Category Archives: Entertainment

Some Great Christmas Office Party Ideas

With Christmas just round the corner, employees will be looking forward to their annual festive knees-up – AKA the office Christmas party! Plan a good Christmas party, and it will draw you all closer together. Holding a Christmas Party is the best way to thank employees for all their hard work and commitment throughout the year. We’ve got some great ideas that you’ll have to feature at your Christmas party and some twists and new ideas that will sure to have everyone talking, and more importantly, have everyone full and tipsy, it is Christmas after all!

1. Team Building Event Need to design some special Christmas-themed team building events, which combine fun with various bonding exercises. These can even be tailored to have a charity outcome for those in need at Christmas. During the festive season the most important thing apart from promoting companionship and teamwork, is to highlight the successes that your company has achieved during the year, as it is only thanks to each of the people in the office’s hard work so, make sure you keep a thankful spirit during each Christmas activity, you’ll see how the employees are willing to take part.

2. Luxury Retreat with Party theme Why not reward your employees with a relaxing weekend away together with a Christmas Dinner. Retreat will be followed by a barbecue and cocktail can create a fun and casual Christmas party with some twists. This is a good opportunity to share experiences with employees outside of work and to celebrate their achievements throughout the past year. Depending on the scale of the event, there are many suitable Corporate Christmas party themes. Some of the most popular company Christmas party ideas include: 1) Ugliest Christmas Jumpe 2) Hollywood Party theme 3) Masquerade Ball Event 4) Ice/Winter theme 5) Christmas Carols Party

3. Christmas Karaoke Another great way to bring everyone into the fun is karaoke. Karaoke is fun for any event and for all widely diverse ages. Customize for your Christmas Party with a selection of Carols for the guests to sing. There are so many ways to celebrate also with a Karaoke Band that provides professional live music between guest’s performances. Christmas parties are a great time to get people out on the dance floor, Christmas tunes, slow music and the fun kind of music. Some fun will include with all-inclusive games and a good layout for everyone to combine and enjoy the celebrations. The venue will build all the difference!
4. Plan a “Secret Santa.” You’re probably familiar with this popular Christmas gifts exchange. Just in case you’re not, we’ve got few details. Have everyone in the office pick a name of one of their co-workers out of a hat: this is who they will be buying gifts for. Everyone ought to begin giving hints to whomever they pick about a week before the party… but they need to keep it a secret! Secretly sending small gifts and notes with clues could be a good way to get the anticipation rolling within the workplace for what’s to come at the Christmas party. Then, at the particular event, everyone should reveal who they chose by giving them their final gift! CRES Advisors, your ideal partner to search Commercial Office space for rent in Bangalore, wishes all its customers & vendors the best wishes for this festive season and the New Year ahead. Our clientele includes multinational corporations, global retail brands, IT &ITeS corporations including property owners and developers. We offer a comprehensive portfolio of real estate services and solutions.

Tips to Write a Screenplay

Screenplays are the most challenging forms of writing to go for. This article shares some tips on writing one, for beginners. Writing one and selling it, takes loads of hard work and patience. Read to know how a movie takes shape, in a screenwriter’s mind.

A screenplay is a manuscript that details every visual, audio, conceptual, technical aspect, and storyline of a film. In short, it is a movie, written on a paper. It is the literary version of a movie, as seen from the writer’s mind. Writing a screenplay and getting better at it is an evolutionary process. The basic requirements are a highly imaginative mind and a willingness to learn to write, adapt, and work hard.

Tips on Writing One

A screenplay could be written for a full-length feature film, a short film, or a soap opera. The basic writing style, for all of them, is the same in principle. The tips shared here, are written with the assumption that you are writing a movie screenplay. So, let us get into the crux of the matter. Let us see what all it takes to make a great script and how to go about it.

Listen, Read, Watch, Absorb
To write any soulful piece of writing that captures a reader or a movie viewer, one must feel it, experience it inside. Great screenwriters and novelists are like sponges who absorb everything that they see, hear, and experience.

The process of being a good writer starts with living life and minutely perceiving all its manifestations. Read as much as you can, watch as many classic movies as you can, listen to world music, and enjoy all the forms of artistic expression.

All this will help you in enriching the world within you, which will eventually come in handy, when you start writing. Start with writing short stories, short plays, and poems. To learn to write better, one must keep on writing. Read what you wrote and keep improving. Remember that the greats were also as clueless once, as you are now.

Read Great Screenplays and Learn How it’s Done
Another thing that will help you is reading the screenplays of some of the greatest movies ever made. You must become a student of the movies and the entire business. See how the masters do it. The scripts of many great movies are available online.

Find them and read them. Look at the arc of the story, the dialogs, and the detailing. Watch the movies, in detail. When you watch them first, watch them for the fun of it. Let the second viewing be a study of all the finer detailing that the movie has.

Everything, in every frame, should be studied. Observe the quality of dialogs, the philosophy, camera angles, composition of scene frames, visual impact, smooth dissolving of scenes, story buildup and make your own script analysis. Making notes is also a good idea. They will help you later.

Brainstorm Ideas
You must spend a considerable amount of time in this ‘Movie Study’, as this will guide you, once you start brainstorming for your own screenplay ideas. Brainstorming your own idea for a story, which will be the progenitor of your script, is the first step. Once you get an idea, start putting it on paper, until you finalize upon one idea.

Begin with the Story
Just like a journey of a thousand mile starts with the first step, a script or screenplay begins with the typing of the first words. It all begins with the story. I can’t tell you what kind of story to write, but I can underline the characteristics that make a good story.

