At the 56th San Francisco International Film Festival
By Eric Escobar | April 27, 2013
I don’t have any pictures from the talk at the Kabuki Theater in San Francisco today.
EDIT: I lied, here is one.
Steven Soderbergh requested that people don’t photograph or record video or audio of the talk, and I am honoring his request....
How I abandoned Final Draft and learned to love writing in Fountain and Slugline
By Eric Escobar | April 19, 2013
Screenwriting software is not a sexy area of technology development. There are no "game changer" releases like in camera-land. I have yet to see a "one more thing" moment of shininess, like with a new computer hardware introduction. At best, a screenwriting application is a practical workhorse...
A Review and Interview of FaceShift -- easy, affordable, real-time markerless facial motion capture with the Kinect
By Eric Escobar | November 17, 2012
In about two years time, I think, the overwhelming majority of 3D character animation content will not be made by professional 3D artists using professional, high end software like Maya. 3D character creation and animation are poised to become as accessible and ubiquitous as digital cameras and non-linear video editing. There are too many developers working on making character animation as easy as navigating a videogame. There will be consumer apps galore running on everything from phones to tablets to the increasingly rare "tower" computer.
With plummeting hardware costs, big name 3D apps going for fire sale prices, 2012 has been the year of "3D for the rest of us". I took some of this software for a spin on the most affordable nVidia Maximus rig to see what was what.
By Eric Escobar | October 08, 2012
New Adventures in 3D
A few months ago, I set out to explore the 3D landscape for the small post house owner. I couldn't have picked a more complicated season to do it. Caveats, I am not a 3D artist by trade or training; I have a very basic conceptual understanding of 3D* technology and almost no practical experience; I'm allergic to following instructions.
How I kept my 17" MacBook Pro "Mobile Workstation" alive, working and still making money
By Eric Escobar | June 11, 2012
The inside of my MacBook Pro with a new SSD drive and a fast 7200 rpm media drive where the optical drive used to be.
Last December the internal drive on my trusty late 2008 MacBook Pro failed, irreparably. Suddenly I was faced with a technical fork in the road -- buy a new MacBook Pro (already kinda long-in-the-tooth specs wise) or go Steve Austin and make my old machine better, faster than before. I could not bring myself to spend money on a new machine that PC laptops would render circles around. Plus I was kind of attached to my old computer in that oddly inappropriate way that nerdy fanboys/girls can become emotionally attached to Apple products.
I spent a few weeks finding out just how easy it is to do complex stuff using Cinema 4D R13 and After Effects.
By Eric Escobar | March 16, 2012
Maxon released it's latest version of the Cinema 4D (C4D) late in 2011. The R13 Studio version is their flagship product and it's loaded with a ton of new stuff. C4D has been a popular platform for Motion Graphics artists for a while now, probably due to it's ease-of-use, plug-and-play capabilities. Motion Graphics folks could install the app in the morning and by the end of the day be knocking out elements for use in their existing After Effects-centric workflows. C4D was really the non-3D artists 3D program and that's why I was so inspired to go ahead and give it a spin for a few weeks.
Shooting SLOG/444 on the PMW-F3 puts the per day cost within spitting distance of an Alexa or Epic rental, what's an indie filmmaker to do?
By Eric Escobar | July 11, 2011
As a recovering technoholic-cameraphile, I am desperately trying to make my way out of the addiction cycle of endless camera tests and back toward the rest of humanity. I want to be a part of the species that just wants to viscerally respond to a beautiful, spirit-moving image of light, shadow and color. I want to be thrilled by beauty, not sourly deconstructing the failings of this week's latest offering from the constellation of video camera vendors.
The Alexa has ruined me for other digital cinema cameras, especially DSLRs.
By Eric Escobar | January 09, 2011
Here is my decidedly non-technical perspective on shooting with the Arri Alexa. I shot in Rec 709, not even Log C and I don't care, it was so pretty. I didn't measure latitude, and I didn't have a chip chart either. I just pointed the Alexa and stuff and fell in love with the amazing image it made. The biggest thing the Alexa has done is freed me from the idea of needing to do endless camera tests to determine under what conditions my cinematic image will break down and show it's harsh little DV roots. With the Alexa you just shoot, there is nothing to test, and nothing to hide.
When you have 100K burning a hole in your pocket.
By Eric Escobar | December 22, 2010
100 thousand U.S. dollars is, objectively speaking, a lot of money. Its enough money for a single person to live, comfortably, albeit modestly, in a major US urban center for half a decade without having to work. And every year, untold hundreds of people will blow that amount of money making a low budget feature film that never gets past a bunch of festival rejection emails. Here's what I think you should do instead.