Thursday, July 31, 2008

Watchmen


I have been hearing about Watchmen for years. As you know. I like my movies - and follow the movie news from America. We dont really get comic books/graphic novels over here. but I'm sure you know how loopy the Yanks get over them.

But Watchmen is, hands down, the most reverred of ALL the comic books. I've been hearing them talk about it in hushed voices ever since I started following movies on the internet. It is described as the the Citizen Kane of comic books - telling the story of a world where Superheroes have been outlawed. One old superhero is murdered and his old comrades join together to find out who did it. It is written by the brilliant BRITISH author Alan Moore (Constantine, 300)who also enjoys god-like status in the comic world

Well they've finally made it into a movie. The brilliant Zack Snyder, who made 300 and the Dawn of the Dead remake is making it. The anticipation that this movie is illicting from the fans is nothing short of frenzy.

The trailer is finally out - and it looks AMAZING. When Empire magazine call Watchmen, The Greatest Comic Ever Written (TM) you know you have to pay some attention to it. So here you go - Watchmen. Potentially, the greatest movie of a comic book ever made. If this is half as good as the fans hope it will be, we will all be in for something really speacial. We shall see!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Today I met a Bond villain



All is still fun and crazy. The main actors are starting to come on set now. We were at Newby Hall near Ripon for a days filming. There were lots of driving shots, so we hired a stunt guy and his really cool quad bike conversion he uses to track the moving cars with the director and cameraman on board.

I also got to meet one of the stars, a very famous Indian actor called Kabir Bedi. Us Westerners will know him as the chief henchman in Octopussy! I happen to rather like Octopussy, and actually always thought the chief Henchman from it was definately one of the better ones!

Fancy that!

Can I borrow £100,000, please?


Mojave Air and Spaceport, California
July 28th 2008

Virgin Founder, Sir Richard Branson and SpaceShipOne designer, Burt Rutan, today pulled back the hangar doors on the new WhiteKnightTwo (WK2) carrier aircraft that will ferry SpaceShipTwo and thousands of private astronauts, science packages and payload on the first stage of the Virgin Galactic sub-orbital space experience.

The rollout represents another major milestone in Virgin Galactic’s quest to launch the world’s first private, environmentally benign, space access system for people, payload and science.

Christened “EVE” in honor of Sir Richard’s mother, who performed the official naming ceremony, WK2 is both visually remarkable and represents ground-breaking aerospace technology. It is the world’s largest all carbon composite aircraft and many of its component parts have been built using composite materials for the very first time. At 140 ft, the wing spar is the longest single carbon composite aviation component ever manufactured.

Driven by a demanding performance specification set by Virgin Galactic, WK2 has a unique heavy lift, high altitude capability and an open architecture driven design which provides for maximum versatility in the weight, mass and volume of its payload potential. It has the power, strength and maneuverability to provide for pre space-flight, positive G force and zero G astronaut training as well as a lift capability which is over 30% greater than that represented by a fully crewed SpaceShipTwo. The vehicle has a maximum altitude over 50,000 ft and its U.S. coast-to-coast range will allow the spaceship to be ferried on long duration flights.

Where the hell is Matt again?

You may have come across Matt Harding before. He did a video of himself dancing a little dance in various countries around the world. He posted it on Youtube and became and internet celebrity because of it. Someone sponsored him and he made another video, this time visiting many more countries. Check out his earlier videos at www.wherethehellismatt.com

He's made another one. And its fantastic lol. Gawd bless him!


Where the Hell is Matt? (2008) from Matthew Harding on Vimeo.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Up

As you know, Pixar can do no wrong in my eyes. And after the amazing WALL*E comes the teaser to Pixars next film - Up. I did a post in April on the basic story line. Click the tag marked "Pixar" and you will find it.

Anyway, here's the teaser trailer for Up! I will be following this one closely!

So that's what a night shoot feels like


A 21 and a half hour day! Bloody hell, I thought they only happened to other people!

What a dead interesting day. I learnt the art of traffic management today - and am the proud owner of a high-visability vest as well. So armed with my walkie-talkie, I managed the traffic rather well.

