The next volume of Pecha Kucha Night Hyderabad – Volume 8 – is happening at Lamakaan, Banjara Hills on 31 March 2012. The event starts from 7 PM onwards.
When I tell people about this, they always ask me what this event is all about, and so I thought I would write a post about it.
“Pecha Kucha” is the Japanese term for “chit-chat”. A Pecha Kucha Night (PKN) is a gathering where a group of speakers talk about their work, hobby or passion, in a presentation format known as 20 x 20. This means that each speaker’s presentation must consist of 20 images or slides, each of them being shown for 20 seconds. Therefore, each presentation at a Pecha Kucha Night runs for approximately 7 minutes. (more info: Pecha Kucha Website, Pecha Kucha Article on Wikipedia)
The time limit avoids the “death by PowerPoint” effect – and since each presenter is speaking on something they are really passionate about, the talks are always interesting.
Pecha Kucha Nights happen all around the world. Hyderabad has played host to 7 successful volumes of PKN so far, all of them organised at Lamakaan, the open cultural space at Banjara Hills. (Google Maps page)
I was one of the speakers at Pecha Kucha Night Hyderabad Vol 6, and I attended Vol 7. Here are a few glimpses from those events. Since it’s my blog after all, I fully intend to use this opportunity to highlight my seven minutes of fame all over again!
Pecha Kucha Night Hyderabad Vol 6 – 5-Nov-11
PKN Hyderabad Vol 6 featured 9 speakers, talking about a variety of very interesting subjects. This was my first time at a PKN, and I had earlier expressed my interest to participate. As it turned out, mine was the first presentation that evening. I spoke about “My Movie Fan Artwork”. The organisers had two Canon EOS 5D Mark II cameras set up to film all the talks. Here is the official video of my presentation on YouTube –
I had a wonderful time at the event – and I was totally hooked. Therefore, I eagerly awaited the announcement of the next volume.
Pecha Kucha Night Hyderabad Vol 7 – 4-Feb-12
Volume 7 was held last month, again at Lamakaan. I was present this time as an audience member, and an ‘unofficial official photographer’ (I took photos at the event and sent them to the organisers, who uploaded some of them on their album on Facebook, with due credit to me). Above is a look at the speakers who presented at this volume.
There were seven speakers (so the first image in the collage above is of Harish Krishnan, one of the organisers, introducing PKN Hyd Vol 7) and another interesting set of talks. Here are the YouTube links to the talks –
Here are a few more glimpses from the two events I attended so far –
One section of the audience at Vol 6. If you’re taking photos at this event, it’s in low light, so you’ll either need a flash or a good and fast lens. That’s the reason why I took many of my pics with my 50mm f1.8 II lens.
This is an interesting moment that I managed to capture at Vol 6. Anwar Ahmed is speaking, while Viswaprasad Raju draws a sketch of him! See the full size photo to see more detail.
The presenters at Vol 7 got a copy of Viswaprasad Raju’s Travel Sketches calendar.
Apart from the presenters at PKN Hyd, the MCs are also important contributors to the event. Srinidhi Dasaka was the MC for Vol 6, and Dixith PNP was the MC for Vol 7.
If you want to see still more photos, take a look at these two albums on Facebook (my photos) –
If you are interested in participating (either as a presenter, or as an MC), you can send the organisers an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, indicating what you would like to present on. They would then send you further details and a PPT template using which you can create your presentation.
If you’d just like to attend the event as an audience member, all you have to do is come over to Lamakaan – there is no entry fee. It’s advised that one arrives early, since the seating space is limited and these events tend to attract large attendance.
A few concluding notes
The Hyderabad Editions of Pecha Kucha Nights are organised by the people who run Hands Media and 17d North and a few other helping hands. These passionate people must be appreciated, since it’s not an easy task pulling off events like this when you have day jobs.
I didn’t know till I saw the 17d North website that this firm did the branding for the Rubaiyat and Nautanki Gali restaurants! If you’ve been to these places, you know how creative the ambience is. Also, I find the name of the firm interesting – it’s a reference to the latitude at which Hyderabad is located.
Finally, I have to mention and say thanks to Pratyusha J, since it was she who told me about Pecha Kucha to begin with, several months ago!
