(CLICK HERE, if you are unable to view this photo gallery on your mobile device.)MONTREAL — Whatever Sharks coach Pete DeBoer and general manager Doug Wilson said in closed-door meetings that lasted more than a half-hour Sunday morning must have resonated with the team.The Sharks (13-10-5) ended their five-game trip with a win in Montreal on Sunday, snapping a four-game losing streak and ending a string of six straight road losses. The win came on the heels of a blowout loss in Ottawa that …
Greenbuild 2009 in Phoenix was another great event. Unlike most of the construction industry, green building appears to be thriving. Attendance was slightly lower than last year but not by much, in contrast to other industry events that have seen their numbers plummet. Considering how many businesses are struggling or have closed, and the number of unemployed building professionals, the strength of this event is encouraging. Like last year, there was a dearth of good swag, a personal disappointment but a good thing for the environment, and even more unique USB drive options in lieu of printed material from vendors. The USB drive winner this year is Bluebeam Software, whose bamboo-shrouded drive came in a bamboo sliding-cover box, perfect for storing who knows what.Unique swagThe non-USB-drive winners included logo-printed walnuts from Power to Pass, a LEED AP test preparation operation, and a tote bag from Low-E made of reflective housewrap. While I have heard nothing negative about these particular companies, both test-prep services and reflective insulation have uneven reputations, so maybe it isn’t surprising that they handed out some of the more interesting goodies.Sessions and censoringAs for the seminars, I was only able to attend a few sessions due to other commitments, but I particularly liked the one on Living Systems Design. The panel raised interesting questions about the current state of green building, challenging the audience to think differently as we move forward. My favorite quotes from this session include “Sustainability as currently practiced is a slower way to die” and “Nature doesn’t understand property lines.” The residential summit was held in a hotel a few blocks from the main conference, which made visiting the show floor during breaks a bit of a challenge, but the event seemed to hum along nicely. My biggest disappointment was when I lined up to ask a question at a session, Nate Kredich cut off at the person before me. I can only assume that it was intentional as I rarely give anyone at USGBC a break. Maybe next time.I can’t squint that hardSaving my most petty complaint for last, it is time for the USGBC to bring on more mature employees who do not have such young eyes. The map of the show floor in the conference book had booth numbers printed in such small type that I was unable to see them even with my reading glasses. I’m thinking I might possibly have an ADA complaint. Any good lawyers want to talk to me about it?
If you couldn’t make it to Edit Fest London, here are 10 insights I learned from top television and film editors at this year’s Fest!EditFest is a day long series of panel discussions featuring top professional film and television editors, held in New York, Los Angeles and now London. But it is far more than just a day of talk, its a rare opportunity to meet, question and learn from world-class editors who are working on major Hollywood blockbusters and HBO multi-series hits.For a full run down of the panelists check out the Edit Fest site but know that if you’d been there, you too could have chatted over a glass of wine with the editor who cut the famous scene in Heat where Pacino and De Niro talk it out over coffee! Lesson No. 1 – You’ve Got To Get Out ThereIn this Internet age, its very easy to assume that event info will make its way online; that you just can download the podcast, read the blog posts or follow the live tweets and basically have gotten much of the same content as those who attended but for free and from the comfort of your own home. Well you would be wrong. Totally and utterly wrong!The beauty of events like Edit Fest or The Supermeet, or any event where you physically meet people, is all the stuff that happens before and after the panels. It is the chats in the corridor or over coffee or at lunch. The first lesson I learned from EditFest is that you’ve absolutely got to go to events like these. Make the trip, pay the money because days like these are a rare opportunity to get inspired, informed and integrated with other post production professionals in a way that’s not feasible online.Lesson No. 2 – Group TherapyChatting to fellow editors at the AOTG.com pub night after the free Edit Fest cocktail mixer (those Dutch editors can drink!), it seemed like the main encouragement that most editors took away from the day was that we all face the same problems, regardless of budget, genre or product market. Problems like the first version being embarrassingly bad, that its really hard to stay fresh, or that you can’t bear to watch your own work for a good few years afterwards. As John Wilson A.C.E. editor of Billy Elliot said on the day ”It takes me five years to watch a movie I’ve cut, to really see what I’ve done.”Spending a day discussing the craft with other editors at all stages in their careers was both highly educational and extremely encouraging. Lesson No. 3 – Diplomacy Is Essential“The most important talent to develop in the cutting room is diplomacy. Never hold anyone’s idea up to ridicule. Try anything and be ready to fight for what you think is right.” -Tom Rolf A.C.E.If there is one lesson which is absolutely vital for any editor to learn it is that being diplomatic is crucial to developing a healthy career. The edit suite is not only just the place where films are made, but also the arena of a great deal of personal politics, passions and opinions. All of which needs to be handled with a deftness and a