I tested out Shutterfly,

I tested out
Shutterfly, which, on paper (or in a powerpoint presentation for VC funding), seems like a throwback to 1999, that wistful era when putting an e- in front of everything was all we needed to usher in world peace (or the United Federation of Planets, if you're from the Bay Area). That's a lot of cynicism for a company that's still in business, and that sent me some very fine prints of the Souvenir November 2001 production stills. I was skeptical, because Shutterfly wouldn't accept TIFF files, only JPEG, and I didn't imagine the resolution would hold up. Not to worry. Even at 8x10, the resolution's fine, just with progressive scan lines slightly visible (it's a DV image, after all). There was also a bit of unannounced cropping (video aspect ratio is 1.33:1, where 8x10 is, well, 1.25:1, about 3/4" narrower), and the 8x10 was like $10. Snapshot-sized prints were $0.50 or so, so go ahead and print up that memory stick full of spring break pix. For bigger prints, though, especially for a big pile of prints, Kinko's ($2/print, color) still rules. Shutterfly should do well where there's no Kinko's, though. Wherever that is.

Met with Winy Maas last night, one of our architects, who is in town for like 36 hours (a veritable vacation for him). We talked about our project (which has been on our backburner for a few months b/c of the movie, frankly); police and policies in Amsterdam and New Amsterdam (although his firm, MVRDV, is in Rotterdam, I needed the symmetry more than the accuracy.); and mobility, moving, and movies. A video they produced as part of a research project, "Pig City," was the subject of intense interest and debate last year in the Netherlands and was shown at The Oberhausen Int'l Short Film Festival a few weeks ago. and a bad pic (scroll down past the corn maze). And here is the top search result for "pig city" on Google, an article about the terrible conditions of massive hog farms wonderfully titled "Bright Lights, Pig City."

Even though filmmaking has extensive educational programs and professional accreditation, it doesn't throw up high psychological barriers to entry: everyone--from a cool Dutch architect to an overworked suit to the guy at the comic book store--feels able and entitled to make a movie. And it can turn out really well (hopefully in more than 2 out of 3 cases). And despite architecture's most strenuous attempts to throw up walls of regulation, theory, accreditation, and specialized knowledge around its practice, a bunch of middle-minded bureaucrats at the LMDC don't hesitate to make far-reaching architectural decisions, but with a far greater surety of disappointment and failure.

Since 2001 here at greg.org, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting greg.org that time.

comments? questions? tips? pitches? email
greg [at] greg [dot ] org

find me on twitter: @gregorg

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first published: May 31, 2002.

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