As usual, here is a rundown of interesting things that happened in the past week. This week saw the announcement of two cameras, I shared TED talks from two speakers, and there were a couple of other items of interest. Here you go –
Announced: the Nokia 808 PureView
On 27-Feb-12 at Barcelona, Nokia announced their upcoming device – the Nokia 808 PureView. This to me is a camera which just happens to have a smartphone tacked on to it! The reason I say this, is that the PureView has a camera with a 41 megapixel sensor.
Yes, you read that correctly, 41 megapixels. Of course, just having a larger number of megapixels doesn’t necessarily mean you get a better picture, and the engineers at Nokia know this. So is this just marketing fluff or is there something actually remarkable about this?
I would go with the latter – the camera on this smartphone has a larger sensor than the one in the Nokia N8 (my current phone, and in terms of image quality from a smartphone camera, the N8 is by some accounts, the best). So, the detail it captures is indeed more than any smartphone camera around.
The sensor can capture 7728 x 5368 pixels of information. If you shoot a picture in 4:3 mode, then the image dimensions would be 7152 x 5368 (38 megapixels), and in 16:9 mode, you get a 7728 x 4354 (34 megapixels) image. Since the camera is capturing a lot of information, it would perform very well in low light, zooming would still produce very clear images, and when scaled down, the images would have excellent detail. The larger sensor would allow it to produce excellent video (1080p) too.
The phone runs the Nokia Belle OS (same as the N8) – since apparently, that can handle the hardware required to process this huge amount of image information.
The phone would be available towards the end of March and in India, it would cost around Rs 35,000. So far I have been very happy with my Nokia N8 and have not thought of upgrading my phone. But the Nokia 808 PureView is certainly tempting! I will definitely consider buying it.
When I told my friends this, some thought I would ditch my DSLR – I would never think of doing that, since a smartphone camera cannot replace a DSLR. But in my opinion, it’s great to have a good camera on your phone, since you’ll be carrying your phone almost everywhere, and in situations where you may not have a bigger camera with you (check this Facebook album for example – these photos were taken by me with my N8 at a get-together at office where I didn’t have my DSLR).
Nokia 808 Test Shots (31 MB ZIP File) – Sample images! These are apparently unretouched images straight from the camera, shot at the huge 38 or 34 megapixel resolutions. There are only 3 images inside the ZIP, each being around 10 MB in size. They’re all shot in good light (apparently by a pro photographer). If you zoom in all the way, the quality is amazing. The detail is great and since the sensor size is larger, you can get a better shallow depth of field effect that you can get with the N8.
Gizmodo Article – If you don’t want to download the 31 MB archive, you can see smaller versions of the sample images on this article.
I would love to have a camera like this to complement my DSLR. You’ll notice, that I am only talking about the camera on this phone – a phone to me in most cases is a necessary evil. One can take for granted that the 808 would do nicely in allowing you to make calls and send messages. And the OS is no different from what I am using now – it’s only Facebook and Twitter that I access from my phone, and I sometimes view my Gmail on it. Otherwise I don’t use other apps. That’s why, if at all I am going to upgrade my phone, this is the one I would get.
Announced: the Canon EOS 5D Mark III
On 2-Mar-12, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of its EOS system, Canon announced it’s upcoming DSLR – the Canon EOS 5D Mark III.
This is the successor to the Canon EOS 5D Mark II, which was introduced in 2008 and was considered a game-changing piece of equipment. The Mark II is used by professionals all around the world and it has been used to shoot movies (our own Ram Gopal Varma has made two movies with it – Dongala Mutha and Not a Love Story), music videos and TV shows.
The 5D Mark III is a 22 megapixel full-frame camera and like it’s predecessor, it can do 1080p video (perhaps in the future we will see a DSLR that can shoot 4K video). Because of its large sensor, the video is very film-like. There are improvements in the focusing system, and there are improvements in video (technology borrowed from the 1D X) that will aid pro cinematographers.
It’ll be available in April it seems, and will cost $3499 for the body only, and with the EF 24-105mm f4 L lens, it’ll cost $4299.
If I were to upgrade to a full-frame DSLR, this is the camera I’d like to own. So, as I said on Facebook, if someone would like to rob a bank and then buy me this camera, please let me know. I will give you my address. My birthday is on May 15. Just saying.
I wouldn’t mind if you get me a Nikon D800 either, but I can’t use my 50mm f1.8 II lens with that. So I’d stick with Canon!
