Archive for February 8th, 2008

The $5 mini-monopod

You don’t want to carry around tripods or even a monopod? This is a solution that it’s almost as good as a monopod in stabilization performance, it fits in your pocket, and costs just $5. Some manual assembly is required.

Random stuff, Part 7

* Polaroid film is now past. It’s the end of an era. I only shot Polaroid film maybe twice in my life (I have very few pictures of my childhood and friends, we never had a camera in my family until the recent years), but it still feels sad.

* If I am right (I am probably not), the season finale of Lost’s 5th season (next year), it would be all about how the Oceanic Six had to leave the island, and as a flash-forward, how they come back. It would be very interesting, from the director’s point of view, to put together the two scenes: the Oceanic Six leaving the island, and some of them eventually coming back to the island years later. Two opposite scenes, back to back, within 3-5 minutes. And they can add some poetic justice into it, having the Six being unhappy leaving the island because they leave people behind, and happy coming back to it for the final act, after having spent 5 seasons wanting to get out of there. That would be killer. That would be art. I am pretty confident that this is how it’s going to play out.

* Popular Mechanics site has a very nice analysis on the “Lost” helicopter, and why the science around it doesn’t work.

* I was thinking earlier that “Lost”‘s and “24”‘s seasons airing at the second half of the TV season makes sense. The reason many shows lose viewership is because of the 2-month hiatus every year because of the Christmas season. TV networks could instead have completely different programming for Fall and different one for Spring. For fall: 12 episodes of a given series from September 10th to December 10th. For Spring: 18 episodes for another series from 15 January to end of May at the same timeslot. This way, you eliminate the problem of overworking the crew for 26-episodes (that’s what they used to do in the past), you have back to back episodes without holes so you retain your viewership, and you have a richer programme. And if you give writers artistic freedom and an end-date like the “Lost” writers have, you can do miracles. Problem is, TV networks would never agree to such a schedule, and the main reason is because they need to know when to cancel a show or not. The way it works now, they use their Fall ratings to decide if they will cancel shows or not. By doing this 12+18 you need to know beforehand how many episodes to order, and that can be proven expensive if the show is not a success.

* I posed the question over at DarkUFO’s site about how viewers watch “Lost”. Apparently, 25% of them pirate it. However, let’s be clear about it: the people who pirate it, are mostly viewers from other countries that their TV channels will either never show “Lost”, or they broadcast these episodes weeks or months later. This is simple a clear cut clue that “selling shows abroad” does not work anymore. The Internet has taken barriers down, and everything that’s time critical, it has to happen NOW, otherwise face lots of piracy. I think that TV networks should stop thinking of making money by selling shows abroad as much as they could in the past, and instead open their web sites for everyone (not IP-lock them as ABC does these days), and add ads in there, and let EVERYONE, from any country in the world, to watch these shows. Money, again, should come from ads. Sure, ads won’t be as targeted anymore, but what can you do? At least you could potentially have more viewers as long as IGMP Multicast takes off with routers/ISPs. Interestingly, in the poll, so far the iTunes option has 0%.

* Sushi tonight, out with my JBQ. Yum!

Thoughts on “Confirmed Dead”

“Lost” did about 15.1 mil viewers last night, which was not too bad at all (it’s still the No1 show in the key demographic slice despite overall viewers going down over the years). I’ve noticed two occasions on last night’s episode that show the brilliance of the writers.

1. When Jack tells newcomer Miles that there are guns pointed into his head and Miles doesn’t believe him, and then voila, Juliet and Sayid are appearing off the jungle aiming Miles.

This is reminiscent of the scene where Tom Friendly told Jack in Season 2 the exact same thing and Jack didn’t believe him. “Liiight uuup”, Tom shouted, and dozens of fires were lit. It shows how the “Others” are now the old force in the island, with most of their good men/women dead, and the Losties are the new arising power there. It shows how much the group has grown up since their crash, how much more experienced they are, and how much the tables have turned.

2. Team-Locke creeping out Charlotte.

Locke and his people were downright creepy to poor Charlotte who had just parachuted to the island along the other 3 guys. Exactly the same way the “Others” appearing creepy to the “Losties” on the previous seasons. Team-Locke is not willing to talk about the island or its powers, or even who they are individually, just like the Others did in the past.

This is tragic irony at its best. We spent 3 seasons siding with the crash landed losties, only to find out that they have become as creepy as the “Others” because of the circumstances. This is great writing. This just shows that something that someone might call “good” or “bad”, is simply “a point of view” and neither good or bad. You got to love the philosophical references on “Lost”.

On a related note, Matthew Fox (“Jack”) said that if they will shoot new episodes after the strike ending, it won’t be more than 4-6 episodes.

Macro Abstract

Macro footage shot with my HV20 and a Canon 50mm 1:1.8 macro lens, turned into a slow-motion abstract project. View in HD and/or download it here.

Update: Video updated and replaced with a new version.