Tuesday, July 31, 2012

2001 2012 version

This re-cut trailer for 2001 is just awesome.

My Dad found it http://www.howtogeek.com/120084/2001-a-space-odyssey-as-a-2012-movie-trailer-video.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Massive Conversation

My sister insists these two cats, Pippin and Niki fight like cats and... well... cats.
I don't see it myself.

I have a Tumblr because, well, I do.
John Scalzi just straight-up admits to being a communist. Or at least someone who thinks things like public education and health care are good.
Same thing.

The Riches

I licensed some of my Prague Spring records to Getty Images. I just got a big ol' check for the last two years for $44.23.
See? Because the money is in publishing.
Which I suppose is true because the only money I've ever made in music was the occasional small check from BMI and Getty.
Thing about Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon is that you'd think it would be an "easy listening" MOR record -- you know, just from most of the vocals on it and the sort of "laid back" feel of the bulk of the record. But the fact is that the band just cooks
This is a down-tempo tune yet listen to the rhythm section when they kick in. The are rocking out.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Things We Learned

So. Things we learned.
Andrew: "I can persuade you guys to do things but I can't convince you."
Ethan: "That's very astute, actually."
  I've been listening to rock versions of Also Sprach Zarathustra to the point where I forgot whether those opening fifths were each one measure or two. Answer: one.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

And the Winner Is

We used 99 Designs to make a new logo for Pandora Machine. We got a whole pile of entries.

3. We liked this design. But we didn't like it enough. However the designer offered to sell the design to us for a significant discount after the contest so we went and bought it. It might be too much like a cruise line.
2. This design by W cent has many things going for it. We awarded it a "2nd place" win just because there are elements in it which are very nice. I was afraid that I was prejudiced toward the image because it's clearly a Waterhouse Pandora, which amuses me. 
1. And the winner was from dieslgl. We like how active this design is and how well it will reduce into a little "bug" on the back of a DVD.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Remote Embroidery

I see this wireless remote for the Canon C300 and I think "built-in wireless tap". Unfortunately you can only connect one device at a time, and the video is not quite "real time".
So yeah, no, it's not built-in wireless tap. Not today. But one day, man, one day.

I'm thinking about getting custom embroidered jackets for Pandora Machine. Options include the Endeavor jacket by Port Authority (a windbreaker), or possibly a Carhartt duck coat, or maybe a Cabela's barn coat which we get someone to embroider.

A Letter to Tyrannosaurus Mouse

So this dude  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iykuBrUosOw
puts an Am7 chord in there. To me it sounds more like we're just walking up from the G to a Dm but I dunno. I figured somebody else would have a better notion of how that works.

Inline image 1

The other things which will come up are: In Also Sprach Zarathustra do we want to do the arrangement everybody (including Phish) does? Or will we by necessity just come up with our own rhythm part?

Lastwise: that extra measure at the end of the phrase in the Game of Thrones theme (everybody know what I'm talking about?) Keep it? 

Strangely the opening of the GOT theme goes from major to minor. Are we looking at a dual-attack bass and guitar to play that ostinato line? Do we feel like the drums will all be on toms? 

Does anybody actually get these emails or do they just automatically go into spam folders?


Looming Productions has rehearsal studios in Greenpoint for $15/hour.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


So. Here's a thing that sucks. The very last version of one of the movies we delivered? Has a whole bunch of black frames in it. Here's the note:
  intermittently black out for 90sec from 01:09:08:23 to 01:10:46:20.
And I looked at the Final Cut Pro project and yup, the prerender decided it wasn't going to render a bunch of frames with a particular effect on them. So it rendered out black instead. This is after we'd done a half-dozen renders which went perfectly fine. Thanks, Apple.
Let me tell ya, this is demoralizing. Oof.
One big problem we have here is that we're always right up against the wall as far as deliveries go. In other words we're always rendering overnight in order to get a drive in FedEx the next day. And, you know, we really have to stop doing that.
If a mistake is found in a render and we have to re-render the movie then we're adding at the very least 12 hours to the whole process.
This, of course, makes bunny cry.
It would be really freakin nice if Final Cut would render frames consistently.
But since we are quite clearly not in charge of FCP development at Apple, we'll have to find a new way to do quality control on our movies.
And also I suspect we're going to have to do prerendering. We'll prerender acts as ProRes 422 Quicktimes and any changes we need to make will be simple re-renders and alterations of either those individual acts, or of a section of the act which we'll simply splice into the timeline.
So that's what I'm thinking now.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Them Things What Is

