Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Field Trip Two!

    Hello everyone!  Yesterday, I got to go on another Geology Field trip!  It wasn't as exciting as last time, but I did get more pictures and found some cool stuff.   Also, I just found out that I got a 100% on the speech I gave that day so how awesome is that?!  And in other news, I have to write a paper for Geology and I think my topic will be comparing Minecraft's rocks (their location, coloration and design, use, etc) to their real life counterparts!  If I do, I will most likely stream some of my "research" as I look for the stones I'm going to talk about and get screenshots for my paper!  I'll probably also write a much more brief summary (as opposed to the 8 page paper I have to write), for the blog.  With all that said, let's go for a hike!

Tired Already
Cool Rock is Cool
That....looks like a Dinosaur...
Craggy Cragg
Girl like at those layers
The triumphant trek home
I found a Helix fossil!!!
...Lord Helix is smaller than anticipated
Human Tracks
Coyote Tracks

P.S. Tonight I will be Opening the February "Game" Loot Crate so expect that video very soon!!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

An Oscars Special -- Movies vs. Theater

   Hello everyone, looks like it's wrapping up award season for the acting community with tonight's Academy Awards!  At the same time, I happen to be an extra in a small film in town that seems to be headed to a film festival.  I'm just an extra, but I'm learning some cool differences between the film and live theater industry!  I thought that in celebration of this season, I'd tell you all a bit about my experiences!  So, here we go!

Call Times  
     The first thing I noticed was call time versus the actual beginning of shooting.  In my experience with theater, you generally show up 15 minutes before call time and, at the given time, you rally the actors and start to do warm ups and discuss the day's plan.  However, when I went to my call time this time for a movie, there was a sign in and a long time of waiting.  I probably spent 20 minutes outside just waiting.  However, they did have a spread of snacks and waters and juice to tide everyone over.  There was also one girl running around with a clip board getting everyone to fill out paperwork calling me "Miss Galen" and constantly checking if I needed anything.  It was really interesting to see that they cared so much about their extras.  Finally, after a long time, the crew opened the door and asked for 5 volunteers.  I quickly slipped in with another girl and a few guys, leaving the other 3 or 4 extras outside.

The Set 
      The moment I stepped inside, I knew it was very different than a stage.  We were filming at a local bar/club with a stage in the back by the bar and a dance floor in another room.  The crew had occupied the entire back room and had decorated the walls with the logo of the club in the movie.  I had thought this would be a very small production for a senior project with a small camera and such but I was wrong.  Lights were strategically set up in corners just out of frame with light filters, a huge camera with a secondary screen, and sound equipment including a boom mic (with a very handsome operator if I might add).
       The size of the crew was enormous compared to what I was used to in Beauty and the Beast, the biggest play I've done.  We generally had the director, choreographer (if she was needed that day), vocal leader (choir teacher). orchestra/band director, one or two set people on hand, the lav mic operators, a guy or two up in the lights booth, the stage manager, one or two costume designers, and the two to three makeup people, in total, about 15 people spread throughout the entire large theater space.  Here there were 2 sound operators, 3 camera operators including the guy doing the slate, the director, the girl checking on us, 2 people taking pictures for continuity just behind me, and around 10 more people preforming various other jobs, from setting up the lights, to adjusting cables and moving set pieces, in all totaling around 20 people in a tiny bar (not to mention the grumpy bar tender who actually worked there).  The set had to be changed repeatedly due to wherever they stationed the camera, which leads me to...

Rehearsals VS Re-shoots 
     In the live theater business, there are generally a series of rehearsals over several months culminating into a few final performances.  Here however, shooting day, you have to just go for it.  It was strange to see the actors already knowing their lines never having done it before.  The camera would roll for about 2 minutes, an actor would do one section of lines, and then there would be a re-shoot.  And another.  And another.  Until they finally had what they wanted.  Now, of my 3 and a half hours there, I was filmed on camera approximately 3 to 5 minutes total and then another 10 or so as background laughter.  In live theater, there was usually more interaction.
       Extras are different in theater because there are usually less of them and they usually serve
than one purpose.  For extra, Jaimi was an extra in Beauty and the Beast, however she still had two specific costumes, certain lines to say in multiple scenes, and a specific spot to stand and parts of the songs to sing and dance too the same way every time.  While the scenes were happening, Jaimi was in the background with the others going over the specific motions or going over songs, and during the actual play, she was on stage more constantly being seen if she was in the scene.  Extras in the movies however, (at least according to my experience) just did whatever they would do in the situation so, talk to other patrons, sit there, watch the person talking, etc, sometimes just providing background noise without actually being seen.  Overall, it felt much less involved and smaller than being a stage extra, but it was still fun.  However, let's get back to the subject of time.

    As I was mentioning, I was there for 3 and a half hours but I was hardly seen on camera.  First of all, it took time for them to finish setting the stage, taking down or covering as much copyrighted material such as drink names as they could, and arranging chairs.  Then there was so much time pent on arranging the camera angle in a perfect way.  The process seemed to go a bit like this:

Get set ready -> Get camera, mic, actors, etc set up -> Shoot for 30 seconds to a few minutes -> Cut -> Reset everything -> Reset camera, sound, etc -> Reshoot -> Cut -> Reset -> Reshoot -> Cut -> Reset -> Reshoot - >Switch scene -> Change camera lense, height, or angle -> Set up -> Shoot -> Cut -> Reset ->

   And so on.  The original plan was to have 2 scenes shot that day, one from 4-6 and another from 6-8.  I started to feel really bad for the other extras who had come who weren't even inside, still just waiting outside to be called in.  Only to more lucky extras were pulled in, and I think the rest were finally sent home around 7.
   Although I was there for a long time doing basically nothing, I wasn't really bored in the same way that I would expect.  For one, I could talk during the empty time rather than having to be silent and watch another person's scene I've seen a million times.  To go with that, I was actually able to talk to another extra who was actually super interesting!  So, let's move on tooooooo...

    It was almost instantly that I discovered theater people and movie people were different in many ways, some of which are sort of inexplicable.  First of all, everyone seemed happy even if they were extras, which is not something you always see in live theater.  A lot of people are bitter if they are cast as a small role and there is usually a small divide between the leads and other actors.  Here, the divide was created more by the fact that the leads were much more busy than us.  They did say hi and were very polite (and the lead is hilarious), so it was nice.  Every extra seemed really happy to be there, even the ones who hadn't done basically anything.
    The coolest thing though, is the guy I was sitting with.  He was telling me all about how he is an extra in a big movie coming out with some really famous actors and how he actually got to meet them.  He did say how in bigger productions, there is a much bigger gap between the actors and extras and you don't talk to them unless they talk to you, so I can see how that would be really weird, especially coming from an environment where all the extras are called actors too and there is basically no difference between you other than screen time or number of lines.  He talked about being in commercials and on a small local TV show, so it was really cool to see someone who is really making a job out of the things that seem so small but are so much bigger than you think.  The scene we shot required us to just "talk casually" and we were able to just fine since we both had stories to share about movies vs. theater.  The atmosphere itself, while much busier, was somehow more relaxing to just talk to this guy for a few hours, have some snacks from the craft table, and basically not do much of anything.
     On a side note, it's also been my experience that the Director is usually angry and specific on how things are done.  Now, this was not true for Beauty and the Beast because our director was amazing, but I also really liked the director of this film going around and checking on all of us.  It was a nice change of pace.

   So, filming went a bit longer for one scene than intended and I actually got to go home before I thought I would.  I got to rest up and now I'm getting ready to go to my family's annual Oscar party (even though I'm pretty unenthusiastic and annoyed at this year's selection).  I hope you all enjoyed this and I'll see you all later!  That's a wrap!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


   Hey there readers!  What's up?  I don't really have much to say today.  I've been contemplating doing a short review on an IOS game or two.  Just wanted to let you know I'm still here :D  How's your day?  Good?  Fantastic!  I was curious about what you guys really like on this blog!  Please feel free to vote on my little poll to the right.  It's anonymous, quick, and super easy!  Plus, it'll help me prioritize!  By the way, I'm sorry for the lack of updates.  I'm getting into that "first test of the semester" stage, so I'm swamped.  Once spring break comes around though, I should have a little relaxing time!  Talk to you all later!  <3

Monday, February 16, 2015

Valentine's Day Livestream Results!

   So, the live stream on Saturday went meh.  I had a total of 5 people show up, one of which proceeded to do her own, much better Live stream.  I had 5 commissions total and was able to complete all of them in my 4 hours streaming.  Here are all the images I drew minus the one I drew for Jaimi, who took hers home!  I will also put up a huge poll to the right so please give me your honest opinion!  Without further ado, here are the drawings!

My friend Cat's commission to draw her!  So, what better way than as the Cheshire cat?
Cat in stick figure form!
Cat's commission for a Jack Frost and Easter Bunny picture!
My rp partner, Jazmin, as a spider!
Dalton's request for some Shadow and Amy action!
And, Shadow and Amy as stick figures!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Open Commissions!

   I just completed the 4 commissions I was given so, commissions are open!  Come give me some ideas!!  <3 twitch.tv_leanasta_w

I am Live!!!

Come join me for this valentine's day stream!  <3


Friday, February 13, 2015

Live Stream Coming Soon!

      Hey everyone!  I know 3 of you already said you will not be attending tomorrow's stream, but I hope many more of you will be!  The stream will be your time to express how you feel about my blog or youtube channel!  You can tell me which segments are your favorites and least favorites, ask questions about almost anything, chat and get to know me, submit images for me to draw, or just watch me work! Today, I did a quick test stream and then looked at it and realized I was doing the entire thing with NO SOUND!  Luckily, I fixed that, so tomorrow's stream should be nice and smooth!  

     You can begin submitting pictures now!  Either here in the comments, through email here, or tweet me here with #MePlusFree!

      Maybe, to add some fun to the stream, if I have no images to draw, people in the chat can instead challenge me to draw a pokemon of their choice in 1 minute.  Or, I can maybe stream some Minecraft if you'd be interested!  So remember,

11 a.m. MST Saturday & (maybe) Sunday at twitch.tv/leanasta_w

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Speeches and Hiking

    Hey everyone!  Yesterday was a pretty exciting day.  First of all, I had to give a speech for my Communications 265 class.  The speech had to be between 5 and 7 minutes with at least 3 sources and be informative about something.  I decided to do a brief history of gaming!  Step 1:  Look the part!  I wore my green Legend of Zelda shirt with some new pants from christmas, along with the retro shades from my latest Loot Crate!  Of course, I added my Evenstar necklace from Comic Con.  I also used all my handhelds as a visual aid like I did in the Pokemon Tag video, so I stuffed them all in my Creeper from Gaming Con and headed off!

The exact speech I gave is as follows:

            "Gaming.  What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear that word?  For some of you, you might picture a dark, packed arcade stuffed to the brim with kids popping endless quarters into cabinets.  Some of you might imagine sitting on a couch with controller in hand either alone or with a friend embarking on vast 100 plus hour journeys.  However, most of you probably think to the likes of Flappy Bird and the Candy Crush Saga in your pocket on the go.  Gaming has changed vastly since its creation in the mid 20th century, and the big question is, where will it be headed next?
Gaming truly began as early as 1940 with the creation of the simple computer game “Nim,” in which a player attempts to avoid picking up the last match, according to museumofplay.org.  For the sake of brevity, I’m going to skip ahead to some of the most iconic advancements in the gaming industry, beginning with the so called “Golden Age of Video Arcade Games” according to bmigaming.  Engadget.com reports how in 1971, Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney collaborated for the first time to create Computer Space, the first ever arcade cabinet.  These two were then hailed as “The Team That Pioneered Video Technology” according to arcade heroes.com.  A year later, they formed the well-known company Atari and released the hit game Pong, which propelled the gaming industry forward in a way never seen before.  Other classics such as Space Invaders, Donkey Kong, and Frogger were soon to follow.  Cabinets were produced by companies ranging from the popular Namco, to Atari, to companies whose names have been lost in time like Taito, Cinematronics, and Midway Manufacturing Company.  The golden age lasted only until about 1985, but many arcades still survive across the world and still bring in piles of quarters.  According to page 103 of Mark Wolf’s book The Video Game Explosion, by 1981, the arcades had already raked in $5 billion and in 1982, arcades had reached their peek with nearly 10,000 arcades.  The profits fell from there, pulling in only a few more billions before the industry shifted to a whole new medium.
            1985 marked the death of the arcade industry, but the birth of the Nintendo Entertainment System (or NES) which sold over 6.30 MILLION consoles according to this image by geekwire.com.  The early days of this transitional period are marked by the classic fight between Sega and Nintendo with the release of NES vs. the Sega Master System and Atari 7800, then the Super Nintendo vs, the Sega Genesis, the Nintendo 64 against the Sega Saturn and the newly emerged Playstation by Sony.  Then came the 6th generation of gaming: the Nintendo Game cube, Sega Dreamcast, Playstation 2, and the newly formed Xbox.  Now, we have the 7th generation: The Nintendo Wii, Playstation 3, and Xbox 360. This struggle is expertly shown here by UCLA’s Digital Humanities 101 site.  The 7th generation of consoles have sold over 245 million consoles in their lifetimes according to vgcharts.com, with most consoles pricing over $200.   What you once had to make a journey to the arcade for, you could now do on your couch with a friend or 2, or even 3!  And now with the 8th generation Wii U, you can have up to 7 of your friend locally and with the Xbox One, and Playstation 4, dozens online.   And, lying underneath the big name consoles, there are hundreds of PC and Mac games as well as “Indie games” such as Super Meat Boy, Braid, and Minecraft.  The market that had caved inwards to two small teams has suddenly exploded outward again with new developers still emerging every day!  Console gaming is still going strong, but there’s a new competitor for the title of gaming sensation.
            Mobile gaming began as early as the late 1980s with the release of the Nintendo Game Boy in 1989 and the Sega Game Gear in 1990 (pg 107).  Since then we’ve been graced with the likes of the Gameboy Advanced SP, PSP, PS Vita, Nintendo DS and so forth up until the most recent New Nintendo 3DS and 3DS XL.  What most of you are likely more familiar with however, is the booming industry of mobile games for smartphones.  This time last year, the creator of the hit game Flappy Bird was reportedly making as much as $50,000 a day according to multiple sources including bgr.com.  Statista reports that as of October 2014, Clash of Clans alone was making nearly $1.39 million daily, with the Candy Crush Saga right behind it in second, generating $1.1 million each day.  Based on revenue alone, it’s clear there is at least high interest in the mobile gaming industry where nearly anyone can make a game and maybe make millions.
            In conclusion, the gaming industry has evolved from a packed arcade scene to an at home experience and finally to an on the go adventure.  The industry, while still strong in the console gaming department, has expanded to include the mobile games that are so addicting.  Where will it go from here we can only guess, but it’s obvious that mobile gaming has made it’s place in the industry and will be sticking around for a while.  Thank you."  

         I had to do the entire speech from memory with only a week to prepare but in doing so, I think I did pretty well.  I'll put the citations at the bottom of the page and you can see the graphics I used and such.  All the pictures I used were from those site.  They're really good reads so givem a glance!

      After that, my day was still not over as I had a Geology field trip up to the mountains just a few minutes outside of town!  We first observed some of the rocks alongside the highway and saw how erosion effected the granite.  I took home a chunk of granite that I might post a picture of  if I remember.  Then, we went to another section of the mountains--a walkable path.  I was too focused on not dying while walking to take pictures until after but we found some interesting rocks.  And, we also hiked up just past these rocks to La Cueva, a rock shelter that was home to a hermit, Giovanni Maria Agotini, in the 1860s.

Not my picture, but this is the cave!
       So, after that I got to go home and rest.  I did have one conversation that kind of upset me so I was pretty gloomy for the rest of the night, but I thought you guys should enjoy my day with me!  See you all soon!  

