Archive for the 'Film' Category

Movie studios still refuse to get it

April 7th, 2006

Most of the US movie studios are claiming to be going to offer their movies for download, through a site called MovieLink

On the face of it, a good thing. Saves shipment cost and time. Allows to easily see the movies on the computer. And could be cheaper since many of the costs are cut.

Except that they managed to do it wrong on almost all fronts. If this is supposed to be their way to combat piracy, or compete with similar offers, they’re on a totally wrong track.

New films will be priced similar to DVDs—between $20 and $30—while older titles will sell for $10 to $20, the news service said.

That’s mistake number one. When someone downloads a movie they get less. They don’t get a nice box, or a nice disc that they can hold in their hands and feel. They don’t get any extras which movie DVDs almost all contain, and which are a large part of their attraction. And if they want to see it on their TV, they have to work on it, and can’t just slide the disc into a DVD players.

And when the offer is less, the price has to be less. Simple economics. You can’t charge the same for an obviously inferior product, because people won’t buy it.

And what do they do? They charge the same amount as the boxed DVD. And there’s another issue, it’s also annoying, because they have less costs. They didn’t have the expense, however small, of arranging for the box, the design, the printing, storage, and many other things involved with creating DVD boxes. Sure, on-line distribution has associated costs as well, but the marginal cost per movie is much smaller in the on-line versions.

But wait, that’s not even the biggest problem. This is:

he downloads available on Movielink will include copyright protection software that prevents them from being transferred directly to a laptop or portable device, or burned onto a disc that will play in a DVD player. Copies of the films will only play on a maximum of three different computers, which must be authorized by Movielink, the news service said.

When someone buys a DVD, they can put it in any DVD player they want, and watch it. Well, as long as the region matches (another totally annoying, pointless, and needless concept, but that’s a different rant. And something which is also quite easy to bypass). They can also watch it on any computer that has a DVD drive, something which is becoming very cheap and very common. This, however, is more limited. It cannot be used everywhere a DVD is used. It cannot be used as freely as a DVD can, even with all the limitations that DVDs carry.

So this downloaded movie gives far lower flexibility. And very likely carries an expiration date, since future computer installations may be counted as a new computer. And yet, same price as a DVD. Stupid.

Movies which “include copyright protection” also usually mean they can only be viewed with the specific program that the company provides. Compared to DVDs which can be viewed with any DVD player, and with many different media playing software on computers. Or compared to other computer movies, like the pirated ones they think this will compete against, which can be played with any media player the user wants.

So users will not be able to use whatever program they like the best, or most comfortable with. Also, as is often the case with these tie-ins, the program they’ll provide is bound to be limited, and less useful, than other available alternatives, for many users. Some people may prefer it, but all the rest will just be stuck.

An what happens in a few years? Other programs can come and go, but there will always be alternatives, and support for common video formats will always be kept. But with a format that just one program, from one company, supports, what happens if they decide to close shop? All those downloaded movies, those paid for downloaded movies, become unreadable data.

After reading that article, I still had one other question, about another issue which has a large impact on how good the new offering is. What is the quality of the movies? Is it identical to the DVDs? Superior (for new movies)? Inferior?

So I decided to go to their website, assuming that they should have the data there. Guess what? They decided to also make the website as useless as possible.

After going to the site I was redirected to a page telling me:

Thanks for your interest in Movielink, the leading movie download service. We want you to enjoy our powerful movie experience, but it is presently unavailable to users outside of the United States.

We hope you enjoy the products and services offered below.

If you are an existing customer of Movielink and believe you have reached this page in error, please access Live Chat with Customer Service under Help in your Movielink Manager.

This is the wrong thing to do on so many levels:

  1. IP Geolocating is pretty good these days, but still not perfect. They can block potential real customers, in the US, from reaching their site.
  2. This is the website, not a direct link to purchase a movie. The website (potentially) does a lot of other things. Provides information, for one. So why block it to all people from outside the US? Publicity is good publicity, even if it’s for someone who isn’t currently a customer.
  3. There can be US customers, who have accounts with them, who are travelling abroad, and want to check their account. Why prevent them? If paying customers can’t access their accounts, they will get angry. Guaranteed.
  4. What are those “products and services offered below” exactly? Nothing below right now except a trademark/copyright notice.
  5. How can you be “the leading movie downloading service” when you haven’t started working yet? Even if you are, why should I care? You just told me that you don’t want my business.
  6. If you actually realize that real customers can be caught by this thing, as you must in order to give that instructions to people who installed your program, then this same instruction is absurd. These same people won’t reach a stage where they can download the program, so they won’t have the Movielink Manager, and won’t be able to access live chat. You’re saying “If you can’t get to our program, please use our program to contact us”. That’s stupid.

