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August 26, 2014

Coming Attractions and Highlights! August 2014

Welcome to our new monthly feature where we share screenings, airdates, and DVD release dates of some of the projects that we’ve worked on.

Here’s what’s on the radar right now.

 

 

Intruders

Now available on Space Channel and BBC America.

bbcamerica.com/intruders

 

 

Eat St.

Premieres September 6 on Food Network Canada.

facebook.com/EatSt

 

Some Things Won’t Sleep

Screens September 14 & 18 at the Atlantic Film Festival in Halifax.

somethingswontsleep.com

 

Hole

Screens at TIFF as part of the Short Cuts Canada Programme in September. No firm date yet, but we will post it on FB and Twitter when we hear it.

facebook.com/holefilm

 

The Prophet

Screens September 6, 10 & 12 at TIFF.

gibransprophetmovie.com

 

After the Rain

Screens September 18 at the  Encounters Short Film & Animation Festival

after-the-rain-premieres-at-encounters

If you have an upcoming release date for your project, please let us know so we can feature it here.

August 21, 2014

Blueberry/Basil Gin & Tonic

Want a cool, refreshing drink to enjoy on a late summer afternoon? We heartily suggest a Blueberry/Basil Gin & Tonic. Pairs perfectly with flip flops and a garden view.

Ingredients
fresh blueberries
fresh basil
gin
ice cubes
tonic or soda

Directions (makes 2)
In a martini shaker, muddle a decent 1/4 to 1/2 cup fresh blueberries with a good-sized sprig of fresh basil. Freshness counts!

Add 3 ounces of nice gin and ice cubes, and shake.

Strain into 2 glasses and top up with tonic, or soda, if you prefer. Garnish with blueberries (a squeeze of lime wouldn’t hurt) and enjoy!

August 21, 2014

What the Hearing Impaired Can Tell You About Captioning: Part 2!

We’re thrilled to have Steffani Cameron, caption timer here at Line 21, take over our newsletter and blog for the second time this year. In May, she shared part one of a two-part series. Here’s part two! Welcome, Steffani!

I’ve worn hearing aids all my life so it’s apt that I’ve spent much of the last 14 years working as a captioner at Line 21. Today, I’m passionate about doing it  well. When Line 21 asked me to tell you about how hearing-impaired folks like me perceive captioning, I was thrilled. In the conclusion of my two-part blog post,  I’ll be sharing with you a few of my thoughts on phrasing and positioning.

Good captioning also understands phrasing and how that matters. With a maximum of 32 characters a line, captioning is kind of the hipster’s answer to Twitter. You think 140 characters is too little space to say anything of substance? Try 64 characters for the industry standard 2-line caption.

When those short captions are flying past, how the lines are split and where they leave off really impacts how easy it is to balance watching the show with reading the dialogue. We viewers appreciate when captions aren’t split in the middle of a phrase. When every two-line caption makes sense in and of itself, it means we don’t miss a beat, instead of our subconscious failing to marry together two halves of a phrase when one’s not on-screen anymore.

With an average of 500-700 captions per 22 minutes, the less work we have to do, the easier we can enjoy your show.

Positioned captions can help a lot when it’s a drama, but if done poorly, they make things even harder to follow. When the caption is on top of the person speaking, it makes logical and visual sense. When it’s in a completely different place and this happens repeatedly, it’s another reason to turn the captioning off, or worse, switch to a show with good captioning.

For those of us with acute hearing loss, poor captioning is a great reason not to watch a show. If I can only follow 50% or less of what I’m watching because I can’t hear dialogue or it’s unclear to me, or it’s poorly synced, I’ll turn to something else, even if I’m watching network shows streamed on the web.

For us, captioning isn’t something you’re doing to meet a broadcast requirement. For us, you’re making it possible to truly enjoy what you’re creating, and we notice when you care enough to have great captioning by people who understand how we need to read it.

June 16, 2014

Film Fest Round Up Vol. 3: Not Your Typical Summer Blockbusters

As we saunter into the warm and relaxed days of summer, we look forward to another round of impressive local film festivals. What’s better than heading into a cool, dark theatre after a day at the beach or hiking in the mountains? Grab some popcorn – you’ll want to check out this great line-up.

July 18-25
New Asia Film Festival
Centred on contemporary and progressive themes related to Asian cultures, the festival is committed to showcasing cutting-edge films and media art works from around the world.

August 14-24
Vancouver Queer Film Festival
Now in its 26th year, the Vancouver Queer Film Festival will feature over 70 films from 20 countries in 2014. The offerings range from Hollywood to Bollywood, from drama to documentary, and from indie cinema to big-budget.

September
Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF)
One of North America’s largest film festivals, featuring hundreds of feature-length movies from around the globe over 2 weeks. Juried prizes.

September
Vancouver Latin American Film Festival
Showcasing inspiring films from across Latin America and the diaspora.

September
Vancouver Singapore Film Festival
Through the creative work of Singaporean filmmakers and their films, VSFF aims to introduce Vancouver to Singapore’s multicultural communities while providing insight into Singapore’s heritage, modernization and multiculturalism.

September
“Picture This…” Film Festival
One great big evening of award-winning short films from around the world that have been produced, written and/or directed by persons with disabilities.

Project Profile: Documentaries

Who doesn’t love a great documentary? Canada is up at the top of the list with producing some of the very best in the world.

In Canada filmmakers are lucky enough to have the NFB, DOC BC, DOXA, Telefilm Canada and a host of other organizations that support film making initiatives. They’ve given filmmakers the chance to write, produce, direct, and show their diverse stories that have been recognized around the world.

A good documentary can provoke you to take action, show you something you’ve never seen before, or make you change your mind about something you thought you knew everything about.

It was 1967 when Alan King’s Warrendale opened the world’s eyes to the story of 12 emotionally disturbed children at the Warrendale institute of Toronto when it played and won awards at Cannes Film Festival. Canada also shone when it received the very first Academy Award for Documentary Short Subject in 1942 for the film Churchill’s Island, which used archival news footage to show us Germany’s air war against Great Britain.

At Line 21 we feel like we’ve had the opportunity to see the world through these incredible films. We’ve tracked polar bears for 3 years, climbed Mt. Everest, witnessed a young girl’s struggle with cystic fibrosis, learned about the life of Andy Warhol, and unraveled the financial crisis of 2008—all through the lens of amazing documentary filmmakers.They’ve shown us more with pictures than we could learn in a lifetime of packing our suitcase. This month, we give a special thanks to them for making our jobs so darn exciting.

