Friday, June 30, 2017

Ingmar Bergman

Over the past six months, William and I have been watching the films of Ingmar Bergman. Our mini-festival has included:

Wild Strawberries
Autumn Sonata
Seventh Seal
Serpents Egg
Passion of Anna
Hour of the Wolf
Cries and Whispers
Fanny and Alexander
Through the Glass Darkly
Winter Light
Sawdust and Tinsel
Virgin Spring
Port of Call

Torment (writer only)

Summer viewing will be a bit more eclectic and will likely include more English language films, although the idea of "Foreign Friday" in our viewings will still be important. 

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Department head and honour for William and art from Ian

First thing in the morning we attended William's end of grade celebration. He was on the honour roll again. I'm so proud of him. I've never received academic honours of any sort. He dressed for the occasion and then we went for lunch at Ngoc Van.

This afternoon I sat down with Mark and talked about a details of the department head job. He handed the key to the office over to me. It was ten years ago yesterday that I last held that key, marked in one of my earliest and most melancholy blog entries. I don't really know what to do with the job now that it's handed back to me. I guess I'll start making lists every day again and checking them off.

Ian Campbell had a closing reception for his drawings up at Amber's Salt Studio Gallery. He was selling the print outs for a dollar each so we bought a bunch.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Garden and compost

Taking advantage of the last days before becoming department head (anticipating having too many things to think about to appreciate the mindlessness of digging) I almost got heat stroke shoveling out the compost heap. George would eventually come and roto-till it into our old garden that we've not grown anything in for years (I've added the photo "tomorrow"). 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Vising dad in hospital

After I finished my super-8 film (Canister versus the Red Death) for the One Take event and dropped off my roll and William's roll at the Filmpool I stopped in to see dad at the hospital. For the first time all week he was inquiring about going home - a very good sign in my view. We watched the work progress outside his window of the building next door. It might take a while...

Monday, June 26, 2017

Super-8 deadline looms, shooting final begins

Other responsibilities (University, family, IPUF. CVAF, writing, MOSS) coupled with uncooperative weather has caused me to delay starting to shoot my One Take Super-8 film until today. I had the props prepared weeks ago but just couldn't began making it. It needs to be delivered tomorrow and that shouldn't be a problem, even  though I only shot 30 or the 50 feet today. I think it stressed me out more than gave me pleasure this year. William was helping me and finding funny new things to add from time to time (such as the cat above) but I was on edge constantly through the day. 

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Seeking Pud

We went for ice cream and to pick up a few more dubble bubble gums for the Pud comics but we got three out of five reruns: very disappointing consider we only have 1/4 of the comics. The girls arrived this evening but they got in in but got here after midnight so we didn't see them. 

Saturday, June 24, 2017

John Waters in Regina

William and I attended the John Waters event this evening. He was brought in by QCC and did a really great 90 minute talk followed by questions (William asked two). We got the VIP tickets so went into the "Pink Flamingo Lounge" afterwards to have food (including the dog-butt dispenser for the pudding), a psychic reading, and a book signing. Nice conversation with Jon Tewksbury and Jason Shabatoski under weird lighting.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Shoot wraps

On schedule, the film wrapped. I took the crew for lunch.
Saw Allan. He moved yesterday. Lent him a lamp. 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

acting with Mooky

While I had complained about having too many lines in the Mighty Morphin Orphan film, Erik didn't try to force me to actually do the words as written so things went more smoothly. However, he did add me to another scene, making me another character. I'd have complained but it did allow me to act alongside Mooky (playing her husband actually) so that was tremendous. 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Day three of film shoot and things heat up

