Thursday, January 21, 2010

Rainy Day Ponderings

Rainy day ponderings.

Reality shows are starting to really reach for new ideas. If you watch you'll find a few new shows featuring dwarves. One with a dwarf family and now one with a dwarf married couple. There's also a show about ex-con bikers that run a pitbull rescue. So what could be better? The show with dwarves running a pitbull rescue! Yeah I'm serious. They're starting to combine reality shows to get viewers and there's never been a better time to be a little person.

The suggestions I would have are Dwarf Hoarders... maybe that one could be called Little People Big Mess. Or how about a little person bounty hunter team... Puppy The Bounty Hunter. Mini Amazing Race; Survivor, Over The Rainbow; Midget Mythbusters could round out a Friday night followed by Little People Big Catch.. which is of course about an all dwarf fishing boat.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

but is it good?

But is it a good movie?

What makes a good movie, really? A few of my friends and acquaintances in the business of various forms of story telling are finding themselves perplexed at "bad" movies selling a lot of tickets, "bad" books becoming best sellers and "bad" tv shows flooding their channels. I've given this subject some thought and thought I'd pass on a few of my observations.

First off what do you consider "good"? We're shaped by our teachers who are shaped by their teachers etc etc. This means that a bad idea can be passed down for a few hundred years before it changes. If a lesson plan says that in order to be considered a good piece of literature it has to have element A, Element B and Element C like a math equation who's going to be the first educator to stand up and say it's bad information?

Secondly I think with any project you have to look at the goal of the creators. If your goal is to create a tv show that films fast and is extremely cheap to produce then you film an entire season of a reality show in a week and collect your check. If your goal is to make every 13 year old girl (or gay man) fantasize about being in love with a misunderstood monster.. you write Twilight. If you want to hypnotize millions of people with special effects and action sequences then you make Avatar. Are they good? If you're in a classroom then no.. they aren't good. Do the people paying to see consume them or the people cashing the checks care that they aren't considered good by academic standards?.. probably not.

Third.. think about the difference between what you like and what you consider good. For example I can't stand Jane Austins books. I've only set down a small number of books without finishing them and Pride and Prejudice was one of them. On a side note Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is cracking me the hell up. Seems everything can be made better with the addition of the undead in any of its many forms.

So as you're writing, filming, drawing and sculpting think about your own goal. Do you want to create something people want to see or do you want to create something that will be considered good in the academic sense? Do you want fame and riches now or do you want children born long after you're dead to be forced to see your work? .... or.. both?

Saturday, January 2, 2010



I think it's good writing practice to review other peoples work. Besides there's something cathartic about judging someone else.

I've seen a few movies recently. The Princess and the Frog from Disney. It wasn't bad but definitely "whited down" for a general audience. It looked to be set in the 1940's but didn't show any of the social issues of the time. But why should it really? The main target audience is children after all. It was nice to see something in the old style of Disney and for what it is it was it perfectly.

For some reason I don't want to like Robert Downey Jr. but if his performance in Iron man hadn't completely won me over to his camp then his performance in Sherlock Holmes definitely would have. The story line was well done touching on some of the classic concepts in the original Holmes stories but it was really only a small part of the movie after the acting, special effects and scenery. I hope the writer made some money.. but of course it wasn't really a new story was it?

For the first time I read the book A Confederacy of Dunces and I'm going to add it to the list of books I will reread. There's a subtle genius to it that I'd like to pinpoint and maybe emulate. The most surprising part of the book is that it had escaped my notice until now. Sadly the author is dead and has only written one other book. I find myself wondering if he would have written many pieces of genius or if this book was all he had in him creativity wise. Like having all of his luck spent at one time rather than piecing it out over the next several decades.

2,557 pics in December

Just to recap I decided in order to get better at taking pictures I had to take a LOT of pictures. The idea was to both get better at framing, composition and learning how to use a camera. At first I gave myself the task of 1,000 pictures taken in the month of December. There were no other rules than that but I knew I was trying to get better so I didn't just take 1,000 pictures of my feet.

It wasn't long before I realized that 1,000 pictures in San Diego in December was too easy of a goal. I live near Balboa Park, I went to Disneyland for a day and the holidays brought festivals with plenty of decorations. After the first week I decided 2,500 pictures was a better challenge.

It's January now and I finished Dec. with 2576 pictures. 678 of them taken with my phone the rest with my canon powershot. I'm going through them now and doing some editing and finally deleting the failed shots. I would say only about 15-20% of them are actually good shots. As the month went by I actually took more bad pictures. I think it was because I was stepping out and experimenting more with settings and trying several times to get a good shot of the same thing.

As I go through the rest of the pictures I'll post with any comments. For now though I'll get back to editing since I know this is about the point ADD kicks in and people stop reading posts.