Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Finding Out What Movie Posters Are Worth

Finding Out What Movie Posters Are Worth
By: Mark McCallister

Any movie fan with a personal link to a film should get the poster. One can even master the art of buying and selling posters as a business if not hobby. The sky’s the limit for the kinds of posters to collect. Follow your heart. It could be a specific genre or the kind of titles that you prefer. Anything’s possible so be your own judge. However check the rates being paid, to avoid paying a lot more than the actual value. Learn to decide on a suitable price for a particular poster.

There is no prescribed method for estimating accurate value or condition of a product like it is with most collectible products. The current market can determine the price of a poster, based on the number of buyers and sellers. There are certain factors to consider for estimating the value of posters.

Certain posters are rarely sold especially when only a few copies exist, that too in museums and private collections. Every time a rare poster comes up for sale, collectors scramble for it. The more easily found posters keep prices from appreciating.

Condition of the poster is directly related to how rare it is. If the poster is extremely rare, even the poorest condition will be acceptable. The condition alone can influence the price by thousands of dollars.

Condition Table
Mint: When the poster print is as good as new. For posters as old as 40 years, mint condition can seem like a dream come true.

Near-mint: The reality of mint condition. It’s about as good as it gets, minus fading, tears, tape stains, ink stains, pinholes, folds, etc. With folded sheets practically impossible, the folding alone does not classify it under near-mint condition. More likely to be found are rolled half sheet inserts and window cards for which folding is not acceptable.

A relatively good condition that is free of any major damage. However the definition of significant damage is a much-debated topic.

Very Good:
This refers to posters, which still possess bright colors to be appreciated. Framing may reduce the defects, which are bound to be visible.

A more damaged yet still presentable specimen that has a well-used appearance with prominent fold marks, fading and browning.

Where the damage is severe enough to erase parts of the image.

A total mess but capable of restoration in case of exceptional value.

Collecting movie posters can be alternatively thrilling and nightmarish. Fakes and reprints of originals can be difficult for even poster dealers to distinguish. Naturally the fakes will be worthless.

Thanks to technology, fakes have becomes extremely easy to reproduce. There are certain indications to identify outright fakes.

Printers’ names at the bottom of posters denote fakes. These are not to be mistaken for lithographers’ names that legitimate posters bear.

Zip codes on posters prior to 1960s are not possible, as the codes didn’t exist before 1960. Low and bargain prices are likely to indicate reproductions and fakes.

Ensure that the dealer is a reputed one with a fairly long history in the business.

Fakes can also be identified on the basis of the size, graphic design, design and text integration, artists’ signatures, film title, featured actors and the marketability of the film.

About the Author:

Mark McCallister is a total movie buff and has reviewed English, French & Italian Movies over a span of 7 years now. Besides, he likes to have an account of his favourite movie posters and keeps updating himself. Add collections of your favorite movie posters all from All Movie Posers

Read more articles by: Mark McCallister

Article Source: www.iSnare.com

Saturday, December 16, 2006

800x600px Photo of Sibu Island, Johore, Malaysia

This is a demonstration post to show what happen when a 800px photo is posted to a 400 fixed main column width template. See post More Blogger Beta templates by Stavanger

Below is a 800x400px photo of the beach of Sibu Island, Johore, Malaysia. Malaysia has lots of beautiful beaches with palm trees waving in the air to invite you to enjoy youself. Some beaches will have nice reefs to snorkel or scuba-dive. 2007 is also Visit Malaysia Year and coincides with the 50th anniversary of the country independence as a colony from Great Britain, and lots of programs are been planned for the enjoyment of visitors. 2007 will be a good year to visit Malaysia

Thursday, December 14, 2006

400px wide photo in a Stavanger's Rounders3 fixed template

This post is to demonstrate how by using a fluid main column template, uploading a wide photograph will not push the sidebar to the bottom of the page, but causes scroll bar to be displayed so that the rest of the page can be seen by scrolling. The image size is 800x600 pixels.
800px wide photo

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Addicted to House

Addicted to House
by: Aldene Fredenburg

I resisted the series House for just about the entire season. The whole "we're so hip and edgy and sophisticated" hype about the series was a turn-off, as was the positive press it was getting. (I have become very suspicious about opinions expressed by the mainstream media.) Then I saw the actor Hugh Laurie, who plays the title character, on a talk show, and discovered he's actually a Brit who does a very creditable American accent. That impressed me; usually foreign actors overdo American accents, but this guy nailed it. Okay, I'll watch, I thought.

