Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Becoming Batman - The Finale - Part Three

Wow! In this final part to "Becoming Batman", everything we have been building up to finally comes to fruition. The Joker finally makes his grand appearance in his true form (leaving the Red Hood behind him) and has his confrontation with the Batman.

I would hate to spoil the plot for anyone that has been following this series on YouTube, so I shall not disclose the events should you have not yet watched this true season finale.

I would just like to say that the series has been an absolute pleasure to watch, and would like to thank Alastair Clayton and Stuart Laws of WindowSlaws Productions and everyone else that made the series.

I very much look forward to the return of the Batman and seeing you other work becoming a huge success. You can find a selection of their work on YouTube by clicking this link.

I will most definitely be watching "Who's Toby?" very soon, and keeping an eye out for everything else.


Becoming Batman - The Finale - Part Three - "The Dark Night"


Batman will return in... BEING BATMAN!

When he does, you'll find him here on the same Bat-Channel!

Half Life 2: Episode 3 Viral?

Gamezine today featured a video (see below) that is either a brilliant viral video for the highly anticipated Half Life 2: Episode 3 by Valve Software, or an extraordinarily epic video from a talent film student.

The video on YouTube claims that it will not be there for long (so please watch it while you can) and links to a website in the Netherlands called "What's in the box?". This is a good reflection on Valve's own Half-Life product website (What is the Orange Box).

Either way, this video is truly remarkable in it's single-shot, first-person footage that incorporates many of the recognisable visual and audio elements from the Half-Life games. The special effects are superb!


What's in the Box? - Test Film 2009

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Becoming Batman - The Finale - Part Two

Continuing from yesterday's episode of Becoming Batman, our hero faces multiple challenges from sinister enemies (all at 8 o'clock...although it really should have been 7!).

In the 2nd part of this 3 part epic season finale, both the Riddler and Red Hood claim to hold hostage people that are close to the Batman. How is he going to save them both?

Watch the below video and then tune in again tomorrow to find out:


Becoming Batman - The Finale - Part Two - "The Remarkable Ruse of the Riddler"

Monday, 16 March 2009

Becoming Batman - The Finale - Part One

Over the course of the past 4 months, chaos has descended onto Chalfont St Peter like the blanket of darkness at the transpiring of an eclipse. With the Riddler and the Red Hood causing havoc through the village, life has become rather tense for the Batman.

With relationships at breaking point between the two friends (and Selina also), it is time for the terror to come to an end...on one dark night!

In the first part of the epic three-part finale, entitled "Pool our Resources", the transformation of the Red Hood into the Joker has begun. The split personality of our hero's friend is becoming very pronounced and The Riddler is getting very close to finding the truth to the Batman. Replace a chemical vat with a pool being chlorinated and you have the set-up for a brilliant 2nd part in this finale.

Come back tomorrow for the 2nd part in this explosive finale of Becoming Batman. Until then, enjoy this:


Becoming Batman - The Finale - Part One - "Pool our Resources"

Friday, 13 March 2009

White Wedding - Literal Video Version

It is fast turning into a music-heavy week this week!

I promise to have some more in-depth technical posts soon.

To round off this Red Nose Day, I thought I would add in another great literal music video. For those that have not seen these before, the idea is to change the lyrics of a song (without changing the tune and trying to match the sound of the artist) to describe what is going on in the video itself.

As The Beatles' "Penny Lane" proved earlier this week, this process works particularly well if the video appears to have no relation to the original lyrics. In this case, Billy Idol's "White Wedding", does in fact feature a wedding. However, the outcome is just as good.


Billy Idol - White Wedding - Literal Video Version

Becoming Batman - The Riddler's Vlog Update

In the gradual build up to the epic that shall be the 3-part finale to "Becoming Batman", there has been an interesting update from the Riddler.

Following the usual "at camera" piece, the real developments come on his night-time walk through Chalfont St Peter, where he comes across the now-familiar Red Hood, who doesn't seem too happy to see him.

With the tension in the village building, it is only a matter of time before the Batman must act.


The Riddler's Vlog March 11th 2009

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Hard 'N Phirm - "Pi"

I have no idea how I came across this. I have no idea what this is actually meant to be from. All I know is that I like it and I wish it was on TV!

I'm definitely going to see if the song is on iTunes!


Hard 'N Phirm - "Pi" - Dir: Keith Schofield

Monday, 9 March 2009

Mash Up Monday - Oasis vs Green Day vs Kanye West

Whilst flicking through channels on Friday, it was good to see that 4Music were featuring a programme entitled "40 Hottest Mash Ups". There were several mashes which I have previously featured on this blog, several excellent ones which I hadn't heard before and many rubbish ones!

At the top end of their chart was a new version of Party Ben's "Oasis vs Green Day" that I absolutely love. By simply adding in Kanye West's "Flashing Lights" you get the wonderful "Boulevard of Flashing Lights" featuring all of the following:
  • Oasis - "Wonderwall"

  • Green Day - "Boulevard of Broken Dreams"

  • Kanye West - "Flashing Lights"



Mash Up Monday - Oasis vs Green Day vs Kanye - Boulevard of Flashing Lights

Penny Lane - Literal Video Version

It's been a while since the last decent literal music video I have featured (4th November 2008, in fact). However, I can today feature a great literal video version to the classic Beatles' song, "Penny Lane".

