Your home for everything artistic

Archive for the ‘Television’ Category

Talented Musicians on Rising Star

As a music fan, one of my favorite new television addictions of the summer is ABC’s innovative music competition Rising Star.

And of the several highly-talented artists that made it into the second round of competition, these two young ladies are among my favorites. Both have overcome some challenges and both have something amazing to offer.

Megan Tibbits

came out in the first round, and has since advanced to the third with the help of voters on the West Coast who got her through her initial audition, came out with a harp. Yes, I said a harp. And with it she sang and played a unique a beautiful rendition of what is most likely to be one of the year’s top wedding songs, John Legend’s “All of Me.”

April Lockhart

got through the first round easily and compelets in the second tomorrow night. She too offered a unique spin on a song by the Spice Girls (anybody remember them?) called “Say You’ll Be There.” And while Megan’s challenge may have been the use of an unusual instrument, April’s was the fact that she learned to play the guitar and excel at it with just one hand.

Unique and wonderful aerial animation act

Let’s face it, a lot of reality TV and competition shows are flat out useless. And even if the show itself isn’t, some of the acts that appear on them are. This was certainly not the case with a young lady named Abigail Baird recently appeared on America’s Got Talent.

The skill, grace, imagination and creativity of this teacher-by-day is nothing short of inspiring.

Check out the official video here:

Voice Over Mistakes in Films

Guest Post By Jessica Wright

Have you ever thought ‘I like this film but I just can’t stand the narrator’? Or, ‘why is there even a narrator telling me this is Paris if you can clearly see the Eiffel Tower’? And what about voice-over translations that don’t make any sense?

There are 3 kinds of mistakes when talking about voice over or off-camera commentary in film production:

-        The voice itself

There is always a character behind a voice, even if it’s just a narrator linking parts of the story, this voice has a personality. And this personality should match the tone and style of the story. In films where the voice over is used continuously, like in animated movies, a good casting is even more important. Characters need credibility and not having the adequate voice for them is a terrible mistake. Mistakes here are also related to the emotions ‘shown’, the tone of voice, a correct diction and any other techniques that are common to any kind of acting. The responsible for these mistakes would be casting and direction.

-        The use of the voice over

Sometimes the use of a voice over is just not needed. When an image is already telling you the story, showing a context or you can see the personality of the characters with their looks and acting, you don’t need another voice to explain what you already know and make you aware that you are watching a movie instead of letting you dive into it. If a voice over is used to, let’s say, introduce a character, it should be to give additional information of what you don’t see or can’t explain otherwise. The responsible for these mistakes would be the scriptwriter.

-        Translation mistakes:

We can find hundreds of mistakes when talking about voice over translations or dubbing. The choice of the voice is even more important here and should match not only the personality but also the physical appearance of the character. Translating dialogs and adapting them to another language is always a hard work. In addition to common translating difficulties, when doing a foreign language voice over, it has to look like the character is actually pronouncing those other words instead of the original ones. Again, credibility is needed in order to believe the story told. The responsible here would be the studio in charge of this post production service.

These are just general mistakes occurring in filmmaking, but voice over also happens in any kind of television production, radio, advertising, video games and  audio visual in general, so imagine how many more mistakes can be done in each of them!

The most beloved character type in modern literature

Anyone who writes or enjoys reading stories has at least a general idea of the various character types that make up the basics of virtually any story, novel, play or movie.

Of course, there are the villains, as more technically refereed to as the antagonists.  And just as obviously there are the heroes, technically termed the protagonists. Just perhaps the most beloved character type that is in use more now than ever is the figure known as the anti-hero.

Some people may be familiar with this type of character but in the event that you are not one of them, an anti-hero is essentially a protagonist that is anything but perfect.

Gone are the days with squeaky clean heroes who always make the right decisions and never cross any moral lines. Writers and readers have come to embrace protagonists with faults, personal struggles and other serious and not so serious issues that they must face.

So why is the anti-hero so popular? I would venture to guess that it’s because he or she is a character to which people can more accurately relate. Quite frankly, they are more realistic. Even the most shinning examples of humanity struggle with their own issues from  time to time. Nobody does everything right or always makes the right call pertaining to a moral or ethical situation.

