Monday, July 21, 2008

SSGCI Commissioner Addresses Competitors Concerns

"On another note, the commissioner has received complaints about the numberof trips to Hooters. The commissioner is nothing if not responsive to theneeds of the competitors, so the SSGCI and Bray Transportation are pleasedto announce that multiple trips to Hooters are being planned! The finalschedule of Hooters trips will be decided on course."

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Greensboro 48 Hour Film Project

(This is a photo of Matt and his crew checking out the cool 3D effects on Friday night of the 48 Hour Film Project. I've posted a few photos from the event, but I really did understand the 3D portion of the shoot. I was the Best Boy and I helped dig a few graves. So, I will let our director explain the process.)

"After last year's win, we decided to bite off more than we could chew for this year's 48 - not that this isn't already a very difficult exercise on it's own - We decided that we should do something seemingly impossible and a couple of weeks ago my friend Jim Ricker and I began to scour the internet for instructions and theories regarding 3d cinematography.

We decided on a game plan regarding shooting and post and set out to shoot the first 3d flick ever shot in 48 hours. I was under the assumption early on that we could just get a lens for the camera and go for broke. Little did we know as we started the process that there is no "easy way" to do this, no adaptors or lenses - it would involve 2 cameras, a homemade camera rig, terms like inter-ocular distance and convergence, twice the footage and a hill to climb in post production that - as a result of the electrical storm - would prove insurmountable.Production went well - shooting in anaglyph 3d dictates everything - you cannot rack focus, close ups are problematic, and you cannot effectivly dolly forward without consequence, the list goes on... - Luckily, the system Jim and I developed to determine convergence worked like a charm and we were finished shooting by 1 am on Saturday night.

We had a rough by Sunday morning and we began to add the bells and whistles. I was doing the effects and opening title sequence with some graphic elements provided by Donnie Heath. Chris Avedon was working sound, and Dave Harrison was working the edit. This left Ricker to pace back and forth wondering when he could start the tedious task of aligning the shots for 3D.We were racing towards the common goal when lightning struck during a crucial render and shut down and ruined both the title and film exports.

We scrambled to restore one of the two video channels in order to deliver the film. (you have a separate edit for the left and right eyes that are later overlayed to create the 3d effect- so we went back into the left eye edit and exported that singular video track) I whipped up a quick/simpler replacement version of the title cards in After Effects and we inserted them as soon as the render was over. We laid a 2D version to tape and delivered the film with moments to spare.

Certainly not the outcome we wanted but at least we finished and delivered a film. Once back to the studio, the 3d version was rendered, the title sequence was completed and placed and we debated pulling from the competition and delivering the 3d just so we could project the version we intended the audience to see. In the end, we decided to let the 2d version stand with the understanding that we may have the chance to show the 3d version at the awards event for anyone interested.

In all, it was a crazy experience as expected. I really wish the 3d version was in competition as it totally worked - but alas, mother nature had other plans for us...So, I guess we are the first to shoot in 3d - but the title of the first team to deliver in 3d is still up for grabs... That may be a crown we leave for anyone else crazy enough to go down that road in the future.Here's to being clothes-lined by the bar while trying to raise it. "

- Matt McNeil, The Keen Collaboration

This excerpt was taken from the following website. To read more go to:

Check Out "Confessions of a Superhero"

After you go see Ironman, Batman, the Hulk and Hell Boy go rent Confessions of a Superhero.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Fun Facts About Lighting

"In the ten-year period from 1990-2000, lightning killed an average of 55 people annually in the United States. Florida led the way in lighting fatalities, typically followed by Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Texas.

Lightning strikes an average of 8.6 million times a day throughout the world. One death occurs per every 345,000 flashes, one injury per every 114,000 flashes.

In the United States, one lighting casualty is likely to occur for every 86,000 flashes. The odds of being a lighting casualty in the U.S. are approximately 280,000 to 1. These odds vary according to your geographical location, climate, personal lifestyle and hobbies. For example, in Florida, the odds are much higher — approximately 80,000 to 1. That means Floridians are 287 times more likely to be struck by lightning than to win their state lottery."

These fun lighting facts were taken from the following website. To learn more about lighting, dumbass, go to:

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Gas War (Reprise)

(A friend sent me this email and I posted it on April 11, 2006. I paid $4.06 a gallon on July 6, 2008. It's funny to think of $2.79 as the good old days.)

Gas War

Subject: LOWERING YOUR GAS PRICESGAS WAR - an idea that WILL workThis was originally sent by a retired Coca Cola executive. It came from one of his engineer buddies who retired from Halliburton. It's worth your consideration.Join the resistance!!!! I hear we are going to hit close to $ 4.00 a gallon by next summer and it might go higher!! Want gasoline prices to come down? We need to take some intelligent, united action.Phillip Hollsworth offered this good idea. This makes MUCH MORE SENSE than the "don't buy gas on a certain day" campaign that was going around last April or May!

The oil companies just laughed at that because they knew we wouldn't continue to "hurt" ourselves by refusing to buy gas. It was more of an inconvenience to us than it was a problem for them. BUT, whoever thought of this idea, has come up with a plan that can really work. Please read on and join with us!

By now you're probably thinking gasoline priced at about $1.50 is super cheap. Me too! It is currently $2.79 for regular unleaded in my town. Now that the oil companies and the OPEC nations have conditioned us to think that the cost of a gallon of gas is CHEAP at $1.50 - $1.75, we need to take aggressive action to teach them that BUYERS control the marketplace..not sellers.With the price of gasoline going up more each day, we consumers need to take action. The only way we are going to see the price of gas come down is if we hit someone in the pocketbook by not purchasing their gas!

And, we can do that WITHOUT hurting ourselves.How?Since we all rely on our cars, we can't just stop buying gas.But we CAN have an impact on gas prices if we all act together to force a price war.Here's the idea: For the rest of this year, DON'T purchase ANY gasoline from the two biggest companies (which now are one), EXXON and MOBIL. If they are not selling any gas, they will be inclined to reduce their prices. If they reduce their prices, the other companies will have to follow suit. But to have an impact, we need to reach literally millions of Exxon and Mobil gas buyers. It's really simple to do!

Now, don't wimp out on me at this point...keep reading and I'll explain how simple it is to reach millions of people!!I am sending this note to 30 people. If each of us send it to at least ten more (30 x 10 = 300) ... and those 300 send it to at least ten more (300 x 10 = 3,000)...and so on, by the time the message reaches the sixth group of people, we will have reached over THREE MILLION consumers.If those three million get excited and pass this on to ten friends each, then 30 million people will have been contacted!

If it goes one level further, you guessed it..... THREE HUNDRED MILLION PEOPLE!!!Again, all you have to do is send this to 10 people.That's all! (If you don't understand how we can reach 300 million and all you have to do is send this to 10 people....Well, let's face it, you just aren't a mathematician. But I am . so trust me on this one.) :-)How long would all that take? If each of us sends this e-mail out to ten more people within one day of receipt, all 300 MILLION people could conceivably be contacted within the next 8 days!!!

I'll bet you didn't think you and I had that much potential, did you!Acting together we can make a difference. If this makes sense to you, please pass this message on. I suggest that we not buy from EXXON/MOBIL UNTIL THEY LOWER THEIR PRICES TO THE $1.30 RANGE AND KEEP THEM DOWN. THIS CAN REALLY WORK.