3 Tips For Forming A Rock Band

If you’re interested in forming a rock band but aren’t sure where to start, the following paragraphs will help you get in the game. There isn’t one right way, but there are a few essential elements that you should keep in mind. There’s also an immense importance in keeping the right mindset. Continue reading on for more details!

1 – The Only Rule Is…There Are No Rules!

When it comes to rock music, there’s a lot of room for experimentation. There are bands like Royal Blood for instance that simply rely on bass, drums, and vocals, bands like Sepultura that include Brazilian percussion, and progressive groups like Dream Theater with a focus on intricate arrangements and just as much spotlight on the keyboards as the guitars. It really goes on and on. There are plenty of classic examples of three and four piece groups, but you can go at it with many more or even just two members. You can also get away with playing just about anything you want within a rock context. There are really no rules, so just do what feels right!

2 – Combine Your Favorite Styles To Find Your Own

A lot of the most successful acts in rock music started out as cover bands. Pretty much every band out there is also the sum of their influences mixed up into a blender. If you don’t really know what to play or how to get started with finding your own sound, draw from what you hear. Even Carlos Santana has stated that his band got off the ground by merely doing whatever they saw others doing. By playing existing songs and even emulating other bands to some extent, you can eventually find your own voice.

3 – A Strong Band Honors The Collective

A lot of rock bands fall apart due to the egos of one or two members in particular. You have to honor the whole. Make sure you give a fair say to everyone once you start making decisions on what to play. While most bands do have some sort of leader that tends to take charge, the ones that make it at least make everyone else feel appreciated. A rock band is at its best when multiple people come together to add their own strengths to the music, so make sure you give everyone playing with you their due.

Learn To Play The Acoustic Guitar And Enjoy Music For The Rest Of Your Life

For a while, it appeared that the electric guitar would push the acoustic instrument from existence. Rock and roll used all electric all the time and acoustic guitars seemed to take a back seat. Fortunately, this wonderful instrument has regained much of its popularity over the last several years. There are even all-acoustic stations on satellite radio.

This type of guitar has been around for many years and it is possible to find entire collections of nothing but acoustic guitar music. Today, songs and music with guitar and voice are very popular and all include the incredible riffs for which these guitars are known. And this type of guitar is very popular with songwriters.

Most classic guitars are considered to be acoustic. There are also guitars used in folk or country music which is considered acoustic. The term acoustic has also been used to describe other types of guitars including flamenco, classical, renaissance, and baroque guitars. The Dobro, a resonator guitar is also considered to be acoustic as are the 12-string and steel stringed guitars.

A quality acoustic is constructed from solid wood on the back, side, and top. Spruce is often used for the top and the rest of the guitar may be made from mahogany, rosewood or maple. When you see a vintage acoustic, they often seem like true works of art.

There are also less expensive types of acoustics and these usually have a solid top and laminated sides and back. A beginner acoustic may even be entirely laminated wood. Over the years, the better hardwoods have grown scarce, so manufacturers are using different, but still very nice woods or even manmade materials.

The strings on an acoustic are made of either steel or nylon. Steel-stringed acoustics are used primarily for folk, blues, and rock and roll music. Nylon strings are used mostly for classical guitar, although some artists like to use nylon on their 12-stringed guitars.

A need to increase the volume on the acoustic resulted in the development of an electric acoustic guitar. These instruments sound like an acoustic but may be electronically amplified for more sound. These are very popular with stage musicians.

Many guitarists will tell you it is better to learn how to play the guitar on an acoustic. Acoustic strings are thicker than electric and there is a little more space between the strings and the frets. This can make it easier for someone to learn guitar chords. Learning to play an acoustic guitar will be a lifetime skill and something you will grow to love.

Best Movies Adapted from Popular Fan Based Video Games

Video games have been entertaining and bringing home the big bucks since the late 1980s. Fans love their games and will support them in about any form, which is why the movie industry has been kicking out their own renditions since the early 90’s. With several big name games titles looking to appear in 2018-2020, it’s only right to showcase the ones who got it right and paved the way for big screen adaptations of popular video games. So, get out of that gaming chair and check out these movies if you haven’t seen them yet.

