Writer Jasper Fforde In NYC 7PM Tomorrow, Monday, July 23, 2007

July 22, 2007

Got in email:

Thursday Next is back — and back — and back !!! (you have to read the book)

Please join us Monday, July 23 at 7:00 pm to welcome Jasper Fforde as he launches his US tour for Thursday Next: First Among Sequels. The newest addition the Nextian Universe canon is fabulous and hilarious and incisive and just all-round wonderful:

First Among Sequels, the 5th Thursday Next caper, starts with a discussion of the National Stupidity Surplus, brought about by the government “discharging their duties with a reckless degree of responsibility that bordered on inspired sagacity.”

And in the Nextian universe, “Only a blunder of staggering proportions would remove the surplus, and the nature of this mind-numbing act of idiocy was a matter of considerable media speculation.”

Sound familiar? Hmmm…

So we thought we’d have a Contest, which many of you have seen on our website. In brief, submit a government policy of idiocy or brilliance and an act of inspired wisdom or reckless stupidity to generally balance it out. Let’s see, what comes to mind? Ban on heterosexual marriage? Immigration from the Jurassic Period?? Congestion incentive payments for Manhattan motorists, with block-the-box triple points?

Email your entry by noon on Sunday(*) to partners@crimepays.com (do NOT reply to this email) and Jasper will select the winners, who will receive a SIGNED first edition of First Among Sequels, along with a Making the World Safe For Fiction button and bumper sticker!

More info at www.crimepays.com.

We look forward to seeing you!

Partners & Crime is located at 44 Greenwich Avenue between 6th and 7th Avenues just south of 11th Street and 7th Avenue; also just north of 10th Street and 6th Ave, corner of Charles. Remember, Greenwich Street may tempt you or your sherpa but there is no Partners & Crime there – Greenwich Avenue only.

Subway directions:
Take the F,V,A,C or E to the West 4th Street station.
Take 1, 2, 3, to 14th Street station.

July 23, 7:00 pm
Event is FREE
Partners & Crime phone: 212-243-0440
web: www.crimepays.com

(*) Bah! I didn’t get to the email until today. Too late for the contest!

When I first saw Fforde at a previous signing (and at this great bookstore too), I loved his sense of independence. The Suits just couldn’t understand that he had absolutely no desire to lease/ rent/ sell the rights to his books for TV/movies.

I don’t know if I can get to this. I’ve missed him the past 2 or 3 times he’s been there. And yes, I’m waaaay behind in my reading. Everything past his first book is in my Infinite Book Queue.

See what the bookstore looks like at the bottom of this prior post.

Update: Dammit, I should get there. I’ll have image storage again soon. I can post photos!


Movie: Dumb Hard

July 17, 2007

The official title is Live Free or Die Hard, but mine is truthful.

It’s never a good sign when a movie opens up with people sitting, typing away at keyboards and looking at screens. I should have realized it would all be downhill from there.

And it was.

It was just So Freakin Stupid!

The only saving grace was McClane’s defiant daughter and the fact that Bruce Willis must have ad-libbed his own dialog (because all of the remaining dialog would have made even Stan Lee throw up!).

Look, movie makers, stop making movies with people sitting at keyboards and screens. Just stop it right now! None of that is exciting. I don’t care if you think you’re reflecting what you think is Real Life — why do I want to watch a movie where people are doing what I just did before entering the theater?!!? It’s not only boring, it’s irritating as hell because none of you seem to have ever touched a computer in your damned lives and your mistakes on-screen are legion and are more than simply annoying!

And what alternate universe do you people live in where letters or graphics appearing on a screen generates a skrinchy dee-dee-dee-dee-dee sound?! If my PC did that, I — along with most of the world’s population — would be descending on both Bill Gates and Steve Jobs to eviscerate them for the non-stop noise!