I also appeared in it again!! This time as a construction worker, who dives for cover when the crazy car crashed into our cones lol. We had one of the top stunt co-ordinators in the county setting it all up. What a fantastic bloke :)
video
I also became a wedding cake wrangler! I got a phonecall at 7am saying they needed a wedding cake. I found a someone who sells them. The cheapest started at £330! So I ended up constructing one from posh cakes from Marks & Spencers. But even that cost £75. And look what they did with it!! lol ;)

Sleep in tomorrow, thank god.





Friday, July 25, 2008

Then they asked me to appear in their feature film, which was nice!



I'm continuing my trend of managing to appear in every film I've worked on lol.

And this time I even have a costume! :) We had a scene at a high stakes poker game, where our hero shows off to the stunning blonde sat opposite him (and she was bloody stunning too! lol) And of course they needed a dealer. I was responsible for this location (filmed at an Gentlemans club (no, not a naughty one, but a club for rich men!)), and I also provided the poker table and chips for them. As a poker player myself it was important that the game was played properly on film - so I stepped in a dealt, correctly! lol

It was great fun to shoot. I go to light the ladies cigarette, and our hero knocks the lighter out of my hand, catches it, and lights the ladies cig lol. It took a few takes, but we got it lol

But I couldn't stop working. I was also on the phone making calls in between takes. The building where the failed suicide jump has still yet to be locked down ;) It'll be a full on falling scene. I met the stunt co-ordinator who's going to build a custom rig on top of the building we use. Then the stunt man can fall safely on a wire. I can't wait to see that happen! I'd better get a bloody building sorted then, hadn;t I? :D

6.15 start tomorrow,as thats when we're filming the car chase!

And we're off!






At 3.30 today we found out that we were filming at 5pm. And could we please find a cafe we could film in ;)

But its such fun! Its 1am now, and im up again at 6. I didnt get home till 10.30 tonight, after finding a poker table and chips, and stuffing them into my car for the big poker scene tomorrow (fancy that, I managed to find a poker table and chips at short notice! lol).

The Indians are a fantastic bunch, and thoroughly nice to a man. It is most certainly a different way of doing things to how I've seen it done before, but its also a clever, resourceful, and practical way of doing it. I like Bollywood!

*Sue Bellarby, the Location Manager, is brilliant and an absolute scream. We seem to have clicked rather well, so working in the mad house with her will be a pleasure I'm sure :) Sue puts on rock concerts and races fast cars across continents in her spare time lol. More on her later ;)

Its certainly long hours and hard work; but its all thinking on my feet, and sweet-talking people. I'm in my element! lol

There are some pretty cool stunts and locations coming up (if me and Sue manage to pull it all off!), so I hope to post when I can. I now have an overnight bag in my car, so that gives you an idea of how crazy it may get. We have night shoot also! lol

*And yes, thats a fucking horrible photo of me! But its the only one I've got of me and Sue, so it'll do for now! lol

Will post when I can.

Current mood: Tired, but happy

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

PKR All-time money list

Well, well, well! How very interesting :D

Today I.............



Today I have been tasked with finding 50 cockroaches and their cost, find some juggleers, fire eaters, dancers, musicans, and Bhangra troopl lol (I actually do know a Bhangra troop too!). I've spoken to a very funny man who can ride a bike whilst wearing stilts. However, finding a cockroach wrangler is proving a little trickier!!

Then to politely find out if the email from the stunt woman was for the female driver, or the fat woman who falls in a pond LOL!!!!

Then I became a baggage porter as I dropped a mini-bus worth of suitcases that the Indian crews hotel lol. Then had to drop the mini-bus back at ITV Leeds, where I passed Ferdy from This Life having a crafty smoke round the back of the place in a purple suit.

Ah, showbiz!!!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

WALL*E review


Actually, its almost not funny how good this movie is! After all the hype, the spoilers I wished I hadn't seen, and universal frothing at the mouth from film critics - I was really worried that it wouldn't live up to all the hype (think Harry Potter and Star Wars)

but WALL*E just blew me away! Chaplinesque and near dialogue free (for at least half of it), how did Pixar have the balls to attempt that? The rubbish strewn Earth looks stunning! Not pretty - its a giant ball of garbage - but the detail and the backgrounds are just immaculate. God, this film looks good!

And its that other Hollywood staple that I am not too fond of, The Love Story. And with 2 robots, one of which looks like the Short Circuit robot. But its believable and touching. How did that happen? Its a classic boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy tries to get girl back. But, boy! What a clever way of doing it! Throw in some a sub-plot involving malfunctioning robots, some clever social observation, and some impeccable visual gags - and you've got WALL*E.

