Since starting at the Oklahoman one month ago, I have been busy tackling all sorts of stories.
From writing about the documentary made about imprisoned soldier Michael Behenna, to covering the deadCENTER film festival and seeing the crazy awesome Troll Hunter, to traveling to Lone Wolf, Oklahoma and becoming engulfed in the artistic goodness of Quartz Mountain.
But this week especially, the workload has been turned up and the stories are flowing in. I have been writing or working on eight stories this week and I’m absolutely loving every one of them.
One of the week’s highlight was attending the OKC Summer Classic Dog Show on Thursday and getting to interview people who are completely obsessed with their pooch. You have never heard the word bitch used so casually as you do at a dog show.
Slightly unrelated to work but still happened this week was my experience getting to see Doug Benson at the OKC performing arts center. He and Graham Elwood were so stinking funny and the whole atmosphere was pretty spectacular, especially Elwood’s rendition of Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA.”
I don’t get much of a break for the Fourth of July, but I’m going to make every attempt to blow something up and watch Independence Day. Because nothing says I love America more than Will Smith punching aliens in the dome.
WELCOME TO ERF!!!
Happy Fourth everyone!
I first cracked open my copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone on a lazy summer day in 1999. I had just recently graduated from West Nichols Hills Elementary and was preparing for the jump to middle school at Classen S.A.S.
The parallels I found in Harry Potter could only be described as magical (sorry to be lame, but it’s true.) and the fact that I was reading a book could also be considered some form of sorcery as I was much more inclined then to sit around and play Playstation (Crash Bandicoot for life!).
But as I opened up the book with that red tinted cover with a picture of a peculiar looking boy riding a broomstick with his broken glasses and messy hair, I was blown away by the sheer entertainment of word on paper. The immersion into a ridiculous world where pictures moved in newspapers, where giants existed (and half-giants; you’re my boy Hagrid!), a world of flying broomsticks, spellbooks and huge fire breathing dragons; I was hooked.
It was announced this morning at 7 a.m. ( and yes I set an alarm so I could watch the announcement because I’m a huge, lame 23-year-old nerd) the revealing of J.K. Rowling’s newest project Pottermore!
Rowling starts off the video by telling everyone how passionate Harry Potter fans are and how she hopes the love affair will spread to a new generation with this new project.
“Thirteen years after the first Harry Potter book was published, I am still astonished and delighted at the response the stories have met,” she began.
Rowling said the introduction of Pottermore will be an “online reading experience unlike any other.” Pottermore users will be able to choose a username and be sorted into a Hogwarts house, as well as upload drawings, comments and other feedback.
I AM SO STOKED!!! Can I make it into Gryffindor? Or will I be embarrassed and sent to Hufflepuff?
Rowling went on to say that she will also be releasing content that she has been hoarding for years, which makes me think that this could be the release of the much anticipated Harry Potter encyclopedia.
“The digital generation will be able to enjoy a safe and unique online reading experience built upon the work,” said Rowling. The site will be an “exclusive place to purchase digital audio books and, for the first time, e-books of the series.”
The website won’t go live until October, but Rowling said a few lucky fans will get a chance to get an early sneak pick and help by giving their input on what they want to see out of Pottermore.
I practically crushed my rememberall in excitement for this site! Alright, gotta go re read all the books for the 34th time in preparation.
Watch this video and visit Pottermore!
Jim Hanon took home the award at the deadCENTER Film Festival for “Best Oklahoma Film” for his documentary “Little Town of Bethlehem.”
The film tries to shed a new light on the centuries old Israeli Palestinian conflict by talking to three men, Sami Awad a Palestinian Christian, Ahmad Al’ Azzeh a Palestinian Muslim and Yonatan Shapira, an Israeli Jew who have all taken a pledge of nonviolence to help end the fighting.
Hanon, who is based in Oklahoma, talked after his film ended about the struggles that went in to making his documentary and the importance he sees in the message of his three characters.
“Every situation you saw in the movie, I was in there,” Hanon said. “So I was tear gassed and other different things and I have made a lot of different films but I was never afraid while making a film until this one.”
They know the history, and so they know unless something changes that history is going to continue to repeat itself. They have been fighting forever but these guys are starting to look and say they don’t want their children to inherit this so they are trying to change it.”
