Saturday, August 06, 2011

Lucille Ball's 100th Birthday; August 6th

I only just saw this, but Google - and others - have been celebrating Lucille Ball's centennial birthday. Ball had a long career that began in film, but she was best known for her television work. She also was the first woman to run a major television studio, but most importantly, she was my grandmother's favorite comedian.

Lucille Ball Remembered by Hollywood | The Hollywood Reporter
Lucille Ball | Wikipedia

Quick Links

5D Mark III, 1D Mark V & 1Ds Mark IV Tidbits | CanonRumors
It definitely continues to be a hot time for rumors, with Canon getting into the game now. CanonRumors reports that 5D Mark III's are "in the wild and an announcement is imminent." It seems like only three days ago they were saying that the 5D Mark II replacement would be coming out in Quarter 1, 2012. Oh wait! It was three days ago.

They also print "A Very Detailed 1D Mark V Spec List [CR1]" which lists the video as H.264 and having HDMI out. Which seems to squash hopes for a higher compression rate (like MPEG2 @ 50 Mbps like the pro camcorders Canon produce) or some sort of RAW or HD-SDI output. It does list 1920 x 1080 at 120, 60, 30, 25, 24 fps, and those high frame rates could be interesting.

Sony HXR-NX70 Firmware Upgrade coming early 2012 | Philip Johnston
| HD Warrior
Philip reports that Sony will have a firmware update for the small, rugged HXR-NX70 early next year that will add 720p recording, and:
...the ability to to record onto card and internal memory at the same time, once again this will be enabled early next year.

Two Canon 60Ds and a Sony FS100…”A ticking time bomb” | Philip Johnston
| HD Warrior
Philip also provides a warning to those using DSLRs on hot days. Two wedding photographers had switched to DSLRs and then:
The speeches were longer than anticipated, the day was one of Glasgow’s hottest and half way through both Canon 60Ds brought up a thermometer indication, indicators flashing and both cameras switched off within a minute of each other leaving both boys shocked to the core.
Fortunately, they still had an NEX-FS100 as back up!

Handycam HDR-TD10 | Jeremy Stamas |
Camcorderinfo does a full review of the Sony 3D camcorder, the HDR-TD10. They like it better than the JVC GS-TD1 and the Panasonic HDC-SDT750, but that doesn't mean they think you should buy one:
The quality of the HDR-TD10’s 3D recordings were decent at times. We found the 3D effect was generally good, as long as you took care to set up your shot with proper depth levels. You can adjust the 3D depth manually on the camcorder, but it is a somewhat frustrating process. You’ll most likely want to stick with the camcorder’s auto 3D depth control for a simpler experience.

One Degree: A Canon 600mm w 2X Extender on the RED Epic | Vincent Laforet
Vincent gets to play with a prototype Canon EF lens adapter for the RED Epic. It'll set you back $2,000, but if you can afford an Epic that probably won't be a problem.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Sony News. ...drip...drip...drip...

SonyAlphaRumors continues it's stream of rumors on the upcoming Sony announcements. The latest stories bring a short user report of the NEX-7 and the Zeiss 24mm f/1.8 lens. It's unclear whether the lens is an E- or A- mount. I am assuming it will be an A- mount, but maybe not.

Even more exciting is additional details about the NEX-VG20 which will have a 16 mega-pixel sensor, support 60p/60i/24p (no 30p?), and will have audio level controls.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Quick Links

(SR5) The video revolution is coming: A77/NEX-7/VG20 with FullHD 60p and full manual controls! | SonyAlphaRumors
SonyAlphaRumors continues it's run of news about impending updates to Sony's camera lineup, this time with the news that the new DSLR A77, mirror-less mini Nex-7 and the large sensor consumer camcorder NEX-VG20 will support the AVCHD 2.0 standard:
This means that all those camera (!) will be able to record FullHD videos in 1080 60/50/25/24p at 28Mbit/s!
It is also reported that the cameras will have full manual controls while recording video.

Now if the NEX-VG20 just had manual audio controls too, it would be a pretty awesome little camera!

Apple updates QuickTime security for Leopard, Windows | Philip Michaels
| Macworld
Apple posts QuickTime 7.7, which is a security update for Leopard users. They have also posted QuickTime 7.7 for Windows for users running Windows XP (SP2 or later), Vista, or Windows 7.

