Thirty-Six Frames (The Attic)

I sat for a while, playing along with the pictures I lined up on screen. In terms of process, the sound didn’t inform the frames and the frames didn’t inform the sound.

I’d be lying if I said there was planning – I’d be hit with an idea and then attack it immediately, out of fear that it’d get lost with everything else.

I live near death. His condition worsens everyday. I just know it isn’t good for me to be around it all the time. “It’s” been very bad lately.

That “It” is built up by the feeling of a lack of agency. No matter the professional, the combination of chemicals, or the growth cycles, “it” simply does not leave. So it’s shifted just out of sight, but never fully disappeared.


Here’s the link to my project, I hope you enjoy:

Thirty-Six Frames (The Attic)


Written by Devon Canal
March 30th, 2020

What IF

I don’t know who knows this story. But last Saturday (3/19/2021) , me and two other friends – Suri and Johnny, were having lunch and having a good time at the Food Court in Galleria Mall.
We just thought that having fun and enjoying going to the stores was just like a regular weekend.

While we were eating and chatting, gossiping. Suri sat in front of me and she saw a lot of people running down from the balcony, all over places to the exits. She was telling us “What the heck is happening?”I looked back and saw like “OMFG are we having a terrorism or active shooting, or even bombing in the mall right now?!”. Suri said, Shit! RUNNNN!! RUNNN!”. We started to run immediately and left the food there without hesitations.

I ran first and led the way for my friends but while I ran I looked back to check my friends with me or not. Unfortunately, actually Suri and I lost Johnny in the crown. We were very panicked and waited for a bit. However, everyone was trying to run out of the mall as soon as possible with their friends and family. It was a chaos, people stepped on people and tried to get out of there. Suri and I didn’t have a chance to see Johnny, and we told each other to just run out the doors first to hide and wait.

We hid behind the cars but still scared that what if it was a bombing, the whole building would be collapsed. We waited for like 5 minutes but had not seen Johnny walk out. Suri was suffocated, shaking and crying. I was so scared that she would faint at the same time and still looked for Johnny. We tried to call him, but there was no service, still keep calling him until he picks the phone. Like 5 more minutes later, he picked the phone and said he was on the other side of us. We got him, and we ran out of the building.

Maybe some people think this was just a false alarm about shooting or bombing and laugh. But put yourself in our situation you would feel how we felt. There was a family trying to hide. His son (about 10 year olds) was numb and frozen; his wife was shaking and panicking. I dont even want to think if that was an active shooting or bombing. I have never ever faced with this terrible scenario and never wish to be in that again!. 

Thus, now I can tell how unlucky people feel when they have to face these horrible scenarios. Luckily, it was not an active shooting or bombing. Everyone safe!

Here is the link that someone recorded:

“Angst” (1983): Straight Murder, Son

Despite my best efforts, movie nights normally turn into adding films to watchlists across different platforms in lieu of actually watching… anything. Cut to last week: The cycle starts. My thumbs’ sore from flipping around and my eyes are all heavy from jumping back and forth between screens (harrowing, I know). It was midnight and I was bent on watching horror – I wanted a midnight hour. A drive-in without the drive. That was the agenda.

I landed on Angst (dir. Gerald Kargl) and was immediately hit with a slew of white text: “For the squeamish, discretion is advised,” “Banned in Europe” for XYZ, “Ultra-Graphic Content.”

Alright, so I’m to be held accountable for my own discomfort. Got it, no problem.

It starts out with a man’s face as he stalks the sidewalk, scanning houses across this wide Austrian suburb. He stops and glances to the right at this unassuming two-story and makes his way to the door. He knocks, it opens – an old woman. His hand rises into view clasping a gun.

“I’m shooting now.”

He does just that. What follows is a psychological-profile and narration of this unnamed killer’s behavioral history and 79 minutes of him skulking around and terrorizing a family of three after he’s released from prison.

We are placed into his head, in every facet. Scattered narration, disorienting camerawork, a sadistic performance, and raw, spacious cinematography make this a churning, cerebral, arresting experience. All the adjectives.

