forbiddencharm: (Default)
( Mar. 26th, 2007 05:39 pm)
so yesterday, thanks to the wonderful [ profile] heavenslaughing and his brother (and his brother's fancy new car, so jealous!) i rode up to berkeley to watch the season finale of battlestar galactica in a group that included the showrunner himself, ron moore, and his lovely wife terry (she did costuming for carnivale, among other things). i'm going to miss living in california!! last year, his wife heard about the groups who were gathering to watch the finale, and they went and found the number of the organizer and called to talk to this berkeley party. this year, he arranged to have the same group, plus a few of their friends, invited to a sit down. he said that one of the hardest things about writing for tv is the lack of a visible audience. he said that playwrights and movie writers can go sit in the audience and see how people experience their words, but with tv, you don't have the opportunity because people don't usually gather in groups, and even when they do it's not in public. so he really wanted to find out how people were thinking about the show, and the season, and the episode. he said he reads twop and a bunch of other review sites to try and keep aware of that sort of thing, but he prefers the live reaction. of course, he also said that he doesn't always pay much attention to those opinions! he looks strikingly like gaius baltar this half season, with the long hair and the beard, and was just super nice. and i got to sit next to him, and then to terry, and just chat!

the episode is amazing, but i won't discuss it for those of you who still haven't see it. but it was a fabulous experience aside from that. the original intent was just to eat, watch and then talk, but at dinner he realized that he had his podcasting equipment and ran to get it. he recorded us watching the show (which was mostly dull because we didn't talk much except for one annoying guy who kept saying dumb stuff to be 'funny, and i think will get edited out) and then we had a discussion. first he asked us questions, about how we felt about the episode, how our reactions differed from last year and why, that sort of thing, and then we got to ask him questions. i didn't manage to ask him about gender on the show, which i regret because it's very inconsistent and i'm wondering if he hopes
forbiddencharm: (kaylee: light)
( Mar. 22nd, 2007 11:10 pm)
i've mentioned to several of you recently my interest in alternative distribution methods for television. the multiple levels of oversight on network tv leads to note after note after contradictory note (that actor's not pretty enough, you can't show someone doing that, if this character says that people won't like them, you need to use pepsi in this episode, and of course my favorite, a martian wouldn't say that), which in turn leads to duller, more homogenized shows. it also leads to shows getting canceled not because they don't have a lot of viewers or critical acclaim, but because they don't have sufficient advertising investment, or because the network wants to change its image. so i've been talking big about how, if i won that $350 million lottery, i'd step up with an offer of a season's worth of funding for someone i respect *cough-whedon-cough* to produce a tv show exactly how they wanted, to be distributed directly through sale to the public (probably itunes, although i admit this is all a pipe dream and i hadn't bothered to plan out details since, after all, it's contingent on my winning the lottery!).

and lo and behold, someone with actual experience in tv writing and production has stepped forward to do it for me! i have no idea how the show (sanctuary) is going to be, and very little idea what it's about, but i'm excited that someone is trying to sidestep the networks. if they can make a go of it selling this tv show, with no one really famous involved, then shows with star pull (actors, writers or directors) can definitely do it.
forbiddencharm: (flaming june)
( Mar. 4th, 2007 01:50 pm)
this has been the best weekend i've had in months. it was full of fun and relaxing and people and stuff and not-work, and generally just about perfect. i don't think i realized how much i needed this kind of a weekend. i'll divide it up into cuts, because it will be long. and possibly boring. ok, probably boring! it's my lj, i'll be dull if i want to! *stamps foot and pouts* friday )saturday--now with celebrities! )
but i have to admit, my inner geek really enjoyed this! a most unlikely but oddly plausible spy. the events of Star Wars episode IV analyzed in light of the first three movies
so, i just finished watching the season finale of torchwood (the first dr who spin-of) and the pilot episode of the sarah jane adventures (the new spin-off). don't worry, no spoilers!

i think torchwood has done really well at taking the dr who universe and making an interesting place in it, without relying on the constant travel conceit. in many ways it's more challenging to convincingly write the necessary monster-of-the-week plotlines when you have to stay in the same place--much easier to go to them than to keep finding reasons why they always come to you. plus, i do like that the core group is larger- more possibilities for interpersonal stuff, and more places to go off on the individual character arcs. [ profile] ellen_fremedon, you've been watching, right?

