Ron Weasley Quiz-Answers

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Ron Weasley Quiz

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The Wild Hesitation Of Movie Distributors(Or, The Reason Why Indie Movies Aren’t An Obvious Target)

To most of us, the words “distributor“ makes us think of Cherrybomb and our campaign.

At the European Film Market, an Industrial Debate on independent distributors and their role in film financing (and marketing) took place, so here is what was mentioned and discussed that might be of interest for us, especially in regards to Cherrybomb. 😉


When it comes to selling independent films nowadays, two things are said to be relevant: the quality of the film, and the discipline and continuity behind the marketing.
Earlier on, the name of the people attached to the film (actors, directors, scriptwriters etc.) had a big influence, but due to the amount of people working in film and the long- (or rather short-) levity of an actor’s success, the importance of names has been reduced. Just think of big names like Tom Cruise, Jim Carrey and Keavu Reeves, whose names are well-know, yet in recent years, none of them had a major hit.

Nowadays, buyers are interesting in the appeal to the future audience, and how many people might consider watching the film. Currently, there are stories of vampires coming up everywhere, about ten years ago it was the time of family-fantasy films (Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Lemony Snicket, Golden Compass, Narnia, …). Stories about the cruel reality of teenage life are somewhat rare at the moment. Unless of course a bunch of people start campaigning and collecting signatures to prove that there is an interested audience…

Also, there are far less distributors for independent films than a few years ago. This entails that less films are being sold, and only the best films are being released in theaters.

Many films already have a distributor prior to the start of production. Since these distributors often take part in funding the film, they have a bigger interest in eventually releasing the film to regain their money, hence distribution is more likely for these films. Harry Potter, for example, is being funded AND (in most countries) distributed by Warner Bros.
On the other hand, those distributors like to have a say during the production, and stop the directors from taking films into territory that might not appeal to the audience they have in mind. The story of Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow and Disney’s initial reaction is well known.

This also means that directors and actors cannot always do what they want if they have a financing distributor. If they do, the films might be incredibly great, but not see the light of theatres if no distributor finds it marketable enough. These films have to rely on distributors believing in the film as it is – or in the future audience.
Cherrybomb did not have any distributors among the funding companies.

Additionally, foreign distributors prefer buying films that already have other distributors, in particular, US films. For one, the costs for promotion are incredibly high (especially in the US), and (since word goes around), can be less for European distributors if a film has already been released in the states, and second, they have a reference if a film might be successful. As an example: A few films of Jim Carrey’s were flops in the US and never made it across the Atlantic, because nobody wanted to buy them. In contrast to that, they even had problems finding international distributors for Dr. Parnassus before they were able to show the box office numbers from the UK (and with a cast of Heath Ledger, Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell and Jude Law, one would think it would be easy…).

So hopefully, with the UK release in the near future, some other distributors might gain confidence in Cherrybomb as well…

Also, the costs for promotion are immense. Posters, interviews, premieres, trailers, TV spots, online promotion,… all needs to be paid. Particularly promotion in the US is very expensive, as to buy up a film that has other distributors and, by the time it will be released,  has already had media coverage from other releases, is popular. Also, Twitter has become a very interesting tool to reach the audience and keep them up to date.

Nowadays, online marketing can take up up to 20% of marketing costs. So, you might have an idea of what we’ve been working on… And Cherrybomb does have a Twitter, and Facebook, AND Myspace… 😉

The financial crisis has also left its mark on the film industry, in addition to other difficulties:
The US market is “in tatters” when it comes to independent film, and many European productions do not make it to the US because the art divisions of distributors are cut down due to financial issues.

The European market has been less affected, e.g. France and Germany (along with the UK, the biggest markets in film business after the US): In France, about 50% of all distributions are local (= French), and “only” 50% are imported. Germany has about 26-27% of local distributions. Those market have been able to be at least somewhat steady as well .

In comparison, Japan’s local productions are pretty close to non-existent, and almost all films are imported.
While the UK is much less patriotical than France or Germany, they are struggling less than the US. However, the UK has the difficulty of having the same language, and audiences are more interested in US films unless they have a typical British appeal (set in London, British accent, well-known British actors, British humor…)

Russian distributors are hesitant to buy independent films because they have a huge piracy problem, which of course, reduces the number of sold tickets.

Difficulties for deals in China include that there is a restricted number of international films that can be sold, and that particularly films with drug usage, violence and political themes are hard to sell.

So, what’s the outlook for Cherrybomb? UK: check. Germany: check. US: fingers crossed/looking good. China: possibly difficult due to the amount of drugs and swearing and violence. The others?
Let’s just keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best.

