful bird.
Well, I’m going to work on some scripts this weekend, and try not to think of my birthday. It’s going to be busy next week, that’s for sure.

November 25, 2001

I’ve been peeved lately with the stereotyping that’s been going on with girls not liking video games, and video gamers crying about what they would do if they could find girls that would play them.
I don’t know what world you guys live in, but the stereotypes don’t apply.
I know girls who love games as much, if not more, than I do. I know girls who dedicate their entire Sunday’s to football. I know girls who slam beers and play a mean game of pool. Because of my career, do you want to know what else these girls are into?
They’re all models.
I had dinner with a model last weekend, and all that she talked about was playing Mike Tyson’s Punch Out and Zelda (that’s the second one in less than a month who loves Punch Out. What’s up with that?). After the video game talk, we talked about drinking, dessert, and modeling portfolios. Toward the end, she swung it back to video games.
The love of games has nothing to do with gender. It has to do with the interests of the individual. I don’t like sports or beer, and I have a close model friend who does. Aren’t all guys supposed to like sports and beer? She and I went out a few days ago, and she bought me ice houses at a club to help me forget about a recent family tragedy. Before leaving, she had to visit the ladies room, which was right next to the club’s arcade. Guess what I did while I waited? In retrospect, I wish she had watched me attempt to play San Francisco Rush with all of those beers in me. It would have demonstrated the futility of drinking and driving, and may have prevented the DUI arrest that she experienced the night before Thanksgiving (which reminds me, my gal pal, I have that attorney referral that you asked for). That night, however, she was my designated driver, and I had lost the game by the time she had emerged from the rest room.
You have to account that most of the models that I work with are between the ages of 17 to 23, and when they were younger, around 8 or 9, they were playing Nintendo. Perhaps the non gaming girls are over 30? My experiences indicate that most girls love them.
In fairness, there were two that didn’t like them. One was a 24 year old model from Orlando which I was hanging with last year. Well, she kind of liked Tomb Raider, for the simple reason that she is a dead ringer for Lara Croft. She looked so much like her, she even edged out the models that Eidos has been using. I’ve sent a picture to prove my point. Anyway, she stayed the weekends often to work on projects with me, and while she was putting on makeup in the studio restroom, I kicked back to a few games of Mario Kart 64. The character that I play is Toad, simply because he’s such an obvious little fag that he’s pretty funny, and my gamer friends hate him (it?) so. Anyway, I kept getting timed shrooms, and had the volume up. After a few minutes of constant “here-here-here-here-here-here we goooooooo!” and “yah ya ya ya ya ya ya ya ya hoooooo!” she walked down the hallway and yelled at me.
“That’s so annoying!”.
I turned down the volume. She had spoken, and who was I to argue? I’d calm her down later, anyway, with dinner. I always did. I watched her walk back to the rest room, and mused that if she had a soft British accent like the character that she fancied herself to play, Lara Croft, she could yell at me all that she wanted.
There was a swimsuit model that I used to work with, who, at 16, liked games, but she was seldom in the mood to play them. She was actually a bit testy at times, and the other models didn’t like her. Wether she and I got along depended on the mood that she was in on any given day. One day that I recall is the day that she got lost following simple directions to the studio, and I had to drive a half hour away to get her and another model for a shoot. I was so mad when we got back that I just had to play Ridge Racer 5 on the Playstation 2 to calm down. When I do a shoot, it helps if I’m not uptight.
She bitched me out. “I drove an hour to get here, and you want to play games?!?” I told her to be quiet and go put on her make up. I motioned at the SLR camera on the table in front of me, and the rolls of film. I was ready. I was waiting on her, and we were already two hours behind schedule because of her inability to follow directions. So, I continued playing, and she got really pissed when the other model joined me. It made an interesting shoot, though. After we got started, we were fighting all during the session. We’d argue, I’d tell her to pose for a shot, she’d smile, and it worked. She did get back at me on the way back, though. She was driving, she kept making wrong turns on purpose because she knew that I had a prom shoot later on, and she almost made me late.
