Lovely geeky tee from Glennz Tees:
All sizes are $19.95, except for 2XL and 3XL which are $21.95.
Lovely geeky tee from Glennz Tees:
All sizes are $19.95, except for 2XL and 3XL which are $21.95.
I’ve been back in London for a couple of days and have jumped right back into the maelstrom of events (GameCamp and WarbleCamp last weekend). My trip to the Netherlands was pretty successful: new haircut, new braces and new lenses… new Mel:
I love my new haircut! Although I’m not completely sure yet how I’m supposed to dry/style it properly, it’s so different then how I usually have my hair. It’s gonna take some time till I’m fully used to it, but I love how it looks.
I got my braces last week Tuesday; I don’t remember the braces hurting this much the last time I had them! I’ve been living on liquid/soft/non-chewable food for the past week, not being able to chew without my teeth hurting. I know the pain eventually will go away, I just don’t remember having this much trouble with them when I was 12.
Then finally, my lenses. So much trouble with these still. I’m trying to make the jump to hard lenses, and got a new pair to try out. I thought the only difference would be the size of the lenses (a larger radius), but the vision in my left eye is horrible. I’ve only had them properly in for one day, so maybe I just have to get used to it, but I’m so sick and tired of not being able to see properly.
This pillow from Etsy seller Avril Loreti is just too cute:
Add up the 10 points each for the Q and the Z, plus the 50 bonus points for your 7 letter bingo word and you get a pretty spectacular scrabble scoring “Squeeze Me” pillow. With the red backing inspired by the Triple Word Score Square you’re shooting into the stratosphere of word nerd style!
Check out Avril’s store for more wonderful items.
Zombies and bloggers! I like the setup for this series:
In 2014, two experimental viruses—a genetically engineered flu strain designed by Dr. Alexander Kellis, intended to act as a cure for the common cold, and a cancer-killing strain of Marburg, known as “Marburg Amberlee”—escaped the lab and combined to form a single airborne pathogen that swept around the world in a matter of days. It cured cancer. It stopped a thousand cold and flu viruses in their tracks.
It raised the dead.
Millions died in the chaos that followed. The summer of 2014 was dubbed “The Rising,” and only the lessons learned from a thousand zombie movies allowed mankind to survive. Even then, the world was changed forever. The mainstream media fell, Internet news acquired an undeniable new legitimacy, and the CDC rose to a new level of power.
Twenty years later, when Senator Peter Ryman of Wisconsin decides to take a team of bloggers along on his run for the White House, Georgia and Shaun Mason are quick to submit their application. They, along with their friend Georgette “Buffy” M. are selected, and view this as the chance to launch their careers to a whole new level… that is, if they can survive the campaign trail.
There’s a cool site with tons of info about the book with even campaign posters for the fictional elections. Really curious to see how this story is; mainstream media covering up the news stories with bloggers being the only ones willing to reveal information. And then get killed for it? At least that’s what I make up out of the snippets on the site.
Episode 174: “I shove her into the car, run into my house and I grab my lightsaber”
I’ve got a bit of a geek crush on Nathan Fillion and to see him geek out in real life about lightsabers is just brilliant (that part’s in the 2nd video):
As promised, the second part of the interview with executives producers Jeff Pinker and J.H. Wyman. If you haven’t read the first part yet, check it out here.
Q: You guys have really done a great job with not only developing a fascinating story and a story line, but the clues go beyond the show. There’s all these mock websites with massive dynamics, food trust, all these hints and clues that are spread everywhere. I am very involved with the fan community and every week we get together and we go over all these things. We’re really wondering if there’s anything we’ve missed.
Jeff: I would say that there’s definitely things you’ve missed, but that’s part of the fun, right?
Q: So, we have missed stuff. Any hints maybe? No? Yes?
Jeff: Part of the fun for us is driving people back to those early episodes and seeing that, oh my god that was planted; from the pilot that stuff was already planted in there. We take this notion of world building really seriously. By the time the series ends, we want to make people re-examine everything they’ve watched from the beginning.
