Leap Year Post

Well I only have a few minutes left to post this.

I wanted to write something on 29-Feb, since that date doesn’t come along often. Initially was planning to do a drawing or post an update on Pecha Kucha, but couldn’t prepare the content in time. So, instead, I thought I’d post two photos of mine, which are from last year and hence have not seen the light of day on this blog.

This is a photo called Two Buddhas, which I took last year (May 2011 – initial attempts using my Canon EOS 550D).  The reason I posted this, is that today, a friend of mine told me that he has created a group called “Laughing Buddha” on Facebook, in which he’ll post a photo of the Laughing Buddha every day.  I sent him this pic today and he’s posted it on that group.

The second image is a photo I posted on Facebook sometime back (June 2011).  This is a “behind-the-scenes” shot of my brother photographing old currency notes and a watch, which would later become this image.

I’d seen a quote about how cinematographers always take a lot of time to get lighting just right, and when I saw my brother doing the same when taking his photo, I reworded that quote and put it in this image.

The Raid: Redemption

In the previous post, I mentioned that I did a new drawing.  Well, this is it – it’s a drawing based on a movie called The Raid.  You can click on any of the images in this post to see a larger version.

The Raid is an Indonesian martial arts / action movie, written and directed by Gareth Evans.  It is about a SWAT Team that enters a building to capture a drug lord.  But once inside, the team find themselves trapped – and the crime boss has given free reign to all the thugs and gangsters inside the building to kill the cops.  The cops must fight to survive.

The movie stars Iko Uwais, the lead from Gareth Evans’ earlier film Merantau, and for the US release of the movie, it has a music score by Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park and Joe Trapanese.

Everything I have seen (trailers) and read about the movie indicate that it is going to be an amazing 100 minutes full of violent action and incredible fight choreography.

That is what inspired me to make a drawing of this movie.  As with many of my other drawings, it is based on screenshots from the trailers.  It was done in pencil on my A5-size sketchbook (pencil mostly, the blood splats were done with a red gel pen), scanned and then coloured in Photoshop Elements.

Below are a couple of “behind the scenes” images of the drawing.  First is the original scan without the digital edits –

And here is a photo of the sketchbook along with the pencils and the pen used to draw it –

The drawing didn’t take me all that long to do – probably around 30-45 minutes to draw, and editing may be another half an hour.

Those of you who are following me on Facebook and Twitter would have seen me sharing links about this movie for the past two or three months.

It all started with this incredible (red-band US) trailer –

I was hooked the moment I saw this.  Fast, furious violent action, awesome music track by Mike Shinoda and Joe Trapanese (I downloaded the clip from YouTube, converted it into an MP3 file and have it on my phone for listening whenever I want).

This is what led me to follow articles about it.  Reviewers who have seen this movie screened at film festivals have written that it really does live up to the hype and that the action scenes are really as good as they seem to be, from the trailers.

A couple of days back, the US trailer showed up (the movie will be released on March 23 in the US, with the title of The Raid: Redemption).  This one has some new footage and a different music track.

There is also an Indonesian Trailer (which is basically the same as the US version, but with a different music score and a few extra seconds at the end).

Apparently, there is a sequel to The Raid being made, and that will be called Berandal (Indonesian word for thug).  However, that will be released in the US as The Raid: Retaliation, and there will be a third film too in the future (what will that be called, I wonder – The Raid: Retribution?).

All this is well and good, but after seeing all this awesome stuff from the movie, I was wondering whether we in India will get to see it on a big screen.  After all, the powers that be DID release the following films in theatres in India – Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive, Josh Trank’s Chronicle, J J Abrams’ Super 8.  But on the other hand, David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was denied a release due to censorship issues.

Martial arts / action movies shouldn’t be tough to sell in India, and The Raid does not seem to have nudity in it (which is a problem for our censors).  Violence is OK – I remember that scenes of throat slashing were cut out from Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, but martial arts stuff should pass through I guess.

Rather than just take a guess, I tweeted Sony Classics about it –

One person retweeted this, mentioning Gareth Evans and Merantau Films as well –

And then imagine my surprise, when I actually got a reply on that tweet from Merantau Films –

That’s pretty awesome isn’t it?  Another person on Twitter tells me about the Indian distributor for The Raid – 

If they do in fact release the movie here, it’ll be great.  I just hope they don’t make too many cuts, and that they don’t dub the voices in an Indianised English accent (like what has been done in the past for TV versions of Asian movies).

If the film doesn’t get released here then we have to purchase it on DVD – the Indonesian DVD it seems will have both the Mike Shinoda music score as well as the original music track from the Indonesian release.

There are a couple of articles I read yesterday about the title.  First is an article from TwitchFilm, and the second is a post from the horse’s mouth – from Gareth Evans’ blog.

It seems that the title The Raid wasn’t available for them to use in the US, so that’s why they tacked on the Redemption at the end.  I guess it makes sense also, since it’d set up a franchise nicely.

(The same could be said for the Vin Diesel movie Pitch Black – which was subsequently marketed as The Chronicles of Riddick: Pitch Black after the release of the sequel.)

As Evans says, perhaps it’s wise not to focus too much on the title, which would appear on screen for maybe five seconds, and better to enjoy the 100 minutes of ass-kicking in the rest of the film!

But the film, it is still the same film we screened at festivals and all I hope is that you all read whatever part of that 5 second titlecard you want to when it pops up on screen, forget the rest and enjoy seeing my good friends beat the shit out of each other for 100 mins.

