Life in the Time of the Apocalypse Wind.

People don’t treat each other the same on social media as they do in real life. That’s one of the many reasons I quit facebook a little over a year ago. Also, I couldn’t stand the hatefulness of all the terrible people in this world shoved in my face all day. In all my helplessness, I had to look away. Some might say that I’d buried my head in the sand, that I’d ignored the real problems of the world by deactivating my account and refusing to read the news. To some degree they’re right, but here’s the thing; I know about all the hate that exists in the world. I’m aware of the level of government corruption that’s going on. I’ve seen the ugly head of racism so strong, that it felt like the air had gone out of the room. I know all these things are going on, but I have no idea how to change it. I don’t have an answer that I can gather clear enough to write on paper with this writer’s pen. Because the story always tends to the negative, and I can’t find a way out that’s not just heading to bottom and hoping for an answer there.

So here we go…

We live in the time of the apocalypse wind. Air, like a hot breath from God’s own corpse, full of dust and sand so dry, that only the most foul and terrible of creatures can survive here.  It’s here that we serve sushi – raw fish – in the subcontinent of desert, thousands of miles from the ocean; with the ash of a local farmer’s brush fire in our teeth. Cleaned in the mold-rich after taste of water brought thousands of miles by pipe so wretched, that some feel as though death is the better hand dealt in a deck of options dwindling in the apocalypse wind. If there ever was a time to be a voice in the wind, then that time is now. If not now, then never.

The gates to Hell are in Turkmenistan

So I find myself, sitting in the glow of my Chinese-built slave monitor – Slowdive on the radio – writing to you,

My social media family,

My facebook friends,

My audience.

Because a year without facebook didn’t change my life. It didn’t change the world. Most people didn’t even know I’d gone. My single finger-click of deactivation didn’t create the butterfly effect that I hoped it could. Even though my mind is clearer, and I’m less prone to the anger, I can’t really decide whether or not it was a year without facebook that made me feel this way, or a year of growing older. One fact I can say for sure, is that a year without facebook affected my writing in the worst possible way… I haven’t written anything. In almost a year – not a thing worth showing. Writing on the internet was an outlet for me in a dark time. I wrote about things that were bothering me or things I felt I needed to say. People liked what I wrote – my friends, the lines of code who sit in digital telepathy. The ones who liked and shared my voice, sent it as far as the shrinking globe can transmit; my audience in imaginary space – I’ve missed you. Even though we sit together in a strange prophesied manner of mind-reading that doesn’t truly exist, we still sit together, and that’s kind of cool.

But I have to admit, I’m nervous. I feel as though I’m agreeing to go back into a relationship with an abusive ex. So I’m going to need to feel like I’m in control. If we’re going to be inside each other’s heads on a regular basis, surfing with our Matrix style self-identities, (whether they be truthful or not) don’t be offended if I fail to respond to your political voice; I’m listening and paying attention in my own way. (I can assure you my eyes are open) Let’s treat each other in here how we treat each other on the street. Because sometimes the street is the better place to be, saying hello to each other in person and holding civil conversation, instead of digital fisticuffs and damning bloodlines, slapping each other’s faces with political dick-pics.

Let’s meet on a trail somewhere without cell reception and smoke some pot in a field with butterflies. We’ll get back to the cyber-bullying in enough time, but at this moment, let’s just be here now. Let’s enjoy the last of the clean air and feel the last raindrop fall not soaked in acid. Let’s try and be a positive beam in the face of the apocalypse wind. It’s 2017 and the internet is not going away, we need to learn to live with that. Facebook is how we communicate; that’s not going to change, I need to get over that. I need to find a way to “coexist” as they say. But most importantly, I need to start writing to my audience again – cause my wife is getting pretty sick of listening to my bullshit.

