Thursday, November 29, 2007

Scorsese's take on Hitchcock

Stunning - The opening shot of the short is nothing short of amazing. Check it out HERE.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Writer's Strike

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know this has been covered all over the place but the thing is this: This is a VERY important issue and too much coverage is not possible.

So, what is the deal, you say? Some greedy writers whining about not getting enough pay? How about greedy Korporate Amerika trying to squeeze as much profit out of the writers as possible. By, say, oh...charging advertisers for online content and sharing none of that revenue with the writers of that content. Example: Viacom suing YouTube for $1B for content infringement yet continuing to tell the writers that there is no revenue to be made off of internet content.

Watch this video for a more in-depth look at the issues:

And for a lighter approach from the Daily Show writers:

PLEASE - Support the writer's strike.



Thursday, November 15, 2007

Red One software - Incoming reviews

Over at Mike Curtis's HDForIndies blog, he has links to the newly releaced REDAlert, REDCine and FCP 6 plug in for RED. He also links to some RED footage so that you can play with the software. Check them out HERE.

Normally I don't link to stuff on Mike's blog because I assume you all read his blog (if you are not, you should be) and do not need me to be spamming his site over here. I post this here today because I think it's important.

I think it's important that Red makes these resources available to non-owners of the Red camera. If you are considering renting a Red, you MUST understand what the workflow with the camera will be. By providing these resources to the public at large, anyone that might be considering the rental of a Red One can get the software and some footage and take all the time they need to gain an understanding of the workflow.

I have downloaded both the Mac and Windows software as well as the FCP plugin and the demo footage. Next week I will do a writeup in detail on both the Mac and Win versions of the software as well as how the FCP plugin works.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Avid to blow off NAB 2008

Avid press release HERE.

Wow. I would never have predicted that Avid would do this. Yes, they have been under pressure by competing products from Apple, Sony and Adobe amongst others. But their products are still the mainstay of both broadcast TV, Cable and major studio projects.

They speak of customer focus and re-alignment to customer needs. I hope that this is indeed true as there has been a growing perception of Avid's arrogance in the post world. Avid makes the premiere editing systems in use today. Yes, they have been impacted by products like FCP and appear to be very slow to react to them.

Their absence from NAB does not sound like a good thing. But I suspect that Avid spends a lot of money on this and other trade shows. Maybe they plan to redirect thos funds towards re-inventing the company towards a more customer focused business model.

I hope so. Avid provides competition for all of the other players in this market. I hope they continue to do that. This way, we will all win.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

HD Expo and the Red One

HD expo is a very small trade show that has been held anually since 2001. Today was the first day of the 2 day show and I decided to attend it since I had missed it last year. One of the things I wanted to check out was the Red One camera since it has been out in the wild now for a few months. To that end, the expo hosted a Red One presentation by some of the folks from Red. This included a screening of Crossing the Line.

Now, for those of you who may have been hiding under a rock for the last 2 years, the Red One is a 4K digital cinema camera that is being created by Jim Jannard of Oakley Sunglasses fame. The big deal here is that the camera body sells for $17,500.00.

Now I have not covered much about the Red on my blog here because there are 800 gazillion other bloggers out there that evangelize the product constantly. However, I have made a point of following this revolutionary product's progress.

Part of that progress includes the creation of a short film by Peter Jackson of Lord of the Rings fame using 2 prototype Red One cameras a few weeks prior to this year's NAB show. This is the Crossing the Line film.

Needless to say, Red has caused quite a stir in both the indie film and studio folm worlds and for good reason. For the last two years I have been hearing all of the hype about this camera and the other products that Red has on the slate (Lenses, 4K projectors, Other cameras etc.). And the line to get into the Red booth at NAB this year to see Crossing the Line was a 2 hour wait on average.

So, getting to see this short film today, I was a bit jaded in expectations due to all of the overhype that this has received. Kind of like when a film gets overhyped and I do not bother to see it as a result. And then when I do, it's a big let down because of all of the hype.

Well, let me tell you, this little film exceeded all of my expectations. I was truly stunned by the sharpness and the lattitude that was exhibited. It looked like film. Truly. It blew away what I saw on the Panafest demos of the Genesis. I am completely sold. This camera is a true game-changer.

All the hype? Doesn't do the camera justice. It far exceeds any hype. They also demoed the Red Post software that they have in development. They ran it on a Macbook Pro. Fed it 4K raw footage that played back in real time. And they were correcting the footage WHILE IT RAN in real time without rendering. Amazing.

And the rest of the HD Expo? I don't remember. I know that there was no earth shattering new gear to be seen. Just the same stuff that has been around for the last few months... I guess my mind was on what I saw in the Red presentation...

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Kubrick: A rare glimpse

When the Shining was released, it was not well received by either the public or the critics. Many critics derided the now famous "here's Johnny" scene as over the top. Additionally, the film did not do well in the box office.

Today, the film is considered classic horror. I am always amused by how opinions change regarding films over time. For me, The Shining has always been a great horror film. I saw it in the theater during it's initial release and I loved the film. And I am NOT a horror fan. I think that for me, when the threat is a real person as opposed to some kind of imaginary monster, the impact of the villain is much greater.

During the filming of The Shining, Kubrick's daughter Vivian made a behind the scenes documentary for the BBC. This Doc is different than most in that you get to see a lot of Stanley directing and choosing shots. It is far from your typical fluffy publicity piece that you will see on HBO. It provides a rare glimpse into Kubrick's working style.

Here it is broken up into 4 parts. Enjoy.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4