Monday, December 31, 2012

Metal Dogs

My sister's dog Chien, put the "mental" in "ornamental metals".
This is what passes for humor around these parts.

Friday, December 28, 2012

The Speed of your Nets

My dad went and got a Verizon hotspot for himself for Christmas. It's pretty need*. It connects over 4G. It works. It even works in my studio (I "borrowed" the hub from him for "scientific reasons"). Thing that it's not is fast.

The service we complain about all the time (the DSL here) is much faster:
I love how we go from a grade F up to a grade D- and consider that an improvement. What I can't figure out is how we get such crappy service when we're directly across the street from the huge Verizon switch.
The reason my dad got this thing is because he was frustrated with getting access for his iPad whenever he was travelling. Which, you know, for dad that's a pretty impressive technological jump.
The downside of these 4G hotspots are the data limits. I feel fairly confident I go through more than the normal users data usage a month.
But presuming and actually knowing are two different things. So I've downloaded a bandwidth monitor just to find out.

*"Need" is the word the kids are using these days for "neat". Don't look it up. Just trust me on that one.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Whoa. What?

How did I miss the fact that this science-fiction movie In Time was a big moneymaker? I mean, I don't even remember the movie coming out.
It's directed by the dude who wrote GATTICA, which is a pretty cool picture. In Time is a great idea and has some very cool things in it but. Er. It's... ah... there's something clunky about the movie. I can't quite put my finger on it.

Harlan Ellison sued them over the story. I think I vaguely recall that. Of course, doesn't Harlan Ellison sue every science fiction film?
Why didn't we make a mockbuster of this picture? 
So many questions...

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Book Report

I just read Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone.
 
I really enjoyed this book. It takes place in a world where gods are real things and I really liked the way people (priests and such) had an actual, personal, relationship with their god(s).
Plus the cover feels really nice and you know how important that is to me.

Project Nine

Eric Ian Steel's new novel, Project Nine, is now for sale. Check out the trailer:

Friday, December 21, 2012

Making movies for under a gazillion dollars

Alex Epstein, who wrote one of my favorite books on screenwriting, on making a movie for less than $50,000.
This is funny to me because our cash budget for a feature is about $8,000. You'll notice that as a producer I lie and use obfuscation. I said "cash budget". The lie here goes both ways. We have more money in that we have equipment (and costumes and sets) we've amortized from other movies. We borrow props from other filmmakers. We own our own sound and camera gear. We have less money because there are things like rent and the fact that we have to buy a lot of freaking hard drives in order to make a feature. And rent. Overhead is a birch.
He suggests saving money by limiting coverage. Egads! I would totally never suggest that. The biggest advantage to limiting coverage is that it limits what you can do in post-production. Which means your post process will go faster. Maybe.
But my point is that your DP does not have to relight for every camera setup. Your DP needs to light the scene so that it works from multiple angles. If you want to hollywood some light or something for a closeup then go ahead and do that, it doesn't take more time. While you're picking up that camera just walk in the light, hold it on the actor or the gun or whatever and get the shot. It's not like I'm some kind of genius for figuring this out.
In the early 2000's I worked with a gaffer who would pre-light the reversals. The AD would announce that the camera was moving and he'd walk in and turn off a couple lights and turn another couple lights on and we were lit for the other side. That's when I realized that, holy cow, you do not need 45-minutes to do a reversal.
I would have my "Scumbag Producer" is redundant-card revoked if I didn't point out that not being a union signatory production does not alter whom you may ask to be in your movie. Indeed, it is my reading of federal law (N.B. Alex is Canadian so I'm only talking about the US here) that it would be illegal to discriminate against an actor or other employee if they were a member of a labor union. And of course here in NYC there is a plethora of great acting talent. A surfeit if I may. People want to work. Even if it's for monkey-points (and believe me, our movies don't make enough money to make you more than monkey points, but you'll get something for your reel and we'll have a fun screening.)


