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Mark Allen

Allucinari Website is Live!

It's been a while since I've posted.  The reason is that I've been working non stop.  This has been going on for years, but it reached a point I simply could not do anything but finish projects.However, we just finished a few major projects and are just about to start a few more, so I thought now would be a good time to actually collect some of our work share a larger perspective of what it is that I do.Realistically this is only like 20% of the stuff we've done in the last handful of years, but collecting all of it was going to be too big of a job (and I didn't think anyone would really spend the hours and hours it would take to watch it all), so I had to just limit it to what is here.i hope you enjoy itwww.allucinari.comAllucinari is my production company.  We are primarily a production company, but in reality - we can and do create any type of audio visual presentation.

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How To Say "Dress" in Chinese

Another episode of iamxiaoli has been uploaded.  This one is a little different, I hope you like it.

Be sure to watch them on youtube in full HD


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iamxiaoli has a facebook page

Join the surrealist language world of Xiao Li on facebook. Whether you want to explore Xiao Li's world or want to learn Mandarin Chinese... you can visit her.  She has some nice toys and a lot of duct tape.

Facebook Badge STARTXiao Li Promote Your Page TooFacebook Badge END

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Happy New Year 2011 from iamxiaoli

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Story by John August

Very short blog. I w as reading an old blog post of writer John August and he was complaining that so many of the independent scripts he reads are not taking advantage of a free production value - a good story. The line which I thought was well put was this. "And while Sex, Lies and Videotape might seem low-plot, the story keeps forcing characters to make choices and face the consequences."What I like about this comment is how story (and drama) is separated out from the  requirement of plot and how simple it becomes.   People facing challenges, making difficult choices.

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Learn Mandarin! iamxiaoli Episodes 1 and 2

My new webseries, iamxiaoli has begun.  iamxiaoli is a mandarin language educational series with a twist of surrealism.This is not a series only for people who want to learn Mandarin... you might enjoy exploring Xiao Li's slightly unusual world whether you want to learn the language or not.EPISODE ONE:Video: 0002:Video:

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iamxiaoli - NEW WEB SERIES - begins TODAY

My new web series, iamxiaoli, begins today!

Learn How to Speak Mandarin Chinese ...the Surreal Way

I hope you like it and subscribe!...and share it with others :)First up is the short promo:Video: series is a surreal language education series.  If you ever felt that you wanted to hear some common phrases broken down and repeated - this will help.  And since this is my personal blog I will mention... that's not only what the series is about.   Whether you speak Mandarin or not or want to or not - we explore Xiao Li's unique world every week in short glimpses.EDIT:I noticed this was featured, so I'm adding the first episode here, my next blog has the second episode, but if you watch at YouTube, you just click "Next"Video:

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Xiaoli: Class Begins Dec. 6th

My surrealist webseries about a girl who teaches Mandarin Chinesewill beginDecember 6th.

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Open Source: Lightworks Editing

This is the first in a series of blogs I will do about Open Source Application for Media Professionals.  Open Source Apps can be used for FREE.I'm going to begin here with the highly anticipated release (by 25,000 people at least) of and Academy and Emmy Award winning editing program which as of "tomorrow" November 29th, 2010...  is going open source![](/attachments/2010/11/28/17/22998_201011281715071.thumb.jpg)This is a real editing program.  This will be a competitor for Final Cut.  If you don't own final cut and you need an editing program, you have no more excuses regarding lack of funds.  Lightworks will even edit R3D files - which are the RED native files... Final Cut doesn't even do this yet.So - check it out and see if it matches your style.  I'll definitely be looking into it.Here is a link to the site and video demonstrationLightwork's WebsiteVideo:

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Cinematography Made Easy 03

In part three I'm talking about Lenses. There is something shocking people learn about lenses.  They cost more than cameras!!!Not always, but good ones do.  Yes, it is very common for $100,000 lens package to be used with a $20,000 camera.  Even lately I've seen them used with $2,000 cameras.  Sort of odd.If you are using a $200 lense on your 7D... it's great if it is working for you, but it's not considered a "good lens."  Basically it's expensive to get a sharp image that looks good.There are also differences between cinema lenses and DSLR (photo camera) lenses - and these mostly have to do with keeping focus.  Something people discover once using a 35mm sized sensor is that the focus is shallow and it's hard to operate the camera and keep the subject in focus at the same time once they start moving around.  So, an assistant will be needed to help out with this.  And to help them, the cinema lens are geared towards helping them keep that focus.  The f-stops are sometimes different as well in that you have more "stops" to choose from.The important things to know about lenses.PRIME vs. ZOOM - A prime has one focal length (i.e. 50mm or 300mm), a zoom will have a range (i.e. 24mm to 75mm)FOCAL LENGTH - this is that "50mm" indicator.  What you need to know:  The smaller the number, the wider the shot.  The larger the number, the more telephoto the shot.   Additionally - the more telephoto, the shallower the depth of field.  There is a really cool reason for this, but it might make this blog intimidating, so I'm not going there.  What I'd rather focus is on some basic uses of the lenses.  Generally with 35mm cameras, a 50mm lens is considered normal.One important but advanced thing to know about - how wide or telephoto something is will depend on the sensor size, but if you're shooting 35mm, the 5D, the 7D, or the RED, somewhere between like 44 and 50 should be considered "standard" - meaning about what the eye sees.  If you're shooting with a 2/3rds type video camera or 16mm, it's going to be different.When to use a longer lens;  Shooting faces, people don't look so good in wide angle.  If you're shooting something that you want to look more stern, more serious, more grim - a long lens is often the choice.  If you want to limit the focus for a story telling point as much as possible on something shallow - then this will work.When to use a shorter lens:  If you want something to look super dynamic.  If you want to enhance how fast something moves towards or away from the camera.  If you are trying to stylize a shot for action or impression - wides might work.Whatever you do - CHOOSE your angle based on what you're trying to convey.  It really makes a difference in telling your story.

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Mark Allen

Director , Screenwriter , Composer

Location Los Angeles, United States
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