Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Some blogging weirdness this week

If you're used to accessing this blog via the xml feed, there have been a couple of problems this week with the rss machinery here at wefcpug.blogpot

It's all to do with the photos in the 'Gurney Slade' trail, which I imported in such a way that the gnomes inside blogspot didn't resize them (for the feed at least).

I think it's mended now, but I've had to suspend the feedburner alternative feed for a while, the size of the rss feed (which includes the embedded images) is clogging up my reader at least.

Should be OK with the standard wefcpug.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default address though.

Some catching up

Posting yesterday's series of 'following in the footsteps' turned out to be an exercise in decrypting error messages (from blogspot) which weren't messages as such, just lack of response.   In the end, I concluded that this blog doesn't like posts with too many photos in them (no matter how small) - so I may be making changes!

In other news:  Nick Wilcox-Brown pointed me towards the fcp.co blog, who in turn are all excited about their own detective work, an exclusive look at collaborative working that Apple has taken patents on.   (Hasn't Peter W had enough to do with the Tour de France?).

Like all patents, I guess, the real details are left to the imagination.  And like much recent hype over 'cloud' working, there's a supposition of bandwidth availability that's over-optimistic for many.   (Not so much here at Bright Filament, though, where we've had the joy of fibre-enabled 76Mbps for the last month - at a monthly cost less than the 128kbps ISDN line of 15 years ago.  Sometimes progress really does happen).

I've been exploring collaboration too - inspired by the guys at MacBreak Studio, specifically Steve Martin (not the comic, the FCP master trainer) who have come up with a work-round for sharing FCP X project files.   Two caveats:  FCP X is very sensitive in its project/events file system area, and you monkey around there at your peril;  and the workflow relies on having two identical sets of event files at each site.   That's easy to do at the beginning, but how does this method cope with extra shoots, and the inevitable complexities that projects accrue as they're worked on.   See the video here.   You can also find the MacBreak Studio videos on their dedicated YouTube channel.    If I may be so bold though - Steve's explanation of this cunning plan is a little confusing because of the way he's had to set up the studio demo.   So at one point he's effectively using the same laptop as remote and as local edit station - he's not wrong, but you have to pay attention!

And of course, there's Lightworks, whose byline is 'the smart way to edit together'.   Still at Windows only, but with a small update this month to version 11.0.1 and with a newly designed quick-start guide to whet your appetites.    It's a well designed, and mercifully brief, highly visual guide to the first steps on the road.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Following the Trail 4

I'm still following the Gurney Slade film unit, 52 years later, through the wonder of google streetview

 Now for a more difficult piece of detective work.   In one scene, there's a pub in the background which looked familiar.  On other frames of the movie, it's just about possible to make out the name 'The Blenheim'.  After a bit of google magic, it emerges that the pub is now called the Cafe Med, it's turned into a wine bar, but here it still is

If you click on the link, you'll see 'The Blenheim' still in large letters at the top.  And, surprise surprise, it's at the corner of Loudoun Rd.  Just a mile from the previous location!

One other result to share.   I wondered where the studios (remember the 'ATV Lighting Dept') were.  According to the excellent tvstudiohistory.co.uk website, it must have been either the old Wood Green Empire, or the Hackney Empire.   My money is on Wood Green, thanks to the story told on the page  about tracking the camera.   One quibble:  the tale quoted names the camera (an Arri 16BL) as one of the first blimped (silenced - ish) cameras used in TV.   But, and I hate to spoil a good story, the picture quality seemed unlikely to have been 16mm original - and my quick research backs up my hunch that the 16BL didn't come along until the mid 1960's.   As with all good research papers, this investigation concludes that more research is necessary!

Not bad for an hour's work from the office chair, though?

The DVD is highly recommended, available online from the usual suspects.   There are some hidden gems in the extras too, including a facsimile of the original script, and the music score.