The Asylum gets all the attention (and the lucrative gig filling time for "SyFy") but they're far from the only company out there making "mockbusters," those ultra low budget, direct-to-DVD movies named similar to big Hollywood blockbusters, in the hopes that an inattentive purchaser will buy their movie in the hopes they're getting something better. But The Asylum's not the only ones making them, and a prominent mockbuster subgenre is that of companies making really
poor CG movies that resemble Pixar and Dreamworks hits only to the extent that they can maintain plausible, legal deniability, their profit margins relying on clueless grandparents getting something nice for the little ones.
Two of these companies are Video Brinquedo (trailer for their Little & Big Monsters
and some clips from its sequel
) and Spark Plug Entertainment (trailer for An Ant's Life
). Far more of their output, including whole movies, awaits you than you could ever hope to stomach.... [more inside]
Watching Ten Minutes of Transformers Transforming
did make me a little dizzy. Three movies worth of transformations in 1080p.
Best known for creating the nostalgic mash-up REMEMBER
), Youtube user Thepeterson teams up with Slackstory to create another video clip time machine: REMEMBER 1994
, an early form of motion picture, is a theatrical technology developed by fine art painter and theatrical set designer Philip de Loutherbourg
using sound, colored filters, mechanical works
, light from newly invented Argand lamps
, mirrors and more . It was first exhibited at his home in 1781
, featuring five scenes of land and seascape
. In recent years, recognition of this as an early chapter in cinema history
has prompted several institutions
to recreate the experience
. Among the most successful is the 2005 storm at sea
depicted in Eidophusikon Reimagined
by the Australian National University.
Somtimes a guy just wants a curiously asexual sprite to whimsicaly break the chains of his workaday world for an hour or so - cue the Manic Pixie Prostitute
Youtube user Thepeterson puts together collections of the major radio hits, movies, video games, and technology of a given year. So why not take a time machine trip to the media landscape of : 1997
, and 2002
A life well lived.
On October 4, 1973, Josh Miele (4) was permanently blinded in an acid attack by his neighbor (pdf)
. 40 years later, Dr. Miele has worked for NASA on the Mars Rover project, he's helped develop "WearaBraille
", a virtual Braille keyboard interface, and has a new project launching this month: the Descriptive Video Exchange (DVX)
, which will allow "sighted video viewers to seamlessly add audio description to DVDs as they watch.
" [more inside]
Last Year Rifftrax
, the MST3K spin-off movie riffing series, completed a "best of five years" compilation video.
Why not get into the festive seasonal mood with three more "best of" clips from such beloved holiday classics as SANTA CLAUS AND THE ICE CREAM BUNNY
- MAGIC CHRISTMAS TREE
- and of course, THE STAR WARS HOLIDAY SPECIAL.
The fact that many of the actors in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy have previously portrayed high school characters has resulted in an extended trailer mashup resetting the Batman series as a teen comedy.
mst3k.me shows you random Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes on YouTube. /random gets you a random episode, /joel gets you a random Joel episode, and /mike gets you a random Mike episode. [via mefi projects
mines the resources of YouTube to bring you treasures vast and plentiful, packaged and gift-wrapped in an easier-to-watch format. Since it launched in January 2011, it's expanded a bit with a corollary animated GIF site
and an online magazine
. (previously; 2) [more inside]
The Seventh Art
is an independently produced video magazine about cinema with three sections: a profile on an interesting group/company/organization in the industry, a video essay and a long-form interview with a filmmaker.
is a film that is also a clock. It runs for 24 consecutive hours, and is made of thousands of samples, some lasting only seconds, others minutes, from hundreds of films and videos. All of it edited into a seamless whole by video artist Christian Marclay. When it is shown, it is synchronized to the real time, so if it's 2:15 on a clock shown on-screen, it's 2:15 in real time. Harrison Ford is in it. So is John Cusack, Humphrey Bogart, Michelle Pfeiffer, Lon Chaney, Roger Moore(and all the other James Bonds), John Cleese, Peter Sellers, Orson Welles, the Beatles, Jody Foster, Gregory Peck, Nicole Kidman, Nick Cage and a few hundred others. You'll see The Simpsons and The Office. You'll see The Avengers. You'll see stuff you have no clue about. Here's what it feels like to watch all twenty four hours of it in one sitting. [more inside]
The 2011 Portfolio
(slyt.) Clips from 166 of this year's films, combined into one video trailer. How many can you name? (Via)
Two and a half years ago, we explored the early history of Cartoon Network
... but it wasn't the only player in the youth television game.
As a matter of fact, Fred Seibert
-- the man responsible for the most inventive projects discussed in that post -- first stretched his creative legs at the network's truly
venerable forerunner: Nickelodeon
Founded as Pinwheel, a six-hour block on Warner Cable's innovative QUBE
system, this humble channel struggled for years before Seibert's innovative branding work transformed it into a national icon and capstone of a media empire.
Much has changed since then, from the mascots and game shows to the versatile orange "splat."
But starting tonight in response to popular demand, the network is looking back
with a summer programming block dedicated to the greatest hits of the 1990s
, including Hey Arnold!, Rocko's Modern Life, The Adventures of Pete & Pete, The Ren & Stimpy Show, Double Dare, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Legends of the Hidden Temple
, and All That
To celebrate, look inside for the complete story of the early days of the network that incensed the religious right, brought doo-wop to television, and slimed a million fans -- the golden age of Nickelodeon. (warning: monster post inside) [more inside]
It was bound to happen eventually. After a quarter-century
, 26 Academy Awards
, and an unparalleled streak of eleven artistic and commercial triumphs
, Pixar's latest project, Cars 2
, is Certified Rotten
. Critics have assailed the film
as a slick but hollow vehicle for Disney's $10 billion-dollar Cars
merchandising industry "lifestyle brand,"
replacing the original's serviceable tale of small-town redemption with zany spy games
, hyperactive chase sequences
, and even more lowbrow aww-shucks potty humor
from Larry the Cable Guy
. But it's not all bad news! Along with a fun new Toy Story 3 short
, preceding today's (3-D) premiere showings is a first look at next year's Brave
-- a darkly magical original story
set in ancient Scotland featuring the studio's first female lead (and director
). Evocative high-res concept art [mirror]
is available at the official website, and character sketches
have leaked to the web, with the apparently striking teaser trailer sure to follow. Also, be sure not to miss the sneak peak of Brave
's associated short, "La Luna"!
is a comprehensive platform for experimental film, video and computer art, making the best audio-visual work of artists of all generations available to a worldwide audience. Not a tonne in the archive
just yet--it's still in rough beta--but still some nice viewing. For instance: Balance Study
, or Trying
- A montague of gun scenes from the movies created by Edgar Wright back in 1993
A new movie, The King’s Speech,
) depicts King George VI
of England's struggle to overcome his problem with stuttering and find his voice, in time to deliver the historic radio speech
that prepared London for WWII. The film is being hailed
as a potential
Oscar-contender, for its unique, sensitive portrayal of stuttering -- a sharp contrast to the way movies traditionally present those who suffer from the disorder.
. Slate offers a slideshow of ten video clips: A History of Stuttering in the Movies [more inside]
Is Netflix Streaming Its Way Towards Disaster?
In the wake of last month's price hike
, Edward Epstein (author of The Big Picture
and The Hollywood Economist
) explores a few issues with Netflix's turn toward streaming video. The licensing deals Netflix cobbled together before studios fully grokked the value of streaming
are expiring in the next year or two, outlets like Amazon
and HBO are starting their own streaming services, and the right of first sale, which allows Netflix to buy DVDs and then rent them over and over, doesn't apply to streamed content. Via this post from Slashfilm
, which adds more links
and info. [more inside]
"The Japanese Tradition" was a series of nine short, parody "How To" videos that gently mocked the formality of Japanese culture, from comedy duo Rahmens
) and Japan Culture Lab. They're available on DVD,
but nearly all of them can be seen on YouTube, including Sushi
(tea). [more inside]
The <video tag>
, as defined by the HTML5 spec, is an element "used for playing videos or movies". Which codec
those videos or movies are in is currently undefined, with the two contenders being the free open source Ogg Theora
and the proprietary H.264
. With the unveiling of Internet Explorer 9
both Microsoft and Apple are supporting H.264 in their browsers, and comparisons
of the standards seem to bear out H.264 as the better of the two. However Mozilla have taken a stance against incorporating H264 into Firefox on the grounds that it is patented and has to be licensed
. Arguments are now being made for
Mozilla sticking to its ideals. John Gruber
of Daring Fireball points out that Firefox already supports proprietary formats such as GIF. Um, perhaps not the best example
He invented or popularized
a startling array of the fundamental elements of film: the dissolve, the fade-in and fade-out, slow motion, fast motion, stop motion, double exposures and multiple exposures, miniatures, the in-camera matte, time-lapse photography, color film (albeit hand-painted), artificial film lighting, production sketches and storyboards, and the whole idea of narrative film.
