These days, I feel like I'm closer to find my long-sought place in the universe.


That's it. That's the best line I have. The rest of the entry is pretty much padding.

Either that or I'm getting seriously affected by my lack of sleep. Seriously, it's all too exciting these days.

Months ago I decided I wanted to get in as much production trouble as I could possibly find, after quite a while off it. This irrational, inexplicable initiative has somehow taken me to be working hard on a couple of two independent feature films now. One of them, we start shooting in just a few days for about 2 weeks So you if you have been wondering what the $·%"& is going on with The Entity!! , you can blame Deadtime (in a nice way though, don't be mean) for generating so much work.

Needless to say, this leaves me very little time to keep up with all the necessary research needed for the feature film script I feel like I've been working on forever now. And of course for...

The Entity!! (yes, again!). Despite everything, I managed to apply for some funding recently. If the project got through the selection process, it would be a great opportunity to get the short film made earlier than I thought next year. If not...well, tough.

Also, I want to thank everybody for bringing more and more people to the Facebook group and spread the word (I'm glad that someone is doing something about the project, shame on me). Especially considering how increasingly hard it is to find your way around in Facebook these days. In any case, the community of fans of The Entity!! keeps growing (307 members now!), which in turn brings hope for the future of humankind. All the names of those who have invited other people or thrown some help at the project are being added to the "Collaborate" section of the website, and of course will be given a credit in the end roll of the film. They will also be loved immensely everywhere they go, for their hearts are pure.

So all good, apart from my lack of sleep, which makes me "go funny" and is meant to get even worse over the next few days.

Oh, and I'm thinking of kidnapping a celebrity. But that's not sure yet, will keep you posted.

Finally! Google's opt-out is here

I know some of you, not-yet-converted people, have your reservations about Google's technological improvements and its scary attempts to turn privacy into a blurry memory.

Well, here's the proof that Google can make YOU happy too.
They truly think of everything:

Love Google.

Not again

Every now and then, I hear that statement again:

"Animation is for children"

And there I go, trying to explain again that animation is just a way of generating visuals rather than a genre in itself, or a ticket to a specific kind of audience.
I'm usually too busy finding the statement unbelievable and going mental with it, though, as to be able to convey the idea convincingly. Or even intelligibly. So I thought I should just give a couple of examples here. If you have that look of "doh" in your face right now (meaning this too is a fundamental truth to you!), you don't need to keep reading. Go and see an animated film or something.

Hanna Montana -to use quite outrageous an example- clearly isn't an animated film, but despite being live-action we can hardly say it's for adults and children alike. The animated film The Incredibles, however, a film that I personally consider one of the best ever made, is NOT for children only. It is appealing to children, of course, but they won't be able to grasp the subtleties of a married couple arguing, or understand how frustration and nonrecognition may lead someone to become a very specific kind of person. They will probably just see a bad guy there.

It's simple: you can shoot actors with a camera, or take pictures, or render frames of computer-generated characters. Or use any other method, existing or to come. It doesn't really mind, they all need an script as badly. And it is this script (the storyline, the dialogue between the characters, the characters themselves, the tone!) that will determine how "adult" the film will eventually be.

I finish with what I think is a relevant video. The moments in one of the episodes of the wonderful excuse-me-not-only-for-children Justice League TV series in which Superman's colleagues react to his sudden death and one of his closest friends gives a speech during the funeral. It's as good and emotive as that of live action films such as the famous Four weddings and a funeral one. And just in case it counts, it may give you "adult" goosebumps too.

And then of course there is Harry bloody Potter. But I rather not go there right now. Maybe some other time.

Blake Snyder's "finale"

"I love writers" - Blake Snyder

Blake Snyder, enthusiastic screen writing guru, loving teacher and practical structure genius, died yesterday.

His seminars and his most popular book "Save the Cat" (and the only one I've read, by the way) are said to have inspired and enlightened both budding writers and established professionals. Personally, I learnt a great deal from his approach and found his words extremely useful: an excellent starting point and a light to follow when lost in the dark corridors of your own writing.

Snyder had a blind faith in writers, and an unnatural respect for an audience that, as we all should know, expects to enjoy the film they go to see. He wasn't as popular as Michael Jackson, however, so media coverage have been somewhat moderate. And so I felt I needed to do my bit by posting something here and updating wikipedia (and sobbing a little when no one was looking...). After all, he was in fact "a lot of people's Michael Jackson", and his work means a lot to quite a few of us.

I feel the best way of explaining who he was is to leave a few relevant lines directly extracted from the messages on his blog after his passing.

"We'll never know how many bad movies he saved us from"

"I am starting production this month on my feature film that wouldn’t be happening if not for Blake’s book"

"This is very sad. Blake was one of the good guys. Shared his knowledge with everyone and anyone. He’d actually email you back if you had a question"

"Blake was a great writing teacher and the first person who really got me to understand structure, but more importantly he was a really nice man and seemed genuinely interested in his students"

"Blake, you saved more than just a cat my friend. I will truly miss you"

"This reminds me that there is no tomorrow. Only today. Make the most of it"

Which takes me to the end of this post. Whatever and however small it may be, let our work on stories be the best ongoing tribute to his life we could possibly offer.