Here’s the movie’s page on IMDb.  The Indonesian title appears to be Serbuan Maut – I wonder what ‘maut’ means – does it mean ‘death’ as it does in Hindi?

So there you have it – I hope I will be posting a review of the movie on my blog at some point of time not too far in the future!

Items of Interest – 20-Feb-12 to 26-Feb-12

My brother visited Srisailam last weekend, and on that trip he shot footage using his phone (Android-based LG Optimus Black).  He’s edited that into a nice video, which you can see here –

One of the absolute best articles I read this week was a feature on the opening sequence of David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, at the website Art of the Title (this is a site that features articles about title sequences from movies).

The title sequence for the movie was created by a firm called Blur Studio.  The article (written by Lola Landekic) is a very detailed and insightful one, and has interviews with Tim Miller (from Blur), David Fincher and Neil Kellerhouse (who did the publicity designs for the movie).

During David’s visits to the studio we would brace for impact, because he has a reputation for being incredibly picky. The first time I met him, I asked one of his friends, ‘How picky is David?’ And he said, ‘You’ve heard of pixel fuckers? Well David breaks each pixel down to its separate RGB components and fucks them one at a time.’ So there was some fear every time we would send something in, but 99% of the time we were just told to keep going.

This is the article: http://www.artofthetitle.com/2012/02/21/the-girl-with-the-dragon-tattoo/ – highly, highly recommended reading.

Another insightful article / set of videos I saw this week was the Fstoppers 2011 BTS Contest Winners.  Fstoppers is a site featuring behind-the-scenes videos and photography articles.  That article features the best videos submitted to their site in 2011, as assessed by a panel of celebrity photo / videographers as judges.  Watch all the videos in the post – very nice stuff.

I’ve been promising an article on Pecha Kucha Nights Hyderabad for a while now, but have not got around to writing it yet.  Will do it soon and post it.  In the mean time, they have announced that Pecha Kucha Night Hyderabad Vol 8 will be on March 31, 2012.  You can ‘Like’ their Facebook page to be kept updated.

It has been a few years since I last used any distribution of Linux.  Today, I installed Ubuntu 11.10 “Oneiric Ocelot” on my computer, so that I could use the video editor Kdenlive.

I’ve had my HD Video-capable DSLR, the Canon EOS 550D for almost a year now, but I’ve not done anything significant with video so far.  The reason being, Windows Movie Maker (which I use for editing video) doesn’t handle the 1080p clips generated by the camera well at all.  Adobe Premiere Elements, which I have on my laptop, also doesn’t handle those clips.  A full (and legal) version of Adobe Premiere Pro costs a lot of money.

So I was looking for a free / open source alternative and Kdenlive fit the bill.  Since that runs on Linux, I had to get a Linux distribution running on my computer.  I chose to install Ubuntu through Wubi so that I could have it done within Windows, and wouldn’t have to mess around with partitioning.

I had to go through some hoops for getting it to work properly though.  If you install Kdenlive through the Ubuntu Software Center, it doesn’t work directly, and indicates that there’s a problem with the MLT framework (MLT SDL module not installled or something like that).

It turns out that one has to get the latest version of Kdenlive + dependent packages for this to work, and for that, the following commands must be entered in the terminal –

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:sunab/kdenlive-svn
sudo apt-get update

If you install Kdenlive after doing this, you’ll be getting the most up-to-date packages, which should work.  I tried just putting together two random clips and exporting as a H264 file, and it worked properly.

These forum posts/pages contain more info: 1, 2, 3.

Having gotten these things out of the way, here now is the collection of tweets from last week.  I’ve split them up date-wise, for easy reading.

Tweets 26-Feb-12:

  • 11 Weird and Wonderful Facts About the Oscars http://bit.ly/wi6rwg
  • Business Casualty http://bit.ly/wLCFMT
  • Comparing Today’s Computers To 1995’s http://bit.ly/zj7dyi
  • RT @zombeaner @twitchfilm Power Star Pawan Kalyan Is GABBAR SINGH http://t.co/DQKwQs2S
  • Ubuntu looks as good as ever :) It’s been quite a few years since I last used Linux. Hoping that kdenlive will let me edit my DSLR footage..
  • I installed Ubuntu on my laptop (within Windows… thru wubi). Tweeting this from Firefox on Ubuntu. Downloading kdenlive.
  • The Artist – Liked it a lot, beautifully shot and very charming. Music, acting were great (by the dog too!). 8/10
  • RT @Galactica_gk The Woman In Black starring Daniel Radcliffe, starts slowly but builds up to a very awesome ending. A well made scary movie. 9/10

Tweets 25-Feb-12:

  • RT @purisubzi One guy in the bus is complaining to his friend. “Mera ek picture nikaal yaar Facebook se. Mummy dekhlengi toh bura ho jayega. Pleej yaar”
  • The Dictator, Admiral General Aladeen, responds to being banned from the Oscars! http://t.co/MJ6MxAy8
  • First set pictures from JJ Abrams’ Star Trek sequel http://t.co/ElnIil7u
  • Todd Farmer & Patrick Lussier’s Ghost Rider 2 pitch was “too violent?!” http://t.co/4frB1R4i
  • RT @delhibellyfilm Delhi Belly to be screened at Harvard. http://t.co/9JbULOBK
  • #307492 http://t.co/lhhxmCM7
  • RT @pajamajokes We live in a generation where Deleting the History is much more important than creating it.
  • RT @fstoppers Here are the Fstoppers winning videos: http://fstoppers.com/2011results @chasejarvis @vincentlaforet @scottkelby @stacypearsall
  • RT @arorakim Just read that Shiv Khera is scheduled to attend the Delhi book fair. Thought of @AapChutiyeHain.
  • RT @5tu How a classy camera company responds to thoughtful criticism: http://johnbrawley.wordpress.com/2012/02/21/5-things-i-hate-about-you/ (Read the comments) /via @Mitch_Gross @FB_ac
  • RT @designersays If you want to be a stalker, go to someone’s Facebook wall and click Like on one of their status updates from 3 years ago.
  • #NowWatching Ghost in the Shell
  • RT @clientsfh “Complementary colors… they just don’t go well together.” http://t.co/eqVffd3n

