Category: Blogger Archive

These posts were made before the blog switched to WordPress, therefore links and images may be faulty.

The Lovely Bones Review

A soft blowing wind can sometimes resemble the sound of a distant voice, trapped somewhere.  Is this purely happenstance, or is there a possibility that there really is a person trapped in the “in between”?  This is one of the many questions asked in Director Peter Jackson’s newest release “The Lovely Bones” based on Alice Sebold’s 2002 novel.  
The plot’s takes place in the early to mid seventies and follows a naïve fourteen-year-old girl by the name of Susie Salmon.  Susie’s naiveness gets the better of her however when she falls into a trap set by the neighborhood creep.  This eventually leads to her death, and thus the real plot begins, as Susie gets trapped in the “in between”.  Now what is the “in between” you may ask?  Well it is a realm between Heaven and Earth, comprised of flashes to earth events and dream-like scenery.  She could easily go to Heaven, but she isn’t ready to leave Earth yet, so through a series of signals she sends to friends and family on Earth, she attempts to help them solve her murder.
Overall I would give this movie 4 out of 5 stars.  The scenery was beautiful and the overall plot adaptation was wonderful.  While some more character development would have been good, and some of the dark beauty of the novel was taken out, it was still a great movie, and worth watching.

Encode Your Audio! With Audio Encoding Formats! Obviously.

Hello, ladies and gentlemen (and I use both terms loosely), it’s time for another issue of “Interesting Internet Things That Help You Create Videos And Whatnot”! Yes, that is the name of this. Anyway. You all undoubtedly use different forms of audio files to enhance your movies. Sound effects, music and whatnot. If you don’t, you should. If you do, it would be wise to know the different types of audio encoding, so you can pick the right file for the job.

.WAV (.AIFF for Mac): This is raw, uncompressed, audio purity. There is absolutely no difference between hearing this and hearing real life (if you have decent speakers). It’s absolutely beautiful. However, there is a drawback to this- each minute of .WAV or .AIFF will cost you about eleven megabytes of space. This is an insane amount of space, and is obviously one of the drawbacks to .WAV and .AIFF. Go for this option if you don’t have a limit on how much disk space you can take up.

.MP3: This format is one of the most, if not the most, prolific form of audio encoding available. It is the standard for Internet files, seeing as how space is money on the Internet, and each .MP3 file is about 1/10th of the size of an uncompressed audio file. It’s supported by most audio programs, and you can select what rate you want the file to encode at, for a bigger, higher quality file; or a smaller, lower quality one. This is what you will most likely be using.

Ogg Vorbis: An open-source media encoding format, it seems to have some distinct advantages over .MP3. A 64kbs .OGG file will sound comparable to a 128kbs .MP3 file. However, because .MP3 caught on a lot sooner than .OGG, people are reluctant to switch, so it’s doubtful that .MP3 will be dethroned by this superior form of audio and video compression.

.AAC: This audio file was in relative obscurity until Apple came along. iTunes uses .AAC for most of its audio files, which means that the people who use iTunes (many) use .AAC. It supports more audio channels than .MP3, and has become a popular way to upload content to video sharing sites (like You-Know-What-Tube. Don’t even get me started on this, if you want to know why You-Know-What-Tube is evil, ask me in person. Anyway.)

.WMA: This is the audio encoding format for Windows Media. One would think that something that is as exclusive as that would be mostly unused, but .WMA files are surprisingly able to be read by many different programs. Xbox uses it, many computer video games use it, and some other unrelated programs use it for compression. The compression rate is amazing, but at lower bitrates, it begins to fall off in quality considerably.

FLAC: Free Lossless Audio Codec. It is compared to a .zip file for audio. It typically reduces file size by 30% to 50%, and it plays back like a .WAV file. It is uncompressed as the file plays, which is interesting. It is the up-and-coming audio file format, so invest in FLAC stock.

So yeah. A bunch of audio files for you to keep in mind. Use the right one for the job, and you’ll make a great movie. Choose the wrong one, and you’ll catch a venereal disease. Nah, just kidding. That’ll happen no matter what you do.

