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Saturday, October 28, 2006

More ShowEast News ... WSJ on `The Onyx Project' ... YouTube pulls Comedy Central Clips

- At ShowEast in Orlando this past week, sounds like there was a cool demo of 3-D cameras and projection systems. Steve Schklair was showing how 3-D digital cameras can be used to beam live events into a cinema, and some clips from `The Nightmare Before Christmas 3-D' were shown. Sony was also showing off a new 4K digital camera. And there's a bit more info about a new 4K projector in development by Panorama Labs of Australia, which could be ready in prototype form by the end of 2007.

- Joe Morganstern of the Wall Street Journal writes about `The Onyx Project', a movie starring David Strathairn that doesn't have a conventional narrative through-line. Played in a computer's DVD player, you can set the scenes to shuffle, and try to make sense of what emerges. (I posted about the movie early this month, and you can buy the DVD for $23.95 here.) Morganstern writes:

    As a movie, "The Onyx Project," written and directed by Larry Atlas and shot on what must have been a miniscule budget (Editor's Note: under $200,000, according to the NY Times), has a few virtues and some severe limitations. The main attraction is David Strathairn's austere performance as a U.S. Army special-forces officer named Robert Henderson. This world-weary colonel is a one-man show, sitting alone in a bleak motel room and talking straight to a digital camera as he takes stock of his life after the catastrophic failure of a secret mission -- code-named Onyx -- in Afghanistan. Though the film was made before the recent publication of Bob Woodward's "State of Denial," many of Henderson's ruminations -- about the roots of American policy and the conflict between politics and military strategy -- might have been ripped from the book's pages.

    That said, the film isn't much more than a one-man show. The events and individuals to which Henderson refers are either dramatized minimally or represented fleetingly by clips and still photos. While a narrative of sorts does emerge from the almost five hours of material, organized in hundreds of snippets and chat-room-like threads, that material remains essentially a meditation, and meditations, by their very nature, involve shuffled thoughts.

- Not a surprise: big media companies are starting to assert control over their clips online, or at least try. Comedy Central asked YouTube to pull down the `Daily Show' and `Colbert Report' clips that had been uploaded to YouTube by fans. The error message that pops up where the clips once were: "This video has been removed due to copyright infringement."


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