Posts tagged film

How to Morph Forrest Gump into Daft Punk

When ad agency Grey London and design studio Us (Christopher Barrett and Luke Taylor) came together, they created this stunning ad for The Sunday Times. In total, there are six iconic scenes from art, music, and film, fit into one single steadicam shot.  

From the creators:

This is all about those iconic cultural images that we pin to our walls and stick in our minds. We all have our favourites. Heisenberg, Kraftwerk, and Banksy’s kissing coppers all featured in early scripts, but we wanted to take a snapshot of what’s making the headlines in 2014. Daft Punk winning big at the Grammy’s, The final series of Mad Men, and Tarantino are all over the media right now. These people and their work have left an indelible mark and we’ll probably still be talking about them in ten, twenty maybe even a hundred years years time. The TV spot is a respectful nod to it all.

If you’ve ever seen a steadicam in action, you know how difficult getting everything perfect in one take truly is. If not, see the making of Icons here

Enhancing Sex with Google Glass
So you can use Google Glass to live-stream and switch between multiple angles during sex. The point is basically to try to do what Google likes to do best. Use design and technology to disrupt at scale. 
The Guardian:

The project started off with the question “how can we make sex more awesome with Google Glass”, says Sherif Maktabi, the founder of the project.
The answer to that question is, apparently, shared live streaming, ephemeral video recording and voice controls for your connected home.
Maktabi, a Lebanese product design student at London’s Central Saint Martins art college, had only one day with the smart-glasses at a hackathon held in November 2013, but development has continued in the months since then.
The cornerstone of Sex with Glass is the shared live streaming: “See what your partner can see… Just say ‘OK glass, it’s time’ and Glass will stream what you see to each other. And if you feel like stopping everything, just ask: ‘OK glass, pull out’.”
"Some people find what we do repulsive," Maktabi says. "But a lot of other people – and I am basing this from the emails we are getting online – really desire to try this. People have fantasies, desires and needs. It’s personal.

Still, there are lots of questions to be answered. 
Image: The Ancient Book of Sex and Science. Because the impulse behind this stuff is certainly not new.

Enhancing Sex with Google Glass

So you can use Google Glass to live-stream and switch between multiple angles during sex. The point is basically to try to do what Google likes to do best. Use design and technology to disrupt at scale. 

The Guardian:

The project started off with the question “how can we make sex more awesome with Google Glass”, says Sherif Maktabi, the founder of the project.

The answer to that question is, apparently, shared live streaming, ephemeral video recording and voice controls for your connected home.

Maktabi, a Lebanese product design student at London’s Central Saint Martins art college, had only one day with the smart-glasses at a hackathon held in November 2013, but development has continued in the months since then.

The cornerstone of Sex with Glass is the shared live streaming: “See what your partner can see… Just say ‘OK glass, it’s time’ and Glass will stream what you see to each other. And if you feel like stopping everything, just ask: ‘OK glass, pull out’.”

"Some people find what we do repulsive," Maktabi says. "But a lot of other people – and I am basing this from the emails we are getting online – really desire to try this. People have fantasies, desires and needs. It’s personal.

Still, there are lots of questions to be answered

Image: The Ancient Book of Sex and Science. Because the impulse behind this stuff is certainly not new.

If you use Netflix, you’ve probably wondered about the specific genres that it suggests to you. Some of them just seem so specific that it’s absurd. Emotional Fight-the-System Documentaries? Period Pieces About Royalty Based on Real Life? Foreign Satanic Stories from the 1980s?

If Netflix can show such tiny slices of cinema to any given user, and they have 40 million users, how vast did their set of “personalized genres” need to be to describe the entire Hollywood universe?

This idle wonder turned to rabid fascination when I realized that I could capture each and every microgenre that Netflix’s algorithm has ever created.

