Thursday, December 24, 2015

Bullying, Show Business Networking, Academy of interactive Entertainment, and the Weaving Family

1. Saw on Twitter that people are still bitching at Peter Dutton.

I think it's unfair.

No, he's not my type of person. His voting record says it all.

BUT he changed his mind about a bad decision.  He could have been stubborn and refused to allow Hassan Asif to see his family. Instead, he gave into the pressure and did a good thing for the Asif family.

I think right now people should be thanking and praising Dutton.

Later they can bitch at him about new bad decisions.

It sort of reminds me of a part from Mindy Kaling's book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

Kaling is bullied by a brat for being overweight. It gets to her, and she ends up losing a lot of weight because of it. Then later the bully picks on her for being fat in the past.

Being overweight is DEFINITELY not the same thing as making a decision that's lacking in compassion. They're very different. I'm not trying to compare the two.

What's similar, though, is someone being pressured to change. They give into the pressure; then realize it doesn't matter. They're still going to be attacked.

2. Had idea that the people still sending mean Tweets to Peter Dutton are sort of bullies themselves.  I can imagine that they care more about being mean to Dutton than they care about Hassan Asif.

3. Started watching an episode of Scooter: Secret Agent.

4. Thought that this episode was actually kind of exciting. It has a Scooby Doo quality to it.

5. Could relate to Scooter (Martin Sharpe) feeling like he's special and on top of the world; then losing all of it.  I've been there before.

In Scooter's case, he was impersonating a secret agent. He got caught, got in trouble, and lost the job. He doesn't want to go back to being a mere pizza delivery person.

In my case, I thought I was talking to ghosts. I thought I was actually friends with ghosts. Then I learned it was all a hoax. It was hard going back to a normal, somewhat lonely life.  But I managed.

6. Knew that Scooter isn't going to permanently lose his secret agent position, because there are many episodes of the show left. And the title doesn't change to Scooter: Pizza Delivery Boy.

7. Started to watch "Glenn Owen Dodds".

8. Saw that the movie is about people standing in line to visit God.

It seems that God is played by David Wenham.

9. Thought the movie was fun and cute so far.

10. Finished watching the movie.

I liked it a lot. It reminds me of the Oh God movies with George Burns.

11. Wondered how the writer and director of "Glenn Owen Dodds" were able to get a big Aussie star in their movie, AND get the film on Hulu.

I thought maybe the director (Frazer Bailey) and writer (Trent Dalton) were well-established in the industry, but from what I see on their filmographies, it doesn't seem to be the case.

12. Figured maybe Bailey and Dalton were big in theater.

Or maybe they were just people who had a good idea; and had the good fortune of finding people who could help them sell their idea.

13. Saw that Glenn Owen Dodds has an extensive crew, which does not usually seem to be the case with most short films.

14. Googled Trent Dalton and saw that he's a writer for The Australian.  He's probably well known for that.

15. Saw that Trent Dalton has around three thousand Twitter followers. So, he's not very well-known for his journalism or filmmaking.

16. Continued to be curious about how some not-so-famous guys were able to get a large film crew, a big-time Aussie actor, and attention from Hulu.

But the whys and hows aside, I'm glad it happened.

17. Went to Random.org to pick my next Hulu/Netflix thing to watch.

It's the movie The Tree.  I'm excited about it. I remember seeing the trailer, and thinking it looks good.

I'll probably start watching it on Friday...which will be Christmas.

18. Went to the Tropfest website.

Today I'm going to watch a short film called "The Story of Ned".

It seems to be animated.  I mean that's what I can see in the little photo for the film.

19. Started watching the film.

The premise is that stories are characters.

I'm not explaining it well. Sorry.

Let me try again.

There's a child named Ned, and he's a story. His dad is a detective story and his mom is a children's fable.

20. Wondered if the film is about mixed genre writing.

21. Finished watching the movie.

It was interesting.

I'm thinking of bookmarking it for our homeschooling curriculum; though I'm not sure if I should put it in our English folder or film folder.

The film is about a story who has a lot of positives, and therefore a lot of promise. However, he's lacking an ending.  He has to go through various treatment-some desperate- in order to finally get an ending.

22. Thought the film was pushing the importance of having multiple drafts—revising.

23. Thought the film was a bit confusing at first. I had a hard time with it, because I was picturing Ned (the story) as being the writer—a writer who is struggling rather than a story that is struggling.

Once I got that straight in my head, it was easier to follow.

