Posts Tagged ‘ connected ’

Cambria to Monterey

Cambria to Monterey: 103 miles,-121.07833&daddr=moneterey&geocode=FZ6xHgIdxn3I-A%3BFa55LgId7Ai8-CmR-7VwUuSNgDFePUrYCUlI7g&sll=35.608185,-119.816895&sspn=1.098637,5.625&ie=UTF8&ll=36.081455,-121.50837&spn=1.03751,0.85984&t=m&output=embed

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I woke up to a foggy Monday morning in Cambria but Tim the innkeeper informed me that the fog would blow away by 10am. I had coffee and some chocolate chip muffins I packed myself and headed to San Simeon and Hearst Castle.

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The road footage of the previous day was garbage so I made a few modifcations to the camera setup and it worked great. It was a short 10 miles to Hearst Castle so I got there on the very first tour of the day.

Hearst Castle and William Hearst is the inpsiration for Orson Welles’ classic, Citizen Kane. Sadly I missed the evening screening of the film at Hearst Castle last Friday but today will do.

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The castle was donated by the Hearst Corporation to the State of California in 1957 and is now managed by the California State Parks. They do still own the surrounding land where Black Angus cows graze along with zebras who are descendants of the exotic animals that Hearst once populated the area with.

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The house was a continuos project of Hearst and architect Julia Morgan.

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I’ll save the details about the tour for the documentary but on with the road. It was 10am by the time I got back to car and started to set the car back up. Not far from San Simeon are Elephant Seal colonies where I stopped by and took some pictures and video before I set on for the challenge of the day. Big Sur.

Big Sur is the most exciting and deadliest part of California 1 that requires you to check road conditions before setting off as there could be landslides. The fog had moved inland and roads were dry and the sun was out which made for an excellent day to drive up.

The road winds it’s way along the California coast with tight switchbacks and hairpin turns with a suggested speed limit of 20mph. But with the car I was driving I could make the turns at 35-40mph.

Throughout this part of the trip, there were three times where traffic was controlled due to construction. One of the things to keep in mind about the highway is your rearview mirror. There are numerous turnouts for slower cars to use to let faster cars through. Sadly, many drivers don’t know this thus making the trip a lot longer than it should.

After passing these vehicles eventually, it was now time to take note of the damage on the road. Orange traffic cones line the edges of highway marking places where rock slides had destroyed the road recently and taking the steel barriers with it. A huge bridge construction effort is underway thus making us wait for at least 15 minutes before we could pass.

Just last year, the road was closed for seven months due to damage. It’s a sad reality that such a beautiful road is being reclaimed by the sea.

The Mazda RX-3 2012 base model worked perfectly. The front wheel drive of the car enabled ease of turning the corners and just having fun.

California 1 is not a place you would want to drive during the summer. The road is filled with people going back and fourth along with numerous bike tourers. Most bike tours go from north to south which to predominantly downhill coupled with favorable tail winds and the coast on your side, thus making a perfect ride. Being on a bike also provides the opportunity to experience the road like no other. You can stop in the middle of Bixby Bride and enjoy the view. Something you can’t do in car. It’s something I’d like to do but I’ll get into shape first before trying this out. Michael Ballard over at has a great journal on his trip down the coast in 2010.

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I hit Carmel-by-the-Sea and Monterey around lunch time and proceeded to Pebble Beach. Pebble Beach is home to the famous 17 Mile Drive and Golf Course. It’s a private area thus requiring all vehicles to pay $9.50 to take in the scenery. Bikes get in for free. No motorcycles though.

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The views here are amazing as the Pacific waves crash on the jagged rocks of Pebble Beach. Pebble Beach is also home to the world’s most photographed tree. The Lone Cypress tree which is estimated to be 250 years old is also the trademarked tree of Pebble Beach thus making it illegal to photograph the tree for commercial purposes. The tree is actually being held in place by steel cables to prevent it from falling into the ocean. At least the cables aren’t that visible.

