Sunday, May 31, 2015

Gertrud and Fred 50th anniversary

A couple of days ago was Margaret's parents' 50th wedding anniversary. The plan is to have a bigger party in the summer but for now, they had a very pleasant brunch at the church with many of their friends there, along with local family.  

Saturday, May 30, 2015

IPUFF Cabaret

The IPUFF festival featured an adults only cabaret. I got there (alone) just in time as we'd picked up last minute tickets to a stand up comedy performance of four regulars from the CBC show "The Debators". The standup was good. Margaret thought it a bit raunchy for William but I didn't think it ever went too far (or far enough?). I dropped them off and got to the cabaret, in time to get a seat before they began, but not in time to get a drink. It consisted of about 8-10 live acts, MCed by Cam and Andy with Cam using Andy as a full sized puppet. These bridges, as with the performances, were tight and funny. Never a dull moment, I had a fantastic time. Like the earlier performance, Margaret would certainly have felt it was too adult for William, althouigh I'm certain he'd have enjoyed it and I'd not have felt he needed to be protected from any of the words or ideas. I think the adult label was ultimately to free the performers to push the limits of story, expectation, and convention more than to protect the audience. Great fun but feeling a bit too sober, I didn't stick around afterwards.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Premiering "Star Bright, Meagre Might" at IPUFF

It was a big night for IPUFF. The evening began with an amazing performance by Saskatoon's Howl Theatre presenting "Aiden Flynn Lost His Brother So He Makes Another". This was a wordless play mixing live action, puppets, and shadows and was the most moving experience of the night. It will be presented again on Saturday evening and I would highly recommend it. William got a chance to interact with them and I could tell he was also very touched and thrilled by them. 
Film screening afterwards was quite good. It began with international entries (top notch, especially a crazy surreal thing called Happy Memories by Jack Fields. Local films included a touching film by Berny Hi in which he boldly immerses into sentimentality and pulled us headlong with him. I completely bought it (even though 35 isn't old). "Star Bright, Meagre Might", my newest Canister film was included. I think the audience appreciated the nature of it, or at least were amused when we discussed it in the Q+A. 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

IPUFF, coffee developer, improv

Fortunately I got an uninterrupted 5.5 hours sleep last night, otherwise this day would have overwhelmed me.
In analog film class (which took a total of 7 hours), the darkroom water was broken down. We shot some film which I wanted to develop in coffee (the story of the tired dinosaur), a process I've successfully used before, but probably due to the cold water, it completely failed. Very disappointed. Kinescoping with a new, tiny projector was excellent though as the lumens were high and the image small and bright (200 Daylight at F11).
The first event of the evening was the opening of IPUFF where the sixth iteration of the Hansen touring collection of puppet films was shown at the RPL.

William and I rushed from there to the third night of the improv festival. We arrived at intermission so saw the entire second half.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Skeleton crew?

 Yesterday I shot a minute of 16mm 3383 colour print stock to test to see if would still process. With no crew but myself, sat on the sidewalk just far enough from the house to be out from under the canopy of trees, and, I operated William's skeleton hand as my subject matter. Today I processed the 35 feet of film  using the Russian developing tank and it worked out surprisingly well. The last time I used it, all the footage failed but I never figured out why.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Week of Improv begins

Improv at the Artesian began tonight with a set by Combat followed by Hitchhikers. We usually go to Combat and they were on their game. A particularly funny bit was when they had ghosts that were, for some reason, being brought by the milkman in bottles and were then revealed to be the spirits of the lost children on the outside of the cartons. It really built organically. The Hitchhiker group is less familiar to me. Their concept was very intriguing. They divided into two groups with each group making a secret video to introduce an improv. They then supplied the other group (two groups of three) with costumes and the groups watched the videos with the audience (sight unseen) and had to fill the roles depicted. While very interesting conceptually, the videos were too long (too ambitious) resulting in the performers being hamstrung by the roles and the narrative feeling forced. 

