Sanctuary Preview Webisode 7

30 March 2007

FRI 30 - The Return of The X-Files??

Yes indeedy, rumours of a second X-Files movie have surfaced yet again following an interview with David Duchovny, you can read it here. If true we may hear something more in the next two weeks. I certainly would welcome a second movie as I loved everything about the X-Files up until the first movie, you could label me a hard core fan up until then. Afterwards things seemed to slip a bit and while I did remain a fan till the end, I wasn't totally into it like I was in the early years. It may be time to break out my complete set of DVD's and have myself a little marathon.

Back on the Sanctuary front :-)
I really liked the new trailer. The music is catchy and I liked how we got glimpses of characters, Sanctuary itself, the old city with the new city on the horizon, flashes to the past and a build up to the action sequences. Stunningly topped off with "it's all up to you" and "Make your choice!". We have enough hints now so that I KNOW I WANT TO SEE THIS as soon as possible!! Damian & Co you have done a great job so far, keep up the good work.

The geek in me came across a few interesting things recently :

  1. This little experiment during the week on the International Space Station caught my attention a few years back. Some SciFi books and shows have had little droids or bots floating around space stations or undersea research vessels/bases doing all kinds of amazing things and it is experiments like this that will be the forerunners of the little buggers of the future. Check it out at NASA
  2. Another fascinating concept vehicle. This time a hydrofoil for ultra fast transport on inland/coastal waters. I wouldn't mind getting my hands on one of these if it ever gets built. Check it out at Sureda
  3. Things are looking good for SpaceX to begin it's operational phase in September, launching a satellite for the US Navy. The second test flight of Falcon 1 did have some problems but it is considered about a 95% successful test flight. Commercial space operations are a step closer. See the updated report at SpaceX

Catch ya later,

28 March 2007

WED 28 - New Sanctuary website is LIVE !!

OK people for those of you hanging out for the new Sanctuary trailer RUN NOW over to and say WOW with me :-)

You'll need to log in.

Well I'm online again and all I can say is Thank God for Mum's, my mother decided she didn't like the way I sounded when she talked to me last Thursday so she wandered over to my place to check on me. Thank you Mum!! I was in a bad way with my back, so she just moved in with me for a few days until I got over the whole muscle spasming bit. I can't believe how incapacitating it is to pull one lousy muscle in your back!!

All rightey then, I'm off to play with the Sanctuary site for a while, I'll be back later.

22 March 2007

THU 22 - Laid up

Doh! I pulled a muscle in my back and I won't be posting again till I get the muscle spasming under control. Painkillers and muscle relaxants make for one not so coherent Trace :-(

On the Sanctuary front, I hear that things are delayed but they have started beta testing. Hey!! Some of the people that were told they were beta testers weren't included. Lucky I'm laid up or I could have been majorly bummed out about that. No worries, they're making a lot of progress and I'm real happy they are including the fans along the way.

Did you hear that Amanda Tapping, Richard Dean Anderson and Ben Browder are heading up north to the APLIS station for 6 days filming for the second Stargate movie Continuum? That close to the north pole they have be real careful of the temperature and polar bears!!!! Good luck people, have a good shoot and come back safe and sound with lots of stories and photos to share!!

Catch ya later,

19 March 2007

MON 19 - Still waiting for new Sanctuary trailer

I'm still impatiently waiting for the new Sanctuary trailer.

Meanwhile, off on a tangent, have you seen this cool new bike? Trike? Vehicle?
Check out the new Can-Am Spyder

Catch ya later,

18 March 2007

SUN 18 - Waiting, Waiting, Waiting for the new trailer

Not much today I'm afraid, though I am checking the Sanctuary site hourly (pathetic, I know) to see if the new trailer is available yet.

Waiting, Waiting, Waiting ....

I updated the Sanctuary summary with a couple of things we learned this week from various sources. I think I'll keep it updated until one of the official sites gets something up and running. See the blog entry for 10th March.

Check out Gizmodo's RIAA Boycott, I'll be interested to see if they get anywhere with it. The RIAA and their bully tactics seem to be cruising for a bruising. There's got to be a better way than this stupid DRM approach, one that is fair to all parties. Yeah, I'm a bit of a dreamer at times!!

The geek in me came across a few interesting things recently :

  1. Squirrels getting into your birdfeeder? Then you need Twirl-a-Squirrel !! Check it out at Gizmodo
  2. Cassini Spacecraft Images Seas on Saturn's Moon Titan. Check it out at NASA
  3. This is worth it for just the Tardis plans :-) Though having spent my teen years in the 70's playing various games starting with Pong I do appreciate the MAME console and games. Check it out at Asciimation
  4. Sadly, I do remember a time when there was no such thing as computer games.

