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DeZ Vylenz Log

A captain's log of activities and projects, affiliations and developments involving the Shadowsnake ship and various guerilla film expeditions. Updated in between storms by DeZ Vylenz, Writer - Director - Martial Arts Choreographer

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Friday, December 21, 2012

The End of the World

Today it is. The end of the world (as we know it), the day the Mayan Calender supposedly ends, plenty of books written about the subject, plenty of prophecies, predictions and speculations.

In The Mindscape of Alan Moore, Shadowsnake Films touched the topic too, and the description given by Alan Moore about what could be potentially the end of the current state of consciousness is far more plausible than all the doomsday scenarios.

In any case, I think that on Saturday 22 December a lot of people will wake up slightly disappointed that they're still alive, still got to pay taxes and bills, still got to deal with the drudgery of work and dramas cooked up by relatives, spouses, lovers and foes.

Equally, a lot of people will be happy to live on and make the best of each hour, each step and project only the most positive energy onto their path. For me at least, it's the only way to live, particularly after experiencing a devastating fire (which destroyed the entire loft and roof) and the loss of the majority of my work from the last decade. Stuff is only stuff, material things come and go in our lives. The only advice I can give is to scan all your important notes. Somebody told me: If information is not stored in three different places, it does not exist.

Fortunately my most important notes from the last 5 years were rescued and I intend to write a few books and complete a few projects which I find fit to place onto my tombstone.

The key is to pick your battles, focus your energy and take every step with true conviction. There is no other way.

Best to everybody on their chosen journey...

Posted by DeZ Vylenz  

Friday, July 02, 2010

Eye of the Tiger

Another day of football drama. Ghana nearly wrote history, Gyan worked hard but again failed to take his time, focus on the moment and keep that sharp Eye of the Tiger and propel the first African nation to a semi-final. But it's a hard game and 100 minutes of playing on that size of field is no joke.

More surprises this World Cup. Brazil is out. Too bad, I wanted to see a final of Argentina-Brasil. No surprise to me, I didn't find them convincing enough in the first phase. Too comfortable, too complacent. I'm not a football fan/expert or strategist, but what I am able to read is conviction, intent and drive.

What annoys me most about them is that they have tremendous capability, some of the best technical skills in the world, but since 1998 I just stopped cheering for them, because I cannot stand seeing great potential not realized. You either play or you don't and with that kind of firepower you have to go all guns blazing, even if you risk increasing the opponent chance of goals.

To use the words of a British TV presenter: "They managed to keep the ship sailing fine in calm waters, but once the waters got rough they discovered they don't have captains at all.

You could read it in the match Portugal-Brazil. Ofcourse they should play it tactical and avoid getting injuries and yellow cards, but that doesn't justify playing tic tac with the ball. None of the two teams were playing ball, they were killing time. Terribly boring to see and what about those people who coughed up hundreds or even thousands to pay a ticket to watch that cowardly behaviour. They were booed at the end. If you want to go on to kill, that's dangerous behaviour. They lost the Eye of the Tiger.

Again, commercial and tactical interest stifle the true spirit of the game and there is so much emphasis on winning that coaches and managers forget that it's in the first place about playing. If great potential and ability revel in the purity of the moment, results will come automatically.

The message is: if you're a champion, then play like a champion.

Posted by DeZ Vylenz  

Friday, June 25, 2010

World Cup Fever

So far this World Cup has been full of surprises. Plenty of boring games in the first rounds, especially since I'm not a big football or sports fan. But I do enjoy seeing excellence, in whatever field that may be. We all want to see somebody, whether it's an artist or athlete excell, push themselves to the limit and vicariously through them we experience a moment of epiphany, of realizing our true potential.

Very few outstanding moments or players, not like the times when a Pele stormed the field and elegantly destroyed the old notions of how football was to be played. Or the 1974 Dutch team with Cruyff, the 1986 Argentina team with the Napoleonesque Maradonna displaying crazy cojones by outmaneouvering 6 English players and the keeper all the way from his own half. Or a gliding magician like Zidane, who as a British commentator once described him had "the physique of a top athlete combined with the grace of a ballerina". All these players had a sharp awareness of the game, opponents and team mates around them and often their charisma radiated into their playing.

