Online Insights on FIVEaa Sunday July 03 2011

July 3, 2011

This month we prepare for an indoors winter with tips for making better home movies, things to do with your store of pumpkins, ways to find public toilets when the cold conditions prompt an unplanned call of nature, and one of the most obvious cases of political messaging captured on film. Meanwhile, on the Web 2.0 front, it has been a busy time with Google rolling out their newest attack on the Social Networking market with Google+ and Facebook poised to strike back this coming week with an announcement of integrated video chat within Facebook using the Skype service. But for now, on with the sites.

How to make a movie at home

Blue Seduction Movie Set by Redvette via Flickr
Unlock your inner Kubrick (Blue Seduction Movie Set by Redvette via Flickr)

With winter upon us it is likely that you will be needing to entertain families at home and inside. With a video camera, a computer and some creativity, you could work as a team and create a celluloid masterpiece.

Here are some wise tips that will lead you through the process.

  • Think about the genre or style of movie you wish to make first
  • Go and rent some movies in that genre/style
  • Decide on a narrative movie (story-telling), documentary style, or a compilation (editing together bits of footage you already have)
  • Work out your plot or theme
  • Draft a script
  • Scout out locations
  • Think about costumes and makeup
  • Practice with your tools – camera, lights, sound

Those are just some of the points on this resource page and I admit, if you are just wanting to shake the family blues with a bit of movie making fun you might find some of them too overwhelming. However, my advice is to either gloss over them to give you a basic framework for your activity OR focus on the journey and work through them all slowly. After all, major movies take months and years to plan!

You can find the movie making tips here.

Lots of pumpkins

If you are like us and equate summer vegetable growing with planting pumpkin plants, you also likely have a bounty of pumpkins and have no idea what to do with this surplus?

You are not alone. This is the time of year that most South Aussies have stored their pumpkins. The next question is: what to do with them?

This link is not to a full, flashy cooking site but just a forum where someone is asking for ideas of what to do with seven pumpkins being brought to her by her dad.

There is a list of ideas for things to cook, including:

  • pumpkin frittatta with chives, ham, zucchini
  • cold roast pumkpin & baby spinach salad with honey mustard dressing.
  • pumpkin and sour cream mash, served with lamb
  • pumpkin rissotto
  • casserole
  • vegetable curry
  • spinach & pumpkin pie

But this gem of an idea for making pumpkins easier to cook with from someone called Nex: To avoid all the horrible chopping normally involved I take as many pumpkins as will fit in my oven. Stab 3 or four holes in the top of each pumpkin around the stem. Put them on baking or pizza trays and bake them whole at 150c until they are soft.

This allows you to scoop the seeds and flesh out of the shell easily when they are cooked. Put it into ziploc bags or freezer containers to be used later.

Click here to look at an archive of this pumpkin discussion. (I have removed the link because I am told the target site had some malware exploits on it. However, you are welcome to copy and paste the address into your browser if you are confident you have protection on your machine –

Public toilet directory

And here is a site for my mum.

Winter weather often leads to more calls of nature. Here is a must for your mobile phone or device from the federal government – The Australian Public Toile Directory.

Just navigate to the site, click Locate, and you get a list.

Follow this link to skip to the loo!

Robotic political interview

I have done thousands of interviews with politicians and while some of them spoke frankly, many just chirped the parrot lines they had been taught to regurgitate.

However, Ed Miliband, the British Labor leader, is even more dogged in sticking to his lines than our own Mike Rann who is expert at it.

Enjoy – if you can