Saturday, April 7, 2012


Music soothes the savage breast...shouldn't it be savage beast? Ah whatevs. I guess the important thing is that music can calm us down if we like what we hear. And if there's one genre that makes me feel a little calmer and slow down to think, it's country music. For some unsettling reason, I'm soothed by the calm way the singers recall their own misfortunes, like their salary of 8 cents per CD sold. Maybe I need a doctor.

Now, over the years, many country musicians have come and gone, leaving and continuing the aura of calmness. But none bring the sound of the south like the person whose video I'm studying for this post. He was named after his fave silent movie actor. DJs refused his country music at first. He found his fortune due to the accidental playing of a song he co-created while in Hamilton, Ontario.

Ladies and gentlemen...Mr. Conway Twitty.

It starts with a close-up of Conway himself as he belts out how he can't decieve himself, for he knows it's only make-believe. The shot crossfades to an angled longshot that zooms in as he wonders if the audience will one day be his one and only true friend, and how much he loves it. The shot crossfades again to another angled longshot as he goes on about hislove, until he confesses that he kids himself, for it's only make believe.

Another crossfade, but this time it's a close-up, Mr. Twitty boons his deep trust in his lover as he reveals he would put his very being on the line for such a person, and would rip out his own heart for use as a wedding ring. It's gets more vivid as he reveals his heart rages out of control, and the camera crossfades to the previous angled longshot. Here, he explains how he wishes for his love to comfort him, yet once again coming to grips with the fact that it's all make believe. This time, the camera zooms in on the mustachiod blonde singer as he sympathizes with Twitty's yearn for impossible love.

Guess what? The camera crossfades again to another close-up of Conway Twitty as he wonders if the audience will one day be his friend, and if they know how much he loves them so. In the final shot, which is the final crossfade angled EXTREME longshot, Twitty yet again yearns for his love to care for him before it finally dawns on him. The truth draws in the camera. The truth makes him wince in pain. The truth for Mr. Twitty is that- are you ready for this? - it's all make belief.

Wow, Conway must have suffered in the past. A love that never bears truth is a hard thing for any living thing. But the way he sings it, his Southern drawl adding to it all, calms me down. His friends sympathizing with him also adds to soothing my savage breast. Not beast.


Humans are mammals unlike any other. They can talk any language in existence if they put their mind to it. They operate complex machinations that lead to either riches or ruin. They have opposable thumbs which makes the previous sentence possible. And they care for others of their species.

Indeed, humans can be great or grating. But I must ask- what about the turtles? Won’t anyone think of the turtles? Well, one person on youtube did, and I’m here to look, play by play, at the camerawork and content of the video.
For in this video by zetanian20, a turtle helps its mate who was turned over.

The video begins, continues, and ends as a high angle longshot of a turtle finding a flipped comrade. The turtle looks at the tail of the fallen one, and horrified, shirks back into its shell. The camera then pulls in closer as the turtle wonders, thinks, unsure of what to do. It then decides to show the world its strength by pushing on its friend.

At first, the turtle can only push its friend at an angle, slowly and unsure. The camera follows as it continues doing so until the turtle decides to push from the middle instead. The camera trucks left, moves away a little, then finally settles on a side shot as the aquatic hero continues pushing its now flailing amigo. Finally, the turtle gives one slow but strong push and PRESTO! The other turtle is now a go-go.
The turtles, this horrifying ordeal a thing of the past, start walking away, the hero urging the victim to hurry. The camera moves away and reangles to another sideview of the turtles. Eventually, the camera follows from a stationary position, and the last thing seen of the turtles constitutes a high angled backview extreme longshot as they waddle onward, more struggles probably involving cars, ants & pebbles ahead.

This video gives me a good feeling inside. Why? Well, it’s how a turtle helped another of its species when it could have left it to wallow in misery and die. In other words, the turtles care about each other like the humans- maybe even moreso.

Saturday, March 31, 2012


Sonic the Hedgehog- it’s a name that ignites the passionate hearts of the past and future. A mascot with attitude, he first appeared in the 1992 Sega Genesis game Sonic the Hedgehog. Then he appeared again in Sonic 2. Then in Sonic 3 (and Knuckles!). Then on the Dreamcast. Then the Gamecube. Then the Xbox 360/PS3. And then he appeared on the Wii.

You might be able to guess from the above paragraph that the Sonic franchise has traversed an interesting road over the years. Trust me when I say “Has it ever!” And not just from the rather divided road of consoles- the franchise has also endured a war-burnt road from the divided fanbase. I put emphasis on divided because it truly is.

For though many different desires emanate from fans as time passes, the one thing the fans wanted more than anything else was a return to classic style of gameplay. Last year, we KIND OF got it with Sonic 4. I say kind of because SEGA admittingly swindled fans out of a certain aesthetic design- that aesthetic design being what Sonic would look like during the game. I have other opinions about this aesthetic design choice and the implications behind it, but I’ll save them for another, non-Mohawk related.

