This past weekend, creatives in the San Diego Area were invited to SAM (Comic -Con’s Story Telling Across Media) Symposium. The event consisted of well-known producers, directors, and other professionals from the entertainment industry, teaching the craft of storytelling.
Fans were invited to participate in panels throughout the day on learning the secrets on how these masters of the craft use special techniques and skills to give us the full experience.
In the “Storytelling with Sound & Music” panel. experts relayed their stories on the field of what it took to make scenes come alive through music and sound addition. The conversation included Composer Jake Monaco (Amazon’s The Stinky And Dirty Show), songwriter Dan Bern (Amazon’s The Stinky And Dirty Show), showrunner and executive producer Guy Toubes (Amazon’s The Stinky And Dirty Show), visionary VR & VFX creative Michael Conelly (Caliban Below), Composer David Norland (HBO’s My Dinner With Hervé) and Director Sacha Gervasi (HBO’s My Dinner With Hervé).
The panel conversation kicked off with moderator Kaya Savas of Film.Music.Media asking each panelist about their collaborative process when blending story with music or sound. Gervasi began, “David and I have been playing together since we were kids. One of the advantages of having a long-term relationship is having a whole lifetime of figuring out how to advance the storytelling through sound.”
Next, Toubes elaborated on collaborating with Jake and Dan on the Sticky and Dirty Show, sharing that “the key to success for our show is to love the materials and find what we love about the thing we are working on. That brings the best musical and storytelling results.”
Kaya asked the panelists to reflect on a favorite scene where sound or music played an integral role. Michael started with discussing working in virtual reality, where the sound has a unique set of challenges, yet is crucially important. “For my project Caliban Below, it is very dark and you feel very powerfully. I rely on sound when I construct these virtual places. When my sound designer, Paula Fairfield, adds her sound effects it truly electrifies the experience to an enormous degree. It magnifies the experience and makes it that much more real.”
David answered, “There’s a moment at the end of the film where the characters in My Dinner with Hervé are saying goodbye to each other. It’s one of those moments that once you put the score in, it transforms the emotion of the scene. It was such an honor to work on this project and watch Sacha’s vision evolve over the years since its inception.”
Monaco commented about a character theme he got to create for The Stinky and Dirty Show. “I added a French score with an accordion playing and that sound brought the character to life.” He continued, “working in tandem is an exciting challenge and brings out the best in each of us, we just put aside the ego and let the best idea win.” Dan concluded, “if something isn’t working for somebody then it’s not working. You just need to take a break and you will come back with a better idea.”
The panel ended with songwriter Dan Bern unleashing a surprise for the fans, as he brought out his guitar to play a rendition of the “Ding Ding” song. The song was a perfect synthesis of one of the important ways music and sound can augment story, as the song explains the Buoy characters language, which consists of only repetitions of the word ding.
To conclude the panel, Sacha offered aspiring creatives in the audience words of wisdom stating, “always work with people far better than you and do the exact opposite of what people expect you to do. You need to have passion and be true to yourself, and rock it really hard.”
No Question Mark Box Here; Super Mario Delivers a 1-Up in Theaters
If you were born in the ’80s, ’90s, or literally ANY decade after those, you know about Super Mario. A cultural phenomenon was brought to life on the big screen this last weekend. One that has not only stood the test of time but reinvented itself time and time again. This wasn’t even the first time it’s been made into a movie but, well, let’s be honest.. some of us choose not to acknowledge the LIVE action adaptation of the beloved game from 30 years ago.
It was pretty bad… But this was animation. ILLUMINATION animation at that. The Universal company that brought us Gru and his Minions, showed us the Secret Life of Pets, and gave us a reason to SING! Still, I had my reservations and even some concerns, especially when the casting was announced.
Eyebrows were raised. As big of stars as they were on paper, could they really deliver on voicing characters from a staple of our childhood? They did.
Chris Pratt and Charlie Day may not be Italian, and Jack Black may not be a King or Turtle creature from the Mushroom Kingdom, but they make the characters their own all while paying homage to the lore of a video game.
From the jump, the story reintroduces us to the brothers that just want to save Brooklyn one clogged sink at a time. We feel an instant connection and relate to these “underdogs of the plumbing world”. The movie is riddled with easter eggs, each of which tugs on the heartstrings of every generation of Mario fandom. And the soundtrack was beautifully put together to not only make us feel like we’re taking a walkthrough of the game but like an experience all its own with some familiar favorites thrown in.
Every word in the movie is pure eye candy for both those that are casual fans, and those analyzing every frame to see what they’ll catch next. Bowser’s ship, the Mushroom Kingdom, Kong’s arena, and the Rainbow Road.. They’re all meant to give us just enough of a “new” look at these amazing worlds, but stay true to how we remember them.
The movie itself moves along at the perfect pace. Although, if you don’t really know ANYTHING about the Super Mario Bros, you may have gotten a little lost and felt left behind in the green tunnel. But that’s ok! It’s an adventure of the imagination and a classic story of a boy that meets a girl and tries to save the world from a monster that wants to destroy it.
What’s funny is that you could easily say this is a story about two characters who couldn’t be more opposite if they tried, battling to win the heart of a princess. Who would’ve thought that the King of the Koopas was just trying to impress his crush?
And that song? Ohhh THAT song! It’s my new ringtone and deserves the Oscar for Best Original Song.
Back to the movie.
Universal and Illumination clearly understood the assignment. Is it missing some things or could things have been done differently or even better? Absolutely! We’re the worst critics of the things we hold nearest and dearest to our hearts. But if you’re up for going on a 90-minute adventure through amazing worlds, with awesome music, and characters that’ll make you smile and laugh, then this is the perfect movie to spring you into that warm summer feeling.
Plus there’s the whole part with karts and shells, and banana peels and oh my goodness how amazing was that?? It’s enough to make you want to stand up and cheer, then go home and destroy your friends and family on your favorite track haha.
The bottom line, it pays homage in all the right ways to the little guy with the mustache, while giving us something new and exciting. Take the kids and go see Super Mario Bros. You’ll be glad you did!
Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment returns to WonderCon 2023
Justice League x RWBY: Superheroes & Hunters Opening Act Saturday, March 25 at 1:30 p.m. on North 200A. Talent confirmed so far to participate in the post-screening panel is Natalie Alyn Lind (Big Sky, The Goldbergs, Gotham) as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince and longtime RWBY cast member Lindsay Jones (Camp Camp) as Ruby, Kara Eberle ( RWBY: Ice Queendom) as Weiss, Arryn Zech (Detective Now Dead) as Blake and Barbara Dunkelman (Blood Fest) as Yang – along with Jeannie Tirado (Soul, Saints Row) as Green Lantern and Tru Valentino (The Rookie, The Cuphead Show!) as a cyborg. Also attending the panel will be producer/director Kerry Shawcross (series RWBY) and writer Meghan Fitzmartin (Supernatural, Justice Society: World War II).
Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment returns to WonderCon 2023 with the big screen debut from DC Animated Films: highlights this year include the world premieres of the highly anticipated Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham and Justice League x RWBY: Superheroes & Hunters Part One the weekend of March 24-26 in Anaheim, California. Both screenings will be followed by panel discussions with actors and creators. Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham premieres at The Arena on Friday, March 24 at 6 p.m. Tati Gabrielle (Kaleidoscope, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Uncharted) as Kai Li Cain, Christopher Gorham (The Lincoln Lawyer, Insatiable) as Oliver Queen, David Dastmalchian (Dune, Suicide Squad, Ant-Man) as Grendon, producer/co-director Sam Liu (The Death and the Return of Superman), co-director Christopher Berkeley (Young Justice) and screenwriter Jase Ricci (Teen Titans Go! and DC Super Hero Girls: Mayhem Across the Multiverse).
Both films will have encore screenings in the Arena on Sunday, March 26. Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen, Part One will screen at 12:15pm, followed by Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham at 2:00pm