Am I able to give career advice? I’m only 22 after all.

I’ve been helping out at my old university – King’s College London – with their careers and employability office. A couple weeks ago, I went in to speak to current undergraduate and masters students at a career festival for the Film Studies program. After graduating in July, I now have 7 months of experience through my full-time job in a media agency. Walking down the all-too-familiar corridors created an interesting sensation:

Here I was in the exact same location and it’s very clear that it’s me who has changed and not the environment. In fact, the architecture, smell, feel, and people looked exactly the same as last year (when I was attending this career fair as a hopeful final year student). But this time, there was a different confident stride in my steps, not one of getting a first, but one of having job security figured out.

Most of the students were there looking for a way into the film industry. In that respect, I was their counter example of someone who veered away from the ‘artistic’ satisfaction of the creative arts for the more corporate world of marketing and advertising. I think speaking to the students was just as informative for me as it was for them. Nevertheless, I stood tall and explained my role and plans for the future in the business world.

Two weeks after the speaking event, the careers office asked me to write a blog post for them. And it finally came out, so I thought I’d share it (which was the point of my whole rant above). Enjoy:

It offers some insights and advice to university students trying to figure out what they want to do after graduating by drawing on my own experiences of job hunting/soul searching.

I obviously still have so much to learn about the world of work: what skills are most employable, how to change jobs, how to progress, how to balance work/life, etc. However, I still feel that I can offer advice and help to university students, especially because the experience of transitioning lifestyles is still so fresh in my memories. It’s important for people to stay in touch with university students as they progress in their careers because, essentially, those students are the future of the work force. Their desires, mentality, and capabilities are a direct reflection of generational changes, economic situations, and cultural values. And it’s very hard to know what the future holds if you don’t understand the people that will be working it because let’s be honest, most business are people-led first and foremost. So an understanding of the younger work generation is ALWAYS key to any company that wants to grow.

CHANEL No. 5 Film #theonethatiwant

I went to see The Imitation Game with Benedict Cumberbatch at the Empire cinema yesterday. As a media gal, I arrived early to watch the pre-roll adverts that are put on by Pearl & Dean (cinema advertiser).

My favourite was, but of course, the Chanel No. 5 Ad with the beautiful Gisele Bündchen. I love the marketing strategy of positioning Chanel No. 5 ads as ‘films’ and thus, correctly placing them on the big screen before a movie. The films, as with the brand, are always decedent, glamorous, and classy and they offer a beginning, middle, and end to the story. All I have to say is… these 3 minutes are filled with the perfect combination of sultry, yet elegant shots to create the perfect cinematography for the brand image of Chanel.

Some quotes by Mademoiselle Chanel: 

  • “Fashion passes, style remains.” 
  • “‘Where should one use perfume?’ a young woman asked. ‘Wherever one wants to be kissed,’ I said.”
  • “Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman.”

Suburban Life in America as Depicted in Cinema is quite Dystopian.

Some Films to Watch: 

All that Heaven Allows (Douglas Sirk, 1955)

American Beauty (Sam Mendes, 1999)

Back To The Future (Robert Zemeckis, 1985)

The ‘Burbs (Joe Dante, 1989)

Far From Heaven (Todd Haynes, 2002)

The Incredibles (Brad Bird, 2004)

The Graduate (Mike Nichols, 1967)

Happiness (Todd Solndz, 1998)

It’s a Wonderful Life (Frank Capra, 1946)

The Oranges (Julian Farino, 2011)

Pleasantville (Gary Ross, 1998)

The Stepford Wives (Bryan Forbes, 1975)

The Stepford Wives (Frank Oz, 2004)

The Truman Show (Peter Weir, 1998)

Some Academic Writing to Explain: 

“Hollywood’s anachronistic vision in this regard stands as testament to the profound cultural influence of the suburban landscape in the postwar years: for the development and subsequent massive expansion – particularly in the years and decades following the end of World War II – of ‘suburbia’ entailed the construction of not only a new kind of physical landscape, but new psychic and emotional landscapes as well.”

– Robert Beuka, “’Cue the Sun’: Soundings from Millennial Suburbia,” Iowa Journal of Culture Studies 3 (Fall 2003). Accessed Online. 

“Americans are obsessed with houses – their own and everyone else’s. We judge our selves and our neighbours by where and how we live.” 

– Dell Upton, Architecture in the United States (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1998), 14. 

“The city started out as the culprit. But by the postwar era, the suburbs had elbowed their way into that maligned position – the site of social dysfunction and pathology. Hell, it seemed, moved from the city to the suburbs – like everyone else.” 

– Becky Nicolaides, ‘ How Hell Moved from the City to the Suburbs’ in The New Suburban History, eds. Kevin Kruse and Thomas Sugrue, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006), 80. 


How do you feel about your white picket fence now? 

CalArts and the Legendary Offsprings of room A113 are featured in Vanity Fair.

CalArts and the Legendary Offsprings of room A113 are featured in Vanity Fair.

Well, well, well… anyone who’s watched an animated film in the last 15 years has probably seen the result of this legendary class of Character Animation at CalArts (California Institute of the Arts). Most of PIXAR’s founding members were students of the classic Disney artists in the 70s and 80s. This Vanity Fair article is such a good summary and insight into the cultural climate and history of animation at the time – the lead up to the animation revival of the 1990s/2000s. It is definitely worth a read. (Just click on the photo to go to the article!!)