Interesting, right? This is actually clever marketing for the upcoming Ridley Scott movie Prometheus, and features Guy Pearce playing the character Peter Weyland.
As much as Ridley Scott & Co. have been denying that Prometheus is a direct prequel to Alien, there is quite a bit of evidence to prove otherwise. The ‘evil corporation’ in the Alien movies is called Weyland-Yutani, and Peter Weyland is obviously linked to it.
This video was directed by Luke Scott (Ridley’s son) and written by Damon Lindelof (more info). It’s very well done, and one can make some interesting observations from this video –
At around 00:50, a tweet is visible –
Where’s Weyland going with this? Thought fire was for all mankind. He’s probably franchised using it now. #TED http://bit.ly/tgwQvj
Typing in the link will take you to the Prometheus Trailers page on Apple.com.
This tells us two things – one, that Twitter will still be around in 2023, and so will the URL shortener bit.ly. When I compile this list of tweets each week, I always think, what if either bit.ly or Twitter’s own URL shortener t.co cease to exist? A whole bunch of links would stop working (“as if a million voices were suddenly silenced”). Coincidentally, I mentioned this in just the previous “Items of Interest” post.
There is another tweet that you can see earlier on (at around 00:12) –
WOW! This is EPIC!! #TEDlongbeach2023 What has @weylandcorp got up their sleeves this time? The anticipation is killing me.
I had to download the 1080p clip to see this clearly. @weylandcorp on Twitter does not seem to be officially part of the marketing by Twentieth Century Fox for this movie though.
Later on in the video (at around 01:48) there’s another tweet that comes by, but it’s out of focus so I couldn’t make out what it says. Only a few words – “Killer #TED…”, “online collaboration” – are discernible.
Weyland mentions that we now have the ability to create cybernetic individuals who are completely indistinguishable from humans – that is a reference to Michael Fassbender’s character in the movie.
Also, in the Paul W S Anderson movie AVP: Alien vs Predator, Lance Henriksen played the character Charles Bishop Weyland. That movie was set in 2004, so Peter Weyland would be either the son or grandson of the other Weyland. That is, assuming that the Prometheus filmmakers are considering AVP as part of the continuity. They could just be ignoring that AVP ever happened, though.
As I was mentioning to my friend, that is probably a convenient thing for them to do. AVP wasn’t a bad movie in my opinion, but I think it would be better for everyone to ignore what happened in “Gunnison, Colorado” – I’m referring to the second AVP movie, Aliens vs Predator: Requiem which was thoroughly disappointing.
This is like saying that they made only one Matrix movie (as immortalised by this xkcd comic – “Too bad they never made any sequels”), that the Star Wars prequels didn’t exist, and that Indiana Jones was a trilogy (see some of the comments in this Slashdot article). So I’d say “it was interesting to see a crossover between the Alien and Predator franchise, I wonder if they’ll think of making a sequel to it sometime”. (TVTropes calls this Discontinuity)
Weyland mentions M-theory in his talk, which I did not know and looked up on Wikipedia. Apparently it’s a concept to describe what makes up our universe, I couldn’t understand it beyond that.
Another TED Talk you should check out, is the below one, by T Chendil Kumar (a.k.a. CK), given at TEDx Chennai in 2010. This is a talk called “Stand Up, Speak Up and Shut Up (The Art of using Humour in Presentations)” and is really insightful.
Really brilliant stuff. How I came to share these talks is, CK conducts training sessions at our company. Several years ago I had the pleasure of attending two training sessions by him. Recently, he was in Hyderabad to conduct a program at my office, and I got to meet him. That’s when I came to know that he had spoken at TEDx. I looked up those talks on YouTube, and loved them, so shared them.
Other Links of Interest
Flipkart has launched Flyte – a digital store that offers MP3 downloads of music. It’s really a progressive move, you have a variety of music available at good quality and completely DRM-free. The prices are low too (each song costs around Rs 10).
Panjaa Working Stills – This is an album on Facebook, has around 100 “behind-the-scenes” photos from Panjaa.
The 84th Academy Awards – I wasn’t too interested in the Oscars this year, since none of the nominated movies really were that appealing to me (not my type). You can have a look at the list of nominees and winners though.
This image (not by me) was shared on Facebook –
I found it really funny – if anyone knows the source, please tell me.
