Historical Dictionary of Hong Kong Cinema

Filmmakers and film fans interested in more than a century of Asian cinema can find what they’re looking for in this new reference book. Lisa Stokes, a humanities and film professor who also wrote “City on Fire: Hong Kong Cinema,” includes enough background information to educate newcomers, while also adding plenty of scholarly insight to enlighten devoted film buffs, industry professionals, and even Hong Kong filmmakers.

This extensive reference begins with a chronology that traces the area’s history back to its 1841 occupation by the British to the 2005 Hong Kong Entertainment Expo, which brought together eight creative events including the Hong Kong International Film Festival and the Hong Kong Film Awards. A fascinating introduction follows the chronology, in which the movers and shakers in Asian cinema are highlighted, in addition to economic, social, and political factors that influenced filmmaking there over the years.

The bulk of the book, of course, is the dictionary itself, which describes as well as defines the directors, actors, writers, films, production companies, genres, and other significant people, places, and things that surround this niche market. For example, let’s say a reader wants to learn more about filmmaker Stephen Chiau, whose recent film Kung Fu Hustle broke box-office records in Hong Kong and enjoyed critical and economic success in the United States. Besides brief mentions in the front matter, his listing under “Chiau” provides his name in various languages, birth date, personal and professional background, a listing of his awards, partial listing of numerous television and film credits, descriptions of his acting/directing style, and insider information about his two big international hits Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle.

Readers also learn that he is called “The Chinese Jim Carrey” because of his slapstick and pratfalls. Boldfaced items listed under each dictionary entry (in the case of Stephen Chiau: Tony Leung-wai, Danny Lee, television, Golden Horse Awards, Michael Hui, Ng Man-tat, kung fu, martial arts, and Hong Kong Film Awards) represent cross-references with their own listings.

In the center of the book, a brief section is included with photographs of films and filmmakers cited in the text. “Historical Dictionary of Hong Kong Cinema” concludes with a bibliography that lists online, magazine, journal, and book sources used in compiling the text.

Stokes writes in the preface that her goal is to provide “a comprehensive and detailed overview of the immense contribution of Hong Kong to film culture.” She surely succeeds in this endeavor, as the book will serve fans, filmmakers, and scholars ready to delve into the intricacies and peculiarities of this unique cinematic style.

The Magic of Outside Cinema

There is a certain magic about cinema in its own right. It doesn’t matter how big your LCD TV or Plasma display is, cinema has to be big and projectors provide a picture that reproduces the cinema experience in the outdoors. Schools and caravan parks are amongst the most frequent customers, whilst the home market has yet to catch up. However there are some high profile clients, with large houses who have extensive exteriors in which to house these exciting Al Fresco cinema chill out areas, getting the full benefit of an elaborate install. As outdoor cinema displays are becoming more popular, a number of alternative applications, like dynamic outdoor advertising, are being employed.

Not to be sexist, but the good lady often favours the outdoor garden cinema package as they see it less of a threat than that of LCD or giant plasma which dominates the interior of the home.

The light output of the projector is a serious point in establishing the outside home cinema. An outside cinema projection system is more demanding than that of an indoor one due to the high illumination. This is because of the brightness of the night sky from street lights, car head lights and house lights, amongst others, particularly in cities where the concentration of light pollution is greatest. Using a projector rated at 2200 ANSI lumens is recommended.

3D Movies Drive Box Office Sales

2010 marked the tipping point for 3D movies – in terms of public interest and acceptance. According to a recent report by PricewaterhouseCoopers, at a time when overall worldwide ticket sales are decreasing, 3D sales are helping to increase the industry’s revenue – in fact, 3D ticket sales are currently accounting for some 50%-70% of industry revenue.

This high percentage of sales is partly accounted for by the premium that can be charged on tickets for 3D features, and partly on the higher percentage of tickets sold for 3D. For example, over opening weekends, movies such as “Step Up” have been earning 84% of their revenue from 3D, when compared to earlier movies such as “Avatar” at 80% and “Final Destination: Death Trip” at 73%.

