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Posts Tagged ‘interactive’

When I was in the eighth grade, my buddies would come over almost every day after school to my parent’s apartment to play the board game, RISK.  It became a ritual and soon the topic of conversation between us, each day at lunch and recess.  In fact, one time three or four female classmates came to the apartment, pleading for us guys to give up the game and spend some time with them.  We said, “no way!”  Ah, the decisions we make!

I’ve always been a fan of games, the more complex the better.  I’ve played board games, cards, Dungeon and Dragons.  I enjoy the social interaction, the elements of fantasy.  After all these years it shouldn’t be a surprise that I would take my filmmaking experience and put it to use in video games, but it wasn’t until last year when my company, Unconventional Media produced the live action portions to the Electronic Arts (EA) video game, “Need for Speed: Undercover” that I really began to understand the tremendous possibilities of video games and interactive storytelling.

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend the Electronic Entertainment Expo, simply known as E3, at the Los Angeles Convention Center.  Presented by the Electronic Software Association, this is the event where new games and gaming inventions are unveiled each year.  The roll-out was impressive, the technology amazing.  I was in awe of the big LED televisions displaying such realistic, spot on graphics.  However, what really caught my attention this year is the amount of immersive game play devices being released.  Nintendo introduced a device, the Wii Vitality Sensor, that clips to a player’s index finger and reads their pulse into the game.  This is the same company that has been so successful with the Wii Fit, which helps a game player lose weight by bouncing on a board that feeds the movements into game play.  Basically, your movements are the game characters movements, so if the game requires your character to run or jump, then you, the player must do the same.  A hell of a workout.  Ubisoft Entertainment introduced a competitive, more serious fitness title, “Your Shape” that actually customizes the workout based on body type.

However, the Project Natal for the XBox really knocked me over.  You’ve got to watch the YouTube video attached to really understand the interactive possibilities.  You can fully immerse yourself into a virtual world.

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As I wrote in this blog last October, after the “E for all Expo,” the philosophy behind my company, Unconventional Media, is to deliver a fresh angle for new entertainment, incorporating movie storytelling into game play.  This seems to be a growing, exciting trend in the business, although much of it remains tied to feature film releases like “Batman,” “Watchman,” “Harry Potter,” etc..  I do admit it was fun to stand next to the original Ghostbusters Ecto-1 vehicle, parked outside to promote the Ghostbuster Video game. I believe with the immersing technology of virtual game worlds, we can create storylines to form a new kind of entertainment.  It’s like my fictional screenplay, “Press>Play” as reality.  We enter the story, virtually.

Since I’ve always enjoyed the social aspects of game play and find the solo aspects of most video games a little lonely, like playing Solitaire, you’d think I’d be a big fan of online gaming. I’m fearful that getting involved in games like “World of Warcraft” and other multi-player online activities will become such an addiction that I’ll never go outdoors again.  Hell, I won’t even play “Mafia Wars” on Facebook.  However, after viewing the EA and LucasArts upcoming release, “Star Wars: The Old Republic,” a multiplayer, online game based on the franchise, but set in a different time period, I may be hooked.

After a couple of days of the loud noises and visual attacks of E3, I had to make an escape. I sat down with some friends and played “Joan of Arc,” a good old fashioned board game.  The game takes place during the 100 year war between England and the provinces of France.  There are castles, battles, land grabs, even the plaque, but there are also alliances between players, negotiating between teams, the human element.  I miss this part of game play in video games.  Sometimes, it just feels like it’s you against the machine.  I like the social interaction. Maybe, I’m just a board game geek.  Anyone up for a game of RISK.

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Tucker Stilley has always shown an interest in quantum physics, but his “Virtual Artist in Residency” at The Monte Vista Projects Gallery is the first time I’ve seen so much work by one artist dedicated to the scientific theory.  It’s like a visit to SpaceCollective.org with paints and music.  Curated by his fellow Massachusetts College of Art classmate and friend, Sam Durant (who has a great show of his own “This is Freedom” at the Blum and Poe Gallery) this is an LA Times critically acclaimed, must see presentation that has been extended until May 3rd, 2009.

I’ve written about my brother-in-law’s amazing work on this blog before when a showcase of his video art was presented at the REDCAT in 2008.  Diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) in 2004, Tucker no longer has control of his limbs, so he uses a reflective bindi-dot on his forehead to control a complex system of computer technology.  The “How We Do It” video explains the method behind the creation of his on-going hyper-signal artwork, “The Permanent Record of NewJack_Rasputin.”

In the program notes for the Monte Vista, Tucker writes, “I feel it is logical, my own nervous system failing, that I would spontaneously generate an alter-ego, tear a hole-in-space and try to escape.  My situation warrants immediate and drastically uncompromising self-metamorphosis. An exquisite new aesthetic unfolds when you are standing on the deck of a burning ship. Being paralyzed amplifies the uneasy link between intent and action and brings into question the true meaning of this place and time that we occupy…and of what our ultimate audience might prove to be.”

If this is a blog about Unconventional Media, then Tucker’s pirate avatar, NewJack Rasputin is leading the charge, wielding a sword.  First stop at the gallery should be a read of the comic book, written and created by Tucker.  It is the backstory of NewJack Rasputin.  It is as cryptic as most of Tucker’s work, requiring close scrutiny.  Each reading I discover new thoughts and true life personal history.  Most of the comic book is available to view online at Tucker’s site, www.TuckerStilley.com.

There is a virtual media experience where gallery visitors and online viewers can interact with Tucker as he works.  The viewer has the experience of being inside the computer, looking at the artist’s “frailty and strength.”  Online, no matter where you live, you can catch Tucker making art – most days around 2 – 9pm, Pacific Time (Note: if you hear “crickets” he’s not at his console).  I’ve never seen the webcam technology put to better use.  As we watch we could become part of his next work.  At the gallery, there is a “keyboard” below the computer screen encasing over 465 used, reflective bindi-dots.  To the left of the computer are his recent brain scans.  Symbolic representations of the time Tucker has used just the turn of his head to create his art.  Above the brain scan are redefined photographs of three talents who also had ALS, Mao Tse-Tung, Leadbelly and Charles Mingus; now all with Mickey Mouse ears.

In one corner of the gallery is a collage of xeroxed photos and 8 1/2 x 11 sheets of printed words stained with red wine and tea.  (I’m in one photo, can you find me?)  Since the disease has made it difficult for Tucker to speak, the sentences, to friends, family and medical staff, read like poetry and haiku, a real understanding to the artists present psyche.  “T.O.E. (Theory of Everything),” a scroll of inkjet print outs and xerox photos overlaps one end of the word collage.  This is an older work, (which I’m proud to say I own a signed reprint copy), from his early days of computer art.  More stuff like this can be found at his website.  It’s a strong piece to have in the exhibit, not only because one image on the scroll shows Tucker drawing with his hand, when he could, but it also evokes the theories of time travel and quantum physics found in much of the recent works, many with “Time Weave” in the title.  One example, “Time Weave 63-11 Roberta” is a great representation of a person being in more then one place at a time.

The color prints of computer generated art, some of it originating from super 8 film footage or old photographs, much of it requiring viewing at different distances to fully understand the scope.  “Gimpcon Auto-collage, Self Portrait” looks to be a collection of patterns and shapes until you step back far enough to realize it is a portrait of Tucker wearing sunglasses.  Same holds true with “Last Wine Stomp at Dressle.”  My favorites of manipulating visual images into color were the “3-D Hawaii” series and “Midnight Nude at Noon.”

The “Ghost Photo” collage series reminded me of some of the first photographs from the last century that we’ve been researching for the New Orleans Paraplex documentary or stills from old silent films.  I also really liked “El Morro,” a freeze frame shot from one of Tucker’s short videos.  In the video, a big tire tube appears on the beach in a seven second circle of life at the edge of the Pacific.  In the still frame, the tire is frozen, peering out to the horizon, like a cast member from “Lost.”  Speaking of “Lost,” a shout out must go to the poster at the entrance to the gallery.  This is from a conceptual art piece Tucker did a few years back covering telephone poles with posters of an Iquana-lizard man lost like a neighborhood dog.

