Blog Archives

Indie

All through high school, the allure of independent film was one that occupied my passing thoughts (as they were thoughts far better than what math could offer) but was nevertheless one I had never thought possible to pursue.  Stephen Spielberg made movies, Paul Durante did not.  I had always been a writer, but that was different: everyone is a writer in some capacity or another.  That I had chosen to lend the craft towards fiction provided me with much to do, it did not particularly distinguish me one way or another from anyone else- a fact that I was fine with.  I was normal (haha ok, not normal) and normal folks do not make movies.  It was as simple as that.  To be in film, one had to be an asshole, utterly and completely.  An entitled fool that screamed at folks making a lot less money than them, and then ultimately sold out altogether to make a bullshit film like “Transformers” (I’m talking to you directly Michael Bay).  And of course only the decent filmmakers even had the option to sell out (Michael Bay excluded).  You had to know how to work a camera, write in script format, frame a shot, and then another shot, and then another shot, until you’ve composed so many images that a film was born.  Such thing was an art form, and one that my proficiency with words (if even you are kind enough to call it that) did not prepare me for.  Then college came.

College has a way about it.  For some, it means getting involved, buckling down with books, settling in at night with drinks and high bar tabs, and consuming alchohal until they are able to forget that the real world will be just as shitty as the dismal realm of higher education.  For me, it meant desperately trying everything I had ever considered that was not related to the dismal future that my degree would promise me.  Dismal professional future, I should note.  Not to be sappy (and you shut the hell up with your corny meter because I am NOT being sappy) but  since my wedding in July my future has looked pretty good, regardless of how my creative endevours are received.  But that doesn’t mean that I want to work in an office for the rest of my life.  Hell, the notion of it makes me sick.  And so for the last four years, I have explored every avenue of creativity that came to mind, including that of Indie film. My freshmen year of school, I had written a screenplay, titled “Community Cop,” a comedy that follows two campus police men, two stoners, and a student body that is thrust into madness when a storm leaves them trapped in the school.  The script itself is a relatively simple one, though not something that I would have been capable of making around the time that I had written it, and most likely not even now.  And I knew that, so I decided to try my hand at practicing the craft.

Then came sophomore year, and a new project.  “The Dewmont Daze”..  A twelve part webseries that chronicles the lives of those same campus policemen and stoners.  This I actually was able to make, after about a year and a half of casting woes and production errors.  And the final product? Eh.

With only about eighteen hours of time to film one hundred and fourteen pages, it was a project that was destined to fail, especially given the collective inexperience of the entire cast and crew (I was the entire crew, and a portion of the cast as well).  We filmed on a DLSR, a good piece of equipment, though one that cannot stand on its own.  The things that we needed, lights, and a boom mic to say the least, did not fit into our budget of zero dollars, and what we ultimately got was a mere fraction of what we could have had,. and what I had been hoping for.  To be perfectly clear, I do love watching these videos, but I also love just about anything else that gets birthed in my head.  I’m  quite silly like that.  The final product unfortunately is missing scense, delivered half heartidly in portions by any number of members of the cast, including myself, and only a shadow of what I had tried to make.

I know that the above ramblings do not make the show sound like something worth viewing, but here it is all the same, Episode 3.  See for yourself what I have done, and what I ahve failed to do, and be kind enough to let me know what you think.  After all, this was meant to be a learning experience.  Let me know what you think.

Thanks for reading, and for watching.

Paul Durante

Follow me on Twitter @DewmontPaul

The Matrix Revisited: For the First Time

For those of you who do not know (and honest to god- why should you?) my name is Paul Durante, and among other things, I write a blog, tweet absurdly stupid things (which you can find @DewmontPaul btw :)) and write blog posts that like twenty people read.  Such is the life opf anEnglish major I suppose.  I also have recently debuted a web series for those of you who are interested.  I wrote and directed in it, and in this episode I even play a man named after a food dish……

But alas, such matters are not why we gather hear today.  Rather, we come together to discuss a far more important matter than my shortcomings: the Matrix.  For those of you who do not know (I assure you, I was among your ranks until last night) the Matrix, is a film in which our protagonist “Neo” discovers that his life is not as he had cpnvieved it, but rather the [roduct of a program that decieved the human race into believing that all was real.  As you find out in the first film (and for the record I have yet to see the other two) the world ended when humainty created and then subsequently went to war with AI that we created.  In the process of pursuing that war, we blocked out the sun in the hopes that it would terminate our solar powered AI friends, but such was not the case, and we subsequently went extinct….Except that we didn’t.  rather than allowing us to die out, robots created an articial world for us to occupy, in which things are essentially as they had been in 1999.  And it is with this point that I do believe I am in disagreement with the general public.