Hank's Saloon in Brooklyn.
Hooktheory is a... thing. Actually I don't understand it at all.
Also Sprach Zarathustra. This is a piano reduction of the theme everybody knows.
Do you like totally random things? Because I have a Tumblr now.

The Things in my Browser

I need a Voight Kampff machine. I know, I know, everybody needs one.
Keith Medly is the dude with the 27-string guitar.
Hanlon's Razor is the thing where people do stuff and you think they're evil but really they're just appallingly stupid. (See Manhattan Theatre Source.)
How to pitch a TV show.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Whattup With the Whaddup

I got my Reddit Arbitrary gift(s) today. Wow. I'm deeply humbled by this. My secret Santa went all out.
Many of these things are straight-up from my Amazon wish list. Not all of them though. And I will tell ya that I did not sign up for Arbitrary Day 2012 in order to get stuff. I thought it would be fun to give somebody some fun things. Which I did. But that'll be in another post.
My sister altered the picture of the cat (below).
Remixing Clonehunter with new Foley work by Jeremy Crowson. Which is good because the new version of the movie has to go on a drive to California tomorrow.
Scrivener vs plain text.
Wow, the Internet is being very strange today.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Dynamo #3

Ian Hubert has a new episode of Dynamo out. This is episode 3:

Things I love: the HUD's. The door lock. The telephone (the TELEPHONE!!). The shuttle is very sexy (we used it in Earthkiller too). The visual effects in general.

I still have no idea what's going on but I don't care!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Logo Res Mix Way

Is it even theoretically possible for me to have enough hard drives? I feel like I'm buying them all the time. It also seems that we've all but abandoned making videotapes. There are some markets which still insist on DigiBeta but ProRes422 is becoming the new standard.
This honestly saves us a lot of time and money.
I'm doing a brand new mix on Clonehunter. We're re-delivering the picture because we have a new distributor. So we're working on a new mix and taking care of a couple blips and plops on the video. This process seems to be going smoothly.
I think we're going to be able to shoot big chunks of Dragon Girl on the Greenway in Metuchen and out at my parent's place in Princeton.
I got a Mac keyboard for my PC. As far as I know there are no non-Apple versions of the sexy little Apple keyboard. The only real trouble I have is remembering "cmnd+shift" vs "cntrl+shift" or whatever. Other than that, it is really nice.
I'm still stresserizing over the new logo design.

Other Ideas

My awesome sister came up with this notion for the new Pandora Machine logo.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Friday, July 13, 2012


It all started when my buddy Chance twittered the wrong opinion
Ten minutes into watching “Underworld” and I already hate it. Abysmal. 
Now, of course Chance was talking about a film that has one of the finest screenplays of the 21st century. So I had to call him up and explain that to him.

But that wasn't the real reason for this conversation.

No, the secret agenda I had in mind was to persuade Chance to make more movies. I mean, he made Hide and Creep and Interplanetary for crying out loud. He freakin' invented the zomedy.

You can just barely make out the part of our conversation where I downloaded the mind virus into his head. He'll be making a movie that's a cross between Escape From New York and Apocalypse Now.

(Which is also funny because The Imaginary Opera is also a cross between those two movies. To learn more about The Imaginary Opera you have to read my Tyrannosaurus Mouse blog.)

