gwyn: (pros pants)
How did I never know that Martin Shaw was in Cranford? I finally got around to watching the second disc of the series, and suddenly when I least expect it there's Martin with his salt and (a tiny bit of) pepper beard, smiling with that fantastic chipped-tooth smile. I about fell out of my chair. He's only in it for a few minutes, but he plays Judi Dench's long lost brother, and so a dream I never knew I had about Martin Shaw and Judi Dench acting together came true.

And if any of you knew he was in this and didn't tell me, you're fired.

And yes, I got the discs so I could familiarize myself with the series so I could see Return to Cranford for Tom Hiddleston. Shut up.
gwyn: (paul god)
Gosh, I'm really really behind. This weekend was... overwhelming, and now I'm having all kinds of technical problems with the two books that are putting me further and further behind. So much for regular posting!

Day 27 - Best pilot episode
I think I would give this one to Miracles. Back in the day, when TV shows weren't uploaded to torrents, you kind of had to make a point to catch a show when it aired, and I was really intrigued by the sound of the episode description when it bowed. I also knew that was the show David Greenwalt had left Angel for, so I expected it to be good. I was completely blown away. From the beginning, with the accidental exhumation of the nun (I always think of Destina's "frosty dead nun eyes" here) to the extreme crisis of faith Paul has in the first moments, to the meeting between Paul and Alva, and then the car-train crash (I could NOT believe that they killed off their hero in the first episode!) with Paul's blood forming God Is Now Here, and then that cool Exorcist shot at the end with Paul going up the stairs... I was utterly and completely hooked. I wish so much this show could have come out on TNT or something like that, where they would have known what to do with it.

Um, I guess I should make a new web streaming copy of Darkness, Darkness and put it up, huh?

Day 28 - First TV show obsession
I'm not entirely certain how this differs from favorite childhood show, because to me, the feelings are pretty synonymous. So I will probably have to go back to Laredo, because I went to great lengths to try to watch it when I was young. If this means being in fandom and doing fannish activities, then it would probably be The Professionals -- we watched it on Canadian TV back in '78 and were so insane for it that we gathered every Friday night hours before it aired (at 12:00 am) and got prepped with the old piano-key VCR and all our snacks and drinks, and then immediately played it off the tape after it was over. Then we joined the Professionals fan club, which we saw advertised in the London Times (yes, I know, Times of London, whatevs) -- this was no small feat in 1978, trust me. I had the fan club posters and other crap all over my dorm room when I went to college, and everyone always asked me who they were.

Day 29 - Current TV show obsession
I miss the days when I felt that obsessed about things, you know? The closest thing I have to that is Justified, right now. That's really the only series I feel like, I have to see the new ep rightnowomgi'lldieifidon't. Even True Blood I've only just caught up on the first two eps today. Whatever it takes to make it work for me like Pros did once upon a time, Justified is the one show that really has it. And White Collar is somewhat close.
gwyn: (pros pants)
We had an utterly gorgeous weekend in Ventura for Escapade this year. Smack on the beach, in the 70s, and [ profile] black_bird_777 and I had a Mitsubishi Spyder convertible that we had the top down most of the time on. I actually have a sunburn on my forehead and scalp as a souvenir because I forgot to put sunscreen on before we left for the airport.

I went to a few panels, ran one on Charlie Jade (I keep thinking I should do a pimping post for the series, but I can't imagine any people wanting to read it) that was surprisingly well attended (well, all things considered -- I expected two people, and got about ten, and considering that I was up against the one big panel I wanted to attend for the weekend on race, religion, etc. in fandom, that was a good attendance, and I was up against the Veritas pimping panel). The biggest problem, other than trying to explain the show in an introductory way (hah) was that there was only one room with a TV and dvd player, and the only country that has released Charlie Jade on DVD is Japan, so I needed a multiregion player. Fortunately, [ profile] melina123 came to my rescue, and De, who was doing the Veritas pimping panel in the TV room, was willing to switch rooms with me, so I was able to at least show the vids and show some of the first disc to the very confused audience. I was stunned that anyone came away from that wanting to know more instead of cursing me and the show.

