Cubic to Develop CDLS Subsystem for US Navy
Cubic has been awarded a contract by the US Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) to develop communications data link subsystem (CDLS) and other communications technology.Under the $18.7m deal, the company will provide one CDLS and upgraded KI-11A security subsystems for installation onboard an aircraft carrier in support of anti-submarine warfare missions.The multiple data links on the aircraft carrier will assist helicopters to conduct multiple simultaneous missions, such as anti-submarine warfare and other scheduled operations, while enhancing the battle group’s overall warfare capability.Cubic Defense Applications director of military programmes Rob Janssen said: “Cubic is very sensitive to the fact that the communications data link subsystem is a critical enabler and a significant component in the deployed navy’s intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance communications network.”With initial funding of $8.7m from SPAWAR, deliveries of the systems are scheduled to complete by February 2014.Cubic has delivered 20 CDLS advanced communications systems to the navy since its initial production contract award in 2003, of which 13 systems have been already deployed aboard navy vessels.Equipped with a high-speed wideband data link, the system features advanced software-programmable radios, an antenna and secure data link technology.CDLS is the first system in the navy to feature interfaces enabling network-centric warfare.Using multiple waveforms between reconnaissance aircraft sensors and associated surface ship processing systems, the systems transmit signal and imagery intelligence data to ensure quick and secure real-time spread of critical intelligence information to the fleet.[mappress]Press Release, Septembar 4, 2012 View post tag: americas Back to overview,Home naval-today Cubic to Develop CDLS Subsystem for US Navy View post tag: News by topic September 4, 2012 View post tag: CDLS View post tag: US Cubic to Develop CDLS Subsystem for US Navy View post tag: Cubic View post tag: Navy View post tag: Subsystem Equipment & technology View post tag: develop Share this article
Gold Coast mansion resembles Shakespearean castle with modern twist
MORE NEWS: How analysis paralysis is crippling buyers Lovers of William Shakespeare will get a chance to ensure all’s well that ends well when it goes to auction on October 26.Owners Marie-Louise and Joseph Barakat have always loved the home at 3-5 Westminster Court.“We had a weekender on the islands so we used to watch this property being built and admire it,” Mrs Barakat said.“It came up for sale while we were overseas.” It’s grand at every turn. Now that’s a wine cellar!They loved it so much that when they returned, they packed up their life in Brisbane and moved in.“We just fell in love with this home and we’ve been here 11 years,” Mrs Barakat said.“It’s been a beautiful family home and even though it’s a large home, it still feels warm.”The residence has five bedrooms, six bathrooms and a basement garage with space for up to 10 cars.There are two French oak-panelled circular offices on the ground and first floors. Downstairs a steam room and relaxation lounge occupy part of the basement.More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa9 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag1 day ago Cool down in the pool and admire the water view. A second block next door offers the perfect place to entertain a large group of guests.A waterfront pool and entertainment terrace with built-in barbecue and teppanyaki grill make entertaining easy.Mrs Barakat said it was the perfect house to entertain guests.“We’ve had many family parties and long lunches under the tree outside,” she said. “I don’t think we’ll ever find a home as beautiful as this again.“It’s a one-in-a-million home.”Which is as you like it. The Sovereign Islands property at 3-5 Westminster Court resembles a castle.THERE’S a bit of theatre in all of us and you can live out your Shakespearean dreams in a modern-day version of the castles that were the scene for many of the Bard’s plays.A turret and towering pillars set the scene at this Sovereign Islands mansion, and the balconies and grand staircase will make you feel like Juliet awaiting her Romeo.Step into the present and it’s a matter of much ado about plenty, with state-of-the-art kitchen appliances, a home theatre with built-in speaker system and a lift servicing all three floors. The grand staircase will leave you in awe. The house has been built to the highest of standards. MORE NEWS: Insane $45 million mega-mansion hits market Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:20Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:20 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreen6 Australian wow homes that have just sold01:20
