Here are a few useful reference resources for film makers. FilmGrab and Cinema Squid  are both growing archives of film still frames. Just Screenshots does the same thing, but also categorizes TV series and documentaries.

Love this portrait of my grandfather, Bob.

A reminder from Jax that it’s important to make time to relax.

My furkid, Jax.

9 Film Frames is a blog that presents a grid of nine images from a movie that give a sense of the look and feel of the film.

Apocalypse Now (1979) / Directed by Francis Ford Coppola

Brazil (1985) / Directed by Terry Gilliam

Days of Heaven (1978) // Directed by Terrence Malick

I’m late to the chase, as this is over a year old, but that makes it no less lovely. To celebrate the best actors of 2011/12, the New York Times created this video gallery of short cinematic vignettes inspired by dark icons of film and starring the top performers.

What would happen if a wet towel were wrung out in space? Commander Chris Hadfield answers this question with a little demo aboard the International Space Station (where he is currently living).

Nine months ago, my wife and I adopted a pit bull from a local Brooklyn rescue organization doing amazing work. The shelter, Sean Casey Animal Rescue places over 100 dogs a month in homes and is widely considered the best operation of it’s type in New York City. They’re a no kill facility and only take-in animals that they believe can be re-homed. When we first went to visit the shelter and look at the available dogs, we were immediately drawn to a rather large pit bull named Judson. He eventually came home with us, and with a quick name change to Jax, he became a member of our family. At just 9 months old, he was already one of the largest dogs there. He looked so big in his crate that I didn’t even realize that he was puppy. While most of the dogs barked in a chorus begging to be chosen for the chance to have a walk and stretch their legs, Jax was calm. He licked our fingers over and over through the metal grid that separated us. But the thing that most attracted us to him was his stunning appearance - all white with brown pinto spots, yellow eyes and a pink nose. Suddenly, our plan to adopt a dog closer to 2 years old was awry.  We took him for a walk around the block. He had no idea how to walk on a leash. He bounced around springing high in the air. It was evident that (like all dogs) this was going to be serious work.

We thought that we should take a few dogs out in hopes of discovering some unknown detail that might help us figure out which one to take home. When the decision came down to two dogs (both pit bulls), we were finding it quite hard to decide which one was right for us. Pak was a slightly older, very mellow dog who was all black with a white chest and feet. I went back to the shelter every day for a week and spent an hour with each dog with the hopes that I might learn something about them, that one would give me the signal that I needed. The workers at the shelter could see that I was determined to rescue one of them, but was struggling with how to decide. Without pressuring, they gave their opinion that Pak was the right one. I asked question after question. Did they think Pak would be rescued soon, as he had already been there a few months longer than Jax? The answer - “It’s hard to say. Black dogs are much harder to place.”

My reason for posting this is simple. Even when deciding which dog to rescue, appearance, color of the fur is a major determining factor in which dogs will find a new home. As I mentioned, Sean Casey places over a hundred dogs a month. Nine months later, Pak (a sweet and very well behaved dog) has yet to find a home.

Today, I discovered LaNola Stone’s photo project Least Likely To Be Adopted. The idea was to take “fashionesque images” of the longest running residents of her local shelter. She photographed portraits of the dogs which were believed to be least likely to be adopted. After these images which display a sense of personality were taken, each dog was adopted.

(via Design Observer)

I was humbled and delighted to be included in Creative Review’s piece in their July issue on a new generation of documentary directors making films for the web.

8 Tips for better storytelling from Kurt Vonnegut.

File this under invaluable creative business tools. Designer, Jessica Hische has put together a useful posting for designers on how to put a price tag on their services. Much of the information can be applied to photographers, filmmakers and other creative professionals as well. Related - see also.

I just came across a great resource for filmmakers - a blog that sequentially lays out still frames for every shot in each movie posted. The result is something like a storyboard that allows us to analyze the cinematography of a film at a quick glance. The list of films posted aren’t shabby either.

The Burning House asks if your house was on fire, what few items would you take with you?

(via FREE / MAN)

It’s been a fantasy of mine for a while now to find a nice little parcel of land on a river or with a pond in upstate New York to build a modern cabin. I’ve just come across these lovely pre-fabs from Form & Forest. I might just have to do a price check.

Marfa, Texas is a notoriously unique artistic stronghold in the middle of a vast Texas desert. I’ve been daydreaming of holing up at The Thunderbird Motel on a creative sabbatical. More on Marfa in a video here.

I’ve long thought that GIFs at best could only be another example of pseudo creative, pseudo humorous web junk that might inspire a chuckle like lol cats or cats that look like hitler. I have to admit that there is something charming and visually poetic about this collection of GIFs.

If you are in creative services and work with clients independently or run your own company, here is the best advice you’ll ever get on how to protect yourself. Fuck you. Pay me. This Creative Mornings talk by the wonderfully talented and amusing Mike Monteiro of Mule Design will make you laugh. It will make you cry. It will make you want to buddy up with a lawyer but most of all, it will inspire you to make good business choices.

Frank Chimero created this study on typographic hierarchy for the typekit blog. His simple exercise is an invaluable tool to designers for print, broadcast and web alike.

Check out this cool how to convert your super 8mm film to a digital format with a DSLR camera.

..taken one minute out of your very busy and important life to donate a few bucks for the victims of the Japan earthquake? They need your help. Don’t be apathetic. Be a good human. Stop what you are doing and donate $10 to the American Red Cross Earthquake Fund for Japan. Text: REDCROSS to 90999

If you really need additional motivation to donate, here are the aerial before and afters from the earthquake. And here is the ground level destruction. The entire country was physically moved 8 feet on the globe. HELP NOW!!! If you don’t, you suck.