iTimelapse Videos (shot with iPhone)

I downloaded the iTimelapse app for my iPhone and shot these two videos this weekend...

First one in my mom's kitchen:



And then this one driving from Arlington back to Dallas (and home) and 30 seconds:



A few bugs I've found using my version of the iPhone (the original one, not 3G or 3Gs) are it will shoot 25 images and then turn off - but once you turn it back on it will go as long as you set it. The first timelapse was 200 frames shot once every 5 seconds and the second one was 600 frames shot every 5 seconds.

Also, for whatever reason (at least so far) I can only get it to record at 640x480 or lower resolution. I tried 1200x900 to achieve a "720p HD" version, but it only rendered out these white and green flashes. I'll have to do some more experimenting, or perhaps my phone has some limitations.

Overall though this is a pretty cool app and I plan on having some fun with it.

-Blake

Read more


Amazing Green Screen Work

I've seen some of these things on TV and never would have known... of course the CGI and matte paintings are a critical part of creating the illusion too:



Direct link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a21_WMiTAVE

-Blake

Read more


Video Interview with Me

Not used to being on this side of the camera, but here's a quick interview I did with Tim Street about "Pink", web series and Hollywood...

http://1timstreet.com/blog/you-dont-have-to-live-in-hollywood-to-get-an-agent/

Video is embedded in link above along with brief story, or you can just watch it here:



-Blake

Read more


Two Web TV Articles...

First one covering studios getting more and more involved in Web TV production:

Hollywood Adds Money, Talent to Made-for-Web Shows
http://www.vcstar.com/news/2009/dec/17/hollywood-adds-money-talent-made--web-shows/

And the second piece an interview I did with Koldcast TV (an online Web TV network):

Filmmaker Series
http://blog.koldcast.tv/2009/filmmaker-series/kctv-filmmaker-series-blake-calhoun/

Check them out when you have a moment!

-Blake

Read more


Some "Real World" 7D Footage

Really liking the new Canon 7D and so I used it on a commercial shoot I had this week as more or less another "test". The footage turned out great too. Shot it on a small jib and so it added a lot of production value. See for yourself...

Canon 7D Used On Jib from Blake Calhoun on Vimeo.

The footage was color graded, but I play each raw file first to show the difference in looks. Go to my Vimeo page for more details about f-stops, lenses, etc.

This camera is really amazing and especially for the price!

-Blake

Read more


The Rise and Fall of MySpace

Really interesting article about MySpace - where it was in 2005 and where it is now.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/fd9ffd9c-dee5-11de-adff-00144feab49a.html

I think they'll be okay if they focus on music and film. The social side of things with friends from high school, family stuff, etc. is Facebook's ground now.

I actually never have had a personal MySpace page. I do have one for "Pink" and one for "88 Hits" (that I rarely check anymore).

-Blake

Read more


FlipShare TV

I have a Flip MinoHD camera and really like it. Amazing 720p video in such a small device and for only $200. Flip now has what looks to be a pretty cool new product to easily watch your Flip videos - on your TV.

http://www.amazon.com/Flip-Video-CTV1W-FlipShare-TV/dp/B002WZ4N40/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1259795440&sr=8-2

It's $150 and connects wirelessly from your computer to TV. The base has HDMI in too, so it would seem it plays back in HD. I might have just found my first Christmas present. :)

-Blake

Read more


7D Music Video

Just found this on Vimeo. Very cool music video shot on the Canon 7D and a Steadicam all in ONE SHOT. Nice work by all involved...

Canon 7D Music Video - Prospect Hill "Roller Coaster" from Enki Studios on Vimeo.

Direct link:
http://vimeo.com/7867769

-Blake

Read more


Canon 7D is in the house...

Okay, so I finally got my new 7D. I was supposed to get it a month ago as I pre-ordered it but Best Buy and American Express somehow screwed my order up - and before I realized it there were no more pre-orders. Anyway, finally got it from B&H Photo (my fave online video store anyway).

So yesterday on Thanksgiving I took it for a test drive. Here is the footage shot around my house in between courses of turkey and pumpkin pie.

Thanksgiving 7D Test from Blake Calhoun on Vimeo.

All the footage was shot 1080p24 with a mix of AUTO and MANUAL settings (they are noted in the footage). Also, most of the footage is not color graded - only a few side-by-side comparison shots at the end are simply using the built-in Avid color correction tool (the "AUTO" footage really doesn't need color grading anyway unless you're going for a stylized look).

A few initial thoughts and notes for those considering buying one of these...

1. It's not a toy and it's not particularly easy to use. I would put this in the Serious Hobbyist up to the Pro level users only. This is not a camera to shoot home movies with (although you could of course).

2. Along these same lines, I don't feel this is the best camera for a "run and gun" style shoot. First off, hand-held is not easy at all - at least not right out of the box. If you buy a Zacuto Z-Finder (a $375 magnifying viewfinder that attaches to camera's LCD) and perhaps even a support system from Zacuto or Redrock Micro, etc. - then you can shoot some nice stuff. Otherwise I'd highly recommend using a tripod. Not only are there rolling shutter issues (you can minimize these though), but image stabilization is (typically) not on the lenses - some do have it though - but in my test it doesn't work the same as a traditional video camera's stabilizer. Also, the camera is slightly clumsy to hold since you can't use the eye piece to shoot video - only the Live View LCD (I actually prefer using an attached external monitor, if possible, like an Ikan or Marshall - but again, not ideal for "run and gun").

3. And more to this point - it's not very easy to focus while you're on the move and setting exposure takes a bit more time (and expertise) than a traditional video camera. There are no zebras in the viewfinder. There is a meter that gives you a safe exposure range, but it's not something that I found was quickly or easily done. When you focus too - you can zoom into the spot on the LCD (5x and 10x magnification) which is great, but again, doing this quickly is not easy (as mentioned earlier, an external monitor is ideal).

4. Lastly on this "run and gun" point is the audio. In my test footage I just used the built in mono mic and it sounds fine truthfully. But, I wouldn't want to use it for more than just test footage, or reference sound. I plan on buying a Rode shotgun mic ($249) to attach to the top, which will give much better sound and in stereo. But the camera still doesn't allow for manual control on the audio - it's all auto (maybe this will be a firmware fix in the future?). The Rode mic will work fine for b-roll and quick soundbites, etc. but for optimum sound you'll need to roll double system using something like this Tascam recorder ($399). You can actually put this recorder on the camera's hot shoe and use it as a mic, or you can plug in professional wireless mics or a boom into the XLR inputs (and have manual control, but this would typically require a second person to run sound).

