Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Classical Guitar Music

by: Chris Kettlelson

Classical guitar music can be located on the internet quite easily if you know how and where to search for it. Whether you are looking to make a purchase or download some free music you can find it on the net. Of course it will be a little trickier to try and locate the free stuff!

All it takes is a little elbow grease and some proper search techniques and you should have no problem locating the sites that offer free classical guitar music. A good start is to try typing in the sheet music your looking for and then add a “+” and the word free. This will bring up some good results to start with.

>From there you should be able to search through the sites and pick to the ones that are going to let you have some free classical guitar music from the sites that are going to ask you to pay a few dollars for the music. A lot of the sites that offer the free classical guitar music use tablature instead of sheet music.

Sheet is great but it can have a large learning curve and that is simply not what most people want when they are looking for classical guitar music, they want to play something!

Keep in mind that if it’s just the free music you are going after you will have a hard time finding some of the really good songs that you are probably wanting to play. The good thing is though that it does not cost too much to purchase classical guitar music and it is usually not more the five dollars on most sites.

Before you go out and make any purchases however make sure that you are a skilled enough player to attempt to play the songs! Some music can be very difficult and you will end up getting frustrated and mad that you wasted your money. Of course it is a good incentive to practice harder! After all in order to play the really beautiful classical guitar music you will have to practice quite a bit but it will pay off when you are playing for all your family and friends!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Different Ways of Learning Piano for Beginners

by: Brian Shelton

There is a bit of a mini-revolution going on in the world of piano teachers. And it all has to do with teaching piano for beginners.

You see, there's the old way of teaching piano. This way focuses on learning notes, learning to site read music, and learning where each individual note is on the piano. This method also focuses on practicing scales day in and day out.

This classic method is what a lot of people think of when they think of piano for beginners. But it's not the only way to learn.

Many piano teachers have begun teaching in a new way that is exciting and enjoyable to their students. The students of these teachers learn to play music faster and have a better time doing it.

What is the name of this miracle method?

While it doesn't have a formal name, people refer to it as "learning chords." Piano for beginners is taught with an emphasis on learning chords, rather than individual notes.

This method is so popular because it makes learning piano exciting. After just a few short lessons, students can play real music. This is much more thrilling for students than practicing scales. After all, most people want to learn piano to play songs, not scales.

Chords are a natural lead into music making. It's the way people learn to play guitar, and it's the reason that guitar players often enjoy their lessons more.

When a beginning piano student learns chords, they can easily play a song within the first few lessons. This creates a sense of satisfaction of the student and encourages them to learn more. It builds confidence, in children and adult beginners alike. And that confidence can get the student excited about piano.

Piano for beginners taught through the chord based method is enjoyable for student and teacher alike. Could you imagine listening to nothing by scales for hours each day? A teacher that instructs their students to use chords can hear actual music as they teach their students to play.

Chords allow new students to speak the language of music, rather than just learning the "letters" of that language. With a chord-based method, students develop a real appreciation for music and an understanding for song composition much earlier. They can learn music, instead of just learning notes. This is satisfying for the student and the teacher alike.

Piano for beginners can be exciting and fun when the right method is used!

The Search For One's Identity: Citizen Kane

by: Ben Warner

The search to find one’s identity is at the heart of Orson Welles’ film, Citizen Kane. The film’s main protagonist, Charles Foster Kane, is in a life-long search for his true self. The sequence of Kane’s first marriage to Emily Norton is a representation of Kane’s search; his life in microcosm. Understanding the construction of the marriage sequence is therefore important in understanding it as a microcosm of Kane’s life. The unique application of cinematography, mis-en-scène, editing and soundtrack come together to construct a sequence of six segments, each of which highlights the changes in Kane as he becomes disillusioned with a search that he is unable to complete. An analysis of the marriage sequence will be essential in understanding how Citizen Kane explores Kane’s search for his elusive identity, but also give meaning to the film’s most intriguing mystery: “What is Rosebud?”

The cinematographic construction of the marriage sequence begins with a slow tracking shot into Kane and Norton as they eat at a breakfast table. Kane and Norton sit close to one another at a table of medium-size. The setting is illuminated with high-key lighting, leaving diffused or little shadows against the characters. This establishing shot clearly defines the space in which the two characters are inhabiting. By establishing that Kane and Norton are sitting close together at a table, we not only see the closeness in their relationship, but we also see Kane completely comfortable with himself and his relationship with Norton. The establishing shot also delineates the 180 line through the two characters, which is approximately parallel to the length of the breakfast table. The remainder of the shots in the sequence do not cross the 180 line, ensuring spatial continuity.

The maintenance of spatial continuity continues with the shot/reverse shots that follow the establishing shot. Kane and Norton are framed in medium close-ups, that is, only from the chest upwards. The position of the camera does not change, making each shot virtually identical. These shots make use of offscreen space by only capturing one character on screen at a time. Even though we do not see the other character, we know that they are there. By using offscreen space, emphasis can be placed on each individual character. The characters also create eyeline matches between shots; that is, when Kane looks to the right of screen, we can follow his point of view into the next shot when Norton appears on screen, and vice versa. Eyeline matches make the scene easier to follow by allowing us to follow the characters’ point of view. Identical shots, offscreen space and eyeline matches become important when the mis-en-scène changes between each segment of the sequence, highlighting the disintegration of the marriage and the effect of Kane’s failing search on his attitudes toward life.

The shot/reverse shots are split at different times by a unique ‘fast-forward’ transition that distinguishes the six individual segments within the one sequence. The ‘fast-forward’ transition itself appears to be constructed of a dissolve from the end of one segment to an extremely quick panning shot and then a dissolve to the beginning of the next segment. This transition effectively ‘fast-forwards’ over the majority of the marriage, stopping only to view the parts that affect Kane’s struggle to find himself. The transition is a temporal ellipsis that omits months and even years of the marriage. By cutting together the six segments with this transition, the marriage sequence becomes a montage sequence where we sense years of story time passing, even though only a few minutes of real time pass.

The sequence ends with a slow tracking shot out from Kane, revealing a much longer breakfast table with Norton sitting on the opposite side. This shot is virtually identical to the establishing shot but in reverse. The shot re-establishes the spatial relations between the characters, but more importantly, it highlights what has changed from the establishing shot. The longer breakfast table stands in contrast to the intimate table setting in the establishing shot, giving us a physical representation of the distance that has grown between Kane and Norton.

The unchanging cinematographic construction of the marriage sequence allows us to see the significant changes of mis-en-scène and performance between each segment. As each segment is short in duration, we see these changes quickly. Describing these changes between segments in detail will demonstrate the power of them within the marriage sequence.

The first segment displays Kane at a time where he is closest to the identity he had as a child. Kane is happy, well adjusted, and married to the President’s niece. This is no doubt the bright future Kane’s mother wanted for him when she sent him away. Kane is optimistic and willing to do for others, as he preached in his ‘Declaration of Principles’ at the Inquirer. In this instance, Kane is willing to take time off the Inquirer to spend time with his wife. As a result, Orson Welles as Kane and Ruth Warwick as Norton perform this scene by only having eyes for each other, they sit close together and lean in towards each other. The table at which they are sitting is of medium size, allowing for an intimate setting. Few objects clutter the table; representing the openness between the newly-weds. Kane is dressed with flair in a tuxedo while Norton is open and receptive to Kane wearing a dress that bares her shoulders. This segment represents one of the rare moments in Kane’s life where he all but ceased his drive to prove himself to others and be comfortable with himself.

Kane becomes side-tracked in his search in the second segment as the Inquirer takes over his life again. Kane and Norton now sit opposite one another. Clutter has accumulated on the table, giving a physical representation of the barrier Kane is now putting up between himself and Norton by working all hours at the Inquirer. Kane is more casually dressed and is leaning back into his chair. Both elements are suggestive of feigning interest in Norton. Norton is dressed up to her neck, revealing to us that she is no longer receptive to Kane. The performance of Welles and Warwick in this scene creates an underlying antagonism, despite the comical nature of the segment as the two characters tease each other. Kane highlights this antagonism when he lights his pipe and flicks the match in his hand in front of Norton with a smug tone in his voice. The smugness is borne out of Kane’s ability to be swayed by money and power, a fact Kane himself recognises as an older man when he tells his manager Bernstein, “if I hadn’t been very rich, I might have been a really great man.”

The third segment shows the first signs of Kane’s regression back to his rebellious behaviour, similar to his management of the Inquirer to anger Thatcher. As for the marriage, the first real friction between Kane and Norton emerges. Clutter on the table still obstructs the view between Kane and Norton, a barrier with which Kane uses to close himself off from Norton. Kane is even more casual, his shirt is more open, and Norton is formal. Warwick gives an aggressive performance by sitting up straight and leaning towards Kane as she questions him why he is attacking the President. Welles on the other hand makes Kane sit side-on and backward in a defensive position, using bluster to deflect Norton’s aggression. Kane calls the President Uncle John, denigrating him by calling him a ‘fat-head’ with poor control over his corrupt political advisors. This attack on the President by Kane is in essence, an attack on Norton. Kane’s desire to attack those who denigrate the underprivileged is repeated in his management of the Inquirer, and in his political campaign to become governor of the state and eventually President of the United States. By doing this Kane is pursuing an alternative avenue in his search by returning to his origins. Kane believes he was done wrong as an underprivileged child and he wants to make sure this does not happen to anyone else like him.

The fourth segment has a clinical, detached feel. Norton retains her formal wear. Kane on the other hand is dressed like a cold business executive. His hair is slicked back and his suit is black, and Welles gives an emotionally bereft performace. Norton attacks Kane by not wanting his friend Bernstein to visit their nursery. This is a personal attack on Kane, similar to the way in which Kane attacked Norton in the previous segment. In response, Kane is stern, cold and unresponsive to her on an emotional level. In this segment, Kane has lost sight of the search.

The fifth segment sees the solidification of the disillusioned Kane, and the serious cracks in the marriage. Kane is dressed in a tuxedo. Heavy make-up is employed to make Kane appear older. Norton is still dressed in her formal wear but softer make-up is employed to make her look older. Welles gives an arrogant performance, with Kane spouting angrily at Norton that the people will think “what I tell them to think”. This one line is the first real reversal on Kane’s ‘Declaration of Principles’ that he wrote in his early days at the Inquirer, and serves to show how he has not only lost sight of his identity, but he is actually becoming the opposite of it. The segment has sinister overtones, as Kane retaliates against the life he was given, much like the boy that attacked Thatcher out of anger with a sled at the beginning of Kane’s life.

The final segment displays Kane as he is at the end of his life, shut off from Norton as he is shut off from everyone in Xanadu. The marriage is all but ended. Neither character is speaking to each other. They are both clearly in opposition, as shown by the use of the newspapers they are reading: Kane is reading the Inquirer while Norton is reading The Chronicle, Kane’s rival newspaper. The use of props, the newspapers, is serving the narrative function of the opposition between Kane and Norton.

The marriage sequence is underscored by a musical soundtrack that changes with each segment. The first segment has a romantic motif, highlighting the closeness shared by Kane and Norton. The second and third segments have comic tones as the characters tease and antagonise each other. The fourth segment expresses the tension and concern for Kane as he loses faith in the search for his identity. The fifth segment is sinister and ominous, representing Kane’s harshness toward the people that let him down. The final segment has a futile motif, representing the marriage as a failure, and thus his search as a failure.

The break-up of Kane’s marriage is his life in microcosm. Kane needed help in finding his identity. Norton is the face of the people he sought help from. He gained the help he sought and then he lost it through the distractions of wealth and power, resulting in the disintegration of the search for his identity and his withdrawal into Xanadu at the end of his life. Kane is forced to repeat this experience over and over again: his mother allows Thatcher to take him away from everything he knows and loves, he loses the respect of the voters when Boss Gettys releases the story of Kane’s extra-marital affair to the newspapers, and he loses Susan Alexander at the end of his life when she has had enough of living as a prisoner in Xanadu. The first three segments of the marriage sequence show a Kane that had the ability to find himself, while the final three segments show a Kane that was ultimately unable to find himself. Kane’s inability to re-initiate the search for his identity after he loses the love and respect of the people makes him a tragic character.

‘Rosebud’ then is the physical name Kane gives to these experiences of loss. Every time he loses the love and help he seeks, he returns to the small child who was taken away from his mother. Kane whispered the word ‘Rosebud’ when Susan Alexander walked out on him, but he has in fact been saying this subconsciously to himself throughout his entire life. Kane had an identity, and without his consent, it was given away by his mother and taken by Walter Thatcher. What emerged was a man constructed from wealth, power and fame. He is everyone, and no one.

Kane believes that ‘he did pretty well under the circumstances’ to be the best men that he could. Kane’s approach to running the Inquirer is the practical application of his desire to distance himself from what Thatcher wants him to be. It is the driving force of his soul; an action Kane performs in retaliation against Thatcher when Thatcher takes Kane away from his mother as a child. Bernstein, Kane’s manager, was astute to say to the reporter Thomspon, ‘this Rosebud you keep asking about, maybe it was something [Kane] lost?” Kane’s loss is demonstrated in the marriage sequence and is the reason why this sequence provides a valuable insight in to Charles Foster Kane and a detailed overview of the prevailing theme of Citizen Kane, the search for one’s identity.

The Hunt For Red October - Fact or Fiction?

by: Andrew Conway

The is a fictitious Typhoon class submarine in the
Tom Clancy novel The Hunt for Red October and the
movie which followed.

When I first saw this film, written by Tom Clancy,
I thought that an awful lot of research had gone into
the making of this movie, but I often wondered
where someone would come up with such a plot.
Was this filam based on fact, or fiction in the
writers mind. And if it was based on fact, where
did Clancy get his information from.

The main theme of the story partially centers around
the dual capabilities of this submarine. As a submarine
of the Typhoon class, it carries many ballistic
missiles armed with nuclear warheads. With a stealthy
propulsion unit, it can no longer be detected by
NATO naval vessels. As described in both the book
and the film, these capabilities combine to create
a horrific weapon, whereby the submarine could easily
surface near a city, like New York,N.Y. fire its
missiles, and destroy key targets before any government
or miltary leaders could order a counterattack. One
interpretation, as offered in the film and book, is
that this submarine's existence is for one puropse:
not as a deterrant to an Amerian attack on the Soviert
Union, but solely as a weapon of first strike. The U.S.
Government know that they have only two options for
this type of submarine. Either they capture it or
they destroy it.

Marko Ramius,[Sean Connery] a Lithuanian who has risen
to high levels of trust in the Soviet Navy, intends to
defect to the United States with his officers and the
experimental nuclear submarine Red October, a Typhoon
class submarine equipped with a revolutionary stealth
propulsion system.

Jack Ryan,[Alex Baldwin] a naval historian turned CIA
analyst, deduces Ramius' plans. The U.S. high command
agrees warily, while also planning for contingencies
in case the Soviet Fleet has other intentions than their
stated cover. As tensions rise between the U.S. and Soviet
fleets, and the crew of a U.S. attack submarine stumble
across the secret to detecting the Red October,

This film was one of the best movies of the 90's.
It launched Clancy's successful career as a novelist
and the suepurb acting abilities of a number of well
known stares.

And yes this novel and movie were based on true facts
concerning the defection of two Soviet navel officers.
[1]In 1961, Soviet Navy submarine captain Jonas Pleškys
sailed his vessel from Klaipeda to Gotland in Sweden.
The Soviet authorities sentenced him in his absence to
death by firing squad, but the CIA hid him, first in
Guatemala and later in the United States.

[2]On November 8, 1975, the Soviet Navy frigate Storozhevoy
mutinied. At the time, the Western powers believed it
was an attempt to defect from Latvia to the Swedish
island of Gotland. The mutiny was led by the ship's
Political Officer, Captain Valery Sablin. The mutiny
was unsuccessful, and Sablin was captured, court-martialed,
and executed.

So there you have it. So the next time you go view a "spy
thriller"type of movie, you should always ask yourself!
Fact Or Fiction?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Movie Gift Baskets Can Be A Blockbuster

by: Brian F Connors

There inevitably comes around the necessity of the giving of gifts to celebrate various occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries and festive holidays such as Christmas. Gifts are also a tool to boost someone’s spirits when sickness, injury or misfortune has occurred. What, pray tell, can be a slam-dunk testimony of your sentiments to anybody who enjoys a good flick now and then? Movie Gift Baskets is the correct answer!

Who doesn’t love to escape this tension filled world into a fantasy of action, drama, mystery, romance or a creative mixture of these? There’s a longing within each of us to forget the challenges that exist in our everyday lives and take a refreshing hiatus into another realm. Movies have long been the antidote to focus on more entertaining matters than the reality that most of us have to deal with. Herein lies the answer to a gift-giving solution that could win you an Oscar among friends, family, and associates.

Movie Gift Baskets take the passion of seeing a film a step further. You can give an evening of fun with snacks such as popcorn, cookies, Cracker Jacks, peanuts, candy and more all placed within an entertainment themed container. Movie buffs would rejoice at these alone but there is also the option to include $10 or $15 Blockbuster gift cards to make the celebration complete with no compromise on your part.

Imagine the jubilation of a person or family that knows that the entertainment of their choice awaits them. Add to that the bounty of tasty snacks to be relished at the same time which would compound that excitement even more. Consider the comfort within yourself knowing that you took the initiative to seek the well-being and happiness of others. Giving Movie Gift Baskets is without question a win-win situation.

Take the advice of aGiftBasketParadise.com and gain the upper hand in gift shopping. Consider Movie Gift Baskets for both the self-titled film critics in your life as well as those who need a nudge to just chill-out for a spell and enjoy life a little bit more.

From Here To Eternity--The Film That Was Almost Never Made

by: Andrew Conway

The first time that I saw from here to eternity
was late in the sixties. I have been somewhat of
a fan of Frank Sinatra's and I wanted to see
what part he would play in this so called
"military" film. I must admit that I was
surprised at the content of this film. Being in
the military at this time, I could almost under-
stand why the military was against this movie
when it first came out years earlier. That may
have been one of the reasons that I liked it so
much.

>From Here to Eternity is a 1953 movie based on the
novel by James Jones in which characters work
through daily bouts of intimidation and infidelity
on a military base in the days preceding the
attack on Pearl Harbor. The plot of this film is
that in 1941 Hawaii, a private is cruelly punished
for not boxing on his unit's team, while his
captain's wife and second in command are falling
in love.

James Jones based his this novel, in 1951, on his
own military experience as a World War II veteran,
and created a scathing portrait of peacetime
military life in the U.S. army in the months
before Pearl Harbor. Although Jones' novel became
a best-seller and winner of the National Book
Award, few studios viewed this project as a viable
endeavor. Warner Bros. and 20th Century-Fox did
attempt initial treatments of the book, only to
finally dismiss it as unfilmable because of
excessive profanity, sexual situations, and
unflattering views of the military.

Harry Cohn, president of Columbia Pictures, bought
the film rights to the novel for $82,000, the
project became known as "Cohn's folly." Cohn,
for those of you not familiar with the movie
mogul, had a reputation built on aggressive, rude,
and tyrannical behavior. Director Fred Zinnemann
referred to Cohn as "a robber baron, predatory
and cunning," and admitted to initially disliking
Cohn so much that he asked his agent to get him
off the film.

The movie was budgeted at around two million
dollars, making it one of the costliest films of
the year.

The story encompasses groundbreaking themes of
prostitution, adultery, military injustice,
corruption, violence, alcohol abuse, and murder.
It involves the personal lives of its main
characters – an enlisted man, an unappreciated
officer's wife, a prostitute and a military
outcast. The major male characters wage their own
battle against corruption at higher levels.

Its five stars, Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift,
Deborah Kerr, Frank Sinatra, and Donna Reed all
received Oscar nominations and Reed and Sinatra
won for Best Supporting Actress and Actor. [Frank
Sinatra, for his performance as Maggio--had to
fight and plead for the role, after first choice
Eli Wallach backed out.]

The famous beach lovemaking scene between
Lancaster and Kerr was featured on numerous films
in popular media. In actuality, the scene only
lasted 3 seconds.

This Film Won 8 Oscars. Another 12 wins & 7
nominations

This is one great classic film that was almost
never made. Cohn's folly turned out to be
Cohn's golden egg. No matter what anyone thought
of this man personally, at least he had the
hignsight to see beyond the naysayers during this
period.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Old Violin Shop: Tips On Buying Your First Violin

by: Daniel Wright

Whether you have been playing the violin since you were young, or want to start taking lessons now, there are a number of things to consider when shopping for a violin online. These things include cost, location of the product, quality, and additional items the violin is being sold with. You should research online for a good old violin shop to find quality violins for sale (http://www.old-violin-shop.com/).

Cost is the first and foremost concern in any purchase you make. This cost can be outstanding when shopping for a musical instrument. A fiddle (http://www.old-violin-shop.com/violins_for_sale.php?q=fiddle&catid=38107&submit=search&advanced=) or violin can cost anywhere from one hundred to a million dollars and the one you choose can be somewhere between these amounts. Buying a cheaply made instrument would not be worth the time and energy involved. A quality violin can be expected to cost around a thousand dollars. You may want to consider learning to play a different instrument if you don't want to spend this much.

In today's world where online technology has made it easy to find an old violin shop (http://www.old-violin-shop.com/) anywhere in the world, there may be some reasons to stick to the traditional shopping near home concept. In purchasing an instrument from an old violin shop found online, there are several risks associated. For example, the instrument can be damaged during shipping and they are very sensitive to weather variations. For this reason, if having an instrument sent from a distance is the method one chooses, it is best to consider insurance on the product.

The quality of the instrument is very important. There is no use in learning to play a bad quality instrument because it will never sound good. It will also be more prone to breaking and slipping out of tune. This is why you need to consider the cost of the instrument when making your decisions.

Often times the fiddle (http://www.old-violin-shop.com/violins_for_sale.php?q=fiddle&catid=38107&submit=search&advanced=) will be sold with a case and a bow. These are extra items that you will want to compare when choosing your violin. Quality cases and bows are also expensive so if the cost of the violin includes these, you could be getting a good deal.

The violin is an intricate instrument. It is very delicate and sensitive to its environment. It is possible to buy a few violins that are good quality but are broken in some way or another and take the pieces to a repair shop and get them mended together.

Amati Violin Attributes

by: Daniel Wright

Music allows us to connect with our inner self. It calms our mind and brings us to a closer level with our soul. There is a wide range of musical instruments. There are guitars, drums, pianos, flutes, saxophones and many other instruments that create melodies that enrapture us all. There is nothing that is more overwhelming than to listen to a beautiful song that reaches inside us and touches our soul.

However, there is one instrument that especially creates this rapturous connection. These instruments are violins. When we hear about violins (http://www.old-violin-shop.com/), the first name that we think of is the world famous Amati violin (http://www.old-violin-shop.com/violins_for_sale.php?q=Amati&catid=38107)s. These violins refer to an Italian family of violin makers. The family, from beginning to now in the context of the violin runs from Andrea Amati, Antonio and Girolamo Amati, to Nicolo Amati and so on.

The precision and craftsmanship of the Amati family of violin-makers is unmatched even today when technology has replaced hands at many places. An "Amati violin (http://www.old-violin-shop.com/violins_for_sale.php?q=Amati&catid=38107)" does not need words or advertisements to boast of its supremacy and quality; it does it all with a mere movement of the bow over the strings.

