It’s easy to make a bad movie. Budget, talent, time, know-how… there are so many factors that can potentially sink a film. But every once in a while, a movie is so terrible, such an utter failure, that it earns the designation “SO BAD IT’S GOOD”. These bizarre entities touch upon our schadenfreude, and allow us to share and celebrate these monstrosities of filmmaking. Troll 2, The Room, and Plan 9 From Outerspace are both horrific and weirdly enjoyable, even becoming cults classics. But can these So-Bad-It’s-Good films be created ON PURPOSE?
In this exclusive SoundWorks Collection sound profile we talk with the sound team behind Director Wally Pfister’s debut film Transcendence
Featured interviews include Director Wally Pfister, Supervising Sound Editor Mark Mangini, Re-recording Mixer Terry Porter, Re-recording Mixer Jeremy Peirson, Dialogue and ADR Supervisor Byron Wilson, and Music Editor Erich Stratmann.
From its founding in the 1920s to its peak in the 1960s and 1970s, Pan Am set the status quo when it came to international travel. Everyone wanted to fly Pan Am, other airlines wanted to be Pan Am, and everyone wanted to work for Pan Am. Revered by the rich and famous, the traveling public, enthusiasts and employees alike, Pan Am’s legacy lives on to this day.
In an attempt to share this legacy with the world, Mike Kelley worked with Anthony Toth, one of the world’s foremost experts on aviation history, to bring Pan Am back to life in 2014. This is the story of Pan Am Flight 120, from Los Angeles International (LAX) to London Heathrow (LHR) on a Boeing 747-200, Clipper Gem Of The Ocean.
I am not exactly sure how I first learned about Anthony Toth and his project, to be honest, but I can remember my reactions to seeing what he’d done. Awe, disbelief, and utter respect were just a few. Anthony had, over the course of 30 or so years, restored the cabin of a Pan-Am 747-200 to exactly the way it would have been in the 1970s. No detail was overlooked, from the working lavatory lights and galleys to the working overhead bins, the original ashtrays, peanut packages, and cutlery. Stepping into Anthony’s creation can be a bit disconcerting – the detail is so incredible that you quickly begin to believe that you are actually in a plane, 30,000 feet above the ocean. Stepping out after spending a few hours in it feels like arriving at a new destination, and to not walk out onto the jetway you expect to be there, is, well, quite bizarre at first.
Anthony himself, as you would expect, is probably the biggest aviation geek you’ll ever meet, a badge he wears proudly. Ever since he was a little kid and would fly Pan Am to see relatives, he would collect souvenirs from every flight he took. Matchbooks, magazines, seatback safety cards, and on and on. He would record the audio of a flight with a handheld recorder, and play it back over and over again. He didn’t know it at the time, but this collection would grow into one of the largest aviation-related prop houses in the world.
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From Welles and Godard to Tarkovsky and Bresson, On Filmmaking and Style shares a collection of insight from filmmakers who emphasize an essential quality of film, the filmmaker’s style. Vision, imagination, and an awareness of cinema’s audio-visual language are at the heart of the filmmaker’s style, proving that the greatest cinematic tool lies within the filmmaker him/herself.
Kevin Martin interveiws Wally Pfister, a long time collaborator with Christopher Nolan on the Batman Reboot and Inception, about his recent turn in the director’s chair with Transcendance.
As a strong right hand to filmmaker Christopher Nolan for more than a decade, director of photography Wally Pfister, ASC, garnered considerable notice and accolades, culminating with an Oscar for his work on Nolan’s Inception. Pfister’s style is story driven yet naturalistic, even when portraying images of the fantastic, such as the memorable night exterior of illuminated bulbs in The Prestige. This approach helped ground the Batman trilogy with visual credibility, in the process raising the bar for photo-real visual effects in order to integrate them seamlessly with his work.
A graduate of the AFI’s cinematography program, Pfister’s early work included a low-budget stint for Roger Corman, and after starting his association with Nolan on Memento, he lensed several other noteworthy efforts, including Laurel Canyon and Moneyball. Pfister has also kept busy shooting commercials for Nike, PlayStation and AT&T, and pulling double-duty as director and DP on spots like Midnight Run for Got Milk? and Creed for Harley-Davidson. The Johnny Depp-starring Transcendence marks Pfister’s debut as a feature-film director. Kevin Martin talked with him about that effort, along with being a longtime proponent of originating on film.