Mortal Kombat

Poor digital effects and bad costumes aside, Mortal Kombat was a game changer. Prior to its release in 1995, several video games like Double Dragon and Mario Brothers had failed miserably. With an approximate budget of 20 million, director Paul W.S. Anderson stayed true to the overall concept of the game. Fans enjoyed seeing the unique characters from the game on the live screen battling it with action-filled scenes and cheap shots to get a win. Mortal Kombat was even nominated for the best film of 1995 at the Catalonian International Film Festival and took home over a 122 million at the box-office worldwide.

Laura Croft: Tomb Raider

Riding off the success of Mortal Kombat and two Pokemon movies, Tomb Raider hit the big screen in July of 2001 with Angelina Jolie as Laura Croft.  Despite a handful of flaws surrounding the overall film, Jolie was a perfect casting decision that led this flick to bringing in over 300 million worldwide. In the video game, Laura Croft is sexy, strong, and smart. Angelina Jolie took each of these character traits and converted them to the big screen with complete success.

Resident Evil Series

While no one movie ever hit it huge, this series has a loyal fan base that can’t get enough of the Milla Jovovich and the humorous blood and gore action. Since the first installment in 2002 to the most recent release titled The Final Chapter, the Resident Evil franchise has brought in over 1.2 billion dollars worldwide. Americans may snuff this entertaining series, but the rest of the world keeps spending money to enjoy it. Paul W.S. Anderson has the gift for writing gore, action and humor into a nice and complete package.

Max Payne

With shoot-’em-up movies flooding the big screen at the time, Max Payne only generated average numbers in the box-office. Since its release in 2008 however, the movie has been gaining a steady cult classic following. Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis make a good duo bringing plenty of action and decent acting to the table.

Prince of Persia: Sands of Time

Based on the 2003 reboot of the original game released in 1989, Prince of Persia was tells a good story while keeping the audience entertained. Released in 2010, the movie received a wide mix of reviews. Despite what the critics had to say, fans still supported the film by spending over 350 million at the box office. Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, and Ben Kingsley overcome some fluffy writing parts to make this adaptation one of the best video game to movie films made to date.

Assassins Creed

Directed by Justin Kurzel, Assassins Creed released in 2016, and to date has accumulated over 230 million worldwide just from the box-office. With improved writing compared to other flop game to movie flicks, Michael Lesslie and Adam Cooper produce a well written story that entertains and looks good on the big screen. Michael Fassbender navigates the script well as Callum, bringing together scenes that could have been deal breakers. Filled with hard hitting action scenes and a well written story arc, Assassins Creed has proved that video games can become great movies.

Beginner Watercolor Tips

Like any kind of art,  you need good quality materials to work with, in order to get the most out of your art. Water color painting is its own discipline and there are techniques to be mastered as you develop some skill in this area. Even so, it is important to have high quality materials to get the best out of your efforts. The old saying is true in art as much as anywhere – you get what you pay for.

Start with getting the best quality brush you can afford. A no. 8 round red sable watercolor brush is the best for beginners.  Add a smaller tipped brush for detail work, and a few others. There are starter kits that will have enough brushes to get you started, but it is important to have as good of a quality of brush as you can afford.

You don’t have to get the top of the line paints necessarily, but don’t go for the cheapest one either. A mid to high end set of paints is best.   A 12-color set is what teachers recommend, and you can develop your own tastes in colors as you go. Or, if you’re on a really tight budget you can go with an art set that includes watercolors.

For paper you will need water color painting paper of at least grade #140.  Heavier paper is better because it will absorb the water better and you will avoid problems that could come with damp paper. If you are a beginner, here is one area that you can go with a lower grade of supplies until you develop some skills.

A palette is also an essential item, which is where you have your paints and mix water. The more water and less paint on the brush gives a lighter color, and the more paint and less water gives a darker color. Develop the shades you need on your palette as you go.  Plastic pallets are fine for beginners, but you may want a metal one as you develop your skill.

You will need two containers of water.  One of the containers will be used for rinsing out your brush, and the other one will hold clean water you will need for painting.