Catch ya later,

16 March 2007

Fri 16 - What a Sanctuary Week!!

As you all may have guessed, this show has me hooked and it hasn't even premiered yet!

I woke up this morning to find that had a new interview with Damian Kindler with more info about Sanctuary. Damian also updated his blog and let us know that the new trailer has been delayed a couple of days till this weekend sometime. He also gave us an intro to Emilie Ullerup who plays Ashley Magnus.

I always boot up my computer first thing in the morning and download the news headlines into my eBookman to read later in the day. So I just downloaded the MP3 of Damian's interview as well and listened to it over lunch.

The more I hear from different people associated with the Sanctuary project, the more I feel that I'm going to like it. I'm a self confessed geek and I love special effects but I am not so enamoured of visual effects that I will forgive a lack of substance behind it. So far the impression that I'm getting is that we'll have wizz bang effects and ground breaking new tech BUT we will have solid characters with many layers and interesting plots. Yeah, I know I can be a tad demanding - great characters, great plots and great effects!!

As for the actors bringing us the characters, of the main ones, the only one that I'm familiar with is Amanda Tapping and I'm a huge fan of hers. What I love about Amanda is she is always in character whether she is the focus of a scene or not. She becomes the character. Amanda is also brilliant at non verbal communication. Each portrayal of a different character on Stargate had something different visually. You can pretty much tell just by looking at her when she is playing a different character - like an alternate reality Sam, or the entity, or Jolinar or that wonderful wonderful character RepliCarter!! Each character presented by Amanda has their own voice, facial expressions and body movements. A totally real delivery of another person / character and usually it is subtle but can be over the top when required. I just sooooo totally loved the geek version of Sam in Moebius in Season 8 of Stargate! OK end of fangurl moment.

I think I may have made a few Sanctuary converts today at work. At lunch time I was listening to Damian's interview and working on this blog when a friend walked in and asked me what I was doing (me at my desk at lunch time is a rarity). I got a raised eyebrow when I said I was listening to an interview and I explained about this really interesting new project Sanctuary. I could see the eyes glazing over as I rambled on, so I dragged my laptop out and played the teaser and the Daily Planet segment and my friend just went WOW. Of course by this time a few more people wandered into my office wondering what all the excitement was about so now we have another 5 people who are going to check out the premiere of Sanctuary!!

So this week's Sanctuary roundup :
  1. Keep an eye out this weekend for the new Sanctuary trailer
  2. The behind the scenes segment from Daily Planet (Check Wednesday's blog entry for the vid)
  3. The Slice of SciFi podcast with N. John Smith or catch the transcript of it at
  4. Damian's interview with the people at
  5. The Sanctuary blog has been updated with an introduction to Emilie Ullerup
  6. Gateworld interview of Damian Kindler

The geek in me came across a few interesting things recently :

  1. I saw this tryke car and immediately went TRON!! A new hybrid car (maybe for midgets. Check it out at Fly the Road
  2. KIBO has arrived at NASA. The Japanese module for the International Space Station can now begin preparations for launch in three parts. The first part is due to fly into orbit aboard shuttle mission STS-123. Check it out at NASA
  3. Flying wings. They've been talking about these for years and it seems that Boeing have a prototype ready for testing. Check it out at CNNMoney

Catch ya later,

14 March 2007

WED 14 - Behind the Scenes of Sanctuary

Want to get a closer look at the cool stuff they are doing to produce the new internet sci fi series Sanctuary? Last night in Canada on the Daily Planet show they did a six minute segment on Sanctuary. Here it is - go watch it!

They used some really cool sequences from the show which I think may be a part of the new two minute trailer that is due out sometime this week. We got a good look at the cameras and computers and got to see them shooting some scenes. This is WAY COOL!!

So we have a new trailer to look forward to this week and I'm wondering how soon the beta testing starts because I'm one of the lucky people!!!!! Then in May we actually get to see this show - I really can't wait!

On another front the long running show Stargate: SG-1 aired it's final episode in England last night. I wasn't going to watch it, having become seriously disillusioned with the puerile garbage churned out in season 9, but then I thought maybe they would do something special for a change. Yeah right!! I want those 42 minutes back! If I can manage to stay calm and polite then I may, in the future, write about How to Kill a Successful Show.

Even MORE SANCTUARY news - the Slice of SciFi podcast just went up so I'm off to listen to it. I'll have more details for you tomorrow.

