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Summer-Glau.com Forum » Off Topic » The Water Cooler » Easter eggs and other (hidden) messages in movies/tv shows
Easter eggs and other (hidden) messages in movies/tv shows
Date: Friday, 2011 Sep 02, 16:47 GMT | Message # 1

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A definition first :
Quote (Wikipedia)
A virtual Easter egg is an intentional hidden message, in-joke or feature in a work such as a computer program, web page, video game, movie, book or crossword. The term was coined—according to Warren Robinett—by Atari after they were pointed to the secret message left by Robinett in the game Adventure. It draws a parallel with the custom of the Easter egg hunt observed in many Western nations as well as the last Russian imperial family's tradition of giving elaborately jeweled egg-shaped creations by Carl Fabergé which contained hidden surprises.

This practice is similar in some respects to hidden signature motifs such as Diego Rivera including himself in his murals, Alfred Hitchcock's legendary cameo appearances, and various "Hidden Mickeys" that can be found throughout the various Disney Parks.

In many movies or tv shows, the director likes to put more or less hidden messages in its work, some helps developing the story and some don't.

Hitchcock's cameo appearances are completely gratuitous for example, so are the subliminal images in Disney's cartoon movies.
The 'Han Solo in carbonite' hidden in scenes of Firefly also belong to the later category for example.



But sometimes a simple image appearing briefly on screen helps better understanding the context of the scene, without having to use many lines of dialogs (no exposition dump); let me give you an example from Alphas's episode guest starring Summer Glau.
The screencap above is from the very fisrt scene of the episode, when the squad team enters Skylar's lair : it's a comic silent movie where you see a guy throwing a custart tart in another guy's face. We see this movie twice in close-up just before Skylar set off the explosives.
This comic device added to the "run idiots" shouted by Skylar are there to indicate to the audience that Skylar is not the bad guy we think she is (as it will be proven later) without being too wordy; few people see that kind of things when watching live but i like it personally because this is intelligent writing.



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Message edited by michelangelo - Saturday, 2011 Sep 03, 14:42

 
 
Date: Saturday, 2011 Sep 03, 00:16 GMT | Message # 2

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Han Solo in carbonite just to the right of Mal's left shoulder

See the miniature Han Solo in carbonite just to the right of Mal's left shoulder. (It is boxed in a red line.)
 
 
Date: Saturday, 2011 Sep 03, 08:00 GMT | Message # 3

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Quote (termi-ninja-tor)
See the miniature Han Solo in carbonite just to the right of Mal's left shoulder. (It is boxed in a red line.)

Thanks termi-ninja-tor! The purpose of this thread is to highlights things that writers (or crew in the case of Firefly) have put in their movies/series and screencaps are a must.
(notice that i've already reproduced the Firefly ones in the thread 18 Things you didn’t know about Firefly).

Feel free to add yours or ask if you find something that looks like a message from the writer but that you cannot interpret; i have myself in mind an image from TSCC that i could not decypher so far and that i will submit to your sagacity later in this thread.


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Date: Saturday, 2011 Sep 03, 11:26 GMT | Message # 4

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I've said it here a hundreds of time : nothing is random in a scripted show. If you don't believe me, see how the costume designer from upcoming Terra Nova speaks about the choices of costumes colors.

<


Everybody who have seen Smallville knows that Clark Kent wears only blue and red colors (like Superman's costume) but his entire environment had the same colors; the Kent farm, the set, the furnitures, various papers. While Lex Luthor is depicted with dark blue or purples colors (so is the Luthor Mansion interior) and Lionel Luthor is depicted with cold, clinical blue background.





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Date: Saturday, 2011 Sep 03, 15:09 GMT | Message # 5

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Here's what Summer Glau said about her bond with her fans and Easter eggs in TSCC during an interview at comicbookmovie.com
Summer Glau Talks Playing Supergirl in Superman/Batman Apocalypse

Quote
QUESTION:
It’s obvious that you respect your fans. Do you have any unique fan experiences or antidotes?

SUMMER GLAU:
I always keep my fan experiences very, very close to my heart. My favorite Comic-Con memory is the first one because I had no idea – there's no way to picture what it's going to be like until you're there. And being one of Joss' actors is really special, because it's like being part of a special family. Comic-Con was just beyond what I could've imagined. It's an amazing experience for you to say “thank you” in person to the people that make it possible for you to do what you love.

