What's All This Then?

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What's All This Then?

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Thursday Edition

This is our studio site. Among lots of other things, we run Field Notes Brand,
go there right now and spend lots of money. Thanks.

Coudal Partners

New From Field Notes


We're proud of the short film (spot?) we made for a product partnership with the unstoppable Bellroy from Australia. Check out the new Everyday Inspiration, custom, compact leather cover.

Thanks to Big Delicious Planet for inviting us into their Canteen for the location, and to Spencer Tweedy for letting us use his song "Temple State" on the track. It's in heavy rotation at HQ currently.

One From Way Way Back

How Do You Spell Courage?

A lot has changed around here since 2005: waistlines, hairlines, fashions, a big new studio, and new businesses to fill it with. Here's a Throwback for Thursday, in beautiful standard definition. The production values might leave a little to be desired, and the "new Canadian restaurant" in the neighborhood may have closed, but the film itself actually holds up. Sort of. Presenting Copy Goes Here.

Field Notes for Spring

Get to Work

No crew members were seriously injured in the production of the film we made to accompany our latest Field Notes release, The Utility Edition. Please don't report us to OSHA.

You Can Count On Change

That’s a Wrap

After a long, successful run, we're shutting down our advertising network, The Deck. Jim posted about the decision and the details at the Deck site. John Gruber was one of the network's very first affiliates. John published a way-too-generous piece about The Deck at Daring Fireball. Thanks for that, and to all the affiliates, advertisers and readers who supported the network over the years.

Last year we moved into a new studio in Chicago, and in the back, near where we do screen-printing and other messy stuff, there's a shelf for projects we made, operated and eventually, shut down. We'll make some room for The Deck there, right next to Jewelboxing, The Seed Conference and The Show. We haven't stashed away Layer Tennis just yet, but who knows? Anyhow, as always, we're scheming about the future. And, of course, we're making these notebooks.

2017 Tournament of Books

Literary Cage Match

Once again, our Field Notes Brand was the title sponsor of The Morning News Tournament of Books which is now complete! If you're not familiar with the ToB, Angela Chen has written this excellent Brief History of the Tournament to get you up to speed.

We need your help. We created a special Memo Book for the tourney and are raising funds for 826 National, an amazing seven-chapter network that provides under-resourced students, ages 6-18 with opportunities to explore their creativity and improve their writing skills. Dig deep people.

A Six Tone Scale

True to the Blobbiness

We've long-admired the dynamism of a mural that is hangs on the north side of the Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce, on Ashland Avenue. Once we renovated and moved into our new studio space, we decided to track down who was responsible, with the idea of doing something similar for our main work space. The artists, Gwendolyn Zabicki and Kent Smith, were up for the idea, and also for us filming them painting the 12' x 8', 3-panel artwork. Thanks a million to them.

The Work of CP Labs


Yep, it's another year of being ignored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and another snub in the category of Technical Achievement for us. Sure the Steadicam was a pretty big deal, and drone-mounted gimbals have their uses, but where is the respect for our camera-system innovations?

Since its creation in 2008, our RinseCam9000 (left) has set the standard for Operating Dishwasher Interior Perspective (ODI-POV) shots. And now, after years of development, we recently unveiled a light-weight, comfortable and protective system (right) for shooting First-Person Construction (FPOV-C) footage. I guess being outside of the Hollywood system really makes it hard to get recognition. Maybe next year.

Choose to Go to the Moon

Over the Moon

It's not quite like faking the moon landing, but the film we made for the release of our Field Notes Quarterly Edition Lunacy, was made entirely using the same sort of practical, analog effects that you'd need to employ if you were going to stage that event, back in the day. So fun. So messy. BTW: The Lunacy Edition is now sold out.

Moco Fun at the new HQ

We Go Round in Circles

Steve bought a cool motion-control rig. We wanted to make some sort of recap the Field Notes Quarterly Editions from 2016. So we made this film. Added bonus, it provides a nice view of the new HQ.

JC at Creative Mornings

What Are You
Afraid Of?

Here's Jim's presentation from the inaugural edition of Chicago Creative Mornings. Thanks to Tina, Mig, Gravity Tank and everyone who showed up.

Because it's There

A Winter’s Tale

"One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen." —Rene Daumal. Why did we do it? Because it is there. Or was anyhow. Presenting Above the Sun, a true story.

Guest Editors

Helpful and
Mostly Polite

A list of all the brilliant people who have helped us by guest editing Fresh Signals can be found here.

Other recent features are listed on Page Two.

Fresh Signals

"The grid provides enhanced resolution compared to existing public bathymetry maps over the region, delivering 10 to 50 times increased horizontal resolution of the salt mini-basin province, abyssal plain, Mississippi Fan, and the Florida Shelf/Escarpment." BOEM Northern Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Bathymetry Grid. dw-today

Trailer for the documentary City of Ghosts ms-today

"...the last weekly column I plan to write anywhere," and it's a good one. Thanks Walt. Mossberg: The Disappearing Computer. jc-today

"The difference is that when the guys in Genesis were teenagers, their way of rebelling against formulaic pop was to say, 'Our album is going to be a musically complex re-creation of the Book of Revelation,' instead of 'Let's play songs that are 90 seconds long and jump into the crowd.'" David Weigel on the awesomeness that is Prog Rock. jc-today

Neil McGlone on Volker Schlöndorff's adaptation of Günter Grass's novel The Tin Drum, for Criterion. The film is always in my top films of all time and shared the Palme d'Or with FFC's Apocalypse. That same year, Malick won Best Director for Days of Heaven. Pretty solid line-up at Cannes in 1979, I'd say. jc-yesterday

Gorgeous photos by Annie Leibovitz in the Vanity Fair's Star Wars Cover Story. Watch the video as well. ms-yesterday

Joel Meyerowitz: Towards Colour 1962-1978, slideshow at NYT, plus related article by Hattie Crisell. jc-05.23

Frequent co-conspirator Rosecrans Baldwin has a new novel coming. Pre-order The Last Kid Left. jc-05.23

Forgotten giants hidden around Copenhagen. dw-05.22

The lost typefaces of W.A. Dwiggins. dw-05.22

A trip to the Russian bathhouse the other night got me searching for the perfect sauna hat: saunahats.com, Expert Sauna, and borvf.ru all have some pretty great ones. Prepare yourself for the fashion trend of 2018! bb-05.19

Splitsider looks back at Human Giant's 2007 24-Hour MTV Takeover. bb-05.19

"Two weeks after I finished with everything, he and I were talking. He asked me what I thought about human beings. I said one thing about human beings is that everything that is mechanical, that is invented, is very sexual." Art of the Title chats with Pablo Ferro about Kubrick and the credit sequence from Dr. Strangelove. jc-05.19

Guy Sucks At Photoshop, Spends 10 Years Mastering Microsoft Paint To Illustrate His Book. jc-05.19

"May I Have This Dance?" Francis and the Lights and Chance. So great. jc-05.18

Trailer for Bong Joon Ho's new film, Okja. mcj-05.18

"Take a trip to Vlieland with Rotterdam-based design duo Jurjen Versteeg and Ashley Govers, otherwise known as From Form." Check their title sequence for The Great Wide Open, a Dutch music festival. jc-05.18

WHO ate the last piece cheesecake? dw-05.17

Everything. jc-05.17

CineFlex gives us their picks for the best movie shots of all time, Part One and Part Two ms-05.17

Paper art by Charlotte Sagory. dw-05.17

Fabien Barral visits Marc Bessant at Peter Gabriel's Real World Studio Lots of pics and insights into this amazing facility. jc-05.17

Film writer and reporter David Hudson's column, The Daily, can now be found at Criterion. Great news. Instant bookmark. jc-05.17

Edward Gorey Illustrates H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds. Related, tons of other WotW covers. jc-05.16

Related to the last, David Shire's fantastic score for Pelham One-Two-Three. jc-05.16

Splendid Japanese poster for The Taking of Pelham One-Two-Three. jc-05.16

Action Cam Footage from U.S. Spacewalk #40. ms-05.16

Ualach sé chapall de chréna h-úire ort. jc-05.16

After months of renovation, New York City's beloved Campbell Apartment bar is now open. ms-05.16

So you know, how old is old. jc-05.16

Citroen Type H 70th Anniversary Van. jc-05.15

A complete and geographically accurate New York City subway track map. dw-05.15

"I wanted a gray sky for my script, rather than a pastel-blue horizon." Michelangelo Antonioni on Blow-Up. jc-05.15

Ouija Boards. jc-05.15

The Unsatisfying Challenge. jc-05.15

Pop culture icons reimagined as vintage wooden pull toys. dw-05.12

I saw the mighty, venerable Redd Kross last night and I can't shake this one. bb-05.12

Doc Severinsen plays "The Court of the Crimson King" and it is fantastic. Via WFMU, of course. jc-05.12

Trailer for season two of Top of the Lake. ms-05.11

The beautiful new packaging for Inveralmond Brewery features watercolors by Peter McDermott. Design by Freytag Anderson, Glasgow. jc-05.11

Page Two contains the previous 40 Fresh Signals, recent features, a key to the icons and the categorical archives.

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