Saturday, January 24, 2015

A First Look

A proposal for Rupert in the interactive ebook "Tale of Sasquatch" written by Randall P. Dark. Soon to be available from Ever After Tales as an app in Applestore and Googlestore.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

"Tale of Sasquatch" to Become an Interactive E-Book

Stage design of "Tale of Sasquatch" from Ever After Tales

Ever After Tales is also delighted to present: "Tale of Sasquatch", by Randall Dark, acclaimed Canadian theater and film director and high definition TV pioneer. This great story, which has been very popular in Canada as a theater play, is published for the first time worldwide in interactive e-book format. "Tale of Sasquatch" will soon be available in English, Spanish and Greek via Applestore and Googlestore.

 “Tale of Sasquatch” follows the misadventures of Rupert (or Woopert, as he would say) and his best friend Mr. Stinky the sock, as they search the woods for food. Faced with wacky challenges and hilarious encounters with quirky characters, the story is really about feeling like there’s something “wrong” with you — and discovering that it’s okay to be different. During their quest, they wrestle with good vs. bad and ultimately stumble upon the origin of Sasquatch!

More at Ever After Tales here.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

SMPTE Producing Documentary on the Story of Imaging for Its 100th Birthday

For its centennial celebration next year, SMPTE is producing a historical documentary on the human stories behind motion-imaging technology.

The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) will be 100 years old in 2016. To commemorate the event, SMPTE has chosen Randall Dark, a Texas-based motion-imaging technology specialist, as producer of the film. Howard Lukk, former vice president of production technology at The Walt Disney Studios, is directing.

The documentary, which has the working title “Moving Images,” will embrace the excitement and human stories surrounding the development of motion-imaging technology from the turn of the 20th century through the present.

“What makes documentaries compelling are not just fact after fact after fact, but the stories of the compelling people involved that maybe we don’t know about,” said Dark. “We will tell the story of SMPTE even before it was founded. The group came about due to what was happening with early inventions prior to 1916. We want tell the story of the people who made this all happen.”

Among the topics in the film will be the development of color bars, time code, digital cinema standards, timed text and the transport of high bit rate media signals over IP networks. There are plenty of other topics to choose from, since SMPTE has developed more than 800 standards, recommended practices and engineering guidelines over its lifetime.

For Dark, it’s the human side of technology that’s most important to the success of the documentary. “A lot of very talented people are telling incredible stories because of SMPTE. We are in pre-production and meetings and calling people over the next few weeks to determine the actual structure of what we want to do. We are determining who we want to talk to. This project will take a considerable amount of time based on the complexity of the story. It is not a simple story to tell. There are so many moving parts.”

Most of the shooting will take place in the United States, Canada and Europe, Dark said. “To keep the look consistent, there will be a small core crew, though we will hire some freelancers in some cities.”

Dark said many great documentaries are made that shine light on important subjects like poverty and other human plights. But this one, he said, will be different.

“This film is important because it will show how we view our world,” he said. “We have high definition television and cinema and each day our lives are greatly influenced by these technologies. SMPTE helped bring them to the table. At the end of the day, I think this documentary will be important because it shows how we got where we are and the people who made it possible.

“We wouldn’t be able to do this past, present and future story without an organization like SMPTE. These are the stories of the people who made my own career happen. If it wasn’t for this group, I would never have discovered HD in the mid-80s. How cool is that? I’m blown away having the opportunity to work on this film.”

Dark and his team are plowing ahead with the production. The group will produce a trailer to show at NAB 2015. It is his goal to have the film finished by late this year, in time to enter into competition for various film festivals. “We’ll begin shooting as early as mid-January,” he said. “But the full project will take months and months to shoot and edit.”

Read the full article by Frank Beacham at The Broadcasting Bridge.

Friday, January 2, 2015

"Tale of Sasquatch" coming in 2015

Something very exciting is happening with "Tale of Sasquatch," a children's fairy tale by Randall Paris Dark.

The story chronicles the misadventures of Rupert as he begins his search in the woods for food. Frankly, though, Rupert could be anybody, including you. "Tale of Sasquatch" is really about feeling like there's something "wrong" with you - and discovering that it's okay to be different.

Watch for announcements about the latest development later this month!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

HD and Beyond: A Conversation with Randall Dark

Recently Broadcast Engineering Extra's Bob Kovacs sat down with HDTV pioneer Randall Dark to discuss the state of television production, as well as what to expect from the upcoming SMPTE production of "Moving Images," which looks at the history of cinema and television.

BE Extra: What is it about motion pictures and television that has made them lasting forms of communication and art?

Dark: The traditional motion picture in a cinema is an immersive experience allowing an intense relationship between the story teller and the audience. Television also has this influence to a somewhat lesser degree, while having the advantage of allowing this communication to be immediate. Both art forms are powerful tools in the hands of creative people, and the evolving technology has allowed us to advance the art forms in many different ways that include sound and image quality, ultimately enhancing the viewing experience.