In any case, we created a directors' commentary about a movie neither of us had any involvement in. A movie that had a craft services budget which surpasses the total budget for all our movies to date. A movie called Underworld. Note that we do not stay on-topic.
The Audio
The machine transcript
The keywords the computer picked out:
michael sheenscience fiction movieeighties action moviecommentary trackguitar player,bill nice charactertrench coatblade seriesstar warsmachine pistolskate beckinsale,funny thingvampire movieblade runnerhonestly feltplay guitarforbidden planetwhite cleandowntown birminghambig crazymusic writtenliberty islandarrange partscomic constar trek 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Those things that came up today

Some more on Save the Cat.
The SAG Commercial Contract FAQ explains the difference between a "hold" and a "first refusal".
If you need to dork out you can read all about the guns in Underworld.
I'm at a minute and twelve seconds a frame for 2000 frames. So... a couple days then. Alrighty.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Dietetic Sweeps in the Palace

It turns out it doesn't really matter what diet you're on.
"Women are more tolerant in terms of what they’ll watch than men are. If a character is boorish, sexist, and violent but is written with integrity and is in a vehicle for interesting plots, women will watch: The Sopranos was a great example of this."Hmm... that's interesting. It sounds like a pretty sweeping statement but it's interesting nonetheless.
I've put Tommy Rowen on the task of getting Dragon Girl into production. Ha! I am so cruel. But be sure to welcome him to his new office here in the Forbidden Palace.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Blink Thief Moose

There's a film company in Jersey City quite a bit like ours: Blinky Productions. Unfortunately I heard about them from a rant on John August's blog because they, or someone, had put John August's name on IMDB associated with some fan films they made. This, understandably, irked John August. Not exactly the kind of attention one would normally want.
I'd never heard the term "Thieftaker" before. This book looks pretty cool.
Jonathan Wild was an infamous thieftaker in London.
I made a moose for Reddit's Arbitrary Day.

Imaginary Opera Framework

So there are 16 distinct pieces of music in The Imaginary Opera. The latest version of the script (with all the lyrics) is here.

  1. Overture
  2. Fiery the Angels Fell
  3. Tattoo
  4. Gold Grass
  5. America's Shore
  6. The Hollow Men
  7. Death's Dream Kingdom
  8. Late Summer-Autumn '68 (percussion ensemble)
  9. Salome (dream ballet)
  10. Fiery Waltz
  11. The Dead Land
  12. The Valley of the Dying Stars
  13. The Vorga (Tattoo reprise)
  14. Funeral Dirge
  15. Falls the Shadow
  16. Curtain

The band will be a four-piece (guitar, bass, drums, keys). 

I figure the overture and the curtain pieces would be written last. I already have some ideas for a couple of the pieces. I'm sure the lyrics will change as the music changes.

There are five actor parts. We could make Day Tripper/Holden a female role which would give us a 2/3 women-to-men ratio. 
  1. Plissken
  2. Chorus/Rachel/Priss/Zhora/Bryant
  3. Gaff/Batty
  4. Day Tripper/Holden
  5. Leon/Bunny
Being able to look at this framework gives me an idea of the scale of the work to be done. The songs aren't necessarily "songs" in the popular-song sense in that they won't always have verses and choruses. But who knows, by the time we're done they might. Or at least some might. Most will be more like arias though. I mean, with a rock band.


Then Thuslike

Red Giant bought Singular Software. That's probably a goode thinge. Red Giant has been around for a while. Singular has a neat product. (I haven't gotten around to firing up my latest beta of PluralEyes though...)
There's a speedy way to estimate square roots. It's called "carrying a calculator". Ha! I make joke.

Speaking of math, we're not all that great at doing it in our heads. The 11 Ways That Consumers Are Hopeless at Math - The Atlantic

Monday, July 09, 2012

My Notes for Today

  • Tomorrow I am going to get some work done on The Imaginary Opera. 
  • Tom is going to work on the last Dragon Girl rewrite (I know, I keep saying we're at the last rewrite but I swear...) 
  • I'm rendering out an 1800 frame thing which we'll be using as the opening to The Prometheus Trap. 
  • An update on our new computer, Ophelia. Ophelia is a Mac Mini. I went for the Mini because I figured that there were a lot of advantages to being able to stay in Final Cut Pro at least for another year. And if we decided to switch over to PC's, we'd be able to do that do. Ophelia is an i7-based computer, and for $49 I ordered 8GB of RAM from Amazon. The computer is reportedly substantially faster than the quad-core Xeon Power Mac that's in the office. It's not faster than my dual-quad-core with updated graphics, but it's also 1/3 the price. 
  • The new office setup seems to be working. Nobody's that enthused about it but nobody is griping either. I like it. 

