Tuesday, July 14, 2020

"A Day at the Zoo", by Avi Schiffmann

The last times I went to the zoo were in February of 2014 (as I remember), and then March 2007, to Rock Creek Park in Washington.  In the more recent case it was to “meet” Ollie the Bobcat, who had escaped but returned on her own volition.

(Video link). 

So Avi Schiffmann (who set up the Ncov coronavirus tracking database, one of the world's largest) make a 3-minute short, “A Day at the Zoo”.  An early scene shows him driving an underpass in Seattle.  I remember driving that exact stretch two or three times in rental cars in the past.

“Zoo” is a metaphor.  When there were production problems in the IT workplace, we used to say “what a zoo!”. 

Picture above:  Orangutan at the Washington DC zoo, 2007. 

Here Avi looks at some of the more developed animals, like other primates. His film clips elsewhere online (like drone tours of his "home field advantage" area) are interesting.  There is some moog music in the background, but not Saint-Saens "Carnival of the Animals".  

Monday, July 13, 2020

"The City of Western Dreams: Shanghai, China" from the Barrett Channel; how China is humiliating the West with return to post-pandemic normal safely

Pudong district roads traffic skyscrapers, Shanghai

The Barrett Channel (Lee and Oli) presents, “The City of Western Dreams: Shanghai, China” (15 min).
Much of the film shows them having a dinner out in a hotel, after passing the temperature check (which seems to be on the back of the hand once, which does not make sense).

The official link from the Barrett Channel, July 13, 2020. 
The film (even through the video title) conveys the idea that in China, with its authoritarian lockdowns to contain the virus in January which were quite severe in their impact on ordinary people, now is back to normal with interesting, almost interplanetary life, why the U.S.A. and U.K. are struggling.
The film also shows a lot of the enormous Shanghai Metro.
Even outdoors, everyone wears a mask, even when not many people are around. 

 Note the embed from Wikipedia: the Shanghai stock exchange, although China regulates and inflates its stock market a lot more than western countries, a "People's Republic of Capitalism". 

Sunday, July 12, 2020

"Mommy", from ALTER, a very simple horror short about quarantine

Rod Blackhurst presents a horror short film “Mommy”, from “ALTER #ShelterShort” Created in Quarantine”.   This film has a very simple, unary concept.  It would fit a "48 hour film festival" contest. 

A woman (Gabriella Espinosa) chops vegetables for dinner alone while in quarantine from coronavirus (presumably.


(ALTER video link on YouTube). 

Then there is a visitor at the door, who turns out to be a ghost.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

"How I Make a Video from Start to Finish" from a professional YouTube educational channel in Dallas

I usually use Joe Scott on my TV reviews channel, but this is more like a 45-minute industry film showing you how to make a professional looking video that will be appealing to sponors.

On his TMI Channel he explains “How I Make a Video from Start to Finish” on his TMI channel.

He illustrates the process as he makes a video on String Theory, or “Theory of Everything”.

He explains that he uses Evernote to outline a script, and then sends it to a writer who writes the script. His team has several members, including an editor, who apparently is very skilled in Photoshop and YouTube Studio Editor (maybe Final Cut Pro, which I didn’t see him mention but is very popular on the Mac).

He records himself talking with a studio light, and a tripod, connected through USB I presume to his large Mac computer. He sits in a chair.

He lives near Dallas, where homes do not have basements, so the workroom/library appears to be like an extra family room or converted garage. It is common in Dallas for extra family rooms to be built behind kitchens and near carports or garages.  To do a professional job able to attract sponsors, you do need some space.

The whole process takes a couple days, so typically a YouTube science channel is like a small LLC company with several people or contractors.

Picture: Landing at DFW in May 2018.  Oh, those were the days, before Covid-19. 

Friday, July 10, 2020

"Why Travel Will Never Be the Same": The Economist

COVID-19: Why Travel Will Never Be the Same” with Leo Marini for The Economist.

Travel is down to less than 50% pre-pandemic levels everywhere, even more in Europe.

The speaker maintains that business travel subsidized vacation and personal travel. So the permanent loss of business travel for conferences and sales could greatly constrict personal travel, especially at holidays.

Some predictions say a sense of a new normal will not exist until 2023.

Carbon emissions have dropped during the pandemic, partly because of air travel drop.

I have wondered if individuals will be rationed in their travel or need some sort of permission at some point in the future.

Thursday, July 09, 2020

"What If We Built an O'Neill Cylinder?" or lots of them; Jeff Bezos wants to


What If We Built an O’Neill Cylinder?” asks the “What If” channel.

Jeff Bezos wants to build enough of them to house 1 trillion people.

They would be set a La Grangian points and be tethered in pairs, and be about 4 miles in diameter and 16 miles long.

The film shows planet of artificial cities, lakes and green mountains.

The film has a sequel, to be looked at later, about getting people there.

Tuesday, July 07, 2020

"Siren Head": short horror film illustrates use of "motion capture" technique

Siren Head”, a four-minute short film from “Shutter Authority”.

A young (black) man roams outdoors in a tropical beach location look for artefacts of alien encounters for some kind of film contest (like the 48-hour film festival).  He suddenly encounters a golem with two sirens in place of a head, which chases him to his death.  Police encounter the same at night.

The film then mentions “motion capture” and “smart suit” technology in digital filmmaking, which is very much worth looking into.  It would seem to supplement common digital film platforms, like Final Cut Pro and the like.

Picture: Cape Cod, MA, Aug. 2015