Increased UK takings

In the UK, box office takings last year increased by 8% to a total of £1.076 billion on the back of the success of 3D releases such as “Toy Story 3” and “Alice in Wonderland”. The UK’s 725 cinemas have some 3,650 screens, of which around 700 have digital projection systems, most of which can show 3D films.

Asia outstrips even the US

If you want to see the most dramatic growth from the 3D movie phenomenon, you need to look east. In Hong Kong, the first half of 2010 saw box office receipts increase by 20%, while ticket sales were actually down by 2%. In South Korea, the story was similar, with a 15% increase in revenue on 4% fewer admissions.

The biggest growth of all, of course, was in China. Box office takings doubled year-on-year, with “Avatar” alone accounting for 60% of the increase. Premium priced tickets for “Alice in Wonderland” and “Clash of the Titans” also made significant contributions. In Japan, box office revenues increased by 7.7% on an admissions rise of just 0.6%.

True 3D’ or 2D to 3D conversion?

The worldwide success of “Avatar” has appeared to whet the appetite of audiences for movies that have been conceived as a 3D experience, rather than made as a 3D version of what was originally conceived as a 2D movie.

There are reports that film-goers have been put off going to 3D movies which have been converted in post-production, but are they taking account of the care of conversion? A rushed conversion will give audiences a poor experience as there are many technical factors to keep in balance when creating the 3D effect. Pushing your footage through an automatic conversion will not make a perfect 3D version of the director’s vision.

Conceiving the film as a 3D project and shooting with stereo equipment gives the best experience for the audience. However, for movies which have been shot in 2D a careful, manual conversion using post-production tools with skill can give audiences a good 3D movie even when starting from 2D footage.

Cinema Series: The Future of 3D Movies

The future of 3D movies is glittering and bright as the popularity of the 3D movies is increasing constantly. These days, many 3D classics are being released which highlight the improvement taking place in the making of these films. For instance, the avatar picture directed by James Cameron has completely changed picture of 3D films. This shows the outstanding creativity of imagination and research taking place in the production of 3D movies.

Movies like this acquire large popularity and are a hit almost every theatre. The future of these movies is good with talented production companies such as DreamWorks, Disney and Pixar. In today’s age of technology and entertainment 3D animation is acquiring a groundbreaking status. The making of 3D movies is becoming spectacular day by day with impressive aliveness, great picture and audio quality.

The designing of movies has greatly contributed to the success of the 3D movies. Those days are gone when animation designers made sketches by using their creativity, as now advanced software programs have simplified the designing procedure. The business of 3D movies is constantly increasing with almost two to three films releasing simultaneously.

Besides all these things we need to remember that not every filmmaker becomes successful in making films. These movies are not that easy to make, they require intricate designing, good creative skills and above all good understanding of all these things. Therefore, 3D movies are all about imagining things and then picturing it onto screen with a storyline.

Although the quality of these movies will vary they have a great potential to make success in the times to come. Therefore, the future of these movies lies in simplistic imaginations and about framing different animation styles which appear outstanding, overwhelming and admirable. However, good news about these films is that almost all 3D movies released in past decade have been a hit at box office.

Tamil Cinema Goes to the Next Level

Tamil cinema is getting better every year and is definitely in the right path, not only it does well in international film festivals, but also in national festivals and events. Recent accolade for tamil movies is that in the recent National Awards it has bagged considerable number of awards including for the best performing hero and heroine roles, best choreographer and best director categories. Deviating slowly from its normal action and masala kind of movies tamil cinema is seeing a lot of character oriented movies and some classy performances. The directors and producers have finally started to realize the importance of good story and reasonable gimmicks.

Tamil cinema as they say has a blend of classy Malayalam and mass telugu features in it. Its no doubt that Kodambakkam has once again turned the heads of national and international film audiences. Recent Rajinikanth film “Endhiran” or “The Robot” has created records of all sorts in India and has seen some good international box office as well. Though it is not exactly a sci-fi movie it was received well by Rajinikanth fans and tamil film audiences in India and throughout the world. Let us see how tamil movies flares from now on.

