Archive for the ‘Principles’ Category

Holiday simplifying, or: Paul’s Junk Giveaway

Wednesday, December 20th, 2006

I’ve been going through my house over the last few days trying to do my semi-seasonal purge of things I don’t need. It’s all part of the continual process of reducing the clutter (physical, mental, spiritual) in my life.

Among the things I no longer need: An old copy of DVD Studio Pro 2 (install discs, manuals, box). I’ve upgraded to Final Cut Studio, so I have no use for it, but it seems like a waste to just throw it out and recycle the manuals. It’s not the most up to date version, I assure you, but post a comment if you want it and I’ll mail it to you, free of charge.

Here are the minimum system requirements, as found on Ken Stone’s site:

Macintosh computer with PowerPC G4 processor (733 Mhz or faster).
AGP graphics card with 8MB of video memory (32MB recommended)
Mac OS X 10.2.6
QuickTime 6.3
256 MB of RAM (512MB recommended)
20GB of disk space
DVD drive required for installation
Apple SuperDrive or other DVD burner for writing finished projects (recommended)

***

While I’m at it, here are a couple of things I’ve been reading during my seasonal simplifying. Both are good reads during this season of “Buy! Buy! Buy!

The venerable classic: Walden

A classic I just discovered: Richard Gregg’s The Value of Voluntary Simplicity

Enjoy.

Self-Reliant Film Store

Monday, November 20th, 2006

I get a fair number of emails asking me to recommend this or that book, or asking what films constitute a “Self-Reliant Film canon” and so on. So I thought that I’d add a modest Amazon store so that I can simply point people towards books I recommend, movies I like (or want to see), and so on.

You can access the store by clicking the link below and, after this post loses prominence, you can always access the store by clicking on the SRF Store in the menu bar at the top of the site, just under the banner.

Purchasing through the store will help offset the costs of server space, etc. so if you do purchase something, thanks a bunch!

Finally, if this feels crassly commercial, please note that the header of the SRF store says “Stuff to Buy or Borrow.” Knowing what you need and don’t need to buy are good principles of self-reliance. If you got some of these things from your local library or a friend I’m sure Thoreau and Emerson would be proud.

Click here to enter the SRF Store.

I’ll be doing holiday stuff over the next week. When I return I’ll be doing some posts related to a new film project of mine. Happy Thanksgiving!

David Lynch self-distributing Inland Empire

Friday, October 13th, 2006

David Lynch has decided to self-distribute his new film, Inland Empire. The Hollywood Reporter has the story.

Says THR:

After a flurry of rumors pointing to just about every indie studio in the business, director David Lynch has worked out a deal with French producers Studio Canal to self-distribute his three-hour epic digital video feature “Inland Empire,” in the U.S. and Canada. Producer Mary Sweeney said the plan will “explore a new model of distribution.”

Lynch will work with well-known theatrical and home video partners to launch his epic fever dream of a film, retaining all rights to the low-budget project in each service deal. The partnerships will be announced within the next week.

If you’ve read any of the press about this movie so far, you already know it’s a labor of love for Lynch. He shot it on DV over two and a half years; he says he’s never going back to film. To me, DIY distribution is a logical next step. What makes this noteworthy is DIY is so often associated with younger filmmakers trying to “break in.” Here we have an older, established filmmaker going back to basics.

Of course, some will say that Lynch’s decision to self-distribute is simply a response to the fact he didn’t receive any offers, or good offers, from major distributors. I have no idea if Lynch did or didn’t get offers but, even if that’s true, one shouldn’t take that as an indication of quality: Should we be surprised, especially in today’s climate, that this film scares off distributors? Lynch has never made blockbusters, this film is 3 hours long, and it’s reportedly one of his most impenetrable movies (and that’s saying something).

Self-distribution (or brokered self-distribution, like IFC’s First Take or Truly Indie) is, more and more, the way that the real labors of love reach audiences these days. Is it surprising, then, that Inland Empire is any different? Yes, a little. But that makes me that much more interested.

Until we hear more about how the release will unfold, you can watch Lynch, and IE stars Laura Dern and Justin Theroux, on YouTube doing Q&A at the New York Film Festival. More indieWire coverage here. The reviews from NYFF and Venice have already begun.

And, speaking of getting back to basics, here’s an amusing review from the past.

Small Gauge Madness: Home Movie Day

Wednesday, August 9th, 2006

August 12 is Home Movie Day. As part of the festivities, small-gauge film-related events will be held in 27 states and 6 countries this year.

This is the first I’ve heard of it, but apparently Home Movie Day is in its fourth year. Here’s some information from the website:

Home Movie Day was started in 2002 by a group of film archivists concerned about what would happen to all the home movies shot on film during the 20th century….

The Home Movie Day founders envisioned a worldwide celebration of these amateur films, during which people in cities and towns all over would get to meet local film archivists, find out about the long-term benefits of film versus video and digital media, and—most importantly—get to watch those old family films! Because they are local events, Home Movie Day screenings can focus on family and community histories in a meaningful way. They are also an education and outreach opportunity for local archivists, who can share information about proper storage and care for personal films, and how to make plans for their future.

Great stuff. If you happen to go to one of the events, post a comment and let us know how it went. My ladyfriend and I are hoping to attend the one in Richmond.

On a related note, if you’ve got a lot of 8mm or Super-8 movies that you need to have transferred to video, check back tomorrow.

Keith Fulton / Brothers of the Head

Wednesday, July 26th, 2006

Keith Fulton — co-director, with Lou Pepe, of Brothers of the Headanswers indieWire’s questions today.

Favorite quote, both because of the Temple shout-out and the philosophy:

I made a bunch of experimental super-8 films in college and then attended an MFA program in film production at Temple University. Temple’s program encouraged its students to learn all aspects of film production and did not follow the industry model at all. There was no structure where you played at being “the director,” “the writer,” or “the producer,” an approach which I think is unhealthy. There’s enough time to experience the hierarchy of film business later on, and I think the most important education you can have if you want to direct films is to learn every aspect of the process.

Indeed.

On paper Brothers of the Head looks gimmicky (“conjoined twin rock and roll band mockumentary”), but it’s smarter than that — intense, demanding, and weird (as in “Ken Russell weird”). Definitely not your typical summer fare. Go see it.