April 22, 2011

House Lights: Pushed back — way back

Ah, the best–laid plans of mice and men. Except that the cat scored first.

In a nutshell: The Ram Gopal Varma movie review project is on indefinite hold — in part because of my work schedule and in part because not all of his films are properly accessible. The big stumbling block: Some of his films are in Telugu. Just try to find them in a Hindi–speaking home video market near where I live.

Also, because of my shooting schedule (a client video recording on Monday night), it doesn't look good for Dum Maaro Dum. I am expected in New York City early this week; unfortunately, the schedule prevents me from even catching an afternoon screening. Most likely, I'll probably decide later on if I really want to see this one on a legitimately–made disc. (The reviews haven't been tremendously encouraging thus far. And before you ask: No reviews thus far in the major non–Desi papers, some of whom put their online content behind a pay wall.)

Complicating things is something else that I cannot divulge here but which could be a long–term project. No, I can't say if it will be a film, although I won't rule it out. For now, you'll have to wait and see.

Just One Story… is still very much alive and well, and I hope to have a new episode out eventually. I'm not sure at this point when we'll be able to do new episodes (or whether we will be able to return to Central Park this summer). I'll say more eventually, so do stick around.

April 14, 2011

Just as we were warming up…

…we received some unhappy tidings from Cisco Systems (via TechCrunch):

Wow. Cisco has just issued a release stating that in a strategic plan to “align its operations,” the company will exit parts of its consumer businesses and realign the remaining consumer business to support four of its five key company priorities: core routing, switching and services; collaboration; architectures; and video. One of the casualties of this realignment: Cisco’s video camera Flip business, which was part of its [USD] $590 million acquisition of Pure Digital.

To be fair to Cisco, this move probably makes smart business sense. Take a look at how many mobile devices — Apple's iPhone (and iPod Touch), for example — can now record high–definition video. That and so much more, except doing your laundry.

That leaves the once novel Flip — of which we have two different models (one that records and saves as standard definition AVIs, and the UltraHD model that we've been using since last June) — out in the cold.

Along, sadly, with 550 employees that will be sacked by Cisco shortly. 550 souls that will now be forced to look for jobs that may or may not exist (much less provide a proper living).

Certainly we will continue to use our Flips for as long as they last and as long as we can buy suitable batteries for them.

Just mark it well, though, that it will be a while before we can begin the search for video recording gear to back up and eventually replace our Flips (alright, a very long time). Frankly, we're not happy about this news. Cisco apparently decided that its chief business — networking (and, no doubt, the eventual remote shaping of Internet traffic in a most user–unfriendly way) — couldn't take on the eventual burden of a product not related to said business.

Which makes one wonder why they bought Pure Digital in the first place.

One thing we can say for sure: There is no iPhone or Blackberry in our future. There are, simply put, some things we simply can't afford to buy, let alone use.

Our business is media content, not surrendering cash to legacy companies (Verizon, AT&T, and so on).

And with that, we'll get back to our movie making.

To borrow from a recent Ram Gopal Varma film: Topic is over.

Cross–posted from the Promenade Digital [Mediaworks] website.

April 12, 2011

A true "gotcha" moment

Leave it to Nina Paley's Mimi and Eunice to land you where they want you:

2011 Nina Paley.

What? Not even over brown basmati rice?