Festival Favorite ?odied?Now Streaming on YouTube Premium

After a limited theatrical run, and a long tour around the festival circuit, Joseph Kahn’s bombastic battle rap satire Bodied has finally landed on YouTube Premium. The film sparked a lot of conversation when it played TIFF and Fantastic Fest last year and stirred both staunch defenders and critics to a boil. Our own Victor Stiff fell somewhere in the middle with his review, but still managed to call the whole experience “electric…visually creative and lyrically impressive.”

Wherever your judgment might ultimately fall, once consumed Bodied is a hard film to shake. The story centers on college boy Adam Merkin (Calum Worthy) accidentally succeeding in the world of battle rap after his nerdish enthusiasm charms champion Behn Grymm (Jackie Long). From there Adam attempts to mask his toxicity with progressive values, alienating his traditional place of privilege as well as those he admires so greatly. Bodied is the film you’ve been looking to address our current state of putrid fandom.

Written by former battle rapper Kid Twist a.k.a. Alex Larsen, and produced by Eminem and Def Jam Records CEO Paul Rosenberg, the film features top-tier artistry from Dizaster, Dumbfounded, Hollow Da Don, and Charlamagne Tha God. Whether you’re a fan already or completely new to the art form, the energy on display is infectious, and like South Park, it targets every creed and race. Don’t bother clutching your pearls or throwing your fist in the air, at some point in the narrative, Bodied puts your perspective in the wrong, and when the credits roll it offers no easy answers.

Bodied had a long road to walk to find distribution after Fantastic Fest. Winning the audience award there, the feeling on the night was that Joseph Kahn would have a home for his film instantly. Days turned into months, and news that YouTube scored the feature did not come until January of this year. At the time, the film landed under their YouTube Red branding, but then came Cobra Kai and the promise of YouTube Premium.

Subscription business is a beast. Throwing yourself into a ring already dominated by Netflix and Amazon takes some serious courage (unless you’re Disney). At $11.99 a month, there are better deals out there with a helluva lot more content. Bodied is a brilliant conversation-starter selection, but maybe not the family-friendliest gateway to more dollars.

Earlier this week, YouTube announced that they were scaling back on their original content and focusing on ad-based revenue instead of subscription. Yay! Free Cobra Kai for everyone! Well, wait a minute.

According to the USA Today, YouTube is still looking to expand their roster of creators, but this “single slate strategy” will deliver all of their content to the same audience. Originals like Cobra Kai and Bodied will remain exclusive to subscribers for now, but by 2020 everything is up for grabs. The question becomes can this same ol’ same ol’ gameplan bring in new artists? It’s hard not to react to this news as YouTube taking a major step back from the competition of Netflix, Amazon, and other deeper pockets.

YouTube needs to hold its spending for now. Cobra Kai got them some traction, and Bodied is the perfect film to pique the curiosity of Film Twitter. Their recent acquisition of over a hundred MGM titles ain’t nothing to sneeze at either. At the very least, these offerings are worth the one-month free trial, and if they’re lucky enough, a few of us will forget to cancel immediately.

The post Festival Favorite ‘Bodied’ Now Streaming on YouTube Premium appeared first on Film School Rejects.


The Argument Against Photographers Offering Video Services: Part 1

The Argument Against Photographers Offering Video Services: Part 1

A lot of writers and experts in the photography world have been joining the chorus of “photographers should add video to their skill basket.” But, as far as business models are concerned, photography and video can be as different as sushi and gelato. So, before you jump head-on into video, consider my words of caution.

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The Ending of ?he Favourite?Explained

The pleasures of witnessing vicious, vile venom are endless. Sunshine is dismissable. We wish it upon our children and loved ones, but when dark moods strike us a ray of light is a cartoon fallacy we dare not acknowledge as a possible reality. We watch the news; we read the paper, and we scroll through Twitter. It’s hell out there and to survive it sometimes we must embrace wickedness.