Recently in an international movie festival Vikram’s Raavanan movie received warm welcome by Cinema directors throughout the world. Vikram was also conferred with an honorary doctorate degree. Some of the big budget tamil movies waiting for release this summer are “Mankatha” starring Ajith Kumar, Nanban, a remake of Hindi movie, starring Vijay and an unnamed Kamal hassan movie. rajinikanth’s Rana has been postponed after Rajinis ill health and is scheduled to start after Rajinikanth returns from Singapore getting well.

Director Shankar one of the very famous tamil cinema directors has first started to work on a remake film starring Vijay, Jiiva, and Srikanth named as “Nanban”. Shankar told though Nanban is a remake film we can expect lot of twists in that movie which has been altered for the tamil audiences.

Another rumor spreading in the kodambakkam now is that Vijay is set to do a cameo role in Ajith’s Mankatha. But finally the grapevine is that there is another artist called Vijay who actually acts in Mankatha and not our tamil cinema hero Vijay. Pics of Vijay and Ajit posing together in the sets of Mankatha and Velayudham shows some good signs of encouragement amongst both vijay and Ajith fans that those two icons are close friends and no foul playing between the duo.

Five Successful Actors Who Define the Box Office

Many actors have made their mark on Hollywood and have been tagged as movie stars, all thanks to a few insanely successful movies. However, only a small number of actors have that charisma that can guarantee a box-office success even if they are not appearing as the main character in the movie. Because of their bankability as actors, their careers have stretched over decades, appearing in multiple hits and high-grossing franchises and winning major film awards.

Tom Hanks

A two-time Academy Award winner, Tom Hanks has appeared in more than 50 movies, with at least half of these movies surpassing the $100 million box-office mark. Hanks earned his first Academy Award for the movie “Philadelphia,” but he is best known for his portrayal of the endearing character Forrest Gump, where he earned numerous awards, including a Golden Globe and an Academy Award. He became one of Hollywood’s most bankable actors in the movie “Sleepless in Seattle.” Hanks is one of the most versatile actors in the industry, often playing difficult and eccentric roles such as the struggling castaway in the movie “Castaway” and as an antihero in the critically acclaimed film “Road to Perdition.” Hanks and the renowned director Steven Spielberg collaborated in several projects, including “Saving Private Ryan” and “Catch Me If You Can.” His most successful movies include the film adaptations of Dan Brown’s novels “The Da Vinci Code” and “Angels & Demons.” He has also voiced Woody in the highly popular “Toy Story” movies. Hanks will appear in the movie biopic “Captain Philips” and in the Walt Disney movie “Saving Mr. Banks,” both scheduled for release in 2013.

Robin Williams

A one-time Academy Award winner, Robin Williams is a gifted comedian and one of the most valuable actors of all time. He has starred in more than twenty unforgettable and critically acclaimed movies, including “Patch Adams,” “Mrs. Doubtfire,” “Jumanji,” “Dead Poets’ Society,” “Man of the Year,” and the two “Night at the Museum” movies. Interestingly, he earned his Academy Award for a supporting role in “Good Will Hunting,” where he played the role of a deep and thoughtful psychologist. Williams has also established himself as a talented and powerful voice actor, and he has voiced unforgettable roles in several movies, including the quirky Genie in “Aladdin” and the romantic Ramon in “Happy Feet.” Williams will have four big-screen comebacks in 2013 after a yearlong hiatus.