I’m not even going to go into the plot, which was just such bloody nonsense. What I will point out is the utter contempt of the alleged “writers” of this atrocity for the audience. Do you really think we’re all so stupid that no one would realize what you were doing with that natural gas bullshit? I can see you potheads sitting around on your overfed and untalented asses coming up with that brainstorm: “Hey, let’s try to kill McClane with the biggest fart ever put in a movie!!! Wouldn’t that be kewl? Hyuk-hyuk.” Who the hell wrote this crap — Beavis and Butt-Head?! (No: by comparison, B&B look like intellects!)

The first Die Hard was an original, brilliant, and exciting-as-hell movie. One man finds himself trapped in a situation he has to fight his way out of. How semiotic is that?! That movie probably sent shockwaves through the philosophic intelligentsia in France and spawned millions of college campus discussions that led to thousands of dissertations.

Ever since that first one? Pfft! Crap! Dreck! Desperation! Hackdom!

This one was the worst of the bunch because it cloaked itself in such pretensions.

Man, that geek Willis had to drag around with him — was that the guy who plays the Mac in the TV ads? It sure looked like him. I’m too lazy to look it up — and I really don’t want to know. The character is repugnant in a TV ad — and you had to give him a movie?!

I rarely go to see movies in theaters because of the de-civilized audiences (oh, please please please give me free reign to kill the talkers and the cellphone addicts! please please please!). Now I have another reason to avoid seeing movies: the movies themselves have gotten dumber than the audience!

If you haven’t seen this one yet, skip it. Save your time and brain cells.


Sad Anniversary: Rod Steiger Died July 9, 2002

July 9, 2007

There are two items of note on YouTube by which to remember — and re-experience — the greatness of the man:

Amityville Horror – Merv Griffin Show, 1979 – 1 of 5
Amityville Horror – Merv Griffin Show, 1979 – 2 of 5
Amityville Horror – Merv Griffin Show, 1979 – 3 of 5
Amityville Horror – Merv Griffin Show, 1979 – 4 of 5
Amityville Horror – Merv Griffin Show, 1979 – 5 of 5

Actor Rod Steiger talks about his life and his role in the original film The Amityville Horror in segment 1 of this 1979 episode of the Merv Griffin Show. Segments 1-3 include Rod and Merv; segments 4-5 include George & Kathy Lutz. Discuss the Amityville Horror case at http://www.amityvillefaq.com/truthboard/

This is taken from a VHS home recording someone made. As such, I don’t think this should ever qualify as a DMCA violation (lawyers will disagree).

And:

Rod Steiger on Scene by Scene (BBC) 1/6
Rod Steiger on Scene by Scene (BBC) 2/6
Rod Steiger on Scene by Scene (BBC) 3/6
Rod Steiger on Scene by Scene (BBC) 4/6
Rod Steiger on Scene by Scene (BBC) 5/6
Rod Steiger on Scene by Scene (BBC) 6/6

In this interview with Mark Cousins, Rod Steiger talks candidly about his life and films. Part one looks at On the Waterfront, and Marlon Brando.

Here’s a bit of trivia about the classic Marty:

Says Rod, ‘I was lucky. I came along with some sort of talent when television was born and unknown people got a chance to be hired. Big business didn’t move into television until about 1955. Before then, nobody was paying too much attention. There were no rules. The sponsors didn’t have the grip on the material they have today.’

When his moment came, he was ready for it. ‘There are many, many young actors who don’t prepare themselves beyond the glossy photo, don’t study hard enough or well enough, don’t do their homework, and when their good luck arrives, which does not happen that often in the theatrical world, their talent may be ready for it but their technique is not,’ says Rod.

He was ready on 24 May 1953, when he played the lead in a play for the Goodyear Television Playhouse which became the most talked-about production in the history of those anthology series. This showed that it was television, more than the theatre or the cinema, that was mirroring its times, providing gritty, realistic drama that, for all its artful contrivance, its audience recognized as real.

The play was Marty, a drama about a fat little Bronx butcher who picks up a skinny schoolteacher that his friends regard as ‘a dog’. It was the masterpiece of [Paddy] Chayefsky, who strove to reproduce the speech patterns of the ordinary people — ‘dialogue as if it had been wire-tapped’, as he put it. The great Italian director, Federico Fellini, once told me that his movie about losers and layabouts, I Vitteloni, had been inspired by Marty and its understanding of the way men gang together in their unknowing need.

