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Monday, April 17, 2017

Traci Lords At Ottawa Comiccon!!

The goddess of cult movies Traci Lords will be appearing at Ottawa Comiccon!!
www.OttawaComiccon.com
See you there, May 12-14!





Monday, April 3, 2017

Fantasia International Film Festival Submissions Are Open!


Just a quick heads up, but time is running out for submitting your short and feature films to the most prestigious genre film festival on the planet, Fantasia!!

All infos on their web site and Facebook presence:
https://www.facebook.com/FantasiaFilmFestival

Good luck to all!



Monday, March 20, 2017

Tim League Refutes Netflix¹s Reed Hastings On Movie Theater Innovation


Tim League Refutes Netflix's Reed Hastings On Movie Theater Innovation

The founder of the Alamo Drafthouse has some issues with Netflix's Hastings saying that the movie business hasn't innovated in the last 30 years.

The following editorial is written by Tim League, co-founder and CEO of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas.
http://www.indiewire.com/2017/03/tim-league-netflix-reed-hastings-response-1201795232/



Netflix. It seems like every other interview I give asks me about the "threat" of Netflix. I'll be blunt. Netflix doesn't concern me, and I think it is obvious after last week that the cinema industry is of no concern to Netflix either.

We are in very different businesses.

Let me define those businesses.

Netflix is in the business of growing a global customer base by being the best value proposition subscription content platform.

And they are doing a great job. Their portal is stable, intuitive, cheap and delivers plenty of great, new content every month. They also provide a fantastic financial opportunity for both emerging and veteran storytellers. I stand in awe of the audience they have built and the wealth they have amassed in such a short time.

But here's my business: Cinema. Cinemas are in the business of offering an incredible, immersive experience that you simply cannot duplicate at home. Our job is to put on a show and provide a great value proposition for getting out of the house, turning off your phone and enjoying great stories in the best possible environment. At our best, cinemas should also be local community centers with a real, tangible relationship to their surrounding neighborhood.

Last week, Reed Hastings once again dumped on my industry. He summarized the innovation of cinema in the past 30 years by saying, "Well, the popcorn tastes better, but that's about it." While our industry has not shown the vision and truly game-changing innovation of Netflix, Hastings' antagonistic approach to cinema inadvertently exposes an underlying disrespect to the creators and auteurs that drive this entire machine.

Our best and most talented, passionate filmmakers vehemently do not want their films to be viewed first and foremost on a phone, on the train to work, while checking email, while chopping vegetables for the evening meal, on mute with subtitles while rocking a baby to sleep, or while dozing off before bed. The reality is, most Netflix content is being "consumed" in a less-than-ideal environment.

Great filmmakers create content to share their fully realized creations in a cinema with full, rich sound; bright, crisp picture and a respectful audience whose full attention is on the screen. And because of that, when courting filmmakers young and old to create content for their platform, I wish Netflix would consider the relationship with cinemas built by Amazon, Hulu, HBO, Showtime and Epix.

They all believe in cinemas as meaningful partners. They also respect those filmmakers who want meaningful theatrical engagements for their films. They believe in the promotional partnership that successful theatrical engagements can give to word of mouth, awards consideration, brand loyalty and ultimately maximized financial returns.

Amazon, for example, will be at CinemaCon next week building and strengthening their relationship with cinemas instead of tearing it down the week before.

I got into this business because I love movies. I hold the cinematic experience to be sacred, wonderful and these days even therapeutic.  I love the shared communal experience and the charged conversations I have after watching a movie in a cinema. I want to forge relationships with companies who truly love movies, too.

I do not believe that cinemas are owed or grandfathered into an exclusive window before movies are offered ostensibly for free on platforms such as Netflix. I contend that cinemas have earned, and must continue to earn, an exclusive window by providing the experience that directors desire as well as providing a significant financial benefit to producers and financiers.

To close, I'll offer my flippant counter, as I was asked specifically to respond to Hastings' remarks of last week. Until a meaningful relationship is forged with cinemas, Netflix is not making "movies." They are instead funding exclusive-access commodities that help grow their subscriber base.

In "Lost in America," Albert Brooks told his wife, after she lost their entire savings at the roulette wheel in Vegas, that she no longer had the right to use the term nest egg.

