jueves, 31 de enero de 2013

miércoles, 30 de enero de 2013

The Beatles' rooftop concert (Apple building)-12.00pm, Thursday 30 January 1969

Apple Studios, Savile Row, London
George Martin
Engineer: Glyn Johns

The Beatles, with Billy Preston, gave their final live performance atop the Apple building at 3 Savile Row, London, in what became the climax of their Let It Be film.

..."We went on the roof in order to resolve the live concert idea, because it was much simpler than going anywhere else; also nobody had ever done that, so it would be interesting to see what happened when we started playing up there. It was a nice little social study.

We set up a camera in the Apple reception area, behind a window so nobody could see it, and we filmed people coming in. The police and everybody came in saying, 'You can't do that! You've got to stop.'..."     George Harrison

30 January 1969 in London was a cold day, and a bitter wind was blowing on the rooftop by midday. To cope with the weather, John Lennon borrowed Yoko Ono's fur coat, and Ringo Starr wore his wife Maureen Starkey's red mac.
..."There was a plan to play live somewhere. We were wondering where we could go - 'Oh, the Palladium or the Sahara.' But we would have had to take all the stuff, so we decided, 'Let's get up on the roof.' We had Mal and Neil set the equipment up on the roof, and we did those tracks. I remember it was cold and windy and damp, but all the people looking out from offices were really enjoying it..."  Ringo Starr

The 42-minute show was recorded onto two eight-track machines in the basement of Apple, by George Martin, engineer Glyn Johns and tape operator Alan Parsons. The tracks were filled with the following: Paul McCartney, vocals; John Lennon's and George Harrison's vocals; Billy Preston's organ; McCartney's bass guitar; a sync track for the film crew; Starr's drums; Lennon's guitar; Harrison's guitar.
..."That was one of the greatest and most exciting days of my life. To see The Beatles playing together and getting an instant feedback from the people around them, five cameras on the roof, cameras across the road, in the road, it was just unbelievable..."
Alan Parsons

The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions, Mark Lewisohn

The songs performed on the roof:

Brief, incomplete and off-the-cuff versions of I Want You (She's So Heavy), God Save The Queen and A Pretty Girl Is Like A Melody were fooled around with in between takes - as was Danny Boy, which was included in the film and on the album. None of these were serious group efforts, and one - the group and Preston performing God Save The Queen - was incomplete as it coincided with Alan Parsons changing tapes.

martes, 29 de enero de 2013

lunes, 28 de enero de 2013


Bolaji Badejo – Alien

The story of the 7-foot-tall, Somalia-born, North London graphic designer who was picked up at a bar to play the star villain in Ridley Scott’s Alien before completely vanishing off the face of the earth is a weird story indeed.

In fact it’s so weird that you no doubt had to read that last sentence more than once.

One day, one of the films casting directors noticed the extremely lean 6’ 10” Bolaji at a local pub – aware that the film has yet to find anyone tall and slender enough to correctly portray the alien of the film, he was brought to director Scott, who asked the young man if he wanted to be in the film. According to Scott himself, Bolaji’s answer was “Sure.” And, just like that, he spent the next ten months of his life becoming a monster movie legend.

He trained with movement coordinators and used various rigs to get the unnatural look that they wanted for the creature, and was kept away from the other cast in order to create a feeling of unfamiliarity in the performances.

And then after the film was complete and on it’s way to becoming the hit that it now is, Bolaji just sort of…vanished. There have been various hoax pictures of him in his older years, but the producers and fans were never able to officially track him down for later interviews. Sadly the most popular rumor, which has yet to be confirmed, is that Bolaji committed suicide not long after the film was shot – but if that were the case then surely there would have been some kind of evidence of it. Perhaps, for the sake of irony, he was simply abducted by aliens.

Nick Castle – Michael Myers

To be fair, at least five different people actually portrayed Michael Myers in the original Halloween film – most notably Tony Moran, who was the actual face of Myers when he is unmasked near the end of the movie. However, the person we see the most, the one that walked the walk and talked the uh-…the heavy breathing…is Nick Castle.

