Once more…

Posted: December 13, 2017 in Uncategorized

Cristian Mihai

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”Thomas Edison

In January 2011 I self-published a novel. It was badly written, badly edited, and I had absolutely no idea how to sell it. I had no online presence: no blog, no Facebook page, no Twitter.

So, I sold 4 copies in 4 months. It was a disaster. I received a 2 star review on Goodreads, and then I decided to un-publish the damn thing.

And I gave up writing. For a few months, that is.

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Over the last 20 years or so, Hollywood has hit us with remakes of numerous famous movies. From a commercial standpoint, I can understand why they do this. It’s easier to take an old movie that already has a legacy and a following of fans than creating something new hoping that this new thing will become a hit. The old classic already has a name and a built in audience who will pay to see the remake even if it’s just out of curiosity. This means easy money for the Hollywood studios for the most part.

Artistically though, I don’t always like or agree with movie remakes. Some Hollywood studios’ idea of improving an old movie is to make it more action packed and load it with more special effects than you can shake a stick at. First,  I will say that this strategy does work for some movies. For example, 2002’s Spider-Man was an incredible movie and needed this treatment. It was an improvement of the 1980’s Spider-man movie which was horrendous, in my opinion. The special effects in the 1980’s just wasn’t good enough back then to be able to pull off visually what is needed for these super hero movies.

But, bigger and faster doesn’t always mean it’s better. A good example of this is the remake of 1971’s Willy Wonka and the Chocolate factory, which was remade by Tim Burton in 2005 with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory starring Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka. Burton gave Willy Wonka an update, but was it needed?  Now let me first say that I am a huge Tim Burton fan and am in no way degrading his brilliant work with this opinion, but I just think the original movie couldn’t be improved upon. Below is an example of the original vs. the remake showing the famous Oompa Loompa scenes.

1971’s Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

vs.

2005’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

As you can see, 2005’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is more high tech with the modern special effects and CGI. For the Oompa Loompas, they took one actor and digitally replicated him creating an army of Oompa Loompas. This is impressive in terms of special effects and computer graphics. The 1971 version simply took individual dwarf actors and gave them each costumes and makeup. In my opinion, the old fashioned way was still better.  It looks better to me and it just “feels” better. For me, the original still wins.

Another good example of this is 1974’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre which was remade in 2003 with the same movie title.  Below is a comparison of the two, with the movie trailers.

*Be warned: don’t watch these trailers if you are bothered by Horror, they are disturbing.

1974’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

vs.

 

2003’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

 

You can see by comparison, the 2003 updated version was filmed with better and more expensive cameras and had a younger and better looking cast including the popular Jessica Biel. It cost 9 million dollars to make compared to the original which cost only $300,000 dollars to make.  The newer version has technically better camera work and cinematography and shows more detailed gore. But is it more effective? In my opinion: no.

Artistically it misses the mark that the original hit. It’s actually the cheap camera and the old “grimy” look of that film they used in the 70’s that gives it that certain special “creep” factor. They totally missed the mark to begin with on the remake by using  glossier film. Also, although the newer version shows more detailed gore, the old version still wins in that department as well. Sometimes, what you don’t see is more effective than something that’s “on the nose” or blatantly obvious. For example, keep in mind that in the movie Psycho, they did not show one actual stab in the shower scene. It was the “idea” of someone being stabbed that made it that much more frightening. I’ll put it this way: the newer Texas Chainsaw Massacre frightened me for the night, while the original frightened me for life.

These are just two examples of remakes that missed the mark that I immediately had in mind. There are many more but I don’t have the space to include them all here. There’s just too many to list.

To reiterate, I’m not against ALL movie remakes. But a bigger budget with better special effects isn’t always an improvement. I’ll take the cheap camera with a stronger story line any day, thank you. Bigger and faster doesn’t always mean it’s better.

-Roz

 

Great article by TAISAWILLOUGHBY

Jaunty Cat Graphics

Last week we wrote about why it’s good to be an art hermit and look at less art. This week is an argument for the opposite. Why it’s good to look at other artists’ work. Self reflection in solitude is helpful but if you want a career it’s not just about you. Even if you’re a hobbyist, if you share your work with others they won’t respond well if they don’t relate to it.

bouguereau Bouguereau Study by Taisa

If you want a career of art it’s important to know what’s going on in the market. Family and friends will give compliments because they care, so it’s important be objective about what skill is required. Looking at other art in your niche allows you to compare skills to other artists and get an idea of what’s required.  Magazines, galleries, and social media groups are all good places to start . Art…

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Sorry For Being Negative…

Posted: December 8, 2017 in life, Uncategorized
Tags: ,

…but I have to be honest: the year 2017 was one of the worst years in my life. It started out great and then it was one thing after another. Without getting into too much detail about my personal life, let’s just say it felt like I was cursed or something (people close to me know what I’ve been through). I found myself asking “Why me?” or “What now?”

This is one of the reasons why I don’t really believe in Astrology. According to Astrology, Geminis were going to have a great 2017….NOT.

Anyway, I’m glad it’s almost over and I’m hoping for a great 2018. 2017 can buzz off.

-Roz

The angel in the marble…

Posted: December 6, 2017 in Uncategorized

Great article by Cristian Mihai.

Cristian Mihai

angel“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” – Michelangelo

Don’t you love it when your mind imprisons a certain image? You have a certain vision, you know exactly where you want to go and what you have to do. An image that has to be set free.

This is one of the most crucial aspects of good art: vision. And heart. I’m not sure you can have one without the other.

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Yeah, I’m a little weird….

Posted: December 2, 2017 in Uncategorized

…But I’m an artist. It comes with the territory.

pie1Apple pie made by Vicky Rice

 

 

pie2Pumpkin, Apple and Cherry pies made by Vicky Rice

 

My mother-in-law makes killer homemade pies. She can make Gluten-free ones that taste just as awesome. I’m happy to show them off here because they are simply amazing. Plus, I’m amazed that someone can make something this good from scratch. Being a city kid, I sure as hell can’t do it- this is down home country cookin’.

Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. I hope you have a great one surrounded by friends and family.

-Roz