Visceral and Raw


I was reading a story about the making of the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 launch video (released in November 2011) last night and was struck by the article's gushing tone and high level of corporate BS. The story was in FAST COMPANY a trade site for advertising, so really, what did I expect?

This was the set up:
The launch campaign centers on a 90-second trailer based on the veteran/newbie premise, starring Sam Worthington and Jonah Hill and directed by Peter Berg. The film begins with Hill (Get Him to The Greek, Superbad, Moneyball) bumbling through a burned-out New York war zone, with Worthington (Avatar, Clash of the Titans) as the battle-hardened foil.
Inoffensive enough, but I was particularly taken by these paragraphs:
Berg, whose action credits include Hancock, The Kingdom, and the upcoming Battleship, was the immediate choice for director, and he joined the production before the actors came on board. “We selected him first and foremost for his way of telling stories--his action is visceral and raw. We were dealing with very in-depth understanding of weapons and explosions. He’s comfortable with all of that. He’s also great with talent--that was icing.”

After going through gun training, Hill handled the action sequences like a pro, says Cole. "He had to bring the moments of levity to it; it’s tough to get that right tonally while there’s smoke and things blowing up around you.”
Yeah, there's a whole bunch of smoke here and guess where they're blowing it? 

This style of reporting on movie-making has been a standard in "entertainment journalism" for the last thirty years. It's a rigid formula that all but cancels out any extraneous non-awesome, off-brand blabber; the director has vision; the cast is amazing; the crew is the most professional ever assembled. But seriously, they're bigging up the fact that Jonah Hill learnt how to handle action and fight choreography on the green-screen set of the 90 second trailer for the latest iteration of Call Of Duty?

The last time I experienced this feeling was watching Baz Luhrmann explain the story behind the making of his 2004 Chanel No. 5 commercial with Nicole Kidman and Rodrigo Santoro
"She finds herself in this very serene place. She feels she has has escaped from the responsibility–from the mythical fortress of the metropolis we see in the distance, beyond this huge bridge..."
Mr Trivia

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