Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Without a box...

Happy Tuesday,

Thank god its no longer Monday....anyway this week we are focusing on film resources available online. And one resource that we cannot ignore is withoutabox.com. Withoutabox is a site dedicated to help filmmakers screen films by providing information about over 3,000 Festivals on 5 continents and with information on how to promote films to millions of fans on IMBD. In addition, there is information on how to self distribute on DVD and much more. Be sure to checkout withoutabox.com.




Love him or hate him, Michael Moore has made his mark on American culture with controversial films such as Sicko and Fahrenheit 911. Continuing this trend, Moore has released on his website his film Slacker Uprising for free. Slacker Uprising is an interesting film because it documents Moore's 62-city tour of the swing states during the 2004 Presidential election. Check it out!.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Useful links

Good evening,

While surfing the web we found these useful links on video compression and posting HD videos on youtube. Checkout this site about
uploading HD footage on youtube. Another great resource about uploading footage to youtube is the youtube blog and here is a great site about video codecs.

Ten years ago on March 7th 1999, Stanley Kubrick died. Kubrick directed several highly acclaimed and controversial films. Kubrick was noted for meticulous method of working, his technical perfectionism, and his reclusiveness about his personal life. Checkout our favorite Kubrick film: Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

We're Back!


Greetings!

Sorry for the pause in posts..we went on a camping trip this weekend, and just got back into town. Camping was a lot of fun-a peaceful break from the our hectic, helter-skelter daily life. But I have to say..much of the weekend was spent as pictured: running away from the angry campfire smoke!



But anyways, we're glad to be back home and posting. Here's a great clip I found today (honestly I can't believe we haven't posted it before)from Robert Rodriguez's "10-minute Film School" Series. Rodriguez is the king of "do it your way" and he's really generous about sharing his knowledge of how to make quality films your way, with only seven pennies in your wallet. Check out the clip below:

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Busy, busy, busy


Good Evening,

We're pretty exhausted tonight. We've been busy editing and researching shooting tips for our camera. By the way check out this link to a very cool channel that only contains content shot on Canon XHA1s. We're going to bed as soon as possible now so that we don't end up looking like this picture tomorrow at work.

Adieu!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wildly Imaginative

I am sooo excited about the upcoming film, Where the Wild Things Are! A trailer has just come out and it looks really exciting..
video

Spike Jonze knows how to have fun with imaginative material, and it looks like he's recreated the look of the book perfectly. The monsters are so cuddly and real! And I'm glad he didn't go hog-wild with the CGI. From what I understand, the actors were suited up in the monster costumes and the faces were CGI'd on later. That makes a huge difference. Yes, CGI can do wonders, but their is still a distinct tangibleness missing with CGI ( I'm talking to you George Lucas). This looks waay more convincing. Here's an
article about all the trouble that went into making this film (mainly from asshole studio execs as usual)

I do remember reading this book when I was really little, but seeing as that was some twenty odd years ago, I've almost completely forgotten it. Fortunately, I found a youtube vid of the entire book with audio. So now, when you discuss the upcoming movie with your friends, you can act all knowledgable and wise about the story, like you have some crazy photographic memory and remember stories you read at 5, despite being high off all the finger paint you were eating.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Testing Tuesday

What's up everyone,

So we stayed in to test the Canon XH-A1 and to prepare for our next shoot. Below is a clip that we shot in HDV at 30 fps. We adjusted the iris and shutter a bit to compensate for the low light. Not to mention, having to compress the crap out of our footage from apples compression codec H.264 to Divx because Blogger wouldn't support it. And not to mention that HDV is already compressed because it uses MPEG-2 compression to achieve a maximum video data rate of 25 Mbps (megabits per second), which is the same data rate as DV. This means you can fit the same amount of high-definition video on your scratch disks as you can when using DV.
video

Despite all of this nonsense, we highly recommend the Canon XH-A1 due its ease of use, features, price, and quality of image. And we are not alone in our experience with this camera, the producers of Crank 2 choose the Canon XH-A1 for the same reason. Check out the trailer for the film and read this article!.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Alice in Wonderland



Since there isn't a lot of originality or imagination in your average movie these days (Mall Cop, anyone?), its cool when you hear about an innovative filmmaker trying something different. So I'm pretty stoked about the new "Alice in Wonderland" that Tim Burton is directing. Tim thrives on fanciful and creepy material, and "Alice" is such a dark fairytale, I think it will suit him perfectly.

