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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Indie Filmmakers: Here's Nebula 4200 5-Axis Stabilizer.

Photographer and filmmaker Von Wong gives his review on this very cool camera stabilizer.

"First thoughts at the Nebula 4200 "5-axis" stabilizer.

At only 1000$, there is no other product on the market that gives you fully motorized 3-axis stabilization with shock absorbers for (rated) 1.6kg.

Although they market it as "5-axis image stabilization", the spring loaded handles serve more as dampeners and shock absorbers than true 5-axis stabilization. That being said, they do work rather well at taking care of the unwanted bumps when one moves rapidly around. The down-side is that the springs tend to creak quite a little bit.

The motors are strong enough so that my A7r-ii with a 10-18 f4 has hardly any problem regardless of which orientation I fly the camera which is fantastically flexible.

The Nebula features a tool-less design which is pretty snazzy. It makes it very convenient to re-adjust balance. The downside though, is that it is a lot harder to get a super precise calibration. Maybe I just need more practice. For anyone who's balanced gimbal's before, it shouldn't be more than just a little bit frustrating. For someone who's never done it before... It doesn't really come with instructions.

Build Quality:
You get what you pay for. There are a lot of plastic parts and the tooling and machining is definitely not A-grade. That being said, there is not really anything else on the market that has such a tiny form factor.

Customer Support:
This is IMHO the biggest worry - customer support is pretty terrible, unless you speak chinese. They do offer some email support but it is very broken, and not very reassuring.

Additional Features:
The removable battery is a significant step up from any of their previous models. Lasts up to 4 hours."

Nebula Stabilizer at B&H Photo
Benjamin Von Wong website.

Monday, December 28, 2015

"We Are Twisted F*cking Sister!" The Twisted Sister Movie

Fasten your seatbelts folks... The bad boys of rock are taking us fans into a roller coster of noise and chaos!

Twisted Sister The Movie Official Site.
Pre-order the movie NOW on Amazon!

Phil Tippett: "I Was On LSD When Working On Return Of The Jedi"

I knew it!!

Star Wars animator Phil Tippett is the man behind the Star Wars Cantina masks, the AT-ATs and Jabba's palace - not to mention the dinosaurs of Jurassic Park

Let’s be honest: some the Return of the Jedi scenes set in Jabba’s palace are more than a little trippy – and so it's perhaps not too surprising that the man behind them now admits to experimenting with drugs during filming.

“I took LSD when I was working on return of the Jedi,”
said the Star Wars animator Phil Tippett, in a new video profile with Vice. “And it was fine.”

“Then I decided to go back to work, and I walked into the blue screen stage, and it was like ‘ahhh…’” he adds. “I’d taken way too much.”

Watch the Vice interview below.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Science Has Great News for People Who Read Actual Books

The debate between paper books and e-readers has been vicious since the first Kindle came out in 2007. Most arguments have been about the sentimental versus the practical, between people who prefer how paper pages feel in their hands and people who argue for the practicality of e-readers. But now science has weighed in, and the studies are on the side of paper books. 

Reading in print helps with comprehension. 

A 2014 study found that readers of a short mystery story on a Kindle were significantly worse at remembering the order of events than those who read the same story in paperback. Lead researcher Anne Mangen of Norway's Stavanger University concluded that "the haptic and tactile feedback of a Kindle does not provide the same support for mental reconstruction of a story as a print pocket book does."
Our brains were not designed for reading, but have adapted and created new circuits to understand letters and texts. The brain reads by constructing a mental representation of the text based on the placement of the page in the book and the word on the page. 

The tactile experience of a book aids this process, from the thickness of the pages in your hands as you progress through the story to the placement of a word on the page. Mangen hypothesizes that the difference for Kindle readers "might have something to do with the fact that the fixity of a text on paper, and this very gradual unfolding of paper as you progress through a story is some kind of sensory offload, supporting the visual sense of progress when you're reading."

While e-readers try to recreate the sensation of turning pages and pagination, the screen is limited to one ephemeral virtual page. Surveys about the use of e-readers suggest that this affects a reader's serendipity and sense of control. The inability to flip back to previous pages or control the text physically, either through making written notes or bending pages, limits one's sensory experience and thus reduces long-term memory of the text. (...)

