Two Acre Shaker

Two Acre Shaker - morning after

Just read this summary of the Two Acre Shaker party we were at on Saturday night.  Was a great party, despite all the hurdles listed, which included us getting there late (11pm).  DJ Woody is one hell of a turntablist.

We had lightning, we had fire, we had a full power outage that stretched all the way to Whistler, and we had the worst plague of mosquitos that the locals had seen in over a decade. A Llamapocalypse was truly upon us! I haven’t seen that much drama since Degrassi Junior High went off the air, and I’m just happy that we all made it through unscathed – hangovers notwithstanding.

For quite a few reasons, I will probably never forget this night.

Dan’s Paris Photos

Dan Laczkowski returned from Paris, France with a large collection of beautiful photos. I’ve seen many photos from Paris, but there’s quite a few shots in here that capture elements that I have never seen. His gallery has many many more photos here.

The push to tour Europe has gotten even stronger, if that’s possible.

Vancouver Zombie Walk 2011

On August 20th, 2011, Vancouver was plagued by an army of the undead. I managed to survive the claws of the maggot invested fiends with my recorded footage.

What’s this on my arm? Aw nothin. Just a scratch. *cough* *cough* Really, I’m fine.

Here’s some footage that I put together for fun.

3 Days Till Lift-Off

In about 4 days I will be in Vancouver attending another Siggraph. I have not been since… 2006? This will be my 4th Siggraph and the first time it has been held in Vancouver. Luckily I have a light laptop this time around. Damn am I excited.

Below is a video that I recorded from Siggraph 2004 in Los Angeles. I finally put it online.

Tickets acquired and RSVPed for parties.

This calendar should give you an idea of all the parties I plan on attending. That’s right, I have my priorities in order. 😉

After Siggraph, I’ll be attempting to get things organized in Vancouver before heading off to Burning Man.

Seems I was smart to purchase my ticket far in advance, because they are currently sold out.

Anomaly H2O – Digital Artist Gathering

This Saturday, Oct 30th CGMovement presents another Anomaly.

Anomaly H2O is a dynamic showcase of talented artists from across North America, a fusion of an art workshop and party that brings 2D/3D artists together to share inspiration and creativity. Come prepared, this event features some of the most talented artists, showcase live art demonstrations, and keynote speakers across North America. This is THE opportunity for artists mingle and exchange ideas from this lineup of artists as well as from everyone attending.
I’m really looking forward to being inspired, once again.  The list of artists is amazing. I will be posting some photos, afterwards…   though wouldn’t it be better to see the demonstrations in person?

Vancouver International Film Festival

My Viff survival kit (minus the bag n peanuts)

The last two weeks have been pretty crazy. Back to work in a studio cubical and also attended the Vancouver International Film Festival.

I started everything off with Monsters, and ended if off with the beautiful, French, somewhat depressing The Illusionist. In total I saw 28 films.

  1. Monsters
  2. Waste Land (trash is art!)
  3. Cold Fish (violently disturbing)
  4. R U There? (yes, I am… I’m just sleeping)
  5. An Ecology of Mind (documentary on the amazing system theories of Gregory Bateson)
  6. Crossing the Mountain (…zzzZZZ)
  7. David Wants to Fly (documentary on David Lynch and his association w/ Transcendental Meditation)
  8. Tree (needed a dose of good drama)
  9. Philosophies of Life (short film collection that I didn’t have the patience to finish)
  10. Turn It Loose (breakdancing!)
  11. 13 Assassins (live action version Ninja Scroll?)
  12. Secrets of the Tribe (anthropologists decimating each other’s reputations)
  13. Drummer’s Dream (luckily they were selling copies on DVD at the door)
  14. The Man from Nowhere (South Korean action flick w/ a Korean version of Keanu Reeves)
  15. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (still trying to “get it”, but the ghost monkeys were sweet)
  16. Nénette (I ♥ orangutans)
  17. Guido Superstar (love them poop gags)
  18. Into Eternity (now one of my fav documentaries)
  19. Cell 211 (violently beautiful)
  20. Rubber (the killer tire could be a cult classic)
  21. Schooling the World: The White Man’s Last Burden (spreading the gospel without thinking of the consequences)
  22. Aftershock (wicked earthquake scene followed by Hollywood inspired drama)
  23. Cities on Speed (documentaries where the titles say it all, “Bogotá Change” & “Mumbai Disconnected”)
  24. When the Devil Knocks (documentary on a woman with multiple personalities)
  25. Armadillo (Danish film on the Afgan war)
  26. The Repeaters (Groundhog day with 3 addicts)
  27. Plug & Pray (I ♥ Joseph Weizenbaum)
  28. The Illusionist (French animation from creators of Triplets of Bellville

How to Survive?

