Saturday, August 30, 2008

Martina's Boy

The news/docu account of Mongolia's street children that Martina R shot is online. And her intervention in one boy's live is only starting to change a young life. Baaska's hardscrabble/Dickensian beginnings touched the cinematographer profoundly. She returned to Mongolia with enough money to buy Baaska a yurt, some furniture and a few farm animals. Along with the aid of local social workers and a caring police chief, Baaska is now with a family of farmers willing to apprentice the young man. He's a talented artist with pen and chickens who has been given a chance at a better life.
And now a half a world away, this unlikely pair of New York filmmaker and Mongolian teenager exchange letters and plan of their next meetings.

Check out the entire story of Martina's journey on her blog here. And learn more how you can help other street children like Baaska.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Gustav Vs the RNC

"Obviously, a hurricane hitting the Gulf Coast would be a stark reminder of the Bush Administration's failed response to Katrina just as Republicans are trying to turn the page and to get voters thinking about Sen. John McCain.

Already, Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, who is scheduled to speak at next week's convention said he won't attend if his state is under attack from Gustav. Other Republican officals from the Gulf Coast region may have to make similar declarations."
Read more here

Salon continues:
"All those "drill here, drill now, pay less" Republican offshore zombies might be wise to cross their fingers and pray that the Gulf of Mexico's offshore platforms weather the storm unscathed."

And the New York Times explores the karmic possibilities.
"... the storm could disrupt Mr. Bush’s presentation — and bring back memories of Hurricane Katrina’s lethal impact on New Orleans. Talk about going off message."
"We must say, though, that we like the idea that as the Bush administration comes to an end, nature is forcing the President and the Republican National Committee to think back to the horrifically bungled response to Katrina — one of the worst part-natural, part-man-made disasters in American History."

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Long Island Mansion

Yesterday we were shooting a laxative commercial at a spectacular mansion on Long Island owned by a toothpaste heiress. Sculptured yard, impressive portico, and a stunning fountain/pool. It really was a slice of the french countryside in America.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Chitty Chitty For Real

I was looking the other day on my favorite Bond site MI6 and saw a literary piece on the making of Ian Fleming's "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang".
Nouveau riche Count Louis Zborowski wished to drive a team car for Mercedes post World War One. The original singular Chitty Bang Bang was forged from an old Mercedes chassis and an airplane engine. While he raced this car and won two races at Brooklands, he next created the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang that we know today. There were three Chitty's in all.
But it wasn't until Ian Fleming saw the renovated Chitty in the early sixties that the magical "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" came into being.

Friday, August 22, 2008


Love this graphic that has started to pop up now that John McCain can't remember how many houses he has........

Dora Goes Down

We went to a birthday party for a friend's daughter last weekend. The highlight of the day came when Dora the Explorer got her comeuppance from the kids with the big stick. Her innards were throughly ransacked of any goodies and then her carcass discarded.......

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Hospital Dog

Last sunday morning, Seven was taken to the hospital with some severe stomach discomfort. It seems that the worst part of a raw food diet had finally manifested itself. After three years of being fed the raw food diet, Seven got a bad piece of chicken. His intestines blew up like balloons. Fortunately, the gas dissipated and we were able to bring him home the next day.
36 hours later, the dog began seizuring again. At 4:30am we got a frantic call from Seven's grandparents that he had just had a Grand Mal. By the time we arrived, he had had another. So he has had to spend another night @ Animal Specialty Group in Glendale. They take very good and thorough care of the dog. I just wish they did not cost so much. It's like being at a real hospital..... an X ray costs 140% more than our normal vet charges. $36 for his daily medicines which on the outside world would buy 2 months worth. There's always a bit of sticker shock when we pick him up after an incident.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


I thought this was an interesting graphic from the Boston Globe. They analyzed the word count on each candidate's website. Seems that McCain is obsessed with Obama........

