Crafting at Sea

What do you do with all the odd bits of plastic floating around the ocean?  Well, it seems that these sailors have found one use:


I’m in love with the editing of the this film – more the the point, the mesmerizing water shots.  It makes me miss the open water and living on a boat while reminding me of how little there is to do when you’re not actively  sailing, sleeping or doing chores.  There isn’t much to do during the few hours of down time.

What a fascinating history of sailor’s hobbies and how we can simulate it today without having to kill sperm whales for materials…

Bringing Back the Light

In the midst of a summer full of wildfires, residual smoke and horror stories of parched forests being consumed by hungry flames, it’s sometimes hard to believe that the fire season will eventually come to and end – or at least we are all hoping it will.  Beyond the terrors that these widespread flames bring to homeowners, the idea of losing our forests is what really scares me.

I’ve always taken old growth trees for granted, I mean living in an area where trees stand hundreds of feet tall and have witnessed more local history than we can even imagine, well if trees could talk… right?  What would happen though if the future generations didn’t have monster towers of wood shading them or recycling their carbon dioxide back into oxygen?

I don’ want to even speculate and hopefully logging and wildfires will slow enough and allow new growth to take root. Thanks to people like those in the video below, we may not have to face a treeless reality:


My favorite part of this film is the beautiful and sweeping views of the forests and the use of the autumn light.  Autumn is my favorite time of year to film outside – there is a soft and warm quality to it that you don’t get in summer (the sun is too high), winter (the sun is too low) and only sometimes get in Spring.  Usually in the PNW, it’s too cloudy in the Spring to know what kind of light is filtering through.

Although we still have several weeks of Summer left, I can only hope that the fires slow and that our old forests can continue to bare witness to future events – and bask in plenty more Autumn light.

Statistics – Motion Graphics Style

It’s been a while since I posted something that inspires me.  I’ve been swept up in a whirlwind of film screenings and getting other projects underway, and thus, had little time to share some of my findings.

So during a break the other day,  I came across this little beauty:

Neil Halloran

Now it may not be the most uplifting of topics but it’s informative, visually interesting and even better, the visuals enhance the message.  Sharing such devastating statistics and making it interesting would have had me puzzling over how I would even begin to tackle this project for all of eternity.  Well probably not, but because I’m tired as it’s the end of the week, it would seem like all of eternity if I attempted it right now.  It certainly wouldn’t turn out as cool.

I have always had an appreciation for good motion graphics but have become even more enamored by the really good stuff since having to do my own for my last project, A Raincoat by Sonja Silver.  I doubt that I’ll be moving towards using motion graphics exclusively in documentary projects in the near future, but I’d sure love to include something like this.

Happy Friday!

Championship :: Film Awards

In two days, it’s the finale of the film awards season.  I don’t think I’ve seen many new films this year, not to mention I haven’t had much of a chance to see any films that have won or been nominated at various award ceremonies. Yet the Oscars are only two days away.

One of the films that I did manage to see: The Imitation Game

I loved it.  I was initially drawn to the story because being a film about WWII and that being a topic that I’m extremely interested in, it seemed like a no brainer for me.  But that aside, I thought the story was beautifully told, one that has only surfaces in the last few decades.  The acting and the filmmaking were also breathtaking and I’m interested to see how many awards it takes home.  It’s not easy to make the story about the first computer’s creation during a desperate time appealing for the masses, but I think this film has done that.

This is a tough year to be nominated for film awards.  There are a lot of good ones (or from what I hear) that came out in 2014 and it’s too bad that there aren’t more awards to go around.

So here’s to those champion films that have even been acknowledged by the masses.  Wishing those films that have inspired us, brought us to tears and made us laugh out loud the best during this last competition of the season; bringing home an Oscar.

Rejuvenation :: Blom & Blom

I love finding new uses for old items laying around the house.  I can’t say that I’m overly skilled at making things look seamlessly renewed (usually they have a “handmade look”) but I like to know that I’m not giving up on something that has plenty of life still in it.  For instance, my old doll house now houses books and my grandpa’s old army trunk is acts as my coffee table.  Family relics repurposed that house old memories of times gone by.

One thing I don’t dabble in reusing (usually) is anything that needs electrical repairs.  Not knowing how to repair lamps etc. is a little off putting.  However, the gentlemen at Blom&Blom have found just the way to do it:


I love the history of each part that the gentlemen at Blom&Blom use in their creations.  The history of Eastern Germany always seems a little bleak, or at least during the years of communist rule, but the fact that these lights can be made into something original yet practical just proves that anything, however old or seemingly mundane can be made into something beautiful.

