From my film vault

I was doing some spring cleaning this weekend. One box had a VHS tape that had a video transfer of a couple of old Super 8 movies I did more than 20 years ago. One I did for fun in 1983 and the other was my final project for a film production class I had in college back in 1990. I replaced the titled cards, sprinkled in some sound effects, added some royalty free music, and uploaded them to my YouTube Channel.

The video transfers are bad. It looks like the place where I had it done just pointed a video camera at a screen while they projected the movie so there is a lot of jitter and the title cards are pretty much unreadable. The picture quality is also poor.

I was able to fix some not so great editing I did on the 2nd the film. If I remember I was crushed for time so I did the edits quickly without making sure the pacing was right so one scene would run too long before a cut to another where the actor was standing around before I said action. Editing it digitally helped tighten those edits so the pacing looks better today.

The Pepsi Chaser (1983)

The Guide (1990)

Spending time off the net – Part 2

I was without Internet access for about 10 days and I didn’t realize how much its tentacles reached into my life. I had 10 days to kill and this is the second part of what I did to kill the time.

4. There was a faded celebrity with a new book accusing her now dead celebrity father of incest when she was a drugged up teenager in the late 1970’s early 1980’s. She was interviewed on Oprah which is like the President being on all channels for a speech. I understand that her ordeal is major and it may have had an influence on her later substance abuse and she should get treatment for it- but I can’t understand why she would need to be on Oprah and discuss it. People have said that by her being so public that some regular people who suffered the same trauma might finally come forward to deal with it … I guess that is one way of looking at it but I just don’t get someone wanting to be so public about whatever trauma they have suffered.

5. Got to watch some shows from the season DVDs of “Due South” that I missed the first time they were on back in the 1990’s. The problem with the season set is there isn’t any extras – just 6 episodes on each disk. Still funny after all these years – Thank you kindly. Just before I lost my Internet I got word that fans of the show will be meeting in Toronto in 2010 for a convention.

6. Finished up a screen writing workshop I had on DVD and that got me warmed up to write again. In one day I wrote 20 pages of a new script…. whooo hooo. Although I really wish I could write comedy. Got to really read one of my writing magazines I paid for but hardly read.

7. Kept up on my house cleaning and laundry…. wow – didn’t take long at all.

8. Really got to thinking why am I charged cell phone minutes to hear my voicemail. Shouldn’t voicemail be free for me to hear it? Yet another scam – just like paying $9 a month for Netflix even if you don’t use it very often and if you do then they charge you more. 

9. Edited and converted some digital video files I made from some old VHS tapes including some guest starring turns in 2000 from an acting favorite of mine. They appeared on several shows that season and I had video taped the shows. Also converted some old footage from the day of the 9/11 attacks. I had put in a tape and just pressed record during the wall to wall news coverage. Also had a bit of the first Letterman, Leno, and Saturday Night Live back after the attacks.

10. Listened to some of the commentary tracks on some of the DVD movies I have. A good one was the technical commentary on Clerks II with Director Kevin Smith and Dave Klein who was the Director of Photography. Another good one was the one to the 2000 reissue of “Superman the Movie” (1978) with Director Richard Donner and writer Tom Mankiewicz. The one thing I didn’t know was that Chris Reeves flew in 7 different ways for the movie all without any CGI (since they didn’t have CGI yet). Well I did know CGI didn’t exist but didn’t know they used 7 different ways to make him fly. That film still holds up. I also have “Superman Returns” and it is cool to compare the two movies and see so much was the same in theme and tone. I really love when both Supermen say “Well, I hope this experience hasn’t put you off flying. Statistically speaking, it’s still the safest way to travel.” Cracks me up every time. 

Weekend Ear Candy: Cell Block Tango from “Chicago”

I love musicals. As a kid in school I participated in them when I could. I couldn’t sing or dance but to be around them during productions was fun. The only professional musical I’ve seen in person was “Phantom of the Opera” in Toronto 10 years ago. My favorites are “Guys and Dolls” and “Chicago”.

I liked “Chicago” because of the 1920’s vibe and and the music was great.

For this weekend’s ear candy selection I picked the song “Cell Block Tango” from the movie version. It blew me away when I saw it on the big screen.

“Cell Block Tango” from the musical Chicago

TV film alert: Alexandra Pelosi holds mirror up to US conservatives in new film

There is a new documentary by Alexandra Pelosi that is to be shown on HBO starting Monday 2/16 about the conservative reaction the 2008 US elections.(check your time and channel in your area).

Here is the blurb from HBO:

On the day Barack Obama was elected the 44th President, more than 58 million voters cast their ballots for John McCain. In the months leading up to this historic election, filmmaker Alexandra Pelosi (HBO’s Emmy®-winning “Journeys with George”) took a road trip to meet some of the conservative Americans who waited in line for hours to support the GOP ticket, and saw their hopes and dreams evaporate in the wake of that Democratic victory. These voters share their feelings about the changing America in which they live. Premieres Monday, February 16 at 8pm (ET/PT) on HBO2.

I did a post about on my Secular Left blog that includes an interview the filmmaker did on the Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC on Friday night.

Alexandra Pelosi holds mirror up to US conservatives in new film