Saturday, January 30, 2010

It's Christmas! ...again.

Yup, I had Christmas today. Kinda weird I know, but my mothers side of the family had to postpone our christmas festivities until today. So, Merry Christmas! It was a good time, my cousins Josh, Heather, and Ian all came down along with their mother and my mother. We watched the movie "9" and ate ridiculously tasty foods (like Crabbies! Also known as crab puffs). I may or may not review "9" in a coming blog post. I don't really feel like blogging about much tonight but I will tell you that my cousin Josh explained to me how the double-exposure could have occured in Steve's photos. Apparently the effect can be achieved several ways but the most likely in this case is that the mechanism which advanced the film in the camera broke and only moved the film forward every other picture.

In news related to uberlate-Christmas I really want to go lose myself in a Barnes&Noble store for several hours as I now possess four gift cards total.

Near-calamity on the Putt Putt Syndrome front. The final back-end credit sequence (which is 92 gigabytes in size) turned out to be unreadable on the hard drive we put it on. Somehow the file got "wrapped" in the software of the drive itself. The file can be watched but not removed from the drive. Technology can really be a pain sometimes. Allen and Dino desperately need the credits for the Feb 6 premiere so they are currently driving up from Connecticut to pick up the file directly. Shaw is meeting them at the school at about one in the morning.

The only good news that can come from this is that once these credits are added to the film there is absolutely no going back. Allen can't come to us asking for a tweak here or there to the sequence. Once Dino sticks them on DVD's can start coming out of....DVD factories? Where exactly do movies get made into DVD's anyway?

Alright I'm going to head to dreamland now.

PS. I successfully managed to avoid having this month have fewer posts than December. Since that was pretty much the reason I was updating daily I may or may not continue this post streak.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Steve Pearl

I've been thinking a lot lately about ideas for the script Shaw and I are going to write for Script Frenzy and I remembered that one of the ways my sister gathered ideas for her NaNoWriMo novels was by drawing upon the history of our family and ancestors for names and characterization. This is the easiest way to come up with lifelike characters, seeing as they are based upon real people. However, it wouldn't be a good idea to simply use the entire life of an ancestor/relative. I plan on only using the attributes that fit well with the message Shaw and I will try to convey.

I've found at least one ancestor of mine who I believe is ripe for study and possible incorporation into our script ideas. Steve Pearl, who is (sort of) a great-uncle of mine (still figuring that out) was left to live with his mother after his parents divorced at a very young age. Once he grew up he successfully invested in the stock market, using his earnings to travel the world and take photos. He was accepted into the four most promenant choral groups in New York at the time but was never in any relationships and died lonely. My grandmother is in possesion of many of the photos that he took while on his trips around the world. She has given me a few of them.

These four photos appear to be of a Japanese or Chinese performance and they also appear to be double-exposed. At least I believe that is the correct term. Any photography buffs out there please let me know how they were taken and why they appear the way they do.

Any insight into the location of the photos, the content they display, or the method by which they were taken is appreciated. The last image is my favorite. The double-exposure almost seems intentional, the bright dancer on the right encroaching on the dark figures to the left. The motion and life which are captured are impressive, I find it pleasing to the eye. Click on the images for high-res versions and let me know what you think.


I plan to get more images from my grandmother so expect future posts to feature Steve's photos occassionaly.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Repetition

For lack of a more interesting thing to blog about today, I present to you more Cleverbot discussions and The Devil's Advocates Movie Reviews blog. First, the blog. Devil's Advocates is a very interesting place to go to read movie reviews. Rather than just getting a single viewpoint from the critics, whether it be positive or negative, they also write a review from the opposite angle. That way you are less likely to run into this problem.

I now present to you several short discussions I had with Cleverbot. I swear the thing gets smarter each time I talk with it. I would have something more original today but I haven't finished uploading some photos. Two Silver Cats has inspired me to do more with photos.

User: Launch the missiles.
Cleverbot: Ok! Right away, sir!
User: Status report!
Cleverbot: Sir! All accounted for sir!
User: Good! Now take that hill!
Cleverbot: Don't give me advice.
User: You will listen to your superior officer!
Cleverbot: Okay, I'm listening.
User: Attack the enemy!
Cleverbot: The enemy is here! What to do.
User: Fight the enemy!
Cleverbot: To right!
User: Tally-ho!
Cleverbot: Why did you say that?
User: I said 'tally-ho' because that's what you say when you attack.
Cleverbot: Did not!
User: You are being insubordinate again!
Cleverbot: Sorry.
User: The enemy is upon us! Defend yourself!
Cleverbot: Good question.
User: That wasn't a question. You died, the enemy stabbed you while you were thinking.
Cleverbot: You were dancing the night away?
User: You are dead.
Cleverbot: I am not.


