Sunday, December 31, 2017

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Thursday, December 14, 2017


Servos. How do they work? Especially RC servos (especially for helicopters.)
The Fanatek Club Sport steering wheel. $200. I'm starting to wonder if the vehicle should be left-hand drive now too.

Friday, November 24, 2017

The 300 Series, v16

If we are actually going in this direction, sphere "cockpit" or "command module," and some sort of other thing at the nose, I gotta figure out how we build this. Um. It won't be easy. I'm thinking some sort of CNC-cut foam on top of a welded or bolted frame. I mean, the actors have to be able to open hatches and crawl in somehow.
If we end up really hating seeing the bicycle wheels we can put the skirts down really low -- just a couple inches off the ground.
Now that I'm looking at this I'm wondering if we want the hatches to actually be down low rather than on top. I have a sequence where a character is riding with her head out the hatch but maybe that gets altered? I don't know.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Cruiser 300 series version 09

Now I'm thinking we want the practical vehicle to be entirely remote-controlled and not have anyone have to actually ride in it.
The top of this is a Soviet moon landing vehicle.

The idea I'm trying for is to have a creepily organic undercarriage which sort of "exposes" itself in the middle section, with a more geometric and block-y top section.
Obviously, I did not model the wheels, the lunar lander, or the woman. Heck, I didn't even model the other pieces, which are just greebles that I bent. Huh. I actually removed all the parts I may have actually modeled.

This is actually the bottom of a Soviet lunar lander.V10
And this is version 11:

Saturday, November 4, 2017

пингвин должен молчать

Alibaba -- cheap bicycle.

Moar bikes.

And more 3-spoke wheels.

Motorized bicycle kits.

Cheapo WalMart conversion kit.

BikeBerry conversion kit.

Polyurethane microcellular foam

Wow. This post looks like a Russian troll-bot took over my blog. Shockingly, it's still just me.

Dragon Girl Preliminary Art

From the great Chance Shirley.
Version 1
We're going punk rock here.
Version 2

Friday, October 27, 2017

Friday, September 1, 2017

Where At I? (Says the Horta.)

Making ADR lists of dialog. Must finish movie before AFM...
The color space of my monitor in normal viewing is very unlike inside Premiere. That very queered pinkish color was totally gone and the shadows were more better inside Premiere. Huh.
It's kind of a huge relief to have the novel done. Now I don't have to deal with it anymore. It's done. It's out there. Nobody's gonna buy it, of course, but it's not weighing on me.
And oh. I guess I owe rent tomorrow. Huh. Funny how that all works.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Earthkiller Novel on Amazon

The novel is here. It's available. Buy many copies.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Three things for August 6

Blend Modes.
I should have read this, like, 20 years ago.

How to encode ProRes files on Windows. The process is a tad fussy to set up but eventually it seems to work.
And further drafts of the Earth Killer (Earthkiller?) book.

Monday, July 31, 2017

And yet more novel artwork

This is the second draft of the art for the cover of the novel Earthkiller. (No relationship to the movie.)

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Hard Drives

Relevant to my interests, the costs of hard drives. The takeaways are that 4TB drives are the cost/gigabyte leader (which, now that I look at my computer, explains why I have all 4TB drives), and the downward price of hard drives is flattening.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

They Will All Die In Space

They will spend all the money on sets, that's for sure.

They Will All Die in Space from Javier Chillon on Vimeo.

Watching this I thought the only thing that would make it more expensive looking would be those long lugubrious dolly moves they had in Alien. Mmm... with a geared head.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Foley Kontakt

It seems like there's a healthy amount of Foley instruments for Kontakt nowadays. Here in the Pandora Machine we tend to use some instruments, some real Foley (making some sounds in front of a microphone), cut effects either from libraries or field recordings, and the ol' trusty -- actual production sound.

The Foley Collection is a fairly big set albeit with a lot of misspellings. It's 600 Euros.

The Edward Suite by Tovusound is $400, but there's a "light" version which is $79.

