Tracy's blog

I’m Tracy Au and I have graduated from the Professional Writing program from university. I am an aspiring screenwriter, so this blog is used to promote my writing and attract people who will hire me to write for your TV show or movie. I write a lot about writing, TV, movies, jokes, and my daily life and opinions. I have another blog promoting my TV project at www.thevertexfighter.blogspot.com.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Metro classes/ art/ Connect with Technology

Aug. 6 Metro classes: Let’s look at the Metro Adult Continuing Education Programs.  I’m looking at the Winter 2014 brochure.

Art:

Drawing: The Artist’s Foundation
Introduction to Coloured Pencils
Portraits in Pencil
Making Mukluks
Oil Painting: Beginner to Intermediate.  

My opinion: Jewelry Making like A Sophisticated Start to Stringing.  I’m not really interested in painting.  The Jewelry Making seems interesting because I have thought about making jewelry and selling it.  However, I’m not that interested in it to go and create it and start selling at farmer’s markets.

Business and Management: There are good classes like:

Supervision and Management Training:

Dealing with Difficult People
Interview Skills: Hire the Right Person
Managing Successful Projects

Business Communications:

Assertiveness: Business Language That Works
Effective Written Communication

Financial Management and Accounting:

Bookkeeping Level 1
QuickBooks
Simply Accounting

My opinion: I should take this.

Presentation and Facilitation Skills:

Becoming a Leading Facilitator

Real Estate:

Investing in Real Estate

Small Business:

From Business Dream to Business Reality
How to Write a Business Plan

Custom and Corporate Training:

This is to companies where they create workshops specifically to the company that teaches the above classes.

Careers and Personal Finance:

Improving Your Career Options:

Career Transitions
Hidden Keys to Career Success

Investing:

The Basics of Investing
Stock Trading

Managing Your Money:

Preparing for Retirement

Computer Training and Technology:

Absolute Beginners:

Computer Essentials Basics: Scared Stiff

Microsoft Applications:

Access Level 1
Excel Level 1
Office Level 1

My opinion: I should take this.

Connect with Technology:

Amazing Apps

Interest for Pinterest

Exploring Social Media Series:

Making Twitter Work for You

Web Design:

Build Your Own Website

Cooking:

Baking:

Beautiful Breads: Cinnamon Buns & More

Basic:

30- Minute Meals

Nutritious & Delicious Series:

Raw, Vegan & Fabulous

Ethnic:

Authentic Mexican Cuisine
East Indian Cuisine 101

My opinion: I took a Student –for-a- day at NAIT’s Baking program last year.  After the morning I thought it wasn’t really for me.  As in I don’t see cooking as a career. 

Dance:

For Partners:

You need to register with a partner for these classes:

Dance 101
Jive Workshop 

For the Love of Dance:

You don’t need to register with a partner for these classes:

Cuban Dance Party
Latin Dance Moves

Friday, August 29, 2014

Escaping Unemployment/ Overcome excuses/ Mindfulness at work



Aug. 15 Escaping Unemployment: Ginny Grimsley sent me this article.  Richard B. Alman, principal and chief career/employment strategist of Recruiter Media, owner of www.RecruiterNetworks.com, the world's largest owner/operator of career websites.

•  One word: volunteer. “This is, by far, the best advice I can offer if you feel like you’ve tried everything and it hasn’t worked,” he says. Volunteering can pay very high dividends for anyone who is unemployed, under-employed or simply looking for a new career trajectory. It helps current and future employees of any age.
“You may not see the payoff right away, but volunteering has many long-term benefits,” he says.

•  Volunteer in positions that will build your resume´. “When you volunteer, you can update your skills and resume´, which shows potential employers that you’re not lazy,” Alman says.  “Ask for jobs that use the career skills you have. For instance, if you have a background or degree in marketing, look for opportunities to volunteer in marketing for a non-profit.”

For those with stretches of long-term unemployment on their resume´, volunteering is the best way to show future employers that you value staying active and building new skills. And, if you’re a low-wage worker at a fast-food restaurant, for example, you can have a whole new headspace in which to consider your future.

•  Work on developing leads. “You can be just like everyone else who’s desperate for a decent job or you can be proactive and build professional relationships, which do more than resume´s to earn interviews and employment,” he says.

The non-profit sector attracts people who are passionate about a cause, a wide range of associated professionals and, frequently, people who are in high income brackets.

•  Where can folks go to volunteer? A half-hour of research online can yield viable options for legit non-profit organizations. Other great sources are hospitals, which tend to work closely with non-profit organizations. Hospitals also involve a wide variety of professionals.

 “Once again, if you work well and develop great working relationships with others, you open yourself up to a whole network of possibilities,” he says. “Who you know can make the difference.”


My opinion: These are good tips.

Overcome excuses: Ginny Grimsley sent me this article.

"Great people throughout history often fail, quite miserably, before finally reaching their goals," says international business strategist Dan Waldschmidt. 

“Van Gogh sold only one painting during his lifetime; Winston Churchill lost every public election until becoming prime minister at age 62; Henry Ford went bankrupt five times; Albert Einstein was a terrible student and was expelled from school; Sigmund Freud was booed from a stage,” says Waldschmidt, author of “Edgy Conversations: How Ordinary People Achieve Outrageous Success,” (www.EdgyConversations.com).

