Radified News for May, 2001  

30may01 - Grades are out. See here. Maybe I'll posted the updates from this semester, after finishing those from the previous one.


28may01 - Radified offices are closed today, in honor of the countless men & women who gave their lives in service of their country, the land of the free and the home of the brave. 

27may01 - Posted Film school update #13 (of 16), titled, Preparing for the Pitch. See here.


26may01 - Pearl Harbor is more love story than war flick. It's also a 'buddy flick'. It tries to offer something for everyone - typically a recipe for failure. 

We saw it at the Big Newport (giant screen). Thought we'd be slick and beat the crowds by catching the early show. Half of Newport Beach must've had the same idea, cuz the 4 o'clock show packed (giant theater).

Most notable was how they made the explosions & other special effects seem so real. It felt like I was actually there. Maybe cuz the screen was so big. Two thumbs up for the special effects crew. 

As far as I can tell, they tried to make the story historically accurate. But those anticipating a historical war flick might be disappointed by the extent to which they dwelt on the love story. People applauded at the end. That doesn't happen very often.

The movie's weak point was that it never addressed (historically) why the Japanese wanted to bomb the US in the first place (the US cut off oil shipments to to Japan). 

Usually when I go to a movie with high expectations, I come away disappointed. Not so this time, even tho they took the love story a bit too far. Definitely worth seeing.

We heard (from Frank) that the optimum way to select your seat, is to imagine the screen laying down on the floor. Estimate where the top of the screen would end. Sit there, or up to 5 rows back from there, in the middle. You'll get the film's maximum impact from that point. 


25may01 - Pearl Harbor (Touchstone Pictures) opens in theaters today. The 3-hour movie is already being compared to Titanic. We're going to try to catch it. Will let you know what we think. 

I was stationed at Pearl Harbor, for 2 years, in the early 80's, while in the Navy. People would spend thousands of dollars to visit for a week, or 10 days. They'd ask, "Where are you from?" (thinking we were tourists). We'd reply, "We live in Waialua." They'd say, "Oh! You you live here?" 

We worked on Ford Island - the island in the middle of Pearl Harbor. I heard the Ford Foundation leases the island to the government for $1/year, for a tax break. We took a ferry to work everyday, right past the Arizona Memorial, that thousands of tourists visit each year. I wonder if oil still leaks from it. 

I think the bomb-dropping shot in the movie is supposed to be onto the deck of the USS Arizona (see here).

Living in Hawaii was some of the best days in my life. I still remember the sun coming up over Diamond Head, as we ferried to Ford Island. Friends that've since returned say Waikiki has gotten sleazy. We lived on Ali Wai blvd (Waikiki) at one point, when I was living with the Dog.

Looking forward to seeing the movie. Maybe it'll bring back memories. If you're interested in the behind-the-scenes aspect of the history of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, see here and here, or maybe this juicy conspiracy theory, or this myths of Pearl Harbor.


24may01 - Posted a few more benchmarks. See here.


23may01 - Posted Film school update #12 (of 16), titled, Producing a 546. Things are starting to get interesting. See here.


22may01 - Posted Wendy's Film school update #11, titled Work-print Screening. See here.

I have monthly bandwidth wars with Wendy's site. For the first time, I was kickin' her butt all month long, but yesterday, she leap-frogged past me, with 250MB of bandwidth in one day. Don't think I'll be able to catch her this month. After seeing the bandwidth stats, she said, "Who's yer daddy?" .. which is what I've been saying to her all month. =)


21may01 - Posted Film school update #10, titled, Home Stretch for First 16mm Film. See here.

IBM has developed a new technology that will quadruple hard drive storage capacities. The new technology has a long, technical name, but is simply referred to as Pixie Dust

It's based on the element Ruthenium (right below Iron, Fe, in the periodic table) and will allow desktop hard drives to reach capacities of 400 gigs (a video-editor's dream come true). IBM already has a working prototype. 

Today, you can buy a 60-gig drive for $215. How much would a 400-gig drive be worth? A lot more than $215. A 400-gig drive would allow you to store close to 100 DVD movies on a single drive. 

IBM's stock jumped $2/share on the news. This could be worth far more than $2/share. Pixie Dust could turn into gold dust for IBM's investors. Might have to sprinkle some of that pixie 
dust on my portfolio, and I can't wait to sprinkle some in my system. Let the good times roll. =) 

The monster-capacity drives are still a couple of years away. More pixie news here and here


20may01 - Posted another Film school update, titled Picture Lock here. Over half are now posted (9 of 17) for the semester. 

Also, a hearty Welcome home to Mom & Sidney, who just returned from a three-week vacation in Italy, including Florence, Milan & Pisa. 


19may01 - Posted a Benchmarks page here. Still in preliminary stages. I have lots of benches spread all over the site. Will be an on-going project.

