Sunday, June 14, 2009

435. "The Curious Case of Lobster Trap Escape Ports" First Film Vic Made on Her Own in Two Years!!!



Well, well, well... some people have become... desperate, including myself.... My head is currently spinning right now... still... but what can I do but recap a chronological timeline of this past week? I haven't written a blog in a while, but I have been deep in my head... writing... and doing art.... So, what exactly happened is that two years ago, I barely made the cut of creating the introduction of a "World's Easiest Catch: Zen of Rock Crab" Film, which ultimately has a lot of baggage I have been carrying around. First of all, it's a controversial film, because I the film-maker am in it. Some people like it's existentialist eco-poetic properties but other people were pissed off that I was self-indulgent rather than focusing on the fishermen. Despite all the problems--like the acquisition of absolutely horrible audio, and the unfinished condition of the film, World's Easiest Catch was the notable student film at the Santa Barbara Ocean Film Festival in October of 2007. I had a fallout with one of my profs in concern of a grade of the film, and it turned out that the misunderstanding was not between me and the prof, but between me, the prof, and a backstabbing third-party student who miscommunicated my message to the prof. It was a very strange time that I had been suppressing in my psyche for a VERY long time, but somehow this so called notion of "love" can repair nearly all wounds and wipe history to a blank slate--October 17, 2005, to be exact. This film made it to be October 17, 2005 or 18th? Wait. There's Question Reality (Sept 15-October 15), Poetry Collection (October 16), Catch Share (October 17), and now The Curious Case (October 18). Great! Today, is October 18, 2005. My inner universe is slowly manifesting outwardly. Another suppressed aspect of World's Easiest Catch is that I felt I disappointed the entire fishing community of Santa Barbara. I have been hiding and feeling like a jerk for two years. I feel thankful that I was even hired as note-taker for the fisheries/FIN/MLPA process! Apparently, not all fishermen in Santa Barbara hated me. Or maybe in the end, I hated myself. After this current experience I am about to describe, I came to realize that (1) I collected BAD AUDIO all summer and (2) I overshot my capacities of what I can do as an INDIVIDUAL INDEPENDENT FILMMAKER. I cannot edit over 25 hours of tape, unless if I want to make myself go crazy. Another issue, is that I had to divorce my own existentialististic overly philosophical foo foo mind from the practical world outside. I was imposing too much of myself upon the realities of other people in World's Easiest Catch. Now, I am deeply in my head, I can divorce my esoteric self from the world outside through my dualist life of writing/art and film-making for other people. The list goes on... but it's okay, this is a blog! I am allowed to ramble, right?

Anyhoo, I was at some kind of ultimate philosophical low last Sunday (June 7, 2009), I had just spent about 3 weeks sitting in front of a computer, writing some very heavy stuff... from "A Graduation from Religion" to "Catch Share" to currently working on "The Mountain's Last Flower." I spoke with Barry Spacks in the morning before the graduation and he did a major surgery on how I should approach my scientist character. I just came out of the CCS graduation with a wonderful quote, "Join your community, but make sure the price of admission is your individualism." I called Bub, and I was just aching all over my body. I was anticipating of swimmng that day to loosen myself up. I needed to change my lifestyle, because the life of exclusive writing and art can be very agonizing physically for an active person who wants to be outdoors as well. So, I was feeling depressed, talking to my dad in the car, and then suddenly, out of the blue Sam Shrout calls me. Sam is one of my main characters of the rock crab film. He's one of the most respected fishermen in Santa Barbara; not only he works hard, but he is very intelligent, and knows how to use his resources, including me :-). He's like, *hey Victoria how's it going, how's life? and I stuttered oh things are fine, I think my advisors are starting to trust my pathway to life and ya, things are slow... stutter stutter rock crab film on back burner... * and then Sam patiently interjects, *hey Victoria what are you doing RIGHT NOW?* *Huh? like nothing. why?* and then Sam just belches out to me in incoherence something about some law with lobster traps and escape ports and short lobsters and I had no flippin' clue what he said except for the part where he said "And I can be the director and you can be the camera girl and editor." And I said AUTOMATICALLY and in complete spirit of SPONTANEITY "Okay, COOL! I'll do it!" Sam caught me at the best of times. I know it was an automatic response, but Sam and Cherie were expecting some rock crab film footage, and besides they bought me sushi 2 or 3 times two summers ago, so I kind of owe them... quite a bit. In fact, when Sam said, "Hey Victoria, I owe you something." And I said, "Redemption." He asked, "For what?" And I said, "For not finishing the rock crab film." He laughed. For completing this film, I needed redemption. I needed to earn RESPECT from a fisherman, from a fishing community. And I needed to earn TRUST. REDEMPTION. RESPECT. And TRUST. Those three things I was after, and you can't place a dollar value on that. Money comes later. And a boat ride to the islands. I'll push for a boat ride, for sure! I also felt like an Environmental Media Initiative Exile, because I wasn't producing anything I was proud of. I had also been frustrated because EMI seemed to have become a "talking affair," and as one fisherman stated, "Those who talk the most, produce the least." I was actually getting depressed being surrounded by a bunch of talkers, and over time, I surrounded myself with the more elusive community of creators, producers. Very few friends I have now, you see. So I was tired of being an exile, and I wanted to show people something I was proud of. Thanks to Barry Spacks, he made me swear an oath, "No explanations. No excuses." It pertained to our up and coming slacker generation of pampered frosh undergrads, but I learned how to apply this to my life. Stop thinking. Stop talking. Just do it. By the time Sam Shrout called me, I was in a super-duper-just-do-it-mode. Sam told me to call in an hour because he had to do some research before he made this film.

