Monday, February 26, 2007

11 Out of 24

The 79th Annual Academy Awards are behind us now. Of my 24 Oscar predictions, 11 of them turned out to be true.

I was thrilled that An Inconvenient Truth won for Best Documentary (Feature). I was slightly suprised that it also for Best Original Song.

I was also thrilled that the Oscars went green this year, with so many of the nominees arriving in a zero emission car. I hope that next year the Academy takes it a step further and convinces the Kodak Theatre to use solar power (or some other source of renewable energy).

However, I was complete shocked that Pan's Labyrith didn't win for Best Foreign Language Film. I was convinced before the show that they were unstopable in that category.

All in all - it was a great show and everyone involved with it deserves to be proud.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

My Oscar Picks

The 79th Annual Academy Awards are only hours away at this point. With that in mind, here are my picks for the Oscars in each of the various categories.
  • Actor (Leading): Forest Whitaker in The Last King of Scotland
  • Actor (Supporting): Eddie Murphy (Dreamgirls)
  • Actress (Leading): Helen Mirren (Volver)
  • Actress (Supporting): Cate Blanchett (Notes on a Scandal)
  • Animated Feature: Happy Feet
  • Art Direction: Pan's Labyrinth
  • Cinematography: The Illusionist
  • Costume Design: Dreamgirls
  • Director: Letters from Iwo Jima
  • Documentary (Feature): An Incovenient Truth
  • Documentary (Short): Recycled Life
  • Film Editing: Pan's Labyrith
  • Foreign Language Film: Pan's Labyrith
  • Makeup: Pan's Labyrith
  • Original Score: Babel
  • Originial Song: "Love You, I Do" - Dreamgirls
  • Short Film (Animated): The Little Matchgirl
  • Short Film (Live Action): West Bank Story
  • Sound Editing: Letters from Iwo Jima
  • Sound Mixing: Dreamgirls
  • Screenplay (Adapted): Children of Men
  • Screenplay (Original): Little Miss Sunshine
  • Visual Effects: Superman Returns
And my pick for Best Picture is The Queen.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Checking Into the UK (Part 2)

I have a few more details about my up-coming screening in Liverpool. The exhibition is a part of film festival called Global Fusion. The exact date as to when they will show my documentary hasn't been decided as of yet. However, it will most likely be the third week in April.

This, of course, gives me a mere eight weeks to figure out how I'm going to afford to a) take time away from paying assignments for a few days and b) cover my travel expenses to Liverpool.

I do have one good thing for me, my editor Chris Campbell sent me a new batch of DVDs and Ann Marie Weinert was kind enough to add a page to the web site where folks can buy these DVDs. (Thanks to both of you!)

Anyway, the next couple of months should be interesting to say the least.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Checking Into the UK

I found out over the weekend that my documentary, Checking In: The Story of the Book-Cadillac Hotel, is going to be screened at a Detroit-themed film festival in England this coming April. I'm so geeked about this!

Now, I just have to figure out how I'm going to scrape together the cash need to head out to the U.K. I was brainstorming a few ideas with a friend a moment ago. I'm sure I'll think of something.

More details posted here as soon as I have the solid.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Happy New Year

Happy Chinese New Year!

Today marks the beginning of the Year of the Boar in the Chinese calendar.

I'm celebrating the ocassion Nemecek-style: ordering in some Chinese food and watching Jet-Li's Fearless. Life is good.

Oh, and kudos to Oliver Spalt for taking this photo of London's Chinatown. I found it on Wikipedia. He did a great job of capturing the vibrancy of the scene.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

So Darn Cool!

I know it's because I'm a guy, but I can't get enough of watching this video that I found. It's a series of sand castles getting blown-up, in reverse and in slow-motion.

I'm really not sure how much cooler a video could be.

Via: VideoSift

Once And For All

I just wanted to say, once and for all, that I am not the father of Anna Nicole Smith's baby. In fact, from the way things are going, I think I'm the only person in the U.S. who is saying that.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Intel Gets Faster

I remember, shortly after I graduated from college, I was having dinner with my girlfriend at the time and some friends of her. One of them worked as engineer for Intel. He said that they had finally designed a microprocessor that was so fast and so powerful that they had no idea what people would use all of its processing power for.

He even worried for a moment that this might the mean the end of technological advancement, because his company had finally given users more processing power then they could ever use.

For the record, the chip that he was referring to was the Pentium 2.

I thought about that dinner this morning when I was reading through this week's issue of Business Week. Intel has now unleashed a test chip that is capable of processing 1 trillion calculations per second. They are calling this one the Teraflops Research Chip.

This, of course, means that the new chip is roughly 40,000 times more powerful than the one this engineer was worrying would give users more processing power than they could possibly handle. It's an interesting to think back to where things were just a few relatively short years ago.

More than anything though, it makes me wonder what the computing world will be like by the time Teraflops moves out of its research role and is available to everyday users.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Filming in Detroit

It looks like I'm not the only person making movies in Detroit. Fugitive actor Daniel Baldwin is busy here, too. He is in the area making a film called Little Red Devil.

Although, I do have one advantage over him - there isn't an outstanding warrant for my arrest to complicate the production of my projects.

Oh, and I don't have the worst mug shot ever taken floating around the internet.

I guess that makes for two advantages that I have over Mr. Baldwin.

Monday, February 05, 2007

St. Valentine's Day

St. Valenine's Day is rapidly approaching.

Yes, that wonderful holiday when the whole world celebrates my grandfather Valentine Nemecek's birthday is a mere 9 days away.

There are, of course, various cynics who think that the holiday has something to do with something other than my grandpa's birthday - but I make it a policy not to listen to cynics. Anyway, with St. Valentine's Day comes gifts and that gets me thinking of some of the cool things that one can for the love of their life.

Amanda Box is an amazing sculptor and one of the best artists working in the Detroit area. She makes these Steel Hearts (seen to the right) that one can order from her web site.

They look so darn cool!

I'm of the opinion that food is a great expression of love. I was thrilled, therefore, to find a couple of fanstastic recipes that are perfect for St. Valentine's Day.

Ice cream sandwiches are a wonderful thing in and of themselves. However, when adds the right amount of booze, they are transformed into Naughty Ice Cream Sandwiches. They definitely didn't have these things when I was a kid (or, if they did, my parents are to be commended for keeping them hidden from me).

The idea is to combine Kahlua-flavored dark chocolate chunk brownies and ice cream spiked with Bailey’s. For the added romantic touch, they can be cut into little heart-shaped treats using a cookie cutter.

I found the recipe over on Pinch My Salt. It all looks so darn good.

Speaking of food that is heart-shaped food, I also love this idea I saw on Cut Out + Keep for heart-shaped eggs. Again, the eggs are cooked inside of a heart-shaped cookie cutter. Add in a Mimosa and you have an amazing way to start out St. Valentine's Day, one that would surely have earned Grandpa Nemecek's stamp of approval.

Another interesting thing is that one can simply substitute a shamrock-shaped cookie cutter for a heart-shaped one and all of these recipes can be used again next month for that other saint's holiday - St. Patrick's Day.