Thursday, July 30, 2009

Kennedy Lost My Bag

I am in Spain, been here for two days, loving it. There was bad weather coming out of DFW and the delays made me miss my connection to Barcelona in NYC, so instead I flew to London and then took a British Airways flight to Barcelona from there. My bag was left at JFK in the process so I've been without clothes or contacts for the last two days. Thank goodness I'm staying with my brother, so I've been able to borrow things from him. He and I have very different body types and fashion sense, so I've felt like a different person while walking around Spain. Yesterday, we rode the two bikes he has around the entire city, down the beaches and up to Parque Guell, then we bombardered downhill to a restaurant called Mussol, where we ate 80 escargot between us. I would upload pictures and video, but the cable to connect my camera is also in my lost bag. Today we're taking a train to Tarragona and later in the day to Sitges to explore the Roman ruins. Last night, we went out with my brother-in-law, who is a chef and it was a night of excess. My brother and I are hurting a little bit, so it's going to be a slow and relaxed day.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Too Long For Twitter

I've been reluctant to update lately because I feel that update after update just cheapens my claim to be a writer, if I just continue to write about my day to day life, I fear this blog will become a personal journal, which was never my intention. Nonetheless, allow me to give you a quick update on my day to day activities lately.

I'm here in Dallas-Fort Worth, working for a client, directing commercials for Youtube. We have 7,000 subscribers and are coming up on three million views, so it's been a very positive experience over the last two years and I'm grateful to have the work. With the completion of our movie in New Zealand, I thought I had closed a chapter of my life on international travel, at least for a year, but I was wrong - I'm spending the end of July and early August in Spain, visiting my brother who now lives there. But this weekend, I've been taking a camera class put on by the Texas Film Commission to train film loaders and 2nd A.C.'s for film industry work. The class has been great and I'm being overloaded with knowledge on a field that I just can't get enough of. I'm very grateful to have the opportunity to learn from the seasoned professionals chipping in to teach the class and for getting the chance to get hands on with all the camera gear, both film and high-def.

Ok, this isn't going well, thanks for reading anyway, lots of big news soon, love you.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Barcelona and NYC, Something Different

I could go on and on about why I haven't been writing much (the short of it is that I'm busy working), but instead I'll post this itinerary, because looking forward to a trip motivates me. I'm going to be doing something different with the video blog I produce in Barcelona and perhaps in NYC. I'm also very open to suggestions on things to do, both touristy things and more avant-garde video blog suggestions. Anything you'd like me to do while I'm there?

Download This Song and Enjoy

Jason Kottke linked to a $3.99 album, "LP" by Discovery on Amazon the other day and I bought it simply because it was so cheap and he referred to Postal Service in his one-sentence review. I've really been enjoying the album LP by Discovery the last two days, so I wanted to share this track (free download) I was listening to as I drove home from the midnight screening of Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince, which, by the way, was a great movie.

(By the way, that is by no means the best song on the album.)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Fake Artificial Intelligence Poses A Real Moral Problem

I have this idea for a robotic art-piece. I think it would make for a truly sensational work of art, but I don't actually have the skills to make it, so I'll just go ahead and tell you about it, and free the idea.

Picture this:

A robot, with big cute eyes, puppy-like, extremely large, with pupils that dilate. Imagine the cutest puppy you've ever seen, looking up at you. Now imagine that puppy as a type of beautiful little monkey, infant like. Under the skin of this furry little baby monkey with giant white eyes and dark dilating pupils, is a robot skeleton wired with an outer mesh of pressure sensors. When you stroke the creature's fur it "coos" and "purrs" and tells you, "I love you SO much, don't ever leave me, I love you, I love you," in the voice of a human toddler. It is programmed to cuddle gently when it comes in contact with a human. However, if the creature is struck with a hand, or a stick, or if it is dropped, the pressure sensors under it's fur prompt a response of a cry of pain and the creature looks up at the human who struck it and says, "oww, I thought you loved me, why would you do that?" And it "wimpers," until it is stroked again. On the back of the creature is a big, red, switch, it is an on-off switch. While the switch is in the "on" position the creature is animated and performs the tasks for which it was programmed. However, if the switch is switched to the "off" position, the creature will turn off and will never be able to be turned on again. Once the switch is switched to "off," all of the circuitry of the robot is shorted and fried. If the creature senses that you are reaching for the switch, a response is prompted by the robot, to say, "NO! Please don't kill me, please don't touch my switch, I love you!" As the switch is switched to the "off" position, the robot will "cry" and "choke" until it's circuits are fried.

While the robot is not sentient (it is only a machine made of wires and mechanics with a fuzzy fabric outer shell), it will no doubt prompt human emotions, because it is so life-like. Could this creature then be considered a living being?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Reminder For Tomorrow

I wrote a short story, and before that, I got in an argument with a bunch of people who deny climate change, not only do they deny climate change, they deny human involvement in any kind of environmental crisis. So many things to discuss. Coming soon.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Oh The Comments Are Going To Be Nasty On This One

It's the video I shot in Masai Mara, Kenya, where the lion picks up my camera and tosses it in the grass. Yes, the title is sensationalist. Yes, the camera survived. But hey, Lonely Planet spotted the video and bought the rights, so there you have it. Check the Lonely Planet Youtube page for the video and read the comments, they're sure to be vile.
You've gotta have thick skin to be a filmmaker.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Rough Intro To Show Pitch - "Backpacker's Guide"

Rough Cut - Opening Sequence from Jonathan Nicholas on Vimeo.

Jonathan Nicholas, our talented D.P., edited this together in Los Angeles. We're currently working on putting together a show-pitch using the footage we gathered from our trip to Australia. More to come soon.

(P.S. I feel like saying something in my defense, because this could easily appear narcissistic. There were two of us, one held the camera, the other was in front of it. It's that simple.)

All Over The Internet These Days

Two different times, once in 2007 and once in 2008, I traveled to Kenya and India to shoot a television pilot for Tammy Lane Productions. They're still working on putting together the show and recently sent me a promo for the first episode. Also, my face is all over it.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Solving The Global Environmental Crisis

(click image to make larger)
Please give us more Bill, we miss you.