Most teams and players in 2010 I've found rather mediocre and scared to really play ball, to give it all (to use the analogy again, very similar to most cinema nowadays: boring, scared to offend anybody, designed to play it safe, total lack of true creativity). But Chili have shown hungry young players who're not scared to move forward, the USA been surprisingly effective and motivated, Argentina can still propel to something. Brazil and The Netherlands have the potential and the individual talent, but I find their approach too careful, too comfortable and at times almost lazy. Germany as a team was at times impressive, moving like a well oiled diesel machine, suddenly exploding into offensive mode.

Ghana showed a good spirit at times, but the finish was often inadequate, at least they got to the finals. Ivory Coast has again been unlucky to start in a group with top teams like Brazil and Portugal. Back in 2006 they had to fight with Argentina and The Netherlands to go through. Greece must have been the most painful to watch, heavy and competent defending strategies, man marking Messi e.g. was efficient to smother the opponents game, but it doesn't create any watchable football, nor chances to score. If there's a lesson to learn, better to go at it full throttle like Japan did when they outfootballed Denmark. Or Slovakija destroying World Champion Italy, purely by its team spirit and fervour.

In any case, now the finals really start, the knock out phase. It's perform or go home. One thing is for sure, it's a proven fact now that the "big" teams can no longer intimidate the smaller ones. Underdogs have a chance, as long as they go at it with gusto and balls. It's the only way to live.

Check it out:

The living legend:

(balls were much heavier leathermade pieces then)

Solo around the world:

Magician strides forward:

Bright future for this fearless up and commer, he's gonna be big, mark my words (another talent from Suriname):

Posted by DeZ Vylenz  

Friday, June 18, 2010

Nutshell journal

Catching up here on the blog. Thanks for your emails and complaints about not updating enough and writing about my whereabouts and projects. By now you know I'm not an active onine blogger, twitterer, Arsebook follower and so on, too much is happening in the real physical world.

A supercompressed overview of what's been going in since March:

March: London meetings and development on the features. Hustling and bustling for funding, which is proving increasingly hard with so much uncertainty in the industry whether any money can be recuperated with so much piracy, downloading and free content available.

First week March: Amsterdam to sort out translastions and business plans for clients.

Middle March: Plane to Suriname, back to sweltering heat and tropical rains.

Then end March- April: Scouting locations and crew, more corporate consultancy work. More rain, more pre-production. On the move, observing, researching. Martial Arts training sessions with special police forces scheduled, election hype going on, entrepreneurs starting new interesting business endeavours.

April-May: When the weather cleared up I was busy shooting corporate films which is material I can't post (client confidentiality), lots of activities involving heavy port equipment. I'll try to update stuff more often, but prefer to present material when it's finished as a completed canvas, not all the little sketches in between. And any extra time I'd rather spend on writing, a script is now completed and am working on a book that will take at least a year or more. But I'm pleased with the founding material and the literary voice, which I found in 2009.

Fiction film on a low ember for now.

However, I did shoot a trailer for my next feature film and once the material is edited I will post the link and stills. Was a very intense shoot over a week in Suriname, both jungle and urban locations, different characters, fight scenes etc, all packed in 2 minutes. When Sander the cameraman-editor returns to The Netherlands we'll sit down and finish it.

Finally back in London now, new horizons and new directions. And the World Cup to distract. Lots of mediocre plays, no players or teams that have so far shown hard graft and excellence. Sounds like the current state of cinema.

Posted by DeZ Vylenz  

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Belated Best Wishes for 2010

Dear All,

Been toiling away in semi-solitary mode, writing and working on various projects. New material developing together with long running ideas and structures, so I haven't updated this blog again for a while. I'll start with the whole Twitter thing soon when the whole archive is transferred to the new Wordpress system. But first things first.

Anyway, All the best of health, peace and prosperity in the new Year of the Metal Tiger. (Starts 14 February, sounds like the title of an hard rock album)

Every thousand miles begins with a first step. May firm resolution, determination and good vibes be on your path in 2010 and beyond.

Best regards,

DeZ Vylenz

Posted by DeZ Vylenz  

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