I took last week off for the July 4th holiday weekend, but this week we are back to normal (so to speak).
Video: Gary Hecker – Veteran Foley Artist
Foley artists make the sound effects for movies and television. This video shows one of the industry’s most experiences foley artists at work, and it’s really fun to watch, both because you can see how sound are made and because the methods are often ridiculously simple or makeshift. So much of what Hecker does depends on timing and a good sense of how a sound will play on screen; relatively little, apparently, depends on digital manipulation of sounds after the fact. Interesting stuff.
Article: Revising Your Writing Again? Blame the Modernists by Craig Fehrman
This piece argues that the idea that large-scale revision is an important and necessary part of writing is a relatively new one, and that it is the product both of technology (especially the typewriter, but also cheaper paper and faster printing methods) as well as aesthetics (modernist writers’ emphasis on creating new, challenging, complex, allusive work rather than writing that was spontaneous or “authentic”). Fehrman also interestingly suggests that the computer— which would seem to make the process even simpler— may actually hinder revision at this level, because we are less likely to see a piece of writing as a whole, in front of us, but rather tend to mess with things bit by bit as we are writing them.
Pretty much what it says it is, this is a clever and striking way to illustrate just how much music we carry around with these days— which should make us consider how that changes how we think about and listen to music.
Finally, I have a couple of related recommendations. Over the last two weeks or so we have been watching The Genius of Design, a BBC miniseries about the history of design, which is excellent. It is by no stretch a complete history— it couldn’t be, in five 45-minute episodes— but it does a really good job of discussing some of the key ideas behind modern design, includes interviews with people like Dieter Rams and Jony Ive, and, most importantly, makes you think about how the things around you are made, and why. It is not yet available on Netflix, but you can stream episode 3 (for some reason) here.
Partly as a result of watching this, my wife spent some time online looking at the work of various designers— mostly graphic designers, in this case— and came across the work of Paul Rand (not to be confused with Rand Paul, *ahem, Google*). His work is very much of an era, but in a good way:
He also has some interesting things to say about the principles of design in this video.