Every good story has a ‘conflict’ in it. The conflict may be within people, within a person’s mind, or even a social conflict. A story connects a point A to a point B and how good it is, depends on how difficult, how intriguing, and interesting the path from point A to point B is.

It could be a comedy. The more the twists and turns, the better it is. If you are a movie buff, (which you must be, if you are writing a screenplay), you will understand what I am talking about. The audience must be kept guessing about what happens next.

Considering all this, write your story and rewrite it until you find it satisfying, by filling in as many details, as you can. Visualize your story and characters in as much detail, as you can. This will take many weeks and even months.

Understand all the Technical Aspects of Writing One
Now that your story is ready, it’s time to write and put the movie running in your mind on paper. Before that, understand all the technical aspects of writing a screenplay. This is very important. If you have read movie scripts before, you’ll have an idea.

The screenplay is a series of successive scenes, each written with explicit detailing. This includes the time of the scene, the place, the graphic detail, background sounds, and ultimately, the dialog. There are certain rules of writing a professional screenplay like, one page of the script has the content of one minute of the scene.

That way, most Hollywood movies being 120 to 150 minutes long, your manuscript should be 120-150 pages long. There are script writing software applications available now, that can take care of all the technical details, while letting you focus on the quality of your script. Install one on your computer and learn how to use it.

Visualize the Story in Your Mind and Think in Terms of ‘Scenes’
Keep the story in front of you and divide it into logical parts, scene wise. You can write a one liner outline for each part of the story and from that outline, start writing your scenes. This way, you get an idea about the flow of the whole script.

Begin Writing, Scene by Scene
Start visualizing your story, scene by scene and write one at a time. Explore all scenarios and settings, while writing your scene. Give full rein to your imagination and see the things happening in your mind’s eye. Let the dialogs be crisp, appropriate, and as catchy as possible. Place yourself in that scene and think like the character and say what he wants to say, in the best possible way.

First Draft, Second Draft, Third Draft
This is a long and arduous process of connecting every scene with the next and creating a coherent whole. The scenes need to be ordered and you need to ensure that the story is building up nicely. Once the first draft is done, you can start reading everything back again from the first scene. Polish and think about how you could write this better. This process is complex and may take months and your final draft may even be the eight or ninth draft.

Read it out to a Confidante or an Honest Critic
Once you think that it’s ready, give it to a close confidante for reading or a person who knows about script writing and movies. Take his opinion and note his suggestions. These opinions are very important, as a third person can point out errors or improvements, which our biased self may not see. Again, make improvements if you want. Once you think that it’s ready, after being evaluated by your inner circle of critics, including yourself, it’s time to sell your script.

The Hardest Part: Selling your Script
Selling your script is the toughest part of all. Good creative writers are usually not great salesmen. However, you must learn to sell your script too. Get a literary agent or go and meet movie producers with your scripts. With a combination of true quality and a lot of luck, your script may land into the hands of a good producer and director, who will then buy the rights of your script. Here is where you get paid for your month long or sometimes, yearlong efforts. There is a one-in-a-million chance that your script will be selected, but if it gets selected, it’s all worth it. It is a tough profession to choose, but when it pays off, it pays off really well.

The joy of seeing what you saw in your mind’s eye, in your own imaginative world, taking shape on-screen, in the form of a movie, is completely worth all the efforts you put in.

Tips to Produce a Marvelous Movie

Have your eyes set on filmmaking? Here is a basic and precise guide on how to produce a movie, which will certainly give you an idea of what all is involved in getting a story to feature on the silver screen.

So, you intend to take your career Hollywood-wards and dream of making some of the most prominent names of the Tinseltown to feature in the cast and crew of your cinematic inception? Well, if you prefer breathing life into your own ideas rather than working on making someone else’s ideas alive, you certainly have the makings of a genuine film producer. In this article, I am presenting a precise outline of how to produce a movie by enumerating the steps involved, one after the other, in making a movie from scratch.

Steps In Producing a Movie

Right from the inception of an idea through its material conceptualization leading to its successful completion as a film, the steps below will give you some insight into how you should proceed with producing your first film. Add your individual dexterity, creativity, right choice of cast and crew, adequate financial backing, and organizational skills to these and you’ll definitely have a blockbuster in your hands.

Come up with a Concept
This one goes without saying. Unless you plan on creating a random video collage, you need to zero in on an idea if you plan on making a movie. It is better to come up with 3-4 similar ideas and then decide upon one. When you have more ideas than one to work upon, you have the flexibility to decide on the best among them by checking in which direction each idea has possibility of further developing.

Scripting the Concept
Once you have successfully decided on your main theme, you should start preparing the script by further developing that idea. During this phase, it is advisable to carry writing equipment with you all time, as you never know when and where you get a cinematic inspiration that you would like to note down for adding sub-themes or twists to your main theme. Work hard on the dialogs as catchy movie quotes and their effective delivery are remembered even decades after the movie was released, and become imbibed in the common parlance of the global audience. Think of I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse from The Godfather and you’ll know what I mean.

Draw a Storyboard
This especially helps communicate to the tech-guys how you visualize a particular shot―say, an action sequence. A series of pictures is a better way to give your stunt directors an idea on how you see your film’s protagonist and antagonist positioned against each other in that final showdown.

Get the Money Rolling
Once you are final with your movie’s script and storyboard, you can assemble these together in form of a project and show this project to financiers and companies which may take interest in your project and finance your venture. The cost of producing a movie depends upon how big your project is, besides whom you hire as your cast and crew. Remember, how you present your script and storyboard is very important when approaching financiers. If you are not very confident about your drawing and writing capabilities, get professional writers and sketch artists to do the work for you so that your film project floors the big guys with the money.

