Saturday, October 25, 2008

honest to goodness sunshine fun

i'm listening to coldplay's viva la vida right now, even though i don't want to be; i want to be listening to the high school musical 3 soundtrack and nothing else.

let me say, the movie is a blast!
more on that in a moment.

as our group was meeting at my place tonight (two guys, six girls, not bad), we were counting up and realized that, despite me saying "eight people are coming", we had nine accounted for. i couldn't think of who wasn't on the list i'd purchased tickets for, and excused myself to my room to check. and promptly bought one more ticket online (thankfully the show wasn't sold out. and this will not be the last time it's beneficial this evening).

the teenager who took our tickets at the theater told us that the show wasn't seating yet, but that we could wait at theater 13 around and to our left. this was odd, because 1. we weren't too early (looking back, 40 minutes is early enough to not yet take tickets), and 2. theater 16, directly in front of us, was listed at a 9:00 showing of "high school musical 3." our showing. i checked my handful of tickets. one said "9:00". the other eight said "9:40".

waiting in front of the ticket window, i saw a skinny teenage guy pointing and laughing at my official "east high wildcats" hoodie. everyone masks jealousy in their own way, i suppose... 
i smiled at the ticket vendor and explained how my one ticket was not like the others, and soon i had my own 9:40 ticket. then i dawned on me, and i collected everyone's tickets and went to another window, where i was (again) grateful that the show was not sold out, and we had nine tickets for 9:00.

surprisingly, the theater was only about half full at max. i trusted that 9:00 was too late for the show's prime demographic, and that this was not representative of the general weekend. i want the show to do well; it deserves it.

movies are best seen with their target audience; it adds immensely to the experience. nevertheless, while it was only a partial house, this was still a different crowd than the usual "bergman" crowd that fills up the international cinema. and, you know what, it was a lot of fun. i liked be around people who laughed at the trailer for paul blart, mall cop. and i was personally happy to see a new trailer for bolt, bookended by rhino the hamster (in his ball) sitting in a theater, getting excited for high school musical 3. although, i'm very happy that madagascar 2 opens in a few weeks; i've been seeing trailers for that for months and it's never looked interesting (by the way, check out coraline).

high school musical 3? awesome. it is what it is, so love it for that and that only and you will be happy. it's the exact same story and plot as the first one and the second one; these kids learn life changing lessons then forget them before the audience does, it seems. but we learn life lessons from subtitles movies. the disney channel is about energy and fun. so do it! it's impossible not to tap your foot and bop your head during the big dance numbers. and afterwards, you want to clap and cheer, again leaving me wishing i was in a packed theater of excited girls. we weren't but after a while, our half-filled auditorium clapped because, dang it, we wanted in on it, too.
how good are the songs? like any musical, they come in a variety pack: the slower duets we tolerate only because the progress the plot (a few sappy moments got some unintentional snickers, and there a couple of lines so "good" i wished i had a pen) , a necessary element in a movie that brings us big show-stoppers like "i want it all" and "the boys are back." and those songs are good enough that, after hearing them over and over for three 16-hour nights, i knew i wanted to hear them again. and now that i have, i want more. the junkyard dance was correctly summed up in kenny "i choreographed newsies, dirty dancing, and thriller ortega's encouragement speech one night when he said, "we're making history here, people."

i've been asked numerous times already, "what's it like to see something that you worked on?" it's a few things, really. sometimes it a refreshing surprise that it all worked together (as in rescued and turnaround). sometimes it's a little jarring, because those scenes were not filmed in that order, nor all at the same time, or even the same location. i know that we finished "i want it all" on night and then did a couple of shots for "scream" and called it a night. that the whole party scene had a few more shots (and a scene) that were cut out, and that the whole night's work was about three minutes of film time (think about it: 45 days to get a 100-minute movie), and that the majority of the tree house scene was not filmed in the backyard but on a stage in an industrial part of salt lake. it's interesting watching the big dance numbers while they're being filmed, having take after take to take in all that's going on, then to see it through the lens and cut together; the angles are often cooler, but i know all the neat things going on that didn't make the cut. and it's fun to point out the little nuances in the background that you only know if you're actually part of the group.

"this is something that's iconic to its generation" said our producer at the start of the final week, encouraging the crew the endure to the end of a grueling shoot. it was grueling and it is iconic. and even if you aren't of that generation, you can still ride the ride.

p.s. if you're looking for my name (and you won't be; they've got out-takes playing that are a lot of fun; i almost missed a lot of my friends' names), you won't see me.  but mine wasn't the only one; i didn't see any of my camera crew. so just enjoy the gag reel.


Em said...

I love it that you're a connoseir, but not a snob.
That you're willing to view things on their own terms.
Despite having learned that from Dean when I was 19, I've realized it's a VERY important life skill when applied to people as well as movies.

Em said...

pardon my typo's tonight: connoisseur

Missing a few letters there, aren't I?

Em said...

Heck, while I'm tripping over myself, why don't I throw in the part I forgot about judging things and people for what they are rather than what they are not. Makes worlds of difference. I think you're brilliant, even if you're not in the credits.

Becky said...

don't worry; i didn;t make the program for 'joseph' either, and brady's professor's mame was listed when brady was presenting the paper at their conference, but we still turned out okay. i'm glad it was fun.