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Star Wars: Episode 4

Today in History: STAR WARS Strikes Back (again and then again)

We all appreciate the impact “Star Wars” has had on pop culture. It can’t be overstated. Whle “Jaws” may have been the first major

Star Wars: Episode 4
Star Wars: Episode 4

“summer blockbuster” in 1975, “Star Wars” came along and nearly doubled it’s lifetime box office (and I’m just talking about the very first Star Wars movie, now referred to as “Episode 4″ in the franchise canon). It’s soaked into our identity and vernacular. Everybody knows what a lightsaber is–even kids who’ve never even seen one of the movies. If you go up to someone and say, “Long ago….” there’s a good chance they’ll come back with, “…in a galaxy far, far away.” It both influences other media and infiltrates it. There were a ton of no-name knockoff space operas in the years that followed, trying to cash in on the Star Wars fever. Of course, without the talent and passion behind them they were easily forgotten. And Star Wars is routinely mentioned in music (Weird Al has at least two or three songs about Star Wars), been the central theme of TV shows (remember when Leonard and Sheldon broke into Skywalker Ranch on “The Big Bang Theory”?)…it’s one of the most ubiquitous films of all tme. Maybe THE most.

The original theatrical run of Episode 4 was just not enough for people. VCR’s and movie rentals were still a few years ahead of the mainstream and people wanted to see this movie over, and over again. So on August 13th, 1982, two years after the seconf film (The Empire Strikes Back!) was released, Star Wars burst into theaters again, blasters blazing. It included the trailer for the third (and supposedly final) film, “Return of the Jedi.” During this run it grossed over $15 million. A five year old movie that everybody had already seen. People just couldn’t get enough of Luke Skywalker, stanring off into the burning Tatooine sunset. They needed to relive Han Solo asking, “Who’s scruffy looking?” And everyone needed more R2-D2 and C-3P0 in their lives (we still do).

That would be amazing enough except that Star Wars got ANOTHER WIDE THEATRICAL RELEASE! Almost twenty years after the original run George Lucas gave us the (fan-loathing and overly retconned)

The Empire Strikes Back!
The Empire Strikes Back!

Special Editions. These were digitally remastered, had a ton of extra scenes added, other scenes and musical cues tweaked, it made a ton of money, I don’t care for them at all. So let’s move on to the release of the VHS Special Edition Boxed Set. This happened, AGAIN on August 13th, the summer of 1997. This was where George Lucas and  the fans he’d given so much to broke up. The Special Editions were released with no plans to offer the original theatrical versions (the ones that he didn’t mess around with). Star Wars fans were (and still are) furious. They mostly did not like the additions and changes and didn’t understand why they couldn’t get cleaned up restorations of the originals (evenutally they were included, bare bones

Return of the Jedi
Return of the Jedi

and with no re-mastering as secondary discs with the special Edition DVD release). Star Wars fans are passionate, to say the least, and were crestfallen. There’s even an entire documentary about the rift between Lucas and his fans (The People VS. George Lucas).

With Disney having taken over the franchise and the first film under the new regime due out this Christmas, hopes are high that the movies will get back to their glory days. It’s doubtful though, that they’ll ever be able to recapture the magic of that first run, of that first film (or that second run for that matter). So while you’re thinking nostalgic thoughts about enjoying Star Wars with your dad as a kid, playing with your action figures and making the little guns go “pew pew!” why don’t you head on over to Posterservice.com and check out our selection of Star Wars posters. Maybe pick one (or all of them) up, frame them with posterframes from Frame USA and relive those Alderaan days and Tatooine nights (and get ready for the onslaught of new movies).

Portrait of Hong Kong

ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Marc Allante

In today’s blog we’re going to spotlight an artist that we at Frame USA/Posterservice have had the pleasure of working with: Marc Allante. His print “Achilles” is one of our most popular posters and anytime we get new art from him we’re always pleased and excited.

Marc was born in Hong Kong and is currently based there where he is represented by the Avenue Des Arts gallery. He has lived in Sydney and London as well and it’s this blend of eastern and western cultures that informs his unique vision.

A self taught artist, Marc creates his images by combining traditional Chinese inks with European watercolor and pen techniques. He has a distinct style, often incorporating a paint drip and spatter look. His subject matter is varied with animals and architecture comprising much of his most striking work. In particular he has a way of capturing the energy and joy of birds in flight. He also incorporates silhouettes to create romantic imagery like his popular “Two Step.” 

