Friday, April 11, 2014

Video: DJI Phantom 2 Test Video With Zenmuse H3-2D gimbal


< The great one and JB. Shooting together since 1995.

< Adding the FPV system was a major boost to maneuverability, and overall quality of shots.  I didn't rely on it entirely, but it added another level of control.  It has a range of almost 4000 feet, so staying in contact is not a problem.  However, when flying quadcopters, like many things in life, it's always better to have a spotter.

< Overall: Very pleased with the improvements to the new Phantom 2.  While I liked the P1, the P2 is a much smoother experience from start to finish.  It handles better, has a longer battery life with  improved workflow.  The Zenmuse gimbal is a pleasure, and the footage is so much more stabilized than before!  Loving this system, and looking forward to their new H3-3D 3-axis gimbal.

Monday, April 7, 2014

DJI Phantom Crash - "A Sudden Gust of Wind" video

Took the Phantom 1 out for a test spin with the new Zenmuse H3-2D camera gimbal.  While Rob Stenger and I were minding our own business, a sudden gust of wind deceitfully attacked us from behind.  We went from a "birds chirping with a 4 mph breeze" type of day to a "30 mph wind vortex, freak of nature" kind of nightmare.  Cow!  I grabbed my Phantom to keep it from becoming a casualty in the great Los Angeles wind vortex of 2014.

< Here's a great shot of the plastic bin getting carried away in the background.  It emptied out, and landed about 200 yards away.  Score a point for the heavier Pelican-style cases.

< Rob installing the Zenmuse gimbal on the DJI Phantom 1.  There was some slight soldering work, but overall a very simple process to upgrade.

< Video of the Zenmuse H3-2D gimbal in action.

< Rob piloting the Phantom 1.

< This is what you look like when plummeting your friend's quadcopter into the ground.  Panic…noooo…argh….

< With the great install job from Rob, my Phantom 1 now has the Zenmuse H3-2D gimbal for stabilizing video. If you're budget conscious, upgrade a more affordable Phantom 1 with the Zenmuse gimbal, and you'll be getting your stunning aerial shots.  If you're not a crafty person, or don't have the "Radio Shack" experience needed to do the upgrade yourself, this might not be an option for you.  You can always just purchase the new Phantom 2 with pre-installed Zenmuse gimbal.  But if you want to save money, or even upgrade your older P1, then get out the soldering wand and go for it.

I'll be posting our Zenmuse footage very soon, so stay tuned.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Sundance 2014 - "The Bravest, The Boldest" short film to screen in competition

So I was lucky enough to be a part of writer-director-producer Moon Molson's third short film that was accepted to the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.  I'm a co-executive producer on the project, which also marks my second outing with Moon at Sundance ("Crazy Beats Strong Every Time" - Sundance 2011).

This is my 18th consecutive year attending Sundance/Park City.

Below are my sights and delights.

If you want real time updates, follow my Twitter (@JamesBoyd6161).

All photos © James Boyd, and cannot be used without permission.  That means you, Google.


< The big turn out of LA.  11 hours later, you're in Park City.  I stop in Vegas for some ritualistic fare…and blackjack.

< Sunrise in Vegas on Day 1.  I 've done the same 11-hour drive for the past 18 years, and it never gets old (Vilhelm scream).

< Pano from balcony.

< View of the action.

< I fixated on the sat with Pearl Jam radio, and created a six-hour singalong.  Eddie is my leader.  I'm usually hoarse when I arrive in the PC, but "Alive" is not going to sing itself.

< Easily the most interesting part of the drive is the 30 minutes inside the Virgin River Gorge in the Arizona section of the trip.  Walled on both sides, this area has fishing streams, cool views, and just fun stuff to visually play with.

< Ahhhh, Utah.

< Coming around the backside of Park City for the luscious scenery.  This is Deer Valley lake.

< Arrival in Park City.

< 1st beer of the week.  Toasting the long drive, and the great festival afoot.  As I sat and drank this tasty beverage, I ran through the 17 years of memories stored in my cranium.  Park City is like spring break for the film people, and with that, many life events are formed.  It's weird that it's only one week of the year, yet it produces so many awesome memories.

A quick recap:
Screenings = good
Hanging with friends = good
Making new friends = good
Making new business or films: good

Stressing about party invites: bad
Gifting suites: bad (it's all cursed product)
Acting the douche: bad

< A view up Main Street.

< There is something spiritual about the warm waters of the bubbler.  If you're not taking advantage of this at least twice a day, you're not doing it right.

< Full moon over Sundance.

< Jeff Hefti, me, Rob Stenger, and Will Hartman rock the Day One party at Sundance.

< Rob Stenger, me, Jeff Hefti, and Francesca Stenger - Day One party - Sundance 2014.

< Tickets galore for Sundance 14.

< Jeff Hefti and James Boyd celebrating drink #1 at Zoom restaurant - Sundance 14.

< The driver had no idea she was picking up legend and bubbler all-star: Hot tub Hefti.  The "Mr." is well-deserved.

< Getting my sunfreak on while chillin' on Main Street.  The weather is warm and sunny.

< Looking up Main Street.

< Looking up Main Street - Sundance14

< Waiting in line for the world premiere of THE BRAVEST, THE BOLDEST (dir. Moon Molson) - Sundance 2014.  I'm a co-exec producer on the film, and couldn't be happier for all involved.

< At the world premiere of Moon Molson's THE BRAVEST, THE BOLDEST (17min) - Sundance 2014 - SHORTS PROGRAM II.

< Actor Ben Schwartz ("Parks & Rec") does the Q&A with the filmmakers of the short film "I'm A Mitzvah" - Sundance 2014.

< Standing in line for the world premiere of FISHING WITHOUT NETS at Sundance 2014.  Amazing flick!

< Street marketing still works on Main Street.

< Went to the Slamdance Opening Night party to pay our respects to their 20 years of artistic independence.  Here we are with Slamdance festival director Peter Baxter.  17 years ago, Peter was the producer of my first feature film THE NEW GODS.

< The fine ladies behind the bar at the Slamdance Opening Night party.

< Here's filmmaker, Will Hartman, standing by the analog marketing displays on Main Street.

< DJ Steve Aoki at Park City Live.

< Standing in line for KUMIKO THE TREASURE HUNTER world premiere at Eccles Theater - Sundance 2014.

< David and Nathan Zellner (Austin, TX) at the KUMIKO THE TREASURE HUNTER Q&A, after the world premiere.

Sundance 2014

< Director William Eubank answers the Q&A after the world premiere of THE SIGNAL in the midnight section.

< Hanging out in the Eccles parking lot before the HELLION screening.  Park City Resort in the background.

< The HELLION cast (including Aaron Paul), with director Kat Candler.  She developed her 2012 Sundance short film into a feature, and landed in U.S. Dramatic competition.

< Having a spiritual moment in the hot tub of the Wasatch mountains.  Many epiphanies here.

< JB & Kevin Potter at "The One I Love" world premiere after-party on Main Street, with Mark Duplass, Elisabeth Moss, Ted Danson, and Anne Hathaway.

< Becky Potter approached Anne Hathaway at "The One I Love" party for a quick pic.  Anne was gracious enough to grab the camera, and snap their own selfie.  Girl power.

< The final picture of the boys from Sundance 2014.

< Hangin' in front of the iconic Egyptian Theater.