Tag Archives: video

Spy Tunes : 48 Hours Film

A few weeks ago I flew down to Wellington to rejoin the rest of my team for the 48 Hours Film Competition. We lost a few members this year, but we gained a couple of new members who both turned out to be great additions.

What Went Right
In previous years we have shared directing duties around. This gives everyone a go, but leads to lots of time wasting discussion. This year I directed the whole thing apart from a couple of shots and it seemed to go a lot smoother.

Our editing tools were a lot better this year as well. Last year we edited on an old MacBook and the final render took almost 3 hours. This year Bevan’s up-to-date desktop could render faster than realtime, which let us check our work. On top of that, this year’s film is edited much more aggressively giving it a sense of pace that our previous efforts have lacked.

We had access to two cameras this year, which allowed us to shoot sitcom style, from two angles at the same time. We worked so fast that we managed to get the film in early!

What Went Wrong
Audio is still a problem. Dialogue was recorded by the camera’s built in mic at the time, with no replacement or overdubbing. It could be generously described as “OK”. The songs were recorded using a USB headset with no working gain control, with the microphone placed as far away from the singer’s mouths as possible. Next year I really would like to get ahold of a proper microphone.

Much of the film has a moody blue cast to it. Possibly this was a stylistic choice by the director to give the scenes a cool, film noir tone. Or possibly I screwed up the white balance right from the start and didn’t notice. Who can tell?

There was no free beer at the finish line this year, so our efforts in arriving early were wasted.

You have waited long enough:


(You can also watch it at the 48 Hour Screening Room, along with the other films we competed against)

The reviews have been mostly kind. We didn’t make it out of the heats, but there is always next year…

Capturing Video at the Speed of Light

When I was a child I used to amuse myself by imagining how things would look if light moved at a few meters per second. I thought it would be cool if you could walk into a dark room, turn on the light and watch as the light spread throughout the scene. Wielding a flashlight would be interesting – you could easily make curved beams.

Now these guys have built a camera fast enough to show the same effect:

Of course, they do cheat a bit by only taking a 1 dimensional slice at a time and relying on the fact that they can repeatably fire identical pulses of light to make their images. Still this is exactly what I imagined it would be like.

Now someone needs to build the high wattage laser targeting system capable of taking out houseflies without blinding humans that I invented when I was 9.

Air Swimmers

I have to make a choice sometime soon – do I get an iPhone4 now or do I wait for the (unannounced, possibly mythical) iPhone5?

It turns out that what I really want is one of these:

Not sure I can get work to spring for one though.