Tag Archives: Movies

Movie Trailers: A Lost Art?

I am sure many of you are pumped about the new ‘James Bond: No Time to Die’ and ‘Fast and Furious 9’ trailers that just released recently. I am excited that the trailers were released, but I am not excited about the trailers themselves. Let me explain. A trailer being released sets up awareness (in some cases hype) for a movie and gives us information on when the movie is releasing so we can mark our calendars. And this is all good. The problem though, lies with the trailers themselves. They are far too long nowadays! They are not trailers anymore, they are spoilers. They show you the best scenes from the movie straight up. I know of comedy movies where if you saw the trailer you would have been convinced that it was going to be a hilarious ride, but you walk out of the theater with the realization that all the jokes were actually embedded in the trailer and the movie had nothing new to offer. I saw a trailer of a romantic movie (I forget which one), wherein they show how the romance starts, i.e., how the couple met together, the magical times they share, the surprising conflict that ensues and drives them apart and finally the denouement where they get back together. I thought the movie looked good and had I not known exactly how things are going to play out I may have seen it.

From what I remember, the trailers being made more than a decade ago had it right. They were shorter and smarter. They intrigued me without revealing everything the movie has to offer. Unfortunately, that is not the case anymore. The trailers of yesterday are the teasers of today. The reason could perhaps be the increased competition movies face against each other (heck even a great TV show rivals a movie nowadays) or that budgets have gotten bigger. So, the primary goal becomes to sell the movie, not the audience satisfaction. Hence the need to dump every good thing within the trailer in the hopes that people buy a ticket. But it can be counterproductive too – just like what happened with me and the romantic movie.

In any case the way I deal with this now is quite simple. It takes me about 20-30 seconds while watching a trailer to understand if this is a movie I am going to watch. If the answer is yes, I shut down the trailer. If I am in a movie hall, I simply stop paying attention and look away from the screen. If I realize after the 20-30 seconds that this is not a movie I am going to watch, I continue watching the trailer. I might as well use all the reveal to my advantage and enjoy an entire movie in 3 minutes while I can!

I am going to keep this article short – just like how our trailers should be.

Tech Overkill and the Ensuing Paradox

 

   It’s been a while!

   Some one once said a lot of the modern technology kills the romance out of many things. He could not be more right. Stargazers once fished their telescopes to the skies and skimmed constantly to spot rare events like the death of a star. It was a time-consuming process but an enjoyable one. But now this can also been done automatically by computers! Our generation is an interesting one, we have witnessed many technologies from their inception to a point now where they have invaded every sphere of our life.

   It must have been in fifth grade when I got a computer to play games. In my seventh I was introduced to the marvelous world called the internet via a 56Kb* Modem…56Kb! What it mean was that my maximum download speed was a lowly 2Kb/sec. Never mind the long 2 minutes it took to actually get started. Never mind the droning siren like noise the modem made while it was getting connected. Never mind the frequent disconnection issues. Still back then it was all magic. I remember that at night the internet speed would be faster. My brother and I tried to make the most of this. We would leave an anime episode for download at night and then hopefully by morning it would be done. This was an 8Mb episode, mind you. But alas it was not so simple. The internet disconnected frequently. So to get past this we would get up every 2-3 hours at night and go check if the episode was still downloading. And we would be excited when it was done. The size of the video was a mere thumbnail and the quality was not altogether great but you know what? We had a blast! That 8Mb episode is a far more fond memory than even the 1 Gb blu-ray rip of today. Nowadays the video quality is blu-ray/HD and you can download a GB of data in under 5 minutes. Nowadays you can also find almost any movie you ever wanted. But being spoilt for choice is not necessarily a good thing.

   The apple analogy comes to mind. If you had just one apple you would eat it, savor it, relish each bite. But if you are given a basket full of apples and told to finish them suddenly each apple seems far less tasty and it becomes like a chore now. That is the way I feel when I see the choices for Movies/TV Shows/Songs/Clothes/Books and almost everything we have today. That is the way so much of tech is today. Automated, uber fast and far too reaching. Clothes are increasingly being bought online. Whatever happened to the actual shopping experience? Even groceries are now being delivered home…it’s downright crazy! (And ironic that a lazy guy who would not do much of these things anyway has to point it out). Try out and return clothes. Basically don’t step out of the house! I think this one beat everything – The Flying Barber – the barber comes home to cut your hair.

   Travel is set to go to digital through augmented reality in the next decade. That day ain’t far where you wear 3D headgear and you can be teleported to Paris (not literally). That’s right…just remove all the romance. This then is the paradox of the world now. Tech is helping all of us, I am not questioning that. However the technology overkill is actually making many experiences less exciting; this in-spite of the fact that it is providing us with so many many many more experiences than earlier. Abundance of options within seconds is not really making (some of) us feel overjoyed. It is making us indolent, further from reality, confused and less satisfied.

 

*To the uninformed 1 Kb stands for 1 Kilo-Byte. 1 Mb a Megabyte i.e., 1000 KB. One Gb is a Giga-byte i.e., 1000 Mb.