Brat. Looking back, it was kind of funny. I wasn’t laughing then, though. Her mother told me one night that she didn’t have patience. I told her that she tried mine. She was a great model, though, and had a good head on her shoulders. I can’t wait until she goes of to college. It will do her some good.
The last time that we worked together, we got along great. She really does like games, though, as she asked me to help her install MAME on her computer.
Back to my model friend who’s into the beer and sports. A few months ago, I was in her apartment waiting on her to get ready for a dinner meeting at a Japanese restaurant with four other models (we are doing a calendar), and I played a game of Galaga via MAME on her computer. She came out of her bedroom, and told me to turn it down. I did, but not before I serenaded her with the music and sounds of Frogger.
As a capper to this letter about gender stereotyping, there are GUYS out there who don’t know anything about games. The last audition that I had, one of the actors asked me what the game “Tempest 2000" was. I was seated in the middle of an audition board table full of models and actors on my staff, and Lowie, one of my best models, rolled her eyes and shook her head.
“Oh no..... Why did you have to ask him that? Here we go!”
Lowie knew that my answer was going to be at least ten minutes long. I explained to the innocent, unscathed actor about the gamer deity who is Jeff Minter, and the intricacies of the game. He got the part, but I’m going to let those actors know something before we film the fraternity house scene in the film where they are playing the game. They are all going to play the game and get good at it as a requirement for the parts. There will be no fake video gaming in my films.
A love of video games is something that you must feel. It can’t be faked. I’m sure that after spending time with Tempest 2000, they will all love it.
Lowie herself is mixed about video games. She got mad at me when I got her boyfriend into playing MAME on her computer, but yet went out and bought a PS 2 so she could play Grand Turismo 3. Then again, that could be because she loves to race cars. Great kid, though.
Perhaps I’ve shed some light on gender having no bearing on a passion for video games. I suspect that gamers who bitch about “girls not liking games” had dates that lost interest in them long before gaming was brought up. Can you say “scapegoat”? I dated a model once who’s idea of foreplay was a quick game of Outrun on the Saturn. She once got me to stay the night because she whined that her Playstation was broken, and she wanted me to fix it so she could play Tekken. She was the one who removed the “P” in “Playstation” for me. As an FYI, I don’t date any models under the age of 20. I really don’t like dating them at all, as it can hurt a professional relationship. Sometimes, though, things happen.
Come to think of it, there might be a good reason why I’ve found so many beautiful girls who dig games. Could it be that I don’t use them as a crutch and force it on them? Could it be that I’m into a lot of other things? Could it be that I listen to them, and respect the other things that they’re into? I love games, and they are a part of my life, but I also love art, beauty, and women, too.
I went out and put together an expensive aquarium this weekend, simply because it’s beautiful, has nothing to do with my career, and isn’t a game. Some thing to round me out a bit more, and girls will love it, too. I put it in my bed room. Poor fish........
When I have a date over, I can tell you that video games aren’t at the top of my agenda. Sometimes, the girls check out my collection and want to play a game that they miss, or like, but often we have other types of games to play.
I wouldn’t have it any other way.
In future letters, I’ll have some more cool gaming anecdotes, and I’ll even fill you in to a rave that we’re doing in three months. We’re using a pair of large LCD video projectors and two I-linked Playstation 2's for a video game tournament of the type that we’ve been doing for several years now at our theme events; both screens should take up a whole wall. I may even have some pictures of two models getting into games as part of our club series fashion series that one of my models is working on now.

