Britain’s Got Talent Sucks!

15 04 2009

This week my point I’ve been making since the cash-clown that is Britain’s Got Talent was first concieved by the Anti-Christ Simon Cowell and Co was hammered home….. IT SUCKS!

Fourty Seven year old Susan Boyle walked on stage and the whole audience instantly began laughing at her…. I mean WTF!… Yep she’s no oil painting but you’d think people would have given her a chance.

People are saying things like “She wow’d the judges with her performance”… in all fairness her performance of “I dreamed a dream” from Les Miserable was awesome. But more than that…. it said F**K YOU! to all the people in the audience and especially the judges who were not wow’d….. they were ashamed that they didn’t give her a chance.

Watching that video made me want to pluck Susan Boyle to safety and drop an A-Bomb on the audience/judges!

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Rob Welkner talks Coin-Op TV, Desert Survival, and the Power of Flight

12 04 2009

This week I had time to catch up with another of my online buddies, Rob Welkner for a Q&A. Rob is host and founder of Coin-Op TV which is an LA based live streaming show on everything Gaming.

Let’s see how Rob handled the CScraps Q&A experience!

Q1: What is an average day like in the Rob Welkner universe?

I spend a ton of time in front of the computer and on the Internet.  We broadcast COIN-OP TV LIVE once a week on Thursdays but that doesn’t mean the work ends there.  The days leading up to a show I am generally doing research on the guest, collecting graphics and video clips to show and reading gaming news and catching up on events.  After an episode airs then I have to make sure that everyone out in cyberspace knows about it by linking on forums, sending out a press release, facebook, twitter, myspace, you name it!  It’s amazing how little time I actually spend doing the show versus the marketing and promotional side of things.  I also do all the booking for guests, graphics and edit the remote video segments.



Q2: Did you ever imagine you’d be knee deep in the gaming/entertainment industry 5 years ago?

I’ve always liked the video game industry as both a fan and as a media journalist.  I used to attend E3 (the largest gaming expo in Los Angeles) while in college.  When I launched COIN-OP TV I expected it to last a few years but I had hoped that it would be further along by now.  What is missing to the puzzle is a company to get behind the show as a sponsor.  We make things look and sound as great as possible and most times we fool people into thinking that the show is a high budgeted produced show but in reality it’s not.  If I had a budget then I could assign people different duties and even expand our reach and quality much further.



Q3: What type of games do you like/hate the most and why do you feel that way about them?

Always been a fan of arcade games and pinball.  It was a real shame to grow up in the 1980s and see both the rise and decline of the arcades.  I understand why things went the way they did with the growth and accessibility of home consoles and PC gaming but it doesn’t mean that I was happy to witness it all go away.  Some of my favorite arcade games are Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Galaga, Robotron, Crazy Climber and Tempest.  If I see one of these games lying in the back of a store or restaurant you can bet I’ll be sneaking over to drop a quarter in to play.

The games I play now are mostly on the Xbox360.  I love the Guitar Hero franchise as you can tell if you have seen my show.  Some other games I play are Gears of War, Rainbow Six: Vegas, Katamari, Portal and Mirror’s Edge.  I like games that are crafty, clever and original.  Gears and Rainbow introduced an amazing ‘cover’ system that helped re-define first person shooters.  When it comes to games like Call of Duty – the graphics and gameplay are great but I prefer the duck and cover technique of games that let you hide behind things.  It’s a shame more first person shooters haven’t adopted this into gameplay.

It’s tough to say what kind of games I dislike.  I never got into driving, flying or sports games.  I guess sometime in the future I’ll give them all a second chance but for now I’m a big fan of rhythm games and always look forward to what new version of Guitar Hero or Rock Band is on the horizon.



Q4: What’s the funniest Coin-Op TV moment you can recall.