So here I am, another bullshit writer trudging through the feculence of the internet, trying to avoid the apocalypse wind. Maybe my voice can clear some heads while we both maneuver this imaginary space filled with things called “clickbait” and “fake news.”(the omnipresent source of the bullshit) I can promise you neither, just solid opinion as we trek through the unknown future. Whether it tends to the positive or negative, we’ll have to see. Join me on my pursuit for an ounce of honesty in the age of the Matrix and see how deep this rabbit hole really is.

Stay tuned for more bullshit and lunatic ideas from the mind of one of the last people on earth who gave a damn…

-Nate 11/2017

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Standing on the Edge of a Feather – a tribute to Matt Hewlett.

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We were working at 10,000 feet, almost two miles above sea-level in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. The feature was The Hateful Eight, the eighth film by Quentin Tarantino and all the regular players were there. Conditions on set were harsh. Oxygen and air pressure were scarce, and temperatures swung from -6 degrees Fahrenheit to almost 50 in a matter of hours. If the script called for snow, then we shot in snow from sunrise to sunset. But when the sun shone and there was not a flake in the sky, we shot inside the Haberdashery; our so-called, “cover-set” reserved for exterior sunshine instead of precipitation.

On those days that we worked inside the Haberdashery, the mud was abhorrent. What was frozen solid when we arrived at 5:00AM, would be a mush of soup on top of a slick layer of ice by noon. It was impossible to not track the sludge into the Haberdashery, and because of film continuity, it wasn’t even a possibility to allow that much mud all over the floor of a set where it’s supposed to be a blizzard outside. Therefore, we needed a floor covering crew, and our department (craft service) was responsible for the cleaning and maintenance of floors on set.

So Teddy (our department head) hired these two guys from Montrose, CO who worked the construction crew in pre-production named James Moody, and Matt Hewlett. James and Matt were hard workers with likable personalities who rolled out Ramboard on the floor for close-ups, and rolled it away for wide shots. Then at the end of every 14 hour day after the crew left, they stayed behind to mop and clean the floor for tomorrow. Matt was a genuine guy with a kind smile and an aura that glowed brightly. He could hold a conversation like a pro, never making you feel uncomfortable or awkward. I felt like I could tell him anything, and he wouldn’t judge, wouldn’t take it out of context. He was a real human being with a bright soul and a beautiful smile. I liked him and James right away and looked forward to seeing them on set every morning.

Several months passed and we eventually left the San Juan Mountains. Production on Hateful Eight ended in Colorado and went back to LA. I went home to my family in Denver, and Matt and James went back to life in Montrose. Which even though Montrose is in the same state as Denver, the two cities are 6 hours drive from each other, so I knew I probably wouldn’t see much of Matt and James in the future. Until they moved to Denver and applied to become Union stagehands with IATSE Local 7, the Union I’m a member of. The same union that sent me to Telluride where we all became friends in the first place. I was excited to hear that Matt and James had moved to Denver, because I missed them and looked forward to seeing them more often. But it was only a matter of weeks before we got the news about Matt’s cancer diagnosis, and realized that his time on Earth suddenly became short. It was a hard pill to swallow, and my heart has been broken ever since.

Matt passed away recently, but not first without a brave and gracious fight. When I heard of his diagnosis several months ago, I called him. I was amazed at how positive and brave he was acting with such news. I apologized for not knowing what to say, but let him know that I was thinking of him often. He said he was happy to consider me a friend, and thanked me for being honest. Cancer is hard, and it’s harder because people don’t know what to say – how to relate. But sometimes all anybody who’s fighting cancer needs, is to just know that they are loved and people are thinking of them. That was enough for him. He also told me that working on Hateful Eight was the greatest experience of his life, and that he’d love to work on more movies with us in the future. I told him I’d love that too, and to be strong – that I believe in miracles. But sadly, no miracle happened, and none of us ever saw him again.