I had to break the ice with several issues. My Sony semi-professional camera had been collecting dust and I had to reacquaint myself with my dormant body parts in the garage, let alone brain neurology that couples with the organs. Another thing is that I had to break the ice with all the film equipment that I purchased the year before so I could technologically and mentally divorce myself from the environmental media equipment at UCSB. If I had my own equipment, I could own my brain to myself and I would have to deal with a LOT LESS PEOPLE than what I had to deal with back in summer of 2007. My credits are very simplified now: Me as the the camera and editor girl, and the actors in the front. Thank your family and who ever inspired you for the film. The Rock Crab film credits were WAY TOO LONG because simply it was a training wheel film. Now? I'm off on my own. Whew. Dropping lots of people baggage.

I know this is a bit of a "side track" issue, but I went to the Blue Horizons screening for summer of 2008 and was pissed off to find out that two groups essentially copycated my film style and technique for going into the grocery store and placing your camera in a shopping cart. Those dweebs! Don't copy me! Get your own flipping style! Sheep! Mimicry! I hate sheep! If you're over 20 years old, you have to stop being a SHEEP! Well, I really liked the snowy plover spoof. Some character who was kind of like Grizzly Man, who wore hot pink shorts and defended the snowy plovers. I loved it, and it had this envirochondriac streak to it. It was actually my favorite film, but it turned out that this "Sea Urchin Diver" film was the hit of the year--they had underwater camera housing, UNFAIR! I didn't have that! I think was the prof's favorite group. I thought the film was VERY slow and had not much content to it. The urchin fisherman would say something, and then there would be this long pause and this audio soundtrack music that I detested. The film reminded me of the PBS Nova Special (which can be a good thing) but was ultimately 5 minutes of information in 50 minutes of film. But imagine, this film was maybe 8 minutes. So, let's just say it was 40 seconds of information spread out to 8 minutes of film. I'm not even sure the ratio's right. I HATE that type of film, but that's my personal opinion. I am anti-industry standard. So for me, as a political science professor stated, my film style is Michel Gondry ecopoetic metaphorical abstract foo foo that somehow relates to everyone's construction of reality. I am 7 minutes of film with 7 minutes of content, which has so many layers--like the whole onion-peeling deal--that you have to watch the film several times to dissect and tune into all the layers. As another person said, my blog is like eating a "dense piece of European bread." I intend for the same of my films. My own standards are very anti-norm, and because of that I'm pretty much in my own alternative universe and desire to operate as an independent... for now... and slowly accrue my few allies.

So, that was a lot of baggage and backstory. Over the last two years, I have acquired a deep, gestalt affair with fishermen in general, primarily through the MLPA process. Their FIN proposal, external proposal A, received the MOST VOTES from all the RSG stakeholders for the southcoast process. And to say that I was a part of that process, of watching and recording all the fishermen put their heads together and construct a very highly desirable proposal, it just tickles my funnybone! I have met some of the most independent, real-world, intelligent, people-savvy, humorous individuals in my life! I am absolutely humblified. And to make matters even more ironic, fishermen have been receiving bad rap in the university and in the public due to issues of overfishing, but I have found ironies myself in terms of how scientists and fishermen operate. One major issue is that fulltime fishermen probably spend 20/30 days out on the ocean every single month, and scientists may spend 2 or 3 (or maybe 30/30 if they are on some intensive month of research). Fishermen have been establishing real-world models of the ocean in their heads through chronic observation and interaction, while scientists are oftentimes cushioned in their offices with wads of data and funky computer models. Fishermen remind me of the early scientists of fishers/ranchers who were by default amazing observers of natural history of landscapes. Fishermen married their minds to the ocean and the fish, and the scientists have married their minds to the scientific literature, which has become so diffuse and unpeer-reviewed that I am skeptical of scientific literature, as skeptical as if I were reading a sleeze article from US or People Magazine. And somehow you would think the stories would be the same, but there are vast dichotomies of thought processes for those who choose to marry these two different worlds. Anyhoo, that's just one line of thought. Another epiphany I made is that fishermen are about the only people who have earned "honest muscles." Their hands are rough, thickly skinned, and their whole form is often dark and blotched. The ocean and the weather has decorated them with beautiful, elaborate scars. So, as you can tell, I am in adoration and stupored fascination with a gestalt community of people. [It's amazing how film-making has so much backstory!]

