Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Am I blue...?

I blogged about the following legal case a few years ago, in which a writing assistant was suing Warner Brothers TV and others over FRIENDS, claiming that sexual talk by writers during creative sessions was sexual harrassment in but now a decision has come down...

Here is the LA County Bar Association's report of the case, along with a
link to the decision:

Where terms of plaintiff's employment required her to transcribe sexually
oriented jokes and discussions related to the creation of a television
situation comedy featuring sexual themes, and where such jokes and
discussions included sexually coarse and vulgar language that included
discussion of the writers' own sexual experiences but, for the most part,
did not involve and was not aimed at plaintiff or other women in the
workplace, no reasonable trier of fact could conclude such language
constituted harassment directed at plaintiff because of her sex within the
meaning of the Fair Employment and Housing Act or that the comments were
severe enough or sufficiently pervasive to create a work environment that
was hostile or abusive to plaintiff in violation of the FEHA.
Lyle v. Warner Brothers Television Productions - filed April 20, 2006
Cite as 2006 SOS 1999
Full text

It's a pdf file -- towards the end is a remakably sensible concurring judgement from Judge Chin, that people should actually read.

Yesterday I linked to some small Stardust photos -- a few people sent me links to,19884,1184568_15,00.html in which you can see one of them larger (and get an idea of the windy chilliness of Skye).

The finallists for the Locus Awards have been announced at and I'll be there, as it's also the day that I'm MCing the Science Fiection Hall of Fame Awards, helping out in some capacity. Still, I found myself blinking when I read, at that the day starts at 10:30 am to noon: Breakfast Buffet and Omelet Station at the Courtyard Marriott with Connie Willis, Neil Gaiman, and others. Which left me rather worried that I'll find myself spending the morning manning the Omelette station while Connie Willis makes waffles for people, and that it will all end in tears.

Interesting article by Peter Sanderson on comics and academia, in which he bucks several widely held ideas at

So, in an article about James Cameron's opinion that digital filmmaking, especially the ease of 3-d in that medium, will save Hollywood, I saw this quote:
"Robert Zemeckis' 'Beowulf,' employing 3-D-animated performance capture...."

Is that accurate? I couldn't find anything about it in the journal archives, and journalism on Beowulf has been reliably unreliable.

Also, didn't they come up with 3-d, smell-o-vision and suchlike to combat rampant TV watching in the 50s? Do you suppose James Cameron is claiming that it worked really well? Not to naysay; I think 3-d is good times.


It's simpler than that. As I understand it any performance capture/motion capture system is potentially 3D because it's recording the performances in three dimensions. So, according to Bob Zemeckis, it's very easy to simply output the information in 3D, which was why Polar Express was the first Imax full length 3D film (according to this, anyway -- I expect that the IMAX screenings of Beowulf will be in 3D as well.

You can't tease us and get away with it. Please tell us what are Scott McCloud's recommended reads for webcomics. Thanks in advance.

Rammer Martínez

I can do better than that. I can point you at the very website where Ivy McCloud's husband has spent years pointing people at the best that online comics have to offer, while occasionally making some of them himself. It's

I am very excited over the Stardust movie. I do have a couple of curiosities though. Why was the name Lilim replaced for Lamia? Also, why was the choice made to replace Captain Johannes Alberic with a Captain Shakespeare? And how did this Captain Shakespeare become an opposition? As far as I knew from the book the Captain helped out Tristran and Yvaine and was not in opposition of them. If you can't answer these questions I won't mind, but I'll still be curious. Thanks.

Well, the name of the witch queen in Stardust isn't Lilim, that's the name of the three of them. Lilim is a plural noun, and the witch queen's name is never given ("her true name was long since drowned and lost beneath the cold ocean".) Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman felt that the three witches needed individual names, so collected them together from classical sources (which made me smile, as one of them is also in Neverwhere and another name is found in the original Books of Magic).

As for Captain Shakespeare and the flying pirates, it's fair to say that anyone who has read the book will have a better idea of what to expect there than anyone who hasn't, and it's also fair to say it has a few surprises for anyone who has read the book. It isn't the book, after all.

I tried adapting Stardust into film form myself, for Miramax, about seven years ago, for a film that never happened, and I rapidly discovered as I wrote the treatment that things that are fun in books sometimes need you to find equivalents that are the same kind of fun, but completely different, in order to make them into hundred minute films, and Stardust's end, as plot-strands miss each other in a satisfying way, just wasn't a film. I tried fixing things in my own way, and there are places that Jane and Matthew wound up doing the similar things to what I did and places where they picked very different solutions to things. (And some scenes, like the Lion and the Unicorn battle, went, to everyone's sorrow, because it would have cost about 1.5 million to film and the money had to be spread where it would do the most good.)


And finally, the Dave McKean cover to the rather wonderful (I think, having been playing it for most of the last two months) "Where's Neil When You Need Him?" a CD of songs inspired by stuff what I wrote. Hear the Future Bible Heroes doing over Mr Punch, Rasputina singing a Coraline song, Hungry Lucy doing a haunting take on Wolves in the Walls...

I've never been quite this shade of blue before...