Friday, February 29, 2008

Just Purchased With Christmas Giftcard, For Triple AA Miles, Booya.

My friends have been jamming to the Sufjan Christmas album for the last two Christmas seasons, hip Christians like Martha and Jamie. I'm not quite sure if I'll desire Christmas music over the next few muggy months, but lots of people were bragging about doing it last summer, so it must be enjoyable. I love the idea of taking these classic songs that carry so much historical weight, honoring them and breathing modern significance into them.

P.S. If you were one of the people who was blogging about listening to this album over the summer, send me the permalink to your original blog post and I'll link to it.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Urban Sprawl Creates The Mega Slums of Tomorrow


Thank you Pulte Homes and D.R. Horton for furthering America's downward spiral.

Thinking About Going To Boston

This morning I got on AA.com and started going through the Advantage Mile promotions. I did a search in my Gmail for the word "itinerary" and I realized that I had a few flights that I hadn't redeemed the miles for yet, so I went ahead and claimed those and then bought something on Barnes and Noble's website through the AA rewards plan for triple miles and signed up for the free AA "diners" plan that gives me miles when I eat at selected restaurants. I've quickly become obsessed with getting airline miles if you can't tell. I'm even willing to work for them.

Now I'm trying to decide whether or not I should go to Boston Friday through Sunday just for fun. Have you ever been there? Would it be worth it?

**Update**
Upon further investigation, that deal only worked on flights from NYC to Boston. When I switched the departure city to DFW the deals weren't nearly as enticing.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

First New Erykah Badu Album In 5 Years

Why weren't you at the Erykah Badu CD release party at midnight last night? Because you're not a dedicated Erykah Badu fan, that's why.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

More Music From Kyle

Music Mondays is up once again at The Foggiest. Kyle, a writer and Austinite, once again blesses us with moody musical recommendations, available via a link to a free download of the play list to drop into your Itunes. This week's theme, music to accompany beautiful weather, "cloudless."
Kyle writes for The Tripwire and has excellent taste, so it's fair to say, you'd be a fool for not stopping by The Foggiest and checking out the tunes.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Glen and Marketa's Oscar Acceptance Speeches

This make me so happy, I can't even express to you how brilliant it is that this song won, and that this independent movie, "Once," was honored with an Oscar!

What's Going On In Anton's Life

Hey there, it's Anton. Things are well with me. I'm about to finish reading the Dave Eggers book What Is The What. It's been a tough read, good, eye-opening and epic, but tough to finish. There is so much suffering in the world, it's hard to face it when I'm so blessed here as a healthy middle class American. The book gets my recommendation if you care to learn about the last 20 years of conflict in Sudan, from the perspective of one of the Lost Boys, living here in the U.S.

I have a movie script that I've been working on for the last 4 years. It hasn't taken me that long because it is so epic, or because it's taken any kind of research, I've just been holding on to it for the right moment in my life to finish it. Studios are going to love it, I know that. The movie is about Fort Worth. It's a love story and it's a mainstream-style independent film, (think Garden State meets Chick-flick set in Fort Worth). This movie is the hope I have to launch my career as a feature film director. I hope to make it soon.

The documentary film that Austin and I produced this summer is just about to be finished and we are submitting it to the London Independent Film Festival this month. Hopefully we will be accepted into a few film festivals this summer and fall. We'll of course put on some small screenings around Fort Worth soon as well.

Austin and I also shot a pilot for a docu-reality show recently and there is a good chance that it will be picked up by a network. I'll be traveling with the pilot to New York to have some meetings in a few weeks. I'll post the pilot as soon as we lock the cut.

I've been living at my parent's house in Bedford since August of 2007. I'm thinking about getting a place near my office in Fort Worth. Did I mention I've been living at my parent's house? Just when you thought my life was so cool...

I've been waking up around 10am lately and I'm sick of it. I've also been procrastinating even more than usual, oh I wish I could tell you all of my secrets...

Oh, one last thing, I'm planning a trip to Alaska in June and a video blogging series while I'm there, uploaded by satellite phone. I need to do a little more research to make sure that's possible, but that's what I'm planning anyway. I'm taking this guy with me:So that's what's new, a lot of dreams.

Things I Want To Blog About

My Plans
Ikea
The Oscars
Fort Worth

I'm trying to keep a list, because I haven't been very good at this kind of blogging lately.

