Digital visual effects are here to stay. Not just in terms of rendering entire characters and environments from scratch, but also in all those things you're not meant to notice: color and lighting correction, live action compositing, erasing wires and other detritus, etc. As such, there may be no filmmakers working today – certainly no mainstream filmmakers – who are… read more!
Here we are in the final third of 2021, which I think has given us enough time to gain some perspective on the previous decade. Of course our understanding of a "decade" as a distinct collection of fashions, fads, and cultural mores may have ended with the 20th century. In other words, while the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s remain very… read more!
As movies and TV came around long after Alexander Graham Bell made his mark, the telephone has been an inherent part of screen storytelling from the beginning (unless, of course, your story is set in the pre-telephonic era). Thus dramatic tropes – or clichés, if you prefer – were quickly developed around it, at least around the ways we had… read more!
This list was conceived shortly after my December 2019 trip to England, when I spotted some peculiarities about British life that had escaped my notice in earlier visits. I intended to post it after returning to the UK in late March 2020; that holiday never happened, thanks to the pandemic, but I've been ignoring the List of 9 for so… read more!
Years ago, when I was still on Twitter, I saw someone rhetorically ask, "Since when did children of celebrities think they could be pop stars?" He was referring to Miley Cyrus, I guess, but I replied to him and said, "Since Ricky Nelson." We've come a long way from Ozzie and Harriet and their son's teen idol days; now the… read more!
My big project for the past 8 months – and very well for the next 8 years – is something I'm calling L.A. Street Names. It's a forthcoming website and app about the name origins of streets throughout Los Angeles County. Naturally, some of these streets' namesakes are celebrities, but not nearly as many as one might think. (Someone recently… read more!
There's no need to reiterate how bad 2020 was. It was arguably harder on me than on your average person, due to a death in my immediate family (not to Covid). But aside from that, as I've put it to friends, I didn't have a good year but I had a good 2020. So in the spirit of optimism, and… read more!