Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Christmas Island Crabs, Making Movies, Free Things, and White Balloons

1. Dreamed about Christmas Island.

I don't remember or understand enough of the dream to explain it.

All I know is I was with a group of people, and I think maybe we were trying to catch the crabs.

2. Guessed that it's illegal to catch the crabs on Christmas Island.

3. Looked at a Christmas Island tourism page that talks about the crabs.

They don't mention it being illegal to catch them. They also don't mention it as an issue. What IS an issue is the crabs getting run over by cars.  The island is working to reduce this from happening, which makes me think the crabs are loved and protected.

4. Started watching an episode of Wicked Science.

5. Thought Toby (Andre de Vanny) was being an unfair little shit in this episode.

He thinks he's being all wonderfully clever and heroic by trying to zap Elizabeth's (Bridget Neval) powers away.

How is that fair?

If he feels that it's right for Elizabeth to lose her powers, he should give up his powers as well.

Or maybe he's planning to do that.

6. Started watching an episode of Home and Away.

7.  Continued to not like Rickie (Bonnie Sveen). Her attitude really gets to me.

8. Read an essay on iBooks by Baz Luhrmann.  It's from Lumina, a film journal I downloaded recently.

It's free, by the way. I was kind of excited about that.

Anyway, Luhrmann says there's no excuse for not making a film.

Reading that kind of stressed me out.  I felt guilty for not making a movie.

Then I realized he was probably directing his essay towards film students and filmmakers.

It's like I could say, there's no excuse for not having a blog.

EXCEPT there's the excuse of someone not wanting a blog.

There are certain things in life now that are so much easier and less expensive than before. If you wish to do these things, you don't have many good excuses not to do them.

Not every single person in the world has the means to make a film. You need some kind of computer.  I think an iPhone would work.

My phone has iMovie; though I've never tried using the phone version.

9. Thought that unfortunately not everyone has a computer and Internet connection. But for the people who do, they have amazing opportunities available to them.

10. Thought of things I did today for free.

Well, first of all...I read an essay from an Australian film journal.  Twenty years ago, that would have been very hard to do.

I had a mini-French lesson.

I had free lessons in chemistry.

I wrote in my blog.

I wrote down my dreams in a private online journal.

I read some of the news.

11. Wondered if I could count my viewing of Home and Away and Wicked Science as being free.

I guess I could.  Hulu lets you watch videos on your computer for free.

What's not free is the lack of commercials. I used to watch the commercials, but then Jack bought us the commercial free version of Hulu.

Still. Hulu provides those of us in the US with a ton of free programming.

12. Remembered Spotify.

Because of them, I listen to a lot of music for free.

13. Decided that in order to do something, wanting isn't enough.

You also have to have a lot of motivation. Because even though things are cheaper, they're not always very easy.

For example, I actually started thinking of making a film this morning. I was thinking about how sometimes Tim and I have funny ideas, and maybe we can make our own sketch comedy series.

It's so wonderful that these days, ANYONE can make their TV shows. You don't need to fly to Los Angeles and sweat profusely while pitching your idea to Hollywood executives.

You just make it and stick it on YouTube.

So, what's stopping me from pursuing my idea?  The main thing is, I'm only mildly interested in pursuing such a project. Making my own web series is not something I'm dying to do. It's more like something that sounds kind of fun, but not more fun than other things I'd prefer to do.

The second thing is, although we sometimes have clever ideas, they're actually kind of rare.  It's not like we're coming up with things on a weekly basis. It might be more like we have an idea every few years.

(To be honest,....from memory I can think of only one idea we've had that might have been amusing to a general audience.  Our other ideas were practical jokes for my family)

The third thing is, I have one idea in my head now, and though it might not be too expensive to hire actors, write a script, film it, edit it, and post it on YouTube,  my idea is complicated when it comes to set/location.

My idea involves fantasy sequences, and I think it would only be good with multiple locations.

I'd probably need things like a forest and a ship.

Yeah....I think it would be an expensive and elaborate production.

It wouldn't be like a Baz Luhrmann film, but it would be more complicated than something like The Justice Lease.

14. Thought maybe one day I'll come with an idea that doesn't involve multiple sets/locations.

If that happens, maybe I'll consider making a film.

15. Went to the Tropfest website.

Today I'm going to be watching a 2010 finalist film called "Testicle".

This might be interesting.

16. Saw, like my Tropfest film for yesterday, this film is short.  It's less than three minutes.

17. Wanted to say something else about my film idea.

It would also PROBABLY have to involve dead animals.  As a vegetarian, I'm thinking I probably wouldn't feel good about doing that.

I suppose we could use fake dead animals—special effects.  I think that might get expensive, though.

18. Returned to watching "Testicle".

19. Confused by the film.

I'm not sure what was happening in it.

There's a mom and dad, a baby, and what seems to be a pediatrician. The doctor talks to the parent's about the baby's missing testicle.  At first I thought they might be at the doctor's office, but the baby and doctor were on the couch together.

I got the idea that the doctor had made a house call.  Okay. But then all these other people were in the house.