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I drove into the tourist area of Moneterey and checked in for the night.

Not far from Monterey is Salinas, birthplace of John Steinbeck and home to the Laguna Seca Racing circuit. But it is over in Monterey where Steinbeck made famous the Cannery Row, where fishing boats that netted the waters of Moneterey Bay docked and sardines were packed until over fishing killed the industry. Now all that remains is a tourist row and the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

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I’ve never been to the aquarium before so I made it a point to visit on this trip. It’s not Sea World, but the collection is still amazing. Their collection of jellyfish and sea horses is just stunning. The aquarium highlights the biodiversity of the Monterey coast (which by the way is a protected area that stretches all the way to San Simeon).

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After I had cioppino for lunch the rain and the wind started to come in. I then made my way to San Francisco up along the 1 since it was a weekday and I knew the traffic that was ahead of me as I drove up the peninsula. This version of the documentary will end here but I will keep adding on to it as I come across more stories and information about the coast.

How to get from point A to point B

I’ve made documentaries before and it’s not something entirely new. We would basically tell a story and the one way of telling a story is just simply to move forward. “Connecting” seems to be just as complicated as it sounds.

For one, no longer do you have a captured audience for them to digest your work in one sitting. The audience can now jump from one part of your story to another. They can now view your documentary on their own time and only the parts that they are interested in. So is there a way for the filmmaker’s view to translate properly into the hyperlinked form?

I think it’s possible but I think the material requires two different approaches resulting in the same ending. There will be path as determined by the author to be the “true vision” for the work. This is exactly as the creator determined it and should be experienced as such. The other path would be the one created by the user as they go along the story on their time and their own interests.

With this in mind I think traditional documentary methods still hold true for two of my proposals. One is the train ride and the other is Woody Allen map of Manhattan but I think I can narrow it down to his film (Manhattan, 1979).,-95.677068&sspn=14.84512,90&t=w&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=New+York&ll=40.714353,-74.005973&spn=0.080645,0.175781&z=13&output=embed

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For “Manhattan”, there are various sources for the film such as the Internet Movie Database and Google Maps to determine these locations. For instance, the iconic scene with Woody Allen and Diane Keaton was shot exactly on this spot. As you can see today, there is no park bench. I wonder what this place looks like at sunrise, as depicted in the film.,+New+York,+NY&aq=0&oq=59&sll=40.761958,-73.973443&sspn=0.027565,0.175781&t=w&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=E+59th+St,+New+York&ll=40.761553,-73.966584&spn=79.695795,180&z=3&layer=c&panoid=69sIySJ7ZVcr3Yfe3RQIPQ&cbll=40.757793,-73.959552&cbp=13,107.65876970508172,,0,5.099324376664313&output=svembed,+New+York,+NY&aq=0&oq=59&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=42.987658,90&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=E+59th+St,+New+York&t=h&layer=c&cbll=40.757793,-73.959552&panoid=69sIySJ7ZVcr3Yfe3RQIPQ&cbp=13,109.18,,0,0.44&ll=40.751825,-73.96142&spn=0.020416,0.048237&z=14&output=svembed

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Woody Allen and Diane Keaton in Manhattan

Then embed this scene,

That should work. It would allow the film to be enjoyed in a different way. Something like that.

As for the train, I’ve downloaded maps and brochures from Amtrak that would get me to the west coast. Sadly I couldn’t find an API for Amtrak but Google Maps does the same anyway.

Based on the railyway system of the US, there are two ways to the west, either through the north or sounth, the tracks don’t exactly cross the US like the highways. Also, it would take two trains. The Lake Shore Limited and the California Zephyr. I think this is where the two paths I mentioned above can be created. One is my own journey on the train that would include, videos, pictures, and posts from along the train that would be the filmmaker’s point of view. The other is where the user follow the train as it went through the track in real time via Google Earth. The user can then see the stops that are marked along the way to get from point A to point B and any historical significance it would have. This would also work along the east coast, but I think riding across the country would be very exciting. Or maybe California Highway 1.