Honestly, I wasn't a big fan of his reworking of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-it didn't really improve on the original, and had those useless CGI Oompa Loompa's instead of real actors-FAIL! But I have a feeling that Alice will be better, mainly because there hasn't been a popular live action version of this movie made (I'm not counting the hilariously eighties TV abomination). So the look will be more open to interpretation, and Burton won't struggle with trying to make it look and feel different from a previous film.

There are some great production candids on the web that showcase the characters. Johnny Deep look pretty awesome as the mad hatter. Very Edwards Scissorhands meets Vanity Fair. The girl who plays Alice (Mia Wasikowska) looks very sweet and fresh-faced. I remember last year reading this article where Lindsay Lohan was going on and on about how she was campaigning really hard to be cast as Alice in Burton's film and had dyed her hair blond, etc. to get the part. I was praying that they didn't give it to her, because I mean seriously, that would've ruined it..thankfully Burton used common sense and chose an actress more appropriate for the role. Here's some quips from Lindsay Lohan about the missed opportunity..

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sunday Sunday



Well its Sunday evening again....just a few more hours before Monday morning rears its ugly head. Today started with a heavy rain and wind, but its completely clear now...

This weekend we have been focusing on recording music with the Transient Music Project that we are going to use for our upcoming music video. Plus we have also been thinking about how to approach editing the Balboa park footage we shot a few weeks back. Right now we are planning on shooting some additional b-roll footage this week to help to complete the video. We should have some new clips posted in a few days.

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Friday, March 20, 2009


Happy Friday,

So we shot some HD footage a couple of weeks back and finally were able to capture it onto our new mac. Little did we know that the Canon XH A1, albeit a great camera to graduate to from a SD camera, has some issues when it comes to capturing footage in FCP or any other desktop editing system... we are not alone. Part of our problem originated from me switching mid shoot from 30fps to 24p. Not to mention when I attempted to use my external USB 2.0 as my scratch drive to capture HD footage with...yes yes I know its amature night at the El Roberto. Anyway we were eventually able to get some footage captured and were able to play around with it....here is a clip. More samples later.


video

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A quiet sleep


Nothing exciting going on here today. Been working on my script for a while and am pretty creatively drained for the night and ready for bed. Hope you all are having a wonderful Thursday night

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Ruh-roh


Tonite sucks. Here we were innocently capturing footage onto our new Imac, when BOOM. The room went black and silent. Apparently, making toast while simultaneously using the camera, Imac and Macbook, was just too powerful a technology orgy, and the breaker went off. The Imac didn't fry, but our Final Cut Pro program became corrupted and refused to turn on. Panic ensued. We have spent the last two hours grappling with this computer and JUST now were able to get FCP to work again. Phew.. word of advice-when in doubt with FCP, always delete the current user profiles. It would've saved us an evening of trouble if we had followed those instructions correctly.

Anyways the computers fixed and we are going to trek even more tentatively around this Mac when were working on it. Especially in this old apartment. It makes sense if you think about it..when this apartment was built (back in 1603 or whatever) people had no idea of the extent that technology and energy would exist in our lives. We're pretty much dependent on them. And that's exactly how the robots want it =(

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Go hifreann leat!


Happy St.Patrick's day!

Hopefully you are able to go out drink some green beer, pinch people who aren't wearing green, and be merry...if you have to stay in tonight, pop open a can of Guinness and rent the movie Once




Tonight we stayed in, drank Guinness, and tried to edit some HD test footage on our old G5 that we shot a couple of weeks back. After spending an hour logging footage, the trusty old G5 decided to freeze up and render the footage we captured useless....good thing we bought a new computer that we will start using as soon as we have it setup. Anyway have a good night and we will talk to you later...

Monday, March 16, 2009

ZomB-roll



Hello everyone,

Hopefully you survived the work day and are chilling at home. By popular demand...here is some of the Jim Beam footage that we had to leave on the cutting room floor...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Inspiration vs. Imitation




Good evening everyone,

If you are like us on this Sunday evening, you are either flipping through the channels, surfing the web, and or dreading Monday morning. While doing all the above, I stumbled on this quote by noted filmmaker Jim Jarmusch. I think that Jarmusch has a good point and recognizes that every artist is "inspired" by someone else's work. How else can you learn and improve upon your own work without creative inspiration to draw upon? Like Jean-Luc Godard says at the end of the quote: "It's not where you take things from-it's where you take them to." Anyway, enjoy your last few moments of the weekend, because you are about to have a case of the Monday's...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Yes!!