“Ideas, brilliance, genius – they all mean nothing without the guts, passion and tenacity necessary to make your dream a reality. But often, people fall back on excuses and give up on trying to reach their goals.”

Most of us have dreams, and many of us have big ones, but few of us actually see them through, he says.

He offers six tricks for jumping off the excuse train and forge the path to your goals.

•  Avoid the need to blame others for anything. Mean, small-minded people know that they suck. That’s why they are so cranky and eager to point out others’ mistakes. They hope that by causing others to feel inadequate, everyone will forget about how woefully off the mark their own performance is. Don’t blame anyone, for any reason, ever. It’s a bad habit.

•  Stop working on things that just don’t matter. Not everything needs to be done in place of sleep. If you work for a boss, then you owe them solid time. You can’t cut that out. You can, however, cut out television time, meetings and anything else that gets in the way of achieving your goals. Replace entertainment with activity toward your goal.

•  Refuse to let yourself wallow in self-doubt. You’re alive to succeed. Stop comparing your current problems to your last 18 failures. They are not the same. You are not the same. Here’s something to remember: Your entire life has been a training ground for you to capture your destiny right now. Why would you doubt that? Stop whining. Go conquer.

•  Ask yourself, “What can I do better next time?” And then do it next time. If you spend a decade or two earnestly trying to be better, that’s exactly what will happen. The next best thing to doing something amazing is not doing something stupid. So learn from your mistakes and use the lessons to dominate.

•  Proactively take time to do things that fuel your passion. Exercise is a great example. Living in the moment requires you to live at peak performance. A huge part of mental fitness is physical fitness. A sparring or running partner is a great way to refresh physical competition. Physical activity accelerates mental motivation.

•  Apologize to yourself and those around you for having a bad attitude. Do this once or twice and you’ll snap out of your funk pretty fast. When you start genuinely apologizing for being a bad influence on those around you, you learn to stop whining and start winning.

My opinion: This is an inspirational article to motivate me.


Aug. 17 Mindfulness at work: Ginny Grimsley sent me this article.  Here’s an excerpt:

“Mindfulness – being focused and fully present in the here and now – is good for individuals and good for a business’s bottom line.
How can people practice it in a workplace where multitasking is the norm, and concerns for future profits can add to workplace stress?”

•  Focus on a single task for an allotted amount of time. You might say, “For 15 minutes, I’m going to read through my emails, and then for one hour, I’m going to make my phone calls,” Dr. Romie says.

If your job comes with constant interruptions that demand your attention, take several deep breaths and then prioritize them. Resist the urge to answer the phone every time it rings -- unless it’s your boss. If someone asks you to drop what you’re doing to help with a problem, it’s OK to tell them, “I’ll be finished with what I’m doing in 10 minutes, then I’m all yours.”

•  When you get “stuck” in a task, change your physical environment to stimulate your senses. Sometimes we bounce from one task to another because we just don’t have the words to begin writing that strategic plan, or we’re staring at a problem and have no ideas for solutions.

“That’s the time to get up, take a walk outside and look at the flowers and the birds – change what you’re seeing,” Dr. Romie says. “Or turn on some relaxing music that makes you feel happy.”

Offering your senses pleasant and different stimulation rewires your brain for relaxation, and reduces the effects of stress hormones, which helps to unfreeze your creativity center.

•  Delegate! We often have little control over the external stresses in our life, particularly on the job. How can you not multitask when five people want five different things from you at the same time?

“Have compassion for yourself, and reach out for help,” Dr. Romie says. “If you can assign a task to somebody else who’s capable of handling it, do so. If you need to ask a colleague to help you out, ask!”

This will not only allow you to focus on the tasks that most need your attention, it will reduce your stress.
“And who knows? The colleague you’re asking for help may want to feel appreciated and part of your team!”


My opinion: This is a good article because we should not only be mindful at work, but in life.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Food for thought / Alimenter la réflexion (Food Banks Canada)

Hi Tracy,
I hope you enjoy reading about your gifts in action, 
and connecting with stories that you make possible 
with your generous support. 
What you will find in our latest issue of Food for Thought :
  • This Summer: Recognizing Canadian Farmers
  • The Hunger Run 
  • #BabysFirstSelfie
and so much more! Check out this latest issue here







The life of a defender of Indigenous peoples’ rights is at risk

Demand protection and humanitarian assistance for Iraqi Families struggling to survive

 Juan Pablo Gutiérrez needs your help immediately!

I received the distressing news this week that our photographer in Colombia, our friend Juan Pablo Gutiérrez, has received a death threat.

Juan Pablo's beautiful photographs of Indigenous men and women in Colombia – has toured cities across Canada and inspired tens of thousands of Canadians to speak up in defense of threaten Indigenous peoples.

You can imagine how distressing it has been for us to hear that his life is at risk.

Please, help us alert the authorities to ensure they act immediately to protect Juan Pablo

.
I know that your help can make a difference. Earlier this year when another Indigenous leader Flaminio Onogama Gutierrez was targeted, the Canadian government worked hard to ensure that protection was arranged. 