This is a film more concerned about the effort that it takes to murder someone than it is exhibition for exhibition’s sake. It doesn’t hold onto the “why”: it’s how long it takes, the physical labor, the adaptiveness, where that drive would come from. The man is an animal but, undeniably, human – a monstrous, despicable, inhuman human. There’s no sympathy for the killer, no real foundation for his actions.

It’s horrifying, made worse by the fact that this was directly modeled after a local crime that occurred just three years prior – so directly that it was banned across Europe. I wasn’t sure if the “Based On A True Story” would hold, but it contains actual quotes from the killer (Werner Kniesek), among others. The lead uses the same model car to carry things out. The deaths are eerily similar. Whole thing’s fucked.

What you get, essentially, is the chance to poke the body with a stick; To have this perspective flipped into the eyes of the audience and touch the aura of murder.

I’ve never seen anything like this and I’m extremely pissed that it feels as essential as it does: this has to be some of the best camerawork I’ve ever seen and, thankfully, it doesn’t fall into the trap of victimizing the killer and justifying their existence.

It is absolutely worth the watch and subsequent nausea.

The Unrated Cut is available on Shudder. If you don’t want to sign up for it, Prime has the other version. Either way – this is a wonderful film to watch with your loved ones, preferably after church, lunch, or on Easter Sunday.

Experientia docet

View of Main Street’s $1,000,000 fire, May 19, 1912, Houston, Tex.

Experientia docet
Latin – experience teaches

This was a week of highs and lows. A churning tumult of emotions, actions and reactions. At the end of the day, we are all still here. At the end of the day, we know that tomorrow it begins again. Another day and another opportunity to be something. Another day and another opportunity to create something.

Up and down, milestone and mistake, apology and apathy, over and again. Ideally, there are more highs than lows. Ideally the highs are higher than the lows will ever be.

Just remember that every day is part of a grand journey. One false step does not mean the end.


#learning, #fire, #houston, #journey, #discovery, #starwars, #thinman, #falsestep #largerworld, #highsandlows


Looking for pirate gold

I have been very under the weather and have found that staying inside, hydrated and warm is the best remedy. So, I went looking for pirate gold in the outer rain bands of a hurricane.



I went looking for pirate gold.

Found wind and rain instead.

Almost knocked me off the sea wall.

So I went on down to the sea.

Felt the cold rain on my face.

Felt the sea and sand around my feet.

Water logged I went back home.

I know I’m further under the weather now.

But I did not miss out on any pirate gold.

Poor remedy for what ails.

#rain, #wind, #red, #pirategold, #remedy, #astros, #hurricane, #hurricanedelta, #delta, #waves, #undertheweather

I do not do anything now…

…but once I was on the edge of the world.

The highway was one lane. The bus too big for the road. There was no stopping here. The shoulder was a steep fall into the sea. I took these images long ago, but have never scanned them. The negatives were thin. That is to say my exposure was off when I took these. Again, there was no stopping, the sun was setting and I had no idea I would find myself it this position. I just started taking pictures while eyeballing the exposure. I did a poor job of things. Improperly exposed negatives can be thick or thin. An underexposed image will produce a thin negative. Exposure time in the dark room becomes problematic because any light through the negative is almost too much light. Over exposed images will produce thick negatives or denser negatives. In the darkroom, longer exposures are required and the image can get muddy or depending on the subject matter will be perfect.

I wasn’t thinking of any of that when I took these. I was thinking of how horrible it would have been to be a sailor in a shipwreck off the coast of Peru. Tossed and turned and pummeled and exhausted from a battle with the ocean. Swimming to the safety of the shore only to find this coastline waiting for you. I was thinking about that as I took these images through a tinted bus window rolling along the highway, my life in the hands of a bus driver I did not know. That was almost two decades ago. Now, I finally scan these thin negatives, clean up the water spots, the scratches and the dirt and hair. I start to think of that shipwrecked sailor coming to shore. Then I notice them. Two figures on a hillside looking out on the ocean without a boat, a road or even a footpath in sight. I wonder if they ever made it home.