The geek in me came across a few interesting things recently :

  1. Automatic satellite docking, repair and resupply. Orbital Express was launched last Thursday into space on a three month testing mission. Check it out at NASA and NewScientistSpace
  2. Hey guys how about you start simple and just make an eBook reader?? That screen definitely makes my Franklin eBookMan screen pale in comparison. Check it out at Positron project blueChute
  3. A hunter/killer robot. See what Israel has been developing. Check it out at Yahoo! News

Catch ya later,

12 March 2007

MON 12 - Sanctuary Executive Producer, N. John Smith, interview

Today's blog entry is brought to you by RealmOfX (the OTHER Trace).

N. John Smith gives Slice of SciFi a behind the scenes look at Sanctuary. On this week’s podcast Slice of SciFi will be interviewing N. John Smith for Slice of SciFi Show #100.

The crew at Slice of SciFi will follow up their interview of Sanctuary Executive Producers Amanda Tapping and Damian Kindler with an interview of N. John Smith. According to SoSF "John will talk about all the pitfalls, fun moments and excitement of shooting this kind of high-intensity serial for the internet".

You can check out the all the details of the upcoming podcast here and don't forget to tune in on Wednesday for the show.


Catch ya later,

11 March 2007

SUN 11 - Babylon 5: The Lost Tales

Want some info on the making of The Lost Tales? Then head on over to the CG Society for a series of feature articles on the the newest addition to the Babylon 5 story. Some great behind the scenes stuff here, is it July yet??

Now on a totally different subject but still out in space - New Mexico has tabled a House Joint Memorial declaring Pluto a planet and declaring March 13, 2007 "Pluto Planet Day" at the legislature. Go have a squiz at it here

The geek in me came across a few interesting things recently :

1 A real Tricorder?? Check it out at Gizmodo
2 A slim CRT - YAY this brings hope for people like me that get a headache if I watch LCD screen too long. Now I have an 80cm widescreen TV made about 8 years ago and it takes 3 people to lift it!! Check it out at CrunchGear
3 Intel to Sample Phase Change Memory This Year. Check it out at DailyTech

Catch ya later,

10 March 2007

SAT 10 - Sanctuary Summary

A couple of people I know have been asking me what Sanctuary is all about, so I combed through all the info from various sources and compiled a bit of a list to summarise what I know so far. Let’s start with the summary from the production company site, Stage 3 Media.

There are monsters loose in the world. And they are the key to the future of our race.

Each webisode of Sanctuary follows the exploits of Dr. Helen Magnus as she seeks out all manner of terrifying and monstrous creatures. She is aided in her quest by her reluctant protégé Will Zimmerman and her intrepid, if somewhat reckless, daughter Ashley. Together they will be drawn into a frightening and mysterious world populated by beings that defy explanation.

And from the show’s creator, Damian Kindler :

The basic pitch would say that it's almost "The League of Extraordinary Gentleman" meets X-Files. It's a show set in an undefined, somewhat Gotham City world with a foot in historical Victorian-era London.

Followed by info I have gathered, now if anyone has any more info or has corrections to what I have, then please leave a comment so I can update the list.


  1. Sanctuary was started by Helen’s father, he collected creatures from around the world which were reviled by society and created a safe haven for them, a sanctuary, and studied them.
  2. Sanctuary itself is an abandoned church and beneath it is a huge laboratory, it's absolutely massive, many stories high.
  3. Is set in an undefined, somewhat Gotham City world with a foot in historical Victorian-era London

Helen Magnus

  1. Is 157 years old and acquired her longevity through working with the creatures of Sanctuary. She's not immortal.
  2. She's a doctor and she was one of the first female doctors in the Royal College in Victorian England.
  3. She was engaged to Jack the Ripper and has a daughter, Ashley, by him.
  4. She basically took over her father's practice. Wherein he btings these disparate abnormal creatures from around the world which are reviled by society and creates a sanctuary for them and studies them and creates a safe haven for them.
  5. Studies the creatures for scientific reasons believing that they are in fact the evolution of our species.

Ashley Magnus

  1. Helps her mother with Sanctuary. She's pretty cool, she kick ass.
  2. Ashley is a deadly fighter, trained from an early age to handle herself in dangerous situations. She’s a weapons expert, a tracker, a chase ‘em, stun ‘em, toss ‘em in the van type who acts on instinct rather than logic (which is her mother’s department).
  3. Damian Kindler comments on Emilie Ullerup - "Emilie’s portrayal of Ashely’s dark nature, how she wrestles with her many demons, will absolutely make you all fans of Ms. Ullerup -- The Actor. Oh, and you’ll also dig her high wire stunts, cool martial arts scraps, double-Glock gunfire moves, and the odd underwater action sequence."

