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Wizardgold & Mac20Q News – Offline and hating it

Story of being offline for eight days and without power for 6 days in Spain at the Costa Brava which doesn’t normally get weather like that. Trees fallen down, wires down, telegraph poles and pylons down. Me feeling down because I couldn’t do the podcasting work I normally do.

I also comment on using Kinemac, After Effects, and about learning what Motion can do to make a video animation fly through that could be an intro to the videos I make.

This video is made using my new green screen set up in my studio, with the new LED lights I have bought. These lights are work lights that I bought for 25 euro each at Lidl. I got five of them and I might buy another two or three. I used 4 of what I have to light the green screen and the other one to light the subject. I do have one more small video light that is the type you can fit on top of the camera but works well on a light stand as a fill light.
I did put some white gauze material over the light to soften the light and I might at some time see about getting some filters to put on them to warm the light up. Not too necessary because it is easy enough to colour correct in Final Cut. Still have to do some more working out to get the set up right but pleased with the results so far.

I also mention another Mac in the family. My 70 year old mom sent me a text message to tell me she was buying things in the Apple Store in the Bull Ring Shopping Centre in Birmingham. She got a white MacBook and iWork & one on one training to go with it. Tomorrow she will go into the store for them to move her data off her old Windows laptop.

Tell me how you would cope without email and power

Film of the Week – Footsteps

Interesting film trailer by Gavin B. James

Ever since Douglas’ Mother mysteriously vanished when he was 8 years old, his life has been controlled by panic, fear and desire. Now, two decades later, Douglas returns home to his small industrial town to take care of his dying father. In a bar one night he finds a mysterious wallet and in attempts to return it, enters a world of lust, deceit and murder; a world that holds the secret to his family’s tortured past.

The sepia look of the trailer is interesting and I was impressed with the sound design in the trailer. High drama and a Film Noir look about it. Violent and bloody – captivating….

Thanks to @Kinkisafink for the suggestion for this weeks’ Film of the week.

Wizardgold News – Another day without power.

This month I will not be able to make as many podcasts seeing as I am going to be about a week without power in the house. No power means no electric for running the computers of course but as I get the internet that needs power supplied to the antennae on top of the hill, it could be some more time to get the internet back.

At least if I get the power back and I can use my computers again I will be able to make some more screencasts showing how to do some things with various software. I have to finish one I started already about using MarsEdit. This will be a bit of a comparison with using Blogo for which I made 2 screencasts last week. I am using Blogo to make this post by the way. Also coming, when I am able to is the interview with Ben from DrinkBrainJuice, the developers of Blogo. He has told me that he will give Mac20Q a copy of Blogo to be won by the listeners.

I have a mind to make some more screencasts about Scrivener the writers software. I only scratched the surface with what it can do in the previous screencasts. I was using Scrivener the other day with a project I am writing at the moment. It is a comedy story which I will first make as a story and when I have finished I will turn it into a screen play. Right from the off I see it as a short movie and I have actors in mind to play the parts. Can’t say more about it right now except that ladies underwear is involved.

When I do the screenwriting part of the job I may give Celtx a bit of a run. Celtx is specialist screenwriting software which gives FinalDraft a run for its money. It read the FinalDraft format and the only downside that there is is that sometimes the output does do such a good job of representing the time in a script. Maybe I should see if I can get a test copy of the software to do a proper comparison. There is another screencast possible out of that.

Thanks to Paul Shadwell for telling me about the Sony AX2000 video camera which looks very good. It is 500 dollars cheaper than the similar Pro version NX5 and has the same lens and many other of the same specs. I think I could live without the GPS and the time code and the ability to add a memory pack to be able to record for up to 11 hours. Mind you with only 500 dollars being the difference it may be worth saving the pennies for a while longer.

I was also interested in looking at the Canon 7D or 5D for video. There are some advantages and some drawbacks to using a DSLR rather than a video camera, but quite a few videographers are very impressed with the video shooting DSLR cameras. With a video camera you will get better, smoother zooming features and much better audio. Getting around the audio is possible though with recording it separately

The Podcasts of February

I started off the month with a podcast thanking all the listeners to the podcasts for supporting the Mac20Q show for one year, also looking at what is to come in 2010. I also talked about the move to consolidate the podcasting into one site. I have done this partly to save time with the looking after all of the separate WordPress installations and I am finding that it makes a better web site when it is all together. Mac20Q, Photo20Q, Video20Q, Writers20Q, Car20Q, Artist20Q and other sites like the Spondicious which has been about the selling of my photos and illustrations online through the microstock sites like Fotolia.

I talked to Paul Boag who is a popular guy, there have been over 400 downloads of the Mac20Q Podcast 84. Paul is a web developer that goes out extensively to talk about making web sites and I found him to be very interesting.

Then there was Video20Q podcast 17 featuring the filmmaker Jon Reiss, who made the movie ‘Bomb It.’ I watched it and was impressed. Great that it tied in with what I have been doing already with the , you can watch the first two episodes of the Graffiti Podcast on YouTube also.

Peter Boodts from Belgium was the next to be featured on Mac20Q. I find it amazing that I get to talk to so many interesting people doing some super stuff with the Mac, and Peter was no exception.

Andrew Jones, who is a British guy living in New Jersey in the U.S. doing photography, art, web design, video and all sorts of artistic endeavour was featured on the Mac20Q Podcast 86. He has set up a web site that he would like to see as a community of Mac users helping each other, which follows on from the work he does helping Mac users near where he lives. For a change I came upon Andrew via YouTube instead of Twitter, where I seem to meet with most people.

During February I also posted two screencasts showing how to use Blogo. This came about due a bug in WordPress that was annoying me and Blogo filled the bill in terms of avoiding the bug and since then I have gone on to love using it. I am using Blogo to make this post. I expect to be talking to the developer of Blogo soon and he will be donating a copy of Blogo for listeners to win. So keep an eye out for that.

I have also been putting out video from the local Carnaval, in Platja d’Aro. One video of that has been seen over 800 times and another of . The drummers were astounding, I loved getting into the thick of them to film the shots for that.

I am still working on growing the numbers of my Twitter followers and I am as of this moment up to 13,619 followers for @Wizardgold and there are over 3000 followers on @Video20Q plus another 2000 approx on @Mac20Q. Trying to keep Mac20Q for Mac related things and Video20Q for film making items. Wizardgold will be for general tweets and Rt’s of the other things to ensure max coverage. Well pleased with the growth of the Wizardgold account seeing as I only had 2000 followers in December.

All in all it was a busy month and great to be creating content for the listeners and viewers. Let me know if you would like to be featured on any of the podcasts, would love to hear from you. I will ask you 20Q about whatever subject you would like to talk about.