It took me a couple of episodes. At first I thought, "Yeah, I get it; you're an irascible but brilliant doctor with a lousy attitude and a secretly compassionate nature, yada yada, I've heard it all before….", a stereotype I've seen on every doctor show for the past four decades, with the possible exception of Marcus Welby, M.D. (The James Brolin character was a little surly on that one…) But then I realized, this guy's playing it for real; he's a seriously screwed up guy, a drug-addicted, s.o.b. of a man with enough existential angst for ten Russian novels.

The whole premise of the show is that some patient comes in with a mysterious life-threatening illness that resists diagnosis, and the team of doctors spend the hour (in TV-drama time) misdiagnosing the illness and making the patient worse, until House pulls a diagnostic rabbit out of the hat at the last moment, thus saving the patient-most of the time. (Sometimes the patient ends up having a fatal illness, and is essentially toast.) In the process, the viewer is exposed to CATscans and MRIs and needles in the spine-Yikes-and all kinds of sophisticated diagnostic equipment and techniques, plus a seriously motley crew of medical personnel, all with their own blind spots, all with their own demons.

A thoroughly gripping medical drama, House. The producers and directors are obviously going for gritty realism; the question is, have they succeeded? They've got the gritty down perfectly, but the realism? Considering the fact that we all need to take a trip to the doctor every so often-God, I hope not!

About The Author
Aldene Fredenburg is a freelance writer living in southwestern New Hampshire. She has written numerous articles for local and regional newspapers and for a number of Internet websites, including Tips and Topics. She expresses her opinions periodically on her blog, Beyond Gendas (close new window/tab to get back to this page).

Reality Bites: The Cynical Underpinning of Reality TV

Reality Bites: The Cynical Underpinning of Reality TV
by: Aldene Fredenburg

From "Survivor" to "The Amazing Race," from "The Apprentice" to "Runway," the ugly truth is that, far from being a competition in which the best contestant wins, Reality TV shows are rife with infighting, political cliques, backbiting, betrayal, and exclusion. Alliances are formed, individuals are targeted for expulsion, and participants often lie about each other in order to put themselves in a better light than their competitors.

In a recent episode of "The Apprentice," one team discovered that the competing team had arranged to purchase every available megaphone from a store chain for an upcoming promotion. The team that made the discovery beat their competitors to the store carrying the equipment, misrepresented themselves to the store clerk, and made off with the other team's megaphones. Donald Trump's response? "Good for them!"

All of which says what about American culture? Have we entered an era of social Darwinism in which "the survival of the fittest" rules? Is Reality TV redefining the values of the American people, or are they only reflecting a shift that had already taken place?

Consider this: Over a million additional Americans fell below the poverty level in the year 2004. Over forty million Americans are without health insurance coverage. Huge spikes in oil and natural gas prices, even before Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, threatened the financial survival of the working poor as they faced a harsh winter and impossibly high heating fuel bills. And all the while, Congress and the Bush administration promoted tax cuts for the wealthy, okayed windfall profits and subsidies for the oil companies, and discussed cutting fuel assistance programs.

Survival of the fittest. Now think about Katrina, and the woefully inadequate governmental response, and the circling of land speculators around the ruined neighborhoods of New Orleans only days after the hurricane.

Substitute food and water for those purloined megaphones, and adequate health care, and decent affordable housing, and ask yourselves: Is the view of life expressed many times a week on these Reality TV shows what we truly want for this country? Do we want our government and private citizens to react to a disaster like Katrina by fighting for necessities, cutting the weak out of the loop when it comes to essential services, and turning our backs on the most vulnerable among us in favor of the strong, the healthy, the well-connected, and the rich? Because those are the values we're worshipping constantly in our support of the ubiquitous Reality TV programming.

We need to take a good look at Reality TV and the morally bankrupt values it is promoting, and ask ourselves this: What do we as citizens want our relationship to be with each other? What do we want our government, which acts as our surrogate, to do to help the poorest and the weakest among us? Are we really committed to the "survival of the fittest" view as expressed by Reality TV, corporate interests, and current government officials, or do we want to create a community which provides a safety net for the vulnerable and help for each other in the event of unexpected misfortune?

Fans may enjoy all the high drama of their favorite reality TV shows, and may laugh at any comparison to our larger social structure. But the grim fact is, Reality TV eerily reflects the cynicism and self-interest that permeates American society today, and the implications of that, should another widespread disaster strike, are not pretty.

About The Author
Aldene Fredenburg is a freelance writer living in southwestern New Hampshire and frequently contributes to Tips and Topics. She has published numerous articles in local and regional publications on a wide range of topics, including business, education, the arts, and local events. Her feature articles include an interview with independent documentary filmmaker Ken Burns and a feature on prisoners at the New Hampshire State Prison in Concord. She may be reached at amfredenburg@yahoo.com.

