10 Times Actors Have Been Seriously Injured on Set

I get easily obsessed. Though I have not posted in a long time, I have not given up on my crazy, media mania, quirks. A recent example of this is that I have watched the same film every day this week. Yes, I am that level of media crazed. While viewing films over and over again, something that often crosses my mind is “they have to sometimes get hurt doing this crazy shit.” On a whim I looked up instances of actors getting hurt during filming. I have compiled a few times the show really did have to go on.

1. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Fire caused several serious injuries on the set of the classic film “The Wizard of Oz.” The actress who played the Wicked Witch of the West, Margaret Hamilton, and her stunt double were both seriously burned on set. In a scene where the Wicked Witch of the West was skywriting with her pyrotechnic broom, Margaret Hamilton’s stunt double badly burned her legs, landing her in the hospital for several weeks. Hamilton herself had over a months stay in the hospital after being burned on the hands and face after flames were triggered to soon. Continue reading 10 Times Actors Have Been Seriously Injured on Set

Stories from behind the scenes of Hollywoods Biggest Blockbusters

Spielberg-Slate.jpgThis post is for nerdy movie knowledge junkies to get their fix of travia-tastic information. This week I am going to look at several behind the scenes stories from the biggest Hollywood Blockbusters.
1. The Empire Strikes Back
Did you know that it was a secret on the set of The Empire Strikes Back that Darth Vader would say “I am your father.” In the script his line read “Obi-Wan killed your father.” And only the director and the producers of the film knew the real line. Mark Hamill was told seconds before he filmed his close up for the scene.
2. Return of the King
When Shelob (a giant spider) stabs Frodo in FrodoThe Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, Elijah Wood had Alka-Seltzer tablets in his mouth so it would foam.
3. Star Trek
Another low budget special affect takes place in the 2009 reboot Star Trek film. Zachary Quinto, who plays Spock, cannot do the Vulcan salute (live long and prosper) so the crew glued his fingers that way.
4. The Silence of the Lambs

Continue reading Stories from behind the scenes of Hollywoods Biggest Blockbusters

Movie Music- How Movie Audiences are Manipulated

     Most things about movies are Movie-Musicnot subtle. They are supposed to be in your face, visible and acknowledged. But one of the most important elements of movies is its music. Movies without music would be total crap. Music is one of the most underrated elements in movies because its entire purpose is meant to be unconsciously registered by the viewers. Music is the emotional nudge that movies include to prompt the viewer into the correct emotion or reaction to what is happening on screen. There are two major styles of music found in movies-

1. Subtle emotional manipulation     -This seems pretty self explanatory. Movies would not have any kind of emotional punch without music. A triumphant movie moment would have no euphoria without the slowly escalating jubilant swell of a symphonic orchestra to accompany it.  
2. Leitmotif-
     – This is just a fancy word for a short, constantly recurring musical “theme” that is associated with a person, place or idea (don’t worry, if this is kinda confusing I will explain).

– Emotional  Manipulation
     Music in movies helps you know how and what to feel at any given moment. Whether that feeling is making you want to stand up and go fight an army single handed or like you could run a mile (maybe some of you could legitimately run a mile, I cannot).
      I am not trying to take any credit away from actors and their fine performances, but lets face it, without the music in sad moments (or heroic moments) you would not have that old lady crying next to you in the theater because it just doesn’t deliver the same punch.
Clip #1

All the words spoken in this entire scene have been edited out (there were only a few to begin with in the first place). So why are you still bawling like a baby at the death of Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings? It is that slow, mourning singing. That beautiful music rips your heart right out of your chest. Watch the same thing on mute, and you will be totally fine. –I am telling you, composers are ninjas of emotion.  

  – Leitmotif
   This style of movie music is a tad different. This deals with music directly linked to specific characters or events. What I mean by this is when you, as the viewer, hear a specific melody, it makes you think of one particular person/place or thing. Clip #2 is a perfect example.
                                                                Clip #2

This is the Darth Vader leitmotif. It is his theme, a short melody that, whenever played, means this character is present, or is about to be present. This is the same with the Jaws theme, the Indiana Jones theme, the Jack Sparrow- Pirates of the Caribbean theme and many others. If you hear the music, you associate it with a specific character.
In films, music goes generally unnoticed. And rightfully so. The composers goal is to be the puppet master behind the scenes pushing and prodding you to feel a certain way without realizing that it is happening.
— As a viewer how can you know that Darth Vader is coming without having seen him yet? His theme is playing. Almost the entire movie of Jaws goes without the viewer ever seeing the shark. How do you know it is coming? Because the Jaws theme (leitmotif) is playing.
Final Thoughts
     I have decided that music composers are magicians (or have sold their soul to the devil to gain unnatural power. I am not sure what I have settled on yet). How do they write music to make an entire viewership feel and react how they want them to? I have no idea, but I greatly enjoy the result.
—– What movie music do you like the best?

Awesome J.R.R Tolkien Facts Even the Craziest Fans Won’t Know

s1600_Tolkien     The Lord of the Rings was one of the first books I read cover to cover when I was a kid. It sparked my imagination as well as a love for reading that has ruined many nights of sleep (and not just because I would read all night. I also was terrified that Gollum would come strangle me while I slept).
I have always been blown away with the amount of detail, thought and care that went into The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit as well as the Simarillion. J.R.R Tolkien didn’t just create a whole different world, he gave them identities, cultures, grudges, histories, poems, music, and even an entirely made up (but functional) language. Side note– I have actually met some rabid, albeit harmless, nerds that know how to read, write and speak Elvish.
A mind like this is actually somewhat frightening to me. Such brilliant originality and detail shows a true genius of more than just literature. So I decided to try and find things about this giant of a man, that even the most obsessed fan probably doesn’t know.
1. Tolkien Had A Dramatic Flair
As a linguist and expert on Old English and Old Norse literature, Tolkien  was a professor at Oxford University from 1925-1959. Although quiet and unassuming in public, Tolkien wasn’t the stereotypical uptight British professor. Tolkien would go to parties dressed as a polar bear, chased a neighbor dressed as an ax wielding Anglo-Saxon warrior and was known to hand shopkeepers his false teeth as payment. As one of his students put it, “He could turn a lecture room into a mead hall.”
2. He Felt Many of His Fans Were “Lunatics”
Tolkien saw himself as a scholar first and a writer second. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings were largely Tolkien’s attempt to construct a body of myth, and their success caught him largely off guard. In fact, he spent years rejecting, criticizing and shredding adaptations of his work that he didn’t believe captured its epic scope and noble purpose. He was also utterly skeptical of most LOTR fans, who he thought incapable of really appreciating the work, and he probably would have been horrified by the movie fandom dressing up like Legolas.
3. He Was Quite The Romantic (and he’s got a geeky gravestone to prove it)

s1600_JRR-Tolkien-Grave At 16 years of age, Tolkien fell in love with Edith Bratt. His guardian, a Catholic priest, was horrified that his ward was seeing a Protestant and ordered the boy to have no contact with Edith until he turned 21. Tolkien obeyed, pining after Edith for years until that fateful birthday, when he met with her under a railroad viaduct. She broke off her engagement to another man, converted to Catholicism, and the two were married for the rest of their lives. At Tolkien’s instructions, their shared gravestone has the names “Beren” and “Luthien” engraved on it, a reference to a famous pair of star-crossed lovers from the fictional world he created.4. He Liked Clubbing     -Not the kind of clubbing you are thinking of. I mean the extra curricular, after-school sort. Wherever Tolkien went, he was intimately involved in the formation of literary and scholarly clubs. As a professor at Leeds University, for example, he formed the Viking Club. And during his stint at Oxford, he formed the Inklings- a literary discussion group. I find this so delightfully nerdy!
s1600_Tolkien-Soldier5. When It Came to War He Knew What He Was Talking About
Tolkien was a veteran of the First World War. He was present for some of the most bloody trench fighting of the war, including the famously horrific Battle of Somme. The deprivations of Frodo and Sam on their road to Mordor had their origins in Tolkien’s time in the trenches, during which he contracted a chronic fever from the lice that infested him. He later said that all but one of his closest friends died in the war. Giving him an all to keen awareness of its tragedy that shines through in his writing.

6. He Invented Languages For Funs1600_Tolkien-Elvish_watermarked
A philologist by trade, Tolkien invented languages just for shits and giggles. That is what you do for fun right? He invented languages such as Elvish, Quenya and Sindarin. He even wrote songs and poems in his fictional languages. In addition, Tolkien worked to reconstruct and write in extinct languages like Medieval Welsh and Lombardic.

7. He Wasn’t Nearly as Fond of Nazis as They Were of Him
Tolkien’s academic writings on Germanic history, language and culture were extremely popular among the Nazi elite, who were obsessed with recreating ancient Germanic civilization. But Tolkien was disgusted by Hitler and the Nazi party, and made no secret of that fact. He considered forbidding a German translation of The Hobbit after the German publisher, in accordance with Nazi law, asked him to certify that he was an “Aryan.” Instead, he wrote a scathing letter asserting, among other things, his regret that he had no Jewish ancestors. He wrote “I have, in this War, a burning private grudge — which would probably make me a better soldier at 49 than I was at 22: against that ruddy little ignoramus Adolf Hitler … Ruining, perverting, misapplying, and making for ever accursed, that noble northern spirit, a supreme contribution to Europe, which I have ever loved, and tried to present in its true light.” —-Now THAT is an OH SNAP moment if I have ever heard one!!