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kdb2 I am not too much of a horoscope enthusiast but I can appreciate a good coincidence. I am an Ox born in March and if all goes as planned, my gorgeous pregnant wife will give birth in March to a new little Ox. Needless to say that this year will be a crazy one for these first time parents.

The End of the year has not been too calm either (this is the excuse I am using to justify not updating the blog on weekly basis). I crammed a few new jobs before the Holidays and I plan to post up on Vimeo one of the Boxing day ads that a worked on with my designer friend Nick who is also re-desining my GorillaProductions.ca site.  A much needed facelift and with the “New Edition”, this will hopefully generate and attrack more challenging, exciting and lucrative work.

So, as the New Year starts, I am filled with many unrealistic hopes of blogging more frequently. I was encouraged and inspired by my friend/design guru/ex-roomate Haig’s to keep the blog rolling. (check out his wicked blog and work)
I am planning to finish the 4 articles that I still have unpublished and update some follow ups on the popular Rogers’ “High Speed Cable” post and lots more post production and techno postings about reel world moviemaking.

For now I would encourage you to seek inspirado (as I call it and Jack Black too) with these two links that will massage the creative juices for the new Year.

neave watch_mirror

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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.

macvideo-logo

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

adobe-logo2

Still trying to back into the mix of the freelance lifestyle after a few months of grinding it out at Cuppa Coffee Productions. (pun intended)
Just finishing a HIV Stigma web campaign and have a 2 more potential projects in the works.

I was doing a little catching up on my software packages, after working in a production environment where they use older versions of software packages, I learned to appreciate being able to upgrade my system and have the best tools at my disposal for my projects.

Adobe seems to want to make Photoshop the next After Effects.
I watched this tutorial running down the new features in PS CS4. Originally, I was slightly annoyed by the very close updates of their packages, I just got familliar with the 3D capabilities of CS3 and I haven’t even had a chance to familliarize myself with all the new features in AE CS3. They should have just waited and called CS3, CS4 at this rate in 2020 we will have CS XXV.

Here is a link to the Photoshop CS4 new tools:

StudioDaily.com

They created some cool tools to generate a proper plates, focus and 3D composting graphics but why not include this features in AE, so we don’t need to go back in forth in Photoshop? Doesn’t make much sense that the Pros could not have these tools in AE that a Photoshop artist has access to.

PHOTOSHOP IS THE CHOP SHOP OF ADOBE

However, they seem to be consistent Photoshop now has basic Video editing and 3D capabilities since CS3 Extended. For some reason it seems like a lot of effort is being put into photoshop as the “hub” of the Adobe package. It sort of makes sense or does it? If they can convert that user base, they would have a huge share of the market, but at the expense (neglecting) of the rest of their pro market.
Similar to Apple, they seem to neglect the pro or at least force them to invest in a pricier laptop… ahhh that is another topic to tackle on another day.

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 was driving on the QEW, coincidentally in a some traffic on a highway, and I saw the new ad campaign billboard for Rogers High Speed Internet “The Fastest and Most Reliable. Period.”

So, I reminisced about my year long struggle with Rogers about their High Speed internet Cable.
In August 2007, I decided to make the leap or some might call it run away, escape from the poor tech support service from Bell Sympatico. (3 tips: When calling Bell Sympatico help line. Always call 2 times in a row to cross reference there story, get a Mac so they can’t blame you for a virus and call repeatedly, follow up and don’t wait to escalate the problem to a level 1 tech)

Being mildly technologically savvy, I notices a slow down at night so being a long time Bell Sympatico customer (aka Proactive) I called Rogers Tech line, they were surprisingly pleasant and attempted to help me for the next month or so. They were also very candid in the fact that the problem was in my area and their responsibility and they proved it by refunding me the price that I was paying for the internet.

I diligently, kept tabs and speed checked to see when the problem would be fixed. I would call monthly and explain the scenario after a 20 minute conversation they would realize that it was their issue and return or credit my account for the lack of proper internet. After, 9 months I decided to pay for internet service and got a DSL line with YAK, I got tired of my 56k modem speed at nighttime. At that point I realized something amazing… I don’t need 8meg download the 4-5meg from Yak was just fine. The internet is pretty streamlined and Flash based and I would rather have a slightly slower but consistent service than a bi-polar one.

Finally, I gave up on Rogers “High Speed Cable” they never did resolve the issue in my area and understood why I was canceling, I returned the Modem to them and wrote them this snail mail letter in hopes that they would realize the lack of vigilance and response to a known issue.


Dear Rogers Cable,

Last year, August 1st, I decided to switch from my Bell Sympatico High-speed internet account (########) that I had since the inception of DSL in 1999 to Rogers Cable High Speed internet. I have been a long time customer of Rogers Cable, for many years enjoying quality programming like Rogers HD and The NFL ticket package.