The luthiers of Italy are popular throughout the world. When Andrea Amati made the first violin in his family, little did he know what the future had in store for him and for his descendants. Such is the craze of the fiddles made by this family, that in Italy the term violin is synonymous with an "Amati-violin".

Italian violin (http://www.old-violin-shop.com/italian-violin.html)s are known for the meticulous attention to detail that leads directly to their distinctive sound. Whether they are played in a jazz band, a world class symphony, or as a bluegrass fiddle, the warmth and style of the music will not fail to impress listeners.

Even if you use thousands of words, it will still not be enough to describe the beauty, style and quality of an "Amati violin (http://www.old-violin-shop.com/violins_for_sale.php?q=Amati&catid=38107)". How can you find words to describe the sound of the beautiful music produced from the hand-carved body of this Italian musical instrument?

The History of the Electric Guitar

by: Paul Smith

When most people think of electric guitars, they think of rock music. But electric guitars are more versatile than you’d think. You can find them in jazz, blues, country music, New-Age compositions, and even contemporary classical pieces. Electric guitars are intimately associated with many famous musicians of the twentieth century—and may be the iconic musical instrument of our time.

The demand for electric guitars came during the Big Band Era in the 20’s and 30’s. The big brass bands of the time were very loud, and other instruments had to be artificially amplified to stand up to their powerful sound. Performers experimented with attaching microphones to acoustic guitars. The first manufactured electric guitars were made in 1931 by the Electro String Instrument Corporation.

The first time an electric guitar is known to have been used in performance was in 1932. Bandleader Gage Brewer of Wichita, Kansas, received two electric guitars directly through Electro String Instruments, possibly for publicity purposes. Brewer wrote about the guitars in an article in the Wichita Beacon before the performance.

The earliest known recording of an electric guitar performance was produced in 1938. George Barnes, a jazz guitarist, recorded two songs with the guitar, called “It’s a Lowdown Dirty Shame” and “Sweetheart Land.”

The earliest electric guitars were essentially hollow-bodied acoustic guitars equipped with Tungsten pickups. The problem with hollow-body electric guitars is that the hollow space within the guitar produces vibrations when the strings are plucked or strummed. These vibrations account for the unique tone of an acoustic guitar, but they produce harsh feedback when they interact with the pickups in an electric guitar. Early electric guitar players used to stuff rags and newspapers into their hollow-body instruments in an attempt to get rid of the feedback.

One of the earlier solid-body guitars was an aluminium instrument known as the “Frying Pan” or “Pancake Guitar.” These guitars were said to have produced a sound similar to that of modern electric guitars.

Several other well-known luthiers experimented with solid-body guitars during the early history of the electric guitar. In 1940, during his time at Gibson Guitars, Les Paul attempted a solid-body instrument called the “log guitar,” so called because it was a simple post equipped with neck, strings, and pickups.

The electric guitar did not hit commercial success until the 1950’s, when Fender released its first solid-body model: the Esquire. The Esquire was followed by the Telecaster and finally, in 1954, the Stratocaster. The “Strat” was hailed in professional musical and luthier circles alike, and became a signature instrument of such famous musicians as Jimi Hendrix, George Harrison, David Gilmour, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, and many others.

The electric guitar produced an aggressive sound very different from the melodic and lyrical tones of its ancestor, the acoustic. The sound of the electric guitar became characteristic of rock and roll in the 60’s and 70’s. It was a high-profile instrument during this time, appearing on stage with hundreds of famous bands and musicians.

This created demand among the general public for affordable electric guitars. In the 60’s and 70’s, electric guitars were very expensive—too pricey for a buyer who wasn’t a famous musician. Although some companies attempted to fill the gap with cheap imitations, the sound of these guitars did not compare to the real thing.

It wasn’t until the 1980’s that Japanese manufacturers stepped forward with affordable electric guitars capable of professional-quality sound. This put pressure on American companies such as Gibson and Fender to provide their own affordable lines. Electric guitars became more and more successful in the consumer market as quality improved, and prices went down as new manufacturers entered the market. Soon, electric guitars were more accessible than they had ever been.

Today, the electric guitar is one of the most prolific instruments in popular music. You can find it in a wide variety of genres, from metal to New Age. You can also buy an electric guitar like the rock stars have—without paying the prices they pay. Because it’s so common in contemporary music and in the hands of amateur musicians, there’s little doubt that the electric guitar is one of the most successful instruments of the twentieth century.

A Short History of the Electric Guitar

by: Paul Smith

Electric guitars are strongly associated with famous musicians of the twentieth century—and may be the iconic musical instrument of our time. Here’s a brief history of their rise in popular music.

During the Big Band Era in the 20’s and 30’s, performers experimented with attaching microphones to acoustic guitars in order to amplify the sound. Most electric guitars were hollow-bodied acoustics with electric pickups. But the hollow space within the guitar produced vibrations that made harsh feedback when interacting with electric pickups.

Manufacturers experimented with solid-body guitars to get rid of the feedback. One of the earlier solid-body guitars was an aluminium instrument known as the “Frying Pan” or “Pancake Guitar.” In 1940, Les Paul attempted a solid-body instrument called the “log guitar,” so called because it was a simple post equipped with neck, strings, and pickups.

The electric guitar did not hit commercial success until the 1950’s, when Fender released its first solid-body model: the Esquire. The Esquire was followed by the Telecaster and finally, in 1954, the Stratocaster.

The aggressive sound of the electric guitar became characteristic of rock and roll in the 60’s and 70’s. It was a high-profile instrument during this time, appearing on stage with dozens of famous bands and musicians.

This created demand for affordable electric guitars. In the 60’s and 70’s, electric guitars were too expensive for ordinary buyers. But it wasn’t until the 1980’s that Japanese manufacturers stepped forward with affordable electric guitars that sounded good. This put pressure on American companies such as Gibson and Fender to provide their own affordable lines.

Today, the electric guitar is one of the most prolific instruments in popular music. You can find it in a wide variety of genres, from metal to New Age.

One Of Hitchcock's Best Films Ever

by: Andrew Conway

Through his rear window and the eye of his powerful camera
a photo jounalist watches a great city tell on itself, expose
its cheating ways and Murder!

The movie is about voyeurism and to a lesser degree about
love between two apparently different people.

Rear Window is a 1954 film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, based on
Cornell Woolrich's 1942 short story It Had to Be Murder. It stars
James Stewart as photojournalist L. B. Jefferies, Grace Kelly as
his fashion model girlfriend Lisa Carol Fremont, and Raymond Burr
as the suspected killer, Lars Thorwald.

The film is considered by many film goers to be one of Hitchcock's
best and most thrilling pictures.

L. B. "Jeff" Jefferies is a professional photographer who has been
confined to his Greenwich Village apartment after an accident has
left him with his leg in a cast,he takes to spying on his neighbors
through the rear window. His view of the back of several apartment
buildings, their inner courtyard, and the persons dwelling within.
Jeff comes to believe a murder has taken place in the building across
the courtyard, though his friends, his nurse Stella (Thelma Ritter),
and his girlfriend, Lisa Carol Fremont (Grace Kelly) initially think
his beliefs are imagined, and put them down to his idle behavior.

Thorwald and his wife are a reversal of Jeff and Lisa. Thorwald looks
after his invalid wife just as Lisa looks after the invalid Jeff.
They were actually a newlywed couple who rarely leave their bedroom.
But this developes into trouble for their marriage and Thorwald and his
wife begin to argue.The constant nagging of the wife sets the
stage for murder.

The character of Lars Thorwald is not seen in close-up and cannot
be heard speaking clearly until the climax of the movie.
At this point, he appears in Jeff's room. This scene features a
sequence shown from Thorwald's point of view as he attempts to proceed
towards Jeff, but is repeatedly stopped as Jeff blinds him with
the flash from his camera. But Lars does suceeds in pushing Jeff out
of the window just as the police arrieve and arrest Lars for the murder
of his wife.

Jeff survives and the film ends with the planning of his future with
Liza.

This movie has been deemed "culturally significant" by the United
States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the
National Film Registry.The film received four Academy Award nominations.
[1]Best Director for Alfred Hitchcock,[2] Best Screenplay for John Michael
Hayes,[3]Best Cinematography, Color for Robert Burks,[4] Best Sound Recording
for Loren L. Ryder, Paramount Pictures.

Movies and Television on DVD, But Where is the Technology Heading?

by: Jason Stevens

Movies, they have been around to entertain us for over 100 years. Over this time, technology has improved to allow us to watch movies at home via 8mm reel to reel, VHS and Betamax video tape, CD-ROM (VCD movies) and currently DVD format. The DVD format, emerged informally as "digital versatile disc" around 1995. Research by Sony/ Philips and Toshiba around this time came from looking for alternatives to CD-ROM and VHS/Beta tapes as a replacement.

DVD has become a popular format for not just movies but for several platforms of media today, used in formats like DVD players for movies and TV series, consoles like the Playstation and XBOX, and for Personal Computers (which are also used for storage, the DVD-R +R, DVD-RW & DVD-RAM formats).

Since 2005, Sony and Toshiba have again gone head to head with Bluray (Sony) and HDDVD (toshiba) and with those of you old enough to remember the Betamax (Sony) and VHS (Toshiba) it is reminisce of the format wars of 25 odd years back.

For most, these two new formats are generation II of DVD, Bluray has a slightly larger capacity than HDDVD (around 30 Gb compared to DVD of around 4.7Gb) and uses a thinner blue laser on players (large red lasers are used on players that play cd and dvds) and HDDVD although slightly less capacity than Bluray (around 25Gb) uses a thinner red laser and is easier to manufacture in plants that make standard dvd discs. This presents new issues for the consumer. Which do I buy? What are the advantages and disadvantages? What is the cost?

Holographic DVD is also another emerging format that looks like getting commercial release in about 2009 and has storage looking to 200Gb and upwards. Thats about half a million MP3's, or about 400 hours of Standard Definition video or 80 hours of High Definition video. Whew !

Standard definition video ? High definition video? What the heck is this you ask. It is how a picture or video playback is displayed on a screen and that screen needs to be capable of High Definition playback (TV, rear projection. LCD or Plasma), TV and Video/ DVD has played back in Standard Definition for about the last 50 years. It is approximate to 800 x 600 DPI on a computer screen, where High Definition is approximate to 1280 x 1024 DPI on a computer screen.

Digital download (the internet and wireless internet), another emerging technology not just for viewing video on computers, but for cell phones as well. Cable TV, TIVO, Digital or broadband TV (IPTV), yes yet more technologies on the TV front vying for your hard earned dollar. Most consumers in the USA already have these 3 technologies.

Confused ? Thats understandable. Its 2007 and we haven't had more to choose from to get TV or movie entertainment than any other time before it. We don't know what technology will be available in 5, 7 or 10 years, but one thing is sure. No matter how good the tech is, the best will be the one that consumers desire to use the most...

Saturday Night And Sunday Morning Movie Review

by: Andrew Conway

Saturday Night and Sunday Morning is a 1960 film adaptation
of the novel of the same name by Alan Sillitoe. Sillitoe
adapted the screenplay himself and the film was directed by
Karel Reisz.

It tells the story of Arthur Seaton,played by Albert Finney,
a young Nottingham factory worker, who is having an affair
with Brenda, played by Rachel Robertas,the wife of an older
co-worker. He also has a relationship with Doreen,played by
Shirley Anne Field, a woman closer to his own age.

