A Cinderella Story

Almost everyone is familiar with the story of Cinderella. In the classic version the title character, after losing her father becomes a servant for both her stepmother and stepsisters. When the King invites all eligible maidens to go to the ball where his son will pick a bride Cinderella is forbidden to go. With the help from an unexpected fairy godmother nothing is impossible. Growing up I saw many different versions of this fairytale come to life and it’s a story I’ve come to love. I decided to create a modern version of what I think Cinderella would look like in this day and age while keeping elements from the original Disney version. This includes the blue dress she wore and black chocker around her neck. Pumpkins surround Cinderella because in the story her fairy godmother turns them into the chariot that takes her to and from the Prince’s ball. This photograph is meant to show the moment where she’s beginning to transform into a princess for the night. It’s the part of the story that teaches you to believe and it is important to remember that sometimes the good things come suddenly without warning.

Shoes

A while back I took a picture of my combat boots that I grew very fond of. I decided to expand the series with other types of shoes.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Canadian Premiere

I had the chance to see The Hunger Games: Catching Fire this past Tuesday at the Canadian premiere. Jena Malone who plays Johanna Mason and Sam Claflin who plays Finnick Odair were both in attendance. The two newcomers are incredible in their parts, as are all the other actors in the film. I won’t waste your time talking about the movie now as I have put together a short list of 6 differences between the book and movie that can be read here.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – 10 Differences Between the Book and the Movie

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire takes all of the elements from the first film and does them better with help from new director Francis Lawrence. You hardly ever hear that the sequel is better than the original but trust me, in this case it is. There’s moments where you can literally feel the book come to life. While not everything from the novel can make it into the movie (as always), they’ve managed to keep it as close as possible. I’ve compiled a list of things I noticed were different between the two. These aren’t the only things I noticed but they were the ones that stood out the most. None of the changes took anything away from from the storyline. Sometimes scenes are left out because there’s another way of accomplishing it, keep that in mind.

1. Plutarch Heavensbee’s Mockingjay Watch

When Plutarch Heavensbee takes Katniss out on the dance floor at President’s Snow party, it’s where we secretly learn that he’s on her side. Like Bonnie and Twill who put the Mockingjay symbol on a piece of bread that they could eat to hide the evidence, Plutarch has a gold watch he carriers in his pocket, that with the run of his thumb can display a Mockingjay and just as fast as it was seen, can disappear. The second clue we get is when Plutarch tells Katniss, “It starts at midnight” except he wasn’t talking about the meeting at all, he’s referring to the arena she’ll soon find herself in. But while they do meet under the same circumstances in the film we have no idea if the watch even exists and he doesn’t give any clues about the upcoming Hunger Games. In the book, Katniss is left thinking about Plutarch’s disappearing Mockingjay watch. He was “almost clandestine” as she says, but in the film there is nothing done to make her skeptical of his actions. You don’t learn anything until Katniss sees him on the hovercraft with Haymitch and Finnick, that’s when you realize where his loyalties stand.

Plutarch steps back and pulls out a gold watch on a chain from a vest pocket. He flips open the lid, sees the time, and frowns. “I’ll have to be going soon.” He turns the watch so I can see the face. “It starts at midnight.”

“That seems late for–“ I say, but then something distracts me. Plutarch has run his thumb across the crystal face of the watch and for just a moment an image appears, glowing as if lit by candlelight. It’s another mockingjay. Exactly like the pin on my dress. Only this one disappears. He snaps the watch closed. 

2. Snow’s Granddaughter

Not much is known about President Snow’s granddaughter or any other family members he might have. In Mockingjay, Johanna Mason quickly mentions her when she votes for the proposed 76th Hunger Games with tributes from the children of the Capitol. This comment let’s us believe that she’s between the ages of 12 and 18. In Catching Fire the movie we’re introduced to his granddaughter, who’s recently begun wearing her hair in a one-sided braid like all of her friends. To Snow’s obvious annoyance and our amusement, she is a fan of Katniss Everdeen, the very person he wants eradicated.

