Highlights from the dead characters’ panel at Con of Thrones

Today, at the first-ever Game of Thrones fan convention, Joanna Robinson and David Chen of the A Cast of Kings podcast hosted a panel discussion with actors who have already died on the show. All of the questions were about death!

Called “Ghosts of Westeros,” the panel featured Iwan Rheon (Ramsay Bolton), Kate Dickie (Lisa Arryn), Roger Ashton-Griffiths (Mace Tyrell), Amy Richardson (the original Myrcella Baratheon), Sam Coleman (young Hodor), Kerry Ingram (Shireen Baratheon), and Miltos Yerolemou (Syrio Forel).

The panel started with Robinson teasing Yerolemou about the long-standing fan theory that Arya Stark’s season 1 mentor Syrio is not actually dead, and that he might make a surprise appearance in season 7. “There was a rumor going around that Miltos might not be able to join this panel and I was wondering if that’s because you think Syrio might not be a ghost of Westeros?” she asked.

Yerolemou laughed, accusing Robinson of “stirring up a lot of trouble,” but he later hinted that he already knows what many of the character conflicts will be in the upcoming season — HBO is notoriously guarded with the scripts for the show, not even letting actors remove them from set and often blacking out major plot points when they aren’t need-to-know, so it does seem odd that an actor who played a character that “died” six years ago would know anything at all. If you’re invested in Syrio truthing, let me know if this ostensible slip-up does anything for you.

All of the actors were asked to recall when they found out their characters were going to die, and to describe the experience of filming their deaths.

In a thick Scottish accent, Dickey said “I was just pleased to get to die.” After a round of laughter she explained, “I read the book up to Lysa’s death, I was just trying to get a handle on her background, and how she became what she was, so I knew that she died in the Moon Door. But I didn’t know if they were going to depict that [on the show]. There’s just so much in [the books], you don’t know what’s going to make it.”

Kerry Ingram, whose fan-favorite character Shireen was burned at the stake by her own father, said she knew full well there was going to be a backlash against the show following her death: “I found out about halfway through season five. I was really, really excited. I knew exactly what the reaction was going to be and I was so excited for it.”

As for how each death was filmed, many were simple cutaways or predominantly CGI. Ashton-Griffith’s death by wildfyre for example, was not very interesting. But Dickie’s involved holding Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) by the back of the neck for several hours, then swinging over “the Moon Door” (which was actually only a hole about a foot deep) in a harness. “They said okay ‘we’re going to put you in a harness and dangle you from the top of the ceiling and you’re going to hang over and die,’” Dickie remembered. “In the books, Lysa’s death was silent but there was no way I was going to be able to be silent.”

Rheon said his gruesome death scene — in which Turner feeds him to his own dogs — took four or five hours to film and that he was actually tied to the chair with “crap” all over his face the entire time. He wasn’t anywhere near any dogs though. “They had to protect my face, even though it was my last scene and I thought they might just be like, ‘enh.’ The dogs we used were not pet dogs. Those aren’t the kind of dogs you want near your face. The first time I saw them I was like ‘Ohhh, hello!’ and they were like ‘GOD NO, DON’T TOUCH THE DOGS.’” Image Engine, the VFX team behind the big moment, made a CG jaw for Rheon, and animated his ripping skin and gums.

Richardson joked that she didn’t actually get to die as Myrcella on the show (she was recast after season 4 and replaced by Nell Tiger Free), but she did “practice bleeding from the face” at home in her bedroom just in case.

But Ingram’s filming experience was by far the most brutal, and she launched her story saying, “There was minimal CGI involved, and minimal acting.”

The scene was shot at the bottom of a quarry, with real flames, fake snow, and powerful winds whipping around the rock walls. “I looked and I was like ‘oh shit.’ The wind had blown the flames that far [measures out a foot] away from my dress. So I was screaming. It wasn’t until after that take that they told me my costume was anti-flammable.”

Most of the fan questions were for Rheon, whose character Ramsay Bolton sits at the center of a sizable and dedicated online fandom. A Song of Ice and Fire-inspired Bolton fan fiction reached a new zenith by the time Rheon’s portrayal of the character was fed to the dogs at the end of season 6. He was asked who he wants to see die next (“that bastard”), who inspired his performance (Heath Ledger’s Joker performance and Liam Gallagher’s stage walk), and what what his character meant when he told Sansa “There will always be a piece of me inside of you.”

That question, which hinted at another popular (and pretty grotesque) fan theory that Sansa is pregnant with a baby Bolton, got a truly rowdy “oooh” before it was cheerfully shut down. “I think that’s misquoted,” he laughed. “That’s what you wanted to hear, and I’m not gonna say what you want.” He also quibbled with the fan’s protestation that she didn’t want Sansa to be pregnant with his “bastard,” but was just curious about the line: “Well, we were married so it wouldn’t have been a bastard, thanks.”

“I think he just meant that he left an imprint on her and she’d never be the same after that. That’s the kind of sick individual he is. And anyway, how the hell would Ramsay know? I hear dolphins can use sonar, but come on.”

It does seem unlikely, but it’s probably worth remembering this is a show with dragons, ice monsters, and magic wolves. Anything is possible. Only two more weeks until Game of Thrones comes back!

How to use Instagram Stories like a pro

Let’s face it, Snapchat is facing some serious, constant competition from Instagram. While the company is nowhere near down and out, brands and individuals are increasingly shifting over to Instagram Stories for a variety of reasons. Instagram has been relentless about bringing over some of Snapchat’s best features and tools — and often making its own refinements and improvements along the way.

In April, Instagram Stories usage surpassed all Snapchat activity, with Instagram Stories users surpassing 200 million, and Snapchat stories rounding up to 160 million (both numbers are likely higher now). Even if you’re not ready to fully move away from Snapchat, I’m here to teach you the ins and outs of Instagram Stories, and how to become a true pro on the stories platform that people are increasingly starting to explore.

WHY EVEN USE INSTAGRAM STORIES

Instagram Stories generally provide a better, less perplexing user experience. Now if you’re a brand, the list of reasons why you should use Instagram Stories are endless. Most importantly, the amount of people you are likely to reach on Instagram is usually far greater than on Snapchat. Additionally, it provides another platform to make creative content, and ultimately drive to your goal, whether that’s to have someone buy clothes, read a blog post, or download a song. You also don’t get that ugly white square around your media like you do in Snapchat when you upload content from your camera roll, either. The ways to get creative on the platform are truly endless. It’s almost like a small TV channel for your brand where you can go to town with out-of-the-box concepts.

THE BASICS

How to add to your story: There are two ways to add to your story: the first is by going to your profile page and clicking on your icon. The second is going to your main feed and clicking on the camera icon on the top left corner. Once you are done adding text, drawings, and stickers on your masterpiece you tap the “+ your story” icon at the bottom right corner and it has officially been added to your story.

How to add to your story: option 1
How to add to your story: option 2

How to select a media format: Once you’ve made it to the “add to your story” screen, the bottom of your screen will allow you to swipe right and left to choose between Normal (a regular photo or video), Boomerang (a GIF), Rewind (your video in reverse), and Hands Free (which automatically takes a 15 second video without you having to hold down the record button).

How to add filters: Just like Snapchat, you swipe left to advance through a series of filters that can be applied to your photo or video clip. Easy.

How to add filters

How to add an image or video from your camera roll to your story: There are two ways to do this. You will notice a small icon on the bottom left of the screen next to the flash icon. This will have a thumbnail of the latest media in your camera roll. You can click this to unveil your photos and videos from the last 24 hours. The other way to do this is to swipe your screen down. You can’t post anything that has been taken more than a day ago, but I’ve got a hack for that later in this article. If you are uploading a custom image (like a flyer in my case for when I’m DJ’ing), the dimensions are 1080 x 1920 pixels. The video aspect ratio is 9:16, and the length can very from anywhere between one second and 15 seconds.

