Google film locations

Looking up the location of the Aldershot film location, Google has this capture from what must have been a previous set up.

And then as a frequent haunt of mine, checking out Google’s view on Swinley and seems it caught not only a plane going over but also the green screen stuff that was being built there during the Harry Potter filming back in 2009.

Yet more filming in Aldershot

Again, not looking for these, it’s just I drive past these places and the route home takes me past a now common spot for filming in Aldershot. This time lots of scaffolding put up, some sort of wooden structure being built and they’ve now put screening up to hide it from the road.

Place was used in the past for a Bond film apparently and other things I’m not sure about.

This time the signs up are for HCZ Unit. HCZ = Film company? Or code name for the film (or TV show)?

Haven’t got a photo myself, but @herodian has a couple

Edit – suggestion is Prometheus. Ridley’s Alien flick.

Further edit – Seems now it’s World War Z (makes sense, HCZ = working title Holocaust Zombie ?)

Paths of Glory comes to Criterion and on Blu Ray

Only just spotted this, but the fantastic Kubrick flick Paths of Glory has had a new release by Criterion including on Blu Ray.

Looks like not only is it in the original 1.66:1 ratio and a spanking new transfer (hopefully respectfully treated by Criterion which would a refreshing change from the glossy noise reduction transfers of big name studios when they do Blu Ray releases), but also has a number of interesting extras including a TV interview with Douglas and a new interview with Jan Harlan, James B. Harris and Christiane Kubrick. Not to mention a commentary on top. A big improvement on the non-existent extras on the old DVD.

Sadly Criterion are US only and yes the Blu Ray is locked to Region A, so if you’re importing you’ll need a Region A player or a multi-region player (just make sure it’s Blu Ray multi-region, not just DVD multi-region as some are the latter only). PS3 owners are stuck unless you’ve got a suitable hacked player.

Some reviews:

P.S. Also available on Criterion DVD. Noting again that it’s a US import. Not sure if it’s locked but likely it will be Region 1. Thankfully there are a lot more multi-region DVD players about outside of the US.

Potter returns to Swinley

More filming for the Harry Potter Deathly Hallows flicks in Swinley it seems.

Not much to see given the limit viewpoints around the area they have closed off, although there are better shots around the net. Essentially there’s some green screen and some sort of stone archway set.

Harry Potter filming again. Feb 2010. #4
© Copyright Tim Moore

Harry Potter filming again. Feb 2010. #5
© Copyright Tim Moore

For the mountain bikers out there, this is what’s closed off
Harry Potter filming again. Feb 2010. #2

These photos,Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License. Please give credit.

Tevion 1100UKT multi-region budget Blu-Ray player

Well, despite my reluctance I’ve finally gone “Blu”. The reason why is simple, and that is that finally we have players that are the right price and most importantly are multi region for BD discs.

There are a number of multi region options about now. Some are very expensive, in some cases doubling the price of the original player to get the hardware ‘mod’ that’s soldered on somewhere.

In other cases we are starting to get cheap and cheerful players from the far east that are (like DVD players before them) of course easily hackable for multi-region, out of the box.

And fitting my requirements perfectly (price and multi-region), along comes the Tevion 1100UKT Profile 2.0 Blu Ray player!

“The what?” you say?

Tevion 1100UK Blu Ray player
Tevion 1100UK Blu Ray player

It’s actually a rebrand of similarly unknown Curtis and Momitsu players (in fact the support for Tevion is provided by Curtis). It should be noted that a lot of these brands that are unknown to the west actually make the components that go in many big name western brands.

Anyway, the big thing about the Tevion is it is multi region, via a handset code that allows you to change between A, B & C and also set DVD to multi-region.

It is also a bargain price of £120. Less if you’re lucky. And sold by… Aldi. Yes, Aldi! And you get 3 years warranty with it, which is far more than you’d get with many big name brands for twice the price and still no multi-region.

Yes, it’s no looker. It’s a little noisy when starting up and slow loading a disc (much like many BD players though), and for BD Live you do need a USB stick plugged into the USB socket as there’s no built in memory for it. Oh and the handset IR angle is very small so you have to point it directly at the player (easily resolved by using a learning remote). I can’t really find much other fault with it though.

Bonus features are that it supports playing media (including DivX/XviD (not HD), MP3, WMA) off USB sticks and most recordable format discs. It bitstreams DTS-HD MA, DD True HD etc. If you only have an older amp with coax/optical inputs, it can either bitstream DD/DTS or it can even convert everything to DTS.

Home Cinema Choice has a hands on review. It knocks it for a few things, and in particular the reviewer had problems with HDMI handshaking. I can’t confirm that on the amp side as I don’t have an HDMI amp, but handshaking with my Samsung LCD is no problem.
Exclusive hands-on with budget Aldi Blu-ray player, is Tevion DVD1100 UK’s best BD buy?

The codes by the way are as follows:

973500 = multiregion DVD
973501 = region A Blu Ray
973502 = region B Blu Ray
973503 = region C Blu Ray

Has to be entered on the handset with no disc in the player. A bit of hassle vs a mod that auto detects, but it’s more robust protection as the player can only be seen as that region when the disc loads. Being out of the box, BD+ systems will see the firmware as unmodified from the original (and note this is a fully licenced Blu Ray player).

In my opinion, for £120 (some have got it as cheap as £80), multi-region Blu-Ray player, it’s really not bad at all if you’re prepared to accept an unknown brand and limited support (by all reports the 0800 number they provide is either unanswered or links to a monkey who has no clue what you’re talking about. Though they have a web site with various firmware downloads, manuals etc, although no firmware for the 1100UKT yet, only 1100UK which is the Curtis version and apparently incompatible).

P.S. Aldi do a 14 day no quibble return also. Do remember though that they don’t accept credit cards but do take debit cards, and once these are gone, they are gone so they may not be available in all stores. I’m sure these players will turn up as another brand/model though.

More filming

Back in June I spotted some filming going on towards the edge of Aldershot on some of the Army land, with green screens and ‘G LOC’ signs about (wonder which film unit is ‘G’?).

Anyway, they cleared off a while back but driving home today past the place a new unit has set up. I missed what the signs say, but the place has a big sheet of blue screen this time and I thought I saw a bunch of people in Army dress this morning where they were setting up lighting. Then again, it’s Army land anyway.

Apparently they did some filming for one of the recent Bond films there a few years back. Seems to have become a popular filming spot. It’s just a big scrap of unused parade ground basically.

If there’s anything interesting going on I’ll try and get a photo.

And then going on towards home I go past Pirbright and dotted around the area are some ‘P&M LOC’ signs for more filming. Looks like there’s a film crew bus by the cricket green in Pirbright itself. There’s some also by a big house/estate nearby where I know they’ve done filming before.

Wonder who P&M are though?