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Why I didn't take the Gig.

Hollywood as we know it, is going through a change. I call it the slowly dying a slow painful death phase. The war on cable is being waged and won by the so-called cable cutters who care little about paying for cable and instead opt for cheap, and in many cases, free on demand Internet TV. I am one of those people. Increasingly the entertainment found on the internet is better than real TV and Hollywood can't or won't keep up. With the saturation of reality shows, clip shows, and about 100 horrible TV channels that just air repeats of Cops; you have to wonder what has happened to our entertainment and how this has adversely affected the industry. TV shows used to be 25-28min in length, now with the amount of commercials jammed in, its more like 20min of actual show. Late at night I can't even enjoy watching Family Guy without a huge billboard advertisement blocking half my screen. Family Guy Ad

Last week my very aloof agent contacts me for a "major" audition. A national commercial for a beer company. The "Principal speaking" role paid a whopping $450 US dollars. So lets do the math:

They want me to go audition - Day 1 = $0 IF they like me they will have me back for a callback audition - Day 2 = $0 IF I then pass these two auditions and book the job - Day 3 =$450...maybe That translates to $150.00 per day IF and only IF I book the job.

I'm sorry fellow thespians but to me that is just unacceptable. A national commercial for a major brand used to pay an average of 30k for a year of use. Now they want to pay us bus fare to exploit us on TV, Internet, and publications. WTF?! Some of you may say, "Yea but you'll be on TV"... my answer to that is, BLEH! That is precisely the mentality that is eating up all the good and real entertainment to save a buck. Fake Fame is winning out over Real Talent.

Even though it was a principal speaking role to air nationally they still called it a non-union job. Your kidding right? I think the words, "Contract work" and "Non-Union roles" are now synonyms for Bullshit.

I don't even like beer!

For the first time in a long time I turned down the possibility of work. Call it blind integrity.

Your thoughts?

Copyright THIS!

This Article is in the Public Domain.Copyright This Ladies and gents, we have goose stepped our way into a brave new world; a world where everything under the sun is up for “ownership”.  All you need is a copyright or patent. The song "Happy Birthday"; is currently owned by Time Warner until 2030.  They purchased it for 2 million dollars back in 2008. Really? You can own Happy Birthday?  Should we be afraid of singing this at our next birthday bash?  Will herds of pre-teens be thrown in prison with ice-cream cake stains still on their overalls?

If the Beastie Boys were to put out the same albums that we loved so much today, they would be sued under our current copyright laws. How many other songs, works of art, or films are we missing out on because of these new infringements upon our freedom to express ourselves?  The sad result of these restrictions is all around us. Entertainment has become watered down. It's obvious when you watch a movie trailer like Battleship.  I don't recall any aliens invading my Battleship when I was a kid.

Transformers...I mean Battleship? Trailer:

Who could forget the finale of Smallville.  We waited 10 years for Superman to put on the damn suit.  We FINALLY see him fly…without the suit?! WHAT!?!  Superman finally flies…in plain clothes…while clutching in one hand the iconic red and blue suit. Really?! Did he need to dry clean it before putting it on? If I were Tom Welling I’d be pissed! That last shot where he opens his shirt and reveals just the “S” logo was bullshit! The producers claim it was a creative decision but this blogger thinks it was over “ownership” issues.

Superman - Fail:

YouTube is the biggest hypocrite of them all. They built a successful business by knowingly allowing copyrighted material to flourish on their site.  They made hundreds of millions selling the company to Google who immediately backpedaled by introducing new copyright requirements and punishing us, the users. Do you really think videos of cats playing the piano made the company rich alone?

Today Judge David Shaw recommended that the Xbox 360 be banned in the United States over a patent dispute with Motorola. He actually said that intellectual property supersedes maintaining diversity in the market.  In other words, screw the consumer, its MINE MINE MINE! What are we two year olds who can't share?  This guy isn't fit to judge a spelling bee. There's nothing intellectual about that.

We as a society must evolve into the notion that once an idea is out in the universe; it belongs to all of us.

     “If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me.”

                        Thomas Jefferson 1813

I’m surprised they haven't tried to copyright the planet Earth. Copyright Earth

John Lennon wrote "Imagine", for all of us. Sure, he was compensated for his work and I agree with that.  I also agree no one should reproduce his work and make a profit from it.  With that said, I also believe that once that work is finished anyone should be able to enjoy it in anyway they see fit. If I want to listen to the Beatles underwater while wearing a turban I should be able too.  If I want to mash up the entire Beatles album and call it, "The Polka Dot Album", that is my right. If I post it online I'm doing so for fun, not profit. Of course it’s not all that black and white, artists should be protected. That is when a little thing called “Common Sense” can be employed.

