Posts filed under ‘COM 530- Theory & Analysis’

Recommended Reading: Christopher Moore

I picked up my first book by author Christopher Moore last year after searching related books on Amazon.com. I read the description for Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal and knew I had to pick it up. [I’d advise you to do the same!]

After I read that one, I passed it along to my significant other (who LOVED IT), and picked up Bloodsucking Fiends and its sequel You Suck. I also bought A Dirty Job and read it immediately. My SO also read Dirty Job, and now goes to the library again (thank you, Christopher Moore) and scours bookstores for this man’s books. I look forward to reading The Stupidest Angel this holiday season.

Keep reading for some quick thoughts, and links to connect with Moore online.

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal

In Lamb, Moore offers readers a satire of Christ’s life from childhood to crucifixion. This novel would probably be considered blasphemous to majority of the American population, so religious readers, beware!

Levi who is called Biff (or just Biff), Christ’s childhood sidekick recounts their adventures and misadventures (quite a few involving Mary Magdalene), many of the latter being the fault of Biff.

The writing is quick and clever, just like Biff, and very well-paced until the last portion of the book. Nonetheless, I still recommend it to any and everyone I think would like it, and attempt to quote my favorite part from memory. [It’s the part where Biff is watching MTV in the hotel room and trying to figure out today’s slang, just FYI.]

Learn more about Lamb, here.

A Dirty Job
This novel is completely different from Lamb, but still features Christopher Moore’s wacky style. What happens when beta male Charlie Asher becomes a “death merchant”? The book starts immediately with the death of Asher’s wife and birth of his daughter, Sophie, and spans many years. We see Sophie grow up and see Charlie resist his beta male tendencies to take on “dark forces”. What is a “death merchant’? Who in the world is named Minty Fresh? All will be revealed if you read the novel 🙂

Learn more about A Dirty Job, here.

***Christopher Moore’s Twitter: http://twitter.com/theauthorguy
***Christopher Moore’s Blog: http://blog.chrismoore.com/
***Christopher Moore’s Website: http://chrismoore.com/

November 11, 2009 at 11:35 pm Leave a comment

Thoughts on Disney’s New Princess

Picture 5

When they’re little, most little girls and boys discover the magic that is a Disney movie. I know my little sister and I did. And inevitably, there would come a day when a group of little girls would have a conversation that goes something along the lines of this:

“Well I want to be a mermaid, so I’m Ariel.”

“My hair is blonde, so I’m Cinderella.”

“NO FAIR, my hair is blonde too. I want to be Cinderella.”

“You can be Sleeping Beauty.” [Because as we all know, no one can remember her actual name, Aurora.]

“I’m wearing yellow, so I’m going to be Belle!”

At this point all the little girls would turn to the black child waiting quietly.

“Well, Jasmine kind of looks like you…you can be her.”

And so it was.

That’s probably the reason I love Princess Jasmine to this day; she was everything I thought a Disney Princess should be and she looked kind of like me unlike all the others.

But today’s little girls don’t have to “settle” for Jasmine. With Disney’s new film opening this December, the first African-American princess will debut: Princess Tiana.

Picture 10

People (especially on the imdb movie boards) like to say that it doesn’t matter the race of the princess, but how would you feel growing up as a little girl and watching these movies with not one of these princesses looking like you?

What if your dream was to work at Disneyworld as one of the princesses? Do you REALLY think that would happen? They don’t flat out discriminate in the application process, but make it clear they are looking for “look-alikes”.

I’d like to think that this movie is a milestone for Disney, and before long maybe we’ll have a Latina princess and so on. So yay The Princess and the Frog and yay traditional, hand-drawn Disney animation!  The movie stills are GORGEOUS. Can’t wait to see it!

Picture 7

Thoughts? Agree? Disagree?

November 6, 2009 at 11:01 pm 4 comments

Analysis of Law Abiding Citizen

Movie Poster

Oh Gerard. Gerard, Gerard! Wait—don’t click off of the page, my Gerard Butler mooning is over…but my mooning over Law Abiding Citizen isn’t!

 If you don’t know what the movie is about or have not seen the trailer, read and check out the following…then go see it and come back because ahoy there be spoilers!

LAC2

The Story
From imdb.com: After his wife and child are murdered by two criminals, Clyde Shelton (Gerard Butler) is informed that one of the murderers will be sentenced to death but the other one will get off because of his cooperation with the police. Shelton decides to take justice in his own hands, including getting revenge on the murderers as well as those in the system responsible for setting the one murderer free. District Attorney Nick Rice (Jamie Foxx), one of those who helped set the murderer free, tries to stop Shelton.