It is a terrifying glimpse into an age where work, booze,
and death were all that Britain's young men had to look
forward to. "What I want is a good time, the rest is all
propaganda," is Seaton's saying, but in the end, he
realizes he's fighting a losing battle as an affair with
his best friend's wife (Roberts) ends badly. She is
pregnant and her husband finds out about her affair. Arthur
earns a beating from the cuckolded husband's squaddie
brother for his peccadillo. He ends up back with Doreen and
the final scene takes place on the top of a hill where both
of them are talking about their future planes. It seem that
Arthur is finally realizing that marriage is probably
unavoidable. He has fallen in love with Doreen and they end
up talking about what type of house Doreen would like to
eventually live in.

Actually this film takes place about the same time that the
world seems to be going through a cultural revolution that
led us into the sixties. The Beatles,Rolling Stones, and
many other groups will come into their own during this
decade.

This is a black and white film that will end up as a true
classic for its time. Finney was voted the most promising
newcomer at the British Academy's (BAFTA) awards. To me it
kind of symbolized the struggles that most of us go through
during our rebellious younger years and the inevitable
realization about how we are going to spend the rest of our
lives.

Learn Guitar - Online Review

by: Dave Bennett

Not all guitar lessons are the same. In the same way as all school teachers not being the same. So which to choose private guitar lessons or internet downloads. Which is the best way to learn? There are a variety of ways to learn to play guitar - the real challenge is to find out the most effective way for you.

Firstly what learning goals do you have, what you do aim to achieve, and how long do you expect it to take? Do you want to be professional, semi-pro or strictly an amateur guitarist? Also have you thought about what style of playing will best serve you best?

Realistically what do you hope to achieve in the next year?

Jam with other guitarists and musicians?

Play for friends and family?

To learn to play your favourite songs?

Guitar lessons are a strong discipline like any learning experience. Once you decide to learn this instrument, you have to persevere and stay focused. Here is a quick 'learn guitar review'.

Online Internet lessons

Before you choose to take lessons from any internet tutorial, it is best to seek out some reviews of the options available. Otherwise it is dead easy to spendout on a system that doesn't suit you at all.

How strongly do you value your spare time?

It's dead easy to waste 10 hours or so a week, mindlessly surfing the web looking out for guitar tips. Whereas if you know what you are doing and have located a strong training system you can spend that time playing guitar and learning the things you really wanted to play.

Internet lessons are definitely cheaper than private lessons, they are more convenient, at your own time and leisure. They are also in the comfort of your own home with no need to travel anywhere.

One major drawback is that if you make mistakes (without realising it), there is nobody to tell you about them! Also nobody there to ask about something you are not clear about.

Private guitar lessons

This is the most effective ways to learn, but it costs! You'll get one on one tuition, and any bad habits will be nipped in the bud. The instructor is usually well qualified and you can swap and change styles as you see fit.

It is always best to use a teacher who specialises in the style you predominantly wantb to learn. There's no point in taking a classically trained teacher to show you how to play blues guitar!

The world is full of classically trained guitar teachers who have not the slightest clue about modern music. It may also be useful to do some research on the teacher, such as famous students.

Drawbacks include being tied down to a fixed time and place, and of course the excessive cost.

The bottom line

There is no substitute for hard work no matter what you choose. If you haven't got the will to practice over and over, it's probably best to save your cash!

What Is Soca Music

by: Mantius Cazaubon

What is soca music?

This material is geared primarily towards folks who are new to this genre of music called soca. As an artist who has been recording soca songs for the last eight years, and who has won Caribbean wide soca competitions, I shall humbly attempt to present a comprehensive introduction to soca music.

Soca music originated in the Caribbean island of Trinidad and Tobago. It is widely accepted to have been created by Lord Shorty (born Garfield Blackman). He noticed that Calypso music was threatened by the more popular reggae music and dying out and attempted to create a new hybrid that was more appealing to the masses. He fused Indian music with calypso music and this resulted in a more energetic hybrid called solka, which later became known as soca. Lord Shorty introduced soca to the world in 1973 with his hit song, Indrani.

Naturally, soca music of the seventies is very different to what exists today. Today, there are two main types, namely Power Soca and Groovy Soca. What is the major difference between the two?

Power soca music is very fast, with tempos of around 160 beats per minute. The music is largely instructional in nature. Soca artists thrive on motivating audiences to respond to their dancing instructions. Power soca music is largely music to jump, wave and "wine" to. ("Wine" is derived from the word "wind" and is a type of dance that consists of hip movements). Crowd reaction is key.

Trinidadian soca artist, Superblue has been credited with starting the "jump and wave" craze. His success with this style of soca was so incredible that since then most soca songs are written with crowd response in mind.

Today, the challenge for power soca songwriters is to write songs that can move audiences but not be a regurgitation of the jump and wave theme. This is not the easiest of tasks because of the very nature of the festival that soca music is centered around. Soca music is largely carnival music. Since carnival is all about jumping and waving, the music that drives it must be able to engender such activity. Increasingly, artists are succeeding at writing songs which are not necessarily based on "jump and wave" or waving rags and flags. In an attempt to stay clear of monotony, themes like love, peace and togetherness have been very common.

Groovy soca music is arguably, a better means of propelling soca music forward internationally. It is much slower, around 115 beats per minute. This newer kind of soca allows for a wider range of topics to be addressed. Unlike the total frenzy that power soca gives rise to, groovy soca is music to sway and dance slowly to. Artists like Kevin Lyttle and Rupee have demonstrated that this type of music is very palatable to mainstream music markets, with international hits like "Turn Me On" and "Tempted To Touch" respectively. Another artist who has gain international recognition with groovy/crossover soca is Barbadian based artist, Alison Hinds.

I believe that fast and groovy soca music should continue to co-exist. I readily accept all variations of soca and put none against the other. Music is dynamic. Throughout history no genre has ever stayed the same and hybrids are constantly created.

In addition to power and groovy soca, other types of soca music include ragga soca and chutney soca.

Ragga soca is a fusion of dancehall and soca music. Ragga soca performers include Trinidians, Bunji Garlin and Maximus Dan.

Chutney soca is a blend of East Indian chutney music and soca. Chutney Soca is an up-tempo, rhythmic type of song, accompanied by traditional Indian musical instruments such as the dholak, tassa, the harmonium and the dhantal.

The line between different kinds of soca music is becoming less and less clearly defined. It can sometimes be very difficult and controversial to pin-point what is groovy, power, or ragga soca. There is so much fusion taking place that it is often difficult to tell whether a song is really a soca song. For instance some have argued that Alison Hinds' hit song, "Roll It Gal" is not really a soca song but an R&B song with a West Indian influence. While I do not hold that view, it goes to show that there are no clear distinctions and definitions. Soca music, like other forms of music is an art and cannot be restricted to a specific or exclusive mold.

Soca music is largely competitive. Every year artists try to outdo each other at carnival competitions such as Soca Monarch and Road March. At a soca monarch competition soca artists perform before large audiences and are ranked by a panel of judges. A road march song is the song which is played the most during a carnival street parade. Each Caribbean island holds its own competitions. Prizes can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars for each winner, particlurly in Trinidad and Tobago.

Some of the biggest soca artists in the industry have bowed out of competition. These include big names such as Machel Montano, Bunji Garlin and KMC. The commonly held view is that "music is a mission, not a competition". Personally, I have found such competitions to be a very negative force, causing undesirable friction between artists. As an artist, I have had my own battles. However, winning is so much fun that it can be hard to quit. The fans can be relentless in urging an artist to compete against their own will. The way these competitions are set up, it is easy to go unnoticed if one is not taking part, except if you are already strongly established in the market.

Popular soca performers include Machel Montano, Destra, Alison Hinds, Atlantik, KMC, Shurwayne Winchester, Denise Belfon, Bomani, Bunji Garlin, Iwer George, Bomani, Kevin Lyttle, Tizzy, Maximus Dan, Mr Killa, Mantius, Fireman Hooper, Jamesy P, Tallpree, Claudette Peters, Burning Flames, Nicole David, Ricky T, Qpid and Krosfyah.

Some of soca's biggest worldwide hits include "Turn Me On" by Kevin Lyttle, "Tempted to Touch" by Rupee, "Who Let the Dogs Out" by Baha Men (originally sang by Anslem Douglas), "Sweet Soca Music" by Sugar Daddy, "Nookie" by Jamesy P, "Hot Hot Hot" by Buster Poindexter (originally sang by Arrow), and "Follow the leader" by Soca Boys (originally sang by Nigel and Marvin Lewis).

Brass instruments such as trumpets and trombones have been very typical of soca music. Sometimes, the saxophone forms part of brass sections. While these instruments are still used in live performances, synthesizers and samplers are increasingly replacing them, particularly in studio recordings and at smaller concerts. Soca is very percussion and drum driven and these are often very loud in a soca mix. The bass is also very important. Other instruments used include guitars, and keyboards.

Leading soca-producing Caribbean islands include Trinidad and Tobago, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Lucia, Grenada, Barbados and Antigua and Barbuda.

"Ryan's Daughter" Is a Love Triangle with Passion, Adultery, Rebellion and a Village Idiot

by: Ed Bagley

Ryan's Daughter ' 4 Stars (Excellent)

"Ryan's Daughter" is a love story that evolves into a love triangle set in the epic splendor of an isolated village on Ireland's scenic Dingle Peninsula. Like all love triangles, it ends in a disaster that becomes a tragedy.

Rosy Ryan (Sarah Miles) seeks to find that certain something that is missing in her life and thinks she finds it when she announces her love for her former schoolteacher, Charles Shaughnessy (Robert Mitchum), who is old enough to be her father.

Unfortunately for Rosy, her marriage brings her love but not passion. It is passion she finds when she meets and instantly falls into the arms of Major Randolph Doryan (Christopher Jones), a young British officer assigned to the village.

Major Doryan is a World War I hero who ends up in the village as part of the British occupation while the war continues on in Europe. The villagers resent the British presence and will jump at a chance to fight for their freedom.

Tim O'Leary (Barry Foster) leads a resistance force that awaits the arrival of German weapons so they can finally arm and defend themselves against the British takeover.

The villagers become aware of Rosy's infidelity through the village idiot Michael (John Mills) who is mute and considered a half-wit, but Michael is clever enough to steal away the major's uniform and medal while he is busy making love to Rosy in a secluded island cave.

Michael adores Rosy but instinctively knows he has no chance. He feels a kinship with Major Doryan as they both suffer from profound limps. Both the limp and shell shock are from Doryan's war injuries.

Tom Ryan (Leo McKern) is Rosy's father and owner of the local pub. He is a big freedom talker who is taken at his word to be a freedom fighter by the rebel leader O'Leary, who leans on him for support in gathering up the German weapons that are dropped off at sea and floating to shore.

You just have to see the storm scene, huge waves are crashing against the rocky shore while villagers are scrambling to recover broken boxes of rifles, bullets and dynamite.

When the rebels seek to haul off the weapons stash, they are met by British soldiers who have been tipped off by Tom Ryan. O'Leary is shot by Major Doryan and captured while trying to escape. It is assumed he will be hung for leading the rebellion.

Once exposed, the villagers consider the unfaithful Rosy to be the "British officer's whore" as well as a disloyal and dishonorable informant when in fact it is her father. Ryan, whose wife has died, has spoiled his daughter growing up, and it is he who is the silent informer for the British that is never exposed, even when he has an opportunity to save his daughter from harm.

The villagers become a mob and eventually beat up Rosy's husband Charles, strip Rosy naked and cut off her lovely long hair. This is apparently the ultimate disgrace in an Irish village, being ostracized and then humiliated.

Major Doryan ends up on the beach with Michael who has recovered some dynamite. When Doryan realizes his affair with Rosy is over, he uses the dynamite to commit suicide.

Rosy's husband is aware of her adultery but hopes it will run its course, and he will be there when it is over. When he finds he is unable to handle it, he decides to leave Rosy. They both know that they must leave the village and are led out of town by Father Collins (Trevor Howard), the Catholic priest.

