25 February 2015

Archived Podcasts - Including the 2014 Christmas Episode!

Episode 83 - 2002: Resident Spider

It's 2002, the year when a lot of the darkness and edge that Hollywood had been striving for in the 90s started to crystallise. The Bourne Identity reinvented espionage, Blade II reinvented vampires and Attack of the Clones brought the burgeoning field of incoherence to new levels of depth and complexity.

The 80s Kids had a great time in 2002 and aren't afraid to let their emotions show on the topic. Good thing for them that they don't live in the world of Equilibrium, both for plot-relevant reasons and because Leo still believes it is the worst film he has ever seen in a cinema to date.

On the subject of the underwhelm aside from the aforementioned clones we also had the Potter film most universally agreed to be "a bit meh" Chamber of Secrets and the forgettable sequel to Men in Black so snoozeworthy it's not even discussed in passing. To protect us from the parade of mediocrity are a number of exciting new developments and spectacular labours of love to go along with Bourne. This is, after all, the year of Raimi's Spider Man and Spielberg's Minority Report.

Can anyone declare the year which brought us Death To Smoochy, Cypher and The Transporter a failure? Can the 80s Kids? Turn on, download and find out. Incidental Music by Incompetech

Direct Link: https://archive.org/download/083Films2002/083%20-%20Films%202002.mp3

Episode 84 - The 80s Kids ABC of Movies 1: ABC

It's story time at 80s Kids Towers and Leo is sitting down to concoct a tale inspired by the selections in this new format short run 80s Kids series: The 80s Kids ABC of Movies.

It's all pretty simple really. As we have wound our way through the myriad films of three decades certain films have, inevitably, ended up by the wayside. Some years were so bursting with potential conversation starters that the odd gem got left behind along the way.

The ABC is a way to redress the balance as our three intrepid adventurers select three films per episode whose titles start with a group of hand-picked carefully chosen letters.

In the first in the series the letters are ABC as all letters have been chosen alphabetically. There will be a special no-prize not issued to the listener who can guess what the next three carefully selected letters will be. Shall we? Lets.

Incidental music: "Sneaky Snitch" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Direct Link: https://archive.org/download/0084ABC01/0084-ABC01.mp3

Episode 85 - A Very 80s Kids Christmas

The 80s Kids are back for another Christmas Adventure! What starts out as a Festive clip show turns into madness and chaos when Justin delivers a message so terrible the others can barely believe it.

What follows next is a perilous journey for survival and freedom through a world crafted by their arch nemesis Michael Bay. Menaced at their every turn Leo and Ian must face Big Bay's unsettling agents with their gratuitous special effects and nonsensical plot logic out to ensnare them.

And no matter who wins one thing is for sure ... The 80s Kids will never be the same again ... Wow ... this is just like EastEnders isn't it? Incidental Music by incompetch.com

Direct Link: https://archive.org/download/085AVery80sChristmasShow/085%20-%20A%20Very%2080s%20Christmas%20Show%20.mp3

Episode 86 - Back To Back To The Future

Happy New Year! And what better time is there to talk about Back to the Future than 2015? The mythical far away date which we saw in the second film. Now we're here hover boards are sadly not a reality, neither are hydrated pizzas.

Nevertheless, with the much loved trilogy quickly heading to a time where , ironically, all of Back to the Future will be set in the past it seems an appropriate time to give the series an 80s Kids reevaluation. From the much loved first film, which seems to barely put a foot wrong with it's tight script, memorable characters and brilliant casting, to the eclectic sequel with it's mind bending time twisting plot, to the 'Wraps it all up in a bow' final western themed film that left us all happy and satisfied.

If there is such a thing as a perfect trilogy Back to the Future is a likely candidate. So please come join us as we set our time machines for 1985 and learn again all about believing in yourself, the power of love and the hatred for manure. Incidental Music by incompetech.com

Direct Link: https://archive.org/download/086BackToBackToTheFuture/086%20-%20Back%20to%20Back%20to%20the%20Future.mp3

6 February 2015

Checking Out The Competition On Hangouts

I can see a time coming up at some point in the future where people will live on Google Hangouts On Air. Some people already are. Before the world's first Hangout celebrities are still in the wings looking through the list of available Hangouts can be a surreal, frightening and depressing experience.