Update 112901

Yesterday we did a shoot around the Courtney Campbell Causeway, and afterwards, I had to go to downtown Clearwater to discuss some things and check out the new studio. It was a long day.
Joy Nash, an actress that was just selected to play the role of Amy Hendrix in Reverence, obtained the first of a series of free portfolio shoots. The shoots are for the official Reverence web site, and their own use. The shoots will be theme based, and centered on the character role that the actor will be playing. I’ve authorized the TFP resources of Aurora PhotoArts to be used for the support of Dream Nine Studios productions, and every actor cast in every film will receive free services valued at several hundred dollars. The shoots will be a production requirement. Since those services are widely considered as being among the best in the state, you can see that it is a special bonus, and our way of acknowledging their talent as the best in the industry.
On the other hand, I could go into another little bonus, too. It seems that we have a company called Dimension Stageforms. For those that have been to those parties and events, the cast wrap parties will be well worth attending.
Joy and I worked for several hours yesterday, and we obtained some really good pictures toward the end. During the session, we had a great deal of time to talk. I found her to be very sharp, and very talented. Her observations on the industry are close to my own. She also had some great anecdotes of her own.
Actor Kevin Hentkowski, who has been cast as Paul Thomas in Reverence, will be getting his session this weekend. Actresses Roxanne Kowalska, Lowie, and Autumn Bange, who are incidently Passinault.Com staffers, will be getting character themed shoots shortly. Actors selected, even our own staffers, have to audition like everyone else, and we do not play favorites. Roxanne, for example, is a great actress with a lot of experience, and she auditioned at least six times in one day to win the role of Amanda. Lowie has been close to the project from the beginning, helped with initial casting and readings, and has even contributed to the script. She is a top notch actress as well as a model with a professional level of experience. Autumn, our senior actress, is the most talented stage performer that I’ve ever seen. She’s very, very gifted, and was more than qualified for the role of Paula, a short lived character in the first scene of the film. If they weren’t the best, they wouldn’t be on our staff.
In other news, we revealed the characters of next year’s feature “Net Worth” on Tuesday. I’m very excited about this project, as I feel that it needs to be made. My views on voyeur type web sites, reality TV, and the adult entertainment industry in general are, what some people may say, harsh. They have no genuine value, and are not valid forms of entertainment. I’ve always been particularly annoyed with young people, especially girls, getting tangled up and messed up with crappy companies and people seeking to exploit them. Net Worth is going to cut through the hype and the spin, drop the B.S., and shed some objective light on businesses that should be outlawed because of the harm that they do. We’re going to do it without a shred of nudity, too. The story of Net Worth is done, and it’s very powerful even at this early stage.
After Net Worth, we’ll work on Rachel Eaglin’s masterpiece, which I’ve read, and it is an impressive piece of work. We’ll also get into some comedy with the feature Waveform, and the musical REM; all scheduled for 2003. The lead role for REM has already been cast, and it will be written with actress Joy Nash in mind to play that role. As if you couldn’t have guessed, I have a lot of faith in the potential of this actress.
For those of you that are reading this who are actors, and have auditioned, please note the following:
If you have not been notified of anything, or have not been cast, there are a number of variables that you need to consider. First off, you may have been selected for a role, but we haven’t been able to talk to you about it yet. Actors announced have already been briefed in detail about thier roles. Not getting a role is in no way a reflection of your level of talent. You may be the best actor in the world, but if you don’t fit the character roles, that is a deciding factor.
If you do not get a role, and are indexed as an eligible actor for our projects, you will be the first one considered for future roles before we audition the part. R2 auditions are designed to build a database of talent.
There have been questions about how this movie is going to be done, too. Without revealing trade secrets, or showing our hand, I’m going to enlighten everyone with the production philosophies of Dream Nine Studios. These philosophies are shared by all of the companies of Passinault.Com, the Passinault Entertainment Group, as applicable.
With our films, the script is the most important element. We will not rush our scripts, and are responsible for the character development and story arc. We will not rush out as many films as possible, and will take our time to do it right. Our films will use few extras if we can manage it, and the actors that play our roles will be the best that we can possibly find. We believe that an actor with limited range will hurt the production process, and detract from the quality of the film. Speaking of quality, we will not emphasize special effects, or gore, unless it is necessary for the integrity of the script. We will not exploit our actors, and our films will not require nude work. So far, with the first ten films in treatment, there is no nudity. We will not cater to a production mindset of “If it sells, do it”, as it will limit the creative potential of our work. Our first duty is to the artistic value of the film, roles that will never defame actors playing them, and films that do not rely on marketing or collaborative gimmicks to obtain sales. We will not rely on well known names, as we do not believe in the Hollywood cliché of the “movie star”. Actors will be known for their skill, and in our films will receive equal billing. We believe in films as a collaborative effort. The Passinault.Com, and the Dream Nine Studios brand, will be known for quality and integrity. Those alone will have the weight to satisfy the marketing types.
I sincerely believe that actors need to weigh out every role that they accept. Bad movies, and bad writing in scripts, can hurt your career. Our work stands out as a high point in the industry as a whole, and will be the foundation of the next entertainment industry.
When our first films emerge, people will see our point. Those films will take the world not because they were done with low budgets, but simply because they won’t look low budget. They will all have maximum entertainment value.

