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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Now you can buy "Whale" DVD from Amazon

Go to Amazon to get Amir Motlagh's beautifully shot DIY feature 'Whale" on DVD. For more on "Whale" go to Motlagh's site (also for other buying options, if u r not down with Amazon).

- S

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

"Whale" screening in PA in March

Get all the info at "Whale" director Amir Motlagh's blog.

- S

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Making "How To Make It In America"

Saw 1.5 episodes (saw all of ep 1, but came in on the 2nd half of episode 2, will have to watch all of it later) of this new HBO show - pretty good (i'll watch pretty much anything that's half decent & shows NYC a lot :) Here's a 10 min. video about the making of the show:

 

- S

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Weird war movies night OR all that I learned from The Hurt Locker was...

Saw The Hurt Locker & The Great Raid tonight. Locker was like a weird art movie, except set in "Iraq" (maybe it was because I knew that it was shot somewhere in the US - I believe - that the environment in the movie did not "feel" like Iraq - not that I've been there, but just from watching other movies & TV shows & news), and pretty much all I learned from watching the movie is that bomb disposal is difficult & deadly work (which I knew already). There was really no plot to the movie - it was like a mumblecore war movie - except with even less of a plot than most mumblecore movies. Basically you see soldiers at war & off duty, and you get to see - in some detail - the challenges encountered by battlefield bomb disposal units - but there wasn't any story - just a few characters & a situation. But a lot of people are really into the movie, and it's nominated for an Oscar or two I believe, so, I guess Locker was just not for me.

The Great Raid was more of a regular war movie; there's a plot - a relatively small group of US Army Rangers & Filipino guerrillas have to rescue 500 US prisoners from the Japanese, in the Philippines, during WW II. Even though the movie was shot & acted well, there was something missing in most scenes - things did not flow well - where there should have been drama or suspense there was often not much of anything except people hanging out & talking (so maybe the script was the problem, also maybe the editing, & of course the direction). But the action scenes were well done. The raid of the POW camp was dramatic & interesting to watch. One of the best parts of the movie was seeing actual footage from the real Great Raid at the closing title sequence - & seeing some of the real people depicted in the movie (see the footage here). All in all, Raid was pretty good - a solid 6.5 I guess - as far as war movies go.

HBO usually does war pretty well - when it comes to using it to tell interesting stories. So, I am looking forward to The Pacific. Tonight's little war movie fest was OK, Pacific might be better.

- S

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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Trust probably about 20 years old now


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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Switched gets a peek at Panasonic's new $21K 3D camera


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Shooting 3D on HD for $250

Check out the Engadget article on how it can be done. Here's some $250 3D video:


$250 3D Camera Test (Anaglyph) from Ron Proctor on Vimeo.

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Looking forward to watching Kevin Smith deal with his Southwest Airlines trauma in his future movies :: A friend's troubles with NYC Social Services

Why do I think Smith will or should highlight what is, at best, horrible customer service by Southwest Airlines recently in one of his future movies? Because the attention may cause Southwest to keep an eye on their customer service practices. Because only one out of many unhappy customers or clients will speak up against a business or a government agency and when that one person finally does speak up the misbehaving or allegedly misbehaving entity usually (hopefully) reviews their policies & may end up, at least for a while, putting a new focus on providing better customer service - which may benefit many people.

Now, a wealthy (right?) & famous (somewhat? at least in the indie world) movie director being inconvenienced & made to feel bad about himself is definitely not a good thing, but this Southwest vs. Smith episode makes me think of a recent, somewhat similar incident I witnessed - and was somewhat a part of - re: a NYC Medicaid office vs. a poor woman - so now is a good time to get this off my chest - so pull up a chair:

A friend who is unable to work full time due to health conditions & needs government assistance with her medicine applied for Medicaid in Brooklyn, at the Boerum Hill office at 35 4th Ave. I accompanied this person to the Medicaid office & helped with applications, etc. - so I saw exactly how the applications were filled out, $s figures used, support documents provided, etc. 50 days later, after not hearing from the Medicaid office (they said they would contact in 30-45 days), we went by the office to check on the status of the application. After waiting for 4 hours, my friend was told that she was rejected because she made too much money. Surprised, she asked what amount they had as her income, and the case worker gave a figure that was twice as much as what my friend actually makes (actual figure was documented/supported with a letter from employer when she applied for Medicaid). When we asked to see the paperwork used to arrive at the earnings figure stated by Medicaid worker (at this point the Medicaid office worker & her colleagues took the position that we had filled out the application wrong) we were told that the files are not available to be shown (this is the paperwork that we turned in 50 days earlier). When the workers searched their computers for scans of the documents that were turned in, none showed up in their system. So we asked about the next step - how to correct the error (made by Medicaid/the Boerum Hill office) - & we were told that my friend should re-apply & wait 30-45 days more to get an answer. So, a potentially lengthy & complicated complaint, reapplication, hearing procedures are on the way at the moment - not sure if & when these actions will result in my friend getting the Medicaid assistance that she needs, and in the meantime she is struggling to pay for her costly & essential medicine.

And did I mention the yelling & the accusations? While my friend was crying after hearing that she was rejected for Medicaid due to an error made by the Medicaid office, 3 NYC social service workers were yelling at us/having a shouting match with us because we dared to suggest that they messed up on the paperwork & also that they cannot produce the paperwork that we turned in, which they claimed was the basis for their decision (of course matters were not helped by me telling them that I was going to complain to whoever would listen about their incompetence).

So, bottom line, Boerum Hill Medicaid office/3+ (however many contributed to the horrible mishandling of my friends application) NYC social service workers get a big fat zero for customer service excellence. What was most annoying was their attitude that there was no possible way that they could have made a mistake, & that a potential client of theirs suggesting so was unthinkable & unacceptable.

We'll see how it goes next time with NYC social services/Boerum Hill Medicaid office (if we decide to go there again, may be better to try another office, even though Boerum Hill is the nearest one to my friend). Hopefully a lot better than the last time I was there. If it does not go well, you'll hear all about it here, & I am going to make sure whatever NYC gov entity manages that office (& anyone else who could help with reform/improving the level of service there) also hears about how the Boerum Hill workers mis-handled this one case.

Anyway, back to Kevin Smith & Southwest Airlines - I am glad Smith is drawing attention to his incident with the airline & is making Southwest re-visit their "Passengers of Size" (that's a Southwest Airlines corporate term, an ultimately negative term/idea/practice, kind of like "People of Color"*) policies. Here's hoping for better customer service in both private businesses & government agencies. And here's to people who complain about bad service - they are doing the rest of us a favor.

- Sujewa

* why am I unhappy with the term People of Color? Because it denies individuality, just like race theory & racism, & it also supports race theory - which is a completely fabricated bunch of nonsense/war & conquest propaganda that has been accepted world wide (more or less) as fact. That, of course, is a subject for another blogpost on another day.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Winter will be over soon - it's prep time for Spring!

In a couple of weeks it will be March; warmer weather, more sunlight, & time to break out the cameras & start shooting outdoors. This March I am looking forward to completing Brooklyn Fantastic (working on script for story 2 now, story 1 was filmed in early '09). And before that, this month, after I get a whole bunch of day job work done, Date Number One & Indie Film Blogger Road Trip on DVD. And in March I need to release Unlimited Dreamtime. That's the near future forecast for Wild Diner Films. Be back in a week or so with some goodies. Oh, and happy Valentines Day for all you romantics - in celebration here's some video from Holloween '09 NYC ('cause Holloween is a more visually interesting semi-holiday than Valentines, & no doubt some romantic action happens on Halloween too):


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Greg Pak Hulking out - from '08

Greg Pak, director of indie movie "Robot Stories", talks about his work for Marvel Comics:


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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Video about shooting "Che" on video/Red

Not a fan of the movie "Che" since it appeared to be just a one sided bio-epic made for fans of Guevara (I'd like to see a more HBO's John Adams type movie about Guevara & the Cuban revolution - covering the positive & the negative - both the anti-colonial beginnings & the eventual military dictatorship outcome aspects of the still unfolding historical event - maybe watching "Che" & "Before Night Falls" & "The Lost City" & "Buena Vista Social Club" in one sitting would do :) , but, the movie did look good. Here's a video about making the movie using the Red camera (thanks Shadow & Act for the video), (also, re: Cuba, we should definitely lift the embargo, the economic benefits of free trade will most likely be for Cubans a great ambassador for all things good about America):


Che and the Digital Cinema Revolution from high rez on Vimeo.

