Tag Archives | Tone

…Bad News comes with a soundtrack?

How To Break Bad News

The idea of combining a book with a soundtrack sounds so intuitive, I’m surprised it hasn’t been done before.

Eric Steuer and Tim Molloy worked together on the book, called How to Break Bad News, about a reporter who goes undercover at a fast food restaurant chain to expose labor abuses – but then finds he prefers working there to being a reporter.

The soundtrack is being distributed for free, and matches the tone that the authors wanted to set with each part of the book.

I hope this becomes a tread, because everything’s better with a little music.

[Via: Boing Boing]

…It’s Movie Monday: Off The Rails?

Off The Rails

Darcy Prendergast’s Off The Rails is a fantastic short about “all the crazy people met on public transportation”.

It’s done in stop motion claymation, and the lighting, tone, and color are all fantastically original and engaging.

Since Off The Rails has been on YouTube since October of ’06, but has only managed a mere 20,000+ views, I’m going to call it an undiscovered gem of the ‘Tubes.


…Cloverfield was unique?


One of my favorite aspects of Cloverfield was that they didn’t give a lot away in the previews, so I’m going to try and review it without giving a lot away as well, because I think that you should go see it with as little information about it as possible.

Thus, a brief synopsis:

(Warning: Though I’m trying not to, this may contain some small spoilers, so if you want to go in with a pure mind, I suggest you read this after you see the film.)

The Good:

  • Like I said, I knew little to nothing about this film going in, because they decided to go with vague trailers as opposed to the current trend of using the trailer as a mini-version of the movie.
  • The ‘Blaire Witch’ style camera work added to the sense of realism, and kept you on edge the whole time.
  • The pace and tone of the film was so good that for an entire hour and a half, no one in my theater spoke a word. No one. I can’t remember the last time that happened.

The Bad:

  • The monster had a bit of a scale issue. One minute it’s tearing down building; the next it’s going after individual people. Perhaps it just changed tastes half way through, but it seems like it couldn’t pick a size.
  • They don’t explain much. Where did the monster come from? Why is it unaffected by our counter-monster measures? Why is the film named Cloverfield?

All in all, I’d say it was about as good as a monster movie can get. They kept you on the edge of your seat the whole time, they kept things somewhat believable, and they didn’t oversell any of it. While I don’t think that this was the ‘Movie of the Year’ by any means (and I’ve already basically give that nomination to Juno), it was a very entertaining film, and I definitely suggest going to see it.

Grade: B+
Theater Worthy: Yes

Note: For a great article on how Cloverfield advertised without advertising, check out MTV’s coverage of the Cloverfield viral-marketing campaign.


[MTV – Cloverfield Viral-Marketing]

[Rotten Tomatoes – Cloverfield]

…You can be a part of the Junoverse?

In addition to being one of the best films of the year, Juno also has a few more things going for it:

1. One of the best opening title sequences I’ve seen in a while. The hand-made sequence was created by Shadowplay Studio, and lends itself nicely to the quirky and creative tone of the film itself.

Juno Opening Titles

2. A great soundtrack with a great ecard creation tool/marketing ploy. Just upload your face, add pieces of Juno flair, and send to a friend. You’ll be part of the Junoverse in no time.

Juno Ecard

[Shadowplay Studio – Juno Main Opening Titles]

[Juno Soundtrack Ecard]

…Goog 411’s voice is complicated?

Goog 411

If you’ve ever used Goog 411, Google’s free 411 service (And if you haven’t, I suggest you do. Just dial 1-800-GOOG-411.) then you’ve probably heard the “biddy-biddy-boop” sound that the service makes while looking for your request.

This “fetch audio”, created by Google’s senior voice expert, Bill Byrne, is more unique than you might think.

It had to have “just the right tone, the right mood, the right signal. It can’t be busy or too monotonous, it has to be a quick noise to evoke efficiency. It can’t be too uniform, like a ticking clock.”

I guess that sound is more complicated than one would think. No wonder they hired a voice expert just to design it!

[Goog 411]

[Via: GigaOM]