Archive for the ‘Jay's Wafflings’ Category

Happy 18th FTF

So, 18 years ago today, the first movie from one of my all time favourite TV shows was released: “The X-Files: Fight the Future”.  It didn’t reach here in the UK until August 21st, but for the purpose of this post let’s overlook that shin-kick to the Brit fans.

 

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I remember the anticipation, wondering how they intended to draw together five years of intriguing storylines and provide the fan base with the answers they were promising.  Merchandise hit the shelves over here before the film was released: behind the scenes book, music and score soundtracks, figures, promotional items to whet your appetite for the impending release… one of which came in the form of an “Enhanced Music CD” in the Sunday Times.  I saw it advertised on TV, so of course I had to get up early and rush to the newspaper shop to buy it.

 

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The disc came with an array of delights, a screensaver which cycled through all three trailers for the film, some tracks from the soundtrack, an offline version of the entire movie website, and a few quirky extras.

 



 

How 90s does the website look!  It’s actually the “desktop application” that caught my interest, and after exploring a few areas of the disc, I proceeded to click on it, and was met with the following screen:

 

 

Keep in mind, this was early 1998, most computers were still running Windows 95.  However, the “Windows 95 only” comment given by the disc is clearly not true, as I have run all this through Windows 7 for the purpose of this post.

I then got greeted by this…

 

Uh-oh.  I was late for school, I didn’t have time for this.  I just wanted to know what it did.

Then…

 

 

Noooooo!

It couldn’t be!?

This was an extremely stressful Monday morning.  I was late for school, wanted to just have a quick look at the proper contents of this disc, and in return it appeared to have completely erased my computer’s hard drive.

Then…

 


   
It had all been a joke.  A trick, played by the marketing team of the movie.   Clever, but annoying.  I wondered what it meant by “inner forces are still dormant within your computer.”  It then became apparent…

 




Maybe they thought the slowly fading appearance of Scully would calm the nerves of all those they had just upset by fake-deleting their hard drives.

It didn’t.  But the sense of relief that it had been a trick was overwhelming.

Thank Christ I didn’t have to re-do all the homework I watched it delete!

18 years ago this scared the hell out of me.  It now scares the hell out of me that this happened 18 years ago.

Happy 18th, FTF, you can now legally drink here in the UK.

THAT Walking Dead Finale Cliffhanger

So, if you’re up to speed with The Walking Dead, then you’ll by now know who Lucille is.

If you’re not up to date, and have not yet watched the Season 6 finale, I suggest you stop reading now.

I don’t normally post on stuff like this, but it’s something that I’ve put quite a bit of thought into and wanted to share, so here goes…

The Season 6 finale of The Walking Dead introduced us to a long-awaited character from the comic books, Negan.  Our heroes have bumped into many of his men (and women) since the mid-season finale, and have pretty much been able to handle themselves during each violent encounter.  But it was the encounter during the finale which revealed the scope and grandeur of Negan’s operation, and one of our beloved heroes have met an unnatural end, as Negan brings them up close and personal with Lucille.

However, in true serialised fashion, the creators of The Walking Dead have left the audience with a massive cliffhanger, where we will not find out which character met their end until the opening of Season 7 in October.  Cruel right?  But also brilliant.  There have been numerous people complaining about leaving us hanging, and not revealing who died, it would appear a lot of people have forgotten what a cliffhanger is.  Are TV shows not allowed to do cliffhangers anymore?  It ensures to keep our interest, and keep people talking about it, until the big reveal in October.  If they had shown us who died, there would not be as much anticipation for Season 7.  So I think this was handled perfectly.

That being said, it’s generated a big debate as to WHO has met their untimely end.  Will they follow the story of the comic and kill Glen off?  Would they be that obvious?  Or are they going to kill off someone else as a surprise?  People are scrambling to look at the clues, as creators have said there are hints in the finale that may help determine who they may have written out.

So, for the purpose of this post, I’m going to slot my visual forensic investigator hat on, and let’s look at the video evidence to see if we can work it out.  I used to forensically enhance and analyse video evidence on a daily basis, so let’s see if I’ve still got it :-)

Let’s look at our line-up…

01 - Lineup

From left to right, we have Glen, Rosita, Daryl, Michonne, Abraham, Maggie, Rick, Sasha, Aaron, Carl, and Eugine.  There’s a varying amount of debris on the floor in front of each character, and we’ll look at some of that shortly.

Let’s look at the point of view of our victim…

02 - Victim

Note the thin pale tree to the left of Negan.