Update for Saturday, December 1, 2001

The next audition is scheduled for Sunday, December 16, 2001, but may change depending upon what I find out on Monday. There is a very narrow window of opportunity with this schedule, and due to the holidays, if we can’t make that, the first weeks of January will be our next window. We have a place in Clearwater for the auditions available, but Melissa told me that she wants to audition lots of prospects for the Passinault Dance Team during this audition, and we need the studio in Valrico in order to do those. She’s done a good job handling the inquiries, and I have a feeling that by this time next year, the professional dancer will be as associated with our name as the model currently is.
For more information on that, feel free to contact our principle Choreographer, Melissa Smith, at .
With Reverence, I’m still polishing the script. It’s a two hour film, and I really want the actors to be proud to work on it. The genre is “horror”, but I don’t see it like that. True to form, I’ve written it as very, very psychological. Alfred Hitchcock would be proud. I’ve had plenty of room to put a lot of definition and depth to all of the characters, and am working on back stories for each of them for the Reverence web site. Speaking of character depth, did anyone see the character bios for Net Worth yet? Over twenty actors have swamped us with inquiries since the Internet post on Tuesday, and they all said that they liked the story, and said it was worthwhile. The story premise is leaked a bit by the character bios.
Speaking of inquiries, please, DO NOT send attachments over 100K with your E-mails. We’ve deleted several E-mails without a second glance because they had huge file attachments. If you wish to send us small pictures, like the size on a web page, that’s fine. If you want to send us a link to your web site so we can check you out, that’s much better. If you wish to audition, though, please mail us a head shot, résumé, and a cover letter to our physical address. That will enable us to schedule you in.
So, there you have it. Although Reverence is a horror movie, I don’t consider it to be technically, because it is an Intelligent horror movie; a movie of psychological drama for the thinking person. It is worth doing.
Reverence will film in late March, and should be done by the Summer. If we don’t find a good DP by then, I’ll take the XL-1 and shoot the film from my shoulder. Simple is better, and for location work, we’ll shoot at day using a professional grade movie camera and an overhead boom mike. For interior work, the main adjustments will be in using diffused lighting and adjusting the boom for sound. Interestingly enough, the stock footage will be in color, but when we are editing, we’ll change it to a 15 Zone black and white format, and will change the outdoor location scenes from day to night in software. After the ADR and Foley work is done, and the movie is edited, our resident composer will score the piece. Her’s another tidbit regarding the camera work: We are using two distinct styles for the movie. The interior shots will look very different from the graveyard work. As you all know, half of a movie is sound, and our capabilities in that area alone can not be underestimated. We’ve been doing voice over, recording, and foley work for over eleven years.
The Reverence DVD will include several hours of extra’s, including a directors and cast commentary. Every one of our films will have commentary and anecdotes, and will be presented in a wide screen format on DVD. Aurora PhotoArts will help with marketing tie ins by producing Sidekick (TM) posters and calendars for each project.
Going back to Net Worth, and bringing up Invisible Ink, did you know that there are stage versions of both that will be done by Dimension Stageforms? Invisible Ink for the stage won’t be that much different, but the stage version of Net Worth (BLUE) will be a dark comedy, while the film version of Net Worth (RED) is a serious drama.
Both versions of each will be worth seeing.

