Top 5 You’d Like to See Be Movies/TV shows

Latimer musing over her Top 5's (kawaii artwork inspired by Miss Wah)
Latimer musing over her Top 5’s (kawaii artwork inspired by Miss Wah)

Latimer: There are some fantastic BookTubers on YouTube.

One of them is The Readables. She does this great Tag every Wednesday, called Top 5 Wednesday. This Tag was started by Lainey on Goodreads; and it’s basically a weekly prompt of ‘Top 5’s’. Here’s the link if you want to check it out: Lainey!

And this is a complete list of everyone partaking in the Tag if you want to check them out! 

I’m taking some inspiration for posts from this Tag, though I won’t be doing it in any particular order (and it will be on a Sunday!). It’s just for fun, because some of the prompts are quite interesting and force you to think a bit, plus maybe it will inspire me to read a bit more!

For this Tag, I also won’t necessarily be using books as my main basis; I’m going to include characters and situations in graphic novels, comic series, books, TV shows and movies!

So! On to the first Top 5:

Top Books/Comics You’d Like to See Be Movies/TV shows

This is a hard one! But well, let’s see how ole Latimer gets on!

1. The Sandman by Neil Gaiman – TV SERIES

joseph-gordon-levitt-sandman

To this day I have lots of mixed feeling about the series. There were things I loved and things I didn’t, as with all experiences! But I do think it would make a very interesting TV Show. There does seem to be some whispers again that something might be happening with The Sandman in the future, but we’ll wait and see.

Anyways, I think HBO could do amazing things with this material. The Endless as a character set would be pretty interesting to see in the flesh; the unstable Delirium; wise Destiny, who has a book called the Cosmic Log chained to his hand; bitchy Desire, who is neither man nor a woman (called Sister-Brother by the others) and lives in Threshold, a giant flesh and blood replica of itself; Despair (twin of Desire, nice touch!), who wears no clothes and is always in pain; Death a Goth girl who once a year, for one day, lives and dies as a moral; and the protagonist Dream, the Sandman.

The series spans all of space and time, there’s lots of stories to tell along with the main story arc. There are plenty of crazy out-there concepts that could only come from the mind of Neil Gaiman; and they are very cinematic! It could be a great TV show.

2. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett – MOVIE

goodomens

I love this book! These two writers are a perfect complement to one another – you can tell they must have had fun plotting this story out.

The story is about the coming apocalypse which is supposed to happen at the hands of Adam Young, the son of the Devil, who doesn’t know who he really is and doesn’t behave as the Anti-Christ should.

There are four horsepeople (Pestilence is now Pollution because Pestilence had to retire due to the discovery of penicillin; and War is a woman); the unlikely team up of an angel and demon;; and the descendant of Angus Nutter, a witch who predicted all of this happening, all racing to find the Anti-Christ.

This would be such a funny, quirky movie – they could make it in a British film style. I think it would be great.

3. Discworld series by Terry Pratchett – TV SERIES

discworld

Okay, so technically there have been a few TV specials of various different Discworld novels, but I think it would make a great ongoing TV show, with new stories; or even a totally new group of characters set in the Discworld. There could be a new/original main story arc, with the new characters interacting with various classic Discworld characters.

It could be made in the same style as Doctor Who, quirky and off-beat, serious but not serious. It would definitely need Terry Pratchett to develop the new story line though.

4. Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier – STOP-MOTION MOVIE

Wildwood-Dancing

This would be a get stop-motion movie; made by Laika. It’s the story of the 12 dancing princesses, or a take on that idea.

It’s set in maybe 1600’s Romania. The book follows these five sisters who every night go dancing in the fairy realm with lots of magical creatures, then return home before the gates close between the two worlds. The main character Jaina has a pet frog (more a friend) that she found in the woods; they have a telepathic link to one another.

Trouble starts when her older sister falls in love with a vampire from the fairy world. It would make an amazing stop-motion movie. I just made myself sad now because I’ll never get to see it – *sigh*

5. A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson – TV SERIES

Bill_bryson_a_short_history

This was a really amazing book. It’s full of information and it was a damn struggle to read, but so worth it in the end. I actually need to re-read it, there’s so much in it that you start to forget it almost straightaway.

It covers geology, physics, chemistry and biology and how all the various major discovers in each field were developed; it also has lots of stories about all the quirky and down-right strange people who made all these discoveries and how they did.

It would be an amazing TV series.

Do you guys have any thoughts on what you’d like to see as a movie or TV show?