Thursday, December 20, 2012

If Grump Then Stop

This article on the AR-15 isn't a terribly bad article. I always get confused between M4, M16, etc. They're all variants of the AR-15. The article is from Talking Points so it certainly takes the liberal attitude about guns but it seems fairly factual.
All right. Why doesn't this sound like utter BS to the people making these videos filled with idiotic and pandering Newspeak of the Internet?
"Old media has been slow to embrace what is possible." Rather than talking in platitudes, why don't you tell me what you're actually saying? Well, that's because what you're actually saying is nothing. "Empowering filmmakers"? Give it a rest already.
Wait. I'm supposed to be getting into the Christmas spirit.

Grumpyness = off.

Merry Christmas Mayans

The world will end tomorrow which is a shame because I did my Christmas shopping today. As my dad had unilaterally announced that we were donating to charity rather than giving one another gifts I had to figure out what to buy.
I sent peanut butter, a hammer, some garbage bags, and a bunch of other things to the King of Kings Community Church in Manahawkin, NJ. I used the Occupy Sandy NJ wedding registry.
I have a vague recollection that many years ago my nephew suggested a "donate to charity Christmas" which was roundly rejected by, specifically, his grandparents (read: my dad).
I'm not anti-charity from a Malthusian perspective but rather from a "shouldn't the government be doing this?" perspective.
It's not that I'm actively anti-charity or anything. I'm just a bit dithery about it.
In any case, some filters and pillows go to New Jersey.

Monday, December 17, 2012

It means "horse" in Latin or something like that

[S]he looks like a shape-shifting gazelle who speaks the language the gods used when they lived on the moon. You know, Gawker.
+++++
My parents have ceased speaking to me altogether. The last thing I said to them, when we were discussing donating animals to villages instead of gifts for one another, was a back-and-forth about whether we could get a water buffalo or something. My response was:

I want a hippopotamus for Christmas
Only a hippopotamus will do
Not a crocodile
Or rhinocerosuses
I only like hippopatamusseses
And hippopatamuses like me too

Needless to say they've broken off all communication with me since then. Which is difficult because presumably they're going away to Atlanta for Christmas and will need me to come take care of the cats.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Oblivion

How had I not heard about this movie Oblivion? It's right up the Pandora Machine alley -- fake war on aliens who are actually human and the like.

Me?

I've resorted to making mother jokes on YouTube. It's a surprisingly apt forum for mother jokes.


Go ahead click on through and make some comments.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Bellware Foundation

There are two major problems which rear their heads when one's family decides that Christmas shall be a matter of charitable giving rather than traditional Christmas presents.
1. I have to buy my own socks this year.
2. It must be decided to whom or what charity one should donate.
This decision can be very complex. Many of my family are involved in something about a heifer. Honestly, I have no idea what they're talking about but I think it involves buying cows for people who live in places where they could really use a cow. But I really don't even know as much as I've just said, much less have any clue what's going on. I watched a video of goats romping on a farm. I don't think that was related. The goats were on YouTube. It amused me.
Now what was I saying? Something about Christmas and Charitable Giving or some such. Right?
The Occupy people are probably the most efficient at taking money or things and actually using them in affected areas after Sandy. Which is great and everything but ideologically I think that the government should be doing that work and people should be paid to do it.
Doctors Without Borders seems to be a good organization and so forth.
I certainly work with a number of non-for-profit groups. I vaguely recall there used to be a theater? That can't be. Why would there have been a theater and there isn't one any longer? That's just nonsense. I must still be delirious from the antibiotics.
In any case there's the RCCNY and I have family members who run 501c3's and suchwise.
Lastly there is a third difficulty put in place with the charity nonsense. My sister won't get her Christmas present from three years ago.*

*I'd had her gift on my Amazon gift list for a long time. More than two years. Comically my midsummer Reddit Secret Santa bought it for me. Which is cool, because now I have it for her. Do I give it to her even though this is the Year of Charitable Giving?
We shall see. We. Shall. See.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Mac Mini Meltdown

My old (2006) Power-PC Mac Mini up and died. The hard drive took a dive and decided to never work again.
It'd cost like $80 to buy a new, stupid drive for the thing. Or a couple hundred bucks to get a used one off of eBay.
But that's silly. A brand-spankin' new one is as cheap as $600. And the new ones have a lot of advantages over the old pre-Intel Minis.
The only disadvantage is the lack of CD/DVD burner. And yes, that old Mini was the only machine in my shop which could burn CD's and DVD's.
And honestly the only purpose I had for the old Mini was to use it for recording live multitracks.
Furthermore, I could very well find myself in a situation where I need to buy an additional computer in the coming year. I see this time coming. In my mind's eye, Horatio.
This bunny prefers maximals rather than minimals.
For now I'll just try the other Mini we have. Which will irritate my office partners to no end because they're the ones who use it. But hey, it's mine. ;-)

