As the world’s favourite crowdfunding site escalates from 3D-printed key rings to multi-million-dollar vanity projects for wealthy Hollywood directors, we ask…


Almost every big movie or game is now part of a franchise. Why? Investment. If it’s not a safe bet, it doesn’t happen. Akira, The Birds, Commando, RoboCop, Highlander, Scarface and Lethal Weapon are all set for unnecessary remakes, while original ideas are ignored.

When Kickstarter arrived, it promised to upset this stale system and sell new ideas straight to the audience. It worked. But then Zach Braff, star of simpering faux-indie whinge-fest Garden State, showed up, gigantic,


Time To Call The Pros?

In this issue we explain the process of mastering and how you can do it yourself within your chosen DAW. But sometimes it’s best to get the pros in, and they don’t come more reputable than Optimum Mastering, which counts Portishead and Courtney Pine among its clients…

Shawn Joseph is the director at Bristol-based Optimum Mastering which has been providing a bespoke mastering service since 2004. With a specially created mastering suite – costing in excess of six figures to construct – plus many, many high-end pieces of hardware, it’s easy to see why you might choose its services over

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There’s no way to predict exactly which directions synthesis will take in the future, and it’s highly possible that someone will come up with something mind-bendingly different that we’d never have dreamed of. However, there are definitely a few things that we can see happening over the next few years. Firstly, analogue emulations will continue to get better as the ability of computers to crunch numbers improves. Hopefully, though, this will be used in new and interesting ways that don’t seek simply to copy the designs of yesteryear. It’s only a matter of time until one of the big guns


The daft heroes*

BRUCE WILLIS, Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger are meeting their agent who wants to put forward some ideas for a new film.

We’ve got some scripts of classical composers. Who do you want to be?”

“Can I be Beethoven?” asks Willis.

“I’d love to be Mozart,” says Stallone.

“Who do you want to be, Arnie?” asks the agent.

Schwarzenegger replies, “I’ll be Bach.”

Out in the cold*

A COUPLE are on holiday in Spain with their young son. The only way to get any action’s to make him play on the balcony. When they finally get down to it, he

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Seat Leon SC

Range-topper gives Volkswagen Golf GTD performance for £3k less

2.0 TDI FR O Price £22,075 O Power 181bhp O Torque 280lb ft O 0-60mph 8.0sec O Fuel economy 47.2mpg O CO2 emissions 112g/km O 70-0mph 47.4m O Skidpan 0.95g

WE LIKE Fresh, taut styling Q Multi-talented turbodiesel engine Q Well resolved ride and handling

WE DON’T LIKE Access to the rear seats is tight Q Still isn’t exciting to drive Q ESP won’t fully deactivate

After a UK launch in the spring, the Seat Leon range is filling out nicely. Having started with the five-door hatchback version, the Volkswagen Group’s

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Oort cloud


It’s incredible to think that a black hole can be so big that it would take light four days to cross from end to end. But far, far out beyond Neptune’s orbit is something much bigger: the Oort cloud. It’s an enormous region of space encapsulating the planets that stretches 50,000 AU from the Sun to around 100,000 AU in diameter at its outer boundaries: from one side to another it’s about two light years long.

It’s made of water, ammonia and methane ice in the form of icy particles and trillions of larger bodies. It’s suspected

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You can swap your 40in TV for a 65in one

All those extra pixels mean that you can comfortably sit closer to the screen, as Scot Barbour, Vice President of Production Technology at Sony Pictures, explains. “Basically, to be able to even see 4K resolution, there’s a given distance sweet spot from the screen, one and a half screen heights away. So you’re going to want to have a bigger screen and be closer to it to actually be able to perceive 4K for what it’s really about.” What’s that? Not just a new TV, but a bigger one? OK…




Minimal kit, maximum effect, is the mantra of multi award winning professional portrait photographer Damian McGillicuddy. Demanding the very best from the equipment he uses, the modern classic of the compact Olympus OM-D EM-5 is never far from his hand.

Yet whilst this Compact System Camera’s stunning picture quality is what attracts professionals, the gorgeous retro styling plus affordable price point place the OM-D and its ability to deliver captivating, engaging imagery within anyone’s grasp.

With Damian’s portraiture taking in both fashion and glamour sprinkled with a liberal dose of sex, he describes the OM-D’s appeal as “Dead

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KAR Group

KAR Group is the Kurdish oil and gas leader in more ways than one; it also stands apart for its range of activities and ambitious vision.

Owner of the largest private refinery in all of Iraq, KAR’s performance is notable for its success in downstream activities. Indeed, such is chairman Mr. Baz Karim’s burgeoning reputation in the industry that he was rewarded as Downstream Man of the Year at the Kurdistan-Iraq Oil and Gas 2012 Awards. A grandiloquent title that doesn’t do the group effort justice; in his own words, ‘‘It’s the reflection of the successful story of the team.’’

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Howlin Wind

With his vocals as impassioned as his guitar playing, hard-working bluesman Danny Bryant has produced an album of rare power. Interview by Michael Heatley

The blues world has seen many examples of older players mentoring young prodigies and passing on the wisdom of their years: Danny Gatton with Joe Bonamassa is one relatively recent relationship. For upand-coming British guitarist Danny Bryant, the man who helped to get his mojo well and truly working was Walter Trout, some three decades his senior.

‘When I was about 14 my mum and dad had one of Walter’s albums – I don’t think they

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