Joel: In the season finale, there is one hidden thing in there that I and Jeff will both be really impressed if anybody picks up. So, there you go. There’s one to look for in the season finale that’s very telling about next season but also very hard to find.
Q: I wanted to know what kind of steps have you guys had to take to keep plot lines and scripts and those kinds of things secret, cause these shows get such rabid attention and the fans just go crazy. Have you had to really take some steps to do that?
Joel: Yes, part of the scripts when they get out, usually it’s from production or from somebody that’s not supposed to deliver them, but what we find is that everybody on the show – from our writing staff, from the office staff, from the actual physical production – they’re still invested in the project. They don’t want anything to get out. So, everybody sort of takes care of our scripts and gets it delivered to the department heads and then they allow them to get out after a certain point, but we’ve been really lucky that everybody is so invested, they take extra care with their own copies of the script, and they don’t let it out.
Jeff: I think what we’re finding more and more, and it’s sort of like we’re in that world where it’s incredibly flattering to know that people are trying to get your stories ahead of time. There was definitely a period a few years ago where things were spoiled far more often. Somehow somebody on the internet would get ahead of a script; it would spoil it. I’ve been on shows where we haven’t been above writing fake pages, even filming fake scenes just for the fear of that. We have done a minimal amount of that here when we felt something was really important to us, but we’ve also found that more and more when people do one way or another learn secrets about the show they’re keeping it to themselves. They’re actually being graceful enough to not spoil things, which we’re finding the pendulum has sort of swung from people getting pleasure out of revealing secrets to people getting pleasure out of keeping secrets, so that’s been actually really great for us.
Q: Assuming there’s a nice big cliffhanger coming up – do you have to really think about what’s coming next season, like plot that out before you even go to this season’s cliffhanger?
Jeff: I think to a degree we do that and to a degree we get some pleasure out of – we know the long term and we like to write problems for ourselves because often figuring ways out the problem provides the most creativity.
Q: Will Peter stay kind of in his own kind of separation from Walter or will we see at least a piece of them coming back together again, even if it’s to set up what you guys do next season?
Jeff: Relationships are complex and just for the very same reasons that I think that throughout the seasons, we never really want it to be easy – that just because it’s a TV show in the United States of America, that the handsome male lead and the beautiful female lead should be together. You have to earn those types of things, we believe. So, when we’re playing the emotion of a betrayal like that on a level that it is, I think that it’s all up to the human heart, which is complex.
So, Peter’s going to have a very realistic reaction to the things that he’s now aware of, and I think that that’s the first step in a journey back to some sort of common understanding of a relationship. I don’t think it’s ever going to be easy, and it should supply us with a lot of material because it’s such an interesting dynamic. You just don’t want to just say it’s all forgiven. But you also want to have other flavors of the relationship – not just, you betrayed me. So, I think that’s where we are.
Q: End of last season, you set up the idea of the other universe and so now there’s obviously the revelation of Peter realizing he’s from there, where are we kind of barreling towards as we come toward the end of the season and what are you setting up for us to kind of jump from as you prepare for season three?
Jeff: Last year, our season finale we thought was effective because it sort of introduced concretely an idea that had been sort of talked around for the entire season, and we managed to, I think, be satisfied with the thoughts and the expectations of the audience. I think people really enjoyed that. So, it was a huge challenge for us this year to figure out well how can we turn the page in the next chapter and how can we have the same effect because I think it really was for the audience satisfying that we had last year this year. So, we believe we’ve done that.
At the end of the season, I think that you’ll be wow, now this is a whole other world and this is really interesting. Not a whole other world literally but a whole other chapter that has been sort of talked around but now concretely you will understand a lot more. So, if we’re heading towards anything, it’s that. It really sets up a satisfying conclusion to what people have invested in this year but also sort of opens up a whole other level of understanding that hopefully will propel us into season three and further. A lot of very exciting things that we’ve come up with that we’re really excited to tell.
Remember my failed movie challenge from last year? Cristiano and I realized we hadn’t seen tons of the movies in the IMDb Top 250, so we tried to watch one movie from that list which we hadn’t seen yet. We failed miserably. It was partly to blame to too busy schedules, but also a bit because of the logistics of agreeing and figuring out which movies to see. The ‘priorities’ on both of our lists were movies that the other had seen already. Since then I’ve wanted a simple app that would allow us both to check off the movies we’ve seen and allow us to compare the two lists. Cue: iCheckMovies!
