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Why Black Sails be the best Pirate Entertainment ever!

I loved the Black Sails TV series done by Starz, it just finished its fourth n’ final season. My life revolves around piracy.  I think about it, work it, n’ live it full time.  I try to visit pirate landmarks, pirate events n’ see what people make fer the pirate industry. Below be the reasons why me thinks it be the Best Pirate TV or Movie every made, arrrgh!

Time: Longer be Better, More Time to Enjoy Maties! Black Sails be the longest running pirate TV series with 38 Episodes of 49-65 minutes each, fer about 38 hours total. The 1958 Adventures of Long John Silver only be 26 episodes of 30 minutes apiece. The 1986 Return of Treasure Island only be 10 episodes of about 12 hours total time. The five Pirates of the Caribbean movies series be a mere combined total of 12 hours run time.

Realistic: Who Said Pirates Be fer Kids? Most pirate programs cast the pirate as a good guy, but history has shown time n’ time again that pirates be self servin’ criminals. Up till now, most pirate programs be made up, n’ followed pirate mythology o’er history. Pirates in media come with made up or embellished tropes, like parrots, eye patches, hooks, buried treasure, walking the plank, crew blindly following the all-powerful captain.

Points of Interests: Walking the plank be a myth made up by Robert Louis Stevenson in Treasure Island. Hollywood decided to popularize the plank o’er keelhauling (dragging someone along the bottom o’ the ship.)  I believe that Black Sails be the first program to realistically portray of keelhauling, when Woodes Rogers killed Black Beard.

Pirates wrote up a Code that stated the rules fer discipline, division of stolen goods, compensation fer injury, as well as voting fer a captain. The only time a captain is truly in charge is when the crew had voted to fight or plunder. There be a lot of politics involved n’ not all of it could be solved at the point o’ a sword. Black Sails did a grand job of illustrating many of these points.

African Slavery n’ the Maroon Rebels: Sometimes pirates treated black slaves as just cargo to be sold. Other times they could be invited on as regular crew member with a right to vote n’ earn shares o’ plunder. Black Sails showcased both scenarios, but not the third option of working them on the ship as slaves with no vote or a share. It were common that some pirate crews did use both press-ganged sailors n’ slaves; so the regular crew would do less work n’ gain more plunder. It was a dangerous practice howe’er, if ye got too many disgruntled workers they would often mutiny.

Black Sails did address the topic of maroons, who were escaped slaves from the Caribbean Islands. They banded together to create hidden communities, which threatened the British Government’s control o’er important regions in the West Indies. Jamaica itself experienced multiple Maroon uprisings in the 18th Century. The first Maroon War began in 1731, with the ending around 10 years later with the British government recognizing their freedom n’ some territory in Jamaica as long as they would support the British against foreign invasion.

Sexuality n’ Prostitution: Most other programs show nude women as 2 dimensional show pieces, while Black Sails give their prostitutes more character n’ real plots in the story line. They also give screen time to both women n’ men nudity, as well as addressing gay, lesbian n’ bisexual roles from minor to major characters.

Business End of Piracy: The purser counted up the plunder to calculate the shares after expenses, instead of the more common dividing of plunder piece by piece on the deck. They also show the selling of plunder to a merchant at a pirate friendly port that would ship it off to sell at a pirate unfriendly port for more profit.  Without these kinds of intricate business relationships, piracy could not survive.

The Action: Black Sails showed more variety than the standard swing across on rope boarding action which end with the two captains having an empty deck to fence on fer 10 minutes. They showed surrendering without a fight scene as well as showing barricading down in the ship hull stand offs. Black Sails shows more than just cutlasses n’ pistols. They used muskets, blunderbuss, cavalry lances, hammers, daggers n’ boarding axes as well. I would just add more Boarding pikes.

Even though Black Sails gets a whole bunch of things right, they still get a number of things wrong.

