Those who know me know that Ghostbusters is one of my two favorite films. I grew up watching the Cartoon, owned most of the toys (still do) and have now amassed an entire collection of memorabilia. I have even gone the extra mile and created a screen accurate costume (you can see me wearing it in the video). I’m just missing the proton pack. I’ve been waiting to do a scene from this movie since I came up with the idea for this little monthly event.
To say that this film has had an impact on my life is an understatement. I sometimes quote or get excited about references to it and the only other MBOPer that knows what I’m getting excited about is Billy Allinson. We even planned a Dan Aykroyd themed party that celebrated Ghostbusters almost above all else. I’m always amazed at how seriously Bill takes the process of writing. He is constantly writing something that may never see the light of day. The films he does make are unmistakably his voice and style. – Films like Regular and recently I Spyders, which are experiences that will either change your life or at least force you to change your pants.
This was one of the most fun “Karaoke” experiences we’ve done yet. We didn’t really need the script since we knew the lines by heart. The only worry was making the proton pack sound right. I used an old flash for the sound of it turning on and the beam is a combination of sparklers and a vacuum cleaner (bill’s inspired suggestion). Which is ironic really because how many times during my childhood, a lot of our childhoods, were spent pretending a vacuum was a proton pack in the first place.
I had already written most of this post as well as put together the sound when I heard about the shooting in Colorado this morning. It was 95% jokes; making fun of how over hyped these Batman films are (though I do enjoy them a lot) as well as the people that take them far too seriously. While I still believe those jokes were born out of the truth and ridiculous nature people in which regard these movies, I thought I’d not be a complete asshole and get rid of them out of respect for what happened during last night’s midnight screening.
Certainly the fact that this happened during a superhero movie isn’t lost on me but it’s also not lost on anyone else. Though as I sit here writing this I think the very fact that this happened at and in a movie will weigh thought of this tragedy heavily in a lot of people’s minds. I mentioned I’ll be seeing The Dark Knight Rises tonight and, essentially, be actively taking part in the same circumstances the victims in Colorado did. Anyone going to the movie will be doing the same. Going to the movies is an activity most everyone does regardless of age – so I can only assume this senseless shooting will bring emotions to whomever attends a theatre for this weekend at least. The movies are supposed to be a safe place, safe for people to escape and imagine, and yes even in violent movies I would argue an audience feels safe in their temporary limbo. I think that that feeling will be missing for most audiences this weekend. The Superheroes are stuck on the screen.
I suppose there’s someone out there that hates balloons. It seems to me that person is most likely in hiding because a) balloons are not endangered, in fact they might outnumber humans 5 to 1 (which could be where the mistrust of balloons began in the first place) and b) I’ve never heard of anyone hating balloons. However, if you are that one person who despises balloons, I wouldn’t listen to the above sound I threw together. It’ll most likely sound to you like a demon escaped from hell to collect your soul by rendering you limb from limb to get at it.
Instead of writing about how this balloon foley could be used in a movie and how to record it/what it symbolizes (spoiler alert – it symbolizes stolen innocence and a balloon) I thought I’d instead paint a mental picture to go along with the story this sound makes:
Picture, if you will, a young man. His curly hair bounces as his step does the same. The creases on his face are not from the cruel hands of age wringing his youthful looks from his face. No, rather they are from his giant grin. The young man has just bought a pack of balloons. He bursts through his front door. The front door of the small ½ bedroom apartment he shares with his GF (which is short for girlfriend), flings his shoes across the small apartment. He grabs a handful of balloons from the bag and throws all but one on the floor. He holds the husk of one large balloon in his trembling hands. He looks around the apartment and thinks to himself how much more magical the bag of balloons is going to make his girlfriends birthday celebrations that very same evening. He snaps the balloon as he stretches it out, preparing it for the gust of air he’s filling his lungs with. He blows hard but finds the rubber resistant to his charms. He blows harder and watches with glee as the sir fills the compact space of the balloon and inflates it. The young man skips towards the ½ bedroom to find some adhesive to secure his masterpiece to the wall with. He takes a breath and blows once, twice and thrice. Just as he gives the third breath he turns into the bedroom to find the birthday girl with her naked skin enveloped in sheets as well as the sweat stained, meat arms of another man. He stares at the horror show in front of him. His lover has streaks of white paint across her face and what looks like blood red lipstick smeared over her mouth and nose. The other mans face is much more covered in this war paint. The constant squeaking sound wakes the young man from his stupor. Is it the bedsprings? No, it’s a brand new bad. What could it be? Just then they illicit couple notice the now frowning young man, whose curls are no longer bouncing. In the middle on the white faces, red lipped other man is a big red balloon. No. A big red nose. The sickening realization causes the young to release his 90% blown balloon. It farts around the room at a blinding speed. Zig-zagging every which way until finally landing on his GF’s left breast with a quiet splat. Their eyes all meet in a Mexican standoff. It’s the clown that the girlfriend was fucking that blinks first, honks his nose and bends down to blow a balloon back up.
I’ve got 99 red balloons but a bitch ain’t one, hit me next week.
What the hell is ASMR? That’s not a sound effect so what’s it doing taking up space on a precious, precious Foley Friday?
ASMR is an acronym for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. To break it down – It’s that tingling feeling you get on the back of your neck, scalp and forearms when you are starting to completely relax. Specifically when it’s triggered by sounds around you. Someone’s ASMR could be done by whispering, nail tapping, writing, crinkling plastic, flipping pages, even just the ambient sounds sitting in a quiet waiting room. There are too many triggers to count and some are very specific to some people. That about covers my knowledge of this stuff. Why do I even know anything at all? Because, if you haven’t figured it out, I myself experience ASMR. If you don’t I honestly think you’re missing out.
Apparently people half also referred to it as “Brain Orgasms” but I want to stress (though I doubt it would stop anyone from making fun of me) that that it isn’t particularly sexual at all. There is apparently quite a large fringe community that is devoted to creating triggers for people to listen to and triggering it themselves. Its all over youtube (usually called Whisper videos) I included some here as examples.
Does this whole thing seem weird? Yes. Do I feel weird writing about it? A little. However I find it pretty fascinating that a) there’s a whole community of people trying to get other people to relax using (to be realistic) sound porn videos b) it’s a very relaxing while invigorating feeling. For me, and the real reason I’m writing about it here, its all about listening to the world and the sounds around you. Focusing in on and Letting the quietist or most simple sound literally transform your mood.
There also seem to be more than a fair share of “roleplay” videos as well