Damn, Blake, I miss you too, and I never even met you.

Bienvenido al Futuro III: Un Sistema Operativo para el futuro

En esta ocasión voy a dejar de hablar sobre The Entity!! por un momento (pero sólo un momento) para colgar una rápida entrada sobre lo que bien puede haber sido el más importante acontecimiento relacionado con la tecnología de hace unas semanas.

Google ha anunciado que está desarrollando un sistema operativo llamado Chrome OS. Tenia que ocurrir (de hecho, el primer sistema operativo creado por Google ya está funcionando en algunos teléfonos móviles), pero es genial VER cómo ocurre.

Existen bastantes razones por las que este Chrome OS deberia ser una muy buena noticia. Es o debería ser:

  • Un sistema que pone en peligro a Microsoft. La competencia en el mercado es buena. Microsoft y sus productos controlan el mercado porque no hay otra opción. Otros sistemas aún no son lo suficientemente fáciles de usar, baratos o populares, y gran parte de los compradores no los consideran. El logotipo de Google, sin embargo, puede que sea el más fácil de reconocer del mundo. La popularidad de Google les permite competir con la cuota de mercado de Microsoft.
  • Un sistema de bajo costo: La mayoría de productos de Google son simplemente gratis. Otros no lo son, pero incluso estos están disponibles a precios asequibles. Sólo podemos esperar algo similar de su sistema operativo.
  • Un sistema fácil de usar: Una de las principales características de los productos de Google es que son simples de usar. Incluso si uno todavía no sabe cómo usar las funciones complejas, casi cualquiera está listo para utilizar el producto en un par de minutos. Y sin ningún problema.
  • Un sistema para el "ahora": Windows ha sido esencialmente el mismo sistema operativo a lo largo durante toda su historia. Algunas cosas cambian, se añaden otras nuevas, innecesarias características y funcionalidades para poder vender nuevas versiones, pero no hay cambios importantes. Microsoft es una empresa vieja, y por extensión reacia al cambio y la adaptación. Google practicamente nació con Internet. Tratan de diseñar el sistema del futuro. Una plataforma eficiente sin elementos innecesarios acumulados, diseñada para operar "en la nube" ("cloud computing" software y archivos en la red, en lugar de en el disco duro).
  • Un sistema que funciona: Me sorprenderia mucho si aquellos que crearon orden a partir del caos en Internet no hicieran un buen trabajo en su nueva empresa. Cuando uno utiliza las hojas de cálculo de Google, no necesita guardar los cambios. E incluso si el equipo que estamos trabajando estalla, nuestros archivos seguirán estando seguros. Y esto no es una fantasía. Ya existe, ya está ahí, como testimonio de sus metodos. ¿Cuántas veces hemos perdido nuestro trabajo en Windows?
  • Google quiere hacerlo bien. No muy a menudo nos encontramos con una empresa que no tiene necesidad de hacer nada para ganar dinero. Desde los tiempos en los que realmente lo pasaban mal para hacerse un nombre hasta una actualidad en la que no hay una acción más valiosa que las de Google, su motivación ha sido siempre el progreso. La mayoría de las empresas se preocupan por los beneficios de final del año. Pero Google simplemente se preocupara de crear un gran sistema operativo.

Yo no puedo esperar. Y tu? :-)

Bienvenido al futuro I: El viaje virtual

Como hace ya que no lo hago, he pensado
en postear algo que me haga sonar inteligente, para así justificar al menos porque llevo aun estas gafas mías tan feisimas. Ademas ya hace que colgué este mismo post en inglés y tampoco cuesta tanto trabajo traducirlo al espanol, caramba.

Empresas como Google nos empujan hacia el futuro, causando o propiciando cambios que podrían no haber ocurrido de otro modo y cambiando nuestras vidas al mismo tiempo. A veces se trata de un cambio menor. Y a veces es tan importante que a penas podemos empezar a imaginar las consecuencias. Cuando meses atrás use Google Street View para mostrar a una compañera de trabajo las oficinas de nuestra empresa en los EE.UU., su reacción fue "Guau, esto da un poco de miedo". Supongo que sí que da miedo, pero ¿no es tambien genial el hecho de poder "caminar " por cualquier lugar del mundo sin dejar nuestra casa u oficina? (y el hecho de que esto era impensable hace 1 año).

Cobertura actual de Google street view

Y esto es solo el principio de la aventura. A medida que el viaje virtual siga evolucionando y más características sean incorporadas a la experiencia, ¿nos encontraremos algun dia en la situación de tener que decidir si realmente vale la pena viajar a físicamente?

Simplemente imaginemos lo que podría ser el siguiente paso, combinando Street View (o
Google Earth, en su "versión" en 3D) con el concepto de mundos virtuales (como Second life), donde también tenemos un avatar virtual 3D que es nuestra representacion en el entorno virtual. Ahora quedemos en París. Hoy mismo, ¿por qué esperar? Podemos charlar un rato antes de contemplar la Torre Eiffel a todas las horas del dia (por la mañana, el atardecer, iluminada de noche) en cuestión de segundos. Y ya que no estamos sujetos a limitaciones físicas, podemos salir volando (si, volando, como en un video-juego) o teleportarnos al Gran Cañón y pasar allí la noche.