My Win2K boot drive crapped out a few days ago. It's been working hard for years, as W2K is my OS of choice. Ordered new drive (faster than the one it replacedl). Fortunately, I had a recent image on hand (10 days old). 

When the drive arrived a couple days later, I was able to install, partition, format, restore the image, and be back up & running within an hour. Magic. If you haven't yet learned the wonders of Ghost, now's a good a time. Be ye prepared.


18may01 - Cost over $40 to fill my gas tank today. Never paid that much before (22 gal tank). Also, the governor of California just signed a bill, raising electricity rates 50%! People are furious. 

Nobody asked them to deregulate the industry. They just went ahead and did it. Now that they've screwed it up good, residential rate-payers are getting the shaft. Help like that, we don't need. Stick to things you know, governor. 

Read an interesting article about DVD-audio. See here. A similar piece on Super Audio CD is here.

Went to the beach today. Giant waves brought out the surfers. Wendy brought along her camcorder. Got great surfing footage. She's threw together a short (100-secs) video with some background music. See here for the footage. 

HBO is airing the Trinidad-Joppy fight tomorrow, from last-week's middleweight match. With a perfect 40-0 record, and plenty of real competition, Trinidad looks to be one Boxing's greatest. Catch a rising star. 


17may01 - Posted pix from student film screenings (16mm), at USC. These are shots from screenings referenced in the updates I've been posting the last few days. The girls show leg in one shot .. might have to install parental controls on the site =) See here.

If you live in Southern California, and haven't seen Pageant of the Masters, in Laguna Beach .. shame on you. It's one of the coolest things you'll see. Real people become art. Hard to imagine they're real people .. until they walk off stage. 5july to 31aug. 

Shows 7 nights a week, I think. Try to get good seats. Bring small binoculars. Try to catch them blinking (not easy). They sell out way ahead of schedule. We try to get tiks that coincide with a full moon, cuz the theater is outdoors. The show starts soon as it gets dark. 

There are Art galleries outside the Pageant. Give yourself plenty of time to peruse. They only let good artists into the exhibit. You'll come away feeling cultured. Linkage here.


16may01 - Posted two Film school updates, #'s 7 & 8, titled Mas Production Woes and Completed shooting First 16mm Film, respectively. See here.


15may01 - Posted a 7-step approach to Screenwriting, copied from an email Wendy sent to one of her girlfriends. See here. Also posted Film school update #6, titled First Tears. See here.


14may01 - Posted an Upgrade guide, presenting a general upgrade strategy. See here. Also posted Film school update #5, titled Production Woes. See here.


13may01 - Posted Film school update #4 (of 17), titled First Primary Shoot. See here


12may01 - Trinidad in the 5th. His record goes to 40-0. Joppy was knocked down in rounds 1,4 & 5. Ref stopped the fight in round 5. Trinidad hits hard, vicious. He was a 3-1 favorite going into the fight. I heard that HBO is going to carry the fight Friday night. It's short, but definitely worth watching. 

Tito's next opponent will be Bernard Hopkins in Sept. I've never seen BH fight, but if Trinidad beats Hopkins, Roy Jones will be next. And I've seen RJ fight. His is fast, and rarely even breaks a sweat. *That* will be the real fight .. Trinidad vs Roy Jones. 


10may01 - Posted update #3 (of 17), titled Script-lock. See here. Get an insider's peek into the trip that is Film school at USC. I'm in the process of transferring these from emails .. will try to post one every other day or so. Should be caught up to the present in no time. It's all very exciting to me. Can find an intro to everything here.

One of the guys that was at our Cinco de Mayo party (Brad) has an undergrad degree in Computer Engineering from Michigan. He said that (graduate) Film school at USC is "10 times harder" than C-E studies at Michigan. 


09may01 - An exciting boxing match airs Saturday, 12may, between Tito Trinidad (39-0, 32 KO's), and William Joppy (32-1, 24 KO's) .. at Madison Square Garden. 

Tito beat the Golden Boy, Oscar de la Hoya, and a few other Olympic Gold medallists. His 82% knock-out percentage is one of the highest in history .. of any boxer. Many label him the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

Trinidad's last fight, against Fernando Vargas, who'd never been knocked down before, was hailed the fight of the year (2000), and one of the best fights I've ever seen. 

Trinidad is from Puerto Rico, while Joppy hails from Maryland. Tito is moving up to the 160-lb Middleweight division, where Joppy has been the WBA Middleweight champ for 5 years.

A flyer is here, and match-up is here. Pay-per-view has the fight for $45. It's fun to get a bunch of friends together & pitch in on the cost. 


08may01 - Here's a site worth bookmarking (How stuff works). A subset is How computers work. See here. It's become plain to me in recent months that there's virtually no question you cannot find an answer to in less than 60 seconds. You wanna know how a nuclear bomb works? No problem. See here.

