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The Man Behind the Music of Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead

Thomas Golubić is the music supervisor on The Walking Dead. Before that he placed music on Breaking Bad and Six Feet Under. Photo: Ashley West Leonard

Thomas Golubić makes a lot of mixtapes. But instead of making them for roadtrips, friends or significant others, he makes them for Rick Grimes, Walter White, Jesse Pinkman and the funeral home of Six Feet Under.

“Creating mixtapes is a small part of the music supervision process for a series,” said Golubić, a music supervisor with credits on both Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead. ”In essence, it’s a brainstorming exercise. … In the case of Breaking Bad, we frequently [went] to those early mixtapes to see if there are good ideas that we thought of early on that feel particularly prescient at the season’s close.”

Golubić’s picks have ended up accompanying some of the most climatic and/or intense TV moments for several critically acclaimed shows. Remember Sharon Van Etten’s eerie warning “everything changes” from The Walking Dead earlier this season, after a controversial decision by the character Rick? That was Golubić’s call. So was the track that played during one of the greatest series finales of all time: Sia’s tear-jerking “Breathe Me,” which ebbed and flowed in the background of the final Six Feet Under as the ultimate fates of its characters played out in an epic montage.

A long-time fan of Tom Waits, Golubić also tried to get the gravel-voiced singer’s “Big Black Mariah” on Six Feet Under for a scene where two characters dined in the afterlife, but ended up having to cut it for budgetary reasons. “I’ve waited for years for an opportunity to put Tom Waits in one of my projects,” said Golubić. So if you noticed that the character Beth on The Walking Dead just happened to sing not one but two Waits songs over the last two seasons — “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up” and “Hold On” — now you know why.



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How Zero Gravity Scenes Were Filmed in Enders Game

How Zero Gravity Scenes Were Filmed in Enders Game

A signature piece in Gavin Hood’s latest film Ender’s Game is its massive zero-gravity Battle Room — a place where the titular character played by Asa Butterfield trains for alien war. Seeing the film’s young stars float through weightless battle is a wonderful thing to behold — and something that took astronomical amounts of time and digital trickery.

To create a sense of weightlessness, the filmmakers shot actors in harnesses and on wires against a greenscreen set to place them in a virtual world. Then to achieve the look of zero-G — and obey the laws of physics — visual effects studio Digital Domain ultimately retained only the actor’s faces and relied instead on digital doubles of their bodies for the sequence.

The Battle Room is just one of many key visual effects accomplishments in the film. Digital Domain also crafted the epic final showdown, which features more than 300,000 ships simultaneously on screen — made up of 27 billion polygons — the highest amount of geometry the studio has ever processed in a single shot.


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Live Forever with a Digital Avatar

Live Forever with a Digital Avatar – Clone Yourself with Lifenaut

In an episode of British mini-series, Black Mirror the main character recreates her husband as a robot after he dies, exploring the future of technology.  According to, this walking automaton looks like him and talks like him, and it even acts like him, after plugging into his Twitter account and analyzing every tweet he ever sent.

Yes, that’s a far cry from reality, but it’s not as far as you might think. With an online service called Lifenaut, an operation called the Terasem Movement Foundation offers a means of digitally cloning yourself through a series of personality tests and data from your social media profiles. The idea is to create an online version of you that can live forever, a digital avatar that even future generations can talk to and interact with. Eventually, Terasem wants to transform these avatars into walking, talking robots — just like on Black Mirror. And today, it provides a more primitive version, for free.

The tech world is always looking for ways to lengthen lives. Just this month, Google unveiled a company, dubbed Callico, that seeks to cheat death. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has long sponsored anti-aging research though his Ellison Medical Foundation. And PayPal co-founder and Facebook investor Peter Thiel has thrown money towards Aubrey de Grey and his longevity studies.

Terasem is just taking this idea to a different extreme, hoping not merely to lengthen lives but to permanently preserve consciousness. It’s an extension of what Microsoft researcher Gorden Bell is doing with his LifeBits project, where he creates a digital record of everything he does.

First, you upload your photo to Lifenaut, and it uses this image to create an animated avatar — complete with blinking eyes and moving lips. Then you teach the service about yourself, answering a long list of questions and taking a few personality tests. And, yes, you connect the service with your Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts, creating a time capsule of your social media data that the Foundation hopes will further mold the personality of your avatar.

Read more and see and interact with an avatar, here.
Are you afraid of dying? Will you do just about anything to extend your own life?

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