Design, Art, Film, Ideas

Plug Ins

I’m not talking about software I’m talking about real things you can plug in. I’m lucky, I have a wife that must love me a whole lot because she gave me an iPad for Christmas. I’ve been putting off getting any kind of tablet because I wanted an SD card slot and USB connection in whatever device I was going to get. Android devices certainly have those features that I’m looking for but they lack the artistic and video editing apps I really want. Not sure what the hold up is but snap to Google because you just lost a sale to Apple.

I’m sure what I’m about to say isn’t news to any iPad user but it might be news to anyone wanting to buy a tablet that’s thinking about an Android device. If you’re on the fence about getting something that will let you import your creative material from outside sources you might want to take another look at the iPad. The speculations of what the features of the iPad 3 will be might influence you but after toying around with the iPad 2 I’m confident that this was a great buy.

$29 and worth every penny!

I put off buying an iPad for those exact reasons of not having a SD Card slot or USB port. But it’s funny all my iPad friends never told me that these little adapters ever existed! I’m guessing they didn’t know either. The Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit lets you connect a USB camera or use an SD card slot. The kit sells for $29 and is worth every penny!

I was able to import video from the SD card from my Zi8. Any camera recording in an h.264 format should work just fine. Even video recorded at 1080 can be edited in iMovie on the iPad. I connected my Canon 7D to the USB connection on my camera. It also seemed to import the RAW images as well. Well I’m not completely sure how to check the RAW but I’m sure I just don’t have the right app yet. The iPad also imported the 24p movie footage from my Canon 7D, which played GREAT!

I was also impressed when I imported the video files into the iPad how quickly I could bring the footage into iMovie and cut some clips together. Okay just so you know I’m NOT going to stop using my Adobe Creative Suite anytime soon. But as I’ve mentioned before in other post any tools that lets you get the job done faster is a good tool to have. This won’t replace Adobe Premiere sorry I’m not a Final Cut user.

iPad + Pocket Camera + iMovie

Okay you can pick whatever camera you want to use and yes you could even use the camera that’s in the iPad. I like it so far it’s nice. I just think you’ll look a little dorky shooting any thing serious with it. Unless you are using it as a controller for your 7D or a monitor of some sort or even a TelePrompter . Plus I really like the creative freedom a pocket camera or or even a DSLR can give you when you are running around gathering footage.

This would be ideal for on the spot news gathering or coverage of a convention of some sort. Like I mentioned in my Big Band Boom post. Just to add to the citizen reporter idea iMovie has an upload feature to CNN iReport. Yes I just signed up for some reason. So with this set up you’re set! After you shoot your ground breaking story head to your nearest Mickey D’s and edit and upload.

While I was showing my new media crew my new toy I spent a few minutes shooting some video, dumping into the iPad and editing it on iMovie. From shooting to upload 10 minutes tops. Well I might have stopped to snack on my doughnut. iMovie interfaced with my Vimeo account easily and made uploading simple. So now I can’t imaging my portable editing studio getting any smaller. Sure I could do this on an iPhone but I’d rather have the option of using another video camera and the much larger screen of the iPad makes less guess work out of trimming those video edits.

Now I think I might just pick up a Bluemic for my voice overs!

Crazy Old Bag

Need some bags to haul your grip tools and film gadgets around on set but would rather spend your money renting lens or a great camera?  Check out Harbor Freight Tools for their assortment of tool bags.  These bags are perfect for your production needs and at more reasonable prices than what you might find at your production supply place.

This bag is 10 bucks! I picked up 2. They have a lot of pockets on the inside and outside for all your tools and stuff.  Maybe I’ll go to Home Depot today to pick up some Spring Clamps to fill up my other bag.  I get my C47’s at Target… some things you just can’t bend on.

If you don’t have an Harbor Freight Tools near you go here to see their selection of bags, maybe you can find one that will work for you.

The Future of ENG and EFP

This is just like “2001 a Space Odyssey”. Not sure if you remember the scene with the reporter taking pictures. But his camera was very small, well guess what the future is finally hear. I love using my Kodak Zi8. It’s actually a nice little production camera.

