Sunday, September 30, 2007

Jack R. Hart on note taking

I'm glad I'm not the only one who is obsessed with note taking. I've always suspected that the practice of note taking was integral to good writing, and Hart confirms my suspicion.

Camera book is driving me crazy

Having a very difficult time with the "camera" book.

I threw out the first draft because it read too much like a technical manual. The second draft is stalled about halfway through. After much analysis, I believe the problem is in the original idea for the book. Jack R. Hart explains the place of the book idea in the writing process in A Writer's Coach. Hart believes that problems with any part of the writing process are invariably caused by a flaw in the preceding step.

My challenge is to come up with a manuscript that is useful, task oriented, and simultaneously interesting to read. If it's not an interesting read, there's no reason to publish.

The best writer I've found in this genre is David Pogue. His reviews and his "Missing" books are models of clarity, humor, usefulness and just plain good writing.

Galleys on their way

The publisher is sending the galleys for the "producing" book via FedEx.

I asked a friend who has written a dozen successful books--1/3 fiction and 2/3 nonfiction--what to do with the galleys.

His reply:

Take a look, Tony, and see if there are any real problems which you can't easily solve. Most galley stuff is copy editing- and often copy editors prefer more conventional ways to say things than the writer. Also, look for questions- facts, opinions, gaps in continuity, and simple errors. Most are easily answered and dealt with.

The whole process can take you less than 8 hours if all the issues are just part of the manuscript ( remember 95-98% will be untouched.)

Copy editors are not always right, but when they are wrong, pay special attention.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Zoom H4 recording offset

Good discussion on of the Zoom H4 recording offset problem.

A recording offset is the difference in length (offset) between two recordings--in this case, the one from your digital video camera and the one from the zoom.

Recording offset only matters when you are trying to synchronize recordings from two devices--usually an audio recorder and a digital video camera. If you are only recording sound with one device, offset doesn't matter.

Short version: it looks like all 'consumer grade' digital recorders have some level of recording offset. The zoom is better than most.

Cheap fix: run a simple test on your Zoom H4 (described here) to see how much recording offset there is in your zoom after 1 hour of continuous recording. Then stretch the zoom audio in an NLE (Non-Linear Editor) accordingly.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Visions of Light DVD

Spent all day working on the camera book. Today I wrote about cinematography.

In Chapter 3, I am recommending the DVD "Visions of Light" to first-time filmmakers.

I really believe there's no better way to to build a visual repertoire, and learn composition, than by studying great films and paintings. I once read a story of Woody Allen teaching himself composition--at the beginning of his film making career--by spending days in museums studying paintings.

Visions of Light contains clips from 125 classic films.

Leica cameras

I have held a Leica twice in my life. I remember both times. The Leicas instantly felt right, like an extension of my body.

Anthony Lane captures the essence of the Leica M series cameras in this week's New Yorker magazine.

Candid Camera: The cult of Leica.
by Anthony Lane

... Alfred Eisenstaedt, of Life magazine, ...recalled:

"I was running ahead of him with my Leica, looking back over my shoulder. But none of the pictures that were possible pleased me. Then suddenly, in a flash, I saw something white being grabbed. I turned around and clicked."

He took four pictures, and that was that. “It was done within a few seconds,” he said. All you need to know about the Leica is present in those seconds. The photographer was on the run, so whatever he was carrying had to be light and trim enough not to be a drag. He swivelled and fired in one motion, like the Sundance Kid. And everything happened as quickly for him as it did for the startled nurse, with all the components—the angles, the surrounding throng, the shining white of her dress and the kisser’s cap—falling into position. Times Square was the arena of uncontrolled joy; the job of the artist was to bring it under control, and the task of his camera was to bring life—or, at least, an improved version of it, graced with order and impact—to the readers of Life.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Publicity plan 3.0

"The heart of all publicity is personal contact."

Publicity plan finished. Very interesting exercise. The lessons learned should apply equally to publicity for both films and books.

After the publisher reviewed version 2.0 of the publicity plan, he suggested several additions. His suggestions improved the plan immensely. He helped me see things from a publisher/distributor's point of view.

New items:

- List of celebrity endorsements and/or interviews planned.
- Specifics on planned personal contact with the media (reviewers, writers, TV hosts, etc.)
- Specifics on planned personal contact with customers through workshops and conferences.
- Specific list of cities and dates for workshops, festivals, readings or screenings.
- List of film contests and festivals to which the work will be submitted. (Find them by seeing where similar works won awards.)
- List of published works.
- List any awards that you've won.
- Describe any distribution deals currently being negotiated.
- Describe any outreach activities (publicity, readings, screenings, etc.) done while creating the work.
- List any contact databases you've created during the creation of the work, or that you plan to get (rent, buy, or exchange) from other people or organizations.

Publicity plan 2.0

"The heart of all publicity is personal contact."

Working on second version of publicity plan.

Publisher suggests that publicity plan include personal appearances and workshops.

Basically, have to figure out where we will show up at workshops, film festivals, bookstores, speeches, etc.

It all comes down to time and money. How much time do we have for personal appearances and how much can we afford?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

More uses for the zoom studio recorder

Got a couple ideas today for using the zoom recorder:
-- Carry the zoom in a fanny pack, hook up a lavaliere mic, and record high-quality voice-over for a documentary soundtrack--while walking, working, or riding in a hot air balloon.
-- Put the zoom on an interviewee and get high quality sound in the field, without the need for wireless mics.
-- Record high quality sound for Dragon NaturallySpeaking 9 voice recognition software, anywhere.

Publicity plan 1.0

Just finished writing a publicity plan for the "Producing" book.

The publisher talked to the distributor, and the distributor was very enthusiastic about the book. They asked if we (the authors) intended to help promote the book.

The answer to that is simple. Yes.

Promotion is the second half of the job of book writing.

My co-author then challenged me to come up with a publicity plan. Surprisingly, I was able to do so. I just used the publicity section in the "Producing" book as a guide!

It's very odd to see the book taking on a life of its own.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Field recording techniques (audio)

A good introduction to field recording techniques for interviews at

....most people notice flaws in audio quality before shortcomings in photos, text, or video. Since it can be difficult to improve the fundamental sound quality of a recording after the fact, it’s essential to capture the best possible audio at the source.

Zoom H4 digital recorder (audio)

Just bought a Zoom H4 4 track stereo field recorder to replace my old Sony BP150 recorders.

When doing pre-interviews, (for a documentary) it's a good idea to use the best microphone and recorder you can afford. That way, if you need to use the sound later in your sound track, you have it.

The Zoom H4 records at several resolutions, including 44.1 Khz (CD-quality), 48 Khz (DV soundtracks) and 96 Khz (high resolution.)

The Zoom has outstanding built-in microphones. It also enables me to use my professional lavaliere and shotgun mics via two XLR connectors.

The Zoom feels a bit large in my hand, but it's still only 1/4 the size of the old Radio Shack cassette recorder that I used years ago. I bought a 2 gig SD card, so I've got oodles of memory space.

Note to self: Add more about audio to Digital Video Secrets.

Oct. 24, 2008 note to self: Check out new Zoom H2. Looks much easier to use.

Cinevator digital film recorder

Film is not dead. Although there are fewer and fewer reasons to transfer digital to film, one good reason for transfer is archival purposes.

A 35mm print will be readable 100 years from now. I suspect that many of the current digital formats will be obsolete, and unreadable, within a couple decades.

The Cinevator digital film recorder, a new invention, can make direct prints with subtitles and sound (no negative needed), directly from digital information. It's less than half the price, compared to going through a negative.

Estimated costs:
NFS, 1st print - $25,500, $255/min
NFS, 2nd print - $7,500, $75/min
Total for both prints, $33,000, $165/average cost per minute

Using the single print price, NFS can make a print for festival/other use for 56% of the cost of generating the print via a DI (Digital Intermediate) interneg.

RED camera is shipping

The RED digital cinema camera is shipping.

From the RED site:


Record 2540 progressive at up to 60 fps RAW. With 4520 X 2540 pixels, Mysterium™ puts pure digital Ultra-High Def in the palm of your hand.

RED ONE™ and REDCINE™ also support down-sampling to 1080p and 720p for in-field monitoring and compatibility with non-linear editors.

You get the same breathtaking field of view and selective focus found on film cameras. Mysterium™ boasts a greater than 66db Signal to Noise Ratio thanks to its large 29 sq. micron pixels. And 12,065,000 pixels deliver resolution that can only be called Ultra High Definition.

With a 12 megapixel super-35 mm sensor and interchangeable lenses this camera has the potential to revolutionize digital shooting. Looks like a fully equipped system--body, lenses, viewfinder, etc. would run around $50,000.

Camera book: new writing schedule

Tentative writing schedule for camera book:

Finish the second draft.