He’s a versatile artist whose voice continues to change and develop in new and unexpected directions. Check him out at his website Marcallante.com to see his full portfolio and where he will be exhibiting. While you’re at it, follow him on Facebook and Twitter (@marcallanteart) .You can also come over to Posterservice.com and search “Marc Allante” or go to our Art Posters section to see the 24×36 posters we currently carry. If you are looking for art to put in picture framds that encompass beauty, color and joy, you’ve found it in Marc’s work.

Portrait of Hong Kong
Portrait of Hong Kong
Marc Allante's Two Step
Two Step
Achiles
Achilles
Marvel

Comic Books Conquer TV

It would be an understatement to say that comic book adaptations have overtaken television. One web article lists 42(!) announced series based on comics of all genres. Superheroes, horror, sci-fi and some plain old comedy (a series based on Archie Comics called “Riverdale” is being prepped by Warner Brothers Television). Due to the episodic nature of both mediums, these stories  seem to fare better (both critically and with viewers) than their big screen counterparts. In a television show, as in a comic, characters can develop and change over time, and story arcs can be more fully explored. In a movie, you have a limited amount of time with your audience to try and deliver a fully realized story. So maybe it’s not so surprising that these tv adaptations seem to connect better with their viewers.

 

The Walking dead
The Walking Dead Season 3
Item # PSA009572

One of the greatest comic book-to-small screen success stories is AMC’s “The Walking Dead.” Based on the series by Robert Kirkman, TWD follows a group of survivors navigating their way through a zombie apocalypse (or more accurately, a post-zombie apocalypse world). It is gritty, violent and gory but depicts it’s characters’ attempts to hold on to their humanity in a world where being humane usually gets one killed. Now going into it’s sixth season, TWD continues to pull high ratings and generate buzz. It’s been so successful in fact, that AMC had launched a spin off series, “Fear the Walking Dead” to begin in August. “Fear the Walking Dead” will show the beginning of the plague that eventually decimates the world and show the collapse of civilization. “The Walking Dead” is not the only horror comics series to be adapted recently either. “Constantine” based on the “Hellblazer” comics from DC received critical praise at NBC, but wasn’t able to pull in the ratings it needed to make it to a second season. The CW gave us “IZombie” this year, based on the DC Vertigo book. Upcoming horror comics turned tv shows are “Lucifer” (the FOX network)based on a character from DC’s “Sandman” comics, and ” Preacher” based on the highly acclaimed DC Vertigo comic.

Daredevil
Daredevil

Of course, it’s the superhero comics we know best. They’re brightly colored and feature characters we can rally behind. This last year saw Marvel expand their Cinematic Universe (the films and shows that all tie in to one another) further into television with multiple titles. “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” returned for a second season and “Agent Carter” premiered, both at ABC, both part of the Avengers franchise. And over at Netflix, the new “Daredevil” reboot was just released to mainly positive reviews (especially for Vincent D’Onofrio’s portrayal of Wilson Fisk, AKA Kingpin). All three shows connect to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and characters from all of them may now show up in other films and tv shows within it. The big surprise, however, is the success that DC has found on television. They haven’st done very well with certain properties on the big screen (aside from the Tim Burton and Chris Nolan “Batman” runs and Christopher Reeve era “Superman”). Over the past few years, however, they’ve managed to build some very well received shows with “Arrow,” “The Flash,” and “Gotham.” All of which tweak their mythologies some but with a sense of fun that is sometimes missing from their movie adaptations. DC has also two adaptations coming up from the “Superman” universe; one is “Supergirl” premiering in November at CBS and “Krypton” which is in develpment at SyFy.

Jim Lee's Batman
Jim Lee’s Batman

The last few years have been called a “Golden Age” for television with so many scripted series pushing the boundaries of what storytelling can be, and what kinds of characters resonate with us. Comic books inject so much color (sometimes light, sometimes dark) into the medium that it’s easy to see why producers, writers, directors and actors fight to grab up these properties and try to bring them to three dimensional life.

So kick back, grab some popcorn and a drink, and strap in–your favorite characters are about to step off of the page and into your living room. And after your thrilling adventures are over, click into Posterservice.com and pick up one of (or all of, why not?) our many comic book, movie and tv posters to hang on your wall.