Once you have your equipment you can start learning some techniques.

First get some paper and make sections with a pencil. In one of those sections, apply plain water to the paper with a brush. Get the paper a little wet, but not to the point that it runs. Then experiment with putting color down on top of that. You can experiment with different amounts of paint to see how color forms on the sheet. At this point just work on applying the colors.

After you have a good feel for wet on wet, you will be ready to try wet on dry techniques. As the name implies, paint some on a dry piece of paper. Mix your paints with water at different levels to see how they look on the paper. You will notice this type painting is much more precise than wet on wet.

A third technique is to do what is called “dry brush” painting. In this technique use a minimal amount of water and a small amount of paint.  A related technique is to then use a brush with more water on top of your dry brush area.

There are also times when you want to cover a large area with paint. For these there are various “wash” techniques. In this type of painting, paint the paper with clear water first. Then add color to your brush and start at the top with a broad long stroke. Add more strokes as you go down the sheet. This will cover an entire area with color, which will be usefull once you start painting scenes.

Practice these beginner techniques to develop some skill. Watch what happens to the paint and the paper. This is a learning process, and let things happen on their own. Once you get some of these techniques down, you can start painting objects and making art. The cool thing about water color is that  you don’t have absolute control over what happens with the paint. Allow things to develop and discover what happens with various combinations of water and color.

More information here.

5 Coolest Film-related Projects on Kickstarter Now

Kickstarter has become a finance house for many independent films and full movies. Actually, film and movie projects on Kickstarter are much more that that. They are celluloid creations built by virtual communities. It is really encouraging to build a project with crowdfunding and crowd interest as a warm community in action. There are so many great film projects, it is hard to narrow them down, but we have gone ahead and picked out 5 of the coolest film-related projects currently being funded by online communities.

1. Back Fork.
Picasso said, “Art is the lie that enables us to realize the truth.” This is an art piece that tells a story that is all too real and tragic in real life West Virginia. A grieving young Appalachian family becomes addicted to prescription pain medications. Josh Stewart made the film about the opioid addiction epidemic in his home state to try to bring understanding and action to find solutions through social change.

Who doesn’t want to live with humanoid cats? NEKO WORKS’ huge blockbuster visual novel series, NEKOPARA, is going to be turned into a full-length anime movie thanks to this Kickstarter project. Japanese designer and illustrator, Sayori, created this series so she could see her ‘doujinshis’ brought to life, not for the international fame she has finally received for her popular story world. The main two “catgirls” are Vanilla and Chocola. They provide all the fun and comedy you could desire.

3. The Mothman of Point Pleasant.
When it comes to urban tales of Small Town Monsters, The Mothman of Point Pleasant is one of the wildest stories that has endured for over 50 years. This Kickstarter aims to make a documentary film that reveals all known details of a sighting of a flying man-like creature in the Point Pleasant area in the mid 1960s. Interviews with original witnesses will be shown, as well as interviews with the media that covered the original story, and with some local citizens.

4. Southern Monsters.
This is a fun interactive fiction work will be made by Kevin Snow. It is set in Arkansas. Become familiar with cryptid forums, search for a monster in Fayetteville, and eat lots of pork rinds. There are lots of clues about the South Arkansas Monster. Some say it only skulks along the winding creeks. This is a deeply personal dark comedy that mixes a lot of regular life into a mix with “the strange” and weird. The creator drew his muse from Eraserhead, Suspiria, and Videodrome.

5. Islam and the Future of Tolerance.
With a focus on finding a way for foes to become friends, this documentary aims to tell a most important story. It will be a full-length film that shows how a very rare conversation between a atheist neuroscientist and a famous Islamic scholar. Harvard University Press published the book in 2016. This project is to get their important conversation released on film so the world may benefit from their example of effective tolerance.

5 Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy Movies of 2016

2016 was an amazing year for movies of all genres but for sci fi and fantasy movie fans it was over the top amazing!

