DMA Central

THE OFFICIAL COMMUNITY FOR DIGITAL MEDIA ACADEMY

Featured

Bates Motel: The Original Psycho is Back


The Slasher horror-movie genre started with him—at the exact moment he yanked back that famous shower curtain. He is one of a handful of characters that forever changed film audiences’ expectations. He is Norman Bates and during the 53 years since he first appeared in Alfred Hitchcock’s shock-thriller masterpiece, Psycho, film audiences still can’t get him off of our minds.
Norman-Bates-2013
A new Norman for a new age: Freddie Highmore shines as a young Norman Bates in A&E’s Bates Motel.

“How well we remember Norman Bates,” wrote film critic Roger Ebert. “Tens of thousands of movie characters have come and gone…and yet he still remains so vivid in the memory, such a sharp image among all the others that have gone out of focus.”

And now Norman’s back, in a wildly imaginative franchise reboot of sorts called Bates Motel.

Back to Before the Beginning
The new A&E series is earning rave reviews for giving us the Norman Bates story from a different vantage point—of teenage Norman before he grows up to be…well, different. In another smart move, the show is set in the present—which somehow gives the series more teeth than if it had been set in the 1950s.

Although only a few episodes of the show have aired, there’s already a buzz surrounding the show. In Bates Motel, high-schooler Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore) and his mother, Norma (Vera Farmiga), buy a rundown roadside motel in a scenic yet odd town on the Pacific coast. (The series is one of many shows filmed in British Columbia these days.)
Norma-Bates
“A boy’s mother is his best friend.” Vera Farmiga kills as Norma Bates, the “Mother” we only thought we knew.

While Norman and “Mother” have been trying to repair and renovate the motel, some local town folk haven’t been very welcoming—which resulted in the show’s first killing. Now new characters are being introduced, like a potential girlfriend for Norman (not to mention a long-lost stepbrother). And then there’s that pesky local sheriff, who just can’t stop noseying around the motel…and meddling in the Bates family’s activities.

A&E’s Bates Motel is just getting cranked up, but it’s already showing signs of starting to attract a growing fan base like AMC’s The Walking Dead before it. We’re already hooked.

Cutting Remarks
Norman Bates, originally played with nervous precision by Anthony Perkins, took filmgoers by surprise when Hitchcock’s Psycho stormed into theaters. Film audiences weren’t used to villains who seemed like genuinely nice people—that is, until their murderous psychology compelled them to kill again. Prior to Psycho, screen villains acted villainous most of the time.
Norman-Bates-1960-skull-image
Tony Perkins as mad, bad Norman Bates. Notice the image of teeth superimposed on Norman’s mouth, which is the beginning of a skull image that Hitchcock will place over Norman’s face, in a creepy final touch.

Some stray trivia you may not know about Norman Bates:

• When Perkins took the role that would make him globally famous, director Hitchcock refused to instruct the young actor in how exactly to play the part. “Hitch” left it to Perkins to develop the character himself, which he did to perfection. Prime example: Norman’s nervous munching of candy corn.
• There was a real person that inspired Robert Bloch to write his suspense thriller, Psycho. The killer was named Ed Gein, and he served as the prototype for Norman Bates and Dr. Hannibal Lector (from The Silence of the Lambs). However, his actual crimes were far too shocking to portray in movies, although at least two later films were directly based on Gein’s life.
• There have been five “Psycho” films, including the original classic. One of the more interesting sequels was Psycho 3, which was directed by Perkins himself.
• The original outdoor facades for the Bates house and the Bates Motel were originally constructed on a back lot at Universal Studios, in a money-saving move. Now, more than 50 years later, the famous film location is still preserved as a favorite part of the Universal Studios Hollywood Tour.

Lights, Camera…Suspense!
Hitchcock’s Psycho was a daring work of modern art that broke rules and took chances—and resulted in an artistic triumph and commercial smash. Hitchcock shot the film with the production crew from his television show, and ran the entire budget on a shoestring. His creative ingenuity paid off in huge dividends on the screen and at the box office.
Bates-Motel-sign-2
The next generation of filmmakers are already planning their own masterpieces and developing their personal dreams of working within the exciting world of film. To help those dreams come true, kids and teens will receive expert instruction in digital filmmaking at Digital Media Academy tech camps across North America.

DMA offers a variety of filmmaking courses, each geared to a different age level and expertise. Students in DMA’s Digital Filmmaking for Teens – Beginner camp, for example, will be exposed to each part of the film production process, from shaping a script to directing a shoot to editing the final product. They’ll be taught by industry professionals who know film from the inside out, and that instruction will be powered by today’s leading film-production software, such as Final Cut Pro®.

