Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Jun 30 2001

I’m trying to decide what kind of digital video ca…

I’m trying to decide what kind of digital video camera I am going to buy to use to make films I can enter in festivals and the like. Right now I am looking at the Canon GL1 and the Sony VX2000. Does anyone have experience with either one or both of these cameras? If so, let me hear what you think. I’ve heard good things about both, and they both seem to have what I want in a camera. I’ve heard about sound problems for both as well, and in general it seems that the Sony has the sharper picture, while the Canon is more popular for some reason none of the reviewers seem willing to discuss, like it’s either a secret of so obvious they don’t have to explain. The Canon uses the same CCD as the XL1, which has a good reputation. The three shorts I have on this site under the films section were shot with an old Arri-S 16mm camera, which I used for my ‘film’ icon on this site…I love working with film, and I would love to continue doing so, but the cost is just too high for me to afford. If I could, though, I would work with film, 16 or 35mm, and cut my movies on a Steinbeck editing table like I did in New York. It was frustrating, but the limited number of options meant that the filmmaker has to know in their mind exactly what it is they wanted. In short, they had to have a vision. Now, with digital, it is possible to go into a project, shoot whatever it is you want, and then think about what it is you want to create in post production. Both are viable ways of production; I just happen to think the discipline involved in the former seems to produce a more concrete realization of a solid vision. But I could be wrong.

As I was looking around the parts of the old city where they sell cameras and electronics, I heard really young people discussing various cameras as if they were disposable toys. Despite the highly popular cry of “Oh, our economy is so baaaad! We have to act like it’s bad and fire all our staff and pull out all of our investment and make it worse ’cause we’re idiots”, there is still a lot of money on this island and a lot of people willing to spend it.

The weather was nice this afternoon so I rode up to Tianbao Temple, one of my favorite spots. It is just a few blocks past the World Trade Center and up near the 4-Animal mountains, but it feels like it is miles outside the city. The only sounds, apart from the distant roar of traffic, are the insects and babbling streams which trickly down from the moutains. I walked around and took pictures with my new camera, which is doing well. Almost too well, for I am going to run out of web space really quickly if this keeps up, and I may have to buy more.

At one point my hairstylist friend Vidal(what else did you think his name would be?)called me on my cell phone and said he had a customer, a foreign woman, who was into making movies and who wanted to talk with me. I said ok, but she was talking with someone else, so I said for him to give her my number and my website. Curious.

I climbed up Elephant Mountain, from the top of which the whole city is visible, and then through some jungle-like paths down the other side. At some points the path was only a faint trail, but thankfully it didn’t disappear before it led me back to the temple.

I rented Nurse Betty, The Big Lebowski and the Emperor’s New Groove on DVD this weekend. I just watched Nurse Betty, and I really wanted to like it, but somehow it didn’t hold together. The acting was good all around, as was the casting, but the music was mushy and horrible, and the editing could have been a lot snappier as well. It felt like a good idea that had gone through too many producers and was spoiled, which is a shame, because I think Morgan Freeman gave one of the best performances I have ever seen from him. Chris Rock wasn’t bad, either. I keep wondering when they’re going to get around to making a movie starring Chris Rock and Chris Tucker together. It seems inevitable.

The rehearsal for “A Man for All Seasons” is tomorrow. I finished reading the play, and I have to say that, while I enjoyed it and it was very well written, I still don’t know if I should take a stab at it. It would be interesting to see if I could pull it off. I will go tomorrow and see what the situation over there is. I presume that Carl isn’t especially keen on keeping the character in the play at all, which is, of course, his prerogative. He’s the director, after all.

posted by Poagao at 3:21 pm  

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