i also have to say, given that the sarah jane show is apparently going to be aimed at kids, it was much less cloying than i had anticipated. the kids weren't horribly annoying (with one exception who just drove me mental--but no prizes for guessing which one once you've seen it. i hope they don't keep her, the actress just isn't very good). although i do think they were a little old for the ages they're meant to be -or what i could tell from the set dressing/props cues, since i don't think they ever said. and they can give some adults character development and storylines if they feel the urge, which would keep it from getting all 'saturday morning tv'. i'm reserving judgment though, a doctor who like show aimed at kids has so much potential for horribleness.

and does elizabeth sladen remind anyone else of mary mcdonnell? eerie.
i just watched the trailer for the new disney movie of the bridge to terebithia (courtesy of [ profile] mmaresca), and i have to say, holy crap. i can't imagine you folks haven't read this, since we actually did it in class i think, but just in case, i'll put some spoiler space.

here's the trailer link:
and the official movie link:

[ profile] mmaresca's right--it looks as though disney has either profoundly changed the story or designed the trailer to deliberately misrepresent it. i can't imagine changing the ending would fly, since it's the whole point of the book, so i'm guessing it must be the latter. and in a film for adults i would have no problem with that. but this is a children's book. and it's a profoundly disturbing children's book, at that. i certainly wouldn't argue that the book should be banned (as it has been), or that the film shouldn't be made--i think that children should read/watch it, because it tells some important truths. people die. good people die. people you love, people you need, people you've failed. people who shouldn't. and the people who are left behind have to deal with that, have to make their peace with how those relationships ended.

but not every parent has read this book. and if they keep the trailer as it is, a whole bunch of parents are going to be bringing their small children to see it, expecting a happy fantasy narnia-esque story with fairies and monsters and kids who never really get in danger. and then suddenly, without preparation, have to deal with the sudden death of one of the ostensible protagonists and the painful aftermath. i read this when i was, i don't know, about ten or so? and it was beautiful and amazing and i couldn't bear to read it again for years. and i knew going in that something horrible was going to happen from the back text. i can't imagine being a ten-, or eight-, or even six-year-old child expecting a fun magical adventure movie and suddenly being confronted by death like that.

it's going to bite disney in the ass, and given the litigious nature of our society, i'll be surprised if they don't get sued over it.

edited to add i just found a synopsis on the site, and it looks like they've actually gotten rid of the death. the synopsis ends with "changing boy-whose-name-i've-already-forgotten for the better". damn, talk about missing the whole point of a book!
forbiddencharm: (inara: feminine wiles)
( May. 14th, 2006 07:53 pm)
just found the most fascinating mention of a field i had never before heard of, but which i am now utterly fascinated by.


allow me to quote: )
and now, the long awaited post about flanvention. i'm cadging most of this from the email i sent tristan with the details so, sorry tris, you've already read this! )
forbiddencharm: (inara: feminine wiles)
( Dec. 5th, 2005 11:47 pm)
i don't get why i have been so unproductive this quarter. i mean, sure, i've gotten stuff done, but nowhere nearly as much as i should have- entered hundreds of sources into endnote, and i read and took notes on well over a hundred new sources, many of which will probably be useful in some way or other, but i could have done so much more! and i'm remembering this happened in my second year at cornell, this not getting much done, and hoping that this is not a pattern, but a coincidence. which it probably is, because i did little at cornell because i was already seeing things i didn't like or agree with and wasting my time with stupid classwork, and here i did little because i was faffing around with things that are unrelated like conference planning and unrelated but interesting classwork, but still. odd coincidence. here's to getting tons done in the next few days, and in the next few quarters.

and here's to endnote, my new best friend! i wish there were an easy way to convert word bibliographies into endnote though, i've got about 50 more pages i want to get in there, and typing it all in is going to be a bitch. but i LOVE the ability to attach my notes to the reference, and to make bibliographies type themselves, yippee!
because i have no online storage, i have nowhere to put pictures from the premiere, and of course because i couldn't bring my camera into the theater or the party, i don't have a lot. fortunately, the lovely and charming [ profile] jenskijen not only has pictures (she got there early enough to get a good place where she could watch people go in), she has a picture of me on the actual red carpet. unfortunately, i'm kind of making a face, but it's better than nothing!

here's a direct link to jenksijen's premiere entry with pictures
forbiddencharm: (kaylee: light)
( Sep. 23rd, 2005 06:57 pm)
wow, i had the best time yesterday! i'm sure this will be a little incoherent, not least because i've only had about three hours sleep in three different one hour chunks, so i'm more than a little out of it. but, here is the saga of my trip to LA.

