The Sound and Music of Angry Birds

The SoundWorks Collection sits down with currently the most listened to composer and sound designer in the world, Ari Pulkkinen the creator of the catchy Angry Birds theme.

Finland based composer and sound designer Ari Pulkkinen seems to be one of the most listened to composers in the world right now with over 250 million people who have heard his original Angry Birds theme. Pulkkine’s catchy theme was also recently performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra which was part of a music festival in the city.

Angry Birds has been praised for its successful combination of addictive gameplay, comical style, and low price. Its popularity led to versions of Angry Birds being created for personal computers and gaming consoles, a market for merchandise featuring its characters and even long-term plans for a feature film or television series. With a combined 350 million downloads across all platforms and including both regular and special editions, the game has been called “one of the most mainstream games out right now”, “one of the great runaway hits of 2010″, and “the largest mobile app success the world has seen so far”.

Ari has also worked on other very popular games such as Trine (PS3/PC), Dead Nation (PS3), and Outland (PS3/360). The games have received rave reviews and praise for their soundtracks and sound design.

Movie Supercut of The U.S. State Capitals

This supercut created by Don Draper features all 50 U.S. State Capital Cities as mentioned in movie scenes. If I only had this in High School.

Intro – Romy & Michelle’s High School Reunion (1997)
AL – 25th Hour (2002) / Forrest Gump (1994)
AK – Juno (2007) / Simpsons Movie (2007)
AZ – Arsenic & Old Lace (1944)
AR – Pelican Brief (1993) / Sling Blade (1996)
CA – Pale Rider (1985) / Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
CO – They Live (1988)
CT – Full Metal Jacket (1987)
DE – Charlie Wilson’s War (2007)
FL – Zombieland (2009) / Creepshow (1982)
GA – Catch Me If You Can (2002)
HI – Last Dance (1996)
ID – S. Darko (2009)
IL – Call Northside 777 (1948)
IN – The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
IA – The Man Who Knew Too Little (1997)
KS – Black Dynamite (2009)
KY – Major Payne (1995) / Jackie Brown (1997)
LA – The Manchurian Candidate (2004)
ME – Wet Hot American Summer (2001) / Dreamcatcher (2003)
MD – Heartbreak Ridge (1986) / Cry-Baby (1990)
MA – Far & Away (1992)
MI – Tape (2001)
MN – Miracle (2004)
MS – Milk (2008)
MO – Planes Trains & Automobiles (1987) / Bonnie & Clyde (1967)
MT – A River Runs Through It (1992) / Montana (1950)
NE – Terms of Endearment (1983)
NV – The 39 Steps (1935)
NH – Affliction (1997) / Wedding Crashers (2005)
NJ – Broken Arrow (1996)
NM – Santa Fe (1951)
NY – The Honeymoon Killers (1970)
NC – Smoke (1995) / Maximum Overdrive (1986)
ND – Sink the Bismarck (1960) / Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
OH – Point Break (1991)
OK – An Officer & a Gentleman (1982)
OR – Hocus Pocus (1993) / Short Circuit (1986)
PA – Deep Impact (1998)
RI – Barcelona (1994)
SC – Old School (2003) / Prince of Tides (1991)
SD – Annie Hall (1977) / North By Northwest (1959)
TN – The Notorious Bettie Page (2005)
TX – Smokey & the Bandit Part 3 (1983)
UT – Anywhere But Here (1999)
VT – Frozen Kiss (2009) / Clerks (1994)
VA – Shawshank Redemption (1994)
WA – My Fellow Americans (1996) / Broadcast News (1987)
WV – Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005) / Silence of the Lambs (1991)
WI – Mr. North (1988)
WY – Unforgiven (1992) / Roxanne (1987)

Camera Repairs and Hard Liquor – The Wrap

John Hess discusses what it’s going to take to get his Sony EX1 camera repaired while savoring Austin Nichol’s Wild Turkey Fine Kentucky Bourbon.

We also recap the week of September 18-24, 2011


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My poor EX1

Netflix spins off DVD division under new brand: Qwickster
CEO Reed Hastings has had a public change of heart. Coming on the heels of a rather controversial price increase, Netflix is spinning off the DVD-by-mail division into a separate entity called “Qwikster” and adding video game options.

Having a DSLR Does Not Make You a Professional Photographer!
We live in a time where technology is making extraordinary things possible. But until they invent a creatively gifted robot, the technology is still subject to the human hand. And as of yet, no piece of gear, no matter how sophisticated or how many Vimeo beauty test shoots its responsible for, will ever deliver anything but crap when put in the hands of a numbskull. And now there’s You Are Not a Photographer, a site showcasing the best of the worst all in one place.

The video that made John loose his concentration:

The CIA Has Some Script Notes For You
If you are like me you can’t figure out how Michael Bay comes up with such thought provoking, emotionally powerful scripts time and time again. Now thanks to Mark Riffee with Wired we know his secret… the CIA is his writing partner.

“The Dark Knight” Famous Chase Sequence Shot-by-Shot Analysis
Jim Emerson takes a (very) detailed look at the first part of a famous TDK car/truck chase sequence, analyzing how it is put together and whether the filmmaking grammar makes sense.

Analyzing Action – A Rebuttal to Jim Emerson’s “Dark Knight” Analysis
Jim Emerson’s shot by shot breakdown of Nolan’s action sequence in “The Dark Knight” has sparked serious debate both here and all over the internets. So much so that Joseph Kahn has taken the time to break down each of Emerson’s criticisms and examines them on his blog.

The Conscience of Television
TV executive Lauren Zalaznick thinks deeply about pop television. Sharing results of a bold study that tracks attitudes against TV ratings over five decades, she makes a case that television reflects who we truly are — in ways we might not have expected in this Ted Talk.

William Shatner on Star Trek vs Star Wars
William Shatner weighs in on the decades long debate of what was better: Star Trek versus Star Wars?

Puppets Explain How TV Ratings Work
ESPN working with creative agency JESS3 created this animated short that explains the TV ratings process reminiscent of “Schoolhouse Rock,” meets “Sesame Street.”

Understanding HDSLR Crop Factor
Jim Emerson’s shot by shot breakdown of Nolan’s action sequence in “The Dark Knight” has sparked serious debate both here and all over the internets. So much so that Joseph Kahn has taken the time to break down each of Emerson’s criticisms and examines them on his blog.

Pet Photographer Rescues Dogs through Fine Art Photos
Not satisfied with the photos that shelters take, Photographer Teresa Berg took it on herself to use her talents to give unwanted animals back their dignity and help them find homes.

Jim Henson Shows You How To Make Puppets
Jim Henson and Muppeteers show kids how to make puppets from simple things like socks. This video aired on Public Television in 1969, prior to Sesame Street, on Iowa Public Television’s “Volume See” kids’ show.

Preparing PowerPoint Slides for Video and Do it REALLY FAST!
Filmmaker IQ’s John Hess demonstrates how to prepare Power Point slides for video using Adobe Photoshop’s Image Processor feature to batch convert 75 slides.

Great Lighting for Dark Backgrounds
Studio lighting needn’t be difficult and lighting a black or dark colored background is a great place to start. This video PhotoGavin shows you a few of his favorite Head & shoulder lighting set ups that use just one light.

Rod Serling on Writing for Television
In this video “Writing for Television” Conversations with Rod Serling, the master storyteller shows us why he is considered by many the best TV writer of all time. “Coming up with ideas is the easiest thing on earth. Putting them down is the hardest.” Isn’t that the truth.

Rod Serling on Writing for Television

In this video “Writing for Television” Conversations with Rod Serling, the master storyteller shows us why he is considered by many the best TV writer of all time. “Coming up with ideas is the easiest thing on earth. Putting them down is the hardest.” Isn’t that the truth.

Whatever the psychological disturbances that stem from the overindulgences of the overnight success, there are obviously a lot of kicks to becoming known, financially independent and in demand. Here is a smattering of day-to-day accouterments to being a reasonably well-known writer.

1) 1 receive on the average of five to ten letters a week with offers of collaboration (“a guy who writes as much as you must certainly need some fresh ideas from the outside”). I invariably try to answer every letter, probably from a sense of compulsion and a good memory. I wrote a lot of correspondence myself with collaborative ideas before I was eating gravy.

2) 1 drive a 1957 white Lincoln convertible, so long, so garish, so obvious, that my wife blushes when she looks at it in the driveway. It’s the first big luxury car I’ve ever owned, and it’s one of the few overt gestures of ostentatiousness on my part.

3) 1 fell almost immediately into the speech pattern of the theater with its propensity for terms of endearment (“sweetie,” “baby,” “darling,” “dear”) . I hate to hear other people use these terms, but I’m aware of using them constantly. Why?

4) I’m considered to be a cooperative writer—even now. I don’t get my back up at requests for rewrites. I rarely, if ever, give producers or directors trouble. But now, as I never did in the early days, I’ll at least speak my mind about what I consider to be a wrong approach or an incorrect interpretation. In the pre-Patterns days, I would unquestioningly do any rewrite, change or delete any conception without a single question asked.

5) I have never ceased liking publicity. This isn’t ego for its own sake, because I don’t drop names and I don’t purposely seek it. But I still get a kick when I see my name in the paper, and I probably always will.

6) Bad reviews jar me down to the instep. I will never become philosophically resigned to a negative reaction to something I’ve written. The difference now is that I’m more prone to want to share the blame for a bad show. I try to analyze where the writing was at fault, as opposed to where the production let it down. In the old days, I invariably made the assumption that it was always uniquely my fault.

7 ) I have a hell of a schedule and I’m never without a writing project of some sort. If it isn’t a screenplay it’s a television play.

