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Monday, July 28, 2008

Is Starbucks Circling The Drain?

I have a love-hate of Starbucks. I love their coffee. But I think that if Hitler had started a coffee company, it would be Starbucks. Order, efficiency and vou vill ve ordering!
July 1st brought the body count of 600 store closures. While that seems like a lot, it just meant that the Starbucks in my room had to shut down, but the one in living room is still going strong. I have heard complaints from Starbucks staff for some time. No matter what the locations order for their stores, Starbucks ships what they please to the stores. If you're looking for French Roast, you end up finding only Kodiak (or whatever Godless brand they sell that tastes like Grizzly balls). If the high-end coffee company cannot cater to their customers' preferences, they are doomed.

This Tuesday is touted as being "Black Tuesday"-- word of massive layoffs coming at the coffee giants' locations. Here is a sampling of web chatter:

It already happened over here in Hawaii. Four people including two very well respected dm's and two long time partners. We in the stores are watching Starbucks Hawaii implode from within. We should have stayed in International as a license operator. More fun more profits and more of the true Starbucks culture. Current Hawaii leadership is searching for a clue in a dark room.

It looks like the world had room for only one definition of "black Gold" and it's not a Venti-- it's crude oil.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Got Something to Say?

Do you have a great shortcut through modern day life? If you do, I would love to see it on my site, Tales of the Jumping Moose. What counts as a great tip? How about a way to free movie tickets? Or an alternative use for a household item? Or a way that businesses scam the little guy-- knowing the scam is half the battle-- so that you can out-maneuver their tricks.

Is cooking or entertaining your thing? If so, how about adding your favorite recipe to my cooking blog, ClearYourPlate.com? How about a great way to prep for a big party? Or a way to make the most out of a 100 mile diet?

Heck-- do you just want to do a one sentence rant? Throw a message in a bottle and throw it into the ocean. (claim to fame: this is my first completed Facebook app).

Friday, July 18, 2008

Christopher Nolan's First Film

Christopher Nolan's work goes back to the 1990s. Memento was his break-out film. Before that: Following (I will try to track down a copy to rent). Before Following, there was "Doodlebug":

(sorry-- this footage quality super-sucks)

Man, have his skills ever evolved, as given testiment by the Dark Knight. Since Memento, each of his films has gotten better, and Memento was amazing.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Crazy Frog Video - Edit 4



Here is edit #4-- shorter soundtrack and more footage. I have almost all of the material that we can use. The trick now: tweaking the stills and compositing the different layers of material. I haven't gone nuts: the most I have is 4 layers at any one point.

Animation Day Care aka Daddy Day Care aka Claymation Sweat Shop

Hand-in Shot

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Special Effects Greats, according to the Visual Effects Society

I have been in Special Effects land this week, with the daily filming, nightly compositing of images for our stop motion / claymation / mixed media opus. Tonight, the super cool T2: Judgement Day is running. I started meandering around the web and found this article from http://www.visualeffectssociety.com/documents/ves50revelfin.pdf. I like that Citizen Kane is on this list given its bounty of special effects shots-- miracles in the day, now common place-- likely I threw a couple of those into my shorts (er-- short films).

