So excited to share the fundraiser for the short film Mae, that I am directing. Funders willing, we will be shooting in the Bombay beach/ Joshua Tree areas at the end of April. This is a story, about two sisters rich with emotion and depth. Please check out our campaign. Watch the video, read about our award winning team and please support us!
“Human beings need oxygen, food, water, sunshine and sleep to survive. Money can buy most of those. What is the purpose of Art? Who needs that tug at the heart when you listen to a piece of music? There’s no need for the lump in your throat when you watch a moment of beauty on a screen. What good is a museum? A place with countless pictures on the wall from God knows when and sculptures taking up space? Such a waste. What good are the tears that sting your eyes when you are moved by a piece of art, writing, film or music? There’s no need to absorb, question and express your feelings about the world, your life experience, your feelings – it’s a waste of time. Art has no purpose. We need to use our resources on making corporations more profitable and our country safer. Am I right?” – Akilajna
See what artists are doing to #SaveTheNEA here
Yesterday I shared my new photography page on Facebook. Many friends liked, commented and shared it. I’ve done photography for friends and family informally for years. Putting a page together and announcing it to the world felt good! It was a fun and easy process to create it with Adobe Spark. Check out Adobe Spark to tell your own stories, about your business, your vacations, your fundraisers or anything you want! I also found a cool free app for scheduling called Calendly. It’s easy to set up and did I mention it’s FREE!
This saying on the wall at Ada’s Cafe in the Palo Alto Public library really struck me. We all need to make a living by being compensated for our time and skills..but what brings us and the world fulfillment is how we make a LIFE – by GIVING. I’m going to give all I’ve got to make the world more just, peaceful, joyful and beautiful. Time is ticking everyday and I have so much more to give. My living will come, my life can’t wait!
This video of my conversation with Nagraj Manjule at IFFLA 2014 has been viewed thousands of times over the past few weeks since the release of Nagraj’s new film Sairat – the highest grossing Marathi film of all time and one that created a stir at Berlinale and Cannes. Sairat treads on familiar thematic territory for Nagraj, the archaic and iniquitous caste system of India. There may have been affirmative action in India to create ‘an even playing field’ but the reality of discrimination on the basis of caste is still widely prevalent throughout India today. The ‘topic’ of star crossed lovers, unable to be together because they don’t belong to the same ‘class’ and/ or ‘caste’ has been glossed over superficially in mainstream cinema ad nauseum, but it takes a man with the sensitivity, humanity, courage and ‘truth-telling’ of Nagraj Manjule to call it like it IS. This interview about Fandry, his first film holds true for Sairat too, I am sure.
“It’s not a story for me, it’s my real life, it’s what I see around me that I tell stories about.”
Here is a trailer of Sairat..now to get this film to San Diego some how..
Here is Part 2 of my conversation with Nagraj in 2014, enjoy!
My 6 year old is ‘star of the week’ at school, that means he gets to feel special, one of the best perks of being star is getting to bring ‘Oski’, the class mascot home for a week! Very exciting stuff. He just made his first of many videos on @Adobe Voice. It’s free and awesome! The possibilities of this little app are endless. Love it! Check out his 39 seconds of cuteness..
It’s been 2 weeks since I returned from the Creativity Conference of the year: AdobeMax 2015. The memory cards in my camera and brain are MAXed out – overflowing with incredible new technology, gorgeous design, breathtaking presentations and the experience of being immersed in a sea of 7000 other creatives. Yes, 7000! This was the largest Max yet and it promises to be even bigger next year, at its new location, my city, San Diego. Pre-register here to save $500 on Max 2016, I already did!
Max is the jumpstart to my creative work, that I look forward every year. I come to be inspired and to learn about new technologies that can make me more creative and more efficient. Technology has grown so much since I first started making films on 16 mm and Beta tapes, it’s easier and faster to create audio-visual digital experiences now that it was 15 years ago and Max gives me all the info I need to keep moving forward.
My journey up to LA, feeling cool already 😉
Day 1 Oct 5th 2015
I rushed to the Convention Center to pick up my badge, schedule, my swag and breakfast. I was there at 6:50 am expecting to wait for the doors to open at 7:00am but there were already several attendees buzzing around at the community pavilion and all the booths were populated by smiling conference employees, ushering us around and helping us print out our schedules.