It’s an incredible show.  If you can’t make it to Los Angles, so much of Tucker’s art work can be seen on his website.  And just like his art, there are many “Easter Egg” surprises to explore and lead you to his music, video and other art.  It is a real interactive website.  Also visit “All Hands on Board,” a social networking site of friends and fans of Tucker Stilley’s work.  It is also another portal to his “Hole in Space” webcam.  For me, he is a mentor to the real possibilities that can be achieved with new media, new technology and new ideas.

Monte Vista Gallery
5442 Monte Vista Street
Los Angeles, CA 90042

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ceeI just finished watching David Merrill from MIT demonstrate cookie-sized, computerized tiles called Siftables that can be stacked and shuffled in your hands.  Anyone, even a young child, can do math, play music, and interact with their friends with these amazing digital blocks.  I watched in awe at TED.com.  The next generation of the computer and communication.

The yearly Technology, Entertainment & Design conference, now in year seven, is an amazing gathering of Today’s real thinkers.  This year’s conference, which was just recently posted on their Website, was once again filled with incredible inventions and new thoughts on issues that affect our world today.  If you don’t know much about TED, I highly recommend seeing Daphne Zuniga’s documentary on the 2006 conference, “The Future We Will Create: Inside the World of TED.”  A review can be found on my friend Stefan Rhys blog, Signal>Noise.

Although I haven’t actually been to a TED conference, I did recently have the opportunity to go to two other forward thinking conferences.  A few weeks ago, I joined director/producer Nicole Torre of New Angle Media at the GoGreen Expo and was impressed with the advances and possibilities for a better, greener future.  I was raised on Earth Day and traditional American Indian philosophy (see my upcoming documentary project, “Witness Trees“), so a lot of this was as old as when Jimmy Carter was President talking “Green,” but it is wonderful that the masses are finally stepping out of their SUV’s for a better, cleaner planet.  I firmly believe that anyone looking for a job and with the new Economic Stimulus Bill, “Green” is the future.  If you’re interested check out Earthprotect.com.  That’s why I was at the conference promoting Unconventional Media and why I decided to help produce Nicole Torre’s upcoming documentary, “Houston, We Have a Problem.”  It’s a feature film on the energy crisis from the perspective of the Houston oil man.   We’re in the final stages of post production, research clearances, music rights, but if anyone wants to hang their hat on an important film, we sure could use the pocket change.

Last weekend, I attended the Conscious Life Expo.  Once again, I was impressed with this wave of spiritual thinking and world peace.  People were truly promoting change for our planet.  Now I admit there were a few “weird” and wild ones at the conference and I met more psychics in one day then I’ve ever met in all my years working with the International Society of Paranormal Research (ISPR).  I’m certain we can now cast our show “Psychic Boot Camp” for the Paraplex in New Orleans.

We were at the Expo to capture an exciting, upcoming DVD for BrandU’s Conscious Entrepreneur Experience.  I’ve known W. Vito Montone and Kim Castle of BrandU for a long time.  These guys know what they are talking about when it comes to understanding your business as a creative universal expression, regardless of the product or service offered.  Much of what they cover in their lectures and workshops has been the inspiration for me in my own creation of Unconventional Media.  It was Kim Castle and her insights that created the original Eric Mofford logo.

This DVD will explain and show the greater path to financial freedom and personal fulfillment.  “CEE” can almost guarantee the growth and profitability of your business while still making a powerful and positive impact on the world.
Kim and Vito have always been ahead of their time with new ideas.  Kim has been helping clients with their company identity for over twenty years.  Vito has spearheaded projects for Disney Interactive and created the first Virtual Convention for Star Trek, among many other projects.  I remember Vito and I getting together and talking about the possibilities of interactive media, kiosk point of sales and brand marketing in Atlanta in the late 1980’s when no one would listen.  This DVD not only includes their own knowledge and expertise, but includes a TV talk show format featuring irreverent and witty interviews by Kim with multi-million dollar conscious entrepreneurs, Spike Humer, Marcia Miller and Joe Sugarman.  The live music was supplied by the wonderful techno artist Coco O’Connor.
These guys took risks and succeeded, an inspiration for any business, be it independent filmmaking or bracelets like the “I Love Bracelets” launched by Marcia Miller out of her apartment while pregnant with her first child.  Since its inception, “ILB” has sold more than 2 million bracelets, earrings, and necklaces, exclusively to more than 7,000 retailers, gift stores and fashion boutiques.  Mr. Humer has been the behind the scenes life coach for several of the world’s leading experts in the field of personal and business development.  He has hands-on experience leading both public and private companies throughout North America.

I’ve got to admit my favorite was Joe Sugarman, who created BluBlocker Sunglasses and ran JS&A (forerunner of  Sharper Image), a highly successful mail-order company in the 1980s, the largest supplier of innovative electronic products in the U.S.  He pioneered many of the sales and marketing techniques widely used today, as well as introduced household products like the calculator, cordless phones, and digital watches to the world.  His world-class drive, business acumen, insatiable curiosity, and uncanny ability to tap the buying mind, keeps him ahead of the pack and always forging new frontiers.  This guy didn’t always succeed, but he was always willing to chase the dream.

The Conscious Entrepreneur Experience DVD is going to be a valuable tool for anyone ready to start or rethink their own business.  The whole experience was an incredibly worthwhile experience for me.  I guess it will soon be available at Intention Products.  I truly believe I had a rare opportunity to hear and see two speakers before they present at a future TED conference, and for that I feel privileged.  These are amazing times indeed.

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The PARAPLEX opened today, January 24, 2009 in New Orleans.  Sadly, I was unable to attend the opening.  Too much bills and paperwork to get through here in Los Angeles, but do plan to get down real soon.  The high tech PARAPLEX includes  paranormal art galleries,  hands-on interactive psychic testing exhibits, a simulated séance room , a Ghost Experience Simulator and its own on-site theater for workshops, documentaries and feature film screenings.  The PARAPLEX is located at 4800 Canal Street in the heart of New Orleans, in a  completely remodeled, 14,000 square foot historic mansion built in the late 1800’s as a private residence and later became a funeral home.  Many believe the location to be haunted and with our arsenal of cameras of varying formats, monitoring and recording all paranormal phenomena 24/7 and documenting interactions between the mansion’s “resident entities” and PARAPLEX visitors, we may finally get a ghost on camera.  This has been an idea for over twenty years for my friend, parapsychologist Dr. Larry Montz of ISPRUnconventional Media is already in pre-production on some documentary ideas and television series built around the location.  Parapsychology and paranormal research is now an integral part of our culture and the PARAPLEX will cater to the millions in their quest for information and experiences within the paranormal realm.   The continuously evolving PARAPLEX is destined to become a premiere attraction internationally, offering a signature blend of interactive paranormal education and entertainment.  Very exciting indeed.  Great news story at WDSU – Channel 6.

The PARAPLEX ANNEX, which I visited over Halloween last year and wrote about here, is located at 718 Orleans, in the French Quarter.  A mini-museum it also serves a full slate of paranormal events including Ghost / Parapsychology Expeditions, Psychic Boot Camp, UFO & Ghost Hunters Nighttime Swamp Investigations and the exclusive new tour, Anne Rice’s Vampires & Other Supernatural Beings.  I’ve already started cutting a documentary from my last visit on these expeditions.  Best place for updates is at NewOrleans.com

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The amazing musical artist, once again known as, Prince has recently been quoted as saying, “the Gatekeepers must change.”  This was in reference to his frustration with the major labels and the creation of his own record label and his three upcoming, yes three, releases.  The man is prolific.  He’s got a new interactive website, www.lotusflow3r.com, that has some of his new music and soon will carry videos and idea blogs.  It really isn’t that different then what any musician can create on a MySpace site.  He and many musicians have found the Internet to be the best home for their personal creative visions.

There was an article a few days ago in the LA Times by Randy Lewis about music Industry A&R guys.  Don Gierson, a music label veteran that teaches A&R classes at the Musicians Institute in Los Angeles, believes that it is critical now to understand and learn how to anticipate trends and harness new technologies to better serve the artists.  Jeff Blue, another seasoned pro and teacher there is quoted as saying the music industry is “evolving – and devolving-and more and more artists have to be their own record label.”  The article goes on to state that the harsh reality today is that few record companies have the time, money or interest to nurture acts anymore.  As I posted in a recent blog, we all have to be our own distributors.

