Friday, February 12, 2010

Whoops! Say, wasn't there a rug underneath my feet a few minutes ago...?

Rumors have been flying and, in my silence, perhaps understandably so. One rumor is true, one is false. Here's to setting the record straight.

(1) Rumor: MacFilmmakers has disbanded.

Reality: FALSE. MacFilmmakers HAS been on hiatus, mostly planned--first through the November/December holiday period and then through January (for Sundance, where I was out of town for the latter half of the month)--but we are most definitely NOT "disbanded". We do plan to meet again and on a regular, if reduced, schedule (see below). That said...

(2) Rumor: Apple has announced that user groups, such as MacFilmmakers, can no longer schedule rooms on the Apple campus.

Reality: Sadly, this rumor is TRUE. I have confirmed with the powers that be that, as of this moment, the proverbial rug has been yanked out from under our feet as we (and all other user groups) will NOT be allowed to use Apple meeting rooms going forward. However, that is not necessarily the final word on the subject as I am aggressively (but nicely, of course) following through to see if there are creative and/or agreeable workarounds; I'll have more to say about this after such internal exploration has happened. Naturally, even if this icky status quo remains in place, there are other meeting locations that might be available.

So, pending finding a suitable location for March-ish, we are likely to have a MacFilmmakers meeting. Going forward, however, we might be looking at a different kind of schedule, i.e., rather than monthly meetings perhaps quarterly meetings. And/or perhaps more "co-sponsored" meetings, ourselves with other established groups, and then splitting costs that might be associated with room fees (if any).

And, independent of meeting room challenges, there are other ways we can stay vital and viable as a group. For example, there is a short filmmaking project tentatively scheduled for production at the end of March/early April that could involve large portions of our membership--more information on this as the schedule is fleshed out in pre-production.

Anyway, my apologies for my lack of communication. I had planned to send out an update in January before I left for Sundance--and then promptly got sick for the two weeks preceding Sundance. Then, the day I got back from Sundance, I got sick again for another week-ish. Nothing scary either time--and thankfully I was in perfect health during Sundance--but both illnesses were enough to knock me on my keister for those several weeks.


Monday, November 9, 2009

YES, we are meeting Wed. Nov. 11th!

Hi, Gang--

"Good Things Come to Those Who Wait"

Or so they say. And that is certainly the theme for our next meeting. This coming Wednesday night, November 11th, we have a very special event lined up. Local filmmaker Amy Glazer--whose previous feature, "Drifting Elegant", starring Coby Bell ("Third Watch", "The Game") and which premiered at the 2006 Mill Valley Film Festival--is back with her newest feature film...and we get to see it first as a nearly-finished rough cut!

"Seducing Charlie Barker" stars Daphne Zuniga ("Melrose Place") and is currently under consideration for this year's Sundance Film Festival. Billed as "a satire of the Manhattan social/entertainment industry scene, in which a TV show producer encounters a chameleon-like social climber", we will see the film in its nearly completed form, before it undergoes final tweaks and minor edits. And--here's the really cool part--following the screening we will discuss the film, looking at it as filmmakers, and then collectively generate feedback and constructive criticism. These comments will then be forwarded to Ms. Glazer and her post-production team for their consideration during these penultimate stages of editing. Showtime for this screening is estimated to be at 7:30 pm with a runtime of approximately 90 minutes.

But that's not all! Preceding this special screening, when we open the doors at 7:00, we will show any Demo Reels y'all may have been sitting on these past few months. So, dust off that DVD or Blu-ray you've been dying to share, let's see what you've been up to.

Again, doors open at 7:00 pm in Apple's Garage I in Cupertino. And, oh yes indeed, there WILL also be pizza! For this special program, it will have been pre-ordered and served earlier than usual, with the Pizza Break happening somewhere in the first half hour of the meeting, chowing down right there in the meeting room. (Yes, I know, order lots of pepperoni.)

Anyway, it's good to be back. And I hope to see you all this Wednesday!


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Next meeting TBA in October

Dear MacFilmmakers friends, please accept my apologies for the lapse in meetings and communication. In the last couple of weeks I have been going though some pretty severe family drama that has commanded my attention. I hope to be through it soon and believe I'll be able to announce an October meeting date in the near future.

