The Big Six – Top 6 Major Film Studios in the Movie Business

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When you watch a movie, whether it be at the cinema or in the comfort of your own home, it's seldom you actually think about where the movie was produced and how each film company secured the rights to the movie you're watching on the screen . The movie business is extremely competitive. The six major film companies discussed below comprise 90 percent of the US and Canadian box office revenue. If you're pondering a career in film, you may want to pay very close attention to the statistics below.

And while there are a few "mini-majors" still turning a profit in the industry (Lions Gate Entertainment and MGM for example), it's fairly difficult for film companies to stay afloat while competing with these highly successful empires.

Below you will find the six major film companies (also known as "The Big Six") and a brief description of each:

1. Warner Bros. Pictures. Comprising a whopping 19.7 percent of the US / Canadian market share (2007 figures), Warner Bros. Pictures is the biggest player in the film industry. Securing the rights to major films like Harry Potter, Superman, Batman, The Matrix and Star Wars have made Warner Bros. the No. 1 name in the business.

2. Paramount Pictures. With 15.5 percent of the US / Canadian market share (2007 figures), Paramount Pictures continues to be one of the most successful film production companies in the world. Star Trek, War of the Worlds, the Mission Impossible series, Transformers and Tropic Thunder are just a few of the popular films produced by Paramount Pictures.

3. Walt Disney. One of the most renowned film production companies in the history of the business, Walt Disney now holds 15.3 percent of the US / Canadian market share (2007 figures). With highly successful movies like Pirates of the Caribbean, National Treasure, Meet the Robinsons and Enchanted, there's no doubt that Disney will continue to play a key role in the industry for years to come.

4. Columbia Pictures. Comprising 12.9 percent of the US / Canadian market share (2007 figures), Columbia Pictures remains a big player in the business. Some of this company's recent successes include Casino Royale, The Da Vinci Code, the Spider-Man series and Step Brothers.

5. Universal Studios. 12.2 percent of the US / Canadian market share (2007 figures) belongs to Universal Studios, which continues to make millions for the film industry. With major hits like the Bourne series (Bourne Identity, Bourne Supremacy and Bourne Ultimatum), The American Pie series, Knocked Up, American Gangster and The Incredible Hulk, it's very clear that Universal Studios knows what it takes to make money in this industry.

6. 20th Century Fox. Also known as "Twentieth Century Fox," this highly successful movie production company makes up 11.9 percent of the US / Canadian market share (2007 figures). Some of the biggest and most successful movies from this empire include the X-Men series, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Star Wars Episodes II and III, and the Fantastic Four.

Once again, if you're looking for a career in the film industry, the six companies listed above are the cream of the crop. If you have the opportunity to work for one of these companies, we would not suggest passing it up.

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Source by Selena Valoure

Advantages and Disadvantages of Wireless Home Theater Systems

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In moments when we wish to relax and forget all the problems that happened during the day behind us, vacation with your favorite show, sports match or the movie are real enjoyments. Why not to enjoy completely in those short moments of rest? There performance of wireless home theater system as a crown a true vacation and enjoy the great film providing excellent entertainment with high definition video and surround sound.

I can not tell you exactly what the best home theater is for you, anyone who tells you that just wants to take your money and lays you, because the choice is up to you. Only you can evaluate what is best for you surround sound, or the most beautiful high definition picture. I can only refer you in right direction and help you decide to buy a proper home theater.

What is obvious?
It is obvious that the quality wireless home theater is more expensive than classic. Everybody can notice that at first. It is obvious that problems can happen during the transmission of wireless signals because all the houses have appliances that use wireless signals for transmission of information. It is obvious that they will save us trouble because of easy installation. So how do you choose?

Then what to do?
Wireless home theater system is primarily intended for entertainment that is very easy to set in the place which you prefer. There will be no mess with wires, there is no tangling. Indeed it is easy to set up and install. Mainly wireless, anyway you must connect the main supply cable to the home installation so it will take one slot in the wall. Speakers can be placed anywhere in the range of 30 feet.

What will I get with them?
For start you will get great sound effects. It is easy to connect all devices and media and you can enjoy the truly excellent sound. Finally you will be able to get rid of the cables that upset you. There will be few wires around, but much less than with the classic home theater.