We’re hearing the same thing in the film and television industry.  A new webisode series, FilmFellas, showcases influential and emerging new filmmakers discussing the challenges of the new independent film scene.  The full screen HD tells the story, it looks fantastic (I’m guessing the RED), a viewing pleasure.  We’re not going to be looking at compressed video much longer on YouTube.

The FilmFella guys and the A&R guys at the Musicians Institute are mentoring us all in how the Internet is changing entertainment.  I try to do this with this blog and the courses I teach at the Maine Media Workshops and with Jeff Seckendorf at One on One Film Training.  As the studios and record labels get bought up by congloms like Time Warner, News Corp., Disney, Viacom and Sony, we’re all discovering that we don’t need them anymore.

Well, okay we still need them financially, but hopefully not for long.  It still seems like the only way to make any money for your Internet projects is through sponsorships and advertising banners.  In these economic times, that money is not readily available.  Look at www.Hulu.com.  It’s television on the Web, with advertising.  It’s a great source for finding a television show or episode we may have missed, but at this point, no one is making any money from the convenience.  Which brings me to the potential SAG strike.  Because of all my actor friends, I promised myself I would stay out of that mess, but as I see traditional production slow down with the talk of another strike, I feel I must speak out.

I’m pro-union, a proud DGA member and certainly believe there are issues that need better resolution in the current contracts.  One of the biggest is how money is to be disseminated to the creative parties when projects are produced for the Internet.  The problem is, at this point in time, the Internet is a creative playground, but few are making any money including the big studios.  I think the WGA and DGA and even AFTRA were wise to table Internet discussions until the next contract meetings.  SAG should do the same.

Now is not the time to strike.  Too many other non-actors in this business will be affected, including Unconventional Media.  Few have recovered economically from the Writer’s strike.  SAG needs to work out their divisions within their own union first.  It’s getting ugly, according to the January 12th, Hollywood Reporter, SAG board member Frances Fisher (Mother in “Titanic“) distributed an email suggesting that SAG members use their upcoming SAG Award ballots to punish nominated actors — including Alec Baldwin, Steve Carell and Sally Field — who have advocated abandoning the strike-authorization vote.  Making it political, not about acting performance – for the SAG Awards.  Come on!  That’s just one example, it’s really become civil war.  Unify first please, before you put everyone out of work.

SAG needs to work with all of the other union members to get through these tough economic times instead of making them tougher.  Don’t sink the ship, Mama!  Go to www.nosagstrike.com for more information or go to the SAG website for SAG’s MembershipFirst side on authorizing the strike.

I agree that the Gatekeepers must change, let’s just be responsible and know what those changes really are going to be first.  As Tina Fey warned on The Golden Globe Awards last night, “there’s this thing called the Internet…”  It’s still in development.  I don’t believe you should set the rules before you know if the actual experiment worked.

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A few days ago I was returning with my sister Lindsay Mofford and our friend Stefan Rhys from the full length screening of “Che” at the Nuart theater.  The two of them couldn’t see how director Steven Soderbergh could allow the studios to release the film in two parts instead of the four+ hour version that we had just throughly enjoyed.  I argued that they seemed like two different films, both in filmmaking style and tone.  They were even shot at different aspect  ratios.  Soderbergh may have always planned them as two different films.  The conversation continued with discussions of classic great films, both Lindsay and Stefan had recently seen Sidney Lumet’s 1976 film “Network” again on Netflix.  We talked about Paddy Chayefsky‘s great screenplay, including the fight between Diana (Faye Dunaway) to Max (William Holden) and her apology, “I’m sorry I impugned your cockmanship.”  We all agreed, “Such a great line.”  They just don’t make them like that anymore.  Well, OK, Sidney Lumet  and Steven Soderbergh are still making great movies.