To be clear, there is no meeting scheduled yet, none for September, but an October date remains likely. Thank you for your patience and understanding,

Monday, August 24, 2009


We are having trouble getting a room reserved in our usual Wednesday slot. We are definitely NOT meeting THIS week but, past that, I cannot tell yet. I am still working with the scheduling office to find a suitable alternate room/date and will post that information here (and send out an email) once I have that info. Thanks in advance for your patience and flexibility.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

This Wednesday's (July 29th) Meeting

OK, folks, unless you've been living under a rock these last few days, there's no way you haven't heard something about the new Final Cut Studio, which has been making headlines everywhere. Already available (and at a new, lower price) and with over 100 new features, the new Studio sounds like it is going to be fantastic. Charles Meyer and Steve Bayes of Apple will lead us through a major demonstration of what's new.

For details as to what IS new, here is a link to the press release:
Over 100 New Features in Final Cut Studio

The MacFilmmakers meeting is, as you know, Wednesday, July 29th, in Apple's Garage I/II rooms (upstairs in Building 4 at One Infinite Loop, Cupertino, CA). Doors open at 6:30pm. Meeting starts at 7:00pm. The meeting is free and open to the public. Parking is plentiful and free. While we will have Demo Reels, we are going to play it by ear as to when during the meeting these are shown. We will also, of course, enjoy our hallmark Fabulous Pizza Break around the halfway point.

See you Wednesday!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Next mtg Wed. July 29th

OK, this news is SO HOT, I am burning my fingertips trying to type it out. YES, we are meeting next Wednesday, July 29th, 7:00 PM in Apple's Garage I/II and, YES...drumroll, please...

Apple is confirmed as our special guest for the evening, presenting the just-announced new Final Cut Studio, including over 100 new features in Final Cut Pro 7 and more!

Details will be posted here shortly, I just wanted to get this HOT, HOT, HOT news out FAST, FAST, FAST!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Agenda for tomorrow night, Wed. June 24th

OK, gang, here is the rundown for tomorrow night's meeting (specific order/timing subject to change):

• Demo Reels
• RED+FCP+Color: Making It All Work by Adam Wilt
• Pizza Break
• Multiformat Editing for Indies: Starting a Multiformat Project, or Fixing One That Is Underway by Jesse Spencer

As always, the meeting opens up with your Demo Reels. Please keep your reel to a maximum of 5 minutes. Slots are limited and available on a first-come first serve basis.

Next up will be Adam Wilt presenting RED+FCP+Color: Making It All Work.

Recently, Adam shot a 30-second spot using the RED camera. Tonight we will take a look at how that footage was taken through Final Cut Pro and Color. We will see many different vignettes in Color and how much of a difference there can be. Adam's original article on this subject is posted over at:
Pro Video Coalition

Adam Wilt is a filmmaker with Meets The Eye LLC

Following Adam is the always fabulous Pizza Break. Free pizza, free soda and, according to a rumor I heard, YES, free cookies from San Francisco's famous Hot Cookies! So, skip your meals today, save that lunch money for filmmaking and chow down with us tonight!

Once we're all properly bloated from pizza, we round out the evening with Jesse Spencer presenting Multiformat Editing for Indies: Starting a Multiformat Project, or Fixing One That Is Underway.

Indie filmmakers often have the most challenging technical problems to solve, and unfairly, they have least amount or resources! This presentation will concentrate on the challenges of multiformat editing, and will reveal a few simple key tricks that are handily built into FCP to help indie filmmakers overcome them. Even when you need to plan your edit today, for a video format that won't debut until tomorrow!

This presentation will be discussing nuts-and-botls anatomy of the video anatomy... as well as feature a few in-the-timeline tricks for untangling a messy project.

Jesse Spencer has been editing for 23 years. FOr the past 13 he has worked as Video Arts in SF as an onliner/colorist finishing high end projects bound for Theatrical release, and Broadcast on ITVS. His offline editing in films have screened at Sundance, and have been distributed by Lions Gate. Jesse is now freelance, working in all aspects of post offline through mastering, but now concentrating on consulting and post-supervision for Indie Projects.

We are in Apple's Garage I/II. Doors open at 6:30, meeting starts at 7:00. For those arriving past 7:00 there will be a sign on the door with a cell phone number you can call to gain entry. Meetings are free and open to the public, all are invited to attend. Parking is plentiful and free.

Reminder: Garage I/II is upstairs in Apple's Building 4 (same location as Town Hall) at 1 Infinite Loop in Cupertino.