Thursday, February 28, 2013

Building up to the puppets

The puppet festival is gearing up for April at the Filmpool and Dunlop. Noelle wrote the first of her blogs about her puppet experiences which discussed Sock-Vile. While unfortunately I didn't get the first chapter in good enough shape to be selected for the festival, it is still alive. I just wish that every one of my days wasn't filled with teaching followed by headache. I will be showing one puppet film, "It's About Time" for the festival. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Margaret returns!

Margaret returned from her week in Mexico last night. She got blisters from dancing, ate lots of sea food, looked at many plants and sea-side animations. It seems a highlight was participating in a release of baby sea turtles into the sunset. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Berny and Noelle visit class

Berny and Noelle came to class today to talk to the students about the Filmpool.
We are about to pick up Margaret from the airport. More on her trip to Mexico later. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Animating with an overhead projector

Something we did in animation class today. I was sort of in slow motion all day so we ran behind and didn't have the time to do this as extensively as I'd have liked. However, the monster looks large so it does demonstrate what I wanted to demonstrate. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Breakfast in Dundurn

We left Saskatoon this morning on empty stomachs, stopping at a little place in Dundurn for breakfast. William was in a great mood. Unfortunately, when we got home, his friends were all busy. Mike came back with us and he and Kevin (happy birthday) came over this evening. The weekend has left me more tired than before the break.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Zorro in Saskatoon

William and I drove up to Saskatoon today to see The Mark of Zorro (1920) at the Roxy with live accompaniment from the Saskatoon Symphony. It was awesome. Unfortunately, Mike was under the weather and cut out at the intermission. The theatre was very crowded (sold out) so by the end William, in his long sleeve shirt, tie, vest, and top coat, was also feeling over-heated and a bit off. However, it was lots of fun. The action scenes in the last third were quite well done. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

warm weather

I just wrote a long and probably pointless blog entry. When I went to select a photo to add, I might have push the wrong button because it insisted that I be logged on to google to do so. I put in my password and then it wouldn't let me past the declaration page. Nothing would work. I finally had to reload the page and found my text to be missing. As my short term memory has become laughable recently, I have no idea what I said.
I think it was about missing Margaret and how she gives me focus.
Or perhaps it was about Star Trek.
Both are on my mind lately.
William and I went to mom's for salmon this evening. Had some nice conversations. Mom admitted to reading this blog, although probably in some random way through searching for my name. That's probably the best way, more surprises.
I ran errands, bought cat food, and shoveled snow today. Pretty weak for the last day of a break. My dreams of accomplishing things was thwarted by illness and lack of motivation. Oh well, there is always the summer. 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

William arch-villian plans

I think William had a pretty good day, full of conversations. He went to the track with school, something he'd not been looking forward to, but I gave me my old mp3 player full of Beethoven so he was okay. He reported that afterwards he sat down with his classmates and had a conversation (his favorite activity). This evening Paul came over for supper and afterwards we watched "Unicorn City" on Netflix. This got William all excited about running a role playing game and wanted to start planning it. I gave him some ideas about a good villain  I then told him to write it down, reminding him that I always forget my ideas and will not repeat anything I just told him. He frantically began putting it all down on paper.
Curiosity about "Unicorn City": it is a fairly humorous indie film about dungeons and dragons players (under other names) which lost a lot of its steam about half way through. However, what I was interested in was that the wide screen presentation seemed to frequently leave out important details above or below the frame as if it was shot in 1.33 or 1.66 and cropped to make it seem more Hollywood. I wonder if this is true? 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Being Human on BBC

Other than numerous small errands and housework I did today, my only out of the ordinary event was discovering that with the region code cracked on my computer, I can catch up on the current season of "Being Human" on BBC (not the American version). I really liked season 4, but with only 3 episodes into season 5, I'm concerned that it is taking itself too seriously again. Hopefully it will pull out of this as the season progresses. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Cute but lonely cat

Sylvie, our cat, misses Margaret. She spends her entire day on the main floor, almost never coming upstairs. She slept down there last night, only coming up at 8 am. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Margaret's big trip

No news from her yet, but Margaret left for Mexico this morning. I'm not sure what was happening, but a last minute change of vehicles was required. William and I didn't escort her to the airport as I am particularly sick today. My throat was almost completely blocked with phloem when I woke up, although it did improve throughout the day

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sick on my break, home rotoscopig

This is the beginning of the university "winter" break (we were trying to figure out why the university now officially calls it that, although there is little doubt that "suicide week" was not going to get into the student calendar). Most people call it "spring break", even though it is clearly winter outside.
Well, the cold that has been chasing me for the past seven days finally sunk in. My nose, which has been stuffed up for a couple of days, has turned into a sore throat and I'm felling generally crappy. I did decide to forgo playing more Angry Birds in lieu of re-familiarizing myself with rotoscoping using "Flash". It seems that the new version doesn't quite do the same thing so I'm going to need to work at the office to figure out how to translate my knowledge. Above is an example of what I made (the original image, the blue, the red, and the black lines are each separate layers). Somehow in the final stage I messed up the live layer which had moved in sync with the drawing. 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Sâkêwêwak Storytelling at the German Club

Ante Mikkel Gaup (Sami storyteller from Norway)
I took William and his friend to the lunchtime Sâkêwêwak storytelling event (with free lunch) at the German Club. The speaker was from northern Norway and he talked about traditional fishing. There was humour, but it was a dry humour. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Reflecting on another Wednesday