Your message will be sent to the Director of the National Protection Unit in Colombia, and Canada’s Foreign Minister John Baird, who is in a position of influence because of the special relationship that exists between Canada and Colombia through the free trade agreement.

We are taking this threat very seriously: it was delivered via envelope by the notorious Aguilas Negras (Black Eagles), a feared paramilitary group. The message warned that Juan Pablo was now a target and would be killed for his work with the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC), a coalition with whom Amnesty International Canada works closely. He has received numerous threatening phone calls since.

Juan Pablo Gutiérrez is a big-hearted, creative, hard-working advocate for the rights
of threatened Indigenous peoples, a long-time partner with Amnesty Canada, and a dear friend to my colleague, campaigner for Central and South America, Kathy Price.

Will you please a send a message right away? 

Please don’t let him come to harm.

Thank you. Thank you so much, in advance, for responding.



alex_sig.gif

alex_portrait.gif  

Alex Neve
Secretary General, Amnesty International Canada

counseling/ should I continue into TV production?



Aug. 7 Counseling: I finally went to a counseling session the other day.  I haven’t been to counseling since around the end of 2012.  I called up Counselor #1 again whom I have seen about 4 times that year.  She said she wasn’t taking any new clients anymore and that she was ending it.  I was fine and was going to start looking for another counselor.

I had seen Counselor #2 once in 2012, but she was more expensive and didn’t help as much.  At that time, I had benefits and my work paid for it.

I had gotten this information sheet from Counselor #2 about subsidized and affordable counseling.  I called them up and they were all about a sliding fee scale based on how much money you make.

This time I saw Counselor #3.  She was affordable.  I knew I had to start over again with her, as in give her my family information and my life situation up to that point.  There was a questionnaire I had to fill out and asked what you wanted to get out of this counseling.

Writer interviews: When I was talking to the Counselor #3, I felt like I was in my fictional writer interviews.  That’s because the fictional host and the real Counselor #3 were discussing about my writing.



The Years: I had to tell Counselor about the years and gave a timeline.

2008 The Year of the Soup Place: I was working full-time at the Soup place and pitching my script constantly.

2009 The Year of The Vertex Fighter:  I was working full-time at the Soup place and pitching my script constantly.

2010 The Year of Unemployment: I was laid off in Mar. and then I was so busy looking for a regular job and an office job, that I stopped pitching my script.

2011 The Year of the Office Job Search: I was working at my restaurant job in the morning and constantly looking for an office job on the internet and going all over town to go to job interviews.  I probably did on average 5 interviews a month.

2012 The Year of New Directions: I was working at my restaurant job and constantly looking for an office job on the internet and going all over town to go to job interviews. 

This time it’s different because I did a lot of temporary jobs like Telemarketer #1, Telemarketer #2 and job shadows at a dental lab and selling newspapers door-to-door. 

I did career counseling and regular counseling.

I also looked for a job in TV production.  It lasted about a month because there aren’t that many TV production companies in Edmonton and that are hiring.  I made lots of contacts.

2013 The Year of the Office Job: I worked at the Office Job for 5 months at the beginning of the year.  I worked at the restaurant on the weekends.  In the last half of the year, I worked at the restaurant and looked for an office job.

The experience at the Office Job, I can put on my resume.

2014: The first half of the year, I was working at the restaurant job and constantly looking for an office job on the internet.

Aug. 8 Should I continue into TV production?: I had written this list last month, and I shared it with the Counselor.  Now I will put it on my blog.

Continue into TV production:

  1. The producer John Kerr believes in me.
  2. Lots of TV producers have read my script and shown interest (over the years.)
  3. There are lots of TV production companies in Alberta, Canada.
  4. There are lots of TV writers and TV producers in Canada, so I can achieve it too.
  5. There are lots of Canadian shows that are successful like The Listener.
  6. A few weeks ago there was an office assistant position at a TV production company.  I got excited and applied to it.  I was genuinely excited.
  7. I was deleting Screenwriting Goldmine emails, and I still feel like I should take note of all the TV production companies listed so I can pitch to them.
  8. My goal of getting The Vertex Fighter is realistic and achievable as a TV movie/ back door pilot.  I’m not trying to get it into theatres.

Don’t continue into TV production:

  1. It takes years to produce one project.  (For example, the movie Tammy took 6 years in development.)  
  2. I have always said: “If I was to die unexpectedly, produce my TV script.”  Now, it’s more like: “Continue my blog.  I have cut out a bunch of news articles.  You can find the articles on the internet.  I had highlighted excerpts of it.  You can bold the text of the parts I highlighted.”
I wouldn’t ask my friends and family to try to get my TV script produced because it’s so hard.

Another question is: If I were to die unexpectedly, “Would you regret that your script didn’t get produced in your lifetime?”

Tracy: I wouldn’t.  Because I gave my 100% effort into getting my script produced in 2008-2009 (2 yrs).  Also 4 months in 2010.

Your opinions: I’m asking this to my friends and family, (and my blog readers) the above question: “Should I continue into TV production?”  If not, then what I should I go into?