Keynote at Microsoft Theater
For the keynote this year I got a seat in the balcony, much different than my seat right up front last year. I still took plenty of photographs. The opening sequence was breathtaking, the stage was like a 3D white box. with images and video projected onto all sides, the base, as well as the ceiling. I didn’t think they could out do last years introduction but I was wrong! At the end of the sequence CEO Shantanu Narayen playfully quipped, “I can assure you many Adobe products were used to create that brilliant opening sequence!” Check out the video I shot of it:
When Adobe first launched Creative Cloud in 2013, I saw it as an ‘online home’ for Adobe’s software, but over the past three years Adobe has truly expanded the magic of their products with Creative Sync. I love the ability to integrate inspiration from the real world in the form of illustrations, colors, shapes, with your phone with Adobe Capture and have it appear in your asset libraries across all your devices in all your Creative Cloud applications, when you sign in with your Adobe ID. So if I’m out for a morning run and the sky is beautiful, I just take a picture with Adobe Capture and voila, I have it as a color pallet for a project on on my work station. This Adobe video translates this beautifully. After all inspiration can strike anywhere and now we have the power to capture it right there..If I like the shape of a flower, I can create a digital brush on the spot. If I need to make a poster for a local band, snap a picture with Capture, create a shape and boom its ready to use as an asset in my asset library. Hello Future!
Creative Sync is at the heart of Creative Cloud, it keeps all the CC apps connected, all assets like, fonts, vectors, illustrations etc stay connected with your Adobe ID. Every app you open has your assets ready for use, on your laptop or your mobile devices…so assets follow the creator. A cool new feature is access to Adobe Stock images right in your asset library. You can choose from over 40 million high quality images for projects with a search engine. You can preview images from Stock in your project and purchase from within Photoshop only if you like the way it works in your project. this lines up perfectly with one of the CEO’s comments, “We want to make Creative Cloud the one stop shop for all your creative needs”.
The keynote showed innovations in several of Adobe’s hallmark apps like Illustrator, In Design, Dreamweaver, Photoshop, you name it. I work with video and photography so I was a little lost with the apps I don’t typically use but it was still mind boggling to see the integration of touch in all of the programs. I especially enjoyed the presentation by Mike Ninness on touch in Illustrator, Paul Gabay on Dreamweaver and Sarah Hunt’s presentation about Project Comet, for UX and UI designers, that part of the keynote is a must watch for some jaw dropping innovation..check out the video go to Time Code 01:22:00. Comet will be available early next year, for more information check out adobe.ly/comet .
The meat of the keynote for me was the Video segment. It started off with SVP Bryan Lamkin, inviting Director and VFX guru Tim Miller of Blur Studio on stage to talk about his upcoming film DeadPool. Tim Miller was so down to earth, funny and cool. He spoke about his inspiration to create that came from comic books, stories and characters. He loved computer generated art and wanted to make it.
“We started Blur twenty years ago, really wanting to tell stories…every filmmaker brings what they love to their work, for me it was always about story telling but I was also a nerd..all things computer related fascinated me, I come from the dawn of the computer age, in the beginning only smart people could create something on a computer and then there were the less smart people of which I am a representative, and the tools started to become more accessible. The computer became the most powerful art tool ever created and the tools just keep getting better.”
When asked about why he is using Premiere Pro to edit his big Fox Studios movie, Tim Miller said he was advised by David Fincher to use it and so he tried it. He said, “I have been amazed at how good the software is, I’m a big software nerd, you guys have built Premiere Pro from the ground up and it’s amazing. Dead Pool is a heavy VFX movie and I liked having the inter operability between PrPro and AFX…
“I wanted to be on the cutting edge so I chose Premiere, the other softwares are dying. Premiere seemed like tomorrow and wanted to be part of that and so we called Adobe and said ‘hey could you please give us some shit’ and they did and we’ve been using it happily ever since.”
Next came the Star of the keynote – ask ANYONE at Max and they will agree, it was the inimitable Adobe Premiere Pro evangelist, Jason Levine. Jason gave a fast paced, high-energy, highly entertaining presentation on the innovations in Premiere Pro! He spoke about and demonstrated the advances in color grading within PrPro with Lumetri looks. He talked about Adobe Audition remix, an amazing tool that analyzes music/audio for beats and harmonics and seamlessly cuts audio to fit pre-existing video. Another great asset is the availability of stock video within Adobe Stock! Do yourself a favor and watch Jason in action in this video at time code 1:47:30. Just do it!
