Saturday, March 26, 2011

Old Blogs, New Clicks! (On blogging... and trailers!)

Here's a blog I wrote on MySpace back in 2007. Just thought it was worth adding to my collection on here. It's a bit dated in some of it's references, but... that's history, people! Enjoy!

On blogging... and trailers!

So I came to a conclusion about blogging today in the shower. I had been kind of opposed to the whole idea because I figured, "Why should I tell the whole world about all my most personal thoughts and feelings?" But then I realized, not all of my thoughts and feelings are all that personal. Some are pretty easy to just blurt out - even to a stranger! So here I go. This is the first of my random thoughts on random things, just to see what others reply with and all that. Dialogue is good.

So today's topic is... Movie Trailers!!!

So I saw the trailer the other day that came before Transformers (which was a fun movie) and I was really thrilled to see J.J. Abrams new trailer for a film that is as-of-yet untitled. Everyone loved it.

"In the trailer, seemingly shot on a shaky, hand-held camcorder, Manhattan friends are at a going-away party for a guy named Rob, who is leaving for Japan.

The band 'Wolfmother' blasts in the background, and in a flash the lights go out and a painful background howling is heard. On the TV screen, NY1 reporter Roma Torre reports a "thunderous, roaring sound."

Party-goers head to the roof, where fireballs attack. On the street, the Statue of Liberty's head is thrown to the pavement."

(from: BAIT BALLS OF FIRE - MORE CLUES TO HELP SOLVE MYSTERIOUS FILM PUZZLE by FARRAH WEINSTEIN of the NEW YORK POST)

And the fact that Abrams and company decided not to show us a monster or even give the film a name had a tremendous effect on us all. The amount that WASN'T shown was what we enjoyed the most. This is a timeless truth in suspense and most good storytelling... Spielberg did it well in Jaws - (we don't even see a shark until an hour into the film!)

But I had another thought in the shower this morning (- I do all my best thinking then). Wouldn't it be great if we could go into a movie BLIND? I mean, what if there were no trailers... anywhere - ever? What if we simply decided what films to see by the name alone? Or maybe they shouldn't even have names! Like Abrams' film! Well, I'm sure it will have a name eventually... won't it? (Maybe not!)

But what if you just had to pick a number? 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5? And whichever one you picked, that's the theater you went into. And then you'd sit down with your popcorn and your soda that's three times bigger than your bladder, the lights go down, and you watch a story unfold before you without any preconceived notions of what will happen?

What if, when I went to see 'Knocked Up' last week, i didn't know that the nerdy guy would end up in bed with the pretty girl? And what if I didn't KNOW that she'd end up pregnant, as the ads all imply? IMPLY!?! Nay! They TELL me that it happens! There's no surprise at all! They basically set up the whole story for me before I get there, AND show me most of the funniest scenes, so I don't have to bother laughing when I'm actually IN the theater - thanks Hollywood!

Why even start the movie at the beginning then? I've already seen the trailer so many times on TV alone that I know the characters and the set up when i come in! Just start the film around the middle of Act II and I'll follow along just fine! Then I can be on my way in half the time!

See, what I'm saying is that as much fun as it is to MAKE a trailer, or watch a trailer, they're just there to make money for the studios. A good story - a GREAT story - will make you jump at each and ever plot twist. A good story assumes you don't KNOW the story already, so it hits you hard with every punch. But a movie trailer... this is totally different.

A movie trailer is a very unique phenomenon, as far as the history of story telling goes. I'm sure Shakespeare had to advertise his plays, too. Everyone wants to know what the story is about. But I'm sure it's usually done with a tag line or something. When movies became big business, and trailers were developed into what they are today, it took all the mystery out of the story.

Have you ever watched a movie without knowing what it was about? Sure - we all have. When you're a kid, you see some movie on TV that you've never heard of and before you know it, you've sat through the whole thing. And if you're lucky is was a good one, and it kept you on the edge of your seat the whole time. I was actually lucky enough to go see "Groundhog Day" in the theater without knowing anything about the story beforehand. As soon as the hook hit, I was floored! It was brilliant and made my laugh so hard, I really did cry! I was, as stated previously, on the edge of my seat! And this was a comedy!

So, maybe it will never happen, but I'd like to suggest to all you filmmakers and producers out there - maybe some of us don't WANT to know what your movie is about. Just dangle a little carrot. NO! Only part of a carrot! NO! Just waft the carrot-smell our way and we'll come seek it out on our own! And when we find it, we'll love it so much more! I promise.

Oh, but not you, J.J. Abrams... you already know this. (Thanks for LOST!)

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