Tuesday, November 06, 2007


Charlie Brooker is the somewhat overblown, misanthropic host of BBC 4's Screenwipe. A show that spits much needed postmodern deconstructionist invective at the telly, with Charlie's added snark. To steal a phrase, it's fucking brilliant. David Spade's Hollywood show is pretty good, but this really takes the piss out of all the smoke, mirrors, marketing, artifice and product placement that is television.

Screenwipe guide to television. This long but totally worth it. I promise!

Screenwipe make up their own version of the Apprentice, called the Unloser.
Part I

Part II

Part III

Animal Hospital

Upcoming shows, sat. nite shows, icons on the screen, Last of the Summer Wine

First episode, first ten minutes.

My Super Sweet 16, etc

Go to Youtube and do a search for "Charlie Brooker", or "Screenwipe" and watch bits of the show.

Brooker photo courtesy, The BBC
Thanks to Alexis and Kyle for the initial heads up.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

But I thought she was American

Minnie Driver. I thought she was American. The few things that I saw her in, Return To Me comes to mind(sorry), she did not have an English accent. Turns out, she's from London. Found out about that when she was on Fresh Air, or something. She's also a very accomplished musician, which she did before getting into acting. She and fellow Brit, Eddie Izzard both have various accents on The Riches, since they're Irish Travellers.

Which leads me to this tangent: English actors who can mimic convincing American accents. I started noticing English Actors who are able to do good American accents a long time ago. Many, over the years, have done the southern accent. I can't refer to anybody specifically, maybe Roddy McDowell, in some movie, or TV shows. For some reason, in the past, English actors gravitated to a southern accent. Not sure if it's easier for them, or they just like the sound, or what.

English actors with American accents have built up over the years and now there's a bunch of them on American TV. And they don't have southern accents.

I started watching Bionic Woman and fell in love with Michelle Ryan. I'm a sucker for brown hair and blue eyes. So, when I check out her IMDB page, I find out she's english. Huh. Her Jaimie Sommers character is accent free. She's still teh hott, English, or not. However, I'm in agreement with my friend Bill about Bionic Woman, not great, but not bad and Katie Sackhoff is a great baddie. Ryan did get to talk in her natural accent in the last episode where she plays an English exchange student.

Before that, I started watching another NBC show, Life, starring Damien Lewis. I really like Lewis, but I'm not wild about his character in Life. I first remember Lewis in HBO's Band of Brothers WWII mini series. In Life, he's an American cop in LA. The stories are pretty good. I've seen him in more films with an American accent, Dream Catcher and the afore mentioned films, than I have seen him perform in his own natural voice. It was weird to see Lewis in behind the scenes footage for Brothers, speaking with his normal English accent.

So, yeah, there's a bunch of Limeys running around, that sound like Yanks.

This post may be my most linktacular since I started the blog. Dynamic links are the only HTML I know.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Triple 30

Indy rocker, Arthur Adams, of the San Francisco based band Blammos, is doing something very ambitious for the month of November: thirty songs, over thirty days and thirty music videos.


Check out Blammos' Blog


BLAMMOS does November:
30 days 30 songs 30 videos

Each day Arthur will be posting a video on the blog. Each video will feature a different song. They will range from live performances to music videos to multimedia experiments to who knows what. They will be shot in various locations featuring members of BLAMMOS, friends, relatives, other bands and strangers. They will be shot the same day they are posted (unless he's REAAAAALLLY busy, in which case there will be two the following day).

Here is the video I shot for Bill and Arthur last year. Candleblog Captain and filmmaker Bill Simmon may fly on over and help Arthur make some groovy vids and maybe a song or two, too.

Watch Blammos Does November videos here. The first one is already up, so keep going back to the Blammos Youtube page through November to see and hear the fun.

Thanks to Bill & Arthur.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Hamptons International Film Festival

Tis The Season, a short film that I shot last year, is an official entry at the Hamptons International Film Festival. We had a great time shooting, despite the subzero temps. Our little star, Jayden, was a real trooper and even though she wasn't feeling her best, she turned in a great performance. Bern Cohen and Jayden's mom, Ann, also did a great job. Ann is a former Rockette and Bern has been in just about everything.

