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Reporting on movies, film festivals, film production, premieres, movie events, industry trends and plays from around the world

IPad not quite ready for its Cannes Premiere


by Marc Halperin

Today , Wednesday was the opening of our first Cannes as working press. We have attended almost every year since 2001 working in the Film Market. Wednesday started and ends with Robin Hood. Press screenings were held in the morning but with some press reviews already out in the States it was more important to attend the press conference. A typical media circus. We arrived at the event early to make sure we were inside where we ran into many of our press friends from around the globe, including a group from indiewire and Jeffrey Wells. The press Lounge was very nice and comfortable, thanks to the folks from French telecom giant Orange.

As the star arrivals began the population of the room quadrupled as every photographer in the city seemed to appear with their long lenses and at least two cameras each. Our WiFi service went from snappy to crash under the shear volume of terabites of images being emailed to outlets around the globe.

I was the only one with an iPad on the first day,but not because others didn't have one already, more due to the fact that no one else was ready to risk a major story on a device they hadn't had months to familiarize themselves with. Its intricacies are pervasive. I am still working to get the bugs out of my workflow. Not having a hardcopy of the User manual is a challenge. Maybe iPhone users are having an easier time of it but as a new user there is much that isn't instinctual.

After waiting hours to download a User manual from the Internet not having an easy way to see it on the desktop is painful. PDFs should just appear there and the user should have the option of deleting them. Someone like me who really knows their way around the Mac OS just expects a much easier workflow from Apple. Macs made up more than 2/3's of all laptops in the room so an iPad could make big in roads within this group. Several of our friends had bought them in advance of this trip but with an internet system that is sold like car insurance none of them was willing to spring for high cost WiFi service at $15-20 a day or $60 for 5 days on more than one device. Also no one had been able to buy a camera input device so that was another deal breaker for many.

Editing copy in Notes is painful at first as you search for a way to safely enlarge the text so that you can fix combined words due to missing spaces. Where is the Undo button? I have now discovered that if you hold a finger on a word a magnifier emerges which you can target ever so carefully to make corrections. However the magnifier doesn't line up where you think it would be, so you need to look above the point you think you are looking at. Where are my 3D glasses, I think this is the effect that they were going for  with this design. More than once the device has simply started to erase words or pasted duplicate text into my document with no way to fix it with Undo.

I have spent hours trying to suss out how to do normally easy tasks because the device expects you to have fast pervasive Internet connectivity at all times and store items in the cloud, but how do you do that in the real world. Where is my hard disk icon so I can find files?

My iPad has 30G of storage more than enough to get the job done.Our first iBook only came with a 6G drive. Whoever would have thought I would dream of having Finder? Before I left town I placed all of my important files on my iDisk. How in blazes do I get them? Through iTunes it says simply. So where are they? Where is a simple icon that says your stuff is here? There isn't anyway to search for it either.

I am still pleased with my purchase and refinements will come from Apple and the development community because this device has promise and there is a real need for a gadget of this type. Also I am disappointed with the Apple portfolio case as the iPad doesn't mate well with the keyboard stand combo. Maybe the separate BT keyboard was abetter choice but then you have the dilemma of positioning the iPad.

Our day ends with the Gala evening screening and a party afterwards for Robin Hood these will be reported on everywhere in all of the media.

Today is Thursday and the market opens. I will attempt to post this article directly to the website, but hopefully today only I will also bring along the iBook just in case that doesn't work. Well it didn't work and I have had to email the story to the iBook and paste it here. My next story will be written directly in the blog.

At least with the iBook I was able to download the user manual and now I have a copy when the download is complete.

Met another frustrated iPad user in the Press lounge today he was giving up and looking for a regular computer to place his story.

We are booked up solidly today with meetings and events so there should be plenty to write about soon on film.


Apparition to give up the ghost? Ever since the founding of this company I was puzzled by the odd choice of name. Now word is that Bob and Jeannie Bernie have exited over the weekend and will be in Cannes on their own.

The indie sector really has been in disarray lately but that means opportunity for some because the traditional art house audience isn't being served by the majority of indie film being self released these days. Either the producers have no money to spend on publicity or advertising, or the films were made with no particular targeted deliverable audience in mind. A traditional sophisticated audience still exists but they are not looking for edgy fare or cheaply made indie versions of studio films at the same ticket prices. Films like "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" have strong core audiences because of the novel's fans and the film solidly delivers.


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About MarlaLewinGFV

Lewin Marla
(Global Film Village)

Marla is a producer, playwright, screenwriter, publicist and now a journalist. She attends 12 to 20 film festivals per year. She has spoken on filmmaking at many festivals including Cannes and SXSW.


Los Angeles

United States

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