Posts Tagged tech

Trying Out The iPhone Wordpress App

Trying out the iPhone app to do instant blogging on the fly. I don’t really know if I’ll use this or not going on the future but we will see. Maybe this could be used for when the bus is being really slow and I don’t want to just listen to music.
Maybe I’ll use it for quick updates when I finally do get my documentary up and running. The only thing is is that my camera lens on my phone is scratched pretty badly, so one side seems very blurry. Maybe I’ll upgrade to the iPhone 5 if I win a contest. Time will tell.

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Trying To Get A Documentary Off The Ground

One thing I really like is documentaries.  I have always been fascinated by programs like Nova or The American Experience that rely on a documentary format.  And for me they do a great job at being compelling, the majority of the time I am stuck to the screen.  So I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I want to make one.

I already have the main idea.  This happened as I was checking a Facebook group page about Cape Verdians. One of the posts was about the research a woman had done tracing her family roots back to the early 1700’s on the island of Fogo.  So I looked at her website even closer and found a treasure trove of information that can be used to make a great documentary.  I got ahold of her and she thinks it is a great idea, so now to get this thing up off the ground.  It will be a retroactive telling of the history of this woman’s homeland as seen through her own genealogical history.

For starters I have already applied to two charity organizations for grants.  One being the BRITDOC Foundation in the UK and the other being Cinereach.  I should hear back from them in one to two months to see if they are interested in giving me money.  It would be great if they asked me to submit a full proposal, so here I am crossing my fingers.

Other options on the table are to pitch the idea to a couple of organizations, maybe Ancestry.com or try to find people who have connections to the History Channel or NatGeo.  So I do have my eyes open to suggestions if anyone has some leads for me on this front.

Another great resource I found on the topic of fundraising is from the Desktop Documentaries website, the link to them is in the blogroll sidebar.  That site has a guide of 25 ideas that can be used to raise money, you have to subscribe to a newsletter to get it, it is a pdf download.  This guide covers topics such as crowd funding, yard sales, house parties , cooking demos, and selling movie frames to name a couple.  But on the site itself and not in the guide is the suggestion to do video contests through sites like PopTent and Zooppa. Sounds like a no-brainer on that one.  Big payouts if you win and that is great to purchase gear and save up for the airfare required for this documentary project I have my heart set on.  So wish me luck, I’m filming for a couple of these contests fairly quickly.

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Thoughts On Building My Hackintosh

A Few weeks ago I bit the bullet and purchased around $1500 in computer parts.  I did this for a couple reasons, one to give me an edge in editing and to build a business with it.  The other is because I really like Apple’s operating system better than window’s and I wanted a nice machine that didn’t cost as much from Apple with the same specs.  So I went for it. I researched for a couple months and followed along with the newest hardware that was supposedly compatible with OSX Mountain Lion.  When I found a configuration that people said they weren’t having problems with I finally gave in.

The wait wasn’t long at all, I re-signed up for Amazon Prime since I get it half price for still being a student. I got everything except the motherboard from Amazon.  I got the motherboard from NewEgg, so the motherboard came a few days after everything else.  Once everything was delivered I laid aside most everything and started to put the pieces together. Unboxed the case, looked it over, removed the side panels and laid it on its side.  Unboxing everything was like a kid on Christmas morning, joy and excitement, but not about play toys, about a powerhouse waiting to be unleashed.  I took the motherboard out of its packaging, gently placed it into position and set the screws. Next the processor, then the graphics card, firewire card, and hard drives.  It took a while to do this as it was my first ever build.  Then finding the proper power connections on the motherboard for fans, case power and also the front ports took a while to to find as well.  But hooking up the power supply was a breeze as I have switched out a few on older machines.

Next was powering up and setting the BIOS to work to Mac standards. Not a problem, installing OSX from a USB drive, not a problem. I was impressed with what I was seeing.  Then I installed the drivers to make the ports and sound work. What happened after was great, I could hear music now and life seemed great… that is until I restarted the computer.  On the loading apple screen right after the circular loading indicator appeared my screen filled with text and needed to be shut off, it was a kernel panic. I didn’t know what to do, I thought it was from the drivers that I had loaded so I did what the next reasonable person would have done, I did a clean install.  After clean installing I went and tried different combinations of drivers, but each time I didn’t have success. I did over 20 clean installs.

