Following Prometheus

Love the headline.

The TV Spots

I was out this past weekend, and one of the NCAA games was on TV while I was eating dinner. I wasn’t really paying much attention, but then one of the new TV spots for Prometheus came on, and my attention was instantly grabbed.

I was with a large group of friends, talking, and I instantly went silent. I was kind of shocked to see TV ads so far before the release. I wanted to see if anything new was revealed.

I didn’t get the best glimpse at dinner, but have since had a chance to view both TV ads online. Nice to see a little new footage. It’s so weird after only having the teaser trailer for so long to have stuff hitting us constantly all of a sudden.

I think the marketing strategy here was smart. Get the word out early. Reach tons of potential viewers during March Madness.

It was slightly unfortunate that things had to be truncated so much, but understandable as well. The ads fly by, and I could be crazy, but it feels like certain scenes are slightly sped up. The VoiceOver delivering the tag line also feels rushed. The ads just aren’t as elegant as what we’ve been given so far.

Promethus has been a lot of slow build for so many of us, it feels almost strange to see it advertised like any other mere movie.

Not really sure where I was going here: bottom line, it’s great to se word getting out there early. I can only hope that the TV spots get people curious enough to check out the real trailer online where they will be blown away. Although the TV spots are brief, I think they will work in making new converts.

Closing in on two months to opening!

Cave Painting and Star Maps, from the UK Trailer

Star Maps show that they were found as follows:

Egyptian - 2470 BCE

Mayan - 620 CE

Sumerian - 8590 BCE

Isle of Skye - 35020 BCE

Babylonian - 1540 BCE

Hittite - 1760 BCE

Hawaiian - 680 CE

Interesting to note that they use the non-religious BCE and CE dates rather than BC and AD.  Ridley and others have made clear religion will be a big theme of the movie.  Have humans largely moved past religion by the time of the Prometheus mission?

The Sound of Prometheus

I had been excited for Prometheus for some time.  I grew up on Alien and Blade Runner.  I thoroughly enjoyed Gladiator, Black Hawk Down, and some of Ridley’s other subsequent work.  However, I had no idea how excited I would get once that first teaser trailer hit.

The teaser was done so amazingly well.  The images were perfect.  We got lots of little glimpses, but everything remained very enigmatic.  However, what really sucked me in was the sound.  Everything was so spot on, so eerie, and unsettling.  This just amped up the excitement and curiosity factor.

I’ve been wanting to put together an analysis of the teaser sound design for some time. 

Our anticipation, and the little scraps of knowledge we had of Prometheus at the time were put to excellent use.  As fans, we were all waiting for Ridley Scott’s return to sci-fi, and eager to see the first new footage.  So what was done?  16 seconds of the 1 minute nine second teaser showed nothing.  The trailer was driven forward strictly by sound.  This built up the anticipation and suspense that much more.

That first 16 seconds had me rewinding over and over.  I wanted to soak it in.  It made me wonder.  And that I think is what has been so great about the campaign so far.  It has been smart.  It’s kept us curious, and made us think and wonder about what is going on, and why.

In the beginning, we get a low whirring sound, the sound of static, a sound like a radio being tuned.  The sound is steadily building.  Atop this, we get the only little snippets of dialogue.  All designed to tease us, to make us want to listen again, and to make us wonder what the hell is going on.

We get a faint, whispered “You don’t understand.”  It sounds a little creepy, like someone speaking softly in a horror film.  We wonder, understand what?  Who is that line being spoken to, and why is it the first line we hear?

We then get some broken dialogue that sounds like a distress call.  It’s hard to make out, but it sounds like, “Prometheus” being repeated or possibly, “Come in Prometheus.”

Then, much more clearly, in a desperate tone, we get that wonderful, “I was wrong.  We were so wrong.”  We don’t know what’s going on at all, but already, a few seconds in, with no visuals, we’re drawn in.  Before anything is shown, we get a sense of unease, a sense of dread, a sense of confusion.  What the hell is going on!?!?!

