Friday, April 28, 2006

Better Red than Dead

I'm starting to really grow weary of seeing the Liberal leadership candidates throw their hats in the ring. Everyone gets a double announcement. First comes the "leak." Then a few days or weeks later comes the official announcement. And so far, it looks to me like a lot of footsoldiers and no generals. Mixed feelings. If I were to be a loyal little dipper I'd have to say this is good. As long as the Liberals keep stinking up the joint, it's got to be good for the NDP, right? But the other day I saw a poll that was a bit of a reality check. CONS 42% LIB 28% NDP 19%. Sure it's just one poll but it made me consider the possibility that the Liberals, for better or for worse, are the only real Tory killers in the game, and if they blow it, it won't be 90 seats for Layton and the NDP. It will be a Stephen Harper majority.
So, as tempting as it would be to hope the Libs pick Bob Rae, Mike Iggy, or somebody else equally hobbled by their past stupidity, deep down I can't help hoping they find a Trudeau, not a Turner.

Friday, April 21, 2006

CFC, Not 4 Me

A couple weeks ago I had an interview for the Editor's lab at the Canadian Film Centre. It is a program where you basically pay 5 grand to take half a year just practicing the art of dramatic film editing. I was hoping the interview would be a chance to learn a bit more about the program but it turned out to be a pretty one sided affair, where I was expected to sell myself to a panel of 8 people or so. I thought I did a reasonable job, but my misgivings must have shown through, because yesterday I got a call telling me that they decided I wasn't right for the program. Fair enough. I'm inclined to say the feeling is mutual. But I do wonder just who the program IS for. Several years back a friend of mine was similarly rejected, presumably for lack of experience. At my interview they suggested I had too much. The thing is, now that I'm at a point in my career where I'm working steadily, albeit on mid range doc TV shows, it is a pretty big deal to put that aside for six months and actually pay for the privilege of practicing what I'm already well paid to do. The Film Centre folks never really sold me, so perhaps I'm lucky to land in the out pile.
One irony is that while I make my living editing documentary TV, the few times I have cut drama I have found it much easier than docs anyhow. It ain't rocket surgery!

On another topic, I go so long between posts that I often have to sign back in to post. Trouble is I usually can't remember my password. But the strange thing is that just by clicking the "forgot password" link, and then clicking the link they email you, access is restored without ever having to actually type in the password. Not exactly secure, not that it matters.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Filming Finished

Yesterday my wife Irena and I finished our second weekend of shooting our short film. It was a real eye opener how much work it entailed. This was the first dramatic film we've made in about 8 years and, unlike back then, we did it more or less "properly" by hiring a cinematographer and a sound recordist to make sure it looks and sounds like a real movie. It was very satisfying to get it done, but there were a lot of things we learned for next time. The main lesson was to schedule less to do in a day. The technical aspects were so demanding that our actors were left somewhat to their own devices in terms of motivation and the nuances of their performance. Next time we'll split up the work and have one of us dedicated to the actors and the other to the visual aspect. Luckily for us our actors were uniformly excellent and the footage turned out really well in spite of our challenging schedule.
Thanks to all who participated. Or attempted to participate.
If anybody is looking to shoot a film I highly recommend Pasha Patriki as a DOP and Rob Turi as sound recordist. They are highly professional while still accomodating to people like us without a lot of on set experience.

In other news, I have an interview next week for the editing program at the Canadian Film Centre. I think it would be cool, and a possible way into the world of cutting feature films. On the other hand, it would cost a lot of time and money. $5500 in tuition, which is a fraction of what it would cost for 5 months of not working. So I'm on the fence at this point. Not that I've been accepted yet anyway. We'll see what happens.