Will Zimmerman

  1. Is a reluctant psychiatrist who Helen hires to help her. He is to be Helen's next protege and is at first a tad reluctant. Unfortunately it's a dangerous job and some protege's die in pretty strange ways.

The Show

  1. A two hour pilot has been made which will be released as eight webisodes that are approximately 15 minutes each and the first of those webisodea is set to go live sometime in May.
  2. It's entirely green screen and the actors have renderings to look at before hand so they have a pretty clear idea of what things look like.
  3. They use 3D computer imaging for pre vis which is tied directly to the head of the cameras so that you can go behind a monitor and see the camera moving with actors on it with the partially rendered backgrounds already in place and moving in 3D real time.
  4. The show is shot on High Definition direct to hard drive. HD tape is sometimes used as well for backups.
  5. A massive amount of pre vis is done, a lot of what would normally be done in post production.
  6. Once the show goes live you'll be able to interact with it on the website (probably walk through the virtual world).
  7. Other interactivity is planned for the future, they will pay attention to what the fans want.
  8. A short teaser is currently available on the official website.
  9. A two minute trailer showing more of the series will be available in mid March.
  10. Volunteers for beta testing were drawn from interested fans in February and is now closed. A date for commencement of testing has not been established but is expected within the next few weeks.
  11. A selection of high quality photos, art work, MP3 files has been released to the fans through various means. More to come. They want audience participation and are giving us some cool things to play with :)
  12. They're hoping to go back into full time production as soon as possible, hopefully this summer, in order to get more webisodes out there hard on the heels of the first eight.

Roll on May!! I am so excited about this project! Can't wait to see it!

Last updated Sun 18 March

08 March 2007

THU 08 - Slice of SciFi #99 podcast

The Slice of SciFi #99 podcast was great, on top of the normally good stuff they have each week there was the interview with Amanda Tapping and Damian Kindler about the new internet scifi series Sanctuary (yeah I'm really excited about this project so get used to hearing about it :) ). For those of you just interested in the Sanctuary part it starts at around the 31 minute mark of the show or you can read the transcript that my partner in crime (Trace aka RealmOfX) put together at Gateworld or at Sanctuary Fans Online.

It was good to get a little more insight into the new show. I really like how they are involving the online community in the buildup to the premiere and how that involvement will continue into the future. It looks like it will be a great show and I'm dying to see what Amanda Tapping is going to do with her new character Helen Magnus.

Don't forget the new trailer for Sanctuary will be out later next week and we should get a bit of a feel for the show from that. Only a short entry today cos I've got MORE bloody paperwork to get through before tomorrow.

The geek in me came across a few interesting things recently :

  1. Camping on the Moon. Check it out at NASA
  2. A mind reading machine? Nah! But this machine is helping to understand more about how our brains work particularly in regards to intentions. Check it out at Lycos News
  3. BTW The space shuttle Atlantis is back in the Vehicle Assembly Building so that they can do a thorough inspection to determine the extent of the hail damage from the storm on Feb 26.

Catch ya later,

07 March 2007

WED 07 - More on Sanctuary

After two and a half infuriating days at work when nothing went right and people with IQs in excess of 120 were all acting like simpletons, we finally have things back on track to meet our major project milestone on Monday. Now all I have to do is the project paperwork I should have been doing in the first place. Luckily the GM sent me home at lunch today to give me a break (or maybe to protect my team?), and tomorrow I get to work from home so hopefully I'll be all caught up and ready to jump into meetings, bloody meetings on Friday. I'm in my 40's is that too early to retire???

Meanwhile, back at the more important stuff, more news on the Sanctuary front! Sanctuary creator, Damian Kindler gave an interview to Gateworld and a two minute trailer, with great special effects, will be released next week so keep an eye out for it. The interview can be found here at Gateworld, with lots of interesting tidbits.

In an earlier interview, Martin Wood said that it would have a Batman feel to it and now Damian tells us -
"The basic pitch would almost be 'The League of Extraordinary Gentleman' meets X-Files," Kindler tells us. "It's a show set in an undefined, somewhat Gotham City world with a foot in historical Victorian-era London.". This is sounding more and more like a series for me. I loved The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (TLOEG), The X-Files and Batman so if the show has the essence of those I'll be very happy indeed.

I seemed to be the only one of my friends that did like TLOEG, I even bought the DVD. There was just something about being set in Victorian times and having a diverse group of people with extraordinary talents banding together to defeat a foe. The good guys weren't all actually "good", lots of flawed characters which I really liked. Sean Connery was an added bonus!!