Canon EF 8-15mm f/4 L USM fisheye Hands-on Review | DigitalRevTV | YouTube
After mentioning yesterday that there were no reviews online that I could find, here's a review of the lens by Kai of DigitalRev TV, made during an open top tour bus ride. There's not a lot of video shot with the lens; if you jump to near the end there's a long sequence with the lens at 8mm on a full-frame sensor camera. Since it is a video review, I wish there had been more video shot at the two ends of the focal length with both full-frame and crop sensor cameras.

When I played briefly with the prototype lens on a crop-sensor camera last year, I was quite excited about it; it gave a distorted, but wide view that I thought I liked. But seeing these limited examples didn't really get me excited.

How to Lose Everything on Kickstarter and Still Raise a Production Budget
| Joe Wilson | Film Courage
How to pull victory from defeat:
This is a story about a failed Kickstarter campaign that kept going and succeeded independently. No Kickstarter, No IndieGoGo, just a web site and Twitter.

Real Life MacBook Air 11" Benchmark - Video Encoding | Don McAllister
| The Mac Screencast Guy
Now this might actually be a useful way to measure performance!
I chose a 20 minute screencast, with a resolution of 1280x720 encoded with the lossless animation codec at 25 frames per second and millions of colours. The "master" file weighed in at 3.8 GB.
The results: the 2011 MacBook Air is nearly twice as fast as the 2010 MacBook Air.

World's largest stop-motion animation set created on Welsh beach
| The Telegraph
A short film that claims to set a world record for largest set for a stop-motion film; over 11,000 square feet of Welsh sand!

Behind the Scenes of All Is Not Lost - 3D Filming | OkGo | YouTube
A 'making of' video on the making of the 3D version of OkGo's latest video. Interestingly, it's in 2D.

Even more interesting, the guy who shot the 3D version described the camera they used, the Panasonic AG-3DA1 Integrated Twin-Lens 3D Camcorder, as a pro-sumer camera! That's a $21,000 camera!

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye in stock & in the wild

The Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM Fisheye Ultra-Wide Zoom Lens [$1,499] is in stock at B & H [they say they have limited quantities]

No one seems to have reviewed it yet, though here is a write-up from September when it was introduced: PopPhoto: Hands On: Canon EF 8-15mm F/4L USM Fisheye

UPDATE: About a minute after I posted this, DP Rodney Charters tweeted a couple of pics of the 8-15 in action on a 60D:

MobyPicture: First use of the long awaited 8 to 15 Canon on Shameless
MobyPicture: On a short hand mount
MobyPicture: On a 60D

UPDATE 9:00PM: And it's out of stock again! But there is a review of it on YouTubeCanon EF 8-15mm f/4 L USM fisheye Hands-on Review

News From Here & There

Facebook's Mysterious Hire: The Guy Who Designed Much of the iPhone
| Marshall Kirkpatrick | ReadwriteWeb
More on the purchase of Push Pop Press by Facebook which I wrote about yesterday. This article makes it seem like they were buying Push Pop's co-founder, Mike Matas, who was a former Apple designer:
Matas designed the camera, photos, maps, settings and battery display for the iPhone. The iPhone doesn't ship with very many apps and Matas designed at least four of them. He also designed the Photos app for the iPad. He designed Time Machine and Photo Booth for the Mac. He's not Jonathan Ive, Apple's design guy at the very top, but he's pretty high profile none the less.

3D Mic Pro and immersive audio | Vincent Laforet | VincentLaforet
Vincent has been playing with the 3D Mic Pro from Mitra, and is really impressed by it. These unusual microphones capture a stereo image, and according to Vincent, the mics are essentially identical, but the 3D Indie [$695] has a phono plug, while the Pro [$999] version has two XLR plugs. Vincent has a code on his web page that will get you 15% off too.
The basic thing you need to know about this microphone, is that it has two high quality mics that are spaced apart roughly the same distance as your ears are from one another. It also utilizes a sound modifier technology which captures immersive sound just like we hear it. Most, if not all mics out there are mono mics – and a normal stereo microphone cannot record the same information in the same manner. The beauty of this system is that you can handhold the Mitra mic or put it on a small tripod and let it roll. Just monitor your levels and you can have this incredibly immersive sound out of the box. You can then mix it into 5.1 if you want as well.
Mitra: 3D Mic Pro

Zacuto Electronic Viewfinder Adds New Features | Richard Harrington
| Richard Harrington Blog
Richard just got a Zacuto EVF and he loves it; this isn't a full review by any means, but he does post some info and explains how to install the new software update.

