As a consumer, I had become a bit cynical toward it. I don't think Avengers or Thor: The Dark World were improved by being in 3D; and specifically sought a 2D showing of Iron Man Three. With "The Day of the Doctor", the Doctor Who 50th anniversary, I had little choice. I could either see it in a hotel room on my own, or see it live in the cinema, in 3D (well, I could also have gone over to my brother's to watch it but then I'd have been even later at the Thought Bubble party, which would be the highlight of any other weekend). And what's the point of 3D in a television drama - something that is not only designed to be releasable on home video, but actively intended for display on little screens in people's living rooms?
I was wrong. It turns out to be the most successful use of 3D to tell a story that I have seen. And more importantly, it provides a way forward for 3D films to be worthwhile. What do I mean by this? Well...
And that's why, I think, it really works. We are well into the 3D backlash. It's often done as an afterthought to films that were storyboarded without 3D in mind, and that of course still need to work in 2D; or it's done with bulky cameras that it's hard to do interesting stuff with. I suspect this is what leads to them cranking up the disparity to uncomfortable levels, or getting actors to poke things in our eyes.
"The Day of the Doctor" shows that it doesn't have to be like that, that if you plan things correctly then the 3D doesn't have to be a gimmick. Sure, not every film is going to be prominently feature dimensionally transcendent rooms, but that doesn't mean you don't want to create a sense of scale, a sense of space. But this may mean changing how you edit films. Fast-cutting fight scenes simply don't work in this world: you need to go the Sucker Punch and Beowulf route by replacing cuts with pans and zooms.
I think the make-or-break film for 3D will be Edgar Wright's Ant-Man. This will be released in 2015, which is going to be a big year for big films (the Avengers sequel, Star Wars Episode VII, the Batman/Superman film, and that's just getting started), so it's an odd one to focus on, but I think it has potential. Ant-Man is a size-changer. Imagine what that would mean with well-done 3D. You could have first person shots of the lab he is in widening out to become an impossibly large space, as he shrinks. You could cut between parallel action at a macro scale and a micro scale, hinting which is which not by different lighting but using a different interocular distance.
It will need to be very clever to work (this is fine, as Wright is very clever). It will need a good stereographer. It will need pre-visualisation and storyboarding. But Wright will also be expected to deliver a version of the film in 2D. Traditionally, these have been the same edit - often just the left or right view from the 3D edit. It is that very thing that is holding 3D back. What is the point of showing size-changing or portals with 3D if you then have to have expository dialogue clarifying what is going on?
Perhaps, in order to be worthwhile, 3D film needs to abandon the idea of being downconvertable to 2D. Sure, make a 2D edit, but let's have that be something different to merely picking one of the eyes from the 3D. 2D films and 3D films are different arts and need different approaches.
Ron Grainer - Doctor Who theme
Orbital - Who?
break for quiz
The Timelords - Doctorin' the TARDIS
break for quiz
John Barrowman, David Tennant and Catherine Tate - The Ballad of Russell and Julie
Jon Pertwee - Who Is The Doctor
Who Cares? - Doctor in Distress
Ian Levine - K-9 and Company theme
The Go-Go's - I'm Going to Spend My Christmas With A Dalek
Roberta Tovey - Who's Who
Delia Derbyshire - Doctor Who theme (1963)
Murray Gold - I Am The Doctor (2010)
Art Brut - I Am The Psychic (fragment) 1
Murray Gold - The Majestic Tale (2012)
John Debney - Doctor Who theme (1996)
EightBitBaconStrips - Doctor Who theme
Tim Minchin - Doctor Who theme
Delia Derbyshire/Peter Howell/Dominic Glynn/Keff McCulloch/John Debney/Murray Gold - Doctor Who theme (1963-2010)
Unfortunately I was unable to find the wrongest cover of any Doctor Who music: I am the Kefftor, a cover of "I Am the Doctor" in the style of Keff McCulloch. Listen to it, but prepare your ears first.