The worst part about the con was that so many of my usual friends -- the SF crowd, especially -- weren't there, not to mention missing killabeez and elynross, and Destina and Lys, and and..., and so that was sad. But that meant at least that this year I could spend a bit more time with some folks, although I barely got to see [ profile] justacat, really mostly just long enough so that she could buy my vidding services in a non-auction auction to help pay into the con debt. I'm so excited! Yay for being owned.

I liked the hotel more than most folks, though the bathrooms were ridic and they were so stingy with towels that it became a joke for me and my roomie. I would gladly trade a train coming by all the time for the beach location and the view of hot surfer boyz and people walking their pupsters on the beach. Blackbird and I got very excited when we saw something filming on the beach near the pier on Sunday, hoping maybe it might be Fast and Furious 4, but alas it was just some bubbleheaded blonde filming her music video. Wah.

The vid show was kind of short, for a lot of reasons, most that the vidcomm talked about and figured out some plans of attack to publicize more. You can't do much in terms of vidders' lives going to hell in a handbasket, as seemed to be the case for many of our usual vidders this year, but we can do more in terms of getting out info earlier instead of waiting until con details are confirmed, etc. We all want to be more proactive, to use a buzzword I hate. The good thing was that in such a short show, I liked most of the vids. (And I would just like to say that the rumormongering about censoring a vid in the review panel is utter bullshit, and it pisses me off to see the review panel mods tarnished in this way, especially since I know Jo liked that vid a lot.) I was especially tickled that there were two, count 'em two, Professionals vids and two S&H vids in the show, although one of the S&H vids really didn't work for me because of the framing effect used. I would have liked to see that treated more as a bookend for the beginning and end of the vid, and the sepia also used as sparingly. But anyway.

I will run out of space on the vids site at some point here soon, so I'm putting my Professionals vid that premiered at Escapade up on the Circuit Archive and on my Imeem page. You can click here or watch it under the linky link here in streaming video. I literally can't watch it -- Imeem pages simply won't work for me on my Mac anymore, in any browser, and I don't know why. If I use a WindoZe laptop, they're fine. It pisses me off beyond belief.

To DL at the Professionals Circuit Archive: Broken English
Artist: Marianne Faithfull
Fandom: The Professionals
Life in the line of fire.
gwyn: (bunk alesandral)
For my Wire fan friends, I thought I'd share this little bit of Joy with you that I found when I was capturing clips for a vid for Escapade. Clarke Peters, who plays Lester Freamon in The Wire, and who is one of everyone's favorite characters, suddenly popped up on screen in the least likely place I could have imagined -- The Professionals, the beloved British TV series from the late 1970s. At first I was all, "Is that Lester??!! and then the more the episode unspooled, the more amused I was. He's very young! And he plays the president of an African country who's under threat of assassination, so Bodie and Doyle are trying to protect him. Never would these two series have connected in any way. I just love seeing familiar faces in old things!

See Lester as a baby actor! )

And also, someone gave me baby lamas!! There are two of them! And hugging teddy bears! Thank you, anonymous giftee giver.
gwyn: (pros pants)
I put a few of the digitally remastered Professionals vids by the Media Cannibals up at my Imeem page. I was having a lot of trouble with them, though, particularly A Fire Is Burning, our best of the best, I think. It was playing very badly, stuttering and jerking, for both me and a couple folks I asked to test out, but on my Windows machine this morning, it doesn't seem as bad. I do not know what's up with that. I'd love to know what other people are seeing, especially if you're on a Mac or other non-Windows platform. I can't do much about the crap video quality on Imeem, though. ;-) I'm going to try to embed this, but I don't know if it'll work or not.