The bad news is that trying to find some content to engage with in Hangouts On Air is a big challenge. The good news is that we are all living in a time pregnant with opportunity.

On the theory that forewarned is forearmed I took the opportunity to whizz down a typical list of available Hangouts and show you some broad categories of people who are online now.

Non-English People

It's not a surprise that people who do not participate in the Western culture of mass media and celebrity have quickly begun to grasp the potential of this thing. I think that if we weren't all spoon-fed movies and television in its current formats, neatly packaged and directed, we would be a lot further along with this thing.

If you are non-English you are used to make-dos in media, I suppose. In which case you are not easily going to be put off harnessing an incredibly powerful media tool by the necessity to include a few make-dos along the way.

Religious Types

I am neither endorsing nor deriding this content but it seems that evangelisers and proselitysers of all stripes are alive to the potential of this platform. New media is well known as a hotbed of zealotry and extremism so this kind of programming is to be expected.

Traditional Western media has to be seen to be straight down the middle, even its extremity is watered down until it fits within a broadcasting standard. This kind of niche market sermonising is finding it's home on Hangouts.

Minecrafters/Let's Players

Anywhere there is new media are video gamers streaming their gaming sessions these days. Hangouts and Twitch TV are slowly merging together. This is important because of the last point here:

Youthful Types

See this kid? In two decades time he will own and control all this media stuff that the current generation finds so difficult. A thirty six year old going into business today will be hopelessly outclassed in the market place in two decades. Why? Because these kids are playing around with this tech today and by the time these people step into business they will already feel at ease with this type of broadcasting.

That last point I can testify to. It happened to me. When I was six I got comfortable with a Sinclair ZX81 and now I am a computer master, not mastered by my computer. Staying up to date with technology isn't easy, but it is essential.

The Good News

All this means that if you have thoroughly prepared content, the will to deliver it effectively and the patience to grow your media marketing plan you have the opportunity to dominate with relative ease. One day Hangouts will be rammed to the rafters with content as engaging as what currently spills through our television sets. Everyone will be more competent. Businesses will do this as a matter of course.

That is a daunting world to contemplate. But we don't live in that world, we live in this one. The challenges are different but the potential rewards are much greater than the local broadcasters of the future will dare to dream of.

5 February 2015

The Monkey Business

So, as is common with blogs, a new strand has come along. I'm running a new media business now and it's starting to take off. The key thing I've found is that people just don't understand why they should now be involved in small-scale cottage media production. I watch a lot of YouTube but until I started my business I didn't understand the challenges and pitfalls of trying to be a YouTuber.

If you have a business enterprise then you will have to get involved with new media tech, it's inevitable. People that don't embrace engagement through YouTube, Hangouts and podcasting are going to get left struggling. These technologies really are the best way to engage with new customers in a new way. Not least because passing trade is at home surfing the net, not walking down the high street. That's what this article, which I sent out as a mailshot to some potential new clients, is all about:

We live in a world that has been transformed by computers, the internet, and social networking. The problem for many of us is that the change is subtle and if you don't see it you can easily miss something important.

When I started Spinning Monkey I thought of myself as being in the business of small scale media production. I have all the kit to take a studio around with me, like a school photographer, and I have the expertise to cut together video productions.

That makes me a videographer, right?


What I quickly discovered is that the types of things you need to do with a small scale media set up are very different to the requirements of even the smallest video production house. What I do is to help people plug into a vast sea of potential customer engagements quickly and to maximum effect.

Businesses of the future will be expected to be social, have faces and names, like people on Facebook. The success stories of tomorrow will talk directly to more people and show the world, with an immediate touch, that they are experts in their field and can move with a rip tide of daunting technological advancement.

At Spinning Monkey we have a variety of projects happening that can help you take vital steps to consolidating your position in business in the exciting times to come. Take a look at the current newsletter. It tells you what is going on at the moment, it's not just a bunch of sales pitches, some projects ask for participation at no cost and give a great window into the possibilities of new media technology.