STICKERS

How to add geotags: You get to stickers by clicking on thesquare happy face icon on the top right corner of your screen. You’ll see a “location” sticker. Once you tap this, a series of options will come up. If you don’t see your location you can also search for it. I don’t really need to explain how to use other stickers as its just a matter of scrolling and finding whichever one you want to use.

How to add a selfie sticker: Once you hit stickers icon, you’ll see a camera icon to the left of #hashtag. You can click on this and take a selfie, and then tap the image to add a white circle around it or leave it with glowing edges. You can only take a selfie with this sticker. This is great for many things: I’ve seen people take multiple pictures and add each of their friends faces to different bowls of ramen. Or you can be like me and add your face to a picture of the sky and pretend to be god or the sun. The possibilities are endless.

How to add geotags and selfie stickers
Look at god.

How to change the size of your sticker: With any sticker, you can increase and decrease their size by pinching or expanding it with two fingers.

How to pin a sticker or text to a moving part of your video: Place your text or sticker in the desired location and tap and hold the screen until you get a little bar at the bottom that says “pin”. Find the subject in the video you want to pin it to and then hit “pin” when you’re ready. If you are not happy with the result, you can tap and hold the image or text again and keep trying.

How to pin

How to add a hashtag: There are two ways to do this. You can click on the stickers icon and hit “hashtag” and add it that way. You can also just type in a hashtag using the text icon. Either approach will result in a tappable, searchable hashtag in your story.

USING YOUR PEN

How to change colors: There are two key hacks here. The first is swiping left to reveal an array of preselected colors. The second is picking any color and holding your finger down, which reveals an entire palette of colors to chose from.

How to unlock more colors

How to change the pen size and style: On the top of the screen you’ll see four different options for pen styles, and one eraser. They each provide their own style and the eraser tool is a relatively new addition so you can easily erase any mistakes. On the left hand side, you’ll see a slider that allows you to adjust the size of your pen.

ADDING COLOR OVERLAYS

If you want to make your entire screen one solid color, just take your image or video, select any pen, pick a color, and then tap and hold the main part of the screen. When you lift your finger, the screen will become that color. From here, you can use the eraser tool to selectively reveal certain parts of your original image or video. Get creative!

ADDING TEXT

How to add text and change style: To get to the text, you click on the top right corner on the “Aa” icon and start writing. Once you write your text and tap out of the text box, you can also tap on it to change the style and alignment. There are three options: one with a slight faded color in the back, one solid color background, and with no background — just the colored text. Changing the color of your text works much the same as it does with drawing / pens.

How to add color overlays
How to add text and change style

How to have text with multiple colors and sizes: Highlight the individual word in the text to change the color of it. The other way to do this is once you write one word and make it the color and style you want, you simply hit the text button again and write another word or phrase and give it a different color. You can use this to layer the same word over itself in a different color to give it a layered effect, or just make fun typography stuff like this:

Fun!

How to tag people: You do this by clicking the text icon and typing @ followed by the handle. Instagram should generate a list of people who you’re trying to tag as you type, and then you click on their image to tag them. You have to make sure this happens otherwise you can type @soandso and it won’t actually tag them. The way you can tell it worked is by seeing an underline under the tagged name.

SAVING & DELETING

How to delete a sticker or text: This is drag and drop in all its glory. You take your undesired item and drag it to the bottom center of the screen into the garbage icon. Simple!

How to delete a sticker or text

How to save and delete individual shots and your entire story: You’ll see an arrow on the bottom left corner that points down once you snap a pic, boomerang or video. Click that to save your singular image. In order to save your entire story, click on your profile icon and click on the bottom right corner of the screen on the three dots. Click “Save” and it will give you two options: save image, or save story. Select save story to get the story from the last 24 hours saved into one single video file. That’s pretty convenient! This is also where you will find the option to delete.

EXTRA TIPS

How to add face filters: When in the camera view, you’ll find a face icon on the bottom right corner of your screen. You tap this to reveal a series of face filters. You can be the judge of whether they’re better or worse than Snapchat’s filters.

How to add face filters

How to add a link (only for verified accounts): If you have a verified account, you can abuse the hell out of this feature to drive people to your longer form content, a purchase page, etc. You do this by first adding a photo or video and then hitting the paperclip icon on the top right corner of your screen. Add your URL there, and when you add to your story, you’ll see it says “swipe up”. You can get creative with the content you’re uploading by creating an arrow that would point to the “swipe up” text, or any other moving imagery to direct peoples eyes to that part of the screen.

How to add links

How to add music to your video: This process is the same as what you might be used to with Snapchat. You can play music natively from your device from whichever streaming service you prefer (or your own library). You hit play, go back to stories, and simply hit record.

How to add GIFs to your story: The best way to do this is to convert or download your GIF into a video file, send it to yourself, and then add it to your story via the camera roll.

How to rotate a video before adding to your story: There is an app that is great for this called Video Rotate.

How to hack the 24 hour rule: Instagram Stories are meant for sharing of recent content, but there are several ways to post something older. There are two key apps that adjust the timestamp of an image or video automatically. If you are sending the file to yourself: Slack and WhatsApp do the job. I frequently bombard my sister with WhatsApp messages of random creations in order to renew the timestamp. If you don’t have either of those, other apps can also get around the 24-hour rule. Story Uploader is the best option.

How to chop and upload a video longer than 15 seconds:

If you produced some high quality video that is longer than 1 minute and want to chop it into 15 second intervals so that it flows as one seamless story, there’s an app for that too! It’s called CutStory.

How to reply and report someones story:

If someone is posting stuff that’s clearly inappropriate to their story, you can easily report it to Instagram. You do this by clicking the three buttons on the bottom right corner of the story you are watching and hit “report.” Or, instead of flagging it to Instagram, you can just message someone to tell them to ease up on all the selfies and food photos. To reply to someone’s story with a message, just swipe up while viewing it and the keyboard will pop up.

GO FORTH AND STORY

I think I’ve covered all my bases. Do you feel like pro? A content creating expert? Do the features in Instagram Stories appeal to you more than Snapchat? Now it’s up to you to harness these tips and tricks and get creative with how you share your everyday life with your followers. What a great way to present your best self and make stories that people might actually want to watch instead of tapping to skip through. If you think I missed anything, I’d love to hear from you in the comments, and follow me on Instagram to see how I do stories!

The filmmaker behind ‘App: The Human Story’ talks about the struggles developers face

Ever since smartphones became the default computers that we carry our pockets, the apps that run on them and the stores that sell these apps have created a new kind of economy for software. Apple’s App Store has swelled to more than 2.5 million apps, while the Google Play Store surpasses that with 2.8 million apps available. But even as these companies boast about the payouts to app makers — last month Apple said that developer earnings had surpassed $70 billion — the truth is that many app makers have a hard time making any significant money from their mobile app businesses.

That’s partly what inspired filmmakers Jake Schumacher, Jedidiah Hurt, and Adam Lisagor to spend three and a half years producing a documentary about apps — or more specifically, the people who make them. “App: The Human Story” follows different groups of indie developers as they go through the app building, fundraising, store approval, and selling processes (including Cabel Sasser and Steven Frank of Oregon-based Panic, Melissa Hargis and Nicki Klein of Chorbit, and Ish Shabazz, who makes a variety of apps under the LLC Illuminated Bits). The “devaluation of apps” is a core theme of the film, according to Schumacher, along with the “struggle for sustainability.”

The film was screened last month as part of a peripheral event at Apple’s WWDC, and is slated to be released late summer. The Verge interviewed Schumacher about the inspiration behind the film, the biggest complaints he heard from developers, and his thoughts on the future of apps. The interview below has been lightly edited and condensed for length.

Lauren Goode: Are you an app maker yourself?

