Those interested in Mount Saint Vincent University's public relations degree might notice that their Google search results are always turning up the same two blogs. I've been monitoring Jill Pyle and I's search results climb for a little while, now, and this is definitely the highest I've seen myself.
Monday, March 19, 2007
Saturday, March 17, 2007
There are three weeks left in the last "PR" term of my degree at Mount Saint Vincent University. The term is ending on a positive note, as I, somehow, won the English Department's 2007 Literary Prize. This was very unexpected, and is certainly going to inspire me to write more. Recent short works can be found at my Creative Non-Fiction blog.
This summer I have four electives to enjoy, which hopefully do not involve group work, presentations, or any sort of communication plan.
I'm currently enrolled in:
- Roots of Peace and Conflict
- Philosophy, Special Topics: LOVE
- Canadian Poetry
- Roles of Women in Christian Tradition
- Fundraising in PR
We're travelling by train, and are looking forward to visiting hookah bars and stalking Leonard Cohen.
I'm going to miss my PR ladies this summer, but it's great to know that we'll all be together for an awesome graduation this October.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Friday, March 09, 2007
Imagine being a young filmmaker without professional equipment, funding, or the time to dedicate yourself to your art. One weekend, on a budget of spare change, you make a film with your friends. Now imagine that you can make a copy of your indie oeuvre and send it to one of the most famous directors and producers in history for your shot at a million-dollar production deal.
That’s what the Mark Burnett and Steven Spielberg reality television contest On The Lot is all about. Joshua Cross, 21, of Dartmouth heard about the contest only two weeks before its deadline, and threw himself into the process of making his first film.
“I think On the Lot is a fantastic idea. It will be very interesting how it plays out,” said Cross. “I think it could actually change the face of Hollywood. The show is giving nobody filmmakers the chance at a million-dollar development contract based on their talent and what the audiences want, not by who they know and what stuffy, greedy producers want.”
Cross is foremost a horror movie fan, although he also follows Asian cinema and independent film closely. For his chance at a million-dollar production deal, he chose to stay true to his interests and create a nightmarish “B” horror flick.
“I have had this idea for a horror movie since I was 17 or 18, and I've been playing with it in my head since then. When I heard about On The Lot I thought it was the perfect chance to test some of my ideas out on film.”
Although this was the Auburn Drive High School alum’s first time as a director and editor, Cross is not a stranger to acting. He has appeared in feature-length films (most recently John Stamos’ Wedding Wars) and is a graduate of Neptune Theatre’s Pre-Professional Training Program. Cross emphasized that it is important for him to lend his experience as an actor to his directing style.
“Acting is a lot about emotion, and I try to direct the same way. How a scene is written and how it’s shot is heavily influenced by how it makes me feel. Does it make me anxious, does it make me happy, does it make me remember deep, dark secrets of my past? I put that all into perspective when making a film.”
Cross’ On the Lot submission, Blood on Your Hands, was shot in February at his home. He recruited his friends, movie buffs themselves, to appear in the film. After braving the cold weather and struggling with poor lighting (the film was shot entirely at night), Cross had enough raw material to start editing. A first-time editor, he used Adobe Premiere Pro 2.0 to piece together his film in between his shifts as a host at Smitty’s in Dartmouth.
Now that Cross has submitted the final cut of his first film, he has begun to plan out future projects that may cause some controversy.
“I would like to act in some worthwhile projects, including some of my own projects. I'm currently writing a racial drama surrounding a small community of natives and whites that I would love to see done in the future. I want to push boundaries, I want to try new things, but most of all I want to make films that provoke and force people to question their morals, religious beliefs, and [the way they live their lives].”
On the Lot premieres in May on CTV.
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
And I didn't get to hear it.
Apparently CJCH's Rick Howe hosted the debate, which I assume happened this morning. The article the CP did isn't very detailed. I read the newspaper and listened to the radio before I left for school this morning, so I'm upset the event wasn't publicized.
