Friday, April 20, 2018

Everything Lemony Snicket: Beyond a Series of Unfortunate Events

           In 1999, one of the children's book series released around the same time as Harry Potter (which itself was released from 1997-2007) began with The Bad Beginning.  Starring a teenage Violet Baudelaire, a preteen Klaus, and a baby Sunny, the three protagonists parents' die and they must defend themselves from Count Olaf, who uses various disguises to try to get to the children's fortune.  One of the unique features of the series was the narrator and "author," Lemony Snicket.  Lemony is a character of sorts within the world of the books, commenting on his "investigations" in the lives of the Baudelaire children and dedicating each book to his dear departed Beatrice.  He would try to convince the reader that the story of the children was too awful to read, that anything else was more pleasant.  The original 13 book series, chronicling the lives of Baudelaire orphans, was released from 1999 to 2006.  However, there are several more Lemony Snicket books and stories out there, focusing more on the man himself.  Here are those stories.
            The first Lemony Snicket book was, of course, Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography.  Released in 2002, after the eighth novel, The Hostile Hospital was published in September 2001.  Featuring introductions by Daniel Handler (the real author), the book contains "documents," such as newspaper clips and letters, along with a mix of real 1930s photos mixed with new photos shot by Meredith Heuer and Julie Blattberg.  Being a Snicket book about "awful" things, the book has a reversible cover, for a much more "appropriate" title, that of a fictional book called The Luckiest Kids in the World: Book 1: The Pony Party.
        The second supplemental Snicket book was released in September 2006, one month before the final Series of Unfortunate Events book, The End, was to be published.  This Snicket book was called The Beatrice Letters.  The book contains 6 letters written by Snicket to his beloved, deceased, Beatrice, and six letters written by Beatrice to Snicket...however, the ones that "Beatrice" wrote were not from the same Beatrice that Snicket had been writing to all these years, but rather a character who shared the same name and was related to the original Beatrice.
       There were also two much shorter, official Snicket documents.  The first, released at the time of the theatrical movie, in 2004, was included in Lunchables boxes as a promotion.  Called "The Dismal Dinner", it was a four-part, four-page story which contained a scene from a dinner party with the Baudelaires before the parents died.  The second was a pamphlet called 13 Shocking Secrets you'll wish you never knew about Lemony Snicket, released in 2006, to get readers excited about the final Unfortunate Events book.
      In addition to those above stories, there were three companion books, which while written in the same style, did not contain any new information or plot about Snicket or the Baudelaire orphans.  The first was a 176-page journal called The Blank Book, published in 2004 and the second was another journal, which also contained quotes from the series, called The Notorious Notations, published in 2006.  The third book was a collection of puzzles and was published twice; first in 2004 as a companion to the movie, and later 2006 with more puzzles, with the relation to the movie removed.
       All of these above books and stories were in service to the 13 books of the original series.  But in 2012, Lemony Snicket made a reappearance, this time in his own series.  Called All the Wrong Questions, it followed 13-year-old Snicket,  investigating crimes in the town Stain'd-By-The-Sea with his chaperone, the incompetent S. Theodora Markson as a volunteer with the VFD.   Each title is a sentence with a question, asked at some point by Snicket himself.  The first book, Who Could That Be at This Hour? was published in 2012, the second, When Did You See Her Last? was published 2013, the third, Shouldn't You Be in School? was published in 2014, and the fourth and final, Why is This Night Different From All Other Nights? was published in 2015.   There is a companion book, called File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents (published 2014), which contain mysteries the readers themselves can solve, same as the Encyclopedia Brown series.
       There are also various titles published under the Lemony Snicket name which Daniel Handler wrote which have nothing to do with the character but rather written in the same style.  Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can't Avoid, was published in 2007 and contains quotes from 13 different subjects.  There are three Christmas-themed short stories written by Snicket, The Baby in the Manger, The Lump of Coal, and The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming.  Lemony Snicket also provided introductions to three books, The Bears' Famous Invasion of Sicily (Handler's favorite children's book; Snicket provides the intro to the English translation published in 2003), a short story compilation published in 2005 with an incredibly long title (The title starts with Noisy Outlaws...), and the 1989-1990 volume of The Complete Peanuts (published in 2013).  Finally, Snicket wrote a book and CD bundle in 2009, called The Composer is Dead, a murder mystery which was designed to teach the reader and listener about musical instruments; the music for the CD was composed by Nathaniel Stookey.  Here is a behind the scenes video about the production:
        Lemony Snicket, the clever narrator of the Series of Unfortunate Events, expanded beyond the original series to become a star in his own right.  He has appeared in his own series, an autobiography (unauthorized, of course), provided introductions to books, among many other things.  Check out all the various ways Lemony Snicket has invaded our world.

