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Category: Film & TV (page 1 of 18)

The Theme for 2020: Wonder

Cynicism is a shackle.

Cynicism is a shackle and being jaded is uncool and dumping on people who are putting themselves out there is a drag.

For too long I have indulged this sort of needless negativity and I feel pretty done with it. It’s a habit I (and many others) developed as a teenager and so thoroughly internalized that it’s become a dominant personality trait. But that sucks! When you have a bad habit, you try to undo it, right? Drinking too much? Cut it out. Get soft around the tum-tum? Go to the gym. Being a cynical jerk about stuff? Embrace wonder. I limit myself and the potential richness of my life by immediately writing things off that maybe aren’t the best. Or things that I perceive might not be the best. How might my life now, as a 37 year old man, be fuller if I hadn’t spent so many years thinking things were stupid because it made me feel cool? It’s terrible, and if that makes me cynical about cynicism, then so be it.

I want to get to a place where I can just be excited about things without tempering that excitement with a bad attitude. I want to go to an open mic night and genuinely think to myself, You know, that was pretty good. I want to see a dad-rock band at a local festival and not roll my eyes. I want to read the clumsy poetry of the world and not dismiss it out of hand. I want to like things because I like things and not justify my tastes. I want to take pleasure in the weird experiences that I find myself in all the time. I want to find the magic in creating things that are not masterpieces. I want to welcome the broken and wonky into my heart. I want to silence that damned voice that says so many terrible things to me. I want to embrace the joy of small, imperfect things because life is full of small, imperfect things and dismissing them robs you of so many chances for happiness.

The theme for 2020 will be:

The Year of Wonder

Maybe I mean something closer to “the year of positive attitude” or “the year of not being a judgy dickhead” or “the year of just giving it a damn rest already with the negativity”, but none of those are as punchy as The Year of Wonder so that is what we are going with.

It seems to me that embracing wonder comes in two distinct flavors: inward and outward. That is, am I directing my bad attitude at myself or am I directing it at others. I think this differentiation is pretty easy to follow.

My struggles with being creative are legendary and well-documented. I have written about it extensively before here on The Black Laser. I am sure all this results from this persistent negative voice inside me. I am sure that the same sense that makes me think someone else’s work is worthless is the same sense that makes me think my work is worthless. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, right?

Why beat myself up for the imagined failures of work I am not producing? It is better to produce and release 85% perfect work, than it is to beat myself up forever because the work isn’t 100% perfect and then never release anything at all. Get over it, Joe, and just be happy that the 85% work is out there. If I consider every single thing I’ve ever created professionally, there might be a handful of works that were in the 85% to 90% range. The rest were lower than that for whatever external reality causing issues. And I made a living that way! The world isn’t looking for works that are 100% perfect. That is impossible. Just do your best and people will respond.

And this attitude is never limited to just myself, either. Why can’t I just accept that someone has worked hard on something and is doing their best to share something of themselves? Perhaps they don’t sing with Bing Crosby’s syrupy voice, or perhaps they don’t shred like St Vincent, or perhaps they don’t craft the taught, lurid prose of Shirley Jackson, but so what? The creative drive is within all of us. For the most part, I really believe, people are just doing their best to express their own truths. Why poo-poo that? Encourage people to live their lives. That starts with not being yet another negative voice in a sea of negative voices. Negativity is easy, but negativity is lazy.

It’s a bad behavior it and it needs to stop.

This year is the year I work to stop it. I imagine it will be a difficult path, one from which I will stray regularly. You don’t change 37 years of bad behavior in a single blog post. But, it is something I want to work on. Just getting over the mental hump that kept me away from The Black Laser for so long is the first step. Christ, it’s not like I haven’t had anything stewing in my head the last few years. It’s just that the voice was so loud, so persistent, that I felt stuck.

Well, I’m back. Hi. Missed you too. Let’s be positive this year.

Mountain Dew – Drone Hunting

At the end of last year, I cut this spot with some cool dudes from BBDO here at Wax and it was just finally released. It’s the moving, emotional story of a bunch of kids chasing a tiny helicopter with nets. It was a fun challenge to cut something fairly different than my usual comedy work and I think it came out pretty cool.

If you are a lover of motorbikes, teeny helicopters, Chile, dust, Mountain Dew, nets, trees, grass, or all or none of those things, check out the spot and enjoy the hell out of it.

GoGurt Garage with Bob Vila 2 – Brodie Smith

Bob Vila is back. This time he’s endorsing GoGurt with Brodie Smith, of Youtube Frisbee-trick fame. It’s pretty awesome this time around, too. Give it a watch and then be sure to tell me how funny and handsome I am for editing this magnificent piece of content.

THANKS.

Jerry Rice and Shannon Sharpe Party Fail Study

Remember when Joe Flacco threw a party? Well, the good folks at TracyLocke and I are back with the sequel, this time starring Hall-of-Famers Jerry Rice and Shannon Sharpe. Football!!!!

It’s funny! We did a good job! Jerry Rice is bad at virtual reality!

Go watch it. Enjoy it. Tell your friends. Share the link. Make it super popular like the last one—Joe Flacco has 12.5 million views as of this writing—and help keep The Black Laser alive* by helping me continue to have a job**! Cool!

* The Black Laser is in no trouble of disappearing.
** I am not at risk of losing my job.

GoGurt Garage with Bob Vila 1 – The Slow Mo Guys

Guys! I did more work! I am literally working all the time! I never stop! EVER!

So, I did this funny video with some folks at Saatchi NY for GoGurt’s GoGurt Garage promo. It stars Bob Vila, the world’s second most famous Cuban, and the Slow Mo Guys, a couple of English guys with a slow motion camera who like to destroy stuff, as they try and empty out tubes of GoGurt. It’s messy. There are explosions. And power tools. You should watch it.

Here’s the trailer I cut for it:

And here is the video The Slow Mo Guys created for the project:

If you are a crafty teenager, go enter the contest and win one of the awesome trophies. They are pretty awesome and ridiculous.

Hamburger Hummus: Episode 7 “#BLESSED Day Ever”

“#BLESSED Day Ever” is the seventh and final film in the Hamburger Hummus septology. We follow Judy through Jerusalem as she seeks to connect with her spiritual side. Also, Deedra is hungover. Batman!

Now that you’ve seen all the films, which was your favorite? Did you have as much fun watching as I had editing them? I bet you did. And if you didn’t just keep it to yourself. No one wants your negativity here.

Hamburger Hummus: Episode 6 “Earthright”

The sixth film, “Earthright”, is in your eyes and ears right now! Awesome! Check out all the hippies! What do they smell like? We’ll never know! (But we can probably guess.)

Hamburger Hummus: Episode 5 “Shots Shots Shabbats”

“Shots Shots Shabbats” is the fifth Hamburger Hummus film. This one is about poor decisions. We’ve all made them and we’re all likely to make them again. So, maybe, this film is also about forgiveness and empathy?