Archive for May 2011

24 Hour Film Festival: The Quick And Dirty   1 comment

Knoxville 24-Hour FIlm Festival Logo

The Knoxville 24-Hour Film Festival is about to begin! At 7pm tonight film makers will gather at the Relix Variety Theater to hear the rules, find out the three secret film components that every team must include (a character, a prop, and a line of dialog), and then race off to figure out how the bloody hell they’re going to come up with the props, a script, and a location, all in 24 hours.

FILM FEST RULE #1: Before racing off, take five minutes to formulate a plan of action! Make sure your camera operator knows how to use the camera. And unless you’re shooting a silent film, you’re gonna need to pay attention to your audio quality, too.

If you’re out and about on the streets of Knoxville tonight and you happen to catch some odd guerrilla filming going on, chances are it’s a film fest team. Last year none of the films used the same location: Knoxville has a pretty diverse landscape for shooting all kinds of genres.

FILM FEST RULE #2: Make sure you shoot in non-restricted areas! Keep it legal, kids!

Teams only have 24 hours to complete the scripting, shooting, composing, editing, and finalizing of their film. Most team members will find themselves up all night stressing out, juggling fits of creativity with bouts of zombie-like tiredness. Some teams resort to no-doze or Red Bull to stay awake and in the game. Other teams prefer a drink of the adult persuasion. Hey, whatever gets the job done, right?

FILM FEST RULE #3: Buy craft services for the cast and crew! An army on the move runs best when it’s well fed and watered.

Hopefully when the sun wakes up, most teams will be close to being finished with shooting, or at least half way through, with an end in sight: A good script has a beginning, middle, and end. Each film can only be four-minutes long, MAX. That’s not a very long script, is it. Well, unless you’re going for Gilmore Girl’s-type dialog. #Shudder.

FILM FEST RULE #4: Wrap up shooting QUICKLY! Editing takes longer than you think! You have to factor in time for computer edit crashes, rerendering unrendered clips, fixing audio problems, learning how to use the editing software, and a final quality review.

By 7pm on Saturday, May 28th, hopefully all of this year’s teams will successfully turn in a QuickTime on DVD to the film fest organizers. Last year a few teams didn’t turn in DVDs in time and they got DQ’d. 😦

FILM FEST RULE #5: Turning in something is better than turning in nothing. Unless the film is just really, really bad. #judgementcall.

So there you have it. My quick-and-dirty guide to the 2011 Knoxville 24-Hour Film Festival.

Last year I helped out my buds on team Reply All, who were last year’s winners of the coveted Best Film category (#hatersgonnahate). For their awesome Rhyme Slaya video, I channeled my inner Mariska Hargitay and played a no-nonsense detective. This time around I’m giving up the acting gig and donning my sewing machine, threads, pins, and other random costume supplies in whatever capacity the wardrobe dept. needs me. It should be a fun ride! Mostly I’m just excited because my #mad sewing skillz will not be needed all night long, so I can come home and get some sleep like a normal person.

zOMG, only 14 minutes to go before the film fest starts! May the best team win!

Knoxville is Recycling – You Should Too.   Leave a comment

GREAT NEWS! I just landed a summer internship with Curved Edge Consulting, which is a public relations and marketing firm in Knoxville, TN. I start on June 1st, and I could not possibly be more excited! With this new internship, my graduate assistant position, and my UT campaigns class, I’m going to be pretty busy, but busy is how I do it, so bring it.

One project I’ll be working on with Curved Edge Consulting is helping the City of Knoxville successfully initiate its new and exciting recycling program, Do Your Part With The Cart. The federal government has awarded the City of Knoxville grant money to initiate the project. The first 20,000 people who sign up will receive – no joke – free recycling service at their house! FREE! It’s free! Free like a dancing hippie!

Do Your Part With The Cart!

The only catch is that you must live within the City of Knoxville’s limits, and you can’t live in a huge apartment complex (more than four units). I live in the county, so I can’t sign up 😦 BUT I just called my garbage collection company and they actually provide a recycling pickup service for just over $50 a year. That’s pretty affordable, so I’m gonna do my part and sign up.