The 2019 Raiders are younger, faster and better
ALAMEDA — For the most part, what you see is what you get.The draft is over and the Raiders, as well as every other team in the NFL, absolutely loves their picks. Same with the free agent class.There will be tinkering throughout the offseason and training camp and all the way up to putting together a 53-man roster, but most of the names listed below will make up the 2019 Raiders as put together by coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock.It’s a better team, no doubt, and it would …
Football Fridays to ignite Team SA
Walk it, talk it, wear it, share it!It’s all about football – and,ultimately, being part of the same team:Team South Africa With less than 280 days to go until Bafana Bafana run onto the pitch at Johannesburg’s Soccer City Stadium for the opening game of the 2010 Fifa World Cup, the concept of Casual Friday is getting a distinctively South African makeover.There are 40 Fridays to go until Friday, 11 June 2010, and South Africans are being urged to mark each one by “dressing down” in a way that will come naturally to a sports-crazy population – by wearing a football shirt to work.Danny Jordaan, CEO of the 2010 Local Organising Committee, and 2010 World Cup mascot Zakumi joined a team of 2010 partners at Safa House in Johannesburg on Friday to celebrate the launch of Football Fridays, a national initiative to build local support and enthusiasm as the countdown to Africa’s first football World Cup gains momentum.“We are encouraging everyone to adopt Football Friday and to wear the shirt of their favourite team,” said Paul Bannister, acting CEO of the International Marketing Council of South Africa (IMC), adding: “Obviously, we’d prefer it if their favourite team were the national team!“By wearing a football shirt to work or just socially each Friday, you’ll be showing your true colours as a supporter of South Africa proudly hosting the biggest sporting event in the world.”At a recent 2010 National Communication Partnership conference, 2010 Organising Committee chairman Irvin Khoza urged the country to appreciate the enormity of the World Cup, and to make the most of the event to promote the country and the continent in all its diversity.“We won’t get another marketing opportunity like this in the next 100 years,” Khoza said.A joint initiative of the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS), the IMC, South African Tourism, the SABC and the 2010 Organising Committee, Football Fridays is part of the Fly the Flag for Football campaign launched earlier this year.According to the IMC, it is hoped that the initiative will act as an “ignition point” for the campaign, which aims to get citizens to show their unique “South African-ness”, to support the national soccer team, and to be good hosts when the footballing world arrives on the southern tip of Africa in June 2010.
Trekker site gets heritage status
Seen here from Freedom Park on theneighbouring Salvokop Hill, the VoortrekkerMonument is to be officially incorporatedinto South Africa’s wealth of heritage sites.(Image: Janine Erasmus) The Voortrekker Monument depicts thepioneering spirit of farmers who journeyedinto South Africa’s interior in searchof independence.(Image: Gauteng Film Commission)The cenotaph beneath the Hall of Heroesis lit by the sun’s rays every year on16 December.(Image: Flickr)MEDIA CONTACTS • Geraldine PaulsenCommunications, Voortrekker Monument+27 12 326 6770 or +27 83 997 9741RELATED ARTICLES• New trail to honour struggle fallen• Celebrating Soweto’s heritage• SA’s gallows now instrument of healing• Festival to showcase Franschhoek• SA marks first steps to democracyEmily van RijswijckThe Voortrekker Monument, cultural bastion of the Afrikaner people, is to be declared a Grade 1 national heritage site by the South African government in March.Grade 1 status signifies that the building is of national significance.Making the announcement, home affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma described the decision as a gesture by government to “further evoke a spirit of nation-building and reconciliation”.The 42m-high monument is one of a number of sites that will be granted national heritage status in 2012, with the government planning to construct and unveil monuments and memorials to celebrate those who led the liberation struggle against apartheid.The home of the late African National Congress president Oliver Tambo in the Eastern Cape’s Nkantolo community, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s house in Brandfort in the Free State, and numerous struggle hero graves will be restored and declared heritage sites.A R20-million (US$2.6-million) museum planned for the OR Tambo site will include the OR Tambo Garden of Remembrance, which was created there five years ago.Highest cultural recognitionThe award of national heritage status is the highest form of cultural recognition in South Africa and brings with it considerable benefits, says the CEO of the monument, Sonja Lombard.The recognition will give the Voortrekker Monument greater protection and allow for the possibility of acquiring additional state funding from the Department of Arts and Culture.