5. I mentioned an external monitor a few times above and I think this is important if you can afford one (both financially and time wise). But one thing that sucks is you don't get a "full frame" sent to the monitor while recording - only the exact image that's on the camera's LCD - which includes the "info" and grey letterbox bars. So the image is actually 4x3 that you're viewing on the monitor (with the 16x9 video within). But, when you play it back - which you can do almost instantly - it plays back in all its HD glory (via HDMI to the external monitor), so this is nice.

UPDATE: I did learn (and tried this out) that with the HDMI cable connected you can cycle through different outputs using the "Info" button and end up getting 16x9 to the monitor while recording. This is good. Bad thing is you lose the exposure reading, but if you're locked in this isn't a big deal really.

FYI, I'm no expert with these new DSLR cameras at all - just an informed consumer and filmmaker sharing my thoughts. I actually get most of my info on them from a very smart British filmmaker named Philip Bloom. For pretty much "everything DSLR" I highly suggest checking out his blog and his instructional DVDs for the Canon 7D and 5D. I actually bought and watched the 7D training DVD today ($135 via an instant download) and got some really good information from it.

Wrapping things up here are my Pros and Cons of the camera (btw, I know I've mainly seemed negative above, but to me the Pros waaaay outweigh the Cons)...

PROS: Interchangeable lenses, huge selection of lenses and creative choices, shallow DOF without having to use a 3rd party lens adapter, great image quality (especially for the price), great low light ability, small form factor to shoot in tight (or public) places easily

CONS: A lot of workarounds to make it a "pro" camera (and a lot of extra costs), double system sound (for best audio results), rolling shutter, clumsy rig for shooting hand-held

Overall I think this is a GREAT CAMERA and perfect for the (indie) filmmakers out there looking to shoot a low budget feature film, a short film or a web series. It's also a good B camera to a RED (or whatever flavor of HD rig) for higher end work on commercials and features. I also think it's a very nice camera to shoot nature footage and beauty b-roll shots (on tripod). Lastly, it's a really good choice for photo journalist who need the ability to shoot video too.

Again, for complete details and more in-depth coverage and reviews please visit Philip Bloom's blog (I read it all the time).

And one other really good resource is Stu Maschwitz's Prolost blog.

Now go out and buy a 7D! :)

-Blake

Read more


"Normal Activity"

Check out this funny parody done by my friends in the comedy troupe Four Day Weekend...



Direct link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUQiWan5eXI

-Blake

Read more


Ken Ober Dies (MTV "Remote Control" host)

Dude... I loved this show! Sadly, the host Ken Ober died this weekend. It's not been reported how. Check out this old episode of MTV's "Remote Control" from 1989. Ah, the glory daze...



Here's a direct link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkC3OpnzMMc

-Blake

Read more


All "88 HITS" Eps Now Online

All 21 (hilarious if I may say so) "88 HITS" episodes are now online at Koldcast TV...

Check them out here

And a DVD is coming soon!

Thanks,
Blake

Read more


"Pink" Mention in Bannen Way Article

Nice mention of "Pink" in an article about bringing "TV style" programming to the web like the new series "The Bannen Way"...

With high speed internet access becoming available to more people, prosumer video equipment getting cheaper and a trend towards unscripted scripted shows on broadcast and cable TV, the web is becoming the go to place for out of the box original programming. Scripted shows like The Guild, Pink, Legend of Neil, Angel of Death, Ctrl and Childrens' Hospital are bringing TV style programming to the web.

Read full article here

-Blake

Read more


2009 Lone Star Film Fest

The Lone Star International Film Festival in Fort Worth, TX starts today... get your tickets now! Looks like a pretty cool lineup.

www.lsiff.com

-Blake

Read more


Natalie Raitano "Pink" TV Interview

Just uploaded a TV interview with Natalie Raitano recorded during the production of "Pink" seasons 1 and 2...



Direct link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DC-YTZG4EOk

-Blake

Read more


Houston "Pink" Screening

The Houston Film Commission hosted us last week for a screening of several episodes from "Pink" (eps 1-7) along with a Q&A with star Natalie Raitano, editor Cliff Richhart and myself. The screening was a lot of fun and the Q&A was very lively. Very good audience!

Here are some pictures from the event (on Facebook):
http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=195973825406&id=118105963889#

-Blake

Read more


Riese - A cool new web series

This show looks to have lots of potential. Only one episode out and not much is revealed yet, but it's really well shot, etc. Check it out...



Direct link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4UVy7uUceXw

-Blake

Read more


"Vampire Diaries" Webisodes Shot on Canon 5D

It's really cool that broadcast outfits are now using the Canon 5D (and 7D). SNL did a skit using both cameras for broadcast on NBC, the BBC has used the 5D for show opens, and now the CW Network is using the 5D for its webisodes that accompany the "Vampire Diaries" (these aren't for broadcast, but could be and will live alongside show on Blu-Ray, etc. in the future).

Read article here from DV.

And you can watch the webisodes here on the CW's site.

I will say I am not a fan of the 30p frame rate the 5D uses, but a firmware update is coming in 2010 that will make camera do 24p. That's big news. BTW, the "bad" video in each webisode was shot with a Panasonic HVX200 and then effected in post.

-Blake

Read more


Canon 1D DSLR Short Film

This was shot with AVAILABLE LIGHT. That's right. No additional lighting. Nothing. Really amazing...



-Blake

Read more


Web Entertainment Guide Interview

Check out this recent interview I did with the Web Entertainment Guide:
http://www.webentertainmentguide.com/interviews/pink-interview-series-creator-blake-calhoun

I talk mainly about "Pink" and the future of web series.

-Blake

Read more


Almost There...

We should get word today or tomorrow from Warner Bros. clearance department for "Exposed". They have been reviewing the final cut along with all the contracts, etc. for the past week. As soon as we get the go ahead we'll deliver the show. And then shortly after that - it should start it's run on TheWB.com.

