Posts tagged with "angel" - Faerye Net 2006-07-11T21:30:44+00:00 Felicity Shoulders Top 10 Best Practices for TV on DVD 2006-07-11T21:30:44+00:00 2008-06-08T13:53:08+00:00 <p>I am more or less a sucker for TV on <span class="caps">DVD</span>. It&#8217;s so convenient, so portable, so crisp, so <span class="caps">FULL OF DELICIOUS CONTINUITY</span>. However, it is still a young medium, relatively speaking, and maybe there is some feedback the studios would like from me. Out of the goodness of my heart, and not because it annoys the stuffing out of me, I&#8217;d like to share some constructive criticism.</p> <p>Really, it&#8217;s constructive! You&#8217;ll notice some of them are things <span class="caps">ONE</span> company or series is doing <span class="caps">RIGHT</span>!</p> <p><b>Top Ten Best Practices for TV on <span class="caps">DVD</span></b></p> <p><b>10. &#8216;Play all&#8217; button.</b><br /> <em>(MVP: Babylon 5)</em> Sometimes you just want to have a gargantuan view-a-thon, and this easy-to-implement feature facilitates that. One button, and the entire <span class="caps">DVD</span> of episodes plays.</P> <p><b>9. Episode list on packaging.</b><br /> <em>(MVP: Xena)</em> This helps a lot when you&#8217;re trying to find a specific episode quickly, and there&#8217;s no reason <span class="caps">NOT</span> to do it.</p> <p><b>8. Don&#8217;t quote the series on the packaging, or, worse yet, the discs.</b><br /> <em>(LVP: Angel)</em> Umm, does anyone realize that people who want to watch the TV show may <span class="caps">NOT</span> have watched the TV show? Some seasons of Buffy and Angel have totally vital and spoily dialogue plastered across the packaging, or on the discs where you&#8217;re <span class="caps">REALLY</span> likely to see them.</p> <p><b>7.Spoiler-free menus.</b><br /> Similarly, we&#8217;re pretty much stuck seeing the menu, so if you could choose images that don&#8217;t give away that Character B is a vampire or that A and C are getting together&#8230;that would help.</p> <p><b>6. Skippable intros.</b><br /> <em>(MVP: Everything Joss.)</em> We promise we know your studio&#8217;s name and musical sting, and that the <span class="caps">FBI</span> and Interpol frown on thus and so, and that you aren&#8217;t responsible for anything Ted Raimi says. We don&#8217;t need to see it 6 times per viewing of the season.</p> <p><b>5. Quick menu switching.</b><br /><em>(LVP: Buffy Season 2)</em> Again, we are going to see this <span class="caps">OVER</span> and <span class="caps">OVER</span>. It&#8217;s swell you sprang for a <span class="caps">CGI</span> swoop-shot through a cemetery, but by root and twig, we don&#8217;t need to sit through it every time we press a button!</p> <p><b>4. <span class="caps">STOP</span> the foldfests.</b> <br /><em>(LVP: Buffy, Angel, early seasons of Xena)</em> Many shows are in these gigantic folding cardboard monstrosities. There are a lot of ways to deal with the problem of packaging 6 or more discs attractively, but I think the <em>Firefly</em> approach of slimline cases and the <em>Babylon 5</em>/late <em>Xena</em> book-style packages are the way to go. The <em>Xena</em> discs even click in place nicely and don&#8217;t fall out all the time!</p> <p><b>3. Clear episode progression.</b><br /><em>(LVP: Buffy Season 3; <span class="caps">MVP</span>: Xena)</em> Episode numbers, a clear linear pattern to the episode titles&#8230;any of these will do. Instead, we often have four episodes, one in each quadrant, and they don&#8217;t always progress in the same manner from series to series or season to season (<em>Buffy</em> Season 3 had a different pattern from any other <em>Buffy</em> season.)</p> <p><b>2. Silent menus.</b> <em>(MVP: Xena)</em> Remember, again, we will hear this <span class="caps">MANY</span> times. If you choose a good atmospheric bit from an episode, it will have lost all meaning by the time we watch that episode, and in any case, we&#8217;ll be sick to death of it. <em>Xena</em> compromises by playing the (beautiful) theme music on the disc menu, but having blessedly silent episode menus, so we can get a drink, go to the bathroom, and generally settle ourselves without a 30-second loop of effects and music driving us mad.</p> <p>No one has this last one yet, and I think movies as well as TV shows need this all-important feature:<br /><b>1. Mute-able characters.</b> <br />I don&#8217;t want to listen to Jar-Jar Binks or <a href="" target="links">Kennedy the Annoying Girl</a> in the comfort of my own home. I could probably get wonko to watch Babylon 5 if Sinclair spoke in subtitles for all of Season 1! Give us more freedom. After all, we bought the damn thing!</p> <p>If a decalogue is too much for the studios, I&#8217;ll cut it down to two general reminders: We may not have seen it before, and we will see it over and over again.</p> Lucid Dream Experiment #6 2004-07-26T17:07:14+00:00 2010-08-03T11:20:18+00:00 <p>Okay, I&#8217;m not entirely certain I&#8217;ve had five attempts at lucid dreaming before. But it&#8217;s as good a number as any. One of my English teachers in high school told me that his wife (another beloved English teacher) dreamt lucidly all the time. &#8216;You can train yourself to do it,&#8217; said he, &#8216;Every time you realize you&#8217;re dreaming, you try to take control&#8212;trying to fly is a good way of doing it&#8212;and it gets easier over time.