a very long entry! )
forbiddencharm: (kaylee: light)
( Sep. 13th, 2005 11:55 pm)
well, some of you already know this, but i really, REALLY need to get the excitement out a little more. a week from thursday, nine days from now, i am flying down to LA for the night. this is pretty extreme, even for me, so you have to ask why i would do this. and the answer is one that will make people hate me and envy me in equal parts- i'm going to a movie premiere.

the serenity premiere, in point of fact.

and by using the phrase 'going to' i do not mean that i am going to watch the stars go down the red carpet and then go to a party with a bunch of friends while the movie is playing. i mean, i am GOING to the premiere. i am walking down the red carpet, i am freaking out about what to wear even though no one is realistically going to take my picture, i am sitting in the big theater with all of the stars and a bunch of other famous and/or talented people, and i am going to the official universal after party. i am going to a real, live, honest-to-goodness full-on, people-dream-about-this-kind-of-thing movie premiere. i can't really believe this, is seems more than a little surreal at times. it's so crazy, and so random, and so freaking wonderful, i start to babble when i think about it. there are many good things about living in california, and this has definitely become one of them. how jealous are you guys? ;-)

the only thing that would make it more perfect is if tris could come with, but sadly he lives very far away and doesn't have a ticket. :-(
forbiddencharm: (willow)
( Sep. 10th, 2005 05:10 pm)
this was a very productive summer on site. i got everything i had planned to do accomplished, and i found a topic for my dissertation, which i have been worrying about for a while now. it's all well and good to say 'something related to catal that uses the bone tools', but that's pretty wide, so now i can say 'personal adornment', and be confident. huge body of literature, but fortunately i will be working with lynn meskell this year anyway since ian's in cambridge, so i will have a lot of direction towards the good stuff and away from the crap- and there's a lot of crap around there! and i'm pleased to be able to use not just the bone jewelry stuff, but also the wall paintings and the figurines, because i've been really getting interested in them while researching for the first year paper. nifty!

in site news, i was pretty pleased with the stuff we got this year. a stamp seal in the shape of a bear with upturned paws, looking strikingly like the so-called 'goddess giving birth' reliefs which mostly had their heads knocked off, was my favorite. while i like the idea of a goddess-worshiping society, i also like the idea of relying on evidence, and so much of mellaart's interpretation relied on his instinct, strongly shaped by the beliefs of his time, that for the most part it needs to be scrapped and re-examined. this will motivate that with its simple but strong suggestion that a major tenet of the religion as understood may have been dramatically different. so, yay! there is also the ugly little figurine, which appears to be a pregnant woman on the front (although most pregnancies don't involve pointy stomachs, so that is debatable) and a skeleton on the back. very suggestive of mexican 'day of the dead' ideas to me, and i'm sure a lot of people will use it to argue for a birth/death duality. it is a little annoying that so many people take the idea of duality as a central element of human thought still, but what can you do? and for me personally, i'm thrilled about my little bone plaque, very similar to ones which had previously been interpreted as wrist guards for archery despite the lack of ways to attach them. i picked it up and thought, this is exactly the right shape and size to hold in the hand and use as a palette, and sure enough, when i checked it under the microscope, it had pigment in some of the pores (and our pigment expert ina agrees, so yay!). i'm very pleased, it was all so sciency, from hypothesis to proof. plus, yay me for getting it right!

and i've got a plan for what i need to do next summer in terms of bone tools, although this may conflict with the plan i'm beginning to lay out for dissertation research, so that's going to be a challenge. i can only hope that the rumored long season actually happens.

now i just have to do the write-up...
forbiddencharm: (willow)
( May. 29th, 2005 07:26 pm)
i'm now watching episode IV, and i have to say, it IS much better directed. i want to say he had better actors, but that's clearly not true, liam neeson and samuel jackson are both incredible, clearly he was less bothered in the new trilogy with TRYING to make a watchable movie. i guess he thought the effects and the hysteria would be enough. it's a shame, imagine how incredible these movies could have been with similar general storylines but a good writer and director!

interesting how vader is really a puppet of the very human governor tarquin in this movie. i'm not sure how lucas envisions him getting from the place he was in at the end of the movie, able to kill a room full of armed people with no problems, moving heavy blast doors with a gentle gesture, to a place where he's bossed around by someone relatively trivial. what happened to his great friendship with the new emperor? i mean, he should get the respect from that alone.