Some famous examples of anti-heroes include:

Books -

Holden Caulfield – “Catcher in the Rye”

Scarlett O’Hara – “Gone with the Wind”

Movies -

John McClain – “Die Hard” series

Frank Martin – “Transporter” series

Television -

Patrick Jane – “The Mentalist”

Emily Thorne – “Revenge”

Plays –

Lady Macbeth  – “Macbeth”

Comics -

Batman

ah

The artistic beauty of dance

I am a long time fan of the show Dancing With The Stars.

And while the series is known at times for having some silly and less than elegant elements, it has also had it’s share of truly amazing performances. Some of these have inspired visually, musically and even emotionally. Here are a few I saw last night that I simply felt compelled to share. The first is newly crowned Olympic Ice Dancing champion Meryl Davis and her notoriously suave partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy. It was dedicated to the journey to the gold medal she and her ice dancing partner Charlie White had been on for more than 17 years. This second video is of  Paralympic snowboarding star Amy Purdy and her choreographically gifted partner Derek Hough. This was dedicated to her father who played an incredible role in her recovery from an illness that cost the athlete her legs. Sit back, relax and take in another example of how art can inspire us all.

Some thoughts on the 2014 Grammy Awards show

While there seems to be an ever-growing number of awards shows out there these days, when it comes to music, the Grammy Awards are still considered by many to be the elite in terms of this particular art form. Sure some might argue that the People’s Choice holds more meaning since it is directly from the fans or that other shows that base their winners primarily on sales figures are more relevant. However, the Grammy Awards are still essentially the Oscars of the music industry.

With all that being said, here are my personal thoughts on the awards show that took place this past Sunday.

On Live Performances:

As has been the case lately, there where a lot of unusual pairings for duet and group performances. A few worked, most didn’t. When it came to the older guys out there, such as the two former members of the Beatles, many of them have lost their vocal skills and really just need to ride off into the Sunset of musical history. Probably the best performances in my opinion were a few of the most subtle. The collaboration between Pink and Nate Ruess stuck out for sure. And the subdued piano playing Hunter Hayes with inspirational quotes on the screen in the background was quite memorable.

On the Nominees:

For the most part, the selection of nominees in each category was pretty good. Of course, the fact that Justin Timberlake and Taylor Swift among a few others weren’t up for more was a bit surprising. Two examples of where they mostly went right where the categories for “Song of the Year” and Best Pop Solo Performance.”

On the Winners:

It is the tendency at the Grammys for one or more artists to dominate a few major categories in a given year. Those who decide the winners get hung up on a particular song or artist. Often times they fade away a bit after that. The first part of that equation did follow the typical pattern.  And I suspect the second will as well.

Overall, this year, it seemed as though those who decided the winners tended toward rewarding mediocrity. The bestowed coveted awards on acts with one or two OK songs and sort of left others out in the cold. Good examples of this include wins by newcomer LordeDaft Punk and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.

What Should Have Been IMHO:

Of the available options:

Record of the Year should have went to Sara Bareilles for “Brave.”

Song of the Year should ahve been a given for “Just Give Me A Reason” by  Pink and Nate Ruess.

Best Pop Solo Performance should have went to either Sara Bareilles for “Brave” or Justin Timberlake for “Mirrors.”

I could go on but that would make for one long post.

Sara Bareilles

Sara Bareilles

Pink and Nate Ruess

Pink and Nate Ruess

Finding out about fan fiction

Fan fiction

has been around for several years now. And while I had a basic idea of what the concept was all about, I never really bothered to look into it until recently. A friend of the family gave me a few more specific details of what is involved in this fan-driven form of literature.

Imagine reading your favorite science fiction book, or watching a classic super hero movie and having some actual control over the thoughts, actions and just about everything to do with the characters. This is the essence of fan fiction.

The control over one’s favorite characters combined with the ability to express one’s own creativity has made this form of writing a rapidly growing success.  Essentially, everything is possible!

Personally, as a fan of the television series “Revolution,” I am looking forward to checking out what people have written about this futuristic and somewhat post-apocalyptic show. Who knows, maybe someday I’ll even write some for myself.

Revolution show

American Idol 2013 Finale recap

Last night, Candice Glover and Kree Harrison fought it out as the last two contestants on this year’s edition of American Idol. And in all honesty, I missed the show and caught up with the performances after the fact. However, I suppose that might actually be a good thing because the judges didn’t have the possible ability to influence my take on each performance. Not that they usually do but this makes the whole thing even more pure in nature.

