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Category Archives: Film

I sorta enjoy watching keynotes or presentations but taking time out of my busy day to go to a conference hall to listen to 10 different presentations and eat a continental breakfast is not always my idea of a productive time spent.
All that, to get to one 20 min featured product… a healthy alternative from the comfort of your computer.

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MacVideo.tv delivers tons of info and presentations on all aspects of Editing, Authoring, Motion Graphics and cameras. Lots of nice demos and previews.

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Finished with the Nerdland project for Cuppa Coffee.

I must say that I had a very interesting experience. I still and I think always will learn something new from every project. In the future I will be blogging more about filmmaking not the technical but the philosophical or just my point of views on the subject

My Traditional film training and experience has come in handy with many of the effect shots in this stop motion environment. Storytelling and knowledge of old techniques always come in handy, the concepts don’t change, just the technology.

Just recently , the director had a transition in and out from a flashback a-la-Citizen Kane. This optical printing process, back in the “day”, is at least a 7 step film processing job, probably took weeks to produce a final that was watchable. Needless to say that the Compositor banged this effect out in a couple of hours. The story telling device is the same.

N.B. this clip still hold up visually to this day, that is some dam fine work.

I was just reading a this old article from Digital Arts and Stu Maschwitz (digital vfx guerrilla extraordinaire).

He touches again on many poignant points, his book has made my short list of book’s that are essential for new filmmakers, get it and check his blog out.

I will blog an official short list of must have books for new filmakers that don’t want to go to film school and spend 3 years and lots of money.

Now back to the daily grind and lots of new projects in the queue.

Give a Director a minute and a huge budget and he tell you 2 lifetime’s worth of story.

I have not been updating so much since I have been doing two jobs but soon I will be bogging with cool tips and stuff from around the inter-web. I am sure I will find cool nuggets about CS4, the new AE and Apple will announce something new tomorrow… rumors say it’s a laptop, pro version?

Cool little flash site by Chanel 4 film and BMW that lets you flip through introduction to film history without going to film school.

My designer Buddy Nick (www.nikomedia.com) sent me this site.

I am a slow reader.
So, when I get a script or outline of a project, it takes me time always wanted to just ripe through a script…

Well this little app java based app helps.

www.spreeder.com

You can adjust the rate of reading and forces you to intake the words in a way that avoids you “reading to yourself” (how to explain this better…. listening to what yourself read in your head.)

There is also a Bookmarklet (drag the link to your browser’s quick link top bar), you can simply select text on a webpage and click the Bookmarklet! Gouda like the cheese.

So, I have a buddy of mine who has a PSP and is going on a long trip to Afganistan. I wanted to let him borow  his favorite movies and some other great films to enjoy in the hot sun of the Middle East on his portable device.

I naturally went to the Sony site/Playstation/PSP… first mistake. They practically had “good luck on converting a movie for the PSP but you buy this piece of software that will do it automatically, thanks for shopping Sony!”

I “researched” the internet to find examples of good PSP movie compression. Second mistake, a lot of people compress stuff poorly, not deinterlacing, not 2-pass encoding because it increases encode times and not caring if their movies look like we are watching a Western in the 80’s on an Magnavox.

Then, I searched on the World Wide Web for an answer and kinda figured it out the maximum settings but I wasn’t 100% that Handbrake 0.7.1 the Free Software that I was using to go straight from the Original DVD to PSP format was not going to be displayed with a warped aspect ratio. I have used this program in the past to convert my DVDs straight to ipod format, quick easy and intuitive.

Searched some more and realized that I was using on old version of the magic Pinaple program.
HandBrake 0.9.2 (yeah not even a 1.0 version) is the Pimp of all DVD to portable media player programs converters.
It downloads with all sorts of presets ipod, iphone, Xbox360, AppleTV and even the illusive PSP.

Guide to Anamorphic Encoding in HandBrake

Gold Star to Handbrake and get it will its free. Handbrake

I was referred this article by my film savy friend  Joe Hamilton. I must say that it caused an emotional reaction. It sited Walter Murch, Ondaatje, Paul Greengrass and C. Noland, who are all well respected by myself. However, the article quotes these two knucle heads from the New York Magazine and the New York Time. (I must also admit that I don’t really respect newspaper Movie critics, they are the cheerleaders of the film world and their opinion is as valid as yours or mine, put your thumbs down. )

They complain about the spacial blah blah blah and coherence of blah blah blah…. It’s a fight scene. Good guy punches bad guy, that is all I want to know and let’s focus on the story and pacing of the movie. I personally leave all that logic at door of theater and pick it back up when I walk out. Movies like Batman, The Bourne series would not be very enjoyable. These critics should pick on bad movies that had bad stories and bad action i.e. Transformers, Doom and why they were not able to hold an audiences attention. We shouldn’t have to hold back the whole “class” because of few slow “students”.

Action editing has evolved from Escape from New York

or any genre.  When I edit something and the director starts to look at the cusp of the cut on a frame level and not at the motivation or feeling/pacing of the scene and how it works in favor of the story, I start to worry “are focusing on Textbook Editing because that book was written 10 years ago”

Sorry for the rant but check out this blogger’s rant about the Dark Knight, much more insightful than the “cheerleaders”.

http://fxrant.blogspot.com/2008/07/converging-lines-dark-knight-part-1.html

Here are the article from

http://www.slate.com/id/2196075/

Mo’ Better article about The History of the Fight scene:

http://www.slate.com/id/2196075/slideshow/2196123/fs/0//entry/2196124/

Vimeo. Simple word, sorta sounds like Video but with a twist… Vimeo.

YouTube is good for watching old clips of your Childhood youth…

… but what do you do when you want to post up your work and you don’t want it to look like the Atari 2000.

I have my own Flash encoding recipe and I was taught by my “Flash Masta” how to embed something in my website but what if you don’t want to waste 12 hours learning Flash, Dreamweaver and FTP programs. Basically you just want to get it out there and it want it to look good.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Vimeo is in Glorious HD! and at the very low price of Free!! Check it out.

Also, Check out my Color Correction Comparison between Apple Color and FCP Color Correction filters. Without Vimeo I doubt you could see the difference.

Just saw “Wanted” on Canaday Day weekend, good clean summer fun without bogging us down with a complicated story. It was like a film school creole of Fight Club, Matrix and Equilibrium’s imaginative gun play.

I was looking around to figure out who did the visual effects because the “curving Bullet Shot” in the trailer resembles the Video Copilot’s Tutorial THE BULLET

dvd training tutorial

that I just did but there wasn’t much info except for this article from the VFXWorld

Here are some of the links that I stumbled upon when I was digging around the net for the suprisingly little information about this heavy CG movie.

http://www.bazelevs.ru (director Timur Bekmambetov’s VFX company that did most of bulk of effects)

http://www.framestore.com (did the train crash)