This all builds to a transmission chirp, and then silence.  We see the first money shot.  ”From Director Ridley Scott.”  The silence following that initial bit of chaos really highlights the importance of seeing Ridley Scott’s name attached to this.

Then, another little snippet of dialogue.  A crying, mournful voice saying, “I’m so sorry,” a boom, and our first glimpse.  A solitary spaceship floating in space.  It’s almost peaceful.

We then get the gorgeous shot of the tiny Prometheus off in the distance gliding in past a mountain range, and through some clouds.  The tension begins building immediately.  We have a sound that I could best describe as a wavering siren of some sort and the creepy plucking of strings.  Such a beautiful, peaceful scene, with such uneasy music.

Then BAM!  A hard, loud, deep string that perfectly accompanies the flamethrower being fired on screen.  Another great shot, one that takes us back to that Alien setting.

The creepy plucked strings continue dancing underneath and the heavy deep strings come regularly now as we get little glimpses here and there.

It builds in all sorts of clever little ways until we see the crew member get what appears to be acid splashed in his helmet.  The music “screams” right as it happens, and it just fits so well.  Now we get another twist on the music.  

We get low drums, and that “siren” sound keeps creeping in and fading out.  Every once in a while, we get the same “scream” we first heard just seconds earlier.  We get screeching strings.  Things are steadily growing in intensity and perfectly accentuating the chaos on screen.

Then again, near silence.  What little reverberation is left of the music fades away as the title is revealed.  Just a solid black screen displaying PROMETHEUS.

Then, echoing Alien, we get a shot that looks very much like vintage Ripley, and a screamed “Please!”.  We have no idea what is going on here, but it appears someone is in extreme agony.

Even bigger music now, and that “pinging” sound is now added to the mix, further punctuating the proceedings.  The Space Jockey ship is revealed, and it’s crashing!  Holy crap!  The tagline comes up between shots of mayhem as the music swells, and we now get a chorus mixed in.  Everyhting just keeps building, sounding more and more ominous, more and more epic.

Then, a few subtle crashes as debris flies, the strings abruptly distort and cut away, and static.  It’s as if the whole thing is just some weird, chaotic transmission.

The way we are introduced with some spare dialogue, the music that starts small and quickly swells, the use of “space sounds” and “screams” as part of the music, the way the sounds and music so effectively punctuate the on-screen action, and the way it all just cuts off…  Evertyhing about the sound is just done so incredibly well.  It made me want to rewatch it again right away, and then again, and again, and….

The fact that so much of the sound was pulled from the original Alien trailer, and reworked here really upped the cool factor.  I’m glad the core sounds of the teaser made their way into the final trailer, during the footage of everything going to hell.  The music/sounds have that perfect tone of dread.

I can only hope things will work so well in the final film.

While I totally disagree with the headline about this one having better music, it certainly does contain many new pieces of footage.  Most of the new footage shows the discovery of the map, and the map itself.  I’ll try to past a screen cap of the map.

I feel the US trailer is far more polished, with better sound design, better music, more build-up, more suspense, etc.  This one is pretty nice for the new footage though.  

If you haven’t seen this one yet, enjoy!

One of the coolest images from the IMAX trailer!

One of the coolest images from the IMAX trailer!

A bold claim, but I’m not arguing otherwise in the slightest.

I just noticed the description for Prometheus on the official AMC Theaters post of the trailer on YouTube:

"In the distant future, two superpowers control Earth and fight each other for all the solar system’s natural resources. When one side dispatches a team to a distant planet to terraform it for human colonization, the team discovers an indigenous race of bio-mechanoid killers."

Not sure if we’re missing something major so far, if AMC is clueless, or what. Looks to me more like a crew funded by Weyland goes looking for the origins of humanity on a distant planet, and all hell breaks loose.

