Archive for October, 2010

What is this?

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Unlikely-Adaptations-Of-Films-Into-Retro-Games Day?

I haven’t seen it, but THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE sounds like a disgusting film, to the extent that I’m not even going to link to it or embed the trailer. I am however going to link to the game version, because it’s just about the most ridiculous film-to-game conversion I’ve seen oh, for about two hours. The two hours since I watched this:

In other news, someone thinks they’ve worked out how to record dreams, and Fox News are reporting that magic mushrooms are good for you. I make that game over, we should probably all just go home now.

Miscellany 20101021

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

My favourite movie poster of last year (and recent history) was the staggeringly bold principle artwork put together for STAR TREK, as I blogged at the time.

This year that particular plaudit is shared by a series of four teaser posters Fox have released for upcoming Searchlight title BLACK SWAN, of which this is one:

This might just be teaser artwork – what really blew me away about the TREK poster is that it was the creative centrepiece of their entire domestic campaign – but I like it. Besides which, I’ve always felt that more movie posters should double up as subliminal propaganda for the Rebel Alliance.

Next up we have a poster for one of my favourite movies, taken from ‘Bad Dads: A Tribute to Wes Anderson’:

It’s worth toddling over to Slashfilm to peruse the artwork of which this tribute is comprised, the quality of which is so high he had to spread it over one post and then another one. It hadn’t ever really occurred to me that bad dads are a recurring theme in Anderson’s films. Probably because I wouldn’t know what a bad dad is if I was smacked around the head by one.

Staggeringly relentlessly on, we have my now-requisite hat-tip to THE WALKING DEAD, unearthed on the very excellent

Plus a whole actual clip, containing actual coherent dialogue between actual characters and everything:

All of which compounds my joy at learning that FX UK will be showing the 70-minute premiere ADVERT-FREE on November 5th. Sadly it appears episodes 2-6 will not be receiving the same treatment, meaning that I will not be watching them on FX UK. I’m more of a box-set man anyway, broadcast television is for kids, sports fans and ambulance chasers.

Bringing us to the final item in this round of flotsam and internetsam – THE TROLL HUNTER. Called out by Sizemore a week or two ago then picked up for worldwide distribution by Magnet a few days thereafter, this has traces of my very first thoughts on where to go with LOCH GHOON. Thankfully my script has now taken itself in a direction entirely of its own, meaning that I was able to watch this trailer without feeling a powerful need to retreat into the nearest cupboard and weep.

(Particularly liking the fact that trolls can smell Christians. Really hoping they manage close it out with an enthralling action sequence pivoting on the sudden and spontaneous collapse of the central protagonist’s hitherto unshakeable believe in God.)

#PttP Cross-Media Forum: Thomas Hoegh

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010


I’m down at the National Film Theatre today for day two of Power to the Pixel’s Cross-Media Forum.

Thomas Hoegh (Founder, Arts Alliance) just finished his keynote, so I’m putting the WordPress Android app through its paces and (near-)live blogging it.

Thomas offered a pointedly pragmatic perspective on the current cross-media landscape, identifying that ‘most transmedia projects have their anchor point in traditional formats’. He sees this model as likely to prevail, and maintains that this is in the aspiring transmedia producer’s interest.

As ever, the key challenge is fund-raising, made more acute in this space in the face of (a) the need for complex partner ecosystems, (b) the inherent unpredictability of less scripted outcomes and (c) the typically intangible catalogue value of transmedia content.

With this in mind, Thomas maintains that producers should look to attach their projects to established formats and funding models. “Creating a new artform isn’t easy. Be a prefix, and don’t be ashamed of it. Think of yourself as spice.

It was also interesting to hear Thomas differentiate transmedia story-telling from more traditional approaches on the basis that ‘you are making a deal with the audience’.  It brought to mind what Jonathan Smith from TT Games had to say at Playful last month, blogged here, the crux of which was that computer games also broker a deal with their ‘audience’: essentially “do what I ask, and I will give you what you want”.

What Thomas had to say felt like deliberately down-to-earth introduction to today’s ‘Pixel Pitch’, whereby a selection of producers pitch transmedia projects to jury and audience, looking to make the £6,000 ARTE Pixel Pitch Award their own.

Tomorrow I’ll be taking part in ‘The Pixel Meetings’, meeting a few of the producers to try and offer some of insight into how they might develop their projects and, vitally, get them to market.

The jury’s still out on whether I can really justify two days out of the office to be down here talking transmedia. So far so good.

Le Apartomatic

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

A while back I posted about a Gucci commercial being directed by Frank Miller.  As it turned out the final spot was ok, but just ok.

Now we have Le Apartomatic, a 60s commercial for Stella Artois co-directed by Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola.  Anderson’s one of my favourite film-makers, and i like the spot – it feels like the little warm-up ‘toon you’d find in front of a Pixar movie for grown-ups. (I know, I know, Pixar movies are for grown-ups.  But you get my point.)

Anyways, here it is:

That Satan, he sure loves rockabilly

Saturday, October 9th, 2010

WARNING: The following image video media shows a Satan possessed guitar using its vibrating sounds to fornicate a normal woman. Immediately dictate your wife and children leave the room and lock the door before removing your trousers and filling your boots.

The band behind this, and the album from whence it comes, From 001 To 017, are called The Good The Bad. They’re managed by Jesse Boyce, one half of these guys, and a partner-in-crime of the one sick bastard behind this lot.

No stranger to acts of clinically controlled creative provocation, he seems to have struck gold with this particular piece, orchestrating over half a million views in but a matter of days. No surprise really, given that what we have here is essentially a work of high-concept wank material, tailor-made for legions of angsty young men who can now crack one out and actually feel pretty cool about it afterwards.