Music Videos

Music videos are a great way to highlight any popular song. They’re interesting, usually very visually appealing, and sometimes may even tell a story. 

Beginning a music video is actually very simple, but first you must figure out your Aesthetic style and logistics. Aesthetic style is how you will present your video and the artistic manners behind it. The logistics include plans for how your video will be made, such as where and when to film. Begin to brainstorm and find out how you will make and present your video. Do that and you’ll be ready to begin filming. 
The following ways tell how you can show your video. (1) You can always show the band throughout the video. Breaking their on-screen time up is usually a better approach than to just show them the entire video. (2) It’s always cool to see a video with a story behind it. Either about the band or artist itself or about characters relating to the song. Think of something creative and put it into your video. Relate characters to something or a part of the song. 
Music videos are like moving pieces of art. they can be just about anything. But make sure to remember when making your video that you don’t go over budget and still stick to other filming techniques such as lighting and camera positions. Do that and I’m sure you can make a great music video. 
Here’s the full article on

Movie Review: Saw

The movie, Saw, is a huge hit for anyone who likes suspense and general crazy. The movie starts off in this bathroom where two people are stuck, unknown of how and why they got their. They both don’t know each other, and eventually find a connection between the two of them. The movie then continues on this huge investigation that has a lot of twists and turns. Keeping the watcher on the end of their sits, and leaving the audience with questions. This movie series reminds me a lot like the television show, Lost. Leaving the audience in this state of suspense and thoughts going through their heads that just make you pay attention for the whole movie. For me, I have trouble watching a movie for the full length, without dozing off once or twice. But, for Saw, I was watching and interested from start to finish. All together, the Saw series is an excellent movie to watch if you don’t mind the nasty scenes and insane plot line. For someone who is use to watching human bunnies skipping through the flower field, then this movie is not for you. There will be some parts where you have to keep a strong stomach. Mainly because the movie is extremely disgusting.

-Awesome Plot
-Crazy twists and turns
-Graphically awesome but also disgusting
-Keeps you on the edge of your seat
4.5 out of 5

Eagle Eye

Imagine you woke up one day, your twin brother has been murdered and your phone rings. Mysteriously money has ended up in your bank account and weapons that you have never even thought about are being sent to you. The voice on the phone tells you that you must do what he/she says, due to the police being on their way. Actually this is what happened to Jerry Shaw, in Eagle Eye, Directed by D.J. Caruso.
Following an Idea of equal proportions to “Sniper”, Jerry must do what he is told in order to live, following directions and meeting up with a single mom who is also having these phone calls, to to the threat on her son’s life. Rachel Holloman.
Together in exciting and bold chase and action scenes, they make their way racing through city streets, hopping on a plane and eventually making their way to the pentagon. To make matters worse, the FBI has a tail on them no matter what happens and they must reach their goal to save themselves and their loved ones from the chaos released in ARIIA. The plan executed was that code named Operation Guillotine.
In conclusion, the move was great and full of action. With suspense and action going hand in hand well. I believe that the conclusion was nice and fluttery, however not my cup of tea. If you enjoyed “Sniper” you will LOVE this movie. 3.5/5 stars from me!

Kool Aid vs Capri Sun fight to the death

Last night after I returned home from track practice. I thought i would “do” some homework and watch one of my favorite movies, Transformers.
The movie Transformers is about Auto Bots and Decepticons coming to earth in search of the “all spark” which is a cube that holds a ridiculous amount of power and energy. Sam Wikwiki is a human that went to buy his first car and it turned out being one of the Auto Bots. Sam’s great grandfather discovered Megatron in the Artic Circle. One thing lead to another and now Sam ends up holding the key to keep man kind alive. I personally suggest this movie to anyone who is a fan of crazy special effects or someone who just might want to see an amazing action movie.

