Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Talkin bout Meh Generation!

Technically, I fall at the tail end of Gen X, which is considered the 13th Generation in the United States (1961 - 1981; directly following the Baby Boomers, this is the 13th Generation from Ben Franklin.) So many movies and books refer to this grouping (Douglas Coupland, Reality Bites, etc.) I just don't relate as well as, say, my brother or older cousins. This was the time of Grunge (yes, I bought Teen Spirit just like everyone else) and MTV. I was still watching Animaniacs and having sleepovers. Am I Gen X? I don't think so.

Here's a brief history of some of the named Generations.

Lost Generation
- Those that fought in WWI. Kinda sad name actually. "Hi, I'm in the Lost Generation... and I don't mean the TV show.")

Interbellum Generation
- Those born at the end of the 19th Century into 1915 (This would be my Grandpa Ignatz "Happy" Heppler. German immigrant and farmer.)

Greatest Generation
- Those that fought in WWII, born 1916 - mid 1920s. Tom Brokaw named them in a book and it stuck. A little pompous in my opinion to say you are the GREATEST Generation, but they lived through the Depression and fought a serious war, so I'll shut up about that.

Silent Generation - Born between 1925 - 1945. These are generally the ones to young to fight, the Depression had a profound impact on them, life was hard. My Mother and Father were of this group. Although, my mother does not remember much of the War, her older brother was an enlisted Navy (lied about his age) and in Europe.

The Baby Boom- Yeah, I think we all know about these guys. 1945 - 1965. Thanks for the sweet music, art, political movements and more. Please take your vitamins and watch your cholesterol.

Gen X - Already discussed. Holla Yuppies!

Gen Y (Millenials, Generation Next) - The fact that they can't agree on a name, or dates, pretty much sums it up. Some say it's late 1970's to early 2000... other say 1981 to early 21st Century. The advent of the Hipster. Are you wearing your Hush Puppies with a sardonic t-shirt?

Generation Z (Digital Natives, Gen Tech) - These are the Noobs. They don't remember the days of Crapple 2e computers, no internet, cell phones bigger than phone books (Hello Zach Morris!) These are the kids who are smarter, faster, more connected and with less privacy.

So where does that leave those of us kids born in 1976 - 1981? We're a little bit of the misfit toys. We can easily jump between groups. Hanging with Gen X and relating to watching 90210 and Friends... and then hopping down to Gen Y & Z with our iPhones, iPads, iPods and rocking out on the XBOX for ultimate Rock Band supremacy. I hate to say it, but John Mayer might be the poster child for this small segment. We should get a special generational name for this transitional period.

I'm still trying to think of a good name though... Generation Meh?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Unsung Heroes

Funny how a simple prop in a film can be the catalyst for a plot direction.

The Red Stapler - Office Space
What would this movie be without Milton Waddums, the squirrely looking guy who mumbles a lot, and his beloved Red Swingline Stapler. He clearly told someone on the phone that if they took his stapler he would set the building on fire. And there you go...

The Pirate Ship Revenge - Princess Bride

I'm going to go out on a limb here, but I think that even though we never really see the ship, without it, this movie could not happen. It saves Wesley from certain death, brings him fortune and the chance to come back to save Buttercup, provides the escape they need, and a final home for Inigo after completing his life mission.

The Phone - Run Lola Run
Simple red phone (I'm sensing a theme with colors here) that sets each distinct Zwanzig Minuten in play. Could they have done it differently? Sure thing. In fact, I'm sure Lola and Manni wouldn't have had nearly as many issues if the iPad was available then.

Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster - Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Not only is it the best drink in the known Universe, but provides Zaphod & Ford the breakthrough needed to get the journey started. While I'm not recommending the effect of having one's brains smashed out by a slice of lemon... wrapped around a large gold brick; I do advocate that in social situations where parties have not seen each other in a long while, and some frustration has lingered over a period of time, a good stiff drink can truly bring people back together. Stephen Hawking would dig it.

While there are many, many more that could be discussed, I rather like the idea of challenging myself over the next week to find the unsung hero in four other movies. Seemingly small items, or props, can change the course of a story. And effecting change in a positive direction is always a good thing.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Warning to the squeamish!

Now, I am the first to admit that I am NOT a horror fan. The most comfortable I can get is a 'Shaun of the Dead' and that is more for Simon Pegg than anything else. However, I do respect and am fascinated with the craft of making something unique.

That being said, do not click on the links below if you are not comfortable with scares, horror, knife-wielding maniacs... et cetera. I myself may watch cartoons before bedtime tonight. Don't say I did not warn you. Regardless, this is a redirect from Art Producer Extraordinaire, Adrienne Tucker, who has always brought me new creative concepts to chronicle... in this case, Photographers who layer without using Photoshop.

Just discovered this “horror” photographer, Joshua Hoffine. I recommend looking at his website, but his blog is especially great. He shows behind-the-scenes/making of pictures of each set that he builds. He tries to capture as much as possible in camera, rather than use Photoshop.