Costumes be much better than the 1950 pirate movies, but they still mix clothing from 1650 with 1775 with 1815. The program is set in 1715, so almost none of it be correct. I know this happened because movie prop houses have a lot of stuff left over from doing Revolutionary and Napoleonic war films. They changed thar garb to be more distressed and dirty to fool the audience to believe that it is historically accurate. Fashion aged just as quickly in the 18th Century as it does today. Wearing an outfit from the 1600s in 1715 would still be like wearing 1980’s clothes today in terms of fashion!

The size of the ship that pirates normally used be smaller single masted sloops which were fast. They might be 85 feet long with eight cannon and a crew of 120.  Many of the ships featured, be three masted, First or Second Rate Man o’ War ships with two or three decks of guns. They be around 200 feet long n’ be needing a crew of 750. Those types o’ ships be so slow they wouldn’t be able to capture any prizes.  Pirates went after lightly armed or unarmed merchant ships.

Conclusion: I don’t think Black Sails got the exposure that it should’ve, as I believe it to be a far better program than Game of Thrones. This be partly due to the fact that HBO network has more pull than Starz network. Overall I was impressed with the flow of the story, the character arcs of characters like John Silver going from nobody to pirate hero and Charles Vane from villain to leader of a rebellion. Black Sails is the first media program to portray pirates in a realistic n’ adult manner. I hope that it not be the last of such a portrayal. Until then, I’ll have some more rum n’ watch 4 seasons of Black Sails on my Blue Ray collection.

 

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Pirates of the Caribbean 5 Trailers

Well shiver me timbers, the first three trailers fer the next Pirates of the Caribbean Movies, Dead Men Tell No Tales have come out! 

The first one be the introduction of the new villain, Captain Salazar, played by Javier Bardem, as ghost pirate.  It sets up the start of the movie, but not what it’s about, plus there be no sight of Cap'n Jack Sparrow. Maybe Disney is still mad at John Depp fer bringin' that illegal monkey to Australia, as well as getting hurt and stopping productions fer a couple of months. 

The second trailer aired during the Super Bowl. This one you don’t see until the very end and he is completely covered with mud. We do get to see Captain Barbossa, Will Turner and the new heroine, played by Kaya Scodelario in the preview. It shows lots of tiny scenes, but still no overall story, other than lots of ghostly pirates.

I have no idea why they decided to set the trailer to Johnny Cash’s “Ain’t No Grave” song as the soundtrack to the trailer, it has a cowboy feel to it.  Why they didn’t use a Keith Richards song instead? I have no idea!

The third trailer came out on March 2nd, n’ it finally tells a bit of the story, instead of just a teaser that doesn’t say anything other than a movie is coming out. It tells the backstory of how he destroyed Captain Salazar n’ why he is after Jack n' all the other pirates. It shows a number o' interactions between Jack and the two new major characters, Henry, a stubborn young sailor n' Carina Smyth, a gifted astronomer. They help Jack find the legendary Trident of Poseidon to battle Captain Salazar.

What we believe to be the Official Spanish theatrical movie poster came out n’ I like it! We finally get a good view of some of the new outfits from the Movie! Jack n' Barbosa sport the same outfits as the last movie, but ye can see the two new character in standard period garb of the Golden Age. Captain Salazar is wearing a Napoleonic Era uniform, which be almost an entire century too early.

They say that this is supposed to be more like the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie with zombie pirates n' it will reboot the series. But I swear they said the same thing fer the last one as well! Maties, we can always hope fer the best n’ plan fer the worst!

POTC5 is due to be release on May 26, 2017 during Labor Day Weekend, so we will see the movie in 3 months time, arrrgh!

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Hugh Jackmen as Blackbeard

In August 2014 Newsletter, I made the prediction that Peter and the Starcatchers was going to be the next big pirate movie series that featured pirates.  The movie is called Pan, I not sure if actually based on the Starcatchers series or a completed different store, as many time moves based on book are completely changed.

It features Hugh Jackmen as Blackbeard, who I love as an actor in some of period films such as Les Miserables and Kate & Leopold. But I am not really like this Blackbeard look in armor n' feathers with the very high hair line. I do love his double barrel flintlock pistol he carries on his baldric.  Here is the first official teaser trailer to the movie.