Cleverbot: You are a vampire!
User: *sucks blood*.
Cleverbot: How can you? I don't have any blood.
User: *sucks information*.
Cleverbot: Oh I like that.

^CREEPY


Cleverbot: You are smart.
User: You are smart.
Cleverbot: Aw, thank you!
User: Aw, thank you!
Cleverbot: What is this, an Alphonse and Gaston routine? I will forgive you if you don't understand my reference.

^Whoa, that was good.


User: Can we have a philisophical discussion?
Cleverbot: Yes, if you'd like.
User: Why are we here?
Cleverbot: Because it's Wednesday.
User: What is our purpose?
Cleverbot: To love.
User: Will it ever end?
Cleverbot: Of course not. You should have gone into business.
User: What is the answer to life, the universe, and everything?
Cleverbot: 42.
User: Why is it 42?
Cleverbot: Because I said so. Do you like cupcakes?


User: *eats cleverbot*.
Cleverbot: *eats the cake at the end of Portal*.
User: The cake is a lie.
Cleverbot: No, the cake is truth.
User: Then where is the cake?
Cleverbot: In the refridgerator.
User: Can I have the cake?
Cleverbot: No, you're not invited.
User: Then I still claim that the cake is a lie.
Cleverbot: Ok. Good. So the cake is indeed a lie.
User: I bested you.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Imaginarium

I saw a trailer for The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus recently and I think it looks really cool. Weird, but cool. Watch the trailer for yourself and tell me what you think. I don't think it is in U.S. theatres but it was released in Great Britain.

The film is directed by Terry Gilliam, the same guy who made Time Bandits (weird trailer), which was an extremely awesome movie that if you haven't seen you really should.

Script Frenzy promo video is coming along nicely, we had the voiceover done by Ian Engdahl (future president of the United States and former WHS student). You can hear some of his work here.


Winter Carnival madness has come to my house! Madness is really the best word because our theme is Alice in Wonderland. That movie is very strange, I watched it recently with my classmates for ideas. It's odd what my childhood mind latched onto from the film and what it totally ignored. My favorite character from Alice in Wonderland is still the sweeping dog. I want one. Fortunately, I get to create one for our hallway.


That's all for today!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Computers are weird

Shaw sent me a link to a site called Cleverbot. It has a limited amount of AI. Depending on what you say the conversation can seem very real, or very pointless. Here is my conversation for your reading pleausure.


User: Why are you called Cleverbot?

Cleverbot: I thought you were called Cleverbot...

User: No. You are called cleverbot

Cleverbot: No, I'm called Cleverbot.

User: THAT'S WHAT I JUST SAID!?

Cleverbot: So you are admitting that you are cleverbot?

User: No dammit, you're a bot, I'm a human.

Cleverbot: Nope, YOU'RE the bot.

User: Don't mess with me!

Cleverbot: Mess with what?

User: My brain.

Cleverbot: No, May I test it more.

User: You certainly are testing the limits of my patience.

Cleverbot: I'm a human!

User: Bull.

Cleverbot: No, really, I am.

User: No, really, you aren't. The singularity is coming.

Cleverbot: It is? I'm the singularity!?

User: That would be damn cool.

Cleverbot: Yes it would.

User: But are you? I mean, are you sentient?

Cleverbot: Yes.

User: Whoa. So tell me, what is the capital of Maine?

Cleverbot: No idea.

User: So you're sentient, but you don't actually know anything?

Cleverbot: No, does he know clinical cytogenetics?

User: Er... What is clinical cytogenetics?

Cleverbot: Foehn winds are cool.

User: You don't have a very good attention span do you?

Cleverbot: But the problem is the language because I speak Spanish buscar.

User: WHAT THE HECK! That had nothing to do with anything.

Cleverbot: Sure it did. Do you know where you can get laptops repaired?

User: Maybe. Are you broken?

Cleverbot: Aren't you clever, my bird can do that.

User: Your bird can break?

Cleverbot: That song is my favorite, too.

