September 25, 2008

Another Music of the Spheres teaser

~ Ben

September 24, 2008

September 8, 2008

J.K. Rowling wins her copyright lawsuit! Hooray?

Not sure how I feel about this:

Essentially, J.K. Rowling sued a guy who ran an online Harry Potter encyclopedia (she approved of the website, from what I understand, because it encouraged a fanbase and community), because he planned to publish it as a book.

She planned to do a Harry Potter encyclopedia herself.

She sued him to shut down his publishing plans. And she won.

On one hand, I see her point. He's competition, after all, when it comes to Harry Potter encyclopedias. He'd be making money from her characters and her work.

On the other hand, she approved of the website (from what I understand): what's the difference when already he's offering the information for free. And it just seems so harsh. Big powerful author who's richer than most third world countries stepping on the little fan tribute dream of a diehard Potter fan. It does rather squash the whole "fan tribute" type of thing.

But when does a fan tribute become a copyright violation?

Well, here's a pretty cut a dry answer: when you plan to publish a book.

I'm torn. One one hand: creator's rights, which are more and more difficult to defend as the technology changes and makes it easier and easier to violate. On the other hand: the fan community, which while it can't claim copyright, wants to claim ownership.

~ Ben

September 1, 2008

Nano Film review #18 & 19 -- Star Wars: The Clone Wars and WALL*E

Let's compare and contrast two science fiction CGI animated movies.

First, this:

Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

Animation: pretty okay. It's stylistic, not realistic, and I've been waiting for a stylized 3D animated movie that would work. This did.

Story: pretty okay. It didn't engage me.

Characters: The "little girl" Jedi, I liked. The baby Hutt, okay. Uncle Hutt, no way. Established characters, nothing new -- which was frustrating. Since we know their futures already, it felt like there needed to be more to it. Subtext? I'm not sure. I mean, the "little girl" Jedi is going to be killed. And Anakin is going to survive the war and become evil. And the "little girl" Jedi will die because of him.

Script: I did laugh at a couple lines. I groaned about more, though.

Overall: A great big "meh". A diversion. But it's sad that Star Wars, which at one time captured my imagination and made me want to create these kind of stories, has become something so unimpressive.


Animation: Beautiful. Simply gorgeous.

Story: engaging, although meandering. It felt like two movies in one. Both were good, but the WALL*E story was best.

Characters: So likable. WALL*E and EVE moreso than everyone else. These are cute characters that exist in their own world and make sense and make you like them. The "stock" cute/eccentric Pixar-type characters are there as well, and they're good, although not as fun as other Pixar supporting characters.

Script: Again, beautiful. Again, I felt like I was watching two movies as the second half of the movie moved away from WALL*E to make room for a whole new cast of characters and a related but different plot. But it's totally forgivable because the characters are likable. There wouldn't have to even BE a plot, and you'd still enjoy watching these characters.

Overall: One of my favorite movies ever. If I made a list of favorite movies . . . WALL*E would be on it. Like Star Wars did years ago, WALL*E ha inspired me to create fun, engaging stories.

Two notes:

1. For a look at an energetic, engaging Star Wars: The Clone Wars, check out:
These collections of a handful of short animated films are fun, energetic, stylistic, and, above all, enjoyable. I love them.

2. I really wish we'd move away from the Clone Wars/Star Wars Prequel movies period of time. How awesome would it be to have Star Wars movies in this style, but featuring Luke, Han, Leia, and Chewie? The actors are still alive and while they aren't young enough to act in movies like that . . . they could do voice overs for animation!

Sorry . . . fanboy moment.

~ Ben

I know I get a tiny percentage if someone orders something from Amazon from a link I put here . . . but I'm only going to link to the movie I actually recommend . . .