Here’s an awesome video that explains the Do Your Part With The Cart project:

The Do Your Part With The Cart campaign will provide signer-upperers with a cute green cart to put all their recyclables in – no need to sort through it all, just lump it all in together, and the recycling picker-upper people will do the rest at their recycling plant! With this recycling project, I am proud to say that Knoxville is heading in a strong, positive direction as a municipality. Do your part – if you live within the City of Knoxville, sign up today! I think I already mentioned it’s a free service, right?

~C

Bridesmaids Is #Winning   1 comment

Last night I went with my gal pal KParks to see the movie Bridesmaids

L-R: Melissa McCarthy, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Ellie Kemper, Kristen Wiig, Maya Rydolph, and Rose Byrne

At first I was excited to go see it just for the fun of having a girl’s night with KParks, but hot damn the movie is great! This movie is not your typical movie about a wedding. and it’s not a rom-com, thank god. It’s well written, funny, and insightful. I’s so…grown up and human and, just, real.  It’s been 12 hours since I stepped outside of the theater and I’m still thinking about it.

Bridesmaids is definitely a chick flick, but guys will totally enjoy it too. Really. There were three dudes sitting in the row in front of us (sans ladyfriends) and they were laughing out loud just as much as everyone else. The only difference was when the sweetheart moment happened at the end, all the women in the theater (definitely the majority) let out a collective “awwwww,” but the three guys were silent. They were probably melting on the inside though.

The protagonist of Bridesmaids, Annie, is played by the always funny Kristen Wiig of SNL fame. Annie is a 30-something realistic gal with relatable life problems. Nothing is going right for her, but with the help of her friends, her mum, and a charming Irish-born cop, she starts to turns her life around. Annie’s story is set to the backdrop of planning a wedding for her best friend Lillian, and hilarity ensues. Oh yeah, did I mention the script is absolutely hilarious? Critics are calling Bridesmaids a female version of The Hangover. While both of these movies are well-written, highly entertaining comedic rides, when you put comedy aspects aside, Bridesmaids offers more in the way of a real story.

Told from the female perspective, Bridesmaids gives its audiences a sense of how women actually talk and work things out between each other, but it never lets you forget you’re there to watch a comedy. It was so refreshing to watch! Throw in an all-star cast of female comedic actors (including one of my fav. Aussie actresses Rose Byrne), Judd Apatow producing, and some shameless dirty humor and you’ve got a winning formula. The soundtrack is fantastic too, with tunes from Smokey Robinson, Fiona Apple, Blondie, and even Ice Cube and Dr Dre’s Natural Born Killaz. SWEET!

Here’s just one of many of my favorite scenes from the movie:

I hope this movie will spur more movies told from the female mindset: A female’s perspective on our social reality has so much to offer in the way of emotional truth and fantastically relatable character dialogue. I’m not saying that movies with a male perspective are not good movies, I’m just saying that now I’ve seen Bridesmaids, I will be expecting more from movies and moviemakers in the future. Here’s the official trailer for Bridesmaids:

If you haven’t seen Bridesmaids yet, don’t wait! Go and see this movie as soon as you can! Get excited! If you’re a lady, make it a girl’s night. If you’re a bloke, find a lady to take, or go with your mates. You’ll love it too!

~C

Aussie Slang Word Of The Day   2 comments

Word: Cozzie

Pronunciation: koz-ee

Meaning: swimsuit. Also known as “togs” or “bathers” depending on where you’re at in Oz.

Usage example: Leave your cozzies at home people, we’re going skinny dipping! Just kidding, please keep your clothes on. Australia is known for many things, and one of those things is surf lifesaving – The Australian Baywatch, but with more exciting coloured cozzies. Surf lifesaving serves a vital role in keeping ocean swimmers safe from (or at least aware of) sharks, jellys, drop bears, rip tides, and so on. The surf lifesavers are typically members of clubs – each club works a different beach area. And each year the clubs compete in a series of high stakes sporting events. These sports include the world-famous Ironman series, Flags, IRB (inflatable rescue boat) racing, and more. Flags is a funny little event that’s designed to test speed and agility (which translates to better lifesaving in the event of a real emergency).

Here’s a video of a flag race – these finely tuned cozzie-wearing athletes compete in a series of elimination heats to secure the flag at the end of the sprint. It’s like musical chairs, but instead of sitting down, the competitors are belly diving into sand. It’s moments like these that you want to make sure you’re wearing a high-quality, gonna-stay-put cozzie covering your bum. Check out 1:59 on this video from 2000 for a tasty, exciting moment (slo-mo replay follows).

And here’s another clip of a women’s flag competition from 2008. This competition is pretty intense – there’s a “run off” at the 3:24 mark: Two of the competitors grab the flag at the same time and the refs can’t decide who yoinked it out of the sand first. My money was on the serious-looking Blue Knickers lady from the Kurrawa club. Who are you betting on winning?

~C

Your Grandma Didn’t Make This   2 comments

Now that I’m enjoying Month-Off-May, I finally have time to finish some projects! Awwwwwwww yeeeeeeeeaaahhhhhhh, PROJECTS!!! One such project is a quilt I’ve been making on and off again for a while now in between grad school and other stuff. Last year my sewing machine broke just before Christmas, so I couldn’t finish it then (major bummer dude), but I got it fixed just in time for spring semester grad school to start. So the quilting was put on hiatus again. Fast forward to this week, and here are the results!

This quilt is for my aunt and uncle in the U.K. A couple of years ago I was at the Knoxville quilt expo and found some awesome retro 1970s-inspired fabric. As much as I wanted to keep the fabric perfectly folded up so I could just look at it, I figured it would look even better in a quilt…..enter the Moonlight Forest….

….The quilt is machine quilted except for the outside hem. It’s blanket-sized and I made up the design as I went along (that’s code for I-didn’t-measure-some-of-the-quilt-blocks-properly,-so-half-way-through-I-had-to-cut-extra-bits-to-make-everything-fit). Some might call my technique sloppy, but I call it “charming”. I was also pretty bad at maths in high school, AND I grew up with the metric system, so living in America and dealing with this inches and yards thing is like trying to read Shakespeare quickly and accurately at the same time. It’s so confusing sometimes, I just want to cry. That’s why I always quilt with a glass of wine within arm’s reach. We’ve talked about priorities before, haven’t we?

Anyway, hope y’all enjoy the pics!

~C

Posted May 11, 2011 by Elfawin in Random

Tagged with , ,

Chompers   2 comments

This story is incredible. The Daily, a news source created in February, 2011 for tablet devices, recently published an article on military service dogs, titled Hound to Death. It’s a particularly well-timed story, because there was at least one military dog with the Navy SEAL squad that took out Osama bin Laden on May 1st, 2011.

Service dog retrofitted with titanium canine teeth

These dogs are retrofitted with titanium canine teeth (think about that next time you’re being chased down the street by Sparky), which increases their chompability on targets like Bin Laden. I read another article from The Telegraph about U.S. police dogs that discussed how expensive each titanium tooth is ($600 to $2,000). If a dog has deteriorating teeth, but is already a highly trained military service dog, it makes sense to retrofit the canine with new titanium teeth – it’s far less expensive than having to fully train another dog. Plus, for years now, humans have been receiving similar titanium screws and porcelain crowns during regular dental procedures. I am a huge dog lover and I care about animal rights, and I think these titanium teeth are pretty awesome. It’s like giving a dog supercanine powers! You guys might not agree with me, so feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.

Unlike humans, the need to cover a dog’s titanium tooth implant with an aesthetically pleasing porcelain crown is pretty much nonexistent. These dogs could give a rat’s ass about winning Best In Show at the Westminster Kennel Club’s annual woof woof. No. These dogs are trained to wear oxygen masks and jump out of helicopters. These dogs want to work, they enjoy their work, and they’re good outstanding at the tasks they do for their squads or units. It’s insane how highly trained and sociable they are. Read The Daily article above and see what I mean. It has great photos too.

~C

5 Great Links for LB – Final Edition   Leave a comment

This will be my 13th list of links for LB, and I think it’s going to be the last. *Loud sobbing heard from the peanut gallery*

But I don’t want to leave y’all hanging with nothing to do on future Mondays! That wouldn’t be cool. So instead of using my links to browse the many interesting, weird, and off-beat crevices of the Internet, I give you the tool to do it yourself: StumbleUpon. Interested to know how it works? Here’s a great blog post by Carrie Actually that explains how to make the most of what StumbleUpon has to offer (I promise I’m not getting lazy, this article is just a really good write up!).

Here’s one last link I found today while browsing Reddit, which I thought you all might enjoy. How big is your limbal ring? – This article made me rush to the bathroom mirror and look deeply into my own eyes. True story.

~C

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