Cast and Crew
These are the most vital components that would determine whether or not your film would be successful. A talented and cooperative crew coupled with the right star cast can go ways in making a film successful even if the idea is not very original or extraordinary. On the other hand, a lax crew and the wrong cast can make even an ingenious idea fall flat. Work hard to find the right cast, take auditions and screen tests to zero in on the right actors―don’t just hire any actor just because he/she is popular and has previously delivered many hits.

Hunt for the Locales
After your cast and crew is assembled, hunt for locations based upon your script and its central idea if you plan to shoot the film outdoors. Also, when hunting for locations, keep in mind the scenes that are to be shot in those locations. The proper visual backdrop defines the mood of any scene. Hence, a proper sync must be reached between the two.

Prepare the Shooting Script
This is the actual script based on which the film is shot. This contains the actual cinematic situations, dialogs, effects, and other things which you intend the audience to see once the film is screened.

Organize a Well-defined Schedule
Make a well-defined timeline for each day of the shooting and plan ahead on what proportion is to be completed each day. Make optimum exemptions for re-takes, etc., but make sure these things don’t take up more time than usual and delay your project.

Prepare Call Sheets
Call sheets contain information and schedule regarding which members of the cast are to arrive for make-up, which crew members are due to arrive at the sets and at what time, a record of the scenes to be shot and which cast members are in it, etc. In short, these sheets show a summary of each day’s activities and attendance along with time. Distribute a copy of the call sheet to each cast and crew member so that they know what is expected of them and at what time.

Get the Equipment
Once everything is set, concentrate upon the filmmaking equipment depending upon the requirements of the script and the scenes. Besides the basic lighting and shooting equipment, you may need advanced digital support if you intend to incorporate special effects in your film.

Arrange for Sounds
Arrange for the sounds, background score, and audio effects of your movie, and keep in mind the theme while doing so.

Lights, Camera, Action
Now that everything has been finalized, give your director the green flag and proceed on commencing the shooting of your first cinematic project.

So, now that you know the basics of how to produce a movie, go ahead with your dream venture and create history. Imagine―Sir Sean Connery walking up to the stage, opening the envelope and announcing, “And the award for best debutant filmmaker goes to ……..” followed by your name. I’ll be right here, waiting to read movie reviews of your debut film and seeing footage of you attending the Cannes Film Festival. All the best.

Great Movie

The designation of “great” is highly subjective when talking about movies, but there are a few elements that almost everyone can agree are important. This Buzzle article takes you through the factors that go into making a great movie.
The movie Schindler’s List is based on the true story of a businessman Oskar Schindler, who saved the lives of more than 1,100 Jews during the Holocaust. It is a testament for the good in all of us. The movie has won seven Oscars, seven BAFTA Awards and three Golden Globes.

The world of films is extremely competitive. One may have a great idea for a movie, but if it is not made in a proper way, chances are high that the movie won’t even be noticed. So, what should follow a great story idea is an equally good script and dialog. Movie stars are adored by millions. However, the movies that they are in don’t always shine as brightly as they do on the red carpet. So a strong star cast and some great acting are important factors contributing to a great movie. The location and setting of a movie and the costumes and makeup given to the characters are the other important elements of a good movie. A film that can capture and sustain people’s interest and attention can take a long time and involve a lot of planning and thought. Described below are the elements involved in the making of a masterpiece.

A Good Plot
The plot of a movie is its storyline which determines the sequence of events that lead the characters towards their objectives. When the characters are introduced to a situation, they start working to get what they want. They are put into worse situations until they finally conquer the problem.

A good plot gives momentum and a sense of priority to the story, and engages or interests the viewers. When a story has a climax and true feelings, it captures the viewers’ attention and makes them more inclined to watch the movie and connect with it. Also, stories with surprising endings always pull more audiences and have a lasting impression on their minds. It’s the movie plot that decides how the story starts, how it progresses, and where and how it ends.

The movie Gone Girl, is an example of a good plot, script, and direction. The movie tells the alarming story of Nick and Amy Dunne, a happy couple whose marriage has soured. On the day of their 5th wedding anniversary, Amy disappears from the house. A suspense is created as to whether Amy is dead or just gone. What is exciting is the way the mystery unfolds. As Nick explains his side of the story to the detectives who aren’t trusting him, the missing Amy tells hers through voice-overs and flashbacks.

The movie Psycho is an example of a great plot
A Great Script
The script or screenplay encompasses writing, audio, visuals, and dialog that are required to tell the story through a film. A script undergoes revisions and rewrites before it is presented to the audiences. Even with a good plot and some talented actors, a flat script can drag a movie down. On the other hand, a great script, even if presented by less known actors may go down very well with the viewers.

A Strong Cast
The actors and actresses in a movie are extremely important for its success. The right actor or actress can take a movie from good to great and similarly, a sub-par performer can cause an otherwise good movie to tank. Casting professionals work for months, sometimes even years, to find the perfect talent for their films. Ideally, cast members should have great chemistry, be able to represent their characters with integrity, and truly bring the script to life.

Howard Hughes played by Leonardo DiCaprio in the movie ‘The Aviator’, Tom Hanks as Forrest Gump in ‘Forrest Gump’, and Meryl Streep’s award-winning performances in ‘The Iron Lady’ and ‘Kramer vs. Kramer’ are some examples of brilliant casting and great acting.

Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump is an example of brilliant casting and great acting
Great Direction
A movie can be considered to be well-directed when it has a balance of artistry, technical skillfulness, leadership, and compassion. Often known as the captain of the ship, the director has to ensure that all the aspects of a movie are perfectly put together and presented effectively. He has to determine what the basic drive of the story should be. The script, visuals, acting, music, camerawork, editing and costumes work in unison.

