Jace received this message from a fan in regards to my recent articles on the blog:
I just gotta throw this out there. I’ve been reading the blog posts by Paul. They are well written and incredibly earnest, and that’s nice, but honestly I don’t think that’s what your fanbase is going to your site to read. Now if YOU were writing those posts that’s one thing since your fans care about what you think. But I don’t think the tone and direction is really benefiting your site.
People love your show and videos because they are outrageous, edgy, nerdy, game-centric blah blah blah you know. Now, YOU can get away with the philosophical posts because people know there’s more than one side to you. And its good that you want to foster and real dialogue with your fans. However the posts that I’ve been reading aren’t capturing that feel of your show and what’s appealing to your fans. Oh sure, the occasional heatfelt blog post about money etc is cool, but also add in there the things people come to your site for – fun, games, exclusives and – like in your show – less reverence for Jace Hall (because you know the piss-take on you is a big part of your show).
Okay – back to my little Hobbit hole. I’m only opening my big mouth only cause I adore you
First off, let me tell you that I think it’s a huge privilege to hear this kind of direct, candid feedback from fans, and I implore you to keep it coming! When someone like me seemingly comes out of nowhere and begins writing for a blog, I think it’s natural to say “who the heck is this guy, and what happened to Jace?” Let me answer the second half of that and assure you that Jace hasn’t gone anywhere and was the person that sent the above message to me. In regards to who the heck I am, all you really need to know is that in addition to writing, I am a voice-over artist that engineered my own demo (my secret weapon). I am also an aspiring filmmaker that loves making shorts (my steal of the century so far). Perhaps the most appropriate thing to know about me is in regards to my affinity for Counter-Strike. I have recently gotten back into the game that occupied my life for roughly three years, now playing an average of 2 to 3 hours a day. I’m a halfway decent player, but my game skills have suffered recently ever since I spilled maple syrup on my SPACE bar causing it to stick (I have to use SHIFT now to jump and CAPS to crawl…’nuff said). There, that’s about it…oh, and I’m single ladies (please ignore the syrup comment).
The point is, the blog is not about me, and it will never be about me. I am in the unique position of working with Jace, becoming immersed in his universe, and that is ultimately what I want to come through in my writing. I am not Jace, and I certainly am no ghost-writer trying to represent and speak for him, either. I am a writer on the front lines of The Jace Hall Show, an amazing show which everybody loves, the only thing is, it only airs once a week. There’s an archive of roughly 70 episodes to peruse through, but most of you have already seen those.
Jace goes to Vegas for Sony Online Entertainment’s annual fan faire convention and meets an “Impulsive Froglok” with a proclivity to jump into any situation. Proof, yet again, that whatever happens in Vegas…usually doesn’t happen anywhere else. Jace and Todd continue their Q and A session with the gaming brass and review team over at IGN, who point out that nothing in life is free.
Jane Badler stirs up the pot at SG:U Canada, a “V” cast member tries to head off with Jace’s microphone, and hot girls walk around a Vegas swimming pool. It’s the latest episode of the Jace Hall show, and it’s just a click away.
It’s the day after the Super Bowl. If you’re anywhere within shouting distance of Green Bay, Wisconsin, you probably have the day off to celebrate the victory. If you’re in any way affiliated with Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, you might have taken the day off to sulk in your depression. Hey, you win some and you lose some. In Billy Joel’s words, “and so it goes, and so it goes…”
I’d been thinking of a recent discussion Jace and I had, during my first meeting with him:
“If you’re stranded on an island with the choice of having an endless supply of apples or an endless supply of gold, what do you choose?”
I thought of that question while I watched the final moments of the Super Bowl and the Packers celebration. Players were crying and coaches were jumping up and down hugging one another. If you didn’t know any better, these grown men, who weighed enough to sink a small submarine, or at the very least, were strong enough to take one down by themselves, were acting like little kids who had just gotten out of their last day of school. Reporters were flooding them, begging to ask the obligatory question, “how does it feel!?” The players, not one to deny tradition, simply replied “Unbelievable, I can’t explain it.”
Super Bowl commercials have always played a pivotal role in the big game, entertaining us with witty, clever advertisements during breaks from the football game itself. The commercials don’t always steal the show, but they certainly enhance watching the game. In many ways, you come for the Super Bowl but stay for the commercials (and the 7 layer dip). They turn a football game into a four-hour experience that is so large, it only happens once a year (not counting the Westminister Kinnel Club Dog Show, of course).
Here’s a look at our Top 6 Super Bowl Commercials of All time, and the role they’ve played in not just keeping us entertained during game breaks, but leaving a lasting impact on our culture.