Jake Schumacher: I have a partner in an app that’s in the App Store. It’s just kind of sitting there. It’s called Quantify. It allows you to heat map interviews. You would rate the small talk as zero, and then as we get into things of interest, you could give it a one or two or three, so you have a heat-mapped audio recording and you can jump back to the key parts really easily. We made it as an interview tool, and then Marc Edwards was super generous and offered to design it for us.

LG: How long have you been working on the film?

JS: In earnest about three and a half years. We did six months or prep for our Kickstarter, and launched that three years ago almost to the day. And we’ve been in active production for about three years, and mostly editing the last year and a half.

LG: What made you want to make this film?

JS: My now co-director and I are both from a small town — Elko, Idaho. We were celebrating winning a small film festival there that I had entered and won. He was interested in getting into mobile development, and I was interested in making a feature film. It was sort of a world I found fascinating. I was going to document him making his first app, which in retrospect was a terrible idea. But then I moved to L.A., about five years ago, and I met Adam Lisagor who runs Sandwich Video. He happens to know a few prominent app developers, and he introduced us, and we just sort of went from there.

LG: Does the film only emphasize iOS app makers, or are there Android apps and app makers, too?

JS: Matias Duarte [the vice president of Material Design at Google] is in it. We have other people around it. We kind of focus on iOS as the main subject because of the stated values of Apple and what the App Store has become. And also, because of what was happening with indie developers. A lot of these people are longtime app developers who have stuck with Apple even since 1997. It’s kind of this unrequited love story.

LG: And how many developers total have you interviewed?

JS: Around 46 or 47. I think we’re going to release the full interviews from around 40.

LG: What surprised you the most in your conversations with app makers? Were there any consistent themes that kept coming up?

JS: I think the struggle for sustainability in the App Store. A lot of these people or companies are prominent developers, they’ve been making apps for a long time, they may be very successful companies, and they’re still talking about sustainability, trying to figure it out. I think early on the tools didn’t mature for mobile developers in terms of selling their [software]. On Mac or on the web they could do things like upgrade pricing, they could do free trials and say, hey, pay $50 to start, they could let a consumer kick the tires and make a decision.

LG: Last year Apple made some changes to the App Store revenue split for long-term subscriptions, they were really pushing subscriptions, and started to finally address some of the things developers had been asking for [The Vergewrote about it extensively], but is there one thing you heard developers say they still wish they had or would change?

JS: I think most developers wish, if Apple gave them everything they wanted…there’s a valuation problem that’s happened in the past. The devaluation of apps is kind of core to the film. So many people assume an app should be free. There are too many instances of a 99-cent app becoming “too expensive.” So even if developers had every tool tomorrow, there’s some damage that’s been done done. I think if they could have something they would get more of a percentage back. That original pitch for the 30 percent — the promise of curation, and promotion — I don’t know if that was ever fully delivered on.

LG: There have been reports of very successful app makers, people making money, actually being spammy or downright scammy, like this recent Medium story. Is that addressed in the film?

JS: People in the film really covered the idea of addiction-based games. There was definitely frustration there. These are people who care about humanity or who are trying to build real tools, and these game makers…some people would argue that this is a free market doing what it will. But it’s not a free market. It’s Apple’s App Store. So I think one frustrating thing is that Apple shows the revenue paid to developers, but I think a lot of indie developers would like to see how much of that goes to spammy game makers.

LG: What do you think “apps” will be in five years? Right now it seems like there are trends towards people downloading fewer new apps, and there are contextually aware notifications happening that mean you don’t even have to open apps, and then there’s voice control… do you think mobile apps will still be mobile apps in five years, in the same containers, or will they be totally different?

JS: I sure like the trend towards disappearing apps, where apps are moving toward the peripheral. I like the idea of them being less in our face and [requiring] less interaction; apps that know what you need, when you need it.

Editor’s note: A trailer for the film can be found here. I noted to Schumacher that the trailer contains an overwhelming number of male speakers and only one speaking female developer, but Schumacher said that a new trailer is in the process of being cut and that the film itself features female app developers as a key part of the storyline.

Everything coming to Netflix, Amazon Prime, and HBO Now in July

The Fourth of July weekend is supposed to be a time to go outside, hang out with other humans, and set sparkling things on fire. But why do that when you can safely stay indoors, as video streams over the internet directly into your eyeballs? In case you’re not already convinced, don’t worry: Amazon Prime, Netflix, and HBO Now are adding a bunch of new content to their respective services this month to make your choice even easier.

Netflix starts things off with a bunch of original programming, included its Castlevania series (July 7th), as well as Sundance titles like To the Bone (July 14th) and The Incredible Jessica James (July 28th). Of course, the movies that are leaving Netflix in a given month are often as important as the ones that are coming in the door — and if you’re a Netflix subscriber that really likes Futurama, Ghost Whisperer, or American Pie direct-to-video sequels, you’re in for some bad news.

Amazon, on the other hand, is busy being awesome by adding a ton of movies to its service, including The Matrix Reloaded (not bad!), The Matrix Revolutions (why are you highlighting these again?) and the first nine Star Trek films. That means Amazon customers will now get to relive the thrilling adventures of the original Captain James T. Kirk and crew as they hunt down Ricardo Montalban’s Khan, time travel to the 1980s to steal whales, and even journey to the center of the galaxy to find God (which probably wasn’t a great idea, but hey, Shatner was directing at that point, so everybody was probably just flying by the seat of their pants anyway).

Which leaves HBO Now. And sure — I could mention the premiere of The Defiant Ones, the four-part documentary about Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine. I could point out that Jeff Nichols’ wonderful Loving is now available to watch. And I could even tout the litany of library titles that the service is adding this month, from The Dark Knight and Erin Brockovich to Minority Report — which is perhaps more relevant now than when it first arrived in theaters. But all of that is simply background noise. There are just three words you really need to know.

Game of Thrones. July 16th. Let the games begin.

Coming to Netflix

July 1st

  • Albion: The Enchanted Stallion
  • Are We There Yet?
  • Are We Done Yet?
  • Being Mary Jane: The Series, season 4
  • Best in Show
  • Boat Trip
  • Caramel
  • Capo “El amo del tunel”, season 1
  • Code Name: The Cleaner
  • Dad
  • Deep Water, season 1
  • Delicatessen
  • Disney’s The Mighty Ducks
  • El Barco, season 1
  • Emma
  • E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
  • Free Willy
  • Hostages (Israel), season 2
  • Here Alone
  • Jackass: Number Two
  • Last Night
  • Liar’s Dice
  • Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
  • Matchstick Men
  • Mixed Signals
  • Offspring, season 6
  • Out of Thin Air
  • Police Academy
  • Proof of Life
  • Punch-Drunk Love
  • Spawn: The Movie
  • Spice Up, season 1
  • The Truth Is in the Stars
  • Yours Fatefully, season 1
  • The Ultimatum, season 1
  • The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
  • The Longest Yard
  • The Land Before Time
  • The Land Before Time II: The Great Valley Adventure
  • The Land Before Time III: The Time of the Great Giving
  • The Astronaut Farmer
  • Taking Lives
  • The Invisible Guest (Contratiempo)
  • The Originals, season 4
  • Titanic
  • Unriddle
  • Unriddle II
  • Witnesses, season 2
  • World at Your Feet, season 1
  • Yes We Can!, season 1
  • Zip & Zap and the Marble Gang

July 2nd-6th

  • El Chema, season 1
  • Diamond Cartel
  • Extraordinary: The Stan Romanek Story
  • The Standups, season 1
  • iZombie, season 3
  • Butter
  • Speech & Debate
  • The Void

