Notable film and media links--September 17, 2009
---Richard Dorment of Esquire tries his best to follow the advice of Gwyneth Paltrow's GOOP website. Should he buy that $1850 watch for his wife for Christmas?
Extras are a significant part of the production budget, especially in Britain. Which is why a lot of filming is going to Eastern Europe, where extras charge only $20 a day. The cost of extras is one of the reasons why epics such as Ben Hur are largely a thing of the past. Gandhi was the last – the funeral sequence alone required 300,000 extras.But nowadays, where possible, crowds are digitised in. In Gladiator, they used 2,000 live actors to create a digital crowd of about 35,000 people. But for some of the crowd scenes, in addition to the real-life extras and the digital ones, they also used cut-outs made of cardboard.In Hollywood, there are at least two companies that can supply inflatable extras. Digital extras can look fake, and cardboard extras can look, well, cardboard, particularly if the camera moves. But inflatable extras are more rounded. They can be deflated, stored – a crowd of 10,000 can fit into one 50ft truck – and reused."
---Another reason to dislike Facebook: nostalgic retrosexuals.
---In Twitter news, it can be fun to have a million Twitter followers, even though most users hardly tweet at all, and some say Twitter only succeeds because it is stupider than TV. When not detecting Twitter imposters, you can always read The Twitter Times when you aren't flipping through Google Fast Flip.
---The growing success of the professional blogger.
---Russian trailers also give too much away.
---The 10 most iconic opening scenes in film history (Children of Men!)
---Some imagine that Jennifer's Body will bring on a Diablo Cody critical backlash. I wonder how much critical reception of the film will depend on each reviewer's receptivity to the film's feminist agenda. Then again, Sarah Ball begs to differ.
---Lastly, the torments of easy listening jazz.