By 1897, in a studio of his own design and construction – the first complete movie studio – his hand forged virtually everything on his screen. Norman McLaren writes, "He was not only his own producer, ideas man, script writer, but he was his own set-builder, scene painter, choreographer, deviser of mechanical contrivances, special effects man, costume designer, model maker, actor, multiple actor, editor and distributor." Also, his own cinematographer, and the inventor of cameras to suit his special conceptions. Not even auteur directors such as Charles Chaplin, Orson Welles, John Cassavetes, and Stanley Kubrick would personally author so many aspects of their films."
Inside: 57 films by Georges Méliès, the Grandfather of Visual Effects
. [more inside]
, a blog by video/film editor Oliver Peters
, serves primarily as a repository for his product reviews pertaining to nonlinear editing systems - including, but not limited to, Avid Media Composer and Apple Final Cut Pro... [more inside]
"Because the camera is so close to the character(s) being followed,
we feel that we're physically attached to those characters, as if by an invisible guide wire, being towed through their world, sometimes keeping pace, other times losing them as they weave through hallways, down staircases or through smoke or fog." A video montage and essay by Matt Zoller Seitz. All shots are identified at the end; you may know more of them than you think. (via
The Oscar-nominated "Mysterious Explorations of Jasper Morello"
is an "adventurous tale of a navigator’s journey to save his ailing wife set in a beautiful world of Victorian science-fiction" and one the many fine film shorts and videos available to watch at shortof theweek.com
- a site dedicated to "finding those few [video] gems amongst the enormous heap of garbage they're buried in..." [more inside]
A 1975 documentary by a young academic folklorist, exploring what it was that people were doing when they made home movies: remembering selectively, creating a "golden age." [more inside]
Though not as commonly known, Alfred Hitchcock's late British period is nonetheless an intriguing look at what delights were to come from his later work.
Secret Agent (1936 | Wikipedia | Download)
Young and Innocent (1937 | Wikipedia | Download)
Jamaica Inn (1939 | Wikipedia | Download)
onBeing: Videographies That Capture People.
The Washington Post is running a fascinating series of videos, each of which is a little snapshot into someone's life, personality, and quirks. Here's one about Sunun Assavarunsrikul
, a Thai waitress who feels she gives but just can't seem to get. Here's one about an "unconventional lawyer
is an astonishing film
voyaging six continents and twenty-four countries. Directed by Ron Fricke
, it is a visual tour de force
painstakingly shot on Todd AO-70mm
film. Information on the film (and its upcoming sequel!)
can be found here
or you can always watch the making of
consists of films which are... mediocre, hence the name. Night of the Zombie
. Batty Bat-Bat
. Gorgeous Tiny Chicken Machine Show
. Granted, it's not LG15
but I think that's what I like about it most. These short subject films are made by some guy named Greg, with help from other people whom you may
have never heard of before. Occasionally they also feature a guy named Adam
whom you might recognize but you may not be able to recall from where. It's funny. Well. I liked it. My girlfriend didn't. She said they were mediocre; to which I said, "exactly!"
is a series of five evocative animation/live action Quicktime shorts by Eric Lerner, including Mr. Deja Vu
, Mr. Fortune
, Mr. Afraid of Anything But Heights
, Mr. Sunken
and my fave, Mr. Dreamer
, bouncing around the beautiful urban decay.