Thursday, January 19, 2012

Adieu Kodak. The Age of Celuloid is Over.

When I first picked up a Super 8 camera and began making movies back in the 1960's, I longed for professional equipment.  16MM!  By the time I was actually doing film production and directing commercials and music videos, I was indeed shooting with professional equipment.  16mm cameras delivered a pretty good image once it was transferred to video for the final edit, but for commercial work I shot on 35mm with a big honking Panavision camera. 

I haven't made commercials in a while, and my personal film making was confined to 16mm and more often video.  Most recently I have been shooting everything on digital cameras and editing at home in my own edit suite with my Mac and Final-Cut Pro HD.

I guess it should come as no surprise that the medium I grew up trying to master changed out from under me, and I changed with it to an extent.  The idea of shooting anything on film now seems anachronistic.  The final product will end up as a series of ones and zeros and will be seen on flat screens or through the magic of DLP projection on a big screen.

That change is most likely what led to the demise of Kodak, the premier maker of professional motion picture film as well as the film for your home cameras.  Now it's hard to find a still camera that uses film, and even harder to find a lab who really knows what they are doing.

A few months ago the word came that Panavision, ARRI and Aton the three biggest camera companies were ceasing production of film cameras.  They have developed super high resolution digital versions that deliver every bit the resolution of film and more.  Son we will see motion pictures presented in HFR Digital projection.  This means High Frame Rate.  The usual rate is 24 frames per second, but the new HFR cameras shoot at 40 to 60 frames per second which will totally eliminate the flicker of current projection technique. More than that, it will make the screen seem to vanish, an effect I have witnessed at demonstrations and had my breath taken away.

I embrace the new technology because it makes the art of movie making easier in many respects.  Yes the "look" of film won't be the same, but I suspect some day we will lament loosing the "look" of good old low resolution TV.  Luckily, the huge libraries of film sitting in vaults around the world are slowly being scanned and converted to high resolution digital media, and I applaud the effort.  It will keep many cherished films around for a long time.

Meanwhile, I have waxed nostalgic for the whole process of loading film into cameras, dealing with jammed magazines, checking the film gate to be sure no dust was present when the last shot was made.  I will miss the physicality of film, but it is inevitable.  Times change.

Luckily the art of story telling using moving pictures has not changed, only the medium.  But I still miss the feel of the film itself.  Think I will go home and thread up my projector and watch a movie....oh wait, I don't have a film projector any more!

Colbert's Former Super Pac Goes Rogue!

Newt Gingrich Family Values Include Open Marriage

Personally I have no problem with open marriages or polyamory or whatever, but for a guy who touts his "family values" I just don't think Newt's idea of an "open Marriage" sis going to play in Peoria or to the GOP base.

In an interview with his second ex-wife Mariann on ABC News, she detailed how Newt asked her for an "open marriage" arrangement so he could have his mistress and wife simultaneously.  That mistress is now his wife, so you can see how well that played out. 

This is one of the numerous GOP voices condemning "gay Marriage" as the root cause of decline of Western Civilization.  I guess because I wanted to marry my partner, Newt felt compelled to try the "open marriage" ploy?  Go figure.

Rick Perry Finally Does Something Right - Quits!

Rick Perry, the zombie candidate of the GOP has finally stumbled upon a good decision. He is announcing he will pull out of the primary race.  The decision comes after a dismal showing in both Iowa and New Hampshire and a series of gaffs that helped to sink his campaign, once thought tp be the leviathan that would save the GOP from Romney.

I mistakenly figured that Perry would stay in the race until at least Florida or such a time as his campaign funds ran out.  I suppose he finally came to his senses and realized he didn't have a chance in the race which seems to be moving more and more to Romney's favor.

Perry, still a deluded individual, will throw his support behind Gingrich.  Strange since Gingrich is far from a "family values" guy, but such is the machinations of GOP politics.  Perhaps he just doesn't want to face another debate where he would undoubtedly provide more fodder for the press with his inevitable gaffs?

More soon.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

This Site Intentionally Left Blank - Stop SOPA!


SOPA Protest Blackout Tomorrow - Jan. 18

This blog along with thousands of others will be "dark" tomorrow in protest of the draconian rules contained in the SOPA bill in Congress.

The screen will be black and this message will appear. "This is what the web could look like under SOPA".

Sites like Wikipedia and others will be offline tomorrow in protest.  Join us.  More info here.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Happy Birthday Dr. King!

A wonderful quote from Martin Luther King Jr. that is often overlooked is this one about the relationship between science and religion.
"Softmindedness often invades religion. ... Softminded persons have revised the Beautitudes to read "Blessed are the pure in ignorance: for they shall see God." This has led to a widespread belief that there is a conflict between science and religion. But this is not true. There may be a conflict between softminded religionists and toughminded scientists, but not between science and religion. ... Science investigates; religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge which is power; religion gives man wisdom which is control. Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals. They are complementary."
To the fundamentalists out there, read this and open your mind to the really great truths scripture reveals, not the softminded revisionist interpretation you give to it.  

Rick Perry - Zombie Candidate

He roams the earth, not really knowing he , or at lest his campaign, is dead.  He is dead candidate walking.  He is Rick Perry!

Talk about a guy who doesn't know when to quit.  Perry has polled in the low single digits in most states, he was almost invisible in Iowa and New Hampshire and now has been tossed off the Virginia ballot because he didn't challenge his disqualification soon enough.  He just doesn't get the message.  His campaign is over.

As I have long suspected, his staff knows how much money is left in his campaign coffers and is trying to run out the clock.  Spending as much as possible for as long as there is money to spend.  After all, what have they got to lose?

Meanwhile the deluded zombie candidate says South Carolina is not " his campaign's Alamo".  He intends to campaign with social conservatives to boost his votes.  Only problem is the evangelical base has already backed Rick Santorum (another Zombie). So now Perry will stagger off spouting his idiocy and making more flubs as he drains the last of his funds.

It is a sad state we live in when we have a zombie as our governor.