April 30, 2007
We are going to open for Boysetsfire at the Troc
Due to the overwhelming response to the announcement of the show at the Troc, Boysetsfire has added another date. The extra date is Friday, June 8. We are very honored to announce that they have asked us to play with them.
The night should be amazing. Please come out and join us. If you didn't get your act together in time to buy tickets for the other show, then now is your chance. If you already bought tickets to saturday night, then buy some for friday as well :) Make it a BSF weekend.
April 19, 2007
Last Boy Sets Fire Show
Get your tickets here. This will be a sell out.
April 16, 2007
Which Hero are you?
Collin and I (at Elany Arts) just launched the redesigned site for the Blood Bank of Delmarva today, which was honestly a pretty huge job that took us a lot of time.
One of the fun things that we're proud of is a quiz which tells you which hero you are. Take it today and let us know who you are.
I was Ghandi. Which I guess is cool. But I would have liked someone a little... tougher or something.
April 13, 2007
Good News in a Time of Tragedy
Hey. May 19th the Look Machine will be playing at the Troc in Philly. It's going to be grand.
April 12, 2007
Getting Admitted to UCLA's Masters Degree Program for Screenwriting
I'm mostly writing this so search engines can find it so prospective screenwriting students will know what the process is. I searched for it all the time while waiting and waiting and couldn't find an explanation of the process at all.
In November of 2005, I applied for the program. I didn't hear about an interview or anything, and in late April, 2006, I got an email that told me I had not been accepted. (April 19th to be exact).
I enrolled in their professional program, which is a feeder program for the MFA program. (Last year, I think 19 of the 24 people who got in had completed the professional program). Somehow, I lost track of the application date for the 2007 session, and didn't realize it until a little more than a week prior to the deadline. I asked my professional program professor for a letter of recommendation, but it was too soon in the program and he said he didn't have a feel for me enough to write one. He told me to wait and apply for the 2008 session. I didn't really want to do that.
Instead, I scrambled, wrote a full screenplay in a week, somehow got some letters written (thanks to Professor John Jebb from University of Delaware, Joe Kempista, owner of Elany Arts, and Heidi Banfer, a VP from Chase Bank, and then since I was already kind of thinking it was a lost cause, decided to do something really noticeable for my "Statement of Purpose," which is the freeform essay you have to submit.
Since I had written a statement of purpose the year previous and liked it - yet knew I didn't get in that year, I didn't quite know what to do. My purpose hadn't really changed much in the year. I still liked it and believed in it. So I thought... why not do something completely different? I sent them a roughed up message in a bottle. Bought a wine bottle, aged it, filled it with sand and grit, wrapped it in old vines. In it I put this crinkled old looking letter, written on a map that I created. I hand wrote the letter, a message from me trapped on the east coast, looking for a way to get to this mythical community I had heard of in UCLA, begging for assistance and rescue. I then also wrote out my previous statement and purpose and included it. I should have taken pictures of it. It actually looked pretty cool. I was happy with it, but at the same time knew it could be really risky, kind of ridiculous if it wasn't what they were looking for.
So I sent it by November 1st, and waited. And waited. In February I received a postcard from the UCLA MFA program. It had boxes on it that someone was supposed to check off to tell me if they'd received everything properly, or if they were still waiting on anything. NO boxes on the postcard were checked! It was COMPLETELY BLANK. There were no phone numbers to call. Every phone number I tried to call dumped me to an answering machine. I emailed addresses I found, and never got a response. The mystery of the blank postcard persists to this day. It made me very nervous, but I guess it was ok.
March arrived. I knew that decisions were communicated in April. I didn't know the timeline of the interview, but honestly I thought that they'd want to set up interviews at least a month before since I thought I'd have to go out to California and I thought they'd want to give me time to get out there, then they would need time to make the decisions too. March 17th arrived, and my wife and I decided that another year of failure was upon us. We were at peace with this, and thought, ok another year until we move to CA.
The next morning, at 4.19 AM I received this letter:
The UCLA Screenwriting Committee has reviewed your application and you are among a small group of candidates invited to a personal interview. From your application, I understand you live in Maryland. Is that correct? If so, we will be holding interviews in New York City on March 24th and would like to have the opportunity to meet with you in person.
