Sunday, October 3, 2010

My recent business...

I'm still plugging and chugging away at this thing called life.  Chicago is getting to that short point in the year where the weather is bearable and Anna is happy because it's her favorite season.  The leaves are turning colors and the wind doesn't quite feel so humid anymore.  In the mornings the ground is slightly moist from the dew signaling the imminent close of longboarding season (moisture, leaves and road grime don't fare well with $100 skate bearings).  I should be getting ready to pull out the visqueen to insulate the windows from the upcoming bitter cold winter.  I've managed to keep staying up late with my crazy ventures on my computer, the various projects I'll give a few details.

I've run in to a few hiccups with the "big project" I've been working on, but things will work out.  It's just required me redoing the entire project (another 50 to 60 base hours) plus an additional 1/2 to 1 hour each section (22 total) to overcome the little hiccups that are happening due to my cheap software and hardware limitations.  In researching my options to make this project a little simpler for myself I came across some of my dream setups.  While checking out these pricey gizmos I was able to give myself a few more distractions to fill the deficit in ADD.

The first project (distraction from the main project) was found while researching software options.  I love Adobe software, that stuff is like cocaine to me (or what I would imagine cocaine being like).  It began while looking at the academic pricing schedule, the software looked great but was all pretty expensive (almost $1000 for most single programs without the student discount, around two or three hundred with the discounts) so I decided I'd struggle some more with my cheap software and just put in the extra man hours to manually correct the audio problems.  I noticed one program was completely free for students, Adobe Flash Builder 4, used for building applications for computers, phones and websites.  I've always been interested in how to build these applications and have thought of uses for my own little apps so I applied using my DePaul .edu email address for the free software.  About a week later I was accepted and given a free license to learn and use it!  I haven't really done anything with it other than take a small look at the interface, but it's a great tool for when I decide to dig deeper.

A short time later I received an email from the Adobe Student program reminding me about my "last chance to enter a submission to the Slamdance/Adobe Re-Cut Competition."  I didn't hear about it before, but I have some interest in video editing, and I consider myself a software whore, so I checked it out.  The competition includes downloading a video composed of a bunch of different scenes (with 2 or 3 takes each) of an independent movie which will be shown at the Slamdance Movie Festival in Park City, cutting up the takes into one smooth flowing scene (a chase scene, but according to the rules of the contest I can't really tell you much about it without risking my disqualification), burning it to DVD and mailing it in.  The winner gets his "re-cut" put into the final movie along with a paid trip to the festival (in UT, I would get to see my family and mountains again!) and a huge package of Adobe software (Adobe Creative Suite 5 Production Premium, about $1,700 worth).  All the Finalists get the CS5 package and tickets (but not airfare and hotel to the show) while every participant in the show gets a license for Adobe Premier Pro CS5 (the main software program for the video editing, which I've been doing a lot of, which would really simplify my life).

I entered the contest, downloaded the trial software and cut together a little bit of magic to submit.  If I'm lucky I'll be a finalist and get to bask in the glory of the whole suite of software getting to use the video editing for my main project, but more importantly I'd get Photoshop (which I'm in love with).  As it is, I did send in a submission so I will get the video editing anyway.  If the stars align and the winds are just right and I won, I'd get a trip to Utah for the film festival, hotel, software and the ability to chill with my family for a while (squee!) which is something I've only been able to do twice in the last 2 years and probably wont get to do again for another long time.  Do I hear "ski trip" if I win?  I would absolutely love to see my family sometime soon.

I'm not just a software geek, I like hardware too.  I've really been eyeballing THIS little treasure for all my project needs too.  Works flawlessly with the software and it would complete the necessary components to streamline all my efforts into one seamless flow of productivity.

Enough with the geek talk.  This video really makes me happy

Adobe Eyeballs from Seagulls Fly on Vimeo.

It's getting late, I've been busy with some photo shoots lately and I've got a hair show tomorrow, another fashion show next weekend and a Halloween show on the 30th. They should keep me occupied for a while.

To all my imaginary friends reading this, thanks.  Have a great October!

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