Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A kind of re-use intended to stop abuse

Re-use of footage re-contextualized by heavy video post-production manipulation to make this three videos from Amnesty International.

"Amnesty International is marking the 60th anniversary of the universal Declaration of Human Rights with a new online film showing the power of individuals to protect the human rights of people all over the world. Work on the film required the equivalent of 50 days of post production, achieved by a collaboration by Rushes, Framestore and Smoke & Mirrors in London and New York."

Song in the video: R.E.M. - Until The Day Is Done

Previous examples:

I like a lot this videos, but this kind of imagery manipulation only possible because of the advance on digital video post on recent years sure raise many ethical questions. The absence of abundance on relevant precedents create a gap waiting to be filled with questionable uses for this plastic surgery of history, news and propaganda. Maybe medical ethics committees advices on cosmetic plastic surgery are the best place to start...
Link: Protect the Human / Amnesty International / Is Humor Immoral? / Anatomy of Movement

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Total Recut contest: The winner is...

The Total Recut contest "What is Remix Culture?" has ended. My favorite entry got the silver medal...

By Jata Haan

Amazing creative re-use. It jumps out of the box.

The First Place prize went to DJ Le Clown with
Xmas in New York City. You can watch the winners here.

Spoted at: CAF

Are computers ruling or ruining your life?

Absurd remix by: Alex Ezorsky-lie

According to this video, chances are, you have been already "screened". At least you should choose what goes on to the projector...

Scream if you find a way into having control over what is screened.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Wanna work on the movies?

Portuguese subtitles available.

This is a fan trailer edit I made with footage from the original short film "Vicious Circle".

Go watch the original, and "pay" some respect to the talent that made this funny spoof at industrial films "behind the scenes" long time ago.

Original credits:
Producer: Calvin Company
Source: Prelinger Archives / Internet Archive
License: Public Domain

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Sew it yourself

Just today, I was able to get to know a project that fits perfectly to the scope of this blog:

The Man With a Movie Camera: The Global Remake

Quote from the site:
Man With a Movie Camera: The Global Remake is a participatory video shot by people around the world who are invited to record images interpreting the original script of Vertov’s Man With A Movie Camera and upload them to this site. Software developed specifically for this project archives, sequences and streams the submissions as a film. Anyone can upload footage. When the work streams your contribution becomes part of a worldwide montage, in Vertov’s terms the “decoding of life as it is”.
I found it on the Ars Elecronica site, just browsing around.

Dziga Vertov's Man With A Movie Camera - Internet Archive

Side note: Happy coincidence my wife makes handmade dolls besides her main work, restoration of pottery and paintings. Occasionally we have to work side-by-side but the connection was not evident to me.

Related articles: The Bigger Picture
- Women Editors

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

How to share your taste with the world

It seems that very soon, some giant Internet players are planing to put some "user generated content" on the "People's Domain" (no, not quite public domain - and no, not creative content) . In fact, it seems that some big logs on users video viewing habits are going to be "recycled" in a whole new context.

I am sorry not to go into more details, but my "engrish" and legal skills fall short on the magnitude of the scale of this subject.

You can check more info about the actual news report here and here.

This news relate to the theme of this blog in at least one point:
Recycling old "Kinematics".

From Wikipedia: "Kinematics (Greek κινειν, kinein, to move) is a branch of dynamics which describes the motion of objects without consideration of the circumstances leading to the motion"...

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Blended model

Tomorrow is the day of the launch of the The Tracey Fragments DVD.

This film was, to my knowledge, the first "major" feature film (by "major" I mean an indie film that opened the panorama section of the Berlinale, and was on festivals all over the world, with an Oscar nominee leading actress like Ellen Page and an awarded director like Bruce McDonald) to make available it's raw footage under a Creative Commons license on the net for others to recut and remix.

It is a milestone, because it's a great example of the possible merge of the traditional commercial model with the "new" remix culture more open Creative Commons licenses. The director's cut theatrical release itself is not free nor open, but a limited version of the raw footage (limited in the sense that the original footage distributed was highly compressed and in broadcast standard resolution) was made available for remixes under a CC by-nc-sa license.

This model, seems very promising, since it grants original authors revenue streams from their commercial releases as well as giving anyone interested the ability to create new works based on the source. This cause a synergy between the two attracting public attention primarily to the originating work but also to it's derivatives.

With the raw's release, a contest on the film's web site tittled Re-fragmented promoted the recut of the full feature on a linear fashion as an alternative to the Mondrian's style, picture-in-picture assembly of the theatrical version. The prize to the selected winner was an editing software package and the inclusion of their cut on the extras of the official DVD.

