Jonathan Light

Writer. Director. Producer.

Category: Random Ruminations (page 2 of 2)

Game Change

Just watched Game Change, the HBO film about Sarah Palin. I’m not a fan of hers, and I’m glad she wasn’t elected, and I disagree with everything – but man, I felt sorry for her. She was so obviously in over her head, and so not right for the job. It’s even more depressing to think that so many people in this country are so supportive of her as a candidate – we really need to stop this whole “I like her, so I’ll vote for her” thing. It will be the death of our republic.

Wasting Time

Instead of writing, or doing some work, or living in the real world, I just spent the last hour photo-editing a headshot.  Though the fruits of my labor are now prominently displayed on this site, I can’t help but feel that my time might have been better spent in more fruitful pursuits, like cleaning the bathroom or doing push-ups or something.

I guess I’m starting to realize I miss acting more than I’d care to admit…[sigh…]

What will happen to us?

So there’s this new platform called Popcorn.js – check it out.  It basically gives you a little sidebar next to the videos so people can view other “things” associated with the video, while the video is playing.

This article from Wired suggests that filmmakers and coders will want to join forces and – using tools like Popcorn.js – create new “experiences” on the web.  It purports to create a new layer of interactivity that will change the way we watch videos on the internet.

I’m all for innovation and creation, and I’m kind of in awe of web coders and the coolness they create.  I do not, however, think that what the world needs is another way for people to have their attention span split into 15 different branches.  There is this push to create more “interactivity” and create “less passive” experiences for people – but how much stimulus can we handle at once?

Forget for a minute that the reason I make a video or a film or something with pictures that move is because I want people to WATCH IT.  I don’t want them to kind of see it in the corner of their eye and then be able to focus on something slightly related but which ultimately has very little to do with the imagery I’ve arranged.  I want people to SEE what I’ve done.  Considering it’s a video, and all.

But forget that for a second – is this actually a good idea?  Do people actually need this?  Is it a good idea to create MORE simultaneous stimuli for people, when their attention spans are short enough already?  What will happen to our once-renowned ability to focus on one thing for more than 8 seconds?

Stories like this make me worry about a future world in which nobody really knows anything because they’ve never sat still long enough to learn it.  Everybody moves and operates in what will be known as life increments, in which every 4.5 seconds your entire being switches over to something completely different, and you follow that path until the next increment, and so on.

I guess it won’t matter then anyway, because by that point we’ll be able to simply close our eyes and download all the information we need, so people will need something to occupy their time I guess.

And the irony of it all is, I started this article with not one but TWO hyperlinks to other information, which in turn contain other hyperlinks to still further away locations on the internet.  If you’ve managed to get this far, I’m very impressed, and yet also slightly sad for you:  You and your kind are not long for this world.

Oy, Philadelphia

As Philadelphia sports fans, it’s an unnatural order of things to expect to do well – this will lead to defeat. The only way for us to be satisfied in our teams is if we expect them to choke and lose and fail every season, and then be surprised when (or if) they don’t.

Back in the real world, I’m starting to get a little overwhelmed by the possibilities in the series we’re working on at the Writer’s Studio.  Exposure has a great premise – spot news photographers roam the streets of New York.  As more and more ideas come forth, I’m realizing just how difficult it will be to make decisions: who is to say what is right and what is wrong when creating things?

I guess this is the biggest challenge of this program: finding consensus, and putting your ego aside, no matter how inspired or great you think your ideas are.

Stuck to Game of Thrones

It’s official. It began with The Sopranos, moved on to Friday Night Lights, and now it’s Game of Thrones. All are examples of reasons why I will probably fail at life. The time spent watching these things should be spent working or creating or running or reading or volunteering at a soup kitchen, but instead I sit drooling in awe at the writing, the acting, the production value and the stories. I really, really hope I get to do something like this someday…

We’re at Steiner!


Waiting for a render

I’m both grateful and annoyed while I wait for this clip to render.  Grateful that it means I’m able to attend this great new writing program, but annoyed that this means I’m now still editing every night past 10 PM.


My First Post

10 years ago last night, I was sitting on the tarmac in a horrible thunderstorm waiting to take off from Newark to move to London.  The next morning, I landed to start a new chapter in my life – and shortly after, the world blew up.

Everything changed, they said.  But it hadn’t yet: it wasn’t Sept. 11th, 2001 that changed everything.  It was our response that changed everything.  Our unconscious decision to live the last 10 years under the cloud of that day’s events has changed everything.  Had the unity and solidarity that everyone said would last forever lasted for more than a couple of months, then maybe we would today have a functional government.  Maybe the world wouldn’t be quite so fractured.

It’s interesting to think about how the world would be today had we reacted differently.  It’s equally interesting, if a little unrealistic, to imagine Sept. 11th not ever having happened.  There are some great articles here about how things would be if Sept 11th, 2001 had not happened.  A favorite, from Fareed Zakaria, is “History would have been delayed, not denied.”  No matter what, we were going to be faced with a catastrophic attack on our own soil by angry people.

But we didn’t have to react this way.  We could have kept our heads, gotten on with what needed to be done, and not elevated these people to the ranks of ‘greatest threat we’ve ever faced.”   We could have gone and fought them without launching a “War on Terror.”  It’s the first, and I hope the last time that any civilization has launched a war on a battle technique.  It made no sense, and still doesn’t , and (without oversimplifying the world) it’s one of the main reasons we are we are today – or should I say aren’t where we should be?

Did I mention I’ve started graduate school for television writing?  That should be fun!

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