Archive: Jun 2011

Lytro has changed the game

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.

This is just amazing. And if you want to be really amazed, check out their site and specifically the picture gallery.

I wonder if you can do this for moving images. Talk about ratcheting down production times and ratcheting up post-production!

In That Moment in Palm Springs Int’l ShortFest

The 2011 Palm Springs International ShortFest just announced their lineup and I’m excited that In That Moment is an Official Selection.

The film will screen on Sunday, June 26th at 2:30PM, as part of the Unexpected Connections set of short films.


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.

In That Moment at deadCenter Film Festival

In That Moment is in the deadCenter Film Festival in Oklahoma City. The first show was on Thursday night and it plays again tonight at 7:30PM.

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 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.”