Friday, February 22, 2008

David Edelstein's Review For Be Kind Rewind

David Edelstein, who writes for New York Magazine and is also featured on Fresh Air with Terry Gross, is one of the most eloquent movie critics that I've ever heard. His review for Be Kind Rewind is an especially good one. It will be available at that NPR link as Real™ audio by about 2pm.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Where Science And Capitalism Meet

We are killing the planet. Every day we consume products wrapped in non-degradable disposable packaging. From the minute we wake up we are constantly consuming and displacing permanent additions to the natural world that serve no purpose in the continuation of natural life past their intended purpose of containing a product for one time consumption. To produce these containers, we pour out vast amounts of kinetic energy in a linear fashion. Coal goes in, fire comes out, electricity is produced, batteries are charged and the energy stored up is spent. As a result, the skies over Colima, Mexico (and other cities all over the world) are filled with a stream of brown clouds, filled with mercury and carbon dioxide, poisons that will infect our food and water, and do damage to all forms of life.

So my questions are these:

•Who is working to solve this problem?
•Who is designing the plan to stop our consumption of one-time use, non-degradable products?
•Who is designing power generators that don't pollute, don't produce nuclear waste and don't kill animals in mass?
•How are we educating the children of the world about the fragility of our planet?

If we go on living the way we're living, drinking water out of plastic bottles, throwing away old computer monitors, strip-mining, and using gasoline in our cars, we will render the planet unsuitable for human life. It will all be over, our children will have no future. The human cycle will end. It's happening faster than most of us believe.

thx (Martha)

You're Probably Not The Only One

I'm back home in Fort Worth, Texas and I'm feeling inspired. I've been cooking up an idea for sometime, I'm just about to move forward with it and I'm very excited. This idea will mean more travel videos; one for every day of the month of June to be exact. The locations will be remote and exotic and this video series will have a substantial budget due to the technical difficulties in uploading them everyday while traveling. I am not however promising that I will do this project, I am simply voicing my excitement at the prospect of it possibly happening. Just briefly, I will tell you that the whole thing hinges on my getting 1,000 subscribers on my Youtube page. Right now, about 10 months after posting my first video, I have 32 subscribers...so I have a ways to go. I have a very foggy idea of how I'm going to accomplish this goal but I am thoroughly convinced that it is possible and most importantly that it will be a very fun and fulfilling experience. It's good to be home, getting back to work.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

In Big Bear

My best friend Ben and his wife Tracy rented a cabin for everyone here in Big Bear. I flew into Burbank yesterday and hopped in the car with Reid and C.C. It should've only been a two and a half hour drive, but traffic out of L.A. on a Friday before a holiday weekend was quite horrendous. It took us 4 hours. There are about 8 or 9 of us staying in this big two story cabin. We have lots and lots of food, booze (none for me), cards, a plasma TV with cable and the best part, free WIFI!

We woke up and hit the slopes this morning on Bear Mountain. The Southern California influence means jumps, table-tops, rails and terrain from the top of the mountain to the bottom. These are good people I'm with this weekend. I'm feeling very blessed.

Friday, February 15, 2008

L.A. For an Hour

Bob Hope Airport. Shortest runway I've ever had the displeasure of landing on.

Dilemma at DFW

This is probably better for my Twitter updates rather than a traditional blog post, but here I am anyway. I need to use the bathroom. Not too bad yet, but I drank a cup of coffee and I'm chugging 20oz of water. The reason this is a problem is that I'm at DFW airport, with my laptop and hardrive set up in this very nice Samsung lounge. So I'll have to break everything down and risk losing my spot if I go to the bathroom. Looks like I'm just going to sit here and suffer for the next hour and thirty minutes.

Oh and if you are into good ad spots, check out this nice spot for the Madrid Metro. How'd they do that??

thx (Kottke)

Just The Vacation I Need

After a three and a half day week of working moderately hard, I need a vacation. In honor of my nearly four days of diligently working, I'm flying out to L.A. tomorrow to hop in a car with some good friends and then driving out to Big Bear to ski for two days. I'm bringing my laptop with me and hopefully we'll have Wifi at some point so I'm not saying that I'm not going to blog for the next four days, but if I don't that's why, because I'm shredding powder.
By the way, have you ever checked out my Youtube page? All of my travel videos are there (well, almost all of them). If you subscribe, it will give me the motivation I need to edit the Prague, Cyprus, Kenya, India and Como videos that I've yet to finish. Please?

