TA: My husband gave me a Nook as a Mother’s Day gift in 2010, with the intention of ridding our house of the over-abundance of books. Let me step back for a second, not only did I have new books, but I also collect pre-1950 hardback books. Why pre-1950? Because there are less of them. My oldest is an 1853 Fifth Grade Primer. Think about it. 31 States. No Civil War, No Abraham Lincoln. Franklin Pierce was President. Potato Chips weren’t invented until August, 1853. There were also less words per page. Anyway, he knew I wouldn’t get rid of the old books. For the next few months, I gave several boxes to the local library, but they didn’t have the room for any more. I sent my paperback books to the Veterans Association or Wounded Warriors. One day I was searching the Internet for some books for my Nook and happened to see an advertisement for BookCrossing.com. The rest as they say is history.
TA: It’s really that easy. You don’t have to have books to share. You can look for books that are available and request them. It’s a sharing site to get people to read. It’s a chance to read an author you might have heard of and not read. I think there’s probably more books there that people have never heard of than you can imagine.
TA: I have always been a fan of science fiction and fantasy. When “Outlander” came out in 1991, I bought it. I read it in 3 days. I couldn’t put it down. I bought every one of the series as soon as it hit the stores. I didn’t wait for the paperback. I really thought I would keep them forever. Then when word got out that Starz was making a series, my first reaction was “Oh no. I have to cart those heavy tomes around, when I’m now using a Nook?” I decided since I was going to buy the ebook version, that I didn’t need to keep 12 pounds of books around. I first put them on BookCrossing.com in a controlled release, simply because there were so many copies of the Outlander series already listed. That way I could hold them and not feel obligated to set them out someplace. They were in pristine condition.
TA: Easier to ask me how many books I read in a week. If the book is good, I will read it in a day. I’ve been known to read a book a day. So on an average, I would say probably in the neighborhood of 200, more or less. I will read almost everything and almost anything.
TA: Probably 2011. My husband was channel-surfing and we came across Robin Hood. As someone once said, “I rooted for the wrong side.” I didn’t really get into the whole “Armitage Army” until later, but I did look him up on the Internet and checked out a few of his fan websites. I was amazed at their dedication to him. That is until Gandalf opened the door to him at Bilbo’s house. Thorin Oakenshield pretty much turned my whole world upside down.
TA: I didn’t read fan-fiction before I wrote fan-fiction. There are a couple of series I read now.
TA: I wrote my first fan-fiction in June 2013. I post on a couple of sites, Wattpad and DreamerFiction. Wattpad is easy to register on. Dreamer Fiction you have to be invited to join. It’s a little more selective. [Note: Dreamer Fiction is a private chat forum site. Joining requires a referral from an existing member and is for those aged 18 and over.]
TA: There are some really good writers out there. My absolute favorite is Morrighan’s Muse. She wrote a serial called “A Willing Heart” that was my first fan-fiction story that I could not get enough of. She’s writing a serial now called “Every Fifth Living Thing”. It’s amazing. A publisher soon is going to notice her. Zeesmuse is another one. She wrote a story called “Manna From Heaven.” It was yummy.
CC: What are your favorite fan-fiction sites?
TA: There are several fan-fiction sites. I wouldn’t want to say which are better than any of the others, since they are all different in their own unique way. Some are more geared to teens and band fan-fiction. Some are geared to slash fiction. Some are soft porn or are fairly racy.
TA: Just a couple of things. One, share. Share your knowledge. I am amazed every day to hear that our children know so little about our country and the world. Ask your children some simple history questions. See what they are learning in school. Share your books. There are still people out there who cannot read because books are not available to them. There are soldiers and sailors serving our country who would be thrilled to have a paperback to read. They don’t even care what it is. Some of those same veterans are in hospitals recovering from injuries who wish they had something to read to pass the time.
Lastly, thanks for taking the time to listen to me ramble on.
Where The Arkenstone can be found, amongst other treasures of course -
I’d like to always feel…
…that there will always be something nice around.