Through a combination of elbow grease and spam-level repetition, we discovered that Netflix possesses not several hundred genres, or even several thousand, but 76,897 unique ways to describe types of movies…

…What emerged from the work is this conclusion: Netflix has meticulously analyzed and tagged every movie and TV show imaginable. They possess a stockpile of data about Hollywood entertainment that is absolutely unprecedented. The genres that I scraped and that we caricature above are just the surface manifestation of this deeper database.
Alexis C. Madrigal, The Atlantic. How Netflix Reverse Engineered Hollywood.
The world needs you. It doesn’t need you at a party having read a book about how to appear smart at parties – these books exist, and they’re tempting – but resist falling into that trap. The world needs you at the party starting real conversations, saying, ‘I don’t know,’ and being kind.

Charlie Kaufman in his (now very famous) BAFTA speech as part of the 2011 Screenwriters’ Lecture Series. Discovered via Bitch Magazine’s recent interview with the ever-wise, ever-creative Rookie Mag editor Tavi Gevinson, on the future of Rookie and teenagerhood.

More: An incredibly moving excerpt from the speech was turned into this 2012 short film by Eliot Rausch and Phos Pictures: What I have to Offer. And, the entire BAFTA series via iTunes podcast is here, much of which is lovely and inspiring and important for writers of all stripes and colors.

Filed under: Media can be therapeutic. And in the ever-forward, way-too-fast cycles of discovery, we have to remember to revisit the best of it often.

The pro‐life perspective is that if you show a woman that she has an 11‐week‐old fetus and she sees the movement, and that convinces her to keep the fetus, then isn’t that a good thing? Whereas a pro‐choice person would say she didn’t come in and know she was going to get a sonogram; there is no medical reason for it. So why are you offering a sonogram except to convince a woman not to have an abortion, which is what she really wanted to do?

Documentary filmmaker Raney Aronson as quoted in a fascinating case study in journalism ethics (by the Knight Case Studies Initiative at Columbia) called Frontline’s “The Last Abortion Clinic”: What’s Fair in a Video World?

Abstract:

This case takes students behind the scenes into the making of a news documentary for Frontline, produced at the PBS affiliate in Boston (WGBH). The case tells the story of the making of “The Last Abortion Clinic,” a 2005 documentary by producer Raney Aronson and her team. The documentary combined a legal story (developments in the abortion debate since Roe v. Wade) with personal stories—interviews with women in clinics who had confronted the abortion question in their own lives. It focused on the state of Mississippi, which had only one abortion clinic remaining. The case chronicles the evolution of a documentary from idea to finished form. Along the way, it highlights numerous editorial, logistical and ethical decisions Aronson faced in her quest to tell fairly a complex and value-laden story.

Read the PDF here.

The funny thing is that there was a period of time where Hollywood films sucked. Really, really bad, you know? Just a lot of violence, a lot of gimmicks, and people just got tired of it. Then the reality show is not really reality. So documentary got more and more popular and the Oscars are really pushing right now, pushing for documentaries. And people are much more sophisticated. They realize that documentaries are not only educational, they also have entertainment elements.
Christine Choy, film professor at New York University in an interview with the FJP on the changing climate of documentary distribution in the video-on-demand world. 
The First Ever NY Times Indie Online Film Festival
Indiewire:

Those who won’t be at Toronto this week can still enjoy a taste of the film festival experience from home. Today, the New York Times launches its first ever Indie Online Film Festival, a free series of four films curated by the nonprofit Film Independent. The films are available to watch from September 3 to October 2.
The online festival includes two feature length and two short form films from rising independent filmmakers who represent a broad range of styles. Each of these films has played festivals previously but this series marks their debut for a worldwide audience.

FJP: And the empire expands. Check out the four films here.

The First Ever NY Times Indie Online Film Festival

Indiewire:

Those who won’t be at Toronto this week can still enjoy a taste of the film festival experience from home. Today, the New York Times launches its first ever Indie Online Film Festival, a free series of four films curated by the nonprofit Film Independent. The films are available to watch from September 3 to October 2.

