Thursday, December 21, 2006

Brad Winderbaum's Satacracy 88: Episode Five

The fifth episode of Brad Winderbaum's Satacracy 88 is up at itsallinyourhands.com. Check it out now (link on the right), vote, then come back here for the commentary.

The opening flashback is wonderfully natural, like a real home movie, and it juxtaposes nicely with the crazy sci-fi scene we transition to. (Those fireworks -- and fireworks herald events we bring video-cameras to -- were put in digitally, a nice touch). The flashback also anchors us emotionally to the choice Angela will be faced with at the end -- he seems like such a nice guy she should go get him back. Brad and Diahnna Nicole Baxter (remember the lead actress is also the co-writer) do well to remind us who he is again at the beginning of the episode to lock in the choice at the end. The casting of Loyce Baxter (Diahnna's real life mother and a first time actress here) makes Lois instantly sympathetic, and a genuine rival for the audience (notice she is introduced in the same way Angela is -- at the cutting board).

We also get a pair of Tarantino allusions; the action shifts suddenly from black and white to color, just as it does in the big battle at the end of Kill Bill volume 1 (and once again it is a woman who is at the center of the action). The band-aid on the back of the neck cannot help but recall Marcellus Wallace's mysterious band aid on the back of the neck in Pulp Fiction. There were those at the time, I recall, who imagined that his soul had been extracted from the back of his neck -- some kind of mythology I am not familiar with -- and that was what was in the case he wanted back so badly; here it is Martin's whole self that can be extracted in this manner.

Jonathan Dinerstein's score is dead-on throughout, and the special effect with Zim hopping after Angela and Calloway could not be better with more money -- it's perfect. The streaking lights were also well done.

The choice at the end is a different kind of choice than we have seen before: armed with more knowledge about these characters and the world in which they live it is less of a choice about what direction we think the show should go and more of a choice about what kind of episode we are most eager for.

5 comments:

Marc Caputo said...

I remember when I first saw "Kill Bill, Vol. 1" how I thought that going to B&W before the fight at the House of Blue Leaves was a great NARRATIVE way to fix a PRODUCTION problem: if that fight stayed in color, it surely would have been given an NC-17, which is artistically cool but financially stupid. However, Tarantino shows his resourcefulness (probably leftover from his indie days) - right before the fight, you get a close-up of the Bride closing and opening her eyes. Then we go to B&W - Beatrix divorces herself from the mayhem that's to begin; it's all black and white, literally.

This, in turn, reminds me of the first Clerks film. Smith had to over/hyper-rehearse his actors due to a micro-low budget; he couldn't afford multiple takes. This gives the dialogue (to the film's detractors) a sense of artifice, that the dialogue sounds forced or rehearsed. I've always seen it as this isn't the first time these characters have had some of these conversations - therefore, what SOUNDS rehearsed is really just repetition over time.

Now that my computer has a better internet connection, I'm going to give these webisodes a try.

brad said...

I used black and white to ease us from the flashback into the present. And to draw more attention to the "today" title card. Also, the transition into color occurs on 88's head turn back towads Calloway, which is the moment that she makes the decision the audience voted for. We did a similar thing in Episode 4 when Calloway lifts his hood to watch Angela and Susan in the car.

Thanks for watching!!! make sure you vote - and I'd love to hear more comments, questions, or ideas for the future if you have them.

Geoff Klock said...

88! How did I not notice this before this moment -- the shift from black and white to color occurs in Kill Bill when she is fighting the Crazy 88s!

Mitch said...

Still enjoying it, Brad. But, I have to say that Episode 3 (the first appearance of Sandy--right?)is still my favorite episode.

brad said...

Haha - Awesome, Mitch. Not to worry, you'll be seeing a lot more of Sandy soon.