Friday, April 13, 2018

The Reinvention of Gregory Austin McConnell

       There are many video essayists now, doing 8-30 minute videos (mostly) talking about pop culture subjects, such as movies, TV, video games, and comic books.  Gregory Austin McConnell, with his YouTube channel austinmconnell, makes also makes video essays, but about every subject imaginable.  They are always informative, interesting, and even funny with Austin's sarcastic observational humor.   In many of his videos, he would end with some version of this phrase: "Hey, thanks for watching the video.  If you liked the video, 'like' it.  And share it with somebody else. And if you want to other stuff like this, subscribe to my channel.  Or don't.  I don't really care."  But making video essays wasn't always what he did.  Mr. McConnell was a short and feature filmmaker first, struggling to make it big like so many other aspiring movie makers out there.
        Austin McConnell's talent was first discovered in 2008 when he made the short film Syringe for the 48-Hour SATO (Springfield and the Ozarks) challenge in Springfield, Missouri.   In the SATO challenge, groups of local filmmakers are given an "inspiration package" which contains the requirements to make the film.  Then, the filmmakers must, in 48 hours, conceive, write, produce, edit and complete a five-minute film.  Austin McConnell won 5 total awards his first year for Syringe, including Best Sound, Best Editing, Best Male Performance, Best Cinematography and Best Director. Hungry to expand his talent to other work, Austin McConnell lobbied for and got the chance to work on a spin-off of the fictional lonelygirl15, called LG15: Outbreak in 2010.  Austin also wrote his first young adult fiction book, Fallen Angels, in 2009.  Austin later detailed his experience working on LG15: Outbreak, with a video titled, "Did I Kill Lonelygirl15?"
          After his experience ended on LG15 ended, Austin Continued to make short films for the SATO 48-hour Challenge and continued to win awards, in 2012 (for Call it Something Special), 2013 (for We Ain't Got No Windchimes), and 2014 (for This Veil of Tears).   McConnell felt at the time his ultimate drive was to make a feature film, and in 2013, he finally gathered up the people to make his first feature, Sprouting Orchids.   McConnell readily admitted later that the production was fraught with problems and mistakes and he wasn't ready to make a movie.  He was too obsessed with trying to make that movie that he didn't plan properly and make the right decisions to make the movie a success.  The movie was finally released 2014.  Austin's complete profile of his movie production can be found in his video, "i made a movie.  it stunk."
       During this time, his YouTube channel consisted of mostly trailers for his movies and alternate endings of the Stanley Parable computer game.  McConnell started experimenting with 360-degree computer animated short films, releasing two in 2015 (and another in 2016).   But in 2016, McConnell read the script for the 2-Part stage production Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the eighth story in the Harry Potter storyline, after the 7 original fiction books.  McConnell noticed so many problems in the play's script that he just had to say something about it.  He released his first video essay, a 31-minute look into all the flaws that Austin found in reading the script.  The video became McConnell's first viral hit, now with 2.2 million views on YouTube.   Here is "What Went Wrong with Harry Potter and the Cursed Child?"  (If you look quickly you'll notice at the time McConnell only at the time had less than 3,000 subscribers.)
        Austin realized he had something to say with his video essays and that people were responding to his videos.  Austin started producing more video essays, some about movies and TV like the other essayists, but also about every subject imaginable.  Some of the subjects he covered since his transition to video essays: the novel House of Leaves, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Gun Control's effect on emojis in phones, a Paralympic scandal, a four-part series on weird Star Wars productions (TV movies, comic books, etc.), Web Design, Sponsored Videos and companies that work with creators to sponsor their videos, McConnell's review of all the books he read in 2017, and ten letters dropped from the English alphabet.  One of the recent videos McConnell released was about how "Ink Cartridges are a Scam."
       Lately, Austin has expanded to create additional content besides the video essays.  He uploaded some response videos, one specifically with responses to his Sprouting Orchid experience, and one with questions on how to write screenplays.  He released a few short humorous videos, including one about his wife's weird dream and another about the commenters on his videos misunderstanding a basic comment about his sister-in-law.  He released his first interviews, one with "Move or Die" game creator Nicolae Berbece, and the other with filmmaker Jamie Stuart.  And when YouTube changed its policy that creators cannot start earning money until they have 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time, McConnell decided to do a video profiling "5 Cool Channels With Under 1,000 Subscribers."
       Austin now has over four hundred sixty thousand subscribers and a Patreon with over one hundred thirty Patrons.  Austin McConnell's reinvention from short and feature filmmaker to video essayist and thoughtful Youtuber brought his talent at telling stories to viewers in ways McConnell probably never expected.  Check out this fascinating and funny YouTuber, Gregory Austin McConnell.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Everybody Loves Raymond: The Foreign Adaptations, Part 3

