Documentary Editing

I am preparing to edit my first documentary- taking a few days off from work so I can have a long weekend.

However I have erred a little on the side of overambition in this case; shooting over 50 hours of footage for what I intend to be a 1 hour piece, or at most 90 minutes.

So how do I sift through all these interviews? The action parts are easy to edit; I can watch them at ten times the speed and mark them and sample in big batches. But the interviews? I am going to have to take notes on all of them and then fit them into my outline.


I was reading an analysis of The Invisibles and they mentioned a common experience reported by DMT users- a globular alien presence from outside reality tries to teach you a new language.

Very interesting.
Web link of note: DMT

Collard Greens

When I was young, I associated collard greens with colanders. But not the coliseum. I’m assuming it’s because of the word similarity. Or maybe I saw them on TV in a colander?

Oddly enough, I’ve eaten tons of crazy things most people have never heard of and some things many don’t consider food, yet I’ve still never had collard greens. Insane.

Near Me

Sega-produced robotic cat.

Note the slick marketing: the name “near me” is more precisely “NYA- MI” (ニャーミ). You might translate this to be “meow-me” (the noise a cat makes is “nya nya”).

On a related note, the Pokemon character “Meowth” is “NYASU” in Japan. How about that.
Web link of note: Near Me

Transformers Video


It’s a music video of Soundwave the Decepticon, breakdancing with one of his little cassette buddies.

I wonder how hard it would be to make a Soundwave which actually plays real mini tapes, and would still transform? Or the little cassette guys which would actually play as real tapes on Soundwave or any other mini-tape player?

Maybe we could “cheat” and use flash memory to simulate a moving tape on the head of the player?
Web link of note: Transformers Video

Bring Me the Head of David Mamet

I just saw State and Main.

What a painful plodding piece of sewage that was. Goddamn.

The acting was incredibly bad,
the writing was painfully trite and full of bizarre cliches from Mamet’s diseased version of a rural Vermont that cannot possibly exist.
Plus it has Rebecca Pidgeon doing a reprise of her role in The Spanish Prisoner, a movie in which her performance wasn’t nearly as painful
but also made me want to find her and pull her head off with construction equipment.

Also, Mamet should be ashamed of his slipshod work as a director,
because there are crazy problems with basic elements in a number of scenes.

Example: The judge at the end puts on a silly golf cap and says he is going to play golf. They are indoors, so presumably he is on his way to a nearby course. Except, while he says this, he grabs a club out of a bag someone is carrying for him. This is a small town and the judge has someone carrying his clubs on the way to the course. And he is apparently going to walk/drive there holding this one driver while someone else carries the rest of the clubs. What the fuck? Could Mamet never have met someone who plays golf?! He’s a director/screenwriter! There is no possible way!

Another example: A major plot point concerns itself with a fancy dinner at the mayor’s house. William H Macy‘s character writes it down on the production whiteboard, in red ink, on Tuesday the 12th, to be precise. In a wacky zany misunderstanding, a Production Assistant accidentally wipes it off… and then rewrites it in the wrong place (in green), causing them to miss the dinner and thus insult the mayor…

Or rather, that is what would have happened if the director was paying attention to his own script. Because what we see actually happens is the PA writes it back in the proper place, Tuesday the 12th. Later we see it is somehow rewritten on Wednesday the 13th, with the 12th having a smudge of the original red ink message on it. Except in the previous shot we also saw her wipe the board clean of red ink. This is just lame- the director WROTE THE SCRIPT. How could he miss something like this? And then could they have reshot a closeup of a whiteboard, with someone writing the appointment in the proper (wrong) place?

Okay one more- they are shooting in Vermont. They were previously in New Hampshire. At one point they ship the star’s weights there because he needs to work out. Vermont is not that big. Vermont isn’t like California, where it will take you all day to even get to the border of the next state, and another half day to get to a city in that state. Look at a map: nowhere in Vermont is so isolated you cannot drive to a larger city and buy something and drive back. They could have driven to the old set and picked up whatever, or bought anything they needed in a nearby city. If you had to drive to Boston (which is in Massachusetts, genius) and back, it wouldn’t even take all day. Maybe you could even drive to New York City, or to Philadelphia, all of which are giant cities.

These errors are just careless.

I guess it says something that the only character I could stand in this movie was the entertainment lawyer, “Marty,” since he’s the only person to be taken seriously on the production.

Blendy: A Brief Study in Package Design

This is a wrapper from a Japanese iced coffee, “Blendy.” This stuff is great but what makes it interesting is the packaging.

First of all, notice it’s in a clear plastic bottle, like a bottled water. Sort of looks like someone poured their coffee and milk into an empty Evian bottle, doesn’t it? But, since it’s Japanese, it is actually meticulously designed and packaged.

The bottle is wrapped in a form-fitting sheath of plastic. The bottle is square, and so is the wrapper- the wrapper’s pattern has four panels, two of which are the “splash” – the product’s name and marketing assets. The other two are nutritional and company information.

Look at the perforated holes along the side- what are they for? I have two theories.

The first is the most obvious- it’s to make the “tear away” strip to let you peel off the wrapper easily. But why? Will this make the bottle somehow easier to recycle? Why wouldn’t we leave the wrapper on? What is this strip for?

My other theory- the holes also fulfill a structural purpose: the wrapper is apparently printed on a flat roll, and sealed to form a loop. The ends of the loop are joined between the perforations. When the wrapper is heated to shrink it to match the bottle, the perforations help shrink it uniformly- look at the uneven shapes of the perforations: the holes near the flat parts of the bottle are still round. The holes on the corners where there has been more shrinkage they are oblong. Does this make the rest of the label deform less? If so, it might be to protect the image printed on the wrapper!

I had intended to scan in the label after I peeled it off… however since the aforementioned shrinkage had made the wrapper the exact shape of the bottle, it would not lie flat. No scan for you.

So, I will type in the poem/motto here. Incidentally, the Japanese says “(hi)kitate KAFEORE” which is “ground CAFE AU LAIT.”


Cafe au lait

Blendy, carefully roasted
from only selected coffee
beans with its rich
aroma and mellow taste,
will truly enhance
your relaxation moments.