Be honest, how many times have you heard “don’t judge a book by its cover”? The idiom holds true to some of the moral connotations attached, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t grab a book off of the shelf and purchase it based on the illustrations of its cover. The same goes for television shows and films. Trailers attract audiences with the bells and whistles and, most commonly in this day and age, the best scenes from the film as a whole.
I’m using this concept to justify my entire reason for watching ‘On Story’: the opening title sequence is the core of cinephilia. For those of us branching off into different areas, from filmmaking to academia, there was a key moment in viewing a film which grabbed our attention and caused us to step back and say, “Hey, this is you, this is what you need to do with your life.” ‘On Story’ incorporates iconic quotes within their title sequence ranging from Jaws to Dr. Strangelove: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb and these quotes, so engrained in our culture, trigger memory and nostalgia. I knew from watching the title sequence, this show was about the deeply rooted meanings behind the people who are more or less forgotten once the credits scroll across the screen. In a roundabout way, ‘On Story’ gives filmmakers and people behind-the-scenes their come-uppance!
Sunday’s episode of ‘On Story’ focused on the screenwriters and creators of television shows such as Rob Thomas (Veronica Mars and Party Down) to Bones’ creator Hart Hanson. Admittedly, I had never seen any of the three key shows discussed in the episode, but after I completed the show… I was prompted to watch the Pilot episode of Bones to familiarize myself with the series. Even though I don’t really watch the crime scene investigation shows, I am currently hooked on the series! Because Hanson discussed the importance of casting and the chemistry existing between the cast members, I was more inclined to invest myself in a series whose creators are interested in something more than the murder case which changes from episode to episode. ‘On Story’ showed the motivations and the drive behind creation and that’s something underplayed in many ways.
Another pleasant surprise came from the short films at the end: 0507 and Smile. While I found 0507 charming, I adored the cinematography and narrative involved in Smile. And I especially loved the appearance of Cheyenne Jackson as the dentist as I love him as the Canadian TGS actor on NBC’s 30 Rock.
All around, I’d say this episode gives me reason to watch in the future and I certainly hope you join me again next Sunday on KACV at 5:30 when ‘On Story’ takes a look at Pixar and discusses its beginnings with creator John Lasseter!