Slo-Mo and Fat Freddy’s Cat

Tuesday.

I was in Dallas last week working at the auction house. Made some serious scratch, enough to survive another month. I’m hoping I can get back in early January and put in another week or two.

One of the very few nice things about driving I-35 between San Antonio and Dallas is the 45 minutes or so when the Austin college radio station comes in clear. This is where I first heard Joanna Newsom several years back. And driving back Sunday night, during some world music show, I heard two songs by bands I feel a need to follow. Choc Quib Town, from Colombia. A nice smooth afro latino hip hop song called “San Antonio.” And then there was Dr. Israel. Rasta dub jungle. I forget the song. But, back home, I got onto Blip.fm and came across this great track by Dr. Israel. “The Doctor Vs. the Wizard.” It’s got that old jungle drum and bass beat. A nice slice of Jamaican dub reggae, circa Lee “Scratch” Perry. And the guitar power chords and the vocal stylings are pure Black Sabbath. If you find the thought of Tony Iommi joining a drum and bass outfit intriguing, here’s your chance to check it out.

These punctuated gigs in Dallas help to subsidize all the volunteer and pro bono work I do. This auction house work is an amazing opportunity, but I don’t know how long it will last. This new year I plan on cutting down on the volunteer stuff and freebies for others. I want to put most of my energy into work I can be proud of–my projects, as well as those collaborative projects with artists who inspire me.

The truth is, I could have stayed in Dallas for several more days. But I left because of several commitments. None of which pay … however these are projects I’m looking forward to.

First is the judging for the Luminaria media proposals. Victor and I are bringing our committee together Wednesday and Thursday at a super secret location (my office at C4 Workspace) to make some decisions … to cut some lame critters from the herd.

And then there’s my video piece for the 26th Annual Jump-Start Performance Party.

Back in January of 2010 I was asked to take part. As a huge fan and booster of Jump-Start Performance Company, I was very honored to be part of all these amazing talented people. And for this show on January 8th, 2011, I’m just as excited and honored to be part of the celebration.

The problem is that I might have come up with an overly ambitious concept. Oh, well. I’ll just put down my head and push onward. And just today I learned that my friend Carlos won’t be able to help out. He has family obligations down in the Rio Grande Valley. I hope everything works out well for his folks.

Rosalinda is on board. And Gabe the Babe. Amanda expressed interest. I hope her schedule can mesh. I think I’ve got ST Shimi to make a cameo.

Tonight I shot the scenes with Jay Pennington. He’s the fictional programing manager of Channel 26. He introduces the promos of the three fresh shows of the new season of Channel 26. Now I need to shoot those promos.

Jay did a great job. I wanted him to play it absolutely straight. And also with a homey laconic delivery. He was perfect. And because he’d heard of my appreciation of Fat Freddy’s Cat (from the great comic book series, The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers), he brought along a copy of a Fat Freddy’s Cat paperback signed by the artist, Gilbert Shelton. Shelton had drawn an original Fat Freddy’s Cat under his signature. Pretty cool.

I also need to get some footage of Shimi in the can. We’re working on a collaborative dance film project.

And, best case scenario, it’s back to Dallas, January 10th.

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I’ve been having fun playing around with my Canon 7D.

Because it shoots in several frame rates (like other DSLRs) it’s well suited for slow motion. The 60 frames per second setting is the highest. When you shoot thusly, you import the media and drop it into a timeline on your editing software set up for, say, 24 fps. And suddenly you have true slow motion. It’s smooth and beautiful, and not choppy like when you just slow down normal video.

The truth is, it’s not that simple a procedure, but I found a great tutorial video on Philip Bloom’s website. He makes it seem easy.

And tonight, while shooting with Jay Pennington, I plugged my 7D into my computer so as to have a larger monitor screen than the camera itself can provide. This is very convenient. The inconvenient thing was that the 7D does shit with an externally introduced audio source. True, I knew this when I bought the camera. But it wasn’t until I did a simple test of plugging in one of my wireless lavs, doing an audio test, and then importing the material into FCP ad listening to audio and looking at the wave forms. Absolutely unacceptable for dialogue. I knew that even if I had used my pre-mixer, it wouldn’t have been much help.

So, I ended up using a mDV camera as an audio recorder. I hope to be able to afford a decent solid state audio recorder in the next few weeks.

But, image-wise, the camera is great. I love how it performs … especially with a very fast lens.

Here’s a screen grab of Jay.

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Wednesday.

I was hanging out with some film folks tonight. Victor and I met with three fifths of our media arts committee tonight (tomorrow, the other two will meet with us). We went over the 30ish Luminaria proposals in the media category. They ranged from the borderline brilliant to the proto-naif.

The vetting process continues.

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I took some time this afternoon to walk along the southern extension of the river walk. I’ve been down it before, but only recently has it become officially open to the public. I’d been scofflawing my way down the trail in the past.

The truth is, it’s not really open. You can take the trail from Lone Star Blvd. all the way down to about a hundred yards shy of the Mission Road bridge. Now there’s already a bike / jogging trail which begins at Mission Road and the San Antonio River. They really need to link these two trails together before “opening” this new trail, which, currently, just dead-ends.

One of the sad sights was seeing Anne Wallace’s lovely low-key art installation on the footbridge at this dead end. It’s really rather fucked up. The piece features imprints of flora and fauna in the cement of the bridge itself, as well as ornamental stone work on both sides of the bridge. But because of all the heavy earth-moving equipment crossing over this little footbridge, there are unsightly cracks running through her imprints. I sure hope someone fixes this.

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Here’s a couple more photos from my little excursion.

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Well it’s on the far side of midnight, and I have a shoot tomorrow. So it’s off to bed.

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