Thursday, December 29, 2011

a gaggle of kleigls

ktxl fox 40 was getting rid of some old tungsten lights. I was more than happy to swing by and pick up a few for the school.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

To find the perfect Christmas tree...

This weekend we went up to Pollock Pines to secure a Christmas tree.

After about an hour wandering through the forest, it occurred to me to turn on my GPS tracking program on my G-phone. I captured the second hour of wandering. After two hours and about 2 1/2 miles of uphill, downhill and through the sticks all the way we found it...

But it's not about the prize, it's about the journey:

Sunday, November 13, 2011

3d camera pan kludge

I wouldn't even go so far as to call it a hack. my 3d web camera's lens is too narrow so I strapped it to a fan to make pan back and forth.

Friday, September 16, 2011


I'll give this one right of way...

Friday, August 12, 2011

48 hr 3D project

A little while ago I had a chance to work on a 48 hr project. I swore I'd never do one of those again but an old friend Erik Espera called and invited me to crew. He's a hard one to say no to but he not only assembled an all-star crew, but also wanted to try and shoot it in 3D, possibly the first 48hr film to be shot in 3D. I couldn't resist the offer, so I said yes.

I originally signed on as a camera operator when the original DP Eric Maddox, decided it would be too big an undertaking to be both DP and the stereographer for the shoot. He decided to focus solely on the 3D technical and he asked if I could take his place. Of course I said yes but it was quite a courageous decision for him to turn over that creative controls in order preserve the integrity of the film. I applaud that, I don't think I could have been able to do that. And as it was turned out it was the right decision.

Working with the 3D rig was incredibly complex and required constant fine tuning - a full time job in itself. Every time the camera was moved, even if just lifting it off the dolly and setting it on the ground required about 20 minutes of adjustments. Yes, this slowed things down a bit but on the upside 3D actually benefits from less coverage. You actually should linger longer on shots and cut less frequently in order to give the eye more time to adjust, so it evened out. We had to cut out quite a few beauty shots I wanted to get in order to keep all the scenes with minimum coverage. But then, what 48hr film doesn't have that happen...

Here is a link to the film and a BTS featurette:

Thanks to Erik Espera, Adobe, and every person who worked on the crew to produce such professional results in such a short time.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

My New Favorite Thing... Posterini

I found this website that will let you take a picture and build a movie poster out of it. It's not that bad, I crapped this one out in less than two minutes. Imagine if I spent three! The picture size is limited to about 1k resolution, but I'm talking with the developers about increasing it to a larger size. Right now it's free, but I could see charging for a larger sized option. Here is the site:

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Philo T. Farnsworth

What I did for my summer vacation:
I went to visit the Philo T. Farnsworth museum in Rigby Idaho.
If you don't know who Philo is, go here:
Unfortunately we got there at 11am and missed the Philo boat...

Tuesday, July 05, 2011


We went to Yellowstone park for a vacation. I took advantage of the dark skies to shoot some long exposure timelapse. Below is a test shot. In the crossed lines you can see the blinking lights from a jet flying East to West. The other solid line is the International Space Station. The white cloud in the background is the milky way.
Click to see a larger image.
Canon 7D 30 second exposure at ASA 5000, 8mm lens at f3.5

Saturday, May 21, 2011

County Fair Judging

judging short films for the county fair.

In the background you can see the other judging stations: Arts, Crafts, Photography, ect.

In the foreground is my judging station: a DVD/VHS/TV combo along with entries and forms. I have to say the high school student project compare very well to our 1st year college projects. Perks of the gig: pair of passes to next week's fair. I'm hoping for a demo derby experience...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

NAB 2011

blinky lights - always good.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

I bought a boat...

Well, a kayak actually. $40 on Craigslist. It's looks a lot better from 15' back than it does once you get up close. It's old. Lots of bumps and bruises but it seems to stay afloat (so far). If it doesn't go underwater, I'll do some live streaming when I take it out on the lake.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

My New Favorite Thing...

My new favorite thing is "The Big Score". It's a streaming radio station that plays film scores - Hans Zimmer, Danny Elfman, John Williams, et al. It's great to have on in the background but can be a bit dramatic during dinner. Oddly enough, the business and programmer is near by in Antelope.

Here is their site, scroll down 3/4 the way to "The Big Score".

Friday, March 04, 2011

Oakland Goodwill Clock

We had an hour to kill between field trip locations, so I stopped by a goodwill store in Oakland. I found this 1970's era wind up wall clock. The face and case are 1970s faux american colonial style. Too tacky to use in in real life, yet not tacky enough to be cool. It was $9.99 and had nice mechanical movement under the face, so I bought it with then intent of making a cool steampunk exposed movement style clock. We shall see once I rip it apart.

Field trip to Chater Camera and DTC Grip Electric

I took the cine and advanced cine classes on a field trip to DTC grip electric and to Chater Camera in Oakland. John Chater and some of his staff were nice enough to keep the shop open a couple of hours to accommodate the students. The even set up for us several note worthy cameras to play with including the Panasonic AF100, the Sony F3, the Arri Alexa and the Phantom Flex - super cool. There were also other gadgets like the Hot Rod GH2 PL mount and more lenses than you can shake a siemens star at.

John Chater demoing an AF100.

We shot footage from all cameras and John set up a very nice impromptu Phantom demo. Some splashed water and a flip of the hair at 2,500 fps. I'll put up some footage soon... it's flipping amazing.

John Chater giving a great overview of cameras and cinematography and business advice and...

A very quick setup for the Phantom demo. Student Tiffany Ireland stood in with a Joker 400 as the only source backlight with bounce fill. Simple, elegant.

More cameras filming than at 2nd grade recital.

Here is the video: awesome.

You can see a much cleaner version on Vimeo here:

The obligatory water splash @ 2,500fps.

As I get older, I find I look more and more like a bird.

At DTC I found 50+ students waiting for me - far more than I figured would make the trip... I guess that says good things about their dedication and bad things about my planning skills
The tour was led by operations manager Dan Mode.

Inside the shop they got a chance to see a fully equipped rental house.

This is the group. This is what I get to look at all day...


Upstairs was something almost as menacing...

Sunday, January 30, 2011



jogging while blogging while blogging while jogging. Android is cool.