Michael Bay

When I get frustrated at how Michael Bay* does visual storytelling, waving my hands and shouting “coherent sequence of images” and “not crossing the line” and “ignorance of a film grammar built up through trial and error over a century” while flecks of spittle fly across the room and my eyes get progressively more bloodshot…
…I sometimes wonder if this is how people felt when their kids started listening to rap music**.
And this thought bothers me.
* no i have not seen transformers 2 and probably wouldn’t go even if Pearce bought me a ticket like he did for the first one
** or Elvis, or jazz, or whatever

Exquisite Corpse

This entry is part of an on-line exquisite corpse – a short story told in 10 installments by 10 different authors. My 250 word installment is below; if you’re interested in writing the next part, scroll down to the bottom of this post for details on how this all works…
— — —
easy to see much of anything.
“They’re probably in a gully. Lost their feet, face-first into the mud,” Dianne said.
“We’ll find them.”
Dianne felt crowded in by the bush and the mist and Peter’s eyes. The cemetery had bothered her. The statues there had seemed too familiar.
“Good exercise anyway,” Peter said, mostly in jest. “And hot cocoa later. I’m sorry, you know.”
Something rushed past Dianne’s cheek, the thrum of its big flat wings in her ear. It was already too dark to see properly, but she knew it was some kind of insect, something big.
“Get away,” Peter said, swatting as the bug came back. More amused than anything. “Go on now.”
“That thing sounded like a helicopter,” Dianne said as the dusky calm reasserted itself.
“I wish. Search would get done a mite quicker if it was.”
She felt it crash into her back. She flinched. Her clothes yanked and gathered as insect feet grabbed for purchase. She could feel it scratching through her layers, and the pull of its weight – she started to flail, trying to scare it away but it only seemed to tighten its grip and she suddenly became terrified it would leap up and get tangled in her hair.
Dianne turned sharply and saw Peter’s eyes. They were big and afraid.
Then her feet lost their way in the mud. They kicked up into nothing as her centre of gravity shifted, and she felt herself pitch over the side of the path
— — —
This is part 4 of 10. You can find the other installments here (but DON’T DO THIS YET if you want to join in):
1. www.sleep-dep.blogspot.com (26 June 2009)
2. www.multi-dimensional.blogspot.com (27 June 2009)
3. www.deb-onair.blogspot.com (29 June 2009)
4. www.additiverich.com/morgue/ (1 July 2009)
WANT TO READ IT? Jump back to the previous entries using the links above.
WANT TO JOIN IN? This exquisite corpse operates on a first-come, first-served basis. If you want to write the next installment, FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS:
1.IMPORTANT – Don’t read any of the previous entries! Read only the one you see here.
2.ALSO IMPORTANT – Post a comment here, saying “I claim the next entry”, followed by the URL/web address of your blog. If you don’t do this, we’ll never know where to find you.
3.Copy the text of this blog entry into a new post on your blog, but DELETE THE CHAPTER and write your own as the next installment. Start with the chapter number as I’ve done here, and start exactly where the last chapter left off (in mid-sentence if necessary).
4.Your entry should be EXACTLY 250 words long, unless you are writing chapter 10, in which case you must bring the story to a conclusion in 250 words or less.
5.At the end of the chapter, where the text reads: “This is part X of 10”, change this to the number of your chapter.
6.Add the URL/web address of your blog and today’s date onto the list below that, so people reading later entries can jump back to your chapter.
7.Finish your chapter and post it within 24 hours of claiming your place. There – it’s freaking easy! You can go back and read the rest of the story now.
8.IF YOU’VE JUST FINISHED ENTRY #10 and finished the story, DELETE THESE INSTRUCTIONS from the bottom of your post – they’ll just confuse people. ALSO, let CG know by posting a comment on the first entry (on www.sleep-dep.blogspot.com), or sending him an email on squid.mohawk@gmail.com. CG will assemble a full version and send it round to all of the contributors.

News Roundup

Bernie Madoff thrown in the klink. Good. Dude may just be the sacrificial goat for the sins of an industry, but still feels mighty satisfying.
The strange, sad story of Bastareaud, the French rugby player who claimed to have been violently attacked here in Wellington by a gang of angry locals, gets stranger and sadder as he is admitted to a psychiatric unit after attempting suicide; the injuries that he covered up with his story of being assaulted may have come from his own team-mates. Horrible. I hope the guy finds his way right.
Women tennis players who make noise are now “grunters”. Am I the only one who wonders what men would be called if this was about them? “Roarers”? “Shouters”? “Growlers”? Okay maybe not that last one.

Ride Forward Into Linky!

Samurai vs. fired air gun pellet. Holy cow.