One particular exchange in Marty was to become almost a catchphrase, when his friend Angie asks Marty, ‘Well, what do you feel like doing tonight?’ and Marty replies, ‘I don’t know, Angie. What do you feel like doing?’

The role of Marty had been intended for [Elia] Kazan’s former assistant, Martin Ritt, who later was to become a successful director, notably of Hud, starring Paul Newman and Patricia Neal. But in the Cold War atmosphere that then chilled Hollywood and television his career came to a sudden halt when he was blacklisted because of his earlier involvement with the Communist Party. (This was a time an actress could find herself out of work for having sent a congratulatory message to the Moscow Arts Theatre on its fiftieth anniversary; when a top sitcom could lose its sponsors because one of its actors had been named as a communist in the scurrilous pamphlet Red Channels; and when the TV networks employed security chiefs to ensure that the political views of writers, actors and directors would not upset the conservative companies who sponsored their shows.) [Fred] Coe [NBC’s manager of program development] recommended Rod for the role, playing opposite Nancy Marchand as the teacher. Delbert Mann directed.

There was only one problem moment during the broadcast, and Rod’s training and his belief in improvisation carried him through it triumphantly. It came when Marty goes to phone the teacher to ask her out. As he put his dime in, Rod allowed himself the luxury of a moment’s relaxation to think, It’s going well. But as she answered, he realized he’d forgotten his next line. Quickly, he improvised.

‘Do you know I called you and I don’t know what I called you about,’ he said. Nancy Marchand did not panic either. ‘Yes?’ she said. Rod continued. ‘Isn’t that funny? Life’s funny. I know what I called you about. I’m a silly fool. Like to go to the movies?’ He remembers, ‘What it looked like on screen was beautiful. But if you improvise in front of forty million people, you’ve got to have a lot of guts.’

When the show was over, Rod knew that it had been something special. ‘You felt it in your bones, you felt it in your blood, in the songs that you were singing in your heart to yourself.’

The next day, he got up and went to get a corn muffin and a cup of coffee at the corner coffee shop. As he walked down West 81st Street, a garbage truck went by and the driver yelled out the window, ‘Hey, Marty — how’re ya doing?’ Two women passed him in the street. ‘Marty, how are you?’ they asked.

In the coffee shop, as Rod went to the counter, the guy behind it immediately picked up on Angie’s dialogue. ‘What’re you going to have for breakfast today, Marty, what do you feel like doing?’ he asked.

‘I don’t know, Angie,’ said Rod. ‘What’ve you got for breakfast today ? ‘

The public impact was enormous. Time and Newsweek both wrote about it, and producers and writers attempted to reproduce Marty’s success with similarly realistic plays featuring ordinary people. As Chayefsky put it, ‘There is far more exciting drama in the reasons why a man gets married than in why he murders someone.’

It was a breakthrough year for Rod. The final accolade came in 1953, when he won the Sylvaner Award for the five best performances of the year: as Vishinsky and Rudolph Hess in two episodes of You Are There, the gangster Dutch Schultz in a thriller, a radar operator in My Brother’s Keeper, and, his greatest television triumph, as Marty in Paddy Chayefsky’s play. He was so convincing in My Brother’s Keeper, giving a panic-stricken pilot instructions on making a blind landing, that viewers called to ask whether he was an actor or a real-life radar-man. His only regret was that, later, he lost out on the film of Marty, which was to win four Oscars and bring its star, Ernest Borgnine, an Acadenly award as best actor of 1955.

