Time Tunnel 2022 Parody

Below is another video I created to practice my Adobe Premiere Pro skillset.

The short video is based on the 1960s TV Series Time Tunnel, in the show there are two employees of a secret project that become lost in time. More than often they never know when they are going to end up. So, I thought of a small video, a kind of “What If” the two of them ended up in 2022! Since this year is another momentous year regarding Russia’s invasion/war on the innocent people of Ukraine.

2022-03-30T20:57:34+00:0030 March 2022|Television, Video|

SkyNews No More

SkyNews is a popular channel in the UK that used to broadcast an international version over its YouTube channel to the world, that is until recently.

About The Block

The channel was IP blocked to a number of countries including South Africa, Cyprus, here in Canada and many more. It isn’t blocked for countries like the USA, India and others.

SkyNews Unavailable

There are many Expats who watch SkyNews around the globe who are very upset about the block, according to what they are saying on Twitter. Despite reaching out on SkyNews on Twitter none had received a response, so I decided to have a go.

It was labour intensive to communicate with SkyTV to try and find out the reason for this. After a few tweets back and forth they finally gave me an email address to write to. I received a response fairly quickly but they didn’t really shed any light on the block and didn’t know which countries were affected and why. SkyNews in Australia was recently temporarily banned from YouTube for a while due to relaying fake news, so I am guessing SkyNew UK might have been hit by a similar reason.

I understand some have just started viewing SkyNews on YouTube via a VPN.

Alternatives

There are many live news broadcast channels on YouTube that can be viewed as an alternative. Note, some of these might not be available at your location, they are all available in Canada though.

  • France24 – I have to say this is one of my favourites
  • DW – from Germany
  • Al Jazeera – A Qatar government channel
  • ABC News Live – from the US
  • MSNBC Now Live – from the US
  • BBC World News – this would be available through your cable provider, not through YouTube
  • EuroNews – this might be available through your cable provider, a great channel
  • GB News – from the UK, I don’t watch this channel, too right-wing, but an odd interesting snippet now and again.

Summary

It’s always good to view the news from different perspectives especially when a war is ongoing so hopefully, the above channels are helpful. It is disappointing that SkyNews take down this service at this time.

2022-03-19T17:19:04+00:0019 March 2022|Television|

Salvation TV Series Review

For the past 26 weeks, we’ve been watching the TV series Salvation on Netflix, actually, I quite enjoyed it.

Story line

A rich technology genius, Darius Tanz, joined forces with an MIT graduate, Liam Cole, to try and stop an asteroid that is due to hit the Earth in 60 days time. The intense story line is interspersed with relationships between the central characters.

SalvationAbout The Series

The series ran between 2017 to 2018 over 2 seasons and 26 episodes.  The first season was made in Toronto and the second season in Vancouver.  The series was commissioned by CBS but they cancelled it in November 2018.

Actors

The series had a mix of Canadian and British actors in the series with the odd American thrown in. The main cast over the two seasons were:

  • Santiago Cabrera – known for his role in The Musketeers as Aramis now in Star Trek Picard
  • Jennifer Finnigan – won Emmy’s for her performance in Bold and The Beautiful
  • Charlie Rowe – numerous rolls, born and raised in Islington
  • Jacqueline Byers – fairly new actress with a growing portfolio, guest-starred on Timeless
  • Ian Anthony Dale – known recently for his work on Hawaii Five-0.

Review

The second season was better than the first mainly because it was fast-moving and action-packed from each episode to the next.  They had obviously put a lot of effort into the series with regard to sets, some special effects and a challenging storyline thrown in.

I wouldn’t have classed it as 100% science fiction as it had a general drama, espionage, strange cult and soap opera quality to it as well. There were technology and some special effects on the show but it was more in the background.

Some of the soap opera type content seemed a bit much, who is having an affair with who, whose baby is it, broken relationships that get back together then break up again.

I thought Santiago Cabrera was much better in this series than he is in Star Trek Picard, I guess he is the lead actor in Salvation as he should be at this stage in his career. The only other actor I knew was Ian Anthony Dale who played Adam Noshimuri in Hawaii Five-0 – he was also better in Salvation although both his characters had a certain borderline evil trait about them.

All in all they did a grand job with the series and I would definitely recommend it.

