Author Archive for Paul Escandon
According to CNET.com – Apple is seeing a lot of problems with the glass back of the iPhone 4 when paired with certain cases that cover the back of the phone. I have an Incase iPhone 4 case and can report that I have seen none of the mentioned issues. Have any of you seen this problem?
Apple likes glass. A lot. You can tell that much from its many retail stores, and in its products where glass is used in displays, notebook trackpads, and both the front and back of the iPhone 4.
That last place, though is what might be causing the company some headaches.
That’s according to a report today from Gdgt, which says that slip-on cases — the kind that cover the back and sometimes front of theiPhone 4, have been the cause of serious cosmetic damage with the backside of the iPhone. Dirt and other loose bits of debris from your pocket end up in that space.
Over time, that can lead to a shattered backside as small scratches grow to become large cracks that travel across the back of the device, much like a ding on a windshield.
This has become a big enough problem, the report says, that Apple’s engineers have been hard at work in “a quiet lockdown,” testing various third-party cases to see how widespread the problem is, and presumably to make sure it does not happen with future iterations of the device.
Comcast’s thePlatform has announced a collaboration with Google that will increase the likelihood of you web video to be indexed properly by Google’s search engine technology. This technology, using their Feeds 3 service, will also allow web video publisher’s content to be available on the new Google TV platform. More from thePlatform below:
Today thePlatform was featured in Google’s about their recent efforts to improve online video search. Through our collaboration with the search giant, we are very excited to offer our customers a simpler yet more effective way to help consumers find their online videos.
We do this via our Feeds Service 3, which produces MRSS feeds tailored for use as Google’s video-specific sitemaps, indexing pages on your site that Google might not find using its normal web-crawling mechanisms.
The feed tells Google which of your site’s pages contain multimedia and instructs Google how to display the search results (e.g., display thumbnails next to search results for videos and images).
The main advantage of using thePlatform’s Feeds Service to get your online video content indexed by Google is that it is fully dynamic and will update the results whenever you modify the contents of the feed. And once your feed is submitted as a video sitemap, little to no additional effort is required.
There is an additional benefit to having your video catalog indexed by Google Video Search, which is that it will then be accessible via Google TV as well.
Google places a few requirements on a site that is indexed by a video sitemap, and thePlatform has worked closely with them to ensure that we can support these requirements. Contact your Account Manager to learn more about how thePlatform can help you ensure that your online video content is fully indexed by Google so that your audience can find it.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple plans to begin mass producing the iPhone for CDMA carrier Verizon Wireless before the end of 2010. “Apple Inc. plans to begin mass producing a new iPhone by the end of 2010 that would allow Verizon Wireless to sell the smartphone early next year, said people briefed by Apple,” writes the WSJ. Apple, Qualcomm, and Verizon have all declined to comment on the report. The paper goes on to say that the phone would be available from Verizon Wireless in Q1 of 2011.
Interesting news out recently for digital cinematography aficionados or anyone who has ever heard of the RED Scarlet camera. Originally announced at NAB 2008, the 3K (censor) Scarlet was to bring RED’s high-end digital cinema technology to the consumer market at the very reasonable price point of around $3,000. Now, it appears that the Scarlet that we were introduced to in 2008 will never come to market. Instead, RED’s founder Jim Jannard is making the decision to add features, raise the price and attempt to only compete with the Scarlet in the professional market. With the incredible advances in dSLR technology in the consumer and prosumer spaces over the last two years, I think RED likely saw a very difficult competition climate – one that they did likely not see very profitable. Read the rundown of all of Jannard’s comments here at EOSHD.com.
Some excerpts below:
Originally Posted by Jim Jannard:
“The concept of RED was to build a camera with as much capability as possible… for the professional market. Then we thought we could extend it down a bit to the prosumer level. Apparently, that was a mistake.”
There it is then, in quite candid terms. Scarlet was a mistake. Just as Gerald Ratner made ‘crap’ jewellery, RED produced a ‘mistake’ of a camera. For those who would have liked a prosumer RED camera (and priced accordingly) it must all be very disappointing. They must be bawling their eyes out over at DVXUser. Should RED finally release the fabled Scarlet, Jannard has spent the last 2 weeks prepping customers for a price hike and the abandonment of any kind of prosumer pretension.
RED are currently justifying Scarlet’s latest $1000 price increase with the addition of a high dynamic range post processing feature (in real-time) called HDRx. This already exists (the EPIC has it). So many will now wonder – what is the difference between Scarlet and EPIC especially now both are aimed at the same market?
The Netflix for iPhone app was released on August 26th, after having been available on the Apple iPad since the launch of that product. I, along with other Netflix subscribers, was really anticipating the release of the Netflix app as the majority of my media consumption these days comes directly from Netflix – usually streaming from my PS3 to the TV. Netflix’s popularity has soared in the last few years – as the Instant Watch library grows and many 3rd party devices/boxes/TVs are building in support for the device (Apple’s new Apple TV being just the latest).
The Netflix for iPhone App Review
Netflix on the iPhone comes in at 6.8 MB for the download and is a free download in the Apple app store. Or course, you need to be a paying Netflix subscriber to have access to the streaming content. One thing that is interesting is that there is no way to manage your DVD queue from within the app itself. The fact that this feature is lacking from the official app is puzzling to me – as there are multiple 3rd party apps out there that include this capability. It would be nice to be able to manage your queue from within this app – as I find that I manage my queue more from my phone than I do my home computer. It’s possible though, in the interest of pushing this app out, that they decided to leave this feature out for now. I like to see this feature come out in a future update though.
The interface is very straightforward and similar to the interface that you see on other platforms.
On the last day of July 2010 (aka the baseball trade deadline) as the sun was setting on Winchester, California I found myself cramming the last of our possessions into a filled-to-the-brim minivan. As I was doing this, new tenants that we had just found no more than 2 weeks earlier were backing up a UHAUL into the driveway of our first house, purchased just 2 years prior, and were already moving boxes into our garage. Inside the van was my wife, her kid brother and sister, and our three daughters. We took a few pictures, said goodbye to a few of our neighbors and started the van. As we drove off some of our family members waved us good bye and we were off on the biggest adventure of our lives – a total family relocation to a city we had never been to but had only heard good things about. I had just quit my job, we had no family there, no friends, and knew virtually nobody in the area. The feeling of relief that came over me in that moment was indescribable – for the last 2 months of our lives have been filled with all the time consuming duties of making such a big life shift – fixing up the house, finding tenants, finding a house to rent, and quitting my job to name a few. We finally made it to our first big goal – and the future held something unknown, something extremely exciting. Austin, Texas – here we come!
Just 3-4 months earlier, we had never contemplated living anywhere but California other than the occasional “it would be nice to retire to Colorado someday” or “maybe when I have a lot of money we can buy a ranch in Wyoming or Montana and live there”. So the question is – what changed in the next months that would lead to us not only entertaining the possibilities but also deciding on where we wanted to live and executing the plan? Let me try to break it down…
Continue reading ‘Why I moved to Austin, Texas’
My company, Oremus Productions, recently worked with web search start-up Yebol (www.yebol.com) to create their initial videos to run on their site during their beta launch period.Yebol is a brand new semantic search engine with some amazing capabilities. An old friend of mine that I knew when he was in college in California has since started his own PR firm, and is repping this company. He said they were looking for some slick looking instructional videos with a light hearted and humorous touch. Director Matt Bieler and I wrote these scripts – and actress/spokesmodel/news reporter Jessica Miller is our host. Chris Silva plays “The Internet”.I’m hoping this turns into a larger campaign – but that remains to be seen. Here are the videos:
Talk about a triumph and an epic fail.
The men’s 4x100m relay last night in Beijing was one for the ages.
Here’s just a little something for all of you who love to see American’s beating the French at anything – especially when it’s a crushing victory that came after a lot of trash talking.
Word on the Creative Cow forums this morning is that the newly released Apple Quicktime 7.4 upgrade causes a MAJOR problem with Adobe After Effects where the system crashes after 10 minutes or so of rendering. So far this has been confirmed on After Effects CS3 – not sure about previous versions. This is happening to multiple people and this occurs immediate after upgrading to Quicktime 7.4. Again, like with all Apple updates – DO NOT BE THE FIRST ONE TO UPGRADE. Wait until others do it and take time to read the forums and see what everyone else’s experiences are. This should be especially true with Quicktime as the last few releases have been unstable at best. This should be even more critical if you work under tight deadlines and absolutely NEED to deliver.