_______________________________________________________________

*Karo was very lucky to have seen Wild Target at the EFM! For more info, check out her review on our Press Archives, get tons of info about Wild Target on the Filmography pages, and lots of spoiler-y goodies in the forums!

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Best of 2009-Staff Questionnaire(Karo)

Question 1:  Best new quote

“Being in Harry Potter is like living in a bubble, and it slightly hinders your independence. […] You have got a lot of people doing stuff for you. So I guess that doesn’t help.”

Question 2:  Best new fact

Karo:  While still not officially confirmed, I’ll take the Eddie the Eagle rumours. Ski jumping is one of my favourite sports to watch, and I remember Eddie at the Olympics a little (I was 5 when he was at Calgary ). And my fave actor in that part would just be aaaaawesome.

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Question 3:  Best photoshoot

Karo:  BLAG. Rupert has such an amazing face, and we barely get to see it. So yay for Blag! (And Live, but Blag had more pics…)

Question 4:  Best interview

Karo:  This one of course! Duh!

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Question 5:  Best appearence/event outingnormal_RupertGrint_SS15RallyGB2009

Karo:  The Rally of Britain . It was great to see him out with his family in a totally different environment than the glitzy showbiz.

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Question 6:  Best candid shot of Rupert

Karo:  As Alex at Halloween

Question 7:  Best Cherrybomb scene

Karo:  I’d say the entire sequence at Luke’s place on Sunday. First we get smug Mal, luchy Mal, smitten Mal, whipped! Mal, sad Mal, confused Mal… there’s so much emotional uproar in that scene, and the three just had amazing chemistry.

Question 8:  Best Half-Blood Prince scene

Karo:  Quidditch. Both training and the game, since he got to do the full range from scared to hero-like. And he just owned those scenes.  I did like the shot of Ron/Lav kissing on the dormitory staircase, but that wasn’t really a full scene…

Question 7:  Best movie promo stillnormal_Cherrybomb-08041CherryBomb-RS-00523

Karo:  Oh dear… Tony and his gun? Wet Mal covered in blood? Nah. This one, or this one!

normal_icm_big_hbppremiere11Question 8:  Best picture from a premier this year

Karo:  Priceless. Absolutely priceless 😀

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Best Of The Decade-Staff Questionnaire(Karo)

Question 1:  Best Quote

“I’m definitely a character actor”. (The Man himself)

Karo:  Not just because I think this is totally true, but also because it’s proof of how much he has developed from 2000, when he said he just wanted to be Ron in the films because it would be so cool. J

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Question 2:  Best Photoshoot

Karo:  Parade 2006. Very simple, very effective, very Rupert. God, that smile…

Question 3:  Best Interview

Karo:  Unscripted with Jeremy Brock. First time Rupert mentioned he’s quite shy, and he giggled. The one with Emma and Dan was brilliant, too, though.

Question 4:  Best Appereance/Event Outingnormal_aPOLFOTO1

Karo:  Wearing the Harry shirt to the OotP premiere. Has any other actor ever dared to do something like that?!

Question 5:  Funniest thing Rupert did on camera

Karo:  On Al Murray, back in 2005. When he was there with the twins and Al asked him how old he was to get a pint. That entire thing was hilarious.

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Question 6:  Best T-shirt

Karo:  Keep calm and carry on. The slogan is so perfect for Rupert, and we’ve used it quite a bit on the site as well. And he looks great in it.

Question 7:  Best Rupert moment

Karo:  Seeing Rupert and me getting a hug at Berlin . J The entire premiere in general.

Question 8:  Best Ron moment

Karo:  Destroying the Locket Horcrux. If they screw this up in the film…

normal_ron8Question 9:  Best Hairstyle

Karo:  Prisoner of Azkaban. The slightly shorter, more shaggy style. I love it to actually see more of his face (as is the case in PoA and CB), and PoA seems to be more suitable for Rupert than Malachy’s quiff.

Question 10:  Movie Role you’re dying to see right now!

Karo:  Wild Target. Cause Eddie has not officially been confirmed by Rupert’s people, and I’ve already seen Cherrybomb.

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Answers Quiz No 2: Cherrybomb (for beginners)

CB Quiz4

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Answers Quiz No 3: Cherrybomb (very advanced level)

CB Quiz3

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Quiz No 1: Names, names, names

Find the names in the list

Find the names in the list

Click here to see the answers!

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Quiz No2: Cherrybomb (for beginners)

Put the correct answers in the pink squares

Put the correct answers in the pink squares

Click here to see the answers!

Note: All the answers can be found either on ICM and our sub-pages.

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Quiz No 3: Cherrybomb (very advanced level)

Answer the questions below

Answer the questions below

CB Quiz2

Click here to see the answers!

