Thursday, November 11, 2010

An Open Letter To HBO

To Whom It May Concern At HBO

My name is Piper. You may know me from such posts as My Comedy Penis, I Am Pathetic, and My Marriage Proposal To the Newly Single Kate Winslet among others. But enough about me. I'm here to talk about you. Actually to pitch you an idea. An amazing idea. An idea in which I will take no credit for. An idea that once you hear it, you can run with it, make millions and no one will be the better for it, as long as you send me small checks in the mail. Ready? Here it is.

You know the book World War Z, right? Yeah, yeah, I know that it's "supposedly" in production for a 2012 release, but here me out. No feature will do this book justice. I'm not even sure a trilogy would do this book justice. This needs to be a mini-series. A Brothers In Arms for zombies, if you will. Each episode can be a single story of the zombie wars. A different story each week. With love growing each day for the undead, this idea is a winner. And AMC's The Walking Dead is proving that it can work.

So like I said, just a wink and nudge and go make this happen. I won't tell anybody and you big head types can take all the credit.

You're welcome.

Monday, November 8, 2010

That's Not Noise, That's Music

About half-way through The Social Network, my father leaned forward, turned his head towards me and said in a voice that did not suggest he was in a crowded theater "what is that noise that keeps playing behind all the talking?" My response, "it's called a soundtrack."

One of the things that makes The Social Network worth seeing again and again (I have now seen it three times) is the way that it perfectly melds all the crucial elements of filmmaking. The direction, the acting, the storytelling, the writing and yes, the soundtrack. The fact that my father called out the soundtrack means that the soundtrack was worth noticing. And how could it not be noticed, it was created by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. Each song, a menace. Each chord a dark fuzz that scratches the eardrums. Reznor creates the twisted darkness that Danny Elfman only wishes he could.

But what makes the soundtrack work is not just the soundtrack itself, but how it is used. It's practically a character in the movie. Setting tone, creating emotion and most importantly, moving things along. Songs like A Familiar Taste and It Catches Up With You perfectly capture the darkness of what is unfolding, but do it in such a way as to still suggest progress. It's brooding and uplifting at the same time. And Reznor and Ross' take on In The Hall of the Mountain King, along with Fincher's coverage of the crew race is really something to behold.

I have purchased the soundtrack and I randomly listen to it in the car. Each piece of music brings me back to the film. To each scene. The run across campus. The slo-motion shots of the Phoenix party. The music is literally intertwined with the film. Just as strong as the writing, the acting and the direction. It may be noise to my old man, but it's a pretty damn good soundtrack to me.