Sunday, April 1, 2018

Training Montages and You: Worlds Preparations!

So, Saturday March 31st, I purchased a ticket to Worlds.  I'll be playing on Thursday, May 3rd, hoping to make my way into the Finals on Friday (May the 4th be with me?).  Let's talk about the most important part of preparing for Worlds: the motivational montage.
I HAVE, in fact, run up the steps of the Philly Art Museum.

The most important part of your montage, is of course choosing the right music.  I've written several times about the importance of music in Armada, and this is yet another one of those times (Sigh, regular John here again in the parentheticals).  You have to have something motivational but intense.  We all tear up when we hear Your Hand in Mine by Explosions in the Sky, but is that intense enough for you and your recap video?
Only if you're Matt Saracen.  I need to go rewatch this now.
You need to have something inspirational but also that's going to motivate you.  This is YOUR montage, so get something that means something to YOU. Pick your song and stick with it.  When the chips are down, you need one song that's going to mean something and get you back in the fight.  I suggest spending at least the next week figuring out the right song for you.  Take a good amount of time, listen to all the music in your iTunes library.  You may not immediately think that Ginuwine's Pony will be the most inspirational song you have, but honestly, take the time and LISTEN to it.
Miss you forever.

Selecting the wrong song could have dire consequences.  What if you go with something you like now, but midway through making this you decide that "Build Me Up Buttercup" doesn't motivate you as much as it used to? Then you've got to start all over again, costing yourself valuable filming time.
You'd be wrong of course, it's a great song, but what if it DIDN'T do it for you anymore? Again, music choice is the most important part of the next month.  Don't rush this part of the process.

Second, you need to have varied scenes.  This necessitates both multiple games and multiple opponents, with you in various outfits.  Your early games should show you losing, growing more and more frustrated as things don't go your way.  Show a game against one opponent going badly, and then have another against that same opponent also resulting in a loss for you.  You should lash out in anger, throwing a ship or dice in frustration.  You don't have time to ACTUALLY play these games, of course, that's for later if you can get the time.  The most important thing, again, is SHOWING your growth.  Remember the first rule of writing, show, don't tell.  This is why we use fancy pictures when we can in order to best explain ship to ship interactions!
Try not to be that ISD
Take another week to ensure you've got those scenes right.  You don't want to grow a beard midway through your montage and then have to shave it off to redo those earlier scenes!  By now we're midway through the montage.  You need to have a breakdown and realize what has been holding you back.  This should take place in somewhere quiet to contrast the loud, pumping music you have going on.  Churches, your bedroom staring at a wall, in your car quietly trying not to cry as you hit the steering wheel, all of these are good.  Explore your space, really get into the frustration and crying.  Don't think about Armada, don't think about your list or what you're playing at Worlds, just go for emotion and raw feelings.  Find several places you can have that breakdown in and film them all.  Who knows, your montage might even be better if you show yourself breaking down multiple times!  You have that breakdown, and then you rise up stronger from it!
Rise like the mascot of a university in Chicago that Eric and I both went to!
After that, of course, is where the montage has turned.  Both in intensity of the music (get stronger!) and what has happened.  You play dominantly, proving you're ready for whatever is thrown at you.  Show yourself playing games against 3 opponents at once, crushing them with your one well prepared list! It is now, because of the Rule of Three, that you play your final game against that one specifically frustrating opponent you already lost to twice.  You show your decisive victory, and you BASK in it.  Clench your fist in triumph.
Clench it!
Get in there, explore the victory and emotion.  Again, you don't have time to actually PLAY these games, but ensure you know what winning looks like.  Take your time seizing that victory.
No, the other one.
Don't gloat, no one likes a bad winner.  You want to show that you overcame the odds, but you don't want to be a jerk about it.  The NFL has touchdown dance rules for a reason.  In fact, touchdown dances aren't remiss, actually.  Here's the wikipedia link to a list of several of them.  I personally love the Ickey shuffle, but rewriting the lyrics to "The Super Bowl Shuffle" isn't a bad idea, actually (Yes it is, that song is perfect in every way).  Take your time and learn a few of those dances, you never know when you'll need to perform "Duck, duck, grey duck" at Minnesota with your bros when you win the final match there.
No, I wasn't kidding.  It's "Grey Duck" up there
As your montage winds down, realize that while it's May 1st and you haven't had time to prepare your list or practice with it, you've made a really good montage and you're ready to show the Worlds exactly what you're made of.  Practicing with your list? That's for people who didn't have the time or intelligence to do a montage.
(See everyone there!)


  1. I came here for the accurate and smart strategic posts...
    ... I stayed for the music advice.

    1. Ha, I have many thoughts about music, most of which don't relate to a Star Wars Armada blog, so I shove them in whenever I can.