My daughter had been trying for months to get me to subscribe to Netflix. I just honestly did not see the reason for that when we were already getting nearly 200 channels on our cable subscription package. She tried to tell me I was wasting money on it, but I honestly thought she was just trying to get her way. It turns out that she actually did know more than me about this. She told me to look at a website called netflixinsider.com, so I did. I figured if she was going through this much trouble, then she might actually have a valid point somewhere in there. Continue reading →
This summer marked number 35 for me, and I celebrated it the same way I did all of my other high school class reunions. I stayed home.
Of the 320 people who graduated with me way back in 1981, I have kept in touch with the half dozen I was close to back then. The others, while I wish them no misfortune, I really have no desire to reconnect with.
Even though class reunions are not for me, I have enjoyed TV shows with characters who have attended theirs. Here are seven classic sitcoms that aired an episode on which at least one regular member participated in a high school class reunion.
All in the Family
Archie (played by Carroll O’Connor) reluctantly agrees to accompany Edith (played by Jean Stapleton) to her reunion, where the most anticipated guest will be her high school sweetheart Buck Evans. The former track star, now obese and bald, is unrecognizable to everyone but Edith.
The Andy Griffith Show
Deputy Barney Fife (played by Don Knotts) anticipates rekindling his romance with Thelma Lou (played by Betty Lynn) when their Mayberry class gets together, only to find that she has married someone else.
The Love Boat
Julie McCoy’s (played by Lauren Tewes) fellow grads are celebrating their tenth on board The Princess, where she finds that her former boyfriend is still attracted to her and her favorite teacher (played by Raymond Burr) is an alcoholic.
Married With Children
Peg Bundy (played by Katy Sagal) attends her reunion with the sole intention of being elected as Prom queen, a goal she manages to accomplish with some underhanded help from son Bud (played David Faustimo and daughter Kelly (played by Christina Applegate). By the way, the reluctant Al (played by Ed O’Neill) found himself in a fight with a fellow grad.
An episode titled “The Front” is centered on the reunion of the Springfield Class of ’74 of which both Homer and Marge were members, only Homer finds out from Principal Dondelinger that he never actually graduated.
Peter Griffin goes to his high school reunion and meets NFL quarterback Tom Brady in an episode appropriately called “Patriot Games.”
“Home Again, Rose” is the name of the episode in which a heart attack forces Rose (played by Betty White) to miss her class reunion. Instead, the gals all later attend Blanche’s (played by Rue McClanahan) and pretend to be other people.
Ah, the stage! The glorious live performance. When you’ve had years of experience on the stage, every cell in your body knows what performing feels like. Your body knows to be bigger, louder. It feels full, grand, real and you can hear the audience react. How rewarding. How deliciously rewarding!
Then you do film or TV for the first time and your eyebrows act like caterpillars on crack. You look like a bobblehead or cartoon character. You’re surprised your eyes don’t pop out of your head to the sound of an old fashioned horn. There’s no way around it; you’re simply horrible.
You’re told, “Be small! Be still! Tone it down! Don’t do anything!” So you stop: you stop moving or doing anything. You try to keep those caterpillars – and the rest of your body – contained.
And you certainly see a difference. It’s not nearly as big as it was before. But now instead of Roger Rabbit, you look like Robbie the Robot. You’re empty. Uncaring. Boring. Weird. Like you’re stuck in a cage, frozen.
You’re afraid to move, feel, express or be yourself.
So where is the happy medium between cartoon character and robot? And how do you get there?
For any actor that has ever been told to be small, still, contained, and not do anything, let’s free you from that cage. Here are your keys:
Key #1: You’ve been given horrible direction.
With all due respect to whomever told you to “be small, be still, don’t do anything,” those words are inaccurate and make you self-conscious about what you’re doing. What you should have been told is:
Allow your behavior to be the same as it is in your everyday life. You don’t need to perform anymore. You just need to be real.
Key #2: You don’t think about your behavior in your everyday life.
You just live. You wish your best friend didn’t move or hope your boss doesn’t make you stay late or wonder if the cute guy at the party will notice you. As you experience life, your thoughts and feelings result in organic and unconscious behavior. You just live and react without ever thinking about it.
Key #3: So that means stage acting is unnatural.
