Together Again: ‘Potter’ stars win at the WhatsOnStage Awards

Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint at the WOS AwardsTwo Sundays ago, I was once again on MuggleNet duty at the WhatsOnStage Awards. Celebrating the best of Britain’s West End, the annual ceremony is voted for by the public.

Whilst I didn’t stay for the whole event, what I did see was a lot of fun. My priority for the night, however, was to cover the attendance of the Potter alumnus, in the form of nominees Rupert Grint and Daniel Radcliffe. Fortunately they both won – queue me manically rushing from the theatre to the press area – and rather conveniently, their awards were announced consecutively resulting in a rather charming reunion backstage.

I say all this, and more, in my MuggleNet report, which can read right here. If you’re after photos, why not peruse a Storify feed of my tweets from the event.

Short Film: RPG OKC

Some things, once experienced, simply have to be shared.

I came across this short animation at a screening for International Women’s Day, organised by Birds Eye View and hosted at the BFI. Whilst great seen on the big screen, that certainly isn’t essential. So sit back, and prepare for 9 and a half thoroughly enjoyable minutes!

Two 8-bit video game characters enter the world of online dating.

Directed, Written and Animated by Emily Carmichael.

MadAtoms.com

Game of Thrones Season 3 Blu-ray and DVD Release Event

It’s no secret that I love Twitter. However this past week, my activity on the network has culminated in a few treats that have intensified my adoration for the platform to quite a level.

After a some mysterious tweeting with HBO’s UK account, I was subsequently invited to celebrate the release of Games of Thrones Season 3 on Blu-ray and DVD at an exclusive screening.

As a result of this, I found myself, this Tuesday evening, in the rather smart basement rooms of the Soho Hotel, drinking wine and making small chat with strangers.

red wedding cakerThat said, small chat was pretty easy to make when in the presence of the monstrous creation on the right!

The Red Wedding Cake was made specially for the event by the extraordinary team behind Choccywoccydoodah. In honour of the tragic penultimate episode of Series 3, the creation was a pretty macabre take on a traditional wedding cake. Swords, daggers and arrows, created from chocolate, gave the illusion of tiers, whilst a conjoined Stark and Frey shield took centre stage. With a chocolate, raisin and rum centre, the cake apparently took four people and twenty hours to build. (And mere minutes for us lot to eat!)

However we didn’t have too long to appreciate their creation before being ushered into the screening room, where it was revealed what we were about to watch. Before that got under way, however, we were offered yet another surprise.

Maisie Williams, better know as Arya, the youngest Stark daughter, arrived to chat a little about filming Thrones. From scenes with Rory “The Hound” McCann – “she’s not trying to kill him anymore” – to learning to sword fight, she seemed pretty ecstatic with the whole experience. Despite myself being rather torn on the character of Arya, Maisie has brought Arya to life brilliantly and it was great to hear her talk more about the role. She, herself, seem intrigued by Arya’s journey from the tomboy child she first auditioned for, to the bitter and angry creature she has transformed into in Season 4.

The Rains of Castamere

The footage we were shown on was a making-of documentary for the penultimate episode of Season 3, featuring the aforementioned Red Wedding.

In an effective mix of interviews and behind-the-scenes footage, the film makes for a sort of visual commentary. By splitting the screen, you are able to see various scenes from the episode whilst also watching interviews with the cast and crew.

I was far too enraptured to remember all the little details but I can ensure you it provides a great insight into the filming process. Despite only focussing on one episode, the plots and characters featured provide such a range, that you certainly feel as though you are getting an insight into the making of the entire series.

From fake rain for the wildings at the windmill to the faux leather walls of the Twins, the viewer is thrown quite brutally into the realities of producing television. Yet you never once feel as though they are ruining the magic. Even when it is shown, in quite some detail, how they achieve a wolf attack, you are left marvelling at the team’s skill, as opposed to sulking over revealed secrets.

Another pleasant surprise is just how funny the actors can be. As insightful as the interviews with the creative team are, the cast naturally stand out. The packed screening room was regularly in fits of laughter.

Everyone loves a goodie bag!

Everyone loves a goodie bag!

Overall the film runs for around an hour and is certainly worth watching, should you be purchasing the Blu-ray.

Of course, the end of the film meant the end of our time spent at the event. We didn’t leave empty handed however…

All in all, a bloody good Tuesday evening. Thanks for the invite HBO. And may the gods of the internet bless Twitter!

-

p.s. The cake tasted great. 

Review: Coriolanus

Just in time for tomorrow’s NT Live screening of the Donmar’s Coriolanus, here is an extract from my MuggleNet review of the production, starring Tom Hiddleston and Mark Gatiss.

As one of the few Shakespeare plays to be banned in modern times and a large scale epic, Coriolanus, at first glance, a questionable choice of play for the intimate, 250 capacity Donmar Warehouse. Throw in the casting of Tom Hiddleston, best known for playing lovable rogue Loki in Marvel’s Avengers universe, as the cold, opaque titular character, and the scheduling sounds even more bizarre.

Yet this production embraces these contradictions, using them to manipulate its audience and turn a controversial play into a big hit.

image

To read the full review, please head over to the MuggleNet blog. To find a screening near you, see here.

The Revolution is Here: Tablet vs. Desktop

BBC-iplayerOK, so slight exaggeration but the BBC had some pretty interesting to say yesterday: tablets have overtaken desktop computers in iPlayer requests for the first time in the platform’s history. 

This past Boxing Day, BBC iPlayer received a healthy 2.2 million requests to their popular VOD service via tablets, as opposed to 2.1 million from computers.

Clearly this speaks volumes as to how many people received a tablet for Christmas (guilty!) but it is also a pretty significant move in how viewers are consuming the broadcasting giant’s content. I refuse to jump on the ‘desktop is dead‘ bandwagon just yet, but has the second screen become the primary screen? Will desktopsnow be the new companion screens? I’m sure time, and plenty of future trends reports, will tell.

In the meantime, I’d like to see a more thorough breakdown of the people behind those 2.2m requests. Who are these news tablet owners, betraying their trusty desktops for the latest model?

Any thoughts on this update? How do your view BBC iPlayer or any other VOD service? Let me know in a comment below.

Next Year’s Social Trends

This brilliant little video from 2 Factory has a go at suggesting next year’s biggest social networks, based on their impact and performance in 2013.

Aside from learning about Pheed for the first time, the most surprising nugget of information to me is that 80% of Pinterest pins are repins.This means that the whole site is made up of the same, recycled content! It is going to get very old, very quickly unless the site’s users make a concerted effort to refresh the content every once in a while.

So lets make a pact! If you are a Pinterest user, however frequent, let’s all agree to start Pinning new content more regularly. Deal?

Which reminds me, I still need to do that second Pinterest post…