BE Extra: Tell us a little about the film that's tentatively titled Moving Images. What do you plan for it to contain? What is the intended audience?

Dark: Moving Images is the story of the people behind moving-picture technology. It focuses on the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, which was founded in 1916, and will also look into the future. Filmmakers like Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas are household names because of the way they managed to bring our imagination to life on screen. There are epic stories of triumph and tragedy amidst the engineers who painstakingly developed the technology and standards that ended up in the hands of creative filmmakers. This documentary will shine the spotlight on the unsung heroes who are the inventors and perfecters of what is arguably the most important communication tool in the history of the industrial age. There are many fascinating stories out there about how some amazing moments came to be, and we're going to pull back the curtain and show viewers how it all happens.

Other highlights include:

   - If HDTV has lived up to its potential
   - The "democratization" of video production
   - Dark's thoughts on Ultra HD/4K
   - Breaking into the business today in the midst of disruption

Read the entire interview on TV Technology.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

SMPTE Taps Dark to Produce "Moving Images" Documentary

The Oscar and Emmy Award-winning Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) has named motion imaging technology and creative visionary Randall Dark as producer of the feature length documentary, "Moving Images." Howard Lukk, former vice president of production technology at The Walt Disney Studios will direct from an initial treatment written by Chris Kenneally.

"Moving Images" will explore excitement surrounding the development of motion imaging technology from the turn of the twentieth century through the present while inquiring what the future has in store. Featuring interviews with top filmmakers, historians, entrepreneurs and engineers, the documentary will investigate the influence art and science have on each other.

"SMPTE has played a vital role in the advancement of movies and television for nearly 100 years. I'm so honored that I get to help tell the story of the people who literally invented the technology that I've built my entire career on," said Dark.

The SMPTE Board of Governors authorized the initial funding for the project for a 90-minute theatrical feature, as well as an abbreviated television version. In order to continue with the production work required, SMPTE is now seeking supporters to underwrite the project through an Indiegogo campaign. Supporters will become part of the SMPTE legacy of setting the standard for motion imaging.

For more information on the "Moving Images" documentary, visit the project's Indiegogo page.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Inside Bulltiger Productions

A new film studio has opened in North Austin, Texas under the direction of a partnership between Bulltiger Productions and 25 year industry veteran Randall P. Dark. Stephen Brent formed Bulltiger Productions in 2011 to develop film, games, mobile apps and graphic novels. Dark is the founder of HD Vision in New York City and Dallas, a co-founder of HD Vision Studios in Los Angeles. Below is an except of Nick Dager's (Digital Cinema Reports) interview with Dark to learn more about the new facility.

Digital Cinema Report: Working with Stephen Brent and his company Bulltiger Productions, you are developing what you’re billing – at 10,000 square feet – as the largest sound stage in the Austin, Texas area. Is the facility open for business yet and, if not, when do you anticipate opening?

Randall Dark: We've opened the doors for business and several film projects have already used the facility while we continue to make cosmetic improvements to the space. We're in pre-production for a number of our own projects but our official opening is expected in mid-January. We're also adding offices, edit suites and an additional shooting stage.

Stephen Brent and Randall P. Dark

DCR: Austin is home to one of the most vibrant independent film communities in the country. How much of a factor did that play in your decision to develop a sound stage there?

RD: Bulltiger’s founders are life-long Texans who have called Austin home for nearly two decades. While creating a home base for their own projects, it just made sense to open up to the local film community. In addition to providing support for independent film makers, the relationships we forge with people who use our space only increases our awareness of Austin’s talent pool. Austin is home to a number of really excellent studios that are open to the public, but we’re a production house as well. Rentals are a great opportunity to “audition” tech talent for our really large projects. 

DCR: This is a significant investment. Was there a specific need that you identified in the area?

RD: Initially, the studio was going to exclusively facilitate Bulltiger projects. Dialogue with our local and international filmmaker friends made it clear that there was a need for additional studio space as well as production and post-production services in Austin.

DCR: Finally, everyone accepts and agrees that the movie and television production business is transforming before our eyes and at a rate that seems faster than at any time in a generation or two. At this juncture this question that may have no definitive answer, but as someone who has always been viewed as an early adopter, what are your thoughts about the direction the industry is moving?

RD: Vertical integration of creative ideas is more important than ever. Creating multiple revenue streams for a franchise has been the hallmark of companies like Disney for years. Movie, sound track and a line of everything from talking toys to lunch boxes is not a new concept. However, with the advent of tablets, iPads, and gaming consoles (products that operate as simple playback devices up to 3D immersive experiences), the business model has to be different to accommodate the gamut of opportunities. Bulltiger will take an idea and develop it for everything. And I mean everything. 

Read the full Digital Cinema Reports article with specifics Bulltiger Productions offers here.