7 Stand-Out Documentaries Line 21 Has Worked On

Chi, for the NFB, an amazing story of friendship and final journeys.
Bone, Wind, Fire, also for the NFB, a beautiful film about art and artists.
65 Red Roses, an unforgettable film about health, survival, and legacy.
Emergency Room for Knowledge Network, an intimate and unflinching look inside the emergency ward at VGH.
Coast Modern, a portrait of West Coast modernist architects and their lasting mark.
Many Rivers Home, about aging, assisted living, and the end of life in a South Asian community.
Oil Sands Karaoke explores coping with life in the tar sands through karaoke.

This Month’s Mondegreen

 

June 16, 2014

Homemade Cream Cheese

Making your own cream cheese couldn’t be easier.

Thanks to John Maxwell (Kelly’s hubby) for providing this month’s DIY kitchen experiment!

Did you know you can make your own cream cheese? It’s natural, cheaper than buying it at the grocery store, and as easy as falling off a log.

Start with yogurt. A 650g tub should do and will leave you with about 250g of cream cheese.

Grab a cheesecloth. Don’t have a cheesecloth? A plain white pillowcase works in a pinch. You’ll also need a big pot. Empty the yogurt into the pillowcase (er, cheesecloth), squeeze it all down to one end, twist the case so that it’s nice and tight against the yogurt inside. It’s already dripping whey; this is where the pot comes in handy: wrap the cloth around the handle of a big wooden spoon and suspend the whole thing over the pot.

Leave it overnight. In the morning, you’ll find 200g or so of whey in the pot. (I usually throw out the whey, but it can come in handy. Do a Google search for what you might wish to do with it.) Open up the pillowcase, sprinkle a scant teaspoon of salt over the cheese, and fold it in with a knife. Then re-pack the pillowcase, squeeze it again, and let it hang for another few hours.

That’s it. Cream cheese! Scoop it out into a bowl or tub, and enjoy. At this point it gets interesting if you add things to it, too: basil leaves, other herbs, peppercorns. Just add and mix. Your bagels will never be the same.

May 14, 2014

What the Hearing Impaired Can Tell You About Captioning

We’re thrilled to have Steffani Cameron, caption timer here at Line 21, take over our newsletter and blog this month and then again in July. Welcome Steffani!

If you don’t need captioning, you probably don’t “see it” in the same way as someone who relies on it for full enjoyment of the show.

I’ve worn hearing aids all my life so it’s apt that I’ve spent much of the last 14 years working as a captioner at Line 21. Today, I’m passionate about doing it well. When Line 21 asked me to tell you about how hearing-impaired folks like me perceive captioning, I was thrilled. In a two-part blog post, I’ll be sharing with you a few of my thoughts on word accuracy, timing accuracy, phrasing, and positioning. Today, we’re focusing on word and timing accuracy.

It helps to understand that hearing loss is different for all affected by it. Since the loss occurs in fluctuating levels throughout different frequencies, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution… until you get to captioning.

In theory. Even captioning, which is supposed to level the viewing playing ground, varies widely from company to company in timing, style, and accuracy.

Every captioning house sets different reading rates, with some as low as 200 words a minute. As a viewer who can’t hear well and can’t fill in the gaps, this is a problem.

Why is a lower reading rate troubling? Consider dialogue in a fast-paced murder mystery like Sherlock, or an information-heavy documentary. Every word is critical! I can rewind and replay captions if a bit goes by too quickly, but I can’t fill in words I can’t hear, so word accuracy is huge for us. We’d rather read fast and struggle to keep up than to have truncated dialogue and risk missing a major part of the plot.

To this end, another critical factor is timing accuracy. Any comedy fan knows there’s no room for error with timing and punchlines. Same with plot points. Timing matters. Good captions take that into consideration, splitting the lines in exactly the right way, at the right time, so we get the “funny” when and where it should be — and “where it should be” is a fraction of second from when it’s said.

When the captions are anything more than one second out-of-sync, it’s amazing how much it can spoil a show. Two or three seconds? The whole experience is blown.

These are important aspects to consider as both a captioner and as a production company in need of captioning services: it’s imperative to know your audience – the hearing impaired – not just fulfill some accessibility requirement. It will be the difference between alienating a potential fan base or including us in your captive viewing audience.

I’ll be back soon to delve into the importance of phrasing and positioning. Till then, thanks for reading!

Update! Read part 2 of Steffani’s series.

 

This Month’s Mondegreen

This ad for Volkswagen is based entirely on Mondegreens. Have a watch for your daily chuckle.

Partner Profile: The Leo Awards

It’s May, which means it’s time to celebrate BC’s Film and Television industry at the 16th Annual Leo Awards! 

The red carpet! Champagne! Fancy dress! The Awards go all out. And with so much to celebrate, this year they’ve added a third night to the festivities. The Leos will be held May 30, 31, and June 1, with an unprecedented 102 awards up for grabs in a field of 1,052 entries.

Also new this year is the People’s Choice Award. It’s up to you to vote for the shows and films you think deserve this inaugural prize. So vote for your favourites right here.

We are thrilled to be an associate sponsor of the Leo Awards and are looking forward to celebrating this great industry, applauding the winners and nominees, rubbing elbows with the stars, and catching up with our clients. We’ll see you there!

Thanks again to Steffani for being our guest on the blog this month – check out the recipe she shares below.

 

May 14, 2014

Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookies

You won’t believe the secret ingredient in these cookies!
Photo by Steffani Cameron

I love cookies, but cookies don’t love me. Sugar, gluten, you name it – classic cookie ingredients have always disagreed with me.

That is, until I tried chocolate chip cookies made with chickpeas. Surprisingly, they were good! But the recipes I’ve tried have been wildly different, and many add far too much peanut butter and sugar, negating the reason behind switching to chickpeas, I thought.

I experimented to reduce fat and eliminate sugar. I’m super-proud of this result and you’ll be shocked at how much they taste like the real deal.

These taste yummy, sweet, and gloriously cookie-like, so you might forget just how healthy (and packed with fibre) they are. They’re a perfect on-the-go snack.

Ingredients
¾ cup unsweetened applesauce
¼ cup natural honey
2 x 19 oz cans of chickpeas (rinsed and drained well)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1.25 cup natural peanut butter, at room temperature
1 cup chocolate chips
2 teaspoons vanilla

Directions

Add the applesauce, the chickpeas, half the peanut butter, and all the honey to the food processor. Blend it until everything’s getting happy. Add the rest of the peanut butter and blend until it’s as smooth as you can get it — like buttah, baby.

