The Big Think

May 15, 2013

Doppelganger

Filed under: Movies — jasony @ 9:50 pm

Biopic Actors and Their Real-Life Counterparts

The Helen Murren/Queen Elizabeth one is gobsmackingly (sorry, Kat) alike.

May 9, 2013

And My Axe

Filed under: Maker,Movies — jasony @ 6:13 pm

May 8, 2013

Hmmm… Now Which Way is that Enemy Gate?

Filed under: Movies — jasony @ 8:54 pm

Can’t wait for this!

April 17, 2013

The Steel Building and the Yellow Towel

Filed under: Business,Education,Movies,Music — jasony @ 9:18 am

And now for something non political. You’re welcome. 🙂

I saw this on Facebook this morning and it got me thinking about music, movie trailers, and communicating through art. Give this a few minutes. In fact, watch it once and don’t think about anything. Just watch it as you would any other trailer. Then watch it again and pay attention to the music.

Movie trailers are an art form in and of themselves. A good trailer can make or break a quarter-billion-dollar movie, making the lowest piece of dreck seem like a perfectly good way to blow ten bucks and two hours on a friday night. Similarly, a bad trailer can take the best piece of cinema and leave the audience with a deadly feeling of “meh” during the previews. This trailer accomplishes what it sets out to do perfectly. Posing spoken and unspoken questions in the mind of the viewer while building to an emotional climax that makes you feel better for having watched it.

First off, I really like what the the music isn’t. It’s not the typical BWAAAH… BWAAAHHHH that we’ve become accustomed to since Inception a few years ago. It doesn’t get in your face and say “I’M THE MUSIC!”. That works in some contexts and trailers, but this one called for a more reserved and traditional approach. From the quiet piano statement at the beginning with simple harmonies, the music is understated while still being regal. Then the light rhythm starts and we hear words of inspiration and aspiration. Slow build. Slow build. Good intercutting between the spoken words and the music. Good storytelling in a three minute format. The trailer is a mini-movie in itself. By the time the brass comes in full-tilt at the 2:00 mark we’re sold. Give us the bad guy, show us the digital FX. Explosions and mayhem. It becomes a big giant summer movie blockbuster but somehow seems like… more. Then we’re rounding back to the simple initial theme before ending with a punch. It’s a great trailer, and a fitting tribute to a fun standalone art form.

It is tough to connect with an audience when you have limited time and a small pallet. You need to tell a story, communicate emotions, manipulate (but in an honorable, allowable way), and leave the viewer feeling fulfilled and also expectant. It’s a difficult thing to do that often comes down to individual frames, beats, fractions of a second, and that ineffable thing that’s impossible to communicate but you know when it’s right.

I’m reminded of a story from Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers. A young theater director was having a hard time making a scene work with his actors in rehearsal. Not knowing what else to do, he called in a much more experienced director to watch the scene and make suggestions. After silently watching for several run throughs and getting a sense of things, the experienced director thought for a while and then pointed his finger at a prop and said “that towel should be yellow”. And that was it. After that, the scene worked. The audience loved it, and the show did well.

How did he do it? What was the mystical, magical thing that changed? I don’t know. And here’s the important part… the older director probably didn’t either. But somewhere in his brain was locked the accumulated experience of tens of thousands of hours laboriously adjusting, tweaking, massaging, and correcting performances until they felt right. Until something unknowable just clicked. And when asked to correct a scene for a younger director, that inner voice supplied an answer that didn’t make sense, but made the scene sing.

That’s what we do as artists. Whether it’s movie trailers, the written word, or Sing acts. Communicating with an audience through art is an act of constantly digging into the depths of experience and finding the yellow towel that makes something take flight. It reminds us that speaking through art is the hardest thing to accomplish consistently but also the one that touches us most deeply.

March 28, 2013

Unanswered Questions for Uncle Walt

Filed under: Humor and Fun,Movies — jasony @ 9:11 pm

12 Questions Disney Forgot To Answer About “Beauty And The Beast”

January 21, 2013

It’s All About the Presentation

Filed under: Movies — jasony @ 6:20 pm

One of the coolest short films I’ve ever seen.

January 19, 2013

Thereunto

Filed under: Humor and Fun,Movies — jasony @ 9:34 pm

Read a Lawyer’s Amazingly Detailed Analysis of Bilbo’s Contract in The Hobbit | Underwire | Wired.com

December 22, 2012

Trash to Treasure

Filed under: Maker,Movies,Music — jasony @ 7:48 pm

December 6, 2012

Bigature

Filed under: Maker,Movies — jasony @ 11:38 pm

November 21, 2012

Maybe Platinum This Time

Filed under: Movies — jasony @ 11:25 am

Looks like Sauron is trying his hand at ring making again.

November 6, 2012

Filed under: Movies — jasony @ 6:40 am

October 31, 2012

An Unexpected Briefing

Filed under: Humor and Fun,Movies — jasony @ 9:32 pm

October 20, 2012

Clever Girl

Filed under: Maker,Movies — jasony @ 6:37 pm

I’d love to wear this on Halloween. In the pit.

October 11, 2012

The Maker

Filed under: Maker,Movies — jasony @ 9:20 pm

Partysaurus!

Filed under: Movies — jasony @ 9:06 pm

Fun new Toy Story short

September 7, 2012

Stranger than Fiction

Filed under: Humor and Fun,Movies — jasony @ 5:14 pm

Removie Posters

July 29, 2012

Ha!

Filed under: Movies — jasony @ 9:28 pm

Hilarious Memos from the Desk of Nick Fury

June 10, 2012

Now You Know

Filed under: Humor and Fun,Movies — jasony @ 8:05 pm

May 12, 2012

Argot

Filed under: Movies — jasony @ 11:00 am

Looking forward to this movie.

May 5, 2012

Heroic

Filed under: Movies,Music — jasony @ 10:07 pm

Love, love, love this. I’ve always wanted to do something like this. Listen close and you’ll hear lots of little things that you probably haven’t heard in the original. This guy had to have had the original score. Just brilliant:

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