2020-08-21T22:40:31+00:0021 August 2020|Television, USA|

Dallas Parody of Crossroads

I’ve always wanted to create a Dallas TV Show parody of the British TV Soap Opera Crossroads. Being in lockdown due to COVID19 and wanting to learn video editing software created some time for me to do this.  This is the final product:

How It Was Made

The most challenging thing to me was creating a parody, keeping to the original feel of the show, and I, of course, felt a sense of responsibility not to upset the many fans out there.

Technical

I used two video software programs to make this video, Aimersoft and Adobe Premiere Pro.

In Aimersoft I cut out chunks of clips from episodes that I would use in the parody. I had to transfer them from 4:3 to 16:9 aspect ratio format so it would have a modern feel about them. Many of the episodes didn’t really pass the quality check so I had to abandon them.

In Adobe Premiere Pro I performed most of the editing. I hadn’t really used the software before, apart from very basic stuff, and I had never been on a training course, so it was fairly challenging. Parts of Premiere Pro was easy to learn, some weren’t as there are so many options all over the place.

Clips

Deciding what clips from the shows I should use were extremely challenging. There were over 4,800 episodes to choose from. I had to decide what were the most prominent moments in the soap opera’s history:

  1. The Motel fire
  2. Nutty Rosemary trying to kill David Hunter
  3. The Christmas sing-a-long
  4. Farewell to Meg

Then I wanted to include as many true actors that were loved by the fans. Crossroads was prominently linked to Noelle Gordon and Jane Rossington to me, they were the show, so they feature heavily in my parody.

Extra Bits

I didn’t just want to include the actual edited Dallas theme in itself, I thought about some extras. So I included the ATV logo to start off, modifying it from 4:3 to 16:9 worked out really well.

In many episodes of American soap operas, prior to the intro theme, there is a “what’s going to happen in this weeks show” teaser, at least there was back in the early days of Dallas, Knots Landing and Falcon Crest. So, I decided to include my own mash of moments from particular episodes, mainly to the events that led up to the Motel fire.

How Long Did It Take?

It took roughly 30 hours to make. Most of that time was taken up by finding and editing clips from the shows and learning Premiere Pro. Luckily, YouTube is a good resource for mini-training videos, I totally couldn’t have completed the end product as quickly as I did.

In Conclusion

I am totally not happy with the video. I think I’m a total perfectionist and could have done so much better in various spots. But, I did learn so much and this has given me the inspiration to produce other videos.

2020-08-11T22:08:59+00:0011 August 2020|Television|

Lost in Space Season 2 Review

Netflix released season two of it’s version of Lost in Space and here is my review.

I won’t go into any details of the story line just in case there are people who haven’t seen it but I will dive into my good and bad points about this season.

The Good

  • More special effects.
  • More action sequences.
  • Characters developed a little more with clips into the past back on Earth.
  • More emotion in the characters.
  • Return of some beloved actors, who have been promoting the series a little.

The Bad

  • Too many other characters.
  • First they aren’t a cohesive family, then they are. Didn’t quite get that one.
  • The Maureen and Dr Smith characters are just too annoying
  • No, not more of those robots, please!
  • No time going into space exploring different planets and meeting different aliens/cultures.
  • All one long continuing story and no separate episodic scifi that I enjoyed in the 1960s.
  • Not a lot of humour with exception to the Don West character.
  • Get rid of the stupid chicken.

So, a third and final season has been approved. Will I watch it? I might do, I am curious with how they will end it and I would like to see the return of Bill Mumy in a bigger roll.

I am in the minority of Lost in Space fans who weren’t keen on the series and there are many who are extremely grateful Netflix made this series.

2020-03-21T05:04:29+00:0021 March 2020|Television|

MSNBC vs CNN vs BBC vs SkyNews vs France24 vs CBC

We now live in a technical age where we all have access to many news channels from around the world. This should give us a better perspective of what is happening globally.

Much of these news sources are commercial and often their main aim is to sell advertising space in order to survive, and that might give them a certain political slant. My preference is for these channels to present the news, not opinion, so I can make my own decisions. Few channels actually meet that bill.

These reviews are based on my opinion alone.

Tabloids

Firstly, the US cable networks which I class as “tabloid” journalism, more sensational and gossipy in style.