The next Hitchcock could be studying film at DMA this summer. In fact, the next Hitchcock could be…you! Now how’s that for a shocking twist? Hitch would be proud…

[Bloglines] [del.icio.us] [Digg] [Facebook] [Furl] [Google] [LinkedIn] [Mixx] [MySpace] [Newsvine] [Propeller] [Reddit] [Squidoo] [StumbleUpon] [Twitter] [Email]
posted by Phill Powell in Digital Filmmaking,Featured and have No Comments

Rolling Stones: The Best Live Performances on Video


They’re baaaaack! The Rolling Stones, Rock ‘n’ Roll’s longest running major act, is hitting the road again, for the umpteenth time. The Rolling Stones North American tour of 18 shows was kicked off in New York.
Rolling-Stones-currentNow celebrating 50 years as a performing act, the Rolling Stones have played to the biggest audiences in Rock ‘n’ Roll, including a Brazil show attended by more than a million spectators. (Photo: Mark Seliger)

If you can make it, do yourself a favor and see the “Greatest Rock ‘n’ Roll Band of All Time” while you can. But if you can’t get to the shows, here’s an overview of some of the band’s best performances on video, all of which show why this group has consistently been the most exciting live act in all of Rock music.

Song: “I’m All Right”
Year: 1964
DVD: The T.A.M.I. Show
Why It’s A Classic: James Brown and Mick Jagger compete to see who rules the stage.
The Performance: A classic Rock ‘n’ Roll movie, The T.A.M.I. Show brought together a huge number of top performers. In a moment of heated backstage drama, the Stones were chosen to close the show—a decision that didn’t please master showman James Brown, who taunted the band: “I’m gonna make you Rollin’ Stones wish you’d never left England.” Brown’s set is absolutely amazing; he later claimed he never danced faster in his life. He dances with a vengeance.
Mick-Jagger-and-James-Brown
Not-so-friendly rivals? Jagger had to figure out a way to out-perform James Brown, the greatest showman of the 1960s.

The Stones followed with five songs, finishing with this simple early rave-up. About two minutes in, Jagger settles the song down (despite the full-throttle screams of what sounds like a million teenage girls), then builds it back up, bit by bit. “I’m all right…” he sings over and over, changing the inflections and increasing the intensity each of the 15 times he sings the lyric. Finally, he’s screaming it.
Rolling-Stones-early-riot
Three songs and a riot: The crazy early days, when Rock stars had to run for their lives.

Pretty soon, Jagger’s moving his head as wildly as the maracas he’s shaking. Mayhem ensues and the crowd goes nuts. Jagger couldn’t out-dance James Brown, but he out-performed him all the same. This performance demonstrates the thrilling frenzy the band could generate live. The Stones’ early shows were all the same, according to deadpan drummer Charlie Watts: “Three songs and then a riot would break out.”

Song: “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”
Year: 1966
DVD: The Ed Sullivan Shows Starring the Rolling Stones
Why It’s A Classic: The band’s top track, back when the song was still creating a sensation.
The Performance: It’s a riff that still stops you in your tracks. The opening guitar growl that announces “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” is one of the most identifiable and iconic pieces of popular music. The breakthrough song went to Number One (the band’s first) during the boiling hot summer of 1965. It’s all here: the famous fuzz-tone guitar, the snarling attitude, the amazing lyrics—which poke fun at American advertising.
Satisfaction-single
The shot heard ’round the world. 1965′s “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” became the group’s breakthrough hit.

This February 13, 1966, performance on the hugely popular Ed Sullivan Show did more to introduce this band to American audiences than any other. You can tell the band isn’t lip-synching by guitarist Keith Richards’ harmony singing and the extreme fuzz-tone effect box he was clicking on and off with his boot for the beginning riff and the chorus. See why “Satisfaction” is still the Rolling Stones’ signature song, and why “Rolling Stone” magazine selected the song as the second-greatest Rock song of all time.

Song: “Midnight Rambler”
Year: 1972
DVD: Ladies and Gentlemen, The Rolling Stones
Why It’s A Classic: Over-the-top showmanship meets gut-bucket Blues in a brutal live version filmed during the band’s peak.
The Performance: By 1972, there was little debate about which was the best Rock ‘n’ Roll band in the world. Any doubts were steamrolled over when video footage from the Stones’ 1972 tour was collected in this 1974 film. The band is in amazing condition and this tour probably represents its peak as a touring unit. Performances like these are why people started calling the Stones the best band in Rock ‘n’ Roll.
Rolling-Stones-live-1972
By 1972, the Stones were peaking, as Ladies and Gentlemen, The Rolling Stones clearly proves.

Perennial live favorite “Midnight Rambler” is given a particularly aggressive workout, showcasing the interplay between singer Jagger and drummer Watts. This performance from Fort Worth, Texas, shows the sheer musical power that the Stones can generate, especially when they stretch out on a number, as they do on this 11-minute version, which is almost double the length of the original album cut. Seeing is believing. See it and you will believe…and you will be exhausted.

Song: “Shattered”
Year: 1978
DVD: Some Girls: Live in Texas ’78 (Bonus Feature)
Why It’s A Classic: An early Stones comeback that charted all the other comebacks still to come.
The Performance: By 1978, a lot of Rock fans were giving up on the band, which suffered some creative ups and downs during the 70s. The Stones responded by embracing the two breakout musical genres of the era…Disco and Punk. The album that addressed both styles, as well as the band’s usual roots Rock ‘n’ Roll, was called Some Girls. It remains the band’s biggest selling album and is now generally considered a modern masterpiece and perhaps the band’s final masterwork.
Rolling-Stones-live-1978
The Stones hit Saturday Night Live like a “crossfire hurricane” back in 1978.

