Saturday, February 12, 2011
Daily Productivity Blog #8
Today I took the following actions in pursuit of the cinematic storyteller's craft:
1) I worked cutting / post-ing video.
2) I met with one of my mentor's for a quick chat which turned into an epic talk (as they always tend to do). Lesson of the evening: " 'Incongruity' is a powerful took. Making the sweet looking be mean, or the powerful-looking be meek can be either funny or scary, depending on execution. But it almost always works as a way to engage people." [Paraphrased] Brad Bird used this as his guiding principle in THE INCREDIBLES: every amazing thing is grounded in something ordinary, every ordinary thing is grounded in something amazing. What incongruity does is give you immediate contrast, as immediate as contrast within a single character. This contrast gives you a stick by which to measure the extraordinary, it provides context. Incongruity is simultaneous context.
3) I watched THE CRAZIES again and confirmed that it is, in fact, pretty damn okay. Outer boundaries, connective tissue, and visual storytelling -- it's refreshing to see some actual craft put to work. Imperfect, but entertaining and competently crafted.
4) I watched MASTER & COMMANDER, the far superior high-seas adventure film and the true best picture of 2003. Its script-writing isn't as focused as it could be, but the "lesser of two weevils" lesson is pretty well elucidated through the key events of the film. The surface writing is sharp, the acting exceptional, the visual storytelling gorgeous. Possibly the most unfortunate franchise non-starter of the last decade. Besides M&C, there's really only PIXAR, Ken Burns, and THE KING OF KONG to remind us that anything even happened those ten years.
5) I fell asleep. And woke back up to blog. (Okay, not really. My wife needed to be picked up from work. I have simply used this as a second chance to blog tonight).
6) I walked a mile to meet my mentor, and then back to work to check on a render, then 3.5 miles home. That's 5.5 miles. Not bad.
7) Daily story study: I will read a fable.
8) Daily visual storytelling study: I will study Rockwell.