Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Coming Back From Criticism

Sunday, April 9th, 2017

How bad can criticism affect you? It really depends on a lot of factors.

I’m still affected by something someone said to me seven years ago. I really feel that I haven’t gotten over it and in fact, I’m currently trying to work through it.

One of my first ever paid video gigs was a behind the scenes (BTS) shoot for a friend of mine who was shooting a little short for a contest for the Ford Motor Company, dealing with Mustangs. He was a finalist and actually got a budget to shoot this.

It was a great short that he wrote and shot with a great cast and crew.

My job was to shoot BTS for him because he had to add a little “Who’s the director?” thing with his submission. I also stayed on for an additional day to record some BTS for another short he was directing. So, two days, two full days, driving out to OC for each and then again to deliver the footage.

At the time of the shoot, you couldn’t even rent the camera alone for twice what I charged. I’m going to say all of this was for $200. (I’ll verify later)

Things went great, pretty much. I had fun. I was fed pizza. Got to see some shooting. Got to meet some great people.

My friend said that when he got the money from the people, he’d mail me a check. That check took a long time to arrive but after a long, long time, it did arrive.

Sometime after that, I got an email from my friend’s girlfriend / soon to be fiance / eventually to be wife. It went on to say that the reason the check was so late was that SHE didn’t want to pay me. And I was lucky because “Tom” was such a nice guy that he wanted to pay me despite my footage being shitty and too dark to use and that probably cost him the contest. And also I was to NEVER try to speak to them again.

I have to admit that I can be an asshole sometimes and I jump to conclusions and have had my share of pissing people off. But I have to think that there was obviously more to her anger toward me than what she wrote. And I already admitted that I’m not that good at anything, after all. But, I mean, where does that kind of vitriol come from?

Anyway, we all know that when a person has undisclosed crimes, they flame-out on other innocents to make people look the other way. Her email to me was actually in response to an email I had written my friend’s mother, who was asking for advice on running an art group among our mutual friends and community. I had told her the reality of how hard it was to run such a group and in that email I mentioned that not getting paid for so long from her son, actually made me think twice about being involved.

So there! That was it, a reason to hate me. Now my friend’s girl had a reason, from the future to excuse her past crime toward me. See, obviously she knew I was going to be a meany and I didn’t deserve to be paid, because that thing was going to happen in the future and see and yeah that footage was shitty too!

It’s kind of funny to think about now but even so, the criticism still stings. And while it might have some truth in it, it is unwarranted as such. And even if true, should have been given in a much nicer spirit.

As a comparison, I recently decided to try out a new camera by visiting another friend, whose band was playing at a bar. In my somewhat drunken and surely uneducated stupor, I accidentally changed the shutter speed to something that made all the footage go all ghostly blurry. He didn’t ask me to shoot the band and although the footage was screwed up in my opinion, he said the following when I sent it to him, “Thanks man! The footage looks pretty cool! I know shooting that way was unintentional, but whoever is editing has footage from a bunch of different shows and I think he could totally splice some of that in and it might work really well. I really appreciate you coming out and doing that for us.”

How cool is that?

Sometimes getting things out in the open helps one feel better. I actually feel a little better writing this all down, here. I never really mentioned the above attack on my art to anyone publicly, except a few close friends. I’ve held it in for all this time and it’s been like a little devil sneering at my work, in the shadows of my mind. I still have my footage from that job and honestly, I think it’s quite usable. A little color correction to brighten it up surely but I’ve always thought it’s better to underexpose a little than to blow it out. I’m going through the footage now, as an exercise, to “prove to myself” that it surely could have been actually used. But the voice-over narrative will most certainly be changed!

My Latest Favorite Podcasts

Saturday, April 8th, 2017

In an effort to define (more like, “find”) myself artistically, I’ve turned to photography. Like most of the arts I’ve been interested in, I’ve been interested in photography for a long time. I keenly recall taking pictures, fairly intently, since the age of ten.

