Tag Archives: book

H-P Virkki, what people want to ask from a stuntman who has written a book?

2015-09-19

Stunt coordinator, stuntman H-P Virkki wrote his first book in 2001, but had to wait until books had developed into a new medium that allowed featuring other elements as still images and text in the product. The result of his vision Stunts, Scenes and Safety was published as a multimedia ebook in 2015.
BMX cyclist falls down

View the video where H-P Virkki reveals what is the most common question people ask him and other things that explain the choices he made for the book.

H-P Virkki’s profile on Stage 32 and his IMDB page feature plenty of information about movies where he has performed.

Stunts, Scenes and Safety – book cover image

Doing research for a book? A vast newsreel video archive can help you

2015-07-26

Traditionally, authors doing research for their books visited a library or an archive in order to collect information on the topic of the book. Then, (fortunately) the world-wide-web and the Internet brought vast amounts of information (and misinformation) directly to authors’ desks. It only gets better: news organizations that have reported more than hundred years about the events of the world have opened their video news archives on YouTube.
british movietone newsreel archive, titanic
The Associated Press and British Movietone have posted more than 1 million minutes of digitized film footage to YouTube. The moments, people and events that shaped the world can be explored at the comfort of researcher’s own desk. The YouTube channels include more than 550,000 video stories dating from 1895 to the present day.

British Movietone’s newsreel archive spans the period 1895 – 1986. Shot on 35mm film, this archive contains many of the world’s iconic images, news events, celebrities, sports, music, social history, science, lifestyle and funny moments.

British Movietone news video archive.
Recent events can be viewed at AP’s YouTube channel.

How to write a book that can be read on Instagram

2015-06-30

Since everyone is on Instagram, authors should be on Instagram, too? And, of course, their books. Sure, many publishers are marketing books on Instagram, but how many have actually published a book on the popular selfie-platform? Jason Sperling, a creative director at an ad agency, decided to publish his book Look At Me When I’m Talking To You: Building Brand Attraction in an Age of Brand Aversion on Instagram as a series.
instagram book, jason sperling
The book consists of illustrations (in the photo field) or animations and text (in the comments field). You can read the book Look at Me on Instagram.

The Instagram author Jason Sperling told Digiday that Look at Me book will be 160 pages. One page per day will be published. The author wants to showcase how businesses can introduce their brands and products to consumers in a new way.

Jason Sperling has an illustrator who is creating the images for the book, so the author can focus on the story. The story is about an ad agency that is competing over customers. There are plenty of meetings and product positioning talk in the book.

instagram book, jason sperling

Movies, Music and Cartoons Inspired H-P Virkki during the Long Process of Writing a Book about Stunts

2015-05-22

Finally, stuntman, stunt coordinator H-P Virkki can look back and reflect on those years when he was writing a book about his passion and work – movies. Stunts, Scenes and Safety – Introduction to Movie Stunts is one of the first books in the world that literally shows (it includes video segments) what is required to create action scenes for movies. Here is the author’s interview where he also lists his favorite movies and books.
stunts, scenes and safety - ipad screen shot
You have a convincing career in movies. How did you come up with the idea of writing a book about stunt work?
The primary reason was my passion for movies. It took years, but I brainstormed, wrote and rewrote the book in between my stunt work assignments. That’s why the book reflects practical situations that stunts face on movie sets. Many topics discussed in the book are responses to this question: “What should my young colleagues – who may be starting out their careers – know about the professional code on a filming location?”

How did you find inspiration for working with the book when you were not filming yourself?
I was staying in Cologne (Köln), Germany when our editing and translation team was working on the book. A renowned production company Action Concept happens to be based in Cologne. I was lucky because they shot movie stunts near my neighborhood, and allowed me to follow their work. It’s one of the best stunt groups I’ve ever seen.

Watching movies, primarily drama and documentaries, gave me distance from my own work and stunt scenes we had filmed for the book. Pekka Sipilä and I edited for months for the first cuts before we were happy with the result.

I also saw theatre plays that had stunt scenes. I saw some plays with fine stage combat work, but the most inspirational was the wirework in Spiderman – Turn off The Dark in New York.
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Film crew catering in Köln Friesenplatz, Germany in late autumn. Felt like home.

