Sunday, 30 November 2008

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water...

This may sound strange but I have an irrational fear of the sea. I'm not a swimmer, in fact I despise the activity, but this has nothing to do with my fear. I've also been on boats, and have yet to get see sick; again not a cause.

This fear has a little to do with the unknown. I like to think, that as the sea is relatively unexplored, that there are things down there that we have yet to see. Take those evil neon fish for example. How mental are those things. All fangs and lights. Those and the fabled giant squid, which only ever seems to wash up in bits (Does this not imply there's something even bigger...?)

Anyway, my irrational fear mainly comes from video games. And of those, mainly Tomb Raider. Whenever there is an instance where you have to swim a great distance my fear is released. I think it comes down to the fact that you can be attacked from any direction. I remember being scared in the midst of a red sea level on Shadowman 2 I think, and then going to see Saw at the cinema. Back to the point. Tomb Raider is the main culprit though, and more specifically Tomb Raider 2. There's a whole section base at the bottom of the see, getting attacked by sharks and sneaky eel things that dart out at you from the black rocks. Cue pant change.

There havn't been many other instances over the years but I recently begun playing Tomb Raider Underworld on Xbox 360, and again, I had to change my pants. As you may or may not know, the first level takes place, once again, at the bottom of the sea. You've got scuba gear so air isn't a problem. But this time around, the Hi Def graphics don't help to ease my fear. All I'm saying is at one point I literally had to pause the game to catch my breath, and then there's this thing just watching you and you think "Will it get my if I swim past it? It is blind after all". I still don't know the answer to that question, too scared was I to try.

So I guess, to make a point with this post, Tomb Raider is still ace, video games can have an emotional effect on the players, and the sea is scary.

Procrastination over.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

It's my Birthday...

...and I'll post if I want to. Still alive after 26 years.

Ok, so this is more a reason to see what I was up to on my 26th birthday years down the line. To see how far I've come hopefully, 'cause as it stands, it isn't looking too promising. Yes, I'm going to moan. Huzzah!!!

Anyway, my birthday is shared with a couple of decent famous folk. According to the ever accurate Wikipedia, victim of Jack the Ripper, Elizabeth Stride, was born in 1843. Apart from her there's Fisher Stevens, William Fichtner, Kathryn Bigelow, Jimi Hendrix, and Bruce Lee. Not a bad line up really. Makes you think this collected talent must rub off on me at some point.

Apart from that nothing much is going on. I said it was to see what I was up too, but as I'm not up to much it's going to be pretty difficult to say anything. Earlier this year I had an animation in the E4 Estings competition final, then I edited the behind the scenes footage for Ten Dead Men, then I wrote a script with my brother. Then nothing. Since about July there has been nothing of creative interest to be getting on with. Yes there were alterations to be made to the script, but overall, my creative juices seem to be drying up. I'm still plugging away at mystery script number two, but as mentioned creatively its getting difficult. I still have a couple of things on my mind that I don't want to go into that could be hindering me. Either way, I'm sure at some point my mind will find its path.

Which brings me onto The Forbidden Kingdom. Better get something out of this post. This is the Jackie Chan and Jet Li "Together for the first time" vehicle. And its alright. Its pretty much the same as The Warriors of Virtue, except with no Kangaroos, and the kid is older. I did enjoy it though. I think I would have liked it more had I been a little younger but it was still enjoyable. Not as good as Congo me thinks.

Now Sidekicks, what a film that is. Actually still not as good as Congo, but a perfect film to watch when its too late to watch anything properly. It's basically about a kid who dreams about teaming up with his, and everyone's hero Chuck Norris. It's also stars the late, great Mako in. Trailer posted below for your pleasure, another one that shows the whole film. Happy Birthday me.

Just found this on Youtube and thought I'd add it on. Cool AFI video for Miss Murder.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Blogspot = crap

Ok so I just wrote loads, then lost it all because blogspot is crap and wouldn't save anything so now I've got to write it all again, but I don't want to because I'm ill and now very pissed off. So here's the quick version.

Bloody woods, a crappy short I made got flagged by Universals Music Group because of music tracks I used. The let me keep it on YouTube but I don't really care 'cause its crap.

This video was on Warren Ellis blog. He says its crap and if you like it you are crap. It is crap, but also really funny.

This video scares me. It is weird.

This trailer looks ace, despite the fact it looks fan made.

