Posts in Inspiration
Why I Switched to a Standing Desk

Elettra’s Leanne Kedrosky wrote the following post on why switching to a standing desk was right for her.

A month ago I switched to a standing desk for two reasons. One is that I have scoliosis, which is a back condition that makes it difficult to sit all day without pain. Second, sitting for a long period of time makes me feel lethargic and I wanted to evaluate if standing more would boost my energy. After purchasing the Oristand, a cardboard standing desk creating by Hootsuite founder Ryan Holmes, here is what I found:

1.    I really do have more energy! The 3 o’clock slump doesn’t crush my productivity like it used to. Instead, I can crush my work without feeling the need or a midday coffee and at the end of the day I feel ready to head to the gym or tackle the evening’s activities.  

2.    I feel better physically. I’ll admit, it takes some effort to keep good posture when standing all day, but it has made a big difference for my back. The soreness that used to show up in my back daily has pretty much disappeared.

After having such a positive experience to switching to a standing desk, I decided to do a little research to back up my claims. As it turns out, it has been argued on the TED stage that sitting is considered the new smoking because it can be so bad for your body in the long term. I’m extremely happy with the results from my little energy experiment this month and will continue to stand up for standing desks moving forward.



For your consideration…
The Oscar Statuette

Oscar noms were announced this week and the film industry is in the midst of a frenetic period of campaigning for the February 28 awards.  But what’s the secret to campaigning for an Oscar win?

Huge amounts of money are invested in Oscar marketing campaigns with Hollywood spending an estimated $100m to $500m on the fight for Academy Awards each year. With a one page advert in trade mag the Hollywood Reporter during Oscar season costing in excess of $72,000 it is not surprising that non-studio films often find themselves priced out of the running.

Studios campaign using a wide range of tactics including advertising, direct marketing, screenings and screener DVDs.  Lobbying has also become a major component with talent attending numerous events in the lead up to the Oscars and courting press and critics.

Expensive marketing campaigns often result in wins over talent and substance.  However, closer examination reveals there are a variety of approaches adopted to getting nominations and wins.  There is no one size fits all rule to promoting an Oscar winning film.

Aggressive

When it comes to marketing, Harvey Weinstein is considered to be a genius. He has revolutionized the way the industry promotes films for awards with his aggressive and effective campaigning (he’s scored more than 300 Academy Award nominations to date).

Weinstein spent a record $5m campaigning for a Best Film win for Shakespeare In Love over favourite Saving Private Ryan in 1999. His relentless and unprecedented lobbying led to a ban by the Academy on private cocktail parties, exclusive post-screening Q&As and other flashy events during Oscar season.

Unconventional

Weinstein tried a different approach in 2013 when campaigning for nominations for Tarantino’s Django Unchained.  He deliberately chose not to issue screener DVDs to Academy members in order to encourage them to see it on the big screen.

The film ended up with 5 nominations and won awards for best supporting actor and best original screenplay.

Organic / grassroots

Low budget, independent films simply cannot fund multi-million dollar marketing campaigns. But original ideas, writing, and performances can shine thanks to the buzz and acclaim generated at prestigious film festivals. 

One example of such is Beast of The Southern Wild, which generated pre-Oscar word of mouth following success at the Sundance and Cannes Film Festivals.

No campaign

An anti-campaigning attitude is on the rise in Hollywood and Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln was notable as the producer and studio decided to let the film speak for itself and refused to campaign for it.

In the years since a number of actors including Michael Fassbender and Joaquin Phoenix have publicly announced their refusal to campaign for a win.  However, it should be noted that neither of them won the award in the end either.

Whatever the approach, Hollywood and beyond will be on the edge of their seats on Oscar night to see who exactly walks away with one of the coveted statuettes.  Our fingers are crossed for The Revenant!

 

My Top-Five “Must See” Picks at VIFF
Lorna Reads VIFF Guide

Vancouver film buffs will have the opportunity to catch a number of critically acclaimed international films over the next fortnight at the 34th annual Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF), which kicks off on Thursday.

As a former film journalist and self-confessed film fanatic, I am really excited about this year’s selection of films. It is chock-full of features and documentaries I have been looking forward to seeing.

I’m also excited to be volunteering in the VIFF media office where I get to combine my passion for communications and my love of cinema!

One of the perks of volunteering is that I get a pass granting me access into most screenings so have eagerly scoured the VIFF schedule and selected the movies I most want to watch.

Here are the top five movies I intend to check out:

Room

Lenny Abrahamson’s adaptation of Emma Donaghue’s powerful bestseller is at the very top of my list.

While the subject matter may not be for everyone (it’s inspired by the horrendous Josef Fritzel case) the film generated rave reviews at Telluride and Toronto – even winning the People’s Choice Award at the latter.

Brand: A Second Coming

Documentarian Ondi Timoner’s film about British comedian and activist Russell Brand is screening in the documentary section of the festival.

This promises to be a revealing and intimate portrait of Brand’s life over the last few years and his struggle with addiction. 

Beeba Boys

I’m a sucker for a gangster film so when I saw the trailer for Beeba Boys, a film about a ruthless mobster loosely based on “Bindy” Johal, I was very intrigued.   A gangster film set in Vancouver and directed by a woman no less!

I love seeing this city on the big screen and it’s especially nice to enjoy it for itself and not as a stand-in for a US location.

London Road

Received enthusiastically at TIFF, this unorthodox musical recounts the chaos that followed the murders of five prostitutes in Ipswich, England in 2006.

Evolving from the stage musical of the same name it is based on actual taped interviews conducted with inhabitants of London Road, the quiet residential street from where the victims were picked up.

45 Years

This drama generated glowing reviews from critics and earned Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay best actor awards at the Berlin Film festival earlier this year.

It tells the story of an older couple whose lives are rocked when the husband receives a letter revealing that his past love’s frozen body has been recovered from the Alps five decades after she fell to her death.

By Lorna Allen

That’s E-L-E-T-T-R-A. No ‘K’, No ‘C’.

One of the exciting parts of starting Elettra seven years ago (yes, seven years already!) was naming it. Many people ask us where the name came from.

We had two criteria that guided our naming process: we wanted a name that had a story and that was tied to communications history.

Elettra was the name of the steam yacht that housed inventor Guglielmo Marconi’s private floating laboratory.  Marconi, the Italian inventor known for his pioneering work on long-distance radio transmission, did much of his research from the Elettra. It played an important part in the evolution of his work, especially in short wave wireless communication

In fact, the vessel had such a profound impact on his life that Marconi eventually named his daughter Elettra as well.

Well, when you find a good name it’s hard not to put it to good use.