Do you give public stunt lessons to youngsters or other groups?
No, I don’t. If I teach stunt work, it’s either preparation for a movie scene or coaching actors. Yet, I encourage people to practice, create showreels, attend stage combat courses, and if they are really interested in stunt work, they can find a long list of stunt schools in my book.

What type of reader did you have in mind when you wrote the book?
My mission was to activate the computer generation. Stunts, Scenes and Safety is also a book for everyone who wants to understand how much work it really requires to get a couple seconds worth of useful action material for a movie.

cartoon characters sarah and kevyn
You have co-operated with artist Leena Jääskeläinen for a cartoon in the book. What’s the story behind it?
I feel the cartoon and the characters in the story are the backbone of the book. When I began discussing about the cartoon story and the characters with animation artist Leena Jääskeläinen, it was the very first step for lifting the project off the ground.

Before Leena joined the project, I only had ideas and mind maps jotted down in my notebook. After she had written the manuscript for the comic, I was certain that one day, the book would be real. The main characters of the cartoon, Sarah and Kevyn, kept me on the right course whenever I felt I had lost my way during the long writing process. They were writing, editing and shooting with me throughout the project.

Some readers [ed. note: the book was published in Finnish a year ago] have told me that the cartoons were their favorite part of the book because they didn’t particularly see themselves as athletes, but loved art. Through cartoon characters Sarah and Kevyn, they felt they became part of the stunt scene. That’s the best feedback ever.

Can you name five best movies you have ever seen?
You can find references to a number of movies with great stunt work in my book, although it doesn’t necessarily mean they are my personal favorites. Choosing only five favorites is impossible for me. As life goes on, new situations and new movies turn up, but films that have made an impact on me are, for instance, the following:

Buster Keaton’s Steamboat Bill Jr.
An action-packed and funny movie with plenty of great stunts. The way Buster Keaton moves is simply amazing. This movie by the legend of an era is comedy at its best.

The Kid by Charles Chaplin
I saw this movie as a child, and it touched me already then. I can still remember the scene where the crying boy is taken away from the hobo. But then, the scene of dancing fork and bread is very funny. Chaplin is a one of the founding fathers of movies.

Point Break and Thelma & Louise
I have seen plenty of action movies, but I haven’t seen so many good action drama movies. These two movies give inspiration when life feels stagnant.

Cinematographer Style
An excellent documentary where filmmakers tell about their work.

Concrete Circus
A documentary by BBC that shows street artists who are making films. The real beef of this film is to follow the long road the artists have to travel before their movies are ready.

Transcendence, Birdmen and 20 Seconds of Joy
These documentaries show us people who are into extreme sports. Base jump and wingsuit flying scenes are absolutely wonderful. The documentaries also show their attitudes towards fear and risks. I can easily relate to the feelings these guys have before and after their effort.

I could add 7 Samurais, Banlieue 13, Leon, L’argent (Bresson R), La Vie de Boheme, Dog Town and Z-boys, Matrix, The Place Beyond The Pines and many other movies to the list.

Five best nonfiction books?
A great book makes you think – it doesn’t have to be easy to read and light to digest. I can list a few such books because I tend to return to them time after time. Anyone interested in books about movies should check out the list at the end of my book.

John Fiske: Introduction to Communication Studies
An essential book for understanding communications. I can learn new things every time I open it. Checking out the reference list alone is worth your time.

Coaching books by Heikki Kantola and Antti Mero
Essential reading for those who want to understand professional coaching.

A Street-Smart Song: Capoeira Philosophy and Inner Life, Nestor Capoeira
A marvelous book about the history and philosophy of the Brazilian discipline. I haven’t exercised capoeira since the 1980s, but I still have warm memories about that time.

Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice by Shinryu Suzuki
This is a classic compiled from the select lectures of the zen master.

Joseph Campbell: The Hero with a Thousand Faces
I discovered this book when I was performing in a theater (Robin Hood) with Pekka Saaristo in the 1990s. Myths, symbols and hidden meanings of old stories made me curious. Campbell got me interested in Jung as well. If I were to continue this list, you might guess which book would be next.

 
ebook download
Stunts, Scenes and Safety by H-P Virkki

A Book about Movie Stunts Wouldn’t Be Perfect without Video Scenes That Show the Action

2015-05-08

Stunts, Scenes and Safety – Introduction to Movie Stunts is an ebook you can read on your smartphone, tablet or PC. It was written with young audiences in mind. The mission was to create a book which inspires readers to be active, stretch their limits and to create something new. The book is packed with tips, photos and videos for learning to shoot action scenes.