Tweets 24-Feb-12:

  • Gandalf teacher’s stamp is the classiest way to fail students and/or Balrogs [Lord Of The Rings] http://t.co/QRnuMnDc
  • I totally tweeted this 1 year ago TH @karthik82 RT @MTVIndia: “Be ca… http://t.co/qgvIvWLr
  • Okay, This New WRATH OF THE TITANS Trailer Is Awesome! http://t.co/SDkwg7wd
  • Hans Zimmer Talks ‘Dark Knight Rises’ Score, Secrecy and More http://t.co/U8eoRarr
  • The Best Holiday Party That Never Was [Photoshop] http://bit.ly/wzrAJY
  • “The Raid” is Rated R for strong, brutal bloody violence throughout, and language! Oh yes!

Tweets 23-Feb-12:

  • Failbook: The Pre-Natal Period http://t.co/Ua7ibBxE
  • (via INCIDENTAL COMICS: Draw Like You’ve Never Been… http://t.co/zBbIG4fY
  • Check out Dolph Lundgren’s action hero name in Battle Of The Damned http://t.co/tmHyqprf
  • RT @newfylover1 @deemj61 @Speedy0103 This too? (_E=3Dmc2_) Smart ass (_$_) Money out the ass (_?_) Dumb ass (_zzz_)Tired Ass (!)Tight Ass (_x_) Kiss my ass
  • RT @funnyoneliners Have you hugged an idiot today? Me either, come here! RT @newfylover1
  • RT @sarahw You know, the mock book cover on the website of JK Rowling’s agent could just stay put through publication. http://t.co/aJrBb5ru
  • RT @HaaaNaaahh RT @Laughbook: “Your phone’s ringing.” “Yeah, phones do that.”
  • RT @purisubzi Already 23rd. Already end of February. Tempus fucking fugit.
  • RT @rajturl utorrent is having a field day. Time rather. Like the millionth update in the last few days!
  • RT @mihirfadnavis Yes, guys, ‘Moneyball’ has been rated ‘A’ by our esteemed censor board. I think it’s only fair if we rate them ‘A’ as well. A for Assholes.
  • RT @ankash1009 Gangs of WasseyPur part 1 releases June 29th
  • Why Boosting Your Camera’s ISO Setting Can Make Your Photos Worse [Video] http://t.co/3XTOLY84
  • Saif Ali Khan’s Second AGENT VINOD Trailer Punches Evil In The Face! http://t.co/0vxk8iwX

Tweets 22-Feb-12:

The music in the trailer for Safe is “The Outsider” by A Perfect Circle.  That song was used earlier in the trailer for Resident Evil: Afterlife, and the movie itself seems very familiar – as I mentioned on Facebook, didn’t we already see this as Mercury Rising?  Also, the other trailer linked to here is that of a Norwegian movie, which I’m interested in seeing just because of the awesome title – Fuck Up.

Tweets 21-Feb-12:

There’s going to be another remake of Nicolas Winding Refn’s Pusher?  I didn’t know that.  There’s a Hindi remake which I’ve seen.

Tweets 20-Feb-12:

  • Top 50 modern day low budget movies http://t.co/fW51ugzW
  • RT @GDBALA This is the binary message we sent out to aliens 38 years ago http://t.co/tvqTeSgj
  • Thanks a lot! RT @kunaldgp Call it altruism. I’m promoting @karthik82 ‘s blog http://t.co/M4vfjZBG
  • Nice!! RT @This_Is_Hari RT @krtgrphr: RT @nayakgirin: One man’s meen is another man’s poisson

Well, I hope you found this stuff interesting.  In the next post I will upload a drawing that I did today (what it is, I am keeping under wraps for now).

Interesting thought: Many of the links posted above are shortened versions of shortened URLs (Inception – shortening within shortening)!  Twitter’s t.co shortener is wrapping bit.ly links in many instances.  If either one of these goes down, it would be unfortunate.

The Artist

I watched the Oscar-nominated movie The Artist yesterday.  This is a romantic drama presented in black & white, and as a (mostly) silent film.  It is written and directed by Michel Hazanavicius and stars Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo.

It is Hollywood (or rather, Hollywoodland), 1927 – George Valentin (Dujardin) is the star of Kinograph Studios’ silent film productions.  After a screening of one of Valentin’s films, the star is signing autographs and getting photographed by the press.  A young woman, Peppy Miller (Bejo) bumps into him, and the star poses for a photo with her.  This encounter inspires the girl to audition at Kinograph, and she is initially featured as a dancer in one of the films, but soon rises to become a star in her own right.

As years pass, sound films make their appearance, and Kinograph decides to stop production of silent films.  They sign on Peppy Miller as their new ‘fresh face’.  Valentin though does not believe that sound films have a future.  Will his pride lead to his downfall?

It’s always interesting to see this type of “film about the film industry” (the most recent one I saw before this being The Dirty Picture) – a common thread running through them is that one can fall as quickly as one can rise, and that nothing is permanent.