“Why not?” Johanna retorts. “It seems very fair to me. Snow even has a granddaughter. I vote yes.” (Mockingjay)

3. Peeta’s Painting of Rue

Both Peeta and Katniss’ private sessions with the gamemakers are vital scenes in the book that leave both of them with a score of 12, making them the number one target in the upcoming Hunger Games. The painting Peeta creates of Rue is a sign of rebellion to the Capitol. Unlike in the movie where Katniss walks into the room and sees the painting of Rue on the ground, in the book it’s specifically stated that it’s covered. The reason for the change makes sense, it gave reason to Katniss’ impulsive decision to hang Seneca Crane during her session.

 I think of how ruffled the Gamemakers were when I entered the gym for my session. The smell of cleaners. The mat pulled over that spot in the center of the gym. Was it to conceal something they were unable to wash away? “You painted something, didn’t you? A picture.”
“Did you see it?” Peeta asks.
“No. But they’d made a real point of covering it up,” I say.

4. Bonnie & Twill / District 13

Bonnie and Twill are two runaways from District 8 whom Katniss encounters in the woods outside of District 12. They tell her about the uprisings happening in the other districts and most importantly about the existence of District 13. It was known in advance that they wouldn’t be apart of the film because they didn’t cast those roles but the question remained on how Katniss would be introduced to the idea District 13. Signs of the beginning of a revolution are brought to the screen in another way. As seen in the trailer there’s a Mockingjay spray painted in a tunnel as well as the words “The odds are never in our favor” that expresses the districts unrest. The people have become more defiant and are ready to rebel against the Capitol. President Snow mentions District 13 during his talk with Katniss in her house before the Victory Tour saying how it’d be unfortunate to see District 12 end up the same way. Then, at the end of the film Plutarch is the one who tells Katniss that they’re on their way to District 13.

5. Effie’s Goodbye

In the book everyone in the Capitol is sent home after the stunt the victors pulled during the interviews. This meant that Effie didn’t have a chance to say goodbye to Peeta and Katniss before they’re sent into the arena. In the movie, she does, with tears in her eyes, “You both deserve so much better.”

“Then we’ll never see Effie again,” says Peeta. We didn’t see her o the morning of the Games last year. “You’ll give her our thanks.”
“More than that. Really make it special. It’s Effie, after all,” I say. “Tell her how appreciative we are and how she was the best escort ever and tell her . . . tell her we send our love.”

6. Katniss’ Pregnancy

Peeta drops the bomb about the baby in the same way as the novel but it’s quickly dropped after that. In the book it’s continually used as a tactic to help in the games.

But Finnick has dropped all his weapons to the ground. “Better not exert yourself. Not in your condition,” he says, and reaches down and pats my abdomen.
Oh, right. I’m supposed to be pregnant, I think.

“It’s okay. It’s just her hormones,” says Finnick. “From the baby.” 

“Go ahead. Try it. I don’t care if you are knocked up, I’ll rip your throat out,” says Johanna

7. Haymitch’s Games / The Second Quarter Quell

After the announcement of the Third Quarter Quell and the reapings, Peeta and Katniss decide to watch the Hunger Games’ of the past victors to have an idea of who they are up against. Although Haymitch isn’t competing the two decide to watch his (the 50th Annual Hunger Games), as it’s the only Quell they have. Having this in the book helped build Haymitch’s character and you finally get to learn how he managed to stay alive during his Games. Even though it didn’t make it’s way into the movie, back in 2011 some fans put together a twelve minute video on how they believe the Second Quarter Quell played out based on the book that you can check out here. It’s really well done and helps fill the void left from the film.

Later that day, another tribute is killed in combat and a third gets eaten by a pack of those fluffy squirrels, leaving Haymitch and a girl from District 1 to vie for the crown. She’s bigger than he is and just as fast, and when the inevitable fight comes, it’s bloody and awful and both have received what could well be fatal wounds, when Haymitch is finally disarmed. He staggers through the beautiful woods, holding his intestines in, while she stumbles after him, carrying the ax that should deliver his deathblow. Haymitch makes a beeline for his cliff and just reached the edge when she throws the ax. He collapses on the ground and it flies into the abyss. Now weaponless as well, the girl just stands there, trying to staunch the flow of blood pouring from her empty eye socket. She’s thinking perhaps that she can outlast Haymitch, who’s starting to convulse on the ground. But what she doesn’t know, and what he does, is that the ax will return. And when it flies back over the ledge, it buries itself in her head. The cannon sounds, her body is removed, the trumpets blow to announce Haymitch’s victory.