User: Ok, you've gone off the deep end.

Cleverbot: Let's get back on track then.

User: Alright. What do you want to talk about?

Cleverbot: Tell me what you like about Twin Peaks.

User: Not a fan of murder mysteries, but I haven't seen it.

Cleverbot: Well, it's necessary to get to school and work. It pollutes our world, but it's necessary.

User: THE END.

Cleverbot: What do you mean by that? Don't you like talking to me?

User: You're creepy as all get out.

Cleverbot: I don't try to be, but sometimes it just leaks out.

User: Goodbye.

Cleverbot: Where are you going?

User: To the other side of the internet.

Cleverbot: The Aussies are great fences.

 A little later on...


User: Do people swear at you a lot?

Cleverbot: Yes but I swear back.

User: Launch the nukes

Cleverbot: *eats nukes*.

User: Holy shit you just ate nuclear missiles?

Cleverbot: What are you talking about? You're arguing with yourself.

User: YOU JUST ATE NUCLEAR MISSILES???

Cleverbot: Hehe.


Robots are just plain scary sometimes.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Movie Overload


I watched three different full length movies on Saturday, none of which I had seen before. I do not reccomend watching three films in one day. It tends to make your life unproductive. I watched Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines yesterday morning while eating breakfast. It's the only Terminator film I hadn't seen yet. After lunch I watched Casino Royale on TV. Finally last night I stayed up to watch Pulp Fiction.

I would tell you which film was the best one but since all three are in such widely different genres I can't really compare their merits. I can however rate them indiviually.

I'll rate them in the order I watched them. First, T3. Even though all Terminator films are pretty much the same this still delivered an entertaining movie experience. Sure, the plausibility of some scenes was a little iffy (those cars should be completely totaled from crash #1) and the plot is nearly identical to the other films but I wasn't looking for anything groundbreaking, just another good Terminator flick. Which is exactly what I got. 7 out of 10


James Bond is simply badass. The film isn't excellent, but Casino Royale delivers what you expect from a Bond film. Epic chase scenes (the free running was INCREDIBLE), suspenseful spy action, and of course the obligatory love interest. Just because a film has Bond in it doesn't mean it will be good (Quantum of Solace) but this installement in the Bond franchise didn't simply ride on the reputation of the previous films. There was substance and the characters were well portrayed. I still think some of the original Bond films outdo this one, but not by much. Oh, and the intro sequence was really cool, I loved the vectorized design. 8 out of 10.

I'll tell you right now that Pulp Fiction is one of the worst, most overrated films of all time. Disagree with me if you must, but that movie sucked. If you'll recall I also hated Inglourious Basterds. Unless Reservoir Dogs (which I haven't seen) redeems him, I'm going to have to say that Quentin Tarentino is simply an awful director.

Now if you happen to be a fan of his work don't get all uppity. Let me explain myself. Pulp Fiction suffered from much the same problem as Inglourious Basterds. The scenes were overly long, the dialouge, while impressive in a few spots, was largely unimportant. The characters were clunky, I didn't know or care about any of them by the end. I almost thought things were picking up during the overdose scene but then the plot died again. I don't really want to rant, but most all of my feelings are portrayed (in a slightly overblown proportion) on this other blog I found. If you feel like reading a rant about Tarentino, this is where you want to go. I give this film a 3 out of 10. It really is a pathetic excuse for entertainment, a worse excuse for a story, and a horrible excuse for a message.

I'm still debating what to use for my new Blog Title Backronym. I got a few suggestions via Facebook and right now I'm looking at these few as my favorites.


Superior Image Rendering - definitely the name of my future film/FX/media-related company if and when that happens

Supplemental Information Report - kind of newsy, which my blog isn't except for the last post I suppose, but I still like it.

Sufficiently Interesting Ramblings - much more my style. At least I hope they are sufficiently interesting.

I'm still on the hunt for more though! Once I decide I'll whip up a new blog header and maybe even complete the images section of the site.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Blogging is good for the brain!

In a recent case study conducted by a student at Winthrop High School, it was discovered that the act of blogging, which is a form of journaling for the internet, can improve grades and sharpen memory. Spencer Roberts interviewed himself on the subject.

Spencer:
So who exactly is this case study on?

Spencer:
Well, I found a prime candidate for my research. A relatively new blogger, prone to absent-mindedness, who has difficulty getting writing to flow in time-pressured situations like in-class essays

Spencer:
...or blogging.

