Monday, November 30, 2009

My Latest Article


Check out this article I wrote for MaximumPC magazine. It's in both the current print issue and on the website (although the print edition is edited slightly differently than the web version).

Friday, October 30, 2009

Elevation

Here is my latest 3-D short film, Elevation. This little micro-budget short won a 1st Place Blue Ribbon at the National Stereoscopic Association convention in July, and was invited to screen at the Directors Guild Digital Day in August.

Here on the blog, the video is posted as an anamorphically squeezed crossview. Click through the video below to get to the youtube 3-D player, with a pulldown menu to allow you to select from a number of stereoscopic viewing methods including red-cyan anaglyph and parallel. And bug youtube to add the player to video embeds!



Elevation was produced as a sketchbook assignment through Filmmakers Alliance, a cinema collective based in Los Angeles, and had to follow the following rules: Make a film that is 3 minutes long, has only one line of dialog, uses primary colors, and includes a gun, a religious symbol, and underwear.

It was shot on a twinned pair of Canon TX-1 point-and-shoot consumer cameras, using a firmware hack to provide stereoscopic synchronization tools. The post production pipeline consisted of the freeware program Stereo Movie Maker, which was used for alignment and parallax convergence adjustments, and Adobe Premiere which was used for picture and sound editing.

The entire project was completed in less than 48 hours - the 3 hour shoot took place on the evening of Wednesday, July 1, 2009, and post production was finished by Friday afternoon, July 3.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The SCSC fall 3-D Movie/Video Division meeting

The SCSC fall 3-D Movie/Video Division meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday, October 28, 2009 at 7:30 P.M. in the Downtown Independent Theater 251 S. Main St., Los Angeles, CA 90013 - (213) 617-1033

Click through video for Youtube 3-D player

We fell in love with the Downtown Independent Theater when the Movie Division presented more than two hours of 3-D content at the Downtown Film Festival - Los Angeles this past summer. This little gem is ultra modern, has 200 stadium-style seats, accommodates our silver screen and has a nice space just the right distance from the screen for our club projectors. Other amenities include a snack bar which includes the sale of beer and wine, convenient (paid) parking next door, and a lovely rooftop patio area ideal for socializing and sharing the latest 3-D toys. The Downtown Independent is a comfortable walk from the Pershing Square Metro station. Come into town early. There are plenty of inexpensive eateries in the area, including a nearby Yoshinoya.

There will be a $5.00 theater entrance fee. Grab a coke, beer or a glass of wine and come upstairs before the meeting. We'll try to start our meeting promptly at 7:30 in order to accommodate Metro riders.

The meeting will have a Halloween theme. You are encouraged to bring anything in 3-D you'd like to see projected on the big screen, and we will have a program of content with a "scary" theme for our enjoyment. Wear makeup and/or a costume if you can. Prizes will be awarded.

Speaking of prizes, we will be announcing plans for our next international competition ("The Seventh Ever") at the meeting, as well as sharing recent Movie Division activities (participation in the Big Bear Lake Film Festival and projection of Thomas Jane's directorial debut in his first 3-D feature, Dark Country, at the Long Beach Comic Con.

You need not be an SCSC member to attend Movie Division meetings. All are welcome. However, it is helpful if you RSVP your intention to attend so we can plan such things as the number of 3-D glasses we need and how much popcorn and drinks to have ready. (RSVP to movies3d@aol.com.)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

I'm putting on an event this Tuesday!

3-DIY: Do It Yourself 3-D Movies
Short Films of the Desktop 3-D Revolution

A program of short digital 3-D movies Shown as part of the Downtown Film Festival of Los Angeles (DFFLA) Curated by John E. Hart, Chairman of the LA 3-D Club Movie Division
(Stereo Club of Southern California)

Emerging digital toolsets are driving a wave of independent production of stereoscopic motion pictures. New 3-D movies in every conceivable genre, from documentaries and avant-garde experiments, to dramatic and humorous narratives, are being made by fiercely individual filmmakers all around the world. In their hands, the 3-D film is evolving a new visual grammar for the motion picture screen.

This program, a stereoscopic showcase of short films curated by John Hart of the Stereo Club of Southern California, presents award-winning entries from the 6 international 3-D movie contests held by the LA 3-D Club Movie Division. Dedicated to independent production and the exhibition of stereoscopic movies, the LA 3-D Club unites both amateur and professional filmmakers by providing a platform for desktop 3-D movies. Learn how to make your own 3-D movies without the backing of a Hollywood studio as a panel of the filmmakers convene after the screening to discuss the new stereoscopic toolsets and their availability.

