Archive for the 'Nuts & Bolts' Category

The APL Array Language Video Blog!

The second vlog is now up and ready for you to see. It is a special conference edition, that showed live in Boston on Monday, Oct 3, 2011.

My apologies for the extra “click”. Videos on the landing page, even from Youtube, kill load times and then clunk, down goes your Google ranking. (If that sentence is not English, what is it?)

So, the vlog now has it’s own page, in a Youtube “player” that will also allow you to see past vlogs, should you so desire.

Enjoy. Good Day.  And thanks so much for watching.


It’s a Vlog!


Daunting VIP interviews, Cat lady trigonometry and light!

Good cinematography is all about catching proper light will expertly balanced gear.

One of the uncomfortable consequences of the subjects I usually film is that they have a better handle on basic math than I do.  Not that I suck, but often my thinking-through process is slower than theirs.  One can see that internal gears are at work. I noticed a very well controlled twinge of impatience in one instance when I was mentally working out the angle for a light.  In other words, I need to practice a lot before I go out in the field.

Today I’m gearing up for some VIP interviews in the fall, literally.  I haven’t been satisfied my lighting system so I bought a new reflector.

And spent the evening testing it on my trusty models, Nichi and Nanna.

I want to be able to capture a richness of colour in people’s personal environments.

Light and cameras are all about getting the triangle just right.

Testing was going more or less fine, until the reflector came floating down on poor Nichi’s head.  At which point I switched and aimed the sun beams at Nanna.







Docs, housekeeping & the long haul

Organising my research material in Scrivener, a writers programThe big plan for the summer was to get my research 100% completely organised.  All this information is floating around in my head  and it is making a little crazy, to be perfectly honest.

I’m about 80% behind schedule.

Documentary film making is about as opposite to the finance world as you can get.  I’m adjusting to the time frames.

There is progress, but I’ve given up on the predicting side of things.  When will this end?   I don’t know.   And, yes,  I do feel a slight panic when I think about it.   I will, however, eventually figure out how to finish what I’ve started.  It’s a matter of pride.

What you see in the photo above is my new hope.  Scrivener is a writing program a thoughtful Array Jedi Knight passed to me. It’s WORKING!  After spending 2 1/2 years trying to figure out how the hell am I going to keep track of this… this… mess! Scrivener and the filing cabinet I got for Valentines day may do it.  What a huge relief.

These tools are driving a more introspective phase of the project. I’m sifting, evaluating and thinking.  And journaling with more commitment now that I have a way to integrate my daily thoughts with the volumes of material I’m wading through.

On the networking front, I met some people at Hot Docs this year who have already catapulted me light years forward, and they don’t even know it. Howard Fraiberg, for example, insisted that I join Docs, which I did do.  This gives me access to people across Canada who have been slugging it out in the documentary film business for decades.  And I’m privy to their conversations. Awesome.  There’s evidence I’ll live to tell the tale!  And the work! An endless stream of inspiration. This week, I fell in love with A Work in Progress, Frederic Bohbot’s new project. Look!



This is not a film: Storytelling X.1

Oh. And today, I’m not kidding.

I hope you aren’t disappointed. I really do have a legacy to live up to, here.  No shit. I’m so proud of our quirky little community, and as I said in the film synopsis, I plan to tell everyone about it. What else is a woman who faced, first hand, the Iverson challenge to do?  Parrot back what’s been done before?  No way. Trail blaze, buddy.

On that note, I’m completely excited to report that I’m speaking on a hot panel at a super cool conference called Storytelling X.1.

Digital Storytelling X.1 is a one day symposium exploring how digital technologies are changing forms of storytelling today.

Ah, the story and its relationship to money!  Everyone wants to hear about money. It’s the math that everyone cares about!  So, that’s what I’ll talk about. Isn’t it fitting for an Array language storyteller!

And I’ll share the epiphany I had at hot docs after listening to Frank Rose. (Ok, shaking his hand was a huge thrill!)

It is the inspiring,  brilliant and beautiful Siobhan O’Flynn who is responsible for getting me to Storytelling X.1, follow her on twitter, you won’t be disappointed. @sioflynn.


Off to school

It’s late—

I’m late.  I’m running very, very, very late.

