gwyn: (vin sex)
This made me laugh very very hard.

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New F&F fic

Sep. 6th, 2005 08:13 am
gwyn: (vin arms mlyn)
The next to last part of the WIP is now up. Ciudad de Estrellas Part 7: Small Sacrifices is here. It's about 11,500 words, and as I mentioned, I think this is the penultimate part, unless the last one becomes so unwieldy that I have to split it. And no, nothing really happens except me turning up the dial.

New F&F

May. 26th, 2005 08:50 am
gwyn: (car erections myln)
Instead of working in the (still jungle-like) garden or capturing vid clips, I spent all last night working on this so I could meet my obligations. The next part of the Fast and the Furious WIP Ciudad de Estrellas Part 6: Business is up here. It's about 9,500+words.

Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] mlyn and [livejournal.com profile] movies_michelle for the betas. Once again I don't know how or why people post things without having editors, because damn, they save you from yourself. I write the stupidest things sometimes, and I would die from shame if they made it into print.
gwyn: (drive)
New Ciudad de Estrellas Part 5: Surrender is up, in which Dom and Brian face facts, get wired, and crash a party. 'member how I said my angst dial goes all the way to 11? ::turn, turn::

Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] mlyn and [livejournal.com profile] movies_michelle again for their beta help. I want to make a t-shirt from michelle's wonderful comment, "This is the most depressing post-coital EVER! And it's perfect!" Something to remind me when I'm feeling blue that at least someone enjoys that. (If I am slow with comments, please forgive me. I'm behind on email and just have a lot on my mind right now.)
gwyn: (Default)
For my Fast and the Furious friends... I recently had someone ask me for my password for my vid site so she could see Stripped, and she wrote back about the vid (yay, feedback!), and mentioned my favorite sequence in the vid: the part where Vince has the shotgun on Brian, and Dom steps out of the shadows in that v-neck t-shirt. I wrote back to her with this:
That scene, in the darkness, is my favorite in the
whole movie (which is saying a lot, because I love nearly everything
in it, no matter how stupid). I felt like it defined Dom's character
-- stepping from the dark into the light, because of ... Brian.
Mysterious and cool, but potentially volatile... I just adore that
scene. The director did three of my favorite Miami Vice episodes when
he first started out, and I could see in those scenes the things he
picked up from Michael Mann, about how things like shading and shadows
and color and light can define a character without the audience
necessarily even seeing it. In some respects I almost built the vid
around that scene, and the one in the garage where Dom confesses his
sins.


I'd been watching a lot of my old Miami Vice tapes for research purposes (no, really!) and it was such a shock to discover that Rob Cohen directed two of the arguably best episodes of the first season, and one of the best of the second season: Evan and Made for Each Other in first, Definitely Miami in second (the one with Ted Nugent). You can see a lot of the nascent visual stylist he became -- whatever else you can say about Cohen, the man knows how to make the most of his visuals. He's clearly got a DP's eye, and I think that despite my overall feelings about F&F, the thing I responded to even before I felt this way about it as a fandom was: knocked out by its exceptional visuals and stunning set/blocking styles. In watching Evan, especially, there is a scene where Sonny Crockett is confessing his sin and connection to the title character, played by William Russ, and letting out all the built-up pain from years of keeping it inside, when he tells his partner Rico about it all. It's set outside at night, at an abandoned neon-lit gas station, but the blocking, shot styles, focal lengths, and dialogue are all there to match both the garage confessional in F&F and that scene where Dom confronts Brian.

I really admire what Cohen did with what's essentially a moronic movie. Using subtle cues such as the lighting and the staging, he clues us in to his characters and their roles, their status, within the film, even as it's shifting in places. What do you think?

New fic

Dec. 20th, 2004 07:38 am
gwyn: (drive)
The latest for Ciudad de Estrellas Part 4: On the Ropes is posted now, in which the boys finally make contact with Castelano, they get something unexpected from Tanner, and emoting and smut occur.

I busted my ass to finish and post this so I could beat the flood of Yuletide stories and other challenges coming this week. Not that that will in any way hold back the flood of disinterest, but at least it's up and out.