That’s why I talked to a Counselor, somebody who brings a new perspective.  Because sometimes when you are too close to something, you don’t see it.  It’s like that time my friend Leslie told me that I get so angry watching Dr. Phil because I take it too personal.

Poke holes through logic: Here are some examples of outsider’s perspectives on things and they poke holes through logic.

Teen pregnancy: Here’s the Tyra Banks teen pregnancy episode.  I have written about this before where this black girl Jessica at the beginning of the episode talks about wanting to have a baby with her ex- boyfriend.  This is a paraphrase:

Jessica: I want to have a baby with my ex-boyfriend.  He doesn’t want to have a baby now or in the future, but I feel like when the baby does come, he’s going to want to be with me and we’re going to be a family and raise it together.
Tyra: So you want to have a baby with a guy you’re not even with?

Jessica did come back on the show months later to say: “After I saw myself on TV, I realized how stupid and ridiculous I sounded and looked and that I’m not ready to have a baby."


Christal Khalil: I wrote about her playing Lily on the TV show The Young and the Restless and there was an interview with her leaving the show to go to college.

Twop person: So you don’t want to play Lily anymore, yet you don’t want anyone else to play that role either?

Aug. 12: I am inviting you guys to either tell me to continue or not continue into TV production.

Aug. 20: I know I ask a lot of questions in my email, and no one really answers it often.  I get comments here and there.  This is an important question regarding my life direction and career path so your input would be helpful, even if it’s something small like “Keep going into TV production.”

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Heather Conway/ E-Town shows/ Out with Dad



Aug. 4 Heather Conway:  In the Globe and Mail on “Does Heather Conway have what it takes to save the CBC?” by Simon Houpt.  Conway is the new executive vice-president of CBC’s English services and has been there for 7 months.  I’m sure all of you heard CBC is struggling.

“It might be my economics background, but I tend to look at problems and challenges and say: ‘What is fixed, and what is variable?’ ” she says. “To put your calories against the stuff you can actually have an impact on, the
variables, is so much better use of your time, your energy, your intellect, your creativity, than to spend all of your time focusing on what’s fixed.”

“Who else, she asks, will program the “risky” programs? She points to The Boys of St. Vincent, an acclaimed two-part mini-series produced by the National Film Board about sexual abuse by priests at a St. John’s orphanage. Produced by the National Film Board, the film was slated to air on CBC in December 1992, when it was hit with an injunction brought by four priests then at trial for sexual abuse. CBC fought the injunction, and the film aired in some areas of the country – accompanied by emergency help-line information for victims of abuse or those who just needed to talk about what they’d seen. But it wasn’t until a year later that viewers in Ontario and parts of Quebec were finally able to watch it. “That was a national conversation that we needed to have. And very few nations had it,” says Conway. But a skeptic might point out that her example is 22 years old.”

My opinion: That first paragraph sounds good and I will put it in my inspirational quotes.


A tale of Two E-Town shows: I cut out this Edmonton Journal article by Fish Griwkowsky and Elizabeth Withey on Mar. 8, 2014.  Blackstone and Tiny Plastic Men are nominated for Canadian Screen Awards.

Blackstone: “Blackstone is an unmuted exploration of community, power and politics on a First Nation reserve”


Tiny Plastic Men: This show is a comedy set in an office.  It stars Chris Craddock, this Edmonton Public Library Writer in Residence in 2010 who read my scripts.



Out with Dad: I cut out this Edmonton Journal article "Out with Dad has worldwide reach" by Eric Volmers on Mar. 8, 2014.  Here are some excerpts:

At any given time, people from around the world could be watching Calgarian Caitlynne Medrek on the web series Out with Dad.

It's a fairly mind-boggling scenario for any actress, but particularly impressive when you consider the series has a message that would not go over well in certain corners of the world.

Out with Dad is about closeted teenage lesbian, Rose, who deals with the trials and tribulations of coming out with the help of her single father.

Because the World Wide Web has no borders, the series has become particularly popular in areas where the struggle has considerably higher stakes.

"If we were just on a regular TV channel, we wouldn't be reaching all the places in the world where Out with Dad is helping people," says Medrek, on the phone from Toronto. "The majority of countries that we're big in are places in the Middle East, like Saudi Arabia, places where it's still very illegal and you can't even talk about being gay. That's where we're finding most of our views come from. If we were just on a regular TV channel, they would have no access to that. " The 24-year-old got her start doing stage work in Calgary. But recently, it's been the relatively new medium of web series where she is becoming well known. On Out With Dad, she plays openly gay teenager Claire, who was introduced in the second season as the "Girl in the Washroom" before becoming more prevalent as Rose's supportive friend and later romantic interest.

"I love how confident she is and totally optimistic and just OK with being herself," says Medrek about her character. "I feel Claire is a bit of an old soul in that she kind of got over those humps, those emotional breakthroughs, a little bit earlier which is why she's there to help Rose and her coming-out story as well. " For 14 years, Medrek was a Ukrainian dancer in Calgary before her mother suggested she audition for a role in a production of The Wizard of Oz.

My opinion: I find this article inspirational that is helping people who are gay. 

Also I should create a web series.  I know The Listener has their own web series on ctv.ca.  I know Rookie Blue has their own web series on globaltv.ca.


