Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Wizard of Oz - Cyclone Projection

This will be centre of attention once Dorothy is knocked out. A taste of what the scene should look like. I have the Keynote computer for a couple of weeks to edit the elements for the projected backdrop. I am only half finished. This cyclone sequence has always been a pain. but I am finally satisfied with the results. The production provided me a sound effects library which I am learning to incorporate into the presentation. It's really quite exciting. I will work on the last part next weekend. I have a feeling it will be the more challenging of the two. Only a month away from show time.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Charlie's Angels - Episode 1.01 - Angel With a Broken Wing - Recap

The original Charlie's Angels aired 35 years ago. It was 1980 before I was exposed to cable and American shows. By then, the show was in its final season and I was watching reruns. The first episode I watched was with Cheryl Ladd. Kris Munroe, my favourite angel, was the fresh face at the agency. I didn't exactly start from the beginning, did I. But it was enough to keep me tuned in everyday after school. The change in the team didn't end there. Who could forget Tiffany or Julie? In very much the same tradition, we now have new angels.
With Drew Barrymore (Charlie's Angels 2000 and 2003) at the helm, and developed by Al Gough and Miles Millar (Smallville), it's a formula for a surefire hit.
We got a signature opening that's going to change in the next episode.
Abby - A Park Avenue princess turned thief.
Gloria - A marine decorated for valor court-martial for deadly mistake.
Kate - A dedicated police detective turned dirty cop.

Right off the bat, angels have to cope with the loss of one of their own. The emotions played out is not unlike "Let Our Angel Live", the last episode of the original series. The rest of the episode has the girls take down the person responsible, with the next angel in the wings. In one episode, we got to see their strengths and vulnerability. And just like their predecessors before them, they will have to grow as a team.

The movies nearly a decade ago proved the audience was already receptive to a fresh take on the classic 1970s series. I for once was really pleased by this reboot. I hope the angels are here to stay. Give it a chance.

Annie Ilonzeh as Kate Prince
Minka Kelly as Eve French
Rachael Taylor as Abby Sampson
Ramon Rodriguez as Bosley
Victor Garber as the voice of Charlie

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Body of Proof - Episode 2.01 - Love Thy Neighbor - Recap

Something toxic was in the air.

What I always like about Body of Proof is the light banter that goes along with the seriousness of solving a crime. This show lacks in nothing with all its characters. To make life easy, I want to give the fresh crop of shows the attention they deserve, I would not be making comments on a regular basis. I had to make an exception in this case though because of the heavy Desperate Housewives references.

The case, a car rolled out of control over an embankment, killing the man inside. Nothing is ever as it seems. Every sign points to the fact that the man was unconscious when the car impacted the tree. The investigation moves to the man's home, in an uninhibited cul-du-sac, that has its neighbors swapping wives. It wasn't really about jealousy or greed, but the act of a desperate husband.

Personally, Megan is still a bit bothered by her ex-husband Todd and her boss Kate's new situation. She feels insecure that her place in daughter Lacey's eyes is being usurped. Nothing was remotely close to the true.

Worth mentioning is the effect the case had on Bud and Peter. Bud was inspired to add a little spice in his relationship with his wife. Peter found himself flirting with one of the street's denizens. Megan's reaction to the latter was amusing to no end. At lease Peter found it funny, the sultry voice Megan used to tease him with. "Oh, your badge, so big, so powerful." The other funny moment was when Megan thumped Bud in the chest for his making a crack about women being emotional.

Memorable Quotes
Ethan: I'm a doctor, not an engineer.
Curtis: How do you like that Darth Vader? Who's your daddy?
Ethan: Saved my butt, you did. Mm.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Free Agents - Episode 1.01 - Pilot - Recap

Newly divorced Alex breaks down during one night of passion with co-worker Helen. Things don't get much better at work when his colleagues encourage him to get back into the swing of things. If he were ready, Alex has his sight set on Helen, but she's also trying to get over her fiancĂ© who's been dead for a year. Having the opening scene in bed is the real ice breaker here. Even after rejecting him, Helen helps Alex pick out a new shirt for a date. They are barely friends, but somehow they have this close believable bond.

The strength: the chemistry between Hank Azaria and Kathry Hahn's characters. Just one look is what it takes for one of them to say potato. The likable leads are what makes this show worth watching. It's also good to see Hank Azaria head up a show of his own.

The weakness: Dan the bachelor and Gregg the married guy. Cardboard and then some, if they keep wearing the same expression and say the same thing all the time. Walter the security guard had more depth.

Overall rating 7/10
I will definitely be watching this again.
Free Agents appears on CTV Two and Comedy Network in Canada.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fan Expo 2011 (Extended)

It is the same video I posted on Spoiler TV with the rest of the photos taken over the four days threw into it. Enjoy.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Alphas - Filming Location

I've been meaning to take a picture of the store since I seen it on TV, but I never seem to have my camera with me. This is just one of the filming locations for the Alphas pilot. To be honest it was such a short scene, I had only recognized the store from the inside out. They also used the parking lot. Except they cleverly obscured the red sign for Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. As you can see, they put some effort into turning this Toronto suburb into somewhere USA. Alphas airs here on Space.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Set Design: Animating the Static Image

Well, I've been putting off working on the project for a few weeks. Now after a break, I am back at it. I thought I discuss how to take a perfectly static image and turn it into animation. Surprisingly no two scenes are made using the same method.

The first example I want to illustrate is the crows where Dorothy meet Scarecrow. For this scene, I needed to have crows flying in the distance. I chose an image that had a number of birds in flight. For some of them, it looked to me like flight paths.

I cut out silhouettes of some of the birds and created four animating frames in GIMP to make the bird layers. Open the image in a new Window to see what I mean. The final animation includes the cornfield background.

Every production tries to be different. We are adding Canada geese to our cyclone sequence. There was enough variety in the birds in this image to make it look like one bird was flying. I was able to cycle the frame for each position.

Because the background is also animating, I want to scale the birds into place and add one to blow off screen. Open the image below to see the animation. I can't wait to see how it will look in Keynote.