Monday, December 01, 2008

Awww YEAH!

That's me, with my fund-raisin 'stache!

Me and my 'stache only have TWO WEEKS left until the big 'STACHE BASH. Check here for the details of the last two major Mustache for Kid Events, where you have the opportunity to see me and my 'stache in person. This Thursday I will be attending the 3rd and Final Checkpoint at 8pm at the Bushwick Country Club in Williamsburg.

Stop and by, and let me and my 'stache buy you a drink!

There is still plenty of time to

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Shaving Day

Well hello, hello!

Last Thursday was the official Kick-off of the mustachaganza that is Mustaches 4 Kids!

A grand time was had by all and below is the flickr slideshow to prove it. Right now I'm currently still the leader in Donations, but I got some competition and they're gaining fast. Only the TOP FUNDRAISERS will be eligible to compete in the final STACHE BASH on December 13th in Dumbo.

Please help my and my 'stache make it into the competition and don't forget......IT'S FOR THE KIDS!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Mustache 4 Kids!

Hello my friends!

I am Growing a Mustache 4 Kids!

Starting this upcoming Thursday, the 13th of November, I will grow a mustache until at least December 20th to raise money for public school programs that are under-funded, or not funded at all. I have chosen some cool programs for kids in Brooklyn schools close to my house.

Throughout this process I will keep you all posted as to my progress through photos and video, right here!

Thanks in advance for helping my 'stache raise money......FOR THE KIDS!

Click HERE to go to my Giving Page, where you can view the projects and donate to the cause!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Kodak "aint what it used to be" and the Pope hates mail

So a few weekends ago I was shooting this wedding, and I brought my big-boy film camera, an old Pentax 67. I shot three rolls of 120 film. Now, usually, I go to a hip Soho place to get the negs processed with contact sheets. They turn it around in like two days. Top-notch quality work. But I LIVE right above a Camera store. So I was in no rush to get the film back, so I opted for a more convenient location for pick-up by going through them. They sent the film to KODAK to process and do the contacts.

What a nightmare.

First, Kodak received the film, processed the negatives and sent it back....sans contact sheets. At that point, if the store had contacted me, I would have said forget it and picked up the film. But they sent it back. The nightmare continued. What was estimated to take 10 business days, ended up taking 19. And after they sent my stuff back piece-meal, it was still ALL WRONG.

They printed the 6x7 film on a contact sheet, where the images were SMALLER than a 35mm contact sheet. They also had the extreme un-professionalism to just throw my negatives in an envelope, unprotected. WHAT GIVES! This is KODAK! What other name should we be able to trust on NAME ALONE than KODAK? So I paid for the processing, and refused to pay for the botched contact sheets. I voiced my concern at Kodak's handling of the negatives and their reply was, "Kodak aint what they used to be." Then the manager said right there and then, "That's it, we don't process 120 film through Kodak ANYMORE!"

So, I'm going to buy a flatbed scanner today and do my own damn contact sheets.

And just a quick lil story. The Pope is in town this week. I went to mail some stuff at a street mailbox and it was sealed shut. Sometimes these things stick or have mail crammed in there, so I struggled with it a bit. Then some guy comes up behind me and says, "The Pope is coming! No mail here."

I hadn't thought of that. It totally makes sense. Nobody wants any bombs thrown in the mailboxes! I wonder how they lock them shut? Probably from the inside, like jamming a chair underneath a door handle type deal?

Friday, February 08, 2008



Friday, February 01, 2008

Parrots in HD RULE!

I'm a big fan of nature and travel shows. One of the things I'd most like to do (besides direct feature films, television, or be a travel photographer) would be a cameraman for one of these shows. I'm looking forward to Planet Earth and Blue Planet on my Netflix Queue.

So last night, flipping through channels after watching the season premiere of Lost, I came across an HD documentary on PBS called:


Parrots in the Land of Oz was a pleasant surprise. I usually go for the "here's a region, learn all about it" nature shows as opposed to the "parrots, and more parrots" kind, but I learned a lot of interesting things about Parrots and the region of Australia.

There is a species of tree that requires fire to reproduce, a lightning strike will cause the fire and only after the tree burns, do the seeds open and release. Interesting I say.

