Reading Now

A teaser for Season 2 – I’m pumped.

Last year I got hooked on a series airing on HBO, at first watching because I’m a sucker for anything with Sean Bean, then getting pulled in by the characters weaving their way throughout the realm.  What started for me as just another reason to Boromir with a sword again turned into not being able to wait for the following week’s episode.  Soon after the end of the first season ended I hungered for more information, diving online in search of what happens to the characters.  I couldn’t wait for the next season to come out, I needed answers.  I soon bought the first four books, book one was a breeze to get through as I had just seen the series on TV and it felt like a great retelling with the interesting little details television cuts out.  Book two these were the details I was looking for, filling my head with the story of how the characters’ journeys continue.  It sets the stage for what continues to be a batter for the whole realm where practically every man is king of his part of the woods.

I am currently wading through book three and enjoying every second I get to spend invested in the characters.  Sometimes its frustrating to be reading a chapter and enjoying the journey only to reach the end and know that you get whisked away to another character.  What amazes me is that its still holding my interest, I wouldn’t call myself an avid reader, but the series keeps pulling me back in.  The vignettes of stories that unfold all over the world George R. R. Martin has created are so tightly bound together that it makes you feel attached to everything.

If you haven’t started watching Game of Thrones – start.  Season 2 begins in April.

Site: Game of Thrones on HBO

Blog: Production Diary

Kodak limping along

I attended film school in an interesting transition period for cinema, digital cinema especially.  While in school there was of course talks about how film was a dead medium for shooting.  Keep in mind this was at a time when we were still cutting film by hand in one of our courses, I’m told this has since been removed from the curriculum.  The Canon 5D Mark II had yet to pioneer the indie market yet and Red hadn’t reached out.  In my cinematography program we were learning how to load film and shooting 16mm or 35mm if you were lucky.  I’m saying all this to preface just  how long film has been limping along and not so much in the Hollywood market but in every other small market.

I agree idea with choosing a medium to shoot your film on should always be a choice of aesthetic but with the indie video market exploding people were looking for cheaper options.  It been an exciting time for filmmakers especially with all the tools available to shoot with.  I just thought we should take a step back and reflect on how we used to capture light.

Kodak Timeline

Kodak Files Chapter 11

The Right Tool


With most content we shoot these days uploaded to the web in some high definition resolution I aways find interesting to get an SD project.  This week I found myself delivering mini DV tapes and once I shot the footage someone else would work on the edit.  It got me thinking about how far we’ve come since just 2008.

As I browse the web and see all this news about 3D and 4k resolution I always come back to the same conclusion, its what serves the project best. That may be film, tape, or some digital format but the bottom line is what does the project need and what’s the budget.

Above is a picture of my Canon XL-H1a hanging out on my tripod as I get ready for a shoot.  It feels funny after working in the DSLR realm for awhile to have the traditional ergonomics of a camera again complete with audio options.  It felt great to be able to have everything included in one package once I was up and running, no separate audio device to worry about, depth of field was not an issue.

With all the press about the lastest and greatest gear it just got me thinking again about putting the project first and finding your aesthetic then figuring out what piece of gear will suit your needs best.  For me that piece of equipment just happen to be a couple years older this time around.

Wash your internet out with SOPA

As an individual who spends some decent amount of time on the interwebs I thought I should take a look at the recent developments on SOPA and PIPA.  As a consumer of digital content and a creator of web media its vastly important that we understand how these laws will affect our interactions with the internet in general.

First lets talk about what SOPA allows content ownersas well as the US Department of Justice, the ability to seek court orders against websites accused of enabling or facilitating copyright infringement.  This at first can sound like a noble cause, I believe the problem becomes in how vaguely the law is written.  The problem is blanket authority to shut down websites, including websites with user generated content (think Facebook, YouTube, etc) if they infringe on their owned content.  Right now there is protection to user generated content providers, under a “safe harbor” clause in legislation passed in 1998, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).  This clause gives website owners a chance to remove infringing content in a “timely” manner, after receiving a notice from content owners.  SOPA would override this clause and hold sites accountable for content generated by their users, giving the government opportunity to block the site all together not just the infringing content.

PIPA or The PROTECT IP Act is similar in that it also wants to give the government the ability to shut down infringing websites, including those registered outside the US.  Again rising the idea of blocking domains from the internet.  Essentially the bill wants the US to alternate the DNS list to exclude those infringing companies.  This proposed idea is sited by several internet tech gurus as something that would hurt not only internet security but also make the internet less universal.

The idea that censorship could be enacted on this level on something that we have grown up with is baffling.  The internet has been a something that gives us all unfettered access to all types of information both good and bad.  The idea that this could be policed and regulated in this fashion is a scary future and one that I don’t want to see happen.

Certain companies are expressing their discontent for the bill stating it can stifle innovation and creation, pillars of the internet.  Reddit.com has been a strong voice of opposition to the bill stating it will go black for a day, Jan. 18th.  Even League of Legends playing congressman, Rep. Polis, is coming out against the bill directing people to get more involved in the conversation at keepthewebopen.com.

In short, I encourage all of you to read up and understand how this can affect you logging on to and digesting the internet on a day to day basis.

SOPA Information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stop_Online_Piracy_Act

Nikon Video Shooters Rejoice

It’s a very exciting time we live in that every six months or so products are being released with features that continue to push the industry forward.  We now have the capability to light completely different with the aid of cleaner higher ISOs, and we can operate with smaller crews, shooting in environments that perhaps before were off limits. Here comes another camera with the hopes of giving shooters even more versatility, Nikon’s D4.

We all know the Canon is king in the HDSLR realm but Nikon isn’t just letting them take over.  The Nikon D4 release marks a great entry into giving shooters reason to grab a Nikon body before a Canon.  Don’t get me wrong I love my Canon but the D4 feature set really grabs my attention.  Aside from its obvious professional photography specifications it offers a headphone jack to monitor your sound.  A microphone jack and HDMI out – sending an uncompressed clean video out.  These audio features just make life easier no matter if your running separate sound or not its helpful to get an idea of your reference audio for syncing purposes.  The clean video out is something Canon shooters have been trying to get for awhile now.

Its very nice to also see some features that seem very well thought out like the ability to shoot at different crops.  I’ll be curious to see this in action but the thought of having  a fixed lens mounted and being able to crop quickly to vary the field of view sounds great.  Another feature that I find very cool is to be able to incrementally change your aperture while recording in smaller increments.  It’s always annoying to try to get an exterior and you see that annoying aperture transition, hopefully this feature will make those ramps a little smoother.

Can’t Wait to See this in action!

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Here’s a video link from Nikon

Look’s like some prototype footage was released!

DP review also goes over the camera in some detail http://www.dpreview.com/articles/7799914638/nikon-d4-overview

- Enjoy

so here we are

Starting a collection of thoughts here – thought I would share some of my adventures with all of you.

A brief introduction – A gentleman of 25 years who enjoys good discussion about film and wants to take a moment and reflect about the finer things in life or to complain about the things that are not so fine.

I hope you can join me on this journey as I post and comment about my various wanderings about the interweb.

- hero