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THE MRF - ROLLING ON THE BLOCK 
SHOT & EDITED BY MATTHEW ROMASANTA

thank you to everyone who helped made this video 
enjoy the music video my G’s

(via http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTuBS3SQScI&feature=share)

This is a short film I wrote, directed and edited last year with a good group of people. We had no budget except for the food and any film related expenses like lots of drugs and coffee. Writing a rom-com isn’t really my style, but I knew it could be a challenge trying to make one that I could enjoy. I thought I could poke fun at myself, my friends, and the people I see around in Echo Park.

Wussy Blues was born out of an exercise, and it’s what I consider a warm-up film. That’s not to say it has no weight behind it, but that I made it with the idea of making something simply for fun. I already had a script for this ready to shoot because I originally wrote it for a friend of mine in film class a year before. She had a deadline, two actors and the script she was going to shoot fell through because the writer was a prissy hack. My friend Ever was going to shoot something romantic, so I wrote something in that vein for her. She made her short, passed with flying colors and it was interesting to see my script come to life in somebody else’s hands. I enjoyed the experience and forgot about it… until a year later, when I wanted to shoot a short film again. I had no idea what to make, I just knew I had to make something. I had a location, a couple of actors I had in mind for certain parts, and a new DP I wanted to work with. So I dusted off the script and thought why not? I soon realized I couldn’t shoot the version I had written for Ever, so then I thought, why not rewrite it like how I would tell it? 

After a quick rewrite, I was able to get people on board. I loved working with everyone on this film. We were all on the same page, wanted to simply make this script come to life, and we had a great time shooting it. We were able to shoot the film in a couple of days on and off over a couple of weeks. None of us were getting any money, it was a real labor of love. I would make sure to feed everyone halfway through our shoot day with a nice lunch. There was always a salad and a meal, and plenty of water, coffee, and juice for everyone to enjoy. I try not to have soda or sugary treats on my set as I feel they can sap people’s energies. Same thing with heavy breads. You want to eat light foods with lots of energy to keep you going through the day. Everyone snacks on a film, so it’s better to have healthier foods like dried fruit, nuts, and even beef jerky on hand than to give people donuts and cookies. I’m a foodie, so that’s always been a main priority on my set. If I’m directing anything, people will eat well and I believe that can be even more important than the amount you get paid for the day. It also helps to have a good group of people. It makes it so much easier to work as a team. Let’s just say, we were having a good time every day on set. We took the work seriously, but we also enjoyed ourselves as we were making it. 

Overall, working on this film was a blessing. I had a great time, and I think it all came together pretty well. It made sense for me to make something light, easy and fun for what I considered a warm-up film. Now I realize there are no “warm-up movies.” There are only end results. Saying the film was an exercise was just an excuse to get me into the habit of making a movie again. It’d be a disservice to my friends and colleagues to call it that. It’s a short film I’m happy with and will remember extremely fondly. I’m pretty happy with Wussy Blues. It means a lot to me and I hope everyone involved had a good time making it. I know I did. 

If anyone is curious, here is the original version shot called Alex+Lucy. It was made by my friend Ever Ariana Arias. The script is similar but has a few changes that I made to better suit my style. The ending in particular is completely different. It’s a cool exercise to see how much a film can change in the hands of different filmmakers, actors, and crew. I’m glad I wrote the script for Ever, or else I never would have made Wussy Blues. It made me feel confident in tackling a genre I had no prior interest in exploring.

http://vimeo.com/24590908

I think i’ve got it. That something I was looking for. It’s there. Can you see it? I explained it to you many times in many different ways and still, it means nothing to you. In fact it means less every time I explain. 

I grow tired of having to explain. When will you “get it”?

Time is not an impetus for how we feel or even how much we feel.

Seconds are hours to some and years seconds to others. 

“Time flies” as they say and it can if you’re with the right person. 

If you aren’t, you already know it and every so called second that ticks by is another moment closer you are to the grave without fulfillment. 

Leaving them is no guarantee you will die happy either but at least you will have taken the chance.