Por supuesto que no es tan sencillo como suena. Se ha intentado hacer esto posible, pero aun no se ha conseguido hacerlo realidad. Los gráficos aún no son tan realistas. Nuestras pantallas siguen siendo en 2D. Los ordenadores aún no son lo suficientemente rápidos, y es molesto esperar a que Google Earth cargue todas las texturas y los edificios de Manhattan. Pero esto es AHORA. Los ordenadores evolucionan rápidamente.

Además, podemos ver y oir, pero no podemos tocar. A los que vivimos lejos de nuestros seres queridos nos encantan las aplicaciones como
skype. Nos encanta hablar con la familia o los amigos sin barreras, o incluso mantener una conversación cara a cara. Pero claro, no es lo mismo que estar allí. a lo mejor ese dia necesitas un abrazo, y todos los avances tecnológicos no serán capaces de ayudarte. Pero -hablando de nuevo de cosas que dan miedo- no veo por qué esto no va a evolucionar tambien. Los guantes que lleva Tom Cruise en Minority report ya estan en el mercado, y los dispositivos de interaccion con la realidad virtual ya tienen bastantes años.

Vale, estos NO son los guantes que yo decia, pero ?a que molan igual? :-)

Llegara el dia, o eso creo yo, en que seamos capaces de dar un beso a alguien desde el otro lado del mundo. O simplemente darnos la mano y sentir la mano de esa otra persona. Ese día, las distancias habran desaparecido por completo, y todo habra cambiado.

Ademas, soy uno de esos soñadores ingenuos que creyeron que a estas alturas ya habria
DeLoreans voladores después de ver Regreso al Futuro II. Es agradable mirar hacia el siempre misterioso manana con esperanzas fundamentadas de poder llegar a ese punto. Es emocionante estar viviendo esta época de cambio tecnológico.

Bienvenido al futuro

Welcome to Future III: An OS for the future

I though I'd shut up for a minute about The Entity!! and post a quick entry on what might have been the most significant technology-related event last week.

Google announced that they are developing an operating system called Chrome OS. It was bound to happen (in fact the first OS created by Google is already running on some mobile phones), but it is great to actually SEE it happen.

There are quite a few reasons why this Chrome OS should be very good news:

  • A system that endangers Microsoft. Market competition is good. Microsoft and its products control the market because there's no other choice. Other systems are not yet as user-friendly, cheap or popular, and so are not considered but a great many of the buyers. Google's logo, however, may be the most recogniseable ever. Google's popularity allows them to compete for Microsoft 's market share.
  • An inexpensive system: Most of Google products are simply free. Others are not, but even these are available at affordable prices. We can only expect a good deal on their OS too.
  • A system easier to use: One of the main characteristics of Google's products is that they are simple to use. Even if you don't yet know how to work out complex functionalities, you will find yourself using the product in a couple of minutes. And with no problems.
  • A system for the current times: Windows has essentially been the same OS all along. A few things change, new pretty unnecessary features are added for the sake of additional versions to sell, but nothing major changes. Microsoft is old, and by extension reluctant to change and adaptation. Google was nearly born with the Internet. They are designing the system of the future. An efficient platform with no accumulated clutter, designed for cloud computing (files and software on the web, rather than in your hard drive).
  • A system that works: I'd be very surprised if the guys who created order out of chaos on the Internet did a poor job on their new endeavour. When you use Google spreadsheets, you don't need to save changes. And even if the computer we are working on blows up, our file will still be safe. And this is no fantasy. It's already there, testimony of their ways. How many times have we lost our work in Windows?
  • Google wants to do it well. Not very often do we find a company who doesn't need to do anything to make money. From the times in which they really struggled to move ahead to the current times when no share is more valuable than Google's, their drive has always been progress. Most companies worry about the profit at the end of the year. Google will just be making a great operating system.

I can't wait! You? :-)

THE ENTITY!! is coming (and needs YOU :-)

A half-absurd comedy for both the proud geek and the average human being, The Entity!! is the first film daring to face the long-avoided controversial issue that secretly worries us all: will humankind be, one day, enslaved and ruled by
transgenic mutant vegetables?

The Entity!!, the short film I'm working on at the moment, has it all. Action and drama, humans and vegetables, comedy and showy, unnecessary visual effects. And of course a clearly evil onion, key figure in this ongoing conspiracy. All except one little thing: its eager, large audience.

Here is where YOU can help! (sure, if you want)

Who, ME??
Yes, YOU!

I want to help, but what could I possibly do? WHAT !?
Good question!

  • Option 1, Moral support: Wish that it's a success. Your positive thinking, unlimited supply of hope and various daily prayers will surely help a great deal. If feeling extreme, leave your everyday life, lock yourself up in a faraway monastery and initiate a new existence of meditation and meager meals.
  • Option 2, Word of mouth: You know how much of a technology geek I am: the Internet IS brilliant, but combined with YOUR support and help is even more powerful. So if you like the idea, PLEASE JOIN THE FACEBOOK GROUP (costs nothing, but it'll help a lot! :-) and/or a fan of the Facebook page. Tell someone. Tell everyone! Your family, friends, neighbours... Your dog! Put up copies of the poster at your workplace. Name your firstborn "The Entity!!". Slip the name of the film into random conversations until it gets more famous than "Indiana Jones 5" (yep, they are making it).
  • Option 3, Help with your valuable skills: Can you spare some time? Want to make a movie? Are you into graphic design and a million ideas came up just as you saw the (in your opinion terrible-looking) Internet poster? Do you do 3D? Or 4D? Does your sister has a friend whose father-in law knows someone who heard of someone who has a magazine? Are you an actor? Are you Steven Spielberg? Do you love Facebook, twitter or myspace and would like to do something more creative with it? Do you speak Klingon, Elvish or even some actual language other than English and would love to translate for a film project? All help is welcome, and of course will be credited accordingly once the film is finished.

