Category Archives: Other

How Twitter Works For Me!

Articles - TwitterWho would have thought, ten years ago, that the word tweet would mean any
thing more than the noise a bird makes. These days we’re all like Varys from Game of Thrones, no, not castrated, but that we all have our little birds throughout the world that go tweet, tweet. Tweeting from the world of Twitter.

Who would have thought that Twitter would become the beast it has? Short, precise status updates, no more than 140 characters. Why would anyone be interested in what you have to say? Well, actually, quite a lot. As long as you have something worth saying.

As an independent filmmaker, social media is the key to growing interest in my films and building a fan base. The trick is knowing how to use it. I don’t consider myself an expert (is there such a thing?) but I have managed to build quite a bit of a following over the last couple of years. Here’s the things I’ve learned in the Twittershpere. And these should work for everyone, not just us film geeks…

GREAT CONTENT

This is a must. We’ve all done it – followed someone only to discover that they are really boring and have nothing interesting to say. Unfollow. No, your photos of last night’s meat and two veg are not enough to keep us amused.

We want content that makes us think, makes us laugh, distracts us for a moment. Be it links to interesting articles, how-to tips, videos and even the odd amusing meme. Keep your followers interested in what you have to tell them or show them and they’ll want to stick around for more!

APPROPRIATE CONTENT

hollywood-kitten-cameraYou’ve got amazing content – you’re one of these cute cat lovers and everything you share is cute cat related. Great. Except you’re selling yourself as a filmmaker, or an artist, or a cake maker. Not really anything to do with cute cats (unless you only make films about cats, draw cats, or make your cakes out of cats).

Sure it’s ok to post things that are about something other than what you’re trying to sell, but not all the time. People follow Berry Productions, probably because they like movies and/or are interested in indie film. If I suddenly started sharing links to carpet cleaning solutions I’d quickly find myself tweeting to an empty audience.

REGULAR CONTENT

As important it is to have great and appropriate content, if you only post one great thing every couple of weeks, how will anyone remember who you are? People have very busy lifestyles these days and, especially online, there is so much information coming at them that it’s easy to fall into obscurity. So, once you know what it is you want to use Twitter for, you have to stick at it. A couple of posts a day is a great way to keep in touch with people and keep you in their memories. It only take seconds to write a tweet and or share a link. It doesn’t have to take up much of your time – on the toilet or in the bath are perfect opportunities! (yes, you now know exactly what I’m doing next time you read one of my tweets!) 

WARNING: do not over-tweet. Especially in bulk. This will have the opposite effect and people will get sick of seeing your name pop up over and over and over again.

TO GAIN FOLLOWERS, GET FOLLOWING

one-does-not-simply-get-twitter-followersDo you want lots of followers to spread your message to? How are you going to get these followers? Friends will follow you, but you’ve got Facebook for that. Sure, some people will randomly stumble across you whilst searching for things or from a tweet of yours that someone else has retweeted. But gaining a following is tricky.

I discovered that getting past that first 1000 followers is a challenge. Once you’ve hit the 1k mark, things seem to get a bit easier. But how do you even get to that?

I’d suggest following as many people as possible that are interested in the subjects that you have to talk about. In my case, I followed fellow filmmakers, or people who followed filmmakers. The more you follow, the more people will follow you back, the more you appear in people’s searches. The moment you realise that more people follow you than you follow is a great one! (ah the simple things in life!)

CONNECT WITH YOUR FOLLOWERS

You’re building up your following. You’ve got great, regular content for them. Yet still that’s not enough. You don’t want to become this faceless profile on Twitter that may just be a robot spewing out tweets. Take the time to get to know your followers. If they send you a tweet, send a response. Strike up a conversation with them. Retweet some of their tweets.

It shows that; a) you’re a real person, b) you don’t just care about yourself but are actually interested in what other people do. Obviously, if you’ve got thousands and thousands of followers, it won’t be possible to connect with them all. But as long as you’re seen to be taking the time to talk to people, followers will appreciate that.

GOOD MANNERS GO A LONG WAY

You’re connecting with your followers. Yet someone disagrees with you on something. You feel like spitting out the dummy and screaming all number of profanities at them. Don’t. The last thing you want to do is become one of those people that gets into stupid online arguments or resorts to name calling. Not everyone will agree with you, or like you, all the time. Accept that. Move on.

If someone tells me they think one of my short films is crap, I’m fine with that. It’s their opinion. They’re wrong of course, but I’m fine with them thinking they’re right.

Good manners all the way. People will like and respect you, and those that don’t… are they really worth your time on them anyway?

And don’t become a troll. No one likes a troll.

OCCASIONALLY, HAVE A CLEAN OUT

Twitter i54014641s cluttered. Your Twitter feed is cluttered. Just like in the real world, every now and then it’s good to have a bit of a clean out. There are lots of websites and apps out there that will help you to clean up your Twitter. I use Crowdfire. They let you know which of your followers don’t follow you back, who has recently followed or unfollowed you etc. It’s good to sift through these once in a while and get rid of anyone who you don’t want on there.

I mostly use it to find inactive followers. I usually find that any accounts that have been inactive for over three months are probably now nothing more than dead sMessypace. These people have seen the light and left Twitter, hopefully to enjoy the sunshine. They aren’t following what you’re doing any more and are doing nothing themselves. Clean up, clear out.

There are also lots of fake or scam accounts on Twitter that you need to get rid of. I’ve found these usually have a profile picture of some young, scantily clad lady, with the tag line of ‘Get more followers today, click this link’ or ‘I’m single and sexy, check me out’. Clean up, clear out.

DON’T BECOME TOO OBSESSED

twitter-addictionAt the end of the day, it’s only Twitter. Yes, it’s great to get your word out, share your work, gain followers, even possible friends. But don’t spend all of your life sitting on the toilet waiting for a notification of a new follower to say hello to. Look up once in a while. There’s a big wide world out there to explore. If you’re a filmmaker, get making films. If you’re an artist, get painting. If you’re that cake maker that makes cakes out of cats… get a new hobby.