Right. I'm off now I've wasted all this time.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

In association with What Writes At Midnight...

I agree with what Brother Chris wrote in his last blog about the Friday the 13th remake. My problem with this remake is the appearance of Jason. I guess this could be spoiler: (Everyone knows he wasn't present in the original. So why does he feature in the remake. I guess there will be a reason for this but still.) Why remake it at all. I hated the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake. Well maybe not hated. but it was incredibly pointless. As was The Omen remake. The problem with these remakes is you have to keep the most memorable aspect of the original. In these cases the memorable aspect is a character, Jason, Leatherface and Damien. Despite my hate for remakes, one that works particularly well is Dawn of the Dead. This, I think, comes down to the fact that that memorable aspect of this film is the Mall and Zombies. If you've got those two, you can call it a remake, but also anything can happen with them. If you're remaking characters, you can't change them. But a Mall. Why would you need to change that? Exactly, you wouldn't. Anyway, they could have called it Friday 13th at least.

This brings me onto the trailer game. Yes I'm creating a game of it. The Hills Have Eyes 2 trailer is excellent. And although not as interesting, there is this for Back to the Future. Again, not much is given away.

On the other hand, this is how not to make a trailer.

But Superman III is ace. Much better than Superman II. What I like about the trailer is the line "Richard Pryor comes to Metropolis". This kind of makes out he's playing himself in the film.

Anyway. I've wasted too much time on this. Especially as I started writiing about something else, then changed it all.

One final clip to weird your out. I found the trailer for this on Xbox Live of all places but couldn't find it online so this small clip will have to do. It's a film called Clifford and star Charles Grodin and Martin Short as a 10 year old boy. Yes that's right. MARTIN SHORT AS A 10 YEAR OLD. This film was made in 1994, Martin Short was 44, and playing a 10 year old. Surely there must has been a Culkin they could have used. Anyway enjoy the clip.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

You can't save everybody... my saying would go I if were reassuring someone in a Zombie/disaster movie style situation. Instead, this is how I console myself when I let innocent people die when I've only got a few minutes left to save a guy so I can get the next story point in Dead Rising. Yes, the games returns to haunt this blog. I've calmed down a little since last time. The game is not without its faults, but I'm beginning to enjoy the apocalypse. Well, digital zombie apocalypse.

You may find my above reasoning a little strange, but I find it shows strength of character. I'm not one to complete every last aspect of a game just to unlock a new hat. But when There are people getting eaten I find myself trying to save them, despite not having the time to get where I actually need to be. This happens to be one of the faults with this game, despite all the freedom you get, if you want to experience the story, you just can't save everybody. It is physically impossible. Anyway, enough of this, there are more important matters at hand.

Today I watched Millennium Actress, an anime from the director of Perfect Blue. I've had this film on my pile for quite a while when I went on a spurt of anime buying, although I've yet to watch any. Until now that is. Unlike Perfect Blue this film is not as suspense driven as the former, nor as visually impressive/confusing (I was falling asleep at the time of watching though) as Paprika, Millennium Actress is just a nice film. It uses a cool character interaction to tell the story of an aging actress who spent her life looking for her first and only love. The story proceeds through he life combining actual event sin her life, with the events in the films she starred in. This is a fictional story though, as I mentioned to Brother Chris, it would be cool if the same method was used on an actual biopic.

Again, not the most important thing to have happened, but 'twas worth a mention I thought.

Now here we go. I've finally begun work on Secret Project Number 1, which will remain secret until a time I see fit, to protect me from embarrassment it nothing happens with it. That and stealers. Anyway, I've begun to write the treatment, and now I waste time blogging, but the hard part is out of the way. Hopefully ideas should start flowing. I will say this however, unlike the previous script I worked on with Brother Chris, this is not of the fighting genre. There are no clear cut goodies and baddies, and not simple "they fight" set pieces. Which is to say, the other script if more interesting that that, that was just a summarising breakdown. This one needs to be planned. It's a more complicated route from A to B this time, but I'm getting there. I just hope it survives the translation from my head to the page/screen.

So I'm off to get some more done.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

I'll just hide in a cupboard thanks...

Ok, so I was going to do some writing tonight, but I'm too knackered after an excellent Flogging Molly gig in Manchester last night (6th Nov as we're past midnight now). Anyway, instead of me working I'm going to get something off my chest instead.

