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48 Hour Film Project - "No Good Deed"

Fri, 06/27/2014 - 08:49 — JPNor

This past weekend I participated in a 48 Hour Film Project. It is a competition where teams are assigned a film genre at random, told to incorporate certain elements (a prop, a character, and line of dialogue) and then given 48 hours to make a movie.

I connected with a team led by a former coworker, and I was the principal photographer and editor. Over the entire weekend I slept for maybe 6 hours total, otherwise fueled by Dunkin Donuts, adrenaline, and the immense pressure of meeting our deadline.

The film genre we pulled was "Silent Film". At first we lamented this idea because it is our first-ever attempt at this challenge, and Silent Film sounded like it could have been a very tough genre. However we came up with a story that worked well without any dialogue, figured out how to add our required elements, and created a film.

See video

A couple random pics from the last few days:


Shooting a scene. I'm the tubby guy with the camera.


Our lead actor, director, and me at the premiere screening on Wednesday night. The most rewarding part of the experience was seeing my work on the same movie screen where I saw Avatar, in front of a full theater.

 

Goat Simulator

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 19:10 — JPNor

What started as silly Game Jam joke was actually developed into a real game. So, yeah. You play a goat and you trash the environment, and that's it. And yet it's getting insanely good reviews from gamers.

See video

From the Steam page:

KEY FEATURES:

  • You can be a goat 
  • Get points for wrecking stuff - brag to your friends that you're the alpha goat 
  • Steam Workshop support - make your own goats, levels, missions, game modes, and more! 
  • MILLIONS OF BUGS! We're only eliminating the crash-bugs, everything else is hilarious and we're keeping it 
  • In-game physics that spazz out all the time 
  • Seriously look at that goat's neck 
  • You can be a goat

 

And of course, this is released on the day I left my laptop back at the office.

www.goat-simulator.com

My mid-life crisis

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 10:04 — JPNor

I have a 2008 Honda that I'm still paying for (I started leasing, put too many miles on, and financed the residual value). I had been looking for a beater car to use part time, so that I wasn't putting so many miles on the Honda. After looking around at cars for less than $10K, I found this:

It's a 2013 Charger and slightly used (23,000 miles) but I couldn't resist. It has the smaller V6 engine but it can still move quickly, although in my town I need to drive very slowly around all the frost heaves. 

Publish stupidity = life ruined

Tue, 11/05/2013 - 13:34 — JPNor

The women in the three photos above all have something in common:

1. They photographed something that they thought was funny, but was perceived as insensitive.

2. They published said photo to social media.

3. Their lives were ruined.

You've probably seen all three of these photos at least once. In the first photo, the two men went to a Halloween party dressed as George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin (in blackface). The second picture needs no explanation. And the third picture, perhaps the most extreme example of the above, is Alicia Ann Lynch, who dressed as a Boston Marathon bomb victim for Halloween.

In all three cases, the women lost their jobs shortly after their photos surfaced. In Alicia's case, however, internet justice was especially swift and incredibly harsh. She received multiple threats involving murder and rape. Her parents, and even some other random guy with the same name as her dad, received hate email and threats. And the collective Internetizens found a Tumblr account with many, many photos of her. Nude. By the time she deactived all her social media accounts, the damage had been done.

TL:DR? Alicia's life was completely ruined, at least for the near future, as a result of her stupidity. 

It's arguable what was dumber: the original action, the fact that the action was documented, or that said documentation was published for the world to see. Regardless, I ask the question: Did their stupidity merit such a harsh punishment?

If I asked Trayvon Martin's mother, or a marathon amputee, I'm sure I know what their answer would be. But to the neutral rest of us, the observers, did they deserve to be fired for being stupid for a few minutes? (Really, really, stupidly insensitive?)

Is this the final boss battle?

Fri, 09/13/2013 - 08:13 — JPNor

Since having children, my video gaming time has decreased drastically. And the majority of my gaming time is spent:

Playing Angry Birds while taking a dump

Playing Candy Crush Saga on Facebook whilst on a conference call

Yelling at my son to stop dicking around and move his Skylander closer to mine so I can keep moving through the level

Other than the occasional Humble Bundle I have purchased probably only 3 games for myself in the last year.  I haven't had XBL Gold in 2 years. But, as a huge fan of the GTA series, I'm obviously planning on picking up GTA V in a few days. I'm very excited about it - last night I popped in GTA4 just to relearn the controls and get a feel for the gameplay, after taking a several-years hiatus from the game.

I didn't have as much fun as I expected.

I've been playing video games since I got the NES in 1986. I formed great real-world relationships with people from 2old2play and City of Heroes, and even had some incredible opportunities come from those relationships. Gaming was always a huge part of my life. 

So while there's no question I'll be buying GTA V, and I expect to like it, I kind of wonder if this is it. I'll invest whatever time I can into that game (late at night when the kids are asleep), but after that, will I be spending any amount of time gaming any more? In other words, is GTA V the big boss battle of my gaming life?

I'm not going to waste space in the forums since it's just a Facebook contest but my wife wants to win. 