MSNBC

Out of all the channels I have access to this is the worst:

  • Not much news, focuses on US politics, mainly Trump.
  • Liberal-leaning content, don’t really relay the news from both sides.
  • Sensationalises the “news”, mainly speculation and editorialisation
  • Presenters either shout or the decibels on the broadcast is set to very high
  • Very repetitive repeating the same “news” time and time again
  • “Breaking News” can last for days when I consider it to be an old story
  • As they focus on the worst-case scenario for the world it’s very grim to watch the channel in the morning but any other time
  • Many of the hosts or guests have a Trump book to sell. Love him or loathe him, they are making money from him.

CNN

I don’t watch this channel much as the remit is very similar to MSNBC:

  • Sensationalism, speculation, editorialisation
  • Like MSNBC coverage is politically one-sided.
  • When there is real “breaking news” in the US, non-political, they have better coverage than MSNBC. I would prefer to watch PBS for this but they don’t have a 24/7 format.
  • Too many dancing graphics on the screen.
  • CNN is available globally whereas MSNBC isn’t.

Broadsheets

The following channels I class as more “broadsheet” in style; more real news and analysis, therefore, better-respected organizations.

BBC

The station has come under a lot of criticism in the past few years due to politically slanted news when the expectation of taxpayers, who partially fund the channel, expect more analysis of how both sides of the political spectrum.

  • Good coverage of “breaking news” from a UK perspective. Didn’t really care for their election coverage. Their Brexit news isn’t too bad
  • Presenters are generally calm, don’t shout, and intelligent. This is with possible exception to Aaron Heslehurst who I find loud, confusing and obnoxious
  • Often I find they cover less news in a half an hour slot than some other broadsheet style TV news channels

CBC

Even though CBC is classified as a public broadcaster it’s not the same as the BBC. It is commercial and feels like other channels. However, I do like its news presentation on both radio and TV.

  • Good balance of news and analysis. The analysis comes in the form of its program called The National.
  • Doesn’t appear to sensationalise the news too much
  • Not too many flying graphics during the broadcast
  • CBC Radio 1 has no commercials and the analysis type programming is very good
  • The other news channels in Canada are a bit more American in style and CBC News feels like a cross between BBC and ITN news in the UK

SkyNews

A UK news channel that is owned by Comcast in the US and is currently the Royal Television Society’s News Channel of the Year, as I write this, the 12th time it has held this award.

  • Appear to compress more news into their broadcasts than the BBC
  • Available on YouTube so the world can tune in to watch it
  • Pretty good on UK related news but often BBC has the edge on this
  • Sometimes sways into tabloid format but generally good all-round news presentation
  • Been watching SkyNews more than I have BBC News recently.

France24

Broadcasting English language news internationally over YouTube.

  • Excellent for world news and analysis
  • Of course, best from France related news, but don’t have access to any other English language French news channels
  • Good coverage of Africa and the Middle East, better than the BBC
  • Calm presenters providing a different perspective on the news
  • Good selection of 20 and 30-minute analysis type programming
  • Their app isn’t that great but I do get a good balance of breaking news from around the world, and they often beat many other news service providers.

Other News Outlets

There are other news outlets available here in Canada from home and around the world but don’t really watch them enough to assess them in too much detail but will give a quick overview:

  • Good Morning Britain is available in Canada but the show is tabloid garbage.
  • Fox News is the same but even worse than MSNBC, from a right-wing perspective.
  • Local stations from the US for CBS, NBC and ABC are available but feel their news shows showing what is happening in Seattle is not at all relevant to me.
  • PBS from the US is available here, they have a 6 pm news show, Newshour, which is very good.
  • We will sometimes watch Global News early in the morning, due to lack of CBC at that time of day, however, there are so many adverts splashed all over the screen they make it impossible to watch for any length greater than 10 minutes.
2020-05-12T14:44:57+00:0018 January 2020|Television|

Asian Shows Currently Watching

There are so many Asian shows we are watching at the moment, all of them fantastic, so I thought I would compile a list of my recommendations for everyone.

Yolk Man
China

A student is dying of Cancer but an alien arrives on Earth, forming a symbiotic relationship with him, which saves his life. However, an evil alien soon follows to cause damage. Show is so well put together, special effects are brilliant, 12 x 25 minute episodes

Bromance
Taiwan

Pi Ya Nuo is a female but has to disguise herself as a male until her 26th birthday due to a superstitious omen. Then she meets Du Zi Feng, he thinks he is entering a same sex relationship with her little knowing that he is really a she. Will he still love her when the truth is revealed? Very funny yet touching series.