Get A Taste Of The Hot and Rapidly Aspiring Alexander Lunev’s Guitar and Keyboard Music - Finger Dancing At It’s Best!

Get A Taste Of The Hot and Rapidly Aspiring Alexander Lunev’s Guitar and Keyboard Music - Finger Dancing At It’s Best!
by: Lucy Boutaleb

This article is all about the incredible artist Alexander Lunev, who is about to take the International music scene by storm!

Musical Contribution Awards!

Alexander Lunev appeared at MTV's 13th annual European Music Awards contest to receive "Best Russian Act" nomination for RMA (Regional Music Awards), held in Copenhagen on November 2nd 2006 for his musical contribution with the dark pop song: "Never Let You Go" and sung by Dima Bilan. The show featured some of the biggest names in the music world including, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Keane, Snoop Dogg and Justin Timberlake who won best male and best pop award.


Russian musician and producer Alexander Lunev is arguably Russia’s leading contemporary composer. However, what makes him special is that he has a unique way of expressing his prodigious musical talents. Every melody is a sublime and exhilarating listening experience; that’s how enthralling and refreshing his sound is!

Unsigned Talent!

Incredibly though, Alexander Lunev is unsigned to any record label in the rest of Europe and America as yet, however, he is rapidly catching the attention of many important players in the music industry. Alex’s instrumental ambient type music is perhaps more akin to that of the famous Vangelis, whilst his methodically sequenced and lush electronic progressive genre is probably closer to that of Ryuichi Sakamoto.


Alexander Lunev has collaborated with a number of singers effortlessly influencing all with his creative and unique sounds. Witness the energy and artistry of his compositions. This is definitely a music that can lift one to the highest state of melodic level. His compositions journey through a myriad of genres gently bathed in intricate, yet futuristic harmonies.


Collaborating with the award-winning Dima Bilan, that magical talent was finally revealed captivating a huge global audience! Everybody will recognise the song "Never Let You Go" brilliantly composed by Alexander and superbly sung by Dima at the Eurovision 2006 that made it to number two before it shot up the single’s chart and became an instant smash hit in many countries. In February 2007 Dima Bilan will record two of Alexander’s compositions in Los Angeles with the producer of "Black Eyed Peas" who is very interested in Alexander’s music and he has plans to duet with the pop diva Shakira in the very near future.


What separates and truly distinguishes Alexander from many other musical artists and composers are the absolute brilliant command he has over the guitar and keyboard! For those who have not yet heard the soundtrack from the movie "Ballet of the Butterflies" you may want to check that one out first on Lunev’s website http://www.lunev.info. However, for those who are already fans of the artistic brilliance that Lunev creates through his music like; "Through The Eyes Of The Eagle", "Following the Trail", "Above the Ocean", "Drowning Man", "Return to the Heavens", "Never Let You Go" (B. Bilan) and "Lady Flame" (B. Bilan), are definite must-have.


Complementing and pushing his sound creativity vision further, Alex, who is also musical producer for the group "Koroleva" ("Queen"), are together recording his latest composition titled "Snow" due to be released this Christmas. Alexander has contributed to two popular movie soundtracks, notably one for the Russian movie “Frenchman”. In addition, he wrote and produced the rock-opera "Prodigal Son" based on classical evangelic texts, further testimony of his boundless genius.


The undeniably guitar virtuoso and talented keyboard player who can take any style of music and give it a special twist to suit, has excelled in a wide range of music styles rightly carving a name for himself in popular, orchestral and film music. His fan base age ranges from 13-25 year olds for his songs, while not surprisingly perhaps his sensational "electronica" collection captivates the over 21’s.

This year marked a truly significant step forward in the realm of electronic music delivering an astonishing musical repertoire like no other. Alexander new material is already popular in his adopted home city Moscow and boasts a loyal following ranging between 25 to over 80 year olds, further testimony of his fans wide age group musical taste appeal.


Adding new material, Alexander reappeared this fall to pursue his interest in "world music" with an instrumental album titled "Through the Eyes of the Eagle" that strikes the head and grabs one’s soul. This album is scheduled for release in the very near future, but no firm date as yet.

Needless to say this pioneering composer and enormously talented artist is definitely poised for global stardom!

For more information or to get in touch with Alexander Lunev please contact Yan Valle or visit Alexander Lunev’s official website: http://www.lunev.info

Contact Info:

Manager: Yan Valle
Phone: (+1 416) 877 5817
Email: info@lunev.info
URL: Lunev (close new window/tab to get back to this page).