I want to take literal advantage of the benefits and freedoms that I have…
…without ever taking them for granted.
But at the end of the day, I’d still always like to genuinely and truthfully say…
…that I’ve been good to myself, I’ve been good to others, I still have nice things…
…and that I still have the ability to love and be loved.
My words, not Richard’s.
“I visited the Waitomo Caves and saw the glowworms. I skied down Mount Ruapehu. I skied at Queenstown and all of the ski locations there. I skied at Mount Hutt. I took a helicopter out to White Island. I took a helicopter to the Milford Sound.” – Richard Armitage
“I had looked directly into his face at one point. No eye contact, but I saw “him” and that too is invaluable…Those of us who have now seen him probably have different takes.
I will say this…where I should have said before, he was both alike and yet different from how I have imagined. Bigger-than-life is difficult to describe about an actor’s persona and physicality when compared to their actual physical being. For instance, some images appear to me to make his head seem larger. His head is better proportioned in reality, at least from my perception.
He is slender, but because I know that images can put “weight” on people, he did not seem any slimmer than in recent images. He is still slimmer than that of North/Bateman, John Porter or Sir Guy, but not skinny.
…I don’t know where he gets that he has a mean face. I saw much boy, and a softness (not fleshy – soft.) And I can now easily see how one might not randomly recognize him on the street, as he has said in interviews. He has the everyman about him – in countenance and looks. This is the truth.”
This is the best description I have seen that accurately describes what randomly happens in Depression – an often nebulously treatable disease.
It is a good example of what to say to those consistent in the “glass-half-full” within the population of this planet who can’t seem to grasp “why” or “how” one could possibly feel so randomly low, without a reason, retorting often with the likes of “just snap out of it”, “smile and it will all be better”, or “think positive.” But this is only because they lack what to truthfully say. They are not lacking sensitivity (at least not always), but often simply lacking a full understanding.
Originally posted on Richard Armitage US:
You know that singular feeling of standing on the beach as the waves come in, just enough to cover your feet? As the wave goes back out to sea, it creates a sensation of the earth literally shifting beneath your feet. While it can be disconcerting, depending on the pull of the wave, it’s not unpleasant.
Then there’s another kind of wave entirely. The kind of wave looks normal, but when you step into it, it sucks at your feet like death, jerking them out from under you pulling you under with sudden and terrifying power. An undertow is treacherous, unexpected and all too often undetectable… until it has you. As you become more familiar with the shore, the pattern of the waves and the weather, you can sometimes sense an undertow, but that doesn’t mean you can avoid it.
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One of the most delicate things about reviewing a movie that you want to love is considering all the reasons for which drive you to see it in the first place and making a decision as to whether you were satisfied with the film for those reasons.
For me the main, or initial, drive to see Into the Storm was, of course, Richard Armitage. The second was the trailers and my deep-seated admiration for the Visual Effects faction of the film industry, as we have it, and appreciation for such works.
I like big movies and I loved to be moved by them, both physically and emotionally.
The good news: there is movement. The bad news: that there is bad news, but not so overwhelming as to be a complete deterrent from seeing the film. Unless you really hate disaster movies, tornadoes, or teen audience driven films in general, you might want to tough this one out if the reasons for which you are seeing it win out, and the good out-weighs the bad.
I avoided reading other reviews because I wished to go in fresh. Having seen a few other film of this ilk – one recently being a television disaster film so bad that it’s great – that I can honestly say this one out does them all ten-fold.
You will go into the storm quite literally.
The bad: I am easily irritated by the Hallmark-like brand TV movie, especially when it is a touch reflective of the 70’s/80’s melodrama and teen TV dramas (and comedies) that were so prevalent. I missed out on a lot of television for about a decade because I found it so vapid. So I have little patience for something that even touches in that area, which I’m afraid Into The Storm does.