This is important. With the chickpeas pureed, do not add the chocolate chips! The beans will be too hot from pureeing, and it will melt the chocolate. Instead, cover the chickpea mixture with plastic wrap and refrigerate for half an hour or even till the next day, no big deal.

When it’s cool, add the baking powder, baking soda, vanilla, and mix well. Now add the chocolate chips. Mix well again.

Form into tablespoon-sized balls, roll, and press down. Bake on parchment-lined sheets at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes, depending on size. (Don’t overcook them; look for a bit of colour and take them out. Remember, they’d be safe to eat raw, as there’s no egg!)

I love hot-out-of-the-oven normal cookies, but the perfect temperature for these fellas is about 10 minutes after they come out. They’ll stay chewy afterwards too. Don’t forget your glass of milk! Remember, fibre.

Alternatives

Want to funk them up? Add Skor chips, walnuts, and other tasty items when you would the chocolate chips. Add between ½ to 1 cup of your add-in for one batch.

Since I’m single, I freeze my dough in ½ cup containers for when I’m having a rough day working from home and want them fresh. In 20 minutes or so, it’s soft enough to scoop out and make a mini batch of cookies. It works out to 5 cookies per ½ cup, so keep that in mind when freezing in other sized containers.

I’ve got a cookbook coming out! Sign up here if you’d like to be notified when it’s released.

 

April 19, 2014

3 Tips for Small Business Owners

Line 21 has been in business for 20 years now. And, while we’ve had a great deal of fun along the way, we’ve also learned a thing or two about surviving as small business owners.

Below are three very practical lessons we’ve learned (sometimes the hard way).

1. Learn how to have work left over at the end of the day.

It’s tempting to fall into the notion that “you must clear your desk by the end of every day.” Surely it’s a good thing to start each day fresh?

Not always. If you think you always have to finish everything by the end of the day, not only are you setting unrealistic expectations for yourself, but you’re setting up yourself to work ever longer hours. It’s good to know you have work to do tomorrow. In fact, we recommend you have daily, weekly, and even monthly schedules for yourself and learn to stick to them. It’s all about endurance for us.

2. Use others’ expertise.

You got into business because you were passionate about something, be it building birdhouses or resolving tricky accounting problems. But running a successful business requires more than just passion for a specific pursuit. It requires expertise in a wide variety of areas, some of which you will not possess.

That’s okay. It’s not realistic that you’d be a master of every single skill required for running a business. That’s why there are OTHER businesses to help you fill in those gaps. Make use of them! Free yourself from the tasks at which you don’t excel so that you have time to focus on those at which you do. Your business will thank you.

3. Make it easy for people to contact you.

This seems like a no-brainer, doesn’t it? But you’d be surprised how difficult some people make it to contact them—by phone, email, text, semaphore—there’s just no easy way to find a way to get in touch.

When I have a hard time finding contact information, I wonder—do they really want to hear from me? Is that the message you want to send to your clients?

Put your contact information everywhere and allow for as many forms of contact as possible: in your email signature, on your Facebook page, on LinkedIn, on your Twitter background, your website. Make it easy to find! If you make people work to find you, they just may not make the effort.

This Month’s Mondegreen

We enjoy a good Mondegreen as much as anyone! But you can relax in the confidence that, at Line 21, we work very hard to ensure we never create Mondegreens out of your dialogue.

Partner Profile: DOXA Documentary Film Festival

DOXA is coming! From May 2 through 11 four downtown Vancouver theatres will be overtaken by some of the most interesting, thought-provoking, sometimes funny, and always engaging documentary movies.

From its humble beginnings in 1998, DOXA has grown to a 10-day event featuring 90+ films with an international reach. This Vancouver-based, non-profit, charitable society is an entirely home-grown effort, with a staff of very dedicated employees, supported by a host of volunteers. Over the years, the ambitious festival has grown to become truly mighty, with an impressive Board of Directors, films from internationally recognized talent, an amazing annual line up of innovative films from around the globe, and huge community support.

Line 21 has been a proud DOXA partner for years. Not only do we sponsor screenings, but we’ve hosted receptions, and donated to silent auctions. Patricia Dziekan, who many of you will know from her work as administrator at Line 21, was even a volunteer on the DOXA Fundraising committee for a couple of years.

It’s been an easy, happy match for a couple of very important reasons. First, we applaud and support DOXA’s commitment to bringing first-rate documentaries to a wider audience. And second, we just love the movies! Where else can you be challenged by a look at the destructive forces at work in Eastern Congo’s Virunga National Park (“Virunga”) one night and entertained the next by the ever-delightful George Takei—better known as Star Trek’s Mr. Sulu—in the film “To Be Takei”?

This year, Line 21 is the proud screening partner for “Derby Crazy Love” on Friday, May 9, 9pm at the Rio. It’s a raucous take on the world of women’s roller derby and the tough babes who inhabit it.

Win Tickets to “Derby Crazy Love!”

We’d love for you to join us at “Derby Crazy Love!” To enter to win tickets, tweet “Derby Crazy Love” to @line21cc or comment “Derby Crazy Love” on our Facebook page. We’ll randomly choose a winner and notify you the week of April 28th. Good luck!

Check out the full DOXA schedule.

April 19, 2014

Zucchini Noodles and Carbonara Sauce

Once you’ve tried raw zucchini noodles,
you may never go back!

If you haven’t yet tried raw noodles, you must! They’re easy, fast, convenient, and delicious and they work wonderfully with any sauce. We use a gadget generally known as a spirooli or a spiralizer, like this one or, for a wider, flatter noodle, this one.

One medium zucchini spiralizes (we just made that word up!) into 2 servings of noodles. Just cut the ends off an unpeeled zucchini, run it through the gadget, and divide the noodles into 2 bowls.  This will take you all of about 15 seconds.

For richer, heavier sauces, like our favourite carbonara sauce below, these noodles are a great way to lighten the meal. We’ve adapted the carbonara from a very old (and excellent!) cookbook, Wonderful Ways to Prepare Italian Food by Jo Ann Shirley, 1978.

Ingredients

1/2 onion, chopped
2 T olive oil
1/2 lb bacon, cut into chuncks
2T butter
2 egg yolks
salt and pepper
1/3 c cream
1/4 c grated parmesan cheese

Directions

Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the onion until it becomes transparent. Add the bacon and cook until crisp. Remove from the pan and keep warm.

Melt the butter in the same pan as the bacon fat. Remove from heat. Add the egg yolks to pan and stir, season with salt and pepper. Stir in the cream and parmesan. Add the onion and bacon back to the pan and mix thoroughly.

Serve over your new favourite noodles! This is enough sauce for 4 servings.