So understandably, the older fans felt cheated, and for awhile, it looked like Sonic’s Genesis-era self woulodn’t be playable beyond the games he was already in.

That was, until the teaser trailer for this game came out. Behold, the Sonic Generations trailer awaits.

The trailer starts off with the SEGA chime that children and people who think like children- such as myself- grew to love and remember. Cut to an extreme longshot of a white space, with absolutely nothing of consequence- until Sonic just jets in to this nowhere. An extreme closeup of Sonic follows up, during which Sonic runs up to a whiting Green Hill and jumps from ground-to-cliff-to-cliff-to-top-of-cliff.

As soon as he lands on the cliff, the camera zooms in for a close-up. Then he runs through a tunnel, the camera behind him as he slides under the crack. After that, we get a shot of Sonic going from a slide to his continued jog. The camera then proceeds to both pan left and zoom out to an extreme longshot of Sonic running to a loop-de-loop. For not even one second, the camera shows a side view of the loop-de-loop, then switches to a close-up of Sonic running up and jumping off the ramp (A backshot interrupts this).

And when Sonic jumps off the ramp, in mid-air, in slo-mo, next to him…is his past self from the Genesis era.

The camera continues with a zooming in close-up on the ground of this miracle, then a side view, then extreme close-ups of the two Sonics giving each other a happy look, and finally, a longshot of them slowing down, then speeding up. Then, the logo for the game appears.

The day I heard about the trailer, I couldn’t believe it. So I went on Youtube. And I believed. I found it mysterious how Green Hill Zone looked so….white. (I’m not racist towards video-game settings!) And the reveal of Genesis Sonic near the end…it just made me happy. It made me reconnect my heart to the past and promised a great future for the game and this franchise.


Old people…what’s with them? They’re like a cracked mirror- they share traits with something, yet the image is distorted. Specifically, it’s young children that they reflect the heart, but not the body of. They make themselves noticeable when they feel the situation calls for it. It amuses people, surely, but it still looks unusual.

If only there was a person of immense age who could bring news of fun. Shkle would have to manipulate others into trusting shkler with minimum effort. The person would have to bring the fun and inspire others to boogie. Alas, there lives no-one with those attributes.
Oh, other than the Six Flags guy, of course. His commercials hypnotize a sense of fun into the viewers. Commercials such as this one.

The video starts with an extreme high-ish angle longshot of a random neighborhood, a boy throwing newspapers on the lawns of many. A quick montage of many people doing chores plays, almost all of the shots being medium longshots. It changes when a mysterious bus stops by, to the longshot suspicion of a fat guy mowing the lawn.
After the bus stops, a close-up of our main character’s hand commences. Then a close-up of his feet is shown. The commercial finally cuts the crap and has a longshot of the main character, the elderly Six Flags Guy (SFG), slowly wobbling out of the bus. As he walks closeup to the camera, afraid, a low angle close-up of a speaker commences, to the puzzled faces of two kids.

Then the song actually starts, and the viewing audience cries in terror as SFG suddenly becomes happy-very, very happy. SFG starts having a psychotic episode as he dances in a longshot in front of his bus. For some reason, this infuriates the black people. Soon however, the many angled shots of SFG’s dance brainwash the neighborhood and its boobs into entering his bus. SFG continues his entrancing boogie aboard the bus, as a longshot can attest to. Eventually, the abducted neighbors arrive to just a normal longshot of themselves exiting the bus and entering the arch marking the entrance to the park.
At the park, the camera gives us close-ups of SFG enjoying the roller and belt-buckle chair-only coasters, as well as longshots of him on the teacups and water ride. SFG proceeds to possess the cahona needed to take a picture of the goddamn Batman, and possesses the gall to give an aside glance to the close-up camera. After a few longshots of him on other rides, the SFG demonstrates that no, he’s not above hypnotizing his Looney tunes friends to his beat. It all ends with a gradual zoom-out of an extreme longshot of SFG hypnotizing the entire park.

This commercial- just, wow and whoa. I just love the faces the guy makes, whether they happen as the song starts, or as he hangs out with the Warner Brother and DC Comic characters, or heck, when he’s on the actual rides! SFG and his actor help realize the message that anyone can have fun no matter what age they are, and that we’re not so different from each other in wanting to have fun.

Monday, March 19, 2012


The casual audience is attracted to violence. There’s no mistake about that. Why else would there be video game after sport after gripping novel that involves graphic detail, however quick or slow, dealing with battling others physically? The art of talking out problems, while providing more of a chance of settling things, just isn’t as visually intriguing as a high-action battle to save oneself.

The casual audience is also attracted to heavy music, like rock’n’roll. Several bands suckered by certain bigwig stat-gatherers rip their hearts and strings out, playing note after note, sacrificing their livelihood for the sole purpose of entertaining others. Among them, rock gets the heart pumped quicker than a gas station pumps a heart. The quiet, classic stuff, meanwhile, appears the sole target of past generations.
Violence and rock in roll appear to go hand-in-hand, from what can be gleamed from the last two paragraphs. This exciting enclave even has the potential to make movie trailers exciting, or violent video game trailers awesomer. There’s one violent video game whose trailer makes due with more poignant music…and it works better than rock does.