This is all for now. For the moment, the project is avalable to follow through its Facebook group and an IndieGogo page. Website is also on the making. True, there isn't much information for now. But hey, I was writing this outrageously long post. Give me a break.

Now go, carry on with your life. But remember the importance of what you learnt here today. Humankind might simply perish if you overlook this survival possibility. Yes, you may decide to turn your back on it, and even NOT to watch The Entity!! but you would be foolishly making it easier for THEM to conquer the world.

Thanks in advance for your support! ;-)

Bienvenido al futuro II: La experiencia sin controles

O "Microsoft aún no está muerto del todo" :-)

Siempre es emocionante encontrarse con nuevos proyectos dispuestos a catapultarnos hacia el futuro. Como ya he dicho antes nuestra manera de interactuar con la tecnología está evolucionando rápidamente, y me acabo de encontrar con un ejemplo que ilustra esto perfectamente.

Microsoft está desarrollando un sistema de juego sin controles para su
Xbox. La una vez revolucionaria Wii es ya cosa del pasado.

Sólo estoy en desacuerdo con el comentario al final, y con lo que
Steven Spielberg (del que por otra parte me gusta casi todo lo que hace) implica. Esto no es sólo "un punto clave en la inductria del entretenimiento", creo que difícilmente se puede comparar con lo que el Cinemascope o el sitema Imax significó para el cine, y que ciertamente no se limita a experiencias de juego. Ya sea mediante la aplicación a tareas de nuestra vida diaria o los mundos virtuales, el sistema tiene potencial para cambiar la interacción entre máquinas y seres humanos completamente.

Siempre feliz de estar viviendo esta época :-)

En cualquier caso, ved el vídeo (aunque esté en inglés). En serio. Sólo ver al friki con las gafas de sol ya hace que valga la pena.

Welcome to Future II: Controller-free experience!

Or "Microsoft is not dead quite yet" :-)

It's always exciting to come across new projects willing to catapult us toward our future. As I mentioned before, our ways of interacting with technology are evolving rapidly, and I just came across an example that illustrates this perfectly.

Microsoft is
developing a controller-less gaming system for their Xbox. The once revolutionary Wii is a thing of the past.

I do disagree with the comment at the end, and what Steven Spielberg (as much as I love nearly everything he does) implies. This is not only "a landmark in computer entertainment", I think this can be be hardly compared to what Cinemascope or Imax means for films, and that certainly doesn't limit itself to gaming experiences. Either by applying it to our everyday tasks or to virtual worlds, the system has potential to change machine-human interaction completely!

Always happy to be living this era :-)

In any case, watch the video. Really. The geek with the sunglasses alone makes it worth it.

Welcome to the Future I: Virtual travelling

Because it's being a while now, I thought I'd post something clever-sounding today, so that I can justify why I'm still wearing those horrible glasses of mine.

Companies like Google push us through the future, causing or facilitating changes that could not have happened otherwise and changing our lives at the same time. The change is sometimes minor. And sometimes we cannot even begin to imagine the implications. When months ago I used Google Street View to show a colleague our company's offices in the USA, her reaction was "Wow, this is scary". It is scary, I guess, but isn't it also beautiful the fact that we can walk around the world from our office/home? (and that this was unthinkable 1 year ago?).

And this is hardly the limit of the adventure. As virtual travelling keeps evolving, and more features are incorporated to the experience, may we one day see a situation in which we have to decide whether it's really worth it to physically travel?

Let's just imagine for a second and go one step further. Combine Street view (or Google Earth, for the 3D version) with the concept of virtual worlds (like Second life), where we also have a virtual 3D avatar who "plays us" in the virtual environment. Now, let's meet in Paris. Today, why wait? Let's have a nice chat there before contemplating the Eiffel tower in all the possible lights (morning, dusk, illuminated in the dark) in a matter of seconds. And since we are not subject to physical limitations, let's fly (yep, fly, just like we would in a video game) or teleport to the Grand Canyon and spend the evening there.

Of course it's not that simple. Attempts have been made at making this possible, but no clear success as emerged of them. Graphics are not yet that realistic. Screens are still 2D. Computers are not yet as fast, and it is annoying to wait for Google Earth to load all the buildings and textures in Manhattan. This is NOW though. Computers evolve quickly.

Also, we see and hear, but we cannot touch. We all who live away from our loved ones love applications like skype. We love talking to our family or friends without barriers, or even have a conversation face to face. But it's not quite as good as being there, right? You may just need a hug that day, and all the available technology won't be able to help you. But talking about scary, I don't see why that too won't evolve. Tom Cruise's Minority report dream gloves for computer interaction have already been made. And virtual reality interaction devices are by now an old friend.

