Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Soundtrack Covers

I can always find good soundtracks in Milwaukee. In Seattle, there's good record shops but its more of a rock and jazz selection, mostly rock. But every time I visit back in MKE I come back with an armful of good soundtracks. Above, some scans of records I found on a recent trip.

Monday, December 30, 2013

They Caught The Ferry (1948) by Carl Theodor Dreyer

In between holidays it can be nice to relax and watch tragic motorcycling PSA's by canonized auteurs. You might be surprised that gothic, sparse film director Carl Theodor Dreyer did an educational short in 1948 if you're familiar with his career. I'd like to know more about the circumstances of the making of "They Caught the Ferry", but in the meantime I love it, its a true badass bike movie that also feels like classic Scandinavian art house filmmaking. And it will make you drive safer.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

What is a Watching Patch?

I was going through some old books today and found the passage from John Dos Passos Manhattan Transfer that inspired the name of this blog in 2009, and eventually my production company name. In this part of the book a young girl, Ellen, is wandering through Central Park and sees a man wearing an eye patch, and Dos Passos writes this stream-of-conscious passage...

The man on the bench has a patch over his eye. A watching black patch. A black watching patch. The kidnapper of the Black Watch, among the rustling shrubs kidnappers keep their Black Watch.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Johnny in Salt Lake


I'm in Salt Lake City right now. It's the birthday and one-year anniversary of  the death of dear friend and collaborator David Fetzer. A foundation was started in his name, The Davey Foundation and there was a sold-out screening last night for the kickoff. 

This photo is of John showing me around Salt Lake, where he used to live.

(((SPEED((OF))SOUND))) Trailer

(((SPEED((OF))SOUND))) Trailer from Brian Perkins on Vimeo.

Here it is! The trailer for the so-close-to-being-done-it-feels-done film I've been working on all this year, SPEED OF SOUND. There's some effects shots still being worked on while I'm traveling, and a few things to do when I get back. But from pre-production through post the whole movie was made in 2013, which was the plan, but still kind of surprising it worked out that way for my first feature. It's already getting submitted to festivals, more news on that and its availability here in the future. Stay tuned!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Technicolor for your ears Part 8

Technicolor 8

Hey everybody. This one starts with the "Downtown 81" soundtrack and then gets all crazy with Charlie Brown, Cher, Lindsay Anderson, Nilsson, Fassbinder, Le samouraï, Truffaut, Bollywood and more...

1.  "So Far So Real" by Gray
2.  "Peppermint Patty" by Vince Guaraldi
3.  "Motel I" by Sonny Bono
4.  "O Lucky Man!" by Alan Price
5.  "Bali Street" by Gianni Marchetti
6.  "Poli High" by Harry Nilsson
7. "Edwige In Dodici Ottavi" by Nora Orlandi
8.  "Ecstasy" by John Barry
9.  "The Lost Man (Main Title)" by Quincy Jones
10.  "Loin" by François de Roubaix
11. "Busy Bodies" by Carlo Rustichelli
12.  "Police Disco" by Edgar Froese
13.  "Murdersville (Section B)" by Laurie Johnson
14.  "You've Got More Things Going for You Than Teeth, Baby" by John Barry
15.  "Sarah in Bath" by Krzystof Komeda
16.  "Homeless Bones" by Stanley Myers
17.  "Bagliori" by Lesiman
18.  "Pelle Di Luna" by Piero Umiliani
19.  "Jeff et Jeanne" by François de Roubaix
20.  "Charlie" by Georges Delerue
21.  "In the Labyrinth Theme" by Sidney Sager
22. "Meri Jawani" by Asha Bhosle

Download Here

Passport Photos

Passport Photos

Recently had to get a new passport and thought I'd recreate my first, debonair passport photo by wearing similar clothes. 2000 / 2013 That's what 13 years does to a man. Happy Friday the 13th!

Also: digital pictures are lame. I miss even the bad photos from the real photography era.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Technicolor for your ears Part 7

Technicolor 7

Here's another mix of soundtrack and library music from my collection. I made this one because of some exciting new editions to my computer that haven't been issued in the States, or anywhere in some cases. They include the opening piano music from Jacques Rivette's Celine and Julie Go Boating, two tracks from movies Joseph Losey made starring Dirk Bogarde, two tracks by Toshirô Mayuzumi, the title music from Georges Franju's Eyes Without a Face, and the below song from Milos Forman's Loves of a Blonde. 