Work with collaborator to complete third draft.
Final list of illustrations.
Assemble illustrations.
(Note: Screen captures must be at least 1500 pixels by 2400 pixels)
Interview filmmakers.

Finish final draft.
Final illustrations.
Package and deliver manuscript.

"Producing" book heading for layout

The "Producing" book is finally headed for layout.

Soon I must start thinking about indexing. Many libraries will not buy a book if it does not have an index. I've always seen libraries and university classes as potential markets for this book.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Headings edited, font chosen

Concise headings for "Producing" book are finished. I will send them to publisher this morning after my second cup of coffee.

Font choice for headings seems to be settled.

Much credit to publisher. They have been very patient and helpful.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Tom Wolfe -- four devices of realistic novels

In "The New Journalism" Tom Wolfe describes four devices that give realistic novels their immediacy and power. In the 60's journalists began to use these four devices to give their nonfiction the same immediacy and power.

1. Scene by scene construction.
2. Record the dialog in full.
3. Write from a third person point of view.
4. Record the symbolic details of people's status life.

From "The New Journalism", pages 31-32:

...By trial and error, by "instinct" rather than theory, journalists began to discover the devices that gave the realistic novel its unique power, variously known as its "immediacy," its "concrete reality," its "emotional involvement," its "gripping" or "absorbing" quality.

This extraordinary power was derived mainly from just four devices, they discovered. The basic one was scene-by-scene construction, telling the story by moving from scene to scene and resorting as little as possible to sheer historical narrative. Hence the sometimes extraordinary feats of reporting that the new journalists undertook: so that they could actually witness the scenes in other people's lives as they took place--and record the dialog in full, which was device No. 2. Magazine writers learned, like the early novelists, learned by trial and error something that has been demonstrated in academic studies: namely, that realistic dialog involves the reader more completely than any other single device. It also establishes and defines character more quickly and effectively than any other single device. (Dickens has a way of fixing a character in your mind so that you have the feeling he has described every inch of his appearance--only to go back and discover that he actually took care of the physical description in two or three sentences; the rest he has accomplished with dialog.) ...

...the third device was the so-called "third-person point of view" the technique of presenting every scene to the reader through the eyes of a particular character, giving the reader the feeling of being inside the character's mind and experiencing the emotional reality of the scene as he experiences it...

...The fourth device has always been the least understood. This is the recording of everyday gestures, habits, manners, customs, style of furniture, clothing decoration, styles of traveling, eating, keeping house, modes of behaving toward children, servants, superiors, inferiors, peers, plus the various looks, glances, poses, styles of walking and other symbolic details that might exist within a scene. Symbolic of what? Symbolic, generally, of people's status life...

The Memory Trick

Powerful, detailed, vivid descriptions are a key part of compelling and readable nonfiction.

As I read things like Joan Didion's "A Year Of Magical Thinking," I can't help thinking, "How does she *do* that!"

Didion vividly describes sights, smells, colors and textures of events ten, twenty, thirty or forty years in the past. Hell, I can't do that with something forty minutes in the past.

After thinking this through for a while I figured out a way I might compensate for my poor memory when writing nonfiction:

1. Begin by listing everything I remember about an event, without bothering about details, inaccuracies or relevancy.

2. Trim the list. Throw out memories that are clearly unrelated to the story.

3. Organize memories into scenes. The scenes may be in chronological order or they may form a dramatic arc.

4. Gather information about the memories on the list. This might involve visiting a place and recording impressions, re-enacting experiences, reading descriptions, and interviewing people. (Do extensive note taking.)

5. Organize the notes and information.

6. First draft.
Write a first draft, going quickly and not worrying about inconsistency or missing stuff.

7. More research.
The first draft usually reveals holes in the research. Fill in these holes.

8. Second draft.

9. Polish.
Polish the second draft. The polish sequence might be:
- Craft an opening from a visual anecdote in the draft.
- Cut weakest paragraphs.
- Craft an ending.
- Review for external logic (all the steps there? Anything missing?)
- Review internal logic: one idea per paragraph, one thought per sentence, sentences follow logically, transitions between paragraphs.
- Remove adjectives and adverbs.
- Punch up descriptions. (visual words)
- Read aloud. (flow and pacing)

10. Get feedback
- Give piece to "ideal readers"

9. Revise as appropriate.

10. Deliver
- Package the manuscript and deliver to publisher.
- If the manuscript is a chapter or section from a larger work, print the chapter and put it in a 3-ring binder.

