Comments on watching and making films.

Friday, June 27, 2008

"Wanted" RED footage pulled before release?

According to Jim Jannard, head of the Red camera project, in a post to -

"There seems to be some confusion about RED on "Wanted" even though I posted the following a couple of weeks ago.

During production, we were told that some RED footage (from pre-production prototypes) would be used in the movie so we added "Wanted" to "Shot on RED" on As soon as we heard that would not be the case, we pulled "Wanted" from our website. "

This is odd, considering that one user points out a comment by Jon Farhat, the film's VFX supervisor, that speaks highly of the Red footage -


1. The camera crew thought it would be telling to take the early RED prototype and point it directly into lights, bright windows behind our subjects, etc. Jim and Jarred, (and even myself then) were cringing. We were shocked when we analyzed the takes, (instantly I might add) and there was an amazing amount of detail in the windows and sky. More than the 5218. We had to clip the RED a bit to match.

2. The blue record on the RED images is quite amazing. Even a major improvement since we shot in Prague. The cameras we used later in Chicago sported a greater dynamic range and an even more improved blue record. In both cases, we needed to add some contrast and throw some data away to match the film response.

3. Pulling mattes from green screen using RED is much easier than film and frankly any other digital image and works much better than the Genesis system for instance. For a couple years people have been been saying that pulling keys from Genesis is easy. True, but only for the body of the key. The sharper edges means that when you do have a problem with an edge, it's real ugly. Instead, RED's 4k resolution defines the properties of an edge without the need of sharpening. The keys AND EDGES are stunning.

4. Ahhh. The grain. Do we add grain to RED images to be intercut? Or rely on the output stock? We did both. Pre-grain helped. However, I might add that if I were shooting a movie entirely RED, and the delivery was film, I would forget the idea of post grain and go straight to film.

Having said all that, film has been our standard. But now, we are seeing that we might actually be able to over-sample to achieve the 'film look'."

Sounds like everything was going pretty well, so, it makes me wonder why they would have, eventually, pulled the footage if it looked so good?

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Comic Book Lady

Being an independent filmmaker is harder than ever, these days. Most people would say that, with the advent of digital technology, it's become easier, but that's a lie. 10 to 15 years ago, you could make a film on your own and sell it to a smaller, independent distributor, or the indie wing of a major studio. They were gobbling these films up because, at the time, there weren't that many of them. Now, however, with High Definition technology making major advances, and standard definition Mini-DV becoming just as acceptable as 16mm as a filmmaking tool, films from all over the world, by every man, woman, or child who can afford a digital camera, have flooded the market. Even with the increase in film festivals, there are about 300 to 400% more films competing for spots in film festivals, in theaters, and, eventually on the shelves of Blockbuster or you Netflix queue, than when the independents were re-born in the early to mid-nineties with directors like Quentin Tarantino, Richard Linklater, Kevin Smith, and others. What does this mean? Well, it means you have to try a lot harder to make something that catches the people making the decisions at the festivals, for the distributors, and for the DVD market. But can you make something great, without compromising completely. I think you can, and I think Shayne Barker did exactly that with his debut feature film The Comic Book Lady.

The film concerns a comic store owner, played with incredible insight by Kathleen Jackson (who, in real life, owns the comic shop the film is set in, and was Barker's inspiration for the film). The comic book lady's life is filled with routine - wake up in the morning to a husband who is only interested in loving himself, go to work, deal with weird customers who often times try to connect with the unassuming Kathleen, either out of sheer loneliness or bold stupidity, then close up shop, and go back home to her hateful, obnoxious, and selfish husband. As the film goes on, we meet an interesting cast of misfits that walk through the doors of the shop, constantly looking for some relationship with Kathleen, but she is either unable or unwilling to give it to them. Their attempt at interaction with her is always met with a minimum of response - a nod, a stare, or sometimes she will come out from behind her counter and show someone what they're looking for, but never a word. In fact Kathleen doesn't talk at all through out, almost, the entire film.