Tuesday, August 18
7:30 – 11 pm
Downtown Independent Theater
251 S. Main Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

for tickets: http://downtownla.bside.com/2009/films

Screenings followed by panel discussion

The Program: (listed alphabetically by director’s last name)

Moving Still (2008) Colombia, 3 min. Dir: Santiago Caicedo
Come Coco (2009) Colombia, 7 min. Dir: Santiago Caicedo

Skydiving (2008) USA, 3 min. Dir: Eric Deren

Ztring Theory (2008) Norway, 5 min. Dir: Jo Eldoen

Ghost Car (2008), USA, 5 min. Dir: John E. Hart
Doggone (2009), USA, 11 min. Dir: John E. Hart

Wanderlust (Bjork video) (2008) USA, 7 min. Dir: Sean Helfritch
& Isaiah Saxon

Family Guy: Blue Harvest (2008), USA, 3 min. Dir: Sean Isroelit

Towers of Rodia (2007) USA, 14 min. Dir: Tom Koester
Ennis House (2008) USA, 6 min. Dir: Tom Koester

Elevation (2009), USA, 3 min. Dir: Eric Kurland

A Better Mousetrap (2005) USA, 2 min. Dir: Ron Labbe

Pump Action (2006) USA, 3 min. Dir: Phil McNally

Fireworks Symphony (2008) Japan, 5 min. Dir: Takashi Sekitani

Reminiscence (2007) France, 5 min. Dir: Celine Tricart

Slow Glass (2007), USA, 14 min. Dir: Ray Zone

Panel: Making Your Own 3D Movies
Moderated by Ray Zone
Panelists: Eric Kurland, Sean Isroelit, Tom Koester and John Hart

The moderator and all of the panelists have directed or produced award-winning short 3-D movies that have been shown in a variety of exhibition venues.

Rooftop wine and cheese reception to follow


for tickets: http://downtownla.bside.com/2009/films

Saturday, August 1, 2009

DGA Digital Day

Today I'm giving a presentation at the Director's Guild as part of their Digital Day 2009. My talk covers the topic "3-D on a Dime" and I'll be outlining my hardware and software solutions for creating microbudget 3-D content, including a screening of my short Elevation.

My friend Ray Zone calls what I do "3-DIY" or Do-It-Yourself 3-D, and I like that so much that I'll be starting a website soon full of resources for the indie 3-D filmmaker. It'll be located at, appropriately enough,
www.3-DIY.net

Here is my powerpoint presentation from the event:

Sunday, July 26, 2009

San Diego Comic-Con 2009

I've made the annual pilgimage to San Diego for Comic-Con. Some amazing 3-D content in Hall H from the studios this year. Avatar looks amazing, and I'm really looking forward to Tron:Legacy, too.

Here's some images from around the con:

Thursday, July 9, 2009

NSA 2009


I'm posting from the National Stereoscopic Association 2009 Convention, in Mesa, Arizona, where I am co-chairing the Stereo Theater. In just a few hours, we open the doors to 3 full Days of 3-D content, from vintage stereocard images to the latest in independent 3-D cinema, all digitally projected in HD.

Oh, and did I mention, my short 3-D film "Elevation" will be screening this Saturday, at 11am!

If you're anywhere near Phoenix this weekend, stop in and check it out!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Frak Yes!

Last Saturday, June 13, 2009, I attended the Los Angeles Grand Performances season opener concert - Bear McCreary and the Music of Battlestar Galactica. The evening kicked off with a performance by "Brendan's Band", featuring Brendan McCreary, Raya Yarbrough, and Steve Bartek. Then Bear and the BSG orchestra took the stage and performed an amazing evening of music from the TV series. At one point Bear was even joined on stage by Katee "Starbuck" Sackhoff for a piano duet. I somehow managed to avoid the camera ban enforced by some overly zealous security guards and took many 3-D photos.

Click for a slideshow
Battlestar Galactica concert - June 13, 2009

Monday, June 1, 2009

Maker Faire 2009

This year at Maker Faire, I spent two days at my booth showing a bunch of my 3-D contraptions, including the video phantogram tabletop, live camera projection and the stereoscope PSP. I had all of the gear featured in my Make: article from last year. The newest additions to my exhibit were my homemade View Master reels made from digital 3-D photos I took at last year's Maker Faire, and my latest camera rig - the twinned Canon TX1s that I use to shoot HD video.

Overall the faire was a success - everyone who came by the booth seemed very interested and engaged, and they loved seeing themselves in 3-D on the big 6-foot screen.

We were kept so busy, that I didn't get to visit the rest of the faire and take pictures like last year. But I did manage to sneak away on Sunday to shoot video of the Diet Coke and Mentos Fountain performance done by the crazy mad scientists at Eepybird.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

It's been a while...

Okay, so I haven't updated the blog since last summer - but I've been busy! I've setup a 3-D media lab in my Secret Underground Lair, and I'm working on all kinds of cool stereoscopic projects. I'm planning to go through the last 10 months of 3-D and start posting back-dated content to fill in the HUGE hole left by my neglect. Stay tuned...


...in the meantime, enjoy this short video from the setup day at Maker Faire 2009:

video