1.The BFG (Big Friendly Giant) may seem like a children’s movie but this adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic children’s book is anything but childish. The story starts in London in 1982 when a young orphan is kidnapped by a giant who takes her back with him to Giant Country. The BFG and the young orphan must outwit the other giants (who eat kids) and eventually enlist the help of the Queen to stop them. The BFG is a great family movie but can be enjoyed by people of all ages.

2.Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, is an epic war movie filled with battles from beginning to end. The daughter of the kidnapped Engineer forced to design the Death Star knows her father holds the key to the destruction of this powerful weapon. With the help of rebel spies she plots to steal the plans for the Death Star so the Rebel Alliance can use them to destroy the ship. This entire movie is action packed with amazing special effects and the end provides a shocking, unexpected twist that will blow your mind! A great movie for the Star Wars enthusiasts, young and old alike.

3.Deadpool is living the good life as a mercenary and in love with a beautiful woman when he gets the devastating news that he has cancer. Approached by a stranger who offers a questionable treatment, figuring he has nothing to lose he sneaks away in the night. After what can only be described as extreme torture, his body mutates and can now heal itself. But all good things come with a price and he is left horribly disfigured which sets him on a path of revenge. Regardless of the dark side of this story (and R rating) it still carries a heartwarming message of acceptance, team work and love.

4.If you like psychological thrillers with a sci fi bent, then 10 Cloverfield Lane is a must watch. The story focuses on a woman, whom after a car accident, wakes up in a bunker with two men who try to convince her that aliens have attacked and the outside world is toxic. The mind games and plot twists make this an edge of your seat movie, wondering what is really going on! An excellent movie but don’t expect it to be anything like Cloverfield.

5.Probably one of the most visually stunning movies of 2016, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a prequel to the Harry Potter Series. Set seventy years before Harry Potter, an English Wizard, with his briefcase full of magical creatures, stops in New York during a trip around the world. While in New York his briefcase is mistakenly taken by a new friend and his collection of creatures released in the city! With the help of some detectives on the NYC police force a wild search ensues. Although based in the wizarding world of Harry Potter, this movie is geared to a more adult audience with darker themes and the element of danger and suspense.

5 Best Kids Movies of 2016

Children movies were major hits both at the box office and with audiences in 2016. The continued popularity of children’s movies helps to draw more money into their production and many of the best kids movies of 2016 were of the big budget variety that had a little something for kids and parents alike. Here are the five best kids movies of 2016.

1) Finding Dory – following up on Pixar’s a Finding Nemo movie was a huge undertaking, but was bound to be a big draw at the box office and with merchandising due to the continued popularity of Nemo. Finding Dory did not disappoint with an plethora of new characters led by Hank, an grumpy octopus. In the movie Dory goes searching for her lost parents and Nemo and his father Marlin find themselves able to more accept their inner Dory and leave their worries behind. The film was a powerful story of family love and in how one can benefit by branching out and taking risks in life.

2) The Secret Life of Pets – Pets was a non Disney film to make the list and had a sharp wit and comedy that appealed to kids and parents alike. In the film, that was beautifully animated, a dog suddenly finds his home invaded by another dog who is owner gets to give him a companion. A number of adventures occur until he is finally willing to accept this new dog in his home.

3) The Jungle Book – The Jungle Book is the only live action film to make the list but it really navigates the quasi animated status due to the amazing technologies implemented by Disney in making Sher Khan, Baloo, and cast look and feel as if they are alive. While the original Jungle Book remains an animated classic, the humor that Bill Murray injects as the voice of Baloo and the beautiful animation drives the Jungle Book as a must watch film.

4) Zootopia – another film by Pixar was Zootopia which imagined a world run by animals ruled jointly by carnivores and herbivores alike, though some tensions remain. A bunny cop makes an alliance with a wily fox to get to the bottom of a missing person case and discovers and unlikely criminal trying to drive power towards themselves. While Zooptopia follows a familiar plot and storyline, it is infused with humor and interesting characters and leaves room for many sequels in the future. The film ends with a well sung song by Shakira, delightfully animated as an antelope pop star.