The CJCH website is completely useless if you're trying to find information on the debate. There are only two press releases on the site; one from 2002 and another from 2005. I see they're keeping up-to-date.
I can only hope that a recording of the debate be distributed as quickly as possible.
If, like me, you were looking forward to hearing Dr. March speak, have a look at his Islam and Democracy page and read some of the lectures he gave in his recent cross-Canada university tour.
Monday, March 05, 2007
It seems SMU has just announced the debate is cancelled. CTV News covered this development on tonight's program. Both March and Taylor stated their interest in rescheduling. Taylor stated that Halifax didn't want listen to what he says is a logical subject for debate. CBC is also covering the story. At least Dr. March gets his money back.
This is the offical statement from SMU:
"For Immediate Release
March 5, 2007
University statement regarding Dr. Peter March and Jared Taylor
Following a review over the weekend by Saint Mary’s University and its Security Department, the University has withdrawn the use of campus facilities for the proposed debate between Dr. Peter March and Mr. Jared Taylor. The review, conducted in preparation for the event, included consideration of new information. The conclusion was that there is a higher level of personal risk and need for increased security than the University has the capacity to provide.
The debate was scheduled to take place Tuesday March 6, 2007 in the Burke Building on the Saint Mary’s campus.
The University is committed to fostering academic freedom and free speech in our diverse society; we also have an obligation to provide a safe environment for members of our campus community and those who visit our campus.
The University will reimburse Dr. March for any related expenses incurred in planning this debate."
I think this is unfortunate, but it is apparent that the situation was becoming increasingly unsafe for all parties involved. Hopefully the debate can be rescheduled.
Jared Taylor, a well-known "race realist", will take on Dr. Peter March in a debate tomorrow night at Saint Mary's University, in Halifax. Last month's planned debate with Dalhousie professor David Divine was cancelled, and his visit to Halifax was cut short after protesters physically forced Taylor out of a building where he was scheduled to speak with journalists.
In no way do I support Taylor's views, but I do support his freedom of speech. Believing you can deny one's freedom of speech is an elitist standard that is both hypocritical and dangerous. Still, I definitely support one's right to protest, and will probably be at SMU before the debate to voice my concerns regarding Taylor's views.
The Chronicle Herald published an article saying that users of Halifax Locals were planning an "inter-racial make-out party" to make a statement at the debate. After skimming through a few posts, it seems that was mostly said jokingly. Halifax Locals is also home to a Dr. March impersonator (I'd be very surprised if it was the real guy) who is posting infrequently, and seemingly supporting the anti-Taylor camp.
I am a big fan of Dr. March. I've met him several times (most recently at a Matt Mays concert) and have found him to be a very intelligent, pleasant man. I am planning on attending this debate, mostly to hear March speak. The auditorium where it will be held can only fit around 200 people, so arriving early will be in my plan.
During my walk down North Street this afternoon, I read a few posters that informed the public of a protest to be held outside the Burke Building at SMU. Protesters are showing up at six to voice their opinions regarding Taylor's apparent racism. On the other side of the coin, members of Storm Front, a white supremacy organization, are planning on attending. I'm sure they're a great bunch of rational-minded people (note my sarcasm, please).
According to an email a Taylor protester, Aaron Doncaster, received, violence from Taylor supporters has been threatened:
"I'll be at the Jared Taylor speech March 7th and I'll be posing as "one of you"...actually several of us will be posing as one of you. I'm going to give you fair warning, you will not be able to detect us and we will remain close to you all night. If we even suspect you of attempting to interrupt Mr. Taylor's speech I'll cut you so bad and so fast no one will know what happened. I'll make sure what I do to you has lasting long term effects. I know where you live, I know where you hang out, I know who you hang out with and I'm not afraid of being caught and going to jail."
No one should have to fear for their safety while attending a public debate. My hopes are that the debate occurs without violence or disruption, and that each man exercises their freedom of speech without interference. There's a hearty dose of optimism for you.
Look for an update tomorrow night on the March vs. Taylor debate.