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April 02, 2009


I got lucky. In preparation for editing on this feature film from another local filmmaker, those who keep up with this here bloggy blog are aware that I faced a technical problem. To reiterate, I had footage that was supposed to be 23.976 frames per second being recognized as 29.97 frames per second. I could not tell if this was a user error or a technical glitch. I approached one of the creators of the software and I got a response by the next morning (if only the local director was as expedient at answering emails…).

He suggested 3 different things to try, 2 of which I already had. The 3rd idea however was something I had never heard of, and it was to use a simple program called “AVIFrate”, a simple EXE file that you run and you can change the header in the AVI or MOV file and dictate how all computers see its frame rate to any of the standard frame rates. This works without a hitch, as I tested it on a couple files. That means I’m in business with about 2-3 hours work as opposed to 29 hours of re-digitizing tapes of footage or 60+ hours re-rendering the files to the correct frame rate. I just knew there was a work around, and this saves the day with no cost and very little time.

This week is much slower on the regular work front, but I am then inundated with freelance. Whilst though not forsake mine soul for but a little while? Oh Fleance, I have not what you desire, which is the ability to control myself and not kill your dad Banquo. These are the cursed thoughts that nature gives way to in repose.

I want to take a full day off and edit my own material. It has been taking too long and I want to get ‘er done. Ere the passing of another cycle of the moon, I shall have completed one, lest the demons of the muse forbear upon my whims.

In the last few years of my life, I have increased my reading exponentially. I read a piece of fiction; then alternate with a non-fiction film-related book. Right now, I’m reading THE MAKING OF RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK from 1981 by Derek Taylor. I love these old straight to paperback BEHIND THE SCENES books. I have several. Some of the best perspectives on making these classic films can be found in the old paperback MAKING OFs. In the MAKING OF SUPERMAN 1978 by David Michael Petrou, I read an insane amount of stories about how the Salkind’s (producers) tried to fire Richard Donner (director). Alan Arnold’s ONCE UPON A GALAXY THE MAKING OF THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK has some wickedly interesting tidbits on drug abuse, ego, and power struggles and this was written by their PUBLICIST!

I wondered what ever happened to these books and then I realized, looking at my 3 book cases of film related literature, they became these full sized, glossy color picture books.

The book for films were like this:

Now they are more like this:

Now, I like these, but somehow I prefer the well written words to the sidebars to a photo gallery. I really miss the sassy stories and much more educational idea of the text versions of the books.

- Peter John Ross