A Year Of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

While visiting Victoria B.C. this summer, I bought a copy of "A Year of Magical Thinking" by Joan Didion.

Didion's writing is stunning.

I am still haunted by her story of how she kept her deceased husband's best suit in the closet, because "He would need it when he returned." She knew she was engaging in magical thinking, but the thoughts were beyond conscious control.

A wise, compassionate and honest book by a major writer.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Teaching technical writing

One problem with teaching technical writing is that very little of the actual job of technical writing is about writing.

What the job is about, instead, is project management, needs analysis, interviewing, going to meetings, collaborating with brilliant intractable people, and learning complex technical subjects quickly.

Technical manuals are not so much written as they are assembled.

The raw materials for a manual--code, specifications, engineering release notes, customer data, marketing materials and white papers--all exist in some form within the organization.

The overall structure of the manual is usually pre-determined by the style guides and prior publications of the organization.

Given all this, and given that the main thing a beginning technical writer needs is a portfolio, I think that I would teach a technical writing class by sending the students out to complete real-world assignments.

I'd send students to the local hospice organization to write a two page user-guide for the person who enters client data into an excel spreadsheet. Or I'd send them to the local schools and have them write instructions telling teachers how to use their computers.

Then I'd have them conduct a usability test of their procedures, and revise accordingly.

By the end of the course I'd want them to have a portfolio piece: a tested, readable and useful user-guide.

Textbooks for a technical writing course

A writer recently asked me which textbooks I would recommend for an introductory class in technical writing.

If I were teaching such a course, I might suggest
these three books:

Microsoft Manual of Style for Technical Publications
Third Edition (Paperback)
. A standard in the
industry, and it's relatively cheap, $17 on Amazon.

Writing Tools by Roy Peter Clark. I think every
technical writer should own this book. It will help
anyone write clearly, concisely, and efficiently.

The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition (Hardcover)

Strunk, White and Angell. Essential.

Work hours and writing schedules

Screenwriter and author Burton Wohl once told me his writing schedule.

"I write from 9-1, after a good breakfast. Four hours (of writing) is about all I can handle, and I think that's enough. A good breakfast (before starting) is important."

I tried Burton's plan and it works for me, too.

The only thing I'd add is that it has to be seven days a week.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Concise Chapter and Section Headings

Spent the last couple days editing the manuscript of the documentary book.

The publisher suggested shortening all the chapter and section headings. My co-author and I spent a day shortening and in some cases writing new headings.

We were able to reduce the wordage by about 50%. The result is, as the publisher promised, easier to read.

Now to transfer the new headings to the manuscript and get final OK from my co-author.

Lesson for future--concise chapter and section headings!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Amazing: by David L Brown

Watched a rough cut of filmmaker David L. Brown's new documentary Amazing, tonight.

While telling the stories of the men and women who participated in the rebuilding of the MacArthur Maze, David captures the optimism and can-do spirit that represents the best of what we are as a people.

When you make a documentary, it's easy to throw stones, complain, and accuse... but to capture this sense of energetic optimism without hyperbole, spin, or boosterism is extremely difficult.

An extraordinary film. I think it will gain national recognition.

Amazing: The Rebuilding of the MacArthur Maze

"Amazing: The Rebuilding of the MacArthur Maze" is a half-hour television special relating the remarkable story of the fiery collapse and incredibly fast rebuild of the Bay Area's MacArthur Maze, where 3 major California freeways meet at the base of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

Produced and directed by David L. Brown, recent winner of two Emmy awards for his film about the Bay Bridge, "Amazing" tells the story of the Maze reconstruction from the perspectives of all the main players in the drama: the now legendary lead contractor C.C. Myers; Caltrans Director Will Kempton; the Caltrans engineers who rebuilt the collapsed structure; the Arizona steel fabricator whose company built the steel girders; a firefighter who responded to the accident; and the Oakland Tribune reporter who covered the story.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Note taking 2.0

Still working on developing a system of notetaking that will work for me.

Here's where I am now.

The problem:
While doing background research for a book, I find it necessary to read several dozen books, magazines, reports, and other documents. Facts taken from these documents must be summarized to I can use them in my draft, and 'sourced' so I can go back to the original document later, if I need to verify a fact.

I have a terrible memory, so I have to devise a systematic way of keeping track of what I read, and where I read it.

Before starting notetaking, I enter the book title in RefWorks, so I can generate a bibliography later.

