How to make your life into a Wes Anderson film

(Photo: PXfuel)
The first train along the Shore Line East to Grand Central Terminal. Burgers for lunch. Nothing to do in West London on a Saturday morning.

On TikTok, people are romanticizing ordinary activities by recording and editing them into videos that try to imitate the cinematic style of Wes Anderson, an American filmmaker known for an eccentric style characterized by symmetry, distinctive color palettes, and a bit of quirkiness.اضافة اعلان

The short videos, often the products of meticulous editing, have drawn tens of thousands of views each. In some cases, they’ve drawn millions. Ava Williams, 26, a photographer from Brooklyn, made a TikTok video of a train ride from Connecticut to New York this month. Since she posted it on April 8, her early morning journey on the Shore Line East has been viewed more than 12 million times.

Her homage to Anderson — featuring a deadpan stare into the camera, then quick cuts of a ticket stub, her sneakers and other ordinary objects — soon inspired others. Northeastern University shared a stroll through its Boston campus, featuring saturated images of different buildings. The Democratic Party even created a video of President Joe Biden at the White House.

Anderson did not respond to a request for comment about the new trend, but here is how to make your life into a Wes Anderson film — on TikTok.

The dullest part of your day can be Wes Anderson-edThese videos often feature everyday events — commuting, having lunch with a spouse or making a sandwich. But when edited into quick shots with a dynamic instrumental soundtrack, even a day at work in a wood shop suddenly looks almost as cinematic as Anderson’s “The Darjeeling Limited” or “The Grand Budapest Hotel”.

When Williams started making her video of a 6:45am train ride to New York, she said, she was tired and did not get to visit her family for as long as she wanted.

“I didn’t want to end on a sour note,” Williams said of her trip. Instead, as a fan of Anderson’s films, she said, she decided to pretend to be in a Wes Anderson movie to make herself feel better.

Over the past couple of weeks, Williams said, it’s been surprising and also heartening to see so many others make similar videos.

“Even the very normal things that we do are rewarding in their own ways,” she added.

Wally Koval, author of the photograph book “Accidentally Wes Anderson,” said that in making these videos, “people are finding this beauty in the mundane”.

“You’re looking at your world through a slightly different lens,” Koval said.

Start with a title sequence. Make it punchy
Like many of Anderson’s films, these TikTok videos almost all start with a title sequence, often delivered in three or four quick cuts, establishing where the subjects are, what they are doing and what time it is.

In Williams’ video, the title sequence is fast with pink text on a lighter pink background.

“The first train”

“Along the Shoreline East”

“To Grand Central Terminal”

“6:45 AM.”

Do noy forget the music.
The instrumental music used in the trend is a track called “Obituary” by Alexandre Desplat, a French composer, which was part of the soundtrack to Anderson’s film “The French Dispatch”.

The clip of the track used in most of the TikTok videos starts at about 1 minute and 10 seconds in.

Symmetrical framing and color are key
Koval’s book features remarkably symmetrical photos from around the world, along with a foreword from Anderson.

“What is the Wes Anderson aesthetic?” Koval said. “The way that I always define it is that there are certain elements of it that you can put your finger on. There’s symmetry. There is a certain color palette.”

Still images from “Asteroid City,” Anderson’s forthcoming film, for example, clearly depict a focus on light shades of blue and peach.

Williams said that, for her video, she made sure colors were consistent. Adding a shot with red in it to video that already had a lot of blue, for example, “wouldn’t really work,” she said.

“Paying attention to the color palette that you’re using already naturally, and then accentuating that, will sort of push it to be more Wes Anderson-y,” she said.

Deadpans and quirks are your best friends
Two features of Anderson’s films are deadpan faces and quirks, as depicted in the opening scene of “The French Dispatch,” when Arthur Howitzer Jr, a fictional news editor played by Bill Murray, fires someone and then tells him not to cry.

Howitzer Jr. is stone-faced, looking straight ahead into the camera. The camera then quickly pans to the words “No Crying” sketched above the doorway in his office.

“As long as it’s deadpan, then you’re golden,”Williams said, adding that characters in Anderson’s films often “act more in body language as opposed to showcasing any real emotion.”

In Williams’ video, she first appears with a deadpan stare directly at the camera, standing in front of the train. She then puts her train ticket in a holder, pauses, and adjusts the ticket slightly to the right.

In another video, of a man who takes his wife to lunch, there is a short clip of his wife trying to steal a French fry, before he quickly swats her hand away.

“Those are the kind of elements that are tossed in out of the blue, and ultimately create the Wes Anderson aesthetic,” Koval said. “You know it when you see it.”

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