dSLR video recommendations

Recently, some friends asked me what dSLR to purchase if they want to make movies with it. They aren’t experts at doing SLR photography.

Currently, if you are a beginner photographer and want a dSLR with video capability, the one I suggest is the Nikon D3100, ($700, Amazon, DPReview) which I have already written about earlier.

Nikon calls movie taking “D-movie.” It is currently the cheapest dSLR that can do video mode. It’s only one of three dSLRs that can do autofocus while taking video mode. This strikes me as the best balance between learning and using an entry level dSLR and being to take film-like movies. I’ll recommend some others below, but first I’d like to talk about the why and what of SLR movie-making (with the caveat that I’m a photographer, not a filmographer).Continue reading about dSLR movie-making after the jump

Plaxo Office Space

When I worked at Plaxo’s offices on Crittenden (now part of the GooglePlex), there was a door to our server closet inside the handicap stall men’s bathroom of the third floor.

Plaxo Crittenden Bathroom Layout

I can picture this like a scene in the movie: You are minding their own business, taking a shit on the toilet when the mysterious door opens, a sysadmin walks into the stall, says to you, “Oh, Excuse me, our wifi was down.” He then opens your stall door and leaves.

PC Load Letter

One day a VP went to print something out, and started shouting, “PC Load Letter? PC Load Letter! What the heck does that mean? PC Load Letter?! Does anyone know what that means?”

He was deadly serious—the entire office was busting up because unlike him, they had actually seen this movie:

Blame it on Bollywood

Yesterday, I walked onto a Bollywood set.


On my way back from McD’s, my apartment building was lit by three lighting/grip trucks. The lights were overpowering the sun.

Lighting my building

Lighting my building
4th and Brannan, South of Market, San Francisco, California

Olympus E-P2, Panasonic Lumix G 1:1.7/20 ASPH.
1/4000sec @ ƒ1.7, ISO200, 20mm (40mm)

Carrying McDonalds and shooting from the hip at the same time. Take that, Leica!

Continue reading

My first R rated movie

Me: I’m an innocent.

Mager: I believe you are secretly not innocent.

Me: I have gaps.
Me: Hmm… I should blog that.

Maybe I should have saved this for a Seven Things post, but my first R-rated movie was Quest for Fire. I saw it with my mom.

Here’s what happened.

My dad felt that it would be okay if my brother saw an R-rated movie for his birthday party, but there was no way C—’s mom would allow C— to see Porky’s. But, somehow Quest for Fire was okay because it was “an art film.” My mom had to chaperone my-brother’s-friends-whose parents-weren’t-cool-enough-to-let-them-see-Porky’s… and me.

My brother finally did catch my first R-rated movie in cable when he was in college. Of course he was shocked because Quest for Fire puts Porky’s to shame.

When he recounted that observation to my parents, I added, “I remember seeing that. I hated it because there was no speaking, only grunting.”

“Haha! You were like nine!”

“That was a horrible movie!” Mom rejoined, “I had to put my hand in front of Terry’s eyes for nearly thing. And he kept shouting, ‘Mommy, mommy are they done pumping yet?’ The whole theatre could hear it. I was so embarrassed.”

Ahh! Quest for Fire—one of those movies that makes you wonder What the fuck was MPAA ratings board was smoking at that night?

Quest for Fire in Hulu

Kid Tested, NotNSFW! Watch the movie. Jean-Jacques Annaud lays the smack down on the pr0n industry when he gets rid of the dialog entirely.