March 25, 2014

7 Film Fests for Spring

In January we set you up with your local film festival viewing schedule, of which there is no shortage in BC. This month, we bring you the next round of festivals on the screen, from April to June. Our work has us up close and personal with movie making, so it goes without saying we’re big fans of films of all kinds. You can count on seeing us at many of these great events in the coming months.

April 4-11
R2R Film Festival
Dedicated to showing the best in culturally diverse, authentic programming for youth. In addition to the April film festival, Reel to Real offers year-round programs for youth.

April 24-27
Projecting Change Film Festival
Where environmentalists, film lovers, community leaders, local businesses and decision makers gather to watch films, discuss key issues and get inspired.

Apr 5-6
Vancouver South African Film Festival
Features and documentaries that explore the culture, history and politics of South Africa.

May 2-11
DOXA Documentary Film Festival
View the best of the new documentaries. DOXA is a curated and juried festival comprised of public screenings, panel discussions, public forums and educational programs.

May 21-22
Canada International Film Festival
This year’s Canada International Film Festival will showcase a wide variety of offerings, from North American and international feature films to thought-provoking shorts, documentaries, music videos, animations, experimental films, student films, a screenplay competition, and more.

June
Vancouver Festival of Ocean Films
Features local and international filmmakers and presenters in a multimedia event and film competition.

June
Vancouver Taiwanese Film Festival
Taiwanese filmmakers are starting to gain international attention with their high-quality films. Normally difficult to access in Vancouver, the Vancouver Taiwanese Film Festival gives locals the opportunity to appreciate these works.

It’s March, which means we’re firmly in shoulder season between winter and spring. The warm afternoon sun entices us to step outside before the chill of the evening sets in. One way we love to take advantage of those afternoon windows of sunshine is by treating ourselves to a little decadent something at one of our favourite local sweet spots.

The Gluten Free Epicurean

Try the salted no-oat chocolate chip cookies – possibly the best cookie you’ve ever eaten!

Aphrodite Cafe

Pie! What more do you need to know? Gluten free/vegan or traditional, by the slice or whole. However you serve it up, it’s delicious!

Faubourg

A great little French bakery cafe right across from the Art Gallery on Hornby.

Thierry

An authentic French cafe on Alberni Street with excellent coffee and macarons. A simple luxury.

Kokopelli Cafe

Great coffee, yummy treats and a play area for kids so the parents can enjoy said treats.

Beaucoup Bakery

Consistently voted some of the best croissants in the city, Beaucoup’s classic French pastry is indeed a buttery, shattering delicacy. Coffee by Parallel 49 is also good.

This Month’s Mondegreen

Client Profile: NSI

Line 21 is a proud sponsor of National Screen Institute in Winnipeg. We started in 2010 by offering our captioning services to the NSI Drama Prize winners. This year we were asked to take part in the Aboriginal Documentary Program and we jumped at the chance to be involved in its inaugural year. Over the past 4 years we’ve had the chance to work on some great short films and with some great emerging talent that we’ve seen graduate on to bigger and better things. We’re looking forward to seeing more of the same from the filmmakers in this new program!

 

February 24, 2014

Chilaquiles

Photo by stu_spivack on flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)
A hearty and traditional southern Mexican breakfast.
Photo by stu_spivack (CC BY-SA 2.0)

My family and I recently got back from an amazing trip to Puerto Vallarta, where this savory dish found its way onto my breakfast plate almost every day.

Adapted from this recipe.

Ingredients

12 large dry corn tortillas
3 eggs
4 tomatoes
1/2 c water
1 large onion, chopped
1 garlic clove
3 chilies or jalapenos
5 T oil
1 c grated cheese: Mexican queso blanco is traditional or you can experiment with what you have on hand – goat cheese, cheddar, mozzarella, etc.
shredded chicken or other leftovers (optional)

Directions

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add tomatoes and chilies and boil until soft. Drain and mix in blender with the garlic and water.

Heat 1 T oil and fry the tomato mixture. Simmer for five minutes, adding salt to taste.

Cut the tortillas into strips. Heat remaining oil in a clean frying pan, and fry tortilla strips until crispy.

Drain the oil and crack the eggs into the pan with the tortilla strips. Stir so they don’t stick. Add salt to taste and chicken or leftovers if using to warm them.

Place in a serving bowl, then pour the tomato sauce over entire dish. Sprinkle with onions and cheese and enjoy a delicious Mexican breakfast!

 

February 24, 2014

Spring Ahead with These 8 Staff Book Recommendations

While it doesn’t always feel like it (three days of snow at the end of February?!), spring is right around the corner. We thought we’d give you a kick-start on your spring reading by rounding up some staff favourites of late. Whether you’re looking forward to a little free time during a March Break holiday or simply curling up weeknights before bed, we’ve got a few great recommendations to add to your “To Be Read” list. (And be sure to read to the end for our latest Project Profile and this month’s Mondegreen.)

Steffani Cameron recommends On Writing by Stephen King

In the last few months, I have been returning to read Stephen King’s On Writing, as I consider it one of the greatest books I’ve ever read about how to write and why to do certain things or not. For style, language, clarity, and motivation, it’s simply the most plain-spoken and effective book on the craft out there. I’ve never done much schooling on the writing front, and a book like King’s makes me glad I didn’t. He’s very good at helping its reader understand it’s a big world of language and style, and there’s no need to homogenize your approach or your language to suit what’s taught in class. Case in point, I often start sentences with And or But and most editors would cringe at it, but it brings a conversational and down-to-earth tone that’s in keeping with who I am.

So, I’d recommend it to anyone who makes a living writing or would like to do so. Or just people who like a good read. It’s both.

Michelle Clough recommends River God by Wilbur Smith

River God is a perennial favorite, one I pull out of my shelf and reread in patches at least once a year. The story is set in the twilight years of the Middle Kingdom of Ancient Egypt, around the time of the Hyksos invasion, and told through the eyes of Taita, an improbably talented eunuch slave.

I was always going to love this book because I adore Ancient Egypt, but for me, River God also hits that sweet spot of genuinely good melodrama; yes, everything is a little over the top and broad strokes, but it’s all done so compellingly that you find yourself being swept up in the grand emotions of it all, particularly the poignant love story subplot. It also does a great job of getting into the mindset of an Egyptian man over 3,000 years ago, and it doesn’t shy away from showing the very different morals and values, particularly in relation to women’s rights, slave ownership, racism, etc.

Be warned that the sequels are a mixed bag. Seventh Scroll is a pretty cool adventure tale about archaeologists discovering Taita’s work in the 20th century and seeking the tomb he built; it’s fun Indiana Jones fluff. Skip Warlock and the other direct sequels, however; they definitely lose something over the original.

Carolyn Vetter-Hicks recommends The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

I read a lot. Constantly. It’s my way to chill out after a full day, when everyone is tucked in bed, and I can just escape for a while. I’m also still hooked on paper and can’t seem to adapt to e-readers!

As I hope to one day break into the world of youth fiction writing, I read a lot of this genre; it’s fun and takes me back to those wild and awkward days! One of the latest novels I read is The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. My 15-year-old daughter Adrienne also read it and we both loved it! It’s not very often that we can both say that about the same novel!

The novel is narrated by Hazel, a 16-year-old cancer patient, who falls in love with a 17-year-old former cancer patient named Augustus Waters, a handsome jock and amputee. The two meet at a cancer support group. The conditions that bring the two together are so sad and they are the most unlikely pairing of Juliet and Romeo, that it makes their love story hilarious, impossible, incredibly sad, and inspiring. Both Adrienne and I read this one in record time and closed the book thinking, “What a great story! I wish it wasn’t over.” It is so unlike any teenage or adult romance story we’ve ever read. The characters had so much going against them, but, in the end, found each other and embraced every moment together. I won’t give away any more of the plot, but it’s a big recommend from mother and daughter.

Alison Cairns recommends Eating Dirt: Deep Forests, Big Timber, and Life with the Tree-Planting Tribe by Charlotte Gill

I couldn’t read this book fast enough. Reminiscent of John Vaillant’s The Golden Spruce (another favourite), Eating Dirt tells the story of one full year of tree-planting in the 20 year career of author Charlotte Gill. The description of her year forms the narrative arc, while interspersed are fascinating tidbits about the logging industry, thoughts on environmentalism, the types of characters you encounter in the bush, on the camps, in the remote outposts where tree-planters are so often based. Having spent one season planting trees in northern British Columbia, I was instantly transported back to that time – the brutal conditions, the long and isolated days, but also the friendships and the satisfaction of doing something so hard core – and frankly the constant inner debate about whether what it is you’re doing is good for this planet or entirely the opposite of that. Gill describes this internal conflict with a beautiful literary style, humour and amazing detail.

Kim Downey recommends The Post-Birthday World by Lionel Shriver

Lionel Shriver’s 2007 novel, The Post-Birthday World, poses a question we all ask ourselves at one time or another: What if, at one specific moment in our lives, we had made a different choice? Irina McGovern lives with her partner, the intellectual and responsible Lawrence, in 1990s London. One summer night, she is tempted to kiss a friend, professional snooker player and all-round party guy, Ramsey Acton. In alternating chapters, the story imagines two possibilities: one in which Irina fights off her temptation, and one in which she succumbs to it. I have always enjoyed books and films that tell two (or more!) stories in one (think Sliding Doors, Groundhog Day), but what differentiates The Post-Birthday World from other “what if” stories is that Shriver never telegraphs what she believes to be the “right” choice for Irina, thereby challenging the reader to make that decision for herself.

Rachel Moffat recommends The House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III

The House of Sand and Fog isn’t new, but it’s still a great read. The characters are deeply flawed and seem bent on making ever poorer decisions as the story progresses. By telling the story from multiple perspectives, Dubus allows us to understand why each character behaves as they do, and how their individual beliefs, motivations, and backgrounds inevitably lead them into conflict. It’s a page-turner that will leave you by turns sympathetic and frustrated, but always entertained.

And to close, two quick recos from Siri Arnet:

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

Neuromancer by William Gibson

Happy reading everyone, and happy spring!

Project Profile: Rise of the ESports Hero

Rise of the ESports Hero is a fascinating look at a world many didn’t even know existed, that of professional video game players. It’s a high-pressure, high-stress, and highly paid career for the gamers that’s also a growing spectator sport. We were thrilled to caption this show and to have peered into the intriguing world of pro-gamers; we know you will enjoy it too. A big congratulations, too, to Rise of the ESports Hero on their recent Impact Award nomination! 

This Month’s Mondegreen

 

 

We enjoy a good Mondegreen as much as anyone! But you can relax in the confidence that, at Line 21, we work very hard to ensure we never create Mondegreens out of your dialogue.

 

January 20, 2014

Vancouver's Bountiful Film Festivals

Because the list is so long (and really, who plans that far in advance?), today we’re only going to give you the line-up for the next three months. Options for the rest of your “year in film festivals” will follow throughout the year.

DOXA Motion Picture Film Series

Next film  :  January 21

This series runs from October to February, featuring some of the world’s most outstanding documentaries. Put on by DOXA Documentary Film Festival.

View website.

North Shore International Film Series

Next film  :  January 29

Co-presented by the North Vancouver Community Arts Council and the Toronto International Film Festival. Features a wide range of hard-to-find cinematic entertainment. Films are presented over the entire year.

View website.

PuSH Festival: Film Series

On now!

The PuSh Festival expands the horizons of Vancouver artists and audiences with work that is visionary, genre-bending, multi-disciplined, startling and original.

View website.

MissionsFest Film Festival 

January 24 – 26

Part of Missions Fest Vancouver, the MissionsFest Film Festival highlights global mission opportunities,  and showcases over 230 international Christian organizations.

View website.

The Great Digital Film Festival

January 31 – February 6

Showcasing digital favourites on the big screen.

 View website.

Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival

February 7 – 15

Features unique films and presentations that illustrate experiences and cultures from all corners of the globe. Festival also includes live presentations, films, photography, live music, and international film and photo competitions.

View website.

Spark [FWD]

February 5 – 9

Celebrating innovation and inspiration.

View website.

Just Film Festival

February 28 – March 2

Social justice and environmental documentaries that go to the heart of issues confronting communities here and around the planet.

View website.

Crazy8s

March 1

Can you make a film in 8 days?

The Crazy8s Film Society assists, along with their wonderful sponsors, 6 filmmakers write, film and edits films within 8 days.

Production takes place Feb 14-21.

Gala Screening + Party March 1.

View website.

Vancouver International Women in Film Festival

March 6 – 9

Showcases films by both established and emerging women filmmakers from around the world. Includes films of all lengths and genres.

View website.

Rendez-vous French Film Festival

March 17 – 21

View website.

Vancouver Serbian FilmFest

March

An annual celebration of the best in current film production of Serbia. Check their site for updated information and exact dates.

View website.

January Mondegreen

 

We enjoy a good Mondegreen as much as anyone! But you can relax in the confidence that, at Line 21, we work very hard to ensure we never create Mondegreens out of your dialogue.

January 20, 2014

Chickpea Garlic Rosemary Soup

Warm and comforting, this is a great winter soup.

