Friday, November 17, 2006

A couple of contributions to entertainment I've made

used to be a less zealot trekkie. So I tossed a couple bones during conventions that were tasty enough to get used.

Star Trek: The Next Generation
The Subspace transporter I gave to them (it was in the technology meeting) during a convention in Springfield, MA. The reasons it wasn't adopted by the federation (dangerous instability) was their puppy though.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Well, I know it wasn't JUST me, but when the show was brand new, I hit a convention where Nana Visitor (who played Major Kira Nerys) spoke. During the signing phase, where I got her autograph on a Kira Nerys action figure (which I must remember to Ebay soon). I asked her what she thought of the Doctor and the Major getting together. She replied that Kira would just as likely bounce him off the ceilings. I replied that it'd be funny though. She agreed, and I went on my way leaving the line of people behind to get their autographs. This was probably just after the 1st season of the show. So when the comedic episode of Fascination came on, I said "That's what I was talking about."

Yes, I could sit and create another easy thousand ideas of things for shows, the execution would be done mostly by those who have something more in industry experience, but they really need someone in many shows to add in ideas.

On that note, Broadcast TV Networks (free airwaves) are lacking having a sci-fi show. Really, whatever station puts one on right now will have 100% of the audience that doesn't get sci-fi channel. Consider that if people are willing to pay for sci-fi, then putting such a show on the air is good. While the nielson people generally don't seem to like sci-fi shows, it could be deemed remarkable that most shows get bought for the Sci-Fi channel or end up getting a movie made due to popular demand.

While there doesn't seem to be as much popularity for medievalesque shows on TV, given the success of LOTR, there should be at least some exploration into something along that lines. What most studios fail to do is give enough to create a depth of feel to shows like that, they'd need to have a toy, clothing, costume, etc. media campaign with them to be successful.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

It's all about axes.

I'm a fan of fantasy film amongst other genres. I make no excuses for this. But one of the things that consistently irritates me is when you see a character with a battle-axe, and he goes all Paul Bunyan with it. Since most people are unfamiliar with archaic combat, I'll brief you a bit.
There are a large number of axes out there. The modern axe is more of a jack-of-all-trades master of none system. Formerly, you had an axe for each specific job. There were a large number of them solely dedicated to wood for felling and shaping the trees into lumber, and utilitarian items.
Those aren't what I'm going to sit and blog about though. I'm blogging about combat weapons, axes to be precise. The axe is a both a lever and a wedge. Mostly in movies it is being used as a sharp club. Or as a hammer with a sharp edge. While there are times when using it as such is useful, mostly it was used differently.
Against a steel plate, it will similar to a flanged mace edge and buckle the metal, and doing significant blunt trauma force injury. The problem occurring with that is if if does penetrate the metal. It will tend to get stuck in your opponent. That may not be a particular problem if you only have a single opponent AND you manage to kill him with that blow. If you fail to kill him, he is going to do you some damage with his weapon. He may die, and you may not, but would you bet your life on that being the case consistently. If he has friends, you'd best have alternative weapons, as you'll be dead from their weapons by the time you wrest the axe out of your opponent. That is why flanged maces were clubs that had metal heads and unsharpened flanges to keep from cutting into and getting caught on the armor. Against an unarmored opponent, the problem gets worse. Instead of being caught on the armor, it tends to get caught on and in the bones.
This brings us to how one does fight with an axe. Well first forget most fantasy axes. Generally they have, at best, the right profile. They are generally to thick in the blade. It needs to be light to preserve your strength in a long fight, and relatively thin, like a spear or a longsword. The blade is designed to shear through your opponent, not hack through them. To shear you want to use the outer top edge of the blade, and you want it to only cut a couple or three inches deep.
If you need an experiment to show you how this works, do the following. Take a piece of 18 gauge steel. Take a chisel to represent the axe. Clamp the metal firmly to a heavy immovable base. Put on safety equipment, a face shield at the very least. Place the chisel 90 degrees to plate. Hammer the chisel as hard as you can without slipping off it and taking out the hand holding the chisel. You've now dulled the edge a bit, and have made a dent. Now if you Take the same chisel near the edge so it can bite into the metal, and hold it at a good angle, it will do significantly more damage. You've sheared the metal. That's how metal snips, beverly shears, and other physical metal cutting equipment cuts.
I've seen it done well once on film. The citation is below. It is well worth watching for the battle scene. F. Braun McAsh sword was the swordmaster, and with his background with HACA (Historical Armed Combat Association) I believe it was mostly his accomplishment. On the other hand, I also have to give it to Richard A. Buswell for fight choreography, as it came out amazingly well even though axe fighting isn't on his resume, however his dealings with The Nordic Stage Fight Society amongst others couldn't have hurt.

Highlander the Series: 4th Season