The studio audience at Saturday Night Live was primed to see the band in action on October 7, 1978, and the Stones brought the heat. During a manic, dizzying three-song set, the band showed itself to be in fierce condition and taking no prisoners. When the Stones careen into “Shattered” (the pumping final track from Some Girls), the band uses its go-for-broke power to push the set to its logical conclusion. By the end, Jagger is hopping about wildly, like a lab monkey that’s grown addicted to mild electric shocks. This sizzling performance was proof positive that you could never count out the Rolling Stones…and you still never can.

Song: “Happy”
Year: 1991
DVD: Live: At the Max
Why It’s A Classic: Keith pushes it to the limit and demonstrates why he’s a guitar riff-master.
The Performance: Keith Richards is more than just the Stones’ primary rhythm guitarist. He’s also the co-writer of some of the greatest Rock standards of all time, an occasional vocalist and one of music’s most colorful and funniest characters—kind of a mix of a cowboy and pirate. (True: Johnny Depp based his Jack Sparrow on his friend Richards, who even played Sparrow’s father in 2007’s Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.)
Rolling-Stones-Keith-Richards
Part cowboy, part pirate…all Rocker. Keith Richards “runs the kitchen” for the mighty Stones.

“Happy” is Richards’ personal statement, and what an outlaw anthem it is: “I never kept a dollar past sunset,” he brags. “It always burned a hole in my pants.” About two minutes in he casually yells, “Let’s get out, Ronnie,” to Ron Wood (the Stones’ other guitarist), signaling that it’s time to bring the song home. Which Richards then proceeds to do, with about a minute of blistering lead guitar that demonstrates his ingenuity as one of Rock’s greatest guitar gunslingers.

Still Rolling, Still Ruling
Part of why the Rolling Stones are great is because they still reflect their earliest influences, but another part has to do with the band’s ability to sound fresh. Through its ongoing work with producer Don Was, the Rolling Stones are able to use their mastery of music production skills to keep them at the top of the music business.

Learning music production can help put you at the top of the pop charts, too. But where do you learn music production on the same tools that the pros use? Look no further than Digital Media Academy, which offers cutting-edge music camps for the digital age. DMA’s Digital Audio, Music & Beat Production camp will teach you how to create your own rhythms for Rock, Hip-Hop, Dance, Electronica, Dubstep and other types of music. Plus, campers get to develop bass lines and use MIDI keyboards to make their own tracks. Look out, Mick. The kids are gunning for you.

[Bloglines] [del.icio.us] [Digg] [Facebook] [Furl] [Google] [LinkedIn] [Mixx] [MySpace] [Newsvine] [Propeller] [Reddit] [Squidoo] [StumbleUpon] [Twitter] [Email]
posted by Phill Powell in Featured,Music Production and have No Comments

E3 2012: Console Updates, New Features for Wii U, Xbox


Welcome to Day 3 of E3 2012, the biggest tradeshow dedicated to the art and business of video games. In yesterday’s Day 2 report we showcased ten of the most anticipated video games of 2012 being shown this week at the L.A. Convention Center. Today let’s look at the console side of things—particularly newly announced features for two game platforms: Nintendo’s Wii U and Microsoft’s Xbox.


For Nintendo, this year’s E3 show was all about the Wii U.

Wii U: Still Connecting the Dots
For Nintendo, this E3 has been all about the Wii U, the game giant’s next-generation handheld game console. The device is built around a touchscreen controller (as with the Nintendo DS) and it supports the same motion-sensitive gaming that Nintendo’s Wii remote used to transform family dens everywhere into arm-waving, foot-pounding game salons. In addition, Wii U will enable streaming media from content providers like Netflix, YouTube, Hulu and Amazon Video. And in a nod to the social-media revolution, Nintendo has pledged that Wii U will deliver features that enhance the experience of connected gaming.

There have been changes to the Wii U controller GamePad that was shown at last year’s E3, although most of the alterations involve tweaks to make the unit more ergonomic and functional (a pro gamer controller—which looks more like an Xbox controller that was also announced). The big selling point for Wii U is the console’s second screen, which can be used to activate different game controls, trigger alternate camera views and switch perspectives. For example, during certain games, players will be able to hold the controller pad up to their television screen and scan for enemies. Similarly, a new karaoke game will utilize the second screen as a teleprompter for displaying song lyrics.


The Wii U will ship with “NintendoLand,” a mini-game sampler with a theme-park feel. 

Despite not delivering more information about the Wii U (such as its price point and its exact release date, although Nintendo assured attendees that the device will be released in time for holiday shopping), Nintendo was able to point to an initial batch of Wii U games—nearly two dozen of them—that will be ready to instantly support the new machine. Nintendo also unveiled a mini-game sampler called “NintendoLand,” which will ship with the Wii U.

Xbox: Ruling the Roost
E3 attendees hoping to get an early look at Microsoft’s much-rumored Xbox 720 (which sources say will arrive sometime during 2013) were disappointed by this year’s show, but Microsoft had plenty of news to keep gamers satisfied. Besides, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 is still currently winning the “console wars.” And that’s for a couple of reasons—one is the games, the other is Xbox Live being a superior online service. To that extent, a large majority of Microsoft’s announcements were focused around updates to the Xbox Live services:


Microsoft brought famed 49ers quarterback Joe Montana out of retirement. He was on hand to promote “Madden 13″ —while R&B star Usher opened the Microsoft press event showing off “Dance Central 3.”

  • Microsoft announced that the Xbox’s streaming media capabilities will be enhanced by the addition of new broadcast networks, such as ESPN and all of the major pro sports leagues in the U.S. Likewise, new media apps from entertainment providers (like Paramount Movies, Nickelodeon and Univision) will find a home on the console.
  • Featuring a reported 30 million tracks, Microsoft’s retooled music service will simply be called “Music” (as opposed to “Zune,” its former title). In addition to Windows 8, Music will be brought to the Xbox.
  • Possibly in response to the intense popularity of rival Nintendo’s “Wii Fit” exercise program, Microsoft announced a partnership with Nike to bring the sports company’s Nike+ training platform to Xbox Kinect. With it, users will be put through their exercise paces by a virtual trainer and will be able to receive helpful fitness reminders directly on their smartphones.
  • Microsoft also unveiled its plans for Xbox SmartGlass, a new application that will let users bridge their different electronic devices (e.g., Xbox, smartphone, tablets and TVs) and enjoy the same content across all of them. For example, via SmartGlass a user could start out watching a movie on their tablet computer, then pick up where they left off by resuming watching on their phone or Xbox.


Microsoft wowed the crowds with the eagerly awaited “Halo 4.”

See Ya Next Time!
E3 2012 will be wrapping up soon, but the news coming out of the show will be rocking gamers for months (and years) to come. Whether you’re a gamer or someone interested in learning how to design video games, check back here for more video games news.

SIGN IN TO LEAVE A COMMENT -or- SHARE THE ARTICLE WITH OTHERS:

[Bloglines] [del.icio.us] [Digg] [Facebook] [Furl] [Google] [LinkedIn] [Mixx] [MySpace] [Newsvine] [Propeller] [Reddit] [Squidoo] [StumbleUpon] [Twitter] [Email]
posted by Phill Powell in Featured and have No Comments

Who is Robert Moog?


He was the Steve Jobs of Electronica. Robert Moog created the Moog synthesizer, one of the very first electronic musical instruments. And recently Google’s Doodle celebrated the 78th birthday of this electronic genius with–believe it or not–an actual working synthesizer.


The Google Doodle for May 23, 2012 is an interactive Moog synthesizer.  

A Sound Idea
The Moog synthesizer has drifted in and out of style, first coming to prominence during the time of its creation and greatest use–the 60s and 70s. It was patented in the mid 60s, and then was utilized in classic hits from all kinds of music – from The Beatles classic “I Want You (She’s So Heavy),” to The Doors “Strange Days,” which was one of the earliest uses of the Moog synth. 

More recently, app developers and independent creators who learn how to develop iPhone and iPad apps, have made apps that re-create the classic synthesizer. It’s amazing to see this old-school analog technology being adapted in the digital age. More interestingly, how the lower price of the “digital version” of the keyboard has made it more accessible.


Bob Moog at his workbench building another synth. 

The Moog keyboard has been a staple of modern music since its creation and continues to inspire and bring to life great music. Let’s take a look back at some Moog classics:

  • The Doors “Strange Days” (1967) One of the earliest uses of a Moog synth, this song features the moody sound of the instrument (played to perfection by the band’s keyboardist, Ray Manzarek) rolling behind Jim Morrison’s booming voice.
  • The Beatles “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” (1969) The “Abbey Road” album has several Moog songs, but none as amazing as the closing track on Side One, where a building wall of synthesized white noise finally overtakes the song.
  • Pink Floyd “Wish You Were Here” (1975) The progressive space-rock group’s classic ode to loneliness is delivered using the Moog sound.
  • Donna Summer “I Feel Love” (1977) The recently departed Queen of Disco melted turntables with this pulsating romantic song, whose main sound is the Moog (played by keyboardist Giorgio Moroder).
  • Blondie “Heart of Glass” (1979) Blondie charted an international Number One single (it sold nearly 3.5 million copies) with this New Wave/Disco song. It features not only a Moog synthesizer but it’s also the first use of a Roland CR-78 drum machine on recorded single.
  • Coldplay “Paradise” (2011) The band uses a wide range of synth sounds on this track, along with its traditional piano and guitar attack.

Numerous other artists and bands have created tracks with a Moog synthesizer, including musical acts as diverse as the Beastie Boys, Parliament, Santana, Stevie Wonder and The Doors. More recently, artists like Deadmau5 and Alicia Keys have also been spotted using a Moog.

Watch Brett Domino play Daft Punk’s Aerodynamic using the Google synth. 

Living in an Electronic World
Although his invention was embraced by musicians around the world (even today by students eager to learn music production or those who want to learn how to make your own beats), Robert Moog remained humble, stating “I’m an engineer. I see myself as a toolmaker and the musicians are my customers. They use my tools.”

SIGN IN TO LEAVE A COMMENT -or- SHARE THIS ARTICLE WITH OTHERS:

[Bloglines] [del.icio.us] [Digg] [Facebook] [Furl] [Google] [LinkedIn] [Mixx] [MySpace] [Newsvine] [Propeller] [Reddit] [Squidoo] [StumbleUpon] [Twitter] [Email]
posted by Phill Powell in Featured and have No Comments

What Are Google Glasses?


Introducing the Next Big Thing: Google Glasses, high-tech eyewear for the Digital Age. The glasses, which are still in development, will overlay graphics onto reality – basically putting a heads-up display right in front of your eyes.


Google has not announced a price point or release date for the gadget, but insiders have hinted the glasses may be available to consumers by the end of the year. 

How They Work
Google Glasses could potentially be an iPhone killer. How? Well, like your iPhone, they would provide access to encyclopedias of information, but using something called augmented reality, the glasses would basically overlay information and graphics as you’re walking through the real world. Want to get directions to the coffee shop? The glasses would put “virtual signposts” (that only you can see) in your field of view, in order to navigate the way.


This view – from behind the glasses – provides an idea of what type of augmented-reality features might look like. Information about specific locations is available at a glance.

Got a dinner appointment with a friend? The glasses will display a notification right in front of your eyes. The possibilities (and ease of use) have the potential to make the smartphone – dare we say it – obsolete. Just imagine a digital landscape laid out in front of you that serves up restaurant reviews (while you’re standing in front of the restaurant), reservation times and a menu – all virtually.

A Day in the Life of “Project Glass”
Once put into use, Google Glasses will be wirelessly connected to the Internet and feature the functionality of a smartphone. The wearer would be able to control that functionality via voice commands, as well as camera functions for capturing still images and video clips.


The technology may still be a year or so off, but just to be discussing the potential instantly causes our minds think of sci-fi classics that predicted a heads-up displays, like “The Terminator.”

Google created a video based on “Project Glass” (Google’s name for the Google Glasses project) to show how the glasses would work during a typical day of errands in and around New York. In the video, we see the world in first-person view and what users would see. For example, while pouring a cup of coffee, the guy in the video happens to glance upward and the display shows a tiny clock, a notation about the temperature outside and a personal memo about visiting a friend, as scheduled for that night.

Take a look:

However, Google Glasses is an idea that may take some getting used to. Internet pranksters are already posting videos that mock the futuristic headgear, including a Google Glasses World of Warcraft parody.

Then again, there was another gizmo a few years back that once might have seemed like nothing more than the product of a slightly nerdy fantasy, and it caught on pretty well. It was called the smartphone.

As far as production of the actual glasses, it’s unknown if Google will license the technology to a hardware producer, but it’s possible they could also partner with a glasses manufacturer like Ray-Ban, Maui Jim or Oakley. The glasses are expected to be fashionable as well as practical.

Powered by Android
When Google Glasses eventually appear on the market, they will harness the processing power of Google’s Android. The Android OS is one of the most successful platforms today and the fastest growing mobile operating system in the world.


Google founder Sergey Brin was recently spotted in public wearing a stylish pair of Google Glasses. 

If you’re looking to get firsthand experience developing apps for Google Android, why not go to an Android App Development summer camp? You could learn to make games and apps that someday might even be playable on those cool Google Glasses.

What do you think of Google’s Glasses? Would you wear them?

SIGN IN TO LEAVE A COMMENT – or – SHARE THIS ARTICLE WITH OTHERS: 

[Bloglines] [del.icio.us] [Digg] [Facebook] [Furl] [Google] [LinkedIn] [Mixx] [MySpace] [Newsvine] [Propeller] [Reddit] [Squidoo] [StumbleUpon] [Twitter] [Email]
posted by Phill Powell in Featured,News Blog and have No Comments

How They Bring Muppets to Life


They’re just puppets right? How hard can it be to make a movie with them? Harder than you think. Check out this behind-the-scenes look from the latest muppet movie:


The muppet known as Walter is puppeteered by not two – but three virtual actors. Blue screen or green are used to insert visual effects.  

Making the Muppets
The Muppets were the brainchild of the late Jim Henson, the term comes from the combination of the words ”marionette” and “puppet,” Henson began using the term during a interview back in 1956 and it stuck.

To create a muppet, an artist uses a variety of materials, first craving the shape out of foam – then adding a skin for texture, for example a muppet may be covered with fleece, felt or even yak hair. Performers are hidden while puppeteering the character, although in the case of larger muppets, like Big Bird, a puppeteer could be inside a costume. The muppets are low-tech Hollywood visual effects that have been refined over time.


Muppets creator Jim Henson (middle) played Ernie and Frank Oz (right, the voice of Stars Wars’ Yoda) played Bert on the classic Sesame Street

Muppets develop their character over time, or “organically,” according to writer Michael Davis. Puppeteers may pass a character around, sharing and exchanging ideas for characters with others in the Henson puppeteering troupe, said Davis, the muppet is ”test-driven, passed around from one member to another in the hope of finding the perfect human-Muppet match.”

