Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Been a long time since I rock and rolled.

Well, it's been - 8 months? We are still kicking and busy as all get out. Nancy is doing work for the post house Quarter Mile Films working on material for ESPN, Speed channel and Home and Garden channel.

The Aquarium: Since we are done with the festival routine for The Aquarium, I am releasing it for any and all to see. This was our first film and our goal was to gain an understanding of the film making workflow. And for that, it succeeded admirably. You can see it here:

The Aquarium

Current Projects: I am working on 2 instructional videos providing motion graphics, editing and general post stuff. One is a set of 4 DVDs on Kung Fu and the other is a DVD for teaching sailing. I have been grinding a lot of After Effects and Lightwave - Learning the joys of cloth dynamics and wind effectors. The Kung Fu video is being done in Premiere Pro 2 and the sailing video is being edited with FCP.

I have a new full time job that is really nice. Great folks doing cutting edge work. It's a 45 minute commute but I have been taking the train and listening to podcasts so it has actually worked out real nice and I have been managing to avoid the almost $4 a gallon gas prices. Speaking of which (gets on his soapbox) where the hell are the journalists outrage for this?

The oil companies are not having shortages - Just record profits at our expense. OK, I'll stop. It's a bit off topic for here.

I have just about finished Thicker than Blood. Just a little bit of tweaking left to do on it. I had it up on Zoetrope for review and got some great comments and crits. A lot of the crits have helped improve the script a great deal as well. I still have 2 other scripts in process. Private Paradise and Fear the Reaper. As soon as TTB is done, I will start getting those fleshed out.

New Gear: We are preparing to get a new edit system. We are looking at a MacPro 4 core box. The ole Powerbook just chokes on any kind of footage higher than SD. With the new FCS 2.0 on the horizon, this system will be a good match for us.

Reading: I tend to be a voracious reader and have recently read a few very good books. The first book I will talk about is The DV Rebel's guide by Stu Maschwitz. The book covers everything from pre-production through post production with an eye towards doing actions films on the cheap. And I do mean cheap. This book not only encourages the use of firearms in your films, it shows you how to make the look and sound like the real deal. The book has a GREAT section on color correction and while Stu focuses on using After Effects for onlining, the techniques can be applied to most any NLE's color correction tools. If you are an indie filmmaker, get this book!

Other books recently read are: On Film Editing by EDWARD DMYTRYK. Probably the best book I have ever read on editing. Directed by Steven Spielberg: Poetics of the Contemporary Hollywood Blockbuster by Warren Buckland is very academic but a great read, nonetheless. I have also recently finished 3 books related to the great Walter Murch:

In the Blink of an Eye Revised 2nd Edition by Walter Murch
The Conversations: Walter Murch and the Art of Editing Film by Michael Ondaatje
Behind the Seen: How Walter Murch Edited Cold Mountain Using Apple's Final Cut Pro and What This Means for Cinema, First Edition by Charles Koppelman

All EXCELLENT books and highly recommended.

And finally, Adobe After Effects 7.0 Studio Techniques by Mark Christiansen. This book assumes that you already know how to use After Effects and takes you through workflow improvements, in-depth color correction techniques and much much more. Highly recommended for all AE users.

Also, if you are an indie content producer that is focused on narrative content, I also highly reccomend Hollywood Camera Work.

This set of DVDs uses 3D models and sets to illustrate staging and blocking techniques. It is really the only thing out there that will give you the depth and breadth of these techniques short of a film school. A bit pricey at $400, but a true bargain when weighed against the great content that it provides.

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