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Paths

In our studio the preferred voiceover microphone is the Rode NT1A. We don't just like it because it's vastly cheaper than the AKG C12a (about 1/30th the cost) and it's much more durable, it also has a upper-mid "lift" that sounds better on most people with the exception of me and some female vocalists.
The NT1A plucked from its case.

It normally lives in the booth but it (and its twin) can be in the aluminum case marked "Input Transducers." Yes, it's a poor-man's Neuman U87. There's no pad switch. There's no switch for polarity. It's always cardioid.
Which way to you talk into it? This is a question which you might ask. There's a little gold button which indicates the "front" of the mic that should face your mouth.
The golden button marks the place where the singing goes.
Here is the NT1A in its little "basket" shockmount. Note that right now only one of these baskets works right. The other one has a broken elastic.
There's no reason to feel you need to mount this rightside up. Upside down is perfectly acceptable.
But do make sure you've put the pop filter in front of the mic.
Also, I frequently back the mic with one of those ubiquitous pieces of foam we have lying around. It helps deaden the booth just a bit.
There are two blue mic cables draped into the voiceover booth (what we like to call the Tardis). And look! They're conveniently labeled for your dining and dancing pleasure. Let's use the one labeled "MIC 1".
Now where does that signal go? Ah. Yes. It appears at our XLR patch bay. You'll see that "normally" the "MIC 1" is patched to "Pre/AD 1" and "MIC 2" is patched to "Pre/AD 2" using short XLR jumpers. On occasion something else is plugged into either "Pre/AD 1" or "Pre/AD 2". Feel free to unplug whatever that is (likely to be the power supply to the AKG C12a) and patch the feed from the booth instead.
Patch bay and left channel of preamp.
Okay, now you have the patching correct -- it's time to set the gain on the preamp. That's the preamp right above the patch bay. First, make sure the "48V" button is on (and there's no light on it to tell you it's on). Then you have a big knob and a little one. Normally the big knob is at about 2 o'clock and the little one is turned as far clockwise as it'll go.
Lastwise is the settings on the A/D converter.
A/D converter.
You don't want to touch the knobs on the left. But the selector that's third-from-the-left (2nd from the right) you do want to check. For most video stuff you'll want it set to 48kHz and not 44.1kHz. There are some rare instances where you might want 44.1 but those are mostly music-related. Set it to 48.


Me, et moi

So I woke up this morning feeling "well". I have a smoker's cough but really it's just a tickle in my throat. I don't imagine this feeling of wellness lasting all day but we'll see. My lungs do make a fun clicking sound as I breathe in and out. Ha!
I don't expect this feeling to last all day. In fact, I've only been up 30 minutes and I want to take a nap. Wait. That's normal for me. All right then. Carry on...