Sherlock Holmes: On Jan. 13 2012, I was reading a Screenwriting Goldmine newsletter that said this:

“The other night I saw Sherlock Holmes (the 2009 version, credited to Michael Robert Johnson) and a few other writers. I thought it was funny, smart, ultra-enjoyable, with some great set pieces. 

Even if the story lacked a little muscle, and even if it had a number of tremendously hammy lines, and even if the antagonist kept vanishing, and even if it all felt rather coincidence driven, and even if there were actually a couple too many stand alone set
pieces that didn't carry the story forward, and even if it was all a little bit of an exposition nightmare at the end.... well, I'll be honest, I absolutely loved it. I was actually sad when it finished because I wanted to go on watching it.”

My opinion: I haven’t seen the movie, but I will when it comes on TV.

Tammy: I was reading about Melissa McCarthy's movie Tammy.  In this article “McCarthy’s cred gets film made.”  It said it took 6 years in development to get made:

Melissa McCarthy needed the following on her curriculum vitae to get Tammy made at a Hollywood studio - one: a hit show (Mike & Molly) and an Emmy, and two: a hit movie (Bridesmaids) and an Academy Awards nomination.

After six years of development, Tammy is finally in theatres.


Bell Media: In the Globe and Mail on Jun. 23, 2014, “Bell Media cuts up to 120 people at it’s TV operations.” They are going to lay off 120 people in Toronto.


Aug. 7 The Golden Vanguard: I used to write my movie reviews and they put it up on their website.  I emailed them and they said they are closing down the website because they’re too busy to run it.  I have thought to ask: “How many page views does my movie reviews get read?” 

I guess I’ll never know, but that’s fine because I have my blog.  I can see how many page views I get.

Aug. 12 Focus Features: I was reading the Metro and learned that Focus Features made the movie Dallas Buyers Club.  I was looking it up so I can pitch my TV movie script to it, but they produce movies released in the theatres.

However, the website looks pretty good.  Check it out:

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Afflicted movie/ old scripts/ The Listener



Aug. 12 Afflicted movie: I cut out this Edmonton Journal article “Behind Afflicted” where Jay Stone interviews the actors/writers/ directors of the movie.  It was on Apr. 4, 2014.  Here is the article:

The Canadian horror movie Afflicted was written and directed by Clif Prowse and Derek Lee, two 35-year-old filmmakers from Vancouver who had never made a feature before. It also stars Clif Prowse and Derek Lee as two guys named Clif Prowse and Derek Lee who plan an around-the-world trip but get stopped in Paris by ... well, it's kind of a secret, but it is a horror movie.

The friends have been making movies together since they were 16: shorts that won awards but didn't get seen much. Afflicted, however, was shown at the Toronto International Film Festival and is going into wide release. The mock travel blog told in documentary style cost just $318,000 to make.
Postmedia caught up with the filmmakers by phone.

Q: How did you come to this movie?

Derek: It came to the point where we needed to make feature films but the first script we wrote was a $20-million sprawling international action film, and no one was going to fund that for two unknowns.

Then Clif threw out the idea of 'supernatural documentary.' I wasn't initially excited about the idea but ... I thought, going found-footage and documentary style to make something as surreal as a creature movie was a cool idea and rich creative ground.

Q: After Blair Witch Project and Paranormal , did you think people might be tired of the found footage genre?

Clif: We didn't come to it saying we'd like to make a found-footage movie ... And then just find some random thing and plug it in there because it's a cheap way to do it. For us it was in the context of the supernatural creature in our film. Often that's a story told in cinematic, stylized, and often melodramatic language.

The thing that was really exciting about it was, wow, if we approached this from a realistic perspective, and reimagined what this would look like if it happened in real life, what if we tried to make it feel much more biological and have this really gritty documentary-style look at it, where all of a sudden people feel they're watching real life, and see spectacular things happen within that frame? That was core to the concept.

Q: It must be challenging to be the directors and actors at the same time.

Clif: Most of the time one of us is holding the camera on the other which allows you to step back at that point and be the director. The toughest scenes were where it was the two of us on screen at the same time. At that point you have to leave your directing assessing hat at the door and just be in the scene.

Q: And you did it with a pretty small crew?

Clif: There were seven people, most of them doing the job of an entire department. The cinematographer had to light a nighttime action sequence on a street with four small lights.

Q: And yet you managed to go to Europe to shoot it.

Derek: We had the audacity to shoot a $300,000 action horror film on location in Western Europe. It's actually an idiotic concept.

Clif: The boon of doing it documentary style was there was a small crew and less gear, so we can fly to Europe. If you're shooting a $300,000 Canadian movie, that often means you're in a house, shooting in 15 days. We had 30 days in Western Europe.

Q: What's next? Derek: "We're writing our next feature film. It's an action film, in a darker horror vein, psychological and tormented. Not found footage. I miss music so much. We want to get back to aggressive, wide-angle dolly shots ... We want to create our own voice that is more true to what we've been making until now.


My opinion: It was a very inspirational interview about 2 filmmakers having success with this movie that they created.