8 ) I discovered along the way that movies and television are separate entities, and each makes different demands on writing. You write “big” for the movies. You let your camera tell considerably more story than you do in television. You write with a much more pronounced sense of physical action than you’re permitted in the electronic medium. Television also demands a visual sense, but very often the progression of a story must be indicated by dialogue. In the movies, it can often be externalized just by what is seen and not necessarily by what is heard.

9 ) I like Hollywood and motion pictures, though I felt intimidated when I went out there to do my first picture. I was at Metro at the time and was given an office 40 feet long and a secretary, both new to me. Sitting at my desk the first day, I was approached by a secretary from the hall who had seen my coffee pot on the desk ( I drink coffee from morning till night) and who asked me if she might borrow some sugar for a Kaffeeklatsch being held by some writers down the hall. I gave her the sugar with a little penciled note saying, “This sugar comes to you courtesy New York television.” The next day the sugar came back, each cube marked with a skull and crossbones, with the legend, “TV writer—go home.” This went a long way toward breaking the ice. The next morning I was invited to the klatsch and I began to make some good and lasting friends from that moment on. I’m beginning to feel that the Hollywood I felt so intimidated about is a Hollywood that in many ways doesn’t exist any more—if it ever did. There once may have existed the Odets version of a phony, falsely glittering world full of sick people satiated with money, sex, and applause, a flimsy, unreal world that would disappear if someone were to yell “cut!” But the Hollywood of today, at least the one I found, had no more than its share of phonies or neuroses. It was no better and no worse than the New York television world or, for that matter, any area in the theater. I met a lot of adults in Hollywood—producers, directors, writers, and some agents whom I was proud to know. They were sober, intelligent, as-normal-as-I human beings. As in any social sphere or profession, you pick your own friends and your own social milieu. You don’t walk on the wild side unless you choose to.

10) In looking back over the relatively short span of my career, I sometimes make mental notes of the people I’m indebted to. They are legion. But a few of them bear special mention. There was my first agent, Blanche Gaines, who took me on when no one else would have me, who browbeat me, mothered me, argued with me, and did some considerable swinging for me, and to whom I owe a great deal. There was Dick McDonagh, already mentioned, who gave what is so much at a premium in this business—time and trouble. There were directors like Ralph Nelson, Johnny Frankenheimer, Dick Goode and Dan Petrie, who respected me long before a writer got much respect from most quarters. There were producers like Felix Jackson, Martin Manulis, Mort Abrahams, who judge a man several feet way from the bandwagon. And there were the editors like Florence Britton of Studio One and Ed Rice of Kraft, who professionally and personally gave me many a boost up the ladder. In the final analysis, it is relatively simple to buy properties from a well-known writer. I think it takes a helluva lot more insight and a much more knowledgeable feeling for the profession to buy scripts from unknown authors—which all of these people did, and continue to do.

11) I don’t know where I’m going and I’m not sure where I am. My erstwhile success stems from a comparatively small number of plays—far too few, really, to lay any legitimate claim to permanence in the literary scene. I think it’s really a moot question as to how I’ve got this far with the present track record that I lay claim to. I think that I’m a good writer but an undeveloped one. And I rather think that this applies to most young television writers. They have benefited enormously from the public attention that has come to them in far greater degree than that received by most writers in pre-television days. All of us have an obligation to our craft and to the audience to justify this attention. We must aim higher, write better, dig deeper. There are some basic values that apply to all writing, be it television, movies, the novel or anything else. A writer has to write as best he knows how. And ultimately, if this effort shows talent, he will be recognized.

Patterns by Rod Serling | Read More

Film Look: Technicolor CineStyle v.s. Marvels Cine

In this video The DSLR Film Noob compares Marvels’ Cine Picture and Canon & Technicolor’s CineStyle color correction using DSLR footage.

You can download the latest version of Marvels Cine picture style here.

And the Canon Technicolor CineStyle here.

One of the most popular methods for color correction with DSLR footage is to shoot with a flat picture style. This usually gives you more latitude when trying to grade footage in post.

One of the most popular Flat pictures styles, and one that I often recommend is Marvels Cine Picture style currently on version 3.4. Canon in conjunction with Technicolor have finally released there own Flat picture style. Both are designed to make color correction in post easier when working with DSLR footage.

I’ve been using the Marvels Cine picture style for quit some time and it was interesting to test it against Canon’s picture style. After color correcting some test shots, it seems like Both Marvel’s 3.4 and Canon’s Cinestyle picture styles are very similar. It did feel like I was able to get a little more color adjustment out of Canon’s CineStyle picture style then Marvel’s 3.4, but the difference was minimal.

The test footage was shot on My Canon 7D using the Canon 35mm f1. 4 at 1/60 ISO 200 and f1.4. Simple color correction was done in Colorista.

I don’t think you’ll go wrong with either of these if you plan to grade your footage in post.

Equipment used in this video:
Canon 7d & t2i
Canon 35mm f1.4
Tascam DR-05
Sennheiser G2 wireless mic

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