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The Empire article that became a rap that became a Tom Cruise cameo

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The Empire article that became a rap that became a Tom ... - 30/5/2013 12:56:33 PM   
The Insider


Posts: 2
Joined: 1/1/2006
Sounds crazy? I imagine so. And, unfortunately, it'll take a little time to explain this absolutely outrageous headline. I imagine you get sent about 17.233 mails a day, so I'll try to be brief - unfortunately though, I often can't help myself and end up writing what constitutes a small novel. I apologize in advance.

Dear Empire.

Let me rewind the clock first, though. Or, well, maybe it'll actually be a good idea to first introduce myself so you have an idea who the hell is about to write you a mail that'll make the average Béla Tarr film seem like a Michael Bay funded adrenalin rush (and yes, I have very little grasp of the English comma rules).

My name is Johan Albrechtsen. I've been reading Empire Magazine since the early 90's when I was relatively young boy. For the past several years I've been subscribing to your magazine, always anxiously awaiting the arrival of a new mag when the previous one's articles have been read and re-read about a dozen times. I'm Danish (as in the nationality, not the pastry), living in Denmark, and I work for Filmz, which is Denmark's largest movie website.

So, about that rewinded clock... Let me just say that like all of you and your readers, I've been a huge geek for all my life. Movies are my main passion, my hobby and luckily also my work. Movies have had a huge impact on my life. And back in 2009, on April 14th, an Empire article had a big impact on my life as well.

I was invited to my first junket ever, and as luck would have it, it was a junket for J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek". Now, I've been a movie geek all my life, but I've been a Trekkie since I was in the womb, practically. I'm one of those who has seen every episode of every series (many of the multiple times - although, let's not kid ourselves, the 3rd season of the original series, the whole of Voyager and the first two seasons of Enterprise were all pretty crappy), so when I got the invite I immediately felt that I had to do something alternative. Something different. But what? I had been a freelance film editor for years, so my first thought was to make a movie for the actors and Abrams. But there just wasn't time. What to do?

On my way to Paris I happened to read the latest Empire mag that I had brought with me. In it was an interview with J.J. Abrams. And these words immediately grabbed my attention: "On set he keeps the atmosphere light and informal, beat-boxing into the AD's mike between takes and occasionally giving instruction to his actors through the medium of rap". That's when I knew what I had to do: I had to write and perform a rap for J.J. Abrams. Heck, it was the least he deserved after breathing new life into my beloved franchise, considered destroyed beyond repair.

So I quickly thought of some relevant words, stuck them together in a few sentences, wrote them down on a napkin and went into J.J.'s suite. This is what happened:

With the words "You have to record that", J.J. set in motion the creation of a video, that has only just been finished and uploaded: A music video that celebrates Abrams as a filmmaker, the Star Trek universe he revitalized, and the awesome life of a geek. Several months ago, when I started wondering about the possibility of meeting J.J. again before the premiere of "Star Trek Into Darkness" i started planning this video based sequel. Because it wouldn't be enough just to rap for the man again. We spent the next several months assembling a team of skilled filmmakers and actors, and today the finished video was uploaded here:

As you can see (if you decide to click the link, that is - hopefully my first rap wasn't so terrible that it scared you away, even though it would be perfectly understandable!) we've managed to get some pretty crazy cameos in there - including none other than Tom Cruise (who loved the idea and yelled: "They're making a gift for J.J.", which we actually also have on video) and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (did you notice the title of the book he's reading?). All of this is meant as a celebration of being a geek - for only by embracing and releasing my inner geek and by shedding my ego can I gain the confidence and ability to meet Abrams again.

Unfortunately, though, I never got to meet J.J. again. During the press junket back in early May, he was a no-show for the day I was supposed to meet him. Later I was informed that he had prioritized some business meetings, and that very few reporters would get to meet him. Alas, despite showing a few clips from the video for the press people, there was nothing they could do. No strings they were willing to pull. Denmark is just too small a country to matter. Later, Benedict Cumberbatch went away early and decided not to come back. So, all in all, my life kinda went Into Darkness that afternoon :-) But still, I'm happy with the video we've made.

Why on Earth am I writing you all this? Well, I guess it's mostly just to thank you. If it hadn't been for that ONE sentence in that article four years ago, none of this would've happened. None of it. So thank you, Empire, for making this project a reality. You were as much a part of it as anyone else. I don't know if this will get through to James Dyer - the writer of the original article - but I'd love to thank him personally.

Oh well, I have a few more mails to write and stuff to plan. I'm thinking of actually flying to Bad Robot personally just to see if there's any possibility that we can show it to Abrams personally. Fingers crossed! Thanks for being a great magazine - stay classy, Empire Magazine! Rock on!

kind regards
- Johan Albrechtsen
Post #: 1
RE: The Empire article that became a rap that became a ... - 5/6/2013 1:58:16 PM   


Posts: 168
Joined: 7/11/2005
Try reaching them on Twitter on Facebook. The staff doesn't read the forum that frequently....

(in reply to The Insider)
Post #: 2
RE: The Empire article that became a rap that became a ... - 7/6/2013 5:46:18 PM   
The Insider


Posts: 2
Joined: 1/1/2006
Thanks, Fincher! I'll give it a try :-)

(in reply to Fincher)
Post #: 3
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