28 1 / 2012
11 1 / 2012
To be frank,
I’m annoyed by the youth of this generation. Please aside the Justin Bieber & Twilight Saga related topic.. Because I’m talking about spending money in technology. Their ways.
I’m annoyed in how most youth nowadays have both Blackberry phone & an iPhone at the same time. Don’t get me wrong, I use both too.. but what bothers me is how they use them for the money they’ve spent. I’m not going to be bias toward one product or another here.
Most typical youth chooses the Bold or Torch variants for their Blackberry; the Big-Daddy of all Blackberry line-ups. Costs you around £350 - £450, crazy specs, great looking. That’s a pretty big amount of money for something that have super-less app database. But £400 for JUST a BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), and UberSocializing? Really? I mean, a £170 Blackberry Curve, the most affordable of all variant, can do the same thing JUST fine.
Then we go down to the iPhone. £499 at the lowest (16GB variant). Sexy, crazy-useful thanks to the large app database; which are unique & redefining; can do so much on your iPhone. But a near £500 for JUST Instagraming, Music-Playing, and Angry-Birds? Really?? You don’t know your phone can make an awesome school project, plays near-PS3 games, or even producing professional-quality music, art, or movie? Do you? Dude, a £200ish PS Vita can do the job JUST fine.
Now combine all the two cases:
A £450 Torch & a £499 iPhone 4S = £949
A £170 Curve & a £200 PS Vita = £370 [YOU SAVE £579]
The point of this argument, is not that they own both Blackberry & iPhone. Heck, it could be anything than those two. But how they spent their money so much for something that’s less useful.. and also how they used something that can do so much for a minimum use. Big waste of cashes.
My suggestion (if you’re one of them),
Spend that much if you truly understands what it can do, and what you’re going to do with it. Things are valuable if you values the potential and make a full use of it while you values the amount of money you’ve spent for it.
JUST SAYING :)
14 11 / 2011
It’s November already, and I am currently preparing myself to finish my master degree with a bang, by making a film entirely with the iPhone 4S. As in whole production process. From pre-production to post-production, from top to bottom, from head to anus. It’s going to be a long ride for me since it’s a master-level project that I’m doing here, which means that I have to answers a lot of questions and give a clear idea about my project.
I’ve been in love with cinematography & behind-the-scenes ever since I watched one of my favourite movie’s behind-the-scene back in the late 90s, and I’ve had this question once a while about how expensive the equipments are because it looks cool to me; and also due that I was and still am a born-nerd human being. And I am still surprised to myself because way back then even before I studied Film & Television subject for my undergraduate degree, I can tell the difference in the quality comparison between a mere handycam and a “pro” level camera.
But it was until the year 2008 onwards that I started to believe that terms like “pro” and “basic” (also comes in many terms like entry-level, or mainstream) have started to lose their literal meaning. Especially when it comes to products or equipments. I started to think that those terms, with the helps of fast and nonstop development of technology, are slowly getting away from their duty: Defining a Class. The term “professional”, “semi-pro”, “enthusiast”, or even “entry-level” are often being used to label a product, to give the customers a clue for which one they really needs for their level of knowledge for certain things like photography or cinematography for example. The terms are also being used as the part of ideology for working ethics, especially for producers or professionals who are in search for the right and/or ideal equipments to get the job done (professionally). To put it simple in a form of example: A professional photographers prefers a professional-class DSLR camera in order to expect professional results, while a beginner will prefers an beginner-level ones because they expect the ease of use.
See? It’s all about what the consumer thinks of what ideals and what not. In most cases, it’s right to have that way of thinking. However, here we are the 21st century. What have changed? Technology has been simplified. Sometimes way too simple for an expert to handle, in some cases like photography or film production. Everything has become smaller, accessible, and affordable (if not free).
I mentioned before that I started this way of thinking in 2008 about the terms that define a product, and I want to use this as an example. It was the year when the DSLR-Video emerged and marked such huge impacts to the budget cinematographers and budget film producers due to the close similarities in features and results when compared to the pro video cameras. But what made the greatest impact from it is the price, which generally have nearly no increase in price despite with added advanced video recording. Since then, everyone can make a film. A REAL high-quality cinematic film to be specific, if my statement before then was obvious (even though it is). Its technical reputations have led into varieties of challenge in production, noticeably when it comes to portability, quality, accessibility to various difficult angles, and flexibility.
