Wednesday, April 29, 2009

LOST 100th episode celebration

Download this gallery as a zip-archive

Ben is creepy

LOST and the art of visual story telling.

The great thing about really well done movies and televisions shows is that they can exist and be enjoyed on many different levels. The casual viewer can take everything as it is played out and leave it at that. While other viewers can choose a more active participation in the experience and look for symbolism and deeper connections in the story. For a while television has taken a back seat to the art of filmmaking. Over that last 10 years that has started to change as more filmmakers are getting involved in quality televisions shows. I believe LOST is on the top of the list of television shows that is truly trying to create an artful experience given the limits of network television.

Good movies and good television have one thing in common, they are telling a good story. The cool thing about this medium is that they have a few other tools to tell the story. Authors obviously have words to tell their story in a book. Filmmakers have words but they also have visuals,sound/music, pacing or editing and acting. Being a visual person I've always been highly aware of the impact visuals has on story telling. There is so much information that can be told in a simple composition or camera movement. This use of visual communication is essential to quality filmmaking. Imagine if the characters just stood there and recited the entire movie or television show. If all the information of the story was just spoken. It would be really boring. How many dramas have you seen where in the last 5 minutes one character, usually a bad guy, talks for 5 minutes revealing a bunch of information to tie up the story. This is lazy filmmaking and I believe most people are let down by this. The really cool thing about great cinematography is that most of what you are seeing is working on an unconscious level. The filmmakers are making you feel a certain way by the way they photograph a scene. All of this is very purposeful and highly thought out. LOST is no exception to this. The writers and filmmakers of LOST are some of the most talented working in television today.

Enter Nate Orloff, he is an editor working in hollywood. Nate is also an obsessed LOST fan. Nate has started writing some incredibly thoughtful cinematic reviews of recent episodes. He is breaking the shows down visually and explaining what the filmmakers were trying to do in each scene. I highly recommend taking the time to read this post of his. I've copied the first page to get you hooked. He is only posting on Doc Artz's site currently and because of the thoroughness of his breakdowns, he only has 3 up so far. I think most of you will really enjoy this while learning a lot about cinematography and hopefully enrich future episodes.



Hawaii LOST filming locations

Emily and I visited Hawaii this Winter. While there, we went on a self guided LOST location scavenger hunt. We also booked a 2 hour tour through the Ka'a'awa valley with Kos tours. Our Kos tour guide was great. He was a fellow LOST geek and really seemed to enjoy pointing out all the locations in the valley that have stood in as "the island". Ka'a'awa valley is a privately owned cattle ranch that is quite simply one of the most scenic places on Hawaii. Below is a link to our photos. I've thrown in a few screen grabs from the locations in the show. From time to time they do a little digital background painting but it's really amazing how much they do just by composition or adding a few live palm trees and other plant life.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ann Arbor Michigan

In the last few episodes we are starting to hear more chatter about Ann Arbor Michigan. I thought it may be necessary to have a little review. The Dharma initiative was started by Gerald and Karen DeGroot. They were two phd students at the U of M in Ann Arbor. Basically Ann Arbor is the birth place and home of the non island part of the dharma initiative. All of the initiative's direction flows from Ann Arbor. Below is the original Swan station orientation film from season 2. Something to note, this was the first mention of "the incident". Whatever the incident was, the result was that the occupants of the swan station were instructed to start entering the numbers on the computer every 108 minutes. It seems that this season is leading toward revealing what the incident was. My guess is that it has something to do with adult Miles encountering baby Miles. This is a total guess but I've attached part of the orchid orientation video that was released the summer after season 4. We can clearly see how freaked out Dr. Chang is about the the two (same?) time traveling bunnies coming in contact with each other.

