It'd be nice if it generated a little interest and maybe even revenue, but it's now even harder to get noticed on the ol' Tube of You, as One Hour Per Second illustrates. One hour of video is uploaded to YT every second. That's mind-boggling as well as a sign that parents might want to consider "YouTube Archivist/Researcher" as a career path for their kids someday. As for myself, I really want to get these things down under 30 minutes, preferably around 20. I think I may resort to more creative editing, attempting that whole "brevity is the source of wit" thing I keep hearing about.
Anyway, capital-F Fantasy is pretty much mainstream, at least in the public awareness. It took the Lord of the Rings to really show Hollywood that swords-n-sorcery could sell more than one or two movies before becoming direct-to-DVD fodder, and with special effects being incorporated into just about every movie on a titanic scale no matter what the subject, animating dragons and magic spells is less of a budget-buster than it used to be. We the Geek have had beloved fantasy films that we still like, from Conan to Dragonslayer to Excalibur, but now we're probably going to not only see more fantasy films made, but more of the usual roadblocks to awesomeness that have plagued other genres, like sci-fi:
- It's the same as X, so we can't greenlight it. I think studio execs need to be dropped in the middle of DragonCon unannounced, the crowd hushed and asked to pay attention, and the people in businesswear are made to say things like "We won't be making an ElfQuest movie because it's pretty much like The Hobbit, right?" If they make it out alive, they get to re-think their decision.
- It's got the same things in it as X, which made tons of cash, so it'll be good. This is the Uwe Boll school of thought for movies in general, and he's not alone in subscribing to it. Not to mention that while we've got decades of fantasy novels and comics to plumb for films, a lot of it is awful, if not just a bad fit for two-hour movies.
- Cheap sets and costumes are one thing, cheap actors are worse. Putting aside all the stuff we get wrong about medieval times (which I can't even begin to list, as most of the stuff I think I know probably is wrong), it takes a lot of effort from the director and actors to sell a world where magic works and doesn't come off like the film was shot at a local renfest.
But at least it's a new (old) genre that's getting tackled, and maybe the studios or propmasters can recycle more of the sets and fiberglass swords, passing the money on to some really great writers. Okay, that is fantasy, but I'd like to think it's possible. :)
On a similar note over in TV territory, ABC (parent company Disney, which is relevant here) is ordering up a Beauty and the Beast pilot. Keeping with other medieval-ish fare on the tube, this show will take place in an era like the animated film of the same name, and will join the CW reboot of the Linda Hamilton/Ron Perlman TV series. We may need a cage match between Beauties, Beasts, and Sherlocks before too long.
You may have heard about Russell T. Davies' next project, a kid show called Aliens vs. Wizards, but something about the description kept poking at a part of my brain: The name of the bad guys. They're called "Necross," which sounded familiar. It turns out that Necross was an insane wizard in Cerebus the Aardvark from waaaaay back in issue #13, and by sheer coincidence, there appears to be a project afoot at an animated Cerebus and you can see the animator's Necross test footage if you have a mind to.
Sorry for the radio silence lately; the new site is still getting "into the grove" for me, as I've been trying to redo all of the habits and Photoshop macros that I've developed for 10 years and redirect/remodel them for a new era. I'm still compiling changes and testing them out before committing, so be on the lookout for some more re-doings. I'm also still sticking with Project Wonderful on the new site, for the time being. I want to see how their ads perform when everything is where it should be, as they aren't always for everyone. They do have an interesting side benefit in that they're a kind of alert system for if the site itself goes down. Some routine maintenance required the new servers to be given a time-out, and PW sent me notices that something was wrong followed by an all-clear when the box was rebooted. I'm kind of surprised they didn't charge for the service. :)
Now that I've given them a bad idea, here's a few more concepts that are probably less than savory:
- If you think Gamma World is too mainstream, you can go pick up its more obscure (to the newer crops of gamer-types, anyway) ancestor, Metamorphosis Alpha as a print-on-demand book.
- Not Always Right is a collection of anecdotes about customers who weren't exactly on top form the day they entered the store...
- Though cartoony, this point-n-click puzzle game has a bit of a gory beginning, so Compressing the Heart may not be for the impressionable. Anyway, you can inhabit other living things to overcome obstacles by removing your soul for a while... like you do.
- Aardman Entertainment changes a joke in its upcoming movie, The Pirates! An Adventure With Scientists, as they reconsidered the idea of poking fun at lepers.
- For all the hooplah over digital piracy, the people running the sites connected with piracy must be raking it in, right? Well, not when compared to other websites with similar traffic. It's not peanuts, but it's no Facebook, either.
- And speaking of the Pirate Bay, they're starting a new category: Physibles, which specializes in files for your 3D printer.
- You weren't going to get anything done, anyway, so here's your Java-based Gameboy Color emulator with a drop-down menu of games.
- Yet another graphic-design oriented time waster, but this time it's about Color Matching instead of fonts. When the countdown timer graphic starts, move your selector around the loop of offered colors and click when you think you've got a perfect match.
- One of the more interesting things you can draw in comics/cartoons is an explosion. A photographer has made a series of 17 fiery outbursts that could serve as good reference.
- It's pricey, but at least it's weird food that isn't deep-fried: A Vancouver restaurant is offering a Dragon Dog, which is a hotdog infused with Cognac, topped with lobster and Kobe beef. I am disappointed that they don't seem to be using buns made in a secluded monastery's bakery, but you can't have everything even if you order one with everything.
- In my continuing effort to bring you the finest in weird bookshelves, here's an industrial pipe design. I think it'd be improved by some kind of bookend-plate thing that fit over the pipes, especially if you have larger soft-cover books.
- I don't know where this health care facility is located, but they probably won't be short on organ donors, unless they're all the victims of phasers set on "kill."
- Not satisfied with destroying your local coffee shop, Starbucks has eyes on your favorite liquor store, too. I'm trying to imagine what the paper goblets will look like.
- In Europe, the Dukes don't jump rivers and the General is a BMW. :)
- Because it's Oscar time, here are the nominations. Once again, Keyboard Cat is overlooked for a lifetime achievement award.
- Finally, Snow Tale gives you pixelated penguins in a Mario-esque jumping platformer with snowballs involved. Some zoo really needs to show penguins what they've been missing and teach them how to have snowball fights.