Unsteady Cam

Paul Greengrass writes that his Bourne Ultimatum is about “truth and essence” and not “surface.”
There’s a huge argument raging in forums about the style he adopts to achieve this. David Bordwell calls this an extreme hand held style. He has an excellent article on this in his weblog which I’d urge you to read.

Bloody Sunday was an excellent film. I saw it at the New York Film Festival and and was blown away by what he accomplished. I think Greengrass does have a point and looking back at his work I think he makes a strong case.

The trouble is everyone is copying this style without even thinking once whether it really belongs in their movie. Even the respected director Mani Ratnam uses it in Guru- his Bollywood fantasy tale of the rags to riches story of the Indian entrepreneur turned uber-industrialist Dhiru-bhai Ambani.

it makes me wonder.

At work

I’m writing my new script. My room at tree top level is a haven in heaven.
No blogging or worldly contact for a while.

My weapons of choice:

Apple Pages 08. Absolutely in love with it. Notes. General Thoughts.
Scrivener. Keith Blount’s beta version was excellent. Excellent full screen mode.
I’m trying it out on this project. Great for Character Notes. Scenes.
MacJournal: Great for storing clippings and reading material.
Screenwriter. Really fast and stable. Awful DOS like interface but light years better than the new one.

Someone time soon I will try to narrow this down to two apps.

Screenwriter 6 interface insanity

I am depressed.
I was looking forward to the new Screenwriter 6 and a Universal Binary.
But one look at the screenshots have made me leap for the air sickness bag.
What on earth were the programmers smoking when they designed this one?
The New Movie Magic Screenwriter

Just take a look on their website.

Screenwriter 6 madness

Air sickness bag on the double please.
Isn’t there someone out there who can design an elegant Screenplay app?

iPhone in India ?

Amidst rumors floating wildly that a consignment of iPhones had found it’s way to Delhi (hard to believe given Apple’s tight security) and subsequent news that the iPhone had in fact been unlocked (in, of all the places Palika Bazaar) I could not resist writing about what happened this evening.

I dropped into a cell phone store with the vague idea of dumping my Treo 680 and going back to the gold standard of Nokia. While browsing through some handsets- sim unlocked of course, a young man entered and began a conversation with the shop owner.

In Hindi it went somewhat like this:

Young Man: Have you that new phone by Apple?
Shop Owner ignores the young man.
YM: The Apple-wallah phone. The iPhone. It was launched in the US on June 29th.
Shop Owner acknowledges him but looks away.
YM (now restless): You’re not showing it to me.
SO: (speaking for the first time) Sir, USA has old technology. Why do you want to buy a phone from USA?
YM: But it’s the iPhone!
SO: Sir, trust me. They use CDMA it’s useless. They don’t use GSM.

I decide to chip in.

Me: It’s a quad band GSM. But it’s SIM locked. There are rumors that it has been unlocked in India.

My last words are drowned out in the young man’s excitement. He pleads again with the shop owner.
Shop owner now busies himself in other work. The Young Man gets restless and excited. He’s convinced the owner is not revealing all.

YM to SO: Why aren’t you showing me the handset?
The Shop Owner looks up at him. His face is blank. Young Man persists. He really wants an iPhone.
But beneath the excited exterior lies a seasoned shopper who knows how to negotiate these markets.

YM (quietly to the Owner): Shall I come back in a few days?
The Shop Owner looks at him and nods.
YM: In 3 or 4 days?
Shop Owner nods again.

A deal has been made. And this time I am, as they say gob-smacked.

Sure, I’ve heard anything can happen. But wow, can they actually unlock an iPhone? Or has it already been done?

I left empty handed clutching my Treo and beginning to think whether I should…

Welcome to Delhi, the outside temperature is 45c

Yes that’s correct. At first I thought the Airline crew of Jet Airways had got it wrong. Surely she meant 35c. But the English announcement confirmed it.

Yes, Delhi is 45c or 113F and this was not the middle of the day. It was 7:45pm. The sun had set an hour ago!

In English, August there’s a line which goes:

SRIVASTAVA: If you think itís hot wait till next month. Even birds drop from the sky, dead!
The army recorded 52 degrees in Rajasthan. Iím sure Madna will top that.

Everyone thought that 52 degrees was over the top. 13 years later you don’t need to go to the desert. Even Delhi is getting close to it.

Lightroom arrives

My copy of Adobe Lightroom arrived. I ordered it on the last day of the rebate from Amazon.
I believe there are still some copies available at that price.

I’m loving it and living in the Develop module for most of the time. It is a real killer, designed with a photographer in mind.

And it’s fast. On a MacBook Pro and on my PowerBook G4 Titanium. Forget about minimum requirements it even runs on a PowerBook G4 500 with 512MB of RAM!

Where does that leave Apple’s Aperture? The Library and Stacks feature of Aperture are stunning and I will probably use that for my book of photographs for Road, Movie

Conversations with Shiva

Rajika Puri and Dancers performed at the Joyce Soho in downtown Manhattan a while ago. Rajika studied Bharatanatyam with Sikkil Guru Ramaswamy Pillai, her Odissi Gurukul is Deba Prasad Das

The program titled Conversations with Shiva was Rajika’s continued experiments in Bharatanatyam or what she calls Bharatanatyam Unwrapped. I got to see the technical rehearsal and then a performance a few days later.
Here is a set of pictures I took.

For the technically inclined this was shot on a Nikon D200 with a Nikkor 28mm f2.8 film lens. The images were developed in Adobe Lightroom.

Non Submersible Units

Stanley Kubrick had this to say:

All you need in a film is 6 to 8 non submersible units

I think if most filmmakers get a couple we are lucky.

Subhash Ghai on the other hand said to me:

It’s one trip up in a film that makes it fail. Just one small mistake!

It would be interesting to view your favourite or not so favourite films from this perspective.