Go See “Inside Out”

 I have one proposition for you all. 

That is, that the next movie you see in theaters will be “Inside Out” and you will tote with you anyone willing and capable of feeling emotions. Anyone. (Just because it’s a Pixar movie doesn’t mean it’s just for the kids).

In fact, the concept is an intensely thoughtful one that is sure to blow even the wisest of grown-ups minds. The concept, or at least my interpretation of the concept, is that emotions are so powerful. While at times their shifting and shaping may seem a burden during one’s emotional progress through life, our emotions are equally important and always working for us to help us cope with our surrounding environment… which can be even more unpredictable and burdensome than ourselves.

The emotions themselves are all played as human-esque looking characters: Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger, and Disgust (featuring some familiar voices if you watch Parks and Rec or the Mindy Project). Their story is set in the mind of an 11-year-old girl named Riley, who lives her life according to their commands and absence-of, just like the movie implies we all do.

joysadSitting in the packed theatre, thinking through the movie as it was playing, I couldn’t help but wonder if this is really how emotions work? Laid out, it makes sense. Sometimes Joy drives a person to make choices, sometimes sadness, sometimes both or another emotion. This idea of balancing emotions one of the most universal of movie themes I have ever come across because who of us can say that we’ve never been angry or sad or joyous, or afraid, or in disgust?

We all have incredibly complex minds and with those we often forget that it’s okay not to stay positive all the time. In fact, (spoiler alert) sometimes sadness is the best motivator to adjust a course of action to something better for our well-being while the other guys take a backseat. In the end, they’re meant to balance us out and help us grow at our own unique pace.

Because we are all human (I can now confirm this because Dog with a Blog unfollowed me), we each have the potential to act in according to our complex emotions and then when the repercussions subside we can store all those beautiful memories for later because that’s the beauty of being human.

Inside-Out-113 riley-inside-out-trailer-2-pixar Inside-Out_2

SJT

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Feminist Film Camp

A few weeks ago I sat down with my college counselor for about the fourth time and something weird happened. She looked me in the eye, and without hesitation or a shadow of doubt, said that she had a good idea about what she wanted me to do in college. As in major and minor. As in future. As in career. As in something nobody had ever had the want, need, or inclination to tell me. But she did. She and her decades (but she absolutley doesn’t look it) of experience in the service of young people and more specifically their academic preparedness for college. I trust her. And that’s why what she said blew my mind, because I believed her. Whereas before I had never believed that someone would sit me down and tell me what to do with my life. Not that it matters, but I’ll tell you because it’s cool.

 

“Film… with an undergrad in business just to be safe”

 

Film. Well that part wasn’t a shock, but at the same time it was. I love it, and the people I know and love know that I love it. But even many of them wouldn’t volunteer the idea to me, for reasons I can’t really guess because it’s my blind dream we’re talking about. But I can get a feel for people, and what they usually tell me without words is “Oof that’s gonna be rough” or “Aw cute, until she decides she doesn’t want to be poor”. But again, my blind dream. And my counselor’s more than just my counselor, she’s my guru. (Yes, that good) And so she knows that when a teenager has fostered a love for something, by paying attention in that class or taught themselves a skill and has just simply made that time to love that time with that thing, whatever it may be, it’s important to not just to encourage it but to support it. So shoutout to my college counselor. And shoutout again when I’m receiving that Oscar.

It’s taken me months to get the energy to post again. It’s draining, this writing thing. Thoughts to fingertips to keys. You wouldn’t think so, but it’s a tough hobby to keep consistent with. It can only really be done when it’s from your being, because math says you can only give what you have and much as I hate to admit it, math is usually right. Math won’t allow me to write about things I haven’t fostered a care for, because the words won’t be there. So giving more of what I have is probably what I’m going to work on, and finding what those things are too. It’s easier with pictures. Anyone with my snapchat or following my instagram could tell you that. Sydneyjoto is kind of a mess there.

WHICH leads me to my next trick topic.