I once asked Steiger just how disappointed he was at being passed over. ‘Hurtful,’ was the reply. ‘Actors, like writers, are paranoid: I thought it was something I’d done wrong. But, Ernie Borgnine was very good indeed. It was a totally different reading to my own. Oh, yes, he deserved his Oscar. But, then, [chuckle] so did I!’ [Rod Steiger: Memoirs of a Friendship by Tom Hutchinson; pgs. 72-75; Copyright © Tom Hutchinson 1998]

Additional:
A Tribute to Rod Steiger
A Conversation with Rod Steiger
BBC Radio 4: Desert Island Discs, Rod Steiger
Rod Steiger gavesite
Rod Steiger wikipedia entry
Marty (movie) wikipedia entry
Paddy Chayefsky wikipedia entry


Richard Perez Sends Word Of His New Novel

June 27, 2007

Author Richard Perez — he did the excellent novel The Loser’s Club — sent this out in a MySpace Bulletin and I begged permission to run it here too:

My New Novel is almost there …. Almost…

She’s a big girl at 133,734 words.

I’ve been re-writing incessantly, usually during the nighttime hours. At this point, certain parts are more polished than others. I was smart in using the Bukowski technique of short, short chapters, which makes rewriting much easier.

How many drafts at this point? Hard to say. ‘Cause I started writing on index cards (’cause index cards are less daunting to fill than long sheets of actual paper, right?).

At first, I just meant to write an outline, but suddenly the voice of the main character (female, Latina: her name “Dolores”) just started talking, and I began to take dictation. The “confessional” took all sorts of wild twists and turns (some wrong turns too, which I’ve had to toss out, and roll back on, ’cause I wasn’t really “listening”) — 759 index cards later (front and back), I reached the conclusion.

This is definitely the best, boldest thing I’ve ever done (thank you, Dolores). For those who might be curious, it’s kind of a Thelma and Louise story set in the East Village, a story of two down-and-out “artist” gals who set out to make a “dirty movie” with disastrous results.

It’s absolutely filthy! Dolores talks like a female Charles Bukowski. And she tells the story straight up.

But it’s also about friendship, in a way. Female friendship, which has long fascinated me. For that, a reference point was “Heavenly Creatures,” the Peter Jackson film. I love the claustrophobic world that these two girls create; in fact, it’s so claustrophobic and unique, it’s psychotic (removed from “reality”). They literally create a tiny universe for themselves, an amoral universe, where even murder is fine if that means protecting the “real world” of their friendship. Add to that the fact that both girls are so young and inexperienced…. I love it.

Another influence on my novel is my newfound love of Trash Americana (tabloid culture) and exploitation cinema. I wanted wildness this time. Lunacy and a certain level of PC incorrectness. Those anti-hero ’70s flicks and movies like Faster Pussycat! Kill!… Kill!… and Coffy are certainly an inspiration. Women are allowed to do wild-ass things in exploitation movies, just check out “Big Bad Mama” and “I Spit On Your Corpse” and “Coffy” and “Faster Pussycat!”

Anyway, back to work now, back to my dungeon; I’m still not “done” …. I’d say I’m about 2 months away from polishing the book to completion. It seemed like the impossible project, in the beginning, and the whole time I was doing it, I was anxious and afraid. But I fought all through that (blocked out the negative voices), and it’s here now. I have it.

That’s the good news.

I am rubbing my hands in glee at the prospect of this book!! It sounds like another great novel! That will be two in a row for him!


YouTube: A Variety Of Goodies

June 22, 2007

My Cousin Vinny (1992) – Imagine You’re A Deer

Boy George – The Crying Game (North American Version)

The music video of Boy George’s cover of the Dave Berry song “The Crying Game”, also the title track from the movie of the same name. This is different from the Euro version, basically because it has a few more clips from the movie and has some sort of humanity message incorporated into it. Anyway, enjoy!

BBC1 Closedown from the day Princess Diana died

From Planet625 Video. The closedown from the day Princess Diana died. The closedown features a solemn version of God Save The Queen and a caption with a picture of the princess.

The Last Boy Scout HighLights

Just some of my favorite moments from The Last Boy Scout. Great 90’s action flick from when buddy action movies were still cool.

