Friday, March 09, 2007

watching 300...(and woes of an art director)

ay. where do i begin. o_O oh yeah... jj, camille, rich... my sincere apologies!!! hahaha. normally i'm a pretty quiet movie-watcher... except for the occasional comment or two, you wouldn't hear a peep out of me. but last night...last night was something else. so, do pardon all the squirming and the jumping, and audible "oohs" and "aahs" and "AAAAAAAUUUUUGGGGGHHHS". i must've found 10 different chair positions you could possibly be in inside a theater. sorry sorry sorry...we're still movie buddies right...??!??

ANYway, the movie was awesome. bloody gross in most parts, but awesome.

some review, huh. i'm not much of a movie critic, so i won't go into detail about the plot twists (like there are any), acting ability and character favorites, but i will say this... the movie was so amazingly and wonderfully art directed. beautiful production design and breathtaking art direction.

(again...sorry for my audible oohs and aaaahs)

not a hair, stone or glowing ember out of place. every single element carefully composed and thought out for each shot...never mind that it was all done on chroma. the composition of every body, every object against negative space, how everything balanced out not just in visual weight but in colors and light... gaaaaaaaaaah.

ok... to put it simply... you can pretty much freeze-frame any second of the film and have great-looking desktop wallpaper for your computer. hahahahaha. (other movies that made me feel this way were House of Flying Daggers, Hero and V for Vendetta)

as an art director, i'm always challenged to come up with great looking art work "limited" in print ads and commercials. the reason i say limited is because we're not talking about personal art where you decide on what's beautiful and what's not. artwork that's YOURS where you dictate your own style. it's limited because we have to be creative and artistic in presenting what would otherwise be something so mundane and oftentimes tiresome... like selling shampoo or cars. when we're lucky, we get to work on social issues and advocacy like saving the environment or crime awareness.

but see, that's where it gets exciting... we pretty much have about 5 seconds before our reader flips the magazine page or a viewer changes the channel, and in that five seconds we MUST drive our message through... in five seconds we've captured your full attention, keeping you focused on what we want to say and what we want you to see. how? great art direction. short, to-the-point copy. in some rare cases, extremely long copy, art-directed in its own way. if we compose a shot of a wall, and the wall has a crack...that crack had better had a purpose there. why is the crack there? where should it be placed? how long should the crack be? who put that crack there anyway?!?!


there are a LOT of ads like that out there. some great examples, and recent additions to the ad world, would be Disney's fantasy series featuring the work of acclaimed photographer Annie Leibovitz, starring no less than David Beckham (Prince Phillip), Scarlett Johannson (Cinderella), Beyonce Knowles, Lyle Lovette (March Hare) and Oliver Platt (Mad Hatter)...


a wonderfully art-directed commercial (yup commercial lang to)...

double hay. i have a looooong way to go. i have my hits and misses... everyday, you just have to keep learning and absorbing and being creatively alert. and occasionally, a whack on the side of the head. (tune in for the next blog entry on that term hahaha)

where was i? oh yeah. 300. the first battle scene pretty much left me weak-kneed and my blood drained from my healthy shiny hair roots to my toes (ay). the warriors were...well, WARRIORS. in all their blood, sweat and glory...and abs. galing pa ng choreography in such a way that it doesn't LOOK choreographed. and the camera-work. and tasteful use of slow-motion. imagine Brad Pitt's Achilles in Troy... 100 times better and multiplied by 300. O_o

and it wasn't just the war scenes that were beautiful of course... the training of the young boys, Queen Gorgo's speech to the council, the summoning of the oracle...

guess you have to watch and see for yourselves nalang.

chiko...really really wish you could've been there. you get well soon. as in NOW. *hugz* movie?

*300 images courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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