Movie review: Here’s the movie review I read in the Edmonton Journal that was right beside the interview.  Here are some excerpts:

Afflicted is, then, kind of an old (not to say eternal) story, but dressed up in new media and new attitudes: at one point, once they’ve figured out why Derek is so hungry all the time and why he looks so strangely pale, Clif goes onto the Internet to check up on what to expect. Derek will shortly develop power over vermin, it says, although — like a lot of stuff you read online — this turns out not to be true.

…realizes that he’s in the presence of something not only supernatural but, like, awesome. All fears are put aside as Clif films Derek’s new superheroic abilities: smashing rocks, leaping into the air, lifting a van, and outrunning a motorcycle.

“Found footage” has become a tired technique (one waits in vain for the “lost footage” genre), but Lee and Prowse, who also wrote the screenplay, give it new life.


Aug. 17 Old scripts: I was going through my disks and found this.  It’s something I wrote back in 2009/ 2010.

My idea: Aziz gets beaten up by a mob.  He owes them money since he opened the restaurant. The mob boss is the bad guy.

2014: It’s been done on the TV show Believe.  This black guy owns this tool store and got money from a mob guy.  There is 48 hrs left to pay back.  Tate has to get a white horse back to the mob guy to be even with him.

My idea: The restaurant is being threatened to close down, and Daniel and Jessica have to save it.

It’s been done before in the movie Empire Records:

“The employees of an independent music store learn about each other as they try anything to stop the store being absorbed by a large chain.”


I never saw that movie.

Aug. 21 The Listener: I just finished watching The Listener series finale.  It was a really good series finale.  I love this show.  This has been on for 5 seasons and always had well- written episodes.  It was overall a good show with writing, acting, and characters.  I would say it never “jumped the shark.” 

I kind of knew season 5 was going to be the last season.  A few months ago, I remember reading an interview with the star Craig Olejnik and he says it maybe the last season because they have enough episodes for syndication.

From the beginning of the series, it wasn’t a sure thing if this show will last this long.  It came out in summer 2009.  Then there may not be a second season, and there wasn’t the show at all in 2010. 

It came with the second season in Jan. 2011, mid-season.  Then it showed most of the episodes, and then it stopped.  It aired the remaining 3 episodes at the end of the summer.

Then it came back for the 3rd season in summer 2012, 4th season in summer 2013, and 5th season in summer 2014. 

There were quite a lot of changes with a couple of characters written off and new ones added in.  In the first season Toby was a paramedic and uses his telepathic powers to help people.  In the second season, he was recruited to the IIB to help people.

Here’s a really good article about the show ending: 

The Listener focuses on Toby, who can read people's minds. There was an official announcement on Aug. 6 that the fifth season would be the final season.

“Literally, we (the cast, which besides Olejnik and Esmer includes Lauren Lee Smith, Melanie Scrofano, Anthony Lemke and Rainbow Sun Francks) found out only four or five days before the announcement,” Olejnik said.

“It's still kicking in that the show is done, and it's still kicking in that I even was on a show that went for 65 episodes, and I was in 90% of it," Olejnik said. "That's insane to me. It still blows my mind. I'm just grateful.

“It comes down to eyeballs, it comes down to the network supporting it, and the producers producing it, and the people watching it. I'm still learning what it means to be an actor, and what purpose it serves society and history. But I've learned so much over these years that will be invaluable to me in my lifetime, just as a human being.

“To all the 'listeners' (viewers) out there, I want to thank them deeply from the bottom of my heart, for making a little Nova Scotia boy's dreams come true."


My opinion: I saw all 65 episodes.  I even wrote synopsis’s about the episodes on my blog, at least for the first 2 seasons.  Goodbye The Listener.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

fun job interviews/ be a narcissist in a job interview



Jun. 25 Fun job interviews: I went to an interview at a clinic earlier this week.  The interview was average.  It was easy to get to.  I felt like I had a rapport with her.  She asked good questions.

I went to another interview a few weeks ago.  There were a lot of applicants when they put up the ad on the internet, and they said we were the best of the best applicants.  It seems they were really reading the questionnaire we had to fill out.  There was a group interview. 

The interview was actually kind of fun because they asked each of us fun questions to get to know us:

What did you dress up as for Halloween?
What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done?
What’s the last food purchase?
What is your best Christmas gift?
What is the worst Christmas gift?

Cats or dogs?
What’s your favorite food?
Iphone or Blackberry?
Mac or PC?
What’s the most annoying song?
Skiing or snowboarding?
How many pushups can you do?
Edward or Jacob?

Jul. 10 Be a narcissist in a job interview: Last month my friend Dan L. sent me this article on Facebook.  Here are a few excerpts:

In the long term, no one likes to work with narcissists, who tend to centre conversations around themselves, expect constant praise and disregard the opinions of others.

But in a job interview, they boast about their own accomplishments, make eye contact, joke around and ask more questions, which makes them seem more relaxed and confident, according to the study published in Journal of Applied Social Psychology.

"If you’re a naturally modest person, you might want to try to be a narcissist for the day and maybe practise self-promoting. Even though you feel uncomfortable with it, you’ve got to do it for this one situation," he said.


