Category Archives: Documentary

Small Block, Big Lawn

Sometimes we do things because we think it’s a better way. Sometimes we do things because there’s a chance that it will make a difference, or solve a long-standing problem, or improve a condition we see around us.

And sometimes we do something just because of the sound!

There’s just something about that sound that stirs the blood for certain people. We confess to being in that group!

Continue reading Small Block, Big Lawn

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How Big is It? (Really?)

By now, most of us who are paying attention know that the traditional mercator projection is quite inaccurate when used for the world map. But did you know how inaccurate it is?

Take a look at this enlightening (and delightful) journey around the world. You may have a moment of deja-vu when the narrator lapses into an homage to Yakko Warner’s iconic “Nations of the World” rap.

We think a student of the world could spend several hours just following the clues and links stuffed into that fast-moving piece.


Although we hope cartographers and historians will do their best to tell the truth, storytellers and narrative filmmakers are not expected to observe that restriction. That’s why we’re glad to know that San Francisco independent filmmakers are setting out today to create a new crop of short films as part of the 48 Hour Film Project.

You can learn more at their Facebook page, or just subscribe to this blog and we’ll be sure to remind you when the premiere screenings and awards show are announced.

Fire an Arrow? I Think NOT Sir!

We love to see the battles in movies where they use fire arrows. It seems like such a good idea on a movie screen.

But would it really work? This charming video explores the matter. It’s longer than we normally post, but we couldn’t stop watching because the narrator is just so darned engaging.

Be sure and subscribe so that we can keep bringing you interesting highlights from the various online video sources we watch.

New Connections All Over

Have you ever seen the BBC program “Connections” with James Burke? Chances are, if you have a television (still) you’ve come across it at least once.

For those of you who admired the show, or James Burke greatly and wish there were more, here’s someone who may one day fill his shoes. Tom Scott is doing great work with his YouTube series, and it has a hint of the rocket sled ride through human knowledge and nature. Take a look for yourself.

We expect to see a lot more good come from this “great explainer.”

The Online Video Economy

Most of the time we talk about what you can see online that will entertain you. Occasionally we find things that can inform you as well. This short video explains some hard facts about how videos are treated (and monetized) on Facebook vs. YouTube.

It’s short, but very informative.

Depending upon how much you care about individual content creators, you may have some homework now.

When Filmmakers and Artists Collide

Registration for ArtShots 2015 is now open!

It sounds easy enough, but filmmakers who’ve participated in ArtShots tell us it’s more difficult than they imagined. Here’s how it works:

  • We match each participating filmmaker with one prominent artist or arts organization.
  • We give them two weeks to create a 90-second sizzle clip that captures the essence of the artist.
  • Bay Area filmmakers and artists from Berkeley to Santa Cruz, from Santa Rosa to Gilroy are invited to participate.
  • Filmmakers pay a $40 registration fee and are eligible to compete for top prizes. Artists and arts organizations do not pay a registration fee.
  • Completed entries are submitted to the ArtShots jury for consideration to appear in the gala Awards and Highlights show. Top entries may qualify for exhibition in other events and performance venues.

Past ArtShots clips have appeared in theater pre-show entertainment, at film festivals, in online entertainment programming streams, and at community arts events like San Jose’s South First Fridays.

Filmmakers, artists, and arts organizations can register here: http://schoolhouseearthtickets.ticketleap.com/artshots-2015-registration/

Filmmakers will meet their assigned artist at the Kickoff Party on Friday, April 10. They will submit their finished ArtShots entries by April 24. Top clips will be screened at the Awards Gala on May 8th.


ArtShots is sponsored by Cinespots, CreaTV San Jose, and Schoolhouse Earth. Cinespots is a theatrical distribution company that provides pre-show entertainment to cinemas across its broad network. CreaTV San Jose is a broadcast company that provides television programming of community interest and that serves educational needs. Schoolhouse Earth is an education non-profit that produces media and learning events to serve community needs wherever there is a gap.