Archive for May, 2018

“There’s power in love. There’s power in love to help and heal when nothing else can.”
Rev. Michael B. Curry

I went to see A Quiet Place a second time in this weekend. Actually, on the same day of the royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Merkle and I think there’s a connection between the two.

There is an iconic moment in the movie A Quiet Place that centers around the concept of love. In a cryptic spoiler alert, you could even say that the theme of A Quiet Place is rooted in what Jesus called a “greater love.” Yes, A Quiet Place lives squarely in the space of horror/thriller movies—but it also a love story.

And it’s the love story element that I believe made the movie about something, and helped propel it to both a critic and audience global success. I don’t know if the love story part was in the original script by Bryan Woods and Scott Beck, or added in later in the pass done by director/actor John Krasinski. But it is weaved into the story seamlessly.

I didn’t watch the Royal Wedding live, but since the sermon was talked about more than the dress I thought I at least watch that part. That sermon may be the first ever sermon that’s ever been run in entirety on BuzzFeed.

It’s also turned into the first sermon in a long time that’s been debated about in the open public as to the meaning behind the meaning. But here’s the opening lines you can just read at face value and connect it to the family in A Quiet Place that faces a new world:

And now in the name of our loving, liberating and life-giving God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

From the Song of Solomon in the Bible: Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, passion fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, a raging flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it.

The late Dr Martin Luther King Jr once said, and I quote: ‘We must discover the power of love, the redemptive power of love. And when we do that, we will make of this old world a new world, for love is the only way.’

There’s power in love. Don’t underestimate it. Don’t even over-sentimentalize it. There’s power, power in love.
Rev. Michael B. Curry
Saturday, May 19, 2018

Scott W. Smith



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Many know of Gainesville, Florida simple because it’s the home to the Florida Gators football team. Lesser known is the name at the top of the University of Florida football stadium that reads Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.* Griffin was a former UF  who became an orange grove baron in Frostproof, Fla. with an estate worth an estimated hundreds of millions when he died in 1990. He and his family have been significant donors to the school over the years.

Years ago I once produced a video for his extended family and came across footage of an old interview with Griffin that’s always been one of my favorites. Since he started with just 10-acres of oranges he was asked what was the secret of his immense financial success. He smiled and said, “Now I don’t know if I’ve failed more than I’ve succeeded, it’s just that my successes have outshone my failures.”

I imagine any honest biography would echo that thought. And may it be true of us as well.

In the bottom left corner of the photo I took yesterday are three top Gator players (Danny Wuerffel, Steve Spurrier, and Tim Tebow) who each had their share of successes and failures, but are best known for being Heisman Trophy quarterbacks who also were on national championship teams as a player or coach at Florida.


*The full name of football stadium is now “Steve Spurrier-Florida Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.” But that’s a mouthful so many just call it by its nickname—”The Swamp.”

Scott W. Smith

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Well it was kinda cold that night
She stood alone on her balcony
Yeah, she could hear the cars roll by
Out on 441 like waves crashin’ on the beach
American Girl/Tom Petty


This sign for The Florida Motel is the kind of timeless Florida tourism that I love photographing—as I did today.  This weathered sign is located on Highway 441 in Gainesville, Florida not far from the University of Florida campus.

In ten years this sign will probably end up in a Manhatten museum— or a bar in Brooklyn.

Scott W. Smith

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Hippy House_7005.jpg

It’s not a hippy hill now—it’s actually a nice bed and breakfast area in Gainesville, Florida. But back in the ’60s and ’70s it got the nickname of the hippy hill because hippies lived in mass quantities in the then run-down Victorian homes on 7th Street.

In the home I photographed above upwards of 30 hippies called this home at one time. Legend has it that Tom Petty lived (crashed?) here for a while in the early days of his musical career when he made his living playing in the college town that’s home to the University of Florida.

Tonight I’m actually staying in a cottage next door that’s part of a different bed and breakfast and that’s where I first heard about Petty’s connection. Two doors down from this B&B is The Magnolia Plantation (photograph below) which before it was restored in 1990 their literature says, “Hippies and college students had inhabited it for 30 years. It was more like Animal House than a Victorian mansion.” They pulled out 20 mattresses and seven couches from this house before the restoration began.


I don’t know if any former hippies own any of these bed and breakfasts in 2018, but that would make for a pretty interesting story.



Related article: Gainesville: Where Tom Petty’s Dreams Began by Marty Jourard

Scott W. Smith

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I took this photo in an alley (complete with trash bins) while in St. Petersburg, Florida this week. There are dozens of large murals on buildings throughout the greater downtown area. This one by Derek Donnelly is located in the Northside Alley in the 500 Block of Central Ave. Here’s an interactive map showing where all of the murals are located and the artists who painted them.

Scott W. Smith

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“The only difference between me and a madman is that I’m not mad.”
Salvador Dali


Quick day trip to St. Petersburg, Florida today where I visited The Dali Museum. Because my mom was a middle school art teacher I grew up looking at Salvador Dali’s work in books. Trust me, looking at his Persistence of Memory as a young child will mess you up.  And if that doesn’t, seeing his film Un Chien Andalou (as I did in film school) will. What I didn’t know until today is Dali had a pre and post-surrealist period body of work.

His work was a mix of philosophy, science, and religion that’s mystified me my entire life. I’ve always said if I ever worked on a Ph.D. dissertation I’d want to do it on the brain and creativity. And I imagine that’s rooted in being exposed to the life and work of Dali and Van Gogh before I was 10-years-old.

P.S. Another thing you can’t get from books is the large size of some of Dali’s paintings.


Scott W. Smith

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“Evelyn is nine months pregnant, because A Quiet Place wasn’t stressful enough with labor and the threat of a screaming newborn.”
Jordan Crucchiola
Let’s Talk About the NAil Scene in A Quiet Place

Screen Shot 2018-05-12 at 8.58.23 AM.png

I know it’s only May, but Evelyn (Emily Blunt) in A Quiet Place gets my movie character mother of the year vote. If you’ve seen any of the promotional material it’s not really a  spoiler to say that in the photo above Blunt’s character is eight months pregnant,  there’s a monster in the house, and she can’t make a sound or she’ll die. Yeah, movie character mother of the year.

P.S. When people think back to movies in 2018 I wouldn’t be surprised if the iconic image if from the bathtub scene. It’s hard enough to get a movie made, much less get one that both critic like and finds a huge audience—but to toss in something iconic is off the charts amazing.

Scott W. Smith


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