I'm wondering if it's a shared house? Maybe all the people are housemates?

20. Thought I should probably mention the film is animated.

21. Saw that the film got very mixed ratings on YouTube.  Forty-Eight people gave it a thumbs up, and thirty-eight gave it a thumbs down.

It seems many commenters were confused by the film and confused about why it was a Tropfest finalist.

22. Saw that Igor Coric, one of the directors of "Testicle" had made a lot of other short animated films.  Like "Testicle", most of the films have one word titles.  The most recent was named "Condom".

23. Saw that the other director, Sheldon Lieberman, is credited for the most of the same short films.

I guess Lieberman and Coric work as a team.

24. Saw that the midwife in the film is played by someone named Mystery Woman.

I guess she wants to keep her identity a secret.

That's kind of fun.

25. Googled Coric and Lieberman together and found something about a film called "Teagan".  The description says it's about animators that transitioned from male to female.

Does that refer to Coric and Lieberman.  Are they transgender?

26. Wondered if one of them could be the mystery woman.

Lieberman actually played one of the men in the movie.  Maybe Coric played the midwife.

27. Went to Igor Coric's Vimeo page.

The videos there don't match up to what I see on IMDb.

I'm pretty sure it's the same person, though. They're both from Australia,

And the Vimeo shows that Coric won best animation for Tropfest in 2010.

It's the same guy. I just don't know why he doesn't have his IMDb films on Vimeo.

These people are mysterious—mysterious film, mysterious actress, mysterious Vimeo behavior....

28. Found an interview with Sheldon Lieberman.

It's from 2014.

29. Learned that Lieberman started a studio called Big Fish.

Big Fish does advertising and film work.

30. Learned that Big Fish is over twenty years old.

31. Learned that the transgender person in "Teagan" is their editor. I'm guessing he means the Big Fish editor.  The editor was a male, but now she is a she.

32. Saw that Lieberman is very passionate about helping families dealing with Spinal Muscular Atrophy.  Big Fish does charity work for them.

I don't know if I've heard of SMA. I wonder if we call it something different here.

33. Consulted Lord Wiki.

He doesn't have another name for SMA, so I guess it's just something that slipped by my radar.

34. Learned that SMA is the most common genetic cause of infant death.

35. Learned that there are four types of SMA.

Children with level 0/I rarely make it past the age of four.

People with type II often die before the age of twenty, but some live much longer than that.

Those with type III usually have normal life expectancies.

36. Liked Lieberman's answer to the question of what's complete happiness to him. He says,
Being yourself. Doing what you love. Sharing your gifts.

I think those are definitely happy things.

37. Found my way to Igor Coric's website.

It's quite an experience.

You have to go through a sort of obstacle course to get to the main website. This includes touching a piece of poo and a rat.

38. Learned that Coric splits his time between Serbia and Australia.

I wonder if he splits it evenly.

If not, where he does he spend more of his time?

39. Found a link to Big Fish on his site.

The graphics on Big Fish are irritating to me.  I think they'll make me nauseated if I spend too much time looking at them.

40. Saw that Coric is a fan of Ted-Ed. We've watched a few videos from them, for our homeschooling. But we haven't gotten really into it yet.

41. Looked at the videos on the Big Fish Site, and tried to decide what to watch.

42. Realized I'm wrong.

They're not all videos.

Some are descriptions of different projects they worked on.

43. Looked at their White Balloon campaign.

It doesn't impress me much.

It's about raising awareness for sexual abuse.

I definitely think that's an important issue.

But this whole thing...raising awareness.  Are there really a lot of people out there who aren't aware that sexual abuse happens to children?

I may not have been aware of Spinal Muscular Atrophy, but I'm definitely aware of sexual abuse. I think most people are.

The White Balloon campaign involved giving people a virtual balloon. They'd release it in their networks.  The more shares they receive, the higher their balloon will fly.

If I'm understanding things right, basically it's a popularity contest.

Do we need to have a popularity contest to help kids who are abused?

44. Went to the White Balloon Day website.

I'm wondering how far beyond balloons the campaign went.

I'd be more with the program if they readily provided information and advice about sexual abuse.

For example, it would be nice if more adults were aware that it's not a wise idea to force young children to kiss or hug someone they don't want to hug.

It would be also nice for more adults to know that if they don't stop ticking a child who asks them to stop; they're sending the child the wrong message. They're telling the child that the child's "no" is powerless and meaningless.

45. Looked at the information for the Launch Your Balloon Page. They say,
It’s time to launch your balloon into the sky and share it with your friends. By doing so you’ll be joining thousands of Australians in taking a stand against child sexual assault and helping to make our kids and communities safer and our courageous families affected by child sexual assault feel more supported.

The thing is, someone can easily fly their little virtual white balloon; then close their laptop, and later abuse a child in their life.

46. Watched Big Fishes' Brisbane video. It was to promote Brisbane after the flood—show the world they were thriving again.

It's a cheerful message.

It's nice to know that people and communities can rise up again after a fall.