So, is there any disadvantage?
Well, to be honest, there is. It is a little more expensive than traditional home cinema. Not completely wireless. Occurs due to occasional disturbances that subwoofer is not working properly, to be heard crackling in the speakers and can interfere with other wireless devices.

If you can live with their disabilities, or if their advantage over classic home theaters are more important for you then you will certainly enjoy your favorite movies to listen to incredible sound effects, your favorite wireless home cinema. There are many models on market today. You may search on internet to find models in your price range and read reviews about them. Also, you may go to local store and hear them for yourself and chose a model that suits you best.

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Source by Sipos Pal

How to Become a Singer in Dubai

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How to become a singer in Dubai Guide

Dubai is a fantastic location in the Middle East, rich with prosperity and opportunity for new and existing businesses to thrive. Dubai is also a prime location for entertainers and singers to perform and succeed in a full time career in the art to which they love.

But what does it take to become a singer in Dubai and what should you know as an entertainer seeking to break out into the Dubai entertainment industry?

As a professional singer and performer in Dubai, I have put together what I have discovered and learnt throughout my journey and experienced whilst entertaining in the UAE.

Before we start, I would like to point out that I am not just a nobody. I have been a professional singer and entertainer worldwide who has finally settled down in the beautiful city of Dubai. Dubai has some of the most fantastic restaurants, beaches and most importantly entertainment.

Awash with restaurants, hotels, nightclubs and entertainment venues there has never been such a great location for entertainers, bands and singers to achieve they're full potential.

To ensure that you have the best chance of success in the UAE with your singing career then follow these simple steps below:

Create a promotional CD

All entertainment venues and agencies will want to hear your voice before they book you. Creating a CD of 5 to 10 tracks will be enough for them to make an educated decision before signing you up.

Dubai has numerous recording studios located inside and surrounding the city in places such as Deira, Downtown and Abu Dhabi.

Make sure that you have a broad selection of various genres so that you are open to more opportunities and venues.

Get professional photographs

There is nothing worse than being empty handed when an agency or venue requests some professional photographs.

Hire a photographer to take a selection of pictures in hi-resolution to be used in any promotion, web sites and social media.

Get on social media

It is important that you start creating a following as soon as possible. Create fan pages on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter where people can find you and watch any of your live performances. Allow your fans to share and comment to get maximum outreach.

Be sure to reply to comments and announce any future performance dates. Remember that venues need to be filled to ensure that you keep singing there!

Print some business cards

Another highly embarrassing and unprofessional occasion is when a potential client or venue asks for your business card and you do not have any to hand them.

You will find that business cards are still extremely popular in the UAE. This maybe due to the multicultural population of Dubai and the UAE. A good company that offers affordable business card printing are DESCO.

Having a professional and attractive business card is the quickest way to get your contact details into the right hands and generate some business.

Be sure to have the following information printed on the business cards:

· Make it clear what you are offering

· Your Name

· Contact Numbers

· Email Address

· Website Address

Build a website

I have been asked by countless agencies if I had a website which they can use to direct their clients to. Having an online portfolio is fast becoming the future for many entertainers.

Your website should look professional in it's appearance, be easy to navigate and locate information, have your tracks embedded or linked to and have professional images.

Including any video on your website of live performances is also a powerful advertising tool.

Visit venues

Get dressed up and put your best shoes on! Time to get out there and start visiting venues to drum up some business.

Simply visiting restaurants, bars, golf clubs and nightclubs is a great start. Ask to meet with the entertainment manager at each venue.

It's always wise to call the venue prior to visiting to ensure that the person you need to speak to are present when you plan to visit them.

Register with an agency or entertainment company

This really goes without saying but it is surprising that when I meet other singers who are just starting out, they tell me they have yet to do this.

The benefits of registering with an entertainment agency in Dubai, is that they can find additional work for you in the region. Some of the work maybe one-off and temporary yet it still creates revenue for you. More to the point that you can make more money from one-off gigs than a regular residency gig. (Crazy right?)

