Episode 3 – Bad news… Good News

Last week I received a fantastic gift: Piasecki Aircraft Corporation gave me some archive material of the AAFSS program.

I had been expecting just documentation (later on that thought) but what turned up in the mail were some very unique looking film reels.

ibm_selectric-mt_st-cassette_aafss_pic01

Thinking that they were merely some unique IBM design I contacted Deluxe Labs in Northvale NJ to setup a transfer. When I explained the strange casing and the 16mm film within their top technician was stumped; no one had ever seen the item I had. Intrigued by this mystery we set up a time to meet the following Friday…

ibm_selectric-mt_st-cassette_aafss_pic02

That Friday was today. Deluxe Labs’ Mark B., the GM actually deserves the credit for solving just how to access the film within and  lead colorist Dave did some tests and it turns out that although the cartridge contains 16mm film, it actually has data- no images. Bummed I left knowing at least what it wasn’t. I was hoping that it was actual film of the AAFSS program development…

The good news is that after some serious Google searching I finally discovered that the cassette was a magnetic storage device made specifically for IBMs Selectric MT/ST typewriter system. It was released in the early 1960s and is credited with being the first word processor.  IBM discontinued support for it around 1983 so I’m not sure if there are any working units left… maybe a museum?

So basically they did provide me with documentation, it’s just unfortunate that I can’t read it at this time.

While this doesn’t directly affect Episode 3’s production, I was hoping to add whatever media was on the cartridges to the final edit.

Pre-production continues!

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Episode 2 returns to hangar and Episode 3 gets set to taxi

Hello everyone, it’s been a long time since I’ve updated the status of the aviation documentaries I’m working on so I’d thought I would bring interested parties up to date:

VTOL Model 49 and the AAFSS Program

This completed documentary is still in the process of creating a sustainable distribution method that will allow me to offer it at a reasonable price. Stay tuned.

Episode 2 – Untitled VFX Program project

Mother nature and bad timing has sent this project that was soooo close to actual production, back on the shelf. Many of the key interviewees were located out of state and in particular Texas; unfortunately for them they lived in the areas that had the horrific flooding over the past year and a half and I have been unable to re-establish contact since last December. While I continue to chip away now and again at modeling aircraft parts and texturing surfaces, I’ll have to put this project on the backburner until I can get confirmation from new interviewees. Which leads me to…

Episode 3 – Untitled Interim AAFSS gunship project

This project is in pre-flight check mode. So far I have confirmation from two interviewees and I am looking to get two more. Images and motion pictures are being gathered and the script, in its 7th draft is getting its final polish. With luck I should start production within the next month or so.

That’s all for now- should have another update by Friday if all goes well!

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When a tripod just won’t do…

cscowels_belltower_camgripkit_20160717For a recent shoot I had to record a duet concert within a carillon bell tower cabin. The cabin itself was quite small and cramp- planting a tripod would have been more trouble than it was worth. I decided to take advantage of the corner above the installed air conditioner and use suction clamps along with some avenger arms and clamps to secure the camera. It worked quite well and I wired the mics outside (you can see one of the two  SM58s in the window to the left) to pick up the sound of the 67 bells. Even inside the sound absorbing cabin I still had to wear ear plugs- they were quite loud!

The video was recorded using a Panasonic HPX170 onto P2 cards at 1280×720 for direct for intranet broadcast at a later date. Editing was performed with Adobe Premiere CC.

Suction clamps should be a part of your grip kit. Make sure you purchase them from a hardware store and NOT an audio/video/film equipment supply store or you will pay an unnecessary premium.

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Future iNCITE! earns Bronze Telly at 37th annual Telly Awards Competition

telly_site_bugs_bronze[1]Future iNCITE!’s “Designed For Battle: VTOL Model 49 and the AAFSS Program” has earned a Bronze Telly Award in this years 37th Annual Telly Awards.

You can read more about it here:

www.futureincite.com/press.html

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DVDs have arrived

It’s taken what seemed like an eternity but the VTOL Model 49 documentary DVDs are finally here! Now, It’s time to finalize a cost effective distribution method.

Future iNCITE!'s DVDs of the award winning documentary VTOL Model 49 and the AAFSS Program

VTOL Model 49 DVDs ready to go.

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The switch to html (or xhtml)

Okay- Future iNCITE! has migrated from Flash to xhtml. Will update as I make more content and add more features to the site.

http://www.futureincite.com

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DVD status update

Last week I was able to order the remaining cases. Today I ordered the security seals. Next up I have to save funds for the inside case insert, poster (yes, a poster!) and matching serial numbers. Once all that is paid for, I can get ready for actual distribution!