While at the movies last night (saw two, both sucked), we saw a poster for a movie that looked interesting, titled Swordfish (Warner Bros) with John Travolta. Storyline here. Review here. Trailers here. I heard rumors that Brit Paul Oakenfold worked on the soundtrack. Some say he's the best DJ on the planet.


07may01 - Posted another Film school update .. the 2nd (of 17) for the semester. See -> here.
How many of AFI's
top 100 films have you seen?


06may01 - Question: What do you get when you mix a house full of LA Film school students with a smattering of Lagunatics at the end of a grueling school year? 
Answer: a good time. 

For more on the party, see here


05may01 - Amigos y amigas, Radified will be closed today in observance of Cinco de Mayo, in honor of our Mexican readers. Here in Southern California, Cinco de Mayo is a big thing. Most people mistakenly think that C-d-M celebrates Mexican independence. Rather the day celebrates Mexico's victory over the French in 1862. "Kicked French ass," is the way Mexicans tend to refer to it. Mas informacioń aqui. 

We plan to indulge in much festive revelry, consuming respectable quantities of cerveza mas finas (Dos Equis y Negra Modelo). Also have a couple bottles of Cuervo 1800 stashed away with a bag full of limes for margaritas. Wendy invited her fellow Film school students over .. to celebrate the semester's end. Mucho olé!

Now that the school year is over, I've started transferring to web pages, emails sent to family & friends throughout the semester .. updates status'ing her filmmaking trials & tribulations, lessons & insights. I plan to post a new one every few days. The 508 semester is generally considered the single most grueling of the entire program. See here


04may01 - We paid a visit to the Laguna Art Museum yesterday, to catch an exhibit titled Presence Control, by a local artist named Stephen Hendee. The exhibit was designed & constructed specifically for the LAM site, and took up an entire room.

For more on our trip to the LAM, see here

Wendy's last day of classes today. She's now half done with a 3-year graduate program, at what many call the nation's finest Film school. Next semester's classes will be:


03may01 - Woohoo! Special thanks for the black-background Google logo go out to Randy R, who said, "I don't like tacky graphics. Attached is one you might want to try." 

The old, white-background Google logo has been bugging me for months, but my Photoshop skills are lacking. This one is much better. I also added a Contact link at the bottom of the page, as several people mentioned having difficulty finding an email link.

In reference to yesterday's post about the DVD-cracking case, someone sent me this link. It's a great read about Internet piracy, DVD-ripping, DivX, MPEG-4, CSS, DeCSS, Napster & other file-sharing software .. things that are currently major issues concerning the Internet & video .. things we're very interested in.

We're always looking for a better way to get maximum quality from our videos .. at minimum bit-rates. Wendy in particular is an image-quality nut. She hates to see footage from her 3-chip camcorder get crunched so small that it looks like crap. 

To this day, she won't let me encode a file small enough to stream thru dial-up connections (small pipes, anemic bit-rates) cuz the quality is pitiful. Many of our friends have broadband connections .. but many do not.

DivX and MPEG-4 are supposed to contain the most sophisticated video encoding algorithms, offering the biggest quality bang for your bit-rate buck. MPEG-1 is roughly VHS quality. MPEG-2 is what DVDs use. No such animal as MPEG-3. Read the article and you'll learn about MPEG-4. Also, here's a great site for DivX info. 


02may01 - A landmark DVD-cracking case pits California-based Motion Picture industry exec's against teen hackers from New York .. contrasting two, radically different elements of society. Legal experts claim the ruling could have wide-ranging ramifications for the Internet.

So far, courts have sided with the Motion Picture industry, ordering 2600.com to remove code that shows how to break ('crack') DVD's copy protection. Legal representation for the hackers are appealing, claiming the ruling violates the First Amendment. 

This case is the first major test of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), an industry-sponsored initiative, which makes it illegal to posses any device which could circumvent copyrights.

The hacker community is furious with the ruling, saying, "You can post instructions for how to make a bomb, but not how to copy a DVD you legally own." This is probably cuz the case is really about money .. not free speech. More info here.

With Wendy half thru graduate Film school, we've been particularly interested in how the case develops. No matter which way it turns out, it's clear that the Entertainment industry has entered a new era .. the digital era.


01may01 - Wendy was asked today to edit a thesis project (581) for an upperclassman (Tania). Titled Seahorses, the project will be shot next month (June). Editing begins in July, with picture-lock scheduled for November. Wendy is excited about working on her first advanced project, and considers it an honor to be asked to edit a thesis film. 

Wendy spent the last few days online, researching film festivals around the world. She's excited about entering her 16mm project, titled Liliana

Many festival sites have killer flash intros. For example, Flander's International Film Festival, in Ghent, Netherlands .. see here. She says 2-pop has best festival info. Wished she would've checked there earlier, cuz she *just* missed app deadline for a few great festivals.

Linkage to -> News for April, 2001

Linkage to -> News for June, 2001

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