Damian has also updated his blog with more interesting info on the series so go check it out. The link is in the right hand column with the other Sanctuary links. It is only the beginning of March and the official Sanctuary site has had 1.7 million unique hits, so obviously the word is spreading quite well.

Before I go, here's a reminder to check out the Slice of SciFi podcast today as Amanda Tapping and Damian Kindler will be interviewed as well as the other cool stuff normally in the podcast.

The geek in me came across a few interesting things recently :

  1. Multi monitor heaven! Five screen panorama, the Zenview Powerscape Ultra HD. Check it out at Digitaltigers
  2. How cool is this!! Remote control Daleks - I want one! and they come in different colours too. Check it out at Thinkgeek
  3. This would be great for camping. Cold drinks in 60 seconds and powered by AA batteries. Check it out at Cybercandy

Catch ya later,

06 March 2007

TUE 06 - Aaaaaaarggghhhhhh !!

A two day Monday??? Life is sooooooooo unfair. If things don't improve tomorrow I'll start to thin out the workforce of supposedly intelligent people at my place of employment.

Today's blog has been cancelled due to stupidity running rampant. May tomorrow be a better day.

The geek in me came across a few interesting things recently :

  1. Is this the birth of a star similar to our Sun? Check it out at
  2. Assistance dogs go high tech! In the UK these dogs are being trained to assist their owners with ATM's. Check it out at
  3. Phooey on the kids! I wanna play! As a long time Lego constructor (yes I still have my original Lego blocks from when I was a kid) I am intrigued about a Lego MMO. Oh boy, Lego Heaven, just think of it, as many blocks of whatever type you need!! Check it out at Kotaku

Catch ya later,

05 March 2007

MON 05 - I Hate Mondays

Yup the orange cat has it figured out right. Hide under a blanket till Monday has passed into Tuesday!! Actually I really do not like Mondays because I just get decompressed from the previous week and then it's back to the Rat Race. Methinks I should look at either early retirement (I wish) or find a less stressing job or find a miraculous way to dispose of days like today when NOTHING goes right.

Oh and to top it all off I get home and find out that the forums have imploded in certain areas over the latest character to be snuffed out. BAH!! I really don't like how it appears to be the "in thing" to kill off characters. Realism or not. If I want realism there is always the daily World News. It's a good thing I'm not really in to Battlestar Galactica but I do watch it and occasionallly think it's great then it'll go off in a new direction and I'll go Meh!

Do you like my new Sanctuary banner that Trace (NO the OTHER Trace) made for me? I figured that I'd be talking about it a lot, because it definitely has caught my interest, so I might as well have a banner on my blog. Hey, I'm running out of shows to watch which is another reason I'm looking forward to the premier of Sanctuary soon. I stopped watching Stargate SG-1 mid season 9 because of the childish dribble they are producing these days. Yeah, go on throw your own canon out the window and destroy your viewership and then blame everyone except yourselves for changing the show! I hope the taint doesn't cross over to Atlantis now.

Atlantis, yikes another show that kills off characters for pretty much no reason. Maybe Season 4 will be better with new show runners. Then again maybe not with the duo showrunning being responsible for some real stinker episodes in the last two years. Though I will give them a chance, it's their first time show running and apparently they actually had a script walk through and are planning to have carry through ideas if not arcs through the season. Good if they do it right.

I prefer complex stories and characters that are quite lengthy so I really enjoy shows like Babylon 5 but I figure it would be more appealing to a wider audience if you have arc episodes and standalones as well. More of a middle ground. I absolutely detest shows that hit the reset button after every episode!!

Maybe Atlantis will lose the reset button, I hope so because it needs something because it never seemed to fill the promise of the first season. They seemed to lose their direction in season 2 and started adding a little more character wise in season 3. Overall though after three seasons their characters aren't really fleshed out and that is a sad indictment on the writers. Oh well, let's hope the cast shake up and the "start over" does wonders for the show otherwise season 4 will be the last.

Let's hope that they learnt from their mistakes with Stargate SG-1. Stuntcasting does nothing if you have weak characters and weak plots. Do not sacrifice your characters for stupid plot points. It's just cheap and nasty writing.

Yep, not in a good mood today. Oh well, I may as well go get some dinner and then watch Battlestar. It sure can't make my mood any worse!

The geek in me came across a few interesting things recently :

  1. A blast from the past. First Launch from Cape Canaveral. Check it out at NASA
  2. A cool underwater boat - a personal dry submersible operates to 50 metres. Check it out at U-boatWorx
  3. Fill in interesting item when you stumble across it

Catch ya later,

04 March 2007

SUN 04 - Amanda Tapping & Damian Kindler

I was going to take Sunday off BUT I just saw that the scheduled interview of Amanda Tapping on the Slice of SciFi Show is now #099 and will be on this week. Amanda & Damian Kindler will be talking about my new anxiously awaited web show - Sanctuary. YAY!!