July 7th-14th

  • 1 Mile to You (Life At These Speeds)
  • Castlevania, season 1
  • Dawn of the Croods, season 4
  • Degrassi: Next Class, season 4
  • Luna Petunia, season 2
  • Bad Santa 2
  • Horse Dancer
  • Lion
  • Gabriel Iglesias Presents The Gentleman Jerry Rocha
  • Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile
  • Chasing Coral
  • Friends From College, season 1
  • To the Bone

July 15th-17th

  • Rake, season 4
  • West Coast Customs, season 4
  • A Cowgirl’s Story
  • Fittest on Earth: A Decade of Fitness
  • Uncertain Glory

July 18th-25th

  • Aditi Mittal: Things They Wouldn’t Let Me Say
  • Ari Shaffir: Double Negative: Collection
  • Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce, season 3
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  • Pretty Little Liars, new episodes
  • Last Chance U, season 2
  • Ozark, season 1
  • The Worst Witch, season 1
  • Railroad Tigers
  • Victor
  • Joe Mande’s Award-Winning Comedy Special
  • Munroe Island

July 28th-31st

  • Daughters of Destiny, season 1
  • The Incredible Jessica James
  • The Adventures of Puss in Boots, season 5
  • After The Reality
  • Checkpoint
  • Dark Night
  • Taking Earth

Leaving Netflix

July 1st

  • 9/11: Stories in Fragments
  • America’s Secret D-Day Disaster
  • American Pie Presents: Band Camp
  • American Pie Presents: Beta House
  • American Pie Presents: The Naked Mile
  • An Unmarried Woman
  • Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging
  • Batman
  • Black Wings
  • Blazing Saddles
  • Blondie’s New York
  • Bombs, Bullets and Fraud
  • Day of the Kamikaze
  • Death Beach
  • El Dorado
  • Flicka 2
  • Futurama, seasons 1-6
  • Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
  • Ghost Whisperer, season 1-5
  • Hello, Dolly!
  • Hip Hop: The Furious Force of Rhymes
  • History in HD: The Last Bomb
  • Hugo
  • Kate & Leopold
  • MacGyver, seasons 1-7
  • Mystery Files: Hitler
  • Mystery Files: Leonardo da Vinci
  • Nazi Temple of Doom
  • Samurai Headhunters
  • Secrets: A Viking Map?
  • Secrets: Richard III Revealed
  • Secrets: The Sphinx
  • Shuttle Discovery’s Last Mission
  • The Hunt for Bin Laden
  • The Incredible Bionic Man
  • Titanic’s Final Mystery
  • While You Were Sleeping
  • Working Girl

July 3rd-6th

  • The Last Samurai
  • Two Weeks Notice
  • Los Heroes del Norte, seasons 1-2

July 11th-15th

  • Opposite Field
  • Adventures of Pepper and Paula
  • In the Basement
  • Sleeping Beauty
  • Kevin Hart: Laugh at My Pain
  • All That Glitters
  • Lessons for a Kiss

Coming to Amazon Prime Video

July 1st

  • 1 Dead Party
  • 14 Women
  • 18 Swirling Riders
  • The 28th Day: Wrath of Steph
  • 48 Hrs.
  • 8 Heads in a Duffel Bag
  • Abolition
  • Agent Cody Banks
  • Air: The Musical
  • All American Zombie Drugs
  • Amnesiac
  • Another 48 Hrs.
  • Appetite
  • Area 51
  • The Artworks
  • Assassin of the Tsar
  • Bandits
  • BigFoot Wars
  • Blind Heat
  • Blood Moon Rising
  • Blood Reaper
  • Boomerang
  • Boricua
  • Braveheart
  • Breakfast at Tiffany’s
  • Bull Durham
  • Bumblef**k, USA
  • Bunnyman Massacre
  • Carne: The Taco Maker
  • Carnies
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  • Clear and Present Danger
  • Cold Mountain
  • The Corrupted
  • Crystal River
  • Cutthroat Island
  • Day We Met
  • Dead Evidence
  • Death Wish IV: The Crackdown
  • Destination Vegas
  • Dilemma
  • Dirt Merchant
  • Dragonblade
  • Dream a Little Dream
  • Drunk Wedding
  • The Eagle and the Hawk
  • Eight Men Out
  • Elephant
  • The First Wives Club
  • Flashdance
  • Flipping
  • Fly Me to the Moon
  • Foreign Fields
  • Frankenstein Reborn
  • Free Money
  • Frozen Kiss
  • G Men from Hell
  • Gene-Fusion
  • The General
  • Get Well Soon
  • Ghost Bride
  • Godsend
  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
  • Gunshy
  • Hazard Jack
  • Hobgoblins
  • House Of The Dead
  • House of the Dead 2
  • The Hunt For Red October
  • Intimate Affairs
  • Into the Fire
  • Jack in the Box
  • Jezebeth
  • Jingles the Clown
  • John Grisham’s The Rainmaker
  • Johnny Guitar
  • Killing Ariel
  • Killing Zoe
  • Kingpin
  • The Last Word
  • Lazarus: Day of the Living Dead
  • The Letter
  • The Little Kidnappers
  • Little Red Devil
  • Lost in Siberia
  • Lovin Molly
  • The Lucky Ones
  • Manhattan
  • Married to the Mob
  • The Matrix Reloaded
  • The Matrix Revolutions
  • Meeting Spencer
  • Metamorphosis
  • The Midnight Meat Train
  • Model Behaviour
  • Morning Glory
  • Mortem
  • Moscow Heat
  • My Bloody Wedding
  • Nerve
  • New Order
  • Night Train
  • On the Q.T.
  • Paradise Lost
  • Payback
  • The Peacemaker
  • Phil The Alien
  • Pi
  • Players
  • Poliwood
  • Pootie Tang
  • Postmortem
  • The Presidio
  • Princess Juliet
  • Private Lessons
  • Prophet’s Game
  • Reasonable Doubt
  • Red Tide
  • Redball
  • Relative Evil
  • Remington and the Curse of the Zombadings
  • Rescue Dawn
  • Rosemary’s Baby
  • Sample People
  • Sanctuary
  • Scrooged
  • Shunned House
  • Silent Youth
  • Silo Killer 2
  • Slip & Fall
  • Smoke N’ Lightnin’
  • Squeal
  • Star Trek: The Motion Picture
  • Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
  • Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
  • Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
  • Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
  • Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
  • Star Trek Vll: Generations
  • Star Trek VIII: First Contact
  • Star Trek IX: Insurrection
  • Streets of Rage
  • Sugar Boxx
  • Suicide Kings
  • Sweet Angel Mine
  • The Tale of the Voodoo Prostitute
  • The Telling
  • A Texas Funeral
  • This Revolution
  • Top Dog
  • Up in the Air
  • VikingQuest
  • When Justice Fails
  • Where Truth Lies
  • Who’s Your Monkey
  • Wild Wild West
  • Wildflowers
  • Zombie Wars: Battle of the Bone
  • Zombiez

July 4th-9th

  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  • The Assignment
  • The Salesman
  • Under the Gun
  • Begum Jaan
  • Our Kind of Traitor
  • Sliding Doors

July 13th-19th

  • Mr. Robot, season 2
  • Its Gawd!
  • Salvation, season 1
  • Antarctica: Ice & Sky
  • Miss Sloane

July 21st-31st

  • Niko and the Sword of Light, season 1
  • Chef
  • The Last Tycoon, season 1
  • The Living and the Dead, season 1
  • Jeepers Creepers

Coming to HBO Now

July 1st

  • About a Boy
  • American Gigolo
  • Bean
  • The Blair Witch Project
  • Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2
  • Born on the Fourth of July
  • Cobra
  • The Dark Knight
  • El Cerdo (aka The Pig)
  • Erin Brockovich
  • Heartburn
  • Johnny Handsome
  • K-Pax
  • La Invitación (aka Sleepover)
  • Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
  • Le Divorce
  • Leatherheads
  • Loving
  • The Man Without a Face
  • Mimic (Extended Version)
  • Minority Report
  • Mission: Impossible II
  • Mr. Deeds
  • Necessary Roughness
  • Next Day Air
  • The Other Side of the Door
  • Over Her Dead Body
  • Panic Room
  • Pearl Harbor (Extended Version)
  • Platoon
  • Richie Rich
  • Robin Hood: Men in Tights
  • The Rose
  • Selena
  • Solaris
  • Soul Food
  • Thirteen
  • Watchmen (Extended Version)
  • The Women
  • The X-Files: I Want to Believe (Extended Version)

