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“Script Cops” (funny short) and HDR Timelapse

December 30, 2009

Back from visiting with family last week, I went hunting for a good, funny short film for the last few days of 2009. I’ve been on the lookout for funny short scripts to actually produce, and for comedy writers with material that is (a) doable and (b) actually funny. So far, no luck. But I did find a really good video that is a compilation of a web series based on a short film called “Script Cops.”

If you’ve ever wanted to write a film script, or tried, or even finished one or more, you’ll get a kick out of this. And if you’re on the short list of former news videographers who are also interested in producing short films, you may find it gut-bustingly funny like I did. For some reason, I was not able to embed the video in this page; instead, just click here to watch the video or click on the picture:

Click here to watch "Script Cops"

They got all the details of “Cops” in the bag. My favorite gag is when the camera runs to keep up with the cop: if you’ve never done that for real, let me tell you it’s one of the most reckless things you can do. It’s physically dangerous, and your camera better be well insured. But in this bit, it’s a scream.

By the way, I got a Canon Powershot G11 for Christmas (thanks, Mimi!) and I’ve been experimenting with High Dynamic Range (HDR) Photography. Some of the results are in my Flikr photostream, and some of those are in the sidebar on the right of this website…

HDR is a way of producing images that look like what our eyes see when we look at an amazing landscape or a gorgous sunset, which digital cameras cannot usually capture. With HDR, you take at least 3 photos at different shutter speeds that are normal, over- and under-exposed, then merge them together, then use software to adjust the levels of color, contrast and brightness until you get something that looks like what you saw when you took the photo. I just discovered HDR a few weeks ago, and since getting the G11 I’ve been trying to make a new HDR at least once a day.

Because it takes three images taken within seconds of each other to make an HDR image, you can’t really do an HDR “movie.” It’s not like shooting HD, or high definition; it’s mainly a way of getting a single, amazing, memorable image. But in looking for tutorial videos I discovered today that sure enough, there ARE videos made with HDR time lapse sequences. Making them requires an enormous amount of work, and actually there is software that can batch-convert huge numbers of HDR sequences and then string them together into a motion picture.

Here’s one of the most visually interesting ones I found, and it also has a sense of story, since it’s about prehistoric carvings and stone circles in England:

If you want to see more HDR images, here’s a link to my Flikr HDR favorites that other people have done, and here’s a tutorial on how to do it in Photoshop. I warn you, once you find out how easy it is to do HDR, it can be sort of addicting. But thankfully after the initial investment of a camera with autobracketing and some HDR software, it’s free, clean fun!

Happy New Year 🙂

JMG

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