Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Micro 4/3 and A Book

It ain't all doom and gloom, right?

Anyway, got the camera. Haven't done much with it. I bought two cheap adapter so I could use my T2i lenses on it. For you non-camera people, jump to the next section.

Thing is(as I understand it, and I could be off on a lot of this)--when I put my 35mm 1.4 lens on the new camera it becomes essentially a 70mm 1.4 lens. That's kind of cool. I'm a little vague on why that is(usually it's because of the image sensor size difference in the lens the camera was meant for and the lens it's being used with).

But I'm looking at ACTUAL Micro 4/3rd(MFT) lenses and they keep saying things like this:
  • 20mm focal length, equivalent to 40mm on a 35mm film camera
 So I'm buying an ACTUAL Micro 4/3rd, no adapter lens that's 20mm but it's going to be equivalent to a 40mm lens? Why isn't it just called a 40mm lens, then? Maybe I'm not understanding something here, but I basically need an actual 35mm lens...so am I looking for a Micro 4/3rd 35mm or a Micro 4/3rd 17.5mm lens(which will act like a 35)?

The reason I'm looking for an actual MFT lens is because my other lens(a Tokina 12-16mm) does not have a manual aperture ring, so I can't adjust the lens' aperture at all when it's on the new camera without getting a very expensive adapter. I might as well just buy a new lens.

Anyway, am looking forward to shooting some stuff. It does 4K, slow motion, it's pretty great.

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Back to working on the H book. I have a shit ton of stuff to do on it, not the least is figure out what looks good graphic-design wise. But one of the things I have to do is contact a lot of these web sites I've been pulling images from to find out whether they own the copyright to the images, and more importantly, whether they'll let me use them for free.

And shocking good news! The two biggest places I contacted got right back to me. The first one normally licenses images to the press for $200 an image, but after finding out we had mutual interests(the guy was an editor for Marvel Comics, as well as a DC rep for quite some time), he said I could use them for free as long as he could approve which images I used.

Then the second guy got back to me and said it sounded very cool, and didn't mind. They both said they could send me higher-res images if I needed them.

And remember that awesome pumpkin-carving guy I mentioned a while back? I'd sent an inquiry before Halloween and never heard back, so I sent another and they got right back to me. Said send them the questions, they'd be happy to answer them.

They didn't mention my picture inquiry, but I plan on sending them the 2 pages when I'm done and see if they're cool with it. The images will say Copyright them, Used With Permission, so I'm not asking for any copyright.

So I'm 3-for-3 so far. Got a lot more to go through, then have to make some judgement calls on some of these "public domain" images I've found.

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Saw the Kingsman tonight. Pretty fun movie. If you liked the quirky action of Kick Ass, it's very similar, so you'll like this one.

But the crazy part is this guy who sat next to my wife:

He brought his own fucking foot stool. Then he puts it out 15 minutes before the movie and puts his feet up. Every person walking by had to turn sideways to get past his feet--he didn't even straighten his feet to help 'em out.

If I'd had to go that way I'd have just run right into them. Fuck that dude.

And they wonder why movie attendance is down.

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Also, have hit my plateau. My lowest weight was 204, the next day it was 205 inexplicably--I didn't cheat.

Then I got back down to 204 but the needle's not budging. So I either keep the course until it breaks, or I radically cheat, which sometimes results in the body not knowing what's happening and reacting by burning calories faster.




Sunday, January 25, 2015

Fuck It

This guy's blog has always been pretty entertaining and informative. I get emails when he updates them.

http://stevebalderson.com/?p=433


And I did it. Said fuck it, now I own a 4K camera. So, yeah, that's weird. *

I did have an additional reason to get it, which might mean money, but I'm not prepared to talk about that yet.

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Watched a movie called Predestination starring Ethan Hawke. You like sci-fi with time travel? Don't read a thing about this movie. Go get it. Man, you think you gots ideas of where it's going, but you don't. I was one step ahead of the movie the entire time until the end when I found out they were two steps ahead.