 

 

 

A Day In The Life of A Customer Service Rep From an Outsiders Perspective

A Day in the life of a Customer Service Representative from the eyes of an outsider.

Like any other company Frame USA Employees go through training when they first get hired. They spend time with their manager and go through what they are supposed to do day in and day out. Frame USA however has a different training process, instead of having a training day or two day training, Frame USA employees have an entire week of training. They spend time with each department and learn how to do each part of the company. The employees won’t become masters at each process but they will become familiar with it.

This training week comes incredibly in handy when we have employees out of the office, whether it’s for a trade show or for personal reasons. Other areas of the departments can fill in for them if they get really busy throughout the week.

This week we have 2 employees that work in our customer service/sales department out of the office at a Trade Show. This leaves only 4 other employees to man the area. That’s where I come in.

Since my job primarily involves not conversing with customers or vendors and requires me to be on the computer the full day I make the perfect candidate to jump in and help out the customer service sales department while still accomplishing my day to day tasks.

The day of a Customer Service Rep begins like all of the office employees at 8:15 A.M. EST. They spend their morning before we open to customers checking emails from the previous day, processing internet orders that have been placed. Having meetings with their superiors.

Then it happens, the clock hits 9:00 A.M. EST and the phones click on. Some days this is like the stampede scene in the Lion King, silence and then all of a sudden BAM all the phones are ringing at once. Other days there is a steady trickle of phone calls throughout the day.

The Bigger companies that offer a live chat service on their website most likely have a bunch of different teams doing each different part of a CS representative. At Frame USA our team of 6 customer service/sales reps handles it all from live chats, to ordering, to answering shipping questions, and answering billing questions. They do however have help from all areas of the building answering some of these questions.

The same friendly individuals that talk with you over the phones are the same knowledgeable folks answering your questions over live chat.

In between answering phones and live chatting, customer service reps spend their time entering orders from customers as well as outside sales reps. This process although fairly simple can also be challenging, when you have humans entering in orders, you run the risk of human errors happening, for a number to be off resulting in the wrong product being ordered. Frame USA has employed a system to prevent these by having all orders checked over by someone other than the person who entered it.

At first glance, the job of a customer service representative seems fairly easy, but when you get down into the position, as I have this week, you discover that the job of customer service representatives is much more complex. They are the contact to customers. They are the people that can make or break sales. A rude customer service rep, as many of you have probably experienced turns an opinion of the company to a negative one. The job of a customer service rep requires a patient, self-motivating, hardworking individual. Not everyone on this planet has what it takes to hold this position, but in my opinion as an outsider, we have found the 6 who do.

If you would like to give a shout out to one of our reps that have helped you we would love to hear from you, Just leave a comment!

Stay tuned next week as one of our 6 talented CS Reps gives an actual account of a their day.

picture frame charity

Frame USA Donates Picture Frames to Charity

Community. Whether you’re a business, a family, a nonprofit or an individual, you are formed and molded by your local communities. At Frame USA, we feel that communities from all across the United States can benefit from a little help here and there; especially when they’re making positive differences in their area. We received this great message from Grace Church after we helped them by donating 30+ Unfinished picture frames:

 


 “Dear Dan [CEO, Frame USA],

I bet that by now you have forgotten about us here in Wisconsin, or at least thought that we forgot about you and were acting like the 9 out of 10 lepers who failed to return to thank Jesus after they were healed. On the contrary, we want you to know that we have never stopped thanking you for your kindness and generosity to Grace Church.

It has taken a long time…. to mobilize the missionaries to send in a new picture, to get the frames stained, to order the vinyl and then to get the authorized person to hang the frames on the wall. … The frames are in a really nice formation, and on two different walls as you leave the sanctuary. One side is for Global missionaries and the other for U.S. missionaries….”


Needless to say, we were glad to help such a great cause. Do you have any deserving causes that you’d like to see mentioned or considered for our Charity of the Month? Leave a comment below, or visit our Charity page to learn more.   picture frame charity *Note that these frames were sent as Unfinished frames, but wood-stained by the recipients. Just another way to add your own personal touch!

Walking Dead in our Victorian Frame

The Walking Dead Framed by Telltale Games

Telltale Games, a big-name game studio with credits like Sam & Max and their enormous hit, The Walking Dead, decided to use our frames for as a part of their marketing efforts. The results turned out great!

elegant picture frames
Clementine and Lee from Telltale’s Walking Dead game. Placed in a Victorian wood frame.

