Whenever my dad wanted to speak metaphorically about Podunks—places that were remote and sparsely populated—he often cited Broken Elbow, Indiana, and Frozen Dog, Iowa.
I always assumed they were real places, and recently I dug around to find out how they got their colorful names. Internet research truly is the best!
Googling “Broken Elbow, Indiana” yielded a few promising results: a juicy lead about an Indiana Pacers player (Chris Copeland) who broke his elbow; an informational site for medical elbow and shoulder providers in Indianapolis; another site for orthopedic surgeons in northwest Indiana; and a news alert about an Oakland A’s player (from Indiana) who broke his elbow throwing a pitch this weekend.
My search for the origins of . . . CONTINUE READING: Pop’s Podunks
Bronze Certificate, Funny Travel Category, 9th Annual Solas Awards for Travel Writing from Travelers’ Tales, March 2015
It’s not easy being a mileage whore. Sometimes you have to do things that don’t seem to make sense.
United Airlines operates a major hub in San Francisco, and I’ve whored for their miles for years now. On my trip to Brazil recently, because I wanted the mileage, I had chosen a longer United itinerary through Newark going and Washington coming.
But when things got complicated on the return, I had to decide if the miles were worth it.
We wrapped our week-long video shoot in São Paulo on a Friday night—amid much hugging and thanking with the cast . . . CONTINUE READING: Good Night, Irene—Confessions of a Mileage Whore
I just found an online page which appears, at first, to be a review of my book SHOWDOWN at SHINAGAWA. Then I read the page all the way through. I know these are English words, but … is this English? My favorites are learning that “SHOWDOWN at SHINAGAWA … lets you cook flavorful and tasty food without the hassles” and “will go a long way to discourage mischievous activities at the home or business. The one is simply the ultimate for the budget-conscious hunter that refuses to sacrifice performance.”
Here is the whole piece, from suchwatch.com, which purports to be an “Internet online shopping directory:”
Showdown At Shinagawa: Tales Of Filming From . . . CONTINUE READING: New Book Review? Is This English?
My book SHOWDOWN at SHINAGAWA tells true stories from my long career as a director of photography, working on film and digital cinema shoots across the U.S. and all around the world—Japan, India, China, Uganda, the Philippines, New Zealand, France, Singapore, England, Taiwan, Mexico, and Brazil.
The book has recently been honored as a Commended Winner in Non-Fiction in the 2014 Self-Publishing Review Awards. One of the three highest non-fiction awards!
“Funny, sweet, and wise…deeply moving human interest stories…the doctor in India who doesn’t charge for treating people via telemedicine, the young man in England with cystic fibrosis who has a new lease on life thanks . . . CONTINUE READING: New Award & Reviews for SHOWDOWN at SHINAGAWA: Tales of Filming from Bombay to Brazil
SHOWDOWN AT SHINAGAWA: Tales of Filming from Bombay to Brazil
New Book by BILL ZARCHY on sale now!
Introduction by Larry Habegger
Bill Zarchy’s new book—SHOWDOWN at SHINAGAWA—is now on sale at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle e-book versions. SHOWDOWN AT SHINAGAWA: Tales of Filming from Bombay to Brazil tells true stories from Zarchy’s long career as a director of photography, working on film and digital cinema shoots across the U.S. and all around the world—Japan, India, China, Uganda, the Philippines, New Zealand, France, Singapore, England, Taiwan, Mexico, and Brazil. . . . CONTINUE READING: SHOWDOWN at SHINAGAWA Now Available in Paperback and Kindle e-Book Versions
MY NEW BOOK SHOWDOWN at SHINAGAWA: Tales of Filming from Bombay to Brazil —will be published in just a few short weeks. I have received the first test copies and expect the book to be on sale everywhere in early November.
SHOWDOWN at SHINAGAWA tells 18 true tales of my long career working on film shoots across the U.S. and all around the world—Japan, India, China, Uganda, the Philippines, New Zealand, France, Singapore, England, Taiwan, Mexico, and Brazil.
SHOWDOWN at SHINAGAWA is funny and poignant, populated with a real-life cast of characters who add serious, silly, and sardonic perspective to our adventures shooting on the road. We overcome numbing jetlag, deal with cultural obstacles, and sometimes are rewarded for our efforts with a deep satisfaction. And … every day is different! . . . CONTINUE READING: SHOWDOWN at SHINAGAWA Will Be Published in a Few Weeks
A new profile on Dan Pinkham I wrote for Varney’s Place, the blog of The Kenwood Group:
“In college, I supported myself with a commissioned sales job at a prominent Westwood Village camera store. One day I sold a super-8 camera to Johnny Carson and had the pleasure of teaching him how to use it! That was a mind-blowing moment for a film school student, to be sure.”
Common knowledge about personality types: humans are either left-brained—analytical, detail-minded, mathematical, and logical—or right-brained—creative, thoughtful, artistic, and open-minded. It depends on which side of the brain is dominant, right?
Except new research released this month debunks the theory that we are each dominated by one side of our . . . CONTINUE READING: Daniel Pinkham: The Unpredictable-ness of What’s Coming Next
Predicting the future is a tricky business. It’s difficult to know what’s going to happen, and you never know whom you might inspire.
Jim Samalis, who joined Kenwood as Executive Creative Director on April 1, was reminded recently of a visionary film he made years ago, and was rewarded by seeing the fruit of some seeds he helped to sow.