1. Read and annotate the book.
2. Go through the book with a stack of 3 x 5 notecards.
Write concise notes describing the annotations on the 3 x 5 cards. Write concise summaries in your own words, do not copy, do not write prose. In the upper right-hand corner of the card, note the source -- book and page number. Work quickly.
3. Sort the cards into Chapter piles.
4. Sort Chapter piles into section piles.
5. Stick the cards on a display board.
Rearrange the cards until they feel right.
6. Referring to the display board, write the first draft.
7. Insert bibliographic citations as I write the draft, using the RefWorks Write-N-Cite utility.

In this approach, books are consumables. Much like film stock in a film production, the books are consumed during the project.

I hate to write in, or highlight, books! I'll spend $500 going to a seminar as part of background research, and never blink an eye. But writing in the margins of a $5 book makes my skin crawl.

Creative mania

Eric Maisel in his book Coaching the Artist Within describes creative mania:

"Imagine a painter. She has become very excited about her current project. She prefers to work on it than to pursue her other activities. To use the language of the preceding lesson she is positively obsessed. She recognizes that she is letting other things slip through the cracks as she worked feverishly on her painting, but nothing feels important enough to cause her to stop.

"She understands that she is operating in a self-absorbed, grandiose, arrogant way, as if that were anybody's business. Interruptions irritate her. She feels a constant, intense internal pressure to paint. Every so often she fantasizes about the glorious reception or painting will receive when it's finished and seen by others, offend sissy that exacerbates her high strung state. She sleeps fewer hours than usual as, driven to create, she works on or painting later tonight and returns to it early each morning.

"She feels both elation working so intensely and impatience that she can't work even faster. She experiences a heightened sexual energy that sends her impulsively on the prowl as well as bouts of anxiety when a thought strikes are that she may ruin her painting or complete it and hate it. Hovering nearby is a depression generated by the half conscious fear that painting is not nearly as meaningful as she is making it out to be.

Maisel has captured something important here.

Every artist and filmmaker that I've known has acted something like this when in the midst of a creative project.

Maybe everyone--generals, businessmen, lawyers, architects, professional athletes, and grade school teachers--displays similar symptoms when attacking a challenging project that requires total commitment and creative thinking.

The challenge for the artist is to to channel this energy and avoid sliding into obsessive, self-destructive behavior.

Friday, September 7, 2007

RefWorks for bibliographies

Modern nonfiction books seem to require extensive bibliographies. RefWorks is the best solution I've found to maintaining and generating bibliographies.

How it works:

RefWorks is an online database for all your
bibliographical entries. You can access it from any
Internet connection.

After you sign up for an individual account at
RefWorks, you simply enter your bibliographical
information in RefWorks from any Internet connected

(I enter everything that I come across while
researching a manuscript... books, interviews,
magazine articles, journals, films, images... )

When it comes time to write your manuscript, Install
the RefWorks utility Write-N-Cite on
your word processor.

Once Write-N-Cite is installed, go ahead and write
your draft, as usual.

To insert a citation in your draft, open Write-N-Cite
and scroll down the list of citations in the
Write-N-Cite window. Click 'Cite' to insert a

Write-N-Cite installs a tiny snippet of MS Word code
in your manuscript.

When you are finished with your draft, follow the
instructions on the Write-N-Cite page to automatically
generate your bibliography.

In practice, I've found it very simple and reliable.

RefWorks website.

Detailed Write-N-Cite description.

The ideal digital voice recorder (audio)

I've been searching for a new digital voice recorder. My wish list of features:

1. Connects to computer via USB, for a simple, reliable physical connection to computer so I can transfer voice files easily and quickly.

2. Windows automatically recognizes the recorder as a 'storage device', so I can transfer voice files easily and quickly. No proprietary software needed to connect to and access the recorder.

3. Records in MP3 format, so I can use any computer to play interviews back in 2, 3 or 5 years.

4. Has line-in, mic-in and line-out connectors.

Line-in for recording high quality sound from a 'line
out' jack on another device.

Mic-in for using generic external microphones (like
lavaliere mic's.)

Line-out for recording your files to any other device
with a 'line in' jack.

5. Records CD quality (128 bit)

My podcasting friends tell me that this is the minimum
for good quality voice files for radio, podcasting or
video production.

6. Has removable memory, preferably on standard SD cards.

When the recorder memory is filled up (on a long trip, or a long series of
interviews) it's nice to have the option of swapping memory.

