Tuesday, November 13, 2007

World Records

Matt linked me to these and I am still absolutely blown away by them. The first is of a man that has no face. The second is of Mexican werewolves (oh yes, these are legit).

From the Inside

I've really been enjoying the blog coverage of the WGA strike. There are quite a few writers that are blogging about the experience and doing a fantastic job at it. One I have been enjoying is Plaintive Wail.

He also posted a video from Friday's line at Fox that features Zach De La Rocha rapping (there are too many people with signs to be able to see Zach, but you can hear him).

Here are some more sites that I am enjoying:

LateShowWritersOnStrike (and cleverly enough, it really is them).

Nikki Finke's site.

Friday, November 09, 2007

The Halt Begins

Yesterday, Matt told me about Steve Carrell calling in sick for work (in support of the writer's guild strike). I found this news release corroborating with that statement and also giving Greg Daniels' view of it.

As the article says, new episodes of The Office will cease airing either next week or the week after. Very sad, but a necessary evil (in my perspective).

I also wanted to post a link to another news release. This has two videos that help explain the WGA's side of the strike. The first is a very standard, yet incredibly clear, explanation of what the WGA is asking for and why. Watch it first, for sure. The second is of writers and crew from The Office walking the picket lines. it is rather enjoyable. Check 'em out.

Finally. This is a fantastic site called United Hollywood. I loved the little joke about Ethan from Lost, and the religious zealot who tosses his lot in with the strikers with his clever "Moses was a writer!" chant.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Strange Art

Check this out. This is by far the most detailed and intense origami I have ever seen (although I readily admit that my experience with the art has been very limited, to say the least). After seeing the LOTR set, check out the animals and, well. Just check them all out. The man is incredibly talented.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The Hobbit: The Movie

I found a wonderful site that has stayed on top of news regarding the hold-up and potential production of The Hobbit. I thought I'd give a quick clarification of what the hold up has been (for those who, like me, have not known nor bothered to research into it).
Peter Jackson has sued New Line Cinema for doctoring the numbers in their accounting of how much LOTR made/is making. They were at a stand still for a long time, but the courts recently fined New Line for not getting the required documents in time (i.e. the accounting documents). This has, as near as we can tell, woken New Line up to the fact that they are going to have to do something quick. it seems as though they have entered into serious settlement discussions with Jackson to come to terms that will appease both parties.
They are on a time crunch, as far as production goes. They only have the rights to make The Hobbit until about 2010 (as I understand it). This means that they need to get the ball rolling.
Sam Raimi (directed the Spidermans as well as plenty of other flicks) has made a few comments in interviews that he would like to be considered for directing the film, if Peter isn't chosen. He was quick to add that he feels that Peter should direct the films and that his bid is more of a "in case nothing can be worked out" type bid.
If New Line decides that they can't work with Jackson because of the suit, then a new director would be necessary. I absolutely hate the idea of a new director. This must not come to be.
As an aside, Jackson's case is a really big deal. I can't prematurely say that New Line is guilty, because of that whole "innocent until proven guilty" philosophy that i believe in, but my heart tells me that these production companies and studios are dirty and ever have been. The WGA's strike against them is greatly due to this very sort of thing: greediness on the part of the studios.
That is all.

G.I. Joe: The Movie

I first heard rumors of a G.I. Joe movie back while I was on my mission in the Dominican Republic. At that time, I heard rumors of all sorts of actors/actresses being attached to it. Then, I heard that the whole project was being scrapped (for the time being). It looks as though they are taking another stab at it. All we have reported now is a studio, a director, a writer, and a tentative release year for 2009. At least it's another start. Good news for us fans, though.

I'd like to take this moment (while I am reflecting on my favorite childhood cartoons/toys) to say how great I think it is that they are taking the stab at doing something with these on the big screen. Transformers was done tremendously well (despite a ton of negativity aimed at director Michael Bay from random people I came across). The X-Men movies, and the new Batman movie were all fantastic, also. Keep up the good work Hollywood.