Full Arts.Mic article

Switzerland Wants a Single, Universal Phone Charger by 2017

All governments on the planet should do the same, and end the mobile manufacturer's scam of forcing customers to buy additional cables and chargers and adapters for every device they're using. 

France already passed laws that force tech manufacturers to offer a product that doesn't have planned obsolescence features, which sabotage a customer's device when a new model is available.

Apple’s Lightning cable cartel be damned: Switzerland is moving forward with a plan for a single, universal phone charger across the country, standardizing phone chargers across the board. While the exact standard hasn’t been mentioned yet, it wouldn’t be hard to guess the standard: Micro USB, used across phone platforms, most especially Android, which has a gigantic chunk of the cell phone market worldwide.

The likely loser? Apple, which has relied on proprietary chargers since introducing the iPhone in 2007. While many companies have tried releasing generic cables, Apple often relies on DRM software to ensure that it’s an Apple certified cable, charging $19 a piece for the Lightning charger used by the iPhone 5 and 6 and similar models.

“The standardisation efforts specified in the new legal basis concern, among other things, mobile telephones and other devices which will have to be compatible with a universal charger by mid-2017 at the latest,” the Swiss government said in a press release. “This measure will reduce the quantity of chargers and therefore the amount of electronic waste.”

Full article on Motherboard.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Columbia House Prepares A Comeback As Vinyl Service

Columbia House back in business? I sign up right away!

"Against all odds, it seems that Columbia House is coming back. The once popular mail-order music club had downsized operations in recent years: it shut down its music division in 2009 (but still offered DVDs), closed in Canada in 2010, and finally declared bankruptcy this past August. Columbia House was sold, and now it seems that the new owner is planning to reopen the company, this time as a vinyl service.

John Lippman was an exec at defunct global financial services firm Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., and he bought Columbia House for around $1.5 million this year. According to him, there aren't enough online retailers cashing in on the explosion of vinyl sales. He told the Wall Street Journal, "For a category that is meaningful and growing rapidly, you don't see a whole lot of choice."

It's not exactly clear what Columbia House's new business model is going to look like. Previously, the service was known for wooing customers with offers of a dozen CDs for a penny (or some such deal), and then fleecing those same customers with marked-up prices and negative option billing. It seems that the new service might resemble a record-of-the-month club, with subscribers getting some degree of choice regarding which records they receive. It's possible that there will be a slightly more conservative version of the company's former promotional packages (so don't expect a stack of records for a penny).

This won't be the only vinyl delivery service on the market, as VNYL and Vinyl Me, Please offer similar mail-order models. Feedbands also offers independent, unsigned bands vinyl mail-order.

Given that vinyl is still a relatively niche branch of the industry, it's unlikely that this new plan will return Columbia House to its former prominence. Still, for those with fond nostalgic memories of receiving piles of CDs or tapes in the mail in decades past, this might win over a few customers."


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Martial Arts, Machine Guns, Violence: The Birth Of Ugandan Action Cinema

In the Ugandan slum of Wakaliga, a thriving action film industry called Wakaliwood has emerged. Mixing elements of Western action films and Chinese Kung Fu movies with Ugandan culture, Wakaliwood’s films have garnered a cult following not just in in Uganda, but all over the world.

Visit the producer's website here: Wakaliwood

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Tossing Hot Tea Into The -40°C Air.


"In cold enough temperatures, hot water tossed into the air instantly turns into ice. That’s what’s captured in this beautiful photo by Michael Davies — it shows his friend Markus Siivola tossing hot tea from a thermos into the -40°C air."

Photographer Michal H. Davies on Flickr.
CBC report.

Monday, December 21, 2015

New HTTP Error Code Approved: 451. Sites Blocked For Illegal Content.

A new web status error has been introduced in an effort to draw attention to governmental online censorship. The 451 code will be used to give internet users information about why they cannot view a webpage beyond the generic 403 "forbidden" code currently used.

The new protocol, named after Ray Bradbury's novel Fahrenheit 451, was approved by the Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG).

