Touch Wood in a Japanese Forest with Bach
by Trent Gilliss, senior editor
Go to the woods of Kyushu, Japan. Engineer a massive xylophone (or is it a marimba?) to run down the slope of a forested hill. Take a wooden ball, place it at the top of said instrument, and push it. What do you get? Bach’s treatment of a traditional church hymn! Namely, “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.”
And, all this for a Japanese commercial for a kidney-shaped smartphone with the tagline, “Touch Wood.” I may be late to the party on this one, but when I think of all the time it took to set this up, the precision and measurements used to adjust it and actually make each piece, and how many takes the film crew shot, it continues to inspire even if it’s a year old.
And, here you can see how it was made:
The Wonder of Water
by Trent Gilliss, online editor
Video snacks are the latest rage among the working proletariat nowadays. People are hungry for the sentimental, the celebratory, the enigmatically natural joy of physics, the contemplative, the comic — especially at 3 pm on a workday.
For me, one of the pure pleasures of video on the Web is discovering cinematic joy in a short commercial that I may have dismissed because of timing and the medium. But, with a set of headphones forming an aural cocoon, I can experience the magic of water balloons floating and bursting in super-slow-motion, reflect on my children and wife, and appreciate what an immensely beautiful world that presents itself. All in a Schweppes ad; can you believe it?