Oh, yes, and the stupid page has the word “untitled” as the page title, and uses table elements for alignment… Very bad design. Actually, the other pages in the site I reached later, they are all formatted inside table elements.

Oh, well, I still wanted to know about the image quality, so off I went to run the site through a proxy, preferably one in the US…

And was then greeted with a more nicely designed page (visually nicer, but still the same horror from a technical standpoint), containing a little self-advertisement, links to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, and nothing else useful. Why? Well, the main thing was this message:

Sorry, but in order to enjoy the Movielink service your browser scripting AND cookies must be enabled.

I don’t want to enjoy the service. I don’t want to even use the service without enjoying. I just want some information. But no, I have to enable scripting and cookies. Oh, well, if I have to, I have to. So I did. And tried again. Still no go:

Sorry, but in order to enjoy the Movielink service you must use Internet Explorer 5.0 or higher, which supports certain technologies we utilize for downloading movies. Click here to get the latest version of Internet Explorer.

We do not support Mozilla or Netscape. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Let me give you a hint. It is totally, entirely, and completely possible to download files in Firefox. Really.

Well, I don’t want to check stupid questionable sites in IE, so instead I changed the User Agent string, in essence lying to the site and telling it that I’m using IE as my browser. The sad (or happy, depends how you look at it) fact is that about 90% of the sites which insist they require IE actually work perfectly well in Firefox. The only feature on most of them that doesn’t work is the browser version check. So it was worth trying here as well.

No go:

Sorry, but in order to enjoy the Movielink service your browser ActiveX must be enabled. Click here to learn how.

ActiveX components, for anyone who doesn’t know, are full fledged programs. This means code that can do anything it wants, that has to be allowed to run on the computer. Now, for sites you absolutely trusts, when it should do very specific things you want it to do, that may be acceptable. But for a movie studio site I know nothing about, when I don’t even want to run their service but only to see some information pages?! No friggin way, sorry. Especially not with the abysmal entertainment industry history on the field…

I did take a look at their page of recommendations on how to enable ActiveX on IE… Here’s how it starts:

1. Open Internet Explorer browser and select the “Tools” menu
2. Select “Internet Options”
3. Click on the “Security” tab
4. Move Security Level slider to “Medium”

They don’t only ask to put their own site in the trust list. Oh, no. Anyone who doesn’t know any better is instructed to lower their security settings for every site on the Internet… Horrible, terrible, pathetic, and even dangerous.

Well, back to that main page. At least they did provide minimum system requirements:

.High-speed Internet access
.Windows 2000 or XP
.Internet Explorer 5.0 or higher
.Available only in the U.S.

And no, I don’t know why they have those “.” at the beginning of each line either… What I do know is that it’s possible to watch movies on operating systems other than Windows 2000 or XP, and that it should be possible to download them with other browsers.

The last thing I did before giving up was checking those Terms of Service, to see if maybe there I’ll find some technical information about the quality of the video they provide. No such luck. But I did find other interesting things (emphasis mine):

(ii) Retained Content License. Upon payment of the License Fee, Movielink will grant you a non-exclusive, non-transferable, limited right and license under copyright to create and retain a permanent copy of the Retained Content and to view, use and privately display in your Residence or for Permitted Non-Residential Use, the Retained Content purchased by you, subject to the following rules:

(A) You may retain a permanent copy of the Retained Content on the hard drive of your personal computer (or other device specifically authorized by Movielink) to which the Retained Content is initially delivered via a connection to the Services over the Internet.

(B) You may make a single back-up copy of the Retained Content on removable media (e.g., recordable DVD) in the same format as the original downloaded file to play on (i) the single computer to which it was initially delivered and (ii) if specifically permitted at the time of purchase on the Website (on a case-by-case basis), up to two (2) additional licensed computers for your personal non-commercial use. In order to enable viewing of your Retained Content on personal computers other than the one to which it was initially delivered, you will have to obtain a new license by connecting each such computer to the Services via an Internet connection, logging in to your Account and downloading a new license. Any back-up copy of the Retained Content on a DVD will not be playable on a traditional DVD player. Movielink may determine from time-to-time in its sole discretion those devices that are compatible to receive a license to view Retained Content as indicated on the Website at the time of downloading and installing the new license. Any rights granted to you hereunder (or on the Website at the time of purchase) to make and keep any copies of Retained Content is solely an accommodation to you and shall not constitute a grant or waiver (or other limitation or implication) of any rights of the copyright owners in any audio or video content contained within any Retained Content.

