Thursday, 23 December 2010

Happy Christmas to all SANDMAN readers!

I just want to say thank you to all those who have already bought SANDMAN, and particularly those who bought SANDMAN as a Christmas present. It is really great to be able to say: "Merry Christmas to all my readers." Special thanks to those who have reviewed SANDMAN so positively.
I had hoped the Kindle version of SANDMAN would be ready by Christmas. Sadly it seems to be taking a little longer, but it will be available early in the new year.

Monday, 13 December 2010

One Night in Vegas - starring Martyn Lucas

Last night I went to the lovely little Regent Theatre in Wimborne, Dorset, England, to see 'One Night in Vegas' starring Martyn Lucas. I just had to write something about it to tell you about Martyn's tremendous talent. There were more spare seats there than he deserved and, since he comes back each year, I hope there will be fewer spare seats next time. Apart from the orchestra, four dancers and one female vocalist, this is practically a one-man show. But not to worry, Martyn can more than hold the stage, and he is on it, performing, practically all the time. Apart from having a tremendously good and powerful voice, he transforms it effortlessly into the likes of Tom Jones, Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin, Elton John, Elvis, Barry Manilow, Cliff Richard, Michael Jackson and others. Truly, his Elvis is better than many full-time Elvis impersonators, his Michael Jackson, his Elton, they are all truly brilliant. Apparently he had the dream a few years back of getting together his own company to do this shows and Christchurch is privileged to see it given he has performed in London and New York. Check out these credits:
“Voice was Excellent…….” London Palladium
“Michael Buble, Barry Manilow in one, wow…..” New York Times
... but so many more in one, trust me. Go to see this show whenever you get the chance.

Martyn also sang his downloadable release of his composition Anybody Out There which was excellent. Click here for a full list of his MP3 downloads including Unchained Melody and Don't Stop Me Now - enough to stop any pretender!
Martyn's talent - and that of his band - is best illustrated by the genuine requests he plays after the interval. During the interval you can request songs and he gives out dedications and then sings the songs - with the band picking him up. Sheer brilliance. Oh, and I didn't even mention he plays piano as well!

There is a website, but, frankly, it is not anywhere near the standard of the performance. I will not even give you a link because it may well disappoint - which is more than can be said of the show. Go to see that, not the website! What follows is a YouTube snap of the show, but even this does not adequately demonstrate his talent. It does, however, give you a feel for the show. Listening to the demo soundtracks of his MP3 downloads will give you a much better idea of his talent. Trust me: seeing him is best!

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Now Actors can become Ageless

Thanks to the advances of technology, real actors can now be digitised, aged or regressed. Yes, it's true! All visual effects need to do now is take a few pictures from which to build a three-dimensional model of a star, and the rest is easy for Digital Domain in Los Angeles. They can superimpose that head onto another body. Jeff Bridges has just been given back his youth for the movie Tron: Legacy, in this way, playing the same character he did in Tron, released in 1982. With minute facial movements recorded digitally, they can be superimposed onto a digital model of his younger self. It actually opens the way for the big names to stay at home and just licence out their image! Somehow, I don't think they would get the same sense of pride at doing that, even if is easy money.

Now they only  need one actor to play themselves from youth to old age instead of many carefully selected actors. The interesting thing about this is that technology could create realistic and really handsome men and beautiful women from a composite of images formed from several different people. But would the public be happy with that? Can anyone fall for a computer creation, for example? And if the did, how sad is that? Even sadder if they think it is a real person they are swooning over.

In years of late, we have seen that you can no longer believe what you see in the film industry - thank goodness, when it comes to those living dinosaurs. Yes, technology is great, but where will it go next? (I live in fear of the cloned-dinosaur, by the way. I don't dare to imagine zoos of the future.)

One thing, at least, seems safe. You can hardly press a button to get a computer to write a novel in an author's style - yet. Writing has always been more labour-intensive than most art forms. Weird then, isn't it, that unless you write a bestseller, you get such a poor financial reward as an author?