Recently, I saw a post on Facebook by an old-time “opinion leader” of mine (I say opinion leader but more in the vein of “I pay attention to what they say and am willing to think about those thoughts and see how I feel about them”, as there aren’t too many people whom I’ll attest to blindly listen to.) that went something like, “a dabbler’s life is just dabbling.” I’m pretty sure I’m misquoting that but it was something like that. I’ve also recently confessed in one of my notebook notes that I’ve never really been good at anything.

Since I’ve found editing and filmmaking, which has been about ten years now, I learn a lot of things online, whether via videos, classes, blogs, vlogs or podcasts. My favorite podcasts currently are: Artful Camera, Our Week in Video, Here be Monsters. I’ll do a Go Creative Show, if none of the above have anything new but it’s starting to get a little too glitzy for me. I just discovered The wondering DP, so I can’t favorite it yet but I found his approach to learning, as interviewed on the Go Creative Show podcast, to be genius so I hope it will become one.

I like the Artful Camera podcast because Carl Olsen seems to be like me in that he likes a lot of different kinds of art, although assuredly he’s much more advanced than I am. He recently re-invented and re-branded his podcast from the Digital Convergence podcast and I like the direction he’s taking. He covers a wide array of photography and videography, including many analog forms. This is quite refreshing.

I like Our Week in Video because it’s a couple of blokes from the UK who talk about wedding videography and the challenge of it and the tech and craft of it and it challenges me because I’m a “I don’t do weddings” kind of guy. Although listening to them, I think, “ooh that’s challenging. Maybe I will try.” They are guys who push themselves and I appreciate that and want to foster that in myself.

Here be Monsters is a KCRW podcast, one of many I might listen to that has very interesting stories and for storytelling’s sake, they expand my mind and give me ideas. It’s on the dark side and I tend to like the dark side of things, when it comes to movies, news, etc. I wish life wasn’t so dark but I can’t shake my interest in these types of stories.

For this current dabble of mine, I think it’ll improve me cinematography, although I don’t necessarily want to be a DP or a Camera man. I also see it improving my editing, which has kind of been on hold as of late. All together, I think it’ll improve my writing, as well.

None of the above holds a candle to being a father and the joy I get being around my kids but I hope it’ll help me be better at that too. I think it’s important to be an example of “follow your dreams” to them.

I Killed Off #IFIE

Sunday, January 15th, 2017

Sometimes in great storylines the protagonist must die.

Such was the fate of #IFIE.

After over seven years, with ebb and flow passion towards it in the past and waning interest in it in the present, I had to “kill my baby”. Or maybe it’s better to say, let it go out into the world on its own.

I’ve hit a time in my life where time is precious. I have young kids that I want to spend more time with. I want to travel. I want to do more.

At the same time, I have to spend some time “letting go of the past”, including selling off a bunch of stuff that I really have no business still owning.

I’ve said good-bye on the meetup and facebook pages. The Meetup page will go away, as I’m not going to be paying for it anymore. The FB one will remain, I guess as a place some people can still reach out to one another.

I’m still trying to figure out what I want to do when I grow up. So, when i figure that out, I’ll move forward with that and post about it here.

Until then, “Until then!”.

#IFIE June 3, 2015 Meetup

Friday, June 5th, 2015

Inspiring night at The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire with Shannon Hartman, Norman Zeledon from HDDisk and Steven C. Miller.

Randy Ubillos at LACPUG 5/27/2015

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

An interesting night at LACPUG, last night.

First a stump the gurus
Randy Ubillos, Larry Jordan, Kylee Wall and Monica Daniels

Two Chicagoans presented last night, as the Blackhawks took game 6 of the NHL Western Conference to tie the series 3 – 3, forcing game 7 to be played in Anaheim. First was Matt Isi Geller who talked about Key Flow Pro, a very cool app that allows file sharing and collaboration in a very unique and smart way. Then Mare Costello who talked about her 5+ year (and counting) journey making The Syriana Tate Interviews. Check both out.

