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Archive for the ‘Postcards’ Category

“There are things we can all do to get through this by following the advice of experts and taking care of ourselves and each other, no? Remember, despite all the current events, there is no crying in baseball. Hanx”
Tom Hanks tweet today
(Tom and his wife Rita have been diagnosed with Covid-19)

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I took the above photo of The Old State House in Boston on the first day of this month. Just 11 days ago—but it seems like a year of events have transpired in that time.

At least in New England life seemed relatively normal.  I went to a documentary workshop in Rockport, Maine the last week of February knowing that there were concerns of the COVID-19 virus overseas and limited places in the United States. But overall, it was business as usual.

I walked around some of the key historical sites in Boston on the afternoon of March 1, and flew back to Orlando later in the day.  The next night in Boston state health officials announced they’d identified “the first presumptive positive case of the coronavirus in Massachusetts.”

And that situation was duplicated in various parts of the country, and before you know it SXSW canceled their upcoming conference in Austin, movie premieres were pushed back, the stock market took a big hit, NBA suspended their season, MLB canceled spring training, Disneyland and Disney World announced they would be closing for the month of March, and colleges began making plans to finish the semester via online education.

A lot can happen in a little over a week. We’ve sadly seen the damage done and the loss of lives in in China, Iran Italy, and radical steps throughout the world have been taken to stop the spread of the virus.

I doubt I’ll write much about the virus and will plan on continuing to blog about movies, screenwriting, and filmmaking for anyone looking for a healthy creative distraction from the regular news.  But I do pray for those suffering and hope that the world can get back to normal in the coming months. (And since a pandemic has built in goals, stakes, and urgency I might be writing about it from a dramatic perspective more than I think I will.)

The symbolic thing about The Old State House is back on July 18, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was proclaimed by Col. Thomas Crafts from the east facing balcony to a crowd gathered below.

It’s reassuring knowing that this country has weathered a lot of storms for the past 200+ years and will hopefully weather this one without too much damage. I didn’t care for history when I was in school, but I love it now for the perspective it gives.

P.S. My next post will touch on how Walt Disney helped entertain people through one of the toughest decades in U.S. history.

Scott W. Smith 

 

 

 

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“We were able to show some early footage [of Crip Camp] to Priya Swaminathan and Tonia Davis, who run Higher Ground, and they were really intrigued by this kind of reel that we’ve cut together.”
Crip Camp co-director Nicole Newnham
No Film School interview with Oakley Anderson-Moore
(On a turning point for getting the film completed and distributed.)

Last Friday, I went to see the documentary Crip Camp which won an audience award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.  The film was part of the Cabin Fever film fest held at the Opera House in Camden, Maine. A bonus was some of the filmmakers (in person and via Skype) held a Q&A after the showing.

Documentary filmmaking is hard on many levels. In one sense, Crip Camp was five years in the making. But since much of the found footage was shot back in the early ’70s, you could say this documentary was 40+ years in the making.

The movie was picked up by Netflix and will find a wider audience starting later this month.

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Scott W. Smith 

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Today I completed a five-day workshop on Writing and Developing The Documentary at the Maine Media Workshops in Rockport. It was led by former Time magazine reporter Emmy Jack McDonald, whose writing and directing credits include working with Discovery, National Geographic, and PBS.

I watched and discussed more documentaries than I have in any single week of my life—probably more than in most months, and some years. I can’t breakdown what I learned from watching all or part of 15+ documentaries, or the many proposals we looked at, but I can share with you the core of the class in one photo. (It’s no surprise there is much crossover in structuring a documentary, and structuring a narrative story. And both are deceptively hard to do well.)

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Scott W. Smith

 

 

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Postcard #185 (Salem, MA)

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Just your average blue sky day in Salem, Massachusetts where a guy on single wheel electric skateboard carrying a dog on his hip, outnumber witches.

Scott W. Smith

 

 

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In my travels throughout the United States there are pockets that I’ve missed. One of those, Gloucester, MA, I was able to visit Sunday. It’s less than an hour north east of Boston, but an area I just couldn’t fit into my previous trips to New England.

I took the above photo of Gloucester’s Fisherman Memorial with an iPhone. The eight-foot sculpture was designed by Leonard F. Craske and overlooks Gloucester Harbor.  Craske won the artistic competition to design the memorial to commemorate Gloucester’s 300 anniversary, the town’s link to the sea, and remember those who have died in various storms while plying their trade.

Over the years, various movies, documentaries and reality shows have done a good job of making us aware of where our food comes from and some of the dangers involved in the process. Tomorrow I’ll look at one of those.

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Scott W. Smith 

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This fountain was about 100 yards away when I turned a corner while driving this morning and something told me it had potential for a nice photograph. All the layering componets were there. You have a fountain with water giving movement in the foreground, some trees in the middle area, sun in the background, and lots of negative space at the top of the frame with interesting texture in the clouds.

Taken in the Baldwin Park neighborhood in Orlando, Florida. An interesting side note is this fountain is located in Blue Jacket Park which was a former Navy training area. The park is named after the USS Bluejacket, 2/3-sized replica (230 feet) of a destroyer ship that was used for training in the same general area from 1968-1993.

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The Bluejacket landlocked Navy training ship in Orlando

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The Bluejacket opening had an official ceremony in 1969, and was demolished 30 years later

Scott W. Smith 

 

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Postcard #182 (Neil Gaiman Quote)

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I started these “Postcard” posts many years ago when I blogged daily and was caught up on some production and didn’t have time to write a post. My last several days have included late night edits and early morning shoots, so I couldn’t fit any posts in. But here’s a photo I took from my location shoot yesterday that qualifies for a nice writer’s postcard.

“You get ideas from daydreaming. You get ideas from being bored. You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we’re doing it.”
Neil Gaiman

Related post:

The Advantage of Boredom
Where Do Ideas Come From? 
The four most important words that every storyteller wants to hear to know their story is working (According to Neil Gaiman)

Scott W. Smith

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