Jan 26, 2010

Poorly adapted movies suck

I get a little antsy when i see "Now a Major Motion Picture" on a book cover. or "Based on the Book..." on a movie poster. sometimes things get lost in translation between book and movie. I get it, different medium, time constraint, blah blah blah. There have been some outstanding adaptations. Peter Jackson did a wonderful job with Tolkien (despite having to skip over a few bits of the book). As a movie, Under the Tuscan Sun had a plot which the memoir lacked. And Ridley Scott and company did a fantastic job with Black Hawk Down.

But i'm taking issue with Clint the man Eastwood's Invictus. If you get the chance, read the book by John Carlin. Short read, packed with information and insight. Understanding the movie was centered around the game and not the historic lead-up, i was surprised to find a few big parts of the movie lacking.

WARNING: spoilers.

First, when the players are told they have to learn the second national anthem, "Nkosi Sikelele" the guys, according to Carlin, take to it. The players recognized the political importance of learning the anthem representing the black South Africans. Not only that, they've been receiving support from black South Africans and saw this as an opportunity to give back. It's an emotional moment in the book when the team learns and practices the song. In the movie, it warrants hardly a minute and the players are against the idea of singing it. C'mon now.

Secondly, the fly-over before the championship game, yeah, it was planned.

Thirdly, the Nel-son chant didn't get enough love. Carlin spent some time in the book with how it effected everyone from the bodyguard to Pienaar, the Boks captain. the way carlin described it was the country's biggest unifying act. and it just got glazed over. what the hell?!

the movie was great though, as usual, eastwood's fantastic. morgan freeman was perfect as mandela. and matt damon's always fun to watch. the scene where the Boks visit Mandela's prison cell was so well done. the rugby action was cool, especially if you're like me and not overly knowledgeable about the game. it really was a very good movie. entertaining with powerhouse performances amid a historic backdrop. not as faithful to the book as i'd like, but still worth the ticket price. be aware though, its not the full story.

Jan 19, 2010

Landscapes of Literature

Two years ago, I took a film photography class as an elective. The final project was landscape. I decided to use books. Here are the final prints.

Found these in a bout of winter cleaning. Thought Barefoote may be a nice place for them to hang out.

Jan 17, 2010

Long Road

its a long road. long road to become a half-decent photographer. longer still to becoming a good news photographer. don't believe me? take just one news photo class.
that buzzing you hear is my head spinning. i was fortunate enough to sit in one a one day seminar for news photography in new york. the professor was john smock.

some of his work.

(yeah, he's pretty good.)

interestingly, smock started out as a reporter before going full time photog. and he was able to use the skills from reporting and working a beat in photography.

smock mentioned how different photography and journalism is than when he first started. and while the current professionals have had to adapt faster than any previous generation, the industry has always been in flux. which makes sense. as an industry that seeks to most accurately represent and report on the current times, its logical to assume that business would have to change and adapt as the people do.

one big way people (specifically news consumers) have changed is how visually literate we are now. i'd imagine it has something to do with the influx of images we get from the time we get up to the time we go to bed. so the challenge is creating an interesting image that'll grab someone's attention for three seconds.

smock went into some of the technical bits about the camera. having taken a film photography class (to varying levels of success) i have some idea of the shutter speed/iso puzzle. that being said, my beginner's grasp of it means jack squat if i dont know how to set the iso on the camera. with that under control, next step is the 'chimping'. that's photog speak for checking the images on the camera. (because the elbows-in, head-down pose resembles a chimp. get it?)

in addition to tips on what editors look for, taking the best picture, and the components of an audio slideshow, smock gave us words of encouragement. editors, he said, are looking for young people who can think in visuals and have the skills to produce those ideas.

its a long road, but worth it.