June 27, 2010

General Musings for the week of 20th June 2010

I read an article this week about the Nokia short film competition. They were running a 'Shoot a movie on your mobile phone' competition and the winner got a trip to Cannes. However it transpires that the winning entry was a direct copy of an existing short film widely available on Youtube. Watch the two entries yourself and see what you think. This has, understandably and quite rightly, caused a lot of debate on the intertubes about plagiarism etc. My view on this is actually quite straightforward:  Nokia should have checked that this wasn't a copy before handing out the prize. Typing  'Forrest Gump in one take' into Google brings up the original video as the top three hits. However a lot of people are going on about the plagiarism side of things. "How could the winner have copied the film and submitted it as her own?". I believe that plagiarism is wrong. Intellectual property is there for a reason and needs to be protected. But in a world where copying files on the internet (videos, m3 files, software etc.) is commonplace and even encouraged on certain sites, should we be at all surprised that this is happening?

Had a great couple of days this week filming in a farm outside Henley-On-Thames. Can't say too much about the shoot other than the fact that it is a tentpole commercial for a major alcohol supplier and it relates to summer. Having seen the storyboards for this it is possible this will become one of those favoured commercials you remember with fondness - unlike the 'Go Compare' and 'Webuyanycar.com' travesties that are currently doing the rounds. Anyway the shoot was fun, the weather was great and the folks were great to work with. Should be out the beginning of August.

Britain at the moment is stuck in the middle of 'football fever' or, to be more precise, 'World Cup fever'. The World Cup football tournament is in full swing and - despite the fact that England have played quite atrociously in their initial matches - the appear to have made it through to the next round of games. These games are 'knock-out' games which means that if you lose any of them you're out of the tournament. There is great jubilation in the country that England have made it through to this stage. This is also despite the fact that they have always made it through this stage in every competition since 1950-odd. Of course now we get to face our arch rivals Germany. I'm predicting a whitewash - although I'm not sure in who's favour. (Obscure fact of the day: England consider Germany their main European football rivals. Germany don't consider England to be theirs, they consider Holland their main European rivals. Bizarre eh?)

Rant of the week this week is related to the World Cup. Two aspects in particular. 1: The atrocious officiating 2: The Oscar worthy acting of some of the players when tapped or collided with.

1: I watched a couple of the matches during the week and was appalled to see the referee's handing out yellow and red cards like they were candy. In one game I think I saw 7 yellow cards and a red card before half time. This was by a referee who was known for being very liberal with his punishments and had a reputation for handing out cards. I also read of the referee in the second US match who disallowed a goal and refused to tell anyone why. Absolutely atrocious. Sep Blatter (FIFA head honcho) you had better do something about that before your organisation loses credability

2: The most egregious case of bad football acting was in the last South African game where a defender was involved in a collision with an opposing attacker. They came together in the goal mouth. The South African attacker was hit in the upper chest, quite lightly and by accident. The match analysts later watched the footage and counted a full seven seconds of play going past before the player decided to then fall to the ground clutching his face and lay motionless until the match was stopped and he was attended to. Of course he had nothing wrong with his face - or any other part of him. His appeal for a penalty was disallowed - quite rightly - and he continued as though nothing had happened. Which of course it hadn't.

I realise that this is a globally watched tournament and the reputation of lots of countries are at stake. But for goodness sake, if you know that everything you do on the field is going to be scrutinised by a myriad of cameras, in slow motion, why on earth would you resort to amateur theatricals to try and gain an advantage. The referees are going to make good calls and bad calls (but see above for more on that), but they are generally not going to be influenced by some guy throwing out an Oscar worthy performance in the goal mouth. This is especially true as the latter stages of the tournament come around.

Been fairly quiet other than that this week. Not much else to report, I'm afraid.

Until next week....

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