Here are some other videos on Youtube that I've been involved in: Mission Reality Trailer (Kenya and India)(the donation amount is $100,000 by the way), Nike spec (I edited this), GRO concert video (edited and shot some of this), Mattress Mack Chopped and Screwed Mattress Mack Hyperactive Remix (came up with the concept for these) Brent Hull - History of Moldings (shot with Austin and edited this).

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

100% Procrastination

I'm sorry, I'm sorry, this is just something to waste time, something very cool. This is a short video of dudes wearing wing-suits skimming the side of a mountain at 100 miles per hour. This is a dream of mine.

I found it via Stumbleupon. Have you heard of Stumbleupon? It's a toolbar for Firefox that allows you to instantly procrastinate with the click of a button, taking you to fascinating websites in areas of your interest, that you never even knew you wanted to see! There's this thing I've been hearing about called "information overload," I'm sure it's not good for us. Or is it? I don't know, but when it comes to procrastinating, I'm the worst of the worst.

The New Four Star Coffee Bar

All of the construction going on around 7th street is really doing a number on Four Star Coffee's business. Their colorfully disgruntled employees are always a fun part of the experience of going there, as is my almost daily lunch of their black bean burger sandwich. But today only one person came into work and since the day was going slow and since she'd been there since 5:30am, she decided to close at 2pm, leaving me black-bean-burgerless. As a result, I decided to finally go over to the new downtown location on Houston St. (just South of 6th). It's a great location, right in the heart of one of the most architecturally preserved areas in downtown Fort Worth. Sadly, they actually quit carrying the black bean patties at that location due to lack of demand. However one of the employees offered to make a vegetarian bagel creation of his very own and it was quite delicious. The downtown Four Star is directly across from the new XTO building, a company which while evil, has done a pretty nice job restoring the building's fa├žade. Check it out if you are ever in downtown Fort Worth and in need of a non-Starbucksian latte and some good food.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Masthead Reference

Do you get the Masthead reference? I'll give you a hint, it's from a really brilliant movie.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Anton's Not A Good Multi-Tasker


I was the stunt cameraman on the television show that I was filming in Mexico. I really wanted the shot of me coming into the platform smoothly, but I'm not good at multitasking and I almost crashed into the tree. Thank goodness for that safety mechanism!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Better TV

This week, we at Double A Pictures will be shooting a TV pilot. If you watch much of the docu-reality stuff on Nat Geo, Discovery, TLC, and Animal Planet, shows like Dirty Jobs, Samantha Brown Travel, L.A. Ink and Jeff Corwin, you know what kind of TV I'm talking about. The show stars this guy, Brent Hull. He's a master craftsman with expert knowledge in historical and classic design, wood and mill-working. It should be a fun and busy shoot.

Posting will be sparse over the next few days.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Lent Without Booze

Day four without beer, thirty-six to go. Holding up well. For someone who drinks a beer almost every single night, it's a weird feeling to sit at the computer at midnight and feel completely sober, it makes it so easy to read!

There go the drunk Facebook-wall posts and inappropriate picture comments.

The reason I told myself that I was giving up the hooch this season is that when I come home after a long day of working, I always want to have what is commonly called a "quiet time," when one sets aside a short time for spiritual introspection, journaling, prayer, reading or specifically reading the Bible. I haven't read the Bible in months, a book that is supposedly my moral guideline. I can barely quote a word and I often mix up where in the book certain ideas are derived. However, I've barely opened the thing since Tuesday. So I'll be doing that, getting real religious on you.

A Very Close Call

Twice I looked down at the water dripping into my lap. Photoshop takes over my consciousness. I'd been dreaming of doing this masthead for months. Finally I'd found the right plaid for the start of the scotch tape. This was brilliant. Futura, that's all it's takes, instant Wes Anderson. "Why the hell is there water dripping into my lap? What the hell!?" The bottom of the crappy styrofoam cup they'd given to me had a hole in it and water had been slowly leaking out and all over the table for the last 20 minutes. It was coming out from underneath my Macbook and dripping onto my thighs.

"No!"