If you want to start using this Tag, check out the link to Lainey’s thread on Goodreads – anyone can use it!

Stop-motion love

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Latimer: There are some interesting movies on the horizon. Just the other day I saw a trailer for The Boxtrolls, a beautiful-looking stop-motion movie made by the Laika group.

It’s been a while since I saw one of their movies (Paranorman) but I always look forward to them – because I love me some stop-motion.The Nightmare before Christmas is one of my favourite movies (and also, strangely, one of the movies that creeps me out most… not sure what that says about me!).

Paranorman was preceded by Coraline (one of Neil Gaiman’s books), which was on the TV recently and made me fall in love, all over again, with lovely Laika stop-motion.

What a beautiful art-form stop-motion it is. These movies are so detailed and so lovingly made. You can see how much time and effort went into crafting them. I love the wacky character designs, the seamless movement and yes, I love the eerie feeling that niggles at the back of my mind, because stop-motion, in a lot of ways, boarders on the very, very creepy.

They take years to make and I guess that’s the price we pay for the quality – the time. But, YES, time to look forward to The Boxtrolls!  

Memories – made by Disney

Latimer's Disney selfies - can you guess what movies they're from?
Latimer’s Disney selfies – can you guess what movies they’re from?

Latimer: Ah Halloween, it came and went and I am about half a stone heavier as a result (damn Trick r’ Treat leftovers!).

As it was Halloween season I had to watch ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’.

I love it, but it honestly scares me. Like, if I ended up in Halloween Town, with Dr Finkelstein, I’d start shrieking, smack him over the head with a gravestone and run, like my life depended on it (which it probably does at this point) to the forest and the Christmas Town door.

So scary!!!!
So scary!!!!

I like Jack and Sally, even the Mayor (just about), but not the Doctor… no…

Nightmare_Before_Christmas_Dr_F
The thing of nightmares!!

The thing is, as I watched (mumbling to myself, ‘oh the horror!’), I started to think, as I always do, that the Doctor isn’t actually a bad person. He just looks creepy… So yeah, it’s a moral (don’t judge people) – ah the moral, it’s a Disney thing isn’t it?

I don’t think there are many people in the world who haven’t been shaped by Disney movies in some way. Every generation has their Disney’s.

I come from the Disney Renaissance, animation wise – to me, that’s The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast (my fave), The Lion King (such a big deal at the time my God!) and Toy Story (the first full-length CGI movie!), Aladdin and Mulan (LOVE Mulan, I entered a competition for a giant Mushu teddy – I lost but I’ve always wondered about that lucky sod who won it).

Hehe.... Cos she does!!
Hehe…. ‘Course she does!!

Way back when, I used to get these magazines every week, called Disney and Me.

uk_disney_and_me1

Yup. And I never read them, nope, just looked at the cartoons and tried to draw them. Funny thing, I wasn’t a big reader in my childhood… The extent of my reading?

“I’m going on adventure today!” I’d say, packing up the essentials – bread for the eating, dock-leaves for potential nettle stings and an illustrated copy of Alice in Wonderland.

My copy did not look this cool... ah, I still wouldn't have read it though!
My copy did not look this cool… ah, I still wouldn’t have read it though!

I’d precede to the climb the trees around my estate and think to myself, “Today, I will read this book”.

It was a big book at the time. And… 5 minutes later, “Yup bored now.” How many pages did I read? None, ha.

Then I’d head to my friend’s house and watch, watch, and re-watch, her VHS copy of Disney’s Alice in Wonderland. She hated me for that.

My mother’s friend had a copy of Beauty and the Beast that I used to borrow and watch… I spent a whole weekend watching it once and I cried when I had to give it back (seriously).

I can still hear Angela Landsbury singing in this scene... yup (aside: I also loved Murder She Wrote!)
I can still hear Angela Lansbury singing in this scene… yup (aside: I also loved Murder She Wrote!_

But, even when I was young, I felt there was one MAJOR flaw in this movie… The Prince… He just isn’t a good-looking man! My heart always dropped a little in disappointment! (It still does…!)

He's just... argh.... such a disappointment!
He’s just… argh…. such a disappointment!

This is a good looking ‘prince’…. 

Ah Flynn... Eugene... whatever, you're beautiful!
Ah Flynn… Eugene… whatever, you’re beautiful!

Anyways, when The Lion King came out, in 1994, I didn’t get to go to the cinema to see it. Back then no one was taking child-me to the cinema. I’d only been once in my life at that point – to see Jurassic Park.