Did Britain’s approach to copyright just grow up? | Bobbie Johnson | Gigaom
Britain's copyright laws are tougher than the US ones, but now it appears they are looking at updating them in several ways, including allowing owners of CD's to rip their discs and a change in Fair Use:
Fair use for parodies: Despite Britain’s rich tradition of satire, copyright laws are so tight that they often prevent parodies and spoofs — for example, recently preventing a broadcast of The Daily Show that lampooned U.K. politicians with footage of parliament and famously leading to the takedown of a parody of Jay-Z’s Empire State of Mind. The new laws will allow satirical fair use.

Judge orders shutdown of DVD-streaming service Zediva | Timothy B. Lee
| Ars Technica
Meanwhile, here in the US a judge shuts down a web movie streaming service because "Defendants are violating Plaintiffs’ exclusive right to publicly perform their Copyrighted Works." This ruling probably shouldn't be a surprise given that years ago hotels lost essentially the same suit when they were "streaming" (in the days of analog) to hotel rooms from VHS recorders.
See also: TalkingPointsMemo: Judge Shoots Down Internet DVD Rental Service Zediva

Showrunners: Trailer for Documentary About TV Creators and Writers
| FilmmakerIQ
Info on a documentary being made about Showrunners; the writers and producers of US television drama and comedy series.

Fisheye, Macro, Wide Angle and Telephoto Lenses for your iPhone, from Photojojo | Glyn Evans | iphoneography
Photojojo now offers a kit of three lenses for your iPhone. An interesting idea, but the only reason I use the iPhone is because I carry it with me everywhere; I'm not sure I'd remember to carry these lenses - no matter how small - along with me too.

Rare Alfred Hitchcock film footage uncovered | BBC
Three reels of Hitchcock's first film were found in New Zealand:
The three reels were found among some unidentified American nitrate prints, which were left at the New Zealand Film Archive in 1989.

'Twixt' Trailer: Francis Ford Coppola's Experimental Film Debuts (VIDEO) | HuffPost
Coppola is going around the country showing the movie and recutting it as he goes:
...he would be taking the haunting mystery film on a road tour in which he'd tailor the show to each audience, each night, changing it by cutting and adding as it went along.


Tuesday, August 02, 2011

That Ends That: Facebook Kills Push Pop Press

A couple of months ago a company called Push Pop Press appeared out of nowhere with an electronic book called "Our Choice." I was intrigued by it not because of the book, but because there were hints that they were developing a publishing tool that they might make available to others.

During an online chat at Mike Matas, User Interface Designer at Push Pop Press gave the following answers[4] about whether they were going to make a publishing tool:
A. The tools we are building are not a development environment but are a layout tool (and much more user-friendly), but we can’t announce any specific details on the product quite yet.

A. We are building a publishing platform that we plan on releasing to the public in the future. Right now it's in private beta and we are working with authors to create books with our tool.

Clearly I shouldn't have gotten my hopes up.

Facebook just bought the company, but not to get into publishing electronic books as the following from Push Pop's announcement reveals:
Although Facebook isn't planning to start publishing digital books, the ideas and technology behind Push Pop Press will be integrated with Facebook, giving people even richer ways to share their stories. With millions of people publishing to Facebook each day, we think it's going to be a great home for Push Pop Press.[1]
It goes on to say:
There are no plans to continue publishing new titles or building out our publishing platform that was in private beta.

I wonder if Facebook made them an offer they couldn't refuse, or whether the company decided that being bought by Facebook was a more secure financial future than being in the publishing game.

Either way, it's just another reason to hate Facebook.

