Sunday, November 26, 2006

Empire of Dreams

Stayed up late last night, I did.

Empire Of Dreams was absolutely fascinating, to me, and to those with whom I watched it. I'm sure each one of us took something different away from it.

The insight that I appreciate most (at this moment) was the fact that the actor inside Darth Vader's helmet was pronouncing --and acting-- from one script, and Luke was reacting to another.

Now that really was the ultimate in saying one thing and meaning another... or of not being on the same page! I suppose it wasn't really much different from script management for Who Shot JR...? But it seemed deeper to this viewer.

I knew that Darth Vader's voice had been dubbed in later, but how cool it was to hear the difference in soundtrack when the original actor spoke. What a difference the "right" voice makes! Or the right howls. Wasn't it fascinating that Chewbacca originally had lines? Talking of Chewbacca, I greatly enjoyed the revelation that some of the movie makers were worried about the Wookie's lack of underwear. I'd noticed that uncivilized omission only the night before.

On Thursday night I tried to watch The Empire Strikes Back. I have it out from the library too, but it's a VCR and in almost unwatchably bad condition. Imagine my joy when it was on TV on Friday night. I was very pleased to see swordmaster Bob Anderson's name in the credits as a stunt double. (Recently I blogged about the account I'd read in By The Sword of why a genuine swordsman, not an actor, had to perform Darth Vader's fight with Luke.)

The music was something else I'd never really thought about--apart from the "declarative" Imperial theme for whenever Darth Vader stalked across the screen, like the wolf theme in Peter And The Wolf, only much more wicked.

How fascinating that the composer had recently finished the score for Jaws, where the
antagonist got the catchy, sinister theme music! What a twist for those of us accustomed to the Bond theme... the Here Comes The Hero refrain. When the movie music is really, really good, I don't notice it much, apart from the theme tunes. It's amusing what a difference a good orchestra makes to an aerial dogfight, isn't it?

I've watched a lot of The Making Of... documentaries, but I don't think I've grasped how much goes into making a great movie quite as vividly as I did last night, watching Empire Of Dreams.

What did you like best?

Best wishes,
Rowena Cherry

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Tacoma vs. Loch Ness Monster

The weekend is here again for me. Sunday starts my weekend and I got up late. I ate breakfast in front of the television and saw the new Toyota Tacoma vs. Loch Ness Monster commercial for the first time.

It made me smile. I’m enjoying their Tacoma-survives-the-extraordinary ad campaign. The concepts include those ideas that entertain me.

Remember their older meteor strike commercial? (Here is the video on youtube if you want a refresher.)

My mid-2007 release in an anthology with Triskelion Publishing involves a “meteor strike”. One day several years ago I saw a meteor fall into the Sierras and I got to writing that story, in which the meteor is a spaceship crashing. Of course, I had to have that space ship made out of meteor strike-proof-metal because it needed to function after the crash. I promise I wrote that before Toyota’s commercial.

My someday-to-be-finished follow-up to Starlit Destiny has a sea monster that looks an awful lot like the average rendition of Nessie in my mind. It actually has a controlled crash onto this monster-filled planet too, because that ship had to survive as well. That crash involved fancy flying though. And, the sea monster chews on the Jurate. I kid you not. I also promise that I wrote that before Toyota's commercial.

Can you tell that I’d have a whole lot of fun working for Toyota’s advertising department/company?

Then again, as far as selling me a truck, these commercials aren't working. I drive a Ford (and not because of Toby Keith). This morning I got this image in my head of Tahoe Tessie – resident beastie in Lake Tahoe trying to eat my truck. I decided a truck would taste something awful no matter the make.

Of course, they might not hire me if they knew the biggest laugh I got all year was last month during the World Series when I first saw that Nextel commercial with the actor from The Office. The one where he says that their mobiles are meteor-proof and the yes-man lawyer in the background shakes his head.

Then again, maybe they wouldn't hire me because, here is how I'd promo my books to any Toyota engineers worried about truth in advertising...

My books won't really give you any ideas on how to meteor-proof a vehicle, but buy them anyway.

~ Annalee Blysse

Survival is the mark of an expert duellist

That's tenuous. I don't have anything "survival" related to report, but dangerous manly ways of passing the time and proving one's virility are always interesting.

Aren't they?

As part of my ongoing research I joined a fencing class, but found it very hard on my thighs and knees. One cannot be fast if one is stiff, so a lot of warming up has to be done. Apparently, there were other preparations one made before fighting a duel, too.

Fasting, for instance. As there was always a danger that cold steel might penetrate the gut, duellists who knew what they were doing reduced the risk of infection by having empty stomachs, empty bladders... and so forth.

I've never seen that mentioned in a Regency Romance.

Best wishes,


Saturday, November 04, 2006

Online Scavenger Hunt ~ Chance to win over 60 prizes!

I've put together an online scavenger hunt hosted by Romance Junkies. Click the link below for a chance to win over 60 prizes from just as many wonderful authors!

Calling all scavengers/scavenger hunters