Tuesday, February 28, 2017

mostly sick today

Posted by Jason Whiton at 7:24 PM

Worked at home most of the day. Felt better when decongestants cut in. Managed to take William to "Skateboard Kid 2" at the Talkies at the RPL. Very fun. We also managed to finish watching "The Vampires", the 6.5 hour silent French serial from 1915-16. We would only watch one chapter at a time (10 chapters of varying lengths) so it took us 5 weeks to complete it. Laughed a lot. 

Monday, February 27, 2017

Writing at home

My cold is ramping up this week so worked half from home. I met briefly with Jan about my website needing to migrate. I have been adding to it every month, sometimes as often as weekly, for a decade and would be devastated if somehow it were lost. Here it is by the way: www.geraldsaul.com  I change the front page every time I have a new event on the horizon and change future to past tense once things happen. This "What's New" section has been on the site for the past few years (you can see the "what's old" links below it) and is great for me to remember when and where things happened. However, the real bulk of the site is the film descriptions and the collections of images and writing contained in it. I always have maintenance and am hoping to connect all of the 51 videos I posted during the exhibition last summer to the specific pages that describe them (or make new pages if that is what it takes). I was going to do this last summer but was having tech trouble and was too busy to follow through with how to fix things (for some reason could not add a youtube to the page, although I'd done it before). I also got my CC report done and sent off. It concludes with a budget that is just a few hundred dollars over budget; the closest budget report I've probably ever legitimately had. The rest of the day was filled with lots of Film 200 prep I needed to catch up on. 

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Coffee over Academy

Spent a better part of Sunday evening having coffee with Kevin and Geremy, missing the Academy Awards. William was finishing homework when I got home. At 10:45 we started fast forwarding through the awards and saw all necessary highlights by midnight. 

Saturday, February 25, 2017

More comfortable driving?

It may not look it from this photo, but William is becoming more and more comfortable driving. I've not put him into any really challenging busy streets yet, but soon he'll be ready. 

Friday, February 24, 2017

Marx Brothers at Lifelong Learning

I showed "A Day at the Races" at the Lifelong Learning Centre this afternoon. The sessions they hold are 2.5 hours long and a break is expected, so with a 1:50 running time on the movie, I basically just talked about a bit of the history and some notions of story structure taking a back seat to the comic routines. There was a handful of retirement aged women and they all seemed to like it and asked lots of questions. 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

coming down with a cold

I think I have a new cold. Nose is running. Bit of a sore throat. Margaret asks if it is allergies. Maybe, but feels more like a cold. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Winnipeg Day 4

Wednesday February 22
Before returning to Regina, we hung out at the original McNally Robinson book store for a while. Margaret and William bought a few things. I'm still too far behind on all my reading. We lunched and drove home.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Winnipeg Day 3

Tuesday February 21
We had lunch at Stella's (at Plug In on Portage) with our old friend Patrick Lowe. He has not only tested the digital waters, but has been diving in with a number of contracts for short documentaries on artists through the Manitoba "Stories From Home" project. We finally got to go to the huge Bay store that I've not been in for many years. Patrick wanted to give us a tour but we soon found that anything worth talking about inside was now gone. Tragic store.
A bit changed (for the better) but still in the same location, we found Morden's chocolate store. We'd go there every week if we lived in Winnipeg, just glorious.
We ventured to the Polo Park mall and the new(ish) Lego store within and managed to not buy anything. I was temped by the $320 classic Batman set with the 1967 stuff. You can even see Joker's mustache, poorly hidden by his makeup.
Patrick Lowe and William
Patrick's place

Monday, February 20, 2017

Winnipeg day 2

Monday February 20
We went to the Winnipeg zoo this afternoon. It was starting to rain as we arrived so I figured it would be a miserable visit but to the contrary, crowds were thin and the animals were quite active so we had a great time. The polar bears were swimming around and the tigers, accustomed to cold climates, paced around and seemed to want to be close to the people.
We went to The Great Wall at one of those nice reserving recliner seat type theatres.

See Winnipeg Day 1
See Winnipeg Day 3
See Winnipeg Day 4

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Winnipeg day 1

Sunday February 19
We drove to Winnipeg today, started off at fairly early (8:30 even though I was up at 4:15) and the new car proved very good on the highway. We had to learn a few new tricks with the computer. The GPS programming isn't as intuitive as we'd like. Leslea and Leif were, of course, fantastic hosts. The evening was mostly just relaxing and conversation.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Saturday drive

Saturday drive.
First day of the break. Took William out for a bit of a drive, then caught up on "Riverdale" on Netflix. Pretty good day. 

Friday, February 17, 2017

Warming up and AGR opening

Armies of snowmen, once on the brink of conquering our city, now fall to the blight of sunshine.
Meanwhile at the Art Gallery of Regina I finally got to take a look at Gerda's display in the mini-gallery. The opening reception was for "A Rightful Place", an interesting photography project of people living in Saskatchewan from other countries, pictured sometimes in nationalistic costume, sometimes not, and paired with a simple snapshop of their life here. The images (most or all, I'm not sure) in the exhibition were shot by Michael Bell who also photographed me during my show at the AGR in the summer.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

More animation tests

Animation class tonight: I linked up a digital 8 camera to one of my projectors and fed live video onto the puppet stage to animate a real person into the miniature world. We were stuck with only a short cable so we had some limitations, but found a couple workarounds. I also made this little paper clip one which crudely demonstrates the nature of replacement animation. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

More Bolex shooting

My second group of Film 200 students shot with the Bolexes today. William had lots of homework so we didn't do much this evening.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Valentines in the backyard!