Whew! It's been a long tough road to get to this point and I'm excited to finally see what viewers think of the show. I'll post info here as soon as I know an exact release date.

-Blake

Read more


Tubefilter Interview Part 2

Here's the second part to the interview I did with Tubefilter...

http://news.tubefilter.tv/2009/09/09/exposed-on-deck-interview-with-streamy-winning-director-blake-calhoun-part-2/

Actually announced my new sci-fi series too called "Continuum" (www.continuumtv.com). Look for more info soon on this show, along with the new WB series "Exposed" and a hopeful 4th Season of "Pink".

Thanks!
Blake

Read more


New Tubefilter Interview

I did an interview with the industry website Tubefilter over the weekend talking web series and "Pink" two-year anniversary. Crazy it's been that long! And my have times have changed. We premiered our first show on MySpace waaaay back in 2007 and now we don't even really check our MySpace page...

Here's Part 1 of the interview:
http://news.tubefilter.tv/2009/09/08/pink-anniversary-interview-with-streamy-winning-director-blake-calhoun-part-1/

Part 2 will be posted tomorrow.

-Blake

Read more


(Another) Game Changer

The DSLR HD video revolution is continuing and this time with 1080 24p in the new Canon EOS 7D. This camera looks to be really amazing. The body only is $1699, then you'll just need to supply lenses (and any of the EF flavor will work). I won't get into the other tech specs as you can read that elsewhere, but they are impressive especially for the money.

I've been on a waiting list for the Panasonic Lumix GH1 for about two months, and now I'm on the waiting list for the Canon 7D. The 7D is (now) my camera of choice, so hopefully I won't have to wait too long.

Check out these great looking videos from Philip Bloom who got to test a pre-release version of the camera...

http://philipbloom.co.uk/films/dslr-films/dublins-people-canon-7d-24p-native/

http://philipbloom.co.uk/2009/09/04/my-first-short-shot-with-the-canon-7d-shaving-it-back/

Remember, this is being shot with a STILL CAMERA. Amazing DOF. Very low noise. Incredibly sharp. I wonder if this is the beginning of the end for DOF adapters like the Letus or Redrock?

-Blake

Read more


Season 2 of "88 Hits" Premieres Today!

Please check out our NEW episode of "88 Hits" on Koldcast TV...



Direct link:
http://www.koldcast.tv/#/video:side_projects

Thanks!
Blake

Read more


Jason Priestley and Jordan Levin Interview

Nice interview about the new WB web series "The Lake". Jordan Levin is the CEO of Generate... they also produce my show "Pink".



-Blake

Read more


NEW: Koldcast Studios

Koldcast TV is a player in the Web TV distro business, and now they're stepping in to the productiong side of things opening a studio to create original programming.

This is a great thing for New Media in my opinion, but the pioneers before them have died a quick death... 60Frames anyone? However, since Koldcast already has a nice sized audience to their destination site (www.koldcast.tv) they have a head start on the competition, and not to mention a very driven and enthusiastic founder/CEO in David Samuels. That's probably the biggest part.

My shows "Pink" and "88 Hits" both play on the Koldcast site, and I plan on pitching some other shows to them in the future.

Read the story here from Tubefilter.

-Blake

Read more


Do You Want to Date My Avatar?

Check out this fun new music video from Felicia Day and her show "The Guild"...



-Blake

Read more


"The Lake" - New Web Series

Check out "The Lake"... a new web series from Generate (the company that co-produces "Pink" with us). The show is directed by Jason Priestly of 90210 fame. If you like good soapy dramas, then you'll like this. Btw, my next series "Exposed" premieres on TheWB.com soon too.

Watch...

Hulu
TheWB
iTunes

-Blake

Read more


Molly Ringwald talks John Hughes...

Interesting piece written by Molly Ringwald on her mentor John Hughes...

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/12/opinion/12ringwald.html?_r=1

She actually hadn't spoken to him for nearly 20 years!

-Blake

Read more


Spotlight on Local DFW Films

Nice story from the Fort Worth Star Telegram on my friend Russ Pond's feature film "Fissure" and its DVD release - and at the bottom of the article a "Spilt Milk" mention...

http://www.dfw.com/entertainment/story/160995.html?storylink=pd

-Blake

Read more


RIP John Hughes (1950-2009)

Too many great folks are leaving us too early! John Hughes is/was one of my favorite filmmakers. Very sad day today...

Check out this nice montage of some of his films cut to The Who's "Teenage Wasteland":



-Blake

Read more


10 Lessons from a Studio Exec on Web Series

MUST READ!!!

Great post on "lessons" for producing online content from Tubefilter and and exec from 20th Century Fox TV...

http://news.tubefilter.tv/2009/08/05/10-lessons-from-a-studio-exec-for-web-series-creators/

I think "Pink" fits into this mold pretty well!

-Blake

Read more


RIP Blake Snyder (1957-2009)

Very sad that Blake Synder the author of the screenwriting book series "Save The Cat" passed away suddenly of a heart attack.

http://www.blakesnyder.com/

If you haven't read his books, you should! They are really good...

-Blake

Read more


Hitchcock Storyboard iPhone App

This looks cool...

http://www.fdtimes.com/articles/Cinemek/Cinemek.html

Can't find it in the app store yet though!

-Blake

Read more


Online video viewing soars...

Interesting piece from Revolution Blog:

It's an epidemic! Online video viewing soars among young web surfers

Dan Leahul, revolutionmagazine.com, 30 July 2009, 3:20pm


LONDON - The number of young adults watching online video on sites like YouTube or video-on-demand is at "near-universal" levels, according to new research.

One third of young web users use sites like Hulu everyday

A study by Pew Research found that nine in every ten internet users between 18-29 years old watch content on video sharing sites, with one-third saying they do so everyday.

In fact, the number of people watching online video has nearly doubled since 2006, with 62% of adults saying they watched online video this year, up from just 33% three years ago.

The study said: "Over time, online video has become more deeply integrated into daily life, and has started move into the spaces that are typically reserved for traditional television viewing."

Overall, 19% of internet users say they use video sharing sites on a typical day. In comparison, just 8% of internet users reported use of the sites on a typical day in 2006.

