The Making of Metropolis in the Silent Era

Take a good, hard look at the above image, because we are going to return to it in a little bit.

Every modern entertainment news outlet provides insane amounts of behind the scenes or making-of footage for every movie or television show released. Whether it’s on Entertainment Weekly or Ain’t It Cool News, studios and television networks are making a point to have behind the scenes footage or images of their films or television shows serve as an extra form of marketing. A lot of hype can be created by inviting a blogger to a film’s set to take a look around, conduct interviews with cast members, and sometimes even serve as extras in the film! Then, after the film’s release, the blogger is more likely to give the film a better review after receiving such a nice treatment on set. It’s in his or her best interest at that point; why give a poor review and risk not getting invited back to the set on the studio’s next project?

StarlogThis is a fairly recent development in the long legacy of movie and television marketing. Through the 70’s and 80’s, smaller fan magazines such as Fangoria and Starlog provided awesome behind the scenes images and making-of articles for classic horror and science fiction films. Starlog was one of the first publications to provide details on the hit blockbuster of 1977, “Star Wars.” Even before the 70’s, fan magazines existed for this exact purpose, dating all the way back to the silent era. The most popular was Photoplay, which was seen almost exclusively as a promotional tool since its first publication in 1911.

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Truth in Art (Yeah, I’m Going There)

Towards the end of this semester, I had made up my mind that advertising wasn’t for me. Sure, it’s a viable career path, it’s something I personally feel that I’m good at, and it definitely interests me in a lot of ways. However, when I look at current trends in advertising, I see that a lot of the creativity I love about advertising is beginning to fall away. The basis of advertising, to sell, has always reigned supreme and it is increasingly destroying advertising as an art form and platform for discussion. When I think about my favorite advertisements, there is an element to them aesthetically or story wise that sets them apart as being REAL and HONEST.

I love the scene in Mad Men where they discuss Volkswagen’s Lemon ad because it speaks to this subject so well. The men discuss the flaws of the ad, its humor value, and whether or not it actually “sells” the car, all of which lead Don to conclude that the ad works. Why? Because it leads to discussion. In my mind, that is what good art does. It prompts the viewer to ask questions and participate in debate.

Continue reading Truth in Art (Yeah, I’m Going There)