Check out the details of the coming Sanctuary interview at Slice of SciFi and tune in later in the week for the podcast.

Oh and while I was visiting Slice of SciFi I found out that Joss Whedon is releasing a Comic Book for Buffy The Vampire Slayer that picks up a few months after the end of the series. If you love comics and Joss Whedon (me, me, me!) then it could be worth checking it out at Slice of SciFi
**Update** The preview link in that article doesn't work so go straight to the DarkHorse website and see the preview online

The geek in me came across a few interesting things recently :

  1. I've seen images from ASTER before but this one I must have missed. Grand Canyon in 3-D. Check it out at NASA
  2. Fill in interesting item when you stumble across it
  3. Fill in interesting item when you stumble across it

Catch ya later,

03 March 2007

SAT 03 - The Return of Babylon 5

Another thing I'm impatiently waiting for this year is Babylon 5: The Lost Tales — Voices in the Dark. When Warner Bros again approached J. Michael Straczynski (JMS) to do a feature film in the B5 universe, JMS said no but he did put up another suggestion that eventually lead to an agreement for an anthology released direct to DVD. Anyway it is due out in July so all I'm waiting for is an indication that it will be a simultaneous multi region release, otherwise I ain't gonna be happy!

Babylon 5 is one of my all time favourite shows. A five year story with complex plots and complex characters. I originally collected this series on video tape but alas tape doesn't hold up well against time and repeated viewings. I ended up selling the tapes and investing in DVD's - now I'm a happy chappy :D

I do enjoy JMS's style so I will be interested to see what he comes up with in the "short story" style. Of course I'd LOVE a feature film but until JMS can wrap his brain around how to handle the absence of the now sadly departed Andreas Katsulas and Richard Biggs, he's never going to even think about a big production.

OK, now I have three things I'm looking forward to this year, maybe I should start a list or something. Happy Feet, Sanctuary and Babylon 5.

Can anyone tell me why we have the region system still in force for DVD's? To me it is just another sign of an industry that is out of step with consumer demand. I know I'm over simplifying it here but doesn't it make more sense to release something worldwide and get a return on your investment even faster? Hopefully the entertainment industry will eventually come up with a more flexible way of working because the current big business approach is killing creativity. I guess it harkens back to what I said a few days ago about balance and how it's not good to run a business with an "accountant mentality" only.

Oooooh that reminds me, It's March now. Wasn't there some campaign against RIAA bully tactics this month? Off I go to search ... Yep, here it is - at Gizmodo

I'll be keeping an eye on how it goes. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for people being reimbursed for their work. It's just when the big boys restrict what you can and can't have and tell you how and when, then people will find ways to circumvent it. How about you stop being greedy and trying to control everything - I have found most people are actually honest and are willing to be fair. Just think about how much money they could save by ditching the high priced lawyers ;) RIAA, MPAA, DRM all initials that to me speak of outdated ideas and restrictive trading. They really need to work on finding a balance because to paraphrase a famous princess "The more you tighten your grip, the more they will slip through your fingers".

That's one of the many reasons why I'm interested in Sanctuary (gee I worked it into the convo again) they're trying something different and trying to be responsive to what consumers would like. By the way, have you seen the cool teaser the production people have on their site? It's worth a visit and has a choice of resolutions or you can watch the YouTube version here (me, I prefer the hi-res ones from the official site).

The geek in me came across a few interesting things recently :

  1. The NASA New horizons spacecraft did it's fly by of Jupiter recently on it's way to the outer reaches of our solar system. Read the news release and then onto the web page for some photos. Check it out at NASA
  2. I want one!! Star Trek original series phaser universal remote control. Check it out at Phone Phun
  3. Phooey on the gamers! If this headset actually does what they claim then it could be a boon for the disabled. I'd love to see the demo at the Game Developer's Conference. Check it out at Project Epoc 1 and Project Epoc 2

Catch ya later,

02 March 2007

FRI 02 - Sanctuary, why I'm willing to pay

Yesterday I said I'd go into why I would pay to see a ... a ... - OK what do we call them now? Can't call 'em TV series any more can we? Web series? Serial entertainment?

Meanwhile back at my original thought - why I'm willing to pay to see Sanctuary. Technically we pay to see TV anyway it just isn't obvious, it is paid for with higher prices for merchandise. The advertising costs are just added into what we pay for our purchases. In the case of Sanctuary or any other direct entertainment series we are forking out what would have gone to the advertisers (actually probably a lot less) and it goes directly to the marketers. In the case of Sanctuary it would be the Executive Directors / Investors rather than several nameless corporations.