To shape every aspect along the necessary path, the director must cooperate with the writer on the script creation, help the casting director select proper actors and conduct rehearsals, collaborate with the producers for making a good shooting schedule, plan the full visual of the film with those involved in designing and photography and multitask well to ensure everything is done effectively. Also, he should bond well with the actors and give them freedom to show their talents.
A great film should be able to convey meaning to the audience, who is on the same path of discovery that the director had experienced or imagined. The movie Godfather, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, is widely known as one of the best-directed ones. It is about a series of unfortunate events in a family, involving soured relations and revenge when the aging head of the family decides to transfer his position to one of his subalterns. It ends with the favorable successor being chosen.

‘Schindler’s List’, directed by Steven Spielberg, ‘Casablanca’ directed by Michael Curtiz, and ‘Singin’ in the Rain’, a musical comedy directed by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen are some other movies known for their direction.

The movie Godfather is an example of excellent direction
Dialog comes into play when the characters are interacting. They can be one of the hardest things to write. They should be focused on moving the story forward, revealing the characters and communicating information.

It is important to decide how much dialog is needed, when to use it, and how long should it be in the screenplay. It is important to write it down and read it aloud to ensure that the lines do not sound halting, forced, stereotyped or over-the-top. They need to ring proper and sound natural, distinct and like a normal talk. Also, it is crucial to know the characters well so as to assess what lines will suit which character and how they will say them, whatever the situation is.
A line like “When people can’t do something themselves, they’re gonna tell you that you can’t do it.” from ‘Pursuit of Happyness’, or a line like “What we do in life echoes in eternity.” from the movie ‘Gladiator’, or “Nothing’s ever for sure, John. That’s the only sure thing I do know.” from ‘A Beautiful Mind’ are some of the most famous movie lines. They have surely contributed

to the success of these films.
The Perfect Location
Filming is an intricate process; professionals in the industry often film scenes out of order to accommodate the schedules of the actors, and to best piece the film together. But no matter how complex the filming process is, the location of a film can make or break the movie. Filming in the wrong location can make the movie seem unreal, provide the wrong tone, or even contradict the events that take place in the script. Hence, it is imperative to find the right location, environment and setting.

A film would be more believable and appropriately set the mood of the story if it is filmed in a natural environment like an apartment for a film set, a park, real-life houses and offices, a historical site, or an everyday convenience store. The audience will get visually poured over the scene details and become absorbed into the movie.

In the movie ‘Titanic’, the scenes were shot on the vessel, ‘Akademik Mstislav Keldysh’. The director Cameron, had used it as a base when filming the wreck. Scale models, computer-generated imagery and a reconstruction of the Titanic were used.
Political, economic, and social aspects are also important when choosing where to shoot. For instance, some cities give production companies tax breaks in order to attract their business, which can create hundreds of jobs in the area, depending on the size of the film’s budget. Additionally, production companies may opt to support certain cities or political figures by choosing to shoot in their area.

Costumes and Makeup
Just as the right location can impact the tone of a film, so too can the costumes and makeup that the actors and actresses wear. While you may think of the actual dialog and action of a film as being the main conductors of a story, the costumes and makeup play a key role in creating the right atmosphere.

For example, in the movie Harry Potter, Harry wears a brown corduroy jacket because it is a hard-wearing fabric. He wears it before and after the Battle of Hogwarts. Many duplicate costumes were required to be made to show the stages of the battle. So the costume team washed the costumes with stones, rubbing the fabrics with sandpaper and cutting holes into them to make them appear realistic and true to the script.
So, these were the most important elements that make a great movie. Saying that a movie is great is all a matter of opinion, and people will naturally differ on the finer points of a wonderful movie’s merits. However, the elements listed here are nearly universally accepted as factors that determine the fate of a movie.

Some Awesome Movies

The awesome movies list presented below includes the all time best movies. Most of the movies listed below have done well on the box office, won critical acclaims and most importantly, stood the test of time.

Movies are artworks that put together visuals and audio that are bound together by a script. A good script and an equally great presentation of the script onscreen leads to creation of an awesome movie. Some of the best action, comedy and animated movies are listed below.

Awesome Movies of All Time

A movie that appeals to your aesthetic sense, becomes popular among masses, and which also passes the critics’ acid-test is generally considered a good artwork. There are few such movies which fulfill expectations of the audience from a wide spectrum of the society. An attempt to list down some of the best movies of all time is made in this article.

The Godfather
‘The Godfather’, which was released in 1972, is based on a novel with the same name by Mario Puzo. The film is directed by Francis Ford Coppola and portrays the life of a fictional Italian-American crime family. This film bagged three Academy Awards in the following categories: Best Picture, Best Actor (Marlon Brando) and Best Adapted Screenplay.

Directed by James Cameron, this 1997 movie won a record 11 Academy Awards and was nominated in 14 categories. The ‘Titanic’, which stars Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio is based on a true story of a sinking ship, ‘R.M.S. Titanic’; the Titanic sunk on April 15, 1912 after sliding against an iceberg. The cost incurred in making the movie was over $200 million.

Forrest Gump
The Forrest Gump (based on a novel with the same name), directed by Robert Zemeckis, was released in 1994. It is a story of an autistic man from Alabama. His life takes a sudden twist after which he witnesses a series of unexpected events. He meets several historical figures during this strange phase of life. The story portrayed in the film is however, not exactly the same as presented in the book.

An epic film released in 2000, Gladiator won the Academy Award for Best Picture. Directed by Ridley Scott and featuring Russell Crowe as the protagonist, Gladiator depicts the story of a Roman General, Maximus Decimus Meridius. Maximus comes to Rome as a gladiator to seek revenge of the murder of his wife and son. Maximus achieves his objective however, in the process loses his life.

