Some things I noticed after watching Rogue One a second time . . .
When I first watched Rogue One, I was just trying to stay with the plot and falling in love with the characters, so I didn’t go too deep with studying the actual filmmaking that went into it.
I’m a huge film nerd - went to film school, actually - so this time around, I consciously looked at the film through that lens.
Maybe someone else has already noticed this, but here goes:
I was really struck by the Director of Photography’s lighting choices in the scene where the rebellion is basically “recruiting” Jyn.
Lighting is such a cool thing - often used in classic movies to show the moral standing of characters.
Here’s a breakdown of how each major player in the scene is lit and what we can infer:
Mon Mothma - brightly, fully lit (she almost looks angelic); she is clearly the person with the most strict moral code and the most “spotless moral conduct” (reading the novelisation, this really comes through)
Jyn Erso - softly lit with no hard shadows, but clearly dimmer than Mon Mothma; she has a shady criminal past, but she’s got good intentions
General Dodonna and Bail Organa - lit similarly to Jyn; they have good intentions, even if they might be a bit more comfortable with the moral grey areas than Mon Mothma
General Draven - there is a bit of bright lighting on the top of his head, but his face generally stays in shadow; he has fully accepted the “morally questionable” acts he orders others to commit to serve the greater vision of the Rebellion
And now my favourite …
Cassian Andor - his face is half in shadow and half in light (very similar to the way Michael Corleone is lit in The Godfather); it represents how he wrestles with doing things he hates (assassinations, etc) to serve the cause he believes in, because he finds them morally reprehensible - Cassian is, to borrow a phrase from Doctor Who, “halfway out of the dark”
Anyway, I though it was pretty cool. I noticed some other thematic stuff that I might post about later.
Feel free to talk to me about this - I’m a total nerd about it and I love meeting other people who are nerdy about it, too.
Also, I’m total trash for rebelcaptain. If you are, too, we should be friends.
Gary Oldman is my hero. When I went to drama school everybody used to quote him and his films […] and I’d sit there really quietly and think ‘no, no, you don’t, no I’m more of a Gary Oldman fan than you… So to work with him - for him to look me in the eye and talk to me, acknowledge that I exist, took the wind right out of me. - Tom Hardy
I went to film school and nothing bothers me more than when film students suddenly start shunning commercially successful directors (who also happen to be critically successful directors) because they don't think a film that can make money equates to being "great art". And they usually start thinking this way when their 1st "big" masturbatory, poorly lit, horribly conceived student film makes no money and is universally disliked on the festival circuits!!! BLOOP!!! LMAO
In undergrad i went to a pwi and shot mostly non-black people. One of the reasons I chose HU is bc all the #discourse made it seem like lighting black skin was super hard to do. And that was a skill I wanted to hone - specifically lighting for black skin. & it literally is so easy. Maybe i misread the anger as “this is so hard and nobody really takes the time to learn it” when all along it was “wtf this is a walk in the park. stop being lazy”
Rules: tell your followers 11 random facts about yourself, and tag 11 people in return! Tag backs are allowed, but you mustn’t repeat any of the facts you mentioned previously. The facts can be absolutely anything! Whatever springs to mind! Let’s get started!
I am dual citizen - Canadian and American. But I’ve never lived in the U.S., so I identify as a Canadian.
I was once a guest on Sesame Street (but there isn’t any footage of it online - I’ve looked, believe me). Maybe I’ll get our old VHS tapes converted to digital one day so that I can upload it. Haha.
I went to film school. And became a graphic designer. Makes total sense.
I’ve been working on the same fantasy novel since I was 13. I recently decided to scrap the whole thing and re-imagine it as something more than a female-led Tolkien rip-off. My new idea is sooooooo much better.
I’ve been to Disneyland every 2-3 years since I was 19. I love it a lot. Mostly because it combines my love of storytelling, architecture, and immersive experience. And I really love Dole Pineapple Whips. Like, that is all I would eat at Disneyland if I could get away with it.
I make my own birthday pie every year. Yeah, I’m a pie person, not a cake person. This year, I’m making an earl grey chiffon pie. I’m pretty excited.
I brew beer as a hobby. And I hope to become a professional brewer in the next few years. Brewing and fandom don’t always collide for me, but when Carrie Fisher died, I brewed a beer for her. It’s a black IPA called Brunette Rebel Space Princess and the hops flavouring it are of the Galaxy variety (what else, right?).
I don’t have a favourite movie, but a few of my go-tos are: Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars OT (obvs), Clueless, Heathers, LOTR Trilogy, and Rear Window.
I once got my nose pierced with an ear piercing gun. I do not recommend.
I’m a long-distance runner (another hobby). I ran my first half marathon just over a year ago and am training for another one next January.