1) Bring a water bottle & snacks. You will be downtown all day long, surrounded by Starbucks, McDonalds and $2 pizza slices. Considering you’ll be sitting on your butt all day long, just how much torture do you want your body to endure?

2) Sharpie for the marking up of your schedule.

3) Learn to live without your phone for a few hours. I was amazed at how insistent the staff were in having the audience turn off their phones. I was even more amazed at how difficult it was for us to follow this suggestion. I must say, I only pulled out my phone a couple times to quickly check the time. I swear!

4) Networking. In line I met tons of people that made me regret not having a business card, though we all had smartphones so the problem was easily solved. meeting people in line was also a great way to get suggestions on films. If it wasn’t for the texts from my new friend Michael, I would have missed 13 Assassins, and that would have been tragic.

Speaking of “meeting people”, I finally met my doppelganger. According to Michael Hayward, there may be potential for me playing a younger version of Wallace Shawn (Princess Bride) in his autobiographical documentary.

Hiking in Vancouver

Vancouver has a seemly infinite number of woodsy mountainous places to explore. I’ve hiked in Lynn Valley and up the Grouse Grind… but that’s really about it. My largest complaint is that I’m not sure where to go, or what I can get to via public transit. Lame excuse, I know.

Recently I joined an outdoor Meetup group and through that I discovered VancouverTrails.com. On this website you can even filter search results that will show you trails that are accessible via public transit! Awesomeness that has destroyed any excuses that I might have.

Grouse Grind on Friday?

Who’s wants to go mountain lion hunting with me?

Last Night In Van

Last week I spent some time in Vancouver. An important trip, to say the least…   and I got tons of great photos.  Unfortunately, I left my drive back in Vancouver, so I only have the photos from the end of the trip.

Here’s a couple I took while walking with Angus to and from Commercial drive.

First Trip to Vancouver… in a SAAB

I just returned from a week trip to Vancouver.  The house was being worked on (painting, etc). I bought a car ($1800 SAAB), so it was time for a Vancouver road trip.  The 3 hour trip was smooth and sunny. On the way back down, I noticed a familiar shape being pulled up Interstate 5.

Checkout the video.

Thomas the Tank Engine on Interstate 5 from verbal007 on Vimeo.

Indy Art & Bike Theft

Cecilia and I went to The Whip for Jenn Brisson‘s art gallery showing.  As always, the walls were covered with dreamy/freaky characters. I couldn’t resist getting one to take home! I bought the red puppeteer in the middle.

The bus ride home was comfy. We both looked forward to catching up on sleep.  However, once home I realized that I forgot to pay my bill!!  I decided to take advantage of the non-rainy day we are having and rode my bike back to The Whip.

I stepped inside for less than 10 minutes, paying my bill and saying quick hellos to those that missed during my first visit.  I came back outside to see that my unlocked bike was taken advantage of.  No, it was just taken.

This is the second bike I’ve had stolen.  First bike was my mountain bike which I managed to track down (thief posted it on CraigsList.org ROFL).  My mountain bike sits in the garage and I primarily use a “beater” bike that I picked up for about $100.

My mountain bike was locked up, but I left my beater sitting there because I thought I would be in/out. Jeremy just stopping in somewhere quickly?  Hah… HAH!  Idiot.

Alone for 10 minutes.  Gah.


Lil puppeteer trivia for ya. You know the plant in Little Shop of Horrors? Ever wonder how the lip sync of the plant looked so great?  I just found out that they would film the plant talking and singing in slow motion, 12 frames a second.  Later they speed up the film to 24 frames a second to return it to normal speed.  More info on Fast-Rewind.

District 9

District 9 was a significant film for me for a few different reasons.

  1. Efficient use of effects. It’s not just what you can do, but how you use it.
  2. Story with meaning.  In a time where films rarely follow their core message…   it’s refreshing to see an exception (including Pixar).
  3. I was almost lucky enough to work on it.  Almost.  :\
  4. Oh yeah, and it’s got aliens!

The film was directed by Neill Blomkamp, a Vancouver Film School graduate who is a VFX veteran from The Embassy, who directed the popular Citroen commercial.