 

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Sponge Bob 2 Movie

In September, I be contacted by a prop house in need of a cutlass n' baldric. We ended up providing 4 of arrrrr Stage Combat Caribbean Guard Hangers and a dozen Custom Leather Baldrics. These items ended up being used in the up coming Spong Bob 2 Movie, which is a life action and animation film that includes one pirate, played by Antiono Banderas (The Mask of Zorro, Puss in Boots). They were filming in Savannah, Georgia in October of 2013. They were also filming on Tybee Island the week before the Pirate Festival, that I be vending at. I wanted to meet up with the prop house, but ran out of time.

Here be the story about arrrr involvement. The prop house first wanted soft leather fer the bladrics, even though I told them that is would not hold the cutlass well. I send off the 2 cutlasses in stock and had two more made. Once they got the baldric n' put the sword in, they figured I be right, so they order a set of stiffer leather one (I used a special water buffalo hide that be softer than cow hide but stronger).

The two new swords were different than the two old swords. So the prop house send the old swords back and had us made two more new ones exactly like the other two. The prop house told me that they would use the soft baldric in some of the scene and the hard baldric on others. Well they lost the first set of baldrics and had me make them another set. On the first day of filming, they needed to change something on the baldric, so they sent them back to us over night, we had to make a new set of them and send it out the next day, so they could go back to filming.

So that be arrr tail of what its like to work fer a feature film on the prop side of things. Things be stressful on movie project but rewarding to see arrr work in movies. SpongeBob SquarePants 2 is set for release on February 13, 2015. Here be the Offical Trailer fer the SpongeBob 2 Movie.

 

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This be arrrr 37th issue of the Pirate Fashions Newsletter for Dec 2013. In transfer the old website to the new one, we had issues transferring the newsletter. So we be reposing the feature article into this blog instead of losing all the past newsletters.

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Black Sails TV Series

n January 2014, the Starz Network will present the highly anticipated pirate adventure, Black Sails, centers on the tales of Captain Flint and his men and takes place 20 years prior to Robert Louis Stevenson's classic "Treasure Island." There be 8 episodes in the first season of this Pirate program.

Flint, the most brilliant and most feared pirate captain of his day, takes on a fast-talking young addition to his crew who goes by the name John Silver. Threatened with extinction on all sides, they fight for the survival of New Providence Island, the most notorious criminal haven of its day – a debauched paradise teeming with pirates, prostitutes, thieves and fortune seekers, a place defined by both its enlightened ideals and its stunning brutality.

The executive producer is Michael Bay, who produced Transformers, Armageddon, Pearl Harbor. View the Black Sails Trailer, which looks like it should be a pretty good show. There be a special sneak screening at San Diego Comic Con on July 18.

 We provided some of the black powder firearms used on this fine pirate TV series.

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This be arrrr 32nd issue of the Pirate Fashions Newsletter for Jul 2013. In transfer the old website to the new one, we had issues transferring the newsletter. So we be reposing the feature article into this blog instead of losing all the past newsletters.

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Pirate Fashion Crew play Conquistadors in Documentary called "America"

I recieve a call from a costumer working on a documentary about the discovery of the new world. The production company named America Films LLC which makes films for the History Channel. They be in need of a crew of the conquistadors row boats, secure a beach landing, patrol uncharted lands, look for gold, kill native indians n' destroy villages. Funny, sounds alot like pirating. We took up the challenge of acquiring armour, period clothing, making matchlocks, weathering equipment, recuriting n' training volunteers in 10 days. We spend two days at Fort DeSoto filming. It will be next year before the documentry Americawill be release.

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This be arrrr 30th issue of the Pirate Fashions Newsletter for May 2013. In transfer the old website to the new one, we had issues transferring the newsletter. So we be reposing the feature article into this blog instead of losing all the past newsletters.