Speaking of movies worth seeing, a few of you know that I’m an avid movie collector. Blame it on Kristen, a model that I used to work with. She got me into seriously collecting them, and we used to play “video store”. She’d come over and swap movies. Although her collection was larger, primarily because she used to work in a video store, I did have a lot of movies that she didn’t. Anyway, here are my picks for best and worst movies, as well as a few more.


I still remember the first time that I saw this. I’ve never been so absorbed in a movie, and the detail is amazing. The characters are lacking, but it’s a masterpiece.

This film almost topped Titanic. There are some details, like the characters and the camera work, that outdo the latter.

The more that I see this, the more that I like it. Some complain about a certain actor, but this film is awesome. The DVD is tight.

My grandmother introduced me to this one. Even today, it is an incredible movie. I seldom watch it, though, because it is too long. People are whining about mine being two hours? Try this!

Very under rated, and very good. The fantasy elements work, and I like the characters. Reminded me of the anime Ninja Scroll.

Speaking of Anime, this four part, three hour feature is a work of art. Watch it, and wonder why American Sci Fi can’t be this good.

Wow. This is another one that sucked me in. Sometimes, I think that is should be number 3. Watch “The Messenger: the legend of Joan of Arc” after watching this for a real trip, as both films portray different governments very differently.

Great flick, but it couldn’t hold Melissa’s interest. I loved it, though, as it was a great piece of work.

I really like the romantic scenes where the characters compose bits of the play. I’m not an expert with the classics, and I finally found out what Romeo and Juliet was about when I saw this.

The best of the Bond films, this one is as old as I am. Diana Rigg helped this a lot, and the Avenger girl finally played a dramatic espionage role.

This reminds me a lot about myself. Very good movie.

Has a lot of fantasy elements in it, but I could relate to it.


I can’t knock this one as hard as I’d like, simply because it’s so bad that it’s actually funny. This was a fraternity tradition, much like watching Weird Science was. You have to see the Taco restaurant scene to believe it. It’s worth buying strictly for the laugh value, and is priceless if you don’t watch it sober.

When a friend recommended this waste of plastic, I wanted to sharpen the edges of the disc and throw it at them. This film is dumb, it sucks, its characters don’t exist, and the story is whacked. I listened to the directors commentary to see if the people responsible were on crack, and after listening for a bit, I suspect that they are. One of them was making overtly sexist remarks toward Kristi Swanson, and that poor actress had to do a career killing role. The attempts at humor fell flat, too. One thing that really pissed me off about this travesty was that it inspired a girl in a fast food drive thru to re create the “and then” scene when my friends and I were trying to order food. Having that happen in real life inspires my hatred of this piece, a movie which starts out with a cool intro, and then nosedives on afterburner as soon as the “story” starts.

The series in the 60's was incredibly cool. This put me to sleep, and is in my collection because (A) it was given to me, and (B) it really helps when I can’t sleep. The soundtrack is worth buying, though, and it does have a few cool scenes bobbing in the trash.

As an arcade kid, and a video game collector, this movie insulted me. Thank God the movie theater that I saw it in served beer. It helped. So did the eye candy which the actresses that portrayed Cammy and Chun Li provide. As a joke, I made my dad watch this. He has never forgiven me.

This started out good. It looked like it would be a good low budget movie, and it was, until the raping started. Revulsion is the name of this game, and like the horrors of leaving Las Vegas, I had to turn it off.