Streaming A Fire Is Burning )
I also uploaded Detachable Penis, which is always a fun time, and Tender Comrade. If you're interested, I could try to embed those here as well, and see how it goes, if this one works (I am doubtful). I'll attempt a few more at some point here. I got my DSL line upgraded yesterday to a faster speed so it's not quite as much of a task to upload as it was before. Honestly, I feel like such a doof -- I put it off for ages because I understood it to mean I'd have to get new equipment and set all the wireless, etc. up again. But I didn't have to do any of that. Now I'm annoyed with myself for waiting so long. It'll definitely help with work, a lot.
gwyn: (tea agentxpndble based on icon by starso)
One of the most popular vids the Media Cannibals ever made is at long last live on the Circuit Archive -- Detachable Penis by King Missile. It's always fun watching this in a crowd, waiting for the stuff in the beginning song intro to start to make sense in people's brains, and the slow, tittering reactions. Love it.

As usual, this was remastered for us by the lovely and tireless [ profile] justacat, who we've managed to burn out terribly on Pros vids with these remasters. Getting these done, though, was truly the best part of 2006 for me, and seeing them out there, available for fans for the first time in years and years, has made a bad year a lot more livable. I can't thank Justacat enough for her work on these.

I'll be making discs available at Escapade again this year, but if you'd like to get a disc with all the remastered Pros vids so far by mail order, contact me at gwynethr at gmail. I'm hoping there won't be a huge interest in mail order; if there is, I may have to organize it somehow with other fans, but in the meantime, I'll see how it goes. I can't make the spiffy labeled discs that Justacat was able to make for VVC, though. The content is still good, though! Discs will probably be about $5 to cover materials and shipping, and I would vastly prefer it if you have a verified PayPal account, rather than trying to arrange MOs or cash (I cannot take credit card accounts, sorry).

(Seriously, I used to be scared of PayPal and my bank account and such, but it really isn't scary and it works so easily.)
gwyn: (pros pants)
Durr, I am such a dumbass. I sent [ profile] justacat the web file for one of the Media Cannibals remastered Professionals vids, and then I totally forgot to check the Circuit Archive to see if it was up. Finally remembered today.

I think this was the last all-Professionals vid we made as a group (the lads appeared in other multimedia vids), as I believe we made this after Detachable Penis (which really will be coming soon, no pun intended). Memory fades these days.

Call It Love is now in the Media Cannibals collection at the Circuit Archive, thanks to Justacat's tireless efforts in remastering our vids digitally. The song is by Poco, and the vidders were me, Alex, and Sandy, originally.

Feedback, even for the older vids made new again, is always welcomed, of any kind (concrit, squee, whatever). And if you like it, spread the word! Recs go a long way toward getting an audience.
gwyn: (pros pants)
Tender Comrade is the latest entry in the digitally remastered Professionals vids from the Media Cannibals, by way of [ profile] justacat's tireless efforts, on the Professionals Circuit Archive. It's a lovely, quiet look at the bonds between comrades in arms, to a (for its time) very unusual a capella song by Billy Bragg.

Back in the day, [ profile] morgandawn and [ profile] sherrold used the stunningly high-tech method of hitting pause on the casette recorder to shorten the long silent pauses in between lines and to cut a verse. And you computer kids think you have trouble editing music. And this was one of the first vids I ever worked on with the MCs -- I had had the chance to work on the Pros part of "You Gotta Be" as my introduction, and then they began working on this, so I really got to see how vids were made and yet didn't have to do any of the hard work except suggest clips and do thumbs up or thumbs down on Sandy's edits. Yup, those were the days.

It is really incredible to see this vid in such crisp, beautiful footage, all color correcty and cleaned up. The lads have never looked as pretty.
gwyn: (pros pants)
I hope I'm not jumping the gun, but I see that the links are all there and if I am, I trust that [ profile] justacat will rap my knuckles. The re-remastered vid of the old Media Cannibals classic A Fire Is Burning is available for download at the Professionals Circuit Archive. Download the Divx avi version.

