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Friday
Jan152010

Shooting at the Bridge Movie Theater in Philadelphia

Movie Theaters

So, I'm watching the 11 o'clock CBS News program a few minutes ago and the reporters notify viewers that there was a recent shooting in the lobby of the Bridge Cinema de lux movie theater today. The Bridge Movie theater is located in the University City area of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania. Wait, there's more.

According to a CBS news reporter, this shooting was the result of a robbery attempt made at the box office in The Bridge Movie theater. The theater was full with moviegoers at the time, all watching movies in various screening rooms. Some of the moviegoers were unaware of what was happening out in the theater lobby. After demanding money, the robber was confronted by an off-duty police officer and the two men exchanged gunfire. The officer was hit in the shoulder and the robber fled the scene. A young college student and innocent bystander was also shot.

This is terrible news, especially because The Bridge Cinema de lux movie theater is one of the nicer theaters in Philadelphia. Has man kind become so low that we stoop to robbing movie theaters now? Stealing and related crimes are bad enough as it is.
While one of the moviegoers gave her account of the incident to CBS news, I noticed a young man smiling and possibly even laughing in the background. Robbery and shootings are not funny and that has to be one of the most despicable actions that I have noticed recently on the news. Too many people are so ignorant and cruel, it makes me wonder why Philadelphia is still referred to as "The City of Brotherly Love" in the first place. There isn't any love if you can laugh and joke around after a robbery and shooting in a public venue where hundreds of people could have been seriously harmed.

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Thursday
Jan142010

No More Celebrity Gossip: A 2010 New Year's Resolution

Happy New Year!

First things first, thanks to all of you who have continued to read this blog prior to and during 2009. My posting frequency was reduced and then stalled after being overwhelmed with work duties and illnesses. I welcome those of you who subscribe to or read the Madlab Post to join me in this New Year for some exciting posts on the schedule for 2010.

Secondly, I am starting this New Year off on the Madlab Post with an apology to actors Duane Martin and Tisha Campbell. Fans of the pair or those who read entertainment news, magazines and gossip columns are well aware of those huge 2007 rumors that were posted online regarding the married couple. As one of the bloggers who published a blog post about their so-called news at that time, I now apologize to both Duane Martin and Tisha Campbell for the contributions made on my part in the 2007 rumor and gossip frenzy about their relationship and Martin’s sexuality.

This posting is long overdue because there are too many celebrity gossip blogs online and I never intended for the Madlab Post to become one of them, even if just for one day. I may read the casual US Weekly magazine or webpage every now and then but generally am not a fan of celebrity gossip, especially when it involves the personal lives of other people. We are all imperfect human beings and I recently chose to stop procrastinating on writing this blog post after receiving a Black Planet notification about some drama between singer Beyoncé’s parents, Tina Knowles and Matthew Knowles.

I want to commend Raven-888 for asking why we should care about Beyonce’s father on a Hello Beautiful post that highlights the R&B star’s family drama. I tend to ask the “why should we care” question many times when reading about celebrities or watching one of those entertainment news TV shows. I did when the media started talking about Tiger Woods and when none of us went a day without being shown various aspects of that Chris Brown-Rhianna scandal. I should have asked the same question in 2007 when finding out about the Campbell-Martin situation that I later learned was false.

Moving forward, there are many exciting things planned for the Madlab Post blog which will not include celebrity gossip. With that said, I am defining celebrity gossip as personal rumors or news e.g. Alicia Keys and Swizz Beats, John and Kate Gosselin or Keyshia Cole stopping communication with her family. I will not be writing about who is sleeping with whom, who is divorcing whom, who is shopping where, who is wearing what or any related mess that you can find elsewhere on blogs that are all about celebrity scandals.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s define some news or rumors that I may write about although some may consider celebrity gossip as well. If a specific topic is related to business matters, I do not consider it to be gossip and will be fair game to discuss on the Madlab Post. Since this is a movie blog, expect posts that are related to films, actors and movie professionals who also work in television. This may include who declined what role, who fired whom, who got hired for what role, what company replaced who for who in what role, who walked off the studio lot in the middle of a scene or related news.

Those of you who are reading this blog are welcome to leave a comment here or contact me with any suggestions or requests for future posts on this blog. I wish you all a very happy and productive year in 2010!

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Thursday
Oct152009

Blog Action Day 2009: Does Visual Effects Ruin our Environment?

Blog Action Day

Climate Change, the chosen cause for this year's Blog Action Day helped me realize how much we as human beings are using up our natural resources. Too many of us in the United States and abroad have taken natural resources for granted. Everyone is responsible for the negative effects that are taking place on our environment, including those of us in the entertainment industry. For every movie that Hollywood makes each year, there are probably thousands of independent films produced around the country that can be more energy efficient. There is one area in particular that many film producers are neglecting when taking climate change into consideration.

The sections on efficiency and unplugging electronics in 10 Solutions for Climate Change are two subjects that movie producers consider make environmentally friendly decisions during post-production. According to the 10 Solutions piece, electronic devices cost us more money when they are turned off than on because they use more energy during this downtime. Unplugging electronic items, a practice that movie producers film editors should adopt can not only save us money but energy as well. Star Trek and X-Men Origins: Wolverine are not even the tip of the iceberg when calculating the number of movies released just this year that included visual effects (or special effects). The movie 2012 even has a special video on how detailed the visual effects process was to create tidal waves for this film.

With all of the visual effects needed to create blockbuster hits at your local movie theater, that is a lot of computers, TV monitors, video cameras, tape decks and other electronic devices that can easily reserve our energy by simply being unplugged. If Hollywood movies are using up this much energy, how many independent films are adding to the problem of climate change? Broken, Alex Ferrari's entertaining short film was praised for it's elaborate special effects but that's just one film. There are probably hundreds, if not thousands of horror, action and Sci-Fi movies that are produced independently and come loaded with visual effects. This includes hours of work in addition to the time it takes to edit a rough cut of these movies.

The Sundance Film Festival alone claims to receive over 9,000 submissions each year. I wonder how many of those submissions have contributed to global warming by heavy use of special effects equipment. The lighting in post-production facilities may also affect climate change if standard incandescent light bulbs are being used instead of more energy efficient products such as compact fluorescent lights. Sure, the work area of special effects editors need to be illuminated for them to be able to locate the proper tools to do their job. There is still a way to reduce climate change during the movie production process by getting rid of lights that produce carbon dioxide emissions.

2009 Blog Action Day

While unplugging special effects equipment and using energy efficient light bulbs is one way to reduce the potential for drastic changes to our earth, efficiency during production is another way to bring positive adjustments to climate change. As independent producers, we would be more efficient by shooting on location, reducing the energy use of special effects teams that we have depended on to make our movies more extravagant in post-production. This could mean the loss of many jobs in the post-production sector that specializes in effects, which is another subject in and of itself but our mere existence and survival is more important today than tomorrow. Special Effects teams could adapt their skills to be put to use on location rather than in editing rooms equipped with computers, monitors and other forms of technology that uses lots of energy on a constant basis.

While indie film producers are trying to land distribution deals and compete with major Hollywood studios, keeping the importance of climate change in mind can help to reduce major environmental disruptions in the coming years. I know some of you reading this may be thinking "Climate Change? Global Warming?...who cares?!!!" and yes, I thought the same thing too over the last two years until now. It's not as boring or insignificant as we may think because climate change affects the earth on many levels that we rely on everyday including our water supply, air supply and cooling systems.

How do you think movies are adding to Climate Change?
Leave your comments below!

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