You can’t take your Twitter feed with you when you’re gone.

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Written by Joseph Monahan – writer/director at Berry Productions

@josephmonahan

Download Joe’s comedy sci-fi book, Intergalactic Terrorist.

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Where are all the AMAZING actresses?

When I ask people to name a few of the greatest actors – and I mean those that have such a grand presence on screen that everyone watching them stops whatever they’re doing and pays attention – most of the time that list is comprised of men. Checking out top actors and actresses lists online too, again the top thespians are usually male. Names such as Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, Paul Newman etc are always in the top ten and, probably deserve to be.

Personally, three names always come to my mind when this question is asked. Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart and Morgan Freeman.

McKellen, Stewart, Freeman

Be it their age, I’m not sure, but they always own the screen in whatever scenes they are in and completely steel the show. They seem to radiate authority, respect and general brilliance. There are many, many other great actors that are almost at that level for me – but fall just short of that extra something. I do believe it is an age thing. When other actors that I think are brilliant, such as Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender and Christian Bale, reach the age of McKellen, Stewart and Freeman, perhaps they will also be as grand on screen.

So there are many male actors who have that special something on screen, and many that are almost there. So my question is… where are all the women? Generally, the actresses that are still alive and working today, that regularly appear in the top lists are the likes of Meryl Streep,  Helen Mirren and Judi Dench. Once again, they are older, wiser and prove time after time that they know their craft. They are undoubtedly amazing actresses, but still, for me anyway, they just don’t reach that next level in everything I see them in – some films yes, but not everything.

Streep, Mirren, Dench

Is this just because I’m a man and I feel more of a connection with males? True, when I’ve asked this question to males they always give a list full of men. When asked to females the list varies between the sexes a little more.  I don’t think this is a sexist thing. I, and all the guys I’ve asked, can all give examples of great actresses and amazing roles that they have played, but rarely are they in our top ten. Maybe it is that men don’t connect as well with leading ladies, or perhaps, and I think more likely, it’s that actresses aren’t given the opportunities to shine as much as the men.

I’m putting the question forward – who are the greatest onscreen actors in your opinion? And please don’t just pick your favourite because some of my favourite actors are not BRILLIANT – just very good. I’m talking about the screen stealers, those that you believe every word they say, every move they make, those who’s every breath has been carefully planned.

So… who are the greatest actors and… where are all the AMAZING actresses? And why aren’t these actresses usually in a man’s top list? Let me know in the comments below! Let’s have the discussion!

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Written by Joseph Monahan – writer/director at Berry Productions

@josephmonahan

Download Joe’s comedy sci-fi book, Intergalactic Terrorist.

Dead Man Walking: Season 2 – Coming Soon!

S11026742_10153276471774305_1346181733_no it’s been nearly a full year since the first season! I’ve missed you guys! Where have you been?

A lot has happened while I’ve been away, family disputes, being evicted, but worst of all lost my battle with alcohol. I started drinking to excess again, I started getting pretty poorly and then lost access to my son. Luckily I’m back on the old sober train now, I can see my son, and I’m starting to reap the rewards of watching him grow into an amazing/clever/handsome young man with one hell of an appetite for adventure.

The first series was praised for being very ‘honest’, sometimes I think it may have been a bit TOO honest, but this is an autobiographical, adventure documentary. I guess I have to show the world this side, so they can understand the thought processes and eventually the healing process. Hopefully it’s a story people will want to watch.

Articles - DMW

A lot of people approached me about making a second series but after getting lost on an adventure, and nearly dying from hypothermia (seriously, the coastguard was involved and everything) I decided to have a break. I was getting too cocky, I thought I was indestructible. I’m not.

However… In the deepest, darkest recesses of my mind, I’ve been ITCHING to get back out and do something. Something to save me from the mundanity of my office job and my tiny flat, my routine of eat, sleep, work, repeat, to go outside and live a little! I lay awake at night thinking about it. I NEED to do this. So I started planning series 2…

11008937_10153276471899305_1335181972_n

I’ve spent the best part of a day sorting out my online presence, Twitter/YouTube etc… to transform this dodgy little slap-dash documentary, into a brand. YouTube is a very powerful tool, which is getting bigger and bigger. Fan-bases can be built, money can be made, and audiences seem to like this bizarre editing style I’ve adapted, so hell I’m gonna run with it. It’s mad how a couple of snapchats turned into a full blown TV show made for the internet!

So here we go again. In another attempt to curb a long term battle with my drinking, I’m going outdoors, armed with a couple of cameras and I promise this season will be more over the top, more funny and more honest than ever!

Please follow me on Twitter @thisisdeadman and SUBSCRIBE to foureyez.tv on Youtube to be one of the first to know!

Filming starts on the 10th of March (my birthday) and I will be living homeless on the streets for 2 nights, with no food or water. I can’t wait!!!

See you very, very soon

Steve

Check out Season 1 of Dead Man Walking:

Episode 1: Pilot

Episode 2: Welcome to the Hell Hotel

Episode 3: Off the grid

Episode 4: ‘Scuse me while I kiss the sky

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Steve

Written by Steve Fettis – Actor/Post-Production Sound at Berry Productions.

Subscribe to Steve’s YouTube Channel for more of his adventures – foureyez.tv

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If you liked this article, you might also like:

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Dead Man Walking – Episode 1 Steve’s first adventure and the first of his DMW documentaries…

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Dead Man Walking – Episode 2 Steve spends the night alone in a creepy shed in the middle of nowhere…

Dead Man Walking – Episode 3 Steve returns with another self appointed challenge to overcome…

Short Film – The New Family Corporation Our sci-fi short starring Steve ‘Dead Man Walking’ Fettis…

Batman – An All Star Line-up (part 3)

Batman - cover

PREVIOUS – BATMAN’S VILLAINS


WARNING: This article contains… dum dum dum… SPOILERS!

We’ve been through the various actors who have played, or are still to play, Batman and those that dare to oppose him. However, everyone needs friends… even the big black bat! Let’s do this in order of the films…

ALLIES, FRIENDS and OTHERS

Who does the Bat class as his BFFs?


Batman - Michael GoughMichael Gough – ALFRED

Batman, Batman Returns, Batman Forever, Batman & Robin

“I have no wish to fill my few remaining years grieving for the loss of old friends. Or their sons.”

There couldn’t be a Batman film without Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce Wayne’s loyal helper. Michael Gough played the character for four films and helped out three different Batmen!

Perfect for the role of Alfred, Gough delivered every line with class and style. He was so believable, even in the disaster that was Batman & Robin! He has one of those acting styles that make’s us wish that we had our own Alfred or that he was our Granddad, telling us stories from long ago! Michael Gough passed away in 2011 at the great age of 94.

Bat Rating: Batman - 4 Star

Best Non-Batman Role: Out of Africa (1985)


Kim Basinger – Vicki ValeBatman - Kim Basinger

Batman

” Let’s face it. You’re not exactly normal, are you?”

Kim Basinger played the part of Vicki Vale, love interest for Bruce Wayne. During the 80’s, Basinger was at the top of her game and on the wall of every teenage boy! It is understandable why she was cast as the damsel in distress in a superhero movie.

Basinger played the character well, but was a little one dimensional. I would have liked to have seen her a little less in distress and little move feisty!

Bat Rating: Batman - 3 Star

Best Non-Batman Role: L.A. Confidential (1997)


Batman - Billy Dee WilliamsBilly Dee Williams – HARVEY DENT

Batman

“We have enough problems in this city without worrying about ghosts or goblins.”

Only a side role in Batman, Billy Dee Williams plays the role of Harvey Dent like like every other role he has been in and I would have liked to have seen more from his character.

Having Harvey Dent in the film, hints at a Two-Face storyline but this was never continued as Williams didn’t appear in the sequel.

Bat Rating: Batman - 2 Star

Best Non-Batman Film: Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)


Batman - Chris O'DonnellChris O’Donnell – ROBINBatman - Chris O'Donnell Actor

Batman Forever, Batman & Robin

“Holey rusted metal, Batman!”

Robin was always going to arrive in the films at some point and he did in Batman Forever with Chris O’Donnell taking on the role, just beating Leo DiCaprio. He was a rising star, young, athletic and handsome, he seemed to have everything it took to be a Hollywood heartthrob.

The only let-down is that, in the Batman films at least, O’Donnell isn’t the best actor in the world. In fact his performance in Batman & Robin is believed by many to be the reason his career took a downward tumble.

Bat Rating: Batman - 1 Star

Best Non-Batman Role: Scent of a Woman (1992)


 Nicole Kidman – DR. CHASE MERIDIANBatman - Nicole Kidman

Batman Forever

“You like strong women. I’ve done my homework. Or do I need skin-tight vinyl and a whip?”

Nicole Kidman took on the role of Dr. Chase Meridian, another love interest for Bruce Wayne/Batman. She played the part as well as she could, she had a bit of fight in her but ultimately was still just the damsel in distress for Batman to save.

Kidman’s career took off after Batman Forever and is now a household name. She didn’t reprise her role in Batman & Robin… which is probably a good thing!

Bat Rating: Batman - 3 Star

Best Non-Batman Role: Moulin Rouge! (2001)


Batman - Alicia SilverstoneAlicia Silverstone – BATGIRLBatman - Alicia Silverstone Actor

Batman & Robin

“Chicks like you give women a bad name.”

Alicia Silverstone, like Chris O’Donnell (Robin), seemed to have everything going for her. She had starred in a couple of successful movies, and had a youthful attractiveness to her.

Unfortunately she chose to star as Barbara Wilson AKA Batgirl in Batman & Robin. Her career never really took off, possibly due to the flop of this film. Yes, she looked good in the Batgirl outfit but cheesy dialogue and a terrible storyline ruined everything about this film!

Bat Rating: Batman - 2 Star

Best Non-Batman Role: Clueless (1995)


Batman - Michael CaineMichael Caine – ALFRED

Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises

“Some men just want to watch the world burn.”

Who better to play Bruce Wayne’s loyal butler and Batman’s number one advisor than the genius that is Michael Caine! A Christopher Nolan favourite, Caine’s portrayal of Alfred is brilliant and some of his finest work.

He makes the character so believable. You feel every sentence he speaks, be it giving Bruce some words of encouragement or warning, or telling a story from his rich history. And the scene in Dark Knight Rises when he leaves Bruce’s side… wow! Michael Caine is an actor who, I think, is getting better and better with age!

Bat Rating: Batman - 5 Star

Best Non-Batman Role: Harry Brown (2009)


Gary Oldman – JIM GORDONBatman - Gary Oldman

Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises

“He’s a silent guardian. A watchful protector. A Dark Knight.”

Gary Oldman is one of those actors who has been in a LOT of films and, unfortunately, not all of them good. However, for every bad film he’s in, he picks a winner to counteract it. Taking the role of Jim Gordon in Nolan’s Batman films was definitely a winner!

Oldman is one of those tried and tested actors who knows the game so well he could probably play it with his eyes shut. A lot of his acting comes from his face alone and he plays that ‘down-trodden’ guy who just wants to do the right thing so well. A brilliant take on a well known character.

Bat Rating: Batman - 5 Star

Best Non-Batman Role: Dracula (1992)


Batman - Morgan FreemanMorgan Freeman – LUCIUS FOX

Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises

“It has a long uninteresting name. I just took to calling it… The Bat, and yes, Mr. Wayne, it does come in black.”

Ah Morgan Freeman. Add Morgan Freeman to any film and it instantly raises it’s profile. He has one of those voices that just dreamily slides into your head. Not that he doesn’t make some odd choices of course. Like Gary Oldman, he has been in a lot of films and not all of them good. Yet he still manages to do great things with the characters he is given.

His take on Lucius Fox, a techno wizard, is brilliant. I believed every word he was saying and want him to build me my own Batmobile! Well done Mr Freeman!

Bat Rating: Batman - 5 Star

Best Non-Batman Role: The Shawshank Redemption (1994)


Katie Holmes – RACHEL DAWESBatman - Katie Holmes

Batman Begins

“What chance does Gotham have when the good people do nothing?  “

Katies Holmes has had an odd sort of career. Found fame in teen angst drama Dawson’s Creek, made a few films and then, of course, there was that Tom Cruise situation.  Batman Begins was a great choice for her to really boost her career and launch her into stardom.

Holmes is a good actor, I wouldn’t go as far to say she was great, but she was good enough for the love interest of Bruce Wayne. Then, so we’re told, she decided not to reprise her role in The Dark Knight, which on retrospect, considering how well it did, she probably regrets. Bummer Holmes. Bummer.

Bat Rating: Batman - 3 Star

Best Non-Batman Role: Phone Booth (2002)


Batman - Maggie GyllenhaalMaggie Gyllenhaal – RACHEL DAWES

The Dark Knight

“Bruce, don’t make me your only hope for a normal life.”

With Katie Holmes dropping out of the sequel to Batman Begins, Maggie Gyllenhaal stepped up to fill her shoes. In a bolder, more daring Batman film, Gyllenhaal got to play a feistier versoin of Rachel Dawes. torn between two loves, she plays the pivotal character that leads Batman down the routes he takes.

Gyllenhaal is one of those actresses that injects her personality into her roles and this one is no different. She took what Katie Holmes had done with the character and made her her own. She makes us care for her enough, so when she dies, he feel Bruce and Harvey’s pain.

Bat Rating: Batman - 4 Star

Best Non-Batman Role:  Secretary (2002)


Batman - Anne HathawayAnne Hathaway – CATWOMANBatman - Anne Hathaway Actor

The Dark Knight Rises

“There’s a storm coming, Mr. Wayne.”

I’ll be honest, when  it was announced that Anne Hathaway was going to play Selina Kyle AKA Catwoman, I groaned. I wasn’t really a fan. Luckily, with a few of the films she had out around that time, she changed my mind!

A Catwoman like Michelle Pfieffer would never work in Nolan’s Batman so Hathaway played her more of a cat burglar from a poor background. She brought a great combination of zest, sex appeal and strength to the role.  She also played on the characters lack of loyalty really well. Here was a character that was neither good or bad and only in it for herself. I would have liked to have seen a little more screen time with her, but she still did a great job!

Bat Rating: Batman - 4 Star

Best Non-Batman Role:  Les Misérables (2012)


Joseph Gordon-Levitt – BLAKEBatman - Joseph Gordon-Levitt

The Dark Knight Rises

“I’m still a believer in the Batman.”

It was a bit of surprise when it was announced that Joseph Gordon-Levitt had a role in Dark Knight Rises. No one could quite figure out who he was going to play. The biggest guess was that he would play The Riddler (which would have been awesome by the way!). Instead he plays Blake, a Gotham cop, just trying to do what’s best for the city. It’s not until the end when we find out his real name – Robin – that we click! Ahhh!

JGL has a likeable factor to him that will always do him well on-screen. He is a committed actor who takes his roles very seriously and you can tell by his performances. I loved that they didn’t make him some huge hero that saves everyone in the city – instead keeping him a realistic character who is a hero for saving a group of young children. A great character by a great actor.

Bat Rating: Batman - 5 Star

Best Non-Batman Role: 500 Days of Summer (2009)


So that’s it. That’s a hell of a lot of brilliant actors to have the honour of starring in a Batman film (or dishonour as in Batman & Robin‘s case). Now imagine if all of those actors got together to make one huge Batman film. That would be something!

Yes, there are some other characters in the Batman films played by great actors, such as Rutger Hauer, Tom Wilkinson and Ken Watanabe, not to mention all of the smaller characters played by great actors hoping to catch their big break. But I couldn’t go on all day. Jeesh… I’m too busy saving people in distress. Didn’t you know?

I’m the Batman.


Written by Joseph Monahan – writer/director at Berry Productions

@josephmonahan

Download Joe’s comedy sci-fi book, Intergalactic Terrorist.

Batman – An All Star Line-up (part 2)

 

Batman - cover

PREVIOUS – BATMAN


WARNING: This article contains… dum dum dum… SPOILERS!

We’ve been through the various actors who have played, or are still to play, Batman. However, no superhero would be complete without a villain to stop. And in the Batman films, there have been plenty of villains! Let’s do this in order of the films…

THE VILLAINS

Who dares to go toe-to-toe with the Dark Knight?


Batman - Jack NicholsonBatman - Jack Nicholson actorJack Nicholson – THE JOKER

Batman

“You ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?”

What better actor to play Batman’s most famous, clown-like nemesis? Jack Nicholson seems to have been born to play this role and play it he does! The entire time he’s on screen you can’t help but think that Nicholson had a really great time playing this part!

His portrayal of the Joker is very reminiscent of Cesar Romero’s 1960’s version, both in looks and attitude, but Nicholson adds a touch of unpredictability to the character that truly makes him a villain to be feared. Surly no one else could ever play The Joker again after this…

Bat Rating: Batman - 5 Star

Best Non-Batman Role: The Shining (1980)


 Batman - Danny DeVitoBatman - Danny DeVito ActorDanny DeVito – THE PENGUIN

Batman Returns

“The liberation of Gotham has begun!”

