Qubo is sponsoring a contest for kids who make their own movies featuring the channel’s Zimmer Twins. Children have until April 30 to submit animated films to be considered for broadcast on national TV.
Young filmmakers can create mini animated movies at qubo.com using the storytelling web application called ZIMMER TWINS. Fifteen films will be selected by qubo to be professionally adapted into fully animated mini movies and screened on national TV this summer on qubo Channel as well as on qubo’s broadcast blocks on NBC, ION Television and Telemundo.
Launched on qubo.com in the fall of 2007, the Zimmer Twins, Edgar and Eva, are animated characters featured in interactive cartoons that kids can create from scratch, modify and share with their friends in a rich, safe web environment. The ZIMMER TWINS section on qubo.com includes storytelling tools, pre-made animated clips and simple editing instructions that tap into kids’ inherent love of stories. The clips and storytelling prompts explore classic kid themes like science, animals, magic and adventure. The animation interface is designed around the basic elements of sentence structure, and reinforces reading, grammar, and writing techniques. After creating their stories, users can post and share their creations and even vote for their favorite user-created submissions online. In 2007, the ZIMMER TWINS won the International Interactive Emmy® Award.
Ann Hornaday has a fascinating article in the Washington Post about the impact that an editor has on a film. You’ve heard the expression “the cutting room floor?” That comes from the days when film editors used real scissors and worked with the director to decide what scenes made it into the film and which were literally cut out.
But the editor does a lot more than determine which of several different takes will go into the final film. The editor shapes the story and gives it its rhythm and tone. The editor is the one who remembers what the audience knows and does not know. Hornaday writes about the way that editors inserted crucial information to help audiences follow the story that would not even register if you asked them afterward. Indeed, while some editing is flashy, even intrusive, the best editing registers only subliminally.
When Julia Roberts is trying to steal a top-secret medical formula in the crafty, corporate-espionage caper “Duplicity,” the audience needs to know why she’s suddenly on a different floor of a warrenlike office building. Hence, a brief shot of her running down some stairs.
That shot was requested by the film’s editor, John Gilroy, who also edited “Michael Clayton” (both films were written and directed by his brother Tony). It’s not uncommon, he says, for him to request certain scenes in the course of filming. “We’re always finding out what we need, and sort of embellishing and embroidering as we go along.”
What makes this article worthwhile is the specific examples, from legendary movie moments like the bravura single shot swooping into the nightclub in “Goodfellas” to the small, unobtrusive techniques that are as essential to movie story-telling as the performances and the script. The technology has transformed editing and scissors have given way to computers. But whether we notice the cuts or not, the role of the editor continues to be one of the most important and understanding what a difference that makes enriches our appreciation of film.
Those who want to learn more about the art of movie editing should read When The Shooting Stops … The Cutting Begins: A Film Editor’s Story by Ralph Rosenblum, a superb book with an illuminating discussion of how “Annie Hall’s” out-of-order structure made it so poignant and powerful.
Have you ever wanted to have your very own life-size wax model of Elizabeth Taylor, James Dean, Muhammad Ali, Abraham Lincoln, Princess Diana, or Charlton Heston as Moses? Now’s your chance! Profiles in History is going to auction off over 200 hand-sculpted wax figures and original movie and television costumes from the Hollywood Wax Museum and Hollywood Guinness World Records Museum.
For the first time in its 44-year history, the Hollywood Wax Museum is offering some of its hand-sculpted wax figures and original costumes for auction. Over 200 figures, including top stars, musicians, athletes, and historical individuals that have been seen by millions of visitors in Hollywood, CA and Branson, MO from the 1970s to present will be sold by Profiles in History, the world’s leading Hollywood memorabilia dealer, on Friday, May 1, 2009. Bids can be placed either in person, via mail, phone, fax or online at LiveAuctioneers.com.
Authentic costumes will also be auctioned, including Robert Englund’s “Freddy Krueger” costume; Jason Voorhees’ costume from Freddy vs. Jason; Irene Ryan’s “Granny” hat from The Beverly Hillbillies and an original Cats costume on a life-size display figure. A catalog will be available from Profiles in History.
Film / TV Stars:
Humphrey Bogart, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Elizabeth Taylor, Tom Cruise, Barbra Streisand, Charlie Chaplin, Clint Eastwood, Will Smith, Arnold Schwarzenegger, The Wizard of Oz cast, Johnny Carson, Jay Leno, Henry Winkler, Seinfeld cast, MASH cast, Lucille Ball, The Three Stooges, Don Johnson, Star Trek cast
The Beatles, Cher, Elton John, Sammy Davis, Jr., Stevie Wonder, Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash
Muhammad Ali, Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Joe Montana, Mike Tyson, Mark McGwire, Hulk Hogan
Presidents Washington, Lincoln, Kennedy, Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Clinton; Princess Diana; The Last Supper / 12 Apostles
Once upon a time there was a movie studio that thought it could produce a hit with a performer best known for raunchy slacker comedies and a lot of money for special effects. This story does not turn out very happily ever after.
Adam Sandler plays Skeeter, a hotel handyman who dreams of being the manager. His sister Wendy (Courtney Cox) asks him to stay with her children while she interviews for a new job. He tells them a bedtime story which they embellish and the next day some of its most outlandish details start to come true, even a shower of gumballs. As Skeeter competes with the obsequious Kendall (Guy Pearce) who is the boyfriend of the hotel owner, for the position of manager of a fancy new facility, he tries to direct the bedtime stories to help him succeed. Each night’s story — whether about a knight, a cowboy, an outer space adventurer, or a gladiator — influences the next day’s events.
The children in the audience laughed a lot at some of the silly details and schoolyard humor. And they enjoyed figuring out before Skeeter did that it was not the details he added to the story but the children’s ideas that shaped the real-world events. There are some marvelous special effects in the depiction of the stories, too. But anyone over the age of seven is unlikely to be more than mildly entertained by the film because of Sandler’s pudgy, barely-interested performance and a present-day storyline that is lackluster in contrast with the wild adventures of the bedtime sagas. Wendy’s “funny” restrictions on the children’s food and activities and a subplot intended to be suspenseful about whether her school will be torn down are distracting, especially when near the end there is a big waste of time when the film has to step up the pressure by putting children in senseless peril and dragging out the suspense. Keri Russell is radiant as always as Wendy’s friend and Skeeter’s love interest. Her brief appearance in the fantasy stories are as dazzling as the most elaborate special effects. The other characters are never as interesting as the time allotted to them means them to be. British bad boy Russell Brand is completely out of place as Skeeter’s friend and Guy Pearce is fighting at way below his weight class as Skeeter’s nemesis. We would all have done better if the children wrote the story.