Ever wanted to shoot a movie using actual film but figured it would require lots of expensive equipment? Well, you're in luck, because used film equipment is dirt-cheap these days due to the fact that most of those living in the video age consider it obsolete. While most of today's visual artists utilize digital imaging, there is a growing number of filmmakers out there working with motion picture film, particularly 16mm and Super 8mm formats.
Though expensive compared to video, film is nevertheless a far more forgiving medium, with a depth and complexity difficult for even the best digital technology to replicate. As the film vs. video debate rages on, film devotees take heart in the knowledge that while you'll find plenty of videographers working to make their digital creations look like film, virtually no one is manipulating film to look like video.
For this project, you're going to need a camera (to shoot your film) and a projector (to view it). Fortunately, good Super 8 gear can be had on the cheap ($5-$50 and up) at local thrift stores or by searching Internet auction sites like eBay. Internet sites you might want to consult before you buy include www.filmshooting.com, www.super8site.com, the Super 8 List at www.kolumbus.fi/puistot and Kodak's own S-8 page at www.kodak.com/US/en/motion/super8. Whatever you do, make sure the camera you choose is a Super 8 cartridge camera and not one that takes regular 8 reels, which are almost impossible to find. Same with the projector -- it must project Super 8 (projectors that accept both 8mm formats are called "dual 8"). And check to see that the projector bulb works, as replacements are very expensive.
As for film, you'll be using a single cartridge of Super 8, the home move format of the 1970s and '80s. It's still relatively inexpensive (compared to larger film formats) and available, though you'll probably have to order it from a specialty photo shop. A good Northwest company to work with is Seattle's Forde Motion Picture Labs (www.fordelabs.com), which not only carries Super 8 film but also handles the processing. Currently, a single 50-foot cartridge of B & amp;W reversal Kodak film with prepaid processing from Forde costs just a little over $25.
Now shoot your film -- a very, very short film with no editing. "Short" means your film will be only about three minutes long (as much as you can get out of that one 50-foot cartridge) and "no editing" means that and each scene you shoot -- from the opening title to the end credits -- will have to be meticulously planned out, done in one take and shot end to end so that it can be projected as soon as it comes back from the processor -- no cutting or splicing. The story concept is all yours, so go nuts. When you run out of film, take the cartridge out of the camera and mail it back to the processor. Then wait.
When your processed film comes back, it's time to call up some friends, make some popcorn and fire up the projector for the world premiere of your own ultra-short, no-budget, cinematic film masterpiece.
Of course, since you'll have only one fragile copy of your little film at the end of this project, you might first want to consult those aforementioned Web sites for information on proper film handling and projection. And if you want to get your film transferred into a digital format like DVD (an excellent way to preserve your precious original) you can do that, too. Check the Forde Web site for information on film-to-digital transfers.
Now, go for it, Coppola.-- Mike Corrigan
The other day a friend pointed out that I am "Bi-Fishual." No, I don't have spawning urges, nor do I find myself secretly checking out a nice set of ventral fins or the unmistakable curve of some fine-lookin' gills. What my friend meant, is that I, uh, cast both ways.
I'm coming out of the closet. I am both an angler and a fly fisherman.
My love for the sport started in childhood. There was the morning on Cocolalla Lake where I got up before anyone else, grabbed my pole and headed down to the dock where I proceeded to catch 30 perch before the rest of my family was even up. But that was nothing compared to what my father could do -- namely whip a fly line in graceful, increasingly long arcs above the St. Joe River before letting it settle invisibly on the surface. It was like ballet, except with trout.
It turns out you can do both, although some will tell you that fly fishing is a far nobler way to do it than the plebeian "worm and hook" way. The truth of the matter is, while I love both, I'm still terrible at fly fishing and prefer angling because, quite frankly, I have more success at it. Also, it's more relaxed. You just throw your line in and see what happens. Here's how I go about it:
1. Either find a lake stocked well enough that you can fish from
the dock or call your favorite PWB (Person With Boat).
2. Get state fishing license (either season-long or one-day).
3. Pack lots of ice-cold beer and potato chips.
4. Set up your tackle, which isn't nearly as wink-wink-nudge-
nudge as it might sound.
5. Wince, take a deep breath, look away, wince again, and then
hook your worm in at least two places to keep him secure.
6. Cast your line out (with or without a bobber - it's up to you)
7. Wait some more.
8. Open a beer.
9. Reel in and check for weeds or worm loss.
10. Cast back out.
11. Open second and third beers.
12. Feel actual tug on line.
13. Reel in real fish.
Ta-da! Wasn't that fun? Of course, now you have to unhook the fish, kill it and clean it (not so fun) or let it go (the politically correct thing to do). Deciding what to do with your fish, and doing it correctly, is practically a merit badge in and of itself. -- Sheri Boggs
Learning to Parasail
Bungee-jumping? Scary. Jumping out of an airplane? Insane. Instead, compromise by trying the safe and restful leisure-time activity of parasailing.