There are not many, if any, feature films to this date that fit this profile.

One funny fact is that I was only able to watch the theatrical release itself five months after I got my hands on the raw footage through the movie's website. The film only reached cinemas here in Portugal long after all the buzz around Ellen Page's Oscar nomination for her hole in June, and The Tracey Fragments exposure on festivals around the globe. I like the film on the big screen a lot.

Along with the great, "hardcore", open-film model of projects like Big Buck Bunny it would be great to see this blended business model more widely used.

Disclosure: I made this "Cinema 2.0 Promo" with "The Tracey Fragments" Creative Commons licensed footage under by-nc-sa. This video is not related with, nor endorsed by, the original film authors. But was only possible because the director, whole cast and crew, production company and the distributors of the original film allowed basically anyone to do it, so check who they are.

Resource links: cbc article - odd facts
- in action - modern art

Friday, July 4, 2008

Films under Creative Commons licenses

The Creative Commons Wiki has a new page regarding highly notable films under CC licenses.

Also two pages on notable filmmakers and all fields case studies.

This is good news for anyone searching for inspiration or research material on films under CC licenses.

Check it out, and if you know about undocumented works help building the wiki.

Words are clouding my mind

I hope in the next months I find the time to dump all these words "clouding" my mind on the screen in a more cinematic way, but until then this image is all I have got to show.

Cloud made on Wordle - CC By

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Cut to the point

There are numerous editing contests popping up on the web lately.

Since the last post, there seems to be a huge boom on mashup and editing competitions with different focus on subject, objective and rules.

So, unlike the last post's Total Recut, there is a more professional focused contest making waves on the web. It is the Open Cut Contest. If you want to have a try go check the rules. Unlike many others on this one you have to pay a small fee and provide them a external hard drive in which the footage will be loaded and posted back to you. This condition was a "turn off" to me, since paying a two way posting trip for a HD to/from Portugal to US would boost costs considerably. Also, there are some technical considerations to have in mind. Never the less, the possibility of having access to this kind of footage, 4k full resolution clips, from the short Susannah, is a milestone on collaborative film making on the web. Congrats to them.

But if this contest is not just about selling "cheap" RED camera footage (which my guess is that's not the case), why not adopt a workflow that allow people to pay only the contest fee of 25$ and give it a shot at real world film editing by having low-res proxy footage available to download?

Why limit it, logistically, by requiring 250gb HDs to costly fly all over the world? Copying that amount of data of and to multiple HDs, packaging and posting them is also a very time and labor intensive task to them compared to down sampling the footage and uploading it to the web just once (bandwidth costs can be more easily managed).

Contestants could then edit the material, in a low-res offline, and easily upload it to the Open Cut site. The winning entry could then be eye conformed (or a FCP XML or generic EDL provided by the contestants) to DI and final print output. Of course, this is not either mine neither a new idea, just the standard workflow.

Also, would be great to have samples of the footage online for review as I am sure would attract more people to the project. And last, it says that the footage is under a Creative Commons license, but I could not find which one on their site (this blog claim it is CC BY NC SA), if that is the case, will this footage be available legally for free, for anyone to use, if any of the contestants share it online after the end of the competition?

I noticed that they changed some of the requirements (see the comments on this post) to accommodate non-Mac users, showing some will to have a broader scope to this effort. Maybe in a future edition they consider a more inclusive workflow.
Image under Creative Commons By: Antediluvial

Update: By the time I published this post, all entries on the contest were already closed due to high demand.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Recycled News

What more appropriated post for this "would be" cinema recycled footage blog than recycled news?

Well... News about a remix contest dealing with the subject of remix culture.

Not entirely new, but it would not be worth it if it was...

More info at: Total Recut
Spotted at: Recycled Cinema

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Is It Fair to Use It?

This post is a collection of some links of interest, regarding this complicated issue of Copyright / Fair Use when re-purposing media content (also mentioned as "Borrowed Material").
  1. Recut, Reframe, Recycle: An Interview with Pat Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi - By Henry Jenkins
  2. Center for Social Media School of Communication at American University
  3. EFF: Fair Use FAQ - Electronic Frontier Foundation
  4. Copyright and Fair Use - Stanford University Libraries
  5. Creative Commons FAQ
  6. Copyright Management Center
This list is provided here only as a starting point for research on this topic of copyright / fair use of existing media files on new works. Keep in mind that I personally did not read all the related documentation on these links nor have any legal background to be able to digest it properly.