The Artist is a wonderfully well-made movie – the photography, production design, costumes and music all serve to recreate the look and feel of a silent film brilliantly.  You’ll notice that it is presented in a 1.33:1 aspect ratio as opposed to being in widescreen (check this Wikipedia article on the Academy Ratio).  The acting is terrific by all, including by a dog who steals the show every time he is on screen!  The movie is not 100% silent – as you will see, there are some very clever uses of sound and music.

Apart from the technical aspects, it’s a very charming movie, and if you are watching it, you should enjoy it on a big screen.

Rating: 8/10

Note: As far as I could tell, the typography in the movie is respectful to the period it is set in.  Look at the title of the movie, for example.  It looks like it really came from an old movie.  This use of old-type fonts in a title sequence reminded me of Quentin Tarantino, who used a similar style in Kill Bill Vol 2, and oddly enough, Rob Zombie, whose The Haunted World of El Superbeasto had classic film-inspired titles.

Someone like Mark Simonson would have a field day analysing this movie from a “type” point of view (he’s written a number of very interesting articles on his site about uses of fonts in movies – which are accurate in some instances but not so much in others, like this example from Back to the Future Part III).

Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu

I don’t normally watch romantic comedies, but I saw Shakun Batra’s Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu on opening day (10-Feb-12) with two friends of mine at PVR Cinemas at Chandigarh.  I’d started writing this review on the day I was travelling back from Chandigarh to Hyderabad, but didn’t get around to completing it.

The movie is still in theatres, so I am not too late in posting this, I guess!  A few days later, and the movie will be out on DVD!

The movie stars Imran Khan as Rahul Kapoor, a 25 year old architect who lives in Las Vegas.  His parents (played by Boman Irani and Ratna Pathak Shah) have planned every aspect of his life (career, relationships) – and he has never gone against their wishes.  The movie’s plot is put into motion with Rahul losing his job.  He starts attending therapy sessions, and at one of these visits, he meets Riana Braganza (Kareena Kapoor).

Riana works as a hair stylist, but she is also out of a job, and has just got out of a relationship.  She mistakes Rahul for a stalker sent by her ex-boyfriend.  When she realises that she was wrong, she tries to make it up to Rahul and they meet in the evening on Christmas Eve.

Riana is free in all the ways that Rahul is not – and she tries to get Rahul to unwind.  As a result, they get totally wasted – and to their horror, realise the next morning that they’ve gotten married to each other at one of those wedding chapels where couples do foolish things like this without thinking.

They decide to get the marriage annulled – but it will take a few days for the paperwork to go through, and in that time, as you’d expect, the two become close to each other.  I thought the movie handled the relationship between the two really well.  Such movies probably have a tendency to turn into a sappy, sugary love story (then again, since I don’t watch many such movies, I can’t say this as a fact).  This one didn’t, it was funny and sweet, and nicely acted.  Being only 110 min long it doesn’t overstay its welcome and is easy to watch.

The movie’s songs are by Amit Trivedi and Amitabh Bhattacharya, and they’re good, as is the music score by Amit Trivedi.  The movie looked very nice (director of photography is  David MacDonald), it looked colourful without being garish and loud.

I had a lot of fun with it – while it’s not absolutely essential that it be watched on a big screen, you’ll be able to enjoy the cinematography and production design better that way.  If you’ve not got the chance to see it in the theatre, you can catch it on DVD once it’s out.

Rating: 8/10

Camera Spotting:

  • Riana presents Rahul with a classic-looking camera in the movie.  It looked like a Leica but since I don’t know about older cameras I couldn’t identify it exactly.  The camera’s brand was not visible on screen.
  • Towards the end, Rahul appears to be using a DSLR.  Again that appears on screen very briefly and it’s a wide shot so I couldn’t make out what type of camera it was.  I’ll look again once the movie is on DVD.
  • The camera is probably a Canon EOS 5D Mark II.  The reason I say this is, I checked out two videos on YouTube after my friend told me about them – apparently, during the filming of the movie, Imran Khan took candid photos of his co-star Kareena Kapoor and had an exhibition of them – Video 1, Video 2.

As evidenced by the red border on the strap, the lack of a popup flash on the camera, and the overall size of the camera, this is a 5D Mark II with an external battery grip.  It’s probably the same camera that his character was using at the end of the movie.

The bright poster designs for the movie are done by the firm Marching Ants, and they were designed by Raj Khatri who also did the posters for The Dirty Picture, Players and the upcoming Agent Vinod and Kahaani.  You can view his work on deviantART here and connect with him on Facebook here.

Resident Evil: Retribution Drawing – Original Scan

A couple of days back, I was showing my drawing of Resident Evil: Retribution to some people and they were asking me what elements of the final image was done traditionally, and what was added digitally.

So, I thought I’d post the original scan of this drawing to show this.  You can click the below image to see an even larger version –

My scanner is a Canon CanoScan LiDE 110, which produces very nice images.  It doesn’t require a power source – just connect through USB and you are good to go.  The software that comes with the scanner has an “Auto Adjust Colours” option, which automatically boosts the contrast in the image (unlike other scanners, where the scanned image would be very light).

The drawing was done on a sketchbook that has A5 size paper.  So it’s quite small.  And the orange/brown area at the bottom of the image is my hand – I normally press down the book onto the bed of the scanner so that it picks up as much detail as possible.