Bern puts on gloves between takes

Watching the monitor during playback. From left, Hila, Bob and his brother Tom.

Of course, during that whole winter, there was no snow. We shot on a weekend where it was threatening to snow, which would have shut us down. The first day of production started out not too cold, but then the next two days were below zero and of course, we were outdoors the whole time. People ran back to cars and vans to get warm and our lunch on the second day was at a friend of the producer's, just a couple of blocks away.

Me rehearsing with our Producer, Sarah.

I parked as close as possible to set (my car's bumper is at the far left of frame)and I made sure Camera World was right next to Crafty. Adam, left, and Matt wait for the word. Mat was my AC and got things together pretty quickly. I think we got there at around six, or seven.

Tom came to set to shoot behind the scenes footage. No doubt for extra features on the DVD :~) .

Ann, Jayden and Bob answer questions at the Domani Vision Film Festival this past September.

Adam and I with my XL2, CW's camera jib, my dolly and track.

So many cameras on set! Moto shot stills for us. Tom is in the background rolling on other fun happenings.

Monday, October 08, 2007


Thanks to a little help from my family, I am the proud owner of a brand new baby MacBook Pro. I will slowly be learning how to use FCP 6 and all the other programs in the Studio suite.

Thanks also to Rob G @ Tekserve who helped us with the sale.

Before I dig into all of that, I also have a little bit if paperwork to catch up on.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

More Night Stuff

Alexis made me dinner a couple of months ago, because I lent her some of my lighting gear and a wireless lavs for a shoot she had. It was very yummy pasta and very yummy wine that we had with it. Alexis works in a wine shop, Mr. Wright, so she is able to get very good wine.

We went up to the roof of her building and looked at the cars, the GW bridge and pondered on some lights up in the night sky that didn't move, but stayed in place. Don't know what they were.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


Nightscape, Virginia, August, 2007.

I've always been interested in taking pictures at night. I'm not really sure why. Ever since I was in high school, when I began to do my own darkroom work. I enjoyed taking long exposures and then seeing what my experiments had brought. It's still fun, because I have a better idea of what things will look like, but you still don't always know exactly what you'll get and that's part of the fun.

Nightscape, Virginia, August, 2007.

I like the camera's ability to see into the darkness and the way the different colored streetlights create interesting pools of light and reflections. I also like the feeling of isolation and decay that accompanies these photos, because I'm in an urban area, or on some old bridge, or factory. Rochester was great. I did a lot of night photography and I even did some 8x10 night shots.

Here is my walk across the Queensboro Bridge last year:

Other night shots:


Monday, September 24, 2007

Near Houston St.

A few weeks ago, I was on my way to meet a friend in the East Village. While walking along W. Houston Street, I had to walk around some construction because the sidewalk was closed. There, I encountered this lovely color of magenta/red and had to take some snaps. The blob on the right is the shadow from this flag that was blowing in the wind and constantly changing shape. I think this is Thompson, or Sullivan Street, right near the corner of W. Houston

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Not Sweating It, Bro.

This summer, Don't Sweat It went full speed and shot two seasons back to back. The crazy schedule, coupled with the really hot and humid weather made us all take naps every now and again. Here, during lunch, Ed uses his head as Jimmy double checks lumber measurements.

McCarren Park Pool, August 2007

I met my friend Lauretta at the McCarren Park Pool in 'Billburg for the weekly Sunday concert back in August. I'm now finally getting around to posting images. Here are some pix and yes, some of you sharp eyed visitors will notice that I have cropped a couple from the original.

I was sitting on the ground and couldn't see the stage, but the music was pretty good and I just enjoyed the beautiful summer day.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Midnight, this Friday, come and see my movie!

This Friday, September 14th at Cinema Village, is the Midnight screening of The Junior Defenders! Yes, me in all my B-Movie DP glory.

Well, I was a doubter at first, but Writer/Director and editing whiz Keith Spiegel finally has a cut of Junior Defenders that has been released. Warner Home Video has picked up the movie formerly known as Groupies.