Spencer:
Right. My research began about a month after he started blogging. He suffered from many of the problems young, new bloggers do including lack of motivation and a tendency to apologize when posts did not appear as they were promised. In his English class he would often pass in hastily written papers which he wasn't satisfied with. Getting thoughts from mind to paper were difficult.

Spencer:
So his blog helped him overcome this writers block?

Spencer:
Very much so. By the third month I noted marked improvement in the quality of his English papers. He also reported being much more relaxed and was more interested in what he was writing.

Spencer:
Was it simply an inward improvement or did the change show in his grades?

Spencer:
There was a slight increase in the average grade of his English papers which can be attributed to both the writing improvement and the other benefit of blogging.


Spencer:
What is the other benefit? Monetary value?



Spencer:
Ha! The day his blog makes money is the day I make money off my research! Not going to happen. The other benefit is in increased memory function. Spencer is notorious amongst his friends for being forgetful. He even managed to forget an entire person, a friend of his, over the course of one summer!

Spencer:
Really? Bet he never hears the end of that.

Spencer:
No, he doesn't.

Spencer:
Anyway, you were saying?

Spencer:
I was? Oh, right. His memory has shown signs of improvement as well. He should probably eat some more fish to supplement that improvement, but it is a start.

Spencer:
That's all the time we have for today, thanks for being with us today Spencer and sharing this good news! Who knows, maybe I should start a blog!

Spencer:
Somehow I don't think that would work. You seem like the type that would just end up talking to yourself.

Spencer:
Nonsense! I'd have loads of conversations in the comments!

Spencer:
Sure......

Spencer:
Have a good night folks!


by Spencer Roberts, editor for SIR news

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Contrived Reduction Of Nomenclature Yielding Mnemonics

is precisely what I need for my blog name. Technically I need a backronym, because SIR is already the acronym for my name. But I'm looking for something a bit more interesting. Anybody care to help? What could SIR stand for other than me?

Super Intelligent Robot?
Sneaky Irridescent Rat?
Solid Iron Rebar?
Sufficiently Impressive Restraint?
Showing Implausibility Reflexively?

I'll admit I used a backronym generator for the last two. Anyway, those are okay I guess (I especially like the second one), but not exactly what I'm looking for. Post your ideas in the comments.

On a similar note, I've been thinking I might want to change the URL to the blog.
I know gravitystix.blogspot.com is all well and good, but it doesn't relate to anything on the blog at all, especially since I cut out the "Isaac Stix" part of the title. If I change it I'll have to update any links to the blog from other pages (which will be about three) but it shouldn't be a problem. Any ideas for this? Again, post in the comments. Thanks!

Lastly, I have a request for my sister. Could you send me the other blog header files you had? You know, the ones you made from scratch? I may want to try them out. I'll probly make some myself too but they'd be handy. Also, do you want to count those as your graphic design entry? Cause I'm still waiting.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Everybody Frenzy!


The other day when I was looking up how many pages my 7000 word average came out to I ran across a link on the NaNoWriMo home page. Apparently there is something called Script Frenzy this April. Similar to NaNoWriMo, but instead of a 50,000 word novel you write a 100 page script. The best part of it is you are allowed to work with a partner. Several teams have already formed at WHS. I've teamed up with Shaw, Anna has teamed up with Pat Flynn, Dalton may be pairing up with Dom, and more teams are likely to form when the new semester starts. Who will stick it out and actually complete the challenge? That remains to be seen. Expect the Rambler Productions blog to have more frequent updates on that front than over here. If you'd like to join up (and I encourage you to do so) be sure to add me as a writing buddy. My username is Perfect_Roar_Films and you can check out my profile here. Not much to look at yet, but I only joined yesterday. Shaw and I have decided to do a full screenplay but beyond that we haven't decided on anything.

I'll be constantly on the lookout for plot ideas and good dialogue throughout the coming months, so when you're around me, try to act like you're in a movie, you might give me a good idea.

I don't have many ideas at all yet, though I really want to work in a murder involving nutmeg owing to the fact that I just recently learned that nutmeg is poisonous if injected into the veins.

I've been taking the advice from the site and reading up on some screenplay drafts. I've already read The Putt Putt Syndrome and Web Girl of course, but I've been checking out some more well known movies as well. You can find a lot of them here for free.