And to conclude this post, here are the tweets from last week:
I wanted to write something on 29-Feb, since that date doesn’t come along often. Initially was planning to do a drawing or post an update on Pecha Kucha, but couldn’t prepare the content in time. So, instead, I thought I’d post two photos of mine, which are from last year and hence have not seen the light of day on this blog.
This is a photo called Two Buddhas, which I took last year (May 2011 – initial attempts using my Canon EOS 550D). The reason I posted this, is that today, a friend of mine told me that he has created a group called “Laughing Buddha” on Facebook, in which he’ll post a photo of the Laughing Buddha every day. I sent him this pic today and he’s posted it on that group.
The second image is a photo I posted on Facebook sometime back (June 2011). This is a “behind-the-scenes” shot of my brother photographing old currency notes and a watch, which would later become this image.
I’d seen a quote about how cinematographers always take a lot of time to get lighting just right, and when I saw my brother doing the same when taking his photo, I reworded that quote and put it in this image.
My brother visited Srisailam last weekend, and on that trip he shot footage using his phone (Android-based LG Optimus Black). He’s edited that into a nice video, which you can see here –
One of the absolute best articles I read this week was a feature on the opening sequence of David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, at the website Art of the Title (this is a site that features articles about title sequences from movies).
The title sequence for the movie was created by a firm called Blur Studio. The article (written by Lola Landekic) is a very detailed and insightful one, and has interviews with Tim Miller (from Blur), David Fincher and Neil Kellerhouse (who did the publicity designs for the movie).
During David’s visits to the studio we would brace for impact, because he has a reputation for being incredibly picky. The first time I met him, I asked one of his friends, ‘How picky is David?’ And he said, ‘You’ve heard of pixel fuckers? Well David breaks each pixel down to its separate RGB components and fucks them one at a time.’ So there was some fear every time we would send something in, but 99% of the time we were just told to keep going.
Another insightful article / set of videos I saw this week was the Fstoppers 2011 BTS Contest Winners. Fstoppers is a site featuring behind-the-scenes videos and photography articles. That article features the best videos submitted to their site in 2011, as assessed by a panel of celebrity photo / videographers as judges. Watch all the videos in the post – very nice stuff.
I’ve been promising an article on Pecha Kucha Nights Hyderabad for a while now, but have not got around to writing it yet. Will do it soon and post it. In the mean time, they have announced that Pecha Kucha Night Hyderabad Vol 8 will be on March 31, 2012. You can ‘Like’ their Facebook page to be kept updated.
I’ve had my HD Video-capable DSLR, the Canon EOS 550D for almost a year now, but I’ve not done anything significant with video so far. The reason being, Windows Movie Maker (which I use for editing video) doesn’t handle the 1080p clips generated by the camera well at all. Adobe Premiere Elements, which I have on my laptop, also doesn’t handle those clips. A full (and legal) version of Adobe Premiere Pro costs a lot of money.
So I was looking for a free / open source alternative and Kdenlive fit the bill. Since that runs on Linux, I had to get a Linux distribution running on my computer. I chose to install Ubuntu through Wubi so that I could have it done within Windows, and wouldn’t have to mess around with partitioning.
I had to go through some hoops for getting it to work properly though. If you install Kdenlive through the Ubuntu Software Center, it doesn’t work directly, and indicates that there’s a problem with the MLT framework (MLT SDL module not installled or something like that).
It turns out that one has to get the latest version of Kdenlive + dependent packages for this to work, and for that, the following commands must be entered in the terminal –
If you install Kdenlive after doing this, you’ll be getting the most up-to-date packages, which should work. I tried just putting together two random clips and exporting as a H264 file, and it worked properly.
These forum posts/pages contain more info: 1, 2, 3.
Having gotten these things out of the way, here now is the collection of tweets from last week. I’ve split them up date-wise, for easy reading.
The music in the trailer for Safe is “The Outsider” by A Perfect Circle. That song was used earlier in the trailer for Resident Evil: Afterlife, and the movie itself seems very familiar – as I mentioned on Facebook, didn’t we already see this as Mercury Rising? Also, the other trailer linked to here is that of a Norwegian movie, which I’m interested in seeing just because of the awesome title – Fuck Up.
Nice!! RT @This_Is_Hari RT @krtgrphr: RT @nayakgirin: One man’s meen is another man’s poisson
Well, I hope you found this stuff interesting. In the next post I will upload a drawing that I did today (what it is, I am keeping under wraps for now).
