OK people, I want to see more like this.
Anime fans will be excited to hear that Hollywood is turning some of the more popular animes into live-action movies. Akira and Ghost in the Shell are on the way, but the first to arrive on the big screen is Blood: The Last Vampire. (One of my personal favorites.)
The line between video games and movies blurs even more with this amazing trailer for the new World of Warcraft game: Wrath of the Lich King
Here’s a brilliant video from the psychos at CollegeHumor.com
If you live in the Minneapolis / St. Paul area, there’s a handful of names you outta know, even if you aren’t involved with the local music scene. Mark Mallman is one of them.
Imagine you are at a great show, and the band reaches the crescendo at the end of the night; the penultimate build-up to the penultimate climax, and you swear the energy being conjured is so intense that even the walls of First Avenue couldn’t possibly contain it…
…That’s how Mark Mallman starts the show, and the energy goes up from there.
Make sure to check out Mark Mallman’s Wikipedia entry to find out about the Marathon 26.2 Hour and 52.4 Hour SONGS he did. And if you ask me, he was robbed for not getting into the Guinness Book of World Records for the “Longest Pop Song”. Trust me though, Mark is able to take that 52.4 hours of energy and squish it all into a half hour show.
The shows are part musical live performance and part…something else. Ever seen someone ride their keyboard like a horse, twirling a microphone cord over his head like a lasso? Ever seen a keyboardist sneak up on his keyboard using a chair to fend off it’s attacks while he plugs it in? Ever see a keyboardist hold his keyboard out to the bass player so she can kick it to make some improv musical effects?
If you haven’t, then you haven’t seen Mark Mallman live. And you really should.
Musically, Mark Mallman mixes Pop Rocks with Orange Fanta and shakes the hell out of it. In other words, a sweet, sticky colorful mess that will haunt you for days. But check it out yourself: you can hear his latest work on his website http://www.mallman.com/, (check out his blog while you’re there…) and you can buy it directly from the (Mall)man himself: http://www.tradebit.com/download.php/826791.
But enough of my caterwauling, you can here the Mallman ramble about himself right here:
In about 2 minutes, the 48 hour film fest awards for Minneapolis will go live, and you can see this years winners. I just got back from the awards ceremony, and I can give you a 2-minute heads up that “Birthmarked for Death” took best Picture, and a handful of other awards.
The group team Chiaroscuro was up against had 3 films go to the finals, so it’s no surprise that our effort “Fort World” didn’t make it to finals, but it’s nothing to be ashamed of, we had some great company and great competition.
Art Is Resistance
Tonight, Team Chiaroscuro got to view their latest work of art on the big screen. Our entry for the 48-Hour Film Festival premiered tonight, alongside many well-done works.
It was a crazy weekend.
The genre we drew was ‘Film de Femme’ which is pretty open to interpretation. The prop was a Fish, of all things, and the line of dialog was “You look very familiar”.
The group assembled over pizza and beer, and began brainstorming ideas. We tossed around a lot of great ideas, and I think it was the wide-openness of the genre that made it difficult for us to dial in on any particular one. It might have been easier to start with more limitations, but by 9:30 we had a plot roughed out. As part of the script-writing team, I helped to flush out a script by midnight. We called it ‘Fort World’.
Saturday Dear-God-Early AM
I joined the team at Jess & Colin’s place. While most people were inside the house, shooting the initial scenes, I began working on the set in the garage, which was the interior of Fort World. I swear, when we got done, it looked like the inside of the bottle from “I Dream Of Jeannie”
After shooting started, I headed back home and my friend Reid Rejsa and I recorded a few foley sound effects. I actually had time for a nap before the gang came over laden with video.
Things were going swimmingly. Josh and I sat down to pick through some music, and “The Sarahs” began slicing and dicing the video…
…when the power went out.
Saturday 10:00 PM
I called the power company, and was informed that power wouldn’t likely be restored for 4 hours. So the Sarahs pulled the video workstation, and took it to their place. I went to bed around 3:30 AM, and still powerless.
Sunday 8:00 AM
Woke up to no power. I pulled my entire goddamned studio apart and fit it into the trunk of a 96 Saturn, and lugged the whole thing over to Josh’s place. While I put the foley FX into place, Josh and Colin came up with some quirky musical pieces to drop in. A little touchup on the audio, and we pressed a DVD around 5 on Sunday, leaving us 2.5 hours to turn it in.
18 June, 2008
The 48-hour film presentation. We got to see Fort World on the big screen, and I was impressed. Team Chiaroscuro managed to meet our meager goal of making a film that, to quote Josh, “doesn’t suck.”
Fort World On YouTube
It took some sushi, ginger ice-cream and a couple Tiger beers at Sushi Tango to solve some old TV mysteries like this one. Anyone else remember this bit?
Food for thought for movie graphic designers, regarding the Trajan font:
When my monitor of almost ten freaking years went kitty-wompus, I saved my pennies and splurged on a nice 22-inch LCD monitor. Of course I was eager for something to test it out.
Sifting through my pile of unfinished video games, I came across Portal, a member of Valve’s Orange Box. Wicked addictive fun, and from what I read after completing the game, it drew higher praise than the other components of the Orange Box. You can now purchase Portal separately.
Portal is a puzzle-style game. Your character doesn’t have a truly offensive weapon, simply a Portal Gun, which opens teleport planes to allow you to move things (most importantly yourself) from place to place. The physics of the game are great fun, and often necessary to solve the puzzles and advance to the next test area.
The best part of the game is the dialog of the computer construct which tutors you as you go through the various ‘tests’. The dialog for the game is as quotable as any good movie. Reprinting it here does not do it justice. The affect and tone are just as important as the lines. The promises of “cake” for completing puzzles is hysterical.
The Cake is a Lie
While playing Portal, you may eventually wonder if there truly is any cake at all. Clues left behind by someone who had gone through the test before you say that “The Cake Is A Lie” which lead to a meme among gamers. The Cake is a Lie has become gamer-geek-speak for anything promised and not delivered.
Roughly translates to “your promised reward is merely a fictitious motivator”.
I won’t tell you if there truly is cake at the end, but there is a song that is quite funny. Make sure to sit through the end credits to hear this lovely song “Still Alive” by Jonathan Coulton:
The game took me about 6 hours total to finish.
Thanks much to Saveau for the Portal tip. It was a great distraction and a good test for my new monitor.
- Portal Video Game on Amazon (Affiliate link – thanks for your support!)