“Unavailable For Legal Reasons”
Text of HTTP error 451

"This status code can be used to provide transparency in circumstances where issues of law or public policy affect server operations," the newly published code states. "This transparency may be beneficial both to these operators and to end users."

The 451 status code has been approved for publication and can "effectively" be put to use immediately, according to chair of the IETF HTTP Working Group Mark Nottingham, however the Request for Comments (RFC) Editor is still working on the protocol.

More on Wired UK.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

For Sale: MAD MAX INTERCEPTOR 1975 Ford GS Falcon Coupe V8

For Sale: MAD MAX INTERCEPTOR (1975 Ford GS Falcon Coupe V8) – $90,000
Who wants to part of the Mad Max experience? this is your chance to own one of the toughest and iconic Australian muscle car in OZ the “Mad Max Interceptor!”

  • 1975 Ford GS Falcon Coupe V8
  • 302 Cleveland 4V heads
  • Pacemaker Extractors
  • 2 3/4 inch Dual Exhaust system X2 neutral exhaust ending with GT tips
  • Zoomie Exhaust attached with electrical activated solenoids
  • 600 Holley Carburettor double pumper
  • PWR 4 Core Radiator with THERMO fan
  • Kill switch key
  • Wien Super Charger 6/71 run by a electric engine with Scotts cap. (exactly like the MM Movie activated by red button on gear stick)
  • Blue Light, Siren and Exhaust solenoids run with Cigarette lighter
  • 15 Inch Sunraysia’s
  • BF GOODRICH T/A Radials 295 60 R15 Rear
  • BF GOODRICH T/A Radials 235 35 R15 Front
  • SaaS Steering wheel with Max’s Family (Jess and Sprog)
  • XC Bonnet Scoop attached with Quick release bolts, bonnet is also reinforced.
  • 100% Roadworthy Guaranteed
  • Original motor with matching numbers to body.
  • It was commissioned to appear in a mad max documentary with Tom Hardy.
  • It won best modified at the Lakeside car show 2012.
  • Peoples Choice Clontarf Scouts Car show 2014
  • Convoy for Kids 2013 lead car.
  • Previous small rust spot was cut out from the boot lid and fixed. No rust at present.
Listed on Australia's Toughest Cars

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Star Wars' BB-8 Droid Lives!

Amazing work!

Fredericton, New Brunswick, Star Wars fan builds his own BB-8 droid, one of the stars of the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Read the full story on CBC.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Iconic Horror Master George Romero Plush!

How more awesome can Fangoria be?

"Bring the master of horror home with this softer-than-a-ghoul's-guts Official George A. Romero plushie!

The iconic director of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, DAWN OF THE DEAD and CREEPSHOW is not only one of the most celebrated filmmakers of all time, he also has an instantly recognizable look. That vest, that hair, that smile...those giant glasses! All are reproduced faithfully in this cuddly, awesome 14 inch plush doll...the PERFECT stocking stuffer for the horror fan in your household!"

Order it today from Fangoria's web store!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Mad Max Fury Road Back in Theaters... in Black and White!

Now THAT is something I'm dying to see!
The original intent from director George Miller was to have Mad Max Fury Road released in black and white. They finally opted for the burning colors that we know (and that's still an amazing palette).

Next the black and white version was planned to be an extra for the Bluray home video.

Now the talk is to bring back Mad Max Fury Road in theaters, presented in black and white. And I sincerely hope this will happen!! Not that I don't like the colors of Fury Road, but the film is so cartoonish, so close to comic books that seeing it in glorious black and white would give it a totally new, bold dimension.

Bring it on!!

Articles on Screen Crush and The Verge

Wondering why Will Smith isn't in ID4 Resurgence?

Since 20th Century Fox released the much anticipated trailer for Independence Day: Resurgence, there's been a number of interrogations as to why Will Smith isn't back in ID4: Resurgence with his Col. Steven Hiller character.

The answer is discreetly revealed in the film:


Sunday, December 13, 2015

Eerie and Bizarre: Poland's Crooked Forest

“Deep in the woods of the West Pomerania region of Poland, an entire section of trees bends at sharp angles near their bases, forming an odd and intriguing phenomenon known as The Crooked Forest.