Billy Madison sucks just as bad, too. The reason that I hate this one is because a lot of actors in Florida seem to have parts in it, and I had to be subjected to it over, and over, and over again as I checked the references on résumés. It redefines the term “Chinese Water Torture”, and for me, it replaces it. There was one actress in particular who had a one liner that was so bad that I wouldn’t let her audition on principle. I know acting, and she needs to stick with modeling. Speaking of acting, when will the world realize that Adam Sandler plays the SAME CHARACTER in every single film that he does? The only thing that changes is the name of his “character”. The guy has no range, which makes him a bad actor. There is an exception to this, though. The film “The wedding singer” was actually good. What was the deal there?

This was a hit? This was so bad, I actually cheered for the demise of the “characters”. Turning it into a comedy made it work for me. P.T. Barnum was laughing in his grave when the American public bought into the hype.

Heh heh. This covers a lot. I’m not even going to touch the crappy commercials in the Tampa Bay market, such as the white trash laughing plywood guys (I would never go to their store and buy anything on principle. We have enough pollution on TV without hearing “HAW HAW HAW HAW HAAAAAAW” every #$#@@#% few minutes on a Saturday afternoon). Anyway, I’ve seen local independent films that can’t approach the quality standards of a porn movie. The acting, sound, music, and lack of plot are THAT BAD! If our films were like that, I’d fire myself.

Fun, but flawed (I like them, and watch them often)

Great to run in the background when I’m doing something tedious, or am bored. “I am the law!”. Too funny.

Actually, I really like this a lot. The critics didn’t like it, but I do. There. It’s a good movie in my book. The time travel story won me over.

“Kneel before ZOD!” Enough said. Very entertaining. I may buy the DVD.

Lot’s of action, great camera work, and eye candy. It has its moments.

I love this movie. So do a majority of the models that work out of here during projects. Not really flawed, and very fun. One of my favorites.

Now, THIS is how an independent film needs to be done. The only flaw is that it’s too short. More!

The jury is still out

I never did get this one. Someone told me that it has a premise comparable to REM, though, so I may have to watch it again. I’ll give it a chance.

I’ll have to watch it again. Soon.

Update for Sunday, December 2, 2001

The second actor selected for Reverence received their free portfolio shoot today. Kevin Hentkowski, who has been cast as Fraternity member Paul Thomas, did great in a character themed session. The session was at lettuce lake park in North Tampa, and the weather was great.
I’m a bit tired, so I’ll leave off with these pictures. It’s time to eat, rest, and get ready for another week.