5) Trolls – Dreamworks had another hit on their hands with Trolls which provided a real fashion trend as well as a funny and quirky film for parents and children alike. Trolls had vibrant animation, a cute though somewhat vapid plot, but kept kids entranced the whole time at the beautiful world animated in the film. With snarky humor and a window into a colorful world, Trolls sneaks into a top five list for 2016.

Disney, and its subsidiary Pixar, again have dominated the list of best kids movies, but it isn’t because they stick to a tried and true method. Their movie offerings are diverse and with innovative plots and characters, even in sequels. This alone, along with their advanced animation, keeps them dominant at the top of top five kids movies of 2016.

5 Best Action Movies of 2016

2016 was a big year in movies more specifically for the action movie genre. It definitely seemed to be overpowered by the many superhero’s out there. The best part is that there are some great original action movies and not just the long-awaited sequels like some of the examples we have listed here.

1. Suicide Squad

In The Suicide Squad, we see the complete opposite to a superhero-based movie. In fact, it’s the villains that have gotten together as a group of antihero’s. The incarcerated supervillains all have an opportunity to be free from prison if they agree to a black op mission that has been coordinated by a Federal Agent. But there is a catch, an explosive implanted in each of them will detonate if they choose to run.

2. 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi

This political action movie reflects the occurrences that fell upon the U.S Embassy in Libya. It is based on the book of the same name and recounts the security team desperately trying to defend it from a barrage of militants that started to swarm the Consulate. Sadly, the U.S Ambassador perished due to the attack.

3. Deadpool

After finding out that he is stricken with cancer, an ex-special forces soldier (Wade), is approached by a mysterious man that offers him a cure in exchange for taking part in a super-soldier program. But the experiment goes horribly wrong which leaves him severely scarred. He then realizes that he begins to acquire increased agility and the ability to become instantly healed. Wade then hears about the true nature of the program and escapes. He then becomes Deadpool to seek revenge.

4. Doctor Strange

A neurosurgeon’s career is abruptly ended after a car accident destroys his hands. The neurosurgeon trys to find a way to restore his valuable hands and ends up turning to a mystical sanctuary that has a doorway to another dimension. He is then taught a mystical art by the Ancient One which will allow him to become Earth’s protector by eliminating threats of mystical origins.

5. Captain America: Civil War

A Captain America-led mission leads to a mistake that costs the lives of many, making authorities enact a Hero Registration Act. This act regulates all activities by the UN which creates friction between Captain America and Iron Man on whether to sign onto the act. But when Bucky carries out an assassination campaign, Captain America goes renegade and sets out to protect Bucky while trying to unfold the truth. A collision course ensues with Iron Man which makes Captain America assemble his allies (Falcon, Scarlett Witch, Bucky, Ant Man and Hawkeye)to face off with Iron Man’s allies which consist of (Vision, War Machine, Black Panther, Spider Man and Black Widow).

As you can see, these top 5 action movies are sure worth seeing. They definitely take action in a whole new direction. Thus could easily make them worth seeing multiple times in both the theatre and once they become available on Netflix.

5 Best Comedy Movies of 2016

2016 was a big year for movies. A ton of different movies were released and some may just go on to be some of the top movies of all time. There were tons of different categories and genres and below are just five of the top comedy movies from 2016.

1. Sausage Party

Although Sausage Party was a cartoon it was definitely geared for adults. Sausage Party is an animated movie that was released on August 12th 2016. It was directed by Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan and included an all star cast of voice-over actors. Some of the voice-over characters include Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, and Jonah Hill. The movie centers around grocery items such as hot dogs that live a fun happy life in the supermarket but soon learn what will become of them when they are taken home to be eaten. It was one of the oddest yet funniest movies of 2016 and will certainly make you think of your food in a totally different way after seeing it.

2. DeadPool

Although Deadpool is actually a superhero movie it was one of the top comedies of 2016. Deadpool was released on February 12th 2016 and was directed by Tim Miller. The cast included big names such as Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, and TJ Miller. The story follows former special force operative turned mercenary Wade Wilson who was subjected to a rogue experiment that left him with a ton of different healing powers. He adopts the alter ego Deadpool and is armed with a variety of new abilities as well as a dark sense of humor and sets out to find the man who almost destroyed his life. Deadpool was known for its variety of raunchy jokes and great physical comedy.

3. Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters which was a remake of the old classic premiered on July 11th 2016 and was directed by Paul Feig. It included an All-Star cast such as Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig and Kate McKinnon. Following a ghost invasion taking place in Manhattan, paranormal enthusiasts and Ghostbusters Erin and Abby work together with Jillian and Subway worker Patty to band together to stop the Paranormal threat. It was one of the top comedies of 2016 and was one of the most anticipated movies of all time.

4. Hail Caesar

Hail Caesar was a comedy movie that premiered on February 1st 2016 and was directed by Ethan Coen and Joel Coen. The movie was narrated by Michael Gambon featured an All-Star cast. Some of the top cast members included Josh Brolin, George Clooney, and Alden Ehrenreich. Hail Caesar follows the day in the life of a Hollywood fixer in the 1950s who cleans up and solves problems for some of the biggest names in the industry. When one of the studio stars is kidnapped and held for ransom the cast must go on a wild goose chase to help get the star back. It is one of the funniest movies of 2016 and was nominated for a variety of different awards.

5. Dirty Grandpa

Dirty grandpa is a movie that was released on January 21st 2016 and was directed by Dan Mazer. Dirty Grandpa featured a cast of big name actors including Robert DeNiro, Zac Efron, and Zoey Deutch. The movie follows Jason Kelly who lost his grandmother two weeks before his wedding. In an effort to assist his grandfather and console him during his loss he tricks his grandfather into taking a spring break road trip of a lifetime. The boys set out on a wild adventure that they are sure to never forget. The movie is filled with laughs as well as a few moments that will make you cry.

Although there were tons of different comedy movies released in 2016 these are just five of the top comedies. All of these movies are filled with an outstanding cast that offers lots of laughs and good wholesome fun.

Tips to Give You an Edge in Getting Into Film School

Aspirations of getting into film school is a lofty one. There are many young, talented and upcoming artists with dreams of becoming producers, directors and who have hopes of a career in the film industry. Getting an edge or “leg up” on the competition when it comes to getting into film school can make all the difference. So what steps can you take, what can you do to increase your odds of getting accepted? Although there are no guarantees, there are ways to get that edge and increase your chances of getting into film school and taking that first step into a career of television and film.

It can begin early, and the earlier you realize that this may be a career you may want to pursue the better. This starts in high school, and is very similar to students who take college preparatory classes in pursuit of gaining admission to more typical collegiate endeavors. It is never too early to start building your resume for film school applications. Taking college preparatory courses is a good idea, but take the extra steps. Adding to this curriculum any art classes, entering in any available drama courses or auditioning for as many school plays as possible are good decisions. Having such history included in your educational background and being able to add this to your application for film schools is certainly advantageous.

Film schools and the application process is similar to other educational institutions with regards to how you apply. Most notably meaning that there are multiple schools that students fill out applications for generally beginning with their first choice and then second and so on. It isn’t uncommon for college applicants to fill out five, six or even more applications. The same procedure is strongly advisable for film school, and filling out as many applications as possible will only improve you odds of being selected.

One often overlooked resource can be the admissions offices of these film schools. Visiting various film schools and having a conversation with admissions officers can help guide and direct hopeful students in the process. Film schools just like traditional colleges need students and tuition to operate, admissions officers are there to help you get enrolled. In many cases their livelihoods depend on student enrollment and the insight and understanding gained from discussing the application process can be invaluable.

Perseverance is a word that is often used and heard in the film industry. From hearing about how directors, producers and the countless others in the film industry found their way in the word perseverance will commonly be used. Applying to film school is a good practice for a trait that will most likely be needed for those who aspire to a vocation in the film industry. Keep trying, work hard and take advantage of every opportunity to strengthen your resume and application for film school. The competition is stiff, the talent is in abundance and it gets harder before it gets easier in the world of television and film. Congratulations on being brave enough to throw your hat into the ring, and give yourself every edge you can then maybe one day your name will be among the credits of that next big hit movie or television show.