52 Weeks of Creative: Week 2

I know some of you were expecting this post to be a sword fighting video.  Sorry, that’s not this week.  Though we did film some sword fighting yesterday.

I’m keeping very quiet about it.

This week I quarreled with myself about whether or not to post my creative project.  I’m not a huge fan of putting my face or myself on camera or on the Internet, which is why you see very few pictures of me on this blog.  But as a personal challenge this week’s creative project features, well, me.

Singing.

Please forgive me this moment of narcissism.  I really don’t think of myself as the premier singer, but I’ve always liked it, and I did a lot of musical theater in my teens.  I wrote a song once when I was 19 or so and I write a ton of poetry.  A few months ago I found this song that I loved, but it’s just music.  And it intrigued me.

So I wrote lyrics.

I guess I was pretty frustrated at the time with some people in my life so these lyrics are not exactly…nice.  But it was fun to sing and record them to music I really like.

I’ve never made a legit music video before.  I don’t recommend trying to make one by yourself of yourself.  There’s some logistical issues with that plan and it ensures that a lot of your footage will be out of focus, especially when you use a lens with such a short focal length.  It does mean that no one else will see or hear you pretending to be Lorde or Pentatonix, but then you also have no way of knowing how much you’ve failed in this pretension.

Here’s some of the color correction I did on the footage:

Before:

Screen Shot 2014-01-11 at 11.10.47 PM

After:

Screen Shot 2014-01-11 at 11.10.51 PM

Before:

Screen Shot 2014-01-11 at 11.20.20 PM

After:

Screen Shot 2014-01-11 at 11.20.23 PM

The Sony FS100 is a delightful camera.  And I do love editing on FCP7, even though it is a bit older.  Color correction on it is very effective.

The original song is called Celestial Soda Pop and was written by Ray Lynch.  This man is a genius and of course owns all the rights to the song.  Thank you, Mr. Lynch, for writing something that inspired me to make up lyrics and then be brave enough to share my performance with the whole Internet.


Feel free to jump in and join me in creating something every week this year.  Or offer creative ideas in the comments.  In case you missed out on why this is week 2 or what’s going on, here are the rules I set down from last week’s post:

“My goal is to create and finish something “creative” every week.  That’s 52 things.

1.  Must finish by 11:59pm on Sunday of the week (Yeah, I edited that because 12am didn’t make any sense).

2.  Must accept a CHALLENGING project, not something like “draw one picture of a dude.”

3.  Must post by the following Monday.

4.  May work with others on any project.

5.  May work in area of expertise, as long as the project still offers a degree of complexity.”

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Post Production, Life and Adobe

It’s been a while.  I know.  Here’s why:  POST PRODUCTION and LIFE.

By life, I mean that I am the Maid of Honor at a wedding the 2nd week of November, I have a sibling due to have a boy in October, lots of drama we won’t go into and a dog that keeps stealing the rugs to tear them apart on my back lawn.

Why do dogs do that?

Rory

(Rory, named after the Doctor Who character, yes.)

Let’s talk tech for a moment.  The coolest thing I’ve heard about lately is this:

It’s a stylus Adobe developed for use by designers and such.  Why is this so cool?  For a company that gave us the amazing program After Effects, which opens the door for filmmakers to show what we see in our heads, this stylus is the hardware that could revolutionize how we create images, stories and worlds.

Too bad it isn’t even out until 2014.

I’ve been waiting for this for years.  Maybe ya’ll remember that the iPad was my idea?  A legit stylus was too.

‘Cause, well, this is what I drew a few years ago with my…not-legit stylus.

Tree Houses

Microsoft Surface

A year ago at the end of this month, I blogged about the iPad and the Microsoft Surface.  I own an iPad, and I love it.  My iPad is almost as effective as my Macbook Pro.  The main reason I need the laptop is because I edit video.

I love my iPad so much I claimed it as my idea.  Check out my original thoughts on the Surface vs. the iPad, here.

This is the Surface.  It looks like an iPad, but it’s not.  It runs Windows 8 and the cover doubles as a keyboard.  I know, iPad sells covers that are keyboards.  Not the same.

Yesterday I had the distinct pleasure of trying out the Surface.  A friend of mine acquired one from France, given away for free at a conference.  That meant the keyboard was European, apparently.

I really disliked the keyboard, actually, because I’m used to the Mac spacing and it just didn’t work for me.  I tried the touch keyboard on the screen and that worked great.  I bet I would get used to the cover keyboard eventually.

The touchscreen, full-fledged laptop-ness is awesome.  You can slide through different apps, just like the iPad, but with the Surface you can have multiple windows open at once.  How cool is that?

My time with the Surface ended prematurely, as there was real filmmaking work to be done, but the memory will be treasured.  Someday I’m hoping the iPad will be as reasonable as the Surface, with multiple screen capability and extra ports on the outside.  I’m an Apple diehard still…

…But the Surface makes me question myself.

(This commercial also made me like them better)

Legit or Not Legit

Saw a digital magnifying glass on a TV show yesterday.  It was designed for people with vision problems.  The host of the show remarked, “I remember when I was a kid and I played with the magnifying glass like I was Sherlock Holmes.”  Then she laughed.

Okay.

I’m not against technology.  I have an iPad and I spend more time on my Mac than I do with any two people.  I also would love to own one of those Speeders from Star Wars Episode 6.

How cool would that be?

But let’s step back for a moment.  Why do we need digital magnifying glasses?  Did the magnifying glass stop working?  Is it suddenly too easy to spend $10 bucks on a piece of glass that can fit in your pocket, so we need to spend $250 on a digital version?

