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Posts Tagged ‘Film’

Eraserhead, Wild at Heart, Mulholland Drive; David Lynch’s output has always bordered on the eccentric, to say the least.

Try searching for a trailer for Twin Peaks and you’ll come across this – possibly the most bizarre dance put to celluloid.

Not so long ago, a friend recommended I visit www.davidlynch.com. Meh, probably some bog-standard, self-promoting ‘web destination’ for all things Lynch, shamelessly wrapped around some new film, I cynically thought.

How wrong I was.

Without a doubt one of the most unique websites I’ve seen. Check it out for yourself. It includes, but is not limited to:

A video of the director offering daily weather reports

A dedicated catalogue on the range of David’s ‘Signature Cup’ coffee products

A page of ringtones (presumably created by Lynch)

An online shop selling pins/buttons, distorted nudes books, hats and mousepads

Bizarre but y’know, sort of cool.

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Finally, after months and months of….well, very little, the Avatar campaign has finally kicked off with the much-touted movie’s first trailer. You may remember my very first blog post on Chivalry House enthusiastically hyping that this will change movies and cinema technology. Forever.

And it’s not just self-confessed cine-geeks swept up in this. The Guardian, The Times, The Telegraph…. everyone is talking about this movie. Fans seeking free tickets to a 15 minute sneak peek at cinemas crashed the movie’s website. There was an advert in the Metro, not for the film itself, but the trailer. A dedicted advert for a trailer? Since when does this happen?

From a marketing perspective this is pretty darn effective. Not since The Dark Knight’s viral campaign has so much buzz surrounded a drip-feed of movie snippets and trailers.

And here the trailer is.

Will it be worth the hype? Or this is just excitement and a PR machine running on overdrive?

I’m with the former….just.

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My always insightful brother, wearing his hat as MD of Slingshot Studios, home of such films as the upcoming Infidel starring Omid Djalili, was asked for his advice on what it took to start innovative companies by Richard Wray of the Guardian… Here’s some of what he said:

Advice when starting an innovative company: work out what the points of industry and consumer resistance to your proposed innovation will be (i.e. vested interests, legacy technology or organisational structures, consumer behaviour etc). Assume they will be uncompromisingly disinterested or actively opposed to change.  Work out a SPECIFIC and TESTED plan as to how you will overcome that opposition. Put as much time into that as you do into the innovation itself.

A lot of the people with great ideas you see (on Dragon’s Den and elsewhere) only get as far as the innovation itself. Overcoming cultural change or the perception that things need to be done in a certain way is a massive challenge in all contexts, whether raising money for a startup or deploying a new process or technology within a business. Throw off the status quo, rebel against the man, man.

More on the Slingshot blog and perhaps in the Guardian this weekend. Keeping eyes peeled for brotherly fame.

Cross posted at Division6.

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Feeling blu

We’ve been researching Blu-ray a lot this week. As a relatively young format it’s been through a lot – the initial (and ultimately victorious) battle with Toshiba’s HD-DVD, widespread consumer confusion and the threat of digital downloads.

But now the tide seems to be turning. Increasing adoption of HD programming from the likes of Sky, Virgin and Freesat is getting the message through to consumers that their shiny new HDTVs are only really HD when a proper source is plugged in. Prices of Blu-ray players and the discs themselves are falling, they’re becoming more visible in stores, and adverts which would previously have DVD as the main format are now leading with the Blu-ray version.

The technology is also evolving. Interactive content through the BD Live service is being realised, moving away from simple web pages with more trailers to real dynamic content that isn’t available anywhere else. A good example is last year’s The Dark Knight, which featured a live, community commentary with the director. A new development this year will be seen with the release of Watchmen, where a special edition will also include a PS3 game, taking advantage of that format’s shared userbase.

So, what do you all think of Blu-ray? Have you seen it going and do you think it lives up to the hype?

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Brilliant post explaining what would and wouldn’t work for time-travel in Discover magazine – via Kottke. A special favourite from his list of rules, particularly given that it features in the new Star Trek movie and involves the word ‘spaghettification,’ which sounds both painful and delicious.

5. Black holes are not time machines.

Sadly, if you fell into a black hole, it would not spit you out at some other time. It wouldn’t spit you out at all — it would gobble you up and grow slightly more corpulent in the process. If the black hole were big enough, you might not even notice when you crossed the point of no return defined by the event horizon. But once you got close to the center of the hole, tidal forces would tug at you — gently at first, but eventually tearing you apart. The technical term is spaghettification. Not a recommended strategy for would-be time adventurers.

Loads of other good tips / facts on Discover.

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Ahoy me hearties. I’ve raised the Jolly Roger and taken over the Chivalry House ship.

I’m late to the party on this, but pirates are back in a big way. For much of last month barely a day went by without another reported attack off the coast of Somalia, then the Pirate Bay founders finally appeared in court (and lost – although an appeal may yet save them). Next was Wolverine, whose famous healing powers were tested when his big budget movie launch was trumped by an early copy popping up online, and then, best of all, Facebook became infinitely more fun and interesting than it has in years with the pirate language option (yes, I am that easily pleased).

The traditional, seabound pirate variety got a lot of traction last month and it was pretty scary stuff. One of the more exciting twists was when the media brought Obama in on the act. What must have been a challenging, yet routine mission to rescue a US captain was reported more like an episode of 24, with the President personally giving the snipers the green light to shoot – almost as if surveying the scene from afar with binoculars before calling in Jack Bauer and giving the order.

I’m more interested, though, in the repercussions of the Pirate Bay trial on movie piracy and online distribution. I won’t deny ever using sites like The Pirate Bay, particularly during my uni days. That was the golden age, if you will, of Internet piracy – broadband was a still relatively new thing and practically every film, CD, software or even book appeared online, often before official release. Agree or disagree, you can see the appeal to a poor student. With less time and more money these days, I don’t go there anymore – but I know many still do.

The challenge for the movie studios now is to adapt and evolve to meet the demands of an 21st century, net-savvy audience. Personally I don’t think Hollywood can ever beat the geeks at their own game. While they may manage to close The Pirate Bay, a hundred more will spring up in its place. There have been some overtures to drag film distribution forward: US Lovefilm-alike NetFlix allows members to stream directly over the web, YouTube has recently announced plans to stream entire films and services like iPlayer and Hulu are improving and growing in popularity all the time.

But as yet, there is no Spotify moment on the horizon. I mention that service specifically because it’s truly a watershed in how music reaches its audience – and all who see it, young and old alike, immediately understand it and get started. I have heard friends say they went home and introduced the service to their mum or dad only to find that they started using it weeks ago – when was the last time that happened!?

The film industry needs to get its act together, and refocus its efforts from prevention and prosecution to finding new methods of online distribution. My personal belief, albeit one that is not shared by many, is that online file-sharing of music and films has only a negligible effect on sales – a viewpoint backed up somewhat by record box-office takings this year and a recent survey on music buying habits. What it demonstrates is that people want a new, convenient, cheap way to access content. Give us that, and although sites like The Pirate Bay will survive, they won’t ever prosper like before.

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OK, so there are some other posts coming today, but as I had a clear contender for Friday fun with the Transformers 2 trailer, I thought I’d get it out of the way. No embed code, head over to YouTube and watch in glorious HD.

Michael Bay may be a bit of a douche, but I love the Transformers franchise and its difficult not to get excited about this one. He blows up an AIRCRAFT carrier, I mean, seriously…

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