Monday, January 11, 2010

Some of these works (Twelve Fives) are currently on display at QUT Kelvin Grove here in Brisbane, dusk till 9pm each night until the 20th. If you'd like to see Twelve Fives shown in an interesting way (multiple pieces overlapping in time) then please come along. It's free and outdoors on large projection screens.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Twelve Fives USA #09: San Francisco 

Twelve Fives USA #09: San Francisco is live. Though I finished the rough version of this edit many months ago, it sat around waiting for a re-edit. Much better now. There are more in the USA series to come but others will likely sneak to the front of the queue.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Twelve Fives Europe #01: By Scooter 

In a huge technological step backwards, here's a 4:3 Twelve Fives, shot in 2001: Twelve Fives Europe #01: By Scooter. From when my wife and I travelled around Europe for three months on a scooter, this is the sped-up best bits that she shot while I rode.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Twelve Fives Hazel HD #01: A Year in a Minute 

Here's the iPhone-friendly version of Twelve Fives Hazel HD #01: A Year in a Minute. That's five seconds of video from each month in my daughter Hazel's first year. The second year is almost up and there will be another video in the next month or so.

Tech notes: Though this video is 640x360 — as other HD-sourced movies on this site will be — this video has already been posted in HD to Vimeo and YouTube. Why both? Vimeo is a much friendlier place for original video, but YouTube works on the iPhone. Finally, if you're using QuickTime Player to create 640x360 from 1080i video, be sure to check "Deinterlace" in the QuickTime Player's Properties window.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Twelve Fives USA #08: Midwest 

A long time coming. I'd love to (re)commit to doing one of these a week, but... no promises, and not likely in the next month or so. Twelve Fives #08: Midwest; enjoy.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Twelve Fives USA #07: Onward and Out 

Finally, finally, I know. Not dead, just resting. This episode leaves NYC behind, heading for Chicago in Twelve Fives USA #07: Onward and Out. There's a whole lot more of the US to see, but I'm sure we'll be seeing some Twelve Fives HD and Twelve Fives Hazel before too long.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Twelve Fives Second Life #01: Help Island 

Yes, Twelve Fives is back, with a quick trip into the first place you'll visit after you know how to walk in the virtual world of Second Life: Help Island. Because if you haven't been to Second Life, you should.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

I Love Travel 

New content! Though it's not an official Twelve Fives video, it's travel-related, and works on a five-second rhythm. Some Twelve Fives content makes an appearance and I think you'll like it if you like the Twelve Fives videos to date. Created for the Lonely Planet competition "<3" (less than three, or a heart in IM-speak), here is I Love Travel.

Download speed should be better as I'm now hosting my videos here -- though I haven't changed any of the older links yet. Let me know if it works for you.

Monday, December 11, 2006

It's aliiiiive! 

It seems premature to say that, but yes, Alan from Belfast, there will be more Twelve Fives, as soon as I get some more video imported onto my replacement hard drive. I've been busy; I don't know what happened to the time, but it slipped away. So yes, more coming soon. Actually, there's an un-twelve-fives video you might like, called "Five", on YouTube. Enjoy!

The music, since you asked, is original, created in Apple's Soundtrack. 120bpm lines up nicely with 5 second shots.

EDIT: What was I thinking? It's 96bpm or 192bpm that lines up nicely with 5 second shots.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

A brief break 

Twelve Fives is on a brief hiatus due to an annoying hardware failure. It'll be back in the next few weeks. Sorrry!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Twelve Fives Tech Ed #01: Before 

Finally, without fanfare, here's the first of the series from Boston, covering Microsoft Tech Ed 2006: Twelve Fives Tech Ed #01: Before. I can't link (I don't think) to the shorts I'm making for Microsoft, but these Twelve Fives vids will draw on some of the same footage.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Almost ready! 

Sorry; I know nothing's been posted for a few weeks, but I've been busy shooting and editing for Microsoft Tech Ed 2006 in Boston. Based on that footage, I've got the next twelve fives vid ready to go, as soon as I can get it encoded and up. Really!

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Twelve Fives USA #06: Brooklyn and Back 

This tenth episode might be the last for a little while -- I'm off to the US to visit Microsoft Tech Ed 2006. Will post some Twelve Fives Boston from there if I can, but otherwise, sit tight. Comments and suggestions are, as ever, welcome. Hope you like Twelve Fives USA #06: Brooklyn and Back.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Twelve Fives Mallorca #04: Port de Soller 

Someone sensible once told me to avoid high-bit ASCII characters in unusual situations. I didn't listen, because I like little accents and other typographic twiddles. Oh well. Hope you like (and can read) Twelve Fives Mallorca #04: Port de Soller.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Twelve Fives Mallorca #03: Driving 

This one took about 10 minutes for the almost-medieval music, another 15 for the editing. How it's meant to be! Enjoy Twelve Fives Mallorca #03: Driving.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Twelve Fives Mallorca #02: Sa Calobra 

Though I'm busy, there was just time to put Twelve Fives Mallorca #02: Sa Calobra together. The nicely framed driving shots aren't even mine -- credit goes to my sister Beck for filming as I drove. And for saying "wheeee".

