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Building a House (or Making a Movie) November 22, 2013

Posted by TimTheFoolMan in Filmmaking, Movies.
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1 comment so far

Recently, I’ve been involved in discussions about making movies on a tiny budget. While I’m aware that you can recruit friends who will work for free, doing so has ramifications.

Building a House with your Friends

While it’s true that you can build a small shelter with virtually no planning, very rarely do larger structures survive under their own weight without some kind of plan (formal or informal). Why?

Imagine that you’ve got a friend who’s a carpenter, who likes you and would enjoy working with you. Imagine that you have another friend who is an electrician, who feels similarly magnanimous toward you. Add to that a guy who took a plumbing class in vocational school and someone who knows how to mix up instant concrete. We now have a team!

“Let’s build a house!”

First things first… How much money do you have? What? The other guys don’t want to chip in? Why don’t they want to help you build a house? Don’t they realize that it will look good on their resume? (This is especially true of the “plumber” and your “concrete man.”) Don’t they realize how much fun it would be to come over and party?

Well, in that case, your only option is to put up the necessary funds yourself. So now you check the bank balance. You’ve got $5000 that you can spend without your wife sending you off to the looney farm. You say to yourself, “$5000 is a LOT of money! Surely I can build a house for that!”

At this point, anyone with even modest experience working with modern building materials will know that we can’t build a house for $5000. The raw materials alone would cost more than that.

So now let’s assume that we have $30,000, and have estimated that this is enough to buy the windows, wood, concrete, pipe, and electrical wire necessary to build a small house. You’re all set. Right?


Notting Hill – “Ain’t No Sunshine” February 12, 2012

Posted by TimTheFoolMan in Cinematography, Movies.
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People who know me only casually might be surprised to learn this, but one of my favorite movies is “Notting Hill,” with Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts. There are many reasons for me loving this film so much, but ultimately, it comes down to several amazingly well-designed scenes, showing emotion. The essence of good cinema isn’t dialog. Dialog is the text–the words spoken that represent what characters want others to hear and believe they think and feel. What isn’t heard, but is felt, is the subtext. Subtext is what the character really believes, and is revealed by what the character does. The best scenes, for me, are those that turn the knobs of stress and pain up to the breaking point for a character, where they force him or her to act, and in doing so, reveal their true beliefs. “Notting Hill” is filled with scenes like this, and in each case, the cinematography is amazing. (more…)

The Virtue of Predictability December 22, 2011

Posted by TimTheFoolMan in Communication, Learning, Movies.

As an ENFP, I’m hardly what you would call predictable or prone to monotony. Far to the contrary, I’m always on the lookout for a new or different way to do the repetitive tasks that make up the substance of life.

However, there are situations where doing things exactly the same way, every time is absolutely essential, and potentially life-saving. Consider the longitivtiy-enhancement of putting on your seatbelt, washing your hands after going to the bathroom, or putting your foot on the brake before you putting an automatic transmission in Drive. (To be fair, the second one is a bit dated, since the “unintended acceleration” accidents that brought the demise of the Audi 5000 pressured most automakers to install shift interlocks that force this behavior.)

In less serious realms, this notion of boring repeatability can not only promote good habits, it can reduce stress on those you work with. This past week, I was reminded of this when I was thrust again into the team environment of a movie production crew.


Why “The Dark Knight” Disappointed Me July 31, 2008

Posted by TimTheFoolMan in Movies, Movies & Entertainment.
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All across America, people are going to see “The Dark Knight,” again and again. The reviews seem to be conclusive from every corner that Heath Ledger is destined to win an Academy Award for his performance as “The Joker” in the latest tribute to the superhero known as “Batman.”

Tonight, I became (apparently) one of the last people in the US to view this movie for the first time, and as the title of this post suggests, I came away disappointed. I’ll attempt to explain why in the remainder of this post, but will warn you that it will probably contain spoilers sprinkled all over the place, so if you have just awakened from a Rip VanWinkle-like slumber and haven’t yet seen it, you’ll probably want to stop right here. (more…)

How I Spent Father’s Day Weekend June 18, 2008

Posted by TimTheFoolMan in Cartoons/Animation/Video, Family, Flatulence, Fun, Humor, Love, Movies, Parenting/Children, Stupidity.

My older son and I made the following video on the Saturday of Father’s Day weekend. The local Kino group put this on, and at the last minute, we decided to give it a shot. Enjoy!