The interview site talking to Mac Users, Writers, Artists, Film Makers, Photographers

Still writing, blogging and making video for YouTube

The Answer 20 questions website was the main website for a while, where I had all of my websites all in one place, this was the place for Mac20Q, Video20Q and also Writers20Q. I decided then that Mac 20 Questions was going to be better if I moved it out on its own again. The reason I moved it was because of search engine considerations and it does appear be doing better on its own. Also I haven’t been making as many podcasts, at least not the audio podcasts. Instead I have been working on making the screencasts to put out on YouTube. It does look like, video is the way to go forwards and YouTube is the second largest search engine on the Internet. So mainly what I have been doing, is to create a video and then create an article to go with that video on one of my websites. I have been concentrating on the Mac20Q side of things lately and the NoStylus website with occasional articles on the website for Thunderbolt reviews and podcaster microphones. The videos I make tend to be about applications that I use on the Mac and this is because I can easily do a screen recordings of what is happening on my Mac screen. I would also like to do video showing how to use applications on the iPad, but I find they don’t work out so well if I have to record the video over the shoulder. The quality of the image is not as good, especially the part of the image that is the view of the iPad.

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I have seen that there is some software available now that will allow me to mirror what is on the iPad on my Mac computer screen and in that case I would be able to record it using ScreenFlow. The only problem with that is that I don’t have an iPad 2 and I won’t be able to afford to buy the iPad 3 which is due out in about a week. It is necessary to have at least an iPad 2 to be to use this other software for the mirroring. Maybe if I get some work during the summer time I will be out to afford to buy the latest iPad when it comes out.

As far as the writing is concerned, I am still very interesting in the process of writing and I did take part in the NaNoWriMo in November of last year. I wrote my 50,000 word novel which will probably never be finished as it was complete drivel. I am still proud that I managed to write that many words in just 30 days though. If I do NaNoWriMo again then I will surely do some preparations before getting started, so that I have the outline available for the story and I will know what I need to write each day. On my first NaNoWriMo though, I wanted to give myself the challenge of having to write the 2000 words per day by letting the text just flow from my consciousness.

If you would like to see what I have been doing with my videos please have a look at the Wizardgold channel on YouTube. You can also have a look at those other websites to see all the articles that I’ve written about using the Mac and also about using the iPad. I do have to say that one important thing with regards video, is that it does take more time than writing. On the other hand, if a picture is worth a thousand words then a video must be worth around ten thousand words. By concentrating on making the YouTube videos during the first two months of 2012 I have seen a threefold increase in the number of views of my videos. Obviously that is very pleasing indeed.

Posted in Wizardgold.

Writers20Q Podcast 15 – Philippa Ballantine

Fantasy Writer

Philippa Ballantine is a writer of fantasy novels from New Zealand and you can find her work on her Website. This is quite a long interview as we were having such a good chat and she had so much to say about lots of details do to with being an author.

I am listening to her novel Chasing the Bard now and enjoying the story Seeing as I was born in Stratford upon avon I feel I have a tenuous – very tenuous link to Shakespeare himself. So I like the way that Shakespeare is woven into the story as a fictional character. Philippa reads the story well and it is entertaining. You can get it by going to Podiobooks

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She is going down the traditional route of getting published alongside the new and exciting podcasting of novels and electronic Books to use on the likes of the Kindle and the iPad.

Although from NZ Philipa is in the U.S. for most of this year to promote her work at conventions and signings. In the interview she also tells us about a course she is giving in fantasy writing. On Saturday 19th February, Philippa Ballantine will be at Borderlands Books reading from the as yet not released Spectyr, and signing books. Afterwards will probably find a local pub and kick back. Philippa says  ”I hope some of you can make it out. Borderlands is a great store, and my favourite place to shop in San Francisco.”

About Philippa Ballantine

Born in Wellington, New Zealand, Philippa has always had her head in a book. For this she blames her father who thought Lord of the Rings was suitable bedtime reading for an eight year old. At the age of thirteen she began writing fantasy stories for herself.