  1. PushPopPress: About
  2. CNET: Facebook buys digital bookmaker Push Pop Press
  3. NotesOnVideo: Push Pop "Our Choice" app initial impressions
  4. NotesOnVideo: More on Push Pop Press interactive books

Storyboard Composer HD - $4.99 introductory offer

If you're in to storyboarding on your phone, well now you can do it on your iPad too. Cinemek has released Cinemek Storyboard Composer HD, an updated version of their existing iPhone storyboard program: Storyboard Composer [which sells for $19.99]. This week it's on sale for $4.99!!

  • Multi view option when iPad is turned vertical.
  • Scenes can now be organized in scene view.
  • Users can exchange .CSC files between devices and to other users.
  • Users can now add their own logo to be displayed on PDF’s.
  • QuickView thumbnail preview.

I reviewed the iPhone app here: Hitchcock - iPhone Storyboard App

Free Live Webinar: Color Correcting Inside FCP X | Thursday, August 4th

In this webinar learn how to set up the Final Cut Pro X interface for efficient color correcting. It will also cover how to use video scopes, how to color match a series of clips, and the best way to stay within video safe levels

Agenda includes:
  • Color balancing during media ingestion.
  • Setting up the user interface for color correction.
  • Exploring the video scopes.
  • Color correction filters; Which are new. Which to use. Which to lose.
Presenter: Ben Brownlee is a VFX artist, digital media specialist and instructor with 11 years of production experience across a number of disciplines.

August 4, 2011 @ 10:00 AM PDT to 11:30 AM PDT

Filmmaking Webinars: Color Correcting Inside Final Cut Pro X

Stereo3D Toolbox LE V3.0 compatible with Final Cut Pro X

Dashwood Cinema Solutions has announced the version 3.0 update to Stereo3D Toolbox LE — the light edition counterpart to Dashwood's professional Stereo3D Toolbox plug-in for stereoscopic 3D mastering.

Stereo3D Toolbox LE is built on Noise Industries' FxFactory platform and designed to work with Adobe After Effects, Apple Final Cut Pro, Apple Motion and Apple Final Cut Express applications. The v3.0 update qualifies additional platforms, including the new Final Cut Pro X release..

"Stereo3D Toolbox Light Edition is perfect for any 3D enthusiast just stepping into 3D waters. It's very easy to use, and budget-friendly. The version 3.0 release also includes a variety of new features and is already qualified for Final Cut Pro X," says Tim Dashwood.

Features include: convergence adjustment and vertical, zoom and rotational disparity correction tools, "autoscale," a preview screen within the user interface, and the ability to output clips to popular stereoscopic monitors and delivery formats - including YouTube 3D.

New features in Stereo3D Toolbox LE v3.0:
  • Stereoscope output mode compatible with Hasbro's my3D format
  • Instantly work with GoPro 3D and Panasonic AG-3DA1 H.264 files in Final Cut Pro X without transcoding or muxing (see video tutorial for details)
  • Quick nest tools for building side-by-side compound clips or nests
  • Global Output Mode feature from Stereo3D Toolbox v3.0
  • Difference, Anaglyph B&W and Anaglyph outline modes
  • 2D bypass output option
Stereo3D Toolbox LE v3.0 costs US $99 and the update is free for current Stereo3D Toolbox LE customers. You can download a demo version of Stereo3D Toolbox LE v3.0 by visiting

Quick Links

YouTube Creator Playbook | YouTube
YouTube has produced a guide for YouTube publishers:
We're excited to provide Partners and creators with a new resource that compiles important tips, best practices, and strategies that helps creators build audiences on YouTube. We hope you find the information helpful to your creative process and that we can help you take your channel to the next level.

Charging a Premium for Movies, at a Cost | Michael Cieply | New York Times
While studios have raised prices - thanks to 3D movies - attendance has continued to fall: will be the 17th consecutive annual increase in a business whose prices have outpaced the effect of general inflation by more than half since 1999. Theater attendance has fallen by about 10 percent in that period, or even more when measured as a share of the growing population.

Apple TV now streams purchased TV shows, Vimeo videos | Jonathan Seff
| MacWorld
A software update for the second generation Apple TV adds streaming of previously purchased TV shows from the iTunes store, and more.

PluralEyes for Premiere Pro 2.0 | Signular Software
PluralEyes 2.0 for Premiere Pro is now available, and is supposed to be twice as fast as the original.

Fostex to Launch AR-4i
| Fostex
Announced back in April, but this should be available shortly, the AR-4i is an audio interface for the iPhone4 dock connector. The high quality stereo microphone inputs with AD converter improve the audio quality of iPhone4's video recording, video streaming via Ustream, LiveStream etc. as well as recording of live performance and ENG.

The Fstoppers 2011 Behind the Scenes Contest | FStoppers
A contest to make a video about shooting video (or stills!):
This is a contest open to any photographer/videographer around the world who wants to share how creative they are behind a camera. You must be willing to share your creative side and explain exactly how you tackled your project. In order for your BTS video to be well received by our audience, you must include the photo/video gear you are using, show the final images within the video, and also give out useful information to help teach and inspire other photographers.
The deadline is December 31st 2011, and you can see some of last years winners here: Fstoppers Contest: It’s Time To Vote!

Adobe After Effects CS5.5 mid-cycle update rivals full-scale release
| Jeff Foster | MacWorld
An in-depth review of the latest release of After Effects:
A so-called "dot upgrade" of a major software product like Adobe After Effects may imply that it’s not significant enough for you to jump on board until the next full version is released. If you think that, you are dreadfully wrong. After Effects CS5.5 boasts enough major new features and productivity enhancements to rival any full version software release.

NEX-VG20, successor to the NEX-VG10 to be announced August 24th?

SonyAlphaRumors has information about a big upcoming announcement from Sony with new lenses (16-50mm A-mount, 55-210 E-mount, Zeiss 24mm f/1.8) cameras (A77 and the NEX-7) and camcorder; NEX-VG20.

The NEX-7 has been rumored since the arrival of the NEX-5 and 3, and was always supposed to be a more sophisticated version of the small mirror-less camera design.

Whats more interesting to me is the impending announcement of the NEX-VG20. How will this differ from the existing model? Will it just be a chip upgrade? My guess is that it will also add 24p support, since nearly all of Sony's high-end consumer camcorders now support 24p. The other complaints about the NEX-VG10 were the menu control system, but I doubt that will change significantly. We shall see...

SonyAlphaRumors: (SR5) Huge Sony leak!!!
EOSHD: Sony NEX7, A77, A65, NEX5N and VG20 video camera to launch August 24th

 The current Sony NEX VG-10

Monday, August 01, 2011

'Captain America" Action Shots Captured with Canon DSLRs

This past weekend I saw "Cowboys & Aliens" (it was okay, not terrible, not great) but Canon has sent out a press release about the other comic-book based action movie in the theaters right now, announcing that many of the action shots for "Captain America: The First Avenger" were shot on the Canon 5D Mark II.

The DSLRs were used for several POV shots including a car chase and crash, and a high-speed motorcycle pursuit.

“The challenge with a lot of action photography is getting the camera in the right position,” Jonathan Taylor, second unit director/director of photography noted. “I’m always looking to get the camera into impossible to reach places because those kinds of shots make action sequences much more exciting. Most 35mm motion-picture cameras and even the leading digital cinematography cameras are just too big to get into interesting positions.”

24p or 30p: Second Thoughts

Last week I posted a short article about how I was debating shooting an upcoming project in 24p. As luck would have it, I had pretty much made up my mind I was going to try shooting in 24p when I went to the Rule Boston Camera Pub Night last week and Tim Mangini, Director of Broadcast at FRONTLINE, gave a presentation called "CRASH & BURN: Making docs on a tight turnaround," which was all about logistics and dealing with content for documentary film making.

One of the things he mentioned was that they deal with a lot of different acquisition formats, though their final output is 1080 60i.

But that wasn't what caught my attention.

Afterwards he was talking about working with a producer from England who had shot some material in 24p, and who had then had a lot of problems converting the material to 25p (for showing in Europe.) It was suggested that you're better off shooting in 30p and converting to 25p (or 24) than shooting in 24 and going to 25 (unless you conform rather than convert, and have the content play back at 25 frames per second instead of 24.)

And at the same meeting a friend said that he didn't like shooting in 24p because you couldn't do as much to convert it to slow motion as you could with 30p (or 60p!)

