I got to see a sneak preview of the new transformers movie last night, and it transformed my dreams into a weird kaleidoscope of military landscapes. The movie itself was great! It was funnier than expected, and there were some not-so-subtle references to the cartoon that we all watched growing up. I especially liked seeing John Turturro again (he’s always great), and the cameo by Bernie Mac was fun too.

Of note is how I got the tickets for this one. They’re getting more technological in how they deliver these. For years now they’ve had you print out emails if you “win” tickets to a preview (usually from a newspaper or radio). The printouts really mean nothing, because they’re just trying to fill the seats, they don’t actually care if you won when you get to the theater. (Although, come to think of it, they’ll occasionally cross-reference with a printout of some kind.) Anyway, it’s not like they check the email’s headers or anything, and you can usually just forward your “winning” email to people and they can come too.

For this one I had to text someone. I got an automated response with another thing to text to the same number. Then they texted me back a second time letting me know they’d be picking winners the day before the preview. When tuesday came around, I got a text letting me know I’d won, and that I should show the text at the door to get in. Sure enough, they weren’t checking a list or anything, you just had to show them the text on your phone, and they let you in. They should have had more “winners” though, because the house was only about half full. This seems like an odd movie to have had so few people turn out for the preview.

Tonight is another preview for the new Harry Potter movie. Tickets for that one can be found on myspace.

impressions and computations

OK, well, Flashbelt is done. (With the possible exception of the bar that people are going to tonight. We’ll see. It depends on what’s going on later.)

I was totally and completely blown away by the last presenter: Jared Tarbell‘s work is absolutely positively phenomenal. Words can’t really do it justice, and honestly, I don’t even think looking at the websites can do it justice. The art is good. Awesome even, but the way he creates it is what will totally blow your mind.

In the middle of the presentation, (as if, somehow, ridiculously, it wasn’t enough,) Jared gave away a few of his prints to audience members who answered various questions sprinkled he in. At some point he asked a question summing two three-digit numbers (assuming you knew the fibonacci sequence), and I wasn’t quick enough to be the first. At that point I resigned myself to not getting one of these amazing prints. But then he asked a logic question that I blurted out the answer to without thinking, and suddenly I was at the podium gratefully accepting this amazing piece of art! Highlight of the conference.

It gets better. After his presentation was a “mixer” where I stick around and talked to a bunch of people I’d met throughout the week. Eventually I was standing near Jared and thanked him again for the print. He then asked me if I’d fixed my actionscript bug. I was taken aback for a minute, not knowing what he was talking about, and then realized that he’d been sitting next to me in another panel on Monday, and had been looking over my shoulder while I was debugging the latest version of Go Tetris!. I couldn’t believe it. I had no idea who it was sitting next to me at the time, and I’m pretty sure I even gave him a card.

I’m totally starstruck right now.


I’m at flashbelt this week.

I’ve learned some interesting stuff thus far, but seemingly more important to the experience has been a rising sense of wonder. As tech conferences go, I’ll bet flash conferences have a lot more art than other conferences. Anyway, the best presentations have been these crazy flash artists. Their work is of course next to entirely impractical, but so interesting that these guys probably make their livings traveling from conference to conference and presenting on their art. (I’m sure this is not entirely true, Joshua Davis, for instance, has actual art showings, and of course teaches classes in what he does.)

Anyway, at some point maybe I’ll sift through all the other links I’ve collected, and post some more of them. I didn’t have internet yesterday, so all of my notes were hand-written.