The people that are doing the work bringing us the entertainment are being paid directly. I can live with that as it sounds quite fair to me. Now we do not know actually how much it will cost but I read somewhere in my travels that it would be competitively priced. Now the only thing that I know of that would come within shouting distance of that is what they charged for SG-1 / Battlestar Galactica on iTunes which if I recall correctly was US$1.99 per episode or US$34.99 BSG S3 and US$37.99 for SG-1 S10. Now take into account these series are 20 episodes (damn they get shorter and shorter as the years go by) averaging 43 minutes so that's about 14 hrs 20 mins. The producers have said they would like to do around 40 webisodes averaging around 15 minutes each so that's about 10 hours which is about 70% of the running time of the other shows.

So a quick conversion into Aussie dollars, with the reduced percentage, and I'm looking at around AU$31.15 to AU$33.82 for a season pass. A DVD boxset will cost me anywhere from $50 to $90 and a single new release movie will cost around $35 so I'm thinking "looking good".

Other reasons I am willing to pay are - I already have a cable internet connection with a vast amount of unused capacity per month so my costs are not going to increase in that respect. I no longer have cable TV because I hardly watch any of the programmes anymore. I also see this as an alternative to buying DVD's, no need to wait for years for release in Region 4 and I get immediate delivery with a high quality copy which I can port to my favourite medium. What more could a girl want??

Oh yeah - did I mention I was a huge Amanda Tapping fan? Reason enough I'd say but if you add in the production people (many of whose work I admire from Stargate) and the new tech and the instant delivery and the flexibility, so long as the show isn't a dog (WHICH I HIGHLY DOUBT) then I'm laughing. It's money well spent!

Did I mention that the first four webisodes are free?

Here's an interview Amanda Tapping did on Urban Rush, they talk mainly about Sanctuary but there is also some about Stargate.

The geek in me came across a few interesting things recently :

  1. Flexible Lighting? As a camper this one has me intrigued. Check it out at Gizmag
  2. WOW! This definitely comes under the heading of what will they think of next. The Flipping Ship. Check it out at Fogonazos
  3. Portable DVD players, dockable iPod with DivX and MPEG 4 support. It is getting to a stage that these things may start to interest me if my old laptop bites the dust. Check it out at the iLounge

Catch ya later,

01 March 2007

THU 01 - I've moved to

Gee, I've been blogging for a couple of days and I've moved already!!

I hope the new digs here work out better than the last place. I've copied my whole three entries over :)

Catch ya later,

Sanctuary - A new Sci Fi series

There's a bit of a buzz building online about a new show called Sanctuary.

What's so special about Sanctuary? Well after hearing talk for the last few years about new mediums of entertainment, someone has actually bitten the bullet and aims to produce a "TV" show direct to the internet. A definite gutsy move and I shall be following it's progress closely with interest.

First off, what is Sanctuary? Sanctuary is the first high-end dramatic series produced and designed specifically for Internet distribution and immersive viewer interactivity. OK, so I stole that from the production company but what is it really? Well, the following is my understanding of the show and I'll provide links to various sites where you can get more information. The show itself is about the exploits of Helen Magnus, a 157 year old doctor from Victorian times, as she seeks out all manner of terrifying and monstrous creatures. Sanctuary is something that her father set up where he gathers disparate creatures like werewolves and such but at this stage we do not know exactly what it is. Helen is aided by her protege, Will Zimmerman, and her daughter Ashley. Helen was engaged to Jack the Ripper and apparently he is Ashley's father! I must admit that I'm not into horror but if it is kept at the level of say Buffy The Vampire Slayer then I can deal with it :) So that is a short but not very descriptive idea of what Sanctuary is about story wise though if you check out the Stage 3 Media site you'll get a better idea of it.

Now for the good stuff! Who is involved with Sanctuary and how do we get to view it?

Sanctuary was created by Damian Kindler. Do you recognise the name? If not, then think Stargate. Now keep on thinking Stargate as I mention more names : Amanda Tapping, Martin Wood, N. John Smith and from the gaming world Marc Aubanel. Sanctuary is produced by the Stage 3 Media corporation comprised of Damian Kindler, Marc Aubanel and Martin Palacios. The Executive producers are Damian Kindler, Amanda Tapping, N. John Smith and director Martin Wood. Amanda Tapping stars as Dr Helen Magnus (SQEEEEE!! Ooops, sorry. Fangurl moment there!), Robin Dunne (Dawson’s Creek, The Big Hit, Species 3) and Emilie Ullerup (Battlestar Galactica). The crew used for the pilot were from the most excellent crews of Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis and the computer and Vis FX from people like Marc Aubanel (FIFA Soccer, Need for Speed, Marvel Nemesis), online designer John Kalangis, and computer graphics designer Ron Martin).

