Tag Archives: Movies

Guest Post: How to Watch Anything, Anywhere

Guest Post: How to Watch Anything, Anywhere

About the Author: Caroline is an internet security and entertainment specialist. While at first glance, these things might not appear to go together, they frequently overlap. To see how this plays out, check out her article on SecureThoughts.com about how to watch American Netflix.

There’s nothing more bothersome than not being able to watch what you want, when you want. Nearly everyone has encountered a time when they’ve stumbled upon a blocked video here or there or found that they can’t find any good movies playing on TV when they’re ready to kick back and relax to a great film. Thankfully, RajaReviews.com has been kind enough to allow me to share some tips so you too can watch anything, anywhere. Before you begin watching, don’t forget to check out these reviews of some of these must-watch movies.

It’s not always easy to be able to find a good selection of movies or TV shows to watch when you’re traveling. But with tablets and smartphones getting larger, the ability to watch videos while on the go is becoming more sought after. Unfortunately for some travelers, their options may be really limited, mobile device or not.

Most streaming services use geo-restriction, meaning that you may not be able to access every video they have to offer, especially if you’re traveling outside of the country. With services like Netflix, the selection is often specific to the country you live in, and up until recently, they didn’t even allow anyone to use their services outside of the United States.

So how can you watch anything, anywhere, bypassing geo-restrictions when necessary?

A Virtual Private Network

The key to getting past those geo-restrictions is a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN is a remote server that encrypts your internet connection and hides your IP address (which is used to determine your location). By using a VPN service, you can select from a list of different locations and connect to the server located in that particular area.

When online, you will appear as though you’re located where the remote server is, allowing you to unblock geo-restricted content. For example, if you want to watch American Netflix, you’ll simply connect to one of the servers located in the United States before you access Netflix’s site. The same goes for any other website that you might want to unblock.

An additional bonus to using a VPN service is that not only will it allow you to watch videos that would typically be blocked, but it’ll also secure your connection while doing so and allow you to protect your privacy while using the internet.


There are several streaming services available that can be accessed on your mobile devices so chances are you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for on one of them. You can also use some of them on your game consoles or smart TV. Netflix is arguably one of the best services for streaming movies, and for a low price, it’s worth subscribing to. You’re able to watch in high definition with closed captions (if you prefer), and it’s entirely commercial free.

They also have a wide selection of movies, categorizing them into genres and subgenres so you can easily find a move that you’re in the mood for. Netflix also has some TV series on hand, though it’s unlikely you’ll find the most recent episodes (Hulu is a better option for that). Like most streaming services though, the content varies, and it changes regularly.

There are other options than Netflix for streaming too, many of which are also affordable and worthwhile.


Like Netflix, Hulu can be used on a variety of different devices. Their price is similar, but unlike Netflix, they haven’t decided to provide services to any countries other than the United States and Japan. You’ll still need a VPN for Hulu if you live outside of their service areas, but the library of movies they offer to their subscribers is rather impressive considering that they didn’t have many to offer in the past.

Hulu is especially useful for those who would like to keep up with TV shows though, as they have episodes of some series available the day after they premiere on cable TV.


YouTube has a variety of movies you can watch from your mobile device, and their app makes it easy to find what you’re looking for. You can also access YouTube on game consoles and smart TVs, making it a good option for streaming. Movies are available; though many of them will require you pay to view them.

On a lucky occasion, you might be able to find a couple of movies to stream for free on YouTube, though they generally try to remove those. Overall, it’s still worth searching through, and it offers some original content that’s sure to entertain you when you don’t quite have enough time to watch an entire movie.


There’s also Flixpack, a relatively new service that allows you read and share reviews about films and discover things you might not otherwise watch. It’s a great place to find links to stream free stuff on YouTube or Vimeo (complete with the reviews, of course). Their content encompasses mostly Indian and English movies and had more selections than you can imagine, so check it out.

Other Options

There are, of course, many other streaming services available too, some of which you might already have access to! If you subscribe to cable TV, your service provider might offer online streaming from their website or an app on your mobile device.

Though Netflix, Hulu and YouTube are some of the most popular around the globe (despite their restrictions), why not access as much of a variety as possible? Hulu will, of course, be a great place to stream American films and TV shows, but if you’re looking for other movies, this list of streaming services is likely to be helpful.

Watching anything, anywhere can be somewhat of a challenge at times, but with a little searching, you’re certain to find what you’re looking for. Best of all, you will be able to access the whole internet if you use a VPN service (so you won’t have to stick to censored material or limit your viewing options). With a smartphone or tablet on hand and the right tools, you’ll be on your way to watching anything, anywhere in no time!