“We are elated, as this is the first Afrikaner monument since 1994 to receive such status,” said Lombard. “The recognition carries considerable weight as it means the monument is now a protected national area.”In addition, photographs or images of the site may no longer be used without permission of the owners or the organisation that manages the site.The monument first applied for heritage status in 2006 and the South African Heritage Resources Agency (Sahra) announced the approval in the Government Gazette of July 2011.Sahra is a statutory body responsible for the identification, conservation, protection and promotion of heritage for all South Africans now and in the future.Heritage, referred to as the national estate, encompasses both physical sites and physical artefacts, and can include anything from graves and burial grounds to palaeontological sites, and from ethnographic and decorative art to sound recordings.According to the Sahra website, “a place or object is considered part of the national estate if it has cultural significance because of its importance in the community, or pattern of South Africa’s history, its possession of rare aspects of South Africa’s natural or cultural heritage, or its strong or special association with a particular cultural group for social, cultural or spiritual reasons”.Sites are evaluated according to their aesthetic, architectural, historical, linguistic, scientific, social, religious and technological value. Sahra works with the public to identify places which meet these criteria.Provincial heritage sites are those considered to be significant in the context of a specific province.Pioneering spiritThe Voortrekker Monument holds a special place in many Afrikaner hearts.It commemorates the pioneering spirit and history of the Afrikaans-speaking Voortrekkers – they were a small group of farmers, mainly of Dutch, French and German descent, who left the British-controlled Cape Colony in search of independence.Plans for a monument were first mooted in 1888 by Paul Kruger, then president of the Boer republics of the Transvaal and the Orange Free State, but the idea only really took shape in 1931 and it was another six years before the first sod was turned.The monument, inaugurated in 1949, is replete with the symbolism of the Great Trek, as the exodus became known. This movement lasted from the mid-1830s until about 1852, and in terms of populating and developing the interior of the country, has been compared to the opening up of America’s wild west.The imposing granite structure, with its unusual cubic design by renowned architect Gerard Moerdijk, sits atop Monument Hill and is clearly visible from most of the main highways approaching Pretoria in Gauteng.According to the monument’s website it is the most visited heritage site of its kind in the province and one of the top ten cultural historical visitor attractions in the country.The monument is filled with fascinating glimpses into South Africa’s past – one of its features is a red granite cenotaph, which every year at midday on 16 December is lit by a ray of light coming through an opening in the ceiling.Known as the Day of Reconciliation in the modern South Africa, this day also commemorates the Battle of Blood River, which took place in 1838 in KwaZulu-Natal and saw a few hundred Voortrekkers successfully fighting off up to 15 000 Zulu warriors.A lesser known fact is that the museum is surrounded by a 341ha nature reserve where visitors can see most of the common South African antelope species such as impala and springbok, as well as zebra and smaller mammals.The monument remains independent and will continue to be run as a non-profit organisation.World Heritage SitesSouth Africa also has eight World Heritage Sites, as determined by Unesco’s World Heritage Committee.Four of these are cultural – Robben Island, Mapungubwe, the Richtersveld and the Cradle of Humankind; three sites are natural – the Cape Floral Region, the iSimangaliso Wetland Park (formerly The Greater St Lucia Wetlands Park) and the Vredefort Dome; while the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park is recognised as a mixed natural-cultural site.The country has 13 sites on Unesco’s tentative list – they include the Prince Edward Islands in the Southern Ocean; the Kimberley mines; the Cape Arc of Meridian, of astrological and geographical significance; and the proposed national Liberation Heritage Route.
Sarbanes-Oxley Ripples across Silicon Valley — Free Upgrades Gone?