The Favourite is the latest celebration of human oddity from director Yorgos Lanthimos, and it is a perverse parade of power plays and diabolical sniping centered around the court of Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) in 18th Century England. Her Majesty is a sickly fright, wheeled through the cavernous halls of her estate by the Duchess of Marlborough (Rachel Weisz) who wrestles control of the kingdom by filling her ear with conspiracy. The sudden arrival of honorless cousin Abigail (Emma Stone) upends the Duchess’ influence and ignites a domestic war to rival the genuine bloodshed exploding hundreds of miles away between British and French troops.

The wretched behavior of the Royals has always been and always will hold a massive appeal for audiences who cannot possibly imagine what goes on behind those beefeater guarded doors of Buckingham Palace. As we struggle to pay the rent each month and grovel at the office, the notion that such tremendous wealth and power is actually poisonous is an irresistible morsel of schadenfreude.

Please, yes, fight amongst yourselves. Chew on every scrap of station, kill each other with the teeniest, tiniest cuts. In The Favourite, Lanthimos feeds us that base gratification with a great big spoon and finishes the meal by jamming it right down our throat. The rich are people too, and we’re all a bunch of monsters who deserve subjugation.

Warning: Spoilers ahead for ‘The Favourite.’

At the end of the film, Abigail has seemingly achieved the favor of Queen Anne and encouraged the banishment of The Duchess. She attained her place through poison, sexual favor, and the manipulation of the feeble male mind. With her goals accomplished her nights are filled with frivolity and too much damn wine. The Queen calls on the lady, and the creature that enters her bedroom appears like the shabby animal play-thing The Duchess once jokingly threatened her as. Regret hangs in the mind Anne.

The night passes, and in the morning the Queen writhes in her bed. Her limbs fail her, the body desperate to free its passenger from the miserable life of sycophants. Abigail sits in a chair by the window reading, and under her foot is one of Anne’s seventeen bunnies that represents her seventeen dead pregnancies. Abigail pushes her foot down, the bunny screams, and Anne flounders, lumbers, and falls out of bed.

Abigail rushes to Anne’s side, and the Queen barks terror in her direction. She demands that Abigail massage her aching leg, and to maintain her balance, she grapples with her servant’s head. Lanthimos interlays the portraits of Anne and Abigail with a writing field of bunnies. The screen is enveloped by that pasture of metaphorical dead children, and they wriggle to Johnnie Burn’s score that pulsates to a rhythmic hum until the film cuts to credits and Elton John’s “Skyline Pigeon” kicks on. “Turn me loose from your hands/let me fly to distant lands…”

The Favourite would be a riot if not for those dang bunnies. Experiencing such despicable human scrabbling is good for a giggle until you contemplate the string of stillborn babies that were pumped out of Anne in a race for the next heir. You cannot possibly condemn her behavior, or deny her insanity as a gift. The desire of others to curry her favor is ultimately the only true power she holds, and her knuckles around Abigail’s hair brings no pleasure or chuckle from the crowd.

Misery for the Royal kind is inescapable; it only spreads to others. Although not depicted in the film, Queen Anne died a month after suffering a severe stroke that rendered her speechless. The Favourite leads us right up to her final moments on earth, and we can only imagine the endless wave of treacherous brown nosing that will be perpetrated on her successor. Lanthimos leaves his audience dejected, having experienced a fierce battle for dominance on a crumbling dungheap.

Cut off that final scene and what’s left is a deeply satisfying dark comedy of bottomfeeders. As is, The Favourite continues to gorge our gullets with the monarchy but finishes with an empathetic slap for all our selfish rubbernecking. The queen is dead long live the queen.

The post The Ending of ‘The Favourite’ Explained appeared first on Film School Rejects.


The Friday Roundup – Sound Effects, Story Boards and Voice Over Tips

Producing Your Own Sound Effects: Perfecting Audio
The video below gives a great insight into how you can create your own sound effects and why you perhaps may want to do it.
However there is another important take away you can well… take away from it.
I often get questions and requests regarding the subject of “making my videos more cinematic” and often what people…
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The Subtle Ethics of Street Photography and Why You Should Think Twice Before You Do It

The Subtle Ethics of Street Photography and Why You Should Think Twice Before You Do It

Street photography is a peculiar genre in the ethical questions it carries with it. This thoughtful video essay examines questions that go beyond simply wondering if you should do it at all.

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