So, in essence, they are not letting anyone to buy the movies. Only to license the right to see them, and store them in a limited fashion on specific location that they approve. And that’s supposed to be worth the price of a DVD one can actually buy, and own?

You may not: (i) frame or link to the Website except as expressly permitted in writing by Movielink;

(iv) copy the Content or any portion thereof, except as specifically provided for herein;

Oops. Oh, well, sue me. I want to see a judge looking at this without getting into fits of hysterical laughter. Not allowed to link to the website except as expressly permitted… Get real!

5. MINIMUM SPECIFICATIONS. The Services will operate only on those hardware and software platforms specified on the Website. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the appropriate software, hardware and Internet connection to operate the Services. Movielink reserves the right to cease supporting any hardware or software platform at any time, with or without notice.

I think this clearly shows that I wasn’t kidding when I said one day people may upgrade their computer only to find out that they can no longer see their downloaded movies, doesn’t it? It will work only on what hardware they want, and they reserve the right to stop supporting any hardware and software whenever they want, without notice…

So we have a bad deal, under bad conditions, and with bad execution. Inspiring, isn’t it?

With this attitude, I have a feeling they’re not going to see too many paying customers from within the US as well. Of course, once that happens they won’t try to figure out what they did wrong, they’ll just go on to blame it on piracy and on how people expect to get movies completely free…

Heck, I’m perfectly willing to pay for movies, if they’re worth anything. Many people are. But that’s for usable movies, not this dreck. Make the legally purchasable movies with similar quality to the pirated stuff, and as usable, and people will pay a fair price, a price higher than zero. People are aware that there was an investment in making a movie, and that the makers need to make money. Most people do want to play it fair.

But not when it’s good pirated movies compared to crappy legal ones. That’s not a competition.

No animals were harmed during the writing of this post

October 23rd, 2005

It’s a very old tradition. Whenever a movie, or a TV show, had a scene involving a hurt animal, the end-credits included a message stating that no animals were hurt during the shooting of the movie. Never mind if the plot included some person actually hurting the animal, or if the scene just included some animal which was dead or wounded, this disclaimer was shown.

Personally I always found it somewhat ridiculous. It seemed quite natural to me that if a scene showed a horse slipping during a chase, and later on the horse was shot to take it out of its misery, no real horse got its legs broken and no real horse was actually shot. But apparently just because it makes sense to me doesn’t mean it makes sense to all viewers.

At least, I assume these things came about as a result of complaint by actual people who didn’t have a clue. Since getting all those complaints must have scared everyone’s legal departments, they must have felt they had to either put on those disclaimers, or put some of the complainers out of their own misery. And the second option (merit notwithstanding) was not exactly practical, or legal.

Some actually took it in good stride. I remember some TV series in the past using this as a source for jokes, claiming things like that no actual ants and flies were hurt during the filming (or maybe it was that flies were hurt, I’m not so sure). I recall once seeing a disclaimer that no actual unicorns were hurt, as well.

There was also a great joke in the computer adventure game The Secret of Monkey Island. After giving poisoned meat to a bunch of guard dogs (vicious piranha poodles, in this case. Yes, this was a crazy game), a message popped up stating that no animals were hurt during the making of the scene, and that the dogs are not dead but only sleeping. Or something to that effect, it’s been more than a few years since I played the game last.

I’ve gotten used to it, and while notifications that no animals were hurt are still appearing on movie credits, I tend to just ignore them. I assumed almost everybody else tended to just ignore them as well, and that this was just being added as lip service without anyone paying too much attention

I was wrong. Things have escalated. The simple days when some brain-dead people merely required being reassured that no animals were actually hurt are passed. After all, what’s to prevent a studio from actually killing and torturing those poor animals, and then telling everyone they didn’t? People need some protection from those conniving movie studios and lying TV execs. There has to be a way to make sure. Some supporting evidence, or maybe a third party that would monitor all scenes including animals. Someone who would give support to the claims that it’s all really faked… Right? Wrong. Err… right.

end credits message about how no animals were harmed, this time with a name of a group that can verify itPersonally, I was very very surprised to find this out. But here I was, taking a few extra seconds after this episode of House ended, and what do I see on the screen? A statement letting me know that no animal was harmed during the making of the episode (I’m not sure if they were referring to the few very quick seconds that were supposed to involve cockfights, or to the few very quick seconds showing a dead rat in a mousetrap). But this time with a twist. This is not just asserted by the studio, no.

