05-11-02
_21:29
television

_ i love television.
_today was spent primarily watching television. i went for a walk, talked on the phone, had a pretty good day, but watching a few hours of television taped over the last couple of weeks feels like today's accomplishment. so many people seem to look down on the medium, but i think i'm accepting why i think it's important, and that it's alright that i watch so much of it.
_film is entertainment. it can educate and inform and move us, but it's largely entertainment; occasionally an art form. television is something else. it's... [warning: brad gets preachy] it really has changed the face of society. it's united us as a race of people, and keeps us tied to the rest of the world like no other medium. even based purely on entertainment value (the main focus of this little discourse), some of the best work in our industry is being done in television.
_studio films have, for the most part, grown stale. it's a business first and foremost, and though good work is being generated, the real gold bits are few and far between. television also spews out a lot of crap... but it evolves so quickly that there's always something new being tried, new ground being broken. for example, 24 has upped the bar for everyone. the show continues to amaze me, and that it's being done as a weekly series is almost unbelievable. in concept, production, and originality, 24 has set a new standard. and we may not see anything like this again for a while, but if it can happen once...
_and reality tv is out of control. yes, it's voyeuristic and maybe exploitive, but it's definitely tapped a new nerve and may be here for a long time. i still watch survivor, the granddaddy of american reality tv, and as contrived as it may seem sometimes there's an element of truth to it that to me keeps it interesting - it's touching on very basic elements of the human condition that you don't see in many other places.
_additionally, some of the character work being done in dramatic television just blows away so much of what hollywood even attempts. the advantage of running a weekly series is that you have the ability to establish characters early on, and if the audience takes to the show, the boundaries are limitless. in fact, the low budgets in most television require that the creators focus more on character and less on spectacle (would that hollywood might follow this example…). today i watched david kelley's boston public, and it made me laugh aloud (by myself), numerous times. no gimmicks, just all the characters he'd established together in one room, for the entire hour. then i watched er, and i actually cried. mark greene died. off camera, before the episode even started. the episode focused on the other characters reacting to a letter informing them of his death. sounds simple… but because the show has run for 8 seasons… the amount of heart put into this episode was something i haven't seen in a feature in years. maybe ever. there's no set up, very little is actually vocalised… it's just understood. the show has established a truly intimate relationship with it's audience, and it's paid off big time.
_i could go on. i guess it requires a certain amount of commitment to take all this from any specific television show (i have been watching er for 8 years or so). but still… it suggests to me something fantastic. last week i watched nbc's 75th anniversary special… and it actually made me glad to be alive at this point in history. from the first episode of the today show, to the berlin wall falling to the september 11th coverage, well, television has been there. it's an institution. to live in an age where communications media is thriving as it does is something pretty special.
_and i can't wait to see what happens next. in the next 10 or 20 years we're likely going to see television merge with print and digital media merge into a giant information/entertainment network where everything's available all of the time. i won't write about this, you've probably all heard the predictions. i just think it's cool that i'll be around to watch it happen. _it's that "media age" thing i wrote about a while back. i think it still rings pretty true. and apparently, it's actually happening.
_i realize this has all been pretty rambling, and maybe kinda preachy… but it's a journal, not an essay. what do you expect? go watch something. it's good for you.
_also, having just re-read the entry below, i realize how much tv has shaped the way i view the world. i'm not sure if this is good or bad... but does add to my point about just how culturally significant/influential the boxes in our living rooms are.
_finally... this little blurb has obviously been written by someone who embraces the medium of television - an opinion not shared by everyone. television is not without it's downside, and it's detractors are many. with this in mind, i welcome comments on what's written here, on the state of the industry/culture, or anything really. go team.

