Monday, April 30, 2012

Free Credit Report (No, Really)

Hey, for Americans there's only one Federally - mandated free credit report website. And it's AnnualCreditReport.
Yeah, it's got a dumb name. And it sure would be a lot easier if it had a .gov domain. But that's the one you want.
Blendswap is awesome. It's the biggest repository for Blender 3D models on the web. And it's where we're going to put up all our models.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Cast and crew

This was a full bottle at the beginning of the day.
The train ride home. Note that it's still light outside when we broke the cast and crew.

I'm not even going to properly caption this picture. That's in order to protect the guilty.
You'll have to go over to the Pandora Machine blog to see the official pictures from today's shoot.

Friday, April 27, 2012

The French Way

We: I wonder what shirt I should wear this weekend.
They: Shouldn't that word be plural?

The Economist realizes that two spaces after a period is ugly and archaic. And, interestingly, a single space after a period is called "French spacing". Similar, I presume, to French leave, French fries, and French kissing.

So I figured out a radical thing that's very different from what's in the script. It's basically what was in the script. But different now. I'm really going to have to walk the editors through this because... the way things work is different. But it'll be good.
I'm also going to have to teach myself UV wrapping. Sigh. I'm just going to have to do it. OK knowledge, get into my brain.

Lockout

So, there's this movie called Lockout which has gotten like zero publicity. Like much of Luc Besson's stuff it seems like it's almost a parody of American action-movie making. But there are parts of it that look extremely cool. And obviously Guy Pearce can act (which is a huge plus in these action pictures.)
Are you writing spec scripts for TV shows? This is a fascinating "What is Hot and What is Not" article about what shows to spec:
http://www.tv-calling.com/drama-spec-script-2012-what-is-hot-and-what-is-not/
Remember how there used to be a theater called Manhattan Theatresource? The building it was in has been sold. The Theatresource space is totally unusable as a retail space (which is why it sat fallow for over a year — way back in '99 when the real estate market was at its highest point.) So if you want to start a theater, call up the new landlord!
Potentiometers.

Nicolo' Zubbini is a Blender artist. He's working on the Mango project with Ian Hubert. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Three things from here today

Betty Ouyang's latest movie, POP-U-larity is available on Amazon as a DVD and streaming video.


 Libby Csulik is using ShotList on the iPad. Shotlist is misnamed -- it's actually a stripboard application. I actually wish there were a way to run it on a Mac or a PC. I'll admit that it looks almost useful enough for a dedicated iPad. But if they get XLS import/export it'll really be something.
The price is an absurdly low twelve bucks.

What makes the Internet so amazing? There's a whole website dedicated to shoelace tying. I'm using Lock Lacing myself.

Monday, April 23, 2012

St. George's Day

Brea Grant on things she learned in the editing room.

OK, c'mon. On the subject of script readers, this quote is hilarious:
"I know interns and assistants are doing all of the reading," he says, "so I think about what is going to appeal to a girl in her twenties from a small liberal arts college before I send it."
If you worked in my office you'd think this was funny too.

I would suspect that sending out spec scripts for TV writing would be more profitable for a writer.

I'm a fan of Singular Software. They have some new products for audio synchronization coming up. I think we're a beta tester for them. That means we'll get to try PluralEyes on The Prometheus Trap and certainly for Dragon Girl.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

InGenius

The 2012 InGenius has been announced. I think this is the first real post-theatresource theatresource show. As far as I know this is Vinny Marano's baby. It goes like this:

manhattantheatresoure presents
InGenius 2012
Voices from the Writers' Forum
OPENS Monday, May 07 at 8:00PM
RUNS SUNDAY-TUESDAY, May 6-8, May 13-15, & May 20-22
All performances are at 8pm. Tickets are available here.


