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Saturday, April 22, 2017

Fourth year screening last night

The fourth year film students showed their work at the Artesian last night to a full house. I saw Philippe, back from his world travels during his sabbatical (Tasmania sounds very cool) and I got a few minutes to catch up with Jon Tewksbury. Margaret and William didn't make it out this year as they were caught up with family. Christine presented the Oser prize. The prize was divided between Mark Budd (cousin of Adam, who was in our program 10 years back) and Austin Nygaard (pictured here with Christine sans his signature beard). Austin is the surprise as he is actually a Film 200 student taking a fourth year studies course so would not be expected to outperform the third and fourth years. Big congratulations to everyone, especially Austin. 

Friday, April 21, 2017

Kallie Garcia MFA

Congratulations Kallie on your successful MFA defense. For the next couple of weeks, people can come and see your work on display at the Fifth Parallel Gallery at the University of Regina. It looks great and you spoke very well about it. It was an honour to be on your committee. 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Cousin Julia and her kids visit

My cousin Julia is in town with her husband Mark and their three kids. I toured them the university, shot a bit of video (thanks for giving me a few minutes in the room Rebecca), and they stuck by me as I helped out Kallie on an unexpected power supply glitch. William played Lego with them at the house, we went to the museum, then had supper at mom's. 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Third year film screening

William and I really enjoyed the third year film student screenings at the university this evening. There were 10 short (primarily dramatic form) films. Under Mike Rollo's guidance, they are kept tight and maintain their thematic focuses. Pictured above is a moment from Matthew Ripplinger's 16mm exploration of the descent into madness of a 16mm artist. Great work everyone. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


The BFA interviews were conducted today. Went quite well. This evening I met with Erik and Geremy for the first time since the funding applications went in for their pilot project. There is no word on how the application (in Alberta) will be received, but plans were discussed for developing the idea with or without the money. 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Kallie Garcia's MFA exhibition, preparing to open

I popped into the Fifth Parallel Gallery on campus where Kallie is setting up her MFA exhibition. It's opening (soft) tomorrow and will have a closing reception next week. I helped out for a few minutes with the ladders and projectors (the remotes don't like to work from below them and the signal doesn't bounce off of the black surfaces). Mostly just small details remaining. It is looking great.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter meal

Gerda and Richard hosted a big spring feast at the senior centre on Easter Sunday again this year. There was a large group of people and lots of food. We brought Mooky along and introduced her to our hosts, setting the stage for future conversations at Yorkton. Margaret brought balloons, which kept Marla and Jason's kids very happy.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Sick at home

I didn't leave the house today. I'm actually feeling quite a bit better than yesterday or Thursday, but I didn't have any real reasons to go out and figured I'd nurse my cold and binge-watch Walking Dead. The next door neighbours have a new kitten. They said the name; something with two syllables that starts with a T. I forget what they said. We'll call it Trotski. Good kitten name. Mike is in down for a day and a half and he and Paul dropped by. 

Friday, April 14, 2017

Colouring eggs

We drove out to Roulleau to colour eggs at Marla's house. Jason picked this day to rent a chipper and grind up the yard. I continue to have a fever and wasn't much into colouring eggs.  There was some amazing transfers from silk that I want to investigate later.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Superfight and Bang

Terry, Xander and Paul came over for a bit of a game night. We played a bit of Superfight which William had been watching play-throughs of online which led him to buy it for me for my birthday last week. It's a pretty great game with only the loosest of rules. Basically you pick a few cards to create a character (example Clown card combined with "swinging a shark from a chain" card) and a second player does the same (example: Hitler card combined with "turns invisible when singing show tunes" card) and the two player argue about who would win in a fight between them, It is basically an update of grade 2 playground talk, until eventually they stop and the other people at the table vote about who wins. I guess it isn't for everyone, being so subjective. One fight could last two minutes while another could last an hour, which is okay if it remains entertaining the whole time. What is a game for anyway. Bang is more structured and is great for a larger group (I think we have an expansion to allow up to 8 people to play). I had a rough start to the whole thing, trying to ingest enough drugs to cut the massive fever I went home from work with. I had three naps during the day and still fest completely defeated.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Improv last night

Small crowd at Combat Improv last night but at least that gave me the opportunity to finally meet Christina who acted in Ian's last couple of films. She's got a pretty amazing performing style, very quirky but underscored - often out of place in improv and amazing nonetheless.
Today was the last day of classes. Still a few late assignments to come in, but the end is certainly near. The day was filled with an additional 4.5 hours of meetings so I was mentally rather dull by the time I got home. William's evening was taken up by homework, the last assignment before his easter break. We should both be able to take some time with our feet up. 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

My New Camcorder

Gerald Saul with RCA VHS-C CPR-150 Camcorder
I was talking with Chris from Education about super-8 film, pointed him in a direction for getting some transfered and so on, and he gave me this choice camera for my collection of useless crap. I'm in heaven. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

