Friday, November 09, 2007

Jacob's Dog Painting Unmasked

One of my duties at the Lostpedia wiki is to keep an eye on the list of recent changes made in the encyclopedia by all editors. Sometimes this means congratulating hard working editors, or standardizing style-- and once in a while it means correcting vandalism. Sometimes though, I honestly can't tell if a contribution is outright vandalism or not, and today was such a day, and the result of figuring it all out ended up being a really fun revelation.

A new user posted edits to the "Background cast" page, specifically the section on whom we like to call "The Other Others", who are not as well known among Lost fans as are the background Flight 815 survivors. The editor added two names, and two photos, for BG Other #1 and #29. The entry for BG Other #1 was edited with a ridiculous headshot, and a name I could not corroborate in Google; it was possibly vandalism. However the second name, which the editor had penciled in as Thomas Hannsz for BG Other #29 (right, standing in front of Locke), scored plenty of hits in Google.

Most results were art poster websites, which seemed random, and I still didn't see any headshots or photos of the actual person to compare to Lost. But when I looked up the name at MySpace, there was a surprise.

There was indeed a page for Thomas Hannsz. First of all, there was a headshot photo, and it reasonably matched the face seen in Lost as BG Other #29. Second, according to the MySpace page, Thomas is apparently the real life painter who painted the prop of the dog painting in Jacob's cabin as encountered by Locke in episode 3x20 (left).

We previously had a tip that Jacob's painting was of Lost executive producer Jack Bender's personal dog "Lulu" (short for Ms. Honolulu), who you can see scampering around Nigeria (in 3x05, right) and on the Island in a promotional still (for 3x13, here). Finding the original painting now was an unexpected bonus.

Thomas Hannsz's MySpace page further had links to: 1) an almost identical page of Jason Hannsz (so is it Thomas or is it Jason?) and 2) a page for the painting of Jacob's dog. The MySpace page for the dog painting furthermore had a link to a page hosted at Artist Rising, where you can buy prints for about twelve bucks as well as the original painting for a cool fifty grand.

Therefore apparently ABC did not purchase the rights to the painting, since the artist himself is able to offer it for sale, so Lost fans everywhere can treat themselves (or a lucky loved one) to a unique holiday gift for a very reasonable price. According to the editor's comments, Thomas was Lulu's personal caretaker when Jack Bender was away or on set. At any rate it really is a treat to be able to see Jacob's painting in its full original glory. Better yet, he's one of the Others.

See the full size painting and buy prints at Artist Rising here.

A comment below noted that the painting is a parody of Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa, and I'm inclined to agree. The color scheme, and washed out oil paint look are similar, but it is the iconic crossed hands that does it for me, as well as some of the shapes and colors in the background. The tree line has some exactly matching details, and the general color scheme is in parallel, although some details like the bluish water are horizontally flipped. Click the comparison image for a larger version.

Monday, November 05, 2007

The WGA strike, updates and more.

Well, as you have probably heard by now, the WGA is striking. And everyone everywhere is blogging and reporting on it. So I'm going to do a short round up of some of the stuff the casual Lost fan needs to know. I'd highly suggest checking out the Variety page linked to at the bottom of this blog, it will keep you up to date on the strike situation. Myself and Santa are also keeping the Lostpedia main page news updated with the latest whether it regards Lost directly or not so keep checking back there as well.

Now to cover a bit of the stuff the fans want to know. This is a quick roundup on Lost's current situation with a list of links at the bottom that will let you know everything else you need to know.

First off, there are a lot of angry fans saying that "if this causes Lost to be canceled then....." Stop! Lost will not get canceled because of this strike. I could list off the numerous reasons but I will let Gregg Nations handle it:

"Get A Klugh, the scenario you wrote won't happen. Lost is not a show that is in danger of being cancelled. There is a contract for the next 48 episodes, so they'll be completed no matter what. If there is a show on the bubble, like say Viva Laughlin if it hadn't already been cancelled, then the strike could have made that decision an easy one to simply cancel it. It's going to be a case-by-case basis."

Gregg continued on to say that Lost is currently filming episode 8 (which has been confirmed by numerous sources. And Lost is still shooting today despite it's writers striking. How much longer they will be filming for it anyone's guess. Michael Emerson did a recent interview in which he stated:

"And if the writers walk, there's no one to polish scripts or do rewrites or anything like that. "Lost" would shut down fairly quickly. I'm just guessing, but I think "Lost" could go eight or 10 days after a strike. Then we'd all have to go home I guess. "
Lost still has some kick in them, at least for a little while. The interview with Emerson even revealed something that we've been waiting to hear. They have actually be shooting the mobisodes and those are still set to be revealed even as the strike wears on.

"Those who are really eager for the new season can expect to see mobisodes, or mobile phone episodes, in the near future. In the 13 weeks leading up to the premiere the network will release a mobisode a week, "which are sort of like lost scenes," explained Emerson. They are about two or three minutes long, and you can download them on phones and"
So what does the average Lost fan have left to look forward to? Well, more than you might think. The mobisodes are set to be released, who knows when though, the Season 3 dvds are going to be released in North America come December. We've also got the video game which is supposed to be released in the first quarter of 2008. And the writers strike could last for 4 months max and still have no effect on Season 4. Lost fans do have some breathing room and stuff to keep them busy. However I'd still suggest keeping yourself informed on the strike.

Here are some links you might find interesting:

Saturday, November 03, 2007

11th Hour WGA Mediation

A final 11th hour negotiating session between the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the producers group AMPTP has been scheduled for Sunday morning, one day before the commencement of the strike on Monday. The negotiations were arranged at the request of Juan Carlos Gonzalez, the mediator from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service that had been called in last week by the US government. The main sticking point that neither side has budged a micrometer on is still the WGA's position to double their DVD residuals, although new media (Internet streaming, downloads etc.) residuals and contract jurisdiction are also on the table. Meanwhile, Lost continues to film normally today, and script supervisor Gregg Nations recently noted at here that it is episode 8 of Season 4 being filmed, and that because this script has been finished, production on this episode will likely continue to completion even in the event of a strike.

Doc Arzt leaves

It was with a sad heart that I recently received an IM from Doc Arzt stating that he was leaving his role as administrator of the Lost fan site TheTailSection (TTS), which is a property that he had previously sold to the Buddy TV company. This evening he publicly broke this news in what is presumably his last post as administrator of TTS.

The TTS blog was a wonderful balance of original yet meaningful musing on the news and theories that go along with ''Lost''-- his familiar tone led his readers to feel as if they had a personal friend with the pulse of ''Lost''. Doc Arzt's mature and professional postings seemed to strike that perfect and good natured balance, with well-thought yet entertaining writing that avoided empty sensationalism, and thoroughly distinguished himself from the lowest common denominator of common blog drivel that we have all seen in the fan ecosystem inspired by this television show.

Apparently I wasn't the only one who thought this because he seemed often to have some really unique scoops, and his occasional reference to "being allowed" to break news implied to me that he had managed to cultivate some sources at least fairly close to ''Lost'', a feat pretty much unattained by any other site admin in the teeming fan universe of ''Lost''. It is no exaggeration to say it would not surprise me if Damon himself noticed and corresponded with the Doc.

I take my hat off to him, and wish him the best in his post-''Lost'' endeavors, and simultaneously mourn the loss of one of the premier ''Lost'' fansites, because even if TTS continues, it is now without the Doc, and therefore it is no longer the TTS.


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