If you are on Facebook, click the link to go to the picture of my daughter:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=200977913394588&set=a.200977040061342.1073741835.151044411721272&type=1&theater

And then click "Like". Thanks!!

Excel / Access gurus?

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 09:46 — JPNor

I know we have a number of people on the site who know this stuff inside and out. Here's my situation.

I will be receiving a spreadsheet with about 2200 rows on it (including people's first and last names in individual columns). Let's call this Speadsheet A.

Spreadsheets B and C are massive files - B has about 54,000 rows and C has 118,000 rows. Both also have individual columns for first and last name.

I need to check each name on Spreadsheet A against Spreadsheets B and C to determine if any of the people on Spreadsheet A are on either of the others. Rather than searching each name by typing it in (twice) I am looking for a way to automate the process. 

Can anyone provide some ideas? I would prefer to insource this project instead of paying our IT company to do it. From my google searching it appears that this is very possible, but I have no idea where to start. Where are my nerds?

Parenting +1

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 20:54 — JPNor

We had a couple false starts and didn't get into the hospital Monday night as planned (see my next blog down). But Mrs. JP was admitted last night, they started inducing as soon as she got there, and around 1:30 this afternoon things started finally moving along. 

Violet Jean was delivered at 2:40 PM. 6 pounds 13 ounces, 19.5 inches long, and healthy. I want to write more but I'm fucking exhausted and it's time for me to catch some sleep, now that the two older kids are in bed.

One hell of a weekend.

Mon, 12/17/2012 - 09:33 — JPNor

Back in October, I met up with a friend about 10 minutes from my childhood home for a walk. I snapped the above picture because of how picturesque and peaceful the landscape is. 

Friday morning, a gun-wielding lunatic took the lives of 20 children and 7 adults about a mile from where this picture was taken. The last three days I've been glued to the news, the television acting as sort of a filter - behind Anderson Cooper, Barack Obama, sobbing families, and the FBI in full tactical gear, is the same familiar landscape. 

Across the street from my favorite ice cream joint, CNN is broadcasting hundreds of people gathering for a vigil. A very well known flagpole, curiously placed in the dead center of a busy intersection, is now "the" iconic flag at half mast. At the movie theater a couple buildings down from that flagpole my friend Gary and I would go see $2 movies in the early 1990's, hoping to catch a glimpse of Jenna Von Oy, a local native who became famous from her role on Blossom and who would come back to visit every once in awhile. And Treadwell Park, an excellent venue for snow tubing (even as immature adults like me), is now designated as the gathering place for the satellite trucks of every major news network in the United States.

I moved out of there 9 years ago this month and now I live in New Hampshire, some 3 and a half hours away. The filter of my television and computer monitor kept the whole situation surreal until the pictures of the victims started to come in. I do not personally know any of the victims but my friends and family do - and, naturally, they are devastated by the town's massive loss. 

So while the reality of what's happening so close to my home is starting to sink in, my mind is trying to push that to the side to deal with a second major reality. Tonight, at 7 PM, my wife is checking into the hospital to deliver my daughter Violet. My family and friends are driving up from Newtown, Bethel, and Danbury CT to meet her and maybe escape the tragedy and media circus for a day or two. 24 hours from now I'll be fully entrenched into the parenting routine, taking a few days of daddy duty before I drive home for Christmas and see a familiar landscape, drastically changed.

More Rock and Shock content

Thu, 10/18/2012 - 08:33 — JPNor

Just a couple days ago, Waterborn's blog chronicled his day at the Rock and Shock convention in Worcester MA this past weekend. You'll be seeing a number of video interviews starring Waterborn over the next few weeks, starting with a very recognizable movie star/video game enthusiastic today or tomorrow.

I was on the other end of the camera, and made sure to chat up the interviewees for a couple minutes also. Every single one of them, some much bigger celebrities than others, were very friendly and thankful for their fans. Some photos from the weekend:

First, Tyler Mane. He was Michael Myers in Rob Zombie's remakes of Halloween and Sabretooth in the X-Men films. He's also scary tall - I'm 6'2" so I'm not often around people six inches taller than me.

 

Next, Tony Todd. I introduced myself before the interview and then he hung around for another 10 minutes afterwards. Before he left, he addressed me by my name. Which really impressed me because I am very forgettable.

Sid Haig:

Michael Barryman. I've never met an actor who is as appreciative of his fans as Michael Barryman:

The cast of Holliston. On the left is Adam Green, director of Hatchet and Frozen (if you've never seen Frozen I'd recommend it):

Machete, Johnny-23, Tortuga, Romeo, and many other great characters - the man, Danny Trejo:

Clerks' Brian O'Halloran. I told him that he and I met in a bar in NYC about ten years ago, and we then bullshitted about all the great places to drink in lower Manhattan:

Bill Moseley:

Madison Lintz ("Sophia" from The Walking Dead). We did not have a chance to interview her, but she was a pleasure to talk to:

And finally, Heather Langenkamp, who played Nancy in the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, introducing herself to my one-year-old. We never taught him to shake hands but when she held out hers, he knew exactly what to do:

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