I own too many books for my bookshelf and am currently trying to figure out my best course of action.
If I went all out of order in watching and reviewing these flicks, at least I’m wrapping up with the last one to date. It’s the end of the line, folks!
Well, I suppose that’s one way to get Ash involved in the plot - literally bind him to the titular Pokemon. It’s only slightly more contrived than what some of the other movies have tried, and we get some nice comedy out of it…in the beginning. The gag gets old after a while. And it all comes down to the same thing: Ash is roped into a story he has no real connection to, tags along while making little to mild impact on the plot, only to ultimately save the day in a contrived turn of events. I never thought that would be such an ongoing issue with these movies, but in nineteen films, Ash only had a meaningful story arc in three of them. Victini and Jirachi gave him nice roles as well, but it’s been extremely frustrating to go through these films and be constantly disappointed by the way the series lead is written.
I didn’t expect padding to be a recurring problem as well. None of these movies pass the two hour mark, and a good number of them aren’t even an hour-and-a-half. I find it very strange that so many of them seem to struggle to fill that time, padding the story out with TRio antics, “come on out of your balls” Pokemon parties, other stock scenes, and a tendency to drag out travel. Volcanion further pads things out through repetition. I’ve already mentioned the ongoing gag with Ash’s bind, but Volcanion’s grumblings about humans get tired after a while too, and the message they’re attached to is rather ham-fisted in delivery.
This bit of padding wasn’t especially egregious in terms of time wasted, but it bugs me: I don’t know who thought “Serena and Bonnie make shopping trips and makeovers” was a worthwhile running gag throughout these flicks, but…no. Just…just no. The girls have good taste in clothes for Ash, but that outfit makes no difference to the plot, is quickly replaced, and doesn’t do much more than kill thirty seconds. And how can Ash keep changing his clothes without taking the bind off?
Speaking of travelling companions…Clemont was useful to the plot, they really liked showcasing Serena’s healing, washing and shopping skills this time ‘round, and they end up serving as a distraction in the final fight. It’s not the worst role ever given to Ash’s friends, but it’s nothing remarkable either, and that’s one more thing I didn’t expect to be such a common flaw.
Team Rocket mattered to the plot again! That makes, what…five out of nineteen movies where they had any reason to be here? That’s a better track record than Brock, I suppose, but this just reinforces my feeling that the TRio should’ve been the ones to leave the show after Johto. And I know they have a soft spot, but does anyone else find it OOC just how teary-eyed Meowth gets?
That the human CotDs often become the de facto protagonists of the story, or at least the center of the meaningful human drama, is nothing new in these flicks. The real human story here is the one involving the brother and sister. Here, they command very little screen time. We spend all our time with Ash and Volcanion - who is the protagonist - that there’s basically no chance to get invested in the siblings. Hence, another set of forgettable CotDs, and another unexpected and frustrating chronic story flaw.
Another recurring plot point (not a flaw this time):
What is it with Pokemon villains and steampunk airships?
And another contrived way out of having a character die. I realize this review’s become a bit of a summary of all my ongoing frustrations with these movies, but really - I don’t know what else to write about. Volcanion has all the common flaws, a few common virtues, and very little either way that’s unique to itself that grabbed me. Though I will concede that the ending was cute.
I’ve been picking up my re-watch of the OS since watching Deoxys, so I’ve been spending a lot of time with the 4Kids dub. It made me forget just how much the TCPi dub irks me. And again, it’s not so much an issue of quality performances as casting (coughClemontcough). Though I must to say - Serena suffers from miscasting and an awkward performance in the dub. It’s like the voice was deliberately chosen to emphasize the more…let’s call them frustrating aspects of her personality. IMO, of course.
And I think I have a least favorite English opening.
After doing so many “BS News” articles, I began getting praise from people telling me that Cracked was the “most credible” news source on the internet. This terrified me. Not just because social interaction exhausts my soul, but because I’m probably the least qualified person to get ALL your news from. Until Cracked, I was a dishwasher by trade. I have no background in journalism, and once punched my friend while sleepwalking. I went to film school, for crying out loud.
Not to compare myself to The Daily Show at all – but my horror was not unlike Jon Stewart’s when all the kids “got their news” from him. But despite his disapproval – we still held him up on that pedestal.
So why was Jon Stewart such a voice of reason in modern America? As he himself once described it on C-Span, the media bubble is a lot like 6-year-olds playing soccer: too busy crowding the ball to see the bigger picture. Meanwhile, political comedians had the luxury that newspapers once did – in that they could fully-digest the news and pinpoint the most important narrative. They aren’t smarter than CNN or NBC or Fox, but rather lack the exhaustion of covering every goddamn thing that happens all the time.