Ebook download: Stunts, Scenes and Safety

When I started writing, I set myself three key objectives: interaction with readers, contact with movie making process and real stunts (instead of computer animations).

Interaction with readers

I wanted to create the book in interaction with its main audience – younger generations where the stuntmen of the future are already growing. Social media is no substitute for live interaction.

All the projects and examples in the book are tested and proven in real life situations at a gym or on a filming location. I wanted the content of the book to be influenced by those people who I was writing to. I also wanted to get immediate, unfiltered feedback on what works and what doesn’t.

All kinds of things can go wrong in a project like this. I wanted to be sure that everything in the book is tested and also works in practice.

View the book trailer:

Close contact with movie making process

For me, it was very important to be as much as possible behind the camera or in front of a camera during the writing process. It is pretty easy to come up with fancy ideas, but there is no substitute for the first-hand experience. It was also the main reason why I didn’t explain the process using old stunt movie clips as examples.

To be able to work in film productions was a bit of a challenge because it’s not always easy to get on a pro movie set in Finland. In the end, it worked out pretty well and I got to work as a stuntman, coordinator and even had couple of lines to act.

Physical stunts are important

I wanted to emphasize basic physical stunts in the book. I chose stunts that I found relatively safe for the future stuntmen to start with.

The same basic principles also apply to tougher and sometimes more dangerous stunts. After all, adventure-style physical activities, like playing “cops and robbers”, climbing trees, running, chasing, and being creative with parkour or skating tricks come naturally to kids. Adding a camera to the experience can be fun, even artistic dimension.

Of course, in an adventure game or movie, you have to have some kind of a battle element. I chose the king of combat scenes: sword fight.

The emphasis was on attentional concentration and having a good time on each filming location. I wanted to minimize violence, accidents and injuries, even though they are often present in stunt scenes of big budget movies.

To find the right mood for writing, I watched Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin pretty often. The energy of those guys probably had an influence on me as well.

The book is not oriented towards grand spectacles, or filled with CGI (Computer Generated Images) – it’s pretty “old school”. I believe it offers a good balance to today’s fast-paced life.

Read how the video segments were created for the book.

Written by H-P Virkki. Check out his profile on Stage 32.
Ebook download: Stunts, Scenes and Safety

Sample pages:

stunts, scenes and safety book on ipad

stunts-ipad5-sshot

The Best of Southern Sweden: the Sights, Cities and Activities

2015-04-17

Sweden is such a large country that its southern part is totally different from Lapland in far north. Southern and South-Western regions don’t have harsh winters and summers are moderate. Southern Sweden has a rich history and cultural heritage from Vikings and beyond. Above all, it is an exciting holiday destination. We have collected a list of the best places to see and things to do in South Sweden.
South Sweden, Gothenburg, West Coast, Ystad, archipelago
The information has been extracted from the travel guide book Gothenburg and Sweden’s West Coast.

City: Gothenburg
Town: Ystad
Village: Skärhamn
Sight: Marstrand
Shopping: Inom Vallgraven in Gothenburg
Food: Gothenburg has the variety of Scandinavian and ethnic kitchens
Park: Slottsskogen
Drive: from Stenungsund to Tjörn over the bridges
Cycling: roads across the West Coast archipelago and cycling lanes in the city of Gothenburg
Fishing: Stenungsund, Orust or Tjörn is a good place to start
Sailing, kayaking: the whole West Coast
Hike: marked trails in the archipelago
For children: Liseberg amusement park and Slottsskogen park

View the book trailer video of Gothenburg and Sweden’s West Coast:

New Klaava Travel Guide Published: Gothenburg and Sweden’s West Coast

2015-03-08

When most people think about Scandinavia, they probably think about Stockholm, fjälls, fjords in Norway, large wilderness areas of Lapland, and the Northern lights, but how many travelers have seen the unique archipelago in the South-West corner of Sweden? That’s where the city of Gothenburg is located as well, but on the mainland. Now, you can read all about it from our new travel guide.

gothenburg-sshot4

Gothenburg and Sweden’s West Coast is not an ordinary travel guide. Although it includes all the necessary sections that you would expect from a guidebook, the ebook comes with some extra features: photo galleries and resizable maps have been complemented with video segments.


