Entertainment

Music, Cinema, TV

Reel em in with a Showreel

Damn hard thing making a showreel, well it’s not the initial gathering of content that is the issue, it’s how to sell yourself in the best possible light without being cheesy or over the top. Striking the balance is a challenge!

I have truly accepted that a showreel should be the best of the best and after that links to the rest if required. Less is more is relevant with ten or twelve second clips being strong enough to convey your presenting or reporting style convincingly.

Variety and the dreaded dip in the middle was something I found happening as editing progressed, keeping a viewer engaged and focused for three or four minutes is hard never mind when it is entirely the same person talking about a platter of random topics in varied environments.

All in all the debate is truly out on what makes a great showreel, as I look back at mine I feel it is merely a tool to use to get someone’s attention or to compliment an interview scenario.

Regardless don’t rush your editing and don’t dismiss anyone’s perspective, as many opinions as possible are integral.

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Made in the USA: A 30 Day Journey, The Film

When documentary maker Josh Miller’s father-in-law lost his job he responded with the intriguing film, Made in the USA.

The film is a response to those who say that industry is dead in America, with the global recession swallowing job after job across the heartland of America and sending Europe into turmoil, Miller feels that the “American Dream” is still alive.

The film charters 30 days of his life where he will live off just American produced products and speaks to industry heads and those who are now jobless about how to stimulate employment in rural America.

One of those industry leaders is Michael Araten CEO of toy manufacturer K’NEX. Mr Araten informed me in a recent interview that he feels that being featured in the documentary will raise hopes and spirits regarding the state of US manufacturers. The plastic toy is on the rise and Araten believes that it will also inspire the next generation of American scientists, engineers and designers.

With Made in USA currently in post production it emphatically states that it is a film that is neither Republican or Democrat but for the jobless regardless of political affiliation.

The film has significance for those of us in the UK as employment hits record numbers and possibly lessons can be learned from Miller and his film from across the water.

 

New Software IdeasLog planning to succeed

An application that helps to plan your life, your business commitments and act as a social networking tool, this surely cannot exist!

Yet one young Irish web developer is the driving force behind a piece of software that promises to do just that.

Finn Krewer a Phd student at the University of Ireland in Galway is co-creator and developer of ideasLog.

The concept behind the planning application is to enable managers and those with significant personal, business or commercial strains to plan effectively and maximize their time.

Sample plans are provided as templates and are easy to follow and utilize and users can also offer their own planning models. ideasLog is available cross platform and described by Mr Krewer as “lean, smart and highly adaptable to everyday life”.

There are 200 active users already with over 2000 plans created and the team behind ideasLog spear-headed by Krewer hope that in the next twelve months the number of active users will reach well into the 1000’s.

Only time will tell if the application that claims to make your life and work easier and more effective can potentially plan our futures.

Full interview at http://www.mixcloud.com/james-p-mahon/ideaslog-creatorwebdeveloper-finn-krewer-interview/

Call Me Viral

The Miami Dolphins cheerleaders have joined the craze of covering Carly Rae’s iconic pop ballad Call Me Maybe but they have taken it to a whole different level.

The internet began for military purposes but became popular through porn and adult content. This video is a prime example of the power of sexual images coupled with harmless music to create what has now become known as a “viral sensation”. Half a million views in 24 hours for the video shows the sheer force of materialism and sexual imagery in our society.

To create a Viral Sensation it seems you either must have humor, horror or sexual images if you can combine all three you are on to something! The reality of this situation is that this three and a half minute video clip will do more for marketing and promotion than dozens of billboards or television ad space. We are entering a world where youtube and google, facebook and twitter are platforms to advertise and the ability to expose a brand to a global audience is  just an upload click away.

If happy ever afters did exist

It’s basic instinct really, you know you meet someone, they give you butterflies and make you get all mushy inside or some nonsense like that, you hang out a bit, you get intimate, before you know it you are in a relationship.

That is when it’s get tough. Relationships do involve power struggles and emotional strengths swaying back and forth. At different times you are “more in love” than the other person and vice versa. None of this is easy. Curbing instincts, desires and submitting yourself to one person alone is damn hard. Often you think you are ready but you are not, while the other person may be and the other way round.

There seems to be no easy way to make it work, our innate desire is to be loved and be heard and cared for. Everyone wants someone else to be there for them and we all want physical satisfaction on some level. To deprive yourself of the opportunity of either or both leaves you hollow, frustrated and angry with yourself and in some cases your world in general.

Happy ever afters don’t exist as there is no ever after, its always more and more, its always building, pruning, maintaining what you have with someone else and trying to make it work.