I scan images at the highest resolution that the software will allow.  Editing is also done at that big size.  This scan for example, was 4865 x 6984 pixels in dimension.  After doing edits in Photoshop Elements, I make an 800 or 1000 pixel-wide image which I post online (Facebook, etc), but I always keep the huge PSD file, so that I can take a large size print if I want.  I follow a similar procedure for photos as well.

Items of Interest – 12-Feb-12 to 19-Feb-12

As I’d mentioned in the previous post, I had visited Chandigarh in the last week, and had a great time.  I visited Chandigarh Lake, Rose Garden, Rock Garden, and also went up to Kasauli and took a ride in the Cable Car on the Timber Trail (which is on the way).

A set of photos from that trip is uploaded on a public album on Facebook here.

This is an interesting photo that I took during the trip.  It’s called Chandigarh from the Sky, and was taken on board the Kingfisher flight from Chandigarh to Delhi.

There’s a saying that “the best camera is the one that’s with you” (Chase Jarvis) – the above photo was taken with my Nokia N8 cellphone camera.  I’ve said it before and it’s worth repeating – the Nokia N8 has a terrific camera on board.  There was some post processing done on the image – mainly levels adjustment (to darken the midtones to bring out the details) and a little bit of cross processing.  Otherwise no other editing done on it.

I took an 8″ x 10″ print of this image and it looks really great.

Speaking of the Nokia N8, I finally upgraded the OS on my phone to Nokia Belle.  I installed Nokia Suite on my computer, downloaded the 270 MB update and installed it on the phone.

The UI looks very nice.  The home screen wallpaper reminded me of some of the artwork for the Nine Inch Nails album The Downward Spiral (a photo of feathers, by Rob Sheridan).  There’s a collection of official desktop wallpapers available on that site, one of them (06.jpg) is the one that I am talking about.

Interestingly, those images have the camera data embedded in them.  So you can see that Sheridan shot those photos using a Canon EOS 10D in August 2004.

I recently got a new pair of glasses.  Not that the old ones needed replacing – they’re perfectly fine.  But I just wanted to try something different, so these glasses have a thick black frame (unlike the rimless ones I’ve been wearing for many years).

I took a photo to send it to friends, but then thought why not upload it – so it’s here.  I like the colour tones in the image.

As usual, below is a collection of tweets from the last week:

  • 20-Feb-12: VLC 2.0 Is Here [Video] http://t.co/tPD5a9iF
  • 19-Feb-12: Photoshop Tutorial, North Korea Edition [Humor] http://bit.ly/wVtjfr
  • 19-Feb-12: Replacing the World’s Biggest IMAX Screen Is As Difficult As It Sounds [Imax] http://bit.ly/xHNkY4
  • 19-Feb-12: An Absurdly Long, $150,000 List of Stolen Nikon Gear [Crime] http://bit.ly/wtmbjZ
  • 19-Feb-12: Interesting read from Mark Simonson: My First Real Computers http://t.co/xgPpZxYA
  • 19-Feb-12: I want to see this! AITH: Anchor Bay releases The Divide, starring Michael Biehn, on DVD/Blu-ray this April http://t.co/1lqqgbhs
  • 19-Feb-12: AITH: Scope out the specs for the DVD/Blu-ray release of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo http://t.co/wl0VxpZ9
  • 19-Feb-12: Haha… looks interesting! AITH: Trailer for FEARnet’s wacky original series Holliston is here! http://t.co/dz9lzM6j
  • 19-Feb-12: A new poster for FearNET’s “Holliston” has a whole lot of skin! http://t.co/7sBigCRP
  • 19-Feb-12: Very nice work! RT @justkalpana A friend just showed me something I gifted him 12 years ago! Felt pen on marble. http://t.co/vCM36DtG
  • 19-Feb-12: RT @RGVzoomin A modest man should be the least trusted cos he will be the most egoistic person but with the difference of having the smartness to cover it
