I started editing about 18 years ago on an Avid and have pretty much stuck to the workflow of those old tools, even now in Final Cut Pro I have my keyboard mapped to the old Avid commands. Yes, I have evolved in my personal style, efficiency and dialed in the most important aspects of editing (which is storytelling, timing and pacing – not “cool filter effects”) but I’ve recently felt my old-age in editing and that I need to get acquainted with the new tools that have been coming out.
Once the GoPro 3 Black Edition was released I immediately began shooting everything in it’s 2K setting. This gave me the opportunity to have nice screen grabs for the internets as well as having a bit of room to zoom and crop the framing when editing in 1080 HD. Until recently I would keep the zooms static, but I wanted to play around and see what I could create animating the zooms and positioning.
These two ambitions made for a fun personal project and have helped get me out of my stale corporate-blah editing rut. Yes, I still need to edit the corporate-blah to pay the bills, but I am once again having fun and am motivated to create cool shit when I have the free time.
This is my first video edited completely in Adobe Premiere and using Adobe SpeedGrade for the color grading. The camera moves and blurs are all animated in post, I know it isn’t ideal, but you can’t argue with the quality of footage being captured from a camera with such a small form-factor. There are a few harsh moves that I should have spent more time smoothing out but it was limited for this personal project and overall I am happy with the edit and the workflow using Premiere. My two favorite things about Premiere were how well it handled the 2K GoPro footage without the need of converting to ProRes and its Title tool that blows away FCP 7’s. It’s always best to shoot at a high frame rate when wanting smooth slow motion, but when you can’t, Twixtor will do the job decently. I like the more cinematic look I was able to achieve using these new tools and I think it is a nice effect to use sparingly in our future video edits.
Freitag makes radical adaptive reuse products to put stuff in, so it’s equally fitting that their storefront in Zurich is an adaptive reuse of shipping containers. I love shipping container construction, and this is the tallest and most unique building of it’s type (thanks to the truckspotting deck). Their product line could be considered a fine piece of artwork – with a store that creates the perfect frame.
Freitag Zurich – 9 Stories of Shipping Container Glory
Freitag Zurich – Storefront
Freitag Zurich – Interior
Freitag Zurich – Go Truckspotting
Freitag Zurich – Open Air Roof, perfect for Truckspotting
I wrote the draft to this post using OmmWriter. If you have a Mac I highly recommend this free application. It’s great to just quiet everything down and type your thoughts out in a nice peaceful environment with all your distractions removed.
I know it’s been too long, sorry. I’ve been busy trying to make things happen, as well as simply pay the bills. There’s some great stuff that I’m really looking forward to release in 2010. On the industrial front I’ve been working on a new platform bed, a couch set, and a wall clock. Also, my new portfolio is getting really close to being done. I’m excited to be able to share it with you all soon.
On the personal side of things, I have a new obsession that scares the shit out of me but I’m in love with it. I may or may not give more details in the future. Sorry to be such a tease.
Enough about me, here are some treats for you to enjoy.
Hot Chip released their new album One Life Stand last month and I’ve really been enjoying it thus far. Their latest single I Feel Better has one of the best videos I’ve seen in a long time. It’s totally ridiculous and will leaving you pondering “what… the… fuck… just… happened?” And that’s what makes it so great! Props to Peter Serafinowicz for directing such a rad video.
Hot Chip – We Have Love
Bear in Heaven – Ultimate Satisfaction
Bear in Heaven – You Do You
Hot Chip – I Feel Better
When I first saw The Big Lebowski, I was at a loss. I couldn’t figure out what the hell was going on, or what any of it meant. But, I suppose that makes sense as I was about 12 when it came out. Since then, I’ve come to love it. With Netflix instant viewing, I now watch it about once a week. And while I still don’t know what a lot of it means (that’s actually one of its great strengths), I now count it among my favorite films.
So imagine my great joy when I came across this: The Big Lebowski as written by William Shakespeare. The entire screenplay re-written, as if by Shakespeare. That alone should be enough for you to follow the link and check it out. But, if it isn’t, here are a couple of choice excerpts.
1) The Big Lebowski and Brandt question The Dude (Knave) in the Limo.
Speak, and speak quickly, foul vagrant!
I beseech ye, there is a beverage here.
Our attempts to reach thee have been frantic and numerous, Knave.
Whither my money? They did not receive the money. Thou liest, thou shag-haired villain! Thou odious maggot! Her life was in thy hands!
Verily, this be our concern, Knave.
2) Donny and Walter.
I be the walrus.
Hold thy tongue, Donald! Thy mind is Lenten.
The quality of wealth has sicken’d me.
An had I known that this would come to pass
(O vilest strumpet! Sinner! Painted whore!)
