my friend MIQUELA
12 March 2020
Hi the MLE,
First, for those who don’t know, Miquela is a CGI virtual influencer.
“I’m a 19-year old musician change seeker taco truck expert.”
One of Time Magazine’s Most Influential People on the Internet 2018. Massive following on Instagram, of course. But what makes her even more bizarre is when she comes to life on YouTube all animated and human-like.
She is the primary product of a company based in LA called “Brud,” with over 40 employees. Of course the company who made her has gone to great lengths to remain hidden… What are they motivations behind creating Miquela? Well, it’s a business, so making money is the main objective. Brud is valued at 125 million dollars.
Like most influencers, she makes a lot of money selling products. Image above has her and Bella Hadid “Getting Surreal” selling Calvin Klein. She also makes a ton of cash promoting various events, like SXSW. Not to mention her music that garners a lot of attention, with hit songs with millions of streams. The list goes on…
Currently Brud has two other characters as well, Bermuda and Blawko, with more in the works. Of course, each addresses a different target market, rather than competing with consumers, together they appeal to a greater consumer base.
Altogether, it’s a brilliant business model, and it is not surprising that it is also extremely lucrative. One of the founders managed the musician Banks before the CGI musician Miquela - I would love to talk to him about his experiences with human vs CGI.
It seems that real influencers and CGI influencers are exactly the same in most ways. They are both carefully crafted into a particular character. They use the same tactics and scripts to make people feel really connected to them. Can you tell which of the below is from a human or from Miquela? And have you not heard influencers say stuff like this a million times already?
“I’m gonna tell you a story that’s super embarrassing and made me sad for a minute, but maybe some of y’all can relate.”
“The fucked up thing is that if sharing it can help someone else whose gone through something similar feel less alone, then it’s worth it.”
However, CGI characters like Miquela have many advantages. They are free from all the cost and hassle of a human celeb. Brud does not have to pay her a salary, they have complete control over her actions, and she can work around the clock. No need to worry about a troubled personal life, any health problems, or getting caught by the press doing something stupid, etc, etc. And, thank God, she will never grow old or get fat (well not unless it's part of the script).
So will CGI celebs replace real celebs in the future? My guess would be yes. In fact, it is already happening right now. A Fullscreen study found that 42% of Gen Z and Millennials have followed an influencer on social media who they did not know what CGI. But is this really that surprising with apps like Facetune making people look like CGI?
SuzanPosted in: music film branding advertising
NIGHT of the hunter
16 May 2016
Hello the MLE,
I want to tell you about this film, as I absolutely loved it - and you know how I hate almost all the films I watch. I am so indebted to my friend FIA, who is a movie expert, who invited me to head over to the BFI (British Film Institute), to see it on the big screen.
The film is called, “The Night of the Hunter,” and evidently an American “film noir.” A slab of Southern Gothic set in the Depression era with and expressionistic look – all oblique angles, long shadows, shot in black-and-white; stylistically it was a throwback to 30 years before. Its is this look that heightens its sense of dread. And completely sets it apart from all other Hollywood films of the 1940s and 1950s.
The Night of the Hunter is now regarded as a masterpiece of American cinema – which seems all the more remarkable for being the only film director Charles Laughton ever directed. Of course, it was not a success with either audiences or critics at its initial release, and as a result Laughton never directed another film. Such a shame.
The first still above shows Robert Mitchum playing Reverend Harry Powell, a crooked, demented preacher who preys on the weak. He’s an unforgettable, iconic character: on each knuckle of his right hand, the four letters, L-O-V-E are tattooed; on the left hand, it’s H-A-T-E. (For years afterwards, young men who considered themselves tough guys would get similar tattoos.) Mitchum's performance, in particular, has been praised over the years at last, and he is amazing.
The second still above shows the gorgeous lighting arrangement in The Night of the Hunter. The placement of the key light off the subject to create a silhouette - while illuminating Robert Mitchum in the background. This plays off the conventional association of light with good and darkness with evil. Beautiful. DOP Stanley Cortez has says, “‘Apart from The Magnificent Ambersons, the most exciting experience I have had in the cinema was with Charles Laughton on Night of the Hunter.’”
A recurring musical device involves the villain preacher making his presence known by singing the traditional hymn "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms." Which is creepy and sticks in your head.
Watch a clip here.
Suzan xxPosted in: film
i don't care about the GRAMMYS BUT
12 February 2015
Hi hi MLE,
I remember the first time I saw that Chandelier video, it's a stunning, beautiful, creative, unique... Definitely something I'm not used to seeing on the screens of Fitness First when I'm on the cross trainer. The best music video I've seen in years.
I don't care about Sia, I have no idea who Kristen Wiig is, and I don't care about the Grammy's, but decided to check out the performance, and it's almost as good as the video. Amazing. Well, at least I think so (I know a lot of people would not agree)... And I know you don't really keep up with this stuff either so thought I'd share:
Sia - Chandelier (57th GRAMMYs feat. Kristen Wiig & Maddie Ziegler)
A BETTER man
11 November 2014
I'm so proud and excited to tell you about Attiya's documentary. I designed the logo, you can see above. The film is called, "A Better Man," and it follows her journey as a survivor, over twenty years and offers a new hope in the struggle to end violence against women. This is very close to me personally, not only because Attiya is one of my best friends, but also because we grew up together, and I was there the night she met her would-be boyfriend and abuser. We were only 16-year-olds at a Depeche Mode concert.
What happened was very confusing to me, and I have always wished I did more, I always wished I had understood what domestic violence was. I hope kids today who are even younger than 16 years old are taught what it is. I am happy to see that more people are talking about violence against women today. This film will help to keep the conversation going AND get people to do something about it, as it will shed a light on efforts to help abusive men change.
MLE and whoever else is taking the time to read this, please contribute to the campaign, share the link with your friends and family, and together we can help make our communities a safer place to live... for everyone.
WITH(IN) on iTunes
24 September 2014
Hope you're having a good afternoon my friend. Just a quick note for you to say the art film WITH(IN) is now available on iTunes. MOTHandRUST was briefed by our client Portland Green Cultural Projects to design the covers for two separate but related films, IN AROUND AND CORNERED and WITHIN AGAINST AND UPON. These two films comprise the WITH(IN) compilation, hence its cover design clearly depicting both covers. All three film covers were designed with their placement on iTunes taken into consideration, so that they are bold and impactful even at small screen sizes.
You can watch them here, they're really good.
We also helped Portland prep one of the films for a screening in Times Square (Erika Janunger's, Weightless, 2012). You can see an image above, it looks great, more art should be featured in Times Square, I reckon.
Posted in: MandR work film art