The other thing that I had a hard time with was I pictured Ned as a short story; or maybe a novel. Then there's a scene which shows Ned becoming famous.  He's featured in several magazines. I was wondering, since when do multiple magazines print the same short story?  THEN I realized that Ned is more like a movie story than a short story-story.

24. Saw that the film gives thanks to AIE.

I think that stands for the Academy of Interactive Entertainment.

Or maybe not. The logo in the movie doesn't match the logo on the other AIE website.

The description of AIE on the website, though, does fit with the film. They're a school for animation, gaming, and film visual effects.

25. Saw that AIE has campuses in the US too.

I wonder if they have a good reputation.  I'm wondering this, because they teach the type of thing that strongly interests Jack.

26. Learned from their about page that AIE started in Canberra.

I'd be so proud and happy if Jack went to a program that began in Australia.  

27. Looked at The Story of Ned on IMDb.

The writer and director is Simon Weaving. I wonder if he's related to Hugo and Samara Weaving.

28. Learned from Simon Weaving's bio on IMDb that he's the father of Samara and the brother of Hugo.

For some reason I thought Hugo was the father of Samara. But no. They're uncle and niece; not father and daughter.

29. Saw that Simon Weaving has done mostly work in short films, but his most recent project is regular-length.

The regular-length movie is called The Competition.  It was released in 2014. Weaving wrote and directed it.

30. Saw that Tony Turner is in the movie.

Turner did the narration for The Story of Ned.  I'm imagining that Turner and Weaving are friends...or they at least like working together.

31. Saw that Samara Weaving appeared in a short film that her father wrote—Sprung.

I'm glad to see that.

I was looking at Simon Weaving's films and wondering if his brother and daughter were in any of them. I couldn't find either of them at first.

It seems to me that if you're successful in the industry and have a close relative that's working hard to get themselves a career, it would be nice to appear in their film.

I'm not saying the first cousin of my second cousin needs to let me appear on his hit TV show.  But if one of my sisters was a famous actress and I was trying to work my way into a successful film career, it would be nice if they appeared in my films.

32. Figured there were various possible reasons for why the two Weaving brothers haven't worked together on film.

They could hate each other.

There could be love, but there's an ongoing feud that's getting in the way of that love.

They might be too busy. Simon hasn't made a lot of films. Maybe each time he's worked on a film, Hugo has been busy with another project.

Maybe Hugo is willing to be in Simon's movie, but Simon wants to stand on his own feet. Maybe he doesn't like the idea of his movie getting attention simply because his famous brother is in it.

33. Found an interview with Simon Weaving.

The interview begins with this: As Hugo's big brother, some may assume Simon Weaving swept into an arts job with ease.  But his rise to artistic director of the Canberra International Film Festival was far more interesting. It involved accounting, business and the Papua New Guinea highlands.

So...yeah. There seems to be a need for Simon to separate himself from his brother.

34. Learned that Simon is shy; and that he and Hugo had their education at at English boarding school.

35. Saw that the interview is actually an audio thing.

Do I want to listen to it?

Maybe a little bit. I mean I'll listen to some of it.

36. Thought I should mention that Simon Weaving is the artistic director of the Canberra International Film Festival.  That's mentioned in the written part of the interview, and the audio.

37. Thought that Simon Weaving's voice sounds a lot like his younger brother's

38. Learned that the Weaving family did a lot of international travel. Simon feels this helped him avoid feelings of xenophobia.

39. Learned that Simon was conceived in France. His mother wanted him to be an English baby, so she rushed back to England to give birth.

Or something like that.

40. Enjoyed what I've heard from the interview so far.

Simon talks about how Hugo was born in Nigeria, and Simon says he tries to compete with that by talking about how he was ALMOST born in France.

41. Learned that the Weaving family spent some of the 1960's in Brighton, Melbourne.

42. Learned that the Weaving family later moved to South Africa.

43. Felt I might have to listen to the whole 46 minute interview.  A) Because Simon Weaving has a beautiful accent and voice. B) I like the stuff he's saying. It's all very interesting to me.

44. Learned that Daddy Weaving went to drama school, and wanted to be an actor. If I understood things correctly, it's also where he met Mommy Weaving.  Then somehow he ended up working in the oil industry.

45. Learned that Daddy Weaving had a lot of pressure from Grandma and Grandpa Weaving to not pursue an acting career.

46. Felt a little obsessed with the Weaving family.

But don't worry. It will likely pass by tomorrow. And in a few months, I won't remember any of this. I'll see Simon Weaving's name and write, I wonder if he might be related to Hugo Weaving.  