It's so relaxing. There you are, hovering above Lake Coeur d'Alene, taking in the spectacular vistas, when two realizations dawn upon you: The only thing holding you aloft is a thin nylon parachute -- and it's a long, long way from your exposed tushie down to the lake surface.
But then we don't give out merit badges just for climbing up on your roof or something.
Still, the owner of CdA Parasail and Watersports, Jamin Rodriguez, emphasizes that parasailing really is a safe, easy-to-learn and even calming experience.
"There's no training involved, nothing you need to know," he says. "After a short briefing, we show you how to sit in the harness. It's a lot like sitting in a swing -- you're all strapped in, and there's no possible way to fall out of it. The old brochures here said, 'If you can sit, you can fly,' and that's pretty much it."
There's no dangerous land- or dock-launching with CdA Parasail: Your takeoff and return is right from the boat. "Once we've launched the chute out the back of the boat -- about 10 feet out the back -- we call you up and clip you into the parachute," says Rodriguez. Then we let you out with a hydraulic winch that has about 750 feet of line on it."
I'd been picturing something like waterskiing, with my fearful and flailing self dangling about 50 feet above the boat.
"No," says Rodriguez, "more like 500 feet."
Vertically? Above the lake?
"Yeah. But it's real quiet when you're up there. You can barely hear the boats below you on the lake. It's real peaceful. Once you're up there, you can see almost the whole lake. You can see all of Coeur d'Alene and into Post Falls. And then we cruise around for eight minutes. You don't need to steer or anything -- just enjoy the ride."
When your time's up, Rodriguez explains, "you land softly back on the boat. You land on your feet -- old people do it all the time."
Rodriquez can take six parasailers out at one time; boats launch every hour on the hour. Your eight minutes of parasailing nirvana will set you back just $45 -- $75 if you go up in tandem with a companion or family member (though the two of you together can't weigh more than 230 pounds, which usually keeps it to one adult and one child).
At CdA Parasail, you can also rent single and double kayaks, canoes, aquacycles (like giant in-the-water tricycles) and paddleboats, all in the $9-to-$15-per-hour range.
CdA Parasail and Watersports is located at the Independence Point City Dock, right by the City Park clock tower in downtown CdA and just west of the CdA Resort boardwalk. Open every day but Saturday, 9 am-7 pm. Call (208) 765-2999. -- Michael Bowen
This one seems easy: Just pick up a copy of a book with the biggest American
flag you can find, and you're all set. But wait, that leads to the likes of ... Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly?! Yikes.
OK, let's start over. My summer hobby calls for getting back to basics. Ever since the election, I've been trying to pick up contemporary books on politics, but I can't even get past the forewords. It's just a lot of noise. I need to go straight to the source, so instead, this summer I'll be looking to learn from the lives of great Americans.
I was really impressed with Joseph J. Ellis's Founding Brothers, so I'm anxious to get into his latest book, His Excellency: George Washington. There are some important things to remember about Washington that we seem to be forgetting. He bled for this Union, so he hated any impulse that divided Americans. Consequently, he hated political parties, which today seem to function, as he feared, as dividers. Also, rather than becoming king of the United States, he cemented the American experiment by turning over his power willingly. Today we seem to have instituted more than a few of the trappings of a monarchy into our executive branch, like keeping secrets from the people and favoring the ruling elite.
Another Revolutionary War-era figure I need to reconnect with is Benjamin Franklin. I'm fascinated by Benjamin Franklin's Art of Virtue. Conceived by Franklin in 1732, when he was 26, it was finished from surviving manuscripts in 1986 by George Rogers. You'll find Franklin's legendary wit and wisdom gathered here -- all as pertinent as ever. Some examples: "What is serving God? 'Tis doing good to man"; "When the well's dry, we know the worth of water"; "To err is human, to repent, divine; to persist, devilish"; "A good example is the best sermon"; and "There was never a good war or a bad peace." It's the wisdom a nation was built on.
I also think there are a couple of absolute American oddballs worth studying, too, like Will Rogers and Mark Twain. In Never Met a Man I Didn't Like, the curator of the Will Rogers Museum in Oklahoma, Joseph Carter, combines a brief outline of the beloved entertainer's life with some of Rogers' pithier observations. In the 1920s and '30s, Rogers was as big as Bing Crosby or Elvis, but he had a strong political side, too.
Then there's Twain -- a sharp social critic and a dry wit. The recent compilation Mark Twain's Helpful Hints for Good Living: A Handbook for the Damned Human Race seems like a good place to start. In it, scores of excerpts from his writings are put together in a kind of how-to guide for living well. Compiled by the Mark Twain Project, you'll learn the answers to tough questions like how to deal with unwanted salesmen and whether to take your dog to a funeral.
