OK guys. I gotta be honest. This post comes more from a place of guilt than anything else. I haven’t posted in so long-I’ve consumed a helluva lotta media, but there was simply nothing I had to say about any of it that hadn’t already been said(in some cases by me-rewatching Warehouse 13 right now and I still love it, but I’ve plagued you guys enough with that for now.)
I have recently become a teensy bit enamoured with Rick and Morty which I am going to write a post about but that’s Future Noel’s job. Present Noel is now going to bring you his current(current as in will probably have changed by tomorrow) five favourite contributors to stories right now.
So here’s the criteria-they’ve got to be alive an kicking ot make the list. What constitutes contributing to a story you ask? Anything that makes the story kick, adds to it-an awesome performance by an actor that really brings a character to life, a killer musician who hit just the right notes to make you feel, a voice actor who without even allowing you to see their face brought you to tears, a writer whose work made you stay up awake all night and ponder the big questions-you get the idea.
Though they must contribute to stories to make the list, their real life actions and antics can garner them a place on the list.
And so without further ado….
Joseph Gordon Levitt
I love this guy. I really do. Dude can act, dude can sing, and dude seems insanely nice.
But there is one reason and one reason only he’s on this list, though it more than earns him his spot-and that is hitrecord.
I confess, I only learned of hitrecord when the new television show hit netflix mere months ago. But what an idea!
For those of you who don’t know, hitRecord is an online collaborative production company. Gordon-Levitt provides a theme or an instructional video on what he needs, and people all over the world contribute to one awesome project.
For example-maybe someone from England, hell, maybe you created an awesome hand drawn background for an apartment. Someone from Italy did some really cool animation to match it. Someone from Japan aced the musical score.
HitRecord takes it all together to make the final video. As I write I realise I sound incoherent. I’ll leave it by saying that JGL didn’t just create and contribute to stories-he gave an untold number of storytellers the platform to tell theirs.
Two Steps From Hell
Alright, granted. This one is a bit of a cheat. But it’s so deserving of it’s place. I’ll be honest, I just googled them and I’m still a little unsure of whether they’re a company, or an orchestra; but it doesn’t matter. What matters is that their music makes me feel. I mean, really feel.
Even if the name doesn’t sound familiar, you’d certainly know their music. They provide epic orchestral tracks for tv, movies, and video games.
And goddam they nail it every time. Heart of Courage, one of their better known songs, was used in Transformers. SPOLER ALERT The track starts to play as Bumblebee and some of the other Autobots are fighting a losing battle. Bumblebee is forced to his knees about to be executed. The music is sad, lots of violin…Optimus and the others arrive, and the music picks up with a choir. It’s not triumphant-the battle is still in the Deceptions favor. But it goddam spits in the face of giving up. Of quitting the fight. SPOILER ALERT
And that’s just one song. Two Steps From Hell have made me feel so much more than any of the scenes they played to could have without them.
This one is all about character. No question. As you guys are all too aware, I’m a huge Warehouse 13 fan. And more than a little of that is due to the character of Pete Lattimer.
Now characters are written. Of course. So to credit Eddie with the character entirely would of course be unfair. But this is one of the rare cases when I really can’t imagine anybody else playing the character.
I actually had the immense pleasure of meeting Eddie two weeks ago at MCM Comic Con, and he is Pete. He is actually Pete.
And that’s who I want to talk about more than Eddie, as that’s why he’s here. The greatest power of stories is to make you feel. Pete is most definitely the most emotional of the Warehouse characters. Whether it’s letting a criminal daughter spend time with her Dad, comforting his partner during a difficult time, refusing to believe one of his colleagues is guilty no matter how solid the evidence against them is, Pete’s the type of guy I’d want to have my back if I was in trouble. And let’s not forget the line that still kills me inside a little bit – “Please get back to the car.” I’ll be back in a few guys, I’m going to definitely not cry in the corner, yeah that’s what I’m doing.
And yet the guy is a complete and utter goofball. The goofball has been done many times before-pretty much all of the BuyMorons in Chuck, and that’s just one show! Yet no other actor has pulled it off so perfectly. Be it messing with the items in a joke shop, a museum, licking sauce of of the Farnsworth while on a call, or making terrible puns (“Can I Ophelia your boobies?” being just one of his many sophisticated jokes.
WH13 is still my favourite show, and it’s genuinely warmed my heart, made me cry, made me angry, and so much more-and I can’t help but credit a great deal of that to the awesomeness that Eddie McClintock brings to the show.
This is about people’s contributions to stories, so let’s leave out for a minute the fact that the dude organises a con every year and donates every penny raised to charity.
But in terms of acting, he’s not only brought us one of the most lighthearted and, simply put, fun, shows of the last ten years, he’s also been involved with Disney by voicing Flynn Rider in the excellent Tangled.
The guy has an awesome set of pipes on him, and it’s easy to see in interviews on set with him that he genuinely cares about the stories he’s telling-he felt the hurt of the end of Chuck just as badly as the rest of us did.
What I love him for most though is his willingness to branch out. He loves him some video games, often speaking in defense of them. He’s done a lot of voiceover work in games too. He obviously landed a Disney role in Tangled and brought to life one of the more memorable Disney characters of recent years to life. He hit Broadway with the play First Date, once again showing just how well he can sing. He’s perhaps best known for playing Chuck in…well I won’t finish that. And he’s turning to the side of the villains now, as he tries his hand at playing the big bad in the upcoming Heroes Reborn.
Versatility, caring, memorability-yeah, Levi deserves his place here.
Anybody who has read the blog before is probably not gonna be surprised that Wendig topped the list here. Wendig has only hit my radar in the last 18 months are so, but he didn’t so much as blip the radar as he did drop a nuclear bomb of awesomeness on it.
Outside of my blog writing I also write stories somewhat frequently, and I actually found Wendig through a writing advice book he had produced. From there I went to his fiction, and you guys know from my reviews that I’m more than a little fond of his work.
I love Wendig for several reasons, but two that are relevant to his place here-firstly, besides just telling stories, the guy is inspiring troves of writers to, well, write.
He delivers the avice that’s needed, and never tells you how to do something. He encourages you to forge your own voice, your own work, and his advice is more centred around that. He doesn’t seek to motivate and inspire, he seeks to make you motivate yourself. And with blog posts with titles like “Fuck your pre-rejection pen-monkey” how can you refuse.
The second reason is his fiction. It’s deserving of praise for so many reasons. He’s a huge advocate of diversity in characters(he recently introduced Star Wars first openly gay character, for one), his prose are absolutely astounding, and I haven’t been able to finish one of his books without lying awake for ages afterwards pondering what I had just read. His Miriam Black series is focused around free will, and after reading three instalments, I’m still not sure what Wendig’s opinion on the matter is. He presents us with this fascinating character who has to deal with knowing the future, and in some cases being terrified to act on it should she bring it about.
The topic of free will has, of course, been explored at length before in other works, but Wendig is the one who forced me to think about it. Go read his books guys. Like why are you still reading this. Go to amazon. Download it. Read. It’s worth losing sleep over.
And that, my dear readers, is it. By the time this is uploaded I’ll probably have changed my mind, but what you have is a snapshot of my mind at this exact moment.
I’d love to hear from you guys too! Comment below with some of your favourite media contributors(I can’t help but feel like there’s a better all encompassing word for that) and talk to us!
About the Author:
Rumored to have been born with a games controller in his hand, Noel Gleeson works as a Java Developer in Ireland and loves all things pop culture.