Network

Networking in any business venture has always been critical to success. In the entertainment industry of the UAE it is no different. It is very much who you know rather than what you know and I have witnessed some extremely bad entertainers and singers in Dubai making more money than good singers and this is the reason.

Go to open mic nights and networking events for singers and bands in Dubai. These are great places to get your name on the scene and team up with other musicians who share the same passion for music as you.

Sing with a band in Dubai

Some will say that there is nothing better than hearing a live band in Dubai and an exceptional singer together. And I would agree with this. Great bands have serious earning potential in the UAE cities.

To find a band or other musicians can be fairly easy. Add an advertisement at the local supermarkets community board or paying a visit to open mic nights and networking with band members or bands is the way forward.

How much does a professional singer in Dubai earn?

The sky is the limit. Typically a new singer to the Dubai scene can expect 1,500 to 2,000 Dhs per gig however this can jump up depending how good and in demand he or she is.

As always larger venues tend to pay more than smaller venues. Hotels and iconic located venues will be willing to pay more depending on the quality of the performance.

I really hope that the information that I have put together in this guide will help provide you with the right tools to become a successful singer in Dubai. If you would like anymore information on myself then please visit my website below and remember that the voice comes first.

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Source by Andrea Leigh

Uses and Advantages of Product Placement

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Product placement marketing is becoming extremely popular today because it offers many advantages to all parties involved. Branded entertainment promotions have helped many companies to significantly improve their bottom line, especially when linked to movies with a high success rate. The information below will highlight some of the uses and advantages of product placement.

First, let take a look at exactly what is branded entertainment.

Branded entertainment, sometimes referred to as product placement marketing, is a strategy that is used to infuse branded products into various forms of entertainment. Basically, brands would offer monetary consideration to or pay for producers of films, television shows, web videos, video games and other forms of entertainment to include their products in entertainment presentations.

The emergence of movie product placement strategy has coincided with the diminishing interests in the traditional advertising mediums. Many companies discovered that consumers were not paying attention to traditional advertising media, so product placement was incorporated in their marketing strategy to reach a wider audience. Marketers reinvented their strategies and started to place advertisements in popular movies and television shows to capture consumer's attention.

Uses and Advantages of Product Placement

When marketers started to use branded entertainment strategies, increasingly more companies were seen promoting their products in popular movies and television shows. These advertisements can be seen in popular films such as James Bond featuring Omega watches; Mission Impossible featuring Apple Macs; Men In Black promoting Ray Ban glasses and many popular television shows such as The Apprentice, Top Chef, Project Runaway and American Idol.

As of such, the branded entertainment strategy became a magic potion for marketers. Due to the major success of advertising in movies and TV shows, the marketers move on to the next level and started to use web videos, video games, music videos and other entertainment mediums.

Product placement marketing offers several advantages to manufacturers, producers and movie stars. From the perspective of the marketers, it provided companies with an opportunity to be associated with famous actors and to use movie footage and stills to conveniently advertise other products. As it pertains to the producers and actors, they earned substantial amount in fees as well as the chance to endorse brands in various film festivals.

Musicians also benefit from branded entertainment in their music videos and lyrics. Most artists use the earnings from these deals to offset the overall cost of producing their music videos.

The marketers are also using the Internet to incorporate product placements in songs that music fans would get from YouTube. In this case, the main advantage is that brands would develop higher retention rates in people's minds whenever the artists perform at shows and concerts.

Overall, product placement and branded entertainment strategies have proven to be extremely to Effective color : as more Consumers are On Certain linking products to the names of a spectacular actors and singers. For this strategy to work, the brands must be featured prominently whilst making subtly appearance in movies, television shows, web videos or video games.

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Source by Paula Vass

Simple Tips on How to Build a Simple Adult Website

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The adult entertainment industry is one of the oldest in the world. With the continuous popularity of the Internet, adult entertainment has reached new heights, now utilizing technological advancement to create a bigger, wider market. Indeed, the adult entertainment industry online will not be going anywhere anytime soon, and if you join right now, you'll be reaping the fruits of your hard work sooner than most online businesses allow. Running things behind the scenes or starring in your own adult videos, having a website dedicated to providing bored adults with their brand of entertainment can be interesting and rewarding. Build a simple adult website now.