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The Sovereigh of the Seas

This here book be taking ye back in time to the year 1799 to sail with Captain Pike n' his crew on their unbelievable journey in search of the four keys of the sea. Good verses evil is the name of the game in this classic story, n' as always, if good is not really careful, evil will prevail. Demons, devils, witches n' sea maidens all play an important roll in this unforgettable story, many out to help the crew n' many out to stop them. The book has a five star rating on Amazon!

D.M. Atlas over at The Almost Living Motion Picture Company, LLC has purchased the screen rights for the movie.This 3 hour motion picture is scheduled to be released Dec. 2013. Once funded a fully functioning, 140 foot long, three tall mast great ship will be built in Turkey & sailed the States where filming will begin all over the east coast's barrier islands as well as the Caribbean including the Virgin Islands. If ye be interested in auditioning fer a part, following this link to casting.

Stephen P. Simpson, the author with no prior experience in writing, 3 years ago he sat down to write. Two years later he had created the greatest pirate tale ever told, the Sovereign of the Seas "The Four Keys".

 

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This be arrrr 23rd issue of the Pirate Fashions Newsletter for Oct 2012. In transfer the old website to the new one, we had issues transferring the newsletter. So we be reposing the feature article into this blog instead of losing all the past newsletters.

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Republic of Pirates TV Series

NBC is expected to unveil plans at its upfront presentation next week for a new drama series about pirates, targeted to launch in March 2013.

The 10-episode series, “Republic of Pirates,” is reportedly being financed by Reliance, an Indian media firm that has traditionally been involved in feature films. Reliance, known as a backer of Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks Studios, is looking to make a move into U.S. television, the story reports.

“NBC is finalizing a deal for a straight-to-series order to the period drama, which will be produced by Georgeville Television, an independent TV studio formed recently by producer and former Heyday Films executive Marc Rosen (‘Harry Potter’), and Motion Picture Capital, the finance arm of Reliance Entertainment.

Neil Cross (“Luther”) is said to be close to a deal to write and executive produce with Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald. The project is based on the Colin Woodard book “The Republic of Pirates.”

 

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This be arrrr 21th issue of the Pirate Fashions Newsletter for Aug 2012. In transfer the old website to the new one, we had issues transferring the newsletter. So we be reposing the feature article into this blog instead of losing all the past newsletters.

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The Pirates! Band of Misfits

This be an upcoming 3-D stop-motion animated film produced by Aardman Animations in partnership with Sony Pictures Animation. It be directed by Peter Lord n' co-directed by Jeff Newitt. The film be release on 27 April 2012, in US. The Pirates! will feature the voices of Hugh Grant, Salma Hayek, Jeremy Piven, Imelda Staunton and David Tennant.

The film is based on the first two books from Gideon Defoe's The Pirates! series, The Pirates! in an Adventure with Scientists and The Pirates! in an Adventure with Whaling. It is Aardman Animations' first stop-motion clay animated feature to be released in Digital 3D. If ye like Monty Python, ye will surely like this funnly film. Ye can view the film trailer, arrrrrgh!

 

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This be arrrr 17th issue of the Pirate Fashions Newsletter for Apr 2012. In transfer the old website to the new one, we had issues transferring the newsletter. So we be reposing the feature article into this blog instead of losing all the past newsletters.

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The Adventures of Tintin features Pirates

Speilberg loves pirates, so he has enlisted Pete Jackson to help him craft the WW2 era comic book into a 3D animation. The story be based on comic series by Belgian artist Herge. Tintin, a young journalist buys a model tallship named the Unicorn, based on a 17th century treasure ship captained by Sir Francis Haddock and attached by Red Rackham the pirate. There is a good ship battle between the two ships. The movie has been getting good review, but I haven't seen it yet.

TinTin Movie Trailer

 

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This be arrrr 14th issue of the Pirate Fashions Newsletter for Jan 2012. In transfer the old website to the new one, we had issues transferring the newsletter. So we be reposing the feature article into this blog instead of losing all the past newsletters.

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