Jan. 31, 2008

Making Dreams Come True Through Transmedia

I've been obsessed lately with the evolution of Transmedia storytelling -- storytelling across multiple forms of media like Web sites, blogs, zines, video games, comics, TV, film, and so on. Great examples of this include "Lost," "Alias," "Heroes," and Cloverfield. Shouldn't be a shocker that J.J. Abrams is big on this kind of storytelling. And of course, so is Lucasfilm. Expanded Universe is exactly what transmedia is -- we have Star Wars movies, comics, video games, novels, toys, role-playing games, fan films, and soon TV. And it will be exciting to see what we do next online as well.

Recently TV producer, writer, and all-around cool creative guy Jesse Alexander came to our work for a lecture on Transmedia and how to have fun with it to further the story. His talk not only inspired our group to brainstorm some exciting new ideas for online, but it jumpstarted a few old ideas I had bouncing around about projects outside of Lucasfilm I'd like to get started on -- a comic for one, and another screenplay for another. So I'm excited to get started on it. Jesse also reminded me that anything really is possible if you just go for it and stop second guessing your chances.

Case in point, he recently wrote in his blog -- The Global Couch -- about a friend of his -- Javier Grillo-Marxuach -- who had a great idea for a movie. It had secret agents, robots, aliens and talking monkeys. Sounds rad, right? Well, he had a tough time convincing his agents that it was worth pitching as a film or TV show, so he shelved it and went back to work writing for "Lost."

But then he couldn't help but tinker with it more and more and more and decided to go for it anyway. So he made it into a comic called The Middle Man and got a publisher interested. And ya know what? It got a good following and great reviews. He hired a girl to dress up as his main character and walk around Comic-Con to promote the comic. He created buzz on his blog. He put up art and kept his fans interested. And eventually, he had a property that his agents couldn't argue with. And he just sold the comic idea for a TV show on ABC Family. So yeah, he did it.

And now I'm thinking, what the hell am I waiting for? I need to get my act together and get my comic book idea out of my head and on to paper. I need to convince one of my artist pals to join forces with me and make it rock. I need to just freaking do it already. And so I am.

Jan. 30, 2008

Padawan Ahsoka Joins the Star Wars Cast

Read all about Ahsoka here on Starwars.com

Jan. 29, 2008

Photogamer: Camera

Challenge: Take a picture of a Camera.
Learn more about Photogamer here.
Photogamer Flickr here.
Twitter Photogamer here.

Jan. 28, 2008

J.J. Abrams: The mystery box

Producer and director J.J. Abrams talks at TED about the best elements of the unseen mystery -- the heart of "Alias," "Lost," and Cloverfield -- back to its own magical beginnings. He brings up his own obsession with making things, magic and his own unopened Mystery Box.

Jan. 28, 2008

Photogamer: Elbow

Challenge: Take a picture of an Elbow.
Learn more about Photogamer here.
Photogamer Flickr here.
Twitter Photogamer here.

Jan. 27, 2008

Photogamer: Doorway

Challenge: Take a picture of a Doorway.
Learn more about Photogamer here.
Photogamer Flickr here.
Twitter Photogamer here.

Jan. 27, 2008

At Ocean Beach at Sunset

Jan. 27, 2008

A Monster Hit: Bryan Burk Talks Cloverfield

Producer Bryan Burk talks about the making of Cloverfield and how his early love for Star Wars and filmmaking as a whole influenced himself and his friends -- producer J.J Abrams and director Matt Reeves -- to make a monster movie full of surprises.


Did working on Cloverfield with Matt and J.J. trigger any memories for you from being the producer of Matt's student film?

When I was in college, Matt was in grad school and J.J. had already graduated and sold his first scripts for Taking Care of Business and Regarding Henry. I remember the biggest obstacle we had was a scene in Matt's student film which is called Mr. Petrified Forest where there's a plane crash. And we didn't know how we were going to pull it off. It's a scene where a guy is in a limo and he's being driven to the airport and he's about to take the flight and freaks out and looks out the window and as he looks out you hear a plane crash on a front lawn and there's mayhem everywhere. Well, it was all fine and dandy on paper, but the big question was how are we going to recreate a plane crash in a student film?

J.J. said, "If you write it, I'll build it." The morning we were supposed to shoot the scene, sure enough, J.J. shows up in his car with this huge plane tail section he built himself with balsa wood in pieces sticking out from the back. He put it together in the yard and we had people running around looking like they were injured in a crash with dry ice all over the place. Matt even ran by screaming, with a dog. We basically recreated a plane crash in the front of Matt's mom's house.

Read my full interview With Bryan Burk here:
A Monster Hit: Bryan Burk Talks Cloverfield

Jan. 26, 2008

Ask Bonnie -- Dreadlocks

Host: Bonnie Burton
Videographer: John Polizzi
Grrl.com vlogger Bonnie Burton answers questions all about Dreadlocks!
The show previously aired online on Web Waste which is now long gone.
So if you have questions/comments email them to Bonnie Burton.

More vids can be found here on:
Ask Bonnie on Youtube
Ask Bonnie on Myspace Video

Jan. 25, 2008

The Loch Ness Monster Terrorizes Tokyo

The upcoming movie The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep has prompted an interesting publicity stunt in Tokyo Bay. Using a large water screen and some very well-timed water fountains, it almost looks as though a hologram of Nessie coming up from the watery depths.

Read more here:
Move Over Godzilla, The Loch Ness Monster Terrorizes Tokyo

SOURCES: Starwars.com Blog, Gizmodo

Jan. 25, 2008

Steampunk Treehouse

More here.

The Steampunk Tree House would have been the ONLY reason I'd ever set foot at Burning Man. So I'm so glad Xeni decided to feature the masterminds behind it!

Jan. 24, 2008

C-3PO Condoms?

When it comes to unauthorized Star Wars merchandise, C-3PO seems to be one of the faves to be paid tribute to in unusual collectibles you didn't know you needed. Check out this list of the Top 10 items including C-3PO condoms! I have a bad feeling about this...

Read the full article here:
Checklist: Fool's Gold -- 10 Unauthorized C-3PO Collectibles

Jan. 23, 2008

Ask @Sock -- Foosball

Host: @Sock -- Bonnie Burton
Videographer: John Polizzi
@Sock attempts to play Foosball with mere mortals!
The show previously aired online on Web Waste which is now long gone.
So if you have questions/comments email them to Bonnie Burton here.

Jan. 20, 2008

Ask Bonnie -- NYC Travel Tips

Ask Bonnie -- New York

Host: Bonnie Burton
Videographer: John Polizzi
I answer your questions all about NYC tourist tips
when visiting New York City! Sadly, this was filmed pre- 9/11 so there's
a picture of the Twin Towers in the video. The show previously aired online
on Web Waste which is now long gone. So if you have questions/comments
email them to Bonnie Burton here.

Jan. 17, 2008

"One of the first females on the Internet" ?

Blogger Mark 'Rizzn' Hopkins recently wrote in his article
A Brief History of the Universe of Blogging about his experience
with the beginnings of blogging and was kind enough to give me a rather sweet shoutout.

I happened upon what has to be one of the first females on the Internet in 1996 - Bonnie Burton. She seemed to be experimenting with a more serialized format for her online musings - an online diary. I wasn’t sure I wanted to try that just yet on my personal domain that everyone had access, so I opened up accounts at Tripod and began posting random teenage angsty posts. They had phenomenal traffic, which at the time meant double digit visitor numbers.

Read the full article here:
"A Brief History of the Universe of Blogging"

Jan. 15, 2008

DJ Keltech Scratches Back

South Wales-based DJ Keltech chats about why the dance floor always goes wild for "The Imperial March" and how Darth Vader keeps the dark side of drum and bass going strong.

How has Star Wars your music at all -- such as the DJ Keltech Strikes Back scratch CD and the video of you as Darth Vader?

I owe a lot to the popularity of Star Wars! In 2005, I entered the World DMC Championship heats -- a DJ competition -- in the UK. Being a huge fan of "The Imperial March" music and having the records for many years I decided to see if I could come up with a mix using the tune and a nice hip hop beat. The night at the regional final of the DMC competition as part of my routine I dropped the Vader mix. The crowd went berzerk! They absolutely loved it. That night when I got home still buzzing at the crowd reaction, I thought of a way I could build on the idea. Being a creative person and always up for a laugh I decided to buy a cheap Darth Vader suit, video the routine in my bedroom and put the video on my website, DJkeltech.com.

The next thing I know I'm getting thousands of hits and people are emailing the video to friends! I couldn't believe how popular the video was becoming; I was seeing it posted on websites worldwide. It was even passed on to Msn.com who put a feature on their front page! A few weeks passed with the video snow balling in popularity, and then I got an email from a TV company in Belgium asking if I would come over to their studios and perform the Darth Vader routine live on TV.

I couldn't believe my luck! All I've ever wanted was to make a name for myself as a creative person, be it as a music producer or a turntablist. It's amazing that this little video dressed up as Darth Vader mixing up his theme tune got my name out there on a global scale. It's clear that the popularity of Star Wars helped a lot to the video's popularity as people from all generations know the characters and the music. I think it was also a combination of sheer fluke and good timing, or maybe a little help from the dark side?

