Nov 042009

Fantastico! on youtube

I made edited this movie in 10 minutes on the bus on my iphone. I know you’re impressed.

Reeldirector trimming a clip

ReelDirector video editing iphone application ($7.99)

holy crap, you can string a series of clips together on your freaking phone
good variety of transitions, although you only really need fade and dissolve for most movies
rendering was pretty fast

Room for improvement:
clipping or expanding a clip after the first trimming
overlay audio – either a song or a voice over
include pictures
preview the entire movie before rendering
split a clip – turn one clip into two

Sad panda:
My movie rendered in tallscreen mode. I’m really disappointed the program didn’t correctly detect the orientation of the videos.
Can’t change to high quality option after you start adding clips

Verdict: Not worth $8 yet, but hopefully they’ll have less buggy versions soon.

In depth:
When you open the app, you are presented with a list of your projects. It takes some experimentation to figure out what each field does, but it all makes sense after playing with it.

Be sure to select high quality mode when you start – you can’t select it later. I can’t imagine why you’d want a low quality version, since the iphone camera is pretty low resolution to start with, but the default is off.


Once you’re in the edit screen you’re presented with a mostly intuitive interface. Select the add button and you are presented with the videos from your library. The trimming feature on the clip is well done. Hold down the ends of the timeline and the filmstrip expands to allow you to crop with more precision. You must do your cropping in this screen. Once you chose the clip, you cannot re-crop or expand it (pity).

In the filmstrip screen you can easily reorder your clips and add transitions to the beginning and end. The little ball allows you to scroll through all your clips, but it’s so hard to actually touch and drag it that it might as well not exist.

reorder clips



Back at the project screen, I was ready to export my movie. “Create” is a confusing option – I initially thought it meant I wanted to create a new project from my current project screen. Since the other two available options were “Delete” and “Properties”, I decide to try out “Create”. It actually renders the movie. I assume they chose the term “Create” because most users might not know what “render” or “export” means. You can’t share, play or save until you create. Once you “create” the movie, you could preview the entire thing. “Save” writes it to your photos area. This button seems completely unnecessary. Whenever I create a movie, it should save it to my photos area. I don’t need to save a photo every time I take a picture.


The thumbnails on my clips were all upside down. I hoped it was a preview bug, and my movie would be oriented correctly once I “created” it. No such luck.

Video rendered upsidedown

Aside from the orientation bugs, which hopefully be smoothed out in the future, this is a darn cool application.

Sep 192008

Talk like a pirate day

I tried to find an pirate translator iphone app, but all they had was the silly ayephone. I bought it; it is not worth it. Pocket Pirate is cute and free. I am using this mobile web version for translations, which unfortunately means I cannot talk like a pirate when there’s no network. My favorite word is ‘booty’ and I will be using it liberally today.

Here’s my video on some basics of pirate talk.

For more info go to talk like a pirate.

Song lyrics from Tom Smith Online. (download the song

Booty booty booty!

Gocar madness

 travel, video  Comments Off on Gocar madness
Sep 082008

Way back in January Justine, Coley and I rented gocars and took a little tour of San Francisco. In my hard drive cleaning I found the footage from that awesome experience and made a little movie. We had a ton of fun. The cars are a little dorky and the helmets are silly, but that’s what I loved about it. Near the end of our journey we figured out how to turn on the radio and did a little seated dancing. I almost hit a park car and Justine basically saved us, which was not recorded (fotunately? unfortunately?). I am not a good driver.

I decided to try out Viddler, a video sharing site with time-based comments. Generally I find the popups distracting but I like the idea of being able to pinpoint a part of the movie to comment on. Viddler also supports scrubbing when the video isn’t fully loaded, which means you can jump to an unloaded part of the video, and it’ll download the bits from that point forward. Love it.

Sep 032008

Yesterday we drove out where people hike, bike, picnic and all sorts of outdoor activities. I chatted with some people crouched down against the hillside and they showed me the berries that were safe to eat. When I was a kid I ate all kinds of random flowers and plants around my neighborhood. It’s a bit of a miracle that I never got sick.

I found these berries

The berries I picked are crow berries. The nice woman told me that they are great in jams with other berries and that they have a lovely deep color when cooked. They were crunchy and a little tart. They did not have a distinct flavor and were not sweet. I also found some wild blueberries that were mushy in the center and pretty sour. I think I’ll stick to the grocery store variety of those.

I made a video about our hiking adventure.

Aug 302008

I’m in Alaska right now. The weather is mild and the sun doesn’t go down until 9pm. I’m with Justine on some crazy-fun adventures.

At SFO I had a veggie burger with bacon. Ya, that seems a little weird, but veggie burgers are reliably tasty. They almost always use Gardenburgers. The animal burger actually cost less than the veggie one which is very fishy. Then I noticed the additions. Ooooo jalapenos, yummmm blue cheese. I just couldn’t resist the bacon.

My veggie bacon burger

As soon as we got off the plane yesterday morning we went straight to the spa. Justine and I have our priorities straight. After several hours of relaxation and eating fruit, we went out to dinner at Glacial Brewhouse where we stuffed our bellies with delicious food.


My cajun crusted halibut was tender and sweet and very spicy. The snap peas where a little overcooked imo but they tasted fine. I also had a bit of Justine’s salmon and it was surprisingly good. I usually don’t like the taste of salmon but this fresh wild salmon was deeeeelish.

Cajun halibut

I also enjoyed the apple currant bread pudding. It was rich and moist and spiced with Christmas. The sauce it swam in was very sweet but I liked the rum flavor.

bread pudding that I actually liked

We were also lucky enough to be given a tour of their brewing facilities in the back.

You can check out what we did today at Justine’s blog.

Aug 252008

So there’s this old Chinese man that plays this two-stringed instrument in the bay area. I’ve seen him in Berkeley (on campus and outside bart) in downtown SF and Chinatown. It as an erhu, and when he plays it sounds like cats being skinned alive. When I was in New York in may I was lucky enough to hear some music from the erhu (along with another instrument I’m not familiar with). It was quite lovely. Here’s a shaky short video of the musicians. It was very pretty, and such a vast difference from the old Chinese man.

Aug 222008

Here’s a little video timelapsing two hours of San Francisco from the 25th floor of the Fairmont hotel.

I love timelapse videos; I wish more cameras had that as an option. Pretty much anything sped up is more interesting. Science has proven that it is on average 42% more interesting, increasing with the fewer frames captured per hour, with the resulting video being a minimum of 10 seconds long. Take a look at this sandwich video:

Now imagine if it were in real time. Ya, way more boring. Imovie06 (I’ve given up on imovie 08. it’s terrible) has the ability to timelapse. You record a video and specify how many frames it takes a minute. This is much easier than recording a full video and then speeding it up.

Timelapse is the awesome

Jul 222008

Here is a little peek inside “The Dark Night” screening made by Vanessa. Her movies make me happy in a way I can’t quite explain. There is a little strip tease action in the middle by one of the Zivity models so it might be NSFW or CLAT (come look at this), depending on your workplace.

The movie was everything I hoped for, and then some. It was violent, beautiful, thought-provoking.

Jun 182008

Cheap flights, yummy snacks, power outlets; What else could I ask for in an airline? (aside from consistent timeliness which I’ve never gotten from any airline) They recently added a couple of new premium tv shows which was a very nice surprise.

Being in Boston when the Celtics crush the Lakers is pretty darn sweet. I’m not a huge sports fan but I watched half of the game during dinner tonight. The excitement is contagious. I currently hear tons of shouting, screaming and honking. I can’t wait to see how they celebrate in the next few days.