is the personal homepage of João Mesquita, Phd (aka vanoak). João is a screenwriter, creative technologist and professor based in Portugal.
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Dec 23 2023 16:53:16

last print of the year.

Last Print


Oct 21 2023 14:21:13

this week i was asked - directly - how i got to where i am. not that i think i'm in any important position, but how did i get there?

never though much about it.

it's true that in the years i've been teaching, i've noticed that most students are not interested in learning what i teach, but are more interested in knowing how i got to where i am and if i have contacts in this or that industry. and if i don't focus my teaching on that then they don't pay attention.

i can't help them succeed.

but when i was asked this week, i spent a few minutes thinking about it.

and the answer is that when an opportunity arose, it happened that i was the best prepared person to take it. even when i wasn't the ideal choice i became the ideal choice because i was the best available.

and the way i became the best available is because i put in the hours, learning everything i could about what interested me. being prepared in those moments of oportunity for me is a consequence of that.

and i realized that's still what i do every day.


Oct 05 2023 07:23:55

IMG 5749

first experience in analog development in...decades. the camera is more of a camera obscura than a camera, the film advance lever works ... most of the times, half of the roll hasn't developed but the negative is... undeniable. MAAT, Lisbon (2023)


Jul 20 2023 00:00:51

ported Pompeii (aka As Musas) to Godot 4. not painless, but not too much.


Jul 17 2023 20:31:29

unpopular opinion: i enjoyed The Flash.


May 21 2023 23:16:50

at a job fair at my university, some of my students went to ask human resources at companies that were recruiting about opportunities for creative people. the answer is that they must be excellent prompters because in the future all content would be AI generated.

(btw, some of these gentlemen are looking for programmers with 10 years experience in Swift, when Swift is only 8 years old... true story).

My students came to class and asked me about the problem that this answer creates for them who are learning to create content.

My answer was (is) twofold:

  1. I used a comparison: if they had to choose from a group of 100 people someone to work on their team, where 99 know how to use a calculator, but only 1 knows how to use the calculator and do the math by hand, which one would they choose?

  2. The old adage still applies: if the future is uncertain - and it always has been - the best choice is still to be prepared for as many scenarios as possible.