Archive for the ‘Tools/Equipment’ Category

Sonnet Tempo E4P Firmware Update

Thursday, January 25th, 2007

I realize this will have limited use for most readers, but I recently acquired a Sonnet Tempo E4P SATA card for a Mac Pro, and was having problems with it. Big problems. The computer wouldn’t recognize the card, much less run the two Sonnet Fusion 500p drive enclosures I had connected).

Searched around online, both on the Sonnet site and elsewhere (newsgroups, etc) for a solution. Couldn’t find one. Finally, I called tech support. After 20 minutes on hold I spoke with someone. It went something like this:

TECH SUPPORT: You need to update the firmware of the card.

ME: Oh…ok. That’s funny, the documentation doesn’t say anything about that.

TECH SUPPORT: It should.

ME: Um.. nope.


(puts me on hold … two minutes of elevator music later…)

TECH SUPPORT: Wow. You’re right, it’s not in the documentation. Uh oh.

By the embarrassment (and dread, knowing he’d be encountering a lot of calls like this) I sensed on the phone yesterday, I suspect that future versions of the documentation will have this detail added soon. Hopefully this post will help a few users until the nice folks at Sonnet can get that documentation fixed.

Users can find the Tempo E4P firmware update here.

Some Sound Links

Wednesday, December 13th, 2006

Sync.sound.cinema is a promising new blog by Christian Dolan. As you might guess from the title, its focus is all things related to production sound. One of Christian’s first posts links to an Open Letter from your Sound Department.

And while I’m at it, here are two other helpful sound-related sites:

Equipment Emporium

Self-Reliant Film Store

Monday, November 20th, 2006

I get a fair number of emails asking me to recommend this or that book, or asking what films constitute a “Self-Reliant Film canon” and so on. So I thought that I’d add a modest Amazon store so that I can simply point people towards books I recommend, movies I like (or want to see), and so on.

You can access the store by clicking the link below and, after this post loses prominence, you can always access the store by clicking on the SRF Store in the menu bar at the top of the site, just under the banner.

Purchasing through the store will help offset the costs of server space, etc. so if you do purchase something, thanks a bunch!

Finally, if this feels crassly commercial, please note that the header of the SRF store says “Stuff to Buy or Borrow.” Knowing what you need and don’t need to buy are good principles of self-reliance. If you got some of these things from your local library or a friend I’m sure Thoreau and Emerson would be proud.

Click here to enter the SRF Store.

I’ll be doing holiday stuff over the next week. When I return I’ll be doing some posts related to a new film project of mine. Happy Thanksgiving!

Storyboard Template

Sunday, October 22nd, 2006

While testing a trial version Apple’s Pages application I ran across a storyboard template. Pretty cool.

I modified the original file a little and made a couple of templates that I like. Enjoy:

1.78:1 Storyboard Template

1.33:1 Storyboard Template

Here’s more info on aspect ratios, courtesy of Wikipedia.

Screenwriting Software

Tuesday, October 10th, 2006

Lately I’ve been working on some rewrites of a short script, and I find myself dividing my time between two different screenwriting applications. I’m not sure if I’m transitioning from the old (Final Draft) to the new (Celtx), or if I’m just trying to choose between the lesser of two frustrating applications. This post is intended as a kind of sketch of what I’ve been encountering over the last few days in hopes that some readers might contribute some comments on how what they’re choosing to use (and why).

Final Draft
I’ve been using Final Draft 6 since it was released years ago — like ’99 or 2000. For the most part, after several updates and bug fixes (version anyone?) over the years, it’s pretty stable. In the end, it does what it’s supposed to — it makes writing and rewriting scripts in “proper screenplay form” as simple as it is to type a regular text document in something like Microsoft Word. What more could you ask for? Well, a few things: