Saturday, March 08, 2008
Here's a quick, un-edited video on the subject of bullying. I made it for LadyMaryJay who's a schoolteacher in the UK, and who works for an anti-bullying program there. I almost didn't put it up here because it didn't seem relevant to a theory site, but I changed my mind when I realized that coping with bullies is actually a philosophical problem as well as a practical one.
The video's over nine minutes long. I should have have said it much faster. Oh well, here it is....
Posted by Eddie Fitzgerald at 5:29 PM
Friday, March 07, 2008
Thursday, March 06, 2008
It's up! Ha! My first pantomime video, called "Uncle Eddie: Paris Love"! Unfortunately the double exposures were fragmenting so much that I had to stop shooting. What causes that? Anyway, there's enough there that you can see where the story was going.
I'm sorry that so many of my recent posts have been about me. Even my own mother wouldn't want to read about me all the time. Even I'm getting tired of me. I think this self-obsession came about because I've been on the computer so much lately. I got a manual and I was determined to learn everything I could. I didn't realize that doing that would make me such a dull person to talk to. All my most recent adventures have been inner ones. Oh, well. I'll put the book on the shelf for a while.
Posted by Eddie Fitzgerald at 2:12 PM
I just did another video, one that tells a story, but YouTube wouldn't take the upload tonight. I figured I'd better do two in a row so I don't forget how I did it the first time. Anyway, visiting YouTube so often made me aware just how many Uncle Eddie's there are. There are cartloads of us! Here's a few examples from the spots right next to mine....
The first is Uncle Eddie, the rich real-estate dealer from Ghana (above). This guy is rolling in dough! If I ever get hard up for cash maybe I'll visit him for a hand-out. After all, we're related!
Here's (above) the hundred year old Uncle Eddie who still manages to beat up muggers. Lots of Uncle Eddies are old, which gives me the creepy feeling that nobody's being named "Eddie" anymore. That's a pity. The lineage is so noble! I don't know of any kings named Eddie ("Edward" doesn't count) but lots of athletes were.
Here's (above) somebody's "drunken Uncle Earl." I thought the title said Eddie, which is why I imported it. I'll still put it up because Uncle Earl had the spot immediately above me when I started out. Believe it or not drunken uncle videos are a whole genre on YouTube. There's a million of them!
Here's the most modest of the Uncle Eddies. He sings behind a coffin lid and never emerges.
Posted by Eddie Fitzgerald at 3:11 AM
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
Here it is! Two minutes and twenty seconds long, it's my very first internet video! I just found it by doing a YouTube search on "Uncle Eddie." I can't believe it! I've finally lost my virginity in this medium!
It's a terrible film and I apologize for it. The sound is beyond bad and the clips sometimes have no relation to each other. That's because each shot was really an excuse to experiment with some different facet of the iMovie 08 program. Oh well, I'm glad I did it. Seeing it has taught me a lot about what works and doesn't work on YouTube, and I could only have learned that by putting something out there.
Thanks to the commenter who prompted me to look up this "Wacky World of Tex Avery" clip. Yeah, I worked on this title, along with Mike F., Glen Kennedy, and Mike Maliani. I had nothing to do with the title card that began and ended the clip.
The concept for the title was simple: Tex would do something right and the series villain would attempt to do the same thing and would botch it. The problem was that the time devoted to the title animation was compressed so things happened too fast and there was no time to make adjustments in the animation.
The thing I remember most about working on the titles was the difficulty of keying action in the film to the words of a song whose only lyrics were the word "wacky," endlessly repeated. You can't say to someone, "The character hits the ground at the start of the word "wacky," because every word in the song was "wacky." I can laugh at it now but it drove me nuts at the time. I actually ended up liking the song but maybe I'm a victim of The Stockholm Syndrome.
The series was done in a timeframe and for a budget that would make Clutch Cargo look like "Gone with the Wind," so any comparison with the original Avery cartoons is impossible.
Posted by Eddie Fitzgerald at 5:43 PM
Monday, March 03, 2008
Doggone it! The YouTube video I uploaded still hasn't appeared on YouTube yet. I'll post it here when it does. In the meantime here's a post devoted to two of my favorite news stylists, Walter Winchell and Edward R. Murrow.
I'm not aware that either one of them had a serious newspaper background before going into radio. Murrow arranged educational lectures and interviews, and Winchell was a vaudevillian and a gossip columnist. You could say that both were like actors who played the role of journalists and managed to beat the real journalists at their own game, at least where presentation was concerned. They both were good, but I'll start with my favorite, Walter Winchell (above), maybe the greatest news stylist in broadcast journalism.
Winchell (above, introducing the characters about a minute into the show, then leaving) saw the radio news as an entertainment medium. That's common today when when lots of people get their news from Comedy Central, but it was a relatively new thing in the twenties when Winchell did it. He had a fast, ratatattat way of speaking, and he combined serious news with gossip and human interest stories, giving equal emphasis to both.
They say that watching Winchell broadcast was a real experience. He'd prepare for every show like it was the most important thing in the world. He paced up and down, deliberately psyching himself into a nervous state, not allowing himself even the relief of using the bathroom. During the show he'd tap on a disconnected telegraph key, sit on his knee, throw papers on the floor...anything to sustain the mood of urgency. He frequently referred to the busy Jergens Newsroom, which is funny because Jergens was a lady's hand lotion and there was no newsroom. I love the way he started his show: "Good morning Mr. and Mrs. America, and all the ships at sea!" Now THAT'S style!
Murrow was the master of understatement, of the pauses between words. He had a grave way of speaking yet his delivery had a note of self-parody in it, even when he was in earnest. It was a killer style that demonstrated that restrained under the top can be almost as drastic and surreal as wild over-the-top.
Murrow spawned a whole school of imitators including David Brinkley and Eric Severeid. The trick was to give every bit of the news that grave, measured, metronome beat. My guess is that Murrow's style came about as a reaction to Winchell's magnificent hysteria. Murrow decided to inhabit the silences that Winchell ignored.
Murrow was the kind of guy you'd watch compulsively. There was something magnificently awkward about him, the kind of awkwardness that translates into charisma. He had a thin, lanky body which required deliberate and thoughtful control to make it do the simplest things of life. He had to work at crafting facial expressions and he chain smoked to the point where he became a sort of patron saint to smokers everywhere. Cartoonists should study guys like this.
The "Person to Person"interview with Marilyn Monroe (above) is one of Murrow's best TV shows. You could argue that he didn't do very much in the interview but that would be a mistake. Murrow accomplishes a lot by simply transferring his awkwardness to other people. Marilyn was really spooked by it and so, apparently, were the other people in the room. We got to see a side of her that nobody else brought out.
Posted by Eddie Fitzgerald at 10:23 PM
I was dying to put up my first iMovie video today (Sunday) but it looks like that won't happen, so I'll shoot for Monday. It's just me sitting infront of the computer camera but I managed to bugger it up somehow. I'll see if I can fix it and get it up during the day...um, I mean get the film...well, you know what I mean.
Posted by Eddie Fitzgerald at 1:29 AM