The final presentation of the Keynote was on Photography by Bryan O’Neil Hughes. Bryan showed some beautiful Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop Fix magic. Lightroom mobile is seamlessly connected with Lightroom desktop, there are several great apps for image editing like Photoshop Fix and Photoshop mix, that you can download on your iphones, coming soon on Android devices as well. The innovation in Lightroom furthers the trend of a connected workflow between mobile technology that is touch enabled and the work station.
The cherry on the top of this wonderful keynote was a surprise gift from Fuji Film. Everyone in the audience received a brand new X-T10 camera! There was much whooping and screaming! This is a great camera and I am a proud owner of it! Thank you Fuji and Adobe!
This was just the morning of Day 1…I went on to have classes and workshops with creators and teachers through out the day! I will post another piece on the wonderful sessions with Maria Kalman, Bryan Stanton, Elle Luna and Baz Luhrman. The second evening was Sneaks and then the Max Bash! Is it possible to capture all of the fun and the amazing experiences in one article? No. There must be more. Signing off for Day 1 of Max 2015.
I wrote down a rush of thoughts on my way home from my first Adobe Max conference. I planned to add pictures before posting but then life got in the way – homework, haircuts, snotty noses and shots. BUT the creative voice shall prevail. Indie nari was there and Indie Nari will share. For those that want the quick and dirty please check out my pictures on Behance here. For those that wish to go the distance, please read on.
Sitting on the Pacific Surfliner, sipping a glass of wine, on my way home from LA. I am people watching, reminiscing and day dreaming.
My head is brimming with ideas, my heart is full of gratitude and my soul is wide awake. Thank you @AdobeMAX for the most inspiring 4 days I’ve had in a long time.
I attended my first MAX Creativity Conference, a mixture of learning about Adobe products, classes with experts in the digital creation space and a place to meet creatives from all over the country. I want to write all of it down so I can remember it well. When I say all, I mean all my feelings, my thoughts, my observations on top of all things geeky. If you’re looking for a post on specs and pixels alone, see ya later 🙂
On Day one, Sunday October 4th, I left my hotel for Century city to attend a special screening of David Fincher’s ‘Gone Girl’ at 20th Century Fox Studios. My taxi driver received a phone call and responded in Bengali, a language I learnt while I was at Film School in Kolkata, India years ago. “Shubho Nobo Borsho”, I said in Bengali, wishing him a Happy New Year, it is the best time of year for all Bengalis west and east of the border. He gave me a warm smile and there was a noticeable slowing of the car, a more tolerant approach to the sluggish traffic.
The taxi eased into the Fox studio lot, I bid the driver, Munna goodbye. I walked starry eyed into the legendary studio, past two giant murals of favorite movies from my childhood, ‘Sound of Music’ and ‘Star Wars’. I wanted to take more pictures but was told by a burly guard, “No pictures please.” Really? No pictures in Hollywood..?
‘Gone Girl’ was what you would expect from a master like David Fincher and a writer like Gillian Flynn. It was extremely cinematic and gut wrenching. There were scenes where I couldn’t stop laughing and others where I couldn’t breathe, when you watch the movie you will know what I mean. It is a MUST WATCH.
‘Gone Girl’, is the first major Hollywood film, shot on 6K whose entire post production was done with Adobe CC. They used Premiere CC and After Effects CC with dynamic link to move seamlessly between the two. Edited by the master editor and long time collaborator of David Fincher, Kirk Baxter, the film crackled! The post team literally had an Adobe engineer parked at the studio, programming to the specs of the Editor, these innovations are available to all of us in the post world too, thanks to that. Here is a wonderful video with the Post team.
Oct 6th was the first official day of the conference, it started with a keynote at the Nokia theater. As I walked into the cool, dimly lit theater with artwork from Behance artists looping on the 40 foot screens my pulse quickened.
The video sequence that opened the presentation was just incredible! Have a look at it here.
I was in the third row from the stage as the image of gushing water burst onto the screen and the Kongos ‘Come with me now’ blasted “Whoa come with me now, I’m gonna take you down, Whoa come with me now, I’m gonna show you how!”, the bright lights danced in beams – I about died, it was A LOT of excitement for a film maker who has been in mama’s clothing for a few years now.
I felt like this was my clarion call, my anthem. I have downloaded the song on my phone to remind me of Max and remind me that time is running out, I’ve thought to death, it’s time to act! Perfect, perfect song, perfectly inspiring for me.
The CEO of Adobe, Shantanu Narayen was the first speaker. He talked about the incredible innovations taking place at a very rapid pace at Adobe. Adobe is leveraging the power of technology to give creatives powerful and precise tools for creation across devices and access to community around the world to co-create with.
“We understand that your content is how you make an impact on the people around you, at Adobe we are very proud to give you every tool you need to push the limits of your creative expression.”
The developments of touch technology are making tablets devices for the creation of professional content, rather than just devices for content consumption. The presence of high quality cameras on devices, coupled with high speed processors and mobile versions of powerful softwares, make creating professional content on the go a reality. The interconnectedness of creatives on the cloud makes collaboration across the globe very feasible.
I can do anything, anywhere, at anytime with whomever I choose to work with. I see editing videos on the beach in my future 🙂
SVP and GM of Adobe, David Wadhwani detailed new innovations in Creative Cloud. The main take aways for me were the integrated ‘Creative Profile’ that has all projects, assets, and settings saved in my profile synched across devices. Any device I sign into with my Adobe ID has all my stuff at my fingertips. I can also share files with others I am working with, changes are synched to the cloud and teams can build on each others work. The network of creatives on Behance that I can connect with or hire at the marketplace is an invaluable feature of my cloud membership.
“Companies are increasingly aware that Good design is good business, user interface and user experiences make or break brands and Adobe wants to provide creative professionals with the best tools to challenge norms and create the best designs.”
Scott Belsky, the Founder of Behance, 99U and the author of many inspiring books on productivity and creativity including my current favorite ‘Making Ideas Happen’, spoke about the importance of community in the creative process.
Community for collaboration and also to keep us honest and ‘doing’. It’s so easy for me to get distracted and let ideas fritter away when I’m not accountable to anybody. Having a community encourages creativity.
The other interesting thing about Behance is the ability to find work/artists of a certain genre from the large pool of talent within Behance. The fact that I have the potential to hire or be hired by somebody in Norway or Brazil is pretty cool!
Events leading up to my Oprah moment
After learning about many amazing new features on the creative cloud, a special guest was brought to the stage, the CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella.
After all the great demos of the new mobile apps, came the cherry on top.
In a very calm voice Satya Nadella said,”To help all of you get started with this journey of creating with touch we want to give each of a Surface Pro 3 to take home with you, create on it and please tell us about your experience, share it in your community.” Mad screaming ensued, my Oprah moment happened. Thank you Microsoft for my shiny new, top of the line Surface Pro 3!
MEETING ARTISTS: COMMUNITY INSPIRED CREATIVITY
The most inspiring part of the presentations for me, came on day two. It was the day we met four successful creatives from the real world, that work in different mediums.
The first creative, Ami Vitale is a world traveling photo journalist and documentarian. Ami Vitale started her career as a news journalist, covering civil unrest, poverty and violence. Her work has taken her to 85 countries and her pictures have been published in magazines like National Geographic, TIme, Newsweek etc. Her work has been showcased in several museums across the globe and she has received numerous awards. What moved me about Ami was the humanity in her pictures and the humility in her words. She talked about the growth of her vision from strict ideas of something that ‘needed to be shot’ to opening her eyes and looking around. She was told to get as close to the action as possible and bring back as horrific and sensational images as were possible, she described it as ‘tunnel vision’.
She took a step back, opened her heart to her assignments and her perspective changed. She saw the human stories behind the violence, she found commonalities in very diverse cultures. “The stories that bring us together are more important than the ones that tear us apart.”
A personal favorite of mine, was the picture of a wedding in the middle of a bombing in Gaza. Her compassion and humanity make her voice a very important one in our world torn by strife. Ami you are truly an inspiration.
The next speaker was Jason Seiler, one of the most sought after illustrators in the world. Jason’s humility belies his brilliance! Check out his amazing portrait and caricature work. Jason was first caught drawing a funny picture of a teacher in school, he was marched off to the principal’s office. When the principal saw how great his work was, she hired him to draw portraits of every teacher in the school, and so his journey as an illustrator began.
Jason is a traditional artist who was averse to ‘digital painting’ for years, but was having a tough time keeping up with his deadlines because of simple things like waiting for paint to dry. He was very clear about not wanting to use the computer as a ‘crutch’. He started trying to paint digitally when the stress of deadlines became too much, he found that he could continue his traditional process digitally.
Jason sets opacity and flow to 100% and makes his own brushes. Jason is very particular about the look of his work and never uses photographs to create caricatures, everything is hand drawn digitally. He uses the same skills and methods but saves time by working digitally. His insistence on using his imagination and drawing skills to create his masterpieces, gives his work a unique, fine art look.
Here is his illustration of the Pope for his Time magazine Person of the Year cover, a much better picture is here. Adobe has made his workflow faster and more efficient. “I still have creative control but I can work faster and meet deadlines easier. I encourage all you traditional artists out there to try working traditionally and digitally together, I’m very happy with the methods I’ve found. I’m not a big computer guy, but I’ve found a way that I enjoy that feels natural and traditional.”
Speaker three was Weird Al Yankovic! Idol of my teenage years for his covers, ‘Smells like Nirvana’ and ‘Eat it’. This past summer, the ingenious release of the #8videos8days series from his latest album Mandatory Fun was a game changer on the music/internet landscape. His album debuted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 200 album chart. If you are not one of the nearly 5 million people that have watched his parody of Happy, ‘Tacky’ on youtube,then here it is, while you’re at it subscribe to his channel so you can watch all the other videos from the album. It was his first number #1 album after being in the business 30 years.
Here was a man who was following his passion, having a blast and succeeding! What I loved most about meeting Weird Al was the celebration of creativity, he has been able to leverage the power of ideas, technology and community to succeed.
The final speaker on Day two was Lee Hirsch, the filmmaker of Bully the movie. As a mother of two children in Elementary school, I am keenly interested in learning about bullying and the prevention of it. “This year, over 13 million American kids will be bullied at school, online, on the bus, at home, through their cell phones and on the streets of their towns, making it the most common form of violence young people in this country experience.” It was Lee Hirsch’s personal experiences with bullying as a child that led him to make this powerful documentary. Can you imagine if your child is filled with dread before the first day of school, instead of excitement about going back?
Adobe has initiated a unique social action campaign called the Bully Project Mural that is bringing creatives across the globe together to raise awareness about the rampant problem of bullying, one square art piece at a time. You too can submit an art piece here.
The presentations were just the tip of the iceberg, my days were filled with workshops and lectures by professionals from varied creative fields like Video editing, After FX, Web design, Photoshop, Audio mixing and Photo editing. I had the good fortune of attending classes with Adobe Masters and creative professionals like Jason Levine, Paul Trani, Michael Chaize, Chris Meyer, Jeff Greenberg, Bert Monroy and Chris Orwig. I learnt real methods to make my productions better and also realized just how much more potential the different applications have. I was networking with creatives from across the globe and visiting booths at the Convention center to play around with the latest innovations in audio-visual art technology.
It was a real treat to be at Max, in a time and space all about me and creativity.
SNEAKS: OR WHAT THE ENGINEERS AT ADOBE ARE UP TO
Sneaks was an opportunity to drink beer and get a peek at some of the exciting new developments the engineers at Adobe are working on. Engineers had about 5 minutes to share their works in progress with the audience. It was a blast to see all the amazing ideas, a few that stuck out for me were #De-fog, #Gap-stop, #project para, #time of day etc. Go google those! The most relevant for me as a video editor was #GapStop a very useful tool to remove gaps in the middle of interviews that contain a lot of ums and ahs and long-winded statements, and make the transitions practically invisible. I think the tool animates in between frames, so that cuts don’t look like they are jumping on the screen. To take us through the very entertaining and awe-aspiring presentation was actor, writer and producer of the amazing open, collaborative, production company hitRECord Joseph Gordon Levitt! LOVE the work his company is doing. It was nice to be 20 feet away from him and be one of the loudest cat-callin’ ladies 😉
My tweet after Max bash:
Thank you Max for all the inspiration, the community, the fun, the possibilities, the innovations and the spark that I was looking for! I used to worry things had moved too far ahead and too fast and I could no longer be the creator I imagined I would be. But now I see things have become easier and faster to do and they look better! I do have more to learn about the FULL potential of all my magical tools on Adobe CC, before I can be as prolific a content creator as I want, but I feel encouraged. I see the way, I have options to grow my knowledge from within the gracious community at Adobe TV and Lynda. This creative voice feels the power.
Thank you engineers for all that you do behind the scenes to let artists have fun creating and being cool. I will never forget my first MAX and I will be there for Max 2015!