Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year! And don't forget...

Don't forget, if stopped because of a suspected DUI, or if you believe you may have consumed too many drinks, don't consent to the field sobriety test or breathalyzer test at the scene.

These tests are designed to give the officer enough evidence to arrest. However, DO take the breathalyzer test at the police station if arrested.

Drive safe and have a happy new year.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Check Out the Melodrama at Kim Jong-il's Funeral.

Just when you thought Mexican's had the lock on over-dramatic melodrama in soap operas,  here comes the North Korean women in Kim Jong-il's funeral. 

Believe it or not, it's rather entertaining witnessing these women's attempts at trying to not burst out in laughter while pretending to cry.  It's like watching a massive casting call for the North Korean version of Sofie's Choice.

Anyway, enjoy.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christman from Terry Gilliam in 1968!

For those who don't know, Terry Gilliam was an American ex-repatriate in the 60's who did the animations for Monty Python.  Here is one such video.

Happy Holidays,
Chicano Lawyer

Monday, December 19, 2011

New GH2 Hack Settings!

Andrew Reid from has released new GH2 hack settings.  If you have a Pansonic GH2 camera, check out his settings.  They are awesome. 

GH2 Link

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Facebook Flaw allowed Public Access to Private Photos

A recently discovered flaw in Facebook’s abuse reporting tool allowed anyone to access private photographs of other users, including Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Until it was fixed today, the reporting tool allowed anyone who reported a public photograph’s owner to also peruse that user’s images, both public and private. After members of a bodybuilding forum discovered the security hole, they proceeded to target Zuckerberg’s account and publish a number of his private photographs online. This comes a week after the FTC slapped Facebook’s wrist over deceptive privacy practices.
(via Wired via The Click)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Portable Boombox in the palm of your hand!

OrderBorder offers the open-box SoundMatters foxL V2 Bluetooth Soundbar for $139. With $7 for shipping, that's the lowest total price we could find by $63. This Blutooth soundbar features up to 30 feet of range, built-in rechargeable battery, 3.5mm auxiliary input, output for a subwoofer (subwoofer not included), built-in microphone for conference-calling via cell phone, AC adapter, and more. Deal ends December 4. 

I personally own one of these and they are amazing.  I literally use it every singe day.  For $139, you'll buy me a beer for thanking me on recommending this awesome piece of technology!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

GH2 w/ lens selling for $795!

If you want a good camera, jump over to B&H.  They are selling a Panasonic GH2 for only $795 with Free Shipping.  This is too good to pass up for a brand new camera.

Monday, November 14, 2011

FREE 10GB of Cloud Storage!

For three days only, go to 
CNET is offering 10GB of FREE FOR LIFE Cloud Storage!  The program is called Pogo Plug and it even automatically syncs your pictures on you phone wirelessly. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Easiest way to Clean L.A. Graffiti

Check out the L.A. website to request L.A. graffiti clean up.  It is so satisfying to piss off 18th Street hoodlums whose interpretation of fine art include ineligible scribbling on you garage door.  It's at 

Chicano Lawyer

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

YouTube releases feature film, "Life in a Day"

YouTube has released the feature-length film, "Life in a Day."  More proof that YouTube is the new TV.  This film is still screening in some theaters and bypassed a DVD release, directly to YouTube.

These are interesting times.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Venice Vintage Motorcycle Rally was awesome! Here is what you missed.

This past weekend I gave out free legal advice for those who were brave enough to pay for it.  It was epic fun.

I filmed a few scenes with Driftwood's 167mb GOP1 hack for the GH2 and again I was astounded.  This camera is powerful.  Again, I put the footage through severe amounts of color grading filters and again, the camera held its ground.

Also used the Merlin StediCam and was very impressed with its abilities to hide my severe camera shake.

Anyway, enjoy.


Chicano Lawyer

Friday, October 21, 2011


Hello everybody!  Stop by the Venice Vintage Motorcycle Club this Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011.  I will be at the VVMC booth offering free legal advice to those who are willing to pay for it.

