Thursday, September 30, 2010

Defacing Public Property, Part One

Let me guess: that would be the 4:20 bus?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Ahem. We have arrived in the city.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Too Many Suitcases

Got into the city in the afternoon yesterday.

Hazards of Suburbia, Part 6

It was 109 degrees in Los Angeles yesterday. If only there were some city, cooled by bay breezes, that I could visit.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Hazards of Suburbia, Part 5

In Southern California, you can't not go to the mall.

Hazards of Suburbia, Part 4

Storage: anything could be in those damn bins of stuff. To get to the family photographs (glad I found those) you might have to wade through thousands of CDs and DVDs. Above: snapshot from yesterday's grand clearing out.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hazards of Suburbia, Part 3

Hey, remember that time when I was going to have cornflakes on the porch and the mantis came and hung upside down from the railing and just ... stared?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday

When I was growing up, I lived close to Pomona, home to drag racing events of all kinds. (Well, the kinds with cars, nothing involving cross-dressing. As far as I know.) During the season, there were endless ads promoting the big events -- and that darn "Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!" announcer about every 15 minutes.

I feel a bit like that, as I've been promoting our next screening a bit heavily. Hey, I just want the tickets to sell out.

So, here's the spiel:

This Sunday, 1 p.m., our short documentary Hoop Springs Eternal will screen at the Coney Island Film Festival in Program 12. A fun time will be had by all. Advance-sales tickets are available for $6 so buy them now.

Don't make me come over to your house and act out the TV commercial version of this post.

Hazards of Suburbia, Part 2

Hey, remember that time when we went swimming and realized there were really quite a few more bees than there should be, then the beekeeper guy had to come and seal them into the wall?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Hazards of Suburbia, Part 1

Hey, remember that time when we moved to the suburbs and I made my First New Friend?

Well, there have been ups, and downs.

"Hoop" Screens This Sunday at Coney Island

Our short documentary Hoop Springs Eternal -- about two people who came to New York hoping to act who became professional Hula Hoopers along the way -- will screen this Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Coney Island Film Festival.

Buy your $6 advance tickets now, since the festival -- named one of the 25 Coolest Film Festivals by Moviemaker Magazine -- will probably sell out.

The film shows in Program 12.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Hint, Hint

Well, first there was New York Portraits. Then there was Los Angeles Portraits.

Above: a clue to the next site.

Healdsburg, More or Less

Just returned from visiting family a bit north of Southern California. Way, way north. News soon.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Thursday, September 16, 2010


A car to a train. Then, a train to Los Angeles. Then, a bus to another train. Then, a train to Oakland. Then, another car.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Meanwhile, on the Other Side of the Country

To me, it's really disappointing when I have a film in a film festival and I don't get to attend. I really really want to go.

It's good to want things. (I still don't get to go.)

Our short documentary Hoop Springs Eternal will be screening Sunday, September 26th at 1 p.m. at the Coney Island Film Festival. The film shows in Program 12 with a number of fun films. You can buy advance tickets for just $6.

On the bright side: watch this space, as I'll be announcing an upcoming Los Angeles screening of another one of our docs.

Friday, September 10, 2010

His and Hers

In the past, I have taken an opportunity or maybe two to post photos of toilets on the streets of New York.

But don't think Southern California isn't a pretender to the throne.

Coney Flix Picks Pics, Sells Tix

THE FAUX REAL: TRAILER! from Suzanne Hillinger on Vimeo.

New Yorkers: is it too early to buy your tickets to the screening of our short doc Hoop Springs Eternal at the Coney Island Film Festival? No: I'm hearing it's likely to sell out.

But wait: there's more.... The film is showing in Program 12 -- Sunday, September 26th at 1 p.m. -- with a fun block of films.

Among the highlights: Suzanne Hillinger's The Faux Real. Check out the trailer above, and then buy your tickets -- just $6 for advance sales.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Monday, September 06, 2010

Food In Southern California, Part Two

The toughest adjustment for me since moving back to Los Angeles, foodwise, has been accepting that there's great food in minimalls.

I grew up as LA turned into a sea of minimalls, and I'm inherently opposed to them. I associate them with uncomfortable chairs, eating while staring at the parking lot and a busy street, and bored employees waiting at a cash register.

All those things are present at My Vegan in Pasadena. The food is so good, however, that it's worth it.

No ambiance. We sat within ten feet of our car, and our view was terrible. The sate with peanut sauce, however, was fantastic. My recommendation: try the "Supreme Fried Rice" as a sort of sampler of their treats, and add a Thai Arnold Palmer.

Labor Day? Time for Brooklyn's Best

12th and 3rd in Brooklyn from Ted Fisher on Vimeo.

This film was shot four years ago on Labor Day.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Like Arizona, but with Fewer Imaginary Headless Bodies

I grew up in Southern California. The strange thing is that, since returning, 100 degrees fahrenheit doesn't seem as hot as I remember, but I also don't remember having to put so much effort into avoiding the sun or sunburn. Midday, the sun just seems ... blazing and unfiltered.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Panasonic GH1 1080p Camera Test

Panasonic GH1 1080p Camera Test from Ted Fisher on Vimeo.

Food In Southern California, Part One

New York was a great city for food. Anything, anytime. Southern California requires a little more inside knowledge to do well. My best baked-goods snacking tip: go to a panaderia. Grab anything that looks like a jelly roll, and anything shaped like a shell. Inexpensive, fresh, tasty.

Hoop Goes to Coney Island Film Fest

Our short documentary Hoop Springs Eternal will screen at the Coney Island Film Festival on Sunday, September 26th at 1 p.m. in Program 12.

Last year, Moviemaker Magazine named the festival one of the 25 Coolest Film Festivals.

If you'll be screening a film, attending the fest, or are just interested, I've started a Twitter list to follow filmmakers screening at the festival this year as well.

Friday, September 03, 2010

GH1 1080p Camera Test (After Firmware Hack)

Panasonic GH1 1080p Camera Test from Ted Fisher on Vimeo.

Previously, I posted a one-minute video showing a "Stress Test" of the Panasonic GH1 in video mode.

For that, I shot 720p / 60 footage in Central Park -- and found generally great results, but that the camera clearly had its limits. A sharply-focused shot of highly-detailed trees combined with camera motion could hit the limit of the codec -- resulting in "mud" in the shot. (That is, poorly-resolved digital smearing. Think of a low-resolution JPEG.)

On the plus side: most footage turned out great, and if you planned your shooting you could get excellent HD video without some of the issues (moire, for example, and false detail) that the Canon HDSLR cameras were reported to be experiencing. (And the Panasonic allowed twice as much footage per gigabyte of memory, had no need for a specialized add-on viewfinder, could autofocus during video, presented a live histogram -- and so on.)

Since moving to Los Angeles I've applied the supersecret firmware hack to the camera. (Google it. I'll post more on the details soon.) So I decided it was time to test out the 1080p / 24 mode as well.

For this shoot -- purposefully handheld, shaky, and shooting subjects that tended to bring out "mud" in the stock GH1 -- I used lpowell's "40Mbps AVCHD High Reliability Patch" settings, recording 1080p/24 AVCHD clips. I then processed the MTS files using Voltaic and edited those transcoded clips with Final Cut Pro. I exported a 1080p QuickTime file, then used compressor to create the 1280 by 720 file I uploaded to Vimeo.

My thoughts: the "40 reliability" settings are excellent in quality and stable enough for documentary shooting. As well, all clips play back in camera. Follow the link to Vimeo if you want to download the 720p version -- but trust me that the full 1080p file is even better.

Thursday, September 02, 2010