This video is rather long, for an internet video, but well worth watching. It will help you understand an aspect of U.S. society you may or may not be aware of.
The above video is NSFW but contains no real adult content. It is an excellent audio reading with a fun ending I’m sure, if you’re a fan of the general content posted to this blog, you’ll find hilarious.
Neil Gaiman brings up some really good points for books. But I’d like to expand the conversation to all media and fill in a few gaps I think he missed.
Thoughts on Digital Piracy across all media
What should have been said above is “Mileage may vary”. But I’ll get to that in a minute.
Piracy does something really interesting in my opinion. It puts the power and control in the hand of the consumer rather than the distributor. What I mean by this is that consumers, thanks to piracy and actual legal forms of free media distribution, are allowed to consume content, then decide to support the content by paying money. It says “Here. View this. If you like, please realize that the person who made it needs money in order to make more like it. Pay them.”
Reasons why it works
Someone made a motorcycle styled after a Xenomorph from the alien movies and it looks awesome! Check it out:
The following are scanned images of a letter written by Austin Madison, an animator at Pixar. He wrote it for the Animator Letters Project, a website that encourages professional animators to write letters to those who need the encouragement. While I have no dream to become an animator, I am working at becoming a novel writer and some of these letters, the one below in particular, has a message that all should know, when pursing your own creative endeavours.
(Page 1 of 2) (continue reading…)
I never had a love for the original trilogy of Star Wars. As I grew up, I was far more of a Star Trek fan. My friends loved Star Wars but when compared to Star Trek, Star Wars looked dinged and dirty. Don’t get me wrong, I had my obsession with lightsabers and R2-D2 but the Jedi never impressed me and Darth Vader never scared me.
So when the original trilogy came out, I didn’t have the whiplash effect of most of the fans of Star Wars. But I also wasn’t enamored with the movies either. I remember stating clearly “Phantom Menace is a movie for five year-olds and forty-five year-olds.” I was a teenager at the time. Jar Jar Binks vaguely amused me but mostly annoyed me. My love of lightsabers was rekindled, and I had to admit Qui gon Jinn kicked some serious butt. The subsequent films did nothing to impress me further, culminating in Dart Vader’s reveal and the infamous cry that made me laugh at out in the theaters.
Fast forward a few years to the present and lately I’ve been wondering if I need to give Star Wars a fairer shake. I’ve always had friends and fans around breathing on my neck. I’ve seen a few episodes of the Star Wars Clone Wars televisions how and enjoyed it even if the plots are generally geared towards a younger crowd with little content for adults and I can’t honestly say I’ve really seen any of the original trilogy movies in a sit down and watch type of session, save for Empire which I saw in theaters on re-release.
So I recently stumbled on Film Nerd 2.0. He is a well-known internet movie critic among the internet movie critic circles and he decided to introduce his two sons to Star Wars, and wrote about each movie viewing. They’re excellent reads.
After reading about how the kids experienced the films, I think I may do this as well sometime, although probably as more of a marathon, and try out McWeeny’s viewing order.
I found this via a tweet of a friend who linked to Movie Bob’s website. So if you’d like his commentary on the subject, click here.
Several generations of people have grown up knowing the character Casey Jones. He was the psychotic side kick of the mean green ninja fighting machines known as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. A simple man who decided to wield sports equipment as his weapon of choice, and classically wore a hockey mask as his costume. I understand recent revisions have updated that somewhat.
With this introduction I present to you the independently made: Casey Jones: The Movie
This is no short film but I consider it a decent faithful telling of a more realistic version of a Casey Jones origin story. Plus it has cameos of you know who. Check it out when you have a spare hour.
The creator of the webcomic Manly Guys Doing Manly Things re-blogged an article by a film teacher, who did an interesting study.
It works like this: I bring in my giant file of head shots, which include actors of all races, sizes, shapes, ages, and experience levels. Each student picks a head shot from the stack and gets a few minutes to sit with the person’s face and then make up a little story about them.
What she finds isn’t so surprising to me but it might be to you. Headshots of white men are the most fleshed out, often assuming main character status. Women are primarily identified by their relationships with other cast members. Minorities are more often relegated to minor roles, or antagonistic roles. This is done by students of all races, in classrooms of equal gender mixes, but even if that weren’t the case, the fact is, it is happening.
Sexism, racism, and bigotry aren’t something you always do with intention and historically never were. Good rational people espoused beliefs in the superiority/inferiority of one race or one gender because that’s what society taught them. In this day an age, our media is our society, and it teaches us, indirectly, that certain types of sexism and racism is still okay.
But it isn’t.
For you creative types out there, I challenge you to keep this in mind. I challenge you to challenge the people who might stop you from creating works that really will teach our society that it shouldn’t matter your race or gender, that each person should be evaluated as a person first.
And now I’ll leave you with a stunning quote from the article:
“You said she was a mom. Was she born a mom, or did she maybe do something else with her life before her magic womb opened up and gave her an identity? Who is she as a person?”
Given that the adaption of popular Marvel character Thor is getting his movie debut this weekend, a friend of mine linked me to this article talking about some of the original portrayals of the Norse gods and how silly they were, compared to the portrayals of other gods in other religions.
Heh. Thor in drag.
Man, do we have some great nominations this year. The Hugo Award is the leading award for excellence in the field of science fiction and fantasy. The Hugos are awarded each year by the World Science Fiction Society, at the World Science Fiction Convention. In part one I went over the novel, short stories, and relate work nominees. Part two I went over and speculated on the Best Graphic Novel category. Now let me go over the categories everybody is familiar with:
Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form
Which in laymen’s terms is “The Movie” category. Nothing in this list should surprise you. Dramatic Presentation for Hugo Awards is another name for theatrical film.
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, screenplay by Steve Kloves; directed by David Yates (Warner)
- How to Train Your Dragon, screenplay by William Davies, Dean DeBlois & Chris Sanders; directed by Dean DeBlois & Chris Sanders (DreamWorks)
- Inception, written and directed by Christopher Nolan (Warner)
- Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, screenplay by Michael Bacall & Edgar Wright; directed by Edgar Wright (Universal)
- Toy Story 3, screenplay by Michael Arndt; story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton & Lee Unkrich; directed by Lee Unkrich (Pixar/Disney)
Really there isn’t a bad movie in this list. Long time readers of this blog will know, of course, that I’m throwing my weight behind Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. I love the movie. I love the comic for which it draws the majority of its ideas. The only movie that comes really close to beating that is How to Train Your Dragon. Both were excellent movies but Scott Pilgrim and is a perfect world, they’d both win and have it be meaningful.
Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form
Next we have our short form dramatic presentation, which can actually draw from anything. For example we have three particular episodes of Doctor Who:
- Doctor Who: “A Christmas Carol,” written by Steven Moffat; directed by Toby Haynes (BBC Wales)
- Doctor Who: “The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang,” written by Steven Moffat; directed by Toby Haynes (BBC Wales)
- Doctor Who: “Vincent and the Doctor,” written by Richard Curtis; directed by Jonny Campbell (BBC Wales)
All of them excellent episodes from the fifth season of Doctor Who. I’d actually have a hard time selecting only one of these.
But in comparison we have a short film, originally posted on you tube entitled:
Fuck Me, Ray Bradbury, written by Rachel Bloom; directed by Paul Briganti
Warning. The above video does have rather explicit lyrics, if the title didn’t tip you off to this.
This is both a surprise and not much of a surprise. The Hugo Awards are well-known for not being shy when it comes to the concept of sex and sexuality. The appreciation, humor, and appeal in the film is readily apparent.
And that is the last of my coverage of the nominations. There are, of course, many other categories including best editor, best fan writer, etc. Please take the time to look over the names and see if there is anybody you would like to congratulate.