6) 1984: The First Official Declaration by Apple/Macintosh that they are going to take over the World.
This commercial has a little bit of everything. The obligatory Big Brother reference, the hostile sound of technological take-over, Steve Jobs, it’s a commercial that should creep you out, and it’s shocking to see the radical marketing transition Apple has since undergone. Sure they’re still taking over the world one handheld device at a time, but they’re doing it now in a way that’s pretty, white, and hipper-than-hip…not in your face, autocratic, and down-right bone chilling.
Every year, the NFL takes an extra week off to increase the anticipation for the Super Bowl. If there is anything more exciting than the week leading up to the Super Bowl, it’s the Madden Super Bowl prediction itself which unofficially predicts the winner. The “prediction” is based off of a simulated game, pairing the two teams head to head on the enormously popular sports franchise. Madden has become popular, not only because of it’s incredibly realistic game play, fun dynasties, and deep game features, but its presence as a video game has had an eerie impact on much of the real life events of the NFL, as well. Chief among them is the “Madden Curse.”The much balleyhooed Madden curse is reserved for the cover boy for the respective year of the Madden edition. Ever since 1999, when Garrison Hearst, dawned the cover of the game, the majority of the players have gone on to disappointing seasons, or have been seriously injured the year in which they were featured. Thus, causing fans to assume that the cover has made the player “cursed.”
But curses aside, Madden has had one irreplaceable benefit in the NFL world, one that has had a rather positive, and surprisingly accurate outcome for fans: predicting the Super Bowl champion. This year, the Madden simulators at EA sports have the “underdog” Steelers beating the Packers(-3) 24 to 20. The video will give you the details, but should we believe it? Well, six out of the past seven years, that answer has been yes. Let’s take a look at the past outcomes and see how the results stack up:
It was one of the main topics of conversations that Jace and I discussed, during our first meeting together: technology, and how it has overtaken our society. Video games are taking over large companies and government operations and cell phones are nearly commonplace for every individual.
It’s not exactly a secret. I stood in a grocery store the other day, looked over to my friend, and pointed out:
“70% of this store is on their cell-phone right now.” I was low-balling it…
Technology has become such an irremovable staple in our society it’s easy to forget how prevalent things like cell phones really are.
But technology, hand-held devices, gadgets, gray things that make sounds, what are we really talking about, here? Those are things that are reserved for geeks, aren’t they? The latest technological device that you carry with you everywhere you go? But wait, who doesn’t have one of those? To paraphrase Jace:
“Everybody is a geek, today…look around…back when I was in school, if someone had an iPod or a touch screen computer, you were a geek…but now everybody has one!”
Are we all geeks, or has the word just taken on new meaning?
How many times has someone told you that video games will rot your brain? For whatever reason, video games have traditionally had a bad rap for being destructive or a “waste of time”, especially when compared to such mediums as television, movies, and even being on the computer. But more and more studies are discovering what gamers have already known for the past two decades: video gamers are much more involved than passive viewers of other media, like television, and thus have the ability to increase the number of brain cells, not burn them.
Tell us something we don’t know…
Okay, here’s some more interesting information you can give to those giving you a hard time for playing video games. Keep Reading
Just when you thought you’d seen all of Jace’s videos, we pull a rabbit out of our hat, dig into the archives, and give you an exclusive look at the making of one of his most popular videos to date. The Street Fighter music video has collected some half-a-million views on YouTube to date. Even if you’ve seen the finished product, there is no telling how much work goes into the video until you actually are on the set, behind the camera and seeing the moving parts. While there are only so many backstage passes to go around, there is the behind the scene video, which offers a taste of what it’s like to be on set.
Todd Roy, the music video director and ring card girl number 3 had this to say about making the music video,” Working with Jace is always tough, but we had a lot of pretty girls on the set, so that made it easier.”
Pay careful attention to the finished version of the music video below, particularly at the 2:22 mark, and you’ll find the prettiest girl of them all.
I enjoy taking a look at behind the scenes of videos not only because you get you to see what kind of equipment they’re using to produce the video, but it also allows for a certain amount of appreciation for how much work goes into the production (pretty girls or not). Look at the video and you’ll see a couple of cameras on steadi-cams, about a dozen or so actors, and you’ll hear the voice-track of the song being synced in the background. Add in the lighting guys, the make-up people, the guys driving the trucks hauling the equipment back-and-forth, and an idea to make something cool, becomes a project that requires a group of people that can work together as one, and function as efficiently as possible.
It’s not an easy job, but it doesn’t take a “behind-the-scenes” look to know that it’s a fun one. The finished project is what counts, and creating something fun for an audience makes it all worth it at the end of the day…just so long as the director gets his, um, “face time.”