Stephen Knapp in the photo. Photo taken by Tony Gasbarro

I think all filmmakers, content creators and bloggers should have one in their bag of tricks. Well filmmakers should have 2. Why should a filmmaker have two? I’m sure there’s many times you have extra hands on set helping you out. This is a perfect time to hand them a camera and have them get behind the scenes footage or do a quick interview.

It could be used in your extras, blog or promotional material. The image quality will come closer to the look of the film you are shooting. Plus it won’t look like a completely different format which tend to make extras look like a after thought. IMHO

If you’re a hyperlocal news person or blogger this camera and future cameras like this will be the future ENG/EFP cameras

What makes this camera a great ENG/EFP camera?

  1. HD Video, already off to a great start with full 1920×1080 HD resolution.
  2. The mic input. With this adapter you can plug in any kind of microphone. Like a reporter type mic, shotgun(that’s the one I use), even a Lavalier mic (you could even plug that in to a wireless system). Don’t forget any extension cords you might need depending on what kind of mic you pick up.
  3. Replaceable battery. If you do a lot of shooting you’ll want extra batteries. Get at least one extra but 2 are always a better bet. Here’s a charger for when the camera is in use. Want REALLY long life? Check one of my earlier blog posts.
  4. SD Cards. Need more recording time pop in another card, up to 16 gigs!
  5. Still images. Check out these, at 5 megapixel they are great for any broadcast situation

Macro setting


This one was aided with a wide angle lens, more on that in a later post.

Here’s a tip need to do a V.O.? Set the camera to a lower video resolution and use your external mic to do your V.O. That way you get a make shift audio recorder since you don’t need the video track it will just make it more manageable.

Kodak the only bit of advice I have is make the door easier to use to get the card out and you can drop the USB port. I’d never dangle that thing from my computer unless I was desperate.  Oh and maybe make an audio mode.

True Fans ECHO!

If you’re a filmmaker, artist, musician photographer or content creator of any kind you should read this post by Kevin Kelly. It’s a short version of The Long Tail and puts it into simple easy to understand artist terms. I’m not saying it’s easy. Look at my counter 5. I know one of them is me, just to make sure it works…

But it’s a start, and for me it’s more fun to come up with ideas and get them out there. I should have started this 5 years ago when but I guess I was watching too much TV.

For me posts like this and “The Long Tail” have made me think differently about what I’m trying to get out there and who I’m trying to get it too.

The tools that are out there now can make all this very simple and it’s getting better every day. There is a little bit of a ramp up but the waves are starting to settle for me. I’ll be posting my work, and projects I’m working on and my silly observations. Soon I’ll post my list of the basics. Like web host, web OS, various online accounts that are a must or for what I’m doing they are a must. But for now READUP! Oh yeah and create something?

Send me a link to something you made! I want to see and talk about it!

The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More

A Rememberance

I never thought anyone else would see this film after I finished it in college in one of my first real film classes.  But now with YouTube and everything else I thought what the heck I’ll put it out there.

I submitted it to On Super8 and they accepted it for their podcast!  Check it out if you haven’t seen it.  A vintage Sean and Tammy are in it.  It was shot in fall of 1990?  Tammy’s Grandfather played his Lowrey Organ for me for the music.  Believe it or not I shot the film.  The part where the hearts are animated. I had a foot release trigger clicking off the frames.

If you are into Super8 film and yes they do still make Super8 film.  On Super8 is a must bookmark.  It will make you want to break out your camera and start shooting film again.

Amazon! No Bob Seger?

Come on Amazon!  No Bob Seger ready for downloading?  I realize I’m over the hill but I don’t want to buy another CD.   There’s no reason it shouldn’t be there.

Maybe Bob Seger isn’t ready to be rediscovered by a new generation, or he doesn’t want the money, or they are still fighting over some rights…

Here’s and idea.  While you are fighting about who gets what, let all the money go into a trust or Amazon gift certificates.  Then maybe when you are done you’ll wonder why you were fighting while you’re walking to the bank.

Well, now I got to go find some old friends that might have some Bob Seger CD’s so I can rip them…

Don’t worry I’ll wait a little longer it’s bound to show up sometime.

Now why can’t the music industry can’t figure why people pirate?