Saturday, March 31, 2012

Too many committments

I woke up at 5 am this morning with the dread feeling that I am out of options to make my super-8 film that I'm supposed to screen tomorrow night to be even moderately entertaining. The image failed on too many levels, as have all my tests for manipulating it as a projection. However, there was an idea I'd been floating for a couple of months that I decided I could do for the event. It simply required three hours work and the ability to process the film in time. Dan had already said he'd process, so I just needed to find a few hours. This I did this morning. I also had promised to help William and his friends with their role playing game this afternoon, which went for three hours until they lost focus and wanted me to help them shoot a movie.I did so only under the condition that they all go outside for 30 minutes so that I could finish my super-8 film (which they did and therefore I did). They made a movie (I've not edited it yet, probably tomorrow morning). I took William to John Carter this evening (met up with Kevin there). Coffee afterwards. Now I've got to do my reading for the day.

Friday, March 30, 2012

testing one two eight SIXSIXSIXSIXSIX

Frustrating day. I tried a couple different ideas I had for modifying the super-8 projection of my film on Sunday night but nothing worked right. I also finished shooting my video with Gerri Ann. The editing should have been very easy but I had some glitches somewhere and Premier kept crashing. I had to render it in portions and finally have it after five hours of monkeying around.
Drove around picking up potential aids for Sunday film festival and hit the kilometer of the beast.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

spring cleaning

I got my teeth cleaned today. Apparently the old filling that has occasionally been sensitive and that we've been 'keeping an eye on' for two or three years is finally looking like it will be removed (slight cavity forming underneath it). This afternoon William finally got to fly his radio controlled helicopter (no video, the battery ran out before I took any) and rode his bike. I did a complete cleaning of the fish tank including pulling the stones out and pouring boiling water over them to purge the algae and snails.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

no sun room

We followed up further on a sun room we were offered that could have been a great addition to our house. However, the size was a bit problematic (not to mention the hundreds of hours work it would have taken to put it in place) so we've passed on it.
I started shooting what I hope will be a new video series on artists in their studios today with Gerri Ann Siwek, but have not posted it yet as I think I need another few shots to get it right. Probably Friday. Margaret got her artwork hung for the collage collective.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

no title

Spent day catching up, paying bills, shooting video (I have two videos I need to send to Romania by the the end of the week that are not part of my daily set), preparing video copies of the super-8 festival films (another project not part of my dailies), and tidying up the house for Ken Wilson who came for supper this evening. I didn't get to the legislature for the debate today, I think the real fight now is to come up with a substitute for the film tax credit which is different enough from the old one to ensure that the government gets it's way and saves face, but still satisfies the film industry so that my friends and students can keep working here.

Monday, March 26, 2012


I caught up on my videos and spent half the afternoon at the solidarity session leading up to an announcement from the Premier at the Legislature today. In the end, it seems they have given the tax credit a small reprieve and has the potential of being maintained in some other form, yet to be disclosed. A victory I suppose.Debate is tomorrow and many people are going again (there were well over 100 people there today).

Sunday, March 25, 2012


William wanted to play the role playing game he learned from Allan Dotson in the workshops that concluded last week so he had three of his friends over and I ran an adventure for them all afternoon. Put me a bit behind on everything else but they liked it. Allan is going to have open game sessions with this another other games he has designed at the Rob Bos gallery (see poster above).

Saturday, March 24, 2012


Felt like the first day of winter as a new layer of snow fell on everything. Much of it melted by the end of the day. William's friend Rowan is finally getting over his cold and pneumonia and they played at our house all day.

Friday, March 23, 2012


Margaret got her hair done while Rob, Dan, and I worked on doing preview video copies of the Shotgut Super-8 Festival films to show next week.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


Teacher meeting today, met "Bubbles" the gerbil. 
Shot some video of legislature. Meeting over budget today, no where to park.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tax credit

The only real news today is the provincial government cutting the tax credit. I have thought for a long time that this could come, but to tell you the truth I thought it would have come years ago before it had proved itself to be practical and useful. Back a dozen years ago, it was all too complicated and frustrating but then things actually started to get made and people started to stay here. I feel rather blind-sided. I don't know what to tell students they might do with their lives. It will break me to see them all leaving to other provinces. Virginia at Verite has already announced that they will pull out. All of my contacts on Facebook are going nuts. No one even has to say what is going on, they just say how nauseous they feel, etc.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

catching up

I had one of those dynamo days, got overdue letters written, a funding application completed and submitted, two videos edited and uploaded, grocery shopping to three stores in record time, and attended William spring fling dance. What I didn't seem to do was take any pictures.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Perogies with mom

Today mom and I made about 30-35 dozen perogies. Very time consuming and now I've fallen behind on everything else.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sun room

Today my mom introduced me to friends of hers who want to remove and replace a sun room on the back of their house. If I remove the room, which is a really excellent structure, I can have it. Great deal, lots of work. Of course I'd also have to tear down the deck and porch of our house, but those are long overdue anyway.

Saturday at home

William had his heart set on making the next chapter of his Tick Talk series today. He'd been talking about it (although not actually planning it) all week but today we discovered that one of the two friends of his who is always in it is sick. Lots of pneumonia going around. He played with the other friend and eventually made a video.

