Criterion Collecting

I’ve been checking a lot more DVDs out from my local libraries lately, and a couple recent ones were from the Criterion Collection, which has somehow become a sleek shorthand for quality films.  As a librarian I guess I love collections, but I’m sort of unclear as to the selection criteria (haha) for Criterion?  (Found it.)

At any rate, I was reminded of this video on the digitization of analog film that has been such a key part of Criterion’s mission since 1984:

Every time we start work on a film, we track down the best available film elements in the world, use state-of-the-art telecine equipment and a select few colorists capable of meeting our rigorous standards, then take time during the film-to-video digital transfer to create the most pristine possible image and sound.  Source

The movies I’ve been watching have been newer so I thought that wouldn’t be an issue, but turns out Aki Kaurismäki still films on film, so tools like Nucoda and Flame were used as part of the transfer from analog to digital, as pointed out in some fine print in the accompanying booklet…

Image

Image by Manuele Fior

Speaking of Kaurismäki, the last movie I saw was his 2011 Le Havre, with a gorgeous cover image by Italian illustrator Manuele Fior which also speaks to the high artistic level of Criterion’s packaging; they have a shop for prints based on select artwork from their DVD covers and the distinctive brand labeling has been parodied on a Fake Criterions Tumblr too.  Guess that’s how you know you’ve made it…

From now on I will eagerly anticipate announcements of new Criterion releases like I do opera seasons and comic books; for the accompanying grouping and graphic design!

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Know your Attachment Limits

Just got this article on ten file sharing services for big files and got excited because my default is still to just email my files to myself, which according to nerd royalty Randall Munroe of the webcomic xkcd is apparently somehow missing the point of the Internet…

xkcd webcomic, File Transfer

Copyright Randall Munroe

I do have a Dropbox account!  But somehow it has yet to become second nature…  Whereas Gmail is basically an extension of my being.

Even after learning more than I had in all my life about computers, programming, and the Internet in Library & Information Science school, certain basic aspects of the web still elude me…

I actually ran into this problem recently, but now Gmail offers to put files too big for email up on Google Docs/Drive, which is how I managed to send three massive files to a printer recently…  Interesting, seamless solution; well-played Google, well played.

Since this is my portfolio site, I’ll go ahead and share those files now!

Makeshift play poster

Makeshift by Murmuration Theater

I designed the logo, poster, and postcard for Murmuration Theater‘s forthcoming premiere performance of Makeshift, a new play by Jessie Bear!  (Playing in Philadelphia, November 6–10.)  Visit the Illustration page to see the poster larger, read more about Murmuration and Makeshift, and get your tickets while you can!

iSketchnote illustrations

Digitize as You Go

I think we’re all aware by now of how out of control digital media production is…

With our daily output outpacing yearly output in times past, analog traditions like the picture album have a strange imbalance to deal with, as Sarah See Andersen hilariously points out above; a handful of pictures of our ancestors, a couple hard drives for our kids.  As we do more on our computers, we produce more digital stuff, but we never get a good grasp on these intangible collections and before you know it, it’s ballooned out of control; out of sight, out of mind.

As someone with a Wacom tablet, I’ve produced my share of born-digital drawings, but nothing on the scale of what the iSketchnote would permit… Continue reading