Requiem for a Dream
Based on a 1978 novel of the same name, Requiem for a Dream was released in 2000. The film was directed by Darren Aronofsky. Ellen Burstyn was nominated for the Best Actress Academy Award. Requiem for a Dream is a story of a woman who suffers from different kinds of delusions that are finally broken and overtaken by reality.

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
Three epic films released in 2000, 2001 and 2002 are together called The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Based on a novel called The Lord of the Rings (1954-55) written by J.R.R. Tolkien, an Oxford University professor, the film depicts events that take place in a fictional world called ‘Middle-Earth’.

The Shawshank Redemption
Written and directed by Frank Darabont, The Shawshank Redemption was released in 1994. Tim Robbins plays the protagonist, Andy. This film depicts the life of a person who is imprisoned on false charges and spends two decades of his life in Shawshank State Prison. In the end, Andy manages to escape from prison without having to serve the full term.

The Matrix Trilogy
The Matrix Trilogy consists of ‘The Matrix’, ‘The Matrix Reloaded’ and ‘The Matrix Revolutions’. Written and directed by Wachowski brothers, the first of the 3 films was released in 1999. The last 2 films were released in 2003. Story of The Matrix is set in a time at the turn of the 21st century. Human civilization of these times lives in a virtual world dominated by sentient machines. Humans are connected to the Matrix (artificial reality) by means of cybernetic implants.

Star Wars
The first film of the Star Wars trilogy was released in 1977. The Star Wars movies depict events taking place in a fictional galaxy. The revenue generated by these films is over 4.3 billion; it makes them the 3rd highest grossing movies after ‘James Bond’ and ‘Harry Potter’ series.

Fight Club
Based on a 1996 novel (written by Chuck Palahniuk) with the same name, ‘Fight Club’ was directed by David Fincher. Edward Norton plays the protagonist – who forms the fight club. The discontentment resulting from white-collar jobs urges him to take the drastic step of forming a fight club.

This movie is set in times of the World War II. Casablanca is a story of a man torn between love and virtue. Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), and American expat runs a nightclub in Casablanca, Morocco. He finds his lost love after many years, after which Rick’s life takes an unexpected turn. Casablanca ranks amongst top Hollywood movies of all time.

Cast Away
Directed by Robert Zemeckis, Cast Away is a story of a FedEx executive stranded on an island after crash landing. Tom Hanks played the character of the FedEx employee. The transformation that the character played by him undergoes is the highlight of this film. For this role, Tom Hanks won the Best Actor award at the 73rd Academy Awards, 58th Golden Globe Awards and BAFTA Awards.

This sci-fi movie is basically a heist film directed by Christopher Nolan. Released in 2010, Inception has a large cast with Leonardo DiCaprio playing the protagonist. The idea of ‘inception’ used in this movie is about planting an idea into the subconscious of a person. Dom Cobb (character played by DiCaprio), a thief is assigned with the task of inception.

The Dark Knight
The Dark Knight was directed by Christopher Nolan. Released in 2008, this movie is a sequel to Batman Begins, the first part of the Batman Series movies. ‘The Killing Joke’ a novel from 1988 inspired Christopher Nolan to make this movie. Health Ledger won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor posthumously. This movie also won the award for Best Sound Editing.

Blood Diamond
Released in 2006, Blood Diamond is a political thriller directed by Edward Zwick. Story of the film revolves around the lives of a South African, Danny Archer (Leonardo DiCaprio) and a Mende local, Solomon Vandy (played by Djimon Gaston Hounsou). The dangerous journey they embark on in their quest to find a pink diamond is the central theme of this movie. The movie is set in times of the Sierra Leone Civil War.

The Avatar is one of the most expensive movies with a budget of $237 million. Directed by James Cameron, Avatar was shot with the ‘Fusion 3D Camera system’ which was specially developed for shooting this film. The camera system was developed by the joint efforts of director James Cameron and Vince Pace. The movie is about a paraplegic ex-marine Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) who is assigned a task to do reconnaissance for a company on a distant planet called Pandora. In the course of time Jake sides with the natives (Na’vis) of the planet and wages war against humans.

Mission Impossible
Directed by Brian De Palma, Mission Impossible was released in 1996. Story of the film revolves around a secret agent who has been falsely implicated in a crime. He fights his way to clear himself of the false charges. Tom Cruise plays the role of the protagonist, Ethan Hunt.

Become a Good Cinematographer

Filmmaker and cinematographer Stanley Kubrick often went to great lengths to perfect his shots. For one film, he obtained lenses originally developed for NASA, to shoot scenes lit only with candlelight.
A cinematographer, or Director of Photography (DoP), is the person who is responsible for translating the director’s vision in moving images. He has to work very closely with the director to put together the right kind of visuals that can amaze and inspire the audience at the same time. Becoming a director of photography requires skill, creativity, and great command over the various facets involved in motion photography. A cinematographer not only looks over recording images, but is also involved in other processes like production design, sound, location scouting, visual effects, etc.
Aspiring cinematographers must bear in mind the amount of hard work and dedication this field demands. One of the dilemmas faced by a fresher starting out in any field is planning. Although it would be unrealistic to have every bit and piece planned out, it is always useful to have a rough direction before setting foot onto something. The following points will be helpful in providing some insights about this job, and answer some of the questions on how to become a cinematographer.

Understanding What a Cinematographer Does
The process of filmmaking is evolving pretty fast with all the advances in the technologies and development of new visual styles. For instance, most movies are shot digitally nowadays, as opposed to film, which was the only medium of recording images since the beginning of this art. A cinematographer today has to be flexible enough to be able to shoot for television and feature films alike. The boundaries of these mediums are fading away with ‘quality story-telling’ being the focus in both.