Here’s a link to the forum post. Hopefully Apple can take care of this one quickly: http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/2/925464
Update: I’m getting a lot of traffic here from Google from people who are having the same problems. There seems to be no fix from Apple yet but some people have successfully downgraded from Quicktime 7.4 to Quicktime 7.3.1 and that should get you back to working. Here are the steps.
1. Download the older quicktime for your OS:
2. Download and install the program Pacifist.
3. From Pacifist, install the Quicktime .pkg that you downloaded. Choose “Replace” instead of “Actualize”
I’ve been told that this works and will downgrade you back to 7.3.1. This way you can wait to upgrade back up to 7.4 until Apple releases a more stable version. I haven’t actually done this myself since I never upgraded to 7.4 in the first place – so use this info at your own risk. Feel free to let me know the results.
Everyone is talking about the new MacBook Air that was announced by His Jobsness yesterday at Macworld 2008 in San Francisco. I think you’ll find that the majority of people’s initial reactions are not glowing and positive as is the buzz with most newly announced Apple products. Yesterday was a far cry from the fan fare surrounding the iPhone announcement last year at Macworld or even all-but-forgotten Mac Mini in ’05.
I’m a professional video editor so I’m going to be looking at the product from this specific professional point of view and trying to see where or if this could fit into any post workflow. Before you yell – yes, I do understand that this computer is clearly not “designed for” the video professional – but I still think it’s a fair question and no doubt one that will be asked. It’s not uncommon for a product designed for one thing to get adapted by a community and be used in ways the creators didn’t originally envision. I did, after all, go over a year using a Macbook (not Pro) as my main editing system at home even though Apple doesn’t officially support this for Final Cut before upgrading to a Mac Pro this year – and I cut some fairly high profile jobs on this with nobody knowing or caring. As for the MacBook Air – I haven’t seen one of these in person yet I’ve only seen the specs, the keynote, and the pictures but I’ll share my initial thoughts with you.
First – a quick glance. I’ll list the good and the bad, along with a score on a scale of 1 to 10 on how important that is for the video professional.
1. Ultra portable and really thin. (2/10 comment: the difference in size and weight between say a MacBook Air and a MacBook Pro is probably negligible to an editor)
2. Apple-chic – will get stares. (2/10 comment: most editors I know could care less what their equipment looks like)
3. Can extend desktop to a 1920×1200 external monitor (9/10 comment: more or less essential to have an option for extra workspace with any serious creative app)
4. The solid state drive option should blow away traditional hard drive speeds, but you pay for it. (7/10 comment: disk speed is huge to most professional editors, but not all DV editors would ever tell the difference)
5. Cool new gestures with the trackpad (3/10 comment: Will you be gesturing with Final Cut Pro? Probably not.
6. Fits in an envelope? (no comment)
1. Limited connections, NO FIREWIRE. (10/10 comment: this is probably a deal breaker for 95% of you out there)
2. Non existent upgradability – no user replaceable hard drive or ram like the Mac Books (8/10 comment: 2 gigs of ram isn’t bad, but definitely on the low end of what you’d want in an edit system)
3. No optical drive – installing software wirelessly sounds like a hassle (5/10: this effects probably any end-user equally. If you need to load something from a DVD, you need to use their other options)
4. Speakers are mono and apparently sound very thin (not surprising) (3/10 comment: not too huge as most laptop editors are probably using headphones or powered speakers)
5. No ethernet jack – but you can get an Apple branded USB external (2/10 comment: annoying, but no big impact on the video producer)
6. 4200 rpm drive on the stock option (7/10 comment: similar to my comment about the SSD drive – you’d like to see at least a 5400 if you’re editing, preferably a 7200 drive)
7. Pricey! Yikes! (9/10 comment: even professionals love deals. What reasons would someone pick this over a MacBook Pro – especially given the price difference?)