Director David Lean had to wait a year before a storm dramatic enough appeared on the Atlantic Ocean to film the weapons recovery scene. This turned into a masterpiece of filming by Freddie Young who won an Oscar for his effort.

Cinematographer Freddie Young captures the raw beauty of Ireland with its ocean cliffs, green countryside, lazy pastures and hidden forest love nest. Young shot the film entirely in a 65mm widescreen format and in Super Panavision. It was the last such film shot until 22 years later when Ron Howard filmed "Far and Away" in 1992.

The storm scene is nothing short of spectacular as well as real. Leo McKern (as Rosy's father Tom) was injured and badly shaken up while filming the storm sequence and nearly drowned. McKern was so upset he vowed never to act again and did not for several years.

The film includes a passionate love scene between Major Doryan and Rosy who was partially exposed (pretty hot for a film released in 1970). In addition to Young's Oscar, John Mills won an Oscar as Best Supporting Actor for his role as the mute half-wit. Mills bowed at the Academy Awards ceremony when receiving his Oscar and said nothing in the shortest acceptance speech in Oscar history.

Sarah Miles received an Oscar nomination for Best Actress and the film earned another nomination for Best Sound.

Mills also won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor. Sarah Miles (Best Actress) and Trevor Howard (Best Supporting Actor) won Golden Globe nominations.

A lot of critics at the time were not kind to David Lean as director of Ryan's Daughter. Lean was no slouch. He earned two Best Director Oscars for "The Bridge on the River Kwai" and "Lawrence of Arabia".

Lean was also nominated for a Best Director Oscar for "Doctor Zhivago" which won 5 Oscars and had 4 other nominations. Robert Bolt wrote Doctor Zhivago as well as Ryan's Daughter and "A Man for All Seasons". Bolt was twice married to Sarah Miles.

Lean would outperform his critics. He was voted the 9th greatest film director of all time in the BFI (British Film Institute) "Directors Top Directors" poll in 2002.

Ryan's Daughter is a slow developing romance. The film runs for 3 hours and 16 minutes. Like almost all of Lean's films, Ryan's Daughter was hugely popular with moviegoers and movie lovers alike.

Ryan's Daughter is a story about relationships and an epic film worth watching.

"A Man for All Seasons" Demonstrates What Integrity Should Be in the Middle Ages and Now

by: Ed Bagley

A Man for All Seasons ' 4 Stars (Excellent)

A Man for All Seasons poses the question: What would a man sacrifice for his principles?

When King Henry VIII (Robert Shaw) seeks approval to divorce his aging wife Catherine of Aragon who could not bear him a son, and marry his mistress Anne Boleyn, the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church stand in his way.

Henry VIII's new Chancellor of England and Cardinal--Sir Thomas More (Paul Scofield)—stands in his way as well. Henry VIII wants Sir Thomas More's blessing in his action but does not get it as Sir Thomas More, a good Catholic and Cardinal, will not go along with such heresy.

More resigns as chancellor, seeking to live out his life as a private citizen, but Henry VIII will settle for nothing less than More's public approval of his headstrong course. Sir Thomas refuses to either endorse or denounce the King's action, and remains a man of principle.

Great effort is made to convince More to change his stance on Henry VIII's action. One of More's rivals, Thomas Cromwell (Leo McKern); another religious, Cardinal Wolsey (Orson Welles); and The Duke of Norfolk (Nigel Davenport) all take their turns at More.

One example is when More testifies before an inquiry committee and Norfolk attempts to persuade him to sign an oath of allegiance:

Norfolk: "Look, I'm not a scholar, and frankly I don't know whether the marriage was lawful or not—but Thomas, look at these names! You know these men! Can't you do as I did and come along with us for fellowship?"

More: "And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Heaven for doing according to your conscience, and I am sent to hell for not doing according to mine, will you come along with me—for fellowship?"

There are several lines by More that merit mention but there is not enough space to do so. Here is one of the best: "I think that when statesmen forsake their own private conscience for the sake of their public duties, they lead their country by a short route to chaos."

Sir Thomas More was a very smart and savvy—as well as principled—man.

Henry VIII gets every person of any consequence in England to sign his oath (the Act of Supremacy), endorsing his action, except Sir Thomas who will not sign, and remains silent as to the reason why he will not sign.

Cromwell is an English statesman and the chief minister to King Henry VIII. It is Cromwell who presides over King Henry's divorce from Catherine of Aragon in 1533 and Henry's subsequent break with the Roman Catholic Church.

When More proves himself to be loyal to King Henry VIII by not speaking out against him and also shows himself to be a loyal subject by not inciting rebellion, Cromwell appears to prosecute Sir Thomas out of personal spite.

In the end, Sir Thomas is the only person in England who will die for his principles, and commit himself to God for judgment. He is betrayed by an ambitious, lower level appointed attorney general, Richard (John Hurt), whose outright lie condemns Sir Thomas to be beheaded.

Sir Thomas More loses his head (no pun intended) but most importantly, not his soul. Sir Thomas is later canonized as Saint Thomas More by the Roman Catholic Church.

Henry VIII subsequently dies of syphilis, and the evil Thomas Cromwell who orchestrates Sir Thomas More's tragic demise is himself judged a traitor to England 5 years later and is also beheaded.

The riff subsequently leads to England's split from the Roman Catholic Church and the creation of the Anglican Church, the Church of England.

A Man for All Seasons does not deviate from the truth of Sir Thomas More's stance, and as such provides a role model for acting with right thinking and right motives, even at the cost of one's life.

What makes A Man for All Seasons even more impressive is that the plot for the movie is based on the true story of Sir Thomas More. Sir Thomas More was a scholar and statesman who became the leading humanist of the Renaissance Era.

A Man for All Seasons is a story about everything that is right in England and life (Sir Thomas More's integrity to his principles) and everything that is wrong in England and life (greed, avarice, lust, lying, cheating, stealing, the corruption of power, and the corruption of religious leaders).

A Man for All Seasons was writer Robert Bolt's greatest success, first as a play and then as the screenplay for its 1966 movie release following a successful Broadway run. Bolt's 16th Century period piece has exacting details of the era.

A Man for All Seasons would win 6 Oscars at the 1967 Academy Awards: Best Picture (Fred Zinnemann), Best Director (Fred Zinnemann), Best Writing (Robert Bolt), Best Actor (Paul Scofield), Best Cinematography (Ted Moore) and Best Costume Design (Elizabeth Haffenden and Joan Bridge).

The film also received Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actor (Robert Shaw) and Best Supporting Actress (Wendy Hiller as Sir Thomas More's wife Alice).

In addition the movie garnered another 27 wins and 5 nominations, including Golden Globe wins for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Actor and a nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

Interestingly, Charlton Heston lobbied heavily for the role of Sir Thomas More, but was not seriously considered. Richard Burton was offered the part and turned it down.

The producers originally wanted Laurence Olivier as Thomas More and Alec Guinness as Wosley, but Director Fred Zinnemann insisted on Paul Scofield and Orson Welles in the roles. The rest is history. Zinnemann obviously knew how to direct a great film and a huge box office success.

Digital Video Expo West, Barbados Film Market, Web Video Summit 2007, Jingle Mingle, Actors' Fund of America Benefit, 12th Annual Satellite Awards, No

by: Paul Mitchell

In Beverly Hills on December 4, TelevisionWeek's Annual Syndication Roundtable features top executives from the syndication marketplace in an important panel discussion on the state of the business. Special guests are Dr. Phil McGraw and his son, Jay, executive producers of "The Doctors". Digital Video Expo West and DV Film Fest runs from December 4-6 in Los Angeles, and offers a line-up of educational forums, including Apple and Avid certification training, sessions covering digital video technology from A to Z, and specialized tracks featuring industry hot topics. Venture Summit West is a two-day gathering that highlights the significant economic, political and technology trends impacting the global growth investor, all happening in Half Moon Bay. The Summit gets underway with a Pre-Event Party in The Observatory on December 5. The Barbados Film Market - Film Finance Conference is organized by the Barbados International Film Festival (BIFF), with goals to set and maintain the lead as a major showcase for the exhibition of Latin America, Caribbean and Worldwide independent cinema.

The Department of Media Studies and Film of the New School in New York presents the 11th annual graduate student showcase this December 7. "Mixed Messages", an evening of student works selected by a panel of jurors, and emphasizing the Media Studies program's commitment to theory and practice encompassing all types of media. Reception follows. Boyle Heights Latina Independent Film Extravaganza is a Los Angeles event from December 7-9, featuring the creative work of Latina film directors from all across the country showing their creative work in front and behind the lens. Web Video Summit 2007 happening in New York, December 10-11, brings together the new pioneers of an expanding industry, discussing and demonstrating what you need to know about producing Internet video. David Poltrack of CBS Television and Garrick Utley of The Levin Institute preside over "FutureThink: The Media & Entertainment Industry 2008 and Beyond," taking place in New York on December 11. Women In Film and Television hold their Sixth Annual Jingle Mingle, with holiday networking and fun for Central Florida's media and entertainment professionals, December 12 in Maitland.

The Actors' Fund of America presents a December 13 gala benefit auction in New York, "Defining Elegance," showcasing glamorous evening gowns designed by award-winning costume designers using Brunschwig & Fis fabrics, all to benefit The Actors Fund. The International Press Academy puts on their annual event, the 12th Annual Satellite Awards, December 16 in Beverly Hills, and Academy Award winning actress Kathy Bates will be recognized for her 35-year career in entertainment with the Mary Pickford Award. Aspen Film Academy Award Screenings offers a sneak peek at some of the films everyone will be talking about come the Academy Awards® when it runs December 21 through January 2 in Aspen. At a New Year's Eve Holiday Bash in Port St. Lucie, aside from traditional holiday party festivities of champagne, hors'dourves, and party hats, there will be an announcement of filmmakers chosen to be a part of the Treasure Coast International Film Festival opening February 1-3 in 2008. Florida ART Film Fest is now accepting submissions for approaching film festival. Contact them for more info on submissions: floridaartfilmfest AT yahoo.com.

The above events are only a sampling of what is listed. Most of the reported events above have a submission process for indie and/or performing artists to take part in. Complete details are on the "Media, Entertainment and Performing Arts Industry News and Events" page. Video and podcast versions of this news summary are also available at most popular video sites around the Web like MySpace, YouTube, Bit Torrent, as well as on The Actor's Checklist video blog is a great place to get your iPhone, ipod or Apple TV download from. This month on video you will see trailers and video clips of Lando Van Herzog: Music and Muscle... The Voice and The Violin, making his return appearance to our video report with the Cologne Cathedral Boys' Choir; World Wide Cinema and Vince Bosco present new French film and Cannes candidate "LYA" featuring music from new comers to the Electro scene, Starshiphustlers; Chris Mitchell's DVD bound comedy "Life's A Joke," the story of a man who's not getting any... jokes, or the other thing; the music video by Michael Sweet, and the film trailer for holiday release "Noëlle" about a business minded Catholic priest who arrives in a tiny fishing village the week before Christmas to shut down a dying parish, opening December 7 at a movie theater near you. The Actor's Checklist now lets you check the latest musical artists song releases on Apple's iTunes, updated on an hourly basis, at: http://www.actorschecklist.com/resources/itunes.php.

"Lost in Translation" Makes the Meaning of Life Sound Elusive

by: Ed Bagley

Lost in Translation ' 2 Stars (Average)

"Lost in Translation" was written and directed by Sofia Coppola and won enough awards to fill a grocery cart.

The independent film earned Sofia Coppola an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay and also had 2003 Oscar nominations for Best Picture (won by "The Lord of the Rings, the Return of the King", bad timing for Sofia), Best Director (won by Peter Jackson for Lord of the Rings) and Bill Murray as Best Actor (won by Sean Penn in "Mystic River").

Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow in "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" lost the same nomination as Murray. I would have voted for Johnny Depp as Best Actor rather than Sean Penn.

Sofia Coppola's creation also won Golden Globe awards for Best Picture, Best Screenplay and Best Actor (Bill Murray), and earned nominations for Best Director and Best Actress (Scarlett Johansson).

The Oscar win was among 70 wins and 58 more nominations. To say Sofia Coppola's creation was lauded by the critics would be a huge understatement.

Seeing this film, I would not have guessed it would have won so many awards.

Sofia Coppola wrote the lead role specifically for Bill Murray, and later said that if Murray turned it down, she would have scrapped the project.

She was nothing if not persistent in recruiting Murray for the role. In 1999, Murray apparently replaced his talent agency with a voice mailbox and an 800 number he gives out sparingly.

Coppola reportedly left hundreds of messages before Murray finally called back to discuss her offer to cast him as the star. Coppola apparently knows something about selecting actors who win awards.

Lost in Translation follows Bob Harris (Bill Murray), a fading American film actor with a humdrum marriage, who is in Tokyo to do a Japanese whiskey commercial. He meets Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson), a recently college graduate in philosophy and the bored wife of a photographer doing a shoot in Tokyo.

They develop an unlikely friendship when the language barrier, Japanese culture and their own discontent surfaces. When it is time for them to resume their normal lives, leaving becomes difficult.

I give Sofia Coppola a lot of credit for not writing into the script a sexual relationship between the two. In Hollywood this would be like taking the financier's money and not worshipping at his or her feet.

Coppola had it her way because this independent film cost only $4 million to make, was filmed in 27 days and grossed $44.5 million at last count.

The opening of the film has a lingering shot of Scarlett Johansson (as Charlotte) lying in bed sideways in her panties. Johansson was apparently reluctant to film the shot until Sofia Coppola modeled the panties herself.

Thankfully, this opening was not a precursor to the film, which sought to explore a more important issue: the meaning of life. As two unhappy individuals in their roles, both Murray and Johansson struggle to find real meaning in their current circumstances.

What happens in their exploration is really nothing special. As a viewer I was waiting to see where their relationship was going because they came to no conclusions together, or on their own.

Therein is why I gave this film an average rating rather than a good or excellent rating. I wanted real substance in this film that I could relate to in my everyday life, and I was left wanting.

How odd is it that Bob and Charlotte never introduce themselves to each other despite spending days together contemplating their mutual miserable situations? This makes no sense to me whatsoever, and does not ring true in real life.

Despite winning an Oscar for her original screenplay, Sofia Coppola does not give the substance I expect. Hollywood pours out awards for her effort, and to me it only reflects why Hollywood is called Tinseltown, all show, confusion and stress without real substance.

Ultimately, both characters are seeking meaning in their lives.

One viewer wrote this about the film, "Overall the film is just perfect. The acting, the direction, the soundtrack, plot, themes, humor, visuals . . . what's not to like?"

What's not to like is this: People who seek true love seldom find it. People who seek the perfect mate never find the perfect mate. People who seek to find the true meaning of life seldom find it.

The reason is simple: you do not bring meaning to your life by seeking meaning in your life, you bring meaning to your life by giving meaning to your life. Life does not come to you, you come to life, or you become an unhappy, dissatisfied person.

When we blame others we give up our ability to change.

Lost in Translation has some great scenes of Tokyo, but like pictures in a photo album, they only reflect the meaning you bring to them.

The DJ is more important than you think

by: Michael McCarthy

You're engaged, congratulations! Now what? If you're like most brides you're probably overwhelmed with all the planning that goes into creating a fairy-tale reception. Did you know that finding the perfect DJ is one of the biggest responsibilities you have? THAT'S RIGHT! "One of the biggest responsibilities". Let me prove it to you. Ask yourself what would you love to hear as your guests are leaving? Could it be...?

"WOW that was the most fun I've ever had at a wedding, your reception was absolutely beautiful, every detail was perfect!" If that's what you want to hear, then finding the best DJ is the most important job you'll have when planning your reception. This is because the DJ has one of the biggest roles in creating your perfect day. You need to place a lot of TRUST and CONFIDENCE in this person. Why, you ask? Well consider this; you're probably going to spend thousands of dollars on a reception site, catering, flowers and a photographer to name a few expenses. While all these components are important, what do you think most people remember about your reception? Here are the most common top 3 answers:

1. the Fun
2. the Food
3. the Location

Keeping this in mind, let me ask you this; if the location is breath-taking and the food is "to die for", could a bad performance by your DJ sour the whole day? Conversely, if the location poses logistic problems and the food is just o.k. could a spectacular, fun-filled, jammed packed dance floor make up for those problems?

If you answered yes to both questions you now understand how important the DJ is. The reality is, you spend so much time and money to create the perfect reception it seems ashamed to ruin it by choosing the wrong DJ. So what's a nervous bride to do? Get the best DJ now!

I know that if you're reading this your in the process of gathering information. Booking your entertainment should be a top priority. Doesn't it make sense that the best DJs book early? (as early as 12-18 months in advance) This means you need to find someone now. The less time you have, the more you need my help.

I'm a retired DJ of 25 years and my goal is to help you understand the DJs role by revealing a DJ secret that most people in the business don't want you to know.

DJ Secret #1: The majority of brides' think the DJ's role is to make a couple of announcements and play good music. This is because that's all they see. While these are very important to the success of your reception they only represent one-third of the DJs responsibilities. The other two-thirds of the DJs role happens behind the scenes. Helping you plan and managing the flow of the day's events is just as important as playing the right music. Consider this; the function manager's role is to make sure the food is hot and on time. That's their job. When the food service is finished they're gone. But the DJ is there from the beginning to the end. The timing of the food is only one of a number of factors the DJ needs to consider. A keen awareness of every aspect of your reception is the key to maintaining a flow that results in a packed dance floor the rest of the night. You might be asking yourself "how does a DJ prepare for all these factors?"

The best DJs begin their preparations far in advance. Over the course of several conversations with the couple, the DJ should have a good feel for what they are looking for. The final details will be carefully choreographed at the planning meeting with bride a week or so before the reception. Here is where the bride discusses her vision of the perfect reception (order of events, music, announcements, etc...) It is the DJs responsibility to work with the bride in developing a time-line for all the special moments. Together the bride and the DJ should have a clear understanding of exactly when these moments will take place. If the DJ did his job correctly the bride should leave this meeting 100% confident that the DJ will make her vision a reality.

Carrying out your vision the day of your reception takes a team effort.

The best DJs contact the bride's wedding vendors before the reception to go over the agenda. This is where any conflict with food service or photography issues should be discussed. By doing this the DJ can avoid any obstacles that could cause the reception to get off schedule. You can bet a wedding team that understands and agrees on the bride's vision will work more smoothly behind the scenes to make it happen.

What does this mean to you? You should be looking for a DJ who can reassure you they represent your needs behind the scenes; that they are working for you. I can tell you this; there will always be wrinkles at the reception that the vendors must work out. But a wedding team (led by the DJ) that is on the same page will handle it without you ever finding out.

Music Downloading Legality

by: Soli Katir

There are websites out there that are 100% legal for you to download music at. When cell phones first came out all you could do is dial a number and make the call, but now you can access the Internet, take pictures, and download music and video. After you have downloaded the music from a music download site, you can listen to the songs on your computer, burn a music CD or put the songs on an MP3 player or iPod.

While the code does take a while to master (so you may need to practice before you actually make an original piece of music), the feature has encouraged many Motorola users and aficionados to create available music sheets for quick download. That basically means that you should only use your own cd’s or a licensed ZUNE site to download music to your Zune Player. With download speeds of up to 8 megabytes per second from Comcast, you’ll be able to enjoy online video, digital music downloads, and digital photographs all with an ease that’s impossible with slower Internet connections.

Although the Internet is filled with free music download-offering websites, it is important to separate the good websites from the rest in order to obtain the best results. You may choose to download music from these sites but do at your peril. (Printed sheet music is produced as single sheets, folded sheets, pamphlets, paperback or hardback volumes) It is becoming more popular to download sheet music after purchase.

Sony W810i supports AAC and mp3 music file formats, which make it easy to download your favorite numbers. And remember, PSP Blender gives you all the software needed and detailed instructions showing exactly how to download music to PSP with ease. And, you can even find a good selection of free legal music download programs that give you 100% free legal music.

The industry of downloading music illegally is now noticing that in order to get better quality with less guilt then legal download is the best way to go. To download music to Zune is pretty similar to the iPod.

Music Web Sites

by: Soli Katir

Let us examine these requirements for a successful music download. You can also download music tracks of your choice and save on your phone. Apple also brands iPod in conjunction with iTunes, its music web site where iPod users can purchase and download songs for less than $1 a piece.

But where do we stand in the eyes of the law, if we decide to download music. You could download your favorite videos and music tracks from the internet and play them on your phone. Most latest models have features beyond sending text messages and making voice calls—including Internet browsing, music (MP3) playback, personal organizers, e-mail, built-in cameras and camcorders, ringtones, games, radio, Push-to-Talk (PTT), infrared and Bluetooth connectivity, call registers, ability to watch streaming video or download video for later viewing, and serving as a wireless modem for a PC.

Any artist can have an online presence, promote their music to an audience of millions, and let consumers download their music to their hearts content. These music download sites include, believe it or not, Napster, with over 500,000 digital music downloads, eMusic, where you can get 50 free music downloads just for starters, Musicmatch, who has a great membership package, Realrhapsody, which offers a very nice two-week free trial, and one of my favorites and their “Always Low Prices” is the Wal-Mart music download. With microSD support of up to 2GB, users can download more music tracks, video clips and images.

You could listen to your favorite music tracks; you could also download the songs of your choice to your handset and drive away your blues. Download your favorite soundtracks and enjoy listening music tracks wherever you go. Moreover, you can download music, photos and Java games to make the maximum use of your leisure time.

Well here is a quick guide for beginners, on how to convert your current music files into PSP format audio files: Step One --- Download The Software First of all, you need to download software onto your PSP that allows you to convert MP3 files into PSP MP4 format.

The Jobs Of Celebrities Before They Were Famous

by: Gail Kenny

Anyone who is becoming disillusioned with their online job search and has found themselves looking enviously onto the effortless lives of celebrities can take comfort in the fact that they haven’t always had it this easy. Even the most glamorous celebs have crumpled discarded CVs that they’d rather we never see. Fortunately, the internet has made it rather easy to research celebrities’ embarrassing occupations before they were famous…

Without further ado, here’s a list of 10 celebrities’ jobs from before they were famous:

Sir Bob Geldof – Pea Canner

The outspoken former frontman of the Boomtown Rats and face of the ‘Make Poverty History’ movement took on all kinds of dead-end jobs before finding his calling in music. He worked as a road navvy, a hot dog vendor, a slaughterman and finally an exciting career in pea canning before getting a job as a music journalist in Canada.

Sylvester Stallone – Porn Star

Stallone’s tough reputation may have begun in one of his first pre-celebrity jobs – a lion cage cleaner! Years later, after dropping out of Miami University, Stallone pursued his acting dreams, but the ‘Rocky’ star had a long way to go before he was famous and his place in Hollywood history – one of his first films was called ‘Party at Kitty and Stud’s’, which is exactly as high brow as it sounds. This silver screen ‘classic’ was a hardcore pornographic film, which has since been repackaged on the back of Stallone’s success as a softcore release entitled ‘Italian Stallion’ – a reference to Rocky Balboa’s nickname.