           The familiar family dynamics of Everybody Loves Raymond makes the show a great ideal for international versions.  After exploring foreign adaptations of Raymond in Russia, Poland, The Netherlands, Israel, India, and an unaired pilot in the UK, this final post will cover an adaptation from Czechoslovakia and another from Egypt.  Here are the final two adaptations of Everybody Loves Raymond.
          The Czech version of Everybody Loves Raymond was called Rudyho Má Každý Rád (Everybody Loves Rudy).  In this version, Saša Rašilov stars as Rudy, who is married to Dáša, who is played by Jitka Schneiderová.   Living across the street are Rudy's mother Marie (played by Eva Holubová) father František (played by Oldřich Navrátil) and brother Robert (played by David Novotný).  Rudy and Dáša have three children, Anežka, played by Anežka Vavříková, and twin sons Jiří and Matěj (played by three different sets of twins).  The show premiered on August 31, 2015, and lasted 12 episodes.  The show drew mixed to negative reviews and did not return for a second season.
       Egypt also adapted Everybody Loves Raymond into a television series, called El Bab Fil Bab (الباب في الباب), which translated from Arabic means either Closed Doors or The Door in the Door.  Sharif Salama (شريف سلامة) plays Hisham (هشام) and Caroline Khalil (كارولين خليل) plays Dina (دينا), his wife.  Laila Taher (ليلى طاهر) plays the mother, Kawthar (كوثر), Ahmed Khalil (أحمد خليل) plays the father, Khalil Fatah al-Bab (خليل فتح الباب) and Hisham Ismail (هشام إسماعيل), plays Hisham's brother, Issam (عصام).   (It was difficult to find information about the children. The show premiered on August 1, 2011, and lasted at least four seasons, based on an article linked to the Arabic and Egyptian Cinema Site.   The Wikipedia page lists 3 seasons and 90 episodes.
         While the Czech version suffered a similar fate as the Polish version, the Egyptian version had a successful run, lasting at least three seasons.  Check out these foreign adaptations of Everybody Loves Raymond.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Everybody Loves Raymond: The Foreign Adaptations, Part 2

