Friday, April 25, 2008

Saying what you think

Flippant news had this up - what a GREAT video. this is NOT safe for work due to profanity used in it.

Enjoy :)

Persistance of vision

Logan and Noah Miller had a vision for their film. They wanted Ed Harris to play the homeless alcoholic father in the film. The trouble is, they are novice filmmmakers with no money. This is where persistance paid off.

Check it out HERE.

I love stories like this.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Cinema is lies told at 24fps

Over at Variety is an interview with James Cameron. You can check it out HERE. I have always had kind of mixed feelings about Cameron. Having never met him, all I have to go by is his body of work, behind the scenes footage of him at work and interviews.

He has always seemed like an egotistical self important elitist to me. Ahh but there is always the adage that one must separate the artist from the art. And I DO try to do that.

I really thought that the Abyss (the abuse, according to the crew on that shoot) was a very entertaining but flawed film. For me, his best work was:

Terminator 2. I watched part of the filming of this as I lived a few blocks from one of the locations (the scene where the semi-truck crashes into the flood control channel). The film is not perfect by any means (the desert scene slows the pacing needlessly, Edward Furlong could not act in the film to save his life).

But I still love the film.

So why am I linking to this article about Cameron? Because I think he says some things here that I seriously agree with. And while the majority of the article is about 3D (and having only 1 good eye, 3D is meaningless to me), he does point out a few things that I do agree with.

One of those things is that Godard had it backwards. I always thought that cinema was a contrivance meant to fool us into thinking it was reality. Otherwise, if it WAS truth, we would not need to exercise a willing suspension of disbelief. Because Godard was held in high esteem in many of the art circles, his statement of "Cinema is truth told at 24fps" tended to be unassailable.

24p - Please die.

The other thing that Cameron mentions is that 24 FPS needs to go away. That this is a framerate that has seen it's day and now needs to be replaced. Douglas Trumbull did research into determining the best framerate for the human eye and settled on 60FPS:

A 16 fps rate was the first speed established as the minimum required to sustain the illusion of continuous presence of a motionless image presented through a sequence of stills. The 24 fps rate was adopted later to improve the fidelity of optical sound tracks. The perception of an uninterrupted flow of motion, free from stroboscopic effects, requires a still higher frame rate. Through experiments conducted at Future General Corporation, the joint Trumbull/Paramount Pictures research division, Douglas Trumbull determined that the effective maximum frame rate should be 60.

Today, in the indie film world, 24fps tends to be upheld as the holy grail of film look. This combined with narrow depth of field, cinematic lighting and cinema style camera handling are all being pursued to make video look like film.

Now, if you are going to be distributing on film, 24p makes sense to me. But if the final delivery medium is video, then I think it is not necessary. The visual cadence of 24 fps provides a level of psychological deception since this cadence is what we have become accustomed to watching films for the last 70 years or so.

Guess what? HD and it's higher end bretheren are here to stay. Film is going to go the way of the dinosaurs. It's time to acclimate to what video is. It's time to embrace the superior look of 60 FPS. It's time to let go of the past.

I have posted about this in the past and been vilified for it. Stephan Sargent posted about it a few weeks ago HERE and was vilified for it. Mark my words, those of you in the 24p camp will come around eventually. I long for the day when 24p is used only to provide a retro look.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

New Tangent control surface

Well, around this time last year I was whining about the cost of control surfaces. At that time, only JL Cooper offered one on the cheap for $5000 (since lowered in price to about $3100). I felt that with the availability of Final Touch as part of the Final Cut Studio suite (under the name Color), that this was a golden opportunity for some resourceful hardware manufacturer to provide a control surface for the masses.

Enter Tangent.

Announced at NAB this week is their new, affordable, control surface. Priced around $1000 this looks like a REALLY sweet tool for using Color in FCS on the Mac.

You can read ALL about it HERE.

Very cool.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Good weekend

Well I updated FCP on our test machine to 6.0.3 and ran it through the wringer and no issues were found.

Nance had her client over on Sunday to review her final onlined version of the doc project and the client loved it. She finalized the menus for the DVD and it goes out today.

I secured an actress for the Zombie debt commercial and I think we are good to go for the opening shots in about a week. Nance has to get a new 1K key light for it but she should be able to nail that down this week.

Seeing some very nice announcements out of NAB today. I won't re-hash all of it since it is plastered all over the net today. Red's Scarlet looks nice but the fixed lens is a deal killer for me. The new Sony EX3 (what happened to EX2?) looks VERY nice. If you can put a PL mount on that and slap some real cine glass on it, that will be huge.

I have to say, that I am not a fan of the psuedo shoulder mount (a'la Canon's XL series). Either do it right or leave it be IMHO. My only other concern with the camera is the potential for rolling shutter artifacts.

Friday, April 11, 2008

FCP 6.0.3 released

Here are the specifics: FCP 6.0.3.

I'll update one of the machines this weekend and see what they broke - Stay tuned for a report on this here.

Supposedly fixes that weird error that I was getting opening projects telling me they were incompatable...

Celtx writing videos

Celtx is an open source screenwriting application. They have some nice videos up on writing and story development.

Check it out HERE.

The reality of Digital Effects Work

Gotta love it - SO true! I loved the inclusion of the Guru Meditation error from the old Amiga system.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Interview with Walter Murch

Prior to the LAFCPUG Supermeet at last year's NAB show, an interview with Walter Murch was conducted and filmed. Part one is up on the net HERE. The Edison film that he talks about can be seen HERE.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Larry Jordan's Newsletter

I just wanted to point out Larry's newsletter to folks that have not seen it. It's free and it's a wonderful resource for editors and indie content producers alike.

You can check out the current issue HERE.

I always learn new things from this great resource. I have no relationship with Larry or his business. I just wanted to point out this great free resource to the readers here. I will also be posting Larry's Tips on the site here for the FCP folks out there.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Continuity and other things

Over at the Rebel site I started a thread about continuity that was triggered by this NYT article HERE.

Someone pointed out an excellent illustration of this effect with this video here:


Other things:

FINALLY we are done with the current project and we will be delivering it this weekend YAY! The following weekend we will be setting up the opening shot for the Zombie commercial. This will involve dressing the set, setting up the dolly shot and lighting and rehearsing the shot. The following weekend we will shoot it with the actress.

I'll post on here some shots as we do this.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

IMDB for movie guns

Gage over at Rebel Cafe pointed out this site. It's a wiki that documents the types of weapons used in films. Very nice resource. Check it out HERE.