Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Film Festival success for "How Europe Got Its Name"

Our short animated film "How Europe Got Its Name", 6 min, has been selected for public screening in the "New Beijing International Film Week". This is a big step forward for us and we are very very happy about it. You can see it in the festival program at:
Link to Beijing Fest 2009 Selected Movies
"How Europe Got Its Name" appears a little over half-way down this page.

Backgrounder for new readers: the democratisation of film-making makes production easier for us (yay), and easier for zillions of others(uh oh) so selection panels can be choosing as little as 5% of what they receive. Why Beijing? My 1980s successes were often in non-English speaking cities. Our movies this century have been collecting rejections from US and NZ festivals so when "How Europe .." was ready, I thought it was time to revisit the wider world. I liked the style of this festival and the film-makers connected with it - you can see what I mean by using the above link and looking around the festival site.

"How Europe Got Its Name" version 1 was made in 1 weekend when we were competing as "Team MITCIT" representing the Manukau Institute of Technology in the New Zealand 48 Hours Furious Film-making Competition. It was wildly ambitious to do a speed-film-making competition with modelling clay animation but we did get it all shot and we got a panic edit version over the finishing line with 2 minutes to spare. We won a small audience-favourite-vote award for 3rd place in our heat.

The Beijing Festival entry is the completed "Version 2".

We can not show you the complete movie on the web yet because we are exploring its film festival and commercial potential. I do plan to post about a 30 second sample soon.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

"Unsharp Mask" filter works well with digitised film

I have been doing more digitisation of Super-8mm and Standard-8mm movies dating back to 1962. I ran across "Unsharp Mask" in the GIMP manual and I find that Ulead Video Editing software also has this in its video filters. Looking good - on careful inspection results do not have any better detail but they seem to look better. I have found that other sharpeners do bad things with film grain but Unsharp Mask seems to handle graininess well. With "The GIMP", I am using the default settings. With "Ulead" IMO the default settings go too far and I am using relatively gentle settings of "15%, 15%" on the 2 controls provided.
Ref - info with image examples in "The GIMP" online manual:
"The Unsharp Mask filter (what an odd name!) sharpens edges of the elements without increasing noise or blemish. It is the king of the sharpen filters..."