Luckily, a girl in my class in school, her father worked overseas and he got a pirated copy of The Lion King (ohh… hehe). And the teacher said we could watch it! We were astounded (now that I think of it, the teacher probably just wanted to see it too – I know now that’s what I’d do!).

With the blinds pulled down in our classroom, we all got to watch the wonder of The Lion King. I was also madly in love with Jonathon-Taylor Thomas (voice of Simba) at this point, so it was the best movie I ever saw in my life at the time.

What ever happened to him? Hmm...
What ever happened to him? Hmm…

There was a girl in my class (we’ll call her Sara) – she was one of my art rivals (Everyone had one. But she never viewed me as her rival – ah ha, oh that’s cold!). Sara was the best at drawing Disney-style animals. And after The Lion King she was like a celebrity; “Draw a Simba on my desk!” everyone would squeal.

A years later, I did manage go to the cinema to see Toy Story. I have very vivid memories of standing in line, being so excited to see this movie. I think that’s why I cried so badly at the end of Toy Story 3 – I was finally saying goodbye to them after 18 years! It was pretty heart-breaking…. The scene where Andy plays with the toys for the last time! Argh, I… I just can’t….

How heart-breaking is this?!?!
How heart-breaking is this?!?!

Disney’s stamped all over my memories.

There came a point during growing up that I threw away the Disney cloak. That’s for kids, I thought, and I am a child no more! (ha, yup, that did NOT last)

The Disney Renaissance had ended anyways. But, then, it entered a revival era! The age of the CGI animated movies (Pixar) came into being and I was pulled back in!

By about Finding Nemo I was back on the Disney bandwagon. My counterparts on the wagon, who had stayed the course, eyed me with disdain; “We stayed true!”

I still do a bad impersonation of the surfer dude turtle!
I still do a bad impersonation of the surfer dude turtle!

The Incredibles is a brilliant movie.Tangled? Oh god, love it. WALL-E – how gorgeous is that movie?

I love this movie for her glorious hair alone!
I love this movie for her glorious hair alone!

Brave, Brave… yup… Disney’s back in my heart.

And now I’m waiting hopefully for Frozen.

Really looking forward to this! I’ve even starting doing some fan-art – take that Sara it only took… err a few (a lot) years! Ah, ha…

Kristoff and Anna... please let this movie be Tangled epic!!
Kristoff and Anna… please let this movie be Tangled epic!!

All those memories… Disney really is King of Childhood Dreams…

Everyone has a Disney favourite! Right :)?

 

(When we were in Tokyo a while back, we stumbled across the Disney store! It also brought back a lot of childhood memories!) 

Silhouette against the Stars

ID-1009962Ridley: So, for those of you who were knocking around here this time last year, you know we created a stop motion silhouette trailer for our book, Legend Unleashed.

Now I don’t know where the year has gone (it seems to have flown by on turbo wings), but we’re rolling up our sleeves and getting stuck into creating another video for book 2, which will be the sequel to Legend Unleashed. Hopefully this time around we’re a little older and wiser, and better able to not get accidentally stabbed by the Stanley knife, meaning we won’t repeat old mistakes, but we reserve the right to make new ones! So, as part of my “research” (read, procrastination) I decided to look up some of the latest (and some classics) of stop motion silhouettes and I said I’d share some of them here. 

An absolute classic here from Lotte Reiniger, who was basically a founder of this style really. This was made in 1922, making something like this for that time, it must have blown away audiences. Look at the intricate, detailed work on the various ‘sets’ and characters, the fact he was able to easily portray a feather in a cap, or a sweeping dress in this medium is very impressive.

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This I like as it’s quite quirky. I loved the addition of the colours in the girl’s hair and dress, and the bell style with the design in the middle of the skirt is just lovely. Also, the transitions between the different scenes, say where she’s floating up to the guy in the hot air balloon, were really well done.

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The style in this is really different to anything I would have tried in the past, there’s way more colour in it for a start. I loved the changing background of the different newspapers, it does have me wondering how it was done as that was impressive, and the moon rising up was beautiful!

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Another very different style, but still really pretty and some fantastic skilled work gone into its creation. Plus I quite like the song!

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Here’s a music video, I think it was stop motion, though it looks so perfectly done, I’m sure there was some computer polishing at some point. The vibrant colours in this are just fantastic in it though, wish I could make something like this. Reach for the stars, eh? 🙂

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Now technically this one doesn’t count, as it’s all done on computer and there’s not actually any stop motion involved, just the silhouettes, but it’s so beautifully done I just had to include it!