Long story short, Neill was supposed to direct the Halo film, but that was put on hold (indefinitely?) and so Peter Jackson assisted Neill in turning his short film, “Alive in Jorberg“. into a feature film. District 9 was green lit with a budget of $30 million.

On September 29th I attended a Siggraph talk with Image Engine, where spoke on the making of District 9. Image Engine was one of a handful of studios in Vancouver that worked on the film.  While Image Engine focused on the creation of the “prawn” characters, The Embassy was working on the large robot and little critters.  Goldtooth Creative worked on some of the 3D user interfaces shots and WETA, since they were busy with Avatar, was only able to contribute to a few shot elements, including the mothership.

The original intention was to use prosthetic suits for the alien prawns w/ CG face overlays. Peter Muyzers recommended that Image Engine be allowed to create the creatures entirely in 3D. In the end, about 300 alien shots were created by Image Engine. The aliens were acted out by a grey suited actor and then replaced by a CG double, which was created in Maya. It was noted that the grey suit provided a great reference for lighting. Nuke was heavily used in the production as allowed for much of the CG lighting to be adjusted in real-time.


People at Goldtooth and Image Engine both noted how the use of the “Red One” camera sometimes produced warping of the frame during fast camera moves.  This was often difficult for the tracking software and forced them to fully recreate the scenes in 3D in order to do touchups.  The warping effect was referred to as the “rolling shutter“.

The 300 alien shots felt like a lot more. This and many of the other tricks, including filtering footage through VHS recorders, were testiment to Neill’s efficient use of FX. He understood that 3D is expensive and when some shots were pushed through the pipe, he was quoted saying that the cost was “a snowmobile or 2“. Like Fight Club, Neill used used FX to help tell a story, not a story to show off pretty effects. The crew at Image Engine expressed how much of a benefit it was to have someone directing that spoke their language.

I hope to see more movies like this and nearly everyone who’s seen it agrees. Would Neill be able to produce double the quality with 60 million? Anybody ready for a District 10?  We’ll see.

FXGuide has a very detailed breakdown that includes before/after shots organized by studio.

Kevin Smith in Vancouver

Friday night I saw Kevin Smith at “The Centre In Vancouver For Performing Arts”. What night. As usual, Kevin didn’t hold much back, except for some of the personal stories of Joey Adams.

He told us of his new found respect for Walter and Wayne Gretzky and  mary jane.  Both of which seemed to have made Kevin quite emotional.

The most memorable event was when an audience member, Torrey, asked Kevin if he could help him achieve one of the items on his list of “Things to do before I die.” Specifically, Torrey wanted to know what it would feel like to stand naked in front of a crowd. Kevin certainly used this opportunity to it’s fullest. Someone even caught clips of the event, though the highlight was watching semi-naked Torrey (wearing Kevin’s coat) dive across the stage floor to catch a box of peanut Glossets with his hat.

Here’s the two clips I found:

and part 2 of “Show us your balls.”

BC Tax Info

Courtesy of Lynda @ BCG

Here are the tax rates in BC:

Tax rates for British Columbia (this is for the income that you earn at your job or take as a T4 from your company if you own one):

  • $0 – $35,716                    5.06%
  • $35,717 – $71,433            7.70%
  • $71,434 – $82,014            10.50%
  • $82,015 – $99,588            12.29%
  • $99,589 and over              14.70%

Here are the tax rates for the federal government: 

Tax rates for the Federal Government (this is for the income that you earn at your job or take as a T4 from your company if you own one):

  • $0 – $40,726                    15%
  • $40,727 – $81,452            22%
  • $81,453 – $126,263          26%
  • $126,264 and over            29%

RRSP Contribution Limits – 18% of previous year’s income to a maximum of:

  • 2009 – $21,000
  • 2010 – $22,000
  • 2011 & beyond – indexed to average wage growth

2009 Top Marginal Tax Rates (federal & provincial rates combined in BC). This would be income that is above your salary (such as dividends received from stocks or interest from a GIC):

  • Interest/Foreign dividends – 43.7% (GIC’s, Term deposits, Stocks from stock markets outside of Canada)
  • Eligible Dividends – 19.9% (Stocks from Canadian stock market)
  • Ineligible Dividends – 32.7%
  • Capital Gains – 21.9% (Sale of a investment property, sale from a stock or mutual fund)

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