And that luxury-turned-superiority made them a more respected source, suddenly elevating these silly comedy shows to president-worthy pedigree.
This week’s crew profile is with our awesome storyboard artist Kyle Marshall!
When did you become interested in animation and
I went to what I thought was a film school in Saskatoon, Canada, but it
turned out to be more of an animation college. I was a horrible artist, and
frustrated with drawing, but figured I’d finish the semester. We did that first
walk cycle, and from there on I was hooked.
What was your first job in animation?
I worked on a Christmas special for a small studio
in Saskatoon, doing everything from layout and boards to key animation. I didn’t
really know what I was doing at the time, but it was a good learning experience
and start to the business.
If you could befriend one animated character, who
would it be and why?
Daffy Duck - probably a horrible friend, but it
would be a good laugh watching him ‘eat it’ all day.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been
I can’t recite direct quotes, but two general
pieces of advice stand out:
get life experience. Take risks, live life and do things that scare you. Get
stupid every now and again, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
has a different idea of what brings you success, but my experience has
been that 90% of achieving success is just doing it. Talent, preparation, hard
work, all that is important, but the biggest thing is going out and making it
If you had to eat one kind of food every day for
the rest of your life, what would you pick?
I don’t like writing bios about myself. That why my Twitter profile doesn’t provide any actual information except my love of various pop punk lyrics. My Instagram is a bit more enlightening with the sassy description “I do all of the comedy stuff my sister doesn’t understand” beneath an equally sassy selfie of me in the bathroom trying to show off a new haircut. The truth is, I don’t know exactly what I do. I went to one of the best film schools in the country and graduated with a BFA in screenwriting but I didn’t get anywhere in my career until I sat on a couch with my best friend and improvised a love advice show playing a heavily heightened version of myself. The best way I could describe the character of “Allison” on my comedy channel, “Just Between Us,” is the worst version of myself from five years ago without any self-awareness. The stories are true. The details are mostly factual, but it’s still a character, which is a technicality I didn’t think would matter as much as it does.
Finding success on YouTube has been both the most exciting and confusing thing that has ever happened to me (other than my Bat Mitzvah). I grew up loving television, movies and books. I craved well-crafted stories and witty jokes and never watched Reality TV. I don’t need the truth, I need satisfying plot resolution. But then I found my voice in a medium that values authenticity above all else. Everything is taken at face value. Many commenters have a hard time understanding that most of my videos are scripted. Unless I am taste testing sheep’s milk or participating in a video that expressly states “real couples” or “real best friends,” I am playing a part. Sometimes that part is a version of Allison. Sometimes it’s a bitchy boss or an idiot girlfriend. I consider acting to be a craft that needs to be learned like anything else. It’s something I take seriously and hope to get better at. Over the past few years, I’ve taken scene study classes, trained at numerous improv theaters and auditioned all over the vast city of Los Angeles. So you can imagine my surprise when a fan tweeted that they had found an indie film I have a small role in and exclaimed, “I didn’t know you were an actress!”
You always hear about actors being pigeonholed. This actress can only carry rom coms, not dramas. That actor will forever be cast as a villain. This woman will always be tied to her role in that iconic sitcom so lets make another sitcom about that very situation. While I don’t have the range of classically trained actors, I never thought I would be pigeonholed as myself. Even within Buzzfeed, I had to fight for a role in a scripted series, Colleagues, because the director was worried the audience wouldn’t understand that I was playing a character named Natalie and not Allison. To me, that’s like saying, “We can’t go see Macbeth because that same actor played Hamlet last year and that would be too confusing.” Actors don’t retire after a single role. They’re too vain.
But to explain it that simply is to play dumb. I am not a traditional actor. My character on JBU is not a British clone who needs to save her clone sisters in an unclear country. My “character” is a girl named Allison who looks, sounds and talks just like me. It’s a similar situation to stand up comics. Their onstage persona is a part of them but it’s not the exact same as the person who walks off stage. My difficulty is trying to figure out how to “walk off stage” when my stage is the Internet. My comedy partner has warned me that we are going to be underestimated our entire careers. While I’ve grown to expect that executives and agents won’t understand the value of the Internet or the unmatched passion of its fans, it’s still hard to grapple that a lot of my audience doesn’t know that we are in control of our material. Our videos aren’t some sort of happy accident: they are the result of hard work, sweat, and tears (although more often laughter than tears). I’ve shared so much of myself creatively, I want to share even more without feeling like I am letting people down for not being completely myself all the time. I guess what I’m asking for is an expanded definition of authenticity. Even though many things I’m going to make will not be true to my actual off-screen life, anything I create is still a part of me and it ultimately comes from a place of truth. Except my British accent. That’s just terrible.
P.S. All of my tweets are jokes. It just seems like a good time to clarify that too.