ShootLocal's News and Notes 8.12.13

I'm going to start today with a little ray of light for indie filmmakers like us. Then, I'm going to follow that up with a call to action. I've looked at a hundred filmmaking apps and I have yet to find one that sets my world on fire. Artemis came close maybe, but the clouds parted recently. Enter ShootLocal.

I think this thing is a little stroke of genius and represents everything the social media/sharing/information age is all about. Load up the app and you're ready to go. Submit new locations or search for one nearby.

You can find great locations to shoot all over the world. The time saving alone could be tremendous. The key is to have plenty of users in your area and that is your call to action. Photographers and videographers and filmmakers out there, you have to use this thing for it to be one of the best tools I can imagine on a filmmaker's smart phone.

I did a test run this weekend and the process is very simple. Take a couple pics (up to four), add some keywords, and the app charts the location on its own. Presto. If nothing else, it's a great way to catalogue favorite spots just for our own records.

Believe it or not, we don't have location scouts on staff. If we get stuck while we're out running and gunning on a Space Cops shoot,  I can pull out my phone and find some perfect, hidden gem that you posted...? How great is that?

So I call on all you filmmakers; especially in Kentucky, Southern Indiana, and Southern Ohio. Not just that; let's get the initiative started. Spread the word! I'm not asking you to flood the app with every other block in your town. On the contrary, I think that would be counterproductive. Personally, I think the beauty of the app is that it hopefully keeps me on the lookout for special places and perfect backdrops for composition that I might have otherwise passed by.


A small, but important ghost-hunting update. This week will encompass the bulk of editing on our pilot. It's do or die time. Basically, if we make enough headway this week, we'll have a chance to make the Rivers Edge Film Fest (late, late) deadline. If not, no chance. (Wish us luck!)

Fact: B Long never wears a shirt. Ever.
One thing that will help us out tremendously is the amazing work Brandon Long has done to provide us with original music for the project. Artistically speaking, I'm starting to wonder what this guy can't do. Graphic design, writing music, fabrication... This time he whipped up some perfect tunes and ambient mood setters for our ghostly exploration. Indie projects take a village. We have a chance to finish this thing in time and, without Brandon's help, that probably wouldn't be the case.

That's it for today, folks. We'll see you back here tomorrow for a new Office Game.

tech talk: next gen cams

Good news for all the Richie Rich's out there. According to an announcement on, a prototype of their new Dragon CMOS sensor has been blowing all its image tests out of the water, exceeding already high expectations. The chip reportedly exhibited 20 stops of dynamic range on a 21 stop chart (when shot with an astronomically expensive engineering lens, but still). Combine that with resolution that Red claims is comparable to 65mm film, and you have one bad mamma-jamma. Thanks to these specs the sensor upgrade is expected to cost a "little" more than the expected $6000 for Red Epic owners. But, that isn't a concern for you is it, Richie? (I'm kidding. Maybe we can all rent one.) If anybody would like to donate one to the WSF cause, we'd be happy to accept. If there are any Red Scarlet owners out there hoping for a Dragon upgrade, sorry. You're out of luck, but there may be a trade-in offer for you.

The next-gen camera arms race continues. Its amazing how far the technology has advanced in just the past 5 years.

Speaking of the arms race, Panavision is ready to come back swinging into the digital fight. This short list of specs from Cinefii calls the camera the "Alexa Killer." I'm sure Panavision would love that to be true.

In Black Magic news, the BMCC has a new firmware update including time-lapse recording. You can get a full rundown of the updates along with reactions at

tech talk: vector video and the death of pixels

On the left, you can see the supposed vector paths.

Tech Talk Tuesday! I'm not sure if I'm going to turn this into a weekly column or not, but either way, let me share a bit of tech talk for the filmmakers/videoheads amongst you that I stumbled onto this morning because the concept blew my mind.

A team at the University of Bath is claiming that they've invented a vectored video codec and effectively killed pixels and resolution as we know them. In fact, they claim pixels will be gone within five years. (You can find further explanation and a sample video here.)

Vectors are a series of points and paths that turn everything into a mathematical whatnot. Therefore, you can make the same image as tiny or enormous as you'd like and it will always look exactly the same. The end of resolution as we know it. HD, 720, 1080, 2K, 4K... all out the window. And now you can go as big as you want without increasing the file size. Encode a film one time and that's it.

Overall, I'd say this is good news if it truly works. On the other hand, it scares me to death. Does this basically change every single thing we do at the root level? Do we toss every piece of video gear and software we're currently working on and start from scratch? Can this really be legit? Getting a photo-real image out of vectors is a little hard for me to believe, let alone 24-60 images per second. I guess time will tell. if you have to have it.
And for anyone who is incredibly bored by all this, did you know you can actually buy a tauntaun sleeping bag?! That's the other thing I learned today. If there was any debate over the greatest sleeping bag of all time, now we can put it to rest. Mrrawrharharhar. But, seriously, that's incredible.