Tuesday, June 26, 2007

HanleyFilms.com... It's coming


Yes, I have a "Coming Soon" website for all my film/video work again. But this time, it's different. (promise!) I've given up on the rolls-off-the-tongue-slightly-better .net extension, and joined the rest of the world in .com-land. (Once the site truly goes live, the old hanleyfilms.net will redirect to the new hanleyfilms.com) Before, I'd relied on donated, friend-of-a-friend, or otherwise "free" hosting space, but now I've got all-out paid-for shared hosting from Dreamhost, with effectively unlimited storage and bandwidth. (The only thing they really get ticked off about is CPU time, and I have no intention of running overly convoluted PHP-driven content management systems. HTML, CSS, and a spattering of PHP for menus and such is fine for me)

Now that I've geeked out about my new hosting (it really is rather cool) - what exactly will the new site offer? Before, the "Hanley Films Website" has usually just been a single page with a bunch of links to QuickTime files (see the current HanleyFilms.net)

The new site will be... just a little bit more than that. I'm planning, at the moment:
  • All my movies, from the North Hills stuff, to the 16mm short I made in VPA Film last fall, to my entry for the recent Modest Mouse music video contest. (If you really must see that, it's on YouTube). All in higher quality, and more formats than before.
  • Information on my freelance production work. Seriously. I've already paid for my camera doing this, and I just ordered a $150 microphone to step up my game for a job later this summer. Need a low-budget commercial/music video/help on a student film/etc? Call me.
  • Tips, tutorials, and other resources for up-and-coming (or so we wish) wannabes like myself.
  • At least one sweet picture of the editing suite setup I've got going in my room. ;)
The video and film stuff is obviously the important part. Before, as I've said, I've put a bunch of QuickTimes on a page - sometimes in various sizes, sometimes not - and left it at that. With the extra space Dreamhost gives me, I can offer more formats than previously - for now, I'm thinking QuickTime 7, Windows Media 9, and DivX should cover most bases.

In addition to more formats, the videos will also be much higher quality. Not just higher bitrate either: Back when I first encoded most of the "masters" for the North Hills Pictures, I didn't know half what I do now about digital video. They were deinterlaced poorly, and went through a lot of unnecessary scaling up and down. This time, wherever possible, I'm going back to the "source" and redoing a lot of that, to preserve as much detail as possible.

How much of a difference can this make? Well... (click image to see full size)

I'd say that's a difference! (Of course, this shot is the most drastic example I could find, but it's still an all-around improvement to one degree or another.)

So that's where the "one, true" Hanley Films website is for now. It should turn out pretty cool, I think.

Now if I could just do something about that day job... :-/

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