Morgan Freeman

Morgan Freeman is one of the most respected veteran actors in Hollywood. He is rarely the quintessential lead character in most of the movies he played in, but his calm and authoritative presence alone makes a movie worth watching. He has starred in more than fifty productions, including widely successful films such as the “Dark Knight Saga,” “Deep Impact,” “The Sum of all Fears,” and “Bruce Almighty.” Freeman has received numerous Academy nominations for his roles, but it was in his role in “Million Dollar Baby” that has won him the coveted Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Freeman is also a brilliant narrator, and his voice has been used to narrate the Academy Award-winning documentary the “March of the Penguins.” He is currently working in five different movies that are set to be released in 2013. Tom Cruise

Hollywood’s highest-paid actor in 2012, Tom Cruise is considered as one of the most powerful celebrities in the world. His blockbuster films have transcended culture and have broken language barriers. Some of his most first successful movies are “Top Gun,” “Jerry Maguire,” “Interview with a Vampire,” “Rain Man,” and “A Few Good Men.” He would later rose to international fame with his role as Ethan Hunt in the successful spy film saga “Mission Impossible.” The epic drama film “The Last Samurai” was more financially successful in Japan than in the United States, earning Cruise the respect and admiration of Japanese fans. His next big project is the movie “Oblivion” to be released in theaters in July 2013.

Samuel L. Jackson

After gaining critical acclaim for his role in “Jungle Fever” in 1991, not a year goes by without seeing Samuel L. Jackson in a highly acclaimed or financially successful movie. He rose faster into fame in the movie “Pulp Fiction” and would later earn his first Academy Award nomination for the legal thriller movie, “A Time to Kill.” His early works in theaters shaped him as a great cinema and voice actor. He has lent his voice in popular children movies, including “The Incredibles” and “Astro Boy.” Some of his most successful films are “Star Wars Episode I, II, and III,” “Deep Blue Sea,” “S.W.A.T.,” “Iron Man 2,” and “The Avengers.” Jackson is currently filming for the movie “Robocop” and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.”

Techniques For Planning Your Outdoor Cinema

Uncover the tips that will help you in setting up an inexpensive home cinema outdoors. A lot of people use flat panel TVs within their backyards, but a lot of people are utilizing projectors now as a consequence of enhance technology and then the reduced costs. At first companies and educational facilities were the biggest users of projectors, the high end of projectors will still be created for this market with a few current models ideal for home use. Not only for chilling out, you can throw birthday parties and use the backyard cinema to the fullest potential.

Strategies for your effective home cinema outdoors.

Which projectors would you employ for your home cinema, long or short throw? In the event the image to be shown is a long way from your initial hardware and screen this would want a long pitch projector because the lens is usually adjusted to ensure the image fits to the panel width flawlessly, alternatively a short throw device would have to be physically moved until the image shown on the screen.

The 2nd part for the solution is the way to mount the hardware, will this be attached to the wall or from a pole that may be fixed to some sort of external wall?

The 3rd part should be to consider if the solution might be long term or non permanent, meaning will the cables need shielding if left outside the house in every conditions?. For those safe practice minded of us you must protect the electrical wires from rainfall and damp because these can successfully pass electrical current causing an electric zap, among the best ways is to apply a silicone mat that the electrical wires could be pressed within the lines you’ll be able to bury the rubber mat knowing the wires are entirely protected against unintentional slicing when you are performing landscaping with a folding shovel and even from the weather.

What will you use for your screen? You can check out the extent of an outdoor screen as well as inflatable screen, nevertheless the choice is yours and will depend on just how much space you could have in your patio.

Protecting the components in hurricanes.

One primary reason that this kind of electronics just isn’t integrated immediately, is it can be seen as a headache to continue taking the equipment inside once the weather gets bad, but there’s an answer. An alternative is usually a protective projector box, these housings give you the crucial weatherproof defense along with a cooling and heating system to be certain the electronics works perfectly. My neighbor who made his own outdoor casing however when the first thunderstorm occurred he was furious as he had not made the unit watertight and the electronics within was damaged.

Another concern is definitely the heat created with any gadget like this, then inserting it straight into an air tight unit of some type, causes complications with the internal electronic boards over heating and burning out.

A final factor is security of the outdoor casing, without it the equipment could be taken and then your garden occasion may need to be postponed. The projector enclosures in the marketplace feature high security locks along with their products have insurance cover should anything happen to your devices.