You can't afford to think of new technologies in media as things that are for someone else, or that what they offer isn't for you. If you don't get involved one of your competitors will sometime soon. It's an exciting time for pioneers and trailblazers. For the early adopters the rewards will be greatest.

You don't have to go it alone. We can explore this new world together. If anything the Spinning Monkey is doing is of interest please don't hesitate to get in touch.

26 January 2015

Archived Podcasts - Into the New Millennium/Some Bad Smells

Episode 79 - Doing It For The Fans

This description is going to be a bit lax for several reasons. Firstly, to play the sympathy card, Ian has not been well, hence the lateness of this ep. He edited the slippery customer, like a hero, but it's Leo here posting it. Hello.

Secondly, we recorded it together several weeks ago now and my recollection of what actually transpired may be a bit hazy. See, I can't even commit to how well I remember the incident. Shameful. I remember we were, unsurprisingly, talking about fans and how much of an influence they should be allowed to have on a creative project. Should one embrace them, or is that a disastrous move.

Should one, then, ignore them, or is that imprudent? There seem to be no easy answers, which probably explains why we chose it as an episode subject. So down the rabbit hole we go once more as we discover that the whole episode is, in fact, an extended discussion of why it is Leo has recently been working for payment in individual desk-based rotor air-cooling devices... Oh, the embarrassment.

Direct Link: https://archive.org/download/079DoingItForTheFans/079%20-%20Doing%20it%20for%20the%20Fans.mp3

Episode 80 - Films 2001 - The one with a monkey faced Lincoln memorial statue

Well, I won't pretend to be anything other than a wimp ... but I ... Ian ... am a tad unwell. So I'm going to shirk my duties and do a short write up this week. So to be brief: In 2001 Fantasy lands big time and gets much talked about.

Meanwhile the 90s goes through it's dying spasms with a heap of forgettable movies that should never have been made. Oh that was easy. I should be lazy more often! Incidental Music by Incompetech

Direct Link: https://archive.org/download/080Films2001/080%20-%20Films%202001.mp3

Episode 81 - So Bad We Smelt it Coming!

Every so often one becomes aware of a up coming film who's destiny as a much maligned flop seems so obvious that it's stunning it's got a cinema released at all. Surely somewhere in the process someone somewhere should have stepped in and said something.

Yet somehow at every single stage, from the initial pitch, to the casting, the choice of director and marketing there has been a dramatic failure in quality control. While it might be impossible to say for sure a film will be a hit until the movie going audience judges it the reverse is not true.
Indeed we here a the 80s Kids humbly submit that sometimes the stink of a movie can be so bad we can smell it coming a mile away. Most topically on our minds right now is the up coming 'Fantastic 4' reboot, of which we have heard very little that inspires any kind of 'Wait and see' sense of doubt about the radical re-imagining of Marvel classic comic series.

Every comment and leak seems to add another layer of dread and Leo and to a lesser extent Ian are all to happy to have a good moan about it all. This leads on to a wider discussion of bombs we saw coming in hopes of gleaning some kind of vital formula that we might disclose for the betterment of all mankind. Incidental Music by Incompetech.com

Direct Link: https://archive.org/download/081SoBadWeSmeltItComing/081%20-%20So%20Bad%20We%20Smelt%20it%20Coming.mp3

Episode 82 - Short Lived Noughty TV shows

This week Leo makes the bold claim that all Noughties TV series can be split into two categories. Those that had more than three seasons and those which had less.

Well, I expect most of you are thinking: "No Shit" but as Leo points out there are very few shows that got exactly three, normally if you get that far the fourth season is in the bag. So this week we tuck into the poor children who only had one or two years worth of shows before the deadly axe fell.

What we have is a collection of small briefly shining gems, unresolved arcs, curio eggs, the mundane, the muddled and directionless and the justifiably axed for reasons of public good taste. These shows for whatever reason occupy only a small space on the DVD shelf but today they're getting more time than their due as the 80s kids munch their way through these bite sized series.

Also Firefly. Incidental Music by Incompetech.