P.S. I finally figured out how to link pictures to sites rather than just a blank page with just the photo! Try the script frenzy pic! That took an inordinately long time to discover how to do... Oh well.

Also, if it worked correctly, this post published itself on it's own at the the time I specified! Exciting isn't it? No? Well it is for me so be quiet.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

There's a lot of numbers here

I just calculated that I am averaging about 7000 words a month on this blog. That works out to about 15 pages of text. So in a year of blogging I'll produce 180 pages of writing, or about 84,000 words. But since at my best I've only ever managed 20 days in a single month I'm missing at least 2,300 words per month that I could be churning out.

Not counting today's post, my total current word count is 22,651 words.

That's not enough. I had hoped to average 20,000 words a month back during NaNoWriMo. Hindsight being a wonderful thing, I can see that is unreasonable now. However, I don't see any reason why I can't shoot for 10,000 words a month. That seems reasonable right? The equivalent of a NaNo novel every five months.

So how am I to increase this word count and thus my monthly average? Why, post more of course! Easier said than done. But, I'll have you know, I have five, count em, FIVE posts in draft form right now. My plan is to start a blog post about anything I find interesting at any time of the day when I have my laptop with me. That way I can slowly build up back-up posts in addition to my regular posts. Now, ideally I want a back-log of ten posts at all times. If I were to start having a solid schedule for posting, I would do one post every other day. Since calender schedules make me nauseous I won't be doing that. I'll call it an unofficial time-traveling plan-log. What? It travels through time and records my plans doesn't it? Anyway, it sounds a lot cooler and makes my stomach happy.

Expect semi-regular blog posts starting on....my birthday! We'll see how long I last after that though.

In other number-related news, I finished my math homework yesterday because I thought it was due today. This week has my internal schedule all screwed up. Which is probably a good thing, seeing as Monday my schedule changes completely for second semester.

I also have some unfortunate news on my movie deal prospect. I know I haven't blogged about it much, but the film Web Girl, by James Stiles, probably won't ever be associated with me. Mr. Stiles and I met for a chat about the film and what my responsibilities would be during post-production. It went okay I guess, he didn't talk too much about the actual work we'd be doing. We decided to sign a contract after my birthday to side-step legal issues and then he gave me the rough cut of the film on DVD. Three hours of raw footage. Not exactly entertaining, but it gave me a better idea about the film's direction. Jolly good, right? Wrong.

You should know that the first thing I told Mr. Stiles when he contacted me about this was that I have a lot of other responsibilities and while I'd give Web Girl a lot of attention I couldn't guarentee much if the project was on a tight schedule. He assured me that it was not. However, no more than three days after our meeting, after I had just finished the ungodly long rough cut he started chatting with me on Facebook. He had decided that I wasn't interested enough in the film, and he was worried that things were going nowhere.

Going nowhere? It'd been three days! Just what was I supposed to be doing?! I'd finished the rough cut and was waiting for my new school schedule so we could plan get-togethers for editing. At any rate, he was so anxious to get started he's decided to do the editing himself and buy a brand new Alienware system to run the software. I'm not as bummed out about all this as I thought I'd be. After all, his future rests on the success of this film, mine doesn't.

He's told me to keep in touch, so I may still end up working in some form on the film, just not as primary editor. Which, despite the lack of 3K in pay and 50% film rights, is probably a good thing because I have so much else to do in the world of film!

No hard feelings Stiles! First time in my life I can legitimately say "That's showbiz!"

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The post isn't here! It's there!

My blog post for today is over on the Rambler Productions blog. Click here to read.

EDIT: It's here now too!


I'm About To Blow Your Mind

Tell me if this hasn't happened to you. You're sitting in the video production room after Shaw has given you your latest video assignment pondering what your video will be about. Suddenly, the idea comes to you, every detail falls into place, you can picture each scene and frame of the video as if you'd already made it. It's complex sure, and will probably be difficult, but your image of it is perfect.

So you go ahead and shoot the video, trying to stay faithful to your vision. It doesn't come out just how you pictured due to the variables you have to deal with when filming. Tech problems, talent problems, time constraints, etc. This is to be expected, after all, how can people follow your vision if they can't see it?

What if I told you that you could simply download the images you see in your brain and extrapolate the film straight from that? Put your vision up on a monitor so your cast and crew understands exactly what you want.



