Monday, December 31, 2007

Actor's Master Class: How to steal a scene, by James Whitmore

I've completed my final video for a while (it's time consuming!), a video article for The Thunder Child called How to Steal a Scene, featuring clips of James Whitmore from the movie, Them!

Whitmore steals scenes from practically everyone in the film, from James Arness to Joan Weldon to Edmund Gwenn.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Science Fiction in The Avengers video article

Well, after a week of work with my movie making software, I'm now an old pro. I've done three videos, of which the latest is above, and I've gotten all the skills I need - movie making wise. (Unfortunately I have no original art or music making talent, all I can do is compile the work of others... but oh well.)

So please take a look at my Science Fiction in Avengers video. The beginning is a bit awkward, but there's a reason for that. There are so many photos strung together that it takes forever to "compile" it all, so I'm not going into fix that beginning (there really should be a change of title card at the gunshot in the opening music), because I don't have the time it would take to do it all!

I figured out how to use the story board and timeline features, which would enable me to go in to the Peter Wyngarde video, and fix that so the music better matches the action on screen...but there again, I got rid of those photos once I'd finished the video so it would be too much of a pain to reload them to do the fixing...

Ditto my Let Joy and Innocent Prevail video.

There's a lesson in that, of course. If I'd explored all the features when I'd first started, instead of exploring just a little bit during the making of each video, I'd be a happier camper today. And indeed, I lost a whole day on my Avengers video because I somehow saved a blank movie over three days worth of movie work for it. Still dont know how that happened...

My problem is I can't just do a little bit at a time. I'd intended to do the Avengers video over a couple of weeks...but I started getting more and more into it such that I spent the entire day on it, day after day...not accomplishing anything else in the meantime, which isn't good.

So I can't putz around with more videos, because...I can't putz. If I start a project it will overtake me all day long again, and that's time I can't afford to waste right now.

Perhaps when the New Year starts and I'm caught up with all the reviews I have to do...

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Golden Compass

I haven't seen this yet, but will probably go within the next week.

I'm sorry to see it isn't doing well. (Oh, people are going to see it...but it cost sooooooooo much to make that if it isn't a smash hit, it will lose tons of money)

Whether people are staying away because the heroine is a young girl (and guys of any age don't go to see adventure stories starring young girls), or because the Catholic Church has condemned it as being anti-religious, we'll probably never know. Perhaps a bit of both?

If it's the case that the young male demographic isn't going because they're not interested in female heroines, I'm sorry to hear that. (Equally, that apparently the young female demographic isn't interested either!) It's just like that old truism... girls will read books intended for boys (adventure books, naturally), but boys will not read books intended for girls (even adventure books, presumably.) And I must say that a lot of books for girls are, in my opinion, crap - romance and how to get a boyfriend and what to do if your boyfriend dumps you ya da ya da ya da!!!

But when an adventure film with a strong female lead comes should show young girls that there's so much more in the world, and in themselves...than wondering whether or not some cute boy will ever call them for a date...

On a side note, Benazir Bhutto has been murdered in Pakistan. I was shocked to read that this morning. Of course, a suicide bomber on a motorcycle blew himself, and 25 other people, up, nearby, but apparently Bhutto was shot by an assassin from a nearby building. This is just madness. No one is safe. As the old saying goes: Anybody's safety is dependent uppon the fact that no one wants to kill them.

But when these loons get their people into power, the other side will just start killing them off....

Frightening world. No solution in sight.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Peter Wyngarde duels Roger Moore

Well, I think I'm finally Peter-ed out.

Yesterday I decided to try to learn how to use the movie making software that came with my computer that I got a few years ago, and discovered it's pretty easy.

Pretty easy to do a movie - not so easy to make it look good, I hasten to add.

I uploaded Let Joy and Innocence Prevail, today I did Peter Wyngarde vs Roger Moore in an excellent sword fighting duel from The Saint, and set it to the music O Fortuna.

Unfortanately, the only way to control how long a photo stays before moving to another photo, is via a slide control. Worse than that, although you're supposed to be able to work in second increments, my last 30 or so photos are all stuck at 2 seconds. I can't get them to go shorter.

This is annoying because it's hard to time it to the music properly...

Nevertheless, for a second effort it's not too bad.