It’s sad and annoying but as rewarding as relationships can be they are also damaging and demanding yet the good times do out weigh the bad. We are a strange species, we are animals with a strong sense of conscious and self control (without booze). There are times when you need to let go and if you can’t let go and be who you are with your respective other half than they are not your other half, they are the  person in your head you want to convince yourself is your other half.

If happy ever afters did exist it would be damn boring.

Hunger Games and Head Hunters

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Two movies are creating waves in different ways while leaving people thinking about their present and their future.

Hunger Games has already proven a box office smash but it displays under-currents of discontent in our western society. The idea that children need to be curbed and controlled has come to the fore after the London summer riots and with more and more young people threatening society’s upper tier through hacking and the power and force of social media and internet, a day may come when the young can rattle the pillars of society further.

Hunger Games also draws on the theme of revolution, with the Arab Spring and Islamic states struggling to adjust to western ways it is the youth who are voicing their anger. We see young people controlled and curbed in the forest scenes that in a strange kind of way draws on modern reality television obsessions. Our desires to see other suffer or make fools of themselves from shows like I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here and Big Brother moves to the next level in TV show where you compete to live. It’s sick twisted nature is not a shock to a modern audience who is used to seeing people eating insects to gain food packets and shows like Survivor have already displayed traces of a world where we need mass suffering and bloodshed to feel entertained. Have we gone full circle and returned to an era of Gladiators, blood and guts for satisfaction? The jury remains out, with Jackass by MTV, the desire to see people suffer was brought to the fore and although leaves a bad taste in some people’s mouths it was a global success.

HeadHunters shows a different side of society. The shady existence of lies and deceit that are often required to succeed in a world where being the “nice guy” gets you nowhere fast.The protagonist on paper has it all but is forced to get in touch with his true nature and will to survive when he becomes hunted. The ability to draw on animalistic instincts to survive show how far man has come from his primitive origins. When put in life or death situations he murders to keep alive and turns on the one person who loves him when fearing for his existence. Our inability to see and believe in true love is shown in this movie, how our inner securities of not being loved or not being “good enough” can be over come and inside we all need a sense of belonging. The movie leaves you doubting everything around you including what you love the most and shows how isolated the modern world is.  Headhunters works as a movie but also shows how film can be a medium to express deep social issues in our world and do so in a clever and entertaining way.

How To Pen A Eurovision Song: Songwriter Sharon Vaughn Speaks on Jedward

JEDWARD MANIA

Q1, How does one go about penning a Eurovision song?
I REALLY DON’T KNOW. ALL WE DID WAS WRITE THE BEST POP SONG WE
COULD AT THE TIME.

Q2, How did you feel when you knew Jedward would perform it?
I WAS ECSTATIC AND COMPLETELY SURPRISED

Q3, What are the essential elements to a good pop song?
IT HAS TO HAVE A HOOKY MELODY AND LYRIC. WATERLINE IS A VERY DIFFERENT
AND UNUSUAL TITLE BUT THE SONG ITSELF IS VERY SING-ALONG-ABLE.
AS YOU CAN TELL FROM THE FANS!

Q4, What do you think is needed besides a song to win Eurovision?
JEDWARD ARE THE PERFECT ACT FOR EUROVISION BECAUSE THEY EMBRACE THE ENERGY,
FUN AND THE GLITZ OF THE EVENT.

Q5, Have you looked at the other competitors entries and if so which
do you feel are strong?
TO BE HONEST, I HAVEN’T. THOUGH I AM WATCHING THE SWEDISH
MELODIFESTIVALEN VERY CLOSELY. THERE ARE SOME INCREDIBLY
TALENTED PEOPLE IN THE COMPETITION. ALSO A FRIEND OF MINE IS THE
WRITER-WINNER FOR NORWAY, SO I WISH HIM WELL, OF COURSE.

Q6, Do you have any words of advice for those wanting success in the
music industry today?
MY ADVICE… IT IS ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE… BUT ALMOST DOESN’T SCARE AWAY
THE ONES WHO MAKE IT. AND FOR THOSE WHO HAVE DONE IT A LONG TIME… JUST
KEEP DOING IT AS LONG AS IT IS JOYFUL THERE ARE SO MANY NAY-SAYERS AND
NEGATIVE REPORTS ABOUT PIRACY AND THEFT OF INTELLECTUAL
PROPERTIES AND ALL OF THAT IS TRUE AND TERRIBLE. BUT THE FACT ONE CAN MAKE
A LIVING WRITING SONGS IS A GLORIOUS AND WONDERFUL THING.
IT IS THE BEST JOB IN THE WORLD… AS LONG AS IT IS A JOY TO YOU…
IF NOT, DON’T TRY IT OR QUIT AND MAKE ROOM FOR SOMEONE ELSE WITH THE
FIRE IN THEIR BELLY.