The Thunder
China

A more action-orientated police series from China that is pretty good, 48 x 45 minute episodes that aired Monday to Sunday in China. It has some notable stars inc Johnny Huang who is in 6 TV series in 2020, not sure how he has the time for them all. iQiyi produce some great series and I will watch out for anything that comes out of this studio.

Ossan’s Love
Japan

This series is one of my favourite so far. Set in a real estate office everyone seems to be falling in love with Haruta, except they are all people of the same sex and he is “supposedely” straight. This is a well acted comedy and I can see why this was so popular in Japan. Tanaka Kei and Yoshida Kotaro are brilliant in this. A must see. Preview is the movie of the show, DVD to be released Spring 2020.

The Untamed
China

We have just started watching this and it’s unexpectedly very good, some fans have described this as a masterpiece. Don’t watch the Netflix version, they often get the subtitles wrong or timing they appear is not working properly. This drama is by Tencent Video who have produced other dramas we have enjoyed too, worth discovering what else they have on offer.

Let’s Eat
South Korea

We are currently on the 2nd Season of Let’s Eat, three seasons produced. Each season has a different story has the same main actor appearing in all them, the popular Yoon Doo Joon. Apart from the drama/comedy theme they also eat a lot, and I mean a lot.  I’m not sure if they are going to make a third season, Yoon is currently doing his military service due to be released April 2020.

This is just a sample of what we are watching, we have many favourites that we have watched and a ton more that the plan to watch in the future.

2020-05-12T14:45:41+00:005 January 2020|Television|

Circle Two Worlds Connected Review

Circle: Two Worlds Connected” was a sci-fi/mystery television show from South Korea created by broadcaster TvN which aired in 2017. We have just finished viewing all 12 episodes and I really recommend people watch it.

This sci-fi mystery was very unique and innovative, it was set in two time periods; 2017 and 2037. In 2017: It starts off with young twin brothers and their father witnessing an alien arrival, the family take in the woman although would rarely say a word. The twins grow up, while at college a number of suicides occur with fellow students which appear to be linked to one of the twins and possible sightings of the missing “alien”. In 2037: South Korea is divided into General Earth, a heavily polluted place where crimes are common and Smart Earth, a clean and beautiful city/island where no crimes occur until one day there is a murder.

Each episode is 60 minutes in duration with the first 30 minutes set in 2017 and the last 30 minutes in 2037.

Review

The storyline is quite complex in the first episodes and can be tough to keep up with the plot, however, one does become totally transfixed so it’s worth being patient with. There are many unexpected twists and turns that will continue to surprise the audience. The special effects and sets in the 2037 scenes are extremely well done and thought through, especially how technology might evolve by that time period. The acting is very good, the actors put a lot of effort into the production. In many other Korean shows you would see a lot of romance but there was very little of that at all. The music score was quite dramatic, probably too much so at points. There were quite a few unanswered questions which would lead into an interesting season 2, I’ve heard rumours about the studio wanting to make more episodes which I would really encourage them to do.

I really would like to have seen this drama shown in the west, I think it would be popular in the US, Canada and the UK, however, subtitles is not something those countries have the patience for.

DVD

Circle Two Worlds Connected is available in DVD format via YesAsia.

2019-01-09T21:53:54+00:009 January 2019|South Korea, Television|

Lost in Space Review

Netflix LISThis year Netfilx released an updated version of the classic 1960s TV Series Lost in Space. There was a lot of apprehension among fans whether it would meet their standards especially as word got out that it wouldn’t be that familiar with the original.

From what I gather the writers and producers wanted this version to reflect how the original series would have been written in 2018 and taking out the pop-art/camp feel out of it. They thought some of the 1960s storylines just didn’t make sense, for example, why would Earth send just one family into space to colonize Alpha Centauri and not many of them. They also wanted a non-traditional family who have modern day issues, even though events are set into the future.

I have only seen 5 out of the 10 episodes so far but this is what I think of the series to date.

The Good Stuff

  • It was great to see Bill Mumy make a small appearance as Dr Smith.
  • The special effects and location filming were very well done. I am so pleased they chose British Columbia, where we live, to film the series.
  • The actors who played the children were very believable and played well.
  • The theme music from the 3rd series of the original was re-used in part.