Note: All the answers can be found either on ICM and our sub-pages, pages we link to, or with a thorough search via Google.

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Answers Quiz No 1: Names, names, names

Names2

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Review: Into The Wild Nerd Yonder by Julie Halpern

ITWYN (1)As ICM announced back in August, the main character in Julie Halpern’s new book “Into the wild nerd yonder” would be a huge Rupert Grint fan.
Julie Halpern herself had left a message in our comments: “Thanks so much for mentioning my book, INTO THE WILD NERD YONDER, on your page! I’m a big Rupert fan, and the main character of the book has pictures of him hanging around her bedroom”.
So, of course we made sure to check out the book, which has only been released on 29th September 2009.
I tried to keep the spoilers out so you can all enjoy the book yourselves, and therefore this review turned out to be pretty short. 😉


The plot itself is simple:
Jessie Sloan has just started her sophomore year. Her two best friends, Bizza and Char, decide to become punks, and one of them goes after Jessie’s long-term crush Van. Jessie’s brother Barrett, in his final High School year, gives up his life as punk because of his budding romance with the homecoming queen. Which leaves Jessie to figure out who she is, who her friends are, and: What makes someone a nerd?ITWNY (2)
With Jessie as the narrator, the story is told in a funny, witty and somewhat sarcastic tone and describes typical teenage situations everyone can relate to: your best friends seem to be way cooler than yourself, the girl sitting next to you in class is just weird, and unlike you, even the nerds manage to find a boyfriend.
Instead of the “typical” teenage books, Jessie is not the school’s beauty queen, nor is she the outsider who will turn into the beautiful swan who gets the most handsome bloke ever. She’s a normal girl with normal problems. And with a crush on Rupert Grint.

So, what about Rupert? First off, Rupert Grint only gets mentioned four times. Beware, though, as these are moments where most of us will almost cringe because the situations are very well-known to every proper “Roupie Groupie”. 😉
website16However, the entire book is peppered with little descriptions that will make you think of our gorgeous red-head or his film characters : A bloke called “Van” (we all know Rupert’s most famous vehicle), another guy with too-short jeans and far-to-white sneakers. The main character sharing the names with a co-star from HP and the stills photographer from Cherrybomb. The cool big brother (coincidence that his punk hair is orange?), funky t-shirts and a guy whose fringe keeps covering his eyes; and jealousy over a BJ…

So, yay or nay?
Definitely a big YAY! 🙂 The book is easy to read, and I needed only one day to finish it. It is very funny and witty, and it is easy to feel with Jessie, who is a normal teen instead of the classical “teen-novel character”. Not to mention that Rupert (or what might be interpreted as hints to Rupert) keeps popping up in the most unexpected moments.
How much Rupert is there really? The more you know about Rupert and his films, the more you can pick up, laugh about, cringe at and agree to. If you only know his name and link him to Harry Potter, it’s not that much. If you know characteristics of the characters he has played, his co-stars, Rupert’s behaviour and interests, it’s quite a lot.
But maybe I only found that much Rupert because I’m a nerd.
And nerds can be pretty cool, too…


You can order Into the wild nerd yonder here!

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Ask the Doctor: Rupert Grint and Swine Flu

or: How to contract Swine Flu and alienate people! 😀

swineflu5All of us were shocked when we heard the news about Rupert having caught the swine flu. When the news came up on 4 July 2009, I was on holiday and had just texted Jo about information on the Harry Potter London premiere. Instead of a reply, I got a message saying: “Rupert caught the swine flu! :(” After a panicky back-and-forth of texts (as I was stuck in a hostel without internet), Jo finally told me “His press team says he will be fine :)”.
As the swine flu is still all over the press and Rupert’s name is still associated with it, we thought it would be a good idea to give you some non-hyped-up information, and to explain a few things about the virus and how it might have affected Rupert.

The information about the swine flu has been taken from the websites of the World Health Organisation (www.who.int) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (www.ecdc.europa.eu). I tried to make this essay as understandable as possible. If you have questions, please ask.
Btw I’m graduating medicine this autumn, so the information is reliable, and you can use it to show off if you want to. *wink*

About the virus:
Swine Flu is caused by the virus called “Influenza A(H1N1)v”.
A virus is a non-living particle consisting of genes (in form of DNA or RNA) and the outer body built. The outer body has specific structures, so-called antigens.
The “H1N1” in the name are actually two antigens specific for this virus. For example, another virus called “H1N2” shares one antigen with the H1N1 (the H1 antigen), but has one different antigen (N2 instead of N1).There are 9 different Hs (H for Haemaglutinine) and 16 different Ns (N for Neuraminidase).
There have been H1N1 viruses in the past, but this new virus contains a combination of genes from influenza viruses seen in birds, pigs and humans. The “older” swine flu viruses did not get transferred from one human to another.