I laid out napkins across the adjacent table, carefully lifted my computer and set it down to dry. The entire table was soaked, but my Macbook was still running. My heart was pounding. I've gotta back this thing up, I almost lost everything.

But the new masthead is up. Man, that was a close call.

Makes Me Feel Special

It turns out I'm an introvert, and a major one at that. Thanks to Ben over at "I Am Probably Overthinking This" for posting this:

Extroverts are energized by people, and wilt or fade when alone. They often seem bored by themselves, in both senses of the expression. Leave an extrovert alone for two minutes and he will reach for his cell phone. In contrast, after an hour or two of being socially "on," we introverts need to turn off and recharge. My own formula is roughly two hours alone for every hour of socializing. This isn't antisocial. It isn't a sign of depression. It does not call for medication. For introverts, to be alone with our thoughts is as restorative as sleeping, as nourishing as eating. Our motto: "I'm okay, you're okay—in small doses."

For a double dose of Ben's recommendations, check out this Time article he linked to in which the theologian N.T. Wright explains that most Christians paint a very confused and misunderstanding picture of heaven and hell.

The Truth Will Set You Free

I never got a Leica.
-----------------------
It's true, or false rather. Why? It's just too expensive. They have an amazing warranty, unbelievable really, and that's good insurance, but I can get a Canon D-40 for half the price. So I'm wrestling with whether I even need an SLR at the moment. Need, really, I don't think I can say that I need an SLR, but I'd put it to good use. A Fort Worth camera store recently had a slightly used Leica D-Lux 3 for $400 and I didn't buy it.
It's a compact, but it takes raw images and that's rare. I just like the aesthetic appeal of the Leicas, I don't particularly care about the brand, but they really are great cameras.

Here is what I really want, are you ready? A compact SLR, at least 10 megapixels, that captures images in raw, has interchangeable lenses, captures video in Quicktime format at 30 fps, and has a good mic. IS THAT REALLY SO MUCH TO ASK!?

Ninja Needs New Furniture

Blake made a ninja video! Go vote for it! End Ninja discrimination!Creating a username takes five seconds. K THX BYEE!1!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Bebe On Morning Becomes Ecclectic

Two years ago I was shooting a TV show called Project MyWorld and traveling across Western Europe. I had my own hotel room every night and not a lot to do in the beginning so I was watching a lot of European MTV late into the night. One night in Germany I came across a really cool black and white music video for the song "Malo" by the Spanish singer Bebe.

Later in the trip I found her album in a record shop in Milan. It's become my guilty pleasure when I'm driving and feeling emotional. I'll play the songs "Ella" and "Malo" and sing at the absolute top of my lungs, in Spanish. I don't know half of what I'm saying both because I don't speak good Spanish and because of Bebe's thick Southern Spanish accent.

For some reason I felt like Googling her tonight to see if she had a new album out. She doesn't to my knowledge, but I came across a video of her playing on Nick Harcourt's "Morning Becomes Ecclectic" on KCRW and it made my night. I've got a massive crush on her; I'm a sucker for the Spanish ladies.

Tonight I watched the series "Thumbs Up America" on VBS.tv, the "Spike Spends Saturdays" with Kanye West and MIA, and then I caught up on some blog reading. Now I'm wondering why anyone gives a crap about politics when there is SO MUCH ART IN THE WORLD. THERE IS SO MUCH ART!

Also I saw Charlie Wilson's war last night and it caught me really off guard. It was far more entertaining and far less depressing than I imagined it would be. Tom Hanks was of course great (and nude in the opening scene...) and the treatment of the cinematography and production design was very true to the sepia-toned look of old photographs from the early 80's. And I was thinking, "this film is a type of historical document but really it's an art piece. The people who made this movie were artists!" And I felt proud to call myself an artist. Forget politics, let's make art not war.

Toxic Alberta

This is the real future of American oil production. Not Iraq, not Iran, not Saudi Arabia. No, in the future our oil will come from the dirt in Northern Canada and our earth will be raped in the process.

Watch the update on the video series that VBS.tv did last year about what is taking place in the Oil Sands of Northern Canada.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

What I'm Eating For Lunch

This really was going to be my post, at least that's how it started. And just now, as I sat down, I realized that I was committing the ultimate sin of blogging, writing about the most mundane parts of my life. But you know what, I'm going to do it anyway and then I'm going to arc it back into something more poignant, that will hopefully relate to your life as well and in that, draw us closer together as human beings.