8. The battery is internal like an iPod (5/10 comment: annoying, to be sure – but probably not a huge deal to an editor)
Let’s tackle the first question that has already been asked on the forums – can this thing even run Final Cut Studio? My guess is that since spec wise it is more powerful than older G4 laptops that can run Final Cut studio and similar to my MacBook that is already running Final Cut Studio – then yes it should be able to install the software. You can forget about Motion and Color right off the bat as those applications have more demanding requirements for video cards and the MacBook Air comes with an Intel GMA X3100 graphics chip that just won’t cut it with those programs. But I see no reason why Final Cut Pro wouldn’t be able to install, launch, and run decently.
But now we have to talk about the biggest thing from a post production standpoint that Apple left out and that is the lack of a Firewire 400 or Firewire 800 port. As most hobbyist and DV editors know – firewire is crucial for getting your footage onto your computer. Without a firewire connection this results in what I would guess is about 95% of the Final Cut Pro user base having no ability to load footage onto this computer. Without this connection the only way you can work with media (on the fairly limited internal hard drive mind you) is to transfer it over. This is not that difficult if you’re shooting with a solid state camera such as the HVX200 or Sony PMW-EX1 and can bring it over USB (I think that’s how footage is transferred from these cameras but I’ve never used one) but it’s a hassle if you actually have to capture from another computer to use the MacBook Air. This is a glaring omission from the video editor’s point of view – yet not one that is shocking considering who this computer is clearly designed for. This makes it clear that Apple has no intention of marketing this product to editors as their higher end laptops give editors most everything they need and more. Again, I’m looking at this from the standpoint of someone who might be potentially thinking about this option as an editor and I am not making the argument that the decision to leave out firewire is bad or saying “shame on Apple” for doing it – I am however just pointing out how big a deal that is for someone who maybe had the thought that this would be something they could use with ease for editing.
Price would also factor heavily into one’s decision to buy a system like this and I think when you see how much the MacBook Air is and start to compare it to a computer like the MacBook Pro the choice becomes clear. For $100 less you can configure a MacBook Pro system with a larger screen (15″), a faster processor (2.2GHz Core 2 Duo), a faster and bigger hard drive (120gb 5400 rpm), a DVD superdrive, a much faster graphics chipset (NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT 128MB), and all the ports you’ll need (Firewire 400, Firewire 800, ethernet, ExpressCard34, multiple USB). What are you losing with the MacBook Pro vs the MacBook Air? It’s just a little bigger and a little heavier – but that’s it.
Upon a thorough look – it is clear that the MacBook Pro is the computer of choice for the video editor. In fact, it’s pretty silly to even think that anyone at all will adopt the MacBook Air for this purpose when the MacBook Pro is there with a lot more features and a smaller price tag – but inevitably I’m sure it will happen and I’d love to hear your experiences with this setup when you do get it up and running and your decision on why you went with this.
I’ve been trying to figure out what application a computer like this might have in production where it would excel over a MacBook Pro and I’m having a hard time coming up with even one. Maybe as a lightweight and ultra portable screen for a teleprompter system – but even thinking of it as such is a stretch. Anyone else have any ideas? Please enlighten me with your thoughts!
Well that’s it – hope you enjoyed my thoughts on this. Again, I know that to some of you even opening up the discussion on this as a possible editing machine is probably high treason – but I think it’s always a fair question to ask and some people might not really know the details on exactly what this machine is lacking and how that would effect the editor. I’ll leave it up to the community though to take this product to a whole new level and do things with it I never thought was even possible.
Maybe I’ll take a look at the Modbook for video editing purposes in my next installment!
In a serious experiment to discover the weight and physical properties of a Granny Smith apple at an industrial speed against a non-moving Irish man the results proved to be dynamic and, well… funny.
Irish man: Ray Doran
Camera: Richard Sinatra
Producer: Alex Brennan
Executive Producer: Paul Escandon because it was his camera we were testing out
Laugh gallery: John Beattie, Jason Williams
Hey everyone – Happy New Year!
I spent this New Years day like I spent last year – cheering on the USC Trojans to victory in the Rose Bowl! One of these days they’re going to match us up with a tough opponnent – but I’m not sure when that’s going to happen. There is no doubt in my mind that USC could take Ohio State or LSU the way they’re playing right now. Unfortunately – a stupid loss to a bad team is going to keep them from getting that chance. Maybe they’ll learn their lesson. I’m digressing…
I just wanted to tell people to check out the Outdoor Channel if they get it tonight and/or any other Friday night for a show that I work heavily on. It’s called Ultimate Match Fishing College Edition and it’s a head-to-head fishing tournament that matches up one school against another. It’s a unique format so even if the outdoors and fishing isn’t your thing you might get some entertainment out of it. Or – if like me motion graphics and post production is your thing then you can just focus in on those elements :]
It’s on tonight on Outdoor Channel at 6:30pm EST (OUTDOOR CHANNEL is NOT OLN or Versus or some other channel with Outdoor in it’s name). Just so you know – I did the show opens, the bumpers, the motion graphics and the color grading. This episode was edited by the talented Danielle Patterson. It’s Oregon vs. Pursue in a battle royale (okay now I’m sounding like I’m in marketing).
I doubt many people are going to get a chance to see it – but if you do – let me know what you think.
A few weeks ago we drove up to Burbank and shot Outdoor Channel show host Michael Waddell on a green screen for Outdoor Channel Broadband and OutdoorChannel.com site tutorials.
I shot on Sony HDCAM and composited the pieces together in After Effects. Big ups to Rich Sinatra for virtually creating a copy of our entire site from within After Effects – he did all the dirty work and I just had to tweak some of the changes that have been made to our site in the last few months. Also, John Beattie recorded sound and produced the final mix. Michael Dorsey wrote the script. Llloyd Byran Adams producing. This was a total in house production from beginning to end.
Go to Outdoorchannel.com to check it out – the tutorial should load immediately when you enter the site. Also, you can check out the other tutorial on Outdoorchannel.tv – although that one plays regularly but won’t necessarily play when you enter.
I’ve been working on a new show reel to highlight what I’ve done the last few years and just recently put the finishing touches on it.The following is the intro piece to the longer version of the reel – but I thought I’d just post this up on here for now. It showcases some of my work as an editor, a director of photography, and a motion graphics artist. Check it out…Paul Escandon’s 2008 Show Reel Intro from Paul Escandon on Vimeo.
For those of you who may have found this site through a Google search result and have no idea who I am, this video provides a pretty good primer for you to view.
I spent this last weekend in Primm, NV shooting the Las Vegas 300 for the show Desert Racing on Outdoor Channel. Having worked with the producer on some online edits last season, I was fortunate enough to get the call to operate one of the field cameras for this off road event.
It was a really cool experience and I’m hoping I can do more of these in the future. I really have to admire the racers who can do these long off road races in the desert with all the conditions and obstacles that they face. It was really nice being out in what felt like the middle of nowhere with nothing around me for miles and miles… until of course a race truck or buggy came zooming by me.. and then back to nothingness for a few minutes.
Check out the Las Vegas 300 on Desert Racing on Outdoor Channel in the coming weeks. I’m not sure exactly when this specific show will air.
Here are some pictures that I took on my camera phone from the shoot.
This past weekend I spent working in Kansas City, MO for the NPPL live webcast of their Super 7 tournament event. I worked with friend and producer Jayne Romyn formerly from Outdoor Channel shows “Inside Paintball” and “Inside RC”. She was running a really tight crew of about 10 people that worked to get the live 8-hour a day streaming webcast running on www.nppllive.com.
This was my first time working a paintball event and my job was to go out and shoot, capture, edit and deliver small 3-5 minute segments that could be played during breaks in the action that gave people a taste of the flavor of being at a live event. I had a really good time working with the crew – they were all really talented individuals and incredibly efficient at their jobs. Here are some pictures from the event, followed by a short 2-minute hightlight reel of what I shot during the weekend.
Here’s a little tutorial I just made that shows a quick and easy way to get a pretty convincing bleach bypass film look using nothing but Final Cut Pro’s color correction filters.
Most of you who know me are very familiar with this project that I am working on, but for those of you who don’t, here is a link..