The Junior Defenders cast take a moment, on set for a group photo. From left to right:
Justin Henry, Fred Hazelton, Brian O'Halloran, Ally Sheedy, Jason David Frank.

Come to Cinema Village, 22 East 12th Street, between 5th Ave and University Place, a little before midnight, on Friday and watch the film that I shot, on film, lovely film, ten years ago. Directions to Cinema VIllage.

Keith spent a lot of time and money working on this, over the years, cutting and re-cutting the film, getting celebrity interviews and finally getting John Waters to narrate. Burlington College helped out by letting Keith use, the then, not so antiquated VHS editing system and then Steve Beattie helped out and for literally years, helped Keith with the edit. Sometimes they could only work once every three weeks. Kudos to them for their persistence and tenacity.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Please Hurry and vote!

indy dreamboat Arthur Adams says...

    We [read: Blammos] are in the running for a CMJ showcase contest through AmieStreet.com. We'll get a showcase slot, a hotel stay and 10,000 if we win! The first elimination round ends next weekend and relies soley on fan voting...so please go and vote for us here:

    You will need to create an Amie Street account, but don't worry, it's simple and harmless...we promise...

Today (Wednesday) is the last day you can vote, so do it now! They need to make the top 20 to move into the semi finals, according to the most recent pleading email from Arthur. Send those rockers some Vermont love!

Thanks Bill! This was cut and pasted from http://www.candleboy.com/candleblog/

Mark, what's CMJ?

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Jet Blows

This past June, I worked on a job down in Florida with my good buddies Chris, Tom, Barry and Jeff. We flew down to Florida for a day of shooting. We left the day before the shoot, meeting at JFK to get our tix and flew happily to Orlando. After getting our room keys, we drove to a nearby diner for a late supper, before getting into our rooms at the crappy motel.

We had a very early call time, so I tried calling the front desk, but got no answer, so I set the alarm on my Palm Pilot and watched too much TV, I think I finally went to bed at around 1, or 2, oops.

The front desk clerk at the La Quinta was a mystery. None of the five of us could determine it's gender. Nothing about his/her/it's voice, habits, clothing- La Quinta Polo Shirt, baggy chinos and sneakers, or demeanor gave away any clue as to whether this was a male of female of the species. We joked and wondered all through dinner and all the next day as to whether or not it was a male, or female, since he/she/it wore no name tag. We, of course, named it Pat.

We had to wake up at about 4am in order to be in the parking lot at 5am to pack up the vehicles and eat. We were all there and started loading up the vans with all our gear, teleprompters, sound equipment, lighting equipment, light stands. Cameras? Where are the cameras? And Where's Chris? Chris is never late.

I knock on Chris' door and sure enough, a sleepy headed Chris Answers the door. He never got his wake up call. Needless to say, he was pissed. He let the hotel know it.

After we finished packing all our gear and our luggage in to the vans, we drove around to the front and Chris shot out of the van and I followed. He went to the room behind the reception desk. There was the reception clerk fast asleep in a big easy chair, it's head buried in it's armpit. Chris kicks it's foot and then it stirs, face all puckered and eyes squinting against the light as it looks up to Chris. "I never got my wake up call" Chris said and then he walked out of the room leaving a still clueless motel clerk in the lurch. I followed Chris back to the vans and we headed out for breakfast.

Jeff loves Waffle House, so we got scattered, smothered and covered for breakfast. Yummy hot greasy food. Thankfully, the service was great and it was only a five minute drive to the plant where we were shooting. We were able to enjoy our grease at a leisurely pace and wake up.

Snow White met us at the airport

After shooting all day, we got to the airport at around 4:30pm, to get seats on our 6:30pm flight home to NYC. While we were in line, I noticed that the departure time was 8:30pm. I mentioned that to Jeff and he asked about it when he went to get our tickets. Poor Chris was feeling grimy after running around the plant in the 90+ degree heat with 100% humidity all day. I was pretty nasty myself.

Chris' wearing Jeff's neck pillow.