Then a break and then Randy! Randy Ubillos is basically the creator of FCP and ran teams for a number of App creation.

Long time friend and “Head Cutter” of LACPUG, Michael Horton gave a great introduction.

After retiring from Apple, to go on adventures, Randy expressed joy in being able to be here not under the badge of Apple and proceeded to give us a presentation on Making Personal Movies.

He went into tips on making montage videos from trip photos and videos. I won’t show any of the video examples here. You can find the examples on his and his husband’s web page here: http://randyandrick.com/

Doing a “One Man Multicam”

And then his top 10 tips

Overall, Randy is inspiring. He has been able to follow all of his passions and help others to follow theirs, along the way.

He’s democratized editing and creating content for the layman and has helped many people launch careers.

Buddha and Jesus, According to Bob

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

I have here an example of why sometimes it’s great to engage in conversation with your fellow human beings, instead of just sitting in silence, waiting around for something.

Arriving early to the AAA office to register my car, I sat on the planter next to “Bob T.”. At least that’s what the name tag on his trucking company shirt said. Bob was an older Asian fellow (originally from Thailand, I would later find out) who was quick to return a smile and engage in conversation.

Through his heavily accented English, which I knew most people wouldn’t be able to understand, Bob started to talk to me about strange weather we were having and how it was due to the Earth actually spinning slower than normal. He also went on to tell me that because of this phenomenon that this was the reason we were losing planes. The wind was unable to keep up with them as it should and radar tracking doesn’t work right under these conditions. This was not all that was wrong with the planet, it turns out.

Because of it being still cool in May and the varying of hot and cold and hard rain, etc., Bob has had to replant his flowers, over and again. Things were off. Man, you see, is adding more and more chemicals into the environment. These chemicals are seating themselves into the dirt. The dirt and dust that comes down when it rains. (Apparently, that’s why your car gets so dirty when it rains!)

These chemicals are having an effect on humans and animals.

These chemicals are making people more and more easily angered and wanting to fight with one another. That’s why there is such an increase in violence on the planet. It’s not just here in the US. Bob is a world traveler and has witnessed these things in people all over the world.

I asked Bob if there was a solution to this problem. Well, you see, Jesus will be coming around again. We need to make ourselves right for that time.

Bob has made it a point to study religion from many backgrounds. Particularly helpful was an old pastor of his whom recently passed away. I gather he was a born-again Christian type of pastor from the talk we’re having. Bob said that the pastor helped him understand the bible and the different concepts in it. Bob added that I shouldn’t believe what he said but to take these ideas and inspect them for myself and see if they are true for me.

He explained further that it was the falling away from the first five commandments that was leading mankind down the wrong path.

Bob went on to tell me about how Jesus died for our sins so that we could be saved and that the problem Jesus had in his time, was that he fought against the government, fought for people to not pay taxes and preached directly to the common man. Doing so, he made the government angry and that is why they hung him on a cross. Buddha on the other hand took a different approach.

There wasn’t much difference in what Buddha and Christ were teaching. They just took different approaches to spreading their word. You see Buddha went directly to the ruler and sold him on his ideas and because of this was given free reign to spread his teachings amongst its people. So therein, I learned a very important lesson. If you want to reach more people without getting hassle from the Man. You need to go to the top honcho around those parts and sell him on the idea. Then he’ll give you the keys to the kingdom.

And it was at that time, AAA opened for business.

Thanks Bob!

Divergent Media announced today immediate availability of EditReady 1.2 with support for AVCHD and HDV

Friday, March 6th, 2015

Divergent Media announced today immediate availability of EditReady 1.2 with support for AVCHD and HDV camera footage, integrated from their industry leading ClipWrap application. Upgrade pricing is available for existing ClipWrap users.

March 2, 2015 San Francisco, CA – Since its launch in mid-2014, EditReady has quickly gained a reputation as the fastest, easiest transcoding tool on the Mac. With frequent updates, it has gained support for formats like MXF and Sony’s XAVC-L. EditReady 1.2 adds support for hundreds of the most popular cameras which shoot to AVCHD and HDV transport streams.