911 operator: I checked my email, and my friend Sherry sent me this City of Edmonton job posting.  I clicked on it and the job posting expired.  That’s fine.  I then continued looking at the website and found the 911 operator job.  I already wrote about it before in “MacEwan University programs review (A to E).”  Here’s what it says on the job site:

“The Communications Section of the Edmonton Police Service is seeking one (1) Full-Time 911 Emergency Operator. The successful applicant will be responsible for:

• Receiving communications on the 911 emergency telephone system.
• Screening emergency calls utilizing ANI/ALI (Automated Number/Location Identifiers) to confirm location of the emergency.
• Extending the call to the appropriate emergency response agency.
• Relieving the EPS corporate switchboard operator.
• Performing other related assignments as directed by the duty sergeant.

Qualifications

• Completion of the twelfth (12th) school grade.
• Emergency Communications and Response Program Certificate or post-secondary equivalent experience would be considered an asset.
• Excellent oral communication skills: strong command of the English language.
• Experience dealing with the general public.
• Ability to apply evaluation skills when dealing with the general public
• Strong interpersonal skills.
• Proficient and accurate typing skills.
• Previous experience with computer information processing and data entry.
• Experience with a Meridian 61 or similar multi-line telephone system and/or emergency service communications would be considered an asset.
• Available to work varied shifts, including day, afternoon, and night shifts on weekdays and weekends, peak holiday seasons and statutory holidays.
• Applicants may be tested.
• THE EDMONTON POLICE SERVICE WILL CONDUCT AN ENHANCED SECURITY CLEARANCE ON THOSE CANDIDATES WHO HAVE BEEN SHORT-LISTED.

Hours of Work:

40 hours per week (time balanced), 12 hour shifts rotating (0530 – 1730 and 1730 – 0530).

Salary Range:

21B, Salary Grade: 007, $19.67 - $24.42 (Hourly), $1,573.30 - $1,953.40 (Bi-Weekly), $41,062.61 - $50,984.78 (Annually). The rates quoted are in accordance with a collective agreement between the Union and the City of Edmonton that expired on December 28, 2013.

General:

• Civic Service Union 52 members are asked to send a copy of their application to the union office.
• The City of Edmonton thanks applicants for their interest in this opportunity. Candidates considered for the position will be contacted.
• We are an equal opportunity employer. We welcome diversity and encourage applications from all qualified individuals.

The Province of Alberta is a party to the federal Agreement on Internal Trade, the Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement with British Columbia, and the New West Partnership with British Columbia and Saskatchewan. All of these agreements promote labour mobility between the provinces. Applicants may obtain information regarding recognition of extra provincial credentials at www.tilma.ca

My opinion: I did get an email for an interview at Saskatchewan to be a 911 operator.  I was kind of eh with moving to a new province and living on my own.  “Eh” meaning I’m not really interested in living in Saskatchewan.  The job itself, I was like: “What if I’m bad at the job?  Well I can always move back home.”

Now there is the same job in Edmonton.  I look at it, and there are 12 hr shifts from 5:30am to 5:30pm or 5:30pm-5:30am.  Busses don’t really run that early.  Well in downtown it does.

Look at the shifts.

Jul. 11 Sears: I was reading the Metro and there is this ad that the Sears at Bonnie Doon has “outlet discounts.”  It didn’t say this location was exactly closing down.  I feel like this location will close down first because Bonnie Doon is not that big of a mall.  There are Sears at Kingsway and West Ed mall and they’re bigger malls.

Avon: I read in the newspaper that the makeup company Avon is laying off 600 people.  In the paper it said that makeup is not a necessary expense, so people don’t buy them as much.


Sobeys: They’re going to close down some stores like the IGA on Stony Plain Road.  I was surprised to read that they were going to close down Sobey’s Urban Fresh in downtown.  They opened in 2008, and that store is always busy.  There was an Edmonton Journal article about customers being sad that the downtown location is closing down.

Hopefully another grocery store will take over.  If not, there is still Save on Foods on 109 street and Jasper, and Safeway in Oliver Square.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Relaxing Asian music



The Far East [Easy Listening, World, Asian, Chinese Japanese, Buddha, Chill Out Music]

3hr 41 min.

A picture of a big boat with an orange sail.


3 HOURS of the Best Traditional Japanese Music ! - Relaxing Music - Meditation and Sleeping Music

2hr 59 min.

It’s a picture of a purple mountain in front of a pink sky.


3 HOURS of The Best Relaxing music | Bamboo Flute | - Meditation - Spa - Healing - Sleep

3hr 2 min.

A picture of a waterfall amongst all these green trees and rocks.


Tell Ferguson Police: Respect the Human Rights of All Residents

Get Involved
Act Now

Demonstrators protesting the shooting death of Michael Brown hold signs on August 16, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
A police officer in Ferguson, Missouri fatally shot unarmed teenager Michael Brown on August 9.

Over the past week, the Ferguson Police Department has used heavy-handed tactics to quell protests.

Demand that Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson take clear steps to investigate police conduct and avoid excessive force.
Take Action!

Share This Action
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Dear Tracy,

Michael Brown, an unarmed black teen, was shot dead by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri on August 9. When local residents took to the streets in protest, the police department responded with heavy-handed tactics - including tear gas and rubber bullets.

