Sunday, October 23, 2011

Everything can be a Ukulele

Playing the Ukulele is something I have always intended to do. I have so far miserably failed at this. The first step away from utter failure and towards success at anything these days is a good google. So here is Etsy's answer to my shortcoming.

Does ukuleleing get better than this?
How cool are these!?? is the shop. Paul Celentano is the mad genius. He says
"What Would Your Dream Instrument Look Like? All designs can be made into a ukulele,guitar,bass,mandolin,and more. Contact me for estimate."

Friday, August 19, 2011

Selling Your Film Without Selling Your Soul

Last month I touted some books that will save filmmakers tons of scratch.
It seems that Jon Reiss, author of "Thinking Outside The Boxoffice" has a new book on that devil distribution coming out.

Looks very useful. 

From the description on YouTube:
"SELLING YOUR FILM WITHOUT SELLING YOUR SOUL is the first book to strip away the mythology surrounding independent film, providing real data and results of the techniques filmmakers have employed to connect films with audiences. 

The book presents revenue models, marketing strategies, distribution spends, crowdfunding, community building and detailed ancillary and digital distribution numbers for the following films: Ride The Divide, The Cosmonaut, The Best and The Brightest, Sita Sings the Blues, Note by Note, Bass Ackwards, Adventures of Power, American: The Bill Hicks Story, Undertow, For the Bible Tells Me So, Violet Tendencies and the webseries PioneerOne.

SELLING YOUR FILM WITHOUT SELLING YOUR SOUL peers behind the curtain of secrecy surrounding distribution, and celebrates the spirit independent of groundbreaking filmmakers who take matters into their filmmaking destinies into their own hands."

Friday, August 5, 2011

Huckelberry Finn: Robotic Edition mentioned in the NY Times Magazine!!!

Guess what Batman! Our project Replacing the "N-word" with "Robot" in Huck Finn was mentioned in this great New York Times Magazine article about Kickstarter. They mention a bunch of other very cool projects and it's a neat look into how Kickstarter works.

Here is the article by Rob Walker

If you HAVE to have this book we will soon be selling it on our website

Thanks NY Times Magazine! 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Robot That Flies Like A Bird- TED

Are you ready to see something amazing?
Markus Fischer and the rest of those crazy kids at Festo have built this SmartBird. It's modeled on the noble seagull, but flaps it's wings to fly instead of slurping gross stuff off the sidewalk.

Here is the TED talk where you get to see this super cool robot in flight and work on your German accent.

I don't know what kind of pressure this guy is feeling these days. But it has to be intense. 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Month At The Museum 2

So the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago is doing a second year of their incredible Month at The Museum project. One lucky person gets to live at MSI for a month. The lovely Kate McGroarty did it last year and it looks like she had an amazing time.

I couldn't not apply.

The museum requested that people post their application videos on YouTube and a most wonderful time suck was born. You can just plop "Month at the Museum 2" into the search bar and all kinds of awesome people will show up for 1 minute.

Here is my one minute application video. It is possible that I kiss a dog in this video. So if you're easily shocked please turn away.

There are so many videos, but here are some of my favorites so far.

This is a collection of awesome people. I'm so impressed with all the excitement and brain power this project is pulling out of the wood work. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Must Watch TED Talk- Sugata Mitra: The child-driven education

If you are remotely interested in: education, the third world, economic disparity, human rights, children, the brain, social development, the origins of society, problem solving, computers or anything at all you have to watch this TED talk.

Not just because Sugata Mitra is adorable, but because his experiments in giving children unguided and uninstructed access to the internet will blow your mind.

BOOM. Mind blown. You should also watch it because he's adorable.

"Education scientist Sugata Mitra tackles one of the greatest problems of education -- the best teachers and schools don't exist where they're needed most. In a series of real-life experiments from New Delhi to South Africa to Italy, he gave kids self-supervised access to the web and saw results that could revolutionize how we think about teaching."

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Snakes are cute.

