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Archive for July, 2009

Introducing: Film Forensics

Friday, 24 July, 2009 | Posted in Good Ideas by Andrew Shellshear

Sometimes, one of our projects will start as fully baked and gradually make it’s way down to half-baked. Such is the case with my project Film Forensics.

The high-concept: It reviews flawed movies, and rewrites them to make them more awesome, whether that means making a credible twist for the latest M. Night Shyamalan film, adding a T-Rex to the latest romatic comedy or just cutting an hour out of the latest Transformers movie.

Because I am not a creativity-producing machine (unlike some Mezzacotta collaborators I could name), Film Forensics went enthusiastically for a while, and then fizzled. I update it once every few months at the moment. Still, it has a bunch of reviews I’m proud of (especially Snakes on a Plane).

Mr McLeish has written and posted a new review of Terminator: Salvation. Check it out!

mezzacota Café obtains liquor licence

Sunday, 19 July, 2009 | Posted in Cafe by The Hyperstig

After several months of rave reviews for its imaginative menu, combining classic and contemporary cuisines, the mezzacotta Café is pleased to announce that it has been granted a liquor licence.

The Café is now serving a selection of quality wines from its extensive cellars, carefully chosen to complement its unique menu.

Short-Attention-Span TV

Monday, 13 July, 2009 | Posted in Ideas by Andrew Coker

I hate ad-breaks in TV! What I’d really like to see is a dedicated channel that continually shows interesting tidbits of footage which can be enjoyed in 30-second or 1-minute chunks – perfect for swapping to during the ad-breaks of shows you are actually watching. A totally random assortment of cool snippets from nature documentaries, technology shows, owned/pwnd/FAIL videos from youtube, stand-up comedy acts, 3-d animation, music videos, laboratory demos, actual good and entertaining ads from around the world, stuff blowing up, travel documentaries, famous-moments-in-history/sport/news, old newsreel footage, movie trailers, reviews of upcoming video games… the list is endless! A few hours of new content each month added to the rotation would keep things fresh – all that’s needed given you are probably only going to watch this channel a few minutes at a time.

Awkwardly Fumbling

Saturday, 11 July, 2009 | Posted in Awkward Fumbles, News, Square Root of Minus Garfield by David Morgan-Mar

Sorry that Awkward Fumbles has been paused for a while. That one actually takes us some effort to write new strips for! We have a couple of dozen art submissions in the buffer, awaiting our dialogue addition, but we’ve been busy with a couple of other ideas we’re trying to get implemented. We will get back to Fumbles at some point though!

Oh, and we forgot to announce that the buffer for Square Root of Minus Garfield is now so immense thanks to enthusiastic reader submissions that we’ve gone to five updates a week. We may have to update even more frequently if the submissions keep coming in! Keep it up, folks! (Ah, I see now how we can succeed with bringing you fresh new content all the time… get you to do all the work!)

A new kind of remote control: Mark II

Thursday, 9 July, 2009 | Posted in Raw Ideas by Andrew Shellshear

I have received some interesting feedback on the “remote control that simulates ads” idea, and I’ve come to realise that the idea wasn’t particularly well formed. Fortunately, the process of discussing it has inspired some much better ideas.

Most importantly, I realised that a pause button that simulates an ad break with a countdown timer is just silly. There’s no way I would respond to it in the way that I would a real ad break. In order for this technique to work, I need real ads. It might be possible for me to download ads from youtube or snaffle them from a DVR, but there’s quite a bit of inconvenience to that. No, what I really need is a free-to-air ad channel, one that shows advertising 24 hours a day. This would make it easy. When you hit pause, the DVD player pauses, switches to the ad channel, and switches back after three minutes (and, as before, refuses to pause for at least 15 minutes).

There are problems with this idea, of course. It would very likely start and end part way through an ad, and what if it was a good one? So the ads would have to be pretty short and repetitive, to minimise this issue. The other question is, which channel should be replaced by ads? In Australia, I think we can safely say channel 7 or 9, and if we could create a reality show of TV executives competing for the privilege of becoming the ad channel, so much the better.

More feedback is welcome. I think we’re really getting somewhere with this idea!

A new kind of remote control

Tuesday, 7 July, 2009 | Posted in Raw Ideas by Andrew Shellshear

I hate to say it, but I don’t mind TV ads. Sure, I never watch them, but they let me get up, do things (or channel flip), and get all the distracted energy out of my system. Then, because I still kinda want to watch whatever happens next, I go back to the TV.

My DVD watching experience is inferior. The additional convenience of allowing me to pause and unpause means that I pause, wander away, do something else for a while, and then an hour later don’t feel like watching the rest of whatever it was because it was up to a bit of humour based on excruciating embarassment (my very personal nemesis).

I have five or six movies that are partially watched in this way, and once they’re in this state, I don’t go back to them. They get stuck in limbo, because I don’t want to rewatch them from the top, and fast-forwarding means I might accidentally watch bits out of order. Also, I did stop watching for a reason, yes thank you David Brent, and I probably won’t get through a second time anyway.

What I want (yes, this is what society has degenerated to) is a different kind of remote control/DVD player. One possibility is to have a DVD player that simply puts ad breaks in the film every twenty minutes, consisting of two minutes of a timer counting down. It does not allow the movie to be paused.

Whoa! What kind of crazy dark ages wilt this bringeth? I might not even want an ad break! The movie might be awesome. I just want to pause when I’m watching a mediocre film, say a gross-out comedy, and I’m fidgety and hopped up on caffeine and greasy food. I wanna jump around like a loon for a few minutes, and sit back down again when the movie restarts, ready once more to watch someone getting kicked in the testicles while stepping in cow poop and being hit in the head by a large rock leading to them shouting “I’m alright!” before being run over by a tractor.

No, what I really want – neeeeeeeeed – is a remote control that creates a two minute ad break whenever I hit “pause” (with the countdown timer, sure, why not). Furthermore, it will refuse to pause if I’ve used the pause function in the last fifteen minutes. Thus will the ills of the world be solved, and I will finally finish watching my DVDs.

Except Fawlty Towers. Some experiences can’t be mitigated with technology.