Interesting thought: Many of the links posted above are shortened versions of shortened URLs (Inception – shortening within shortening)! Twitter’s t.co shortener is wrapping bit.ly links in many instances. If either one of these goes down, it would be unfortunate.
I don’t normally watch romantic comedies, but I saw Shakun Batra’s Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu on opening day (10-Feb-12) with two friends of mine at PVR Cinemas at Chandigarh. I’d started writing this review on the day I was travelling back from Chandigarh to Hyderabad, but didn’t get around to completing it.
The movie is still in theatres, so I am not too late in posting this, I guess! A few days later, and the movie will be out on DVD!
The movie stars Imran Khan as Rahul Kapoor, a 25 year old architect who lives in Las Vegas. His parents (played by Boman Irani and Ratna Pathak Shah) have planned every aspect of his life (career, relationships) – and he has never gone against their wishes. The movie’s plot is put into motion with Rahul losing his job. He starts attending therapy sessions, and at one of these visits, he meets Riana Braganza (Kareena Kapoor).
Riana works as a hair stylist, but she is also out of a job, and has just got out of a relationship. She mistakes Rahul for a stalker sent by her ex-boyfriend. When she realises that she was wrong, she tries to make it up to Rahul and they meet in the evening on Christmas Eve.
Riana is free in all the ways that Rahul is not – and she tries to get Rahul to unwind. As a result, they get totally wasted – and to their horror, realise the next morning that they’ve gotten married to each other at one of those wedding chapels where couples do foolish things like this without thinking.
They decide to get the marriage annulled – but it will take a few days for the paperwork to go through, and in that time, as you’d expect, the two become close to each other. I thought the movie handled the relationship between the two really well. Such movies probably have a tendency to turn into a sappy, sugary love story (then again, since I don’t watch many such movies, I can’t say this as a fact). This one didn’t, it was funny and sweet, and nicely acted. Being only 110 min long it doesn’t overstay its welcome and is easy to watch.
The movie’s songs are by Amit Trivedi and Amitabh Bhattacharya, and they’re good, as is the music score by Amit Trivedi. The movie looked very nice (director of photography is David MacDonald), it looked colourful without being garish and loud.
I had a lot of fun with it – while it’s not absolutely essential that it be watched on a big screen, you’ll be able to enjoy the cinematography and production design better that way. If you’ve not got the chance to see it in the theatre, you can catch it on DVD once it’s out.
Riana presents Rahul with a classic-looking camera in the movie. It looked like a Leica but since I don’t know about older cameras I couldn’t identify it exactly. The camera’s brand was not visible on screen.
Towards the end, Rahul appears to be using a DSLR. Again that appears on screen very briefly and it’s a wide shot so I couldn’t make out what type of camera it was. I’ll look again once the movie is on DVD.
The camera is probably a Canon EOS 5D Mark II. The reason I say this is, I checked out two videos on YouTube after my friend told me about them – apparently, during the filming of the movie, Imran Khan took candid photos of his co-star Kareena Kapoor and had an exhibition of them – Video 1, Video 2.
As evidenced by the red border on the strap, the lack of a popup flash on the camera, and the overall size of the camera, this is a 5D Mark II with an external battery grip. It’s probably the same camera that his character was using at the end of the movie.
The bright poster designs for the movie are done by the firm Marching Ants, and they were designed by Raj Khatri who also did the posters for The Dirty Picture, Players and the upcoming Agent Vinod and Kahaani. You can view his work on deviantART here and connect with him on Facebook here.
As I’d mentioned in the previous post, I had visited Chandigarh in the last week, and had a great time. I visited Chandigarh Lake, Rose Garden, Rock Garden, and also went up to Kasauli and took a ride in the Cable Car on the Timber Trail (which is on the way).
A set of photos from that trip is uploaded on a public album on Facebook here.
This is an interesting photo that I took during the trip. It’s called Chandigarh from the Sky, and was taken on board the Kingfisher flight from Chandigarh to Delhi.
There’s a saying that “the best camera is the one that’s with you” (Chase Jarvis) – the above photo was taken with my Nokia N8 cellphone camera. I’ve said it before and it’s worth repeating – the Nokia N8 has a terrific camera on board. There was some post processing done on the image – mainly levels adjustment (to darken the midtones to bring out the details) and a little bit of cross processing. Otherwise no other editing done on it.
