Achieving balance between reaching your goals, the greater environment and having a life is one of the greatest tricks we can pull off.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Environmentalism In The Oddest Places

I like watching movies. I don't mind watching some movies over and over again. Good ones, bad ones, it takes a truly horrific movie for me to walk away. Sometimes I will leave the tv on in the background while I do particularly rote work where I don't have to think too much.  The channel of choice, of course, is AMC.  Why?  Because they show old, tired movies all day long, interrupted only by the obnoxious ads for whatever scooter device, or free diabetes testing kits the majority of their daytime demo needs (read: way over 65). It's where, as my Dad says, old movies go to die.

It takes a very bad film for me to change it off of AMC during the day.  For a multitude of reasons, when a Steven Seagal movie comes on, I won't change it.  There is a perfect mix of bad dialog, ridiculous action, b-list stars, and of course Steven's ugly mug playing the romantic action lead.  Normally it's easy to tune out, with the occasional explosion or burst of gunfire causing me to glance over from my work. 

But the other day, 'On Deadly Ground' was on. Typical Seagal fare for sure, he plays the good guy, working for the bad guys, then goes over to the good guys side, with lots of martial arts in between, and of course, somehow, inexplicably, he gets the girl. But while I was watching it, or basically ignoring it actually, something caught my attention- it was well written dialog! I turned my full attention to the tv.

At the end of 'On Deadly Ground' Seagal delivers a scathing report on Big Oil, and corporate greed fueled environmental destruction.  To hear a well written, researched, and delivered condemnation of those who seek to destroy our world for their own personal gain at the end of one of his movies was shocking to say the least, and really out of character I think.

And in 1994?  Almost unheard of except in Environmental circles. I am not really sure if anyone actually ever saw this film, beyond AMC, but this message rings true, ever so much more today.  With the BP spill still wreaking havoc in the gulf, and the Michigan and China spills on it's heels, this message has more power now I think, than it did tagged onto Seagals 1994 effort.

If you have 4 minutes, I think you should take a look.  It's worth it. Take what he is saying and multiply it by 10 for today.

Friday, August 20, 2010

BlueGreen Screenings!

Slackery!  Slackery I say!  I neglected to mention that BlueGreen was going to screen at the Outer Banks Surf Film Festival this weekend!  Well you should get there if you can!  It's going to be a great weekend of films, fun and sun!  If you miss it, check out the Outer Banks Blues Festival the following day- BlueGreen will be showing there as well!

Not enough lead time to get there?  Well check out the East Coast Surfing Championships on August 28th, where BlueGreen will be screening at the Upper Deck in celebration of all the festivities!  It's going to be a great party so if you are there, make sure to check it out!

In addition we have some terrific big news coming soon, oh so soon.  I can barely contain myself, but it will have to wait for now... soon!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

It's All About The Angles

Yesterday morning Evan (my intern) and I arrived at 7 am at the local Rite Aid to shoot two new Pumpkinhead spots for the Shipyard Brewery. For those of you who don't know Pumpkinhead, it's a great little beer with a cult following and really cool art.  The Beer lends itself to a ton of creative thinking.

The spots were very loosely written on purpose so we could explore where the concept would take us.  The only constraint was that we needed to be out of the location around 11. The spots are supposed to be a little goofy so we thought we'd have some fun with it.

We got the standard shots, the shots we knew we had to have, the ones where in a worst case scenario we knew we'd still have a spot.  The necessary, make it go, have to have them and yes, maybe a bit obvious shots.

But then we started to incorporate more, and more interesting shots.  We stuck a camera here, we taped one there. We grabbed another camera and stuck it somewhere we couldn't get to by holding it. We used a skateboard for a makeshift dolly, and rode around the store in a shopping cart.

Who knows what we'll get out of it.  I haven't looked at the footage yet.  Who knows if any of it will be usable at all? But it was fun, interesting, a challenge, and who knows?  Maybe we'll get that money shot! If you don't try, you'll never know!  The trick is just getting the space to make the attempt.

That's where the excitement is I think.  Trying the new angles.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The 48 Hour Film Project in Portland Maine

I love making films.  Short long, made for tv web, whatever!  It just strikes a chord in me.  From the organization, the pre-pro, the funding (well, maybe not that part), the shoot, the edit, to the screenings heck the whole 9 yards!

One of life's greatest joys for me is participating with groups of folks who share the same passions.  So it was a no-brainer when the position of City Producer for the 48 Hour Film Project here in Portland came up.  For those of you who don't know what it's all about you can check it out here:

This is my second year as City Producer and it is just a really great time.  It's fun to get everyone their assignments, field the calls from harried and troubled film crews at all hours, and hear their war stories when they hand in their films.

But it's the screenings that really get me. On the Tuesday following the event, we screen all the films from the weekend.  There could be up to 31 films this year, of 14 different genres. Each film is a fantastic microcosm of the amazing creativity here in Portland.  And to see the throngs of people that come out to appreciate the films and their creators, and the pride of the film makers as the theater erupts in applause after their film is just a fantastic feeling.

It's a great way to celebrate Maine's independent Film Making community. It kicks off tonight at the Empire Dine and Dance in Portland where the teams pick their genres and I assign their elements. Then they are out the door at 7 for a wild weekend of film making!

My one regret is that as City Producer, I can't participate!

Good luck to all the teams this weekend....

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Busted Back To Square 1

There is a certain freedom in starting all over again. Trying to figure something out, to search out a way to make it work. In crisis situations of course, it's hard to see it, but have you ever asked yourself what you would do if everything changed drastically? Pretty much everyone I know does.

But lots of these little opportunities arise every day, totally unrelated to crisis. We try something new, or we enter into a new situation. It is really invigorating.

The reason this has come to the forefront for me is because recently I have joined the ranks of the Sweepers. For those of you who don't know this surf lingo belittlement, it is how the die hard prone surfers refer to Stand Up Paddleboarders.

Now, living in Maine, I figured by crossing over to the Dark Side, I would increase my water time due to the infrequency of waves. And I have! But it's different enough from real surfing that it's like starting all over again.

But it doesn't matter! That is the beauty. In my mind I know it's something new, and that it's ok to stink, and I don't mind looking like a middle age wannabe, because essentially it doesn't matter- there is no expectation of greatness, no posing to be had, just a desire to figure it all out- and it's really freeing. I had more fun today on a board, falling on my back, my face, whacking myself in the head with the paddle on a terrible windy, choppy day, than I have had in a long time. The freedom from 'oh gosh what are people going to think' and 'I should be doing better' and similar thoughts is a pretty amazing thing.

Of course, the 'why can't I figure this out' and 'c'mon, get it right' starts to creep in after a while, but that is another post altogether...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Geezum Crow!

Well, I find it hard to believe that it has taken me this long to start a blog.  Seems like almost everyone in the entire universe has one now, but somehow I am extremely late to this party.

Which is fine!  Haven't had much to talk about until now.  Well, nothing I would have ever have thought was 'blog-worthy'. Whatever that means!

But here in this space, will be the spillover from my brain and life, everything from rants to raves, from concerns to dumb little stories. But most of it will be pertinent to something. Whether it be small producers living in far away places trying to make a go of it, the environment, the ocean and nature centric life, or being a dad and trying to instill a worldly consciousness into your kids perceptions. All with hopefully a little bit of humor and not-taking-myself-too-seriously injected.

I do have a lot to write about. There are some experiences that I think just beg to be shared.  Others not so much (and not just bad ones!)

SO here we go!  Bear with me, and lets try to have some fun and share some experience. There are some really really big things in the works here, and I think you might find them interesting and entertaining!