Good, smart script with an interesting idea. The only negative thing I will say about it is that it packs a LOT of stuff into 97 minutes. We all felt like it was a 2hour+ movie. But we still liked it a lot.

---------

Back on a diet. Stood on the scale and looked at my 215pound reading. (if you remember my fattest was 231 which caused me to go on a kill-me diet)

Anyway, don't wanna get up there again, so I just immediately hit the diet. Eleven days later I am at 204. (and I did cheat and sneak in a small slurpee one night)

I know I'm gonna smack into the plateau sooner or later, but it's nice to be shedding the pounds with no exercise. Just my shakes, raisins, peanuts, mandarins, celery, chicken noodle soup and popcorn(the Skinny Pop kind where you can eat a bucket and it's like 400 calories).

I figure I'll ease back when I hit 195, because if the diet works like last time(and so far it is) then when I stop, the weight will continue to drop off me for like 2 more weeks. It was pretty weird when it happened the first time.





*technically it doesn't arrive until Monday

Saturday, January 17, 2015

So the thing is...

I'm thinking about giving it up. You know, the movie thing.

Here's my thinking, and how it came about, in as few words as I can come up with.

I'm in L.A. this past week at this doll auction. I watch vapid rich people spend INSANE amounts of money on dolls. I mean, these people are paying double and triple the estimates, bidding against each other.

And I'm thinking--these people...they're not smart. Most of them made their money from inheritance. But these people have a ton of money.

And I don't.

So what am I doing wrong?

There was a time I was clearly on the right track. My first two movies both made a profit for me, AND got distributed.

Then the internet butt-fucked everything. I've attempted to wait for the new paradigm to come along, and it seems like things might be turning around, but nowhere near fast enough for me. I don't wanna spend another 10 years not taking vacations, living in my very small house, in my 13 year old car with a cracked windshield.

Something's gotta give.

Like, maybe it's time to join the rat race. Get a real job. It'll mean regular work-hours, which sucks, but it'll also mean a regular paycheck with vacation days(eventually).

It would also mean the death of THE DREAM. I'm not sure I'm capable of admitting defeat on that though. This may sound incredibly...haughty, is I guess the word, but I have at many times wondered how The Everyman does it.

For instance--when I seasonally-worked for UPS I remember wondering about my driver. Guy had been there for almost 30 years. And I wondered..."So this is it? This is what this guy wants out of life? What's he DO? What does he HOPE for, what's his goal?"

I didn't--and don't--understand how he went about his life without having some lofty ambition he was striving toward. The Dream.

And if I get the real job then I guess I'm saying I'm done pursuing the dream. (that dream being able to make better and better movies, to create moving images that entertain people the way I've been entertained for much of my life)

Not sure I can live like that.

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This picture means nothing. Bonus pic for a long post.

Is there some medium in there, part of me wonders. Could I get a full-time real job and STILL have time to maybe make movies? Doubtful--trying the weekend warrior thing has never worked out. Continuity is a disaster, and keeping actors interested over a long period of time on only weekends is near impossible.

Can I expand what I do now to pay more--maybe take more paying editing jobs, perhaps seek some other stuff. Am I above doing a wedding video a month? Perhaps I seek out local companies who want good commercials made, rather than the dogshit that's pimped right now--I see local commercials and can't believe how bad some of them look.

January is a hard-look month. Going to be doing some heavy thinking.

Still trying to figure out what's going on with the anthology horror either way. They're starting to pressure me about the wrap-around.

And I got some extra cash right now because I got my big January check from the auction. Go buy the GH4 now, see if I can drum up some 4K business? Filmmaker me REALLY wants to.



Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Back from Orange County

I did not have a good time. I may or may not detail it.

While out there I wrote a parable. I think it's a parable. Maybe it's just a story. I dunno. Here ya go.

