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Entries in Film (9)


The Milwaukee Leatherworker

MILWAUKEE is an interesting place to live, constantly surprising me with passionate people who make my city the place I want to be.

Today, I'm proud to share a new short film from my good friend Brian Artka about David Mitchell, owner of Mitchell Leather in Milwaukee's Third Ward:

Brian found Mitchell Leather while wandering the Third Ward and decided to go up to the shop and see what they offered. As soon as he saw the leather goods and spoke with David, the owner, he knew he had to make a film.

When you see the film, you can sense David's passion for his work and continuing to produce beautiful and functional Mitchell Briefcases by hand — the same one designed and perfected by his father, many years ago.

Side view small 9qu3

As a creator, I'm excited to see David and Mitchell Leather, still making beautiful heirloom-quality leather objects you'll pass on to your grandkids, a few blocks from my office. This is why I love Milwaukee — having gems like Mitchell Leather appearing in the quiet corners of the city.

I'm just as proud of the high-quality video storytelling Brian is doing, sharing these gems with the world. And by the way, Brian will be helping me with my Sketchnote Handbook video, so I'm doubly excited to share that!

Get in touch with Brian Artka at size43 to have him capture and craft a short film about you or your business.


My Impromptu Video Interview on Sketchnoting at SXSWi '09

My Norwegian pal, Ove Klykken is a spur of the moment guy. He was inspired by Brian Artka's documentary film-making at SXSW Interactive, so he pulled out his little Canon SD1100 and had a little impromptu interview with me about sketchnoting:

Impromptu interview with Mike Rohde at SXSWi '09 from Ove Klykken on Vimeo.

I'd completely forgot about this interview until last night when Ove contacted me with a preview. In the interview I talk about why I sketchnote, challenges in sketchnoting and if I think someone needs to be an artist to do sketchnoting.



SXSW Interactive '09 Documentary: Teaser

Before my friend Brian Artka and I left for SXSW Interactive 2009 this March, we had a discussion about ways we could capture the event and share the experience with attendees and those interested in the event.

Being interested in documentaries, especially Gary Hustwit's recent Helvetica and upcoming Objectified films, we kicked around the idea of capturing the SXSW Interactive experience as a documentary, so we did. Here's a teaser:

A SXSW interactive 2009 experience (teaser) from Brian Artka on Vimeo.

I have to come clean — Brian did the real work. I was his personal "assistant-to-the-regional-manager" holding the camera while he went to the bathroom, rounding up potential interviewees for filming and I think I fetched him some coffee once.

The teaser above features Jeffrey Zeldman, Ove Klykken, Garrett Dimon, Veerle Pieters, Jason Santa Maria, Tracy Apps, and Kevin Ciesielski with some great story nuggets. I can't wait to see the full documentary.

The Canon 5D Mark II

Brian had just sold his video gear and bought a Canon 5D Mark II, testing out the video quality of this camera at a Spreenkler meeting in February.

I was amazed at the quality of the video, particularly since Brian was able to use digital photo lenses to capture video — wide angle and low-light capable lenses. You can already see it in this rough teaser.

Brian is hard at work, organizing his 6 hours of video into a unified, coherent documentary that he'll be releasing on Vimeo very soon. I'm recommending he sell the video on DVD as well, because I know I'd buy a copy in a heartbeat.

If you have comments on the documentary, please leave them on Brian's Vimeo page for the teaser and if you would buy a DVD of this documentary, please let him know that as well (for planning purposes).


28 Bucks?

99m.jpgThis past weekend, my wife and son went to see a matinee of the new film Curious George at a local theatre. It was a fun film which Nathan especially enjoyed seeing on the big screen. We bought 3 tickets, 1 large bin of popcorn and 1 large drink, which the three of us shared.

How much was the final cost? $28 for the three of us — for a matinee!

Had we chosen an evening showing, the price would have been $32! Come on movie industry, do you sincerely expect a family of 3 to spend around $10 each to see one of your films? Obviously, the answer is yes, but I think it's nuts.

We could have saved $10 by eating and drinking nothing, still, $18 for the three of us to see a matinee? Gimme a break. I could rent 4 or 5 movies for that price, pop my own popcorn and pour my own root beer.

In an related article, which I can't seem to locate right now, a movie industry exec suggested that movie price increases were right in line with other entertainment, such as sports and live plays.

I disagree.

With sports and live drama, I'm paying to see a real person, in the flesh, entertaining me in person. As much as film can be compelling, it's a recording of real people entertaining me — a huge difference!

No wonder attendance at theaters was down 9% in 2005, while DVD sales, Netflix subscriptions, video on demand, movies on the web and home theatre systems are gaining such popularity. People just like my family and me are getting fed up with high prices, and are being driven away from seeing films in theaters.

I love seeing film in person, but unless a film is spectacularly great, we just won't be visiting theaters to see first-run films.

It's just too expensive.


Humorous TV Spots

Turnpike FilmsLast week I read a post at Matt Henderson's weblog about a funny TV spot for Nutrigrain he'd seen at Turnpike films. I had a look at the site, and then happened to check around the site and saw several more funny TV spots hosted there (particularly Budweiser) at the suggestion of my friend Andy.

Hee hee! what are great TV spots! I think they're probably too funny for their respective advertisers to actually use. If you need a good laugh after a hard day, or just a good chuckle, check out Turnpike Films and the TV spots by Justin Reardon.