Aug 28, 2008

Film look for video.









To achieve a fairly good-looking facsimile of film (from video footage) in Final Cut Pro, do the following:

  1. Colour-correct your existing clip with the 3-way CC filter.
  2. Add de-interlace filter (upper/odd) to this clip.
  3. Duplicate the clip and place it above.
  4. In the new layer, change the field dominance to (lower/even)
  5. Reduce opacity of top layer to about 50% (in Motion tab)
  6. From Video Filters, choose Glow effect, Bloom for slight gauze effect.
  7. Set Amount to about 6, Brightness to 70, Threshold to 75.
  8. Re-colour-correct both layers.
  9. Add small amount of Gaussian Noise to lower layer (in Screen mode), mix to taste.
  10. Render.
  11. Bask in glory of your genius and hide from the DOP, whose work you just cocked up.
Note, De-interlace gives you the pseudo-flicker; everything else gives you the tonality.



Aug 25, 2008

Bad Parenting 103

This isn't even topical since I have done it before, it's just that it was reinforced on Sunday because I did it in front of my wife. 

I crossed the line that separates parent from babysitter. The line that separates Dr. Spock from Doc Oc. 

I have given both of my children gum from the gum machine at No Frills.

I tried to pretend that it was a 'special treat' for Ryan's last day of soccer, when we all knew it was to keep them quiet. I did it so they would sit in their respective carts and chillax while Michelle and I rounded up our (mostly) nutritious week's supply. Ryan chewed his. Jillian ate hers whole. And Michelle tentatively chewed the extra one that Dubble Bubble cursed us with... for about 14 seconds before she glued it to the grocery list.

On the bright side, the kids were quiet, helpful and didn't once bug us for Kellogg's Kavity-Krisps or Very Berry Fudge Pudding-Peels. They even managed to not paw through the cashier's chocolate bar display that conveniently begins one centimeter above the floor.

I guess you could do worse. Like take them to a cock fight, perhaps.



Aug 13, 2008

1-2-3-4... What the *!@# are S'mores?



One day in 1983, my buddy John Scott and I saw a commercial for the latest rectangular prisms of pure sugar granola bars. The jingle, if I recall correctly (and I always do), was "One-two-three-four... remember the taste of s'mores?" We watched it, paused for a second, looked at each other and said, "What the f*ck are s'mores?"

More than anything, we hated, hated that stupid, made-up word. It instantly evoked the image of a greedy fat kid with a thick smear of chocolate around his mouth - like some kind of inverse minstrel - screaming around a wad of marshmallow as clouds of graham cracker crumbs sprayed out of his pie-hole. Running a close second was the solid suspicion that we had been cheated out of some confection that the rest of the world had already forgotten about!

You see, we never went to camp. At least, not one where adults happily stuffed pre-teens with a triple-shot of carbohydrates before sending them off to the bunky. John and I went to "Cub camp" - which is to camp what "phone sex" is to sex. If ever someone invented a campfire treat called s'less, I'd put my money on Scouts Canada.

In any event, I can now proudly say that I do, in fact, remember the taste of s'mores. It seems like only yesterday, but it's going on two weeks ago now.

They're not bad, really; provided someone teaches you the right way to construct them - in this case, Michelle. Up until 2008, marshmallows served only two purposes in my life: waving them - ignited - around those who were actually enjoying themselves, and for treading upon in the morning, so that you had ash-covered goo on your foot up to 20 days later.

Here's what I also learned in the two weeks I was away with my family on vacation...
  • n+1= the amount of treats that will keep your kids happy on vacation (where n is the upper limit of what you are willing to distribute, even at gunpoint).
  • Brooks is an Anglo Saxon surname that derives from the Latin for "rainmaker". Sale comes from Old English. It means "lightning rod".
  • The ease of applying sunscreen to your back is inversely proportional to how many guys are around.
  • If "campfire fanning with no discernible effect" were an Olympic event, I would be writing from a podium in Beijing.
  • When playing Candyland or Chutes and Ladders* the best strategy is always: let the wookie win. (For those without children, this game was formerly the night terror-inducing "Snakes and Ladders".)
  • When your toddler is screaming in her stroller on a windy day at the beach, one need only walk 15 metres to nullify the effect. Crashing waves can take this down to a comfy 10.
  • My bed rocks. Everyone else's bed sucks.
Enjoy the rest of the summer. The Ex is almost here.

Kudos to Mr. Scott, btw, for revealing to me his favourite misunderstood lyric:
"I want to rock and roll all night, and probably every day."

Aug 11, 2008

My Badass Job.




Unsurprisingly, someone out there has a much better way of describing my job than I do.

P.S. what is this "booty" thing all the kids are talking about?