What am I yarning on about? It would be the first Gears of War game which I bring forefront today.

It begins with a longshot of a soldier, tilting from his feet to his entire body. The soldier runs by the camera closely, and the camera pans around to a backshot of him. The next view positions the camera from an aerial, high-angle view of him running through the city.
The view shifts to within a destroyed building, a panning longshot of the soldier running by, as a mysterious creature rises from its nap. Back outside, we first get a frontal medium shot of the soldier, then a zooming extreme longshot from his view. Cue eventual panning longshot of the soldier jumping into the building. Then a close up of him recovering and raising his head to see…

…a longshot of a pincerless arachnid rising from an abyss of the dark. It quickly cuts back to the soldier’s point of view, before the camera decides on an extreme longshot that zooms out as the soldier battle the ferocious freak mano-a-arachno.
If this were a normal commercial for a normal violent game, there would be a rock track playing. Instead, setting itself apart from other commercials, a different, melancholy song plays…”Mad World”, by Micheal Andrews and Gary Jules. Or rather, a remake of the song plays. It certainly fits the somber craziness of the characters and world in the commercial. It also fills me with dread at what waits in the game being advertised. In other words, an artist can make any work of art give off any emotion with the right tools.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


Kids say the darndest things. Or is it darnest things? Come to think of it, kids do the darnest things. We as a society let our kids do what they want, though, because it believes they don’t know any better. And when it comes to babies, society will let them make others feel bad directly, so long as the baby looks adorable doing it. Case in point? Charlie, the baby who bites siblings for no reason.

The whole video is shot from a medium-high angle, encompassing a medium shot of the toddler, Harry, and his baby brother, Charlie. At first, Harry is gleeful for his baby brother’s continuing existence, even saying the name of the video happily. Charlie then proceeds to give the most badass roar any piece of filming equipment has captured on the planet. This display of survival of the fittest gives Harry the not-so-bright idea to endanger his life by putting his finger into the mouth of the beast.

This does not go well for the boy.

For when he placed his finger in his baby brother’s mouth, Charlie began to bite around. The bite gradually got harder. Harry tried to fight this spurt of pain at first, but eventually, he cried in pain for his damaged fingers.

And when Charlie turns his head around to see the face of emotional trauma on his brother’s face, what does he do? Why, he laughs about it, like a murderer laughing about someone’s death. Twisting the knife even further, at first Charlie almost looks bad about his vile crime of hurting his family member, but then, almost as quickly, he proceeds to laugh even harder.

It doesn’t end there. Harry looks as though he hopes Charlie was kidding about it, reminding his baby brother about the pain of the body and betrayal…and then, seconds later, Charlie attempts to gorge once again on his unfortunate, oblivious victim.

But you know what? For all the awkward talks that are sure to happen in the future for these two youths, it’s still precious to see two youngsters hang out with each other. It also serves as a reminder of what Harry and Charlie will do to weave the future in front of them. This is all I can say for them: keep your sense of optimism, Harry, and use those teeth wisely, Charlie.

Monday, March 12, 2012


If I recall correctly, I talked a bit about the Nintendo 3DS commercial earlier on this blog. Nintendo sure crafted quite a work of mechanical art, with the 3DS’ weird screen and the commercials morbid sense of humor. With a sense of inventiveness like this, Nintendo’s advertising future is sure to be one of success.

Nintendo’s past in terms of commercials bears no colds, either. When they want to brainwash their costumers into wanting their products a lot, Nintendo makes commercials showing children wanting said products. One of these commercials involved their prime mascot, Mario. The product in question that deserved advertising was none other than the Game Boy Advance remake of Super Mario Bros. 3. And boy does this commercial get across how desirable it is to have this game.
It starts off with an extreme close-up of a clock. Jump cut to a zooming-out extreme longshot of a teacher, aghast, in an empty classroom.
The commercial then cuts to outside, where the parents await their children with open arms…only for the kids to JUMP OVER THEM. Cue a close-up of one father, confused and frightened of his child’s demonic abilities.
Another extreme longshot establishes the armada of kids beginning their run through the city. A low angle shot from within a van frightens car collectors as one kid uses it for jump air. We then arrive at a very low angle shot of all the kids jumping from roof to roof, followed by an angled longshot in the subway.
After more extreme longshots, the third one from the air, we get a close-up of a store owner slowly turning around after putting up a sign. His eyes are greeted by a panning longshot of many costumers wearing Mario masks. It all ends with footage from the game.
This commercial is just over the top. All those kids, rampaging through the city, just to get their hands on a Game Boy Advance remake of an NES game…something about that just brings me a smile. I also liked pretty much every adult characters’ reaction to the behaviour of the hooligans. Especially the confused father. Here’s to hoping that more Nintendo based commercials are made this way.