You can even patent living things! Yes, you too can now own your very own biological organism! Come on down to Billy’s Bio-Wonder Wall and Emporium! Off route 66!

If you don't think this issue affects you just wait until the new ISP Internet rules go into effect this summer.  Basically giving the entertainment industry carte blanche into your computer for downloading any material they deem violates their terms. If you do not comply they'll just shut down your Internet connection. Nice right?

One solution may be for all of us to band together and bombard the Internet with mash-ups of copyrighted material.  Remix the birthday song, post your favorite "Friends" episode with a porn soundtrack, or create a Budweiser commercial with inter-spliced scenes from Jurassic Park. Perhaps we should just stop buying their stuff and create our own.

Creativity is about using your imagination and building upon ideas. I refuse to recognize groups like the RIAA or MPAA because they never applied for a patent to my thoughts.  When it comes right down to it, there is no such thing as copyrights my friends. It is all in our heads…literally.

Source video for this article was found on, YouTube…Ironic isn’t it?

Where does a Video Game end and DLC begin?

The plight of the Gamer. Gamers in today's world enjoy a much more robust gaming experience compared to generations past. However enjoying killer graphics, mass multiplayer, and stunning open worlds now comes at a higher price, literally. We must now first endure a never ending cycle of updates, DLC, DRM, and other such nonsense just to PLAY the game you own. Gone are the days of simply unwrapping your new game, popping it into your console and pressing power.

Last week I purchased Mass Effect 3 for only $30us from an Amazon 1 day sale. Pretty sweet deal right? (Don't tell me the ending.) I popped it into my Xbox and it took me 45 minutes just to start playing the damn thing. In that time, I could have ranked up at least twice in C.O.D.

I open up the box and there I find an "Activation Code", which is long convoluted set of numbers and letters that give you access to the just bought. This code is a bitch to enter in too, especially if you don't have a keyboard. After messing up several times I wondered if THIS WAS the game! After finally hurdling that obstacle the system decides it must log into Electronic Arts (EA) servers to verify the code is valid. Ya know, it case a terrorist got his hands on a false code and decided to troll Americans.

Then it doesn't ask me, but demands I create an account for EA membership. I don't want to sign up but they got me by the electronic balls. Another round of filling out digital paperwork with a gaming controller. Then I wait some more. Yes, it's done, now to start my adventure...No...wait... it has to download the updates. Updates? Shouldn't everything I need come in the box? I don't think the CIA has this much trouble getting into their own systems. Why am I'm jumping through so many spy hoops?

What if I had a game console but no internet connection? What then? After all an internet connection costs money and not everyone can afford one. Do I assume then, that even if I'm not interested in any multiplayer features that I still cannot play the single campaign without a connection? Mass Effect does indeed have a single player mode so technically why do I need to log in at all?

The game by some miracle finally starts up. By this point I'm already exhausted but press on anyway, pun intended. I notice on the menu that their is an option for "Downloadable Content." I thought I just downloaded all the downloadable content. I thought wrong. I click on the option and it shifts me into the Xbox Market place where I may purchase more senseless things. Mass Effect Virtual hats, T-Shirts, upgrades etc. Wait a minute, so none of this stuff is included? Didn't we give Microsoft good money to be Xbox Live members? Are you seriously going to nickel and dime us for a fake digital Mass Effect 3 Beach Ball that doesn't physically exists in the real world!

This trend is not only confined to consoles. Mobile gaming publishers have picked up a few bad habits as well. Recently I purchased a gamed called, "Pinbal HD", awesome game. Yet when I opened the app for the first time, I discovered that it has 3 playable boards and 2 UN-playable boards. You need to purchase them to play them.  Didn't I just pay for this freakin Pinball game! If I was your surgeon would you want me to transplant "most" of your kidney, wait till I opened you up and then asked whether or not you want to in-body purchase the rest?

As if that weren't enough, they now have split games into several categories. You can purchase a game for $60 sure, but if you want the 'Collector's Edition", well that's going to cost you $90. Wait, if you want the Extended Master Collectors' Special Edition with Super Dooper Boost then that will set you back at least $120.

Every year it seems that the industry is asking more and more from it's loyal players. You have to wonder with all this "Downloadable Content", are companies holding back chunks of the game and making you pay for the rest of it later? If I decide to buy Max Payne 3, am I only getting half the actual game if I don't purchase any "extras"? I no longer feel like I own my games, I feel like I'm renting them.

Seems like it's us gamers who are getting played.