What Jessie Did Next...

...being the inane ramblings of a mundane Yorkshire bird.

Tag: movies

For a while I’ve lusted after a GoPro – tiny little self-contained wide-angle HD video cameras which can be strapped to cars, bikes, helmets, all sorts of things. They’re the cameras used for programmes like Top Gear, or where they’re strapped to some bloke skydiving out of a plane to get a point-of-view film; fun stuff and with my impending projects involving music videos I could sort-of justify it.

The GoPro Hero 3HD though has got horrendous reviews: from heat issues to random reboots or even just resembling a very expensive brick (you just need to look at Amazon for a litany of woe), so I wasn’t going to fork out the thick end of £400 for the setup I’d like (including the waterproof case et al).

Anyway, a week ago I went to Focus On Imaging, the big pro-sumer photography show at Birmingham NEC. Among the stands exhibiting was a dealer who were selling the Jobo JIB4 action camera – essentially a GoPro clone – which piqued my curiosity. I spent a while discussing with the dealer and came away with one including waterproof case, a pile of mounts, extra battery booster, a remote control and a lens cloth for a penny shy of £200. Winner.

So what’s it like? Tiny and fun! It’ll do 50fps at 1080p PAL (and a higher framerate of 120fps at WXGA), 170-degree wide-angle, and on exploring the menu system I discovered it had a time-lapse feature which automatically welds sequential JPEGs together to output an MP4 movie: I can squish about an hour’s capture into just under two and a half minutes.

Experiment time! I’ve spent a couple of commutes from home to work (and back) tweaking but this morning I had the first day of decent weather across the M62. So then, here you go – Wrenthorpe to Salford in 4 minutes:

(Just in case you can’t see that, there’s a link to the YouTube video here)

I think I probably need to clamp it to the roof-rack in its waterproof case – that way I’m not having to wash the windscreen all the time; I don’t feel quite brave enough for that yet! More experiments to follow, no doubt…

Predictably, I went to see the new Star Trek film at the weekend.

At the last minute I wasn’t sure I wanted to see it after all – I’ve followed its progress with interest, and once upon a time I was an avid Trekker so was prepared to nitpick and go into full-on nerd mode. I’ve also not been very complimentary regarding many of the Trek films so…

My first concern was that the ‘new’ cast would simply be actors-playing-actors-playing-characters. Certainly there were elements of that here (most notably in the character of Chekov and the V/W speech) but I look forward to seeing more of John Cho’s ‘Sulu’ or Karl Urban’s ‘McCoy’.

Another issue was that of canon: I wibbled about this a bit back saying ‘it’s just a film’ but I was wondering how it would be dealt with if at all. Yeah, OK, it’s a Trek film that contains time-travel (an oft-used device) but the difference here was that it wasn’t a deus-ex-machina – things were changed in the first two minutes, that’s it chaps, everything you know and love past stardate 22*mumble* has changed and ain’t going back. A throwaway ‘everything you could have been, isn’t’ has explained the lot without labouring the point. Excellent.

(Urgh, time travel mechanics do my nut in, best not to think about it much!)

Right, nerd starship design bit follows, I’ll get it out of my system: Moving the bridge down a level seems a good idea, excellent redesign there (I wasn’t sure I liked it when I saw the stills); nice to see them go back to the original engine room design, but there seemed to be precious few engineers hanging around; whoever did the nacelle design needs shooting; liked the new shuttlebay design. Nerding over, I’m not picking canon, right? 😉

Not many bad points: the two annoyances were when I saw a bit of Nokia product placement (really!), and the JJ Abrams trademark ‘let’s wiggle the camera around’ (which put me off the Battlestar Galactica reboot). The Spock/Uhura interaction grated a little at times.

That said, it’s a very enjoyable film, a hell of a reboot, tons of action/comedy/tragedy, thoroughly recommended and deserving of the label “the best Summer blockbuster since Raiders Of The Lost Ark“. I do hope the now-confirmed sequel is as good.

(…and please can I have the Orion girl for Christmas?)

Update: If you want the full ship nitpick, take a look at Ex Astris Scientia… sigh 😉

OK, I may be re-evaluating my opinion of this movie already. Looks like it may actually rock.

Trailer over at the official site.