 We were back in the studio today where we finished the core greenscreen scenes, although there is a teaser scene we'll still need to shoot there on Friday. Yesterday at the end of the day a decision was made that I was to be in the end of one shot. This meant that my wardrobe had to be finalized out of the back seat of my car and my voice settled on for the rest of the film.I'm doing a haphazard Dumbledoor and am wearing slippers. The weather is fifteen degrees too hot for me to wear this level of sweater, but I'm wearing it anyways. At one point I couldn't say the lines due to a combination of dehydration and delusion. I got through a significant three minute scene. I don't know how many more I have as I have a script reading phobia this week. I did manage to count lines for myself (171 as compared to Geremy's 99). 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

I am old

By the end of the second day of shooting with these young hooligans (Erik Sirke, Geremy Lague, Stephen Macauley, Matt Ellis, James Lague, and Luke Patterson) on the project "Mighty Morphin Orphan Stories" I am exhausted. It wasn't that many years ago that I could do a twelve hour shoot,drink a litre of water, hit the bed for six hours and do it again. However, those days are gone. Shooting is going well in spite of me. There is good energy and many new gags coming as shooting progresses (although everyone is worried about introducing new plot twists or concepts once forty percent of the film is in the can). 

Monday, June 19, 2017

10 years of blogging!

Ten years ago today I began this blog. I began because Chrystene Ells, who was a grad student at the time, suggested I should. I figured it would be a lot of trouble and be very complicated, but one evening while William (5 years old at the time) was having a bath and was old enough to no longer need my help so I thought I'd see what I could do. I looked up "blogger", followed its instructions, and within 5 minutes I'd posted my blog. It was really that easy. My initial intent was to talk about my filmmaking as I was just about to begin a sabbatical. However, most work, even creative work, is the same routine every day. I could't maintain daily posts about my work, so I started talking about family and friends and anything that I wanted. That's still what I do.
Today I worked on a film I'm producing with Erik, Geremy, Matt, Luke, Stephen, and James. It's called "Mighty Morphin Orphan Stories". I'm also an actor in it, although I didn't perform today. We were in front of the green screen for 13 hours and will be back at it tomorrow. I posted to Instagram a few times. Here are some more pictures.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Father's day

We began father's day with the traditional breakfast and rum. Lovely way to start the day.
I'll be visiting my dad in the hospital later today. He had some tests last night and probably more either today or tomorrow to see why he hasn't an appetite or strength since his last operation. 

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Everyone coming to Regina

My niece Michelle drove in for a quick weekend trip to visit dad this weekend. Much of her visit was actually spent in the hospital as dad was admitted again this morning. I think they are doing some procedure tomorrow which will hopefully at least determine what the current issue is.
Rob was in town last night. We went to Five Guys. Geremy brought Luke directly from the airport to chat briefly (Geremy and Rob hadn't met face to face before). Erik and Stephen are driving in from Calgary today for the shoot which is to start Monday. 

Friday, June 16, 2017

The new detective game

This week when Paul came over, a sudden impulse to play Clue came over me. For the first time, we pulled out and played the first edition set that I found at a garage sale a number of years back. Cool graphics. It is labeled "The New Detective Game" on the box. I had expected Paul to win, but did not anticipate him having a huge stroke of luck on top of his logical skills. The game only went four or five turns!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Is this me?

This might be me, age about 2, while we still lived in Winnipeg. I've begun scanning my parents' black and white photos. I've left these for last. There are only a dozen or so rolls so I'll finish today or tomorrow. 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Looking for John Waters

Due to ratings issues, William was turned away at the door at the first night of the John Waters film screenings. This was highly disappointing as it had been my plan for us to catch up on his work before attending his talk in just over a week. We picked up "Cry Baby" on the way home but otherwise his films are a bit difficult to find. If anyone knows a source to rent, borrow, or stream his films from, please let me know. 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Chad and Marla

Chad and Marla, who have been so important in the arts community over the past decade, having run Mysteria Gallery, having built the Artesian (now run separately), and having been creative interesting people, will be moving away later this week. There was a reception for them downstairs at the Artesian with lots of people coming for cake and a drink. 