Candice Glover and Kree Harrision American Idol Finalists

Candice Glover and Kree Harrision, American Idol Finalists

Here’s how I rank last night’s first performances:

1. Candice (Tie) - It started off slow but she did well in the chorus. Not bad.

1. Kree (Tie) – Slow and simple adding her own country twist good but not great.

Last night’s second performances:

1. Kree – Good tone, nice vocals, got to show off her range a bit, right in her wheelhouse.

2. Candice – Nice inflection in her voice. Strong and emotional, well done.

Last night’s third performances: 

1. Candice – Showed off her amazing range in a touching and incredible performance.

2. Kree – Smooth flowing vocals and a beautiful sound overall. Amazing final note at the end.

Final thoughts:

Neither of the first performances was all that great. And that being the case, I’d have to call that round a tie. With each additional round, the performances got progressively better. Kree most likely took the second round with a song that just fit her better and a quality showing throughout.  While Kree’s third and final song was outstanding and would have likely been the best of the night on most nights, the fact that Candice gave a second performance of her best song of the season won her the round.

Being that Candice went second in each round, I would have to say she has a bit of an advantage. This is especially true when it comes to her closing song. However, with the shocking elimination of Angie last week, if either contestant is likely to pick up her fans it would be Kree. Going into the night, I thought it would be an anti-climactic finish with the newest winner being Candice. However, I’m not so sure that it won’t be a lot close than people expect. Who knows what might happen.

Classic fantasy movies that launched Hollywood careers

Every actor or actress in Hollywood got their start somewhere. But sometimes, prolonged and successful careers have come out of arguably one of the most interesting and creative film genres – fantasy films.

I happened to run into a friend the other day who is a major fan of one such movie and we got to taking about the subject. That being the case, I thought I’d take a quick look back at a few that really stood out for me, especially in the 1980s, and the starts that now enjoy household names who were part of these very cool projects.

The Princess Bride – 1987

Arguably one of the most beloved fantasy films of all-time, this fairy tale/action/love combination directed by the talented Ron Howard showcased Robin Wright (before she became Robin Wright Penn) and featured the long-time Criminal Minds series star Mandy Patinkin.

Labyrinth – 1986

With a creepy, evil David Bowie as her rival, movie fans discovered the beautiful and talented Jennifer Connelly playing the role of a 15-year-old unexpected heroine. While the movie didn’t do well at the box office, it has since enjoyed a massive cult following.

Willow – 1988

Although he had a few earlier roles (including in the film Top Gun with Tom Cruise) Val Kilmer began to capture the eyes and hearts of fans in this unusual adventure.

American Idol Top 3 week recap

With a night of very strong performances overall, it’s not a big surprise that last night’s Top 3 show is believed to be the second most competitive (in terms of how close the voting results are anticipated to be) in the history of the series. Everyone seemed to have some shining moments and I couldn’t find much wrong with any of the performances in any round. However, as usual, a few stood out more than the rest.

American Idol 2013 Top 3 finalists

American Idol 2013 Top 3 Contestants – Candice Glover, Angie Miller and Kree Harrison

Here’s how I rank last night’s first performances:

1. Angie

2. Candice

3. Kree

Last night’s second performances:

1. Kree

2. Angie

3. Candice

Last night’s third performances: 

1. Candice

2. Angie

3. Kree

Week overall (with brief commentary):

1. Angie – Her first song was smooth and sweet, simple yet captivating. The second was more poppy and upbeat while showing off her confidence, very strong overall. Her final song was simple and strong providing a great close of the night for her.

2. Candice – The first song was an interesting choice from Jimmy and gave her a powerful, great start. The second song was a nice fit featuring good inflection and the ability to show her range. She closed the night with a soft and smooth song hitting the power vocals in the right spots. 

3. Kree – Her first song had a good tone, strong vocal and worked out well. For her second song, she was in her zone and showed off her range and emotion. She finished her portion of the night with something fun, intense and upbeat.

 

Final thoughts:

While nothing is ever a certainty, especially in the world of American Idol, I personally think that Angie has remained the most consistent contestant throughout the competition. If that means anything at all, she should be in the finals. That being the case, I would assume the second spot is a battle between Kree and Candice. Of course, we haven’t really had any surprises this season, and that is highly unusual. And while Angie’s fan base has likely remained the same over time, there is a good chance that with the elimination of the prior two contestants, Janelle and Amber, the other two remaining girls probably expanded their fan base by picking up the “country vote” and the “African American” vote. If that’s the case, who knows what might happen. We’ll just have to wait and see.  

Tag Cloud

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 620 other followers