And as usual the epigrams I've been using at the start of each part are from Bruce Springsteen songs, that great bard of cars, driving, open highways, and the vagaries of love.
gwyn: (Default)
Last night I finally got a chance to watch Noel and oh my god what a horrible, horrible movie. Chazz Palmintieri deserves to be drawn and quartered for inflicting this on an unsuspecting public. Paul Walker was definitely beeyooteeful, as always (that guy is just not normal, no human being is that pretty; it's freakish) but I couldn't even bear to watch the Susan Sarandon parts, especially when she was with Robin Williams, and I adore Susan Sarandon. It wasn't even just that the story was unbearably treacly (and I like treacly!) and the dialog was unbelievably phony and bad, but just that everyone seemed to not have a clue what they were doing, and worse, for me, it tripped every single embarassment squick I have. I was cringing in agony and FFing through most of it, stopping only to watch Pretty Paul, but that was torturous enough because my god! That story with Alan Arkin!! Aaiiieeeee... shudder. That was the most horrifying cringe-fest I've ever had. I'd willingly watch Mrs. Doubtfire again over this. (I am tired of suffering for my actors. Two weeks ago I endured the horrendo The Mountain for James, which was excrutiating -- and that I'm already enduring for Mitch Pileggi; I'm putting my foot down now.)

The only thing that made it remotely worthwhile was the conversation with his partner about who the old guy was cruising. It amused me that finally a movie had two straight guys arguing over which one was most "look"-worthy. And also, it helps confirm my theory that PW and Vin Diesel are slash magnets and that's why they work so stunningly well together in Fast and the Furious. At least Vin has chemistry with women; poor Paul, though, can't even muster a spark with fiery Spaniard Penelope Cruz, though he did have at least a little more going on with her than his usual female co-stars.

It cracks me up to watch him -- they keep putting him in these romantic leading man roles and yet every single time he fails to generate any chemistry with his leading lady. Timeline may be the worst; he actually managed to create a sucking black hole of chemistry in that with whoever the chick was who played his girlfriend. For years my friends have commented on Kevin Sorbo's slash shield... hell, his chemistry shield, and I never understood what they were talking about till I watched Paul Walker in other movies: he's completely, utterly unable to generate any sparkage or heat heterosexually, but put him with certain types of male actors, and stand back!

Vin Diesel, I realized the other day, is even more of a slash magnet than Paul, not because he doesn't have het chemistry but because he seems to just generate heat with almost anyone he's playing opposite. (For instance, he had just as much sparkage with Radha Mitchell in Pitch Black as he had with Cole Hauser, and equally as much with the girl playing Jack and Claudia Black.) But especially with men: every live action role he's had since Multi-Facial brought him to people's attention has given him at least one great slashy relationship. Even in Saving Private Ryan, which he's only in for a short time, he's very strongly connected to Adam Goldberg's character, as well as Giovanni Ribisi's, and [livejournal.com profile] mlyn wrote an excellent manifesto on Vin's Boiler Room character's relationship with Giovanni's character here (though her LJ is friends-locked, you can ask to be added). It was watching Knockaround Guys the other night again that made me realize that he's always got someone he can be slashy with in a movie; his scenes with Barry Pepper are quite intense, and I love that they drive off into the sunset together, leaving their old lives behind.

So the Fast and the Furious is not an anomaly for either one of them, but you throw their slash magnetism together and instead of getting repellant positive forces pushing them away from each other, the magnetism is doubled, at least. And both of them seem to be perfectly happy letting it happen, which is kind of amazing for male actors in Hollywood these days.

Anyway, this is what I waste my time thinking about. There are times I believe I should just give up the fic and spend all my time on the meta, because it's funner to watch than to do.

If I'm feeling down, I go out looking for pictures. I love this picture, for some strange reason, and I go look at it from time to time because it makes me peculiarly happy. Both the fact that Vin is squished inside the front of the car, which is in itself pretty high-larious, and also because Paul's jeans are down so low that we get a huge glimpse of his tighty-whities. And they're both listening so intently to their direction. Such cute boys. (Probably I am being bad by linking directly to the photo but it's not like 500 people are going to go look. http://vdg.bitdark.com/gallery/displayimage.php?album=14&pos=30 )
gwyn: (nos)
And thus concludes the incredibly busy fic month:

Part 3 of Ciudad de Estrellas: Pavement is up now, in which Brian and Dom do a lot of driving around, Brian tries to keep everything together, and Dom gets to go all sick-house on people.