Monday, June 12, 2017

IPUF meeting

Spent day trying to write and the evening at the IPUF wrap up meeting. Scanned about 10 rolls of film (with 15 rolls being my goal). I cracked the whip on William and he managed to get both of his presentations that he has due tomorrow ready. One of them is a very interesting book report (can't believe I said that) involving a "memory box" of items associated with the book. 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Mooky and William's art project

William made significant progress on his art project today. I don't want to reveal it at this point but I'm certain it will impress. Mooky came over and hung out all evening. Margaret baked a rhubarb cake she's never tried before and it turned out well.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Scanning more photos

Last week I picked up two bins of photos and photo-negatives from my parents. Last night I started scanning. My intention is to only scan negatives (or occasional one of a kind positives such as Polaroids) and put the bulk of this material aside. I will re-assess that plan once I get to the bottom of the stack. My estimate is that there are perhaps 90 rolls of film. What I won't know until later is if there are any large gaps which would imply that there would be another cache of these negatives stored separately. 

Friday, June 9, 2017

Who Is Gerald Saul?

Over the past few months I've been tinkering with a new web page on my site which brings together a bunch of stuff written about me or about my work as well as newspaper articles in which I am mentioned or interviewed. I went on to add links to images of me, both photographic and drawn, which span the last 35 years (scroll to bottom the webpage to find link to those folders, they were a lot of fun to build). While not complete, I think I have most of the important stuff here. The link below will take you to that page, which in turn can allow you to explore other (possibly not as current) pages of my website:

Thursday, June 8, 2017

spring convocation

Congratulations to everyone, especially the film students Wagner Cavalcanti, Zach Almond, Brayden Barrett, Tanner Davis, Shawn Doll, Elizabeth Kopriva, Tim Merasty, James Messer and Walker, Kaitlyn Secuur, Ron Mein (didn't see you there but huge congrats: you finally did it!)
It was wonderful to see An and Xin crossing the stage. You guys did tremendously well and I'm very happy for you both. It was great to meet Xin's parents as well. It sounds like they are having some nice adventures in Canada.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017


It took mom and I 90 minutes to make 10.5 dozen perogies this morning in preparation for my sister coming this weekend.
This evening we picked up Allan on route to Wonder Woman. I liked the overall direction in which the story is about her learning about the mundane rather than her learning about her powers, which has become the standard of origin episodes. 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Allen and sold out movie

Allen was over for supper (as well as Margaret's brother) and we tried to go to Wonder Woman but it was sold out. Played a few fun rounds of Super Fight at a cafe then came home for a short round of Carcassonne. My work day included a great meeting with Xincheng with what I think is a huge break-through on his story:

Monday, June 5, 2017

errands day

Ran all over the place on Monday. Did six things on my list for the university that I realize at the end of almost every day I had forgotten. Saw my parents, did some photo scanning for them and also got my hands on their bin of negatives from about four decades. I'll start scanning them soon. I also had a lengthy conversation with Erik about the evolution of the project. Shooting begins in less than two weeks and the script is still in progress. My kind of film!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Wrapping up IPUF with kid's day

William and I attended the final afternoon performances of the puppet festival, watching and helping out a bit. The Umbrella from Calgary was well done. I was also at the Filmpool AGM. Not sure who is on the board yet as I had to rejoin the IPUF before the names were released. There was a lot of interest (ie: more names on the ballot than we could elect) so I don't know what will happen. It's a healthy sign though. 

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Big blast at PuppetSlam with Mooky

The puppetslam, the biggest funnest event of the International Puppet Underground Festival was better than ever this year. For me, the MCing by Mooky is the highlight. As before, she changes wardrobes between each act, which is a challenge considering that many of the acts are only two or three minutes long. William practiced with her for a couple of hours this afternoon and helped out in her first section after the break. He and another guy had to try to operate 16 or so puppets on cue during a sing along to Monty Python's "All things dull and ugly". So many great moments throughout the evening.