The BBC is worse than Trump

According to the Wiki people, “Studies show Latin American men understand masculinity to involve considerable childcare responsibilities, politeness, respect for women’s autonomy, and non-violent attitudes and behaviors.”

Masculinity with a latin accent, or machismo, is being used as a word to describe criminals by the BBC and others.  They are contending that traditional Spanish culture is very bad, making it violent and aggressive toward women.  It sounds like the things that Trump said about “Mexicans”, but at least Trump ended with “some of them are good people.”

Now, if a criminal gets away with something, that’s not the same as a bar full of smelly men being rude, and the rude men are not necessarily the same stereotypes as shown in The Three Amigos.  Machismo is not just a term to describe bad behaviour among men, it is a term to describe a certain view of masculinity.  And, that view is generally chivalrous, and not violent.  The macho is Zorro, not El Guapo.

It’s ironic how Killroy’s outburst got him fired, but similar attacks on hispanic culture seem not only tolerated, but published as official BBC “news.”  Sure, there was a news story in any injustice being done, but for an entire culture to be blamed for the acts of one judge and a few men, well, I thought that disappeared in the 1940s.  Trump’s tirade against Hispanics no longer seems shocking, now that the BBC has gotten into the act.

Why new technology should never be used to measure inflation

The UK government is cheating with inflation figures. For a while, camcorders were on the list of items in which prices were compared to overall inflation. Now, action cameras are.

Why do I call this cheating? New tech always starts off expensive and drops in price. The initial price is what funds development. Then, after ten or twenty years, the patents run out and the tech drops even more. Continue reading Why new technology should never be used to measure inflation

Why I connect to shady characters

Some of you are great. If you’re reading this, you’re probably one of my best connections, one of the real people I trust. Or, you’re connected to them, trusted by them, and a great person.

However, there are other people who invite me just to expand their own network, or to try and con me out of money. You’d think I would avoid these people. But, hey, I’m a screenwriter. Or I used to be, before rebranding myself as a “Project Manager.” I love stories, and comedy.

The recent addition to my list is a so-called hedge fund manager. Here’s an excerpt from his profile: Continue reading Why I connect to shady characters

Open by setting the scene

A lot of writing advice will pretend to teach you how to grab an audience’s attention. Well, there’s more to writing than getting attention.  There’s the reader to consider.

This is an editorial essay, so we start with an introduction.  In the first paragraph, I let you know the purpose, to determine whether or not this is something that interests you and is useful to you.  Good writing respects the reader, it doesn’t try to waste the reader’s time with sensationalism.

Not all writing is an essay however.  In fiction, and in especially in journalism and in most other storytelling genres, writing usually starts with setting the scene.  If you were to write for the Ptara blog, or an article for our journal, we’d normally expect the writing to start in the appropriate way, depending upon the genre. Continue reading Open by setting the scene

Ben Franklin’s financial advice

Since the following quote is so long, I won’t put it in quote format.

TO MY FRIEND A.B.,

As you have desired it of me, I write the following hints, which have been of service to me and may if observed be so to you.

REMEMBER that time is money. He that can earn ten shillings a day by his labour and goes abroad or sits idle one half of that day though he spends but sixpence during his diversion or idleness ought not to reckon that the only expense, he has really spent or rather thrown away five shillings besides.

Remember that credit is money. If a man lets his money lie in my hands after it is due, he gives me the interest or so much as I can make of it during that time. This amounts to a considerable sum where a man has good and large credit and makes good use of it. Continue reading Ben Franklin’s financial advice

It takes more than 100 days

stone cylinder tower
Top of Wellington Monument, Pen Dinas, Penparcau

2 years ago, I witnessed the re-enactment of the battle of Waterloo.  Thousands of talented volunteers from around the world walked through the footsteps of Napoleon, Wellington, and Blücher, and their allies and armies.

Although we didn’t have the best seats on the field, it was wonderful that so many dedicated re-enactors, or living historians, brought history to life for us.  If you missed it, you should have been there. Continue reading It takes more than 100 days

Filmmaker admits awards are political

When The Hollywood Reporter asked producer Janine Jackowski if she was disappointed that Toni Erdmann didn’t win the foreign language Oscar, she said no. She expected it, when she heard the news of “Trump’s travel ban.”

“Two hours later I talked to Maren and we both said, ‘It’s gone.’ We knew the Academy would want to send a signal with the Iranian film. Up to that point, Toni Erdmann was one of the favorites.”

Continue reading Filmmaker admits awards are political

What is a Special Purpose Vehicle? (or SPV?)

wagons in a dreamlike state with ptara logoA Special Purpose Vehicle, or Single purpose vehicle, is a company that is created for a single project.

Single Purpose Vehicles are used in construction, public works and many other ventures.  While they are becoming less popular for other ventures, SPVs have become increasingly popular in film production.

Now, in the old days, film companies shied away from Special Purpose vehicles.  When film producers also owned the cinemas and actors were on contract, it made little sense to create more paperwork for each film.

But today, with changes in the way a film is financed and sold, a special purpose vehicle can be extremely useful.

Films can carry with them many long term obligations, from credits and percentage points for the actors to content agreements and more.  As most production companies don’t distribute their own films, it often makes little sense for them to continue dealing with a film after it’s made.

The “vehicle” keeps the film separate from the production company’s other activities. When the film is finished, the SPV can be sold to a distribution company, allowing the production company to focus on the next project. It also allows investors to benefit from tax breaks.

There’s a mention on the British Film Commission’s website.

http://www.britishfilmcommission.org.uk/film-production/uk-film-tax-relief/

So, while Ptara is the company that produces films, does a lot of paperwork and runs our office, another company, an SPV, may be the one that you invest in or sign a contract with.

When the SPV is taken over by a distributor, the distributor will take over the SPV’s obligations and Ptara will concentrate on new projects.

On occasion, an SPV continues as a company on its own and produce more films.

Design of audio-visual creative works.

Ptara logo over historical image of men working at Sevastopol.You might have a great graphic designer, an artist at your company, who can draw anything that you can imagine. You may have someone else who is handy with the camera, and creates videos that look and sound amazing. But, sometimes simply looking good is not enough. Sometimes, you need images that fit a strategic context, that make sense within a whole, and that tell the message you want to convey. Sometimes, you need something that is interesting to watch, and sometimes you need more than that.

You don’t always need to design an audio visual work.  Here’s a video that was unplanned, shot and edited within a day:

It works well enough for footage for a news story, but not much else.

Ptara can help you design a video that does what it’s supposed to do.