Last night I watched this film with my wife.

“What assholes,’ I commented once we were done.

“I know right,” she replied.  “You mean the agents?”

“I mean the humans! We kill our planet and then feel somehow entitled to it?  Neo is a prick.”

As you might imagine, I am on the side of the AI.  Yes, it is less than fortunate that we are essentially batteries to them, but regardless, they were far more merciful than I believe that “our” (humans as a species) actions warranted.  Within the confines of this movies plot, we had killed our own planet.  Rather than going extinct as earths history dictated we should, we merely took on another form, as a consiousness rather than a body.  Granted, this is not the ideal existence, but it is nevertheless the one that we have earned.  Only the most extreme proponents of human elititism could claim that we were still entitled to an ownership stake of this planet that we had allowed to be destroyed.  And yet we are supposed to view Neo and company as the heroes?

Or are we?  granted I have not seen the subsequent films, but as an English Major, I have to wonder, are we truly supposed to view this film with the assumption that Neo and Morpheus are righteous in their conquest, or are they relics of a society that placed a supreme emphasis on human life?  That is not to say that human life has no value, but rather that it is lucky to have been preserved in any capacity given what seems to have unfolded in the Matrix time line.  In real life, we will most assuredly not receive this same comforts after our soils erode, and our atmospheres give way to noxious gas and pollution.  Perhaps Neo and his friends are presuming upon an entitlement that they are not worthy of.

Just something to think about

Paul Durante

Follow me on Twitter @DewmontPaul

Fish Eyes And Jean Jackets: Tales from a married Student

For those of you that have not been reading along (I’m talking to you, World Wide Web)  my name is Paul Durante, and for the past, ohhh twenty or so years I was just a shell of what I could be.  In that time, I have met people that I care about, gone places that expanded my horizon’s past the corn filled soils of Illinois, and even written things that i am somewhat proud of, but it took me up until this summer to find what I can finally call, success.  And how might a mediocre small scale internet personality quantify success? Well since no one reads or watches my things, this online pest has had to go the deeper, more personal route.  Marrying my wife, was the best decision that I have ever made, opening my life up to something that it had previously never been familiar with: daily joy. Even before, when we were only dating, or even engaged, the happiness was still tremendous, spiritual, and perfect beyond what I had ever before known, but now as I pound away at these keys with a wedding band on my left hand, something has changed.  There is a new sense of simplistic profundity to this familiar and yet new sense of happiness, and I am afraid that it is a profundity that I cannot explain in this blog, most especially because nobody pays me for this shit.

But amongst this wonderful and exciting new chapter of my life is an ever so feint veil of surprise and speculation from my peers.  Oh yes, I am still a student.

“What do you think? Unplanned pregnancy?”

“Blind recklessness?”

“You don’t thing….surely he isn’t a Christian?”

Okay, okay, so no one is literally circling up and whispering gossip in my face.  In fact, the vast majority of friends and family have been very supportive of our decision, but in the background there has always been this since of judgemental speculation.

So lets clear things up.

  1.  Nope, no pregnancy, planned or otherwise, although I do believe I would look glowing with a baby bump.
  2. Excuse you sirs and maams, but we have been together for three years.  There is nothing blind or reckless about it.  There isn’t a reckless bone in my body.Your reading the words of a man too cowardly to even attempt to parralell park.
  3. Haha no.  I’m not a Christian, nor am I in any capacity religious.  But do try not to say it with such stank in your voice next time.

Here’s the deal.  When you know, you just know.  Are we young? Perhaps slightly.  But we are also financially able to pay for our own food, transportation, and living quarters (which we would have had to do regardless of whether or not we had gotten married) and in roughly nine months, we will also be degree holding members of society (despite my utter disdain for all thinks scholastic).