I think it's important to remind people once in awhile that snakes are cute.

cute snakes Pictures, Images and Photos

We're all very mammal centric on the internet with our cute cats and bunnies. Don't get me wrong, kitties and bunnies are cute. But so are snakes.
You know you love them. 
Herp, herp, horray!!!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Filmmakers: Two book recommendations that will save you at least $1000's

As a co-producer on the feature film The Selling I have learned more about the in's and out's of film production, festivals and distribution than I ever intended. So now that I'm super smart and superior I can sit on my high horse and tell other people what they should do. There are two books that would have saved us a lot of time and money had we read them earlier in the process. So you should read them.
The first is Thinking Outside The Box Office by Jon Reiss.

This book is a must even if you are planning on going through traditional channels. Read it before pre production if possible. There are things that you can be doing early that will make your life much easier. Building audience, having the right useful things on your website, transmedia and digital rights are all in here. This world is changing out from under everyone and this is a great way to stay on top of the new model. Whatever that is going to be. 
The second book is Chris Gore's Ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide. You should read this before pre production too. There are things you need to be doing early for a good festival run. It will make your life much easier if you do them. You can't do them if you don't even know they need to be done. 

There are about a billion festivals and getting into and going to them is a huge job. Reading this book will make it so you aren't a complete idiot. I'd say you should read this even if you know the festival world. 
Another great resource if you're in Los Angeles is American Cinematheque's lecture series by Thomas Ethan Harris. This is a wonderful cool thing that the American Cinematheque is doing and you should take advantage of it if you can. 
There is my sage advice. Feel free to send me some of the money this saves you. I think 15% is fair. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

To The Second Annual Kickstarter Film Festival With Robot Jim

Gabriel Diani and I are thrilled that our Kickstarter project "Replacing the N-Word with Robot in Huck Finn" will be at the Second Annual Kickstarter Film Festival in Brooklyn.
You can check out all the other project videos they are showing here.
I'm very excited to see them and to try several edible Kickstarter projects that will be there. I plan on murdering a scoop or two of ice cream from Phinizy & Phebe.

Here is the wonderful video for the film festival. 

See you on the 9th Brooklyn! 

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Mini Dogs in Little Tokyo

I just have one question. Why isn't EVERY bakery doing this? 
It's just whipped cream and a slice of kiwi in a little pastry shell. The extra nice touch is that the eyes noes and mouth are blackberry and raspberry seeds. 
The animals you could make with this method are limited by only your imagination. I'm very disappointed with every other pastry chef in the world right now. Way to go bakery in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles. 
Eating them isn't easy. I recommend going with head first. It seems the kindest to the little creatures. 
Not everyone is comfortable with this however. Use your best judgment about how eating a mini dog will affect those around you.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

This is not a Kickstarter Shirt

Handsome Yancey, one of the founders of Kickstarter and a backer of 420 projects is making this cool shirt. The shirt will show the stats of the "This is not a Kickstarter Shirt" project when it's all done.

So your cash addition changes the number for everyone. Do you feel drunk with power? I do. A little.

Since there is no Kickstarter shirt this is as close as you're going to get until there is.

It's all very meta. It's also a great conversation starter about Kickstarter and something you could wear every day during the run of your Kickstarter campaign. Which is what?

If you've ever done a Kickstarter campaign or you have one currently running let me know in the comments!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Robot Necklace

I get to make a bunch of Robot Necklaces!

Not long ago my Kickstarter project to change the "N-Word" to "Robot" in Huck Finn was successful. 

We are busily working to make the incentives. Our amazing copy editor Emily Wilder, who's very entertaining blog can be found here at Wilder Goose Chase is busily copy editing. The ten million illustrations (that's how many there were at last count) are being altered to include Robot Jim instead of Human Jim.
I'm responsible for the Robot Necklace.
If you want your very own and missed the Kickstarter campaign then you can get it here on Etsy.
When the book is ready you can get it here at

All hail our Robotic overlords! 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Incredibly Exciting and Dangerous World of Drawer Pulls

We all have drawers to open. You might as well admit it. No one who's anyone keeps their skeletons in closets anymore. Dressers, chifferobes, cabinets and buffets are where it's at.
"But how are we supposed to open these fancy boxes to get to our stuff? Telekinesis?"
No. But enjoy that terrible website. And if you know where those people live feel free to let your dog poop on their lawn and not pick it up. They can remove it with their minds.
Getting to your stuff can be accomplished through knobs.