While most of the content being watched is user-generated, there is also a growing archive of professional content available through YouTube and newer network-sponsored video portals like Hulu.

Efforts to lure viewers to these portals appear to be paying off, as more than a third of internet users (35%) now say they have viewed a television show or movie online.

In comparison, just 16% of internet users said they had watched or downloaded movies or TV shows when asked a similar question in 2007.

As internet users become accustomed to regular on-demand video viewing online, many are choosing to watch from the comfort of their couch.

Among those who watch TV shows or movies online, 23% say they have connected their computer to a television screen so they could view video from the internet on their TV. That amounts to roughly 8% of all internet users.

Watching online videos on sites like YouTube is more prevalent than the use of social networking sites - 46% of adult internet users are active on such sites, the study found.


This is great news for web video content creators (like me). :)

-Blake

Read more


Get Your Movie on iTunes

A new way to potentially get feature films on iTunes:

http://www.distribber.com/index.php

Looks pretty interesting. There's a one-time "encoding fee" and you still own the rights and make any money your film generates. The "encoding fee" (currently $1295) must be the way Distribber makes money. The fee is about the cost of getting 1000 DVDs made, so it's not that bad!

Of course there is no marketing support (besides grassroots social networking), etc. so it's not like the downloads will be huge per se, but at least your film could be available. I like the idea.

-Blake

Read more


10 Years After "Star Wars" Ep 1

Interesting interview with the now 20 year old Jake Llyod - the kid actor who played Anakin Slywalker in Star Wars Ep 1...



-Blake

Read more


A Taste of "Spilt Milk"

Nice article out today in the Dallas Morning News about my new film "Spilt Milk":

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/ent/stories/DN-shotintexas_0724gd.ART.State.Edition1.4be484b.html

-Blake

Read more


First HDSLR movie?

I love all these new DSLR cameras that shoot HD video - the footage looks amazing. So here's a link to some producers claiming they're making the first HDSLR movie:

http://www.dv.com/article/84948

I'm on a waiting list for this same camera by the way, the Lumix GH1.

-Blake

Read more


New PINK Twitter Account

Okay, so I have a Twitter account for me (@blake_calhoun), my main production company Loud Pictures (@loudpics), my production company I own with Mike Maden: Alternative Fuel (@altfueltv), and now I have an account for my show "Pink" (@pinktheseries).

Catch all that?

I used to simply run "Pink" and all things "Loud Pictures" through the one @loudpics account, but I think that FANS of "Pink" might be more interested in a fan-centric Twitter feed instead of a tech/filmmaking/production feed that I've been doing.

So, long story short, if you're on Twitter please follow "Pink" @pinktheseries. :)

Thanks!
Blake

Read more


New Movie - "American Virgin"

Check out this site and trailer for the new film "American Virgin" (previously called "Virgin on Bourbon Street").

It stars Rob Schneider, but also stars Chase Jeffery - a great young actor who is the lead in my WB web series "Exposed" and the co-lead in my recent feature film "Spilt Milk". He's really good...

https://www.echobridgeentertainment.com/virginonbourbonstreet/

-Blake

Read more


48 Hour Film Project-Dallas

I was a judge this year at the 48 Hour Film Project-Dallas. Good event, and some good films. Here's a list of the winners:

Best Use of Character
"X-Mas Con" by Lonecow Productions

Best Use of Prop
"Keyless Entry" by Pugs and Peanut Butter

Best Use of Line of Dialogue
"Keyless Entry" by Pugs and Peanut Butter

Best Costumes
"The Sleepover" by Curtis Needs a Ride

Best Choreography
"A Love Not Standing" by Last Minute Movie Makers

Best Special Effects
"A Love Not Standing" by Last Minute Movie Makers

Best Graphics
"The Legend of Bobby Doty" by Badasserasaurus

Best Sound Design
"A Love Not Standing" by Last Minute Movie Makers

Best Musical Score
"A Love Not Standing" by Last Minute Movie Makers

Best Cinematography
"Loose Cannons" by whispering eye

Best Editing
"A Love Not Standing" by Last Minute Movie Makers

Best Acting
"Keyless Entry" by Pugs and Peanut Butter

Best Writing
"A Love Not Standing" by Last Minute Movie Makers

Best Directing
"A Love Not Standing" by Last Minute Movie Makers

Runner Up for Best Film
"Keyless Entry" by Pugs and Peanut Butter

Best Film
"A Love Not Standing" by Last Minute Movie Makers

Audience Awards for the Dallas 48HFP

The audience has spoken! The following teams won the audience awards for their respective screenings. Congratulations!

Audience Award Winner: Group A
"Keyless Entry" by Pugs and Peanut Butter (genre: Cop/Detective)

Audience Award Winner: Group B
"A Love Not Standing" by Last Minute Movie Makers (genre: Comedy)

For more info on the 48 Hour Film Project visit www.48hourfilm.com

-Blake

Read more


New PAPER HEART Promos (w/Jake Johnson)

Jake Johnson stars in "Paper Heart" with Michael Cera and Charlene Yi. Movie opens in August. They're going around country now promoting the film and a lot of video promos are popping up too. BTW, Jake is also the star of my latest film "Spilt Milk".


Paper Heart - Exclusive Interview with BIll Hader! - Watch more Funny Videos





-Blake

Read more


New Koldcast TV Promo

New Koldcast TV Promo featuring a lot of their current shows including "88 Hits"...



-Blake

Read more


88 HITS Story from Tilzy.TV

Nice piece on my web series "88 Hits":
http://www.tilzy.tv/88-hits-documents-unorganized-mobsters-that-never-hit-their-prime.htm

We're really getting some good response from this show.

Check it out on KOLDCAST.TV.

-Blake

Read more


WRAPPED!!!

"Spilt Milk" is now wrapped!!! Had a really, really smooth shoot. GREAT cast & crew. I think the movie is going to be very good. I know the wrap party was. :)

Pictures, clips, trailer, etc. all coming soon. We'll be creating a Facebook page and official website soon too.

-Blake

Read more


SPILT MILK Shoot

We're into our 3rd week of production on the indie feature comedy "Spilt Milk". Tomorrow is the start of our final shooting days.