Cnet reports that more high-profile resignations from startups like those in Silicon Valley are likely to follow. They also suggest that many startups will seek to stay private to stay clear of compliance requirements. Another alternative is for those companies to go public on foreign exchanges, and many new company listings have shifted to the UK.An interesting statistic is that while new listings in the UK are soaring, so is fraud. The British accounting firm BDO Stoy Hayward found that the reported instances of business fraud in the UK jumped 30 percent last year and that the value of the fraud reported jumped 40 percent.Consider also the ongoing scandal of backdating of stock options. The ability to do this has been diminished with the introduction of Sarbanes-Oxley. Options now need to be reported to the SEC within two business days of award. The whole backdating scandal would never have come to light had it not been for stricter SEC rules on executive pay disclosure and the work of academics who analyzed the public data and uncovered strong correlations between option grants and stock price.Now with Apple and Steve Jobs in the middle of the scandal, it is somewhat ironic they are invoking Sarbanes-Oxley as the reason for why they plan to charge for a software update. Apple will charge $1.99 for users of Core 2 Duo Intel Macs to use 802.11n WiFi hardware. Apple says “The nominal distribution fee for the 802.11n software is required in order for Apple to comply with generally accepted accounting principles for revenue recognition, which generally require that we charge for significant feature enhancements, such as 802.11n when added to previously purchased products”.If Apple’s interpretation of Sarbanes-Oxley holds then many or all software updates, whether they are service packs or bug fixes, may need to be for a fee to be legal. Are there any implications for Open Source software here? Probably not, but it’s likely that this will get a lot of public companies looking more closely at the language of their end-user license agreements (EULAs). Venture Capitalist and entrepreneur Jim Clark stepped down as chairman of the online photo service Shutterfly earlier this month because he said that Sarbanes-Oxley had “gone too far”. Clark said that because of Sarbanes-Oxley that he could not “Chair any committee due to the size of my holdings, because of the loan I once made to the company, not be on the governance committee, and it even dictates that some other board member must carry out the perfunctory duties of Chairman. What’s left is liability and constraints on stock transactions, neither of which excite me.” Five years since becoming law, high-tech Silicon Valley companies are now finding themselves running amuck with Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance regulations.Small companies have argued that Sarbanes-Oxley hits them disproportionately hard on their financial bottom lines. On Tuesday the Washington Post gives the example of no-revenue biotech companies being made to comply with the same accounting procedures of multibillion-dollar competitors, diverting money to accountants and lawyers that could better be spent in research and development.Treasury Secretary Paulson headed a committee that made recommendations in late 2006 that attempted to reduce some of the high costs of implementing Sarbanes-Oxley, especially for smaller companies. On the one hand, Paulson was criticized by the corporate governance group, the Council of Intstitutional Investors, for undermining the effectiveness of the original intent of the legislation.But the National Venture Capital Association, coming from the perspective of many small Silicon Valley startups, criticized Paulson for not going even further to help out small companies that have been affected by the compliance regulations. The group called it a “step backwards based on work and recommendations that have already been put forth.”
Silicon Valley Episode 6 Recap: “Third Party Insourcing”
9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… HBO’s Silicon Valley returned this week with its sixth episode, continuing to peel back the layers of California’s tech bubble and proving everything in the valley isn’t as shiny as it may seem. “Third Party Insourcing” shows us that newer and younger may not always be better—Richard (Thomas Middleditch) and the Pied Piper team enable the help of a surly teen hacker and Jared is taken hostage by a driverless car.The episode opens up with Richard back in his doctor’s office, telling his physician that while he had learned programming language Ruby On Rails over a weekend as a teenager, the Pied Piper lead was just unable to handle programming his product for the cloud. His doctor says that Richard looks as if he’s aged 40 years in the past seven weeks—the amount of time since preparing for his app’s debut at startup competition TechCrunch Disrupt.Jared, Erlich, and Dinesh beg Richard to employ help in front of their packed Scrum board. With one week left until Disrupt, the team is clearly antsy to get Pied Piper up and polished. Back at the incubator, Jared (Zach Woods), Erlich (T.J. Miller), and Dinesh (Kumail Nanjiani) beg Richard to hire a hacker to help with cloud architecture, using their packed Scrum board as evidence that they needed to get as many jobs from “Ice Box” to “Completed” as soon as possible. The team suggests “The Carver” (Austin Abrams), a hacker notorious for taking down Bank of America.A chair angrily plunged into a “Making The World A Better Place” poster. The Pied Piper team head to a building to enlist the help of “The Carver.” Upon arrival, the crew sees what used to be a startup’s headquarters being broken down—computer monitors being carried into boxes, desks being unassembled. It is a glaring example to the team of the frailty and turnover cycle of fresh startups.Signs of a failed startup—empty coffee cups and energy drinks just strewn across the room. Richard, Jared, Erlich, and Dinesh walk through the floors, wide-eyed and somber like civilians witnessing the aftermath of the apocalypse. There’s a chair puncturing the wall, right over a poster exclaiming “Making The World A Better Place”. Conference rooms are littered with empty coffee cups and energy drinks.Kevin “The Carver” judging the Pied Piper team relentlessly. “Six months ago, these guys had 35 million in Series B financing. Now, The Carver’s here doing teardown,” Jared remarks.The team sees The Carver huddled over three large monitors, pushing out code. When the prominent hacker turns around and faces the group, we learn that he is Kevin, a bratty high schooler who immediately jumps into sarcastic quips about Richard’s age.