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Oh No, Not New York again!

Just came back from the cinema, saw that movie "The Day After Tommorow". Now is it me, or does every major disaster, natural or man-made, has to strike at the heart of New York?. Yes, I know the northern hemisphere was apparently affected. But the visual imagery is always focused on New York. From King Kong, Superman, typhoons, aliens, to what not, they are somehow attracted to NYC. As if a big neon light hangs over the city saying "ATTACK ME FIRST AND FOREMOST"
Now how does this relate to this forum?, easy, we have been contracted to program the game for the movie. From Activisions marketing aspect, I dont know how well it would fair after discovering many Aussies were apparently dissapointed in being misled, believing that the Sydney Opera House would also be swamped by the flood abyss. (Apparently, the movie posters gave that impression). Why someone wants to see their national landmarks targetted beats me. But hey, its only hollywood.
From experience, good movies do have an impact on the sellable aspect of a game. Even if the game is really stunning and all, if the movie is crap, it will lessen the appeal of its related game. Now, the movie has been successful, but maybe its just me, having to redesign the new york landscape again, (Spiderman was hectic enough and I might attempt use the former template, but not to the fullest extent that I could). Gaming is just not like it used to be, getting better somewhat, but localities are becoming somewhat monotonous. The plot for the movie game would not be as easy as the others. Hollywood, for the love of God, New York is not the centre of the world, this is probably why the 911 hijackers attacked the city, they were exposed to too much hollywood crap and thought "hhmmm, maybe New York is the natural choice to attack".
No offence to New Yorkers, I love your city, and it indeed is a vibrant one and a happening place. Just that I never thought it would affect my work.

Thomas Wesley
Thursday, June 10, 2004

> Hollywood, for the love of God, New York is not the centre of > the world,

I thought Hollywood tended make films in LA, and New York had it's own film thing. Like Woody Allen etc.

Matthew Lock
Thursday, June 10, 2004

Full marks then, to the people behind Driver and Driver 2 computer games (three of whom I just happened to go to university with many years ago!)

The colourful locales were:
Havana
San Fran
New York :-(
LA
Miami
Rio
Chicago
Las Vegas

Doing the research for the locales must have been fun. In the computer games world do you actually get to go to the locations that will be in your game to wander around and see what it is like?

Herr Herr
Thursday, June 10, 2004

Well, 21st Century fox is located in LA. Also, hollywood is an expression for the mega movie industry as a whole, not the actual location of the hollywood studios.
Yep, you get to go to the actual locations. I've met the guy who was behind the game "True Crime", he really surveyed L.A. inside out. I dont think I need to go again to NY though, I can draw a map of NY blindfolded :)
The problem is, many in the gaming industry want to internationalise the locations to the locale specifics such as driver and true crime. Can you imagine how imensly popular a game would be with eg Aussies, if we made a game that took into account the full spectrum of the array of streets in Sydney, Melbourne etc?. Or the German gamers if we incorporated the streets of Berlin into games?. One will never need their street directory ever again :)
The problem is, movie blockbuster after blockbuster locks us down to the U.S.. and so the limit exists because of that.

Thomas Wesley
Thursday, June 10, 2004

oops, meant 20th century Fox, not 21st,,,they are still behind the times. :)

Thomas Wesley
Thursday, June 10, 2004

Its national pride to blow up your own landmarks (first). I watch a lot of anime and the number of times tokyo tower has bought it is considerable. There was one anime which I'd heard was French, but was sure was Japanese. The final scene clinched it when the spaceship crashed into the Eiffel Tower.

Tony
Thursday, June 10, 2004

I think I know the New York streets better then my own hometown, and I've never been to New York.

DNA
Thursday, June 10, 2004

The majority of the US media (i.e. film + TV) is based in either New York or LA.  Amazingly that's where almost all films and TV is set.  Funny that.  Oh of course Rupert Mudoch lives in New York.

