Erich Pommer, Producer – Metropolis, The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari, Dr. Mabuse, Die Niebelungen, Tartuffe, Faust, The Blue Angel, Liliom
This is a bit different than the other blog posts on this site, but I thought I’d pass along some information that you might want to consider as you head into the New Year.
Most of us now do quite a bit of traveling on pictures or shows away from where we live and most people spend more and more each year on the personal equipment that makes up the ‘tool kits’ that our jobs depend on. If you’re smart you’ve invested in a business insurance policy to cover that equipment since a normal homeowner or renters’ policy does not normally cover items used for business outside the home. What you may not know is that a typical business policy will not cover your equipment while you are out of town or in transit to a distant location.
Inland Marine Policies
There is a type of policy called an Inland Marine policy which you should look into getting if you do spend a great deal of time working out of town. These policies were originally created during the Industrial Revolution when there was an increase in transport by ship as a type of “all risk” insurance. Most insurance companies describe it as ‘insurance which generally covers property that is movable or transportable in nature’.
Check with your insurance company to see if your current business policy includes a ‘inland marine’ clause, you may have to add this to your policy or purchase this as a new type of insurance. It may save you from getting a very nasty surprise when your equipment is damaged and you find out you’re underinsured.
Have a happy and productive 2014.
My Dilemma, Your Gain
Yes, I admit it, I have a book problem. But my wife and I can’t agree on exactly what that problem is. For me it’s the continual challenge of finding places to put more of them, and for her it’s the unending flow of them through the front door.
The only time I ever had all my books where I could easily put my hands on them was when we lived at the beach. The bungalow we rented was just too small for everything so we ended up renting the one across the drive from us. Besides a 6 foot drawing table the only thing in the rooms was books. Every room was floor-to-ceiling bookcases.
My wife said recently, “You have to get rid of some of these books.” I said, ‘O.K., I’ll give some books away.” Notice I didn’t say I’d give any of my books away.
Lost Art Press
Lost Art Press was started in 2008 by Lucy May, Christopher Schwarz and John Hoffman to publish books which would help woodworkers rediscover the lost art of traditional hand tools and building techniques. Schwarz was the former editor at Popular Woodworking magazine as well as Woodworking Magazine and has been one of a small group of key individuals who have brought about a hand tool renaissance. Traditional tools and methods which were thought to be inferior to modern methods are reshaping both the woodworking and the tool making communities.
The company has released 11 books so far and has six more scheduled for release in 2014. Their first effort was an excellent annotated version of the 17th century book The Art Of Joinery by Joseph Moxon, the first English language book on the topic. The book soon sold out and copies fetched over $100 on Ebay. They have recently rereleased a newly edited and updated version.
The Kind Of Books They Don’t Print
What Lost Art Press doesn’t publish are junk books. What’s a junk book? Here’s an example; about ten years ago a builder on the East coast “published” a series of design books which were basically just bad scans out of period design books and pasted them up into thin, jumbled perfect-bound pamphlets which were selling for over $30. Junk. That’s not what Lost Art Press puts out.
Besides the fact that their books are traditionally bound sewn-signature volumes on quality paper, the editions, some reprints of classic books and some original, are written by authors who clearly know what they are talking about. And most of these books, while written with woodworkers in mind are incredibly valuable and informative even if you never plan on picking up a saw.
So, to keep my promise I’m giving three digital versions of their books away for purely selfish reasons. I want companies like Lost Art Press to be around a long time and the more people that know about them the more likely they’re going to keep pumping out great books. Chris, John, keep them coming, please.
If you’re a winner you get to pick one of the following books:
I reviewed this book in an earlier post and think it’s an important book for designers. The should be part of your main reference library along with a fifth edition of Architectural Graphic Standards and a copy of McKay’s Building Construction.
If wood is a complete mystery to you then you should get this book. It simply and clearly explains the basics of wood and its use in furniture making. There are chapters on wood movement and how to calculate it in furniture construction and the characteristics of different species of trees.
This book is the result of over six years of work and is the first english language translation of the classic book by Andre Roubo, originally publish in the 18th century. Lead by Donald Williams, a former head conservator for the Smithsonian Institute, the book is far more than a reprint. Williams spent years recreating the techniques described by Roubo as well as reconstructing most of the tools he describes as typical of the Menusier in France. An absolute must-have if your interests include period furniture. A second volume on furniture construction is due out next year.
Here’s another must have for your reference library. Since most everything we draw is custom, it helps to understand door and window construction when you’re creating those full-size details. This book is a reprint of two English joiners manuals which explain the process.
How To Enter
There will be three winners. Basically all you have to do is take a guess at the number of books in my personal library, kind of like guessing the number of gum balls in the jar. As a hint, it was over fifteen years ago when they could fill a 550 square foot bungalow.