Now, you guys are probably thinking right now; what does it have to do with the iOS device (iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch)? What so similar about it? And what makes you lead into thinking that those things can do things that you mentioned? And WHY did you think so? To be honest with you, I got a lot of answers waiting to be thrown. But it’s really hard to write it or to say it verbally. Student’s biggest common issue, I know -_-. I can’t help not to answer anyway, so here are my thoughts.
The iOS device in a filmmaking perspective and the DSLR-video revolution share a same characteristic: REPUTATION. And much to disappointment, it’s not about its technical or hardware reputation. The iOS device as video cameras are internally in huge contrast with other DSLR and pro video camera; much exactly like a point-and-shoot or pocket digital camera. But aside of the high-definition camera that the platform have, the reputation lies on its application ecosystem; in which keeps emerging and evolving in variety of categories and functionality. It is also interesting to see that these kind of apps are slowly becoming to act more like the desktop software version. For film production, even there are apps can turn the iOS device into more than just a video camera, but into a pre-production and post-production tools as well.
- Apps like FiLMiC Pro that can add manual controls over video recording.
- Apps like Pages, Scripts Pro, and Storyboard Composer that help you to write rationale, screenplays, or story board.
- Apps like iMovie, Final Touch, or Movie Stiller that can help you with editing and post-production. Some can produce real cinematic looks.
There are some points that I have to agree on that the iOS device is not an entirely ideal platform to be an all-in-one film production unit. There are limitations in features and hardware specifications that cannot be found in conventional computers and general professional video cameras. Thus, it can affect the way we want our film to be like in terms of genre and theme. For example: We can make a romantic-comedy drama because it looks simple to shoot and edit, but we can’t make a sci-fi film such as Star Wars and you know why. But for me, at least, that’s the challenge. It may not be an ideal platform yet due to the limitations in hardware and software, but since that it’s a capable platform, the filmmaking apps are keep coming and enhanced, and new platform-specific equipments for the iOS devices are emerging, the possibility of breaking the boundaries in filmmaking are higher; in aside that the platform can shoot HD videos.
Working in a very efficient single platform could be a pain for those who are not getting used to the user interface, even though it’s still capable of getting the job done. The challenge in using the iOS device as a single film production studio is that you have to deal with the battery life (if you are on the go), touch and gesture controls instead of buttons and mouse-clicks, screen-size if you are doing it on a smaller screen iOS device like the iPhone or iPod Touch, and multitasking; that even though it can, the way of switching between apps on another could be really painful. The lens is a fixed lens and cannot be zoomed in by hardware, so this limitation might affect the selection of camera angles in the entire film. But then again, it’s still can get the job done.
The last “why’s” that I always wanted to answer is why did I choose this platform instead of my trusty and way more advance Canon EOS 7D to shoot the film footages and also my MacBook Pro for pre-production and post-production for a more professional result. Well let me ask you these questions for you to answer yourself..
- What is “Art” to you?
- What is a professional art for you?
- If art is about liberty and creativity, then why limit your art ingredients to achieve the desired results?
The point of these question is to ask you whether a pro-class tools means so much to achieve the results. I am not saying that it’s not important to think about, but we are talking about arts here; a Media Arts. There are many ways to create a “professional” looking content. But if you are into being ideal of what you are doing, and the class of tools means so much for you, then you better think of it as a Job instead of an Art. In the end, an art (or in my case, film) is meant to be seen in the end, regardless what kind of methods that I am using. If the audience says it’s a crap, then it is. If it’s good, then it is.
Henri Cartier-Bresson (2004), a french photographer once quoted..
"Pictures, regardless of how they are created and recreated, are intended to be looked at. This brings to the forefront not the technology of imaging, which of course is important, but rather what we might call the eyenology (seeing)."
So this is what I am trying to prove in my final project (at least). It’s not about the obvious “everyone can make a movie shot with their phone/tablets”, but is that as in right now we can achieve the result that we desire, a.k.a professional-looking (or non-lazy, or whatever you called it) , but made from top to bottom within one ecosystem, in which I believe something that most people refuse to do due to limitations in here and there. The iOS device might not be an ideal tools for an all-in-one filmmaking tool, but can be used as the platform of art.
14 10 / 2011