(By the way, totally unrelated, I just decided to give up the hooch for lent. Forty days of no booze will surely draw me closer to God.)

Well here goes, here's my lunch:

Copious amounts of coffee, fresh beans I brought back from the Colima volcano in Mexico.
Campbell's Chunky Vegetable soup
Wheat toast with half chunky peanut butter, half Nutella
6 oz. Yoplait Strawberry Cheesecake yogurt (delicious)

You see, I'm house-sitting for my parents this week. I woke up this morning and just didn't feel like making the drive from Bedford to Fort Worth, so I'm just doing my work (obviously not doing it, because I'm blogging), from home. Food is running out and I'm too lazy and cheap to shop, so I'm eating every random thing that I can get my hands on. I have so much to do, so many videos to edit, so many documents to script. There's the Como video that we shot in January. It needs to be edited and the story to go along with Sara's pictures needs to be written. I have my client's videos, which I owe him, that need to be finished. And now Austin and I are embarking on shooting a television screener in just over a week, which still needs to be produced. Whew, time to get to work!

It's been fun chatting with you over lunch, good catching up, let's do this again soon!

War And Backstory

Remember that gruesome photograph of a Vietnamese general shooting a captured Viet Cong at point blank range? I originally saw it in a high-school history book and even in my reckless and ignorant youth, I was moved and disturbed by it. But a still photograph doesn't tell the whole story, and Eddie Adams, the photographer who took the photo, wishes he never had.

The general killed the Viet Cong; I killed the general with my camera. Still photographs are the most powerful weapon in the world. People believe them, but photographs do lie, even without manipulation. They are only half-truths. What the photograph didn't say was, "What would you do if you were the general at that time and place on that hot day, and you caught the so-called bad guy after he blew away one, two or three American soldiers?"

(link is to Kottke, who links to the original National Review post.)

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Our People Have No Values

Dear Shopping Cart Leaver,

Today you left 2 shopping carts rolling around loose in the office Depot parking lot. One of them had been blown by the strong winds and had rolled into my car. I got progressively more angry as I rolled it back up to the building to secure it with the rest of the carts. I had to waste my time and energy returning your cart. As I walked back to my car I noticed that there was another loose cart which had struck and was rested against a white truck near my car. As I went to pull it away I noticed a foot long dent and scratch along the side of the truck. In order to remove it, I actually had to lift the car up and pull it back sideways because it was wedged so firmly along side the truck. When that driver realizes that there is damage to his vehicle, he, like I, is going to be upset. Who knows how his anger is going to manifest itself? For me, I've been upset now for over an hour. I drove aggressively to the office this morning. What if I would have hit someone? If you would have simply taken the responsibility to return your cart, this anger wouldn't exist. But you have no values and you only care about yourself. The world will be a better place when you are gone.

-Anton

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Dear Zebra F-301 compact pen designer,

Your company makes a very fine ball point pen. The original Zebra pen writes very well and feels nice in my pocket. I had always wished that the clip was designed without the centimeter of black plastic that obstructs it from sliding all the way down. And I was very glad to see that you had corrected that design flaw in the F-301. I wondered if you had also balanced out the weight of the pen in it's open position, the way that the weight was balanced in the original. I was so excited to buy the F-301 that I opened the package while waiting in line, before I'd even paid! As I unclicked the pen from it's closed position, I noticed that the cap was made of very light-weight aluminum. I noticed that the pen became unbalanced as I slid the cap into the open position. I pressed down hard but didn't feel the cap click into place. When I slid it back off I noticed that the pen had an o-ring at the top to make the cap fit snuggly. But the rubber o-ring didn't maintain contact and the cap slipped off the pen easily. I was shocked that the pen was designed with an o-ring, but with no device to click the pen and cap together snuggly. How did this slide through the corporate red-tape!? How did you get a job as a pen designer at the Zebra pen company and yet you don't understand the importance of the cap being balanced and staying on the pen firmly!? WHO ARE YOU, YOU IMPOSTER!?

I hope you get fired for this, you charlatan.

-Anton

P.S. I didn't really mean that part about the world being a better place without the shopping cart leaver. Even total moral-less losers are God's perfect creation and thus deserving of life.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Fear and Politics

I would really love to hear your thoughts on these people.