"Do me a favor," he said. "Don't use the word [nest egg'. You may not use that word. It's off limits to you! Only those in this house who understand nest egg may use it! And don't use any part of it, either. Don't use 'nest.' Don't use 'egg.' You're out in the forest you can point, 'The bird lives in a round stick.' And you have 'things' over easy with toast!"

I, for one, would welcome the dialogue to forge a meaningful partnership for theatrical exhibition and promotion of select Netflix productions, but until we have that, I consider the term "movie" to be their "nest egg."

But even as I pen this probably unjustifiably snarky retort, I will acknowledge some underlying truth to Reed Hastings' words. We do, as an industry, need to invest in innovation. Cinema's primary threat today is not Netflix; it is ourselves. We must continue to maintain high exhibition standards, invest in new sound and picture technology, improve the digital experience for our guests, develop innovative ways to delight our guests and ensure that we live up to our one job – make going to the cinema an amazing experience.

If we do that, we should be able to look back on another thirty years of limited innovation to our core product and say, "Job well done, we didn't screw up what has always been and remains great about the cinema: the show itself."



Source: IndieWire.com
http://www.indiewire.com/2017/03/tim-league-netflix-reed-hastings-response-1201795232/

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

ORIGINAL PAINTINGS from Pink Floyd The Wall up for sale!


ORIGINAL PAINTINGS FROM THE WALL
Masterworks Created for the Album, Concerts and Film, from the Private Collection of Gerald Scarfe

"San Francisco Art Exchange LLC (SFAE) is honored to have been selected to exclusively represent the most valuable collection of Rock and Roll artwork to ever be offered for sale.

Epic in scale and steeped in Rock history, these original works of art are marquis collectibles for major individual, corporate and institutional collectors. Due to the extensive distribution of the imagery via album, live-performances, music-videos, and the film (along with the accompanying publicity), the artwork offered is among the most instantly recognizable and significant in pop culture.

The Wall album topped Billboard charts for 15 weeks, and in 1999 was certified 23x Platinum. It remains one of the best-selling albums of all time, selling over 19 million copies between 1979 and 1990 in the US alone. The film was critically acclaimed when it was released in 1982 and won BAFTAs for Best Original Song and Best Sound. Scarfe developed the film's entire visual environment before the project began and his characters became a mixture of live-action and animated imagery, all of which played an integral role in the surreal narrative.

The paintings now being offered have been carefully selected by the artist, Gerald Scarfe as his most important works, and include several of the most famous images in Rock history due to their association with The Wall. Iconic artworks such as The Scream, Giant Judge & Hammers (shown below), The Mother, and The Teacher are available, along with several other blockbuster pieces including the massive original storyboard created for the film which incorporates 50 original renderings (measuring overall, a whopping 8' x 3'). »

For complete list, visit:











Thursday, February 9, 2017

Horreur Sur La Route: Destination SHOCK STOCK!


Une annonce de mon ami Steve Villeneuve, du Requiem Fear Festival!
Un road trip mémorable avec une gang d'amateurs d'horreur, avec, comme destination ultime: SHOCK STOCK!

Black Flag TV est un fier commanditaire de l'événement.

"OKI la gang, embarquez avec nous! Ca va être FOU! Il est maintenant possible de réserver vos billets pour L'HORREUR SUR LA ROUTE VOL.01 : DESTINATION SHOCK STOCK (London, Ontario)

Nous vous invitons sur cette page pour vous inscrire officiellement!!"

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Kodak's New Super8 Film Cameras are HERE! See this review!

Kodak is bringing back Super8 film cameras!

It's every filmmaker's dream to shoot on real, actual film stock. Kodak - once again - reinvent the way people shoot films.

Concerned about processing your films and how to transfer to digital for viewing? Very easy. When you buy a Super8 cartridge, processing is included. You shoot your film, send the cassette to a processing center (address and shipping envelope is provided with the cartridge. Once processed, Kodak uploads your digital file (scanned in 4k) to their server, where you can pick it up or directly share with your friends.

There's probably tons of options available, like different resolution scans, or if you want to have the Super8 processed film stock sent back. Many of us still own - and love - their Super8 film projectors! (I blogged about it earlier, with a test sample of the camera!)




Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Unspoken Crisis That Kills Local Comic Shops

Folks, don’t forget that when you order comics from your local shop, the store actually PAY upfront to get the books, and have them delivered to the store for you. If you don’t show up to pick up your order, it’s the comics shop you love who gets in trouble…!


"With the hastag of #BoostYourLCS hitting the web to help comics shops everywhere, Pack Rat comics in Hilliard, Ohio pointed out something else that is hurting comics shops… and it’s not lack of new readers, variant covers, late shipping books or digital editions…

It’s subscribers who order comics then don’t pick them up.

As the sign points out, Pack Rat has $1,481.20 in comics that were not picked up from their pull service in the last 3 months. Not I’m not sure if that’s cover value or the amount they paid, but either way those books are tying up their ability to order more inventory and since they are being held for customers, they can’t be sold.

If you are a subscriber at your local comic shop and haven’t picked up your books in a while… either head down and get them or set them free so they can find a good home and retailers can then cycle that money back into buying more books. Maybe we need #PickUpYourBooks

It’s the comic book circle of life… don’t be Scar."


Source: Bleeding Cool
https://www.bleedingcool.com/2017/01/10/unspoken-crisis-killing-local-comic-chops/



Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Alterna Comics Launching New Comics Line in Newsprint!

Independent publisher Alterna Comics is launching a new line of comic books where its single issues will be printed in newsprint and retail for $1.99 or less per issue.

"When I fell in love with comics, it was an entire experience. The stories, the imagery, and the paper. There was almost nothing else like reading a comic book. It was a fragile thing, but durable at the same time," said Alterna Comics' publisher Peter Simeti. "Printed on newsprint with a thin, but glossy, cover, you could roll the comic - not that you'd necessarily want to - and they were lightweight and had a floppy feel. The smell and feel of the pages is something that no longer occurs on the new comic book day release wall, yet it's prevalent in back issue bins across the country. Our goal is to create a comic book that would 'feel' like it just came out of a shop from 30 years ago."

From the 1930s to the early 1990s, most all comic books were printed on newsprint-quality paper. Following advancements in comic book coloring in 1992 and 1993, Marvel, DC, Image and others segued to glossier paper in order for the more nuanced coloring to register. With that came higher prices due to the changing paperstock; something Alterna plans to take advantage of by using newsprint.

"While most companies seem to be trying to out do each other with premium paper stocks and escalating price tags, we're aiming to make comics affordable and bring back a practicality to single issues. We're not in the business of making collectibles first and comics second. These won't be variant covers or variant issues, just basic comic books. We're happy to leave the premium paper stocks to our graphic novel line, which we will still be producing. Right now, we're aiming to launch this line with a few issues priced from $1 to $1.99, in Spring/Summer 2017."

Source: Newsrama

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Why DVDs and Blu rays remain essential in the age of streaming


Even the best streaming experience can't compete with the benefits of physical media.

Vox.com

A dozen years ago, it was common for film fans to wake up on Christmas morning and find a trove of DVDs under the tree. DVDs, and later Blu-Rays, were the go-to gifts from people who love movies to people who love movies. But over the past decade, as disc sales have dropped and streaming video services have displaced physical media, it's an experience that's become far less common: Why purchase a single movie for someone when Netflix, Amazon Prime, and a growing number of other streaming services offer libraries with thousands of films and TV shows for a monthly price less than the cost of a single new movie on disc?

If you did find movies on disc under this tree this year, or if you picked up a few with holiday gift cards, count yourself lucky: Physical media remains superior to streaming in nearly every way as a technical experience. But even more than that, owning movies yourself helps build an emotional connection that's hard to replicate with streaming.

When it comes to picture and sound quality, even the best streaming lags behind physical media

Let's start with the most essential element of the home viewing experience: the picture and sound quality. Physical media, which isn't beholden to the vagaries of internet connections and underpowered home wifi networks, is clearly preferable in most circumstances — even when viewing the highest-quality streaming content on the newest televisions.