“I thought you’d be younger,” Kevin says, “What are you, 25?”“26,” Richard replies.“Yikes.”Silicon Valley’s youthful tech bubble is not a new concept, with attractive 20- to 30-year-olds ruling the roost at startups and beyond. This episode plays on the very real trend of children being indoctrinated into code, and tech companies’ search for nubile programming talent.Kevin’s age is apparent despite his experience in engineering, as Erlich uses a blowjob joke to negotiate a deal—$20,000 for two days aiding the Pied Piper team.The men of Pied Piper: Richard in a button up and hoodie, Dinesh in a striped polo, Erlich in a red Atari t-shirt, and Jared in a button up underneath a sweater. By this sixth episode, we see the characters solidify their distinct style of dress for their roles. Richard continues his channeling of Zuckerberg in button-ups, hoodies, and corduroys. Dinesh wears a striped green and purple hoodie, while Jared sticks to his blazers and button-ups under sweaters.Erlich in his CSS3 shirt. Erlich wears a bright red Atari shirt with a full beard for a portion of the episode, only to change into a CSS3 shirt for the remainder, capturing geek chic with his novelty t-shirts.Kevin tries to help the Pied Piper team with their cloud architecture. He wears a colorfully striped hoodie, an open button up, and a t-shirt. In juxtaposition, Kevin’s colorfully striped hoodies over open button ups and t-shirts evokes a more childlike aura. “The Carver” is already eliciting markers of the “programmer” look but with a teenage twist in bright colors and graphics. He is much like a mini version of Richard—truly a kid coder.Jared wears a dark grey blazer, light grey sweater, and a button up. Monica wears a dark turquoise sweater, grey skirt, and a simple gold necklace. Monica (Amanda Crew) returns briefly this episode to meet with Jared and offer him a ride back to Erlich’s home in Palo Alto. She is dressed in a dark turquoise sweater, light grey pencil skirt, and delicate gold accessories, once again demonstrating her power and business savvy as Peter Gregory’s assistant through her stylish and put-together outfits.Monica helping out one of Peter Gregory’s assistants while on the phone with Jared. This episode fails the Bechdel test yet again: There’s not a single scene where two women talk to each other. Gilfoyle’s girlfriend Tara (Milana Vayntrub) interacts solely with the men at the Pied Piper house, and another nameless woman from Peter Gregory’s company is introduced by Monica as an assistant who made a mistake. Monica and the assistant never talk, mind you, as she explains the woman’s mistake to Jared on the phone.Jared happily embarks on his journey in a driverless car. When Jared suggests going back by Lyft, Monica insists that one of Peter Gregory’s cars take him back. Jared agrees, and is met by a black driverless car. Excited and chuckling, the new Pied Piper member is shuttled off to Palo Alto.The driverless car makes an unexpected change in route to Peter Gregory’s island, Arallon. Unfortunately, the fun ride comes abruptly to a stop as the car arbitrary changes direction to Arallon—Peter Gregory’s high-tech island hidden far in the middle of an ocean—4,000 miles away. Unable to reroute the driverless car after multiple sad pleas, Jared is taken to a port and driven into a crate which is then immediately locked up.Jared is taken hostage by the driverless car, which takes him into a crate and eventually onto a ship. The crate is picked up and delivered onto a giant cargo ship—Jared, in a car, in a crate, on a ship, is sailing away to Peter Gregory’s island.Richard begins working with Kevin on Pied Piper’s cloud architecture. Dealing with Kevin’s difficult attitude, Richard continues to reveal vulnerability and asks the hacker to help him with the app’s data replication. After heading to the store and returning with snacks, Richard finds Kevin under the table, sobbing and terrified, and learns that Kevin had mistakenly overwritten the data scheme.Kevin admits that he never took down Bank of America on purpose, but rather made a coding mistake while working there as a consultant. “The Carver” explains that the same thing had happened at Bank of America, that he was actually not hacking them but working as a consultant and had made a colossal coding mistake. The bank had only agreed not to sue him if he agreed not to tell a soul he had worked there.With one week left to Disrupt, and the team flies into a panic trying to fix Kevin’s mistake.“Richard, why would you let that little fetus access the DDM?” Gilfoyle snarls. Richard responds, “Because I thought that fetus was better than me, and so did you.”Caught up in Silicon Valley’s youth-obsessed culture, the Pied Piper team immediately thought that because the young hacker had rumors of greatness trailing him, that Kevin had to be a programming prodigy. What they learned was not only that was not true, but “The Carver” had a tendency to create massive mistakes due to his inexperience.Richard and Kevin decide to work through the night and examine every line of code to find where the mistake lay. Finally, the two are able to remedy the problem and Pied Piper is back on track to launch. In a final testament to tech’s youth culture—the immaturity mixed with power, money, and knowledge, Kevin says, “I’m going to call my mom and have her pick me up.”“Mom?” Richard laughs.