Uncle's Shorts

Dec 20, 2018

Getting around problems

Who dares interrupt the Cane?!

Sometimes your own two feet need a little extra help. Well, never fear. The Cane is here!

The shoot of our fiction piece was fairly painless this week … because we did a ton of organization pre-production. First pass was some pretty tight blocking of the action, and then second, we made a pretty detailed shot list. We did a run-through a few times the day of, and made sure we were totally happy with how our shots were laid out. And then … ACTION?

In the edit, we had to cut a couple of lines that I loved from an early draft of the script, but they just didn’t fit. It continues to be true that what you leave out of your work can be as important as what you put into it. If you’re curious, the lines were a reference to the fact that astronauts have to run on treadmills to maintain bone density. I am fascinated by this idea, but it didn’t work within the flow of our final script.

Dec 10, 2018

What are you doing?!

And can I have some? Featuring the return of Panda Rat

Our first vlog without a vlog.

Peter’s been composing original soundtracks for Uncle’s Shorts for a while now, but this week is features our first song with vocals! And she is a sassy girl.

The episode is an attempt to provoke the question “What are you doing?!” It’s a question we get a lot, so we figured, why not aim for it. Also, we expand our world of characters a little bit, bringing back Panda Rat, and introducing ceiling rat ghost and thieving wontons. The wontons are from a nearby dumpling place, and they are absolutely delicious: fresh-rolled and the soup is seasoned just-so. Just, watch your knives when you order. They have started going missing …

Watch the video. It’ll make sense.

Nov 9, 2018

Bits of Hits

Music from the videos of Uncle Foreigner

Enjoy a medley of some of our recent video soundtracks — all original compositions by Peter, of courses. And, for your viewing pleasure, a short animation featuring babies and bugs. If that’s too much for you, you can always just listen on Soundcloud.

Nov 2, 2018

Yield when we die: Chinese traffic comes to a stand-still

Uncle’s Shorts #36

Never miss a video. Subscribe to Hello Uncle Foreigner on YouTube.

The road to where we’re going is long, and fraught with peril. Sometimes literally. But Luzhou is doing it’s part to make traffic more “civilized.”

Our opener this week features footage from Lijiang; our drive from where we worked to the “Old Town” that was the center tourist attraction for the city. If you watch very closely, you can see the Jade Dragon Mountain in the background.

As a small city, Lijiang public transport wasn’t quite sufficient for everyday living, and taxis were infuriatingly expensive. What should have been a 6 kuai ride, according to the meter, was regularly a 20 kuai bill or more. That’s life in a tourist town for ya.

So while we lived in Lijiang, I drove Peter and I around on a little e-bike. It was … an adventure.

On the open road, driving the bike was exhilarating! The roads were flat and the distance was full of scenery. But in town, the traffic was AGGRESSIVE. And so was I. You can see in the video, we almost get hit two separate times. This was unremarkable enough to me that I didn’t even notice it until Peter pointed it out.

Here in Luzhou, I’m back to being a full-time pedestrian. Occasionally, I wish that we had a car, for inter-city trips. But most of the time, vehicle-free is the way to be. It helps that I live one block away from work.

This week, we also unveil another new feature: the Dialogues. “Wear more clothes” is our first attempt together at crafting a fictionalized piece, and we learned a lot in this first go-round. From a writing perspective, it’s an interesting challenge to relate my thoughts to an actual location; writing essays and vlogs, those are much more in my head. Even if I’m interacting with an environment while I say them, the words are just really one train of thought. Whereas an actual dialogue, of course you have two people talking with (or talking past) each other, but you’ve also got to localize the characters in the space. Otherwise, all you’ve got is a Kevin Smith movie. So the writing goal with these pieces is to incorporate the physicality of the players, and locate them in time and space. No big deal. I’ll have it perfected by next week.

Anyway, we had a lot of fun putting together this week’s episode. So, we hope you like it … although, as always, we’re not terribly concerned if you don’t.

Oct 14, 2018

Hello Uncle Foetus: Nine months of video blogging

This baby’s ready for the world

Time flies when you’re making videos! It’s been nine months of short filmmaking for Uncle Foreigner and we’ve been oh-so chuffed to watch our baby develop.

To celebrate the growth so far — and in anticipation of exciting changes to come — we’ve put together a compilation of all of our videos since we first started posting in earnest last December. The clips are in order of posting, so you can chart our journey from those first embryonic ideas onward. Look at those teensy, little toes on Uncle’s Shorts No. 1!

Next week, we’ll be back to your regularly scheduled, all-new programming … this baby’s taking confident steps out into the world.

In the meantime, have you subscribed?

Sep 14, 2018

A summer shorn

The new back-to-school hair

School has started up again, and we’re all trying to look our best. At every age.

Aug 26, 2018

Focus on yourself: Gym noises and a birthmark

Uncle’s Shorts #29

Uncle’s Shorts has been promoted to our flagship series, and as such will be the Thursday video until further notice. In this one, a pair of stories in which I consider my aging body and how weird it is, as well as the noises we all make at the gym and how liberating that is! Enjoy.

Aug 10, 2018

What gender is your Dragon Fruit

Uncle’s Shorts mega-compendium: Nos. 20-27

This week, after a brief hiatus, we welcome back Uncle’s Shorts with a vengeance! Or, at least a compendium. There’s a lot of ground to cover, a little complaining, a little explaining … you know, the vlog basics. Just remember, your suspicions are correct: All foreigners know each other. Noodles to you!

Jun 13, 2018

New Xiaomi 6 Chinese phone and a squat toilet

Uncle’s Shorts #17

So basically this week I got a new phone — a Xiaomi 6! — and I dropped some stuff into my squat toilet. An average week in China.

Jun 2, 2018

The wisdom of baby hats

Uncle’s Shorts #14

I get the best advice from text on hats.