Overall things have been going very smooth. Haven't had much time to blog about it here, but if you follow me on Twitter (@blake_calhoun) or are friends with me on Facebook (facebook.com/blakecalhoun) I've been updating things there more often. Will definitely post photos and clips here in the coming weeks and months.

Talk soon--
BC

Read more


PINK in HD Video Pro Magazine

There is a good article on web TV including PINK and GEMINI DIVISION in the June 2009 HD Video Pro magazine. It's on most newsstands including places like Barnes and Noble and Borders. Check it out if you can! :)

-Blake

Read more


Another Jake Promo

Here's a funny promo with Jake Johnson for "Paper Heart". This one also features Jack Black (Jake's in my new film I'm directing)...

Paper Heart Exclusive!

Read more


Jake Johnson in PAPER HEART

We booked Jake Johnson in our new film SPILT MILK in the leading role. Here's a trailer for PAPER HEART the Sundance hit film that he stars in with Michael Cera and Charlyn Yi...

Read more


Pre-Pro In Full Swing...

Been really busy this last week with Pre-Production on the new indie feature I'm directing called "Spilt Milk". I'm actually doing a descent amount of "micro blogging" on Twitter, so if your'e interested please follow me @blake_calhoun. I'll likely post things there more often than here (really because it's easily done on my iPhone). :)

Anyway, this week we've secured a great grocery store location - a closed down Walmart Neighborhood store. Tough part is dressing it out to look like a working store! It has all the racks and signs still in it, but not product of course. But, we do have several product placement companies on board and it's starting to fill up.

Other thing is we're now rounding out the cast and it's coming together nicely. We've got some really talented folks involved that are going to make this film reallly come alive!

During the production I'll try and post some photos and video, but again, I'll likely do a lot of that on Twitter and probably Facebook too.

Now back to work!

-Blake

Read more


88 HITS listed on eGuiders

Daisy Whitney listed my web comedy "88 HITS" on eGuiders. Very cool!

http://eguiders.com/video/family-man

-Blake

Read more


88 HITS in WIRED Magazine

My web series "88 HITS" is mentioned in a WIRED Online story called "7 Webotainers Worth Watching"

Check it out:
http://www.wired.com/underwire/2009/05/7-webotainers-worth-watching/

-Blake

Read more


Casting Notice for Indie Feature (in Dallas)

CASTING NOTICE ---------------------------------------

Project Name: SPILT MILK
Project Type: Independent Feature Film
Production Co.: Languishing Productions, LLC
Rate: SAG Ultra Low (union and non-union actors welcome)

Audition Date/Time: Wednesday May 20, 2009
10:00am – 4:00pm (by appointment only)

Audition Location: MPS Studios
141 Regal Row
Dallas, TX 75247
(214) 630-1655

Scheduling Contact: “Spilt Milk” Casting (in email subject line)
loudpics@yahoo.com
(214) 521-4962 – please try email first though

SABRINA -- Late teens. Caucasian. Popular-type. A privileged girl who doesn't get along with her mother Shannon on anything since the divorce. She's very good at playing nice when she wants something, but doesn't know what to do when that doesn't work.

JOSH -- Late teens. Caucasian. A cocky kid who puts on a big attitude to try and impress Sabrina. He's actually a decent guy, but is afraid to let anyone see it.

TIA -- Late teens. Caucasian. Friends with Sabrina, also Josh's cousin. She's quick and smart, but somehow constantly underestimated.

RODNEY -- Late teens-early 20s. Any ethnicity. Rodney works with Todd stocking shelves while getting ready to join the military. He often goes unnoticed, but he's a hard worker, trying to see everything he does as training for the army.

SHANNON -- 40s. Caucasian. Mother of Sabrina, married for money, and addicted to prescription drugs; Shannon goes through life, disconnected from reality. She chooses to complain about how everything and everyone around her has come up short, in order to disguise the failings in her own life. Deep down she does care for her daughter though, even if she doesn’t show it.

Read more


PINK and 88 HITS now on TiVO

If you have a broad-band connected TiVO DVR you can now download episodes of PINK and 88 HITS for FREE.

Check it out here

This is part of our distribution deal with the good folks at Koldcast TV. Thanks to them and to the fans of the shows. :)

-Blake

Read more


Natalie Raitano TV Interview

Check out this fun interview with "Pink" star Natalie Raitano on the Gordon Keith Show...



-Blake

Read more


GH1 Slomo Footage

Slomo footage shot with the new Panasonic GH1 STILL CAMERA...

Kauai sunset: Lumix GH1 slow motion from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.

Game changer folks, game changer.

-Blake

Read more


New 88 HITS on Koldcast TV Today

New episode "Family Man"...



Direct link to video

Check it out!

-Blake

Read more


88 HITS now on iTunes and Zune

You can now watch 88 HITS on iTunes and Zune. If you have an iPod, iPhone or Zune simply subscribe and then sync your device and the show will be right there. Oh, and did I mention it's FREE. :)

Click here for iTunes

Click here for Zune

-Blake

Read more


Tubefilter Story on 88 HITS

Tubefilter did nice piece on Koldcast release of 88 HITS:
http://news.tubefilter.tv/2009/05/06/88-hits-debuts-mobumentary-sub-genre-is-born/

Check it out. Thanks!

-Blake

Read more


88 HITS Now Live on Koldcast TV!

Today is the launch of the mock-doc 88 HITS on Koldcast TV. The once proud Pascadelli mob family is now going broke. There are two episodes online now, and then each Tuesday a new episode premieres.



Direct link to video

Please support the show on KOLDCAST TV!

See blurb on NewTeeVee about release of show:
http://newteevee.com/2009/05/05/vid-biz-nbc-yume-warner-bros/ (bottom of page)

Thanks,
Blake

Read more


Twitter Quitters

A lot of folks (supposedly 60%) who join Twitter end up quitting. But, this is actually a good thing. A lot of people just dont' get it...

Read Article

-Blake

Read more


39th Annual USA Film Festival Starts Tonight!

Support Texas film and film showcases! Brian Cox, M. Emmet Walsh, Ray Liotta and more at this year's festival...

Check out schedule here:
http://www.usafilmfestival.com/images/usaff.schedule.pdf

-Blake

Read more


Mister Glasses - A Unique Show

This is genius! My favorite current web series. And it's also what's so cool about Web TV... you could NEVER do this show anywhere else.



