Zoom Fest 2019

Last year our oldest daughter participated in Zoom Fest– a student film competition that lasts only 48 hours. This year her group is doing the filming and editing at our home. Originally it was just our oldest daughter and her classmate. But since arriving at our home, our other daughter has begun to help them.

The film needs to be between 30 seconds and 7 minutes in length. The are given a theme and told to incorporate a prop in some form. This year the prop is “Gloves” and the theme is “Haste makes Waste”.

The Langley Fine Arts school has loaned out cameras, equipment and Apple Computers to each team. The competition began at 5pm yesterday and ends tomorrow at 5pm. Last night, our daughter’s group gathered up their props, figured out their shots and story line. They opted to get a good night’s sleep and woke up at 5am to begin filming. We are already two pots of coffee in…

As they were outside filming during a windstorm- a large branch fell. They shakily caught it on camera and their excitement levels have increased. With all of their caffeine and adrenaline levels spiked- these girls are talking a mile a minute trying to get their film together.

These two/three girls are working well together so far. With a little under twenty hours behind them and twenty eight hours left to go- they think they have plenty of time to finish. I wish them the best of luck and I cannot wait to see the finished film.

Summer Clean Up

Our kids have already been enjoying over a month away from school. We’ve kept them busy and active for the most part. Or at least tried to. Somehow they always resort back to playing on screens both big and small. Ask them to get off the computer, straight to the iPad. Ask them to put down the iPad, off to the iPhone. Then the PlayStation or the Nintendo Switch. The kids need to be occupied with something.

Today my wife and I are going to keep them occupied with a massive cleaning of our home. Inside and out. Our kids’ responses: GROAN. That was to be expected. But our lovely home has fallen into some disarray. It’s time to get things back on track and try to keep it that way.

Hahahahaha… I know the house will get messy again. Of course no one wants to do chores. But we all love living here. So…

GET TO WORK!

Hopefully the weather stays calm and we can enjoy our first night at the Drive In. You know- reward the kids with the biggest screen of all!

Theory and Toy Traders

For the second time in two days, old friends have popped out of the woodwork and sent me texts. It’s pretty cool to know that you are randomly thought of. Anyhow, on with today’s blog.

Back in September of 2015, our son took part in a short video about a local toy store. It was made by a former coworker friend of mine from back in my Movie Theater days. Late Friday night my friend shot me a text linking to the YouTube video. I had completely forgotten that they made this.

2015 at age nine

It was a great experience for my son. He was literally a kid in a toy store. All he did was talk about the toys while a camera followed him around. They did this for hours and my son enjoyed every minute of it. My friend had a ton of footage to go through.

Check out the short pilot video here: Toy Traders – Trade Fever.

My friend Dan loves films. He was a collector of many movies and watches almost everything. This was his foray into making his own. I like the premise of what he made. It was in a style similar to Comic Book Men. Which by the way is made by Kevin Smith who also loves visiting Toy Traders as seen here: Kevin Smith Live at Toy Traders.

I hope Dan keeps creating films and shows. He is extremely passionate about the medium.

Marvel Mania

This weekend marks some closure in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Disney isn’t stopping production of Marvel films by any means. But with “Avengers: Endgame” the stories could take a drastically different route.

11 years of MCU all leading up to this latest installment. I’m excited and not going to speculate on the outcome. Nor have I been reading anything online about the film. I refuse to succumb to spoilers or fan theories. I just want to see the movie and enjoy it.

MCU isn’t the first film franchise to spread out over the years. Star Wars, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings come to mind for fan favorites. Because of devoted fans, there are also devoted haters. People who are “sick of hearing about the films” but want to share their negativity as loudly as possible. I don’t understand why people want to poopoo on other people’s happiness.

I, for one, am going to enjoy the show with my family. Of all the fandom t-shirts I own, none are Marvel based. So I’m rocking my favorite cartoon villain- Mojo Jojo from The Powerpuff Girls. He’s not like Thanos, but still a favorite of mine.