After the courtship of WALL*E meeting EVE on Earth, and EVE is taken away from WALL*E, the action moves to The Axiom - mankinds last refuge. A luxury liner where, after 700 years, the human race has become so fat and so dependant on robots that they cannot even get out of their hover-chairs. When one fatty falls out, he rolls on the floor like a baby, until a helper robot put him back in his chair. So sharp and pointed observations about obesity and mans reliance on conveniences? From a rated U movie? Nice

The final part of the movie is just a pure joy. I won't even hint how it plays out. Other than to say I had tears in my eyes! Bloody hell, Pixar. Its just a bloody robot!

And watch out for M-O. The funniest and cutiest robot there ever was!!

12/10!! God, I love Pixar!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Makemake


"Recently discovered Makemake is one of the largest objects known in the outer Solar System. Pronounced MAH-kay MAH-kay, this Kuiper belt object is only slightly smaller than Pluto, orbits the Sun only slightly further out than Pluto, and appears only slightly dimmer than Pluto. Makemake, however, has an orbit much more tilted to the ecliptic plane of the planets than Pluto. Designated 2005 FY9 soon after its discovery by a team led by Mike Brown (Caltech) in 2005, the outer Solar System orb was recently renamed Makemake for the creator of humanity in the Rapa Nui mythology of Easter Island. Additionally, Makemake has been recently classified as a dwarf planet under the new subcategory plutoid, making Makemake the third cataloged plutoid after Pluto and Eris. Makemake is known to be a world somewhat red in appearance, with spectra indicating it is likely covered with frozen methane. Since no images of Makemake's surface yet exist, an artist's illustration originally meant to depict Sedna has been boldly co-opted above to now illustrate Makemake. A hypothetical moon is visualized above nearly in the direction of our distant Sun."

Monday, July 14, 2008

Martin goes Bollywood

I've got a new job on a Bollywood feature lol. How about that then!!

I'm doing location scouting and locations assistant, and will be working for 4-5 weeks. Cant wait!!

Will keep you posted

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Southern skies


I've just been chatting with my mate Nick in Australia by the wondrous invention known as Skype. Free voice and video calls with anyone in the world as long as they have a Skype account and a broadband connection. Barely a seconds lag on the line and I'm chatting in real time with Harrogate boy, nee Downunder Insurance demi-god, Nick. Them's some cool beans!

So to honour our boy in the Antipodes, a beautiful picture of the Southern Cross and the sky over the Southern Hemisphere - widely agreed by astronomers to be the more beautiful and interesting of our planets two hemispheres. Boo!

Plus a rather snazzy false-colour image from the surface of Mercury.

"The sprawling Caloris basin on Mercury is one of the solar system's largest impact basins. Created during the early history of the solar system by the impact of a large asteroid-sized body, the basin spans about 1,500 kilometers and is seen in yellowish hues in this enhanced color mosaic. The image data is from the January 14th flyby of the MESSENGER spacecraft, captured with the MDIS instrument. Orange splotches around the basin's perimeter are now thought to be volcanic vents, new evidence that Mercury's smooth plains are indeed lava flows. Other discoveries at Mercury by NASA's MESSENGER mission include evidence that Mercury, like planet Earth, has a global magnetic field generated by a dynamo process in its large core, and that Mercury's surface has contracted significantly as its core cooled."

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Genius

I often post interesting or amusing things on here that I find on the internet. But only if they are interesting or amusing! No second rate tat here!

But every now and again, they are just plain genius. I was sent this Youtube clip through Facebook. I get sent a lot of crap, but it was a trusted source (thanks Jon), so I watched it.

Sheer genius, even if the creator obviously has too much time on his hands! lol

Monday, July 07, 2008

Family Tree


I came across this on t'web today, and found it strangely moving lol

A family from Argentina have been photographing themselves on the same day every year to show the passage of time. Pretty darn cool :)

http://zonezero.com/magazine/essays/diegotime/time.html

Sunday, July 06, 2008

The Triffid nebula


I always loved Day of the Triffids as a kid. A book/TV adaptation about giant killer plants sounds like a load of balls, but it turned into a very effective story about the hubris of man, written by the brilliant John Wyndham.

I am very pleased that this classic story has found its way into astronomical circles, by giving its name to the rather beautiful Triffid Nebula.