I feel that our fans are so positive and so loving that I like to hear what they have to say. On Terminator, one thing that our cast liked to do was read if the fans noticed little things that we would put into the show. It became sort of a game. We loved to hear what they had to say and what they noticed or what they didn't notice or if they liked choices that we made. It's like a little love letter. You send it out and then you see what they say and it happens every week. I think they're very thoughtful and so smart and, ultimately, we do it for them, so it's great to hear what they think.


I shall give you some examples of these 'little things' in TSCC, some obvious and some more subtiles. Feel free to add yours finds also.


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Date: Tuesday, 2011 Sep 06, 18:11 GMT | Message # 6

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Another common practice from writers is to add references to other shows or, in the case of a guest appearance, to other shows inwhich the guest star played.
Alphas episode with Summer Glau was no exception : i'm sure you have read a lot of these things lately. Some may be right but a lot are probably only in the imagination of hard-core fans. Though i find it funny, i think it' useless if it doen't help make progressing the main plot.
Cameron saying 'Come with me if you want to live' to John Connor in TSCC's pilot is a must and an homage to the Terminator fanchise but Skylar saying 'i come from the future' in Alphas is too much imo.

But as the episode is stil fresh in our memories, i will list some of the supposed references to Firefly and Terminator : The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

* the bugs drones could be a reference to Firefly (especially at the begining of the episode where the body of the bug shines) or to the Flying machines like HK in TSCC
* the HUD vision of the bugs makes me think about the HUD of the terminator
* constant references to the machines Skylar is building and prefers to men; Hicks saying "i think she (Skylar) is on their side (the machines) after Bill hit the vendor machine.
screencap robot
Nina : A few more tweaks, you could probably turn that into a time machine"
Skylar : "I'm visiting you from the future"
* NSA device built by Skylar called 'Bob' : possible reference to 'Uncle Bob' in T2
* Skylar destroying "The most advanced processor in the world" looks very similar to Sarah Connor destroying all Cyberdyne stuff and especially the terminator chips.

Click on image for bigger size


Fans like this kind of references and the writers are more than pleased to add them, but i have to ask one question : what does it bring to the main plot and to the comprehension of the episode? The answer is : nothing.

I prefer to highlight the key phrases of the episode, revealing the moral of all this:
when Skylar and Nina were on the car, Nina got rid of her phone and said "Actually, it felt pretty good"; then Nina said to Rosen "i helped Skylar because it was the right thing to do, and it felt good. Maybe you should try it sometime". Rosen answer : "Nina, i need your help" has a double meaning; lirerally he wants to find Skylar but figuratively he needs to find his own proper attitude.At the end, when Rosen destroyed Bob's brain, he said "You were right, that felt good".
These sentences underline the main character development in 'Catch and Release', aka Rosen starting to realise that he is a governement flunky, as said Skylar, and it's time for him to put an end to this situation. This will have big consequences for him in the next episodes.

The writers have also given a visual aspect to Rosen's inner turmoil by voluntarily messing up with his jacket, his tie knot or his hairs (this is so blatant, especially when you know that a makeup and wardrobe department member of the crew is dedicated to fixing this kind of things) :

Click on image for bigger size



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Date: Tuesday, 2011 Sep 06, 19:16 GMT | Message # 7

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Quote (michelangelo)
when Rosen destroyed Bob's brain, he said "You were right, that felt good".


Yes, when I heard him say that, it reminded me of Sarah Connor smashing Cromartie's chip in Mexico.
 
 
Date: Tuesday, 2011 Sep 06, 19:39 GMT | Message # 8

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Quote (termi-ninja-tor)
Yes, when I heard him say that, it reminded me of Sarah Connor smashing Cromartie's chip in Mexico.

To tell the truth, this scene was not in my references to TSCC; but as i said hard-core fans can see it that way.

Tomorrow i will make a post about something more subtile in Alphas, for which i need your help because i don't have the explanation.


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Date: Tuesday, 2011 Sep 06, 22:18 GMT | Message # 9

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It seems that Alphas executives producers pay attention to the production costs; indeed the staccato music we hear at the begining of Alphas episode 7, when the swat team breaks into Skylar's flat was used previously in episode 3 'Rosetta, when the alpha team and swat break into Rosetta's house.

