Nothing was going to stop my plan of planting lettuce and carrots on the first full day of Spring in Princeton NJ. All I needed was a snow shovel and a little help from a snowy friend.
Playing around in my new basement animation studio … preparing to do both stop-motion animation (such as “claymation”) … and drawn animation … and hybrids of each. Two quick tests:
These efforts harken back to my early teens when I first fell in love with making movies, especially animation. Professionally, I’ve done lots of software-based animation, mostly infographics of various sorts. But I haven’t done any animation of this sort in many years. So don’t be surprised if my new efforts are somewhat juvenile in quality (and content). But I’m loving the hands-on hand-made aspects.
Here’s my animation stand, cobbled together from various parts, both ancient and modern. Camera is a Panasonic GH3 controlled remotely using an iPad app:
Last week I was scouring the Best New Albums list at Pitchfork.com. Digging down into the second page, I came across an interesting review for “Rips” by Ex Hex, a female trio from Washington, DC. I’d never heard of them, but I listened to a couple of sample songs, liked what I heard, and bought the album as a download. As I listened, I also checked out the band’s website and Instagram feed. Among the Instagram images that I viewed was a video of guitarist Mary Timony roller skating (see below).
The very next day I spoke to my daughter Molly who is now based in Portland, OR, pursuing her career as a filmmaker. She filled me in on her recent gigs, including working on a music video … for a band called Ex Hex. If that wasn’t enough of a coincidence, she said that they had filmed at a roller rink. I mentioned seeing the Instagram video, and Molly said “Really? I remember them shooting that clip with a phone as I was walking past.” So I went back and looked at the clip, and sure enough, there’s Molly walking past on the right!
Early in November, I flew to Nashville from Philadelphia for a documentary video job. On the plane I noticed a woman with distinctive tattoos on her arms. After we landed and got to the hotel downtown, the same woman was checking in just ahead of us. I heard the reservation clerk refer to a suite for Neko Case, and I realized that was who I was standing next to.
Later that evening at the hotel, I searched through my laptop iTunes music collection, since I knew I had an album by Neko Case. When I did the search, sure enough her album “Middle Cyclone” showed up. My playback settings were set to random, and the first song that played was “Prison Girls.”
The coincidence? We were in town to film at the Tennessee Prison for Women the very next morning.
Shot with my iPhone 4S, proving once again that the best (movie) camera in the world is the one you happen to have with you when something interesting happens.
No fancy riding, just some nice trails.
In 2008, I made an ad as a volunteer for the Obama campaign, using a truck as a metaphor for the country and where it was going. During the campaign, candidate Obama used a similar metaphor, so I updated the ad with his comment.
The original version of the ad was called Truckers for Obama.
I made this ad for a contest “Obama in 30 Seconds”, held by MoveOn.org in early 2008. It’s a riff on Bush’s claim that “I’m the decider”: Here, an audience member responds to Obama’s line that our nation is of, by, and for the people by shouting out “We’re the deciders!” … and Obama picks up on it.