Etsy has a wide variety.

Michael R Doyle Mrd74 does amazing work in metal with bird skulls and other bits of natural history.

For the more geographically minded Sherry Truitt Studios has these map drawer pulls. Maybe they would be particularly good to pull open the drawers of your map collection.

Monkey Shines has a variety of cool natural history inspired pulls with a clean modern look.

Da Rosa has these awesome Star Wars little guys.
Black Turtle Metals makes all kinds of beautiful accessories for your house.

Dreamery Studio does neat natural history inspired things with drawer pulls and printing on old book pages.

Shimrita makes awesome and ridiculous cupcakes. Don't eat them.

If you can't open your drawers after this then give telekinesis another try. 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Etsy in The Selling

I've been loving Etsy for years. I think it's a fantastic place to find both awesome and truly horrifically wonderful things (thank you Regretsy).  It also gives artists, crafters and junk collectors the ability to sell their work without having to deal with traditional selling venues.

When we were working on our film The Selling I wanted to include some of the etsy things I had bought in the world of the movie. I put some things in front of the costume designer Christine Bean, and the art director Katrin Eder and these were some things that they used.

The lead character Richard Scarry played by Gabriel Diani wears this fantastic Grumpy Owl's shirt.
It is made by the etsy shop Deadworry. I love her stuff!

Then in my character Ginger's apartment we can see this guy from Berkleyillustration.

I love Ryan's work and it is all over my apartment and the houses of at least three other cast members that I know of.

This next really cool shop mostly ended up on the cutting room floor but if you know it's there you can see photos from Swirlingthoughts on the wall of Richard Scarry's mother's house (played by the fantastic
Nancy Lenehan).
These toy photos are super good. The barbie series is particularly awesome.

I also used some of my own jewelry from Underoakstudios.

I will be using more etsy stuff in other things that I produce. If you're going to do this make sure you get a release from the artist.

Thanks guys!

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Selling at the San Francisco International Film Festival

The movie that I am in and co-produced is finally having it's premier! We're going to be at the San Francisco International Film Festival.

You can get tickets here. The world premier screening is on Friday, April 29th at 11:30 at the fantastic Kabuki theater in San Francisco. The second showing is on Wednesday, May 4th at 4:15 at the Kabuki.

I'm very excited to be seeing as many of the other films in the festival as I can manage. Are you going to any? Let me know in the comments section. What should I see?

We've gotten some great press. Here are some blurbs from Laughing Squid,  Bloody Disgusting, and Dread Central.

Check it out! 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Best Picture On The Internet

I don't know who is responsible for this or how they managed to snag the url but whoever it is deserves our respect and admiration.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Robots Galore

It's been all robot all the time here at Diani & Devine thanks to our Kickstarter campaign to replace the n word with robot in Huck Finn. 

We have our Robot Jim. 

From Day of the Robot. Jim was a one time offer but other amazing robots can be found there. 

We also have this Robot Necklace.

 From Underoakstudios

But other people have robots too. 
A quick Etsy search reveals all. 

There's this good girl from heavymetalmilkman

This classic depiction of robot evolution from SwitchDesignsNYC.

This fine gentleman from PacificArtworks who isn't terrifying at all. 

This uneasy robot from Sandymac.

I've been lusting after the robot lamps from RoboLamp for years.

These seem to me to be essential to any nesting doll collection. Several versions can be found made by shani4d.

Last but not least we have this historically accurate t-shirt from HappyFamily.

