Thursday, June 30, 2011

SCREEN GRABS for Location Oriented Films and Movies

Providing Tourist Related Destinations influenced by feature films

We’re still waiting for your contribution to Reelstreets, You remember, you did offer.

So, an easy way to grab the stills. Look up your favourite film by name, in Google, eg. Kes, with youtube added. “Kes utube”.
You will often find a series of excerpts / trailers etc. from the film which will enable you to pull the “then” shots.
Run the film and press the “full screen” tab; often under the screen movie picture, on the right, four tiny arrows pointing outwards to the corners.
When you have a screen full of the scene you want to capture or grab, you will need to press the key which possibly says Print / Screen or something similar, perhaps Prt/Scrn. This button is usually on the top row in the keyboard, the “F” row, it is usually on the right hand side and often third key in from the right. Press this in conjunction with the Alt key, often on the bottom line of the keyboard, third button in from the left..

So for a screen grab, enlarge the movie to full screen size, when the required scene is playing, click Print/Screen and Alt to capture a picture.

Pause the screen whilst you deal with the picture you have grabbed.

To exit “full screen” mode pres Esc, top right on the keyboard.

Open Photoshop and click File/New, top right of screen, you will then be offered an option to open a new page, click yes, then Modify/Paste, and presto your pic appears on screen!

Sharpen/adjust brightness/contrast/colour as required and give it a file reference corresponding to the film’s title. Save the pic with the new reference initials and number the frames in sequence, as a .jpg file, at medium resolution, and do this for each scene containing different architectural detail.

Later, again in Photoshop, resize the pic to a width of 420 pixels, height about 315.
The image size MUST be less than 50KB, or else our robot will reject it, will visit you in the night, and subject you to unspeakable cinematographic torments. You have been warned!

For those of you who delight in unspeakable torments, there are many other sites available!

With my computer I can only grab one scene at a time, which I then need to download before grabbing the next one. I prefer to run the film on “pause” and shift the time button, usually a red indicator on the time line at the bottom of the screen, scene by scene, in a “frame freeze mode”. This, for me makes it simpler to grab the frames. When in pause/freeze frame mode the time line will usually fade from the screen after a second or two, as one doesn’t wish to copy that.

When you’ve done all the outside location shots from the film, tell us, and we’ll give you the passwords necessary to load “your” film on site,

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011


A film location guide to Liverpool.

Two Russian sailors, Peter and Sergei, arrive in Liverpool for one night ashore. Peter can speak a bit of English but it's enough to pull two local lassies, Elaine and Theresa. Elaine and Peter immediately fall in love, but in the morning the two boys must leave with their ship. Elaine can't forget him and writes the letter to Leonid Brezhnev, the Soviet leader, asking him to make it possible for them to meet again.
It was suggested to Liverpool Tourist Office that we would give them some free space on site; film induced tourism and all that; yes, GIVE / FREE space to promote their city. But after three or four emails, and three or four responses from robots assuring us that they would contact us within a few days, nothing. So much for the Liverpool Tourist Office in their attempts to lure tourists in these hard times. They are constantly bleating that tourism numbers are down, hotels, pubs and restaurants are suffering, etc., etc. But to take up our FREE offer was too much for them to bother with.
An advert on each of the Liverpool located films that appear on our site, to promote their city to film fans, might just bring in a few people. But, sadly they have too much else to do, making tea, organising the staff outings, holidays, sick leave and the rest, to waste time on promoting their city on the half dozen film location sites that we have about Liverpool.

At the same time Bolton Tourist Office was approached with our FREE offer to place space on our site, Spring and Port Wine, but again nothing, except of course the ubiquitous robots. Perhaps Bolton, unique in the British Isles, has an overwhelming number of visitors banging at their doors, I somehow doubt it. However despite the incumbents in the Tourist Board, Spring and Port Wine is a really interesting exploration of Bolton as it was.

Monday, June 20, 2011


This was a question asked yesterday at breakfast at La Preghiera, Umbria, Italy, where we live, the lady who posed the question was actually staying in Villa Moscatelli, our adjacent but smaller house, and she was one of the last guests left over from the wedding we had just organised in our grounds and chapel.