As an amateur screenwriter aspiring to play in the big leagues sometime in the near future, I pay a lot of attention to the plot, character development, storylines and dialogue in movies. I walk out the theater and mull over certain parts of the movie again and again, eventually looking up the film’s writer, and that’s just what happened with this film.

I sat there in the theater, not wanting the film to end, and as soon as it did I wanted to see it again.

I’ve been thinking about this movie since I saw it a couple a weeks ago, determined to find out as much as I could about the story and the man who wrote it, Kurt Wimmer (who wrote and directed Ultraviolet among other things).

LAC1

Plot
Great! Excellent pacing. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time, DYING to see what would happen next and how Clyde would pull something off. There were moments when the audience was COMPLETELY taken by surprise (many gasps and shrieks throughout the theater) and moments where we knew that something was going to happen and somewhat knew what, but didn’t know when and were filled with suspense. The ending made me squee in my seat (no, not pee, but “squee” which is a noise).

Story
I thought the story was great, but one plot hole (from imdb.com): A prison would have many solitary confinement cells. Clyde would not know which one he would be put in (later) while he was doing the tunnel and trap door beforehand…

Characters
Who is the audience supposed to root for? Clyde or Rice? Who’s really the villain in this story? The film leaves it up to the individual to decide.

My thoughts? Both Clyde and Rice had their good and bad moments, but in my heart of hearts the only villains I can see are the ones who broke in at the beginning of the movie, setting everything into motion.

The break-in and subsequent eradication of Clyde’s family steadily transforms him into the man we know by the end of the film, and you know what, I can’t blame him. It might also be the fact that I find his cleverness and smartassness entertaining as all get out. I mean, he was doing bad things—okay, VERY bad things, but I (and many others in the theater) couldn’t help but cheer him on and call out “Oh snap!” at the screen.

I feel like Rice didn’t get as much development in the movie, as it was more Clyde’s story. But we’re supposed to assume that the man who had to miss his daughter’s recital at the beginning of the film is changed by having his own family threatened because he is present at her recital in the end of the film. I think a lot more could have been done to reinforce his growing realization of how much his family means to him.

LAC3

Don’t just take my word for it, go see it for yourself!

November 5, 2009 at 2:20 am 14 comments

Flash on the TV???

What immediately pops into mind when you hear the phrase “Adobe Flash”?

Most people immediately think of websites, silly games, and banners. Yes, that’s what Flash is primarily used for, but did you know that the program has been used to create animated TV shows and even feature films? No? Well stay tuned.

Shows Created with Flash:

  
Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends   

Yup. Created in Flash! I cannot lie, I adore this little cartoon, and to know that I have the skills to be able to create something like this using Flash makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. There are even tutorials online to show you how to animate Bloo! (My favorite character is Eduardo by the way–he’s the big purple one in the center. Who doesn’t love a sensitive, scaredy-cat monster with a Spanish accent?)

 

Mr. Men Show

Even if you don’t know about the show, you know about the characters! Mr. Scatterbrain, Little Miss Chatterbox, Mr. Nervous and all the rest. Created in Flash!

 

Pucca

A cute, silent comedy about Pucca, a 10yr-old girl in love with a 12yr-old ninja named Garu. Much of the series takes place near Pucca’s family’s noodle house. It used to be pure animation, but for the TV series, dimensional backgrounds were added.

 

Total Drama Island

This show is kind of a guilty pleasure for me; I’ll watch it if nothing else is on. I tell you, those marathons suck you in! Anyway, it is a cartoon reality show complete with confessionals, challenges and eliminations. There is now a sequel series that airs with the same format: Total Drama Action.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but just some examples to show what you can do with Flash. So don’t give up, grasshoppers! Embrace that pen tool! Insert those keyframes! You can do it! And for those thinking this is interesting but don’t know anything about Flash or where to start, there are plenty of tutorials out there for beginners and experts alike (here’s a link for beginners). Start animating!

November 2, 2009 at 11:00 pm 1 comment

A Change in Blog Direction!

In case you didn’t know, or couldn’t tell from this blog, I am a creative. What do I mean by that? I love to write. I love crafts. I love to create things. I attempt to express myself visually in ways I see fit whether it be black and white photography or bellydancing.

Why am I telling you this? Because so far I feel that this blog has been really disjointed and not very representative of myself. And that’s going to change.

I’ve been trying “force” travel as my theme of choice like some of classmates in the iMedia program revolve around their passions of cinema and food. Travel is just one of my interests, and probably more of a secondary one. So now this blog is going to showcase creativity that I find interesting/feel needs to be brought to attention.

