Friday, June 11, 2010

Gold Harikin with Kodak Ektar

This is the first roll I got back from the free Japanese camera I won. I'm really happy with the results. I tried to pick bright colors to shoot to take advantage of Kodak Ektar's faithful and vivid color reproduction. I'd call it a success.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Yes, spoilers are inevitable.

I've had two weeks to process the finale that I'd been anticipating since September 22, 2004. I don't want to spend too much time defending it against the 40% or so of viewers who were dissatisfied. I'm convinced that the people watching the finale waiting for some grand revelation to put 6 years of episodes into some sort of illuminating perspective were watching for the wrong reason, regardless of whether its their fault or that of the writers themselves. The big questions had already been answered earlier in the season. For me, the last 15 minutes is easily one of the most beautiful things ever aired on television. I maintain that the series would not have been as good if not for Giacchino's score. His "voice" was the only one heard (other than Vincent) in the last 6 or 7 minutes of the entire show and had as much to do with the beauty of the ending as the actors and writers.

I never understood the "shippers" who were more interested in the characters than in the mythology. I wanted answers to the mysteries and watched weekly hoping for some minute clue to what the island was and why these people were there. But something unexpected happened during Season 4's 3-hour finale. The first hour opens with the Oceanic 6 reuniting with their loved ones. The second hour brilliant begins in the seconds after the season 3 finale. But in the last 5 minutes of the 3rd hour, we're shown one of the most emotionally satisfying scenes of the series as their raft reaches solid ground with no dialogue, under Michael Giacchino's soaring score.

Somewhere in those three hours I realized that I actually cared what happened to the characters, and while I still wanted answers about the island, I didn't need to spend each week searching for hidden clues to the show's larger meaning. I was finally just along for the ride, wherever that may lead. I'm sure that perspective is part of what allowed me to be satisfied with the finale, while others decided it failed to deliver and even negated the 6 seasons of excellent storytelling that preceded.

Regardless of how they felt about the finale, what did the show offer that 12 million people seemed to connect with so passionately? Mystery. A huge international cast. Tropical setting. Cinematic storytelling. and then there's that score, again. I'm sure 12 million people could give 12 million answers. Maybe it's the desire to discover our purpose in life, like John Locke. Or maybe a wish for the kind of relationship that defies space and time like Penny and Desmond in The Constant.

Ultimately, LOST kept the audience in confusion as much as the characters were confused, and we loved every minute of it. It subverted our expectations not only of television itself, but of what we were seeing on the screen. We thought we were seeing yet another Jack flashback, only to discover it was a flashforward. We though John was alive, only to find out it was the man in black. We thought we were seeing a parallel universe, only to discover it was an afterlife. For those who didn't learn to enjoy the journey of constantly being in the fog, the destination probably didn't satisfy, because the destination was never the point.

I'll end with this:

From all of us who made the show, we really hope that you don’t feel it was a waste of your time. We hope that you spent the entire night not just thinking about the finale on a story level, but that you were emotionally affected by it.

There are two feelings that you feel when you watch the ending of a television show. The first is the feeling that you have of just understanding that the show is over and the second is what your response is to actually what’s happening on the screen.

What I liked about the Soprano’s finale was that it changed the experience because when Chase cut to black, suddenly that feeling of “the show’s over” was replaced by “is my cable out?” – he kind of changed the conversation about it.

For us, we tried to write the last two and a half hours of the show so that those two feelings would feel like they were the same thing. So, you’re feeling of saying goodbye to the show – of the show not being around anymore – was actually literally perfectly paralleling what we were showing you on the screen.

If you had an experience anything like that, then it was mission accomplished.

If you didn’t, we blew it and I apologize.

- Damon Lindelof

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Yet another camera to play with

Interesting 35mm camera. Focus Free, but with 5 aperture settings, and a waist level finder as well as a regular viewfinder. Suggested retail is an absurd $399.99, but everyone is selling it for $20-40 (since it's really just a plastic Chinese camera with a motor). Got mine new for $20 on eBay. Another toy to play with, even though I still haven't finished my first roll from the Gold Harikin.

Couple of sample pics below.