Archive for November, 2007

Whistler Film Festival

Friday, November 30th, 2007

I drove up to Whistler with Brittany in the evening on Thursday to see what the Whistler Film Festival was like. The drive up was annoying because of the weather, and the extremely dirty windshield, but we made it up okay around 6pm, walked over to the conference center and paid a total of $53 for two tickets to the Opening Gala Party with the focus being the showing of a French Canadian film:

Canada | 2007 | 104 minutes | French w/English Subtitles

DIRECTOR: Denys Arcand
PRODUCER: Denise Robert, Daniel Louis
CAST: Marc Labrèche, Diane Kruger, Sylvie Léonard, Emma de Caunes, Didier Lucien
PRODUCTION COMPANY: Cinemaginaire Inc./Mon Voisin Productions/Ciné-@

In Denys Arcand’s latest film, a follow up to his enormously successful The Decline of the American Empire and Oscar® winning The Barbarian Invasions, the celebrated auteur returns to his favourite pastime – skewering the inanity and dehumanization of modern life. In his dreams, middle-aged Jean-Marc is a knight in shining armour, a star of stage and screen, and a successful author who has women falling at his feet and into his bed. In reality, he is a nobody – a civil servant working as ‘complaint hearer’ in the Citizen’s Rights Department, a failed husband to a workaholic wife and father to two daughters who wouldn’t notice if he dropped dead. Worse yet – he’s a closet smoker! Will Jean-Marc be able to resist the temptations of his dreamland or will he decide to carve out a life of his own? Popular Québec actor Marc Labrèche’s plays Jean-Marc as an amiable everyman who becomes increasingly lost in his ‘Walter Mitty ’-like fantasies, while his life slowly crumbles around him, while Arcand proves he has lost none of his wit as he mercilessly satirizes the Kafkaesque absurdities of our modern ‘Days of Darkness’.

That’s pretty much what the film was all about. Brittany and I went and grabbed a couple of drinks as a place a couple blocks away, and were actually told by the waitress that we HAD to buy food too, because they can’t just serve alcohol anymore because they were getting in trouble with their liquor license where they’re supposed to be a cafe or something. It was strange, but we came to the compromise that we would keep a menu at our table and claim we are still thinking about food while starting on our drinks. Clever, and works out for both of us.

We wandered over to the gala at the Conference Center, and it was definitely top notch with the presentation, as Whistler is famous for. They had appetizers, drinks, and a free coat check! Unfortunately they almost mixed up my jacket at the end, and the drinks weren’t free, but we had already had some so we were fine. We basically absorbed the gala party atmosphere which was pretty enjoyable, and then went and grabbed a couple seats.

They kicked off the gala with some brief introductions, and then got underway. It started off with four 5 minute short films from the Whistler Stories series. Basically, the film festival commissions four filmmakers a year up until 2010 to create short films based on stories from or inspired by the Whistler area. After watching these shorts, I wish I lived in Whistler because I could do a better job than some of these. Here’s the listing of Whistler Stories that I saw:

Canada (BC) | 2007 | 5 minutes

PRODUCER: John Hewson.

Whistler local Vincent Massey, known to his friends as Binty, shows us his craft as a stoneware potter and shares a story about a daring winter rescue.

Canada (BC) | 2007 | 5 minutes

DIRECTOR/WRITER: Lenny Rubenovitch
PRODUCER: Brian Hockenstein

First To Go Up documents the story of the first snowboarders allowed to ride on Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains, and the struggles they encountered as this upstart new sport took hold.

Canada (BC) | 2007 | 5 minutes

CO-PRODUCER/CO-WRITER: Rebecca Wood Barrett

In Extreme Seniors our stereotypes of the elderly are humorously unraveled as we ride along on the athletic adventures of Whistler’s most extreme and inspirational senior citizens. Try to keep up!

