The Hobbit’s box office receipts are recorded at $960,001,896 as of today, but this time next week, it’s likely to officially join the small number of other films which have reached a billion dollars in revenue. The film’s release in China this weekend is cause for such confidence. What happy timing considering the broadcast of Oscar presentations and the dearth of nominations for The Hobbit — excepting the wonderful Tami Lane and Weta Digital bunch.
I wasn’t always this optimistic it could reach the benchmark this quickly. After reading about the piracy which can ensue when there’s a considerable lag time between a film’s release in other countries and China, it was hard not to think The Hobbit would go the way of Skyfall. But I forgot something, and it wasn’t the love affair the Chinese seem to have with fantasy. They also love 3D. This was so easy to forget since it’s never been very popular in America. In fact it has been talked about for years as being dead. I will admit 48fps might resurrect it some, but people have to be willing to give it a try first. I’m not confident that enough in the U.S. did that with Jackson’s movie. But in China, 3D is the rage and will go a long way toward pulling the Chinese to the cinema.
At Comic-Con last year someone in the film industry told me Peter Jackson was more or less forced by Warner Brothers to make it in that format. I’m not sure I agree that Jackson had to be forced especially when I consider his business savvy. But now that I understand the piracy issue a little more, it makes sense Warners would be adamant about it. It’s a kind of insurance policy against piracy. And when considering the box office receipts of the top grossing movies, e.g., Avatar, it’s abundantly clear the format will survive well beyond The Hobbit. But even if the receipts hadn’t been so bent toward 3D, the fastest growing area of the film market is in China, so it more than the U.S. is dictating what we will be seeing. And all of it makes me wonder if indie films will suffer, but that’s for another post.
If you didn’t click on the Skyfall link, I hope you will at some point. It leads to the China Film Biz blog written by Rob Cain who has been been doing business in the industry in China since 1987. He is a wealth of knowledge.
And now a poster featuring our guy since we can’t get enough of looking at him. :D
[click to enlarge]
The facial features are very finely done and the entire poster seems to have an Asian quality. Whatever that is. Someone more articulate than I am may explain.
Yes, I really said that. LOL!
I was just listening to Dave Andrews’ show on BBC Leicester, and he read Richard Armitage’s email informing Dave that he couldn’t make it on the show. He had wifi but couldn’t make a call.
Richard, Richard, Richard,
It’s called Skype or Google phone or any number of other VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) phone services. ;-)
Man, if you need help with this, I’m your girl. We can get around those pesky federal regulations. ;-) ;-)
One of your crazy fans who loves to give technical support.
Fat chance I’ll ever get to do that, but hey, what the heck? I never thought I would be blogging successfully for almost three years, and here I am.
I need to clear something up! VOIP is not allowed on a plane. That was why I put the wink at the end of the line. I’m sorry if that caused some confusion. I was teasing! Please don’t try to do that with an airline that provides wifi! LOL! Ahem.
The good news is this may be a reality in the future. But it’s not today — at least not in the U.S. However, look what I found. I knew about the CEO being escorted off a plane for using VOIP, but I didn’t know that Virgin Airlines is now allowing these calls. Interesting. I guess Richard Armitage wasn’t flying on Virgin. :D
The Richard III Special broadcast by Channel 4 in the UK will be on Monday, February 4th at 9pm there, which means 4pm EST, 3pm CST, 2pm MST, and 1pm PST.
There are ways for people who are not in the UK to watch. This is mostly done via something called a VPN (Virtual Private Network). You can read more about them here. I’ve been using these for a couple of years for business and especially when I travel. Occasionally I’ve had to actually access local wifi (McDonald’s unfortunately sometimes), but I try to avoid that.
For the uninitiated, this is also how people can easily fake an ip. I wasn’t going to talk about this, but some of you enjoying the details of Statcounter need to know that an IP log is not entirely reliable.
I would put up a picture, but how many times can I post Richard III or a manipulation of Richard Armitage? Okay, never mind I asked that. :D
How about this below? So it’s not Richard III related. Use your imagination. I see Richard Armitage on his way to somewhere great.
Photo courtesy of RichardArmitageNet.com, and it’s the Picture of the Day for February 3rd.
See. Being a make-up artist can be rewarding on lots of levels. :D So far I’ve only covered some of the personal rewards. But for Tami Lane, who received an Oscar nomination for her work on The Hobbit, it has transcended the personal, and it’s not her first time. She was nominated and won an Academy Award in 2006 for her work on The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
But working on The Hobbit was a far different experience for Ms. Lane when considering the unforgiving eye of 48fps:
Since the 3D movie was being filmed in 48 frames per second instead of the normal 24, their work had to be flawless, she said. Each set of dwarf eyebrows, which are not reusable after removal, had to be re-created daily to look exactly the same – for all 266 days of shooting.
“All the old tricks we use for film had to be thrown out the window. Shooting like this makes you a better artist,” Lane wrote by email.
Read the article here
The 48fps aspect of this film just gets more interesting. Could dealing with near ten times the normal frame rate be any more daunting in its rendering of reality? I wonder. 48fps seems pretty tough.
And now a must:
Dear Ms. Lane,
You did a marvelous job. I think it’s safe to speak for other fans to say how much we appreciate the time and care you took to make RA look so spectacularly Thorinesque. [is that a word? if not, it should be. Then again, I suppose it's okay if it's hyphenated -- Thorin-esque. Hmm. I can make anything a word if I hyphenate it. Can't I? :D]
All the best and at the Oscars as well!
One of Richard’s crazy fans who sometimes covets your job for all the Richard-esque moments you got to witness. ;-) Yeah, it’s lame, but I need coffee, and it is my first time to make up somethin’. At least I didn’t say Armitage-esque. I’m outta here!