Why on Earth would I want to spend a weekend of my winter break in Enid?
This was my first thought when I read Nathan Poppe’s email to me asking if I had any desire to help film a documentary about a band from Enid called Black Canyon.
But… being the sucker I am, I went along with Mr. Poppe and my friends Brian Blackstock, Zach Gray and Matt Carney to meet Jack Morrise and Jordan Herrera of Black Canyon who had recently finished an ep of seven songs that documented a civil war romance.
Flash forward six months and we are now just hours away from the premiere of the documentary, which will show tonight as part of the deadCenter film festival. (start time of 6 p.m. at the IAO Gallery if you’re interested!)
If you had told me while I was freezing my fanny off filming in the backwoods of Enid that this little, on a whim project would have made it to what is now being called one of the 20 Coolest Film Festivals by Movie Maker Magazine, I probably would have hit you upside the head with Black Canyon’s banjo.
I don’t expect people to be blown away by our movie, we shot the thing in 24 hours and in seven different locals of “scenic” Enid. But I hope you take away from the movie the amount of fun we had filming it and the dedication of all the filmmakers and especially Nathan Poppe, who spent the following three months editing the 40-minute, folk-rock-doc together.
Oklahoma music is filled with some of the best, most talented and wonderfully interesting people around and I’m grateful to have just a little slice in documenting them.
She couldn’t sit through more than a couple minutes of the movie.
Oklahoma City resident Anna Welte quietly exited the IAO Art Gallery screening room during “Down in Number 5,” a short film about the difficulties of raising children with disabilities.
It opened the 10th annual deadCenter Film Festival on Thursday.
The movie hit too close to home. Welte’s sister has Down syndrome.
“The subject matter … isn’t talked about much,” Welte said. “And it’s not unless you deal with it on a daily basis that you have an idea or a clue how much of a struggle it is.”
deadCenter publicist Rob Crissinger said he was excited to have a film festival highlighting unique stories with a purpose. He said even the comical documentary “Biker Fox,” which premiered Thursday, follows a Tulsa bike enthusiast who cares deeply about wildlife conservation.
“It gives people a chance to talk about things,” Crissinger said. “And if you don’t like schmoozing you’ve got a great film to see.”
Mom knows best, but that advice can sometimes be dead wrong.
The Korean film “Mother” serves as an example.
The movie begins as a simple tale in which Kim Hye-ja plays a poor woman, known only as Mother, who works in an herbal shop and cares about her twentysomething son Joon Yoon-do (Won Bin) more than anything. He’s all she has in the world, and the duo share everything from dinner to the only bed in their dwelling.
But things don’t stay static for long, and that’s because Joon is no ordinary son. He takes stupid to a high art, walking home alone one night in a drunken daze, following a pretty girl as if he’s Alice heading to Wonderland. After a failed pick-up attempt, Joon makes it home.
The next morning, the girl who got away is found dead. Her body hangs over the ledge of a rooftop, and the police accuse Joon of the murder.
I’m about to chat with the Oklahoma creators of this film about an awkward karaoke star.
What do I see when I look out my window? From where I’m sitting, I see a McDonald’s making me feel hungry.
If you are wondering why I ask that question, it is because I saw the old Jimmy Stewart movie Rear Window this past week and I started looking out my window in a different way. Yes, I am quirky in that respect, but really is it so far-fetched that maybe I will be looking out my window one day and see a murder or some other sort of heinous activity take place? If there is anything that the journalism field has taught me thus far is that the answer is no, not at all.
Sometimes I wished my window faced the southern direction, that way instead of looking out my window and seeing a highway and a McDonald’s at five past noon, I would be seeing the two mile walking path that the Oklahoma Publishing Company (OPUBCO) so beautifully had in place, making me wish I were taking a stroll instead of clogging my arteries.
In case you are wondering, I am not just staring out my window. No, I’m glancing out every once and a while hoping, I feel almost ashamed to say it, something like a ten car pile up or McDonald’s starts an event like giving out free french fries would happen. (Come on McDonald’s, if Sonic can give out free root beer floats, why can’t you give out free french fries…?)
Now that you know what is out my window, I guess my question to you is, what do you see out your window?