"[Twain's] humor is timeless," writes filmmaker Ken Burns on the cover of the book, "his wisdom about all things without equal."
When's the last time anybody said that about Rush Limbaugh? -- Ted S. McGregor Jr.
Call it "decluttering," this new hobby that I plan to undertake this summer. While not a hobby in the traditional sense it's an activity that I admire in others, one that I've watched from afar, thinking, "You know, I want to try that someday." And this summer, I believe, someday is here.
Now, I must confess -- and this is no news to anyone who knows me well -- I'm not naturally prone to neatness and organization. Put me in a clean, Zen-like space, and within a few hours I'll have turned it into a nest of sorts, with clothing, books, magazines and what-have-you strewn about in pleasant chaos. Well, the chaos starts pleasantly enough, but after a while - with the passage of time and cats - those nice little piles become distributions and finding the floor becomes more and more of a challenge.
Up till now, I've held on to my clutter as a badge of defiance, the visible evidence of my restless spirit. I've always believed that a cluttered desk - and bookshelf and nightstand and dining room table - is a sign of a creative mind at work, and by God, I wanted to prove to everyone that I had a creative mind. I still understand that creativity tends to be messy, in more ways than one, but I've come to realize that those piles of dusty magazines in the corner exact a toll on my state of mind - especially when I can't lay my hands on that one piece of paper I need for the story that's due today!
There's also a philosophical and spiritual dimension to my desire to clear out the corners. In order to live a simpler, more integrated life, I need less stuff to haul along the journey. And many wise people have noted that the spirituality of middle age is all about re-examining all you've acquired in the first half of life -- friends, jobs, avocations, possessions, habits -- and gently casting off what's no longer needed. In this way, I can view my humble sorting and tossing as steps along the grand spiritual quest.
And so, I step out into the glare of the public eye and declare: "I will declutter my living space this summer!" Yikes. My goal is not to simply clean up the mess but to establish new habits, to find ways of dealing with all those things that make clutter in my life. Wish me luck. This is the quest of a lifetime. -- Ann M. Colford
Bottom line, this is the season to party. But instead of always being the guest and never the host, cultivate that sociable side of your personality this summer. Just whip up some original grub and be sure to have alcohol on hand. You're guaranteed to be the life of every summer party.
Here are some fail-proof socialite recipes and ideas.
You'll need: two bottles of red wine (try a merlot and a cabernet), a cup of brandy, a cup of orange juice, an orange, a nectarine, an apple, three cans of Fresca and a tiny bit of sugar.
Make it: Pour both bottles of wine into a soup pot. Slice the orange, apple and nectarine and add to the wine. Dump in the brandy and the OJ. Taste it. If you want it to be sweeter, put in as much sugar as your little heart desires. Let the concoction sit for one hour (though it will keep overnight). Right before serving, pour in the Fresca. Serve to guests. Watch them get tipsy.
Of course, it all depends on the crowd. If you run with a crowd of meat eaters, then barbecued steaks, burgers and dogs are the way to go. But if you're looking for something new or plan to have your herbivore friends in attendance, check out our favorite food Web site, the Post Punk Kitchen (www.theppk.com). The folks at the PPK are constantly updating, and have tons of really yummy, meat-free recipes on their site. We highly recommend the peanut butter tofu balls and their vegan banana bread.
Sgroppino (a Marcella Hazan recipe)
You'll need: a pint or two of lemon sorbet, 2/3 of a pound of very ripe strawberries, one-and-a-quarter cups of sparking wine (the fruitier the better, but no champagne)
Make it: Put the sorbet into a bowl and mash it up with a spoon. Puree the strawberries and whisk half of the puree into the sorbet mush. Add half of the sparkling wine. Whisk. Pour in the rest of the wine and puree, whipping it into a froth (foamy, not runny). Put it in something fancy and serve. Our Joel Smith can't count the number of friends he's made off this one.
Everyone loves an excuse to party, so why not give them one? Try throwing a Summer Solstice party on June 20. Make it an outdoor affair complete with tiki torches and high-class drinks. Or throw a Prom Party. Do it over again your way. Blow up pictures of all the people you hated, pin tails on them, order kegs, require your guests to wear bad '80s prom dresses. Make the Fourth of July the event of the century and throw a huge bash. Observe Fidel Castro's birthday on Aug. 13, or the birthday of Dolly the Sheep, the first cloned mammal, on July 5. Throw a progressive party, traveling from each of your friend's houses for different drinks, desserts and grub. There's just something about summer that makes people want to get absolutely sh**faced, so be sure to have a camera on hand. -- Leah Sottile
How do you spend some time this summer letting more creativity and art into your life? Through a gate, perhaps, that you build yourself.