Stage performance, while a rush, is nowhere near our true reality. It requires so much more than our everyday behavior. You consciously put in effort to manufacture unnatural behavior – bigger and louder behavior – to reach the 500th row. (And I’m sure you do it brilliantly.)
Key #4: Guess what? TV and film acting reflects everyday life behavior. (aka: natural behavior)
When we’re truthfully experiencing our daily life, our minds, faces, bodies and voices are exquisitely alive with that life. We don’t try to advertise our thoughts and feelings, they are already seen.
And so it is with acting for the screen. If you’ve used your imagination to create your relationship to your best friend, boss and the cutie pie as full experiences, we will see it on your face, in your eyes and in your behavior.
You won’t have to think about being still or small or real; you just will be. No effort required.
Key #5: Why? Because the camera is inside your head.
The audience isn’t 500 rows away, they’re just a few feet away – right where another human being would be, if not much closer. In fact, the camera is so close, it’s practically reading your thoughts. That’s how much it – and the audience – can see.
And here’s the best part:
Key #6: When it comes to natural behavior, TV and film acting is easier than stage acting.
For the delicious theater experience, we must consciously adjust our behavior to show our love or anger. But for TV and film, if we simply truly feel love or anger, the audience will see it. Just like real life.
So you can drop the rabbit and the robot. Stop trying so hard to keep still inside that cage of non-behavior. That is not real, nor authentic. You are. When you invest in your relationships and circumstances, your voice and body follow. Your behavior follows. Unconsciously. Organically.
Moving up in the workplace is essential in the business field. The great thing about The Office is that even though it is a humorous hit television series, they apply real business concepts and situations within the show. Analyzing through the seasons, we find that certain characters use different strategies in order to proceed in higher rankings within the company of Dunder Mifflin. This article will introduce some ways that a few characters got promoted and moved to higher positions.
The Ryan Howard Technique
Ryan Howard started off hired as just a temp (temporary employee). Although it was not expected for Ryan to be a permanent employee, he got a hold of the company’s culture and was able to adapt into his position. When Ryan’s sales continued to increase, he was then hired on as a sales representative. Corporate saw much potential in this young sales rep and continued to observe how his new position increased the company’s sales. Corporate was even so pleased, that they promoted him to join the corporate workforce as vice-president of sales. Unfortunately, Ryan began using different drugs which distracted him from doing his job. He was later demoted back to a sales rep in Scranton. Through the ups and downs, we can learn what and what not to do to achieve higher rankings within a company.
The Robert California Technique
Robert California began his journey as he was interviewed for the Scranton branch manager position in Scranton after Creed Bratton was demoted from that position. As mentioned in other blogs and articles, Robert California had a mind of a genius. He was able to manipulate people with logic in order to get the things that he wanted. When he was hired as branch manager, he incorporated the company’s culture within one day. He then convinced the current CEO Joe Bennett at the time to give him her job and because of those great manipulation skills, he succeeded.
The Darryl Philbin Technique
Darryl Philbin was an interesting character to observe because he began his career at Dunder Mifflin as an ordinary warehouse worker. He was always undermined by Michael Scott and was never given a chance to express his ideas. When Dunder Mifflin was bought out by Sabre, Joe Bennett came to visit and gave the opportunity for everyone in the company to express their ideas. Darryl was able to share and made Joe very pleased with what he came up with. Against Michael’s wishes, Darryl was then promoted and given his own personal office.
We see here that people can start from different positions and different skills but can use what they have in order to succeed within a company. By watching the television series, one could learn multiple was to climb the business food chain and become successful.
Hollywood and lawyers have gone together like two peas in a pod since the very inception of motion pictures. In an industry built on fantasy and unlimited imagination, playing an attorney in a well-written film can be the direct route to big recognition in an actor’s career. From Atticus Finch to Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee, those portraying legal advocates have given us some of the most memorable characters in Hollywood history. Among all the many examples, these top seven thespians provided us with some of the most unforgettable performances in the courtroom.
1. Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch
No one can forget Gregory Peck’s portrayal of attorney Atticus Finch in “To Kill A Mockingbird.” Admirable father to Scout and Jem, Atticus Finch uses his legal prowess to fight against racial injustice in Depression-era Alabama. His defense of African-American Tom Robinson, who was wrongfully accused of rape, stands the test of time as one of the top courtroom performances ever.
