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Have At It Eduardo, Extreme Ghostbusters Is Legal

PermalinkBy Paul Rudoff on Sep. 2, 2017 at 11:30 PM , Categories: Extreme Ghostbusters
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Long before there was Erin, Abby, Jillian, and Patty; there was Eduardo, Kylie, Garrett, and Roland - the Extreme Ghostbusters! It was 20 years ago today, on September 2, 1997, that I first saw this next-generation, mentored by original ghostbuster Egon Spengler (voiced by a returning Maurice LaMarche). (While the show premiered on September 1st in most parts of the U.S., here in New York it was pre-empted by the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon. So, I saw Darkness At Noon, Part 2 first, and had to wait almost a week for the re-airing of Part 1.) Ten years ago, I did a little write-up for the 10th anniversary, so I'll try to do something a bit different for this article.

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Lance Aue (1953-2017)

PermalinkBy Paul Rudoff on Jul. 15, 2017 at 7:01 PM , Categories: Personal, Tributes
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(circa 2011, from the NassauARES.net website)

The person I will be memorializing today has no connection to the Ghostbusters fandom, though I'm sure he loved the original movie almost as much as the rest of us. I'm not intending on turning Spook Central into a tribute site (though there has been enough to have their own category), but it would not have felt right not doing this for Lance.

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Ghostbusters Presents of Birthdays Past

PermalinkBy Paul Rudoff on Jun. 25, 2017 at 12:00 PM , Categories: Personal, Fans
Although I've been running this website for 20 years, my love of Ghostbusters goes back much further than that. In honor of my birthday today, let's take a look back at a few of my past birthdays and the Ghostbusters presents I received for them.

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New Spook Central Audio & Video Players

PermalinkBy Paul Rudoff on May. 10, 2017 at 4:06 PM , Categories: Spook Central
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For the past 10 years all video and audio files on Spook Central were played using a Flash plugin-based multimedia player. That was the ideal way to do it at the time, but since then, Flash has fallen out of favor (to put it nicely). If you've been viewing Spook Central on a mobile device, you wouldn't have even seen the embedded media player because all Apple and Android devices don't allow Flash to be used. That meant that I needed to eventually find a new way to play and display the media on the site.

Raffaele Ruffaldi, the Italian Stallion from the land of the Smurfs and damn fine waffles, has worked his butt off these past few months to help me find a solution to the problem. After lots and lots of testing and trial and error, and me being a general pain in the ass, we have found something that seemingly works in nearly every situation. Only one older browser (Internet Explorer v8 on Windows XP) and mobile device (an iPod Touch using iOS v6) failed our tests, but it's not likely that anyone reading this is using either of those two. If for some reason you can't see the video, there's a "Can't See The Video?" panic link at the top of the floated box that links directly to the .mp4 file which should allow you to view the video file.

When I committed to using videos on Spook Central, I grabbed the tiny "Play Video" image from the DVD-ROM content of the 1999 DVD and blew it up to 320x240. It got the job done, but it wasn't very pretty, and I wanted something that looked a little better, wasn't tied to a specific background color, and was of a larger size (as a way to plan for future use). I asked my friend, the Ghostbusting' Guru Matthew Jordan, for some help to make a new image that was a homage to the old one. What you see at the top of this post is the masterpiece he created. Those of you on desktop or laptop computers will, likely, not see the image very much. However, those of you on mobile devices will become quite familiar with it. When you click on any video thumbnail on the site (and I hope it's obvious which thumbnails link to videos on the various pages), a desktop/laptop computer will auto-play the video floated over the page. On a mobile device, you will need to click/touch the "Play Video" image to have the video start playing.

It should be noted that all I did right now is take the small (mostly 320x240 or 424x240) compressed .flv videos I already had on Spook Central and re-compress them to .mp4 files. They are being displayed on the site, floated over the pages, at DVD resolution sizes of 640x480 or 852x480. There will be a certain ugliness when seeing those small files enlarged to those sizes, but they are still perfectly viewable. Maybe in a few years, if I can ever find the time, I want to go back to my original video sources and re-encode all of the videos at those larger DVD image dimensions and with less compression. That will probably happen when I get around to transferring my VHS collection to DVD-Rs. For now, what's on the site will have to do. Oh, and ignore the black box in the lower right corner of some videos. It covers up an outdated watermark I had on the original files.

There is one minor conflict on pages that use the audio player playlist in more than one tabbed section. Currently, the issue only affects two pages: Cast & Crew Multimedia and Ghostbusters Score. What happens is that when you switch tabs, the playlist(s) on the other tabbed section(s) is not opened. The workaround is that you will have to click/press twice on the menu button (three horizontal lines) for the playlist to be displayed. Once it's opened/displayed, it should stay opened, even if you switch between the tabs again. I have added a big bold note at the top of both of those pages, which I hope is noticeable enough for people to see and understand.

More Spook Central pages that contain the new audio & video players include, but are not limited to: RGB Soundtrack, EGB Score, EGB Multimedia, GB1 Deleted Scenes, GB1 Stock Footage, GB2 Deleted Scenes, GB2 EPK, GB2 Multimedia, GB3 News, Paul's Music Videos, RGB Alt Episodes, RGB Bumpers, Making of RGB, RGB Pilot.

Even the Spook Central blog has been updated with the new audio & video players. Here are a few selected posts on which they are being used: Wilhelm Von Homburg Speaks As Vigo, More Love From The Cross The Streams Podcast, Shanna's Siren Song Stolen From She-Ra!, Silent Night, Deadly Night, South Park Uses Ghostbusters 2016 Review Quote.

Okay, so that about covers it all. Raffaele and I would appreciate it if you would use the comments section below to provide feedback, so we'll know if there are any issues we need to address, or if everything is running as well as expected.
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Subtle Secrets of Ghostbusters 2016

PermalinkBy Paul Rudoff on Apr. 8, 2017 at 2:00 AM , Categories: 2016 Parody Remake
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I spent a lot of time working with Paul Feig's 2016 parody remake of Ghostbusters (Don't Answer The Call - It's Coming From Inside The House!) for reviews here on Spook Central and multimedia on the Ghostbusters Wiki. In doing so, I discovered a lot of subtle secrets that you may not be aware of. I'm not talking about the obvious Easter Eggs, like the original actor cameos, the Twinkie ad in Times Square, and the other overt pandering...err, references to the original movies. Some of the secrets I will be presenting today may be known to some, but there are a few that I personally discovered.

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In Loving Memory of Joel Richard Rudoff (July 28, 1944 - January 20, 2014)

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