Monday, June 30, 2008

12 1/2 Years!

On a personal note - and in somewhat Good Hard Working People related news, since we work on a lot of the projects together: today is Scott and my 12 1/2 Year Wedding Anniversary.

And yes, this is a real anniversary that people celebrate - at least in the Netherlands and maybe in Germany. It's considered the parsley and sometimes the nickel (metal, not American coins) anniversary.

Since this week is also the 4th of July and we usually have a garden party - we've decided to combine the events and celebrate with a late afternoon BBQ and fireworks provided by the city of New York.

The picture I created for the invitation. And if we know you, you live in New York and haven't received the invitation details, the email might have gone into your spam folder or for some reason I didn't have your email address. Please get in touch via Facebook or email.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Germany in EURO 2008 Semifinals

I've never been much into watching sports. I've always been more interested in music, literature, cinema and visual arts.

Music is the international language that speaks to people from all over the world, literature helps us understand the human condition and embrace "the other", cinema teaches us about other cultures and ways of life and lets us overcome our differences, visual art can move us emotionally and enlighten us no matter who we are or where we come from. All these creative and cultural experiences bring us together.

Competitive sports, on the other hand, seem to be all about regional or even national pride, fighting each other, and trying to prove that you are better than the other... ultimately dividing us into rivals. Not really my cup of "love thy brother" tea.

Oh, yeah... and then today...

... Germany beat Portugal (3:2) in the quarterfinals of the European Soccer Championship and now are gearing up to play either Croatia or Turkey in the semifinals next Wednesday and all I can say is: who cares about all that silly artsy hippie sh*t when the German soccer team is totally kickin' a** and I'm all about watching the match and wear my German soccer jersey that I bought in LA in 2006 before heading into that English pub right on Santa Monica Blvd a block from the beach to watch the nail-bitingly exciting Soccer World Cup match between Germany and Argentina.

I guess there's something about being an ex-pat and watching your country's national sport a continent away...

Or maybe it's just because the German soccer team rules!!!

Die Fraktion - Schwarz Rot Gold

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Blog List

I just added a list of some of the blogs I subscribe to on the right side of my blog. I kept it to the smaller ones with a more personal perspective and won't permanently list all the bigger ones like Gothamist, Brooklyn Vegan, Pitchfork, New Yorker, Wired Top Stories, New York Times Most Emailed, Boing Boing and all the news feeds.

Each of the blogs that I am listing shows its most current entry. So maybe you'll see something you'd be interested in reading... Just look over to the right of the main blog page - just below the archive and right above the website links. ---------->

To streamline a bit, I deleted a few of the website links that were by the same people whose blog I'm now featuring.

If you have a blog I don't have listed, let me know about it so I can check it out.

Monday, June 16, 2008

MobLogic Shorties & Animation

Since there's nothing very exciting to report while I'm back to editing All's Well and Fair, I thought I'd draw your attention to some recent developments at MobLogic, one of the online shows Scott produces for CBS Interactive.

When the show, which focuses on political news and current issues, first launched a few months ago, it seemed to mostly be "people on the street" interviews, but since then they've added regular sit-down interviews, editorials by the host Lindsay Campbell, animated shows and short virals.

Below are a few of my recent favorites that were not interviews.

A "Rants in the Key of LC":

A few "Shorties":

An animation episode:

Monday, June 9, 2008

Happy Birthday, KT!

Birthday Girl

Congratulations to the most fabulous Katie Ainslie!

The filmmaker, photographer and friend, who seems to bring a smile to everyone she meets and who everybody always wants to work with because she's so reliable, energetic and full of positive spirit, is turning 30 today.

KT, we're lucky to know you!

Stickers provided by Jessica Gould (worn by Scott here)

And we had a blast hosting the birthday party in our yards this weekend, which is by fate so obnoxiously large that some of our "guilt" is alleviated when it's filled with happy people. And with a full bar courtesy of KT, Jessica Gould & Jessica Grotfeldt,
David Cox DJ'ing all night (and running a photo booth on the side) and all the wonderful people present everyone seemed very happy. Except maybe for some neighbors...