The Beatles are the band that probably have the best potential for great literal versions as their original songs and videos are usually weird and trippy enough for inspired genius moments. For example, this video has the "horse montage" and the "mozart guys".

More please.


The Beatles - Penny Lane - Literal Music Video Version

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Becoming Batman - The Finale Is Coming!

In the true spirit of an epic superhero movie, we have been given a brilliant trailer that gives us the first glance at the THREE-PART FINALE OF BECOMING BATMAN.

For those that have not been following this amazing series of YouTube videos, I highly recommend clicking this link to give you the full story surround each episode so far.

If you are lazy, however, the trailer does give a very rough "previously on Becoming Batman" to give you some of the essence of what is going on. If this doesn't make you want to go back and watch each episode, then you are honestly missing something special.

For those that, like myself, love the series so far then please book 16th MARCH 2009 into your diaries as this is the day in which the finale shall begin.

If you are out there and reading this Batman, then please drop me a line if you ever need any help with future works!


Becoming Batman - The Finale Trailer

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

iPhone Band - MGMT

Featured in today's Metro (in The Ridiculant section), was a brief mention of a band called 'The Mentalists' where they use iPhone applications to create a cover of the great song, "Kids", by MGMT. For those that are interested, the apps used are:
  • Ocarina

  • Retro Synth

  • miniSynth

  • DigiDrummer Lite

The evidence below speaks for itself! Another reason why I would love to switch phone networks to get an iPhone (I must have around 50 reasons already, but the inconvenience and cost of switching is preventing me from doing so).


The Mentalists - Cover of MGMT 'Kids' using iPhones


In case you are unfamiliar with the wonderful work by MGMT, then see the original music video below for comparison:


MGMT - 'Kids' - Music Video

Monday, 2 March 2009

Adverts Featuring Search - With No S.E.M.

I have noticed an increasing volume of adverts in the press and outdoor media that feature the image of a search bar with the text of a search relevant to the company.

In theory, this is a great way in which you could drive traffic through search engines to you site, taking advantage of cheaper sponsored link terms (even if they are typically generic words in themselves). Orange did this very well with their "I am" advertising (see below):

Orange I Am AdvertOrange "I am" Billboard
Hat Tip to Peter Gasston at broken-links.com


By featuring a very simple phrase to remember, these adverts were easily remembered for later searches once commuters reached their destinations. The "I am" search then produces a top-position sponsored link from Orange that links directly to their "I am who I am because of everyone" microsite:

'I Am' Search Results'I Am' Search Results


Clicks through this sponsored ad would be relatively cheap due to the lack of any real competition (it is unlikely any other competitors would bid on a term that has nothing to do with their business!) so would work well as a brand-awareness campaign.

However, there are a number of ads floating around that are missing a couple of steps in this process.

In today's Metro I came across an ad for CrossCountryTrains.co.uk. They are a train price comparison site, where they will check the prices of all train operators within the UK and return the cheapest price for the route you wish to take.

In the advert they feature a large search bar, quoting "I'm looking for the cheapest train tickets - no booking fee":

crosscountrytrains advertCrossCountryTrains Metro Advert


Firstly, this is not exactly the easiest search term to remember. Unless you take the Metro with you to work. I understand that the picture may just be there to reinforce exactly what the service is that they provide, but it is a wasted opportunity if you do not actually appear against that search:

Google Search Results for Train AdGoogle search results for the long search query found in the ad


As you can see, the Cross County Trains website does not actually appear anywhere within these search results. This means that the company is not taking full advantage of the power that search could provide them. It would be much more effective to either have a shorter term to remember (particularly if it features the brand name - this gives extra bonus effect of increasing brand awareness) or having the sponsored link highly present so that they convert those that actually search for what they appear to want you to search for!

There was also an advert running on the underground a month or so ago on the LCD displays running along the escalators at Tottenham Court Road Station. These ads were for a website called netflights.com, and whilst advertising great prices on flights, they were prompting commuters to search for "worldwide airfares from netflights.com". The animation that ran actually showed this term being typed into a search bar and the "search" button being clicked.

However, just as with the previous example, searching for this sentence produced results that were void of any netflights sponsored links:

Netflights Search Results PageNetflights Search Results Page


This example is little better than the previous one, in that it is a little shorter and does feature the company name, but it is still hard to fully remember when you move past the ad on an escalator. It is also slightly better as the search results does have the natural listing for the website. However, I am sure that they would have much rather have been in a higher position than under 3 sponsored links and 1 other natural search result (that is of a competitor!).

It is great to see that companies are beginning to understand the power of search on the minds of the consumer, but some are still a way off from understanding how to use it effectively and how to incorporate it into a media strategy to achieve good returns.

Mash Up Monday - Yanou vs Pussycat Dolls

Welcome to another Mash Up Monday and another great song featuring the work by the wonderful Bastard Bob.

Today's mash can be summarised by the following equation:

YANOU "Children of the Sun" (R.I.O. remix) + PUSSYCAT DOLLS "When I Grow Up" = "Children Grow Up"

It appears that rather than 50 Cent's "In Da Club", it seems to be The Pussycat Dolls and Britney that are the darlings of the mash-up universe. This is the 3rd Mash-Up I have featured to include the performing burlesque troupe! Good stuff...


Mash Up Monday - Yanou vs Pussycat Dolls - "Children Grow Up"