i went to the arlington cinema drafthouse last thursday for their “comedy film bucket list” club. the arlington cinema drafthouse is a combination restaurant / movie theater, and while they may not necessarily show first-run films, their showings are usually inexpensive. for example, on monday nights their films are $1, and tuesday nights their films are $2. they also have live comedy shows and other performances there too. i found out that once a month they’re doing this comedy film bucket list meetup, and if you rsvp on their meetup group then you and a guest can get free admission (i guess they figure that they’ll make the money up by packing it full of theatergoers who are buying dinner and drinks). they seat only about 300 people in the whole theater, i think. anyway, i rsvp’d and went to see “shaun of the dead” in the theater since it had been ages since i’d seen it, and even though i have it on dvd i wanted to see it on the big screen.
the next films for the comedy film bucket list are “this is spinal tap” for november (but i’m busy that day, oh well), and “trading places” in december.
this past saturday i went to the last charm city roller girls bout of the season. cynicalscribe put my name in to be on the photography list, but i just waltzed in since when i arrived it was still early and the ticket desk wasn’t staffed yet. things have changed since i was last taking pictures at roller derby – photographers who have been designated as “press” can stand in specific locations for their shots, but only those specific locations (rather than the “as long as you’re behind this line or in this general area then you’ll be ok” attitude from the past). apparently this is because at a different league’s bout a ref wasn’t looking where they were going and ended up falling over a photographer. at least, that’s what i was told.
there were a few other photographers there, and it was one of those photographers who told me about the designated spaces and how you had to stay in certain spots once the bout started. he also said that i had to get some special press credential from the ticket desk, so i went on up and talked to the skaters i knew at the desk and they really only gave me the same general-admission wristband that everyone else had. when i saw that i was the only one on the guest list under “photographers” and pointed my name out, one of the skaters at the desk said “yeah, yeah, i know who you are!” and the other joked “no, glenn, we’re not going to let you in!” it was kind of funny how other skaters i knew were coming up to me before the bout to say hi – i felt like i was practically a league mascot the way people were recognizing me and coming over to chat, haha.
just before the bout started while people were still taking their places i stepped out of my designated press photography box to take a few shots and the head ref barked at me to get back in my position. the one thing i didn’t like about the first designated spot i was shooting from was that it faced directly into the path of the skaters – usually when i take derby photos, i position myself just off to the side of turn 1, that way i can take more interesting photos than just head-on photos of the skaters, and i don’t feel like i’m blinding them with my flash as they’re skating towards me.
i stayed in this designated spot for a bit, but later i moved to another one of the designated spots during a time-out. the neat thing about this other spot i moved to was that it was in the center of the track, and i had never been able to take photos from such a location before. it was a bit like being in the eye of a hurricane with refs and non-skating officials running all around me. at one point i crouched down to change lenses and take a few shots and was barked at again. apparently you have to stand while in that spot the entire time – i had been told i just had to be within the designated box, nothing about standing, but it makes perfect sense as people aren’t going to be looking for some guy with a camera crouched down but rather will be looking for someone at eye-level.
most of my photos of the night were taken from that center of the track. i left my spot at one point to let one of those other two photographers take over if they wanted, but when i saw that nobody else was making an attempt to go to that spot i just went back and stayed there. it’s great shooting from the center of the track since i can just rotate at the same rate as the skaters circling around me rather than waiting for them to skate past me and then wait for them to skate by me again. as long as i’m rotating at the same rate as they’re skating, it was pretty simple to track them with my camera’s autofocus. although, in retrospect, i wish that i used my flash for more/all of my photos. even though i prefer the look of natural light over the artificial light from the flash, the photos that i took with my flash came out looking very nice. i made a note to myself to take all my photos at the next bout with my flash, but that’s not going to be until january.
i’m still editing my photos from saturday – i have about 150 more to do a rough edit on, and then i still need to look over things with a more critical eye.
after the bout this girl who helped with production introduced herself to me since she had never seen me before, and she asked if i was just a spectator or what. i mentioned how i’d been a league photographer for a few years and mya bloody valentine chimed in with “glenn? yeah, he’s a derby O.G.” i’m still cracking up about that.
speaking of photography, the photojournalists i help out in dc, we just got their new website to go live just a few days ago. i like helping them out, but there are so many things i can’t stand about the site (like the fact that it is flash-based) or that drive me nuts about the site (the template is very limited, the service feels quite amateurish). but, the site is now live, and just in time for fotoweek dc from november 5-12. november 11th is going to be our event, and it’s going to be a series of photos presented with a soundscape created for us by one half of thievery corporation, with dancing and drinks before, during and after. should be a fun time!
on sunday caryn came over to dc – she found out late last week that she has a job interview with the dc department of planning tomorrow, and she wanted to find out where her interview was going to be and how to get there and so on so she wouldn’t be in a panic on wednesday morning. she found the office, met me at my apartment, and then we headed back into the city and met up with spelchec and bruno_boy for lunch and the four of us took the metro over to the office she needs to go to so she could figure out how to get there from the metro station. turns out it’s right next to the waterfront metro station, so it’ll be a really simple commute. once she gets to the dc area from the eastern shore. we all then went for a walk around the city and ended up having dinner at the front page over by dupont circle. i wasn’t impressed with the food or the service for the price.
caryn’s been looking at housing options around the area in case she gets the job and moves out this way since she’d like to have a standalone house with a (fenced-in) yard for her dogs. but, one step at a time – she needs to get the job first. she’s still toying with the idea of just commuting to the dc area from her current place, but she also doesn’t want to have to spend 3-4 hours in the car every day, either.
one thing that’s been pretty neat is that now i finally have a use for facetime on my iphone / ipad / computer. for the past few days we’ve been us
ing caryn’s ipad and either my ipad or iphone to have video chats and see what each other’s been up to, and that’s been really cool. 🙂 …even if she did make fun of my cooking skills while i was making dinner last night. >:( hahaha. up until now my facetime usage has just been a quick “hey, let’s see how this thing works” with mom while we were in the same room together when she just got her iphone, but at least now it has a practical use! plus, imessage is going to save her a bundle on text messaging me, so that’s good too.