Tonight I started playing Dead Rising. Now I like to keep on top of the games I play, and I'm currently playing Halo 3 co-op with Brother Tim. However, he's gone a visiting this weekend so I'm left without a co-op partner and want to play a game. The problem is all I've got are beat em ups and skateboarding games that I'm part way through and I needed something with a little more substance. So I began Dead Rising.

And now I've developed a love/hate relationship with this game. On the one hand it captures the essence of Dawn of the Dead with a little of the survival of Resident Evil thrown in. It is Capcom after all. And there are vast amounts of zombies, and you can pretty much use anything as a weapon. So fun times.

Then there's the saving. You can only save in the security office, of toilets, and as with many malls these are spread around, only thinly. So I'm running between missions and get drawn up in the experience so I decide to help out a few locals. Now these locals are idiots an despite my best efforts die pretty quickly. I'm only one man remember, taking down an army of undead. So I figure I'll head to the next save point. This is when we get a story point, nothing spoilery, and a bloody escape convict driven jeep appears and mows me down killing my. Now I realise I've yet to save the bloody game and have to start from the beginning. Now come on... would it have been so hard to alter the save points Or at least introduce a save option after each story point. I'm even considering shelving it for a while longer until I've forgotten how much I've played.

This brings me neatly onto another good point though. In the game the main goal is to survive 3 days. That's it. If you play the story you get an idea of why this is happening. If you help people, I guess you get achievements and feeling you've done a bit of good. But then, due to the aforementioned saving problem, I'm now tempted to hide in a cupboard for the three days, reveal myself at the end in time to take my helicopter home. Game Completed.

Saying all this, I will play it again, and I will play the story. I just think developers need to work out what kind of game they're making. The fact you can use almost everything as a weapon means to me this game is to be played for fun, and therefore saving should not be so difficult. Let me save from the menu. Let me enjoy the destruction. If I'm playing a Dawn of the Dead simulator, let me have as much fun as Ken Foree and Scott H. Reiniger, before the latter became a zombie that is.

And why does doing a wee relate to saving anyway. Just because its called a restroom doesn't mean you go to sleep in there. You'll probably be sleeping in wee if you did.

And with that image, I'll stop.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

How NOT to plan a Halloween playlist...

So Halloween didn't quite go to planned, and in no particular order I'm listing "How not to plan a Halloween playlist"

1. Don't have anybody staying with you. In my case I had to wait until people went out before I could begin my playlist.

2. Don't watch anything scheduled at a particular time, i.e. on TV. This means that you either have to wait until after it's finished, or fit something in before it starts. This brings me onto...

3. Don't waste free waiting time for scheduled programme by visiting Xbox Live. This encourages the downloading of demos. Again bringing me onto...

4. Don't then play the downloaded demo after the scheduled programme. This just delays the watching of any planned films, and reduces the time you can watch.

5. Don't get comfy in bed thinking you'll resit the warm covers, even when you "just rest your head for a while".

6. Finally, and maybe the most important. Don't go to work on Halloween. Getting up early just means you'll end up falling asleep in the middle of your playlist.

Now I broke all these rules. I waited for Dead Set in E4, which was quite good, especially as it was a quite depressing end to the series. Whilst this was on I was downloading the Mirror's Edge demo form Xbox Live, which I proceeded to play after Dead Set. This demo has no horror related element, therefore needlessly cut into my awake time. So I began watching The Lady in White at about 11pm. I had no idea how long it was, I'm guessing about 90 minutes. But it didn't finish until about 1:20am due to an unplanned pausing and falling asleep session in the middle. Thinking I was now awake, and not wanting to be disturbed by the guests returning I vacated to my bedroom to watch Night of the Comet. This is a cool, little known film about a comet which happens to kill everyone exposed on earth. Those who don't die instantly are slowly turned into zombies. Even though I enjoy this film, I've never managed to stay awake throughout the whole film. The first watch I managed to pause and nap, then continue when I woke. This time I full on fell asleep, I think only 15 minutes from the end, waking just in time to see the Digital Protection logo at the end of the DVD. I could have backtracked but I surrendered myself and called it a night. Next year, maybe I'll get it right.

It's November now, and I've got a busy month ahead. Busy in the sense of gigs and visits rather than work related.

Although I've begun the journey into outlines, making the first notes for my long awaited horror script; which in my head is amazing and will survive the transition on to the page.

Only time will tell.