You’re a Friend of Mine

16 Oct

Myfitnesspal is a mobile app which is linked to an extensive website.  It’s straightforward to download, it’s free and it’s easy to use.  It takes the mystery out of calorie counting.  The goal that it facilities is good old calorie tracking for fitness and weightlose.  You get a diary and you type in what foods you ate and it gives you the calories and nutrient content of them.  If calorie tracking is your thing this tool is a massive advance on the old fashioned method which would be writing everything down and then going to a book and often trying to add up the calories of the components of what you ate.  The paticular strength of myfitnesspal is that it has a huge database of shops, restaurants, branded produce and everything in between on it.  So if you type in a Starbucks treat or M&S ready meal it gives you both the calorie and nutrient value for that very item.

When I signed up to it I thought I would only use it for calorie counting but in fact because it breaks down fat, carb, protein and vitamin values that became very interesting information.  Also the accumulation of the information made it possible to go back and look at trends in eating.  It’s a very intuitive app and I get the feeling alot of thought and effort went into making it look as simple and straightforward to use.

Sometimes the app fail in logging on to it’s database but all I’ve ever had to to was ask it to retry and it was then successful.  It’s easy to change any data that you have entered and any goals that you set.  I think the app may be a gateway to the website but luckily it never pushes the website nor does it keep trying to get you to upgrade.  The only thing the app can’t do is actually change the calorie content of food, if it could do that I’d pay for it.

Wonderful World of Filmmaking

9 Oct

I thought I’d stay in my comfort zone and stick with film-making for my first post.  Now that technology allows everyone access to (almost) everything what does that mean to film-making?

Before if you wanted to see the short film that defined a new narrative form like Roman Polanski’s Two Men and a Wardrobe you would have to find out where the film print was and try and get access to it, now an easy Youtube search and here it is:

Now we all have access to all this information what do we do with it?  We all have videos  and HD cameras on pretty much every device we use what does that mean?  To the purists that might mean the death of an art form.  Take Vine, it’s in the wrong aspect ratio, it’s short, unedited video, what stories can it tell?

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/vine/id592447445?mt=8

Ones people want to watch it seems.  Does this mean that we won’t want to watch two hour movies in the cinema anymore?  Maybe.

Steven Spielberg Predicts Implosion of Film Industry

So access has potentially destroyed the funding models for TV and film (hello illegal downloading and collapsing traditional commercial revenue) but new doors are opening. Some where the customer pays up front because they love the pitch, such as Kickstarter http://www.kickstarter.com/

Some the internet has developed such as new revenue streams like Youtube partnering with Channels and paying a per click fee and subscribers on networks such as Netflicks ( https://netflix.com/) generating income for content.

Has access changed film making?  Most definitely!  Will the landscape change again in five years time?  Most likely.  But we are still telling stories in much the same way that they have been told throughout the ages and maybe the format those stories are delivered isn’t the important thing and the content remains King!  What do you think?