Friday, August 15, 2008

Josephine Baker, OSS Agent

On a day that reported the Julia Child worked for the OSS during WW2, quieter reporting revealed that her compatriots included Arthur Schlesinger, Sterling Hayden and Josephine Baker. I looked up Baker today and found an amazing biography. Surely one that deserves a big screen treatment. Moving from a broken family to Parisian sensation with a a "pet cheetah Chiquita, who was adorned with a diamond collar. The cheetah frequently escaped into the orchestra pit, where it terrorized the musicians, adding another element of excitement to the show."

Her manager was a "Sicilian stonemason who passed himself off as an Italian count".

For services to the underground in WW2 France, "Baker was awarded the Croix de Guerre and the L├ęgion d'Honneur by General Charles de Gaulle, and also the Rosette of the R├ęsistance."

And she always seemed to have something to say about everything....... including:

"Beautiful? It's all a question of luck. I was born with good legs. As for the rest... beautiful, no. Amusing, yes."

"It [the Eiffel Tower] looked very different from the Statue of Liberty, but what did that matter? What was the good of having the statue without the liberty?"

"Until the March on Washington, I always had this little feeling in my stomach. I was always afraid. I couldn't meet white American people. I didn't want to be around them. But now that little gnawing feeling is gone. For the first time in my life I feel free. I know that everything is right now."

Read more here and visit her official website here.

  • The Office of Strategic Services alumni runs a website here.
  • Thursday, August 14, 2008

    Charles Haertling

    A pioneer in organic architecture, Charles Haertling worked in the Boulder Colorado area creating futuristic and bold housing. My favorite is his Brenton house. Cloud-like and made of polyurethane foam, the home either elicits the look of a mushroom patch or a cluster of barnacles. What do you think?
    The house was made cinematically famous in Woody Allen's film "Sleeper".

    Monday, August 11, 2008

    Weekend Dog

    Run Seven, run!

    Sunday, August 10, 2008

    Larry Charles

    Just seeing online that Larry Charles is doing a docu-flick with Bill Maher. Larry was the director on the Bruno film I worked on early this year. I never worked for a nicer director and even better.... more prepared. He always knew what he was getting us into and with an excellent assistant director, never put anyone in harm's way. His eccentric look and ultra calm manner always put our "marks" at ease. Super nice guy with a super nice production team and crew.

    Saturday, August 09, 2008

    Paul Krugman

    A great editorial yesterday. Read the whole thing here.

    "And the debate on energy policy has helped me find the words for something I’ve been thinking about for a while. Republicans, once hailed as the “party of ideas,” have become the party of stupid.

    Now, I don’t mean that G.O.P. politicians are, on average, any dumber than their Democratic counterparts. And I certainly don’t mean to question the often frightening smarts of Republican political operatives.

    What I mean, instead, is that know-nothingism — the insistence that there are simple, brute-force, instant-gratification answers to every problem, and that there’s something effeminate and weak about anyone who suggests otherwise — has become the core of Republican policy and political strategy. The party’s de facto slogan has become: “Real men don’t think things through.”

    "Let’s also not forget that for years President Bush was the center of a cult of personality that lionized him as a real-world Forrest Gump, a simple man who prevails through his gut instincts and moral superiority. “Mr. Bush is the triumph of the seemingly average American man,” declared Peggy Noonan, writing in The Wall Street Journal in 2004. “He’s not an intellectual. Intellectuals start all the trouble in the world.”

    It wasn’t until Hurricane Katrina — when the heckuva job done by the man of whom Ms. Noonan said, “if there’s a fire on the block, he’ll run out and help” revealed the true costs of obliviousness — that the cult began to fade."

    Friday, August 08, 2008

    Obama Art pt.2

    Opening tonight in Hollywood @ HVW8 Gallery will be a collection of local artists specifically inspired by Barack Obama. See you there.

    Thursday, August 07, 2008

    Obama Art

    I was surfing around trying to find the new Superman/Obama print by Alex Ross when I came across this site...... The Obama Art Report. A blog that covers all the artistic endeavors in and out of the campaign. Take a look.
    As far as the Alex Ross print...... only a few were made and there is already steep markups for the ones on eBay. Maybe I'll just buy the t Shirt.