Also, there is a species of parrot called the Golden SHouldered Parrot that nests inside Termite mounds, and when they hatch, it coincides with the hatching of a particular species of Moth Larvae, that feeds on the PARROT POOP! How symbiotic of you nature!

Another interesting thing, there's a species of Parrot called the Budgie, and when they fly in their flock, their wings shimmer and camaflouge them from predators. They fly like that for safety in numbers, as birds of prey will focus on the weakest link. you can see the phenomenan in this preview:

But what was REALLY interesting is that schools of fish, most notably the Sardine, do this same thing for the same reason:

Isn't it freakin AMAZING that in the natural order of things, on this extremely diverse hunk of rock in space that there are different species, as different as can be really, one in the air, one in the sea, that are utilizing the same techniques for survival?

I think it is pretty darn interesting. And a weird coincidence that THIS happened to be the National Geographic Photo of the day yesterday. My cat also enjoyed the quality content and format of the show, as she paced, crouched, an was generally frustrated for two hours straight as she watched the program with us... never once taking her eyes off the TV. Note to cat owners: this phenomena is heightened if you raised your cat SPECIFICALLY to be a non-watching TV cat (she normally could care less about TV when it's on).

I'm taking the Weekend off from blogging, I have developed "blogger wrist" this week from all my computer work and need a break :)

Flickr Widget Test

Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Power of Post

I've been searching for a new Blog Host like Moveable Type and Word Press. Not that I don't love the Blogpsot, but I'm looking for a new look for a new site. I found really helpful in perusing all the different styles of blogs on Word Press. I came across this blog and that's where I got todays video.

This video is really great. They did some amazing stuff.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A continuing discussion on the 30 second spot

Well, sometimes longer than 30 second, but that seems to be the average. They always cut together like a 30-sec, 45-sec and full min of the same spot. I am just fascinated with commercials these days. There are quite a few smart campaigns out there right now. Kia is doing a great job with some very original spots, this is poor quality, but it's one of the most recent ones and I think it's great:

I can't tell you how many times, not owning a car of my own, having borrowed a car or rented a car I myself have pulled up to the gas station and been like, "wait, WHICH side is it on." I'm sure I'm not the only one, so I think it has wide appeal. These two are also quite good:


I like the 30 sceond spot above, better than the full minute spot.

Very well shot and directed. It taps into that situation where I think anyone who has driven a car can identify with, trying to find a spot at the mall or grocery store. Have you ever slowly "stalked" people as they are leaving? That's how you get the good spots. Of course I'm sure you've all seen the MOST DOWNLOADED car commercial in history, that took 3 months, 606 takes and six million dollars to produce:

Here's the Making of that spot

Another good campaign going on is Burger Kings campaign, filmed using Hidden camera's and REAL customers. Just hilarious the reactions. Can't seem to imbed the one I like the most, only this documnetary, but the spot titled MONTAGE under Day 2 is my fave:

Here is a commercial that I also enjoy, on a softer, more emotional, "isn't that cute level". Use of music of course is key here, not to mention good casting on the little tyke:

And I've always enjoyed the cinema Verite feel of these Kleenex spots. The editing is superb:

They have UK versions as well, but I prefer the little bald guy better...something about his image that I like, non-intimidating I suppose. They also have user uploaded videos on their site, which is interesting, some (a kid with snot running out of his nose) I can see the relevance. But "cute baby splashing in a tub" doesn't say Kleenex to me at all, no matter how cute. Their campaign reminds me of that Free Hugs Campaign a while back, which was also well-done:

1,206,869 views on You Tube and over 1,800 comments. Impressive. Quite a few copies in other locations as well, all over the world. truly a movement, and the guy was on Opera.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Year of the Rabbit

Yesterday I was picking up my laundry and I received a very robust "Happy Chinese New Year!" This year is The year of the Rabbit. It starts on February 7th. here in the states they take off one day. But in CHINA, they take off at least 7 days, if not 15! Poor Chinese in the States, our capitalist virtues keep them from being able to shut down to celebrate their holiday like they should.

And did you know the FRENCH all get Five weeks off and they usually take it off all at the same time, so business are closed for an entire month or more!

Don't even get me started on FOREIGN HEALTHCARE!

Friday, January 25, 2008

A whole...neeewwww....(digital)...WOOORRLLD!

Did you get that post title reference, didya?

