Heart Stop Beating: The Man Who Has No Pulse

March of 2011, Billy Cohn & Bud Frazier, two visionary doctors from the Texas Heart Institute, successfully replaced a dying man’s heart with a ‘continuous flow’ device they developed, proving that life was possible without a pulse or a heart beat.

This short film is directed by Jeremiah Zagar and is part of the Focus Forward Films inspired by GE.

The Following includes shots that may be disturbing to viewers.

Kickstarter campaign for Eye3 Drone Hexacopter Too Good to be True

Ah… the dangers of the internet. Turns out the eye3 drone hexacopter which was being touted as the easiest flying camera platform on earth was just way too good to be true.

Kickstarter pulled support for this project when eagled eyed Helicopter enthusiasts noted that the helicopter in the pitch video was actually photoshopped images of the Chinese built Xaircraft which is currently selling for $669.

Furthermore, the team behind the eye3 Hexacopter, Grayson and Kellie Sigler were the owners of a CNC (Computer Numerical Control) company called Lumenlabs which was selling a computer controlled 3D lathe called the MicRo. But order fullfillment has been abysmal, customers reporting that they haven’t recieved shipment for orders placed 8-10 months ago. LumenLab’s Facebook page and Yahoo Group paint a very nasty picture of a company that simply can’t deliver.

According to a forum message on LuminLab site The company and the Sigglers had to stop production on the micRo due to Grayson Siggler’s recent medical battle with Lupus. In that forum message, Mr. Siggler seemed to indicate that the eye3 hexacopter project was designed to provide funding to keep Luminlabs in operation – a project that was supposedly started before Grayson got sick, but there’s no evidence they ever built or tested a model to begin with before launching the Kickstarter campaign.

In the same post Grayson seemed apologetic to customers who had bought the micRo 3d lathe but it doesn’t look like unfulfilled orders could expect any sort of refund (or product for that matter).

Whether the husband and wife team are just big dreamers who got in way over their heads or a couple of fishy crooks remains to be seen. Luckily a watchful internet community was able to spot a potential fraud and, under the rules of Kickstarter, no money was exchanged because the project had not reached it’s deadline.

But for the budding aviator, there’s still a silver lining. Paul Mather of put together a shopping list of parts that you’ll need to build the aircraft as seen in the picture. What’s not included is the hours of trial and error and fine tuning to get it successfully off the ground. But with a final cost of between $1000-1600, the possibility of flying your own Xaircraft hexacopter isn’t that far off.

And the demo video for the Xaircraft is way more impressive than anything in the Kickstarter Campaign…

Final Cut Pro X gets an Update, Sucks Less

Apple just released Final Cut Pro X 10.0.3 – and with the addition of a small numeral change comes a handful of important updates, key among them: multi-cam support, advanced chromakey tools, support for output cards for preview monitors, and (about time) an upgrade path to import old FCP 7 projects into X (although you have to pay for that feature)

Once again, Apple has launched a minor number update to its professional video-editing software, Final Cut Pro X, with some major feature adds. The non-linear editing program was initially launched to protests by the pro-editing community, but Version 10.0.3 addresses nearly all of the remaining criticisms of the post-production tool, adding multicam support, external broadcast monitoring (still a beta feature), and detailed chroma-key controls. And perhaps the biggest criticism—the lack of an upgrade path for projects built into previous Final Cut versions—has now been addressed by a third-party plugin called 7toX, from Intelligent Assistance.

The free program update and the 7toX transfer plugin ($9.99) will be available on the Mac App Store starting today.
Other new features include a more-detailed XML 1.1 import/export format with support for effect parameters and audio keyframes, manual media relinking, and the ability to import and edit layered Photoshop graphics.

— PC Mag | Read the Full Article

Yeah, I cited PC Magazine… How do you like them Apples?

10 Key Tips To Becoming A Successful Video Freelancer

Ready to take the plunge to becoming a filmmaking gun for hire? Remington McElhaney compiles 10 tips to help making that transition smoother.

1. Be Prepared
Deciding to take the leap into freelancing can be terrifying. You can ease your way into it but eventually you are going to have to take the plunge and jump on it. Quitting your job and not knowing where your next pay check is coming can be very scary. It’s especially scary if you have a lot of bills or a family to support (luckily I didn’t).