Ok, these are not the gloves I was talking about, but isn't it as cool? :-)

I believe one day, we will actually be able to kiss someone from the other side of the world. Or simply shake hands and actually feel it. That day distances will have disappeared, and everything
will have changed .

Also, I'm one of those naive dreamers who really believed we'd have flying DeLoreans by now after watching Back to the Future II. It feels very good to be able to look towards the ever-mysterious tomorrow with documented hopes that we might get there after all. It's exciting to be living this age of technological change.

Welcome to the future.

The joys of feedback

Interestingly, sometimes people see films in a radically different way. Just yesterday, I got a completely different perception of Dan Brown's latest film adaptation to those of the two friends I watched it with (fact which incidentally led to quite an enjoyable debate).

It's not surprising that the feedback I'm receiving from the people that are kindly reading the shortfilm I'm working on
(thanks for that!) is so varied too:

- "I don't know what you want to say".

- "The characters' motivations are weak".

- "What script? Mnn, probably went to my spam folder" (where it belongs, he seemed to say, silently).

- "Have you ever heard about script conventions?".

- "Have you ever heard about grammar?".

Not all have been as positive, though:

- "You should be in a mental hospital".

In short, a very useful eyes-opening feedback that I will be using to get to a third-draft (and hopefully last) stage.

In the mean time, I keep struggling to finalise the DVD of "It did happen" ("Eso que pasó"), which seems to be encountering all the possible difficulties in the history of having difficulties when making DVDs.

If you don't believe DVDs are evil, ask this man.
He just spent several hours wrestling violently
with the DVD of the picture, before immobilising it
with the popular Vulcan finger pinch.

I have also been busy with drafting the storyline for the online comic book I mentioned here. In principle, the whole thing will have no dialogues, which is quite challenging. As I understand that this affects every single scene and try to find my way around explaining things in a different way, my heart -unreasonable as ever- hopes the results will eventually be good!

Thanks for reading.

Writing is rewriting

"The first draft is always shit" - Ernest Hemingway

Out of the three shortfilm scripts I had started, I decided on the one that I'm most comfortable with and seemed to provoke a better reaction in the people I told about it. By far the weirdest too. A half-absurd (and only half!) comedy with sci-fiction overtones told for both the geek and the average human being.

At this point, two aspects potentially differentiate "The Entity!!" from the average short film: the undeniable attractive of the exclamation marks in its working title (which at the same time would avoid undesirables copyright issues down the line with a similarly-titled old film) and the fact of portraying the most surprising life form in modern film history. Or maybe not.

I hadn't written a short film script in years. At least, not with the idea of actually finishing it. Taking notes and throwing words and characters onto a paper sheet (or the ever-practical cofffe shop napkins) is one thing; writing drafts, fixing what doesn't work and slowly, painfully progress through weak dialogue and blurry characters, another completely different. Writing is rewriting, they say.

In my attempt for understanding what the hell I was trying to do when I wrote the previous version of the script, and clevery moving away from the computer screen I'm spending so many hours with in any case, I decided to put my lovely wall to good use.

Since I wrote "La Sopa" ("The Soup") and "Eso que paso" ("It did happen"), through writing unfinished scripts, short stories and the occasional comic-book, I've become a freak of structure. Laying out your story bit by bit is a great way of seeing where the plot gets boring, or where the hell your characters are going (they'd better go somewhere). It also helps a lot when seeing the need of merging scenes (once you realise in horror that they both should have actually been the same scene in the first place!) or, when necessary, weeding scenes out in bitter tears.

In short, the second draft is now ready, no one got killed in the process so far and I'm enjoying tremendously. And while I leave it aside for a while I'll be starting doing some calcs for the budget.

Soon, from any sort of funding I can qualify for to the less glamorous-still-effective begging down your local grocery store, chances are that I will be trying anything and everything.

Thanks for reading.

Blogger loves Facebook

There's an easy way of automatically creating Facebook notes with each entry of our blog. It took me a while to figure it out myself. Now that I know how to do it though, I can't help but wanting to scream it to the world.

On Facebook, go to Notes (Click on Applications, bottom left of the screen, then find Notes among all the rubbish that we add there). Good luck, this is the most complicated step!. Now find a Section named Notes Settings (right of the screen) and click on Edit Import Settings.

If you can't get this done, don't call this guy.
He'd probably just make things worse.

Now you'll see a big blank space after Web URL. It's sad to see it like this, so go paste your blog's feed in there (the minimum expression of your posts, without format or anything). If you use blogger, your feed line is:

Just be lazy, copy the lines above, change the capitals to your blog's title and paste it in the Facebook box. If you use any other blog system, all you have to do is find the feed line (it will depend on your blog system) and paste it here.

Now tick the box and merrily click on Start Importing. (NOTE: If you are nicking somebody else's blog, you don't need to tick the box. Instead, go and bang your head against the nearest wall until you come up with something to write about yourself).

And that's it. Facebook will now import your blog (unless you messed up :-S). Next time you add an entry to your blog, it will cleverly transfer it to Facebook as a note too. It may take a few hours sometimes.

