Tuesday, June 20, 2017

A different kind of pet - a pet project of mine for your young movie-making wannabes

Be part of the “Magic of Movies”
Write! Shoot! Edit!
By Deborah S. Patz

From the first word to the last Write! Shoot! Edit! by Deborah S. Patz is a jam-packed script with solid, reliable information and complete details geared to teens about how to make a film from dream to premiere. The author is a skilled, seasoned professional with forty years or so of experience in all aspects of film-making, beginning with her very own first movie at age nine and then persuading her school to start its own course. Now she writes and teaches about making movies, and mentors teens and others through workshops, seminars and ultimately this very special book.

Conversational in tone and style, reading it is much like having your very own mentor peering over your shoulder to give you some hints and/or technical know-how about next steps from the very first page to the last when she states that’s a wrap!

And indeed it is, a wrap that is, as it includes all the information and encouragement a prospective and potential film–maker could want. Several people involved in the industry for years have indicated they wished they had had a book like this to help them in their early days, and it has been recommended as a text for film-making courses in high school, or a gift from a knowing parent.
Patz sets out the rule of three – she takes the three key roles in movie-making: writer, director and editor – and explains each role. As well she talks about how they inter-twine and work together. And also offers many other instances of where the rule of three applies.

She encourages the “wannabe” to have fun with his/her ideas and visions as well as Patz’ own suggestions. She warns about what to watch out for in terms of legal issues and of the many pitfalls and unexpected events that can challenge the best of us.

It’s an easy read, in fact it’s a fascinating read as Patz takes you through the steps from visionary to achieving your very first premier. And the information is invaluable whether you are a first timer, a parent, or a coach/teacher yourself.

 And a bit about the writer of this review - I am a writer and have had experience in film – first as the manager of a popular location for film and television companies and followed by some years as a location-manager and scout. Deb Patz was my mentor in my early days. 

Me in Florida taking a break from writing this past February.... fun times. 

Sunday, April 2, 2017

An early spring visit to one of our nearby conservation areas - Nawuatin

Some ice was still in the ponds when Spirit and I went for a walk in Nawautin a week or so ago. It was obviously chilly, but when we came to this pond, the largest of them, there were some geese scattered around, some in the water and two or three plodding around on the soft ice.

We came across another visitor, who is new to bird watching, and she pointed out a hooded merganser. I saw several  pairs last year but this is the first one this year. Didn't try to capture a photo, because my wee camera doesn't seem to do well on tiny things at a distance.

Don't you love the one-legged stance of sleeping geese? Always amazes me.

It seems as if many of the birds we saw were already pairing off. Great sign there might be some nests and goslings this year. Fun.

In a smaller pond, across a pathway from the large one, and more of a slough than a pond being almost completely dry last year due to the drought, two geese were looking around contentedly. Spirit bothered them not at all, and I clearly remember a large nest at the far end last year... these two might be the same pair I suppose. I think geese return to favourite nesting places but maybe someone who knows more about these big birds could advise me?

Spirit waits obligingly near the junction of two pathways. You can see here, how the paths are maintained in as near a natural state as possible. Some are like tunnels with cedars and other trees looming along the sides and meeting overhead and others are wide open allowing sunlight and easy passage for walkers and their families, friends or dogs.

This is one of my favourite kinds of nest box in this reserve, and there are several different kinds. You can see the nest makings already in there, plus the skeleton of a butterfly - from this year? no probably last....

Another pond connected to the first two, but with more ice still.

Spirit checks out messages from other doggy visitors near one of the bridges that connects the pathways in various places and allows for crossing from one section of the reserve to another without having to wade through streams. The water in this stream is flowing fast and is about a foot deep - in summer only a few inches.

And finally another view of the first pond one comes to off one of the entrances. We have seen huge carp, painted turtles, all kinds of ducks and song birds here as well as woodpeckers and herons. There was a great blue heron flying around that day, but refused to have his portrait taken.

We, in this neighbourhood and others nearby, are so lucky that the various townships in Northumberland County where I now live have encouraged development of conservation areas for public enjoyment as well as to preserve our wild lands, waters, birds and other wildlife.