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Lastly, here’s one of my favourite silhouette illustrators, Jan Pienkowski, his art is just so amazing.spread01_w400

christmas2 jan5

So, what do you do without a laptop?

What does Latimer do without a laptop?

Latimer: I bet the saga of my kamikaze laptop has gotten old at this point! But this is just an insight into what I’ve been doing without one!

Well, first off time’s ticking by… the clock is running down, getting closer and closer to ‘MLR-day’ haha. We’ve been busy editing our book and what not. Editing using Ridley’s lovely laptop (I’m getting envious now! she’ll wake up one day and it’ll be gone, a Latimer shaped hole in her wall… me running across the green outside her house, screaming ‘my precious!’!!).

I’m due to get my new replacement soon (two weeks or so). So I’m getting jittery. 

My old hard-drive has gone completely mental and is shutting down the IT guy’s laptops… it’s gone kamikaze, it’s dying and it’s going to take everyone with it! Every time I get an update, it’s like the situation is getting more and more hopeless…

 Moving on from all that nastiness…

I’ve been unwinding in the meantime, doing some artwork… this is an insight into Latimer’s chillax time!

I decided to make my brother a birthday card (ha, and his birthday was in July! God… you see this is what happens when I have a laptop, other things fall by the wayside… yes, that includes the birthdays of loved ones!!).

He lives in Australia, so about all he’s going to get off me is a card, so I figured it better show I put some effort into it!! He’s a massive comic book fan, specifically batman, so I made him a Batman inspired card.

I edited and redrew some chibi’s I found (a Hermonie chibi, a Batman Chibi and a Catwoman chibi) and put them together to form a ‘Latimer’ card. I also finally used the other Japanese art-stuff I bought… cutting mat, cutting knife and Deleter high-lighter paint and brush. So, without a laptop to distract me, I had a chance to use the stuff..

The magical box where I keep my copic markers. It’s a biscuit box (from Bruges in Belgium). It’s a little creepy with that girls face on it!!
Latimer Potter

The idea is magical, Potter me, transforming my brother and his wife into Batman and Catwoman, so they can fight crime in Australia (haha)!

Brother as Batman
Wife as Catwoman
Putting the cover together
Brother and wife inside the card… and crazy me!!

It was fun putting it together… a job done you could say!! I gave myself a tick on my list of ‘outdated things that may never get done’… that’s a long list let me tell you… people get things off me years later, confused they go ‘what’s this for?!’ I will smile, ‘your birthday… last year…I’ll get you something next year for your birthday this year!!’.

Randomly, at the weekend, I also got it into my head that I would like to make a stop-motion model of myself and Ridley (after watching the making of Paranorman character ‘Norman’).

There’s more to it than I thought.. haha (stupid me of course there is!), rigs and stuff that are expensive… and to do it properly would take a lot of skill and time. Maybe in the future I’ll have a go, but for now, I settled for drawing what I would like the stop-motion model me and Ridley to look like… (maybe one day someone will make them for us!! I would go to Laika and say, ‘build us! build us!’)

Latimer and Ridley… as stop motion models!!

It’s random I know, but these are the things I think about! Things I get into my head. What would stop-motion me and Ridley look like? Can I make them? They would look great in the office… haha.

While I was doing all of this, I was listening to the Tell em Steve-Dave podcasts (staring Bryan Johnston, Walt Flanagan, Brian Quinn, Ming Chen and sometimes Mike Zapcic and the great, Sunday Jeff, who only works on sundays 🙂 ).

I love them! They are friends of the director and writer Kevin Smith (of Jay and Silent Bob- he’s Bob). The podcasts are part of the fantastic Smodcast network. Which since I’ve found it, I’m fascinated by it (I get obsessed very quickly)!! I love how Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier have built this empire; a new empire for a new age, the age of podcasting! It’s such a brilliant idea, but I love his thoughts on it.

Kevin is like, these are conversations I can have with all my friends, I can listen back to them, I can have them forever. It’s such a brilliant idea; and Kevin Smith is actually a very cool interesting guy (as are all his friends!).

I never realised this was all going on, I love finding new corridors in the hotel of life.

This video was made by an Irish fan of the Tell em Steve-Dave boys (and they were so in awe of it; so amazed and happy that someone would have made it for them for no reason other than he was a fan). He animated it all based on a conversation the guys had about Walt delivering comics to a guy that couldn’t come to the shop (Jay and Bob’s Secret Stash on Broad St, Red Bank, NJ- Walt is the manager and runs the shop which is owned by Kevin Smith).