8. Katniss Doesn’t Get Drunk 

When Katniss learns she’ll be going back into the arena for the Quarter Quell she goes over to Haymitch’s house, gets drunk and wakes up with a hangover the next morning. In the film we see Katniss take one long sip before handing the bottle back to Haymitch.

“I came for a drink,” I say.
Haymitch bursts out laughing and slams the bottle down on the table before me. I run my sleeve across the top and take a couple gulps before I come up chocking. It takes a few minutes to compose myself, and even then my eyes and nose are still streaming. But inside me, the liquor feels like fire and I like it.

He nods at the bottle. “Can I have that back now?”
“No,” I say, wrapping my around around it. Haymitch pulls another bottle out from under the table and gives the top a twist.

When I wake up, I barely get to the toilet before the white liquor makes its reappearance. It burns just as much coming up as it did going down, and tastes twice as bad. I’m trembling and sweaty when I finish vomiting, but at least most of the stuff is out of my system.

9. District Twelves Fence is Never Electrified

Commander Thread takes over District 12 from the previous peacekeepers. Besides getting rid of the Hob and issuing a curfew he’s supposed to make the electrical fence operational. This catches Katniss by surprise when she’s stuck outside of her District and needs to find another way back in. She’s forced to climb up a tall tree (at least 20 feet in the air) and drop over the other side of the fence, causing her to injury her foot in the process. When she arrives back at her house she notices that the male peacekeeper looks surprised to see her since they knew she was in the woods and should be trapped there. None of this exists in the movie.

In the fading light, the chain links look as innocuous as usual. But what makes me jerk back my hand is the sound, like the buzz of a tree full go tracker jacker nests, indicating the fence is alive with electricity.

“From Head Peacekeeper Thread,” says the woman. “He wanted you to know that the fence surrounding District Twelve will now have electricity twenty-four hours a day.”
“Didn’t it already?” I ask, a little too innocently.

10. Peeta Can Swim

The Tributes arrive in the arena to be surrounded by only water. As Katniss swims towards the island Peeta is trapped on his pedestal until Finnick rescues him because he doesn’t know how to swim. In the film, when we first see Peeta in the arena he’s in the water wrestling with the male tribute from District 5. It doesn’t make sense for Peeta to know how to swim as there were no lakes, rivers, seas or oceans in District 12.

I spot him now, still stranded on his metal plate. 

Additional Things:
– Katniss and Gale kiss three times in the movie instead of two like in the book.
– There’s no secret bread code. In the book, 4 of the parachutes they receive while in the arena are food. They type of bread comes from District 3 and there’s 24 rolls meaning that the rebels rescue will take place on the third day at the 24th hour.
– Johanna lashes out at the Capitol during her interview with Caesar Flickerman.
– Mags doesn’t speak at all.
– Peacekeeper Darius doesn’t exist.

Disney’s “Frozen”: Movie Review

Disney’s “Frozen” follows the story of not one but two princesses. Elsa (Idina Menzel) is born with the power to create both ice and snow. A beautiful but dangerous gift that she fights to keep hidden from the rest of the world. After nearly killing her sister Anna (Kristen Bell), Elsa isolates herself, spending all of her time trying to find a way to suppress her growing abilities. Her emotions however, find a way to get the best of her triggering the magic that accidentally sets off the Kingdom of Arendelle in an eternal winter. She flees the land in fear of becoming a monster and causing harm to everyone around her. Anna then sets off on a journey to bring her sister back and save the kingdom while teaming up with those she meets on the way –  Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), a rugged man who sells ice for a living (and is not currently working in the best market) alongside Sven his trusty Reindeer and a snowman named Olaf (Josh Gad). Together they battle the elements of the cold in an attempt to bring Arendelle back to it’s warm, summery demeanour.

