Review: Ghostbusters 2016

I have to admit, I was caught up in all the negativity surrounding this year’s release of the new Ghostbusters movie. It has been over 30 years since the release of the original Ghostbusters. That’s a long time! Myself like many others have been waiting patiently for news on a new movie. Dan Aykroyd seemed to bring it up often in interviews. After the first Xbox360’s game was released, I knew it was only a matter of time before the movie would follow.

When Sony finally greenlit the project I was elated. Finally, my 12 year old self could enjoy some well-aged nostalgia. Then news came out about the all female cast.  OK, so it wasn’t going to be exactly as I remember it but it was still Ghostbusters, right?

Some short months later appeared the infamous trailer that blew up the internet.

The funny thing is, with all the bad publicity, my expectations of the film were pretty low. I find that sometimes going into a movie with no expectations can really help a film surprise you when it turns out to be good.

Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Kristen Wiig and Leslie Jones all did a great job delivering comedic instances to the movie. Chris Hemsworth held his own as well. The film did a good job at paying homage to the films that preceded it. The cameos were great. It really did feel like the old cast was passing the torch onto the new cast.

I liked the movie. I actually liked it a lot. It was entertaining and funny. It told a good story without taking itself too seriously. It brought in enough of the old to satisfy my 12 year old self. But it did plenty to set itself apart.

One thing struck me as I was leaving the movie theater with my family. My daughter really liked the movie. “Best movie ever!” she said. I came to realize that an all female cast did for my daughter what Peter Venkman and the crew did for me all those years ago. They had her wanting to be a Ghostbuster too. And isn’t that what a great movie should do!

I give it 4/5 slimers!

Movie: Ghostbuster 3D
Venue: Galaxy Cinemas Waterloo, Ontario

Connecting the dots, flight and videography

In 2005 I discovered the hobby of building and flying radio-controlled aircraft. What a gas! It combines my interests in technology, craftsmanship, and my fascination with flight. Back then the use of electric motors over fuel engines was in its crude infancy. The advances since then have been nothing short of amazing. Better batteries, improved electronic systems, and the advent of autonomous flight. Enter quad copters. Drones.

Now I loop to my “day job”. We have produced business videos since the early eighties and one of the limiting factors was imaging a shot but with no practical way of getting the camera into that position. Aerial footage was difficult and expensive hiring an aircraft, then only being able to descend to 500 or 1000 feet to take the shot. It was long distance and nothing but rooftops. Not at all what we needed.

One day a few years ago a buddy started experimenting with automated flight control for his models. After a few crashes he started to achieve success in not only auto f;light stabilization, but flying a predetermined course using GPWS and waypoints. Fast forward to the invention of the drones. Today they provide steady autonomous flight including take-off and landings, fly accurate waypoint guided routes, and carry high quality cameras fior stills or video.

Now our cameras can achieve virtually any compelling camera angle and distance to subject. It’s easy. How amazing is technology!!! What was impossible a few short years ago is now old hat. It stimulates my creative brain and some fascinating new ways.

The Theory of a True Artist

We have been making something out of nothing by creating scenarios, reactions, emotions in various mediums. Someone is always selling something to somebody be it a product, a concept, a learned skill, a service…

I was schooled in commercial and fine arts. I still do oils and watercolors. One of my profs once told us what it takes to be a “true” artist. A true artist can look at a blank canvas and, in their minds eye, see the finished painting in great detail. They know the tree is an oak, not an Elm or a Maple. They know those are mountains, not clouds. They see the person is wearing a red skirt, not a pink one. They see the painting finished in great detail before they ever lay brush to canvas, The “untrue” artist doesn’t know what kind of tree it is yet, just that its a tree. The background might start as clouds but change to be mountains later if they end up looking more like that. To the true artist the finished painting is so clear before they start, it is like “paint-by-numbers”. Its easy to fill it in exactly as the mind sees it.

This applies to all artistic creative endeavours. If the final rendering, or script, or production is clearly visualized in the mind of the producer, not only will the creative deliverable be great, but the project will have been extremely efficient to produce because there were no questionables, no changes in direction, not endless redos and tweaks. The artist simply fills in the blanks according to their clear vision.