       In the previous post, three adaptions of the US show Everybody Loves Raymond were discussed.  The Russian and Indian versions had long, successful runs, while the UK version never made it past the pilot stage.  This blog post will explore three more remakes of Everybody Loves Raymond, made in The Netherlands, Isreal, and Poland.  Check them out below:
        The Netherlands or Dutch remake of Everybody Loves Raymond was called Iedereen is gek op Jack (Everybody is Crazy about Jack or Everybody Loves Jack).   Jeroen van Koningsbrugge plays the main character, Jack Keizer, and Linda de Mol plays his wife Barbara Keizer, who lives across the street from Jack's mother Coby, played by Beppie Melissen, father Ton, played by Kees Hulst, and brother Marco, played by Tjebbo Gerritsma.   Jack and Barbara's daughter Sterre was played by Yfke Wegman, and the twin sons Edgar and Clarence were played by Jesse Jansen and Merijn Jansen, respectively.  Iedereen is gek op Jack came from Linda de Mol, who presented the idea to her brother John, who was able to get the show's rights. Beppie Melissen played Linda de Mol's mother in law in another program, which was called Gooische Vrouwen.  Jeroen van Koningsbrugge, who played Jack, intentionally had never seen an episode of the original series so as not to copy Ray Romano's style.  Iedereen is gek op Jack premiered on February 26, 2011, on the Dutch station RTL 4, and lasted two seasons and twenty-five episodes, ending on May 26, 2012.  The show's stars and producers intended to make two seasons and decided to move on after the second season completed.
       The Israeli adaptation of Everybody Loves Raymond was called Mishpacah Lo Bochrim (משפחה לא בוחרים), which translated to English means You Can't Choose Your Own Family.  Yuval Yanai (יובל ינאי) plays Yuval Bar-On (יובל בר-און) and Noa Koller (נועה קולר) plays his wife Noa Bar-On (נועה בר-און), who lives across the street from Yuval's mother Rosa Bar-On (רוזה בר-און), played by Rosina Cambos (or Kambus)k (רוזינה קמבוס), father Schlomo Bar-On (שלמה בר-און), played by Scholomo Braba (שלמה בראבא) and brother Pini Bar-On (פיני בר-און), played by Pini Kidron (פיני קידרון).  Yuval and Noa's daughter Alma Bar-On (עלמה בר-און) was played by Uri Maor (אורי מאור), and twin sons Guy and Jonathan Bar-On (גיא ויונתן בר-און) were played by Paul and Martin Gogisian (פול ומרטין גוגיסיאן). This sitcom adaptation premiered on September 6, 2012, and lasted five episodes.  It was renewed for a second, eight-episode season, which premiered on June 12, 2013, and ended on August 28, 2013, for a total of 13 episodes.  Unfortunately, after the second season's production was completed, Rosina Cambos died on December 4, 2012, at age 60.  While the second season did air after her death, the show was not renewed for a third season.
       The Polish version of Everybody Loves Raymond was called Wszyscy kochają Romana (Everybody Loves Roman).   Bartłomiej Kasprzykowski played Roman and Aneta Todorczuk-Perchuć played his wife Dorota, who lives across the street from his mother Maryla, played by Anna Seniuk, and his father Zygmunt, played by Joachim Lamża, and his brother Robert, played by Jacek Graniecki.  Roman and Dorota's daughter Zosia was played by twins, Maria and Anna Glegolska, and their sons Antek and Gutek were played by Hubert Nawrocki and Dawid Nawrocki.  Wszyscy kochają Romana premiered on the Polish channel TVN on September 2, 2011.  Unfortunately, the show was met with low ratings and poor reviews.  After four episodes aired in September, the show was put on hiatus.  The remaining 11 episodes eventually were burned off in early 2012, the last episode airing on February 21, 2012.  Wszyscy kochają Romana lasted a total of one season and 15 episodes.
       While all three shows had short runs, only one, the Polish version, was due to low ratings.  The Israeli version was most likely due to the death of one of the main stars, while the actors and producers of the Dutch version were only interested in committing to two seasons of the show, so that is all they made.  Check out these foreign adaptations of Everybody Loves Raymond.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Regular Blog Post Next Week

Hi All,
    Unfortunately, I did have time to write a blog this week.  I am planning for a new blog to be posted next Friday.  Have a great weekend! 

Friday, March 16, 2018

Everybody Loves Raymond: Foreign Adaptations, Part 1

     Everybody Loves Raymond was a 1995-2005 sitcom, where Ray Romano starred as the main character Ray Barone, Patrica Heaton as his wife Debra Barone, who lived across the street from Ray's parents, his mother Marie, played by Doris Roberts, his father Frank played by Peter Boyle, and his brother Robert, played by Brad Garrett.  While Ray and Debra have three kids, daughter Ally (Madylin Sweetin) and twin sons Geoffry and Michael (Sawyer and Sullivan), they were rarely the focal point, with Ray and Debra's interactions with Marie, Frank, and Robert took up the majority of storylines.  Monica Horan, who played Robert's girlfriend and later wife, was a recurring character in the first seven seasons but was upgraded to the main cast for the eighth and ninth season.  Everybody Loves Raymond had a slow start in the ratings, but grew over time, and was in the top twenty in the Nielsen Ratings from seasons three to nine, and top ten for seasons five to nine.  The show lasted nine seasons and 210 episodes.  Since the show was based on relatable family interactions, versus dated pop culture references, the show, like The Nanny, become a concept ripe for adaptation.  Here are three Foreign Adaptations of Everybody Loves Raymond