Decisions

I have decided to become a hot mess. I'm exactly the kind of boy your mother is afraid of. No job, crazy life, super-hot. The more a mess my life is, the sexier I seem.
I have decided to become an Internet troll. You know that Hitler guy? I'm totally going to compare your ideas to his. Either favorably or unfavorably — depending on the venue.
Have I mentioned recently how antibiotics affect me? I am functionally very drunk. What I mean by that is that although my motor skills are perfectly fine and not kagrunked, my sense of spacial relationships is out the window. Plus my dreams are weird. I'm a little worried about going for walks because my ability to judge the speed of oncoming traffic is narwhalamated. Driving is, of course, out of the question.

Monday, April 16, 2012

How Was I Not Informed?

How was I not informed there was a new Jack Reacher book out in paperback? I'm not saying that people should be forced to read Jack Reacher books — I'm not some sort of Fascist. But the State should be required to inform the populace of new paperback versions of Jack Reacher books. Like notices in train stations and along highways. Perhaps the ship dates should be included with voter packets in the mail.
I'm on drugs. Zithromax. The stuff always makes me loopy.
In fact, this cat from the Internet is how I feel right now.
Cat from the Internet expresses how I feel.
I managed to partially screw up yet another delivery. Well now I know how to fix it. I deliver a FCP project with the outputs properly assigned or I make special stereo .aif files for the English stereo and the M&E mixes.
I'm thinking I should try to become a diva DP. Refer to picture of cat, above.
We're partying down with prep for our first day of shooting (again). Here's a link to the callsheet.
John Bruno discusses one of my least-favorite things: DP's who are shooting their reel, not the movie.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Things in the Machine

Why multiculturalism makes you a better writer.
The great-great-great-grandmother of us all was the daughter of a hardline feminist and the jailbait mistress of a married poet. She wrote the first science fiction novel in Italy, while grieving over a lost child and suffering from postpartum depression. How does that translate into science fiction being only by and for white men who live in their parents’ basements?
I'll have you know my parents' basement is quite nice, actually.

I'm trying my best to watch Supernatural. I'm not too sure about their music choices.
That being said, they do a good job of distinguishing the dark-haired white guys from one another. Which is, you know, kinda difficult to do.

In the meantime I have that creeping crud that's been going around. I am going to the doctor tomorrow and the doctor will prescribe a Z-pak or the equivalent.

What you need to know about today

Larry Pontius has Mac Rogers as a guest-blogger where Mac writes on writing and producing Honeycomb Trilogy.

The movie Quadrophrenia is way more depressing than you expect from a rock 'n roll movie. I remember seeing it at a midnight show with friends. At the time I thought "This is a good movie, not really a rock movie." It's actually very well written, directed, and acted. Not an up picture though.

Remember back in the olden days when there was clamor for digital projection because of how much it would help independent film? Ha! Those days are gone. Of course, nobody at this point thinks that indy pictures work in theaters either.

Gibson SG's with P-90 pickups are under a thousand bucks brand-new.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Mariano Fortuny and butane torches



Mariano Fortuny

And butane torches.

The Journal of the Intellectual Elite

I'm totally going to start a newspaper and call it the "Journal of the Intellectual Elite". No really. And I wouldn't be the first one. Go ahead, translate that. I'll wait.

Speaking of the intellectual elite, here is my sister's dog.
I'm experimenting with these little bitty lights. It's going to be interesting to figure out what they do.
Self portrait with LED.
We're not going to shoot on Sunday 'cause of sick actor.
I've been concerned about these bands of noise I'm seeing occasionally on footage with the GH1. Here's a note from a forum on the GH1 by Steve Castle:
Banding usually occurs under certain conditions, its not just high-ISO, but rather a combination of the subject/environment you're taking relative to how much the noise is being amplified via a high-ISO setting. Banding noise is most noticeable in the shadows, or when an image has been superlatively brightened.
It's very hard to predict when the camera will be irksome like that. But it does seem to have to do with shooting under exposure.