What The Comic Book Lady does is take this woman's private pain and deliver it to the audience the same way that the comic book lady interacts with her customers - through little moments. The film is set up as a series of vignettes, all of which take place in either the comic book shop, or in her home. We see her, consistently, being used by everyone around her to achieve their own needs, whether it be companionship, to make themselves feel better about themselves, or just to get some dinner.

Through these little vignettes, Barker drives home the redundancy and quiet desperation of this woman's life. Like Lars Von Trier, Barker is uncompromising in his push to make the audience FEEL what his character is going through. You don't just look at this woman and say "Yeah, she's got it bad", you actually feel the desperation of her life as she deals with idiots in her store, and a self-hating husband who consistently berates her at every turn. At times, as an audience member, Barker can drive you to the brink of insanity with this constant deluge of hopelessness, but ultimately, he's accomplishing a huge feat. Most directors get you to understand what their characters are going through, but very few actually make you feel what their characters are going through.

The Comic Book Lady is NOT an easy film, but it is quite an experience. Like Dancer In The Dark, I left the theater feeling like I had experienced this woman's life. It took me to places that were uncomfortable to be in. It lifted me up, turned me upside down, and shook out everything I had, and I feel like I have some slightly better understanding of humanity for it. 

The Comic Book Lady IS, however, the reason that independent cinema exists. I love a great popcorn and soda movie just as much as anyone does, but in the end, the reason we go to movies, to plays (and, to a much lesser extent, watch television), or read books, is that we are trying to find some way to connect, some way to feel things that we aren't feeling in our everyday lives. The Comic Book Lady gives you that chance. It may not be the kind of feelings you thought you wanted to feel at that moment, but it may be something you need to feel. It may be a catharsis you didn't even know you needed. Barker and Jackson weave a tale that needs to be told. It is both hilarious and heartbreaking, just like real life, and for that I have to salute both of them.

A few other random reasons to see this film - 

- It's shot on beautiful Kodak Double X 16mm black and white film.
- Toby Radloff and Harvey Pekar both make hilarious guest appearances.
- Jackson's performance is the definition of saying everything, while saying nothing.

After the screening at the San Antonio Film Festival, I talked to Shayne about the film. Here's a little video of it - 

Interview With Shayne Barker from Stewart Schuster on Vimeo.

Caroline Martin is the coolest girl on Vimeo

:( from Caroline Martin on Vimeo.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Discount Moviola, Part 1 - Big Time Summer Fun Project

So, I drove up to Austin today to pick up a 16mm Moviola that I found on the Austin Craig's List. I've been looking for a Steenbeck, or Moviola, for a long time. I actually found a Steenbeck in Dallas, on eBay, but someone beat me to the punch on it, so I thought I'd pick up this Moviola. Needless to say, even though I got it for cheap, it needs a little work. Mainly some serious elbow grease to get it cleaned up, but it may need some minor mechanical and electrical work. Looks like I now have a summer project.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Yiyi's Happiness

Just thought I'd share an amazing short film with you - 

Yiyi's happiness from ashesoftime on Vimeo.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Katee Sackhoff is "Most Searched"

Katee Sackhoff, of Battlestar Galactica and the apparently defunct Bionic Woman, showed up on Yahoo's "Most searched for celeb's" today. Kind of weird, considering all of the actresses that are usually on that list (women like Angelina Jolie, Lindsay Lohan, Scarlett Johansson, et al.), but I guess this is supposed to be TV specific?

I don't know, I thought it was kind of cool. I've been wanting to work with her ever since I started watching Battlestar. I think she's a phenomenal actress, who's ability to physically emote is just beyond anything else I've seen in most actresses. She's definitely under appreciated, in my opinion, and, often times, put into roles that don't really match up with her talent.

2 Great Trailer Mash-ups

Thursday, June 19, 2008

New Tool

I got my new light meter today. It's a Sekonic L-308S. It's one of the cheaper ones, but the analog one that I got for free (also a Sekonic) broke. I think I can fix it, but I'm kind of tired of having to mess with the dials every time I want to shoot. This is the model I got - 

It's just a simple, digital light meter. You put in your ISO, and (for cinematography) your FPS, and hit the button and you get a reading. Nothing fancy, but it does exactly what I need it to do.