How does the virus get transferred:
The viral particles are transferred from human to human via droplets, when coughing or sneezing, or when the droplets end up on a person’s hand and get transferred to this person’s nose or mouth, even via contaminated surfaces (where they can remain for up to 8 hours).
The time from when a person has “picked up” the viral particle until the first symptoms appear is from one to seven days.
The mostly affected age group are young people. Small children and older people are less exposed to large crowds, hence it is less likely for them to be infected. On the other hand, teens and young adults go to school/work, to discos, bars, they meet friends… All these are opportunities to pick up the virus.
Transmission from animal (pigs) to humans has not been proven.

This means that it is unlikely that Rupert was infected by his recently acquired pigs. Aside from the transmission being unlikely, the United Kingdom has very strict regulations for bringing animals into the country, as they go into quarantine for at least a week. By this time, the pigs would have had symptoms if they had been infected, unless the virus had not caused a reaction.
If Rupert had been infected via his pigs, it is likely that one or more members of his family would have had symptoms as well, which Rupert probably would have mentioned in interviews.

Why does the body react the way it does?
The human’s immune system has the ability to distinguish between “this belongs to me” and “this is dangerous”. Almost all human cells have specific structures on their outside that the immune system recognizes as belonging to the human, and other, foreign structures are likely to be seen as dangerous. swineflu3Over the years (starting during the last months of a pregnancy), the immune system is exposed to various antigens and “gets used” to them. It is a “learning” process for the immune system.
The immune cells (who act like police officers), “operate” on several locations in the body: lymph glands, tonsils, mucosa. So, when exposed to foreign antigens, the immune cells in those areas start a “war” against the “intruder”, which causes most of the symptoms:

  • Sore throat: immune reaction in tonsils and other areas in the throat causes the throat to swell slightly (due to increased blood flow meant to bring those foreign cells into the area where the “police officers” operate!) and become painful (caused by the stretching of the skin due to swelling).
  • Fever: many chemical reactions work better at a higher temperature. While the normal body temperature is perfect for the “normal” processes in the cells, fever helps the immune cells to produce more antibodies in a shorter time. In the case of flu, fever is caused by proteins that are created during the immune reaction.
  • Headache, muscle pain, fatigue: immune cells need a lot of energy to fight the viruses, hence they pick up most of the energy (in the form of glucose). Which, in turn, leaves less energy for the muscles and the brain, so they react with pain or fatigue (that’s why you want to sleep more, because then the brain needs less energy than when you’re awake).
  • Vomiting, diarrhoea: The stomach has an immune system on its own. If it reacts to the infection, the bowels usually react with more movement, hence pushing the food backwards (vomiting) or pushing it too fast forward for the bowels to digest (resulting in diarrhoea).

The time needed for recovery is about 7 to 10 days, and adults are infectious to others for about five days, counting from the first day when the symptoms appear (seven days for children because their immune system is less developed).

Rupert said in recent interviews himself that it “felt like any other flu I had”, and that he suffered from a sore throat. He also mentioned that he had to spend five days in bed (the time he was most likely been infectious); so, by the time he started promoting Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, he was no longer infectious to his fans or media.

Aside from the acute reaction, one part of the immune system works as a memory and will remember the antigens for the future. This is also used in vaccination: the body is exposed to a small number of antigens or to “disabled” (genetically modified) viruses. The immune system recognises the antigens in the case of an infection and is able to cause a reaction much faster (because it already knows the “weapons” to fight), hence it prevents the virus from reproducing much earlier and requires a smaller reaction (also meaning less or no symptoms).
As the new swine flu contains the aforementioned new combination of genes, it is unknown to everyone’s immune system, hence the body’s reaction is noticeable in more people than the symptoms of regular flu.

The good thing: Rupert’s body knows the virus now, so if he is exposed to it again, he will have little or no symptoms.

How do I know I have Swine Flu?
It is impossible to tell the difference between a regular flu and the swine flu without help, as the symptoms are the same.
When you go to the doctor, he will take a nose and throat swab and send it to the laboratory.

Imagine someone taking a long tip and sticking up your nose and into the back of your throat… yes, poor Rupert!

In the lab, the virus RNA can be copied with specific methods if viral particles are found on the swab. If there is evidence of the H1N1 RNA, the result has to be reported to the national health authority, who keep track of the epidemics of certain infectious diseases.

So yes, Rupert has been reported…

How do I get treated if I have swine flu?
The medical treatment varies. Young, healthy people do not necessarily need specific medication. Antivirals might alleviate the symptoms and reduce the time of recovery, but they do not reduce the time of being infectious. Instead, they could also increase the possibility of the virus becoming resistant to the medication, and there is only one type of medication available.
Young, healthy patients can be given painkillers or medication to reduce fever if necessary.
Antivirals should be given if underlying medical problems exist (heart disease, diabetes, asthma, weak immune system), as these people might suffer more from the symptoms and are at an increased risk of complications (like pneumonia).
The antiviral medication that helps against the H1N1 virus (mostly known as Tamiflu®) makes the virus unable to reproduce as quickly as it normally would, thus enabling the immune system to tackle the smaller number of viruses in the circulation.
Aside from antiviral medication, patients with aforementioned medical problems may also receive antibiotics to avoid further complications caused by additional infections with bacteria (e.g. pneumonia). However, antibiotics do not work against swine flu!

swineflu4This is where it gets confusing: Rupert has said he was given antibiotics. As mentioned, antibiotics do not help against swine flu. Since Rupert has said he had regular symptoms of a flu, it is unlikely he had an additional bacterial infection, and as he is otherwise young and healthy, he would not have needed a prophylaxis.
Soooo, either Rupert was given medication he did not need (received no antivirals, but antibiotics), in which case he should consider changing his doctor, or he does not know what kind of medication he took, in which case he ought to read this article.

Aside from this, patients should be isolated (meaning to stay at home and have contact to as few people as possible) and only admitted to hospital if complications arise or are likely to.
Additionally, close contacts (people who live with or are in contact with a patient) should be given antiviral prophylaxis to avoid infection.

So yes, it was okay that Rupert stayed at home, and most likely the entire family got a prescription for antivirals.

Swine flu is actually considered as dangerous as the regular seasonal flu in terms of mortality. Out of 1000 patients, about 40 need hospital treatment, 1 patient dies. The difference is that nobody is immune, so it is more likely to develop symptoms when infected with the H1N1 virus. Hence, more people become patients, and the number of deaths increases accordingly.

How do you avoid swine flu?
By not picking up viral particles. You should avoid huge crowds and people with symptoms, and avoid touching contaminated surfaces. Wash your hands and try not to touch your mouth, nose and eyes. Be physically active, drink fluids and eat healthy food to keep your immune system active.
Infection does not occur by eating infected meat IF (and only if) the meat is cooked properly. Proteins are destroyed when heated, so the viral particles are destroyed when the meat is cooked.
A mask can be used, but it should only be used if the person knows how to use it. Inappropriate use increases the risk of infection. (If a viral particle lands on the outside, and the person wearing it accidentally touches it, the virus lands on the hand and might be transferred to the person’s mouth and cause an infection).
A vaccine against the new swine flu does not exist yet, but is in development. Other vaccinations against seasonal flu do not prevent this infection.

We all know that Rupert’s hands have a tendency to end up in his face 😉 so it is very likely he picked up the virus like that.
The media people who wore masks while interviewing him obviously did not research properly, as by the time Rupert was doing HBP promotion he was no longer infectious; besides, the wearing of masks is not recommended anyway.
As for the vaccination: Rupert has already been infected, so his body knows the virus. He doesn’t need the vaccination anymore.
All is well.

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Rupert’s favourite…

… places in Northern Ireland: Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge and Giant’s Causeway

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This summer, a friend of mine and me spent our holiday on a three-week tour around the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. I knew beforehand that Rupert had once mentioned enjoying going to Giant’s Causeway and Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, but as major tourist attractions they were on our list of places to visit anyway.
So, here is a report along, with some of the pictures we took (a selection from over 411 pictures…) to give you an idea of what Rupert might have loved about those two places.

Carrick-a-Rede

c2c3Carrick-a-Rede itself is a small island separated from the main land by a deep gap. The name Carrick-a-Rede translates to “Rock in the Road” (carraig = rock, rade = road). At least 100 million years ago, the area was covered by a calm and warm sea, and the skeletons of the small creatures having died there formed a lime-rich mud which eventually was compressed onto the white limestone, or chalk, forming the coast. Changes in sea level shaped the cliffs, and when a volcano blew depris into the air around 60-55 million years ago that created a conglomerate upon settling down, dark boulders (known as “volcanic bombs”), today’s scenery (or at least a very similar one) was completed.

c4Numerous seabirds can be found on the island, where they breed from May to July. Most of them are guillemots, razorbills, kittwakes and fulmars. From the early 17th century until 2002, Carrick-a-Rede was a place for commercial fishing, as salmons on their way to the rivers of their birth swam close to the coast and had to swim around the island as it obstructed their way (this is also the most popular explanation for the island’s name). c5Fishery was also the reason why the Rope Bridge was built about 250 years ago. Fishing ceased in 2002, as the average number of salmons had decreased to 200 a year (compared to 300 fish a day in 1962). But back in the days when the bridge was serving its purpose, the fishermen could get onto the island during the summer, while the bridge was dismantled in winter to protect it from damage done by the weather.

c6Even nowadays, the bridge is re-erected each year before Easter and taken off at the end of September. It may also be closed during the windy or rainy weather. For many years, the bridge only had one handrope. A second one was added a few years ago to enable the less-courageous tourists to cross the bridge as well…

c7You arrive at a car park just on top of the cliffs and have to walk for about twenty minutes to get to the bridge. On the way, you can already see the cliffs and get occasional glimpses of Carrick-a-Rede island, and sometimes you can even see the rope bridge. If you are lucky and you are alone, all you hear is the sea on the shore and the cries of birds.

c8After a few minutes, you have to cross a small wooden bridge across a gap in the cliff. The closer you get to the island, the more windy it becomes (although me and my friend visited the place on a really warm and sunny day), and it becomes easy to understand why the bridge is taken off during the winter months.

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c10Steep metal stairs lead down to a small platform before you reach the actual rope bridge. The bridge itself sways due to the people walking across, but it even moves when you are standing on it all alone because of the strong wind. Due to the gap between the islands being so narrow, the scenery changes with every single step you take, and it does so both on your left and your right. So, if you get a chance to visit this place, take your time and enjoy the view.

From the other side of the bridge (on the island itself), you can also take a look back to the main land and the white cliffs and turquoise water to the northwest and the dark cliffs with caves to the southeast.

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c14Right behind the bridge on the right hand side is the old fishermen’s harbour, which is nowadays nothing more than ruins. On the left hand side is a steep rocky wall down to the water which is covered with breeding birds. The birds’ cries are so loud that you can barely hear the sea, and you have to raise your voice when talking to someone. The island itself is almost like a raised platform, as the cliffs are so steep that you have to stay on the central part, which is covered in grass. If you are brave enough, you can walk up to the edge of the island (carefully, of course!) and see the “volcanic bombs” scattered around.

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c18To get back, you have to cross the bridge once again. After that, make sure to walk back by taking the slightly longer way (towards the left), because you get an amazing view of Carrick-a-Rede island from that side!

[Here’s a clip of what it is like to cross the bridge. Staffer Karo is the person on the bridge. Watch her hair to get an idea of how windy it was (although, according to the staff members there, it was NOT very windy…)]

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Giant’s Causeway

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Like the area around Carrick-a-Rede, part of the landscape at Giant’s Causeway was created about 60 Million years ago and is made of white limestone. When the continental plates pulled apart (separating America from Europe), hot magma surfaced along the fissures and spread over the landscape. When the lava cooled down, it cracked, similar to dried mud, with the difference of the cracks in the cooled lava going all the way through and therefore creating tall basalt columns. Most of these have five or four sides; some have more, others less, but only one is said to have three sides.

g4g5After the last ice age (15000 to 10000 years ago), the sea level was raised and formed the seaside landscape. The landscape with basalt columns spreads along the coast for several miles. For example, you can find the Organ (see the picture on the right), the Harp, the Chimney Tops or the Horse’s Back.

g6g7According to a legend dating back to the Third Century, the giant Finn MacCool (his Irish name is Finn mac Cumaill) wanted to battle with Benandonner, a rivalling giant living on the scottish island Staffa (one of the Outer Hebrids), and built a huge bridge across the sea to enable Benandonner to come to Ireland. Upon seeing the much bigger giant approaching, Finn MacCool fled and hid in a huge cradle, asking his wife to tell Benandonner that the “baby” was actually Finn’s son. Upon seeing the “baby”, Benandonner assumed that Finn was gigantic and fled in terror, destroying the bridge so that Finn would not follow. g8The remnants of the bridge are said to be the the columns at the Giant’s Causeway, as well as similar basalt columns found at Fingal’s Cave on Staffa. Another, more romantic legend tells us that giant Finn MacCool built the bridge across the sea to visit his beloved girlfriend on Staffa…

If you happen to visit this place, you will arrive at the visitor centre and then either take a walk (for about 10 minutes) or take the bus to the Giant’s Causeway, which actually consists of the Little, the Middle and the Grand Causeway (each spreading more or less into the sea).

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The basalt columns differ in shape (4-8 sides) and height, some being below the sea level and others being up to 10 feet high. They also have different colours, from black to grey, others are reddish.