New Zealand treaures

Richard and Gerda got back from New Zealand the other day. I've not seen them yet (Easter for sure) but they brought William a bag of intriguing treasures.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Breakfast at Nicky's with family

It's been quite a while since we last went to Nicky's cafe (8th and Winnipeg St in Regina) but it used to be quite the destination for a solid breakfast. As evidenced by the crowd, it still is. We had a nice breakfast yesterday with my parents, Margaret's parents and brother, and my sister and her family. Not everyone made it into this panorama due to the lighting differences.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Nice birthday yesterday

I had a very nice birthday yesterday. I had a short (but very active) day at work then went for ice cream and then out into the country to search for crocuses. We found some but there were not nearly as many this  year. Perhaps more will pop up if we get some rain in the next few days. Thank you to everyone who sent me messages over facebook and other media.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

big crowd to hear Zarqa Nawaz

The term is winding down with two of my three classes ending today. After animation I managed to catch half of Zarqa Nawaz's talk at the library (of Little Mosque on the Prairie fame). Funny and interesting. Glad to see she had a big crowd (over 80). Margaret bought her book and Mooky managed to talk with her about making a tv show, just as the library was shutting down.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Thinking about surrealism

I've been reading a book about Surrealism and it has me thinking about mannequins and pigs' heads. I used pigs as a motif in Film 200 over the past few weeks and it worked nicely. I'm also thinking about a suggestion one of the students made about the recurring appearances of apples in student films (from his online research into student films) which has led me to consider a film about a mannequin with a pigs head and an apple in its mouth. 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Alex MacKenzie in Regina

Alex MacKenzie is in Regina for the first time in 12 years (he did art for lunch in October 2015, but that was before my blog). We had lunch at the club then he set up one of his really intriguing multi-projector projects at the RPL. The 55 minute show included two 16mm projectors, strobes, masks, hand-made emulsions, hand-processed film, three dimensional illusions, liminal images just outside out grasp, echoes and loops both visual and aurally, magic, and so much more. Somewhat more formal and less content-based than work he showed in 2005 or in Victoria in 2007, but also tighter and more controlled. His work has become more about the experience and less about the content and process. I marveled. .

Monday, April 3, 2017

William five minute drawings

William is doing five minute drawings based on other drawings or photos as part of his art class. To catch up on these (he'd fallen behind due to our inability to get out of the house on time) he's started to do some at home. I'm hoping this will be a new thing for him to do long term.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Christine Ramsay's "Studies in Aluminum"

Today I spent the day at home with William, who is still a bit sick and is working on his English essay. I worked a bit on grading but mostly I created a new set of ATCs for their "Black Sheep" series due right away. I took a break to walk down to the AGR to see Christine Ramsay's new series of paintings of a coffee pot she calls "Studies in Aluminum". I was taken with the way some of them evoke the surrealists, in that she places the pot as some sort of lonely traveler on a vast landscape. (the light coming in the window made documenting this image difficult). 

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Geremy's "BroDown" party

William and I attended Geremy's "BroDown" party this afternoon - the all guy get together coinciding with Ellen's baby shower. Meat was promised, and meat was delivered. Common sense prevailed and we just ate and talked and didn't open the door to speeches or games. Mostly I connected with AJ, Kenn, and Zaul. Ned was there, as well as Geremy's brother James and a good sized group of people. I regret that I missed the visual arts student show opening at the MAG at the same time, but I saw the work the other day. 

Friday, March 31, 2017

Rania Al-Harthi (Hart) MFA

Congratulations to Rania for successfully defending her MFA this afternoon. It's been a great pleasure to work with her alongside co-supervisor Kathryn Bracht over the past couple years as the project has grown (and grown and grown), changing shape and evolving in so many amazing ways. 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Paper Umbrella

We were at the Paper Umbrella store to pick up cards and participate in their letter writing project. I won a cloth bag in their draw (as General Saul). 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Film 200 in class shoot #2

More great weather as I took Film 200 outside and we shot another "pigs" based short drama. This time the tale was about a pig assaulting a guy with a hot dog and then burying the hot dog and crying as he marks the grave with a cross labeled "mom". The sky was clear so the reflectors were more valuable than ever. 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Mort and Karmyn

We went to see "Terry Pratchett's Mort" performed by theatre students this evening. Quite an ambitious project, running over two hours in the ShuBox. William has started a unit on theatre design in his art class this week so was looking inquisitively at the imaginative use of minimal sets pieces they used (only one thing, a big doorway, was permanent. Everything else rolled except the bed which could be tilted up to be a bookcase). I saw Karmyn there, an ex-student of mine who switched gears in her last year and became an accountant. She had a wicked sense of storytelling and loved twisting up fairy tales so I'm sure she has at least one or two projects left in her. 

