Dec 17, 2012

Christmas Films

Why is Christmas such a great backdrop for cinema? Certainly it appears that there are more films made about or set around this month of the year than any other. I suppose a lot of it is down to marketing. It's more than likely easier to fill theaters during the winter months than during a hot summer. Also you can replicate this popularity the following December by releasing the film on a conveniently scheduled DVD. Of course, I'm being quite cynical about those sorts of films. In actual fact I'm quite a fan of Christmas films. There are plenty out there which are brilliant. In fact one of my favorite films (I'd say top 3 ever if I was making a best films ever list) constitutes a post later on this list. That being said it can't be denied that there are some films which are just cynical cash-ins; yes I'm looking at you Jingle All The Way! The reason for so many of these is the fact that it's quite simple to think of a concept for a Christmas film in no time at all. In fact now I think about it's a little too easy. So easy that I can list a few simple formulas for box-office dynamite!

F is for Films

It's Christmas Eve and somebody needs to beat the bad guys to get the presents to the orphanage!
One grumpy man who hates Christmas must learn to love the season and see the error of his ways (in many of these films the term "Scrooge" will be prominent without the credit "Charles Dickens")
Some cartoon animals must learn an important lesson about friendship whilst avoiding the evil mad scientist.
A lonely man bored of being the only single person he knows and an equally lonely woman fed up with her marriage must learn to love again with the help of festive spirit! (and for some reason more often than not New York City?!?)

Aug 23, 2012

Props to Use When You Rent a Photobooth

Of all the weddings, birthday parties and celebrations I’ve attended the last year, they’ve all been unique and enjoyable in their own ways. The Cinderella style decorations and scenic view at my brother’s wedding in April were stunning, and set the standards high for all other weddings I attend in the future. My uncle’s 50th birthday celebration in July, filled with gag gifts and silly banter, had me laughing so hard I literally couldn’t breathe, and a close friend’s moving away party earlier this month was catered with divine cupcakes that made the night even more bittersweet. However, of all the events I’ve been to recently, my roommate’s surprise birthday party will go down in my books as one of the most creative, fun nights of the year. Why so great? One word— photobooth.

If you’ve ever used a Mac computer, you’ve probably lost at least an hour or two with friends playing around on the Photobooth App. There is something seriously addicting about taking photos with all the different filters, distortions and background options. My roommate, Lillian, is no stranger to the Photobooth App, and is well known among friends as the “model” of our group. The girl loves cameras, and cameras seem to love her– so it was only fitting to rent a photobooth for Lillian’s surprise party.

Needless to say, the photobooth was a hit. Photobooths by themselves are a blast when you’re with the right people, but what made the photobooth at Lillian’s party even more memorable was the props the host bought. Similar to the different options on the Photobooth App, props can make photobooths endlessly entertaining. I never thought I’d have the pleasure of seeing my friend’s Grandma pretend to play an inflatable guitar, or see my boyfriend sporting a feather boa with a bonnet. For whatever reason, having props made all the guests more comfortable in front of the camera and helped coax out their silly sides. If you’re thinking of renting a photobooth for your next special occasion, I highly recommend investing in some props. Not only will you see sides of loved ones you never knew, you’ll have physical evidence to remember it all. Below are some of the wacky props we used at Lillian’s that won’t break the bank.

  • Inflatable guitars
  • A variety of blow-up creature pool floats (Dolphin, shark, dragon, etc.)
  • Feather boas
  • Moustaches
  • Tropical leis
  • Capes
  • Nerd glasses
  • Fake noses
  • Eye patches
  • Empty antique picture frames
  • Hats (Beret, straw, sailor, trapper, bonnet, etc.)
  • Helmets (Viking, football, bike)
  • Shutter shades
  • Flower bouquets
  • Wigs
  • White boards (Chalk boards or cardboard with markers would work too)
  • Oversize buttons
  • Pennants
  • Gloves
  • Clothing from thrift stores (The stranger, the better)
  • Balloons
  • Bubbles

Many of these items can be found at dollar stores, party stores, thrift stores, secondhand shops and online at marketplaces like Amazon. Keep in mind the weirder the props are, the funnier the photos will be. You could even let party guests keep some of the props as favors if you don’t want to hang on them after the event. They’ll serve as fun reminders of the evening, and can likely be used again for different costume or themed parties in the future.

May 11, 2012

Update on the way for Zeta

The first update for Zeta 1.5 is on the way, with a 50+ list of small fixes and tweaks. On the list are:

ATI Radeon X
- Added Radeon X support
- Fixed issues with MultiUser
- Fixed the broken Icons in the ToolBar
- Updated to v2.0.0.3 that fixes a security wholes and a bad bug for ssl webpages freezing ZETA
- Fixed login problems with MSN
- Added new AboutWindow
- Added a new feature for moving the sourcefolder
- Added “Start debugger”. Now you can start BDB with your application
- Users cannot use MakeMe: Fixed
- Now you get a dialouge when loading big projects
- Fixed the New Project view to allow making of sub-directories.
- Made creation of new empty projects with a different name than just ‘Project1′.
- MakeMe now is using the MultipleLaunch function
- Fixed problems with file names for AudioCDs
- Fixed problems when erasing discs
- Fixed the space issues of file names
- Users cannot use MediaFire: Fixed
- Fixed crashs in the avi.extractor
- Fixed problems with passwords
- Fixed probelms with writing to /var/tmp
- Fixed problems for getting Deskbar addons working

Most of the fixes are for MediaFire and MakeMe, view the full list here 

This post originally appeared here