Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Sunday, April 13, 2008

conversation at a tim horton's drive-thru window

Me: (pulls up to drive-thru window with van window open. stops)

(opens drive-thru window. looks at me expectantly)


Me: (hands exact change to cashier curiously)

(takes money and rings it in. hands me 2 cups of coffee)

(takes coffee and places them in cupholders. turns back and looks at cashier expectantly)

(looks back at me with dumbfounded expression)


Me: (drives away)

Friday, April 11, 2008

the art of the possible

The following is a message you may have already received from me if you're in my email address book. It's a forwarded message from Gigi who's a new AAE Wingman from up here in Canada. I thought I'd include the contents here so that I can reach as many folks as possible (since my blog imports into Facebook as well). More from me below.

Gigi writes:

Hi friends,

I want to tell you about a project I'm involved in called ARTEMIS ETERNAL.
Luckily there's a 2-minute clip about it called 'AAE -The Story So Far' for
a quick catch up:

Why I (or whoever sent this to you) thinks you'd be a good Wingman:

1. You consume more story than anything else. (You're doing it right now.)

2. Six companies control all the media and story you see, right down to how
you see it and that does mirror and shape your life. Time Warner for example
owns a movie studio (Warner Brothers) TV stations (TNT, CW) cable (Time
Warner Cable) Internet (America Online) magazines that publicize their
properties (Entertainment Weekely, Time, People), book publishers, music
labels… it is a list you would not believe and is controlled by very few

3. To shift the cues for the better, someone has to do it first and do it
right by proving it possible. A professionally lead project has provided the
oppourtunity and now the baton passes to us: The audience, the people who
make it impossible by funding those six media conglomerates. But we can turn
it around - By becoming Wingmen.

Here's the awesome project site:

Here's a press release in case you have questions (you can google it for
more press):

And did you see me in the video? Yep, little ol' me now involved with a
serious film project. I found out about this in Canada's Globe & Mail
(biggest paper up north for you Americans) and I became involved in
something so extraordinary and genuine with a huge social return. I'm
incredibly proud.

Contribute $1 and become a Wingman. Join in our projects as much as you
like, you'll get to know the filmmaker, who is an extraordinary talent, come
to the screenings and meet the cast in person and be one of the one's to say
"I called it!" (I bet that's our next video) when this film gets nominated
for the Oscar in the best short film category, which is presented during the
regular telecast.

If you don't have $1 you can still help and be a part of this. The filmmaker
made the project that way to include everyone: Forward this to your list of
friends and colleagues and come hang out with us online. This is for anyone
who watches story and consumes media, especially those who love movies,
anime-styles, scifi and fantasy.

We have to cut through all the crap that is Paris Hilton updates and E! news
live. We have to be the news wires for this story. Forward this! I don't
want anyone to say down the line "D'oh, I wish I had known about that!!"
Everyone should have the opportunity to at least explore the website
experience but they need to know about it first! (And thanks to Tim for
covering this on the largest scifi site online!)

Welcome to the art of the possible, heroes & friends! Make it contagious!

Storytelling belongs to the people,


Forward this as much as you can.
Please note that I'm not involved with the production beyond being a Wingman
but if you want to email me questions I can try to answer anything I know

"Be the change you want to see in the world." {{ghandi}}

A couple interesting points:

1. Those who watched the video link might have been surprised to see yours truly featured in it. Those who didn't watch it.....are probably going to go do so right now.

2. People are learning about the Artemis Eternal project thanks to Gigi's email. Gigi learned about Artemis Eternal from the Globe & Mail. The Globe & Mail learned about Artemis Eternal from ME. See how this works?

This is about demanding better movies from the studio system....and letting them know that if they don't.....we, the audience, will figure out a way to do it ourselves.

Raised: $40,000.
Remaining: $60,000.

This is the art of the possible. Be a part of history. Get your name in the credits.

And as an aside to you Sudbury folks......Cinefest Sudbury is the 4th largest film festival in Canada.....with sufficient support, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Artemis Eternal team come and enter the film at Cinefest and bring the travelling road tour to Sudbury. It may even be your chance to not only see a great short film on the big screen, but meet a future Academy Award winning filmmaker.

Isn't that worth $1?