Justacat and I are working on remastering many of the MCs Pros vids, and since Sandy, Alex, and I had remastered this one last year for the Vividcon Hi-Def show, this was the one we started with first both so that I could make a DVD copy available, and so that we could fix some compression and credits problems that had come up when we first remastered it. Since she was doing all the hard work anyway, Justacat used the new Professionals DVDs that came out recently with color correction and some cleanup of the film, and so this vid looks pretty spiffy, even in web compression.

I've discovered that I have to really bump up the rates on video that was originally PAL, so it's rather large at 38MB, but outside of some pixelization that I can't get rid of unless I go well over 40MB, I think this looks pretty good, plus it's a much larger window than the original remaster that's been up on the Circuit Archive for a while. That alone makes it worth the download time, I think! We've included Sandy's original liner notes as well as the lyrics this time.

Really, I'm not usually one to brag, with my rather low self-esteem issues, but I still think that our original vid is one of the best vids ever made, period. It was way ahead of its time in the fast cutting, etc., and told a great story. Of course there are things we'd change if we could -- I remember one big thing was that all the musical parts use clips chosen from the order the eps aired, so we let some run too long because we didn't think we'd have enough, but then it turned out that we ran out of time in late third season or early fourth! -- but even with that, I never get tired of watching this vid. Sometimes I can't believe I was privileged enough to have participated in it.

Go download! Enjoy all this sweat and toil everyone's put into it! It's shiny and new and sparkly and big! Also, it may be an old vid made new again, but feedback? Never ever goes out of fashion.


Jul. 12th, 2006 01:21 pm
gwyn: (vids)
As I mentioned a while ago, [ profile] justacat has been digitally remastering some of the old Media Cannibals Professionals vids and working with me to get some of them on DVD. It's been kind of fun, revisiting all of this -- some of the vids were made before I even hooked up with the MCs, and others were among the first vids I ever participated in, so it's a long stroll down memory lane for me.

But it is also a weird Twilight Zone ep of its own. Justacat sent me a copy of Tender Comrade the other night, and man, talk about a psycho change of vid. By the time we'd sorted out what was going on, I was, like, OMGWTF VIDDING! For those of you who've never seen Tender Comrade, it's a Pros vid to an a capella song by Billy Bragg. He uses these incredibly long pauses between lyric lines, which, when Sandy was laying down the music track, she apparently hit pause repeatedly on the casette deck to cut out extra lines and edit the song down, and edit the pauses to a more manageable bite of silence.

Well, poor Justacat has a very interesting copy of TC. She worked so, so hard to time the pauses right when she was editing the song, and to cut all the clips to match exactly, which was a total bitch because the edit points came in the middle of silent pauses -- no audio graphs to show you were a beat is. I happily downloaded the file and thought, whoa, this is odd, everything's coming in way too early -- about 3 seconds too early. So I sent her an email detailing my ideas of where she should push things forward, what the late stuff is, etc., and she wrote back to me, totally confused, and detailed line by line where each edit point came in on her copy.

For some reason, this vid -- apparently not the other Pros vids on the tape such as 500 Miles -- is about 3 seconds off in timing. I told her how it looks on my original copy, and I know Sandy cut each of those to start on a lyric line (she would never start in such a lengthy pause!), and am sending her my copy of the MC tape 2, but... I am utterly baffled. I can't even imagine how this vid alone got so off in timing, even if it is a copy of a copy. It's just totally bizarre.

The worst part is that I wonder now how many psycho copies are out there where the song is 3 seconds off the original. The clips that Justacat has in there are perfect matches for the audio, it's just the timing that's off -- which makes me suspect I'll be hit with a fusilade of accusations that we've remade the vid, not remastered it, and that it's not true to the original. I have no idea what state the copies of the vid floating around are in.

::hunkers down and waits for the crap to fly::

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