AND, i don't think 20 years is enough for people to start talking about the jedi as old and imaginary, these men are old enough that they should have been in positions of power while the jedi were still a powerful force, demonstrating their power right left and center. i mean, in thirty years they go from sending a single jedi to stop the war in ep I to saying their powers were imaginary? crazy.
forbiddencharm: (river: trust)
( May. 29th, 2005 11:37 am)
well, i saw the movie last night (i know, i know, you're all shocked that i cracked and actually put money in george lucas' coffers). it was- surprisingly un-sucky. i mean, the dialogue sucked, and the direction was poor, which led directly to the bad acting... but it didn't suck. lucas finally managed to get back to the appeal of the original movie, which was that it was corny and hokey and poorly acted and directed but it was somehow still classic and fresh and above all, fun. we didn't have to suffer through jar jar speaking, we didn't have to wonder what was going to happen (since after all, everyone on earth already knew the major plotline), and we did get lots of fighting, light-sabers, evil, and choking people without touching them. i admit, i found it a little difficult to root for the clones at the beginning, and i thought the droid warriors were actually a little too human- why would droids WANT the inefficient human behaviors they had?- but i liked it. in my world, star wars is a four movie trilogy (how very douglas adams!), which has to run 4-5-6-3, because no one wants to ruin the 'luke, i am your father moment' but lucas himself, the dumbass.

and on a side note, they can attach completely functional prosthetic limbs that look and move just like normal ones except in gloves, and they don't have friggin plastic surgery?!?
wow. that movie was... i'm practically speechless. it was amazing. as i understand it, we saw the final cut, but with not quite the final effects and music. didn't distract me at all, i was so absolutely blown away. joss is a god. this was amazing, from start to finish, things i expected, things i wanted, things that shocked me, things i cried about, i can't even begin. i can't imagine how i'm going to stand waiting five months to see it again, and i guarantee you're going to want to watch it over right away to catch all the little things you missed or to check on the angle of this or the way they said that. i...i...well, there's so much i want to say, but this is absolutely a movie that you want to see unspoiled, so i'm not going to. we walked out saying 'i can't believe he...' and 'did you see when...' and you don't want to miss that! i'm going to have to think about this (and sleep!) before i post any more, but wow. good movie. bring everyone you know to see it, we NEED more movies (we need them like junkies need crack, i'm serious here).
well, i'm just chock full of exciting! i'm going to see serenity. in a week! no waiting until september for me, oh no, i get to see it early. and ok, there might be a few special effects unfinished, but i actually doubt that, since they did plan to have it publicized pretty widely. wheee, hot diggity! ok, i have few words to add to this, i'm just filled with happiness. yay!
went down to la this weekend, because i needed to be away from palo alto, and signed up for a happy hour with adam and alan. it was really neat! although i felt bad for them, it wasn't really well arranged as far as their participation went. it was scheduled from 5-6 on saturday, in a bar in pasadena across from where they were having a big science fiction convention. got some intriguing pictures of people dressed as klingons, and i saw a couple of romulans (?) and some storm troopers. i so don't get that, WHY would you want to dress as a storm trooper? i mean, you can't be recognized, AND they really weren't very good at what they did. i mean, if i were going to be dressing up as something, i'd want to be someone cool, someone who was really good at stuff, AND someone who would still be recognizable as me. the klingons and romulans are weird, but at least you can tell them apart. who wants to subsume their identity like that?

