Jun 30, 2011

Jaguar Print Ad Edit

This was the latest video I created for Jeeves and the Jaguar.  It's a mashup of the random Jaguar ads that I'd come across and saved to share on my new site.  With the folder continually growing I thought it was probably worth while sharing some of these prints using the same style that I did for my earlier Road Trip slideshows.  Check it out!

Jun 28, 2011

Backyard Bubbles

At a family gathering over the weekend we enjoyed the summer weather with a bonfire and some spontaneous bubble blowing.  Sometimes it doesn't take much to capture everyone's attention, and with bubbles floating all over the yard it was hard not to take part.  With a few editing tweaks I threw this clip together with the home video footage I shot on my Flip Cam.

Jun 27, 2011

How to Be Spontaneous

You might think to yourself what a bizarre thing to write about.  Who needs to know how to be spontaneous?  Isn't about doing things randomly? Isn't it about doing something in the moment? It is.  Of course, there's a bit more to it than that.

I've always considered myself spontaneous both in how I approach my work and my daily life.  I'm perceptive to opportunities that challenge me and allow me to try new things, but it wasn't until I read an article about staying organized that the reason why really hit me.  In a word, preparation.  

To be random isn't enough, because spontaneity is as much about having quality experiences as it is about doing something different.  Also, just because your life is moving in a lot of different directions, that doesn't make you a spontaneous person either.  It's a choice that you make, and because of that there's actually a lot of control involved.

A spontaneous person is therefore someone with plans.  It makes sense that if you really want to do certain things and want options on how they happen, that you'd be prepared for the possibility.  It's like setting aside a bit of money from your paycheck for travel, always having a few beers in the fridge if friends stop by, or maintaining a schedule with flexibility so that you can work new things in.  Having choice is everything.  

In 2005 my friend Andrea and I decided to go to Vegas.  The spring semester was just ending, we both had a bit of money set aside, and when the idea came up we jumped.  Within a week of first talking about the trip we were on a plane and we were there.  For a couple of students who had both just turned 21, this felt amazing.  

The same thing happened with the road trip my friend Dave and I took to California last year.  We had enough cash set aside, ambitious plans were made before we left, and a loose schedule was in place.  Again, it meant that the basics were covered so there was no stress about how we were going to pay for something or if we were making the most of our time.  We were actually able to do more because we were prepared to make things happen. 

The point is that if you don't take control of some things, if you don't make plans, if you're only reactionary, then you only have the option of taking advantage of what presents itself.  You actually miss out on being able to shape your experience.  You miss out on being spontaneous when it really counts.  You miss out on making something good, something even better.

Jun 26, 2011

Star Wars: Retold by Joe Nicolosi

Those who haven't seen the original Star Wars films are a rare breed, but as Joe Nicolosi shows us by questioning his friend Amanda about the sci-fi trilogy, sometimes that's pretty entertaining too.

Jun 24, 2011

Elements of Creativity by Kirby Ferguson

Everything is a Remix by Kirby Ferguson is a fascinating (soon to be) four part series of videos that explore how ideas in general are perpetuated and modified.  Part 3, Elements of Creativity was particularly fascinating to me as it delves into how we copy as a way of learning, and how that's been essential in the creation of new ideas.  This is definitely worth your time.

Jun 23, 2011

The Bat in the Room

Last night I came home from work to discover a bat sitting in the middle of the floor.  I'd actually finished my supper before I even noticed it.  There it was, a little black and brown hairy ball blended in perfectly with the polished concrete floors.  I wasn't sure what it was at first, just that I didn't want it there.  Gross.

I grabbed a broom to poke what was now clearly a bat and just as the bristles approached his body he turned his little head and let out a soft hiss.  OH SH*T!  This thing is still alive! As though I wasn't already grossed out by this veiny armed little rodent, now I had to be concerned that I was going to piss him off. 

You might think I'm just being a baby about this, but this isn't actually the first time I've had my run in with a bat.  No, back in the summer of 2006 when I was working one of my summer jobs I came across a bat hiding in the crease of a bag in the storage shed.  Same type deal.  I poked him, he hissed, and in a final effort to get him off the bag he took flight and lunged in my direction.  I can't remember ever running so fast.

With this story still fresh in my mind I was pretty sure I didn't want this little guy flying around my loft and getting lost behind the ducts or in one of my bookshelves.  It's the ducts, by the way, that I assume allowed him in in the first place.  Like I said, I live in a loft and all of the duct work is exposed with small screwable covers that allow the air in.  Somehow he found himself in the ducts and then fell out into my apartment.  FYI, I've now screwed all of the covers closed.

Anyway, so with the poking a no go, I opted for the home exterminators most versatile tool, the mighty plastic bucket.  I actually taped it to the end of my broom and gently lowered it on top of him.  Then I removed the broom, holding the bucket in place, and used a thin piece of cardboard to gently tuck underneath.  This pissed off my furry friend.  Although I knew there was no way he could get out, as soon as the cardboard reached him he began loudly hissing, then squeaking, then moving about.  Feeling the movement probably grossed me out the most.

My biggest fear the entire time was that he was going to start flying around, which was why I was probably more hesitant and cautious than I really needed to be.

Now holding the cardboard and the bucket, I had the bat in a makeshift prison and was on the move.  I had already gone through the trouble of opening my door as well as the door at the end of the hallway so there was no chance that I'd drop this guy and have to do this again.  He started flapping and I could feel my adrenaline surge as I became increasingly nervous that I'd slip up and he'd escape the bucket in a fit of rage, thirsty for revenge, out for the kill, with the taste of blood fresh in his mind!  That, or I was just genuinely scared of this thing.  One or the other.

I got him outside and left the bucket behind the dumpster.  If he wasn't already near death from the heat, he'll have escaped and should be fine.  Really, I'm just glad that I didn't wake up in the middle of the night to something flapping around my place.  I would've had to pull out the Nerf gun and that's a more complicated strategy than the one with the bucket. Yup, it was just another day in the life of a video editor.

Jun 22, 2011

Vintage View-Master (1950s)

Tucked away in a basement cabinet at my folks place I found my mom's old View-Master from the early fifties.  I remember we had the red plastic ones when I was a kid - my first time working with film reels (sorta).  I never actually used this one, but I'm pretty sure my older brother must have as there were reels from several decades.   

The collection of reels included everything from The Adventures of Winnie the Pooh to Queen Elizabeth II's coronation ceremony.  I always loved storybooks on my View-Master, especially the ones where the scenes had been constructed like stop motion animations.  When you added the 3D element, it was a really neat visual toy that made you want to explore as many reels as possible.

This vintage View-Master (Model C) was made out of metal and was manufactured between 1946 and 1955.  In contrast to the plastic ones of my childhood, this ones metal shutter felt far more mechanical.  

It's been kept in a neat little wooden box.  The reels are stored on one side, and a small cubby provides a place for the View-Master to sit. This box was obviously custom made as the original view-master packaging was a cardboard box.

Reels of historical events or world wonders like Niagara Falls were particularly interesting to find.  I saw Niagara Falls over a decade ago in 2000, and I always find it fascinating to compare how much things have changed, or how you remember something and then see it differently.

Some of the View-Master reels were showing their age and were a bit fragile, but much like the coins I collect, I actually prefer stuff like this when it's clear that it's had a history. Especially when it's involving my family. 

I imagine they still make View-Masters, however there's a lot more competition out there these days.  It is still a pretty charming and unique toy though. I appreciate the novelty of it even more now than I did when I was little.

Jun 21, 2011

Problems With Avid Studio

While I still stand by my initial review of Avid Studio in saying what a great product it is, I thought it might be worth while to write about a few of the things that I'd like to see improved upon for the next version.  This is probably useful information for any of you considering Avid Studio as one of your editing platforms.

1.  No Archive Feature

In the latest version of Pinnacle 15 an archive restore feature was introduced that oddly wasn't included in the more prosumer and 'upgraded' package of Avid Studio.  Pinnacle 15 lacks the unlimited tracks and technical finesse that Avid does, however it seems like a strange decision not to include this new tool that prosumers or corporate editors like myself would gravitate towards, in a package more costly than the standard Pinnacle software.  