After Batman did so well with Jack Nicholson as The Joker, the team behind Batman Returns needed to pull out all of the stops and they did by introducing two villains to the mix. One of those was The Penguin!

Once again, Tim Burton gets it spot on. Danny DeVito played such a realistic Oswald Cobblepot, AKA Penguin. His stature, mixed with his terrific make-up and costume and disgustingly brilliant portrayal of the character made The Penguin one of the highlights in the Batman Franchise.

Bat Rating: Batman - 5 Star

Best Non-Batman Role: Big Fish (2003)


Batman - Michelle PfeifferMichelle Pfeiffer – CATWOMANBatman - Michelle Pfeiffer Actor

Batman Returns

“Life’s a bitch… now so am I.”

In Batman, the only female character worth mentioning was Bruce Wayne’s love interest. For Batman Returns, they made the great decision to introduce a stronger, more integral female – Catwoman!

Let’s face it, we all love Michelle Pfeiffer in that catsuit. But it’s not just her looks and her skin tight costume that made her great for the role. It was her personality. Pfeiffer made the character of Catwoman her own. She created a villain with a real passion for what she did, strong yet still able to feel vulnerable, and a brilliant backstory revealing why she became the woman in black.

Bat Rating: Batman - 5 Star

Best Non-Batman Role:  Scarface (1983)


Batman - Christopher WalkenChristopher Walken – MAX SHRECKBatman - Christopher Walken Actor

Batman Returns

“One can never have too much power.”

Often forgotten against the more extreme villains in Batman Returns, Christopher Walken plays the power hungry Max Shreck. Walken is on top form as the scheming businessman, but then, Walken is always on top form!

Getting the Tim Burton make-over, Walken’s costumes, make-up and hair all add the eccentric character that he plays so well! He makes it so believable that he is that nasty character, that when he gets his comeuppance, we cheer!

Bat Rating: Batman - 5 Star

Best Non-Batman Role: The Deer Hunter (1978)


Batman - Jim CarreyJim Carrey – THE RIDDLERBatman - Jim Carrey Actor

Batman Forever

“Riddle me this, riddle me that, who’s afraid of the big, black bat?”

And then things go a bit weird. Tim Burton and Michael Keaton dropped out of the third film in the franchise and you can see why. Batman Forever takes a more comical approach to the films. Jim Carrey as The Riddler is not such a ridiculous idea – especially if he was playing it today now that he has toned down his act.

The problem with Carrey was that he was far too slapstick and far to extreme. I love Carrey’s outlandish style in films like The Mask or Ace Venturer, but in Batman it just seemed a little too OTT. And he had some very unflattering outfits as well! Not terrible by any means, just not good either.

 Bat Rating: Batman - 2 Star

Best Non-Batman Role: The Truman Show (1998)


Batman - Tommy Lee JonesTommy Lee Jones – Two-FaceBatman - Tommy Lee Jones Actor

Batman Forever

“For your dying pleasure, we are serving the very same acid that made us the men we are today.”

A huge disappointment and a huge misdirection for a brilliant actor. The problem Batman Forever had is too many ‘wacky’ characters. Jim Carrey playing crazy is understandable – it’s what he does best. But Tommy Lee Jones? Crazy? Those two words don’t go together.

I can’t blame Jones for this as he did his best with what he had to work with. I’d have liked to have seen his sulky, moody side portrayed in the character of Two-Face instead of another Joker.

Bat Rating: Batman - 1 Star

Best Non-Batman Role: No Country For Old Men (2007)


Batman - Drew Barrymore

 < Drew Barrymore – SUGARBatman - Debi Mazar

Debi Mazar – SPICE >

Batman Forever

Two-Face’s girls, Sugar and Spice, play on his angelic and demonic sides. Sugar, played by Drew Barrymore (still before she became really famous), gets more screen-time, but they both add an interesting element to Two-Face’s good/bad character that the film should have played on more.

Both actresses play the parts well, Barrymore doing her ‘sweet’ and ‘innocent’  act, whilst Mazar gives us a sultry bondage temptress.

Bat Rating: Batman - 3 Star

Drew Barrymore’s Best Non-Batman Role: Donnie Darko (2001)

Debi Mazar’s Best Non-Batman Role: Goodfellas (1990)


Batman - Arnold SchwarzeneggerArnold Schwarzenegger – MR FREEZEBatman - Arnold Schwarzenegger Actor

Batman & Robin

“Tonight’s forecast… a freeze is coming!”

Now we move on to the disaster that was Batman & Robin. By this point everything that was great about Tim Burton’s first two films had gone. Mr Freeze could have been a great villain and Arnold Schwarzenegger was an interesting choice to play the villain and we all hoped he could pull it off. But then the script happened.

Arnie is the king of cheesy one-liners but the dialogue in this monstrosity was just plain awful. Arnie hams it up and does the best he can which, in this case unfortunately, isn’t very good at all. All-in-all it was a bad mix of bad ideas.

Bat Rating: Batman - 1 Star

Best Non-Batman Film: Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)


Batman - Uma ThurmanUma Thurman – Poison IvyBatman - Uma Thurman Actor

Batman & Robin

“Men! The most absurd of God’s creatures!”

Batman & Robin adds a second villain to the mix with the sultry Poison Ivy, played by Uma Thurman. Poison Ivy is one of the most intriguing and dangerous villains in the Batman world and Thurman should have been the best choice. She’s a great actress, has a great look and does sultry really well.

But once again, the terrible script and bad direction let Thurman down. Awful innuendos and bad poor jokes make Thurman’s Ivy nothing more than something good to look at. But she does look good.

Bat Rating: Batman - 2 Star

Best Non-Batman Role: Pulp Fiction (1994)


Batman - Cillian MurphyCillian Murphy – SCARECROWBatman - Cillian Murphy Actor

Batman Begins

“Is your mind playing tricks on you… or am I? “

Batman began again with Christopher Nolan’s much darker series. Cillian Murphy played Dr. Crane AKA Scarecrow. Although appearing in a fair number of films, including 28 Days Later, Murphy was still a relatively new face to cinema goers. Yet his dark, twisted portrayal of Scarecrow left a lasting impression on fans and his career.

It would have been nice to see more of Scarecrow in the film, but with an origins story, sometimes villains have to take a back seat. Murphy still used the screentime he had to strike fear in us all and show us that he can play bad really good!

Bat Rating: Batman - 4 Star

Best Non-Batman Role: 28 Days Later (2002)


Batman - Liam NeesonLiam Neeson – Ducard/Ra’s Al GhulBatman - Liam Neeson Actor

Batman Begins

“If you make yourself more than just a man, if you devote yourself to an ideal, you become something else entirely.”

He’s played a Jedi, a member of the A-Team, a legendary Lion, the saviour of the jews… and now he’s gone and trained Batman! Liam Neeson is the perfect choice to play Ducard, the man who taught Bruce Wayne all he knows and then turned out to actually be the villain Ra’s Al Ghul!

Neeson is always reliable to pull of the performance required of him for the film and his part in Batman Begins is no exception. And he plays the role of an ass-kicker far too well!

Bat Rating: Batman - 4 Star

Best Non-Batman Role: Schindler’s List (1993)


Batman - Heath LedgerHeath Ledger – THE JOKERBatman - Heath Ledger Actor

Batman Begins

“Why so serious?”

It was impossible wasn’t it? For someone to play The Joker after Jack Nicholson had done it so well. And even more impossible that it would have been Heath Ledger? How we were wrong! Ledger became The Joker. He was frighting, intriguing and oddly humorous all at once. He played a different kind of Joker to any we’d seen before and it was terrifying!

Ledgers tragic death before the release of The Dark Knight only made his character more fascinating and would ultimately store his name forever in movie history.

Bat Rating: Batman - 5 Star

Best Non-Batman Role: Brokeback Mountain (2005)


Batman - Aaron EckhartAaron Eckhart – TWO-FACEBatman - Aaron Eckhart Actor

The Dark Knight

“You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.”

This is the way Two-Face was meant to be played! It’s hard to actually put Eckhart’s portrayal of Harvey Dent in the villains list because, for most of the film he is the good guy. The best of guys in fact. Eckhart plays the role charmingly, he is handsome and heroic. Which makes it all the more tragic when The Joker turns him into Two-Face.

Eckhart again shows us how great an actor he is by switching now to a vengeance fuelled tragedy with nothing left to lose. His take on the two faced fiend is brilliant, if under-shadowed slightly by Heath Ledger’s Joker

 Bat Rating: Batman - 5 Star

Best Non-Batman Role: Thank You for Smoking (2005)


Batman - Tom HardyTom Hardy – BANEBatman - Tom Hardy Actor

The Dark Knight Rises

“We will destroy Gotham and then, when it is done and Gotham is ashes, then you have my permission to die.”

Bane was always an imposing figure (except for the disaster in Batman & Robin) so Tom Hardy bulked up for the role. And he is very imposing! It’s hard for an actor to play a role with only your eyes visible on your face but Hardy pulled it off.

It’s also hard to create great villain after such a memorable character such as The Joker. Luckily Bane was completely different to The Joker. Hardy played him very serious, very motivated and very threatening. You would not want to mess with Bane! Yes, the voice was a little weird.

Bat Rating: Batman - 5 Star

Best Non-Batman Role: Inception (2010)


Batman - Marion CotillardMarion Cotillard – TALIA AL GHULBatman - Marion Cotillard Actor

The Dark Knight Rises

“A man who doesn’t care about the world doesn’t spend half his fortune on a plan to save it.”

The character of Miranda was introduced as a possible love interest for Bruce Wayne but turned out to be the daughter of Ra’s Al Ghul out for vengeance.  Cotillard is a brilliant actress able to play the woman you want to marry, and murderous villain perfectly. Especially when she twists that knife into our hero… seriously, don’t mess with Marion Cotillard!

I would have liked to have seen more of her playing the villain in Dark Knight Rises as we only go a glimpse of her dark side towards the end. Still, her performance is solid and fits well into the world of the bat.

Bat Rating: Batman - 4 Star

Best Non-Batman Role: Rust and Bone (2012)


NEXT – BATMAN’S ALLIES, FRIENDS AND OTHERS


Written by Joseph Monahan – writer/director at Berry Productions

@josephmonahan

Download Joe’s comedy sci-fi book, Intergalactic Terrorist.

Batman – An All Star Line-up

Batman - cover

WARNING: This article contains… dum dum dum… SPOILERS!

I’ve recently re-watched Batman (1989), Batman Returns (1992) and Batman Forever (1995). I swore I’d never watch Batman & Robin (1997) again. I think I’ll now have to do a Christopher Nolan Batman marathon with Batman Begins (2005), The Dark Knight (2008) and The Dark Knight Rises (2012). With the currently titled Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) in production, that’s a hell of a lot of Batman that’s hit our screens. Not to mention the 1960’s TV series and all of the animated series and specials!

It got me thinking about the different actors that have appeared in the various films (I’m going for the films, not TV or there’d be far too many!). Some of the greatest acting talent imaginable have appeared in the Batman franchises over the years. So for a bit of fun I thought I’d check them all out, who they played, what they brought to the film and how I’d rate them as the character. So let’s begin with…

BATMAN 

Who has donned the black cape?


Batman - Michael Keaton

Batman - Michael Keaton actor

Michael Keaton – BATMAN

Batman & Batman Returns

“Now you wanna get nuts? Come on! Let’s get nuts.”

Michael Keaton starred in the first two Batman films directed by Tim Burton. When it was announced that Keaton would play Batman, fans were worried as he was better known for his comedy characters.

