Monday, January 31, 2005

Thinking With Type

Thinking With Type
is a book that has an online companion that has lots of great information and advice about typography. It looks good and gives you a good idea of how to start improving the appearance of text in everything that you do.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Blast From The Past

Since we're all so Mac using and loving, I thought it be nice to view Steve Jobs' great introduction of the computer, way back from 1984.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Tara's Sundance Trip

You can follow what's happening at Sundance with Tara Thorne of The Coast in Tara's Sundance Trip, where she is blogging from Park City... a perspective on the festival from someone from here!

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Obligatory Oscar Commentary

David Edelstein gives his Obligatory Oscar Commentary on Slate. Edelstein points out that the awards are more about how Hollywood presents itself to the world than it is about artistic merit.

Where's the Sunshine?

Matthew Ross, in his Filmmaker Magazine blog asks Where's the Sunshine? He points out what seems to be a fairly glaring omission in the Academy Awards nominations where only screenwriter Charlie Kaufman and actress Kate Winslet received nominations... no technical nominations or best picture or director. But are the Academy Awards really about the greatest achievements in filmmaking?

Dance Class

Filmmaker Magazine has a great feature called Dance Class that collects together reflections from filmmakers who have films in the 2005 Sundance Film Festival.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Hotel Babylon

Tonight at 11pm (Atlantic Time) on Vision TV you can watch the world television premiere of Hotel Babylon, an hour-long drama which grew out of Vision TV's Cultural Diversity Drama Competition. Check it out tonight. Here is the blurb:
The head chambermaid is a former engineer. The cook was a chemist. And the bellman used to be a renowned musician. Meet the late shift employees at Winnipeg’s Hotel Zebulon, known to one and all as “The Babylon.” Skilled professionals back in their homelands, they came to Canada seeking better lives. What they found instead was the archetypal immigrant experience: menial work, meager pay, terrible hours. Every night on the job is exactly the same. Until tonight, that is.

Monday, January 24, 2005

indieWIRE BLOGS: Park City

Indiewire has lots of information about what is happening in Park City during the Sundance Film Festival. More great coverage with people on the scene.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

The Guardian Oscar predictor

The Guardian has an Excel spreadsheet that is an Oscar predictor that has been relatively accurate in the past. The nominations for the Academy Awards come out on Tuesday and the ceremony is in March. You can download the spreadsheet and see if the prediction of an Oscar for "The Aviator" is correct or not. There even is a space in the spreadsheet for your own prediction.

Sundance Online Film Festival

The real-world Sundance Film Festival is happening right now as well as the Sundance Online Film Festival. You can watch online premieres of short films, new interactive works, as well as looking behind the scenes with some filmmaker interviews and photos.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Cinema Minima: Sundance Film Festival 2005 News by Cyndi Greening

Sundance is coming up and you can find out more about biggest indie film festival in Sundance Film Festival 2005 News by Cyndi Greening for Cinema Minima. Lots of information about the films, filmmakers and the festival.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

The Polar Express: A Virtual Train Wreck

Ward Jenkins does a brilliant job at explaining why the animation in The Polar Express didn't work for him and why something like The Incredibles works better in The Polar Express: A Virtual Train Wreck. Jenkins even takes some screen shots from the film and with some tweaking in Photoshop he adds some more humanity. Thought provoking writing and visuals!

Amy Duddleston on Editing

The new issue of Filmmaker magazine has an interview with Amy Duddleston where she talks about editing and working with directors, producers and other editors. Some good insight and advice for editing and working iin the business.

Monday, January 17, 2005

The DVD Journal

The DVD Journal is filled with review and commentary about films on DVD. It's a good place to find out what is worth renting and buying with lots of full and quick reviews.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

The Kubrick Site

The Kubrick Site is a great site that looks at the work of Stanley Kubrick. The site grew out of the Usenet newsgroup alt.movies.kubrick and it's filled with solid essays and information about all of Kubrick's films.

Creating Passionate Users: Rubberducking and Creativity

Creating Passionate Users: Rubberducking and Creativity is about solving problems through explaining them. Sometimes explaining your problem to a teddy bear or a rubber duck can help you solve it. Saying it out loud makes a difference and that can let you fix things yourself.

43 Folders: A Year of Getting Things Done

Merlin Mann has a site called 43 Folders which is all about getting organized. You can see how he's done kicking off with A Year of Getting Things Done: Part 1, The Good Stuff and continuing with Part 2 and Part 3.

Tools for Organizing Thoughts

Andrius Kulikauskas has a great page that collects together a broad range of Tools for Organizing Thoughts that may help in brainstorming ideas, writing, and planning.

