Monday, July 31, 2006
The experience, like my reunion last year with two of our mutual friends in New York, underscored my belief that thte nature of certain childhood friendships is fundamentally different than teen or adult friendships. Those first independent "pre-teen" friendships aren't so much based on future dreams or work. Friendships at that age may not even be based as strongly on common interests. I believe that strong connections at that age are forged by a common perception of the world - as elementary as that might be. Those first friends are really our first comrades.
We still felt like comrades over three decades later.
Sunday, July 30, 2006
One reader commented on those who believe that one needs to be using a Mac in creative work. Apple, in fact, likes to suggest as much. Computers facilitate creativity - they don't cause it. A bad editor using Final Cut Pro on the most advanced Mac on the market is still a bad editor. Likewise, a great editor will do great work with the most primitive editing system. It may not be as easy as using a more advanced system, but the individual's talent and instinct will still shine through.
Macs (when they work) are, no doubt, exemplory in facilitating creative work, but they don't ensure success. Once my system works again (hopefull), I'll swear by it. Final Cut is a great, accesssible program that helps make my creative process. It's not, however, the only route to success. After all, almost all of the awards I've won for my work had nothing to do with Apple Computers....
Friday, July 28, 2006
As someone who bought a top-of-the-line Apple Powermac G5 Quad-Core (4 processor) Computer in mid-March, I can say Apple claims, and those commercials, are false. I've had numerous computers over the years - I have never had the problems I've had with this computer - nor have I had the difficulties with any customer service organization as I have had with Apple. Since April, my Mac has been randomly shutting down.
Twice, I've brought the system to an Apple store. The first time, they wouldn't accept the machine because it wouldn't randomly shut down as they watched. The second time, a month later (and after hours on the internet researching the problem myself), they saw the system shut down, and accepted the system for repair. Despite legions of people on numerous online forums describing the common fix as replacing a faulty power supply or "logic board," the Woodland Hills Apple Store replaced my video card, and pronounced the problem fixed after keeping the system for a week. The problem returned a week later. A call to "Applecare," Apple's customer service unit, proved just as frustrating. The agent to whom I was speaking wanted me to perform a series of tests of the phone with him, involving my opening my computer, removing components, etc. I'm not a "techie," and I certainly don't have the time to spend poking at my computer, especially after the time I've wasted researching the problem and dragging my expensive G5 to the Apple Store (twice) - AND the expense I've incurred not being able to use this system for its intended business purposes. I'm about to try a recommended non-Apple warranty service center some thirty miles away...hopefully, that will do the trick. Apparently, depending upon Apple is not a wise choice.
Incidentally, I posted a similar message on the G5 discussion board on the Apple website. Apple deleted it. I guess they didn't appreicate my refering to my system as a doorstop.
Sunday, July 23, 2006
After yesterday's blog, I did a bit of research. I discovered that the photographer of "Young Boy 1938," Erna Lendvai-Dircksen, was quite popular in Nazi Germany for her portraits of the German people. So, it's quite possible that the boy, if not creepy at the time, became creepy in the Hitler Youth - proving my point. Sort of.
Saturday, July 22, 2006
Perhaps I need my favorite "Kreeepy Kid:"
This picture, entitled "Young Boy, 1938" and taken by photographer
Erna Lendvai Dircksen, has become somewhat my blog mascot. It's also generated quite a few comments relating to my dubbing this depression-era boy "creepy." I suppose the definition might depend on where your imagination leads you....also, "Serious Kid" isn't half as fun.
Saturday, July 08, 2006
Normally we camp up the mountains above the lake during our visits, at a particularly remote campsite, returning to town for supplies, or if the heat is unusually oppressive. This time, we spent all of our time down on the lake. We had planned to go kayaking, but discovered our favoirtie kayak vendor was nowhere to be seen. We did, however, visit some of our "traditional" haunts: "Renee's," a local restaurant, assorted retail stores (including a K-Mart and the local variation on a 99 Cent store). We also went to Radio Shack, where I bought two radio control vehicles on close-out for $10 a piece. One vehicle lasted just about 10 minutes. There were fun for the time it lasted, though. And we started to gather a crowd of interested onlookers. Radio control tends to fascinate people. For Ten Minutes. We made our brief, ever so slight impact on Clear Lake, and hit the road.
Thursday, July 06, 2006
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Saturday, July 01, 2006
I had the opportunity to work with kids that were more advanced in their passion for filmmaking - a group of six very creative young filmmakers from 13 to 17 that brought to the task at hand (making a 3-5 minute film on the theme of "tolerance") unique skills and experience that resulted in a great film.
Having made films since I was eleven years old, I had a great deal of fun watching the process, as these kids - who began the week as strangers - learn to work with each other to develop, shoot and edit their film. As a boy, I enjoyed the opportunity to create a team, and lead my friends through the experience. The Film Camp gave these teens the chance to appreaciate and benefit from each other. For some kids, it was a rare opportunity to work with other like-minded people. Often, creative kids are surrounded by people who don't understand them - at the Film Camp, both mentors (all of us are filmmakers) and kids understand.
I have to admit, I had at least as much fun as the kids. And it probably meant as much to me, as well. As Oscar Hammerstein wrote in The King and I, "If you become a teacher, by your pupils you’ll be taught."