Coding project generator
I did nothing on this last week. Hopefully I can make some progress this week on the most important features. Then whatever I have at that point will be version 1.0.
I finished watching The Beyond, written and directed by Hasraf Dulull. Judging from this podcast interview, he’s a sensation among filmmakers for coming to directing from an accomplished career in visual effects. Well, I don’t know much about making films, but I do have opinions on this one.
The main thing I learned from this movie is that bad writing can overshadow decent acting. The film is framed as a documentary about how an international space agency handled an anomaly. It’s an interesting concept, but I think that’s what ruined it for me. When I see a space documentary, it turns out I expect the content to be realistic. What The Beyond gave me was naturalistic acting that conveyed content that was jarringly unrealistic. It made the characters’ sincerity feel ridiculous.
I actually don’t want to spoil the movie with examples, because I felt morbidly compelled to watch the whole thing, and I wish you the same dubious pleasure. I even want to watch the director’s later movie to see what that’s like. Does that make The Beyond so bad it’s good?
But yeah, I don’t want to be too harsh. It was his first feature-length film, his budget was low, he wasn’t used to writing, and his work will improve. It had some nice visual effects. The script’s awkwardness just made for a very interesting viewing experience.
Last week I listened to Writing to Be Understood by Anne Janzer, You’ve Got 8 Seconds by Paul Hellman, and Writing Science by Joshua Schimel. The first two were good but short, and their ideas are already blurring in my mind. I’ll need to go back and study them to make use of their advice. Schimel’s book feels more distinct to me, partly because his advice was a little less familiar and partly because of the careful and repetitive way he worked through the ideas.
I have several more writing books on my current list, but the ones I’ve finished so far help me sharpen the writing questions I have. Writing advice is generally not hard to understand, so to fill my mental gaps what I want are catalogs of examples. For example, a key tool for explaining things is analogy. Janzer points her readers to Metamia, an online database of analogies.
Sunday when I was showing Tim the second bird’s nest, which I’m pretty sure is sparrows, we noticed the robins’ nest was empty. Only a week before, the babies were babies. I did notice over the week they were looking more like normal birds with feathers, but I thought they’d stick around a couple more weeks. They grow up fast!
I think the upper corner of a balcony is a common spot for nests. Looking around the apartment complex, I see that a lot of those areas have grass poking out between the beams.