The online festival includes two feature length and two short form films from rising independent filmmakers who represent a broad range of styles. Each of these films has played festivals previously but this series marks their debut for a worldwide audience.

FJP: And the empire expands. Check out the four films here.

I think I am a late bloomer. I think I’m getting less in my own way.

Errol Morris, documentary film maker and writer, to the Boston Globe.

The Globe profile focuses on the 65-year-old Morris’ involvement in and defense of Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Act of Killing, “a unique documentary in which the squad leaders of Indonesia’s mid-1960s mass killings confront their crimes by reenacting them for the camera.”

The shift in focus to this collaboration between filmmaker and audience will call for huge sweeping changes which will have far reaching implications for modern filmmakers, and will most likely destroy the traditional paradigms of the movie industry.
Elliot Grove, founder of the Raindance Film Festival, British Independent Film Awards and Raindance.TV, issues a manifesto to future filmakers in his article “3 Ways Future Filmmaking Will Implode”.

A Boy and His Atom

IBM researchers have created the world’s smallest movie, a 90-second stop motion animation made by moving a few dozen carbon atoms with a scanning tunneling microscope.

The video is viewable once you magnify it 100 million times, and would take 1,000 frames laid side by side to equal the width of a human hair.

Via the BBC:

The new movie, titled A Boy and His Atom, instead uses the STM, an IBM invention which garnered the scientists behind it the 1986 Nobel prize in physics.

The device works by passing an electrically charged, phenomenally sharp metal needle across the surface of a sample. As the tip nears features on the surface, the charge can “jump the gap” in a quantum physics effect called tunnelling.

The 242 frames of the 90-second movie are essentially maps of this “tunnelling current” with a given arrangement of atoms. It depicts a boy playing with a “ball” made of a single atom, dancing, and jumping on a trampoline…

…The effort, detailed in a number of YouTube videos, took four scientists two weeks of 18-hour days to pull off.

It underlines the growing ability of scientists to manipulate matter on the atomic level, which IBM scientists hope to use to create future data storage solutions.

IBM reports that while it currently takes about a million atoms to store a bit of data on computer devices, they have successfully reduced that number down to 12 with what they call atomic-scale magnetic memory. Meaning, the future of computing devices is about to get very, very small.

For example, “Being able to increase the data density of devices means more storage in a smaller space: specifically, storage that is 100 times denser than today’s hard disk drives, 150 times more dense than solid-state memory. An entire music and movie collection could fit on a charm-sized pendant around your neck.”

Stabilize that Camera

Ever have problems with a shaky cam when you’re shooting in the field? We all do, but check this new camera stabilizer.

Via Gizmodo:

The product is called MōVI, created by Freefly, longtime maker of crazy camera-drone equipment and stabilizers. [Vincent] LaForet is presenting a short film and behind-the-scenes video to illustrate its abilities, which consists of a completely custom-made gimbal and 3-axis gyroscope that digitally stabilizes the camera (a Canon 1DC in this case). It looks to be very light and portable, a far cry from giant metal arms, vests, and weights that almost the entire camera support world is based on.

Via Vincent LaForet:

This device isn’t the end of the sticks, Steadicam, slider, dolly or jib to be sure… but it sure will make you think twice about using those tools on many of your shots when you find out how quickly this device allows you to execute a similar shot but in a fraction of the time.   It can literally take longer to explain a shot,  than it would to execute a perfect shot with the MōVI.

It’s way beyond our price range, coming in at $15,000 for the version currently in production with smaller model to be released for around $7,500, according to LaForet. Still, would be good for a day rental on an important shoot.

Or, hopefully, as Gizmodo suggests, the technology will trickle down to more affordable models and spinoffs in the nearish future.

RIP Roger Ebert

Video: Remaking My Voice, via TED.