I’ve been reading a lot about the past recently, not just 2008 (which is to be expected with the New Year), but even further back.  The Sunday, December 28, New York Times was filled with articles about how things are changing so rapidly, mostly because of digital technology and the Internet.  In Michael Kimmelman’s article, “Imperfect, Yet Magical” he writes about Polaroid’s decision to stop manufacturing the film for their instant cameras.  Digital cameras did them in, even though some amazing art, including the work of David Hockney, has been created with those white-bordered prints.  As to be expected, many  are protesting by signing petitions at SavePolaroid.com.  Others are happy to see its demise, Polaroid film never being a great thing for the environment.

I signed the petition, but how many things can we really hope to save in this changing world.  On the very next page of the newspaper was an article by David Streitfeld about the destruction of book publishing.  Turns out it isn’t because of lack of interest in books, it’s because book lovers are finding cheaper ways to read and buy books on the Internet.  To quote, “more books are available for less effort and less money than ever before.”  He not only mentions Amazon.com but introduced me to ViaLibri.net, a book search engine of 20,000 booksellers around the world, ready to uncover your next read.

Reading about how the Internet is the demise of book publishing reminds me of all the discussions, including here on this blog and at our Nashville office Unconventional South, of how downloading music has ruined the recording companies.  In 2008, one Billion songs were purchased online, while CD sales fell nearly twenty percent.  The music industry is scrambling to cope with this change.  In the Arts and Leisure section of the same New York Times, Jon Pareles writes in his article, “Songs from the Heart of a Marketing Plan” that record labels are now creating “360” deals with artists, in which they share in concert tickets and merchandise sales.  The biggest new source of income for musical artists is in licensing fees for commercials, movie and television soundtracks and video games.  The concern, of course, is that in the past, the record labels job was selling the music and the artist, licensers have no interest beyond the immediate sales effect of a certain song.  So the shift goes from recording songs from the heart to making music that marketers can use.  Didn’t Neil Young warn us all many years ago that this was where things were headed in “This Note’s for You?”

If it requires marketing and branding to get your music heard, is that so bad?  Music has always had a role in marketing.  Most successful musicians believe that licensing does build interest in the music that can pay off with record sales.  The key is staying true to your art while taking advantage of the new opportunities.  In the Music section of that same December 28 issue of the Times, Vivien Schweitzer writes in her article, “Aliens are attacking.  Cue the Strings.” that music scores whether rock, rap or classical are becoming an integral part of video games.  It seems as the game industry matures, they’re getting better at storytelling.  Steve Schnur of Electronic Arts (EA) is quoted as saying, “music is the reason for the emotional response that games never had 10 to 20 years ago.”  We certainly found that to be true when producing the live portions of  “Need for Speed:Undercover.”  In prep, the discussions on music were considered just as important as visual content.  According to the article, television and film producers want more ambient music, while software companies want strong statements.  However, the biggest challenge for the composer is switching from linear to the interactive of video games, the music has to reflect different possible outcomes within each part of the game.

Listen, I still love the sound of an LP over a CD or digital recording.  I don’t mind getting up ever 25 minutes to turn over the record, that’s why I still own three thousand records.  I also have close to that many CD’s.  However, we need to embrace the fact that new media has changed the industry, not only music, but other creative endeavors.  Because I also love listening to new bands on Pandora, Ourstage and MySpace.

The changing industry is even having an effect on syndicated cartoonists. According to Leslie Berlin in her New York Times article (same date, quite an issue), “The Comics are Feeling the Pain of Print,” cartoonist are feeling the same bite as musical artists.  Newspapers are declining.  Cartoonists are using the web to sell books, calendars, stuffed dolls to compensate.  Sites like Comics.com and Webcomics Nation present many of the same strips found syndicated in newspapers, plus some new ones only available on the web.  Another site, GoComics.com even has a version for the iPhone.  Like most things on the Internet, the comic sites didn’t have much success with subscription fees, but marketing banners seem bring in some income.

In 1976, when the film “Network” was released, news as entertainment seemed like a far-fetched fantasy.  Things have changed, but in many ways things remain the same.  Many of the issues documented in the terrific Gus Van Zant film release “Milk” are being fought today in California with Prop. 8 and elsewhere in this country.  I gathered my information the old fashioned way, I read the Sunday New York Times, not on the Internet, it was delivered.  But I put it in my Blog, you can still read the articles online.  In 2009, we don’t have to leave everything behind to move forward, we just need to figure out how to make all this new technology work to our own artistic and financial advantage.  So take those fading Polaroids, maybe scan them and create a website.  Take your music and find a new way to market it.  Write your novel or make your film and self distribute it.  Use the web for success, that’s my resolution.  There are no good old yesterdays, just present day.

