Mission Backup Earth wins in 4 categories at LA Webfest 2014

I’m so proud of the team behind Mission Backup Earth, a journey that has begun a couple of years ago and developed into an international collaboration success!

The awards go to

Alexander Pfander – outstanding director in a science fiction / fantasy series

Gregor Tallig – outstanding camera in a science fiction / fantasy series

Tony Pinkpank – outstanding special / visual effects in a science fiction / fantasy series

Hannu Hoffren – outstanding editing in a science fiction / fantasy series

Congratulations guys!

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Computing power and processors in reality

Today I was wondering how fast my old MacPro (my main production machine) really is compared to the MacMini that I recently bought. And here are the results:

MacPro 3,1 2.8GHz XEON 8-Core vs MacMini 6,2 2.3Ghz i7 4-Core

Now I’m not the biggest hardware geek but I do understand that architectures vary quite a bit and have a substantial influence over computing performance. But a 6 year old machine beating a 2 year old machine by such a big margin may be part of the reason why hardware development feels stalled: We have reached machines that are incredibly powerful.

Granted: for real-time things such as music production we would still like to squeeze every CPU cycle that we can, but hey: at least in my case I still get by with that machine and it doesn’t slow me down too much.

 

Victory

The morse code for the letter “V” is dot dot dot dash or …-

Morse code was created around 1840.

And now think of Beethovens 5th Symphony, created 1808.

Surveillance and free human beings

In the past couple of weeks we’ve seen where peoples’ desire for security will lead us: to the surveillance state, as has been revealed by the publication of PRISM.

For me personally it takes me back a bit to what happened surrounding the introduction of the SOPA and ACTA bills. Back then, if you remember, “the whole internet”™ went into an uproar unlike anything ever seen in the technology world. Google went black. Wikipedia went black. Reddit went black. The world pretty much ended according to people who are more than interested in removing any individual rights that may be in the way of the tech industry moving forwards.

Where is the outrage now? Where are the demonstrations now? Where is the political youth opposing this surveillance and promoting a free civilized society based on the rule of law? Unfortunately they are nowhere and here are my thoughts about why:

In the case of the copyright debate the primary reason for the outcry was, just as many colleagues had suspected all along, purely about the filesharing aspect of the privacy debate. None of the true political implications that came along with it. And all the talk about privacy and surveillance state and the likes where smokescreens in order to justify taking away the rights (and by extension the ability to monetize their works) of millions of authors in order to personally not be liable for watching TV series, movies and listening to music without paying for it. Because, in no way would copyright lead to what this article in the guardian talks about and I share a quick quote:

Lavabit has been told that they would face serious criminal sanctions if they publicly discuss what is being done to their company. Thus we get hostage-message-sounding missives like this:

I wish that I could legally share with you the events that led to my decision. I cannot. I feel you deserve to know what’s going on – the first amendment is supposed to guarantee me the freedom to speak out in situations like this. Unfortunately, Congress has passed laws that say otherwise. As things currently stand, I cannot share my experiences over the last six weeks, even though I have twice made the appropriate requests.”

I have been of both sides of the copyright debate: when Napster came out I was just starting out in the industry and felt like the industry kept me out by design. I was happy that something “interrupted them” and “put them in their place” and defended it.

But after slowly making my way into the industry and starting to actually understand how the industry works, how the different institutions function (many of whom I still don’t agree with, but that doesn’t warrant taking away their right to exist!!) and what the struggle being a media creator supporting a family really means, but first and foremost: that the only thing I, as a media creator, have to sell is a license, I have felt the attacks of the copyleft movement to be intimately personal, vile and solely aimed at taking away my possibility to monetize my work. And for musicians and composers who don’t see the media industry as a “late teen/early twenties let’s form a band and play some cool parties for our friends” but as a way of making business with each other and who have spent countless hours practicing, studying, throwing away sketches, being unsatisfied with ideas (in short: artists struggle) it’s not quite as possible to just switch gears and work for a consultancy or social media consultancy company.

A lot of us (media creators) went into this field exactly because it is not possible for us or not desirable to live the kind of life where you have to give up a lot of your own personality and convictions in order to actively be popular and appeal to market interests. We’re all forced by market interests, that I understand. But there’s a difference with sticking to what you believe in and relinquishing it in order to “not offend”!

Authors rights have given individuals the freedom to live their dreams, to break away from trodden paths, in essence to be truly free human beings. And that is, at least to me, the ultimate goal and worth fighting for.

And the winner is…

I was on the train in the lovely Schwarzwald when I received an email from our CGI artist Tony Pinkpank about his attending the Melbourne WebFest 2013. The wording was perfectly timed and the deception worked incredibly well: he surprised our whole team with the big news, that our webseries Mission Backup Earth received both the Best Fantasy/SciFi award as well as the Grand Jury Price!

I’m very proud to have contributed the music to this series! It would be great if we could develop the series’ storyline and characters further and perhaps into a longer form 40 minute episode drama series! What a dream-come-true that would be…

We’re all very excited and the crew in Berlin had a little spontaneous street party that I would have loved to attend, but being on my sisters remote horse farm is very nice as well!

You can watch all the episodes on YouTube

mission backup earth - melbourne web fest

Melbourne WebFest | Winners 2013.

Spotting session

The spotting session is a crucial step in the filmmusic creation process: This is where the director, possibly the editor and music editor (if there is one) and the composer develop the broad concept for the filmmusic as well as discuss the fine details.

This is the time of experimentation. It’s very exciting and there are no limits in this meeting. If everyone keeps an open mind it can be a fun process of trial and error to see what effect a certain type of music will have on a scene. I’m often surprised myself that something that I imagined would never work for a particular scene can turn out to be very complementary to the picture and add great depth.

Deciding on music and where it comes in and goes out is really something that can not be talked about but that has to happen on a personal level. It’s important to get a direct feel for a reaction to be able to refine the communication between all parties involved.