Its only CGI make believe

Is there anything that isnt fake nowadays? And no, Donnie, I dont mean most of the news, either, before you get any thoughts that I might have a gram of support for you, because I dont.

I know these ‘promoted’ items on Twitter probably help to keep it free for those like myself, and to be fair, some of them are worthy, some of them I can even stand, but then you get the ones that are good for nothing but a good laugh. Some company called Vice UK yesterday posted a promotion involving someone called Natasha Demetrio walking through a forest, as they claimed.

Thing is, she wasnt! For an actress like myself (even though I’ve never worked in front of a green screen), it was easy to tell she wasnt actually walking through a forest. For starters, however clear a path you find in a forest, its unlikely to be perfectly flat. So there would be movement on the camera as it moved, and there was none.

Then, in terms of realism, it went downhill fast. Firstly, at about 11 seconds, the forest jumped back to where it was at the start of the film. Then at 18 seconds, the word ‘Rewind’ appeared in the top right corner of the screen, which wouldnt happen in a real forest, lets face it. But then briefly, at about 28 seconds in (fine, I was looking for errors by then), it happened. The forest vanished from sight, and all you could see was Ms Demetrio walking on a roller, in front of a blank green screen. Quickly after, it returned to the forest, so if you’d blinked, you might have missed it.

As someone else pointed out, the pixels were wrong too, but I’m not enough of a green screen expert (stage/studios only, darlings) to really spot that. The thing is, any sane person promoting this, would at this point put their hands up, and admit what they’d done, but oh no, they tried to say that it was real, and they couldnt see anything. Anyway at this point, because I’d point out what, and where to look for these things, others saw the same things, and commented in support of me. At this point, they strangely went very quiet!

I’ll be quite honest, I dont mind people using a Green Screen/CGI forest for an advert in the slightest. Its easy in terms of space, movement of equipment, and tons of other things, but when they claim its a real forest, when it clearly isnt, why do so? And why do you ever release an advert without checking for continuity? Without the ‘green screen’ moment, many might have believed it could be real, but that blows it wide open!

In the old days, it wouldnt have been difficult to switch from theatre, to film, or vice versa, because both methods had so much in common. Nowadays, in films, its not about acting to other people, or working with a location, its the ability to act in front of a green screen. Whereas theatre acting is still the real thing! I suppose its the way of the world, but I suspect I could still easily do real acting, as I’ve proved at various festival work, playing a part. But acting in front of a green screen, and nothing else, no idea! And those people, interacting with other people on stage, well…?

OK, video time. The song is the obvious one, numerous version to choose from, so I’ve chosen a Glen Campbell version

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Row, row, row your boat

When I was much younger, there was one enigmatic event that the whole of the UK seemed to stop for, which happened this weekend, and no, I dont mean the Grand National. The Boat Race!

Get this straight, only 2 university teams ever take place, Oxford, and Cambridge. I’m sure other universities have got competent rowing teams, but they’re not allowed to take part. You could say that in modern times, at least its held at a neutral venue, between Putney, and Mortlake, in London, though heaven knows how teams got there before railways were introduced, as this goes back before then, even!

It didnt matter if you’d never been near either city (as I hadnt at time), you supported one or the other. My father supported Oxford, my mother supported Cambridge, though neither had anything to do with either city in their life. I picked Cambridge, purely because I preferred the lighter blue! One Saturday afternoon at end of March/early April (depending on tides), everything would stop for this boat race thing. To say its position in Social standing has dropped dramatically is summed up by the fact that the first I knew it was happening today (yes, commercial demands, its now held on a Sunday) was when I saw the result trending on Twitter! Seemingly Cambridge won this year.

I must admit it does seem to me to be one of those antiquated traditions, that seems to have survived into the modern world, but I wonder for how much longer? Or will, 100 years from now, will someone be doing whatever is then the equivalent of blogging about the event, even then? One thing is for sure, I wont know, or care!

OK, video time. Some apt nursery rhyme stupidity. In truth, I only remember the first verse of this, not sure if I’ve ever heard more, or not? But fine, its about rowing, so…

To help you walk this way?

I guess its fair to say I’ve always been into diversity, and inclusion issues, given I’ve fallen under the LGBT banner for, err, a while. Nowadays I can also qualify under age, and disability too, it seems.