One of the most important things to do is to make sure you are prepared. I made sure I could go three months without getting a single job and still be okay. Not because I thought I would have that hard of a time getting work, but I didn’t know. I was awarded 10 jobs in December. For all I knew though, December could be the biggest month of the year for freelancers. Maybe January was the worst…

Another important reason for this was I didn’t want to be pressured into taking jobs I wouldn’t normally take. If you are getting desperate for work and your bills are stacking up you’ll take anything. I didn’t want to be put into that position. A few (or one) negative feedback on a site such as Elance can sink your freelancing dreams very quickly in the early stages.

There will always be clients you should steer clear off and unfortunately that’s one of those things you will to figure out and develop a sense over time. Being prepared will help take some (not all) of the stress out of freelancing.

— AE.tuts | Read the Full Article

A fully dimensional look at 3-D and its use in “Pina”

Pina” is a German dance film dedicated to the choreographer Pina Bausch. Nominated for an Oscar for best documentary feature, Pina is also dazzling audiences with breathtaking 3-D that has been compared to Avatar in terms of total audience immersion. Lewis Segal explores how the use of 3d breathes life into this dance documentary.

The Trailer for Pina

But right now 3-D is arguably just a novelty act, existing in so many formats and processes that it’s premature to embrace it as the future of film and video dance. For starters, the stats on “Pina” say it exists in Digital 3-D and Real 3-D (that’s a corporate name, not a value judgment), as well as 2-D. And current 3-D eyewear ranges from those red-and-green plastic glasses you need for most YouTube 3-D on through so-called passive movie specs to expensive electric goggles required for 3-D TV. Most of them darken the image or desaturate color and some impose a flicker or shimmer.

What’s more, “Pina” is a special case, a valedictory compendium of excerpts, not a dance film per se. Indeed, Wenders arguably misrepresents Bausch’s achievements by emphasizing early and pure-dance pieces, never revealing that some of the exquisitely eccentric passages on view are embedded in multidisciplinary three- to four-hour panoramic epics. Bausch’s sense of time in the theater and her use of audience-confrontation tactics are ignored. What remains is eine kleine Pina: her Tanztheater with only the Tanz.

— LA Times | Read the Full Article

How to Make Sure You’re Ready Before You Walk on the Set

As a filmmaker, be it as a producer or director or both, you are like a captain of a ship. Once the production day starts and the ship has left port, everyone will be looking to you for guidance and direction. Nothing will sink your project faster than indecision – an issue that can be mitigated with proper pre-production work.

In the world of independent filmmaking, it’s easy to assume that more money can make any problem go away. But most filmmakers–independent or mainstream—will readily admit that nothing derails a project faster than being unprepared before the production begins.

It’s tempting to think that the $20,000 budget that you’ve scraped together through loans, personal savings and credit cards—and possibly an illegal act here or there—will trump readiness. It’s not true. So many films don’t get made because of poor planning, or just assuming that you can make it up as you go. Granted, it’s much easier to shoot now with digital as opposed to film, but it should be fairly obvious that you can’t just turn on the camera and film until the battery dies. Because the work that you’ve put in during pre-production will help in post, when you’re editing, looping sound, or trying to figure out how the boom ended up in all of those shots.

—Film Slate |Read the Full Article

Finding Real Numbers in Imaginary Movies

Getting a filmmaker to divulge the exact cost of a film is next to impossible. The same goes for distributors when asked about what kind of numbers to expect on the sales end. So at “Distribution X” at Sundance, a panel of distributors were asked to give numbers on wholly imaginary movies.

Case study #1: Documentary, pitched by Senain Kheshgi
This documentary is about the case of the 10 Muslim student alliance kids at U.C. Irvine who protested/heckled the Israeli Ambassador at a speech in 2010 and were charged with federal offenses.

Budget: $575,000 (about half equity, the rest non-repayable grants and foundations).
Needs: About $100,000 to finish film.
Distribution: Has a $45,000 deal from TV broadcaster… who also wants first right of refusal on VOD/digital distribution. Unclear whether those are subscription VOD rights or ad-supported VOD rights, or if they can be negotiated.
Status: The film is in rough cut.

Josh Braun
Giving up TV rights too soon for too little money in the US is not advisable A 52-minute TV-version is key; without it, you lose opportunities. Selling for $45,000 and not carving our key digits rights is a bad idea, as it severely limits sales potential and theatrical investment. You can do multiple subscription VOD deals, so as the lines blur between TV and Internet platforms, it will likely be harder to carve out rights. The key to preselling TV is that the sale should amount to at least 50% of the budget. | Read the Full Article

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