It’s been frustrating to say the least to have to wait this long but money is tight and work is scarce. I ask you all to hang in there a little while longer.

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When out of synch is in synch

For the last three days I’ve been part of a freelance team hired to record the Princeton University’s 2015 Commencement. Even with the bad weather, the production (at least from my end) went pretty smoothly. For the Class Day event, I was asked to shoot some B-roll to mix in with the master shots.

When time came for me to edit in my footage, some color and gamma correction later and it all looked fine. Until I began to fine tune the footage of the school anthem recital at the end of the day’s ceremonies. Try as I might, I couldn’t match the lips of the students in close up with the audio from the master shot. After a good five minutes of puzzling over this and a quick huddle with the senior editor, I realized that I wasn’t out of synch. The students were either still groggy from a night of partying or they just didn’t know the words of the song in question. When I synched up the footage as it had been originally, then everything was in synch- except the students. In one instance, a young man is seen referring to the anthem lyrics on the program schedule… We went with the shot; it added a nice but out-of- synch touch to the general atmosphere. Sometimes, out of synch is in synch.

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AHS International Forum 71

Since becoming an honorary member of the American Helicopter Society (International) for my AAFSS documentary, I’ve wanted to learn more about the organization and see what other untold stories are out there regarding the history of vertical flight.

Photo of the keynote speaker during the AHS Forum 71 keynote address

Snap shot of the AHS Forum 71 Keynote address.

AHS International Forum 71 was held in Virginia Beach, VA from May 5 to May 7, 2015. As the name implies, the forum has been going on for 71 years in various states and countries around the world. Unlike a traditional tradeshow, the forums are more akin to a multi-day tech conference that covers the military and civilian markets, technical/engineering case studies, unit histories, tech innovations and awards for achievement. Forty tech sessions, five special sessions, two receptions, a student competition and an awards ceremony made up the events of the week.

On Monday, twenty-five  of us took a tour of the NASA Langley center and the U.S. Army Fort Eustis. The rest of the week I attended special sessions from the U.S. Marines on the MV-22 Osprey and U.S. Army briefings on the CH-47, AH-64 and the JMR/FVL programs (Sikorsky/Boeing Raider) and networked like crazy.

A photo of a 1/10 scale Sikorsky Boeing Raider Joint multi-role technology demonstrator

Sikorsky/Boeing >1 Raider, Joint Multi-Role technology demonstrator model in 1/10 scale at the Sikorsky booth in the exhibit hall.

It was an amazing opportunity to gain direct access to helicopter manufacturers and OEM VPs and Presidents and make contacts for showcasing my film and possible collaborations on future projects.

One of my favorite moments of the Forum was when I met the Scientist Emeritus of the U.S. Army and he knew about my film before I had even begun my pitch! He had seen my website and was looking forward to getting a copy! Wow- talk about being stoked!

On the exhibit floor I had the opportunity to try out New Jersey based Continuum Dynamics, Inc. turbulent air flow simulator for the UH-60 line of helicopters. Although designed for the U.S. Navy specifically, alternative projects based on the technology were readily apparent and I encouraged them to look into logging and city scenarios.

Sundiata is sitting in the seat of the Continuum Dynamics, Inc. simulator

Giving the Continuum Dynamics, Inc. simulator a try. OMG- I crashed twice!

It’s been a productive week and I’m well on my way to gathering information and potential partners for my third installment of my vehicle design series. Stay tooned!

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All for one or one for all?

Back in October 2014, Blackmagicdesign.com released a free version of the powerful node based compositing program known as Fusion 7. Very similar to Blender 3D in many aspects (you can even create 3d shapes with a built-in mesh editor) it is jam packed with many of the tools that you would find in many of the major editing programs… all under one interface. 

Granted, if you aren’t used to a node based workflow, the idea of a single interface for all production workflows sounds preposterous and complicated; until you try it. Think of it this way – imagine that your desktop is a four burner stove. Do you have to reconfigure your stove if you want to boil water or cook an egg? No. You assemble and prepare different ingredients from your pantry and refrigerator and cook on the stove “interface.” Now, you could argue that you can’t do EVERYTHING on the stove top and I would concur that that is true. There still remain various specialist tools (microwave, toaster, oven, mixer, etc) that for many reasons are suited for the task. But for the bulk of your diet most of the cooking is done on the stove. Ok, analogy over. If you have a single interface that merely assembles media based on nodes like a network, why couldn’t you have an all-in-one program? Heck, the public wants their cellphones to do everything, so why should media producers have to buy six or seven different programs that they need to constantly upgrade at different times to stay current?

With Fusion 7 (and in many ways Blender 3D) we’ve come closer  to that goal.

When it comes to digital media production, it doesn’t hurt  to explore your options.

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