strength that is often a real challenge to get right.As Tom Rolf sums up, being open to any idea is important not just on a personal level but for the benefit of the project. It’s all to easy to defend your edit decisions by saying ”I tried that and it didn’t work” than to cheerfully give it another go anyway. Equally it is important to be able to engage in a respectful level of argument when you really believe in a creative call. As Tom later said “It’s alright to get a little blood on the cutting room floor.”Lesson No. 4 – Fighting Film BlindnessWhen you are working on a project for a long time one of the most difficult hurdles to over come is that of ‘film blindness’ – being so close to your work that you can’t see it as it really is. The feature film editor’s panel shared some of their secrets on how to stay fresh to the material. “I try to watch it in a different context from the work environment, taking it home or into a screening room. I try not to dismiss any notes. Your negative reaction might be because you’re too close to the scene. So be open to all ideas.” -Chris Dickens A.C.E. (Slumdog Millionaire) “I try not to watch it alone with the director because its too easy to talk through it. It’s much better to bring in another person, to help see it through their eyes.” -Tracy Granger A.C.E. (Boys Don’t Cry)“I like to make viewing the film in the edit suite a bit more of an event by turning off the monitors, turning all the chairs around and setting up a video projector. It helps keep everyone focused on the film.” -Eddie Hamilton A.C.E. (Kick Ass 1 & 2)Lesson No. 5 – Film Vs DigitalWith the advent of digital media and the demise of film, many of the editors felt a few vital things had gotten lost along the way and that the expected pace for editors had quickened a bit too much.“Rewinding a Steenbeck gave you plenty of thinking time and thinking time is vital.” -John Wilson A.C.E.“Rewinding through rushes also gave you a chance to see every frame at high speed and you could spot things you’d forgotten.” -Tracy Granger A.C.E.“On film you had to construct it first in your head and then do it physically. Now that the polish comes with it (in digital) you don’t pay as much attention to the basics, structure etc. Because everything is so fast you feel like you have to get it right the first time. But you need the opportunity to get it wrong.” –Chris Dickens A.C.E.“It’s getting more and more difficult these days to watching everything. Shooting ratios on Game of Thrones can be as high as 60/1 (normally its 15/1) as they’re always running several cameras. I still try to do that but I have to admit I sometimes have to skim.” -Frances Parker A.C.E. (Game of Thrones)Lesson No. 6. – Watching RushesThe TV editors panel, moderated masterfully by Gordon Burkell from Art of the Guillotine provided lots of insights into each editors technique when it comes to digesting rushes and tackling a scene for the first time.“Each job is different and you just have to respond to the rushes each time. For me the performance comes through the eyes and I’m just responding to instinct and feel. And I’ll look at the script to see where is the drama in this scene and then shape it around that.” -Kristina Hetherington A.C.E. (Birdsong)“It all starts with the story. My edit suite needs a sofa in it because once I look at the rushes I need to have a lie down (to think). You’ve got to find the best nugget and shaping the story around that. It’s all about story, story, story. But each editor has their own pattern, there’s no set rules.” -Oral Norrie Ottey A.C.E. (Game of Thrones)“Dialogue scenes are often difficult to cut as there are so many nuances you want to pull through. I make extensive notes on the script – Great reaction to this line etc – and start as faithfully to the script as I can. I often assemble quickly and then leave it because you can often over work it. When I re-watch it later I’m looked for the real focus of the scene, which might not be what you thought it was when you assembled it. Its a very fluid process.” -Frances Parker A.C.E.“Very rarely does a film work as it’s scripted. I stop reading the script after the first day of shooting because if they haven’t shot it, it doesn’t matter. The footage is all that matters.” -Eddie Hamilton A.C.E.Lesson No. 7 – Wile editor tricksDuring the day a few cunning editors tricks were mentioned which might come in handy one day.“I’ll leave a bad scene in to misdirect attention, to give me more time to do the real work.” -Mick Audsley A.C.E (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)“It’s always good to have a couple of really polished sequences to roll out when people come to look at things.” –Chris Dickens A.C.E.“We kept the process private by being portable. I was editing Kick Ass 2 on a laptop in the directors flat in Kensington.” –Eddie Hamilton A.C.E.“I prefer working alone. Staying late to strip the film down to the spine, taking out things the director would never want to lose, just to see what you have. There’s a very small difference between a bad idea and a brilliant idea which you wouldn’t try with other people in the room.” -Tracy Granger A.C.E.Lesson No. 8 – Working with SoundIt was interesting to hear a variety of opinions on working with sound, with some editors leaving it all to the sound editors while others feeling like they needed to provide a highly polished and full sounding mix, right out of the Avid.“I often watch it on mute to see the issues buried in it. I try to make it as hard as possible for something to carry the scene if its not working.” -Mick Audsley A.C.E“I will cut it mute for a long time, imagining it with the sound effects at first and then adding in sound effects, music etc as a full mix to make the most of sound’s storytelling power.” -Eddie Hamilton A.C.E.