Wally Pfister: I still love cinematography, but by the time I won the Oscar for Inception, it felt like I’d done all I wanted to achieve in that field. Having reached the top of the mountain, it was time to pursue my dreams of getting into storytelling. So I spent about three years looking at scripts till this fell into my lap. I wasn’t looking for a particular genre, but I did want a strong character study. As a cinematographer-turned-director, you want to dispel myths that you can’t direct actors or deal with the written word.
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Forbes contributor Lori Kozlowski interviews CEO of Junkin Media Jonathan Skogmo and Chief Development Officer Josh Entman about how and why videos actually go viral, and how brands can capitalize on this power:
Kozlowski: What trends are you seeing in the viral video landscape?
Skogmo: We’re seeing an enormous increase in the use of viral videos in different kinds of media. When I started in this business, TV clip shows [like America's Funniest Home Videos] were the only ones using online videos for commercial purposes. Today viral videos are shown in news broadcasts, daytime talk shows, on late night, in sports coverage, reality shows, and of course, digital publishers.
Further, brands and advertisers are embracing these videos like never before; they now realize that an unscripted caught-on-tape moment can often tell a brand’s story more effectively – and more cost-effectively – than produced spots.
1. Our audience. We have 6 million subscribers in our YouTube network, and they’re all accustomed to seeing viral-style videos from us. So we can leverage that audience and tell them to pay attention to the next video that we think has a great chance at going viral. We’re different than others with a similar number of subscribers because of the fact that our audience is used to getting viral-style video content. If you’re a huge gamer on YouTube or you have a cooking show with millions of subscribers, it’s not quite as effective when you send that audience to a new cat video, for instance. Those audiences came for gaming or cooking, not cats. Our audience wants to see the cat video and they’re used to getting those kinds of recommendations from us.
2. Our contacts. We’re in touch with media outlets, bloggers, social aggregators, and other influencers that regularly use viral videos. We discover amazing video content very early on (with low views), and we share those videos with the appropriate contacts. We treat the relationships the right way by only pitching outlet-appropriate content (i.e. we don’t bother the college blogger by asking him to post the cute cat video). Getting the videos in front of the right sets of eyeballs is half the battle. If some of those outlets post the video, it’s a win for everybody.
3. Traditional media. We license content to the largest news and entertainment networks in the world. If you see a video on your favorite TV morning show, you might go to that show’s website to find the video and then share it on Facebook. TV still has a massive audience and we move quickly to get our trending clips out to our partners in television. The effect of seeing a video on TV, then seeing in on the front page of a global news website, then seeing it posted by your best friend on Facebook is remarkable. When it all comes together, the right viral video starts showing up everywhere. Each different medium feeds the cycle and it begins to self-perpetuate.
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Matt Singer traces the roots of the “Hidden Camera” genre from its “Candid Camera” days to most recent experiments like Under the Skin featuring Scarlett Johansson.
Through most of Under The Skin’s first half, Johansson’s unnamed character repeats this ritual over and over, collecting victims—almost all played by non-actors—and luring them back to her lair. To make these sequences possible, director Jonathan Glazer built a new camera system, hidden in the dashboard of Johansson’s van, and filmed Johansson’s unscripted interactions with the men. More than a simple marketing hook, this clever formal trick adds innumerable dimensions to the film’s story of a stranger in a strange land, and marks Under The Skin as the pinnacle of a recent wave of hidden-camera cinema.
Glazer is far from the first director to surreptitiously turn a camera on unsuspecting victims and share the results with the world. Allen Funt’sCandid Camera was a popular television mainstay for more than 50 years after its introduction in 1948. Funt even took the concept to theaters with two adult-themed Candid Camera movies in the 1970s:What Do You Say To A Naked Lady? and Money Talks. As the franchise continued, imitators appeared. NBC and ABC had Dick Clark’s TV’s Bloopers & Practical Jokes. One of the Fox network’s earliest hits wasTotally Hidden Video; when it debuted in 1989, it scored the highest ratings of any show on the channel to date. And Ashton Kutcher cemented his own celebrity by pranking other movie and TV stars on MTV’s Punk’d.
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