Tell Ferguson's Police Chief Thomas Jackson to ensure police respect the human rights of ALL residents.

When I touched down in Ferguson, Missouri this week with the Amnesty International USA delegation, I didn't know what to expect. We had some facts, but new details came to light by the hour, which helped us get a better grasp on policing in the city and on protestors, journalists and residents caught in the middle of rapidly evolving events.

Despite the fact that protests have been largely peaceful, police in Ferguson have continued to use heavy-handed tactics against protestors.

The city of Ferguson must conduct a thorough and impartial investigation into Michael Brown’s death and avoid unnecessary or excessive force against protestors.

Here's the thing about human rights: Everyone has them. It doesn’t matter what race a person is, what anyone is wearing or how loud they are yelling. All of that is irrelevant because human rights are universal whether you're in Iran, Brazil, the U.S., or any other country.

Right now everyone in Ferguson - protesters, residents, police and local officials - holds these human rights:
  • All people have the right to live free from violence and to be safe in their communities.
  • All people have the right to peaceful protest.
  • All people have the right to equality before the law.
Even if a protest turns violent, police must exhaust all non-violent means before resorting to force, and then use only what is strictly necessary and proportional in the particular circumstances.

Just last night, police kept journalists and human rights workers - including myself - from observing the tactics they used to disperse the crowd and make arrests.

Stand with Amnesty International in our work to protect the human rights of all people. Tell Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson to investigate Michael Brown's death immediately and respect the rights of peaceful protestors.

In solidarity,

Rachel O'Leary
Deputy Executive Director, Membership Mobilization
Amnesty International USA Delegate in Ferguson, MO


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Article: March is National Ideas Month


Ginny Grimsley sent me this article.  


4 Ways to Come Up with Brilliant Ideas
When the Pressure’s On
 
National Ideas Month Shines a Light on Creativity

March is National Ideas Month.  Hey, whose bright idea was that?
Here’s an intriguing idea from New York Times best-selling author and writing coach Michael Levin,: “Creativity is a muscle; use it or lose it.”

Levin, whose new Books Are My Babies YouTube channel (www.BooksAreMyBabies.com) offers 160-plus free tutorials for writers, says anyone can grow their creativity, just like any other muscle. 

“I define creativity as ‘the ability to develop great ideas while under pressure,’ ” he says. “Pressure creates diamonds, so why shouldn’t it also create great ideas?” 
But sometimes, pressure paralyzes creativity.

“I’ve experienced it when writing under deadline pressure and writing under the pressure of my own high expectations,” Levin says. “Over time, I’ve developed several tricks to stimulate my creative muscle and help me come up with great ideas for whatever challenge I face – whether it’s writing or figuring out how to arrange a busy family weekend schedule so that everyone’s needs are met.”

Here are four of Levin’s no-fail tips for generating creative ideas under pressure:
1. Ask yourself, “What’s the most dangerous, expensive and illegal way to solve this problem?”  We usually take the same approach to solving problems every time with the resources we have at hand. “This doesn’t exactly translate into breathtaking creativity,” Levin says.  So imagine that you have no limits — legal, moral, financial, whatever. You can do literally anything to solve the problem. The way-out ideas you develop may not be practical, but they’ll lead you to new ways of thinking about your problem. And then you can find a non-life-threatening, legal way to solve it!
2.  Hide.  We live in a world of constant, thin-sliced demands. Unanswered texts and emails. People waiting for you to say something, do something, read something, decide something. Run and hide. Lock yourself in your car or hunker down in a bathroom stall. Slow down and get your brain back. 
It’s all but impossible for your creative brain to operate when you’re responding to endless external stimuli. The best ideas often come when you run from your responsibilities.
3. Count to 20. Go somewhere where you can be undisturbed, bring a yellow pad and a pen, turn off your phone, and sit there until you come up with 20 ideas for solving your problem. This requires discipline, because most of us are so happy when we have one answer to a problem that we want to move to the next agenda item. Not every idea you invent will be a great one, but that’s okay.  It may be idea number 17 that’s truly brilliant, but you’d never get there if you ran back to your desk after you came up with one, two or even five ideas. If you do this daily, you’ll develop 100 new ideas a week. Imagine how strong your idea muscle will be!
4. Give up. Cardiologists recommend to heart patients that they visit nature, go to a museum, or attend a classical concert. Why? It slows them down and allows them to appreciate beauty instead of seeing life as a constant battle.  Surrender your own siege mentality. Life isn’t war, thank goodness. Take a major step away, even for a couple of hours, from whatever battles you’re facing, contemplate the greatness of the human spirit or the wonder of nature, and reawaken the creative energy that our fight-minded world suppresses.
So there you have it, four ways to generate great ideas under pressure. Where’s your next big idea coming from? From your mind at peace, that’s where!

About Michael Levin
New York Times best-selling author Michael Levin runs the “Books Are My Babies” YouTube channel, www.BooksAreMyBabies.com, a free resource of tutorial videos for writers. Levin has written more than 100 books, including eight national best-sellers; five that have been optioned for film or TV by Steven Soderbergh/Paramount, HBO, Disney, ABC, and others; and one that became “Model Behavior,” an ABC Sunday night Disney movie of the week.