Canada (BC) | 2007 | 5 minutes

DIRECTOR: Ivan Hughes
WRITER: Jason Topham
PRODUCER: Graem Luis

A look at Whistler pioneer Myrtle Philip’s first historic journey to the area and how she benefi ted her community and paved the way for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Narrated by Olympic Gold Medalist, Ross Rebagliati.

After the showing, we had to get going home so we couldn’t stick around. Normally, most of the networking and socializing happens afterwards, and we started to see it forming but had to leave. In the future, I’m certain I will be part of some of these parties, but for now as we were looking around, I am still much younger than the other people there. There’s no rush, but it damn well feels good to be there.

The drive home was much nicer because I squeegeed my windows, and had a very enjoyable conversation the whole way home with my beautiful Brittany.

23 Track Frets

Thursday, November 29th, 2007

I started around 1am last night and worked for just over 4 hours developing a re-edit of Frets to make it a little more exciting, faster paced, and just fix some small editing mistakes. We met a few weeks ago and I gathered feedback from each department’s perspective, and I used those notes as a guideline when re-editing. I’m pretty excited with the new edit, and I’m on the lookout for people that I can sit down and get to watch the new edit so I can see how they respond! It’ll be up on my blog sometime over the next week or so if all goes well and we don’t have to work into a 3rd edit. We’re looking to get it right.

The whole thing is eight seconds shorter, and from the tech side it was pretty nice to compile the entire project from it’s 48-hour contest state of 7 project files spanning 59 tracks, down to a very tidy and work-able 23 tracks in a single project as you can see below!

It may look a little much, but believe me when I say that is ten times less complicated than before!

Six Month Hair Cut & Paul Uses iMovie

Thursday, November 29th, 2007

After dropping Brian at Future Shop for work this morning, I came home and got a haircut from Megan. This was remarkable because the last time I had a hair cut, was a record six months ago! We couldn’t believe it when we looked it up. To put this in perspective, this means that the entire time that I’ve known Brittany, that I haven’t once had a hair cut! Insane. Megan claims that my hair was actually turning into dread-locks at some points. I’m very happy to have it all freshly trimmed!

I went over to Janet’s place, where we finished filming the movie we’ve been working on. It was myself, Janet-Elizabeth Hosak, Mike Waddell, and Jason Pelley. Back at the end of October, we had shot the interior scene, but due to a lack of rain we weren’t able to do the ending. It was supposed to rain today, but instead we just got a damp ground with a very light drizzle. It is due for her school on Friday so we made do. After shooting and uploading, I ran off and met with Ray, regarding some writing for an hour or so, and then headed back down to Janet’s to help polish her rough edit into a fine little piece. She did pretty good on her own, but the biggest challenge was overcoming the fact that we were working not just on a Mac, but with iMovie. It was a treacherous endeavor that I dreaded, but overcame for the sake of the project. I actually touched the thing and tried hard to make the thing work. I am very unimpressed. I stuck around until 10, when I ran off to go pickup Jason from work. We went over to Tim Hortons and chatted about writing for films for well over an hour. It’s good to be getting everyone on the same page, even if I have to do it one by one. It will be greatly beneficial to the film group.

Below, is the movie that we created at Janet’s, titled A Little Fall Of Rain.

Hippo Eats Dwarf

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

// from Christine

Jimi Hendrix’s Birthday

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

Today would mark the 65th birthday of Jimi Hendrix, so I thought I’d throw a few interesting facts out there:

  • Member of the Forever 27 club
  • He only had three albums
  • Played left-handed
  • Taught himself to play the guitar
  • Born in Seattle
  • His manager was a member of the British Intelligence
  • Paul Allen, the Microsoft co-founder, owns the guitar that Jimi played at Woodstock
  • He was once intimidated by The Who and was so afraid to follow their act after they smashed their guitars on stage and was like HOW CAN I TOP THAT!!!! … So he lit his on fire.

What Do YOU Want For Christmas?

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007