Thursday, 29 May 2008

Drag and drop video is here, nearly...

its going to be made available as an application or package, but if you were able to build it into an The DIMP (Direct Manipulation Video Player) software allows you to move through a video timeline, by dragging certain tagged objects within the film itself. Does look pretty neat and seems like it could have quite a few applications, although, if I'm honest i reckon the actual act of using looks like the best thing about it. It's built within C+ and I'm yet to find out as to whetherMPU, that would be very cool indeed.

Check out their website for more info and a cool 1 min teaser film.

Animated John Lennon Interview

In 1969, a young boy snuck into John Lennon’s hotel room with his tape recorder and persuaded him to do an interview. Good old John, always prepared to talk about peace to anyone who'd listen.

Josh Raskin turned the interview into an animation and it was nominated for the best Short Film at the 2008 Oscars. Check out his website here. The animation was done by an artist called James Braithwaite who you can see more of him here.

Thanks to Fresh Creation for giving me a heads up.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

DIY Adverts in Watchmen Movie

Zak Snyder (director of Dawn of the Dead & 300) has just finished shooting Watchmen, a movie based on one of the best comic books around (Time magazine has it in their top 100 books of all time). The movie is based in an alternate 1985, where super heroes are illegal and the world stands on the edge of nuclear war with Russia. One major company called 'Veidt' seems to be the dominant producer of almost everything from Trainers to Holidays and this is where it gets interesting....

Via YouTube, people can download various product demos and are invited to create a 15/30/60sec advert that if selected, will feature on the numerous televisions that pepper the Watchmen set. The top 20 have a chance of making it, with a few other prizes thrown in for good measure.

I love the idea of giving Watch-Fans a creative input into a movie that is regularly thought of as un-filmable and has a lot of fans very nervous. Plus, it's nice to see that the movie hasn't lost its integrity and tried to shoe horn in real life products, keeping its feet firmly routed in Alan Moores world.

I wonder how much input advertisers have when their clients product is being used in a movie, for example, did AMV have anything to do with the Guinness spot in Minority Report? Or was that driven by Spielberg?

Either way, UGC in a movie is a great idea and gets the thumbs up from me.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Animated Street Art

MUTO a wall-painted animation by BLU from blu on Vimeo.
This is quite something to behold and i can't imagine how long it took. Blu, a street artist who seems to have painted walls all over the globe, has produced an animated film, set on the streets of Buenos Aires and southwest Germany. Its pretty freaky, some of his images are bonkers and a little disturbing, but they're strangely delicious at the same time.

Check out some of his static wall art at his website, i'm a big fan of the spikey giant in Verona.

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Go on, I Dan Dare you...

The Science Museum in London is currently hosting a temporary exhibition (Wed 30 Apr 2008 - Sun 25 Oct 2009) demonstrating Britain's post war technological boom.

"After 1945, though war-weary and broke, Britain found huge pride in wartime advances such as radar, penicillin and the jet engine. Discoveries like these were now tipped to kick-start world-beating industries, bring prosperity and bankroll the emerging welfare state.

In an age before globalisation, products from rockets to radios sprang from local roots. Together they reveal a fascinating ‘lost world’ of British design and invention – a glimpse of a time when the TV in the corner was a Murphy, not a Sony."

I've been a firm believer in Comics leading the way in technology for sometime (I have my name down for trials of Captain America super soldier serum, still waiting for the phone call), so I'll be right down there, quick smart. Let me know any feedback you might have.

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

GTA sales hit £40 million

Frankly i'm surprised. I'd like to think i'm fairly 'finger on the pulse' with tech and stuff, but for GTA IV to hit £40 million, not dollars but pounds, in its first week of sales! Thats staggering, i mean thats movie cash. Take Two, who own Rockstar Games must be pleased as punch and soon they're rumoured to announce it's sold its 6 millionth copy worldwide.

Chart Track issued figures for first day sales for GTA IV saying the title sold 631,000 copies by close of business. This single day figure is almost as much as the previous sales record holder, GTA: San Andreas, managed in its first week - 677,000 units. Seeing as my co-worker was prepared to set his recently sick mother the task of calling every shop in the south london area in search of a copy, i'm not surprised. My dept is rife with the kind of banter you would expect after an episode of Mighty Boosh and frankly i'm curious, but i've caught my flatmate slumped, asleep infront of our widescreen TV, Xbox remote in hand, with the pause screen flashing, at 4am and i know that i dare not that way go.

Sales are apparently split nearly 50% across consoles which i find surprsing, considering the Xbox sales lead, but i guess that its one of the few genuinely awesome titles available for the PS3 (disclaimer) so people have probably been chewing their nails....

It's fascinating to think that Ironman was set to break the $90 million mark for its opening weekend in the US, and you just think how much PR was involved and what it cost to produce. Rockstar's advertising for GTA IV was minimal in comparison and soon they hope to anounce global profits of $500 million off the back of 6 million copies sold.


Wii TV is live and curious...

Nintendo have finally released their Wii TV channel to the US as of last night, to mostly promising feedback. In Japan, where the channel was released last November, it offers streaming web video with content such as interviews with Wii game designers. In one video feature, Nintendo legend Shigeru Miyamoto describes the company's upcoming exercise game, Wii Fit.

The service has a selection of features that mostly seem to work so far. The channel features promotional videos and an index of Wii and DS games to help the Nintendo nerd make essential purchasing decisions. It also allows demos of DS games to be sent to your handheld. The 8 titles available for temporary download have already been released, which is a bit poor, but i guess it's a start

They haven't supplied an online store for download, but once you select a game you're keen on, it will only provide you with a recommendation of outlet stores such as Amazon or Wal-Mart, which seems a shame. You'd like to think there was an online purchase , but it would seem the amount of memory required (126 blocks of system memory to download, plus another 126 blocks for temporary data storage) to run Nintendo TV, negates the 'click and play option'.

Other features include monitoring what games you play and when, which, before you renegade Orson Wells 1984 style, is optional. This info is stored and used to help suggest titles that you may be interested in, nice to see that you can manually rate games though, prohibiting too much AI forcing your hand.

It also monitors the TV you use, possibly to check who's doing HD tech, and it seems pretty bias towards recommending Nintendo titles, but that's to be expected i guess.

All round though it seems like a good start, and now they've joined forces with the BBC iPlayer, it would seem like Nintendo have moved one more step ahead of the XBox and the lumbering PS3.