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Console Gaming Redux with OUYA

July 13, 2012 1 comment

Remember the original Nintendo Entertainment System? You know, the NES. Nintendo in all its 8-bit glory. Where “saving” a game of Super Mario Brothers meant hitting the pause button and turning off the TV during dinner. Or how no matter how many times you tried you just couldn’t kill that damn laughing dog in Duck Hunt. In other words, remember your childhood? Well it seems the makers of the new gaming console OUYA (pronounced OOO-yah) do and they’re running a ridiculously successful Kickstarter campaign to prove it.

The makers of OUYA are powering their new console with Android, and they hope to bring back “innovation, experimentation and creativity to the big screen.” Televisions, that is. In a world of smart phones and tablets, they are setting out to prove that console gaming isn’t dead. And it seems that they were right because just a few days into their Kickstarter campaign they have already raised over $4.2 million with the support of over 33,000 backers (at the time I wrote this). The sky is apparently the limitfor this project.

I myself have become quite addicted to Kickstarter as of late. The sites fosters creativity and ingenuity. And not only to you get to brag about supporting ideas that normally wouldn’t see the light of day, but they give you rewards for doing it. It’s a win-win scenario.

With the Wii, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 dominating the market, I wouldn’t exactly say console gaming is dead. I myself am an Xbox fan, mostly because I love Halo. That being said, I chose to back this project because it offers a cheaper way to game. With console games costing $60 on average with hit and miss quality, the idea of cheap (or even free) games developed by independent designers appealed to me. Here’s hoping that the final product will be as good as it sounds.

If you want to check it out, their Kickstarter page can be found here: OUYA Kickstarter

Thanks again for playing along.

J.

Kickstarter of the Month: Best Friends Forever

April 7, 2012 Leave a comment

Well, I may have taken a month off but now I’m back with a vengeance for the latest installment of Kickstarter of the Month.  After doing a little searching on the site I came up with this gem:  Best Friends Forever.

Written by  Brea Grant and Vera Miao, this film is a story about friendship.  And road trips.  Oh, and an apocalypse.  Based on that simple premise alone I couldn’t help but look into it more.

From their Kickstarter page:  “BEST FRIENDS FOREVER is a dark comedy and sci-fi horror film, combining equal parts buddy film, road trip and nuclear apocalypse story, but with girls. Harriet, the perpetual but unsuccessful optimist, has finally figured out how to take her passion for comics and turn it into a responsible life. But when she and Reba, her seemingly devil-may-care best friend, hit the road to Austin, TX, an impending nuclear apocalypse endangers the best-laid plans and even the best of friendships.”

You may remember Ms. Grant from her stint on Heroes (a fact which originally drew me to this project), but she is much more than that.  I spent a good deal of time watching the videos on their Kickstarter page (which can be found here) and I have to admit that this woman has a bit of spunk that only her partner Ms. Miao can match.  If this is the kind of energy they put in to promoting their project, than one can only imagine how much passion they put into the actual final product.

I don’t normally get into the male vs. female debate (I prefer to let the end product speak for itself), but I do appreciate when others have a stance that they defend adamantly.  That is something the Ms. Grant and Ms Miao are doing here with their movie.  It is fairly well documented that there are few female directors/producers/screenwriters who are successful in the business right now. But that landscape is changing, especially when you look at the success of Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker) and Kristin Wiig (Bridesmaids).  The success of those films and others like it in recent years is opening the door for movies like Best Friends Forever so that the end product is allowed to speak for itself and we are not robbed of great filmmaking.

For more information check out their website (http://bestfriendsforeverfilm.com/) or their Facebook Page (here)

J.

Kickstarter of the Month: ATX a Television Festival

February 16, 2012 Leave a comment

This months Kickstarter of the Month project is a little different from last month’s.  Instead of an actual film project, this month I’m support the ATX Festival.  The event is very similar to other film festivals and conventions, but instead it focuses solely on the television industry.

From the Kickstart page:

“The Festival has the functionality of traditional film festivals, spotlighting television instead of movies through: premieres, screenings, Q&As with cast and creators, panels that discuss industry topics, and parties.  The result is an event with attendees that are both fans and industry, as opposed to most events of this nature that are solely for one or another. ”

I first heard of this event via writer/producer Jane Espenson (“Buffy”, “Warehouse 13”) and it was her involvement which initially peaked my interest.  Anyone lucky enough to attend would be able to interact which such stars as Jane Espenson, Adrianne Palicki (“Friday Night Lights”), Arielle Kebbel (“The Vampire Diaries”), and more.

The entire project is being brought about by Caitlin McFarland and Emily Gipson, who are TV lovers just like anyone else.  Between the two of them they have completed production work on such films as Walk the Line, Identity, John Tucker Must Die, and Kissing Cousins.

If they reach their goal of $25,000 the festival will take place this year, June 1st-3rd.  They have chosen to host their festival in the amazing city of Austin, Texas.  Though I have never been, a good friend of mine went to college there and it has made my list of places to go.  He cannot say enough good things about the city, and since I completely trust his judgement, I have  high expectations for this venue.

And for the Browncoats out there a viewing of “Firefly” has just been added.

So if you have a love of television and want to share that loves with others, check out there Kickstarter page below.  And even if you can’t make it like myself, those who can will thank you.  And keep in mind there are only five days left to contribute.

Good luck Caitlin and Emily!

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/atxfestival/atx-a-television-festival

And visit them at www.atxfestival.com for more details
www.facebook.com/atxfestival
@ATXFestival

J.

“Take it Back” by Kettle Black Productions

January 26, 2012 Leave a comment

Good Evening!  I would like to introduce you to a new segment that I am working on.  That is the Kickstarter of the Month.  Each month I will look at the current projects being crowd-funded by Kickstarter and determine which one I feel has the most potential and that I will back.  For those of you who don’t know, Kickstarter is ” the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects. Every week, tens of thousands of amazing people pledge millions of dollars to projects from the worlds of music, film, art, technology, design, food, publishing and other creative fields.”  Keep in mind that each project will only be funded if they reach their funding goal.  Fore more info, please visit their site.

This month I am supporting the short film “Take it Back” by Kettle Black Productions(http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1756715825/take-it-back?ref=category).  At this point you may want to know what about “Take it Back” made me decide to support this project.  Right off the bat, I love the story.  The idea that the last words spoken to a person have meaning is something that harkens back to my childhood and the great Garth Brooks song “If Tomorrow Never Comes”.  We have all wondered that if tomorrow never comes, would the people we loved know just how much we loved them.  To take that idea and add the mob vs. DA element just sounds logical. What would/should be the last thing someone should say when they are possibly in harms way?  And how should that be approached?  I would really like to see what director/writer Brian Potter and David Black have to say on the subject.

A short look at the storyboards by Rico Schenck demonstrates that these guys are not messing around.  They wish to tell a serious story about a serious topic.  It demonstrates passion and originality, something that I think is very important on projects such as this one.

If you have a chance, please check out the project at their website (http://TakeItBackMovie.com) or their Facebook page (http://Facebook.com/TakeItBackMovie).  And to Brian and David, best of luck.  I hope you get to complete this project.

J.