However, he played the caped crusader brilliantly, setting the moody, mysterious image of the bat that still remains on our screens to this day.  At times he was cheesy and had some corny one-liners, but many still see Michael Keaton as the one true Batman or that he has influenced all that have come after him.

Bat Rating:  Batman - 5 Star

Best Non-Batman Role: Beetlejuice (1988)


Batman - Val Kilmer

Batman - Val Kilmer Actor

Val Kilmer – BATMAN

Batman Forever

“It’s the car, right? Chicks love the car.”

When Keaton turned down Batman Forever after Burton chose not to direct it, Val Kilmer stepped up to don the bat mask with mixed results. As the character of Bruce Wayne/Batman, Kilmer did a good job, but didn’t really bring anything new to the role.

Keaton set the bar so high that fans had a hard time accepting Kilmer as Batman. It didn’t help that Batman Forever was far too ‘zany’ for most peoples likings. He was a good Batman but it’s always hard to fill someone elses’ shoes.

Bat Rating: Batman - 3 Star

Best Non-Batman Role: The Doors (1991)


Batman - George Clooney

Batman - George Clooney Actor

George Clooney – BATMAN

Batman & Robin

“Why is it that all the beautiful ones are homicidal maniacs?”

Poor George. Taking the role of Batman was still quite early in his film career and he himself admits that it was a mistake. The absolute flop that was Batman & Robin can’t be blamed on Clooney. He did the best he could amongst a jumble of wrongs. The cheesy dialogue, the garish colours, the bat nipples!

These days, Clooney is a brilliant actor and everyone loves him. Back in ’97 he was still remembered from his days in ER and as the bad boy in Dusk Till Dawn, so playing our caped hero was never going to be easy for him.

Bat Rating: Batman - 1 Star

Best Non-Batman Role: Gravity (2013)


Batman - Christian Bale

Batman - Christian Bale Actor

Christian Bale – BATMAN

Batman Begins, The Dark Knight & The Dark Knight Rises

“I’m whatever Gotham needs me to be.”

Skip forward to 2005 and Christopher Nolan brought us Batman Begins with Bale becoming the darkest Batman yet. Gone had the camp, bright fun of the old. Gone had the nipples!

Bale gave so much passion and determination to the role of Batman whilst also doing what no one else had quite managed to do – giving us a brilliant portrayal of millionaire playboy Bruce Wayne. Bale is one of the truly great actors of our time, giving great performances time and time again. It will be hard for anyone to top Bale’s performance as the Dark Knight.

Bat Rating: Batman - 5 Star

Best Non-Batman Role: American Psycho (2000)


Batman - Ben Affleck

Batman - Ben Affleck Actor

Ben Affleck – BATMAN

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Currently planned for a 2016  release, Zack Snyder is directing Ben Affleck as the caped crusader in what is a sequel to the latest Superman film, Man of Steel.  Not much is known about the film yet, other than it will feature Batman, Superman and Wonderwoman.

A lot of fans were very concerned with the choice of casting Affleck as Batman – a feeling I do not agree with. I believe that Affleck will portray the dark knight well and hope that he add’s his own take on the character and doesn’t try to do a Christian Bale. And there lies the only problem for me – it could be too soon to accept someone else as our favourite winged hero.

Bat Rating: ????

Best Non- Batman Role: Argo (2012)


NEXT – BATMAN’S VILLAINS


Written by Joseph Monahan – writer/director at Berry Productions

@josephmonahan

Download Joe’s comedy sci-fi book, Intergalactic Terrorist.

Dead Man Walking – Episode 4 – Climbing Mount Snowdon

Steve DMWbHi, I’m Steve, I work on sound with Berry Productions and can occasionally be found doing some acting as well! Look out for me in ‘The New Family Corporation’ (at the bottom of this post)! We’re also currently in production of a music video for my new song ‘Mama’ for Cancer UK.

It’s come a long way from a silly Snapchat story, but finally the first series draws to a close with Dead Man Walking episode 4.

This was always going to be the ‘season finale’ as its the biggest challenge (to date). I started planning the Snowdon climb about this time last year. I asked on Facebook if anyone would be interested in joining me, within 24 hours we had assembled a team of 22 people. As time went on people started dropping out for number of reasons which we knew would happen. We were left with a core team of 3 of us, James – a bodybuilder and Kyle (a builder who’s about 7 foot tall)

Steve DMWc

I used a Go-Pro camera strapped to my head!

Steve Dead Man Walking Berry Productions

The views from the top of Mount Snowdon were AMAZING!

This was the first time I’ve filmed a multi camera adventure, so that was fun! It took a lot more thought than expected, shots, headcams, battery life, memory… the list was endless. Trying to piece together the documentary while I was busy climbing a mountain. This is also the first adventure I’ve done with someone from start to finish, I’m used to going at my own pace. These guys were TANKS and I admit, I slowed them down.

After a year of planning, we finally made it to the summit! The feeling of pure elation for me was overwhelming. I had a lump in my throat. A normal group of blokes from Driffield and we were standing on top of a mountain! We were above the clouds. We were standing on top of the world! We’d done it!

From the very start of making this series, I knew it was only going to be a 4-part thing, mainly for lack of ideas/money, but also I didn’t really think anyone would take to it…. I was a bit wrong. I still get at least a couple of people a week asking ‘what’s next’ or ‘when’s the next one’ and the truth is, I don’t know! There are plans in motion for series 2 already, I may start filming in August. It’s really humbling to know people enjoy it, and I’ve had some lovely comments from people regarding the series!

I want to take a moment to thank you all, everyone who watched, shared or read this blog! Also my fellow adventurers, anyone who gave me a bed, lent me equipment or just cheered me on. A special thanks to Joe and Callum from Berry Productions too, for supporting me in this crazy series. Without you none of this would’ve been possible.

Its been a pretty amazing ride! From Snapchat, to Channel 4 being interested! A gentle reminder that anything is possible! I can’t wait to start filming series 2

Thank you all, I’ll see you soon

I’m Steve, and this was Dead Man Walking.