The idea of this website (http://icheckmovies.com) is simple: just check off the movies you’ve seen per ‘list’. They support a wide range of lists and are adding new ones constantly. I now know exactly how many films I’ve seen in the IMDb Top 250, but also the amount of Best Movie Oscars winning movies. I can also add movies I haven’t seen yet to a Watchlist (although this becomes one gigantic list if you just add everything you haven’t seen). Also in the future they will be bringing out support for your own created lists, which is really missing at the moment.
The great thing I find though is that you can add friends and get a comparison of which movies you’ve both seen. I can get 4 different lists: movies we’ve both seen, movies neither of us has seen, movies only my friend has seen and movies only I have seen. It’s great! I’ve already discovered a couple of movies that Cristiano has seen, which I can watch by myself while here in the Netherlands (likewise he now knows which movies he should watch while I’m away).
And you can see what both your progress is. In the below image you can my and Cristiano’s progress; I’m green, he’s brown. Basically he’s beating me in most that is shown below, except for Romance and All-Time Worldwide Box Office. Yeah, I’m a sucker for the big blockbustery movies and I don’t think it’s a surprise that I’ve done ‘well’ in that category.
So far I really love this site and I can see myself using it more in the future. There are a couple of things I’d like to see, like list-specific comparisons with friends (I still can’t see a list of the movies from the IMDb Top 250 that neither me or Cristiano has seen yet) and maybe multiple watchlists. I know the creators have said they’re working on a 2.0 version, so I’m really curious to see what the new stuff will be!
Last week there was another Fringe conference call, this time with executive producers Jeff Pinker and J.H. Wyman. It took place before last week’s musical episode, and gives us a bit of a glimpse of what might be coming up (no real spoilers though).
I’ve split it again into two parts: one today, one tomorrow. Hearing these guys though makes me realize I should really pay much more attention to the details in the episodes; so many easter eggs!
Q: So, I want to talk about the musical episode. Obviously, Fringe takes place in a very heightened world where there’s monsters and great science and things like that but a musical is even a step beyond that. Can you talk about balancing the two and how you make it work in the episodes?
Jeff: We knew we wanted to tell an episode – the last episode that aired, Peter learned that he was not from our universe; he learned pretty much the truth about his own identity and origin and confronted Walter about it and turned his back on Walter. So we knew we wanted to tell an episode that really explored; we have this phenomenal actor in John Noble and this great character and we wanted to explore how that affects Walter before we sort of plunge forward into the end of the season.
We came up with a narrative device to really explore Walter’s feelings. We had largely all the elements of the episode in place and Fox called and said, “Hey, how would you guys feel about if we asked you to have some musical element in the show? Anything, like just feature a song playing.” They didn’t ask us to do Glee. And we instantly, before we got off the phone, said, “Well, this is what we’re thinking for the episode and here’s an idea how that could work for us.” We turned their request into what felt like a positive for us and really deepened and sort of blew the episode out even further in the direction we were already taking it.
It’s all an opportunity. Something we find that we do a lot in the show is we hold mirrors up to reality by telling these fantastical stories, which in one way or another are metaphorical for what’s going on in either our world or our characters’ lives. This episode provides an opportunity to just sort of hold a mirror up to Walter’s perspective of the world and the individuals Olivia, Peter, and Aster, that he interacts with, and sort of we get his fractured take on the world and certainly his condition now that Peter has left him.
The music really sort of supports the storytelling, and it takes us out of it in a fun way, but the whole thing is sort of a fantastical episode anyway. And I think it was important to us that if we felt in any way we were damaging the story, we would’ve just said, “Thank you very much but it’s not going to work for us.”
Q: As a followup, now that you’ve done a musical episode, how are you going to top it next season? Are you going to have a Saturday morning cartoon animated episode or anything like that?
Jeff: You may be closer to the truth than you realize.
