Posts Tagged ‘childhood’

October is one of my favorite months. It has fallen down the list a tad since moving to LA, since there isn’t a lot of amazing color changing foliage in a desert (LA is pretty in it’s own desert-y way, just very seldom for that reason), but it’s still a fav. As a kid in Pittsburgh it meant mountains covered in gorgeous colors, crisp weather, and beyond-awesome often-homemade Halloween costumes (I will dig up the picture of all the neighborhood girls dressed as the 7 Dwarfs for a later post).

It snowed one year too, but that’s kind of beside the point.

The point is that October is awesome, and just like Christmas comes with a whole slew of amazing Halloween movies. ABC Family even has a “13 Days of Halloween” movie lineup — though it’s become suspect as of late, as Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory doesn’t exactly scream “Halloween” or even “Fall” to me, just weird.

But October’s arrival means I have a perfect excuse to watch (on repeat) “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”, a select scary movie or two, and the movie that inspired this:


My best Winifred Sanderson impression


Hocus. Pocus. (It’s ok if you didn’t get it before I told you. I’m not exactly a dead ringer for Bette Midler)

This is pretty much hands down my favorite Halloween movie ever, and also pretty high on any holiday movie rankings of mine as well. This semi-cult gem from Disney (I have no idea how well it did when it first aired, but I will ALWAYS watch it when it’s on TV) is hilarious, and crams basically anything and everything fall/Halloween-ish into movie.

Crisp Northeastern Fall Setting? Check.

Mysterious town legend that is actually real? Check.

Trick-or-treating (Costumed, and not)? Check.

Fabulous Halloween party? Check.

Oh, and it’s even set in SALEM of all places. It is absolutely glorious.




If I didn’t watch so much TV (chronicled here, too) I would probably be watching it tonight. Looks like I won’t be under SJP’s spell with all the little children til Saturday!

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While I was on vacation this summer, I read a book called Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street, and it’s like that book has rekindled a Muppet obsession I didn’t even know I had.

I mean, I watched the Muppets growing up — Sesame Street, The Muppet Show, Fraggle Rock, The Muppet Babies, Muppet Treasure Island, etc etc but while I obviously liked the Muppets, they weren’t super integral to my life. I was never Miss Piggy for Halloween, and for a long period of time I kind of just…forgot about them in general. Though I do remember this one episode of Muppet Babies that taught me about animation:

Reading an entire book, however — about all the hard work that went into creating such a groundbreaking children’s show like Sesame Street, and how that paved the way for Jim Henson to break a barrier in puppetry and go on to create other series (like the edgier Muppet Show and movies like The Dark Crystal) has made me a total Muppet geek.

Side Note: Do Muppet/Jim Henson fans have a go-to phrase to define themselves, like Potter-heads and TwiHards and the like? Just wondering.

Anyway, Exhibit A of Muppet Obsession, a new member of my home:

Exhibit B: I kind of want to be a Muppet for Halloween now.

Exhibit C: How can you not like this video?!

Exhibit D: They just came out with Muppet Silly Bands, and I almost want to drive to Disneyland for the sole purpose of getting them.

All slight joking aside, it really is an interesting book, especially for those who either have a fondness for cute stuffed creatures or learning about the television industry. Plus it was the first substantial book I read on my iPad, and it was awesome!

Kermit and I highly recommend it.

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I’ve had an interest in all things photography and video related for a very long time (at least long compared to how old I am, I guess). When I wasn’t taking pictures, a hobby that became an unstoppable force in college, I was a kid running to be IN them at all times. I am not shy about my past camera-hogging ways, that’s for sure.

When it came to life goals, since the age of about 7, it’s circled around writing (novels, then later screenplays) and animation. I had a light desk in elementary school, so I could practice animating — without a camera, mind you, I basically just wanted to be the people working at the desks at the Magic of Animation offices in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. My dad always liked to remind me that I didn’t want to WORK in animation, I wanted to RUN the animation department at Disney. So my entire life, I’ve bounced around my career in one way or another. Currently, for the curious or those keeping track, I still would like to end up at Disney, though I’m thinking I want to try a more developmental role, vs the animator at the desk. Or maybe I want to find a way to do both. We’ll see.

That was basically a very long intro to say, I love the photo app goodies I’ve discovered on the iPhone 4, and I’m going to share 2 of them now:

1. HDR capability

This stands for high dynamic range photography. Honestly, this is something I didn’t know much about until recently, but basically, it’s the process of taking 3 (or more, on a real camera) ¬†of the same photos, all at different exposures and layering them on top of each other to create a more “realistic” photo, closer to what your eye actually sees when it looks at something. Let’s go to the examples!

Original Photo

HDR Photo

The original photo has much richer colors overall, but the HDR photo works to expose all of the colors, as well as the foreground and the background of the photo. Another example (can anyone figure out the movie reference to this location??):


...and, like, the HDR version

2. Stopmotion Recorder

This app helps you frame and shoot stop-motion animation videos, and is optimized for the new retinal display camera on the back of the iPhone. It has a grid that helps you line up the shots so you can keep the movement as minimal or jerky as you’d like. It is really fun, though definitely a reminder that stop motion is VERY time consuming. I didn’t have a lot of time to spend on my first effort, but I did make a quick 10 second film using some of my Disney vinyl toys. I wasn’t sure how to enhance the video quality, since I didn’t spend a ton of time yet with the app, so sorry about the grainy quality!

TGIF Everyone!

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