One thing that does bother me - if a film is set in London (especially an American film) they do tend to play fast and loose with geography.  You know the sort of thing - take a left at one landmark and magically appear 10 miles away at another.  Do they do that with American cities as well?

a cynic writes...
Thursday, June 10, 2004

Wont someone for Christs sake PLEASE blow up the Opera house, harbour bridge and and the citys ego, and yes, please do the same thing in the movies too

Hardcore Melbournite
Thursday, June 10, 2004

The one thing i didnt like about the movie was seeing the Fox News reporting. Yuk, sad excuse for news, but then again it is created by 20th Century sly FOX, but it was funny when one of the news reporter got hit by a big debree. That would be funny stuff if it happened to Bill O'Reilly, I would pay anyone my months salary to see that happen. :) :) :)

Fox News Sux
Thursday, June 10, 2004

...and in the scenes set in the UK the news programmes were from Sky News (R. Mudoch prop.)

a cynic writes...
Thursday, June 10, 2004

>> There was one anime which I'd heard was French, but was sure was Japanese. The final scene clinched it when the spaceship crashed into the Eiffel Tower.

If Jpese, it's more likely to be the NHK tower in Tôkyô than the Eiffel tower over here :-)

Fred
Thursday, June 10, 2004

Re: to Thomas Wesley

Project Gotham Racing 2 has done this already - i have seen the level based in Edinburgh (my home town) and its very acurate (its even got the same road signs being displayed)

Fothy
Thursday, June 10, 2004

Don't forget that the only city in modern-day Europe and the only city that existed before 1900 was Prague

Philo

Philo
Thursday, June 10, 2004

What about London? That's been a city for quite a while.

Matthew Lock
Thursday, June 10, 2004

"One thing that does bother me - if a film is set in London (especially an American film) they do tend to play fast and loose with geography.  You know the sort of thing - take a left at one landmark and magically appear 10 miles away at another.  Do they do that with American cities as well? "

They do the same thing with American cities.  Subways let off at places without subway stops, roads are magically connected to make better chase scenes etc.

chris
Thursday, June 10, 2004

Infact London became a city around the AD 60s. So it's been a city for quite a bit longer than most. http://www.archaeology.co.uk/ca/timeline/roman/london/regisho.htm

Matthew Lock
Thursday, June 10, 2004

I think Philo meant that Prague is used in a lot of films to stand in for most cities in Europe as it's (a) cheap and (b) looks old.

The upshot is that you don't have to worry about getting Canary Warf in shot when filming the latest remake of "Jake the Ripper". 

"Dan Dare" is another matter of course.

a cynic writes...
Thursday, June 10, 2004

Thanks chris- I'm relived to hear it. 

a cynic writes...
Thursday, June 10, 2004

>Don't forget that the only city in modern-day Europe and >the only city that existed before 1900 was Prague

Oh, I see. Stockholm, Sweden dates back to about 1250.
Check your sources.

Patrik
Thursday, June 10, 2004

Wanna shoot NY on the cheap? Toronto.
A European city on the cheap? Prague or Budapest.
A cowboy picture on the cheap? Alberta.
LA on the cheap? Well...LA.

George Illes
Thursday, June 10, 2004

What about Rome?

Existed long before Jesus.

UI idiot
Thursday, June 10, 2004

You know, I really have to wonder what goes through people's brains when they read a comment like mine and think that I'm honestly trying to say that no city in Europe existed before 1900.

Cynic nailed it - Prague is to Europe as NYC is to the US, in terms of FILMMAKING. It's cheap, it looks old, and I understand the Czech government is creating incentives for filmmakers to work there. (double benefit - advertising for the city and film crew spends $$$ while there)

A tangential yet related anecdote - we had a czech exchange student a few years ago. She said before she came she was trying to decide what classes to take. Her father suggested that American History would be an easy class "because there's so little of it" [grin]

Philo

Philo
Thursday, June 10, 2004

Ah but you didn't state filmmaking Philo.

Never assume ;-)

UI idiot
Thursday, June 10, 2004

Hollywood rules of thumb:

- Most life happens in LA & NY.
- Main character is a: cop, lawyer, actor, doctor, criminal, teacher, reporter.
- If main character is a "businessperson" then he/she's in advertising.
- "Plain" looking girl next door is really a hot chick in glasses with no makeup and dull clothes.
- any many more

Yet another anon
Thursday, June 10, 2004

You guys who went after Philo for his unclear comment crack me up.  Apparently the only city in Europe that you are really  confident existed before 1900 is your own hometown.  Wow.