You can either post a reply with your guess (and your book choice if you’re a winner) to this post or send your guess to:
Deadline is midnight on Friday, December 6. Please, only one entry per person. Ties will be decided by picking a name from a hat by Coco the Psychic Bunny.
Winners will be notified on December 7 and sent a link where they can download their book. If you want the Windows And Doors book, it is only available in hardcover and will ship in late December.
I hope that if you win you’ll buy a hardcopy version as well and a digital copy for a friend. And if you don’t win I hope I’ve enticed you to spend your own cash on what are truly terrific books.
“When I began working in the industry, you made all the illustrations, you drew up the plans, you decorated the sets, you picked all the locations. Today most designers on a big production will have dozens of people working for them. The most I ever had is six. Imagine Mozart saying to somebody, ‘I have a great idea for a piece of music, but I don’t know how to play the piano. Let me hum it for you.’ The fact is Mozart was the finest pianist of his day. Most production designers today are hummers. They have ideas but can’t draw a 1/4 inch plan. They have no idea how to commit to details.”
Richard Sylbert, Production Designer – Chinatown, Reds, The Manchurian Candidate, The Graduate, Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?
“It’s one of those foolish truisms that a lot of what is perceived as great cinematography actually is really good production design or really good location choice. Often it’s that easy – it’s so damn good, just photograph it.”
Stuart Dryburgh , Cinematographer
There’s just one day left to pledge to the Spike Kickstarter program and get the early release Spike laser measuring accessory for smartphones. For a pledge of $389, you get a Spike Pro device and software for less than half of what it’s going to cost when they are released on the retail market.
This isn’t an ad and I’m rarely so excited about tech devices considering how many of them are released every year, but this thing is flat-out amazing. If you do many location surveys it will save you a lot of time and frustration.
Take a look at the previous post for the full story on it and another scanner called the Sensor. The more I investigate the Spike the more excited I get about getting my hands on one of them next April. The developers are writing code for more applications even as we speak and are working on a beta app to enable the device to create a point cloud of a non rectangular shape like a gravel pile. This device is going to completely change my work methods of location surveying and make some jobs possible that would have been unthinkable before. It’s also designed to work with Sketchup and will export kmz files that import right into the program.
They have extended the range of the device to 950 feet and have released a number of videos to explain the range of possibilities. The video below shows using the company’s Ike3D device to measure an interior. I’m guessing, and hoping that the Spike will be able to capture interiors in a similar fashion.
You might want to act fast if this looks interesting, as of this posting there are only 40 of the devices left at this pledge level.
There must be something in the water in Boulder. A lot of technology is coming out of that little town including two new devices which could continue to revolutionize the way we work. Location survey work has never been much fun and always comes with unknown challenges that often leave you stymied, ike that billboard you suddenly learn you have to measure, or the block-long row of buildings that you have to survey with two hours of sunlight left in the day.
Using 3D scanners for location surveying and object duplication in the past has been something people have wanted, but the price of most of these devices usually makes their use too cost prohibitive. The iPhone and the many apps that accompanied its popularity have been a real help in many Art Department workflows but their uses are currently limited as far as true 3D capture and augmented reality functions.
Two companies, Ike GPS and Occipital are trying to fill a need for low cost 3D scanners with two inventions which act as add-on devices for digital phones and tablets. By harnessing the power of these devices, their creations enhance products that most people are already using.
Ike is a company which has had previous success with hand-held scanners and was looking to create a device which could be small enough to fit on a smart phone. They’ve come up with a small device called Spike which attaches to an iPhone or other smart phone and uses the devices built-in accelerometer, compass and GPS functions to make it possible to measure the size, height or even the volume of buildings and even create a 3D model to export to a modeling program.
The company is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to raise interest as well as funds to develop the device which they plan on having ready for the market by next May. The device will come in two versions; the Basic version and the Pro version which will generate 3D model files, geolocate buildings and allow for pulling measurements from the digital image.
For a donation of $389, you’ll get a prerelease Spike Pro which the company says is around half of the final retail price, meaning the street price of the Pro unit is going to be somewhere in the $800 range. That may seem pricy but the next closest device I know of that can provide similar functions is about 5 times more, both in size and price.
Here’s a video from the company website:
Occipital has developed a device they are calling the Structure Sensor which attaches to an iPad and can create 3D scans of objects or rooms up to about 550 square feet with a range of 3 1/2 meters. The file can be imported into a CAD package or output for 3D printing.
The Sensor Kickstarter program is fully funded but for a $330 pledge you can still get a Sensor at a significantly reduced price than it will retail for when it becomes available early next year.
Check out the video below:
Here are the links to the Kickstarter pages: