Sunday, 31 March 2013







This weeks quick fire questions are being shot at Bryan Young from the most excellent Star Wars podcast, Full Of Sith.  Bryan is also editor-in-chief of one my favourite lunch time websites, BigShinyRobot.com.  As if this wasn't enough Bryan also writes regular articles for The Huffington Post and has a monthly column on the official Star Wars website.  He is also an author and you can catch up on his writings over on his website http://www.bryanyoungfiction.com/

Right this should be a good one.  Here we go.


1 You're stuck in a swamp on Dagobah.  What one movie, TV show, album and book would you take?
east of eden book
That's easy, Return of the Jedi, The Clone Wars, Slim Cessna's Auto Club's "Cypher," and something from Kurt Vonnegut's ouvre. Or Graham Greene. Damnit, maybe some Hemingway. Or Steinbeck's East of Eden. That really wasn't as easy as I thought it was going to be.

2 If you could invite any three people (alive or not, fictitious or not) to a dinner party, who would they be?
Franklin Roosevelt, Orson Welles, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

3 What is your favourite John Williams soundtrack?
Star Wars. All six film soundtracks count as one continuous soundtrack, right?

Let you off - Rob

4 If you were invisible for a day what would be the first thing you would do?
Invisibility doesn't hold a lot of interest to me, but I suppose I'd use it to sneak into Skywalker Ranch...  Or Michael Arndt's office to read the script of Episode VII.

5 When was the last time you cried?
The last time I cried, honestly, was the season 5 finale of The Clone Wars when it aired on television. I'd already seen it and knew what was coming, but it didn't matter. The waterworks happened. The best way to enjoy a story is to suspend all of your disbelief and invest in the mythology of a thing. When you do that, and can surrender your emotions to it regardless of the technicalities of it, you're going to enjoy it more.

woody allen size of the universe
His fault
6 What is your biggest fear?
My biggest fear? I get sick thinking about mortality and the size of the universe. I blame Woody Allen for that.

7 What was the most embarrassing moment of your life?
Hmm...  Most embarrassing. It might have been publishing my first book, Lost at the Con. It's hard to describe the feeling of total vulnerability of putting out your work knowing that there's going to inevitably be a mistake in there. Then when you're called on one for the first time it's like being naked in public or something. And when you release that first book, it's a fact of life that you're going to read a bad review, and that really makes you feel embarrassed. Being an artist is emotionally exhausting, because first you have to mine the depths of yourself and then expose it for all to see. Artists have my utmost respect.
 
8 Excluding search engines, what three website would you choose if no other websites were available?
BigShinyRobot.com, Some means of social media, and The Huffington Post

9 Do you have any guilty pleasures?
Yes.

10 What are you looking forward to the most in the next six months?
The thing at the moment I'm most looking forward to is the three week sabbatical I'm taking in Paris. I have nothing planned other than a very general "go sight-seeing and write a book." I've never been to Europe and the prospect of pretending to be an ex-patriate American writer while I'm there like Ernest Hemingway is thrilling to me.

11 What is your most treasured possession?
Do children count? I guess they're not much of a possession. I think excluding people on that list, it might be my copy of Jaws on DVD. I bought it and insisted on watching it with my then girlfriend instead of going out to do something. She ditched her friends to sit and watch it with me, and as the movie unfolded I came to the realization that any girl who would ditch her friends to watch Jaws with you was a keeper. Right in the middle of the USS Indianapolis speech I paused the disc, asked her if she thought like getting married, and the answer was yes. Jaws has always held a special place in my heart and that first DVD copy I own is particularly special to me. But there are other things, too. I had an abusive father and the one time he showed me any affection or encouragement for my career as a writer at all was when I was about 15. He bought me a copy of Kevin J. Anderson's Jedi Search and on the dedication page crossed out the print and wrote, "For Bryan, who takes to writing like a fish to water." It was the one genuinely nice thing he ever did for me. We haven't spoken in more than a decade and probably won't ever again, and I like to think the man who wrote those words was Darth Vader taking the mask off for the last time and revealing Anakin Skywalker, seeking forgiveness moments before his death.

12 What is your biggest regret?
My biggest regret is that I constantly bite off more than I can chew and feel like I'm not spending enough time with my kids, but if you ask them I spend more than enough with them. They're getting to be that age.

13 what are you most proud of?
I'm most proud of the people my kids are shaping up to be.

14 What is your favourite Spielberg movie?
Jaws, for the reasons stated above. It's tied with all four Indiana Jones movies, though, for altogether different reasons. Though mainly Raiders of the Lost Ark.

15 Where can people keep in touch or follow you?
I'm on twitter @swankmotron, on facebook at facebook.com/bryanyoungfiction, and people can listen to me on the Full of Sith podcast. I'm the editor-in-chief of BigShinyRobot.com, and I write regularly for The Huffington Post. I also have a monthly column on StarWars.Com about the cinema influences behind the Star Wars saga. Most importantly, though, I'm an author, and I'd love for people to check out my prose at www.bryanyoungfiction.com




Great answers there from Bryan.  Thanks for answering them.  Make sure to check out the Full Of Sith podcast where you can listen to Bryan on the show along with Tha Mike Pilot and Consetta Parker who answered our questions a few weeks back.  Next week we have Matt Martin of Lucasfilm.


Rob Wainfur
@welshslider

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superman swap shop


Christopher Reeve discussing how he got the role and upcoming sequel 'Superman II' on British TV show Swap Shop in 1980.

RARE archive footage fromollyh82
The show is called Swap Shop and was a BBC produced UK Saturday morning TV show aimed at a younger audience.  The interviewer is Noel Edmonds.  The show tried to be truly interactive before the days of computers by having viewers ringing in and talking to the guests.  Also the reason the show was called Swap Shop because you could ring in and swap your old toys with other viewers.  Christopher Reeve brought in some exclusive movie memorabilia and props to "swap."

Great interview and love it when Reeve mention's weight training with David Prowse.




Rob
@welshslider

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This is a rare video of BBC's Barry Norman in 1978 talking about the upcoming movie called Superman.  The video quality isn't the best, after all it was recorded onto VHS in 1978 and probably didn't use a Scotch tape, (re-record not fade away.)

The video then cuts to various news reports on the movie including the movie royal premiere of Superman.  This video is like a time machine and will bring a smile to your face if you remember the 70's and in particular British TV.  There is a great part when Christopher Reeve tells a kid that "no one can actually fly so don't try to jump off a kitchen table."  The video ends with Barry Norman's actual review of the movie and classes Reeve as one of his best newcomer's of the year.

Enjoy.



Rob Wainfur
@welshslider

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Saturday, 30 March 2013

gorn and kirk


In 1967 Captain Kirk went head to head with the evil Gorn in the Star Trek original series episode "Arena."  Forty years later the two are at it again, all be it a little bit slower and having to stop to catch their breath.

This is a rather good and to be honest quite original TV spot for the upcoming video game of Star Trek which hits the shelves at the end of April.

Check out the video



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StanWinstonSchool.com have release another revealing video showing rehearsals being done on one of the largest dinoaurs in Jurassic Park, the Brachiosaurus.  It show the dinosaur moving its mouth to simulate it eating before it was packed up and shipped out to the studios.

Here's what Andy Schoneberg (Lead JP Brachiosaurus Artist, SWS) has to say about the video.

You're looking at a video of the Brachiosaurus rehearsals in the shop at Stan's [Stan Winston Studio] before the Brach was packed up and taken to stage 28 at Universal [Studios]. You can see the mouth movement. It's a seven and a half foot tall puppet that included the head of course and part of the neck.



See the full article here

Rob

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Friday, 29 March 2013


richard griffiths superman 2

Actor Richard Griffiths, who starred in the Harry Potter films and played one of the terrorists in Superman 2 has died age 65 after complications following heart surgery.

Richard Griffiths enjoyed a successful acting career appearing in numerous TV roles including Minder, The Sweeney and Bergerac.  He also enjoyed being in some of the biggest movie blockbusters including Vernon Dursley in the Harry Potter movies, The Naked Gun and one of the terrorists in Superman 2.

Daniel Radcliffe was among the first to pay tribute, saying: "Richard was by my side during two of the most important moments of my career. I was proud to know him.

"Any room he walked into was made twice as funny and twice as clever just by his presence," he said.

Actor Warwick Davis told BBC News he had the up most respect for someone with such a great filmography behind them.

"He was lovely, he would always make time for his fans, that's what makes a great actor, it's about having a good persona."


Richard Griffiths in The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear


Rob
@welshslider


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the old republic free

The Old Republic has had an impressive 2 million additional accounts created since the game went free to play.  Jeff Hickman, executive producer for the game wrote on the developer's blog that they had some uncertainty when the game was launched last year and were losing subscribers.  But since the game changed its strategy and went free to play, the game has had a new lease of life.  I must admit that since the game did go free to play that I've logged back on to the game and started playing as a new character. so the strategy works.    
Here's what Jeff had to say and click the link below to see the full article.

Last spring, there was some uncertainty surrounding Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ as we were starting to lose subscribers and players were growing frustrated. In fairness, many of the complaints and worries were justified. In an effort to try to address everything, we just weren’t sufficiently focused on improving the core experience.
At the end of the summer, we announced that were going to make the game more enjoyable than ever before by working to improve three key aspects of the game: making it easier to find friends to play with (via Group Finder), increasing the cadence of our content updates (so players wouldn’t have to wait around for new stuff), and bringing back vitality to the game by reaching out to new players via a Free-to-Play option. In addition we introduced some cool new items for everyone to check out via the Cartel Market.
So how did it go? Well, you can see for yourself when you log in to the game. Our new, high capacity servers are teeming with people. Since launch of the Free-to-Play option we have had over 2 million new accounts created and have thousands of new players jumping in every single day. This means more people to play with, more growth for your guilds, more Warzone matches, and more ways for players to continue to advance their characters.

Click here for the full article.

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Thursday, 28 March 2013



The popular Course Of The Force returns this year this July 9th to the 16th.  The course this year will be from Skywalker Ranch to San Diego Comic Con.  The event is a lightsabre relay with several stops along the way and the best thing is its all for a good cause.  Make-A-Wish foundation are the returning charity.

Here's Courseoftheforce.starwars.com has to say:


On the heels of last year’s monumental, first-of-its-kind event, Course of the Force, the lightsaber run that captivated the attention of Star Wars fans around the world, is returning July 9th – 16th, 2013.  Kicking off at the famed Skywalker Ranch, participants will continue the relay run down through San Francisco with several stops along the California coastline before reaching the finish line— arriving just in time for the start of the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con International convention. Nerdist Industries’ founder Chris Hardwick will be back to host the event, with city-stops along the way featuring “Conivals” where fans can celebrate their love of the Saga with live entertainment, expo booths, giveaways and much more.
“Our plan to run at Comic-con screaming with a lightsaber worked beyond our wildest dreams. People showed up! Lots of them! In cosplay! And we were able to grant more than 1000 wishes for Make-A-Wish!” said Chris Hardwick. “Last year we started in Santa Monica, this year, Marin, and hopefully next year Tatooine.”
Course of the Force has reteamed with the Make-A-Wish Foundation chapters of Greater Bay, Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego with 100 percent of all runner registration proceeds benefiting the charity.  In 2012, the Make-A-Wish Foundation had a strong presence during the inaugural event, with Make-A-Wish kids participating in the opening and closing ceremonies of Course of the Force and running in the event.

Read more on this epic even here.


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John Williams has selected four additional music queues from the Jurassic Park movie to add to the soundtrack’s 20th anniversary re-release for the first time ever.
Music Connection says, these four songs “were chosen by Williams in conjunction with his music editor, Ramiro Belgardt. Williams and Belgradt went back through all of the master tapes of the film to spot cues that were not released on the original album.”
The new track listing is as follows. The new songs are tracks 17 through 20:
1. Opening Titles
2. Theme From Jurassic Park
3. Incident At Isla Nublar
4. Journey To The Island
5. The Raptor Attack
6. Hatching Baby Raptor
7. Welcome To Jurassic Park
8. My Friend, The Brachiosaurus
9. Dennis Steals The Embryo
10. A Tree For My Bed
11. High-Wire Stunts
12. Remembering Petticoat Lane
13. Jurassic Park Gate
14. Eye To Eye
15. T-Rex Rescue & Finale
16. End Credits
17. The History Lesson
18. Stalling Around
19. The Coming Storm
20. Hungry Raptor

Well it goes without saying  I will be getting this.  I will let you know what the additional tracks are like and post a review here.

Rob

Info from http://www.hypable.com


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Gamasutra have published a rather interesting article on the technique Lucasarts used to design its adventure games.  Noah Falstein talks about the puzzle dependency chart that was developed by Monkey Island's Ron Gilbert. The technique breaks games down into a flow chart that simplifies a game's narrative into objectives and solutions.  The chart above is for Lucasart's Grim Fandango.

Its a very interesting article and you click here to read it in full

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Hello?  We're gonna need a bigger boat
Hello?  We're gonna need a bigger boat

spielberg chilling
spielberg chilling

sppielberg having a bad day
Spielberg having a bad day?

Spielberg and Dustin Hoffman as Hook
Spielberg and Dustin Hoffman as Hook

Spielberg & E.T.
Spielberg & E.T.

John Williams and Steven Spielberg
John Williams and Steven Spielberg

Spielberg behind the camera
Spielberg behind the camera
Rob

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Wednesday, 27 March 2013

top ten star wars


With the internet buzzing at the moment with speculation of who will be in Star Wars VII I thought I would speculate who will NOT be in the movie.  With just a hint of sarcasm I give you ten Star Wars characters you are unlikely to see in Star Wars VII.

Jira
10 - Jira (Storms coming Annie, you better get home quick.)
Yes that old lady from Phantom Menace.  I'm only guessing here but I would be very surprised if we see her or her food stand in Star Wars VII.  I would hope she's paid the mortgage off on her hut now and enjoying enjoyed a quiet retirement making wind chimes to warn visitors of any incoming storms.

TK-421
9 - TK-421 (Why arn't you at your post.)
I can reveal to you now that a source told me he was asked to be in Star Wars VII. Yes really!  But on the day of the audition they called his name and he was no where to be seen.  Shame.  Next!


Uncle Owen Left and Aunt Beru Right
8 - Uncle Owen & Aunt Beru
Too soon?

Max Rebo Band
7 - The Max Rebo band
Shortly after the Jabba performance the band split up and Rebo opened up a restaurant chain.  The other band members went their separate ways but weren't as successful.  Snootle become addicted to spice while Snit wandered off into the desert on Tatooine never to be seen again.  Although there is no chance of a come back their greatest hits are constantly in the Empire-records top 40 holographic downloads.


Don't smoke, sorry.
6 - Elan Sel'Sabagno (You wanna buy some Death Sticks?)
After going away and evaluating his life, Elan for a brief time handed out leaflets explaining the danger of death sticks.  This didn't last long and evaluated his life once more.  He became a blogger and started a podcast called Full Of Sticks.  He quickly became a huge celebrity on Coruscant and very soon couldn't leave his apartment without being noticed.  Eventually he became a recluse and after a one off special podcast in which he said his goodbyes he was never seen or heard from again.


Make it a double
5 - Kabe
I would imagine judging by his eagerness for a drink that his liver(s) exploded.

That staff looks like a repro
4 - Amanaman
Amanaman sold his staff which had his victims heads attached and lived his remaining days a rich Planariam.  Unfortunately he met a soggy end when, while on his private island he decided to go for a swim and quickly realised he was allergic to salt water.  His body shrivelled up and he never recovered.

Vlix.
3 - Vlix
Having had great difficulty in tracking him down, the casting team for Star Wars VII were disappointed to find that he was just too expensive.

Where's Kitster?
2 - Kitster
It was decided very early on that under no circumstances was Kitster to appear in Star Wars VII.  (Although there are increasing rumours that he may have his own spin-off movie.)

Me'sa be in newsa movie?
1 - Jar-Jar Binks
It is has been rumoured that if Jar Jar even has a walk on part in episode VII the Internet will implode, economies will once again collapse and the world will end.

Any I've missed?  Let me know below.

Rob
@welshslider

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angry birds cloud city gameplay


Watch the new video from Rovio showing game play for the cloud city level of Star Wars Angry Birds.   What makes it extra special is it features Boba Fett or the birdy equivalent anyway.

Coming soon.



Rob

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chaos theory jurassic park


Now this is really cool.  In fact it makes me want to do this myself. Super fans of Jurassic Park have recreated the "chaos theory" scene shot for shot and with a rather impressive impersonation of Jeff Goldblum.  Make sure you don't miss the rather high tech dinosaur shot.

After this video I am definitively subscribing to their Youtube video.  Check them out here but before you do check the videos below - CINEFIX.



To see how accurate they were, check out this comparison video.


If you want to kit your own car out with the same décor as one of the Jurassic Park cars then watch this behind the scenes video to see how it was done.


What scene from a movie would you like recreated?  What about the Indianapolis scenes from Jaws?  May get to work on that one.

Rob
@welshslider

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jj abrams george lucas


Empire magazine have posted a revealing interview with Star Wars VII and Star Trek Into Darkness director J.J. Abrams.  For the first time the director opens up on coming on board for Star Wars.  He was boldly (sorry) asked "What are the plans for Star Wars VII?"

“I don’t know because we’re just getting started. So it’s a great question that I hope I’ll have a good answer to when I know what the answer is. There are infinitely more questions than answers right now, but to me, they’re not that dissimilar. Though I came at these both from very different places, where they both meet is a place of ‘Ooh, that’s really exciting.’ And even though I was never a Star Trek fan, I felt like there was a version of it that would make me excited, that I would think ‘that’s cool, that feels right, I actually would want to see that.

“How we were going to get there, what the choices were going to be, who was going to be in it – all of those things I knew would have to be figured out, but it was all based on a foundation of this indescribable, guttural passion for something that could be. It’s a similar feeling that I have with Star Wars. I feel like I can identify a hunger for what I would want to see again and that is an incredibly exciting place to begin a project. The movies, the worlds could not be more different but that feeling that there’s something amazing here is the thing that they share.”

Read the full article here.



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