Tip Number One

But first and foremost, you need to make sure that the laws in your city or state allow the production and publication of adult content. While some people have taken the risk and gone underground, it's still best to comply with all state and federal laws. Make sure you have legal clearance, plus properly signed release forms and legally accepted photo ids of all the persons you'll be using in your website (ie those who will appear in the photos and videos). Remember that even if you have a generic disclaimer, such will not hold up in a court of law. Another important reminder when you build a simple adult website is to check your models' real age – or be at risk for child pornography. Take the time to talk to a lawyer and seek help to ensure that all your legalities concerning the creation of an adult website are in order.

Tip Number Two

You should know upfront that the competition is fierce. Thus, you need to make your adult website really stand out from the rest. Take into consideration the look and feel of your website, as well as the features you want it to offer to potential clients. For instance, do you want to send out playful vibes, or do you want to keep things serious and sexy at the same time? Do you want to focus on a certain genre for your photos and videos, or will you offer everything under the sun? Find a niche in the adult entertainment business and start from there.

Tip Number Three

Starting an adult website can be expensive enough without hosting fees. Save more money when you build an adult site by going for website-building tools that can be downloaded easily for free. These days, you can find a number of hosts for adult websites, and some of them offer their services free of charge. However, if you want to enjoy packages that give you more options in terms of features and benefits, it is highly recommended that you check out website providers that have packages priced at more or less $ 10.00 / month – these are already considered reliable and a great deal.

Creating and maintaining an adult website is not for everyone, but if you think you have what it takes to make money out of man's greatest weakness, then the adult entertainment business welcomes you with open arms. Build a simple adult website with these tips and have fun selling pleasurable, highly marketable things.

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Source by Ewen Chia

Movies and Entertainment – The Definition of the Documentary Film

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A documentary film is one of several creative modes, including narrative fiction and experimental avant-garde. Documentaries have a purpose, viewpoint and approach, and evolves from the formative process – as either scripted or spontaneous. Documentaries are limited to reality or actuality.

Most of the production requirements for documentaries refer to the fact that there are no sets, actors are not used, and real people, not actors, play themselves.

Documentaries have been credited thrpoughout history for having a huge impact on cultural meanings. Many film schools worldwide teach the art of documentary filmmaking. The schools and classes teach understanding the fundamental aesthetic tools of documentary filmmaking such as camera operation, sound, structure, and also the interview.

Classes will often include exercises leading to the production of a documentary film project, so that the students can learn directing and producing skills as well as learn the various types of documentary.

There are always issues that students as well as the teachers deal with in documentary filmmaking having to do with the development of ideas, preproduction and the actual production.

the students in documentary film classes view segments of videos that represent major trends in the history of documentary film making. Usually there are guest film makers who lecture in the courses to mentor and provide supplementary education.

Documentaries are a very challenging form of filmmaking, that often stir up controversies. Historically, the genre begins with the earliest films of the Lumière brothers known as' actuality films "- ending with the latest postmodern explorations. Classics include Flaherty, Grierson, Riefenstahl, Rouch, Vertov, and Wiseman, along with contemporary works. The documentary film course examines how shifts in social and political realities, changing technology, as well as the personalities and talents of individuals continually re-define what the term documentary means. Ethical as well as aesthetic issues are also of consideration.

Documentaries often present challenges for cinematographers who usually must work alone or in small crews. They must learn how to capture beautifully-framed, meaningful footage during low budgeta and often chaotic circumstances that usually surround the film shoot. There's typically an emphasis on shooting cinema verité and lighting with a very small crew. Some aspects of the digital camera are shared with students as they work.

Documentary films are also a very popular art form. Awards shows have a place for documentaries and many are covered often by movie critics, as evidenced in as early as 1942, when there were four winners including: The Battle of Midway; Kokoda Front Line; Moscow Strikes Back; and Prelude to War. In 2009 a recent documentary film on military medicine – Fighting for Life is expected to win awards.

