Fo(u)r the Birds

October 30, 2012

Again from my Instagram feed – a quad of four favorite shots from Australia. For some reason my best photos always seem to have birds in them…

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Morning Commute

October 24, 2012


Two from Australia/Instagram

February 8, 2012

We recently had the pleasure of taking a wonderful Christmas vacation to Australia. Thousands of photos. Literally. Here are  just two of the many I’ve posted to Instagram:


Photography/Instagram

December 23, 2011

Soon after I wrote my last post about photography, I discovered Instagram. I am now completely addicted.

Instagram is Twitter, but with photos.

It’s amazing. Thousands of people submitting thousands of photos every minute. But it’s not overwhelming – you follow the people you want and their uploads get added to your Feed. Sound familiar? The interface is just like Facebook/Twitter, and is perfect for the iPhone. Want to try looking around a little? The Popular page and searchable hashtags make it very manageable.

And the photos? Wow. Astonishing. Take them with your iPhone or import them from photos uploaded from any camera. People are talented, you know? Amazingly talented. There’s some really stunning photography on here. I have ridiculed Twitter in the past, but with Instagram the social network revolution has hooked me. There’s a reason Apple recently named Instagram its 2011 App of the Year. Genius.

I’ve only uploaded/shared a few photos so far, but I’ll soon be uploading daily. A few my my recent uploads are below. If you’re on Instagram follow me – username is robblanum. See you there!

    

    


Photography/Zoetrope

October 28, 2011

I love photography. Like writing, I don’t do nearly enough of it.

On a whim I decided to upload one of my favorite photos to zoetrope. I’ve submitted screenplays, short stories, and flash fiction there for some (great) peer review, but I never appreciated the fact that they have a photography peer review section there as well (in addition to storyboards, costume design, songwriting, scenic design, you name it). This peer review reminds me very much of the give and take and constant creative exposure I got in film school, and I desperately miss that environment. Once again I recommend zoetrope to everyone doing (or trying to do) creative work.

Anyway, so I decided to upload one of my best photos. Turns out it became the #2 highest-rated photo submission for August 2011. This was some completely unexpected encouragement.

Hey – do something creative every day. And show it to people.


And here’s the photo:


Quote of the Day

October 3, 2011
“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners. I wish someone had told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there’s this gap. For the first couple of years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase; they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know that it’s normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you finish one piece. It’s only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take a while. It’s normal to take a while. You just gotta fight your way through.”
– Ira Glass

Moving On

July 21, 2011

Psycho Ex is done. Sent out to readers, ready to upload to inktip, everything. Done.

It works and I’m happy with it. It’s not perfect, it’s not my favorite script of mine, it is not profound or full of insights on the human condition. But it has one huge thing going for it: it’s done.

It has been a good exercise and hopefully a step forward for me. But now it is time for me to move on to the next one.

In grad school I TA’d for a film production instructor who told his class something very important. This was back in the days of 16mm film and non-digital editing and analog mixing sessions. With the structure of school, it took a semester to make a short (or write a feature), and after a while you started thinking of short films and screenplays in those terms: they were big, slow, time-consuming projects that took months to complete and consumed most of your waking life. Your semester grade was on the line, not to mention your pride, and since this end-product was what you showed your friends and parents and colleagues, people acted as if this was their one shot in life to make a movie, their one chance to fulfill all their goals and dreams, their one time to put down and justify their very identities for all to see.

This instructor said this was stupid and a huge flaw with film schools. It’s a movie. It’s a script. You’re supposed to make/write these all the time, because they’re FUN, not bureaucratic requirements. Yes, you do your best, and put in as much of yourself as you can. But if you’re a filmmaker, you make films. If you’re a writer, you write stuff. Not once in a lifetime, but over and over. You just keep doing it. Over and over.

The way you get better at this is by practicing, by doing, by moving forward. Psycho Ex is done and I will show it and send it out and put it out there. But it’s done. Time to move on and dust off that TV show idea.