I’m a serious person with drive and determination but I always try to make sure that everyone involved with COIN-OP TV has a good experience.  I’m in constant communications with Brian Gramo who runs www.TheStream.TV network as for show ideas and brain-storming.  I spoil my lovely co-host Hailey Bright in just about every way possible and make sure that guests who come to the show are relaxed, comfortable and know that we aren’t going to ambush them with questions they’re not prepared to answer.

The funniest moments are usually un-planned.  There are only a handful of live/streaming shows about the video game industry out there.  So if you come on COIN-OP TV you can expect the un-expected.  Not long ago we had a designer from Neversoft (Guitar Hero) on the show and we got a chance to perform a GH: Metallica song on the show with me singing and playing guitars while he played drums and Hailey played bass.  It was a fun show and widely embraced by the fans.  Some of my favorite guests in the past have been Rocco from Mega64, Marissa Petroro (Deal or No Deal), Tommy Tallarico, Chris Gore (G4tv) and so many more I can’t even keep track.



Q5: Coin-Op is fast approaching 5 years old in September. Do you have anything special planned to celebrate the occasion?

In October 2008 we had a huge anniversary party to celebrate four years of doing COIN-OP TV.  The entire year was full of exciting things.  The live show built a strong team with me hosting, Hailey co-hosting and Brian running the network.  We made cool anniversary t-shirts that said ‘since 2004’ on them to show people that we’ve been around and not going anywhere.  The party was a huge success and there are pictures and video floating around all over the Internet.

In 2009, we released a new DVD collection titled COIN-OP TV DVD Volume 2 which is the ‘best of’ the second year of the video podcast show.  I plan to produce and release a volume 3 edition before the end of the year.  With the economy the way it is now – we may hold off on having a large anniversary party celebration – however in May there will be a big party that involves myself and many friends involved with the show in Los Angeles.  In addition to releasing new things and partying – we are always looking for bigger and more important people to bring on the show – send us your suggestions!



Q6: Coin-Op has evolved over the years from Video-Podcast to a Live-Streaming show. Where do you see it evolving to next?

When I launched COIN-OP TV in 2004, the majority of people were still viewing video content on dial-up modems.  It was pathetic how small and lo-res my video clips had to be just so that they didn’t take hours to download.  Eventually technology improved and now video streaming on the Internet is as easy as ever.  The video podcast show involved us traveling to events and shooting self-contained video interviews with game designers, collectors and artists.

Things have flipped now with the live streaming show.  We invite guests into the studio and have a longer time to talk with them and even let our live viewers interact with their own questions and comments.  When Brian launched www.TheStream.TV in Sept 2006 it was one of the only independent live/streaming networks out there.  Streaming live video has become quite the norm these days.  When people started doing audio podcasts, I made video podcasts and when everyone started doing video that’s when we started doing live-streaming.  It’s great to be a pioneer but in many ways you don’t get the reward that you expect.  I think for now we’ll continue doing the live show weekly and try to groom it into something that video game developers take notice of and make sure to put COIN-OP TV on their list of places to visit when promoting new games.





Q7: If you were stuck in the middle of the desert with Brian Gramo and Hailey Bright, how would you survive and subsequently escape?

Well, Brian is pretty tech savvy – he is almost like a MacGyver type in which he can manufacture things from out of nothing.  I’m sure if we had some type of technology with us he could figure out a way to make it work.  As for Hailey – one of her greatest ‘skills’ is making other people happy.  So if we were stuck in a desert for days or months, she would be able to keep both Brian and myself from going insane.  Now that I think about it – I wouldn’t mind Brian escaping and just being stuck with Hailey for a long time in the desert!



Q8: If you could be an animal for a day. What would it be and why?

Always would choose a bird or some kind of hawk.  The ability to fly has always been a dream since childhood.  I can’t imagine how nice it would feel to sore through the open sky and look down at clouds and mountains.  The ironic thing is that I am terrified of heights and just about the biggest wimp when it comes to roller-coasters.

COIN-OP TV LIVE airs live on Thursdays at www.TheStream.TV

The show is archived on the website the next day for all to view on archive.