She first earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Political Science and then a Bachelor of Applied Science in Library and Information Science. So soon enough she found herself working in the magical world of libraries where she stayed for over a decade.

Her first professional sale was in 1997, and since then she has gone on to produce mostly novel length fiction. In 2006 she became New Zealand’s first podcast novelist, and she has voiced and producedWeaver’s Web, Chasing the Bard, Weather Child and Digital Magic as podiobooks. Her podcasts have been short listed for the Parsec Awards, and won a Sir Julius Vogel award.

Philippa is the author of the Books of the Order series with Ace- the first of which Geist was released in October 2010. Spectyr (June 2011), Wrayth (2012) and Harbinger are to follow. She is also the co-author of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series with Tee Morris. Phoenix Rising will debut in May 2011.

When not writing or podcasting, Philippa loves reading, gardening, and whenever possible traveling.

Subscribe to the Writers20Q Podcast

Posted in Writers20Q.

Video20Q Podcast 24 featuring Nic Baisley of Film Snobbery

FilmSnobbery.pngNic runs Film Snobbery and was a delight to listen to in the podcast I know if you are a film buff you will enjoy hearing out chat.

FilmSnobbery.com shines a spotlight on independent filmmakers and their projects, and gives exposure to great films that would otherwise be ignored by the mainstream media.

FilmSnobbery Live! is a web broadcast live interview show that takes an in depth look at the rapidly changing world of indie film. Host and film critic Nic Baisley gets up close and personal with the people at the leading edge of indie film to uncover the stories behind the making of their movies.

You can watch it all happen, and participate in our live chat room, every Thursday night at 10 EST/7 PST

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Posted in Video20Q.

Writers20Q Podcast 14 Stacey Keith

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Stacey is the famous author of the book ‘Drive Your Woman Wild in Bed’ tells me how she skived off from school so she could write her first novel. I was flabbergasted to hear that she was only 19 when you wrote her self help sex book and described some of the difficulties in getting the book published. It is totally amazing that she was able to do that and not get ripped off by the published and agents, it seems it wasn’t easy though.

Stacey is of the old school in as much as she writes long hand with pen and paper. I find that totally weird seeing as it is so easy to use a computer and the writing has to go on a computer at some point anyway. It must be really difficult to do any editing when it is all on paper. But the important thing is that you get the ideas and the story out of the head and made real. I suppose my problem is that I am such a tech head geek. When asked about where she saw her writing going in the next five years Stacey was enthusiastic about the possibility if having control of the publishing, perhaps through self-publishing. Especially seeing as the publishing houses now expect authors to get out and promote their own work to a large extent also.

Stacey Keith has been on more than twenty talk shows, including “Montel Williams,” “Geraldo Rivera,” “Real Personal with Bob Berkowitz,” “Sally Jesse Raphael,” and “Joan Rivers.” In addition to hundreds of radio interviews, Stacey has lectured throughout the United States and the University of Toronto. I really enjoyed talking to her about her writing and I would love to see her move to a second stage of her writing career now that her children are getting grown up. In her blog she has plenty to say and also performs a agony aunt role with answering peoples’ questions about various topics.


During the interview I mention that I have recently self published and information eBook, and I did it though Lulu.com. I was stunned how easy it was to set it up. I exported the eBook out of Scrivener into the correct ePub format. I got an ISBN from Lulu.com and it will be going live on the iBookStore and I think the Amazon Kindle store too. Delighted that it was possible and the next thing for me to do is to promote the book, I think that is certainly the bigger job.

Posted in Writers20Q.

Writers 20Q Podcast 13 John Oehler

John Oehler Thriller writer

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My wife was sitting on the bus coming back home from Girona and in the next seat was a guy talking to a friend about his writing and his stories. I was fortunate that she spoke to the guy and asked him if he would be interested in appearing on a podcast for writers. Well the long and short of it is that John Oehler and I worked out a time to record a conversation about writing.

Social networking and the writer

We discussed the use of social networking for writers and how to build an audience or a fan base by talking to people on line. Drip feeding bit of story to the public and getting them hooked on your stories. Seeing as the Independent film making community are doing great with the use of Facebook and Twitter.

Used Ladies underwear

Smelly knickers

John and I talked about all sorts of thing to do with writing and among them was the story that was on NCIS recently on TV which had used ladies underwear as the subject matter. I was a bit miffed because I had written a story / sketch based on the very same subject. I’d heard about vending machines with used underwear in from a guy that had visited Japan. I was amused by what he had told us about and I started into a story involving knickers. We were talking about cultural differences, east and west. Anyway my story is more comedy sketch than murder mystery. This came up in conversation and also tied in with what John had to say about perfumes.

Continue reading

Posted in Writers20Q.

Video20Q Podcast 23 Christina Rose actress

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Christina Rose is a totally delightful actress based in New York and Video20Q was lucky enough to get an interview with this extremely talented young woman.

This singing, dancing, fighting, acting, piano playing whirlwind is hitting the TV and movie world after having experience on the stage in the touring musical Oklahoma. She is working lately with Gary King on ‘Death of the Dead‘ and ‘How Do You Write a Joe Schermann Song‘.

In ‘Death of the Dead‘ which is a horror, comedy action movie, Christina plays Wanda, a sexy variety and a nerdy sort too. High kicks and ninja zombies, does it get any better than that.

Christina will be able to better showcase her musical talents, singing and playing the piano in the movie ‘How Do You Write a Joe Schermann Song

In the interview we talk about using improvisation when acting, and the nuts and bolts of being involved in the movie business. There are funny stories that have Christina relates during the interview and she tells me how she enjoys being an actress in New York.

Christina likes to go to premieres of the movies that she is in and enhance the experience for her fans by taking an active involvement in social media. You can find Christina on Twitter and Facebook, so that you can make contact with this incredibly talented actress, singer, dancer, choreographer.

Continue reading

Posted in Video20Q.

iPad 32GB WiFi on last leg of European tour

The iPad must have started in China and was sitting in a warehouse in Piacenza in Italy. It is here we pick up the story. Next stop is an airport near Milan and onwards to Liege in Belgium. I suspect that it will be heading south in the morning to Barcelona.

Just saw that the iPad has got as far as Girona and slated as being out for delivery. I think I may be doing some playing this afternoon. I could maybe even do an unboxing video. Wicked or what??

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Getting Closer!

Posted in Wizardgold.

Video20Q Podcast 23 Angelo Bell Interview Part 2

Second instalment of the interview with the inimitable Angelo Bell. Talking about experiences of making movies as an independent film director.

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Legend of Black Lotus is a re-imagining of the story of Mulan. In his story, an Empress gives birth to a dark-skinned child who is prophesied to restore the war-torn kingdom to glory, but must endure the hardships of slavery to achieve her destiny.

Extended for one more day, every backer who joins Angelo on Kickstarter to help make Legend of Black Lotus will get a free download of Broken Hearts Club. Broken Hearts Club is a romantic comedy drama wherein an apathetic psychiatrist is force to treat and onslaught of melodramatic love-lost couples, and in the process uncovers the root of his distant behaviour that jeopardises his marriage.

For your free download, just visit his profile at Kickstarter . Once you join the growing list of backers you will receive an email, from Angelo with a special link for a digital download of Broken Hearts Club in addition to the perks associated with your donation!

Posted in Video20Q.

Video20Q Podcast 22 featuring Angelo Bell (Part 1)

Going to the Movies

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Angelo Bell is a writer, director and an independent producer in Los Angeles whose professional goal is to develop and create engaging and commercially viable, low-budget films. Angelo is an award-winning filmmaker with two best-in-festival wins for El Ride (as producer) and Until Next Time (as consulting producer and editor). In 2007, he set a record at the Los Angeles International Shorts Festival when four of his films were accepted.

I went to see the Knight and day movie at the local movie theatre in Platja d’Aro and enjoyed it thoroughly. But I have to say the screen writer should be shot. If I said to you that I was going to New York and I was looking forward to seeing the homes of the famous actors in Hollywood on the first day of my visit there and on the second day I will check out the cowboys out on the range in Harlem
You might think I was stupid or crazy
But then US writers think they can get away with having the Streets of Sevilla filled with the Bull running event which everyone knows – or nearly everyone knows – takes place in Pamplona.

The whole movie was a stringing together of action sequences that were well shot and made for a engaging movie as evidenced by the number of people that would agree with me that the time goes so quick while watching it. I think if the next movie I see is Shrek then it will be hugely more sensible than was Knight and day.

There is poetic licence and the suspension of WTF in the movies and things that have to be so for the sake of the movie but there are some things like the aforementioned Sevilla joke – that should not be messed with so that the film at least tries to have some credibility. That effort of trying – is what it takes for the viewer to have some hope of achieving the suspension of reality to be able to enjoy the movie by believing what is going on for at least the length of the film.

What do you think? Does it matter if the result is a very entertaining diversion in the cinema while stuffing yourself with popcorn.

News

YouTube has increased the limit allowed for the movies posted on there from ten minutes to fifteen minutes. Good news there seeing as I have sometimes found the 10 minutes to be too short for what I wanted to do.

The interview with Angelo

The first part of the interview with Angelo Bell the Director of films such as Resurrection of Serious Rogers which is The Usual Suspects meets The Professional — a multi-layered neo noir thriller about an assassin who finds redemption in the eyes of a nanny; a drug addicted FBI agent out for justice, a military hero hungry for revenge and the mystery man who controls their fates.

Angelo also made the Broken Hearts Club movie which is a raw relationship drama which after airing at film festivals got broadcast as a series on TV.

Angelo is deeply committed to the independent film movement and supports other filmmakers with their creative endeavours. through his blog at AngeloBell.com. He has been quoted in the Filmmaker Magazine blog and writes about DIY distribution, crowd funding and film sales. Angelo’s articles and film reviews can also be found online at AssociatedContent.com, HubPages.com and Examiner.com.

We had a long chat so I have split this into 2 parts I will publish the second part of the interview with Angelo next week

Posted in Video20Q.

Video20Q Podcast 21 Frederick Marx @WarriorFilms

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Academy & Emmy nominated Frederick Marx is either clever or lucky or both because he is able to follow his life’s passion and is able to live it every day. His mission as a filmmaker is “Bearing Witness, Creating Change.” Human change, human transformation – one story at a time.

There is ‘Hoop Dreams’ One of the most acclaimed and successful documentaries ever, HOOP DREAMS tells the story of Arthur Agee, William Gates, and their families over a four and a half year period, covering the boys’ entire high school careers as they pursue the elusive dream of professional basketball success. It is a three hour documentary following two teenage inner city Afro-American lads to play basketball professionally.

Frederick gives back to the film making community to with workshops and talks Speaking topics include:

  • Buddhism and Film
  • What young filmmakers need to know
  • Living a life of mission
  • The role of documentary in social justice
  • The changing landscape of independent film production and distribution – a 40 year perspective
  • Journey From Zanskar and educating your own children
  • Take the Zanskar vow – become a social change agent
  • The necessity of rites of passage and mentorship for youth


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The ‘Journey from Zanskar’ was a topic in the interview that Frederick spoke about in more detail. talking about the ordeals of travelling and shooting film out on the trail. He tells us about what cameras he was using and how he had to make do with other cameras when the main camera no longer was available to him. He got inside the lives of the people that were the subjects of the movie as should happen in a good documentary. The monks were able to tell their story to the world with the help of Frederick, who is clearly a talented and intelligent independent film maker.

I have to admit I learned a lot listening to Frederick and you will not be disappointed in hearing the podcast

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Posted in Video20Q.
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