Taking a camera and hitting the record button is probably the last thing on the mind of a cinematographer on site. A cinematographer’s language is his images. But he has to be able to communicate with the director and the technicians precisely to get the work done. The job is physically as well as mentally demanding. He has to set up rigs, design and arrange lighting schemes, compose shots so that they are aesthetically appealing, and do all of this within the constraints of a budget as well as time, without compromising the director’s vision. A cinematographer constantly has to jump sides from creativity to practicality, and create an astute process for everyone involved.
Education Needed
Getting a related education always helps in learning the technicalities and gaining hands-on experience on various equipment that go into shooting a visual. Various film schools offer different kinds of courses, varying from certificate courses to 2-year degree programs. It is advisable to have an education for someone who is not very well-versed with the technical knowledge of the equipment. Though a degree or a certificate is helpful at entry-level jobs, what really counts is the kind of work and experience the cinematographer has. So, the education that really counts would be working on more and more projects, and building a portfolio.
Discovering Your Form
A cinematographer does not only shoot big Hollywood blockbusters. While most of them like to jump between forms and genres, some might focus their work on specific areas, like documentaries, wildlife, music-videos, commercials, etc. There is a lot to be explored in each of these forms.
Starting Out
Applying for assisting jobs can be a great start. In all likelihood, you will begin with a low-profile job. But being on set is an amazing learning experience, which will give you on overall understanding of the process. The pressure of working within constraints, the technical problems faced on location, and all kinds of tricky situations will help you learn and grow.

Given the nature of the job, you have to build a network and connect with more and more people. It will not only help you get clients, but also provide a wider reach for your work. Don’t shy away from taking smaller projects. The more you work, the more you learn.
Learning to Manage Finances
Unlike a conventional job, the pay of a cinematographer is not constant. Every project has a different budget, and so the pay varies from project to project. For those who are starting out, the pay may not be great. So, it important to have good financial planning and manage expenses accordingly. The pay sure does increases with increasing experience and number of projects. Being part of a union or a guild can help finding work and making connections.
Watching Other People’s Works
There are great cinematographers doing spellbinding work in all kinds of movies. It is always helpful to follow the works of cinematographers working in different genres and areas of film-making. Documentaries, wildlife, sports, and various other areas have their own grammars of shooting, and an exposure to these can be instrumental in discovering and developing a unique style. More and more technical understanding will be helpful in dissecting a scene and recognizing the usage of various elements involved in photographing it. For example, the lighting schemes, the angles and shots, the composition, etc. Besides photography, there are other good art forms that can be learned from. For example, paintings, architectural works, and sculptures can serve as excellent sources of learning the various facets of composition and color.
Creative Curiosity and Spontaneity
Apart from handling the huge number of equipment and people, what lies at the core of being a cinematographer is his creative curiosity and spontaneity. This is probably the only tool that will help you go places, especially during hard times. What matters most is creating amazing images. Being spontaneous is sometimes the only way of putting out honest images. Do remember what the crux of all this is. Live by the values of capturing great images and composing astounding frames.
A few names who excelled in this field are Roger Deakins, Darius Khondji, John Toll, Kazuo Miyagawa, Vittorio Storaro, Gordon Willis, Christopher Doyle, Charles Rosher, besides many others.

Some Inexpensive Options to Keep Your Family Entertained

Summer is here, which means that people will be looking for lots of things to do to fill the long daylight hours and warm nights. It can be easy to get sucked into the trap of spending lots of money on summer entertainment, but you don’t have to break the bank to have a lot of fun. There are plenty of free or inexpensive ways to keep you and your family entertained this summer.
Free Museums, Concerts, and Movies

Check the local paper or the Internet for free stuff to do. If you live near a major city, chances are there are plenty of awesome activities the whole family can enjoy. Museums usually have free or reduced fare days that you can take advantage of. On these days, the museums are usually packed with people, but it can be a good excuse to get out of the house and learn. There are also a plethora of free concerts and movies in parks both inside and outside cities. Pack up your lawn chairs or a soft blanket, and get there early for the best seat in the house. You can even bring a picnic to these events, which can save money while being fun for the whole family or a romantic date night.
Visit the Library

Libraries are the most underused resource for free entertainment during the summer. Libraries have so much more than books. They carry CDs and movies, too, and often have free or inexpensive summer programs – like story time – for the kids. Many libraries also have digital subscription programs where you can get e-books, music, or audio books for free and install them on your MP3 player or e-reader right from your home computer. All you need is a library card. Don’t have one? Just bring a recent piece of mail to your local library and they’ll sign you right up.
Backyard Games

If there isn’t a park near your house, try playing some games in the backyard. Playing catch is an all-time favorite for dads and sons, but you can also try some new games, as well. Bags tournaments are a great way for kids and adults to have fun and improve hand-eye coordination at backyard barbeques. You can also try your hand at bocce ball, croquet, or horseshoes if you have the equipment. Of course, you could always sit and dip your feet in the kiddie pool as you watch people playing, too.
Potluck Parties

Potluck parties are great ways to get friends and family together without breaking the bank. Asking everyone to bring a dish to pass will help you save money and ensure that everyone has something there that they like to eat. If you are having a lot of people, think about preparing a list of items you need and have people sign up to bring them so you don’t get duplicates. Specifying what course people should provide can help, too.
Play at the Park

Some good playtime at the local park can be great exercise for adults, children, and pets. Best of all, it’s totally free to visit the park, and you might even make some new friends while you’re there. If you can walk to the park, you get bonus points for fitness. Make sure you pack plenty of water, snacks, and sunscreen to keep playtime safe and fun.

