After about 10 months I’m finally departing with my paper wallet! I enjoyed how slim and light it was and even renewed it once! But it’s time to try something new and what’s recyclable must be recycled! besides, finding a good wallet is no easy task so once a good one is discovered you shouldn’t turn your back on it! trust me the next discovery may not happy any time soon!
The replacement is of a similar concept, a flat foldable design but this time in leather! yes it smells good! There’s not much to see, three same size pockets with a red strap making sure nothing is going fall out, a nice compact wallet that can easily be the home to up to 9 cards and with a little push you can fit even more, but I like my pocket to be light and don’t really wanna feel it there, the keys and changes (coins) already making enough fuss there!
The only downside for me and in comparison to slimfold wallet is you have to fold the cash notes too to fit inside the pockets which mean at time you need to take them all out to find the right one! not a deal breaker but design wise a small flaw.
Designed by Bandit Manchot, it’s currently being sold at London Design Museum shop for a very reasonable price!
“Getting spit on the face or becoming momentarily deaf or even having someone step on my leg wasn’t enough to distract me, I was there with the characters and in the play”
You only truly experience the performance of the actors and the essential difference between watching a movie and a play when you seat at the edge of the stage. Seeing the actors that close, puts you in middle of the action and everything is enhanced to a level beyond what your sensory inputs are able to handle at times!
For some reasons every time I watch something it takes me a little while to be convinced by the characters, especially if it’s a period piece. To believe those people belong to whatever era they supposed to belong to … but being closer was kind of a shocking experience and instantly made me believe whatever they wanted me to, it was as if the was no longer a curtain in between. I’m not sure if the actors can actually see you with all lights pointed at them, but occasionally you find them looking right into your eyes and it does add to the experience, makes it feel very direct and personal.
Seating at the first row in the stalls was a fascinating but a little exhausting experience! And I wouldn’t recommend it for every play, but once in a while, seat close and let the actors take with them on a journey, close and personal!
Photo: The Low Road at The Royal Court
There were so many fantastic VFX movies last year. From the (Hollywood) blockbusters such as The Avengers, The Hobbit, Prometheus or a film that didn’t get as much attention as it deserved; Looper, or even Total Recall that didn’t do so well at the box office but Double Negative’s work on it was top notch.
One however, stood out from the rest. Life of Pi was the most beautiful movie of the year. Sure the work on the tiger was unbelievable, even with the tiger swimming sequence being real, it was still superb. But that’s not why Life of Pi got my attention. Life of Pi was a complete package. How a movie should be. Good directing, story telling, acting, cinematography (in this case married heavily to vfx) and a visual effects that enhanced everything to a level beyond anyone’s believes. A creative collaboration at all levels. Even the 3D Stereo delivery was flawless, did you notice the aspect ratio changing in the flying fishes sequence and the fishes actually coming outside the frame?
What is not even remotely close to a complete package, is the behind the scenes story. The VFX studio responsible for the work, Rhythm & Hues, filing for bankruptcy, The Academy (Oscars) cutting the VFX team speech short just when they were about to address the recent difficulties for the VFX industry and while there was a protest going on outside. It is just such a big shame that Life of Pi will go down as movie that won the VFX Oscar that tasted so bitter!
People working in VFX are there only for one reason, their love and passion for the films and arts. They tolerate all the difficulties, instability and unfair working conditions just out of their love for the craft. However, when on top of everything else they see their work and contributions are not respected, then all the other problems come to surface. I hope whatever happen from now no, and with the awareness raised to the state of VFX industry, and a new movement starting amongst VFX artists calling for unity, film studios will work towards establishing mutual respect and understanding, and for once not driven purely by numbers and maximising their own profit, there’s enough here for everyone!.
In the business of daily life and dealing with its’ never ending surprises! I forgot to write more about my attempts in drawing and how the workshop ended. Seemed less important at the time but today I came across one of my life drawing sketches and it felt so alien. I feel I’ve been just rushing through my life in the last few years trying to find some stability, I have missed on so many other things, and when you discover that stability is just a mirage, things come in focus; You must either choose to make peace with the chaos and continue or, well give up! Nevertheless, even giving up is a choice. Life is such a bizarre experience, there are really no words to describe it.
The last day of the workshop, everyone was gathering their drawings to take with them, I didn’t see the point. I wasn’t impressed with my body of the work, and those I thought I was able to capture something interesting were recorded on my digital companion, so I threw them all in the rubbish bin. Just before leaving and to my surprise, someone asked if she could have one of my drawings, I had to go back and take everything out of the rubbish bin and find it for her, it felt strange, as if I was going through the days of my life that I had no care for, to find something that someone else thought it meant something, did it?
Kickstarter has given birth to many styluses last year and Hand was one of the most successful ones bagging $313,490 from their original $25,000 goal. Created by Steve King, this stylus is inspired by the design of the mechanical pen and pencils. Featuring one of the smallest tips at 4mm diameters, it does look and feel great and the retracting pen is a nice touch although not necessary. It comes with an optional pack of 6 back up nibs all nicely presented in beautifully aluminium cases.
Unfortunately Hand doesn’t perform as good as it looks and its main feature remains the design. The smaller tip means you need to press it harder on the screen to register, something that becomes rather tiring especially when you are drawing. The body made of anodized aluminium is durable enough but the nib tends to wear out easily feeling a little dry explaining the need for the additional ones! So if you are planning to get one you should get the nip pack too. I wish they had been more careful with the design of the nib as there’s no point making it smaller since it’s not possible to obtain more accuracy. Wacom’s Bamboo Stylus has the best size with 6 mm and the majority has 8mm in dime meter to ensure an easy and effortless interaction with the screen. I’m hoping they’ll improve it in the next generation as Hand has one of the best designs out there. Let’s see it in action!:
Last week, I watched a very interesting French animation called ”Ernest & Celestine‘’. This very beautifully made hand drawn animation all in water colour, reminds you of your childhood and simplify of everything while carrying a bigger message underneath about the social classes and the gaps created in the societies for no good reasons, of course you can read much more into this!
This five years in production animation is based on illustrated books with the same name, directed by Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar and Benjamin Renner, has been travelling the world from Cannes to Toronto and just reached London for the London BFI film festival. Watch the trailer below as well as Q&A session after the screening with one of the directors Benjamin Renner. Unfortunately it’ll be only released in a number of countries but be sure to get the DVD!
Charcoal is such an amazing medium! Sure it has its limitations but the fluidity it provides just makes the drawing very relax and loose. Last couple of session I’ve been doing life drawing; very difficult but quiet an amazing study of the body. I still find it difficult to get proportion right, but there’s something developing in me which I like, I know I have the potential do it now, could take a while or a more than a few attempts, but I can feel it’s getting better.
Using the negative space to define the shape is still seems to be a very effective method, letting the shape emerge and then redefine and redefine it, the result is always interesting even when not very accurate, makes it looks very believable.
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra had a special performance of John Williams’s music to celebrate his 80th birthday (a few months in advanced!) in London Royal Albert Hall. The winner of 5 Oscars, Williams is a legend amongst film music composers whose work has contributed towards the success of countless motion pictures; from Star Wars to Harry Potter, E.T to Indiana Jones, did I mention Jurassic Park? Let’s not forget the Schindler’s List!
He is the reason why I love film’s soundtracks and I used to listen to his music all day on my Sony cassette player. His theme songs are an important part of my childhood memories and I was always fascinated by how powerful his work is. I hope he’ll go on composing forever! I think he will …