Saturday, January 31, 2015

Taste of Cathedral

I finally got a draft of my new film; Star Bright, Meager Might, Canister the Robot’s infinitesimal invasion from another world.  I'll shoot it on Monday under a microscope. I've been writing draft after draft but it never seemed to really gel. I needed to put all of the other drafts aside and just start fresh. Thankfully, Margaret mentioned "Fantastic Voyage" and that triggered a creative couple of hours, enough to get the momentum needed. 
Tonight we went out to the Taste of Cathedral. Fred won a door prize. We got a couple of  new things from the auction. Nice food, nice event. 

Friday, January 30, 2015

Light, time, camera

Discussion of time continued in grad studio course today. What happens in the time during the frame and what happens between the frames. This led to some exploration of the exposure for very short or for very long intervals. Photos here are shot with the Canon 5D. Top one is 1/8000 of a second. Lower one is about 3 seconds. 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Margaret new tangled hair obsession

Margaret has been working on a series of interesting new collages around the idea of knotted hair. The current ones are small but she'll be creating larger ones soon. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Jonah McFadzean drawing

Margaret is helping organize the Cathedral Festival fundraiser, "Taste of Cathedral", in particular she has been collecting many of the items to be auctioned off. Today, Jonah McFadzean dropped off a cool drawing. As I am writing the blog entry from six days in the future, I know that I put the winning bid of this piece and it will soon adorn our wall. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Lego Mr. Lague

Had lunch with Geremy and Dianne at the Pita Pit. Just after I paid and sat down, I was mystified by the line coming to a stop. Apparently the bank connection broke so they could only take cash. Dianne paid but Geremy, being a millennial, doesn't carry currency and got his meal free.
I showed him the Lego figures that William made that he'd already seen in the video from Saturday, but I also surprised him with the Lego Mr. Lague that William made. He thought it was very cool. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Worked at home as Godzilla kills a SockVile extra

I've been so far behind on my projects, teaching, and research that I had to work at home today. I got an edit done of one class video and got my teaching materials ready. It was great to have a quiet house for a few hours. Margaret has been hiring to do some extra work at the gallery helping to install the new exhibition, even though she's also struggling to get over a cold. I probably have some sort of flu but I can't let it affect me. Too busy. Four deadlines this week. 

Sunday, January 25, 2015


Was trying to resolve story around the role of drow and elves. This becomes an interesting discussion of race, purity of blood, prejudice, morality, choice, and social pressure. Stories are so much harder when you think about them too much. 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Lague Corp Lego animated gif

William was so inspired by Geremy's exhibition last night that he dove into his Lego this morning and built these figures. I figured I had better animate them (instead of catching up on my work). 

William's recycling PSA

Here is William's mini-comic PSA about what happens to electronics that we "recycle" and are sent to third world countries for dangerously crude and environmentally hazardous destruction for the precious metals found inside.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Geremy Lague opening MFA exhibition at MacKenzie Art Gallery

Geremy had a very successful opening night with his MFA exhibition "Lague Corp. Presents Antisocial Media" at the MacKenzie Art Gallery. It is still a few weeks until his defense, so he isn't done yet, but this was a gigantic hurtle. The show had many components. While it wasn't laid out the way he'd originally planned, the result was effective and the crowd all seemed to enjoy it. It is a collection of work which needs to be seen in person, touched and picked up and so on. It is only there for the next four weeks, so please attend. If it is any indicator, the conversations in the gallery were far more engaging that the ones at the food (and that is almost never the case!). Geremy signed up many new friends for his "The Face Book".

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Poster for Geremy Lague, just in time

I'm excited for Geremy as his MFA exhibition opens tomorrow. His posters have just been printed so I want to get the word out as quickly as possible so that people can come and attend. I've not seen the final versions of all of the work yet, so there are some (hopefully good) surprises forthcoming. There will be newly build mutoscopes, 3D images, viewmasters, and much much more. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Paul Gui Crepeau

I have just found out that my friend, colleague, and student (and at times even my mentor) Paul Gui Crepeau passed away yesterday. From what I understand, he'd been on his way back to Saskatoon from Regina, where he'd been shooting with students and meeting with professors the previous days, when he must have pulled over to the side of the road where he died. I am beside myself. Paul was so full of life. He pushed limits with everyone around him, inspiring and antagonizing simultaneously. He hated the idea of people not doing everything they were doing to their limits. He worked tirelessly (at least until 7pm, after which he would doze) and created a huge body of work in film over the past five years.
Paul came to Regina in 2011, wanting to reinvent himself after a long career in Vancouver theatre. He presented a sizable dossier that Christine and I reviewed to figure out how he would fit into our program. I have to admit that I had my doubts as previous older students had not stuck it out very long in the undergrad program. Already in his mid-50s at that time, it seemed strange that he would want to sit side by side with students less than half his age. However, he not only took classes, he took them with a vengeance. He was always the first to ask questions, the last to want to leave, and the most excited about discovering new ideas and approaches. He loved the good work students would do and often took me aside to tel me who he thought were the most promising and worthwhile talents in the room. He attended everything he could (we was a perpetual early, early, early riser and early to bed sort of guy), with coffee cigarettes, and conversation as he only vices.  He offered his help to others at least twice as often as he asked for help back. He brought the level of acting in at least a dozen student films up to a professional standard (is the voice of Frederick in the still unfinished "Sock-Vile" project).
It is difficult to believe he is gone. He touched so many people I know in so many positive ways. He will be missed.