The story starts seven years ago. . . . CONTINUE READING: On Predicting the Future: Roku’s Reward and Augmented Reality
Recently completed pieces for The Kenwood Group, for their Varney’s Place blog:
Giants Stadium: In the Shadow of Kenwood
Starting Friday afternoon and 81 times in the next six months, the neighborhood around Kenwood will be transformed. Thousands of people of all ages wearing Halloween colors and panda and giraffe hats will flood the streets around our office, their shirts bearing an odd collection of names which are common nouns like Posey, Pagan, Panda, Pence, Belt, Huff, Bonds, Snow, Mays, the Beard, and the Freak, as well as unique three-syllable names like Bumgarner, Vogelsong, Marichal, Scutaro, McCovey, and Lincecum. . . . CONTINUE READING: Writing Projects for Varney’s Place
The Facebook Page for Roving Camera: Bill Zarchy’s Blog passed 2500 Likes earlier today. It’s been my pleasure to write for you on a crazy array of subjects for more than two-and-a-half years, and I humbly appreciate your support, enthusiasm, and suggestions.
I’ll be publishing two books of my stories this summer and have more surprises in the works, so stay tuned! . . . CONTINUE READING: Roving Camera’s 2500th Facebook Like
Wearing my writer’s hat, I’ve recently cranked out two articles for The Kenwood Group about some of their projects, published on their Varney’s Place blog.
Into the Storm: Producing a Movie Marathon in the Face of a Hurricane
Imagine planning a live event long in advance, only to have the storm of the century threaten to shut you down.
On a recent project for NVIDIA, Kenwood managed to pull off a production just before Superstorm Sandy hit New York, but completing the project proved difficult in the aftermath.
The plan: producing the Rooftop Films Indie Horror Movie Marathon in Brooklyn, with scary flicks and features on several HD projectors, and a live band playing heavy metal. . . . CONTINUE READING: Writing Projects: Hurricane Sandy / Trip to Taipei
Imagine deciding to write a biography on someone you had met twice, a contemporary who worked in the same industry and lived in the same state, only to learn, several months into your research, that your subject has declined your request for an interview and asked his close associates and family to do the same.
This is the backstory for Steven Spielberg: A Biography by Joseph McBride. Undeterred by Spielberg’s lack of cooperation, McBride soldiered on. No slacker, over the next three years he interviewed 327 other people for this book, including many of Spielberg’s cohorts and relatives.
The result is a marvelous work, an unauthorized biography overflowing with McBride’s voluminous research, crisp critical thinking, and an easy, engaging writing style that refreshes like a clear mountain stream. . . . CONTINUE READING: Studying Spielberg: McBride’s Biography is Memorable … and Unauthorized
I’m very excited about the publication of the third volume in our new e-Book series!
No Definite Plans: Eleven Stories of Laughter, Love, Travel, is now available on Amazon’s Kindle Store and Barnes and Noble’s Nook Book Store. This new offering is by Townsend 11 (my writing collective), edited by Larry Habegger. I contributed a story (“Chartres: Ecstasy at the Altar,” about my family’s odd visit to a venerable landmark), as well as one of the two cover photos.
In this third book, No Definite Plans, you can learn how to hold it while rafting the Amazon, have an animated dream, witness a unique spectacle in a French cathedral, visit a women’s only sanctum in Morocco, and head for home in the Midwest. You will contemplate an emperor’s curiosity, discover the unexpected aftermath of adventure, and confront the inevitability of aging. And, in our first fiction offerings, you’ll meet unforgettable characters in China and India and ponder the generation gap in modern language. . . . CONTINUE READING: OUR NEW BOOK—No Definite Plans: Eleven Tales of Laughter, Love, Travel—Volume 3 from Townsend 11
Townsend 11 has published Volume 2 of our new e-book series—No Set Boundaries: Eleven Stories of Life, Travel, Misadventure.
For several years now, I’ve belonged to this collective of eleven writers (including one who lives in Barcelona). We meet monthly in a converted brick warehouse on Townsend Street in San Francisco.
We are committed to sharing stories that enlighten, entertain, and inspire. Our work is an eclectic mix that has been widely published in major magazines, newspapers, and books, and has earned numerous awards. Now, in this age of e-books, we’ve launched a series of works to engage you.
In our second book, No Set Boundaries: Eleven Stories of Life, Travel, Misadventure, you can witness a Catalan ritual in Barcelona, shop the Italian way, freeze on an English beach, deal with prejudice in Ethiopia, backpack down a frightening road in Cambodia, rest in a California garden, and glide along on a French canal. You’ll learn about a bent zucchini that’s not a vegetable, try to help lost travelers, break a leg on a mountain trail, and dash through an ancient city in India. . . . CONTINUE READING: Townsend 11 Publishes Volume 2: No Set Boundaries
I’ve been a filmmaker and writer for most of my life, but I’ve never written a film. There was no screenplay writing class at Stanford when I was in film school there, for some reason, and I never caught the bug.
Now, however, Julian Hoxter, my colleague in the Cinema Department at San Francisco State University, has published a wonderful book called Write What You Don’t Know: An Accessible Manual for Screenwriters. I can feel my life starting to change. . . . CONTINUE READING: Write What You Don’t Know
News from Townsend 11, the writing collective I’ve belonged to for years, here in San Francisco:
First—Volume 1 of our new book series, No Fixed Destination: Eleven Stories of Life, Love, Travel, was originally published in July as a Kindle book. But now we have made it available at most e-book stores.
Next—Volume 2 of the series, No Set Boundaries: Eleven Stories of Life, Misadventure, will be published in a few days on the Kindle Store, and through other e-Book outlets a few weeks later. . . . CONTINUE READING: Townsend 11: Volume 1 Now in More Stores, Volume 2 Due Out Soon