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g15There are also little ecosystems on the columns, when rain has accumulated in a socket and algae have grown and or shells have been washed onto the columns with a huge wave. Grass and flowers grow in-between some of the columns set further away from the water. You should also keep an eye out for bird and other animals…

Make sure to climb onto the high columns and see how they lean to the side, and how high they actually are.

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By following the path, you reach the organ and, by climbing up to the top of the cliffs, you can walk along the coast to take a look at the other Causeway areas, or walk back to the visitor centre and see the Giant’s Causeway from above.

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Disclaimer: Information taken from Explore The Giant’s Causeway and Explore Carrick-a-Rede by The National Trust. Pictures and video clip by Karo and Lars. Please do not reproduce without permission.

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Rupert Feeling Just… Swine?

Imagine it is mid-July, and you have been suffering from the heat as it is. Additionally, you are fully dressed in a Hogwarts uniform (including shirt, sweater, coat AND tie) because you are about to watch Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince again, which is also the reason why you are sitting in the foyer of an over-heated cinema.

You have also spent the previous night at the ICM forums instead of going to bed, and your head is filled with thoughts about Rupert, swine flu, Rupert, old Harry Potter films, Rupert, recent interviews, Rupert, your submissions for Grintastic, and Rupert.

So, the heat and Wrackspurts take over and you come up with a very weird idea and share it with a fellow staffer.

This other staffer, who’s mind is also whirring with thoughts about a certain redhead, picks up your ideas, and in the process gets infected with Wrackspurts as well. So she takes the crazy ideas including Wrackspurts, a TV advert, and Ice Cream (Man), and puts them in a “Gritty Shaker”.

And the result… well, let’s just say, don’t take it too seriously. After all, we were under the influence of Wrackspurts. And H1N1. 😉

Starring: Rupert Grint, Daniel Radcliffe
Idea and Screenplay: Karo
Cinematography and Editing: Val
Music: David Holmes
swine-flu-g2 (right-click to save as)

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Behind The Scenes Of ICM or Welcome To The Madness Within

“Yeah, Rupert!!! Weeeeeee…. I’m hungry.” (AJ, slightly off-topic)

As you know, Ice Cream Man operates by the motto “For the fans, by the fans”, so we decided to give you an exclusive look “behind the scenes” of our website for this first edition of Grintastic!

All of us staffers are huge Rupert Grint fans from all over the world (in case you want to know more about us, go here) and all of us are doing this for fun.

This means we are forced to juggle working on the site with our private lives, which happen to include work/school and family, so occasionally one of us has to take a few days off because a kid is ill or because an exam is coming up.

It also means that we’re doing this not only for free, but actually have to pay for things like our host, new layouts, travels and also for some of those high-res pictures everyone enjoys most.

Being fans also means that we’re forced to switch between the fan-mode (“THUNDER THIGHS!!!”) and professional-mode (“Inquiry: Interview with Robert Sheehan”) when we are writing official emails while browsing the forums at the same time.

As all of us live in different places and time zones, we have the advantage that we can almost always have a staffer online; but it also makes things difficult when the person you desperately need to talk to is asleep.

When you’re a staffer, one of the most important things is, of course, posting news. So, whenever you’re online, you need to simultaneously
– check your emails regularly for “Submit News” emails,
– browse the forums,
– read the comments (in case someone posts news there,
– browse our partner websites, and
– google for news,
because you never know where the news might appear.

Once news come up (and it deserves a “New Post” instead of an “Update”), the panic begins (as Neglo put it once, “I was literally shaking when I typed that up!”). Sometimes, when we decide that a news piece is not too urgent, or needs checking, one staffer will prepare the draft and then someone else will take over and publish it later.

The staff exchange about 127 emails a day (!), not to mention PMs, text messages, and an occasional panicky phone call.

“Jo you made me a mod, I think. But I don’t see any of the controls or anything like that. What does the plus next to people’s names mean?” (Dove, on being a forum moderator)

Aside from that, we’re also busy reading the forum threads, posting ourselves and answering questions, PMing and giving out passwords. You all know how busy the forums are, so imagine you are almost obliged to read everything to capture news, keep track of discussion, calm people down, dismiss rumours, set things right, or try to help people find links or pictures. Sometimes you can even pick up ideas for things you might do in the future on the site (and be assured, some of things you are/have been talking about are currently in the process of coming to life).

ICM fan convention at the LA OotP premiere

ICM fan convention at the LA OotP premiere

Next are the regular updates on the site. These include: redoing the Gallery (which went slightly wonky during the Berlinale frenzy and eventually crashed a few weeks ago), updating the Rave Reviews (whenever a new review appears), updating the Media Section (and converting the files into different formats so that everyone is happy), keeping the pages on the main site up to date and making sure that the Rupert Facts now include Bill Murray as one of his favourite actors.