Why do the trees bend like this? Nobody knows.

There’s a theory that harsh weather conditions made them grew this way. Others have said that man-made development uprooted the trees.”

The Crooked Forest on Wikipedia.
The Crooked Forest on Google Maps.

So You Think Your Videos Have Views On The Web?

How many times have you read that Youtube can get you 'out there' and have your videos viewed by millions - if you work hard enough?

How many times have you heard that you need to build a fan base, build a community and connect with your audience? And that artists / filmmakers are whining about their music / movies being stolen on the internet? (Actually, stolen doesn't sound sexy online, it's called 'shared'.)

Watch this short video to understand what hides behind the numbers of views on Facebook or YouTube.

Full article on The Tricordist

Friday, December 4, 2015

Montreal Mini Comiccon!!

This weekend! Ce dimanche, on se voit au Mini Comiccon, Palais des Congrès de Montréal!
Information sur la Page Facebook


Geof Isherwood, Jean-Pierre Normand, Michel Falardeau, Jean-Dominique Leduc, La Boite à B.D. de Laval, tout le monde y est!!

On se voit dimanche!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

So you're Drawing And Painting On Tablet? Here's Iskn's Pack.

Though I personally prefer to work with traditional pen and ink, there's a number of artists out there who loves to draw and paint right on their tablets.

Here's a neat little device you might really love: a pack that combines your tablet and a slate sketchboard! Basically, you sketch on paper, and your illustration is digitized in real time. How cool is this?!

The kit is available from iskn and goes for $159 - tablet not included of course. Comes complete with ballpoint pens and a pencil, as well as tracking magnets. It's compatible with most of Apple's tablets, and Android support is announced.

Take a peek at the demo video!

iskn - Use your favorite pencil with the Slate from iskn on Vimeo.

Napalm Death Tour Dates Announced! Montreal Club Soda!

Rock on!! Napalm Death coming to Montreal, April 17th, Club Soda!
Savage Imperial Death March Tour features NAPALM DEATH, MELVINS, and MELT BANANA.
See below for all tour dates.

Official Napalm Death page

News on Metal Injection

Tour dates:
March 26 Phoenix, AZ The Marquee
March 28 Albuquerque, NM Sunshine Theater
March 30 Dallas, TX Trees
March 31 Austin, TX The Mohawk
April 1 Houston, TX Fitzgerald’s
April 2 New Orleans, LA One Eyed Jacks
April 3 Birmingham, AL Iron City
April 4 Pensacola, FL Vinyl Music Hall
April 5 Tallahassee, FL Sidebar Theater
April 7 Ft. Lauderdale, FL The Culture Room
April 8 Orlando, FL The Plaza Live
April 9 Tampa, FL The Orpheum
April 10 Atlanta, GA The Masquerade
April 12 Washington, DC 930 Club
April 13 Philadelphia, PA Underground Arts
April 14 Brooklyn, NY Music Hall of Williamsburg
April 15 New York, NY Webster Hall
April 16 Boston, MA Paradise Rock Club
April 17 Montreal, QC Club Soda
April 19 Toronto, ON The Opera House
April 20 Detroit, MI Majestic Theatre
April 21 Cleveland, OH Agora Ballroom
April 22 Chicago, IL The Metro
April 23 Milwaukee, WI The Rave II (Downstairs)
April 24 Minneapolis, MN First Avenue
April 25 Omaha, NE The Waiting Room
April 27 Denver, CO Ogden Theatre
April 29 Salt Lake City, UT Urban Lounge
May 1 Seattle, WA The Showbox
May 2 Vancouver, BC The Venue
May 3 Portland, OR Roseland Theater
May 5 San Francisco, CA Slim’s
May 6 San Francisco, CA Slim’s
May 7 Los Angeles, CA The Troubadour
May 8 Los Angeles, CA The Troubadour

Two Canadian Brothers Snap A Selfie With Bald Eagle!

Two canadian brothers rescued a bald eagle from a trap, and managed to snap a selfie before the winged predator took off!

Wild life is beautiful!

Global News

Michael Fletcher on Facebook

Monday, November 30, 2015

'Handjob Cabin' will Blow You Away.