The Breadmaker

Once upon a time there was a breadmaker. As a boy he'd loved bread--the
smell of it, the taste of it, watching people he admired create it. He
loved everything about it.

So he grew up and learned how to make bread. He was pretty good at it
too--not the greatest by a mile, but good enough that people bought his
bread and many enjoyed it.

But one day a bread-stealing machine was invented. It literally could
teleport bread from any bread shop, and there was no way to stop it.

The price of bread began to drop all around, because everyone was getting
these bread-stealing machines. What could they do? The breadmakers
wondered. Some people said they should adapt to this change--they should
make new types of butter to sell with their bread so that maybe people
would spend money on that to make up the difference in lost revenue.

"But I want to be a breadmaker, not a butter maker!" the bread maker
thought. But people kept telling him to adapt or become extinct. "There's
no way to stop the stealing," they told him. "No sense trying."

But what could he do? He was going out of business not because the market
no longer wanted bread--it was just as popular as ever. It had just become
easy to steal. Eventually he stopped making the bread because he didn't
want to become a buttermaker or a condiment maker. A lot of other
breadmakers stopped too.

But bread did not stop being made. You see, technology advanced, and
bread-making machines came along that could create bread SO much faster
and easier than before. Sure, it didn't taste as good but after a while
people forgot what good bread tasted like.

The breadmaker found something else to do. He wasn't happy not making
bread any more. His dream died. The only thing that gave him happiness in
the days that followed was finding a bread thief, and cutting his throat,
and then cutting off the thief's dick and shoving it in the dying man's
throat.

Friday, January 02, 2015

It's the New Year. Best of?

Well, I guess I missed my chance to do my Best Of lists before the New Year. Not like I actually had a list.

So here's some of the movies I remember enjoying a lot. It's pretty obvious GOTG is the winner at #1--the only movie I saw twice in the theater this year. The others are just in random order:

  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • The Guest
  • Dawn of Apes
  • John Wick
  • Grand Budapest
  • Purge Anarchy
  • Godzilla
  • 300 Rise of An Empire
  • Inbetweeners 2
  • Nightcrawler
  • Edge of Tomorrow
  • Big Bad Wolves

note: I haven't seen these but they might make the list from what I've heard. Will see 'em soon:
Lego Movie
Boyhood
Big Hero 6
The Raid 2

Best TV Shows
  • 1) Fargo - Hands down the best show of last year. The others aren't really in order, but Fargo was an easy #1 for me.
  • 2) True Detective
  • 3) Game of Thrones- Its best season so far
  • 4) Hannibal - Balls to the wall. I have no idea how they do this coming season
  • 5) The Flash - Kind of surprised by how much I like this show. Fun, unimportant. It actually feels like a Marvel series.
  • 6) The Goldbergs - If you grew up in the 80s and aren't watching this show, you're missing out
  • 7) Penny Dreadful- surprising how good this show is. So good it made me forget they cast Eva Green and forgot to get her naked.
  • 8) Brooklyn 911 - Shows manages to crack me up every episode. Andre Braugher is the best straight man I've ever seen in comedy.
For the record I thought this season of Orange Is the New Black and Orphan Black were both terrible, especially when you consider how great their first seasons were. I may give up on both.

The American's was still good, and I'm enjoying American Horror Story. Can't wait to see how they destroy the entire season in the last few episodes. You know, the way they do every year. (Well, Coven was pretty bad the whole way through...)

Don't really have a music thing. I didn't hear that many great albums...I think I only bought maybe two or three entire albums, and I was a bit disappointed in the KMFDM one.

Marilyn Manson, who's always been hit or miss with me, has a new album coming out. I really like this song from the album. Would be nice if they're all good.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5LZ8YErl2M

Anyway, working on this presentation video for the L.A. auction. I leave next week for it. It's not central to any of my friends out there though, so I won't get to visit with anyone. Bummer.