It’s tax season, so I’m working a lot for actual money these days, which rocks.  I took a break from accounting school last semester, but as they say… the party is over.  It’s back to the grind.  Classes begin again this week.  Sigh.  I hope you’ll forgive this tiniest of posts; believe it or not, we have to adhere to our production schedule here at the story factory.

For your amusement, I’ve introduced Godiva to illustrate the last couple of articles. If you’re curious as to her origins, give her photo a click with your mouse.  She’s a creation of my imagination, but I think my mother and sister divined her name.  I wanted to get a photo of her with the real APL type ball, but alas, her tail has fallen off.  She needs some maintenance before the next photo shoot.  A job for another day.

And on a semi-related note, in honour of Seth Godin, I want to personally thank those of you who “have my back.”  You know who you are, and I do, as well.  I would be nowhere without you.  xxxx 0000

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Evil plan part 2

Evil Plan Part 2 involves inventing a clever and fun business model to fund this operation and make everyone who is not a part of it jealous.

I think I’m on to something.  The timing is perfect for a collective cybernetic media strategy based on, guess what?  Stories, of course!

Are you lost?  You might be.  Here’s some homework.  Jinnean Barnard illustrates the power of unharnessed social media in A Recipe for Collective Outrage.

Let’s put some reins on this beast, shall we?


Evil plan part 1

Part One of my Evil plan is to use free blogging, sharing and networking tools to expose and track the discovery process concerning my documentary.  My secondary agenda is to propose that in order  to preserve the history of APL and its descendant languages, some amount of organization from within the array language community is necessary, or it’s not going to happen.

My blog, which is central to this effort, is illustrated in this photo, on the right side of the dotted line.

The dotted line separates what exists now from what I want to build.  I have obscured the details regarding what I want to build; they will be revealed at the appropriate time.


Evil plans ARE best

My Cohort, Godzilla has been hatching a plan for novel and upbeat ways  to finance this array of covert operations here in cyberspace.

After our weekly tête à tête amoureux, We concluded this Social Networking Experiment is a monstrous success.  And, Godzilla needs a new tie…  …so, viola:  We’re pushing this baby to a higher level!

After market testing some ideas…  (We discovered that taking wagers for pranks on prominent community members could  potentially be perceived as  mean spirited.  Though, with some help from our network of spies, We did mastermind some excellent pranks… Like asking X why Y’s logo looks like a guy’s ‘thing’ on camera)  …We settled on a something different And exciting.

The next step, of course, is to sell the idea; Godzilla tasked me with creating a Pitch. 

What the heck is a pitch?

Turns out I have no idea.  I started with an outline.  Some of my friends said it was a good start, while others:  What the hell are you talking about? Things slid downhill; Godzilla looked very concerned.

We decided to pitch the Pitch, and to draw It instead!

With really cool results. Stay tuned.

BTW – I cribbed ‘Evil Plans are Best’ from artist Hugh McLeod, please subscribe to his newsletter because he rocks.  And for the record, I did not get paid for saying this.


Ken’s fingers and Bernard on Passion

Ok – I was warned.

When Rick gave me the tapes from the 1997 APL conference here in Toronto, he did mention that it was just a couple of regular folks holding the camera, not.. hem… filmmakers or videographers...

And not to complain, but what am I going to do with… well… Ken’s fingers?  They’re not even his fingers themselves, just the shadows.

The shadow of Ken’s fingers.

Well.  It’s poetic.

The truth is I’m feeling ten steps behind this week.  I was really looking forward to meeting Benoit Mandelbrot.  Damn.  Damn!

Time feels like water slipping through my fingers.

Since it’s too late to phone any of my friends, I flip through Sheila Curran Bernard’s Documentary Storytelling for Film and Video, to page 32, Passion and Curiosity:

‘Do you care deeply about your subject?’ – well, yes.

Passion is going to be your best weapon against discouragement, boredom, frustration, and confusion. Passion is not the unwavering conviction that you are right and the whole world must be made to agree with you.  Instead, it is the commitment to the notion that this idea is exciting, relevant, and meaningful, and perhaps more importantly, that it’s something you can look forward to exploring in the months or even years to come.

Years to come.  I should be running like crazy in the other direction.  Damn.  And I won’t back down.

My sincere condolences to the Mandelbrot and Halle families. The world has lost a great man.


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