Update for Monday, 3 December 2001

I’ve decided to post a fiscal and a production update tonight. I have very good news.
I’ve been discussing the economy with my financial contacts as of late. Economic indicators point to a rebound that will be in full swing by Spring 2002. Incidently, that’s when Reverence will be filmed.
The movie industry here in Florida is experiencing a recession of its own. Actors, and some of my contacts, have told me about projects that have been canceled or suspended. The slowdown has affected production supply houses as well, and the lack of demand has created a surplus in supply.
While some see a problem here, it is good news for us. Competition is limited, equipment is discounted, and our companies are designed to operate with an overhead which is roughly 80% less than a conventional entertainment company. We had economic fluctuations in mind when the companies of Passinault.Com, the Passinault Entertainment Group were first created back in October of 1990. This lean operational attitude has survived to the present date; we have a production facility that has the total overhead of the base rent for a modest apartment. This facility, Geomedia 3, has production and support technology that no one else has. It even has a security system that was custom designed for it, which is called ISIS. ISIS was named for the Egyptian Goddess Isis, the Goddess of protection. Experience with counter terrorism training, artificial life research, and security system design theory led to its development, and there is nothing else like it. We own several thousand copyrights, a way of encrypting scripts called Pandora, and a foundation that took ten years to create. The end result is a group of companies that can do things that most can’t even consider, at a fraction of the cost.
Most have probably noticed that the companies of the Passinault Entertainment Group are designed to work together. This was intentional. Most production companies have to sub contract out work that they can’t do in house. Those services aren’t cheap, and are the reason that productions, such as movies, are expensive. That high overhead is the reason that a lot of companies won’t survive. For us, we don’t have to sub out contracts. We have the ability of doing everything in house, and that will enable us to realize producing quality motion pictures below ten thousand dollars. We’ve ran the numbers, and it is going to work.
There are several rules in business. The only rule that we ignored was “start small, and work yourself big”. We took our time, paid our dues, and laid a complex foundation. It was the only way that we could achieve our goals, and it is starting to pay off. The price was time. Here’s the score; so far, we have one of the best photography companies in Florida. We have an event planning company that has done some of the most innovative events possible. Our people, whether actors, models, dancers, or DJ’s, are also among the best. One rule that we have paid attention to is to “surround yourself with people better than yourself”. I am what many consider to be an entertainment prodigy, but I can tell you that I have limitations. That’s why we have people with better individual skills than I possess. We have the tools that we need. We are ready to make history.
Pre production for Reverence is down to odds and ends. In theory, we could shoot in January. We are going to start rehearsals in January, though, and since we treat films a lot like stage plays with the rehearsals, the actors will have up to three months to learn their roles. Simply put, we are not going to rush any thing that we do. That careful production pacing, and lack of haste, will reflect in the quality of the final product. We will take extreme pride in our work.
If we were going to create films like everyone else was doing, and do it the same way, these projects would not be worth doing. When investors see what we can do, what happens next will stun the industry. I, for one, am happy that ten years of sacrifice and hard work are going to enable us to finally achieve our original vision. I spent seven of those years suffering at a bank, trapped in a job that was slowly killing me while spending every other spare moment conducting research, inventing new production technology, and sinking all of my financial resources into a dream that I believed in. That dream became the collective dream of a large group of some amazing people. One by one, each of our goals were exceeded, and now the final dream will change everything.
I’m proud of the technology, security, and the people resources that we have. I’m proud of what we are going to accomplish. The future of entertainment is closer than you might think. Welcome to the next entertainment industry.
Let’s do it. Let’s make history.

December 10, 2001


Hello everyone,
Most of our senior staff has been busy the past month finalizing preparation of several projects for a few of our companies. Here’s what you can expect for January, 2002:

Reverence will be completely cast in an audition for early January. We have spent two auditions casting Reverence, and the third will wrap that. This next audition will also cast the film “Invisible Ink”, and start the audition process for the film “Net Worth”. Melissa Smith, our choreographer, will be auditioning dancers for the Passinault dance team, too.

The script for Reverence will be given to the cast, and each script will be encrypted with our exclusive Pandora technology. Currently, the script for Reverence is in the process of being scrutinized by our writing team, and is being evaluated for character development, plot, and the overall story arc. So far, it’s getting “A” reviews. We’re going for that little extra, though. Expect the script for Reverence to be superior to anything that you’ve worked with before. Our writers are quite possibly the best, and several of them have degrees in literature. The backbone of our work will be in the quality of the writing. The film will be feature length, at two hours, and filming is scheduled for April. Our finances have been secured, and everything is almost ready.

RTR 60 will launch with some of the best photography sessions and models that Aurora PhotoArts has ever worked with. The standards are high for our retro sixties series, and the rest of the equipment that we need will be procured this week. We already have twelve models signed for the first sessions. We are going to invite some local photographers to participate with these shoots, but so far, we’ve only found two who we’d like to work with. These photographers are ethical, professional, and they do outstanding work.

Lowie’s calendar project will benefit from the RTR 60 technology. Expect the series of sessions for the calendar to wrap in March. Speaking of Lowie, there will be a special event by Dimension Stageforms sometime in March, too.

While I know that people have been enjoying our anecdote section in the Passinault.Com web site, our management staff decided to delete it this week. There are some security concerns that we’re addressing.

Well, that’s it for now. I have a shoot to do today in Clearwater. Everyone have a great week!

C. A. Passinault
Executive Producer

December 13, 2001

Aurora PhotoArts projects to proceed in January 2002

There are three projects in production, and we are still seeking models for all of them.