From what I read there are still plenty of reasons to be confused about, despite the quality of the papers, because of the complexity and subjectivity of some of the issues involved.

I have this "kid like" dream of simplicity winning over complexity on social interactions (or at least in art and media production) and this whole bureaucracy involving copyright simply destroy any creative impulse that is not: Either a consolidated effort or a fool one. I am afraid I fall into the later category...

Friday, April 4, 2008

Open source, collaboration and animation.

Big Buck Bunny is a 3D animation short movie from the "Blender Institute". It is the result of Blender's Project Peach team effort. The animation was done with, of course, Blender open source 3D software

Official Trailer

The short will premiere on 10 April, at "Studio K" cinema, Amsterdam.
This is another great step in cinema made with "open tools", like open source software blender in this particular case.

The collaboration behind the development of Blender is, in itself, a case study example of success on open source software. More yet, the community formed around it (Blender Artists, Blender Nation, the user forums, etc), is a key element that brings together everybody from home users, to developers, to professional 3D artists. This has made possible to create a credible, free, alternative tool not only to make films but also games, architecture pre-viz, and blah, blah,blah...

The first "major" release of this kind was the film "Elephants Dream" two years ago, which was an important milestone.

"The 3D animated short ‘Elephants Dream’ will today (May 18, 2006) be released as a free and public download. This is the final stage of a successfully completed Open Movie project which has been community-financed, using only Open Source tools, and opening up the movie itself as well as the entire studio database for everyone to re-use and learn from. The movie and production files are licensed as “Creative Commons Attribution 2.5″, which only requires a proper crediting for public screening, re-using and distribution."
(Blender Foundation, Amsterdam, the Netherlands)

I watched Elephants Dream, and got that feeling that the film, as great as it was, was "not quite there yet" in terms of production value (ok, unfairly compared to multi-million dollar, major Hollywood studio productions). But I found it too, that the movie was a major break trough in this "open movie" production model and has great artistic value (on character design, art direction, etc). The fact that was distributed under Creative Commons license, on the net, with full Blender project files available at any one's reach is also remarkable.

This new short, the
Big Buck Bunny seems to raise the expectation bar even higher in terms of artistic and technical skill set value.

Other resources: Blender on Wikipedia / SFX on Blender

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Rotoscoped "Girl Talk" - Students project

This is the resulting rotoscoped animation made by a class of students from Concordia University based on the video "Girl Talk" from the Open Source Cinema :

Quote: "...animation was created by all the students in COMS274 Intermedia I, Dept of Communication Studies, Concordia University, Fall 2007. Working in Flash, all 64 students rotoscoped 1-3 seconds of video each, over a period of three weeks."


More from the source here or another look at it from here.

Sometimes... Not always.

By: The Flowfield Unity / Music by: William Godfrey

Sometimes... Not aways, ideas can overcome production constrains, such as budget, deadlines and others. This animation is a nice example.

Related archived material:
Watch this video - From Prelinger Archives

Self Raising Cinema

One word: IndieGoGo

Basically, it is a tool for project funding, recruiting, and promotion; kind of "Self Raising Cinema".

Still looking for user reviews on this...
Spotted here.

Friday, February 1, 2008

What is Cinema 2.0?

I included in this post a video from the Dropping Knowledge project that in my opinion synthesize much of the power of the new web platform for audiovisual distribution/user interaction. Like the idea or not, they made a case study example of new uses for video on the web.

My point with this video (not really this one video, but the project behind it) is that the line between multimedia/video/cinema is blurred. Like the globalized world blurred so many lines (geographical/linguistic/cultural), video on the web is doing it's own convergence thing that goes beyond the technical side of movie making. It is blending medium, know-how, as well as genres, it fades out the old border lines between cinema-tv, documentary-newscast, cinema verité-reality tv. Maybe I am getting this all wrong and that is not cinema 2.0, but then someone smarter than me should come up with a new name for it because the old label tv/cinema simply don't apply to this new form of communication.

This film is protected by the copyleft dropping knowledge Copyleft License.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Learning how to cook

In this post instead of given you a recipe (which I don't have) for making cinema 2.0, I decided to share a small collection of ingredients and chef's interviews I find interesting to help building some understanding over the subject of alternative ways to produce and share a cinematic work.

These links are not a complete or final resource guide, but only a few I personally find useful.

Filmmakers Seize Control - Arin Crumley's (from Four Eyed Monsters) video on Youtube.
"The Vancouver international film festival invited Lance Weiler and I to come out and be a part of their Forum sessions. This one was called Filmmakers Seize Control."