2. Joe Pesci as Vinny Gambini
As an unsuccessful and frustrated attorney in “My Cousin Vinny,” Joe Pesci’s comical portrayal of Vincent “Vinny” Gambini earned this film a cult following. Vinny pulls off an unimaginable courtroom victory when he successfully represents his cousin after he and his friend are arrested for murder during a brief stop at a convenience store in a rural Alabama town.
3. Tom Hanks as Andrew Beckett
As one of the first top-tier Hollywood films to acknowledge HIV/AIDS and homosexuality, “Philadelphia” features Tom Hanks as Andrew Beckett, an Ivy-League graduate and gay attorney who claims his law firm fired him after finding out he had AIDS. As an honorable mention in this film, Denzel Washington plays a solo personal injury practitioner who takes the case when no one else will.
4. Harrison Ford as Rusty Sabich
Harrison Ford knocks it out of the park with his portrayal of Rusty Sabich, a top prosecutor in “Presumed Innocent.” Sabich is accused of murder after his colleague and lover is found dead. The film is well-known for its surprising dark twist that shouldn’t be spoiled for any potential first-time viewers.
5. Tom Cruise as Lt. Daniel Kaffee
You’ve probably seen “A Few Good Men” countless times, but somehow it never gets old watching Jack Nicholson yell at Tom Cruise about how well he can handle the truth. Cruise stars as inexperienced, yet impressive U.S. Navy litigator Lt. Daniel Kaffee in this flick with its gripping final courtroom scene.
6. Richard Gere as Billy Flynn
A movie generally thought of for its tap dancing rather than its courtroom drama, “Chicago” nonetheless highlights Richard Gere’s impressive performance as a less than reputable attorney. This film, based on the Broadway play, revolves around murderous celebrities who turn their notoriety into a successful vaudeville act.
7. John Travolta as Jan Schlichtmann
In “A Civil Action,” based on real-life events, John Travolta brings a complex legal battle to the silver screen with his role as Jan Schlichtmann, a small-firm plaintiffs lawyer. Schlichtmann embarks on a David vs. Goliath quest by going after two big corporations that he believes are at fault for the deaths of eight neighborhood kids who were all diagnosed with leukemia.
The Office is a hit television series that everyone should properly enjoy. Sometimes it is easy to start a new television series and not get the full experience the show has to offer. It is just a show, so what all can you possible miss? Surprisingly, there are multiple ways that you can fail to get the full experience of a television show that the director intended you to have. Fortunately, I have watched all nine seasons of The Office a few different times. This article will help guide you through ways I have personally sought out to get the best viewing experience of the hit television series.
Start from the beginning until the end
With new and easier ways to watch your favorite television series (such as Netflix and Hulu) it is tempting to skip ahead to seasons that others recommend are the best ones. When I first began watching The Office, I started on the fifth season without watching the seasons that were prior aired. After I finished the rest of the seasons, I felt extremely satisfied with the show and recommended it to multiple people. However, I was unaware that I did not get the full humorous experience until I re-watched The Office starting at season 1 episode 1. There was so much background information that I skipped over the first run through. Some confusing parts of the show became clear after I watched it from the beginning. Plus, there were a lot of jokes that was based in reference to scenes that occurred in prior seasons. If I did not watch it from the beginning, I would have missed funny puns, inside jokes, and overall lost the respect to see how far certain characters have developed. One of the main reasons I did not initially start watching the show from episode one is because I was told that the first few seasons were “boring” and uneventful. I’ll admit that season one was not a humorous as the others that proceeded. But, it was much beneficial for me to get the background information that season one had to offer.
Pay attention to character development
The best TV shows are the ones in which you forget that you are watching something fictional and give the show a sense of reality. In reality, people change in multiple ways. Some people mature as time goes on, and some people change the way that they due to prior events. The Office characters develop as well as the seasons go on. When Jim Halpert first made his appearance on the show, he acted like a young male that just got a salaried position. He could act childish and goofy a times…
To buy and set up a projector for a home theatre system or presentation could be somewhat challenging. Here are some pointers that can act as a good guide to look into.
Light from the surrounding can wash out the image of the projection. The brightness of a projector is measured in lumens, so do check the lumens before a purchase. Brighter ambient lights would mean requiring higher brightness, which translates to, more lumens needed.
