Friday, September 12, 2014

Films Saved From Mindless Extinction

Real movies made on real 35mm film will live on thanks to a handful of modern filmmakers – and I hope their efforts last many years.

Kodak alone remains today as a producer of 35mm film stock thanks to the investment from directors like Quentin Tarantino, Christopher Nolan, Martin Scorsese, J.J. Abrams and Judd Apatow, and Tarantino is providing actual films from his own collection of prints to screen at the New Beverly Cinema.

Kodak says:

“After extensive discussions with filmmakers, leading studios and others who recognize the unique artistic and archival qualities of film, we intend to continue production," Kodak Chief Executive Jeff Clarke said in a statement Wednesday. "Kodak thanks these industry leaders for their support and ingenuity in finding a way to extend the life of film."

The rush to digital tech has blindly discarded film – which in fact is far superior for long term archiving. It’s stunning that it’s been the studios themselves which have driven the effort to make filmmaking extinct.

The disposal attitude might confuse some folks so think about it this way – would it make any sense for the production of paint and canvases to be eliminated merely because many artists today use digital technology to create artworks?

Would it make any sense to no longer make, say, a French coffee press because drip coffee makers are more popular?

Would it make any sense to eliminate the use of raw materials like stone or metal because of the emergence of 3D printing technology?

Such ideas make no sense.

Kudos to these wise artists.

Artistic methods and tools and technology are always changing – but allowing such tyranny because something is New is ridiculous.

Long live film!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Real Freefall Leap Rises High at Frightmare Manor/Adventure Ranch

For the past few months, an unusual structure has been rising up on the grounds of the hit attraction of Frightmare Manor in Talbott. All summer long, we could all see it getting higher and higher and higher - an impressive wooden tower with multiple levels … but what is it?

A giant new bungee jump attraction? How about the starting point for a new zip-line across Frightmare? Perhaps it would be some kind of elevator drop or … something else? 

It definitely has had people talking and wondering what’s new for Frightmare Manor 2014. At 40 feet in height, it's easily the most visible structure for miles and miles and commands your attention as you drive past on Highway 11-E. And it's really multiple attractions all in one -- The top of the 40-foot tower is an 360-degree Observation Deck with an impressive view. But there's much more to it, just read on.

The Frightmare Manor folks are always imaginative and this new element is linked to the mysterious legend and rumors of Jeremiah Lexer, the allegedly maniacal killer whose dark deeds of terror have haunted this landscape and inspired the makers of Frightmare Manor.

Legend says that Lexer, back in the early days of the 1900s, murdered his entire family in a grisly fashion and then he climbed up to the top of his house and from there leapt to his death. Only later did local authorities discover that scores of deaths could be attributed to Lexer. (Events which apparently have been carefully covered up, again, according to numerous local residents.)

Whether Fact or Fiction, the idea has turned into a terrifyingly real, thrilling and daring new free fall leap as part of the 2014 Frightmare Manor experience. It's said that blueprints of the original Lexer Plantation House, found in the early 1900s, revealed how unusually high the top of the home became, and those designs were the inspiration for this new leap.

During the evening hours, The Lexer Jump will give guests a chance to try out a free fall leap of their own, from one of two different heights, one at 11 feet and another at 27 feet, and all with complete safety, and then onto state of the art inflatable bags.

Also, when the brand new Adventure Ranch opens, staring Sept. 20, the lower and more friendly jump will be available for visitors to experience – The Adventure Leap is offered to thrill folks of all ages during the day.

I really have to try this. Frightmare Manor opens Sept. 26 and Adventure Ranch opens Sept. 20.

Be sure and check out the websites for Frightmare Manor and for Adventure Ranch for tickets, directions, deals and more. And follow them on Facebook too for special promotions and deals all through the Fall season. Below, some folks try out the jump for themselves.