Direct Link: https://archive.org/download/082NoughtyTv1/082%20-%20noughty%20tv%201.mp3

6 January 2015

Archived Podcasts - Getting Our Feet Under The 2000s Table

Episode 75 - Video Game Cinematics

With our humble show progressing into the 2000s, Leo's thoughts turn to Video Games and the growing blur between what is a 'Cinematic Experience' and what constitutes a 'Game Experience'. In the days of old 'Story' and 'Character' were something of the text heavy RPG variety, be it the Story
Rails attached to a turn based combat system or the 'point 'n' click' puzzle game. Then all of a sudden the consoles suddenly got just complex enough that game designers could treat us to lengthy engagingly acted cut scenes that assured us our tough guy with guns was three dimensional beyond his polygon count.

Suddenly games could be immersive and engaging worlds and the player could at last experience something like actually being there. Some games based on film franchises dispensed with retelling an actual film and instead set their stories in 'Officially Licensed' enclaves of their movie universe's canon. Other built there own universes now followed and wiki'ed with detail orientated enthusiasm by passionate on line communities.

This week the 80s Trio reflect on the memorable video games they played that crossed the Story - Game divide. From the PS1 classics to the roaring days of the PS2 and Xbox, to the rise and fall of the MMO and to the modern Video Game triple A block busters.

Incidental Music by Incompetech

Direct Link: https://archive.org/download/075VideoGameCinematics/075-Video-Game-Cinematics.mp3

Episode 76 - Resurrection of the Noughty Children

This week the 80s kids dig perhaps not so deeply into their long memories and summon back into existence their Noughties counter parts as they recount their changing lives and cinema visits during the first decade of the new Millennium. From Ian's cultural high life in Bath to his exile in Victoria Australia. From Justin's struggle to make it as an illustrator and quest to find friends who share his passions to his fateful meeting with Leo. From Leo's job hopping, city moving adventures to settled married life.

The Noughties were a time of a grown up kind of change for our batch of now 20s going on 30s pod-casting heroes. But most importantly they recount their experiences of seeing the films of this period, when they were fresh new and all sparkly and what is was like to actually be there. It's our usual scout head prior to starting a new decade. And along the way lies all that came just before the slice of time we are all living now.

Direct Link: https://archive.org/download/076ResurrectionOfTheNoughtyChildren/076-Resurrection-of-the-Noughty-Children.mp3

Episode 77 - Whatever Happened to the Evil Genius

In horror and Sci Fi of old the trope of the Mad Man ascending to new levels threat with the use of his knowledge was a well established archetype. Be it the white coated scientist with his dangerous theories that set him above nature and God or the Alchemist or dark occultist out to seize forbidden esoteric knowledge. They include fictional luminaries from Victor Frankenstein to Forbidden Planet's Dr Morbius and even Dr Herbert West of the Re-animator. Once they were a staple of story telling, now they are all but extinct in film and cinema.

This week in a ghoulish Halloween episode of the 80s Kids the terrible trio muse of the curious absence of the Evil Master Mind and via the medium of an hour long discussion podcast they attempt to unlock the mystery of their disappearance ... toying with forces they barely understand in the process.

Incidental Music by incompetech.com

Direct Link: https://archive.org/download/077EvilGenius/077-Evil-Genius.mp3

Episode 78 - The Films of 2000 - A New Spring Time for the Kids

At last the 80s Kids land on the shores of the Noughties and set to work the task of reviewing the films of this fresh millennial year. A year that is not so much known for it's genre busting iconic films and more for necessary evolutionary steps.

No one could call the first X Men movie anything other than functional but it puts down another vital stone on the path to our modern cinema. And Pitch Black proves highly successful due to it's Riddick genes of course. But as with all Evolution there are dead ends, TITAN AE failed to find its audience and has only faded in time due to its virtue of being a cartoon.

And the old Terminator Arnie is besides himself in clone action thriller "6th Day" making him a very literal 80s fossil. But all in all, and obviously excluding "Battlefield Earth" there really wasn't anything so terrible or offensive about this new start. Other than Leo gushing about Battle Royal of course ... but as a former teacher I suppose he finds some glee in the messy affair.