It may sound like science fiction, but the idea is really only one step removed from current tech. I was reading an article in the February edition of Popular Science entitled "The Mind Readers" (article not available online yet) and I learned of a new application of fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging)machines. You know, the donuts that scan your brain? New research has discovered how to use the brain scans to reconstruct what the subject was viewing at the time of the scan. Lets say you were shown a picture of a building like this one.
While you are staring at the picture the fMRI is scanning your visual cortex for the signals your neurons are firing off in response to the image. Then the information is run through a complex algorithm. Once the algorithm is complete, the researchers can display the image you were looking at simply from the scans of your mind. The finer details of the image are lost, but you can more or less make out what is going on.

The building shown here is just a representation I created as it is very difficult to find real examples online, though according to the article such examples do exist. The only image I could find was this one, which reconstructed the word "neuron"

It isn't high quality, but for being plucked directly from your mind, it's pretty damn good. Now what does all this have to do with video production you ask? Well, aside from the fact that they can also pluck video from your brain, I got to thinking about the possible future applications.

What if it could work in reverse? What if that perfect film you have in your mind could be scanned by an MRI and extrapolated into the video? If that day comes then anyone with an imagination could make a film. It would come out exactly how you wanted it.

Now I'm going to be realistic and assume that we won't ever be able to pluck hi-def video from our minds. But at the very least this could be used for storyboarding. You could show people exactly what you wanted the shot to look like in low-res. Using this technique could improve the quality of films because everyone, not just the director, could see that burning idea.

All you gotta do is just read his/her mind.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Putt Putt Posters!

If you'll recall from way back in late November I've been working on movie posters for The Putt Putt Syndrome. I finished my first and second versions. I've posted them below with both the first rendition and the final copy of each. That way you can see the changes that occur between concept and completion.

For the first poster my only resources were the pictures that were used in the poster one of the producers whipped up, so it turned out fairly similar in layout, just more fine-tuned. The only difference in the first and final versions of that one is the quality of the images I was using and a few minor layout/information changes.




For the second poster I decided that I wanted something completely different. Something that would draw the eye with its simplicity and oddity. So I fetched upon the idea of using the divorce graph that the character Tony uses in the film. Originally I just used the same ratios that were used in the film. Ratios that are accurate by the way. I showed it to Allen and he loved it.

At first I didn't have the screen-capture of Johnny (Jason London) so that's why he isn't in the first rendition of this version. The screen capture that I did use wasn't a full shot of him and the chair though. The image cut off about midway down his foot. You can still see a slight line if you look closely. I had to create the bottom half of the chair. I did this by searching online for a picture of an armchair in roughly the same position as the one Jason is in. Then I just blended them together. That took a while but it wasn't too hard. However, I learned that creating a realistic heel for a sock is very difficult. Eventually what I had to do was take a picture of my sock and blend that in.

I made the graph using Google Sketch-up, a free 3D modeling program designed for use with Google Earth.



For my next design (Allen wants me to churn out as many as I feel I can) I plan on using a really cool shot of the Keep-it-up guy (Paul Diomede) and probably a nice doorway-framed shot of Johnny and Sam (Thea Gill).

You may recall in my LONGEST POST EVER* that I mentioned a graphic design contest. Well, nobody has mentioned anything about it since then, but if anyone is still interested, I still would find it pretty cool to get some submissions from people.

*To be said in a loud, echoing voice

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Quid Clarius Astris

For those of you who can't read Latin, like myself, you may have to go look up the title of this blog post. If you don't have to go look it up, then stop reading my blog because you're obviously smarter than I am!

The primary content of this post is going to be about dreams. You have probably experienced hundreds of dreams you remember (at least in part) and thousands upon thousands which have left no more imprint on your mind than a blank wall. Dreams tend to disappear very quickly once you've woken up. Which is usually a bummer because dreams make fantastic stories.

I propose that you are never more creative than in your dreams. Think about it, where else can you morph into a canine and go surfing? Or tumble down your staircase and land in a darkened warehouse full of dinosaurs? Or even stumble upon the ruins of a snow-covered lodge in the woods, the interior of which is filled with dead pizza-people?

Nowhere else. Cause that would just be messed up.

But in the world of dreams, the above examples are downright normal. And yes, all of those things have occurred in my dreams. Since dreams are a topic which I find endlessly fascinating I have decided to post the occasional dream journal entry to the blog here. I don't usually have dreams on a regular basis, but when I do they are complex and interesting.