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Source by Kristin DeAnn Gabriel

Become a Stripper in Las Vegas

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Plan to arrive in Las Vegas on a Monday through Friday as you will not be able to do the necessary paperwork on the weekend. Also get started early in the morning, even though it's Vegas, these government offices are only open during normal business hours.

When you come to Las Vegas make sure that you bring the following with you: 2 forms of Identification (driver's license, state issued ID, social security card, military ID, DD214, US passport, naturalization certificate, baptismal certificate, and Alien ID card ) If you are under 25, a state issued birth certificate is also required. This is not negotiable, you will not get a Sheriffs Card without it. If you were not born in the United States, then you must bring one of the following: Naturalization Certificate; US Passport, US birth certificate; or Alien ID Card.

Research clubs online and make a list of places you would like to work. If you are over 21, you can work in any club in Las Vegas. If you are between the ages of 18-20, do not despair! You can still work, but you are limited to the full nude clubs that do not serve alcohol.

When you arrive in Las Vegas, you will need to go to any club and get a signed referral slip. You will need this referral slip to get what is called the Las Vegas Sheriff's Card. Basically it is just a state issued ID card for people who work in the casino and entertainment industry. The club where you get the referral does not have to be where you plan to work; you just need the paperwork. Just walk in and tell them that you are a dancer looking for a job and you want a referral slip for a Sheriff's Card. They hear this often, and some places will even have a packet right there ready to give you with all of the information. Do not be discouraged if the first club does not give you the paperwork. Strippers are a dime a dozen in Las Vegas, and often times the person you ask for the paperwork is just too lazy to get up and look for it. Just move on to the next club. Allow an hour or two if you are not familiar with the city of Las Vegas and where the clubs are located, to drive around and get this referral slip.

Keep in mind it does not matter what club you get the referral slip from. You do not have to work there! Once you have your Sheriff's card, you can audition at any club you want. For many years, Cheetah's was known for being the easiest club to get the referral slip. The door girl had a stack of them and they would hand out hundreds a day. Over time it became too well known that Cheetah's would hand out the referral slips … so everyone went there first and then never came back to work there! As a result, they stopped handing out the referrals at the door and you now have to speak to a manager.

Take your two forms of ID, birth / naturalization certificate if needed, signed referral slip, and $ 45 to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Fingerprinting Office. It is in the suburbs west of Mandalay Bay off Russell Road between 8 am and 4pm, Monday-Friday. The address is: 5880 Cameron St Las Vegas, NV (702) 828-3271

Bring a book or magazine and prepare to wait at least an hour and a half for the fingerprinting and background check. If you have outstanding warrants or an extensive criminal history, your Sheriff's Card will most likely be denied. If you are approved, you will not have to do this process again for another five years.

Now that you have your work card, you'll need a business license. You can get your Nevada state business license at the Department of Taxation.

The two locations are:

Grant Sawyer Office Building 555 E. Washington Ave Suite 1300 Las Vegas, Nevada

or

2550 Paseo Verde Suite 180 Henderson, Nevada 89074

You can go to either location. The cost for a business license is $ 200 and it is valid for one year. You will be given a temporary license that can be used immediately and a permanent copy will be sent to you in the mail.

Take the work card, and temporary business license to the club where you want to work. Most Las Vegas strip clubs are open twenty four hours. The prime night shifts start at 9pm, so go to the club at that time to get hired. Since there are so many girls showing up daily to get hired, many of the clubs do not make you change out of your street clothes to audition. Rather they evaluate you based on your appearance in your street clothes, so look sexy! Most of the clubs have their own rules as to dress code, and they will let you know what those rules are. Some are gown clubs, others you can wear whatever costume you like.

The club will make a copy of your business license, and want to see your Sheriff's Card. You will need to show your Sheriff's Card every time you show up for work. Some clubs will add a sticker with a bar code on the back of the card, other clubs use fingerprint recognition software to identify you when you walk in the club. You should also keep a copy of your business license in your purse, just in case. Be sure to renew your business license every year. You will get paperwork in the mail reminding you to do so.