About The Author
© by Lucy Boutaleb copywriter

Lucy Boutaleb is a professional writer, who writes articles on many different topics for the Internet. This article has been created for Lunev (close new window/tab to get back to this page). You can listen to the latest music samples at Lunev (close new window/tab to get back to this page).

Tom Cruise, Paramount And Hollywood Power’s Shift, And Now Hedge Funds

Tom Cruise, Paramount And Hollywood Power’s Shift, And Now Hedge Funds
by: Richard Stoyeck

Until the 1950’s, Hollywood was controlled by seven major motion picture studios. More importantly it was controlled by moguls, all of whom were men they of eastern European descent, who ruled the studio in the same way that the kings of their previous countries ruled the peasants. Creative control belonged to the mogul, while the money was always controlled by the New York bankers, the so-called “Suits”.

This power alignment began with the beginning of Hollywood prior to 1920, and continued for 40 plus years. What held it intact was the caste system, whereby the stars were controlled by individual studios. They were paid on a yearly basis, and had no say whatsoever in the movies they would appear in. In essence they were slaves to the system, not very different from how baseball players were handled until the Supreme Court outlawed career-long captive players.

The Hollywood caste system began to crack in the 1950’s, when Kirk Douglas, the father of Michael Douglas went independent, and formed one of the first independent film companies called Bryna, for his mother. They produced the “Vikings”, “Spartacus”, and “Seven Days in May”. The so called Studio system was now dead. Power shifted to the individual actors, who became BRAND NAMES in their own right.

Two developments began in the 1960’s. The Hollywood studios would be taken over by corporations, and then reacquired by giant multinational corporations seeking world-wide influence. The second development was that the stars began to exercise their power. Giant multinationals like Sony, Newscorp, and Viacom hated the fact that stars had so much power. In the last ten years, A-List actors like Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp, and Robert Redford started to receive profit participations, which the studios only gave begrudgingly.

At first it didn’t matter because Hollywood accounting is such that somehow the studios could always show a loss on the movie. The stars got wise to that very quickly, and started taking front end participations, a percentage of the ticket when movie goers bought their tickets. In my 35 years on Wall Street, I participated in financing many movies, and I have to tell you that nobody ever made money on the backend. No matter how big the movie, somehow the movie always lost money when it came to the backend participations.

We have now reached a point where the giant multinationals that control media on a world wide basis are fed up with what they are putting up with on behalf of brand name stars. Mel Gibson as you know has run into trouble on the West Coast with his drinking, and purported anti-Semitic remarks resulting in Disney canceling a Holocaust series with Gibson’s production company.

Now Tom Cruise has had a falling out with Sumner Redstone, and Viacom. Publicly Redstone has stated he doesn’t like some of Cruise’s actions in the last year. This doesn’t make sense. Normally when a studio breaks with a star, there is no public statement. None is required to be given, and they just part ways. This is more personal.

It is rumored that Viacom had offered Cruise a $2 million production deal, down from $4 million in the previous deal, plus a $6 million fund for the development of movie projects. Here’s the real deal. Tom Cruise did “Mission Impossible III” for Viacom, the movie grosses near $400 million world-wide. Cruise had negotiated as a fee, 25% of Viacom’s gross revenue on the movie.

This is the way it works. The movie does $400 million. The theaters get half, and Viacom gets half, that’s $200 million apiece. Cruise gets 25% of Viacom’s half, that’s $50 million. In the end Viacom gets $150 million, and Cruise gets $50 million. Sounds great for Viacom doesn’t it. Not really, Viacom must pay for the movie which had to be $150 million plus advertising. Viacom gets zero, and Cruise still gets $50 million. This is why Sumner Redstone of Viacom is annoyed, and Cruise is sitting on top of the world.

In the end Redstone will last laugh, why you ask? There’s still Hollywood accounting to deal with. Remember that all the original Hollywood studios were sold off into the hands of multinational corporations (MNC’s). Do you really think the MNC’s bought the studios for the theater gross? Absolutely not. In reality movie ticket sales represent a third of a movie’s earnings power. Viacom can lose money on a picture, and still make a fortune on DVD sales (a third), and future television and cable rights (a third).

The MNC’s have never shared profits on these other two-thirds of the revenue, and they never will. They refuse to even discuss it, and the numbers are buried deep in the corporation’s financial statements. They are never broken out, and they are kept secret. Viacom has made, and will make hundreds of millions of dollars on Mission Impossible III.

Redstone got fed up and threw Cruise off the lot. There are now statements being made by Cruise’s production partner Paula Wagner. She says that Cruise is raising $200 million from hedge funds to fund Cruise’s future projects. Wait until these Wall Street hedge fund types learn about Hollywood accounting. They are going to lose their shirts funding movies. This is not an industry that Wall Street should want to get involved with. Losing your shirt is one thing, but not even knowing that you have lost it until you are standing naked in the street is quite another.

About The Author
Richard Stoyeck’s background includes being a limited partner at Bear Stearns, Senior VP at Lehman Brothers, Kuhn Loeb, Arthur Andersen, and KPMG. Educated at Pace University, NYU, and Harvard University, today he runs Rockefeller Capital Partners and Stock at Bottom (close new window/tab to get back to this page).


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Stranger Than Fiction

Stranger Than Fiction
by: Sharif Khan

I recently had the pleasure of watching Marc Forster’s film, Stranger Than Fiction, which I found to be a delightfully charming, intelligent comedy written by first-time screenwriter Zach Helm. I give it two guitars up. Way up. (Platonically speaking of course).

It’s about an uptight IRS agent, Harold Crick (Will Ferrell), who realizes that his mundane life is being narrated by the voice of a chain-smoking novelist played by Emma Thompson. The novelist is suffering from a bad case of writer’s block and is on the verge of a nervous breakdown because she can’t decide the ending to her story.

Going mad with the constant narration in his head that accurately predicts his every move, Crick solicits the help of a literature professor (Dustin Hoffman) to help find his voice. To his utter shock and dismay, Crick learns that the voice of his narrator belongs to this eccentric author that writes tragedies in which her heroes are killed off.

But Crick does not want to die! For the first time in his life he is discovering who he really is and what his true passions are. He sets out to meet the author with the determination to alter his fate. And upon meeting, the two worlds collide. The author is petrified to see that her main character has come to life and that he is very real indeed.

I can certainly relate to this movie as a writer working on my first inspirational novel. The movie raises some intriguing questions: What does it mean to be real? To find one’s voice? To express one’s voice? Who is narrating our story? Can fate be altered? Where do the boundaries of fiction and non-fiction collide?

I certainly don’t pretend to know the answers. I can only share my perspective as a writer. One of the challenges writers face is to know their characters inside and out and to have a complete understanding of the world they have created so that everything magically comes to life. As the story-writing guru, Robert McKee, likes to say, “Not a sparrow should fall in the world of a writer that he wouldn’t know.”

I believe in a sense that we are all writers. We are writers of our own play. In The Hero Soul (http://www.HeroSoul.com), I close the last chapter of my book with a quote from Shakespeare:

“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.”

The world is a stage upon which we perform. Each age consisting of the acts and scenes of the play. But it’s our play. We choose how we act in each scene moment by moment. What type of play do you want to write? What type of a life do you want to live?

Realizing that he is going to be killed off, Harold Crick asks the literary professor for advice. The professor gives him a deceptively simple answer, “Go live your life! Do what you love to do!”

At first, Crick is offended by the professor’s triteness; but he realizes later that he has no control over his mortality and decides to do just that: live his life. He’s always wanted to play the guitar but never really had the time. For the first time in his life he walks into a guitar shop and sees this wicked turquoise guitar starring back at him. He picks up the guitar and begins strumming. In that moment his life is transformed from a tragedy into a divine comedy.

What have we been denying ourselves? What type of play do we want to have a starring role in? Sometimes we act in an “If Only” play with a bit part in shoulding all over ourselves until we are mired deep in our own pile of dung. I should write a novel. I should exercise. I should be a painter. I should start my own business. I should go on a dream vacation. If only I was younger. If only I was older. If only I had the money. If only I had the time.

In the professional world of writing there is a clause known as the “kill fee.” The kill fee is a fee paid by the editor to the writer for an assigned piece of writing that is killed off and never published. It’s usually a percentage of the total amount that was originally agreed upon between the editor and writer. Although there can be many reasons for rejecting a piece, the kill fee is often executed because the writing simply isn’t up to par.

When we’re not being our best selves, when we’re not expressing our unique voice, when we’re not being true to ourselves and not doing what we love to do, something inside of us dies. Life then pays us a kill fee: something less than what we truly deserve.

Are we living a life that’s worthy of being published, or will we live a life of mediocrity and accept the kill fee that’s assigned to us?

About The Author
Sharif Khan (Hero Soul (close new window to get back to this page); sharif@herosoul.com) is a freelance writer, inspirational keynote speaker, and author of the leadership bestseller, "Psychology of the Hero Soul." He publishes his monthly Hero Soul ezine for cutting-edge advice on success, leadership and personal growth. To contact Sharif Khan about his writing and motivational speaking services, call: 416-417-1259.