We were discussing the local historical attractions of Assisi and Saint Francis, Perugia and Perugino (and not just the Baci chocolates), Montone and the strong-arm Fortebraccio, Caprese and Michaelangelo, Cortona and Under the Tuscan Sun, Lake Trasimeno and Hannibal and a few other local worthies. During the conversation vintage postcards, lead soldiers, local house sales and renovations, and film locations, were gently promoted.

Why do you do it, was the question directed at me by a lady of mature years with whom I had briefly discussed the merits of Reel Streets. We both agreed on the nostalgic aspect for the old stars and their films, but the lady had never considered the then and now association of the locations used in the films, the changes in the buildings, the shops, the vehicles, the clothes, the behaviour, the culture, the very way we now live and react to the world and the people around us, that has changed, and is continuing to change, during our lifetimes

Imagine, the Western cultures coming to the aid of the Arab nations. Sixty years ago they were peoples in the way of the pursuit of the Italian and German forces, and if a few hundred, or a few thousand got killed and all their houses destroyed, tough. And what if Mussolini’s troops invaded, massacred and gassed a few thousand Ethiopians, Somalis and Eritreans, not really any of our business, or that of the League of Nations.
Sixty years before that, we, the northern Europeans, were actively attempting to destroy or enslave the African peoples. Us, the Brits in Egypt and the Sudan, the French and Spanish in Morocco, and a bit further south the Belgians in the Congo, the Germans in West Africa, and us, actually fighting our own kind, northern Europeans, the God-fearing and Christian Dutch in South Africa.

Today, happily, many of us lean over backwards to assist those in need, we are more ready to accept into our homes and families those persons of a different cultural background, of a different religion and of a different skin colour.

But the question was, “Why do you do it”? These old films, what is the attraction of these old sites, these locations? I turned the question around and asked the lady why she was going to visit Assisi in the morning and, with her husband, the site of the Roman battle at Trasimeno, tomorrow. “Ah, because I have a deep interest in Saint Francis, and my husband just loves military history”.

“So, walking in the footsteps of the famous. This is historically induced tourism”, I suggested. “Just so”, she readily agreed. Had the lady ever been to Haworth , Bronte’ countryside? “Oh yes, and we loved it”. But the Bronte’ area is based on the sisters’ success as novelists, which was fiction, not fact, I pointed out. “Oh yes, but it was lovely to walk among the lanes and imagine it all” said the lady. Tourism induced by fiction I suggested. “Yes”, the lady sighed, “but so romantic”.

So, I said, the reason why we do it is a combination of romance, fiction, nostalgia, history and interest, can I offer you the DVD of “Brother Sun, Sister Moon” for you to view before you go to Assisi, and even “Romeo and Juliet”, Zefferelli’s masterpiece, before you go off to Bologna? Oh, We’ve seen that, that’s why we want to go there.

Exactly, I said, film induced tourism. Fiction by Shakespeare, interpreted by Zefferelli, made into “fact” by the studio publicity men, and underpinned by the tourist office of Bologna. “Oh yes, said she, so romantic, so sad”.

And that, said I, is why, in part, we do it.

The Nation's Locations

OK, so you want to see your favourite film on ReelStreets.

If you’ve got the film on tape or disc, run it through your computer using a free “frame-grabbing” programme such as GOM.

Follow the resizing and “tweaking” process outlined in our How to Submit section on our Home Page. Title the pics in lower case, size them and send them in as an email attachment.

If you haven’t a copy of the film do a Google search for the title and you will often find sites which will let you look at highlights of the film, trailers and sometimes the complete movie. Either copy these to your hard disk, and using the GOM programme above select the required snips or grabs, size, tweak and title and send in, or grab the still directly from your screen by pressing the button, normally on the very top line of the keyboard, on the right hand block of three, the left hand key which should have Print / Screen or something similar printed on it.

Open Photoshop or some thing similar, press File / New and you will probably be asked to confirm a picture size usually pre-determined by the computer to correspond to the picture you have just “grabbed”. Click Yes / Ok, then Modify / Paste and, CARAMBA!, the picture appears before your very eyes. Tweak / title and send in.

Easy Peasy.