I guess Americans aren't the only provincial ones.
Thursday, June 10, 2004

Man, the prague comment really cracked me up too. I swear I cant stop laughing, I guess we should give the saying "the Eternal City" to Prague and not Rome.
Whats even funnier is, many assumed that he actually thinks no other city existed prior to 1900, the least that could have been done is ask Philo for clarification

Thomas Wesley
Thursday, June 10, 2004

The only one who gets continuity right in pictures set in San Francisco is Clint Eastwood. Everyone else has silly stuff like driving on the top deck of the bay bridge to get to Berkeley or the Montery Bay Aquarium being in Marin County.

The other thing that cracks me up about SF shot movies is they always show it being sunny and the charaters were clothes for warm weather. It's freaking cold and overcast most of the time in the summer.

MilesArcher
Thursday, June 10, 2004

The difference between people in the US and people in Europe.

Those in the US think 100 year ago is a long time.

Those in Europe thing 100 miles away is a long distance.

Australians don't give a damn about either provided we can get to the pub and have a few drinks.

Ken Ray
Thursday, June 10, 2004

I could take L.A. into account in the gaming plot, but because the main character, the young boy, doesnt feature at all in L.A., makes it more difficult. So looks like New York it is :(

Thomas Wesley
Thursday, June 10, 2004

How could you make a video game out of that god awful movie?

If you do insist on making the game, you'd better include a hammer in the box for customers to bash their brains with before subjecting themselves to such torture.

After about 5 minutes of the game, I bet most would probably go back to the hammer.

GuyIncognito
Thursday, June 10, 2004

You know something GuyIncognito, you make a very good point. The movie is aweful, not because of New York offcourse:), but it just gives one that "Independence Day de ja vu". Its like, you've seen one disaster film, you've seen them all. I always wonder, if aliens ever came to planet earth, which city are they going to attack first?, or which head of state are they going to deal with first?. Why NY or DC?, why not London or Nato headquarters?, why is it always the U.S. president that has to save the world?. Since when does "Take me to your leader" jargon always has to mean take them to the buffon in the oval office. Well
, somehow nature played the part of the aliens in this film.

The only good thing in the film was it showed a more humble America, a recognition of the consequences of ignoring the Kyoto treaty (although a bit far fetched here) and surprise of all surprises, the president dies!. Since when in the history of motion picture has a president died?, with the exception of true stories eg jfk etc.
Is this a cinematic revolution?. I think not, I really don't think the current presidents demise will be a big loss to the nation, hence why they can afford to knock him off in the film. Its 3am, and I'm dead tired, I'll knock myself off as well :)

Thomas Wesley
Thursday, June 10, 2004

> Whats even funnier is, many assumed that he actually thinks
>  no other city existed prior to 1900, the least that could have
>  been done is ask Philo for clarification

Hey Philo's an American, so I wouldn't be suprised that he thought something crazy about the rest of the world.

Matthew Lock
Thursday, June 10, 2004

By the way I'm not singling out Philo. Just know so many experiences of Americans asking "What language do Australian's speak and how come they are so good at English?", or thinking that Australia is in South America somewhere.

Matthew Lock
Thursday, June 10, 2004

Harcore Melbournite:
I don't suppose you saw skithouse on wednesday night?

Aussie Chick
Thursday, June 10, 2004

I would pay for someone to blow up Los Angeles, but not to see fake special effects of it happening. Just kidding.

I think the sheer numbers make sense here. Population:

New York City: 8,008,278
Los Angeles: 3,694,820
Seattle: 563,374
Miami: 362,470

You get the idea.

Besides, how many other landmarks do people recognize? The % of people who recognize the Space Needle in Seattle v. The Empire State Building? Does Los Angeles even have landmarks?

If for no other reason than it was in King Kong, every movie goer will recognize the Empire State Building. The Statue of Liberty is an extremely important symbol of America, and post 9-11, I guess we need to believe that another apocalypse type event is so remote even Hollywood will make a movie of it.

What I think is funny is the TNT series on terrorism "The Grid." Interviews with the actors make it sound like they're giving the terrorists point of view, but in the very next sentance they talk about how obviously and extremely deranged they all are. Not exactly as fair and balanced as they'd like to pretend. It's like saying they're giving a fair and balanced view of programmers - why are they all pale and catatonic?

www.MarkTAW.com
Thursday, June 10, 2004

Hmm... I'm thinking about that... I guess I can't remember a movie in which the president died.

I remember being shocked when the president died at the end of Tom Clancy's book 'Debt of Honor'.  I didn't see it coming at all...