Excellent for a winter home-working lunch! Or for packing to the office.

Ingredients

1 T coconut oil or 1 T olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 t dried rosemary
¼ t crushed red peppers
2 c canned or soaked/softened chickpeas
2 c stock: chicken, vegetable, or your favourite. Or water!
salt
2 t lemon juice

Directions

In a saucepan, melt coconut oil (or olive oil).

Sauté garlic with rosemary and crushed red peppers until the garlic begins to brown.

Add chickpeas. Cook for 2 minutes.

Add stock.

Bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer for approximately 30 minutes.

Puree with a stick blender or in a blender.

Add lemon juice and salt to taste.

Garnish with a swirl of olive oil and a sprig of rosemary.

Inspired by this recipe.

December 16, 2013

Three suggestions for festive meals

We have one serious tradition at Line 21, and that’s an all-out holiday meal together. In the past, we’ve been on carol ships, up Grouse Mountain, in homes, and in restaurants all around the city, so we bring you some recommendations for a special festive meal with people who are important to you. Happy holidays!

We went to this amazing family-style trattoria last year, and were blown away. It’s an intimate, unpretentious location with absolutely amazing food and incredible service. In our group of around 20 people, we have a number of food allergies and sensitivities, and La Buca was able to coordinate a spectacular meal for everyone, juggling the various diner profiles with ease. Full points all around; a great venue for two people or more.

Up on 4th Avenue in Kits, this award-winning bistro provides a gracious, comfortable ambiance and delicious, high-end food and drink. Warm, delicious, fresh… steak frites or cassoulet, anyone? Great for a small to medium dinner party anytime.

We had a House Wine tasting party at Carolyn’s home one year, and it was amazing. House Wine coordinated cheese and charcuterie accompaniments from Les Amis du Fromage  and led us through a very enjoyable and interesting — and delicious — evening. Recommended for a great house party!

A Holiday Mondegreen

We enjoy a good Mondegreen as much as anyone! But you can relax in the confidence that, at Line 21, we work very hard to ensure we never create Mondegreens out of your dialogue.

December 16, 2013

Sour Apple Martini

Festive and flavourful.
Photo by Melissa Doroquez by CC BY-SA 2.0

What’s December without a little cheer? In our case, that comes in the form of Carolyn’s favourite celebratory beverage. Couldn’t be simpler. Cheers, everyone! And all the best for a happy, healthy and safe holiday season.

Inspired by this recipe.

Ingredients

1 oz vodka or gin
1 oz sour apple liqueur
1/2 oz green apple syrup
1 slice green apple, for garnish

Directions

Pour the vodka or gin over lots of ice into a very cold martini shaker.

Add the liqueur and syrup.

Shake vigorously and pour through strainer into a very cold martini glass. Garnish with an apple slice and have very happy holidays!

November 8, 2013

Cocoa Rice Puffs

Fast, easy, and not too sweet.

If you love chocolate puffed wheat squares, you will love these. The puffed rice makes them a great treat for anyone with food sensitivities, and you can adjust the sweetness to suit. The antioxidant-rich chocolate and the coconut oil – instead of the usual butter or margarine, corn syrup, white sugar, or brown sugar – also make these healthier than your average sweet snack. And only 4 ingredients!

Ingredients

4 cups puffed rice (if using honey-sweetened puffed rice, omit the sweetener)
1 cup coconut
1/2 cup very good quality hot chocolate mix + dash of high-quality sweetener if desired – but go easy!
1 cup coconut oil

Directions

Melt the coconut oil, and mix the other ingredients together in a bowl.

Let the oil cool to the point where it will coat your other ingredients — not too hot, not too cold.

Pour the oil over the other ingredients. Mix well with a spoon. Continue mixing while the oil cools enough to coat the other ingredients. If it hasn’t cooled enough, the chocolate will pool at the bottom of your muffin cups (though this is not necessarily a bad thing!)

Spoon into lined muffin cups. Enjoy!

Inspired by this recipe.

 

November 8, 2013

The Wonderful World of Mondegreens

Lucy in disguise with diamonds...?
Ever hear music lyrics differently from what they actually are?
There’s a name for that.

We’re all familiar with the phenomenon of misheard lyrics. There’s the one about Santa’s other reindeer. You know: Olive. As in “Olive, the other reindeer,” misheard from “all of the other reindeer.” There’s the puzzling line “excuse me while I kiss this guy” in Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze.” The urge to plant one on a nearby fellow seems out of place because it is: Jimi really sang “’Scuse me while I kiss the sky.” Remember the ELO hit “Blinded by the Light (written by Bruce Springsteen and also a hit for Manfred Mann)? Legions of people misheard the line “Revved up like a Deuce” and believed the song had something to do with a feminine hygiene product.

Quoting these misheard lyrics can be a fun party game. And now, we’re about to give you the means to take that game to the next level. Next time someone starts to tell you that God’s first name is Howard (“Howard be thy name,” rather than “hallowed be thy name”), you can confidently tell them that what they’re referring to is called a ‘Mondegreen.’

Back in 1954, American writer Sylvia Wright coined the term in her Harper’s Magazine essay “The Death of Lady Mondegreen.” You can read the story here. Mondegreens encompass more than just misheard lyrics. A Mondegreen is any misheard phrase that’s interpreted as something sounding very similar. We mentioned one in our newsletter last month: the actual phrase said was “Ever been to Riyadh?” but the Mondegreen heard was “Ever been to rehab?”

Mondegreens are captioners’ nightmares, which is why we work very, very hard to avoid them. It just wouldn’t do for us to caption Joni Mitchell’s famous lyric “A gay pair of guys put up a parking lot” instead of the correct wording: “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.”

We’ve written about the particular challenges of captioning music before. Refresh your memory:

Must-follow Rules for Captioning & Subtitling Music
Smells Like New Mayonnaise To Me

Now, speaking of party games… how about sharing some of your favourite Mondegreens on the Line 21 Facebook page?

Project Profile: Highway Thru Hell

Whether you’re a fan of big trucks, roadside problem solving, beautiful BC, or human stories, Highway Thru Hell is a documentary series you won’t want to miss. Featuring Jamie Davis Trucking based in Hope, BC, this series follows the adventures and mishaps that occur on the famous Coquihalla highway in BC’s interior. One to watch and thoroughly enjoyed by our captioning and scripting departments. Thanks to Great Pacific for being our clients!

Highway Thru Hell airs Tuesdays at 7 pm on Discovery Canada. Find them on Facebook.

October 22, 2013

When Reality TV Informs Reality: A Frightening Prospect?