I feel for people with eye problems.  I mean, I’ve worn glasses since I was 14.  But come on, let’s use a little sense.

Someone’s trying to get your money by inventing something you don’t need, regardless of how cool it is.

Don’t talk trash about my Speeder desire.  That is totally necessary to life.  If I had one of those, I’d never be late for anything and my nerd-cred would skyrocket.  I’d be legit in the nerd world.

Oh yeah.

What other technology have you read or heard about that seems like a con?  Do you own any?

I’m gonna be looking through my belongings, and I’ll post about any unnecessary finds.  Until then, if you know someone who knows someone who can hook me up with a sweet ride….

iPad, Not Monitor

I told the DP from the shoot this past weekend that I thought there was an adapter that would turn the iPad into a monitor for camcorders.  I remembered seeing something in B&H along those lines, but I had no interest in a monitor at the time.  My iPad was bought for a completely different reason, and I’ve posted a little about it previously.

The DP was excited and asked me to send him the link.  Okay.  I spent about half an hour trying to find that cable.  I read through forums and specs and even the physical B&H catalog.

                

Guess what?

Doesn’t exist.

The iPad is not designed to take in video, only output.  Even if a cable existed, it wouldn’t matter.  The only viable solutions I read about involved thousands of dollars, which would make the convenience of an iPad-turned-monitor moot.

I guess he’ll have to invest in a monitor after all.

(These people talk about it too.)

But, I’ve come up with a solution.  You’ll love it.  Just mount the iPad so that its camera eye is facing your camcorder LCD or viewfinder.  Turn the camera app on.

Enjoy.

Compatibility

This summer Apple came out with the new Retina display Macbook Pros.  I needed a new laptop.  I waited for a few months and when the desire was too much to hold back, I went to the Apple Store and got my very own.

It’s pretty sweet.

I took it home and we haven’t been parted since.  I am on my computer almost as much as I am wake.  This baby is fast.  Sleek.  Clean.  Gorgeous.

And completely incompatible with every other form of technology I own.

I found out right away that it didn’t have a firewire port.  Okay, no big deal, I’ll get an adapter.  That’ll be $30.  Plus $20 for a new cable, because oh right, firewire has been updated since I bought my camera.  $50 dollars.  Doesn’t seem like too much, but on the cusp of how much I paid for the Mac, it annoyed me.

That wasn’t the end, either.

This version of the Mac doesn’t have a port for a microphone.  Why?  I don’t know.  It makes no sense to me.  There’s the option of connecting through the usb, but then I’d have to buy a new mic and I don’t even want to go into the cost of that.  Fine.  I’ll get another adapter.  If I bought it through Apple, the adapter would cost about $30.  Again.

NO WAY.

I found a middle-range, probably too cheap one on Amazon.  It was about $11.  Not too bad.  Hopefully it works.

I know technology is changing and I understand why it has to.  I guess I just wish it could stay compatible with old technology for at least 5 years.  That way us poor, recent college grads could afford our computers and eat too.

Tap That

Remember back in the 90s when a pet meant a miniature, digital keychain?  Yup, I’m talking about those Tamagotchi dudes.  Or maybe the Nano Pets.  If you don’t remember, or you just didn’t have one, these were animated pets in a tiny screen half the size of an average cell phone.  The owner had to feed, play with, and meet other needs of this kitty or puppy or alien or thing-that-looks-like-a-hamster-but-we’re-really-not-sure.

I had a Nano Puppy.  The casing was pink.  I kept forgetting to feed it and it died.  A lot.  But I loved that puppy.  What happened to that, anyway?

My brother had a boxing guy.  Now that I think about it, that’s kinda creepy.  But the boxing Nano pet had the capability to fight with other boxing pets.  You could hook the screens together and watch them go at it.

That was for kids.

It’s not like we have phones now that lean against each other, you tap, and they exchange pictures or anything.  That would be too Nano Pet.  I mean, haven’t we moved past the 90s?  Aren’t we leaving our childhoods behind?

Maybe not.

We now have digital pets called Samsung, Nokia, Apple, LG, and Motorola.  They need constant attention.  They ping when you need to text them, buzz when you need to check a Tweet, bip when you’re behind on that pesky Words With Friends.  If you don’t care for these needs, your social life will die.

And that’s not as easy to restart with a click of a button.

Location, Location, Location

I was in the Apple Store the other day with a minor problem.  In the course of fixing my minor problem, I witnessed another woman being introduced to an iPad.  She was new to the whole touch screen thing and didn’t have a clue of the capabilities of the digital tablet.

Like a good Apple employee, her helper explained the process of registration, etc.  She even mentioned the Find My iPhone app.  Basically you register your device—iTouch, iPhone, iPad, Mac—and if it is connected to wifi or 3G, the app will search for its location and then give you a map on your computer of its exact whereabouts.

Exact.

Okay, cool.  That’ll successfully guard my iPad from thieves and moments of forgetfulness.  Even better, you can send a text to your phone which makes it beep, helping you to find it in your messy house.

I’m thinking about how this can be exploited—because everything can be—and it hits me that not only will the Apple Corporation be privy to my location EVERY DAY, but I can totally leave my phone in my mom’s car and track her movements.  I still think she’s going to estate sales behind my back.

That is, if I had an iPhone.

I hate to get all conspiracy theory on you, but isn’t it a little scary to know that a billion-dollar company can track your movements?  But maybe I’m a little behind the game.  All cell phones have the ability to give your general location to the police as long as they are on.  A few years ago they tested this by finding a kidnap victim in the suburbs of KC.

The real question is, which is more alarming: The police knowing where you are, or Apple?