I'm still trying to figure out if I can/should shoot with my Canon S.S.C. lenses on this movie. We could get nice shallow depth-of-field and we could shoot in very low light. Is it worth it? Should we do at least one take that way? I don't know. I know I'm shakier without the optical stabilization from the kit lens.
Also -- and maybe I'm just noticing this in my office -- but the strange color of the light is bugging me. The one other time I had that issue was on Day 2 when we shot outside and had funny light. But both times the light itself was indeed strange. I'll have to double-check with the kit lens.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Easter Elephant

SN Films is Steve Niles' film company.
The Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences is in Phoenix.
I'm experimenting with backing up with Backblaze.

Like Cats and Dogs Over Here

My sister sent pictures of her dog and one of the cats. They are clearly very uncomfortable around one another.
Chien and Skittles. Didn't Skittles used to be Piti? 

I took today as a "sabbath". That is I only continually checked into my computer at the studio to make sure it was rendering and not crashing. And getting out some of the emails I owe people. Tomorrow is Easter so I'll be able to take all day doing the work which desperately needs to be done by last week.
I could learn some things from these animals.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Cat Gang

People say that cats are supposed to be good for your health.
Which is ironic because I'm convinced my parents' cats are trying to straight up murder them.

Suspects are considered tailed and fuzzy.
Winston (chat noir) and Meydl (chatte orange) are doing everything in their furry-bottomed powers to trip my parents and make them fall.
Suspects are still at large. In the case of Winston, he's just large.
The two of them are simply up to no good at all.
In other news, the black spot on Meydl's nose is fainter this week.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Blast Radius

Mac Rogers, who wrote the best play I've ever seen — Universal Robots — has a trilogy of plays, the second of which is now playing at the Secret Theater. It's called Blast Radius and The New York Times gave it a glowing review.

Mac also wrote our Angry Planet (which became Solar Vengeance). And you know what? I still think that movie is pretty brilliant. The script at least. ;-)

Solar Vengeance.


Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Show Me Your Desktop

Hey. Are you wondering what they did with the old, intuitive, "show desktop" icon in Windows 7? They put it over here on the other side of the bottom right of the screen.
Where it's at.
There it is. Go ahead. Press it. Show the desktop. You're welcome.
Tom Rowen is doing QC on Android Insurrection. Final Cut Pro is being a royal pain in the neck. I think we have a workaround for the first of the two big problems we're having.
The audio pre-renders are rendering with dropouts. It seems that if we don't allow FCP to pre-render the audio tracks it'll export without dropouts. At least we haven't had any dropouts since we started forcing it to not pre-render.
The other thing is that in Act 6 there are these stock muzzle flashes which FCP keeps "losing" and creating a "Media Offline" composite. Not cool Final Cut Pro. Because we keep re-connecting the footage and FCP keeps losing it. Maybe I'll export that whole section and re-lay it on top of the rest of the sequence.
Speaking of Tom Rowen, his relatives made a fake Tumblr page for him.
He took this picture of me with his new iPhone using that newfangled app the kids are all using these days because we can't afford Polaroid cameras anymore.
Drew, smudgy.
Jezebel on watching Titanic in 3D.
[My notes: act 2 and 7, act 6 picture, bad TV top of act 9 over black.]

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

It Could Be My Lack of Self Respect

We're having a table read of The Prometheus Trap tonight. We're going to Skype in Steve Niles, who wrote it.
I won't wear my new Jonathan E shirt because, you know, I don't want the sexiness to intimidate anyone.
So, so few people will get the joke.