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

The Hostile Patient

On Sunday I had the most dreadful sore throat. And yeah, I shot all day. I really hope I didn't get anyone else sick.
So Monday morning I'm all gonna go to the doctor. And I prepare for a fight. Because I want something that will actually help. Last year I had a similar thing -- intermittent fever, sickliness, etc. And besides, my parents just got over something with the help of antibiotics.
And doctors do not want to prescribe antibiotics anymore. Last year I tried arguing with two doctors who wouldn't give me antibiotics (all for the same reasons: you haven't been sick long enough, you don't yelp when we touch your forehead [???], we don't like to prescribe antibiotics.)
So three weeks later I went to another doctor and told him he had to gimme antibiotics. I felt better within six hours.
So what did this week's doctors say about that?
1. Well, it proves you had a virus because antibiotics don't work that fast
2. It was the placebo effect of the antibiotics
3. It was a coincidence -- you would have gotten better then anyway.
Well, for one, that's just some straight-up bullmalarkey right there. Antibiotics do work that fast. I'm sure that in some textbook you have some old efficacy study which says otherwise but I know absolutely and for certain that you can feel the "grip" of a sinus infection let go within the first day. Secondwise -- bite me. Placebo effects are actually pretty good for pain relief. Post-nasal drip? Not so much. And thirdly, yeah, it was just a coincidence that after three weeks of being miserable I happened to take my first dose on the first day the virus was going to start to go away.
++
Here's the thing: one day many years ago I was having a root canal (I was tempted to write a "fun root canal" because what are they other than fun?) And the dentist touched a nerve and I yelped. She said "Oh, I wouldn't have expected a nerve to be there."
I said "What do you mean you didn't expect it to be there?" (I made her stop.)
She said "Different people have nerves in different parts of their jaws, where that nerve is is unusual, that's all."
Me: "You mean dentists KNOW that different people have different places they feel pain?"
Her: "Yes."
This conversation begat the era of my lecturing all dentists who touch my mouth that yes, my nerves are actually in different places and that yes, if I say I can feel something I can feel it. And furthermore, as a medical professional, you know that people feel stuff in different places. So when I say gimme some more GD Novocaine and you decide to prod around my mouth to see if I really need it or am "faking" it somehow I will straight up smack you.
++
Now the irony is that on my way to the doctors this Monday I thought you know, there's a 20% chance that antibiotics won't really help this. I've done that once before in my life (about 4 years ago) where I've taken antibiotics and it was pretty clear to me I didn't need them.
It turns out that this too was one of those times. So yup, the doctors I argued with fiercely enough to get antibiotics from turned out to be right. Last year they would have been wrong. Indeed, the ones from last year were wrong and I was miserable for a month because of it.
But so far I'm batting 800. If that changes, I'll start taking more medical advice.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

A post I should not make

I'm stoned out of my mind on antibiotics. I'm listening to old Heart. Specifically Rock and Roll. I just sneezed on my laptop creating a biohazard zone.
If you want the uncensored tenunaunakins of my mind as it drips into your mind that slapped upon a page black type on white and words. Symbols we learned as children. And I use them now.
Winnie the Pooh would be so proud.
Am I done arguing with commentators on YouTube. You can say anything you like about my ouvre but this: the actors and the scripts (except for Pandora Machine, that was a bit of a mess.)
J/ Thinking about Lily's bass sound. I think. I think cello. The bow draws across the strings. That is the bass
I actually forgot where I am for a minute there. Why is my screen turning blue. It's a good think I do not need to operate heavy machinery tomorrow morning,
Heart can handle Love Reighn o'er Me.But where is the bass?

+++++

Maduka, who has very good taste in watches, has this watch:
 
The numbers are very big. It might be something my dad would even like. Maduka says it's heavy though.
+++++
You know what's funny? Isherwood whining about critics not getting free tickets to shows

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Three things ferry todays

Peggy Archer talks about what a terrible idea using real locations is. The curse of some idiot director saying "We need the place to be real" is very prevalent in New York indy film. It costs a lot of money. It never looks as "real" as you think it will.
We, of course, use locations because we have no crew and no budget to do anything else. But we're special.
She also complains about crappy gear from rental houses.
This is a thing which has irked me most all my life. I'd rather have just one or two good, working, pieces of gear than a whole pile of semi-working crap. I've spent way too much of my time fiddling with junky stuff just trying to get it to semi-operate.
+++++
Experimenting with MultiCloud File Manager in order to sync Open Office with the "cloud" (in this case, Google Documents). So far so good. Considering that we work on so many computers in my shop, it's really freakin' helpful.
+++++
Cinecoup seems to be about as bad a business idea as Amazon Studios.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Androgogy