Technologies I think I see in integrating would be:

  • HTML5
  • Google Maps API
  • YouTube API
  • a bit of Javascript

That’s all I can think of for now.

Documentary ideas

We were asked to list possible ideas for a documentary that we can complete this semester so here’s what I came up with. So on the flight back to NY I came up with this list.

1.) *Woody Allen’s Manhattan/ New York
2.) Recycling day/ reusable bags/ plastic bag consumption
    I hate the recycling system of NY that it has to be in bags. Feels so 3rd world. That’s how they collect garbage in my neighborhood back home.
3.)* hybrid or petrol cars
    why hybrid
    why petrol
4.) Winter in New York
5.) Do you know where your water comes from?
6.) Email and letters
    Do letters have a greater impact?
7.) What’s in a New York minute? Why does it feel that time moves faster in New York than in any other city I’ve been to?
8.) What’s in the cameraphone pictures?
    why use your cameraphone?
    has it turned into something else?
9.) Train ride along the atlantic coast or cross country during spring break
10.) All in the family.

The ones with a “*” were presented in class.

My comments on each topic:

1. I’ve been a fan of Woody Allen’s films since I saw Manhattan in one of my film classes in 1994. I think that no other filmmaker has shot that many films in one city for more than 30 years. Using geolocation, it’s possible to factor in the locationsas well as the scenes from his movies. There are places that he revisits after 10 movies and uses them again. My documentary would visit the places research on the film and the location and significance for the American auteur.

2. Recyling here in NY is madness. I find it weird that you would have to store your recyclables or let’s just say segregate our garbage into plastic bags. Isn’t the point of recycling is to get rid of the plastic. Not to mention that someone has to physically pick up the garbage from your curb because trashbins work because someone will steal it. Seriously?!

3. The debate between alternative energy is if interest to be especially when it comes to automobiles. There is more to commercial hybrid cars and petrol cars than most people realize. For example, petrol cars run and will consume the gas that is in the tanks. But as the vehicle gets lighter, the car becomes less fuel hungry (unless of course you’re driving a 3.0 liter engine that just guzzles the gas). Then there’s the hybrid, the batteries don’t get lighter as you drive longer thus keeping your car at almost the same weight it started with. Then there’s the issue with the electric cars, how far will it actually run?

4. Winter in New York I was told is quite an experience. I was here this time last year in between blizzards for the group interview at ITP and it was brutal. But sadly I don’t think this might work out since it’s only snowed twice the whole time I’ve been at ITP and one of them was in October.

5. Just a thought on where the city water comes from. On second thought I don’t think I’d like to know.

6. There is a digital divide when it comes to emails and letters. Why does it feel more special when you receive a letter from someone compared to an email? Why do letters mean more to your senator or congressman (1 letter = 2000 constituents) than an email campaign?

7. title speaks for itself.

8. Cameraphones has replaced the Polaroid and the snapshot in an instant. Why? why why why? Is there room left for the professional?

9. I was facinated by American trains in particular form one business trip to DC. I was coming from Richmond, VA and instead of renting a car, I decided to take the train. It was a pleasant surprise seeing another side of the country. I think railways were built first before roads because roads were was just dirt trampled over by horses and herds. Railways on the other hand are deliberate paths built to get from point A to point B. Even more so in the United States where it connected the East and Weat coast as Americans settled further west. I think a spring break train ride would be perfect for this.

10. I would like to build an online documentation on WWII survivors in the Philippines. Though most of the survivors are gone I would like to focus on my family. My gradparents had very different backgrounds and their stories of survival is something that is interesting to document. Sadly though, there might not be enough pictures even to document the whole thing. But still, I think I may return to this idea when I go back home.

So there you have it! 10 ideas for documentaries but I’m focusing on 1 and 9. Will post more as I elaborate on the idea.