  • 19-Feb-12: First Teaser For H.P. Lovecraft-Inspired Animated Film AGE OF MADNESS http://t.co/A7UNsWr9
  • 19-Feb-12: Guy Pearce with a big gun- the poster for Lockout http://t.co/wQWDRzUO
  • 19-Feb-12: RT @omgthatspunny From now on, when I need to get shit done, I’ll sit on the toilet. #punny
  • 19-Feb-12: RT @bcfilmmaker Lights, action … iPhone? #Filmmakers turn to smartphones http://su.pr/32gW2e #filmmaking
  • 18-Feb-12: Might Come In Handy: The Urine Health Chart http://t.co/W6fhcTZk
  • 18-Feb-12: Every Bart Simpson Chalkboard Quote To Date http://t.co/EJmhPFh3
  • 18-Feb-12: RT @DanielCamer “Be the change you want to be in your life, because no one else will do it for you.” – http://www.DANIELCAMER.com http://t.co/IzXL6GXJ
  • 18-Feb-12: The Official Windows 8 Logo: It’s a Window, Not a Flag [Windows 8] http://t.co/zQrHUdiX
  • 18-Feb-12: AITH MOVIE REVIEW: Neveldine/Taylor’s Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2012), starring Nicolas Cage http://t.co/uFmU0sxh
  • 18-Feb-12: #NowWatching Forbidden World a.k.a. Mutant (1982) http://t.co/IfUTyEID
  • 18-Feb-12: This is simply awesome! RT @krishashok Attn: Web designers – Swearum Ipsum http://t.co/7lPQKV3L
  • 17-Feb-12: RT @delhibellyfilm Only 12% can solve this in 30 seconds. Say the opposite of these words: 1. Always 2. Coming 3. From 4. Take 5. Me 6. Down
  • 17-Feb-12: RT @rob_sheridan Out-takes from the “Abbey Road” photo shoot (which only took about ten minutes): http://bit.ly/HnSLv – via @LaughingSquid
  • 17-Feb-12: RT @funnyoneliners I stop my microwave at 0:01 to feel like I’m a bomb defuser. RT @newfylover1
  • 17-Feb-12: RT @vemana How do you measure the influence of Radiohead on any other band? Creep strength #engineeringmeetsmusic
  • 17-Feb-12: Comic by @justkalpana Mnemonics http://t.co/SGtZg3Hg
  • 17-Feb-12: Comic by @justkalpana Valentine’s day http://t.co/f0yw0IUe
  • 17-Feb-12: Ironic? http://t.co/1xWa8L2A
  • 16-Feb-12: I totally tweeted this 1 year ago TH @karthik82 It’s the 10th Annive… http://t.co/Wc5shhhm
  • 16-Feb-12: I totally tweeted this 1 year ago TH @karthik82 RT @krishashok: Guys… http://t.co/OVxGF5kc
  • 15-Feb-12: Very nice article from AICN – CLASS OF 1987 – Nordling Double Features PREDATOR and ROBOCOP! http://t.co/5q1d1OgJ
  • 15-Feb-12: xkcd – Backward in Time http://t.co/S3OfVUWa
  • 15-Feb-12: The Zombie Prince of Bel-Air http://t.co/s0gCFDr1
  • 14-Feb-12: RT @kunaldgp Abraham Lincoln was a Vampire Hunter! http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=86991 #movies
  • 14-Feb-12: I totally tweeted this 1 year ago TH @karthik82 The retro font used … http://t.co/cnB5Znv7
  • 14-Feb-12: “Roses are red, violets are blue, 4 8 15 16 23 42″ – remembered this from a LOST-based Valentine’s Day card from last year. So re-sharing :)
  • 14-Feb-12: RT @josephradhik Roses on the bed, violets in the loo. WHERE THE FUCK DID ALL THESE FLOWERS COME FROM? (I have no clue.)
  • 14-Feb-12: RT @mihirfadnavis Roses are red, Violets are blue, I can’t make any more Valentine’s jokes so fuck you.
  • 14-Feb-12: RT @zombeaner This is simultaneously awesome and horrifying: DEEP RED RAP Dario Argento Claudio Simonetti: http://youtu.be/dVUXb1BaX7w via @youtube
  • 13-Feb-12: Day 34
  • 13-Feb-12: RT @atulkasbekar Marc ‘WEBB’ – director of Spiderman 4 #RightNameForTheJob *i smell a hashtag here*
  • 13-Feb-12: RT @ramgopalan @kunaldgp “Whatever it is you’re seeking won’t come in the form you’re expecting.” — Haruki Murakami
  • 13-Feb-12: RT @Galactica_gk Grammy Awards have more people performing rather than people getting awards! #Grammys2012
  • 13-Feb-12: Afraid of Losing The Pirate Bay? Download the 90MB Backup http://t.co/hcTnng6o
  • 13-Feb-12: RT @clientsfh “Can you export this video to viral?” http://t.co/za3fzP2V
  • 12-Feb-12: RT @funnyoneliners My body is a temple. That is, it feels and looks like something that was destroyed by the Romans some 2500 years ago. RT @davio1962