Shooting is what I love the most

Being on set is, probably, the thing that I love the most about filmmaking. Here are some pics, by Kyle I., from a promo we shot for work. It was a really fun shoot, and we actually got to rent a dolly, and some necessary equipment.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


My final film for Watkins is now online. You can watch it below. Although it has flaws that time has allowed me to see, I am still very proud of it, and hope to make more like it. I would like to take a moment to thank everyone who was involved with the making of this film. I just wish I could have been in a place to put it in festivals, but, unfortunately, by the time it was finished, and by the time I was in a place financially to do so, it was too late. Enjoy - 

With/Without from Stewart Schuster on Vimeo.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

And on the subject of Rebel Without A Cause...

This is a hilarious video from James Franco, off of the website Funny Or Die, where they recreate a scene from Rebel Without A Cause. Enjoy - 

DVD - Rebel Without A Cause

Rebel Without A Cause is one of those films that is constantly referenced, or quoted, or just generally permeates into pop-culture in some way, shape, or form. It is, arguably, James Deans most popular role, and one of his last. The film starred several other actors who would go on to be huge stars in their own right - Natalie Wood and Sal Mineo, who would both die at relatively young ages (though, not as young as Dean), and Dennis Hopper.

Rebel Without A Cause stars Dean as Jim Stark, a young man who seems to get into endless amounts of trouble for no particular reason. His parents move him from town to town every time Jim gets into trouble with the police, and have landed in Los Angeles (though its never actually called Los Angeles). On his first day of school, he meets Judy (played by Natalie Wood), a young girl who is desperate for love and acceptance, and Plato (Sal Mineo), a young man with a troubled psyche. Judy's boyfriend, Buzz, doesn't approve of Jim, or his flirtations with Judy, and after a fight on a planetarium field trip (starring the gorgeous Griffith Observatory in L.A.), Buzz challenges Jim to a "chickie run", in which two people race stolen cars towards a cliff, and whoever jumps out of their car first, is the chicken. When it all goes down, Jim bails, but Buzz gets caught in his car, and plummets off of the cliff. This opens up a world of hurt for Jim, Judy, and Plato, with both the police, and Buzz's friends, who are now out to kill Jim.

Rebel is an amazing portrait of the boredom of post-war youth. There's nothing wrong with Jim's life, but he has nothing to strive for, no war to be won, no battles to be fought - except to prove that he's not chicken. Judy plays a spot on model of the kind of truth that psychologists were just realizing in the 50's - that young girls crave the acceptance of their fathers, and often times seek that acceptance in other men when they can't get it from their dad's. The character of Plato is interesting because he is constantly re-inventing his world through lie's to gain Jim and, eventually, Judy's acceptance.

Rebel Without A Cause holds, within it, the great mystery of the American teenage psyche. After having watched it, I am thoroughly convinced that, if psychologists could decode Jim's habits, thoughts and feelings, they could figure out a way to bring peace to one of, if not the most, turbulent time in a person's life - the teen years.

"She belongs to the city, and the state of Ohio..."

I'd just like to say that I've been getting some visits from some very interesting places - 

Vienna, Austria
Manchester, UK
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Victoria, Australia
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
New South Wales, Australia
and more...

I just think its really cool that I have International visitors. This blog is going around the world!

They got it...

I got my self-addressed, stamped post card back from the AFS today. In case you're wondering, it's a postcard that I got when I went to go see Margot At The Wedding. I was going to send it to someone, but I sent them something else, so I figured this would be a good chance to use it. Well, now its just a waiting game, until August, to see what happens.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Vincent Gallo, and the most bad-ass camera package EVER!

I was thinking the other day about this project I'm working on, Raccoon Head, and realized that the feel and pace of The Brown Bunny is something that interest me. Basically, making it a more ethereal film.

