The Past Week in Review: for May 10, 2011
The upcoming Augmented Reality Event in San Diego should feature hundreds of people walking around in similar Steampunk mode. Photo credit: Chris Cameron
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 hear some final takes on the 2011 Tribeca film Festival, find out that a farm grows on a production studio in Brooklyn, and get a sense of what’s coming for augmented reality via an in-depth interview with sci-fi visionary Bruce Sterling.
Tribeca Festival Gets a Thorough Going Over
IndieWIRE offered up some of the most consistent, readable coverage of the Tribeca festival. In his article Wrapping Tribeca: Hesitant Reasons To Root For the Festival, IndieWIRE’s Eric Kohn grants that the 10th annual running of the fest generated enough positive results that he feels is it is finally time for a “shift in conversation surrounding its purpose.” Not merely a bystander taking potshots, Kohn had a movie in last year’s festival, and notes that that overall it demonstrated better choices in films while notching some solid distribution deals.
Another IndieWIRE reporter, Daniel Loria, offers a concise wrap-up of a Tribeca Film Festival panel Industry Experts Weigh In on the Digital Future. The talk mostly dealt with new funding models, intellectual property management and changes in distribution channels.
It’s Eric Kohn again, this time with a less than enthusiastic reading of Edward Burns’ feature “Newlyweds,” which closed the festival’s screenings. Describing it as “An ultralight excursion into the urban neuroses of the Woody Allen canon” and “entertainment on autopilot”, Kohn goes on to note that the director’s ability to toss together a conventional assemble narrative for a reputed $9000 “implies that such familiar molds have become entirely discardable.” More here.
Finally, IndieWIRE pulls together links to all of its published reviews, reports, and assorted notes about the fest in a page to be found here.
Rooftop Farms, Sony Media Comes Back, and Digital IMAX
If you’re wondering how environmentally conscious film production can get, you’ll want to read the postings at MOFTB’s site. The Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting has begun a series on the greening of production facilities, essentially those studios with vast areas of rooftop covering stages such as those at Broadway Stages, the subject of the first article. The Eagle Street Rooftop Farm, the result of a collaboration between Broadway Stages and the green roof design and installation firm Goode Green, houses a small community supported agriculture (CSA) program as well as an onsite farm market.
Sony take specs to resume Blu-ray optical disc manufacturing this month, but magnetic tape manufacturing won’t be back in operation until July according to this article in Below the Line.
Abel Cine’s Digital Cinema Specialist Jamie Alac describes his experiences shooting for IMAX in the wilds of Borneo and the deserts of Kenya with a new 3D rig built around Vision Research’s 4K Phantom 65.
The rig, sporting two of the VR cameras, was a prototype IMAX 3D digital camera that kept pace with the traditional 65mm film camera setup used for IMAX production. Alac calls the dual camera rig “the smallest and lightest large format 3D digital camera system in the world.”
Prepping for Final CUT X, New Storytelling, and RED Epic Autopsy
You can download a free PDF of “Preparing for Final Cut Pro X” from the production company Silverado’s website to prepare yourself for the latest version of this nonlinear editing app, which is set to debut in June.
The RADAR site presents the news on trends in digital storytelling, including “the attendant tools, tech, models and community.” This project by the National Film Board of Canada caught my eye. It tells the story of Pine Point, a planned mining community in central Canada, the folks who lived there, and its eventual demise through an interesting mix of interactivity, archival footage, animation, music and recorded interviews.
For those true gear heads among our readers, here’s info on a teardown report by none other than the FCC of the RED Epic camera. A necessary step in order to gain FCC certification, the result was a number of PDF-formatted documents that show the complete details of the exterior and interior of a camera that looks like one of the top digital cinema offerings out there. Backing that statement up, the author notes that two directors alone–Peter Jackson and James Cameron–recently ordered some 80 of the camera systems.
Is AR a Vision of Computing’s Future?
They’re already talking about “Transitioning out of the old-fashioned legacy Internet” at Tish Shute’s website UgoTrade, which is dedicated to her enthusiasm for augmented reality. Shute reports and writes in depth on trends in AR, and—if you’ve ever met her effervescent self in reality–will surely be found everywhere around the upcoming annual Augmented Reality Event in San Diego next week. In the current posting on her site, she interviews science fiction writer Bruce Sterling, who notes that the Internet will increasingly look like a legacy technology, an “old-fashioned, dusty, desk-based place best left to archivists and librarians, while the action is out on the streets,” where AR holds sway.
For more on Sterling’s thoughts about AR’s coming place in our culture—and why the “tablet is a total disruption of how we understand popular computing”–check out the rest of Shute’s posting here.