Find out more about the book here.

Book trailer video:

Book Reading: a Video of Helsinki, Finland Travel Guide

2015-02-16

The majority of overseas visitors arrive in Helsinki, Finland’s capital in the summer. During summer weekends, however, local people migrate to their summer cottages they have built on lake and sea shores around the country. In the winter, on the other hand, a visitor may encounter peculiar local habits, such as skiing and skating on sea or sledding in the city center.
I Helsinki, Finland travel guide
In any case, if you are planning to visit Finland, and Helsinki in particular, it makes sense to plan ahead. Travel guidebook I, Helsinki lets you quickly discover the sights you want to visit and activities you would like to try out.

Here is a video (captured in the summer) that includes five chapters from the book that you can listen and watch:

More about the book. I, Helsinki, travel guide to Finland's capital

Creo Parametric Guidebook Series Available at Amazon Kindle Store

2015-02-14

Jouni Ahola has conducted training courses on Creo Parametric 3D modeling software for many years in many countries across the world. He knows all the common pitfalls practically everyone new to the Creo Parametric will face and what are the most important features that everyone should master. His advice has been published as a book series that consists of four practical, hands-on user guides.
Creo Parametric 4 book covers
Now, the Creo Parametric book series is available at Amazon Kindle Stores.
Creo Parametric Modeling for Manufacturing v3
Creo Parametric Milling
Creo Parametric Basic Turning
Creo Parametric Mill-Turn

The books are published in Print Replica format which means that you can read them in any Kindle for PC and tablet application, and on any Fire tablet. The books can’t be read on Kindle ereaders (the models with black-and-white E ink screen).

The books are also available in PDF format. More information about the Creo Parametric book series here.

creo parametric kindle print replica pdf

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Book Explores the True Nature of Electricity

2015-01-19

Where does electricity come from? Has magnetism something to do with electricity? Our daily lives are so dependent on electricity that we take it for granted, but soon, we’ll be driving electric cars and watching robots cleaning our houses. How does electricity actually work? Let the author of book Discussions on Electricity, Juho Leskinen, explain how his book explores these topics.
Discussions on Electricity - ebook download
You have authored a book that introduces the concepts of electricity and magnetism to anyone who wants to understand how electricity works. Electricity is over 100-year old invention – hasn’t anyone else written a book about it already?

Yes, great books about electricity and magnetism have been written, some of them dating back to the late 1800s. Electricity is a well-covered subject if you think about the amount of published documentation alone. However, I believe my book is different in terms of its perspective. It provides insights about the behavior of electric interactions to readers.

How do you define electricity in your book?

The absolute definition of electricity, in my opinion, is impossible to come up with. A number of different definitions cover some effects or interactions of electricity, and many of them are presented in the book. In the end, I let the reader be the judge on the definition of electricity, hopefully increasing one’s interest in the topic.

What is your favorite topic or subject in the book?

I like every topic in the book, but my favorite chapter covers circuit transients and phenomena within a close medium. I believe it brings out elements from the true nature of electricity and reminds us of its behavior as it had a will of its own.

One of the hottest trends in technology industry is the electric car. Do you believe it will become a mainstream product in the near future?

Vehicle electrification and hybridization are the words on everybody’s mind when we talk about the future of automobiles. I don’t think a fully electric car will become a mainstream product just yet, but maybe in 15-20 years it will. The biggest challenge is the energy storage, its weight and energy density, and the charging infrastructure that is required to support it. They will constantly improve, but in a slow, steady pace. I believe in the near future we will see an increasing variety of hybrid vehicles, slowly paving the way to fully electric applications.

What kind of new applications for electricity do you anticipate in the next 10 years?

The portion of electricity in a given application or a system is constantly increasing. During the next 10 years, I hope and strongly believe that we will see, for example, the ability to affect human performance with electromagnetic waves through brain wave manipulation. Other applications could be electromagnetic cloaking of objects and time, wireless power transfer, quantum computing and artificial intelligence. All of the mentioned applications are currently under research and development, but within the next 10 years, I believe, they will take major steps and become available at consumer markets. Electric phenomena will play a major role in every one of them.