In 2004, The Walt Disney Company bought the Muppets (they do not however own the Sesame Street characters), and The Muppets Studio. And thanks to that purchase, The Muppets (who were a television staple in the 1980′s), are making a comeback – a recent big-screen production led by Jason Segal (How I Met Your Mother) was a hit with fans and critics.

SIGN IN TO LEAVE A COMMENT – or – SHARE THIS ARTICLE WITH OTHERS:

[Bloglines] [del.icio.us] [Digg] [Facebook] [Furl] [Google] [LinkedIn] [Mixx] [MySpace] [Newsvine] [Propeller] [Reddit] [Squidoo] [StumbleUpon] [Twitter] [Email]
posted by Vince Matthews in Featured and have No Comments

DMA Instructor Marcus Duvoisin: Only Spiderman Has More Web Experience


Courses: Graphic Design, Beginning & Advanced Photoshop, 2D & 3D Video Game Creation

DMA Instructor: Marcus Duvoisin

Education: San Francisco State University; San Francisco, CA (Marketing Major, focus on New Media Design)

Professional Portrait: Web designer. Marcus started early – learning web design while still in middle school. By the time he was in high school, he already had a huge slate of professional clients Marcus owns his own web design firm, Genuine Web Design and provides design services for a variety of different companies, including www.extremenewzealand.net. A skilled and in-demand instructor, he teaches Adobe Dreamweaver, Flash, Photoshop, HTML and CSS.

DMA Campus: Stanford University

__________________________________________________________________

Spinning Webs Since Childhood
Every artist has a favorite medium for their style and talent. For DMA Instructor Marcus Duvoisin, his canvas is a web page. He’s been building his own web sites since he was fourteen years old. Marcus and his friends designed web sites related to their hobbies and interests at the time, which included skateboarding, music and video games. Back then, programming and designing software were less intuitive than today. And there were no computer camps to guide budding web designers.

“We coded in HTML/CSS and used applications like Adobe Dreamweaver, Photoshop and Flash,” he remembers. “It was hard to learn on our own and we spent a lot of long nights troubleshooting. Having a teacher by our side would have definitely helped! But technology camps like Digital Media Academy didn’t really exist back then…so we had to spend the extra hours trying to figure out solutions on our own.”

At that time, creative teens with an interest in web design often had to make their own way. Luckily, Marcus didn’t have to look any further than his own father, a technologically advanced dad who had mastered the fundamentals of online design around the same time. “My dad taught me web design basics and with constant practice, I have developed a strong base of skills.” Marcus has also developed his professional skills by working side-by-side with professional experienced designers.


Kids love Marcus’ energy and excitement.

Marcus continued learning and building sites. By the time he was in high school, a local start-up company asked him to design a simple company web site.

Taking it to The Next Level
“I remember being really nervous about whether or not I could accomplish the task,” he says, “It turned out it wasn’t all that different than designing web sites with my friends.” The site he designed was a huge hit with the company and the client then recommended Marcus to other businesses. Soon he was designing enough web sites to pay his way through college, and he credits the experience for opening up career opportunities.

Now Marcus is running his own company – Genuine Web Design, which includes a roster of great clients that count on his expertise to establish their online presence. Marcus also maintains those web sites, refreshes the content and provide periodic redesign. In 2010 Marcus was selected to work with Google to help improve Google rankings for his client Demandforce. “This experience provided me with many tools and techniques for expanding my knowledge about Internet marketing.”

In addition to his successful career in web design, Marcus also teaches for Digital Media Academy during the summer at DMA’s Stanford University campus location. This year he’ll be teaching Graphic Design & Arts, as well as 2D & 3D Video Game Creation.


“DMA’s hands-on training provides the building blocks for a career in technology.”

“I enjoy everything about DMA’s summer camp experience: the kids, the fun, the cafeteria cuisine, and (especially) teaching kids design skills that they show their parents at the end of the program. If I could make DMA summer camp my full-time job for the rest of my life, I would.”

Marcus also teaches 2D & 3D Video Game Creation. Like all DMA instructors Marcus’s has professional credentials and real-world experience. To learn more about DMA’s programs and instructors visit Digital Media Academy.

SIGN IN TO LEAVE A COMMENT -or- SHARE THIS ARTICLE WITH OTHERS:

[Bloglines] [del.icio.us] [Digg] [Facebook] [Furl] [Google] [LinkedIn] [Mixx] [MySpace] [Newsvine] [Propeller] [Reddit] [Squidoo] [StumbleUpon] [Twitter] [Email]
posted by Phill Powell in Featured,News Blog,Web Design and have No Comments

App of the Month: “Frisbee Forever” (Review)


Game: Frisbee Forever
Developer: Kiloo Games
Rating: 4 out 5 stars
Cost: Free

Summer is here and if you can’t get to your local park to toss the Frisbee around, you can still enjoy the sport from the comfort of your couch, thanks to Wham-O’s new game and app: “Frisbee Forever.” Developed by Kiloo Games, the colorful, arcade-style game plays a lot like a Wii game. The object is simple: Navigate a mini-golf-like obstacle course with a Frisbee for coins. Coins can then be used in a Frisbee shop to buy better flying discs or special upgrades.