The scenes were monitored by a third party. By no less than the American Humane Association. I think that these people have way too much time on their hands if they can do that. Seriously so. Does anyone really think it’s a good idea to spend time and money on this? To have someone monitor dead rats to make sure they’re not really rats, or not really dead? Or to have someone monitor a few chickens, to make sure they don’t get any actual chance to peck each other for a moment?

I think they, or rather whoever think these functions of them are necessary, should have some sense talked into them. Or knocked into them. Or maybe just to be put out of their misery. It would be the humane thing to do, after all. Just as long as no animals (no other animals, anyway, but let’s not go into the whole evolution issue now) are harmed in the process.

Cinema ads

July 21st, 2005

I came across this article complaining about the duration of ads before movies start in cinemas. And let me tell you, those Americans sure have it good relative to what we have here. The complaint raised there is valid and correct, but it’s so much worse here that it feels the norm.

Of course this became an article not because of the problem, but because the people hitting the problem were big names from within the entertainment industry: (emphasis in quoted text is mine)

As head of production at New Line Cinema, Toby Emmerich is not your typical moviegoer. So when he wanted to see “War of the Worlds” the other night, his choice was between seeing the film in a theater with a tub of popcorn or watching it in a screening room at Jim Carrey’s house, with a private chef handling the culinary options. Despite this seemingly loaded deck, Emmerich opted for a real theater.

“I love seeing a movie with a big crowd,” he says. “But I had no idea how many obnoxious ads I’d have to endure — it really drove me crazy. After sitting through about 15 minutes of ads, I turned to my wife and said, ‘Maybe we should’ve gone to Jim Carrey’s house after all.’ “

When DreamWorks marketing chief Terry Press took her young twins to see “Robots” this year, she said, “My own children turned to me and said, ‘Mommy, there are too many commercials!’ Now, when the lights go halfway down, I’m filled with dread. The whole uniqueness of the moviegoing experience is being eroded by all the endless ads.”

That all it takes? 15 minutes of ads? Would that be with, or without, the extra time spent on movie trailers? Around here in Israel, 15 minutes of ads is quite standard, and on the short side of the standard. I recently went to a movie before which we saw about 17 minutes of ads, plus 6 minutes of trailers, and both me and my friend felt that this was relatively very nice and short. Seriously.

There was an “amusing”, and sadly very rare, incident around two weeks ago which reached the headlines (article is in Hebrew, sorry): In this case, after watching about 20 minutes of commercials, two of the viewers went outside to complain. They were told by the cinema management that if they have a problem they can take their money back and leave. They returned to the hall, told the other viewers about that, and most decided to take the cinema up on that offer.

I think that this is not likely to have much of an effect, however, because I’ve been to quite a few movies preceded by that duration of ads, and nobody did anything similar. Still, one can hope.

Sometimes including the ads, the trailers, and the various notifications, it can take 40-50 minutes from the official start hour until the movie starts. So the Americans should know that their 10-20 minutes can easily expand.

The article also had a telling quote from Globus United (One of the major entertainment companys here, which owns a large percentage of cinemas, and is the importer of films from Universal, WB, Paramount, and such). They said that (my own rough translation):

The state, as you know, does not subsidize the movie industry, as it subsidizes the theatres for example, and in the price of the ticket (which includes VAT, of course) alone it is hard to cover a multitude of costs (such as electricity, rent, security, etc.), and this is why the ads are required.

My heart bleeds for them.

Expect similar replies from the US cinemas if this issue actually makes waves there.

They also mentioned that in their own cinemas they show the actual start time of the movie. Even if it’s true (and I do not recall seeing anything like this in a prominent location), that is something you can see only after you already arrived to the cinema, not before. The newspaper listing, and website listings, only show the official start hour.

And then they wonder why less and less people go to see movies in the cinema, and more and more they show movies to a half-empty room…

Via Interesting People, via a post on The Big Picture about the reasons for decline in movie theatre revenue. This post here is a slightly edited version of a reply I sent on the IP list, which (so far?) did not get forwarded to the list.

