Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Real Life and movies

The more I think about it the more I realise that writing good movies is about knowing reality.

So I was watching Point Break the other day, bit of research since I found out that James Cameron was ex producer. It made total sense after I started watching it, that it is a Cameron film. It's cheesy but keeps you on the edge of the seat with clever plot twists and hooks. It's obvious but well written.

Anyways since I've been reading a lot about The Game lately I took note of the scene where Keanu picks up the girl in the Surf Cafe. In the scene he builds rapport by linking a tale about his dead parents to her own real life orphan story. It's a brilliant scene because it's completely believable that she would fall for him after his story. Anyway seems obvious but it would be difficult to write that scene without a solid understanding of pickup/human nature.

Anyway thought it was interesting since so many people think that good writing requires a good understanding of movies and storytelling, when it's just a good understanding of reality and how things work that makes a good movie or classic scene.

BTW just saw Brando's on The Waterfront the other day, that film is incredible.

Unlikely Heroes

Time to fire this blog back up I say...

Ok, so here's my latest peeve... what the hell is with telling the audience during movie trailers that the main characters are 'an unlikely group of heroes'?

This is particularly the bane of animated movies, but I'm seeing it everywhere... to the point of there being nothing more likely than an unlikely hero. Is this the studios trying to say 'No, this one is different!', and inadvertently looking and smelling exactly the same as all the others?

The only one I like the look of is Hancock, and they don't (I don't think) say it- they do it, and it's entertaining! An interesting hero has to be interesting, not just novel, wacky or different.

I wonder- is this a symptom of us pillaging history, literature, pop culture and existing films so thoroughly that there's very few heroes left that we can be bothered with?

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Watch the Oscar nominated Animated shorts online

Four of the five nominees for best animated feature for 2008 can be view online here.

Interesting to note that this is the first year, the American's have been shut out of this category.

Also only one of the films in animated in 3D.

Monday, 17 December 2007

Hands up who wants a Wii for Christmas...

Especially when you can do this with it.

Low-Cost Multi-touch Whiteboard using the Wii Remote

Friday, 30 November 2007

RE : Post below

I just re-read that and realised I got stuck on the history of "I am Legend" and completely forgot to talk about the most important part - the animatics. They are just brilliant. Goes to show that you don't need good effects and a high budget to convey a story and atmosphere. They are great examples of good film making I think. Love the style too.

Of course they are more animated featurettes than animatics, since the production values are obviously higher. But I found I was completely "in the story" while watching. I guess the audio has a lot to do with that as well. Great stuff.

I Am Legend - Animatic gold.

A book, then a comic, to a film.

from Wiki : I Am Legend is a 1954 science fiction novel by Richard Matheson about the last man alive in Los Angeles, California. "I Am Legend has so far been adapted to film four times. The more prominent of the two 2007 adaptations, now set for release on December 14, 2007, features Will Smith as Robert Neville. The book has also been adapted into a graphic novel titled Richard Matheson's I Am Legend by Steve Niles and Elman Brown"

Steve Niles is also the part creator of the very cool comic "30 Days of Night", which was also recently converted to a movie that I higly recomend. Simply a great movie.

But anyway, back to Legend, the earlier conversions were pretty lame, the first one stared Vincent Price - "The Last Man on Earth". 1964. Then in the 70's came "The Omega Man" with Charlton Heston. which was actually pretty cool. Then in the 90's there was the unmade Ridley Scott version which was going to star Schwarzenegger. One can only guess as to how this would have turned out...I'm going with two thumbs up. The finally a straight to DVD "I am Omega" which I havn't seen but imdb doesn't make it look good.

The coolest part of the current version are the animated "trailers" that they have been releasing. That don't actually star Smith's character, but realy just add to the world that he will star in. I'm guessing that they will also fill in some of the blanks in the movie as well. Hopefully they don't depend on this and assume that we have all seen them. This never works! yes, I'm looking at you Matrix 3. Detention for you! I'm guessing since its a Will Smith movie and they've put millions into it, some of the corners will be shaved off so it will appeal to as many as possible. But I'm still hoping that it will be a good one.

You can find the trailers on quicktime, or just click on the links below. Alex.