“By combining the rock solid AVCHD and HDV format support from ClipWrap with the advanced hardware acceleration, GPU filtering and modern user interface of EditReady,” said CEO Mike Woodworth, “we’re one step closer to our goal of a single application for users to prep any footage for edit, dailies, or delivery.”

Consolidating the two products gives EditReady users access to a huge collection of newly supported source cameras. ClipWrap users transitioning to EditReady will be able to take advantage of EditReady’s clean user interface, video preview, metadata editing, and hardware accelerated pipeline.

About EditReady

Rewraps and transcodes HDV and AVCHD, QuickTime, MP4 and MXF input
In addition to the various AVCHD and HDV cameras supported by ClipWrap, EditReady can transcode footage from MXF and Quicktime cameras such as the GoPro, iPhone, Arri Alexa, Blackmagic Cinema Camera, Sony F7, digital SLRs and many more.

Preview videos and see thumbnails
EditReady shows thumbnails of clips for at-a-glance review and organization. GPU accelerated preview allows quick review of footage before transcode and even supports LUTs (look up tables) for simple color correction.

Custom metadata and file naming
EditReady’s metadata editor makes it simple to check the metadata embedded by the camera, correct problems, and add additional info. Any of the metadata can be used to build custom naming schemes for output files.

Fast
EditReady was written from the ground up to use hardware accelerated encode and decode available in many modern Macs, as well as GPU based color transforms. EditReady takes the power and speed of ClipWrap and turns it up to 11.

Availability
EditReady 1.2 is available as a free update for existing EditReady users, and as a $29.95 crossgrade for existing ClipWrap users.

To learn more about EditReady, visit http://www.divergentmedia.com/editready.

About Divergent Media

Divergent Media is a San Francisco, CA based software company providing flexible tools for video monitoring, acquisition, transcoding, and quality assurance. In business for over 10 years, we pride ourselves on making well made tools for video professionals.

2015 – Where Do I/We Go From Here?

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

I talk a lot about trying to find out who I am and what I want to do. So, what does that say about me? I guess I’m unhappy with what I’m doing for a living, overall. A creative stuck in a boring non-creative job. I make up for that lack of “fun” by filling as much of my free time with as many creative things as I can.

Recently, like yesterday, I got some more inspiration from Sue Bryce, of Creative Live fame.

She said some things on her Confront Your Challenges course: https://www.creativelive.com/courses/confront-your-challenges-sue-bryce that really made me think.
(When this airs on CL, you can buy the course and watch it anytime you want.) She was questioning a participant as to whether they really wanted to be a photographer, if they weren’t doing what they needed to do to be one. Then, Segment 10, Emotional Honesty, had me in tears. (Most anytime I hear stories about people doing what they love after being told they can’t, I break down.) I think I have some unresolved issues in that arena!

Anyway, that brought me to this kind of thought process:

For my New Year’s Resolution, “Be the person you want to be. Do the things you want to do.” Well… Then:
Who do I want to be? What do I want to do?

As Sue asked her participant, I ask myself: What do I do for free or spend most of my time doing, that I should be doing as my career?

Outside of my day job, I spend time:
Being with my kids/family
Helping people do what they want to do/Consulting/Advising
Shooting Music Videos
Shooting pictures
Shooting home movies
Writing
Taking Classes
Watching Movies and Television and Videos
Reading Internet Stories or forums
Selling and buying online
Gardening
Traveling
Reef Aquarium Keeping

What I want to do but don’t spend time doing or at least haven’t in the past year:
Editing
Shooting more videos and films
Dekludging my life

What ideas stop me from doing more of the above?
1) Time? (not really)
2) Money? (not really)
3) Thinking that there are already resources out there for people to accomplish the above? (Somewhat)
4) I, also, get side-tracked every time I run into a negative person that I have to deal with. I lose a week or more of creative productivity.