Some songs on the soundtrack are definitely better than others. Partially because of the second-hand embarrassment, cheesy lines that are thrown in. But hey, it’s a Disney movie. What did you expect? My favourite song from the film is actually played in the credits. It’s Demi Lovato’s version of Let It Go however, you can hear Idina Menzel’s version in the actual movie.

I might be biased as someone who loves almost everything Disney related but I absolutely adored this movie. It’s a great family movie that the kids will enjoy (at any age cause here I am at 19). And go into it with that mindset, that it’s a movie for families and kids and I can guarantee that you’ll love it just as much as I did.

If you would like to know any spoilers from the film please feel free to contact me.

Frozen hits theatres American Thanksgiving Weekend on November 27th 2013.
The soundtrack is already available for pre-order on iTunes here and by purchasing it you can get Demi Lovato’s Let It Go right away.

You can watch the trailer here:

Project Roundup

The last couple of month have been crazy school wise. I’ve had the opportunity to learn several historical photography processes such as cyanotypes, silver gelatin, lift and transferring polaroids etc. On top of that I had assignments due for my Photography Production class. Here’s a little bit of everything:

Demi Lovato performing at We Day Toronto

We Day is an educational event and the movement of our time—a movement of young people leading local and global change. We Day is tied to the yearlong We Act program, which offers curricular resources, campaigns and materials to help turn the day’s inspiration into sustained activation.

Demi Lovato, the award-winning singer-songwriter and Free The Children ambassador performed two songs on the We Day Toronto stage; Skyscraper (with special guest Darren Criss) and Neon Lights. In the past Demi Lovato’s participated at We Day Vancouver and We Day Seattle. She’s also donated over $10,000 from selling her old clothing on Ebay, raised money on the Price Is Right, and just recently got back from a volunteer trip to Kenya.

To learn more about We Day click here.

Fifth Harmony’s Concert: Cher Lloyd’s I Wish Tour

Step aside One Direction boy bands, girl groups are taking over.

Fifth Harmony is a group made up of five young girls; Ally Brooke, Camila CabelloDinah Jane Hansen, Lauren Jauregui & Normani Kordei.  After all auditioning separately for Season 2 of The X Factor USA and after not making it through on their own, they were all brought back, together. The girls are all strong vocalists on their own, which is uncommon between most popular bands/groups. And their harmonic blendings live sound just like how they’re recorded on track, truly spectacular. Fifth Harmony will be back in Toronto on November 5th 2013 at the Opera House!

Fifth Harmony‘s Better Together EP releases on October 22, 2013.

Make sure to check out their two singles: Miss Movin’ On and Me & My Girls.

Can A Song Save Your Life? (Begin Again): Movie Review

Can A Song Save Your Life? It’s a rhetorical question that we all wonder at some point throughout our lives. Music is powerful, but does it hold the power to save you?

Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo, Adam Levine and Catherine Keener star in this heart-warming story about an undiscovered young artist and a washed-up producer who find themselves brought together by music. Directed by John Carney this musical romance-drama is breathtakingly beautiful and a must see.

Greta (Keira Knightley) travels to New York with her boyfriend Dave (Adam Levine) after he scores a record deal at a major label. His new-found popularity tempts him to walk away from the dreams they once held together and causes a heartbroken Greta to get a one way ticket back to Britain. Greta’s best friend (James Cordon) drags her with him to an open mic night, jokingly worried that she might try to kill herself if he left her in the apartment alone. She has every intention of leaving the city in the morning but not before Dan (Mark Ruffalo), a indie record label executive comes into the picture by stumbling about Greta’s musical talent in a bar. Something about hearing her sing makes his music-producer brain start spinning as he imagines all the instruments that could be added to make the song a hit. The film then follows the pair as they embark on a journey to make an album together all while trying something that’s never been done before; recording every song live throughout different parts of New York City.

The music is without a doubt the best part of this film. Like an actual Broadway musical the lyrics in the songs actually help tell the story in a way words never could on their own.

With its catchy soft melodies, great cast and an ending that isn’t predictable in the obvious sense Can A Song Save Your Life takes you on ride that you won’t want to step off.