The first eight webisodes have been shot (approx. 2 hrs) and the majority of it was green screen. Yep, the backgrounds are virtual!! Cool huh? It's shot in High definition digital media (tapeless), a first I think for a show (as opposed to feature film). From information I've picked up from around the traps the first 4 webisodes are free and the rest will be competitively priced (I'm thinking comparative to ITunes). Cost wise I could live with that but I'll explain why at a later date. There's been no real word on the exact type of interactivity but new information comes to light each week so I'll keep updating on it. As for the delivery system although the exact method has not been revealed it has been said that they wish to stay away from proprietory stuff like ITunes and have the viewer be able to port things to their chosen medium, again more on that later as details come to light. The important things being no streaming (YAY) and no proprietory stuff (double YAY). They are also considering making the series available to DVD and Television in the near future (recognising that not everyone has the capacity to watch via the net.

So what are some of the good points about being an internet series? For me, it's worldwide delivery, no more of this waiting a year or two or more to get a series shown in my country. For the creative team, it's more control over their creation. No studio bosses interfering with their outdated success formulas to adhere to, which will hopefully provide a better quality SF show for us the viewer. It allows creative endeavours to be produced outside of the existing studio system which can be restrictive as to getting a project off the ground as well a stifling creativity. Actually the Executive producers have funded the initial endeavour themselves. In an interview recently with Martin Wood he said that because they aren't tied to the studio formula then they are free to shoot according to the story and not a fixed X minutes structured around ad breaks. I'm imagining director cut webisodes.

So far for advertising they have made a press release, a teaser video clip, Amanda Tapping has done an interview on Urban Rush and has other interviews lined up (one on internet radio I think), they've set up a website, Damian has started a blog, they are talking to the fans via blogs and forums, they have sought beta testers from the fans (now closed I believe) and they are releasing artwork and other goodies to the fans as they become available. So word is spreading and quite a few people have been known to say "Is it Spring yet?". The pilot is expected to debut sometime in May.

This lot are being brave and good on them I say. They are obviously breaking new ground here and are still ironing out details but they have a vision and a commitment to succeeding. They've put up their own money and amassed a lot of talent from various fields. I for one am very interested in how this project progresses and I wish them all success!!

Want more info? Then check out these sites :

The official Sanctuary site
Stage 3 Media site (Check out the presskit too)
Damien Kindler's Blog (both Damian and Marc have posted interesting stuff here)
Amanda Tapping's Urban Rush interview (a must see) on YouTube

If you are into fandom then check out these fan sites :
Sanctuary Forum
Sanctuary Fans Online
Gateworld Sanctuary thread
The Official Amanda Tapping Website
The Amanda Tapping Club

My thanks go out to my friend RealmOfX who convinced me to get off my butt and finally start a blog. I have yet to dream up a suitable retaliation. She also is my beta reader, devil's advocate and fellow SF nut who put me onto this exciting new show Sanctuary. I intend to keep track of this most interesting new show and will keep all of you posted.

Catch ya later,

Surprise!! Behind Schedule DOH!

I am actually planning on writing about a brave new show but time got away from me today so I'll delay that until tomorrow. In the meantime has anyone seen Happy Feet? I just saw it for the second time and I absolutely adore the dancing and the music! So far this year it is the only DVD that is on my 'must get as soon as released' list.

The geek in me came across a few interesting things recently :

  1. They roll the space shuttle out onto the launch pad and what happens? A hail storm! Oooops, well that's gonna delay the next launch. Check it out at NASA
  2. All Delorian jokes aside, this sounds promising. Clean garbage disposal that creates possible fuel!! Check it out at Plasma Converter
  3. How cool is this? Make submarines go faster (obviously chucking stealth for speed)!! Check it out at Underwater Express Submarine

Catch ya later,



Well I finally did it!! I got myself a blog, now all I need to do is figure out what I'm going to use it for

I suppose I should stick to what I'm interested in. I don't watch much TV these days but I am very into some TV series and movies in general. Oh yeah, I'm a gadget geek (actually I'm just an all round geek) so I suppose the odd new invention or whatever has caught my eclectic roaming attention may turn up here eventually.

There's some new things happening on the entertainment front so I probably could go off and compose something deep and meaningful and post it here. Now there's a thought!!

Catch ya later,

February 27 8:04 PM