Entertainment

Why Netflix’s The Witcher is in good hands with Cavill and Hissrich

They weren’t just randomly chosen for the show

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In case you haven’t heard, Henry Cavill was recently in Manila to attend a press conference for the upcoming Netflix series, The Witcher. Alongside Cavill was series showrunner, Lauren Hissrich, who has also produced notable TV series such as Daredevil, The Defenders, and the widely popular, The Umbrella Academy. The series is scheduled to drop tomorrow, December 20, with Cavill to star as Geralt of Rivia. We were there during the press conference and here’s why the Cavill-Hissrich tandem would be great for the upcoming show.

Netflix’s The Witcher is an adaptation of a series of books of the same name by author Andrzej Sapkowski. And while it already has a series of highly regarded video game adaptations, Hissrich says that the source material will be, first and foremost, the literature; focusing on both the books and the short stories. The Witcher follows the story of Geralt of Rivia and his journey to find a place for himself in The Continent. The show will explore Geralt’s past, the relationships he forms, and dealing with the politics of The Continent.

It’s not surprising that a number of fans are worried about the new series. With The Witcher already having an established fanbase and following, the expectations for the Netflix show are high. But Hissrich, being a fan of the books long before the games came out, is taking good care in establishing the characters as well as their world. “Geralt’s journey is one of a lot of loneliness in the beginning. A lot of being on the outside.” she then continues, “We need to understand what the world was to set that up.”

Cavill’s enthusiasm for the role could not have been more prevalent as well. He mentions how he was already a big fan of the games and when he heard that Netflix was pushing for an adaptation, he constantly badgered his agent to get him an audition. When he did get an audition, he was on vacation. But, with no hesitation, he cut his vacation short and flew to New York to read for Geralt.

When asked about his preparation, he said that “it was a little bit inbuilt” because he had always been a fan. Fans online have already regarded him for his spot-on Geralt voice and the delivery of Geralt’s iconic dry humor jokes. Cavill, who did his own stunts for the show, mentions he also went through a lot of training to be able to nail Geralt’s explosive movements. “Henry takes the job seriously,” Hissrich mentions, “he knows Geralt inside and out, better than I do.”

The Witcher will not only focus on Geralt but also on his family, Yennefer, and Ciri. When asked about her role as a female writer, Hissrich strongly says, “I never think of myself as a female writer, I’m just a writer telling good stories.” She continues, “The stories we tell about women are as dimensional and interesting as the ones we’re telling about men. It’s about making sure that all of these characters are completely fleshed out.”

If you still need more convincing, Hissrich and Cavill talked about how The Witcher author, Andrzej Sapkowski, visited the set and “got tears in his eyes”. Hissrich mentions that as they talked and walked around, Sapkowski was blown away by how his world had come to life.

Also, Hissrich says there will be a LOT of monsters but as to what kind, she kept quiet.

The Witcher stars Henry Cavill as  Geralt of Rivia, Anya Chalotra as Yennefer, and Freya Allan as Ciri and will premiere on Netflix on December 20, 2019.

Photos by Paolo Abad

Entertainment

Netflix is experimenting with livestreaming content

For reality shows and comedy specials

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Netflix is in a bit of a rough patch. After losing subscribers for the first time, the platform is trying other strategies to retain its userbase including more stringent ways to police password sharing. This time, Netflix is trying a more additive approach. According to a report, the company is experimenting with livestreaming content.

First reported by Deadline, the company is currently in the early stages of creating such content. More specifically, Netflix will try the format for its catalog of “unscripted shows and stand-up specials.” There is no timetable for the experiment’s launch, but the company hopes to launch it soon.

A move towards livestreaming does make sense with Netflix’s current catalog of titles. Over the years, the platform has slowly curated an expansive lineup of reality shows and stand-up comedy specials. For example, Netflix’s Drive to Survive quickly became one of its biggest titles in reality television, bringing a lot of eyes to Formula One racing. Likewise, the platform has always been a stronghold for comedy specials since the advent of its popularity.

Besides its strong slate of content, the company has also experimented with user input including shows that mimicked Choose Your Own Adventure books. Under a livestreaming format, the audience might be able to provide input for the title as well, such as voting for (or against) contestants in a game show.

That said, it’s still too early to tell how livestreaming might appear on Netflix. For now, at least.

SEE ALSO: Netflix considers cheaper, ad-supported subscription

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Campaign putting seizure, epilepsy warnings to YouTube gaming content initiated

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Seizure Warning

Whenever on YouTube, people tend to have the urge to skip annoying or uninteresting ads.

But Digitas Philippines is trying to change that with an all-important online campaign that puts the safety of the gaming community first.

With the Seizure Warning Pre-Rolls project, Digitas Philippines turns YouTube’s 6-second pre-rolls before videos play into dedicated spaces, where instead of ads, PSAs get played.

Digitas will focus on showing warnings that effectively alert viewers of possible adverse of conditions such as seizures and photosensitive epilepsy.

To ensure that such warnings draw the attention of YouTube viewers, Digitas’ team included flashy animations, fast and mind-bending gameplay, and vivid, ultra-colorful visuals.

Such components make gaming content extremely visually stimulating, yet can also seriously affect those who have had seizures or epilepsy in the past, as well as those who have not had them before.

Avoiding risk on YouTube 

With more than 40 million active gaming channels, users definitely have a chance of running into possible seizure risks.

This pushed Digitas to jumpstart the campaign, trying to address the lack of warning signs before the start of videos and more.

Through their campaign, notices will be placed before anyone views gaming-related content to boost safety and lower the risk of getting a seizure or epilepsy.

The initiative will already cover all YouTube videos with gaming content tags in its initial phase. It will feature highly-targeted and specific warning messages for viewers’ protection.

The group is also in the process of partnering with more institutions to follow up and go beyond the first phase.

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Apple releases Thai horror film shot on iPhone 13 Pro

Streaming for free on YouTube

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Movies shot on phones aren’t novel ideas anymore. For a few years now, filmmakers and smartphone makers have worked together to create films without using any professional camera equipment. Among their rivals, both Apple and Samsung are the most notorious for these projects. Today, Apple is trying something new: a Thai horror film shot entirely on the iPhone 13 Pro.

In Thailand, Apple has revealed a collaboration with renowned Thai horror director Parkpoom Wongpoom for a short film called Those That Follow. The short film revolves around the Thai belief of Phi Ta Khon, wherein ghosts follow people. More specifically, the 20-minute film follows two teenage robbers on the run after a botched robbery.

The two Pro variants of the iPhone 13 series both carry impressive camera setups. Both carry three 12-megapixel cameras for wide, ultra-wide, and telephoto shooting. They are also compatible with Apple ProRAW shooting, allowing for a lot of production value for films. Plus, as confirmed by Parkpoom, the phone performs brilliantly in low light conditions, an important prerequisite for horror films.

The smartphone is available now starting at US$ 999. The series also has three other variants available for customers: iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, and iPhone 13 Pro Max.

Meanwhile, Those That Follow is available on Apple Thailand’s website and YouTube account.

SEE ALSO: Apple iPhone 13 Pro & 13 Pro Max review: After the hype

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