“Frisbee Forever” runs on the iPhone and iPad and uses those iDevices’ accelerometer to control the Frisbee (players tilt the device left or right to guide the flying disc through the course).

A gameplay trailer of “Frisbee Forever.”

Frisbee Flicking Fun
It’s as easy as flicking your finger across the touchscreen to send the disc on its way. Gameplay is super-responsive and the graphics rival anything you’ve seen on the Wii. “Frisbee Forever” includes 10 different worlds, and each world (or area) features 10 levels…for a total of 100 challenges. The courses and environments are inventive and fun, and while, at times, some of the obstacles seem impossible, patience and a well-practiced tilting technique will get you through. Flying through hoops and triangle checkpoints on the course maintain the Frisbee’s momentum, and as you fly through each course, you’ll collect stars along the course. The medal you are eventually awarded is based on how many stars you collect.


Purchase “Frisbee Forever” through the Apple App Store.

As mentioned, as players advance through the game, they earn coins for clearing each level and receive a trophy rank of silver, bronze or gold. Be warned that patience is necessary, however, because even for the best player it will take a while to collect enough coins for the better discs. But you can also buy coins to purchase items through the App Store.

Overall, “Forever Frisbee” is an extremely well-made app and will provide you with hours of fun – all for free.

Make Your Own Mobile App – at Summer Camp
Want to make your app or game for the iPhone or iPad? You can, this summer at Digital Media Academy computer and digital arts summer camps. Spend an exciting week learning 3D Game Development for the iPhone or App Development for Apple iDevices. Before you know it, you’ ll be on your way to making your dream app a reality…and that’s how careers get started. Find out more about Digital Media Academy app development summer camps and how they can help you create the future. DMA – where video-game dreams get transformed into reality.

SIGN IN TO LEAVE A COMMENT -or- SHARE THIS ARTICLE WITH OTHERS:

[Bloglines] [del.icio.us] [Digg] [Facebook] [Furl] [Google] [LinkedIn] [Mixx] [MySpace] [Newsvine] [Propeller] [Reddit] [Squidoo] [StumbleUpon] [Twitter] [Email]
posted by Vince Matthews in App Development,Featured,News Blog and have No Comments

Ferris Bueller Turns 25: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About “Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?”


It wasn’t a movie that overwhelmed you with its plot: a popular teen tries to outwit his high school principal, ducking class and other responsibilities for a glorious, what-the-heck day with his best friends. Nonetheless, John Hughes’ 1986 teen classic “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” had so much offbeat charm that nobody ever seemed to mind its simplicity.


Hughes, the director of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, made a career out of 80′s teen-angst comedies.

The film’s many, many fans are now celebrating Ferris Bueller turns 25. Released on June 11, 1986 the movie influenced countless films with its wit and character. For fans of the film, Ferris is not only teacher of life’s lesson but a student as well. In the end the film isn’t so much about skipping out on life and responsibility but to take a chance every once and while and enjoy it.

10. Location, Location, Location Part of the fun of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” is its whirlwind tour of Chicago. Actual locations included Wrigley Field, the Sears Tower and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The parade that Ferris single-handedly takes over is the town’s Von Steuben Day Parade.

Meet Abe Froman, the sausage king of Chicago.

9. Bueller? Bueller? Bueller? While the movie starred Matthew Broderick a nasally nerd named Ben Stein nearly stole the show, Stein played the Economics teacher with the personality of a sleepwalker. Stein voiced the movie’s most quoted line, turning a class roll call into numbing torture. Stein has since been a recognizable presence in movies and television commercials, as well as being a political pundit – a role that makes total sense. Why? His first job was writing speeches for President Richard Nixon back in the early 1970s.

8. Famous Fans Fans of the film include filmmaker Kevin “Clerks” Smith, Simon “American Idol” Cowell and Justin Timberlake, each of whom has listed the movie as their favorite film of all time. Another fan, Charlie Sheen, also made a brief appearance in the film as bad boy. Funny how life imitates art.

7. Home Alone In the film, Ferris’ pal, Cameron, lives in an modernist house. Later, in a jaw-dropping scene, a vintage 1961 Ferrari GT250 (really a modified MG sports car) is driven directly into the iconic residence. It’s not a set but a real house. Use Google’s street view to see how it looks today: 370 Beech Street, Highland Park, IL 60035. Ferris’ house isn’t actually in Chicago, it’s in California: 4160 Country Club Drive, Long Beach, CA.


Edward Hopper’s 1942 masterpiece, “Nighthawks,” co-starred in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”

6. Classic Art Ferris made taking in a museum cool. The famous paintings shown in the movie’s Art Institute of Chicago scene included the iconic diner painting “Nighthawks” by Edward Hopper and Picasso’s “The Old Guitarist,” as well as works by Matisse, Jackson Pollock and Marc Chagall.

5. Music Makes A Movie “Ferris Bueller” contained a mixed bag of offbeat tunes, from the Beatles’ manic “Twist and Shout” to Wayne Newton’s lounge classic, “Danke Schoen” to New Wave cuts from the 80s, like Yello’s “Oh Yeah.” The blend of songs was so offbeat (and probably a licensing nightmare) that no official soundtrack album was ever released. Why? Sadly, Director John Hughes said he felt it would have had no commercial appeal and didn’t work as an album.