I invested A LOT of my time into this project. I traveled to Sri Lanka with Eric Klein and James Sicignano in early 2005 to document the tsunami that happened in December 2004 – and spent countless hours, with the help of Eric Klein and Matt Bieler, cutting this trailer for a movie that we are still in the process of making.
Here is the youtube video:
Next weekend I’m going to be travelling to Kansas City, MO to shoot an NPPL paintball event that is going to be broadcast live over the Internet on www.nppllive.com. This is going to be the first time that I’m going to be working an event like this and I’m looking forward to the run-and-gun shoot, edit, and deliver process that we’re going to have going.
Basically, the event is streamed live over the Internet with a production switcher that I imagine handles 3 or 4 camera angles. Since there is down time during the day that would normally translate to dead-time if you’re watching the live stream, the producer Jayne Romyn ( a good friend of mine and producer of former Outdoor Channel series ‘Inside RC’, ‘Inside Paintball’, and ‘Circle of Honor’) had the idea to have me shoot, edit, and deliver short segments from the field that can be shown during these periods. We’ll probably do some interviews, some highlight/profiles or people there, some fun/humorous stuff, and whatever else she feels like throwing in.
I’m going to be shooting on a Sony Z1U (HDV camera) probably in DV mode and then be editing on my Macbook, and delivering in Quicktime. Then I’ll repeat the process and do it over and over again. I look forward to the opportunity as most things I shoot aren’t very high pressure at all. The event is taking place at Kemper Arena, September 21-13. Hopefully the weather is decent and the plane ride not bumpy.
I posted this post using Contribute CS3 instead of the WordPress built-in login system. Hopefully it works. Let’s see…
Oh wait, let’s try a media file..
Just curious to see how that links and where it uploads to.
Last Saturday I shot an Indian wedding reception in Huntington Beach, CA at the Hilton Waterfront Hotel. Strangely enough, this is where my sister’s wedding reception was 12 years ago – brought back memories of her wedding photo album.
Just before the shoot I was able to stop at Samy’s camera in Santa Ana, CA to pick up a circular polarizer for my Cokin P series filter mount (I just recently purchased it and hadn’t yet bought any drop in filters for it). It was pricey – $91 with tax – but I really wanted a polarizer (I lost my last one… I have no idea what happened to it) and the cool thing is I’ll be able to use it on both my video camera and my still cameras with the cool P series deal.
So the shoot was flawless – the bride and groom were good people (not to mention well dressed). It had been a while since I shot photography for a wedding and it made me realize I should probably start taking on some non video gigs from time to time. This was the 7th wedding that I shot this summer (6 video, 1st photog).
Here are just a few pictures that I really liked:
I recently got a job teaching at John Paul the Great Catholic University in San Diego, CA. JPCU is welcoming their second incoming class of freshmen and I’ve been blessed enough to be able to welcome them to the world of web design and development. This is going to be a really cool class – it focuses on Adobe Dreamweaver CS3, Adobe Flash CS3, and Adobe Photoshop CS3 – all three in one class. It’s going to be hectic – that’s a lot of software for only 10 weeks of teaching – but I’m up for the challenge, and hopefully it will be a successful romp through cyberspace.
In addition to this new position I’m still editing, coloristing (my word), and motion graphic designing at Outdoor Channel in Temecula, CA. I’ve been there for 2 1/2 years and everything is still going well on that front.
Well, hopefully I’ll spend a little bit more time on this new and improved blog than I did on my last one – I lost interest pretty quickly. I’m going to try to focus this one more on the professional side of what I do – that being the video editing and the teaching. I’m starting to also teach Final Cut Pro classes and will soon be getting my certification as an Apple Professional Trainer – so I might as well keep the focus on that. Plus, nobody really wants to hear another person’s random political, social, or religious views on any given topic. Or do you? What??! You do?! Okay… I’ll relent. There may be a little of that too!
For those who are interested – my wife and I do have another blog at http://www.theescandons.com – that is more family oriented so family and friends can see what we’re up to. In fact, 90% of the blogging on that site is my wife and her beautiful ideas about motherhood and wifery. I’m leaving that one for her as I do this new one.
Well, until the next time – peace!