Friday, April 30, 2010

almost a day off

While it is true that I was in at work at 8 am and spent most of the AM touring a group of Saskatoon high school students our department (they have a great media program up there and the teachers are very supportive of our program) and then met with Erik Sirke whom I just hired to help with some of my research projects over the next two months, and I did spent two hours this afternoon authoring a dvd of class projects, and I did work with my dad discussing taxes and the renovation rebate, I feel like my vacation has begun!!! William and I built Lego for much of the later afternoon and part of the evening (the part where we weren't watching Gilliam's Baron Munchhausen) restoring some of his Indiana Jones Lego. Ah, the pleasure of it all (actually I really need a back rub and my eyes are aching from trying to find specific black pieces from a cubic foot of random black pieces). Summer.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


I got my grades all in. Margaret got free passes to Gunless, a pretty funny Canadian western starring Paul Gross. William took the afternoon off school to make paper with Margaret and Gerda.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Get your head examined

William broke the number one rule of our household: "Don't fall on your head". Three x-rays, four stitches, a missed performance of William's Globe Theatre acting class later he is going to be completely fine.
I eventually got to the fourth year film screening. It was packed with people up and down the stairways at the Imax theatre. Even at midnight when it was all over, there were at least 100 seats filled. The projection was dim but otherwise it was a solid show.

Student Films

All day typing notes about student films, all evening watching more. I did take a break during a film I'd seen before to write out some ideas for a new project I'm calling "Rerun". More on that in a week or two. Had some conversations with Chrystene Ells, Berny Hi, and Don List.

Monday, April 26, 2010


My horoscope today said not to make commitments. I managed to avoid most of them and actually got some work done on my grading. Nearly done.
I went to a screening of 3rd year film student films tonight. It brings back a lot of memories of being in third year - of being very young.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Week in review

This is the biggest gap in my blog in three years. I've been here but tired and cranky with nothing nice to say about anything. I'm still feeling somewhat ornery and need to reserve my positive spin words for my student comments that I'm not even close to being finished. There are a lot of distractions and I'm frustrated that my grading isn't done. Who can I blame? Try as I may, I can't find anyone but myself and I know I can't be at fault. Perhaps there are mystical forces at play? The university continues to be busy and I've not managed to stay home a single day since the term ended because of meetings and meetings and meetings. I acted in two student films this week, one by Riley Webster and the other by Gabe Boyko. In both cases I played a tall, long haired film professor at the University of Regina with students who are not listening to my sage like advice. I got to use my well practiced "look of disappointment" in both projects.
On Wednesday I showed my newest film "Grain: Summer - I Can't See the Forest Through My Dreams" at the Filmpool premiere screening. It went well, people said nice things as they are apt to do at such events. The high point of the event was a 15 minute compilation of a few of Ron Mein's drawings from "Jerry's Journal". Ron was a student of mine a year back, doing a bit of animiation. However, these non-animated films are better for their crudity of both content and form. Check out one of them. I am happy enough with my own film, although I would make more changes now. That is always the case and I resist muddling with the past. I've got to start thinking about the future, planning my summer which is upon me. I posted a job offering for student research assistants and will be hiring in a couple of days. The agenda for them will be be help me finish my projects I've started (Modern and Grain) and help me make something new. I have an idea for a new Professor Delusia series, but perhaps it will morph into something else.
Over the past three days we have been getting ants in the house. Annoying.
William and I are going to try to make a Dr. Who project together with William playing the Doctor of course. Earlier in the week I told him to start planning so he took a notebook to school and drew the Doctor's wardrobe (see above). This turned into his real wardrobe, see below. We hoped to start shooting it this weekend but he ended up being a bit sick yesterday so it's not happened yet. I get to play the Dalek (see William's Lego Dalek on his blog). My main concern is trying to figure out the tardis. What I ultimately need is a portable William-sized door with a frame but light enough to move to different locations, allowing him to exit wherever the tardis lands. Once I have that door, I could map it onto an object and try to create an animation of the flying tardis. The rest is just acting.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


William invited his friends over today for the first water fight of the year.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


Spent much of day dubbing tapes into computer and making dvds for BFA portfolios.

Friday, April 16, 2010

now hiring

I posted a job for a student research assistant for the next couple of months, one day per week. In actuality, I'm not really sure what I'll have this person (or persons) do but am hoping to finish my two big film projects as well as make some new creative work in collaboration like Eric Hill and I did. That was pretty fun, although it did have numerous pitfalls. That can be said for anything though. I'm (slowly) reading a book about human evolution and it talks about our large and complex voice boxes and how they do things no other mammals voices can but also make us the only mammals who cannot breathe and swallow at the same time so are prone to choking. I hope I don't choke on my assistant.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

classes end

Just ending a very long day which began with me arriving at 9:25 and almost being late for my last class of the term. I'm very happy that all of my Film 200 students go their work done and handed in, no late material is forthcoming. This is particularly important since I need to package the videos together for their assessment into the BFA program. The rest of the day was filled with meetings lasting until 6:30.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

my lists

I have a list of things to do beside my bed. It's not even on its own pad but is just scrolled down the side of a document I was proofreading on the weekend. I wake up in the middle of the night remembering things I was supposed to do or need to do right away. I had meant to complete the list on Sunday but it was impossible, there were just too many things and it kept growing. A few minutes ago I almost finished it, all but one item (entering a festival that was pointed out to me, but the deadline is still 10 days away) so I am now free to watch a bit of tv (but for the fact that I teach my last class of the term tomorrow morning). I might just make it through after all.

