Friday, December 19, 2003

Once upon a time in my subconscious

by Suw on December 19, 2003

Some dreams I’m glad aren’t real.

Some dreams I think might make a passable reality – like the dream I had last night where I was studying for an architecture degree after screwing up my first one (in reality, I got a 2:1 from UWCC in Geology, but in my dreams I’ve always failed). I didn’t intend to become an architect, but I did want to be knowledgeable about buildings. In truth, I wouldn’t mind doing that sort of thing at all, if only someone would pay me to do it.

But then there are some dreams that, when I wake, I really wish were real. The dream I woke up from at 6am this morning was one of those. I was an actress in Mexico working on a film with a guy who was director/cameraman/producer all in one. He was a bit like Robert Rodriguez, but he was no one I knew. We were doing ‘pick up shots’ – all those filler shots like ones of people’s feet and stuff that don’t really require acting.

I was in a long thin alleyway (or maybe it was a room) with a wall at the end, just in front of which was a chainlink fence. I had to run down to the fence, then jump up and catch a hold of two handles at the top put there specially for me to catch a hold of, and then Mr Director would film me. We did it a couple of times, then he came over to show me how he wanted me to do it.

“Ok, so the secret burial chamber is here, so you’re looking over your shoulder to see if they’ve come out yet, then you run down here like this,” – he demonstrates how he wants me to run – “then you jump up and struggle to climb over.”

So we do it again and again until he’s happy. At around this point, I notice that I’m actually really rather fit – I’ve got ludicrously short shorts on, but nicely toned thighs with the kind of slow golden tan my skin gets when I’ve been out in the sun for weeks on end slathered in Factor 60. (In reality? I’ve had that tan once, from four week field trip in the Pyranees.) My hair is very roughly bobbed, but with bleach-blonde bangs and a slight shaggy kink to it.

In fact, I look like a sort of blonde Salma Hayek. (Ha!)

Next up is a crane shot of me cycling through a barnyard. I have a stripy poncho on, which it too long and trails on the ground. Somehow it manages to look sexy. Didn’t know ponchos could do that. We repeat the same shot but I’m on a scooter instead. The scooter shots look cool.

Then I’m running through the barn. I can only assume that the plastic hens will be replaced with real ones in post-production, so I try not to kick them over.

Final shots: I’m walking through a schoolhouse which is more house than schoo. The boys in class all sneak peaks at me through the door which stands ajar as I walk past. Up the stairs then, and into a bedroom above. The shutters are closed and my lover is hiding under a rough blanket in the bed, waiting for me. I pull the blanket back, and Ick! it’s a young boy, covered in chicken pox. Ew!

At that point I awoke, cursing my luck not to be a particularly fit, tanned and beautiful Mexican actress shooting on location with an auteur in charge. Damn and blast.

However, I do still remember the plot (oh yes, there was a plot!) and I’m going to jot it down in my ‘film ideas to develop’ book. Just in case I ever decide that I want to write my own El Mariachi.

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Spidey's coming…

by Suw on December 19, 2003

The Spider-Man 2 trailer is out now, via Yahoo or Sony/Apple – and my, doesn't Doc Ock look kinda cool? I just can't believe that they've started teasing us more than six months before the film actually comes out on 2 July 04. Six months!

What am I supposed to do for six months? Watch Spider-Man continuously until I know it by heart? Oh, wait, no, already done that…

Oh well, I'll just have to download the full-screen version of the trailer to keep me happy in the meantime. Even if it is 34meg over my pathetic 33k dial-up connection. Ouch. Might take a while.

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That's a bit harsh, isn't it?

by Suw on December 19, 2003

I'm no footie fan, but Rio Ferdinand's eight month ban and £50,000 fine seems a bit harsh to me, considering that the anti-doping officials didn't exactly bend over backwards to ensure that the test took place in the first place. Seems that the FA can have fuzzy rules over doping and enforce them however they fancy, which is totally at odds with other sports, and no one minds. Elsewhere, anti-doping official stay with the athlete until the sample has been taken, so why isn't that the case in football?

Bah. Someone somewhere has got an axe to grind, and it seems like Rio's gonna suffer for it.

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RIAA subpoenas illegal; Kazaa not

by Suw on December 19, 2003

At long last, there's a bit of balance being restored in the whole music 'piracy' debate. According to the BBC, The RIAA are going to have to think of a different tactic now that Verizon have successfully challenged their subpoenas demanding the names and addresses of Verizon customers. No names and addresses, no charges – the RIAA will have to find a different way to beat the crap out of the consumer.

And the Dutch courts have ruled that Kazza isn't illegal as the software company is not responsible for what end-users do with their products.


Now what we need is for the music (and movie) industry to embrace downloading as a new marketplace, to provide us with good quality files for download at a reasonable price with no DRM restrictions, and maybe, just maybe that might have an impact on the number of free download people make.

I hate calling individual downloads 'piracy' – to me piracy is something that organised criminals do when they rip off a new CD, get thousands printed up and then flog them at your local market.

Individual people downloading music for their own enjoyment aren't in the same league, nowhere near. They want good music at a reasonable price now, and they want to listen to it when, where and however they like. They don't want to be told what they can and can't do, and they don't want to be ripped off.

Until the music industry reaslises that consumers everywhere feel like they've been had every time they buy a CD, which they know was made for just pence; that they will no longer wait weeks for uncommon albums to turn up in their local record store on import for an extortionate fee; and that they don't want to risk their hard-earned on an album by a band that's had only one single out… until then the industry wakes up to those facts, it is going to be fighting a losing battle.

Consumers know that the artists get hardly anything for their efforts and that only a small minority of acts (usually the worst pop shite on the market) are ever going to make a decent living out of music. We know that bands these days get little or no support, and are dropped the second there's a threat of a fall in popularity. We know that most of the money goes to the bean counters. Why should we feel any sort of loyalty to companies who are ripping off not only us, but the people we respect – the musicians?

The irony is that downloading could be the saviour of the music industry, and it could benefit the smaller and less profitable bands just as much as the larger more popular acts, if not more so, if only the record labels had the strength of character to grasp the nettle and provide a reliable, DRM-free paid alternative to Kazaa or SoulSeek.

I live in the Arseendofnowhere, as you all well know. If I had a decent modem and the opportunity to download, say, The Shins' new album Chutes Too Narrow for a reasonable price, (i.e. cheaper than a CD – after all, you're saving all that money in physical media, packaging and distribution) I'd do it. I'd pay for it. Yes, I could get the CD online, but it's gonna take ages to get here and the chance of my local record shop knowing who The Shins are is negligable (they barely know who The Darkness are, bless their little rural socks). If I could set my computer to download it legitimately, that would be ideal.

But the industry has wimped out, chosing to sulk in the corner of the playground, whining that the rest of us aren't playing the game properly and that they're going to take their ball home if we're not nice and say sorry.

Tough shit. Downloads aren't going away. It's up to the industry to make us an offer so good that we can't refuse, because we aren't going to stop downloading any time soon.

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by Suw on December 19, 2003

Woo hoo!! I've had 50,000 hits since I started blogging here in May! Ooh, just look at all those naughts! Yay! Go me!! 😀

Ah, if only that were my salary.

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