Saturday, January 15, 2005


Some great discussion of films from the past year is going on at the CONVERSATION where five critics/bloggers engage with each other. There are also great conversations going on in all of the comment threads as well. It's a great blog that gets you thinking about films with a broad range of opinion.

Godard talks about the music of filmmaking

I'm becoming older and older. When you're becoming older and older it's a necessity to remember what can be remembered, especially if there is no direct memory.
Jean-Luc Godard is one of the key filmmakers in the development of modern cinema. Even if he had only made one film, À Bout De Souffle (Breathless), he would have changed things forever. Pioneer of the jump cut, handheld shooting as well as a provocative filmmaker and figure in cinema, the 74 year-old Godard is interviewed by Mark Feeney in the Boston Globe about filmmaking and his new film, Notre Musique.

Friday, January 14, 2005

David Poland Looks at the Top Tens

On Movie City News, David Poland analyzes the list of lists of the Top Tens of 2004 and finds that the top two films are Sideways and Million Dollar Baby. I think that we're getting close to the end of the top ten posts, but it's fascinating to look at an analysis of the top ten lists to try and figure out who will be picking up awards this year.

Thursday, January 13, 2005 | The Best DVDs of 2004 picks The Best DVDs of 2004. Lots of great films to add to your collection or to check out.

Big Film Design

Big Film Design is a company that has designed some great title sequences for films including Jungle Fever and a recent favourite, Intolerable Cruelty. You can view the sequences on the well-designed site too.

Fast Company | In a Word, Toyota Drives for Innovation

In a Word, Toyota Drives for Innovation is an article from Fast Company magazine in 2002 about "Oobeya" which is a system that Toyota has used to design cars, reduce costs and improve processes and design. The key to "Oobeya" is to bring everybody together to share and discuss. It's all about communication, which is what making films is about as well.

Turning Elephants into Explosions

O'Reilly's Digital Media centre has an article about sound designer Frank Serafine called Turning Elephants into Explosions. Find out about working on Academy Award-winning films, why sometimes analog tapes need to be baked in an oven and how new technology has changed how people record and design sound.

Nexus Productions

The site for Nexus Productions features a showreel that has some great work that you will probably recognize as soon as you see it. The highlights of the reel for me are the music video for a Franz Ferdinand song and the very memorable opening title sequence for Catch Me if You Can.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

All Movie Scripts dot Com

All Movie Scripts dot Com has a large number of movie scripts that you can download for educational purposes. It's fascinating to look at the shooting script of a film and see how it was translated to the screen.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Mac Mini

Tired of your Windows PC? Got an old monitor/keyboard/mouse collecting dust in the basement? If you answered yes to either of these, then this just might be the computer for you. Today Apple released the Mac Mini, their most inexpensive and smallest computer yet. With the entry-level model at $629, it's a great way to have your own Mac.

Back to the Future

A thought provoking article in The Village Voice by Ted Hope looks Back to the Future. Hope writes about independent film in the 80s and the current state of the independent scene and the challenges for filmmakers now.


One of the best ways to avoid writing it to choose a font and adjust the format of something. You can spend hours avoiding that hard work of writing by doing that. But one way that I avoid that is to write using a text editor. The text editor that I've registered many times and use pretty much daily is BBEdit which is a text editor and a supercharged tool for programming, uploading and managing web sites as well. If you don't do a lot of coding and don't want to spend money but do want a powerful text editor for writing you should definitely check out TextWrangler, which is BBEdit's free little sister. If you have problems with the formatting of text that gets emailed to you or that you copied and pasted, you can probably fix it up in TextWrangler.

Training Materials From The Canadian Society for Independent Radio Production

Bottom line -- radio is about ideas. It's about skills. It's about learning -- and a big part of it is about teaching ourselves.
Victoria Fenner hits the nail on the head in the introduction to the training section of the Canadian Society for Independent Radio Production.
If you are interested in audio, you should check out Training Materials From The Canadian Society for Independent Radio Production. They have articles that can help you create compelling tracks and useful information about sound, soundscapes and audio documentary as well as radio drama and art.

Monday, January 10, 2005

ChangeThis :: Dear Hollywood: Great Movies can Make Money, Too

The problem with Hollywood can be summed up in one word: Catwoman.
Another great Change This manifesto is Dear Hollywood: Great Movies can Make Money, Too, which looks at the Hollywood blockbuster movie and how an emphasis on story can make for better films.