Free invitations

June 26th, 2005

The invitation, that the Rav-Chen cinema wrote they’ll send me, finally arrived. Together with a printed copy of the same reply they attached to their answer email

Not too surprisingly, that double invitation to the cinema has a few limitations:

  • Only valid on Sunday through Wednesday (For those of you that have Sunday as a part of the weekend, this is like Mon-Thu)
  • Not valid during holidays, or holiday eves
  • Not valid for movies on the first two weeks they are shown

Which together basically say just one thing, that it’s valid in all cases where they are absolutely sure the cinema will have spare empty seats, so it will not cost them anything to have me there.

Not that I’m in a position to complain, considering I didn’t really suffer any damage, so the compensation at all is nice. But it is somewhat irking, to get a “gift” that bothers to emphasise so much how little it was worth. The invitation paper also have the look of something torn from a big notebook, with plenty of prepared forms (They even come numbered, though I do think having a 9000+ number does not mean they actually sent more than nine thousand of those), with a blank space to pen in the name, and an area to mark with a pen whether it’s a single, or double, invitation. I guess they send enough of those to justify the design work.

Funny, considering they still didn’t finish to design a much simpler form that can be used to list camera deposits…

Anyway, the time limit on the thing is for about one month. Which isn’t a lot, given the rate in which I see movies. Still, given the cost I’m sure I’ll manage to find something.

Now I just want to see that they really do improve their act, and make the whole procedure more professional. That’s basically what I wanted, and what they partially said they’ll do

One thing that I did see, before a movie I went to a few days ago, is that they showed a warning. The warning stated that anyone caught inside the cinema with a camera will be considered to be making a copy of the film, and so the camera will be impounded. I’d really want to see them explain to a judge in court how a turned-off stills camera was being used to film the movie, and what gave them the right to steal impound it.

Taking a camera to the cinema

June 14th, 2005

[UPDATE: The free invitation arrived]

A few weeks ago I went to see a movie with a friend, and carried on me my digital camera. Which resulted in a little unpleasantness. I sent an email to the company (Rav-Hen) running that cinema:

A few days ago I went to see a movie, in the Rav-Hen Dizengoff cinema.
I had with me a new digital camera, inside a small
holster on my belt. This was the first time I ever
arrived to a movie carrying a camera with me.

The security guard saw the holster, asked if I have a
camera inside it, and when I gave a positive response
he informed me that it is not allowed to take a camera
into the cinema, and I will need to deposit it with
security.

I tried to explain to the guard that this is not a
video camera, so I could not use it to make a pirate
copy of the movie even if I wanted to, but to no
avail. When I asked him what is the problem with
carrying cameras, and why are they not allowed, he was
unable to answer me, and only said it’s policy, and
that he doesn’t understand it either.

Worse, when giving the camera I was not provided with
any official deposit form. I was asked for my name,
and was given a simple hand-written note on a piece of
entirely common note paper, having my name and the
word Camera written on it by the women inside the
security room.

Had my friend not been there earlier, and saw people
giving those paper notes and getting cameras back, I
would have made a scene, since it looked entirely
unofficial, and made me seriously doubt that I’ll see
the camera again. If I wave a simple handwritten paper
and claim it’s a deposit receipt, in most places I
would fully expect to be told that’s nonsense.

In this case it ended well, I gave back the note, and
got back my camera, but the entire experience left me
mystified, and was very unprofessional.
In addition, no verification of either my personal
details or the camera details was done. Anyone
standing in the vicinity when I deposited the camera
could have easily written their own note, hand it
over, and get my camera. The current procedure is
entirely open to abuse.

Due to that I wanted to ask you:

  1. Why are simple (non-video) cameras not allowed
    inside the cinema?
  2. Why are the security guards are in charge of it?
    It’s not a security issue, and making other things a
    part of their duty hurts security.
  3. If this is indeed official procedure, why do you
    not issue proper forms, and trust on simple and sloppy
    hand-written notes?
  4. Why aren’t any checks done to better identify the
    identity of the people depositing, and withdrawing,
    the cameras? And that they are getting the right
    camera?
  5. Why are the people in charge of implementing the
    policy not informed as to the reasons for it?

Thank you for a reply, and for any better explanation
about the reasons for this policy, and these
procedures, that you could supply.

A couple of weeks passed, nothing happened. I decided to try this one more time, this time sending the message in Hebrew. Could be that they’re used to getting email in Hebrew, and so this one got ignored, or even discarded by some automatic filter.

