30 May, 2008

An 'Expert' Invite & the Sighting of the Beast

Well, this is amusing.

I've been invited to speak about the Ogopogo at the Vancouver 'SkeptiCamp' this up-coming month.

It should be fun comparing and contrasting the views of both the credulous and the skeptical with a host of people whose hobby it is to delve for evidence and pick apart irrational belief. I am after all, just an artist who, with some friends, made a movie about the mysterious beast - heck, it can be argued that really I re-made Moby Dick, and the Ogopogo just played the part of the great white whale. But Keith's original idea began with 'Pogo, not Moby - it just morphed towards the literary parallel as we gradually began to see the connections.

But it makes me wonder how/where I stand in the spectrum of Ogopogo experts. I don't know the minutae like Arlene Gaal, but at the same time I'm not the sort to accept flimsy evidence either. I would love to find out that there is something significant in the lake that has yet to be recognised by the biological record, but I find it hard to believe that if such a find is ever made that it will prove to be a 40 foot serpent - but that doesn't make me ideologically or methodologically Joe Nickell, either.

Yet, let's say that a deep dwelling species of fish (possibly evolutionarily stunted, like a sturgeon) that has yet to be discovered lives in the depths of Lake Okanagan. Let's say it surfaces in great numbers to spawn, and THAT is the explanation for the Ogopogo that isn't either boat-wakes, beavers ferrying logs, otters, pranksters or any of the other answers which most readily survive a close shave with Occam's Razor. That would be amazing, and awesome. But I fear that anything less than a pleisosaur or basilosaur will fail to excite the ardent believers.


As to the secondary topic;

When I say 'sighting', I do mean that we have had our viewing of the rough cut of the film. It was great to finally have the chance - almost a year after we finished filming. I have of course seen most of the footage, but some of it is new to me.
I can't actually say a lot without giving things away, but from a film-maker's perspective we learned a lot, both about our craft and about the project itself in watching what currently exists. Naturally there are pick-ups to be done - in a month or so, and it shouldn't take more than a weekend.
We also discovered - or in fact Mike, the editor, voiced a viewpoint of our narrative that we had spoken of previously in different terms. But what Mike said - I'll have to talk about it more specifically at another time - was not at all a surprise, though it does bring a narrative issue into focus in a way which answers the very problems it necessarily presented by it's very nature. (Could I be more indirect?) Significantly, this is exciting as it presents an aspect of our film to us that we had previously not fully grokked. THAT is cool - and the sort of discovery in editing that I have been looking forward to all project long.

24 May, 2008

Something to See

Just got news yesterday that at long last there is a cut of the film ready to be viewed. There have been a number of bumps between production and now which have slowed us down unfortunately, but so it goes. Mike has declared that he is ready for us to see what he has done with the existing scenes (a number of scenes were taken directly to first polish for a number of reasons several months ago) and the remaining until now un-touched footage.

Very exciting from my perspective.

In other news, I did some work this past week on Stargate: Atlantis - the show our own David Nykl plays Dr. Radek Zalenka on. I was actually working with the animatronics team. It was very fun, and I can't really say any more than that without ruining my chances of ever working for them again. (Not to mention I'm actually not familiar with the show, so my info would be sketchy at best if you were seriously interested and water-boarded it out of me.) Oddly while on set this week I crossed paths with every current Stargate cast member I can actually name except one - the one I actually know.

Also - to end on a real high note - one of our other cast members, Gordon May, won the best supporting actor award in the (Damn, I can't find it, but I think this info is right.) North Island Zone, Theatre B.C. Festival. I can't say I am surprised. He is a tremendous actor, and will break people's hearts when they see 'Beast.'