Owning these items and other robot related goods will weigh in your favor when our robot overlords take over.
All hail our robot overlords.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Replacing the 'n-word' with 'Robot' in Huck Finn

Friends, Robots, Public Domain Literature Fans:

We're editing a new version of Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" that won't be bogged down with what Mark Twain was trying to say about racism.

Famous writer Ernest Hemingway once hailed "Huck Finn" as being "the best book we've ever had." We agree with him-even if he did drink too much.

But this classic novel has been banned from many schools and libraries ever since it's first publication, originally because it portrayed the African American character Jim as being human and now because of the book's use of the word "n-word" over two hundred times.

Publisher NewSouth Books is attempting to get the book back on library shelves and in classrooms by publishing a new version that removes the controversial word "n-word" and replaces it with the word "slave."

Critics are calling this "censorship" and "whitewashing of history." We call it "not far enough."

Robots instead of N-bombs: Statistically, people prefer robots to the word "n-word." The word "n-word" is ugly and pejorative. Robots are fun and cool...even when they're trying to take over our world! So we've decided to take the word "n-word" out of Mark Twain's classic and replace it with "robot."

Why robots? Well, there's no denying it: robots are "in" right now. The film "Transformers" made over $708 million around the world. The film "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" made over $800 million dollars. The last film version of Huckleberry Finn only brought in $24 million dollars. Even accounting for inflation (which we frankly don't know how to do), it's clear that robots are more popular than Huckleberry Finn.

And that's a MOVIE, not a book.

But why not vampires? They're "in" too, aren't they? Good point, hypothetical question asker. Vampires are "in." But replacing the word "n-word" with vampire would be silly. Robots have a long history in literature and popular culture of being used as a metaphor for slavery and oppression. Replacing the black characters with robots in the book will maintain the integrity of MOST of Mark Twain's themes. It will also make the book more attractive to racists who wouldn't ordinarily read a book sympathetic to the plight of African Americans in the Antebellum South. And this is really about getting more people to read the book.

We're raising money for a short print run of the book. The more money we raise, the cooler the book will be. We have an artist altering some of the illustrations from the original edition of the book to replace Jim with "Robot Jim." We'd like to do all of the illustrations but that is a huge task and adds to the page count making the book more expensive. We would also love to get a Twain or Black History Scholar to write a little something about the use of the word "n-word" in the book to lend us some credibility. This also increases the page count. We'd also prefer to hire a designer to design the book cover and/or the interior layout of the text instead of pre-made templates. Who knows? If we raise enough money, maybe we can do a hardcover edition or one where the text is inlaid in platinum on dinosaur bones!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Birds In Hats

Here are some birds in hats.
This cute little guy is from Poor Dog Farm on Etsy. This is a very dangerous shop because everything is super cute.
Then we have the classic Owls Love Hats print from corelladesign.
Everybody loves A True Gentleman  by LaurenanneDesigns.
This weirdo may or may not fit the bill. Bird? Only KindlyMonsters knows for sure.
Last but not least here's one of my favorites from berkleyillustration.
There. Birds in hats. You can rest easy now that you know that they're out there.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Mary Olson (episode 2) Dating Without Desperation

Here is ye ol' episode 2 of my web series Mary Olson.
We're working on a second season. It's going to be VERY cringie.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Send the Scarlet Furies to Memphis!

Hey ladies and gents. Are you looking for a really cool Alternative Folk band? Then The Scarlet Furies are your men and woman. Check out their website for tour info and whatnot.
They have an opportunity to record a live album in Memphis and they've made this Kickstarter video with great incentives to help them get there.
Check it out.

Their Facebook page describes them as:
The rootsy romance of American southern gothic angels and demons, wrapped in a seductive veil of rich harmonies and anything with strings.

Raleigh Holmes- Vocals, autoharp
Buck Wilcox- vocals, guitar, bass
Ian Francisco-Bass, Keyboards, accordian
Robert Holmes- Guitars, vocals, uke
Steve Hilstein- Percussion and things that make noise

They are super awesome and you should give them some scratch to get to Tennessee.