Friday, April 28, 2006

Will This Camera Change the Filmmaking Forever?

Arguably the hottest product at NAB this year was the Red Camera designed by Jim Jannard, founder of the Oakley glasses company. Although, they were only showing a non-working prototype, the mere concept of Jannard's camera is revolutionary.

Format Type(s) HD+
Resolution(s) 4k. 2k. 1080, 720, 480
Frame Rates Variable: 1-60fps (2540p, 4k, 2k, 1080p, 720p) 1-120fls (2k, 720p)
Medium FireWire 800/400, USB-2 and eSATA interfaces
Lens Mount Interchangeable
Image Sensor 12 Mpxl CMOS
Audio Inputs 4 channel uncompressed, 16 / 24 bit, 48KHz
Dimensions Unknown
MSRP $17,500
Street Price Unknown

I'm a big proponent of technology, because it's the driving force that's made filmmaking more democratic. However, I'm not much of a techno-geek, so I'll try to explain why this camera is so hot in the crudest of layman's terms.

In short, if this camera delivers on it's specs, it will essentially shoot images that are 4 times the quality of the current crop of $3000-$10,000 Mini-DV cameras and twice the quality of the higher-end pro cameras that are currently in it's price range (approx. $20K-$30K w/ lens) such as Sony's XDCam and Panasonic's F900 series. Now dropping $20K-$30K may seem like a lot of dough... okay it is a lot of dough, but it's an incredible value for what this camera is promising to deliver.

Think of it as if someone told you could buy or rent a Ferrari for the price of a Jetta. Yeah, it's kinda like that.

The image sensors on this camera are larger than anything out there. It can be used with 35mm and other professional film lenses. (Which means incredible depth of field.) This camera is capable of shooting in what I believe is being dubbed as "Super HD". What does that actually mean? It means it records a picture that's twice as good as the best HD TV out there. The picture is so good that we don't even have the technology to see how good it is yet! That's a helluva camera. Check out these links below for more precise and geeky explainations:

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

What's Up With the Book?

I just wanted to give everyone a quick update on the debut "Down and Dirty DV: Vol. 1 - Documentaries" book. The project has really taken off and expanded from
my original concept. At the time of this writing my page count is 245 with somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 photo illustrations, line-drawings, and diagrams.

As you probably already know, I am self-publishing this book in true guerilla fashion. My release date was supposed to be this month, but I've decided to hold off until school is back in in September.

There are a couple of reasons for this. #1, I'm just burnt out after a year and half of writing, shooting video and setting up all the business ends of the Down an
d Dirty DV Project and I want to take the summer to slow down a little, let my editor, Darren, finish working his magic on the book and put together a full marketing and launch plan and arrange for some focus groups to help me tweak the contents to the specific needs of today's digital guerrillas.

The other big reason is that a major company has recently expressed some interest in distributing the book on a much wider scale than I'd ever be able to accomplish on my own. So I'm talking to them to see if we can work out the deal numbers to form a win-win situation (see last post). The whole thing will involve lawyers and consultants and lots of fun hours combing through contracts, so I need the extra time to explore wider distribution options.

When I worked on the movie "Paper Chasers", Flavor Flav gave us some great financial advice... He said,

"Try to find people that want to make money WITH you and not people that want to make money OFF of you."

In short- look for the win-win. That's a simple criteria I apply to every potential business deal. (Yes, I re
alize the irony of quoting Flavor Flav on financial advice, but good advice is good advice regardless of the size of the clock around the person's neck who's giving the advice.)

So this summer will be dedicated to getting the book business and marketing plan fully in place, completing the Down and Dirty Documentary-Making DVD, and pumping out some video podcasts, and revamping and expanding the website. Everything is taking a little longer than anticipated because the project keeps evolving and I'm only one man doing this part-time outside of my day gig and family duties but I've got a great team of advisors and allies and fellow guerrillas who are all helping me to make this a truly revolutionary project. I really want to shake some things up in film instruction, but I gotta do it right. Same as with a film. All will be revealed soon enough then you'll understand why it took so long.