The 25/24 issue is a concern, as I do know I want to create a PAL DVD of the content (which would be 50i), and that's a certainty, whereas the 24p is more an aesthetic question.

Clearly I'm going to have to do some experiments to see what the results are when converting 24p to 50i and 30p to 50i.

Feel free to let me know I'm being delusional.

See also: 24p or 30p?

Quick Links

Adobe Warp Stabiliar. A Poor-Man's Cineflex? | Tom Guilmette |
Abandoning Final Cut Pro for Adobe CS 5.5, Tom finds lots to love in the Warp Stabilizer.
The warp stabilizer is not a replacement for proper camerawork. You will still need to acquire good looking footage using tools like a tripod or dolly/slider. But this plugin is very good and will open doors to creative technique never before possible without tons of post time and processing power.

Vimeo to take on Brightcove, Ooyala for video hosting | Ryan Lawler | Gigaom
Vimeo comes out with the $199 Vimeo Pro which offers:
...features that aren’t available to free users, including customizable “portfolio” websites and players, review pages that can be shared before a video goes public, advanced reporting and analytics, social media sharing tools and advanced privacy settings.
The $199 a year gives you 50GB of storage and 250,000 plays, though additional storage and plays may be purchased. This could be interesting for corporate users, though sounds like it's not for distributing your movie.

What You See Is What You Get | Manohla Dargis | New York Times
Interesting article about complexity in film, and whether difficult movies just make us think too hard.
Moviegoers fed a strict Hollywood diet may find themselves squirming through, say, a film by the Hungarian director Bela Tarr less because of the subtitles than because of the long takes during which little is explained. The same may hold true for those who watch “The Tree of Life” and want Terrence Malick to connect the dots overtly among his characters, the dinosaurs and the trippy space images.

Setting up Studio Lighting | VideoMaker | YouTube
A video that explains how to set up lighting for a studio.

Coming Soon: The 3rd Annual Online New England Film Festival
| New England Film will be hosting films from Woods Hole, Rhode Island and other local film festivals on their website from September 1 through October 15.

Cinemorph Filter & Animorphic Lenses Explained | Peter Bohush | Vimeo
A brief explanation of how anamorphic lenses work, and a review of the CineMorph Filter, a lens filter that emulates some of the qualities of a true anamorphic lens.

Are Web Series The Future of Branded Video Entertainment?
| Jeremy Scott | ReelSEO
Interview with Chase Norlin, CEO of Alphabird, who has created Placevine Studios a website for reviews of web series and YouTube channels.
As a rule, we generally tend to stay away from profiling short films and “one off’ styled clips as far as web series content is concerned. We’d rather review an ongoing web series as it gives us an opportunity to track its development from a production value standpoint. Since the web series is still a relatively new medium, it’s exciting to see how much the content can mature from a production standpoint, and who’s showing signs of thinking outside the proverbial box and willing to push the parameters to a new and never before seen level visually, storyline, and performance wise.

Apple expected to launch 3 HDTV models by March 2012 - report
| Neil Hughes | AppleInsider
The rumor that Apple will do something in the television space keeps coming around...

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Selectric Typewriter Turns 50

Happy Birthday Selectric!

Today is the 50th anniversary of the IBM Selectric typewriter and to celebrate, this week the Post Office announced a stamp. The fact that this announcement happened the same week the Post Office announced plans to close over 3,000 offices might remind us that the Selectric itself stopped production in 1986. One archaic technology celebrating another.

In a post at the Smarter Planet blog, Gordon Bruce retells the history of the Selectric, and how it grew out of a design with a cylindrical type element:
There was a guy by the name of Bud Beattie who was a development engineer and it was his job to get this thing to work. He went home and his wife was complaining about a light bulb that had blown. He screwed the light bulb and like in the cartoon, the light went on. He quickly got a grease pencil, drew circles, and divided it up. This is it!” Changing the typing element from a cylinder to a ball was the solution.

Interestingly, while the Selectric was both the peak, and practically the end of the typewriter, it also played a small part in the early days of computers:
Selectric was the basis for the keyboard input on the revolutionary IBM System/360. A modified version of the Selectric, dubbed the IBM 2741 Terminal, was adapted to plug into the System/360, and enabled a wider range of engineers and researchers to begin talking to and interacting with their computers.