Turns out that ALL flights to the Northeast are delayed. Great. We waited around for hours. The airport's food court eventually shut down, but I grabbed some nasty McD's before they closed. We waited more and received updates, but no real information. It wasn't until about 9, or 10 pm that they finally told us that the delay was due to heavy rains in the Northeast. So, no matter what we did we wouldn't be able to land at JFK. We had all our gear already checked into baggage, so we couldn't switch flights, or do anything other than wait.

Maybe the plane needs some of these to get off the ground.

During this time, I tried to sleep, but I was too tired, or not tired enough. It was very frustrating. Some young girl a few chairs away from me was blathering into her cell phone incessantly, which kept me awake. Then a woman came over and they were nattering away for what seemed like hours, further preventing any sleep. That and never being able to get comfortable made sleep impossible. I was laying on the floor with my raincoat as a pillow, but to no avail. Chris farted on Jeff's neck pillow which was very amusing.

So we wait.

And Wait

Tom had found a wheelchair and was rolling around a small, less populated area of the gate. I wanted to have a little fun too, so I walked around a little and found a couple of wheelchairs sitting around in a part of the airport where there were no planes and only 1 or 2 people, but they were official people, so lost my nerve and turned around. Then I thought, wtf, I have nothing to loose and I'm bored. So I went back, grabbed a wheelchair and began rolling it back to our gate, walking with purpose and my head down. One guy asked me if I needed any help, but I said I was okay and he left me alone.

As I got loser to the gate I was very pleased with myself and had to keep my self from smiling at my little victory. Once in out little gate area, I sat in the chair and wheeled myself over to Tom and we began chasing each other and then punching each other. It was a lot of fun and we played around for about ten or fifteen minutes before we decided to roam a little bit and see other areas of the airport.

This is what a picture looks like when Chris gooses you just at the moment you hit the shutter.

Finally, at about 1am, or so, seven hours later, we begin boarding. In addition to the rain delay, we were waiting for a new crew to fly the plane. The scheduled crew were going to run out of hours during the flight back to NYC, so we had to wait for the replacements.

We got to Kennedy at about four am. Thank God. But then -DISAPPOINTMENT- we had to wait another thirty minutes before we can even get off the tarmac and taxi to the terminal because the delay backed up all the traffic, so all the planes that were ahead of us, were in line to go to their gates and unload passengers.

This was the scene when we arrived at the JFK terminal around 5am. The airport looked more like a refugee camp. all over the airport people were camped out sleeping under blankets, coats, in chairs, on the floor, everywhere.

I passed this mother and daughter near the baggage claim. All over the airport, people were camped out.

We waited another half an hour for the baggage carousel to start working. It seemed to take forever for our luggage and equipment to meander to us on the conveyor belt.

We finally got our bags, eventually splitting up and going our separate ways. It was cloudy and it was daylight. It had just recently stopped raining. I had spent the previous twelve hours in the dark. It was about 6:30 am when I was stepping into a taxi heading for home.

I got home and slept for about twelve hours. Iwoke up a little bit and then went right back to sleep.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

My phone is also a projector

Surfing around, I came across this little entry about a prototype projector phone:

Microvision has announced their collaboration with Motorola to include the Pico projector into mobile applications. PicoP is an ultra-miniature laser based display that can fit into mobile phones and laptop computers.

Imagine being able to use your phone to shoot photos and video and then project these images onto a wall, or screen.

What's really cool is that eventually you could use your phone, or handheld device-iPod, Treo, Blackberry, iPhone, laptop, etc and use the built-in projector to show your photos, film, or video onto a small screen, or wall for clients, friends and family. That would be really cool. Now you don't have to hand around the camera, or phone, or whatever, you can just project it.

I wonder if it will get bright enough to show in daylight?

Thanks to Techgadgets.in

Saturday, July 21, 2007

It was so hot...

I had to make a little beadboard tent to stay out of the sun. This is from a couple of weeks ago, when it was 100 degrees F and 100% humidity. We all drank a lot of water and Pedialyte. Production passed out washcloths soaked in ice water and we passed out on the lawn, it was so bloody hot. This was one of the last episodes of Don't Sweat It. You can't really see it, but it was 10am and my shirt was completely soaked through with sweat. Yummy.

Good times, good times.
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