More than likely there will be a good deal of attention to screenwriters, because screenwriting and writing in general is probably this biggest passion I have, and NO ONE pays attention to screenwriters. With all of these movies we watch, people comment of the cinematography or the editing or the special effects, but what do you need before you can produce? A GOOD SCRIPT. I will also be looking at commercials and/or music videos and cool authors.

So, I apologize if that’s not your thing, but I do hope you’ll stay! Things are about to get a lot more interesting.

November 2, 2009 at 10:15 pm Leave a comment

Spreadable Media…Just What Is It?

Have you seen the JK Wedding Dance?  The T-Mobile Dance? Superbowl commercials like this 2009 Doritos one? Chances are you have…and probably more than once. These videos are prime examples of spreadable media.

Just what is spreadable media? In a nutshell, things like memes and viral marketing campaigns. Basically, media that gets adopted by society and transformed and spread to others.

The two main models of media dissemination are the “spreadable model” and the “stickiness model”. Spreadability stresses the part of consumers in transforming and circulating media content. It looks at how people come up with all kinds of new meanings and how they expose brands to new markets (ie: T-Mobile or Doritos to people who wouldn’t normally use or eat these things). This spreadable model assumes that transforming media and using it for one’s purposes adds value to the content. This model is the model of the present and future.

Stickiness is becoming a thing of the past; any company that wants to stay in business should change to the spreadability model because the stickiness model focuses on the producers of it as opposed to the consumers. Businesses in the sticky model often find the value in media by charging for it.

So, you want to make your own meme or viral video? Here are six characteristics that will push your media to the masses as determined by my group in today’s Theory & Analysis class; make your content:

  1. Entertaining – It doesn’t have to be funny because everyone’s humor is different, but amusing is good!
  2. Novelty – If something has been done a million times it’s no fun anymore. But if you’re the first person…or even the second or third, not too shabby.
  3. Relatable – People are more apt to remember things/pass them along if they can relate to something in the video.
  4. “Evergreen” – Can it stand the test of time?
  5. Adaptable – People can possibly replicate your content; make their own version.
  6. Discussable – People will want and be able to talk about your vid.

October 25, 2009 at 11:24 pm 1 comment

Hotel Features in the Near and Far Future

Have you thought about where you’ll be vacationing in the next few years? Maybe about the hotel or resort you’ll be staying in?

Maybe you haven’t thought about that last part, but I guarantee you will after reading this post!

As I’ve been doing my research, I’ve found some really cool features that hotels are adopting to attract guests and make their stay as enjoyable as possible, and many of them are really cool and cutting edge. I’ve listed some conceptualized features (that haven’t been implemented yet) and actualized features below so that you can see what changes are being made in some hotels that make trickle down to more economic hotels over the next several years.

Conceptualized Features

  • A “bacteria bomb” that sets off when a guest checks into a room to make sure it is really clean.
  • To counteract the amount of technology, a “living wall” of vegetation. The wall would have a built-in water and lighting system, and would also serve as an air-filtering device.
  • A room that can change environments and morph into different configurations with just the touch of a button.
  • Health-monitoring rooms: These rooms might have sensors in the toilet to measure blood sugar in your urine or infrared cameras that track your body temperature and send a message to regulate the thermostat in your room.

Actualized Features

  • Iris-scanning technology: The Nine Zero Hotel in Boston uses this alternative for its Cloud Nine Suite instead of using a key card to open the room.
  • Self-check-in kiosks: This is used in several hotels already. Instead of having to wait in line at the front desk of a hotel, geusts can swipe their credit card at the kiosk and get a room key in just minutes.
  • The “Pure Room”: The St. Martin’s Lane Hotel in London has implemented this feature. The walls of rooms are painted white, but guests can change the dial of a light display that alters the color of the room. It can change anywhere from a deep purple to a jungle green.
  • Sensory Welcome: Chicago’s The Wit Hotel has it so that customized music plays from a digital Muzak server overhead in public areas. On the guest room floors, guests hear a “tranquil bubbling brook”. In the lobby, ScentAir technology circulates The Wit’s custom-designed smell–“a fresh, clean scent that is reminiscent of a vanilla suntan”.

Any of the features really appeal to you? I think a bacteria bomb would be pretty nifty, particularly in motels and lodgings with high turnover rates. I think the living wall and Pure Room ideas are really cool as well.

Sources:

“Technology of the Hippest”

“Get Ready for the Hotel of the Future”

“Check into the Hotel of Tomorrow”

October 23, 2009 at 11:13 am Leave a comment

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