Patriot Games

Patriot Games Tribute

A tribute to the great movie that is patriot games

Patriot Games SAS

The sequence where Jack Ryan watches the SAS’s desert strike on the IRA’s training camp

Wyatt Earp Trailer

Beautiful Trailer to an Epic Motion Picture

My favorite scenes from Tombstone of Doc Holliday

My favorite scenes of Doc Holliday (Val Kilmer) in the movie Tombstone. Enjoy Huckleberry

“He was the most skillful gambler, and the nerviest, fastest, deadliest man with a six-gun I ever saw.”
-Wyatt Earp speaking about Doc Holliday

Wyatt Earp – So Cold

Clips from the movie “Wyatt Earp” concerning the fight at the O.K. Corral. The music is “So Cold” by Breaking Benjamin.

Val Kilmer as Doc Holiday in TOMBSTONE

Val gives an awesome performance as Doc Holiday. It is absolutely one of Val’s best roles.

Tombstone Tribute

The song is “Aenima” the movie is Tombstone.

My Friend Doc Holliday

Threw it together in about a half an hour.

Doc Holliday (Tombstone-Val Kilmer)

I loved this movie. Moreover, I loved Val’s performance in it. There is no character in history that can compare to Doc Holliday. Here’s to Holliday, and Here’s to Mr. Val Kilmer. Set to Good Times Gone by Nickelback. Enjoy.

Doc Holliday vs. Johnny Ringo

Duel from “Tombstone”

Tombstone

Doc Holliday “I’m your Huckleberry”

iTv presents SPACE ANGEL

1960s kid’s show SPACE ANGEL as seen on the hit, underground, Staten Island cable series industrial TELEVISION. This is the industrial TELEVISION version that is stupid and moronic because that is the whole point of the show.


Learn To Love The Subtitle. I Did.

June 21, 2007

Perspective: America’s tech moment of truth

Pop culture has gone global. Except for a few weird exceptions, like ABBA and that Turkish guy who played ping-pong, cheesy pop culture has been a monopoly of the English-speaking peoples. Not anymore.

Anime dominates cartoons. In China, more than 200 companies have taken the YouTube model and outdone it. Google is losing to Baidu there. That golden opportunity to expand into emerging markets has already vanished.

I grew up hating subtitles. I could barely take full-screen title cards in silent movies! But I learned to love them. You should too.

Or you will have no place in the future.


In Space No One Can Smell Your Shit

June 6, 2007

The daily getTRIO.com newsletter brings this:

Brent Hoff received an unmarked package in the mail from Istanbul. Inside was a tape. He popped it in, pressed play and watched his first episode of “Tatli Hayat,” a.k.a. “The Sweet Life,” a.k.a. the Turkish “Jeffersons.”

It was fantastic television, even if Brent didn’t understand a word — so he asked a handful of writers to pen a few sets of subtitles for the show, creating a series of different plots and dialogue that turned it into a new experience with each viewing. It’s this kind of “found” art that Wholphin is all about: the self-dubbed “DVD Magazine of Unseen Films” (which gets its name from a compound of whale and dolphin — in Hoff’s words, “a new species of hybrid cetacean that no-one ever thought existed”) from the McSweeney’s folks brings together films with no binding theme other than their unavailability up until now, and no agenda other than to make sure lost treasures reach the audience they deserve.

Now in its fourth issue, Wholphin has featured works by Steven Soderbergh, Alexander Payne, Dennis Hopper, David O. Russell, Spike Jonze, David Byrne, Miranda July and John C. Reilly, among others (including the abovementioned Turkish sitcom exercise). One year of Wholphin, published quarterly, costs $40; back issues are available for purchase.

So I go to the site and sample a few films. Yeesh, it’s the type of arty stuff that makes me flee the very thought of attending anything that has the word “experimental” in the proximity of “film.” However, several movies stood out that I highly recommend.

First:

David and Mamet

Directed by ALEX ROSE

Liner Notes:

Two David Mamets at a bar.

Biography:

Alex Rose grew up in Providence, RI and graduated from Hampshire College where he studied film and creative writing. He has written and directed many short films, videos and animations which have played on HBO, MTV, the BBC and Comedy Central, have screened in over two dozen festivals worldwide, and have won nine prestigious awards, including “Best Music Video of 2005” by Rolling Stone Magazine. Currently, he is currently working on a graphic novel about trains, ear-ringing, secret passageways, maps, and neuroscience.

