moved to self-hosted site

March 27, 2011

If you found my site and are interested in reading more then come on over to my current blog … js


tools for filmmakers …

September 19, 2010

We, MHCC IM, are edging up to this Canon revolution the so called DSLRv or HD-DSLR … cinema from still cameras.

The first time I saw a piece of video shot on a 5D what captured my attention was what seemed to be an impossible rack focus. Video makers struggled with deep focus. An artifact of imaging device not quite a 16mm frame, at best, and most recently more like super8. To acheive a normal angle of view, 20 degrees, from such a short focal length meant a depth of field cinematographers got from their wide angle. A news shooter with a 12 x 120 zoom and it’s 2X diopter wasn’t at all interested in subtle focus shifts to redirect a viewers attention.

The larger CCD wasn’t un-heard of just outside the budget of independent filmmakers. Along comes Canon’s DSLRs and HD video capture and we have a new tool … there are lots of problems with these systems and I’ll take time to talk about those shortcomings as these posts progress but let me start with the good new and that is a cinema look that isn’t just a diffusion filter, access to prime lens packages, real quality glass, capture a subject eye popping sharp next next to soft focus and again without filter or massive CG work in post.

I also like the idea of getting back to a cinema style work flow on set. The first assistant is back, they are card jockys and need to know laptop instead of change bags, bit budget rather than b-wind but along with the focus puller we have fundemental shifts in the configuration of the camera crew on small, indie productions. While this will effect the budget it won’t be anywhere as close to the feature’s expense and more to the point it will once again free up the DP to concentrate on the image not the technology or more to the point the minutia of detail won’t rest on a single head. Electronic filmmaking is going to look a lot less electronic and become more like filmmaking … that is the good news.

listen and transcribe …

February 6, 2010

the development of transcripts for interviews seems to be a stumbling block for students. It is nearly impossible to get students to willingly transcribe the interview material, word for word … they just don’t see the benefit or more to the point want to do the work. I understand that it’s BOOORing to type out the words of all those questions there is however no other way to put all of those words together in a coherent story.  The easiest way to transcribe interviews is pull audio files, give these to a competent stenographer and work from their text documents. The second easiest, and cheapest, way is with Listen and Type.

to tweet …

November 30, 2009

I’ve started what will likely be an ongoing discussion with students and colleagues about the We Make the Media conference. The problem was not having an on-line space that was public enough to share observations.  Thus this quickly formed WordPress blog.

If you have been using Twitter my rantings of a ‘newbe’ won’t be much help and for that I appologise but for others prehaps this will shed a bit of light on a practical use for twitter.

The WMTM conference, which is weeks past, presented an interesting look at legacy media’s ongoing struggle with current trends. It also opened a paralle conference on twitter with an ongoing stream connected by the simple inclusion of  #WMTM in each message.   The # string presented an ahah moment in my ongoing struggle to make sense of Twitter not the how but the why. I know it’s popular but what evaded me was why. The form, 140 characters, seemed restrictive at best with a structure that looked like IM and made less sense?

The hashmark link, which I’d never seen in action grabbed my attention.  Employed as a way to quickly gather a group and ‘link’ this common thread which created a conversation. In the weeks that followed this conversation continues to build out a collection of posts and links. Content unfolded from a simple character embedded in a tweet pushed this reader to blogs and articles supporting points of view and broadening the conversation as far as one is willing to move below a surface that had seemed initially no more than pulses of noise.

I discovered a lot of intriguing content, read hours of well crafted blog posts and increased my twitter follows all attempting to continue the process. I also put up this blog so that web finds. classroom discussions and random discoveries could be teased on twitter and expanded onto these pages in a like fashion. Because the 140 is still a space for only the briefest of comments, however they can lead to broader discussion.