Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Chinatown and the Demise of Artistic Suspense

Remember that sketch on Saturday Night Live where Will Farrell has VOICE IMMODULATION DISORDER and he YELLS all the time?

Well I have cinemanarcolepsy sleep immodulation disorder. I cannot sit down to watch a movie (or a show longer than half an hour, with the exception of LOST or a Modern Family marathon) without sinking into a deep coma. I am completely binary - I'm either on or I'm off. 100 miles an hour or stopped.

I've seen the first 30 minutes of a TON of movies, including Chinatown, which I watched for the first time this weekend. I didn't really think the part I saw was that great, but before I drifted off I did notice something.

Back in the old days, before all you little chickens were born, 80% of the suspense in murder mystery films and thrillers came from the dim, red glow of a dark room, and the agonizingly slow photo developing process, which inevitably ended with a dramatic revelation of THE clue that solved it all.

It added quite a bit of time to these movies, and tons of anxiety and anticipation. What is the equivalent now? CSI has some fun stuff, but it's all instantaneous.

I was thinking that you could build in some funny suspense in a romantic comedy with some of our modern toys. It would go something like this.

Worried girl obsessively checks love interest's Facebook status. One day, she sees this...
Dramatic music plays while we wait for her browser to finish loading his status... Closeup of her face, her hand on the mouse, her paused game of Bejeweled.

Well, maybe it just doesn't have the same feel.

I guess I'm just old school. So I thought I'd bring you an old school card that reminds me of another fun movie technique - that one they used in Raiders of the Lost Ark - where they would show a little fake plane flying over a map with a bright red line showing you where the plane was going. So sweet and retro.

I actually made this card for a VSN challenge for the soot stamping technique.

Well, I'm not really cut out for that technique, even though I had a ton of fun trying. I set my paper on fire more than once, made my room stinky and then I didn't get enough "soot" to make the stamping part work - it was really faint.

So I stamped the plane from Plane & Simple in black on vellum paper and stuck it over my major fail. :) Then I stamped the sassy-frass map image from Travel Log (from an upcoming catalog - we got it at Leadership) in Poppy Parade on Very Vanilla, and stuck that on some Newsprint paper and then a Poppy Parade card base. Do you not LOVE that font that says Itinerary? I wish I had a bunch more greetings in that style.

So what are you little chickens up to anyway? I'm thinking of having some giveaways while I try to clear out some of my stash before it falls on me and kills me. Maybe an Easter card contest? Whaddaya think?


  1. LMBO! "before my stash falls on me and kills me". HAHAHAHAHA! (I am so there, too.)

    I, too love that font. WANT.

  2. HAHHHAHHA!! Yeah, that soot stamping did get a little stinky, didn't it? Lovely effect, but it took some time and some air freshener. ;) Your little plane and map are way too awesome!

    In my former life I wanted to be a cartographer. I have map envy. :D

  3. YOu are too funny, Lydia! Thank you for your thoughts, TEXAN!

  4. Love the red and black AND that map stamp! Your card instantly brought Casablanca to mind.... I haven't used red card stock in a while and yet yesterday, I used Cherry Cobbler on a card....it must a been a red day...

  5. Lydia, you offer such creative inspiration to all that I wanted to pass on the Stylish Blogger Award to you!! I listed your name and blog link in my post below! Thanks for sharing with us all!!

    Lisa Hensley

  6. Your brain is a work of art! Just like your gorgeous card. I love that technique in Raiders of the Lost Ark, love development (of suspense and character) & couldn't agree more about the chicken-ness! heehee. :o) Where DO you get this great stuff? You must spend all the time sleepin' after the first 1//2 hr of movies dreaming up capital-B Brilliant things to write. Love it all! Thanks for being You.

  7. so lucky nobody broke down your door and attacked your workbench with a fire extinguisher.... try sleeping through THAT!

  8. I too have this cinemanarcolepsy disorder...except I'm able to stay awake for all Zombie films. And anything with Harrison Ford. Le Sigh. Or Will Ferrell.....for different reasons....he's not secksi...LOL but induces asthma in me for how much I laugh at his humor!

    I almost burned down my house attempting the soot stamp technique. The tutorial made it look so easy--but my attempts quickly brought me to the reality that maybe I should do it OUTSIDE.


  9. You are too funny!! I like that card, it's so retro. And to keep you safe, I'll be happy to help reduce your stash, lol!

  10. Wow! Totally fabulous vintage/retro card! I love it!


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