As I spent a large part of the day yesterday trolling the net, learning more about the film Cloverfield and looking at options for an HD camera for a possible future upgrade to my at least 4 yr old Panasonic DVX100, I learned some interesting things about what is going on in the film world.

Films, are being shot completely digital.

Now, this isn't NEW, but I found it interesting to really get a good look and read on what cameras are being used on what films. Films that were shot 100% in the digital realm.

This article here professes that Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002) was the fist film to be shot and exhibited completely in digital. The entire article (all 10parts) is a really good overview of the milestones of FX in the world of cinema. It brought back memories I had of some favorite films of my childhood, including this film:


I loved this film, Young Sherlock Holmes, and it's credited with being the first film to composite computer-generated animation with a live-action background.

But back to Star Wars, which was shot on this camera here:


The Sony or Panivised HDW-F900, today, goes for about $60,000. I think at the time, it was being specially built for Lucas, so the cost initially was probably way higher. But then WAIT, now another site says this movie, Vidocq was the first film shot entirely on digital:


Click the image and it will take you to the Youtube trailer. I think maybe Star Wars was filming / in production first, and maybe Vidocq was released first in 2001. I'll call it a tie. They were both shot using the HDW-F900. I'll take just a BRIEF step backwards in technology, but forward in time to Open Water, released in 2003:


This film was initially thought to be shot on the Panasonic DVX100 (which wasn't available at the time) was actually shot on the Sony VX2000 and a PD150. I didn't terribly like the film, but they get props from me for the low budget and huge studio deal after playing at Sundance. Yet another aside, Here's an article on the true story it's based upon.

Once Upon a Time in Mexico also released in 2003 was shot on a "Sony 24fps HD" camera "similar to what Lucas uses." But I couldn't confirm over the internets EXACTLY what camera was used.

But wait a second, wait a gosh darn second! What, you might ask, does all this have to do with Cloverfield, and you searching for a new camera? Well, here it all ties together. SO I said to myself, while searching for an HD upgrade....."I wonder what CLOVERFIELD was shot on?" And here we have This wonderful article, which gives you all that info. At first there was a lot of talk of the camera that I was looking at, this Panasonic HVX200, as being the main camera:


It was in fact used, but very sparingly. Here's a screenshot from the film where you can see the character of Hud, holding the Panasonic HVX200. Which, of course, at at LEAST $3,500 and topping at around $5,000, I don't think he'd be toting this around at a party, unless that was his gig:


Image above can be clicked for a review, rating and video on the Panasonic HVX200, which again, is what I've been leaning towards as a future item for MEEEEE. But I digress, as I'm wont to do, Cloverfield was NOT filmed mostly on the HVX200, BUT, in fact was filmed on a combination of the two camera's below, photos clickable to links to learn more about each one"

The Thomson Grass Valley Viper, which goes for somewhere in the $80,000 range:


and the Sony F23, which is priced around $100,000:


Another film that has used the Viper for the entire shoot, and this was surprising, because I had already seen the movie when it came out and had no idea, was Zodiac:


This blog post gets into some nice detail of the workflow and use of the camera on the film.

Well, there you have it, my day on the internets. There are of course Tons of options these days for HD Camera's of all sizes and prices. Of big note, is the Red One system, which is supposed to revolutionize the industry, has a price tag of $17,000 JUST for the body, and a huge waiting list. And with MY personality and the piece-meal nature of the system, which is extremely smart because it makes it easy to upgrade, as opposed to getting a whole new camera, I would get lost In their Store and rack up a bill of $64,660 (one of everything please).

Well, an informative blog I hope, if not a bit dry. For now I'm gonna just gonna have to stick with My little guy here.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Cloverfield and Atonement

This past Sunday, Sheila and I had the rare treat to catch up on not one, but two films we were interested in seeing:




I will begin by reviewing Atonement first, as my review of Cloverfield leads to another topic. First I'll say, I enjoyed this film, very much. In fact, I found little about it that I didn't like. Keira Knightly was pretty good, James McAvoy was superb. A real treat was the skills of both young Briony, played by Saoirse Ronan and the young adult Briony, played by Romola Garai. I'll get this out of the way too, James McAvoy is REALLY an excellent actor. I liked him a lot in The Last King of Scotland. He has the great ability to say a lot without saying anything at all. It's all in his face, it's all in the eyes:


The film was good. It was shot well enough, nothing in my mind screamed holy CRAP that was awesome. There was a really nice tracking shot at the end, of soldiers on a beach waiting to be picked up that was noteworthy. What I REALLY enjoyed was the Score by Dario Marianelli . The thematic use of hitting typewriter keys as an instrument in several of the pieces was just such a savvy move. It just really tied in a lot of elements so simply, the play she writes, the letter he writes, her novel, becoming a novelist, love letters written back and forth, all neatly melded together by the simple use of typewriter keys in the score.