Unfortunately, I do have to acknowledge here that clearly I do not fit into the demographics targeted for such a film. But a family with teen children might feel right at home with the first 30 minutes or so, and beyond. I simply found those initial minutes excruciating.
Also, what is apparently to be the comic relief of the film, becomes just a pandering to to those who enjoy the drivel found on You Tube that features thrill-seeking idiots who come dangerously close to winning Darwin Awards. (I did a face palm several times, and not because the storm effects were too frightening to watch either.)
The wrap up at the end seems forced and contrived, the mortality rate unrealistically low (although I am grateful of), and the survival of certain pieces of technology (key to the plot movement and documentary look) seems beyond implausible considering all the wet – which varies from light precipitation to the fully immersed. (IE: Even television news camera crews cover their gear with plastic.)
The good: The visual effects, special effects, and some really great low-level, stylish vehicle camera work will take you to see the real star of the film – the massive storm. And the sound and sound editing. In the theater I was in you could feel the storm rumble through the seats.
They weren’t kidding when they packaged this film to sell in the trailers. The only true and proper direction given that I can see here was in this area. If you love an action-packed, white-knuckler, thrill ride, THIS is what will be the most satisfactory part of the experience.
That, and there’s a few other mentionable performances. Sarah Wayne Callies is extremely watchable and a class act all the way. She was well cast, but the character is really not much of a personality departure from that if Lori Grimes (The Walking Dead.) I also really enjoyed Matt Walsh as Pete, who walks that fine line well of just likeable enough and reproachable. The two yahoos Reevis and Donk, played by Jon Reep and Kyle Davis, were indeed fun to watch, but I really am getting tired of the “stupid rednecks with beers and cameras” jokes (I won’t tell you if they win the Darwin Award or not.)
As for Richard Armitage, I think if he had had the benefit of direction (and writing) from someone, let’s say, such as of Frank Darabont’s caliber (The Walking Dead, of course, The Green Mile, The Shawshank Redemption) he might have had a chance at becoming the struggling and slightly cantankerous (read: “loss-pained”) hero-dad-everyman that we could so want to rally with, and maybe follow to the ends of the earth for. But sadly, he was not given such direction. Nor was he given such a script. His character was very thinly sculpted. But then again, so was mostly everyone elses.
However, the American accent survives (it plays well, as it does with Max Deacon’s Donnie) and what we are left with is his inherent performance traits that – for those of us who have watched every performance he has ever done – are so excessively familiar that it is difficult to see any significant departure from his norm.
In all honestly, Richard Armitage can do so much better. We’ve seen it.
But, if you are like me and your reasons for wanting to see the film mirror that of mine, you will want to see this film. You might even want to see it again, especially when awards season comes around for Visual Effects.
These days, it literally takes a village to build on the one. So often there is a variety of VFX houses that provide a plethora of individual and specialized visual effects, either based on their past experience or what their often custom made software can provide.
The “pipeline”: The pipeline is essentially a highway of communication and software compatibilities, which governs how well, or how seamless, the merging of these effects will be. Consistency is key.
I am not necessarily a Disaster Film junkie, but as I said – I like special effects and visual effects driven movies, so the stars here really are the companies for which this film can be largely attributed to.
And I wasn’t a big fan of Twister, but I did love the little homage to it contained within. Lovers of Twister will snicker. Lovers of Sharknado will see what “real” tornado effects look like, and revel.
The filmmakers, and the crews largely responsible for the post-production (and production) technological aspects of this film, clearly were and there love of the genre showed.
VFX Production Supervisor - Tracy L. Kettler (VFX Production Supervisor Men in Black 3, Secretariat)
The key to it all working. The Visual Effects Production Supervisor andor Producer is at the heart of a production and are required to manage all aspects of production and post-production, as I understand it. They do everything from breakdown of the visual effects needed (and likely specials effects as well), bid, plan, schedule facilities, manage the visual effects team, and monitor the work during the post-production process. This job is hard.
The following is a listing of the visual effects teams, their leadership, and the kind of work that they might have brought to Into the Storm:
Rhythm and Hues ( Xmen, Hunger Games, Moneyball, Prometheus, and the Golden Compass [whose massive VFX have been hugely underrated])
At this point, I think many are aware that in the midst of working on Into The Storm, Rhythm and Hues went bankrupt after completing Life of Pi, which held up ITS’ completion. It is not clear where in the pipeline the film was during this unfortunate event, but the list of companies following either stepped in, or were already part of the existing line-up of VFX houses responsible for various parts of the film featuring their specialized arts.
Specialties – (applicable) clouds, smoke, cosmetic morphing, and crowd mass.
(I don’t know if Mr. Gionis worked on ITS, but his reel is the best on YouTube)
Digital Domain (VFX Supervisor : Jay Barton; Tron Legacy, X-men first Class)
Studio – Xmen: Days or Future Passed, Maleficent, Iron Man 3, Titanic
Digital Domain is James Cameron’s brain child visual effects company, beginning with Titanic, and is a big player in the VFX business. Working in the belly of the “whale” (literally the name of the , an educated guess is they specialized in detailed, close up plane fuselage work and vehicle construction. Possibly atmospheric, working to mesh together VFX work from other houses with overlapping weather effects (wind, rain, fire and flying debris.)
Prime Focus World (VFX Supervisor : Randy Goux; Non-Stop, A Good Day to Diehard)
Studio – Edge of Tomorrow, Maleficent, Noah, The Amazing Spiderman 3, Tron Legacy, and The Great Gatsby
Specialties – based on their work on Non-Stop, it’s an educated guess that this Vancouver company is likely responsible for the visually mind blowing airplanes tossed through the sky like autumn leaves.
MPC (VFX Supervisor : Guillaume Rocheron; Godzilla, Man of Steel, Life of Pi)
Studio – Godzilla, Man of Steel, World War Z, Life of Pi, and Prometheus.
An educated guess would be that they handled the massive amounts of debris, additional wind effects (free flowing items like clothing, etc.) and possibly the conical fire storms.
Specialties – Atmospheric – Crowds, clouds, debris, and fire
Cinesite (VFX Supervisor : Simon Stanley-Clamp; Iron Man 3, Pirates of the Caribbean: on stranger Tides, Moon – a personal favorite)
Studio – Skyfall, Edge of Tomorrow, Xmen III, World War Z, and 300
Specialties – Post-apocalyptic destruction and landscapes mostly. Massive insertion of teaming crowds and moving and flying vehicles.
Hydraulx (Avatar, Captain America, and Avengers)
Specialties – They provide anything from simple cosmetic (facial/body) to landscape and architecture modifications. Crushing, rolling and flying cars and structure collapse appears to be a specialty.
Method Studios (VFX Supervisor : Nordin Rahhali & Bruce Woloshyn; Robocop, Divergent, Twilight: Breaking Dawn Pt 1)
Studio – Divergent, Robocop, and Ironman 3.
Specialties – Futuristic cityscapes and post-apocalyptic landscapes, explosions, molten and fire.
Scanline VFX (VFX Supervisor : Chad Wiebe; Divergent, Man of Steel, Thor )
Studio – Marvel’s The Avengers, Immortals, Iron Man, and 300.
Specialties – Fire, wind, water, atmospheric, architecture construction, modification, and structure collapse. These folks can be doing any number of things, but my guess is that they were pegged for the tornadoes themselves.
The Third Floor (Pre-vis Supervisor : Shawn Hull; Edge of Tomorrow, Maleficent, Black Sails)
Studio – Thor 2, Avengers, Skyfall and Flight.
Specialties – Previsualization (Pre-Vis) pretty much exclusively.
And educated guess was they did the pre-vis on much of the film, but likely specifically just for the airplane toss, and vehicle and debris scatter.
The fascinating video on the very recent transformation once again of The Old Vic into a theater in the round.
The amount of planning, material and labor is impressively outlined and the actual time lapse transformation begins at :56
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