Quick hits for June 16

I’ve had this sitting open in a web browser for a few days now, via a link from the author on Twitter, and I finally got around to reading it today.


One of the tips on understanding inspiration is to “be a better recorder.” Make notes of the events that surround you every day, and keep them in a format where you can call on them later. I have tried a variety of things to be a better recorder – carrying around pens and notebooks, etc., to the point that my laptop bag now contains a laptop, an iPad, my iPod Touch, a digital camera, around a half dozen small pocket memo books (like Field Notes and a Moleskine), an 8.5×11 notebook and a drawing portfolio containing 24 Derwent pencils and a 9×12 sketchbook. Nothing has stuck, but I intend to keep trying.

I went and saw “The A-Team” last night; it was stupid and ridiculous and totally fun. I really enjoyed it. My only gripes – Jessica Biel is useless in any role that requires her to speak, and directors need to learn that, when filming an action scene, I would rather be able to see the action than feel like I’m right in the middle of it. I want to see BA slide behind the crate, not watch his boot slide blurrily past my face because you laid the camera on the ground eight inches away from where he is supposed to hit his mark. Can’t follow the action, can’t tell what the hell is going on, and as a result can’t get involved in the story.

But, as a result of the crappy shootout scenes in “The A-Team,” I went to YouTube to watch the street battle from “Heat” again. This is just movie gunfight perfection — the scene has depth and the action is layered; there’s orderly movement and progressive use of cover; there is a combination of closeups to capture the emotion of the participants and to focus on weapon fire and weapon damage, but they are interspersed among deep, narrow shots to accurately and clearly capture the scope of the entire fight. This is a huge, complicated scene, but it’s constructed in such a way that you’re both watching it unfold from a distance and deeply engrossed in the action at the same time. It’s really amazing. In fact, you should watch it right now.

Andy Bartlett

By day, I am the executive director of communications and marketing at Bemidji State University. The rest of the time, I'm a husband, father of three, and proponent of super heroes, lasers, space ships and explosions.

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