Running the clapstick. First year at Stanford Film School.
Sometimes the course of your life can turn on one small thing, one chance encounter. It happened to me, many years ago, the day Beverly invited me to visit her.
Of course I had the hots for her—pretty, round face, sparkling blue eyes, long blond hair. But ever since our one blind date during college, I had known we would never be more than friends.
I ran into her at Butcher and Stephanie’s wedding about a year after graduation. She was the maid of honor and I was an usher. During the reception, at a fancy club on the harbor in Marblehead, Massachusetts, Beverly and I wandered down the hill . . . CONTINUE READING: A Chance Encounter
We loved our first house in San Francisco, in the Excelsior district of the Outer Mission. We loved the fact that we owned it, loved that we had managed to move quickly enough to evade eviction by our last landlady (who had suddenly decided to move into our apartment), loved that our living space had increased to include three bedrooms and two baths, loved that we now had a huge, two-car garage with washer and dryer and a concrete back yard we transformed into a garden with roses and sunflowers and paths of brick and camomile.
We loved our location across from Crocker Park, loved taking our toddler to the swings there, loved jogging around the park, loved watching . . . CONTINUE READING: We Loved Our First House
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?
At 9 am Monday, I left my home near San Francisco for what proved to be one of my longest trips ever. Twenty-nine hours later, I reached my destination, after a grueling air journey.
But I hadn’t been hurled halfway around the world. I had finally touched down in Fargo, North Dakota, just halfway across the U.S., a mere 1450 miles from home.
At that rate—about 50 miles per hour—I could have driven there.
By comparison, some years before, in 24 hours, I flew from Singapore to Johannesburg to Nairobi to Kampala, Uganda—over 7500 miles. Another time I traveled 8800 miles from San Francisco to Singapore in 23 hours, including a very short overnight in Bangkok. Twice I had . . . CONTINUE READING: Why They Call It Far-go
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!
Today is the 100th birthday of my mom, Jeanette Tulman Zarchy, who passed away about two years ago. In her honor, I am republishing this eulogy I wrote for her memorial.
I want to tell you a little about our mom, whose life mirrored our nation’s history for the last century.
She was born Jeanette Dorothy Tulman on May 4, 1914. Think about that for a minute. She was born before the start of World War One, when Woodrow Wilson was president, the first of 17 presidents during her lifetime.
Jeanette was born at home at 107 Bristol Street, in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, a neighborhood of immigrants. Her family rented, then owned and lived in the three . . . CONTINUE READING: For Mom, A Century Later—We Miss Your Bright Eyes and Sweet Smile
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? . . . CONTINUE READING: Daniel Pinkham: The Unpredictable-ness of What’s Coming Next
Ten of us arrive, unannounced, at the restaurant on the terrace, hoping for an outside table.
The staff seats us quickly, then waters, breads, menus, wines, serves, desserts, and espressos us in style. The service is seamless, though during the meal I notice one of our waitresses hurrying by, looking harried. But we gab and laugh and catch up in the sun on the terrace, enjoying the company, the food, and the splendid New England day.
Eventually the waitress brings the check, with amends. “I’m so sorry about the delay. Thanks for your understanding.” . . . CONTINUE READING: Unpunished
Earlier this month, I attended a workshop at AbelCine in Burbank called Sony F5 & F55: Practical Shooting with Alister Chapman for the DIT and DP.
The new Sony PMW-F5 and PMW-F55 both offer Super 35mm, CMOS image sensors, wide dynamic range, high sensitivity, and an extensive variety of internal recording options. Except for the black lens mount on the F5 and the silver lens mount on the F55, the form factors of the two cameras appear identical. . . . CONTINUE READING: Sony F5 & F55 Workshop at AbelCine in Burbank
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
I have just pledged money to two worthy film projects by Eliciana Nascimento and Eli Adler, and I urge my readers to do the same.
Eliciana, an MFA student at San Francisco State, took (and aced!) my Advanced Cinematography class this spring. She and husband Ben Watkins plan to film her thesis project, The Summer of Gods, in her native Brazil, and are trying to raise $30,000 to shoot and complete the film this year. The Summer of Gods is a short film about a young girl named Lilli who visits her grandmother in rural Brazil. Near her village, she encounters Orishas (African gods) who challenge her with a mission. . . . CONTINUE READING: Two Worthy Film Projects Need Your Donations
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