Creative Storytelling in web, iOS, and Film

Posts by Cameron

Thunderbolt Tech is More Than Fast Hard Drives

By on Apr 22, 2012 in Blog, Consulting, Film Studio |

It’s easy to treat Thunderbolt like any other iteration of connectivity. Just like we moved from USB, to FireWire 400, to USB 2 to FireWire 800, we’ll move to Thunderbolt. But if you do let go of a bored sigh, and say, “Yeah, yeah, another way to connect my external hard drives to my computer that’s faster. Big deal.” you could be missing the point of Thunderbolt. And if you’re a neat freak about cables, then don’t dismiss this new technology. You’re gonna want it, trust me. At the National Association of Broadcasters, where we saw more Thunderbolt drives and other peripherals connected via Thunderbolt cables than we’ve seen in any video production house so far. Lacie, G Technology, Western Digital and many more all had booths on the show floor sporting plenty of Thunderbolt drives plugged into the latest MacBook Pros. Are they faster? Yeah. But it’s more than that. David Barrett explains why Thunderbolt really is a revolutionary technology, and why making the move will not only make your transfer of files faster, but it could also make your laptop faster, not to mention clean up that nasty tangle of cables you’ve got trapping dust bunnies behind your desk....

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The Contour Camera; It’s not Another GoPro

By on Apr 17, 2012 in Blog, Consulting, Film Studio |

Las Vegas, April 16,2012 – Been walking the vast exhibit floor at the National Association of Broadcasters today and am happy to report that this show is bigger than last year, and badder than ever. Stopped in at the Contour booth to see how their go-everywhere, do-anything brand of small, portable cameras held up to GoPro’s latest Hero2. Turns out they’re giving GoPro quite a run for its money.   ContourROAM $199 ContourGPS $299 Contour+ $499 Now at a professional video store (or a Target, or a surf shop, or a parachuting class) near you!...

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Lucky Idiot with a Tripod

By on Jan 3, 2011 in Blog, Video |

I’ve been struggling with the success of the latest web video sensation. His name’s Jamie Stuart and he’s responsible for “Idiot with a Tripod”,┬áthe latest viral video to get an inordinate amount of playtime – 384,684 views so far on YouTube – and recognition – an ITV profile piece on Jamie as Suddenly Famous Filmmaker and an early Academy Award nomination from legendary film critic Roger Ebert. It’s not the film I’ve been struggling with. It’s not even the enviable number of downloads. It’s the recognition. Jamie knows how to make a film. That much is obvious. “Idiot with a Tripod” chronicles the blizzard that hit New York City on December 26, 2010. Jamie knows his camera equipment. He used a Canon 7D with multiple Nikon lenses, a portable slider and tripod (as the film’s title suggests) beautifully. He knows his post production. He used Final Cut Pro, converted his H.264 footage to Apple ProRes 422, and edited together a beautiful story using music and shot length to increase pace and create tension and interest, just like the storm’s pace increased throughout that day, increasing the tension and interest of those who witnessed it firsthand. Jamie knows he was in the right place at the right time living in Queens, New York on December 26th. His background in news videography served him well that night. Instead of stocking on up milk and toilet paper then hunkering down like most sensible people would do, Jamie went out into the maelstrom, camera, lenses and tripod in hand. He forgot weather-appropriate footwear, so he’s not the most seasoned news videographer, but we’ll forgive him that. He went out multiple times and recorded a truly remarkable visual event. It wasn’t the worst blizzard New York has ever seen. It might not even be the worst blizzard Jamie has ever seen. But he made it epic by taking the time and expending the energy to record it skillfully and then turn that skillful recording around QUICKLY and get it online. This is where his news background really shined through. A current event is, most importantly, current. If he’d waited even one more day, the film’s relevance would have lessened. ITV’s interest in Jamie makes...

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Tease Your Nephews with a Disneyland Movie Trailer

By on Nov 30, 2010 in Blog |

This is the story about professional filmmakers using simple consumer toys and tools to make a short subject film (and how much fun we had doing it). We hosted my nephews and my mother for Thanksgiving. Well, more than Thanksgiving, since my mother flew in from Rhode Island and my nephews from Kansas City. So everyone was around for a few days before the feast and several days after that. When you are the aunt of boys who are 16, 14, and 12 and you live in Southern California, visits from said boys always involve a trip to Disneyland. It’s required. In fact, I believe it is a state law. The part about the filmmaking is coming. Really. The nephews were all fired up about the promised Disneyland trip but we wanted to stoke that fire a little more, so we went there ourselves, on Halloween, to take some pictures we could use to tease them on Facebook (my nephews don’t really use email any more, just Facebook and that’s the subject of a future post). We hadn’t been there more than a minute or two, literally, we had just stepped into the park, were standing on Main Street, looking toward Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, when I saw the lightbulb go on over David’s head. He’d recently upgraded to iLife 11, and had glanced through the new iMovie enough to find the “Movie Trailers” function. This had intrigued him. He had his iPhone 4 with him. It all clicked into place. We don’t need no stinking pictures! We need a movie! And so began the principle photography on “Tease Your Nephews with a Disneyland Movie Trailer.” Cameron: What was it like to shoot video with an iPhone 4? David: The idea of using your phone as a video camera for any shot longer than 30 seconds was something I’m not really used to. But the beauty of the iPhone is that you can shoot in HD or SD with the tap of a finger, and the entire face of the phone becomes your viewfinder. It’s nearly the same size as viewfinders on traditional HD camcorders from major manufacturers. Cameron: How much video did you shoot? David: Because it’s a phone,...

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