Monday, April 12, 2010


Not much time left to the end of term, but so much to do all the time. I worked at home this morning but had an afternoon meeting. For unknown reasons, I went by my written calendar, which is never up to date, instead of my electronic one so was an hour early for it (the time was changed last week). I got an entire hour's work done since I had no distractions and just got to sit in a quiet board room the whole time. Still am not caught up though.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Parents, children, reproduction

My parents and Margaret's parents came over this morning to eat scones and celebrate my birthday. This afternoon William and I went to Rona and got potting soil and used it to re-pot my grapefruit tree that was guaranteed to produce fruit within two years (in 1996).

Saturday, April 10, 2010

loss for words.

I can never think of what to blog about on Saturday. Here is what was happening four years ago.

Friday, April 9, 2010

One down...

Animation class concluded today. Some projects are late including the usually keen group who where doing a complex multi-part Mario Brothers satire but faced a power outage at 1am and headed to the university to create an all night alternate project (apparently I told them at the beginning of the term that their project should either be good, or be 4000 frames long, and when they realized they couldn't satisfy the first, they tried for the second). End result was that I don't have much grading to do until next week. Really windy today; I heard that SGI sent everyone home because the wind was rattling the windows and they aren't rated for wind speeds as high as they were today (although I never heard how fast it was). I made a double batch of waffles using all the extra egg whites from the gelato for supper. They cost about7 or 8 cents each for the materials, so we freeze them and don't need to buy Egos.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

One week remaining

Today marked the one week from the end of term point. I had my first year class in the classroom with the Avid station where I ran into multiple problems and basically let them talk amongst themselves for 3 hours. Must have been the worst class ever, although no one seemed to complain. Maybe they needed a low pressure class about now.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

My Birthday

I started off the day light: a quick cappuccino and a biscotti then out the door to meet to discuss avant garde film with Brett at the new Mercury Diner on 13th Ave. It was the perfect place to discuss nostalgia, which was central to out discussion today. The Mercury opened last week and is owned by the same guys that run the Novia. They've fixed it up really nice with red vinyl benches and lots of retro stuff.Since I'd worked late last night getting a draft of the curriculum report done (a week ahead of schedule), and had no meetings this afternoon, I blew off the rest of the day. Margaret had to work (owing to her forgetting a shift yesterday) so William and I went to "Clash of the Titans" in 3D. He was amazed at the new glasses style, having not seen a 3D movie since "Shark Boy and Lava Girl" with the two colour glasses. It was fun and not as intense as the previews had led me to believe.This evening we dropped in to Paul's place and watched the new episode of Dr. Who on our way to going swimming. In the end we decided not to swim (just as well, I have had a leg cramp for the past three hours) and came home where William and Paul played Lego (William got a Prince of Persia Lego set the other day - see above) and I made vanilla gelato.
Margaret is home now; we can now eat some of the amaretto cheesecake I made yesterday.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

short class

For the first time this year I cut class significantly short. We were to look at works in progress today but apparently everyone has other deadlines so I had less than half the students there and none of them had work to show. We looked at the rough cut I did of the sit com, had a talk with Mark Montague who came by for a while, and took the rest of the time to continue getting caught up on stuff. Margaret and William went out looking for crocuses; this is the first time I've missed doing that in years.

Monday, April 5, 2010

easter dinner

Last night I was desperate for sleep but still didn't get a wink of it until after 11 and was awake before 8 this morning with an hour in the middle of the night were I arose and did mindless junk on the internet. This evening we had dinner at Richard and Gerda's house, a traditional late Easter dinner. I expected we would be talking about SCN all evening but surprisingly we did not (at least not ALL evening). I brought a cheesecake that I managed to bake after my admissions and studies meeting miraculously ended 45 minutes earlier than planned.

Sunday, April 4, 2010


I guess it was too much to ask for, but I really wanted to get at least enough sleep to be functional today. Margaret and I watched Hot Fuzz, or something like that last night and William woke us up at 6:15 to search for eggs. Certain proof that the Easter Bunny exists came in the form of a plastic egg containing a chrome Lego mini-fig storm trooper, unavailable for sale anywhere I've ever seen. Brunched at the Regina Inn with my parents. Came home with intent to nap but played Warlords Call to Arms with William instead (we won).

Saturday, April 3, 2010

dell hell

I'm completely frustrated with my Dell computer today. I trying to edit the class shoot we did a few days ago. Everything was fine this afternoon but then I took a break and when I came back, it is being all sluggish. It doesn't respond to basic commands, it runs video for up to 20 seconds after I press the pause, and takes forever to do anything. I rebooted a couple of times and now think I should have spent the weekend at the office and got this done properly on the avids.

Friday, April 2, 2010

good friday

No classes today for the Good Friday holiday. We had a crowd in the house colouring eggs. A good bash. William was very excited from the start of the day, which began with him waking me up at 7:45 am. No sleep for the wicked. I baked some basic chocolate chip cookies that turned out very well. We were out of vanilla so I threw in some amaretto.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Three Filmmakers Gruff

Had a fun class today. After I used the creative storytelling exercise that Kevin MacKenzie told me about last night, I had the class go on to adapt, storyboard, and shoot a version of Three Billygoats Gruff, set on a pathway with the troll being a homeless buy begging change and the three goats being a film student, an actor, and a producer. One of the students posted a longer description with pictures.