Jobs movie applies its own reality distortion field

19-Aug-13 1:45 PM by
Filed under Reviews; Comments Off on Jobs movie applies its own reality distortion field

Less than two years since Steve Jobs' passing, his life story hits the silver screen today. The limited release of Jobs, the feature-length film directed by Joshua Michael Stern and starring Ashton Kutcher, was delayed from its original April release after it received poor reviews at the Sundance Film Festival. The official release will please Apple fans with its casting and acting as much as it will frustrate them with its script and dramatic reinterpretation of events.

Josh Gad & Ashton Kutcher

Josh Gad & Ashton Kutcher as Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs.


Continue reading my review at Computerworld.com »

A big thanks to the Cinema Fix weekly movie review podcast, whose co-host got me into the Jobs press screening that made my review possible!

Filming the holidays with iMovie trailers

21-Dec-11 11:35 AM by
Filed under Potpourri, Trailers; Comments Off on Filming the holidays with iMovie trailers

When I first saw Apple's iMovie '11 demonstrated, I knew I had to have it. Even though I don't do much video editing, I had to play with this edition of the popular movie-making software's exciting new feature: a trailer-making workflow. By choosing a film genre and dragging and dropping predefined types of shots (wide, group, action), anyone could effortlessly make a coming attraction for the movie of their lives.

My first outing with this functionality was a promotional video for an annual fundraising event. Since the fundraiser had already been held by the time I got my hands on iMovie, I didn't have any footage of my own to work with. I instead downloaded existing YouTube videos and recut them for my purpose, using the "sports" genre of film. When I showed the final product to the original videographer, she responded, "I just saw your movie trailer and I LOVE IT!!  You created a great, professional quality, energetic piece. I might bug you to do this again with what we['ll shoot next year]!"

My most recent trailer is the only one I've shot for fun. On June 12, 2011, two friends joined me in my annual ascent of Mount Monadnock, the world's most-climbed mountain. It was a last-second impulse to bring my video camera, a Kodak Zi8, and I got several candid and staged shots throughout the state park. I originally tried casting it as a horror film, but in the end, it worked best as an adventure.

But the trailer that was most meaningful is the one I made as a gift. I spent Christmas 2010 with friends, and I wanted to show my appreciation for letting me into their home to share this special holiday. Over the course of a week and as innocuously as possible, I shot several clips of B-roll. Most of them were no longer than five seconds, though one, a Christmas pageant, was fifteen minutes. Altogether, I ended up with about thirty minutes of film, which I whittled down to a brief trailer.

When I debuted a rough cut to the friends, they were extremely moved, immediately wanting to watch it again — and again — and again! They shared it with everyone in their immediate and extended family, and I could tell from my online analytics that the video was viewed every day for at least a month. As its audience was not computer savvy, they had no idea that the quality of what they were seeing wasn't the result of me being a professional video editor. Thanks to iMovie, I was able to keep my secret!

Just in time for me to re-create this gift for my own family this year, Vimeo, my video-hosting service of choice, has offered these tips for shooting great holiday video. Their suggestions are simple yet effective and will give you plenty of grist for later editing.

Happy holiday filming!

To Boldly Go Where No Mac Has Gone Before

17-Sep-09 4:48 PM by
Filed under Celebrities, Star Trek; Comments Off on To Boldly Go Where No Mac Has Gone Before

Every now and then, something will pop up in an auction that sets geeks drooling. Whether it's an undiscovered Macintosh prototype or a famous movie prop, the chance to own a piece of history can drive us to extremes. But the combined fanaticism of Apple devotees and sci-fi fans will likely have more destructive potential than the Genesis device when this relic shows up on sensors: an early Macintosh Plus, given by Apple Computer Inc. to Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry.

Read the rest of this entry at Computerworld.com »

Read Showbits on your iPhone or Kindle

08-Jun-09 1:17 PM by
Filed under Showbits; 2 comments.

If you have either an Apple iPhone cell phone or an Amazon Kindle eBook reader, you can now read the Showbits on these mobile devices. For the iPhone, you'll need the free Kindle for iPhone application. Then you can find us in the Kindle Store, where a subscription to the blog is only $.99. (Accessing this site directly, or receiving it via email or RSS, will both always be free.)

If you read the blog using either of these methods, please let us know what you think! Or if there are additional ways you'd like us to get content to you, please leave a suggestion.

MST3K on iTunes

10-Jan-09 11:40 PM by
Filed under Television; Comments Off on MST3K on iTunes

A boon previously alluded to by Joel Hodgson, creator of cult comedy series Mystery Science Theater 3000, has come to pass: episodes of MST3K are now available for online purchase and viewing from iTunes. The selection consists of the same four episodes recently released in the 20th anniversary box set (link opens in iTunes). They're listed as movies, not TV shows, and are priced accordingly: $9.99 each, no rental option, with a running time of about 90 minutes and filesize of roughly one gigabyte. A single trailer promotes all four films and is an edited version of the promotion for the original tin:

MST3K: The Movie, which was re-released to DVD in 2008, is not (yet?) available via iTunes.

(Hat tip to Satellite News)