Mmhmm

I have no doubt this will eventually get sherlocked because it's such a great idea: use your video's virtual background for actually useful stuff, like presenting slides, so that the audience don't have to choose if they want to see the presenter or the slides.

2019 Movie Trailer Mashup

While we wait for David Ehrlich's video of his best films of 2019 (which are still the high water mark for this kind of thing - 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012), Sleepy Skunk has put together a pretty great mashup of some of the trailers from the year.

I've probably seen maybe a quarter of the films in this video, and of the one's I've seen, not all of them were particularly great (I wasn't, for example, a fan of Midsommar. In fact, I think Ari Aster might be a complete charlatan), but in the context of this mashup, they all looked amazing. Which made me think maybe Errol Morris was right when he said

I believe that there are no good movies, no good books, no good music compositions just great scenes, great passages, great moments.

(Except for Mad Max: Fury Road. That is a perfect movie.)

Inside the Tiny Bedroom Where Finneas and Billie Eilish Are Redefining Pop Music

Over the summer, I watched the Showtime documentary series Shangri-La, which is all about Rick Rubin and creativity and inspiration and his Malibu studio, which is treated like some holy place by everyone in the documentary. For example, when they are between artists, Rubin has his interns repaint the studio floors - I dunno, to make it feel like some blank page for the next artist that's going to use it?

By contrast, Billy Eilish's When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? was produced in her childhood home, by her brother, using prosumer-level equipment. And, for my money, it was one of the best-produced albums of 2019.

This video is a really great companion piece to Shangri-La - both emphasise how important the space is to the creative process, but they approach the topic from entirely different ends of the spectrum.

How to Read More Books in the Golden Age of Content

Okay look, this video kind of goes a little "maybe the real books we read were the friends we made along the way" at the end, but it's got a wonderful (if slightly obvious/well-trod) set of central messages: make time for more reading and you'll read more; there's no 'canon', just read widely; enjoy it.

But the thing that really blew my mind was how these enormous, gorgeous book stores are thriving in the 21st Century. Ateneo Gran Splendid was only opened in the year 2000. And the thing I noticed was how they aren't just places to buy books - they have cafes and bars and patisseries to help you enjoy your time in the space, not just get in and get out as fast as you can.

How Animators Created the Spider-Verse

There are so many great things in this video. My favourite is the tiny detail about how the characters are animated on every second frame (animated on 2s), and how they used this in the forest scene where Miles and Peter are swinging through the trees but they're both animated on different 2s to indicate how their personalities aren't in sync yet.

Titanic in Unreal 4

We visited the Titanic museum in Belfast last year and it was a great museum but honestly, this connected with me on a much deeper level. There's a good reason the narrator keeps saying "just imagine".

Because just imagine.

The Night Watch

This is some pretty cool news - the Rijiksmuseum in Amsterdam will be livestreaming their restoration of Rembrandt's The Night Watch.

If you don't know much about this painting then you can do a lot worst than checking out Peter Greenaway's film Night Watching, which is a weirdly mesmerizing primer on the history behind the painting, told as if it was a Rembrandt painting itself.

Moonlight

There are two times when it's appropriate to use Clair de Lune: over amazing high-resolution videos of sunrise on the moon, and the ending of Ocean's Eleven.

That's it.