I can’t help but reflect on a recent story Jace told me, regarding the creation of the I play WOW music video. For those of you not familiar with the video, you can check it out to the right, for the other nine million of you that have the song stuck in your head and “favorited” on your YouTube Channel, I invite you to keep reading. Some of you might be curious to find out the video which made World of Warcraft cool (or should I say, exposed those for thinking it wasn’t) almost never was.
The idea was pitched originally to music executives, who had almost nothing positive to say about the idea, or the world in general, for that matter. What did they say about arguably the most popular video game of all time, and making it into a music video? Eh, the game is a novelty…it won’t work.
“But look at the success other artists have had in producing videos in a similar style–Eminem for example,” Jace pointed out.
That went over like a lead balloon; in one ear and out the other of the execs. Who was Eminem, anymore? To the executives, he was as much a novelty as a video game created some fifteen years ago. Even though Eminem was the best-selling artist of the decade and World of Warcraft was the most subscribed online game in history (over 12 million subscribers). Still, both were apparently, “novelties.”
Fast-forward months later: Eminem drops Recovery to the biggest debut in almost two years, dishing out nearly 800,000 copies. Jace’s World of Warcraft video compiles nearly 9 million views, and counting, on IGN’s YouTube channel.
Like White Castle, or root beer floats? Songs like Don’t Stop Believing or movies like Back to The Future (1, 2, maybe 3)?
What is a novelty, and why are they bad again?
It seems rather simple, actually. Calling something a novelty is just another way of saying, “I don’t understand it.” The fact of the matter is, when you believe in something, when you know instinctively that it has meaning and that it can have a dynamic and mass impact on an audience, it doesn’t matter if something is a “novelty,” it matters if people care about it and are emotionally affected by it. We so often think that new is better, because people haven’t become tired of the concept or idea. It’s the new car that you haven’t taken for a spin yet, or the newest computer gadget that you haven’t explored every one of its apps. We assume everything has a shelf life—that everything will eventually be consumed and eventually we will have to move on. People will inevitably try and define what that shelf life is, calling everything, soon enough, a “novelty.”
But if we trust our instincts, never allow others to affect the things we enjoy and what we know has meaning to us, novelties will fail to exist. Novelties will simply be excuses by executives who lost the ability to emotionally connect with audiences a long time ago, the moment they purchased a 200 hundred-dollar tie and put their initials on their license plate.
It’s not about believing you are smarter or believing you are better than anyone else, it’s simply about believing in one thing: yourself. If the example of Jace tells us anything, it’s that adversity and resistance confronts everyone, be it a high school freshman or an Executive Producer. Conflict doesn’t discriminate, but resiliency and optimism do; both are a choice that we have to make. Every time someone shoots down an idea for being a novelty, every time someone criticizes something we enjoy because they don’t understand it, is just another opportunity to remind ourselves why we enjoy the things we love and to appreciate what makes us different. Something like World of Warcraft or a person like Eminem, activities and people who continue to be misunderstood, are what make the world unique. They keep us honest and ultimately are the ones that define what is and isn’t a novelty: things that have meaning to others, which some people just don’t understand.
Jace has asked me to reach out to all of you and express how much he appreciates your efforts to contact him. For those of you who I haven’t had the chance to personally connect with yet, my name is Paul, and I am helping Jace run his blog and connect with his community.
As you might imagine, Jace gets thousands of messages a week, via facebook, e-mail, and YouTube videos. It’s important to note that Jace looks at this as a very, very good thing. The only problem is, Jace only has time to look at his e-mail and facebook messages every week and a half or so, same for the most part with his Twitter page. Jace couldn’t be any more enthusiastic about answering your questions, but he simply just can’t make shows that everyone loves to watch and video games that people love to play, and manage to return thousands of messages on a daily basis.
With that being said, please do not feel discouraged to contact him personally! Be patient and know that the message is getting to him. My goal, and Jace’s primary objective in bringing me on as part of the team, is to create a community that is more interactive than ever before. While Jace may be a very busy man, I am working with him to connect with more of you than ever before. I can tell you that audience participation is one of the main priorities for Jace, and his goal is for you to continue to connect with him via the site, facebook page, and The Jace Hall Show as much as possible. Just when you do, please, please be patient when waiting for a response.
