Getting Back into the Groove of Things (TT6)

Thoughtful ThursdaySo this will be a much shorter Thoughtful Thursday as I’ve got a lot on my plate this week. With the return of classes, I’ve found myself busier than ever before. I procrastinated in getting books and a parking pass, both of which I still haven’t gotten, and I’m just feeling a bit disenfranchised. I’m not sure why, but I’m not feeling that all in this semester. It might be that haven’t really had a break since the Summer of 2013 and I’m no where near the degree that I want. Also, last semester was one of extreme highs and lows. Working on film sets was amazing and being around my friends all day when I was going through some tough times made the hardships a bit easier.

This semester I’m not surrounded by that same support group that I, maybe selfishly, leaned on. I’ve had some films fall through and I don’t see many coming up in the next few months. I’m taking classes that I don’t necessarily want, but I have to take and I just hope that they’re interesting enough to get through. It feels like last semester was only a week ago and I just need a break. I’m trying with all my might to keep up Top 5 Tuesdays and Thoughtful Thursdays up as well as one or two reviews. Oddly enough, even though reviews and all the other articles posted on here are hard work and take up time, it’s sort of relaxing to sit down and write about my passions. This isn’t as cheerful as previous Thoughful Thursdays, but it’s what was on my mind and I hope you guys liked it.

That being said, one of the things that took my mind off the stress of college starting up again was watching and reviewing Reverb, a review and short you should definitely check out.

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Digital vs. Film (TT5)

FilmvDigNow this is a topic that has been argued for years. The argument ranges from which avenue is easiest for filmmaking all the way to which one looks more aesthetically pleasing. Now, while filmmaking is the field that I wish to enter, I’m not an expert on either of them. So all of my personal opinions are just that. Take from this what you can and be sure to leave a comment with your own opinions. I’d love to discuss differences and similarities in terms of film.

In terms of ease of use, it’s really hard to decide. Film can be much harder since it takes much longer to see the shot or the finished product, at least with my experience. If you need to get the film developed and you can’t find a person or place to do it for you, you might have to wait a while until you can figure that out though that should be figured out in pre-production, but sometimes things fall through. This might be the biggest reason why many flock to digital, since it’s instantaneous gratification. You can see the product once you stop recording. You can see if the boom dipped on Take 2 and reshoot until it’s perfect. Since they’re mostly saved to SD cards, running out of space means you can manually delete clips on camera or just use another SD card. Then, once you’re done, give the SD card to your editor and have them upload it to one of the millions of editing software out there. You can also, depending on the digital camera, film at some pretty crazy frame rates that make purchasing a low priced DSLR the smart choice.

In terms of look, nothing honestly beats the traditional look that film gives. Sure, digital is as crisp as a winter breeze, but the graininess of film is perfection. It’s obvious that film is the better of the two in this aspect since many digital filmmakers try to get that grainy, authentic look. It doesn’t usually work out since digital cameras and editing software can replicate the unpredictability of the look of film. I have heard horrible stories from professors and older filmmaking friends where their film or someone elses film burned on the projector. Which brings me to the next aspect.

Since digital film is saved on SD cards and then on computers, there are thousands of way to recover a film if something happens to one of the copies, unless you lose the SD card prior to uploading it to the computer. If you haven’t duplicated your film once it’s finished being cut, and something happens to it, you’re set back quite a ways. It’s a horror story either way, but it can be harder to happen with digital.

Price and finding a film camera for filmmaking can be difficult to pin down, but it’s no doubt harder to find and more expensive than digital cameras. A good DSLR can be purchased at most big box stores, websites and through friends. I personally have never seen a film camera at a big box store and the only cameras that I know of are quite expensive.

When it comes down to it, a film camera is quite a wonderful thing. It’s biggest issue is that in a world gone digital, it’s hard for a filmmaker to start out with it. In a perfect world, traditional filmmaking, you know with film, would last till the end of time. But the ease for digital filmmaking, especially for the beginning filmmaker can’t be denied. So don’t mistake me for a traditional film hater, I love the medium as a whole and film is the back bone of cinema, but everything evolves and filmmaking is no different.

I Might Sound Like a Broken Record, but Thank You (TT4)

Thoughtful Thursday

I know, I know, it seems like once a week I’m thanking you, the reader. But you have to believe me, you all deserve to be thanked. From the readers who have been subscribed since 2010, to the fresh faces that joined in 2012, to the new readers each and everyday, and all the ones in between. You all deserve to see me bellow from the mountain tops THANK YOU!

Now that we’re in a new year and people are making resolutions, I want to tell you mine. In previous years I’ve said things like post one review a day, or get more viewers, but I’m too old to worry about that kind of stuff. Now you might be saying, Austin, you’re not old at all. You’re right, but still the sentiment remains. I don’t care how many views I get, those are just numbers that don’t mean anything. Those numbers represent people, and the people matter, but those people are more than numbers. The people are so friggen much more important than those silly numbers. Every time that I think of the numbers, I’m forgetting about the people. So no resolution about bumping up my numbers because that just turns you guys all into a numbers game.

Posting a day is silly for me. Some days no post is required. When I give myself that requirement, my content gets worse and I get stressed. When I get stressed, I quit writing. When I quit writing, I quit checking TBR and when that happens, I turn my back on the readers and abandon ship for months, or even years. So no resolution about posting every day.

Now, with that out of the way, I can tell you my resolution for this year. My goal is to not sweat the little things. If I don’t check the website for a day, oh well, I can’t stress about it. Because, like I mentioned, stress leads to long breaks in posting. While I’m not going to force myself to post every day, I’m going to try to be posting very regularly, possibly daily. If there is not a review or article on any given day, don’t fret, there will be one tomorrow.

I can’t believe that this website is nearly 5 years old. I’ve grown so much since then. Five years ago, I was still in high school, still unsure of what I wanted to do in life and I was self-conscious about everything about me. I’ve grown so much in five years, and I’m so happy that many of you have been here to see me grow. I look and see a lot of people that I consider friends in the comment section and it makes me happy that five years ago I had some silly notion that starting a review website would benefit the world in some way. So once again, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Thoughtful Thursday #3

Thoughtful Thursday

For today’s Thoughtful Thursday, I thought I’d talk about the super interesting topic of scheduling posts! If you’re a WordPress blogger, or any blogger, you know that scheduling posts is the easiest way to keep a post a day goal going. Some days I write 5 posts and other days I don’t type a single word, but scheduling posts makes the reader think that I’m a WordPress maniac, writing daily. I didn’t always schedule posts, but I will admit that it makes blogging and writing reviews easier.

The thing that comes along with scheduling posts is figuring out the best time to post an article. I personally post articles and reviews around 7am Pacific. I notice if I post it later, not a lot of people will read that specific article. I don’t know if it’s because people are busy with other stuff or it’s at a time where a lot of other people are posting articles at the same time, which makes my post cluttered with other people’s subscriptions. Either way, I like to post early. I’ve flirted with the idea of posting later in the day, but I’ve noticed that when I do, the total views for that day are substantially lower. I don’t care too much about the numbers, I just want to make sure everyone that wants to read it can read it and don’t accidentally scroll over it.

I know deep down that the time doesn’t really matter too much, but for some odd reason I find most of my posts scheduled around 7:26 and 7:37. I don’t know why the times are so random, but it’s a bit quirky and I like it.

Anyways, congrats for reading this in 2015. Let’s all try to make this a great year!

Thoughtful Thursday #2

Thoughtful ThursdayThe biggest surprise for me, that I’ve found in my couple of years of writing reviews is which ones take off. Posts you think will be hits are often times duds and the reviews you write just to clarify one issue or just a silly post can become huge. My biggest post of all time, while not completely surprising, is still shocking considering all the other posts that I have written. That review is…drum roll please…Django Unchained Re-review.

90373_galYeah, not the original review that came out the day the movie was released, but the re-review that was posted only 4 months after the original. It was a much longer review and did contain spoilers for the film, possibly making it a more interesting read, but I’m still shocked by its placement as the most viewed page other than the home page. For a while my most viewed review was Lincoln, which made sense since it had Oscar buzz months before the movie came out. The Django Unchained re-review is quite possibly the best of my reviews, it has a lot of images and goes pretty in-depth, but I will admit that there are other reviews and articles that I had imagined would have been huge hits. I’m not sour that they didn’t get hundreds of views, but it’s always funny when your expectations are too high for any certain thing. The re-review wasn’t at all done in trying to get more views, it was because I rewatched the film and realized I was an idiot for not giving it a perfect 5.

Readers who have followed this site for a while might remember that I’m a huge fan of fun facts and that my current reviews have lacked them, so I’ll give you guys a fun fact right here and now. The day that this article is posted is the two year anniversary of my first Django Unchained review, which I did not realize when I started this Thoughtful Thursday. On a side note, I should probably mention why I no longer have a fun fact readily available with each and every review. It’s not out of laziness, but I did find that my fun facts were rarely fun. If I know something about a production that is truly fun, I will include it, but if enough people want the fun facts back completely, I would gladly oblige.

Anyways, if you’re reading this on the 25th, Merry Christmas!