DON'T FORGET!  This weekend is the Valentine's Day stream!  You can start sending in pictures and such NOW!  Just remember to send them with #MePlusFree!  See you all then!   

40 Years Of Arcade Games - Part 1 (1972-1989) - Arcade Heroes. (2012, June 27). Retrieved February 7, 2015, from http://arcadeheroes.com/2012/06/27/40-years-of-arcade-games/
D'Angelo, W. (2013, January 29). 2013 Year on Year Sales and Market Share Update to January 19th. Retrieved February 7, 2015, from http://www.vgchartz.com/article/250703/2013-year-on-year-sales-and-market-share-update-to-january-19th/
Ellis, T. (2014, June 10). Can Nintendo reverse a decades-long sales slide? - GeekWire. Retrieved January 29, 2015, from http://www.geekwire.com/2014/can-nintendo-reverse-decades-long-slide/ 
Graph: Console Wars through the Generations. (2012, January 1). Retrieved February 7, 2015, from http://dh101.humanities.ucla.edu/DH101Fall12Lab4/graph---console-wars 
Smith, C. (2014, February 11). Here’s the real reason Flappy Bird was removed. Retrieved February 7, 2015, from http://bgr.com/2014/02/11/why-flappy-bird-was-removed/ 
Smith, M. (2014, July 9). The world's first video game arcade machine is a glittery fiberglass wonder. Retrieved February 7, 2015, from http://www.engadget.com/2014/07/09/worlds-first-arcade-videogame/
The History Of Video Arcade Games : Who Invented Video Games ? | Visual History Of Video Games, Video  Arcade Games and Computer Game. (n.d.). Retrieved February 7, 2015, from http://www.bmigaming.com/videogamehistory.htm
Top grossing iOS gaming apps as 2014 | Statistic. (n.d.). Retrieved February 7, 2015, from http://www.statista.com/statistics/263988/top-grossing-mobile-ios-gaming-apps-ranked-by-daily-revenue/
Video Game History Timeline. (n.d.). Retrieved February 7, 2015, from http://www.museumofplay.org/icheg-game-history/timeline/
Wolf, M. (2008). The Video Game Industry. In The Video Game Explosion: A History from PONG to Playstation and Beyond (pp. 103-107). Westport Conn.: Greenwood Press. Crash

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Let Me Be Your Valentine

   Hey everyone!  So, I was having huge writer's block this week about what to do for my Valentine's Day special or the comic and then it hit me--I haven't done a livestream in a while!  Next Sat. or Sunday most likely around 11 a.m. MST, I'll be doing a Valentine's Day live stream on Twitch.Tv!  All you have to do is show up!  At the beginnning I'll do some doodles of Z and then I will be taking suggestions for the comic, as well as doing custom drawings for those who show up!  This is what you'll have to do:

  • Rules:
    • Follow me on twitter @Alias_LeaOR be subscribed to my Youtube channel OR here on the blog
    • Send me a tweet, email, or comment (here or on my youtube channel) of what/who you would like me to draw! 
      • Should we have a hashtag?  Is that a thing people do?  Let's do #MePlusFree
    • The picture must be PG
      • It can be of you and your significant other, just you, you and something you love (like a cat or a videogame perhaps) just a person you'd like me to draw for you, your OTP, or a celebrity..
      • See Examples below 
    • I will be drawing them as stick figures in my art style!  I will color them with colored pencils by hand, scan them, and then email you the signed picture.  Or, if you're super nice, I could mail you the original if you really want it that badly
      • If there aren't very many people, or the number or requests is slow, I might try to draw in my anime style, but be prepared for crab hands!
    • Be tuned in and active in the chat so I know when to draw you so you can actually watch me! 
      • Please keep the chat nice and friendly.  Especially to those without a Valentine (such as myself!) if you have one! 
    • Have fun!

Just you in a fabulous pose
You and a loved one

You and your significant other/celebrity
You and the thing you love most

To get you in the spirit, here are some Valentine's Day related blog posts!

    Sunday, February 1, 2015