I did it. My "shop" was a table on the front porch or in the back yard, depending on the weather. My nickname has not changed to Stumpy or Lefty. So I think you can do it, too.
But be careful to securely clamp any wood you intend to cut. If you are unfamiliar with saws, sacrifice a 2x4 to make practice cuts. Be aware that dull saws and chisels can be more dangerous than sharp ones. And always know where your hands are.
The idea is for a garden gate that is made from common softwood lumber, scrap copper and a handful of tools you either already have or can borrow from your brother-in-law.
I basically used a circular saw to cut boards to length and even to cut out the dadoes (shallow channels, basically, that are cut crosswise on a board to nest the horizontal pieces into the uprights.
This is not a how-to article with measured drawings and plans. It's more a why-to story. Gates come in a variety of styles limited only by your imagination, and having one you made yourself is a cool thing to have at your place.
Garden or home books and magazines are a great source of inspiration. I regularly check out books from the library, both for artistic inspiration and for the technical details. In fact, lurking on the shelves of the downtown Spokane library, there is a how-to book about roofing where certain pages are stuck together with roofing tar. That was me, several stories up, figuring out how to lay shingles in a valley.
The gate was simple and fun. It's basically a box with two uprights and three crossbars set into dadoes to help keep everything square. These were all made from 2x4 cedar. I used 1x2 cedar as the "pickets," and I cut them to different heights to rise and fall in a wave pattern. The pattern broke about a third of the way across for a cluster of copper tubes that I put together to resemble a stand of cattails.
The copper tubing in varying diameters, along with the connectors and end caps, are all available pretty cheaply at recycling yards. The fat "cattail" ends were wrapped in spirals of copper wire of various thicknesses to add a sense of motion. And the pipes were bent slightly so it looked like plants swaying gently in a breeze.
Soldering was easy and straightforward even though I had never done it before. Art supply stores sell chemicals that can be applied to the copper to speed the weathering process toward that wonderful green patina.
This first experience of making a gate was enjoyable and stress-free and resulted in a pleasant design that sold, not once but twice, at a church auction. -- Kevin Taylor
There's one very compelling reason not to brew your own beer in the summer. And that is that beer fermentation can go a little funky in warm temperatures -- resulting in weird, occasionally fruity, occasionally horsey beers.
That said, there are also a number of reasons summer is the perfect time for homebrewing. No season cries out more loudly for cold, delicious beer than summer. Plus, you tend to have more time on your hands during the summer, and you probably feel a good deal more adventurous and inspired than you did back in the cold and barren winter.
I brewed like a madman last summer but haven't fermented a drop since moving to Spokane in the fall. So, to get my summer badge in brewing, and to help you get yours, I'm going to pick up where I left off, with this recipe for a light, crisp and mildly spicy white (or "wit") ale. (The nice thing about this recipe is that it uses Belgian ale yeast, which tends to be the most forgiving of high temperatures.) All the equipment and ingredients you'll need are at Jim's Beer & amp; Wine Supply in Spokane, Make Wine, Make Beer in Hayden Lake or online.
3.3 lbs. wheat malt extract * 2 lbs. dry wheat malt extract * 1 lb. whole-wheat flour * 3 tsp. coriander seeds * 1.5 oz. Hallertauer hops * 1.5 oz. Cascade hops * One vial of White Labs Belgian Wit yeast * 1 cup corn sugar * Zest of 3 oranges
A 5-gallon kettle * Two 6-gallon beer fermenters * Fermentation lock with stopper * Siphon system (racking cane, plastic hose) * Bottle filler * Hydrometer and thermometer * Bottles, bottle caps and a capper
Steep the crystal malt in 3 gallons of water at 155 degrees for 30 minutes. Add the malt extracts and Hallertauer hops. Boil for 45 minutes. Turn off the heat and remove the hops. Sift in the flour, stirring constantly. When it dissolves, add the cracked coriander and 1.5 oranges' worth of zest. Steep for 10 minutes, then bring the liquid down to around 70 degrees as quickly as you can (pouring the liquid into the fermenter, adding two gallons of cold water and placing the fermenter in a bathtub of ice works fine). When it cools, add the yeast and shake the thing like crazy (putting the lid on the bucket, then duct-taping it shut and thrashing around on the floor with it works for me). Afterwards, stick an airlock in that sucker and put it somewhere safe. When fermentation slows down in about a week (the airlock will stop gurgling), transfer the beer to the other bucket, add the Cascade hops and the rest of the orange zest. Ferment another seven days, bottle (the batch should fill about 48 12-ouncers), wait another seven to 10 days, then invite all your friends over and drink it until it's gone. -- JOEL SMITH