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My thoughts on PIRATE CINEMA

Pirate Cinema was another of the books from the Humble E-Book Bundle I picked up a couple months back. It is the latest novel by Cory Doctorow whose first book, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, I’d read a couple years ago and enjoyed very much.

Sadly, I can’t say the same for Pirate Cinema. Here’s the blurb:

Cory Doctorow's Pirate CinemaIn a somewhat dystopic future where copyright enforcement has run amok, a young boy runs away from home after his illegal internet activities get his family cut off from the internet for a year. He runs off to London where we gets in with the cool street kid crowd where he finds love and starts an underground movement to lobby the British government for more relaxed laws.

To be frank, of all the books I’ve read this year as part of Operation Read More, Pirate Cinema was the only one that I didn’t enjoy. In fact, it kind of annoyed me.

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The kind of night where the snow is blowing all around and the air is so cool, crisp, and clear that you could almost breathe it in forever without exhaling. Beautiful.

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The Question of Fringe

I had considered applying for the Ottawa Fringe Festival since about the first year I knew it existed. I’d been out for one show in ’08 to see the show of an actress I knew and I saw three shows in ’09 which is when I was really introduced to what the Festival was. So I guess the first year I’d considered it would have been 2010. I was neck deep in production of Survive the House at the time so had no idea about the timing of the lottery until after it had passed. It hadn’t been financially feasible to put in an application the following two years, which brings us to the 2013 Ottawa Fringe Festival. The first time I actually did apply.

When lo and behold, I ended up one for one. Valley Wind Productions was one of fourteen local companies randomly selected for a main venue birth. Not sure out of how many applicants but I do know the waiting list was capped somewhere above forty with an unknown number of companies not even making that.

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Hey, blog. You’d have had a new post by now if your autosave worked the way it was supposed to. Soon.

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The Drug Dealer Job

When is the right time to talk to your kids about drugs? That’s what this little PSA sets out to help parents deal with. I was brought in as Director of Photography and Editor but I’ll get into that after you watch the video:

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My Thoughts On OLD MAN’S WAR

John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War (2005) came to me as part of a Humble Bundle that included eight books. Some were novels, others were story collections, one was a graphic novel. You can pick it up on Amazon.com for ten-ish dollars. And in place of my usual warning, this may be the first spoiler-free report I’ve written.

Old Man's War Book CoverThe Breakdown: On his seventy-fifth Birthday, John Perry, like many, many others, enlists to join the Colonial Defense Forces and leave Earth behind forever. He’s quickly thrown into a universe more wondrous and more harsh than anything he could have ever imagined. Old Man’s War, as much as anything, is a book about what it means to be human.

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Most Awesome People, LINDSEY STIRLING

(This is a new category of post I’ll add to from time to time that’s probably pretty self explanatory. It’ll be used pretty sparingly, only when somebody’s cumulative awesome points reach a truly significant number. If I sound like I’m gushing occasionally, remember, this category isn’t called “somewhat awesome people.”)

There’s really only possible choice for my first MAP so let’s get into it.

Lindsey Stirling is a classical violinist who built a massive following on her YouTube channel where her “violin rock” songs are paired to pretty amazing music videos and where between her original music and adapted covers she’s earned more than a hundred and sixty million views. I’m not going to write out a bio here, if you want to know know more about her, her website’s where you should go. (Or Wikipedia.)


Trouble with the embed? Watch directly on YouTube.

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Week In Review, November 5th to 11th, 2012

I’m skipping October. You’ll have to forgive that but there it is. I’m still working out this writing for the site on a schedule thing so don’t want to keep getting bogged down by thinking of back posts. Naturally this post will have some October overflow, but I’m not dwelling on it. Let’s keep it current.

Coconuts Make You Cry

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My Thoughts On THE LODESTONE TRILOGY

I picked up The Lodestone Trilogy, by Mark Whiteway for $6.99 in a special Kindle bundling. The synopsis sounded decent, and it was labeled an award-winning best seller so I figured that lent social proof to it being of quality. The plan was, like with My Thoughts on THE HUNGER GAMES, to report back after every book in the series but by the time I had any time to write about the first book, I was already half way through the second and thoughts were all starting to blend together. I figured I’d just wait until I finished the full trilogy. A thousand pages and 360,000 words later, I’ve got some things to say. This will be a bit of a long post. I considered breaking it into multiple posts but ultimately said screw it. Let’s get into it. As always, my friends, there will be some moderate spoilers from here on in.

