Category: film

Blog Post #300 (Huzzah! Huzzah!)

Cliff:collageThere it is.

Three hundred blog posts…and counting.

And the credit all belongs to…you. D’you think I’d keep this up for 300 posts I didn’t feel like I was getting through, if this site wasn’t an invaluable line of communication to friends, colleagues and readers from, well, from everywhere? You’ve commented and you’ve written, hundreds of you, and I love it.  Some really smart people hang out at my place, ideal readers every one. These are the individuals I’m thinking of when I start a new poem, short story, novel. I want to constantly surprise and amaze them, show them something unexpected. Never let them down, never take them for granted.

Thanks, folks. Thanks, so much.

Not only am I celebrating #300, there’s other news:

Yesterday I completed the first draft of what appears to be a short novel. Worked on it for nineteen (19) consecutive days, 2500 words a day. The experience left me drained, exhilarated…now I have to take a few days and try to figure out what the hell I’m going to do with it. I have another manuscript waiting for revision, an older effort I’m hoping to resurrect, but think I’ll stick with this new one for awhile. It’s in really rough shape—still, I think there’s a polished gem in there somewhere.  It’ll take work, tons o’ research too. Ah, well, I should be used to that.

A surprisingly pain-free draft—not assailed by the usual demons of self-doubt and I tried to take breaks, the occasional walk, get away from the keyboard. Is this the beginning of a new trend? Will I (gasp) stop punishing my body/mind/spirit in the name of art?

To add to the positive vibes around here, my wife has returned from Yellowknife, so our little family unit is intact once more. Sherron spent ten days up there with a troupe of professional artists, rehearsing and performing a dramatic presentation recreating events from the life of a longtime local character, Tom Doornbos.  They used a variety of puppets and employed a number of locales around Yellowknife to tell their story and their play was a great hit. Now there’s talk of touring it…stay tuned.

After picking Sherron up at the airport, we drove to the Broadway Theater and took in a showing of “Berberian Sound Studio”, which I thought would be good…and turned out to be the best movie I’ve seen this year. You can find the review over at my film blog.

And, finally…I promised you a treat, didn’t I?

Well, how about an entire CD of free music, over forty-seven minutes worth of catchy, mind-warping “chillout” tunes?  I’ve just released “Ambient i-viii” in its entirety over on Bandcamp. Here a link to the site—enjoy, download, share.

I’ll start you off with a sample track, one of my favorites, titled “Ambient vi”:

One last time: THANKS.

And keep those comments and e-mails coming.

Love to hear from you…

New film from Overactive Imagination Studios

My son Sam and his creative partner in crime Sean Newton have finally posted their short film “Torched”.

The folks who’ve seen it are universal in their praise.

Find out why…and discover two young film-makers with a very bright future.

Michael Bay, your days are numbered.

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/62587166″>Torched</a&gt; from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/overactiveimagination”>Overactive Imagination Studios</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Cliff Burns: In Performance

At long last it’s done.

My son Sam completed final edits on the film he shot of my reading back in October, 2012.  The official launch of New & Selected Poems (1984-2011) and Stromata: Prose Works (1992-2011).

It was a huge file and he had to combine footage from a couple of cameras, synch sound, touch-up glitches and try to make an author reading as visually interesting as possible. No mean feat. But he’s done a fantastic job. The kid has an amazing eye and even if you don’t think much of the prose (or performer), I think you’ll agree that this effort is striking to look at, cut and trimmed and shaped with precision. All credit to my son, Sam Burns.

Here’s the reading, in its entirety.

Sit back and hit that play button…

My review of “Silence is Golden”

Be sure to pop over to my film blog and check out coverage of this year’s edition of Silence is Golden.

The format is a cineaste’s dream:  a classic silent film is chosen for screening, with live accompanying music from the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra. This time around, it was Douglas Fairbanks in the 1920 adventure “Mark of Zorro”.

An evening to remember…

Technical diffculties will be rectified soon

Maddening.

I completed a new short film yesterday, had everything edited, the soundtrack perfectly synched and then…things went south on us.

The soundtrack, which I thought was flawless, still contained a hidden track of the original audio. I removed this annoying track umpteen times and thought I’d finally nailed it, with a big assist from Sherron. But last night, when we watched “Storm” on YouTube, that hidden track loudly announced itself yet again and we had to yank the flick from YouTube and both my blogs.

Bloody hell. iMovie is a strange, tricky program; sometimes it works like a dream and then there are the occasions when it behaves so irrationally, it’s like it has a mind of its own. I fear this could be one of the last efforts made with iMovie around here. Think it’s about time we switched to Final Cut—hopefully less annoyances, more satisfaction.

Regardless…we’ll give “Storm” a good going over today, see what we can do. I’m turning the whole thing over to my son, Sam, film-maker extraordinaire. If Sam can’t solve this, it’s time to call Stephen Hawking.

Sorry for the SNAFU and we should have the film re-posted later.

“First Contact” (short film)

I’m a lifelong fan of science fiction. A space geek and proud of it.

Here’s my latest short film, “First Contact”, and, as the title suggests, this piece is about a close encounter with a distant, alien world, evidence of advanced, intelligent life. Abstract, indisputably odd…with accompanying ambient music.

A tip of the hat to Stan Kubrick…