Sunday, September 16, 2012
The Jumping The Shark trajectory of American Idol
The first Bounce: The hiring of Kara DioguardiFirst Jump: The Firing of Paula Abdul
The Hop: The ill fitting mix of Ellen Degeneres
The Leap: Simon departs
The Plunge: Randy and Steven's tummy tease...
The Vault: Lopez leaves
The End: Singing careers on life support look to be revived
'Poor Finnick. Is this the first time in your life you haven’t looked pretty?'
In Catching Fire, Finnick is described as being extremely handsome. Tall, muscular, athletic, with tan skin and bronze hair. That with his “incredible” sea-green eyes makes him very appealing to the citizens of The Capitol. His “natural beauty” is what won him all of his sponsors in his first Hunger Games.
I devoured The Hunger Games trilogy in about a week earlier this year. Besides the ending, (which I won't spoil) I loved every page. One of the most interesting characters introduced in the second book, Catching Fire is Finnick Odair. The casting of Finnick, like with Peeta and Gale in the first movie, has led to rumours of almost every young actor in Hollywood vying for the role.
Sam on the set of Catching Fire
26 year old English actor Sam Claflin, best known for his roles in Pirates of the Caribbean and as William in last years Snow White & the Huntsman won the role earlier this year. I look forward to adding Sam to own Tributes page!
Any Human Heart (2010)
The mission of photographer David Gray from YogaBear Studios is to shoot fine portrait and physique photography for men of all ages and body types. Given this motto, it might be argued that there really cannot be an antithesis when your subject range is so inclusive and expansive. Yet, when exploring David's recent work, there was something unique about his work with 30 year old model and actor Erjole.
I first profiled David's work last year with his work with Jacob Authier (Entirely For Fun). In that profile, I described David's focus on elemental, with both spirit and body.
'For David Gray, elemental simply means natural. Men who are not overly primped and chiseled, hair is a must both on the body and the face. What was fascinating to me in going through David's impressive portfolio is how different each man looks when shooting them as they naturally appear. Sometimes models today are so manscaped, with identical hair lengths and cuts they often look so similar with the special qualities that make them unique photoshopped away. When selecting models and artists to feature on FH I try to look for things unique and different.'
Erjole has an incredible sculpted physique and face and almost a retro look that I love. You can almost picture him modeling suits or coats on the cover of a back issue of GQ. Of course given it is YogaBear Studios, the suit and coats are left at the door.
It was interesting then, to find the chiseled jawline of Erjole within David's port. What I love so much about David's work is how he visually and emotionally connects to the sensual core with the models he shoots. No matter what their age or body type, David's knows this energy is always present within. He celebrates it with his camera, his artistry, even though so many choose to ignore it. It is a compliment then, when a model like Erjole, with what might be seen as having traditional 'handsome' features, ones which might get him on the cover of a magazine, or a Harlequin novel is an exception, the antithesis, and not the norm.
YogaBear Studios on ModelMayhem
YogaBear Studios Official Site
Erjole on ModelMayhem
Although I have to admit actor Henry Cavill looks hot pretty much anywhere, I am starting to have less and less patience for the green screen. As I wrote last week, I have been watching more older movies lately and the more I watch, the more I loath how cinematic magic is less about skill and more about green.
One of my favorite television shows of the last few years was Ugly Betty. The show had such great supporting players and such heart, much of it grounded in New York livingroom of the Suarez family. I remember how I loved the feel of The Big Apple in the pilot and how well the show captured the city as a character. Through much of the rest of the shows run, the heart was wounded just a little as New York, (except when the show returned to the city in the forth and final season) became scenes on a green screen in the back lots of Hollywood sound stages. Some of the green screen work was so poor, as a viewer I was often jolted out of the story
I never saw the original King Kong the 70's version had so much more heart than Peter Jackson’s overblown ode to the green screen. Remakes utilizing green screen rarely pack the punch of the movie they stem from. The Poseidon Adventure, and especially the horrid Planet of the Apes movies have visuals galore but little of the magic. I remember hiding in my fathers arms when reruns of the old Apes flicks would come on television. Roddy McDowall as Cornelius and The Hunt leader, yes an actor in an Ape suit, was far more terrifying to me than anything Marky Mark or James Franco could muster up in the remakes.
Now I know without the green screen we would not have had some of the last two decades biggest hits and most fantastic on screen visuals. Steven Spielberg has used to create some incredible moments. Jaws however, arguably his finest film work, was made on the actual ocean with a mechanical shark. Despite the legions of well documented issues with the shark, no movie menace or feature creature on green screen has elicited quite the same degree of terror.
I don’t want to banish the green screen, it has it’s purposes. Creating a Paris backdrop for a sit-com scene, helping film makers creating dinosaurs and worlds beyond what is realistically feasible is great now and then. But... if you look at some of our greatest films CGI and green screen were used minimally if at all. The time between Star Wars in 1977 and Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith in 2005 should tell the tale. Although the original Star Wars certainly used green (well blue screen), it relied heavily on costume, set and model set ups for most of it’s shots, with the making of each sequel and prequel, the advancement in technology (Empire Strikes Back Aside) did not parallel with an increase in quality, story and most of all enjoyment.