I once worked out for myself, that my job in life was to be a student, I was constantly learning things and figured I’d be doing that for the rest of my life and beyond. So, that is what I concentrated on. I think now that I must adjust that. Especially being a parent. I won’t stop learning but I need to start teaching and not the “those who can’t do, teach” kind of teaching but teach by doing and doing what I do very well.

So, for 2015, I’m upping everything I do.

I’m not sure exactly what that means but these notes are more for me to look over and apprise. So, we’ll see.

Independent Filmmakers of the Inland Empire Has a New Meeting Space

Sunday, October 26th, 2014

From the beginning, finding a place to meet for IFIE (Independent Filmmakers of the Inland Empire) has been a challenge.

Last month The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire reached out to us and offered their facilities to us for our November meetup. I toured the space and it is awesome. I had no idea that we has such a great facility right in our own back yard!

Needless to say, we decided to give it a shot.

November 5th’s meeting will be to discuss the possibility of an upcoming group film project.

Please come to:
The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire
674 E. Brier Dr.
San Bernardino, CA 92408

The meeting is at 7:30 PM

Hopefully, we can continue to use the space for our 2015 meetings!

#TBT on a Saturday – Intro to Pro HD Class Intros – June 24th, 2008

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

Intro to Pro HD Class Intros – June 24th, 2008

Eric:
My name is Eric Harnden. I, like my namesake [another person in the class named “Eric”], found out about the class through the LA final Cut Pro users group. My main passion is editing. I only recently got involved in it. I’ve always thought that I wanted to make movies, write, that kind of thing. In fact, when I was 38 I got kind of serious about writing and started going to creative screenwriting magazine’s screenings and then this last year volunteered at their expo and went to a few seminars there and learned a little bit about the craft. Just the whole process. I’ve had some intro to it because my ex-wife was a makeup artist. So, I’ve been on some sets and have seen how that whole thing works and you’re absolutely right about the craft services. (class laugh) Making the crew happy. I’ve seen that happen. I’m a network engineer, that’s my day job and I do alright and my wife’s a registered nurse, so I’m not doing this for money, it’s just a passion I have for editing, actually.

Jim Lindsay:
You know I think I’m going to have a red light that goes off every time the word, “passion” comes up….

Eric:
I think my end goal, I guess, is I can imagine myself getting an Oscar for editing, that would be the pinnacle of my career or whatever. Obviously I don’t see myself jumping right to that (class laugh) but I’m a realist as well. A kind of thing happened to me when I was 38 and I decided to write. I always had these stories in my head and I always thought that, you know, one day I’ll just run into like Stephen Spielberg or George Lucas and I’ll just tell them my ideas and that’ll be it. and then I realized well, (class laugh) that isn’t going to happen so you better start writing and putting stuff out there and do… make yourself known, before anything like that will really happen.

So anyway, I was kind of following the writing track for a couple years and then it’s a funny thing but I guess I was putting together, I got married a little over a year ago but I was putting together the wedding video and that whole, just kind of sparked in me, that I really liked putting this together and so I just started doing a lot of research as far as what would be the best programs and a guy I work with [Synthian Sharp] is a kind of advocate types of films [maker] and he was telling me about Final Cut Pro and he gave the whole how it’s like how Pro Tools. Like how Pro Tools isn’t actually taught much and how this other program [Logic] was coming up that these young guys where learning more and the final cut vs. Avid argument and so I researched that a lot and figured that Final Cut was the way I was going to go.

And I couldn’t afford to get my own system and so I went to my community college and took the class there. I just recently finished that and then during that whole process, got my own system and then started going to LA Final Cut Pro User Groups and then saw your announcement there.

And one thing I guess I want to get out of the class is I want to understand the whole cycle and how would I fit into that.

I also know, I want to be an independent editor so probably will do like music videos or something after this class and get some chops and maybe get a story written or produced or whatever.