Being born and raised in Ohio, it goes without saying that I'm an Ohio State fan. In fact, I'm not even sure how you could be raised in Ohio and root for anyone other than an Ohio school. Joking... but seriously. My favorite OSU sports blog happens to be Eleven Warriors. Not only is their coverage of OSU top-notch, but I also love the creativity their content is being wrapped and showcased in. Their branding, website, and other designs are just fun and spiffy as far as I'm concerned. They just do awesome stuff, like this poster they've made for the National Championship game. GO BUCKS!
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I think that for most, people hear the name Rolex and simply think of a watch that rich people wear… and that’s about it. In today’s marketplace where goods are cheaper and more disposable than ever, we often times balk at anything that we believe to be “overpriced.” Watches are one of those items. So we, including me, purchase cheap watches because 1) We’re hard on watches to begin with, and 2) Who is going to spend $1,000, let alone $8,000 on a watch? Seems a bit excessive, right? What in the world is so special that the folks at Rolex, or any luxury watch seller, would lead them to believe that their product is worth $8,000? Especially when I can buy a perfectly good watch at JCPenny for a mere fraction of the cost. Surely there isn’t much separating my $150 Fossil from a Rolex Submariner, right? Wrong.
I’ve said before that while I will most likely never own a Rolex Submariner, that doesn’t stop me from wishing that I could one day don such a remarkable piece of design and engineering. It’s not that I aspire to a life of luxury or excess, or that I wish to spend money on seemingly frivolous items–that’s not the case at all. The reality is that I admire the artistry and craftsmanship and the commitment to quality and consistency that goes into each Rolex timepiece. Especially the Submariner design. Why does it cost $8,000? Because it’s made of the best components and everything about that watch is everything that we should strive for in our own work. I don’t admire the Rolex Submariner because it fetches a ridiculous price tag, or the idea that it gives you status of some sort, no, I admire it because of it’s enduring legacy of quality and craftsmanship. There’s a reason why a Rolex can demand the price tag it does, and it’s because it’s just one heck of a product. If you don’t believe me, watch this video. It’s remarkable how small each component can be, and the precision with which so many components can fit so neatly into one small 40 or so millimeter case. I honestly feel as though it would be less frustrating to take apart a Lego Star Wars Star Destroyer and reassemble it with half the directions than it would be to take apart a Rolex Submariner and put it back together with all the directions in hand. Seriously, watch the video. All 6-odd minutes of it. It’s amazing.
It’s like watching a physicist unpack E=MC² and then putting it all back together again. You’ll never look at a Rolex the same way again.
Big Hero 6 will forever be an essential film for me. Not only is it a fantastic contribution to the Disney catalogue of movies, but it's also the very first movie that we took our first born, Cohen, to see in a theatre. That's a big deal. You're first born child presents so many firsts to experience with them, so you try and make the most of the significant events because some of them are so hard to nail down. My son's first Christmas, for instance. He wasn't aware of what was going on because he was only about 4 months old. Even his 2nd Christmas was touch and go because he wasn't really aware of what all was going on. He knew he got to rip some stuff open, but there again it was sort of abstract for him. His 1st Birthday, too. He was 1 year old, he didn't get it. He didn't even smash his cake, he simply sat in his high-chair and sort of stared at everyone with a, "What is going on here" type of look in his face.
So as you can tell, this film occupies a significant moment in the life of our first born. Which is why it's always really interesting to read about some of the creative work that went into producing a film like Big Hero 6. Maybe it's the comfort I get from knowing that the people who were working on it weren't just looking for a way to make a truck-ton of money; I believe there are people in the front office of Disney that do that after the film is done. But the filmmakers and the production team actually writing, animating, and producing the finished project seem to put a lot of time and thought into the film. It wasn't just a bunch of slapstick, but some heartfelt moments that go beyond just a funny little moment. The Baymax fist bump in the video leading this piece is a for instance. And, to further evidence the proof that there is heart behind the film, read this article from Entertainment Weekly about the creative process involved in bringing that fist bump to life and the ramifications it has for later in the film. My son, who is 3, legitimately laughed at that moment, and still giggles today when I try and reproduce it with him. Which is cool because I get to play Baymax's part.
Taking your kids to their first cinematic experience though, that's something you can plan and plot out. For Cohen, he'd watched the Big Hero 6 previews and got excited whenever they came on the TV. So, we knew that this was the movie that we needed to take him to the theatre for the first time to see. And it was awesome. He did awesome, watched the whole movie. Ate popcorn. During the big battle at the end he was literally standing up fighting along with Hiro and Baymax (and without even bothering others around us). And, again, the movie is fantastic. He's hooked on Big Hero 6, specifically Baymax, and is getting some Big Hero 6 toys for Christmas. My friend recently visited Disney Land with his family and grabbed him one of the last Baymax dolls in the entire park. He even cooked up a little something special for my boy as well.
As someone living and working in the creative arts, I love this sort of peak behind the curtain. Maybe it seems like I'm making a big deal out of something insignificant, but I would disagree. I'll remember for the rest of my days that Big Hero 6 was the first movie we took our first born child to see at a movie theatre. Every time I see that fist bump, I'll remember his reaction to seeing it. Whenever I now see people share a fist bump, I think of that scene, and I think of my son. That's a tender moment I like to relive. And, it's obvious from movie co-writer Robert Baird's own remarks at the end of the article that the scene has life beyond the screen.
Interstellar is a movie I've been pretty excited about for some time now. I'm a fan of Christopher Nolan's work, and this movie looks to be no less entertaining than his previous works. His movies are imaginative, creative, and grand in scale. He always seem to hit after some ideas that other writer/directors in modern cinema just don't. And he's not afraid to be a little crazy. Have you ever seen Memento? That movie still confuses me. He catches some flack from some on the Internet because they believe his movies always have these obvious or gaping plot holes in them, or that some of the characters lack emotional depth, but overall his films make up those problems in their creativity and imagination as far as I'm concerned. But, these are the things that the Internet does: It moves people to over-analyze and hyper-criticize things rather than just enjoy them for what they are. And, as the old saying goes, "Those who can't do, end up on the Internet criticizing it." I just made that up. Nobody says that. But it's sort of true, you know?
I'm amazed by space in general. The universe and all that we know and do not know of it capture my imagination with wonder and awe. And since I'll never be an astronaut, movies dealing with space and space travel have always piqued my interest. I'm a person of faith, I believe the universe and all that is in it bears the fingerprints of a designer and the vastness and grandeur of our universe leaves me speechless. Recently, someone in my Twitter feed posted a quote that I'll simply have to paraphrase here, but the sum total of that quote was that if we all took the time to look up at the stars and space more often, we would probably live differently. It's a humbling thing to consider the size and scope of the universe and then realize just how small we all are. How small the earth really is. And, few things capture one's imagination more than outer space and the immensity of the universe. Don't even get me started on the worlds that exist in our universe both near and far that have yet to be explored or even identified. Simply put: Space is awesome.
When I heard Christopher Nolan's next film would involve space and space travel, I was already interested. It utilizes, for me, what is a sort of cliché plot device in climate change (I believe that's the catalyst here) to get the journey into the outer most reaches of the cosmos into play, but whatever gets us there then so be it. It's a work of fiction so you give a little to get a little in the end. But the Hollywood Reporter, a trade publication, sat down with Interstellar director, Christopher Nolan, and the leading cast members to talk about the movie in general. And, for whatever odd reason, I found the brief, nearly 30-minute interview fascinating. If you've got the time, sit down and give it a watch. I'm always interested in listening to how creative minds thing, and Christopher Nolan is no exception.