This is the first animated GIF I’ve ever made!  I’ve been doing a lot of firsts for Prometheus.  This has really struck a chord with me.  I also signed up for Twitter, something I never thought I would do.  I started a tumblr. blog, something else I never thought I’d do.  I’m just so pumped!
… and the GIF…
In looking over the two new trailers released yesterday, the full trailer has gotten far more attention, but in many ways, the IMAX trailer may be even more interesting.  The music, pacing, and editing are awesome.  Did Trent Reznor score this one???
The images shown in this one give us many new clues that are’t in the full trailer.  There are several shots that show what appears to be a tentacle of some kind.  Since I was learning how to make motion GIFs today, I only had time to create one.  There are many others I’d like to post.  
The scene in the GIF occurs at the 00:12 mark of the IMAX trailer.  It appears to show a bluish semi-transparent tentacle being withdrawn into a mechanical suit.  I can only assume this is the Space Jockey suit.
The shot only lasts 11 frames, but appears to show the tentacle withdrawing into the right arm of the Space Jockey Suit.  Towards the end of the clip, it looks like the left arm reaches over, and the left hand closes a piece of the suit once the tentacle is fully withdrawn.  Perhaps the Space Jockey will not be as humanoid as what we have seen so far?
This shot, along with others has me thinking the Space Jockey has some sort of shape shifting ability.  The “king” at the beginning of the full trailer seems to me to be admiring the changes occurring on his arm, not pannicking.  In the pyramid in the full trailer, Shaw watches the ceiling change and relays this to the Prometheus crew.  We then see Vickers ask, “Changing into what?”  I don’t think the shot of Charlize comes after the shot of Shaw in the final film.  Is Vickers discussing changes within the Prometheus crew or the Space Jockey?
Thoughts?

This is the first animated GIF I’ve ever made!  I’ve been doing a lot of firsts for Prometheus.  This has really struck a chord with me.  I also signed up for Twitter, something I never thought I would do.  I started a tumblr. blog, something else I never thought I’d do.  I’m just so pumped!

… and the GIF…

In looking over the two new trailers released yesterday, the full trailer has gotten far more attention, but in many ways, the IMAX trailer may be even more interesting.  The music, pacing, and editing are awesome.  Did Trent Reznor score this one???

The images shown in this one give us many new clues that are’t in the full trailer.  There are several shots that show what appears to be a tentacle of some kind.  Since I was learning how to make motion GIFs today, I only had time to create one.  There are many others I’d like to post.  

The scene in the GIF occurs at the 00:12 mark of the IMAX trailer.  It appears to show a bluish semi-transparent tentacle being withdrawn into a mechanical suit.  I can only assume this is the Space Jockey suit.

The shot only lasts 11 frames, but appears to show the tentacle withdrawing into the right arm of the Space Jockey Suit.  Towards the end of the clip, it looks like the left arm reaches over, and the left hand closes a piece of the suit once the tentacle is fully withdrawn.  Perhaps the Space Jockey will not be as humanoid as what we have seen so far?

This shot, along with others has me thinking the Space Jockey has some sort of shape shifting ability.  The “king” at the beginning of the full trailer seems to me to be admiring the changes occurring on his arm, not pannicking.  In the pyramid in the full trailer, Shaw watches the ceiling change and relays this to the Prometheus crew.  We then see Vickers ask, “Changing into what?”  I don’t think the shot of Charlize comes after the shot of Shaw in the final film.  Is Vickers discussing changes within the Prometheus crew or the Space Jockey?

Thoughts?

IMAX trailer contains extra footage

I’ve rewatched both the new IMAX trailer and the full trailer several times, and notice that the IMAX trailer contains many small pieces of footage not shown in the full trailer. Two that stand out from the IMAX trailer appear to show some sort of a creature with a tale or tentacle. Could this be a precursor to the Xenomorph? Tomorrow I plan to go through each trailer frame by frame sorting out all the new stuff.