Crazy new tech from German engineering visionaries Festo: robot flying penguins?
The Tone Matrix – construct your own music out of a grid of sound.
Chewbacca befriends a chipmunk. This photograph series gets weirder the more I think about it actually. See also: Baroque Star Wars.
Haaretz, Israel’s smartest newspaper, on June 10 switched out all its reporters for poets and novelists. Brilliant.
Debz reflects on fun, and what that meant at different stages of her life, and what it means now that she’s a busy mum. A great read.
And finally… Macs finally demonstrate their superiority to PCs

Marie Antoinette Project

(This is a repeat of a post from last week that got mysteriously lost.)
One of my sekret projects has been announced. I’m the writer and interactivity guy for a co-production between the St James Theatre and Eklektus, Inc.
The Affair of the Diamond Necklace: an evening with Marie Antoinette in the Gardens of Versailles is an interactive theatre experience being presented in August 2009. It’s going to be awesome.
Also, will be interesting. I haven’t found anything quite like what we’re doing, and I’ve done a lot of looking. It isn’t quite a murder-mystery type dinner theatre or dinner party, it isn’t a live roleplaying event, it isn’t a conventional performance, it isn’t like any kind of improv I’ve been able to find out about… We’re carving our own path here, and that’s great fun, because I’m convinced there’s lots of unexplored space in the interactive experience realm.
You probably won’t see it advertised through normal channels, because the St James Theatre will be offering the tickets first to their corporate clients and expect to sell them all that way. However, if its successful (and we hope it is!) it will be offered again. Other such events are also in development.
I’m pretty excited!

Hot Wheels: Battle Force 5

Local computer game company Sidhe Interactive have announced one of their projects: a game called Hot Wheels Battle Force 5 based on a toy/TV license. I did some dialogue work on this game earlier this year. Can’t give any more details than what’s already been released, so to quote the article:

Activision says each episode of Battle Force 5 puts kids in a fantasy world where they will meet an elite team of teenagers in five ultra-fast vehicles who must work together to save the Earth from the most outrageous galactic predators.
In the game, fans will be able to live out these adventures with pedal-to-the-metal combat-racing in numerous Battle Zones, where they car-battle with The Sark and The Vandals dangerous aliens from another dimension.

I can say that I’ve read a bunch of scripts and watched some pre-viz materials and, man, this thing is gonna be catnip. Writing dialogue for all the characters was really fun but also pretty challenging – there’s a lot of careful effort that goes into this stuff!
Here’s some photos of the toys from the New York Toy Fair earlier this year. And here’s a few more as a short video. I feel like I’ve bonded with all these crazy vehicles and their drivers while working on ths game, so I might have to buy one of these…

Real Hot Bitches doco

I would normally save something like this for a Friday linky, but I just watched it and now I want to share the love. Here is a ten-minute doco about Wellington’s finest 80s cheese-rock dance troupe, the Real Hot Bitches, as they head down to Christchurch to break the world record for synchronised dance. You’ll be punching the air and dancing in your chair.
I hope the mormon boys they speak to half-way through were in the crowd at the end.

(This is a segment from digital TV show The Gravy, one of whose presenters this year is a Real Hot Bitch.)

Iran Continues

The angry stalemate continues in Iran, with numerous subtle developments that make it hard to draw any conclusions from the outside about where things are heading. There are reports that the police have stopped repressing protest; that they may have been ordered to do so by no less than the Supreme Leader; that the numbers at the protests have been plummeting; that outside of Tehran the movement is close to over… I don’t know how accurate any of these claims are but I’ve read all of them in multiple venues over the last few days.
In any case, it is clear that protests are continuing, the Iranian regime is not making any concessions of substance, and that the resistance/”reform movement” is not just the wealthy, Westernized people of north Tehran but a wider movement that cuts across class boundaries. My instinct is that the regime will be able to wait out the protests, but that this run of action will not be forgotten in Iran – that there will be no immediate change but the political landscape will have shifted as a result. That’s just a guess.
The resistance in Iran has also been a case study in the value of the new media. Twitter has come of age during this run of events. It has been fascinating to watch Twitter used not just as a reporting tool but also an organization and identity-creation tool, and even more fascinating to watch in real time as government-supporters (or government employees) try and insert disinformation into the converation and get quickly exposed and denounced. It is certain that the dissident youth and the authorities in China have been taking careful notes.
Twitter coverage of Iran has also been bouncing around the celebrity Twitter-net; frex, Eliza Dushku (45K followers) has been pushing this a lot thanks to her recent visit there via Global Exchange (I love this inadvertantly hilarious pic: can you possibly guess which one of these people grew up in Hollywood?) and Twitter’s uber-celeb Ashton Kutcher (nearing 2.5M followers) has been passing on street resistance techniques to Iranian protesters. This petition to the UN has been circulating on Twitter too. I’m still unconvinced about the long-term viability of Twitter – I don’t like how it scales at the personal level, the difference in experience between following 20 people and following 200 people is massively negative – but it’s certainly making an impact. (That said, Google Wave will change the paradigm again. Anyone want to guess what the Iranian crisis would look like if Wave was up and running in the digital wild?)
My pick of the reportage has to be Robert Fisk’s coverage. He puts it together smartly.

Fridinky Balinky

Today Friday linky can has:
homeopathic antimatter
Google video of early 80s nuclear threat films inc. Day After, Threads
British Library’s 19th century newspaper archive, scanned-in and searchable. Wow. BBC article saying wow.
World’s first hip-hop video that is a documentary-style film about a LARPer:

Prehistoric oddities
What happens when a Twitter celeb is not actually that celeb but instead some dude
And finally… the ten best drug experiences on The Simpsons