Death is all of our futures

Picture and caption by Michael Lorenzo Porter






Young American

The chatter of a thousand voices and accents sounded like they were mixed together my a DJ from hell. The buildings were tall and old. I decided that since they didn’t get earthquakes out here it probably helped to keep everything intact for so long. Still though, the crowds, the noise, they were soothing. It was as close to home as I’d been in months.  My ears were at home at least. Being from Los Angeles, it is the norm to have people al around you who don’t speak English. Speaking of my ears, they were freezing. I felt like I’d been walking around for hours, no, days. Maybe longer. People popped in and out of shops with bags bigger than their middles and eyes wide at the sign reading “50% off” and another sign reading ” fantastic holiday deals”. Ahhhh. Christmas time. Consumerism, steady rain fall and the chill of Winter on a Friday afternoon. not too cold, nothing that a decent overcoat couldn’t fight off. I had been looking for this place for hours. I think I was close but I couldn’t be sure. To be honest, I had given up reading street signs. They put them all really high up on the sides of buildings so I had stopped craning my head up like some sort of awkward alien giraffe looking for food. In reality though, I just thought it gave me away as a foreigner. An outsider. Someone who didn’t fit in. An outcast. A nomad. An illegal. I had to bury that shit. I have to go into every pub, restaurant and diner like I own the place. Confidence is key. I repeated this to myself until I had a headache. I asked a stump of a man on the corner where I might find a particular Itlaian restaurant I was told would be more inclined to hiring someone in my predicament. Sideburns that’d make Liberace jealous, a gut that invaded anyone’s personal space who had stopped to ask him anything and a bright red face that he seemed to be proud of. He’s probably drunk but I just saw him helping someone else so I’m sure he can tell me where the fuck this place is. I’m tired of looking and I don’t care if I don’t blend in, I just need to find this place and get it over with.
“Hi, can you help me find this address?” I point to my phone screen and rain droplets collect on the face.
“Put that thing away!” He shouted, disturbing pedestrians and causing a jolt that made me laugh.
“Take tha first left ya see there. See the green and gold pub?”
Blinking through the rain, I nod and squint—wiping water from my brow and motioning to let him know I saw the pub in the distance.
“Good, yer eyes work!" 
He seemed to only laugh at his own jokes.
"Now turn left at that corner and keep the pub to your right shoulder, make another left and then turn right at Dean St.”
“Thank you so much. I really appreciate it.”
I was off into the mass of people—fighting for space along the crowded side walk, trying to breathe amongst the desperate shoppers and tourists. I was near to the restauarant now. I gathered myself, wiped a fresh coat of rain off my face, tucked my ipod and phone into my bag. I didn’t want them to see them bulging in my pockets and gather that I had travelled more than thirty minutes to get here. I’m so paranoid..

“Here goes nothing..” I mouthed under my breath.

To be continued.

Today's letter is L

Lecherous Larry lurked and leered, leveling lives like loaves lacking leavening.

Little lies lingered lazily lessening lovers lust. 

Legit lounging legions loomed.

Loners, loathed and loved, licked liver laced licorice.

Lambs lulled locals with lullabies and loneliness.

Ladylike ladybugs likened leggings to lingerie, no one lectured them.

L is for lunacy.

Grey

Shoes, shirts, skies and eyes. 

Everybody showed up, only  to find out they had already died.

No tears fell. Only bodies.

They stood and watched while the invaders partied.

Lights flashed and music started, the horizon was alight with exploding constellations.

The ground gave way to gaseous clouds of purple that shifted through the blood red sky like poisoned cotton candy ready to rip the soul from anyone who had the misfortune of inhaling them.

All in office proceeded to higher ground, higher ground was quickly reduced to rubble and ash. Not one single earthly representative was safe in it’s path.

We who survived, and that is to say the two of us have used our time to reflect, plan and most importantly, to move forward.

We never should have come here..

The End.


Black and Blue Christmas.

You know those two stretchy things that connect your bottom lip to your jaw? 

Right before Christmas 2006, Johnny King – A friend at the time, punched me so hard that he separated my lip from one of those connections.

There was a large hole in my lip and the swelling in my face earned me the nickname “Kanye” that Winter. 

I’m not a vengeful man but whenever I start to think I’m a good person, I keep in mind that I’ve wished death upon him about 57,000 times since that Christmas.

I think about what sort of payback would be the worst. I don’t think I actually would harm his kids if I saw them but the thought of how much pain it would cause him puts a smile on my face.

Why? I don’t know. 

