Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Brittany Powell From SafetyGeeks SVI

Brittany Powell is a breath-of-fresh air, who's also an actress who blew in to my view from her nearby Comic Con 2010 Autograph Area booth to see what was happening at the booth for the stars of the movie Hatchet II.

Noticing that this blogger was toting two camcorders, and remembering that her own program was filmed in 3D, Ms. Powell lined up both devices to create the clips for a 3D video. Meanwhile, she explained that she's a friend (good friend? girlfriend?) of Rick McCallum, a stuntman who plays one of the hunters in the movie (and who gets hacked by the balls with the World's Largest Chainsaw by The Monster / AKA Victor Crowley.) She also talked about the program she was at Comic Con to promote: Safety Geeks SVI

Safety Geeks SVI is what you get when you combine Benny Hill, Monte Python, and Rocketboom. An online production, it features the video antics of Dave and Tom, who explain that what they do is this...

The P.O.S.H. (Professional Occupational Safety Hazard) team investigates safety violations and accidents, ineptly causing more damage as a result. P.O.S.H. provides an obscure, well-meaning service. Unfortunately, they are a bunch of idiots. The world of P.O.S.H. is very unsafe, largely due to them.

Safety Geeks SVI gained a bunch of awards in 2009, including rated the best of Internet Television by Clicker, and the 2010 LA Web Series Festival. Here's the video players presenting the episodes from their silly yet highly sexy and entertaining series:

For 2010, SafetyGeeks SVI has gone 3D, making it, as Brittany Powell explained, the first online video series to be created entirely in 3D. You can check that out here: SafetyGeeks 3D.

Who's Brittany Powell

But who's Brittany Powell? Ms. Powell - for some reason I want to say Ms. Peel - hails from Germany, but has an extensive American acting background. She's starred in Girlfriends, NCIS, Phil of The Future, Xena: Warrior Princess, Beverly Hills 90210, Weird Science, Titans, General Hospital, and in films like That Thing You Do, Fled, Airborne, and Dragonworld.

On top of all that Brittany Powell's a devoted mother who invests a lot of her time doing charity work in Los Angeles.  That is, when she's not teaching video-bloggers how to make 3D videos!

Apple iMovie 11 ships with two-year-old audio bugs. Why?

Just over one week ago, this blogger purchased an Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch computer from the Apple Store at Lenox Mall in Atlanta (where I spend about half my time of late when I'm not in Oakland, and here helping my mother).

The computer buy was of need, as the motherboard of my three-year old Black MacBook was compromised by a rain of two teaspoons of orange juice from a distance, that hit it just right.

At any rate, one software offering I used on my "old" Mac was iMovie 6 HD. Yes, an old version of the video editing system that comes with each Apple Mac purchase - and for good reason. iMovie 6 just plain works.

A number of bloggers (most famously the NY Times' David Pogue), users, and techies have complained about Apple's still unexplained switch from the old version of iMovie, which stopped at iMovie 6, and featured the large presentation screen at the left, a multi-function page at the right, and a video clip timeline below. The new-style iMovie is more like that of the Final Cut video editing software, that Apple also produces. But the similarities stop there, because Final Cut reportedly works...properly.

To cut to the chase, The new Apple iMovie series, from iMovie 9 to the present iMovie 11, has one really massively annoying bug that the company ran by CEO Steve Jobs should have fixed long ago. The audio portion of videos uploaded to YouTube just plain cuts out after six minutes of play after a video is uploaded.

For the last day or so, I've worked to upload a 12 minute video of my experience at my first football game at The Georgia Dome since the 2000 Super Bowl. Then, that was a "fam" trip as I was working to bring the 2005 Super Bowl to Oakland. The NFL provided four tickets to the game pitting the St. Louis Rams against the Tennessee Titans, and in all, it was a fantastic experience. I was jazzed to go to the Atlanta Falcons vs. Green Bay Packers game, and give my viewers a 12 minute taste of what it's like there. (Pretty awesome.)

The Apple iMovie 11 software worked fine for short videos of up to 4 minutes in length; there was no reason to think it would fail in uploading a 12 minute video. The final file played well in iMovie 11 and in Quicktime, but three different YouTube uploads all had one problem: the audio stopped after six minutes.

Back action research revealed no problem to cause this. Even with that, sound settings were adjusted before each reload. Still, the same problem. So, a little research was in order, and that's where the news that this wasn't a new problem came up.  

If it wasn't audio cutting in and out, it was audio not playing on an iDVD burn, and various discussions about that, then it was a slew of examples similar to mine.

In many cases, others have suggested workarounds, but it's really terrible that Apple first insists on pushing a type of iMovie on it's fans that few really want, and then working to eliminate us from using the popular iMovie 6 HD.  

