Monthly Archives: January, 2012

Lady WoofWoof – Bark This Way

I made a silly movie. Starring my dog. Yes, another one. My excuse is that it’s mostly for the benefit of distant friends and family.

Then, to compound my folly, I made a movie about how I’d made the movie, which is probably more interesting for most people!

Update: Thanks to Richard Morrison for pointing me at these instructions for making your own camera stabiliser – very nice!

Fotoshop, by Adobé

This is beautifully done.

Fotoshop by Adobé from Jesse Rosten on Vimeo.

More info here.

Lady of the Rings

A portrait of The Artist

Well, my faith in cinema is gradually being restored. About three weeks ago we saw Hugo, one of the few 3D movies worth watching, and one of the even fewer that would still be a splendid film in 2D. Then last week we saw Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows; not quite in the same league but still jolly good fun. And tonight it was The Artist, which is quite fabulous.

For those who’ve missed the publicity and the reports of the plentiful standing ovations at Cannes, The Artist is a story set around the time when silent movies are being replaced by talkies. That’s hardly novel: so was Singing in the Rain. But what makes this different is that it is itself a silent movie. It looks at the transition from the ‘before’ side rather than from the ‘after’, as it were. And when was the last time you went to the release of a new silent movie?

So the sheer novelty value is a large part of what gets the bums on the seats. But very few of those bums’ owners will be disappointed once they get there, I think. I was delighted even before the film began: as the adverts drew to a close, the curtains on either side of the screen moved inwards, because this is shot in traditional 4:3 ratio, not widescreen.

The genius of The Actor is partly down to the bravery of those who had the nerve to try such a thing, and partly down to the skill of the execution. But what struck me as we walked home is that it’s unique. Nobody will be able to do this again. So I think it has found a place in the cinematic history books from which it is unlikely ever to be displaced.

And it’s also a great night out.

Mounting phone costs…

…not very much!

I’ve just received one of my cheapest eBay purchases in a while and was pleasantly surprised.

It gives your iPhone or HTC a standard 1/4″ tripod mount socket. Not the most robust construction, but not as plasticky as I’d expected, either. It ships from Hong Kong, so takes a little while to arrive, but here’s why it’s worthwhile…

The price is about £1.40 (about $US 2.20). Including postage.


My brother, Simon.

iTunes Match getting stuck…

Warning: geeky Mac post

I had a problem with the iTunes Match process on my Mac – it would get stuck sometimes at the stage of ‘Gathering information about your iTunes library…’. It turned out to be one or two dodgy tracks that were confusing it, but how to find out which they were?

I found the solution on tmksnyder’s post in this thread. He suggested using Activity Monitor, selecting the iTunes process, and clicking the ‘Inspect’ button, which I confess I’d never previously noticed. Here you can find a tab named ‘Open Files and Ports’, which tells you which files (& ports!) the app is currently using. Potentially useful for all sorts of things. (It’s roughly the inverse of the command-line ‘fuser’ utility, which tells which apps have a particular file or mount-point open.)

The window updates dynamically, so if you expand it to a good size and watch it carefully, you can see the filenames of tracks being opened and closed, and, in my case, a couple on which it hiccupped and kept trying to re-open. Deleting and re-downloading those sorted it out.

© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser