Almost two weeks -- 07/24/10

Yeah, so I started the month okay. I had ten entries posted in June and had posted five entries during the first eleven days of July... and now I've gone almost two weeks without posting anything... I mean I know I can be erratic but this is ridiculous...

Partly it was the weather -- it has been hot and humid and I think I was spending more time in cooler rooms -- and Friday July 16th brought the annual Providence 48 Hour Film Project contest weekend (the contest was held in 76 cities worldwide last year -- on various scattered dates -- and will probably hit at least as many cities this year). What it is, is a contest to see who can make the best short (4 to 7 minutes) film in 48 hours or less, starting from a meeting where you are randomly assigned a genre (and also given the name of a character and an item and a line of dialog that must appear in your film). This year 60 teams signed up and 54 submitted finished films (47 of which beat the deadline and are thus eligible for consideration for the prize). For those of you who didn't catch it at the time, my report on last year's project is here. I had not thought I would be able to participate this year, but my recovery from my surgery on July 2nd was so much faster than I had expected that I decided that I could get involved again this year (just having to be careful not to lift or carry anything more than fifteen or twenty pounds)

It was another great weekend -- lots of crazy fun -- and we (team name: They're Using Tools!) managed to brainstorm and settle on an idea and a plot and characters and write a script and plan a shooting schedule and cast the parts and shot the film (including multiple takes of just about everything from varying camera angles) and edit it together and add special effects and get it burned to a DVD and delivered within 48 hours of the original random assignment of genre. I can't show it to you yet because it has not yet been posted online at YouTube but as soon as it is, I will pass it on. (Our team was included in a screening on Thursday night and I thought it looked pretty good up on a big screen.)

And then this past week I was kind of busy with work. Some fierce thunderstorms came through on Monday and a voltage surge took out my modem so I had to go out and buy a new one. Then I discovered that one of my computers (a laptop belonging to my employer) had also been fried. (I had things plugged into power strips that are supposed to provide some surge protection but they are kind of old and I think their protective ability has probably been knocked out by previous surges -- yeah, time to look for better protection). So that machine has been shipped off for service.

I also made some updates to other websites (such as the one I do for Kinney Bungalow) and I put together an online slideshow of snapshots from our film project (which probably would only interest people on the team, but if you want to take a look they are here). I also took some video of the process of making our film which I would like to edit into a short film if I can find the time (but again, probably only someone who worked on it would actually be interested in seeing it). And I am trying to teach myself how to do audio editing. (Yeah, okay, so I'm a geek.)

Thursday night, as I mentioned, I went to a 48 Hour Film Project screening -- and I had to drive almost all the way to the top of the state -- yes, 41 miles from my house to CinemaWorld at the Lincoln Mall! -- It's difficult to drive much farther than that without leaving the state (unless you drive diagonally from one corner to the far corner). Things like that make me realize just how small Rhode Island is. (I grew up in Ulster County in New York State -- Ulster County is 1161 square miles, Rhode Island is 1214 square miles.)

Last night after dinner I sat down here to edit some video and to write a journal entry -- but then a thunderstorm came through and I decided that it was foolish to take another chance, so I shut things down (and unplugged the electrical connections) and went upstairs to read instead.

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