Saturday, March 8, 2014

Commercials and Life

I really don't care how hipster Instagram is. I love using it. There's something irresistibly charming about seeing the world through a phone. Little moments on the go. I look forward to sharing fragments from my life, as well as seeing what my friends are up to in their travels. And I've discovered that an old college buddy of mine is rocking Instagram. Meet Colby.

I'm really proud to say we're friends. In college, we lived down the hall from each other in the dorms. I remember stepping into her dimly-lit dorm room - one of the few dorms in the building that smelled nice. More than nice. Colby was always using a strong, cakey sweet perfume. I'd sit on her bed, admiring her Marilyn Monroe / Michael Jackson / Abraham Lincoln posters as she went through her beauty regimen. I'd always been interested in the past, but I think spending time with Colby strengthened that desire to immerse myself in all things vintage and research my favorite time periods. She also made me think about female role models.

Before college, I can't say I really had any. Except for maybe the heroines in the books I read. But along came Colby with her intense love for Marilyn Monroe. For our senior projects, Colby gave a riveting hour-long presentation about how different biographers have portrayed MM over the years (while my presentation had been on mermaids in folklore, using Vladimir Propp's version of structuralism - turning fairy tales into equations. So. Much. Fun).

MM wasn't quite for me, though. I looked at other Old Hollywood starlets. Who won? Mary Pickford, of course. Jeez, she was wonderful.

But Audrey Hepburn came in second. I love how she carries herself, a confidence that I've rarely seen. There's something mysterious about her as well. So far, I've seen Breakfast at Tiffany's and My Fair Lady. Though both films are classics, I can't say I like either that much. That's the weird part. I'm not too thrilled with the films (or even the prospects of watching the other ones), but I love the woman herself. I get the shivers every time I hear the lines from Sky Sailing's "Sailboats" song:

Once in 1964
An actress ran on the shore
And though you'll never return,
I love you Audrey Hepburn
Sometimes I can see your face in the crowd

And when I saw the brand-new commercial that Dove Chocolate released, I was in awe:

The best part? Audrey is actually CGI. It's a lot easier to notice that on the computer, but she certainly looked real to me on my plain old television. I had just assumed a lookalike actress or model was playing her. Wow. This is such a cute commercial. I get the chills (the good kind) every time I rewatch it. 

Speaking of role models, I'm guilty of periodically searching Nicoletta Ceccoli to see if she's created anything new. I'm fidgety and EXTREMELY RESTLESS because it's going to be forever (or never) until Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart film makes it to America. Please, just give me subtitles and a way to buy it. 

I loved the book and author Mathias Malzieu's soundtrack (he's a brilliant musician, so you know...). And Nicoletta Ceccoli worked on the film. The character designs are modeled after her style. I'm dying, guys. Dying. To tide me over, I found a little commercial that she had worked on:

Lice-prevention has never been cuter. If you think about it, this was a good fairy tale for Paranix to choose. Having hair that drags all over the place because it's so long must not be very hygienic. A perfect home for lice. But luckily we have princes that ride stick horses and peddle Paranix.

Writing has been going well. I always gain more momentum when I pass the halfway point in a manuscript. At 64k, I'm almost done with We Could Fall in Love. Just. A. Few. More. Scenes.

The main thing I'm keeping in mind at this point is keeping the plot tight. No flabby scenes. No fluffy exchanges of dialogue. No boring.

Which makes watching this commercial highly appropriate if you ignore the car part:

I have no shame in saying that I've been singing this song around the house as my brain recovers from mad-typing. I may be an adult, but I still find Muppet humor just as funny as it was when I was a kid. I'm probably hyper aware of Jim Henson everything these days, since participating in The Dark Crystal Author Quest contest (sorry folks, I didn't make it). 

Still, the Muppets continue to put a smile on my face. I'm considering seeing the new movie, because I can't sit through those trailers without laughing. Even if I see the same trailer 15+ times in one night. 

So what commercials have you seen these past few months that seem to be speaking to you? What a crowded month March is turning out to be already :)


  1. WOW, Kim! I am absolutely floored by the Audrey commercial. It's so interesting to me, since I have a class this semester that's been up to now exclusively dedicated to analyzing and writing commercials. One of my favorites is the DirectTV commercial that ends with, "Don't let your dad get punched over a can of soup":

    1. Really? That sounds like THE COOLEST class! I'm a sucker for whimsical or clever-funny commercials. I've been impressed with the creative ones out there - and I really wish I was more on top of things so I could curate a collection.

      I've seen that commercial. I love all of those - slippery slope at it's best! I wouldn't want my dad to get punched over soup, haha.

  2. Oh my god, that Audrey commercial is seriously stunning. I viewed it embedded in your blog so it was a bit small, and it was hard to tell it was CGI! So delightful!

  3. I see I am third, but still I have to say it, that commercial!! Adorable doesn't even do it justice! And it worked, because I would quite like a Galaxy chocolate bar right this moment.
    Oh, Kim, you are so close, I can feel it! I am waiting until it's all done and finished before I settle down and read it. I am excited for you, Kim, for where this story might take you. Thank you for sharing your passions with us.

    ~ Cara

    1. I know, me too. I'm not a big chocolate bar eater, but the shape of the bar is pretty intriguing. I bet it tastes good!

      Yay! I know, I'm kind of nervous to be at the ending this soon, even though I couldn't be happier to have reached it. I've got to make a playlist to keep me focused as I take on the final chapters this week. I know you're cheering me on and it helps me keep going :)

  4. I hardly ever find entertaining commercials. I don’t watch tv that much and skip the adds on YouTube whenever I can. But, it always amazes me how you find epic commercials. The CGI Audrey Hepburn was amazing…even after reading how they created her I was still amazed…I can’t really tell she’s fake. That commercial was gorgeous. I can translate the French movie for you…I’m working on becoming fluent. Get a French tape and dictionary and try to figure it out…why wait for subtitles? Unless it doesn’t ship to the U.S…sorry you didn’t win the contest but at least you learned from it. I think loosing is a better teaching opportunity. Congrats an keeping up with your manuscript…singing the Muppets isn’t odd at all…whatever works for you!

    1. I'm pretty merciless when it comes to youtube commercials - I ALWAYS skip them. Nobody's got time for that. But I do watch a lot of TV when I'm home in the evenings - I think it's more out of habit than anything, even though I'm usually multitasking while the TV's on.

      Thanks! i'm glad you're enjoying my taste in commercials, haha.

      Oh man, that would be cool if you could. I took French in college, but most of it has slipped out of my head. I've never been good at learning languages though (or reading maps, but whatever, haha).

      Oh man, I hope it'll ship out to the U.S. The DVDs come in different regions, so even if I somehow snagged a copy, if it's not set for the U.S., it won't play in my DVD player. So. Yeah. I have to wait and hope and fan my wallet in France's general direction, haha.

      Have you ever seen The City of Lost Children by director Jean-Pierre Jeunet, the man who made Amelie? I ordered it because I heard good things about it and watched it a few weeks ago. I'm madly in love. It's such a strange and beautiful story. And it's French. I watched it with subtitles and then found out later that there's English dubbing on my DVD. That, like, never happens. I can't wait to see how that sounds, and how the dialogue changes too (maybe some of the more cryptic French lines might make more sense, haha).

      Thanks! It was a bummer to lose, but participating in the contest was a great experience. And maybe those characters will be reborn into a different story in the future. Yeah, that would be cool.