Tuesday, 31 March 2009


Today has been a poop-storm of poop. I'm working on my dissertation trying to get this video for my study sorted out. I did the filming yesterday with some excellent friends who I will be forever indebted to. Today came editing I thought easy peasy, I've got a mac, just bung it all in iMovie HD and string 'em together with maybe a couple of bits cut out... NOOOOOOOO.

First issue, tried to play the videos in quicktime, "Sorry it's not actually a video file". Well actually it clearly is, you've recognised it as a quicktime thing, and it quite clearly says MPG on the end, it's a video file. Fine ok deep breath, try VLC, wooot it works, but there's a bit I want to cut out and if I play it as a playlist in VLC it's all jumpy and stuff between parts.

But as long as it works in iMovie, what's the problem, "sorry quicktime couldn't parse it". What, no sorry but what, "parse", bugger off. Right ok don't worry deep breath, flatmate Joe said he found a cool editing program for mac OS, let's call him, "Joe, come quick, need help, please!".

"Hey Stu, wassup",
"I, need that thing like now",
"oh ok, be right back...here it is",
"but that's not even a thing",
"oh yeah"

many minutes of umming and ahhhing.

"let's do it on your PC"
"oh ok yeah lets do it"

So we go to Joe's room and get an editing package and spend an hour or so editing, much grunting and exclamations of "why isn't there a cut option". Finally though it's done. We start the render and Joe goes off to work. Later on I get the file and put it on my mac and try to play it in quicktime, "sorry you don't have the right codec see if it's here...". It wasn't there. BUGGER, BUGGER, BUGGER. So I go online and try to find tips on how to solve the problem, apple support has a lovely article on how to sort out avi problems, find out what format the audio and video is in and get the relevant codec. Ok so the audio is fine we have that codec but the video is in IV50, what the deuce! Find the codec, every article I find says, "it doesn't exist for mac, and probably never will", ARRRRGGGHHHH.

But there are other options, let's go back to the initial problem, now we know what we have to do to find out what codec we need, we can do that with the original files, get it in quicktime, do the editing in iMovie which'll be much easier than the stupid program Joe found and Bob is most assuredly the sibling of one of your parents. Can't open it in quicktime still, so let's get it in VLC and find out through that. Ok so it's mpga and mpgv for audio and video respectively, score, now we're getting somewhere.

Online, how do I get it into some semblance of quicktimery. Try MPEG Streamclip, all the forums say. Woooo, I'm getting close I can feel it. Right go MPEG Streamclip!

I suddenly bore the expression of an individual who has had all of his hopes and dreams crushed.

"By the way, do you have this MPEG2 codec, oohh looks like you don't errrm you kinda need it to convert this into the quicktimery, soo you gotta get it",
"fine give it to me, after all of this, one more codec isn't going to hurt me",
"Well the thing is and don't get angry, and definitely don't throw anything, especially not me, remember how much you love me and what we've been through together, but that codec isn't free",
"I don't understand how can it not be free that's just stupid",
"Well it isn't, infact it costs more than 10 pounds",



Anyway that's been my day, how's everyone elses been?

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Prager and the Thief

I'm in the middle of watching the latest diggnation and Kevin brought up the fact that Prager had his house broken into. Along with this is the fact that Prager's response to the break in was to tweet about it and to set up a live ustream of the burglar. I immediately went online to find more out. I saw the tweets he posted and the video and I have only three letters prior to the many words I will be saying, WTF.

First of all forget Dan becomes a man on the Totally Rad Show, they need to do Prager becomes a man, or at least a sentient life-form capable of calling the police to remove a prowler from his house. The video is just insane, I’m pretty damn sure it’s not a stunt, because if it is, then what is the point?

Whose first instinct when someone breaks into their home is to tweet profusely about it and set up a ustream of the event. I have a theory about this some may not have thought of, what if this random guy was some sort of protestor or artist trying to point out something about twitter. Before I go further I should say that I love twitter, I love the community, I love sharing things, it’s great.

What if this guy was making a point about twitter or simply doing some life replicating technology thing. If you watch the video, you see he just comes in, takes off his trousers and lies down on the sofa, ready to see what Prager gets up to the next day. Prager and others like him tell us about stuff that occur during their day anyway so why not just hang out to see what happens, you don’t need the Internet and you definitely get a greater amount and richer updates about what’s going on.

The thing that prompted this theory is that in the video, Prager, after successfully booting out the dude, says that he said, “Sorry I’m just trying to follow…” There you go he’s just trying to follow him, he thought that’s how it worked maybe. I follow Prager, fair enough I do it from a respectful distance from across a rather substantial ocean we call the Atlantic, but I follow him none-the-less. And to make it even better if this is the case, then the exquisite irony is that Prager’s response to a guy literally following him is to tweet about it, isn’t that just beautiful.

Anyway here’s the link to a business insider article about it, http://is.gd/mRWp watch the video and see what you think and let me know what you think about my theory. And by the way this is a joke, although if it were true it would be awesome.

Friday, 6 March 2009

My old blog

I'm considering transferring all the posts from my old film review blog "jollygoodshow" over to here. I'd like feedback from my miniscule readership. Let me know what you think and I shall respond accordingly.



I saw Watchmen on Thursday morning, in iMAX Manchester. This was a special screening for UCI employees, of which I am one. Since then I've been trying to think about what I can say about the film very carefully. It was really tough, so much to the point that I considered not writing anything, but I couldn't leave my avid readers - of which I'm sure there must be at least three - waiting.

In the end an alternative has been offered to me. I just read a fairly extensive review of the film by, David Chen, posted on the slashfilm website. I almost entirely agree with what he has said and cannot truly elaborate, or say anything without heavily plagiarising his work. So instead I offer you a link to his review. http://www.slashfilm.com/2009/03/06/movie-review-watchmen-a-cinematic-achievement-in-adaptation/ .

I will say one thing his rating is maybe a little low I think I'd raise it by .5 or 1.0, but I'm not entirely sure ratings are a sensible thing for films, see my post on the subjective nature of film viewing for more info. There are some spoilers I think if you haven't read the book, but I both suspect and hope that those who want to see the film have read the book.