 

A limited number of these were sent out to the big names in gaming media, like Game Informer and IGN. We’re told that IGN still has this framed print in their main lobby! Telltale Games has ordered from us again as of a few weeks ago for their appearance at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). We’re excited to see what they come up with this time!

Whether you’re setting up a gallery, putting together a nice gift for your customers or looking for a creative advertising strategy, Frame USA aims to give you unlimited possibilities. For a free quote on any of our items, feel free to fill out our Custom Quote form here.

Picture Frame Quality

Picture Frame Quality

 

Raving Fans

As we peruse the World Wide Web and dig around looking for references to Frame USA and picture frames, we have seen many questions and comments about the quality of picture frames from various manufacturers across the net.

We’ll say it again and again, and then one more time.. We are dedicated to creating raving fans of our frame products and our customer service.

Quality Counts

Every manufacturer wants to have the highest quality product at the lowest prices with the highest number of satisfied customers. If that isn’t your goal, then why are you in business, right?

We are extremely proud of our products, but occasionally something slips through. This is true of any manufacturer, whether they produce purple glitter widgets or picture frames. What we want you to know is this — If you ever have any issue with an order from Frame USA, we want you to get in contact with us immediately and give us a chance to make it right.

What If My Frame Order Has An Issue?

CALL1.800.577.5920
You can call us at our toll free number anytime between 9-5 PM EST.

CHATClick Here To Chat via Text
You can talk with us via text based chat anytime between 9-5 PM EST.

EMAIL[email protected]
You can contact us via email anytime, and we’ll get back to you by the next business day.

Picture Frame Quality

Picture Frame Reviews

Latest Customer Testimonials – Raving Fans of Frame USA

Picture Frame Reviews
The following quotes are from some of our online frame customers. Frame USA has made a commitment to creating raving fans. If you have a story or review of our services or frames, don’t hesitate to get in contact with us today.

Thank you very much for the phone call, emails and FedEx tracking you sent me. I received my frames today. They are exactly what I was looking for. Well worth the wait. I am very pleased to know that there is a rush option thank you!!

You and your team were very attentive and even nice about my bugging you about a rush. This really stands out to me. What a wonderful company to deal with.

Thank you and your team for your efforts

Warm Regards,

Erin

 

I just received the new frame the other day and it looks great. Thank you for handling that so quickly!

Dana

Just wanted to say thanks again, I am super impressed! The frames are already here and they are absolutely perfect. I appreciate your help.

Kristen

Customer Service Manager,

I just wanted to let you know about the great service I received from Shauna Florence. She went above and belong what I consider good customer service….moving the bar up to great customer service. I was looking for some bent acrylic frames, and she did what needed to be done to make sure I got what I was looking for. SHE WAS GREAT!!!!

My order is on it’s way thanks to the extra effort and service Shauna gave me.
Chris

Just wanted to tell you I am extremely pleased with my frames and to let you know I will be ordering again. Thank you for helping me and hope you had a Happy Valentines Day.

Joe

My frames arrived today, very good quality and very well packed.

I prefer my customers take care of their own framing, but some of them are over 70. That now includes me!

I’m sure that my customers and myself will be back for more!

Thank You Very Much!

Joe

Kelly ..I just got my order with a frame I ordered in the Black Smoke!! Love it!! I think that will be a keeper for this year’s Senior’s!!
Wish I would have ordered one sooner to take a look at!!!

Have a Great Week!

Shelli

Just wanted to let you know we received the frames we ordered at the beginning of the week, ahead of schedule I might add! Thanks so much for helping get this order through your system and please thank your Production Manager for getting them put together so quickly, you guys made my day!

Best regards,

Ray

Received my box of Frames today… Framing will commence tonight.. woo hoo! Looking forward to see how my multimedia pieces will work.

Just wanted to say thanks to you (and your associates) for the way you handled this problem. The correct frames were delivered Wednesday 12/19. Plenty of time for Christmas!

We really appreciate your efforts. Great job. Thank you.

Mike

I received the 3 frames yesterday in perfect condition. Many thanks for the efficient service. Merry Christmas!

Carmen

P.S. I donated to the Fill the Truck charity. Great cause.

 

Remember, if you have any questions don’t hesitate to call us at 800.577.5920, or use our Custom Quote Form to receive a quote for special orders.