1. I'd searched my phone for "I Am" and that came on next. Oops.
More recently, people have been taking advantage of this anomaly, to conduct quite a clever scam. They call you claiming to be the police, and tell you, often with dramatic adornment, that your card has been cloned or stolen and needs to be cancelled. They advise you to phone the number on the back of your card. I had one of these maybe a year ago. The call was very suspicious, so I ignored it, but I couldn't figure out their angle.
The trick is, they never hang up. They fake the dial tone. They fake the ring tone. They pretend to be your bank. They wheedle your PIN out of you. They fake the police. Eventually, they send a courier to pick up the card. And then they go off to the ATM and empty your account.
I was lucky that time, but not everyone is. An acquaintance got taken good and hard. So when they called yesterday, I immediately realised what was going on, scrambled for my iPhone, put the thing on speakerphone, and taped the bastard.
A recording [anyone fancy transcribing it?]
It's quite funny. Especially the ending.
- August 22 - Slate: Wikipedia Beats Major News Organizations, Perfectly Reflects Chelsea Manning's New Gender
- August 22 - TruthDig: How Wikipedia Edited Pvt. Manning’s Gender Without Spectacle
- August 22 - BuzzFeed: Wikipedia Changed Its Entry To Properly Reflect Chelsea Manning's Name
- August 22 - reddit's /r/wikipedia I was browsing the Wikipedia page of Chelsea Manning, when I noticed an edit war starting out
- August 22 - me: Chelsea Manning: on pressing the button, subsequently syndicated at geekfeminism.org
- August 23 - DailyDot: Wikipedia battle rages over Chelsea Manning's gender identity
- August 23 - New Statesman: Behind the Wikipedia wars: what happened when Bradley Manning became Chelsea
- August 23 - Wikipedia Weekly #98 (from 13m18s)
- August 31 - DailyDot: Wikipedia decides Chelsea Manning will remain 'Bradley' for now
- August 31 - Amy Dobrowolsky / UrbanArchivist: Wikipedia’s Deadnaming Violence
- August 31 - Wikipedia Weekly #99
- September 1 - Hoyden About Town: Quick Hit: WTF Wikipedia
- September 2 - slate.fr: Wikipedia refuse le changement de nom de Chelsea Manning
- September 2 - steepholm: They don't want to go to Chelsea
- September 3 - Philip Sandifer: Something Rotten at the Sausage Factory: How Wikipedia Embraced Transphobia for Chelsea Manning
- September 3 - Sue Gardner: How Wikipedia got it wrong on Chelsea Manning, and why
- September 3 - Adrianne Wadewitz and Phoebe Ayers: The struggle over gender on Wikipedia: the case of Chelsea Manning
- September 3 - Phoebe Ayers: Chelsea Manning and Wikipedia
- September 4 - New Statesman: Chelsea Manning gets put back in the closet by Wikipedia
- September 4 - MetaFilter: Wikipedia on Chelsea Manning
- September 4 - Velociriot: WTF Wednesday: Hiding Chelsea
- September 5 - Natacha / UnCommon Sense: Chelsea Manning - Cisgenderism at Wikipedia
- September 5 - yagg.com: Comment Wikipedia gère le changement de prénom de Chelsea Manning [Slate]
Saturday September 14th, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Live tour, at the Hackney Empire; most of the original surviving cast; it was awesome last year; I booked 4 and still have a spare ticket - £25.all gone
- Tuesday November 5th, Art Brut at the Village Underground in Shoreditch. Art Brut were difficult enough for me to explain in 2005, when I first saw them (three times in a year!): see their early singles Formed A Band and Emily Kane. I have a spare ticket.
Sunday, November 17th. Toby Hadoke performs a double-bill of his two Doctor Who one-man shows "Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf" and "My Stepson Stole My Sonic Screwdriver" at the Garrick. I have a spare ticket.gone
Nobody likes Art Brut? What is wrong with you all? :-(
I would like to apologise to everyone for this. I promise not to do it again.