Why doesn't anyone make hard sci-fi movies? Reddit has the answer.
The crackberry that took this picture obviously hates the orange color of the Houston Energy. It wants to make the color more yellow for some reason. Of course, when it does that the skin tones are more natural. Go figure.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Another Day on the Ground

The first time you bleed it's terrifying. You've seen guys get cut or just bite their lips when eating and it creeps you out. There was that dude everyone called Snowwhite who skinned his knee and he just kept looking down at the injury with his mouth dropped open like somehow wisdom was going to land on his lower jaw.
The bright green blood looks (and tastes) like antifreeze. Somehow they make your skin a color that isn't turned all verdant and neon even though your blood practically glows in the dark.
And you heal quickly, man. The Sergeant is yelling at somebody to get Snowwhite a nappy - wipe just to clean himself off because the green blood clots instantly with air contact. Then the antibiotics kick in -- all local stuff we're reassured by the med 'bots that check us over each day. We don't have to worry about coming down with some sort of exotic virus because our whole bodies are anti-virus hardware.
But in the field you don't care anymore. Not in II Corps at least. There's a slice through your skin and you curse silently as the wound heals itself. But some blood and maybe some bone splattered on the rock you were standing on. You do a quick calculation in your head of how many calories you'll need to consume to get back to strength.
And that's the whole trick. Food is heavy. Food is expensive. And food comes from very, very far away. This half-bit planet only got its Terraforming generators up and operational 6 months ago which means you can't even leave the valley you're in without a full void suit. There's air, sure. But nothing like water or food will be here for another eight years. Nothing you can actually eat or drink at least.
So you sit down and wait for your ride. The low hum of a armored deuce drops its gear and the hatch opens. The side-door gunner waves you in and you squeeze in next to him. The pilot is a Skinny -- full-on dude must be about 9 foot high and weigh half what you weigh. He waves to you in that goofy "I'm on your side, bud, don't shoot me!" smile as his eyes roll up into his head and you think do you want to be on this thing?
But the Skinny pilot is good -- that's why they have him after all.
The gunner tries to talk to you -- he sees that you've been hit -- but you're too tired and you can't hear him over the disrupter engine so your own eyes roll into your head probably just like the Skinny pilots and you Sleep with a capital S sleep for a couple days while your own body re-assembles the lower half of your left leg.

Submit!

You are suspiciously conversant.
Clone Hunter is now on Gigaplex.

EstroGenius -- the short play festival -- has opened its submission window for plays. I have zero idea where they're going to be holding the festival, as Theatresource the theater is now closed. Interestingly there's now a submission fee of $10. I don't think we've ever had that before. I'm not entirely sure that getting into the submission fee business is that good an idea -- that's probably mostly from my experience with film festivals -- but the producing organization can very quickly get addicted to bringing in all that cash from suckers who enter their plays in the festival.

Hmm... from the FAQ:

Q: Why is there a charge this year?
A: Because EstroGenius is growing! The loss of our  space on MacDougal Street creates a unique opportunity for the festival to expand into a larger venue, but it also means we need more money up front to rent that space and produce your play in a bigger, more prestigious and versatile venue. Your submission fee helps make that possible. 
Well. A "unique opportunity"? Yeah. Not so much. If we had wanted to produce the festival at another theater, we certainly could have.  My distaste for this kind of corporate-speak is... well it makes me want to retch. Producing the festival without a venue in place is going to be one major league pain the in tuchus.
Here's a model of a dead dragon.

The Other Portlandia

Y'know, I pick on the show Grimm on occasion but I think it's a great show -- beautifully lit, well-acted, and a great idea. But I get the feeling it has to pick up the pace at some point. The regular non-supernatural cops just have to get clued in so that the stories can get a move on.
Because other than that I like the series. And did I mention it's beautiful? They get these interiors to have this amazing painterly look -- a brilliant combination of Art and G&E right there. Somebody on that show is paying attention.


Christopher Sharpe on getting views on YouTube.
Waves is having a big sale on 64-big plugins. That piece of information really belongs in the Tyrannosaurus Mouse blog, doesn't it?
Final Cut Pro is doing a really disturbing thing where the exports have actual errors. The errors seem to be incurred during the pre-render. So I've deleted all the prerenders and am starting again. That means we'll have another QC check of Android Insurrection tonight.