DIY Gaff Tape lanyard

Gaff tape is an¬†indispensable¬†tool on any film set. If you don’t know what gaffer’s tape is, it’s a lot like duct tape, except it won’t leave a sticky adhesive residue, and it comes in many colors (black, however, is standard.) I usually keep two rolls of 2″ wide tape, as well as 1″ wide camera tape and 1/2″ wide spike tape with me. Camera tape has lower adhesion and is designed to tape the seams of camera magazines so that the film doesn’t get exposed accidently. Spike tape is thin gaff tape used for marking (or spiking) locations for set pieces or actors. But how to carry all of this gaff tape around? Continue reading

Motorola Talkabout T4900 Disassembly

Taking things apart is one of my hobbies. Doesn’t matter if they’re broken or not, I’ll take it apart to see how it works. In case it does break, I’ll know that I can fix it. I bought two T4900 radios from eBay. They are awesome little radios. The audio quality is phenominal, especially compared to the T6200’s, which is much worse, despite being newer. Anyway, I finally figured out how to take them apart: Continue reading

Tascam US-122L

In my ongoing hunt for good audio, I decided it was time to get a real audio interface. I had been jury-rigging my mixer with more adapters than most people own in order to get the sound into my laptop. I finally gave up and just did a search on eBay for “audio interface.” I picked the highest price I was willing to spend, and watched every single one below that price. With the help of JBidWatcher (an awesome piece of software) I was able to snag a Tascam US-122L for half-price.

I was excited when it arrived, all shiny and visibly used. But as long as everything works, I don’t care about a few scratches. I installed the software, fired up Audacity, plugged in a mic, and… Nothing. Audacity gave me an error. I thought I had researched this one and confirmed it was compatible with Audacity. I tried Garage Band. It worked perfectly. It was obviously something wrong with Audacity. But I had read about people using it with no problems. On a whim, I decided to install the Snow Leopard driver (I only have Leopard.) Voila! It worked.

So now I have a fully functioning USB audio interface. I like it. It has rudimentary level meters (a green light that turns orange, then red when the level gets too high.) It accepts line and mic inputs, and it provides phantom power. The US-122L plus Audacity equals a pretty legit recording studio. As long as you only need to record two tracks at once. For $65, that’s fine by me.

Tascam US-122L



Tascam US-122L

Tascam US-122L

Two Films

I have finally gotten around to finding a 16 mm projector so I can share these with the world. The following two films were made for my intro to film production class. The first one was a group project, two other people worked on it with me. The second one was my final project that I had to do alone. Neither of these have audio, so don’t freak out. Videos and more talking after the break. Continue reading

Cheaper printer ink

Printer inks are a rip-off. Period. There is no way is ink $3,500 per gallon. (Assuming the ink cartridges are 12 cc each at $13 a cartridge. That’s 92 cents per cc, a gallon is 3,785 cc = $3,482/gallon.) Now, we don’t buy ink by the gallon, but almost $80 to replace all the ink in my printer seems too steep. Read on to find out how you can refill your ink for less than $15 per full cartridge set. Continue reading

RTVF 24 Final Project

My Radio, Television, and Film (RTVF) 24 class, Intro to Multicamera Production, met for the final time on Monday. We have done three productions over the course of the semester, and I thought I would share my final project. The goal was to create an instructional video to teach people American Sign Language. I went through the trouble of recording it on VHS, converting to DV, then compressing and uploading it, all in the name of looking like the 80’s. Enjoy.

embedded by Embedded Video

The Awkward Hallway and other site stuff

Up until now I haven’t posed about my video projects. This is mainly because the stuff I’ve been doing isn’t very exciting. Comedy shows that run 90 minutes are not very web-friendly. Also, I don’t really have a good way to integrate my videos with this blog. I have no knowledge of PHP, so I can’t get into the code as much as I would like, and that’s why the blog and website have stayed separate.

I realized the other day that I didn’t have a copy of my award-winning video online yet. I don’t remember why I didn’t originally, but that has since been rectified. The video is entitled “The Awkward Hallway.” It was an entry for the PA High School Computer Fair in 2008. It won in our district and took audience favorite in states. It is available on my professional works page, middle link on the top row.

It is now available embedded!! Yay!

embedded by Embedded Video

Download Video

The story was written by my classmate Kat Keegan, and my friends J.C. Godlove and Kevin Levy starred in it, including a small part by me, J.C.’s dad, and Marlee Castelli. I did all the voice overs myself. I really hate hearing myself talk. At least, a recording of myself talking. I can talk all day if you can get me going.

Feel free to check out all the videos on that page. They are all professional caliber work (I think, at least) on my production website, not this site (although they are on the same server.) If anyone has any suggestions for making video galleries, I’m all ears. I have a bunch of old video my friends and I made, but I have no good way of displaying them. The current “gallery” on the ALT-5 site takes a lot of work to post even one new video, from the thumbnail creation, to the HTML page, links, uploading. It’s a pain, and doing that for the hundreds of short videos I have would take time I really don’t want to spend.

Did someone finally make a cell phone I like?

Not quite. But Casio came really close with their G’z’One Brigade.

See, I want a cell phone that’s robust and won’t break if I drop it. Arguably I don’t drop my phone that often, but if I were to drop it, I wouldn’t want it to shatter into a million pieces. I also want a full keyboard for typing text messages. I refuse to use T9. So why do I say “not quite?”

Continue reading