Friday, March 16, 2012

x rays and birthdays

This morning my hand continued to ache, an increasing pain over the past number of days, and now there is a specific hard sore spot that is turning white. I went and got it x-rayed.
Today is the Filmpool's 35th birthday. I took William to the party; a good crowd. It was also my old friend Chris Birch's birthday. We became friends in grade 3 after I couldn't attend his party but went to his place the following day with a canon stapler as a gift.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Everything melting

Went out shooting with the 5D, some images of melting but I've already missed the boat on most of it. Shoveled some of the old leaves off the street, just trying to be ready for spring.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

William's bloody smile

William went to the dentist today for a cleaning and check up. They pointed out that one of his teeth is loose. He worked on jiggling it all day and it just came out.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

sorting the skeletons in the closets

We put together a shelf today for our front closet, a rather small space which never gets sorted. In removing all the stuff from it, I found this old hat which Marc LaFoy gave to each of the crew members of his last student film "Passing Through" in 1987. The weather is nice so I put it on and went outside to bbq.

Monday, March 12, 2012

sore thumb

For about two weeks now, my left thumb has been sore. While this is a rather trivial blog entry, it will allow me to remember how long it has been sore so I can decided at some future time if it is long enough to go to the doctor (length of time, not length of thumb). There is a small lump of soreness on the inside of the joint.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

and home again

Eric and I drove all day from Calgary. Only a few stops (Swift Current were almost everything was closed and Medicine Hat where we got some fruit drinks and coffee to conclude our liquid diet weekend). While driving endlessly around in Swift Current we say a guy peeing off his balcony, which is how the town got it's name. I got home around seven feeling pretty wrecked.

Conclusion of $100 Film Festival

I spent much of the afternoon shopping with Nicole and Kaitlyn. Got some Lego and random items for William. This evening Chris came with me to the last night of the festival and to the after-party. I reconnected with James Morison (above), the originator of the festival. We'd first made contact 17 years ago via email while I was in grad school and writing about low budget film.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Dinner with Nicole and Kaitlyn

Great day to be in Calgary. The sun was shining. I had lunch with Sharon at Ikea, bought a desk, discovered it wouldn't fit in my car, returned it, and hung around the house for a while reading. I had a wonderful supper with Nicole and Kaitlyn who then came with me to the screening of my film at the $100 Film Festival (crowd seemed to like it). It was a new experience for them (Nicole has seen a few experimental films, but Kaitlyn hasn't) so that is always exciting. Nicole had been up since 4:30 am so didn't want to go bar hopping afterwards, so I drove them home and am in early for the night.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

To Calgary with Eric Hill

Eric and I drove to Calgary today. A few stops for espressos along the way, and one fruitless stop at a Value Village. Shot a few clips of video along the way but I'm not sure if anything worth posting as tomorrow's project. The GPS worked perfectly except that it took us to the wrong address (a misprint in the program) but we eventually ended up at the Alberta College of Art and Design. Met back up with Robert Todd, whom I'd met earlier in the week in Regina as he made his way here from the States. Drinks afterwards and the GPS led me to my sister's house.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Student photo

Zipped into work for an hour today, met with a couple people, did my travel paperwork, and was included in the annual student photo. I also bought a GPS (last year's model, got it for my Canadian Tire money plus seven bucks).

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

driving my car

Got new tires for my car today, then drove around shooting video around Regina. This evening we watched Johnny English Reborn, which was okay (compared to the first one, it was great).

Monday, March 5, 2012


I stayed home all day, but for some walk shoveling. Margaret drove around taking snowman pictures, there has been a lot of snow coming down this past week and it is nice and sticky. This one has well arranged wistful eyes made from potatoes.

Sunday, March 4, 2012


Started day with brunch with department guest Ernest Mathijs and numerous members of the department. "Ginger Snaps" screenwriter Karen Walton was also there (whom I'd not met before and didn't get a chance to actually talk to). From there I had a Filmpool board meeting, which fortunately was a bit shorter than usual and gave me time to get home and finish the video I made with William yesterday. Kevin came over this evening and William gave us a constant string of ideas. My new Mr. Saul video is rendering and will be up shortly after midnight.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Room, cult film

This evening I donned a long black wig and attended "The Room", a 2003 melodrama which is being called the new worst film of all time. It was played at the RPL with a lecture from UBC professor Ernest Mathijs about the nature of cult films and about this film in specific. There was a huge crowd and everyone joined in, yelling out stuff, throwing spoons (whenever the inexplicable frames spoon pictures are in the scenes) and having a good time.

Friday, March 2, 2012

cactus, art, and the rest

 This morning we planted William's new prickly pear cactus. I spent the rest of the day at home, doing some reading and working on videos, until after supper when we went to the First Nations University gallery where Leesa and numerous other colleagues of mine were having a group show. Lego shopping followed. Margaret seems to be feeling worse and went to bed early. William and I watched "Purple Rose of Cairo".

Thursday, March 1, 2012

trying to catch up

I find vacations much more exhausting than working. As a result, I was completely wrecked today, but trying desperately to get back on the working track. Margaret took me to the grand unveiling and tour of the Artful Dodger artist space on 11th avenue. It is huge and looks like we can set up some cool events there with the university and the Filmpool. This evening Margaret took a last minute work shift while Paul, William, and I re-learned how to play RA, a very cool game that Thomas gave me a few years ago.