Do you have a favorite streaming service that you use to watch movies on the go? Let us know about it in the comments section.

Chroma Key – How to make Superman fly the sky

Chroma Key – How to make Superman fly in the sky

In the previous Friday Fundas section I mentioned Cinema is a magical medium and how optical illusion can create perceived reality with techniques like Forced Perspective. One of the readers had asked an interesting question on how scenes similar to Kumbakarna and the tiny soldiers, Gulliver and Lilliputs are made. While some of the scenes may be forced perspective but the scenes which involve the Lilliputs walk over the giant body of Gulliver is covered by what is known as the Chroma Key Compositing or Chroma Keying Technique. This also popularly called as the Green Screen effect or the Blue screen effect.

The basic of Chroma Key is overlapping two images and make them merge with each other. Let us consider the flying action of Superman and the image of sky behind him. As images are built of pixels you would want to replace the background from the image of superman in flying action with that of the image of the sky. In order to achieve it you would want to make any pixels around Superman transparent. Well Chroma Keying is the technique to do that. The technique involves choosing certain color range of pixels and making it transparent.

A shot from Man of Steel using Chroma Keying
A shot from Man of Steel using Chroma Keying

In the initial days this was done using a blue screen at the background and then blue color was made transparent to merge with another frame to make it look like they are happening in the same space. It should be noted that no other character or object in the first scene should have blue color. As Superman has a blue costume instead of a blue screen a green screen could be used. In the modern days a green screen is used prevalently as the image sensors in digital video cameras are more sensitive to green there by allocating more pixels to green channel.

Prior to the digital era Chroma Key was also performed on the films. It was popularly referred to as Matte technique. The technique is as old as 1930s. The scene comprises of two scenes one the foreground shot and the other the background shot. The background of the foreground shot when taken would be a blue screen. Now the camera color negative of this shot was printed onto a high contrast black and white film using either a filter or the black and white film to limit the blue color. The resultant film produced transparent color wherever it found blue. The end result is the foreground object with a transparent background. This is called the “Female matte”. This was now copied onto the high contrast negative of the background scene which is called the “Male matte”. The end result is the negative of the film with both these scenes merged with each other.

One of the key challenges in this technique was camera movement. The camera movement used when shooting the foreground should be used exactly the same way while shooting the background scene. Later techniques were developed to automate this process to move the camera exactly the same way.

Well next time you see Superman fly or Batman jump across buildings you would remember there is always a Chroma Key behind it.

Related Posts: Forced Perspective | Bullet Time | Friday Fundas Archive

Kuleshov Effect or How Hitchcock turned a kind gentleman to a dirty old man

Kuleshov Effect 

In the last Friday Fundas section I had covered one of the basic units of film grammar Reaction Shot. In this week’s Friday Fundas I am going to cover a related topic called as Kuleshov Effect.

Russian filmmaker Lev Kuleshov demonstrated a very powerful editing technique in cinema during the 1920s. His experiment involved shooting 4 different shots.

1. Face of an actor with a neutral expression

2. A bowl of soup

3. A dead girl in a coffin

4. A hot woman on a divan

Now he created three films out of these shots. In the first film he alternated between the face of the actor and the bowl of soup. In the second film he alternated between the face of the actor and the dead girl in the coffin. In the third film he alternated between the face of the actor and the hot woman on the divan. He now showed this to three different set of audience. The audience who watched the first film said he had an expression of hunger. The audience who watched the second film said he had an expression of grief. The audience who watched the third film said he had an expression of lust.  Many of them also complimented the acting performance of the actor. But in reality the expression of the character was the same shot. Kuleshov proved that audience when watching a film bring in their emotional reactions to the shot. This would mean that two unrelated shots in reality can be assembled together to create a new meaning. This is the power of editing in films.

An editor should be able to define the meaning the film wants to convey by arranging the shots in a specific order.

In one of his famous interviews Alfred Hitchcock explains the importance of Kuleshov’s effect. He calls it the pure technique of assembling the shots in cinema.

He shows the shot of him squinting, followed by a shot of a woman with a baby playing in the park. Then there is a shot of him smiling. He represents a kind gentleman who loves babies. Now he replaces the shot of the woman and the baby with a shot of a woman in a bikini. You see him squinting at something, then the woman in a bikini is shown and then the shot of him smiling is shown. The whole meaning of the scene changes now. He suddenly becomes a dirty old man.

Watch the video here.

Thus is the power of Kuleshov effect. The power of editing involves assembling of shots to evoke the desired emotions from the audience.

Isn’t it amazing that most of us emote the same way to a particular scene? The magic of cinema continues…

Related Articles: Reaction Shot  | Over the shoulder Shot | Types of Shots | Breaking the 4th Wall