I am supposed to go to a luau at 7

The People You Meet


Details, details, details. Characters are made up of so many little things.

I did not get his name, but I am supposed to go to a luau at his place at 7. He’s getting engaged. Cassie can come. She will be the only dog there and she is the only dog invited. The cops told him he had to leave. From where, I don’t know. He was looking for a place to get fresh herbs and flowers. He wanted to know who my favorite Astro was. He did not wait for a reply. His favorite Astro was J.R. Richard. His mom used to live by the dome on Lockwood. He was picking flowers from people’s yards. He used to party at Scott Glenn’s house. Drank White Russians there. Not with Jeff Bridges. He could have seen Jeff Bridges when he came to Longwood but his wife, his future ex-wife wouldn’t go. He used to be worth a million dollars. At least last time he checked. He blew it all, man. They’re trying to kill him. They tried to kill him in New Braunfels. They kept his kid there. Can you believe that bullshit? He wants to see the photo and hopes I can make it to the luau with Cassie. He did not know what street he was on.

I learned all that from a safe distance of thirty feet  in the span of half a block. This photo was taken with a 200mm lens. He did the scout pose on his own. I feel bad about not going to the luau, but who am I kidding. I was never going to go. I have nothing to wear.

Watch this song…

“Instant Coffee Blues” by Guy Clark.

I hope you like it. Feedback is welcome.


Yes, much of it’s shaky. Sometimes it benefits, sometimes it detracts. Either way, it’s what happened. I was my own crew; my performers were doing me a favor, basically. I needed to keep them moving and interested, and the best way to accomplish that was to move as quickly as possible. Hence, the hand-held camera. During the shoot, I spent most of my time focusing on the actors and their specific actions. Once they were ready, I just told them to do their thing while I pointed the camera at them.There wasn’t much time for perfecting the image or camera movement. I regret this.

On the other hand, I only had six hours to shoot the whole thing. We’d experienced two shooting cancellations and Spring Break was looming, so I wound up doing everything myself. (Also, I didn’t ask for any  help. My bad.) Fortunately, I was nicely prepared for the shoot. The parts I was ill-prepared for benefited from the collaboration between myself and my actress, who is an artist and a good photographer. On the whole, I’m impressed we got everything we did. But I wish I’d had two or three people with me.

Still, I think I did alright. I wish had two more shots–specific ones–for the end. But, alas.

Surprisingly, my favorite part was Color Correcting. I was able to sit and focus on the images for a while and discover their potential. Even though most of the final cut was according to my expectation, there were a lot of surprises. And considering how bad the lighting and the colors were in the raw footage–not to mention some of the focus problems–I’m quite pleased at how good the movie looks.

Notes from my kitchen table…

I finally gained Login ability, so here’s my first update.

I’m excited and grateful to be a member of this group. It’s such a fresh relief to be working with passionate and creative people again, and I’m excited about A Door Closes. The shots that Stalin and Kelvin and the crew put together for the flashback sequence look great, and I’m looking forward to seeing all the stuff we shoot next week.

I’m really excited for Hales, because–for the first time–she gets to see her script produced! That must be a great, exciting feeling! I just hope we can make her proud.

On another note, I’m working on my 24 Frames project this weekend. I’ve done all the shooting I need, now it’s time to assemble and time it. Even though this is probably the easiest part, it still seems quite daunting because I’m not crazy about the shots I got. It’s my own fault, of course. For some reason, I thought it would interesting to work with a six year old boy as my main character. The shoot went tolerably well, but getting him to focus and “perform” was quite an ordeal. Plus, the location I chose (Main St. in Houston) turned out be a lighting nightmare. Half the location was in shadows, the other half was not. Ugggghhhh….

But how bad could it be, right?

I’ll answer that question in a couple of days.

Meanwhile, here’s a shot of my leading actor, waiting for his cue.