There is a great obituary and discussion of Paul's theatre life in Vancouver from Mark Leiren-Young.
His film about himself having ADHD called "ADHD, A Gift" is on vimeo with password "paul". 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

William's trouble with recycling

I've been helping William scan his artwork for a school project on recycling. His is a comic book which tells the story of how electronics are creating toxic problems in the third world due to their inappropriate methods of handling our trash (hammers, fire, and polluted water). 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Art's Birthday at Neutral Ground

Margaret was too sick to go out this weekend but William and I went to the Art Birthday events at Neutral Ground on Saturday night. There was a fair crowd (more people than chairs) and it was not only warm inside, it was crazy hot. Brenda said they actually turned the A/C on. She went on to have an amusing conversation with William about reality, corruption, and the future. Colby, Eric, and Ian all contributed. We had some fun playing with the Garry's Mod connected to a motion capture game thing.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

tree comes down

Finally took down the Christmas tree. The cats miss it, but the needles were creating an amazingly huge mess. I think there was close to a cubic foot of them on the floor that we filled a bag with. 

Friday, January 16, 2015

and even more puppets

Chrystene Ells came to my graduate class today to help guide a puppet film shoot. I created a mermaid puppet last night, operated above by An who appeared as a mermaid herself last week. 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

More puppets...

Shot another puppet work with students today. The tone of this one was much different; perhaps a bit more tempered. The theme was baseball and gambling, but contained criminals again. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

improv everywhere

In class we wrote and shot a puppet film. Basic hand puppets but some strong improv in the performance. We shot with the new C100 camera which none of the students had used yet. No one wanted to direct so I just did it, which was probably for the best because it was apparent half way through that we'd not finish so I quickly cut two scenes and condensed the main body of act 2.

More improv tonight down at the Artesian. Great show, especially the hotel bit in the second half.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Big deposit for William

Still very cold out. William was supposed to walk from his school to Sheldon for a play but they needed to book a bus for it instead. He liked the show, which is a bit unusual. It was some sort of unstructured 1980s prom themed thing. Afterwards we went for a drive and improvised a scene where we were the jocks. I pointed out that it is always easier to perform as something you are not. I didn't tell him that this also helps you to understand and empathize with these points of view, even if you are depicting a stereotype. We went to the bank where William put in over $600, all having been collected up from gifts, allowance, and recycling (mostly recycling). Then we did beef dip and "Mike Tyson Mysteries". 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

my back

Put out my back today, picking up my cat. Went to mom's and fixed last two problems on her computer. I'd forgotten that I'd already installed a new sound card in her machine so I'd plugged into the wrong one (just like with the network cable). The printer cable needed replacing. Then we went to brunch.
Margaret worked on new art project/show today.She's on the theme of knots. 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Symphony and Cabbage Rolls

   William and I watched Die Hard 2 this morning. I was wondering about the element of time in this film. He seems to be able to run place to place quite quickly, even though airports and their runways are really really big. 
   This evening we went to the symphony. The high point was the soloist Marc Bouchkov who was very much the "bad boy" of classical music. He had nice clothes but the fabric of his pants looked wrinkled, he had no tie, was unshaven, and performed with attitude. The piece he performed was the Hero's Symphony, which I'd never known the name of before. The program says it is one of the most difficult but also the most recorded of 20th century classics. I'm certain that I've heard it a dozen times under restored silent films. It has a great range of melodrama, pathos, and romance. 

   After the symphony we went to Heather Cline's annual cabbage roll party. There was a new trophy for people choice. Brian Gladwell had great socks. 

Friday, January 9, 2015

pinhole mermaid

New section of the group grad course started today. I talked about time for too long but cut the rest of the book readin' stuff to make space for some pin hole fun. They used my tin can cameras and I snapped a few with the modified dslr. Mermaids is our theme with An playing the role today in -30 weather. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Web of packing tape

In the Fifth Parallel Gallery on campus today, a group is creating a huge, very strong, web of packing tape which will be part of the NDH Men in Dance program happening this week. People can actually climb up into this "web".

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

First day of classes

I'm teaching the forth year this winter for the first time in a few years. First day was today. I managed to get organized in the final hours so things went okay. I'm excited about these students. I taught them two years ago and there is plenty of energy and potential. I've not heard ideas from them yet, but I've asked them to push limits and be brave. 

Monday, January 5, 2015

Winnipeg experimental films

Mike Rollo brought in a great collection of experimental films from Winnipeg to show at the RPL (co-hosted with the Department of film and the Filmpool). Even though it was really cold again (and I really really didn't want to got outside) I went. There was a pretty good crowd and I think everyone was happy to have braved the weather. The films were funny and charming. The line up was:

Dave Barber - Will The Real Dave Barber Please Stand Up?
Jaimz & Karen Asmundson - Citizens Against Basswood
Walter Forsberg - Fahrenheit 7-Eleven
Ryan McKenna - Controversies
Leslie Supnet - The Animated Heavy Metal Parking Lot
Aaron Zeghers & Nigel Webber - 11 Parking Lots and One Gradual Sunset
Matthew Rankin - I Dream of Driftwood
Rhayne Vermette - J. Werier
Leslie Supnet - spectroscopy

The tone was set with the minimal but elegantly photographed "Controversies" which featured clips of ridiculous moments from a long running Winnipeg call in radio program over top carefully staged images of people listening to the radio. I usually am averse to films which promote laughter at individuals who are not trying to be funny, but in this case I felt that they brought all the ridicule upon themselves by insisting on using the radio to air their poorly thought out grievances.
  Many of the following films also relied upon the absurdly dry Winnipeg sense of humour, which surprised me after seeing the list of filmmakers. I'd been expecting a more formalistic, less tongue in cheek evening. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, I try to send my own funny work out to screen. It seems to raise the odds of inclusion. 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Hill climbing

William used to love climbing the snow hills. It was impossible to drive past one without him wanting to pull over. We mentioned this to him as we drove past the Avonhurst plaza and saw this one and he said he still loves climbing them. At least we no longer have to get out of the car with him.