The method is not brilliant in the sense that it doesn't really drives traffic to your blog. Well, unless people click on the "View Original Post" link. But who does, huh? Anyway, you don't HAVE to do it, but I personally think it's a way to make blog-reading easier for those who spend time in Facebook and maybe don't find the time to chase up blog posts (more on doing this more easily soon though, having options is always good :-)

Happy blogging.

Current projects

Although still outrageous, I do find that having quite a few projects going on at the moment makes up for my lack of posts for the last 3 weeks. Some of you already know about them, since these days I seem to indefatigably tell every living soul about them, hungry for feedback. Well, it's either that OR more general talk about films and (Saint) Google as usual. Thanks everyone for enduring it, and for the good ideas.

Coming back to the projects, for those still in the dark and wanting to know, here is a quick list:

  • A DVD of Eso que pasó ("It did happen"): My latest shortfilm (filmed in 2004, right after the dinosaurs where wiped out from the face of the Earth). Finally subtitled in English, it also includes a "Making of" feature and even some never-ever-seen before secret material. It's pretty much ready by now. After some finishing touches I will only need to alleviate (or somehow mask) my current lack of knowledge on platforms such as ebay and amazon. As soon as I can solve this thorny issue, I will make it available for everyone who can't wait to have it. My mom assures me she'll get two copies, for instance (don't let me down, mom!).
  • 3 shortfilm scripts: That is NOT to say that, after 5 long years of non-producing I've embarked myself in a triple project. Rather, I've been writing in an uncontrolled manner and now find myself with all this material that, I think, I'd really should do something with. I'll pick one to start with and off we go. More on this soon.
  • A film script: Selling a script for a feature film is an idea that I have been recently entertaining (as opposed to producing it myself, which certainly isn't happening any time soon). Sadly, I literally have dozens of half-finished scripts (and of course mountains of notes). So actually finishing one looks like the logical next step now, process that I'm enjoying enormously, necessary pain aside. It's a sci-fiction story, more on this soon too.
  • A website: After making a few in the past, none of them for me, it's about bloody time I had mine. The kind of thing you never get around too, isn't it? Well, it's happening now. I'm putting it together with my brother, it will cover both individual and common projects and it will be pretty pretty pretty.
  • An online comic-book: Inspired by the sketch below, will be drawn by (again) my brother. After we get over the initial research-and-preparations stage, we'll start producing pages (or its online equivalent) on a regular basis. I'll keep you posted.

Well, there are some more projects on, but nothing in the realistic pipeline for the next few months. If you are even a little bit excited about any of this, I am already delighted. If not, well... (not even a little??) you obviously have no heart...


In any case, I'm terribly ashamed by the length of this post.

Peculiar x 2

A few weeks ago I had the extremely unoriginal occurrence of taking the bus on a Sunday morning. Why I write about this today (and not bloody then) can only be attributed to my failing memory and the fact that the napkin where I took some original notes on this was playfully hiding from me under a growing pile of paper, most of it useless, that sits on my desk. I usually spend the bus ride reading, except when there's entertaining people-watching to do. That morning, a couple of original occurrences awaited me, in the form of two curious men.

The first one got on the bus two stops after I did. Despite his obvious intention to disguise himself as a younger man with the cunning use of a "Primark" coat, I reckon he must have been over 40. His cheeks were of a very intense red, for some reason. I like to think that the merry tones weren't caused by ruthless drinking that early in the morning. Although come to think of it, it might have. He had this whole Don Quixote look (literally, goatee and crazy eyes). He started angrily preaching, directly to the driver, about how outrageous it was that it was Sunday, 11-ish (as if this was paramount data for his speech, uncalled for anyway) and that a "female" was driving the bus. There's no moral or social message here, I just find it so hard to believe that people like this man are still around, wandering the world and hopping on buses.

Seriously: if THIS had happened that morning,
do you think I wouldn't be telling you about it instead?
Look at the smiling woman, she is hilarious.

The second strange man got off the bus (okay, I probably missed him getting on, give me a break) when the driver pulled off to take a phone call. This one was a bit older, and his cheeks clearly weren't as red. If you are in a hurry, this may not go down well, that I understand. Although, if that's the choice, I personally prefer them to stop: sure, stop and take your call, by all means, rather driven around by someone with two hands available, thanks very much. But this man in particular seemed to suddenly burst into pure anger for just a few seconds, he then got up from his seat and off the bus (the driver had no choice but opening the doors before he'd destroy them by using his pure instant-developed rage). Then he just stayed there, giving his back to the bus, silently making his point. His wrath had turned into calmed dissatisfaction by then. I may have seen a touch of regret in his eyes when we set off again, maybe in response to the chilly whether he had come to forget about, enveloped by the comfort of the bus. Or simply to the prospect of the long wait for the next vehicle. Luckily, there was some construction work in the pavement, right where he had got off. And he soon seemed to find in closely, thoughtfully examining it the new purpose of his life.

Now you might think this is not curious at all. Maybe it wasn't that interesting and I was just looking for excuses to keep my book in my bag. In all fairness, it's quite a thick book.

Creating or trying to: Love, hate and commitment

If you struggle to become a writer or to produce any other form of minimally creative or art-like piece of work too, you have probably figured it out already: it's VERY important to learn to control the process itself before it controls you (whatever this means). Creating is a funny thing. At least it is for me, and I find it very interesting how it all comes to be... and sometimes even comes together.