The Lodestone Trilogy Book Cover - by Mark WhitewayThe Breakdown: In the pre-industrial Kelanni society, soldiers collect tributes from towns on a regular basis on behalf of a tyrannical prophet. These tributes will be worked to death mining something called Lodestone, a metal with magical properties that’s built into the weapons of the prophet’s elite Keltar warriors. When the soldiers, accompanied by one of the Keltar, visit the town of Corte, they’re unexpectedly attacked by a stranger inexplicably using Keltar technology. The man, Lyall, is on the verge of defeat if not for the bold intervention of a scullery maid called Shann. This puts Shann on an adventure she never could have dreamed for to save her people not simply from tyranny but from utter annihilation.

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Cry Havoc! And let slip the dogs of war… On Twitter.

On October 30th, I was invited back to the Ottawa Shakespeare Company’s presentation of Julius Caesar. I say invited back because I’d seen the show once already. This time out was to be a bit different though – I’d be live tweeting the show along with a couple other cool cats. Basically, what that means is that we’d be sitting somewhere unobtrusive and “talking” during the show. Providing live commentary of whatever we were thinking as it happened. I was asked afterwards if I’d do a write-up of the experience for their blog, so I thought I’d share here, too.

Julius Caesar, produced by the Ottawa Shakespeare Company

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The Hong Kong Job

So exciting things are afoot in November. I’m no longer an active participant in the things, but exciting they are nonetheless.

8 Minutes Ahead - The Market.For a few years now, a friend of mine’s been talking about this movie he wanted to write/direct. Set in three cities (Hong Kong, Toronto, and Vancouver), it was about a father on his death bed with kids in Vancouver and Toronto waiting to inherit a small fortune and a sudden change to the will to give a big chunk to a bastard kid nobody knew about in Hong Kong.

Once Ben and his wife decided that they’d be off visiting family in Hong Kong through October and November this year, that became the time for him to shoot this project and get directing his first feature. Of course, there was no script yet. While Ben was willing to write it, he doesn’t fancy himself a writer. Writing, like most things, is hard to do, and twice as hard to motivate yourself to do, when you consider it a chore. (Ask me again how I feel about post-production.)

So fast-forward through a chain of events and we came to agreement where I’d take on the heavy creative lifting of writing his script. I was familiar with what he was going for, and in talking we’d reached a place where I could see a story in his idea that I wanted to write, so I set out to get an outline together. Once I had his approval on the nuts and bolts of what the story was to be, I got to write write writing.

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Rod Stirling Talks Writing, Writer Listen

Came across this, and posting here now so I have it around to watch it every now and again. Some very valuable and timeless advice from a very smart writer.

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To that little unfalterable idealist part of me that believes things in defiance of all logic and reason: I love you.

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Interviewed about Post Production

Back at the beginning of September I was contacted by a student in Jonquière, Quebec (I had to look it up, too) who was studying “Production et Postproduction télévisuelle” (roughly translated, tv/broadcasting). She contacted me through Production Ottawa and asked if she could interview me about post-production (specifically, video editing). I said sure, and we tried to connect while she was in town but couldn’t so we ended up doing it electronically. I figured why not post some of the answers here.

What do you feel are the most important requirements to succeed in a post production job?

Being able to keep track of a lot of different pieces at once. Especially on bigger projects it’s crucial for an editor to know and keep track of every clip he has access to and to be able to figure out in your head an idea of what should go where – and to think of all the different possibilities you have. Particularly when something you think should work isn’t working is when you need to remember that “oh, I have this other clip somewhere else that might work” or “don’t I have this scene in another angle?” (This is also useful in most everything else I do.)

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Being the Adult

One of the hardest things about being a freelancer/entrepreneur is just plain getting the work done. Not having set work hours means you have to keep on top of them yourself. It’s very easy to putter away your time doing any number of things that don’t count as work and leave you wondering just where the hell the week went.

Being the Adult

We’ve all had days like this.

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