Why is this year’s Cannes film festival revolutionary?

Forget wardrobe malfunctions and other actor’s tantrums, this year’s most prestigious film festival is all about embracing TV (or trying to)!

Cannes first wardrobe malfunction, courtesy of Bella Hadid

Indeed, the lineup at each year’s Cannes Film Festival often includes a few surprises, but this year we’re in for a treat!

For the first time (and apparently the last, read on), two Netflix movies will be competing in the race for the Palme d’Or. The outrage here is that those movies will never be screened in cinema theaters, but only on the TV subscription service!

Even the members of the jury disagreed, (president Pedro Almodovar suggested the movies should not win anything while his fellow jury member Will Smith defended  Netflix move).  The controversy heightened at the first movie premiere , Okja by Bong Joon-ho (excellent director of “The Snowpiercer”), where the film was booed and a curious curtain malfunction hid the screen for the first few minutes… It was later announced  that from now on the festival would not shortlist any movies that would not be distributed in French cinemas theaters.

The second Netflix movie is called The Meyerowitz Stories and stars Adam Sandler, Dustin Hoffman and Ben Stiller, will screen on May, 21st.

This year,  film festival will also host for the first time special screenings of TV shows! Two of its award winning directors, David Lynch and Jane Campion, will premiere their new series at Cannes!

The first two parts of Twin Peaks (the new TV series, not the movie that won the Palme d’Or ) will have a special screening on May, 26 th (while it will have already premiered on Sunday, 21st on Showtime.)

The second installment of Top of the Lake (titled “China Girl”), starring Elisabeth Moss and Nicole Kidman, will be screened in its entirety, before its actual premiers in September on Sundance TV.

So is Cannes embracing television after all?

In any case, if you’re a fan of the glam surrounding the festival and the gossip of the film industry,  I suggest you watch a great French TV series about the world of talent agents, Call My Agent streaming on Netflix or here.

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How to improve video image quality ?

If you have an old video, VHS tape or footage with a bad or unstable image, then this tutorial is for you!

While no miracles can be made, our post processing engine can really improve the image quality of your videos.

It works like a magic wand, so not much to do on your side, apart from choosing the right filter that works for your video.

– Open our ConvertXtoDVD video converter (there is a full and free trial version, so no need to buy the program if you do not wish to)

– Load your video, then click on the “Image Settings” tab on the right, under the Preview.

  • Under Image Post Processing, you’ll see a drop-down menu of different filters:   Detail and contrast, one especially designed for VHS tapes (but works for other types of videos too), Sharpen and Blur.

  • Then click on the icon on the right with two movie films, this will enable you to see two screens in the preview: the original on the left (“before”) and the “new” one with the applied filter on the right (“after”).
  • Press play in the above preview. Both screens will be displayed so you can fully evaluate the filter and be able to choose the one that better enhances the image.

Here are some Before/After exemples, the difference might not strike you with these small screenshots, but it is definitely visible in the software preview and on  the TV screen !

Before/After with the “Details and contrast enhance” filter:

Before/After with the “VHS tapes” filter (here is how to import VHS content to your PC):

Before/After with the “Sharpen strong” filter:

  • Once you’ve made your choice, don’t forget to press “Convert” to convert the file and have the enhancement filter applied.                                                                                                                                                                 Insert a DVD to burn automatically , and you’re done!
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New TV series worth watching this Spring

Has your favorite show’s season ended? Are you looking for something new  to watch?

Here are the latest TV series we highly recommend:

Remember, no need to have cable TV or any subscription to watch any of the following shows! Simply click on the link and download the episodes with our VSO Downloader!

The Handmaid’s Tale

Only three episodes have aired so far but this show already topped our list. Follow Elisabeth Moss’s (Peggy from Mad Men!) struggle to survive as a “modern slave” under a fundamentalist, tyrannic dictatorship. As one of the few fertile women left in the world, she is forced to live in the Commander’s household to give him an offspring.  It’s a superb, daunting, mesmerizing adaptation of the best seller book by Margaret Atwood. A must watch: do it here!