We bought our Imac today! Yes It's been a long time coming :) This will help us infinitely in improving our efficiency in creating and editing videos. A's trusty old G5 Mac was a reliable, machine that has go us through a LOT of editing in the past year. But over the past few months the 6 year old Mac has really started to show its age, and with every project has gotten slower and more difficult to use (i.e. freezing, shutting programs down without warning, losing files). As we progress towards more commercial work, its becoming too risky to rely on such an iffy machine. So now we are confident that we can edit a large amount of projects concurrently without the added stress of worrying about a temperamental machine.


I am proud to say we were successful in using our old student ID to get $100 dollars knocked off the price. There was a moment when the clerk was running A's student card thru the machine when it felt like a scene from a thriller when the character is almost caught during some service transaction: the clock ticks, sweat beads form on the forehead and the service person does everything reeeaally sloow. All the while you're like "c'mon!!! Let's get this done already!" Eventually the clerk just gathered his info and added the discount without any real trouble.

There is no better feeling than walking into an Apple store when you know you're going to buy something. Usually we walk in like starved street urchins at a bakery, licking our lips and staring wistfully at all the sleek, futuristic machines of perfection. And for once, we were able to walk out heads high, with a huge, shiny Apple Box in our arms. We're one of them! One of those happy, shiny people who waltz into the Apple Store and can buy what they want! Well for today at least. We'll probably won't be able to buy anything from the store for another year, but who cares?? Today we felt what it was like...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Ho-hum


Not much going on here today. It's been a pretty long day at work, so were just hanging out on the couch recouping. On a good note, we'll probably be buying a new Imac this weekend. This will help us tremendously in being able to edit quicker. The PC we're using now for editing is very old (6 years) and on its last leg. Thankfully, once we get the Imac, all we'll need is the tripod and boom mic to complete our set and begin to aggressively pursue videography work. We are a little worried about being able to swing the student id discount on the Imac at the Apple Store, mainly because neither of us have started class for the semester yet, so our "student" status is a little wobbly. We're just going to go to UTC wearing hoodies, backpacks, eating top ramen and doing whatever else makes us look more student-y. Hopefully when we flash our worn out, faded student ID cards with pics from 1999 on them, the store workers won't be paying attention and give us the discount.Keep your fingers crossed!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Layout Change


Hey Kids,

I know that its been a few days since our last transmission but the truth is that we have been busy shooting test footage for G.W.A.G. and have been working on improving the layout of our blog. If you haven't noticed already, the right side of the blog now includes some of our videos. So tune in, turn off, and let us know what you think...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Jim Beam Commercial Contest

Hello everyone,

Here is our latest video for the Jim Beam Commercial Contest...let us know what you think..

Jim Beam has posted up three videos, and the rules of the contest are that you have to make a video spoofing one of their three videos. And the grand prize winner wins 25 big ones! (25k dollars, not earthquakes)

So here's a link to the original video we chose to
SPOOF

and below is our video:

The Tragedy

Monday, March 2, 2009

Jim Beam Commercial Contest

Hi Guys,

So we have been editing the footage we shot for the Jim Beam Commercial Contest. Here is a sneak peak outtake from the shoot Jim Beam teaser clip!
.

We should have the video posted on our myspace page soon.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Phew!!



Yesterday was such a looong day. We shot the Jim Beam commercial for 3 hours. And there was a lot of setup and and postioning for camera shots. It's really hard to film something when you haven't scouted the location beforehand. That was really our fault since we didn't have access to the bar, beforehand to setup the scenes. Anyways, we came in at 1 and were done by 4, so it went okay. We are working right now on uploading the footage. It's taking a little bit longer than usual mainly due to the fact that the Apple we're working on is really old and keeps quitting on us. But I'm glad we shot this commercial-everyone was hilarious and super enthusiastic about doing it, which of course counts for like 90% of the success. And I am proud to say that the zombie getups ended up looking pretty cool!