I'm excited to share a few projects: blogging about my passions at http://www.TheGreekIdeal.com; about a book my Dad wrote before he passed at http://www.fightingprosaicmessages.com; and a movie I'm making at http://FirstTimeFilmMaking.com.
I just made a 2-minute animatic concept trailer for “Eros & Amara Sol” that I’m hoping to shoot. I wrote a voiceover and put my drawings to it with music.
Credit to filmmaker Diane Bell for the brilliant idea of making a concept trailer to help attract financing for a feature.
(If you’re curious, this was the concept trailer she shot to raise financing for her Sundance movie Obselidia. It inspired this animatic trailer. I wrote more about the process in creating this trailer at my “Eros and Amara Sol” movie blog.)
Next step? Cast it and shoot the bad boy.
By the way, if you do check out this trailer, thank you so much.
Here are a few quotes from the last pages of 23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism by economist Ha-Joon Chang.
Now, I had originally posted this on Twitter (all the way back on June 14, 2022). I wanted to publish it here because I didn’t want to lose it in the haystack of Tweets.
Also, I wanted to post these quotes here because they’re freaking fascinating. Fascinating because, though Chang’s book was written in 2011, these quotes are super relevant to today.
(For example, they relate to the rhetoric around the man-made “debt ceiling” crisis led by Republican Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy that’s happening right now.)
Okay, here are the quotes. The following five quotes come from pages 265-6.
“Budget deficits are a familiar bogeyman of free-marketeers” (For example, saying the national debt is too high, therefore we have to cut social programs rather than the extravagant military budget and corporate subsidies.) “Social welfare spending is a favorite whipping boy of free-market ideology.”
“The trinity of high unemployment, stagnant wages, cuts in welfare spending, combined with the drying-up of consumer credit and climbing oil and food prices strains living standards”
“Puzzingly, many who suffer the most under free-market policies support those approaches because they have come to believe that small governments, fiscal rectitude, business freedom and self-help are the foundations of a dynamic economy and a decent society.”
“Such is the power of free-market ideology … vote for politicians who do things to hurt them.”
“Thus it is more and more urgent that people understand what is REALLY going on with the economy, and exercise their economic citizenship more actively”
Things haven’t changed since Ha-Joon Chang wrote those words. (Neoliberalism , i.e., free market ideology, still dominates Washington D.C. despite its continuous failure to help the everyday person. Both Biden and Trump are neoliberals.)
But I think (or hope) more are waking up to the neoliberal delusion (I think Bernie’s presidential runs helped with this), and more are challenging its policies—even if it’s on Twitter voicing their unhappiness.
If we continue to become aware of the bullshit behind this ideology, this may be hope? Because the despair may translate into action against its true source (rather than the fictional scapegoating of the vulnerable)? Action that might disrupt an authoritarian economy that favors the rich?
This would be awesome, because it would mean an expansion of democracy in the economy.
Last week I posted about completing a 15:15 minute animatic (i.e., I had put drawings together into something like a movie). When I showed the animatic to my girlfriend, I realized I needed to add narration. The animatic is basically an extended trailer, so the story jumps around a bit.
So, I unpublished that post, and I spent last week putting narration to the animatic. It’s now 28:45. But I think it’s better because the story might be clearer.
Getting a feature-length movie off the ground is difficult (making this animatic is meant to be a step towards making the feature version of this short). But whatever happens, I loved the experience of making this animatic. It was a lot of fun, and I learned a lot.
In any event, even though the animatic is now 28:15 minutes long to watch, it took me about 7 months to make it. Phew. But I’m excited.
I’ve had the desire to get this feature off the ground for a decade now (I wrote the first draft back in 2013, and it’s now 2023). I’m excited to have taken what feels like a real step in that direction. If you’d like to check it out, here’s the animatic.
To be honest, this blog is about a type of mission I want to strive after. There are three sources from where I learned about this mission (which I’m calling “The Greek ideal”):
Da Vinci and Michelangelo. My Dad introduced me to these guys when I was in the fifth grade. They captured my imagination. I loved that they were not just artists, but poets, musicians and scientists.
Baldassare Castiglione’s book The Courtier. Later in high school when taking Modern European history, I learned the man who had distilled the philosophy behind “The Renaissance Man” was Baldassare Castiglione (1478-1529) in his book The Courtier. I always had a vague sense a Renaissance Man was a well-rounded person. But in that book Castiglione got specific. He listed six components a Renaissance Man must have:
Mott Greene’s chapter “Thales and The Halys” in his book Natural Knowledge in Preclassical Antiquity. I read this chapter in college, and discovered this Renaissance Man idea derived from ancient Greece. What fascinated me was how Greene argued the Greeks didn’t think this ideal was reserved for the few. Part of the Greek culture was to be a polymath. That made me realize anyone can be a Renaissance Person. How? Those six components aren’t just components of The Renaissance Man. They’re six capacities all humans have by virtue of being human.
Again, I can’t tell you how much this idea inspires me. This blog is dedicated to striving after that ideal. And it’s a place where I￼’d like to place my other blogs and writings.