There's a thing I read somewhere once where someone was saying that students tended to divide into two groups: those who, when they didn't do well on a test, said "I guess I'm no good at that" and those who said "I guess I have to try harder."
I get the impression that some people look at a skill others have and, because whatever it is they're doing looks easy, decide that one does not have to concentrate or focus in order to do the thing well.
+++++
Back in the olden days I worked for Rutgers TV (as a freelancer). The in-house crew at Rutgers was seriously the best crew I'd ever worked with. Each one of the guys there was a quadruple threat of a very high order. And on bigger shows when they all divided up into what each of their strong suits was? Holy cats. Get out of the way.
On show days the crew looked very relaxed. In fact one might argue they looked lazy and unfocused and if you'd walked onto the stage and saw them you'd have to think "Making TV is easy".
It isn't.
They just put the work in all week for a Friday shoot so they knew what they were doing by the time shoot day rolled around. Then they could approach the shoot in a relaxed manner.
And some new people would look and see everyone lying around like deviants and think "Oh, there's no pressure here I don't need to actually be ready to do a show."
And they'd be ever so wrong.
+++++
I get the feeling that people d'un certain âge frequently look at young people who do fancy-pants things on computers (like send attachments as emails) and think "I'm no good at that" without taking into consideration the amount of effort by those young people that went into learning those things.
Now, it could be that I'm just a crank. But I think that when senior citizens get frustrated with learning computers it's the fact that most people after they've reached (say) middle age simply do not every fundamentally learn new things. So they aren't used to it. And yeah, some skills are easier to pick up when you're 12 years old, but that applies more to the skill of learning French and not the sort of skill where you know that you have multiple open tabs on a browser.
You know you have multiple tabs open on your browser, don't you?
I feel much better with this analysis because it's much better to lay blame on someone else for their inability to learn rather than my own ability to teach.

Kunk in Skunk

You know who's funny? Melissa Stetten. She writes about being a model and how incredibly un-glamorous the whole experience is. The thing that's weird to me is knowing that you're beautiful -- the sort of person who turns head when she walks in a room -- yet at the same time feeling fat and gross.


Saturday, November 24, 2012

I Probably Posted This Picture Before

Chrome doesn't seem to render Buzzfeed correctly. Or, for that matter, the HTML editor in Blogger. Which is ironic because Blogger and Chrome are both Google products.

The new and groovy place to go for airline reservations and the like is Hipmunk.
If you want to compare the Samsung Stratosphere and the Galaxy, go here.
Artisanal Pencil Sharpening.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Dad and Cat

Yesterday, being Thanksgiving, and being that my parents live in a place that has its own restaurant so they don't have to deal with dinner, meant I spent a lot of time taking pictures of cats and uploading them to Tumblr.
Although it may look like a switchblade in my dad's hand, it is in fact a magnifying glass. That orange ear belongs to Meydl the cat who had decided to sleep on my dad's desk while he was working (what actually happened was the cat wanted to crawl all over everywhere and my dad said "Enough" and made her lie down which, as it turned out, she was quite content with.)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Things in my life

I need some deep-dish pizzas. Shockingly, NYC has no good Chicago pizza. At least not according to the Internet. But you can order some Lou Malnatis to be shipped to you.
Here is a summation of the Reddit cosmology. As an aficionado of Fifth World Problems I find it quite amusing.
The First Unitarian Society of Plainfield.
A baby harp seal
The August 1 2001 brief on Al Qaeda's attack plans.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Things, Stuff, and Other Things

We hear good things from AFM.
"the eight-day market experienced an increase in buyers of 6% to 1,616 (compared with 1,523 a year ago) and 35 more buying companies than 2011. A total of 753 buying companies from more than 60 countries were present, while exhibiting companies were on par with last year, at 357."
I'll keep my fingers crossed. Knock on some wood. Throw some salt over my shoulder. Pray to the new gods, or the old. Whatever it takes.
These are pretty good tips on movie making.

The original screenplay to Prometheus.
Blender 3D actually allows for image-based lighting setups.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Tap tap tap

So Mitch Gross shows off the AbelCine wireless solution for HD video transmission. If we ever want to have tap on set again, we'll likely want something like this. Excuse me. A producer just beat me senseless. All I remember is "Of course we want tap back!"
This was the same producer who wants to never have to boom a scene ever again. So we better get some wireless mics...
This is a picture of said producer.

Medea

Groovy!