1.  "Céline and Julie Go Boating [Opening Piano]" by Jean-Marie Sénia
2.  "Circle" by Bruno Nicolai
3.  "La Recherche" by François de Roubaix
4.  "La seduzione" by Luis Bacalov
5.  "Memories of Spring" by Robert Hall
6.  "When a Woman Ascends the Stairs" by Toshirô Mayuzumi
7.  "A Beat For Two" by Franco Micalizzi
8.  "Let's Find Out" by Armando Trovaioli
9.  "Hooligan" by Evžen Illín
10. "Pavane Spatiale" by Vladimir Cosma
11. "Marcia Dei Robots" by Piero Umiliani
12. "Eat" by Asei Kobayashi & Mikkî Yoshino
13.  "Tango Whiskyman" by Can
14. "Accident" by John Dankworth
15.  "Les Dunes D'ostende" by François de Roubaix
16. "Les Poupons" by François de Roubaix
17.  "Invention For John" by Ennio Morricone
18.  "Eyes Without a Face [Title Music]" by Maurice Jarre
19. "Dreamin'" by Gianni Oddi
20.  "Love Love Bang Bang - Titoli" by Bruno Nicolai
21.  "All Gone" by John Dankworth and Cleo Laine
22. "Street of Shame" by Toshirô Mayuzumi

Download Here

Marquee Shot


From my local cinema.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Thursday, November 28, 2013



This is the eternal hard drive that's done most of the heavy lifting during post-production. It speaks to me like the car in Knight Rider. And lately it's been through some shit with the space heaters and circuit breaking in my house. Here's to you little buddy.

The Muppet Musicians of Bremen

This 1972 program of the Brothers Grim story really disoriented me as a kid, and revisiting it I can see why. The people's faces are eerily realistic and its creepy the way they jump around, appropriate for a story where you identify more with the animals. It left a strong impression on me, and I remember going through a phase where I really wanted to track it down. That was before youtube, and now that I'm reading Brian Jay Jones excellent new biography of Jim Henson I looked it up. Tadow! It's here. Funny how it's from way before I would've seen it. I thought it was going to be from the 80's.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Brigitte Helm Postcard

brigitte helm

I found this postcard while looking for my passport the other day. It's of Brigitte Helm in G.W. Pabst's "The Mistress of Atlantis". Pretty great little postcard, no info on the back though. From 1932. I bought it at an antique store in Milwaukee when I was in college there.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Fall Update 3

photo 2

In the lobby of where I meet Elijah to talk about the visual effects, its so windy, and there's no other sound here. The sound of wind fills this space like I'm in some country mansion.

photo 3

I'm submitting the film to a second film festival this week. But I'm also still completing the film. There's still about half the effects to do, several shots of color correction, credit additions, and sound mixing. We're on track to be done in mid-December, if not before.

The complete works of Nathanael West

nathanael west
nathaneal west 2

Came across this 1957 copy of The Complete Works of Nathanael West over the weekend. I've had it for a while, always thought it had a pretty bad ass cover. I apparently bought it at the long gone Recycled Books & Music in the Prospect Mall, Milwaukee. I'll have to revisit these novels, was a big fan of Miss Lonelyhearts back when I picked this up.



Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Foley Artists


Here I am doing some foley sound recording for some of the finishing touches on "Speed of Sound." Actually Matt was recording, I'm just holding the zoom handy so he could take this picture. Our first festival due date is next week and we'll be doing work on the film til the very last minute!!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Technicolor for your ears 6: Time for color


Rounding out the recent three mixes I've made from my collection of rare soundtracks and library music, here's Technicolor 6. This one includes a Michel Legrand track from Who are you, Polly Magoo?, a funky Japanese cue called "Mysterious Ninja Ape", Rita Pavone, Can, a classic Asha Bhosle song, Takemitsu's opening music from Kwaidan, and more.

Download Here

Friday, November 1, 2013

Watching Patch Tumblr


I started a Watching Patch Tumblr account this week, sort of as an experiment, and ended up liking it. It'll be a more photo/scan-centric version of this blog, with stills, book covers, and film-related posts by myself and others. This blog will continue to function as before, with production notes and videos. But please visit The Watching Patch tumblr for a purely visual experience with images like below...

the fall
vulpes scan

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

V.I. Pudovkin's Film Technique & Film Acting

pudovkin cover

Haven't posted a book cover in a while. This one I've had for a long time, and is barely holding together. It's a paperback from 1978. I remember liking the text as well as its minimalistic cover. A more technical treatment of film technique, as opposed to Eisenstein's more theoretical writings. I've been looking at it today because of the colors, it being similar to what we're using for Speed of Sound materials. Kind of. It also seems to glow when you're holding the book in person, kind of like the Citizen Kane title card. You can't really see that from the scan.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Fall Update 2


Since reaching picture lock on October 11th, there's still been plenty of work for us to do, with title card tests (top), effects shots (there are 25 of them), much soundtrack work (in addition to Matt composing the music we're both doing work on the sound mix) and I'm about to start working on getting the webpage up. The first festival we're submitting to has a deadline of November 14th, and that's the goal we're all working towards, minus some of the effects shots which will be completed after the fist submission. 