  • 1800 frames at a minute-forty a frame. Render on.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Col Legno Day

Today was col legno day in the Pandora Machine. I can't find my violin bow. I had a very cheap bow, so I might have thrown it away when we moved from Theatresource. I don't know.
I figured the bow would be perfect for col legno because, well, who cares about it? Instead I used a pencil -- which is apparently a very legitimate way to do col legno. At least both the piano player and the cellist in the Hunchback Variations used pencils. Actually, I think everyone in that opera used a pencil at some point.
I wrote a little thing called "Sucre". It's not named that for any reason other than I needed a name when I started.

My intent is that this play as the opening of Prometheus Trap. But we'll have it playing under the music which Finn is listening to: which is Beethoven's "moonlight" sonata. This amuses me.

Prometheus Trap Trailer

Here's the teaser trailer for The Prometheus Trap created by our distributor, Halcyon International Pictures.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

But of course

So, it's July 5th. Nobody is in the office. I have another 4 weeks before the audio post-production to The Prometheus Trap begins. We've got all our other movies out the door.
We have the new picture edit workstation, Ophelia, and I figure that some re-arranging is in order so that we can all be more comfortable in our studio.
All it takes is me disconnecting my audio post system and moving some things around. I've got plenty of time, I know how to do this.
I disconnect the audio rack. Do some cleaning. Rotate a desk 90 degrees. Unplug everything...
So just as I've disconnected the speakers I get an email.
From my distributor.

I need to address a handful of issues -- things that got kicked back in the QC of Android Insurrection. I need to make some changes in picture and some audio changes and send them to him in a new Quicktime movie on a hard drive.
And he needs it by Monday.
I look down at the cables in my hand. Of course.
Now of course the studio is a wreck. Cables everywhere. But I've created a new deliverable of AI -- this is version "F" for those of you playing along at home.
Let's see how much money FedEx wants for me to get this drive to California by Monday.
Hoo hoo! We'll see how this goes! Wish me luck.
(Whee! Independent film!)

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Phones, Footsteps, Felines

Do you think that five thousand dollar headphones are funny? I do.
Using a software sampler to randomize playable footsteps instead of Foley. It's actually a totally decent trick.
The dude who wrote the score to Sherlock has a studio cat in his writing room.

These are the English lyrics to the Procol Harem song "Conquistador". I want to get them translated into Spanish.

Conquistador your stallion stands
In need of company
And like some angel's haloed brow
You reek of purity
I see your armour-plated breast
Has long since lost it's sheen
And in your death mask face
There are no signs which can be seen

And though I hoped for something to find
I could see no maze to unwind

Conquistador a vulture sits
Upon your silver shield
And in your rusty scabbard now
The sand has taken seed
And though your jewel-encrusted blade
Has not been plundered still
The sea has washed across your face
And taken of it's fill

And though I hoped for something to find
I could see no maze to unwind

Conquistador there is no time
I must pay my respect
And though I came to jeer at you
I leave now with regret

And as the gloom begins to fall
I see there is no, only all

And though you came with sword held high
You did not conquer, only die

And though I hoped for something to find
I could see no maze to unwind

God, Werewolves, and Firearms

A great article on the Godlight theater company.
In my experience werewolf engineers on starships tend to sleep on top of their covers rather than under the covers.
Russian air pistols.
This one seems to be rather a rather precision engineered gun, although awkward to cock and only a single-shot. But if you like putting holes in pieces of paper it's kind of perfect.
Initium/Finis will be playing at HERE.
Somebody put up a web page for Jill Sprecher. There's not much on it though.

Oh Poo

Only yesterday I was thinking "surely we've passed QC for Android Insurrection."
O! What heady days those were. When I was thinking that.
It's actually a short list. I don't know how to clamp the blacks though. Or wait, do you "clamp" blacks? I have no idea. I have to do it in Final Cut and I have to do it by tonight. Does the process amp do that?

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

More More Moriarty

I felt you might be low on pictures of Moriarty's collar so I made sure to capture one more for you.
The red button hole on Sherlock's coat is a nice touch too.