To many more!

Jessica Grotfeldt and Jessica Gould, the co-host extraordinaire

Over The Shoulder of Mixing Board with DJ David Cox behind a tie-wearing ghost

Side yard filling up - I spot Meghan Scibona's hat

Bar and Backyard and Jerome almost not blurry at all

Jessica G. & Adele's cakes before the lake was filled in with blue jell-o

The It Couple: Katie and David

Shooting in a Heat Wave

Early Sunday morning Scott and I ventured out to the park to shoot material for our new short documentary just as the heat wave hit. Even the dogs were sweating! But we pushed through enough so that we can get started on post-production... in air conditioning. Let's just hope there's no power outage!

"Tag, You're It!" Still Going Strong

After 2 1/2 months, I filmed for the first time again an interview with Meghan Scibona and Jason Nunes, the two initiators of the Exquisite Corpse film project "Tag, You're It!". It was great to catch up with Meghan and Jason about the project and to be assured that it's still moving forward. It even "finally left Brooklyn": the current segment is being shot by Jamie Ansley and her partner Michael in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

I heard there are still a few slots available. So if you're a filmmaker that would like to participate in this collaborative film project, get in touch with the producers via their site.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Month in Review

I hadn't blogged in a month because nothing much had happened. But as I was writing some posts about our various films in production and post-production, all the visitors and the amazing supersampler camera, I realized a lot of things happened.
So in a way I guess it truly was "just another month". Never a dull moment.

New Documentary in Production

What? Another documentary in production? Doesn't that seem a little, I don't know, excessive?

Well, this one is different. Scott and I are doing this one together again and it's going to be very short. And it's paid for. You see, totally different.

We've already shot quite a bit and are planning to move into post-production by next week. I'm not going to say more, I'll just leave you with this...

(photo source totally unrelated)

April in May

April photographing one of the Jeff Koons sculptures on the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Film school friend and wonderful producer April Ruane Crowley took a short break from working on Marley & Me (shooting in PA at the time) and came to NY for a weekend in May.

April in bar-appropriate blurry vision
The Farm, Brooklyn

This visit was well overdue and much too short. We barely got to catch up, walk the park and see some art - so we never found time to actually decide exactly WHEN we'll start production on our first fiction feature. Until then I'll keep dreaming of just the right script, all funds raised and finally...

My May Melodies

These are the songs that I just couldn't get out of my head this past month.

with "L.E.S. Artistes"

Robyn with "Konichiwa Bitches"

"Konichiwa Bitches" I only discovered because I wasn't sure if I was okay with liking "Cobrastyle" by Robyn and felt that I needed to explore her music more (by the way, the rest of the album is not my thing at all). Here's "Cobrastyle" so you can make up your own mind.

Happy National News

There have been so many bad news in the last few weeks, with the tornadoes, earthquakes, floodings, fires, the continuing wars and terrorist attacks, that it was especially wonderful to hear the wonderful news that same-sex marriage is now legal in California. Equal rights, love and commitment to another human being. I just don't understand why anyone would be opposed to it - unless of course, they get some satisfaction out of other people having less rights and therefore less joy than themselves.

Christia & Girls on Film

Christia on Broadway

In May, my dear and long-time friend Christia came up for a much too short weekend trip. We had such a wonderful time that I can't wait for her to return soon.

Christia on the subway watching the East River pass by below the Manhattan Bridge

Maybe she'll come to New York while on tour with her fabulous dancetronic glam wave band Girls On Film (she's the singer Rio). They're about to go back to the studio to record a new album. And a national tour may just follow...

But for now here's an older video, which was just picked up by Italian MTV.