Image from book Discussions on Electricity
What are your favorite non-fiction books?

In arbitrary order:

1. A Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism, Vol. I and II by James Clerk Maxwell

These books represent the fundamental theories and mathematical formulae of electromagnetism. It discusses, with great detail and elaboration, the foundations and interactions of electricity.

2. The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow

This book discusses the beginning of the universe and what role God played in it. One of the main arguments is that physics alone can explain the Big Bang and science makes God unnecessary.

3. Elementary Lectures On Electric Discharges, Waves And Impulses, And Other Transients by Charles Proteus Steinmetz

Steinmetz’s writings are thorough in explaining impermanent effects in electric circuits and how to analyze them. Great reading to everyone interested in electric transients.

4. Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla, Biography of a Genius by Marc J. Seifer

This book elucidates the life of Nikola Tesla in great detail. It goes through his life of inventions and grand plans of free wireless electricity to the whole world also introducing little known facts about his personal life.

Find out more about Juho Leskinen’s book Discussions on Electricity here.

Author Erkki Leppänen: Marketers Are Storytellers

2014-02-08

Erkki Leppänen is a seasoned sales and marketing professional, who has trained hundreds of new talent during his career. He has also authored guidebooks for marketers. We asked Erkki Leppänen his tips on writing non-fiction books and on good reads about sales and marketing topics.

Erkki Leppänen: Placebo is for Real - ebookYou have authored a number of popular sales and marketing books, like ‘Placebo Is for Real‘. How did you get interested in marketing?
I was studying at California State University, Fresno, and decided to attend a Marketing 101 course. Professor Robert Hampton happened to be the lecturer of this course. It is because of him I got interested in marketing at the very beginning. Robert Hampton really made a difference in my life at that point of time.

How did you find your own style of writing, and what is your personal working process when you write?
From the very beginning, I wanted to write about complicated marketing issues in a simple manner. I use short sentences and easily digestible language. I also use figures and sometimes even pictures with speech bubbles to make my point.

I spend plenty of time on finding an interesting topic. In addition, I take reader feedback seriously and revise the manuscript accordingly.

I also look forward to the development of ebooks that may be moving towards multimedia. If that happens, it would certainly change my personal writing process.

What else have you written?
I have written a master’s thesis in the field of marketing. While I was studying at California State University, I also wrote to the college newspaper, The Collegian. I also participate in discussions on marketing blogs and exchange ideas with other marketing people.

Name your 5 favorite non-fiction books?
1. Seth Godin: All Marketers Are Liars.
This is s a book about stories people tell themselves – stories they really want to believe. It’s not really about lying, but rather about how authenticity is the best marketing method of all. Godin argues that people have always communicated important ideas via stories, and they have always believed in those stories. I find this book quite fascinating. Seth Godin is my favorite non -fiction author.

2. Carl Richards: The Behavior Gap: Simple Ways to Stop Doing Dumb Things with Money.
Carl Richards points out the mistakes human beings make again and again with money. Then he shows how they can shape their behavior in order to invest, save, and spend money to produce happiness.

3. Dan Ariely: Predictably Irrational.
Dan Ariely describes the hidden forces that shape people’s decisions. This book is a fascinating journey to the many ways people act against their best interest. Dan Ariely refutes the common assumption that people behave in fundamentally rational ways. These misguided behaviors, however, are not random or senseless. They can be predicted, and Dan Ariely shows just how to do that.

4. Daniel H. Pink: To Sell Is Human.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, one of every nine Americans is working in sales. Every day more than 15 million people earn their living by persuading someone else to purchase something. We’re all in sales now, says the author. The book offers a fresh look at the art and science of selling products and ideas by persuading other people.

5. B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore: The Experience Economy.
The experience economy is the new phase in economical development following agrarian, industrial, and service economies according to the authors of this great book. Businesses have to orchestrate memorable, pleasant experiences for their customers in the experience economy, because these experiences produce instant gratification to the customers. The book gets to the very core of marketing.

What can we expect from you in the future?
The readers can expect more pleasurable reading experiences in the field of marketing. Also, I have opened an email box that lets me be in contact with readers, and answer questions and comments they may have. The email address is: theplacebobusiness@gmail.com .