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The Reel Deal and Other Bad Jokes
Tuesday, April 20, 2004
 
"He practically wrote the book on it. Wait, he DID write the fucking book."
Today the PCC Sound Operations class, usually taught by Ben "Word" Turney, had a session with David Yewdall of NCSA. He wrote a book called "Practical Art of Motion Picture Sound," that we use as our textbook. How cool is that, to know and be taught by the guy that fucking wrote your college textbook? It's got a green cover with some vague pictures taken from the inside of the book. David showed us the cover that he pitched to the publishers. It had a bunch of guys in jumpsuits holding sound equipment and featured a topless woman. He identified them all. "That's so-and-so, a famed boom man...that's John Smith, he's real good at getting sound effects, from the wierdest places...oh, the topless chick? That's my wife." Grunts of manly approval and chuckles all around. David said "Sex sells," and he's right. I'd probably have finished the damn thing by now if it had his cover on it. "Look, Mom, my coolest textbook ever!"

I was appointed the task of taking pictures for the PCC newsletter, and I annoyed everybody with it. What could I do--I couldn't turn the flash off on the digital fuckin' camera that Ben gave me to use, and when I did turn it off I couldn't get good pics. Oh well. There should be something good for Sarah to use.

He talked about editing and mixing. I confess I tuned that bit out, or at least forgot it. If I ever want to be a Foley artist then I should know that shit, but it was a lot of computer stuff...I generally learn that sort of thing by doing. "Hey, what's this button do if I click on it? Hey, what just happened? OK, now where's the fucking manual?" No, seriously...the easiest way to learn a program is to fuck around with it yourself, with help only when you actually need it.

"Foley" refers to manufacturing sound effects, after a man named Jack Foley. He worked for Universal Studios back in the day, and they were the last ones to adopt the "Foley stage" term. That's gratitude for ya. A number of us had the opportunity to get in one of a number of Foley pits, this one filled with dirt and rocks, and simulate running. We had to try and synch it up with a clip from "Starship Troopers," a movie David worked on. Running, running up a hill, a kind of shuffle/side-step, hit the dirt, move around a bit while blowing up some bugs, get back up, run into a cave. All of this in a space three foot square. I went twice.

***

Great idea I stole from Monkey--stick some punctuation in between topics. I'm using asstracks for this post, you know, the star thingies that you see above this paragraph--but I may switch to a line: __________________ or maybe some cartoon cursing: %$#@&!!!, since I use so much of the real thing.

***

Gloat retracted. Apology offered. Let's all restrain ourselves in the future, if possible. If impossible, a ban will be reinstated.
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Online Masters Degree