Friday, April 28, 2006

Tommy opens at NAT Today

Joy. Glee. Maybehaps some good old fashioned Jubi-frickin-lation. The Cast, Crew, and we engine boys are ready to entertain you. As Chris from Kryptonite would say, “Prepare to be Splendored.”

The good news: the engine boys and I get to nap and drink and be merry and all that stuff. ‘Cause, man let me tell you, this whole thing was a job of work, boy-howdy. Don’t’ get me wrong, it was fun, but exhausting fun. It is possibly the most exhausting fun I’ve had without some rug burn involved. We made like over 300 slides or some such. Admittedly some were just black. But those were the hard ones. I had to color every pixel in by hand!

But, Tony Vezner (as seen on and the troupes and techs are just getting started. They are working hard to rock your face. Do them and yourself a favor and go see the show. Once again, tell ‘em Tim says hi. But not while they’re on stage. They won’t hear you due to the Who-style gee-tar blaring.

Warning: The songs will be stuck in your head until your dying days.

I’d also like to thank the folks we worked with. What a great group of people. Talent only eclipsed by how earnest and friendly they all were. And hey, I got Broadway star, Manley Pope on my MySpace. Whadaya know.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Get plowed early in the morning (and still make better decisions than a network executive)

I came up with a new drinking game.

Set your alarm for real early and watch the Today show on NBC. Tivoing it would be cheating.

Get you a bottle of something that will mess you up real good; sit back and watch Katie Couric.

Every time she stutters, messes up a line (even though they scroll by right in front of her on a Teleprompter), or get’s a name wrong TAKE A DRINK.

At about 8am, with your last sober breath, call ambulance. You will have taken a drink EVERY time she has said a sentence. This woman cannot talk. Sure we all get a little tongue tied but whycome:

1. She get’s paid 60 Million dollars to TALK. You, in your drunken state, talk more better gooder than she does.

2. And now she’s going to fall (up) to do real news on CBS and get more money.

Average people with the proper mouth parts and English as at least their third language can run circles around her as far as talking, and I’ll bet dimes to donuts that talking isn’t even their job. She is so tongue tied and sputtery, and obviously below average intelligence that this little drinking game satire is like shooting fish in a barrel.

I think a bunch of amatures should buy inexpensive video cameras and use the Internet to make media that people actually care about.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Gook Luck Indeed

Engine Studio and I are doing digital images for NAT’s production of Tommy, pretty much what we did for Alice. Check episode 12 of the progrum to see what I’m talking about

My job is to Photoshop the heck out of images to make them fit in with the story. There are a boatload of them. I’m turning to Google Images for a few.

In one scene in particular I need a crowd of hippies standing around.

So I Goggled, “hippy,” “hippy crowd,” and got little luck. Then I Goggled “protest march.” Most of the images had people standing around looking all happy, and very much like they were wearing the protest march as a fashion accessory. Hmmm, how did these people grow up to be yuppies? I thought briefly about Goggling “Future Sell Out.”

Next, I tried to think of milestones in hippy-dom. “Woodstock.” That returned more images of the more recent Woodstock than useable ones from the ‘60s. And there were crowds, but not the right ones. And too many signs for corporate sponsorship.

Then I tried “Kent State.” I didn’t get crowds. I got the other images you would expect: Cops with mortars, bodies, contrails of a tear gas canister lobbed at folk, riot gear, a few book covers on the subject.

But then in absurd Artaudian surrealism, there is a picture of a happy, shiny, bubbly, effervescent, college-bound, pretty young woman with a Kent State sweatshirt on. Right to her upper right is a picture of bazooka (or something) -wielding National Guard types. The caption below her reads: “Good luck at Kent State.” In-fucking deed.

I thought this was funny, and the more I stared at it, the more I cracked up. It was late, and I had been working tons. I still think it is funny today though. Not the death, and that dark day in our history, the juxtaposition. Think of if this bubbly cheerleader looking gal was there at the moment. Humor. Dark humor.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Records and the Past

I don’t know what triggered this memory, but damn it came all vivid and inexorable like. The kind of nostalgia that damn near knocks you down.

I had these books when I was bitty. Well, I had at least one of this type. And in addition to being a compelling story about how Mickey, Goofy, and Donald hunted Ghosts (and Stamped out VD…see the previous post for info on that), it had technology™.

Specifically, it had these records built into each page. They weren’t full size, only a few inches across. And there was this record player of sorts. You put a spindle of it into the hole on the record and pressed a button and it played. Man that was the coolest thing in the world to me. Here’s a hazy rendition of what it looked like.

Here is the apparatus that played stuff; see a spindle, and a needle.

I know, it’s not that big of a deal nowadays, what with some hyped up children’s books having more computing horse-power in them than all of the Apollo missions combined. I still thought it was cool though. Ahh, Nostalgia.

Some other Nostalgia news: I’m doing digital backgrounds for Tommy. The Who musical. I have fond memories of listening to that Albulm with my mom. It was really good. Better than the currently playing Mr. Roboto.

Shortly after we got a VCR (Video Recording Device of a type before mpeg-2 compression was all the rave with the kids these days), My mom Triumphantly rushed in with the movie version of Tommy. She had only seen it once (very, very, stoned apparently) and this was like a holy grail to her. We popped it in, amped. I vividly and distinctly remember waiting for it to get good. It never happened. Though, the Anne Margaret in Pork and Beans scene was kind of fun in a kinky way. We were both so disappointed. If you live your whole life without seeing Jack Nicholson sing, you’ve done good.

But, let’s forget the movie. I have gotten a cool assignment from the folks at NAT. I’m doing digital backgrounds for their play version of Tommy. It is radically different from the movie: no pork and beans.

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