The situated documentary allows us to examine the emerging transformation of the storytelling model of journalism from the analog to the digital age. In the traditional model of analog journalism, storytelling is dominated by a linear presentation of facts, typically from beginning to end. The audience experiences the story in a passive—almost voyeuristic—mode. Stories tend to have a single or sometimes dual modality of media forms (e.g. text, or text combined with photographs, infographics, audio, and video). A story is published and fixed in time. Corrections might be published later as an afterthought. Stories tend to be based on events, and as such, are episodic rather than contextual. The voice of a typical story is that of a third-person narrative, perhaps best characterized by legendary CBS Evening News Anchor Walter Cronkite’s signature sign-off, “And that’s the way it is.”

The new media storytelling model is nonlinear. The storyteller conceptualizes the audience member not as a consumer of the story engaged in a third-person narrative, but rather as a participant engaged in a first-person narrative. The storyteller invites the participant to explore the story in a variety of ways, perhaps beginning in the middle, moving across time or space, or by topic. Nonlinear storytelling may come as a bit of a shock to some traditional journalists, but it is possible to adapt to new technology without sacrificing quality or integrity.

~John V. Pavlik and Frank Bridges’ monograph, The Emergence of Augmented Reality (AR) as a Storytelling Medium in Journalism, published in Journalism and Communcitaion Monographs, Volume 15, Number 1, Spring 2013. (via virtual300)

FJP: This came across my Twitter radar a few days ago where Jill Falk was kind enough to share the quote. It’s an interesting concept and one that has roots beyond contemporary multimedia storytelling.

For example, my favorite books growing up were of the choose your own adventure variety. You read a chapter and were then told to proceed to chapter X, Y or Z depending on your plot desires. Later, as a teenager, I was fascinated by Julio Cortázar’s “Hopscotch”. The table of contents told you you could read the book traditionally, from Page 01 to the end. It also gave you an alternative reading. That is, read Chapter 01, then jump about nilly-willy, forward and back between chapters. The end result is a type of narrative driven more by “impressions” than linear storytelling.

William Burroughs did this as well. “Naked Lunch” can supposedly be read any which way. Front to back, back to front, jumping about the middle. It’s all good. Urban legend has it that Burroughs dropped the manuscript on the way to his publisher. Despite pages spilled on the ground there were no worries. Again, the book could be read any which way so he gathered the pages up, stuffed them in his binder and continued on his way.

Film plays with this too. Fans of Memento enjoy the front to back and back to front chronologies. Other films employ this technique as well. Back in the 1960s, Jean Luc Goddard famously remarked, “I agree that a film should have a beginning, a middle and an end but not necessarily in that order.”

So let’s go back to multimedia storytelling with the Internet as a primary distribution platform. The underappreciated hyperlink is our key to moving back and forth within a narrative. Our design and UX considerations help control where the story inquisitor might go. But despite our best intentions, that independent viewer is going to pick and choose his or her way through a narrative.

Check our Multimedia Tag for references here. These are stories that have beginning, middle and end. But they’re also stories where the viewer chooses what his or her beginning, middle and end actually is. Site visitors are independent operators. We can try to guide them with our design but they’ll go where interest guides them to go.

Which brings me in a roundabout way to the crux of the matter — multimedia storytelling or not — and that’s the atomic unit of online consumption.

This is a concept that’s been around for a while now. In my interpretation it means something like this: Whatever you do, whatever you post, whatever you research, whatever you pour your heart and soul into, the following will happen: your story will be sliced and diced and shared on social networks and otherwise refactored elsewhere. This could be the mere title. It could be a sentence buried deep within you article. It could be seconds 00:45 - 00:55 of a video. It could be an animated gif of that video. It could be metadata of the information that you produce. It could be an API mashup of all the above.

Simply, whatever story you produce, and whatever media you use to produce it in, your content will be broken down into its smallest parts and shared on Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, blogs and the like.

This is not a bad thing. It’s an agnostic thing. This is remix culture.

Simply and unambiguously, we must deal with it. And from this side of the Internet, we deal with it pleasurably so. — Michael

Fireworks, In Reverse

From Melbourne by Julian Tay.

H/T: @sree