Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

Nothing Can Go Wronggggg

“The 9000 series is the most reliable computer ever made. No 9000 computer has ever made a mistake or distorted information. We are all, by any practical definition of the words, foolproof and incapable of error.”
Hal in 2001: A Space Odyssey

Last week, before I could do a video interview at home I had to overcome various outside noise issues as well as the following technical issues. (These are the actual message.):


This was something that I’d done before, so I didn’t think I’d have to jump through so many hoops. It ended up taking hours of updating software and trouble shooting after updating. It was a comedy of errors—full of conflict—but it all worked out at the end of the day. (Actually, at the end of day 2, but who’s counting?)

It reminded me of a Robert Rodriguez quote from my 2015 post Nothing Ever Goes as Planned. Here’s an excerpt:

Sometimes when I hear new filmmakers talk, they talk all down about their film—‘Oh, nothing worked’ and ‘It was a disappointment’—and they don’t realize that’s the job. The job is nothing is ever going to work at all. And you go, ‘How can I turn that in a way to turn it into a positive?’ And you get something much better than if you had all the time and money in the world.”
Filmmaker Robert Rodriguez
Interview with Tim Ferriss

In my case, I upgraded to macOS Sierra (10.12.3) and got done what I needed to get done. When all was said and done I fired up a Prompter People telepromter I hadn’t used in a long time to see if the software worked with the new OS system. It did and and it gave me an idea to explore vlogging/podcasting based on this blog.

The simple lesson is things can and will go wrong. In filmmaking and in life.  (Revelation, right?) But do your best to work through it and look for something good to come out of the struggle.

Scott W. Smith



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The Tarzan Method

“Your goals, your dreams are on the other side of the jungle. And there’s no straight line through the jungle….”
Casey Neistat

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Yeah, what he said…

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“Tornadoes are an ideal film subject, because unlike most meteorological phenomena, they are small enough to fit within the film frame, and they last a short time, changing rapidly. By comparison, a hurricane is hundreds of miles across, too big to see in a single image, and it goes on for hours, with little change. Tornadoes are much more contained, and visually compelling.”
Michael Crichton
Introduction to Twister: The Original Screenplay

“If you want a spiritual experience, you should go spend April to June in the Midwest, because you have never seen cloud formations like this! You watch everything in the sky happening in front of you as if you were watching time-lapse photography. We would literally watch cloud towers shoot into the sky and within fifteen minutes one little cloud would rise to become one 30,000 feet high.”
Twister producer Kathleen Kennedy

P.S. Crichton wrote the Twister screenplay with his wife at the time Anne-Marie Martin. He explains in the introduction to the printed version of the original script, “Eventually, with some trepidation, we decided to write the script together, and we began in January 1994. It was not clear to either of us how this would work out, or whether it would work at all. We had plenty of advice that collaboration was a good way to end a marriage. But, as it turned out, we had an easy time working together; the structure was unusually clear, dictating what should happen next. And, invariably, we drew our episodes and details from actual recorded events, making up nothing. This was important because tornadoes are so inherently dramatic, it is easy to become excessive in the usual Hollywood manner, and we wanted the incidents to remain true to underlying reality….As is so often the case with big Hollywood movies, other hands took over the project, and moved it off in other directions. What audiences will see includes the work of many other, uncredited writers, but readers may be interested to see how the project appeared at an earlier time.”

Related post:
Screenwriting & Storms
Don’t Waste Your Life (2.0)

Scott W. Smith


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When I was first starting out as an actor, I was under contract to Lucille Ball at Desilu Studios, which was owned by Lucy and Desi Arnaz. Lucy knew I had this passion for movie history which at that time was not a normal thing. Most people weren’t interested in movie history. She said, ‘You know, you would have a happier life as a writer than as an actor. You should be writing about movies, because nobody is.’ She told me that she thought being an actor would never make me happy, but writing would. She knew I was a journalism major at the University of Washington. She told me that if I took up writing as a profession, the first thing I had to do was write a book because people would look at you differently if I did. She told me it didn’t even have to be a good book, but that everyone is impressed with anyone who writes a book because most people lack the discipline to do it. I knew she was telling me this for my own good, not some other agenda, so I quit being an actor and became a writer.
Film historian Robert Osborne (1932-2017)
Cinema Retro interview with Lee Pfeiffer

85 Years of the Oscar: The Official  History of the Academy Awards
Turner Classic Movie Essentials: 52 Movies and Why They Matter


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Work hard and be brave—Casey Neistat

“There are two rules that I always adhere to. And that is to work hard and be brave. And I think the essence of hard work is one that’s pretty straightforward. You’ll never be the best looking, you’ll never be the tallest, the most talented, most capable, you’ll never have the most money—there will always be someone better at whatever you’re doing than you are. But you can always be the hardest working person in the room.”
Filmmaker Casey Neistat

P.S. Just after I posted this I saw this Facebook post by my director of photography friend Mac who gives an up-to-date example of what working harder looks like sometimes:


Scott W. Smith



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“If you’re looking for an excuse, you’ll find one.”
Actor/Director Denzel Washington 
60 Minutes interview December 18, 2016

“I’m particularly proud and happy about the young filmmakers, actors, singers, writers, producers that are coming up behind my generation. In particular Barry Jenkins. Young people, understand, this young man made 10-15-20 short films before he got the opportunity to make Moonlight. So never give up. Without commitment, you’ll never start. But more importantly without consistency you’ll never finish. It’s not easy.  If it was easy, there’d be no Kerry Washington. If it was easy, there’d be no Taraji P. Henson. If it were easy there’d be no Octavia Spencer. But not only that, if it were easy, there’d be no Viola Davis. If it were there’d be no Mykelti Williamson, no Stephen McKinley, no Russell Hornsby. If it were easy , there’d be no Denzel Washington. So keep working, keep striving, never give up. Fall down seven times, get up eight. Ease is a greater threat to progress than hardship.Ease is a greater threat to progress than hardshipSo keep moving, keep growing, keep learning—see ya at work.”
Denzel Washington
Image Awards
February 11, 2017 /Pasadena, California

Related post:
25 Links Related to Blacks & Filmmaking (2017 Edition)
Art is Work—Milton Glaser
Stephen J. Cannell Work Ethic 

Scott W. Smith



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