I took an 8″ x 10″ print of this image and it looks really great.
Speaking of the Nokia N8, I finally upgraded the OS on my phone to Nokia Belle. I installed Nokia Suite on my computer, downloaded the 270 MB update and installed it on the phone.
The UI looks very nice. The home screen wallpaper reminded me of some of the artwork for the Nine Inch Nails album The Downward Spiral (a photo of feathers, by Rob Sheridan). There’s a collection of official desktop wallpapers available on that site, one of them (06.jpg) is the one that I am talking about.
Interestingly, those images have the camera data embedded in them. So you can see that Sheridan shot those photos using a Canon EOS 10D in August 2004.
I recently got a new pair of glasses. Not that the old ones needed replacing – they’re perfectly fine. But I just wanted to try something different, so these glasses have a thick black frame (unlike the rimless ones I’ve been wearing for many years).
I took a photo to send it to friends, but then thought why not upload it – so it’s here. I like the colour tones in the image.
As usual, below is a collection of tweets from the last week:
12-Feb-12: RT @funnyoneliners My body is a temple. That is, it feels and looks like something that was destroyed by the Romans some 2500 years ago. RT @davio1962
The Second Edition of Comic Con India happened at Dilli Haat on 17, 18 and 19 Feb. At the same time last year, I’d attended the convention, and it was my first visit to Delhi. I couldn’t go this time – maybe the next one.
30-Jan-12: RT @zombeaner David Fincher Refuses to Cut ‘Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,’ India Release Canceled http://t.co/Du4oBlO3
30-Jan-12: A nice hot cup of tea at the right moment (when you feel you need it the most) = heaven.
30-Jan-12: RT @josephradhik RT @Koquettish: He asked her to unzip. She downloaded winRAR. #AwkwardErotica
29-Jan-12: Before Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross’ In the Hall of the Mountain King from “The Social Network”, there’s another version I used to listen to.
29-Jan-12: That is “In the Hall of the Mountain Thing” by Mark Anthony Klem. I have a MIDI file of it along with some of his Doom music.
29-Jan-12: I am not able to find a proper link / download of it now, to link & share. I don’t know whether I should upload the MIDI file that I have.
29-Jan-12: That MIDI file of Mark Klem’s “In the Hall of the Mountain Thing” I have is a whopping 11 KB in size and was downloaded on 26-Apr-01.
29-Jan-12: Nice! RT @rajturl Didn’t know @ankash1009 had something to do with Talaash, ‘additional dialogues’. It makes it even more awesome …
28-Jan-12: And a couple of days back, I registered the domain KarthikAbhiram.com. Right now it just points to Karthik82.com.
Timehop – Timehop is a neat web-based application that integrates with your social networking accounts (I linked it to my Facebook and Twitter accounts), pulls past updates from them, and sends you an email on what you did a year ago. For example a year ago, I posted this on Facebook.
Lee Bermejo’s Rorschach – They are apparently doing a set of Watchmen prequels with some big names attached to the project. This is Lee Bermejo’s cover for Rorschach, and the story is written by Brian Azzarello.
Ultraviolet FAQ – No, not the Milla Jovovich movie, Ultraviolet is a system of electronic media distribution, kind of like a non-physical DVD/Bluray. I looked this up since the recently-revealed cover artwork for the Bluray release of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo mentions Ultraviolet and I didn’t know what that was.
Kevin Smith on Superman – An old one, but worth re-sharing. A 20 minute excerpt from one of Kevin Smith’s shows, where he talks about his interaction with producer Jon Peters when he was given the chance to work on a Superman script. Very funny.
Observer Series – My cousin Girish and I are big fans of the show Fringe. He’s been posting about references to “Observers” in his school notes and various other places. Four posts so far – One, Two, Three, Four.
Speaking of my cousin, his blog Galactica will be on hiatus for about a month. I was mentioning that this is like a break between two seasons of a TV show. This led to us creating posters advertising Season 2 of his blog. This poster by him has got to be the best one of the lot –
I thought this was a very clever piece of work. The design and text recalls the poster of The Social Network, and the background is from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Two David Fincher references in one poster? Class! Click the image above to see more of the posters – one more by him and one simple poster by me.
On Saturday evening, I attended Pecha Kucha Night Hyderabad Vol 7, which I will write about in detail in a separate post.