There will also be raffles, bands, a beer garden.  Good times.


Chicano Lawyer

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

GH2 176mb GOP1 Hack Test - Color Grading Works!

So I'm completely sold on drinking the GH2 Hack Kool-Aid.  Yesterday, I shot footage of Alexandra at 640 ISO and put the shot through the color grading ringer.  I applied a ridiculous amount of desaturation of highlights and shadows, I increased the shadow detail by 50% in Premiere Pro, I cropped the top and bottom, I put all the shadows and highlights in the dark blue end of the color wheel corrector, and the mid-tones in the bright orange end of the color wheel and the image held up like Michele Bachman's make-up in the Republican debates last night.  Yeah, that good.

Obviously, the point of this exercise was to see how much the hacked footage could take before too much digital noise started to destroy the image.  Clearly it can take a beating.  If you watch the image in 1080P, you'll notice that the only noise introduced looks more like film grain than computer vomit.  For tech geeks such as myself, this is fucking awesome.  Only issue is that my 32GB SD card now only holds 14 minutes of video.  But that is a small trade-off considering I was thinking about buying an external recorder and SSD drives.

Trust me, the GH2 is the camera to buy.  I've owned far too many cameras to make such a statement and not mean it.


Chicano Lawyer

Auto Draft

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Canon EOS-1D X vs. GH2 176mb GOP1 AVCHD Intra!

The day has arrived.  Canon has announced their new prom queen in the HDSLR ball.  It has time-code, it shoots in Intra frames, ie., true progressive frames, can shoot 12 RAW frames per second and 14 JPEG frames per second, has manual audio control, the list goes on and on.  It still shoots 1080P though.  No RAW.  Also the codec compression is still to be determined.  Either way you slice it, she is pertty.  But at $6,800, she's a gold digger.

Of course, a few months ago I wouldn't care about her hefty ransom.  But today is not a few months ago.  The EOS 1D X seems awesome.  But where's the 1080P at 60P?  Sony's NEX-5n has it.  Where's the focus peaking?  The NEX-5n has that too.  I know it seems silly to compare a $6,800 camera to a $600 camera, but on a practical level, as a guerrilla filmmaker, I'd feel more comfortable with 1080P at 60P and focus peaking on a no permit shoot than a camera that costs more than any car I ever bought.

More importantly, Canon may be missing their audience.  The 5d Mark II was a breakthrough in technology, which is why so many filmmakers splurged the $2,500 to get one.  The camera did what nothing else could.  The 1D X on the other hand is adding what is already abundant in the crowed HDSLR marketplace.  The new GH2 hack by Driftwood, for instance, shoots in AVCHD Intra frames at GOP1 at 176mb per second, has 48khz audio, and is reliable with a fast SD class 10 card.  This quality is available in nothing else except a RED camera.  The Intra frames mean that the compression is no longer guessing what the next frame will be while shooting.  Also, it means that the footage will be able to take a Pacquiao v. Marquez type beating when color-grading and still look good.  Did I mention the camera costs $800.

See for yourself.  The first video is of the new Canon 1D X.  Now, I don't know if the filmmakers actually used the 1D X to shoot the promo, but it would be pretty stupid if they didn't.

The next video is of a filmmaker testing the AVCHD Intra hack at 176mbit GOP1.

For my eyes, the GH2 footage looks much better.  It looks like Canon is misreading the market.  Of course, the 1D X will be an awesome camera when it comes out in March 2012.  But while we all wait for that, a whole bunch of nerds will keep  pushing forward the limits of the GH2 Hack.  This could easily make the 1D X unnecessarily expensive by the time it is finally released.

So there you have it.  My two cents.  If you want a good camera, buy the GH2 and hack it.  No need to wait for Canon.


Chicano Lawyer

P.S., this video is crazy.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Final Cut Pro X - Update with XML

It's here, finally.  Do you hear angels singing in the background?  Or maybe it's just in my head.  They sound nice.

Apple has released an update to Final Cut Pro X that supports XML support.  Now all the complainers can go from a Final Cut Pro 7 project to a Final Cut Pro X project with a little less complaining.

