miércoles, 22 de julio de 2009

Trauko book and video

Today while reading this article on La Tercera I found out a new chilean comic book is soon to be released. This book is a homeage to the now extinct Trauk0 magazine, that really blew my mind at the end of the eighties. Through this magazine I knew the works of european masters Moebius and Manara, and local stars like Felva, Yoyo, Karto, Lautaro, to name some of them.

Good thing is that through this article I knew that together with the book, there's a documentary about Trauk0 magazine in production. This video is authored by chilean cinema director Rodrigo Araya, who had the chance to interview, camcorder in hand, key people that worked on the magazine. In fact, you can see some teasers here, here and here.
This documentary is soon to be released, check his blog to see more updated info.



Photo credits


martes, 7 de julio de 2009

Computer World cover

Listening to the Kraftwerk's excellent Computer World album (1981), comes to my mind the mandatory question: what computer is that on the album cover?

A little research unveils that in fact it is not a computer, just a dumb Hazeltine 1500 terminal...

Good thing is that while researching, I found this webpage that details the computers seen on Stereolab videoclips (Miss Modular comes to my mind), something I always wanted to know...

Amongst others, appear the same Hazeltine 1500 terminal seen on the Kraftwerk cover, the Apple ][e, and the Osborne 1.

Photo credits:


viernes, 15 de mayo de 2009

Linn LM-1

The LM-1 was the first drum machine that used samples of acoustic drums. It was manufactured by Linn Electronics Inc. at the beginning of the 80s.
The LM-1 was conceived by Roger Linn, a guitarist that was not satisfied with the sound of the rhythm machines of the time. Linn knew how to program using BASIC and assembly language, and that came pretty handy for the machine's developement.

The LM-1 features a 13-channel mixer, and 12 8-bit samples of real drum sounds: kick, snare, hi-hat, cabassa, tambourine, 2 toms, 2 congas, cowbell, clave, and handclap. On the other hand, it lacked of cymbal sounds, because of the high costs of long sounds at the time.

The successor of the LM-1 was the LinnDrum LM-2.
The first customers to buy the LM-1 were Peter Gabriel, Stevie Wonder and Fleetwood Mac.

Notable songs that featured the Linn LM-1:

'Dirty Laundry' by Don Henley
'Thriller' by Michael Jackson
'Maneater' by Hall & Oates
'I want to break free' by Queen
'1999' by Prince
'Oh Sheila' by Ready for the World
'Don't you want me' by Human League
'Part time lover' by Stevie Wonder



Photo Credits:


'Maneater' by Hall & Oates
'I want to break free' by Queen
'Thriller' by Michael Jackson

jueves, 14 de mayo de 2009

Atari VCS postage stamp

Several years ago I discovered US Postal Service released a postage stamp featuring a couple of kids playing Defender on a Atari VCS.
Since I've always been a postage stamp collector (lately on a minor scale, but always interested on stamps), and since I'm an Atari fan too, this was a perfect collector's item.
A couple of weeks ago, while doing a little research on Defender's creator, Eugene Jarvis, I discovered that the VCS stamp was part of a series named "Celebrate the Century".
With that information on hand, I bought on eBay the 1980's part of the "Celebrate the Century" series, and here's a picture of the stamp for you:



Animation Cel

A "cel" is a transparent celluloid sheet where drawings are painted usually by hand. Several "cels" comprise an animated sequence, that is later photographed, developed, edited, added sound, and finally shown on TV or at cinemas as an animated serie or movie.
I found by accident that real production "cels" are sold on eBay. Here are some examples: one is from Gatchaman and the other one is from the Robotech animated series:

Both are for sale right now at eBay, "cels" go from US$20/US$30 to over US$500 (The Robotech one is for sale right now at US$250).
There's no doubt "animation cels" are real collector items, I wish I have one of those some time in the near future.



miércoles, 11 de febrero de 2009

Kyle Cooper

Kyle Cooper is the most praised designer of title sequences ("credits") of the last years. His work has often been compared with the works of Saul Bass.

Kyle started working on film title sequences by 1989 ("New York Stories", Woody Allen, 1989), and his most recognizable works are the title sequences for:

"Quiz Show", Robert Redford, 1994 (ending titles, uncredited).
"Brave Heart", Mel Gibson, 1995.
"Se7en", David Fincher, 1995.
"Twister", Jan de Bont, 1996.
"Mission: Impossible", Brian de Palma, 1996.
"The Island of Dr. Moreau", John Frankenheimer, 1996.
"Donnie Brasco", Mike Newell, 1997.
"Mimic", Guillermo del Toro, 1997.
"Flubber", Les Mayfield, 1997.
"Arlington Road", Mark Pellington, 1999.
"The Mummy", Stephen Sommers, 1999 (uncredited).
"Spider-Man", Sam Raimi, 2002.
"Dreamcatcher", Lawrence Kasdan, 2003.
"Spider-Man 2", Sam Raimi, 2004.
"Wimbledon", Richard Loncraine, 2004.
"Superman Returns", Bryan Singer, 2006.
"Spider-Man 3", Sam Raimi, 2007.

Kyle worked at R/Greenberg Associates, but left to create production company Imaginary Forces, and later left IF to create Prologue Films. Kyle at the time has directed only one movie feature, "New Port South" (2001), that was a box office flop.

The Marvel Comics "Flip book" logo featured at the beginnig of movies based on Marvel characters (Spider-man, Blade, X-Men, Fantastic Four...) was created by Kyle.

Some directors avoid working with Kyle, calling him "the guy who makes title sequences better than the movie."





Marvel Logo Cinema
title sequence in Se7en
Great Opening Titles Part 2: Mimic
Kyle Cooper and Garrick Hamm: Part 1
Kyle Cooper and Garrick Hamm: Part 2

Photo Credits:


lunes, 19 de enero de 2009

Roland CompuRhythm CR-78

The CompuRhythm CR-78 is a drum machine made by Roland in 1978. It features analog drum voices, and an Intel microprocessor for control purposes.

Available percussion voices:

Bass Drum, Snare Drum, Rim Shot, Hi-hat, Cymbal, Maracas, Claves, Cow Bell, High Bongo, Low Bongo, Low Conga, Metal Beat, Tambourine, Guiro

Available rhythm patterns:

Rock 1 A/B, Rock 2 A/B, Rock 3 A/B, Rock 4 A/B, Rock 5 A/B, Rock 6 A/B, Disco 1 A/B, Disco 2 A/B, Bossanova A/B, Samba A/B, Mambo, Chacha, Beguine, Rhumba, Waltz A/B, Shuffle A/B, Slow Rock A/B, Swig A/B, Fox Trot, Tango

This piece of hardware has a very distinctive sound, and was heavily used by new wave bands in the 80's. Some songs that used the CR-78 are:

'Bombers' (live) / 'On Broadway' (live) / 'Remember I was vapour' (live) by Gary Numan
'La vie en rose' by Grace Jones
'In the air tonight' by Phill Collins
'Heart of glass' by Blondie
'Enola Gay' by OMD
'I can't go for that (No can do)' by Hall and Oates



Photo Credits:


Roland CompuRhythm CR-78 Demo
Phil Collins demonstrates Roland CR-78 drum machine
Blondie - Heart Of Glass
Daryl Hall and John Oates - I Can't Go For That
Phil Collins - In The Air Tonight