The Not So Cool Stuff

  • The character that replaced Dr Smith, who was now a murderer rather than a petty criminal like the original, was not that believable and quite annoying.
  • The Maureen Robinson character was extremely annoying, just 3 episodes into the series and I was hoping they would kill her off.
  • Some of the science was a little bit bizarre but I guess the 1960s version of the show was as well.
  • The robot being an alien rather than originating from Earth was a little disappointing but I guess the producers thought the technology to build one in that era wouldn’t be possible.
  • Instead of Debbie being a monkey type character, or the Bloop as they would call it in the 1960s, it turned out to be a chicken. I did cringe a lot at that and wished they had just left it out.

Overall, I didn’t feel engaged with the series and they failed to get me emotionally attached to it. It felt like a completely different show which they didn’t really need to brand it as “Lost in Space”. Many companies are trying to re-launch established brands with an existing audience but this didn’t quite work out.

Other Reviews

I think I am more alone in my thinking that I wasn’t impressed with the series, from the fans the majority of them do like the new series. I would say there is about 15% of those that were not impressed, but I could be wrong.

What’s Next

The show has been renewed for a 2nd season, not sure when that will be shown on Netflix, it took quite a long time to develop and film season 1. Often the 1st season of a show isn’t that great so I will look forward to how they develop the show.

2018-08-08T04:45:52+00:008 August 2018|Television|

Chinese Television

Since my husbands family watches a lot of Chinese Television I have just started exploring what the country has to offer and some of shows are pretty exciting.  I would recommend the following.

Tribes and Empires: Storm of Prophecy

This is one of the most elaborate television shows I have ever seen with amazing production quality, gorgeous sets, stunning backdrop and great acting.  It makes Game of Thrones look like a home made movie. The story line is fairly complex and in some episodes you have to pay close attention.

The 75 episode series is an adaptation of a book written by Jin Hezai, the series cost US$45m+ to make, filmed in both China and Japan, and filming the series started in August 2015 ending May 2016. It started broadcasting in China in November 2017 and DramaFever in the US which means they had spent quite a few months in post-production. English subtitles are provided over DramaFever.

Addicted

Due to the human rights situation in China the country is unknown to have any gay-related dramas, however they are not unknown.  One that has received international interested is called Addicted, and yes, people round the world are addicted to this show. I was extremely impressed with the show.

Addicted is an online based web serial based on the novel “Are You Addicted?” by Chai Jidan. Filming spanned from November to December 2015, airing between January to February 2016, with an extremely small budget of US$794k. The actors on the show were virtually unknown but have become quite famous now. The show lasted 15 episodes in its first season and there were plans for a second, however Chinese authorities, from what I understand, banned it. Viewers were mainly female who evidently have a keen interest on gay relationships.

In The Name of the People

Haven’t got too much into this drama so far but many are calling it China’s “House of Cards”. Well, that is not true but it is a pretty good show full of suspense and drama. Online the show is sometimes called “In The Name of People” dropping “the” for some reason, maybe this is a lost in translation moment.

Like the above shows its based on a novel, the author is Zhou Meisen. It is based around a prosecutor’s efforts to uncover corruption in a present-day fictional city in China. The show is very popular in China as there are some story lines which are very coincidental to real life. I think the show receives some government funding therefore it virtually untouched by censors so it can get away with more than other shows I suspect. The show has won numerous awards and nominated for many others. So far 55 episodes were broadcast over a month between March and April 2017, not sure if there are any more in the works.

The Lost Tomb

This is another show we have been watching, not as good as the above but it is quite amusing none the less. We are half way through season one and its quite watchable.

The show aired in 2015 and is a web series based on a novel by Daomu Biji. The first season had 10 epsiodes and a further 7 seasons will be made, as yet I haven’t seen them come to light. The show was the most watched online drama in 2015 with 2.8 billion views, that is quite amazing. I would say the show is a close approximation to Indiana Jones.

Summary

There are some really great Chinese drama’s out there absolutely worth looking up, many have subtitles if you can if you don’t know Mandarin or Cantonese. I have looked at other Asian drama’s too from countries like South Korea which also look amazing. Happy viewing.

2020-05-12T14:54:54+00:001 February 2018|Television|