Friday, March 28, 2008

AAE - The Story So Far

Can't see the video? Click here, yo.

Monday, February 18, 2008

there is no try

Luke: I can't believe it.
Yoda: That is why you fail.

I want to let you in on a little secret. The big movie studios are afraid of Jessica Stover. Afraid of her and others like her. Those who are in tune with such things know that there is change in the wind. The way that media is conceived, produced and distributed is changing daily. One need only look to iTunes to see an example of this. It used to be you had to listen to the radio, figure out what songs you liked, go out to the store and find the album, buy it, then bring it home to listen to it. Today, with a computer and your index finger, you can preview music and purchase it instantly from your own home. And you need only buy those songs you want. The power is shifting from big business and going instead to the artist and the consumer. If you are a student of history, this shouldn't really come as a surprise.

Bear McCreary, the composer of the music for Battlestar Galactica said it well in his blog entry An Open Letter to the New Patrons:

"For centuries, artists have balanced the need to express themselves creatively with the need to sustain their livelihood. We’re all aware of the cliched starving bohemian artist; its a cliche because its true. But, even successful composers struggle with this balance daily. J.S. Bach’s incredibly influential canon of contrapuntal works were originally composed for weekly church services. Mozart had his royal patron, Emperor Joseph II, and the vast majority of his music was essentially written for pay. Indeed, were he alive today Wolfgang Amadeus would be writing music for film and television to pay the bills. Shostakovich wrote Stalin-approved music for the tyrannical Russian state, literally writing for his life."

Patronage for the arts used to come from the elite of society. They commissioned portraits, musical compositions and funded the theatre. Today, with the advent of the Internet, the power to support artists and their work has been given to all of us. We can give our money to those things which we value, rather than letting the big studios tell us what we want. But as with all power, it can cut both ways. Bear recognizes this as well:

"Unlike the radio and television audiences of the past, our relationship is symbiotic. Like all artist / patron relationships, ours has the potential to be incredibly rewarding for all involved. But, if you download the show illegally, you sacrifice your role in the relationship. You’re no longer a patron of influence, but a spectator from the sidelines, a political pundit who doesn’t vote."

Apathy is easy. It requires nothing. No effort. No money. No action. Unfortunately, what you get as a result is the status quo. If we don't express with our voices and our wallets that which we want, we will continue to get more of the same. Spider-man 3. Rambo. Episodes I through III. American Pie: Stifler Does the Retirement Home.

I opened with a quote from Star Wars because George Lucas is one of the best examples of cinematic storytelling at it's best, and at it's worst. The original trilogy was independant, innovative, and ground-breaking in it's execution. It was idealistic and passionate. George Lucas was Luke Skywalker. By the time the second trilogy came out, though, he had become Darth Vader. The movies were unimaginative, formulaic and cold. It was a stark portrayal of what happens when creativity goes corporate.

Jessica Stover
, and those like her, are trying to bring the magic back, but they can't do it alone. I've mentioned it here before, and I'll do it again, because it is important. Jess is in the pre-production stage of a short film called Artemis Eternal, which she has written. Unfortunately, Jess is not independently wealthy, nor does she have the luxury of investors with very deep pockets. She's just a girl in L.A. struggling to realize a dream. And she wants us to dream with her. To support her. To fund her. For as little as $1, you can buy a film credit, interactivity, and involvement in a film to be proud of.

Now, while I've prattled on about these things, it should be noted that the filmmaker says it much better herself. So, here is what is important.

1. There is a new website for Artemis Eternal. I ask that you go there and check it out. You won't be disappointed. It will not only inspire you, but help you to realize that this isn't some elaborate scheme to part you and your money. This is a real project, that will see real results.

2. On Wednesday at 9:30 EST (6:30 PST), Jess will be appearing on CU@USC which you can watch live on the Internets. She will be sharing the same seat once occupied by George Lucas and Patrick Stewart, and talking about her film projects....and maybe even jump off some stuff. You are encouraged to check it out.

3. Join the Facebook group to support the project. Invite your friends.

4. Donate $1 or more to the project. It may feel like nothing, but every little bit counts.

5. Spread the words. Tell your friends. Blog it. Digg it. Participation is the engine that powers this train.

Saturday, February 16, 2008