Saturday, 31 July 2004

She wears Abercrombie & Fitch

Finally got around to listening to the commentary track for ABC Television's Alias pilot Truth Be Told. And it was an unabriged pleasure listening to the dulcet tones of Jennifer Garner and the stuttering energy of J.J. Abrams (who sounds a lot like a young Steven Spielberg).



I recently transcribed my thoughts concerning Alias, which appeared in The Official Magazine #4.

Friday, 30 July 2004

Welcome to The OC

In October Warner Bros lifts the wraps off the first season of The OC (on R1 DVD). The set traverses seven discs and contains compelling added-value. R2 details are unknown at present, but I'll update as soon as I know more.



The creative agency commissioned to produce the DVD packaging also worked on the upcoming Star Wars Trilogy release.

Whilst Mac OS X 10.3 users wait for the final release of 10.3.5 (seeding continues). Technology from PortalPlayer forms part of the iPod DNA.

Wednesday, 28 July 2004

Splinter of the Mind's Eye

The stylized visage of Darth Vader looms large over a chaotic field of molten lava in Hasbro's forthcoming Episode III product line.



The luxuriously furnished bubble pack is reminiscent of The Lord of the Rings toy line (from Toy Biz). However, of greater note is the design of Vader's helmet, which alludes to Ralph McQuarrie's pre-production paintings for the original trilogy!

It would be remiss of me not to notice the adoption of Apple-style branding - a white and grey backdrop.

Tuesday, 27 July 2004

The Corpse Bride

Tim Burton has been in the creative wilderness since his meaningless remake of The Planet of the Apes. However, it appears that he may have rediscovered his macabre muse in the stop motion form of The Corpse Bride!



This production, which was originally announced around the theatrical release of The Nightmare Before Christmas (1994), is an animated interpretation of a 19th Century Russian folktale, where a man mistakenly weds a corpse. Burton back on form? The smart money suggests an emphatic yes!

Sunday, 25 July 2004

Episode III

On Saturday, as Dad and me embarked on the emotional odyssey of transferring Mum's personal effects from Mardon to Lucerne House, Lucasfilm officially unveiled the title of the final Star Wars movie at Comic-Con International.



There's a symmetry to this title, which underscores George Lucas' narrative technique of repeating threads with different intonations. And Return of the Jedi was initially announced as Revenge in '83.

In a nutshell the title rocks!

Friday, 23 July 2004

i'm lovin' it

Bournemouth University’s Alumni Association interviewed me for a special magazine feature focusing on graduates who are now successfully working in the media. The article was published in The Talbot (Summer 2004) magazine. Download the PDF here (13.9MB).

Thursday, 22 July 2004

The Rainmaker

Watching Francis Ford Coppola's adaptation of John Grisham's novel was unnerving. There are too many parallels between Rudy Baylor's conflict and my own!

My friends at Sideshow Collectibles continue to add to their already impressive roster of licensed products! Marvel and Star Wars join The Muppets, Buffy and Lord of the Rings.



Any avid admirer (myself since The Ice Storm) of Katie Holmes would be remiss not to watch her appearance on MTV's Punk'd! She was attending an interview with movie director McG and, well, download the RealVideo clip here.

Wednesday, 21 July 2004

What's your childhood trauma?

As a follow-up to yesterday's comic book themed post. I'm delighted to now be associated with Batmans.de a cool German site dedicated to the exploits of the Caped Crusader.



On the subject of Dark Knights. Last evening after weeks of waiting, I finally viewed the Angel series finale. The mood, atmosphere and rain-soaked conclusion captured the zeitgeist of my life. The team went out fighting!

Tuesday, 20 July 2004

Singer soars

X-Men movie franchise auteur Bryan Singer is officially signed to direct Superman's big screen return. According to sources the narrative will intertwine with the mythology of Richard Donner's 70's opus Superman (The Movie). Singer's roster of upcoming projects includes Logan's Run and X3. Presumably the latter project will remain under his aegis as the previous entries are structured as part of a trilogy format. Lets hope that Smallville's Tom Welling is afforded the deserved opportunity to transition to the big screen!



With the news of Superman and Batman Begins (currently in production and headlined by Christian Bale and Katie Holmes) comic book licenses are at an all time high! You can view original Superman and Batman fine art in my gallery. In the future I intend to add new material.

Plug time! My friend Nick Smith is about to release his new novel.

Back to screenplay writing!

Sunday, 18 July 2004

Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore

Mum's medical condition continues to manifest issues with no sign of 'closure' in sight! The Yellow Brick Road goes ever on.

Steve Jobs appears on the latest cover of Newsweek sporting the new 4G iPod, which elegantly meshes the signature design of 3G and iPod mini variants.

Anyone interested in the development of Blogger may wish to learn more.

Time to watch Dawson's Creek season one episode Detention - a postmodern pastiche of John Hughes' seminal sociological movie The Breakfast Club.

Saturday, 17 July 2004

Happy Birthday Dad

Today we're celebrating my Dad's birthday and taking life easy (a very rare luxury). My Auntie Marion (and family) are here on vacation and meeting us at Mardon Neuro-Rehabilitation Centre (where my Mum has spent the past 8 months of her life).

Mum is moving to Lucerne House midweek. This will be for ever. For ever. Seeing it in type hits hard, but having Mum alive is a gift. Hope is underestimated...

Friday, 16 July 2004

WYSIWYG

Blogger's Post Editor is undergoing further fine tuning and finessing! The web-application interface has been retooled and now resembles a feature-rich e-mail client. Is the Gmail and Blogger development team one and the same I wonder? The value-added additions, including text formatting and image uploading, are welcome. However, there is a caveat in the short to mid term. Mac Users will need to use a Mozilla-based browser (my preferred branch of the Gecko Engine is Firefox) to fully leverage the service improvements for the foreseeable future. One of the Google User Interface Engineer's has a blog and welcomes user feedback.

Bruce Springsteen's haunting ballad Sad Eyes eloquently expresses my current emotional mood! I feel akin to Pacey (Joshua Jackson) in Dawson's Creek season 2 episode His Leading Lady. The past few weeks have been too turbulent.

Wednesday, 14 July 2004

Reality Bites

Harman/Kardon continues to release compelling multimedia audio products under its JBL brand! Apple Computer’s partnership with HK began in earnest with the release of the original iMac. This was rapidly followed by Soundsticks, Creature and Invader speakers. On Tour and On Stage now join this distinguished ensemble, which has delighted audiophiles and casual listeners alike. All JBL products share a distinctive organic look and feel and this affords seamless integration with Apple Macintosh hardware, not that I am in anyway biased!

Talking of eye candy. It struck me how Keira Knightley now resembles a composite of Jewish actresses Natalie Portman (a given) and Winona Ryder (see the June edition of Premiere magazine). A friend pointed out that Keira’s filling a vacuum vacated by Winona following the infamous shoplifting incident in 2002.

Tuesday, 13 July 2004

Cool collectibles

When I'm not beta testing software, writing game reviews for IMG or creating new content for my site, I collect TV and Movie memorabilia! Cool collectibles such as diecast models from Corgi are no longer considered just for boys. Baby boomers are nostalgic for high value products from Dr Who to Thunderbirds.

Corgi's brand new range of Batman collectibles celebrates more than 60 years of what has been DC Comics' most enduring creation. Replicated under license to 1:43 scale, each of the five models offers working features such as opening bonnet showing engine detail, moulded Batman figure, spring-loaded opening wings (Batmarine) and transparent canopy cover. This series ranges from the earliest days (1940) to the turbo-charged 2004 Batmobile. 1960 Batmobile is my favourite diecast model car of all time. In the '70s the Batmobile and Batboat gift sets were gold dust!

Monday, 12 July 2004

Vanilla Sky

Ever felt like you've fallen down the Rabbit Hole a la Alice in Wonderland? Since studying Sociology (A-Level) in the early '90s (prior to the cinematic adventures of Neo and Trinity) I have felt like a postmodern Alice surrounded by a world of symbols waiting to be decoded and/or encoded. Of particular interest to me has been the field of semiology.

The founding Father of semiology was Roland Barthes a French philosopher, linguist, and educator. In general, Barthes wanted to create a way for people to deepen their understanding of language, literature, and society. Specifically, he focused on nonverbal signs. His greatest concern was occidentalism - that the French bourgeoisie considered its culture and mores to be universal. He felt that society is a construction, perpetuated by signs of the dominant values within its culture.

Semiology is, arguably, a tool with which to deconstruct myth and, by extension, reveal the Status Quo!

Friday, 9 July 2004

I, Robot

Appears that the former Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is a fellow fan of iPods! In an interview with Wired, Will Smith told the magazine that the iPod is the gadget of the century. "I have every model. My CD collection from my entire life is on them. I probably have 52,000 songs." High praise indeed.

Found the following blog, concerning OS X 10.4 Tiger application Automator, an interesting read. Incidentally, OS X 10.3.5 is now seeding to developers and promises to be the most substantive update to Panther since its initial release last year! No idea what 'substantive' equates to, but here's hoping...

Back to Photoshop and downloading the latest patch for the World of Warcraft beta test.

Wednesday, 7 July 2004

A mini blockbuster

At long last Apple Europe has officially announced that the iPod mini is to be released to retail at the end of July! Boasting a superior design to the award-winning 3G iPod, the mini is the quintessence of compact and bijou chic. You can pre-order now.

Tuesday, 6 July 2004

An appointment with Doc Ock

As a child I spent many an hour building LEGO sets - including Thunderbirds rescue vehicles and Sky Harbour from the end of Close Encounters of the Third Kind - and reading comics. The following Spider-Man 2 spoof elegantly encapsulates those halcyon memories.

Monday, 5 July 2004

Soccer Socrates style

Last night's Greek victory was the perfect bookend to a seminal Euro championship! Greece beat Portugal (the host nation) in the opening game and the conclusion was poetic. The pit invasion could have broken the Greek concentration, but the remaining minutes only secured Greece further possession of the ball...

Sunday, 4 July 2004

Point and click cinema

In the late '80s I cut my audio/video editing teeth on linear equipment i.e. three machine edit suites for video and 1/4 tape (chalk and cutting knife in hand) for audio. The mid 90's witnessed the advent, and rapid development, of non-linear, non-destructive workflows. It occurred to me that since that time all my editing has been Mac-based! In 2003 I revisited my production analysis written for December Duet (an original drama made during my final year at Bournemouth University). It is available as a PDF download.

Since the unveiling of Dashboard at the WWDC 2004 a debate has raged concerning Apple's alleged 'rip off' of Konfabulator. The following blog outlines the historical development of widgets, which found its genesis on the Mac platform many years ago.

Friday, 2 July 2004

I want my MTV

During the week I got to grips with Real Export Plug-in and whipped up RealVideo and RealAudio samples, that can be downloaded from my site. They are encoded in Variable Bit Rate (VBR) Download format and really fly!

VBR is an encoding method that ensures consistent high audio or video quality throughout an encoded file by making intelligent bit-allocation decisions during the encoding process. In this instance the encoded files were multi-passed for high quality.