Our own Virginia Logan is Medea in Medea.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Today's Things for Today

File under Things that Crack Me Up: Typography for Lawyers. Specifically the one space after a period rule.
The brilliant Danny Thompson made this awesome Facebook wall picture.
I swear this is the first web series I've ever liked. High Maintenance is awesome. Could they center their dialog so that one character doesn't come out of the left and the other out of the right? Of course. But it's brilliant.
The absurdly - named Natasha, Pierre, & The Great Comet of 1812 looks kind of cool.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Bat Boxes

The water in Metuchen is not potable right now. It has to be boiled for consumption.
Yeah. So there is power though.
I got all Instagrammy with this picture I took today of the Dismal Swamp. Yep, all the turned leaves have fallen but otherwise it looks pretty nice. I hope the incoming storm doesn't make it unnecessarily swampy.
Then again, we are shooting in a place called the "Dismal Swamp".
Did you know there are "bat boxes" in the Dismal Swamp? You know, like boxes, for bats. I don't know where they are exactly.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Electric Zoe Steals the Show

That's from some spam I just got. I don't know whether it's an album or a song. Probably both.
A plastic kit for a Logan's Run DS gun.
What do you call words that only have a negative? Widow words? Like a counter-example is "ruth" because you can melt with ruth, but anymore we just use the word "ruthless" and not "ruth". Anyway, apparently "combobulated" has apparently become slang.
You are low on pictures of me. Me me me. Whose blog is this? Me. Mine. Moi.
Drew. Through a camera darkly.
Although really that isn't the greatest picture of me. Certainly not for Facebook.
Hey, you know what's happening right now? The American Film Market.
This is Facebook then.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Blanks and Blood

I come to zero conclusions in this post.
+++++
For some reason, fake muzzle blasts look... not as awesome as they should. So I'd like to know why. I'll start by the notion of the "performance" with a weapon.
I only watched all of Heat for the first time a few weeks ago. How many times did you re-read the previous sentence to figure out what it meant? OK, it means I just watched the movie Heat.
Anyway, they have a lot of M-16s and variants in that picture.
Then I was looking at clips of Die Hard online. Lots of MP-5's in that picture. Those are the short-ish machineguns that John McClane has.
So here's the thing. Those movies use a lot of blank ammo. The M16's use NATO rounds and the MP5's are 9mm (usually). And for an automatic weapon to shoot blank ammo those blanks basically have to have the same amount of charge in them as real bullets. (The guns themselves are typically modified so they can't accept live ammo but otherwise they cycle just like fully working guns, from which they were made.)
Actors. Firing automatic weapons.

The guns do not kick much. I mean compared to a handgun (which has a LOT of kick), the barrels on those weapons stay fairly in place.
So if you're using a modern machinegun or assault weapon, and putting the flashes in later, you perhaps don't need to shake the gun when shooting. The gun might crawl up the target as the weapon pulls (my dad told me that was a problem with the "grease guns" he trained with in WWII) but the designers and manufacturers of modern weapons go to a lot of trouble to minimize the amount that the gun jumps around when shooting it.
Again this is not the case with handguns, which is why the 22nd Century version of me complains about 21st Century handguns all the time. Plasma weapons do not jump.
So where was I? Oh, it's like that Chekhov thing where drunk people do not act drunk. When you shoot you don't necessarily let the gun recoil the way you might think it should recoil. If you're pretending. To shoot I mean.
+++++
But the question for me is why does the flash look so crappy when you add them in post?
  • The images used are 2D and suck for that reason.
  • The flash doesn't light up the area the way flashes from a gun barrel should and suck for that reason.
There's all kinds of fancy tools for making the flash be unique and pseudo 3D can make the flash look like its coming from the right direction.

So I don't know. Maybe it's the lack of light on the face of the shooter? We've experimented with using a strobe light. Dumb rolling shutter on the camera makes for frames that are half lit up and half dark. So we don't know if that experiment would have really worked.

I'm a fan of 2D blood. I know. You aren't. But I am. But that's for another post.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Mandatory Vacation

Readthrough is a service that uses a computer to read your scripts. Or they also have real actors doing it.

Netzkino seems to feel they own the rights to the snippets of a couple movies we put up. I can't confirm they don't so I dunno. We don't seem to have any pictures in their catalogs...

I'm on an enforced vacation. I actually can't do any work until there's power in my studio. I can read scripts. I'm doing a bad job of that. I'm mostly looking at pictures of bunnies.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Et More

Here's the whole gang doing a snippet of the dialog in Earthkiller (in German). You want to buy a copy? Look here. You may need to get a used version to convince them to ship it to you.
Here's Katie Hannigan in German:
Here's Sarah-Doe Osborne in German: Here's the whole gang in Android Insurrection in German: Here's a scene with Sarah-Doe Osborne in Android Insurrection in French: And lastly here's the gang in Android Insurrection in French:

Many Languages

We speak many languages here in the Pandora Machine. They are mostly the languages of Love, but in this particular case we have some snippets of a couple movies in German and French.
Joe Beuerlein and Rik Nagel in Earthkiller do it (I mean "do it") in German.

I'm continually blown away by the quality of the performances in the lip-sync versions. The distributors do a really top-notch job. The one thing I don't want to do is irk our distributors, which is part of the reason I deliberately made crappity handheld video of the scenes posted here. Here's the lovely Greg Bodine in German: Here's David Ian Lee being a psychopath, but you know, in German. It's also sort of astonishing how well they match the voices to the characters in these movies. Kari Geddes makes an excellent German. And here's the whole gang in German: I really think the distributors did an excellent job with this.

Soon and What

I love the color change between daytime and nightime in this video:


I expect you'll need to click through to embiggen the video above.
+++++
You know, I'm not 100% on-board with the fantasy of having a digital camera with "through the lens" viewing with the eyepiece. Now, I totally understand why a fellow might want such a thing.
But I find that I do a LOT of shooting (for instance) the sun, lasers, other stuff that would instantly blind me if I didn't have the protection of a tiny TV in my eyepiece.
But I do want an end to rolling shutter artifacts. The Sony F55 uses a shutter which presumably eliminates rolling shutter artifacts.
I realize I'm the odd duck here, not wanting to be able to look through the lens without a closed-circuit television between me and the image. But I shoot lasers and the sun a lot. And I've gotten very used to being able to do that without hurting myself.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Oofly. Then

Shooting, even doing the relatively short days we do, just tuckers me out. By the end of the day I'm I pile of lazy fur.

The New York Times updates this map regularly. Right now there's a 66% chance of tropical storm force winds in New York City in the next five days.


Rainmeter is a customizable thing for, you know, stuff.
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Real-time notes on a script we're reading:
How do we get a shot of the POV robot looking in the mirror? Just... how do we do that? Composite a face into the mirror?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Spam, Roosters, and Me

I finally gave in and donated $35 to the Obama campaign. Does this mean I'm going to get hit with even more Obamaspam? Oh I hope not.
Last night went with cousins to The Red Rooster. Up until now my favorite soul food place anywhere in the world was Soul Flavors. And I'm not saying The Red Rooster is better, but I am saying those two places are in the same league. It's really good.
Apparently I'm supposed to intersperse pictures of cute animals and naked people on this blog. The audience gets really agitated if I don't post correctly.
You know what there aren't enough of? Pictures of me on my blog(s).
 No, there just aren't.
Much better.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Screenings and Thingings

We screened Prometheus Trap at the Gibson in Williamsburg. I had my cousins Kelly and Roger down from Canada, my cousin Jaime-Jin (who had played violin on the soundtrack) and my niece Julie. It was like family day!
Also, the always brilliant Chance Shirley made it all the way up from Alabama. Wow, people came from Montreal and Birmingham! Boy it helps to do these things in a city of such size that people want to visit anyway.
+++++
OK. So you have to read this obituary all the way to the end. (H/T to Marcie).

Today's goal is to make all the contracts and the schedule for the first day of shooting Dragon Girl (which takes place on Sunday the 21st). I got the schedule. Contracts may need to wait until tomorrow.

That's Some Good Service

I ordered a Tshirt from Cafepress and I ordered a small. I, of course, cannot actually wear a small.
So I got the shirt, realized that even if I were in 6th Avenue shape I wouldn't be able to wear it, and wrote to them saying "Derp. I either ordered the wrong size or I was accidentally sent the wrong size" (I couldn't actually tell at the time but since then I've become assured by looking at my original order confirmation that it was my fault.)
And CafePress is sending me a free XL shirt instead. I don't even have to send back the small I've got.
When you get customer service like that you're supposed to blog about it. So I am.

Symphony, Peddler, Obfuscation

The Apogee Symphony is only two thousand bucks for 2 in and 6 out. That's a pretty good price actually. If you want some decent A/D and D/A conversions that looks to me like the way to go.