And now in evenings and on the tube I've just read Game of Thrones the book, since Monday. Quite a light read, actually. Don't think I'm going to bother with the sequels, though.
Some thoughts occur. I think I've managed to craft this so there are no actual spoilers, beyond merely the fact that Game of Thrones has characters called certain things who are related to each other in certain ways and are introduced in certain episodes. (None of this is presented as a surprise in the narrative.)
This must be the most crazy television show to cast in the history of television shows. There are what, 20 main characters in season 1? And yet that's with the cast pared down. There are lots of characters who appear briefly in Game of Thrones the book who will later appear in the TV show and then suddenly be really important; but whose introduction is delayed in the TV show. And there are plenty of characters who do get introduced at the same time as in the books, and then suddenly they are really important. And I've noticed that I consistently get confused by character introductions after season 1.
Let's look at Edmure Tulley, for example. In the books, he's established in Game of Thrones as Catelyn's brother, he gets a few lines. Lord Tully, his father, wants to marry him off, we know that. He'll later go on to have a more important part in book 3. In the TV show he gets no such pre-introduction. He appears in season 3 episode 3, and his first scene is one with the boat and the arrows. If you've seen it, you'll remember it. Now, I can see why they've not had him as a cameo in season 1 or 2. They want good actors in these roles, but if they had them in season 1 as a cameo they can't promise them much work yet but need them to be be available for season 3 or 4 or 5 (assuming it gets made?) Difficult. So instead they defer the casting process to when they actually have a decent amount of work to promise people. So, what would is actually a perfectly normal TV pattern of a guest star going on to become a more important regular as the focus of the series changes ends up not being used by GoT. People are suddenly thrust into importance when they are introduced. (This has happened before. I guess the next person it will happen to is Jeyne Pool.)
So, anyway, Edmure Tully's introduction. The problem is he's not named in that episode. I remember thinking "ooh, isn't it that chap from Black Mirror playing, oh, actually I'm not sure of the name of the character", thinking it was me. But now I look at the transcripts, episode 3 does establish him as Robb's uncle. But he's not called "Lord Tully", his relation to Blackfish isn't made clear, and the killer is he won't be named until episode 6. Now, maybe a previous episode did give a name to Robb's Tully uncle. But in a show with a cast this big nobody's going to make that type of connection. You need a name and face on screen at the same time.
And it's done this sort of thing time and time again. And it's just shoddy. If you're not naming a character as some sort of mystery or have a dramatic reason for doing it, fair enough. But this is blatantly not what's happening. They're just adapting cool bits from the source material without properly taking into account the basic narrative function of introducing the audience to the characters. Game of Thrones does this a lot, and not just with introductions. For a TV series it's barely visual at all, it would work remarkably well as an audio play.
I am told I did know about the hole in the wall. I don't remember it, though. Complete blank. I wonder if I should just go ahead and convert that into a door sooner rather than later?
In other news, me and khalinche have been doing work on my garden. There is a lot of stuff to do, but now after the weekend it seems possible. Also: stuff got taken to the tip and I got hold of a composter.
Is this middle-age? I think it is, isn't it. It's not bad, really. I need to get better slippers, though.
I am thinking about having a Doctor Who marathon at my house. The programme would look a little something like:
1200 An Unearthly Child (the first episode)
1300 The Three Doctors (10th anniversary story)
1500 The Five Doctors (20th anniversary story)
1700 Remembrance of the Daleks (25th anniversary story)
1900 The Fiftieth Anniversary Special on BBC One (assuming that's when they put it, of course)
2030 An Adventure in Space and Time on BBC Two (even more tentative guess than the special itself)
I know this is a long way in advance, and I'm not asking for commitments to attend, but I'm just pondering - does this sound like the sort of thing people would be interested in?
Thoughts, anyone? Maybe this already exists?