The Second Edition of Comic Con India happened at Dilli Haat on 17, 18 and 19 Feb.  At the same time last year, I’d attended the convention, and it was my first visit to Delhi.  I couldn’t go this time – maybe the next one.

Exactly What it Says on the Box (Demo)

I made a short “theme song” (if you can call it that) for this site – taking the tagline as the name. I still have not mustered the courage to post guitar videos on YouTube, so this one video I have uploaded on Facebook. Here you go –

You must admit, it isn’t too bad, is it? The guitar chords are extremely simple: Am, G and C, E7.

I’ve called it a demo since it’s a bit rough around the edges. I will tweak it and plan to record a better version (both in terms of audio and video) later.

And I just realised that if I’m posting the video for public viewing on my blog, I might as well have uploaded it on YouTube :)

Items of Interest – 6-Feb-12 to 12-Feb-12

I’d been at Chandigarh the last few days, hence was not very active in updating, also need to check out some of the new trailers (The Bourne Legacy trailer is out I’ve heard).

I am writing this post from Delhi Airport, since my flight to Hyderabad will depart only at 9:30 PM.

Here are the tweets from the last week:

  • 12-Feb-12: Hahaha… Right :) RT @funnyhumour RT @funnyoneliners: The enemy of your enemy is you, stupid. RT @rejecter
  • 11-Feb-12: The Oatmeal – My Daily Lie http://bit.ly/wrUpgh (by @Oatmeal)
  • 11-Feb-12: RT @The_DudeDesigns Video Covers 2011 http://t.co/rViy3Ing
  • 11-Feb-12: At the gym: who is looking at whom http://t.co/CqhRoX98
  • 11-Feb-12: FontSquirrel – Open Sans Condensed http://t.co/W3GJsrIc
  • 11-Feb-12: Excuses, Excuses… http://t.co/817DbPrE
  • 11-Feb-12: Nice And Splattery MACHETE KILLS Promo Art!! http://t.co/Q5DylqMD
  • 11-Feb-12: RT @vantaskigoli @josephradhik I love the way you lie. In a pool of blood.
  • 11-Feb-12: xkcd – Car Problems http://bit.ly/wnRt44
  • 11-Feb-12: Awesome one from xkcd – Kerning http://bit.ly/wWOh7M
  • 10-Feb-12: RT @RGVzoomin “@pranavreddy4RGV:we live in a era of smart phones nd stupid people”
  • 8-Feb-12: RT @atulkasbekar Sixteen Things Calvin and Hobbes Said Better Than Anyone Else http://t.co/1W0OFbmW
  • 7-Feb-12: RT @MeeraGanapathi @josephradhik With great power comes great electricity bill.
  • 7-Feb-12: The Inner Workings http://t.co/uXFLvXem
  • 7-Feb-12: RT @zombeaner For all of my Telugu speaking followers: CHAMPESTA!!!!
  • 6-Feb-12: RT @Galactica_gk Chronicle http://t.co/36pXB2j0
  • 6-Feb-12: RT @funnyoneliners NEWSFLASH: Mankind’s intelligence is decreasing. Details at … uh … when the big hand is on the…
  • 6-Feb-12: RT @purisubzi The ass haiku – http://t.co/rU92fxdK
  • 6-Feb-12: Nice review! I agree with him.. RT @Galactica_gk My Spoiler-Free review for- The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (English) http://t.co/E4bKUe4K
  • 6-Feb-12: They’ve changed the signs for “First Floor”, “Second Floor” etc at office. Bold text is in Helvetica whereas the regular weight is in Arial.
  • 6-Feb-12: RT @kunaldgp Never say “I’ll be back”. You won’t be. :D #HowToSurviveAHorrorMovie
  • 6-Feb-12: RT @funnyhumour What’s so superb about this owl anyway?
  • 6-Feb-12: RT @funnyhumour “Queen celebrates 60 years on throne.” Wow. That is one big dump.
  • 6-Feb-12: RT @funnyhumour What concert costs 45cents? 50 Cent featuring Nickleback.
  • 6-Feb-12: RT @edgarwright Today, Superbowl 46 is on TV. Will I be able to follow it if I haven’t seen the other 45?
  • 6-Feb-12: RT @ActualPerson084 MILLIONS WATCH AS THE SUPERB OWL RENDS CROWDS WITH ITS DREADFUL BEAK AND CRUSHES THEM WITH ITS TERRIBLE TALONS. #SUPERBOWL
  • 6-Feb-12: RT @zombeaner -b +/- sqrt (b^2 – 4ac) / 2a #QuadraticEquationBitches
  • 6-Feb-12: RT @omgthatspunny Now matter how much you push the envelope, it’ll still be stationery. #punny

As per the email received through Timehop, last year at around this time, I was preparing to attend the first volume of Comic Con India.  I also tweeted about the X-Men: First Class trailer being absolutely kick-ass, and had identified the music from the trailer as “Half the Man” by Kopius Few and Methodic Doubt.

I was going to make a detailed post about Pecha Kucha Nights Hyderabad Vol 7, but I think that will happen only once I get back to Hyderabad.  Anyway, they have started uploading videos of the talks from that day.  You can see the talks on the official PKNHyd YouTube Channel.

Nakama Creations and Planet Green Pictures released their latest short film called i2 (i square).  It was very good – I will write more about it later.  For now, you can watch the film here (17 min, Telugu and English with English subtitles) –

More updates to come after I get back to Hyderabad.  Will be uploading photos from Rose Garden and Rock Garden that I visited when I was in Chandigarh.

Items of Interest – 29-Jan-12 to 5-Feb-12

Like I did some days back, here is a collection of interesting things that I linked to, or tweeted, in the past week.