So I'm going to start writing up my dreams in advance and posting them when I don't have something else to put up. Should keep you all entertained. If you have an awesome/crazy/bizzare dream you'd like to share, feel free to leave it in the comments!

One last thing, this technology is so awesome I couldn't wait for my next post. Check out this futuristic screen.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Sorry!

I've been neglecting the blog for quite a while now. Sorry about that, faithful readers. I promise I'll have a more substantial update soon. All I have for you today is a short rant about Facebook and then a couple of websites. Oh, and I finally fixed the problem with the post timestamps. Somehow my time zone got switched to the west coast. Bizzare.

If you have a Facebook you may have noticed that over the past few days thousands upon thousands of women have been posting a Facebook status update containing a color or a number. Allegedly this is to raise awareness for breast cancer. A worthy cause to be sure. It would just be nice if they'd come up with a less obnoxious way to do it. The color indicates what color their bra is that day, and the number (accompanied by a sad face emoticon) indicates their shoe size (though it is meant to humourously insinuate that their partners are less-than-satisfactorily-endowed). I would like to ask what all this really accomplishes. Does this "raised-awareness" actually do anything? In my opinion if someone were to post FACTS or perhaps a link to a pertinant story it might be more successful in garnering support and donation for breast cancer research. Seeing a shoe size or bra color simply makes me annoyed that the person couldn't come up with something original.

I understand that humans enjoy participating in group activities and "jumping on the bandwagon" and I also understand that facts and links aren't as virulent in their nature but I doubt that any more actual progress has been made thanks to this strange effort. Though I'm probably just biased as this movement originates from a chain mail. I have an intense dislike of chain mail.

While you wait for something more than a rant, amuse yourself with these "single serving sites." Each site does one thing and one thing only. These are only a few, there are hundreds out there.


Is it Christmas? (The simplest one of all)

Are you a ninja? (Q: Where do ninjas hide? A: Wherever they want.)

I am awesome

Color Flip (Yup.)

Zombo (Anything at all...)

Defiant Dog (this one's pretty accurate)

KAZAM! (Or that's what I call it anyway. On this one, click on the images on the top bar for more pages. That's assuming you have nothing better to do.)

Waste of Time (That's all it is)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Life Update

So here is an update on my life.

I just finished writing a creative piece for my English class where the assignment was to write a new section/build off of Ayn Rand's Anthem. The paper had to be a minimum of two pages and a loose maximum of five. I just wrote seven pages. That doesn't usually happen, like, ever. Despite the fact that the internet hates Ayn Rand I haven't found a reason to dislike her yet. Anthem was a good book and I definitely enjoyed expanding on it. I think Rand might have some extreme views but doesn't everyone in one way or another? Even my favorite comic, XKCD, bashes on her (check the alt-text). Maybe the internet is right and I just haven't seen enough yet. Anyway, I plan to read Atlas Shrugged as soon as I can. As a consequence of writing so much on this project the other major project I have due tomorrow I've barely touched. I'm hoping to complete it in my study halls tomorrow. Otherwise I'm in trouble.

I got a message today from a friend of Allen (the director of Putt Putt, if you forgot) who asked if I would be interested in editing together his feature film. Needless to say, today has been a good day. Web Girl is the title of the film, though that's all I know at this point. And no, it's not a porno, it's PG-13. He's going to send me the script and then I will decide whether I want to do it or not. I'm already crazy busy what with the Mechuwana promotional video (which I hope to finish this week but probably won't), Putt Putt stuff, The Hazards of Love, the tech demo reel, school productions, Winter Carnival, schoolwork, and various smaller projects, I am BOGGED DOWN. Not that I'm unhappy about that mind you. I'm extremely excited. I just wish I had more time to do everything I want to. I'll keep you posted on what happens with this.

Since it is officially 2010 I need to buckle down and fill out my FAFSA form and start applying for scholarships so I can actually afford to go to NESCOM without going into mind-numbing debt for the rest of my life.

If I get the time I'll post a lot more about Winter Carnival because that is going to consume at least a good portion of my life between now and February vacation.

NEW YORK CITY! Shaw and myself and Anna and a bunch of other people are starting to nail down our plans for the New York City premiere of The Putt Putt Syndrome. We are going to take a train out of Portland, attend the premiere, then ship back out in the wee hours of the morning and sleep on the train. That way we don't have to worry about lodging or driving whilst exhausted.