And now I'm going to walk up to Starbucks and treat myself to a chai for all this writing. Others might not think it's that much of an achievement, but I sure do -- 30,000+ words on three separate pieces in one month. I'm exhausted!
gwyn: (drive)
I've posted the new Fast and the Furious story, On Beds of Sorrow at my web site. Yes, this is the death story, but... see rant below, because to me, it's a lot more than just that, and I hate labels and this is why. It's a bit over 12,000 words. The title comes from a William Blake poem (And men are bound to sullen contemplation in the night: Restless they turn on beds of sorrow;) that I paraphrased in the story. The blurb for the story is on my main page, but even then it doesn't say much more than "features character death."

Why am I such a meanie? Well, because. I just am. (ETA: I just wanted to add that the reason I am ranting about labels isn't to passively-aggressively pick on anyone I know personally. It's just all about something that comes up every time I write something Sad with a capital S, and I like Sad, so I get it all the time. It's not nothin' personal to my peeps, 'cause they're my peeps, yo.) I hate labels, warnings, keywords, disclaimers, all of that craptastic nonsense that really got going with fandom on the web and quickly spread out of control. I'll spare you my rant against the uselessness of disclaimers and the stupidity of the other things, but the reason I hate labels like "deathfic" and like that is that it's so monumentally reductive and insulting to have a carefully crafted piece of fiction dismissed as one thing because it features that one theme or topic in it. Yes, I know, most people are not as talented as we might wish and do not have multiple layers in a story, or many people find labels helpful so they can avoid things they don't like, such as male pregnancy -- and yes, I know that with the thousands of people "writing" fanfic, labels might help people choose. I get that, I do. But they also dismiss and degrade the work, I believe, especially when there's much more to a story than just death or angst or non-con or whatever. A label just reduces fiction to its lowest common denominator, and I hate that. This story has so much more than just character death -- it's got a great Brian/Dom reunion full of lovey-dovey stuff, smut (69 smut!), a road trip (my favorite thing in the world), reVENge, Warpath!Dom, and postcards. Postcards! And lizards! (Not as many lizards as I'd hoped for, but it ended up not fitting as much, but still -- lizards!) But a label doesn't encompass those things, and that is why I hate them. So there. (I also find it weird that the people who often scream the loudest for reductive labels on fic are often the people who whine and moan if you "spoil" things even by something as simple as saying you liked it. I do not get why it's okay to spoil the story, but they'll scream bloody murder if you say anything about the show.) Death is the only thing I put a warning on, and that's only on the main page with the story blurbs -- and the only reason I do it is because my friends whine, and sometimes I even like my friends, so I defer to their phobias. Otherwise, you're on your own. ;-)
gwyn: (drive)
Most of my friends who know me well know that I am canon girl. I prefer to write within the universe of whatever fandom I'm in, and only veer away from it in terms of small what-if scenarios that fanfic provides. A lot of people call any what-if scenario AUs, but I don't, really, since fanfic is primarily about writing around the known universe. I've done a couple of what do seem to be more intensive what-if AUs (Somniloquy and Assumption are probably the two biggest, just in terms of how far I took the essential story and characters); most of the rest of the time, I try to squeeze what I can in between something that's already there, or tweak things around so that it's canon plus.

But the details of the universe? Those are canonical. Buffy is never gonna be called Elizabeth in my fic. Chris wears a black hat and duster, and Vin wears a cavalry hat and carries a sawn-off rifle; no one ever calls Ezra "Ez." Mulder, Scully, and Skinner work for the FBI and solve paranormal cases, not do criminal profiling and catching generic run of the mill serial killers.

So for little miss follow-the-details, F&F is an insane-making fandom. The details are all missing. Or corrupted. Stuff that is making me crazy:

1. No one outside of the main characters and for some reason, the Trans (Nguyens), have full names. Everyone is either known by their last names (Tanner, Bilkins) or first names (all of Dom's team, Hector, Edwin, and so on). Grrrr. Characters in fiction are often helped in definition by names -- it's one of the more important aspects of creating original characters. Yet almost no one has full names here.

2. Brian has a name that apparently can be spelled however we want it to be spelled. In the original's subtitles and end credits, and IMDB listing, it's spelled O'Conner. Apparently, in 2F2F it's spelled O'Connor, the more traditional way. Most of fanfic has O'Connor, and I certainly assumed that was correct in the first two things I wrote. A little consistency -- is it too much to ask for?

