Richard Branson, Virgin Trains, Thetrainline.com and ‘the best rail network in Europe’ by 2002

The CrossCountry Voyager trains referred to in this article are no longer run by Virgin, and despite the words of Richard Branson, Virgin Trains (or any other UK train firm) is still not the best rail network in Europe.

My article on Virgin Trains’ Pendolinos (and Eurostars) for T3 is here.

For further reading on Richard Branson, try Tom Bower’s biography.
Continue reading “Richard Branson, Virgin Trains, Thetrainline.com and ‘the best rail network in Europe’ by 2002”

Let me be your fantasy: virtual actors, Final Fantasy, Guinness squirrels and Eyes Wide Shut

This article, on the possibilities and problems with virtual actors, still holds good a decade later. It’s very difficult to produce realistic humans (and why bother when, as one of the Mill’s staff said, there are thousands outside the window) – they either have to be perfect, or they fall into the ‘uncanny valley’ of looking nearly, but not quite, right. Instead, virtual actors are either cartoon-like (the route taken by Pixar) or used to add digital extras in post-production.

I don’t suppose many more films have added naked figures to HELP a film get a lower certificate from US censors – as revealed in the box at the end on Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut (a section published in the paper but missing from the version available on the Guardian website).

Continue reading “Let me be your fantasy: virtual actors, Final Fantasy, Guinness squirrels and Eyes Wide Shut”