I sent them what was effectively a translation of the above message, with some few styling changes. And this time, though it took them about a week, they did answer. The reply was in Hebrew, but this is a quick and rough translation:

We confirm receiving your complaint, and this our reply:

Company policy of the Rav-Hen network forbids inserting cameras from all kinds into the cinema halls, in the intention of preventing any sort of photography of the shown film, due to copyright issues. The policy apply to all kinds of photographic equipment, since our people do not have the expertise to observe the different functionality of each camera.

The enforcement of this guideline is increasing these days, mostly due to the problem of piratical distribution of cinematic movies in various ways, which usually start through cinema visitors who film the movie while it is projected, using cameras of different kinds.

Since these guidelines are new, and the scope of the phenomenon is still relatively small, the network did not yet determine the bureaucratic procedure for applying them in the cinemas.

In any case, in these days the final format for forms which will be transferred to the cinema managers, and will replace the currently existing temporary method, is being finalized.

We see very gravely the fact that the cinema staff was unaware of the meaning of the procedures, and following your complaint to us the procedure will be explained again.

They also said that they added to the message a double invitation for a movie in any of the network cinemas (under several limitations which will be printed on the invitation, and which they advise me to pay attention to). This was of course not actually attached to the message, but rather a note there asked me to provide them with a mailing address to send it to. Considering that while it was annoying, the event didn’t technically hurt the viewing of the movie, this is nice of them.

How did this reply answer my actual questions?

  1. Simple cameras are not allowed because their people, who do not understand anything about cameras (them being security guards), can’t tell if the cameras are problematical or not. This is actually fair. I suppose that it is quite possible to have video cameras that look small and harmless, and the technology just gets better and smaller. So erring on the side of caution is understandable. Still, I do doubt that a running film, on its third or fourth week of being shown, and after there are already numerous versions available either to download or to purchase piratically, is really a high risk. Even with a video camera, nobody would have a reason to try and shoot the film.
  2. No reply as to why the security guards are doing it. And no response about this hurting security. I’m not sure if that’s because they don’t want to talk about it, or that they see it as a non-issue. Bad either way. And has something to do with the lack of professionalism on this angle, since that’s not the field that the security people has to deal with, or understand something about. I assume the real reason has to do with, of course, money. That being that the security guards are already there, and get paid anyway.
  3. The procedure seemed haphazard because it was. They decided they don’t want cameras, sent out the instruction to not allow cameras, and only then started to plan how they actually want to do it. Considering that the problem wasn’t critical (as they say themselves), there wasn’t any extreme urgency, so they could have waited until they could do it properly. It has been about a month since the time the incident occurred, so even if I had the luck to stumble on the very first day of implementation, that’s still a whole month for setting a procedure while they already passed the instructions. This is a long time to run blind and without protocol.
  4. Taking the camera back is probably under the same category, so I hope this would improve as well once they implement proper procedures. I take it that not too many camera thefts has occurred in the meantime, or I’d have probably heard about it by now.
  5. The security guards apparently were supposed to be able to tell me that they have to take the camera because they can’t tell if the camera was a video camera or not. This despite the fact (oh, don’t bother anyone with facts) that the security guard appeared quite aware that the camera was not a video camera, and seemed to even recognize the model.

Still, all’s well that ends well, and this ended well enough. I did get the camera back at the time. They did reply. And they are aware of at least some of the problems, and intend to make the procedure more solid. In the meantime, if for some odd reason I’ll ever go to the cinema with the camera on me, I’ll just put it in my pants’ pocket instead, so nobody will notice it and have any problem (yes, it is that small, my wrongly suspected to be video-camera). Either that, or I’ll try and do it properly, just to see how are they handling it now.

Dwarf Actors Shortage

January 19th, 2005

I find this totally hilarious.

The production of the new Dr. Who
series has some serious difficulties. One of the kinds of aliens in the
series are supposed to be small blue aliens. And since they’re small,
they were looking for dwarf actors.

So what’s the problem? There aren’t that many dwarf actors, and most of them got taken by either the new Harry Potter movie, or the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie.

The Dr. Who production was left with roles for little blue aliens that they couldn’t cast. Oh, the horror.

On the other hand, good news for unemployed short people everywhere:
Acting career is what you’ve been looking for. You don’t even need to
know how to act, you just need to be short – and you’ve got this down
pat. Simple laws of supply and demand. And remember: don’t sell
yourself short.