2. Slow Rendering Time

While not the slowest editing software I've ever used, Avid Studio could still use some improvement in this area.  Even with a powerful video card and more memory than I need, Avid doesn't always pack enough punch to render filters or transitions as quickly as you'd hope - especially in the live viewing mode.  

3. Slow Start Up

When I'm moving files around on my computer and I want to pop open Avid Studio to get to work, I'm generally annoyed with how long the program takes to open up.  It loads and refreshes, and generally takes its sweet time.

4. A Few Bugs

This is more of a general complaint as the program hasn't been nearly as buggy as previous Pinnacle studio products I've used, however Avid Studio still isn't perfect.  On occasion the program gets bogged down and the live renders kind of skip and glitch in preview mode.  The renders themselves are fine, but it's frustrating when you can't preview beforehand. 

5. Not 64-Bit (Technically)

Although it's said that Avid Studio is optimized for 64-bit, it's still not a native 64-bit program.  This one actually doesn't bother me personally, but I know others have expressed concern about this.

6. No Multi-Trim Tool

One feature I've enjoyed in other programs is a multi-trim tool that allows you to set your in and out points on a clip without having to cut it into multiple pieces to remove something from the middle of a piece of footage.  At the moment, Avid Studio doesn't have this.

Overall however, Avid Studio is still a very capable and well rounded piece of software.  I've used it numerous times for various styles of editing and I've yet to regret the investment.  There's always room for improvement though, isn't there?

Jun 20, 2011

Jeeves and the Jaguar Promo

With my new site, Jeeves and the Jaguar launched earlier this month I had wanted to create a promo to drum up some attention for it.  Earlier this weekend I finally got around to it, and I couldn't be happier with the result.  Check out the teaser below and be sure to visit the new site here.

Jun 19, 2011

Dad's Day

I can still barely skip a rock, but it didn't stop Dad from trying to teach us. Now get off the computer and go pick up the phone.  Happy Father's Day!

Jun 17, 2011

Top Posts of 2008

In 2008 I said goodbye to film school, I welcomed my first editing job when I started at Stream Media, I started repaying my student debt, and I had my work screened at several international venues.  It was a year of major transitions.

Editing Luke started to gain a bit of traction as I became more focused on how I constructed my posts.  Perhaps more surprisingly, I continued to blog even though my time at film school had ended.  Over 20,000 people visited in 2008, and towards the end of the year I became more strategic as I planned out how I wanted my site to grow.  Here is what became my most popular posts of 2008: 

Originally posted May 14, 2008
Posts like this revealed the back story, notes, and context of some of my film school projects, which helped me develop the portfolio aspect of my site. A Chill in the Air was particularly popular because I had promoted it heavily in 2006 on a former blog, and created an email campaign to draw up votes for the video competition I was in.   

Originally posted June 28, 2008
When you've got good news to share the word gets around.  In this post I revealed that my work was going to be showcased at two different venues, one in the UK and one in the US.

Originally posted March 21, 2008 
Having made a career out of being a film student, this post was my declaration that I'd be leaving university without graduating.  This was a highly stressful time in my life as I'd spent 6 years in school, had a semester to go, but couldn't stomach the idea (or realistically afford) coming back after the summer.

Originally posted March 1, 2008
The campy series that I kicked off my blog with in 2007 had its final act in 2008.  I created a trailer for the original three episodes and actually convinced myself that it was worth making one more.  This was that announcement.

Jun 16, 2011

Slices of Studenthood

I always wish there was more.  Whenever I browse through old pictures not only do I wish I would've taken more pictures at parties and events, but I wish I would've taken more obscure shots like these. The ones that were snapped between the bigger stuff. 

These slices of studenthood make me think about my time in College West at the University of Regina - how I lived off of the vending machine for a full week at the end of my first semester, how the common areas were always a mess, how I plastered my dorm walls with pictures, and how now it seems it all went by in a flash.  You can check out more of my snapshots and random observations by viewing my Dorm Life tag.