So, by the time Sam Shrout called me and asked me for some help, all interior and external trains of thought of the physical universe led to an automatic "YES" and I dropped everything I was doing to resurrect the great dormancy in my multi-media head, and just simply... redeem myself. I raced over to Sam's house around 3:30pm (mind you, the days are long now), and we started almost right away after greetings with Cherie and Kevin. Based on the filming style, you could tell that Sam and I are very comfortable with each other. One of the main hurdles I had to jump over in the summer of 2007 is gain trust with fishermen and the fishing community. That hurdle between Sam and I had long been jumped over and by the time we convened, it was this relatively smooth dance between the director and the camera girl. The main message? All lobster fishermen received a letter from the California Department of Fish and Game in concern of strict enforcement of the size of lobster trap escape ports, even though there had been "slack enforcement" for the past 30-something years. Sam Shrout wanted to make a film to united the concerns of lobster fishermen in California, as well as communicate this message in a "problem" --> "solution" method through a youtube film. Sam provided an orientation of his trap-making shop (which was my second orientation, first one through the rock crab film), and then we hit the road to Goleta (it was SO DEAD, no one was around), and instead we headed toward Isla Vista (most people were busy studying for finals and getting ready to graduate), but we managed to get a diverse set of responses from several people. We interviewed three older adult males, and a bunch of young students in their twenties, potentially a couple of graduate students, and I think the missing age gap was older women and family-starting-aged people (thirties and forties). We almost received an interview from an older woman but she was some kind of zen buddhist who was very sick and didn't believe in killing any form of animals, but it was weird because she had a chubby tummy and so I was wondering what the hxck she was eating to give her such a plump tummy. I just certainly hope it wasn't cancer, because she said she was sick. Sam obviously is very intelligent, but he does have his witty sarcastic streak (as all fishermen do), and it seemed like a lot of the older people interviewed about the lobster trap escape ports were just overall cynical and bitter about the United States and California Government in general, cussing out the Governator and the like. It was hilarious to film but it was just not pertinent to the very specific issue of lobster trap escape ports.

I think we finished filming around 7pm, and Sam was very eager to get the information out on Youtube. I didn't have my Mac laptop with me, so I had no way of placing the one-hour-ten-minutes-footage on a computer. I had to patiently wait till the next day (in the mean time, I recorded some drum beats and compiled some lobster imagery footage), in which I went to the Digital Editing Lab (I'm glad I went because Annie and all the lab techs were accessible to answer many of my questions. They have changed some policies. You have to register for a class in order to use the lab. Annie was very helpful, and then another character who was a Greenscreener was very impatient with me and wasted about two hours of my life with trying to create a DVD through DVD Studio Pro, which is not what I wanted in the first place). While I was going back and forth from my car to the Digital Editing Lab, I ended up running into Julie Robinson and Miriam Polne-Fuller and I had some wonderful conversations with them. We needed some catching up to do. Julie has been so helpful and supportive of my pursuits. It means a lot to me. Miriam and I discussed poetry and how her poetry ideas were ripped off by some renowned poet who's had work published in Orion. The code of conduct for "respect of ideas" is very different in the science world versus poetry world. That's why I place COPYRIGHT VICTORIA on everything. So, my level of paranoia can actually help me, eh? Anyhow, these conversations ultimately slowed me down, but by the time it was 3:30 pm, I had all my files downloaded on my music-centric external hard drive, and drove over to Sam's house as fast as I could. I provided all the raw footage to Sam's son Kevin, who worked with the footage on imovie for the evening and placed a raw main message on Youtube by 9pm, which is ultimately VERY FAST WORK (but a good job nevertheless for getting the message out). I was VERY sad because I rushed home (Riverside) to get my mac computer and I really wanted to edit the footage just to refresh my skills and do a stellar, professional editing job... Sam didn't know I was doing this editing gig, so I hid over at Jules' house and edited for about two days total (Jules was very excited and supportive), which was sparsed between a nice spaghetti dinner and a boat trip in which Jules caught a giant, green-colored Ling cod (man, I was totally hyped up by the "catch of the day" but no one else seemed impressed), and finally on Wednesday (Thursday?) I finally finished the 8.35 minute film and ultimately messed around with formatting--how to widdle down the film to 100 MB and 10 minutes. I ultimately wasted about one day with formatting experiments, only to find out that Youtube extended the file size to 1 GB, not 100 MB, and then I had to wait for three and-a-half-hours on Friday to have the dxmn file uploaded to Youtube (Jules' internet server is quasi-slow, I should have uploaded through the school server, oh well), I ultimatley missed the party bash for Brennies who graduated and received their masters. It was a penguin suit event, but ahhh... oh well. I saw the CCS graduation--Bruce remarks of viewing cancer as a "positive" thing, talk about a shift in perception!)--and that was more than enough for me. Finally around 2pm, I had the film uploaded. By that point in time I called Sam Shrout like 5 times, left two message, and finally got a hold of him around 6 or 7pm. He had been on a boat, out fishing (ocean ranching) for the last three days, and his first response to my announcement of the "second product" was "I wished you hadn't done that," because this kind of minor political film can easily put people in a bad light. It has to be well-edited... and I understood. Sam saw the film that night... so did Cherie and Kevin... and they all loved it. He didn't call me that evening because he was beat from three days of fishin, but the next day he called me and said he loved the film. It was very well done, and entertaining (in addition to being message-driven), and that my portrayal of him was very flattering (come on! Sam Shrout is COOL BY DEFAULT! Flattery is natural). Sam said he was going to send this film out to the other lobster fishermen for their commentary and now we have two films--a cursory, message-driven serious film, and a professional film that adds a dose of art, entertainment, and humor to a political discourse through media. Sam gave me the privilege to do what I wanted with the existing film (like submit it to a film festival :-), and that I was free to use the film as a portfolio item. He was going to spread the good word to his fisheries community and if they needed a film done, I'm up for grabs this summer, and up for cheap (for now, ha ha). He also informed me that this whole media gig has roused up the DFG and now they're going to have some kind of emergency meeting about the lobster trap escape ports this upcoming week. Everyone in the fishing community is SOOO EXCITED because this film gig is a "new way" for the fishing community to express their concerns and facilitiate discourse between sometimes very disparate sectors of fishermen, scientists, and government. Like I said, fishermen are smart. And they are getting even smarter... and more resourceful. And in this case, I was so glad I could help! (At one point Sam Shrout said, it's so hard to express my concern in writing, film seems better. Government documents are a drab. And now? Film can create an uproar within a few days. So powerful!)

