Ta-dum: How the Netflix sound was born (it almost had a goat's bleat)

This is terrific. Dallas Taylor, the host of the podcast Twenty Thousand Hertz, learns the origin story of Netflix's "ta-dum" sound (aka "sonic logo") from its creators.

Mashable:

In an episode dedicated solely to this sound, Netflix VP of Product Todd Yellin starts out by revealing that it's actually called "ta-dum" internally. Yellin is a former filmmaker with an affinity for sound design, and he led the process of creating the ta-dum: Something immediately sonically tied to the experience of watching Netflix.

...Yellin enlisted Academy Award-winning sound designer Lon Bender for the project, giving him descriptors that conceptualize this sound: Tension, release, quirky, and more. Bender came up with 20-30 sound effects in different styles. For a long time, the frontrunner was close to the current ta-dum, but also included a goat noise.

(Digg)

image via Twenty Thousand Hertz Read the rest

Watch the wonderfully creepy trailer for "I'm Thinking of Ending Things," the new film by Charlie Kaufman

Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind writer Charlie Kaufman recently published his debut novel, an similarly metafictional tome called Antkind. And now the first trailer for his next protect is already available. Written and directed by Kaufman, I'm Thinking Of Ending Things is based on the novel of the same name by Iain Reid. The official synopsis reads simply:

Nothing is as it seems when a woman experiencing misgivings about her new boyfriend joins him on a road trip to meet his parents at their remote farm.

"Nothing is as it seems" feels like an understatement after watching this trailer. "I don’t set out to do a mindfuck," Kaufman recently assured Entertainment Weekly. And clearly, mindfucking comes so naturally to him that he doesn't have to try.

I'm Thinking of Ending Things will be available on Netflix on September 4. Read the rest

Netflix is reportedly experimenting with allowing viewers to control time

The Verge reports:

Netflix is letting people choose the speed at which they want to watch something on their phone or tablet with new playback controls.

Netflix will allow anyone on an Android mobile device to stream at either 0.5x or 0.75x speeds for slowed-down viewing and 1.25x or 1.5x speeds for faster watching. Those are slightly fewer options than YouTube, which allows people to slow all the way down to 0.25x speeds, and speed up by twice the normal playback speed. Playback speed options are also available on downloaded titles that people have saved for offline viewing.

Netflix had previously announced this plan back in October 2019, which promptly pissed some people off.

A spokesperson for Netflix assured The Verge that they've "been mindful of the concerns of some creators," which is why they've "capped the range of playback speeds and require members to vary the speed each time they watch something new — versus fixing their settings based on the last speed they used." Read the rest

Black Mirror Season 6? You're living it!

Apparently, Charlie Brooker has put Season 6 of Black Mirror on hold because he fears that reality has caught up with the dystopian series.

Picking up on that, a Madrid ad agency, called Brother, came up with a mock ad for the show. It reads:

“Black Mirror 6th Season. Live Now, everywhere.”

Image: Twitter screengrab Read the rest

Netflix launches $100 million coronavirus relief fund to help jobless cast and crew

Additional $15M will go to third parties and nonprofits

Gillian Anderson does ASMR to promote her show, Sex Education

To promote the new season of her show, the British comedy Sex Education (now streaming on Netflix), Gillian Anderson does a nearly four minute ASMR video. In her character of Dr. Jean Milburn, Anderson purrs and whispers, scratches and tickles the mics, open, pours, and sips wine, and does a number of other classic "braingasm" audio tricks. For X-Files fans and nerdy boys n' girls who've crushed on Anderson for decades, it might all be too much.

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How to turn off Netflix autoplay of previews

I get overly frustrated when I'm browsing Netflix and it autoplays previews. Finally, they've enabled a way to turn that off (and also the autoplay of the next episode of a series). You can only flip the switch by logging into your account on a Web browser though. Here's how:

To turn autoplay on or off: 1. Sign In to Netflix from a web browser. 2. Select Manage Profiles from the menu. 3. Select the profile you’d like to update.

Check or uncheck the option to Autoplay previews while browsing on all devices.

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Ars Technica's dunk on Gwyneth Paltrow's Netflix series is the best dunk of all

Ars Technica health reporter Beth Mole (previously) is a national treasure, and nowhere is her background in biology and science communications on better display than when she is puncturing the potentially lethal bullshit (vaginal jade egg -toxic shock -RIP) that Gwyneth Paltrow peddles through her Goop magazine and store (Mole was very good on Paltrow's advice to squirt coffee up your asshole). Read the rest

The Final Trailer for Netflix's The Witcher is here

I haven't had the chance to play any of the Witcher games (although Witcher 3 for Nintendo Switch is on my list of titles to buy, just as soon as I finish Divinity: Original Sin 2.) However, I loved the books back in the day and have high hopes for the Netflix series. The final trailer for The Witcher dropped earlier this week and it's looking good. That said, I've been disapointed by streaming service series in the past. Fingers crossed. Read the rest

Netflix drops trailer for 2018 midterms doc 'Knock Down the House'

The Netflix doc Knock Down the House debuted at Sundance earlier this year, winning the Audience Award for U.S. Documentaries. Directed by Rachel Lears, it follows the midterm Congressional campaigns of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Amy Vilela, Cori Bush, and Paula Jean Swearengin.

Knock Down the House comes to Netflix May 1st.