I might have tarried ere accepting service.
War in far-flung jungles, as my friends
Did die face-down in mire and muck and fens!
Now that Twitter has lists, it’s become even easier to follow more people without missing the content you really want. Here are a few of my favorite people/things to follow.
Music: @AmazonMP3 If you’re still buying music on iTunes, I only have one question: Why? AmazonMP3 albums are always cheaper, and every month they have at least 50 albums for $5. Plus, they offer $3 off coupons all the time. I bought the Antlers’ album, Hospice*, the other day for $2.00. Follow them on Twitter for the daily deal and special discounts.
Entertainment: @Variety Probably the best source for Entertainment news. And one of the news sources best-suited to 140 characters. For casting updates and box office reports, a headline is all you need.
Important: @TheEconomist For when you CNN isn’t really enough. More in-depth and thoughtful articles on finance, business, and world news.
Funny: @TheSulk Alec Sulkin*, a writer/actor/producer of Family Guy, has becomes my favorite for quality one-liners. It’s nice to see things like,“God, I wish I was 5 years younger, and not me.” in your feed every once in a while.
*My thanks to @TylerRomes for recommending both of these things to me.
Here’s a list of my very favorite films* of 2009.
1) ADVENTURELAND. This is an interesting choice, I know. I get shit all the time for liking this movie and now I’ll hear about it even more for placing it atop my list. But, I love it. Adventureland was mis-marketed when it came out. Sure Greg Mottola directed it, but this is no Superbad 2. It’s an honest, slow, and caring look at growing up. A coming of age story that deals with work, family, and love in familiar yet fresh ways. Jesse Eisenberg may play the same character he does in every film, but he plays it brilliantly here. And you almost forget Kristin Stewart is Bella Swan in those other movies, as she pulls off a moving and subtle performance here as Em, Eisenberg’s love interest. Rounding out the cast are favorites like Martin Starr, Bill Hader, and Kristing Wiig each adding another layer to the film.
2) UP IN THE AIR. You know those movies you go into with such high expectations you just can’t help but be let down? Up in the Air was already on a number of top ten lists before I got a chance to see it. I had already heard that George Clooney gave a career-defining performance, and that Anna Kendrick was sure to be a star. My expectations could not have been higher. But, then I saw it. And Up in the Air delivered. Topical in a way Director Jason Reitman never could have anticipated, this film about a corporate downsizer who spends 250 lonely days per year flying, somehow manages to make you care about a man who fires (sometimes dozens of) people every day. The performances are astounding, particularly Clooney and Kendrick, but what’s surprising is the heart.
3) (500) DAYS OF SUMMER. Is there anything more tired and cliche than the Romantic Comedy? I mean, this is the year that gave us The Ugly Truth and Confessions of a Shopaholic. (500) Days of Summer while not completely free of the usual Romantic Comedy trappings (goofy best friend, precocious little sister) rises above the genre with inventive writing and direction, a non-linear plot, and dashes of creativity that in lesser hands would have felt like trite indie-movie tropes. Instead we get an engaging story about love (not a love story), led by my favorite new pair of leading actors: Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel.
4) STAR TREK. I’ve only seen two episodes of the original series, and I have no interest in dressing up and attending a Star Trek convention, but I still loved this movie. And that says a lot about what Director J.J. Abrams accomplished here. A movie for fans and novices alike, what makes Star Trek so successful are the intense action, the seamless effects, and a story we care about. We know who these characters are, and we care what happens, whether or not we’ve already been watching them for 40 years.
5) INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS. This is easily my favorite Quentin Tarantino movie. For the first time in his career, I feel like style serves the substance instead of the other way around. He’s confident enough to leave scenes at a desperately-long 25 minutes, even when the only thing happening is a conversation. But, it’s in these scenes that the tension rises to levels higher than in any other film this year. Lives are threatened here just as often by the tone of a voice as by the end of a bat. It’s thrilling, unexpected, and altogether original.
6) AVATAR. Talk about a movie with high expectations. James Cameron’s first feature in over a decade was famous well before anyone ever saw a screen shot. Estimates of the film’s enormous budget were circulating before any reviews came in. But now that the film is out and the dust has settled, what remains? A beautiful and groundbreaking film. I won’t argue the merits of the story, as it is indeed a sort of environmentalist Dances with Wolves. But the effects are incredible. It’s the best 3D and motion capture I’ve ever seen. You forget that the Na’vi aren’t a real people Cameron found, that Pandora isn’t a real place. As promised, I think we’ll find that Avatar was the beginning of a new wave of filmmaking.
