Archive for January, 2008

30
Jan
08

DOORWAYS OF THE LOWER EAST SIDE

img_1463.jpgimg_1527.jpgimg_1487.jpgimg_1514.jpg

27
Jan
08

TEACH YOURSELF PHOTOGRAPHY

That’s what I am trying to do: teach myself photography. And it’s time for a progress report. It has been a long time, decades possibly, since I took anything other than holiday snaps. For my 21st birthday my Dad gave me a Rollei 35, a revolutionary little camera, now a classic, which I didn’t properly appreciate at the time – although I did take quite a lot of photos for a few years, mostly 35mm colour slides.

I then bought a Nikkormat SLR, at the low-budget end of the Nikon range: a more “professional” bit of kit, but not something I ever made the best of. After that there were many years of point-and-shoot, first on film and then digital, the early ones with a long delay between pressing the button and getting the shot, a hopeless situation for even the most amateurish attempt to hit the “decisive moment”.

Finally, a few months ago, when shopping for a high-end Canon digital SLR for Sally at the legendary and amazing B&H store in Manhattan (she got an Eos 5D), I asked the salesman to recommend a top-of-the-range point and shoot. He was unequivocal about the Powershot G7, which is what I now have. The G7 does not have the awful time delay of my earlier digital cameras, but it does have a mind-boggling array of technical functions and choices, with a 168-page “User Guide” to match. This month has been my first attempt to get to grips with it – and this blog is the testing ground for some of the modest results.

26
Jan
08

NIGHT AT THE OPERA AND OTHER PHOTOS

img_1383.jpgimg_1446.jpgimg_1444.jpgimg_1322.jpgimg_1324.jpgimg_1338.jpgimg_1330.jpgimg_1368.jpg

24
Jan
08

IS ANYONE READING THIS?

I started this blog as an experiment but also as an alternative to the Facebook page which I tried out for a month but found impossible for anything other than cryptic messages.  I signed up to Facebook on impulse on Christmas Day when I discovered it’s the social networking site of choice for nearly all my godchildren.  There are about a dozen of them, as I also count the siblings of my “real” godchildren, and I have recently become the adopted godfather of three more: an unusual arrangement with which I am absolutely delighted.   

Anyway, Facebook and then this blog were my idea for networking with my godchildren, who were the only people who I told about its existence.  I was therefore amazed – and, frankly, rather pleased — when I got a comment posted on my very first blog from a complete stranger who had come across the blog while surfing the internet for information on New Internationalist magazine, where I last worked more than 20 years ago and which I had mentioned in my first blog.   

The excitement of discovering the stunnning impact of my personal debut in the blogosphere has led to a deep fascination with the statistics that WordPress offers.  I am happy to share with you the fact that my “Best Day Ever” was Wednesday, January 16, 2008 when my blog had 24 views.  I have no idea who these people are – unless my godchildren have become fascinated with my life. And what WordPress doesn’t tell me is whether it was just one person visiting 24 times.  Anyway, yesterday there were 10 visits and the day before that two.  So far today there has been one. Such are the precarious fortunes of a novice blogger.

21
Jan
08

SUNDAY IN THE CITY

img_1214.jpgimg_1231.jpgimg_1242.jpg

McNally Robinson bookshop, Midtown, Central Park

18
Jan
08

INSOMNIA

img_1189.jpg

14
Jan
08

HOW TO FINANCE A FILM

cspic.jpg

Given half a chance, most filmmakers will always tell you how difficult it is to get the money to make their films.  For producers it’s like a mantra.  While it is true, it can also get very boring.  So I have decided to say nothing about that aspect of my life right now, even though it is a major daily preoccupation. I will let you know when the money is in the bank.

What I will say is that I think that one of the reasons I was successful in getting Orlando, my first film with Sally, financed is because I knew nothing about what was considered normal or even possible. While it turned out to be at least a hundred times more difficult than I ever imagined, it was actually my naivety that was one of my biggest assets: it meant I could try things that more experienced producers simply ruled out as crazy. And some of these actually worked.  

Edward de Bono coined the term “lateral thinking” to describe one way of looking at this. And it just so happens that Sally gave me a book by him yesterday called Tactics: The Art and Science of Success”. It’s now by my bed – could be the new filmmaker’s bible.