Archive for the ‘Film’ Category

If you haven’t yet seen this video, you absolutely must. Right now. It will make you smile, it will make you happy, it just might renew your faith in the future of humanity.

It’s a student-made music video to Black Eyed Pea’s “I Gotta Feeling,” and it is all done in one long unbroken shot. 172 students at the University of Quebec at Montreal participated in this feat of organization, each one taking their place in front of the camera and passing it on to the next in perfect sequence, each with genuine smiles and coming together like a mosaic in perfect unity.

The amazing thing is, if you compare it to the original video done by professionals, the student-made video wins hands-down. The original video has a lot of skin and seems at least at the beginning, to show a group of dancers getting ready to take the stage at a strip club. It doesn’t reflect the happy, carefree mood that the song wants to express. Thank goodness for the freedom of expression of students!

Well done, bravo and all that. I hope this inspires more groups to take on self-made challenges like this.

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When the big summer blockbusters hit, the average citizen is as unlikely to notice as if an atomic bomb went off in their living room. Typically the movie is accompanied by promotions by fast food, candy, soda, beer, chips, car companies, cellular phone carriers, vacation destinations… the list goes on and on. And on the same token, the average citizen is unlikely to question these pairings, as they’ve become an accepted and expected part of the moviegoing experience. Do these huge movies really need product placements in order to make their money, when their box office sales often run into the hundreds of millions?

An article on Advertising Age today discusses this topic, suggesting that while the movie benefits from the increased exposure created by the hype, the real winner is the advertiser who benefits from being associated with the movie, as well as the “event” surrounding it. Who doesn’t want to be part of the biggest party on the block?

So my question is, who decides which products are right for a movie? There are the legends of product placement that often happen by accident – E.T. and Reese’s Pieces, for example – but lately it seems to be pretty random. Apparently Dr. Pepper is going to be one of the big advertisers for the new Indiana Jones movie. But I can’t think of a moment in the previous three movies where Indiana Jones said anything about preferring that particular brand of cola. So it becomes a forced association, along with M&Ms, Expedia, Kraft Lunchables and Burger King. At least BK is giving their Whopper the nickname “Indy” for the time being, making it seem at least somewhat connected. 

It seems the bottom line is that the big guys talking about each other gets the word out, and nobody really cares if it’s relevant. You think Indiana Jones, maybe Dr. Pepper pops into your head (pops… get it?) and you’d be more likely to buy a super-grande combo Dr. Pepper drink at the concession counter on your way to see the movie. Or maybe not. But it must work, or it wouldn’t be worth the trouble.

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The BBC loves an April Fools Day prank, and this year they wanted penguins to fly. Take a look: 

And of course, the “making of,” which doesn’t go into a lot of detail but does show how much effort went into this fun spot, which did dual duty as a prank and as a promotion for their iPlayer. Fun stuff.  

Found on AdFreak.

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In a fascinating experiment with the phenomenon of too-much-info movie trailers, a movie critic writes his review of the movie “21” based solely on the movie’s preview. Using only the information released by the studio (including the characters’ names found on imdb.com), he was able to review the entire story arc, take a well-educated stab at the ending, and make a plausible argument for the quality of the flick. Then, the following day when the movie was actually released, he watched a screening and then posted an update to his critique with anything he may have gotten wrong.

Sadly, the review of the preview was actually more complimentary than the one of the movie itself, and was pretty darned spot-on as to the plot details. With a few minor revisions which seemed to be due to deliberately deceptive editing in the preview, the two reviews are the same except that it appears we got the better version of the movie in the trailer.

This method of getting people to go to the theater and watch your crappy movie seems so obvious, so pathetically transparent and so easily avoided that I wonder why the studios are still doing it. Anyone who watches a trailer like that might thing, “Hey, that looks like a fun movie. Maybe I’ll go see it.” Then when the movie comes out, wait one day or less and read a review or two, find out if the trailer was being manipulative or not, and then make a decision about whether or not to plop down ten bucks to watch the thing. A boring, badly-made movie isn’t going to be made into a blockbuster by a faux-exciting trailer, and no matter how much the studio plasters the trailer across websites and cable stations, it can’t hide behind the trailer when it is released in all its redundant glory.

Worse is when a preview for a comedy comes out, and you laugh your head off for the 60-second duration, and when it’s over you realize that you probably got every laugh out of the movie that you’re going to get. Cheap entertainment, yes, but sad to think that this valuable form of advertising has been watered down into nothing more than misleading freak show teasers – see the horse with its head where its tail should be! Of course, it’s a horse standing in its stall backward. What a letdown.

Found on AdFreak.

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As a regular listener to a variety of NPR shows, I have heard a few from the series This American Life, though since they’re on the weekend it’s typically on a long car ride which is convenient considering the show lasts a full hour with a single theme but several linked stories that can ramble on a bit. Recently, the show made the leap to TV, producing artsy shorts with the same “real guy” rambling voice over linking it all together. Most of the shows are produced live-action but some even use animation, and I found this fantastic episode on Veer today. The quirky, simple animation style perfectly matches the style of the show, and takes the story to the next level of humor, poignancy and beauty without changing the audio a bit. It’s truly an amazing leap that some said couldn’t be done.

Vodpod videos no longer available. from www.veer.com posted with vodpod

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