P.S. Wait. One more thing. I hope you can chuckle at all those shallow girls in high school who didn’t think it would pay to be a geek. Oh, how wrong they were. Look at your life, and the fantastic views you see. Damn! I need to start this letter over, but I don’t have time. Best o’ luck!
After I drink some coffee, I may be back with some other words that you’ve never seen. :D
I listen to music in iTunes and own a few iPods, but I’m careful about how I handle what I buy there or Amazon mp3, etc., and for good reason.
Who inherits your iTunes library?
Why your digital books and music may go to the grave
Many of us will accumulate vast libraries of digital books and music over the course of our lifetimes. But when we die, our collections of words and music may expire with us.
Someone who owned 10,000 hardcover books and the same number of vinyl records could bequeath them to descendants, but legal experts say passing on iTunes and Kindle libraries would be much more complicated.
read the rest here
So much for the music industry being ripped off.
No, I’m not on an Apple rant this week, or maybe I am.
And nope, not even going to discuss my Kindle.
Certainly the decision in the Apple vs. Samsung suit is a win for Apple and its shareholders. But the sort of strong arming Apple has been doing with patents could inhibit innovation and may make the market ripe for Apple almost completely controlling smartphone sales for several years. Last time I checked, when a company is the only game in town or darn near, it’s not good for the consumer’s pocketbook. Sadly, Apple is doing what others, namely IBM and Microsoft, have done. And if you don’t know, those two companies got some all encompassing anti-trust actions slapped on them. Factor in Apple’s anti-trust situation with the ebook market, and they are begging for more of the same. Unfortunately, anti-trust actions can drag on for years and years. IBM’s lasted for 14 years, Microsoft’s lasted for 16 years.
But something happened in the Apple vs. Samsung verdict that may have made all of that irrelevant. The jury handed the Samsung counsel a great appeal. Oh sure, Samsung and Apple were both prepared for appeal before this thing really got rolling, yet I doubt either was expecting something like the jury provided. This screams for appeal. If you don’t want to read the link, just know that the jury reached their verdict too quickly and bungled some things in the process. You can also Google it since this morning there are plenty of articles. Of course no one really knows the outcome of court cases, appeals included, as this case makes so abundantly clear.
Whatever happens, Apple has already lost, and in a way that no court case can win back for them. They have now screwed themselves with a significant portion of the programming community, and the programming community has been a key to their success. Have you ever wondered why Macs seemed impervious to viruses? Have you ever wondered why Apple products just haven’t seemed beleaguered with the software issues that PC based products experienced for years? Very simple answer, and it’s not that Apple has made such a superior product impregnable by hackers. The hacker part of the programming community has more or less left them alone. And why? Because the majority of the programming community didn’t see Apple as a bully and were busy taking down other bullies such as IBM and Microsoft. Guess who’s the bully now?
Have you noticed how viruses have started creeping into Apple products? Well expect more of that. A large number in the programming community are seething at how Apple is flexing their proprietary muscle to crush the little guy, and programmers love the little guy because they still think of themselves as a collection of the little guys. Apple went so far as to claim it was patent infringement for other companies to make a rectangular phone with rounded edges and they won. Not a little guy anymore. And now they will have to keep one step ahead of the little guys who will make it a goal to bring them down.
Of course I could be wrong about all of this. If nothing else, it will be interesting to watch.
Have you heard about the possible Internet outage for a chunk of folks come Monday morning? You haven’t? Well, it seems the FBI busted some hackers for creating rogue DNS servers, and they have been allowing the servers to run so that a large number of people who are affected could clean up their systems. For the uninitiated, DNS servers are the machines that allow you to access the Internet, and your system may be pointing to a rogue server instead of your ISP’s server, which means on Monday when the rogue servers are gone, your access to the Internet could be gone. Hopefully that’s as technical as I’m going to get since I want you awake for the rest of the post.
So you’re thinking, “I don’t want to be without Internet service on Monday. What do I do? What do I do? What DO I do?!” I’m so glad you asked because I’m going to tell you, and maybe this will get a wee bit more technical. But first, relax. The problem doesn’t affect as many people as the news bulletins imply. There now you can read the rest of this without panic.
The group working with the FBI to provide technical assistance has created help pages. Instructions for checking your system are here. Please note the dns-ok.us page is not always reliable. It’s better to check your server addresses manually. Scroll down on the link to find instructions for your particular operating system. And as far as fixing the problem if you have it? The same group has provided some resources. My advice? Use Kaspersky. I’ve used all the other software companies for general coverage and specific fixes, and they’re not nearly as good. I’m being kind here. If I were really going to tell you what I think, I would say, “DON’T ever use Norton or McAfee for anything ’cause they suck, and if you already use them, uh, you’re not that protected. Do you know how many systems I’ve worked on that were messed up by a false sense of security about those softwares?!! And also be leery of MSE (Microsoft Security Essentials) simply because Microsoft shouldn’t have that much power.” But I’m being nice, so I won’t say that. I’ll only say that I’ve tried all of the others and found Kaspersky to be the most consistent in protection. And if you’ve ever had a system infected, you know what a pain in the ass it is, and you usually have to come to someone like me who messes with it and hopefully puts it back to normal for a fee more than the Kaspersky software costs. Note: back up your files before you start any of this. I shouldn’t have to say this, but it’s surprising how many people don’t do it as a matter of routine.
And frankly, I just like Eugene Kaspersky. It’s my infernal gut dictating this. Yes, I admit it. I like the guy, and Euguene, you should keep the long hair!
[click for his Twitter profile]