Moreover, it's really, really upsetting to have to make an unplanned expenditure of  $1,200 during the holidays, when dollars are tight already, only to have the product, or a key part of it, and of importance to this video-blogger, not work properly.

iMovie 6 is a sweet product.  Again, it just plain works.  Apple really should go back to it, or let its fans upload it, and fix iMovie 11.   Some of the audio bugs identified in the discussion forums have been apparently passed on from iMovie 9 to iMovie 11.   Why?  

Apple really needs to work on this.

A's Ballpark subject of December 1st Oakland Planning Commission Meeting

Want to show your support for new ballpark for the Oakland A's? Show up at the meeting of the City of Oakland Planning Commission tomorrow, December 1st, at 6 PM PST at Hearing Room 1, Oakland City Hall, 1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Oakland, CA.

If you want to speak in favor of the new ballpark proposal and talk about the creation of an Environmental Impact Report for the proposed new A's ballpark at Jack London Square - of course you do - just get there at 5:30 PM, fill out a speaker card, and give it to the Oakland Planning Commission's secretary.

Right now, according to the meeting's Facebook page, 156 A's fans plan to attend.

Be there.  Aloha!

Extending UI Deadlines WILL NOT HELP the 99ers

Congress extending the UI deadlines this or any week will not help the millions of 99ers in America. Let’s be clear here: No bill under consideration in the Senate (Including Max Maucus’ proposed 1 year extension S3981) will help the 99ers unless it adds extra weeks of benefits - not simply extends filing dates.

It will be a blue Christmas for millions more Americans, if Congress does not pass legislation to extend current unemployment insurance provisions, which are set to expire today.

Nationwide, 800,000 more unemployed Americans will exhaust their benefits this week and 2 million additional unemployed in the U.S. will exhaust their benefits in December, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. That will bring the total of unemployed in America without UI benefits to about 8 MILLION. Of those, at least 5.4 million are people who are “99ers,” which are individuals who have received the maximum 99 weeks of benefits and are not eligible for benefits even if the emergency unemployment legislation is extended.

Most UI “exhaustees” are already experiencing hunger, eviction, depression and suicidal ideation. Many of us just keep on fighting until there is nothing left to fight with at all.

I am facing just this situation myself. Unable to find any job (including all the fast food places in my area) and exhausting my 99 weeks in March this year - I will be cut off from the fight by losing my phone and internet very shortly. If my articles suddenly stop, you will know what happened.

Many are considering giving up their children to prevent them from living in the streets. One such brave soul is Rhonda Taylor of Rhode Island.

Rhonda appeared on CNN’s Wolf Blitzer’s Situation Room yesterday and tells the 99er saga like no other before her. [view video below - bring a tissue]

Unless Congress gets off it’s over paid dead ass and helps the 99ers survive, then Washington will be guilty of the largest preventable social holocaust in history - because: Extending UI Deadlines WILL NOT HELP the 99ers. Only a Tier 5 will!

[The donation button below is for me, Paladinette. If you like what I write please donate so I can keep on fighting for the 99ers! Thank You!]

2010 Oscar Screen Credits and Music Entry Forms Due December 1

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) reports via press release that 2010 Oscar Screen Credits and Music Entry Forms are due December 1. That's tomorrow, and at 5 PM, PST. (The great news is that if you're on the East Coast, the docs are actually due at 8 PM EST.)

This is very important to get it, because if AMPAS doesn't receive the Official Screen Credits (OSC) by tomorrow, a feature film like Iron Man 2 will not be eligible for an Academy Award for Best Picture. (Of course, Marvel Entertainment's on top of this, and has been; just using Iron Man 2 as an example.)

AMPAS says:

For a feature film to be considered for the 2010 Awards, the film’s distributor or producer must file an OSC form with the Academy by 5 p.m. PT on December 1. If a feature film is released in Los Angeles County in 2010 and the completed OSC form is not submitted by the deadline, the film will be ineligible for Academy Awards in any year.

OSC forms may be submitted online only, at http://aiwosc.oscars.org/aiwosc/. Information about submission and feature film eligibility can be obtained by contacting Credits Coordinator Howard Loberfeld at (310) 247-3000, ext. 113, or via e-mail at hloberfeld@oscars.org.

For an achievement to be considered in the Original Score or Original Song category, the principal music writer(s) for a feature film must submit an official music submission form by 5 p.m. PT on December 1.

To request music submission materials, contact Dave Hanson at (310) 247-3000, ext. 151, or via e-mail at dhanson@oscars.org.

While the credits submission deadline is December 1, feature films have until midnight, December 31, to open in a commercial motion picture theater in Los Angeles County and begin a minimum run of seven consecutive days to be eligible for 2010 Oscar® consideration.

Entries in the foreign language, animated feature, documentary, and short film categories are subject to special rules and must meet other qualifying criteria. The entry deadlines in these categories have already passed.

Complete 83rd Academy Awards rules are available at http://www.oscars.org/rules/. The 83rd Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Tuesday, January 25, 2011, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

The Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2010 will be presented on Sunday, February 27, 2011 at the Kodak Theater at Hollywood and Highland Center, and televised live on the ABC Television Network.