You're welcome.


Is there anything to not love about this show?
Sure, it doesn't blow my mind like that first season of Game of Thrones or the Blade Series. But it comes close. In some ways it comes closer to Community meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Is anything even theoretically more awesome than the collar on Moriarty's jacket? There's even a blog about Moriarty's fashion. Let's get one thing straight. I want that collar on a jacket. Am I clear now? Good. Moving on.
I thought you might like a closeup of the collar. Note that Sherlock has grabbed Moriarty by the lapel to the collar is scrunched up a bit. You can see how it normally hangs in the medium shot above.

And then?

Shortly after the robots took over we ended up with the new Laws of Robots which some[who?]presumed was a deliberate take on Asimov's "Laws of Robotics".[citation needed].
I mean, it was written in such a vague way. And what Supreme Court was going to interpret it?
Humans shall have decent living environments with enough space, good food, companionship, areas for exercise, and areas for privacy.

Apparently the robots themselves were going to interpret that.[clarification needed] 

You know, people ask me all the time about the introduction of the potential energy detectors. It's somewhat fuzzy in my mind because the POETs (POtentialEnergydeTectors) were introduced very slowly. The robots didn't just come out and one day say "We have POET technology, don't try to sneak bombs onto mass transports or we'll find you." Over a period of some years it just became common knowledge that the government had a grip on what was going on bomb - wise. People would try to sneak the ingredients for bombs or guns or whatever onto orbital shuttles or whatever and they'd always get caught.
So I don't know. I'm sure we can look up the first reference to POETs but I suspect by then it had been quite some time since the last successful terror attack took place. I suppose if you got a mob together you could use knives or short machetes or something to attack people but then you've got people, like me, who are shielded and can fend off anyone who tries. So. Well, that's that then isn't it.

There Are So Many Things I Don't Understand

Like why isn't the Walther OSP the standard for police guns in the future? Don't you want Blade Runner teams issued with these in order to take down runners and/or replicants with blinking palm-flowers?
Is it because they're un-holster-able? I mean, just look at these things. They look awesome. The art department is going to pick one up and say "we're done".
The Olympics even changed the rules of their 25m event so you can't use these particular guns anymore. So you'd think that this older style would come down in price. And you know there's an airsoft version. Somewhere.
I don't much like normal pistols although honestly I've never shot a .22 pistol. I imagine they're a lot less obnoxious than a 9mm. And I bet these competition pistols are downright comfy.
The other rude thing about pistols is even .22 short ammo ain't cheap. I wasn't even aware until today that there's a 10-meter air pistol competition in the Olympics. Really.
And (when we're talking about art department's opinion) the air pistols look even cooler.

Dig the Steyr too.
Lastly, a few Morini.
Morini air pistol.
Morini CM 84E .22 caliber "free" pistol.
Morini CM 22M .22 caliber "sport" pistol.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Ophelia, You're Breakin' My Heart

We got a new computer today. A 2.7 GHz i7 with whatever animal Apple named their latest operating system with.
My dad gave me the monitor he had which absolutely would not work and always looked terrible. And, of course, for me it works just fine. Note that I'm using a Mac with DVI instead of VGA. Maybe that's the difference? Who knows? Anyway, that saved me a few hundred bucks and it's right pretty.
Ophelia the new generation Mac Mini.
I've come up with some rules for computers. This is by far not a comprehensive list, but it's a nice start.

  • Keep stuff off the desktop. Be very minimalist with the desktop and keep it uncluttered. Most of the data is going to want to go somewhere very specific so you can find it easily. 
  • Don't let your browsers put files in your "downloads" folder. That's a stupid place for stuff to go. You'll lose the files and they'll eventually start taking up way too much room.
  • Don't use Safari. I don't know why but Safari is just messed up on all of my Macs. So avoid it. We never have problems with Chrome or Firefox. Heck, I'd rather you used Opera than Safari. Just delete that program from the dock.

There. Those are my rules for today. Downloading Gimp and Blender. O! that there were an open source Final Cut and AfterEffects. What a noble mind is here o'erthrown.