ChangeThis :: Information Networks Archive: Infographics

Information Networks Archive: Infographics is a collection of 7 graphics developed by Jonathan Harris of Flaming Toast Productions that display information in an interesting and compelling way. The most relevant one to those connected with Screen Arts is the one for "The Global Movie Business". It's a manifesto in PDF form that is part of Change This, which publishes things to change the world and stimulate discussion.

The 6 Myths Of Creativity

Fast Company has an article about The 6 Myths Of Creativity. It looks at how there are many myths about creativity especially as it relates to business. Some good ideas and insight based on research.

The Hipster PDA

43 Folders: Introducing the Hipster PDA is about the very cool (for organization geeks like my self) index card-based organizational tool built with a clip, cards and a pen. If you aren't using an electronic device, this system just may work for you.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Tutorials for Creative Commons Tools

Over at the Creative Commons site they've posted new tutorials for Creative Commons Tools, plus P2P that can help get you started sharing your work with others. The CC Publisher is a great tool that allows you to license and upload your files to be hosted for free at the Internet Archive. It's a way that you can share and have free hosting for your work.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Christopher Doyle Interview

The Guardian Unlimited also has a neat interview with cinematographer called 'If you call me, you know what you're in for' where the gifted visual poet who shot In the Mood for Love, Hero, House of Flying Daggers, and 2046 (Wong Kar Wai's upcoming followup to In the Mood for Love that looks amazing).

The lost world

The lost world is an article on The Guardian Unlimited by Ian Jack about the films made by Sagar Mitchell and James Kenyon. They made hundreds of films about 100 years ago and they shot working-class people around northern England as well as Scotland, Wales, Ireland and the Midlands. The 800 rolls of film were found in 1994 in a the cellar of an empty shop in Lancashire and the British Film Institute began restoring the 28 hours of footage in 2000 and the films are being shown on the BBC shortly as well as a screening in the National Film Theatre.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Best Blogs of 2004 has a wide array of blog awards to vote for, including Best Overall Blog, Most Humorous Blog, Best Sports Blog and even Best Sex Blog. You can nominate us in any of the categories (Best Weight Loss/Fitness Blog) or just peruse the other nominees and see what the internet has to, blogs. Blog!

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Film Comment's 50 Best Films of 2004

Film Comment's 50 Best Films of 2004 was compiled from over 80 film critics who voted in the 5th annual poll organized by the magazine.

They Shoot Pictures, Don't They?

They Shoot Pictures, Don't They? is a site about filmmaking and directors. A great place to find out more about filmmaking and directors.

Best and Worst Movies of 2004 by Andrew Sarris

Andrew Sarris writes about The Best and Worst Movies of 2004 in a great article that has more than most lists as it also includes films that made other lists (but not his) and a bit of reflection about how some lists miss films that later are seen as great.

indieWIRE's Top 15 Undistributed Films of 2004

indieWIRE's Top 15 Undistributed Films of 2004 looks impressive and I don't think that any of the films on the list were screening during the Atlantic Film Festival. Hopefully at some point we'll be able to see some of these films in the coming year.

Helping South East Asia

Many of us are looking for ways to contribute to the relief efforts in South East Asia. There are jars around the NSCC campuses that are collecting money for the Canadian Red Cross until January 10 to allow the funds raised to be matched by the Federal Government. I'm also participating in BlogAid is a project started by Andy Budd where bloggers donate ad revenue from the month of January to charities assisting in the relief effort.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

For the love of Polaroid

Digital Cameras seem to be taking over the photography world. Personally I still love Polaroids. Nothing beats the feel of taking a picture and having it develop in your hand. It's like magic every time. I manipulate some of my photos but my techniques are very raw and need more practice. A friend of mine sent me this site to show that there are others out there who love Polaroid’s as much as me. There are some very inspiring photos, I especially liked that some people use a simple Joycam and can get such beautiful colours.

WRITTEN BY: Unproduced Scripts

The Writer's Guild of America's magazine, Written By, had a story in the Summer 2004 issue about Unproduced Scripts for tv pilots and films. You can read the whole scripts and read some interesting stories about the scripts.

Sight and Sound Top Ten Poll 2002

It may be a bit dated, but The Sight and Sound Top Ten Poll 2002 is a list of the best films of all time as determined by critics and directors. Since 1952, at ten year intervals, Sight & Sound polled critics for the best films. You can see what films have stood the test of time and add things to your list to see that you haven't yet seen.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

My Top 10 Films of 2004

Yesterday I finally posted my Top 10 Films of 2004. It wasn't as hard as it's been in the past as I think that there was a better crop of films this year than the last few and I think that the coming year is even more exciting.