Big Fish Audio makes their Virtual Foley Artist available for the weird price of $226.24

Alejandro Cabrera has his own Foley instrument for free.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

ADR setup part I

I'm sure I'm re-inventing the wheel here, but I need to make a template for the ADR scripts. We know that on our movie Oblivion, we have four characters who need ADR for every scene they did out-of-doors.
So my first question is whether this is a spreadsheet or a "document." I'm going ahead with spreadsheet even though those inevitably cause formatting issues.  I can't find any real and usable templates on the interwebs (there are a couple, but they didn't do anything for me) so I'm going to make one from scratch.
No, that's not it.
The other thing is that I'm planning on doing the actual ADR in Premiere rather than in Samplitude. Premiere's audio handling is less elegant than Samplitude's though. But we'll see if we can muddle through it.
One thing I'm planning is to have two mics on each actor for ADR. Or at least our lead. Hmm... Anyway, a small-diaphragm condenser in the sort of boom-mic position, and a large-diaphragm mic in, well, the same position (above the head). The reason I'm going for both these apostasies is that
  • I believe that microphones should nominally mic people who talk or sing from above because that placement avoids "p" pops and breath hits and
  • Some of the ADR will actually turn into voiceover and the large-diaphragm would be better suited to VO.
And since I'm gradually going further and further off-topic I think we should discuss the elephant in the room:

That is, why don't use a wireless lav for ADR? Because after all, that's what you'd use in the field if you were recording production dialog.
After many years of cogitating over this (taking time out for meals of course) I have come to an answer: I don't know.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Multichannel audio output in Premiere Pro

This is relevant to my interests.
RedGiant's Denoiser seems to actually work. It can make stuff seem a tad "plastic-y" but that's what you get when you shoot in low-light at 1600 ISO. 

The Art Factory in fabulous Paterson, NJ is simply amazing.

Detonation Films has some dust storms. I'm still trying to get some good sand coming up off of dunes that are far away. Lots of detail. Keyed. Still looking.

I'd like a decent video transmitter for tap. One does need an FCC license for that.
If I'm going to do that I should get an FCC license for wireless microphones
Heck, I may as well get an FAA exemption while I'm at it.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Lifeform Trailer

Oh and here's the trailer for Lifeform

LIFEFORM Feature Film Trailer from Strangewerks Films on Vimeo.


Brian Schiavo's latest feature, Lifeform, is complete. It has Kate Britton and Virginia Logan in it!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

3rd Reshoots

Karin Rosnizek and BJ Burbidge.
 We shot more than 15 pages today. We recorded just over an hour-and-a-half of footage. Today.
The new hotness is the ArtFactory in amazing Paterson, NJ. A hundred bucks a day/person on set. And like what, 100,000 square feet of stages?
Center is Pilar Gonzalez.
Ashlee Mundy with the repo agents.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

ADR in Premiere

There is some limited auto-align functionality in Premiere Pro. This is relevant to my interests as I have a bunch of ADR I have to do for the Oblivion movie we shot way too long ago.

I have three movies in post-production right now. I used to be able to finish movies so much faster. No more.
The back of the jumpsuit for the character "Boots."

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Closed Captions in Premiere

It turns out that creating Closed Captions is not that hard in Premiere. I mean, it's a pain because you have to make them, but it can totally be done.

That's a big ol' shoutout to Brian Schiavo for turning me onto that.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Filmic Blender

Log space in Blender. I guess it lets us do sunlight better.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Pandora Machine Filmmaking Handbook s01e02 near and far boom

The second lesson on making movies the Pandora Machine way.

The Pandora Machine Movie Handbook

I may blog on "Making Movies the Pandora Machine Way".
Here are YouTube best practices. Basically "make it short."
Of course, you already know that. Not that. That.

You like random notes about things on the Internet? Here's one:

One big decision implied by the new scenes is that the world Vicky describes to Barbara, as she's lying paralyzed, is real. There are drones, and Central Command, the resistance, the Terran Defense Force, the AI, and a new kind of android body. The new scenes all fit in the first half of the current edit, so that the pacing and flow of the second half through the ending are not affected.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Pandora Machine Handbook -- Finish your movie!

Here's the first episode of The Pandora Machine Handbook -- Making Movies the Pandora Machine Way. It's on finishing, and why you should finish even if you're frustrated.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

10 Best Structured Movies of All Time

I'm not sure I really agree with this list. But it's a pretty good list. I think I would have put The Road Warrior in there.