Hello again movie lovers! The Hellyfish team has been chiseling away all winter on the post-production of Hellyfish, and I must admit that this monster is a tough one to REEL in. When tackling any large problem, it’s important to take a break, have a little fun, and learn about what else is happening in the world. So here goes.
Following Sunday night’s spectacle of the Academy, some of you may be asking yourself “What just happened?”. Well, following the Mayan calendar reset, the evolution of our entertainment pop culture has shown the mighty Ben Afleck to be the current leader of the left coast bearded wonderboys. However, the Family Guy guy was offensive and he left many questions unanswered. You may be asking yourself, “why didn’t Les Miserables get more attention with all it’s vibrato and sweeping camera moves?” or “Life of Pi was so much prettier than Argo, why didn’t that one win?” or “why does Leo Decaprio get to say the ‘n-word’ so many times?” As a person who lives in Los Angeles and spends too much time watching movies, allow me to explain.
You see, Hollywood is a social darwinist jungle where back slapping narcissists claw for attention and money like lobsters in a bucket, while the real million dollar decisions are made over lattes and fancy pizza. Directors and producers cling to their money and power for good reason (seriously, do you know how hard it is to find a staff job with benefits in this town?). Yet, amid all the political strife and 24/7 disaster broadcasting in the real world, Michelle Obama said it best, “these 9 movies taught us that love can endure against all odds.”
The triumph of Zero Dark Thirty proves that Kathryn Bigelow’s divorce from James Cameron was possibly her best career move. The portrayal of mankind’s greatest manhunt teaches us to respect the power of the mama grizzly, who, in the pursuit of protecting her own, is also capable of extreme destruction.
Beasts of the Southern Wild is also a movie. Maybe you’ve heard of it? Every human is simply another piece of flesh in this shifting world of insurmountable odds. We are just small pieces of “a big big universe.” As change descends upon us, we must come together as a family, even if that entails cremating the remains of our great forefathers and foremothers.
Silver Linings Playbook showed a glimpse at what is really going on with struggling 25 to 35 year olds today. But most potential grandparents are too busy tripping on their own cough medicine to notice that prescription drugs are not the answer. Our problems are not what they used to be. We don’t have time to feel sorry for alcoholic airline pilots or heart-broken old french couples. Bright young adults are the ones most in need of love and encouragement from their elders. A gentle nudge in the right direction can bring the family back together in ways we haven’t imagined. A little love goes a long way.
One thing is for sure, the American dream is no piece of Pi, and Lincoln’s dream has already come to pass. Also, the sky is not falling. In fact, Skyfall made a billion dollars.
Lastly, Django Unchained showed that the spirit of Mark Twain lives on in the sick sick mind of Quentin Tarantino. In the words of his acceptance speech, “2013 will be the writer’s year” and that is one prediction that fills me with hope.
On the topic of Visual Effects
There appears to be a ground-gurgle in what some are calling the “greenscreen revolution”. Many workers with families have honed their crafts and technical skills to gain a foothold in show business. By and large, many of these people deserve better pay, although there are some talented ones doing very well for themselves financially. Unfortunately, many studios and VFX companies have mismanaged their resources and made hasty business deals. Some of these entities will disintegrate. Jobs and health benefits will be lost. A VFX union similar to the Animation guild would be nice for some workers, but there is little energy from the leaders of the industry to support such an effort. Ultimately, America and the international markets will continue to demand entertainment and advertising. The show will go on, and the creative entrepreneurs of the bunch should not see this as a time for protest, but an opportunity to start their own shops on their own terms. It ain’t easy being green.