Film camp. More specifically, Feminist Film Camp. It has a better and more official name, which I’m not sure if I can share so we’ll just call it the former. I found out about it several weeks too late and then there was nothing short of a miracle; somehow they let me in. They turned out to be fabulous people who were incredibly talented at each of their varying jobs within the film industry. We met and skyped with movie directors, editors, PR people and went through what must be the process of making a movie because we did. We made a movie and aired it at a real premiere in a theatre. It’s two weeks later and I’m still feeling butterflies from that one. In teams of five, we wrote, directed, acted, edited, and finally produced a piece all while learning from the professionals about ways to do the best visual, audio, and story work possible. Oh and storyboarding. Almost forgot that.

Here are some notes from lunchtime speakers I took in my nerdy film journal 

• It takes both brains & luck
• Have people back you up with a common goal, but never give up creative control, even if that means you have to turn down an offer from Disney. (They have a thing about that)
• The documentarian women making “Code” always just wanted to make a film.
• On choosing a topic for a documentary, “It has to be something really important and topical.”
• Show before you tell, or just show and hope that tells enough.
• Honestly, you have no idea how an audience will take a movie. You’re just feeding your home made food to the kids and hope they like it.
• A director is the one who carries the production with his or her drive alone. The director needs to be the most passionate, the story is their baby and they want to see it succeed.
• You need a team that fills the many gaps of what you can’t do, and in the end work to create something a thousand times better than what you could’ve come up with. Notice how as movies have improved over time, the credits roll longer and longer?
• Editors push the scene layer upon layer, they have artistic license and mad organization skills
• Both creative and technical people are necessary to making movies. You just have to learn how to speak the two different languages.
• Actresses with cool roles really are the role models for young girls. Thanks to CSI, the number of women entering college since 2000 under Crime Investigation or Criminal Justice has dramatically increased
• As women, we tend to doubt ourselves. More women will walk into a job interview thinking that they’re hardly qualified, whereas men typically think “it’s all good I got this”. Know that you have got this as much as the boys do.
• Code, the language of computer code will be more and more invaluable to you in the future. Learn it, and you will almost be guaranteed to use it someday and get paid for it.
• Light is everything. In animation it makes the world seem like a place you can actually go to and visit. It converts kids to Disneyisms and in live-action can make adults cry and laugh or scream sometimes more effectively than just acting.
• A documentary is a hell of a lot of work. But so is a live-action film. And animation. All need smart and creative people and all are necessary to help tell the stories that need to be told.
• When trying to sell your movie, smile. Give gifts. I have seen grown men in suits almost get in a fist fight over a ballpoint pen that said “Sundance”.  Also, the best parties don’t serve caviar they serve hot dogs. People are hungry!

And lastly, favorite quotes:

“Smile. Love the process, and if you don’t, go be a dental hygienist.”

&

“If you love it, you’ll find a way to do it.”

let me repeat that for the haters

If you love it, you’ll find a way to do it.

 

You’re darn straight.

Something else I really love, is finding flaws in society and coming up with my own dumb solutions to fixing them. So I found a way to do that at this camp, with my production team. My problem, my solution. Please pay no attention to the lead actress she’s no Jlaw, but I think the message is something to think about. If you know a teenager or anyone with a picture-posting problem, or anyone really, please feel free to share.

You can only give what you have right? Subtraction and addition? Well here’s a story I wrote about a girl with an Instagram problem, and how I think kids should start viewing the way they view the world, which is not on a phone screen.

[youtube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HFRjtwmjbY%5D

Thank you dear reader for doing what you do best here, and I wish you all a wonderful day/evening/morning/birthday/holiday/drive/whatever else awaits you.

All the best,

Sydney

The Stupid Cup Song.

“The Cup Song” came from “The Cup Game”. Let’s make that crystal clear right now. “The Cup GAME” is basically a hand tap-dance or like a self-patty-cake done in sync with a table-full of others sitting in a circle passing along the cup. It’s been around since summer camps and family reunions were invented and if still you haven’t heard of it, some little girl you know under the age of 14 has. Duh, like… the Turner girls?

