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The Hobbit: Video Technology You Can Do at Home – Businessweek

December 22, 2012 Leave a comment

Gollum from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobb...

Filmmaker Peter Jackson’s new installment from Middle Earth has so much sexy technology you’d think reviewers would swoon: 3D; high def; 48 frames per second. Instead, we’re hearing a big yawn. Where did The Hobbit go wrong?

Welcome to the Q Curve. Consumer technology has gotten so good that the professionals we once paid to produce something startling now have difficulty staying ahead. I call this phenomenon the Quality Curve, where the rising quality of what you can produce with the iPhone (AAPL) or Samsung (005930) in your hand, if drawn as an upward line, now often surpasses the quality of professional producers. If the excellence of what you or I create rivals that of pros, our demand for their wizardry starts to slip.

Bilbo Baggins is a case in point. Jackson, whose brilliant The Lord of the Rings series won 17 Academy Awards, decided to solve one of film’s biggest flaws with this new preinstallment about the One Ring to Rule Them All—the flickering effect we get from a film speed set 90 years ago. When movies were first produced, film stock was expensive, so the standard rate of celluloid rolling through a camera was set at 24 frames per second. This means, for every second of a movie, 24 images flash rapidly on the screen to create the illusion of motion. The pace was set not for visual smoothness, but rather to conserve film—24 frames per second was the minimally viable option that gave users an acceptable moving image while holding down film costs.

via The Hobbit: Video Technology You Can Do at Home – Businessweek.

The science of stories: Learning how to tell a tale is the film industry’s most important skill – Features – Films – The Independent

US postage stamp of 1968 depicting Walt DisneyYou need only study this week’s cinema listings to know Hollywood is running out of stories. Wrath of the Titans is a sequel to a remake of a film based on a millennia-old Greek myth. Battleship is a movie adaptation of a board game. Mirror, Mirror is a version of Snow White, the fairytale first committed to celluloid by Walt Disney 75 years ago. Another big-budget take on the same story, Snow White and the Huntsman, comes out in June.

The industry is long on “re-imaginings”, but short on imagination.

The problem, explains story specialist Bobette Buster, is that studios are neglecting one of the most important – and cheapest – parts of the filmmaking process: development. “I see it on screen over and over again,” she says. “People who have a good idea but become frustrated with the story development process and eventually just say: ‘It’s good enough’. They think they can fix the problems later with marketing. Pixar is an exception: it takes apart its stories at least four or five times before putting them out and it takes the time to create a great tale, well told.”

Buster is a screenwriter, creative development producer, consultant to Disney and Pixar and professor of screenwriting at USC in Los Angeles, the world’s leading film school. She has lectured on cinematic language around the world and this month appears at the Do Lectures in Wales, where she’ll emphasise again the centrality of story. “Few people are born storytellers,” she says. “At USC a lot of students arrive thinking we should just hand them the equipment and get out of their way, but we put them through story development classes and the scales fall from their eyes: storytelling is a mentored craft and artform that has to be handed down.”

via The science of stories: Learning how to tell a tale is the film industry’s most important skill – Features – Films – The Independent.

Strange Random Story Quote:

We are lonesome animals. We spend all of our life trying to be less lonesome. One of our ancient methods is to tell a story begging the listener to say-and to feel- ‘Yes, that is the way it is, or at least that is the way I feel it.’ You’re not as alone as you thought. — John Steinbeck

 

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Eadweard J. Muybridge – Google Doodle

April 9, 2012 1 comment

Zoopraxiscope disc by Eadweard Muybridge

Eadweard J. Muybridge (born April 9th 1830) was an English photographer who spent much of his life in the United States. Eadweard J. Muybridge is known for his pioneering work on animal locomotion which used multiple cameras to capture motion, and his zoopraxiscope, a device for projecting motion pictures that pre-dated the flexible perforated film strip.

Eadweard J. Muybridge emigrated to the US, arriving in San Francisco in 1855, where he started a career as a publisher’s agent and bookseller. In 1866 Eadweard J. Muybridge rapidly became successful in photography, focusing principally on landscape and architectural subjects.

In 1872 a businessman and race-horse owner, had taken a position on a popularly-debated question of the day: whether all four of a horse’s hooves are off the ground at the same time during the trot. Up until this time, most paintings of horses at full gallop showed the front legs extended forward and the hind legs extended to the rear.

Music:
Kevin MacLeod – “The Chase”

http://incompetech.com

Strange Random Photography Quote:

While there is perhaps a province in which the photograph can tell us nothing more than what we see with our own eyes, there is another in which it proves to us how little our eyes permit us to see. – Dorothea Lange

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Inception Folder (Vimeo)

Cover of "Inception"

Cover of Inception

Finally, someone has come up with the explanation of the film Inception and it all takes place on your Mac desktop. Simple.

Strange Random Inception Quote:

Arthur: You. What the hell was all that?

Cobb: I have it under control.

Arthur: I’d hate to see it out of control.

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Famous Objects in Classic Movies (online game)

March 7, 2011 1 comment

This one was passed on to us by a colleague who has been spending the last few days improving both her knowledge of English and classic film titles in original version! It’s a hangman-type game where you have to guess the title of a movie from an object that somehow plays an important role in it. For example, we have a very tall building and the title is two words (4 letters and 4 letters) and the first letter of each word is a “K”. Hmmm …

The films included range in time from 50 years to a few months ago and some are quite difficult if you haven’t seen the movie, but if you don’t get it the first time, you can always watch a trailer on YouTube from the links provided.

Go to http://famousobjectsfromclassicmovies.com and try your luck!

Strange Random Movie Quote:

“Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!” -  from Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

The Art of Drew Struzan | Art and design | The Guardian

September 18, 2010 Leave a comment
Pan's Labyrinth
Image by Phil Gyford via Flickr

The Art of Drew Struzan

Having Drew Struzan create the poster art for your movie is as close as you can get to a mark of bank-busting Hollywood success. Struzan has provided images for the Indiana Jones films, Blade Runner, Pan’s Labyrinth and Star Wars among others. A documentary film about his work, Drew: The Man Behind The Poster, is due this year while a new book collates some of his best pieces. The Art Of Drew Struzan Titan is out on Friday.

via The Art of Drew Struzan | Art and design | The Guardian.

Strange random Movie Quote:

A wide screen just makes a bad film twice as bad. – Samuel Goldwyn

Vampires Suck Trailer, Twilight Parody

Cover of "Twilight (Two-Disc Special Edit...

Cover of Twilight (Two-Disc Special Edition)

If you’re a fan of the Twilight movies (based on the novels by Stephanie Meyers), then you’ll no doubt know who Bella, Edward and Jacob are and that the third movie (of five) was released just recently. In fact, even if you aren’t a Twilight fan, you probably know someone who is, so you’ll be able to appreciate the forthcoming parody called Vampires Suck, where the directors take on this as well as Alice in Wonderland and that chihuahua film …

The trailer is out now and the film is to be released in August in the US.

Strange Random Vampire Quote:

“I don’t trust you. You’re a vampire. Or is that an offensive term? Should I say ‘undead American‘?” – Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy in the series Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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