GuyIncognito
Thursday, June 10, 2004

I wonder how many people remember the Statue of Liberty from the end of Planet of the Apes:


The only danger is if they send us to that terrible Planet of the Apes ... Wait a minute, Statue of Liberty -- that was our planet! You maniacs! You blew it up! Damn you! Damn you all to hell!

-- Homer Simpson

Matthew Lock
Thursday, June 10, 2004

The president died in Dave....

Chris
Friday, June 11, 2004

Ok, my mistake, forgot about 'Dave', even though I havn't seen the film, heard that he dies in it. Still, u got to admit, its a rare comodity.
Speaking of Simpsons, one of my all favourite time quote is..

I saw this movie about a bus that had to SPEED around a city, keeping its SPEED over fifty, and if its SPEED dropped, it would explode! I think it was called, 'The Bus That couldn't Slow Down.' --Homer Simpson

Thomas Wesley
Friday, June 11, 2004

Now would it have been as dramatic if it was the Eiffel Tower at the end of the Planet of the Apes?

Attendez une minute, la tour d'Eiffel -- qui était notre planète ! Vous fous ! Vous l'avez soufflée vers le haut ! Damnez-vous ! Damnez-vous tout à l'enfer !

www.MarkTAW.com
Friday, June 11, 2004

The President also died in "Mars Attacks" and "JFK"

In LA they usually blow up the Capitol Records building.

Regarding populations - you have to be careful to compare metro areas and not just cities by corporate limits.

Philo

Philo
Friday, June 11, 2004

I also think this might have something to in its symbolism, the eifel tower was a construct that was made for the Paris Exposition of 1889 by Gustave Eiffel. It was supposed to be taken down after that, but just stayed on. Its one of those accidental monuments..
The statue of liberty (ironically, a gift from France) was given to the U.S. to reward them for the hardwork they did in fighting for freedom. The statue was the first thing many migrants saw when entering the new york harbour, and it would be an image etched in their minds forever. In a sense, the statue represents the fruits of revolutionary America.
Another factor is that unlike, the French monunement, the statue of Liberty has a "human" face, something we can relate to. Just like the tourist to egypt, will see much of the historical sites, but one thing he/she is astounded  by is the loss of the Sphinx's nose, to the extent that so many theories have come about as to how it got lost.
Finally, hollywood has glorified Lady Liberty in so many films, the only time the eifel tower is highlighted is when an American couple go to France and make out.
No disrespect to the eifel tower and France, my point is, the monuments serve very different purposes, the only commnonality that exists is that its a recognisable landmark of the nation in question.
But I have to admit, the photoshoot of Adolf Hitler with the eifel tower in the background is a poignient moment of anxiety in visual history, as it illustrated the crossing of evil with freedom. Kind of like seeing Osama Bin Laden at the Statue of Liberty or Lincoln Memorial, it boggles the mind.

Thomas Wesley
Friday, June 11, 2004

Well Mark, since "Planet of the Apes" was based on a French novel, why not?

a cynic writes...
Friday, June 11, 2004

----" The statue of liberty (ironically, a gift from France) was given to the U.S. to reward them for the hardwork they did in fighting for freedom."----

Errr, not quite. It was actually to remind the Americans of the hard work the French had done to get them their liberty a hundred years earlier in the War of American Independence, which was basically a war between one colonial power, Great Britain, and two others, France and Spain. As the French won the war the US became an independent country instead of part of Southern Canada -- and could freely indulge in such sports as negro slavery and genocide of the Indian population :)

Now the French did want somethng out of it (they wouldn't be French if they didn't!) and when the plan was originally mooted in 1865 those who proposed it were hoping for American support in deposing Napoleon III and establishing a Republic. However by the time work started in 1876 the Third Republic was already there.


---" the only commnonality that exists is that its a recognisable landmark of the nation in question. "-----

The fact that they were both designed by the same structural engineer, Gustave Eiffel, is of course another point.

The face actually came from France, (the sculptor was Bartholdi) as did the whole figure. The arrangement was made by the Franco-American committee that the French should provide the statue and the Americans the plinth.

However when the French eventually had the statue ready (having had to raise funds by means of a public lottery) and up in Paris awaiting shipment (it actually stayed in Paris for three years and if it wasn't for a Hungarian - as I will explain later - might still be there), they found that the Americans were nowhere near building the pedestal.

