Research List #9

It’s been a busy last week around here, but here’s the (short) list of things I’ve researched:

  • Crop factor on Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera (appears to be 2.88?)
  • Mazda 5
  • SquareSpace hosting
  • pickling watermelon rind
  • Aging quick-pickles (seems contradictory, but who knows?)
  • Looking for other educators on
  • Better color correction in FCPX
  • Davinci Resolve Lite
  • GoRuck Sandbag (20lb? 30lb?)
  • Filson Guide Work Tweed Jacket (sourcing this fabric?)



Here’s what’s going on with my videos:

My new studio is mostly set up- some smaller bits coming (today?) and it’s totally good to go.

The camera isn’t running aftermarket firmware- yet. Looking into that more.

The first focus is going to be a large series of videos on Lord of the Flies. Between me and my partner, I’m envisioning something on the order of twenty (!) videos- so that will take time. Following that substantial effort, I want to do Canterbury Tales. But that’s a while from now.

For now, I’ve shot two rounds of test footage- one to confirm that my 2700K lights weren’t going to cut it, and the second (just this morning) to see if the 5000K replacements I purchased were substantially better (they are). I’d love to have some bulbs that are 5600K, but those are a) hard to find and b) spendy. So 5000K it is. The image looks a lot better now (and the sound is far better too…), but I still need my Optical White umbrellas to get the image looking closer to what I want. I’ve included a still (of a test subject) below. Note: that still is totally raw- no post/color correction or anything else. Looks even better with some work done.

Next I need to spend some time writing and planing the episodes, as there’s a LOT of material to cover- up to and including some pre-loading that needs to be addressed.

All that said, I’ve got some impending (good) family drama that will slow things down for a bit, but I’d expect to be putting the first few episodes out before the summer is over.

Stay tuned.

Test Shoot #2

Research #6

Here’s what I’ve been reading about this week:

  • Metabones Speed Boosters
  • M42 mount lenses
  • HumanGear products
  • Used Lumix GH2 bodies
  • Konica AR mount to Nikon DX adaptors
  • Better online communal area for remote group learning


Research #5

Things I’ve researched in the last week:

  • Sourcing 5/8″ Grip pins with 1/4″ female threading
  • New IFTTT channels (specifically interested in activity tracking -> web tasks)
  • Better rainwater storage/management via Ram Water Pumps
  • Replacement vintage KLH Model 30 tweeter
  • Onion Pi (Raspberry Pi & TOR hotspot)
  • Analog or Digital video in via Thunderbolt interfaces (Black Magic Design)
  • Underwater-safe KinoFlo (DIY LED lit)
  • Better Twine functions


Research List #3

The research list for the last week includes:

  • Padcaster iPad mini Kickstarter
  • Live-view from camera via EyeFi Card
  • Blackmagic Pocket camera specs and test footage
  • New iPad workflow: Drafts as a starting poing (with custom actions)
  • Cinema workflow for RAW video vs ProRes244
  • Home data center (via NAS or other options)
  • Microphone boom mount/shock mount
  • iBooks Author developments & setups
  • Fair-Use copyright law re: video in classrooms
  • Multi-charging options for iPads
  • Plotting price drop of 4k resolution screens (down $300 in the last month!)
  • Outdoor faucet plumbing replacement

Still pretty video heavy, but that’s where some of my focus needs to be, so…

SitRep (Current Research)

I’m going to dump a bunch of research points here that I’ve been working on/with in the last week or so. I’m not going to try to explain connections or give details- this is meant as a raw-form dump of what I’ve gotten my fingers into. You’ll see trends, I’m sure, and outliers.

  • 3D printing a new shift knob for my car (with 10×1.25 threads)
  • Hacking the firmware of a Panasonic GH2 camera for film use
  • Finding a decent 1/4″ x 20 mount for an iPad mini
  • Reupholstering a Eames Lounge Chair (and Ottoman)
  • Arri PL Lens mount specs (and adaptors to MFT format cameras)
  • Refining my work EDC (better separation/organization of components)
  • Carving a new Lock Pick set (searching for best pick profiles)
  • Water Ram Pumps for pushing rainwater collection uphill
  • Cree LED lightbulb color temperature
  • 110V MIG welding limitations
  • Team Wikispeed car building
  • PVC Fly Fishing Rod tubes (2″)
  • Daiwa Saltiga Boat Braid (55#) sourcing local
  • Preserving formatting & printing from Google Docs
  • Limitations of macros in Google Spreadsheets
  • Sourcing 5/8″ Round Steel Tubing local

I’ll let you make what you will of that list- but I’ve made progress of a bunch of this.


Where have I been?

Everywhere, it seems. Here’s a brief SitRep:

1. TheĀ Massachusetts Digital Publication Collaborative is happening soon. This will be the third year we’ve run the event, and it’s always a productive time for those that attend. Please do consider coming.

2. I’ve put into place plans to shoot two new episodes of Tangential. I’m currently at work on the sets, and I’m hoping for those to be summer projects.

3. My partner and I are embarking on a book project for educators- subject is already determined, but form and structure are not. Hoping for late summer/early winter completion.