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Twelve Fives Mallorca #01: El Cheapo 

Five NYC vids is enough for the moment. Even though the footage from that part of the world is drawing to an end (Chicago soon), I wanted to look back further. Mallorca is known throughout Europe as a cheap holiday destination; the package operators have set up huge generic resorts where you're always within sight of at least one generic "English Pub". My sister and I went for a cheap, short break from the UK, and the evidence starts here. Enjoy Twelve Fives Mallorca #01: El Cheapo. A new style of music, too.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Twelve Fives USA #05: Around the 4th of July 

Coming to the end of the NYC footage, but might take a diversion through Mallorca or something more recent next anyway. Here's the next from NYC: Twelve Fives USA #05: Around the 4th of July

Monday, April 17, 2006

Subscribe through iTunes 

Wow. I wonder how many people reading this got here via the Boing Boing link to Airport? Welcome! Anyway, if you want to automatically get all the episodes as they're released, just subscribe to Twelve Fives through iTunes.

EDIT: If the last link didn't work for you, try this one, made with the official Apple iTMS Link Maker.

If that doesn't work for you, there's also this RSS feed, also at the bottom of the page to the right of the Blogger icon.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Techy details 

A few technical details for anyone wanting to make their own Twelve Fives vids.

The original video was shot in PAL (720x576 pixels) but as it was shot as anamorphic widescreen, that works out to 1024x576 in square pixels. The podcasted movies are half that: 512x288 @ 25 fps.

For compression, I use and recommend QuickTime Player to compress in H.264 @ 650 kbps. Yes, you can use free tools to compress in H.264, but they look terrible compared to QuickTime, which looks great at that size. To avoid interlacing issues, I turn on Single Field in QuickTime Player's Visual Settings before exporting. That way, there's no vertical resampling and no double images.

Why no iPod-friendly video? Well, though there's an easy Export to iPod with Video option, it produces large files. You can manually produce an MP4 if you play with the settings yourself, but you've got to downgrade to QuickTime 7.0.3 to avoid a bug, and be very careful with your settings. Even with all the care in the world, one of my movies still wasn't coming out iPod-friendly, despite using exactly the same settings as several other movies that worked just fine. Since the audience (you! all of you!) is small and conversion is just a menu option away for those who care, I'm just sending out larger, higher quality movies for now. Let me know if you really care either way.

Audio is original, compressed down to 96kbps AAC to save a little bandwidth. To easily sync the beat changes with 5 second shots, the tempo is set to 96 BPM, which also contributes to the languid feel. Average level @ -12dB, peaks around -6dB, but this isn't broadcast so I'm not being super strict about it.

Um... anything else? If you're reading this through an RSS reader, feel free to leave a comment on the site itself @

Twelve Fives USA #04: Day + Night 

Yep, the next one, the last of the original four I made before I launched the thing. There's another ready to go next weekend, but I've got to pull my finger out and get a few more done. Maybe not New York, maybe Europe. For now, it's still NYC: Twelve Fives USA #04: Day + Night. I'm even in this one.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Twelve Fives USA #03: Times Square + Central Park 

More in NYC? Yep. Here's Twelve Fives USA #03: Times Square + Central Park.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Twelve Fives USA #02: Empire State 

Looking down from the Empire State Building: Twelve Fives USA #02 is live.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Twelve Fives USA #01 


Here's the official release of Twelve Fives USA #01. Comments welcome, and more movies on the way. I'll try to get one new movie out each week. QuickTime 7 required. It's a 5.2MB MP4/H.264 file @ 512x288. RSS feed on the right. iTunes Podcast link coming soon.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Welcome to this little experiment in short short film, delivered as a video podcast. It's simple: twelve shots, each five seconds long. Why? To find a way to show old tapes that won't bore everyone (including me).

I've edited holiday footage down before: 8 hours from three months on a scooter around Europe. It went down to 2 hours 45, then down again to 1 hour 25. That's watchable, but I don't have time to. I do have time to edit and to watch a series of one minute snapshots, so I made up some rules to help. Don't worry, it's not Dogme.

Pick twelve good shots and find the best five seconds in each. Add some music, credits top and tail, and you're done. Easy to edit, and twelve similar shots create a tight little haiku-style portrait.

As I work through the many "USA road trip 2004" tapes sitting in the cupboard, I'll add more episodes to the video podcast. I'm considering opening this site up to other people's videos. I'll add a few how-to guides if people are interested. For now, drop me a line on twelvefives [at]

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