Archive for June, 2006

camp piano playing geekery

30 June 2006

David Pogue is the New York Times’ personal tech columnist and gives an entertaining keynote at this year’s TED (new to me), particuarly if Microsoft Word is a major part of your life.

Via Valleywag.


scenes from a conference

30 June 2006

The train tilts, from Euston to Coventry and I’m back in Warwickshire, at the University of Warwick for the National Housing Federation’s Development, Regeneration & Maintenance conference.  A function of the spectrum of activity represented by the D, R and M is an interesting mix of people settling down to enjoy the opening plenary session, that included Kevin McCloud enthusing about expensive timber buildings.  Plenty of burley maintenance surveyors in garish polo shirts gently snoring through the riveting tour of government development policy by a teenager, sorry, Senior Policy Advisor from Cabe.

Being back on campus is fun as well.  The undergraduates have all gone home to mum’s overstocked fridge and washing machine, but there are enough postgrads lounging around in the sunshine banging on about Heidegger and Marx (no, really, complete with 5-o-clock shadow and Converse) to remind me why I’m probably better off having left it all behind, despite the occasional yearning for an afternoon in the library searching through social policy journals.

Then there are the conference herds, distinguishable by size/shape/colour of the oversized badges we all have to wear and cheap branded bags.  This year the NHF is clearly feeling the pinch and has splashed out on nasty drawstring-rucksack-type-things whilst another professional body disseminating the latest policy thinking to its people has kitted them out with natty red shoulder things.

Another bonus of attending a university campus conference is the spectacle of purple clad students scowling at silent microphones in their attempts at impersonating AV technicians.

And the conference?  Less said the better.

the truth about MySpace

23 June 2006

Valleywag reports on the modern MySpace condition.  As ever, a thoughtful comment on our times.

An Acquaintance remarked to me yesterday that the MySpace page perfectly reflects the modern mode for the creation of public front.  I think it might be a while before such a mirror of the mask that we all create is as sophisticated.  Personal taste in music and friends are certainly a start, but it's only a start.

the First Cut (is the longest)

22 June 2006

Just over two hours and done.  That's the length of my first cut of Jetsam, not the time it took to piece it together.  I've got a week to tweak the roughest edges before The Director arrives for a edit-weekender.

Two hours gives us good scope to tighten the whole thing up, though I'm also tempted by a pure art-house version, all seascapes and moody walks along the promenade.  In fact, the scope for DVD extras is quite considerable: art-house cut, chronological cut, 30 minute TV drama cut (now there's a thought…)

I haven't watched the whole thing in one go yet and may not until Simon gets here.  It will be interesting to see whether my emerging style (assuming there is one worth identifying) varies a lot over the three weeks it's taken me, particularly in the dialogue scenes which are a totally new venture for me.  I think there also going to be a tension between event explication and more stylised action.  Adventures new…

Thedden aerial

16 June 2006

There are few things more beautiful and endlessly fascinating than aerial/satellite imagery – seeing what the combination of nature and human intervention does to the surface of the Earth. So imagine my excitement on discovering yesterday that Microsoft's mapping system now has high resolution imagery of Thedden. The race is now on to work out when the photograph dates from.


8 June 2006

Captured this confirmation of my long-held suspicion that the London Underground Oyster Card smart ticketing system is a tool of the Secret State. The blogosphere is full of this sort of conspiracy, probably well founded. I just find my Oyster too useful to worry too much about a spook monitoring my journeys to work. I guess my attitude would change if I started working against the state, then I'd just get on my bike: no number plates for the CCTV cameras to pick up. Until then.

Jetsam – The Art Cut

5 June 2006

Just over halfway through the 80 page script and my assembly-cum-first-cut of Jetsam is over an hour long.  A week spent filming moody skies along the North Kent coast has paid off and the art film tucked away in the body of this thriller is bursting Alien-style to get out.  At the moment it feels likely that we'll easily break the two-hour barrier for the first cut, whereupon The Director and I will need to go chasing around poorly lit ventillation shafts in search of the Art Film Alien so it can be caught, cut down to size and transformed into the taught thriller that I think it wants to be.


4 June 2006

Saturday night at Walthamstow greyhound track for Deirdre's birthday, complete with beer, scampi and chips; perfect antidote to a day in the edit suite piecing together Jetsam.