Monthly Archives: October 2012

Promotion can be fun…….. Sean Yeager book video trailer

D.M. Jarrett author of the Sean Yeager Adventures book series took some time out to have fun making a promotional video for YouTube.

Check it out at: Sean Yeager and the DNA Thief trailer

“It was fun to make and I think it gives the first Sean Yeager book a real personality. I was aiming for a spoof of the kind of movie trailers we used to watch. Apparently there was one man who cornered the market in voice-overs.”

If you enjoy the trailer check out the Sean Yeager book reviews at Amazon and Goodreads.

‘Hunters Hunted’ the second book in the series is progressing well for an early 2013 publication

Enjoy

D.M. Jarrett

Sean Yeager Adventures

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What is the best sci-fi film of all time?

What is the best sci-fi film of all time?

D.M. Jarrett author of sci-fi adventure series Sean Yeager Adventures speculates about the best sci-fi films of all time, many of which inspired generations of writers and creators.

It occurred to me the other day that writing is similar to script writing for films. I often find myself visualising how scenes would work and how the characters would respond to situations when writing draft chapters. I wonder how many have subconsciously influenced Sean Yeager and the DNA Thief?

So here is my personal short-list of what I consider to be the finest sci-fi films ever made. Of course it is a subjective list and a bit of fun and there are plenty of other good films not on this list. I have for example not included lighter entertainment films out of personal choice (e.g. E.T.,  Close Encounters, Starman, Jurassic Park.) This is because taken as a whole I’m not that keen on them.

#15 Sunshine: Perhaps a marmite film. Well I liked it and watched it several times over. It’s a bit like the anti-Solaris.

#14 Dr Who The Dalek Invasion of Earth: Sure it’s dated and not strictly a film but for me a very good take on the whole theme with a genuinely threatening enemy and with William Hartnell as Dr Who.

#13 Fifth Element: Yes it’s derivative, yes it’s silly in places but it’s also a lot of fun and highly watchable

#12 Terminator 1 & 2: while the story was repeated three times in my view, the first had the most impact especially in the mirror cutting scene and the final moments. And for me the second had the best Terminator.

#11 The Matrix: stylish and thought provoking action, until it all became a bit silly in later episodes. Only let down by the complete lack of trying not to stand out inside The Matrix – I mean all black gear and sunglasses?

#10 Solaris: thought provoking and unsettling space drama

#9 The Day the Earth Stood Still 1972 – ahead of its time and strangely realistic

#8 2001 A Space Odyssey: slow, moving and thematically realistic with beautiful cinematography. It pulls you in and keeps you in space.

#7 Avatar: Great effects, decent ideas, story was okay if not entirely believable or plausible. Still watched it three times in a week (and didn’t expect to like it) Shame about some silliness that crept into the final act.

#6 Star Wars IV – entertaining, ground breaking and very watchable (until Jabba the Hutt received more scenes in later cuts) Silly in parts – noises in space, stormtroopers who never seem to shoot straight, understanding a Wookie with two kinds of growl.

#5 Star Wars V – The Empire Strikes Back; darker and better made than the rest of the franchise. Of course The Empire kicks ass, why wouldn’t they? Even allowing for the giant walking dogs.

#4 Invasion of the Bodysnatchers: given its age one of the best sci-fi horror films ever made, watch it again if you don’t believe me.

#3 The Thing 1982: a very scary film that stands up to repeat viewings, on first viewing you have no idea what is going to happen next.

#2 Bladerunner: Consistently involving with plausible characters, tech and genuinely touching scenes and score.  I prefer the later cuts and added back-in scenes personally. Can seem a bit slow in places.

#1 Alien  (tied) The original and very scary, try watching it at night on your own…

#1 Aliens (tied) More of everything and works brilliantly as a comment on gung-ho military leadership as well as a shoot-em up

Happy film watching

D.M. Jarrett

Sean Yeager Adventures

What boys really want to read about….. and it’s not girly things

D.M. Jarrett author of the Sean Yeager Adventures series carried out some informal reader research recently. The results were surprising unless of course you used to be a teen / tween (middle grade / young adult) male yourself. In which case they will come as little or no surprise.

The research was simply this – ask some real tween readers what they want to read about given the choice and why. Also, ask them about why they like what they like and vice-versa. Now this is not going to qualify for a doctorate or even for a tabloid article, however I thought it should be said and put out there:

Boys like machines, action, being in the middle of the machines and action and general mayhem . They like the details associated with the tensions and the clever solutions. They like the detail of how stuff works and what you can do with it and how the protagonists and antagonists use the clever details to prevail.

Funny – that sounds like a younger version of what billions of men like doesn’t it? It’s like Guy flick vs Chick flick all over again.

It may not be PC, it may not be what every mother wants to hear, however it is what I have found to be true over and over again. Boys like in books what boys like in the real world. They like cool gear, they like fast action and they like the cool gear doing stuff in detail and fast.

Note – no mentions of love, betrayal, character growth, moral messages, unrequited love, inexplicable cross-species love affairs or any of that other girly stuff. WOW what a surprise!  Not.

For example – (and by no means offered as a scientific survey)

Question – why didn’t you like  (a well known book)?  Answer -because it didn’t describe the details of how things worked enough and I didn’t feel like I was there. I didn’t know which picture in my head was right. I wanted to know more about how stuff happened.

Question – why did you like Harry Potter? Answer – because of the details in the descriptions. Like how you  catch the train and how you enter Diagon Alley. And what Hagrid (and others) looked like. And what you had to do to make the spells work and open rooms.

So what conclusions can we draw from this informal research?

Well in truth a proper and well run research group would be needed to draw meaningful conclusions, however I will nonetheless state my beliefs based on my own (probably biased) interpretation and intuition:

With some notable exceptions I believe that boys are being short-changed, they are not being given the books they want to read. They want machines and they get ‘relationships’. They want fantasy wars and they get ‘real world scenarios they might relate to’. They want gear details and action and they get ‘teens with crushes and inexplicable powers wandering around aimlessly.’ They want punchy and to the point and they get ‘this is a really well written book and won lots of awards’.

And that is part of the reason that I started writing Sean Yeager books. You see most men are boys at heart and we know what we want to read about. The funny thing is that quite a lot of girls like that kind of stuff too but it’s not trendy to admit it in front of their mates.

Needless to say the Sean Yeager book series is gravitating towards what boys want to read about, since the girls seem (as ever) to have an enormous array of products to choose from. (See any children’s clothes shop  for example. Two rails for the boys and twelve for the girls).

Try applying lateral shift to this, I think you’ll enjoy it.

The problem may not be – Boys don’t want to read enough. The problem could be – Boys are not marketed entertaining enough books to want to read more.

Happy reading

D.M. Jarrett