Saturday, October 29, 2011

Behind-The-Scenes-Saturdays: Las Vegas Art Scene

Art courtesy of the Aria & City Center of Las Vegas

If we're being real here, one doesn't usually think about art during a 'What happens in Vegas...' weekend trip. But then again, our collective crew aren't the typical Vegas goers where clearly, gambling was not on the forefront of our minds during a recent sojourn to the desert (although one crew member did break even with a hefty $20 bet on a roulette machine). 
But let us tell you, Vegas does in fact, have an impressive array of fine art and the first place to start is CityCenter right on the strip. From galleries to public art, an afternoon of viewing the collections of Maya LinRichard McDonald and Rodney Lough, Jr. will not disappoint. So, the next time you need a little break from the smoke-filled casinos, the Vegas art scene will be that breath of fresh air that your senses will be begging for!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Which Way Do We Go? - iPhone 4 Video

So what IS the proper way to hold the iPhone 4 when taking video - Landscape or portrait?

Well…if you desire to become the master iPhone videographer that we all know you can be, then shoot your videos horizontally, or what is called the ‘Landscape’ mode. This will not only produce a better looking video, but will also take advantage of the High-Definition capabilities of your nifty iPhone camera which allows you to shoot in 720p. What this means is that your video will look more professional as it will play in the orientation it was designed to be viewed in, that being horizontal with black letterboxing on the top and bottom.  Let me tell you readers, if you follow this advice and bust out with your new iPhone video masterpieces at your next family reunion, you’ll most certainly be voted as the king or queen of your reunion ball…or at the very least, master of ceremonies at the potluck/slideshow screening.

Oh yeah, and one more tip, oh new M.O.C. (aka Master of Ceremonies, just in case you needed help with your new title) …when holding the iphone in Landscape mode, make sure the home button is on the right hand side. This will ensure that when viewed on your swanky, updated YouTube channel or on your fancy, new HDTV which you just won at what you thought was going to be your boring family reunion…your image will not only be viewed as widescreen but also be rotated in the correct direction without having to fix it in editing. 

Now, if in the past you (or a friend…uh huh) inadvertently shot your video vertically and now it’s displaying as a thin vertical image, have no fear, there are ways to rotate your video in such programs as Quicktime Pro or iMovie. But why go to all that trouble when you, (or your friend) can easily shoot from the correct orientation the next time with just a quick flip of the wrist to the left and Bam!... you’re back to being the fabulous and talented iPhone Videographer that we all know you to be!

So when you’re ready to capture your next iPhone masterpiece, remember these 3 words…shoot in Landscape! Everyone will be happy and you may just be the next iPhone Steven Spielberg!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Behind-The-Scenes-Saturdays: Chicago Food Truck Frenzie!

Chicago has everything from 'The Bean' to the Cubs. You have the lake, the quaint neighborhoods, Millenium Park, theatres and class-act museums that rank among the best of the best.   But we weren't having any of that tourist-trap stuff.  Our mission instead, 'Operation Chicago Food Trucks.' Being the foodies that we are, we'd been tracking our savory trucks and their locations for weeks on Twitter in preparation of our trip. Corner of this and that at this time, heading over to Fulton River Park at 2:00, Lake and Michigan for our last stop... blah-de-blah. But being the food truck Chicago-driving rookies that we were, for one reason or another, we missed every darn one of those mouth-watering meals-on-wheels. Between the one-way streets, closed off construction avenues and that $%#!&! (insert your fave curse word here!) city traffic, we didn't catch a single one! One iPad and two iPhones later, we found ourselves at a loss! But, we didn't let this minor setback foil our search for delectable vittles. Instead, we opted for the non-food-truck meal of choice (shout out to the '90 Miles Cuban Cafe' in Logan Square) that we dined at with our fearless leader's Cuban cousin-in-law (AKA 'El Cubano') that served up THE best Cuban food to be had for sure (may we recommend the Bistec Sandwich and the Mariquitas). So, next time you're in Chi-town, get your Twitter on so you can have a better shake at tracking down some curb-side cuisine. P.S. Guess what we saw within 10 minutes of driving away from LAX on Lincoln Boulevard?....... Yep, a bustling food truck! Too tired....too late!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Steve Jobs: Remembering an iCon

Downtown Chicago Apple Store

The way in which people express one's grief and pay respects these days has certainly showcased a fresh and creative side. Some people write cards, some send flowers and many often prefer to deliver casseroles to family members in the deep throes of sorrow. But in light of the recent passing of Apple's Co-Founder and CEO, traditional customs, it seems, have been superseded by a more original approach to a tribute. Unequivocally a suitable and rightful remembrance for a visionary like Steve Jobs. So, as our crew collectively gasped as we drove by the downtown Chicago Apple store this past weekend while on a short stint out there, it was a unanimous thought that we pull into the closest parking garage and go pay our own respects to the colorful wall memorial. Between the hundreds of post-it notes, once bitten apples and dozens of onlookers, we all walked away feeling a little better having honored one amazing American innovative genius. It not only felt good to be there, but felt like the proper eulogy for an entrepreneurial virtuoso. To this we simply add what many others are saying - 'iSad.'

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

TOMS Revisited! What a Talk!

Listening to TOMS 'Chief Shoe Giver' Blake Mycoskie speak about his business model 'One for One' over the weekend in Santa Barbara was a complete treat! In a nutshell, his pay-it-forward attitude got us to thinking how we can also adopt this simple yet selfless-giving mentality within MDF. So be on the lookout for our own version of the  'One for One' business model which we will be kicking off at the 2012 New Year! In the meantime, go get yourself a pair of TOMS (you too guys!) and feel good about knowing that the pair of shoes you buy will donate another pair for a child in Argentina so that he/she can attend school and not have to share a pair of shoes between three siblings! We've got it good people.  

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Behind-the-Scenes-Saturdays: Carmel Wine Tasting

Galante Vineyards - Carmel Valley

Never underestimate the value of a drive through the 'back country' of an area in order to get to the good stuff. And so, that's exactly what the crew did on a recent leisurely day in between scouting film shoots in Carmel-By-The-Sea.  'So happens that one of the MDF crew spent most of her childhood weekends on this land otherwise, we probably would have never pointed our trusty 'ViviVan' in this direction. Having seen the Galante Vineyards tasting room in downtown Carmel would have sufficed but the "no, no, we need to go to the winery in the hills" insistence had us going on a junket that turned out to be a gold mine. If I didn't know better, I'd say we were being driven to a remote area to be 'disposed of' but as it turned out, the afternoon was pure wine tasting utopia. With a little oak flavor this and complex aromas that, our wine guide extraordinaire, Conor spent an ample hour with us during our private tour. From the cool (literally!) wine cave to the viewing of the private wine collection of the owners, this vineyard visit will go down in history as one of our favorite spontaneous jaunts. Two hours and two wine purchases later, we left aptly satisfied with our wine tasting excursion and a vow to come back to try their Cowpoke Pinot!