William is still home sick today. I have been feeling worse and worse but actually didn't feel physically too bad today, just a bit tired and impatient for the weekend. No classes next week and I've not given my students any homework. I usually schedule a project to be due after the break but wanted to try things differently this year. I don't really know if anyone is doing anything, it's as if I have blinders on since new years. We talked about Guy Maddin and played with light again today. Had a department meeting but no real decision made about anything except to recommend our next distinguished alumni. We used to cancel these meetings quite often but we never do anymore. Had a half hour skype conversation with mom this evening, which it probably odd since she lives just a ten minute drive away. She got dad onto it to, which is apparently the first time he's used skype. He seemed amused. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Video surprises

 We worked a bit with mirrors, reflections, and shadows in class today. Afterwards I ran into Mike Rollo who had a preview disc of some beautifully lyrical super-8 work by Paul Clipson. Discussing super-8 cameras, I bemoaned my lost Canon super-8 but suggested that a recent find in my basement gave me hope that I still might have my camera in my boxes of junk.
A few weeks ago I opened a sealed box of 16mm films from Rainmaker. They were my six "Toxic" films, each at 5 minutes, plus my long time missing "Green Man" film which I'd not been able to find in years and figured I'd left in an editing room somewhere. However, it appears that I sent it for transfer and forgot. Above is the label of the tape from Rainmaker from 2004 with running time of 43 minutes. As "Toxic" is only about 30-31 minutes, it appears I have a new project to complete! "The Green Man" was a series I did for "Utopia Cafe" in 1996. I made about 6-8 shorts but only two were completed and used in the program. My contracts with "Utopia Cafe" all stipulate that copyright of my material returns to me after three years. My regret now is that these are in standard definition video. I guess I can look at them and see if it would be worth the $150 to have an HD transfer done. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Old photo

No new picture today. I didn't shoot anything with my camera but we did shoot a bunch of images around rotoscoping during class. They are on an SD card in my hand but my camera cannot read SD, it has mini-SD, and my card reader stopped working a few months ago (my third card reader to break in as many years) and I can't find any other cameras in the house. Just late night annoyances. I think my next card reader should be external so I can return it easier when it inevitably fails me. William was sick at home today, blowing his nose every two minutes.
Yesterday I was looking for video examples for class demo today and got very interested in 2005 and 2006. Here is William and his cousins Michelle and Sean at around this time of year in 2005 with William basically lying right where he spent most of today:

Sunday, February 10, 2013

William sick today

William had a fever all day. Finally it broke around 5 and he got off the couch for a glass of freshly squeezed lemon juice (one of his favorite things). It was a day full of Big Bang Theory. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

unicorn blood

Today in William's drawing mythological creatures course, he was drawing pixies. When I got there to pick him up, he, Aaron (who is instructing) and I talked about whether pixies drank unicorn blood from sleeping unicorns like little vampire bats. If they did, we figured that it would taste great and that the pixies would pee rainbows. Of course, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbows wouldn't be real gold....

Friday, February 8, 2013

Eye on Erik

Dropped into the Imax today to talk with Erik. He was cleaning this lens. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Fracking 8000th second jump

With grad students today, talked about range of things from meta narrative to web sites to my photography wiki. This led to shooting a frozen time image using the Canon 5D at an 8000th of a second rather than a flash, allowing this sort of photography in daytime outside.
This evening we went to Leslea and Leif's and watched the broadcast of their new documentary on fracking which was on the Nature of Things. Very good work. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Stacia Verigin, Tamara Rusnak, and Monique Blom at AGR

The new exhibition, Wayward Symbionts, opened today at the Art Gallery of Regina. William and I walked down there and it was really great. Stacia Verigin works on Wapos Bay and we met her last year when touring the set. She builds things out of glue. Tamara, whom I've known since she was a grad student at UofR, created a huge drawing of machines and digestive systems which she said was in response to a friend's illness and the realization that serotonin is created in the gut. I wonder how this affects me? William liked the notion behind Monique Blom's work. Her sculpture contains wax and seeds so is now literally growing in the gallery. I was intrigued with the animation projection on top of it which brought life to a large painting on the other side of ht gallery. 
Stacia Verigin
Tamara Rusnak
Monique Blom

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Dominic Gregorio sings

It's February fifth, our anniversary, and we had a pretty nice day. I managed to put together a chocolate/Grand Marnie cheesecake after work and a spaghetti dinner after which we went to the MacKenzie where my colleague and a really nice guy, Dominic Gregorio was singing a retrospective of German operas. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Libby Hague guest lecture

Today I invited artist and animator Libby Hague to come into my animation class to talk about her work with the students. Geremy also attended. She was very generous with her time and her advice. I think her gallery activities were possibly a bit removed from what my students ultimately want to do, but the idea of finding creativity in diverse ways certainly translated. 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Warm Bodies

Since William saw the trailer three weeks ago, he's been wanting to see "Warm Bodies", the zombie romance which opened this weekend. When I checked the listings and discovered it to be rated PG, I was surprised and relieved so we invited along his friend Teagan to the afternoon showing. It was fun although quite light. I am certain it is the first zombie movie I've ever seen with a happy ending. None of the science made a lick of sense though. Zombie audiences will be disappointed at the lack of carnage (there is some, but mostly zombies being shot and falling in wide shots, with no gore. 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Taste of Cathedral

Attended the "Taste of Cathedral" food sampling fundraiser for the festival this evening. Had some nice ribs and curries, although all spices were on the mild side. William did some bidding on art but we didn't come home with anything. 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Snowcones and Eric Hill

This evening we attended the Dunlop opening of the Jon Sasaki exhibition. The show will feature one of the facilitators or Dunlop staff such as Eric Hill but not Eric Hill this time, obviously. I had cherry. William had lime.