         The first, and by far the most well known is the Russian adaption of Everybody Loves Raymond, воронины (Voronins, as in, The Voronins).  Georgiy Alexandrovich Dronov (Георгий Александрович Дронов) plays the main character Konstantin N. Voronin (Константин Николаевич Воронин) and Ekaterina Volkova (Екатерина Волкова) plays his wife Vera Sergeevna Voronina (Вера Сергеевна Воронина), who lives across the street from Georgiy's mother Galina (Галина), played by Anna Frolovtseva (Анна Фроловцева), father Nikolai (Николай), played by Boris Klyuyev (Борис Клюев), and brother Leonid "Lyonya" (Леонид "Лёни"), played by Stanislav Duzhnikov (Станислав Дужников).  Julia Kuvarzina (Юлия Куварзина) played Anastasia Schwartz (Анастасия Шварц), who eventually marries Lyonya. Konstantin and Vera have three children: daughter Maria (Мария), played by Masha Ilykhina (Мария Ильюхина) and twin sons Krill (Кирилл) and Philip (Филипп), played by Philip and Cyril Vorobyovy (Филипп и Кирилл Воробьёвы) for the first ten seasons; Roman and Artem Penchuk (Роман и Артём Пенчук) played the twins from season eleven onwards.  The first ten seasons adapted episodes from the nine seasons of the American show; each subsequent season featured completely new storylines.  New characters include the son of Lyonya and Anastasia, Alexander (Александр), played by two different baby actors, born in the 11th season, and youngest daughter of Konstantin and Vera, Lyudmila (Людмила), played by four different baby actresses (born in the 14th season).  Unlike the American show, production and release of episodes are much faster than the American counterpart, going through the original 210 episodes in just three years, with each episode in a season (typically twenty episodes) released over a period of four weeks.  While production did slow down somewhat during the non-adapted seasons, nevertheless the show has currently released 21 seasons and 455 episodes, with the 22nd season premiering on March 6th.  A documentary was made chronicling Raymond's creator, Phil Rosenthal, journeying to Russia to adapt the show; Exporting Raymond was released in 2010.

         Everybody Loves Raymond was adapted in India in Hindi, as the show Sumit Sambhal Lega (सुमित संभाल लेगा), which translated into English means "Sumit Will Handle" or "Summit Will Take Care."  Namit Das (नमित दास) plays the main character Sumit Walia (सुमित वालिया), and Manasi Parekh Gohil (मानसी पारेख गोहील) plays his wife Maya Walia (माया वालिया).  Always dropping by his place are his mother Dolly (डॉली), played by Bharti Achrekar (भारती आचरेकर), his father Jasbir (जसबीर) played by Satish Kaushik (सतीश कौशिक), and his brother Rajneesh (रजनीश), played by Vikram Kochhar (विक्रम कोचर).   Saniya Touqeer played daughter Alia and Avisha Sharma (आविषा शर्मा) played son Avi (अवि; no twins in this version).   Steve Skrovan, one of the writers of the original Raymond, helped bring Sumit Sambhal Lega to the STAR plus network.   Fun fact: Avisha, a little girl, played the little boy Avi.   The show was released in eight-to-ten episode seasons from 2015 to 2016, for a total of 11 seasons and 108 episodes, plus one special.
       Finally, there was one adaptation which never got past the pilot stage.  In the UK, Everybody Loves Raymond was to be adapted into a BBC sitcom called The Smiths.  Filmed in May 2013, the pilot starred Lee Mack as Michael Smith and Catherine Tate as his wife.  Lee Mack spearheaded the pilot, writing as well as starring in it.  The pilot was produced by Silver River and filmed at Elstree Studios in London.   Unfortunately, BBC decided not to pursue the show, with the unaired pilot as the part of the adaptation produced in the UK.  Lee Mack confirmed in an interview in December 2013 that The Smiths had been scrapped.     
         With its focus on universal family dynamics, Everybody Loves Raymond continues to run in Russia as воронины; Sumit Sambhal Lega aired a respectable 108 episodes with its own adaptation.  It's too bad that The Smiths never got off the ground, it would have been interesting to see an adaption of Raymond set in the UK.  Check out the Russian and Hindi versions of Everybody Loves Raymond, and wonder what might have been with The Smiths.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Pure Flix: A Profile

         On March 21, 2014, God's Not Dead premiered in theaters.  God's Not Dead starred Shane Harper, Kevin Sorbo, Dean Cain and featured a cameo from the Christian band The Newsboys. God's Not Dead follows a series of interconnected stories, the most significant of which is a college student (Harper) who stands up to a professor (Sorbo) claiming God is dead.  Made for $2 million and grossing $64 million at the box office, the film put Pure Flix, the studio that made the film on the map.  The film shines a light on Christian films and marked a trend of major stars playing roles in Christian productions.   Now, Pure Flix has become a major player in distributing Christian content, with a theatrical production and distribution arm, a streaming service, and a homeschool curriculum.
        Pure Flix was founded in 2005 by David A. R. White, along with Michael Scott, Russell Wolfe, and Elizabeth Travis.   White had enjoyed a successful acting career before 2005, having a recurring role on the Burt Reynolds-led sitcom Evening Shade and also had guest roles on Coach, Saved by the Bell, and Melrose Place.  He also starred in several significant roles in Christian movies before founding his company, including Second Glance, Belles of Innocence (with Chuck Norris) and Mercy Streets (with Eric Roberts).  He also helped starred in and helped produce The Moment After in 1999, in an effort to improve the quality of Christian movie productions.  White's straddling of Hollywood mainstream and Christian films gives him a unique position among Christian film studios.
       In the beginning, many of the Pure Flix Releases were direct-to-video.  Pure Flix released Hidden Secrets, starring John Schnider, David White, and Tracy Melichor in 2006 and The Wager in 2007, starring Randy Travis, Jude Ciccolella and a pre-career revival Candice Cameron Bure.  From there, Pure Flix released a string of movies that used character actors from Hollywood and/or Christian music stars.  The Imposter, starring DC Talk star Kevin Max, was released in 2008, and Sarah's Choice was released in 2009 and starred recording artist Rebecca St. James.  In the Blink of an Eye, about the rapture, was released in 2009 and starred Eric Roberts, David White, and his wife, Andrea White.  Pure Flix also released a string of adaptions of Bible Stories, including Ruth (2009), Apostle Peter (2012), Daniel (2013) and Esther (2013), as well as three more end times movies, Jerusalem Countdown (2011), The Mark (2012) and The Mark 2: Redemption (2013).  In 2011, Pure Flix released theatrically the movie What If..., starring Kevin Sorbo, Kristy Swanson, Debby Ryan and John Ratzenberger, about a man being visited by an angel and given the chance to relive his life if he had married and had two children.
      Following God's Not Dead, Pure Flix released mostly modern Christian Dramas coupled with biographical dramas illustrating the faith journey of real-life people.  Other modern Christian dramas include Do You Believe? (2015), Faith of Our Fathers (2015),  God's Not Dead 2 (2016), and Same Kind of Different as Me (2017).  Biographical dramas include Woodlawn (2015), about the 1970 Woodlawn High School football team who all came to Christ, I'm Not Ashamed (2016), about Rachel Joy Scott, who was the Christian who was killed for her faith at Columbine, and The Case for Christ (2017) about atheist turned Christian reporter Lee Strobel.   Pure Flix also released a concert film, Hillsong: Let Hope Rise (2016).
      In 2018, Pure Flix has three movies scheduled for release.  Samson, the first Biblical story in five years, about the physically strong but morally weak judge from the Old Testament, came out in theaters on February 16, 2018.  God's Not Dead: A Light in Darkness will come out in theaters on March 30, 2018, and will be about the people of a church struggling with their faith after the building burns down.  Unbroken: Path to Redemption will be released on October 5, 2018, and will follow the ministry of Louis Zamperini, after his time as a prisoner of war (the prisoner of war era was covered in the secular movie Unbroken in 2014).
      Pure Flix remains committed to Christ-centered films, showcasing both real and fictional people on their faith journey.   Check out Pure Flix's movies, and streaming service, for great Christian films and content.