What’s Around the Corner: Movies to Look Out for in Summer 2015

Summer is almost here and it brings a whole host of new movies to go and watch. Between May and August is usually when movie studios release their biggest and most anticipated movies – and we can’t wait to watch them all! Who needs the sun? We would much rather be sat in a cool dark cinema watching the latest big blockbuster.

Whether it’s sci-fi, drama, romance, horror or even Disney that you enjoy, there is always something for everyone.

We’ve narrowed down the movies that we are most excited and curious about this summer, so read on to find out all about them!

Mad Max: Fury Road (14th May)

Mad Max: Fury Road is the fourth film in the Mad Max franchise, and the first one released in 30 years.

English actor Tom Hardy takes over the title role of ‘Mad’ Max Rockatansky, making this the first movie in the series that Mel Gibson hasn’t starred in.

The movie takes place in a desert landscape, where people are being held captive. It has been several years since a series of catastrophic calamities took place around the world and left humanity in ruins.

Charlize Theron plays one of the Five Wives – female captives of a tyrannical man. They must lean on Max to help them escape the desert and avoid its dangers.

We don’t think it matters if you haven’t seen the first three – give it a watch!

Jurassic World (June 12th)

Jurassic World is the fourth instalment in the Jurassic Park film franchise. It’s the first film to be released in over 14 years – the last one was back in 2001 (yeah we didn’t think they would ever release another one either)!

The movie takes place in a dinosaur theme park that is situated near Costa Rica, where behavioural research is being undertaken on a group of Velociraptors.

Christ Pratt leads the film – so it’s got to be worth watching, right?

We figure this one is a real must watch if you are a fan of the previous films! We know we are pretty excited.

Ant-Man (July 17th)

We admit that we were always going to be excited about this movie – it’s Marvel, after all! However, it does look very promising.

In Marvel’s second big blockbuster of the year (the first being Avengers: Age of Ultron… go watch it if you haven’t already!), we are introduced to comedic Paul Rudd as con-man Scott Lang; an individual who develops the ability to shrink in size but increase in strength.

He must put his petty criminal past behind him and learn to embrace his inner hero – and all to save the world!

Other notable cast members include Michael Douglas and Evangeline Lilly (Kate from Lost!).

July can’t come quick enough!

 

We hope you’re as excited as we are for the release of all these movies this summer. It’s going to be a busy couple of months!

Whilst we look forward to watching new movies, there is nothing better than looking back at some of our own special recollections. If you want to be able to watch all the old movies that you recorded years ago, then we can certainly help you out.

We specialise in transferring VHS to DVD, meaning that we can bring your memories back to life, even if you thought they were lost to the world. If you have any questions about the service that we offer, please contact us today. You can ring us on 0800 592 433 and we will be happy to help!

How to Film Your Pets

It may have escaped your attention, but this month is National Pet Month. Yep, those little balls of fluff and feathers have a whole month dedicated to celebrating them and their numerous achievements – things like making a right racket when the postman comes, or scratching your dear ol’ nan when she tries to pet little Buttons.

 

Ok, in all seriousness though, as it’s National Pet Month, we thought it’d be a great time to look at how best to capture those perfect pet moments. After all, they’re a part of the family, right? So you want to show them in their best light! With that in mind, here are our top tips for turning Sylvester into a star.

Plan Your Movie

Your beloved furball has a set routine, right? And the more time you spend with them, the more predictable they’ll become – and that’s when you strike! Like a panther (A panther with a video camera, that is)! If you know your pet will always give you a certain look after trotting in through the back-door, or always-always-always bounces when the doorbell rings, then take advantage of that to get shots you want.

 

Use Natural Light

The last thing you want is to blind your pet with some fancy lighting set up – it’s not Rachel McAdams or George Clooney you’re dealing with here. Not only that, they may get distracted by all the extra gubbins you’ve set up, and anyway, pet videos should be simple and straightforward, so you can capture them the way they are when there aren’t any cameras pointed at them.

 

Have Patience

Hey, you there, you’re not a performing seal, are you? Well, neither is your pet – unless you’re a seal trainer, of course. Just take your time with your pet. Keep your camera at the ready for when they do exactly what you want, but don’t get mad when they don’t. Simply wait, bide your time and pretty soon they’ll do the very thing you’re trying to film.

Get on Their Level

Unless your pet’s a six-foot mountain gorilla, you’re going to want to hunker down to their eye-level. And there are a few good reasons to do this: you’ll be able to show them off far better if you’re low and close; your film will have more impact by entering their world; and it makes the movie more interesting than just lumbering over them.

 

Bribe Them

Ok, so shoving a purse full of tenners won’t cut it, but if you really want your pet to do what you need them to do, don’t be above bribing them with treats. It’s the ol’ carrot and stick routine – only instead of a carrot, you’ll be using dog biscuits or cat-food. Unless it’s a rabbit, in which case you’ll probably want to stick with the carrot.