Weather is super-fine. Shoveled off most of the deck in preparation for more above zero to come, and we warmed ourselves around the fire pit before bbqing some sirloins. Margaret made a small snowperson with rose hip eyes.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Crazy walking student animation

Here is the animation test we did the other day in animation. The actual animated walk is based on a piece by Richard Williams, crudely copied by me. The technical approach is based upon the Fleischer Brothers work from the 1930s, in particular the Slumberland series with moving backgrounds. 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Margaret and William driving

Margaret took William out for a drive. This is the first time she's taken him. They got back safely a few minutes ago. She took him out onto 13th Avenue. These are his busiest streets so far (even though it it Sunday). Now that he is back, with his homework, practicing, house-cleaning, and driving all done,  he can finally unwind. I'm working on grading so that I can take Monday as a creative day (I'm finding the grading process very slow this year due to an increased feeling of distraction, as if I purposely look for things, such as updating my blog, to distract me). 

Saturday, February 11, 2017

summing up Caligari

We had our open discussion with participants of the Caligari Project at the Artesian today. We got a few good ideas for strategies if we were to host a similar event in the future (we are tentatively planning to do something in 2020, but we've not settled on a theme yet).
Afterwards I took William driving and then we watched some early Bergman followed by the redux "Apocalypse Now". 

Friday, February 10, 2017

La La Land

William presented his psychiatry video in class today. Says it went okay. The teacher makes no comments, just moves to the next one. I am getting worried that she is a phys ed teacher who has been assigned science, which doesn't bode well for deep thought this term.
I had a meeting with the new committee for planning the Filmpool 40th anniversary. It included Dianne Ouellette, Brett Bell, Mike Rollo and Filmpool staff.
We went to La La Land this evening. It is so dense with details and little nods to film and music history that it demands a second viewing, probably on dvd later. 

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Class activities

In Film 200, we started shooting with the Bolex. I believe it went well. Nothing was dropped. I was a bit worn out from dashing between the four groups whom I stationed in areas that had the necessary light to shoot in.
In animation class, we shot some low tech cel animation upright in the Fleischer Brothers "Slumberland" style against a rotating stage containing a physical set. Other than the animation (traced by never watched from the Richard Williams book) being crazily erratic, it worked very well. I exported the animation but did something wrong so I'll need to post this in a few days. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Chinese performances at university and psychiatry project

I was given tickets (thanks Jingyi) for an evening of Chinese cultural performances at the university. Margaret had to go to a meeting so it was just William and I. He was quite into it but I insisted that we leave early as he has a video presentation to prepare for science class for tomorrow. He had to create a pitch to recruit people into a specific job in the sciences. He made a 2 minute video (which would be presented along with a 3 minute verbal spiel) on psychiatry. He used voice over (see production still below) and found film extracted from archive.org. It was supposed to take the subject seriously. I'm worried that some of the torturous clinic images from the 1950s might hurt that aspect of the assignment.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Meetings at universtiy

While Tuesday is a non-teaching day, I filled this one with a series of meetings. Kallie is away for a while so we had to make sure that her video plan for her project is in order including building hanging braces for the projectors and getting help with some other tech stuff. Had my first ever review with Mark. At home, I had to crack the whip on William as he has been given homework in multiple topics for about the 10th day in a row.

In the evening William had a second MRI. It was done at the clinic inside the old Superstore. First time we've been in there since the store closed. 

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Happy February 5

Low key anniversary. We had a nice meal. William built some Lego. We looked at some photos from the 90s and told stories. 

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Carrying tables

We bought a table and small shelf from a friend moving out from two blocks away. Margaret strained her arms carrying the shelf. Will take days to recover. 

Friday, February 3, 2017

Andrew Salgado catalog arrives

Packaged in a strange and amazing British Royal Post bag, the catalog for Andrew Salgado's Beers exhibition in London arrived today, signed by Andrew for Margaret. The beautiful hardcover book contains hundreds of images and five essays, including a reprint of the AGR program that our own Margaret Bessai wrote two years ago. A super international publication for Margaret. 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

animation class sample

This week in animation, the students played around with some combination of forms using glass. The first is a read projection image on glass behind the toy Mr. T. The second clip is foreground images with the Ninja Turtle behind the glass. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Jobs over education

This Wednesday, after a full day of work, I'd hoped to come home and watch a bit of tv with family but William was in the middle of his homework. Told that it should take an hour or so, this research into multiple science related jobs took him over six hours to complete. Not that an evening of homework is bad. To the contrary, learning is good. However, this wasn't really learning anything. This was just collecting statistical data about jobs, as they exist today, that these grade 10 students wouldn't be able to get for another 7 years. It seemed more like a means to justify the inclusion of science in the curriculum on economic grounds rather than academic ones. Why, the first week of a term, must they put jobs in the forefront? Why can't science be important on its own? He had to do the same questionable make-work exercise in media last term. I am worried about priorities.