Tweets and Retweets

  • 5-Feb-12: RT @funnyhumour My superbowl.com site has been getting loads of hits this week. It seems people are finally appreciating the sheer quality of my owl
  • 5-Feb-12: We want a better quality JPG :) RT @MouthTapedShut The Girl with the #DragonTattoo Blu-ray/DVD cover: http://tmblr.co/ZuxP2xFvR_w_ #MOUTHTAPEDSHUT
  • 5-Feb-12: RT @josephradhik @gottabreakfree EPIC!! RT @RobKH: “Guy Pearce in Memento.” “Guy who?” “Guy.” “Who’s there?” “Knock Knock.”
  • 5-Feb-12: Can’t imagine what that would be like! RT @Lozatron_ I am tireder than a tired person who is very tired.
  • 5-Feb-12: RT @mihirfadnavis RT @SethMacFarlane: If you say “an historic”, you’re probably an hasshole.
  • 5-Feb-12: RT @Galactica_gk It’s so much more darker than the Swedish Version. David Fincher is a genius. #TheGirlWithDragonTattooEnglish
  • 4-Feb-12: Expert Mode http://t.co/gjUHQnMM
  • 3-Feb-12: RT @BaggadBilla Guess karo mein kaun hoon? (text from unknown number) me: @AapChutiyeHain
  • 3-Feb-12: RT @R_beccaBlair Life is too short to give your time to rude people. =)
  • 2-Feb-12: RT @atulkasbekar Lol! http://t.co/2wGpQcUN
  • 2-Feb-12: RT @rob_sheridan @jonjensen0 … Unicode 6.1 is out, and it includes this amazing new character: PILE OF POO (U+1F4A9) http://www.fileformat.info/info/unicode/char/1f4a9/index.htm
  • 2-Feb-12: RT @funnyhumour I’ve recently stopped using products that are tested on animals. My dog hasn’t had a meal in 2 days.
  • 1-Feb-12: Angel Heart – Atmospheric, dark and creepy horror/thriller. Mickey Rourke and De Niro are excellent. 8/10
  • 1-Feb-12: RT @funnyoneliners @the_moonface Me: I’d like to report a disturbance. Police Dispatcher: Okay, where sir Me: In the force, I can feel it.
  • 1-Feb-12: Nice review… RT @Galactica_gk Män Som Hatar Kvinnor http://t.co/YprUN9EF
  • 1-Feb-12: Total Carnage http://t.co/fC0UoYkw
  • 1-Feb-12: RT @RGVzoomin “@sirasri: its not the dips u take, its the depth which counts.. Its not the steps u climb, its the height which matters.”
  • 1-Feb-12: RT @designersays RT @VerifiedDrunk: I wouldn’t make a very good doctor cause I don’t give a fuck how you feel.
  • 1-Feb-12: RT @funnyoneliners 10 times out of 9, you’ll find me exaggerating about something. RT @clarkekant
  • 1-Feb-12: “A Room Filled with an Obnoxious Amount of Money” http://t.co/tdR1OLsw
  • 31-Jan-12: RT @funnyoneliners Sure you can follow your heart… just don’t forget to take your brain with you. RT @newfylover1
  • 31-Jan-12: Agreed 100%, Creamstone = Joy of Ice Cream RT @vemana Creamstone ice cream has been had. Joy of ice cream has been rediscovered.
  • 31-Jan-12: RT @HaaaNaaahh RT @funnyorfact #WeAllHaveThat one song in our playlist which we always skip, but never delete.
  • 31-Jan-12: RT @RGVzoomin “@Praveenraj_: We all damn well know that the whole world’s a stage, but none of us have a fucking idea what the script is?.”
  • 30-Jan-12: Awesome poster! RT @ResidentEvil Evil Goes Global. Fall 2012. #ResidentEvil http://t.co/p7eJpqgt
  • 30-Jan-12: Atari and Gaming History http://t.co/XcOnai54
  • 30-Jan-12: RT @zombeaner David Fincher Refuses to Cut ‘Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,’ India Release Canceled http://t.co/Du4oBlO3
  • 30-Jan-12: A nice hot cup of tea at the right moment (when you feel you need it the most) = heaven.
  • 30-Jan-12: RT @josephradhik RT @Koquettish: He asked her to unzip. She downloaded winRAR. #AwkwardErotica
  • 29-Jan-12: Before Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross’ In the Hall of the Mountain King from “The Social Network”, there’s another version I used to listen to.
  • 29-Jan-12: That is “In the Hall of the Mountain Thing” by Mark Anthony Klem. I have a MIDI file of it along with some of his Doom music.
  • 29-Jan-12: I am not able to find a proper link / download of it now, to link & share. I don’t know whether I should upload the MIDI file that I have.
  • 29-Jan-12: That MIDI file of Mark Klem’s “In the Hall of the Mountain Thing” I have is a whopping 11 KB in size and was downloaded on 26-Apr-01.
  • 29-Jan-12: Nice! RT @rajturl Didn’t know @ankash1009 had something to do with Talaash, ‘additional dialogues’. It makes it even more awesome …
  • 28-Jan-12: And a couple of days back, I registered the domain KarthikAbhiram.com. Right now it just points to Karthik82.com.

Other Links

  • Timehop – Timehop is a neat web-based application that integrates with your social networking accounts (I linked it to my Facebook and Twitter accounts), pulls past updates from them, and sends you an email on what you did a year ago.  For example a year ago, I posted this on Facebook.
  • Lee Bermejo’s Rorschach – They are apparently doing a set of Watchmen prequels with some big names attached to the project.  This is Lee Bermejo’s cover for Rorschach, and the story is written by Brian Azzarello.
  • Image Quality Comparison – Nokia N8, iPhone, Samsung Galaxy SII – Interesting comparison of the cameras on these smartphones.  According to that page, the N8 is the winner (yay!).
  • Ultraviolet FAQ – No, not the Milla Jovovich movie, Ultraviolet is a system of electronic media distribution, kind of like a non-physical DVD/Bluray.  I looked this up since the recently-revealed cover artwork for the Bluray release of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo mentions Ultraviolet and I didn’t know what that was.
  • India’s Incredibly Cool Hand-Drawn Movie Posters – These are awesome!  Done by a Bangalore-based artist.
  • Two wonderful pieces of art from deviantART – A Study in Paper by ~ldhenson and Television by ~boo21190.
  • Star Wars Rock Out – I was looking for a trope to mention in my Chronicle review post, and came across this.
  • Kevin Smith on Superman – An old one, but worth re-sharing.  A 20 minute excerpt from one of Kevin Smith’s shows, where he talks about his interaction with producer Jon Peters when he was given the chance to work on a Superman script.  Very funny.
  • Sherlock Holmes – Discombobulate Music Video – Amazing video!  I didn’t know this existed till my friend Kartheek told me about it.
  • Observer Series – My cousin Girish and I are big fans of the show Fringe.  He’s been posting about references to “Observers” in his school notes and various other places.  Four posts so far – One, Two, Three, Four.

Speaking of my cousin, his blog Galactica will be on hiatus for about a month.  I was mentioning that this is like a break between two seasons of a TV show.  This led to us creating posters advertising Season 2 of his blog.  This poster by him has got to be the best one of the lot –

I thought this was a very clever piece of work.  The design and text recalls the poster of The Social Network, and the background is from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  Two David Fincher references in one poster?  Class!  Click the image above to see more of the posters – one more by him and one simple poster by me.

On Saturday evening, I attended Pecha Kucha Night Hyderabad Vol 7, which I will write about in detail in a separate post.