3. Even the subtitlers get stuff wrong. Dom clearly says "Got that right" when he tells Jesse to take his make-out session upstairs, but the subtitles have it as "Can't even get that right", and so their ability to spell Brian's name correctly? I'm not so confident of. They have other high-larious goofs in there, too. Subtitles are often helpful in getting good background details, but these are annoying.

4. Why the freaking hell did I have to find out about the Baja tag by accident? This should be required information about the fandom. Better organization and mobilization is needed! I even checked with [livejournal.com profile] movies_michelle about this -- we always, always stay for end credts in theatres, in fact we were the only people who stayed for the alternate ending at 28 Days Later -- and we remember the five middle-aged guys in the theatre that day, we remember the credits, but we never saw this. The projectionist didn't keep the film running and we never saw this! I feel like I've been cheated all these years! I'm bitter, people.

5. Why aren't there places to go, I wonder, for canonical backround? If the movie became that big of a hit and has such cult status, how come there's no guide for fans? I find this weird. Most of my fandoms have such detailed resources, even poor ol' Mag 7, and yet there's nada for this. At least then we might fin out how to spell Brian's freaking name. ;-)

6. In doing research for ideas that I could rip off for my new fic, I watched some of my favorite old Miami Vice episodes. F&F's director, Rob Cohen, directed one of those eps, which was about... two different sets of guys (one set cops, one set stupid criminals) of unnaturally close status who work on busting a stolen electronics ring (all the high-end stuff at that time). I was deeply amused by this. Apparently he has one good story in him.
gwyn: (drive)
I know there are only about five people here who are interested in this, but the first part of the jumbo new Fast and the Furious story is now up. Ciudad de Estrellas part 1 is at my web site, not posted here, sorry. It's just under 10,000 words and takes place right after the movie ends. I am essentially lazy, and the idea of adding extra line breaks, coding all the italics by hand because I don't know how to do macros for formatting, and all the rest of the posting a long story in LJ crap means I don't much enjoy posting stories here, even though I know people expect that these days.

Of course, by not posting it in LJ, I suppose I am assuring myself of even less fb, if that's possible, but laziness wins the day every time. This is a remarkably silent fandom so far, I've found. I guess I got used to the conversations that sprung up all the time in Buffy, and it spoiled me. There's not much in the way of negative or positive here, it seems... it's just nothing, so it's like sending things out into a vacuum. Well, a vacuum with five other people. Anyway, some of this unfortunately hews a little close to [livejournal.com profile] maygra's wonderful Unfinished Business, which she just recently "finished" up at her LJ -- I emailed her in a panic realizing that we were going in similar directions on some things. I'm nothing if not paranoid. I guess that's another thing about this fandom -- there's not a lot you can do with the story and the guys without going totally AU. And I'm not much for AUs outside of the "what if" variety; you won't likely see Dom and Brian racing carriages in Victorian England, I think, from me anyway. It seems like there's really only about three stories you can tell, so you just have to trust that your characterization or writing style will be enough, since plot originality isn't like to happen.

This story is going to take a while to write -- the movie in my head is quite long in its unedited director's cut format. I'd say that this one starts at about a 7 on the angst dial, and those few people who know my other fanfic will know that my angst dial goes all the way to 11. I plan to dial it all the way up eventually. Nothing is more fun than taking characters I love to hell and back, and Dom and Brian seem to just scream for trips to Hades, if you ask me. While I don't write death stories very often, I've always believed that in fandoms, you can never truly love someone until you have to kill them, so making characters suffer is always the first order of business. There's so much torment to put them through in this fandom! I started thinking of this when I was working on the Stripped vid, so a lot of the images to come kind of got inspired by pieces of the movie as they changed with application to the lyrics of the song.

Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] mlyn for the beta, and such speedy service! If only I could write that fast! And many, many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] shellmidwife and [livejournal.com profile] bientot for the medical assistance. Both of you gave me great ideas, and I long ago learned that everything I write with injuries is always better with the help of Nurse Agnes!

(BTW, the title means City of Stars, and the link to Pt 2 doesn't go anywhere yet and won't until I put the next one up)

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