(Photo: YouTube Screenshot) Read the rest

Netflix walks away from App Store payments, costing Apple up to $256m/year

When Ios launched, Apple's App Store took a 30% royalty on all apps sold. App vendors responded in large part by switching to free apps that charged in-app for annual subscriptions and other fees, prompting Apple (by then the dominant smartphone seller and critical to many companies' businesses) to ban in-app purchases except through Apple, which would charge a 30% commission on the lifetime revenues from each user. Read the rest

Fyre Festival documentary to air on Netflix in January

If there was ever collective schadenfreude to be had, it was when we learned that a bunch of young, privileged rich kids got swindled by the promoters of the 2017 Fyre Festival and were left to fend for themselves on a remote island. On January 18, Netflix is releasing a documentary about the dumpster Fyre.

Here's its teaser trailer:

Previously: Fyre Festival fraudster sentenced to six years in federal prison

(COS) Read the rest

Netflix to adapt Roald Dahl works into animated series, including 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' and 'Matilda'

Netflix's latest "golden ticket" is an original animated series based on the stories of late author Roald Dahl. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The BFG, and The Twits are just some of the popular titles that will be included. The series will begin production in 2019.

Netflix's Press Release:

Netflix intends to remain faithful to the quintessential spirit and tone of Dahl while also building out an imaginative story universe that expands far beyond the pages of the books themselves.

“Our mission, which is purposefully lofty, is for as many children as possible around the world to experience the unique magic and positive message of Roald Dahl’s stories,” said Roald Dahl’s widow, Felicity Dahl, “This partnership with Netflix marks a significant move toward making that possible and is an incredibly exciting new chapter for the Roald Dahl Story Company. Roald would, I know, be thrilled.”

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Magician and audience make two guys believe they are invisible

Netflix has a new magic six-part series called Magic For Humans. The show's star, magician Justin Willman, worked with an audience to help him pull off the trick in this clip. Working together, they make two guys believe they've become invisible, and they really, really do believe they can't be seen. (I was a little worried about the second guy. I think "being invisible" broke his brain.)

“When I was a kid I put a tooth under my pillow, went to sleep, and in the morning there was money there. That tangible evidence was more than enough proof to make me believe in the tooth fairy. To find out how far I could take that premise, I set up a large flash-mob style social experiment all to convince one guy he had turned invisible.” - Justin Willman.

(Likecool) Read the rest

Matt Groening's new animated series "Disenchantment" headed to Netflix

The creator of The Simpsons and Futurama, Matt Groening, has a new animated series for adults called Disenchantment. The "medieval adventure" debuts August 17 on Netflix and "follows the misadventures of a hard-drinking princess, her feisty elf companion and her personal demon."

The Guardian reports:

...Broad City’s Abbi Jacobson will voice Bean, who, in the four promotional photos released by Groening on Reddit and the show’s official Twitter account, carries either a sword, scimitar or a pint of beer, suggesting no ordinary princess.

Bean’s sidekicks Elfo and Luci will be voiced respectively by Nat Faxon, who in 2011 won a best adapted screenplay Oscar for The Descendants, and the comic Eric Andre, last seen partaking in bachelor-party shenanigans in Rough Night. Supporting the main trio is a group of celebrated voice actors including Futurama’s John DiMaggio, Billy West, Maurice LaMarche, David Herman, Tress MacNeille, Jeny Batten, Rich Fulcher, Noel Fielding and Lucy Montgomery.

...In a statement last summer, Groening described Disenchantment, which has been picked up for 20 episodes, as a show “about life and death, love and sex, and how to keep laughing in a world full of suffering and idiots, despite what the elders and wizards and other jerks tell you”.

images via Netflix Read the rest

Jennifer Aniston and Tig Notaro will play POTUS and FLOTUS, respectively, in new political comedy

We'll find out soon what might happen when if lesbians run the country.

Deadline is reporting that Jennifer Aniston and Tig Notaro will star as the first same-sex couple in the White House in an upcoming political comedy film on Netflix:

Netflix has set Jennifer Aniston to play the U.S. president, and Tig Notaro her first lady in First Ladies, a political comedy being written by Notaro and Stephanie Allynne, based on their original pitch. This one’s not your usual White House comedy. First Ladies is a political comedy about America’s first female President and her wife, The First Lady. When Beverly and Kasey Nicholson move into the White House, they’ll prove that behind every great woman… is another great woman.

Jennifer Aniston, Tig Notaro First Same Sex White House Couple In Netflix Film Comedy ‘First Ladies’

photo by Diego Cambiaso, cropped and then altered with a rainbow by NikNaks Read the rest

Gad Elmaleh's new comedy special 'American Dream' is worth a watch

There are a lot of comedy specials on Netflix and I do my best to watch them all, as I have a voracious appetite for seeing professional comedians perform their craft.

Now, I don't normally do this but I feel compelled to share the one I watched last night with you. It's called Gad Elmaleh: American Dream and it's showing on Netflix right now.

This is the first special the Moroccan-born comedian has done in English, though apparently it's rehashed material from his 2016 French language Gad Gone Wild. It doesn't matter. He's gone ahead and created something wonderfully funny for us to enjoy without having to read subtitles.

His unique insight on everyday American culture and the quirks of our language really had me laughing. His observational humor is Seinfeld-esque (though distinctly his own) and, in fact, he's been described many times as "the Jerry Seinfeld of France."

Amazingly, Elmaleh's debut appearance on American television was just two years ago. He recounted on Seth Meyers' show the first time he met Seinfeld in person, on his then-home turf of Paris:

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