Births, Deaths, Flagellation, Public Suicide, Ritual Killings, The Kiss of Life, Human Vivisection – it’s all here

Many moons ago, three Italian producers made Mondo Cane (A Dog’s Life). If you haven’t seen it, you should. It’s instant view on Netflix.

No time for Netflix? It starts with a would-be Rudolf Valentino having his clothes ripped off by a bunch of crazy NY female shoppers, then cuts to bare breasted native girls chasing islanders wearing Dolce & Gabbana underwear (but not for long), cut to Aussie girl lifesavers giving the “kiss of life.”The Kiss of Life – worth drowning for…

But Mondo Cane isn’t all about sex – we see births, deaths (a group of Chinese volunteers with only minutes to live but just time to sign the release form) and a Buddhist monk has petrol poured over him and then self-destructs. Did I mention the killing of a man by a bull (cut by the censor), the scenes of flagellation, body piercing, vivisection, lynchings… everything that makes life worth living.

And so it is with this year’s NAB.

Take this year’s RED booth – after an absence of two years, here they are demonstrating their cameras with a willing young girl stripped to the hip, being tattooed. Not just any kind of tattoo but the Red logo design.Mondo Cane 1962Mondo NAB 2011

Inside the booth’s theater, the tattoo theme is continued with a dramatic short, called (you guessed it) Tattoo. I kid you not… “String him up.” Here comes the flagellation scene. Whack! Whack! “Undress him.” Could be Mondo Cane all over again. OMG, he has THE tattoo! Fade to black.

Suddenly it’s raining add-on recorder boxes – Fast Forward Video has SideKick HD | Atomos with The Ninja| Cinedeckwith, er, Cinedeck | Sound Devices’ new baby PIX | AJA , of course, has Ki-Pro Mini | Convergence Design.

Now along comes BlackMagic with HyperDeck Shuttle. Just $345 and at a stroke corners the market. So it hasn’t got a monitor, it’s not ProRes and gobbles up disk space – I’m buying one and there’s a long queue of other cheapskates behind me. I’ll need a $250 solid state drive; no matter, BlackMagic will throw in a free copy of DaVinci Resolve.

I get change from $600 vs. $2,500+ for a competitive box– ever seen a product manager cry?

John Abt, CEO of AJA, doubts that they’ll find SSDs that will reliably support uncompressed data rates. Well he would say that, wouldn’t he?

I can never figure out why somebody didn’t stop that monk from burning himself alive. If he were on a window ledge about to jump, there would have been a team of negotiators saying, “Don’t do it!”

Grisly self-immolation from Mondo Cane

Well he’s gone and so has the Flip camera – incinerated alive by Cisco. Alive? Yes, it’s the #1 best selling camcorder on Amazon – and they killed it.

Cisco bought Flip for $590 million and on day two of NAB – lit its funeral pyre. Their only serious competitor, GoPro, has a huge exhibition stand with a new 3D case and editing software.R.I.P Flip – gone but not forgotten

David Pogue in his NY Times obit says that the Flip guys were just about to release FlipLive:

That is, when you’re in a Wi-Fi hot spot, the entire world can see what you’re filming. You can post a link to Twitter or Facebook, or send an e-mail link to friends. Anyone who clicks the link can see what you’re seeing, in real time—thousands of people at once. Think how amazing that would be.
Why time the announcement to coincide with NAB? Why didn’t somebody stop them? Save the monk, save the Flip! I want FlipLive!

NAB is full of very worthwhile products that seem to need a sun tanned Aussie blonde to go down on them.

When I met Martine Bianco last year she had a pre-prod. Aaton Penelope Delta – wonderful ergonomics, with picture quality claimed to be better than the Arri.

This year I expected to see a production model. But no… “Later this year…”  Sad.

Martine Bianco, Exec. VP of Aäton with her pre-production Penelope Delta.

And what’s become of RED’s  Scarlet?

She was announced in early 2008. A no show in 2009, nothing in 2010 and here we are in 2011 and still zilch. Assuming design work in 2007, that’s about five years been and gone. The latest blow is the Japanese tsunami delaying RED’s supply chain.

The man in the black hat tattoos the T-shirt design while a pre-prod. Scarlet looks on.

Both Scarlet and Penelope urgently need mouth to mouth resuscitation. Maybe the lads in Thunder from Down Under can help.

Michael Horton and Dan Bérubé are two of the nicest guys you could ever hope to meet. In case you’ve been under a rock, they run SuperMeet, nowadays a collection of Final Cut Pro User Groups from Boston, Beijing and Beyond.

Seen here talking on YouTube – later suffered Apple mutism.

“Hello Everybody, I’m Michael Horton – and I’m Dan Bérubé – It’s our own 10th birthday – and if you can’t make it, we are going to live stream it – SORRY GUYS, THAT’S OFF – we’re thrilled to have back with us Mark Hamaker (Autodesk Smoke) is going to be talking about  taking your workflow into the third dimension – OH NO HE ISN’T – we’ve got filmmaker Kevin Smith on behalf of Avid NOPE HE’S GONE TOO

There’s How shooting with the Canon 5DmkII made me fall in love with filming again – Philip Bloom” NAH THAT’S CHOPPED – and How Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve can Change Your Color Correction Practice with Alexis Van Hurkman THAT’S OFF – The second half will be all about the world of Final Cut Studio” NO WAY – NEED I GO ON?

Getting the chop, Mondo Cane style1962

GONE, BABY, GONE… all axed by Apple.

Nice guys Horton & Bérubé are sworn to silence. Come the night, they are not even on the opening stage.

The forums are outraged – words like “bully” and “arrogant” and “hijacked” are thrown around. Video facility owner, Greg Huson demands (and gets) a refund. His forum comment: “I think it’s a dick move on the part of Apple.”

Forum wag, Bob Zelin predicts: Apple is buying Avid and Adobe and will discontinue Media Composer and Premier and FCP and we’ll all be forced to use iMoviePro.”

From Len Feldman’s thoughtful blog: You may ask why Apple didn’t just schedule its own event, which it could have completely controlled. The problem is that Apple isn’t an exhibitor at NAB, and many conferences (most likely including NAB) have contracts with the hotels that house attendees that prohibit them from making space available for events run by non-exhibitors. Since just about every hotel of any size is offering space through NAB’s housing office, that would make them unable to host an Apple event. On the other hand, the SuperMeet organizers are also exhibitors, so they can do whatever they want with their event.

But there’s another reason that Apple did this – it’s very simple: because they can.


Mondo Cane 1962 – Cargo Cult natives waiting, waiting…

Mondo Cane ends with the forlorn “Cargo Cult” New Guinea natives waiting for their gods to land a plane.  Could be the audience at the NAB SuperMeet 2011 waiting for that special guest from Apple.

Mondo NAB 2011 – SuperMeet natives, waiting, waiting…

From Wikipedia: the term “cargo cult” is invoked as an English language idiom to mean any group of people who imitate the superficial exterior of a process or system without having any understanding of the underlying substance.

Isn’t that just like NAB?

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