Castle, who was John Carpenter‘s long-time friend from the University of Southern California and an aspiring filmmaker himself, took on the role for a mere 25 bucks a day and then proceeded to completely define the multimillion-dollar franchise psychopath with his patient and precise body language. Michael Myers is indeed a man who takes his time, almost aware that he is in a horror movie and therefore has no need to rush things, his movements are slow and somewhat dull up until the final moments when he decides to pin you to a wall with a knife and then go see what your girlfriend is up to.

After owning the role, Castle made the jump from aspiring filmmaker to actual filmmaker, directing several films, including the CGI pioneer The Last Starfighter, as well as co-writing Escape From New York with his buddy John.


Kevin Peter Hall – Predator

He is without a doubt the best person who ever lived. Better than Gandhi. He was able to take a totally silent, mostly faceless, and often completely invisible character and make it the most physically intimidating presence of a film that starred Jesse Ventura, Carl Weathers, and freaking Arnold Schwarzenegger.
At 7’ 2” he towered over his co-stars, but his size wasn’t what did it – it was the way he moved, his hunter stance and walk that just made you want to run for your life. Mannerisms that, after his unfortunate death, were mimicked in every Predator film to follow the sequel.

The kicker is that he also happened to be as sweet as a newborn bunny rabbit – according to producer John Davis he was “big and tall and soft and sweet inside.”

Dane Farwell & Roger Jackson – Ghostface

Anyone nearing thirty no doubt recalls the first Scream film with only the finest high-school nostalgia, a feeling unfortunately followed by disdain at the lofty amount of tired sequels and formulaic slasher flicks that the film made way for. Nevertheless, one iconic constant of the series has been the frantic but calculated pursuits of the Ghostface character throughout the films.

While a handful of actors have revealed themselves to be the killer in these films, there are two people who we have to thank for the Ghostface performances. The first is Dane Farwell, the stuntman who was physically behind the cloak and mask for the majority of Ghostface’s screen time.
It was Farwell’s imposing stature and frenzied movements that really defined the corporeal aspects of the villain, which he did make sure to change depending on which masked character he was currently standing in for. If you watch the first film, for example, with a keen eye you can actually speculate whether the killer is Stu or Billy in any given scene by judging the level of aggressiveness or awkwardness during the attacks. Take a look at this scene that, despite the later reveal of Billy’s cell phone, seems most likely to be Stu’s dirty work:
But of course, chances are that it’s primarily, if not exclusively, Farwell under there the whole time, mimicking his interpretation of which character is the current killer. His work was continued in the second film, and was unique, so that when he opted out of the third film fans actually noticed a change. Luckily he did return for the fourth and is said to be involved in the upcoming fifth installment as well.
It should also be noted that Ghostface’s signature move of wiping the blood off his knife with his forefinger and thumb was in fact a move created by Farwell himself.
So that’s the body, but what about the voice?

The sinister voice behind the entire series, what is explained to be a voice-changing device in the films, was in fact voice actor Roger Jackson. A man with over 150 credits to his name, including the Martian translator in Mars Attacks, as well as Mojo Jojo in The Powerpuff Girls, he worked directly with the actors on set via telephone as opposed to pre- or post-recording his lines. However, despite being physically on the set, in order to make the performances more authentic director Wes Craven made sure that none of the actors actually interacted with Roger face-to-face to preserve the mysteriousness of the conversations. The same goes for him in real life, as most interviews with him about Scream are done with a shroud of darkness to conceal his face.
What is no doubt both Jackson and Farwell’s best moment in this entire series of films is of course the unforgettable first scene of the first film. It’s this moment when we are first introduced to Jackson’s creepy charm and gradually increasing menace as well as Farwell’s threatening stance and surprise attacks that, much like Billy and Stu, we can instantly see just how deadly of a team these two really are.