Once “The Cup Game” is mastered it becomes something one finds him or herself doing in public whenever they are blessed with an empty cup bestowed upon their table {or in many of my sad cases, what only seems to be an empty cup}. They are suddenly the star of a small-scale percussion show and surrounding tables applaud their performance when they finish. Go ahead, take a bow.

Well “The Cup SONG” was more recently made famous by the movie Pitch Perfect which came out earlier this year. In the movie, “The Cup Game” is put to cute lyrics by Actress and Singer Anna Kendrick and people all over the world have attempted to duplicate her fabulous results on YouTube calling it “The Cup Song”. It’s pretty incredible actually.

And then there’s me. Pitchy-Perfect-and-therefore-silent and frustrated mallet welding me.

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Have a fabulous weekend folks!

An Incredible Family

The Incredibles was our first DVD. (10-year anniversary is coming up btw!) It’s been showing on ABC Family all day and we had to sit down with our baby brother, Monkey #3, as he was so deprived of this classic. The movie came out a year before we even knew M.B.3, and being normal children, we would watch it around the clock memorizing every line in every scene.

Back then, we were convinced our family could be the Incredibles. A strong dad, a hip mom, a big sis, little bro and littler bro (when M.B.2 was still in diapers). We were to be the Incredibles for Halloween, the whole matching leotards and everything. Then we found out mom was having another one. Mom couldn’t have been slender Elasta-Girl with that big belly unless you count those elastic prego-pants. Plus we realized we had other variations; mom and dad would have to switch hair colors, and I was too young to be a depressed teenager. M.B.1 though was determined to be Dash, “zooming” around the front yard with his little eyes fixed to the ground, fists pumping, short legs prancing. Pretty cute.

“Sydney, he looks like Charlie’s dad”, M.B.3 said pointing at Mr. Incredible. Huh…

Mr Incredible Bob Duncan Good Luck Charlie
The Mr. Incredible(s)

Funny right? Balding in the same places too! Aw but we love ’em. “Them” being Bob Duncan from “Good Luck Charlie” and the oh so incredible Mr. Incredible. INCREDIBLE! Hey and take a look at their families…

Good Luck Charlie Family The Incredibles Incredible Family
The Incredible Families

Interesting… (strokes chin)

Sorry P.J. but you always were the odd child.

Happy sunday night guys! It’s a good night to read a blog, watch Jack-Jack attack, and worry about going to volleyball camp for a week and missing my own Incredible Family!

Breaking Away Movie Trailer- 1979

Doing a paper on this right now about how Dave breaks away from his little town of Bloomington Indiana and becomes a man along with his bum-posse. Nominated for best picture three decades ago, but quality doesn’t age.

When did you see breaking away?

Team PEETA!

Hunger Games.

You know what it is and what it’s about because the whole world has taken the time to tell you the whole story. Katniss in district 13, eating squirrels because there’s nothing else… (Yet somehow she can afford that stylish leather jacket?) Well it whups Twilight big time. Don’t get me wrong, Bells and Edwardo are cool, but tree climbing with a bow and arrow without having to drain a deer of it’s crimson life juice for energy is pretty sick. Katniss can live on apple juice.

I think Hunger Games changed my life. Yes. I think I sleep better knowing Wash D.C. isn’t filled with neon, pale-faced, Elizabethan clowns and loony jackals with too much time to get fancy with the facial hair.

Going hiking suddenly sounds like a good idea, because I know now how to sleep in a tree if I get lost and need to spend a night in the woods.

Oh and braids are hot now. Exceptionally. Hot.

“Edward or Jacob?”- is like asking…

“Bat or muscular wolf?”

Gale or Peeta?”- is asking…

“Tall+ dark+handsome or Sweet+ brave+strapping?”

A more even playing ground.

Hunger Games Peeta Gale Hot guys

EXCEPT Gale is a silent, sullen and jealous for most of the movie (Guy on left)

while Peeta is running around in the forest with Katniss, faithful as a puppy. (Guy on right)

Watch Hunger Games. ASAP. I promise you’ll have the strange urge to camp out in a cave.