Day 334: Loch Ness Trainers

A Scottish theme for St Andrew’s Day

November 30 main

 

Happy St Andrew’s Day to all my Scottish followers. Wearing some suitably-coloured Adidas in honour of the occasion.

I’ve actually spent all morning doing the next three days’ worth of Sole Of Sci-Fi images, because I’m working on Procycling again next week. With the early morning starts that entails (and the lack of light in the mornings and evenings now) it means my time is going to be limited during the week. But there’s some fun stuff to come, I can promise you!

There’s no rest for either for the rest of the day. I’ve got five reviews to write for SFX. Luckily I’ve watched and read everything I need to watch and read already. I’ve got a rough idea what I want to say about each. I should be able to finish before midnight.

I did have big plans for a final push for sponsorship planned for December 1st but work has got in the way of that. Hopefully I’ll have time to out together a video in the next week or so! But as for those friends who still haven’t donated yet, they will be getting the personal approach.

See you tomorrow!

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• Current total: £1,310 (a new donation from  Pete MacKenzie – very much appreciated!)

• Remember this is all for charity, so any pennies or pounds you can spare PLEASE DONATE BY CLICKING HERE.

• Follow me on Twitter to make sure you see what trainers I’m wearing each day.

• If you have any trainers you could donate (either on loan or old pairs you’re getting rid of) which are size 9 (ish – I can do anything  from 8 to 10) contact me at davegolderSFX@gmail.com so I can arrange collection.

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Day 333: Star Wars Episode VII Trainer Premiers

Trainer? Trailer? See what I did there?

November 29 main

Believe it not, I almost forgot the Star Wars Episode VII trailer premiered yesterday. This was not, however, because I was in a scrum of shoppers, trampling women and children and knobbling other people’s shopping trolleys in a desperate attempt to get few quid off a games console that’ll be out of date in three months time.

Arcadia The Flame 10No, I spent Black Friday in the 1980s, writing a feature about influential pop videos and discovering that Tom Fletcher from McFly has based his whole look on Simon Le Bon as he appeared in the video for Arcadia’s “The Flame”. If you thought Simon Le Bon in pop videos was all about posing on yachts in overlarge shirts, it’s well worth rediscovering this forgotten video – he proves to be a fairly decent comedy geek actor in a promo that’s part Rocky Horror and part Agatha Christie (click on the image to have a watch).

I was reminded it was Star Wars Friday by Radio 4’s Front Row, where they reviewed the trailer and became very excited about it. They did confuse me by saying it kicked off with a black stormtrooper, which made me think, “Isn’t that Darth Vader?”

When I finally watched the video I realised they meant a black actor playing a stormtrooper. Which made think a) do we really still live in an age where this kind of thing is worth even commenting on; b) “Hey, black skin against white stormtrooper armour looks really cool… Um, am I being un-PC?”; c) he’s clearly no clone of Jango Fett… maybe he’s a main character in disguise for some reason?; and d) in which case, is he famous? God, I really haven’t been following the casting news for this film have I? (The actor, John Boyega, is listed on IMDB in the cast but there’s no character name, so I’m still none the wiser as to how important a character he is).

But I kinda like the fact that I’ve been missing out of the hype hoopla, as it meant I watched the trailer without an undue weight of expectation. And I was impressed. I did feel the hairs on the back of my neck prickle. I did feel like a kid again. And yes like 90% of the internet, I loved the lightsaber with the laser hilt, while the shot of the Millennium Falcon swooping around could possibly be my favourite spaceship visual effect since the Millennium Falcon did a loop-the-loop in The Empire Strikes Back.

So yeah, I’m excited.

See you tomorrow!

Donate buttonUsual Begging Sign-Off

• Current total: £1,300 

• Remember this is all for charity, so any pennies or pounds you can spare PLEASE DONATE BY CLICKING HERE.

• Follow me on Twitter to make sure you see what trainers I’m wearing each day.

• If you have any trainers you could donate (either on loan or old pairs you’re getting rid of) which are size 9 (ish – I can do anything  from 8 to 10) contact me at davegolderSFX@gmail.com so I can arrange collection.

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Day 332: The Thing About Trainers

Skate off!

November 28 main

My internet is back on. Hurrah! After five days without I was beginning to go stir crazy and even spent an hour and a half night playing Greensleeves very badly on my keyboard (known as Electo-Mable for reasons so arcane even I’ve forgotten quite why). I am no accomplished pianist, and my attempts to use both hands result in tempo going out of the window, but I get a thrill from managing to go two bars without a wrong note. I bet the neighbours hate me. They’ll have to get used to it. It’s carols from now until Christmas.