Our other sites also need to be up-to-date, so we regularly have to work on our three Myspaces (ICM, Cherrybomb and Wild Target), Live Journal, Facebook (shamefully neglected), and now even Twitter! And from time to time, we also post our news on Popstar (We should mention here that someone actually submitted our own Popstar post to ICM as a news tip… thanks for that!)

Then there are of course the “big events” we are working on, like the Cherrybomb screenings in Berlin, Dublin and Belfast, or the Preview of the Harry Potter Exhibition. That does not just mean booking the train/plane and getting a hotel, but also scheduling the time there, organising interviews (or filming location tours) and coming up with good questions, getting tickets and background information, having technical devices (camera, camcorder and dictaphone) at the ready, and making sure that the staff at home is up to spending the day online to post news and upload the images/videos as they come.

ICM girls in Belfast, with BLAG

ICM girls in Belfast, with BLAG

We have already started planning the Half-Blood Prince coverage, and with three events in three consecutive days, try to imagine our current dilemma of having “only” nine staffers to cover the Japan, London and New York premieres, plus having someone online 24/7. Any ideas? Help is always appreciated!

Furthermore, we are constantly working on new things. As you can see, we have now launched Grintastic, which has been in the works for exactly a year (lol, we’re slow!). Not only did we need a layout (and had long discussions about what it should look like), but we also had to decide what to include in the first issue, and finally write up the damn articles!

A number of other things are currently in the works, none of which we can talk about just yet. These are things that take time to be set up and need a lot of organisation on our part. We don’t want to rush them either, and with the “other things” going on, those new things sometimes do have to wait. Stay tuned, though, and you’ll be in for some surprises in the future.

“Karma is a b*tch.” (Ivana, re: someone-who-must-not-be-named)

To give you an impression of how we work, here are some scenarios that have happened in the past three months:

1) 6am, you have just gotten up to go to work and you go online before even taking a shower. Tired as you are, you check if any of the bands from the Cherrybomb soundtrack have replied to your emails yet, and there is indeed a message, from none other than David Holmes: “Call me tonight at 7pm Belfast time, and I’ll do your interview”. That’s less than 14 hours, and you’re gonna spend 9 of them at work. Send message to staff: “HELP! I need questions!”

2) It is 10am on a February morning, you’re in the middle of a hospital ward round with Senior and Chief Consultant. Your mobile beeps (embarrassing enough) no less than 3 times. All of them texts from Jo, who is trying to secure tickets for the Cherrybomb World Premiere:
Text No1: “Site’s down! Can’t order tickets!”
Text No2: “All sold out! Didn’t get tickets!”
Text No3: “DID YOU GET THAT!!!”

3) It is 10pm, February, and you have only slept four hours total for the past three nights because you were doing stuff for the site. Jo sends a message to all staff: “Unfortunately Rupert won’t be able to come to Dublin because he’s filming, but GUESS WHAT!!!! RUPERT JUST FINISHED A PHOTOSHOOT AND INTERVIEW!!! And we’ll get more information on that tomorrow, including a PICTURE!”
A few hours later (after almost no sleep due to excitement of the upcoming news), you’re at work. A helpful text from Jo, whom you had asked to text you about the news as soon as they come up: “THE PICTURE!!!” And this is supposed to help you spend the next five hours WITHOUT internet???

4) After a web-free weekend in April, you’re back online and read the exciting news Ivana posted: One of us has been invited to the Preview of the Harry Potter Exhibition! Michelle manages to get off from work, and see all those Harry Potter objects before anyone else. You’re tempted to jump across the Atlantic just to hug her for this amazing opportunity.
Then you read that Michelle wonders what to wear…

5) You’re at the Belfast Film Festival and have just seen Cherrybomb with the entire (well, almost) crew in the same room. In the foyer, the Cherrybomb crew is still around and you get to talk to David Holmes and Glenn Leyburn. Some minutes later, you leave the cinema about to burst with excitement, because David and Glenn have just invited you to join them at the private aftershow party. By 2am, you and the rest of ICM girls are in the middle of the Cherrybomb crew, dancing and singing: “Hello daddy, hello mum, Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-CHERRYBOMB!!!”

ICM_LAMany of you have little idea of all the hard work done behind the scenes, because you only get to see the final product after weeks or months of work. In a way, it feels weird, because you, as the members of “ICM Street Team” and “Rupert’s Army” contribute more than you might realise to help with what this site is, and what we have been able to do. That is why we owe you a big THANK YOU!

We hope you continue to enjoy visiting ICM, and any ideas, thoughts and criticism are always welcome.

Stay tuned for what’s to come, and don’t forget to Keep Calm And Carry On!

Your Ice Cream Team

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