28 July, 2009

New Cryptozoology Podcast

It's only two episodes in – the latest was posted yesterday – but there is a new podcast about cryptozoology which I've started listening to.

It's called Monster Talk and is available through iTunes.

The show itself looks at cryptozoological studies from a position of strict adherence to the scientific method – though not without a sense of humour about it. So you know you will never hear about incontrovertible proof of the Ogopogo (or Nessie, Sasquatch or the Chupacabra) unless one day they are actually found, like say – the megamouth shark or the coelacanth... which they tell us are themselves probable future topics.

Cryptozoology is funny that way. It is a valid science in a sense (sullied by far too many credulous 'amateur scientists') yet when something new is found it leaps from being cryptozoology to zoology. A true cryptozoologist is really a zoologist who is looking for a creature that is expected to exist based upon empirical evidence.

The hosts of the show are Blake Smith, Dr. Karen Stollznow and Ben Radford. Each of them a skeptical celebrity in their own right. Ben Radford, specifically, co-wrote "Lake Monster Mysteries" with Joe Nickell – which I previously mentioned was a significant research text for "Beast of Bottomless Lake."

Drop by the forums. I'm one of the more active members – with only two episodes complete, there aren't many of us! My forum name is "Jedischooldropout" just about anywhere including on Monster Talk.

21 July, 2009

Thinking About the Okanagan

There are so many people involved in the film who are from the Okanagan Valley. It's hard to imagine that someone involved in the film wasn't at the very least severely inconvenienced this past weekend while a new fire scoured parts of the region.

It's hard for us to be able to keep tabs on everyone. If perhaps any of you are reading this and were caused trouble, our hearts are going out to you. Keep in touch and let us know you are alright.

16 July, 2009

Toronto Film Festival – Keep Holding Your Breath

Just in case anyone is keeping tabs...

Yes. TIFF announced a whole raft of films yesterday and NO we were not on the list.


The Canadian Films are announced on August 4th... so keep your fingers crossed

15 July, 2009

ADR - Completed

Yesterday we finished ADR. (Additional dialogue recording.)

It took four separate days. One day just for David (though he did it in less than the scheduled – worst case scenario – time) two more for most of the rest of the cast, and an hour a few weeks ago just to make sure we got Mark Leiren-Young while he was in town.

I did mine yesterday. I haven't done ADR in two years, but between Beast and Frankie & Alice I've done it twice in two weeks.

Everyone was really great and fast.

Myself I had trouble with one line. My only line in French – "Je ne parle pas l'anglais." Somehow I couldn't get my tongue around the "l'anglais." I got it eventually. But who writes this shit? ;-)

The Amazing Meeting

This past weekend I – Kennedy – went to Las Vegas to attend the Amazing Meeting, the world's biggest critical thinking event.

It was a perfect place to test the film amongst a small group made up of a very specific demographic group that would be interested in "Beast...."

When I arrived at the hotel I was given my room number – 2012. I actually thought that was a joke. In a sense it was. 2012 really was my room number, and I exploited it over the weekend.

For those of you not 'in' on the joke... the doomsday fear-mongering surrounding the end of the Mayan calendar is a current light-weight skeptical subject. The Mayan calendar ends (resets to 'zero' in fact) in 2012. It's pretty silly really. Phil Plait gave a discussion on the astronomical connections to 2012 fears on the 3rd day of the conference.

Upon looking at the schedule for the conference I immediately selected that first night as the best time for a sneak preview. (The film is still not done. Temp audio and incomplete effects are still in place.) I figured that if we started by 8:30 we'd be done around the same time as the magic show, so people could easily go from the screening to the bar. Room 2012 was a number no skeptic would forget.

I pushed the film on Twitter with TAM7 hashtags a few times in the afternoon, and then face to face at the reception and again to the group that gathered for the Canadian Contingent Meet-up.

We squeezed about as many people into the room as could actually be comfortable for 90 minutes, and let fly.

It's such a relief that it was a success. Lots of laughs. While I hope everyone enjoys this film, outside of my immediate friends and family, the people I most want to like it is the scientific community. And while this isn't precisely the scientific community, there is a HUGE amount of overlap. There was a bit of chatter on Twitter about it afterwards, that made me feel awesome.

Bill Prady – creator of the Big Bang Theory – was the keynote speaker for the conference. He has validated for me that comedies about scientists are totally viable. Jennifer Ouellette also spoke on Friday about the Science and Entertainment Exchange – which facilitates the consultation for film and TV writers with scientists. This was all very cool for me.

In the end I walked away from the conference with two radio interviews on my horizon. The first was yesterday with Radio Freethinkers (July 14, 2009 – episode 17) and the second will be in several weeks time on Skeptically Speaking.