Kevin Spacey urges TV channels to give control to viewers

While it’s hard to disagree with anything Kevin Spacey says in any situation, I have to say, he’s just right. Makes me think differently about the death of content being tied to or defined by a delivery medium – The technical differences and contexts are being ignored by most audiences, happy to watch a show or movie on their laptop or tablet instead of the cinema or their television. Specialist delivery mediums such as theatres might dwindle, but the moving image is more alive than ever, in an age where content isn’t defined by the size or location of the screen, and that makes me feel a whole lot better about it.

Upstream Color

Seeing Upstream Color, written and directed by and co-starring Shane Carruth, at the Melbourne International Film Festival was a welcomingly refreshing experience. It’s a fantastic follow-up to Carruth’s Primer, which I consider more incomprehensible than Upstream Color, despite the realistic approach.  As is the case with Primer, Upstream Color is quite challenging, and the abstract connections in the film make it even more so. Amy Seimetz and Shane Carruth pull of great performances as the lost and confused Kris and Jeff, and Carruth’s score is immersive and hypnotic – in fact the whole film has that magnetic quality to it.

Of course, as with Primer, multiple watchings and turning your brain cells to overdrive are probably necessary to fully understand the dream-like strangeness of it all – but then, that’s sort of the point. And if you need answers now, they are already waiting:

FAQ: Upstream Color – by Forrest Wickman

How Shane Carruth’s Upstream Color Explains Your Dysfunctional Relationships by Charlie Jane Anders.

‘Home Invasion’ – an anti-ad for the Adblock Plus Creative Challenge

This is the anti-ad I produced with Simon Toppin for Adblock’s anti-advertisememt competition. Irony aside, it was a lot of fun to put together even if we only had a few hours to shoot it. There are only a few hours left to vote, which you can do here.

You can view all the entries on the voting page (at least for the moment).

‘Confessions’ – Film-TV 1

Starring Jeremy Kewley and James Farrier
Also featuring Anthony Lavars

Written and Produced by Alexandra Roach
Directed by Amy Bryans
Cinematography by Simon Gilberg
Sound by Ronja Moss

Our Film-TV 1 film is finally complete (some extra cutting would be great but with what appears to be a corrupted sequence in final cut, I’m in no rush to get in and attempt to salvage and rebuild the film just yet). Seeing it on the big screen along with the other films was great, offering the opportunity to gauge the audience’s response.

It was interesting project to work on, being so seemingly simple, but of course, there was certainly a lot of streamlining and careful planning involved in shooting something in one day. Having one location we could control made the shoot much easier.

‘Genesis’ – a 5D RAW film

This is a beautifully shot film by James Miller, highlighting Magic Lantern‘s latest, experimental feature for Canon DSLRs; RAW video recording in-camera. There are plenty of other examples of RAW DSLR videos here. The images are stunning, and resolve many of the issues DSLRs are plagued with, namely compression. Not only can these clips be graded aggressively, they are also sharper, and retain so much more colour information and fine detail. Miller is offering the original RAW Carousel clip for download here, allowing anyone to see the flexibility of these images.

GRIZZLY BEAR – YET AGAIN

Accidentally stumbling across interesting directors is always exciting. Emily Kai Bock’s videos are so enthralling, but I’m struggling to work out why. Her clip for ‘Oblivion’ by Grimes is also fantastic fun, both with brilliant film cinematography by Evan Prosofsky.

5D RAW video?

The Magic Lantern team have managed to create RAW video files on the 5D Mark II and III. It’s in the early stages and is currently more or less unusable for video due to the buffer rate of the camera and card speeds. There’s a good overview of the current state of the RAW experiments over on EOSHD.

At the same time, Blackmagic’s recently announced pocket cinema camera is set to ship in July with RAW  and ProRes recording, priced at USD $995, footage of which can be seen here. This is all rather astonishing news, seeing as RAW didn’t seem to be something the prosumer, let alone the consumer market, would see for a long time.