How to Sound Design Your Life

November 8th, 2015

How to Sound Design Your Life:


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The Force Awakens Trailer #3 – Music Only Edit

October 24th, 2015

Listening to a music-only version of the trailer for Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens makes it at least 45.43% more impressive.1

[Via fearfulsymmetry, posting at MetaFilter]

  1. And it was already doing just fine in that regard. There's not a single moment that jumps out at you like the reveal of the crashed Star Destroyer in the teaser, but there's plenty of potentially good stuff in there.

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The Essence of Humanity

October 17th, 2015

Seeing Hayao Miyazaki – The Essence of Humanity made me want to re-watch My Neighbor Totoro. And Spirited Away. And Princess Mononoke. And Kiki's Delivery Service. OK, pretty much everything else he's done.1


  1. While I'm at it, how on earth was I unaware that he's also done a short film called Mei and the Kitten Bus? This I really need to see someday, somehow.

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Eternal Sunshine of the 8 Bit Mind

August 24th, 2015

8 Bit Cinema's magnificent take on Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind reminded me that it's been far too long since I last saw the original.

Also, I love me a bit of ELO on the soundtrack, even when it's in 8-bit form. What's it going to take to get Jeff Lynne the knighthood he so richly deserves? Surely he's done enough fine work post-ELO as a producer and a Wilbury to outweigh the stigma of Xanadu?1


  1. Joking aside, you've got to wonder whether he's just one of those public figures who quietly turned a gong down years ago.

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Tribute to Hayao Miyazaki

July 30th, 2015

A Tribute to Hayao Miyazaki:

So many fantastic stories, so little time to get round to watching them all again…

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One-Minute Time Machine

July 10th, 2015

One-Minute Time Machine doesn't outstay its' welcome:

[Via MetaFilter]

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July 8th, 2015

The other week I made a note to myself to watch out for a recent science fiction film called Advantageous, an expansion of a previous short of the same name.1 This morning I came across a copy of the original short film on YouTube, and it's really very good:

Now I'm definitely going to watch out for the feature length version.

  1. I found out about the film via a Mike D'Angelo review at The Dissolve. Sad news today that The Dissolve has ceased publishing. Dammit, not only did they have a host of excellent reviewers who produced readable, insightful reviews and a range of essays and news stories that catered for a wide range of interests, but they also put out a pretty decent podcast. At least as importantly, in the space of not quite two years they'd attracted the second-best community of commenters of any site I visit regularly, second only to the folks who make MetaFilter so good.

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How is a dirty mess of dust, ice, and rock possibly that damn shiny?!

June 11th, 2015

io9 have started a new series with A Scientist Responds… To Deep Impact:

Premise #3: The giant comet headed towards us was not picked up by any of the agencies or researchers deep-scanning the skies, but a teenager with his backyard telescope did spot it.

The American military can't even keep the orbits of their clandestine spy satellites secret from amateur astronomers for long; a massive comet coming to destroy the planet would absolutely be noticed by everyone else, and the construction of the Messiah spacecraft would've been photographed in detail long before the President's speech.

The deeper problem though seems to be that astronomers in this movie don't actually look at stars. This is remarkably clear when teen astronomer Leo Biederman spontaneously decides the field of view for his telescope is greater than 10 degrees, the distance covered by two fists held at arm's length, and manages to find Alpha Centauri, a star not visible in the northern hemisphere. It doesn't get any better when we switch off to his doomed mentor, Dr. Marcus Wolf. By the time Wolf performs the world's fastest, tidiest orbital determination on virtually no data while munching on pizza before bolting off to make an instantaneous report on a comet that wouldn't arrive for over two years, I've already written him off as an alien from another dimension utterly lacking in night-vision rods in his eyes, an understanding of orbital mechanics, and common sense.


Verdict: No. Just no, not likely at all, and it makes me weep soggy tears for hard-working astronomers everywhere.

The sad thing is, I always had a bit of a soft spot for Deep Impact.1

Now, let's see them inflict The Core on some poor, unsuspecting sap.

[Via Extenuating Circumstances]

  1. Though if I'm honest, this was in no small part because of the contrast with Armageddon, which showed up the same year and made Deep Impact look like 2001: A Space Odyssey scientific accurary-wise.

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'Isn't it irresponsible filmmaking to teach young people in the audience that they can survive throwing electrical objects into the water the way Jay does?'

June 6th, 2015

Someone has been thinking about It Follows just a tad too much:

And for a horror film, there are surprisingly few deaths. Apart from the mystery girl's death that opens the film (we never find out how she related to the rest of the characters), the other main on-screen death is Greg, killed in his bedroom. Given that the creature walks toward the victim until it reaches them, how very convenient that it so seldom appears in the middle of the night while the victim is asleep! Where's the "don't fall asleep" warning à la invasion of the Body Snatchers and A Nightmare on Elm Street?

[Via Criticwire, via The Dissolve]

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I want to go on record as being against this.

May 4th, 2015

Scott Glenn talked with The Onion AV Club for their Random Roles feature, reeling off a stream of anecdotes about the many films he's been in and the people he's worked with. Like Ron Howard's firefighter drama, Backdraft:

Backdraft (1991) – "John 'Axe' Adcox," stunts


AVC: You actually have a stunt credit on [Backdraft.]

SG: I do. At one point, the stunt coordinator on that – a great stunt coordinator named Walter Scott – he and Ron came to me, and Ron said, "How do you feel about being set on fire?" And I said, "Not great. Why?" [Laughs.] And he said, "Well, this is the deal: We want to hang you about 75 feet up in the air, and we want to light fire below you in this scene, and we want to set the bottom part of your body on fire, and with harness and cables, it'll look like Kurt Russell is hanging from a beam, holding you." It's where I say, "Let me go," and he says, "You go, we go." And Ron said, "The only way I can really sell this shot is to shoot down over Kurt's shoulder, onto you looking up into the camera, hanging there, on fire. And I can't figure out any other way to do it that powerfully with a stunt double." And Walter said, "I want to go on record as being against this. You never set a principal actor on fire, and fire is unpredictable, and blah, blah, blah." But I did it. They say God looks after kids and idiots, and I think actors are probably a combination of the two.

Firestorm (1998) – "Wynt"

AVC: So after enduring all you did on Backdraft, what made you want to do Firestorm?

SG: A lot of money.

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