Incidental Music by incompetech.com

Direct Link: https://archive.org/download/0782000ANewSpringtimeForTheKids/078-2000-A-New-Springtime-For-The-Kids.mp3

19 December 2014

Archived Podcasts-Farewell to the 90s!

Episode 72 - 2014 Film Rumble Showdown

The Time has come to review our predictions of the winners and losers of summer 2014 brutal box office film grinder. To this end Leo takes us genre by genre through the various players educating us on the ebb and flow of fortunes.

Some interjection is made by Justin and Ian, who can just about elbow a word in here or there as Leo descends down the results which seem to be both predictable and surprising at the same time. From the unloved "Edge of Tomorrow" to the retro childhood of Guardians, the sad fate of Noah and the 'boo hiss' winning but still somehow losing fortunes of Big Bay.

Were we wrong about everything? I do wonder why people listen to anything we say sometimes.

Direct Link: https://archive.org/download/0722014SummerReview/072%20-%202014%20Summer%20Review.mp3

Episode 73 - Top 5 Films of the 90's - The Redemptioning Part 1

As Winston Churchill once said: "This isn't the End, it is not not even the beginning of the End but it is perhaps the end of the frigging 90s!!" Yes it's that magical time again where 80s kids come together and finally fess up what their top 5 fav movies of that particular decade actually are.

This week we deal with numbers 5 to 3! Ian's number five is the charming tale of a small town entrepreneur starting a window cleaning business, Leo's Number Five is about a drawing contest and Justin's Number five was just well drawn.

Leo's number four is just so unreal, Justin's involves lots of bold men in leather, Sue's choice needs batteries much to Ian's annoyance.
Justin's Number three has skimpy outfits all round, Leo's number four has him quite beside himself but maybe that's because Sue's Number three choice has him looking like Death warmed up. Next week ... Number Two and One!
Incidental music by Incompetech.

Direct Link: https://archive.org/download/073Top5FilmsOffThe90sTheRedemptioningPart1/073%20-%20Top%205%20Films%20off%20the%2090s%20-%20The%20Redemptioning%20Part%201.mp3

Episode 74 - Top 5 Films of the 90's - The Redemptioning Part 2

And so the final hour of the 90s has come at last ... But as the sun sets on this much maligned ten year period the 80s kids have one final task to perform, finish their top 5 films of the decade they all claimed to have very little love for. Tricky.

Nevertheless our full quartet of 80s Kids will rise to the challenge: Sue's Number Two choice proves people will do anything these days to get off Television and Justin's number two involved a lot of confused children stopping strangers in the street and asking for directions in French.

Ian's Number one involves post apocalyptic babysitter getting into a crazy caper and Leo's Number One film of the 90s is famous for many things, one of which is spoon denial.

And with that done the Sun rises, FINALLY, on the 21st century and the 90s are now but a memory. This is what we call a happy ending!

Incidental Music by Incompetech.

Direct Link: https://archive.org/download/074Top5FilmsOfThe90sTheRedemptioningPartTwo/074%20-%20Top%205%20Films%20of%20the%2090s%20-%20The%20Redemptioning%20Part%20Two.mp3

26 November 2014

Archived Podcasts - Right Up The 90s And Other More Sombre Affairs

Episode 68 - Plagiarism

Although reasons vary for Leo's absence this week the fact remains that Ian and Justin are bereft of their verbose chum and must make do without him. Initially they were both excited by this prospect feeling a quick ten minutes worth of chattering was well with their ability ... then it was pointed out they would also have to fill in all the gaps where Leo would normally have spoken and a serious silence descended over both of them as to how they would fill this hour.

Lacking an original idea they have stolen one and decided a discussion on the subject of "Plagiarism" was a worthwhile idea. It is of course the age old trade of taking someone else successful work or formula and hoping you pass it off as your own for fun and profit. From film to TV, from comics to novels the cheap knock off is a common place thing but Justin opens up instead on the subject of animation where it's not uncommon for ideas to get stolen BEFORE they even hit the cinema.

So sit back and enjoy this cheap shoddy replica of an 80s Kids Podcast, this week very much lacking that official Leo hologram sticker.