The Pawan Kalyan movie Panjaa is out on DVD from Volga Videos. I’d seen the movie earlier on an IMAX screen and enjoyed it a lot. Therefore, when the DVD was released, I bought it immediately (on Friday – when I went to see Chronicle at Prasad’s).
When I’d seen the movie earlier, I posted a few tweets about a couple of cameras I spotted in the movie. I’m able to show you now, thanks to screenshots from the DVD.
There – you see it? That’s a Canon EOS 5D Mark II being used to photograph Brahmanandam’s character Paparayudu. The camera appears to have a 50mm f1.8 II lens mounted on it. You can click the image above to see a bigger picture.
This screenshot is from slightly earlier on in the same scene –
Here, the camera appears to have a bigger lens mounted on it. I can’t confirm this though, since it’s difficult to make out in this screenshot. Perhaps a shot from a Bluray disc would make things clearer.
Either way, a 5D Mark II is an impressive choice of photography gear for a village! The way the guy has the strap on is also cool.
Earlier in the film we see something more retro – a Yashica Twin Lens Reflex camera. I don’t know much about classic cameras so can’t identify the exact camera. But I believe something like this was seen in Agneepath also.
Another photography-related observation from the end credits –
The Publicity Campaign Photography for the movie is by Sharad Haksar. The reason I know that name, is that I attended this event called BlogCamp back in 2006 in Chennai, and one of the most interesting presentations I got to see at that event was Sharad Haksar’s presentation on photography! Check these two old blog posts: mine, Varun’s.
I enjoyed the movie greatly, and I thought the cinematography (by P S Vinod) was very good. The “Veyira Cheyyi” song sequence is artistically shot –
This is a nice “in motion” example of what a lot of photographers do in their still photos – use a very shallow depth of field and cross-processing. I am not sure if the DOF effect here was achieved in camera, but either way, it looks great on screen.
Volga Videos have released the DVD with what appears to be ‘variant covers’. I saw at least two different covers at Sangeet Sagar, where I bought it. I was actually tempted to buy two copies of the movie just to have the two different covers but I stopped myself.
The back of the DVD cover contained something interesting –
It says “Punchline: the war within”. Isn’t that supposed to be tagline, since a punchline is something that comes at the end of a joke! Genre is “Action/Love” and the final part will make one say whisky-tango-foxtrot: “Type: Straight”. Really? Straight? As opposed to what other type?
The top of the cover also advertises “The Ultimate Guide to Anamorphic Widescreen for Everyone!” which would lead one to believe that there’s a documentary about Anamorphic Widescreen on the disc. But sadly, that is not the case and all we get is the typical warning that tells you to switch to letterbox mode if you have a 4:3 TV.
I wasn’t aware that the NTSC format had an official logo. After I posted the above photo to Facebook, my friend pointed out that the logo appears to be the result of a Google search for NTSC. That is actually taken from a page titled Nuclear Technology Safety Center.
I also bought the DVD of the Mahesh Babu movie Dookudu at the same time – that is also released by Volga Videos and is also labelled as being “Straight”, and that also has the above NTSC logo.
These DVDs cost Rs 149 each (if you buy them in Andhra Pradesh, it’s Rs 155 in other states). It’s worth getting them. The covers of both discs indicate that Vedam would be released on DVD soon – a long wait considering that the movie was released in 2010, but as that is a very well done movie, it’s a DVD I’ll definitely be buying.
Apart from the collection of tweets in the earlier post, here are some more interesting things that I posted online this month. Archived for posterity.
First off, this is my official 2012 New Year Card:
Even if the world is going to end on 21-Dec-12, we’ll still get to see these movies before that: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (which unfortunately may not get released in India after all), Prometheus (8-Jun-12), The Dark Knight Rises (20-Jul-12) and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (14-Dec-12).
As I’d mentioned in my collection of tweets post, I bought a Canon Speedlite 580 EX II flash for my camera. This is, as I later found out, one of Canon’s top-of-the-line external flashes. I still have to learn to use it to its full potential.
I’d remarked that when attached to my camera, it’s quite bulky and makes my Canon EOS 550D look positively small! In fact, if one was to add a bigger telephoto lens to it, it would be heavy enough to do bicep exercises with. So I took a photo of that.
I later posted larger resolution versions of two of the drawings in the New Year Card above. Here they are:
That’s a stippled drawing of Batman holding what appears to be an EMP Gun from The Dark Knight Rises. The drawing was done based on a screenshot from the HD trailer. The text is the chant you hear in the trailer.