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Sunday, February 07, 2010

Meeting Andrei Tarkovsky trailer :: 2/13 & 14 screenings in Pasadena

For info on upcoming screenings, go here. And here's the trailer for the doc:


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sunday musik: sun ra, silver jews, tv on the radio, pixies, fugazi, tom waits, weezer













NW Documentary wants your movies


A message from Portland's NW Documentary:

"NW Documentary, a non-profit organization, is building a documentary resource center and lending library that will support and enhance our dynamic catalog of educational workshops and make materials available to anyone in our community with a passion or curiosity for non-fiction storytelling. This unique resource center will house a circulating collection of non-fiction DVDs, books and reference materials that support the curriculum of workshops offered by NW Documentary, a collection of local music for use in student projects, and a website featuring links to online resources.

With this project, it is our goal to make available an array of independently produced documentary films to a wide audience that might not otherwise have access to them. To achieve this goal, we need the help of independent filmmakers around the country. NW Documentary is asking for donations of non-fiction films on DVD to help fill our shelves and make this unique and exciting resource a reality for Portland's filmmaking community. If you would like to share your film with us by making a tax-deductible contribution to our library please send your DVDs to:

NW Documentary Arts & Media
115 SW Ash St. STE 620
Portland, OR. 97204

If you have questions please contact me, carson@nwdocumentary.org, or see our website.

Thank you for helping us build our resource center.

- Carson Mischel"

Check out the NW Documentary's site here.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Q: which one or two of the producers at Sundance Round Table would be best for helping you fight & win against an Aliens & Predators attack?

So, let's say one day you find yourself caught in the middle of an Aliens and Predators fight, as described in the trailer below:



And let's say you have the ability to bring one or two of the producers from the Sundance Producers Round table to help you survive & win against the two types of monsters mentioned above. Who would you bring? And why? Please elaborate. In order to properly formulate your answer you may want to watch all 3 parts of the Producers Round Table. Part 1 is below, and you can find part 2 here, and part 3 here. The person who provides the best answer (best as determined solely by me, using classified criteria) will win brunch (keep it under $20) from a Brooklyn restaurant. Good luck! And here's Part 1 of the Producer's Round Table:

There you go, I have yet another blog

One of my arch enemies once complained that I spend too much time blogging. Yup, that happens - and quite often I start new blogs but I end up using most of them only once in a great while after a while - not sure how often this new one -The Bestest NYC Bookstores Blog Ever - my 34th or 35th blog I think - will be used. But it is now alive! Yaiee, more diversion for you :)

Which NYC bookstore had the best customer service this week?

Inspired by my policy (started oh about a year ago i think) of not reviewing films by other indie filmmakers (since i may have to work w/ them in the future & thus a negative review would get in the way of our working relationship) I won't go into details about what I did not like about the customer service experiences I had at 2 out of the 3 NYC bookstores that I visited this week for various purposes - mostly work related. But, perhaps a little bit of information - one bookstore is on the west side (should west side be in caps? probably) - an independent bookstore - pretty good service. The second bookstore has "miles and miles" of books - another independent bookstore - again, pretty good service - better this week than the last time I was there - about two weeks ago. But, the winner - for best customer service that I experienced - out of the 3 NYC bookstores that I visited this week (so far) goes to Borders near Penn Station. Had a very upbeat & enthusiastic sales associate help me look for several DVDs at that Borders, & then locate one at another Borders, & then the cashiers were very helpful re: clarifying some sale prices that ended up saving me money, and all with no attitude - everyone I dealt with was very nice. So, unfortunately the indie bookstores did not do as well as the corporate giant Borders did - this week, when it came to my customer service experience - but there is always next week, & lots more NYC bookstores to check out (& there will be plenty of chances for the other 2 stores to get their "score" up - at least with this customer, since i like indie bookstores i will be visiting them again & again). Anyway, good job Borders Penn Plaza!

- Sujewa

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BREAKTHROUGH WEEKEND Teaser Trailer

DATE NUMBER ONE on Vimeo VOD

Indie Film Blogger Road Trip

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With any electronic lock or magnetic lock you can unlock the door using the App.

more info here - http://www.rintercom.com/

or visit our showroom in brooklyn!

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similar to skybell wifi doorbell, ring wifi doorbell, door bird wifi doorbells

At DIY Filmmaker Blog's Facebook Page

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