_16:50
the morning after

_hey kids. so we didn't win. that's okay. i really didn't expect us to, and didn't really get excited until right before our awards, when i realized how cool it would be if we actually won. they show a clip from your film and this godess voice from above reads out your name on this big screen; "'The Grind' - Brad Smith, Producer..." mild applause... and i must say, that was pretty fucking cool. for 30 seconds, people knew who i was, and paid attention. man-o-man.
_but tis okay. the guy who beat dave for directing is a fellow vfs film kid, a friend, and a talented one at that. he deserved it. me, i lost to some cocksucker from animation... who happened to make a kickass film (and who i'm sure is a lovely person). actually i think it's much easier for students to make professional-level animated film than to do live action dramas, so this isn't really a surprise. of course, i didn't even know we were up against animated films, but two of the five nominees were cartoons. go figure. at least vfs took home both awards, which i suppose i can take some [bitter] pride in.
_[Q: what's brad talking about? A: go here.]
_the show itself was pretty weird, kind of surreal. sort of feel like i watched it on television - just like any other awards show, there's pre-planned witty banter, a screen for clips and stuff, live music (a jazz quartet), and a room full of industry types. of course, it's all locals, so most of them know each other but are otherwise almost entirely unrecognizable to the average brad. unlike tv though, i couldn't move around much or flip the channel, so after 3 hours things started to drag a bit. did have an offer to attend the big gala show (the big awards and dinner) tonight, but declined. am kind of tired, and don't much feel like getting dressed up to spend another 3-4 hours with strangers. didn't even go to the afterparty last night, as i was driving (rental car to pick up gear for school, returned it today), and again didn't really know anyone who's going. would've gone if not for the car i guess, but as it is had a fine evening. guess i'm a frail old man inside.
_so, my first award ceremony. huh. definitely an experience to be had.

05-09-02
_22:18
when?
_so it's been a while.
_again.
_shut up.
_let's see... last week pretty well flew by. work is still absolute madness, but slowly slowing down. friday had time to unwind on a busride out of town to see a play, which was very nice. city bus, but with soft bucket seats and few stops. new cd (pete yorn / musicforthemorningafter - good lil rock songs about girls, highly recommended) and quiet time. awesome. play was good, then ride home. good night.
_saturday saw some movies and walked a lot. windy.
_sunday girl left, and i drank a lot of whiskey. it hailed.
_and this week... is over? hard to believe. going very fast. tomorrow is friday, and my first awards ceremony. madness.
_life has become all about sleep.

05-01-02
_22:43
procrastination

_alright, it's may. offcially, i suck. was determined to have this ugly-as-shit website upgraded and updated by now, and putting it off again and again has let my little april-fool prank stretch on into may, thus thoroughly soiling the proud name of ptwf. so yes, we're aware of the problem. i do, in fact, suck.
_other than that... am procratinating more right now in fact. should be doing freelance graphic design work for a show i'm helping with, but really tonight i just can't get behind it. all i have to do is convert two PSDs into two PDFs... but of course, i don't know how to do that. afraid i'll need new software... ack. if anyone reading this can help me, please do write in. hugs and kisses to anyone who helps.
_hey, survivor is done! approved and finalized, i just have to make tapes. it's about time. for this, the world is a good place.
_been listening to lots of Sam Cooke. this too makes the worl
d a good place.

04-28-02
_22:23
wood/water
_one of the best days in quite a while. up around 10 to meet b (her) for breakfast, then a long walk through kits. saw man who wasn't there and then walked more. back to her place to lie in the sun, listen to music, and talk about nothing. walk home around 5:30, takes about half-hour, through an absolutely fantastic city. make dinner and watch x-files and wrap up here.
_and for the first time in a week things with us are just... good. not awkward or nervous in any way, just genuine and comfortable. combination weather and mood made for a truly amazing day. yee-haw.
_if you're in ottawa today, i'm very very sorry. you really should think about coming to BC. seriously. hehehe.
_on an entirely unrelated note, yesterday indulged inner-geek and visited waitingforstarwars.com (two guys waiting in line for episode 2 since january), and they have this game where you can "ask the emperor" yes-or-no questions, and he'll answer you. so here, in all seriousness, is the conversation i had with "the emperor":
bradley: Hey, are you really the emperor?
emperor: Why do you ask this pathetic question?
I'm just sayin, aren't you actually a computer?
I will not answer this, you rebel scum!
Look, i'm not scum, i'm just curious. Why are you being such a dick?
Maybe. Satisfied?
What does that mean?
Your inferior questions are no match for me, you rebel scum.
Hey, that's twice you called me scum. Can i ask another question?
The answer is no, and you better like it.
Oh.
Everything that has transpired has done so according to my design.
Wow, maybe you really are the emperor...
Why do you ask this pathetic question?
Oh, there's only a set number of things you can say, hm?
Yeah, I think so.

_yep, that's probably the dorkiest thing you'll read all day. and one wonders why i can't keep a woman. sigh...