One thing I have discovered since my back started deteriorating, is just how much difference it all makes to my mobility. A few decades ago, I could go for a walk on a Sunday (betting shops never opened on Sunday’s back then), and quite literally walk miles. Now I’m finding the 3/4 of a mile or so from the Bus Station, to work, a major challenge! And a distance that not so long ago I could cover in just over 10 minutes, if I had to push it, now takes a minimum of 15! And yes, I’m quite literally killed for a few minutes if I try that!

But still I have one blessing that not all have, for now at least. I can walk, even if its getting more painful, and more difficult by the month. There are many others who are far less fortunate than me. Anyway, when trawling through Twitter this morning, 1 of my science connections had a post up about this.

https://lifeboat.com/blog/2019/01/can-nanotechnology-rewire-an-injured-spinal-cord

Yes, if you’re on Twitter, go track down Lifeboat Foundation (@LifeboatHQ) and tell him Harlean sent you, I’m sure he’d be thrilled for the publicity. Yes, my spinal cord is damaged, though thankfully at present, I still am able to walk. And yes, I’m a robot fetishist, so the idea of nanotechnology improving my ability to walk impresses me no end. If this does work, and allows those who cannot currently walk, to be able to have some mobility, wouldnt that be marvellous? But at the same time, I want to say to them, why not try it first on a less damaged spine, and see how it all plays out. Yes, me, as the guinea pig!

Oh fine, I’d love nanotechnology that transformed my body completely, into a nice new cybernetic one, but this could make for an interesting start. Yes, at least part of me would actually be machine, lol. In truth, I’ve seen similar articles for a few years now, and nothing practical has come of it, so far. But fingers crossed, this might be the one. It could definitely help me, but it could help others far more, and that has to be a good thing?

OK, video time. This is where Rap met Rock, and the collision was an interesting one.

Lets Make A Movie?

(Firstly, let me offer thanks to my friend, Michelle, on Twitter, because without her, I wouldnt have even known this had happened, so appreciative.)

It seems that British pensioners might retire, but it also seems that not all said pensioners wish to stay on the right side of the law, as my friend showed me this morning

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/12/11/british-pensioners-arrested-caribbean-cruise-2m-cocaine-haul/

I do realise that my US friends may not be able to use this link (just as we cant see some US article links), if so, there’s a big clue to the storyline, and I’m sure you’ll find it through a search engine somewhere!

Well, I must admit I admire their cheek, if not their motives, as I’ve never used any drugs in my life. Never smoked anything, in fact, but anyway… Fine what amused me the most, was Michelle’s twitter comment relating to this

Meanwhile, somewhere in London, someone is already pitching this as a script idea… I spy a Brit flick in the offing..

And given that in the past we have made films like Buster (see later in blog), she may well be right! And of course, being a cruise, said film would require lots of ‘senior’ actors, and actresses, and I could certainly do with a cruise somewhere warm at present. Lets face it, I wouldnt care if it was a big part, a small part, or whatever, I’d get an acting break, and get to go somewhere hot into the bargain.

Of course, lets face facts, if it did get made, I’m not going to be at the top of anyone’s casting list, anyway. But yes, lets face it, if I needed an incentive to sign up to one of these online agencies, then that would rank as a pretty big incentive! I should get it done anyway, I have done everything but pay the fee for one, but for me, spending £25 on a whim, that probably wont produce anything, hard to push the button, lol!

Alright, I know, knowing my luck, it would be filmed in a floating ‘boat’ in a water tank, in some chilly studio, but I can dream!

Right, video time. Yes, I mentioned the movie its coming from already. Though a live performance, not the original video.

 

We get a heroine!

One thing that most actors, and actresses cry out for, is a little bit of good publicity, and the chance to advertise ourselves, and thankfully, we have one of our own, a certain wonderful Kate Davies-Speak, who every so often initiates a Showreel Share Day on Twitter, and people take the opportunity to sell their talents to prospective employers, in the form of a showreel of their talents. Now me, if I was 30-40 years younger, or even if I was into clever technology, like making your own videos, or the like, I might have got involved. Nowadays, with an aging, and seemingly failing body, I’m going to pass on it, sadly. There is also the fact that apart from the hypno-film shoot, I have no idea if there is any film of me acting at all, and if there was, it would probably be from a while back anyway. And no, I have no idea how to edit 90 minutes of said film, into about 3 minutes for myself, anyway.

