Odds are, if you're a gamer, you spent this past weekend destroying your friends in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer. The $60 you spent were well worth it, but do you sometimes think to yourself, "Should I have spent a little more money and gotten the Prestige Edition which features, among other things, the cool looking night vision goggles?" For those of you pondering this important question, AOTS Correspondent Blair Herter has your answer. Check out his review of the unique gaming peripheral and find out if you should rush to your local game retailer and trade in your copy for the whole kit and caboodle.
Note: Blair states that the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Prestige Edition includes a code to download Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. It does not. The code included only allows you to download the original Call of Duty.
The next time you're sitting in a theater watching the latest Hollywood blockbuster or sitting on your couch zoning out to your favorite TV show, try for a second to ignore the good looking actors, the well written dialogue and the expensive sets and zero in on the underlying element which completes the scene, yet so often goes ignored by the conscious mind, the musical score. Today, we're taking a moment to profile one of Hollywood's special songsmiths, master composer for film, television and video games, who has worked on projects such as Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the Scary Movie series, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Powerpuff Girls, Clerks: The Animated Series and Samurai Jack James L. Venable.
What inspired you to become a composer?
I originally started off on piano. My grandmother made me take lessons and I was sort of a reluctant student, but I did kind of enjoy messing around with the piano and just seeing what kind of melodies I could come up with on my own. When I got into high school, I saw the opportunity to get into rock bands and that sort of thing and I decided to switch over to the drum set. That was always kind of a cooler more fun thing, so I thought I could meet more girls that way anyway. So, what I did was (this was all in the 80s when synthesizers were really coming to forefront and electronic drums were kind of a big thing), I decided the best way to get into those was to get a sampler. So, I bought my Ensoniq Mirage, which was the first portable sampler. It had like, I don't know, half a meg of RAM or some ridiculous, low amount of memory, but you could kind of put your drums in there and I hooked up pads to it and I realized it could sample so much more than percussion and drums, so I bought a keyboard for it and that's when I kind of decided, "Well this would be kind of neat if I could use these tools to create my own music and I could drum to it.” Because I'm not really lyrically driven, I started looking into the world of instrumental music and I saw that it has a really great life in film and television. So, what lead me to film and TV music was just sort of messing around with my drums and the technology and doing instrumental music.