I typed out my first newsletter using a Selectric typewriter, back before the days of PageMaker and desktop publishing.  One of the things that really attracted me to the Selectric as opposed to other typewriters was that the type ball could be switched to change the font. Later models even let you change type pitch, switching between 10 and 12 characters per inch.

The keys of the Selectric also had a very solid feel to them, something I often missed when I first started using the light and plasticy keyboards on computers.

I still miss that typewriter.

IBM: The Selectric Typewriter
IBM: IBM Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Selectric Typewriter
Building a Smarter Planet: Happy 50th, Selectric!

Quick Links

The Ultimate Table of Formats-- Aspect Ratios | Film Center
An exhaustive list of different moving image formats with year introduced, year abandoned, aspect ratio and frame area.

Imax, RealD earnings disappoint, stocks plummet | Ben Fritz | Los Angeles Times
More proof that interest in 3D is declining?
The news comes as returns from 3-D screens in the U.S. and Canada for many movies this summer have been unimpressive, including “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part 2,” “Captain America: The First Avenger” and “Green Lantern.” Overseas, however, people remain more interested in paying extra to see images pop out of the screen.

Clues for Building a Good Armature for a Stop Motion Puppet
| Carlos Lascano | Zacuto
I'd love to try my hand at stop-motion....if I only had the time!
According to my personal experience, the most reliable and easily achievable materials for good quality armatures are wood and wire. If the budget allows you to hire a professional to create the armatures with top-quality materials then great, go for it. But for us reckless animators that take joy in building the puppets ourselves, some other more attainable materials can still work pretty well.

The fallacy of pixel peeping! Red Tails trailer partially shot by Philip Bloom on a Canon 5DMkII and 7D | Andrew Reid | EOSHD
Andrew thinks that the Red Tails trailer, because it includes some footage shot on DSLRs, proves that pixel peeping is pointless:
This footage acts as a timely reminder for all aspiring filmmakers. DSLR image quality – even the line skipping flawed image you get from the Canon DSLR back in 2009 – is good enough for serious work at the highest level.
While I generally agree with the thrust of the post - that it's more important to get out and shoot, than what you're shooting with - a better camera is still a better camera, whether it's better because it's easier to use, smaller and lighter, or produces a slightly better image.

JJ Abrams... | Jannard | REDUser
JJ has dibs on the first EPIC-X:
When I opened my first RED ONE package, it was like a sense memory. I hadn't felt that same thrill of absolute possibility since I was a boy, opening my first super 8 camera.

Hollywood's First Digital Christmas to Cause Pain | Alex Ben Block
| The Hollywood Reporter
With DVD sales plummeting and cloud-based distribution rising, it might not be a merry Christmas for the studios:
The big question is: How much pain will the transition inflict on Hollywood? Studios already are enduring wrenching change as DVD sales dwindle faster than digital revenue rises. A year ago, Sony eliminated about 450 positions, mostly in home entertainment, while in recent months Disney dropped close to 200 jobs, Warner Bros. cut 50, Fox trimmed 22, and Lionsgate laid off 10.

'Californication' leaves no trail of tape | Peter Catanicas | Variety
The show is now shooting digitally using the ARRI Alexa, producing dailies on set, but still sends the dailies out for color correction:
"When we started the show, we tried to color on-set before handing it off to Tom," said Weaver. "But after a season, Tom said, 'Honestly, what I'm doing here is undoing what you guys did.' You couldn't isolate the colors on-set. If you wanted to warm up a scene you had to put a stain over the entire frame. So this year I'm not doing any on-set colorizing at all. I'm handing the raw material over to Tom. He knows my eye.".

Advice From A Genius: Should You Buy AppleCare? | Jordan Golson | MacRumors
Well should you? This article, based on a post from Thomas Brand who worked as a Genius at an Apple Retail Store, offers advice on AppleCare for different Mac models.

Octocopter in Africa - Extreme Aerials - Okavango Delta | | Vimeo

Octocopter in Africa - Extreme Aerials - Okavango Delta from on Vimeo.
Shoot using Canon 7D, Canon 550D, and 10-22mm EF-S