Rod Stewart – The Grave Digger

After trying out for a football career with Scottish giants Celtic and London minnows Brentford, a young Rod Stewart decided the glamorous career of a footballer wasn’t for him and opted for the not-so-glamorous career as a grave digger. He wasn’t there for too long though, before pursuing a career in music. The Maggie May songwriter took up street singing, travelling around Europe… indeed he was actually deported from Spain for vagrancy for his art!

Madonna – Dunkin’ Donuts Worker

Madonna is now one of the best selling female music artists of all time, but somehow this will have seemed an unlikely scenario for her 20 year old self upon arriving in New York with just $35 to her name. Over the course of these tough months before she became famous, the ‘Like a Prayer’ singer made ends meet by taking on a range of low paying jobs including a stint serving customers at ‘Dunkin’ Donuts’. An exhibitionist even in those days, she also took on some nude modelling work to supplement the limited fast-food income before finding her celebrity job calling…

Michael Dell – Dishwasher

At the age of 12 the founder of Dell computers, Michael Dell was washing dishes in a Chinese restaurant for $2.30 an hour. With Dell Inc. now worth over $16 billion, I would hope that the CEO is allowing himself a better salary than he earned at the restaurant.

Helen Mirren – Amusement Park Promoter

Long before she was famous and had won her oscar, SAG Awards, BAFTAs, Golden Globes and Emmy Awards, Dame Helen Mirren had the slightly less glamourous role of attracting punters to use the rides at an amusement park in Southend on Sea. It’s unclear whether she won as many accolades in this period of her life…

Paul Daniels - Accountant

The magician and entertainer Paul Daniels was in the army, serving in Hong Kong during his national service. On his return he began training as an accountant in the civil service before leaving to run a small mobile grocery business owned by his parents. While performing magic in the evenings, the door to show business was eventually opened to him.

Jack Nicholson – Mailroom Worker

The veteran actor and star of classics like A Few Good Men, The Shining and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was reportedly discovered working in MGM’s mailroom. Before that, the three times Oscar winner had worked in a toy store and as a lifeguard.

Jerry Seinfeld – Lightbulb Retailer

Before he became famous as a comedian and sitcom star, Jerry sold lightbulbs over the phone. After no doubt being on the end of several aggressive customers, Jerry made fun of his former career on his hit sitcom by telling a cold-caller that it was a bad time and asking if he could call them back later when they’re at home trying to relax.

Brad Pitt – Man in a Chicken Suit

Now regarded as one of the most desirable men on the planet, you’d be hard pushed to see that in Brad Pitt when he handed out flyers outside El Pollo Loco Restaurant in Los Angeles dressed in a chicken suit! Even the role of refrigerator delivery man, although a step up, is a far cry from his current status! As the most embarrassing celebrity job in the list, we can’t imagine Brad looks back fondly on his occupations before he was famous!

So, aside from a slight feeling of smugness, what have we gained from seeing what these celebrities’ occupations before they were famous? Not much, but it’s clear that celebrities come from all walks of life and you never know when you might be spotted. Hopefully that’ll give you the impetus to return to your online job search with renewed vigour, afterall sir Bob Geldof wasn’t stuck canning peas forever!

FILM

History

Main article: History of film

In the 1860s, mechanisms for producing artificially created, two-dimensional images in motion were demonstrated with devices such as the zoetrope and the praxinoscope. These machines were outgrowths of simple optical devices (such as magic lanterns) and would display sequences of still pictures at sufficient speed for the images on the pictures to appear to be moving, a phenomenon called persistence of vision. Naturally the images needed to be carefully designed to achieve the desired effect, and the underlying principle became the basis for the development of film animation.

A frame from Roundhay Garden Scene, the world's earliest  film, by Louis Le Prince, 1888
A frame from Roundhay Garden Scene, the world's earliest film, by Louis Le Prince, 1888

With the development of celluloid film for still photography, it became possible to directly capture objects in motion in real time. Early versions of the technology sometimes required a person to look into a viewing machine to see the pictures which were separate paper prints attached to a drum turned by a handcrank. The pictures were shown at a variable speed of about 5 to 10 pictures per second, depending on how rapidly the crank was turned. Some of these machines were coin operated. By the 1880s the development of the motion picture camera allowed the individual component images to be captured and stored on a single reel, and led quickly to the development of a motion picture projector to shine light through the processed and printed film and magnify these "moving picture shows" onto a screen for an entire audience. These reels, so exhibited, came to be known as "motion pictures". Early motion pictures were static shots that showed an event or action with no editing or other cinematic techniques.

Ignoring Dickson's early sound experiments (1894), commercial motion pictures were purely visual art through the late 19th century, but these innovative silent films had gained a hold on the public imagination. Around the turn of the twentieth century, films began developing a narrative structure by stringing scenes together to tell narratives. The scenes were later broken up into multiple shots of varying sizes and angles. Other techniques such as camera movement were realized as effective ways to portray a story on film. Rather than leave the audience in silence, theater owners would hire a pianist or organist or a full orchestra to play music fitting the mood of the film at any given moment. By the early 1920s, most films came with a prepared list of sheet music for this purpose, with complete film scores being composed for major productions.

A shot from Georges Méliès Le Voyage dans la Lune (A Trip to the Moon) (1902), an early narrative film.
A shot from Georges Méliès Le Voyage dans la Lune (A Trip to the Moon) (1902), an early narrative film.

The rise of European cinema was interrupted by the breakout of World War I while the film industry in United States flourished with the rise of Hollywood. However in the 1920s, European filmmakers such as Sergei Eisenstein, F. W. Murnau, and Fritz Lang, along with American innovator D. W. Griffith and the contributions of Charles Chaplin, Buster Keaton and others, continued to advance the medium. In the 1920s, new technology allowed filmmakers to attach to each film a soundtrack of speech, music and sound effects synchronized with the action on the screen. These sound films were initially distinguished by calling them "talking pictures", or talkies.

The next major step in the development of cinema was the introduction of so-called "natural" color. While the addition of sound quickly eclipsed silent film and theater musicians, color was adopted more gradually as methods evolved making it more practical and cost effective to produce "natural color" films. The public was relatively indifferent to color photography as opposed to black-and-white,[citation needed] but as color processes improved and became as affordable as black-and-white film, more and more movies were filmed in color after the end of World War II, as the industry in America came to view color as essential to attracting audiences in its competition with television, which remained a black-and-white medium until the mid-1960s. By the end of the 1960s, color had become the norm for film makers.

Since the decline of the studio system in the 1960s, the succeeding decades saw changes in the production and style of film. New Hollywood, French New Wave and the rise of film school educated independent filmmakers were all part of the changes the medium experienced in the latter half of the 20th century. Digital technology has been the driving force in change throughout the 1990s and into the 21st century.

Theory

Main article: Film theory

Film theory seeks to develop concise and systematic concepts that apply to the study of film as art. It was started by Ricciotto Canudo's The Birth of the Sixth Art. Formalist film theory, led by Rudolf Arnheim, Béla Balázs, and Siegfried Kracauer, emphasized how film differed from reality, and thus could be considered a valid fine art. André Bazin reacted against this theory by arguing that film's artistic essence lay in its ability to mechanically reproduce reality not in its differences from reality, and this gave rise to realist theory. More recent analysis spurred by Lacan's psychoanalysis and Ferdinand de Saussure's semiotics among other things has given rise to psychoanalytical film theory, structuralist film theory, feminist film theory and others.

Criticism

Main article: Film criticism

Film criticism is the analysis and evaluation of films. In general, these works can be divided into two categories: academic criticism by film scholars and journalistic film criticism that appears regularly in newspapers and other media.

Film critics working for newspapers, magazines, and broadcast media mainly review new releases. Normally they only see any given film once and have only a day or two to formulate opinions. Despite this, critics have an important impact on films, especially those of certain genres. Mass marketed action, horror, and comedy films tend not to be greatly affected by a critic's overall judgment of a film. The plot summary and description of a film that makes up the majority of any film review can still have an important impact on whether people decide to see a film. For prestige films such as most dramas, the influence of reviews is extremely important. Poor reviews will often doom a film to obscurity and financial loss.

The impact of a reviewer on a given film's box office performance is a matter of debate. Some claim that movie marketing is now so intense and well financed that reviewers cannot make an impact against it. However, the cataclysmic failure of some heavily-promoted movies which were harshly reviewed, as well as the unexpected success of critically praised independent movies indicates that extreme critical reactions can have considerable influence. Others note that positive film reviews have been shown to spark interest in little-known films. Conversely, there have been several films in which film companies have so little confidence that they refuse to give reviewers an advanced viewing to avoid widespread panning of the film. However, this usually backfires as reviewers are wise to the tactic and warn the public that the film may not be worth seeing and the films often do poorly as a result.

It is argued that journalist film critics should only be known as film reviewers, and true film critics are those who take a more academic approach to films. This line of work is more often known as film theory or film studies. These film critics attempt to come to understand how film and filming techniques work, and what effect they have on people. Rather than having their works published in newspapers or appear on television, their articles are published in scholarly journals, or sometimes in up-market magazines. They also tend to be affiliated with colleges or universities.

Industry

Main article: Film industry

The making and showing of motion pictures became a source of profit almost as soon as the process was invented. Upon seeing how successful their new invention, and its product, was in their native France, the Lumières quickly set about touring the Continent to exhibit the first films privately to royalty and publicly to the masses. In each country, they would normally add new, local scenes to their catalogue and, quickly enough, found local entrepreneurs in the various countries of Europe to buy their equipment and photograph, export, import and screen additional product commercially. The Oberammergau Passion Play of 1898[citation needed] was the first commercial motion picture ever produced. Other pictures soon followed, and motion pictures became a separate industry that overshadowed the vaudeville world. Dedicated theaters and companies formed specifically to produce and distribute films, while motion picture actors became major celebrities and commanded huge fees for their performances. Already by 1917, Charlie Chaplin had a contract that called for an annual salary of one million dollars.

In the United States today, much of the film industry is centered around Hollywood. Other regional centers exist in many parts of the world, such as Mumbai-centered Bollywood, the Indian film industry's Hindi cinema which produces the largest number of films in the world.[1] Whether the ten thousand-plus feature length films a year produced by the Valley pornographic film industry should qualify for this title is the source of some debate.[citation needed] Though the expense involved in making movies has led cinema production to concentrate under the auspices of movie studios, recent advances in affordable film making equipment have allowed independent film productions to flourish.

Profit is a key force in the industry, due to the costly and risky nature of filmmaking; many films have large cost overruns, a notorious example being Kevin Costner's Waterworld. Yet many filmmakers strive to create works of lasting social significance. The Academy Awards (also known as "the Oscars") are the most prominent film awards in the United States, providing recognition each year to films, ostensibly based on their artistic merits.

There is also a large industry for educational and instructional films made in lieu of or in addition to lectures and texts.

Preview

A preview performance refers to a showing of a movie to a select audience, usually for the purposes of corporate promotions, before the public film premiere itself. Previews are sometimes used to judge audience reaction, which if unexpectedly negative, may result in recutting or even refilming certain sections. (cf Audience response.)

Trailer

Main article: Trailer (film)

Trailers or previews are film advertisements for films that will be exhibited in the future at a cinema, on whose screen they are shown. The term "trailer" comes from their having originally been shown at the end of a film programme. That practice did not last long, because patrons tended to leave the theater after the films ended, but the name has stuck. Trailers are now shown before the film (or the A movie in a double feature program) begins.

Production

Main article: Filmmaking

The nature of the film determines the size and type of crew required during filmmaking. Many Hollywood adventure films need computer generated imagery (CGI), created by dozens of 3D modellers, animators, rotoscopers and compositors. However, a low-budget, independent film may be made with a skeleton crew, often paid very little. Also, an open source film may be produced through open, collaborative processes. Filmmaking takes place all over the world using different technologies, styles of acting and genre, and is produced in a variety of economic contexts that range from state-sponsored documentary in China to profit-oriented movie making within the American studio system.

