Capn Design

April 2006

This month I posted 17 entries, listened to 974 songs, watched 3 videos, bookmarked 16 sites, took 41 photos and favorited 1 thing.

Gorgeous Video-Game Insipred Movie by Paul Robertson

If someone made a side-scroller like this I'd buy it in a heartbeat. It's 10 minutes long, but worth every minute [via Random Foo]

A New Breed of Movie PR

Posted April 26, 2006

Today, movie studios seem to be showing film critics fewer and fewer screenings. Stephen Humphries of the Christian Science Monitor argues that precscreening for youth-oriented movies like The Benchwarmers doesn't make sense since their target audience isn't reading reviews in magazines and newspapers anyway.

"I've talked with the advertising guys at studios about it," says Peter Bart, lead columnist at Variety magazine. "The media world is changing, and the people they want to reach are the kids who are looking at and exchanging instant messages about pictures aimed at them. Conventional critics don't matter."

Okay, but that doesn't explain the reason for cutting out the prescreening proccess all together.* Instead of doing a screening for the group of movie reviewers that get paid, they should be doing ones for those of us who review movies in a much more informal way. This is a long tail group that hasn't been properly tapped.

Living in New York City, I am often asked to preview films that are coming out in the coming weeks or months while standing outside of a megaplex. Sometimes the studios are looking for feedback on an early cut of a film but other times they're just looking to build some buzz for a new movie. Instead of approaching the often-isolationist NYC moviegoer, they should be going after bloggers and MySpace (or other social network) users.

I realize that many PR firms are already targeting the moviebloggers out there, but imagine a PR firm that goes after the level just below them. Maybe they pay Technorati for a list of every blog that has 100 links in and has posts tagged with movie. Then they contact MySpace and, ignoring ethics for the sake of argument, pay for a list of everyone with over 150 friends. They take this group and screen to them instead of taking a chance on a schmo walking into a movie who might never tell anyone about the movie.

Potential advertisers stand to benefit both themselves and their customers by taking advantage of the data that already exists to find the connectors and mavens of the blogosphere. Sure, there are the elite few with a really wide reach, but if you go after the thousands who reside in the next level below, everyone will be happy. Mavens like to share information on new media and connectors have the social network to get a meme moving quickly.

Buzzwords aside, there is huge potential here. Looking online for the right type of moviegoer will prove much more fruitful for studios looking to promote a slapstick comedy starring Jon Heder or a redneck crime drama with Billy Bob Thorton. And the first PR firm to compile a list like this with tons of metadata will make a boatload of money.

* All that really means is they have zero faith in their product.

Apple Trying to Get Studios to Include iPod Video-sized Films on Blu-ray Discs

This is promising. I can't wait for the day when we own the rights to viewing a film on any media and won't be forced to re-pay for format changes.

Wes Anderson's American Express Ad

Finally, something that is actually funny and isn't painfully schlocky [via kottke]

Boeing 797 Will Carry 1,000 Passengers

It can fly 654mph has a range of over 10,000 miles and can fit 4 larger Bar Mitzvah parties [via airbag]

Horrible Segues with Anchorman Clive Rutledge

A McSweeney's list that's funny because it's true

The History of the Netflix Envelope
Help me pick out new glasses

I'll be adding photos as I shop. Thanks internet!

Mike Hacks a Fabulous MySpace Layout

Doesn't this go against all MySpacers across the globe stand for?

Video: Gnarls Barkley Performs on Top of the Pops

Love the flight staff costumes

Extended Preview of Deathlok, the New Show by Brendon Small

Note: he's the creator of Home Movies

Adicolor Green

Adidas is creating short videos for each of the six colors in the Adicolor series. Videos for pink and white are also available.

Sports, Money and Integrity

Posted April 11, 2006

Tomorrow, it will likely be announced that Derrek Lee has extended his contract to the tune of $13 million a year over 5 years. It's not a bad take, but he could easily have made more with the Yankees or Red Sox in the offseason. But, apparently, the extra cash isn't worth it to him.

During Sunday's game, Peter Gammons said that Lee would rather stay a Cub than earn a few extra (million) dollars. Lee himself said:

If it's a deal I feel is fair for me, I would sign it. It's still a business. I always look at it as if there is a deal that makes me happy now, why not sign it? I don't think $2-3 million a year more is going to change my life.

I love hearing that. Sure, it's important to sign the guy who will best help your team, but having a five-tool player isn't always as valuable as a man of character. Well, a man of character with four tools.

When NFL free agency began, the Bears (and I) had their eyes set on Antwaan Randle El. Thanks to the increased salary cap, virtually every team had a ton of found money and the Redskins decided to go nuts. They snagged Antwaan for $31m over 7 years with $11.5m in guaranteed money, which was far too high for a number two receiver, even if he might fill multiple needs for the Bears.

As much as I wanted the Bears to sign him, I'm glad they didn't. If top dollar is all that matters, buzz off.

I'm going to avoid a Moneyball rant, but this gets to the idea of spending your dollar wisely. You don't need to throw money at a team to build a winner. The Patriots and Steelers have proven that in football and Oakland's done it in baseball (at least in the regular season). As much as I want to see the Cubs break the Curse of the Billy Goat, I can understand and appreciate their choices. Also, it's no fun to root for a team that is always expected to win. I'd much rather be on the cusp and root for the scrappy underdog.

Salvation Army Prints Posters on Blankets

A "wow, duh" idea unearthed by my new favorite blog

Mike Rants About the Necessity of Downloading TV Shows

I'd like to stress the need for on-demand from the major networks. Oftentimes there are two shows on at once and I'm forced to download one.

Online Game Tracking Options for the MLB

Posted April 5, 2006

The 2006 Major League Baseball season has begun (the Cubs won their first game 16-7; woo) and I'm psyched. Lots of potential drama with high-profile trades, signings and steroid allegations in the off-season. But now that the season has arrived, how are you going to keep abreast of games whilst toiling about at your job? You'll use your trusty game- channel/tracker/day/log from one of your favorite sports sites. Because I'm a sucker for good information design, I thought I'd walk you through the four major options you have for realtime game tracking. Three of them are brand new and ones an old standby. Also, the new ones have a few bugs but I won't poo-poo them as the software has only been in use for a couple days.


I'm going to take you through the paces after the jump, but you should also consider trying, which lets you watch games online for $79.95 a year, or Gameday Audio, which only gives you audio but is an easier pill to swallow at $14.95 for the season.

Read the rest of this entry » Redesigns

Quick Turnaround, Khoi. Pro: Wider layout brings beautiful whitespace and more legible articles; Con: some of the font sizes on the homepage are probably a bit small for those with weak vision. This new design seems more flexible so I'm excited to see how the NYT crew takes advantage of it. Now I just want to hear all the nerd-tastic details from Khoi.

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