Category Archives: video

Marronnier Park in Seoul

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Marronnier Park is a popular meeting point in the Daehangno neighborhood of Seoul. Daehangno is the theater distract with over 100 mostly smaller theaters showing performances and plays of all kinds every day. Exit line 4 at Hyehwa Station (혜화역) and you will soon see many ticket vendors. There are of course many restaurants, gift shops and coffee shops as well to spend the time before and after going to a theater. But Marronnier Park itself is a place for performances as well.

There is a stage and I’ve often seen bands performing there for free. In autumn the D-Festa was held, a festival to support the area. During the festival time there were many performances at Marronnier Park.

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Marronnier Park is many things, but there’s one thing it isn’t: a park. Read the rest of this entry

First steps with Final Cut Pro X

My first editing system was an analog deck with three SVHS recorders, a mixer, tape deck and various monitors. Then came Final Cut Studio. I’ve never done much with iMovie until version 8 arrived. Nowadays I use both depending on the needs of the project. If I want to do split-screens, compositing or advanced audio, Final Cut Pro is my application of choice. iMovie is great for those clips which I would never get done otherwise. I have a box full of mostly uncut MiniDV tapes that I recorded over the last few years.

The new Final Cut Pro X is something in the middle. I can finish projects almost as fast as with iMovie, but can do more advanced stuff too. One thing that’s frustrating with iMovie is its inflexibility when adding titles. While there is a split screen feature in iMovie, videos like this are not possible:

I’m not using Multicam, EDL or Red camera import, features which FCPX lacks and editors are complaining about. I do find the single-window layout somewhat limiting as it doesn’t give me control about my work environment. Worse, Apple uses a variety of font sizes with most being bigger than the standard font size in Final Cut Pro 6. FCPX is also a more demanding application, I got more beach balls with FCPX than I ever got with FCP6. Read the rest of this entry

Yokohama Night Impressions

After visiting the iPhone Case Exihibition in the Red Brick Warehouses I took some time to record night impressions of Yokohama. This has been the second city I visited when I first came to Japan.

Cat Cafe in Tokyo

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(Updated with video) Inokashira Park (near Inokashira Koen or Kichijoji station) is my favorite cherry blossom spot. I just love the sakura trees around the big pond and then there’s a zoo and the Ghibli museum nearby too.

I went to the park with a friend. If you come from Kichijoji station (Chuo or Tozai line) you will usually walk down a small street with various clothing stores and cafes which leads directly to the park. Originally we planned to have a coffee at Starbucks, but it was full. Luckily there is also a cat cafe near Inokashira Park. It’s on the second floor and the atmosphere inside is very calm.

A cat cafe is a cafe with cats – they’re quite popular in Tokyo since cats are not allowed in many mansions and apartments. It’s also hard to take care of a pet if you are working overtime a lot.

The cat cafe I visited (Mellow Cafe) had strict rules and other cat cafes may vary. You have to choose a table first. If the cat comes near the table it’s ok to pet it, but you are not allowed to change seats just because the cats are at another table. That’s usually not a problem because there a couple of cats and if you stay for an hour or so you’ll get multiple visits. Another rule: Don’t wake up the cat!
Read the rest of this entry

Mega Hanami 2010

The number of meetup groups grew considerably since I came to Tokyo in 2007. Mega Hanami was a meet-up organized by multiple groups and we all came together to Yoyogi Park, probably the best free hanami (cherry blossom watching) spot in west Tokyo. Since I had already had so many cherry blossom photos and videos, I decided to use my new Digital Harinezumi 2 camera to shoot the video. The video quality is pretty bad, and I’m not happy with the camera in color mode. The camera is however a real eye catcher – I’ve seen lots of Japanese taking a look at it because it’s so tiny.

Night full of snow in Nakano

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There is very few snow here in Tokyo, so naturally I take many photos whenever it snows. At 11pm there was snow-rain outside and I decided to just walk from my apartment to the next convenience store. Combined with the right music, it can look scary in motion. On the black/white photos I took with my Harinezumi, the snow/rain looks like strokes.

The next day, there was mostly mud on the streets but at nearby Heiwanomori Park it looked like real snow!

Nakano in Snow 23 Read the rest of this entry

Christmas 2009

These past days I’ve been doing quite a lot of video editing. Just like “Hamburg in Snow”, this one was edited quickly using iMovie. I reserve Final Cut for the more fancy projects, like the Resurrection Freeze. This time I found a nice track on ccmixter, a great site where artists contribute pieces (vocals, guitar etc.) which are used by other artists to create songs.

Hamburg in Snow

It doesn’t snow often in Hamburg in December, but this month has been exceptional and I’m happy to be in Germany at this time. Honestly, many cities which I would call “summer cities” because they are not an exciting sight during the winter time, are now worth a day trip.

Anyway, I had some time to spare so I edited a short video about Hamburg in snow, filmed at the city park.

[video] Balance of things/Toshi-no ichi


(Original QuickTime video can be downloaded from the archive.org site)
Toshi-no ichi or year-end fairs are held at various places these days. I visited the one at the Fudoson Temple near Higashi-Nihombashi station. Most of the shops seemed to take the opportunity to take a section of their goods outside to sell them. Of course there were also good luck charms available.

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I came just in time to see the jugglers of the temple. They were quite good, balancing balls, boxes and even a glass of water. I took a video of the women juggling with glasses filled with water.

Very nice! Since Asakusa wasn’t far away and I took a tripod with I decided to go to Sensoji Temple for some good evening shots. Last time I was there in the evening was in 2004 and back then I didn’t have a tripod so the pictures were quite blurry.

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Rants and Digital Snowfall (video link)

You may think that reindeers are incredibly rare in big cities such as Tokyo. Well, not so much I guess, because today I met one: Inside a restaurant near Omotesando Street in Harajuku. It is one of the few restaurants in Tokyo with more than one vegetarian choice on the menu.

Unfortunately it also belongs to the restaurant where the waiters and waitresses are talking to every foreign-looking person in English. While some of them are quite proficient at it, others look … like a trapped reindeer.

I think Japanese living in a foreign country to learn the language would also think that it’s rude to constantly get replies in your native language. Of course in other countries it’s custom to first address people in your own language and if they happen to look like a trapped reindeer, you would switch to English (or run far, far away).

So next time, I should really pretend to speak no English at all (which takes some effort because after all, I’m only speaking English and Japanese in this country) and hold my hand over the calculator if they want to show me how much I have to pay.

Okay, enough with the rants, time for some snowfall: Read the rest of this entry