I knew it wasn't just me. I knew there was a plethora of silver linings out there. One of the pleasures of all this blogging and social networking is finding and getting in touch with friends from the past. Peri and I crewed together back in the day. He recently made a DIY feature called LOOP and we have been corresponding. He had no problem coming up with 10 things to add to the list. I think that puts the grand total up to 63 (Ted).
Ten Things That Make me Hopeful for the Future (Pt. 1 of 2)
courtesy of Pericles Lewnes:
1. Filmmakers can collaborate virtually. On my DIY feature LOOP, I was fortunate enough to meet a talented animator named Courtney Hoskins when we submited entries to the same contest. I saw on her contest profile that she used Maya and After Effects and began to tell her about some FX needs I had for my movie. She got into the concept and decided to help me. Without ever meeting her or talking to her over the phone, she was able to create a scene LOOP that everyone talks about. When you see LOOP, I think you will know which one it is. The collaboration was kind of like Four Eyed Monsters with all of the love being heaped on the movie.
However, there are many ways to collaborate, the simplest being screenwriting which has probably been going on now since the internet began. But what about stock footage? Do you know anyone in DC who can grab a shot of the Capitol dome? New York Exteriors? Colorado Rockie Mountains? I do. A director friend of mine in California watches his editor in Minnesota work on their project. They use a sharing program that lets the director see the editor's desktop as he edits while they chat on the phone. As technology advances, more opportunities will develop that Indy filmmakers can take advantage of.
2. File Transfer Services - The are different ones out there. Yousendit, Sendspace and Sendthisfile are but a few. You can send up to 100 mb of material free on Yousendit and up to 300 mb on Sendspace. I pay for a plan at $9.99 a month on Yousendit which allows me to upload up to 2GB of data which will be available for up to 500 downloads for 14 days. This is really good for Artwork, EPKs and just plain old back and forth video tweaking. For shorts, it is great if you need to get one somewhere fast. Most can be compressed well under 2GB. Features are trickier, but possible. I might put LOOP out there if I can get my compression settings right.
3. Pocket Projection - I was looking through a magazine and found this: The Optoma PK 101 This is a DLP(!) projector that is the size of a pack of cigarettes and is listed at $399. It can project a picture up to 60" from a variety of devices like iphones, PSP's and DVD players. On the bottom of the projector is a tripod mount that will let you mount it on a basic tripod to allow for leveling. Why am I excited about this? Because if I had one I could have micro cinema screenings! Being the infamous director of Redneck Zombies, I have been known to hang around a convention or two. With this projector, a dark hotel room, and a little speaker rig, I can theoretically screen LOOP on a piece of foam-core to a small invited audience. I'm sure there are limitations to this projector and that this technology will improve, but I am also sure that this projector has a "sweet spot" that will be suitable to project LOOP. A tripod+pocket projector+mico mini stereo+DVD player+foamcore in a dark room= micro-cinema screenings on the fly. THAT'S CRAZY! Which is why I am exploring it.
4. Magic Bullet Suite: This is a great all multi-purpose application that allows you to color correct, deinterlace, and create different looks for your project. It plugs into Adobe After Effects CS3, 7, 6.5, Adobe Premiere Pro CS3, 2.0, Apple Final Cut Pro 6, 5.1.4, Apple Motion 3.02, Avid Xpress Pro/Media Composer 5.6+,2.6+. BUT - it needs horsepower and it is always wise to check on the hardware requirements before taking the plunge. MBS includes five programs which can be bought individually. My opinion is that this set of tools is worthy in every respect. It is user friendly and the results are over the top. If you are a DIY filmmaker like me, sometimes it's just you, your computer, and your editing software. An easy to use and powerful set of tools can give you options that you might think are out of reach. It can be pricey, but it can be bought one component at a time and they run a lot of specials if you get the newsletter. I don't work for these guys, but I love the software. Download their Magic Bullet Looks demo and give it a test drive.
5. Toolfarm - Toolfarm is an excellent resource for the DIY filmmaker. Not only will you be able to find the perfect plug-in you need for software, but there are experts and tutorials of every flavor. The forums are legion and active. Boris? Final Cut? Trapcode? After Effects? Expert help is only a few clicks away. They have excellent podcasts, mailing list, and an all around helpful bunch experts. Say hello to Michele Yamazaki for me.