It usually happens this way:

You have an idea. You love it. It is unlike anything else you've heard, seen or experienced before. You feel sky high. Yeah, it's the one, THE idea, no doubt. The one you'll finally get some serious credit for. Probably some money too. Big money. That idea you want to tell all your friends about so they can look at you in awe and tell you how incredibly creative you are. And it was so sudden, as well, you probably took quick, condensed, powerful notes on some Starbucks paper napkin. Or on toilet paper, or stolen post-it notes (anything is valid, remember you had THE idea). Hardly a few intelligible words anyway. Damn, that's just scribbling, isn't it? Will you even be able to even understand your own cryptic writing when you take on the task -and surely you can do this blindfolded- of making this idea a palpable reality? Well, never mind, you
are still amazed at yourself for having such a great occurrence, the sun shines brighter than ever, and you want to dream on.

Next day. The same idea that you loved to bits just hours ago, now you absolutely hate it. Moreover, you hate yourself for even liking the idea once and thinking that you could create something worth being seen/read/whatever. How could you not realise that the idea was rubbish, or a simply impossible project? Or maybe both. Were you drunk? Maybe you were so drunk that you can't remember being drunk? Were you an idiot? Are you still??

Two things are true about this creature: it's just too weird
and it has nothing to do
with the content of this article whatsoever.

You then probably decide to leave it aside for a while. Then one day you come up with something to make the story work again. Obviously, it's a great "something", the "something" that will finish with all the plot holes and undefined characters, the "something" that will finally give the story the spark that it was lacking. You are obviously happy with all this, but for how long? Will it last one, two days? The cycle repeats itself a few times through the process, threatening to leave you with yet another unfinished project.

So, as of late, I've added a next step. And I suppose this is what I wanted to say (damn, you really are a loyal reader if you are still here after all the rambling). Passion is good. Coming up with ideas, a necessary source of material. But commitment, discipline, and actual time spent in developing and making all these ideas come true, is the only way of... well... of making them come true.

Do it! One think is for sure: you will never know whether the idea was good or not if you never bloody make it happen!

Not expecting that surprising ending, were you? :-P

The Man from Earth

Screenwriting lesson.

Jerome Bixby's script (apparently finished not long before his author's death) almost starts like a joke to unfold in a most engaging and fascinating story that challenges all sort of preconceptions. Some of the most elaborated dialogue lines of all-times cinema, excellent characters, emotional performances and beautiful, seemingly irrepetible moments, contribute to this ode to humanity, this triumph of reasoning over beliefs, to this pure message of hope for the future.

If you see it with an open mind, The Man of Earth is, I believe, all the above and more. And all with a very low budget, one set and a bunch of actors.

I saw this film recently in DVD, nearly by mistake. I then found out that it had only been released in some countries and always at a small scale. I didn't have high expectations, and I'm delighted to have found gold. As I said to a good friend recently, I'm still pondering whether this might be the best script I've ever have enjoyed.

Then again, you may hate it. Anyway, still worth watching and decide then.

Revolutionary Road

Leo and Kate's world of pure suffering.

One of the reasons I keep devouring stories in general, and films in particular is that I firmly believe that the authors always have something to say, something worth being heard. A powerful message, if you may, about their view of life. A revelation to present the audience with, so we can leave the room with that “wow, life is just like that” feeling.

This message may be positive or negative, but it should always be believable within the reality of the film. I confess I rather prefer a positive one. Or, if negative, at least with a tiny bit of hope hidden somewhere, I rather not leave the room feeling miserable. But I understand some audiences may enjoy this and, in any case, it doesn't matter: it's your message, isn't it?

According to Justin Haythe (writer) and Sam Mendes (director), life is just too painful to be lived, too full of suffering and sorrow as to find the time to enjoy, create or love. We are hit with a most melodramatic picture of everyday events in a script that fails to create actual conflicts and believable drama. In such a farce, the luxury of the intense performances given by Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio are outrageously wasted.

Fans of the actors will undoubtedly enjoy it, of course, and such an effort certainly deserves recognition. But the story itself contributes nothing, neither to the film history wealth, nor to the poor audience's expectations, that are likely to feel rather down after the show, or even mad at the whole world for no apparent reason, just like the protagonist couple.


Television battle for the best film.

The latest Ron Howard’s was something more than a pleasant surprise. It was an example of how performance-based films and historical recreations (and by extension other so-called “smaller films”) can have other excellent features. And indeed should, in order to become memorable films like this one.

Although I increasingly enjoy this type of film more and more, I must admit that they are not my first choice, and I get to the cinema fearing for the worst case of inedible yet sophisticated boredom.

Instead, you are delighted with a profoundly human story about men the size of giants, with a story of responsibility, about facing one’s mistakes and weaknesses and making tough decisions with in an enormous and most enjoyable script. An script that is, not very surprisingly, nominated for an Academy award on February 22nd.

Especially delicious is Frank Langella’s Nixon (effort which, too, has been nominated for the popular award). His unbeatable presence makes you wish he were onscreen every minute of the film. But then again, I though that he was outstanding even as Skeletor, so I suppose this is not much of a valuable piece of data coming from yours truly :-)

It doesn't matter whether Frost/Nixon ends the Oscars night with any of the five prizes it's been nominated for. Whatever happens, YOU should see it.

An incovenient lie

A couple of weeks ago, I was very excited to stumble upon the so-called project Virgle, supposedly a joint effort between the two all-powerful corporate giants Google and Virgin.

Although the questionnaire that says whether or not you are qualified to join the project is somewhat entertaining, the whole thing is nothing but a joke that I personally find inappropriate and of course NOT funny.

Science (and ecologists too, but I don't trust the latter that much :-S) has been seriously warning us about the dangers associated to running out of natural resources for decades now. It is a matter of time that we exhaust Earth and need new settlements somewhere in space. The highly recommendable video extract below shows scientist and science fiction writer Isaac Asimov speaking, quite eloquently as usual, about this and other matters.

Google should be the last organisation in making that tacky and frivolous a joke. And dangerous. People like them are to lead the technologically complicated but necessary way to the stars, to convince people that it is paramount to leave the planet. Especially in a time when Virgin is making spaceships for NASA, and having Sir Richard Branson participating on this farce seriously makes me fear for the future of humankind. Moreover, to me, Google simbolises the future, the change, the possibility. I was very disappointed with Virgle.

But of course, it could also be that scientist like Stephen Hawking are simply exaggerating.

A time of busy watching!

These days I go to the cinema quite a lot. Out of 21 films currently showing at my local theatre, I've seen 11 and still want to see 4 more. And I already want to see 4 of the 5 that get released today. Sick, I know.

If you are like me, you will know that this is a very good time for filmgoers. With the proximity of the oscars, many production companies that have been holding their products as much as humanly possible, release now oscar-worthy films. Some have been nominated and some haven't (check the list with all the nominees here), but in any case it's a good opportunity to see handsome-looking movies. Valkyre, Frost/Nixon, Seven pounds, The wrestler, The curious case of Benjamin Button, and, depending on how picky you are, probably some more.

So go and watch some cinema! ;-)

The guys who organised ALL the information in the world and then kept going

I confess to be quite a fan of Google. Very frequently, I get on my friends', family members' and work colleagues' nerves while I engage in long conversations with myself about their many products and advantages until someone, usually very politely -bless you all for putting up with this sick side of me-, help me snap out of it and come back to reality.

I thought it was only fair to start doing it here too.

That is NOT to say that I unconditionally worship their work or co-founders Brin and Page (often called "googlers" in some kind of elaborate and mysteriously disapproving way). I simply recognise that Google does better what others do, or what others have tried to do unsuccessfully before. And I am glad, and very grateful that so much of what they have done so far have benefited everyone with an Internet connection, and not just a wealthy elite.

Still, I will try and balance up Google's good deeds with all those increasingly popular comments that say that Google is failing to live up to its very own philosophy ("Don't be evil"). In fact, to help me illustrate this side of my beloved Google (and again, I guess, to help me snap out of it), my brother recently got me a book that -despite being, sadly, one of the most disastrous cases of translation into Spanish I've ever read- does explore some of the questionable aspects of the company and raises a few interesting questions.

And when I say Google, by the way, I don't mean the popular search engine, which recently celebrated its 10-year birthday, but to the most remarkable technology company of our days. Google is pushing the boundaries of this technology and changing our world in the process.

And whether or not you like their ways, whether you decide to love them or hate them, you must know what they are doing.

More on this soon.

The Spirit

The film that wasn't such.

If you think you can make a film with:

  • A comic-book artist whose graphic style may be something of a legend in his world but has no idea whatsoever about how to direct a film.
  • A couple of rough guidelines scribbled on paper, too weak to even be called story plot.
  • Dialogue lines that, for the most part, try to be clever but come off as ridiculous, absurd and embarrassing to everyone involved in the film and their families. Including yourself for watching it.
  • A female cast dressed up as prostitutes and whose only requirement is too look sexually attractive so that the promotional posters work. Never mind their professional reputation (it's just Scarlett Johansson, Eva Mendes, Paz Vega ... who even knows them anyway?). And don't worry about the actual film, they'll just be given any line we can come up with in the set, nobody will notice.
  • Yet another silly, empty character played by Samuel L. Jackson, who seems to be more resolved than ever to flush what is left of his believability down the toilet.

Well, if you do think you can make a film with all this, then you are wrong. They just tried in The Spirit and failed miserably. Whatever this by-product is, it can't even be considered a film.

I personally think that, as his tribute to his admired Will Eisner (the creator of the original character, who is probably turning in his grave since opening day), instead of creating this pointless sequence of events, Frank Miller should have been as humble as to politely say "no, thank you, get an actual director" to the offer. And same with the actors. I can't believe that they actually read the script and didn't just kill their respective agents for getting it in the first place.

Not even the visual aspect can be praised here. Yes, it replicates Miller's style faithfully, but we already saw that in Sin City (oh, no, parts 2 and 3 are coming!) and there was no need of repeating it if there was nothing else to add in any other sense. At no point is there any sign of efforts for making something that the audience might like.

All things considered, The Spirit may be the worst comic-book-based film ever. Apart from an insult to moviegoers.