bookmark_borderAfter the movie is shot, we can begin to assemble it

“Even if I improve a film 1 percent, that’s important to me,” Sam Pollard

We’ve written the script, storyboarded the film, planned it, budgeted it, raised money (though not as much as we’d hoped), and now we shot the picture for Dara Says.

Recently, someone congratulated us for finishing the film.   “Congratulations on finishing the film.” Only, it hasn’t been finished yet.  It’s now time to assemble it.  We can still make the film better, with an excellent editor like Sam Pollard on board.  (No, we don’t have him, but we can dream, can’t we?)

Rosie and Beccy looking at a computer
Rosie de Sousa, producer, and Beccy O’Regan, Script Supervisor, consider a shot for Dara Says.

Continue reading “After the movie is shot, we can begin to assemble it”

bookmark_borderThe creativity of writing a budget

A yellow flower, common in gardens in Aberystwyth, processed in photography so the colors stand out.
Simple solutions come when you look at things differently.

Creative accounting is wrong, but it’s not wrong to be creative when accounting.

We were putting together some numbers for a project, and the budget started looking, well, bloated.  We hoped to keep total costs down below a certain threshold.  But, the budget for our project was starting to balloon to one and a half times the maximum I hoped it would be, and I hadn’t even finished costing the marketing yet. Continue reading “The creativity of writing a budget”

bookmark_borderThe re-election of James Madison

WB Strickland's image of the USS United States capturing the HMS Macedonian
Did the October 25 capture of the HMS Macedonian by the USS United States help Madison win re-election in November 1812?

At times, it looked as if the election of 1812 would be a close one.  At any rate, its outcome was more important than remembered. Even as late as July 3 1813, the Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser in Australian was speculating on who the winner was. Their information, which came from across the sea on the 12th January of that year, supposed that they could have been wrong about a DeWitt Clinton victory, but “The electors of Vermont are said to be in favor of Mr. Clinton.” Continue reading “The re-election of James Madison”

bookmark_borderTopsy Turvy (1999) Review

Poster with the words "The Mikado on top, and a full length portrait of the character kaisha, in traditional dress and holding a sword, surrounded by flowers.
The Mikado, promotional poster from the Gilbert and Sullivan theatrical production, by Johnathan B. Jeffrey, ca. 1885

I purposely avoided Moliere, Shakespeare in Love, and almost every other movie about a playwright.  I do this because I respect writers like Shakespeare, and I find their period fascinating.  I likewise avoid most movies about Thomas Jefferson.  I prefer the Jefferson that I read in his letters, or from his contemporaries, to the cartoon lecher that Hollywood spoon feeds us with.

It ain’t just reverence and respect for the past, I don’t like the glossy misinterpretations.  Those movies about great people are often like sampling Mozart into some kind of techno elevator music. Continue reading “Topsy Turvy (1999) Review”

bookmark_borderLaura (1944) review

A mystery, filled with red herrings, deceptions and hilarious false leads, but at the end, when it’s all solved, it seems so obvious. The entire plot falls into place. How can anyone claim to forget who the murderer is? Roger Ebert claimed in his review that “I’ve seen the movie seven times, and the murderer still doesn’t immediately spring to mind.” Continue reading “Laura (1944) review”

bookmark_borderAn experiment based on Kuleshov’s work with political icons

Karl MarxMost film students will know of the Kuleshov experiment by their second year in film school.  And most historians will know who Karl Marx, Margaret Thatcher, Richard Nixon and Napoleon Bonaparte are.

Well, why not mix the simplest film experiment in history with four of history’s most debated icons? Meanwhile, we can test someone’s historical knowledge.

Try showing the following video to your friends, students or peers.  (Kids, try this with your parents.) Ask them how the other images in the sequence makes the famous people feel. Continue reading “An experiment based on Kuleshov’s work with political icons”

bookmark_borderWhen the athlete was anonymous and there were no sports pages

two congressmen fighting with sticks, one kicking the other in the knee.  Meanwhile others look on, including one man in a comfortable seat and another who looks to be cheering.  An old sketch
“Congressional Pugilists” 1798

While Prince William, and most of the media, followed the European cup, Kate Middleton went to the theatre instead.  Sports are big news today, and almost every top athlete is a household name.  Things weren’t always that way.

In June of 1812, a man from the county of Somerset came up with a challenge.  He bet 500 guineaus that he could walk 1000 miles in as many hours. Continue reading “When the athlete was anonymous and there were no sports pages”

bookmark_borderWill history be kind to Bush (Jr)?

George Washington Bush shouting at a bald manOn CNN, Timothy Stanely compared Bush Junior to Harry Truman. Both Presidents left office with low approval ratings, both supposedly fought what seemed like unpopular wars (Truman in Korea, Bush in Iraq), yet both had “a gentle, honest personality that voters looked back on with fondness.”

Really?  Gentle and honest? Really? Continue reading “Will history be kind to Bush (Jr)?”

bookmark_borderCareer Advice from a chin: Follow your dream

You may think you know what to do with the future, but do you? Are you just going to stand there picking your nose all day? If so, Chinny McGringo has a word or two to say to you.

If you can’t see the video for one reason or another, I’ll leave the following abridged transcript and screenshots.

Chinny: “You know what I always say? You know what I always say? Follow your dream, follow your dream.”

Chinny: “So the other day, by Boy comes over. And you know what I say to him? You know what I say? I say, are you just going to stand there picking your nose all day? And do you know what he says? He says-“When indecision haunts, only one chin can help

Chinny Jr: “Yeah dad, I’m just going portrait of Chinny McGringoto stand here picking my nose all day…”


How would you react if you were Chinny? What career tips do you have for Generations X, Y and Z?

Well, Professor Chinny McGringo knew exactly what he wanted to say, and if you watch this video, Professor McGringo may be able to help you too.

bookmark_borderHow can social networks stop the scams? (and the abusive posts)

If you’re a member of LinkedIn, you’ve probably seen it.   Someone offering you a great job or freelance offer that seemed to fit just what you wanted.

Perhaps you’ve even fallen for one or two scams, but don’t want to admit it.  Although there were pyramid schemes and other frauds in the days before the World Wide Web was really world wide, we vaguely remember that “they”, the scam artists, used to wear shady trench coats and hang out in dark alleys.

Today, however, “they” wear trendy clothes and hang out in mainstream networking groups. Continue reading “How can social networks stop the scams? (and the abusive posts)”