A huge growth market for Line 21 is transcribing raw footage and interviews for reality TV shows. As you may know, reality TV shows shoot huge quantities of digital footage, most of which is boring or mundane (even to the point of monitoring empty rooms for hours at a time), and then the hours of dross are edited to create one hour episodes of coherent narrative… and can we please make those hours as dramatic as possible?!

The result can be a highly entertaining viewing experience. But most of us aren’t fooled into thinking it’s really “reality”. We recognize the editing that’s required to create the entertainment, and we know that one person’s poorer qualities may be disproportionately featured in order to create a villain, or another player’s momentary naiveté is being exploited so that they appear perpetually daffy. That’s just reality TV. But even shows that are written off as silly fluff are produced, edited, and managed by smart people with useful tools.

Back to Line 21’s task: we transcribe the hours of interview footage, which is then tagged and ordered in a database along with action and background footage so that, when “creating” the lovably daffy character, producers can easily locate material in support of their creation. The tagging and logging saves editors hours and hours of tedious searching for appropriate moments. A simple database search and the material they need is at their fingertips. Not surprising then, that the reality TV industry has developed lots of solutions for transcribing, logging, storing, and managing footage.

So imagine our surprise when we recently read of a new report titled “The Future of Air Force Motion Imagery Exploitation: Lessons from the Commercial World.” Prepared by the RAND Corporation, the report suggests the future of American Air Force surveillance should follow closely the reality TV model.

Yes, you read that correctly. The RAND Corporation strongly advises the American Air Force adopt reality TV practices to deal with the astronomical (and increasing) quantities of surveillance footage they collect. From the way they set up their monitoring stations, to the ways they tag and database images in their raw footage, American military intelligence has a thing or two to learn from “Jersey Shore.”

It might be funny or ironic at first glance, but step back a moment and recall: the techniques the intelligence community is being advised to adopt were created for the purpose of creating reality TV: a medium in which very little premium is placed on “reality” and a huge premium is placed on “constructed entertainment.” At what point along the road does “reality TV editing” slip into “reality editing”? Is there a dangerous boundary here that someone’s about to merrily blur?

For more articles on this somewhat frightening idea, check out this article and this article.

Transcription Pro Tip

There’s a big difference between going to Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, and going to rehab. But when discussing middle east travel plans recently, rehab is what was heard, creating a bit of an awkward moment before it was understood and laughed off. Always be sure you’re listening carefully – in transcription and in regular life!

Project Profile

From Andrew Orenstein, the creator of Malcolm In The Middle and Third Rock From the Sun, Package Deal is about the inevitable conflict and hijinks that arise when a shopkeeper falls in love with a lawyer who has an overly close, dysfunctional relationship with his two older brothers. Check it out on City TV, Mondays at 8:30! Captioners find it laugh-out-loud hilarious. Thanks for letting us work on this show! And congratulations to Thunderbird Films!

Find them both on Facebook:

Package Deal
Thunderbird Films

 

 

October 21, 2013

Pumpkin Banana Muffins

Hearty, nutritious, and aromatic with pumpkin spice!

Muffins are very nearly the perfect food. Great for breakfast, a snack, or even with soup, they’re filling but healthy and you can sneak in all kinds of fruit and vegetables to pack them full of nutrients. These ones have a decidedly fall flavour to them with the addition of pumpkin pie spice blend, which gives off that unmistakable aroma that lets us know autumn is definitely here.

Adapted from this recipe. Makes 15 to 18 muffins.

Ingredients
2 c flour mix, like all-purpose and whole wheat (for gluten-free muffins, try 1 ½ c brown rice flour and ½ c amaranth flour)
½ c brown sugar
1 t baking powder
½ t baking soda
1 t cinnamon
1 t pumpkin pie spice (see recipe below)
2 mashed bananas (could be frozen/defrosted)
1 c pumpkin or other squash puree (cut squash in half, bake at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes or until tender, cool, then scrape out the flesh)
¼ c olive oil or melted butter
2 eggs
1 t vanilla

Directions
Preheat over to 350 degrees. Mix all dry ingredients with a fork. In a separate bowl blend all wet ingredients. Add the wet ingredients into the dry. Note that if you are using gluten free flour, over blending isn’t a problem because you can’t overwork the gluten if it’s not there. So I use a hand blender to add more air into the mix.

Pour or spoon into greased or lined muffin cups, and bake at 350 or slightly lower until cooked through, about 30 minutes.

Pumpkin Pie Spice (great for all kinds of baking and also delicious on top of oatmeal!) Recipe from The Rising Spoon.

Ingredients
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
2 pinches ground cardamom

Mix together! Store in an air-tight container for up to one year.

September 16, 2013

Here Comes the VIFF!

VIFF's #mustseebc
VIFF’s #mustseebc

Here comes the VIFF! The 31st Vancouver International Film Festival is coming up September 26 to October 11. And new on tap is its #mustseebc campaign where the public is invited to preview, promote, and vote for BC films across social media in order to honour an upcoming BC film with the Audience Must-See Award.

The VIFF is highlighting 12 BC films and presenting, in addition to the above-mentioned #mustseebc audience choice award, two major prizes for these films: the Best BC Film Award and BC Emerging Filmmaker Award. Some of the films are also eligible for the Canadian First Film Award. We are proud to have worked so far on five of these 12 films, which run the full range from beautiful to stirring to hilarious, and we’re super excited to see the rest of them. Plus, don’t miss the BC Music Series and the BC Short Films also at the VIFF.

That’s a lot to take in, so to get you sorted, the VIFF has a quick-start miniguide, which you can download here. See you at the festival!

Transcription Fail

Thanks to one of our loyal readers who sent in this rather hilarious correction piece. The sight of 30,000 pigs floating down the river would have been quite the news item!

Supplier Profile

One of the things that is really important to Line 21 is to make sure that our staff is well taken care of—that wages are fair, the workplace and conditions are as comfortable as possible, and that we have a robust benefits plan in place that includes life and accident insurance, critical illness and disability insurance and extended health and dental coverage. As service providers, we respect and appreciate excellent service and advice, and so we have a custom small-business benefits package created and administered for us by the Immix Group, a local Vancouver company who we think are the best in their field. We can’t recommend them highly enough to other businesses. Having a good benefits package means that our staff know that they are valued, and owners Anthony and Lindsay make it cost-effective, comprehensive, and administratively painless!

September 16, 2013

Roasted Beet Salad

A delicious and easy salad that takes you from summer into fall.

