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While it's always good to look back and survey your work (I recently looked back at some school projects I did in 2001-2003 and thought of all the things I would have changed if I were to do it today), the extent to which the film industry is 'rehashing' the past is a little bit different. I've heard a lot of people complain that 'we are in the era of remakes.' It's not only remakes, it's sequels to long-dead films that probably should not have a sequel. The Terminator series has about run its course, and yet there was a 4th and a 5th installment in the franchise coming. Spider-Man'was rehashed after the Tobey McGuire and James Franco trilogy for two additional films that rebooted the series, and now it's being rehashed AGAIN in 2017 (I don't know the specifics but my friend Jim is an encyclopedia of comic book knowledge). I'm also not really looking forward to the new Star Wars' films, ANOTHER film based around Wolverine from the X-Men; it's getting to the point... read more

Creating documentaries is tough--not because of the funding, the talent, the crew, the possibility of distribution or no distribution, but because of the infinite number of questions that an investigative documentary can raise. Look at Bill Maher's "Religilous." To cover the entire scope of what religious people believe, it would take an entire lifetime and millions of hours of footage. Call me crazy, but it would be hard for audience to sit through that (without a few intermissions). When examining a phenomena such as energy healing or life after death, or any of the other questions that have existed practically since humankind came into being, the temptation to go 'big' is there and the leads you may get from one interview can lead in about a billion different directions. Everyone who has had an NDE has a story to tell, and a slightly different one. Everyone also has a slightly different belief because of it. Similarly, everyone who has ever performed... read more

For me, the things that I do for the entertainment industry are very hands on, so at the moment I don't see myself tutoring anyone remotely via Skype or any other chat service. I am however, very mobile. I edit using my macbook pro and my video gear can fit in the back of my SUV without any issues. So, if you or anyone you know in the Los Angeles area need an Emmy Award winner to teach you about the entertainment world, I'm your guy. 

Hi, I have over 30 years working in the entertainment production fields, mostly in film and music and mostly in Los Angeles. I am a currently working Cinematographer, Producer, Art director and Property master.   I will periodically share some of my lessons learned and general thoughts in regards to film studies and film and video production. My comments will be in regards to fiction/narrative filmmaking unless otherwise stated.   Fundamental # 1:   Films are made in Pre-Production, not the editing room.   By completing a thorough pre-production process, your film shoot will go smoother, be less expensive, require fewer creative compromises and look more like you envisioned at the outset. "Fix it in post" is what happens when impatience, lack of pre planning and inexperience rule the day. Be smart - vet your film plans in pre-production, and to the "nth" degree, leave nothing to chance, leave no stone unturned,... read more

Why shoot film? I've seen this question posted on various photography websites and blogs for a number of years now, and many of these arguments were very well crafted and passionate with sometimes indisputable points for the use of film. I think at this point in time, however, one can argue that there is absolutely no commercial viability to film photography. I feel sorry for the poor but eager soul who pursues the business of weddings, portraiture, advertising or even product photography with a penchant for the smell of darkroom chemicals.   On the other hand, I can go on and on about why I like to use film (from time to time, and just for my own purposes). The one reason, more than any other, that I sometimes prefer to dust off sixty-year old equipment and order supplies from Eastern Europe or somewhere else far away and spend part of a day, at the end of which I may get little or no tangible results, is simple. I love it.    I will concede that digital... read more

When students think of text in a classroom, they tend to think of pages of paper filled with words that intertwine together to make a story. Many teachers stick to the traditional way of providing students with novels to teach a unit on a particular topic and then use a film as a complimentary piece to add visualization to the text that the students already read. Instead of using it as complimentary pieces, teachers should begin using film as a non-traditional base text in the classroom. Film not only helps students focus on the writing of text, but it allows teachers to instruct students on cultural representations, visual aspects that play into a textual analysis of a film, and it allows complimentary texts that relate to the film connect to real world events.             Film portrays cultural representations in many ways. It uses sounds, acting, and visual settings to show the audience time period, social class,... read more

Have you taken a full year or two of a foreign language, and wish to have an enjoyable way to increase, improve, and expand your vocabulary and comprehension of the language in 'real' life? Here is an easy and rewarding way to do so. First, let's figure what you usually 'need' for foreign language study: material in the language you're studying; a way to look up or translate unfamiliar words and expressions; a program that provides 'thematic' content, like 'a trip to the mall,' 'a visit to the beach,' or 'preparing a party.' But wait a minute! Are those 'learning units' really interesting? They don't do much for me. But here's an idea worth trying. Look for a complete season of a TV show or mini-series that is available on DVD, AND comes with BOTH subtitles and dubbing in the language you're studying. You can easily get that information from the product page. Then rent the DVDs. You might even buy them and it would be less money that the software programs that cost in the hundreds... read more

If you are studying for the AP English Literature test or taking English or Literature in high school or college, you probably have had to study Shakespeare, or perhaps plays from the modern period like those written by Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, or Thornton Wilder. It's not easy to see a production of these plays unless you're lucky enough to be studying at the same time a production os showing nearby. There's nothing like live theatre, but you can see excellent productions of most of Shakespeare's plays as well as productions of plays by modern authors if you have a library card. No, they're isn't a production running in your library's auditorium, but most libraries have electronic services holdings that allow you to download a production right to your computer--and it's free! My local library's electronic holdinngs has two productions of Hamlet alone. Do you like group study? Well, why not download a play, and hold a theatre study session in your home, or in fact, most anywhere... read more

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