7. Uses standard AA or AAA batteries.

8. Small and unobtrusive

When I'm interviewing someone, I always ask first if
it's OK to record.

If they are comfortable with recording, and give me a
clear "yes," I like to start the recorder and place it
on the table between us.

If the recorder is small and unobtrusive, people tend
to forget about the recorder and we establish a
personal connection. I think I get better interviews
this way.

8. Intuitive controls.

If I'm interviewing someone, I want to be able to
start and stop the recorder quickly, without fiddling
with the controls or accidentally pressing the wrong button.

Also, I want to be able to tell at a glance that I'm

The only recorder I've found so far the meets most of these requirements is the Zoom H4 mobile field recorder. Only down-side I see so far is that is a bit larger and more 'attention getting' than I'd like, and it's relatively expensive.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Art movies: RIP says Camille Paglia

The art movie is dead, says Camille Paglia. She may be right.

I remember being at Sundance nearly 20 years ago, and going to watch an 'art film' made by a friend.

The movie began with long takes of desolate, alienated people. Within ten minutes the audience began to leave. As two men walked past me, I heard one say angrily to his partner "I didn't come here to see experimental film!"

From Art movies: RIP by Camille Paglia
...On the culture front, fabled film directors Ingmar Bergman and Michelangelo Antonioni dying on the same day was certainly a cold douche for my narcissistic generation of the 1960s. We who revered those great artists, we who sat stunned and spellbound before their masterpieces -- what have we achieved? Aside from Francis Ford Coppola's "Godfather" series, with its deft flashbacks and gritty social realism, is there a single film produced over the past 35 years that is arguably of equal philosophical weight or virtuosity of execution to Bergman's "The Seventh Seal" or "Persona"? Perhaps only George Lucas' multilayered, six-film "Star Wars" epic can genuinely claim classic status, and it descends not from Bergman or Antonioni but from Stanley Kubrick and his pop antecedents in Hollywood science fiction.

Tragically, very few young people today, teethed on dazzling special effects and a hyperactive visual style, seem to have patience for the long, slow take that deep-think European directors once specialized in. It's a technique already painfully time-bound -- that luxurious scrutiny of the tiniest facial expressions or the chilly sweep of a sterile room or bleak landscape.

Note taking 1.0

Good notes are critical when writing a book.

First, for simply gathering the information needed when it comes time to write the first draft.

Second, to prevent inadvertent plagiarism.

Third, to give accurate sources for your information and to create a good bibliography.

Here's an excellent summary of one style of note taking:

“How to Take Notes”

The objective
The objective of note taking is to come up with an outline for the chapter, paper, or book that you are taking notes about.
Before you start
1. Formulate the research question. Have it in mind as you read, listen to interview, etc.
How it’s done
1. Take copious notes. Figure 4-10 times as many as you’ll need.
2. Compress the material, and extract key points. Do not dwell on details.
3. Use (print to) 3 ring binder paper.
4. Number each note and sub level.
5. Source each note carefully.
6. Distinguish important points
7. Translate into your own words

Things to avoid

1. Copying lengthy chunks of books or web pages or interviews.
2. Jumbling topics together.
3. Writing prose.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Digital to film transfer

DVFilm does DV to film transfers. The company's founder Marcus van Bavel has made two films and written a book "Shooting Digital" (available at DVFilm, $35.) about how to shoot digital footage intended for film transfer. I haven't used their services, but based on the book and their website, DVFilm is a definite candidate if I ever have to transfer a production from digital to film.

I have much more to say about the whole subject of digital to film: when, why and how.

Film is probably the single best archival format available.

I suspect that 100 years from now, no one is going to be able to read any of the digital formats currently available. Film will be readable as long as the physical medium is intact.

Creativity and productivity

I've always been fascinated by artistic productivity. What makes the difference between the prolific artist, filmmaker or writer and the rest of us?

Eric Maisel has written a book "Coaching The Artist Within," that identifies 12 skills a creative person can learn to "develop the habits that make creating a daily routine."

The skills as explained in "Coaching the Artist Within" are:
1. Self-coaching.
2. Finding and nurturing your passion.
3. Getting a grip on your mind.
4. Embracing dualistic thinking.
5. Generating mental energy.
6. Creating in the middle of things
7. Achieving a centered presence.
8. Committing to a goal oriented process.
9. Managing anxiety.
10. Planning and doing.
11. Reality testing.
12. Maintaining a creative life.