Monday, December 15, 2014

That's all I got

Via John August Marco Arment's podcast guide, Dan Benjamin's podcast guide.
A wooden keyboard for your Chiclet-style keyboard.
As much as I made fun of font nerdery, the Typeset in the Future blog is pretty darn sweet.
Here's a free version of the Eurostile extended bold.
Weller's Words of Wisdom is a great blog on prop and art techniques.
Eric Ian Steele on the best screenwriting books.

Screening

So we have a screening of the movie and I just can't sit through it without the excruciating pain of seeing every single mistake.
That's right. It's all about me.
There's a whole act which needs a pass on the audio to smooth dialog transitions. Meaning that every time somebody speaks, the background hiss jumps up. Then it cuts off when they're done. It's entirely my fault and I don't know how it got through.
Then there are some render errors. Final Cut Pro does not always appreciate multiple layers of video being composted atop one another. We go to great lengths to avoid this by making lots of pre-renders but somehow there were a handful of shots which had that strange "overwhite" look where the bright patches in the frame actually go black because they're so bright.
And also a couple boom shadows which I had at one time dealt with by putting a "tunnelvision" effect on the robot's point-of-view. My guess is that we lost that effect when we put the movie in 3:1 aspect ratio but then when we pulled back out to 2.35:1 I didn't put the effect back on.
So I spent Sunday re-editing dialog and re-rendering picture to send out again.
My distributor's exact words when I told him I was sending him yet another version of the movie were "You're killing me."

I said "I know, I'm killing myself too."
Of course we didn't just have rendering errors. The dumb DVD took a dive in the middle of the movie. Luckily we got it started again off a computer (which is what we should have done in the first place.) I told people that if the DVD doesn't work we all have to go and act out the entire movie for the audience.
Apple killed DVD Studio Pro. Adobe has abandoned Encore. Honestly I don't know how professional houses make DVD's anymore. I am hoping that I never have to make one in-house ever again.
§
That said, dramatically the movie almost works (this is the director talking). There's always a problem in these small indy pictures where one misses a bit of the action, the impacts, that sort of thing. And I feel like we still missed some of those. But not all of them. Some of those moments we got right. Even though we had to shoot a lot of this picture where different angles of the same scene were not shot on the same day. Or month.
The movie is very well acted. It gets laughs where it's supposed to. And I think the story makes sense. The music is great. I dig the costumes. It looks different from our previous pictures. Steve Niles banged it out of the park on his end. And we have a couple good cg robots.
This movie is the least excruciating picture of ours for me to watch. Faint praise is all I've got for myself. But it's a step in the right direction.
§
I got the latest picture to UPS today. Hopefully it's the last version. It's been more than a year since we had shot the movie. That's a long time for us.


Friday, November 28, 2014

Type and Such

Rules for creating UI's. I'm totally down with being against this whole "flat" interface design too. Why do operating systems have to keep changing so much? No reason, it's just the fashion of the day.
Beautiful web type.
Proxima Nova is a sans serif typeface.


Thursday, November 27, 2014

sdttss s1 ep03

That's right, it's the third episode of Sound Design Tips and Tricks for Stage and Screen.


(Click through to embiggen.)

Shout-outs to Ien DeNio and Kia Rogers.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thursday, November 20, 2014

SDTTFSS series 1 episode 1

    The first episode of Sound Design Tips and Tricks for Screen and Stage wherein we answer the question of what to do when you need sound to come from somewhere on the stage. Ien DeNio was essentially the knowledge base around this episode. Here are the notes for the episode (these were my notes that I was working from in raw, unedited format.)





    Question:
  1. There's a phone ring or computer sound that's supposed to be coming from the stage. It sounds dumb coming from the speakers overhead. What can I do on an unlimited budget, and what can I do to fake it?


The right (old-fashioned) way:
IFB and squawk box

The more recent hack is to use a baby monitor.
Ien’s favorite baby monitor to mod is the Sony NTM-910

Yea, the black wire was just something I had lying around.. a crap speaker 1/8" input jack or something.. so I hacked it off, pulled the red and white lines that went to the little microphone and connected them up. I didn't even solder this one... its just wrapped and taped
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2014-11-18 (1).jpg
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Photo on 3-6-14 at 12.39 PM.jpg
Also: walkie-talkies can be used.


Note that like all wireless things you can have trouble with taxicabs and other radio interference.


“It works best, I've found, if you throw up a dedicated wireless connection sans internet, connect the phone and computer to that.”

Ochen

Ochen priyatna, Andrei.

I am experimenting with Open Broadcaster Software. We'll see how it goes. The goal is to make a series of videos called "Sound Design Tips and Tricks for Stage and Screen". Unless someone comes up with a better title.



The Things in My Browser

Wade Kwan on designing restaurant websites.
A review of an Andre Norton book, Search for the Star Stones. That's one of her space-cat books. I've never seen an actual review for one.

Women in Refrigerators.
Doing multi-cam edits in Premiere Pro. It's actually fairly elegant.
OpenROV is an underwater robot with camera. Nine hundred bucks.



Monday, November 17, 2014

Composers Wanted

At the New Dramatists.
"New Dramatists is looking for composers to apply for our Composer-Librettist Studio to be held in NYC January 28 through February 13, 2015."

Monday, November 10, 2014

On Theatresource


This conversation happened regarding the Theatresource space at 177 MacDougal Street.

We: The space is fallow. The landlord is apparently using the old rehearsal room as an office but otherwise the place is empty.
They: I [heard a rumor] that the landlord was [recently] calling around to some producers to see if they wanted to rent the space.
That's funny, because when I asked about that before Theatresource closed they said no.
Well, apparently they changed their minds.
It's worth doing. I mean, it is, after all, a theater.
It would not be easy to make that a theater again.
Why not?
They took down the grid.
Putting up a new grid isn't that hard. That grid went up in one day.


I'm just saying it isn't a turn-key operation.
It wasn't a turn-key operation even when we were producing plays there.
[Raucous laughter.]

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Sean Mac Zipoy

Sean Williams on Mac Rogers:
This seeming ambiguity leads people to be suspicious about Mac as a person.
Ha! Yes.

Also, Lanie Zipoy is starting a short film festival. Without entrance fees. I know, right? The DAMN Film Series.  Enter early. Enter often.


Monday, November 03, 2014

Mozz and Josh

H/T Mozz Mendez, this trailer for Ex Machina looks a lot like what we're trying to do all the time.

Josh James' royalty-free plays is, in it self, free this week:

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

We Are Not Good People

I just finished reading Jeff Somers We Are Not Good People. It is an absurdly well-written book. He wrote the Electric Church series which is also terrifically good.

I prefer my Jeff Somers in long-form (like novels) because there's this particular rhythm he develops, using a specialized language in the voice of the narrator. And you want to sort of get into that rhythm and sit there for the length of a novel.

I am, unfortunately, a bit too stupid to really understand what I'm supposed to be doing. I started reading We Are Not Good People and found that I'd already read it. Or, somehow, I'd already read the first half. I have no idea how that happened. I believe it may involve witchcraft of some kind.