47. Learned that Hugo and Simon's sister is a singer.

Simon talks about how art stuff runs in the family.

That makes sense.

It doesn't seem to be the case for my family.  I think I'm the only one in my immediate family that seriously wanted to pursue an art type career (film and writing).

Well, I guess my sister was sort of on that path. She wanted to be a dancer.

Neither of us got very far.

I don't think any of my aunts, uncles, grandparents, or first cousins have/had a art career or serious art hobby.

48. Remembered that I have a first cousin who's a violinist; and she actually had some career success with that.

49. Thought that maybe there are more artistic talents within my close relatives than I imagined.  Maybe we just weren't fortunate in being successful; and/or we didn't have enough faith and endurance.

Sometimes what could become a career is pushed aside as a hobby. Then sometimes what's a hobby becomes:You know. I used to do that; and I was actually kind of good at it. But it's been YEARS now. I don't know if I could do it anymore.

50. Bored a bit by the interview. Simon Weaving and the interviewer are going on and on about the uniforms at Weaving's English school.

51. Saw a picture of the uniform. It IS kind of wild...so maybe not so boring, after all.

52. Learned that Weaving pursued business studies.

So maybe he's more of a business man than film man?

53. Learned from Lord Wiki that Weaving is no longer the artistic director for the Canberra International Festival. He had the job from 2009-2012.

54. Tried to figure out what film Weaving and the interviewer have been talking about. I kind of drifted out when I was consulting Lord Wiki.

From stuff they said, I got the idea it was the French film with the color titles.

I did some Googling based on stuff Weaving said, and realized I was right.

I think he was talking about Bleu.  I've seen one of the others films in the trilogy.  I think it was Red,.

All I remember about the movie is that there's a ferry accident, and I really liked the music.

55. Decided to quit listening to the interview.

It's getting late, and I'm getting tired.

Plus, I want to look at something more recent. The interview is from 2012.

Now I'm looking at a 2014 article written by Weaving. It's about trying to help his daughter (Samara) get a Hollywood agent.

56. Finished reading the article. I think the basic idea is that acting agencies used to be small and personal. Now that's not the case anymore.  Also, it's not really enough to have an agent. Weaving says actors need agents and managers.—probably a lawyer too.

57. Felt confused by the article...or editorial, really.

Actually, it's like a personal essay.

Weaving talks about being scared of Hollywood—having expectations of a daunting place.  Then he concludes: My fear of the place was unfounded. Everyone we met – from the hawkers on public transport to the execs who shouted us cocktails at the Skybar – had that confident charm that seems to come too easily for Americans. This town was no mysterious, devious, Shiva. To understand it, you just had to follow the money.  

I don't know.

What is confident charm?  And if it really does come easily to us Americans, shouldn't that be kind of scary to outsiders?

I don't think I have a lot of charm. If I went to a city with people who are easily charming, I think it would make me nervous.  It's not that charm itself would scare me. But if I'm less charming, I'd feel inferior. I'd worry about not fitting in.

58. Tried to understand what Weaving expected in Hollywood. What was he initially afraid of?

I have to look again—reread.

59. Saw this. It had always seemed a daunting idea of a place – with those attached to it too famous, too untouchable, too – well, yes, scary. Surely there would be a perimeter of security guards, electrified wire gates and minders.

It's not like that?

Maybe Weaving's essay confuses me, because I buy into the stereotype.

I totally picture lots of gates and untouchable celebrities in Hollywood.

Is he saying it's not that way—that Hollywood is full of Americans who are naturally talented at being charming?  

60. Wondered if Hollywood is less closed off to Simon Weaving and his daughter, because of who they are.  I know fame in Australia doesn't always translate to fame in Hollywood. But maybe it does to a small degree?

Hugo Weaving isn't huge in the U.S, but he's somewhat recognizable. The general public might not know his name, but if you explain that he was the villain in The Matrix, people will understand.

Samara Weaving was on Home and Away.  That's not super big here, but I'm guessing people in Hollywood have met other Aussie actors who have that show on their resume.

Now I could be totally wrong. But I'm guessing that someone like Samara Weaving is going to have more doors opened for them than some girl from Oklahoma, with no successful actor family members, who's trying to get her foot in the door.  

61. Thought of the conclusion to the article.

Samara got herself an agent and manager.

I'm guessing that doesn't happen for everyone who steps into Hollywood with big dreams.