The phone transaction was Saturday around 1pm (post Lion's Den with Shelly Lowenkopf in Montecito, with raving reviews for the Catch Share story, too much good news at once!) and all my anxiety that had built up from 3pm Friday to 1pm Saturday was suddenly released with the great phone call, and then I could move on with my life. Now, I can email all my academic buddies and acquaintances about this completely whirlwind out-of-the-blue adventure I had, which really ousted my very sad brain from depression of a life of exclusive writing. I love to write. I need to write, but I can't be exclusive with writing. I need to combine writing and art with community-building-film-making. I need to combine the predictability of my brain with the unpredictability of media-recorded adventure. I know I can balance both juggling acts. I need both to keep myself happy, and moving forward....

And now? Everytime I find myself in a rut... just pick up the film camera and have a random, purposeful adventure. I just have to promise myself to finish what I started. And to keep not talking, and just do it. Thanks for the Oath, Barry!

Conclusion: (1) Totally NEW habits for filming (a) one day of filming, acquiring all data (b) TWO FULL DAYS of EDITING (these are 20 hour-workdays, ya, seriously) (2) give up being in front of the camera unless you're being totally existentialist, work with people who you feel that making films of them, you are ultimately making films of yourself (3) try to create films that fulfill a need, e.g. facilitate communication between different environmentalist groups, potentially commercial-promotional.... combine politics with humor, always portray people in a good light, problem-solution based filming (4) I can operate as a film-independent--I need a support group, but NOT a large production group! (5) New editing style. Very fast, choppy MTV style hand-held camera editing. If the person in front of the camera pauses and says and, umm, if, err, but *fart* sooo... they get edited out, and it creates sometimes jarring edits, but it keeps the flow of thought to fast pace, it may seem like an "editing mistake" but I want to develop it as an editing style....

contact:

media friends: Oscar, Shannon, Barry, Sarah, Mary Connors, Jorge (ECP, precisiologist), Kristin, Blue Ocean Productions (Ventura), Julie (Catch Share), Milton (offensive?), Yasmin, Kyle-Karl, Hugh Marsh, Maria de O

family: Bub, Mumsy, JenJen, Uncle Dwight, Jules

academics: Miriam (poetry gig), Armand, Bruce, Oran, Gale, Ron, Mike, Carrie, JohnR, Erinn (and friend), Michael (ocean channel), Margaret C, Mike

Film Ideas: Envirochondriac / The Eleventh Commandment (Origins) / 6 Billion Ways to View a Moderate Cube of Space / Mindfield / MLPA (Who's Gonna Know Anything Anymore?) / Whatever's Left of the Wildwest / Ed Keller Isla Calafia / The Tao of Spiny Lobster / Bernard the Aquaculturalist / Brian at the Seafood Market / Santa Barbara Writers Conference / Rick Gutierrez "to catch a crab, you have to think like a crab" /

Improve Gear: get a 25-foot cord for a microphone-based dialogue / FIGURE OUT HOW TO MAKE A DOLLY WITH PVC PIPE AND A SKATEBOARD / contact Ari for music improvement

Ask Oscar Questions: (1) How to frame the video such that it is formatted for television (2) how to do Opacity-see through effects (3) formatting the best for Youtube (mpeg SUCKS!)

Opacity Button --> (1) Grab a Clip and go to "Motion" there is an Opacity button there (2) on the lower left of the sequence Toggle Clip Overlays (looks like a jaggy mountain), you can adjust the black line, as the opacity overlay)

The Green Boxes --> (1) the inner box represents Title Safe area (2) the outer box represents Picture Elements safe area (3) you can reach these boxes by clicking on "Title Safe" in the image-wireframe area

Goals: Make Three Short Films this summer (including hopefully Roadtrip Nation), Submit to Four Film Festivals (SB Ocean Film Festival, SB International Film Festival, SF Ocean Film Festival, Sundance! What a dream) / ComiCon Festival San Diego June

Overall Goal: Show the world that I have my own brain, so by the time I enter the job market, they can't treat me like a grunt.

28 comments:

Victoria "Stokastika" said...

Advice from Shannon--the "choppy editing" part associated with people's ands-umms-buts, very "jarring" it breaks the rhythm of the film but keeps people's attention. I hate pauses. I am determined to make this "editing mistake" an "editing style."

Victoria "Stokastika" said...

11th commandment. Anorexic ocean. Bulimic human poem. Taking too much out. Dumping too much in.
Film on "stressed out graduate students." I just watched the film again. I am already bored of it. Gawdzeeks...

Victoria "Stokastika" said...

Form email that I sent out to people:

This past week had been very fun. I received an unexpected phonecall from a fisherman who needed help in concern of communicating his and the fishing community's worries about new enforcement policies with lobster trap escape ports for the upcoming season. I filmed Sam Shrout (his name) and we also conducted some street interviews. The two films made (one edited by me, and one edited by Sam's son) helped with uniting the concerns of fishermen in addition to California Fish and Game calling for an emergency meeting to deal with the issue. It has been quite an adventure, discovering how film can be an effective medium for rapid communication, collaboration, and discourse across various different stakeholder groups.

Here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKxixoPjXXU. I hope you enjoy it! Any feedback is welcome!

Happy Weekend! Best, Victoria

Victoria "Stokastika" said...

On the last day of editing, I had this dream, this fabulous dream. I was at a rather swanky dinner party in a very large room. I don't know how I got there. But what I realized in the room, there was Charlie Kaufman (who was 6'2" for some reason) and Michel Gondry. For some reason, they were sitting at separate tables. I met both of them, but what I remember most vividly, is that when I met Michel and shook his hand, I was so happy that I cried. Like my dream is an arm's reach away--I just didn't even know it.... I have to make it happen... this summer....

Victoria said...

Well. It has been a VERY long day of emails. And technically, I am still NOT DONE emailing people!!! Still have about four people left. I am glad I made a list. Need to add a second MARIA to the list as well. It's one of those days where I feel like I am creating a "positive community" of core people--core friends who have given me courage and support to be who I am and pursue what I am doing, from my graduate advisor to my family and friends. Total magic of a support group--surrounded by critical "yes men" (and ladies)--people who suggest how you can become better, but also give you a big hug while critiquing you. My tough love family is slowly emerging.

I had a long conversation with my friend Oscar Flores over the phone. He was giving me lots of advice and suggested that I start using twitter. Oscar also suggested that some of the best possible ways for compressing videos is quicktime, mpg (with selective variables), avi, and xvid. I'll have to experiment for a whole day, and I'm not looking forward to it.

Oscar is the first person who really PAID ATTENTION TO THE AUDIO. That's my man! The editor! He said it clipped maybe five times. I should have had a better drum track as well. It clipped 2 or 3 times. I told Oscar that I need to get a 25-foot XLR cable and a muff for my nice microphone to improve my filming operation. Should be a 20-dollar investment at most. I should go check out SamAsh tomorrow.

Metaphorically speaking, Oscar and I discussed about how we wanted "Bigger Boats" for our film equipment, as well as my last unpleasant experience at the editing lab, in which one of the techs essentially was trying to put a cherry on top of my pile of shxt (making professional DVDs out of raw footage through DVD studio pro when all I wanted was a data DVD), and the teckie wasted about 3 hours of my life doing that. And I'm still pissed. I never had someone waste my time, trying to be "nice" and put a fancy cherry on top of my pile of poop. You would think that AT LEAST two years of college education would teach a human to be able to smell and even SEE a pile of shxt, so he or she could act accordingly. *Sigh*

Barry Spacks is in my consciousness. I keep hearing him, "Push yourself. Go into areas where it is UNKNOWN and UNCOMFORTABLE." Yes, Barry. I'm trying very hard, very very hard. But why does illuminating people also require the stage of pissing people off?

Victoria said...

Improvements (1) audio, clipping (2) jarring edits--kept people attentive though (it's a tradeoff) (3) Oscar said he wanted more--as if I were starting some kind of "mini series." Ha ha. (4) Clean my dxmn lens. I had dust all over my camera lens.

Future films to do list--Coffeeshop Conversations about stuff. Scott Chatenever. Indirect stuff. Direct stuff. Isla Calafia. What scientists say versus what scientists mean.

One day someone will come up to me and say "You're pro-fishing." And I will say, "No, I'm not pro-solutions. I am anti-absurdity."

Oscar made a point in which most political films are stereotypical Michael Moore style: create an exagerated personna of some "evil" person or organization and then blame fingers and make them look bad. And me? All I did--especially Sam--was present the argument, get public feedback, and offer solutions. Tada! Civil political discourse through film. What a concept.

Honestly, it was just so fun to take this beautiful collage in my head and make it real. Completely, utterly, entirely real.

Victoria said...

Some Basic Pointers for Final Cut Pro.

Convert your files through IMOVIE or FCP using QUICKTIME. MPG sucks unless it's on imovie for 16:9.

I is in.
O is out.
Flower R is render.
Flower u is a Subclip.
Lower left is opacity/audio.
Upper right is link /unlink.

Annie's advice with mpeg conversion: file format is mp4. Quicktime compressor. Video format is H.264. Option. Mark "baseline" and "best quality." Keep "current" size. Optimize for streaming. Eject is F12?

Victoria "Stokastika" said...

Add Alexios and Lydia to the list of people....

Jenny is my agent for writing and I am Jenny's agent for modeling/acting. Ha ha. Sisters are good. Jenny met a Greek guy by the name of Vlas who writes screenplays for Warner Brothers. Cool stuff. I saw a flick and Vlas stated that the best writing advice he received is that "only focus and worry about what you can control, not what you CANNOT control. What you CAN control is what you write on your script. What you cannot control is what society does to your script." If you try your very darned best to produce the best writing/script ever, combined with networking and meeting the right people, then good things may come. I share this point of view entirely. It's like me going to the dentist. I cannot worry about my teeth because I cannot operate on it. The dentist does. It's out of my hands. So control what you control and don't even think about what you cannot control. It's a happenstance adventure to see how society responds to your creations!

