Posts filed under “Digital Media”

Blade Runner Final Cut in Theaters Fall 2007

Bladerunnerfinalcut

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Over the years, I have mentioned my love of Blade Runner, as well as my fondness for author Phillip K. Dick, too many times to count.

Last week, I noted the 25th Anniversary, and was pleased and pleasantly surprised to see how many of you share my enthusiasm for the film.

So here’s an update:  I had lunch with my college friend Ralph, who is in the film and theater business (we ate at the Brooklyn Diner across from the Nasdaq after I did a quick hit there for NDTV). When we were Stony Brook back in the last century, Ralph was the original founder and co-creator of Island-Con (now known as I-Con), of which the 27th annual version is already scheduled for April 2008.

He tells me that the Blade Runner: Final Cut film is now scheduled to be released theatrically Fall 2007.

"Blade Runner: Final Cut will arrive in 2007 for a limited 25th-anniversary theatrical run, followed by a special-edition DVD with the three previous versions offered as alternate viewing. Besides the original theatrical version and director’s cut, the expanded international theatrical version (Final Cut) will be included. The set will also contain additional bonus materials. FC will include added & extended scenes, added lines of dialogue, new SFX, and it will also contain newly shot scenes.

The unofficial date mentioned by Ridley and Warner Brothers is late September early October. It will be shown at the Venice Film Festival, end of August, so hopefully that means it will be running in theaters here mid-September.

The boxed set will probably drop in early `08.

How awesome is that?

And, for you West Coasters, at the San Diego Comic-Con on Friday, July 27, there will be a preview of the new final cut and a panel discussion with cast and director!

"Then it’s the 25th Anniversary Blade Runner "Final Cut.” Director Ridley Scott (Alien, Gladiator, Hannibal) has created a new, definitive version of this landmark film, with scenes and special effects that have never been shown before. Catch this first preview of the new version by the legendary director of the final, authoritative. and best presentation of one of the most acclaimed science fiction films of the 20th century. This presentation will feature unseen clips from the new cut as well as a look behind the scenes that will be featured on the upcoming DVD box set.

The panel includes Ridley Scott, Sean Young, Joanna Cassidy, Joe Turkel, James Hong, Syd Mead (designer/futurist), Mark Stetson (FX), and DVD producer Charles de Lauzirika.

I may have to fly to San Diego just for this . . .

As to the DVD release, its looking like a deluxe 5 DVD set, coming in early 2008:

Disc 1 – The Final Cut (2007):

  • Ridley Scott’s definitive new version of his science-fiction masterpiece
    includes added & extended scenes, added lines and new and cleaner special
    effects.

Disc 2 – 3 Complete Film Versions:

Disc 3 – “Dangerous Days: Making Blade Runner”
Documentary

  • Newly created documentary: Through interviews with the cast and crew,
    critics and colleagues, this feature-length documentary provides a
    mainstream-friendly yet meaningful in-depth look at Blade Runner’s literary
    genesis, its challenging production and controversial legacy. When all is said
    and done, this will be the definitive documentary on the film.

Disc 4 – Enhanced Content Bonus:

  • INCEPTION – Featurettes and galleries devoted to Philip K. Dick, the birth
    of Cyberpunk and adapting the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.

  • PRE-PRODUCTION – Featurettes and galleries devoted to script development,
    conceptual design and abandoned sequences.

  • PRODUCTION – Featurettes and galleries devoted to principal photography and
    locations.
  • POST-PRODUCTION – Featurettes and galleries devoted to deleted scenes, music
    and visual effects.
  • RELEASE – Featurettes and galleries devoted to marketing and reaction
    including Trailers, TV Spots and Promotional Featurettes
  • LEGACY – Featurettes and galleries devoted to the film’s resurrection and
    impact.

Disc 5 – Work Print Version & Enhanced
Content:

  • Including the rarely seen Work Print version and potentially the 52 min.
    Channel Four (UK) documentary which was the first serious documentary created
    for the film.

Additionally, the set will come packaged in a limited “Blade Runner”
briefcase holding the five-disc digipack with foil-enhanced and embossed
slipcase. The goodies inside will include a lenticular motion image from the
original feature, a collectible model spinner, an origami unicorn, a collection
of photographs and a letter from Ridley Scott.

Here’s the trailer:

Hat tip:  cyberpunkreview

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Sources:
Blade Runner Final Cut is Coming
Warner Home Video, May 26, 2006
http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=14724

Details on Blade Runner: The Ultimate Collection at  Binary Bonsai
Thursday, May 17th, 2007
http://binarybonsai.com/archives/2007/05/17/details-on-blade-runner-the-ultimate-collection/

Category: Digital Media, Film

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Category: Digital Media, Financial Press

Music Sales Fall for 7th Consecutive Year

Category: Consumer Spending, Digital Media, Music

Blade Runner’s 25th Anniversary

Category: Digital Media, Film

What Does the iPhone Teach Us About Technology & Commerce?

Iphone The reviews for the iPhone are coming in, and they are breathless (see below).

Rather than add to the over-the-top-hype about the gorgeous little thing, I would rather think about what lessons can be drawn from its mere existence.

I believe there are quite a few practical things to be taken away from the development and marketing of this. An education is available to those companies, corporate mangements, engineers, inventors and investors who are paying attention:

1. Committees Suck: The old joke is that a Camel is a Horse designed by a committee. As we have seen all too often, what comes out of large corporations are bland-to-ugly items that (while functional and reliable) do not excite consumers.