Fat Free Films - Joel Marshall - Nice podcast selection

Interview with Matt Hanson the creator of the cinema 2.0 project, A SWARM OF ANGELS
on the site The Workbook Project

There are many others. Including some outstanding technical resources like fxguide but these fall out of the scope of this blog because they are hi-end pro ventures that the main focus is on technical skills of big budget movies. But If you already work on the cinema or broadcast field you must be aware of these resources.

I hope people share more links on the subject on the comments section.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Modular Concept

This year is the fiftieth anniversary of the patenting of a known iconic brick construction set. Looking at the bright side, is a intelligent colorful toy that worth merit.

© Film by Mirko Horstmann distributed under
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike licence.

More brick films here.

Monday, January 28, 2008

A Fair(y) Use Tale

Brilliant video parody about copyright directed by Eric Faden.

Watch the video here.

I found it because of this post.

Related Links: Manifesto For Critical Media at Mediascape

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Pablo in motion

Who is Pablo Ferro?

Find out more about the film at Kihou or read this post.

Side note: Nice graphic reference to this "Mondrian" visual mosaic style present on The Tracey Fragments film.

Why have a blog in "Engrish"?

Some people (meaning: my wife) ask me why did I choose to write this blog in Engrish, so i decided to sum it up, even if I am the only one that is going to read this.

1. Why have a blog? I wanted to have a record I could search of my own whereabouts on the net related to cinema and moving pictures. So why not a blog?

2. About the language choice:

For me all of us, as a collective, are learning how to tell a history in moving images (this "cinematic experience" thing). The visual vocabulary of this new language is in it's infancy, socially speaking. It feels like we are just out of "dark ages", when only few knew how to read/write.

Beside 100 years of cinema and some decades of TV, it is only now with the explosion of video on the Internet that we are exponentially growing our common "moving image vocabulary" in the process of trying to make a "universal language". Exponential growth because some passive receivers are becoming content producers (not that there is quality everywhere). If this happens with the collaboration/interaction of different cultures, mindsets and sensibilities is a wonderful moment in time to be part of. If by one hand, on our recent past TV has "standardized" so many visual/cultural cliches, on the other hand, now much more people can play around visual narratives. My hope is that this knowledge is used to expand our skills building cultural bridges rather than walls and is not used only for *"trivial commercial applications" that have been already spotted/explored in the past. Besides the great cultural gain from this new world, on the commercial side of things I hope at least it serves new commercial applications (like paying my rent - microbloging kind of stuff).

So what better way to do this than writing about it in English? A language in which I have no formal training on and have to struggle to express thoughts in a intelligible way? Isn't that the same kind of learning required to master moving pictures storytelling? Aren't we all trying to find new ways to communicate better in this "foreign language"?

Well, for me it is going to take a whale (sorry, "a while")

Homage to Werner Herzog - *Found on Youtube.

(I had a video link that was really relevant here but decide to take it out because of this)

Friday, January 25, 2008

Old new thing

The whole point of the promo I did was to have fun, and of course to promote something I like that is the idea of building new stories out of old fragments.

But something is never really new. I knew that... What is at least funny, not to say a bit embarrassing, is when you come across other's work (released prior to yours) that have some bits in common. That's what happened when I found this video today.

I still think that my video and this one are safely far away from each other regarding subject, editing and approach but the clapper board thing on the beginning....uhhh, I don't know if I would had done mine if I had watched the "Slim Twig Tropics" before.

Congrats to the author.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Creative Commons Promo featured on eCuaderno

Thanks to eCuaderno for linking the CCPromo video as support links on a broader post about "La cultura de la Web 2.0 y su alcance en cine y televisión". If it wasn't for the "linkback" feature on Youtube I would still not know about eCuaderno.

It is a blog from professor José Luis Orihuela with many articles and resources on new media subjects.

It is spanish only, but if that is not a problem for you check it out.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Open, Collaborative Video Experiment

Some fresh news on collaborative media production is here.

It seems that Wikimedia Foundation is trying to add some tools to the mix, helping people produce collaborative rich media content.

Far from traditional cinema? Sure...But is probably closer to what some day might become cinema 2.0.

More on this soon.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Creative Commons and Cinema 2.0

The Creative Commons blog made a great post about Cinema 2.0 with some big projects being listed and also a kind note about my small promo done with CC licensed footage from "The Tracey Fragments"

If you are looking for some alternative projects real world examples of how audiovisual production is changing, I think it is worth reading.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008