A broad church indeed, and one that encompasses Abe, blogger at Christwire, who, though he superficially appears to condemn the video as the work of Satan, is clearly only writing this diatribe to atone for the act of godless onanism preceding it.

Abe writes: Why is a woman being tempted to do gyrations on this guitars vibrating crescendos! Flangers and Wow boxboxes, tremolos and high-toned capos! Satan licks his chops when all of these are employed, because women are easy and also tricked by his rockabilly tones.

I’ve now read a significant body of Abe’s work, and I’m no clearer on whether what we have here is a Voltaire for the modern day or quite simply the most dangerous man in America. What’s beyond doubt is that nobody has done more than him to catalogue videos of women simulating intercourse with inanimate objects, and for this I think we can all be thankful.

Left for red dead rising

Friday, October 8th, 2010

Seems the universe of The Walking Dead is already expanding, even before the imminent premiere of AMC’s much-anticipated TV series.  Deadline reports that:

Robert Kirkman’s bestselling comic series The Walking Dead […] will now spawn a trilogy of original novels to be published by Thomas Dunne books, an imprint of St. Martins Press, starting in 2011. The books will be conceptualized and outlined by Kirkman before being developed by  horror novelist Jay Bonansinga (Perfect Victim). The books’ plots will take place in the “universe” or context established by Kirkman’s comic series, which is currently in its 77th issue and has sold approximately three million copies worldwide.

As if it wasn’t happy enough news that someone had the good sense to turn this into a TV mini-series in the first place, now we find out that someone, perhaps that very same someone, has spotted the inordinate transmedia storytelling potential as well. 

With a bit of luck next in the pipeline is a sprawling, browser-based, multi-player Unity game, pitched somewhere between Left For Dead, Dead Rising and Red Dead Redemption, inviting each of us to carve our own path in a universe where zombies are a dime a dozen, and its the survivors you really have to look out for.

Introducing… The Post-Old-Spice-Hall-of-Fame

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

A couple of months ago Old Spice pulled of one of the greatest marketing coup d’etats of all time, taking but a few days to become the proud owners of the most popular branded channel on YouTube.

The short version is that face-of-Old-Spice Isaiah Mustafa hunkered down in a bunker with a producer, some creatives (and, one suspects, some tremendously good amphetamines) and started banging out YouTube videos directed at individuals all over the world who had taken the time to send him a little message of their own via whatever social channel took their fancy.

This has since been proclaimed  one of the greatest social media success stories of all time, which is not without a measure of irony when we consider that it all arose out of a well-conceived and cleverly placed series of good old-fashioned television commercials establishing Mustafa’s persona as the fresh face of a reinvigorated brand.

Either way, it’s proven that even the most prosaic of products can transform its fortunes using the right blend of interruption and permission-based advertising, packed together around a pearl of creativity and a nugget of solid strategic thinking.

This, of course, is disastrous news for brand marketers everywhere.  Suddenly the excuse that you work on a crap product most people haven’t heard of in over a decade and certainly couldn’t ever get remotely excited about just isn’t going to cut the Colmans.  The guys on the Blue Stratos account must be shitting the bed.

Wieden & Kennedy’s visionary campaign also signals the beginning of the Post-Old-Spice era.  Following on from the smattering of ill-advised hangers-on clinging to the coat-tails of the meme itself, we’re moving into the phase where agencies have had time to look on admiringly, schedule a meeting with their client, pitch a similar idea, rush it into production, write the press release and bring it to life.

Orange’s Singing Tweetgrams, I put it to you (and POKE London can consider this an open invitation to tell me what a blithering fool I am, and that this was being planned many moons ago), has the look of one such initiative.

PSFK report that: “From Monday through Thursday of this week, select Tweets tagged with #singingtweetagrams will be recorded into one-off, downloadable Tweetagrams. The recorded Tweetagrams will be posted on The Feed, and selected user submissions will be informed via Twitter if/when musical message is recorded – be it sweet, sultry, witty or snarky.”

Being that I’ve recently eschewed Twitter and the business of writing succinct open missives in favour of the ramling equivalent, I have no way of trying this out in order to see whether it’s a good idea or not.

I do wonder whether part of the charm of Old Spice’s approach was its novelty, and ambition, taking an unproven concept and realising it in a way as emotionally intelligent as it was strategically well-considered.  And I’m not sure that’s a format that stands up to imitiation.

Time, we may feel 100% confident, will tell.

Singing Tweetagrams

Miscellany 20101006

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

Welcome to a new series in which I lazily bundle together various items of rarefied coolness I’ve encountered over the last seven days.

First up, a ‘fan-made’ title sequence for AMC mini-series THE WALKING DEAD that prompted Damon Lindelof (Exec Producer, LOST) to note that “We are arriving at that unique moment in time where the term “fan-made” becomes moot. This is extraordinary.” He’s right y’know. On both counts.

Now for some pretty spectacular time-lapse photography set to a track from Hans Zimmer’s INCEPTION soundtrack. A beautiful series of moving images (although it must be said, footage of paint drying would look pretty spectacular set to Hans Zimmer’s INCEPTION soundtrack.)

Next up, a different kind of time-lapse..

And, if for no other reason than that I LOVE zombies and I LOVE infographics, a zombie infographic.

To finish, a good old-fashioned trailer for a good old-fashioned film. By the looks of it, a really very good old-fashioned film:

Join me again next week when I’ll be lazily posting a load more stuff without really doing it justice.

Coen Bros. + Jeff Bridges * Western =

Friday, October 1st, 2010