Archive for the ‘Off-topic’ Category

Rest In Peace, Steve Jobs

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on.

I remember January 6, 1984 like it was yesterday: My dad and sister went to an electronics store and brought home our first VCR. My mom and I went to one of Knoxville’s only computer stores and brought home our first computer, an Apple IIe.

Like so many filmmakers, my life been shaped by the fusion, the intermingling, and the collision of the motion picture with the personal computer. That I was introduced to both of these on the same day — on Epiphany, no less — is so “poetic” that it’d be a cliche if you read it in a story or saw it in a movie. But that’s the way it happened, honest.

More than any other person that I can think of, Steve Jobs is responsible for bringing together motion pictures and the computer. Jobs’ influence on both fields would be hard to overstate.

For me personally, Jobs’ life work — that is, the things he made or had a hand in making — directly led to me pursuing my life’s work, work that is, for me, the kind he spoke of in his commencement address at Stanford, quoted above.

So it seems appropriate at this moment — on the day of his passing — to say, “Thank you, Mr. Jobs, and rest in peace.”

Here’s one more quote from that 2005 commencement speech:

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

July 4

Sunday, July 4th, 2010

The Fourth of July is not only America’s birthday, but also the anniversary of one of the boldest experiments in American letters.

On July 4, 1845, Henry David Thoreau moved into a small cabin near Walden Pond in Massachusetts and began writing “Walden,” the autobiographical book that would define his legacy.

Thoreau was many things – naturalist, political dissident, professional crank – but he was also one of our earliest and most memorable media critics….

Read more here.

 

 

Facebook Safety

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

Since social networking is, for better or worse, part of filmmaking these days, this NYT article on Facebook privacy settings is worth a look. The most web-savvy of you out there have already made the changes recommended by this article (or have decided to throw caution to the wind), but others may find this useful.

Uwe vs. Indies

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

As far as boxing writing goes, it’s not quite Ring Lardner, but Karina Longworth’s “Uwe Boll and Tim League Fix The Falling Sky With Physical Violence” is still worth a read.

Self-Reliant Film v3.0

Monday, July 6th, 2009

As a way to mark some changes at Self-Reliant Film, I’ve done a site redesign.

I recently mentioned that Ashley would be making some posts on SRF to discuss her documentary, For Memories’ Sake. This marks something of a shift in Self-Reliant Film. Though I’ll still be the main voice of the site, I will no longer be the sole blogger here.

In addition to Ashley’s posts, my hope is to invite a couple more filmmakers into the mix in the coming months. The aim in doing this is to cover more of the things happening in cinema today while providing a voice to some interesting filmmakers — especially regional filmmakers — working today.

Anyway, it seemed appropriate to clean up the website design to mark the changes.

While it’s on my mind, here are some notes on the new look:

Though its aim was to tie-in to the imagery of the letterpress chipboard posters that I use for my films, I was never fully satisfied with the “chipboard” version of the site. So I’ve decided to go with a new, cleaner look that will (I hope) allow users to find information more easily.

The top SRF menu consists of static pages, and their “child” pages.

The lower menu features categories of “mega”-tags. Hovering over each one will bring up a category of tags used on the blog. And clicking on one of those will give you all the posts in that area. In some cases (like Films & Filmmakers -> Genres) there is a third layer of categories (in this case, “Experimental” and “Documentary”).

The main idea is to make the content you want more easily findable. Let me know if you like it, or if you don’t.

Oh, and in case you’re interested, this site uses a WordPress template called “Thematic Power Blog” by Ian Stewart.