The guys of Tell em Steve-Dave kept me company as I drew!

Well, without the laptop I’ve managed to draw some pictures and actually make my brother a birthday card, so it’s been good.

 But, God, hopefully I’ll have one soon 🙂

Book Trailer Unleashed!

Ridley and Latimer have been turned into chibis! Ridley: I only need one eye, like Sauron… Latimer: Takoyaki (octopus balls) anyone? No.. I didn’t think so.

Well, the book trailer is done! Here it is, as we promised! It’s all our own work (animation and art).

Hope you like it!

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Product description of Legend Unleashed
 
When an infamous criminal is unleashed from his prison, it has consequences for everyone in Carwick. Temperance Levinthal in particular…
Temperance is satisfied with her ordinary life. Dealing with her eccentric, childlike parents is all the excitement she needs. That changes when Alastair Byron returns home.
After a failed matchmaking attempt by her father, sparks fly between her and Alastair-just not the good kind.
They are forced together though, when they are implicated in a grisly murder. Their search for the truth leads them to a secret world beneath Carwick, filled with werewolves, wizards and other magical faey.
However, uncovering the truth is far more dangerous than they’d ever imagined.
There are secrets within secrets.
Even Alastair may be more than he seems…
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Ridley: It’s a stop motion animation with black silhouettes, kind of in the style of Lotte Reigner. Here’s some of the pictures below that I took while making it- and when I remembered to take them!

From drawing rough sketches of the different scenes and characters.

From cutting out the silhouettes.

From recording the animation.

The animation was carried out in my garage room (as you can see from the clutter! Go look back at the picture of the camcorder, do you see the empty Tayto box from many Christmases ago? Told you we love crisps in Ireland-see the post Irishisms, if you’re now going ‘Huh?’) Despite the chaos, this was the darkest place in the house, so the best room for animation creating! In a way, I made the light box. It’s a long frosted glass table that I got second hand (at an excellent price) and I went to Woodies (local hardware shop) to buy a light, which I placed underneath the table. It beat paying a 100 euro plus for an official A4 light box. The tripod and the camcorder aren’t mine, they were borrowed!

Latimer: At this point, please imagine me texting, and viber messaging Ridley, saying ‘how’s it going? yeah, yeah? Harder, monkey! Work harder!’, sipping my tea, crackin’ the whip. Editing on the side 🙂 (as Ridley bled real blood, I bled metaphorical editing blood).

Ridley: I recorded the frames of the animation with the programme ‘I Can Animate’, then I used Windows Movie Maker to gather the clips and create the video. Audacity was a programme I used for the music and sound effects. It’s fantastic to use, quite simple once you learn the ropes.

Latimer: I wish I could have strapped a camera to Ridley’s head while she did all of this. Because I would have loved to hear the, ‘oh dear god, noooo! what happened?’ moments. Next time, I will- I’ll document it!

Ridley: Latimer and I collaborated on it all (Latimer: she’s being nice, the animation is Ridley’s brain-baby- I was a sound-board for the story-board, music and descriptions- but really props to Ridley for this!), deciding on what worked in the animation once it was recorded, the font used on the slides and the type of music we needed to create the right ‘feel’ for the trailer.

For the parts like the chains behind the clock and blood drops, I used Deleter screen, which is used all the time by manga artists. The paper has grey tones and designs, which can be cut out and stuck onto your picture. It’s great stuff. I bought it with the trailer in mind when we were in Tokyo after we found one of the best art shops there, Sekadio in Shinjuku (Latimer: working holiday, the only way to holiday! Haha!).

 We were in heaven, except for the fact it was packed and all the aisles were really narrow! And I am a browser, I wander the aisles, which you couldn’t really do there! (Latimer: yeah, poor shop design really too narrow! and claustrophobic!)

Overall, I had an absolutely fantastic time making this. It’s my first ever video, though I’ve always had a love for animation, second only to writing! Most of my favourite movies are animated. Aardman, Pixar, Blue Sky Studio, Dreamworks-I love all their stuff. In Ireland, we’ve Brown Bag films,  Boulder Media and Cartoon Saloon to name but a few of the companies here, all of which are making waves in the animation industry!

So as you can see, I relished the chance to create this trailer and join my two great loves, writing and animation. I just really hope people like it!