One touching moment (read, shed tear here) was, well, touching. A soldier lies on his deathbed and Briony is comforting him, she's not supposed to let the soldiers know her first name, so tells him her last name as her first name, and as he's slipping away he is mumbling her last name, and she is yelling "Briony! My name is Briony." It was a really powerful moment.

So what didn't I like? Well, that moment I JUST mentioned, was so close to the end, and so well done, when it came time to reveal that the two young lovers never saw each other again, well, I was emotional spent already. I felt more for that moment with the french soldier than I felt with the tragedy of the two main characters unfortunate ends. I also thought we could have spent less time with setting up in the beginning and more time with some story later on. When we see Robbie (McAvoy) not only have we skipped all his prison time, but the entire war as well. Just skipped over it. And Cecillia (Knightly)? what happened there? She just up and left her rich family and mansion to pursue nursing? It just left a lot to be desired on the main characters arch. It was more like a sharp triangle.

OK! So now, we move onto Cloverfield. Overall, I LOVED it. I went into it expecting that It was going to start in the party ala handheld camera, and then when the monster hit town, it would just jump out to a big-boy film camera. I was quite surprised, when we stayed with the pov of the "hand-held" lil guy for the entire film. Yes, quite surprised. More on the camera (s) they used later.

More things I liked about it....I didn't mind not really finding out where the monster came from and what it was doing in Manhattan. Would I have liked to have seen MORE creature? Yes, I would, but as we learned in Jaws, an audience can have a high tolerance for NOT seeing the monster. I believe you don't FULLY grasp JAW'S look and size until something like 1hr 20-1hr 30mins in. SO...I didn't mind the fleeting glimpses. It was enough for me. I also liked how during the entire length of the movie, there was no music. There was practical music in the party scene, but there was no score during the film. So when the music came up over the credits, it was pure eerie, it was THEN that I realized that I hadn't heard any score. Interesting choice there, very interesting.

So just a few, totally nit-picky things that bothered me. When they are crossing the Brooklyn Bridge, right before it goes down, they have a shot of the Statue of Liberty:


Click on the Pic above, and it will bring you to a view that is closer to the real scale. I just didn't buy that it was so close, or that "lil hand-held cam" he had could zoom in that far. Along those lines as well, with the length of the "footage" ie the film, he would have HAD to have changed tapes at some point. Next thing, again relating to living in NY, this Subway stop isn't real:


I know they shot in NY for 12 days....but they couldn't film in the real stop? And the real buzzkill, was at the VERY end, the two leads Rob and Beth are about to die, they say their last words to the camera, put it down, and then they say they love each other:


They each said it, and both of them had ZERO conviction or emotion in their delivery. I blame The Director, Matt Reeves. It totally ruined that, the final, moment in the film.

Now after the fact, I've been told, have heard about some interesting Cloverfield stuff. I stayed till the end of the credits and heard the sound bite. Someone told me that if you were to reverse it you'd get this

Also, mention of some video of the monster attacking an oil rig:

and this one:

Basically, there is a hell of a lot of Viral marketing that went on, and continues to go on for this film. Check out Cloverfield Clues as well as Geeks of Doom. I think you could spend a day or two on there just absorbing it all and piecing it together. I just skimmed the surface.

Anyhoo, this has become a MONSTER blog, hehehe, and I'm beat, so I'll wrap this one up tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Macbook Air, Ethan Coen and Phil Trager

I am a big supporter of Apple. I own three Mac's myself, a Mac Pro Tower I use for editing, my workhorse Black Macbook, and an old G4 Powerbook as a back-up, emergency machine. Not to mention a new I-phone and my old trusty 40GB I-pod , which they don't even make anymore and has really become obsolete, but it's still kicking it.

So of course, every few months Apple releases their new and improved, better than before, exciting new system. Recently they released their Macbook Air.