Direct link to episode

-Blake

Read more


88 HITS now on KOLDCAST TV


We're now partnered with KOLDCAST TV to do a wide release of my latest web serial 88 HITS. New episodes will premiere every Tuesday starting next week 5/5/09.

Check out the teaser though right now:
http://www.koldcast.tv/video/2332

Thanks!
Blake

Read more


NEW Texas Film Incentives!

The new film incentives have passed and are now in play...

http://governor.state.tx.us/film/incentives/miiip/

Coolest thing is the minimum qualifications for features is now only $250k... that's going to bring a lot of indie projects into the mix!

-Blake

Read more


New "88 Hits" Episode

Enjoy!

Read more


Filmmakers Desert Hollywood

Interesting story from of all places the BBC...

Hollywood is being snubbed by its own creative talent. There is something of a stampede by the entertainment industry to get out of town.

Long before the global economic downturn kicked in, film-makers were upping sticks and leaving Los Angeles for more cost-effective locations to shoot their movies.

Canada was one of the first countries to benefit from Hollywood's so-called runaway productions, but now the competition is closer to home.

More than 40 US states are offering film-makers tantalising financial incentives, such as rebates and tax-free loans, to make the next blockbuster in their backyard.

This year, only five major movies, defined as having a budget of $75m (£51m) or more, are being produced in Los Angeles. The figure compares with 21 films last year and 71 in 1996.


Read full story

Being based in Texas I find this to be good news for us since we have some incentive programs, although they are not near as good as New Mexico, Louisiana, or Michigan. But, we're headed in the right direction.

-Blake

Read more


PINK is Webby Award Honoree!

PINK is an Official Honoree at the 13th Annual Webby Awards!

Check it out

Speaking for the cast & crew we're well, honored, to be honored out of so many entries (thousands I'm told). Be sure to check out the other Honorees and Nominees too.

Thanks!
Blake

Read more


DIY Film Distribution

DIY distribution was the big buzz several years ago, and while it's still a good topic to discuss (or try as an indie filmmaker) it hasn't been talked up much recently. So when I found this article I was reminded of the many alternative ways to distribute indie content...

http://www.studiodaily.com/main/work/10321.html

It's one of the better reads on the subject that I've seen. Mainly because it has real world filmmakers' stories and then really good resources to offer to other indie producers.

Two of the better resources are:
1. Film Specific (http://www.filmspecific.com/)
2. Brave New Theaters (http://www.bravenewtheaters.com/)

Check it out!

-Blake

Read more


Rebuilding New Orleans

I don't typically post too many of my corporate or commercial projects, but this one is different. Did a job for True Value Hardware and Habitat for Humanity down in the 9th Ward of New Orleans...



(video image is cropped within this blog page, but if you're on FB you can see it in it's correct widescreen form)

What a great cause!

-Blake

Read more


PINK 33: Love and a .45

New episode out today! ONLY TWO more left this season...



-Blake

Read more


NEW Episode of "88 HITS"...

Have you watched my other web series? No not "Pink", but the completely improvised web comedy "88 Hits" starring current and former members of the improv comedy troupe Four Day Weekend. A NEW episode is out today!



-Blake

Read more


12 Seconds of Fame!

After I won the Streamy Award they grabbed me backstage to do a 12 second interview for www.12seconds.tv. It's kind of like Twitter for video. You only have 12 seconds. So anyway, here's my moment in the limelight and I went over my 12 second limit as you'll see. :)

http://12seconds.tv/find/blake+calhoun

And here's a link to ALL the winners and their 12 seconds (including Natalie Raitano):
http://12seconds.tv/channel/streamyawards

-Blake

Read more


Watch Nat get a Tat...

PINK star Natalie Raitano gets a tattoo in this episode of "California Kickin":



Click here to watch video in proper aspect ratio

-Blake

Read more


WINNER BEST DIRECTION in a Dramatic Web Series

I was very fortunate and honored to win the Streamy Award last night for Best Direction in a Dramatic Web Series for PINK!

A good friend to the show (and Nataile) posted a video on YouTube that was recorded off his computer from the live stream...



For more info visit www.streamys.org.

Thank you to all the fans who watch and support the show!!!

-Blake

Read more


Texas Film Scene Podcast

I was interviewed for a cool new podcast called the "Texas Film Scene" from Curtis Wayne. You can subscribe on iTunes or just download the individual episode (#6)

iTunes Link

Check it out!
Blake

Read more


Top 5 Online Video Providers

The numbers are in, and the winner is...

YouTube, of course.

But, Hulu is now #2 and making great strides - and actually has a good chance of becoming more financially successful in the long run (YouTube doesn't make money...yet).

YouTube had 5.1 billion streams in February (yes, billion with a "b"), and Hulu had 308.8 million.

Advertisers seem to be much more inclined to work with Hulu because of their content, not their numbers. Professionally produced TV shows and movies, along with short form series (like "Pink") are what set them apart.

Read entire Cable/FAX story here.

-Blake

Read more


Midgets vs. Mascots Teaser

Check out this teaser for the upcoming film "Midgets vs. Mascots" starring none other than Gary Coleman. I know the producers of the film (from Dallas). Although I'll withhold their names to protect the guilty... :)



Teaser is surprisingly funny. It's like "Borat" meets "Jackass".

-Blake

Read more


First Look-Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Descent "first look" at the new Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera that shoots both stills and 1080p HD video...

http://www.dv.com/article/80232

I'm very interested in this move towards DSLR cameras and HD video (the way we shot "Pink" and "Exposed" was with a 35mm adapter and SLR lenses on an HD camera, so this would be similar, but better). I will likely not buy this one though since right now it doesn't shoot 24p (only 30p). However, it will definitely have this option soon, maybe as a firmware update or in the next model.

It's really an amazing thing to be able shoot this high-end of a look for around $3000.

-Blake

Read more


Angel of Death Review

Good piece on Angel of Death (see previous post to watch series)...

http://www.flamesrising.com/angel-of-death-web-series/

-Blake

Read more


Twitter

Okay, okay, I'll join! You can now follow me (Loud Pictures) on Twitter...

http://twitter.com/loudpics

If you aren't on Twitter yet, just sign up. It's easy and pretty cool actually. I'll update the progress of all the various projects I'm involved with from web series to feature films. So check it out!

