Archive for the ‘Basics’ Category

How to Send Big Files

Thursday, November 15th, 2007

Over the last month or so I’ve needed to send and receive a lot of large files (Final Cut project files, songs in AIFF format, DVD burn files, and so on). By “large” I mean in the 20mb – 4gb range. These files are usually too large to be sent via email because of file size limits, using an FTP site can be a hassle (as David Pogue has noted), and sending files via DVD-Rom via mail or FedEx is (comparatively) slow and pricey.

For me, the solution has been to share these large files via a few of the several services that exist online. I have used YouSendIt, FileFactory, and Pando. All have worked just fine.

The first two are file-hosting sites; Pando, on the other hand, is a stand-alone application. It requires a (free) download, but it also allows for the sharing of much larger files.

If you find yourself needing to share large files and don’t know where to start, a fairly comprehensive listing of file hosting sites is available on Wikipedia. You can also check out this article, which surveys some of the main services.

Film Festival World: Resources

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

Film Festival World has recently launched a few useful resource pages worth checking out:

Their Ezines, Journals, & More page selects some of the better sources of critical writing on film from around the (digital) globe. Alongside long-running magazines (like Cahiers du Cinema and Cineaste) are sites like the Rouge and Senses of Cinema. I’m looking forward to exploring the sites that are new to me.

Another resource worth checking out is what they call The Essential Film Blog Reader. Though some of my favorite bloggers aren’t listed (Mr. Schnack? Mr. Lowery?) what’s there is quality stuff: David Bordwell, Ray Carney, Chris Fujiwara, Girish, Sara Jo Marks, Chuck Tryon, and others. Needless to say, I was flattered by the compliment of inclusion (and their biography, which was done entirely without my input).

If you’re unfamiliar with Film Festival World, you can read more about the site here.

So you wanna go to film school….Part 2: Film School Applications: Do’s and Don’ts

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

Despite (or because of) the so-called “democratization” of film technology, film programs are doing a booming business. Acceptance rates hover around 10% or less at a lot of the more notable programs in the nation. From my own first-hand experience serving on the grad selection committee (in 2006) at Temple University, I can tell you that we accepted something like 8%. The last time I checked, the best med schools in the country aren’t that selective.

So how do you make yourself a competitive applicant?


So you wanna go to film school….Part 1: Searching for a Program

Sunday, October 21st, 2007

It’s that time of year again, when current and former students start asking me about film schools — where they should apply, if I will write a letter of recommendation, and so on. Whether or not film school is right for an individual is a personal decision and I’m not going to reiterate the pros and cons of film school here. Instead, this two-part post aims to help those who have decided to apply.

This post will address some basic tips on looking for a graduate program in film production. The next post will provide some tips on the application process.


Filmmaking and the Environment

Saturday, October 13th, 2007

As you probably heard yesterday, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and Al Gore. I’ve not always been a big supporter of Al’s, but I was definitely feeling some pride for the local boy done good (the second native Tennesseean to be awarded the Peace Prize, actually.).

Though the press reports usually got it wrong, as AJ Schnack reminded everyone yesterday, Gore did not win an Oscar for An Inconvenient Truth (because he didn’t direct it), but I have little doubt that the film — because of how it drew attention to the cause of global warming, and because it drew attention to Gore’s advocacy in the process — was a factor in Gore sharing this year’s Peace Prize. Looking over the list of previous Peace Prize winners, I couldn’t think of another instance in which cinema played such a central role in the awardee’s recognition.

Anyway, in the spirit of the announcement, I thought I would share some links and notes on environmentally-friendly filmmaking for those folks out there that, whether or not they like Al Gore, accept the findings of hundreds and hundreds of scientists from around the world that shared the Peace Prize for their work on man-made climate change research…