Right now, the gold standard in home video is what's known as 4K. That means that the picture is created using at least 8 million pixels — nearly the resolution of the best digital movie projectors. With a standard resolution of 3840x2160 (or the number of lines of pixels on each side of the screen), 4K offers a much denser, sharper image than the older HD standard of 1080p. (RTings.com offers a useful graphic showing the difference between the standards.) But simply put, 4K offers much more picture information than 1080p.

Netflix has been broadcasting some content in 4K since 2014, and Amazon now offers some 4K content too. In theory, these streaming services offer picture quality that is comparable to Ultra HD video discs, the latest in digital video disc technology, and substantially better than a traditional 1080p Blu-ray disc. But when the A/V enthusiasts at WhatHiFi.com compared the three formats earlier this year, they found that the 4K streaming experience was actually more in line with watching a traditional 1080p Blu-ray — and that Blu-rays had a clear advantage in terms of contrast and color. Ultra HD discs, meanwhile, looked far better than either.

Nor can streaming services handle the latest and greatest in surround sound technology — the gloriously rich and detailed seven-speaker sound produced by the Dolby TrueHD or DTS HD Master Audio standards that have been around on conventional Blu-rays for years. With the right setup, these audio formats can make big action scenes incredibly dynamic: The engine noise in Mad Max: Fury Road becomes a guttural roar; the gunshots in Heat's bank robbery sequence almost seem to pierce your living room walls; the pod race in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace ricochets across the speakers as if your couch has been transformed into a desert canyon on Tatooine. Streaming services offer five-speaker sound at lower fidelity, but if you have a modern surround system at home, you're missing out on the full experience.

The problem for streaming is compression: The picture and sound information has to be processed in a way that allows it to be sent efficiently over the internet. And while compression has improved greatly over the years, it invariably means a loss of information along the way. Darker scenes tend to fare the worst, as sunsets that are supposed to gently fade from color to color turn into blocky digital stripes and rooms lit by firelight start to look chunky and pixelated, like web videos from 15 years ago. Discs, on the other hand, are right in the room with you, sent to your television on a high-quality cable, and thus don't suffer from the same issues.

Physical media offers added features and consistent access. Streaming doesn't.

There are other reasons to prefer physical media to streaming services beyond the technical aspects. Blu-rays and DVDs often come packed with extras, from commentary tracks to behind-the-scenes featurettes, that can help you understand the filmmakers and the filmmaking process.

Sure, some of these extras are just promotional material. But from time to time you discover something truly revealing: Full Tilt Boogie, a feature-length documentary about the making of From Dusk Till Dawn that for years came as part of the DVD package, remains one of the weirdest, rawest, and more fascinating looks at the making of a movie I've ever seen. Brad Bird's director's commentary on the deleted scenes of Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol shows how focused the production was on nailing the movie's big action set pieces, almost to the point where the connecting material was an afterthought. The Criterion Collection edition of Michael Bay's The Rock is worth it simply for the incredibly profane reel of outtakes.

This sort of extra material helps you understand how the movies you love are made, and the personalities of the people who make them. You won't get any of this sort of filmmaking color from most streaming services.

FilmStruck, a recently launched streaming service geared toward cinephiles, goes a long way toward solving this problem, offering carefully curated programs designed to show off certain films and directors, as well as streaming access to the Criterion Collection, which for years has been the gold standard in collector's edition home video. The service, which is a partnership between Turner Classic Movies and Criterion, makes a good case as a value proposition. "If you buy three Criterion discs a year," Criterion president Peter Becker told IndieWire, "you've already paid for a year of FilmStruck, and a lot of our customers buy more than three discs a year."

But even a movie geek–friendly service like FilmStruck runs into another problem with streaming, which is a lack of permanence and availability. Before FilmStruck, Criterion had offered its streaming collection through Hulu. Then it moved, forcing Criterion fans with Hulu subscriptions to switch or go without. There's no guarantee that an upstart venture like FilmStruck will be around five years from now, and if it is, the titles it offers could easily have changed.

As Netflix subscribers have learned all too well in recent years, streaming services don't offer access to a set list of titles. Instead, they let subscribers pick from a rotating library, meaning you can never be entirely sure that your favorite film won't disappear. Instead, you're stuck with whatever the service decides to offer at the moment. That's not always a bad thing, but it's very different from owning a disc yourself.