Calendar project

Due to wrap in March for a 2003 fall calendar, our principle model, Lowie, is directing. In January and February, we intend to conduct as many as ten photography sessions to complete this endeavor. One reason that we intend to get this one out of the way is the imminent production of Dream Nine Studios’ feature film, “Reverence”. New photography technology is expected to make this project special. According to Lowie, we still need at least six models. Project manifest is as follows:
(1) Female; 5'7-6', early 20's dark hair, exotic eyes. (2) Male; No height requirements, 20's 1 dark blond & 1 dark possible Italian or Latin / good body.
(1) Male; 5'9-6', early mid 20's Blonde hair. (1) Female; 5'7-5'11, early 20's Blonde or brunette /no preference Good Smile.
(1) Female; No height requirements, Teens Blonde straight hair.
(3) Females; 5'5 -5'11, teens all different looks/2 brunettes, maybe a red head Good Smiles. (4) Male; 5'7-6'3, teens or early 20's All different Looks Good hair
(1) No height Preference, 20's Good legs June- OPEN CASTING- 3 Ideas pending!!!

(5) Males; 5'7-6', teens Surfer types, tan w/good bodies, Able to shoot with board shorts, can lift a surf board. (1) Female; 5'7-5'11, Teen Look Dark hair, tan Good body, tone middle, able to wear short shorts, Good balance!!
(3) Females; No height requirements, Teens!! (2) Males; No Height requirements, Teens!! September
(1) Female; No height requirement, 20's Dark long hair.
(1) Female; No height requirement, No age Light skin, short hair.
(1) Female; No height requirements, 30's. (1) Male; No height requirements, 30's. (1) Child; Male boy.

One of our most ambitious projects, which is detailed below, is ongoing until the year 2004. It was announced in October, and is set to begin in January, 2002.

RTR 60
With the RTR in the series an abbreviation for “Retro”, we will be combining extremely advanced photography technology that no one else has with a 60's fashion spin. We already have over fifteen models signed for the project, but are always looking for new faces to fill upcoming shoots. With four years allotted for the project, RTR 60 is expected to span 48 sessions and will utilize 70 models. Principle director for these sessions is photographer and executive producer C. A. Passinault

The last project on our agenda is a new Club Fashion Series in development, featuring night life fashions with the club dancer in mind. The club stands for the PG-13 club fare, and there will be no nudity or modeling done in poor taste, which is a given with all of our projects. Model and choreographer Melissa Smith will be directing.

If interested in any of these projects, feel free to mail a composite card or series of recent pictures to our mailing address, which is PO Box 1224, Riverview, Fl 33568-1224. Please include a cover letter and a résumé . In regards to the attention field, consider the following:
Calendar project- ATT: Lowie
RTR 60- ATT: C. A. Passinault
Club Series- ATT: Melissa Smith

The company producing these projects is Passinault.Com company Aurora PhotoArts. Aurora PhotoArts is a photography company that prides itself in the creation of the best marketing tools for the independent model. Currently, the company is working with Tampa Bay Independent Model, found at, to teach self promotion to models. Tampa Bay Independent Model is a free service, and features articles, resources, legal forms, and advice from a panel of working, successful models. In regards to Aurora PhotoArts, future services include commercial photography and advanced holography. Aurora PhotoArts is one of the best photography services companies in the state of Florida.

We are accepting E-mails for these projects at . If you want to send us pictures, we prefer that you do it by including a link to your web site or online portfolio, but if you must attach image files, please keep them under 200K in size or zip them up.
Due to the volume of submissions, responses may be delayed, but we will file and review all information submitted.
There is pay, but it is royalty based upon sales volume. With the Calendar, it is based upon the software and paper calendar SKU’s, and with the other projects, the SKU’s of products and stock images derived from those sessions. As a bonus, all photographs can be used to fill your portfolio, and featured on composite, or zed, cards. Images derived from product SKU’s provide excellent tear sheets, as well.

PUBLISHED 08/27/10

UPDATED 09/01/10

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