Pitching Scripts: at Harvard Square Script Writers

Dearly beloved scriptwriters, we're gathered together in this church in Harvard Square to pitch scripts. It's the Harvard Square Script Writer Group's Pitching It Workshop. The Harvard Square Script Writers group has been going for some years. It’s meetings are held in a Lutheran church just a short hop from Harvard Square. Usually they meet and go over a script from one of the participants, but every now and again they have a meeting on more general topics. Tonight they have four people from the industry talking about the art of pitching, and then about 16 people will each get a chance to do a five minute pitch to one of the speakers. I've never pitched. I won't be pitching tonight. I'm here to observe because I'm curious about pitching. It's not something I think I could do well, even if I tried. It's too close to selling, and I'm not good at that either. There’s about 40 people present, including panelists. The crowd is mostly mi

David Mamet: Do one thing for your art every day, and one thing for your business

For the past few months, ads for have been following me around the web. Somehow they figured out I might be interested in their content—I must have clicked something—and I've had their ads popping up all over the place on different sites. That's annoying. But... While most ads I tend to be able to ignore, they managed to suck me in. And I'm here to report that some of their stuff is pretty good. For those not familiar, MasterClass offers online "classes" with different prominent people in the arts (and even a fews sports figures and others.) Presenters include: Annie Leibovitz, deadmau5, Aaron Sorkin, Hans Zimmer, Steve Martin and David Mamet. These classes are all in the same format; a series of short video lectures by the presenter, each of the individual lectures being anywhere from about 5 to 15 minutes long. There's also a workbook provided with each course, that includes highlights from each lecture. Though I don't re

This is why we can’t have nice things: Dumping YouTube

Youtube sent me a nice form email today, essentially accusing me of being a spammer, an impersonator or a re-uploader. They didn’t phrase it exactly that way, but the inference was clearly there, and the result was the same: they are no longer allowing me "access to monetization tools associated with" the Youtube Partner Program As you probably heard, we recently announced updates to the YouTube Partner Program (YPP). We made these changes to address a spike in abuse on YouTube by bad actors like spammers, impersonators, and re-uploaders. Our goal is to ensure a healthy ecosystem where original creators can grow and thrive. As of today, your channel, notesonvideo will no longer have access to monetization tools associated with YPP because it doesn’t meet the new threshold of 4,000 hours of watch time within the past 12 months and 1,000 subscribers. Admittedly, I haven’t been uploading videos to YouTube recently, so my traffic is way down, but it seems just a little anno

RodeLink Wireless Filmmaker Kit - First Impressions

The RodeLink Wireless Filmmaker Kit ($399) started shipping a couple of months ago, but it's availability has been sporadic. I ordered one a month and a half ago and only received it last week, though B & H has had it listed as "In Stock" for the last few days, so supply may have finally caught up with demand. I was interested in the RodeLink as a second wireless mic to support the Sony wireless that I already have; sometimes one wireless unit is just not enough! (The Sony unit I have, the UWP-V1, is now discontinued but it's current equivalent would be the $599  UWP-D11 .) I would have bought another Sony, but two things pushed me to try the RodeLink; it's consideradly cheaper, but more importantly, it transmits on 2.4 GHz. There are pros and cons to the 2.4 GHz channel, but a big pro is that the FCC has once again decided to reshuffle spectrum and it could mean that existing wireless mics will once again need to be replaced if they get pushed off

Canon XC10 is shipping, but here comes the Sony RX10 II

A week or so ahead of the projected date, the Canon XC10 is now shipping. There's some interesting - and odd - things about this new camcorder. For one thing, despite its form factor more closely resembling a DSLR or mirrorless camera, it's billed at a "Professional Camcorder." It records UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) at up to 29.97p, ISO from 100 to 20,000, has 4:2:2, 8-bit sampling and recording at up to 305 Mbps. On the other hand, it's a 1" sensor, a fixed zoom lens that's 35mm equivalent of 27.3 to 273 mm, and the maximum aperture varies from f/2.8 to 5.6. 1080p videos and photos can be recorded to SDHC/SDXC, but for 4K you must use CFast cards. And there's no built-in ND filters [ Correction : It appears there's a single 3-stop built-in filter in both the XC10 and the RX10 II ]. And it costs $2,499 But the biggest problem for those considering this camcorder is that Sony has the RX10 II camera coming out next month. This camera also recor

Upcoming Events in New England

There's some interesting events going on in New England in the next couple of weeks: 9th Annual ITVFest Sept 26-28, Dover VT ITVFest (the Independent Television and Film Festival) is the premier festival for showcasing, celebrating and distinguishing the world’s best independently produced television shows, web series, multimedia content and short films. SMPTE/New England Sept 30 “Can you hear me now?” Boston, Wireless Microphone Frequency reallocation…again! Initiatives and new regulations by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will change the radio frequency landscape...again. A few short years ago the 700 MHz band was reallocated and had to be vacated by wireless mics. Next year the 600 MHz band will be auctioned and thereafter re-purposed, posing even steeper challenges for wireless mic operators.  MIT Hacking Arts - Oct 4th at The Media Lab in Cambridge, MA This year's conference brings together great minds in film and entertainment from a Film/TV pan

Response: Which iPhone to Get?

In response to my iPhone musings, I got the following reader email which actually sums up a lot of my second and third thoughts too: You might have a point about the fancier camera, but otherwise I would buy the smaller model. Its screen is about the same size as that of my Nexus 4, and I don't feel at all like it limits me with a too-small screen. But I do sometimes stretch to get my thumb the reach to the other corner of the screen. It is plenty big for a phone. A phone is a pocket thing. (Well, in my case it lives an ancient REI soft sunglasses case that I have on my belt.) Ubiquitous, handy, convenient, almost always with me. Small is crucial for all of that. Certainly a large screen is cool, but you need a place to put it: don't break a fundamental feature of a pocket phone by getting too big. That is what your small tablet is for. I have my phone with me almost always. I have my Nexus 7 tablet with me nearly as much. The bigger screen is great, yet it fits in some