For those rainy summer days, DIY projects and crafts are also one of the options that can keep you busy while you are stuck inside. Your local craft store most likely has lots of inexpensive ideas for projects that the whole family will love.

Lasting Impact on Western Film By Akira Kurosawa’s

More than just his own influence, Kurosawa represents much of what’s missing in today’s cinema―the willingness to openly experiment, borrow, and assimilate the ideas of the world’s greatest artists. That doesn’t mean stealing from better directors, but using their work to inform better work.

I have fond memories of so many great films from years past, movies that I saw on Sunday mornings, aired by cable stations unwilling to pay more than the most nominal fee for their air time. I watched those movies and discovered Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and a slew of other greats. I also watched those and discovered Crocodile Dundee, Beverly Hills Cop, and a load of ’80s fun. But, one morning in particular, on a rarely watched artsy channel, I found a film by one of the great Japanese directors of all time, and was enthralled.

That particular Sunday morning was interesting for a few reasons. First off, my brother was staying over at a friend’s house, meaning I had the full reign of the television. Second, it was raining very hard, so my parents couldn’t send me outside to ‘enjoy’ the sun by myself. Third, I was a little under the weather, so my normally short attention span stayed glued to the television, partially under the influence of cough syrup, and partially in pure lethargy.

All of these things were necessary as the film in question was Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, a three-hour opus. At the tender age of 11, it had not yet been restored to its original luster of 202 minutes, cut down by the unfortunate few who find foreign films too convoluted for American audiences. Regardless, I was enamored by this epic tale of right triumphing over wrong, and ever since then I’ve been in love with Akira Kurosawa’s work, constantly pointing out to my friends all the hundreds of different influences he’s had over Western cinema. It’s impressive really, the volume of work he produced and the volume of work that came to exist in America as a direct response to that work.

Many people are quick to forget just how much one man can influence the course of an entire art form. When that one man is a Japanese director who passed away more a decade ago, it’s almost impossible to educate the many who have never heard his name. But, film directors are not nearly so cloistered to world cinema as movie goers are. They watch everything they can get their hands on, and for that reason, an auteur like Kurosawa was high on many great directors’ lists, including Sergio Leon, George Lucas, Francis Ford Coppola, and dozens more.

So who was this man, Akira Kurosawa, who had a massive impact on the movies we grew up loving. He was a descendent of a former Samurai family, and as a child, had the kind of imaginative interest in stories and the new medium that was film, as any future director should. He attended film schools, worked with the first directors in Japanese film, and in the 1940s began directing his own films.

What made Kurosawa’s work so much different was that he had a mass appeal, a flare for seeking out the root of storytelling, that seed of a good yarn, and exploiting it with all the compassionate visual stimulation, that only Japanese films could offer. He invented numerous popular story telling techniques still used today in films like Rashomon (with multiple view points on the same story) and Seven Samurai (the powerful strangers hired to save a village). When he wasn’t busy creating archetypes for what Western films would become, he was taking Western archetypes and applying Japanese style to them. He wrote and directed two Samurai Shakespeare adaptations, with Throne of Blood adapted from Macbeth and Ran adapted from King Lear.

He adapted Dostoevsky in Hakuchi (The Idiot) and crafted stylish noir thrillers in Stray Dog and Drunken Angel. As original and inventive as he could be, Kurosawa was in love with the Western forms that informed cinema as well. For me, this is what true cinema is all about. Instead of constantly whipping out mindless sequel after mindless sequel, based on nothing more than the whimsy of a previous film, directors were seeking out new ideas from across the globe and integrating them into their own culture, exploiting universal themes in such ways that their viewers could understand.

When Sergio Leone crafted his Man with No Name trilogy, it was a rewritten script from Kurosawa’s Yojimbo and Sanjuro. When George Lucas began piecing together his characters in Star Wars, he used many sources but none so openly as Kurosawa’s Hidden Fortress. You’ve likely seen some form or another of Rashomon hundreds of times throughout your lifetime, retold constantly with different characters. Unlike what many of today’s directors would deride as open infringement of ideas, this is how art actually works, assimilating and building. The cross-pollination of culture and story is what made Shakespeare’s work so epic, and in the 20th century made films so universally accepted.

Today’s film-going audience is not only woefully ignorant of the films of the past, but of the effects of those films and of ingesting the work of other cultures. While attending films at Seattle’s International Film Festival, I can’t help but think what would have happened to cinema if each nation had developed their own cinema solely independent of the others, how boring and repetitive it might have become.

Know More About Entertainment Divide

The entertainment industry is constantly under scrutiny―whether it is the sex and violence in movies, the language in music, or the focus of video games. As entertainment becomes more progressive, those who are vocal against that progression try to speak up louder to drown out the noise. For them, it is a seemingly winless battle, though as there are few if any instances in which moral disagreement has had a significant impact on the way the industry operates.

Music has long since settled into a groove in which essentially anything is okay. The result is, a music industry that does not provide nearly as much objectionable and public material as it once did. There was one point in the early 1990s, when it seemed like every day had another music artist’s name in the papers alongside that of an angry senator. While albums are still marked with the Parental Advisory stickers that were introduced in those early days of moral objection, the bounds are essentially gone.

Access to music is as free and prevalent as ever, with services like iTunes and MySpace making it nearly impossible to filter out the unwanted noise anymore, and so, for the most part, the watchdog groups have stopped. It’s an interesting result, and has only occurred in the music industry.

Film has always been subject to scrutiny. After all, it features graphic images of violence and sexuality that can be offensive for a number of demographics, from children to adults and everyone in between. And while violence and sex have essentially wormed their way into mainstream acceptance, there are still plenty of topics that can bring about an uproar in certain communities.