Jeff: Remember that question. Deep in next season, remember what you just asked us.
Q: Fringe is almost becoming notorious now for all these secret little hidden Easter eggs within it. I was checking out websites today that were breaking down the signal from the other side that came last week, and I think even to see what the license plates were on the cars. Is that something that everyone takes a part in or is that part of the writing – putting all those little things in? When do they come into play?
Jeff: Some of them are in the writing. Some of them are specifically scripted. There’s probably in every episode the Observer up here is somewhere, and that we won’t script because that’s one of those things that we want people to have to find. But during the production process, we will figure out where is best suited for this story and then production.
What’s really nice about the series now is all of our departments are so invested in making a complete in-world building and making a really rich textured program, from set dressing to props to visual effects – everyone participates in ‘hey, what about this, what about that, here’s an opportunity to do an Easter egg here’. I don’t know.
There was an episode a couple of weeks ago that was sort of like inspired by the game Clue and in different scenes, all of the sort of signature murder weapons of the game Clue are just featured as props, background, in one scene or another. That’s something that the writer of the episode and the prop master came up with together. Every episode has sort of a clue somewhere… what the next episode will be about and that’s largely driven by visual effects.
Joel: So, in short, some of them are driven by the writers and a lot of them are driven by the rest of production all the way down to postproduction. Right before we get on the air, we’ve been known to change our visual effects up until the day we’re airing.
Q: I wanted to ask about the look of this week’s episode and sort of, I guess for lack of a better term, noirish kind of vibe. Were there specific things that you drew on or is it just sort of an overall kind of 40s vibe?
Jeff: Early in the season, we were graced with being on the cover of Entertainment Weekly, and they chose to dress our characters. They had Olivia and Peter sort of as 40s detectives noir look. We knew we wanted to tell – just for cultural ease, we wanted to tell a sort of Princess Bride-type story where Walter was relaying a story. As soon as we saw that cover, we said, “Oh, it has to be a detective story,” because one of the themes of our show is it’s not quite a procedural but Olivia’s a detective and in some ways Peter is the person – the show already lends itself to that sort of vibe and so we wanted to leap in wholeheartedly.
We took care in the episode to not make it 100% 40s noir. There’re a lot of anachronistic things in it, which is sort of the ascetic of the show anyway. But, it was really fun. The actors get to play different versions of their characters, which was really fun for them, and it just sort of presented different version of the show, which stands on its own.
Joel: And noir’s traditionally are morality tales and that’s kind of what we’re doing. We felt that that was a great way to get across Walter’s mind frame and where his head is at right now with his son missing. There’s a very good reason from the point of view that you’re seeing – Walter’s relating this story – there’s a very good reason why it’s noir. That’s because of his own history and things like that, which you’ll see next week, but that whole … really meets Willy Wonka-esque kind of – just really, it gave us a lot of bandwidth to play it. But, the morality was a big part of it because, to us, I think noirs work best when they’re morality tales.
Q: And when you have the characters in this sort of even more alternate reality than what the show usually has, do you have to pay extra attention to sort of where they’re going with the story and it being true to who they are or can you kind of go off the beaten path?
Jeff: They’re all representations from Walter’ perspective. I mean, it’s really cool. When we start talking about the episode, we kind of at first thought it would be like an overture. At this point, to get people in a really fun way to understand what the emotional points of view are of each character and what a great way to do it is through telling a story. Our Walter letting everybody know where his mind’s at. That’s great. So, you get to see who the characters are of course, but they’re enhanced a little bit in his mind.
So, they’re not altogether different. I think that they all have the same – Olivia’s inherently good and Peter is sort of something else in this episode, but he’s something else in the real show. So, we had a chance to examine different facets of their personalities and characters but all within the realm of who they are.
Joel: All of our episodes, or our best episodes I think, are sort of metaphors or conditions in the world, which is the best of Sci-Fi. This episode is sort of a metaphor for a metaphor. A lot of the storytelling is shorthand or themes that have arisen since the beginning of the show. And we sort of, as Joel was saying overture – if this was the only episode you ever saw, you would understand emotionally where all the characters are enough to enjoy the last four episodes of the season.