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Archive for the ‘Television’ Category

Incredible violinist Lindsey Stirling

Every once in a while a talented musician that is somewhat out of the mainstream breaks through the murky waters of the industry to capture the hearts and minds of fans everywhere. Lindsey Stirling is one such artist.

If you haven’t heard her yet, check out the video below for a beautiful performance the other day on The Meredith Vieira Show.

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

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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

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