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ATPM 5.11
November 1999



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On a Clear Day, You Can See the Hollywood Sign

by Mike Shields,

I have a box of cereal that expired today. French Toast Crunch. Now you may wonder what this has to do with the Mac, and Hollywood’s relationship to it, and frankly, at this point, so do I. But I’ll get to it somewhere in the following.

The fine folks at have switched to daily updates of their site, and the fifteen minute version of The Blair Wich Project is available for download. Runs great on my desktop G3 here at work. At home, it skips some on my 8500/180.

I would’ve been able to tell you all this last month; however, the cereal has expired. Ok, my deadline passed, but I’m trying to stay on theme. I found out that the film would be available right after I’d turned in last month’s masterpiece, but before we went to press, so, I figured, “No problem, I’ll add a sentence in the edits.” Which didn’t make it in. So, now I’ve got content lying around like a box of stale cereal. No one wants to eat it, however, no one wants to throw it away. And furthermore, I came home today and found an announcement in my e-mail that they have set up Web based mail at their domain. I immediately signed up. You guessed it. I’m Batman.

That’s the nature of the net in general, especially where my beat is concerned. With content changing literally by the hour, it’s hard to keep up. Now I realize that we have a monthly periodical, but at the same time, I like to keep you, my seven readers, up to date on the latest and greatest. Even with only a ten-day lead time, things get out of date quickly. I figure most of you know by now I received the above information by some other means. Except for the stale cereal part. I didn’t even know about that until my daughter asked for the wrong cereal this morning.

Product Placement writes almost daily about Macs appearing in the movies and TV, and the famous people that use them. Now, how these things come about, in most instances, is product placement. Without boring you with the ins and outs of what makes Hollywood great, think James Bond, and the BMW, at least, in the last two films. BMW paid big money to make their Z3 the new Bond car for Goldeneye, and then for Tomorrow Never Dies, they put up their latest four door model. Bond drives around in what amounts to a seven-minute commercial.

Apple is guilty of this as well. Remember Mission Impossible ? Tom Cruise saves the day with an Apple Powerbook 5300. And Jeff Goldblum saves the entire planet with a laptop as well.

Some of you may be watching the show Work With Me on CBS, Wednesday nights at 8:30/7:30 Central. The secretary has on her desk, a brand spankin’ new 21" Studio Display.

With a star on the side slapped over the Apple logo.

Why does this happen? Simple. The monitor is too cool looking not to be used, but Apple didn’t want to pay for the privilege. Part of the new corporate policy thing. Or maybe they didn’t want to pay for exposure on a program that no one watches. I mean, the show could be cancelled by the time you read this.

Again, stale cereal.

Other Stuff

Discovered, of course, as my deadline edges ever closer. But I want to get this stuff in this month, because by next month, all of it will be last month’s stale cereal.

How many of you remember the fine folks at SuperMac? If I recall, UMAX bought them after their clone business failed to catch on, and then sold them again to someone else. In any case, they’ve rechristened themselves as Digital Origin, and they’ve got a great site.

But that’s not what I want to talk about. Ok, it is, but indirectly. They’ve got a product called EditDV, for you guessed it, editing digital video. According to the benchmark graphic they have on their site, it smokes Final Cut Pro by a factor of two. Worth checking out. If I had the G3 they used for the comparison at home, I’d ask for a review copy to see for myself.

Now a word about this. They state that since rendering is what takes the most time, and since their product renders faster, EditDV is better than Final Cut Pro. I haven’t seen this type of product comparison anywhere else, and it would be wise to seek out independent verification of the above. On the site, they don’t talk about anything else relative to EditDV, just the render time.

The really cool part about their site, and why I feel they’re for real, is they’ve got a tutorial on digital video with a recommended reading list. I checked the list out, and I even own a few of the books. Even if you ultimately decide not to buy EditDV, or any other product from Digital Origin, they’re worth checking out.

For those of you that are first time readers of this column, I’d like to commend the both of you. For the rest, you’ll remember previous discussions in this space about the viability of DV on the big screen. I’ve mentioned that I’ve gotten into several heated discussions on the various relevant newsgroups, and maybe even the not so relevant ones as well. If you haven’t seen them already, a deja news search will turn up the various discussions. Now I don’t know, I’ve talked about this stuff before, so this may taste a little like stale cereal, but I have to say for the record, film is dead. Although not as dead as the French Toast Crunch I threw away this morning.

72 and sunny in Redondo.

e you next time.

apple Disclaimer: Mike is about to shoot a movie, so, if you wanna jump on the bandwagon and show your financial support <g>, he can be reached at

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