“It’s all too easy to fall in love with the temp music. But if it works without sound effects and music, you know it will be fantastic with it.” -Kristina Hetherington A.C.E.Lesson No. 9 – Cutting for dramaThe most important thing you can do as an editor is to focus on the drama and the story. It’s more important for the drama and the story to be perfect than for the cosmetic things like continuity or stylistic touches to be 100 percent accurate. Chatting to commercial’s editor James Rosen at the AOTG pub night, he shared how he had learned to focus on the choices he was making in his editing as they relate to the drama of the scene: cutting to a close up not for the best line but because the drama of the scene dictates that we need to be in a close up. It’s a great lesson to ponder when watching back what you’ve cut.“I like to focus on the eyes, if they’re feeling it, we will feel it. It’s about balancing the emotional output. Not having too much either. Sometimes you need to throw away what may be the most amazing part because its too much.” -Kristina Hetherington A.C.E.Lesson 10. – Work HardOne of the things that struck me most was Eddie Hamilton’s absolute drive to be the very best editor he can be, which seems to have been a major factor in his whole career progression. If you want more advice from Eddie on getting into the film industry, check out this great article on his site.“I remember as a kid begging a friend’s dad to take me to see Return of the Jedi, because I never got taken to the cinema.” “I failed to get into film school and so I got a job as a runner and taught myself Media Composer, staying behind every single evening and weekend.” “I often think if I stay an couple of extra hours, then I can make sure this is world class, in case anyone comes in to see it tomorrow.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi takes a walk on the Dhola-Sadiya bridge over the Brahmaputra in Assam after inaugurating it on Friday. Photo courtesy: Twitter/@PMOIndia 4. It is 3.55 km longer than the Bandra-Worli sea link in Mumbai. The sea link has now become the second longest river bridge in the country.5. The construction of the Dhola-Sadiya bridge began in 2011 by the Ministry of Road Transport along with Navayuga Engineering Company Ltd., under the public-private-partnership agreement6. A sum of ₹ Rs 2,056 crore has been spent on the bridge that can withstand 60 tonnes of weight, including battle tanks.7. The bridge, which has a three-lane carriage way, will also cater to the strategic requirements of the country in the border areas of Arunachal Pradesh, besides facilitating numerous hydro power projects coming up in the State, as it is the most sought after route for various power project developers.8. The bridge will make it much easier for Army convoys to reach outposts near the China border. It is also expected to boost tourism as there is no civilian airport in Arunachal Pradesh and this will make the road transport smoother.9. The bridge will increase industrial investments with better border trade between the Northeast and South Asian countries.10. State-run SAIL is the largest supplier of steel for the bridge. The PSU has supplied around 90% or around 30,000 tonnes of steel, including TMT, structurals and plates, for the bridge. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday inaugurated the Dhola-Sadiya Bridge in Assam, which is India’s longest river bridge.Here are 10 things to know about the bridge:1. Spanning 9.15 km, the bridge is built across the Lohit river, which is a tributary of the Brahmaputra. It will connect Assam and eastern Arunachal Pradesh. The total length of the project, including the approach roads on each side, is 28.50 km.2. The bridge is located 540 km from Assam’s capital Dispur and 300 km from Arunachal Pradesh capital Itanagar. It connects Sadia town in Assam’s Tinsukia district with Dhola village, also in Assam.3. The bridge will reduce the travel time between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh from six hours to just one hour as the distance will shrink by 165 km.
There were smiles on the faces of scores of apple growers in Srinagar on Thursday when Governor Satya Pal Malik announced market intervention scheme to buy crop worth ₹8,000 crore directly from the farmers in Kashmir.Muhammad Yousuf Dar, an apple trader who also heads the Baramulla Fruit Growers’ Association, termed it “a welcome move”. “We want the government to ensure that it [scheme] reaches the grass-roots level. This will also help resolve unemployment issue,” said Mr. Dar. He said over 10 crore boxes of apple are exported outside Kashmir annually.Trying timesMuhammad Maqbool, another trader, said the government’s move has “brought cheer for us in these trying times”. “Such interventions should continue,” said Mr. Maqbool.The August 5 decision of the Union government to revoke J&K’s special status resulted in a communication blockade, affecting the traders’ ability to tie up with wholesale buyers outside or line up with transport companies.Kashmir produces 75% of the total apple crop in the country at 20 lakh metric tonnes. “The fruit growers are not sure about prices and sell in distress. Even the grade ‘C’ apple will be bought. It will triple its price. The intervention of ₹8,000 crore will reach out to 60% of total population of J&K,” said Mr. Malik while launching the scheme at the horticulture department in Srinagar.The government’s market intervention, the first of its kind in J&K, will allow the apples produce to be bought from the doorsteps of the orchardists. “Direct payment will be made to their account. Transportation will be the job of the procurer only,” said Mr. Malik.The government has set up mandis for the scheme at Srinagar’s Parimpora, Baramulla’s Sopore, Shopian and Anantnag’s Botengu.In an indirect reference to the amendment to Article 370, the Governor said: “History cannot be reversed. There is sympathy for people of J&K. People should learn the art of seeking and taking [from the Centre]. The whole country belongs to you.”