And here’s Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander from David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo:
I decided to use the original Swedish title instead of the English one. I love the posters and the artwork for the movie. From what I read, the publicity materials are designed by Kellerhouse Design and the photography is by Jean-Baptiste Mondino.
Another interesting thing:
These days, I’ve observed that at Prasad’s Multiplex, for Hindi and Telugu movies, they post the censor certificate for the movie as approved by the Central Board of Film Certification. The front part of the certificate is what you see attached to the film itself, but they’re even putting up the reverse side of the certificate these days. Apparently, if there’s a triangle stamped on the certificate, it means that there are cuts made (these things I found out thanks to a friend).
Above is a quick photo I took of the certificate for the Mahesh Babu movie Businessman. The list of cuts is pretty interesting. If you want to know what all dirty stuff you are missing, all you have to do is read the list of cuts!
I found this description very funny (“Delete the visuals: close exposure of cleavage”, “finger of hero moving on the chest and hip of heroine”, “Mute the words: …, lanja kodaka, fucking, …”), that’s why I took a photo of it to preserve the memory! One friend commented that this description is actually more sleazy than what it would have been if this stuff ended up in the movie.
While there may be a rationale to certifying movies, I still can’t understand why cuts are required in a movie that’s anyway rated “A” or “Adults Only”.
Some other videos and trailers of interest:
i2 (i square) Promo – i2 is an upcoming short film from Nakama Creations and Planet Green Pictures (the filmmakers behind the massively popular short film Shadow). The trailer totally wowed me, the music (Prakash Anantha) and cinematography (Surya Vinay) are awesome. It looks like a movie made for the big screen.
Theme from A Fistful of Dollars by Ennio Morricone – Watch the video and then tell me, does that tune sound familiar? If you recently saw the Mahesh Babu movie Businessman, then it will. That’s the theme music associated with Kajal Agarwal’s character. I’ve not seen A Fistful of Dollars, but when watching Businessman, I recognised the theme right away as being from a Clint Eastwood movie – because I had a desktop theme (remember those things from several years ago?) with these sounds.
Comparison Video from the Manos in HD Project – Manos: The Hands of Fate is a 1966 movie directed by Hal Warren. This is known as one of the worst movies ever made. Someone has discovered a pristine print of this movie and are painstakingly restoring it by scanning the film at 2k resolution. I’ve actually seen this movie and would love to watch it in that beautiful HD transfer at some point of time. The page that I followed to get to this video link rightly says: “The Manos In HD film restoration project is one of the most important things going on in the world today. Never before has such a fucking disaster looked so beautiful!”
Talaash Trailer – A psychological thriller starring Aamir Khan. Looking forward to it! Releases in June.
Kahaani Trailer – Another thriller starring Vidya Balan. Looks good. The trailer kind of reminded me of Anurag Kashyap’s That Girl in Yellow Boots. This movie releases in March.
Agent Vinod Trailer – Action / spy movie starring Saif Ali Khan. It’s written and directed by Sriram Raghavan who made Johnny Gaddaar, so should be good. Also a March release.
Jeremy Keith – All our Yesterdays – This is a 45-minute video but an interesting talk on preserving our memories, comparing the longevity of digital data to analog (info engraved on a stone tablet can last, and can be read after hundreds or thousands of years, can the same be said of digital data on a DVD?).
This month, we had a few events at office, for which I acted as a photographer. For two of the events, you can see the photos I took on these Facebook albums:
The first album consists of photos entirely shot with my Nokia N8 phone camera – which does surprisingly well in good light. The second one though was taken with my Canon EOS 550D camera (I got permission to bring the camera and two additional lenses). I got a lot of good feedback on these photos.
This is one of the photos that resulted from that set. Taken with my 550D with the 50mm f1.8 II lens. You can download the full-size image and peek into the EXIF info if you wish.
This is a collection of tweets from me and others that I retweeted, between 30-Dec-11 and today. I thought I’d post these on a regular basis to archive these links. The below set essentially recaps the important stuff that I posted or shared this month.
28-Jan-12: #NowDownloading Romero’s Night of the Living Dead 1968 in 720p HD – http://t.co/UTyI9Qn6 – MP4 file is 1 GB in size. 1080p is also there.