Now again, I'm a huge Apple supporter. But guys, guys, GUYS! You lost me on this one. Here's what's cool about it. It's super lite (3lbs). It's super thin (less than an inch). and it has a multi-touch pad, that enables you to do cool things like the I-phone does. And it can wirelessly connect to other optical drives. Neat.

Here's what's totally UNCOOL about it. It can wirelessly connect to other optical drives. I can only imagine the snail pace of those downloads and connections, but I can't back that up it's just a hunch. But man, the thing has NO DRIVE. No burning CD's or DVD's or reading them. You have to get an external optical drive.....BOOO!
It has only three ports. One for a headphone jack, one for external monitors and such, and ONE USB port. I don't know about YOU, but i need MORE PORTS, baby! A single USB port aint gonna cut it.

So at $1799, only $200 less than the Macbook Pro, I'm gonna say this is an overpriced, fancy paperwight for rich people. I can think of SOME instances where it might be right for the right person, let's say, someone who is doing extensive travel and doesn't really DO a lot on the computer. But if your eating, breathing and sleeping with your computers like I do, this would be like being married, having an affair with another woman, and she wasn't even super hot.

On a totally different topic, Ethan Coen has written a collection of three plays, the evening is titled, "Almost an Evening," and is playing through Feb.10th at Atlantic Theatre Company. Click on his photo below to read the article from the NY Times. It's sold out, but you can stand in line for tickets:

Ethan Coen

In a bizarre coincidence, displayed right next to his plays on the website is a Musical called Spring Awakening, choreographed by Bill T. Jones of whom has been photographed by Phil Trager for whom I ALSO worked for, right out of College. Weird. Click on the image to see more of his work:


I printed some of these images in the darkroom with him! Remember Dark rooms?!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Dr. Strangegym or How I learned to stop being lazy and love getting up at 6:30am

After living in New York now for roughly 7 years I have been a member of most of the city gyms several times over. Dolphin Fitness and NY Sportsclub being the most noteworthy. The problem for ME has always been discipline, and often the vicious cycle would occur, I get pumped to join a gym, go several times a week for a month or two....or one...and then skip a few times, and then begin to feel guilty, hate it, and realize it's not for me and quit. Of course quitting these expensive gyms doesn't come without a hefty "early cancellation" fee, which I always justified by the money I was wasting by not going.

When I worked for The Coen Brothers, which I would like to congratulate on receiving their well deserved Golden Globe Awards, their was a NYSC across the street from their office. It was extremely convenient, and I could go before work, or after and thought nothing of it. When I left them in 2004, that was the last time I went to the gym. Prior to working with them, I was a Theatre Carpenter, and didn't much have a need for "working out" as the physical labor of the job was enough to keep me in shape.

Well, several years later, here I am. I work mostly from home in front of the computer and excersize for me has become a distant memory. Until now. My metabolism is slowing and I have the extra 25 lbs to prove it. I can't just eat whatever the hell I want anymore without repercussions. Gone are the days of eating a pint of Ben & Jerry's or an entire bag of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. And NOT excersizing to boot, well, that just won't do. I've got a wedding coming up in May, and I want to look my best. I want to be healthy for my new wife-to-be and future kids! I want to reach the "ideal weight" for my frame of 148-155lbs.

So recently, My fiance and I joined A NY Parks and Rec gym. The great thing, is that it cost only $75 for the ENTIRE YEAR. So missing a day or two comes with less guilt. It is just a few blocks away and has a pool. These are all good things. But, I'm here to tell you that there is a downside.

Living in the city, one often feels like Meg does here, from Family Guy:

This is similar to how I felt this morning at about 7:10am when I was sitting on an excersize bike, watching a few people walk or run around a tiny track hovering ABOVE a Basketball court. An alternative would be to hoof it to Central Park I suppose, but in the winter, this option is less desireable.

We just started going regularly last Friday, so this is only the third time I've stepped through the doors of my new gym. But already, I see the HUGE differences between this establishment and it's pricier and glitzier neighbors. I am beginning to understand WHY those gyms charge you upwards of $70 a month.

My NYC Sports Club experiences have always been pleasant. Their establishments are large and sparkling clean. They are Mecca's of fitness filled with beautiful people. They have rows upon rows of Cardio machines of several varieties. This is the opposite spectrum of the NYC Parks and Rec.