If you loved Dark Star, you’ll love this one too:

Day 37

Directed by DYLAN HAGGERTY

Liner Notes:

“From the beginning of human space colonization, the question of waste disposal has been a matter of great concern for scientists and astronauts. Because of the carefully controlled hermetic environments required for sustained artificial life support systems, treatment and recycling of human feces and urine is of paramount importance in the development of environmental suits (EV) and permanent base facilities.

It is estimated that the adult human body produces approximately 1500 grams of urine, 200 grams of feces, and an average of 1 kg of carbon dioxide per day. In domains where renewable sources of bio-matter and oxygen are unavailable (such as on the Moon or Mars), the creation of what is known as a Controlled Ecological Life Support System (CELSS) is essential.

A CELSS is a closed environment wherein 100 percent of the food, water, and breathable atmosphere are harvested from the waste generated by the inhabitants of the support system. The first experiments in the field of CELSS were undertaken by the great Russian scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky in the 1920’s, culminating in the early 1960’s with the creation of the manned Bios-3 habitat located at the Institute of Biophysics in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia. The Bios-3 habitat became the model for the more famous Biospheres 1 and 2 in Arizona, USA.

On Earth, the preferred method for waste disposal is the use of bacteria to break down organic waste into more useful forms such as water and carbon dioxide. However, because the use of bacteria on a non-terrestrial base could lead to the potentially lethal contamination of the entire system, the use of alternative forms waste recycling are required. Generally, Lunar and Martian bases have utilized various forms of SCWO

(Supercritical Water Oxidation) for their waste recycling. SCWO uses intense pressure and temperatures to break down solid wastes to create sterile water, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen — all of which can then be re-used in the growth of edible biomass and recycled into the breathable atmosphere.

On excursions outside of an enclosed base where the use of an EV Suit is required, the saving of feces and urine is a vital component to the long-term viability of a sustainable CELSS. Storage and maintenance of human waste is a responsibility that generally falls to the individual astronaut. It has been found that over time, intimate bonds between an astronaut and their waste can form, as the waste becomes an integral link in the chain of life.”

Biographies:

Dylan Haggerty (director, co-writer) is an actor and screenwriter living in Los Angeles, CA.

Kent Osborne is a writer and storyboard director at cartoon network. He lives in Los Angeles, CA.

I also recommend:

Glinder and Glinder

Directed by KASPER HAUSER

Liner Notes:

The lawyer video was shot entirely with video camaras in Oakland, California. It was produced, directed and edited by Kasper Hauser, Julie Caskey, and Jeremy Solterbeck (www.CanopusProjects.com).

Kasper Hauser’s James Reichmuth: “What I remember was this intense feeling that we had done something great; there was this excitement around the set. No one had ever done a video of a lawyer who sues old people pissing his pants HARD. But he does in the video, and we had it in the can. Next stop, the Guiness Book of World Records. I was only thirty-five. Everyone was just glowing. We weren’t even tired. It was 4 p.m. We stumbled out onto the streets of Oakland and grabbed a Tribune. I flipped to the review page: it wasn’t there yet because we had just shot it.”

Biography:

Kasper Hauser is the four-man comedy group from San Francisco that pioneered the use of using language on stage as a comical use. They have offspring galore. They have performed extensively throughout the U.S. and completed a run at the Edinburgh Fringe, where they won the Herald Angel (?). The group’s members wrote and starred in the indie film “Fishing with Gandhi” and have appeared on Comedy Central’s “Crossballs.” Their catalog parody, SkyMaul: Happy Crap You Can Buy from a Plane, will be published by St. Martin’s Press in Autumn, 2006.
http://www.kasperhauser.com

And then finish with this one:

Fork

Directed by MIKE MITCHELL

DIRECTOR BIO

Biography:

Mike Mitchell does not own a computer and therefore did not submit anything in writing.

