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The occasional downtime of Daniel W. E. Light
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Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Bush League TV

Watch some ubernerds LIVE as they go for a Guinness World Record by playing GTA IV continuously for over 25 hours:



Something about this is brilliantly banal - the sheer pointlessness of it really captures the spirit of the could-do-but-can't-really-be-arsed generation. I salute them.

posted by Dan Light  # 07:38  0 Comments  Links to this post
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Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Quantum of Solace widget

I grabbed this not because it's the nicest widget I've ever seen, but because I'm getting it MONTHS out from release, and I'm expecting it to give me all the juice on a movie I'm VERY excited about. Reinforces two things I already kind of knew - movie widgets are driven by video content, and 99% about turning up on time.

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Sunday, 27 April 2008

Weeds, warning shots and well-wishers



The kitchen garden's pretty much planted. Over on the left there I've got four rows of spinach, eighteen sprouting broccoli plants (rescued from B&Q's bargain bin for the princely sum of 50p) and three rows of Swiss chard. Next along is a few rows of carrots at the back, and some beetroot at the front. The big middle berth has now fewer than five varieties of lettuce at the back behind three rows of onions, then further along we've got radishes, pak choi and spring onions.

I've used an assortment of garden netting and permeable mesh to provide the necessary protection while the seeds germinate. Between that, a healthy sprinkling of chilli powder and a load of bamboo canes poking out of the ground I can hopefully persuade the local cats to go shit on somebody else's parade. If not, I'm going to get me an air rifle and spend the whole of next weekend camped up in the bedroom with a hip flask and half a dozen scotch eggs, in the hope that I can plant a couple of warning shots on the backside of anything foolish enough to fuck with my greens.

Last year what did for me wasn't feline - it was the sycamore overhead and that nasty looking stuff you can see growing over the other side of the wall. It took a matter of weeks for last year's patch to be overrun, so I'm very conscious that I need to get out there once a week and weed, come wind, rain or shine. I'm also told the sycamore is due to come down pretty soon, and I might hop over the wall and deal with that other stuff myself. If it gets away from me this year I don't think my dear old dad will ever let me forget it.

Big thanks to Canadian Mike, who came over on Saturday and gave me some very timely tips, along with a fair bit of graft - I was happy to be able to offer him the pick of a pretty tasty barbie we rolled out on Saturday night. A shout must also go out to Gordon and Matt, the copywriters, for encouraging me to keep my multimedia gardening experience on air. And congratulations to Carlos - a fellow vegeculturalist - for whom nature's bounty has just extended to a second sprog.

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Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Sorry mum, but I AM Iron Man

Last time I posted on my blog about a work project it was the faux torture we created in Seesmic to promote the release of UNTRACEABLE. I got a right ticking off from my mum next time I saw her, so I’ve since been reticent about posting anything work-related.

Dr Jan Light notwithstanding, I can’t resist posting an amalgam of stuff we’ve created for what looks like one of the movies of the summer. Such is my anticipation of IRON MAN that I declined the opportunity to attend a preview screening this morning, in order to be able to share the pleasure of watching it with Ems at Mile End Genesis once it’s out on general release.

Any self-respecting comic fan will tell you that Iron Man is simultaneously one of the coolest and one of the most complex superheroes. As a character he expresses a potent fusion of strength and speed, power and grace – made of iron, but powered by rocket fuel. His alter ego on the other hand, arms dealer Tony Stark, has traditionally been depicted as a symbol of human frailty as well as fortitude, through his battles with alcoholism and other personal difficulties. This being the case, Robert Downey Jr has always looked like an inspired bit of casting, and everything I'm hearing at the moment appears to confirm this. In fact, what I'm hearing is that it's just a GREAT movie, and that it should be right up there with the best of the Summer '08 blockbusters.

As far as our work on the campaign goes, there have been two principle strands; a widget, and a Second Life avatar. The widget is right here, and gives you an immediate opportunity to get a piece of the trailer:

In a few days this should automatically upgrade to the Mark 2 widget, currently going through the final approval process. This includes a bundle of movie content and a very cute little puzzle requiring you to assemble Iron Man’s electromagnetic battery in order to access some exclusive content we’ve created.

