Go check out my books and then trade money dollars for them.

Steven Soderbergh’s Raiders of the Lost Ark Experiment with Transformers 2

Thanks to Steven Soderbergh, Nathan Fielder, and Michael Bay.*

(Note: This posting is for entertainment purposes only.)

I’m assuming the phrase “staging” came out of the theatre world, but it’s equally at home (and useful) in the movie world, since the term (roughly defined) refers to how all the various elements of a given scene or piece can fail to be aligned, arranged, and coordinated.

I value the ability to stage something poorly because when it’s done at its absolute worst the viewer can actually have a spontaneous aneurysm.

Most people can’t achieve this level of incomprehensibility easily, which indicates it must not be easy to screw it up this badly. (It’s frightening how many opportunities there are to do something with even a low level of competency in a sequence or a group of scenes. Opportunities to establish the basic geography of the scene are EVERYWHERE.)

Of course understanding story, character, and performance are crucial to directing if you have time, but I operate under the theory that if things are moving around fast/loud enough and Shia’s onscreen, you’ve made a movie.

So I want you to watch this sequence and think only about the lack of staging, how the shots are not built but rather unleashed, how the rules of movement don’t exist, how Shia gets out of the truck when it’s going 110 miles per hour while the truck is also jumping into the air and turning into a robot. Keep in mind that robot is fighting another robot at the same time.

Don’t even worry about how/why Shia got in that truck in the first place when his two friends got in the car. Other things not to worry about are when or why.

Oh, and I’ve removed all sound and color from the film, apart from a score designed to aid you in your quest to just study the visual staging aspect. Wait, WHAT? HOW COULD YOU DO THIS? Well, I’m not saying I’m like, ALLOWED to do this, I’m just saying this is what I do when I try to take away all ability to tell which robot is which, or what they’re doing.

At some point you will say to yourself or someone I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT’S GOING ON IN THIS SEQUENCE and it’s because this was made by the same people that made TRANSFORMERS, TRANSFORMERS: LOOK AT THE MOON, and TRANS4ORMERS: A LONELY PLACE OF DYING.

(Which now that I think about it, should be TRANS4MERS, unless they want people to say TRANS-FOUR-FORM-ERS?)

* I actually like Michael Bay’s work in its own way – I don’t think even he would put the Transformers movies up alongside Raiders as pieces of film to study. Just saying this is supposed to be fun, even though it’s somewhat of an attack on his work.

6 Songs to Cut Your LeBron James Coming Home Video Montages To

lebron james coming homeI always said I’d need to be heavily romanced in order to accept LeBron James back as a Cavalier.

Turns out it only took about .00002 seconds after hearing one rumor that it might happen.

Now all I do is refresh Twitter and pine for LeBron/Cleveland video montages.

My hope is that video editors everywhere have their timelines all laid out, and just need to drop in the pending “The Return” press conference clips before exporting and hitting publish.

I’d love to see these up by Friday, and while I could cut one myself, I’d much rather just lay out what I want.

Thus, here are six songs to cut your LeBron Coming Home Video Montages to.

(I’ve excluded the Skyler Grey Coming Home one with Diddy. Despite how perfect it is, it’s also to obvious, and actually already has like 6 versions out there.

This one’s probably the best, although I’m not a fan of the title cards.)

I’ve tested the potential of each of the following songs by holding a basketball, closing my eyes, and imagining his first Cleveland chalk toss as I listen to the music.

In reverse order of preference:

6) Let’s Stay Together – Al Green

This should work as a basic getting-back-together mix, using an array of on-court imagery, and clips of me crying. (Email me for these – I have them in full HD in my Dropbox.) I’d be looking for more “interaction with fans/players” clips than game action.

(For those of you who think the ex-girlfriend/boyfriend analogies are weak, I never agreed with you, even when I pretended I did.)

5) Waterloo – Abba

This one’s for those of you who feel like you’re somehow selling out yourself or the city by loving LeBron again.