Powered by battery
Projectors generally consume a lot of energy; however with the advancement in technology, portable projectors are becoming more efficient. In some cases, it can be powered by a small battery for roughly 1-2 hours. Of course there might be a trade-off not forgetting the factor mentioned in this article.
Mounting your projector
Most projectors can be displayed upside-down or right side up, allowing for flexibility when deciding the mounting position. Another important thing to take note of is to ensure that the projection is not easily obstructed.
In the past, there aren’t many choices, getting a basic projector requires average expense of about a $1,000, or more for the bigger brands. Nowadays, it is getting cheaper, with larger varieties of model and brands, ranging from as cheap as US $40.00 it can be easily purchased online. Projectors have certainly become much more accessible and affordable for casual usage.
Although a projector screen is optional, you will still need to consider the surface the projection is being projected on. You may consider using a section of your wall for that purpose. This is a good alternative as you have no worries about fabric getting ripped or frayed. But of course, that doesn’t deter you from getting a projector screen such as screens made up of matte vinyl fabric or pull-down screens etc.
Maintenance cost from replacement of projector bulbs is one of the major considerations. As it requires high power to project images, these bulbs generally do not last long. One thing to look out for before buying a projector is the life expectancy of the bulb/lamp. Generally it can last for 2000 hours.
So, now you have a rough guide on what you need to consider before buying a portable projector. Do keep in mind of this when investing in a projector; it could be an object of envy amongst your social circle.
Presentation to a small group sometime can be a hassle. Portable, mini & low price projector can be helpful. It is suitable for business presentations, high definition home theater, small meetings, training & multimedia. This is the right place for you.
When The Jungle Book movie released a few months ago, The Guardian in its review wrote that ‘hyper real digital animation meets old-fashioned storytelling’.
Many wondered what the point was in remaking an old Walt Disney classic from the mid 1960s which was undoubtedly a brilliant musical masterpiece. Rudyard Kipling’s tale about a jungle boy growing up in the jungles of India was simply fascinating enough in the book version and the original animated version lived up to expectations. So the question was raised simply because the modern version of 2016 left the old fashioned animation and the songs behind and embraced live-action computer graphical interfaces to tell the story better. And the results have been mind-blowing seeing how well the movie has been received world over. In the context of the battle that mankind is facing over environmental issues and the constant debate over human-animal coexistence, the movie although based on times gone by, has equal relevance to present contexts.
Many of us have watched movies based on best-selling books and novels or on real-life incidents and have never failed to be touched on an emotional level about the effects of visual story telling.
Visual Storytelling is the art of telling a story or plot or conveying a message through images. People are wired different to receive stories which they hear and hence, the visual impact of a story is manifold. The human brain instinctively puts the images together to make better sense of what is seen. One of the supreme formats of storytelling is the visual medium or ‘video’ as we call it. To ensure that a story or message is retained in the audience’s mind, the visual medium is the perfect one. However, on the flip side, the wrong visuals can end up contradicting the story when words or dialogues, lighting, music or props send wrong messages that create the wrong images in the mind.
Here are ten simple rules of visual storytelling.
1. Show, don’t tell – effective stories are conveyed through good visuals that don’t depend on words. The silent movies of the Charlie Chaplin era were equally effective.
2. Context is everything – situations are better conveyed when contexts are shown – an office atmosphere, a home scene, a playground etc. Sometimes the absence of a context heightens the mystery.
3. Show people – we tend to relate to people better than brands or products
4. Be true, be personal – human stories and actual events forge better emotional connect.
5. Show contrast and conflict – these factors establish the plot or storyline and provide the impact
6. Reveal hidden things – extraordinary people, places and circumstances add to the visual effect
7. Focus clearly – rambling or getting lost in the details makes the audience lose attention.
8. Keep moving – this means that the story should flow through timelines
9. Don’t follow obvious paths – the surprise element is the obvious path to audience engagement
10. Carrying a message – teaching something or conveying a message is very important and storytelling is a great way to do it.
Thanks to the social media and viral world, most of the brands and businesses are now willing to invest in aggressive marketing. Over the years, video marketing has emerged as one of the best tools for promotion and marketing, and there is a need to think beyond the box to create more engaging and genuinely appealing content. What does it take to make the right videos for your business? In this post, we will talk of these aspects along with some of the crucial elements that matter the most in choosing a service.
