25 May, 2010

We Are Getting Closer: The Dreamers

This week the Sirocco Research Labs had our first photo shoot. Making it particularly nice, we were the artists as well as the subjects (an on going Sirocco meme). The editorial photo is a mode of creativity I've never had a go with, but have always been attracted to. Overall, I found it to be fantastic. My role on set was art direction, which feels a lot like screen writing. I came up with an idea, handed it off to the photographer, and then BOOM, photo magic was born.

The shoot was for an article being written about us in the Chicago-based online arts journal Jettison Quarterly. We're going to upload all the pictures from the shoot once the magazine "hits stands" in the middle of June. They're so exciting, though. I can't wait.

While Kelly and Jaro were setting up lights and Martin was putting last minute touches on the costumes, Adi and I took a moment to take some pre-shoot photos.

I didn't know her a year ago. Now I make things with her every day.

Sirocco Uniforms, vol. 1
Design by Martin Morse

2010 is nearly halfway over. We're almost in full affect. I'm almost nearly 100% certain the future is friendly.

22 May, 2010

I Heard that, Too

I've officially entered my ghost phase.

20 May, 2010

Coachella 2010

Leaving Los Angeles is a phenomenal feeling. It's a mix of relief and embarrassment. Embarrassment because I all of a sudden realize, Oh My God I Can't Believe I Was Just Caring So Much. Just about a month ago I was invited by photographer Dove Shore and Stylist Luke Storey to put together a video documenting this year's Coachella music festival. Spending a long weekend in the desert with rock stars was just what I needed at the time. I left LA on a Thursday after pulling two all nighters, and the next thing I knew, I was poolside beneath the desert sun re-reading Wuthering Heights; I blinked and low-and-behold, I was pointing a camera at John Waters.

What a time for it. And even though I was working all weekend, just being out of the city was refreshing. There was room between those hills that you don't find between buildings.

COACHELLA 2010 from jimmy marble on Vimeo.

In Sirocco news, I'm very excited to show you why I bought these bags colors today, but I need a second first:

17 May, 2010

16 May, 2010

The Mail

I got an envelope in the mail from glamour puss Jessica Tracey. All that was inside was a long stretch of red yarn and a type-written paragraph-excerpt from The Catastrophe of Success by Tennessee Williams.

It read:

Then what is good? The obsessive interest in human affairs, plus a certain amount of compassion and moral conviction, that first made the experience of living something that must be translated into pigment or music or bodily movement or poetry or prose or anything that’s dynamic and expressive—that’s what’s good for you if you’re at all serious in your aims. William Saroyan wrote a great play on this theme, that purity of heart is the one success worth having. “In the time of your life—live!” That time is short and it doesn’t return again. It is slipping away while I write this and while you read it, and the monosyllable of the clock is Loss, loss, loss, unless you devote your heart to its opposition.

Both the passage and yarn are now taped onto my wall, like an IV Needle to my heart.

03 May, 2010


Here in the Labs, we're currently filming all the moments in Red Moon that require miniatures. This past weekend we took on the Moon and Clouds section. On Saturday night, I wish you could have seen us, Adi, Kelly, Martin, Jaro, and Me. It was like we were veterans at the game. We had all of our clouds up, the moon hanging in there, and the camera on sticks. Everyone was manning a cloud, moving it, revealing the full moon, but it looked dumb. So we sat on the ground at 2 in the morning, trying to not be asleep, trying to work past the sleep-over giggles, to come up with a plan to make our shot of the moon being revealed look cool. And we came up with some ideas, and then we set them into action, and we filmed it, and it wasn't dumb anymore. It was so dynamic, our Teamwork! There was a problem, we collectively set our minds to it, solved it, and Yes!

Adi situating the Moon, Martin standing by.


Sunday night things went a little bit differently. Not because we weren't using teamwork, but because we kind of let our own handmade, seat-of-our-pants, whimsy aesthetic get the better of us. We wanted to get a shot from a submarine's periscope's point of view, emerging from the sea, revealing the moon. Enter: The Water Box.

A while ago at our miniature-production meeting, we were coming up with an idea as to how to fake the ocean's surface. We wanted to use real materials that were as real-world as possible, as the rest of the film is so fabricated. Using actual water for the water's surface was important. We came up with an idea that if we took some 2x6s, lacquered them with sealant, cut them up, constructed them into a box frame, screwed two pains of plexiglass to both sides, sealed the screws and edges with caulk, that we could probably expect it to hold water, safely. Later, after it just about went as not-swimmingly as possible, we agreed that it was an idea fit to exist inside one of our movies, rather than as a device to assist in filming one.

Getting the Water Box ready.

But that's not to say it wasn't a charming experience I won't soon forget. To fill up the Water Box, I lowered string from the Hang Zone down into our building's courtyard to Martin. He tied the end to our neighbor's hose, and I hoisted it up. We put the hose inside the box, and Martin turned on the nozzle below. We had a nice blue light shining inside the box, and even when there was only a bit of water inside, it was already looking like movie magic.

To the top!

Starting to look like an ocean.

Then it started to drip. Just a little bit, and only out of one place. Our Water Box team had been reduced at this point in the evening to just Jaro and me, with Martin helming the nozzle outside. Jaro and I laughed the drip away and put a glass bowl beneath it. A moment or so later, another leak sprung on the other side of the box. But it was a little bit more streamy than a drip-drip. No big whoop. Nothing a sauce pan couldn't handle. On my way back from the kitchen to the Water Box, I heard Jaro's voice sound more serious as he told me the Water Box was getting full. The plexi was bowing, looking like a TV screen. At this point we were still amused, and I took out my phone to take another picture when there was a distinct crack.

And it got real all of a sudden.

Near-Catastrophes are nothing new to the Red Moon set. Back in December we had a fire, and it only seemed fitting that now we would be dealing with a large amount of water. But the look Jaro and I gave each other could only be read as, "Why didn't we come up with a plan to get the Water Box out of our apartment in-case-something-like-this-happened beforehand?" Martin cut the water. The Box was making damning noises. There was water all over the floor. And electrical equipment.

Thinking as quick as I could, I told Jaro to grab the spare hose and jam it into the box (incidentally, I'm still trying to piece together why we had a spare hose in the Hang Zone). We flew the other end down to Martin and told him to start sucking. Within seconds gravity took over, and the pressure on the box slowly eased as its insides spilled into the court yard outside. Once again, gravity coming through when it counts.

Post-Calamity; Looking funny/like Hell.

Martin came back upstairs and the three of us sat around the Water Box looking at it's crack along the bottom, wondering why we were so confident our wooden box would hold water. Any adult, we noted, who saw what we were up to would have told us sternly to stop. Which is in large part why I consider this failure a success. We just had to be sure; we just had to experiment.