&#8217; The possibilities bloomed before me. My own personal Holodeck, I thought! (Yes, I am a geek) Endless fun and risk-free adventure, I thought! So whenever I remember, I go to sleep thinking about remembering I&#8217;m dreaming&#8230;(I don&#8217;t remember to think this often) and whenever I realize I&#8217;m dreaming and don&#8217;t immediately wake up, I try to fly. </p><P>I&#8217;ve had severely limited success. Once, I felt I was flying, but I couldn&#8217;t both fly and open my eyes. Most times I have just hopped frustratedly about. Occasionally I think I&#8217;ve managed to fly a few feet, only to be grounded again as soon as I alight for any purpose.</p> <p>Last night, I had a perfectly ridiculous dream. I was gaming with Matt, Wonko, Lissell, Bedrick, and Grizelda (as far as I can remember and as far as dreams have static cast.) I heard someone trying to get into the house (something I <a href="">fear</a>). I hoped it was just a noise, but I looked out the glass sliding door, and I saw a big brown bear! (Yes, griz, I dreamt about a bear. Your ursine nightmares are catching.) He was scratching the glass door, then trying to shoulder it open. He failed.</p><p>&#8220;You think you&#8217;re safe in there,&#8221; he said, or words to that effect, &#8220;but&#8221; (and this part I recall quite clearly) &#8220;I have a Potion of Enlargement!&#8221; (have I mentioned I&#8217;m a big geek?) The bear dug in a belt at his waist, and glugged down a vial. Immediately, he grew, his glossy brown coat expanding like a balloon, and his normal bear-face growing flatter and dome-browed. He looked a strange and mythic bear, his eyes in vast orbital ridges like the curves of paint in a Coastal Tribe painting&#8230;and he threw his great bulk against the door he almost blotted out.</p> <p>&#8220;Call the people who deal with these things!&#8221; someone said.</p> <p>&#8220;Who would that be?&#8221;</p> <p>&#8220;The Monster Department?&#8221; I queried, and we set about calling the Monster Department. But lo! Halfway through our phonecall, the bear disappeared from our worries (and therefore the stage), as I looked out my window into the park (now separating my house from a large industrial building, not more houses) and saw a 12-foot tall Godzilla walk into it!</p><p>Godzilla was grey, and very old-school and rubber-suitly. He stamped on some toy cars left in the park, and waded out into the pond. We informed the Monster Department just as he grew to near-conventional sizes and began laying waste to the industrial building which was, of course, full of Japanese people. (I promise, I&#8217;ve never even seen an old-school Godzilla movie.)</p> <p>We were very frightened, and whenever people left the industrial building they were crushed or eaten, so we were nervous about leaving our house. As we discussed this, Godzilla&#8217;s head loomed up behind the grey building, larger than a hill, and he said, &#8220;If you leave I&#8217;ll kill you!&#8221;, reinforcing the threat by stretching an arm across the lake to tap at the window. Suddenly my friend Kug (EAKugler hereabouts) was beside me and he smiled a smile of superior geek knowledge.</p> <p>&#8220;He can kill us without even touching us,&#8221; he said importantly.</p> <p>Suddenly, Wonko, Grizelda and I were outside, in the woods, observing the rather beat-up looking red Power-Armored soldiers and robots that had arrived from the Government to deal with Godzilla. They piled onto red Endor-style speeders that were attached to an amusement park ride and lifted off, breaking free of the arms of the ride.</p><p> <p>&#8220;They don&#8217;t inspire much confidence,&#8221; said Grizelda.</p></p> <p>&#8220;So, what should we do now?&#8221; said Wonko.</p> <p>&#8220;We could go back to the &#8212; hey, wait, how did we get out of the house?&#8221; said I. My companions did not answer. We were certainly not slain by Godzilla&#8217;s might, and I certainly didn&#8217;t remember eluding him. The scales did the proverbial eye-thing, and I realized it was a dream. Abandoning my companions, I set about jumping off logs in order to fly. I think I managed to skim a little, and found myself in a hangar full of government types monitoring the Godzilla threat, with a Baskin Robbins team giving out samples in the corner. After eating some ice cream flavors I missed from my childhood but which never actually existed, I started attempting to fly again.</p><p><span class="caps">HOP</span>. Hop-glide-land. Hop. <span class="caps">HOP</span>. Hop-glide-rise&#8230;it was working! I swooped among the rafters, tried to increase my speed with various superheroic poses, accidentally flew backwards, and generally had a lovely time.</p><p>&#8220;What I really should do,&#8221; I thought, emboldened by my power, &#8220;is go defeat Godzilla.&#8221; Having read a lot of X-Men recently, I started trying to throw lightning bolts. Lemme tell you, Storm makes that look easy. It isn&#8217;t.</p><p>Still trying to shoot lightning out of my hands, I decided to find Godzilla first, and perform better under pressure. Somehow I thought that doing optic blasts would be <span class="caps">WAY</span> easier. I tried to ignore niggling thoughts of Godzilla&#8217;s atomic breath.</p><p>I swooped outside, flying low to the ground. On some bleachers outside, a person in a suit with a clipboard was interrogating Spike. Apparently he hadn&#8217;t made his evil quota. Swooping around the corner, I was sure I would come across Godzilla! But instead, I found some more suits mediating a conflict between Angelus and Darla over who got to write a specific situation report. I pouted and woke up.</p> <p>Who knows, maybe the suits were from the Government, and the Monster Department is well-named?</p>