WARNING: Contains strong language

 Here’s our latest short film, starring my good self – ‘The New Family Corporation’

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Steve

Written by Steve Fettis – Actor/Post-Production Sound at Berry Productions.

Subscribe to Steve’s YouTube Channel for more of his adventures – foureyez.tv

 

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Dead Man Walking – Episode 1 Steve’s first adventure and the first of his DMW documentaries…

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Dead Man Walking – Episode 2 Steve spends the night alone in a creepy shed in the middle of nowhere…

Dead Man Walking – Episode 3 Steve returns with another self appointed challenge to overcome…

Short Film – The New Family Corporation Our sci-fi short starring Steve ‘Dead Man Walking’ Fettis…

 

Game of Thrones – Character Cards

Are we missing Game of Thrones yet? I sure am! I simply cannot wait for season 5 to hit our screens. Game of Thrones is one of the best made, cleverly written and imaginative shows ever to grace our TV screens. There are also some amazing characters, created by George R. R. Martin and brilliantly crafted on-screen by the production crew and the actors portraying them.

So, whilst waiting for season 5 and finding a bit of spare time, I made some Game of Thrones playing cards depicting  some of the great characters!

Let me know what you think in the comments below and tell me who else deserves their own card and it shall be so!

Game of Thrones - Jon Snow Game of Thrones - Tywin Lannister Game of Thrones - Daenerys TargaryenGame of Thrones - Robert BaratheonGame of Thrones - Robb StarkGame of Thrones - Cersei Lannister

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Written by Joseph Monahan – writer/director at Berry Productions

@josephmonahan

Download Joe’s comedy sci-fi book, Intergalactic Terrorist.

 

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If you liked this article, you might also like:

Game of Thrones – Joe’s artwork of trusty Ned Stark atop the iron throne…

 

 

Who is the Greatest Cartoon Villain?

Megatron

Megatron – Transformers

Shredder

Shredder – Turtles

Mumm-ra

Mumm-Ra – Thundercats

Ming

Ming the Merciless – Defenders of the Earth

Dick Dastardly

Dick Dastardly – Wacky Races

Cyril Sneer

Cyril Sneer – The Racoons

 

It’s a question that is possibly more important than ‘How did the universe begin?’, ‘Where do babies come from?’ and ‘Does God exist?’

Who is the greatest cartoon villain of all time in the history of animated cartoon series ever!

I’ve picked my favourite thirteen pesky recurring villains. Those devious swines are always out to destroy our heroes, take over the world or simply win the race or get the girl. I don’t know who is the greatest out of these so I’m leaving it up to you to decide! Sure, there are plenty of other villains out there – these are just a few that stuck with me through childhood.

So give us a vote and let us know who you love to hate. If you think someone else is more worthy then leave us a comment below and let us know!

Baron Greenback

Baron Greenback – Dangermouse

Bluto

Bluto – Popeye

Gargamel

Gargamel – Smurfs

Venger

Venger – Dungeons and Dragons

Dr Claw

Dr Claw – Inspector Gadget

Hordak

Hordak – She-Ra

Skeletor

Skeletor – He-Man

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Written by Joseph Monahan – writer/director at Berry Productions

@josephmonahan

Download Joe’s comedy sci-fi book, Intergalactic Terrorist.

 

 

Dead Man Walking – Episode 3

Hi, I’m Steve, I work on sound with Berry Productions and can occasionally be found doing some acting as well! Look out for me in ‘The New Family Corporation’ (at the bottom of this post)! We’re also currently in production of a music video for my new song ‘Mama’ for Cancer UK.

Recently, I’ve  also been documenting my adventures in ‘Dead Man Walking’. Welcome to episode 3!

So…. It’s been a while but I finally had chance to edit episode 3.

This challenge was designed to test me on every single level. It did.

The idea was simple, get blindfolded, taken to an unknown location, with no map, no compass and no phone.

The reality of this challenge set in pretty quickly. I was told to wear a ‘tracker’ on my leg for safety reasons and I had to have some means of communication, which meant strapping an iPhone to my leg with gaffer tape. Two birds, one stone. The phone was unusable , plus it was gaffer taped to my leg so I didn’t WANT to take it off. I couldn’t.

So they blindfolded me and took me to said location. The feeling was nothing like I’d ever had before. I usually know where I am at any given time, how I got there, how to get back. Coupled with having no phone, no map and no real idea where I was, it was really cool. I had nothing leading me back home, but a sense of direction. Proper man stuff!

I was living again!!! away from all the hustle and bustle of the city. Just me, my thoughts and a camera!

I was busy doing a PTC when I fell into a ditch. Not even a big one. Unfortunately I broke the camera when I fell. I hit the grass, my cam hit concrete. My only way of keeping sane on this adventure was talking to the camera, and now it was gone!

I carried on even though I couldnt film anything, but my bruised morale couldn’t take it. I walked around 6-8 miles (google earth says) until I found civilisation and hitch-hiked home. This story pains me, because it didn’t finished the way it should’ve. But I made it home. Thats all that matters.

Cheers for having a skeg at my sweaty blog!

Steve x

WARNING: Contains strong language

 Here’s our latest short film, starring my good self – ‘The New Family Corporation’

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Steve

Written by Steve Fettis – Actor/Post-Production Sound at Berry Productions.

Subscribe to Steve’s YouTube Channel for more of his adventures – foureyez.tv

 

____________________________________________

If you liked this article, you might also like:

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Dead Man Walking – Episode 1 Steve’s first adventure and the first of his DMW documentaries…

Articles - DMW 2

Dead Man Walking – Episode 2 Steve spends the night alone in a creepy shed in the middle of nowhere…

Short Film – The New Family Corporation Our sci-fi short starring Steve ‘Dead Man Walking’ Fettis…

 

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