A typical Hollywood-style filmmaking Production cycle is comprised of five main stages:

  1. Development
  2. Pre-production
  3. Production
  4. Post-production
  5. Distribution

This production cycle typically takes three years. The first year is taken up with development. The second year comprises preproduction and production. The third year, post-production and distribution.

Crew

Main article: Film crew

A film crew is a group of people hired by a film company, employed during the "production" or "photography" phase, for the purpose of producing a film or motion picture. Crew are distinguished from cast, the actors who appear in front of the camera or provide voices for characters in the film. The crew interacts with but is also distinct from the production staff, consisting of producers, managers, company representatives, their assistants, and those whose primary responsibility falls in pre-production or post-production phases, such as writers and editors. Communication between production and crew generally passes through the director and his/her staff of assistants. Medium-to-large crews are generally divided into departments with well defined hierarchies and standards for interaction and cooperation between the departments. Other than acting, the crew handles everything in the photography phase: props and costumes, shooting, sound, electrics (i.e., lights), sets, and production special effects. Caterers (known in the film industry as "craft services") are usually not considered part of the crew.

Technology

Film stock consists of transparent celluloid, acetate, or polyester base coated with an emulsion containing light-sensitive chemicals. Cellulose nitrate was the first type of film base used to record motion pictures, but due to its flammability was eventually replaced by safer materials. Stock widths and the film format for images on the reel have had a rich history, though most large commercial films are still shot on (and distributed to theaters) as 35 mm prints.

Originally moving picture film was shot and projected at various speeds using hand-cranked cameras and projectors; though 1000 frames per minute (16⅔ frame/s) is generally cited as a standard silent speed, research indicates most films were shot between 16 frame/s and 23 frame/s and projected from 18 frame/s on up (often reels included instructions on how fast each scene should be shown)[2]. When sound film was introduced in the late 1920s, a constant speed was required for the sound head. 24 frames per second was chosen because it was the slowest (and thus cheapest) speed which allowed for sufficient sound quality. Improvements since the late 19th century include the mechanization of cameras — allowing them to record at a consistent speed, quiet camera design — allowing sound recorded on-set to be usable without requiring large "blimps" to encase the camera, the invention of more sophisticated filmstocks and lenses, allowing directors to film in increasingly dim conditions, and the development of synchronized sound, allowing sound to be recorded at exactly the same speed as its corresponding action. The soundtrack can be recorded separately from shooting the film, but for live-action pictures many parts of the soundtrack are usually recorded simultaneously.

As a medium, film is not limited to motion pictures, since the technology developed as the basis for photography. It can be used to present a progressive sequence of still images in the form of a slideshow. Film has also been incorporated into multimedia presentations, and often has importance as primary historical documentation. However, historic films have problems in terms of preservation and storage, and the motion picture industry is exploring many alternatives. Most movies on cellulose nitrate base have been copied onto modern safety films. Some studios save color films through the use of separation masters — three B&W negatives each exposed through red, green, or blue filters (essentially a reverse of the Technicolor process). Digital methods have also been used to restore films, although their continued obsolescence cycle makes them (as of 2006) a poor choice for long-term preservation. Film preservation of decaying film stock is a matter of concern to both film historians and archivists, and to companies interested in preserving their existing products in order to make them available to future generations (and thereby increase revenue). Preservation is generally a higher-concern for nitrate and single-strip color films, due to their high decay rates; black and white films on safety bases and color films preserved on Technicolor imbibition prints tend to keep up much better, assuming proper handling and storage.

Some films in recent decades have been recorded using analog video technology similar to that used in television production. Modern digital video cameras and digital projectors are gaining ground as well. These approaches are extremely beneficial to moviemakers, especially because footage can be evaluated and edited without waiting for the film stock to be processed. Yet the migration is gradual, and as of 2005 most major motion pictures are still recorded on film.

Independent

Main article: Independent film

Independent filmmaking often takes place outside of Hollywood, or other major studio systems. An independent film (or indie film) is a film initially produced without financing or distribution from a major movie studio. Creative, business, and technological reasons have all contributed to the growth of the indie film scene in the late 20th and early 21st century.

On the business side, the costs of big-budget studio films also leads to conservative choices in cast and crew. There is a trend in Hollywood towards co-financing (over two-thirds of the films put out by Warner Bros. in 2000 were joint ventures, up from 10% in 1987).[3] A hopeful director is almost never given the opportunity to get a job on a big-budget studio film unless he or she has significant industry experience in film or television. Also, the studios rarely produce films with unknown actors, particularly in lead roles.

Before the advent of digital alternatives, the cost of professional film equipment and stock was also a hurdle to being able to produce, direct, or star in a traditional studio film.

But the advent of consumer camcorders in 1985, and more importantly, the arrival of high-resolution digital video in the early 1990s, have lowered the technology barrier to movie production significantly. Both production and post-production costs have been significantly lowered; today, the hardware and software for post-production can be installed in a commodity-based personal computer. Technologies such as DVDs, FireWire connections and non-linear editing system pro-level software like Adobe Premiere Pro, Sony Vegas and Apple's Final Cut Pro, and consumer level software such as Apple's Final Cut Express and iMovie make movie-making relatively inexpensive.

Since the introduction of DV technology, the means of production have become more democratized. Filmmakers can conceivably shoot and edit a movie, create and edit the sound and music, and mix the final cut on a home computer. However, while the means of production may be democratized, financing, distribution, and marketing remain difficult to accomplish outside the traditional system. Most independent filmmakers rely on film festivals to get their films noticed and sold for distribution. The arrival of internet-based video outlets such as YouTube and Veoh has further changed the film making landscape in ways that are still to be determined.

Open content film

Main article: Open content film

An open content film is much like an independent film, but it is produced through open collaborations; its source material is available under a license which is permissive enough to allow other parties to create fan fiction or derivative works, than a traditional copyright. Like independent filmmaking, open source filmmaking takes place outside of Hollywood, or other major studio systems.

Fan film

Main article: Fan film

A fan film is a film or video inspired by a film, television program, comic book or a similar source, created by fans rather than by the source's copyright holders or creators. Fan filmmakers have traditionally been amateurs, but some of the more notable films have actually been produced by professional filmmakers as film school class projects or as demonstration reels. Fan films vary tremendously in length, from short faux-teaser trailers for non-existent motion pictures to rarer full-length motion pictures.

Animation

Main article: Animation

Animation is the technique in which each frame of a film is produced individually, whether generated as a computer graphic, or by photographing a drawn image, or by repeatedly making small changes to a model unit (see claymation and stop motion), and then photographing the result with a special animation camera. When the frames are strung together and the resulting film is viewed at a speed of 16 or more frames per second, there is an illusion of continuous movement (due to the persistence of vision). Generating such a film is very labour intensive and tedious, though the development of computer animation has greatly sped up the process.

File formats like GIF, QuickTime, Shockwave and Flash allow animation to be viewed on a computer or over the Internet.

Because animation is very time-consuming and often very expensive to produce, the majority of animation for TV and movies comes from professional animation studios. However, the field of independent animation has existed at least since the 1950s, with animation being produced by independent studios (and sometimes by a single person). Several independent animation producers have gone on to enter the professional animation industry.

Limited animation is a way of increasing production and decreasing costs of animation by using "short cuts" in the animation process. This method was pioneered by UPA and popularized by Hanna-Barbera, and adapted by other studios as cartoons moved from movie theaters to television.[4]

Although most animation studios are now using digital technologies in their productions, there is a specific style of animation that depends on film. Cameraless animation, made famous by moviemakers like Norman McLaren, Len Lye and Stan Brakhage, is painted and drawn directly onto pieces of film, and then run through a projector.

Venues

When it is initially produced, a feature film is often shown to audiences in a movie theater or cinema. The first theater designed exclusively for cinema opened in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1905.[5] Thousands of such theaters were built or converted from existing facilities within a few years.[6] In the United States, these theaters came to be known as nickelodeons, because admission typically cost a nickel (five cents).

Typically, one film is the featured presentation (or feature film). Before the 1970s, there were "double features"; typically, a high quality "A picture" rented by an independent theater for a lump sum, and a "B picture" of lower quality rented for a percentage of the gross receipts. Today, the bulk of the material shown before the feature film consists of previews for upcoming movies and paid advertisements (also known as trailers or "The Twenty").

Historically, all mass marketed feature films were made to be shown in movie theaters. The development of television has allowed films to be broadcast to larger audiences, usually after the film is no longer being shown in theaters. Recording technology has also enabled consumers to rent or buy copies of films on VHS or DVD (and the older formats of laserdisc, VCD and SelectaVision — see also videodisc), and Internet downloads may be available and have started to become revenue sources for the film companies. Some films are now made specifically for these other venues, being released as made-for-TV movies or direct-to-video movies. The production values on these films are often considered to be of inferior quality compared to theatrical releases in similar genres, and indeed, some films that are rejected by their own studios upon completion are distributed through these markets.

The movie theater pays an average of about 50-55% of its ticket sales to the movie studio, as film rental fees.[7] The actual percentage starts with a number higher than that, and decreases as the duration of a film's showing continues, as an incentive to theaters to keep movies in the theater longer. However, today's barrage of highly marketed movies ensures that most movies are shown in first-run theaters for less than 8 weeks. There are a few movies every year that defy this rule, often limited-release movies that start in only a few theaters and actually grow their theater count through good word-of-mouth and reviews. According to a 2000 study by ABN AMRO, about 26% of Hollywood movie studios' worldwide income came from box office ticket sales; 46% came from VHS and DVD sales to consumers; and 28% came from television (broadcast, cable, and pay-per-view).[7]

Future state

While motion picture films have been around for more than a century, film is still a relative newcomer in the pantheon of fine arts. In the 1950s, when television became widely available, industry analysts predicted the demise of local movie theaters. Despite competition from television's increasing technological sophistication over the 1960s and 1970s, such as the development of color television and large screens, motion picture cinemas continued. In fact with the rise of television's predominance, film began to become more respected as an artistic medium by contrast due the low general opinion of the quality of average television content. In the 1980s, when the widespread availability of inexpensive videocassette recorders enabled people to select films for home viewing, industry analysts again wrongly predicted the death of the local cinemas.

In the 1990s and 2000s the development of digital DVD players, home theater amplification systems with surround sound and subwoofers, and large LCD or plasma screens enabled people to select and view films at home with greatly improved audio and visual reproduction. These new technologies provided audio and visual that in the past only local cinemas had been able to provide: a large, clear widescreen presentation of a film with a full-range, high-quality multi-speaker sound system. Once again industry analysts predicted the demise of the local cinema. Local cinemas will be changing in the 2000s and moving towards digital screens, a new approach which will allow for easier and quicker distribution of films (via satellite or hard disks), a development which may give local theaters a reprieve from their predicted demise.

The cinema now faces a new challenge from home video by the likes of a new DVD format Blu-ray, which can provide full HD 1080p video playback at near cinema quality. Video formats are gradually catching up with the resolutions and quality that film offers, 1080p in Blu-ray offers a pixel resolution of 1920×1080 a leap from the DVD offering of 720×480 and the paltry 330×480 offered by the first home video standard VHS. The maximum resolutions that film currently offers are 2485×2970 or 1420×3390, UHD, a future digital video format, will offer a massive resolution of 7680×4320, surpassing all current film resolutions. The only viable competitor to these new innovations is IMAX which can play film content at an extreme 10000×7000 resolution.

Despite the rise of all new technologies, the development of the home video market and a surge of online copyright infringement, 2007 was a record year in film that showed the highest ever box-office grosses. Many expected film to suffer as a result of the effects listed above but it has flourished, strengthening film studio expectations for the future.