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I’m a person who has always been interested in interesting people who say or make interesting things. Advertising used to be melting pot of these kind of people. Not so much anymore. I believe the art of short film making is where all the interesting stuff is being conceived and beaten into shape on laptops all around the world – sometimes on a shoestring budget. Historically, the price of producing slick audio-visual projects were prohibitively expensive and only the most dedicated – or maddest, pick your superlative – had the endurance to bring their visions to fruition. Today, thanks to affordable technology, the price of entry to this once exclusive club has dropped to almost zero. The only investment required is a belief in your own ability to make interesting things. That’s the good news. The bad news is you have to make or say something very, very, very interesting to break through the tsunami of sameness that infests our creative culture today. These films, I believe, are a good representation of what can be achieved creatively if one sets out with a good idea to start with – something that resonates with us as empathetic human beings. The film “Reach” by Luke Randall is a good example of storytelling that pulls on heart strings as well as electronic cables. Many people believe that technology is changing us and that we must keep up with technological change if we want to stay relevant. Rubbish. Our human responses to authenticity has always been the same – for countless generations. These films are authentic. That’s why they work so well. Artifice can only get you so far. Creativity about is building things that ring true. Short films used to be a “calling card” while prospecting for bigger projects. I believe they are now a standalone art form in and of themselves. Hope you agree. Enjoy.

TED Blog

Watching more than seventy live, perspective-changing TED Talks back to back for five days straight is nothing to scoff at. Let’s be honest: Your brain gets tired. That’s why TED’s curators program each session with short video breaks to give the mind a rest before the next set of talks. Funny, inspiring, silly, beautiful, here’s all the videos shown this year at the conference. Think of it as TED’s short film festival.

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Pinnipèdes
, by Victor Caire. Two fat, sleepy animated seals fight and love each other.

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Wiggly Things
, by Rogier van der Zwaag. An animated interpretation of philosopher Alan Watts’ lectures, about how we humans like to “break down the wiggliness of the world.”

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Reach
, by Luke Randall. A robot that needs to be plugged in in order to survive dreams of life outside his window.

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Moving images
, by Lorne Resnick. Lorne Resnick makes five-second video clips…

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I’m a big fan of the work of Ansel Adams. For as long as I can remember, I have always been fascinated by the glowing silver hues of his epic landscape photography. Unfortunately,  the Yosemite mountain range is a bit of a hike from my house here in Belgium – my local park will have to do. For now.  Hope you like the image – and should you like one of the images enough to want a pristine print on your wall, please write to me at shonski50@me.com and we’ll chat about print sizes, prices and shipping arrangements. Thank you for your visit.

Silver_Lake_Sean_Hayes_Belgium

Silver Lake © Sean Hayes

What is it about rust that is so photogenic? I found these two unemployed implements, looking sorry for themselves in an equally distressed looking backyard in La Louvière - a small post-industrial city in the south of Belgium. Now that I look at the image again, it could very well be a perfect metaphor for the declining fortunes of a once thriving and prosperous city. During the late 19th and early 20th century, La Louvière was the most important city in the Wallonia region of southern Belgium due to the coal mining wealth it generated. It has degenerated into disrepair in recent years. I have likened the fortunes of the city to that of another city with a glorious industrial past - the American city of Detroit. Both have fallen victim to some rust belt tightening of late. I wonder what the digital rust-free future has in store for both cities.

I have ambivalent feelings towards Anton Corbijn. On one hand, I respect his talent for producing some of the most intimate and revealing portraits of rock royalty during the last few decades. On the other hand, I remember being left gasping for air when I received his quote for a Wall Street Journal Europe advertising campaign that I had written and I wanted him to shoot the portraits of European business leaders. In retrospect, he was probably worth every penny – but it wasn’t my money to spend. Opportunity missed. Worth a read.

Link:

Anton Corbijn | The Talks.

U2 Anton Corbijn

U2 © Anton Corbijn

John_Lindquist

Spring/Summer ©John Lindquist

A short film about the even shorter life of a top fashion model. A fashion model’s career span often resembles that of a Mayfly – here today, gone tomorrow. We treasure beauty precisely because of its transience. The Faustian pact that is made by many a nascent beauty entering the glamorous world of fashion photography inevitably has a sting in the devil’s tail. One may get to keep knowledge and power – but youthful beauty is only on loan. A skillfully directed film by British photographer John Lindquist. And it’s filmed on the Italian Amalfi coast – one of my favourite places on earth.

Link:

Shorts on Sundays: Spring Summer – NOWNESS.

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