Friday, December 11, 2009

Werner Herzog’s Rogue Film School

Film director Werner Herzog was interviewed on the radio program onpointradio today.

He talks about his new movie The Bad Lieutenant, his book - diary really - about the making of Fitzcarraldo, and mostly just about movie making. The book Conquest of the Useless: Reflections from the Making of Fitzcarraldo is currently available in hardcover:

Originally published in the noted director's native Germany in 2004, Herzog's diary, more prose poetry than journal entries, will appeal even to those unfamiliar with the extravagant 1982 film. From June 1979 to November 1981, Herzog recounted not only the particulars of shooting the difficult film about a fictional rubber baron—which included the famous sequence of a steamer ship being maneuvered over a hill from one river to another—but also the dreamlike quality of life in the Amazon.

Perhaps more interestingly, he’s offering Werner Herzog’s Rogue Film School:

In January 2010, Herzog is offering a series of weekend seminars to select participants. “The Rogue Film School is not for the faint-hearted,” he says, “it is for those who have travelled on foot, who have worked as bouncers in sex clubs or as wardens in a lunatic asylum, for those who are willing to learn about lockpicking or forging shooting permits in countries not favoring their projects. In short: for those who have a sense for poetry. For those who are pilgrims. For those can tell a story to four year old children and hold their attention. For those who have a fire burning within. For those who have a dream.”

It seems to be a three day seminar/workshop, but beyond that, you're on your own. Also, if you wanted to attend you had to submit a DVD that they say Herzog would review. The about section has a series of bullet points, two of which stand out:
  • Related, but more practical subjects, will be the art of lockpicking. Traveling on foot. The exhilaration of being shot at unsuccessfully. The athletic side of filmmaking. The creation of your own shooting permits. The neutralization of bureaucracy. Guerrilla tactics. Self reliance.
  • Censorship will be enforced. There will be no talk of shamans, of yoga classes, nutritional values, herbal teas, discovering your Boundaries, and Inner Growth.
The first seminar will be held Jan 8-10 2010, and the application deadline is closed, but there’s talk of future seminars, so keep an eye out.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Can-Do Film Festival

I'm loath to write about this as I'm not a fan of "competitions" and "festivals" that have high entrance fees; I secretly suspect that they are just ways to make money from the entrants. At $40 per entry, the Can-Do Festival and Competition is enough to get me concerned because:

1) Though there's mention of a BluRay "projected at a major media event" there's little information about what the festival part actually is.

2) You'd be forgiven if you thought the event was sponsored by Canon: the Canon logo is the only graphic logo - in a fairly prominent place - on every page, there's a direct link from one tab to a Canon web page, and there's a reference to Canon Inc where it says "Canon Inc and RAWworks prizes", which can be taken to mean Canon Inc is involved, but could also simply be a reference to the make of the prizes.

3) Other than the judges, there's no information about who actually is organizing this event.

[UPDATE 12/11]: they have replaced most of the Canon icons with their own Can Do icon. Also, it's been pointed out that the website pages all have © LumaForge at the bottom, which is the company behind RAWworks, so it seems that they are the primary competition organizer/sponsor.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Canon 5D's still coming

Tim Smith of Canon is back with more about the upcoming firmware update for the 5D Mark II, which will add 24fps, and now, it seems, support for 720p at 60fps as well. The Planet5D blog has posted the information, along with a short video taken at the Createasphere workshop.

Tim also retells the story of the history of the camera, which he has repeated on more than one occasion.

Great excitement for Canon 5D owners!

Underwater Cameras: annoying addition

VholdR has just announced an underwater case for their Contour camera which costs $39.99 and should be available in December (though not yet, and it's not listed at Amazon!)

It's looks good, with an operating depth up to 10 meters, and power and record switches. The only downer for me is I just spent $160 a month ago for an enclosure for my Sony camera. BUT, it's not all bad news as the Sony does give you - limited - viewing of the LCD screen, and an operational zoom button.

Still if you have a Contour camera, the waterproof case looks like a good investment.

They also have a new Handle Bar Mount for $29.99, and a Lens Kit for $29.99 which provides extra lens covers and a replacement Lens Ring. There's also a Lens Adaptor Ring that lets you add a standard 37mm lens filter to the camera. Check they're accessory page, though note that buying only a few of these can start adding considerably to the original cost of the camera.