One of the reasons was that the Americans were already under the sway of that Great American archetype, the pointy-haired boss, and argued that no way could the plinth cost as much as the statue that was to rest on it. The other reason was the proverbial dislike of the American rich to cough up for the public good. Congress vetoed a bill to appropriate $100,000 for the project, and although New York voted $50,000 this was vetoed by the governor.

The plinth was only ever built because of an Hungarian immigrant journalist, Joseph Pullitzer, who used his journal "The World" to campaign for contributions. His claim:

"The statue was paid for by the masses of the French people. Let us respond in like manner. Let us not wait for the millionaires to give this money. It is not a gift from the millionaires of France to the millionaires of America, but a gift of the whole people of France to the whole people of America."

had the desired effect:- that is to say it iincreased the readership of his paper by 50,000.
Incidentally, It also managed to raise $100,000 towards the building of the plinth which was finally set in place in 1886.

At the ceremony the rich who hadn't contributed anythng, jockeyed for places with the government officials who had done their best to scotch the idea, and the rewriting of history began.

[next installment - "George Washington and the Apple tree"  - a complete fabrication dreamt up in the first decade of the nineteenth century to rouse American spirits in their struggle on the side of a French dictatorship against British democracy in the Napoleonic wars - and how it is still believed two hundred years later when the latter day George's ploy about NIger uranium cake doesn't last more than a couple of years. Lies ain't what they used to be!)

Stephen Jones
Friday, June 11, 2004

Well Stephen, I stand corrected :), but definately an interesting historical insight you put there.  Good point about the uranium cake saga, it stuns me how lies that come out these days don't last beyond a year. It's going to be very difficult for the fraudsters in the White House (and future ones) to lay the foundation for future myths and legends. The information age has really changed the way lies are undertaken, almost nothing of the current Iraq war justifications have any credible basis left, and technically, the war is not even over. Also imagine the scandals that would have arose if the previous wars in history had soldiers carry the digital camera.
The very great technologies that America has produced (from the camera to the Internet) is backfiring on the nation in the style of a "greek tragedy".

Thomas Wesley
Friday, June 11, 2004

Matthew Lock :

A while ago, in NYC campus, I was told by bunch of soon to be graduated White Americans that Oregon is one of the best places in Canada.

I had been laughing all day that day.

Cosmo Kramer should be the president of the United States
Friday, June 11, 2004

It's because New York is much more interesting to destroy than the normal target of disasters: mobile home parks.

Steve Monk
Friday, June 11, 2004

I'm an Egyptian, and when I was studying at Vanderbelt, I was asked by an American girl "Do you live in a pyramid?",, and she was serious too!

Walk like an egyptian is just a song
Friday, June 11, 2004

I was in Singapore last year, and there were a group of U.S. marines buying stuff at 711. One of the marines got into an argument with the chinese store clerk, and the black marine shouted "God damn you koreans". :)
How they ever became a superpower still perplexes me

Jason
Friday, June 11, 2004

Way to go Stephen Jones. And here I thought I'd learn nothing from this thread. Uncovering history that's been re-written is always interesting. Do you mind my asking what your source is? Maybe I should add something to my readin list.

Re: The Planet of the Apes being a French novel: Hilarious.

When I saw the first ads for The Day After Tomorrow, I wondered if they personalized them for each city. As one of my college professors point out to me - you live in New York. You don't have any idea what the rest of the country thinks about you. They look to Friends (or whatever other NY based show was on at the time) and David Letterman to see what New York is like.

Philo, you're right, I'm not including the outlying areas, which may have vast suburban populations that work in or otherwise identify with whatever they decide is the city, but live outside of it. It's a rough heuristic I used to make a point and nothing more.

If they want to blow up Los Angeles, they should use the old Warner Brothers backlot you see at the beginning of ever WB movie before the old Porky Pig logo pops up. Or any random Freeway.

www.MarkTAW.com
Saturday, June 12, 2004

Ummm, Planet of the Apes *is* a French novel, written by Pierre Boulle.  And in the book, it *was* the Eiffel Tower at the end.

Seriously. Unless y'all already knew that.

apt605
Tuesday, June 15, 2004

New York is played out and very over rated city.
Im very tired of hearing about new york(as many people are) The news and print media industries in new york
is overly new york centric.

Bill Hayes
Monday, July 05, 2004

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