but ANYway. i met up with a bunch of people i knew, and we hung out in the bar where the happy hour was going to be. just before five, they started letting us in. i was the first in, because i hadn't actually received my ticket, so i had to be checked off of a list, and right behind me came alan tudyk. as he passed by, the woman with the list grabbed his arm, and told him that he had to have a ticket to get in-- everyone else there was shocked, and it took a moment before his publicist could respond with 'but...he's the talent!'. the two of them moved from table to table, and we sat and drank and ate and talked amongst ourselves in the meanwhile. we talked with alan about his phone call at wondercon, when he had apparently been calling nathan to talk about his date the night before, and about the pilot he's going to be filming (although no name was mentioned, so i'm not sure what it's for!), and a couple of other things. one of the publicists there was actually erin gray, who was in buck rogers. i spoke to her a little, she's really very nice- i think it's interesting when actors shift to other jobs in the industry, it gives them a really unique perspective. which makes it all the more odd that this thing was arranged so poorly-- a hour for the two of them to speak to seventy people? who did that math? AND they didn't have a chance to eat or drink anything, and had to be pulled out of there because they were actually having fun and wanted to stay longer (which really speaks to what kind of people they are, and also to the kind of people who turned up, because i'm sure they wouldn't have wanted to stay if the folks were strange). i also spoke to alan all by my ownself, because one of the women i was with had forgotten to give him some cards she had brought, so i went over and did. he's such a nice man, he was really excited about the cards, and dealt very well with all the people just wanting him to notice them so they could feel special. it's odd, the anthropological viewpoint is really strong at these things. some of the people there just wanted to be validated in some way by being noticed by someone they think is special, because it makes them feel special. not everyone, by all means, there was a big group there who wanted primarily an excuse to get together with each other, with a bonus chance to talk to people they think are fun and cool, but still, some. it was interesting. i, on the other hand, really wanted to have a political discussion with adam, because he's incredibly misguided, and was fairly content just looking at alan, because damn that is a pretty man! sadly, a smoker though.

oh. and [ profile] ellen_fremedon, on sunday i went on the wb studio tour, part of which took us past the car used on harry potter and the chamber of secrets, and another part of which took us into their museum, where i stood less than two feet away from the sorting hat. i could have reached out and touched it, only then they would have thrown me out! many other fun things were there too, the fake baby harry hagrid was carrying in the first movie, dobby, frozen hermione, the marauder's map, lots of costumes, you would have died!
forbiddencharm: (wash: betrayal)
( Feb. 20th, 2005 12:14 am)
oh frabjous day! today, my very own hand touched the hands of one mr adam baldwin, one mr nathan fillion, one ms summer glau, and above all and most thrillingly, one mr joss whedon! the level of excitement in my day is really almost impossible to quantify! i met joss whedon, and i don't think i babbled like a maniac! nathan fillion talked to me about the horror movie he just finished filming! adam baldwin asked for my userid so we could have a political discussion! and summer glau was really nice but extremely nervous! oh, and i opened a letter written by the very handsome alan tudyk! i think i may be overusing the exclamation points, but i appear to be unable to stop!

so, backstory, for them as care: i joined the browncoat meetup group in san francisco because i thought it would be nice to meet people who aren't students and who like firefly. in early january we got word that joss was coming to wondercon, a san francisco comic convention, so various people began planning to have a fan table, publicize the movie, and generally have a good time. so, i volunteered to work the table on friday and today. friday, we handed out a lot of stuff and sold raffle tickets with the proceeds to go to the red cross. alan tudyk called the girl i was sitting next to to say that he was really sorry he couldn't make the con, but that he really appreciated the work we were doing, so he was overnighting some t-shirts to be raffled. this morning, i went and stood in line for a change to get autographs: they had a lottery system, and after waiting in line for a LOONG time, i went down the row of bins and got absolutely nothing. the horror! fortunately, the guy in front of me got three, and decided i was pathetic enough that he gave me one of them--the one for the serenity cast! i worked the table some more, and then a bunch of browncoats went in to be sure we'd get good seats for the panel joss and company were doing. we got to see the trailer for some movie called 'the cave' (didn't look very good), and for the war of the worlds, along with a discussion by the designers for war of the worlds. (looks like it could be pretty good, actually). then the important people came out, and they were amazing! people always talk about how these actors are fun at conventions, and i totally see it-- they were joking around about nathan's dancers legs, and joss' pink plastic backpack that threatened adam's masculinity and the fact that joss wanted people to ask him if he'd lost weight, and about the fact that there are an awful lot of shots of river's feet for a man who denies having a foot fetish (i believe the actual phrasing was a question to joss 'do you have a foot fetish, or is it some strange thing with summer?' to which he responded 'i, um, i...don't want to answer that!' they were lovely, and they seemed to really like each other, and to like talking to people. i then went and got my autographs. it's not a fun process for them, but they were super sweet, even though i was about halfway down the 125 people they had to fit into an hour. nathan said 'hi, i'm nathan. what's your name?' as though i wouldn't know who he was. everyone seemed to WANT to talk to me (and, i'm assuming, everyone else), and to WANT to hear what we had to say, even when it was really stupid. i can't say enough about how nice they all were. the signing was just supposed to be the three actors, but joss turned up to, which meant he spent two hours signing his name today, all the while feeling like crap-- they actually had to bring him dayquil during the panel.

pictures to appear when i find a place to host them, hopefully very, very soon!