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Monday, October 22, 2012

Learn from the masters - Pixar and Mani Ratinam

I had been thinking about the idea of forming a core team for my film making adventures. While I could not assert that with strong proof, I could strongly feel that it is the way to go. However fast forward a few years and here I am reading two very different articles - one on Pixar and the other on Mani Ratinam - both vouching for the same. So guys start forming your core teams; after all movie making is a collaborative task!

Jonah Lehrer in his book "Imagine" discusses the the issues that Pixar faced during the making of Toy Story 2.  But here is where we find the stuff we want to learn. Pixar takes its stories very seriously, in fact, it often takes the studio longer to develop the narrative than to animate the movie. See story is the king - don't let it get compensated. Ok no more of my interruptions; here is how to collaborate. The process begins when the Pixar brain trust - a group composed of John Lasseter, Ed Catmull, and eight directors - hashes out the initial plot, often while sitting at a burger joint down the street. That sketch of a story is then turned into a treatment, a two-page document outlining the basic arc of the movie. Several drafts and plenty of critic sessions later, the treatment is handed over to a screenwriter. Pixar brings in outside talent to write the scripts. It's one of the many ways they inject fresh voices into the process. Well thats what Jonah says in his book but I think writing the screen play is the most daunting task and so they bring outside talent to do this. They then revise the script again and again.Scenes are cut; scenes are added. New characters emerge to fill
narrative holes. After a year of edits, the script is turned into story reel, an elaborate sequence of storyboards.
So that was the scoop on Pixar. And definitely there are quite a lot of goodies there. Now for something from the other side of the world. Again with tips and ideas on how to forge ahead and collaborate. Check this out: ‘Of course Velu Nayakan doesn’t dance’

So what do you think about forming a core team? Have you been doing this even though you were not calling it a core team?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

GoPro Hero3 is Finally Available!

If you have been following this you might know how really good this is! Looks like a real nice, cheap alternative to us indi film-makers...
Check out:

See what this camera can do:

Here are some of the things I liked about Hero3:
  • The camera itself can record at 4K!
  • With Protune you can encodes in H264 and at 24p
  • Protune lets you encode at about 45Mbps on the Hero3
GoPro offers the CineForm Studio editing software for free. They also offer GoPro iPhone app for free and with that you can see and control what your camera sees. Interesting:

But be warned that the visual creativity is seriously limited as the camera has auto ISO, auto f-stop and auto shutter controls!

But hey at $400 MSRP one can afford to let these take a back seat especialy if you want this to be your second camera that you can rig to the top/underside of your trucks and still want the footage to match with your main camera's!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Pi in the sky

I have seen airplanes flying with slogans, but this one is different; this is art. Like graffiti on the side walls Ishky has sprayed numbers on the sky - whith the help of 5 planes. Are these numbers ranom? No - these are the first 1000 digits of the value of 22/7 (pi).

Did you see this too?