You wouldn’t like Optimus Prime when he’s angry

April 12, 2011

Or maybe you would. Anyway, it’s been awhile since I’ve updated on the bike video. You know, the reason for this class, but that’s because there wasn’t a whole lot to report. Ryan and I had a pretty clear concept from the beginning for the video, and aside from a little tweak here and there that came from the slideshow presentations, the core of it has been intact. Now, though, we actually have a pretty decent cut of what will likely be the final clip. There’s an instrumental that will be placed over the last extended shot, as well as one line probably being dubbed over, but that whole process should take 20 minutes tops. Looks like all things are sailing smoothly on the good ship S.S. Bicicleta.
Though it’s essentially supposed to be a PSA, it also has a nice self-contained storyline that tells what it needs to tell in the time it has. Probably too much time, but editing it down shouldn’t be too bad. If this class was simply about getting facts across, we probably could have knocked out 6 or so little clips to promote biking or recycling or any other environmental issue. But this class is also about telling stories to the audience. This is going to go on a Green Carpet, and no one goes to the premiere to see an ad, even if its Super Bowl worthy.
From the videos we were shown last class, I thought the second place one was interesting. Having the boy find the bike light by the end and give it to his mother(aunt?) gave closure from the opening scene in a predictable fashion. Having them make shadow art that spelled HOPE rather than a bike as the previous shots suggested was not predictable and a good twist. I do prefer the film that won though, for one important reason: IT WAS A FILM CONTEST. The boy and mother(older friend?) film was good, but it didn’t have the depth that Charlie’s story did. (Anyone else think he looked like Charlie Kelly?) That had an ending that didn’t resolve in a direct way that gave audience’s one direct way to see it end. Did he save the ocean? Get the girl? Build a viewfinder? Then again, they didn’t have to resolve it in a concrete way. That’s because they trust the audience. Just like these guys.

Heroes, and not just because they love Bowie. Wait, did I just put in a picture?

These are Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer, the creators or The Venture Brothers. Jackson(Hulk) hates to give away spoilers from the show, which he feels ruins the fun of watching. Doc(Optimus Prime) goes out of his way to dispel fan rumors by writing those ideas being dispeled into the show itself. They’ve also taken some unbelievable risks, such as (SPOILERS) showing only part 2 of a 3 part arc, making a non-linear season premiere, killing 1/2 of a comedy duo, making the fan favorite bodyguard quit and, oh yeah, KILLING OFF THE MAIN CHARACTERS IN SEASON ONE! Why do they go to such lengths and write themselves into corners. For fun, to advance the show, and because they trust their audience.
They don’t want to hold the audience’s hand while they watch, letting them know everything will be okay by the end of 22 minutes. Jackson and Doc let the audience get comforable and then BOOM! Henchman 24’s dead, Brock quits and Colonel Gathers is a double-agent. All in the span of 1:30, in what’s supposed to be the resolution bringing season 3 finale. Nope, no resolution, just more crazy being thrown at you that you need to accept as Jackson and Doc knowing what they’re doing.
For our projects, we aren’t going to take big risks or throw in massive sequences or have an unexpected death(that had to be cut for time). But we are given about 2-3 minutes of the audience’s time to give them a story. If they trust us enough to watch with open eyes and minds, we should trust them enough to give them a good story. They already know the Green Carpet is for environmental themed videos, so they know they’ll get preached to, and it’s up to us to make their time worthwhile. The videos don’t have to be straightforward(to a degree) and plain as day. Throw in a little bit of crazyness(quack) and trust that your audience will get it. After all, we’re presenting these videos on merit, not on somebody’s star power.  

Another Pic?! Oh well, it's not The Royal Tenenbaums, but still a great movie

Lastly, I was told not to venture down this route again, but somethings don’t go according to plan. This past Monday, Adam Copeland aka Edge retired from wrestling due to complications from a previous neck injury(broken neck in 2003) that has gotten worse in the past few months. He will never be medically cleared to wrestle again, as one wrong move on his neck could paralyze him, the same diagnosis that led to Stone Cold Steve Austin’s retirement. This has come as a shock, seeing as how he just wrestled April 3rd during Wrestlemania and successfully defended the world title, and gives me one less reason to watch WWE. I spent that night watching old clips of his, particularly 2000 when I started watching, which only made me realize how much of a loss this is. He was a tag team specialist, one of three wrestlers that revolutionized the ladder match, an evil opportunist and the best psychological wrestler of the past 5 years. To me and countless other fans, he will remembered for this move, that showed how far he was willing to go for the fans. Thank You, Edge.

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