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Life as I know it… plus commentary

Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

A new trailer

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OK.  The news is kind of heavy lately.  Here’s a little grin for the end of the day… a trailer for Ferris Buehler’s Day Off more suited to today’s tastes.

Written by arnold

March 14, 2011 at 6:53 pm

Posted in Entertainment

Out of Sync

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The fact that I don’t like this:

Should tell you that I won’t like this either…

Written by arnold

February 24, 2011 at 9:25 pm

Posted in Entertainment

The one with all the self promotion

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It used to be that self promotion was to be avoided at any cost. It was almost always better to be thought of as humble, unworthy and politely self deprecating. These are the old rules.

It’s ironic that I’m writing about this, being the owner of a blog that’s been around 2002 or so… meaning I’ve been thinking my thoughts have been important enough to publish for nine years. Clearly those of you who have gotten me to over 83,000 views (since I put up the counter) know how deluded I am 🙂

Anyway, back to the rise of self promotion. I started thinking about this when I watched two actors on Glee (don’t leave! this is not about Glee).. Dijon Talton and Harry Shum. They were both background characters that had maybe 3 lines all of season 1. Now the Glee people are really marketing savvy. They set up each of the kids with a Twitter account and a phone to be able to post with. Lo and behold, we ended up seeing some separation between the two bit players.

Dijon fairly ignored his account… the random tweet about going to this place or that venue and a word or two about random things he was doing. Very much Internet 1.0.  His last line on the show was ironically “… I was just another football player” and by week one of Season 2, we heard that “Matt” had transferred schools.  Not even a goodbye to poor Dijon.

But Harry, ahhhh Harry. He knew a thing or two about self promotion. He used Twitter actively and talked about his role on the show. He talked about his love of dancing and where people could see him perform. He engaged his followers by talking to them directly and grew his followers from a few hundred to tens of thousands. Eventually, the Glee fanbase was well aware of the exploits of “Other Asian” that he was promoted to a series regular in Season 2 with lines in almost every show. Pretty good rise to success from essentially nothing but words on a website.

The other guy who has been really successful with the new self promotion is Peter Hollens. To back up a little, the record business of 2011 is a barely recognizable entity to those in the business even 10 years ago. Gone are the days when Radio was the only path to success… social media and iTunes are the new ways to musical success (a way paved by the illegal file sharing site Napster). It used to be the only way to become a successful musician was to get the attention of a record label, get signed, record an album and then tour, tour, tour. And while this way was well guarded and taken only by the hand chosen golden few… it screened out a lot of good talented musicians who had passion and talent. Today, you still need passion and talent… make no mistake (unless you’re Taylor Swift, then you just need a good song and autotune)(yes I’m still bitter about her Grammy). But today’s successful musician also needs marketing and promotion skills as well as a working knowledge of social media.

That’s where Peter Hollens is doing well. Peter was a featured singer of On The Rocks, an a capella group that competed on NBC’s The Sing Off. They didn’t win but they won many fans with their energetic and high spirited performances. And while many of his fellow choirmates and competitors have faded back into their local communities, Peter has been recording and using places like Facebook and Youtube to get his songs out there. His video of a medley of Rhianna’s What’s My Name and Only Girl is closing on 60,000 views in just over three weeks, probably passing that mark as I write this. How good is this? Well Slate’s research says that only 3% of all videos pass 1,000 views in their first month.  So he’s doing alright.  Add to this a personal website, video teasers, and personal interaction with fans on his Facebook page and you have an an increasingly large launch pad for new song releases.

So obviously I’ve taken a particular take on the phrase “self promotion” and applied it to the entertainment business.  But if it gets the next Coldplay or Matt Damon to get out of the practice room and out on the net sharing their talent… we all win.

Written by arnold

February 10, 2011 at 12:06 am

The One with the Short Film

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Ever have a really entertaining dream?  I dreamt this two days ago pretty much as is.  It seemed like a short film to me, so I’ll share it with you in that format.  PS… Dustin, this part was written for you.

The Goalie

Scene opens with an alarm clock ringing.  It’s 6 am.  A hand comes from under the covers and turns off the alarm.

Background music… a solo violin piece starts…

The Goalie is seen brushing his teeth while reading a soccer magazine.  A bit of toothpaste get on the magazine and he brushes it off.

The Goalie is next seen eating breakfast while watching a soccer program.

The Goalie is in his car.  He’s listening to a soccer program and following it passionately.  He yells at the radio and hits the dash then looks in the rear view mirror at the car that just honked then up at the light which green.

Joining his teammates, the Goalie and everyone else stretch and talk nonchalantly.  They huddle on the pitch, they break, and the Goalie trots off to his goal.

The ball is kicked and fierce action ensues.  [The music changes to something classical but more combative.. something like Dies Irae].  The action moves down field toward the other goal.

There are scenes showing players battling for the ball.  In the distance, small and far away, the Goalie can be seen watching, hand raised to his forehead to shield his eyes from the sun.

Time has passed.  The play continues down field.  The Goalie is sitting and drinking from a bottle of water still watching the game but occasionally looking at the sky and surrounding areas.

A penalty shot is taken at the far end.  It hits the cross bar and the team is distraught, the other goalie relieved.  At the other end, the Goalie is looking at a blade of grass.