4. Big Screen Blockbusters Make Good TV After the movie’s surprising success, NBC rushed a television series based on the concept into production. Only thirteen episodes aired. A young actress named Jennifer “Friends” Aniston played Ferris’ TV sister. (In the film, the same role was played by Jennifer Gray, she would later become a star in another 80s classic: “Dirty Dancing.”)

Ben Stein shot to stardom on the basis of one line.

3. Script Supervisor At the time “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” was nearing shooting, a looming writer’s strike threatened to halt production. So Director Hughes, eager to get his script finished before the strike began, hammered out the script – in less than one week.

2. Connect With The Audience Part of what made “Ferris” unique is the way Ferris speaks directly to the audience. Although certainly not the first movie to employ this technique, it’s probably one of the most memorable. (Way back in1966, Michael Caine became a star in the original “Alfie” by doing the same thing. Ray Liotta also talks directly to the audience in “GoodFellas”.) Even today, this technique (called “breaking the fourth wall“) is only used rarely in film, although it’s been turning up in plays since theater’s early origins.

“Life moves pretty fast…”

1. Ferris Makes Bank Instantly beloved upon its release, “Ferris” has become even more respected over time. “Entertainment Weekly” magazine named it number 10 among “the 50 best high-school movies,” while film channel Bravo listed it as number 54 among “the 100 funniest movies.” In 2000, readers of “Total Film” magazine voted the movie the 23rd greatest comedy film of all time. And “Ferris” delivered big-time at the box office: Made for around $6 million, the movie earned more than $70 million in its domestic release. Not too shabby for cutting class.

When John Hughes passed away in 2010, he left behind a personal body of film work that defined “teen” movies, with a filmography that included hits like “Pretty in Pink,” “The Breakfast Club,” “Sixteen Candles,” and “Weird Science,” as well as “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” A multi-talented writer and director, Hughes coupled his passion for filmmaking with an unbeatable set film production skills. Are you an aspiring filmmaker looking to sharpen or develop your movie-making skills?

This summer, Digital Media Academy will be teaching Digital Filmmaking Summer Camps and courses using Final Cut Pro, the industry standard among editing software. Take a week-long or three-day certification course or a film & video production course and start your career as a filmmaker.

Cover Final Cut Pro from all the angles – everything from an overview of the software all the way through advanced editing courses that put you in the editor’s chair. See for yourself why legendary filmmakers like Francis Ford Coppola, Walter Murch and the Coen brothers use Final Cut Pro – John Hughes may have even used it if Final Cut were available when he was shooting “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”

SIGN IN TO LEAVE A COMMENT -or- SHARE THIS ARTICLE WITH OTHERS:

[Bloglines] [del.icio.us] [Digg] [Facebook] [Furl] [Google] [LinkedIn] [Mixx] [MySpace] [Newsvine] [Propeller] [Reddit] [Squidoo] [StumbleUpon] [Twitter] [Email]
posted by Phill Powell in Digital Filmmaking,Featured,News Blog and have No Comments

Walt Disney’s 3D Film Invention & The Future of Filmmaking


Walt Disney was someone way ahead of his time. He defied critics and conventional wisdom by making a cartoon over an hour in length into a feature film (“Snow White”). In 1937, he was again ahead of the curve by making 3D cartoons.


Walt explaining the Multiplane Camera. The original Multiplane Camera used to shoot such classics as “Bambi,” “Snow White” and “Pinocchio” is now on display at The Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, CA.

The Most Advanced Animation Tool Before The Computer
Using a technology that wasn’t surpassed in animation until the introduction and use of computers, the Multiplane Camera was the most advanced piece of technology of its day for making animated movies. We found this great piece of video of Walt introducing audiences to the new technology through his weekly television show, “Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color.”

Animators today use Maya to create jaw-dropping 3D landscapes and make 3D characters come to life on movie screens. In fact, Maya is the entertainment industry standard in computer animation – used to render everything from Woody in “Toy Story” to that little dancing bar of soap on television. Video-game developers also use Maya to create landscapes and characters, just like their counterparts do in the movies. Do you want to know how to become a Maya expert? Becoming an animation wiz using Maya could put you on a path to becoming the next Walt Disney.

Digital Media Academy offers courses in Maya taught by industry professionals. DMA’s Maya 2012 Pro Series Courses like Maya 2012: Introduction, Maya 2012: Character Modeling & Rigging, Maya 2012: Animation & Visual Effects, or Maya 2012: Texture & Lighting are all great ways to create, build on or enhance your animation skills. DMA’s one-week- and two-week-long computer and digital arts summer camps will inspire you to create the future of animation.

SIGN IN TO LEAVE A COMMENT -or- SHARE THIS ARTICLE WITH OTHERS:

[Bloglines] [del.icio.us] [Digg] [Facebook] [Furl] [Google] [LinkedIn] [Mixx] [MySpace] [Newsvine] [Propeller] [Reddit] [Squidoo] [StumbleUpon] [Twitter] [Email]
posted by Vince Matthews in Art & Animation,Featured,News Blog and have No Comments