Monday, March 27, 2017

A trade with Kallie

Kallie and I did an art exchange this week which resulted in me being a proud owner of one of her drawings (one of the ones behind her in the photo above I think). Margaret and I visited her in her studio to pick something out and had a nice long chat about interesting stuff to do with art and waterfalls.
When I got home, I saw my first robin of the year.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Happy birthday Sara

After at meeting with the puppet festival, I rousted William off his computer to make a card and go drop in on Sara to wish her a happy birthday. She and Mooky have a place even closer to us that last year (only for this month though) so we walked over but had some bad timing as they had gone out for a few minutes and were not home. We left our card and they dropped in on us an hour later so we got our visit in after all. 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Last day with cousins

Kiki and Kristin return to Toronto this weekend. We had one last day for hanging out. Spent an hour at the MacKenzie (we lucked into arriving at the same time the Anthony and Joanne were there to tour a visiting artist the gallery so I tagged along - a great pleasure). Headed next to the Southland cinema to see Logan from the comfort of their new recliner seats (takes the sting out of the 12.50 price). Funruckers followed (liked the drink machines and the burgers were very good). Rania did her second/final performance at the Shubox with a number of changes. Had a drink afterwards and home again. Quite a day. 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Rania performs her MFA production

Rania presented her MFA one-person performance in the Shu-Box this evening. It has been a couple of years in the making but still contained numerous elements that I'd not expected. It was a mixture of media installation (anamorphic videos and graphics) and gallery installation (barbed wire and salted floor environment) and mixed performance as she interacted with the audience and presented from her fold-able cardboard house using shadow, video, puppet, recorded audio, singing, and other interdisciplinary components. She got a nice sized crowd. Thank you to everyone who came out to support her (Great to see you Mooky and Sara) and congratulations Rania on this wonderful accomplishment. Defense is only one week away... 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Film 200 pig production

The weather is finally good enough to take the class outside and shoot something. While a bit rushed, I think it went well. Everyone had jobs to do and there were no mishaps. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Recreating the Third Man

In class today (and last Thursday) we studied sequences from The Third Man and reshot them as precisely as we could. Very challenging and good exercise but only for half the class. Need to rethink it a bit to maximize affect. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Puppet Day and Morton painting moves again

William and I went to "Strings", a 2004 marionette feature film at the RPL this evening. Saw Mooky and Sara there, fantastic to see they have returned from their world travels. The film was pretty solid, although the ending left me wondering about some of the core ethical themes. The main character has realized that his nation are really the bad guys and have conquered the city they have been living in for generations. What does he do with that knowledge at the end, now that he has decided that peace is the best solution? Will he surrender his city to a nomadic people they have grown up hating? I doubt it. Will they invite them in? I suppose so. Will they give them property? Maybe. Will they give them good property? Many many questions are left unanswered.
This morning Margaret helped move the big Douglas Morton painting from the entrance way of the Regina Public Library for cleaning for the second time ever. The first time was only two years ago, after it hung there for four decades. This time is because someone set a fire in the book return a few months ago and smoke damaged the area. They moved it differently this time, opening the huge windows and taking it out in one piece (some cutting needed to happen to accomplish this). 

lantern monster

William finished his beholder monster lantern and handed it in today. I'm missing its presence hanging over the breakfast table already. It has lights glue gunned inside and is quite ghastly but pretty. 

Monday, March 20, 2017

First shave

Today William asked me to teach him to shave. I lathered him up and he did the rest without a single cut. He refused to let me photo-document the event.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Lip-syncing in animation

Here is a very short clip we made in class this week to test the lip-syncing guidance in Dragonframe. We also shot some animation using steel wool to test the way it would move and catch light. I didn't export that as it related more to Ethan's project than our work this week. 

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Jean Oser event

This evening I went to Nora Gardner's website launch and fundraiser for her Jean Oser project. The event was at the Filmpool and had a screening of "Myrtle's Murder" and "Ghosts Before Breakfast". Don List was there shooting some interviews for the project, although the shape of it was not yet defined. I told some stories on camera that would be good to use and at least one that was more for the archive and not for public consumption. The event was highly under subscribed. 

Friday, March 17, 2017

Supper at Mom's with Kiki and Kristin

This afternoon I presented "Gun Crazy" at the Lifelong Learning program. It was well received. In the evening we went to my parent's for supper along with Margaret's whole family including Kiki and Kristin. I hadn't realized that mom didn't know how to play cribbage. I began to teach her. 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Filmpool 40th Anniversary

The Filmpool marked its 40th anniversary with a party in their space this week. There was a great crowd. I could only stay a short while as I needed to get back for my evening class, but did get a chance to talk to Ron Jacobs, Jon Tewksbury, Janine Whindolph, Brock Stevens, and a bunch of others before slipping away (without cake). Lots of photo memories on the walls and screen.