Sunday, January 11, 2009

Appreciate the gaffer, hail the senior digital compositor

Claire and I caught "Slumdog Millionaire" in Redwood City last night (great flick, it deserved the Golden Globes it won tonight). What was nice is that thanks to a Bollywood dance sequence added on at the end, people were staying through the end and watching the credits.

I've always been one to watch the credits -- these folks worked hard to provide me with entertainment for two hours, I owe them the courtesy of reading their names. I often drive Claire crazy with comments like, "Thanks, Jana Vance, for being such a good foley artist on 'Wall-E!'" or, "Don't you think Stephen Maier's first assistant camera work was good?" after "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer."

Some movie studios seem to be getting the same idea, adding things that encourage the audience to stay through the credits. I think the trend picked up in the United States when Jackie Chan movies began getting popular -- he runs the blooper reel over the closing credits. The "after credits" scene is also getting popular, check out Samuel L. Jackson's cameo as Nick Fury after the credits of "Iron Man," for example. It's not a new technique: according to Wikipedia, "The 1903 film The Great Train Robbery ends with leader of the outlaw band taking aim and firing point blank at the audience (after having been killed in the previous scene)."

And bully for them. It's important to know that Kevin Tomasiello labored very hard for you -- as a laborer -- on "There Will Be Blood." (Or that John C. Baker was a production assistant on "The Point of Boxes.")

After the movie, Claire and I headed down the street to Siciliano Ristoriante Italiano for dinner -- the first time we'd been there in about six years. The owner, Giuseppe "Pino" Spatola, catered our wedding in 2000, but we figured after so long, he'd have forgotten us.

No sooner do we come in, however, than Pino comes over and warmly greets us by saying, "John, how are you? Still dispatching?" Great service (and memory).

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