This summary is not available. Please click here to view the post.

Farewell, Shigeru Mizuki

Today the world has lost a master of the horror manga. Shigeru Mizuki has passed away at the age of 93, in a Tokyo hospital. Farewell, Shigeru, you will be missed.

Shigeru Mizuki (March 8, 1922 – November 30, 2015) was a Japanese manga artist, most known for his Japanese horror manga GeGeGe no Kitaro ("Spooky Kitarou") - originally titled Hakaba Kitaro ("Kitarou of the Graveyard") - Kappa no Sanpei, and Akuma-kun.

Originally from Sakaiminato in Tottori prefecture, he currently resides in Chofu, Tokyo. His pen-name, Mizuki, comes from the time when he managed an inn called 'Mizuki Manor' while he drew pictures for kamishibai. A specialist in stories of yokai (a subgenre in Japanese horror), he is considered a master of the genre. He is also known for his World War II memoirs and his work as a biographer.

Wikipedia  | BBC News

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Nosferatu Director Friedrich Murnau’s Head Reportedly Stolen From Grave

The skull of legendary vampire film director FW Murnau was reported missing from his family plot, as some speculate possible occult motives for theft.

In what sounds like a scene from one of his legendary horror films, the head of Nosferatu director FW Murnau, who died in 1931, has been stolen from his family plot in a cemetery in Germany.

The grave-robbing occurred in Stahnsdorf, about 12 miles south-west of central Berlin, according to Variety. The graves of Murnau’s brothers were reportedly not disturbed.

Wax residue is said to have been found near the grave, suggesting that candles had been lit, and a possible occult motive for the theft.

Released in 1922, “Nosferatu” was an unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker’s novel “Dracula.” Murnau worked in Hollywood for several years, directing “Sunrise,” which won several Oscars at the first Academy Awards. He died in a car crash near Santa Barbara but was buried in his native Germany.

Murnau was best known for the expressionist classic 1922 black-and-white vampire horror, later remade by Werner Herzog. He also directed Sunrise, which won several Oscars at the first-ever Academy awards.

Murnau died in a car crash aged 42 in California and was buried in his native Germany.

German news outlet reports that the cemetery overseers are considering whether to seal Murnau’s grave. They added that this is not the first time that it has been disturbed.

Sources: Variety and The Guardian

Friday, November 27, 2015

Now THAT is a powerful and deadly monster...

We need more creatures like these in todays' films. Enough with CGI monsters already!

Here's the clip from Pink Armadillo japanese TV series: 

More about Pink Armadillo here.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

William Shatner's Amazing Turkey Fryer

William Shatner loves deep-fried turkey, but over many Thanksgivings and Christmases he's made mistakes, burned himself, and nearly burned down his house. In this dramatic retelling, Bill shows us how dangerous turkey fryers can be.

Amazing Home made 1000W LED lighting - 90k lumens!

Any filmmaker will agree that shooting at night is always tricky when it comes to light a scene. 5k or 10k spots are expensive and bulky. The usual indie trick consists of positioning the crew's cars to light the needed area.

Well here's a cool solution to light very large sets...! The demo is shown without any kind of refractor or diffuser, but you'll get the idea of how powerful it is. Add blue or green gels and you're in for an incredibly creepy shot!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

'Captain America Civil War' Trailer is HERE!

Folks, this might be THE event of 2016!
The trailer world premiere is now available, fasten your seatbelts...

Friday, November 20, 2015

"Publish yourself. Don't rely on others." - Alan Moore

Great advice from Alan Moore to indie writers.

Publish your own stuff. Big publishers will turn you down. Prove you can gain an audience by yourself first, then the big boys won't ignore you. They will want to take advantage of that popularity you CAN generate.

It's still important in an author's career to be part of a big publisher. To make it, you need to be part of a big family. To be part of a catalog lineup. To be associated with a brand that has a network and contacts in the industry.

Much like a talented kid playing great hockey will want to join the NHL. He can't just knock at the door. He's got to go thru junior leagues and prove himself.

Today's tools allow indie creators to publish their work, send it out there, and build an audience. There's never been a best time to publish stuff!

Read the full article on io9.