-Blake

Read more


Streamy Awards Nominations

"Pink" has been honored at the 1st Annual Streamy Awards by being nominated twice for two awards. First one is Best Directing in a Dramatic Web Series and the second one Best Cinematography in a Web Series.

This new event is being pushed as "The Oscars for the Internet". So, it's prett cool. Nominations came from the newly created International Academy of Web Television from over 100,000 submissions.

The ceremony will be held at the WGA Theater in Beverly Hills on March 28th. It will also be streamed live online (I'll let folks know where soon).

In the cinematography category we're up against JOSS WHEDON'S "DR. HORRIBLE"... that is some tough competition. Who knows how we'll do, but as they saying goes, it's just an honor to be nominated. :)

Here's a direct link to all the nominees:
http://www.streamys.org/nominees.shtml

-Blake

Read more


Angel of Death

Just watch this:



The days of "indie" web series are quickly coming to an end. This is really good stuff, but it's going to be very hard for lower-budget (and lower profile) web series producers to compete. This is a good and bad thing IMHO.

-Blake

Read more


Movie Tax Incentives Website

Interesting site to check out for Movie Tax Incentives and Credits:

http://www.movietaxcredits.com/

Not only has recent news, but also list each state and what they offer. Nice resource.

-Blake

Read more


Maybe this is why he didn't win the Oscar?

...can you imagine his speech at the Kodak Theater...? :)

Read more


Director Jon Keeyes Podcast Interview

Good interview with my friend Jon Keeyes. He's a fellow Texas filmmaker. I'm actually mentioned a few times along with "Pink" and the upcoming show "Exposed" (which Jon worked on too).

Check out the podcast here with Curtis Wayne.

-Blake

Read more


Joss Whedon Talks New Media

Really GREAT Joss Whedon interview talking about monetizing content, new media (and TV & Film) and his experience with "Dr. Horrible"... A MUST READ.

Click here for article

-Blake

Read more


Sony's New Device (from The Onion)



Careful with this one at work or around the kiddos. It's Rated R, but definitely check it out. Funny stuff!

-Blake

Read more


New Texas Film Incentives Bill

So far, I've produced all my projects in Texas (and some in Oklahoma). I'd really like to see our state step-up with the incentives to compete with neighboring states like Louisiana and New Mexico. We're losing lost of project to those folks...

-----------------------------------

AUSTIN, Texas - Texas lawmakers who pressed for state film incentives two years ago said they have filed new legislation intended to further entice movie, television and video game producers to bring their cast and crews to the state.

Their proposal would give Texas more flexibility to compete with other states than the current incentive program allows, said Rep. Dawnna Dukes, an Austin Democrat pushing the measure with Republican Sen. Bob Deuell of Greenville.

"Bring it back home, bring it back to Texas," Dukes said Tuesday, summing up the legislation after telling her House colleagues about it. She also introduced video game industry executives who were visiting the House chamber and offered a resolution declaring Tuesday "Entertainment Software Day."

Click here to read entire story at MSNBC.

-Blake

Read more


More Christian Bale Fun...

Greatness!

Read more


Generate Seals Fox TV Deal

Generate is the company that produces and distributes my show "Pink", and they also manage Mike Maden and myself (as individuals and through our production company Alternative Fuel)...

They just inked a deal to develop and produce new scripted fare for 20th Century Fox Television. This is great news!

Read Variety article here and note a mention to a certain web series. :)

-Blake

Read more


TheWB.com as a Web Contender

Descent piece in the NY Times about TheWB.com and their approach to web video ("Exposed" is not mentioned in article though, but that's okay). Show's premiere date is still TBA...

Read article

-Blake

Read more


PINK 24 Now Online!



Click here to Watch in HD

-Blake

Read more


Holy F-Bomb Batman!

Read more


PINK in Texas Monthly

PINK is featured in the new February issue of Texas Monthly magazine. Article can be viewed online or on news stands (in Texas). Registration is required to read online, but it's quick and painless (and FREE).

However, if you'd prefer to just read the text I've copied it into this post (no photos, etc. here)...

------------------------------------------------------

February 2009

Bottoms Up

How Texans in Hollywood are overturning the traditional top-down content model.

by Christopher Kelly

Meet Natalie “Nate” Cross (Natalie Raitano), a tomboy by breeding (her father taught her to hunt animals when she would have much rather been playing with dolls) who’s now all grown up, with bee-stung lips, a yoga-rific body, a glow-in-the-dark-tattoo-covered back, and a reputation as one of the finest assassins around. In the Internet series Pink, co-created by the Dallas-based team of Blake Calhoun and Mike Maden, an incarcerated Nate strikes a Faustian bargain with the warden (Sheree J. Wilson): If she kills ten people on the warden’s mysterious hit list, freedom is hers. But that’s merely the beginning of a madly convoluted saga that leaps backward and forward in time to chronicle Nate’s tough-love childhood, her hopeful adolescence in foster care, her seemingly carefree college days, and her current plight, as a ruthless killing machine who would prefer to settle down and start a family of her own. The real marvel of Pink, however, is that such a surprisingly deft example of old-fashioned serial storytelling—a show whose multiple story lines and shifts from reality to fantasy could easily give Lost a run for its money—unfolds in three- and four-minute segments, to the sped-up, attention-deficient rhythms of the digital age, on the screen of your laptop or iPhone.

Welcome to the decidedly topsy-turvy entertainment industry circa 2009, in which film, TV, and media companies continue to wrestle with the same daunting questions: How do you adapt creative content to the Internet, with its community of users insistent upon controlling how that content is consumed and distributed? How will new talent be developed, when ad dollars and seed money are quickly migrating elsewhere? And, perhaps most essential, how do you make money on the Web, where just about everything is given away for free? For at least a handful of ambitious Texans, though, the answers to these questions aren’t necessarily dire. “The ultimate value resides in content,” says Jordan Levin, a University of Texas graduate and former CEO of the WB network who is the co-founder of Generate, a company that provided funding for the second and third seasons of Pink and has its hand in a number of similar Web serials (see “Spinning a Web”). “A lot of people were ascribing value to the technology. But at the end of the day, the technology is realized by content.”

