New Orchard Media

Highly Creative Video Production, Filmmaking and Education

Nathan Jongewaard is a veteran videographer, editor, producer, director, writer and teacher. He brings a lifelong passion for moving image media to every gig, every project, every lesson. He has hung his shingle, as New Orchard Media, in Alameda, California.

It doesn't take much

I was walking my toddler to daycare today, as I do most weekdays, and we arrived at a busy intersection nearby. The OX bus to San Francisco had just dropped off a heavily eye-shadowed sullen Goth teenager with dark feathered hair and was preparing to turn the corner on a green light when it just...stopped. Traffic starting backing up several blocks to the bridge to Bay Farm Island.

What was the deal? Why was the bus driver just sitting there? Did she have to stay there until a certain time? Was the bus broken? Were my son and I too close to the curb? I stepped back, then saw the problem. 

In the turn lane of the cross street, in the car-sized box of the lane with the giant words KEEP CLEAR painted in it, a woman was sitting in her minivan. Was she oblivious? Stupid? Selfish? Ignorant? Illiterate? Had she just made a mistake?

The KEEP CLEAR was added to the street about a year or so ago because the many busses that make that turn each day were always having trouble managing it without smashing into other vehicles, and snarling traffic. The OX literally could not have made the turn without the clearance afforded by KEEPING CLEAR that spot of the lane.

So in one dumb/oblivious/stubborn/mistaken stroke, this woman had instantly caused a traffic jam at 8:20 AM at a very busy intersection, one that would probably have a ripple effect that would last for an hour.

It doesn't take much to foul up the social system on which our daily lives depend. We don't often stop to recognize this, nor the immediate corollary: that the system is extraordinarily, almost magically, robust and complex.

The irony is that human beings long for the explicable, the comprehensible, to the extent that we rarely even acknowledge the incredible complexity of the systems that flow into our everyday lives, and even deny it outright (viz, Creationism). Yet this complexity is all around us, all the time.

from the Failed Policies Department

Hana Beshara helped operate a website that streamed "pirated" movies and TV shows. She was caught as part of a sting by the Department of Homeland Security. She went to federal prison for almost a year and a half. This and other arrests of similarly hardened criminals has stopped movie "piracy" in its tracks. Wait, um, no, not stopped...what's the phrase? Oh, yeah: had absolutely no effect on movie piracy whatsoever.

You can say, The law is the law and If you can't do the time, don't do the crime. Except that the law has been written by giant media corporations and their lobbyists to protect their own decades-old business models. The history of entrepreneurship—particularly in the media industries—is essentially a story of one "illegal" assault on old technologies and outmoded business models after another, trademark wars, intellectual property "theft," and rampant bootlegging that then turned into, say, the motion picture business, or radio, or cable television, or the VCR. Funded Ivy-league prodigies become billionaires doing this. Less gilded kids go to federal prison.

 

Rites of Passage

"Detasseling work is usually performed by teens; as such, it serves as a typical rite of passage in rural areas of the Corn Belt of the Midwestern United States." 

The former home of the Capri V theater. Ottumwa, IA.

This is more like how I remember it. Fourth of July, 1997. Men in Black was on its way to $51 million. John "Magic" Thompson and I launched bottle rockets down Main Street from the roof. Fireworks later, across the river over Memorial Park.

A Pitch for Terminator 6

I don’t know what Terminator 5 is going to be about, of course, since it won’t be out for a year, but here’s what I think should happen in T6:

A Terminator is sent back in time to kill John Conner when he’s like, whatever, 30, or something. (I know, the world ended in T3. Big deal, it’s time travel, blah-blah-blah, magic.) Anywho, the robot succeeds, in the first ten minutes of the film. Bam, Conner’s dead, mission accomplished. (Bonus if this time the adult Conner is played by Edward Furlong.)

Now the Terminator has to adjust to just hanging around in the present with nothing to do. He has to “live his life.” So he does stuff, meets people, becomes a member of the community, goes to college, falls in love, whatever. Eventually, he develops empathy for human beings and comes to regret what he’s done.

So he puts himself in deep-freeze or something and waits for the rise of the machines, then he hops back in the time machine, goes back in time and stops himself from killing John Conner. The End.

You’re welcome, Terminator producers.

Nobody Beats the Woz

If you’re that rare engineer who’s an inventor and also an artist, I’m going to give you some advice that might be hard to take. That advice is: Work alone. You’re going to be best able to design revolutionary products and features if you’re working on your own. Not on a committee. Not on a team.
— Steve Wozniak