Otherwise yesterday was 80% transcribing, plus a little bit of reviewing for SFX– a new show that may be the next Flash Gordon. Not the film, the Syfy show I had so much fun slating mercilessly over a sustained period for SFX a few years back. I think I once called it, “A show best viewed in fast forward, while you’re off having a crap.” I won’t reveal what the new show is yet, but I think it starts in the UK on 8 December…

I also caught up with The Vampire Diaries (which I’ll also reviewing for SFX). Same old same old, really, though I was amused at one point when the usual all-to-wall whiny pop music that usually burdens the show gave way to something that soundly oddly like that 8-bit computer game version the Game Of Thrones theme tune that did the rounds on the ’net a couple of years back. Most peculiar

Anyway, I’ve got a lot of work to do today, so it’s another brief blog. Apologies!

See you tomorrow!

Donate buttonUsual Begging Sign-Off

• Current total: £1,300 

• Remember this is all for charity, so any pennies or pounds you can spare PLEASE DONATE BY CLICKING HERE.

• Follow me on Twitter to make sure you see what trainers I’m wearing each day.

• If you have any trainers you could donate (either on loan or old pairs you’re getting rid of) which are size 9 (ish – I can do anything  from 8 to 10) contact me at davegolderSFX@gmail.com so I can arrange collection.

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Day 331: Awesome Trainers

And if you don’t understand the headline watch the Lego Movie now!

November 27 main

Right, cards on the table. I’m writing this yesterday, a few minutes after being informed by TalkTalk (yeah, I know, change the record) told me I probably wouldn’t have any internet until today (Thursday).  I didn’t want to spend another morning wondering whether to hang on in case in the internet returned (and I bet it doesn’t). Plus I have a few hours of transcribing that I have to crack on with, and I want to get into the groove with that as soon as possible. Upshot, I thought I’d get Thursday’s blog done on Wednesday so I had no distractions.

And yes, the background is from a photo I shot earlier in the year… I’m just getting fed up with photos in my tiny back garden.

I will be wearing the Vans on Thursday, as I don’t have to leave the house. They’re brand new, on loan, and I don’t think Jamie wants them back all muddy and wet.

Not much else to report, except that one of my loyal followers, Tim Norris, contacted me yesterday to point after my blog on CSO yesterday that Special FX are, technically speaking, physical effects (models, explosions, flooding sets with foam, etc) while visual effects are those created “in-camera”, which also these days includes digital effects.

And he’s dead right. I admit, I made a mistake (and having written in this area for decades, I should know the difference). However – and I say this next point not in the sense of justification, but more just by way of musing – I think to the hoi polloi it’s a bit of a vacuum cleaner/Hoover situation. One day, the only people who are going to care are people who work in the industry, lawyers and subs.

See you tomorrow!

Donate buttonUsual Begging Sign-Off

• Current total: £1,300 

• Remember this is all for charity, so any pennies or pounds you can spare PLEASE DONATE BY CLICKING HERE.

• Follow me on Twitter to make sure you see what trainers I’m wearing each day.

• If you have any trainers you could donate (either on loan or old pairs you’re getting rid of) which are size 9 (ish – I can do anything  from 8 to 10) contact me at davegolderSFX@gmail.com so I can arrange collection.

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Day 330: CSO Sole

Special FX done the old-fashioned way…

November 26 main

Welcome to CSO: Sole. That’s CSO not CSI, though back in the ’70s CSO did leave a blue halo around objects like a cobalt version of those chalk outlines you see around people in crime shows. It stood for Colour Separation Overlay, and was en electronic effect (ie, it could only be achieved on video) used by the BBC in the ’70s and ’80s that was a quick and easy way of “cutting out” one image and overlaying it on another. The object that needed to be “cut out” was shot against a blue (or sometimes yellow) background and that background colour could then be made invisible before the object was combined with a background. (This has, of course, developed into the green screen work we see today).

Alternatively, as in the shot above, the “view screen” would actually be a solid blue (or yellow) and another image to be inlaid into it.

Except, the effect was rarely invisible. Apart from the blue (or yellow) halo, often the blue or yellow background would cast a blue or yellow hue on any objects or clothing in the vicinity. Which is why the Cyberman above has blue shoulders; he’s reflecting the blue from the actual screen, rather than the image overlaid onto it.

(As a side note, Doctor Who often opted for yellow screen rather blue screen work because the TARDIS was blue, and so if it were in a CSO shot where blue was the colour that would be matted out, it would have vanished even when it wasn’t supposed to!)

