While many American’s July’s usually begin with celebrating Independence Day, mine began with Canada Day, and more specifically, Montreal. This year marks Canada’s 150th anniversary, and Montreal’s 375th, and I happened to be there right in the middle of it all.
Because it was my first time there, the bf and I did all the touristy things, like visit the cathedral (photo above), the biodome, Mount Royal, Montreal’s old town (the historic district), and in general walked around and enjoyed the city. We didn’t have a bad meal while we were there, and I finally tried some amazing pulled-pork poutine–something I somehow missed when I was in Vancouver a few years back–while briefly at the Jazz fest. The airBnB we stayed at was in a nice little suburb, a few blocks away from the metro, which we utilized to the max. The only big issues we had was crossing the border (both ways–line cutters from both sides!), and the first two days I was a bit under the weather.
Books Read: 2 Sleepless in Hollywood: Tales from the New Abnormal in the Movie Business by Lynda Obst was a book I actually started reading last year and just could not get through. Partially because it was painful to read such hard and frustrating truths about an industry you are a part of (and care about) and partly because, frankly, the author sort of irked me. But I’m glad I wrapped it up, and I do think that it’s a good read for film industry people. I’ll have to delve into this book more on Animation Complex…eventually. ; )
The second was a YA novel called Legend by Marie Lu, that seemed to have a plot device similar to something I’m working out in one of my own projects. It’s the first of a trilogy and while I’m curious about how said device will play out, part of me also just doesn’t care to read more. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy it so much as knowing I have to sink time into a story that’s a bit too improbable for me. Maybe I’ve just read too much dystopian fiction in my life to welcome any more…
Blog Posts Written: 5 including one on Animation Complex! The one on Animation Complex is about four really cool crowdfunding campaigns for animation-related projects that you can support right now. This month was a bit of a strange one for me, and I found that I hit a small streak with writing. While it felt kind of weird to post like twice in one day, and then again a few days later, I wasn’t about to limit myself based on what any type of SEO or external forces were dictating. I also got my first comment on a blog post since switching over from a WordPress.com-hosted site to my own site backed by WordPress.org. Thanks, Abby! ; ) I’ve been debating switching my comments system over from WordPress’s native one to Disqus, which is a plugin I’ve seen a number of sites I frequent. But people’s opinions on it seem quite mixed…
Videos/Projects: 1/2 Yes, I am giving myself a half a point. Because this is like Whose Line is it Anyway where the points don’t matter! But in all seriousness, I have been chipping away at a few things. Classic bullshit, I know, I know. My next video for Animation Complex was supposed to be short and sweet and the script has morphed into a 15 page mini documentary with interviews, old footage, and more. AND THAT’S AWESOME AND I DON’T WANT TO COMPROMISE THAT. So I’m forced to put that guy on the back-burner and try to find a more accessible topic since my goal in picking the first one was that I thought I could get a decently informative script in under 5 minutes. I mean, I could, but not without compromising all the info, and I’m all about ALL of the info. But this has been a good learning curve. I know that over time I’ll be able to do some preliminary research on a topic and estimate how long things will take. That may take a long time to get to, sure, but this is all a start. Now I just need to find a more granular topic to work on. I thought the one I picked was small, but it spanned SO much material.
At the Movies: 4 I am not even sure what I saw this month. Usually it’s pretty fresh in my brain. Like, I saw Baby Driver a second time because it’s wonderful. I also saw Spider-Man: Homecoming, which was aight. I saw Despicable Me 3, which was a huge drop-off from the second one, and War for the Planet of the Apes, which I enjoyed but also sort of felt pretty indifferent to? Another cool film I saw was the 1977 acid trip Raggedy Ann and Andy: A Musical Adventure. The film rights exist in limbo, so I was only able to see this because someone restored a 35mm film print and screened it at a festival I went to. I still have to see Valerian. I heard it was terrible–well, not even the film itself so much as the box office, but I still want to see a new Luc Besson film. Also still have to see Okja (even though I hated Snowpiercer–loved the concept, hated the execution), Dunkirk, and The Big Sick.
Lowlights: Just that this month went to fast, and I feel like I wasn’t home for any of it. I know that that also means I was active and whatnot but also just like, I still haven’t unpacked from moving and I moved like a solid month ago.
Also, as mentioned previously, I have been struggling so, so much with topics and ideas for projects. That sounds misleading–it’s not that I don’t have topics, but rather I am having a hard time assessing and prioritizing them because I have always been someone who wants to do everything, even though I’ve read enough Fast Company articles, TED Talks, and Adam Grant books to know that that’s just not how to be efficient.
It just sucks because when I get like this I get really frustrated and trapped in my head, usually at the expense of others. It’s only with my own personal projects that I’m like this too. But I’m so aware of these problems now that I do think that in a few months I’ll be able to look back more easily and see that the baby steps I’ve been taking have actually carried me somewhere.
Another little lowlight was that my company was having its own film festival–work from anyone who wanted it screened. There was four hours worth of content spread over four days, and due to work stuffs, I was unfortunately only able to make one of the four screenings. I loved what I saw but was sad I missed everything else.
Highlights: I already mentioned Montreal. Maybe I’ll do a proper write-up of that trip? That could be fun. The other big highlight was going to part of the 14th annual Animation Block Party in Brooklyn this past weekend. This animation festival–the largest on the east coast–has been on my radar for YEARS and it’s embarrassing to say that my reluctance to go into Brooklyn was always my excuse. It’s just annoying to get Brooklyn, guys. Quote me. Better yet, I’ll do it for you.
It’s just annoying to get to Brooklyn, guys. -Jen Hurler
But I’m so glad I did. Or rather, I’m so glad the bf drove me there so I didn’t have to take trains and subways. : )
I’m really glad that I went though. While the fest is over four days, I could only go to two of them, and they were very, very, very long but rewarding days.
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Weekend plans. • There were so many great shorts screened this weekend. I also got to see a 35mm print screening of Richard Williams Raggedy Anne Film. There were also plenty of great panels and demos. • Animation in the US got it’s start in NY/NJ so I’m happy to see events like this here on the east coast. • • #animationblockparty #animation
Next Month: My goals for next month are standard. Enjoy the waning of the warm summer weather (though summer here doesn’t technically end until the end of September). Maybe I’ll do a post about the summer-y things I haven’t done this summer.