Victoria "Stokastika" said...

Last night, while I was jogging, I was meditating about the 11th Commandment. I just got the word from Ari Everett that he turned 21, is creating music for a band, and will be around to help me get oriented with Logic Pro, so in a couple of weeks, I will be off to scorching Arizona to get my music lessons off my megatodo list of aspirations.

[Please be kind, do rewind]
So, I was thinking about the 11th Commandment. Dear God, I know it's been about 10 years since I've really come to consult with you. When you have two entities to desire to control one brain and a body, there was a conflict of interest. I had to set you aside in a ziploc bag, God. You're in the back of my brain, just let me play my own God of chance. I can't deal with determinism. I can't deal with the notion that my fate is already set in stone. Who has the right to determine my destiny except it be my own struggle of this moment, and the future to be a blank slate? It's just conflict of interest for a skeptical person who aspired to be a scientist. Nevertheless I can't rule you out. Science doesn't know everything, so the hypothesis that you still exist is still floating out there. (I kind of had to set you aside so that I could get to know myself and the world around me. Otherwise, I felt removed, detached)(science-religion paradox)

People say there is so much "order" in the world, it must be intelligent design. But I would disagree God; as a scientist, or more so a scientist with visions, I see problems, I see disorder. I see how the world could be better, could be changed, not simply as is. But nevertheless, I'm in a 6 billion human flesh meshpot, and I'm become relatively anonymous, you know. Anonymous. So, it's kind of nice to talk to you. Anyhow, I've learned a lot from biology and geology. I have learned from all these ideas and notions and constructs and details from the "natural world" that an inherent ethic or code of conduct of human behavior relative to the environment emerges from all the mesh of the planet. And a code of ethic I honestly am surprised You or your Bible-writing goons have ignored. And since when, why have you stopped writing the Bible? Honestly God, you are supposed to know everything. All is to be pre-determined. But if this is the case, did you have foresight to this modern ecological/economic catastrophe? Did you plan this? I mean, you can't be a politician, throwing out bandaids. If you had bothered to consider adding an additional set of codes, we wouldn't be in such a disorderly mess as we are in now. I mean, if you had created the 11th commandment or something, we could have avoided and prevented this modern ecological crisis we're in right now. [earth petri dish scene] [the crucifix da vinci scene, existence in context, girl overlaid with planet earth behind it]. I mean, God, I don't know how to deliver this to you. It never said the Bible couldn't be... revied or edited or anything. I mean, how do I get these revisions to you. This is what I was considering for an 11th commandment, with various subsections. I think it would be called "Existence in context." It would have a few subsections--I mean, here's a model. Basically, humans are like input output systems. I know you know that, but I'm just saying that so we can get on the same page here. Etcetera.

Victoria said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Victoria said...

*Welding solution from Uncle Chuck.
*Jules interview. New plastic escape ports.
*Nancy Foley interview to see how she responded.
*Talk to Sam. How did some of the other guys respond.
*And so the drama continues...
*Conversations with Gail...

It seems like there are several methods of attaching the escape ports, and some of the wire-attachments are more protruding than others. It is an interesting question to see whether any research shows short lobsters struggling to get out of the traps with little wire bumps in them. A few other people have wondered the same, and I haven't dug into the literature, let alone pose an experiment! You make an extremely valid point in terms of giving Nancy and opportunity to respond to the fishing community. In fact, I will call DFG right now to see whether an interview can be arranged. I honestly wouldn't feel so good about myself if I didn't allow others to speak about the issue. But then again, I don't want to get too far astray and bury myself with work!

Sorry! One more thought. Nancy Foley was out of the office for the day, but I just found out that she's located all the way in Sacramento! I suppose in an ideal circumstance, if I had time and a tiny bit of funding, I would make much more effort to do a complete job on such a project, but I'm not exactly sure to what degree to further pursue this issue. It was ultimately a Sunday break from the computer! Then again, this has been an enlightening experience and I think there is a lot of potential for facilitating discourse for any potential environmental resource issue--a friend of mine saw the potential for a "mini series" drama of sorts!

Victoria "Stokastika" said...

See? That's the issue. No one talked about that too clearly. At one point Sam talked about how there were a couple of cases where fishermen were attaching the wires in such a way that it was blatantly blocking the port. And this is why the whole concerned letter came about. But I couldn't insert it into the film because Sam inserted a snarky comment that I couldn't put in the film. I also heard from another fisherman that the "too small" of a size issue XXX But technically, ummm, I'm not supposed to be saying any of that, but of course, I would always tell you! :-) ~Victoria

PS. I received some feedback and technically, if I really wanted to make this an impartial, unbiased discourse of different stakeholder groups, I would call up Nancy Foley and give her the opportunity to respond in film, then interview wardens and other fishermen. Then this would become an insane soap opera and honestly, I don't want to kill myself over a "BUMP IN THE WIRE" but in the end it's seriously funny because it's flat out absurd, especially in this economy. oh well.

Victoria "Stokastika" said...