July 3rd-15th

  • HBO First Look: War for The Planet of the Apes
  • Words That Built America
  • Esteban
  • Tour De Pharmacy
  • Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping
  • The Defiant Ones, documentary series premiere
  • Rara
  • Keeping Up With the Joneses

July 16th-29th

  • Game of Thrones, season 7 premiere
  • Truman
  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • Ballers, season 3 premiere
  • Insecure, season 2 premiere
  • Las Horas Contadas
  • Room 104, series premiere
  • Almost Christmas

Leaving HBO Now

July 19th

  • Beautiful Creatures

July 24th

  • Unfaithful

July 31st

  • Batman Returns
  • Catch Me If You Can
  • The Color of Money
  • Criminal
  • Crossroads
  • El Cantante
  • Evil Dead 2
  • Fracture
  • Hail, Caesar!
  • Hard to Kill
  • Hotel for Dogs
  • Innerspace
  • Keanu
  • The Main Event
  • Men in Black II
  • Midnight Special
  • My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2
  • My Cousin Vinny
  • Rendition
  • Risky Business
  • Road to Perdition
  • Rooster Cogburn
  • Simon Birch
  • This Boy’s Life
  • Wildcats

Fyre Fest’s organizer has been arrested and charged with wire fraud

At the end of April, an exclusive music festival promoted by Instagram “influencers” turned into a disaster, the result of poor planning, prompting a flurry of lawsuits and outcry from attendees. Now, the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York has announced that it has arrested and charged the festival’s organizer with wire fraud.

Acting United States Attorney Joon H. Kim alleges that William McFarland allegedly provided “at least one investor an altered stock ownership statement, in an effort to make it appear that McFarland would personally guarantee the investment.” The office also says that he misrepresented the company’s finances, saying that the company earned millions of dollars in revenue from booking artists between July 2016 and April 2017. Kim says this in reality, “Fyre Media earned less than $60,000 in revenue from approximately 60 artist bookings.” McFarland is charged with a single count of wire fraud. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison.

Fyre Fest was billed as an exclusive, luxury music festival on the island of Exuma in the Bahamas. Celebrities such as Kendall Jenner were paid upwards of $250,000 to promote the event, and guests shelled out anywhere from $450 and $12,000 dollars to attend. They were promised high-end catering, transportation via yacht, Jet Skis, and high-profile musical guests for the event, which was scheduled to kick off on April 27th.

When the attendees arrived, they found that the entire event was poorly organized, and fell far short of what was advertised. As word spread, the festival’s organizers quickly announced that the event would be postponed and promised refunds, but that hasn’t stopped a number of attendees from filing lawsuits against McFarland and his business partner, Ja Rule.

16 science fiction, fantasy, and horror books to read this July

It’s July. I’m a little stunned at how fast 2017 has been passing us by. Half the year is gone already! A ton of really fantastic books have come out in those first six months, and if you’ve got vacation planned for this summer, it’ll be a good time to catch up before the back half of the year.

Given that the Fourth of July is in a couple of days, it had me thinking about stories that deal explicitly with patriotism and the founding of the country, and I remembered a graphic novel that I read recently: Rebels: A Well-Regulated Militia by Brian Wood. It’s a really fantastic story set in 1775, just before the colonies declared their independence from Great Britain.

The comic follows a young man named Seth Abbott and his wife Mercy as they settle in the frontier and deal with the challenges of living in the forests of what would eventually become Vermont. Seth joins the ongoing rebellion, and takes part in conflicts such as the Battle of Bunker Hill, and the capture of Fort Ticonderoga. It’s a complicated, nuanced tale about duty and survival, and I’d recommend looking it up. A second series, Rebels: These Free And Independent States began hitting stores in March.

Here are 16 books coming out this month that you should also check out.

July 4th

Dichronauts by Greg Egan

Greg Egan is known for some spectacular science fiction novels in recent years, and his latest looks pretty out there. It’s set in a strange universe where light can’t travel in every direction. Its inhabitants can only face and travel in one direction: east. Otherwise, they’ll get distorted across the landscape. A surveyor named Seth joins an expedition to the edge of inhabitable space, where they discover an unimaginable fissure in the world — one that will stop the ongoing migration of its inhabitants. The only way forward is down, to try and find a way to save everyone.

Heroine Worship by Sarah Kuhn

In this sequel to Sarah Kuhn’s Heroine Complex, Aveda Jupiter was once San Francisco’s most beloved superheroine. Now, her life is in a bit of a free fall since she and her assistant Evie got rid of all the demons that inhabited the city. Her friends are turning on her, and now that her assistant gained powers, she’s finding herself in the sidekick role, something that she really doesn’t want. When Evie becomes engaged and supernatural beings begin to attack brides in the city, Aveda sees a chance to regain her former glory by making sure her friend’s wedding goes off without a hitch, and by saving the city.

Image: Angry Robot Books

An Oath of Dogs by Wendy Wagner

Set on the distant, forested planet of Huginn, Kate Standish begins to think that someone has murdered her boss. There are other problems at hand, though: the planet is inhabited by sentient dogs, and they’ve been waging an ecoterrorist campaign against the mill workers and farmers. As she digs deeper into the murder, Kate finds that there’s a deeper conspiracy surrounding the planet, one that threatens everyone.

A bit of a disclaimer: Wendy Wagner was my editor at Lightspeed Magazine.

The Harbors of the Sun by Martha Wells

This latest installment of Martha Wells’ Raksura series follows the Raksuran archeological expedition after a former ally has betrayed them. The expedition’s various members work to regroup when they learn that the shape-shifting and predatory Fell are planning an attack on the Reaches. Then, the survivors discover a captured magical weapon that could mean widespread devastation, and to recover it, they must go into forbidden territory.

July 11th

The Rift by Nina Allan

Two sisters named Selena and Julie are inseparable as children, but as they grow older, they being to drift apart. Then Julie goes missing at the age of 17, only to reappear 20 years later. When they reunite, Julie tells Selena a fantastic story of living on another planet. Selena has to decide whether her sister is mentally ill, or whether she’s telling the truth — and if the woman who’s returned is even her sister at all.

Image: Saga Press

Dark Sky by Mike Brooks

Last year, Mike Brooks released his debut novel Dark Run, which introduced readers to smuggler Ichabod Drift and his crew as they signed on to deliver a mysterious package to Earth. Now, they’ve signed on to a new smuggling run, this time to a mining planet. When they arrive, they find that the miners have begun to revolt. Drift and his crew split into two groups, one supporting the miners, the other supporting the authorities. When a communications blackout falls over the planet, they find that they might be fighting one another. Publisher’s Weekly gave the book a star rating, saying that it’s a “great space-rogue adventure in a setting with vast potential for further stories.”

Gork, The Teenage Dragon by Gabe Hudson

Gork is about to graduate from the WarWings Military Academy. He’s not the bravest of the dragons in the school: his nickname is “Weak Sauce.” However, on the eve of his graduation, he’s determined to ask Runcita Floop to be his dragon queen, otherwise, he’ll end up enslaved. Alongside the school’s Jocks, Nerds, Mutants, and Multi-Dimensioners, he comes up against friends and enemies, including a mad scientist, a robot dragon, and a healer who uses swords to practice acupuncture. Gork’s greatest perceived weakness — his big heart — might end up being his greatest asset to guide him through it all. Kirkus Reviews says, “If it all sounds a bit crazy, it is, in a weird and kind of wonderful way that combines immature humor with a heartfelt coming-of-age story.”