Earthkiller on Fleshbot!

Our movie Earthkiller was blurbed on Fleshbot.

I think that's just so cool.
And for those of you playing at home, yes, you did wake up naked with amnesia. Take this crowbar, you're going to have to break out of this space station...

Monday, July 02, 2012

America a Prophecy

Set then there is what I do.

And the Sherlock score was written by a couple guys named Michael Price and somebody else and we  (Tyrannosaurus Mouse) should go in and out of the Game of Thrones theme with the BBC Sherlock theme because it would be awesome.
So the big deal around my brain is that there's a William Blake poem called America A Prophecy. Why was I not informed of this?
Clearly this poem should form the lyrical base for The Imaginary Opera. And indeed, it is.
Today I'm foisting my blog upon all the members of Tyrannosaurus Mouse. I hope they enjoy it and find it informative.
Hey guys: I've been practicing. I'm better now. That doesn't mean "good". But I'm better. And I'm trying to lose weight. I should get points for that.

This is what you get from a blog post on Ambien. Now I'm going to write some of the BEST poetry I've ever... what's that? Ambien walrus wants me to call all my ex-girlfriends right now. I'm too busy losing my keys.
If you get this via email or an RSS reader, go ahead and click through so you can see the actual web page. It might be easier to see the videos and some of the pictures.


An addendum to my previous post. Surely (and stop calling me "Shirley") we should mix up between the Game of Thrones theme and the new BBC Sherlock theme.
Of course we should.

We will be able to rock. And loud too. I mean actually loud, not that over-hyped first-stage squished loud, I mean wide open big transformers and a bootylicious sound.
This is not my fault. This was one of the first images to come up when looking for "flip top amp".

All About Me

So. Therefore. Here in the Pandora Machine we're doing paperwork on Android Insurrection and Earthkiller. Also, editing picture on Prometheus Trap and also creating visual effects for it.
Here is Drew Bellware with Rebecca Kush making bunny ears behind his head. Or trying to at least.
I'm a Secret Santa for Reddit Arbitrary Day 2012. I have a Reptar toy and a guitar tuner is on its way. And today one of our office mates (a catering company) got Mexican food catered and offered it to everyone. Yummy. See? All. About. Me.

Total Recall

I favor the Total Recall remake. Why? Because I thought the original was fatally flawed. I think the screenplay was amazing but the execution had a couple problems. The biggest problem was putting Arnold in the role of the protagonist. Mr. Schwarzenegger makes a terrible good guy because just look at him. He's Mr. Universe. He could beat up all of those other guys easy. That substantially reduces the dramatic tension.
Arnold as the Terminator is perfect. Because he's definitely a formidable opponent. Sarah Connors versus that big buff dude totally works. And the sequel works too because they actually make a Terminator who's tougher than the Arnold.
That's why I want to see a Total Recall without him in the lead.
My only question is: do they not end up going to Mars?

The Mouse Future

I had this whole thing going in my little mind about what would make people go nuts at a Tyrannosaurus Mouse show.
1. Also Sprach Zarathustra
Let's face reality. This is a piece of music Tyrannosaurus Mouse can do. This is right up our alley. We can play the heck out of this. We can make this a monster. We will make it a double-stack Leslie gorilla of supersonic groovitude. There are few things in life we can feel absolutely certain about. But this is one of them.

Phish does their version of the Deodato arrangement of the piece.

So, you say, we do Strauss' Also Spake Zarathustra. What else can we do? 2. A blues version of the theme to Brokeback Mountain. What? How? You say. The theme to Brokeback Mountain as though it is "A Little Help From My Friends" by Joe Cocker. No. Really. Brokeback Mountain: Joe Cocker: Lastwise we need to do one more thing to cement our place as immortals in the Rock world. 3. The Theme to Game of Thrones. If we just played these three songs we would have our visages chiseled upon Mount Olympus. You know we would. And the fact is, we can do these three things. Look, I know we're not the world's most technically proficient band (that's due to the stunningly 2nd-rate guitar player.) But these songs? We can play them. My birthday is coming up and I'm going to make us rehearse three times for my birthday. Then we're going to play at least one gig.