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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Cover Design Interview & Movie Recs

This week I appeared on Sandra Almazan Ulbrich's blog where I talk about the design process of covers. There are lots of real-world examples and a little bit of my quirkiness. Stop over and leave some love for me and Sandra.

Still having trouble with my readers. Each one has benefits and disadvantages. Since I follow so many blogs, I need something that shows the whole post, in categories, and will warn me before I delete entire categories. 

I almost opted for Bloglovin, but it only shows a preview. With so many blogs on my list that's too many mouse clicks to read each one. Feedly is good but I can't tell you how many times I've deleted posts accidentally with no idea of who I deleted. The Old Reader is easy to handle, but it won't let me use category folders.

An unrelated problem is that I think I lost the sound card on my computer. So many friends have posted videos lately, but I have no way to watch them.

:sigh: It's always something.


Finally, went to see Star Trek and World War Z. I still have bones to pick with Star Trek since the plot is a little contrived in places in order to "make" something happen, but overall it was good. I liked the nods to Star Trek Classic and the villain was surprisingly good. I didn't expect that.

World War Z was a more cerebral movie even though it was action packed. I really liked the "solution". Very solid extrapolation. Brad Pitt was excellent as always, playing a dad who will do anything to protect his family. I loved that 10-second scene when he realized he swallowed zombie juice and does something very noble.

I recommend both movies.


That's all from me this week. It's been a crazy-busy week on the farm. Blood has been spilled. Most of it mine.

Come visit me at Sandra's. And tell me if you've seen either Star Trek or World War Z. Did you like them?


Mark K said...

Regarding your sound card, unless it has died completely, I would suggest removing the sound drivers completely, then re-installing them - better still, try and get an up-to-date version of them.

If it is onboard sound (built onto the motherboard) then go to the motherboard manufacturers site and enter in the model mobo (motherboard) and select 'drivers' and download from there.

As for the book cover design aspect, recently I offered my services (for free) to design some book covers. I had a great response and chose 4 covers to do. The idea being that if used I would get credit and a mention, and hopefully more work.

Three out of the four are going to be used. I found it an interesting process, especially as the initial ideas people gave me were nothing short of Hollywood-style film posters. I soon got them to realise the limitations of such requests, especially as I'm no super-fantastic digital artist (though a qualified graphic designer).

I love the whole idea behind the process of book cover design and the final outcome. It's just the bit in between I found a pain in the behind, that and the unrealistic ideas/demands - but hey, that's design for you ;)

Maria Zannini said...

Mark: Thank you so much for the sound problem advice! I might wait for hubby to return to check out the motherboard, but in the meantime I'll do some sleuthing on drivers.

I was ready to replace the whole thing. Not that my computer's not due for an upgrade, but I'd like to save some money if I can.

Sandra Almazan said...

Thanks again for stopping by, Maria! I haven't been to a movie theater in years. My son went to see Rise of the Guardians yesterday during a daycare field trip. While he liked the movie, he wasn't interested in going to a theater again.

Jackie Burris said...

While it would be fun and wonderful to see both movies on the big screen we are going to have to wait till come out on DVD, too long for my husband and I to sit through at the theatres thanks to "stiff leg syndrome" from getting too cold on my part and "asleep behind syndrome" on my sweeties "end of things". Maria a good old 80 minute movie used to be the norm, now those things range anywhere up to 2 1/2 to almost 3 hours straight and that does not work well with someone with MS as I have found out to my despair as loved going to theatre for the surround sound and big screen.

Stacy McKitrick said...

I saw the Star Trek movie and enjoyed it. Not interested in World War Z. Not into zombies and not into Brad Pitt - double whammy!

Maria Zannini said...

Sandra: I have to admit the appeal of movie theaters have waned. Most of the time we wait for the movie to go to DVD. Theaters are crowded, expensive, and I can't stop the movie when I want to go to the bathroom. LOL.

But Greg still likes the big screen for sci fi flicks.

Maria Zannini said...

Jackie: Yup. That's the other thing I forgot to mention. That Star Trek movie was long! I was constantly shifting for a more comfortable position.

Plus with what we paid for the tickets, we could've bought the dvd and snacks for the evening--and still kept the movie.

Maria Zannini said...

Stacy: Not a Brad Pitt fan?! Blasphemy! LOL.

He's good in everything I've seen him in. My favorite movie of his was Meet Joe Black.

I am not a fan of the zombie genre, but WWZ was more than zombies. It was a real thinking film to figure out how to survive a pandemic. Quite refreshing.

Cate Masters said...

Can't wait to see both movies!

Wish I had some helpful advice on the tech stuff, but you're beyond me there.

And you're always welcome on my blog to talk about book cover design - or anything else. :)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I loved Star Trek and my daughter saw it three times. I have seen 'Z' yet and will probably wait for the video.

Angela Brown said...

I loved your post over at Sandra's blog.

I have not had a chance to see this Star Trek. I feel like I'm performing something blasphemous by missing the big screen view. But I just haven't made the time.

Le sigh.

WWZ is something I'll have to wait for. I admit...just want to watch it for Brad Pitt, though your mention of swallowing zombie juice gave my belly a moment's curdle lol!!

Maria Zannini said...

Cate: Aw, thanks, Cate. Maybe this fall or winter? I'd love to appear on your blog, but I can barely keep up right now and I want to do your blog justice.

Maria Zannini said...

Susan: Believe it or not, I think I prefer WWZ to Star Trek and that's saying a lot having been a Star Trek fan since it first aired in '66.

WWZ was just more cerebral, which shocks the heck out of me because i expected a run of the mill zombie movie.

So glad it went beyond my expectations.

Maria Zannini said...

Angela: It's worth seeing Star Trek on the big screen. Some of the money shots are awesome.

James Garcia Jr. said...

Hi, Maria. I'm sorry to hear that blood has been spilled this past week. I was hoping to hear that scorpions and snakes had been sent to their eternal reward, making the farm safe for future visitors. Alas, I'm sorry to hear it was you. ;)
I did see the new Star Trek and enjoyed it. I was torn since a certain other film in the canon had used that villain previously. (Spoiler alert)! The Wrath of Khan is still one of my all time favorites. All in all, I found this new film to be a good balance of everything with regard to appeasing old and new fans alike.
Have a good week, my friend.


Maria Zannini said...

Jimmy: I kind of wish they'd develop new stories rather than counting on the old ones, but I guess they're going for the sure thing.

Re: farm
Had a close encounter with a snake a couple of days ago. I'm still recovering. :)

Mike Keyton said...

Thanks for the tip. Like Jackie, I've been seduced by a large 44" HD TV - Recliner and Surround Sound. But only for special occasions. Slobbing is dangerously addictive :)

Maria Zannini said...

Mike: Greg keeps threatening to buy some monstrosity that'll cover most of the wall.

If he does, there will be no reason to go to the theater anymore.