MISSION: CABARET 2010 (again…)

Anna and I have been working really hard on the Cabaret DVD and have been edited like crazy on top of homework, tests, practices, rehearsals and other commitments that we have to deal with. Due to technological issues, almost half of all the work we put into the project was erased and we had to re-edit all of the video… so we are behind. We caught up to where we were before the mishap, and are now working through Act Two. 

Shaw gave me a good idea of having a notepad/book near George Lucas to communicate ideas to each other about what is done, what needs to be completed, and ideas on future editing. This will hopefully help us edit the correct file, because there are multiple files of Cabaret 2010, and both Spencer and I have tried to delete them with no avail. I’ll make sure Anna knows which is the correct file so we can move forward, rapidly. I haven’t seen Anna much this week due to sickness, but will talk to her about this the first chance I get. 


Watching a war movie was not what I thought was it going to be, a movie that was very sad in the end and slightly depressing. Within the first few minutes of watching Jarhead I was smiling or laughing.

The movie is a story of a boy, turned man named Anthony, nicknamed Tony who goes into the marines after trying to get into college failed him. It tells about how he becomes a marine and goes through training and becomes a marine sniper. It tells of how war gets announced and how he goes to war, but is stationed in the desert. All through the movie he has a girlfriend, and it shows how he is worried about his girlfriend cheating on him. The movie has a lot of humour, and shows how some guys really act with the immaturity that they show.

I thought the movie was good at the funny parts, but when the movie started to turn serious in some parts the seriousness wasn’t taken as serious as it could have been. I don’t feel like the tone was very good. The movie in general was good, and amusing, but when it tried being a bit serious, the seriousness wasn’t as genuine as it could have been. The ending didn’t make me feel a great amount of emotion to the characters, I had some friends of mine say the ending was sad, but to me it wasn’t as sad as it could have been. I just thought… he could have had worse happen? Overall in grace points* I would them 7 cookies.

(Note: Movie poster is link to IMDB & other picture is to the website)

* Grace points are how many cookies I would give the director/people in the film. If I liked the movie a lot, they get a lot of cookies, but if I don’t like it, then they might very little cookies, or I might even steal cookies from them (as in negative points).


This week I learned a lesson about communication. If you are working on a project with someone, it is a good idea to talk directly to them about it instead of listening to Spencer. This week, Evan told me that we had lost the cabaret file, and would have to start from scratch. Spencer showed me the file they had started, and I worked on it diligently until I had finished act one and was quite proud of myself. I announced this fact to Evan, and he told me that he had also finished act one and was starting act two. On a different file. So now we have two lovely cabaret act ones and no act two. If we had communicated, we would be done cabaret by now. Communication, communication, communication.

Also planning to film Jason’s karate video sometime in the near future!
And Evan and I have to finish our good life music video by May 1st.

Slow Motion

Although Joey Brennan and I are planning on making a stop motion film, with the aid of Patrick Flynn. I still believed that this would make a good article to read. In saying this How To Make a Slow Motion Video Clip, by Mark Montgomery. The major sections of this article were the basics of editing to create low motion and the use of playback and frame rates. Within frame rates is a simple concept of time, if you decide you would like an 80% speed reduction, then one would simply play back a thirty FPS clip in a twenty-four FPS time section. By doing this you do not drop frames, the extra six frames are simply broken down and added to close clips making each of the 24 FPS last 1 and 1/4 their normal time. Also the other option is to create a 40% reduction by recording in sixty FPS and playing it back in the same time as twenty-four FPS. Although this may seem a little hazy to some, there is an alternative route, this being… software. Software comes to the rescue, as always, to create a fail-safe way of creating slow motion without taking extra frames with the camera and slowing them down manually. With specialty programs, or even just Final Cut Pro, on can reduce the speed at which a section is presented by percentages, even reaching the ability to do 1% of normal speed, which may be used in a long transition piece where a constant decrease in frame speed is shown. All in all, this was a very interesting piece and it was neat to learn some of the history behind slow-mo and other options to receiving desired affects. Although I may not use this in my next film as it is a stop motion, I hope to use my new found knowledge to get out there and make better videos!