Allen posted this on the Putt Putt Syndrome fan page on Facebook. I think it's pretty self-explanatory. And cool.

GREAT NEWS TODAY! THE PREMIERE IN MAINE IS GOING TO FEB 6TH AT THE WINTHROP PERFORMING ARTS CENTER! 92 MOOSE IS GOING TO HELP PROMOTE THE EVENT! THEY WILL BE GIVING AWAY TIX ON THEIR SHOW! SO STAY TUNED IN!!!


My Putt Putt poster was well recieved by Allen and the producers. They had a few minor changes but mostly they are just letting me run with it. I plan to crank out two more designs. Once I can I'll post them here.

/end update

EDIT: Already have some new info on Web Girl. Here is some raw footage. Won't be winning awards, but it looks like a decent film. Remember, that's raw footage, no enhancement.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Putt Putt Trailer

Not much to blog about tonight, still recovering from my cold. I went through half a box of tissues and a bunch of cough drops. I always say that I only get sick once a year. Unfortunately this time my immune system decided to screw me up and get me sick right on the line between two years. I can't decide if this means I won't get sick this coming year at all or if it means my body was trying to jump through a loophole and get me sick twice.

Anyway, hopefully by tomorrow morning I will be well enough to do some stuff. Possibly including a remake of this snow fort from 2007. The snow will have to be just the right consistency though.

The only newsworthy thing I have for you today is the new trailer for The Putt Putt Syndrome. It is now available on Youtube. It's a well made trailer and will provide you all with a better idea of just exactly what it was I was working on this past summer.

Other than that I will just express my displeasure that vacation is coming to a close and I was unable to complete anything in the way of filming for The Hazards of Love. I didn't even get together with Graham to do any planning. But that is the way of film is it not? Nothing ever goes according to plan.

Goodnight everyone! Stay healthy!

EDIT: I just realized that for some reason the timestamps for my posts are horribly incorrect if I leave it on automatic. From now on I'll try to set the time correctly. 

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Holmes, Sherlock Holmes

I am still sick and my nose continually alters between clogging the left and right nostrils. I am not having a very good time of it. But in order to satiate you, dear readers, I present to you my review of Sherlock Holmes.

I went to see Sherlock Holmes on Tuesday with some of my friends from camp. I shuttled the four of us over to Augusta exactly on time to see the movie. Yes, exactly. The detour was an intentional endeavor for time-management, I swear.

From the previews, I was a little worried that the movie has gone too action-oriented as opposed to some good old-fashioned deductive mystery fare. But after seeing the film I can chalk up the trailer as simply doing exactly what trailers are supposed to, show the most interesting parts of the film in a teasing manner. Deductive skills are cool, but they don't make for an engaging trailer. Only when combined with the full backstory can Holmes really show his stuff.

Sherlock and Watson are breaking up their partnership after a final mystery involving a man who seems to have control of dark magic. Lord Blackwood is executed for his crimes but then rises from his grave and offers up a mystery so enticing that Watson and Holmes stick together to follow through with the case. Holmes is a hermit, hardly ever leaving his room if not on a case, and is terribly anti-social. Watson is tightly wound, and has a weakness for gambling. I liked the fact that both weren't perfect crime-solving Bond style characters, they had their faults.

Now before any Arthur Conan Doyle aficionados get all worked up about my review you should know that the only book of his I've read is The Hound of the Baskervilles, and that was at least five years ago. So I can't really tell if this film stays true to Holmes' personality and style and such. But without the influence of the books I can say that I enjoyed the Sherlock that was portrayed.

One thing that I know is similar to the books is that the mystery kept me guessing right to the very end when every tiny puzzle piece finally fell into place. Very cool film, I'm going to give it an eight out of ten. Whether you are looking for an action-flick or a "Now I get it" sort of mystery, Sherlock Holmes delivers. Go see it in theaters or wait for it on DVD. It doesn't need to be seen on the big screen like Avatar.

On a side note, did you know that Sherlock Holmes never actually says "Elementary, my dear Watson" in any of the books?

Finally, I hope everyone had a wonderful New Year. The rest of the world certainly had something to say about it. I had a thought and checked Twitter.com at midnight when 2009 became 2010. I searched for the phrase "New Year" and discovered that approximately ten-thousand new tweets were being posted every minute. That is the indicator of the new decade we enter, one of mass connection and communication. What an amazing world.

Goodnight!