4. My current research list is as odd and diverse as ever. I’ll give you a sampler:

  • Cree LED bulbs as used in a soft box
  • 3D printed shift knob
  • Surgical Tissue Scissors
  • Micro 4/3 cameras
  • C-Mount camera lenses
  • Diawa Saltiga Boat Braid
  • 608 Bearing Specs

Until next time.

Sit Rep

It’s springtime- can you tell?

Me either.

Here’s what I’m up to:

1. I’m shifting gears with my Advanced Media Productions students from documentary work to dramatic. It’ll be a big change for some of them, but it’s time. I’m getting some really good work out of them, and I’ll be trying to continue to post some of it here as it comes in.

2.TheĀ Massachusetts Digital Publication Collaborative is happening again this year- I’m not able to be there this year, but there you go. This is about getting educators together to share and create new digital resources that benefit all of us. It’s free, and it’s a cause I believe in.

3. Just yesterday I had a chance to play way an expensive (14k!) bit of technology. While I’d not (ever) pay that sort of loot for what it was, I was pleasantly impressed with one aspet of it: the 70″ LCD panel. We’ve been looking at not buying projectors anymore, but the exact size of the LCD panel that’d be needed to work in a classroom has been a source of debate. Right now, we’re just waiting for pricing to change a teeny little bit more. I think it’s the way forward.

4. I’m working on some gear that should facilitate me doing some more podcasting in the near(er) future. It’s almost an official project for me- I’ve even got a spreadsheet and everything. Keep your eyes peeled.




Here’s what new and happening:

**1.** My school’s Spring Open House is this week. Besides the normal meet-the-parents stuff, there’s an art show and a fashion show. I’m pretty excited about all that, and I’ll have the Replicator2 up and running all night to show off, as well as having some finished prints on display.

**2.** Speaking of the Replicator2, I just printed a new filament tension mechanism for it. Think about that for a second. Anyway, I’m waiting on one more M3x6mm Flat head screw to get the whole thing installed. Excited about that. It should deal with some of the oddball filament feed issues we’ve had.

**3.** iCon2013 is a week away. Everything is coming together well, and I’m excited to do some presenting and meet some new people. School tours are totally booked, but we still have some space for the conference itself. Get in soon if you want to come, as numbers are starting to get crazy.

**4.** I’ve started active work on a student run web video, and I’m hoping to have that up and running inside the next two weeks. I’m leaning towards not running it live, for production reasons. I’d rather quality video instead of live video, and Google seems to have no interest in making both of those possible in the near term.

**5.** Some of my media students have made some really nice looking video. I’m still reviewing them, but I’m generally very pleased. I’ll be cross-posting some of them here (with student permission, of course).

**6.** I spent an afternoon at the Mass DESE last week talking about digital learning environments. There was some food reception to the ideas, but I felt like there was an undue amount of focus on the money/budget issues. Maybe I’m nuts, but it really shouldn’t be about the money. Tech and digital resources are the new cost of doing business, and pretending like it isn’t is putting your head in the sand.


Here’s what I’m up to and doing:
1) Our new MakerBot Replicator2 has been up and running for a few weeks now, and we’re beginning to understand what it will and won’t do. In the last week, we’ve gotten in 20-odd hours of print time, and the quality and usefulness of the prints continues to improve. We’re currently learning to deal with PLA warping issues, as well as a print bed that seems not to be a dead level plane. Working on both of those those things.
2) iCon2013 (which, by the way, is the continuation of last year’s New England 1:1 Summit) is coming soon. The school visits on Friday the 22nd are all sold out. Actually, they’re wildly over-sold, which is a whole ‘nother problem. That said, there are still spaces open for the conference itself on Saturday. Sign up soon, though, as we’ve had some alarming jumps in ticket
sales. I’m presenting at this with Andy Marcinek, on the topic of open educational resources. I’m excited, and it should be a good time, with loads of learning.

My Advanced Media Production students have started turning in some excellent work. I’ll cross post some of it here soon (with their permission, of course).
4) Burlington High School’s Apple profile in education finally (!) went live this week. Their team did an awesome job- they really got the nature of the town, and seemed to understand and represent what we’re trying to do. I’m in it a bunch. I only look that good because of the talents of the production team (the makeup lady was very nice, btw), and I managed to include a joke/hat tip to some of my former students. I won’t give it away, but those that have spotted it think it’s pretty funny.
5) I’m still doing some consulting work (if you’re interested, drop a line), and my summer is starting to fill in pretty quickly. We’re looking at another couple hundred iPads being deployed in my district, so there’s a bunch of work already starting with that.
6) I’m working to get a live G+ broadcast with some of my students up and running in the near future. As a result of my production experience, I get mildly obsessive about making this thing look good- and sadly, it’s been holding things up. As it turns out, Google Plus doesn’t play nice with FireWire- and tha

t’s the standard for all the pro-gear I have. Working around this is proving to be problematic. Actually, the 3D printer is helping with some of this. I’ve used it to print adapters for web cams to work on tripods. Neat, right?