Archive for 2009

Kitty has reached critical mass.

November 18th, 2009 by Jarmo Puskala
Kitty has reached critical mass (and by "kitty" I mean VOD)

The Xbox Zune marketplace opened here in Finland as well. This means that for the first time we have a VOD service that is 1) As easy to use as The Pirate Bay 2) Offers instant viewing 3) In good quality and 4) Is almost reasonably priced. The price being “almost” since it depends on the film, if you watch HD or SD and where you buy your Microsoft points from. But for example Babylon 5: The Lost Tales would cost you some 2-3e, while a current blockbuster in HD would be 4-5e.

But because the studios are still hell-bent on committing a slow suicide there are two major problems. First is the selection – it’s small, ridiculously small. There are fewer films on offer than there are DVDs on my bookshelf. But this should be only temporary. The second problem is that to watch the HD videos you need a HDCP enable tv that is connected to your xbox trough hdmi. This means that if they want me to pay the 1,50e extra for watching fiolms in glorious Full HD I need to buy a new tv AND a new Xbox (I’ve got one of the older models without hdmi).

This copy protection bullshit is absolutely ridiculous. HD is still in adoption phase, it’s not mainstream. And yet the studios are trying to slow down the adoption by building artificial barriers of entry. The second is that the studios need to sell the HD to get the price of films back up. The price of DVDs has dropped like a rock – the old bargain price of 9.99e is the new norm with films coming down to 3-7e in a month. Still every dvd produced costs, the printing fees, copyright fees & rating fees tend to stay the same even when the selling price goes down. And it’s the part that goes to the filmmakers that gets cut. And if that’s the price of a physical disc, why pay more for a download? Yet the price of online VOD is kept artificially high. HD streaming has the promise to offer the extra value and get some people to pay more. So slowing down the the adoption of HD is just plain stupid.

However, even though most people won’t be able to watch the HD streams in the next few years, the Zune marketplace is still the best VOD service available in Finland right now. And it’s good enough to have the potential to reach critical mass and finally bring film rentals online.

Things we didn’t know about: Iron Sky Erotica.

November 16th, 2009 by Jarmo Puskala
Iron Sky images get appropriated for softcore Nazi porn without our knowledge.

Iron Sky images get appropriated for softcore Nazi porn without our knowledge.

It’s another ordinary Monday at the offices. However we got some unexpected entertainment. While looking for reference images, our concept artist Jussi was kind of surprised when he found his own works being used as backgrounds for softcore Nazi porn. On a site with the catchy title “Goetia Naughty Alien UFO Vril Society Girls“. The site is very NSFW, but if that’s not a problem you can find it here.

More strangely familiar looking occult erotica...

More strangely familiar looking occult erotica...

We had absolutely no idea about this, so as you can imagine we’ve had quite a bit of fun and several “WTF?” moments checking out where our pics had ended up… The site is the work of one Mark Dunn, who has basically Photoshopped a lot of naked or nearly naked girls to pose on the Iron Sky concept art pictures. And written a lot of text in between the pics, ranging from the etymology of the word “Easter” to Adolf Hitler. Why? I have no idea since I didn’t even read half of it, sorry.

Nazi jetpack Playmate?

Hot jetpack Hitler?

It’s not all Iron Sky, there’s a lot of other stuff, like this picture of a Hot Jetpack Hitler Nazi… And suddenly I get a slight shudder at the thought of what kind of Google searches will find this post*.

Anyway, many say that a porn parody is the highest form of compliment. However Mark does seem to be very serious about all this, especially copyright:

All © Copyright of Works, Art & Writing Above & Herein belongs to the Creator of this humble Web-Site, Artist and Author Mark Dunn, whose Magickal-Persona of Artistic Pseudonym among many being Faustus Crow.

He’s also added a big “copyright by” watermark into every picture. So Mark, if you’re reading this. We don’t really mind Photoshops of half-nekkid women. Actually, if I were to hold a vote here at the office they would turn out to be quite popular. However, it’s a bit unfair to use pictures from another artist and then claim copyright on them.

Don’t get me wrong, whatever the copyright law says, it’s not our business what you do with your spare time, if Photoshopping Nazi erotica rocks your boat then go for it. We’re just saying you shouldn’t claim credit for work you didn’t do. Also, if you use Iron Sky stuff making occult erotica, don’t credit us either.

*Speaking of Google searches, the scariest search we’ve spotted in our logs was “i want to by man eating plankton” [sic].

Blowing up toy cars in slow motion.

November 13th, 2009 by Jarmo Puskala

Some friday fun for your inner 9-year old. You know you like it.

There’s really not much else to say about it. Just be happy that we live in a world where geeks can film anything in slow motion and upload it to YouTube in HD. I bet you couldn’t have imagined future would be this cool back when you were blowing up toy cars. Just don’t mention anything about not having jetpacks.

LA Times interviews Samuli.

November 11th, 2009 by Jarmo Puskala
Samuli doing what Captain Pirk does best.

Samuli doing what Captain Pirk does best.

Linda Whitmore of LA Times’ Hero Complex did a very thorough interview about Samuli couple of weeks back. Now the results of that interview have been published witht he title “Star Wreck, from Finland, with love“.

I rarely blog about things that are written about us, but this is an exeption, mostly because a) It’s a very good interview, as Kris from our forum put it “Anyone at all who likes Wreck should read that interview” and b) because the Finnish press thought it was newsworthy, with one of our two biggest tabloids, Ilta-Sanomat, writing an article about the interview… Sometimes journalists work in mysterious ways.

What would happen if the Starship Enterprise and “Airplane” crashed into the Babylon 5 space station somewhere in the skies above Finland?

The loopy result would be “Star Wreck (The Imperial Edition),” the Starfleet parody from a Finnish writer-actor-producer named Samuli Torssonen and his crew of amateur moviemakers. Seven years in the making, the farce opens on the bridge of the USS Kickstart with the not-so-cosmic sound of a toilet flushing – the men’s room, it seems, is conveniently located right next to the vessel’s command center.

There’s also an interesting notion from Samuli:

The team of five people formed by accident. The director, Timo Vuorensola, was not a “Star Trek” fan at all — which ultimately was a very good thing. Usually, fan-film directors know too much about the subject, and the film doesn’t make any sense to non-fans.

That pretty much sums up five years of critique towards fan films. People making them just know too much. And it seems the problem is kind of creeping to mainstream cinema (and TV), with some re-boots spending far too much time making knowing references to the original to become interesting films in themselves.

Head over to Hero Complex to read Samuli’s interview.

Oh, one other thing. If you’ve seen Star Wreck we would really appreciate it if you took the time to write an review on Amazon and let others know what you thought.