tech technology media reviews breakthrough documentary film video youtube sookie 416style television Susanne Jespersen visual researcher photographer writer


Skate Video

Tony Skating Shit Ditch
Originally uploaded by headphonerecord.
So I finally got my "editing career" underway. I have tons of footage now: hippy camping in the river, electronic music and graffiti festivals, Japanese kids sticking toothpicks up their noses...great stuff.

My current project was slicing together video from a friends bday at a skate park. I downloaded the Pharrell tracks from itunes, converted them to AAC and then was halted by the window that says music purchased in itunes isn't available for use in final cut pro. What's up with that? I thought I had the world at my finger tips.

I complained a bit and someone told me to try Soulseek. I'm not fond of music sharing programs, both Limewire and Kazaa have had some serious effect on my flow. Any word on what works best for mac? Anybody tried Soulseek?


Space Shuttle Back in Action

launch + 5 secs
Originally uploaded by 416style.
I was extremely lucky 3 years ago to find myself in Titusville, Florida on the eve of the launch of the Space Shuttle Endeavour. On our way from Miami to Toronto we needed a spot to pull over and camp for the night since it was already 1:30am. We rolled up to a quiet campground and found a great little spot on plush crab grass to set up for the night.

In the morning we realized we were right across the river from the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center, and in the spot beside the river where the alligator's like to have their breakfast! Later, at a greasy spoon, we met a wonderful man who worked for NASA. He invited us to his condo that night, in Titusville across from the launch pad and the Indian River. I got a few decent shots on my cheap throwaway camera (see better one below). This one was taken from 5 km away. It was the closest anyone besides relatives of the astronauts could get to the launch pad. It was phenomenal experience. The shuttle blast lit up the sky and the sound wave rumbled right through us on a 30 second delay.

I've been watching the shuttle lift off since I was just a kid and I'm thrilled the space program is back in action, probably because I've always been inspired by astronauts like Roberta Bondar, John Glenn and Jim Lovell. Now that the Canada Arm has become a successful part of the space program too I feel all the more proud each time we blast into space.


Score: Mac 1 PC 0

Originally uploaded by DanMelinger.
Was listening to 680 News this morning (Toronto radio) and was shocked to hear that Microsoft quietly reconfigured their anti-spyware applications so that one spyware maker, Claria, isn't blocked by their program any longer. While there is a justification for it on their site, I think anyone who has heard the news - that Miscrosoft is rumoured to be in acquisitions talk with the ill-thought of Claria - can read between the lines.

So Microsoft is working on both ends of this problem. Trying to help users by selling anti-spyware applications, then possibly investing in the very company that creates the ubiquitous spyware programs that run in Microsoft's OS and severely disrupts the activities of approximately 2% of PC users wordwide. As if there weren't enough distrust for Microsoft already.

I know the battle between Mac users and PC users will rage on. Sure PCs are cheaper (that's about the only argument in favour of PC), but for both novice and seasoned computer users it's just one more argument I have in favour of purchasing an Apple computer over a Windows-based PC.


Google Earth Rocks My World

toronto skyline
Originally uploaded by 416style.
Wow! What I saw on a friend's PC yesterday was amazing. Google Earth's interface made me feel like I'd advanced 20 years into future technology. The application, available for PC's from Google, lets you look up any address on Earth and get a bird's eye view of the location. From far or from close, Google Earth is amazingly detailed. It's satellite imagery.

Check out downtown Toronto for example, or Manhattan, and you'll float over the silhouette of each skyscraper, each street (named for your convenience) and any landmark viewed from an aerial position. Switch the view and all of a sudden you're standing in front of the skyline. Put in another address half way across the country and you'll get a driving tour.

This is the bomb. Forget mapquest or yahoo maps, forget atlas' and Perly's. The future is here and now. The future is Google Earth.


Chopsticks and Video Blogging - An Adventure in Tokyo

See video below - needs Ant or Quicktime and about a minute of your patience to load.

Took a great course tonight at LIFT (Liaison of Independant Filmmakers of Toronto) which showed the ropes of video blogging, a relatively new phenomenon. Straight forward and fun, it's a great way to get your DV showed to an audience. I learned about the many resources for hosting video like ourmedia and internetarchive and then was able to post something I cut in final cut pro just yesterday. It's my first piece, so be easy on me.

Below is "Chopsticks", a piece I shot while travelling from Kobe to Tokyo, Japan on the Bullet Train. On the train we debate the art of chopstick eating, then we visit the Tokyo Fish Market where I get a humbling lesson on proper sushi eating technique.

Please click on image to start viewing video.

I want to show you the original here, and point out that I used the suggested FCP Express codec or compression: mpeg4. In the class, the instructor Lukas Blakk showed us a downloadable compression tool that works much better: 3ivx. Mpeg4 actually distorted the shape of the video, making our heads a bit elongated, and the pixelation was so much that the great Mount Fuji is barely discernable. So in the next video installment I'll show you the difference, a video compressed with 3ivx. The quicktime file with 3ivx may take longer to start but the quality of visual will be worth it.


free ipods for real?

anno 2005
Originally uploaded by jorb.
Sometimes I can't believe my dad is way more hip than me when it comes to technology and gadgetry. He had the first slick G5 that rolled off the shelf and the first ipod, was the first to talk about itunes too.
So I'm jealous I guess. I work at home off a G3 laptop (hand me down) or G3 imac (also a hand me down), and when I'm learning video editing I head to my mum's to work on her G4 emac. In the next year, I've promised myself, I'll get the titanium powerbook I always wanted and an ipod. I've got to save the dough first, so when I came across one of these free ipod ads for the hundredth time today I caved. I signed up. I bought 5 DVD's from Columbia House, some good titles too (Collateral and Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle) even though I have Movie Network on Demand and see everything I want to anyway. I couldn't resist though.
About a month ago I came across a US paper's technology column where the author explained that he wasn't sure the free ipod thing seen all over the net was the real deal either, but he too signed up, picked an offer and told some friends. About a month later he got his ipod. Now he's got some weight to throw around...and I've only got this blog. I just couldn't resist the temptation of a shiny new 20Gig ipod to test out itunes latest podcasts. It still won't be as cool as my dad's 40Gig ipod, or as cute as the ipod minis but I'm really jamming up my poor little 9Gig imac at home, half of which is my itunes library.
If this ipod thing is for real I'll be thrilled, if not I'll console myself knowing that in a year I'll have a fantastic DVD collection and great presents for every occasion.