Saturday, June 08, 2024

The Apple HomePod "Welcome Home" Ad was NOT 'All Practical'

In an effort to combat misinformation, I'm going to make short blog posts so maybe, just maybe it can make it into search engine results. Misinformation about how movies, TV shows and commercials is overwhelming, and I feel like I need to do what I can to try and slow it down.

A tweet highlighting the amazing work in the Apple HomePod ad said: "The fact that this Apple homepod ad is all real still blows my mind. The apartment stretching is not CGI, just practical effects, holy shit!"

This is not true.

The Spike Jonze-directed HomePod spot "Welcome Home" from 2018 is an amazing piece of art, due to stunning production design, physical effects, choreography, lighting and camera work BUT ALSO extensive digital visual effects and computer graphics.

Janelle Croshaw Ralla was the HomePod spot's visual effects supervisor. She also supervised visual effects for Jonze' "Kenzo World" spot with Margaret Qualley, and also was visual effects supervisor of "John Wick 4".

My original tweet:

Sunday, June 02, 2024

Studios: Please Don't Spoil The Movie We Are Seated To See

I tweeted this incredibly non-controversial take and it got a huge reaction, so I thought I'd recycle the content for a blog post. Enjoy.

We took our kid to see "Alien" (1979) on the big screen during its one-week-only theatrical run. We told him there was a good chance of a pre-show featurette that would spoil the movie, so he needed to be ready to cover his eyes.

Well, that's exactly what happened.

My kid threw his hoodie over his eyes while a pre-show interview between Fede Alvarez and Ridley Scott appeared, featuring tons of behind-the-scenes photos of the alien, the chestburster scene, and discussion of the legacy of the classic film.

Why do this before the movie!??!

If even one person in that theater hadn't seen the film yet, it puts a huge damper on the surprise and delight that the movie would bring them, which is sad. We WANT to bring first-timers to theaters to see classic movies. Don't ruin it for them.

Play that shit AFTER the movie.

This has happened with several re-releases for me. Fathom did this to "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" (pre-show highlighted a main character's death!) and "Close Encounters" (pre-show showed the effing aliens!). And now "Alien" (Disney/Fox).

The solution is simple: preserve the wonder for first-timers by putting these featurettes AFTER the movie. Tease it before the feature.

Anyway, "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" is coming to theaters again this summer (Fathom), so get ready to cover the eyes of first-timers before the show.

Original tweet thread.