Additional video content and articles can be found at www.coin-op.tv

You can also find Coin-Op TV at these links:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=50796546961
Twitter: http://twitter.com/coinoptv
Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/thirstyfilms
TheStream.TV: http://www.thestream.tv/series.php?s=4





Get Laura Roeder on the Ellen Degeneres show!

13 03 2009

One of my online buddies Laura Roeder all the way over in Venice, CA specialises in being the “Tome of Twitter Knowledge”.

She’s made a damn good career out of it so far, and now a huge online following is lobbying to get her on the Ellen Degeneres show to teach her all about Twitter!

So all feel free to tweet @theellenshow and let them know that the people online would like to see Laura (@lkr) on her show! 😀





Cathy Baron talks Valley Peaks, future projects, and her sharp eagle talons!

20 02 2009

About a week ago I did an article on the webtv show Valley Peaks. After a brief chat with starlet Cathy Baron on Twitter (who plays Shelly Breaker in Valley Peaks) I was given the opportunity to interview her with a few questions across the web.

We decided the Q&A format was best. Below is the “uncensored, full, widescreen version” of the Q&A.

Q1: Are there any huge similarities between you and your character on Valley Peaks?

Yes actually!  Shelly is a very excited person.  She is excited about life, love, and fun.  I am very much this way as well.  In my audition, I was pretty much myself (quirky, and trying to make the producers laugh).  I didn’t get the role I auditioned for because it wasn’t a good fit, but they wrote me in the show.  They said I “seemed like somebody’s little sister” and wanted to have me so they created Shelly.

Q2: What do you think makes Valley Peaks such a unique and interesting production?

Besides being funny and well done, I think people like a lack of predictability in comedy.  For instance, some of the funniest shows, Family Guy, The Simpsons  (although cartoons) have some of the most off the wall situations and reactions.  There’s a sense of surprise that keeps people coming back and wanting to know what will happen next.   It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is this way too.  Valley Peaks has this surprise factor.  One of the most frequent comments on our Youtube page is “What will happen next?”  The creators of the show are comedic geniuses in my opinion.  They deserve big things in their careers!

Q3: Things are getting pretty crazy on the show at the moment. Is it going to get any crazier?

HAHA!  Oh yes!  You have no idea!  I laugh outloud thinking about scenes I have filmed.  I can’t give away any details, though.  😉

Q4: Is Valley Peaks going to return for a second season?

As of right now, we are still in season 1—there are over 20 episodes, so season 1 is going to last forever!  Ha!  We are all just kind of ‘going with the flow’ — One of the BIGGEST networks in Canada and Europe, Global TV flew to Los Angeles a couple of weeks ago to film behind the scenes with the creators of Valley Peaks.  All we know is that it will be an hour long special on Valley Peaks on a huge network station with millions of viewers.  I will give more details as I know them….but, that’s exciting!

Q5: Have you always wanted to be an actor?

Oh yes…and I did some embarrassing things.  I still have videos of my cousin, Lisa and I making up productions and silly commercials.  When I was 13, I searched the names of casting directors in Los Angeles (im from a small town in Texas)  and I would send them my photos.  Not even an 8×10 or a real headshot…but a regular 4×6 photo!  I didn’t know how the business worked.  I remember sending my 4×6 photo and resume to the casting director for All My Children at least once a month for about a year.  I wonder why I never heard from Judy Blye Wilson.  Ha! I grew up performing dance and theater so I have always been comfortable on a stage…hamming it up 😉

Q6: Is there anything new happening in the Cathy Baron universe you can tell us about?

I have two feature films that I completed this past year that I am very excited about, and can’t wait until they are out.  One is a horror film called Dead Stop and the other is a film called Black and Blue.  I play a teenage runaway druggie in Black and Blue.  I have a couple of other projects in the works, but because nothing is set in stone I cannot tell you about them yet!  You can always go to my website for news though.  www.cathybaron.com

Q7: What’s the funniest acting experience you have had during your career?

