Friday, October 28, 2011

How to Survive Halloween!

Halloween weekend is upon us! I would have to say, Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. For some reason, I love the idea of being someone (or something) else. I'd like to think that that makes me predisposed to be an actor, but that may just be my own arrogance talking.

But for some reason, I also love scary stuff. I love scary movies and haunted houses, hayrides, mazes, etc. In fact, the past few days I've been trying to watch a few scary movies in preparation for Halloween, including The Thing, Jaws, and Drag Me to Hell. I'm hoping the horror movie fest continues into the weekend.

By the way, what was up with the movie's fascination with mouths?

So one year my friends and I decided we'd make a Halloween-themed video. We wanted to include a variety of different Halloween stereotypical characters in a funny way, so we decided we'd make a "how-to" of sorts that deals with how to avoid or deal with these Halloween horrors. We had a lot of fun making this video; so much fun, in fact, that we made a bloopers video out of the extra footage we shot.

Watching these older videos always make me feel so nostalgic, because to be honest I miss the days when we used to get together to make a video just because we were bored and wanted something to do. They weren't projects (they turned into projects but they weren't assignments), they were just something we did because we enjoyed it. And I miss doing this.

But since we're getting close to Halloween, I figured I'd post these videos today. Next Monday, on Halloween, I'm going to post a recent short horror film I made to hopefully get everyone in the mood for some scares. But for now, here's some light Halloween-themed fun!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Music Tuesdays: Coldplay - "Mylo Xyloto"

It's a late post tonight. Now I know this album only recently came out, and this morning I hesitated about whether or not I should devote this post to "Mylo Xyloto." After spending the day listening to it, I finally decided to write the post.

First of all, I'm generally a fan of Coldplay. I'm not familiar with everything in their catalogue, but I really enjoyed "Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends," and I enjoy a few other songs by them. I wouldn't say I'm a superfan, though.

That being said, I'm really enjoying this album. I think it helps that it has a strong "fall" vibe to it, which helped as I was walking around outside today. The album has a lot of upbeat, anthemic songs that delve into synth territory a little bit. Sometimes while listening I likened the sound to Passion Pit a little bit (by the way, "Manners" is also a phenomenal fall album.

In addition to the upbeat songs there are a couple slower, guitar-centered tracks with a little string accompaniment. Now, I've only had a chance to listen to this album a few times through so it's tough to draw any conclusions as of now. The reason I decided to write a blog post about it is because it gave me a sudden burst of creativity earlier today. As I was listening, I let my thoughts swirl around in my head and suddenly had a couple ideas that, as soon as I got on a bus, I wrote down into my creative journal. Granted, they were only a few line fragments, but this music inspired me. And that's why I decided to share it with you.

Regardless of whether or not you consider Coldplay to be the poor man's Radiohead or for whatever reason you can't stand the band, please give this album at least one listen through. If it does nothing for you, then what can you do? Some things work for some people and not for others. But if it doesn't help, how much worse off would you be? If it does help, wouldn't it be worth it? I guess this paragraph comes from people who dismiss bands without giving them a proper listen based on expectations or on supposed knowledge of the band.

Anyways, I'll leave you with one other song I enjoyed from this album, and I hope you have a good night!

Monday, October 24, 2011

YKWIH? 6 - Florida Edition

After "Competitive People," which was released at the end of January, a couple months passed without any videos. This was our senior year of high school, and we were racing towards graduation, so it was difficult to find time to get everyone together to film another video. Finally we had our opportunity in (I believe) April. Most of us were taking a road trip down to Daytona Beach for Spring Break, so we figured we'd film a video while we were there.

It worked out really well that on the way down, at one of the gas stations, I won a Flip camcorder from a prize machine, and we used that camera to film this video.

I know we were anxious to film a video, but at the same time we wanted to enjoy ourselves, so we took our time coming up with clips. We started with the idea that the video would be beach vacation themed, so we included things such as the water, sandcastles, hot tubs, pools, etc. Mike Zurek, who was in the New Years video, came along with us to Florida and had the idea (I think) of coming back to the underwater breathing contest guy, who would still be underwater.

The Wendy's baconator scene actually took place, and at one point I just decided to take the camera out and film it. We thought Matt and Ross in pain was funny so we threw that into the video. And like I said in an earlier blog post, we also included Matt freaking out on the beach when Ross kicks over his sandcastle.

Since it had been so long, and because we had such a good time in Florida, we wanted to make this video special. As a result we shot a lot of stuff and used all the time we had. The clip in the bedroom where Matt is terrorizing Mike was shot literally right before we walked out the door to check out. When we finally got back home and started organizing everything, we decided to throw in some of the bloopers too because we thought they were hilarious.

It took another couple months to have this video released because once we got back from vacation it was difficult to get everyone together to finish it, but we finally did and at the bottom of this post you will see the result of that.


In between the Florida video and the "Competitive People" video, we took a school trip to New York City and filmed a couple clips there. However, because of our busy schedules this video was never completed, and half of the footage is lost. It is doubtful that this video will ever be completed.


Well, there you have it, the whole series. Yeah, it's short, and I wish we could've done more, but I am really happy with this collection of videos and I hope you enjoyed watching them. Starting tomorrow the posts will be back to the normal schedule (which I'm still tweaking), but check back in tomorrow to see what's new, and I hope you have a good week!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

YKWIH? 5 - Overly Competitive People

I don't quite remember how the idea came about for "Overly Competitive People," but I know that we started with the idea that we wanted to have a lengthy monopoly scene where everything would go wrong. We figured we couldn't do a video with only that one scene so we threw a couple more clips in too.

After Lee's successful guest stint, our friend Connor wanted to help us out with a video, and I think he did an awesome job in this. In general, this may be my favorite YKWIH video, but at the same time there are a couple issues I have with it.

Most of them are small, but the biggest issue for me is that we could have done the first clip a little better. I feel like the idea of what was going on during the air hockey scene was there, but we didn't carry it out as successfully as we could have. But what can you do...

Also, in general it's just hilarious to see Matt freak out. He freaked out at the end of the New Years video, he freaked out here, and in the next video we have him freaking out in Florida. It's awesome.

So tomorrow is the last of this series of videos. When I post tomorrow I'll also put up a page just for the "You Know What I Hate"s. Starting Tuesday I'll be back into the swing of things talking about music that's inspiring me lately, and I think that since it's getting close to Halloween there will be some themed posts about that.

Until then, have a nice, lazy Sunday!