Getting out of the house

I’ve been working a lot lately, or at least I feel like I’ve been working a lot.  It’s been a lot of sitting and staring at my computer screen and frankly, I’m sick of it.  I didn’t get outside nearly as much as I would have liked to this summer, but c’est la vie.  Fall is here and it’s time to start thinking about the end of the year.  Already!

I’m actually looking forward to Fall even if the weather is colder and the days shorter.  I know that seems contradictory to the fact that I’m sick of sitting inside, but I’m also hoping that it means that I will take more advantage of the daylight hours and get out more instead of sitting at my desk with the mentality that “there’s still plenty of daylight left,” when actually I should have been outside all along.  When you have less time to devote out of doors (or to other things), it changes your perspective on things, don’t you think?

So for October, I’m dedicating the month to celebrating adventure, to doing something new and out of the ordinary (for myself).  I’m hoping to feel that spark of life again, because if I’m completely honest, I don’t feel like I have much of a life when I’m staring at a screen for several hours of the day.  It makes me feel rather like a zombie.  And this is why I’m sharing this video with you:

Albin Holmqvist


Education First (EP) teaches languages and therefore, opens the door to exploring new places. So take a gander and go do something new, even with the shorter days.  The end of the year is rapidly approaching and wouldn’t it be a shame to realize that all you had done is worked all year?

Art Meditations :: The Great War

For those living in the US, the Great War is something that we generally skim over in history class- we generally focus on WWII.  For those living in Western Europe, it’s a very different story.  You study WWI for years at a time, at least you do in England, and if you’ve studied it in the last 15 years, you’ve probably gone on field trips to the battlefields.  You’ve stood in the trenches, in crater holes blasted out by bombs and seen the remnant shells stacked up along farmers’ fields- those shells that were never cleared away after the end of the war.  At least that’s my experience of studying the war.  You almost fell guilty for not doing your part even though it happened decades before you were born.

There are reminders of the sacrifices made during that time all over Europe, intertwined with the memories of WWII.  It’s a part of the land and something that you can’t ignore.  There really isn’t anything to compare it with in the US – even Civil War battle grounds aren’t the same.

I found this video a few months ago and in the end, bought the book for my dad as a Father’s Day gift:

ww Norton


Most of my studies have come from books, some from old newsreels etc. but this book gives the Battle of the Somme a whole new light.  It makes it into something visual and puts across the magnitude much better than any other source that I’ve seen.  It actually gives the numbers a human element and not just statistics on the page.  This beautiful book is art and fact all combined into one and I love it for that.

I don’t see this book as being about tragedy, although it does encompass that.  I see it as a chance to truly understand something that is beyond our reality and to take in something that is one of the largest world conflicts in history.

Pictures really are worth a thousand words.

Wanderlust :: Vino


Now I’ve never been to Slovenia let alone to a vineyard in Slovenia but I have been to several vineyards.  There is something so serene about these specialized farms and they are the perfect getaway for just a few hours.  Its possible that after several wine tastings its just the fermented grape juice that I’ve been sampling that makes me feel that way but I beg to differ.

Since I can’t travel overseas at the moment, perhaps a visit to a vineyard is the perfect antidote… For now I will settle for a glass of wine.

Against the Grain :: Seven Days in 1968


I’m just going to dive right into the artistic aspects of this video.  I love it!  There aren’t many times when you find yourself entertained by old black and white stills- usually they seem flat and boring.  Not in this film!  The 3-dimentional effects and the layover of other images, such as the timeline, really make a difference.  The graphics really help too and are another aspect that I really like.

It’s a bit longer than most videos that I post but I don’t feel like its any longer than most.  It’s not an easy topic to address, especially when some could argue that we haven’t come all that far since 1968, but it was done beautifully.

Reincarnation :: The Barbican

Persistent Peril

While I was in grad school, I spend a lot of time around the Barbican.  There is this great market that has food from all areas of the world and it was a great place to grab a quick bite or gather picnic food.  I spend many hours with friends on grassy knolls along the Thames with a view of the Barbican and this video makes me appreciate it all the more.

London has a very interesting array of architecture thanks to its many wars, especially the Blitz, and therefore a video like this is special.  It may not be the most beautiful that I’ve posted, but I think it encapsulates the history of a place extremely well- and in a short amount of time.  Impressive, considering it goes back to 200 A.D.  How well could you tell 1800 years of history in only 3.5 minutes?