Man, ya. I just had this email conversation with Gail she recommended the same thing. I guess in the context of the "box" I was in that Sunday afternoon--the goal of making a film to unite fishermen's voices into a coherent film message to DFG--the film did it's job. But then over time, the box expands, and seeking more fishermen feedback, game warden feedback, as well as a response from Nancy Foley would only be more than fair. I even called Nancy today and she wasn't in the office. Apparently her office is in Sacramento, and at this point I'm like, "Oh man! This could be an absurd soap opera that could essentially be called 'A Bump in the Wire' but I'm not sure how far I want to go with this issue." I see a Lonely Girl 15 drama of the commons emerging, but right now I have to buckle down and get some heavier issues off my chest...

I would LOVE to talk to the new Blue Horizoners a bit! It would be an honor! When? Do you "literally" mean designing a t-shirt, like a logo or something?

Okay... on to the next email...
Best, Victoria

Victoria "Stokastika" said...

*Sigh* I think I am fed up right now. I hope people can just drop the subject of a bump in the wire.

Victoria "Stokastika" said...

This is my "COVER MY XSS" comment on Youtube.

I KNOW IT'S LAME TO COMMENT ON MY OWN FILM, BUT I NEED TO PROVIDE THE CONTEXT: "This film was created in order to foster discourse and unite the concerns of lobster fishermen with methods of attachment of lobster trap escape ports, in addition to communicating this concern to the California Department of Fish and Game." This film is not a piece of impartial journalism but more so an attempt to facilitate discourse with specific stakeholders.

Victoria "Stokastika" said...

Making films and assessing audience response seems to be like some kind of "stimulus-response" collective dance/dialogue as if I were engaging in some kind of elaborate animal behavior experiment... except the "animal" is actually my own species. Strangee it is.

Victoria "Stokastika" said...

DIAGRAM:
I would ultimately have to make a diagram --> draw 100 fishermen --> draw a box that symbolizes film --> all fishermen are tied through a forum --> then another box arrow that points toward DFG.

Victoria "Stokastika" said...

Also include "biological invasions" or "invasive species."

Victoria "Stokastika" said...

I just had some nice emails with my film professor. Wow, if I had some advice to give to a new crop of Blue Horizoners, what would I say?

(1) First, "Get to know your camera and your software. Your camera is your sixth eye and second brain. The equipment have to become a part of your existence."
(2) THEN, as soon as you feel competent by yourself, THEN AND ONLY THEN, start focusing on working with other people. Get to know and do teamwork experiments with everyone in the class before you make decisions who to work with. Your partner will ultimately become your additional body part.
(3) DON'T PLAN TOO MUCH. DOCUMENTARY FILMS EVOLVE ORGANICALLY. My rock crab film took me on an adventure, learn how to be spontaneous. Have a general vision for a film--for example--asking "Where does rock crab come from? Where does rock crab go?" but let everything else just kind of happen.
(4) Having said that, DON'T WAIT FOR STORIES TO COME TO YOU. GO AND FIND THE STORIES. GO MEET PEOPLE AND START "PRE-INTERVIEWING THEM." Try to talk to at least one or two people every week. IN THE END, THE HARDEST PART IS NOT THE TECHNICAL ASPECTS OF FILM-MAKING, THE HARDEST PART IS BUILDING TRUST WITH THE PEOPLE YOU ARE FILMING.
(5) BE PRACTICAL AND REGIONAL: CHRONIC ENVIRONMENTAL DRAMA IN SANTA BARBARA (1) sustainable farming (2) sustainable fishing / aquaculture (3) wildland fires and housing, also associated with landslides (4) creeping development (e.g. Gaviota) (5) creeks-runoff ocean pollution (6) Beach Erosion / Goleta Beach (7) pastoral management of Santa Cruz Island (8) biological invasions (9) featuring any scientific research story (e.g. intersection of science and art, environment and poetry, e.g Barry Spacks) (10) featuring the life of any character, e.g. a fisherman or a leader in a non-profit organization (11) long-term observation project, watching something simple, like the growth of a plant, or migration of marine mammals, (12) weird absurd stuff, like lobster trap escape ports
(6) IF YOU DON'T HAVE GOOD AUDIO, YOU ARE SCREWED. I can't go back to my rock crab film because of that. DO YOURSELF A FAVOR AND BUY YOURSELF A SHOTGUN MIC ($50) OR LAVALIER MIC ($25) FROM AUDIOTECHNICA.
(7) ALLOW YOURSELF ONE WEEK OR 7 DAYS OF EDITING. THEN YOU'LL BE SCREWED LIKE ME. I TURNED IN MY FILM A DAY LATE, TECHNICALLY, AND THAT'S NOT GOOD.
(8) CONSIDER EDITING AS A MISMATCH GAME OF WORDS AND PICTURES. YOU ARE TRYING TO CONSTRUCT YOUR OWN JIGSAW PUZZLE OF A COHERENT COLLAGE OF WORDS AND PICTURES.
(9) Your knowledge comes from practice and self experience. EXPERIMENTATION. TRIAL AND ERROR. Most other classes require regurgitation of information in books for grades. Dare yourself to be alone, spend alone time and play with your equipment. Pretend you are in a toy store and you are a five-year-old learning how to play with his new toys. That's the type of mentality you have to have with this class. Become best friends with everyone in the course. All your knowledge will come in waves (1) wave number one. Knowing how the camera works (2) Knowing how FCP works (3) Learning how your partner operates (4) Learning about the issue. And go fall off a log and make the best possible films!
(10) Michael's class is experiential. Theory is moot. Convention is significant. Pay attention to all that he has to offer. Michaels' production class is THEE class of the summer. This is the course that you will walk away with significant skills that can lead to your dream film and dream job.

