Tag Archives: CGI

Read, View, Old, New, Nobody Flies for Free.

4872912-9226306576-47674Are you into movies? If so, I’ll assume your favorite gems on the big screen bridge over into your preferred genre in the novels you read. With all the assorted subjects flying out of Hollywood and bookstores, you pretty much have your pick on what you read or view these days. As usual, the stories we enjoy begin with words and over time make their way onto the silver screen.

For some time now, the comic books we all read as kids are gaining popularity, not just in print, (today referred to as graphic novels) but in movie form, also. Marvel seems to have cornered the market with DC a ways behind. I personally don’t have a favorite, but enjoy them all. With the computer generated special effects of today, things can be brought to life through a process called, “Go Motion,” first used in Jurassic Park in 1993. For the first time, characters only in our imagination could be brought to life in a realistic manner. Gone were the days of stop motion animation and the jerky figures it produced.

I enjoy the comic book heroes brought to the big screen format as well as on my flat screen at home. Being a science fiction and fantasy writer, it brings a new dimension to the characters I create for my novels. And who knows?…Maybe one day I’ll see a novel I’ve penned on the silver screen. I just hope it’s not filmed as the old Godzilla movies were with men jumping around in suits. Who knows? Maybe claymation will make a comeback, and then I’ll have it made.

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Sometimes We Need That Off the Wall, Nonsensical, Silliness To Make It Through the Day and Sometimes…Nah, It’s an Everyday Need

What’s your favorite movie? What’s your favorite book? Do the two coincide with one another? Did you read a great book that turned into a lousy movie?shark twister Or, did the movie surprise you and turn out to be as good or better than the book?

It just so happens that two of my favorite movies began life as ink on paper. The first, and probably my favorite movie, was Jaws released in 1975. This movie affected an entire generation. People were actually afraid to venture into the water. Being an author it probably seems strange, but I never read the book. From what I’ve heard, the book was good, but unnecessarily cluttered with love affairs and such. To me, in a story like this, if you want to kiss something, kiss a shark. I was but a young buck when I ventured to the theater to view this thriller and returned four more times. Five times on the silver screen and well over fifty in the home venue, might make you think I was obsessed with this celluloid masterpiece. Nah, I just like the movie.

From the ocean to the Great Plains, we move from the “jaws of death” to the swirling winds known as “tornadoes,” “cyclones,” and “funnel clouds.” Twister is my next great book-to-movie, which I also did not read.

Now, as far as storm chasers actually operate, I think the movie was probably not as factual as it could have been. On the other hand, I didn’t go to the theater three times to see a fact-based movie. Twister came out in 1996, just three years after Jurassic Park, which was the first movie to use “go-motion.” This new technology pulled us away from the decades old stop-motion animation we were used to seeing ever since the first movie danced its way into our hearts.

CGI opened a whole new world of special effects and Twister was in on the ground floor. Aside from having a great story, the animation jerked you from your seat, spun you around, and then smacked you several times before depositing you head-first back into your chair.

I took my girlfriend (at the time) to see this wonder of technology. Half-way through the movie, the popcorn machine caught fire and we were escorted out the back of the theater. We received vouchers to see the movie at a later date (or when the smoke cleared), which we did, and that girlfriend, a year later, became my wife…pause for tear removal and nose blowage.

Thinking, as I occasionally do, I can’t help but wonder what would happen if Jaws and the F5 in Twister were to meet?

The twister would have to become a water spout which would cause it to severely weaken. Even though the shark is not the brightest creature in the sea, it would hesitate to attack a column of water. And if I’ve brought you to the point that you would consider a confrontation between a swirling mass of water and a big fish, then I humbly apologize, not only to you, but the preceding paragraph and its five wasted lines.

All good things must come to an end which brings about a conundrum. Oblivious to good and bad, as far as this post goes, do I end it or (like that drum beating bunny) keep going, and going, and going, and going…….
I believe we all know the answer; this tale should be put to rest….

In case, you’re wondering where I locate material for my blog, I purchase it from a surly old Wiccan who resides in Haiti and vacations in Jackass Flats, Virginia (no joke, real place). She’s not much to look at, but makes a great conch (pronounced “konk”) chowder and the blog material’s dirt cheap. After a few shots of rum, it’s free because you can’t shut her up.

Until next week, when we once again mix a pinch of fact with a bucket of nonsense, I bid you a fond, “Ado!”

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Why Come, How for, and other Such Silly Notions

Vintage Romance Novels

Vintage Romance Novels

Have you ever wondered why things are the way they are? I don’t mean things that have any real meaning, but instead things that more or less represent the epitome of useless information. If so, then jump on the bandwagon with me as we explore these hopeless bits.

Take for instance, Fabio. Now I’m secure enough in my masculinity to be able to admit that Fabio is a good-looking guy. He has graced the cover of many romance novels. Now here’s the part I have a hard time justifying. The images that appear on these covers are not photographs, but drawings.  In this world we have talented artists that could easily draw a make-believe cover model that would rival any living person, and the best part of this situation is that drawings don’t demand huge salaries. To me it’s a no-brainer. Write a novel, draw a nonexistent cover model and save a bucket ‘o’ bucks.

Here’s another:

Why do famous, beautiful female celebrities appear in hair color commercials, but never grace the box themselves? The cardboard containers seem to be reserved for attractive yet less well known faces. Maybe the hair color folks got smart and in order to save megabucks decided to go with unknowns. Move over Fabio, looks like the freebies are coming after you.

And now we move to the infamous couch cover. Did your grandmother or mother ever buy a new couch and immediately spread a cover over it for protection? Your family may have owned this davenport For 20 years but you never saw what it actually looked like until it was time to throw it away. This is a great segue into what we called when I was a child “the living room.” This room was never used unless special company (a preacher, for instance) came to pay us a visit. It was like owning a time capsule that one could go to study the ancient furniture and obsolete fabrics still in pristine condition. Often, clear plastic would adorn these articles to afford additional protection.

Here’s the point at which I would normally begin to conclude my thoughts by writing something like, “in conclusion,” or “to sum up,” or “I’ll finish this post with.” But you have to admit it sure has been fun delving into the world of models, Grandmothers, couch covers and archaeological furnishings. This time, however, I’m going to leave you with a question. Something that hasn’t happened yet, but has the possibility, nay the probability, of coming to fruition in the very near future.

Computer generated images (C.G.I.) have brought movies to astounding heights of realism. These computer geniuses are coming very close to being able to replicate the human form including body movement, facial features and all of our many nuances and idiosyncrasies. What if, unbeknownst to the general public, a moviestar could be created using this technology? After performing in film after film this cybernetic actor would be bolstered on to the pedestal of megastar, seemingly earning millions per film but in truth no more able to spend a dollar than the proverbial church mouse.

And this begs another question be answered: What will become of the millions made? Will this money be spread around within the filmmaking community, or will the technicians who hold this power within their little palms become the new Hollywood heartthrobs? Rest assured, when there is money to be made, someone will be there to wrap their grubby little paws around it.

Hmm…Could be fodder for my next bestseller.

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