Understand Your Customers and Audience:
Video marketing isn’t just about producing content. It is also about finding an anchor with the audience, and for that, you have to understand the expectations of the target public and find a balance between those expectations and business goals. This may seem easy, but more often than not, it requires a lot of planning. Take your time to talk to the marketing team, find the right ways to create a plan, and as you make one, you have to find a few ideas to take the plans to the next level. It is wise to find a niche that can be appealing but competitive at the same time. After all, you have to prove things to the audience while also dealing with the competition.
Find the Right Company:
There are many commercial video production companies that can help you with content, but it is essential to find the right one. It is important to understand that video production is not just about creating content. There is a very important need to communicate ideas in the right way, and at the same time, it cannot be something within the box. In short, you don’t want to repeat the brand goals time and again with the same kind of videos. It is more of a balanced way of achieving the goals, by inclining the business objectives with client expectations. If you are new to this, the best way to judge a service is to check with the concerned companies. Find out the kind of work they have done so far, and most of the known services won’t even think twice before offering clientage details or references. This will just help in creating a good rapport from the start.
Once you have found a service that can engage your audience, you have to plan brand video content in a phased manner. Do note that branding with video can include promotional stuff, in-house content, and other kinds of videos, and therefore, you might to make a complete deal with them. Take a quote in advance, so that you know what clients are looking for, and if you have any questions, don’t miss on asking them to the concerned provider. Video production requires time and genuine creative effort, and with a right company, you can always be assured of great work. Just take your time to evaluate the budgets and expenses, and you should have a rocking marketing campaign.
Allison leaves an audition and pumps her fist. “I nailed it! I did everything I wanted to; laughed at the exact right moment, gave them that sarcastic look, put my hand on my hip… that was awesome!”
Sheena leaves an audition for the same role a little dazed. “I have no idea what just happened.”
Who books it? Probably Sheena. Why? She was fully present. So present and connected to the other person that she has no idea what she herself did. There was no room for self-reflection in the moment because she was so focused on the other person.
Think about it: in your real life, have you ever left a conversation knowing exactly what you did during every single moment? You might remember laughing, and you’ll definitely walk away from that conversation charged with feeling, but you can’t recall it like a video tape. You don’t know exactly when you put your hand on your hip or what your facial expressions were at any given moment. (Unless you have Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory. Yes, it’s a thing. Look it up.)
When you speak with another human being in your every day life – be it your mom, your crush or the Starbucks barista – you’re completely focused on them. You want something from them, don’t you? Whether it’s your mom’s approval, your crush’s crush back or even that the barista got your order right, you are paying attention to them because you need something. So you don’t remember anything about your behavior afterwards because your behavior is unconscious.
And so it should be with auditioning and acting. Your behavior should be unconscious. Your relationship to the other person should be so strong with such a specific need that the only thing you’re focused on is whether you’re getting what you want. If you’re truly living moment-to-moment, authentic behavior will follow without you having to worry about it.
But many actors are scared to not know what they’re going to do in the room. So they plan their behavior.
Do you ever plan your behavior in your real life? I’m not talking about telling yourself to play it cool when you ask her out or confront your father. You might have those emotional goals, but you don’t control your physical behavior – behavior just happens.
So why do you plan your behavior? Because you want the job, of course.
Ironically, thinking about booking the job will very often lead to you not booking the job. Planning your behavior puts you in your head the whole time as you try to execute what you’ve planned. How exhausting! Wouldn’t you rather experience this person’s life in the moment? Wouldn’t you rather experience the deliciousness of talking to your crush, fighting with your mom or ordering that half-caf-triple-shot-mocha-latte? Doesn’t that sound more fun?
Auditioning should feel vulnerable. It should feel unknown, exciting, electric. Because living in the moment is all of those things. Living in the moment is the most truthful experience you can have when you’re acting. But doing so means you have to give up control, let the other person be more important than yourself and have no idea what’s going to happen.
John Burroughs says, “Leap and the net will appear.” So stop planning. Leap, care about the other person and trust that you are enough… and your “performance” will transform into organic, unconscious behavior. In other words, truthful moment-to-moment living.