For this, I’ll replace funniest with embarrassing.  I was filming a movie called The Lights in Texas.  I had a scene with Derek Lee Nixon where I was sitting in the front passenger seat of a suburban.  The director, John Sjogren, had to sit in the seat with me to get my close up.  We did about 4 takes of my close up, were running out of light for the day, and were about to move on to Dereks close up when John noticed something hanging out of my nose.  Yep, you guessed it…I had a little mini booger.  Just flapping there.  We went back to look at it on the monitor to see if it was noticeable…and sure enough, it was. Imagine all of the crew, actors, and producers analyzing a close-up of my face to see if you can see my booger in all the shots!   We only had time to do one more unboogered take.  I recently found out that they used the booger shot.  Makes me laugh now but at the time I was a bit embarrassed.

Last of-course is the standard “Celebrityscraps Random Question”

Q8: If you could be an animal for a day. What would it be and why?

I put a lot of thought into this and I’m pretty sure I’d be an Eagle.  Why?  Well, because for one, its illegal to shoot Eagles so there wouldn’t be any fear of getting shot in mid flight.  Two, other animals would be scared of me as well since I’d basically be a badass flying machine with red eyes and talons of steel.  And three, I would be able to fly high in the sky—even spy on people if I wanted with my eagle eyes.  Did you know that the Harpy Eagle can grab a monkey and fly away with it?  (but, I wouldn’t do that…I’d be a vegetarian eagle—somehow)

So there you have it. Cathy passes the CScraps Q&A challenge! Whenever I see an eagle with a monkey in it’s talons I’ll remember this!

Be sure to check out Cathy at these locations on the web:

Cathy Baron’s Official Site

Cathy’s Blog – “Coffee and OJ in Hollywood”

Cathy on Twitter

Cathy on IMDB

Valley Peaks Official Site





TheStream.tv 3.0 Teaser Trailer – “It’s Coming…”

18 02 2009

theStream.tv streams live, interactive television in a fresh and innovative format, featuring shows like Coin-Op TV Live and the Weakly News.

Shows generally air at 6, 8 and 10pm Pacific Time and are made available on demand the next morning.  There are now over 800 live episodes archived!

Founder Brian Gramo has now secured a new studio and released a trailer for it on theStream’s youtube channel.

Check it out!





Valley Peaks oozes genius!

10 02 2009

I recently became aware of another web series via the micro-blogging network Twitter. As a mutual acquaintance of two other people I know on the network, I have been following rising starlet ‘Cathy Baron‘.

Yesterday she “tweeted” a link to the web series Valley Peaks which she stars in. Being left with a choice of braving the British weather (Snow, wind and rain at the moment) to go out, or staying in and checking it out, I decided to check it out.

Valley Peaks is a spoof of the common teen soap-dramas we get today. Everything is deliberatly over-the-top from the kisses, to the emotional/tearful scenes in the rain. In particular the sub-plots featuring a praying mantis, a lost clock radio, and time travel add to the creative genius.

I really suggest you check it out! It was a welcome and bright addition to my Monday evening!

But there’s more! Over the next week I’ve got a Q&A with Cathy Baron about her character ‘Shelly Breaker’, Valley Peaks, and what is happening in the Cathy Baron universe so keep you eyes peeled for that!





Heroes: Fugitives

9 02 2009

So the 4th chapter of Heroes is now upon us. I watched the first episode of ‘Fugitives’ last week ,and have only just had the chance to write about it.

The whole plot is now revolving around our super powered heroes being rounded up in a Guantanamo Gay type situation (Orange jumpsuits and all!) to keep them away from normal people for public safety.

The whole plot evolution looks better for this chapter. Let hope they don’t include any of the numerous paradoxes that the time-travel aspect brought in on the last season.

When I was at the MCM Expo in London last year I was able to speak to Greg Grunberg about the new chapter. He couldn’t reveal much as but did say that we’ll see a different side to a few of the characters!

Still if you ignore the plot holes in chapters 2 and 3, Heroes is still an awesome watch and in my book one of the best on TV! 😀