Look at these lyrics:

Waterloo – I was defeated, you won the war
Waterloo – Promise to love you for ever more
Waterloo – Couldn’t escape if I wanted to
Waterloo – Knowing my fate is to be with you
Waterloo – Finally facing my Waterloo

In light of the Decision, yes, it’s a slightly abusive relationship, but considering Cleveland sports history, maybe that’s the only way we know how to do it, and the only way we’re at ease?

He kicked us in the stomach, but we love him anyway. He’s irresistible.

The Return – no matter what the motivation – is a fantastic story. Embrace it, cry over it, and choose to believe in it. After all, it’s just basketball.

I’m seeing quick clips, dunks, lots of fun. Done right, it should be the feel-good-mix of the 2014 Summer NBA Free Agency Period.

BONUS) Temporary Home – Carrie Underwood

This one’s for Miami Heat fans, and has only Miami Heat clips, and they’re clips where he looks sad and angsted out on the court and bench.

4) Reunited – Peaches & Herb

A bit sensual for NBA Free Agency, which makes it a nice contrast to the rest of these.

These lyrics about learning during our time apart really sold it, and also made me openly weep right in front of my landlord.

I was a fool to ever leave your side
Me minus you is such a lonely ride
The breakup we had has made me lonesome and sad
I realize I love you ’cause I want you bad, hey, hey

I spent the ev’ning with the radio
Regret the moment that I let you go
Our quarrel was such a way of learnin’ so much
I know now that I love you ’cause I need your touch, hey, hey

I don’t know how you should cut this – it’s a really long song. Good luck!

3) Small Town – John Cougar Mellencamp Cougar John

This is straight up stolen from a Larry Bird video on some VHS tape I had in the 80s/90s, but I don’t care. It’s upbeat, it’s feel good, it’s etc.

I only watched half of it because I started crying, but you should be able to use the Bird video as an exact template.

2) Never Gonna Let You Go – Sergio Mendes

This one’s tough because of its sheer length and heavy romantic themes, but the whole Hold You in My Arms Forever chorus over the clip of Lebron and Z hugging after the 2007 Eastern Conference Final crap I started crying typing this – it’s worth it just for that.

Maybe get an audio editor to make a 2 minute version of the song.

1) Mama I’m Coming Home – Ozzy Osbourne

Throw out the rest. As a fan of power ballads, this is the one I want.

I’m seeing lots of slow fades between photos recounting his SVSM and Cleveland years, and MVP ceremony clips, and Miami clips where he’s talking about Cleveland, and those pre-game photo-taking skits, and me crying right now, and bike ride charity footage, and that shirtless personal trainer shopping for tanning beds, and etc.

I don’t think you even need basketball clips in this, outside of some chalk tosses and maybe some on-court smiles. Put Lebron hugging Delonte West somewhere if you can find it, and you’re set.

The lyrics (below) are perfect, too.

Times have changed and times are strange
Here I come, but I ain’t the same

Mama, I’m coming home

Times gone by, seems to be
You could have been a better friend to me

Mama, I’m coming home

You took me in and you drove me out
Yeah, you had me hypnotized
Lost and found and turned around
By the fire in your eyes

You made me cry, you told me lies
But, I can’t stand to say goodbye

Mama, I’m coming home

I could be right, I could be wrong
It hurts so bad, it’s been so long

Mama, I’m coming home

Selfish love, yeah, we’re both alone
The ride before the fall, yeah.
But I’m gonna take this heart of stone
I just got to have it all.

I’ve seen your face a hundred times,
Everyday we’ve been apart
I don’t care about the sunshine, yeah
’cause mama,

Mama, I’m coming home
I’m coming home

You took me in and you drove me out
Yeah, you had the hypnotised, yeah.
Lost and found and turned around
By the fire in your eyes

I’ve seen your face a thousand times
Everyday we’ve been apart
And I don’t care about the sunshine, yeah
’cause mama,

Mama, I’m coming home
I’m coming home

He doesn’t even care about the sunshine. Yeah!