Read the full interview here: DJ Keltech Scratches Back

Jan. 14, 2008

Inside the View-Master

(Peek inside a View-Master -- San Franicsco, Bay Bridge)

Challenge: Take a picture of the inside of something.
Learn more about Photogamer here.
Photogamer Flickr here.
Twitter Photogamer here.
Here's a look at my full Photogamer set.

Jan. 13, 2008

"Arrrrgh!" says the pirate mouse

Meet the newest member of the household from Paxton Gate -- Taxidermy Pirate Mouse by Jeanie M. Read more about her mice here.

Jan. 13, 2008

Meet My New Bandmates

More here.

Jan. 12, 2008

Jawas on the Party Barge!

Jan. 11, 2008

Crafty Yoda

Art by Cynthia Cummens.

Jan. 10, 2008

Legendary Pink Dots Want R2-D2

Legendary Pink Dots vocalist, keyboardist, and songwriter Edward Ka-Spel talks about his love of sci-fi and fantasy themes the their music and why a certain astromech droid would be welcome to join the band when he's done hanging out with C-3PO.

Which character would feel right at home playing in the Legendary Pink Dots?
R2-D2 would be just fine in the Legendary Pink Dots. He has plenty of sonic possibilities and there would be no power struggles or ego issues. He'd be fantastic for the image too, though I would insist that he wear a red scarf.

That being said, who in your band would best blend in well with the Star Wars galaxy?
It has to be the Silver Man, especially when his machines take over and start rolling and bleeping around the room. Actually, the old analog synthesizers probably are machines that blend in the best -- so utterly alien and unpredictable.

Your song "The Saucers Are Coming" was a great an update to the War of the Worlds story! What kinds of sci-fi/fantasy themes do you like to explore in your music? How have Star Wars and other sci-fi and fantasy films influenced your music?
I have my favorite authors -- Harlan Ellison, Robert Sheckley, Robert Silverberg. I cannot believe that this beautiful little pebble named Earth is the only spot in the universe where life exists. There simply has to be more than that and I will not rest until I've contacted a few of those "others."

Read the full interview here:
Legendary Pink Dots Want R2-D2

Jan. 9, 2008

Ask Bonnie -- Condiments

Host: Bonnie Burton
Videographer: John Polizzi
I answer questions all about Condiments!
The show previously aired online on Web Waste which is now long gone.
So if you have questions/comments
email them to me here.

Jan. 8, 2008

Bring on the Photogamer!

Taking weird photos of everyday objects is one of my favorite things to do. So when I first heard about Photogamer I was excited. Every day you get a theme like toes, lightbulbs, hair, TV and so on. And it's up to you to take a photo that day of the object and post it to the Photogamer Flickr group. It's fun to be challenged creatively with photography and see what other people envision. There are some truly talented people behind the lens! Here's a look at my Photogamer set.

Learn more about Photogamer here

Jan. 4, 2008

Me and my Snake Scarf

Jan. 3, 2008

Books I Read

I have a bit of an uncontrollable book addiction. I can't walk into a bookstore and leave empty handed. So of course, that means I have plenty of things to read that I plan on making time for in the new year. Lately, my obsessions have been with old paranormal studies books from the 20s and 30s, as well as forensic books -- think fingerprint identification, FBI manuals, and plenty of Sherlock Holmes fiction and case studies. My pride and joy are the Forensic Insect Identification Cards that help you learn all the different types of bugs found on dead bodies. I also have plenty of books on Bettie Page, movie history, biographies, writing guides, pop culture topics, gardening, crafts, tattoo art, San Francisco, lowbrow art, children's fiction, poetry, Shakespeare, and Kafka, among others.

My comic book collection isn't too shabby either -- Sandman, Optic Nerve, Skeleton Key, Fables, Milk and Cheese Gone Bad, Eightball, Hate, Dirty Plotte, Meat Cake, Cages, Tony Millionaire, Acme Novelty Date Book, Tank Girl, and others I'm sure I'm forgetting.

Currently I'm reading the book Live at the Masque: Nightmare in Punk Alley all about the LA punk scene with some really amazing photography.

Check out more of my books here.

Jan. 2, 2008

Does Batman Need Me Yet?

Jan. 2, 2008

Ask Bonnie -- Weird Candy

Host: Bonnie Burton
Videographer: John Polizzi
I answer questions all about Weird Candy!
The show previously aired online on Web Waste which is now long gone.
So if you have questions/comments
email them to me here.

Jan. 1, 2008

Ask @Sock -- What to Do with Crappy Presents

Ask @Sock - Bad Gifts

Add to My Profile | More Videos

Host: @Sock -- Bonnie Burton
Videographer: John Polizzi
@Sock answers questions all about Bad Gifts!
The show previously aired online on Web Waste which is now long gone.
So if you have questions/comments
email them to Bonnie Burton here.

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