The avatar compliments this beautifully, being another way in which we’ve used social media to forge a stronger connection with fans. The avatar is currently being dispensed on PPC's Second Life island, Silverscreen, as part of a contest giving anyone the opportunity to win their share of L$125,000. That’s Linden Dollars by the way – the native currency of Second Life. It works out at about US $500.

Fans can enter the contest by creating a piece of jaw-dropping fan art, the only pre-requisite of which is that it must feature the avatar. What I love about it is creating an opportunity unique to this medium tapping into the relentless creative energy of typical Second Life residents, at a time when the hype bubble has undoubtedly burst and many of the early adopting corporate players have abandoned offices in virtual worlds shortly after their much vaunted arrival. I also love the fact that we got to create something that ROCKS this much.

We’re now working with the immensely affable Annie Ok, the ‘multimedia artist, video director and metaverse evangelist’ who has agreed to produce a machinima short showcasing the av. Annie is also bringing all sorts of extra value to the party on account of her many connections in this space, including the tantalising possibility of Iron Man writer Matt Fraction (currently working on the new Invincible Iron Man series) being on the contest’s judging panel.

Anyone who knows me knows that I’ve become very personally involved in some of the work we’ve done in Second Life over the last couple of years. It would have been difficult to avoid doing so, given that our promotions for 300, DIE HARD and TRANSFORMERS came virtually back-to-back and each required a fortnight of 18-hour working days to execute, punctuated by some moments of bewilderment and abject terror.

As is invariably the way, they are the projects that have truly defined my growth – and, I would suggest, the growth of our department – during that time. I like to think that PPC is now recognised as an agency ready to take on the challenges and realise the opportunities presented by social media, be it web 2.0 or web 3D, and that we’ve managed to become more relevant in the process. Insofar as that keeps things interesting and keeps me on my toes, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

___

DISCLOSURE: In case you've somehow managed to get through this entire post without digesting some fairly key details, I should point out that I'm working on the marketing of this movie in behalf of Paramount Pictures International, and that this may colour my judgement in terms of what you can expect. I haven't seen it though, so I'm going on my instincts as much as the next guy. Frankly, If I didn't think Iron Man was going to ROCK, I'd probably just blog about something else instead.

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Sunday, 20 April 2008

A king of bad

Another gem in the spam poetry series, this time from one Ed Shook:

* * *


Girls like when it big

Your armis too small.

Tired of loosing control in bad.

Do not worry we know the solution of this trouble.

Try our product and you will become a king of bad.

http://jaueigne.com/


* * *

I like it. The unorthodox use of language and grammatical structure challenges the perception that we must simply accept the order of things as they are, rather than seeking to change and improve our lives - and our 'arm' - in order to lead a more purposeful, pointed existence. Truly Shook is a visionary, and a master of the form.

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Sunday, 13 April 2008

Back in the Hackney garden







It's been a little while but Dad and I made it back out into the garden today. The area we're planning to use for the kitchen garden down at the end has now been dug over to a depth of about two feet. The pile of bricks and rubble over on the right-hand side is just part of what's come out of there since I first broke ground over in the far left-hand corner about a year ago.

The compost bin is starting to fill up with a mixture of kitchen and garden waste, and now plays host to some lovely red worms. The bark chippings have settled down nicely, and the way is clear for the introduction of a shed.

You can see from the photo that the kitchen garden still needs to be levelled, and we need to introduce a shitload of compost to replace the four or five cubic metres of rubble we've excavated. Once that's in it will be time to start thinking about this year's crops. I'm thinking lettuces, spring onions and radishes, for starters, so that the least we get out of it is some lovely fresh salads.

Anyone got any other suggestions?

Oh, and by the way, I cleaned up these pictures using Adobe Photoshop Express, a free web-based service featuring some quite advanced photo-editing and sharing functionality. All very nicely put together. I'll be using it again for sure.

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