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Latest from Behind the Scenes

PSA Contest with cash prizes for The Alamo Drafthouse

The Alamo Drafthouse, my second favorite movie theater ever, announced that it is accepting entries in its Anti-Texting PSA Contest. The grand prize winner will receive $1000 cash, and winners from each market will receive a $200 gift card to their local theater (one just opened in Kansas City).

For those that are unfamiliar with the Alamo Drafthouse, they offer a movie experience like no other: in-theater service, interactive films with Hecklevision, and a strict “no phones” policy. Their phone policy is so strict, in fact, that it helped produce their current PSA. Take a look (strong language, fyi):



So with that gem in mind, The Drafthouse is looking to you, the non-texting fans of cinema, to create a new warning to screen before films in all their theaters. The rules are pretty self explanatory: the PSA must be 60 seconds or less, must be profanity and violence free, have an aspect ratio of 1.77:1, free of copyrighted music, and include the Alamo Drafthouse logo. For all the official rules and entry form, visit this link:

Good luck!

Report from the Alliance for Community Media Conference

CAT’s Program Director Sean Brown, Chief Engineer Jimmy Moore and I traveled to Chicago earlier this month to learn from other community media centers throughout the country at the annual Alliance for Community Media (ACM) Conference. Oh – and we picked up our OVERALL EXCELLENCE IN PUBLIC ACCESS AWARD plaque too! (Did you expect me to pass up an opportunity to plug CAT’s national award again? Not going to happen because this is your award, Columbia!)

Sean, Jimmy and I divided and conquered, attending a total of 32 sessions on a wide range of topics, including tech issues and advancements, ideas for new funding, improving services for members, youth media projects, copyright issues and more.

We can’t wait to put our newly acquired knowledge to good use as we move forward into CAT’s 2012-2013 fiscal year. We’re looking to increase CAT’s collaborations with local non-profit organizations, add to our media-training course offerings and further develop our programming for youth and teens, among other initiatives. I promise you a fruitful year here at CAT!

Make sure to drop by our CAT SAT(ellite) – CAT’s Community Media Center – right downtown at 23 N. 10th St. to check out all that CAT offers. Don’t forget – we also have our high-def studios at Stephens College. Hope to see you soon!

-Jennifer R. Erickson, CAT's executive director<!--break-->



H.265 to be released in 2013!

Rejoice video nerds! The next iteration of the ubiquitous H.264 codec has an estimated release date and may help you reduce the size of your video by 45%. Qualcomm presented some demos in February of HEVC (High Efficiency Video Codec aka H.265) that were nearly indistinguishable from their H.264 counterparts but had half the file size. Neat-O!

Not everything is rosy, though, with this advancement in the codec. At the time of the preview, developers admitted that render times were ridiculously high. No word on if render times have been improved since the preview, but developers recently announced that they expect H.265 to be released in January 2013.

Check out these links for enough detail to make your head pop: