- C: Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Moss aren’t getting along.
- R: Did they both reach for the same cigarette or something?
‘photos every day’
this is a spot by tbwa/chiat/day for apple, called ‘photos every day’. the craft is fantastic, and there’s some subtle, unusual attention to detail in it.
let’s take a look at the sound mix. here’s a waveform of the spot:
and now here’s the waveform of a conventionally mixed spot — this is that ‘old spice’ commercial everyone flipped out for a couple years ago. it might as well be any ad you see on tv today.
huge difference. there’s incredible restraint in the amount of compression applied to the music in ‘photos every day’. (from wikipedia, compression “reduces the volume of loud sounds or amplifies quiet sounds by narrowing or “compressing” an audio signal’s dynamic range”.) my point here is that if you caught this on tv, it would be substantially ‘quieter’ sounding than other ads around it.
the other interesting thing about the mix is that the iPhone shutter click sound is substantially undermixed. it comes across as incidental, and unobtrusive. the ambiences are the real star here, and the sound editor wasn’t even afraid to drop them out entirely for effect (see snowy skyscraper, 0:23).
• there’s a real nice match-cut at 0:06 of the guy jumping off his skateboard into the shot of the jogger running.
• 0:25, the iPhone bobs up and down at a concert, and halfway through, the shot itself starts bobbing with the phone, keeping the screen stationary in the frame.
• overall, there’s a very careful variety of perspective, scale, and involvement. are we peering over someone’s shoulder? watching from across the street? ostensibly taking the picture, ourselves?
• i could have done without the voiceover at the end.
The aforementioned spot moved me considerably when it first aired three weeks ago and I re-watched it several times in order to get it out of my system.
I consider its skillful quietude a spiritual successor to the “Move” spot Wieden+Kennedy did for Nike in 2002 (and to a lesser extent the “Belief” spot Goodby, Silverstein & Partners did for eBay in 2004).
C____ and I have this running joke about how, whenever I recount a scene from a television show or a movie, I inadvertently embellish it and make it more elaborate.
Like, there’s this Golden Girls episode where Blanche is dating a verbally abusive guy. Eventually (time index 20:08, above), Dorothy corners the dude and gives him a piece of her
dick mind. Enraged, he grabs Dorothy’s arm, causing her to cry out in pain just as Blanche enters the room and tells him to get the fuck out.
We used to joke that in my version, Blanche would be holding a shotgun like in some old Barbara Stanwyck movie. Later, we decided it would be funnier if she showed up wearing the Caterpillar Power Loader suit from Aliens.
Jokes have a way of becoming embellished and more elaborate over time too.
Remember when Spielberg produced the Flintstones movie back in the nineties and was listed in the credits as “Steven Spielrock”? Assuming Robopocalypse isn’t completely dead in the water, I hope he produces it under the nom de guerre “Steven Spielbot.”
It’s interesting how memory works. I was looking something up on IMDb and I came across this old poster for the movie Havoc, and my immediate thought was:
Huh, didn’t that Oliver Stone movie from last year have almost the exact same poster? What was that movie called? Babylon? No, that’s not right. Savages. Where did the word Babylon come from?
It turns out Babel also had a very similar poster.