September may signal fall but we’re still enjoying the last gasp of summer around here. That includes all this glorious late-season produce. Beets are sweet and delicious right now, and this salad, adapted from this recipe, is a perfect transition meal from the bright flavours of the past month into the cosy comfort food of autumn.

Ingredients

4-8 beets, washed
head of greens (such as arugula, spinach, romaine, lettuce, or your favourite combination)
4 oz soft goat cheese
1/2 cup shelled pistachios, toasted and chopped
juice from 1/2 lemon
Kosher salt
ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

Wrap each beet in foil and roast in the oven at 350 degrees until tender to the fork. Cool, then remove peel and cut into wedges. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Toss greens in a salad bowl. Top the salad by arranging the beets on top of the greens, then adding the goat cheese in chunks or dollops. Sprinkle pistachios over salad. Whisk together the remaining ingredients and pour over. Enjoy!

August 19, 2013

Apricot-Blueberry Sorbetto

Apricot Blueberry Sorbetto
A refreshing treat for the last of those hot August afternoons.

This recipe is the solution to your summer produce abundance problem. We have a farm share, and the apricots have been coming in hot the past few weeks; blueberries in August are cheap like borscht, too. This recipe puts these two great summer things together.

Ingredients

6 fresh apricots (enough to make about 300ml of puree)
1 1/2 cups of blueberries (roughly same as the apricots)
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup water

Directions

Puree the apricots and blueberries in a food processor (maybe add a bit of water). Put puree and other ingredients in a saucepan and heat on med-low (or medium if you keep stirring). Cook at a simmer for 10 minutes or until the sugar is entirely dissolved and the flavours have had a chance to blend, but not so long that it starts to smell like jam. Stir so it doesn’t scorch on the bottom of the pan. Take it off the heat and let it sit for a few minutes.

Once it’s cooled a bit, pour the mixture into a glass bowl and put that bowl into a larger bowl lined with ice. Put the whole thing in the fridge and leave it a couple of hours, until it is totally chilled. Then freeze in your ice-cream maker.

 

August 19, 2013

Line 21 Staff Share Their Summer Reads

It’s hard to believe the summer is coming to a close. It’s definitely a season that doesn’t last as long as we’d all like it to—we always want one more trip to the beach, a final hike up that mountain, a few more picnics with friends and family. But hopefully you found some lazy days to sit around and read some books. We asked some Line 21 staff what they were reading this summer and we got some great recommendations (plus reviews!). Read on to see what they curled up with on their beach blankets this summer.

Michelle Clough recommends Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

“I am a big sucker for stories involving historical England, emotional character drama, and passionate romance, and boy, does Ken Follett deliver. Set during the Anarchy, the novel centers around the construction of a Gothic cathedral in the fictional town of Kingsbridge… and believe me, once Follett is done, you will know almost everything there is to know about medieval cathedral construction! But it’s the characters’ struggles and emotions that keep you glued to the page. The point-of-view cast is a diverse assortment of genius architects, benevolent priors, driven businesswomen, and a particularly villainous earl who balances his “mustache twirling” ways with some truly disturbing mental derangement. The central story is well paced and easy to follow, the politics are interesting, and the love stories are compelling, emotional, and… well, sexy! There is also an excellent TV miniseries, but it takes different approaches to the characters and adds some new subplots, making the show and book very distinct from each other. If you liked the miniseries, or if you just like sweeping human drama set in medieval Europe, definitely check this one out.

Steffani Cameron recommends Tales of the City: Series, Books 1 through 3 by Armistead Maupin

Of personal relevance to me now after moving into a funky new apartment block with a fascinating group of neighbours on Victoria’s downtown edge is Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City, epitomizing San Francisco in the ’70s. Now a library classic, and given the “mini-series treatment” in 1993 for UK’s Channel 4 & USA’s PBS, these “tales” include an endearing cast of opposites living in a quirky ‘Frisco apartment building at 28 Barbary Lane. From the pot-smoking friendly landlady to the meek Ohio transplant, the tenants become family. Filled with heartache, pathos, and humour, “Tales” is an  8-book series, soon to be joined by a ninth volume in 2014. Great for the beach or a rainy autumn weekend, there’s no shortage of antics to enjoy here.

Siri Arnet recommends anything by Jasper Fforde

Fforde’s writing is so hilarious, you almost don’t notice how clever it is. “The Thursday Next” books are totally great, and numerous. The Big Over Easy is the first in the Nursery Crime series, (Yes, they are definitely as silly as they sound, but manage to simultaneously be engaging and smart, and everything a mystery story should be.)

Siri also recommends Year’s Best SF 14 edited by David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer

It’s not the most current edition (I think they might be up to 17 at this point?), but I’m always grabbing any sci-fi anthologies I find at the thrift store because you can never have enough.  The short story format is perfect for speculative fiction, a nice finite space in which to freak yourself out. That’s why I linked to edition #14, as that one had some particularly whacked-out tales, and even now a year later, I’m not sure my brain has fully recovered (don’t worry, I love it!). Short fiction is great if you want to read but don’t have a lot of time; and when you buy used paperbacks, you’re not as tempted to be precious about them, instead you just chuck them in your bag or back seat for whenever you get a spare second!

Leslie Foster recommends The Art of Racing In the Rain by Garth Stein 

I didn’t expect to like this book. There is a lot of talk about car racing, which I don’t have a lot of interest in. It is told from the perspective of a dog, an odd narrator at best, and at heart I’m a cat person. But I fell head over heels for this simple, fun, yet profound read. Enzo the dog is funny, philosophical, and full of wisdom. The lessons we learn and the heartfelt experiences of life told through his eyes made me laugh out loud and cry with abandon, often both at the same time. Equally charming are Enzo’s humans, Denny and family. It is a treasure of a book you will fly through, slowing down only at the end so this uplifting tale lasts just a little bit longer. The Art of Racing In the Rain is also coming to the big screen next year starring Patrick Dempsey.

 

Transcription FAIL: Caught & Saved by Line 21

In this month’s transcription fail we hear:

“Shetlanders have to live with the URBAN flow of opportunities.”

When in fact what was said was:

“Shetlanders have to live with the EBB AND flow of opportunities.”

Good thing we have a rigorous editing process to catch these!

 

Project Profile

Tune in for The Liquidator!

Produced by Anaïd Productions, who also brought you X-Weighted and The Quon Dynasty, among others, The Liquidator is in its third season, and we really enjoy the highs and lows of its characters in their pursuit of “the next deal.” Fast-paced, high-volume, and sometimes totally outrageous, expect the unexpected in the world of The Liquidator! Behind the scenes of the show, it’s a different world,  and we love working with their team of post-production superstars. Thanks for being our clients!