Anyways, I was watching a little bit of that film, and I was reminded of when Vincent Gallo put his shooting package for The Brown Bunny up on Ebay (presumably to recoup some of the costs of the film). I saved a text version of the Ebay listing, and thought I'd throw it up (mostly for my own enjoyment and reminiscing). This package is like the equivalent of a having a Ferrari, or something... Here you go - 

Vincent Gallo, the director of Buffalo 66 decided after completing Buffalo 66 that for his next film, The Brown Bunny, he would own all his equipment. He would not rent a thing. He would own everything he would need to make his next feature film. In putting this production package together, he spent a year of researching and testing equipment. Afterwards, he would spend 6 months designing the package and another 2 years purchasing, customizing, testing and tweaking the gear. The goals were as follows: to be lightweight, compact, versatile, reliable and cost effective. The package would have to include everything needed to make the film: 2 cameras, a high quality and comprehensive lens collection, mobile yet sufficient lighting, sound equipment that could integrate with the cameras so as to avoid slating, a mic assortment that would never need backup, and a ton of extras that would meet the needs of his flexible and spontaneous production style, and last but not least, an extremely secure transportation case system. 100 hours of case design alone was needed. The entire package was used to shoot 60,000 feet of film. Since Gallo owned and operated all the equipment, along with two extremely careful professional assistants, the equipment remains in better than new condition. The reason I say better than new is because not only is all the equipment in 100% mint cosmetic condition and mint mechanical condition, a lot of tweaking by the factories who produced the equipment was involved. For example, Gallo wanted his 2 Aatons to be the quietest in the world so after purchase, he fedexed them back to France and had the factory make them as quiet as they could possibly ever be. Well below their rated specs. In the case of his lenses, the vintage set of Super Baltars which were new old stock lenses purchased directly from the Mitchell Factory, had to be converted to PL type mounting. Many cameramen had dreamed of doing this since the Super Baltars are the finest lenses ever made. However, no one's been able to complete the conversion. Gallo found a designer for the conversion, a machinist and a lens expert and after 6 months of effort and $25,000 cash, he now owns a complete set of Super Baltar lenses converted to PL mount. Another thing to note in the lens area is that all his lenses were expertly re-built and calibrated including his Angenieux zoom which was purchased from the Stanley Kubrick estate. It is the famous super long throw lens that Kubrick had made for Barry Lyndon. No other like it exists. In the case of his Nagra, Gallo had the Nagra factory build him the last brand new Nagra 4 STC which he had made utilizing the Aaton time code so his cameras and sound recorder would always be in sync. All in all, Gallo put more effort into this production package than the whiny Wes Anderson, the sputtering Spike Jonze, the un-darling Darren Aronofsky have put into their whole lives. Because of the design and detailing of the package, a filmmaker could work with the most flexibililty, mobility, efficiency and reliability that could have ever been possible any other way. If you want to make a movie, this is the package to own. Everything is guaranteed working and in brand new cosmetic condition. Seller can not be responsible for shipping and would prefer pick up and inspection in Los Angeles. Payment must be made in full within 7 days of close of auction. No deadbeat bidders please. Again, no deadbeat bidders. Please call for questions 323 878 0100. DO NOT EMAIL QUESTIONS. If phone goes to voicemail, leave a return phone number and a technician will return your call. Please look through the list below very carefully and please do your own research.

Lens Case # 6
20 mm Super Baltar lens s/n #GF249
25 mm Super Baltar lens s/n #FF694
35 mm Super Baltar lens s/n #GF146
50 mm Super Baltar lens s/n #ZF1161
75 mm Super Baltar lens s/n #FF553
100 mm Super Baltar lens s/n #GF121
150 mm Super Baltar lens s/n #GF222
Kinoptik 9.8 mm lens in Century Precision housing s/n #C25773
Century Precision aspheron for Kinoptik 9.8 mm lens s/n #C26406
Set of 7 filter adapters for Super Baltars no serial #s
Hard lens hood no serial #
Rubber lens shade no serial #

Lens Case # 7
Cooke 25-250 mm zoom lens with support bracket s/n# 780731
Cooke 10.4-52 mm zoom lens with gears s/n #787052
Set of (5) shims for the cooke 10.4 - 52 no serial #
Bayonet to PL Mount adapter no serial #

Lens Case # 8
Angeniuex 25-625 zoom lens s/n #1469532
(6) 19” lens wraps no serial #
Neoprene donut (huggy) no serial #


