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The State of The Optical

I feel like I haven’t been posting much here about my podcast, The Optical, aside from the link in the header and footer, but believe me, I’ve been hammering away at it.

Just last week, I launched a new website for the podcast that I’ve been stumbling through learning Django to produce. It’s not 100% there yet, but the front page is awesome, and the episode pages are 90% there. I’m writing this all myself instead of using an existing podcasting package because it’s leading up to something I’m calling the “Cinedex”, which will be an index of not only the print edition of Cinefex magazine, but also things covered on the podcast, and the history of VFX in general. I have big plans, and I’m chipping away at the Big List of Website Stuff slowly but surely.

I’ve also just been accepted to SoundCloud’s beta podcasting program, and posted all of the podcast episodes there, which makes it super easy to embed them everywhere (as you’ll see below).

In addition to all of that, I’ve been able to interview some fascinating people, and on the latest episode, I got to speak with a personal hero and VFX legend, Douglas Trumbull. We discussed a ton of history, and we’re leading up to Part 2, where he’ll talk more about his love for immersive cinema and his new process, Magi, which allows for recording and presentation of films in 3D at 4K resolution, at 120 frames per second. I got to see the Magi projection in person at the Seattle Cinerama Sci-Fi Film Festival back in May, and it’s crazy impressive, almost like looking through a giant window.

Please give the podcast a listen. I’m super proud of the work we’re doing, and while there’s room for improvement, I think it’s going to grow into something big. You can easily subscribe via iTunes on your computer, iPhone, or Pad, or follow the podcast on Soundcloud. Let me know what you think!

The Optical

I find it hard to believe than anyone who follows me here doesn’t also follow me on Twitter or Facebook or somesuch, so you’ve probably already heard way too much about this, but just in case…

I’ve been blogging at a Tumblr site called The Optical for the last three months or so, posting cool movie-related items every day: mostly behind-the-scenes stuff, but also videos, photos, art, and links to interesting movie articles.

Just a couple of days ago, I launched The Optical podcast, which has been 9 months in the making. In the monthly podcast, we’re revisiting the very first issues of Cinefex magazine, talking about the movies and topics they covered 30+ years ago, one issue per episode. We talk to people involved in the films, people who make movies, and people who love movies, and try to have a fun time doing it.

In our premiere episode, we talk about Star Trek: The Motion Picture and Alien with my good friends AAl and Matt from the Post Atomic Horror podcast, chat with Daren Dochterman, VFX Supervisor on Star Trek: The Motion Picture — Director’s Edition, I admit my 2001 shame, and we ask: just what is an “optical,” anyway?

If revisiting old effects movies from the ’80s sounds like a cool idea to you, I hope that you’ll join us on the journey and give the podcast a listen.

The Optical Podcast Episode 001 Cover Art