Victoria "Stokastika" said...

The Blanket and the Stitch--"The Quilt and the Patch"
**I just had a long conversation with John Richards (marine advisor, emeritus), and I have been quite inspired. We are both in the marine biology realm, but both in tune to the social aspects to the pursuit of science and the relationships between science and policy. I think I am inspired to make a film that would be called "The Blanket and the Stitch." And it would be about how all these scientists are making these "blanket statements" about the state of the world and the oceans--e.g. global warming, all fish will be gone by 2048, all trawling is bad, etcetera, which is doomsday globalist science sweeping over any form of regional distinctive nuances. Hence, the blanket and the stitch. Apparently there is a "synergy" group forming in terms of "reforming fisheries in Santa Barbara" but my first response was "if it ain't broke, then why fix it?" Are globalist points of view being made, but there is a lack of being "in tune" with the local environment? How can film-making inform the regional distinction and facilitate communication across stakeholder groups?
**Two important pieces of literature to read "Faith-based fisheries" (Hilborn) and "The Borders between Science and Policy/Advocacy" Advocacy is non-profit emotional-based decision-making, when a scientist discovers through data collection that a behavior or management system is not working, and that there are potential alternatives, then that scientist has a right to communicate/advocate this issue--communicate with the public and present the information DIRECTLY to policy-makers by minimizing the telephone game--I feel that scientists HAVE TO absorb the role of science communicator/journalist because of too much distortion of journalism / I also think that some scientists must become politicians and make decisions because making optimal decisions requires technical knowledge, the most important thing is to present the case, present the problem, present possible solutions, but LET THE AUDIENCE MAKE THE DECISION IN WHAT TO BELIEVE
**discussed the case study with the angel shark (same for rock fish), going from a non-economic fish to an international economic fish, and then gill nets were no longer allowed and the landing data "crashed"--it's not that the fish were overfished, as certain scientists and environmental groups concluded, but the fish were just no longer ALLOWED to be caught!!! discussed the McClelehan paper down from Scripps and how this paper presented to fishermen--though they have no university experience--they were ripping apart and critiquing the paper, would be very cool to get a small group of fishermen together at a coffeeshop or at the harbor, their homework was to read the paper, and then they would have a critique of the paper.

Victoria "Stokastika" said...

**Conversation with Richards, Part 2
**The character who created CCS at UCSB who was ostracized for his research concerning the signaling or non-signaling dances with bees
**MLPA is sought to be completed, there is no enforcement monitoring funds from the government, but must finish the decision-making, concerns with Mr. Sutton and the possibility of impartial decision-making
**globalism is like some kind of "religion" in which you make sweeping overstatements and you are not in tune with your local surroundings, I told Milton out of my own ethics and values, I decided to become a regionalist scientist and not a global data cruncher, because I have a difficult time trusting and accumulating other people's data
**talked about Jules and the MLPA process, I felt sad and lonely and missed fishermen a lot, hadn't had a meeting in a while, so I really jumped when Sam called
**film having the ability to capture personalities, the social, cultural, historical, ecological details of a region, foster communication with people, science falls short, can't solve problems by crunching numbers, eh?
**issues with ITQs, the "merging effect" starts to occur in which many fishermen shares are so small they can't sustain themselves, get themselves out of the fishery and very few people own most of the shares, becomes an oligopoly, supposdly easier to manage, but at the same time, it's a sacrifice of the INDEPENDENCE of fishermen, the lack of one's ability to work for oneself
**issue with LTA and Bren masters thesis, not everyone's part of the "club"
**should meet all of Hunter Lenihan's grad students
**we discussed how the university is full of cults, but I am fortunate my advisors allow me to function as independently from the group as possible
**apparently lots of interesting academic dialogue going on in terms of this Synergy group, Richards knows a lot about who's being funded by who and with what research and what reforming agenda, told him about Ph.D. comics, we kind of need that right now....

Victoria "Stokastika" said...

Advice from my friend Maria: "I would not have gone to Isla Vista as the population is not your average Californian. Dead lobster might have been good to show how it could get through the escape hatch. Would have been good to have a fish scientist on the film as well, stating how such minimal interference cause by the fast-ening would not hinder a lobster of the size intended to be allowed to escape."

Victoria "Stokastika" said...

More advice from M:
"Aha. Well, the other route to have taken was to have gotten an object that is the maximum size of a lobster that has to be allowed to escape and show that the object can escape through the existing port. For instance, a large jelly donut (ideally with a bit taken out) might be about the right size or a large paperback book (like War and Peace) or you could have used a plush toy lobster. Then you would take the port to IV and have people on the street push the jelly donut through the port to make the case."
One more comment: "Love the idea of this emergency-cause media work! Do you know if Nancy Foley got calls as a result of the video? Was it effective?"

Victoria "Stokastika" said...

SUGGESTION TO IMPROVE FILM: (1) BEFORE FINAL EDITING, TUNE OUT THE AUDIO, AND LOOK AT VISUAL CONTINUITY (2) TUNE OUT VISUAL, AND LOOK AT AUDIO CONTINUITY. That would have eliminated all audio and visual snags throughout the film.

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