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Star Trek Next Generation Mistakes

Star Trek Next Generation Mistakes

Mr. Plinkett put together one of the biggest collections of video bloopers in Star Trek TNG. From carpet shims to exposed wires to visible equipment to black paper to malfunctioning doors to countless reflections.

Recreating famous scenes with CGI

Recreating famous scenes with CGI

Blender Guru walks us through how a modern CGI workflow would work for a scene everyone knows – the elevator scene in the Shining.

He breaks down all the tools and rendering tricks he uses as well as points out 3 key elements that most VFX artists get wrong and makes CGI workflows look bad: grain, focus, and levels.

He shows why CGI has gained so much traction. The cost for the practical effect version of the elevator scene would likely now run around $50,000-$100,000. The CGI version? $14,000-$20,000.

He needed about 6 days to re-build the CGI version of the scene and 4 days of rendering. He does a fantastic job showing off how modern workflows work.

Tools he used:

Long, Long Man

Long, Long Man

Japan has some amazing commercials that have even inspired a Simpsons episode (back when Simpsons was still good).

One of the best is a series of commercials I have seen is for Sakeru Gummy candy. The episodes is often just known as Long Long Man about a young couple and their running into a mysterious man who likes a longer version of the candy.

It is honestly some of the best commercial making around – and I hate to say – has better acting and story than probably 75% of the constant re-hashed old franchises, superhero stories, and movies/TV we see today. For a series that last a total of only 6 minutes over 11 thirty second clips – it delivers an amazingly engaging story.

Here’s the whole series:

What’s awesome is the actor Yukiyoshi Ozawa even does a short interview. He put some emotion and thought into his role.

Ghost stories for Christmas

Ghost stories for Christmas

A Ghost Story for Christmas was a series of annual British short television films originally broadcast on BBC One between 1971 and 1978, and revived sporadically by the BBC since 2005. The majority of the stories were from the collections of classic English ghost stories. Authors like M.R. James and others.

They’re definitely worth checking out, and it turns out a lot of them are online. You can also see them on Britbox. A Warning to the Curious is particular well done favorite of mine.

Broadcast orderTitleAir dateVideo linkChristopher Lee’s Ghost Stories for ChristmasAudiobook version
1The Stalls of BarchesterDec 24, 1971HereHereHere
2A Warning to the CuriousDec 24, 1972HereHereHere
3Lost HeartsDec 25, 1973HereHere
4The Treasure of Abbot ThomasDec 23, 1974HereHere
5The Ash TreeDec 23, 1975HereHereHere
6The SignalmanDec 22, 1976HereHere
7StigmaDec 28, 1977Here
8The Ice HouseDec 25, 1978Here

Revived series from 2005-present

The series ended in 1978. Maybe because of the two less than stellar final two entries: Stigma and The Ice House. Sadly, most of these are not online, but you might be able to find them via BBC and BritBox.

Broadcast orderTitleAir dateVideoChristopher Lee’s Ghost Stories for ChristmasAudiobook
9A View from a Hill23 December 2005HereHereHere
10Number 1322 December 2006HereHereHere
11Whistle and I’ll Come to You24 December 20101968 versionHere
12The Tractate Middoth25 December 2013Here
13The Dead Room24 December 2018
14Martin’s Close24 December 2019Here
15The Mezzotint24 December 2021TrailerHere
16Count Magnus23 December 2022BBC iPlayerHere
17Lot No. 249TBDHere

Other good short ghost stories

Mr Humphreys and His InheritanceHereHere
The Wailing WellHereHere

If you’re looking for a really reasonable playlist, try this YouTube playlist by bonpourvous.

Other resources:

Otaku no Video – anime culture of the 80’s

Otaku no Video – anime culture of the 80’s

Otaku no Video is a cult classic that every classic anime fan should see. It was partially based in the personal life of the original creators of Gainax, who started their careers as otaku during the late seventies and the beginning of the eighties. Anime was in its infancy. Anime was a very niche and tiny subculture – largely unknown to most people and considered a very nerdy past time.

The 80’s and 90’s were definitely the wild west days. Just about anything went and there was everything from animation, manga, garage kit models, costumes, military enthusiasts, martial art fans, and just about any other activity and product you can think of. Anime houses developed tons of these kinds of materials and products to see what would become a hit, and which would fall flat. It was an exciting era of great highs and tragic lows.

This is where Otaku no Video shines. It captures the rag-tag glory of those days. It does this brilliantly through the main character – a regular guy named Ken Kubo who is socially active, plays tennis, practices martial arts, has a girlfriend, has good career prospects, and is an all around ‘normal’ guy. He runs into his former friend Tanaka¬†who is into animation along with some other odd characters. Ken gets sucked in and becomes less and less ‘normal’ and more infatuated with becoming the ‘King of Otaku’. In his quest to become the king of otaku, we watch him develop his garage company into something bigger by producing all kinds of new characters and products – all of which were things anyone of that era would recognize. Through the narrative format of following his journey, you get to see the insiders view of the business environment and working with those passionate coworkers.

Otaku no Video references TONS of culture of the time. The people, themes, and references were almost directedly related to anime culture and developments of the time. For those who found anime in the 80’s and 90’s, it gave an industry insider view into these events. Everyone at the time would have known just about every event that happens.

Recently I learned a few new things. One of the themes I picked up on related to the character Ken Kubo creates with his company: Misty May. It turns out, that too was related to a trend of the time: the incredible spinoff madness of magical girl shows started by Minky Momo. These deals created huge franchises that resulted in albums, merchandising deals, spinoff series, manga, garage and model kits, video games, fan creations, and just about anything else you can image. They were cash cows, and every studio wanted to try their hand at them.

So, it’s no wonder Ken’s company tries to do the same with their character Misty May. In fact, Misty May (above) bears a striking resemblance to Magical Emi – one of the many actual Minky Momo spinoffs:

This video by Kenny Lauderdale (who has some amazing coverage of early anime in his videos) gives some great insight on the madness and money behind the magical girl franchises at the time, which can help you understand what it is comically plausible that they launch a theme park in Otaku no Video.

Definitely give Otaku no Video a try if you want to see what anime culture was like in the 80’s and early 90’s before it became mainstream. Also check out some other videos by Kenny Lauderdale to learn more about the era as well.

The Thing infection order

The Thing infection order

The 1982 movie The Thing is one of my favorite sci-fi/horror movies – right up there with Aliens. It a paranoia fueled mystery of a alien organism that can assimilate and imitate both human or animal hosts. 

Based on the 1938 story Who Goes There by John W. Campbell Jr, The Thing takes us along into the fear and paranoia of an isolated Antarctic research station with the characters trying to ascertain whether everyone is who they say they are.

What makes it so re-watchable is that the timeline when certain characters are assimilated is unclear. Filmmaker James Cameron even used stand-ins so that the shadows were not easily identifiable. This has lead to years of speculation and fan theories (Clothing continuity theory, Molotov whiskey theory, No breath theory, Who sabotaged the blood bank) about what happened when.

Of all of them, I think the Den of Geek does the best breakdown of the most likely order that each of the characters succumbs to the thing.