When a company decides to break the committee mindset and give a great designer the reins, you get terrific products that sell well. The Chrysler 300 does not looks like it was designed by a corporate committee. Think of Chris Bangle’s vision for BMW — and its huge sales spike — and you can see what the upside is in having a visionary in charge of design.

Better pick a damned good one, though . . .

2. Present Interfaces Stink: How bad is the present Human Interface of most consumer items? Leaving the improving, but still too hard to use Windows aside for a moment, let’s consider the mobile phone market: It was so kludgy and ugly that the entire 100 million unit, multi-billion dollar industry now finds itself at risk of being completely bypassed, all because some geek from California wanted a cooler and easier to use phone.

What other industries may be at risk? 

3. Industrial Design Matters:  We have entered a period where industrial design is a significant element in consumer items. From the VW Bug to the iPod, good design can take a ho-hum ordinary product and turn it into a sales winner.

4. R&D is Paramount: While most of corporate America is slashing
R&D budgets (and buying back stock), the handful of companies who
have plowed cash back into R&D are the clear market leaders this
cycle: Think
Apple, Google (Maps, Search), Toyota (Hybrid), Nintendo (Wii). A well designed, innovative product can create — or upend — an entire market. Even Microsoft did it with the X-box;

What other companies have the ability to disrupt an entire market?

5. Disdain for the Consumer can be Fatal: As we have seen with Dell, Home Depot, The Gap, Sears, etc., the consumer experience is more important than most corporate management seem to realize. Ignore the public at your peril.

What other lessons are there for companies in the business of designing products for consumers to use?

For the moment, let’s put the iPhone aside and answer the questions above:  What markets, companies, products , segments are at risk due to their poor designs?  (Use the comments to answer).

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Note:  Some of the commenters are missing the point of the post — this is about the business of creativity and innovation.

We are not looking for a discussion of Apple in general; Off topic comments will be unpublished.

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Category: Digital Media, Film, Music, Technology, Web/Tech

Apple iTunes outsells Amazon and Target

Category: Digital Media, Music, Retail

Rocco DeLuca & The Burden

I_trust_you_to_kill_me
Rocco DeLuca & The Burden
have put out the most interesting new rock album I’ve heard in some time: I Trust You To Kill Me.

Their sound is original — jangly roots-rock romp laced with bluegrass
and countrified leanings.

I agree with the reviewer who wrote that their bluesy debut album "fairly vibrates on DeLuca’s Dobro steel guitar and throaty wail."

DeLuca careens from influence to influence, paying homage to his predecessors and then going a step further.

The music is flavored with dollops of Jeff Buckley, Coldplay and
most of all, Bron Y-Aur Stomp Led Zeppelin.

I Trust You To Kill Me is one of those rare discs where there in not a single weak cut on the CD.

The band’s Myspace page has four songs to stream.

The band has been opening for the likes of Ben Folds and John Mayer.  The next area show I could find is
Tue Jul 31st 2007, Bowery Ballroom, NY

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Videos below

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Category: Digital Media, Music

Friday Night Jazz: JVC Jazz Festival NY

Category: Digital Media, Friday Night Jazz, Music

The Making of Steely Dan’s Aja

SopranosWhile waiting for last night’s Soprano’s to start, I decided to pop in a DVD I had lying around: Steely Dan – The Making of Aja.

Since someone else is sure to bring it up in comments, let’s deal with the finale: Creator/writer/director David Chase made his bones adding a level of reality — Cinéma vérité — to his plotting and characters. He never liked neat endings, always leaves a level of ambiguity and uncertainty. 

And while I didn’t love last night’s episode — it was just another episode, and not any way at all a special "finale" — I recognize what Chase attempted: He ended the show on a note of tension, uncertainty, and ambiguity. You know, just like real life. Hey, no one knows what will happen in the future, or what fate awaits us. He ended the show the same way . . .

Not that I really liked it — it was disappointingly slow, and except for Phil "Flat-Head" Leotardo, not a whole lot happened.

AjaBut I digress.

Where was I? Oh, yes.

A few months ago, I mentioned on Friday Night Jazz this great video on the making of Steely Dan’ Peg that I (somehow randomly) discovered on YouTube.

Turns out its part of a series of DVDs titled "Classic Albums" series that aired originally on VH1. So, while waiting for the last episode to begin, I popped in this DVD I’ve had lying around. 

FloydIt was simply terrific. Really high quality stuff — none of this "Behind-the-Boy-Band crap typical of VH1. Indeed, the great tragedy of VH1 is this very series — and many of the

UnPlugged shows
– are just so damn good, it makes you wonder how the rest of their programming can be so goddamned awful. It was that much better than what you would expect from typical VH1 stuff. 

If you are any type of Dan fan, you must go order this right now.

In fact, I was so impressed with the quality of the interviews, clips, and sound quality — I can’t recall the last time I did this — that,  even as the DVD credits were rolling, I ordered four more DVDs (all $10 or less) from the same series.

GracelandAs a music fan, I felt compelled to check out these "Classic Albums":

The Making of The Dark Side of the Moon

Paul Simon – Graceland

The Who: Who’s Next

U2: The Joshua Tree

I’ll update how these are at a latter date, but based on the Steely Dan DVD, and the high caliber of reviews at Amazon.com, I expect these all to be similarly excellent . . . 


Category: Digital Media, Music, Video

Friday Night Jazz Classic Rock: ‘Sgt. Pepper’

Category: Digital Media, Music