Saturday, April 27, 2013

Remember, Boys And Girls: Don't Be A Dimwit!

Yes, don't be a dimwit and leave your blog for ages so you have all the more to catch up on when you do! Well, it certainly has been a busy week, but at least I have something to show for it! two things, even! Check it out!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Well, I'm On My Way

My stars, it certainly is going to be a busy week for me. Not only am I editing the Mewtwo Returns review but I need to put together a compositing project and get the preproduction on my BIG project to at least a decent standard by Monday! It always seems to be that way with work for me, feast or famine...

As for Jess, she's done great, and we just found out it's going to be a boy! Still not sure how I feel about that, we were kind of hoping for a girl, but it's still very exciting and it's not going to make us care for him any less. Still freakin' weird, though...

Movie of the day: The Sword In The Stone. I'd really almost hesitate to call this a "movie", it's only 75 minutes long and to be honest, there's really no scope to it despite the lofty setting and main characters. I'd prefer to call it a beautifully animated Disney TV special. The jokes and pacing are... okay for the time period but oh my, the character animation in particular is just stellar. Worth watching twice over for any student of the animation craft, and a nice little distraction for the rest of us.

Song of the day: Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard by Paul Simon. When most people think of Paul they usually think of maudlin folk songs with depressing messages, but what they tend to forget is that he also sang some pretty catchy and upbeat tunes! ...With depressing messages. Still a fun song, though.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sketchbook Sunday, Part The Eleventh

Someone commented last time that maybe I should just do the Movie and Song of the day if I can't think of something to write. I guess that would help you to know that I'm still here, so I'll give it a try. That said, I actually do have some things to say today.

We've been on an efficiency kick after we finished cleaning up the bomb site that was left after the in-laws evacuated, so I decided to really get down to it and work on my end-of-month review. After eight straight hours I finally finished up the script! It's probably my most negative review so far (aside from FFVII:AC if course), but I'm still quite pleased with it, so I'll hype it up a bit. It's a  solo review of Mewtwo Returns. I'll give a release date when the titlecard is done, but it should be interesting!

Now, for some sketches.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Didn't Know What I Had To Do

I'm losing it. I really wanted to hold onto the daily blog thing, but it's surprisingly hard to come up with something interesting that I did every day. I guess I'm just a boring kind of guy. That plus the fact that I'm scripting two major projects means that I'm going to have to shift how often I post to every other day, and then just to update with something interesting I found. I'll still try to post daily, just no promises anymore.

That said, check out this freaking thing!

If I owned this, I would grind it to powder with how often I would use it. It is my absolute dream equipment, and it rekindles the excitement of filmmaking within me all over again. The instant I have a large enough budget for a $15,000 steadicam, this will arrive on my doorstep the day before it happens. It's the most beautiful piece of filmmaking perfection I have ever seen, and one day, it will be mine.

Movie of the day: Overboard. I could almost call this a guilty pleasure, but decent writing, a heartwarming yet sufficiently cynical story, Goldie Hawn at her prime and Kurt Freakin' Russell elevate it sufficiently into Watchable Chick Flick for me. I think Goldie is like Hugh Grant: at their best when playing complete jerks (at least at the beginning).

Song of the day: Stronger by The Sugababes. I have a real love/hate relationship with this group. Their first single, 'overload', was a really smart and different song that stood out amongst the manufactured stuff. "Freak Like Me" was also amazing, but I'll talk about that one later. Then, they started losing members and started producing the manufactured crap that they originally stood out from. Now I don't even think they have any of the same members. I do really love this song, downbeat and engrossing, yet with an optimistic message. I think it was their last good one.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

When The Morning Comes

I keep forgetting that I don't have to write a long post every day. Short post, ho!

Today we mainly just entered into recovery mode after we saw the family-in-law off at 4 in the morning (lots of napping was involved in the afternoon). We have to sort out all the stuff they left us including two scooters and three bikes. I guess it'll eventually lead to some extra scratch but ugh, it's just tiresome.

Got some great ideas for my end-of-month review, hopefully I'll have a script done by the end of the week. I've been having no end of trouble with streaming, so I'll have to put the first impressions series and AMV heaven on the backburner until further notice once again. I'll figure something out...

Movie of the day: Second Hand Lions. There comes a time when you just want a nice little heartwarmer of a film to relax and enjoy in the good old-fashioned lazy afternoon kind of way. It's pretty harmless, but it maintains interest very well (especially in the fantasy sequences) and you can't go wrong with Robert Duvall and Michael Caine. The story behind the screenplay is quite intriguing too, check it out in the extras.

Song of the day: All Alone by Gorillaz. I love Gorillaz, they were the first band I ever bought an album from, and this song exemplifies one of the best things about them: how unconventional they can be especially for a pop band. I love how it seems like a dirty little headbobber and then suddenly just blooms into a sublime orchestral splash of sunshine for a second. I just wish that bridge could be a song on it's own.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Keep Believing, Keep Pretending

I apologise for not putting up my usual 'sketchbook sunday' post yesterday. It wasn't because I hadn't drawn anything, it's just that I haven't been able to reach the scanner for all the people in this ludicrously small apartment! It's not too bad, though, they're leaving tomorrow and it's really going to be quite sad, especially for Jess. They were a little piece of home and family that she always had around. Sure, we'll always have skype, but it's just a shame things didn't work out.

Two recent developments: my writer's block has been smashed with extreme prejudice when it comes to my independent end-of-year project (the one that counts for a ludicrous amount of my grade and is basically a self-financed short film). I'm working on the concept and a rough draft of the script, and soon I'll be filming a teaser for potential backers. That's right, this sucker's gonna be crowdfunded! More details as they come, but the ideas are coming at an awesome rate. Stay tuned and don't worry: I'm also working on a great video for the end of the month.

The other development? I think I'm getting a cold. Crap.

Movie of the day: The Muppet Movie. Yes, it's dated and corny, but it's so incomprehensibly charming and sincere that it's easier to bite your own finger off than to hate it. Most of the songs are actually really good, even today, and some of the jokes are just awesome (Steve Martin is a surprise scream). The ending song still gets me a little choked up. I'm not sure how a modern kid would handle it, but for those who remember the Muppets, it's pure childhood.

Song of the day: D.A.N.C.E by Justice. Catchy and mind-blowingly dancey, this is one of those you can't help bobbing your head to, and the production is just deliriously enthusiastic. Play it on a good day to make you feel even better. I love the funky retro vibe it gives without pandering or losing it's originality.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

And I Ride And I Ride

Well, I made it through yesterday's bout of gloominess... Only to run into a whole new set of problems today. We had to set up a new fridge that was given to us because my sister-in-law is moving back to America, which we had to do in the first real rainfall of the year, then just as we had finished moving everything into place and caught our breath, we got a knock on the door and found out that, through no fault of theirs, that same family has to stay with us for four more days, starting today. We were actually somewhat prepared for this as we knew that they needed somewhere to stay, but we expected them tomorrow and only for the one day! Our apartment is already nastily tiny, I hope we can fit 2 adults and 4 children in here... As I said, it wasn't their fault, but man it's still tough. Despite that, I did manage to gett the next Nancy Drew video up and ready, though. Stil not sure what to do for next week.

Not to mention it was also me and Jess' Two year anniversary today! Well, technically it's tomorrow as we got married in America on the 6th, but eh, whatever. Despite all that's been happening we still managed to have some fancy mexican and took a nice road trip. To those who follow my twitter, every year I mention that I'm not seeing the downside of marriage yet. Still not seeing it. It's awesome.

Movie of the day: Waking Life. This is a film done entirely in experimental rotoscoping, kind of like "A Scanner, Darkly" (by the same director) but way more out there. It's pretty much a treatise on philosophy and the power of dreams, and although it makes some interesting points, I felt like it said all it needed to say in the first half hour. It could have een a great short film, but it's stuck being a mediocre arthouse flick. I just find it bizarre that this director, Richard Linklater, not only directed this but also Dazed And Confused, Tape, Before Sunrise and... School Of Rock? Bad News Bears? You never know what he's going to do next.

Song of the day: The Passenger by Iggy Pop. This song was used in the trailer for Waking Life, and I thought it was awesome. May be a bit repetitive for some, but you can't deny the guy has a compelling and unique voice, even if he does look like Gollum.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Thumbs Down

Been a bit of a downer this last time period. Last night I decided to really get down to it and record not only the next Suede Played, but also a test run for my First Impressions series. Nancy Drew went fine, even though I'm not quite as pleased with this one as I was with the earlier ones (of course that probably means it'll be the most popular, that's just how critic's luck works). But as for streaming... ugh, I don't think I'll be able to do it after all. It feels like the internet in New Zealand is years behind any other first world country. My plan not only has a download cap (very few can afford unlimited downloads) and in terms of speed... well, let's just sum it up here. In the current state of the internet in my country I cannot afford a connection either fast enough to stream HD, or 'wide' enough to allow me to stream regularly without eating up my download limit. Live and learn, I suppose, but it is quite disheartening. I suppose I should get back to my scripted reviews, at least I know they'll upload.

Another downer is that Roger Ebert passed away, as I'm sure you all know. Since I didn't grow up in america, I wasn't as influenced by him as others, but I've seen the impact he had on so many filmmakers and entertainers I respect. I guess you could say I wish I had known him better than I did.

Well, now to try and make people laugh at pokemon! *sigh*...

Movie of the day: Ip Man: The Legend Is Born. Yet another depressing thing about the week. I spotted this in the video store, hearing great things about it and  some awesome reviews. Then, when I saw it, I was really, really underwhelmed. I had some decent kung fu, for sure, and the actors do their best but it was really dull, predictable and bordring on anti-japanese propanganda. I just didn't understand why people thought so highly of it... and then I looked it up on IMDB and realised that what I got was actually the second sequel to the one everyone was raving about, a prequel showing how he began! Well that was depressing.

Song of the day: Graveyard by Jason Hayes, Tracy W. Bush, Derek Duke, and Glenn StaffordCompleting this thoroughly depressing day, have one of the nicest dying soundtracks in videogames. Dying almost didn't seem so bad when the awesome music came on. Perfect serenity. Wish me luck that tomorrow won't be like this!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Believe In Me

Yep, It's back to the daily grind, learning a software I really don't have much interest in learning but kind of have to if I'm going to get an entry level job (although I'd prefer to work in production rather than post). Tonight I'll record a new Nancy Drew and start preparing for both the streams and the proper review at the end of the month. There have been so many times I've tried to organise my life, hopefully this time it'll work out. I need to decide in a day to release my weekly vids. I'm leaning towards Saturday, but maybe Friday would be a better choice since more people will be at work or school...?

I've been playing a few of those done-in-five-minutes art games. Check out Every Day The Same Dream and Freedom Bridge, but only if you don't mind feeling really depressed. Games can really draw you in through the simplest things.

Movie of the day: Le Voyage Dans La Lune. This is available to watch for free (it's public domain) and it's only a quarter of an hour long, so there's really no excuse to check it out. This is the masterpiece (or at least the signature piece) of Georges Melies, the man who pretty much invented special effects. It's a heady feeling of human accomplishment to watch a film that's over a hundred and ten years old. Not to mention it's still awesome in a campy overte top way. check out his other work too, you can just feel the enthusiasm he had for it in each picture.

Song of the day: Tonight, Tonight by Smashing Pumpkins. Yeah, this is partly because the music video is a tribute to the above film, but I've always really love this song anyway. When lush, vibrant strings are pulled off well in pop music it's a thing of beauty. Too bad it only happens about once a decade. Billy Corgan's vocals take some getting used to, but at least you can get used to them.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Here You Are, And There's Where You Want To Be

All right. OK. I have been screwing up my schedule long enough and now I need to start over. Let this day (ironically April Fools in America) mark a new beginning for the blog in which I take it more seriously and get it done promptly every day. Forward!

Keeping with this new resolution, I've decided to keep a stricter schedule and I'm even starting arrangements to put out videos weekly, even with my busy student life. The answer? Streaming! Well, in a sense. This is the idea: I do a streaming episode each week, then put it up on blip at the end of the week. That way my die hard fans can watch as I review live, and the casual fans can see it later. What are these streaming shows, you may ask? Well, the first is a first impressions series I'm calling (at the moment) 'Nani Desu ka?' where I watch the first episode of an old or new anime on crunchyroll and give my two cents on it as I watch it. I still need to ask crunchy roll permission to do so, but hopefully everything will work out. The other one is a reboot of an series that seems to have fallen by the wayside: AMV Heaven. This time, instead of editing together a proper review each time, it'll be in radio/VJ format, introducing them, watching them and giving my opinion.

So, here's my ideal schedule, hopefully beginning this week (maybe next):

First Friday of the month: Nancy Drew
Second: Nani Desu Ka?
Third: AMV Heaven
Fourth: Proper review

How does that sound? Think it'll fly? I guess we'll just have to see...

Movie of the day: Hugo. This is a very good movie, and it taught me and my wife quite a few amazing things that we really weren't aware of. It's amazingly intriguing, but unfortunately I can't quite tell you what's intriguing about it without spoiling major plot points. Let's just say anyone with a love of film owes it to themselves to see this. Also, did you know that automatons like the one in the movie really did exist? It's insane!

Song of the day: Start Over by Abandoned Pools. This was the last son played in the TV series Clone High, a show I can't say I was a huge fan of, but I did admire the concept and ideas it had. I also really liked this song. It's pretty standard college fare, but there's this maturity and darkness to the production that elevates it above regular pieces of the genre.