You. Will. Laugh!

Note: Movies play in a QuickTime popup window.


Dell Tech Force: Gerry Anderson Via Team America

May 27, 2007

No, you wouldn’t believe it if I told you. Had I any free image storage left over, I’d provide some nice screensnaps.

But you’ll have to go look at this for yourself.

Michael Dell, Larry Ellison, Andy Grove, and Bill Gates as marionettes?

Yep.

In two movies! Embedded Flash (.FLV). (Download Helper is your friend!)

Dell Tech Force, Part One
Dell Tech Force, Part Two

Previously in this blog:
Gerry Anderson category
Supermarionation category


YouTube Vs. P2P: YouTube Wins?

May 26, 2007

I’ve been setting up my LifeDrive. My first tests were to torment the battery by seeing how long it could play video. (My results are in a separate LifeDrive post.)

What I discovered doing this is that YouTube might be better than P2P!

One of the things I played on my LifeDrive was an episode of Space:1999, titled The Dorcons. It’s still up on YouTube. (It’s a significant episode I will address in a separate post.)

I ripped it using Download Helper. Then I converted the Flash video (.FLV) to a DiVXed AVI file without changing the 240×320 size. Playing it back on the LifeDrive using TCPMP in landscape (where the program will resize it to fill the screen without messing with the aspect ratio), I discovered something very surprising: It was Good Enough!

P2P is known for transferring massive AVI files. Even when compressed using DiVX or XViD codecs, they are still large because seeders are ripping them from HDTV signals or widescreen DVD. (And now HD-DVD too!)

Well, an episode of Doctor Who is usually around 350MB and it can take, depending on the episode’s age, weeks to download.

And, for a LifeDrive, that’s just overkill! I don’t need HDTV-quality. That’s what I’d eventually buy the HD-DVD or BluRay DVD boxed set of the series to get.

So, I’m beginning to think that, if I can find reliable sources for Doctor Who episodes on YouTube, I’ll just give up on the P2Ping of them. Grabbing them from YouTube is just so much faster and to watch them on a LifeDrive is really Good Enough.

I’m also beginning to suspect this has been the case with other people too. Most people are not doing P2P to rob creators. They are doing it for free previews with an eye towards legal purchasing (when that’s possible; Gerry Anderson’s New Captain Scarlet has yet to be legally available on DVD here in the US, dammit!). I’ve noticed a strange dropoff in the P2P population in the past few months. Far fewer files are available and it seems the number of people who are harboring such files has dropped by at least two thirds. I think YouTube is the reason for this.

If the studios — movies and TV — were smart, they’d start cutting deals with YouTube. YouTube’s 240×320 resolution is not a threat to either TV or DVD sales. The resolution is Good Enough to be a great sales tool to entice people to stay connected to their favorite TV series and to help them decide which DVDs they should purchase.

Are you listening, Viacom?

A Writers Guild strike is coming. If it happens (and it will if you Suits don’t give the writers everydamnedthing you’ve cheated them out of since the 1980s!), traffic on YouTube will really blast off. And that could undermine both TV and movies in way the Suits would rather not have happen. (What, you think Google wouldn’t jump at the chance to steal your audiences by offering a higher-resolution YouTube? I think they will.)

For me, I think my days of P2P are coming to an end…


3-D Usually Gets A D From Me

May 22, 2007

Top Directors See the Future, and They Say It’s in 3-D

LOS ANGELES, May 21 — If some prominent Hollywood directors and an Irish rock band have their way, moviegoers en masse will soon be heading back to the future, wearing newfangled 3-D glasses.

Bah. I don’t care how “good” it becomes. 3-D hardly ever works for me. I saw a demo at a trade show of a 3-D monitor. That worked. But whenever TV has done 3-D, it’s all a blur to me. This will probably be the same for me too.

Hey, MPAA! If everything goes 3-D, will you finally lay off P2P of 2-D stuff?

And all you eejits who’ve plunked down several grand on your chi-chi idiotic HDTVs — I hope they’re all obsoleted by 3-D HDTV!