Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Natasha is in her 24th week:
The Bubble Project is in it's 14th week, Buena Vista Park II!
Yes, I've actually bubbled in the park twice already, and the views, near and far, inspired me to try to get some top-shelf help for one more trip back...the video may be epic...we'll see... I'm now super portable, with detachable loops so that I can carry a single set of wands and bubble up a storm. It was incredibly foggy last Monday--it felt like the park was taking revenge on me for joking for years that the park's trees make the 'Buena' Vista not-so-Buena. The views are incredible, when the fog isn't thick enough for a goldfish to swim through. But I had a lot of surprised, happy passers-by picking up my cards and a lot of worried dogs cocking an ear and whining at some giant spheres. Oddly, the solution that worked quite well for the big bubbles this time just wouldn't support the little ones. So baffling!
Please come help me make a SEA of BUBBLES, of all sorts, this Saturday at Dimond Park in Oakland, near Fruitvale and MacArthur (google map link at the top of the blog page until it's moot) at Noon!!
More next week!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I Snooze I Win!

Natasha is in her 22nd Week:
And the Bubble Project has been destroyed by the President!
No, not really.
Actually, Sunday morning I woke up exhausted and thought to myself in an internal voice between Droopy and Beaver Cleaver "Oh nooo, I have to get up early tomorrow and do bubbles with cameras and..." And I startled completely awake and thought, "What?! Hey! Mike! That's not what it's about! Do you want to go Monday? There's no rule; you don't have to go..." Droopy Cleaver shook his head slowly. "Okay. D-do you want to do bubbles without cameras...?" Droopy shook his head. "That's okay, buddy, do you want to do bubbles somewhere simple like Lakeside Park...?" His lower lip trembled as he shook his head again a little faster. "Awww, that's okay, buddy. It's for fun! Did you forget it's for fun? No one will mind if you take a week off. Because...check this's just for fun! That's right! You sleep or watch TV or whatever you want, okay, big guy? Okay. And, wait now; never forget that you're great, even if you don't bubble every Monday (chuckle). Yeah, of course you are!" Droopy half-purses his lips, half-smiles, blushing a little as he nods...
Welcome to my internal landscape. I'm good with kids because I am a kid, to whom I try to be nice.
Had a client cancel this week and did a reconnaissance mission into Buena Vista Park. I was running around like Francois Truffaut, holding my hands up in a frame shape, planning where to put cameras NEXT Monday... It was really fun! So incredibly beautiful, 360 degrees of views with wonderful trees in the foreground and the whole city spread below...This project has really broadened my ability to see. And I came up with something like 20 great set-ups I'd like to do, so I'm really hoping I can get some help from someone who can be seduced by the possibility of playing with my bubble toys...or who just would like to be part of the project. This Monday is a holiday for many, so, maybe...? Please share the videos with people who like sparkly things! And invite me to a park near you, so I don't forget how to have fun. That would be lame! I mean bubbling a park near you would be GREAT; forgetting how to have fun would be lame. LAME! :)
Since I have no video of my own this week, I'll share some of my all-time favorites with you:

Half a minute me goosebumps.

Every time someone is amazed by my bubbles in a bubble, I think they oughta see THIS!

The bubbler who invited me back into the fold after I foolishly spent a few bubble-free years. He also designed, built and then LENT ME the giant 20ft bubble wands you see in the Bernal and Mt Davidson videos. The Bubblesmith, indeed!

This guy is ENDLESSLY inventive, and he suggested the design for the garland multi-loop I use to make those flurries of medium-big bubbles!
Inspiration for my project, for sure!
A fantastic old school bubble act.

This gent has given me TONS of free advice...perhaps he deserves a credit on the project, too!
The one and only.

There are SO many that I could post!!!

Cheers all.
Let me know you're out there!


Saturday, February 6, 2010

Holly Park Shenanigans

Natasha is in her 21st week.
And the Bubble Project is in its 11th week: Holly Park!
OK so, those of you who grew up with Sesame Street maybe singing, "One of these things is not like the others..." and you'd be right: Holly Park involves far fewer steps, far less elevation and lovely but much more humble views than the previous spots. Frankly, I was tired of walking so far up, I have a new client at 8:50 Monday mornings so I didn't want to be pressed for time...and I really wanted wide open spaces to allow for some revealing shots of the amazing bubble conglomerations that are produced by the bubble arrays I've made (following first a design of Keith Michael Johnson's and then elaborating on that by increasing the scale from 1 yard loops to 3 yard loops, and, finally, adding more rows below the top one as suggested by Bubblesmith Sterling Johnson--whose giant tri-string can be seen in the Bernal and Mt Davidson videos btw. Thanks guys!)

I arrived late--had only about 30 minutes to bubble--and was startled by a wind shortage. That's what I get for not going up very high. Yet when I arrived home and looked at the footage, I was stunned to see sights I've never seen before. It's important to me to assert that none of the bubble colors are altered in the videos--I don't even mess with exposure except in establishing shots of locations, which sometimes are less than stellar because my only camera with a zoom lens is not HD but old school digital tape, so it can look a little washed out. But if I use bubble footage from it, washed out it stays. I use that one to capture the more glassy, ephemeral stuff where the shapes of the bubbles themselves are more striking than the colors. The HD cameras are great for the amazing intricate hues we see in the sort of honeycomb conglomerations of bubbles that come out of the arrays. I practically choked when I saw the low-angle vivid bright green and yellow kaleidoscope revealed in a few of the shots with Eucalyptus trees behind the bubbles. That was a new one for me and I hope other people enjoy it, too. It was also fun to stumble on an ending piece when I noticed the oddly satisfying bubble bombs descending into the grass in the last shot. Next I have to find a better way to mount a camera on the wands or mount one high so bubbles can avoid the ground but I can still get a shot from right next to the array, with kaleidoscopic effects in the foreground and huge lazy bubble clumps slowly descending in the background. The pole-mounted camera in this video is just too darn shaky and the footage doesn't really fit the aesthetic--I discarded about ten times the amount you see in the movie, which was sad because it was breathtaking...and nauseating, so...hadda go.

The goal was to capture lotsa big bubble structures and I think mission accomplished! So it's on to Buena Vista Park (back to trekking up hills, sigh) where I'm not sure what I'll do...but it'll probably involve soap and water.

Onward! Upward!