7) FANTASTIC MR. FOX. If Cameron demonstrated the possibilities of cutting edge technology, Wes Anderson showed just how much could be accomplished with anachronistic stop motion. A project years in the making, Fantastic Mr. Fox looks like a handmade art school project. And I mean that in the best possible way. Every frame is filled with Anderson’s details: Carpet patches as farmland seen from above, a tiny corduroy suit, miniature paintings. The things we came to love about The Royal Tenenbaums and Rushmore years before somehow feel original again in this context. Here’s proof that Anderson one of the best directors of the 1990’s still has some originality left nearly 20 years later.
8) UP. Pixar has yet to make a bad film, and even with this impressive pedigree, Up is one of their best. Where they’ve dealt with children and families before, Up takes a decidedly different approach, as the main character is an older man whose life has largely already passed. In perhaps the best montage of the year, we see his whole life progress from childhood, up until the death of his long-time love. It’s new ground for Pixar and it works. The story falters only slightly near the end with a villain that’s a little too stilted.
9) WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE. There are only two ways to view this film: 1) It’s boring, slow, confusing, and seems to have little to do with the book or anything else -or- 2) It’s brilliant, visually-rich, emotionally complex, and challenging. I’m in the latter camp. Spike Jonze, working from a screenplay he co-wrote with Dave Eggers, created the strangest mainstream film of the year. Love it or hate it, it’s absolutely worth viewing.
10) ZOMBIELAND/THE HANGOVER. I guess this is cheating, but I liked these two for the same reason. They’re just fun. They aren’t trying to be anything more than pure, simple entertainment. And sometimes that’s what we really want. They can’t all be Up in the Air.
* I should mention that there are a few movies I haven’t seen yet that probably would have made this list. Among them are: The Hurt Locker, Big Fan, Precious, A serious Man, and A Singe Man.
This is going to be brief, but I did want to give a quick update on the things going on and why I haven’t added any new posts since the end of August.
The short answer is simply because I haven’t had the time. I’m totally swamped in freelance work right now, which financially is a great thing! Although it has some down sides (primarily with my social life), the benefits far out weigh them. Perhaps some of my contributing authors will step it up and help out in my absence over the next few weeks.
The long answer… Well… It’s too long for me to spend the time typing out right now.
Watch for some new great things to be released over the next couple months! Here are some hints:
- Sticky Animal Love
- Softness On Your Skin
- Something Fitted
- Take Some Weight Off
- No Longer Bare
If you’re really that bored (**cough* Brian Hale *cough**), then go join Digg, they have tons of great content that’s updated all the time. Or if you’re needing new music, I highly suggestion listening to the CocoRosie or Crystal Castles stations over on Pandora.
I’ll be nice and not leave you completely empty handed. Here is some of the music that has been getting me through.
J. Howells Werthman – Biking Home on the Tail End of Something Good
Jenny Wilson – Would I Play With My Band?
CocoRosie – Noah’s Ark
Kasabian – Where Did All the Love Go?
Jenny Wilson – Let My Shoes Lead Me Forever (Joachime Remix)
Jay-Z – Young Forever (featuring Mr. Hudson)
There has obviously been a lot of Twitter hype over the past 6 months, so I finally caved in. It’s been pretty fun and I’ve enjoyed learning about new people (or at least who they perceive themselves to be). I’ve got the Diafero site integrated in with Twitter, from both ends. Any new posts from the Diafero blog will be linked directly to the Diafero Twitter Feed (via Post to Twitter). As well, the Diafero blog is now showing my five last Twitter updates in the sidebar (via Twitter for WordPress).
Twitter will be a nice viaduct to everything Diafero. So come join up and follow Diafero!
You may or may not know, but Diafero is the evolution of IdiomLife.com. I had a lot of fun with Idiom. It opened up some good doors and helped me learn a lot. But there comes a time when you have to move on to something new. A time to wipe the slate clean and really focus in on what you want to accomplish. Idiom started to go astray from my true aspirations. That’s not to say it went in a bad direction, just different. There was some pretty good content to come out of the Idiom project that I don’t want to just completely disappear, so I have archived those articles here in the Diafero Collective blog.
So here it is, the new Diafero Collective blog. If you don’t know, Diafero is an evolution of the old IdiomLife.com. Although the Idiom Life site is still up and running, updates to it have not been made since late 2008 and the entire project is being phased out. It didn’t allow me to pursue the things I’m most passionate about because I had to worry about too many other factors with it. But do not fret my friends, all the blog entries, articles and interviews are going to be archived here on the Diafero Collective blog.
Diafero is basically all the things I loved about Idiom with none of the extra weight and a little extra help from some guest contributors. Now without all the bells and whistles, that was IdiomLife.com, I have more time to work on the things I truly love.
So here’s to new begins and what will hopefully be a great new project that I can share with you all. Thank you for the continued support.