Its been a foggy, colorful, drizzly fall here. Good atmosphere for getting shit done.


I still can't help noticing these cell towers all over the place, and wanting to photograph them:


Monday, October 21, 2013

Oceana County Fair

I shot this on my phone while at the Shared Space residency in Pentwater, MI.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Speed of Sound Poster Art by Cecily Kuoc



Really excited to have these poster designs for Speed of Sound by Cecily Kuoc. They were recently accepted into the Look Here's Look See Director's Cut Exhibition 2013 in New South Wales, Australia.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Technicolor for your ears 4: Color Is Everywhere

technicolor 4

I put together another soundtrack mix after noticing the other three were cheerfully still up on mediafire. This one starts with the Knight Rider theme music and then moves on to Zombie movies, Jean Luc Godard par Anna Karina, Das Krautrock, the Jungle Book, Mighty Boosh, the famous and beloved Mothra song, and much more. Great for listening to in autumn and/or while getting shit done.

Link here

Illustrations by Norah Borges de Torre + page 86

morel il 1

These wonderful illustrations are by Norah Borges de Torre, the younger sister of Jorge Luis Borges, and are in the 1964 copy of The Invention of Morel that was used as an important prop in Speed of Sound. 

morel il 2
morel il 3
morel il 4
morel il 5
morel il 6

And I thought I would the below screen shot here, too. Also from the copy of Invention of Morel. It's from a part cut out from the movie, when this footnote was read out loud by Dave (Zach):

sos still 10

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Vincent Marcus RIP

Vincent Marcus

Vincent Marcus is the character in "Speed of Sound" that leaves the message on Dave's phone. This was made for a sequence that's not in the finished film. Maybe I should've used a photo of him looking less glum?

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Weekend Audio Work


Kind of a spooky, murky weekend here in Seattle. Matt and I have been working on the soundtrack across the street from a former church, above, that's now used for "scientific" experiments. We got a lot done yesterday, smoothing out the audio.


Here's Truman in the studio, showing off his sweater and triangles:


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

"The Music Box" w/ Laurel & Hardy

Here's a pretty high quality youtube upload of the Laurel and Hardy tour de force, "The Music Box". It's not so much a comedy for me, it's more like the funniest horror movie. Some nightmarish parts in it remind me of Harold Pinter or Samuel Beckett.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Fall Update

self portrait at computer (photo booth)

Working on the sound mix, and, starting over the weekend, we're off to a good start. "Speed of Sound" is on to its last phase of post-production, with effects being worked on by Elijah Tiegs, Matt Pomykalski and I are working on sound mix and he's composing and performing the soundtrack, still doing a little editing as well. Then on to titles and color correction. Aiming to start submitting to festivals in November. Here's a photo I took of Matt's little studio:

I'm hoping we get to use this at some point:

And the rainy view, from this old house:

Laurel & Hardy photo


When watching the edit of "Speed of Sound", lately, I've been thinking about the influence of Laurel and Hardy on my filmmaking in the last several years. I found this photo of them, on the street and in shallow focus, just like "SOS"...

Friday, September 20, 2013

Live Like A Cop Die Like A Man -- Trailer

Adolfo Bioy Casares & Ray Bradbury

Check out my homeboy Adolfo Bioy Casares hanging out with Ray Bradbury, presumably in Argentina, where, Bradbury says, he meets all his lovers. Seriously, Ray?

Charlie Magnetico

This is a film that Jim Henson made for a Bell Data Communications Seminar in 1963.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013



As we're approaching the completion of "Speed of Sound", of course there was one last thing to shoot... a series of shots with cell phone towers in them. Funny thing about shooting cell phone towers: if you live in the city, you don't see them as much. They're often put on top of buildings where you can't see them, and access to towering buildings' roofs, when you don't know anyone there, is scarce. One building requested a "fall plan" from us. In rural places and roadside to interstates, its easier to spot them. It was like a Tacoma safari, capturing the elusive cell phone tower...