Now let’s look at an over the shoulder shot from Rick.

03 - Rick OTS

Note the location of that same thin pale tree…

04 - Rick OTS - Annotated

The thin pale tree is to the right hand side of Rick.  However, it seems to be on the left hand side of our victim…

05 - Victim - Annotated

This would suggest that the victim is one of the characters to the right hand side of Rick, which gives us either Maggie, Abraham, Michonne, Daryl, Rosita, or Glen.  Considering Glen is the one who meets his maker at this point in the comic story, it’s not really looking too good for him.  But let’s look at some more evidence.

When Negan brings Lucille down onto the head of our victim, our victim’s head understandably is knocked downwards, and here is their view…

06 - Victim After Impact

Remember earlier, I discussed the varying amount of debris on the floor in front of each character in the line up?  What can be seen here is a darker patch of floor, and two stones rather close together.

06 - Victim After Impact - Annotated

These shapes/objects seem consistent with what is on the floor in front of… Rosita…

07 - Lineup - Annotated

08 - Lineup - Annotated Enlarged

If we rotate the image around, this is exactly the viewpoint she would have, and it appears to match…

09a - Rosita

09 - Rosita

So, signs would appear to point to Rosita as being the lucky candidate who gets up close and personal with the barbed wire bat.  However, would her death be a massive impact on the audience?  Would we care as much as we would if it had been Glen or Daryl who are sat either side of her?  Glen and Daryl are both Season 1 veterans, we’ve grown to care about these two characters.  Apart from losing some eye-candy for the guys, would we be massively upset if the opening moments of Season 7 introduced us to what Rosita’s brains look like?  I don’t think so.

So we have to also consider… Daryl.

10 - Daryl

Daryl must have, arguably, the largest fan base of all the characters.  We met him as Scrappy Doo in Season 1, and he has since built a strong fan base after he started to prove himself.  However, some of his stories have been weak of late, and he hasn’t really had a large part to play in this season at all.  As he was exclusively created for the TV show, and was never a comic book character, have the writers grown tired of him?  Do they really want to upset that many females?  Time will tell.

Finally, let’s look at Glen.

11 - Glen

Bless him, on his knees, crying his eyes out.  He’s probably read the comic.

As he is the character who is chosen to die in the comic book version of this scene, you have to wonder if the writers would be so obvious, or if they want to stay loyal to the comic at this point.  The entire scene and dialogue are almost a carbon copy of what can be read in the comic.  So, have they ended the scene in the same way too?  It should be noted that Glen’s position in the line up places him a bit far away from the objects that can be seen on the ground in the POV of the victim after Lucille’s impact.  However, the line up picture was taken before Glen’s outburst, where he had to be dragged back into the line.  So, his position may have changed slightly, and he could very well be a candidate.

So, my visual analysis is rather confident that it is one of those three characters, in this order… Rosita, Glen, or Daryl.  This is based on the assumption that the objects on the floor in the POV of the victim were placed strategically by the producers to aid deduction, and that they were not placed strategically as a red herring, or placed randomly with no thought to continuity.

Time will tell.  Roll on October.

Thoughts and comments welcome…

12 - Dead

 

 

Equality, Diversity, and Old Fashioned Ignorance

So every now and then, a conversation occurs to remind you that there are still close-minded people in the world, often with rather out-of-date views, who are closer to home than you realise.

These are scared people, often frightened by propaganda, and fueled by hatred, towards that which still remains more of a problem than I ever realised… racism.

I have no time for racists. Let me get that out of the way right now.

There are many reasons why people choose to adopt racist views. It could be due to a bad personal experience, it could be due to upbringing, it could be due to being carried away on the bandwagon by neighbours, friends, or one too many BNP leaflets being dropped through their door. Either way, to assume that one complete race of people are all the same is naïve, arrogant, and downright bigoted. These are the kind of people who believe if one group of people within a particular race commit a vile act, then the entire race must be equally guilty. By that rationale, these people must think that members of this race must have no thoughts or personality of their own, and no free will.

In the year of 2016, I would have thought that this way of thinking was something that would have much improved compared to previous years. With equality & diversity being currently promoted across the education system, with the recent legalisation of Gay marriage (and more acceptance, and less stigma, being attached to homosexuality), the world appeared to be embracing individuality and accepting people for who they are.

So when I run into people with viewpoints such as “they’re all the same” it makes me take a step back… realising that the world has not yet taken as much of a step forward as I had originally thought.

This week, I posted a rather straightforward and lighthearted comment regarding Easter on social media:

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Harmless fun… a mini social media moan to grab some reactions… but I never expected what followed…

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Interesting response.  I delved further, and ultimately regretted it…

03

Oh I shouldn’t have asked…

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Obviously this woman had started to get other people’s back up too.  A few people began to join in with their own views.  It appeared Wendy was in the minority here, and her ignorance and closed mind prompted a rant…

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Dan makes a fair point, and Andrea & Heather sum things up quite nicely…

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Shortly afterwards, I happened across an appropriate video and decided to post it at the end of the conversation thread.  This ties things up nicely, and is food-for-thought for those who still struggle with equality…

 

New Video Production Page

Yet another massive space of time between my last post and this one, but being a university student tends to steal a lot of time away from you! Students get a lot of bad press, as everyone seems to think we spend all our time sleeping, drinking, or sitting around on our backside playing video games. While some of that is true, it’s also bloody hard work. Having to cram an essay, three reports, two documentaries, two programme proposals, two programme pitches and prepare for a final end of year project all into the space of a couple of weeks is all rather stressful… especially when you’re juggling it with real life.

However, as I approach the end of my second year, I’ve been finding a bit of time to update my site with a couple of new pages (and fixing some broken links!) and the main one I’ve been working on is the new Video Production page. The page consists of some of the more sensible productions I’ve created, as opposed to the daft stuff like the Snowbloke and Snowmutt one and the Spider’s Fate. The aim is to try and get back into creative video production, after spending several years in the legal sector editing and enhancing footage for courtroom use.

I’m a big fan of the editing process, and there is nothing more satisfying than seeing a production reach completion after spending so much time with it, so with that in mind I have created this new page in an attempt to get some more production and editing work.

So, fingers crossed, have a mooch and feel free to let me know what you think… but only if you like it ;-)

Cheers, and I hope you had a great Easter… and Christmas… and all those other events that happened between now and my previous post. You probably even had a birthday too… so Happy Birthday.

Jay.

Photography

I’ve enjoyed the art of photography for a number of years, and it’s something I’ve dipped in and out of on various occasions. As technology has developed, it has also become more accessible. Gone are the days of restricting yourself to taking 24 snapshots before having to wind the spool back to the beginning, pocket the film roll, replace it, and start snapping again. It’s all memory cards these days, able to hold thousands of images inside a teeny tiny microchip. Less to carry, and easier to store forever.  Sadly, this results in quantity over quality, and means you’re more likely to end up with hundreds of photographs that you are never going to look at again, and all the decent ones are lost amongst the snap-happy ones.  My dad always used to tell me to only take a picture if you think it is of something interesting enough to look at again and again.  This was in the days when you’d hand in your film rolls in at Boots, wait three days, only to pay money for 5 decent holiday pics and 19 blurry and badly framed pictures of feet.  Those rules have now gone out of the window.

Further advancements in technology and lifestyle allow us to also share our favourite snaps with the whole world via the Internet. One popular way is of course on Facebook, where you can quite often glance down your news feed and find pictures of your old school mate’s new puppy, and the contents of their toddler’s first potty session. However, another way is the fantastic Flickr, owned by Yahoo. Flickr allows amateur and professional photographers alike to upload their photos for free, organised into galleries and albums, and which can be individually tagged with relevant keywords (For example, a picture of a dead cat could be tagged with the words “dead” and, erm, “cat”).

Flickr has many uses. Some people use it to show off their holiday pics, gap year backpacking trips, artist prints, eBay items, and so on. You can also set a licensing category for individual pictures too, using full copyright, or allowing various levels of Creative Commons licensing. This allows you to choose how you want your pictures to be used, and whether or not you require a fee for their use. Those wanting to get their pictures noticed, before charging, can choose a setting which allows the free use of some of your photographs, but which states that you must be credited as the owner of the work wherever it is published. This is great for people starting out, wanting to get noticed as a published photographer, but haven’t been doing it for very long.

Take a look at Flickr.com, and also feel free to check out my Flickr page at Flickr.com/jaymccreary

On the subject of technological advancements, you now no longer need a dedicated camera, unless you are a dedicated enthusiast.  My iPhone is my camera, and there are an abundance of apps out there to play around with your photos and make them look awesome.  One to check out is Instagram, which works as a social network, plugs into your current social networks (ie Facebook and Twitter) and allows you to add filters and effects for greater enhancement of your snaps.  It’s a brilliant tool and worth checking out.  More details can be found here: http://instagr.am/

Here’s one I made earlier…

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