Monday, May 25, 2015

Saskatoon Media School visit

  I did a quick trip to Saskatoon today to do a workshop with Joel's Media School group. They managed to shoot three rolls of 16mm film (risking heat stroke) and we developed them all, simultanioiusly, in buckets. They all turned out quite well. The development was near perfect and the shooting was fairly good (but for a bit of low light when they went inside and some occassional focus problems). The fasted stage was drying as I got them to remain in their groups (about 6 per) and untangle the film outside without it touching the ground. It was clean and dry within five minues. A great success. This will be the last session with Joel as he is taking a possition at a different school this fall. He's got big shoes to fill. My visits up there have shown me how much he goes above and beyond to mentor his students.
Margaret had to work so I came straight home and had supper with William. There and back in 12 hours.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Faking it in Finland

Helped William with some of his homework this afternoon. We popped into the studio to shoot a few selfies of his trip to Finland and St. Petersburg and then recorded three radio spots to support the new robot overseers. 

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Cathedral Street fair photos

Wow, the weather was perfect this year for the thousands of people who came out to the street fair. They seem to expand by a block every year and when William and I went walking, it was a tight wad of people for the entire length (7 or 8 blocks I think). The Connaught School grounds were taken over by about 150 impromtu parkers. Even so, cars filled my entire block. Margaret was on the 13th Avenue longer than us and bought more things. We were mainly after the mini-donuts.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Screening Under the Steeple with another "Mr. Saul"

The annual Filmpool "Screening under the Steeple" at the Artesian, part of the Cathedral Festival, took place this evening. There was a good crowd, at least 80 by my count, and some fun films. They dug a few out from the archives but many were quite new. Included was one of my previously unscreened "Mr. Saul" films from 2012: "The E-Card" which I have to admit I had forgotten. I submitted it to be screened a year ago so I must have re-watched it then, but it was like hearing my voice doing a script I'd never read before. Senility is setting in. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Terribly (fun) Film Festival

As a special "Terrible Film Festival" event, having not held this hand-processing film exhibition in two years, four graduate students and I took over the YAAG  and hosted a screening as part of the Cathedral Village Festival this week. The five of us (Dianne Ouellette, Rania Al Harthi, An An, and Ken Wilson along with, for the first time, me), screened work created over the past fourteen days as part of the Analog Film course. Of my four projectors, one had a burned out bulb and the other three broke down. This was highly aggravating since one of them was my really good slot load which is now making a strange noise when you turn the handle. Fortunately, Dianne brought one and we eventually compiled the multiple films (which were to show simultaneously on different screens, onto one reel and screened it on demand. The evening when on after the last screening (just after 8) and we hung around the fire until the wee hours. Allan and Jana came by after dark. William was the star of the day, bringing each guest bags of popcorn and suggesting that they participate in taking "patented dino-selfies" wearing Dianne's dinosaur hats. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Holophon experimental sound concert

Last night we attended the Holophon concert at the Artesian. Ian Campbell presented a bizzare piece with used a really old, hand cranked 35mm film projector with a web cam pickup and a flywheel weighted by an active WII remote. Ian mentored Erik Hill who premiered a new work with stars and "Line Verticle" and noise. Amber Goodwyn constructed a sculptural white noise room behind the screen as the half time entertainment. The crowd grew throughout the performance.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

New Canister the Robot comic

At the comic jam on the opening day of the Cathedral Festival, and with the help of Allan Dotson who drew the prototype of the dinosaur (I traced it), I've made the new chapter in the Canister the Robot narrative...
Click to see frame by frame in ISSU

Monday, May 18, 2015

Photos of Cathedral Festival parade

The parade towards the park around the Balkwill Centre had perfect weather, just cool enough to endure the costumes. Tents and food await, as will music and other entertainment all afternoon. I'll be back there shortly to participate in the comic jam with Allan Dotson (script isn't done, but when is it ever?).

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Morton's painting restored to Regina Public Library

Today the Douglas Morton painting "Continuum" was re-installed in the entranceway of the downtown Regina public library where, except for the past nine months, it has been hanging since the sixties. I helped with taking it down in August but today I just took pictures while it was being rehung. Quite a process.