After hearing of Matt’s passing, I thought a great deal about what he’d said. How working on Hateful Eight with us was the greatest experience of his life, and it didn’t entirely sink in until I saw the number of friends and family pouring their feelings and memories of Matt onto facebook. Only then did I realize what a compliment he had given me. This person whom I’d wished to know better was exactly who I knew him to be; a good man, a good brother. A good friend with a wealth of adventures and experiences beneath his belt, and I feel lucky to have been a part of this period of his life that was so special to him. We talked for hours while in Telluride, telling horror stories of life and comedy, and I wanted to know him better, to share more stories. We could have been friends forever, but such is life, and I’ll need to be thankful that all I got was a minute. Because he was a great person, who’s candle burned so bright, it could only last a short while. I am grateful and contented to have known him, if only for that moment.

It is my hope that Matt has gone forward to wherever he and his family’s beliefs have taken him. He deserves paradise for all the lives he brightened while here with us. As for me, I can only think of a few lines written by an old, dear friend of mine who also left this world too early;

“Shadows on the Earth
Cold spots on the Sun
somewhere, sometime
I’ve felt this love before
I hope we’ll meet
When the circle comes around again.”
                                             -Rory Horton

Be at peace, brother. I hope we’ll meet, when the circle comes around again.

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NCO Film Craft Service.

It’s a new year, and I’m never one to make comments like, “new year, new me.” In fact, I kind of despise New Year’s Resolutions, so I never make them. Which is one of the reasons why it always amuses me that advancements in my life seem to happen a lot around this time. Whether it’s moving to a new city or embarking on a 3-month production, this time of year always seems to render something new that promises to make the coming year full of surprises.

This year, it’s a craft service kit. I am now the proud owner of enough craft service equipment to easily maintain a 25-30 person crew. Mostly commercials or independent films, but I’m open to anything. As this venture grows, I plan to purchase more and more equipment to be able to service larger crews, but for now I’m happy with the small stuff. And of course, I’m always open to working on larger productions as a 2nd assistant. Always keep me in mind!

It’s 2016, and NCO Film & Design is coming out strong with Props, Set dec, Graphic Design, Exhibition Installation, and now Craft Services! Give me a call for any of your film or exhibition needs. I’d love to hear what you have in mind!

Happy New Year!

-Nate

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Leaving Telluride

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Finally packing up after yet another unforgettable experience in the wild ride that is my life; my career. Filming this movie in this place was one of the most challenging things I’ve accomplished in my life thus far. We’re finished now and I can’t imagine I will see or do anything like this ever again. I will miss this place; The San Juan Mountains and the town of Telluride. I’ll miss the purple sunsets and working in high altitude blizzards, delivering soup to a hundred crew members on a snowmobile in snow that’s falling sideways. I’ll miss ignoring the banners across the top of the weather report that read; AVALANCHE WARNING and heading into avalanche country with a small army of equipment. I’ll miss the winding mountain roads without guardrails and kissing the Ganesh charm around my neck, hoping my spiritual journey through this life has many more years before it’s over. Nor will I forget the stars, and the way the Milky Way glittered in the sky after a 17 hour work day on my feet with no break. Or the way it felt to walk out the front door of my production-paid rental condo into the heart of Telluride, one of the most desirable places on earth, where an open barstool is the hardest thing to find on a Sunday afternoon. I’ll miss the experiences I’ve had, and the friends I’ve made, and I’ll miss the camaraderie of the crew. But not as much as I’ve missed my family, and not as much as I’ve missed my home. Tomorrow I’m finally headed back to see them after almost three months.

So sayonara, Telluride. It’s been fun, but I’m going back to reality now. Thank you for the memories. I’ll be back sometime, I know. Until then… stay gritty.

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NCO Film & Design is Now Online!

Having recently finished a feature film production as Art Director, I have taken all my creative work online. Here you will find everything I create, both professional and personal. 

As always, thanks for your continued support. I couldn’t be who I am without my friends and family. You’re all my greatest fans! 

-Nate