“By the way, you owe me 20,000 dollars,” Kevin bluntly delivers.Jared realizes that the fork lift he was flagging down is driverless. Jared finally reaches Arallon by the end of the episode, popping out of the driverless car and crate looking disheveled and with days of unshaven facial hair. He immediately sees a forklift engulfed in boxes heading his way. Elated and desperate, Jared shouts and flags the forklift down, only to find it is (surprise!) a driverless machine.Jared amongst the driverless machines at Peter Gregory’s island. The final moments of the episode show a beautifully composed and thematically rich shot of Jared facing a gigantic warehouse full of self-moving machines, not a human being in sight.Jared realizes he is alone on Peter Gregory’s island, one man amidst a thousand active machines. As these instruments meticulously build the island with unparalleled skill and intelligence, even the semi-robotic Jared cannot connect with them on a sentient and compassionate level in order to get help. 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout Related Posts Tags:#Episode 6#HBO#Hooli#Mike Judge#Pied Piper#show#Silicon Valley#silicon valley episode 6#silicon valley season 1#silicon valley season 1 episode 6#Third Party Insourcing#TV stephanie ellen chan 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People…
How to Create a Low-Budget Film That Feels Like a Blockbuster
Trying to get a movie made with minimal financial backing can be frustrating, as tough decisions need to be made early. Check out my firsthand tips on creating a killer low-budget film.Sure, you can get your crew to volunteer or call in favors to get your locations for free, but there are also risks associated with cutting corners that can directly result in your film suffering on a creative level. So how do you create the very best film with a minuscule budget?After producing and directing dozens of micro-budget or low budget projects myself, I’ve inevitably learned my lessons (sometimes the hard way) on where you can afford to cut corners and where you absolutely can not. There may not be an exact formula for this, and of course every production has its own set of requirements and needs, but here are my thoughts on keeping your budget down as they pertain to various departments on a typical small scale film.Casting a Low-Budget FilmImage via Vancouver Film School on Flickr.Skimping out in casting is the number one issue that most micro-budget films suffer from. When dealing with a low budget, it’s tempting to call up your actor friends and ask them to give you a freebie, but this is generally a bad idea.Unless your friend is exceptionally talented and you’ve written a role with that person in mind, you will end up casting the wrong person for the role. And ultimately that will be a very bad starting point for your film. That’s not to say that your friend isn’t a good actor, but simply that they may not be the right person for the project. Don’t simply cast them because they are free — cast them because they are good and they deserve the role.This, however, doesn’t mean that you need to spend an arm and a leg on your cast. I suggest setting up a real casting session (at an affordable location) and bring out actors that are willing to work on deferred payment or for their portfolios. You can absolutely get talented actors on board with your film who are willing to donate their time, if you, in turn, provide them with something of value — the script.If you’re going to get actors to come out for free, ensure it’s worth their while. Give them the opportunity to play an amazing role and treat them well throughout the process. You want to find people that are as much a part of the film as you are.Crewing a Low-Budget FilmImage via jai MANSSON on Flickr.There are certain crew positions that are essential to even the smallest of productions and others that (while equally important) may be able to be covered by other crew members. In general, the crew members that I strongly advise you have on every shoot are:CinematographerLocation AudioGripMakeupProduction AssistantAre there other extremely crucial members that aren’t on this list? Of course. Ideally your DP will want an AC and your Grip will want a Gaffer to work with. But the truth is that when you are forced to boil it down to the bare essentials, these film crew members should be able to cover your basic needs.I highly suggest paying every last one of your crew members and not being tight with the budget in this department. You’re better off having fewer crew members that are paid, than more crew members that are volunteering. Your crew is the lifeblood of your project and, unlike actors, who at least get the visual recognition of being in the film, your crew is literally hidden behind the scenes and often don’t get the recognition they deserve.With that said, if your budget doesn’t allow you to cover their normal rates, then defer their payments — and, at the bare minimum, cover a smaller day rate to cover their expenses. You want your crew to be happy — if you don’t show some good faith, then they will lose interest in your film and that will affect it negatively in many ways.Low-Budget Film and Video LocationsImage via Ricardo Diaz on Flickr.I am a big believer that you can and should get most of your locations for free — but that doesn’t mean that they should look like you got them for free. Just like how I advised against casting your friends as actors, I will again advise asking your friends or relatives for locations — unless they are exceptional.If your character is supposed to be a starving artist, but you shoot in your friend’s brand new condo, that’s not going to be very convincing. And since you don’t have an art department, you can’t even set decorate it to look the way you want it to. This may sound obvious, but I’ve seen some relatively well-funded low-budget productions make this mistake and it always cheapens the film.Unfortunately, a low budget prevents you from including just anything in your script — and that rule especially translates to locations. In other words, just because you have a house, doesn’t mean it’s the right house for your movie. You have other options.The easiest solution would be to re-work that scene so it takes place in a coffee shop, or a park, or a restaurant, or anywhere else that you may have access to. Kevin Smith’s low-budget legend Clerks is a perfect example of utilizing the locations that you have. He worked at a convenience