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Slumdog Millionaire Earns Place in Top 15 Oscar Winning Hauls

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Well the British Invasion in music and film continues as Danny Boyle's critically acclaimed and commercially successful Slumdog Millionaire rightly won a staggering 8 Oscars at last night's 81st Academy Awards ceremony. The film was nominated for 10 awards walking away with: Best Picture; Best Director; Best Original Score; Best Original Song; Best Adapted Screenplay; Best Cinematography; Best Film Editing; Best Sound Mixing. It only really lost out on Best Sound Editing to The Dark Knight since the 10th nomination was also for Best Original Song.

This haul of Oscars really left David Fincher's The Curious Case of Benjamin Button once again snapping at Slumdog's heels with only 3 gongs (Best Art Direction; Best Makeup; Best Visual Effects) from a massive 13 nominations.

More significantly Slumdog Millionaire now earns a place alongside some of the most successful Oscar winners of all time finding its way into the top 15 Oscar winning hauls.

Here is the full list of films winning 8 Oscars or more:

  • Ben-Hur (11) - 1959
  • Titanic (11) - 1997
  • The Lord of the Rings - Return of the King (11) - 2003
  • West Side Story (10) - 1961
  • Gigi (9) - 1958
  • The Last Emperor (9) - 1987
  • The English Patient (9) - 1996
  • Gone With The Wind (8) - 1939
  • From Here To Eternity (8) - 1953
  • On The Waterfront (8) - 1954
  • My Fair Lady (8) - 1964
  • Cabaret (8) - 1972
  • Gandhi (8) - 1982
  • Amadeus (8) - 1984
  • Slumdog Millionaire (8) - 2008

Posted on Feb 23, 2009 at 10:40:14.

2009 Oscar Nominations!

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The nominations are out for the 2009 Oscars to be held on February 22nd and it looks like Britain is in with a hope - perhaps! Unless of course we see a LOTR whitewash of the gongs by the Curious Case of Benjamin Button which is up for 13 awards. Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire is snapping at its heels with 10 nominations and both will face off for the coveted best picture along with Milk, The Reader and Frost/Nixon.

Looks like it is time to catch up on a bit of movie watching and see a few of these shortlisted films!

Great to see Heath Ledger's nomination for his riveting portrayal of the Joker in The Dark Knight. Finally watching the Bayle Batman sequel last weekend I couldn't help but be impressed by his portrayal of a character showing sociopathic tendencies glossed over with an unnerving frailty and desire to self-murder. Yet despite this gloom in the dark world of Batman, Ledger's Joker entertained moments of unexpected comic genius almost dragging the character straight off the pages of the comic book - the hospital scene a laugh out loud example!

See the full list of Oscar nominations for 2009.

Posted on Jan 22, 2009 at 14:47:26.

Capturing Frames to JPEG in Final Cut Express

Also relates to Software

This is a quick tip which took me a while to figure out. I wanted to grab some stills of some filming I did of surfers on the golden sunny swell the weekend before last on the North Cornish Coast. The solution is actually quite simple in Final Cut Express:

  1. Scrub through the clip to one of the frames that is to be captured
  2. From the menu choose File -> Export -> Using QuickTime Conversion…
  3. At the bottom of the dialog choose Still Image as the format
  4. Select Options to choose the format to save as

At this stage the file can be saved as JPG and the job is done. However I found with the action shots a little bit of tweaking was required to remove the digital lines across the image so I saved as Photoshop files with the best colour depth. Then opening the images in Photoshop the De-Interlace… option can be chosen under Filter -> Video menu to remove the lines.

I found the stills to be a bit of a mixed bag from my Sony HDR-SR10 with the light in the actual image being a major factor in the quality of the images. All the same a quick and easy way to capture some action stills until I finally decide on a DSLR.

Posted on Oct 10, 2008 at 06:22:43.

Surround Sound Experience with DTS

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This afternoon I chose to watch a film on my Sony DAV offering a DTS sound track, instead of Dolby Digital 5.1 which seems to be the standard on most DVD's. I chose Master and Commander, a superbly shot film and one of only two DVDs I currently own offering DTS encoding.

To me the difference in sound was phenomenal. Occasionally I switched the encoding but generally found the Dolby Digital to be a little flat with muffled bass throughout while the DTS produced impressive bass and treble at the appropriate times, as well as distributing the sound in a way that gave the sensation of actual being inside the ship. When the early encounter with the Acheron took place, I was diving for the remote before my own walls blew in! Of course, any audio interpretation is heavily subjective and dependant on the acoustics of the environment - in my case a room no larger than nine square metres. Web-wise, the consensus on the two encodings seems to be undecided but this interesting forum entry comparing DTS and Dolby Digital enlightened me on the differences with considerable favour towards DTS.

I will certainly be looking for DVDs offering both encodings from now on although unfortunately this is something that Amazon UK does not always make clear. I assume the reason The Lord of the Rings Trilogy currently only lists a Dolby Digital 5.1 EX soundtrack, whereas each individual film lists DTS as well, is because Dolby is a more familiar label to many people and not that these are actually slightly different releases.

Posted on Dec 05, 2004 at 21:01:02. [Comments for Surround Sound Experience with DTS- 0]

Sony DAV Home Cinema

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Beyond work, I have been a little bit distracted for the last few days, thanks to a new Sony DAV SB 100 Home Cinema System. Sony DAV SB100 Home Cinema System with Surround Sound 5.1 Speakers

Up until this point I had been reluctant to make the leap to DVD, instead cashing in on the favourable prices of videos, but the Sony system has really opened my eyes. Ok, DVD brings with it a sharper and more enduring picture, but to me it is the dramatic improvement in sound that comes from 5.1 Dolby Digital and DTS that makes the home cinema experience so exciting. And the Sony system delivers impressively on this front with four 50 Watt satellite speakers and an 80 Watt subwoofer which combined deliver a well balanced distribution of sound through the five channels. With easy installation, which was good for a novice user like myself, I could not recommend this system enough as a perfect entry to Home Cinema - with a very competitive price on Amazon.

My DVD collection is already growing with a selection of old and new, and I am just itching with excitement for Friday's release of The Lord of the Rings extended version box set - I know what I will be doing next weekend!

Posted on Dec 05, 2004 at 14:59:13. [Comments for Sony DAV Home Cinema- 0]

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