Image: Saga Press

At the Table of Wolves by Kay Kenyon

Following the Great War, people across the world have begun to develop special abilities. As war looms again in the 1930s, England is working to catch up to the other nations of the world as it attempts to weaponize these abilities at a secret location known as Monkton Hill. One woman, Kim Tavistock, has the ability to draw the truth out of people, and she’s recruited to take part in a mission to expose the head of Monkton Hall as a German spy. She infiltrates the upper classes of England, and discovers a German plot to invade England. When her supervisors don’t believe her, she must figure out how to stop the invasion on her own.

Tomorrow’s Kinby Nancy Kress

Nancy Kress kicks off a new trilogy with Tomorrow’s Kin, a hard science fiction novel based on her Nebula and Locus award-winning novella Yesterday’s Kin. Aliens have arrived at Earth, landing their embassy in New York Harbor and throwing the world into chaos. Dr. Marianne Jenner, a researcher who studies the human genome, is invited along to the UN, where she learns that they have only 10 months to prevent the extinction of humanity.

The Art of Starving by Sam J. Miller

Matt discovers something strange. When he doesn’t eat, he seems to develop abilities: the ability to see things he shouldn’t be able to see, to pluck the thoughts out of people’s heads, and possibly to bend space and time. He forces himself to resist the call of food as he works to find out why a kid named Tariq and his fellow high school bullies drove Matt’s sister Maya away. As he infiltrates their group, he finds that there are other types of hunger out there, and he can’t control all of them. Kirkus Reviews gave the book a star rating, saying, “Matt’s sarcastic, biting wit keeps readers rooting for him and hoping for his recovery.”

Afterlife by Marcus Sakey

An FBI agent dies in a terrorist bombing in Chicago and wakes up in a strange world. He soon learns that it’s called The Echo, a place where the souls of people who have violently died go. He’s soon followed by fellow agent and girlfriend Claire McCoy, and the two have to figure out how to survive in this etherial and violent world. We might be seeing more of this story soon: Imagine Lands optioned the book for a movie.

The Delirium Brief by Charles Stross

The latest installment of Charles Stross’ Laundry Files series, finds Bob Howard dealing with the fact that the secretive agency — tasked with protecting the world from horrors from beyond space-time — is now public knowledge. He’s been working to frame the agency in a best light possible, only to attract the attention of an even worse enemy: a British government looking for public services to privatize.

Image: Mariner Books

Bannerless by Carrie Vaughn

Carrie Vaughn is best known for her urban fantasy novels, but she’s been shifting gears quite a bit lately. Earlier this year, she published Martians Abroad, a YA space opera, and with Bannerless, she’s looking into what happens after society collapses. In this world, the Coast Road is thriving after the fall of civilization, rebuilding with a culture of households. The population is controlled as people earn the right to bear children, displaying their privilege by hanging banners outside their homes. Enid of Haven is an Investigator, who is called upon to mediate disputes in the community. When a dead body turns up, she begins to investigate, finding cracks in society that makes her question everything she’s been raised to believe. You can read the original short story here.

July 18th

Minecraft: The Island by Max Brooks

Minecraft is getting a novelization, written by World War Z author Max Brooks. A lone castaway washes up on a beech and discovers that there’s an entire new world to explore, and that he needs to avoid becoming food for the zombies that come out after dark. This will be the first in a series of unconnected novels from developer Mojang and Del Rey Books.

Image: Orbit Books

Strange Dogs by James S.A. Corey

The next Expanse novel, Persepolis Rising, isn’t due out until December, but if you’re really looking to fill the time with more from that series, James S.A. Corey is releasing a new novella. The story follows a family who ventured through the gates and onto a new world to carve out a new life for themselves. However, the soldiers who followed them have set up a new, oppressive regime. It’s there that one member of the family, Cara, makes a discovery that could change everything.

July 25th

The Five Daughters of the Moon by Leena Likitalo

The first of a duology, Leena Likitalo’s The Five Daughters of the Moon is a historical fantasy that’s inspired by the final months of the 1917 Russian Revolution and the Romanov sisters. The Crescent Empire is on the edge of revolution, and five sisters — Alina, Merile, Sabilia, Elise, and Celestia — hold the key to the future, depending on their relationships with Gagargi Prataslav and his Great Thinking Machine. According to Publisher’s Weekly, it’s has a “fantasy landscape both familiar and otherworldly comes to life in this absorbing, imaginative tale.”

Moonlight star Mahershala Ali is in talks to lead a third season of HBO’s True Detective

House of Cards and Moonlight star Mahershala Ali is in talks to star in a third season of HBO’s beleaguered anthology show, True Detective, according to Deadline. If there were any way to get excited for the show to return, this is it.

Don’t get excited just yet: Deadline says that these are pretty early talks, and that they’re far from any sort of done deal. There isn’t even an order for a third season just yet, but HBO executives have indicated that they’re open to another season of the crime show, and the network signed on creator Nick Pizzolatto through 2018 for some undisclosed projects.

The fact that Ali is in discussions to star is a positive step however. It shows that HBO is actively looking at continuing the franchise, and that there are some heavy-hitters in contention to star in it. Ali is no stranger to television, starring in Netflix’s House of Cards and Marvel’s Luke Cage, and he’s coming off his widely acclaimed role in last year’s film Moonlight.

Hopefully, with a couple of years between the second season and a potential third one, HBO and Pizzolatto will get the story right this time around. If Ali is indeed selected to lead the cast, it’ll be a good hint that things are back on track.

New trailers: Jumanji, Marvel’s Inhumans, Insecure, and more

If you’re on a plane this summer, I can’t recommend an inflight movie any more than Lego Batman. That’s not to say that the movie is only worthy of being watched on a tiny airplane screen, just that you’re almost definitely going to end up watching it. And it will be a very good choice.

I was among the last to board an international flight the other week, and by the time I got on, half of the people around me were already watching Lego Batman. It seemed to be slightly less of a hit on my return flight, but a bunch of screens were broken in my surrounding area, and I assume all of them would have been Lego Batman if given the chance.

I’m pretty amazed at how great these first two Lego movies have been. They have such a distinct personality and a zany sense of humor that feels like it could become too much at any moment, but they always manage to pull off a balance between comedy and building characters. They’re kind of just a pure joy to watch — plus a great distraction on a long flight.

Check out 12 trailers from this week below.

Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle

A first trailer is out for the rebooted Jumanji, and it looks very different from the film Robin Williams starred in. Instead of the game breaking out into the real world, a bunch of teens are instead sucked into the game and swap bodies with folks like The Rock and Kevin Hart. Mostly, it seems to be an excuse to set an action movie in a jungle. The movie comes out December 20th.

Pitch Perfect 3

The last Pitch Perfect crushed at the box office, and there’s not much reason to think that won’t happen again. I haven’t seen the earlier films, but it looks like Pitch Perfect 3 takes the a cappella conceit that’s worked so well and then cranks up the ridiculousness of the plot around it to new levels. It comes out December 22nd.

Marvel’s Inhumans

Marvel originally planned to turn Inhumans into a film series, but instead we’re getting a TV show. And while ABC has had less luck with Marvel series than, say, Netflix, the show’s huge scope and epic feel could make it a great fit for the longer medium. It starts September 29th.

The Greatest Showman

Hugh Jackman stars as P.T. Barnum, of Barnum & Bailey, in this musical about his start in the circus business. From the trailer, this looks like a big, huge, classic musical — it’s quirky, happy go lucky, and Jackman looks kind of manic. It is very likely what you’re going to be watching with family this Christmas, when it comes out.