Stripping in Las Vegas is a completely different experience than stripping in other metropolitan cities. The supply and demand of this industry is somewhat unique in Vegas. Because the clubs are bigger and have more staff means that you have more bad dancers. It's just the Pareto Principle (80/20 Rule) exemplified through larger numbers. It's more difficult to see the effects of this in a club with 20 dancers, but in a club with 250, it's more obvious. THIS is why you have guys who waive dancers away or turn their back to the tip-rail. It's because in a club with 200 dancers in it, you have 160 of them who have not got a clue what to do correctly to make the customers want to buy. As a result, you have guys who have been badgered by seven or eight "Wanna dance" girls before you show up. As a result they tend to be pickier and sometimes more standoffish to find the right girl to spend their money.

Unlike your home club, you will not get to choose the music for your stage set. In fact, many entertainers opt to pay extra to NOT have to go onstage. There are different philosophies for why this could be beneficial. In some clubs there are so many girls, that not very many customers are watching the stages. For every song you are onstage, you could be selling a lapdance. In other clubs, the stage tipping is very good; so it worth being on the rotation. Use your best judgment.

Many of the clubs post a schedule of conventions in the dressing room. You can access this schedule online. Some of the biggest conventions of the year are Consumer Electronic Show and The Adult Video Network in January, World of Concrete and MagicOnline in February, March Madness and ConExpo every 3 years in March, NAB in April, ICS in May, Gentlemen's Club Expo in august, and SEMA in November.

Also, cross reference hotel room rates for the higher priced casinos like Bellagio, Wynn, and Venetian. Anytime there is an abnormal spike in room rates reflects an increased demand for hotel rooms.

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Source by Rebecca Avalon

Evening Entertainment Ideas For Corporate Events and Dinners – Pre-Dinner Fun

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You do not need to go for run-of-the-mill ideas for some pre (or evening during-) dinner fun.

Remember, there are tons of specialist corporate dinner entertainment event organisers who understand the importance of impressing your guests and paying close attention to detail in getting the night just perfect.

Professionals such as this should be able to furnish you with tons of ideas to impress the guests before dinner and the options available may surprise you. They should not all cost an arm and a leg either. You could create your own unique evening at home – for free (get a few friends to help out by dressing up and acting the part or by giving a polished performance at the mic!)

Of course, you'll want to make it worth their while, so ensure that your guests deliver perfect feedback to your evening.

Maybe you are planning a slick corporate event for your company or perhaps you are planning something smaller for work – like a team-building night. In both cases you might want to turn to the professional events organisers to take the strain and produce something lavish.

Do the research. Make sure your event entertainment is perfect for your guests and trust in an events organisation that is offering a fabulous night out where they will remember the night – and remember you!

You may be splashing out on your team or rewarding valued clients for some hard work. Either way it has to be perfect. To start you off, here are a few ideas that you can play with to get you on top with your planning.

Murder Mystery Night

One of the oldest and still very popular forms of dinner evening entertainment ideas. A Murder Mystery evenings can be performed by professional actors and provide an excellent way of getting all your guests involved the evenings fun.

Cocktail Flaring

Pre dinner drinks have never been so much fun! You could teach your guests how to make cocktails they never knew existed and then get them to drink up before learning how to throw and spin bottles in the air! This is a great team building activity.

Wine Tasting Game

A light hearted approach to wine tasting that takes away the snobbery and could provide your guests with an introduction to wines in a fun environment.

Crazy Waiters

If it's a surprise that you want for your guests on the evening then some crazy waiters will surely do that! Send-in undercover waiters and waitresses to blend into the normal hotels staff and cause all sorts of crazy havoc!

Complete Room Theming And Entertainment

Themed evenings

If you are going to throw a big themed party and want your guests to be talking about it for months afterwards then why not theme the whole event with a fantastic theming option ..

Entertainers

Add an element of surprise and live special entertainment to your awards dinner or theme evening by including human statues, stilt walkers and other great entertainment acts.

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Source by Carl M Gobey

Several Ways to Customize Your Leased Vehicle's Entertainment System

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Do you own a leased car, truck or SUV, but are not quite happy with the dealer-installed sound system? Would you like to have a video system in your leased vehicle, but are deterred by the expensive costs of the DVD player and overhead drop-down screens offered by the dealership. In the past, if you were unhappy with the entertainment system in your leased vehicle, you either had to accept the system as it was or pay to have it customized to your preferred taste and then pay once again for the original equipment to be reinstalled before returning your leased vehicle to the dealership. On top of that, if your custom installer did not restore all of the original equipment to make it look as if nothing had been changed, the dealer would tack on yet another fee.

