Saturday, November 30, 2013

New tools (I)

  I have now in my possession all the basic equipment necessary for professional movie-making.

  It took me three nights to master the basics of the Canon 5D mark 3, which is a pleasant surprise. I expected three weeks at least. As stated it is a piece of advanced technology to rival a space station, but in spite of that you can take great photos and films using the manual settings, which I am usually going to do. The quality of the images is just phenomenal, but don’t ask me to compare lenses and stuff, at least not yet. I will never focus on the technical side of filmmaking more than I have to.
  This camera is so versatile and gives you so many choices that you work pretty much in whatever way you want, and change your approach at will as you go along.
  I have procured a new laptop, Asus G750JH with 32 GB of memory. We call it The Beast, or The Monster, a computer more than powerful enough to serve the needs of an independent filmmaker. To say it has top specs is a vast understatement. The graphic card is too powerful and new to be registered on Adobe’s list over such cards. It will become a part of that list in the coming months and stay on it for years.
  I have become a part of Adobe’s Creative Cloud, a move that gives me access to all Adobe’s programs/apps, among them Premiere and After Effects. That alone is a dream come true.
  The Zoom H6 handy portable sound recorder is still in the unopened box.
  So are the Metz Mecalight 480 and other stuff. I approach this slowly but confident.

  Once again, and I can’t stress this enough, they, and whatever technical or expensive «wonder» you procure are just tools, the potential, not the execution. They are not a magic wand, but the means for the artist, the creative human being to do his or her thing.
  I will!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Like a flower

  Wednesday, November 19, 2013, at 3.52.17 (the moment I drew my card) in the afternoon and onward…

  I have good news. Then I have good news, and then more good news.

  This has been one of my passions for years and years, and even decades. If you search in this blog you will find a lot about it there, how I constantly state my readiness to begin my filmmaking career, how it is postponed time and time again. I began writing real scripts seventeen years ago. The first silly home movies saw the light of day in my early teens.
  It’s now been a year since I started in earnest on my self-studies on film production, and I’m ready to take the first steps on actual implementation. During that year I have covered almost everything concerning movie-production, from insurance to necessary recording equipment, both software and hardware.
  I’m unpacking my Canon 5d mark 3 right now, unwrapping the delights of my long planned moviemaking career. This is the best «semi-professional» camera out there and I have waited for it since I started up as a «filmmaker» in those before mentioned teens.
  There is the battery, the battery charger, its cord, the cord to connect the camera to my computer and seemingly an entire number of cords. What was a purely mechanical wonder thirty years ago has now become a complex and even though it is solid work also more fragile piece of advanced technology. The four hundred page big instruction manual could just as well have been one for a Space station (a major station) or something.

  I spent half of the money on the camera. I will buy the rest of the basic equipment in the upcoming weeks. As I keep restating: the digital revolution has made all equipment in various art forms so inexpensive that almost anyone can afford it, at least during the right circumstances. Mine this time was that my bank, in a baffling, unexpected move approved my loan application. I had several rejections from banks that had machines considering applications for them, but I finally asked one where they, at least in this matter treat people like people and not commodities.
  In today’s society loans are mostly given to people that don’t really need them, but sometimes there are exceptions.
  I was fully prepared for rejection once again. Only my inborn stubbornness made me try one more time. It was a strange experience as I stubbornly made my pitch and I felt that I hardly had to try at all.
  If they hadn't approved my application I would have kept saving money, like I have for years and postponed the start of my new effort for another six months or twelve. I would have done it eventually without the boost anyway, but I was beyond ready and have been so for quite some time.
  My experience with acting and directing comes mostly from doing street theater (mostly modernized Shakespeare) in London and Europe twenty years ago or so, and some modest film experience.

  This is just yet another start, one more stop on the road, a ladder of learning and growing, I’m well aware of that. I won’t rush things, but proceed at my own pace, as usual.
  As added bonuses I will start making music again, also for the films, and become a photographer again, both which are equally great, really.
  I’m not buying just a camera, but professional equipment and will start using Adobe Creative Cloud, music software and keyboard, everything needed to do everything from A to Z in movie-production, work with a movie from the writing of the script, through the development stage, production and all the way to the finishing touch of an editor. Even though I will have help and will cooperate with others now and then, I will be a one man production company.
  I’m «buying» a new life, a new major part of it.
  Representatives for the established movie-production companies claim that making a film is a (large) group effort and that has mostly been true to this point.
  But No Longer.
  Soon, movies with grossly inflated budgets will hopefully be a horror of a distant past.
  I will share my impressions, good and bad about my tools and my efforts at becoming a filmmaker.
  Life is filled with small steps, but occasionally you have to make a giant leap. That’s what I have done again, now. I’m even more in transition than I usually am. The value of step by step progression and passionate determination is unmistakable. I have proven that to myself many times already and will keep doing it.

  These were a few of several things that made me take the plunge this time:

  «Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but of playing a poor hand well». - Robert Louis Stevenson
«When it comes to dreams one may falter, but the only way to fail is to abandon them». Anthony Grayson - Dracula, from the new, sadly short-lived ABC show.
  «Whatever you're meant to do, do it now. The conditions are always impossible». Doris Lessing
  Jump into the fire, even though there is a risk of being burned. Throw caution to the wind. If you’re in doubt do it.
  Stuff like that.
  Those not busy being born are busy dying. I believe that, fully and completely and have always lived by it.
  A friend of mine swears I will do pottery or something equally far from previous work in three years. I love that.
  He was both joking and not.

  Versatile multi-artist - flap thy wings and take flight.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Israel - the beacon of democracy and peace in the Middle East

  It has now been a year since Israel’s latest massacre in Gaza (November 14 to 21, 2012). The Israeli occupation army keeps attacking and terrorizing Gaza and the West Bank in big and small ways all the time, but this was yet another major offensive, what the occupant and invader called «Pillar of Defense».
  The Israeli human rights’ organization B’Tselem has thoroughly documented loss of lives on both sides and as usual documentation paints a singularly picture of Israel as an oppressor of the very worst kind, of its leaders and soldiers and eager supporters as inhuman bastards you have to look hard to find elsewhere.
  The IOF, the Israeli occupation army killed a total of 167 Palestinians. At least 87 of these, 35 percent were non-combatants. 31 were children below the age of 18, 20 of those below the age of 12. More and more were killed the longer the massacre proceeded. Israeli bloodthirst increased daily.
  Four civilian Israelis were killed by rockets fired from Gaza. Two soldiers were killed.
  Once again facts prove a stark contrast to the Hasbara, the Zionist propaganda, the thoroughly distorted version of events presented by Israeli authorities and western established media.

  If you want to read more articles on Midnight Fire about Palestine write Israel or Palestine in the search area up on the left or click on the Israel and/or Palestine tag below.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Not a Porsche

  A Mac isn't a Porsche like its consumerist proponents claim, but an old wreck with new seats installed (and only that), sold for a much higher price than a new car of a different brand.
  Basically you pay about $2000 more for a «top model» machine that may have technology that is at least a year old. Expensive Windows machines got the new graphic card (NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 780M 4GB GDDR5 VRAM) right away, for instance. MacBook Pro STILL hasn't got it, but uses the lesser middle class 750 card. It has a smaller screen, offers less standard ram and so on. The worship of Mac is completely ridiculous. The old certainty that you pay more, far more for the brand and not for quality remains very much a reality.

  I can’t say I will never buy one, but it isn’t likely and has to be during special circumstances, among them the Mac being sold for a lower price than a new computer of a different brand.