Monday, November 05, 2007


We had a great Saturday night. Burke and Geo came over and we watched Disturbia. I hadn't seen it, yet. It was fantastic! Afterward, as is often my habit, I watched the special features and greatly enjoyed the director's take on the project: Say Anything meets scary movie. The tone of the film was great. It was fun and funny, it had romance, it was a coming of age film (in a subtle sense), and it was a thriller. Shia is turning out to be an incredibly enjoyable actor and I look forward to his future projects.
I was also impressed with the fact that it wasn't just a rip-off of Rear Window. They took it in a different direction with tone and character development. Well done. I give it an A+.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Ancient Ships

This is a slight departure from my normal subjects, but I'm fascinated by this.

Newsweek reports that they are uncovering ships in Pisa (yes, the leaning tower capital of the world) that have been preserved by the very same silt that make the tower lean. It's a modern day/aquatic version of Pompeii. Being an archaeologist would have to be a very difficult job, but sometime in my life, I want to go take part in a big dig like this. How cool.

I also found out about an ancient ship dug up in Stockholm Sweden, that they dated older than the Vasa. These ships off of Pisa are older than either of those.

HP News

J.K. Rowling has written Beedle The Bard (of which much mention was made in The Deathly Hallows), but only seven copies have been published. Seven? As the article says, she is giving six aweay as gifts and the seventh (which is all souped up in Moroccon leather and gilded is silver and jewels and what not) is being auctioned off for charity at a starting price of $62,000. Good heavens.

Also, she is going to be working on a companion book for the Harry Potter series. My understanding is that it will be an encyclopedia all (or at least a lot of) things Harry Potter. This may be the answer to solving the Dumbly-gay problem. I just hope that she'll make it believable.

Themed Albums

I have been thinking a lot about themes in music and lyrics and how they affect songwriting. Songwriting for me has gone through many changes. There were those days when I would write lyrics that were superficial, but necessary to finish a song. I don't regret that at all. I had to learn how to write a song, and I wasn't prepared to access that level of intimacy in myself that will generally give a song an emotional core. I am attracted to that emotional core in other's songwriting, so it seems others would be attracted to that in my own songwriting. Just as an aside--I'm not speaking of the manufactured or over-the-top feelings that often get exploited in music (see "Emo"). I'm speaking of real lyrics. Lyrics that come from inside me and are what I really feel or think (whether presented in a straight-forward way or as sarcasm).
It didn't take long before I began to experiment with my emotions and beliefs while writing songs. Writing songs became much more fulfilling at that point. Musically, it brought me the chance to channel my joy, frustration, or sadness into rhythms and melodies that felt appropriate to what I was feeling. Lyrically, they also gave me a vent that I could turn on to let these things out.
I got to a point in my songwriting, though, where I wanted a greater challenge: I wanted my songs to mean something. I wanted them to be more than just my emotional outlet. The best literature always comes with layers of meaning, and that is exactly what I wanted for my songs: layers of meaning.
I also wanted to craft themes into my songs. This, for me, was something that I had to be careful about; shoving my thoughts or themes down peoples' throats wasn't the idea. This was supposed to be an access to introspection and self-discovery; I wanted to learn just as much as everyone else. That meant that these themes would need to evolve naturally in the songs. Through either telling a story or looking to physical representations of intangible ideas for inspiration and as a way for those themes to tell themselves.
All of this is coming as set up for a project that I am currently taking on. I am analyzing some of the albums that I am most in love with, in search of themes. I don't think this will be possible to do unless I divide it into groups. Otherwise, it will just be too large of a project. I will be looking at outside information in this project (such as interviews given by the artists), but not until after I have spent some time with just myself and the album. I will be looking at it musically and lyrically to see how these two aspects of the song work alone and in conjunction with/against each other. I will be looking at individual songs and at the album as a whole.
At first, I'm going to be limiting myself to concept albums (as I interpret what makes a concept album). I am aware of many concept albums, but I am sure that there are many more out there I've never heard of, so if you know of any worth checking out, let me know.