The Past Week in Review: for
We suspect that the viewing of “3D Sex and Zen” doesn’t rely on the old anaglyph technique, but you get the idea.
We search for the more interesting and provocative news and views of the past week…just so you don’t have to.
This week we find out what happened at Techcrunch Disrupt, wonder if heavy breathing will save 3D, and say goodbye to a good friend of the NYC production community.
Techcrunch on the West Side
Last week’s Techcrunch Disrupt helped build the case for NYC’s place as a friendly place for Internet start-ups. Held at Pier 94, the conference, said to be five times the size of last year’s running, offered a surfeit of interesting start-ups in its cavernous surrounds. San Francisco-based Getaround won the top $50,000 prize for its service that allows neighbors to rent their cars that might be sitting around unused for most of the time.
We’ll be covering a number of the more interesting products in a video that we’ll post on our website later this week.
Another good way to catch up on some of the many cool apps making their debut at the show: check out this overview of Day 2 of the event offered up on Zdnet.
Super 8, One Mo’ Time
This one seems to come around on a regular basis: the Super 8 film revival. Various writers and websites re-discover the personal-sized chemical /mechanical wonders of the medium that now retains a stronghold at only a few venues, including Burbank-based Pro 8mm.
Reporter Liz Shannon Miller at least hedges her bets by entitling her article Is the Super 8 Film Format Making a Comeback?
Miller conflates the hype around J.J. Abrams’ upcoming feature Super 8 with resurgence in interest in the format, though in reality the media’s “rediscovery” is old news. It’s just something that returns every so often after Kodak’s 1965 introduction of the format. Creatives will simply use any tool at their disposal.
Today, one of the newer tools turns out to be a Super 8 app for the iPhone that Paramount is offering as part of the movie’s promotion. You can download it for a limited time for free from the iTunes store by clicking here.
So even if you find it hard to stifle groans when you read breathless accounts of the app as providing “seven photo-realistic lenses sporting such effects as infrared, chromatic and x-ray”, Super 8 may indeed have a comeback, if only as this month’s iPhone app.
AR Weaves the World Together
ARE 2011–or Augmented Reality Event 2011 to those not up on the lingo or the event–was recently held in San Diego. One of the top presentations, according to various bloggers reporting on the convention, was one delivered by Microsoft’s Blaise Aguera y Arcas. Arcas also developed Photosynth, a very slick way to create 3D panoramas or “synths”. (You can visit the site here.)
Here’s an article that leads to a video of Arcas’ talk at ARE 2011 on his Read Write World project, which is an attempt to “index, unify, and connect of the world’s geo-linked media.”
The iPad Changes the PC
Interested in the development of personal computer technology after the game changing Apple iPad hit the scene, mentally check out this CNET article on How the iPad changes PC design.
The article quotes an Intel executive stating that its chance to create a non-Apple alternative is being a “once in a decade kind of change” into a new world of always-on, always-connected computing.
Asian Filmmakers Struggle, Creatives Bond with City Council
In the article Despite Big Apple Prize, Asians Americans Struggle In Film Industry, reporter Cheryl Wills on NY1 slings together the difficulty of Asian-American film makers gaining a place at the table with the lack of response to a prize-winning film. The fact is, though, that it’s never been the case that simply winning a prize from the festival would do very much in the long run for any filmmakers career. In any case, this is still an issue worth considering.
The Museum of the Moving Image (MMI) in Astoria recently held panels on the importance of the arts and the role they will probably, hopefully play in New York City’s future.
Council member Jimmy Van Bramer hosted the event, Culture Vision NYC. Notable types including actress Sigourney Weaver and film producer Warrington Hudlin joined Bramer, chair of the city council’s Cultural Affairs Committee. There are only a few nuggets to glean from this Queens Gazette article, but the gist of it might be that creatives will find a real benefit in bonding with legislators well in front of any future city and state budget machinations.
Leo Blooms in NYC
Not really knowing all that much about the intricacies of the advertising industry in New York, I always thought that a famed agency like Leo Burnett would have had a long history, and a big office, on Madison Avenue.
However this Ad Age article makes it clear that this hasn’t been the case. While Leo Burnett, a division of Publicis Groupe, did have some folks working on various accounts, this new iteration is setting up shop from the ground up in order to be a major player.
3D’s Saving App?
Turns out that one of the recognized forces that pushed the acceptance of technology including VHS and the Internet is leading its force-of-nature to 3D, which some Cassandra’s are already claiming is in decline.
Yes, it’s pornography.
As Dave Itzkoff reports in his Time’s Artsbeat blog, the erotic Hong Kong period drama “3D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy” is headed this way. Exactly what is headed this way isn’t totally clear, as Itzkoff moves back and forth between the term “pornography” and “erotic” in his article, which makes it unclear if we’re talking about hardcore or not. Seems to us that there is a viable difference here.
According to an article in the LA Times, organized tour groups from Mainland China have swarmed over the border into Hong Kong. Censorship rules prohibit exhibition of the film on the Mainland. North American distribution comes via rights acquisition by Chinese-New Zealand company China Lion Film Distribution, according to Reuters.
Consumers Take the Video Controls
Ready or not you professional video creators out there, start-ups in the social media space are targeting consumer-controlled video as the next big thing.
VYou is a good example. This developer of a “conversational video platform” has just closed on a new round of development funding from companies that includes New York’s own Broadway Video Ventures.
VYou launched last November. Speaking for RRE Ventures, one of the investors, Adam Ludwin said, “Even as the web has become social and participatory, few people create original video content.” Ludwin credits the start-up as making it “incredibly easy to engage an audience with video, the most compelling medium on the web.” More here.
A Good Man Gone
Video engineer extraordinaire Steve Rutt, one of those generous souls who gave much to the NYC production community, passed away the other week. If you didn’t know about him, you might be interested in reading about the work this pioneering engineer and facility owner did in this New York Times obit.
Rutt’s 70s era invention of a video synthesizer–co-developed with Bill Etra—allowed creative artists to directly manipulate video signals without having the benefit of a studio full of gear at their disposal. Not a big deal in the digital era of course, but younger generations don’t realize the complexities of wrangling analog video, something Rutt solved after much hard work.
Those who knew him might like to read some of these reminiscences on Mark Schubin’s website.
Plans are in the works for an upcoming memorial service. We’ll mention that here when we get more information.