Good Time

Good Time has Robert Pattinson playing a failed bank robber trying to get his brother out of his prison over the course of a single strange, messy night. It’s an intriguing plot, but what’s really going to hook people on Good Time (or turn them off of it) is the film’s indulgently ’80s aesthetic. It comes out August 11th.

Insecure

HBO has finally put out a real look at Insecure season two, and it has pretty much exactly what we want: even more of Issa going on painfully awkward dates. The show kicked things off with a very well received first season, and this looks like a good start for season two. It starts July 23rd.

Marshall

This looks like a surprisingly action-packed film about Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. More specifically, about how Marshall became known as a defense lawyer representing wrongly accused black men. Chadwick Boseman stars as Marshall. It comes out October 13th.

The Foreigner

Jackie Chan’s characters are usually straightforward heroes, but he seems to be playing someone in much more of an antihero role in The Foreigner, which has Chan facing off against a bearded Pierce Brosnan. The film comes from the director of Goldeneye and Casino Royale (but also Green Lantern), so between that and Chan’s involvement, it seems safe to expect some good fights. It comes out October 13th.

Columbus

The story behind this film is kind of neat: Kogonada, its director, became pretty well known for publishing film essays online (at least, as well known as one can be for a thing like that), and then parlayed that into actually making a movie. Columbus debuted at Sundance earlier this year to some very good reviews, and now we’re finally getting a look at it. The film will be playing in limited screenings throughout the year.

Heroes of the Empire

This documentary takes a look at the UK chapter of the 501st Legion, a group of Star Wars fans with a serious dedication to costuming. Rather than focus solely behind the scenes on how their outfits are made, Heroes of the Empire appears to focus more on the why of costuming. There’s no release date just yet as it’s still in postproduction.

Gook

Justin Chon’s new film follows a pair of Korean American brothers and a young black girl in the lead up to the LA riots. The film looks funny and personal and seems to turn a big event into a series of intimate exchanges, which it won some positive reviews out of Sundance for. The film comes out August 18th.

Polaroid

This is a movie about a haunted Polaroid camera. I am not making this up.

Best tech sales of the July Fourth weekend: HP laptops, Apple Watch Series 2, and more

With Memorial Day behind us, July Fourth is the next holiday to get big sales, and we’ve rounded up a number of tech deals worth checking out during the long weekend. Highlights include early Prime Day deals, $50 off the Nest Learning Thermostat, Microsoft’s Ultimate Game Sale, big discounts on Lenovo laptops, and so much more.

Without further ado, here are our favorite Independence Day sales:

Amazon

Amazon is already busy promoting Prime Day which we mentioned earlier this week. The event takes place on July 11th, and there are already deals to take advantage of.

Prime Day deals:

  • Get four months of Amazon Music Unlimited with access to tens of millions of songs for just $0.99.
  • Get $10 to spend by Prime Day when you stream a Prime Video for the first time.
  • Get 25 percent off a six-month Kindle Unlimited membership, 33 percent off a 12-month Kindle Unlimited membership, and 40 percent off a 24-month Kindle Unlimited membership.

Non-Prime Day deals:

HP

Now through July 8th, shop HP’s Fourth of July sale to save up to $500 on select laptops and desktops.

Microsoft

Until July 10th, take advantage of Microsoft’s Ultimate Game Sale with discounts on PC hardware and Xbox titles.

Newegg

Through July 4th, save up to 88 percent off at the Independence Day Sale.

  • Take $20 off the WD 2TB My Passport Portable Hard Drive (USB 3.0 Model), now $79.99. Make sure to use code 06304TH8 for an extra $5 off.
  • Take $350 off the Lenovo Y700 (2.60GHz processor, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 16GB RAM, 128GB SSD, 1TB HDD) Gaming Laptop, now $899.

B&H

B&H is running some promos for the holiday, including up to $100 off Apple Watch Series 2 models.

eBay

eBay is running red, white, and blue deals including the aforementioned Nest Thermostat at B&H, also available for $199 at eBay.

Lenovo

Until July 9th, save up to 43 percent on select home laptops. Lenovo is also offering a 15 percent discount off the entire purchase for Active Military, Reservists, Veterans, and immediate family members.

Looking for gaming deals? Check out Polygon’s gaming deals roundup here.

Good Deals is a weekly roundup of the best deals on the internet, curated by Vox Media’s commerce editor, Chloe Reznikov, in collaboration with The Verge’s editorial team. You can submit deals to deals@theverge.com and find more Good Deals here.

Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links. For more information, see our ethics policy.

Multimillion-dollar Ferraris, Jaguars, Astons, and a fine cup of tea

The Goodwood Estate is nestled in the rolling hills of the south downs near the town of Chichester in West Sussex, England. It is a staggeringly beautiful corner of the country, rich in history (Jane Austen’s house is in the nearby village of Chawton) and is renowned for the wonderful sweeping roads that have made the area a magnet for motoring enthusiasts for years, much to the annoyance of many of the locals. For those who really want to go fast, Goodwood has its very own motor racing circuit. Built on the ex-military airfield RAF Westhampnett (which was an active Battle of Britain air base during World War II) the circuit hosted many famous races until it was closed in 1966. It was finally re-opened in 1998 after a sustained campaign to overcome local opposition by the current owner of Goodwood House, Charles Gordon-Lennox, Earl of March and Kinrara. Or as he’s more commonly know, Lord March.

I personally know the Goodwood circuit quite well. I have driven cars and ridden motorcycles around the circuit during the many track days in which I survived largely without incident — a minor sojourn into the long grass on my motorbike trying to avoid a rider who dropped his bike on the apex of the notorious left hand corner St Marys counts as my only “off.”

I’m also rather familiar with Goodwood House’s front drive too — though that is hardly any grand claim to fame, so do a great many people. The drive is the central feature during the annual Festival of Speed which is currently in full swing this weekend. The FOS (a hill climb for classic and modern racing cars and motor bikes) has been held annually on the Goodwood Estate since 1993. During that time, it has become arguably one of the most important and prestigious motoring events in the world. But it didn’t start out that way.

Sir Stirling Moss photographed in 1995 at the wheel of the Mercedes-Benz 300SLR which he drove to victory in the 1955 Mille Miglia along with his co-driver Denis “Jenks” Jenkinson

In 1993, I was still living in the UK (where I was born) and freelancing as a sports photographer for the Sunday newspapers. On one typical overcast day in early spring, I was among a handful of journalists who’d been invited to Goodwood by Lord March to attend a small press preview for the first ever FOS that was scheduled for June of that year.

Lord March also invited a number of motoring enthusiasts he knew and asked them to bring their cars down for the day. Among the group were Tony Smith (manager of the rock band Genesis and seated on car 42 in the group shot) and Denis “Jenks” Jenkinson (standing center with motorbike no 112), the famed navigator for the racing legend Sir Stirling Moss in the 1955 Mille Miglia, took some of us by surprise by bringing a very loud and rickety looking classic motorcycle on which he proceeded to ride up the hill at a rather alarming rate.

But for me, the highlight of that day wasn’t Goodwood House and its gorgeous grounds, the tea served from silver teapots down at the start line, nor even the wonderful lunch in a grand room of the house. It was swaying a little precariously in a cherry picker that raised me about 20 feet into the air so I could take a photograph of some of the rarest and most fabulous cars I had ever seen in my life. If the value of those cars was extraordinary back in 1993, they’re truly priceless today. A Ferrari 250 GTO, the same model as the one owned (and driven) by Nick Mason, the Pink Floyd drummer (that sits in the bottom left of the group shot above), sold for a record $38,115,000 in 2012.

Back in 1993, there weren’t that many opportunities to see such a fabulous collection of iconic classic cars together in one place. Being invited to that press day was like being given access to a private view of an art exhibition featuring some of the most beautiful (and the loudest) racing cars ever made. I think it’s that kind of proximity that is the single most important factor behind the success of the FOS over the years. Having worked as a photographer at many different kinds of motor sport events (F1, rallying, Le Mans), I can personally attest to the fact that few come close to offering the kind of access found at Goodwood, with or without a photographer’s pass.