Apple is also offering a 30 day Trial for Free.  That means you can now see exactly why you wasted your money on Adobe Premiere CS5.5, when you could have got something twice as good for twice as less.

The aspect I most enjoy about Final Cut Pro X is the ability to composite effects from within Final Cut Pro X.  Also, the fact that the software engine is shared with Motion 5 means that any one can now create any effect, transition or animated title in real time without the need of plugins.  If you don't believe me, do a Google search for "Free Final Cut Pro X plugins" and you'll find hundreds of end-user made plugins for free.  Now, the only limitation is our imagination.

Anyway, go to Apple and check it out.


Chicano Lawyer

Friday, September 16, 2011

Canon making an "historic" announcement on November 3rd!

Canon has recently released an announcement about an announcement on November 3rd.  With a little luck, it will be something more than an official announcement about another announcement.

It's been almost 3 years since the 5D Mark II was released and everyone is waiting to see what's next.

My money is on a cinema camera that will destroy RED on price point and features.  Of course in the pompous department, RED will never lose.

So why does this announcement to an announcement warrant a post by a Chicano Lawyer?

Well, many friends come to me about photography advice.  Which camera should I buy, what lens should I steal, etc.?  Given this recent announcement, the answer is clear.  None.  Wait.  Whatever Canon announces, it definitely justifies waiting until Nov. 3rd to see what the Japanese have up their sleeves.

Until this announcement, I was seriously considering getting the Sony NEX-5n.  It's Sony's new camera that shoots 24P AND 60P in 1080P.  It also does this in virtual darkness.  Check out for a full review.

As tempting as the NEX-5n looks, I'm waiting.  Canon made me a fan-boy 2 years ago with the 5D Mark II and 1D Mark IV.  They can do it again.  Come on Canon, make me drool.


Chicano Laywer


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Movie Looks HD Free for Two Days

Yup.  Just what the title says.  I just downloaded it.  It's iPhones Color Correction for video.  Get it now.  It's FREE!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Rick Perry; the New Sarah Palin!

Today, Rick Perry stated he doesn't believe in Global Warming.  What?

He believes dinosaurs roamed the earth 5,000 years ago based on biblical interpretation, but Global Warming is fake.

He's going to be fun to watch.


Chicano Lawyer

The new 1D Mark 5 just 2 weeks away!

According to, the new 1D Mark 5 is just weeks away.  The details are below.

1D Mark V
A new claimed spec list of the upcoming 1D Mark 5.

  • Sensor: 36 x 24mm CMOS sensor

  • Processor: Dual DIGIC 5

  • A/D conversion: 14 bit

  • Image sizes: 32.4 mp, 16.2 mp, 8.1 mp @ 5, 3 fps

  • APS-H mode (1.3x) – 24.9 mp, 12.5 mp, 6.2 mp @ 8, 3 fps

  • APS-C mode (1.6x) – 20.3 mp, 10.1 mp, 5.1 mp @ 10, 3 fps

  • Movie Mode: 1920 x 1080 @ 29.97, 25, 23.976 fps

  • 1280 x 720 @ 59.94, 50 fps

  • 640 x 480 @ 59.94, 50 fps

  • APS-H mode (1.3x) – 1920 x 1080 @ 59.94, 50 fps

  • APS-C mode (1.6x) – 1280 x 720 @ 119,88, 100 fps

  • Viewfinder: Magnification: 0.76x, 100% frame coverage

  • APS-H viewfinder magnification zoom: 0.87x – 89% viewfinder crop

  • APS-C viewfinder magnification zoom: 1.0x – 82% viewfinder crop

If true, it looks like the camera will be able to shoot 60 frames in 1.3 crop mode and 120 frames per second in 1.6 crop mode.  That is awesome.  This means true 60p in 1920x1080 resolution.  No more up-scaling the resolution.  This means slow motion will look incredible.  This is especially true at 120 frames per second.