On my first visit, we did some laps in the pool. The water was fine, heavily chlorinated, but a good temperature. But I wouldn't use the word "clean." With my new goggles and swim cap tightly secured I could see the bottom of the pool. Many things were down there which I thought shouldn't be. Now I keep to the top and try to forget what is 9 feet and 1 inch below me. I stepped out of the pool and grabbed my towel. There was a cockroach hiding underneath. I hate cockroaches.

This facility has a very small Men's Locker room. ONE bank of lockers and ONE bench. 8 shower-heads in a line with no dividing curtain for privacy. In the entire place, they have only four treadmills, three excersize bikes, three elliptical machines, and one "stair master." You are supposed to sign up on a queue to get on one of these machines and their is a 20min time limit. Come on, 20mins! It wasn't until about the 15min mark on the bike that i even started to feel a sweat. I swapped machines with my lady and did another 20 mins. on the Elliptical. So all in all I got a good 40 min. cardio work out in, which was good for me.

However, the cardio machines are all broken. I like to do the target heart rate workouts, where it monitors your heart rate and adjusts the resistance to keep you at it, (mines 124bpm). But not a single machine has the "heart monitor strap" required to read your heart rate. Usually it's built into the grips of the machine, but these must be hand me downs.

I live close enough that I don't have to shower there, I just shower when I get home. We are going to do our best to stick to our at least three day a week schedule. I look forward to losing the weight and getting healthier. I have adopted what I am referring to as the "Tito" diet, which has proven results. My Best-man stuck to it and he has lost 27lbs in about 3 months. He has a Banana to start the day, soup and salad for lunch, a sensible dinner, and he hits the gym 3-4 times a week, with at least 30mins of Cardio. The guy is looking fit, and I like the simplicity of his plan. I am trying (my hardest) to not engage in eating sugar. So far it's not terrible, but it sure as heck isn't as fun as eating a bag of a dozen Zeppole's.

So here I am, all 175lbs of me. I'll keep you updated to my progress, hopefully in a months time I'll have good news for you. And for me :)

Monday, January 14, 2008

More Poltergeist Madness

So a few days ago, I wrote about watching Poltergeist and I got an email from a guy who runs a Poltergeist fan website.

This led to a view links which i thought I would share with you. First is this Behind the Scenes featurette. Which kind of makes me mad, because I just bought the 25th anniversary DVD and this was not included. It appears to be included on SOME DVD? What gives? It does have some great footage showing how they did the lighting effects and the scene where JoBeth Williams gets tossed around her bedroom:

Then I watched this E! True Hollywood Story about the curse of Poltergeist, which isn't so much about the entire curse, but focuses more on the tragic loss of Heather O'Rourke:

Here is a very creative Remix of footage and sound bites taken from the movie. Too bad youtube makes everything pixelated and the quality is poor, but it is still very creative:

Then there is this Trailer for Poltergeist filmed with Legos. At first I was unimpressed thinking, I can do that better. But that fact remains that they did it and I didn't. What made it really cool is seeing them compare their take to the original trailer, which I found made the piece more enjoyable:

So when you start watching all these, you begin to find related videos on You Tube of the nature of "REAL poltergeist footage" "real ghosts, genuine, 100% not fake." It is difficult to say that these videos are real or not. They are so pixelated it is hard to scrutinize the use of wires or effects. But here are a few of the REAL category:

Once you finish going through those videos, you start coming across a few different categories of ghost related videos. The ghost spoof video, the scare the shit out of me video, and the Are you kidding me are you THAT DUMB video. I let you decide which is which:

And this one, you gotta be kidding me! Clean your windshield your not fooling anyone:

I'm sure you will all remember this Viral Internet Hit:

Anyway, you get the idea. Most of these videos have thousands of hits, some close to 1,000,000, just because they say "ghost" in them. Amazing, simply amazing. The range is pretty wide. I like the ones where people do a good job of mimicking the shot of nothing for a while and then walk through with a sheet over their heads. Many of these end with the person falling. People are silly.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I cried watching Poltergeist

There are many films from my childhood that have had a large impact on me. Poltergeist is one of those films.


I picked up the 25th Anniversary edition yesterday on a whim, not having seen it for a long time. Once the film started, I remembered just what a fantastic film it was. The music is utterly creepy and it is terribly well directed. Every shot is motivated, this film has no fat.

