"Whizzing and pasting and pooting through the day"

My Photo
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Friday, May 23, 2008

I've Moved!!!

I 've readjusted both where I'm blogging and what I blog about.

I'm now writing about media -- film, television, and techology, what Ken Rutkowski called the MET space (Media, Entertainment, Technology).

You can see me at http://normanhollyn.wordpress.com, called HOLLYN-WOOD.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Kurt Vonnegut dies at 84

Kurt Vonnegut died yesterday (read his obit here), reminding me mightily of my college years.  The obit says that he was "a literary
idol, particularly to students in the 1960s and 1970s" and it's hard to disagree with that.  His short, punchy style, with his wry observations, and strong sense of cynicism, was totally appealing to me and my roommates.  He definitely seemed to have the best sense of what was wrong with the way the country was going, a cynical sense that has proven to be completely correct.  His book, SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE, was made into one of the best filmed adaptations of any book.  And his other books, a combination of journalism and science fiction (a term he always abhorred being used to describe his works -- even though it fit them), mixed with a healthy and rare dose of comedy, propelled him into my pantheon.

I'll miss him, even those his best work was years behind him.

Powered by ScribeFire.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Justin TV

There's a certain kind of ballsy self-assurance to justin.tv.

This is a guy who has strapped a camera to his and wears it 24/7.  Everywhere.  As he puts it:

Justin wears the camera 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Even in the bathroom. Even on a date.

You follow him everywhere. (He just finished a long date, for instance, as I type this, and is walking home.)

It's oddly fascinating -- it makes you hunger for an editor, on one hand, but also appreciate the reality of it all. Give it a shot.

Powered by ScribeFire.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Doing My Part to Save The World

Today in my spam email account (translation - "Yahoo Mail") sent me a Viagra ad. Its subject line alone was worth the look:

Help for every person all over the whole world

Not bad, eh?

Maybe I'll pass.

Powered by ScribeFire.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Twitter Captures Me

It's impossible to explain, even to myself. But I've been captured by this insane little program on my Treo called Twitter, one of the few Web 2.0 sites that don't leave out the "e" at the end of their name.

Let's see if I can explain it. Basically, after signing up, you can post 140 character text messages from your phone or the web. Anyone who is "following" you can see them, either on their phones or the web. What this means, is that you're IM'ing across a growing social network.

People are starting to do all kinds of interesting things, and it's a way that I've met some interesting people. Well, not met exactly. More like "stalked." But I suspect that, unless everyone gets tired by the whole concept, this can explode into a giant social network.

At SxSW people used it to find each other. Other people document their day. I haven't found the best uses for it yet, but I am somewhat captivated.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Filmmaking Is The Same

Spent 13 hours on the set of one of our Jordan Digital Filmmaking Workshop short films yesterday. The ironic thing is that, here in the middle of the Middle East, at the junture of several continents, the process (craziness and all) seems very familiar to what I've experienced on USC Student film sets as well.

Here are a few pictures from the shoot.

Samer (in the yellow shirt) is the director.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The View From The Middle East

I haven't posted in a long time because of how crazy busy I've been. Right now I am in Amman, Jordan teaching with several other teachers, at a workshop for beginning digital filmmakers.

It's very interesting being here as Israeli airstrikes hit Lebanon and Amman receives tons of refugees. I had a conversation yesterday with a Lebanese television producer who has come here because neither she nor her family feel they can stay in Beirut. Normal middle class people, like you and I, are watching their neighborhoods destroyed. Either the bombing isn't accurate or there is a plan to target civilian areas. It's puzzling.

I know that when I was back in LA last week, the news coverage was fairly slanted towards the Israeli side. Luckily, the blogosphere is helpful in showing both sides. If can stomach it, check out this blog entry at itoot.net, which is a blog that culls entries from ten or so other blogs. [ADDED NOTE: This post now seems to have taken down. Perhaps the pictures were too graphic. I've changed the URL to point to the general crisis page at iToot.] Some of the pictures are pretty graphic, but that is precisely the point here. It's easy to turn the pages of the newspaper, or fast forward on our Tivo's when everything is soft-pedaled.

There's also a very personal story from an actress/writer named Najla Said, who writes on Electronic Lebanon about her ordeal in fleeing Lebanon. She contracts it, in a beautiful way, with her father's recent death, and their attraction to their homeland.

The point for me is this -- I have no idea whether this can ever be settled. I'm often convinced by the stories of the people on both sides -- many of whom have no desire or need for war. Most are not political people.

But politcal decisions made at the highest levels of many governments don't care about these people. And, in my discussions here and reading lots of blogs, this is creating anger in Arabs that was not there before. One woman told me that she was a person who demonstrated against Hezbollah for years. Now she is on their side. When you look at pictures like the above, or