We Interrupt this blog… Part 1

We interrupt(ed) this blog to have holidays and focus a bit on some big big family projects. Since this is exactly what the SF Daddy blog is about, it’s a bit out of place to ignore it and not share but there you go. Sometimes, you just go with it. 

This is the first project that interrupted our flow will my blogging pals. Perhaps we’re back for a while. We’ll just hope so and leave it there.

What did we do? Go back to November. While I was working on my novel for NaNoWriMo, we started an a school project for Red1 on Jim Henson.

It turns out that she wanted to write a paper and make a video. I’m a fultime video editor for a cable network, so this is right in my ballpark. I coached her in how to write up her script and make notes for when she’s on camera. We did this very low tech of course, but the results were very fun. We started reviewing available clips from YouTube to make the selection process simple.

I called The Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta and asked if we could have permission to video tape some of the exhibits and Red1 in the space for the project and they were very hospitable. We made an appointment and off we went.

It pains me as a professional to show up with a home camera, no lights, or a microphone, but as I said, we’re going low tech. I let her call the shots and with only a few nudges of direction, she did a pretty good job. We are talking forth grade, but this fourth grader is like no other.

When we got home we started looking at all the footage and she pieced the video together with iMovie herself, which is no small feat. This is a repeat performance. Last year we also did a similar project on King Tut, but that’s a story for another time.

Enjoy a slice of what a 9-year-old in 2010 finds interesting in Jim Henson’s body of work. We think we may go back at some point to fix some sound and get better quality clips. A lot of the clips we not supplied by The Jim Henson Company and look like they came from old VHS copies of programs.

Wow, she just asked what’s VHS.

It’s not really a robot, sucker.

Petticoat JunctionImage via Wikipedia

November was a funky month for me. I was making great strides with a novel for the NaNoWriMo, where you chunk out a 50,000 word novel in 30 days with a few thousand of your pals, but about half way through the month I became a little encumbered by some medical issues and couldn’t finish.

I learned a lot though and my family loves the story. They helped me by inspiring the characters. It’s a story about us in the future. It’s what we’d like to see happen next year if we could just up and “Green Acres” ourselves to the country, but 60 years in the future. What would Eddie Albert or Ava Gabor do in 2076? It turns out that my story ends up reading like Forrest Gump meets Petticoat Junction. Dunno if anyone other than Red1 will think that’s funny or remotely interesting.

Fortunately, we discovered that Green Acres is playing over at Hulu:

The other thing I learned is that advertising can be cruel. I really wanted the coffee pouring robot shown in the ad below. Maybe he’ll make an appearance in the book.

Enhanced by Zemanta

D23 Expo: The Search for Harry Potter Part 7 of 6

Image by bluemoose via Flickr

This series of posts began as a hunt for peaks inside The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Harry’s adventure ride through the books that opened this summer. We’re all pretty big fans of the kid.

We’ve been waiting for the theme park to open up patiently at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure and began our searching through blogs for pictures of the construction.

We found slews of news stories to tease us of possible equipment to be included in the ride. Sounds like this roboarm or Strong Arm, actually did win out in the end.

As launch approached and the fanfare started, we tried to find clips of what the park looked like from the inside! The numbers grew really fast. Walk throughs of the shops and long loving looks at window displays, but we wanted to see the good stuff. We were looking for the big ride.

Even on opening day it took the bloggers a while to get the ‘ride through’ clips posted. We had already seen a few videos of the que. The line show where you walk the grounds of Hogwarts, explore the halls, chat with the paintings, get the ride story from visions of the characters themselves, but it took another day or so to see the videos from inside the ride itself.

We’d been enjoying video clips of rides at other parks. Sharing stories of the evolution of the Jaws ride at Universal Studios. (The first year it opened, the boat skipper blew the shark up into big bloody-looking pink floating chunks of shark meat. It was closed up pretty quickly.) There are so many good stories. The girls like hearing about the rides that have closed too.

Photo of the Back to the Future studio car. Th...Image via Wikipedia

The Back to the Future ride was the best. It was so revolutionary in its day. One of the first “flying car” rides inside an IMAX((?)) theater. When it opened up the parks were going through a great transformation of ride technology and LINE deception. As a perpetual patron, I really appreciated the “pre-show” line entertainment. Even the very simple solutions of TV sets running cartoons and the addition of actual fans to cool you off.

But I must get back to the thread…  We were searching for the clips that showed the inside of the ride itself. After finally finding it I was terribly disappointed. NOT in the ride, but in the ability of the riders to be able to capture the ride on video. They couldn’t! It was too dark. Too fast. Too much for the little cameras to capture it all. It was even almost too much for the microphones to handle.

This is the clip we finally saw that freaked everyone out a bit. It’s a spoiler so don’t click on it if you want to stay in the dark. (Which is kind of a joke, because half of it IS just blackness!)

What I learned was that perhaps the little ones need a little more time to age before we embark to Hogwarts. I’d hte to get them there and not feel comfortable letting them ride the Big Ride. What a let down that would be. But, man, I can’t wait. And after a year or so, they’ll have some of the bugs (not the good ones, they promise) worked out. Getting stuck on this one seems like it would be a blast too.

Looking forward to the day we get to go. This explains how we got ourselves distracted and started enjoying the D23 clips. The anticipation may be more fun than some of the rides and places themselves. The dreams of princesses and dragons will have to do. We have the books. And all the other books with no rides and theme parks.

I think we’ll be fine as we wait.

To read all of the posts in this series, click on the keyword “wonder”. I reserved that word for this series. Enjoy!

[Link to the Harry Potter wiki for more details.]

Enhanced by Zemanta