Easing gently through the crowds in the paddock

Returning to Goodwood in 2016 for the first time in well over 15 years, I have to admit I didn’t find the FOS quite as up close and personal as I remembered it, which is hardly surprising considering just how big it has become. The entire area around the estate is overrun by miles of car parks, connected by a network of metal “roads” to help prevent turning the grounds into a quagmire in the rain. In front of the house, there is an enormous, vertiginous sculpture (the design of which changes each year) while the lawn and fields beyond are full to bursting with manufacturers stands, rides, hospitality units overflowing with guests, and numerous grandstands running alongside the drive to seat those members of the public who are happy to pay a little extra for the privilege. It is like a small town randomly decides to de-camp to deepest West Sussex and bring its entire population with it.

No wellies, no problem

There are a lot of people. Even when it rains (which isn’t often: Goodwood has a reputation for being rather lucky when it comes to avoiding the often inclement British summer weather) people still arrive en masse, complete with their wellies if they remembered them, or plastic bags if they did not. The very active paddock area is engulfed by a sea of motoring enthusiasts of all ages who gather around the rare and exotic (and occasionally downright bizarre) cars and bikes like ants around a discarded jam sandwich. When moving their vehicles down through the paddock, drivers have to gently part the waves of people before them. Crowds of spectators watch giant screens displaying the action while sitting on the lawn in front of the house, or get up close and personal with the concours condition classic cars the Style et Luxe display outside the old stables — where somewhat surprisingly, no one seems to mind small children pawing at near priceless vintage Rolls Royce or Hispano Suizas with ice cream covered fingers.

Lord Charles March photographed in his office at Goodwood House, 22nd June 2016

On an overcast day with brooding clouds before the start of last year’s festival, I sat down with Lord March in his office — full to the brim with motoring memorabilia — to have a chat about how much the event has changed over past 24 years. Considering how huge it has become (around 150,000 people attend each year), I wondered what he had expected the attendance to be like when he first planned that very first FOS back in 1993?

“We were told we’d get two and a half thousand people for that sort of event if we were lucky,” he told me, “We never knew how many we got actually because we couldn’t really give them tickets, and they all broke in through the fence anyway. We got about 25,000 people and we were, well, overrun.”

But it isn’t just the number of spectators that has grown considerably since 1993. The number of entrants has as well. Every year, the entry list only seems to get longer and encompass an even more eclectic range of cars and motorcycles: from the very earliest days of pre-war days of motoring; through the classic racing marques of the 50’s and 60’s; to the latest Formula One cars and car concepts for the future.

All in all, it’s a far cry from that informal intimacy of 1993. “Those people who came that first year were mostly people we knew, or friends of friends,” Lord March recalls. “It was a pretty relaxed affair. The highlight of the party was standing up and getting a bowl of rice on the Saturday night. And now we seat 1600 people and have an absolutely massive show!”

Lord Charles March photographed at the wheel of a Jaguar D-Type at the FOS in 1995

But looking forward, there has to be only so many spectators and so many entries that the festival can fit in. Where does the FOS go from here? After all, the millennial generation seems to have a very different attitude to cars compared with those of mine. Interest in car ownership has decreased significantly while enthusiasm for car sharing and car hailing services are very much on the rise. Electric cars are gaining traction with the public and who knows, maybe hydrogen will be next? Even the wide world of motorsport seems to be suffering some kind of an existential crisis. The organizing bodies of both Formula 1 and NASCAR are looking for new ways to boost their declining viewing figures. Though there is some hope that Formula E and Robo Racing may offer a small respite, it is not going to be easy. There is clearly a need for the car manufacturers and racing organization bodies to have some strategic conversations about the future.

It turns out that some of those conversations are happening at Goodwood. Lord March has actively cultivated a central role for the festival by bringing together the various interested parties to ask and answer the billion dollar questions about what exactly is coming next in the rapidly evolving world of cars and transportation.

“We have this seminar this weekend called Nucleus,” he explained to me, “We have the major CEOs of the big manufacturers and a lot of guys from technology. We have guys from Facebook, Uber, SpaceX, big designers here. The idea is to try to use the FOS as a brainstorming platform to talk about mobility: what’s happening around the world; why kids aren’t driving; and how the manufacturers are responding.”

Project Nucleus seems like a very smart move. The fact that CEOs of major car manufacturing companies — as well as titans of technology — are seeing the FOS as increasingly important both in terms of future strategy and business opportunity will only strengthen the events continuing growth in terms of stature.

Lord March has not only managed to develop an entirely new stream of income for the Goodwood Estate, he has raised the status of the FOS to such a height that some of the relationships being formed here are shaping what we will, or maybe won’t, be driving in the very near future.

But despite this well deserved success, I can’t help but feel a little nostalgic for that grey morning in 1993, when I watched enthusiastic owners fire up their near-priceless classics and race them up the hill. I’m not nostalgic for those early years when it seemed that there was just a one or two straw bales separating me from some vintage racer being driven over the edge, but for how I used to feel about sports cars and motorbikes. Visiting the FOS in 2016 made me realize I just don’t feel the same.

Heading up to the start line in a Ferrari 488GTB. FOS 2016

Though I still appreciate classic racing cars, the truth is that I’m not the insatiable enthusiast I once was. I was incredible fortunate to be driven up the hill at last year’s FOS in a Ferrari 488GTB driven by an extraordinary driver. It was exhilarating. But even though there’s no denying that the car was a technological marvel, gorgeous beyond measure and beautifully made, I found myself thinking that I was glad I would never own one, regardless of whether I could afford the $245,000 asking price or not (I most absolutely, definitely can’t).

The reason is that I don’t like the kind of attention these kind of cars garner in the real world. They just scream “look at me” in a way would make me feel rather uncomfortable if I were sat in the driver’s seat.

These cars are simply not my cup of tea anymore. Instead, I’m fascinated by the potential for autonomous, driverless vehicles and the mass adoption of electric cars; I hanker after a Tesla, not a Testarossa. My interest in transportation is focused more upon the very real societal challenges that self-driving trucks and cars will bring rather than the exquisite lines of the latest sick Lambo. Had I been fortunate enough to attend this year’s FOS, I’m sure that I’d have spent most of my time ogling the new Roboracer which has a cool factor well below sub-zero and is featured in this year’s new FOS attraction: Future Labs.

Lord March on the other hand, seems far better than I am at balancing his passion for classic marques and the latest hypercars with his fascination for what the future may hold. Project Nucleus and Future Labs both show his commitment to ensuring that the FOS remains relevant to both the car manufacturing industry and the paying public.

But one of the things we may have more in common is a belief that it is possible to love a cheap car, even a bad car. When I asked Lord March what was the first-ever car he owned, he lit up and told me that it was “a Morgan Three Wheeler.” His parents bought for him to discourage him from buying a motorbike, “I bought it for £200 pounds in Middlehampton. It was absolutely dreadful, and far more dangerous than any motorbike, actually. But they are lovely things.” He told me how he drove it everywhere, despite the fact that it had no roof and that one of the wheels once fell off while he was driving.

I too have a love of cheap cars. I may have made my home in the US and become an American citizen, but I still love my quintessentially British 1991 Range Rover which has holes in the carpet, dents in the bodywork and no window in the back because the tailgate crumbled with rust and fell apart. Even though it is probably only worth $5,000, it’s definitely a classic, but not one that would pass muster at the Goodwood Festival of Speed I fear.

The 25th Goodwood Festival of Speed runs through to the end of this weekend.

A kind thank you to everyone at Goodwood House who helped track down scans of my original photography from 1993 and 1995

Photography by James Bareham / The Verge