Direct Link: https://archive.org/download/068Plagiarism/068%20-%20Plagiarism.mp3

Episode 69 - 1998 - Two Death Space Rocks and a Big Lizard

You know, I do try and think of something original to say in these blurbs other than ... "Oh look another 90s year and it's a mixed bag offal" but I find myself doing just that yet again. And we had high hopes for 1998 with gems like "The Truman Show" about but then you see the dross and boy does '98 have plenty of that!

A Woeful selection, from disjointed "Lost In Space" movie to the not even trying "Star Trek Insurrection", from missing the point "Godzilla" to the pointless "X Files Movie'. Seriously this decade can't be over with soon enough. At least some fun was had by Leo with "The Avengers" (not those ones), and Justin bizarrely loved "Meet Joe Black."... I'm not sure what Ian gets out of this year... oh that's right ... NOTHING!!

You know what. I'm just over it. I really am... It's blurb time and I can't be bothered. Who reads this anyway? Can our bleak nihilistic journey through the 90s get any worse? Oh... and we get to talk about a Robin Williams movie where people who commit suicide get sent to dark hideous hell where they're emotionally tortured by their twisted inner demons forever in a haze of madness without any hope of escape or relief EVER. Humm .... yeah ... our "What Dreams May Come" discussion feels kind of awkward now.

Well I guess that puts all my 90s moaning into perspective. Incidental Music by Incompetech.com

Direct Link: https://archive.org/download/0691998TwoDeathSpaceRocksAndABigLizard/069%20-%201998%20-%20Two%20Death%20Space%20Rocks%20and%20a%20Big%20Lizard.mp3

Episode 70 - 1999 - The Phantom Baytrix

And so at last the 80s Kids face this last final servings of the 90s years and boy are they going to party like it's 1999. The calendar period once dubbed "The Year That Changed Cinema" comes for closer examination this week, and while it does gloriously have "The Matrix" ready and waiting to drag us into the new millennium it's not without it's normal convoy of 90s clown car flicks.

From the muddled Schwarzenegger apocalypse action thriller "End of Days" which features the dullest Satan yet conceived in fiction, to the 'nothing happens' shoddy student home movie "Blair Witch Project" whose camcorder yawn-scares still plague films to this day.

Also there was another Pierce Brosnan Bond movie ... we're just not sure which one, they kind of all blur together. And of course, sitting like some kind of 90s end of level boss is the "Phantom Menace". And yet there is good here.

"The Matrix" of course, twisty endy "Fight Club", and 'totally saw it coming' twisty endy "Sixth Sense" (yes we actually liked it), "South Park" turns it's offensiveness up to 11 and "The Mummy" ... yes ... "The Mummy". It was a solidly fun adventure film, so there.

And here we are in the twilight of the 90s ... this week we send that wretched decade down one of Lucas's bottomless shafts with a swirl of our light saber... then all walk slowly away Hollywood style as the 90s explodes behind us.

Direct Link: https://archive.org/download/070PhantomTheBaytrix/070%20-%20Phantom%20the%20Baytrix.mp3

Episode 71 - Robin Williams

The news of Williams's tragic death shocked the world. He was beloved by millions as both a great comic and serious actor. The people who knew him spoke of a generous warm human being who took much time to be concerned with the welfare of others.

Perhaps that is why the grim knowledge of his depressive last hours seem to cut so deeply. If only he had known that the world was ready to pour out it's affection, love and support for him. And in many ways it's that fact that looms largest in our minds this week as we cast an eye over his vast career.

No one disputes he was a great 'funny man' and yes he could effortlessly draw the audience to sympathize with him in his more sentimental roles but when you take a moment to really stand back and appreciate his body of work, his abilities and the values he strove for it's hard not to feel ashamed of not noticing all this before his death.

Williams was a gifted comic genius and an acclaimed actor who starred in a number of classic films and by all accounts a very decent human being too. It's hard to call his life tragic if that is what he left behind for us. Incidental Music by Incompetech.com

Direct Link: https://archive.org/download/071RobinWilliams/071%20-%20Robin%20Williams.mp3