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The Streets of San Francisco: The Movie

After thinking and talking about this project for roughly seven years, I’ve finally got something to show for it. It’s still not the feature-length car chase I planned as a video store clerk, but it’s a preview of what I’ve got in mind. With the source video coming from about a dozen Hollywood films, not to mention the theme from the original “Streets of San Francisco” TV series, this is a copyright nightmare, so please don’t turn me in.

This file is big (11 MB), so if your connection isn’t fast, you may want to download the movie instead using this link. (Even if you’ve got broadband, the clip might play better outside your browser.)

Getting Around

When I visited NY/NJ/PA in winter 2002, I saw a dynamite video of NJ Transit trains that this guy Ron had put together. When my friend Scott put some Peter Gabriel music to it, the effect was phenomenal. I decided right then and there to steal the idea, and I started using the video function of my Canon G2 to shoot everything that moved. When I got home, I spent a few solid days chopping up the video and laying it down to “Disco,” a song I had listened to a lot during the trip.

About two-thirds of the way through this clip, you can see a Christmas-themed Target commercial playing in the window of the PATH car. The effect is created by thousands of backlit acrylic panels, similar to the ones that advertise movies outside theaters, lined up along one side of the PATH tunnel between 14th and 23rd Streets. As the train speeds by, the effect is like that of a flip book, making a herky-jerky animation. Pretty cool.

This movie is big (17 MB), so if you don’t have a broadband connection, you may want to download the movie using this link.

If you’re really hard up for bandwidth, here’s a 7 MB version to download.

Collie Phone Ya

This is the first of three videos I felt compelled to throw together when Arnold Schwarzenegger’s campaign ads began clogging the airwaves. The message was simple: For the next three years, you’re going to have to hear our governor say “California” a lot (six times in one 30-second spot!). If it sounds like this, will you be able to stand it?

Arnold’s Plan

Thank you, Arnold, for making all your campaign ads available online. It made this so much easier.


The culmination of my weak anti-Arnold effort, with soundtrack by Fatboy Slim.

This file is big (8 MB), so if your connection isn’t fast, you may want to use this download link instead.

Canal Crossing

TV commercials have taught me that truck owners often find themselves having to haul hay and giant barrels, and that Jeep owners often have to drive on dirt roads and across rivers. While I was in New Jersey, Scott confirmed this for me by fording the Delaware and Raritan Canal in his Jeep.

Ringing Rocks

Ringing Rocks, Pennsylvania, boasts some weird metamorphic rocks that ring like steel when struck with a hammer. Scott and I checked it out.

Orson Welles: Believer in the Product

I’m just old enough to remember a long period during which Orson Welles was the spokesman for Paul Masson wine — “We will sell no wine before its time,” and all that.

Apparently, that was real wine they were pouring during the filming, because Mr. Welles is just plain tanked. “Aaahhhhhaaaaahhhhhh the French...”

It should go without saying that I am not the author of this video, nor do I claim the copyright for it. I’m just one of many spreading this gem across the web.

The Shat: Rocket Man

Once again, this video is not mine, but it needs to be seen. Just watch it already.