It is a privilege and honor to work for Jace’s blog and to connect with all of you on a daily basis, and while Jace may be off working on seven projects at a time, my primary goal is to connect with all of you, relay your stories, messages, and enthusiasm for Jace’s endeavors and communicate that to him directly. Jace implores you to keep the comments and videos coming, even if they’re videos hating on Jace (what happened to Jace diss #2 by the way?). I’m here around the clock working for him, and for that matter, all of you who are fans of Jace’s work. We thank all of you in advance for sending in your opinions and messages, and again, are thankful for your patience. We couldn’t be any more grateful for the opportunity to form friendships that will enhance, expand, and strengthen the Jace Hall Community and we look forward to connecting with as many of you as possible.
Many of you have seen the “I Play Wow Music Video” a dozen times, and some of you probably have it memorized for that matter. For those of you that haven’t seen the video, or at least, haven’t seen it in awhile, here’s a quick little update on the video that helped change the way people looked at World of Warcraft.
It’s one of the most popular YouTube videos that doesn’t include people falling down or animals battling each other; in other words, it’s a viral video that actually has a positive message.
Kaboom! Part of me just felt like saying that…another part of me was previewing the latest episode of The Jace Hall Show. Jace again shows off his skills (video game…not dancing) taking on Gears of War designer, Cliffy B. in the Kaboom! challenge. Jace lives the dream, again, of “drinking tea” and dancing on the Stargate Universe set, all while Todd makes a move to get his movie sold…
My name is Paul Nyhart and I would like to officially introduce myself to the fans, friends, and the community of The Jace Hall Show. Roughly a week ago, Jace approached me about the possibility of being the Master of the editorial portion of the Jace Hall Show website. Let me set the stage a little and tell you that part of the story: Jace had never met me, I’m not entirely sure what he did know about me, but my guess is, not much. I’ll save you sixty seconds and tell you the main things to know about me. Before I was given the dream job of being in control of the editorial content on The Jace Hall Show website, I was a blogger for several websites, who had spent the majority of his time before that, bussing tables and running food for 8 dollars an hour. Prior to that, I lived in Chicago, got my degree in three years and set the pop-a-shot record at Dave and Busters in Addison, Illinois (110). To this day I consider those to be some of my finest accomplishments, and generally begin most pick-up lines and/or ice breakers with a combination of the above.
I refer to the opportunity to work with Jace as a dream opportunity, which it undoubtedly is. But I’ll be frank and tell you that the idea at first was a little intimidating. The task of stepping into the role of editorial leader of the blog, and to generate content on a daily basis that’s read by a wide audience, isn’t the same as busing tables, and it certainly isn’t as easy as shooting balls in a basket. Jace discussed the task during our first meeting–a meeting where I was wearing the nicest suit I owned, complete with pocket square and cuff-links, all of which I bought on sale for 50% off at an-end-of-summer special at a store that shall remain nameless. I was so dressed up, you might have confused me as the one giving the interview. Jace, dressed head to toe in sweat pants and t-shirt, expressed it simply:
“You’re making me feel uncomfortable wearing that, you realize that don’t you…”
“This is the first time I’ve even worn this suit…Technically, it’s not even a suit, I’m not wearing the right kind of shoes.”
They were black, Gucci knockoffs that I got at an outlet store in Cincinnati, where I was raised and went to school (Cincinnati that is…not the outlet store).
Fast forward to our second meeting. I wear my trademark torn jeans and Marty McFly bubble vest, to battle the brisk, 50 degree Los Angeles weather. Jace, now seeing me for the second time, says:
“I almost didn’t recognize you…”
Maybe its the beard, I thought, which I had worked hard to grow out since the last time he had seen me, some four days ago….
This time, our conversation was more direct than before. Jace discussed what he wanted to accomplish and what direction to take the site. There are thousands, if not millions of followers of Jace’s work, unfortunately, there is only one Jace. Of the countless messages he receives, he only has so much time to respond, and most
importantly, to connect with his audience. Thus comes the need for somebody that can connect and communicate with people in the Jace Hall Show community on a daily, continuous basis, blogging and commenting on a myriad of topics.
That’s where I come in…and that’s when my suit went out. Maybe I’ll get married or one of my friends will get hitched (not likely) in the near future and I’ll be able to bring the thing out of storage, but until then, the focus is on connecting with people and giving audiences something tangible to take in, absorb, and share in their own communities. A blog that is fun, honest, true, and informative. Appearances aren’t everything…arguably, they’re not anything, really. Ideas, thoughts, motivations, passions, and determination, to name a few–that’s what we remember at the end of the day. It’s my passion that everything I write, every chance I have to connect with each and every one of you, will be grounded in sharing ideas and invoking motivation, driving determination, and continually encouraging thoughts. Appearances aren’t everything, in plain terms, appearances, are simply just boring.
Writing has always been fun for me, and in my opinion, the only thing that should be more fun than writing is reading something that is well thought out, true, and has a good sense of humor. From the world of video games to movies, sports to television, this blog might cover a diverse range of topics, but will always have at least one common theme: honesty. The passion to tell things the way they are and to inspire those that are being told to adhere to a certain view, based on rules that quite often don’t make sense. I’m no smarter than any other guy, but I do know the difference between what’s false and what’s honest and I don’t believe in allowing that line to become blurred.
As far as I am concerned, I work for all of you (shhh, don’t tell Jace). You are my audience, and I can’t tell you how privileged and grateful I am to be writing to so many creative, enthusiastic, and unique individuals. I thank all of you in advance for allowing me to be a part of your internet experience and for sharing that experience with everyone that you know. I especially would like to thank Jace for the opportunity to connect with all of you on a daily basis and allowing me to be a part of this community. I look forward to connecting with all of you through blog comments, message boards and forums, and throughout the Jace Hall Show community in the near future. Here’s to discussing ideas, relaying thoughts, and just plain out having fun. Now without any further ado, let’s get this blog rolling!
You can read my first post, a movie review on The Mechanic, by clicking here.
By Webster’s definition, a mechanic is someone who fixes, repairs, and maintains machinery. By the Hollywood definition, a mechanic is a man that runs around and kills things for no apparent reason–oh and occasionally “makes whoopie” with hookers. I hate to give away the movie, but that pretty much covers it. Okay, I’ll be fair and say that the movie isn’t entirely bad, it’s just in no way, shape, or form, good.
It doesn’t do any good to just hammer home all the bad stuff (we’ll get there) so I’ll go ahead and cover some of the positives of the film. For starters, it ends (I kid). But really, the ending is actually a pretty nice little action scene, which is the culmination of an intriguing, back and forth relationship between Jason Statham (Arthur Bishop) and Ben Foster (Steve McKenna). Although his character basically just kills people throughout the whole film, Statham gives a very good performance. The guy is fun to watch, and is good at what he does (even if he always does it). Foster is also an interesting actor. He kind of reminds you of that kid from middle school you were afraid of–you weren’t sure if they were a bully giving you a hard time or if they were just kind of a jerk to everyone. Still, the characters are fun to watch but suffer the downside of being in a film with no plot, let alone any meaningful conflict (other than guys shooting guns).
I’m not one to usually give spoilers, mainly because it ruins the film, but The Mechanic seems to be doing a good job of doing that well on it’s own. I did want to point out one thing in particular that tells you everything about the film: The movie poster. Look at the photo below…notice a theme? Apparently, the movie has something to do with guns. I’d give them two points for at least being straight to the point (pun intended), however, they get no props for creativity. Let’s take a moment and try to surmise how the poster was constructed.
Advertising team: “Okay, who has any ideas?”
Sound of coffee being slurped…Guy accidentally drops pen…picks it up from the floor…probably drops it again.
Intern: “We could just put a bunch of guns on a poster and shape it like a gun…”
First off, if I recall correctly, the film is still called The Mechanic. While I understand the minor connection (if you saw the film–God Bless you–you know what I’m kind of talking about) the poster still confuses me. It is just a bunch of guns, shaped like another gun, and the gun, mind you, isn’t even cool!? It’s like putting a bunch of baseballs together for the Major League Poster, or having a thousand cars shaped like a car for Days of Thunder. Brilliant.
Speaking of brilliant, while I’m at it, here’s another thing…the tag line.
“Someone has to fix the problem.” This makes the film sound like it’s about plumbers if you ask me.
See, you haven’t even seen the film yet, and if you’re like me, you’re already confused.
But okay, is the film entertaining? Sure. Is it a good movie to take your girlfriend to? Only if you plan on breaking up with her afterward, or more precisely, having her break up with you. The movie appeals to everything that makes us guys….yes the explosions are cool, yea its great to see guys hang off buildings while they explode in the process…but the film still treats us like idiots. While we want all these things, there still has to be a reason for the explosion. If I wanted to simply just watch a disaster, I’d find a fifteen second YouTube clip of someone falling down a ski slope. If I’m forced to watch a bunch of disasters for 90 minutes, there better be a reason behind it. The Mechanic doesn’t have that. It has a poster made of guns and a punchline seemingly from a local plumbers union.That’s as unique as it gets.
Here’s hoping the next mainstream action movie will do its best to entertain us, but still give us the dignity of a story line and some substance that won’t give us another reason to stay in and eat frozen pizza. Right now, The Mechanic just left me twelve dollars short and that’s a problem The Mechanic probably isn’t willing to fix.