Of course what first came to memory was being utterly terrified at some scenes. The meat crawling across the counter. A man tearing off his own face. Corpses bobbing up and down in a primordial ooze-mud swimming pool. A monster tree. And I'm sure everyone remembers this guy:


Clown dolls are SCARY. A few other scenes caught my attention on this revisiting of the classic. The scene where Carolanne is sitting in front of the TV answering the "TV people's" questions......"Yes.....5....I don't know....I don't know." gave me chills. Also, the scene where the chairs are pulled out and then the camera follows JoBeth Williams (the Mom) and then she turns back and they are all balanced on top of the table....oooooooh...that's a good one. My eye scrutinized the scene for some kind of cut in the edit, but I didn't see one. How did they DO THAT?!

But a few other scenes I think had another kind of impact on me that I had not remembered until watching them again. The scene where Jobeth Williams and Craig T. Nelson are in the bedroom smoking pot. They are just having some good downtime while the kids are in bed, hanging out, and making each other laugh. I remember idolizing this aspect of their relationship and saying to myself...YES...THAT is what I want when I'm married, I want to be in love and laugh a lot.


And then on the flip side of that, is when JoBeth Williams is being flung around her room in her oversized football t-shirt and you can see her panties. As a youngster, this held a lot of sex appeal for me. She is after all a totally HOT MOM. We did the math and in the film she is supposed to be 32 (which means she had her eldest daughter when she was 17!) I know the film was released in 1982. I assure you I didn't see it until much later as my parents were sticklers for parental supervision....especially concerning films and movies on the paid channels like HBO and Showtime. Even after I was 18 they STILL refused to give me the code to unlock those channels.

But what I was NOT expecting to do when watching it was cry. I'm sure I had never cried when watching this movie before. But now as an adult, I'm definitely a sucker for a touching moment....and Films seem to be the catalyst for most of the times when I get emotional enough to have tears streaming down my face. When JoBeth Williams and Craig T. Nelson are standing in front of the light, and she is about to go in, they lovingly embrace each other before she leaves.....this is where I start to get emotional. Then she says "Steven....don't you let go." and he says "Never." And I just lost it there. And then afterwards when they are in the bathtub and he's all like come on baby Breathe, Breathe. And Carolannes eyes flutter sloely open and she says, "Hi Daddy." OH. The waterworks. They all start crying....I am crying.

They relationship between Diane and Steven and their family is so touching. The parents love each other so much, and they love their kids so much. It was such a sweet thing to see. I felt for those characters. I Identified with their emotions.

From the opening super close zoom shot of the pixelated "raising of the flag" shot on the TV to the final amazing craneshot from the balcony of the Holiday Inn...where the camera pulls back down the length of the balcony and then hovers across to the extreme wide of the hotel and parking lot, this movie is perfect storytelling through and through.

I hadn't heard about The Curse that followed this film before, until Sheila mentioned it to me. I don't believe it's a curse, but it is a terrible turn of events and circumstances.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

By Jove! ANOTHER post!

A few months back my good friend Casimir Nozkowski and I hopped on the subway to film empty bottles rolling around. He thought, and I agreed, that it was an extremely interesting phenomona worthing of capturing. The footage sat on a dusty shelf for a while until good ol Cas was inspired to cut the footage to a song he heard. This is that video:

And today it was featured on BoingBoing,net

Hooray for us!

Childhood Photos and Butt packs

So I made a photo slideshow of some childhood photos of my fiance and I to put on our Wedding Website you can watch it below:

Man we were cute.

On another more random note, I've been pondering this for a while. Remember when Fanny Packs were cool?


Yeah, neither do I. I remember Fanny Packs being specifically NOT cool, and really have nothing to do with the "Fanny" at all. I mean, are they supposed to be worn above the fanny or the groin? Where was the miscommunication? But I think you would all agree that they have been OUT for quite some time...and YET....what's this?


All of a sudden, you turn the fanny pack around to above your...well...FANNY and now it IS cool. Call it what you will, sports pack, butt pack, or a TRUE fanny pack, but any way you slice it, they seem to be BACK in style. I see tons of people wearing these in the city. And none of them are jogging. Maybe they were inspired by the military?


This is all very odd.