Archive for the ‘Tools/Equipment’ Category

Transcription Tools for Mac Audio/Video

Wednesday, April 26th, 2006

Here are two useful transcription tools for Mac users:

First, there’s Inqscribe, which lets you watch your footage and transcribe it at the same time. No more switching back and forth between applications, or using two computers. Haven’t tested it, but it looks promising. Free trial for 30 days, then $69.

The second is Transcriva, which is an audio only transcription tool. Same as above, but no video. I used this to transcribe the Joe Swanberg interview from a few days ago, which I had recorded using my iPod and iMic. It works like a charm. Cost: $20.

Red Round-up

Monday, April 24th, 2006

Details on Jim Jannard’s Red camera surfaced today. If you don’t know about Red, you’ve probably been off-line for the last few months. It has been — and continues to be — developed as a radical, iconoclastic digital cinema camera. Many people are saying this could be the biggest step forward since the DV revolution in the early 90s. Could it be so?

Possibly. The camera has yet to be manufactured, so until we see footage, let’s keep our socks on. On paper, though, it must be said: Red doesn’t look like “a step up.” It looks ground-breaking — from specs to its physical design.

Some people have suggested that because Jannard & Co. haven’t been in the day-to-day business of camera manufacturing that this won’t work. In fact, the opposite is true. Revolutionary technology usually springs from mavericks and Red is, in essence, a hacker project by a maverick with the DIY spirit. The notable difference, of course, is that Jannard has a ton of resources to put into R&D. Anyway, we’re rooting for its success.

Red resources (as of 4/24):

Red – Official Site

DV Info Red Forum

DVXUser Red Forum

Red Camera Wiki

StudioDaily interview with Jim Jannard interview with Ted Schilowitz, head of the Red development team


Red Camera Company Wikipedia article

Shooting Modes on Red (HD for Indies)

“Red Day 1 Report” from HD for Indies

Images from Red announcement (via DVInfo)

The LOL Team: SRF Interview

Thursday, April 20th, 2006

The biggest joke in LOL, Joe Swanberg’s second feature, may be the one that the filmmaker plays on the audience. Neither romantic (though there’s plenty of frank sexual content), nor a comedy (though there are many funny moments), LOL feels less like the rom-com that its title suggests and more like a digital age mash-up of Jean Renoir’s Rules of the Game and David Cronenberg’s Crash ““ on the one hand, a humanistic, if occasionally bitter, social critique disguised as an ensemble comedy and, on the other hand, a chilly, unsentimental look at the ways that our fascination with technology (in this case, cell phones and the internet) keeps us apart when it’s meant to bring us together.

While Swanberg’s lo-fi digital images and casual sense of plotting may not achieve the cinematic heights of either of the aforementioned masterworks, LOL has a charm all its own. Some of that charm, no doubt, is a product of its production history: The whole thing was made by Swanberg and his friends in Chicago without a script for a mere $3000. What’s even more impressive, though, is how the movie starts as a comedy of awkwardness and gradually molts into a bleak satire with a mature, dramatic punch. For this, credit goes to the non-professional performers and Swanberg’s sharp editing of his improvised source material.

After premiering in March at South by Southwest (where it was very warmly received), LOL had its East Coast premiere at the Philadelphia Film Festival. The night after its first screening in Philly, I had dinner with Swanberg and two of his collaborators, Chris Wells and Kevin Bewersdorf. All three, as actors behind the improv, are credited as “co-writers.” (Bewersdorf also composed the soundtrack.) Among other things, we talked about improvisation, choosing one’s collaborators, and making a feature on the cheap.

Here’s some of that conversation:


GarbageScout expands

Friday, April 14th, 2006

Garbagescout has expanded to San Francisco and – yes! – Philadelphia.

If you’re new to Garbagescout, check out my explanatory post from earlier this year.

Web Applications for Filmmakers

Thursday, April 6th, 2006

DVGuru has a nice listing of helpful web applications for filmmakers. Sure, this is an oldie (Oct ’05), but SRF didn’t exist then, so I’m linking to it now.