When the ancient Polynesians invented surfing, they often used a paddle to help them navigate. Fast-forward a few millennia, and Stand-Up Paddleboarding, or SUP, finds itself trendy again. Part of its increasing popularity is that standing upright allows surfers to spot waves more easily and thus catch more of them, multiplying the fun factor. Paddling back to the wave becomes less of a strain as well. The ability to cruise along on flat inland water, surveying the sights, is another advantage. Finally, its a good core workout. If youre sold on the idea, schedule an intro SUP lesson, free with board and paddle rental, and you may find yourself riding the waves like a Polynesian king.More
In the past 30 years, light artists have reimagined an art form that has always had the ability to turn the night sky, or a simple window, into luminescence. Last fall, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts turned its southern glass wall into a parade of sound-sensing lights, Lightswarm, that changes with the movements of nearby people and things. Future Cities Lab, the San Francisco design company behind Lightswarm, has originated another notable light sculpture. Located by the YBCA's steps at 701 Mission, Murmur Wall will light up in arresting ways as it incorporates local trending search engine results and social media postings. Onlookers can offer their own contributions, which will feed into the Murmur Wall's data stream and light up the sculpture. What's trending in San Francisco? If you're walking by the YBCA, you can see firsthand — at least through light patterns that reflect the city's volatile internet habits.
Murmur Wall debuts Thursday at 6 p.m. and continues through May 31, 2017, at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission St., S.F. Free; 415-978-2700 or ybca.org. More
Actually, if you can believe it or not, the Boxer blimp ad started with a focus group. It's a good bet that whomever was impaneled wasn't consulted about their opinions on lighter-than-air vehicles, but they did mention Boxer's ego annoyed them.
A straightforward ad might have simply had the gravel-voiced narrator mention "Her ego has grown so large that she's no longer an effective senator. Well, no one would have noticed that," says Davis. "So, I was thinking of a way to visibly portray [this] and I thought of her head growing and when your head grows it fills with hot air and floats." Davis acknowledged that the ominous, blimp-like device that barked instructions at citizens in the nightmarish cityscape of the film Blade Runner was a major inspiration. It shows.
The point is, people talked. People gaped. People made easy jokes. But they watched. And Fiorina didn't have to buy any TV ads. And those are expensive -- even if you're playing with Carly Fiorina dollars. And, unlike the demon sheep -- which was such an outright zany idea that many viewers probably have no recollection it was in a commercial about Campbell -- the Boxer blimp literally has Barbara's face on it.
Will we be seeing demon sheep and senators morphing into zeppelins on TV? "Odds are we won't," said Davis. There are some things that work on the Internet that folks getting ready to watch Jay Leno -- and actually looking forward to it -- won't appreciate. Davis has no idea what he'll do next. It remains to be seen how he'll top this.
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Stanislavski be damned, there's no method acting for a scene like this!
SF Weekly asked Davis a number of detailed questions about how he filmed the blimp ad -- and he was a good sport. For example, toward the beginning of the piece, Boxer's head swells and she ascends to the top of the Capitol rotunda, she crashes through the dome. We can't help but notice the elderly actors portraying fellow senators hurling themselves beneath the desk in a panic. How do you impart the proper direction to a couple of guys playing a bit part in a Republican attack ad on how to throw oneself beneath the desk with gusto as detritus from the mega-hydroencephalitis-sized head of a three-term senator is making its deadly mark below -- and action!
Well, whatever Davis did sure worked; those guys are ducking as if they were about to receive testimony from Tony Montana. That move was done in three or four takes. And it was executed using a plain old green screen -- the penicillin of all special effects!
On the other hand, the outdoor scenes were not shot via a green screen but via actual set pieces here in San Francisco -- thanks for showering money upon our moribund local economy, Strategic Perception, Inc.! Davis is unsure if the folks pointing skyward and running in horror are local actors or not -- but we sure hope they are. San Franciscans excel at pointing and running; it'd be a shame to bring in out-of-towners to duplicate our efforts.
Finally, responding to the oft-repeated line that his campaign ads of late have begun to resemble drug-induced visions, Davis calmly notes that this is not a very GOP way of looking at things.
"I think that's the way most Dems look at that," he says. "The way to fight [these ads] is to say the message is missed and it's a drug-induced craze.
"I don't hear that from many Republicans."
And that , finally, is a statement coming from the mind of Fred Davis that folks on both sides of the aisle can agree on.
Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left.
"Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015.
He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.
Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'.
Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"