Then I did more research and learned that all this could be avoided by changing the machine’s boot.plist file.  But you still had to install the drivers first and then change it on start up.  So you go into single user mode and type in code, unix code.  So I learned a little bit of unix, it’s like DOS and once you get the hang of it, it’s pretty easy. Went and changed a few values in the list and violá, it worked and booted up just fine.

Testing was fun and now I know that my machine has a little personality, external drives have to be connected to the computer before booting up, otherwise the computer won’t recognize them and will freeze.  Kinda annoying but oh well, youtube and flash based web players will flicker really bad unless it is in fullscreen mode, that’s even more annoying.  Now I don’t care anymore because it wasn’t really made for browsing, it was made for editing.  I have Adobe CS6 Production Premium working most perfectly, have a small issue with photoshop. Adobe is super fast and can handle a lot. I can’t seem to get Avid to work, but I hope I can figure out a solution someday.

So far, I love it, great functionality at a fraction of the price.

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Stock Producer

During the summer I did a few things that were pretty cool.  First was I took an Avid training course and passed with flying colors.  So now I am an Avid Certified Editor.  Really awesome, and that led to another opportunity.  A local media company has recently acquired the domain name for stockfootage.com and was looking for people they could train to produce and polish assets for them.  They held a cooperative agreement with UVU and was able to train in a room at the college.  They only accepted 14 people, of which I was one of them.

It was a really great training and I learned a lot of valuable things, but I’m under an NDA and can’t you about them.  Not to worry though as I have also become a stock producer for them.  Things we learned were workflow, after effects procedures, editing procedures, time remapping, cameras, and whole bunch of other information.

Below is a demo reel I edited for them, it is slow motion, shot on the phantom camera, and I assisted in the creation of 8 clips that you will see in it.

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Let’s Talk Tablets

Today Amazon has announced the release and specs of its new tablet, the Kindle Fire.  The news about this is pretty interesting because it will be $300 cheaper than Apple’s lowest iPad.  While I can see some reasons for it having a lower price tag besides not being from Apple, it doesn’t look like it has many limitations, those being no microphone and no camera.  Now that we have competition in the marketplace we can expect better features in the future from both companies.

I’m an Apple fan but Amazon has something neat right here, and that is running off of android.  Android phones actually have more apps that control Canon EOS cameras from the phone.  That means not only could the Kindle Fire be used as a traveling portfolio to show clients but could also serve to be a field monitor for video shoots.  How awesome is that, sounds like a winner to me.  Follow this link to see Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos give the announcement.

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Data Wrangling Basics

Every job on set is of equal importance but if there is one that is not as appreciated as much I would say it would be the data wrangler.  The data wrangler’s job is that of copying all images and sound acquired digitally to at least two separate backup drives.  So if the data wrangler makes a mistake there is good chance that a whole days work might be lost, and that is not good at all.  So for those just starting out on a data wrangling job and feel a little overwhelmed, Evan Luzi from The Black and Blue has you covered and will give you a couple pointers:

He goes into more detail and shows you how you should layout your folders for the footage in this next video:

Evan is using a basic kit which includes a Macbook Pro, card reader and two hard drives. One thing to remember about hard drives is that the production will buy them, do not buy them with your own money or the money you are being paid for the job.  The hard drives go straight to editing and you will never see them again.

Good luck on your next data wrangling adventure.

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Awesome Videos I Like

This week is shaping up to be quite a long one, so what better way to relax than watching some cool videos? A short commentary after each one.

I’ve always had a thing for timelapses and with the new cameras we have it is becoming increasingly easier to make ones like this.

Aaaahhhh, love. Complicated stop motion brings out our emotions so effortlessly and makes us feel great and want to be better.

Man, this Cape Verde video gives me sodade. Sodade = a yearning or longing for something special.

This video was filmed on the same type of camera that I have, the Canon Rebel T2i. Man it’s amazing what you can make on the gear that is available to everyone these days. This is just a snip of a 30 minute feature.

Sorry about no HD on that one.  But since it has Utah in the title and I’m from Utah it had to be great, haha. No, but it really does have a nice little story to it.

And finishing up with another time lapse. I could never tire of these things, they are just to visually appealing, too beautiful.  I hope you all enjoyed this here round of videos. Maybe in the future I’ll make this a regular thing of posting awesome videos like these.

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