We are happy, which as far as I am concerned means that we are doing something right, because really, how often is there something to smile about?

wedding kiss

Thanks for reading,

Paul Durante

If you have any questions or comments, leave them!  I love hearing from you guys

Please follow me on twitter @DewmontPaul

Thoughts in Between Class: The Teacher you think is homeless

This may be exclusive to the english department, but in my experience there are two types of professors:  Those that look like sixty seven year old men posing as preppy college students, and those taht dress as though they are homeless.  There is of course the occasional old gentleman teacher that dresses modestly but well, but they are few and far in between.  A note should be made that this is exclusive really only to men.  Women dress like normal fucking people.  Today I had one of the homeless men.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the homeless, I just never expect to see them teaching me children’s literature.  Is it a political statement that he wore dirty, torn clothes. or is there a story behind it?  perhaps he had just vcome form his own The Hangover type situation in which he gave his tooth to ed helms and somehow predicted that Bradley Cooper would be succesful.  And you know, put on dirty clothes afterwards.  I’m not sure what it was, but whatever the case, it was all that I considered for the duration for the class.  To say the least, it was more fun than actually thinking about childrens literature.

Thanks for reading

Paul Durante

Please follow me on twitter @DewmontPaul

Fish Eyes and Jean Jackets: Married as F***

Married as fuck.  Sounds nice doesn’t it? While the day itself was a bit of a blur, I do believe that it is the very last phrase that the priest uttered before saying “you may now kiss the bride”.  You’re married as fuck, so just go ahead and kiss her.  Eh maybe he didn’y say it.  I knew though, and I couldn’t be happier about it.

Lets rewind.  My name is Paul Durante, and for the last three years my every waking thought has been completely and utterly captivated by one Rachel Riesenberger (I’ve learned to look past the whole German thing and I hope that you can too).  I wish there was a fun like or as that I could whip out to adequately describe our relationship (you know, like some Bonnie to my Clyde bullshit?) but the truth is she’s more like the teacher to my inner deliquint.  My girl was our class valedictorian, a feat that she is not too keen on mentioning, and while i am no intellectual shlub, you are nevertheless reading the words of our high school classes 121st ranked student (and I do believe that there was only 98 kids in our class).  In many ways we are opposites.  She is the sweet to my bitter, the organization to my clutter, even the Christian to my secular humanist.  With all that in mind, I have been married as fuck for three years, even before the church and the state decided to recognize it the way that we did.  And that simple fact has been my utter joy for the past three years.

Married as fuck.  That’s the funny thing about love, about human connection- that’s where the joy in life is.  I’m only twenty one, but if there is one thing I know without doubt, or without question, it is that the difference between joy and pleasure is as distinct as it is crucial to understand. Food can be pleasure- a fleeting moment happiness caused by what is usually fat and sugar, but a meal, shared with friends and loved ones- that can be joy.  That right there can be a memory.  the same thing is true of marriage, or any relationship of substance really.  If there is one thing I know, it is that the most foolproof path to happiness lies in  understanding what matters in life, and what doesn’t.  Because there are somethings that no one can take from you.

It is in this regard that I myself have struggled, even if only slightly.  I have the world- everything that I could ever hope for, and yet there is a small part of me that tries to define my happiness or success by how I am received as a writer or a director, or whatever the hell other goofy thing I am working on at the moment.  Since I was six I have dreamed of being a professional writer, and it has been about since then that I have also pursued it.  I have written stories, and novels, created web series, I am in pre production on an independent film, and I even started a goofy blog in the hopes that it would get people to pay attention to me.  I WANT to be succesful, but what I always come back to is the simple fact that I have already been given far more than i need.  Everyone is always looking for that greener side of the pasture, but what I continuously realize is that there is nothing better than what I have now.  I’m twenty years old, and I have peeked.  Exactly what everyone dreams of yes?  My life is perfect, Everything else that I get after this point is bonus.

Thanks for reading-

Paul Durante

Got Questions? Leave a comment.  Ask nice and I’ll respond, ask rude and I’ll get balligerant with you.

Follow me on twitter @DewmontPaul

Summer of Love and Youtube!

