Archive for September, 2008


Up is Down! Black is White!

September 25, 2008

Since being smashed with work for about 2 months, I haven’t had any time to write about the advent of SLR cameras that can shoot HD video.

I know what you’re thinking, fellow filmmaker – video cameras that shoot stills as well are “teh GAY”.  After all, building in a feature that takes away from putting in pro features in prosumer video cameras, well, that doesn’t help the aspiring pro.  The aspirant will probably never use the still feature, yet has to pay for it in his camera whether he likes it our not.

But now, to put a new spin on this, is the Canon 5D MK 2, which reverses “teh GAY” in the opposite direction – SLR shoots video (albeit at 30fps 1080P)?  Why?

However, Stu Maschwitz, points out that there’s some real advantages to having an SLR shoot video.

And apparently, this sort of talk has struck a nerve at the mighty RED…

My concern (if I was a “pro”) probably would be how would I look if I had to shoot a movie on a freaking SLR?  Does my day rate go down?

Would there be disadvantages?  Surely – but with a little creativity those could be overcome (that time limit is a real downer, but not insurmountable).

Sometimes I feel lucky that I’m not tied to any sort of format by equipment concerns.  I could (theoretically) purchase something like that SLR by RED and have the use of those great big lenses, giving me all that nice depth of field.  Are we as filmmakers now to embrace a single “image device” for all needs?


Review – The Rage

September 18, 2008

What we have here is a better-than-average Horror movie, directed by Robert Kurtzman (of KNB Effects fame).  Short synopsis: mad scientist creates virus, virus gets away from him, partying young adults must flee virus.

However – how many films can boast MUTANT VULTURES! Yes! MUTANT VULTURES!

Kurtzman delivers the makeup FX alright, but it’s those mutant vultures that really set this apart from the typical zombie movie.  I also liked how, despite being a practical effects kind of guy, Kurtzman probably set aside his dislike of CGI and got some nice animation (alright, as nice as his budget could afford) of the vultures flying around.  Despite some wooden acting, I watched the whole thing without hittig fast forward – quite the accomplishment for a horor film in my book these days. Recommended.


My crisis of conscience over

September 16, 2008

I had mulled this over for a long time. I had almost given in to temptation, and gone over to the Statist side.  Like NOMAD the logic seemed inescapable.

Pure libertarianism wasn’t working (via Paul and the Rally for the Republic), therefore I would have to run for office as Paul seemed to be urging freedom-loving Americans to do.

But it’s not that simple.  People who end up running, no matter how they feel in the beginning, get tainted by the office they run for.  They get attacked by their opponent, and (figuratively) rectally examined for hint of wrong thinking, improper action, or moral impropriety.  And after all that, even if they as a a candidate win, how do you make someone else follow you, without either becoming the political creature most of us hate, or using the power of the State to coerce obedience?

No, Paul’s message is fine as far as it goes, but I won’t submit myself to the cheapening of political office.  I can’t. 

Hopefully, more new content in a couple of days.


More on the Rally

September 4, 2008

Lew Rockwell had nothing to say about ghostwriting of the Ron Paul Newsletter.

As I was heading out Wednesday, I met a foursome of men who had driven out of Ohio – 15 hours one way – to see Paul.  One of them said (and I paraphrase) “I’m tired of talk.  I want some action.”

That got me to thinking – what action was this rally supposed to encourage?  For the doctrinaire libertarian, the prospect of actually going out and joining the political process is supposed to give them screaming Albanian hives.  It leads to four-flushers like the Contract for America group, which actually increased the budgets of 95 of the programs they were supposed to eliminate.  It leads to careerists in government. It stands against “pure” Agorism, Anarcho-Capitalism (just to name a couple) which states voting itself is an act of aggression, and to participate in the State’s process is to give the State your sanction. It leads you to either hide or water down your opinions in order to earn the vote of someone the characters of Idiocracy might consider stupid.

Yet, the Libertarian Party (and I’m aware that Libertarians and libertarians can be two sorts of animals) can’t seem to elect anybody (except for Paul, apparently) to any sort of power.  Paul himself is being listened to, sure – but he’s served a damn long time in Congress, and he worked through the nominal channels as a Republican to get to the place where he could address a rally like this. I also realize that I might have been in the minority at the Rally, being one of those doctrinaire libertarians I just wrote about.

Does this mean that Libertarianism itself is a failed means to freedom? Is the real hope for freedom of any sort to be the acceptance, however minimal, of the State in our lives?


On the Rally for the Republic

September 2, 2008

Triumph of the Will it wasn’t.

I had wanted to blog it as things came to me, but a security shrub at the gate told me I couldn’t bring my laptop case into the building.  I put that down to general asshattery, but it did handicap me as to what I’l be able to write here.

I got the feeling that Paul, in his work to make American citizens more aware of the Bill of Rights culture, was preaching to the choir at this event, as were his co-speakers.

I did get a kick out of seeing Jesse Ventura at the rally – I was going to bring a copy of Predator for him to sign should I meet him. His best quote (I’ll paraphrase) was that we in the crowd shouldn’t be afraid to boo him, as he used to be a pro wrestling villain and it made him feel nostalgic. Since I knew I was going to arrive late, I figured what the hell; don’t even bring the DVD – I’ll never see the man anyway.  Later on, getting off an escalator, who do I see, with a crowd around him signing stuff?  Life mocks me again…

I must confess it made me feel good to be around others who feel much the same way I do about our country.  I even raised my voice in agreement once or twice in the festivities (though, like Groucho, I’m a little distrustful of any club who’d have me as a member.  More after I get home and have some time to digest the rally further.