Put it this way: We might very well have seen the last of big-budget, old-school Hollywood spectacles like Australia. If NBC’s recent decision to place Jay Leno on prime-time TV five evenings a week is any measure, hour-long dramas are probably also headed the way of the dinosaur. But efforts like Pink, or another Levin-produced project, Republicrats, suggest that classic storytelling isn’t dead just yet and that—more to the point—serious-minded artists will find a way to carry on, even as their tools continue to break down and reconstitute.

In the case of Calhoun, who has a second Web project, Exposed, premiering on WB.com this month, the filmmaker took a route that, certainly to those of us who spend our days evaluating the entertainment industry’s more conventionally developed product, sounds positively revolutionary. After writing and directing a number of low-budget features, he teamed up with Maden and conceived Pink. The script was written in May 2007; the first ten episodes were shot in July, in the Dallas—Fort Worth area, on high-definition digital video; the project was edited in August; and the first episode premiered on YouTube that September. (The show kicked off its third season in late January; in addition to WB.com, it can be viewed at hulu.com/pink-the-series and myspace
.com/pinktheseries).

But this breakneck process didn’t result in something that feels slapdash and incoherent. Quite the opposite, Pink displays a freewheeling pop urgency that’s informed by but not burdened by the traditions of graphic novels, comic books, and music videos. (Imagine Kill Bill with all the boring stretches siphoned out.) And whereas its frequent time shifts would probably come across on television as jarring and confusing, on the Internet, broken up into easily digested, cliffhanger-reliant segments, Pink proves marvelously supple.

Part of me thinks, of course, that online is no place to consume entertainment, even of the most lighthearted sort: Because my home DSL connection is unpredictable, I ended up viewing the first two seasons of Pink on my desktop computer at the office. Mostly, though, the possibilities here seem elastic. I watched a rough cut of Exposed on DVD in my living room, where the relatively linear story, about a young man (Chase Ryan Jeffrey) trying to keep a very dark secret from his girlfriend, played just fine. With minimal tweaks, the eighty minutes or so of material could easily be transformed into a feature film. Calhoun says he’s also busy developing “meta-verse” for Exposed: Facebook pages for his characters, say, or “behind-the-scenes” video footage that one of the characters in the show is frequently seen recording. The idea is that viewers might encounter the program via many different platforms and that fans can immerse themselves in Exposed’s fictional universe and help to expand the mythology of that world.

As for the (literal) million-dollar question—how can work that is viewed for free online ever be financially viable?—well, according to both Levin and Calhoun, it’s all about keeping production budgets low (the average episode of Pink costs a few thousand dollars, compared with a few million for an episode of a network show), drumming up advertiser and sponsor revenue and thinking across multiple platforms. A show like Pink, theoretically, could be packaged as a DVD or adapted into a graphic novel or spun off into a video game or—if the gods of entertainment truly decide to smile down upon Calhoun—remade into a large-scale Hollywood action movie. The ride will be bumpy, and the risks will be considerable (Calhoun says he still hasn’t earned back the money he spent on the first season of Pink, much less been able to turn a profit). And it’s only going to get harder and harder for Web-based artists to get noticed amid so much clutter (when Pink first started, there were only a handful of high-production-value Web shows; a year and a half later, there are dozens, and they just keep multiplying). But with the likes of Calhoun, Maden, and Levin in the mix, one can’t help but be hopeful that entertainment will still remain widely accessible, even to the technophobes, and that a little bit of humanity will remain as we throttle headlong into a brave new world.

Spinning a Web: What Jordan Levin is generating.

“In order to create a voice in the marketplace that has any resonance, it’s going to be difficult to do it in only one medium,” says Jordan Levin. In 2006 Levin co-founded Generate, a production, distribution, and talent management company that means to make inroads into TV, film, book publishing, and the Internet. Its most intriguing output thus far: Republicrats, a serial comedy that ran last fall on MSN.com about a former Fresno weatherman who decides to compete as a third-party candidate against Barack Obama and John McCain, and Chocolate News, a Comedy Central series that plays like a mash-up of The Daily Show and In Living Color, starring David Alan Grier. Both projects have their flaws (the creators seem to be amusing one another a lot more often than they amuse us), but they are also models of offbeat efforts aimed at niche audiences that—with a little bit of massaging and a whole lot of word of mouth—have the potential to go viral.

Christopher Kelly is the film critic for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Copyright © 1973-2009 Emmis Publishing LP dba Texas Monthly. All rights reserved.

---------------------------------------------

-Blake

Read more


KILLING DOWN at Red Box

You can also rent KILLING DOWN at any one of the Red Box DVD Rental installations outside Walgreens, Walmarts and other retailers...

RED BOX DVD RENTAL

Only $1/day. Nice to see in these tough economic times that everyone can afford to rent my movie. :)

-Blake

Read more


PINK Season 3 Online Now!

PINK 21: Speed Dating Kills 2



Click here to watch in HD!

Also, nice mention of premiere on Tubefilter. Check it out!

-Blake

Read more


Killing Down on Blockbuster Shelf...

I couldn't resist! I rented my movie last night at the Blockbuster near my house. And so I took a picture of the DVD box on the shelf. There's two slots right near some Big Time Movies like "Iron Man" and "Juno". Okay, yeah, so this is my first movie to get wider distribution and I'm kinda geeking out on it. C'mon, you would too, trust me. :)



Read more


KILLING DOWN On Sale Now!

Read more

Who Am I?

I'm a filmmaker who's produced & directed five feature films including the comedy SPILT MILK (available on iTunes), the new horror/thriller PHOBIA (on iTunes) and the action/thiller KILLING DOWN (which you can buy or rent at pretty much all the usual places).

I also created the Streamy and Webby award-winning web series PINK, which to date has been viewed online around 10 MILLION times at places like YouTube, Hulu, Koldcast and TheWB.com. And speaking of TheWB.com, I also produced and directed an online thriller for them called EXPOSED. It was released summer 2010. And most recently I created a new online sci-fi series called CONTINUUM, which is part of the online indie TV network JTS.tv - Just The Story and NOW available via VOD through indie platform Distrify.

Oh, and I don't shoot weddings. Thanks for asking though.

There was an error in this gadget

Blog Archive

Web hosting for webmasters
Site Meter