 

Anne 

I never thought I’d find yet another adaptation of the novel “Anne of Green Gables”  that entertaining, but this new one is actually very adddictive… no wonder it was written by one of the Breaking Bad producer!

Anne  tells the story of a young orphan girl in the late 19th century, who is adopted and mistakenly sent to live on a farm with an elderly woman and her brother. It’s got depth, emotion, darkness and real-life complexity… I guarantee you’ll be hooked!

Catch up on the eight episodes here.

 

 Big Little Lies

Take some seriously amazing actresses (Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern, Reese Witherspoon, Shailene Woodley…), add an intriguing storyline and mix with beautiful cinematography and a terrific soundtrack, and you get one the best shows of the Spring.  A great whodunit in a wealthy suburb full of desperate housewives and secrets , where everyone is a suspect….

No need to be an HBO subscriber to watch Big Little Lies, you can watch the Mini-Series here

 

Peter Kay’s Car Share

Brace yourself if you like British comedy, this one is a gem!

In turns funny, witty, and poignant, the show follows two supermarket employees sharing the daily commute to work.  It’s impossible not to grow extremly found of those two and not want to watch the next episode. And the next. And the next….

Watch season 1 (6 episodes) and the brand new season 2 (only 4 episodes…) here.

American Gods

A supernatural tale of “old gods” at war against the technology driven “new gods”, in the style of Preacher, so if you like gory, “WTF”, spectacular entertainment, you’re in for a treat!

For once, a successful adaptation from the book !

Catch up with the first episode here

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How to get (free) graphics for your menu templates?

With the new ConvertXtoDVD 7 and ConvertXtoHD 3 you can create your own amazing custom DVD and Blu-ray menus like this one:

Both software come with pre-made backgrounds and a selection of buttons and audios, but if you need extra graphic resources to match your projects, we’ve got you covered!

Here is a selection of great websites where you’ll find free stock images, icons, fonts and audio to add a personal touch to  your menus!

  1. Images:

Start by adding a custom image as background in your menu and unleash your creativity!

You’ll find great backgrounds on Freepik. This is definitely one of our favourie website for graphic resources!

For beautiful HD wallpapers, head to Pexels.com 

Pixabay is another top website for free, stunning background images and vectors.

  1. Icons

Then, why not custom the navigation buttons of your menu pages? Depending on which pages you choose to display, you’ll need up to 10 different icons for the following actions: Play, Previous/Next page, Home, Chapters, Settings, Audio, Subtitles, Bonuses and Back

We swear by Flaticon because they have a very large selection of  “transparent” icons (.png ) that you can choose in any colour!

There are also some nice icons on Freepik.

  1. Audio

You can add an audio file to play during the menu duration (usually around 30 secs, but you can change this value). Any Mp3 file will do, but for more “dramatic” effect, check out our own copyright free audio files (USA anthem, happy birthday, circus, waves, scary tunes…)

Youtube also has some great , short audio files like this rolling camera sound. To download the audio from the video, use our VSO Downloader and  convert the file to MP3 with the integrated converter.

4. Fonts

Using a custom font for your text makes all the difference! You can use any font that is installed on your computer: if you don’t know add to add fonts to your PC, here is a quick guide on how to do this.

Download free fonts from  dafont.com, Urban Fonts  or 1001freefonts

You will find more resources here  and on our forum as well.  We encourage you to upload your own template creations on the forum to share with everyone!

PS: while the resources form those websites are free, you may need to credit the autor with a copyright mention, please check each website guidelines.

 

 

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ConvertXtoDVD 7 license contest

We’re super excited to release our new ConvertXtoDVD 7, so let’s celebrate with a contest!!

Win one of 10 licenses by answering that simple question:

In 2004, we first released what is now ConvertXtoDVD under another name, which one was it:

A: VSO DivXConverter

B: ConvertAllMyDVDs

C: DivXtoDVD

 

The contest is now over! The right answer was C: DivXtoDVD!

Thanks for participating and congratulations to the 10 winners!

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Everything you need to know about video, movies, series and hawaiian shirts!

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