04-24-02
_21:27
another thursday
_hold on... shit it's wednesday. it's just been that kind of a week so far, y'know? don't know when this'll even go up, since internet is wholly crapped-out right now. sigh.
_yeah, it's been kind of a ride. if you'd told me two weeks ago i'd be in this place now i'd've said you were nuts. [note: brad very much enjoys two apostrophes in the same word. go brad go.]
_what would have no doubt been a fantastic relationship has been indefinitely postponed/ended/whatever for practical resaons which really can't be denied. it hurts, but makes sense. we knew going in this one was doomed, and short-term at that.
_but no doors are closing. endless possibilities and all that. she's back in august, and who knows where either of us'll be then. may-be.
_anyhow, this one was special. big thanks go out to all involved. go team.

04-18-02
_21:55
thursday
_so there's a girl now. and stuff's pretty great. 'cept she's movin away in... woah, 2 weeks now. and that sucks. not sure how things are gonna go.
_suddenly (possibly for the first time) really realizing what that means. christ, 2 weeks. haven't seriously considered what that'll be like since we got close.
_and she's... i wasn't going to go into anything here, wanted to keep it low key. but she's something else.
_high's and lows, i suppose. we started this, very aware of everything, knowing that the closer we got the higher the stakes rose. now we're... well we're in trouble.
_but everything works out, right?
_yeah.
_good unrelated news though - i've been nominated for a Leo Award (BC Film and Television Awards) for my work on The Grind. this is actually really cool. here's the site, and i'm on this page, under the student category. so apparently i get to go to this black-tie awards ceremony, and the school pays since it's a vfs film.
_yeah, highs and lows.

04-13-02
14:36
she slept in my pez t-shirt
_she's not who you think.
_man-o-man.

04-10-02
21:18
shit

_so i'm depressed now. why i usually write in this thing when i'm down remains a mystery, and might mislead readers to infer that i'm depressed a lot of the time. this isn't really so... i think. maybe it's that i only have time to write when i have time to think about stuff... and when i'm alone with my thoughts it gets me down. shit, regardless... i'm depressed.
_been here more than two months, and really haven't settled into a comfortable groove. i still don't now if i can afford this apartment... just that i'm working an awful lot and being tired in my downtime. it's time to envoke some change in my life... which
00:21
_so know it's now technically the 11th, but got off topic with speaking to friends online. feeling slightly better. still plan to evoke change. will keep you informed.
_hey, and how weird is this? (http://www.bestagent.net/bsmith/brad.gif)

04-06-02
15:42
decisions
_so i'm doing a short this year. realized i've kind of been waiting until i felt i was really ready... but i'm not getting any more ready by not doing anything. so as soon as survivor's done (won't we all be glad when i can stop saying that) i'll start storyboarding. i mean, i'll write it first, but it's gonna be pretty simple, and is mostly up in my head anyways. think i can do it too... know enough people in town to put together a solid crew, and have a couple prospective people in mind for producers. man, it'd be great if i didn't have to produce it myself. anyways, more will come on this shortly. getting a little excited. hehehe.
_in other news... well there's not much other news. editiing tonight, and maybe going to science world tomorrow. go science!
_hey, is anyone reading this? realize it's kind of burried in the middle of a horrendously ugly page... promise to get this all rectified asap.
_soon as survivor's done.

04-03-02
23:03
getting sick of stuff
_y'know, everything.
_internet junkmail, laundry, the weather, a general lack of intimacy... y'know. everything.
_it'll all be better when survivor's finally done.
_really.
_right?

04-02-02
22:32
positive feedback
_on the new design! among the things one of my readers enjoys (and i quote);
   1) hulk hogan pics
   2) the different colours
   3) the background
   4) a little something called manners - a way of treating people!
   5) the link to the japanese water treatment company
   6) truth

_wow. such gratification comes only so often (even if hulk hogan's not really on the page).

04-01-02
17:55
so is this pissing people off yet?
_been putting this off too long again, working on something big (well, for me) but don't wanna say what yet. actually it's not that big at all, so don't be expecitng too much, okay? but as incentive for me to get off my arse and do it, i'm leaving the design like this for a while. actually my theory is that it will grow on people, and maybe we'll see more of this type of design soon. whaddaya think?
_lately been thinking about this log, and what it's for, and remembered that someone once said about these logs that as soon as the writer stops doing it for him/herself, then they should stop doing it altogether. i don't really think i'm gonna stop, but may not aim so much to simply... chronicle. all this really is now is a log of what i'm doing, rather than what i'm thinking. don't plan to eliminate the chronicling altogether, but will aim for a more equal balance. y'know?
_so then... what am i thinking right now? ah... nothing interesting. at least... nothing i want to put in text right now ;)
_but, as with everything else... i'll work on it.

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