The Visual Effects Society Unveils “50 Most Influential Visual Effects Films of All Time”
Los Angeles, May 10, 2007 – Eric Roth, Executive Director of the Visual Effects Society
(VES), announced today the results of the VES 50: The Most Influential Visual Effects
Films of All Time, which was determined by a vote of VES members. The VES 50 is the
backdrop of the 2007 VES Festival of Visual Effects, which will take place the weekend
of June 7-10 at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills.
"We’re thrilled to present VES 50. These films have had a significant, lasting impact on
the practice and appreciation of visual effects as an integral, artistic element of cinematic
expression and the storytelling process,” said Roth. We are equally thrilled about the
programs that follow this theme and the industry’s living legends we have participating in
them."
The panel discussing the VES 50 includes Academy Award-winners Richard Edlund,
Dennis Muren, Doug Trumbull and John Dykstra (tent.), as well as moderator, Academy
Award-winner John Knoll. Some of the other programs that will be showcased during
the Festival include:
• The Art Of The Miniature: What Can You Get Me In Two Weeks?
• Vfx Manipulation: With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility
• Pre-Viz: All The Ins And Outs
The Festival kicks off with an Opening Night Party at 7:30 pm Thursday, 6/7/2007. From
10:00am to 10:00pm on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, Visual FX pros and fans will have the
opportunity to attend discussion panels with industry leaders and legends, screenings of past
and present films and the presentation of the VES 50: The Most Influential Visual Effects
Films of All Time.
THE VES 50 (Bold and Italics indicates a tie score)
1. Star Wars (1977)
2. Blade Runner (1982)
3. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
3. The Matrix (1999)
5. Jurassic Park (1993)
6. Tron (1982)
7. King Kong (1933)
8. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
9. Alien (1979)
10. The Abyss (1989)
11. The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
12. Metropolis (1927)
13. A Trip to the Moon (1902)
14. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
15. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
16. Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
17. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
18. Titanic (1997)
19. Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
20. Jason and the Argonauts (1963)
20. E.T. the Extraterrestrial (1982)
22. Toy Story (1995)
23. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006)
24. The Ten Commandments (1956)
25. The War of the Worlds (1953)
25. Forrest Gump (1994)
25. Citizen Kane (1941)
25 The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad (1958)
25. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)
30. The Terminator (1984)
31. Aliens (1986)
32. Mary Poppins (1964)
33. Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
34. Forbidden Planet (1956)
35. Babe (1995)
36. The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
36. Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
38. King Kong (2005)
39. Planet of the Apes (1968)
40. Fantastic Voyage (1966)
41. Jaws (1975)
41. Ghostbusters (1984)
43. Sin City (2005)
44. Superman: The Movie (1978)
45. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
46. The Lost World (1925)
46. Return of the Jedi (1983)
48. What Dreams May Come (1998)
49. An American Werewolf in London (1981)
50. Darby O’Gill and the Little People (1958)
50. The Fifth Element (1997)
The full schedule and information on buying festival passes or tickets to individual events
is available at the official website for the 2007 VES Festival of Visual Effects,
http://www.visualeffectssociety.com/vesFestival.cfm or by contacting the VES office
at 818-981-7861or info@visualeffectssociety.com.
About the VES
VES is a professional, honorary society, dedicated to advancing the arts, sciences, and
applications of visual effects and to upholding the highest uniform standards and procedures
for the visual effects profession. Now celebrating its 10th anniversary year, VES is the
entertainment industry's only official trade organization representing the extended community
of visual effects practitioners including supervisors, artists, producers, technology developers,
educators and studio executives. Its 1,500 global members contribute to all areas of
entertainment from film, television and commercials to music videos, games and new media.
VES strives to enrich and educate its members and the entertainment community at large
through many domestic and international events, screenings and programs. Visual effects
professionals constitute a vital creative force in content creation and are literally shaping the
future of entertainment.
###

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Opposite of the Dark Knight

On one end of a spectrum of cool is the Christopher Nolan Dark Knight follow-up to Batman Begins. On the other end of the spectrum: Batman Dracula. Batman Dracula is one of Warhol's art films from the 1964; directed and produced by Andy Warhol. There is sme dispute as to whether it was done with the permission of DC Comics. It was screened only at his art exhibits and never made it to general distribution. A fan of the Batman serials, Warhol's movie was a "homage" to the series, and is considered the first appearance of a blatantly campy Batman. The film was until recently thought to have been lost, until scenes from the picture were shown at some length in the 2006 documentary Jack Smith and the Destruction of Atlantis.
Though Gregory Battcock played Batman, the promotion photos that have surfaced show a woman in Batman's outfit beside Warhol (dressed as Robin). Battcock (ironic name...) was murdered on Christmas Eve in Puerto Rico in 1980. Will this Warhol weird-fest of Batman surface? Who knows. I'm sure if it does, it will bleed out in 10 minute snippets via Youtube.

Is this not weird enough for you? How about hunting down copies of these obscure Batman ventures: Batman Fights Dracula · Alyas Batman en Robin · Batman: Dead End · Grayson · Robin's Big Date

Our Video -- the third edit


Here is today's edit of the filmed elements for the video that Alice and I are working on.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Daily Edits

Alice and I are going to embark on this video we are working on. On Saturday and Sunday, I did two edits-- baby steps towards :

Edit One


Edit Two

Enjoy Tim Horton's

I HATE Tim Horton's. I resent that in world where there is talk of banning trans-fats that these places pop-up like pimples on the ass of small town Canada.
Here are some clips of Tim Horton's and various pranks against them. Some are dang funny:

I want a curry Iced Cappucino!


Combine two bimbos with two cellphones:


Prank gone very wrong:

(we had this idea in the 1980s... but Steve's Mom wouldn't let us take the car-- though she did volunteer Russ as the "victim")

This guys loves donuts (and maybe his friend in the BG):


This is a regular deliver of the meat for their breakfast sandwiches:


This prank has been directly taken from Tandori Horton's pranks in Karachi:

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Monday, July 07, 2008

You spin right round baby!

This from Project Marbella:

Car turntables for tight driveways!
This is a great product for those of use with either tight driveways or difficult garages.
Can either be hand operated or driven with an electric motor.
Contact projectmarbella@yahoo.com for a free quotation.


Contact me!