 

Show That Personality

Everyone’s got a personality (Well, usually!), and it’s no different for your pets. That’s the whole point of filming them, isn’t it? So you can let people see your pet as they are around you – whether it’s a surly kitten or a rabbit that thinks it’s a dog. Shooting the moments that best exemplifies your pet won’t only let others discover who they really are; it’s also perfect for reminding you of all their fab ways when you watch the movie back in years to come.

We’ve all heard the old saying: Never work with animals or children. Well, with any luck, these tips will mean that working with animals is a total cinch. Of course, you may well be yearning now to watch some of your old home movies featuring your pets. If so, we can help. We’re pros at transferring video to DVD, so you can watch it in a modern format on your TV today. If that’s what you need, all you have to do is contact us on 0800 592 433 and we’ll be utterly delighted to help.

DVD: What You Always Wanted to Know (But Were Too Afraid to Ask)

As you probably know, we specialise in converting VHS to DVD – so we spend a fair amount of time dealing with our good friend, the DVD. It’s been a ubiquitous media format for 20 years, but how much do you actually know about it?

Well, we thought we’d check out all the little facts and figures and other trivia surrounding DVDs. That way, not only will you look like a total whizz on Mastermind (Or in the pub quiz) with your chosen specialist subject: DVD – you’ll also have a new-found respect for the format, the next time you pop a disc in the tray to watch the movie.

 

The Basics

Ok, let’s start with the basics. Ask most people what DVD stands for and they’ll either shrug, or probably say ‘digital video disc’. Or they’ll tell you that it’s an acronym for ‘digital versatile disc’. And they’d both be right. Sort of. ‘Digital versatile disc’ is certainly what it’s formally known as these days, but that wasn’t always the case. DVD doesn’t actually stand for anything – it started out as just a random series of three letters that sounded good.

DVD first came about in 1994, when the two tech firms, Sony and Phillips announced plans to create a disc-based video; then rival companies Toshiba and Time Warner said they were also working on a disc format. There was only one snag – that sort of competition doesn’t bode well for anyone, least of all consumers.

 

Before then, the movie world was dominated first by VHS and Betamax, and then later, the not-quite-so dominant VCD and laserdisc – and look how that turned out for three of those four. And thanks to heavyweight hitters like Microsoft, Apple and Dell, the two sides agreed on a single, standard format. DVD was born.

 

The Specs

It wasn’t long before DVD became the format de rigueur. Partly, this was from novelty – interactive menus, anyone?, partly it was the movie studios choosing a shift from rental to retail, which meant tons of DVDs were produced, and partly, it was the absolute convenience of the technology. They were smaller than VHS cassettes, so could be easily stored, and more could go on the shelf. Mo’ space, mo’ money, if you will.

Ok, so let’s take a typical DVD disc – what’s the craic? Well, a standard, single-sided, single-layered disc holds a whopping 4.7GB of data; more than enough for not only a film, but also all those extras, like trailers and making-of documentaries, that we never knew we needed until DVD came along. You can up that to 8.7GB for a double-layered disc.

 

Double-sided, single-layered DVDs hold a colossal 9.4GB; and the big beast, the double-sided, double-layered disc holds a whopping 17GB – although these types of DVD are not just rare but also pretty inconvenient, since you’d have to manually flip the disc over to play the other side, like you would a vinyl.

 

So that’s four different DVD types:

  • DVD-5: 4.7GB
  • DVD-9: 8.7GB
  • DVD-10: 9.4GB
  • DVD-18: 17GB

 

The Record and Rewrite

Not long after, recordable DVDs were brought in, ostensibly as a form of data storage which replaced CD-Rs (That’s the single-use kind) and CD-RWs (The multiple use kind). Of course, it didn’t take long before consumers were using these to store not just data like word documents and spreadsheets, but also music and video.

Have you ever checked out a rewriteable or recordable DVD? The eagle-eyed among you may notice that there are four types: DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R and DVD+RW. But what do those pluses and dashes actually mean?

 

Well, these days it’s not so much a concern, since most disc drives – especially on computers – can play both. But back in the late 90s and early 00s, these symbols denoted two different styles of recording; which meant that only a dash drive could record and play dash discs and pluses did the same for ‘+’ discs. Both discs hold roughly the same amount of data, although ‘plus’ discs write that data faster, and allow easier composition of the DVD’s contents. And thanks to the R/RW tech, making sure your wonderful memories last is even easier.

 

The Future

It’s a serious testament to DVDs’ durability and widespread popularity that even with the emergence of HD-DVD and Blu-Ray, the format is still the number one choice. And thanks to the technology, transferring your old VHS memories on to DVD is a real cinch too. That’s where we can help, with high-quality transfers so you can enjoy your old home movies in the digital age. If you’d like to know more, simply contact us on 0800 592 433 and our pro team will be delighted to help.