Action continues at the far end.  The Goalie is now laying down, a blade of grass in his mouth.  He glances at the game but he’s clearly more interested in the clouds.

Down field, the other goalie sets the ball on the ground and takes a run at the ball.  He boots it hard but slips as he does and goes down.  The players on the side call to him and he limps over glancing at the play headed towards the middle of the field.  The players there head the ball which changes directions several times.  It gets headed back towards the open goal but a defender boots it… over the heads of the players.  All of the players run towards the opposite goal where the Goalie is laying down, eyes closed.

The players run in a slow motion shot.  The Goalie’s teammates are yelling to him as they run.  Cut back to the Goalie who is laying down, but his eyes suddenly open as he’s now aware that something is happening.  [The shot:  Close up of the Goalie’s eyes.  They open sharply, shift suddenly left.  And he gets up quickly] One of the Goalie’s teammates catches up with the ball and stops the forward roll but is challenged and goes down.  An opposing team member takes a hard shot at the goal and the Goalie is trying to stand up quickly.

He stands, still trying to assess the situation, and gets struck on the head by the ball which ricochets away.  The Goalie get flung backwards through his goal in slow motion and lands on his back.

Slow motion shot of the ball flying through the air, blue sky and clouds behind the ball.

All of the players turn their heads upward to look.  The players on the side turn to look and the injured goalie is horrified.  He runs.

The ball bounces across the grass and lands near the goal line, eventually rolling in.  The opposing team and injured goalie arrive to kick the ball out but it is too late.

Shot of the ref’s whistle in his mouth being blown.  The Goalie’s team run to him and dog pile in victory.  Fade to black.

The music is back to the solo violin.  Fade up to the Goalie’s kitchen table.  He’s sitting, already showered, a red spot on his forehead.

The Goalie’s wife: How was the game?  (She sets a sandwich down in front of him and goes to prepare hers)

The Goalie: (while eating the sandwich).  Good.  I scored a goal.

The Goalie’s wife: (turns back to face him).  You scored a goal?  Aren’t you the goalie?

The Goalie: (pauses) Yes I am.  (smiles, goes back to sandwich). Fade to black.

Music ends.

Written by arnold

July 11, 2010 at 11:52 am

Posted in Entertainment, Sports

The one with all the image repair

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Apparently Ryan Seacrest saved the day when American Idol front runner inexplicably wanted to quit the show two weeks ago.

I don’t buy that for one second… to me it’s just image repair in the highest order after his wildly bizarre hosting turn earlier this week.

In fact, Jimmy Kimmel is pretty confused about it all.

Written by arnold

April 16, 2010 at 5:43 pm

Posted in Entertainment

Someone at Fox needs a nap

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Have you seen one of the latest headlines?

Sarah Palin is getting ready to do one of her first shows at Fox.  It’s supposed to be a piece on “people who’ve overcome adversity and more.”  (I am immediately intrigued what “and more” means.  My first thought is “dry skin.”)

One of the people in the piece LL Cool J recently said on Twitter:  “Fox lifted an old interview I gave in 2008 to someone else & are misrepresenting to the public in order to promote Sarah Palins Show. WOW.”

This is interesting stuff.  When you do an interview, you’re usually required to sign a release that says the media outlet gets to keep the footage and use it how they like.  Savvy entertainment people usually counter and say the interview is for a one time use only and the deal gets signed.  Now I’m not sure which media outlet did the original interview but obviously LL Cool J disagreed with the use.  Fox has decided not to use the piece and released the following statement:

“Real American Stories features uplifting tales about overcoming adversity and we believe Mr. Smith’s interview fit that criteria. However, as it appears that Mr. Smith does not want to be associated with a program that could serve as an inspiration to others, we are cutting his interview from the special and wish him the best with his fledgling acting career.”  (emphasis mine)

Is it just me or is someone over at Fox feeling particularly snarky today?  The last little bit is particularly snippy when you look at LL Cool J’s IMDB credits which list 29 movie and TV appearances.  I really am interested in who wrote this statement.  It sounds like Dee, the sarcastic sister from What’s Happening or maybe one of the Mean Girls.

And don’t think I didn’t notice that Mr Snippy used the word “however” at the beginning of the sentence, but that’s for another post.

Written by arnold

March 31, 2010 at 11:55 am

Posted in Entertainment

How America got it wrong…

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I can’t even watch American Idol anymore this season.  The top 12 people on the show right now could easily be outsung by people in your LA/NY karaoke bars or many of the singers in your local church band or choir.  What I’m learning though is people who watch American Idol (people apart from me) are not looking for the best singer (despite the judges’ insistence this is a singing contest).  They are looking for a performer… they want looks, style, stage presence.  It’s why the theatrics of Adam Lambert almost beat out the simple talent of Kris Allen.

My personal favorite got voted out in the final 16 round.  I thought he had the most unique voice and I actually appreciated his humility.  I’m posting this in the hopes that continued exposure will land this kid a recording contract.

Alex explains his Idol experience here:

And an original he played backstage at the Ellen show:

Written by arnold

March 18, 2010 at 4:18 pm

Posted in Entertainment