We are far from The Cape in which Bear Mc Creary claimed everywhere he had a symphonic orchestra at his disposal.


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Date: Wednesday, 2011 Sep 07, 17:15 GMT | Message # 10

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Intriguing 'voodoo knife block' in Nina's kitchen; though i think it's there only for design and there is no hidden message..but you never know.

Quote
Forget bland polished beech, this is award winning stuff. Designed by the Italian design guru Raffaele Iannello, the 'Voodoo' knife block is destined to find its place among the greats in the top design museums of the world. £54.99
http://www.iwantoneofthose.com/knife-block/index.html




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Date: Wednesday, 2011 Sep 07, 18:38 GMT | Message # 11

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The minute i saw that promo picture of Summer Glau in Alphas, i suspected that this red/yellow bag was more than a simple bag; it's too big and too flashy, contrasting with Skylar's dark clothes and she carries it too pointedly not to have a hidden signification.



Some could say it's just handy to carry Skylar's electronic toys, but a smaller, not so flashy, bag would have been a better in this case. Please refer to my post #4, if you're not convinced about the importance of the colors on a tv show set.

I have looked for other similar colored elements in the episode and have find some disconcerting ones (see screencaps);i have kept only the elements that were obviously placed on purpose by the production designer imo, and left some others because red and yellow are primary colors that you can find in numerous elements of the set or on the streets for example.

Click on image for bigger size



You'll notice in the screencaps that most of the time you find three colors: red, yellow and orange. Also in the episode, you don't see those elements furtively but the camera lingers on it.

Facts are that these bright, hot colors are associated with Skylar: her bag, her appartment, the market where she's hiding, the sun just before a scene with her, her daughter's room and clothing. Yet if i have a few ideas, the exact meaning of this escapes me.
If anybody has an idea, you're welcome to express it.


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Date: Monday, 2011 Sep 12, 16:16 GMT | Message # 12

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Quote Summer Glau
On Terminator, one thing that our cast liked to do was read if the fans noticed little things that we would put into the show. It became sort of a game. We loved to hear what they had to say and what they noticed or what they didn't notice or if they liked choices that we made. It's like a little love letter. You send it out and then you see what they say and it happens every week. I think they're very thoughtful and so smart and, ultimately, we do it for them, so it's great to hear what they think.


As promised, here is one of those "little things" in TSCC that Summer is talking about : did you know that Arnold Schwarzenegger (and Sylvester Stallone) made a cameo in TSCC ?

Arnold and Sly did not appear in one scene as flesh and blood (or you would have noticed tongue ), it's a cameo like Alfred Hitchcock did in 'Lifeboat' (the whole film takes place in the open sea and there was no way to introduce a walk-on-actor).

Take a look at the scene itself :



And if you still have not seen them, here are screenshots of Arnold and Sylvester's cameo:

Arnold Schwarzenegger made a cameo in TSCCArnold Schwarzenegger made a cameo in TSCC


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Message edited by michelangelo - Monday, 2011 Sep 12, 21:34

 
 
Date: Monday, 2011 Sep 12, 18:00 GMT | Message # 13

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Arnold Schwarzenegger is depicted in the movie 'Pumping Iron' (1977) while Sylvester Stallone is depicted in the Rocky and Rambo franchise; as The1Russter tweeted, Stallone pics don't really make sense, unless to throw people off from pic of Arnold.

The item in middle, aka the kids book, could just be a gap filler and not an easter egg at all; we were trying to figure out what it is without success so far. Anyone idea is welcome.


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Date: Saturday, 2011 Sep 17, 15:49 GMT | Message # 14

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Talking about In Jokes...
TSCC Deleted Scene Pilot 1x01

Might ED209 be a reference to RoboCops ED-209?? :D
Im probably just reading to much in to it, but it is a funny coincidence.


Thats a window bird.

Message edited by Joe73 - Saturday, 2011 Sep 17, 15:58

 
 
Date: Saturday, 2011 Sep 17, 16:21 GMT | Message # 15

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Quote (Joe73)
Might ED209 be a reference to RoboCops ED-209?? biggrin
Im probably just reading to mutch in to it, but it is a funny coincidence.

Hard to say if it's just a coincidence or if it's deliberate, indeed.
For a better understanding, don't forget to mention in your post where the picture comes from please.


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