Saturday, July 16, 2005

Journey's End

I finally managed to go back and finish my Skyline Drive / Blue Ride Parkway trip. It really felt good to finish this trip. The 80 unfinished miles west of Asheville, NC had been eating away at me for a while. I've been sitting here trying to think of a way to express why I enjoy going on adventures. But then I realized that everything I would want to say has been said long ago, by people far smarter than me. So I will skip the long writeup and simply introduce two of my all time favorite quotes: We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we first started, and to know that place for the first time. --- T. S. Elliot Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do --- Mark Twain

Monday, July 11, 2005

Note to Hollywood

Dear Mr. or Mrs. Hollywood Producer, I saw on CNN that your industry is in a bit of a funk. Perhaps the reason is that your products suck lately. Here are a few random tips:
  • Sound mixing should be about more than simply sliding every lever on your equalizer to MAX, then cranking the volume in the theater to 10. Look up the word "clipping" and the phrase "dynamic range", as they apply to sound mixing. Or at least supply earplugs when we walk in the door.
  • Trying to fix a poorly framed shot by using so much camera movement that you inspire motion sickness... doesn't really fix the poorly framed shot. If your audience spends half of its time saying "What was that? or that? or... oh crap, I'm getting a headache", then you have probably overdone the camera movement.
  • Special effects are first special, THEN effect. When they stop being special, does it really matter if they are technical wonders?
  • If you spend 90 minutes on character and plot development, please don't finish your film with 60 minutes of car chases and explosions.
  • We all know how much a good one-liner will get your movie in the press. But please understand that a string of 50 one-liners is not the same thing as dialogue.
  • How much $ are you really saving by underpowering your projector bulbs? Do you realize how crappy the projection looks when underpowered?
Thanks for listening. Yours, -Mark Rebuck, P.S. You owe me $5.00 and 150 minutes of my life.