Monday, December 31, 2007

I’ve been tempted…

Every time I’ve been in Blockbuster I’ve been tempted to pick up a copy of one of Asylum Films knock-off versions of the recent batch of summer blockbusters. I know they’re gonna suck, I’m just curious to see just how bad they’re going to suck. Asylum is one of those production companies that cranks out knock-off films.

Here is their most recent release, “Alien Vs. Hunter”. No doubt released in time to capitalize on the trailers for the new “Alien Vs. Predator” sequel. Although why you would want to make a crappy knock-off of a crappy studio film is beyond me.

Here is their release of “Transmorphers” next to the more popular “Transformers”. Perhaps “Transmorphers” is based on a knock-off Chinese cartoon from the 80s…

They also have a movie titled “I am Omega”, skillfully blending the recent Will Smith blockbuster “I am Legend” remake with the Chuck Heston classic “Omega Man”. Nice.

When I was working in LA, I’d met several grips and electricians who worked on Asylum productions. They all worked on one, learned their lesson then moved on. I too had hoped to work on an Asylum film and learn my lesson, but never had the opportunity. Alas, I can only watch the productions and enjoy them from the viewer’s perspective. Perhaps some Saturday afternoon soon I will have an Asylum viewing marathon.

Friday, December 14, 2007

My new HD camera

So I got a new HD camera, but it's not what you think...

My consumer miniDV camera finally died, and I needed to buy a new personal camera. The trouble is I wanted to future-proof my purchase, as the 2009 analog transition is looming large. Unfortunately the cheapest consumer HD cameras are still around $600. Way too much for something I will likely drop in the water or leave on a train on vacation.

Enter Aiptek.

Aiptek (who?) has a couple of "hybrid" still/SD/HD flash card palmcorders out for very cheap. They have the GO-HD which does 720p and has a 3x optical zoom lens for ~$200. I almost got one. The problem is that it is autofocus and has a tendency to search for focus. NG. The other model is the A-HD. This is a fixed focus non-zoom camera, and it sells for ~$120. I picked one up. For $120 it's pretty darned cool. It records to .h264 mov files which is awkward for editing, but great for storage. I can record an hour of 720p onto a 2gig SD card ($20), and the quality is not too bad either.

At any rate, I decided to do a comparison between the AHD and the HVX200. The results can be seen here: