Monday, January 31, 2011

The Glitch

Here's a story I wrote for my concept development class. The directive was to explain the death(falling from the sky) of the blackbirds in Arkansas.

In a dark room, Jai is illuminated by multiple computer monitors showing long lines of text. He has his foot up on the table and a keyboard in his lap. He types some stuff then picks up the keyboard and puts it on the desk. Grabs his cup of coffee, takes a sip and goes to put it back down.
Just as he is pulling his hand away from the cup, there is a loud banging on the door and he spills the coffee on the keyboard.

“Jai! We have a situation out here!” a hoarse voice yells. Jai is still trying to save the keyboard, turning it upside down on a towel and patting it. As he is doing this, some code is being typed in on the screen inadvertently. A warning dialog box pops up with OK and Cancel buttons.

Banging on the door again. We see Jai walking over to the door opening it up and walking back to the keyboard with the other guy following behind saying “the temperature program is going haywire…”

“I’ve got problems of my own, Phil” Jai says as Phil is transfixed on the computer monitor to which Jai is not paying any attention.

“What did you do!” says Phil still staring at the monitor as Jai finally looks up…

“Raining birds! How the…” Jai expresses in disbelief and despair.

Phil trying to hide how amused he is by this says “Dude, you are so getting fired for this!”

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Hollywood racism in Lion King

Let me just get this out of the way: I am not going to be talking about the alleged "stereotyping" in the casting of hyena characters' voice actors. I think it is fair that there were also two protagonist characters Mufasa and Rafiqi voiced by African Americans.

While in Orlando this last weekend, I happened to see a little bit of The Lion King in the bus that transported us back from Universal resort to the hotel. And I started to think back to this discovery channel show about lions. The scientists were trying to figure out what kind of physical traits attract a female lion to a male lion. They made two stuffed life size lion dolls, one with dark black mane and the other with brown-blonde hair. Then they observed the lionesses from a distance. The lionesses just could not get enough of the dark haired lion dummy. Even lingering around and biting the dummy long after they had realized that he is not real as he wasn't reacting to them or even moving a muscle.

My point being, in the wild, dark haired lion is more desirable. However, the makers of Lion King, going with American conventions, had to make the protagonist light haired or 'caucasian' and the antagonist, dark haired—pretty much everything outside America to the south or east… or south east of Greece. Arabs, Indians, Koreans, pick whatever you want. I was also surprised that I couldn't find another blog post talking about this. So chime in on what you feel.