Semanal #1: The Sound of Music?

This is my first post for Semanal

Post one video every week in 2008. That's all you have to do.

Five days after it was announced, there are already 80 people signed up!

Hopefully more will join throughout the year. (It's about the weekliness, and shouldn't be limited by whether people found out about it in its first seven days).

And this weekend in Brighton, Beth Tilston has organised a screening of films from Navlopomo – our month of videoblogging every day in November. Ryanne and Jay are visiting from America, and they'll be joining us. See more details about the screening here.

Semanal is continuing the spirit of Navlopomo, with a long-distance challenge instead of a 30 day sprint.

I expect that the cool things about Navlopomo will develop much further – the sense of community, the inspiration and the way that people replied to, referenced and remixed each other in their films. And we'll meet a whole load of new people from around the world.

Viva Semanal!

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Christmas Fair at my niece and nephew’s Waldorf school

Just a collection of moments from today.

I wish I could have shown you the Gnome House. It was one of the sweetest things I’ve ever seen. Amy was awed. But it was way too dark to film. (Even my kitchen at night is too dark to film. It’s the one thing that really bugs me about the N93. I think I’m going to have to stop using it soon, so I can have some fun with colours and night-time filming.)

Anyway, the school is pretty amazing.

Those drawings I show on the way into the main building – they’re by people in Class 9, who are (I guess) 15/16 years old.

It’s not an art school. It’s a Waldorf school – an holistic educational movement set up by Rudolph Steiner in the early 20th Century. Read more here and see the Wikipedia entry on him here. It’s pretty interesting.

Also ran into the brilliant and unhinged Jason Jarrett ( and whom I met for the first time two weeks ago at Phil Campbell‘s bash (see here for evidence), and only afterwards realised that we had this other connection. Only saw him briefly, but hopefully have even more excuse to hang out now.

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Just film a moment and send it off. Stop dicking about and letting the side down.

It’s no wonder I’m behind with my posting. I’m spending too long doing my hair.
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Lullaby 2.0

A timeless bedtime/bathtime scene.

This was actually preceded by another scene in which she was crying uncontrollably, and I tried singing Baa Baa Black Sheep, Row Row Row Your Boat, Five Little Ducks and Horsey Horsey to calm her down, to no avail. Then I had a moment of divine inspiration and started singing something which made her instantly flop in my lap, head back, still and calm… the Main Theme from Star Wars. Anybody looking through the window at us would’ve been forgiven for thinking that I was singing Ave Maria.

Not that she’s seen Star Wars. The only time she’s heard any of the music was in Car Going Fast film. Which was a bit of a favourite last week. So me singing the theme reminded her (a totally different part of the theme, though, so she’s pretty smart to pick it up). Next thing I knew, she was sitting on the loo demanding Car Going Fast. Watch on Loo, Daddy.

What am I doing to my family?

(other than turning them into light entertainment for you?)

Quicktime / Flash

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Kate’s first videoblog post

I handed the camera to Kate today. We were in Burnham Beeches, just outside London (map/satphoto). The colours are incredible this year. Another thing I’ll miss in evergreen Vancouver Island.

I was trying to persuade her to sing her song The Falling of the Leaves (a Yeats poem she set to music – you can hear it on her Myspace page) so that I could use it as a soundtrack for the other moments I shot all around the woods. But this is better.

I think I’m going to give her the camera more often.

Alternative file types:
Quicktime / Flash (click to play if player above doesn’t work)

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Amy in Wonderland – silent moving snapshot



I said it before, I’ll say it again. I hate technology. I’m thinking of going Amish.

I’ve tried to upload this twice yesterday/today.

I’ve been away from the internet this weekend. Shocking, but true. Just testing out the Amish thing.

Anyway, here it is. I shot it in Canada in August, in the woods along Long Beach on Vancouver Island (map/satphoto). I usually shoot a lot of still photos on holiday. This time, I shot a lot of moving snapshots, only one or two of which I’ve published so far. Basically, I just experimented with keeping the camera still and shooting a movie instead of a still. Slightly different compositions from what I’d choose for photos, but you see what I mean. I was frequently surprised by what would unfold within the frame in the minute or so I kept the camera running – plus you get the extra dimensions of moving light, and sound (though not here). Futuristic holiday snaps.

This isn’t a Lumiere, strictly speaking, because it’s not under 60 seconds long, but I’ve muted it anyway because (in this case) I wanted to leave space for you to imagine the sound of a forest on the edge of the Pacific, and to imagine what’s being said and thought.

You can re-read Alice’s encounter with a mushroom here:

Alternative video files:
Quicktime / Flash

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All right – enough my yakkin’ – back to business: let’s eat some dog poo

Video thumbnail. Click to play
Click to Play

Just a little moment – shot, cut and sent from my phone in the park just now.

For more animal fecal fun, see Gogen’s little kitty¬¨¬®‚Äö?тĆ

Formats available: MPEG4 Video (.mp4), Flash Video (.flv)

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Lumiere: Amy makes a video

Video thumbnail. Click to play
Click to Play

The only thing she loves more than watching herself in my videos (“again! AGAIN!”) is holding my phone and looking at herself on the screen, thru the little low-res camera next to the screen.

The camera was glitching, which produces quite a nice effect. There’s no sound because this is a Lumiere.

It doesn’t seem to matter how many times you say that, people still say “Oh! I can’t hear anything.”

Just goes to show how pointless it is to write text on a videoblog. Why am I even writing this? You’re not reading it. I killed a man in Reno just to watch him die.

I’m loving the Lumieres that are being made all over the world. Hundreds of them. To browse them, visit

The rules are as follows. They mimic the conditions under which the Lumiere brothers made their movies in the late 1800s:

  • 60 seconds max.
  • Fixed camera
  • No audio
  • No zoom
  • No edit
  • No effects

Formats available: Third Generation Platform (.3gp)

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