Upon our receipt of your intention to attend, we will send you a specific meeting time and location.
Graduate Assistant to the Chairs
My mind was blown. I really thought it was too late for me, and here I was being set up for an interview just 6 days later. Wow. So I have my interview in New York. I didn't know what to wear. For a job interview, it's a suit. But I'm supposed to be the creative Hollywood writer here. I struggle with this, along with wondering how long the interview will run and whether I should have anything prepared to show them. Finally, I decide to just ask the guy who set up the interview. He answers:
Jason, Not a stupid question at all. Expect the interview to run 20-30 minutes; you do not have to have anything prepared. With regards to attire, as I understand it, it's not too formal. A suit and tie would be fine, maybe even a little too formal. It's safe to say that ripped jeans would probably be underdressed.
It lasts 20 minutes, and it's with Richard Walter and Hal Ackerman, two extremely nice men. It's a very comfortable talk. Prior to our interview, I get to talk to other prospectives as we wait in the hotel lobby. Every is very friendly, but I'm surprised to find out that the interviews had been communicated to us at wildly different times. One girl, from Maine, had found out about it 3 weeks previously. Another girl had 2 weeks notice. I had 6 days. One guy, another person from Maryland, had found out about it just 2 days before. Go figure.
In my interview, which I thought went extremely well, I was told I'd hear something from them in the "next couple of weeks." I interpreted that to mean... 2 weeks. So I waited and waited and waited for the next 2 weeks. Nothing.
An impending sense of doom settled on me slowly as the 2 weeks were up. My thinking was as follows, "They will surely tell the people who make it first. Since they are taking so long to tell me, I'm out." Finally, on April 10th, I just can't stand it anymore so I write to the person who set up the interview, telling him I wanted to make sure I hadn't missed a message. (Yes, that's pathetic, I know).
I received this message:
I do not know a confirmed date of when the decisions will be communicated, but I believe it will be soon. Wish I could be of more help!
As always, let me know if you have any further questions.
This comforts me to some extent, because I think... Well maybe they haven't told anyone yet.
The very next day, April 11, I get this message in email:
April 11, 2007
Dear Mr. Latshaw:
Congratulations! It is with great pleasure that I wish to inform you that you have been recommended by the admissions committee for graduate study at UCLA.
Official action and notification regarding admission to UCLA is handled by Graduate Admissions. You should expect to receive notification from Graduate Admissions within a few weeks.
Please advise me by May 4, 2007 if it is your intention at this time to do your graduate work
at UCLA. Your notification informally will assist us in completing the process of students who will be attending.
Whew, sweet relief. And disbelief. I'm still in shock.
So there you have it, the dates and the process. Hope it helps. I would have loved to know it when I was going through it.
I have some very bittersweet news to deliver. Unbelievably, I have been accepted to UCLA's Masters Degree Program for Screenwriting. My classes start in September. In Los Angeles. Also, Collin and Linds have both been accepted into a prestigious Anthropology program in Arizona.
So what does this mean about the Look Machine, you ask? Obviously, we won't be playing regularly. We'll be going on hiatus. This isn't a breakup, because our plan is to still record occasionally, play shows when we can. But we'll all be free to join new bands, and clearly we'll be entering a long term hibernation.
This is very sad news, no doubt. The Look Machine has been an amazing experience, one that I've been honored to be a part of.
I personally think we've written some amazing music, and I'm proud of what we've accomplished. Recording a full length album was always a dream of mine, and I got to fulfill it with these guys. We've been played on the radio, made fans all over the world, made great friends, played amazingly great shows and not so great shows, and all along it's been worth it every second. So this isn't really an end, because we plan on doing reunion shows, and both of our programs are only 2 years long.
So get ready for our final basement show. It's going to be huge.
April 09, 2007
a really clever website
If you're ever desperate for a website and don't have the time to actually put one together, here's a great idea for you.
(My apologies to my sister Jessica, who told me she hates the posts which are all about a link, because she never clicks on them.)
April 04, 2007
new website for the casting out
If you're like us, you're loving the casting out. And now they have a website, where you can buy their 4 song demo for download.
April 03, 2007
When Animals Attack I can't stop laughing
I know that this shouldn't be so funny, but it really really is. Check out more here.