This situation is obviously very reasonable unless you really love a quality automotive entertainment center and you have plenty of money to burn. Luckily, over the past few years, there have been products to hit the market that directly meet the needs of those who own leased vehicles and also enjoy the benefits of a quality sound and video system in their vehicle.

To enhance your sound system, consider an easy-to-install XM Satellite receiver. There are kits available that offer the receiver along with plenty of mounting and placement options. The kits include mounting hardware, a micro antenna, and both a cassette and power adaptor that allow you to play the XM Satellite radio through your vehicle's original sound system. There are also wireless kits to accommodate vehicles that do not have a cassette player.

In the video arena, there are new and innovative products that give you more options than the traditional drop-down or in-dash video screens. Now there are video monitor headrests and sun visors designed to replace the headrests or passenger-side sun visor in your vehicle. The manufacturers have even been so creative as to match the fabric, leather or vinyl to what is in your particular vehicle's model and color. They've even gone so far as to match the stitching as well! The monitors easily connect to your vehicle's sound system. They can also easily be connected to a DVD player or video game system. There are absolutely no holes involved as the wires run easily through the posts of the headrest. When you are ready to return your leased vehicle, you simply pop out the headrest monitors and reattach the original headrests.

These are just two examples of how you can customize the entertainment system in your leased vehicle. There are several other devices that can accommodate the needs of a leased vehicle owner as well. Just because you drive a leased vehicle does not mean that you can not enjoy it as if you owned it!

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Source by Dwayne Wright

The Origins of Corporate Mascots and Entertainment Mascots

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Ancient cultures in every region have used animal images as means of representing intangible concepts like strength and courage. Animal fetishes have stood as markers of clan or tribe since the dawn of human kind. More recently, these shamanistic totems have been revisioned. In modern times, corporate mascots and entertainment mascots have penetrated to every corner of society. Do these modern totems function in the same way as the ancient ones did?

In traditional cultural practices, the totem is a ritual device that functions by association. Because the crocodile is powerful, its totem is powerful, and those who claim the crocodile totem have that power too. The oldest totemic figures tended to come from animals that natives would encounter in their natural splendor. The power and grace of the natural world is captured in the totem.

As human culture has transformed, so too has our use of totemic figures. The use of mascots as a university symbol to drag out at sporting events, for example, is a relatively new trend in the human scale of things. College athletic leagues first took on the use of mascots in the early 19th century.

Since becoming a university symbol, the mascot has taken on other characteristics unique to modern culture. Particularly the ironic tone in some mascots is interesting. For example, Sluggo the banana slug mascot for the University of California at Santa Cruz does not immediately strike fear into the hearts of his opponents. By choosing the banana slug, the university works against our expectations while also emphasizing the complex biodiversity of the campus region.

To some degree, these icons and totems share a similar function, but there are important details that separate them as well. How are a logo, a totem, a mascot, and an icon different? You can distinguish them by their engagement with things like corporatism or ritualism. Mickey Mouse means different things to children and to the corporate world. The bat means something different to Bruce Wayne than it does to DC comics.

Businesses of course have very special relationships with their mascots. Business logos like the Exxon tiger are meant to remind us of the good and positive things that the corporate product can do for us. The tiger assures us that our car will run the best. Logos are a tool to divert our attention toward these positive things and away from a corporation's sometime shady past. The tiger does not tell us anything about oil spills or the suppression of governments.

Being aware of this discrepancy, knowing the difference between how a logo represents a group and what really constitutes the group, and being able to articulate this discrepancy are the basic components of media literacy. Because the media has saturated our lives, we must be sure that all of our children are trained in these skills. They can not be contributing citizens without being able to think critically.

I have a totem that I often turn to for inspiration and courage. Like all of the corporate mascots and entertainment mascots, I think my bear totem is a sign of strength and power.

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Source by Adriana N.