Anyway, that history lesson over, I can tell you I’m still pissed off that TalkTalk hasn’t fixed my internet, Im still using my iPhone to tether my laptop to the internet, which is still glacially slow. To be honest, I can’t recall if I’ve used this Cyberman image before (I don’t think so) but it would currently take an age to search through previous SOSF blogs to find out, so I’m hoping I haven’t.

So the moral of today’s episode is, don’t sign a contract with TalkTalk.

See you tomorrow!

Donate buttonUsual Begging Sign-Off

• Current total: £1,300 

• Remember this is all for charity, so any pennies or pounds you can spare PLEASE DONATE BY CLICKING HERE.

• Follow me on Twitter to make sure you see what trainers I’m wearing each day.

• If you have any trainers you could donate (either on loan or old pairs you’re getting rid of) which are size 9 (ish – I can do anything  from 8 to 10) contact me at davegolderSFX@gmail.com so I can arrange collection.

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Day 329: Amazing Technicolor Dream Soles

Some trainers seem to want to keep their best sides hidden…

November 25 main

Today’s Lakai Manchester x Trunk Boyz skate trainers have some crazy soles. The T-800’s eyes have gone all crazy looking at them. I think they may actually be a cosmic gateway to somewhere or other. Droitwich, maybe?

I’m still without phone or internet, which is a bit of a problem when you’re a freelancer working from home. Not that TalkTalk seem to care. I originally reported the fault on Saturday morning when the guy on the helpline checked the problem, said, yes, it was a fault on the line and somebody would fix it on Monday.

By 4.30 last night, still no phone or internet, so I ring them back. “Oh yes, our notes say we ran another check which showed the fault was probably with your equipment. So we cancelled the call-out.”

What? WHAT? Hang on! So they just changed their minds and didn’t bother letting me know?! How is that good customer service?

I was convinced that the fault was not with my equipment. And not just because I’m a man and we never believe it’s our equipment at fault. Nope, I’ve been through all this before, and the fault was exactly the same as last time, when it was a problem with the line.

So they tested the line again, and hey presto, yeah – fault on the line. Quelle surprise.

“So,” I ask, “any chance you can guarantee it’ll be fixed tomorrow? After all, I did report this fault two days ago and TalkTalk just unilaterally decided – by your own admission – to ignore it.”

“No, we can’t do that. We’ll try to make sure it’s within 48 hours.”

“But you’re at fault.”

“Yes. We’ll try to make sure it’s within 48 hours.”

“So you admit you’re at fault but you won’t do anything about it.”

“That’s not how the system works.”

Arrggghhhh! Right, that’s it. As soon as I get the internet back I’m emailing a very long complaint to Ofcom. This is some new level of customer lack of care that beggars belief. “Yes, sorry, we’re at fault but we can’t be arsed to actually help you out.”

So if you’re thinking of swapping to TalkTalk, don’t bother. I only ended up with them when they bought out the company I was with (and I never had any problems with them). I wish I’d swapped services ages ago now. Any recommendations?

See you tomorrow!

Donate buttonUsual Begging Sign-Off

• Current total: £1,300 

• Remember this is all for charity, so any pennies or pounds you can spare PLEASE DONATE BY CLICKING HERE.

• Follow me on Twitter to make sure you see what trainers I’m wearing each day.

• If you have any trainers you could donate (either on loan or old pairs you’re getting rid of) which are size 9 (ish – I can do anything  from 8 to 10) contact me at davegolderSFX@gmail.com so I can arrange collection.

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Day 328: Max Of God

So what were you expecting? A stone giant?

November 24 main

Still no internet… still using pics I have hanging around on my hard drive, which is why this is the third (or maybe fourth?) Dark World pic I’ve done this year. Actually, I reckon today’s image looks pleasingly Ray Harryhausen-esque.

The man with the pliers is calling some time toady between the Big Bang and the heat death of the universe (they couldn’t narrow it down further) to fix my internet. Hopefully.

In other words, a dull day for me. Because these guys never turn up at five past the Big Bang.  It usually seconds before heat death. So I’ll be stuck in the house, reviewing stuff for SFX, wishing I’d bought more milk and half scared to go to the loo, because that’s exactly when he’ll knock on the door.

See you tomorrow!

Donate buttonUsual Begging Sign-Off

• Current total: £1,300 

• Remember this is all for charity, so any pennies or pounds you can spare PLEASE DONATE BY CLICKING HERE.

• Follow me on Twitter to make sure you see what trainers I’m wearing each day.

• If you have any trainers you could donate (either on loan or old pairs you’re getting rid of) which are size 9 (ish – I can do anything  from 8 to 10) contact me at davegolderSFX@gmail.com so I can arrange collection.

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