Aminima Case # 5
Aaton Aminima camera s/n #A185
(7) Aminima magazines s/n #’s AM544, AM527, AM528, AM529, AM530, AM491, AM492,
Video tap for Aminima s/n #Z5032
Handgrip for Aminima no serial #
Coupler for Aminima no serial #
Cable for Aminima no serial #
Power base for Aminima s/n #PB126
Aminima Case # 5 (continued)
(3) Batteries for Aminima no serial #s
Aminima battery charger with cord no serial #
Aminima battery charger adapter no serial #
Aminima battery charger adapter no serial #
Aminima battery charger adapter no serial #
Set of mini rods for Aminima no serial #
Aminima sound barney no serial #
Aaton Aminima manual no serial #
Battery cover no serial #
Aminima rain cover no serial #
Cooke 10.4-52 mm zoom lens w/o gears s/n #786300

XTR Prod Case # 1
Aaton XTR Prod Camera s/n #C2300
Handgrip for XTR Prod no serial #
Coupler for XTR Prod no serial #
Cable for XTR Prod eyepiece heater no serial #
Video Tap for XTR Prod s/n #NTSC0329
(4) Aaton XTR Prod batteries no serial #
Battery charger for XTR Prod with power cable no serial #
(2) long rods for XTR Prod no serial #
(2) mini rods for XTR Prod no serial #
Aaton XTR Prod manual
Origin C masterclock no serial #
Chesapeake camera quick release plate no serial #

Magazine Case # 2
(2) Aaton XTR Prod 800’ magazines s/n # F183, F184
**(1 MAG LOADED W/ 800’ LOAD OF 7245)**

Magazine Case # 3
(2) Aaton XTR Prod 800’ magazines s/n #F185, F186

Accessories Case # 4
speed crank for XTR Prod no serial #
Hyper long Extension eye piece s/n #
HL030 XTR Prod 800' magazine barney no serial #
Eye piece leveler no serial #
Chroziel Follow focus no serial #
sliding base plate with quick release plate and rods no serial #
(2) Arri bridge plate adapters no serial #
heater cable for long eyepiece no serial #
chroziel matte box with eyebrows no serial #
(1) 4x5 combi tray no serial #
(1) 4x4 tray no serial #
(1) 4x5 tray no serial #
Remote On/Off switch no serial #
Lemo 2/Lemo 2 cable 50’ no serial #
Lemo 2/Lemo 2 female coupler no serial #
Lemo 2/Lemo 6 converter cable no serial #
XTR Prod Rain cover no serial #
Soft effects filter no serial #
Antique suede filter no serial #
N3 filter no serial #
N6 filter no serial #
N9 filter no serial #
XTR Prod Tripod Case #
14 O'Connor XTR prod fluid head s/n #310243
O'Connor XTR prod tripod legs no serial #
Spreader no serial #
Aminima Tripod Case # 15
O'Connor Aminima fluid head s/n #210203
O'Connor Aminima tripod legs no serial #

Monitor Case # 16
Sony DV walkman s/n #321510, s/n TK
Remote control for walkman no serial #
AC power adapter for walkman s/n #23115887
USB cable for walkman no serial #
Video/audio RCA cable for walkman no serial #
RCA to mini plug adapter for walkman no serial #
Manual for walkman no serial #
(4) MP-QM91 lithium ion batteries for walkman no serial #
(2) AC power adapter AC-SQ950 s/n #15002508 , s/n TK
25’ B & C cable no serial #
50’ B & C cable no serial #
(3) Motorola walkie talkies no serial #


Lighting Case # 17 (800 JOKER KIT)
800 Watt Joker light s/n #0308
Power supply for 800 joker s/n #0058
800 Watt lamp no serial #
Beamer optical accessory no serial #
Extension cable no serial #
Four leaf barndoor no serial #
Frosted Fresnel with Ring no serial #
Super wide lens with ring no serial #
Wide flood lens with ring no serial #
Medium flood lens with ring no serial #
Frosted glass beaker no serial #
Carrying case with lens case no serial #

Lighting Case # 18 (400 JOKER KIT)
400 Watt Joker light s/n #1973
Power supply for 400 joker s/n #2183
400 Watt Lamp no serial #
Beamer optical accessory no serial #
Extension cable no serial #
Fresnel frosted lens with ring no serial #
Super wide flood lens with ring no serial #
Wide flood lens with ring no serial #
Medium flood lens with ring no serial #
Frosted glass beaker no serial #
Four leaf barndoor no serial #
Carrying case with lens case no serial #

Lighting Case # 19 (400 BLACKJACK KIT)
Blackjack 400 Watt light s/n #K2012
Power supply for Blackjack s/n #2122
400 Watt Lamp no serial #
Extension cable no serial #
Fresnel soft with ring no serial #
Fresnel spot with ring no serial #
Four leaf Blackjack barn door no serial #
Lite pac case with lens bag no serial #

Lighting Case # 20 (400 HMI KIT)
Dedolight 400 HMI lighting kit s/n #00280
Power supply for 400 dedo s/n #00448

Lighting Case # 21 (150 DEDO KIT)
Dedo 150 HMI kit: s/n #112-2260
Light s/n #81961
Light s/n #81960
Light s/n #81962
Power supply s/n #112-2260

Soft Case # 22 (MICKEY)
1K Molequartz Mickey-Mole light s/n 15969
Four leaf light shield assembly no serial #
1/2 single scrim no serial #
Double scrim no serial #
Full single scrim no serial #
Full double scrim no serial #
Moledisc diffuser frame assembly no serial #
Baby scrm bag no serial #
Accessory holder no serial #

Soft Case # 23 (MIGHTY)
2K Molequartz Mighty-Mole light s/n #9814
Accessory holder no serial #
Four leaf light shield assembly no serial #
Moledisc diffuser frame assembly no serial #
1/2 Single scrim no serial #
1/ Double scrim no serial #
Full single scrim no serial #
Full Double scrim no serial #
Baby Jr. Scrim bag no serial #

Soft Case # 24 (TWEENIE)
650 Watt Tweenie II Solarspot s/n #17889
Four way barn door assembly (four leaf) no serial #
Moledisc diffuser frame no serial #
1/2 Single scrim no serial #
1/2 Double scrim no serial #
Full Single scrim no serial #
Full Double scrim no serial #
Tiny scrim bag no serial #

Grip and Electric Equipment

AC Bag
Air Cans

Soft Case # 25
Matthews maxi steel stands (2) no serial #
40” C+ Stand (2) no serial #
Gobo short arms (2) no serial #

Car Rig Bag
1 1/4 inch wall spreader (2) no serial #
Grip clamp cross over (4) no serial #
Furniture bracket (2) no serial #
Grid clamp 5/8 (2) no serial #
Grid clamp (2) no serial #
Swivel Chesbro (2) no serial #
3/10 aluminum plate no serial #
Chain vise grip (2) no serial #
Speed rail camera L-plate no serial #
40” speed rail no serial #
22 1/2” speed rail no serial #
Rigging bag no serial #

Ditty Bag
Bogen sparrow plate (2) no serial #
Right angle baby spud adapter (2) no serial #
5 lb steel shot bag (2) no serial #
Bogen 3” baby wall plate (2) no serial #
Cardellini Clamp model #2-E no serial #
Cardellini Clamp model #2-C no serial #
Matthews mini mattelini clamp (2) no serial #
Bogen black grip head (2) no serial #


Sound Equipment Sound Case # 9 (NAGRA IV STC)
Nagra IV STC s/n #0606928
Nagra IV STC power supply s/n #3450199
Leather case w/ extra 7” top
7” reel adaptor lid (1)
CUT cable (1)
Input cable (1)
AC cord (1)

Manual Sound Case # 11 (MICROPHONES)
Schoeps MK41G mic capsule no serial #
Schoeps MK5G mic capsule no serial #
Schoeps CMC 5G mic amp s/n #30290
Schoeps CMC 5G mic amp s/n #30291
Schoeps CUT –1 mic filters (2) no serial #
Schoeps B5 foam windscreen (3) no serial #
Schoeps CCM 41LG mic no serial #
COS-11 remote mic s/n #70431
COS-11 remote mic s/n #70428
Beyer M160 mic s/n #668
Beyer M160 mic s/n #10478
Neumann KM-81 s/n #17354
Neumann KM-82 s/n #16249
Sonotrim remote mic no serial #
Sonotrim remote mic no serial #
(2) mic cages for remote mics no serial #
Audio Ltd 2020 transmitter/receiver s/n #117679-1-2
Audio Ltd 2020 transmitter/receiver s/n #117679-3-4
2 Denecke power supply for transmitters no serial #
(3) 18” cables for Denecke power supply no serial #

Sound Case # 12 (ACCESSORIES)
Schoeps KC 5G cables (2) no serial #
Schoeps ACA 53 suspension (2) no serial #
15’ cable for Denecke power supply no serial #
(1) Denecke power supply no serial #
3 ft. cables (2) no serial #
6 ft cable (1) no serial #
25 ft cable (4) no serial #
15 ft cable (1) no serial #
15 m banana plug cable no serial #
Rycote Schoeps suspension mic no serial #
Rycote zeppelin B no serial #
Rycote windjammer B no serial #
Rycote suspension + CUT 1 no serial #
Rycote zeppelin + CUT 1 no serial #
Rycote windjammer + CUT 1 no serial #
Rycote ball gag no serial #
Sonosax BD 1 attenuator serial # 00044
Sennheiser headphones s/n #222371
VDB boom pole small no serial #

Soft Case # 13
VDB boom pole XL no serial #

Mike Curtis, HD and digital video fanboy, sees the light...

Mike Curtis, who runs the great blog HD For Indies, recently wrote an article, which you can find at ProVideoCoalition, on the real issue behind film vs. video - The fact that the "democratization" of film, through the use of "high quality" digital video, has caused the market to flood with content. As the market gets more and more saturated, quality goes down, the ability to get paid for what you do goes down, and it, basically, takes all of the art and originality out of it (well, that last part was me, but, you get the point). So, head on over and read the article, and see why I'm always so fired up about the film vs. video debate.

The Fall

The last most people saw of director Tarsem Singh (apparently, now, going only by his first name), was The Cell. And while that film had its issues (though, in my opinion, issues easily looked over), it was still a stunning vision brought to a life by a very talented and visionary individual. 

Well, now Tarsem is back, thanks to the likes of David Fincher and Spike Jonze, who saw a copy of the floundering The Fall, and used some of their pull to make sure the film saw the light of day. While I'm not sure what the exact story is behind it, I know that The Fall has been around for a few years, but for some reason, was never picked up by distributors.

The Fall concerns a little girl by the name of Alexandria, who is convalescing in a hospital for a broken arm, in early turn of the century Los Angeles. When a note she is trying to pass on to a nurse lands in the hands of another patient, she is quick to try to retrieve the special message she had written for her favorite nurse. The man who has the note is an ex-Hollywood stuntman, who, after an on set accident, has been left paralyzed from the waste down. The little girl begins to bond with the man, who's name is Roy, and Roy begins telling her a story about far away places, bandits, prince's and princess's and evil rulers who seek to destroy the good people. Eventually, though, it is revealed that Roy is using the story as a way to get Alexandria hooked, so that her need to hear the end of Roy's tale, ensures that she will do what Roy asks her.

The Fall, like The Cell, is visually stunning, but unlike its predecessor, it also has a much more accessible story line. This feels like a film that, minus some graphic violence, you could easily bring your kids to. It's enjoyable on, pretty much, all levels, by all ages, and I can't imagine anyone that it leaves out. With spot on cinematography, an amazing stop motion sequence, pitch perfect acting, and perfect art direction, The Fall is about as close to a perfect movie as you can get. Of particular note is the young girl who plays Alexandria, Cantica Untaru, who gives one of the most amazing and authentic performances by a child actor that I have ever seen in my entire life. I don't know whether they improved around her, or she actually developed all of those inflections and pauses and emotions... If she did develop all of those on her own, she could easily be considered a genius at acting.

The Fall, to me, is a great example of how, given a chance, a film that may seem a little "out there", can win over an audience by feeding its most basic needs. The Fall is like a well balanced meal - equal parts that fill you up, and give you what you need, with no useless leftovers.