This is where thoughts become things.

Hi, I'm Daniela. Welcome to my personal lair on the Internet. This is where I write about storytelling, activism, technology and pop culture. Sometimes I post videos. I update my lair when the mood strikes me. Follow me on Twitter for daily updates (@dcap).

Tag : films

DCAP compendium: what’s happened so far in 2012, what’s to come

I’m constantly writing – just not on, it turns out. I’ve found that it’s faster and more effective to connect with folks and access needed resources through my various social platforms – it works for me. And right now, with everything that is going on in my life, speed and ROI (investment being my time) is critical.

Later in the year, after some of the things go down that I’m about to list in this post, I am going to turn back to my website and make some decisions:

1) What do I want to do with in 2013 and beyond?

2) How am I going to optimally incorporate blog posts and other content into my already active online networks elsewhere?

3) Where will end and begin (my in-progress business site)?

While I chew on these very important-to-me questions, here’s a compendium of links that represent my endeavors this year and upcoming things I’m excited about:


POC Zine Project
I founded the People of Color Zine Project in 2010. Since then, a rotating cast of volunteers and I have organized events, provided mentorship to POC creating zines and supplied mini grants to several POC who needed them for zine-related costs and travel. I also, through POCZP, successfully advocated for more visibility and inclusion for people of color who create their own publications, particularly those who make zines.

Things really took off this year:
– I scanned and shared the first “Race Riot” compilation as a free e-zine/download (with permission from the author).
– My organizers and I successfully planned and booked (and are really excited to begin) the Race Riot! tour through twelve cities, kicking off in NYC on Sept 24 and ending back in NYC on Oct 7.
– I successfully booked multiple paid speaking gigs on the tour route for POCZP to cover the costs of this 100% volunteer tour (big thanks in part to supporters who did email referrals).
– I partnered with Carey Fuller through POCZP to work on a zines series by and for folks living at or below the poverty line.
– I partnered with an amazing teen through POCZP to produce a zine series by and for black youth ages 15-25.
– I coordinated a partnership between Mimi Thi Nguyen, POCZP and Lisa Darms at the Fayles Library at NYU to receive a donation of zines by people of color for their collection, which will be referenced in an upcoming book through Feminist Press.
– I spoke about POC Zine Project and DIY community strategy at mediabistro’s inaugural Social Curation Summit.
– I went to Chicago in March with other POC Zine Project members to participate on a panel at Chicago Zine Fest … but I had the flu and just managed the livestream details from a friend’s guest room, snotty and barfy and miserable, then caught a plane to Cali for work.

I don’t want to give everything away right now, but next year is going to be huge for POC Zine Project. If you want to get a sense of what we’re about, you can watch the archived video of our first MEET ME AT THE RACE RIOT panel held at Barnard in November of 2011:

Ready for more! Yeah? OK, let’s do this:

Camera Craze: An Introduction to Military Gun Cameras

This past week I visited the City Opera Thrift Shop to price cool finds for my new loft home. While I was there, I stumbled upon a rare treasure:

WWII U.S. Navy aircraft gun camera!
WWII Gun Camera

Gun cameras have been used as a gunnery training aid since the 1914-1918 war. (via warandgame)

During WWII, the Bell and Howell company developed the gun camera for the U.S. military. The cameras used 16mm film and most had a 35mm lens. The gun camera was designed to operate when the aircraft guns were firing, to provide a filmed record of targets fired upon. The footage was also used to create simulation exercises and drills for fighter pilots.

As early as the 1920’s, the Japanese navy mounted machine-gun cameras on their fighter planes. One of the earliest examples is the Type 15 Gun Camera with Watch. It was inspired by the Hythe gun camera made by Thornton-Pickard in Great-Britain – the O.G. of camera guns. (via

Hythe Gun CameraMark III Hythe Machine Gun Camera, 1915

If you’re a war movie buff or recently watched a documentary about WWII, you’ve probably seen actual gun camera footage. It is often the source for stock footage for war films.

There is also a subculture on YouTube that collects and shares WWII gun camera footage. Many aficionados are white males who either served in the military or are currently enlisted, or are from a military family.

What is most fascinating to me about gun cameras is the different reactions that their existence continues to provoke. For me, it was just an old camera that I found interesting. For a WWII veteran, a gun camera might conjure frightening or depressing memories experienced from watching the processed footage. A camera buff tracking footage on YouTube might consider it a work of art, material to remix and incorporate into their own videos about war, fighting or to punctuate a political point of view.

Gun Camera (via siimvahur‘s flickr)

The creation of gun cameras and their use as a training tool (recording maneuvers and studying them) must have influenced the military to use video games for combat training. Watching the footage was a way for WWII gunners to evaluate their performance or for soldiers to learn from their peers mistakes. Today, a soldier is more likely to use virtual reality to study technique.

Army Experience Simulator (via Army Experience Center‘s flickr)

As the Washington Post recently commented, this is the video game generation of soldiers. These war games have transformed the way the United States military fights wars, as well as soldiers’ ways of killing and how they process death.

An even more fascinating development is the invention of gun cameras for video games.

Gamers (and soldiers) can record their actions within the video game to create video from games and other programs. It is often triggered by the firing of a weapon in a way similar to the original guncams of WWII. An example of this software is Growler, a program that can turn recorded video game video into AVI files, animated GIF files, and even JPEG screen shots. Gun cameras for video games are primarily used to create machinama and to improve gameplay.

Military/Video Game/Computer-Inspired Films:

TRON (1982)
A hacker is literally abducted into the world of a computer and forced to participate in gladiatorial games where his only chance of escape is with the help of a heroic security program.

War Games (1983)
A young man finds a back door into a military central computer in which reality is confused with game-playing, possibly starting World War III.

The Lawnmower Man (1992)
A simple man is turned into a genius through the application of computer science.

Hackers (1995)
A young boy is arrested by the US Secret Service for writing a computer virus and is banned from using a computer until his 18th birthday. He and his friends create video games and use video game-style interfaces to hack into company servers.

Gamer (2009)
Set in a future-world where humans can control other humans in mass-scale, multi-player online gaming environments.

–>I’m<-- Taking a Chance on Love

Most people know about The Wiz, but there’s actually another less heard of musical that I love even more that also features an all black cast:

Cabin in the Sky is an American Broadway musical which opened in 1940. A motion picture based on the musical was produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and released in 1943.The film version of Cabin in the Sky starred Ethel Waters as Petunia and Eddie “Rochester” Anderson of Jack Benny fame as Little Joe. Lena Horne co-starred as the temptress Georgia Brown in her first and only leading role in an MGM musical. Other cast members included Louis Armstrong as one of Lucifer Junior’s minions, Rex Ingram as Lucifer Junior, and Duke Ellington and his Orchestra, who have a showcase musical number.

Cabin in the Sky tells a version of the Faust legend in which Little Joe, a man killed over gambling debts, is given six months to redeem his soul and become worthy of entering Heaven — otherwise his soul will be condemned to Hell. – wikipedia