Previous times, I have, sort of hopefully put up a request to see if anyone could help me put up a brief piece, but this time around, I’ve been so busy with various LGBT matters, I didnt even do that! But yes, I’m delighted to say that lots and lots of people have given Kate the support she deserves by posting showreels of themselves.

Fine, in truth, I’d probably be a bit limited for roles now, anyway, given my back issues, standing for long periods for a role, even with my back brace on, might be challenging. Of course, if anyone is in need of a mature person, in a disabled role, well…? Oh, and I suspect for roles involving robots, aliens, or weird sci-fi stuff, I could probably bear a little bit of pain too.

But yes, any actors, or actresses reading this, now, or in the future, who are on Twitter, go and post a reel of your stuff, under the hashtag of #showreelshareday and say Harlean sent you! Thanks, Kate, for doing this, I only wish I was in a position to benefit, but more than happy to do promotion stuff!

Fine, video time. No, not Bonnie Tyler, but the version from Shrek 2. Fine, it might have been better to use Bonnie’s version, but anyway…

Watching me, watching you

One of things I suspect we all do in these days of social media, is ‘follow’ famous people that we like and admire, or indeed otherwise. Yes, even I do that to some degree, though probably do it with less people than some! In some cases, I’m pretty sure that the person doing the social media posting isnt the celebrity, or if it is, they only post a small percentage of the stuff.

There are others who do post (and in some cases, we wish they didnt!) on Twitter, and Facebook, and you know its them. But normally its a case of you, the fan follows them, and they naturally dont bother to follow you. Fair enough, why would you expect them to show much interest in your average life, lets face it?

As far as I know, no one follows, or in the case of Facebook, friends me, because they think I’m a brilliant actress, who is going to make it big some day. I certainly have friends in the entertainment industry, but I’d have to believe thats a friend thing, not that they think I’m going to make it big, and…I know, Elizabeth, by the way, one day I will, but we’ll still be great friends for sure, anyway! 😉

So fine, when I went on my Twitter page earlier today, and saw I had notifications, I got a real surprise when I saw what one of them was. For those in the US, especially in the Denver area, or who are fans of the craziness that is ‘Around The Horn’ will know the name of Woody Paige. I suspect others will have heard of him too, and I’m certainly a fan of his on Twitter, but even so, when I saw he was following me back, I was absolutely thrilled! I have no idea what I’ve done to deserve that honor, but yes, I’m delighted by it.

Oh fine, if Harvey Weinstein starts following me, I might get concerned, but I think I’m far too old for him! 😛 But yes, when someone who is famous, and who you admire, follows you back, oh wow! So thank you, Woody, very much appreciated.

Right, the video. One of the lesser hits for this group, but very apt for a moment like this.

Yes, when I become a famous actress (stop laughing, all), I must remember to follow my fans, as well as the other way around too.

We wont need no education!

But no, before you ask, the video isnt Pink Floyd! Lol!

Beyond a few special people, most of my finds on Facebook, and Twitter nowadays tend to come down to pot luck! Those near the top when I look in, or on those ‘you may have missed’ feeds on Twitter, which I guess play to my favorites anyway? So yes, nowadays, the random ones tend to be the ‘pot luck’ factor, of being near the top when I log in, and yes, the Tweet that led me to this was one of those.

https://lifeboat.com/blog/2017/06/scientists-claim-to-upload-knowledge-into-the-brain-using-matrix-style-device

Yes, I would love to have that done to me, but I guess that will surprise no one? Yes, wouldnt it be so much easier if we could learn new information in life, by a method like this? I know, there are plenty who would say no, but me, I couldnt learn enough that way, believe me!

And for people like me, its not just the complex stuff (though it would be very handy for that) that I’d love to learn that way, but yes, maybe I could get my head around the metric measurement system used generally here in Europe now, as opposed to the good old Imperial system that I grew up with, and thankfully the US still uses! I can cope when they are all in the same unit, but when you get questions, and one measurement is in millimeters, another in centimeters, and others in meters, yes, my brain goes to mush! I know, feet, yards, and miles are more complex, but at least I’ve grown up with them all my life.

So, if something could upload this knowledge into my mind, by brain stimulation, using electricity, yes, win, win for me! So yes, if those scientists want someone they can try all that out on, and they can even make it a lengthy process if they wish, feel free to let me know! Oh fine, the longer the process, the better, but… 😉

Right, video time. They say this is rare, and they’re right, Gary Numan smiles, thats rare! Oh, and a very young Billy Currie trying to look cool too!