If I was a vengeful man and I did hurt him, he would have to know it was me…

Otherwise, what’s the point?

T is for TRAVEL

Talented tarantulas tactfully tackle tough topics tantamount to tyrannical tenures.

Thorough out time this tedious task thought to thoroughly test tempers, thrust the thinking of thousands toward total togetherness.

Travel talk topped the thoughts of thoughtless turtles and truth to be told the types of terribly tragic tinkering turned those thinking types into touchy taboo turncoats.

Turned off and tired, they trembled and trusted the thought they tossed to the side.

Turmoil.

Written by Michael Lorenzo Porter

I’m not sure I like what I saw but I’m sure I saw it and it had an effect on me.

Bloody footprints down by the river.

A ghost talking to my grandfather.

Grandma crying.

Sitting front row at Jorge’s funeral.

Crenshaw Blvd on fire.

Eating potatoes for a whole week straight.

No school.

Little bro is awake but can’t seem to shake his nightmare.

Pills for everyone.

Aladdin. 

Footsteps that never reached the top step.

Rory teaching me about all kinds of music I had no idea existed.

Terminator. Hannibal Lecter. Dracula.

Aladdin.

1992.

Six years old but much older.


?

Should? Will? Would? Could? When? How? Why? Who? What?

So many questions and isn’t that the point?

Damn. 

Another question.

Answers are always associated with finality but sometimes the answers we get lead to more questions than we ever thought possible.

It’s funny though when we think on these things for longer than half a second. If we could get all our answers in a matter of minutes what would we then do with ourselves?

Isn’t the whole point of this exercise to keep learning?

We just have to keep from asking the same questions over and over.


By Michael Lorenzo Porter

Walthamstow

A face in the rain, wet bread crumbs for sick birds and the smell of feces.

Welcome to the Farmer’s Market of Walthamstow.

No, we’ll take your coat–and run off with it.

Mind your wallet. Mind your step. mind your mind in the sea of shit.

Unholy matrimony between fish and sidewalks bathed in dry gum. 

Kids pushing and fighting over a stale waffle covered in mold and cream, an old woman with more bags then her bent spine can handle.

It’s a real mess in the street but it’s lovely somehow.

Static noise.

No one made sense and it was all noise. I did my best and that seemed to be good enough.

Other foot is where the shoe was and it fit fine. I’d been this person before, not as myself but I could see them, struggling to find similar words and get my stupid attention. 

“DOES….THIS…..BUS….GO….TO…TOWN….CENTRE?”

You might as well have slapped American on my forehead, or so I thought. In many other instances people simply assumed I spoke French.

In many ways that’s refreshing. No preconceived notions it seemed and that was fine by me.

Written by Michael Lorenzo Porter

Lies

The face of a lie is often also the same as that of one we have come to trust and love over the course of our lives. Heaps of praise were bathed in deceit and no matter how hard she tried to keep the lie discreet, she knew it was false ans all along. Yeah, all along the entire time he wanted nothing to do with this “GOD”. She had to have realized! She plugged and prodded all day long and the more she begged and pleaded the more the anger crept up and he couldn’t keep it…. Down…

It’s a generational thing. I’m sure of that! It must be. Maybe not. I don’t know. There’s a disconnect somewhere though. Maybe through her 70 years she found solace in this thing she called religion. In my 27 I have found no such thing. My religion is the freedom from it in the first place. She won’t, no can’t ever understand that. A man floats above us and looks down with a great big heart full of despair. Lies. He gave up his son for us. Lies. Give me nothing. That’s all I want. If this is all true and these words prove to be blasphemous then by all fucking means, let me be the first one struck down. hahahaha!

But we all know the brutal fucking truth, the truth is that THAT won’t EVER fucking happen.

Let me be with my bad decisions and poor choices in women, late nights and great friends! In the end it all evens out and I know that that;s something I can always put my faith in, the fact that in the end we all get what we truly deserve. What we deserve isn’t always what we get though. Lies?

Fuck them. I’m tired. When will they let it go? Never? Fuck em. Lairs. all of them. Card carrying Jesus freaks. Back to where you came from. Batten down the hatches and keep clear of my state of mind. I have no interest in any of it. Not one fucking word. You are corrupt.

Religion is the real Devil they’ve always warned you about.