However, this will be my last effort for a while, as I've spent 7 hours on this! And I've got so many more important and urgent things to be doing...


Monday, December 24, 2007

Blake's Seven at BBC 7

Blake's 7 has a new production on British radio, and you can hear a 3-part version of the introduction of Roj Blake and his crew right now on BBC 7, every Saturday.

Blake's 7
Rebel: Exiled to the notorious prison planet of Cygnus Alpha, the Federation thinks it has seen the last of Roj Blake. Episode 1 of 3.

Here's a video of Grace Jones singing Let Joy and Innocence Prevail, from the Toys soundtrack. I love this song. Very powerful.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

New Website: Guide to You Tube Videos

About a month ago I posted a You Tube video about how to destroy an evil baby clone, and since that time that particular entry has gotten more looks than any other entry I've ever posted here. (Actually, that's kind of depressing. ; ) )

However, it gave me the idea to start a website called Caroline Miniscule's Guide to Her Favorite You Tube videos, where I share what I've found in my many searches there - great music, animal, kid, political commentary, sports and other videos.

The You Tube Guide - I search You Tube, so you won't have to...

is the URL.

IT's got everything from Rush Limbaugh to Trans-berian Orchestra to Vincent Price.

(Please note that You Tube provides the code for embedding these videos, and since the lawsuit of last year everything on You Tube has to be copyright free or put there with the permission of the copyright owners, who grant this additional use. (If they don't, "embedding" is disabled, but I still provide links to the YouTube page that has the video. If you're looking to hear the Big Pig/Sherine Abetrayne video Breakaway, for example, it's back at You Tube and you can listen to it by following the link on my site.)

The Lucy Show

Pursuing my quest for the work of Peter Wyngarde, I had ordered a DVD of The Lucy Show: Lucy Goes to London. Fortunately it only cost $6.00 (I bought it used) because it is a piece of garbage.

It's a 20 minute episode and after the first half of it, Lucy is still on a New York. Peter Wyngarde is supposed to be in this, Wilfred Hyde White, James Robertson Justice. If they are in it, they've got about 30 seconds of screen time each.

I can remember watching the Lucy Show when I was a kid - both the one in B&W where she startred with Desi, and then the one in color where instead of a housewife she works in a bank, despite the fact that she's petty incompetent.

And I'm watching it now for the first time and I'm just cringing.

Did I actually like this stuff when I was a kid? I know slapstick is supposed to be her schtick, and it's supposed to be funny...but she's just so incompetent.

On the other hand, I think to myself...I saw this crap as a kid, I must have liked this crap as a kid...but it didn't change my opinion of myself as a woman who wanted to get out and do things. So while Lucy would have been a lousy role model, perhaps she didn't "hold girls down," as I would have thought.

And on a side note...the episode has just ended and Lucy never made it to London. No Peter Wyngarde, no Wilfred Hyde White, no James Robertson Justice. Maybe it was a 2 parter and they didnt' bother to include the second part in this Goodtimes DVD. So I sat through it for nothing.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

My Christmas favorites from Charlie Brown

From She's a Good Skate, Charlie Brown - my favorite scene in the entire Brown ouvre:

Double click arrow twice to view:

And this great Christmas song: Snoopy Vs the Red Baron

Oh Fortuna

My goodness Youtube is wonderful.

If you've ever wondered what the words are in Oh, Fortuna from Carmina Burana (most famous from the movie Excalibur) (a great piece of music, but I've never been able to distinguish the words...)

Double click arrow twice to view:

And then there's this version...showing the seductive power of violence...

Trans-Siberian Orchestra Plays Christmas Canon

Last few times I've watched Monday Night Football, they played some cool music from Trans-Siberian Orchestra. So I checked YouTube to see if they had videos, and there are several.

Double click arrow twice to view:

They have several CDs out:

Wizards of Winter - someone timed their outdoor Christmas lights to this - it's very cool!

This one is pretty cool as well, although it takes a while for the music to get started. (Song put to an anime shot). A music video tribute to Haku from NARUTO, song by Trans Siberian Orchestra, "Carol of the Bells"

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Jim Dale Reads The Deathly Hallows

When Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows came out in July, there were parties at bookstores all over America, lasting until midnight when the books were available for purchase.

In New York, Jim Dale, who has read all of the American Potter books on tape, was at a gigantic Barnes and Noble party, and read excerpts.

Here is part 1 of 5 parts of his readings.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The health of Terry Pratchett

I was shocked today to read that Terry Pratchett, only 60 years old, has been diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimers.

Here's the news from his website:
11th December 2007



I would have liked to keep this one quiet for a little while, but because of upcoming conventions and of course the need to keep my publishers informed, it seems to me unfair to withhold the news. I have been diagnosed with a very rare form of early onset Alzheimer's, which lay behind this year's phantom "stroke".

We are taking it fairly philosophically down here and possibly with a mild optimism. For now work is continuing on the completion of Nation and the basic notes are already being laid down for Unseen Academicals. All other things being equal, Iexpect to meet most current and, as far as possible, future commitments but will discuss things with the various organisers. Frankly, I would prefer it if people kept things cheerful, because I think there's time for at least a few more books yet :o)

PS I would just like to draw attention to everyone reading the above that this should be interpreted as 'I am not dead'. I will, of course, be dead at some future point, as will everybody else. For me, this maybe further off than you think - it's too soon to tell. I know it's a very human thing to say "Is there anything I can do", but in this case Iwould only entertain offers from very high-end experts in brain chemistry.

If anyone's looking for any charitable giving to do this year, may I suggest donating to a reputable firm that is researching this horrible, horrible disease.

Terry Pratchett's work holds an important part in my life - for many reasons I won't go in to.

Let's all send positive vibes and good thoughts to him.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Peter Wyngarde photo pages

I've watched my favorite Peter Wyngarde episodes: The Man Who Liked Lions from The Saint, and Epic and A Touch of Brimstone from The Avengers, and put together some photo pages.

Hellfire Hall

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Time keeps on slipping into the future...

I am far behind on entries to all my blogs (Daily Space, Space and Marine Exploration, Dated Death Movies, Movie Education Undone, You Fly Girl), and even further behind on my websites, The Thunder Child, Ghost Guns Virginia, The Solitary Cyclist, and Winged Victory (aka You Fly, Girl).

So today, for the first time in a while, I am pleased to report new stuff at The Thunder Child.

Michael Sinclair sent me a program book from the latest WorldCon, Nippon 2007. I've written up some coverage of it and it is now there, as is more of Michael's reminiscences about fandom during the 70s and 80s - "Say Da to Moscow" and "Hotel Horrors."

I've been watching a TV show called Jason King, from 1970-1972. Features an actor I like - Peter Wyngarde. The shows are ... is a CD I bought called "When Sex Rears Its Inquisitive Head" - also by Wyndgarde. There's a spoken "song" on there called "Rape" which is just the weirdest thing I've ever heard...Wyngade doing all sorts of accents as he talks about rape in poetry form...I just held my head in my hands and laughed in astonishment...but the rest of its interesting...bizarre.... kind of like those records by William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy...although I have to say I liked Nimoy's album and loved the Bilbo Baggins song!

Anyway...there's much of interest in the Peter Wyngarde much so that I think it'd be worthy of a book...except I dont' have the time or the contacts to write one. Simply put, he was a major star in England up until 1973, until he got caught in a public toilet with another guy. And this ended his career there and then. Oh, he'd show up intermittently as a guest star on a tv show once every 3 or 4 years...but that's it.

And I can't help but wonder why. I know the same thing happened to John Gielgud in the 1930s...but that was the 1930s...and his career had hardly a blip. Homosexuality was illegal in England until 1967 so why should Wyngarde, in 1973, have suffered more than Gielgud? Except that Wyngarde was regarded by much of the public as a straight sex symbol, and to discover that he was gay...

(Whereas, in private life, all the actors knew. Apparently he had a relationship with Alan Bates for quite some time...)

Why couldn't Wyngarde's career get back on track? Was he so disliked by all his acting peers that no one would help him? (The story about Bates and Wyngarde implied Wyngarde was very controlling and "bad" for Bates - but it doesn't go into details.)

Anyway, the series is interesting. Most of the episodes don't "work" - the endings are anticlimactic - but probably more "true to life" than other adventure shows - King often calls in the cops and it is they who simply arrest the crooks in the final scene, instead of having a knock-down, drag-out. And he is sooooo self-absorbed...

Ah, well, I've got to stop watching this show and start reading the stack of books I've got to review...