Unfortunately, my experience with Rogers High speed Internet was not one that I would recommend to any of my friends, family or peers.

I work from home as a freelance Film & Video Editor and my ability to communicate on the internet is essential to the success of my work. When I initially received the service it seemed faster than Bell but I soon realized that it was an unstable, inconsistent and delivering less than the minimum required speed that I purchased. My 7-8 meg package was most of the time dipping down to 725 kbps which is a little faster than a 56k modem.

I proceeded to contact Rogers Tech Support /Customer Support for the next 9 months here is a log of the calls.

4 August Natalie (wsr02028431)
22 August Daniel (713 kbps dfr00053341) Known Server Problem in the area
24 August Peter (wsr02031728) 24-48 hours the problem should be fixed
28 August Susan-Supervisor (noted problem)
29 August Thash – Supervisor (ongoing problem noted)
29 August E-Chat Rogers.com (B226 George *rude via chat and less than helpfull)
30 August Marc (issue in area congestion, Known issue, technician are aware)
4 September Arvin (wsr02045040) credit for 2 weeks
12 September Cody (Dfr00052241 & wsr 02055296
19 September Natalie (update on status of repair)
26 September Abdul (refund for lack of proper service)
12 October Sasha (Refunded internet charge)
14 October Paul (ongoing issue in the area)
7 November Peter (credit refund for lack of proper service)
12 November (dfr00053341 & wsr02055296)
13 January David/Terra(billing) (tier 2 office, unresolved tech issue in area)
18 February Dudley (refund lack of proper service)
1 April Sarik,Ramon, Jeff (wsr 02239690)
4 April David (dfr00053341)
23 May Jason (refund 2 billing cycles)
31 May Amy/Greg (Cancelled my Service)

I must say that I was impressed with quality of the Customer Support Line.
However, despite the Customer/tech supports general concerns and efforts to keep me as a customer in April I subscribed to a DSL service in hopes that Rogers would soon finally fix the “unresolved issue in the area” in the interim. Unfortunately, I finally had to cancel my cable Internet service and enjoy a more stable constant and reliable connection from your competitors.

I believe it is important to note this experience has made me doubt on the reliability of Rogers Cable in rectifying a major problem in their system in a reasonable time span. Moreover, since I am involved in the media industry and many of my clients come to me for recommendation on a variety of technical issues. I could not professionally recommend any of Rogers’ services because of the lack of back end technical responsiveness to a major technical issue.

Finally, I have lost any loyalty to Rogers and I am currently reviewing my Cable package options with your competitors since they now also provide HD programming and the NFL Ticket. I was also going to transition my business cell phone Package to Rogers when my contract was up with Bell Mobility in anticipation for an iphone. However, I am more than willing to wait on healthy alternatives to your iphone package from your competitors.

Sincerely,
Anthony K Baird
gorillaproductions.ca

I never did here back from them, I guess they don’t need my business. Unfortunately, I have to endure their Cable service for one more season of football. However, as soon as we move, in the very near future, I will be canceling my cable service and discouraging my friends and peers from purchasing anything Rogers because if your unlucky enough to have a problem they don’t fix it.

Anyways, Back to the QEW Billboard. “The Fastest and Most Reliable. Period.
Well, I went to their site to see how they can claim this with a straight “face” and they put a link to a CBC marketplace news report on internet speed where they were put in a head-to-head speed battle with the big boys of high speed (Telus, Bell Sympatico & Shaw).

Rogers…You should not be proud of beating those “competitors”. In the report, they are the lesser of the evil High speed internet providers not a badge that should be worn proudly (I am the best of the Bad Companies).
CBC should have thrown in a smaller company like TekSavvy or Yak to see how a real David versus Goliath Battle ends.

All this to say Rogers Cable High Speed service was inconsistent and slow, not reliable, period.

Don’t Just Read this Post, Check your internet speed regularly, Post a Comment with your Rogers speed. I am sure that someone at the “Big House” monitors the web reviews of there service. Let Big Bro know that your checking up on him too.

ALSO CHECK OUT FOLLOW UP BLOG POST

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.

Here is a quick way to get up to spead on the new video features in Photoshop.


I use After Effects a lot so I don’t think I would need these features.
Crazy thought: they should combine After Effects, Photoshop and Illustrator… that seems to be the natural solution rather then integrating minor capabilities from all the apps.

Free Final Cut Pro Studio Plug-in site

4 or 5 freeware cool Apps for Final Cut Pro Studio… I tried a few, who can argue with that price!

If you ever wanted to line up a graphic consistently or just wanted some straight reference line DH_guides does the job or maybe you just wanted to overlay a simple grid, DH_grid is worth its free price + 40$.

However, I don’t want to complain, since these are free but you are limited to a 10×10 grid with the grid app … that is a little silly even for a freebie, but the only downside.

You can also get this cool widget Video Space for the geeks that aren’t too strong with numbers.
It calculates media storage.