Holidays / Vacations

Celebrating 30 Years of Christmas Vacation and the Vain Pursuit of Perfection

Celebrating 30 Years of Christmas Vacation and the Vain Pursuit of Perfection 6000 4000 Dani Lyman

This holiday season marks the 30th anniversary of John Hughes’ legendary Christmas Vacation. Despite numerous straight to DVD and streaming holiday comedies, The Griswold’s and their outrageous adventures still reign supreme among Christmas movies.

While Clark Griswold is a lovable family man and fan-favorite character, Chevy Chase himself has a reputation for being… difficult. John Hughes had to let go of Director Chris Columbus because Chevy Chase refused to take his direction. Don’t worry about Columbus though, he went on to direct Hughes’ other holiday film–that small little movie called Home Alone. Despite the behind the scenes drama, Christmas Vacation struck comedy gold with its timeless humor and relatability by capturing four themes many of us can relate to around the holidays.

The Pursuit of Perfection

The pressure of providing the perfect holiday experience plagues parents every year. From the perfect wrapping paper surrounding the perfect gift sitting under the perfectly decorated Christmas tree, the pressure to have a holiday that resembles a Lexus commercial can be overwhelming. Clark Griswold’s obsession with getting things just right is an excellent demonstration of the stress Americans endure around the holidays. More often than not, we wind up forgetting the true meaning of Christmas, celebrating with the people we love.

Family…fun?

Speaking of the ones we love, our family often tops the list of those we love but don’t always like. Spending the holidays with the people you avoid the rest of the year, clashing personalities, and absurd in-laws… It’s all part of the package. Randy Quaid, William Hickey, and Mae Questel give genius performances as the wacky family that tug on your heartstrings. They are crazy, but you love them anyway.

The Scrooge

We’ve all that one boss. The narcissistic cheapskate who happily ruins the holidays for the poor bums who work for him. While most families aren’t planning on buying a pool, they are often relying on their Christmas bonuses to help pay down their mortgage, pay for college tuition, or just keep up with life’s essentials. Griswold’s complete breakdown after being let down and overlooked…again… is hilariously relatable.

Timeless humor

From slapstick humor and angry rants to accidental cat murder and senile elderly, comedy legends came together with exquisite timing to create some of the funniest moments in comedy history. Here is one of my favorite scenes of all time…

 

Happy Holidays from Crew Connection!

About Crew Connection

Crew Connection can help you hire a video crew and put a suite of marketing tools at your fingertips. Get your demo reels, stills, gear, awards, and more in front of the biggest clients all over the world—for free. At Crew Connection, we pay video and post-production providers within 30 days of receiving your invoice so your work and your life are never interrupted. Need live assistance or want to add quality jobs to your pipeline? Our crew coordinators are on call around the clock. Sign in to Crew Connection, call 303-526-4900, or email info@crewconnection.com.

give thanks sign | Crew Connection

10 emotions of Thanksgiving week: From glee to gratitude

10 emotions of Thanksgiving week: From glee to gratitude 6024 4024 Alicia East

Once a year, a holiday whose very name specifically calls to mind all we have to be grateful for rolls around. And every year, we think of you–the clients and customers who make our work possible. We also think of pie, every form of potato, and stretchy pants.

10 EMOTIONS OF THANKSGIVING WEEK

1. GLEE

On Monday, with a short work week ahead and the comforting knowledge that nobody’s calling a meeting on Wednesday.

2. PANIC

On Tuesday, when we realize that if the year keeps going at this speed, 2020 is basically tomorrow.

3. RELIEF

When we count the days and conclude we still have 26 shopping days between turkey and ham days, respectively.

4. JOY

When it’s finally Thursday and for the first time all year, nobody’s in a hurry.

5. IMPATIENCE

As we strategize our meal–knowing we need to leave room for Aunt Ida’s corn soufflé and Grandma’s cookies with the “secret” ingredient (everybody knows it’s almond extract).

6. AWKWARDNESS

When the conversation inevitably turns to politics and we have to decide whether to body slam Aunt Ida or hand her a drink and gracefully change the subject.

7. RELIEF

When carpool karaoke comes on and gives us something we can all agree on. Even Aunt Ida.

8.REGRET

When we eat the first middle and last pieces of pumpkin pie and then opt to plop down in front of the football game.

9. RELIEF

Did someone say stretchy pants?

10. GRATITUDE

For family, friends, and a little time to just sit and be.


About Crew Connection

Crew Connection provides you with a video production team that gets things done. Get your equipment together in front of the biggest clients all over the world—for free. At Crew Connection we pay video and post-production providers within thirty days of receiving your invoice. If you need assistance, our coordinators are on call around the clock. Sign in to Crew Connection, call 303-526-4900, or email info@crewconnection.com.

cabin and foggy night | Crew Connection

Last-minute tips to turn your house into a horror set

Last-minute tips to turn your house into a horror set 4608 3072 Dani Lyman

That time of the year has finally arrived! Crisp fall leaves, foggy nights, a deranged serial killer hiding behind every corner. It’s Halloween! This is the perfect time of year to bring your love for theatrics to life by adding some spooky accessories to your front porch or using the natural ambiance to shoot that horror film you’ve been dying to finish!

Whether you want to film your masterpiece or just scare your neighbors or, here are a few last-minute tips to turn your Halloween into a horror movie!

FOGGY AMBIANCE

When it comes to Halloween, fall leaves tossed by a slight breeze give the eerie impression that perfectly merges innocence and creepiness. However, if you live in a state with unpredictable weather like I do in Colorado (I currently have a foot of snow stacked in my backyard) and there’s no depending on the weather, then there’s one easy and fantastic solution: a fog machine!

Available at any Halloween store and even grocery stores this time of year, this easy-to-use product will quickly set the ambiance for a perfect fall evening ready for some haunted fun.

No time to run to the store before the little devils and princesses come prancing to your doorstep? Here’s a quick and easy dry ice recipe that can be added to caldrons or hidden in the background for a spooky witch effect.

Sounds Effects

Squeaky doors, shattering glass, and wood creaking under footsteps. Nothing makes us crawl out of our skin like creepy sound effects. So, whether you’re working on your next indie horror or just want to frighten the bejeezus out of the neighborhood kids, sound effects are a MUST! You can purchase all the decrepit or haunting screams you want (some even downloaded for free online) and make your own playlist. Remember: Using license-free sounds makes it easy to throw your video masterpiece on YouTube without any restrictions.

Another last-minute fun Halloween toy to creep out the neighbors is this motion sensor you can find on Amazon or most Spirit Halloween stores.

Visual Effects Makeup

Back in the day, I was an Assistant Director and an actor/zombie extra on a low-budget horror film filmed in Bisbee, AZ. It has all the mediocre acting and confusing plotlines you’d expect from a C horror Western/ Zombie movie, but man, did our Visual Effects Makeup Artist KILL IT! Every zombie, bite mark, and moment of flesh tearing looked nearly realistic. It was ridiculously fun and gory to watch. Whether you’re making a mini horror flick for your Insta or you want to truly impress you’re friends with your costume, do not slack on effects makeups! It truly wows and disgusts your audience.

To get that great deep, dark red that looks more realistic try this fake blood recipe posted by Studiobinder.com. If you’re looking for something a little tastier, you can even throw some chocolate syrup in the mix!

If you’re not too squeamish, check out this amazing video by make-up artist Chloe Morello who reveals the secrets behind ripped and torn skin. Ouch!

This is how I will be answering the door this Halloween. Poor little kids.

About Crew Connection

Here at Crew Connection, we put many awesome marketing tools right at your fingertips. Feel free to get your demo reels, stills, gear, awards, and more in front of the biggest clients all over the world—all for free. At Crew Connection, we always pay video and post-production service providers within 30 days of getting your invoice so your work & your life aren’t interrupted. Need live assistance or want to add great jobs to your pipeline? Our Crew Connection film crew coordinators are on call around the clock. Sign in today at Crew Connection, call 303-526-4900, or email info@crewconnection.com.

jack-o-lanters | Crew Connection

Must see scary movie this Halloween

Must see scary movie this Halloween 5331 3554 Dani Lyman

When it comes to the terrors and haunting images of Halloween, we visualize witches, ghosts and goblins. But sometimes the real monsters are people.

My Must See Scary Movie Pick for Halloween 2019 is He’s Out There.

First time director Quinn Lasher delivers a horror masterpiece on an indie movie budget. This smart and frightening film, which slipped through the cracks in 2018, stars a very familiar face whose superb acting combines with Lasher’s talented directing to deliver a truly terrifying experience.

You know her as the butt-kicking spy from Chuck, the devious killer from Dexter and the barren Serena Waterford in The Handmaid’s Tale. Yvonne Strahovski does not disappoint in this edge of your seat twisted thriller about a family tormented by a demented murderer at their isolated lake house.

The premise, like most horror films, isn’t anything new. Unsuspecting victims being terrorized and toyed with by a psychopath hell-bent on destroying their lives is something we’ve seen a hundred times. However, the writing and execution of this film catapults it out of the mediocre “slasher flick” zone and into new high-quality horror territory.

Horror films are mocked endlessly for the poor decisions their scantily clad characters usually make (my favorite GEICO commercial is a prime example). However, Strahovski’s character, Laura, is intelligent, strong and scared for the lives of her two young daughters (portrayed by real-life sisters Anna and Abigail Pniowsky) so she makes many of the choices a mother in her situation might realistically make. This allows the film to go beyond a simplistic gorefest and hit home with the feels. Feels like,“Oh my god, this could actually happen to me. Let’s deadbolt the windows and never sleep again.” It gives the impression of being possible, which is enough to haunt any parent’s dreams.

The human element resonates with the audience and creates a foreboding tension that far exceeds basic jump scares and nightmarish violence; tricks typically employed by horror directors. The stellar acting from Strahovski and the two young girls mount the tension and really drive the fear home. The stakes are high. Is there any way they are getting out of this alive?

The villain in the film is also next level scary. He is something out of a nightmare, or worse, a Mindhunter episode. Cold, calculated and committed, he has accepted his fate in this world. He is evil incarnate and therefore he must fulfill his role. His last line, in an already well-executed and frightening film, is one of the most fear-inducing lines I have ever heard in a scary movie. I won’t ruin it for you but think Walter White “I am the one who knocks!” if WW were a deranged serial killer and you’re a 7-year-old little girl hiding under the bed. Chills.

If you’re a film nerd like me who delights in the horrors of scary movies, you are going to love the jump scares, surprise twists and turns, and the relentlessness of the human will to survive against the face of pure evil.

I recommend triple-checking the locks after watching this one.

About Crew Connection – a Film Crew Company

Crew Connection is a video crew facilitator for you! Whether you use our international online database or have a Crew Coordinator handle everything, our booking process for video production crewing will save you time and give you the best odds for a successful shoot. There is no other resource for booking video crews and professionals that is faster, easier, more complete, and freer of hassles than Crew Connection. Contact us today and let’s get started!