store and wrote the story around that store as that’s what he had access to. That’s exactly what you should do, too.For outdoor locations, you also have the option of shooting guerrilla style (without permits or permission). Films of all sizes have done this successfully and there’s no reason you can’t do it too. However, if you want to do go down this path, you need to take into account the risks involved and be willing to take responsibility for the consequences. You may get fined — and even worse, your equipment could get confiscated. So, again, if you decide to go this route, proceed with caution.Food on a Small BudgetYou need to ensure that your cast and crew are fed well and fed on time, as that’s really the least you can do for them, given the sacrifices they are likely making to be a part of your film. With that said, there are still ways to save money in this department.The first rule here is that you need to plan. If you don’t know what you’re getting for lunch, you’ll wind up ordering individual meals for your cast and crew every day and you will very quickly be over budget. Instead, consider making some food yourself and bringing it to set — as long as it’s still good quality. Pizza or subs are okay for a day here or there, but don’t do it for every meal.In general, with a healthy mix of making your own food and ordering affordable bulk meals that have been planned, you can save a ton of money in this area. In fact, I would say if there’s one area that I’ve overspent in every production, it has been on the food. And the worst part? Overspending didn’t even mean we had better meals or more food on set. It just wasn’t done efficiently.Low-Budget Camera ConsiderationsImage via Roger Do Minh on Flickr.A lot of micro-budget films blow way too much money in the camera department. Many filmmakers (especially those without a camera background), overestimate the importance of the camera and underestimate the importance of the DP and lighting. As a result, they will often spend the lion’s share of their budget on renting a camera, and then having next to nothing left over for the rest of the project. So they’re shooting 5K resolution, but they’re still capturing poor actors and ugly locations.If you or your DP own a 5D, GH3, Blackmagic Pocket Camera, or any other good DSLR/video camera, consider using it. A good DP will be able to make your DSLR footage look gorgeous, and while it may not be 5K RED footage, the end result will look a lot better considering you aren’t diminishing the budget of other departments.Another option is to buy a camera and sell it at the end of your production. In this case, you still may be looking at a DSLR, an extremely affordable way to go.Production Design on a Small BudgetAlthough you may not have the budget to pay for a dedicated production designer, you still need to pay a lot of attention to the production design department. With good production design, average cinematography can look exceptional — and with bad production design, the opposite is true. How you pay attention to this category is up to you. You may want to take the extra time yourself to source props/materials to make your locations work for you, or you may have someone else on the crew who can take your direction well and step in.While you or your crew may not be experienced in production design, the fact that you’re paying attention to it and making an effort at all will go a long way. If you can afford a dedicated production designer, then by all means bring one on board — but if you can’t, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do anything at all.If you really have no time or resources to do the production design yourself (or hire a production designer), then choose locations that work well without it. Spend some extra time looking for perfect locations that are already set up exactly the way you picture them in your head. When you find those locations, your need for additional help in this area isn’t as strong.Capturing Sound on a Small BudgetImage via EarsAreGood on Flickr.Whatever you do, do not cut any corners when recording location audio. While every one of the above categories highlights ways to save money in those various departments, I am not going to suggest anything when it comes to sound, other than to make sure you pay your sound recordist well.50% of your film is the audio. If you have poor audio, your film’s production value will be lowered immensely. In fact, many would argue that good audio is more important than good visuals to the average viewer.Just because you have a Zoom recorder and a decent shotgun mic, doesn’t mean you should try to record audio yourself. Even if you’re skilled at recording sound, you’re supposed to be directing the film, and it is not your job to record audio at the same time. If you try to do this, you are only taking time away from directing the actors and paying attention to the rest of the production. Do not skimp on sound!Final Thoughts: Blockbuster Results on a Small BudgetWith only so much money to go around on a micro-budget film, you have to be really careful about where it goes. Think of your budget as a balancing act between money and quality, and don’t assume that you can simply save money in one department without diminishing the quality of your final product.The good news is that in most cases, when you do need to cut the budget, you can avoid causing a negative ripple effect on your film by making it up in other ways — most often this comes in the form of putting in more time.One last thought that I’ll leave you with is that I always recommend you let your micro-budget set feel like a larger set. A big issue that plagues many films of this scale is that the cast/crew loses interest after a few days when they stop believing in the project based on the size and nature of the production. If you make an effort to treat your set the way you would if you had ten times the budget, then everyone else will too.If you’re looking for filmmaking and video production tips, be sure to bookmark the PremiumBeat blog. We’re posting helpful workflow information on a daily basis.Got any tips for working on a tiny budget? Share them in the comments below!