Hello all! Writer and Director of the Dewmont Daze, Paul Durante here with a small, and utterly unappealing update.  Frankly, you could be using your time better right now, but thanks anyway for reading.  Myself, as well as everyone else involved in my new web series, “The Dewmont Daze,” have been absolutely hustling trying to get our videos out there.  For those of you that do not know, the Dewmont Daze is a wacky new web series featuring the ordindary lives of students at Dewmont Community College.  As of right now we are essentially just releasing shorts, as the actual series itself is still in development.  Each video is essentially a stand alone at this point, and serves to better introduce some of the characters from the series.  So far it has been well received, but we are very ready to expand our audience (because honestly, who the fuck isn’t?).  So, with that in mind, I would at this time like to encourage those of you goodly enough to have clicked the link to read my humble little blog post, to click one more link, and watch what is the latest of our videos.  If you like what you see, I would like to further ask you to subscribe.  It will only take a moment, and I promise you that we will be doing a whole lot of fun new things in the near future, that we would love to have you all on board for.  Thank you for your time! http://youtu.be/DzyOApdQ4aw Remember, we always love to hear from you! Please comment on this video or post if you have anything at all you’d like to say.  We always reply

3 AM is A lonely place to be

Hello all that are decent or perhaps indecent enough to be up at this hour, and a particularly warm thank you to those kindly enough both to be up, and to be up looking at my website.  Isn’t it dreadful? The world is sleeping, but if you are like me, you just can’t, not for the life of you.  It’s been a sort of common occurrence for me, for the majority of my life anyway.  I used to assign some sort of significance to it, as if there was some type of more profound, or perhaps even destiny oriented cause for my lack of sleep.  As if me up at four in the morning watching infomercials on the golf channel would somehow be the soil in which I would one day plant the roots that would surely lead to my term as president.  Or at least to the start of a career in infomercials.  Now I know that it is just because I have a very silly brain, that still refuses to undersanstand that activity is the very last thing that a weary brain needs.  Oh well, fools may be the last to learn but they sure as hell get it eventually.  One day you will find me, sixty years old and well rested, but until then, I blog, and write children stories about badgers.

Oh, and that brings me to what else I am doing.  It wasn’t really my intention to cover this in this post, but I also never intended write this post, so to hell with all the rules.  My girlfriend and I are currently writing a childrens book about a semi autistic badger in post apocalyptic Kansas City.  So if that sounds interesting to you some words of encouragement would be more than lovely, because frankly it isn’t as easy as you might guess.  I am also writing a full length adult geared story about a suicidal teenager hunted by a demon dog, and a ghost that likes AC/DC, and I am writing, directing, and acting in a web series, as well as podcasting and poorly maintaining this blog.  It’s a busy summer for me. 

If you have any interest in any of my projects, and it would be just dandy if you did, it’s extremely easy to track.  Of course you can always find me here, I fully intend to step up my blogging game, but you can also find me on Twitter @DewmontPaul (The link isn’t broken, it just doesn’t exist–I don’t know how to do it) on youtube at “The Dewmont Daze,” and hopefully on ITunes in the very near future at “Dewmont Speaks.” I have already uploaded a few teaser sort of videos for what is to be my web series.  There will be videos posted very regularly up until December but the actual series doesn’t really launch until December.  However, it would be great if you could check it out now.  This link actually does work.  I’d love for you all to watch it.  Subscribe if you dig it, comment to tell me how you feel about it.  Even if you hate it, I love to hear from you. http://youtu.be/DzyOApdQ4aw

 

http://youtu.be/qW_fG0A7U2k

It’s official! The documentary focusing on our own DCC is finally viral! the first video on ne youtube channel “The Dewmont Daze” Has just been posted earlier today.  the video features our own Funky givning a psychic reading to another student, credited only as Sean. Suprisingly, Funky sees to come through, and contact Sean’s mother.  See for yourself here.  http://youtu.be/qW_fG0A7U2k

“Turnt Up Shit,” And other Phrases that might motivate you to click the link

Hello all! This is a sort of “Directors cut” Accompanying video where my brother and I discuss upcoming news for our new Web Series, “The Dewmont Daze.”  Last Sunday I posted a trailer, and this sunday I will post what is to be my first short video. The main series will be launched this coming winter, but there will be an abundance of videos coming out before then.  If you could find it in your heart to subscribe, now would be the time.  If you think that I am full of shit, just let me know.  Now is your time to tell me, just so long as you are subscribing.  Now stop reading this, and…you guessed it. SUBSCRIBE

Fighting Mopeds

Hey guys, now is the time to subscribe.  Please do me a huge favor and check out this very poorly lit trailer.  If you like it, great, keep watching! If you hate it, even better.  Watch it more and tell me I’m full of shit.  Either way, now is the time to subscribe, either to make my dreams, or crush them regularly.