Consider the recent uprisings in religious groups over what they feel is morally objectionable material such, the most recent example of which is The Golden Compass. The film is based on a series of books that depicts a fractured sector of society acting as a metaphor for the author’s vision of the Church. This sect kidnaps and experiments on children, forcing them to stand up and fight back. The result is a series of books that teaches an alternate view of religion, one in which it is not as cut and dry as organized dogma would have you believe. It is a strictly agnostic approach and one that the Church finds offensive.

Similar to their response to The DaVinci Code in 2006, the Catholic League―with its 350,000 members―has decided to boycott the film in the hopes of convincing other Christians to ignore it. The result is a wash of publicity and controversy over a film which is not supposed to be that good.

It is interesting that the current state of moral ethics provides ample space for protest against films that breach religious and racial boundaries (The Passion of the Christ is a good example), but the long time proliferation of sex and violence that has recently seeped into even the most innocent of children’s films and television programs continues.

Video Games
By far the biggest source of discussion and controversy in recent years in regards to moral obligations is the video game industry. Today, the ESRB rates and labels video games between E (for everyone) and AO (adult only). The rating system is effective in telling parents what their children will be facing in a video game. However, the ESRB is a self-regulatory board run and operated by the gaming companies, which has caused many senators and ethics pounding lawyers to grow even more upset at games like Grand Theft Auto, or the most recent maelstrom in Manhunt 2.

Most recently, senators have called for an overhaul of this system for a particular instance in which Manhunt 2, which originally received an AO rating for its violent portrayal of murder, was rerated with an M rating for Mature. No game console will currently support an AO game, meaning that for Manhunt 2 to be released, it needed to be edited and rerated. However, there has now been additional controversy over the leniency with which the ESRB rerated the game.

For the Nintendo Wii edition in particular, which allows players to act out the specific violent techniques with the Wii Remote and Nunchuck, senators are concerned as psychologists have come forward citing the damage this can do to a child’s mind.

While video games have continued pushing the same boundaries of sex and violence as films, they have a slightly different hurdle to overcome. Because they are traditionally considered for children, and because acts are specifically handled by manipulating an on-screen character, they pose a more substantial threat for some individuals to the child’s mind. Regardless of how much they might grow or change, they will always be scrutinized for what they allow you to do.

The moral dilemma that strikes any entertainment medium will continue to strike as long as popular media is available to the masses. While music and film have become more accepted over time, the video game and eventually Internet mediums will probably continue to spark controversy, both in the media and in government.

Know More About Entertainment

In a world where we find ourselves evermore overwhelmed by-and drawn to-bright images and flashing screens, it is worth asking a few questions about that most important of consumer goods: entertainment. What makes entertainment entertaining? Why do we need it, or do we? What is entertainment, anyway?

These are a few of the questions I set out to answer in a class I taught a year or so ago: Entertainment in America. And while we couldn’t quite come up with satisfactory answers, even after a semester of reading and discussion, I’d like to try to set down a few of the thoughts that came out of that course here. But I don’t want to shove the partial answers I’ve come to down your throat-that’s no fun for anybody. Rather, what I’ll do in the following is offer a list of questions that you might ask yourself, along with a few resources that might be worth looking at as you search for your own answers to these increasingly crucial questions. I’ll also note, from time to time, the conclusions I have tentatively reached regarding these questions.

Are you ready? Here goes…

What is entertainment? (Too obvious, but we’ll come back to it. If you keep this question in mind as you go down the list, you may find a definition beginning to come together. Try it out.) Even if you know it when you see it, does it bother you if you can’t come up with a good definition of what it actually is?

Is there such a thing as “only entertainment”?
Only Entertainment-Bad Religion
That’s Entertainment-The Jam
That’s Entertainment-Judy Garland
When you read the lyrics of The Jam’s and Bad Religion’s songs, and read about the history of the Judy Garland highlights film, what is your sense of the kind of material that makes for entertainment?

Who needs entertainment? What for? When you are entertained, what are you feeling? Read a Dilbert or Doonesbury comic strip, and try to record what happened inside of you while you were looking at the comic. Did you feel happier? A sense of release? The resolving of tension? Was that entertainment? Would you say that reading the comic strip was the same kind of experience as watching a television show? How? How not?

Are some kinds of entertainment better for you than others? Which kinds? Is it better to play internet poker or to watch a video? Try doing each for a little while and record your feelings. Was one more entertaining than the other? How? Why? Did one make you more aggressive? Less likely to do something productive in the world around you? Did either change the way you felt about yourself? How?

One of the things I was struck by while teaching this course was the way entertainment can work as a substitute for action. If I can identify with a character on TV-on a soap opera, for instance-then I get to feel all the feelings that character feels, without having to do the actions that result in those feelings. I get to feel jealous without having a cheating spouse, excited by the intrigue of adultery without being an adulterer, and intimate without ever actually talking to a living human being. In short, I get to feel. Some researchers believe that feelings are the way we human beings experience our world most fully, but is there a price to pay when we feel our emotions in a way that’s disconnected from the physical world around us?

That is, if we get to feel feelings without taking risks, do we start to lose our ability to risk emotion in the “real world”? I don’t have a definite answer to that for you, but I do have one for me. I’ve come to the conclusion that entertainment is-while maybe necessary for emotional and psychological health-definitely a dangerous substance. Like fire. So, for my part, I’ll still watch a film now and then. But I’ll also think afterwards about how watching that film, getting that emotional satisfaction, affects my ability to act in the real world. You might consider doing the same; it actually turns out to be pretty entertaining.