Let’s hear it for fictional bad guys! (Not irl bad guys.) Let me know in the comments if you ever cheer for villains!

Spoiler Free Zone

This weekend my son and I were at Calgary Expo: a veritable nerd haven of fandoms and merchandise. Thousands of geeks gathering together… on a weekend when the new Avengers movie hit the theaters. This could not end well…

Many tables had signage saying “Spoiler Free Zone” or “No Spoilers”. Because we had to work the tables/booths all weekend- many of us couldn’t escape in the evenings to view the newest movie. The best part about the weekend and the attendees was the fact that no one spoke about the new movie with those of us who hadn’t seen it yet. Complete and utter respect given to everyone in this regards.

It made me happy that our nerd culture can do such a thing. This weekend I avoided viewing social media. All I did was post a few things, but never scrolled through or read anything that could diminish my movie going experience.

Tonight, I am taking the family to go and see the film. Just a couple of more hours to go in hopes that I can avoid hearing anything about the film. I’ve made it 4 days so far… we can do this.

October is Here

Today is the start of Halloween!  Well, maybe not… but I do love the season. I have for many years.


Today I don one of my favorite t-shirts. A mashup of two films from my youth. “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and “E.T.” Both films impacted my life in profound ways.


The first movie I ever saw in a movie theater was “E.T.” when it was first released in 1982. I was six years old and it scared the crap out of me at the time. Yes, the cute alien terrified me enough that I had nightmares of it for weeks. I’m much better now and it holds a place in my heart as an introduction to the emotional connection that films have brought me.


Eleven years after my first theater film, I saw “The Nightmare Before Christmas”. Tim Burton’s style of films had been some of my favorite cinematic experiences over the years. This film was exceptional in the visuals and songs. For some reason, at age 17, I was able to relate to Jack as a misunderstood skinny guy in a dark world of happiness. 


Since then, I have collected numerous NBX memorabilia and love having them out from Halloween to Christmas. It saves from taking down the decorations! Maybe this time next year my family and I can be in Disneyland for Halloween. But until then, time to spookify our home for October!

First Holiday Family Film

Most weekends we enjoy sitting around and watching movies as a family.  Tonight we watched our first Christmas movie.  It was one that our oldest daughter wanted to watch.  It was also one that we had never seen before.  I was hoping for one of our favorites…

The soft glow of electric sex…


We have our regular favorites of course.  Every year on Christmas Eve we watch “A Christmas Story”.  A tradition that started for me 25 years ago when I was about 15.  I believe it was TBS that showed it for 24 hours straight through Christmas Eve into Christmas Day.  I had a tv in my bedroom and often fell asleep with it on.  I must have woken up numerous times throughout the night to different parts of the film.  It wasn’t until the year after that I finally watched it in proper order.  

It’s full.


There’s also “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” that my family loves to watch.  I am often quoting this movie during the season.  Some great facial expressions and music make this movie fun.


The darker side of me really enjoys “Scrooged” with Bill Murray.  He holds this film together with some great dialogue.  The sarcasm and bitterness is enjoyable as we have all been there and felt it.


But tonight’s film was not what I was expecting.  We watched “Krampus”.  The story of Santa’s evil darker sided shadow that punishes misbehaving children.  The film about Krampus was stuck between trying to be a comedy and trying to be a horror film.  At the end of it, I just felt kind of meh.  Not a good film by any means.

Two Gargoyles make me laugh every time we meet.


The story behind Krampus has garnered somewhat of a cult following over the years.  I’ve known the story and imagery of Krampus for a few years myself and love the idea behind it.  Some friends from the comicon circuit (Two Gargoyles, check them out here: Twogargs.com) that make a neat Krampus coffee mug that I’ve been wanting for a while…


Unfortunately after watching “Krampus” it didn’t fill me with joy.  I’ll stick to “Nightmare Before Christmas” if I want to mix up holiday fun with spookiness.