All Grown Up

I haven't been working on All's Well and Fair much lately besides applying for grants... oh, and then receiving some rejections, which always dampens my enthusiasm of continuing work on that very project a little bit. I know you should never admit any of this, but let's be real: rejections happen and they suck and they make you feel like maybe your work and your project aren't good enough. But then I always realize that I just don't have time to dwell on any of those doubts, because, you know, I've got to keep working on the film. So for the next week or so I'll put All God's Children on hold again and focus on finalizing the latest cut of All's Well and Fair.

Brandon and Tessa in Brooklyn
May 2008

But what I really wanted to write about is that Tessa Drais came to visit in Brooklyn. She's the oldest of the kids in All's Well and Fair. When we filmed for the first time, she was only 7. Now she's 19, in college, lives with her boyfriend, Brandon, and comes to visit without mom Rachel. It was really fun hanging out with her all grown up and meeting her friends. I'm excited about finishing the film in the near future so we can all watch it together. Although to them it might feel more like watching home movies. It must be so weird to be in a personal documentary.



For my birthday in April my friends Scott C. and Sean gave me an Austrian Supersampler Camera from the Lomographic Society.

I've been having way too much fun with that camera. It takes 4 pictures within 2 seconds all on the same negative next to each other via 4 small lenses. It doesn't have a view finder. You barely have an idea what you're taking a picture of. It doesn't have an "instant replay" since it's real 35mm film, not digital, so you have to wait until you get the photos back from the lab to find out if anything turned out. The lenses are Japanese made but are inspired by the Russian Lomo lenses - so they cause that special glow of brighter parts. And the most mundane images might turn out to be the most pleasing photograph because of the pattern forming through repetition, e.g., one of my favorite ones so far is the picture of the sky between two buildings:

Der Himmel ├╝ber New York
8th Street - May 2008

Here are some other the results of embracing the lomographer's slogan "Don't Think, Just Shoot":

East River & downtown from the D train on Manhattan Bridge
first roll of film - discovery of using vehicle's motion for effect

Dumbo artists' building with some history (Justin's video & lots of parties)
many rolls later - learned to keep camera still while train is moving...
symmetry of Manhattan Bridge support over 3 shots leaves me speechless

Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta
Unfortunately the cemetery was closed because of tornado damage
but the brunch across the street was fantastic

Fruit stand in Park Slope, Brooklyn
So many bananas, so colorful, so summer

"Afrobats" at Bethesda Fountain in Central Park, NY
almost perfect, if only I had hit trigger before first jump

dear friend Debbie Foreman and her step-dad at her wedding to Scott Miller
Atlanta, May 2008

Melissa and Jimmy on the first roll of film
besides the lucky composition building up to the 2-shot on slice 3,
this also seems to capture their dynamic
Baltic Park, Brooklyn

Brian, Mark, Avi & a bottle of wine
one of the first pictures and what luck: the arch of the bottle, the arrangement of people left to right and the "zoom in" on Avi in motion: it's like a comic book panel
Baltic Park, Brooklyn

Jessica and Scott C. - so sweet
since Scott gave me the camera, it seems only fitting that it would make him glow like an angel
Baltic Park, Brooklyn

self portrait of Scott and me in Atlanta at Debbie and Scott M.'s wedding
definitely one of the super lucky shots - and the hair glows so...


The last few weeks I've been re-loading the footage for All God's Children onto the Mac using FCP. We had originally cut the film on Avid on a PC. Then we lost the hard drive with all of the media before finalizing the cut, which meant we had to work off an old master, with titles locked into place and all AfterEffects files suffering from degradation. This weekend I had to realize that we also have lost a lot of the original photos. So now I'll have to re-scan and re-touch up and then re-animate the photos. Stalling right now while deciding if this is what I should be doing or if we can live with the artifacting in some of the photos. Hm...

The rest of my All God's Children time is taken up by getting screenings organized for late summer/fall.

Just another month

An entire month without any blog posts?
I guess there really hasn't been anything too exciting happening in my film world.

But that doesn't mean that there isn't anything happening at all.
Instead of one long post about a bunch of little things, here are a bunch of posts each about one little thing.