Do yourself a favor and watch this video right now. It’s filled to the brim with absolutely breathtaking shots — so many that I can’t believe they were taken all by the same team. The Planet Earth folks need to hire this guy RIGHT away. Honestly I’m speechless. This is an amazing piece of film. An amazing piece of art. Congratulations to Mickey Smith and Allan Wilson for making such a brilliant piece. And all for Relentless Energy — who knew.
I should also mention that I love this video because I LOVE the ocean. I am terrified by the sea, but I love it. Of course I like the way it looks, but I also am constantly taken by its incomprehensible size and power. I am not a surfer (you should have seen me try in New Zealand), but I have always felt the same connection to the sea that I often hear the surfer describe. I like to sit in it, lay there, do nothing. My favorite thing in the world is getting tossed, turned and pummeled by waves — salt water filling my head every which way — then rolling up on shore and lying in the sun where the sea meets the sand.
Before jumping into this process post I want to define my terms: This project revolves around the concept of ‘FOMO’, which if you haven’t come across, stands for “Fear of Missing Out”. Fomo is a very real and worrysome condition that can affect anyone at anytime. It describes that feeling of jealousy and helplessness when you miss out on something great. Typically the condition becomes more prevalent during the weekends, summer, and nighttime. For example, “When I was looking at John’s pictures from the submarine party last night, I had a really bad case of fomo.” If you are stuck at work right now and your friends just went skydiving, you have fomo.
Nofomo by contrast refers to the state of being in which you have cured your fomo. You do not have a fear of missing out because you are always the one doing something awesome. You actually cause fomo, rather than experience it yourself. If you are living your life to the fullest and saying yes to everything, you have probably achieved such a state.
This is a project about NOFOMO. (And while it may not seem like it, yes this was for school.)
If you’re in need of some editorial or layout design inspiration, head over to the Behance site for POGO. I’ve just been cruising the archives of all issues of the online magazine SOKO. There is a ton of great typography and photography throughout each issue and I’m sure you’ll find something you like. Content-wise, it’s mostly fashion we’re talking, but it’s really just a playground for POGO to go crazy and design what they like. I also included their video Voyeur, because the color and post-processing is so good it made me forget I have to go to work tomorrow.
You do not want to know how long I spent trying to rig a vertical stop motion set up this week. Duct tape was flying around everywhere, lights were falling and shattering from above, and I had to take at least one ‘cool down before I break something’ walk. Surprisingly, Google was unhelpful in providing useful solutions — though this may have had something to do with a confusion in terms (is it aerial stop motion? vertical? 90 degrees?) I never quite know what to classify it as.
Anyway, I’ve written this brief process post about how I set up everything. It worked great for me, but I do not intend this to be a “this is HOW you do it” type article. Classify this as a go-to “bootleg” option if you don’t have access to one of those crazy $10,000 rigs that lets you fly above your subject etc. If you are looking for a relatively easy and inexpensive way to complete this type of project, this is one way to do it. I’ll walk through the supplies and exactly what I did that worked best for me. At the end of the day, it’s actually pretty darn easy — but it’s always nice to get a peak at a successful process just in case you’re spinning your wheels. There probably is a better way to do this, but I couldn’t find one. (And do excuse the slightly blurry photograph above…unfortunately the camera that has the external flash capability was the one being photographed…)
I didn’t realize the other day, when I mentioned Spike Jonze’s “I’m Here”, that the actual film had already been released. The trailer was exciting enough for me I guess. Now you can view the entire 30min film on the website. They limit the amount of viewers per day, so make sure to take a look when you can. I haven’t seen it fill up recently, but you never know. Props for a smooth web interface too — feels like a video game without being frustratingly slow or clumsy like most Flash pages.
The film itself is great; the opening sequence is especially well done. The music works really well with the visuals throughout, and of course the whole thing stars robots. They are remarkably expressive, what for being robots and all. I really like the combination of animation and lo-fi costumes; it works really well for this, just like WTWTA. The story is a nice one, a little sad/mopey, but I enjoyed it overall. I found myself more attracted to the uniqueness of the whole project rather than any specific aspect of the plot.
My favorite part is when the bearded guy in the car yells “You’re a ROBOT!!” into the main characters head. Awesome. Check it out here.
I’ve been delving into the depths of the internet over the past few weeks; reading about everything from ultra high speed video camera comparisons to the best post production workflow for the 5DMKII to FCP. One of the best resources I’ve found is Prolost, the site of filmmaker Stu Maschwitz. The blog is generally about filmmaking, with a heavy lean on post production techniques, typically as it relates to DSLR equipment.
You may have already heard of it, but as was true for The Strobist a year ago, I had not and am very glad to have discovered such an informative resource. I came to Prolost by way of an article on color correction called Memory Colors. It’s not a ‘how to’ by any means, but puts forth some interesting information on the theory behind color correction and manipulation.
With the release of the new (now fixed) firmware for the MKII, it’s been hard to escape the buzz. Finally the MKII can shoot 24p! (In case you don’t see why this is awesome.) Of course now I am lamenting the fact that it can’t do 60fps (all of a sudden I had the urge to get some really smooth slow motion). Maybe next time.
Every time I’m at Faye’s Video (btw they’re not just about VHS tapes and employee film ratings, they make awesome espresso too) I notice the cover for Jaques Tati’s Trafic. I’ve never seen the film but the cover art is striking to say the least. I finally decided to look it up to get more info and came across this post at Balduin about the various versions of the poster for international release. While the cover is great, I was really blown away by the titles (second image), that’s got to be my favorite part. Now I’ll have to rent the DVD just so I can screenshot it and print it out.
I saw Avatar last night (in full 3D IMAX glory) and really enjoyed it. It reminded me of how I used to feel when I would play video games as a kid — not so much because of the graphics or anything like that, more because of how in it I felt. I remember when I used to play Zelda for example, my imagination would just take over and for those couple hours I lived in that universe (I was a nerdy kid). Avatar is like this; it is very easy to forget you are watching a film and think you are actually physically along for the ride, as there are no visual limitations to give you any indication otherwise. There were moments when you could hear the whole theater let out audible gasps as something incredible came on the screen. The first time you see one of the giant mining machines is pretty amazing. Of course the plot follows an extremely predictable trajectory, but seriously who cares. When things look this cool I am willing to make concessions on freshness of plot.
I saw the film with a few friends, one of whom is an interaction designer. He was mesmerized by all the crazy user interfaces the characters were manipulating. The spherical and detachable computer screens were a favorite. Meanwhile I couldn’t get over the choice of typeface for the subtitles; Papyrus (or some variant, essentially the same thing). The rest of my friends thought I was a huge nerd when the first thing I said out of the theater was “What was with that subtitle font!?” It is crazy to think (in my opinion) that $280 million went into this movie and they chose the one font that is at the end of most typography jokes (save maybe for Comic Sans). I know it probably fit better than a super clean sans serif (and I can’t imagine there weren’t hours of discussion over this point), but seriously, Papyrus?
Further: Kottke describes another interesting issue, regarding the realism of the Na’vi’s technological development. I don’t necessarily agree with his point (I think they were as advanced as they wanted/needed to be given the physical and spiritual qualities of their world), but he makes an intriguing argument.