Physical discs allow for a deeper connection to your media

More than anything else, though, it's ownership that makes physical media an improvement over streaming services. Ownership means that the unknowable programming gods who manage those services can't unexpectedly take away your favorite movie. Ownership means having a physical object that you can see, touch, hold, and display on your shelf. It means connecting with the thing itself, knowing that it is yours. And it means knowing that you can watch a movie whenever you want, as many times as you want, in the highest possible quality.

That sort of unlimited repeat viewing is an important part of connecting with a film. There's an odd kind of personal transformation that I find happens when I watch a favorite movie over and over again. I stop simply watching the movie and start feeling it, becoming tuned in to its rhythms and nuances, almost experiencing the film as a participant, knowing it from the inside. Eventually, it starts to come back to me in flashes and memories, and I start to see my own life on the film's terms, in its language and ideas. It becomes, in some small sense, a part of me.

This isn't impossible with streaming, of course. You can watch movies over and over and get to know them pretty well. But the unreliability of connections, the picture and sound hiccups, and the lingering uncertainty about whether it will be available — and if so, for how much longer — make it much more difficult to form this sort of lasting connection.

That's not to say that streaming services aren't useful and don't have some real advantages: In terms of price, selection size, and ease of use, they are hard to beat. The original programming alone can make some services worth the price of admission. Ultimately, though, the streaming experience is more like channel surfing: You choose to watch whatever's on, from a selection determined by someone else. With physical media that you own, you choose to watch what you want, from a selection determined by you, or at least people who know you well enough to give you movies as gifts.

Streaming may be cheaper and more convenient, but physical media offers the equivalent of a premium, personalized experience — and it's one that's worth preserving.


By Peter Suderman, VOX article:

Scientists About To Contact Aliens From Nearby Stars


Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence (METI) wants to send a message to nearby stars in the hope of contacting alien species, possibly starting with Proxima Centauri. - METI

"A collection of scientists and philosophers are planning to send messages into space in the hope that alien civilizations will find and hear them, and view the recent discovery of a planet around the nearest star to the Sun, Proxima b, as a good place to start.

Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence (METI), as the group is called, is starting a discussion about what the messages should say, with the intention to begin sending in 2018. However, many others remain deeply opposed to sending a message at all, raising the question of who has the right to speak for Earth.

In 1974, the Arecibo radio telescope sent a message to the globular star cluster M13. In 1977, the famous Golden Record was sent on the Voyager spacecraft for any alien to find it. These were, however, almost entirely symbolic gestures. The chance of aliens noticing a short and narrowly focused signal, or a tiny craft in the vastness of space was very low. Our unintentional signals are far more likely to give us away.

METI is planning a far more systematic approach. They have started fundraising to buy time on a powerful transmitter, or to build their own, to send extended signals with as much power as we can muster. They will be holding two conferences in 2017 to discuss what the message should contain and where it should be sent.

There are considerable obstacles to the presence of advanced life on Proxima b, but as the closest possibly inhabited world to our own, this is one place METI is considering directing a signal, Mercury News has reported. In the unlikely event of an advanced civilization there, it is also one place close enough for us to hold a conversation, albeit one with eight-year breaks between asking a question and getting an answer. »

Source: IFL Science

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Kodak's New Super8 Camera Is Coming This Spring! Test Footage Here

I just received this newsletter about Kodak's newest Super8 camera. It's just around the corner!!






"Engineers have been working, filmmakers have been testing and the camera is on its way. 

We have been so inspired by the passion and dedication of the filmmaking community around the return of Super 8. We wanted to share with you some of the first footage shot on the new camera.

It will be available for you to start telling your story Spring 2017. Watch Kodak’s CES coverage for more details.


Visit the new Super 8 YouTube Channel

Super 8 has inspired generations of filmmakers across all creative abilities to pick up a camera and capture everything from a family vacation to feature films and music videos. The creativity unleashed by Super 8 shooters the world over has inspired us to launch a new YouTube Channel devoted to Super 8 and curated by Kodak. Prepare for new adventures in filmmaking."


Thursday, November 17, 2016

Wednesday, November 16, 2016