I love this spec commercial for IFC, directed by the amazing Kirsten Tan. It was made as part of the 3rd year Commercial Collaboration class.
From Ben Horowitz’s blog:
People often refer to taking a picture as capturing the moment, but conventional photography does not really capture the moment. It captures one angle, one set of light, and one focus of the moment. If you are a professional photographer, you might capture the best parts of the moment. If you are someone like me, you most certainly will not. With Ren’s light field camera, you actually capture the moment or at least all of the light that visually represents the moment.
Once you have captured the moment, you can go back at any time and get the picture that you want. Specifically, after you take the picture, you can refocus, re light, and re-orient the shot.
Essentially, you can take the picture you wish you would have taken after the fact. If you are used to the old paradigm, it’s like travelling backwards through time. You can take a picture then figure out what you really wanted then go back through time and take that picture. And oh by the way, you can view the pictures in 3D. Way.
You may be thinking that this is all good and fine, but is there really a market for a magic camera? It turns out that the three biggest frustrations with conventional plane-of-light cameras are:
- They are too slow—It turns out that auto focusing takes a fair amount of time. How many times have you tried to capture a moment only to have the moment disappear while you were waiting for your camera to focus?
- The pictures aren’t bright enough—Somehow, you didn’t actually capture enough light on the plane to get the shot you wanted.
- They are too complicated—Current cameras provide lots of buttons and knobs to overcome the one plane limitation, but the result is a super complicated device.
With Lytro’s light field camera, you take pictures instantly. No need to focus, because you can do that later. The camera uses all of the available light in the scene, so you can take photos in very low light environments even without flash. With no buttons for special focus, the Lytro camera is dead simple.
I wonder if you can do this for moving images. Talk about ratcheting down production times and ratcheting up post-production!
If you’d like to hear more about the films we are working on and the festivals they get into, see the posters, the behind the scene pictures and other fun stuff, join Tatvam’s Facebook page for regular updates.
deadCenter has been named one of the 20 coolest festivals by MovieMaker Magazine and it seems like it’s a blast. This is even more of a special festival for the film because one of the leads, Jennifer Laine Williams, is an Oklahoma City native. I wish I could have made it, but for those of you there, I hope you can go.
Danny Marroquin over at OKC.net has a nice review of the film and an interview on how it came about.
In a nod to the silent eras of yore, NYU trained Shripiya Mahesh films her short exchange in Central Park between a beautiful blond and one of those frozen statue models.
The statue’s regular routine of beguiling passerbys is interrupted when this girl captures his attention. She sees him when a boy and his balloon catch her eye.
Mahesh actually found Oklahoma City native to complete the film.
“Casting the right actors for the role is such a huge part of the process,” Mahesh says. “I got lucky because I found Jennifer Laine Williams (an Oklahoma City native) very quickly and she was perfect for the part.”
For the frozen trickster, she went straight to the source.
“For the role of the living statue, I wanted someone very authentic,” Mahesh says. “Someone who knew how to do that ‘job’ and so I ended up meeting many of the people who are living statues in NYC and David was an instant fit. I loved the fact that he had a strong acting background in addition to his skills as a living statue.”
Mahesh likes to work with narrative. She is currently working on a feature. But this film reflects her tendency to think in images.
“I love films where things are communicated visually,” Mahesh says. “And I try to keep dialog to what’s needed. I do adapt the approach to the film, but usually a visual concept will stay in my mind for a while and that will lead to characters and then story development.”
Mahesh is a filmmaker with a past life in other industry. The idea to film came after a long break, and she’s continuing on with it.
“I’ve always wanted to do something visual, but I spent the first part of my professional life in the technology/product marketing world in Silicon Valley. I made the switch to film in late 2005 when I took a sabbatical and made a couple of shorts. That propelled me to apply to the grad film program at NYU. At NYU I’ve made 3 narrative shorts, 2 of which have done nicely on the festival circuit and the third is in post-production.”
This is the first review of the movie that I’ve seen.
Shripriya Mahesh’s film about a brief romantic, mysterious and yet quite an ordinary encounter between a performance artist whose still poses are meant to attract both small donors and admiration and a woman who seems to be the attention of his gaze. Without words and with ample richness of images in B &W, the film is a short and sweet surprise. If short films were to make statements of grandiose proportions, we would we would come away very dissatisfied most of the time. But if they were meant to lead you to affective and then the levels of thought, then they carry the force of their form. This film is a good example of what the form claims the idea that brevity is the wit of the soul.
This was my first movie at NYU. There were several project constraints – it had to be shot in B&W, it had to be all daylight exteriors and, most importantly, it could have no dialog. In the end, I think each of those factors helped make this film better. Funny, how constraints can do that…
The film’s trailer is here.
The blog has been silent for a while because things have been super-busy.
The second year of the NYU Grad Film program is considered the most hectic for a reason. In the second year, we make the biggest film while we are in school. I started thinking about my film in the summer of 2010 because we had to show up at school in August with a first draft. Week one was a writing intensive. By the end of that week I realized what I thought was an acceptable first draft was not. Craziness ensued where I was rewriting and pre-producing. Oh, and attending classes.
Early November to the end of January was production period – no classes, just making movies all the time. 37 movies got made. In addition to my own film, I crewed on six other productions in different capacities. Production basically means being disconnected from real life – family, friends and sleep. It was the most crazily intense period of my life.
Since then we’ve been back at school and also editing the films. It’s been great to be back at school, great to be looking at the stuff that was only existed in my head a few months ago. And it’s amazing to see the films classmates have put together. Inspiring.
Being back at school also means having a small semblance of a life (as much of a semblance as film school will allow). And… updating this blog and the Tatvam site.
The Tatvam website is now up to date with all the films and projects I’ve been involved with. Check out the Films and Projects pages to see what’s been going on recently. My own second year film is not yet on there. That’s because I don’t have a title that works. Hopefully soon…