Thursday, December 01, 2005

The space virus strikes back

The mutated space virus, as mentioned here, is back. The usual thing: shakes, aches, tingly skin, followed by days of sore throat, and then a full on snot/cough/sinus attack. I was in work yesterday, feeling a bit rubbish in the morning, and it went from "a bit poo" to "full on space virus attack" in just a few hours. And, just like last year, I was having a shit day at work where everything was going wrong, nothing could be fixed. So now, once again, I'm on the sofa, surrounded by pills, tissues, and all of the phones and remote controls.

Luckily, I finished the outline for Secret Project A the other night, just as the nanorobots were infecting me, so I have some time off. I've had to postpone a meeting tomorrow until next week, which is annoying, but I'm just totally fucked, I'd be no use to anyone. I feel like John Hurt's character in Contact, sealed up in my little space station, contacting people remotely when I need to. But without the weightlessness, or the shaved head. I'm starting to sound a bit like him, though.

I've spent much of the morning listening to archives of the Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant show on XFM, which is hilarious. I don't listen to much radio, but I should. In a while I might watch some DVD extras. Jo will watch one commentary and one "making of" for any particular movie, but quite reasonably thinks that is enough. I, on the other hand, will obsessively watch every single second of all the extras, the breakdowns of shots, test versions of special effects, interviews, diaries, the "we took four cardboard toobs" ones with pale, blinking CG artists, everything (except the photo galleries, where you have to keep pressing Next on the remote, very boring). If a DVD has more than one commentary, I go weak with excitement. Now I'm in the business of making them, it's really helpful to hear what decisions were made and why. But I've always enjoyed looking behind the curtain, I have to know how it was done - it never ruins the magic of a movie for me. I love DVD extras, and feel totally robbed if there aren't enough. Oh, and if anyone in the DVD creation business is reading: "interactive menus" and "scene selection" are NOT extras. They're things every DVD should have, a bloody menu and the ability to go to any scene, it's a fairly standard thing. An "interactive menu" is a menu where you can choose which option to press, so basically it just means "menu". Featuring loads of exciting extras, like: A box! A plastic thing to keep the disc from moving! A label on the disc so you know what movie it is! The ENTIRE movie on the disc! Including credits! The ability to put the disc in your player, and watch the movie! With your own eyes! (eyes not included)

One of the best DVD extras I've ever seen was the little editing feature on the Die Hard special edition - it gives you two scenes, with several angles of each shot, and you get to pick which shot to use, editing the scene yourself. It then shows you your edit, and you can compare it to the actual edit. It's quite basic and clunky, but really good fun.


Cindy said...

me sick too :(

btw - did you get my email with the whiny request? *pout-puppy eyes*

Anonymous said...

what do you do for work?

Konrad West said...

Yeah, I always wondered about the "interactive" menu bit. I suppose that back in the day, they just had menus.

They listed all the scenes, but because interactive hadn't been invented yet, you couldn't actually click on them. Hooray for "interactive" menus!

James Moran said...

Anonymous: It's a computer training company, both classroom and online - I work in the online bit, writing courses and manuals. Twice a month I'm technical support, which is what I was the other day when everything went wrong. Whenever I do it, all the machines and printers decide to stop working, to see how purple my face will go.