The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Monday, November 13, 2006

“Lights! Camera! Action!”

I wonder if kids today realize how good they have it?

One of the many careers I was interested in as a kid was a film maker (along with my friend Hoade—we were both ga-ga over the likes of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg—they had such cool jobs) but back then, our only options were 8mm or Super-8. 50′ of 8mm film would give you 3′20″ of film (3 minutes, 20 seconds) whereas 50′ of Super-8 film got you 3′40″ (a additional 20 seconds) but the equipment for 8mm was easier to come by (as by that time, it was obsolete, and even Super-8 was fast headed towards obsolescence in the up-and-coming home video revolution of the 80s).

Oh, and I should mention—this was silent film.

You'd buy the film in 50′ canisters. Shoot it. Have it developed. Once back, you'd go through, cutting the film up and splicing it back together into your epic film masterpiece. And all of your budget (at least, back then) went into film and film processing, which wasn't cheap for a kid (each canister would set you back about $10—$30 bucks today). And given the shoot-to-edit ratio of about 2-to-1 (two feet of shot film to one foot of finished film—typical Hollywood rates are 3-to-1 or even 4-to-1) and you'll have to have very understanding parents to indulge in this hobby (and let's not get into the requirements for video editing, which requires even more specialized equipment).

Heck, in the early 90s, my friend Hoade and I tried a few times to make an actual film but the expenses got way out of hand.

But today?

Even a relatively cheap digital camera (like the one I have) can record video clips (I have enough memory to shoot about ten minutes worth). And my Mac mini came with video editing software (albeit basic editing software, still, it's something I can use).

And therefore, with video equipment and software that just about anyone can afford, you get some really innovative stuff going on (and a bunch of crap, but hey, the same can be said for network television only, you pay more for it).

So, with all this creativity going on, and an unfulfilled goal, I have been in the process of making a small video.

[Herr Direktor]

The above is just a small clip from the final results. And I'm finding that editing is still a time consuming process, but at least I'm not having to sweep up little bits of film afterwards.

And what follows is a transcript of the movie.

Why?

It's that accessibility thang.


HERR DIREKTOR

[From behind a movie camera] And … action!

HERR ACTOR

[Sitting at a work desk. Several seconds go by as he tries to remember his lines.] What was my line again?

[CUT to HERR DIREKTOR, who stops filming, and shakes his head at the incompetence of HERR ACTOR.]

[CUT to CLOSE-UP of HERR COMMENTATOR]

HERR COMMENTATOR

Oh, and that camera? [CUT to CLOSE-UP of camera, then back to HERR COMMENTATOR] It's just a Hollywood prop. See? [CUT to CLOSE-UP of camera, and HERR COMMENTATOR opening the camera with his hand. CUT back to HERR COMMENTATOR] I mean it's a real camera but I wasn't really using it.

[CUT to CLOSE-UP of camera]

HERR COMMENTATOR

It looks good.

[CUT to CLOSE-UP of HERR COMMENTATOR]

HERR COMMENTATOR

That's why.

Obligatory Picture

[It's the most wonderful time of the year!]

Obligatory Links

Obligatory Miscellaneous

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