Clash of the Khans
Utter chaos is bound to reign if there are two separate events involving Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan respectively at the same time, in the same city and on the same day. This is precisely what happened on Sunday when Salman came out to release the first look of his upcoming film Kick and Shah Rukh celebrated Fathers’ Day in an event with a group of kids in Mumbai. Fans and the media were confused as to which event they should attend because both of them took place at the same time.Jacqueline and Salman Khan pose for the shutterbugs.The first look of the Sajid Nadiadwala- directed Kick, slated for release this Eid, brought together the film’s cast. Jacqueline Fernandez, Randeep Hooda and Nawazuddin Siddiqui joined Salman at the event.Kick is a remake of a Telugu film of the same name.The action thriller was partially shot in Poland and will have Salman in a new bearded look.Salman, whose last release Jai Ho performed far below expectations at the box- office, seems to be in a mood to go all- out to ensure the success of Kick . At the event, he jovially danced to the music of his films along with Jacqueline.For Nawazuddin, this is his first outing in a major role in a big- budget film. The arty actor was enjoying the attention coming his way.Other guests present on the stage included composer Himesh Reshammiya and UTV honcho Siddharth Roy Kapur.Salman’s character in the film will be called Devil, which obviously attracted the audience attention. ” My character is mischievous and naughty and that’s why it is called Devil,” said Salman.advertisementShah Rukh Khan shook a leg with kids.Around the same time, Shah Rukh was dancing with little kids to celebrate Fathers’ Day at a glittering event organised by Smile Foundation. Sporting a blue bandana, Shah Rukh taught the moves of his popular Lungi dance to the young ones, who came up on stage to dance with him.Both Salman and SRK avoided queries on the Preity Zinta- Ness Wadia controversy when the media quizzed them. ” You are asking the wrong person. Only you ( media) are interested in knowing about this issue,” said Salman. Shah Rukh on the other hand called it a ” personal issue”, and maintained a distance.” It is a personal issue that has been brought up and I assume it will be dealt legally. As a friend of her, I will talk to her,” said Shah Rukh.
Padres Yasmani Grandal Suspended 50 Games For Testosterone
Yasmani Grandal, a catcher for the San Diego Padres, has been suspended 50 games because of a positive test for testosterone.The commissioner’s office announced the drug penalty on Wednesday. The ban will take effect at the start of next season.Grandal made his big league debut this year. He hit .297 with eight home runs and 36 RBIs in 60 games. He turns 24 on Thursday.”I apologize to the fans, my teammates and to the San Diego Padres,” he said in a statement. ”I was disappointed to learn of my positive test under the joint drug program. I am responsible for what I put into my body. I must accept responsibility for my actions and serve my suspension.”Grandal was acquired by the Padres from Cincinnati last December. The Cuban native was traded by the Reds with pitcher Edinson Volquez in a package for pitcher Mat Latos.There have been seven suspensions this year under the major league program. Six of them were for performance-enhancing drugs – including Melky Cabrera and Bartolo Colon for positive testosterone tests – and one for a stimulant.The seven suspensions are the most in a year under the big league drug program since there were eight in 2007.There have been 101 suspensions this year under the minor league drug problem.