Wednesday, September 1, 2010

In Development Hell

Or I was in development hell. I have regained some of my enthusiam and urge for my project, which has had to be reduced down to a short, and will finally-FINALLY- be shooting in the next few weeks.

I think that one of the reasons why I was stuck was that I was in "analysis paralysis". My preporduction research had me in several different books about bicycles and their use around the world, researching on all the bike trends, ad hoc interviews, rights, etc. A year easily blew by in the preproduction before I could truly consider chopping this down to a short. It is amazing to me that so much research work can be done and there is not even a minute of film!

So, I will do my short, using the research that I have and simply get it done to share with people and introduce myself. I will start a new blog for that, and let the world know in a few days!

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Monocle World Metros: We're #22!

So I got my latest edition of Monocle magazine, and was pleasantly surprised and puzzled by Monocle ranking of Portland al;ong side such cities as Muchen, Geneva, Vancouver BC and Kyoto as one of the world's most inviting metropolis.

To be sure, Portland is tops on livability- if you are employed and making a good median wage for your profession. You can reinvent yourself, and newcomers have high levels of education. The farming sector is thriving here, and enjoy excellent support. We have a direct connection to Asia and Europe, and are enjoying modest investments from German and Scandinavian countries. We have Mayor Adams, who is devoted the city and has taken the mantle of responisbiliy for the metro area. To incorporate and start a business here is quick, efficient and of low cost. Environmental responsibility is very key here, with people walking the walk instead of merely talking about it.

However, wages are low, outright stagnant in some cases. The cost of living has risen; and Portland metro area is going a time of very high unemployment. There is a huge disconnect between Portland Metro and the rest of the state that can be contentious, and the city was incredibly unfair to ask working class Oregonians of all backgrounds to fund, via taxes, condo and co-ops for rich while forgoing funding for the schools.

Despite these issues, people are happy to be here. I wonder about the issues in the other metros that are listed in Monocle.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Janelle Monae turns rhythm and blues into science fiction

Janelle Monae turns rhythm and blues into science fiction

This is someone who I have been rocking to this summer. A perfect intersection of pop music and film.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Is Oregon the Hokkaido of West Coast?

As I was doing research on my doc project, I came across some blogs on Northern Japan and it's industry- or rather, the slow contraction of the industry found there. There is an educated and well connected urban population in Sapporo and Hokadate- and then there are successful small farms and some well to do harbors. But then , there are many abandoned villages and quite a few struggling towns where people struggle to make the minimum for their lives, where people see schools and community centers close due to lack of young people and money.

I wondered: "Is Oregon the Hokkaido of the West Coast"? Having only experience Sapporo, which is a lot like Portland, I could not say for sure. For one, our sheer land mass and tiny population (about 4 million, maybe) makes for a difficult comparison. However, the insular, selfish thinking, the over reliance on extractive economy and a stubborness towards outsiders has made Oregon backwards in ways that one would not see if you all thought of Oregon was beer, bicycles and mountains.

In this state, there is still- still!- bitterness over the listing of the Spotted Owl. And instead of immediately coming up with new farms and bioscience so that loggers could still have a excellent wage and quality of life, there was plenty of protesting and bitching and brooding and as a result entire towns went down the drain. There is belated recognition of this, only to now result in the chase after the next big thing.

There is a chase after trends, after what's new and what next, after what can be done with minimum discomfort and maximum ease. This is a desire to become Silicon Forest after Seattle metro area and Northern California, but without any investment in education funding that is necessary and without sustained outreach to outside business and personnel. There no support for minority owned and supported businesses and a great deal of resentment towards educated outsiders.

There is consumption here, but very little significant inputs, in general. This could describe a great deal of Hokkaido.

But how does a state like avoid this slide and pick it self up again? I don't know, really- it will depend on the citizenry deciding that education, bold retraining of the rural areas and investment in bringing in sustainable business is worth something more than getting a kicker check in the mail.

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Oil Spillage

I have not blogged about the oil spill because the reports kept changing, so I did not know what to believe, and this whole nightmare is the stuff of what I used to worry about in college over 12 years ago. Things like out ruthless, heedless consumption, and the junkie like dependence on crude oil to satisfy that consumption. All the shitty, tacky tat sold as clothing this past decade, plus the far flung imported foods, the overwhelming amounts of plastics, and the continuing sacrifice of our men and women in uniform for what looks like energy concerns is coming to a head: the explicit poisoning of our Gulf.

This slow death had been going on in the Gulf for a very long time now, but as long it is was a little at a time, invisible, not noticeable, then people ignored what was going on.

Now, it cannot be ignored.

We need to acknowledge our dependence on oil. We need to be leaders again as a country and develop ways to have transport and mobility with cleaner and less posionous sources of energy. And we need to support alternative development of plastics and films so that our sanitary standards can remain #1.

In doing my research for my film, it been becoming apparent to me that our lives are just as engineered as any machine- towards one way of mobility, transport and consumption. We are now at the point where we must re-engineer our lives and find a better way.

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Saturday, May 29, 2010

RIP Dennis Hopper

Not about his politics; that can wait.

He was an excellent performer and director, an intellectual, and a lover and creator of modern art and pictures.

Here's Dennis Hopper with the Gorillaz:

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Friday, May 14, 2010

Louis Levison- Filmmakers and Financing, 4th edition

I just got through reading about 3/4ths of Louise Levison's Filmamakers and Financing, a throughly inspiring and depressing read about the whys and hows of raising funds for films. Like Dov SS Simens' Two Day Film School(tm), she through demystifies the mechanisms of film funding, writing a film business plan, proposals, how to choose a lawyer and forecasting, plus information of different distribution outlets. There is great information on the technolypse that was covered in "What is Film" earlier this year that Levison was able to foretell in her book. It's depressing in that all the research you think you have done would be sufficient, is not nearly enough. It's completely inspiring in that you realize that yes, despite the hardship, making a film and finding funding is entirely possible!

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