The Tune Peddler -- low cost production music. H/T to Jeremy Crowson.


Wait. What kind of guitar is that? ;-)
This just looks like the kind of crappy "put some gaffer's tape on the Gibson logo" that we'd do.

Gratuitous snugly and colorful birds.

There is zero reason to read anything below this line.
___________________________________________________

Get to Billings:

I got six charges:

tangler -- tied up some punk kids doping on muscle.
ripper, 
needler -- six punters outside the monorail station
nitro -- used on Chinese mechanized combat drone
vapor 
-- and homer. 
  • Tangler produces a large sticky web of material which entangles and immobilizes anything it comes into contact with; it can be dissolved by regular police with special gear. It is used for capturing fugitives alive
  • Ripper an antipersonnel round similar to a hollow-point or hydroshock round. It is quite lethal.
  • Needler a round that breaks up into dozens of deadly needles. A type of flechette round.
  • Nitro a round with a high explosive warhead.
  • Vapor a tear gas round.
  • Homer a heat-seeking "smart" bullet. It homes in on evading targets with a temperature of 98.6 degrees. The charge kills the target by electrically burning out every nerve in the body. The homer can be decoyed by another warm body stepping in front of it.
Plus another full load in my belt.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Speech Fragment

Hello. I'm the military attache' for... well I'm here at the behest of your government actually. There are a number of (I believe the saying goes) "hoops we must jump through"? Yes. Certainly.
I will accept that I do find it quite confounding that you humans — you are all humans, right? I want to make sure I'm talking the right language to the right audience here — you humans actually use explosives to hurt one another?
I was at the Aberdeen range test firing some guns with your... paratroopers? I'm sorry what was that?
Joe Chapman's design work for Earthkiller.
Ah, yes, "commandos" is the word. They were quite fine gentlemen, they knew quite a bit about your technology and your military history.
Allow me, for the benefit of my own comrades, briefly explain the technology the humans are using. Basically it's a small amount of explosive that propels a bit of metal down a tube. The tube is rifled so the bit of metal starts to spin. Once the metal is spinning it exits the tube at just above or just below sound speed on Earth at sea level. The spinning is an attempt to stabilize the flight of the bullet.
Let me turn back to my friends from Earth. Yes my colleagues are a bit shocked. I don't believe we've used anything that wasn't laser based in a very long time. I think the humans will need to teach us much about shooting these, they're ballistic now aren't they?
Heavy too. Guns. It's somewhat surprising how effective they are when gravity and wind affect their accuracy, no? Well it is to us.
I mean I'm no longer a military man by profession but in my day I'd easily taken out targets which were hundreds of ... miles or kilometers? Which do you prefer? Ah, that's fine, nearly a thousand kilometers away using radar scopes and a quad bore enriched laser cannon.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Incoherent and Hostile

I totally forgot to make fun of this. Someone anonymously posted to this blog in this post:
Anonymous said...
are you really a screenwriter? " we might perhaps do well to look into why they might say something suchwise."? you should go back to school dude 9/11/2012 04:54:00 PM
To which I replied likewise:
Andrew Bellware said...
1. Nope
2. This is how I talk
3. Quit yer complainin'
4. Never went to school nohow
 Also I win in the reddit game.
Dave Frey recommends Natrapel for bug repellent.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

My Dad Does Not Understand These Posts

One word for you: "estoppel". The legal aspects of Lucy pulling the football away from Charlie Brown.
Recently it has come to Our attention that there are those who do not respect my authority as the reigning monarch. This causes Us consternation and confusion. Can ye not see Our kingly ways? I formally declare the insanity of those who do not recognize Our throne.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

47 Years Later I Learn to Spell Her Name

More information about the Union Jack than you ever wanted.
The new Russian handgun is called a Swift.

This is the sort of thing I usually post to Facebook but with a headline about the owl's political views.
Photoshop Etiquette. I think this would amuse my sister Jeanne. H/T to Chance.

Internets of Mac & Ben

Is it a Jewish Holiday? Click and see.
The whole of the internet in a single image.
Mac Rogers on science fiction plays.
Ben Jaeger-Thomas' rocumentary of The Pyramid Scheme.


Downfall: The Pyramid Scheme Story from Ben Jaeger-Thomas on Vimeo.