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So I’m finally recovering from a crazy Halloween and post election euphoria.  I spent Halloween in New Orleans which has become almost as big an attraction for the city as Mardi Gras.  I was there to finalize my partnership with Dr. Larry Montz and Daena Smoller of the International Society for Paranormal Research (ISPR) and begin film and video productions for the upcoming new attraction, the PARAPLEX.  We got lots of great press about the visit from New Orleans Magazine and NewOrleans.com

The PARAPLEX will open in early 2009 inside a 3-story and 14,000 square foot ‘haunted mortuary’ at 4800 Canal Street, three miles from the Quarter.  The PARAPLEX will be the world’s first 24/7 Interactive Paranormal Complex combining a high-technology observatory & lab (with over 40 cameras), static and interactive exhibits, a screening room running films when not in use for workshops, classes and presentations.  Exhibits include the history of ghost sightings, history of paranormal groups in the United States including psychics and seances, a ghost simulation experience, faux hauntings exposed, and many others.  I think it’s the first of it’s kind, a scientific museum and research center on Paranormal activities.

Right now, the PARAPLEX building is being used as The Haunted Mortuary which is one of the scariest “haunted house” attractions I’ve ever seen, and I went through it in the daytime!  A mini-PARAPLEX, the PARAPLEX ANNEX is open at 718 Orleans in the French Quarter.  This is what I came to see and it was great.  The PARAPLEX ANNEX offers free admission to see cool individual items on display from huge paranormal exhibits that will be installed at the PARAPLEX.  You can even catch great video screened inside of raw real paranormal investigation footage!

The PARAPLEX Annex also offers an amazing line-up of brand new paranormal reality events and a special tour, including:

PARAPSYCHOLOGY EXPEDITIONS – The cousin to the world-famous Ghost Expeditions that created a ghost hunter / ghost hunting pop phenom around the world, and based on the works of the most progressive parapsychologists over the last 100+ years, you get to participate in real paranormal field research at and inside actively haunted properties with some baseline psi testing, equipment provided.

PSYCHIC BOOT CAMP – Based on the reality TV series ISPR and I have been developing, you not only learn and use any clairvoyant abilities you may have, but you’ll learn about and the ‘how-to’s’ of psychic criminology, remote viewing and psychometry all while using the French Quarter as boot camp.  It’s perfect for the psi-curious all the way to the practicing clairvoyant who wants to flex their psychic muscles in the field.  Conducted by accomplished and professional clairvoyants.

UFO & GHOST HUNTERS NIGHTTIME SWAMP INVESTIGATIONS
This one gets spooky!  Whether you’re more interested in what’s flying overhead or what’s roaming the ground and on the water!  The tour I was on had more then a few alligators snapping around.  After leaving the Annex in the Quarter, you explore the Honey Island Swamps at night with certified captains and actually dock at a private beach near original American Indian burial sites.

The one I’m most excited to see presented, but it wasn’t running Halloween weekend:

ANNE RICE’S VAMPIRES & OTHER SUPERNATURAL BEINGS TOUR
Direct from Anne Rice…all the cool stuff she wants you to know!  It’s a tour that can’t be duplicated elsewhere because it comes from true behind the scenes events and knowledge that only those close to Ann Rice would know, it should be a fan favorite!  Especially in conjunction with the PARAPLEX which will be running an exhibit donated by Anne Rice featuring her famous vampire characters, doll collection, and original writings.

It’s going to be very cool to be a part of this new experience in the city that doesn’t quit, New Orleans.  At this time I’m looking for any old personal films or videos that anyone may have that show paranormal activity.  If you have something you’d like me to consider playing at the PARAPLEX or want it to be reviewed by a paranormal team, send me an email.  Who knows what kind of television, new media or even video games this is all going to lead into.  Should be fun!

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