Adam Hills’ Alternative Christmas Message.

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Australian comedian Adam Hills delivered the latest Channel 4 “Alternative Christmas message” this year focusing on the Paralympics, with reference to the hugely successful Meet The Superhumans campaign. Shot in a single long take it’s a particularly sincere and poetic spin on the annual tradition.

Presenters of previous alternative Christmas messages have ranged from Marge Simpson to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The man who walked around the world.

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For reasons I can’t entirely explain I find nothing quite as exciting as a good long take, whether its a trip through Russian history, or some college kids making a lip dub.

You can add to that mixed bag this masterful new commercial for Johnnie Walker, featuring actor Robert Carlyle delivering a five minute monologue about the history of the famous whiskey while walking through the Scottish countryside captured in one continuous take on the 40th attempt.

A fresh coat of awesome from Dulux.

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Elaborate, ambitious, dramatic and passionate are some of the words I find myself using when describing something that really impresses me.

Directed by Adam Berg, this beautiful commercial for Dulux ticks all those boxes.

A portrait of True Blood’s return.

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If there’s one thing I love more than a good cast photo (like the cast of the Sopranos on a boat, or the cast of Scrubs.. also on a boat), its a good cast promo.

Full or overly symbolic references and imagery, its the kind of stuff you can only get away with when your playing outside the bounds of the shows usual narrative (or at least a dream sequence) and quite frankly no one does it better than HBO.

Take for example the series return of True Blood, set to the Bob Dylan track “Beyond Here Lies Nothing” is a beautiful moving portrait, open to intrepretion of what we might be able to expect from the latest instalment of the vampire thriller.

Another show that was rampant in there use of seasonal teasers was Six Feet Under, watch some examples after the jump.

Season 5, featuring the song “Breathe Me” by Sia.

Season 4, featuring the song “Feeling Good” by Nina Simone.

Season 3, featuring the song “A Rush Of Blood To The Head” by Coldplay.

Celebrate World Press Freedom Day with some Charlie Brooker and his Newswipe.


> Download Charlie Brooker’s Newswipe: Episode 5 (264mb *.zip)

Charlie Brooker has been entertaining us for years with his biting and satirical look at television through his own show Screenwipe. Earlier this year however he launched Newswipe, and focused his attention on the world of broadcast news. And while I was expecting Brooker to deliver a funny yet scathing look at television news, I wasn’t expecting it to be quite so profound.

Charlie Brooker continues to further define his niche, and along the way make some truly thoughtful observations on a subject we should probably all care a little more about… the quality of our news, and the effect it has on us.

And for the most tenuous of links.. today is World Press Freedom Day, an observance adopted by the United Nations since 1993.

World Press Freedom Day is celebrated every year on 3 May worldwide. It is an opportunity to celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom; to evaluate press freedom, to defend the media from attacks on their independence and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

The Simpson’s high definition debut.

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One of televisions most iconic opening sequences got its most dramatic and permanent update today.

The Simpson’s have taken the leap into high definition, and used it as an opportunity to completely recreate the famous race home.

Sticking to the basic premise that debuted back in 1989, the new sequence see’s the addition of countless secondary characters and a few in-jokes from the shows over 400 episode history.

Celebrate New Year’s with some Charlie Brooker.


> Download Charlie Brooker’s Screenwipe: Review of 2008 (267mb *.zip)

Ring in the New Year with a look back at the past twelve months of television through the genius that is Charlie Brooker’s Screenwipe on BBC Four.

In his annual review of the year, Brooker takes you on a month-by-month recap of the year that was for television, the industry and the world.

And for a further trip down memory lane check out his review of 2007.

Channel 4’s truly alternative Christmas message.

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Since 1993 Channel 4 has been offering viewers an alternative to the Queen’s Christmas message. With the likes of Ali G, Jamie Oliver and even Marge Simpson delivering a speech it’s generally been a rather tongue-in-cheek event.

This year however Channel 4 decided to court controversy with their decision to approach Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (who was so beautifully satirised by SNL here) to deliver the address.

Freeview’s simultaneous Australian launch.

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At 6:29pm tonight Freeview came to Australia. The new digital platform (aka marketing ploy) launched across the five free to air networks in an effort to band together and promote the benefits of digital terrestrial television.

The Freeview concept has been a strong part of the digital take up in the UK since its launch in 2002, with New Zealand following with a similar campaign in 2007.

I’m sure Australia’s equivalent of Penelope Keith will be spruiking set top boxes and multi channel goodness to a confused public in no time.

Toshiba makes a very cool ad. Watch out Sony.

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Shot using 200 cameras, and costing £3 million, this new commercial from Toshiba employs a new filming technique dubbed “timesculpture“, an evolution of the “bullet time” method made famous by The Matrix.

Like any good ident, I like a commercial to be elaborate, ambitious, and just a little bit pointless. Toshiba ticks all the boxes with this new ad, and while clearly a play to get the kind of buzz generated by the brilliant Sony Bravia commercials, this spot is a notable effort, and reminded me that Toshiba actually made televisions.

And although I’ve suddenly find myself in the market for a TV, I’m not sure it will be a Toshiba yet. That said, I started drinking Schweppes after this amazing commercial, so maybe I’m more susceptible to advertising then I thought.