Film and motion pictures

A Passion for Visual Effects

Check out what one young guy has done using Adobe After Effects and Premiere to create incredible special effects.

Joan Crawford trivia: Each time Joan Crawford married, she changed the name of her Brentwood estate and installed all new toilet seats. From a short biography of Joan Crawford.

Marlon Brando

Marlon Brando is dead. I found out today. Another legend of the silver screen gone. Who will be tomorrow’s James Dean or Marlon Brando? My favorite Marlon Brando role is still Don Vito Corleone in “The Godfather”, but I also enjoyed him in “On the Waterfront” and “The Wild One”. One thing I always appreciated was his quietness.

Spiderman 2: Quickie Review

Spiderman 2 was very enjoyable although I amped myself up so much before I saw it that I couldn’t help but come away the tiniest bit hungry for something more. The best part was Alfred Molina as Doctor Octopus. He was a lot more likeable, and therefore more tragic, than Dafoe as the Green Goblin. Being in the same theatre with the rest of your coworkers was weird in that you realize when you have to sneak out in the middle of the movie because you have to go to the bathroom really, really bad due to drinking the large Cherry Coke everyone knows exactly who you are. It’s like being a celebrity without all the good parts.

Fahrenheit 9-11

You need to see this movie. There are scenes that will grip you, not because of anything said, written, or done by Michael Moore, but because of the unadulterated and undeniable reality of what you are seeing. In one scene an older Iraqi woman walks amidst the rubble of her uncle’s home pleading with God to save them from the Americans, and asking where is He in their moment of need? When she cries out in anguish that “God is great” “Allahu Ackbar!” because she is scared and powerless to do anything else to protect her family and herself, you understand in an instant what the Iraqi people are going through. Exhorting God is the only way to keep your head up and your spirit from collapsing. It is powerful stuff and that’s just one small taste of it. Much of the rest of the film is the typical Moore ambush clueless politicians with a camera stuff, or talking to the average joe. Undeniably, Fahrenheit 9-11 will have a considerable impact on the election, especially if just half the people who see this movie vote in Novemeber.
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Seeking Dick Artists

Detour Seeks Dick Artists Dept.: pkd_june.jpg

Flat Black Films (Waking Life) has sent out word that they’re seeking fine artists and illustrators to work on Richard Linklater’s adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s A Scanner Darkly. Says the press releases: “Applicants need to be highly skilled in fine drawing, particularly of the human face … experience with computer animation such as Flash is a plus but not required.” Send portfolios or examples of artwork to: Scanner Darkly, c/o Sara Johnson, Detour FilmProduction, 3109 N. I-35, Austin, TX 78722. Or, e-mail online portfolio info to

On a related noted, here are some photos from the set of A Scanner Darkly.


I got a Netflix account recently, and this weekend I watched The Royal Tennenbaums again since I hadn’t seen it since it came out. It really inspired me to want to do more creative endeavors. Mainly during the parts of the movie involving all the little pet projects of the Tennenbaum children: painting, building model stage sets, writing, etc. Although I always seem to have an endless amount of work to do I have really missed my more creative side. Somewhere along the way I stopped devoting as much time to playing with pens and pencils, and I made drawing into something more like a burden or obligation, an activity where the expectation of a potentially dissatisfying outcome was foremost in my mind. But, I have missed drawing and making things. Making something can put you into a zen-like state. There are times when I’m drawing or doing something and I sit back in amazement at how the act of creation takes on a life of its own and how it can induce such a state of wordless wonder. Even if you have a particular vision of how things will turn out, the result is always a surprise. I think it is the talent for working with chance that makes an artist. You have to come to some sort of agreement with the medium that you will try to see things through even if the results deviate from your imagination. You have to be somewhat open and loose, receptive to a wide variety of possibilities. I think the importance of technique is in the expansion of possibility and the flexibility it lends to converting chance and possiblity into something surprising.

Chapi Chapo

This is a page I created some time ago on the animated films, Chapi Chapo, that I’m porting into WordPress as an entry.

"Chapi Chapo patapo, Chapo Chapi patapi…"

Chapi Chapo is an animated series that was first created for French television in 1974. It was produced by Stefano Lonati and Italo Bettiol with wonderful music by François De Roubaix. The series consisted of sixty 5 minute episodes. I first watched them on Pinwheel which aired on Nickelodeon in the 1980’s. They were really fun and sweet. Chapi (the little girl in red) and Chapo (the boy in blue) would skate around a magical world made of blocks where they would have interactions with other cute characters including a green toy hippo. The best thing about Chapi Chapo, in my opinion, is the music by François De Roubaix. He wrote a number of scores for French cinema including the score for Le Samourai, but he is also well known for the theme of Chapi Chapo. I get this song in my head all the time. It’s infectious. You really need to listen to it. I think it would make really great driving music!

Images (click thumbnails to get larger picture)

Check out The Sheet Music by François De Roubaix


(to ensure that everything works correctly, on the links that say ‘download’ right-click them and choose to ‘save target as’ or choose ‘save link as’ instead of just clicking them.)

Chapi Chapo Audio Files

Chapi Chapo Video Clips

  • Short Clip in Mpeg: download 7.7 meg
  • Assorted Chapi Chapo Short clips (Real video): 1, 2, 3, 4

Chapi Chapo Links

Freaks and Geeks

Judd Apatow, creator of the excellent shows Freaks & Geeks and Undeclared, was on Fresh Air yesterday. It was a great interview. You can listen to it in real audio here. I was capping these for my own archival purposes and then Fox Family (now ABC family) stopped showing them. So if anyone has access to tapes or mpegs of this show I would love to watch them! I’ve still only seen a few complete episodes. That reminds me, Disney’s purchase of Fox Family now places them effectively in bed with Pat Robertson. That is unfortunate even though Disney is not known for its integrity.