I get so inspired by this story (and this group of youngsters). But I think the lesson to take away from this is that you must be determined, hard-working, but also courageous to take risks and new opportunities. Today, there is no guarantee that graduating from CalArts will automatically lead you to become an animation director. These directors graduated at a different time in history and I believe that there will be a new wave of animation in the future. The question is, who is willing to create a new path and lead this revolution?

If you could witness any one event from history, which would it be, and why?

If I could witness one event, it would be the most creative lunch in history. In the summer of 1994, the key Pixar creatives (including John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Pete Docter) had lunch in the Hidden City Café and brainstormed ideas for new films. That one lunch sparked the stories that would eventually become the following films: A Bug’s Life, Monsters Inc, Finding Nemo and WALL-EThose four films would eventually earn over one billion dollars of revenue, and it all started with a friendly conversation over French fries. I would choose this specific event because it has an element of myth and an element of inspiration. The story has become a part of the animation legend and a cornerstone moment in Pixar’s history.  True, it might not be as epic as Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream“ speech or the Battle of Waterloo, but it has importance to me personally. And I think there’s a lot to learn about life, storytelling, and business from that one legendary lunch.

And the story was even featured in the teaser trailer for Andrew Stanton‘s WALL-E as a form of marketing. Check it out!

“What do you wear to bed?”

1. A new commercial from Chanel no. 5 discussing Marilyn Monroe’s famous quote and the media  that follows the sex symbol, movie actress, and international star. My gosh, I am always impressed by her carefree persona.

2. This video is very visually pleasing and well edited – from the font choices to the classy white-and-black backgrounds. This ad displays archived footage, new images, text, recordings, and a voice-over. Almost imitating a documentary film style – an investigation into Marilyn’s legacy in the 50s. However, the fascination with Marilyn continues to elicit excitement and allure as this Channel ad demonstrates perfectly. Plus, for the high class image that Chanel No. 5 wants to promote, I believe this video serves its goal of glamour and appeal very well.

Oh la la, Marilyn’s star persona never get old: “I’ve never fooled anyone. I’ve let people fool themselves. They didn’t bother to find out who and what I was. Instead they would invent a character for me. I wouldn’t argue with them. They were obviously loving somebody I wasn’t.”

Les Coulisses des Numéros Musicales Bollywoodiennes

Les Coulisses des numéros musicales Bollywoodiennes

1. Lien avec théâtre : Avant le cinéma, il y avait la tradition du théâtre – et c’est particulièrement vrai avec le genre comédie musicale. On peut voir une interaction entre les pièces sur scène et le même récit sur l’écran. Il y a quelque tendance qui sont le même : un concentration sur le personnage principale grâce à la mise-en-scène (la composition, l’éclairage, costume, couleurs, etc.), la notion du spectacle qui est inscrire dans les numéros musicales, et la possibilité de prendre des libertés artistique avec la narration et esthétique pendant la séquence musicale. Par exemple, on peut prendre comme un exemple le cliché d’une séquence musicale où au milieu de la narration, une chanson commence et voilà, c’est une séquence musicale. Par suite, Un personnage secondaire apparaît avec costumes assortis et forme une composition triangulaire autour de l’acteur principal en faisant une chorégraphie fabriquée. C’est le modèle classique avec la comédie musicale à Broadway et Hollywood a pris ce mode pour le sens de ces films. En général, c’est un esthétique influent, même visible en Bollywood. Avec théâtre et cinéma le personnage du fond sont là pour créer une ambiance et spectacle tout en soulignant l’acteur principal qui joue un rôle important dans la narration entier et les numéros musicaux. Par contre, le personnage à l’arrière-plan forme une partie du décor, une partie de la mise en scène et la direction qui travaille dans le tableau d’ensemble – en cinéma ou en théâtre.

2. Sens et Mis-en-scène des personnages d’arrière plan au cinéma : Le cinéma a la possibilité de traiter le même scénario d’une différente manière que le théâtre –on prend l’exemple des danseurs dernière le personnage principale. Avec le théâtre, le personnage sur la scène sont des vraies personnes avec certaines contraintes physiques. Il existe un espace corporel que le personnage faut traverse d’arriver d’une certaine position sur la scène. Par contre, le cinéma utilise le montage et la découpage de créer l’espace filmique ; par conséquent, le personnage à l’écran n’a pas le même contraint corporel. Grâce à un coupé, c’est possible pour un personnage sur l’écran de passer à une position d’une autre position dans l’espace filmique. Donc la question qui se pose est : Est-ce qu’un nombre de musicale cinématographique prend la possibilité de défier la continuité spatiale et temporelle tant il a le choix? C’est encore possible de chercher un réalisme dans cinéma comme une entrée naturelle pour les danseurs. Mais, c’est aussi possible d’imposer un montage où les danseurs apparaissent avec une qualité esthétique de chaque plan individuel et pas dans l’ensemble pour créer la continuité spatiale. Ici, je cite la théorie de un « MTV esthétique » légèrement pour évoquer l’influence des music vidéos sur le découpage des séquences dans la comédie musicale. Comme un spectateur, comment pouvons-nous accepter le fait qu’il n’y a pas les mêmes règles d’espace corporel dans le découpage des séquences musicales sur l’écran qu’en théâtre? Et en consultant les personnages à l’arrière plan, est-ce qu’il y a une différence de traitement cinématographique de la mise-en-scène et la sens entre les comédie musicales hollywoodiennes et bollywoodiennes ?