Comic con 08 video

Every Summer LOST has a presence at Comic con. They have a tradition of showing some sort of video teaser during their Q&A. Last year it was this video. People immediately thought the voice behind the camera was Faraday. There was also a lot of speculation that the baby was Miles. It looks as if half of the predictions are true so far.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

LOST Mystery #4 The Dharma Pallet drop

I'm going to inject two other mysteries into this post. The pallet drop happened in the episode "Lockdown" in season 2. It was a large pallet of supplies, mostly food, that had a parachute and a bright beacon attached to it.

The losties gathered the food and eventually created their own little kitchen where we see them eating these supplies over the next few seasons. There has only been a few references to pallet drops since this scene. The pallet drop is actually referred to as a P.R.D. periodic resupply drop by dharma literature. On the blast door map there is a line that says "P.R.D. every 6-8 months. Fatalities: 5." At the flame station it was revealed that the computer Locke played chess on could initiate drops by entering "24". So what's up with the losties finding a current P.R.D. in the year 2004 around 20 years after the purge and end of the Dharma initiative on the island? Maybe this drop got caught in some time loop. We saw last season when Faraday did his payload experiment that time between the island and just outside some radius around the island, is not in sync. Also, how was it dropped or was it even dropped at all? A while ago Darlton was asked why the losties didn't hear the plane that dropped the P.R.D.? Their response was "you're assuming it was dropped by a plane..." Here is where I bring in one of the other mysteries, Henry Gale.

When Sayid is questioning Ben right after he is captured Ben uses the alias Henry Gale. We later learn that Henry Gale was a ballon pilot that crashed on the island. We know nothing else except that his balloon was sponsored by Widmore and he had a wife he wrote a note to on a $20 bill. Maybe Henry Gale was involved in a P.R.D. There was the mention of 5 fatalities in association with the drops. The third mystery is those new looking washing machines in the swan station. That front load style didn't appear until the mid 90's and they appeared newer then most other appliances in the swan. Perhaps they were part of a drop in the 90's.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Jeff Jensen is the man....

My current favorite LOST reviewer is Jeff Jensen. He has put together a really strong LOST section over at His writing is very insightful and very entertaining. One of the coolest things he is doing is a weekly video recap, clip show, parody, sketch comedy show called "Totally Lost" and is posted here. He does the show with Dan Snierson and they are both very funny in the videos. Here are a few I pulled off youtube but I suggest bookmarking the EW page and watching the current ones.

LOST Mystery Adam and Eve

During the first season some of the losties move to a cave in the jungle for shelter. Jack is the first person to find the caves and discovers two bodies. The bodies are laying down in what appears to be a purposeful position. Almost has if they were laid there or even that the two people went to sleep together never to awake. Jack finds a small bag next to the bodies that contains two small polished stones, one white and one black.

The stones are very similar to the game pieces that Locke shows to Walt a few days earlier. Jack shows the two bodies to Lock and informs him one is male and one is female. He also suggests that they have been there for 40-50 years based on the condition of their clothes. Locke seems extremely interested in the find and names the bodies Adam and Eve.

At first there was a lot of speculation who Adam Eve are. Early on the craziest theories were Jack and Kate. This was early on even before any hint of time skipping was revealed. Since then though people seemed to have forgotten about Adam and Eve. Darlton have said that we will be learning more about Adam and Eve in the future and that Adam and Eve were one of their first deliberate attempts at injecting a scene early in the first season that would pay off in one of the last seasons. Basically they believe it will prove to people that they had a plan even in season 1. Here is a great interview with them about if from Feb 2007. I think we are going to learn who they are before the end of this season. My own personal belief is that it will be revealed that Bernard and Rose are Adam and Eve. For one I'm not that into Jack and Kate as central characters. Also, what happened to Rose and Bernard during the time skipping? The last time we saw them was during the flaming arrow scene. Which based on the military clothes of the others and jughead, that time period was in the 40s or 50s. This would be right around the same time Adam and Eve die in the caves. I think Rose and Bernard are injured during the flaming arrow attack and return to one of the only other places besides the beach they think is safe, the caves. One is dying and the other decides to lay down and die with the other. I'm not sure about the stones. But there is the obvious color connection of Rose being black and Bernard being white.