Also, if the camera can shoot in 3 different crop modes (full frame, 1.3x, and 1.6x) this means that less lenses will be needed.  For light shooting, all that one would need to carry is the Tokina 11-16mm, which would double as a 14mm to 20mm and a 17mm to 25mm lens.  Add the Canon EF 24-70mm lens and that's all you need.  Two lenses.  Just two.  Awesome.

As for the price, I'm sure it will be painful.


Chicano Lawyer

A whole new me!

Here it is.  A whole new, similar look.  The blog that is.  Thoughts? Criticisms? Concerns?


Chicano Lawyer

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Friend's Wedding - Shot & Cut in under Two Hours

This past weekend, my friend Miguel got married.  And I had the challenge of shooting, editing and projecting it before the cake was cut.

I've done this before, but with help.  Miguel's wedding was my first time doing everything on my own using only a GH2.  Overall, it could have been much easier.  The problem, a stale cookie.

While at my friend Dave's house, I ate a cracker in his kitchen.  Unbeknownst to me, this cracker was over two years old since expired.  As soon as I finished the cracker, I immediately realized something was wrong.  It tasted like death.  Vomit, right?  I tried.  I couldn't.  I then turned to Tequila.  Three glasses of it.

So now my upset stomach is gone, but my ability to shoot a wedding on my own after three tequilas seemed like a bad idea.  Many things would probably go wrong.

Ultimately, I managed.  Although sweaty, smelly and tired, I showed the video during the reception.

Anyway, here's the final product.


Chicano Lawyer

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Tandoori Chicken Feet!

Hello readers,

Today I made the mistake of barefoot running to the Festival of Books at USC.  The problem?  Bricks get hot.  My feet sizzled.  Smelled good though.  Like Tandoori Chicken.

Anyway, I haven't posted in awhile because I've been doing all kinds of stuff.

Mostly, I've been writing my next script and dealing with questions of narrative structure and comprehension.  I'm experimenting with a more fractured narrative structure; one which forces the viewer to actively participate in the structure and comprehension of the unfolding narrative.  I played with this idea in my first feature film, "Hustlas," but it was executed in such a half-assed way that no real lessons were learned.  Anyway, I've posted that film on Youtube for anyone who wants to frustrate themselves for wasting 90 minutes of their lives.

I also posted my last completed film, "Life Sucker," for any interested viewers.  I love this film.  It's basically my love letter to Takeshi Kitano, hands down one of my favorite filmmakers.

I've also been overseeing the editing of my third feature, "Suite 101."  The rough cut is about 97 minutes and it's still not completed.  This is good, since I'll be able to cut a lot out.

I also put together a wedding video for my big brother, Jorge.  It was his wedding present.

As to my obsessions with technology, a lot of new stuff has been coming out that simply amazes me.

First, there's Adobe's CS5.5.  It will be released in a few weeks and the advances in shot stabilization will destroy the necessity for Steadicam operators.  CS5.5 will basically take your shaky hand-held footage and automatically stabilize the shot to make it look like a dolly track shot.

Second, Apple announced Final Cut Pro X.  It basically will do everything except go to the bathroom for you.  And it will only cost $299.  What?

Third, I've been learning Lightworks.  They came out with an update that really improves this open-source editing program.  Check it out if you want to start learning how to edit video.  The program is completely free and very powerful.  It's the same program most of Martin Scorsese's films have been edited in.  What?

Fourth, Technicolor has released their 100% FREE Cinestyle picture profile.  If you have a Canon HDSLR Camera, download the picture profile.  It basically lets you completely fuck up a shot, in terms of exposure, and allows you to correct it in post.  Specifically, it's a file that you upload to you Canon and it alters the camera's sensor to capture color and light by an S-curve instead of a linear curve.  This means you can recover details and color in the really dark areas of a shot as well as in very bright areas.  And it does this with very little digital noise.  Awesome, right?

Anyway, back to the screenplay.


Chicano Lawyer

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Jorge's Getting Married!

My big brother got himself married to a beautiful woman. After begging and pleading, they allowed me to video the wedding.

I'm still editing the footage.  Shot way too much.  But I also photographed a little.

The following photos were shot with abolutely no flash and in near darkness. I love the 1D Mark IV.  It makes me look talented.  

The picture above was at 6400 ISO.  What?  That is stupid high.  No flash. No light.  Just a 50mm 1.4 EF prime lens. 

Here's my brother and his wife.  Again no flash, natural low light and my 50mm prime lens.

[caption id="attachment_288" align="aligncenter" width="470" caption="Albie at Jorge's wedding."][/caption]

Above is my lovely lady.  Here I used the 28mm f1.8 prime lens. 

Above is my brother after the dollar dance.  According to my woman, this is not a normal wedding thing.  I guess it's a Mexican thing.  Now I know.

Here's the old man, Leo.  I love this guy.

That's pretty much it for now.  Just a little show n' tell.  Now, wake up!  Get back to work.


Chicano Lawyer

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Coptic Baptism anyone?

This past weekend I was fortunate enough to photograph and film the baptism of my good friend Sherif's son, Ramsey. Since I haven't been to a baptism since my own, I jumped at the chance.

Preparing for it, I knew I would get no second takes. It would be totally up to me to catch all the moments that people expect at a baptism. Also, I wanted to pack as light as possible. Thus, I took three lenses only. The Canon EF 70-200mm IS f2.8, the Tokina 28-70mm f2.8 and the Sigma 17-35mm 2.8-3.5.

Overall, I was reminded how much I love the 70-200mm lens. It is the holy grail. It is worth every penny I overpaid for it. The Tokina also is great. Not as sharp as the 70-200mm, but still very versatile.

As for the Sigma 17-35mm, it is a mixed blessing of a lens. I love the ability of getting a 17mm wide angle shot, but it took several attempts to get it sharp and in focus. It definitely is a lens for wide angle wild life. Not Coptic Baptisms.

Above is Ramsey and my friend's father.

And below is Ramsey and her happy mom.

Here's another shot of Ramsey.

And here's the Kodak moment. Well, actually considering Kodak's recent declining market share, here's the Nikon moment? Or Canon moment? Sony? Anyway, look how happy everyone looks. You wouldn't guess, a few minutes ago Ramsey wailed to previously impossible sonic levels. It was loud.

Here's a wider shot with the Coptic priest.

And finally, the proud father.

Chicano Lawyer

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Venice is exploding!

I went a little After Effects crazy on this video. I basically added an explosion and camera shake whenever I felt like it. Some look good, most look cheesy.

Mmmm. Cheese.

Anyway, I shot this while riding my KTM LC4 620 Enduro. I wore a cheap $20 ebay shoulder mount to hold my camera while shifting. I used my Panasonic GH2 with a Pentax 25mm f1.4 lens.

The ISO was at 3200 the whole time. The lens is a manual lens so I basically had to ride and focus at the same time. Good times.

So watch it. Enjoy.

Chicano Lawyer

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Presenting Zack Gemmell's "Waiting" music video!

Presenting Zack Gemmell's "Waiting"!

Alexandra and I both shot this after Zack finished helping me remodel my upstairs unit.  Thus, cinema vérité music video!

So for Zack's video Alexandra shot on the Canon1D Mark IV.  I shot on the GH2.  Can you tell the difference?

Anyway, enjoy.


Chicano Lawyer

Friday, January 21, 2011

2011 Doritos Superbowl Commercial!

Happy New Year!

I know, I know, "Where have you been?" Or not.

Anyway, I haven't posted because I've been resurfacing a hardwood floor.  It's much more work than it sounds like.  I never knew my buggers could be so white - filled with sawdust. 

Anyway, here's the video my woman and I shot for the Doritos Superbowl commercial.  South Central Matt and Wayne Byrd also helped.  We used the GH1 Hack and the Canon 1D Mark IV.  Wayne used the 1D.  Alexandra used the GH1.  

Can you tell which camera shot what?

Anyway, enjoy.


Chicano Lawyer