Friday, May 18, 2007

Thanks for the Memories

Dear Classmates:

To bring to conclusion my Class Blog assignment, I wanted to write a few words about the class experience. Wow! You guys really kicked my butt--both fellow students and instructors. Thank you for a challenging and often intimidating classroom experience. I never wanted to come to class unprepared or, at least, without a damn good effort. Getting good feedback was always a hard won effort. This class reminded me that design can be fun, can be collaborative, and can be meaningful. I appreciate getting to know all of you and hope to have you as fellow conspirators in many classes to come!

My Anniversary is just around the corner, so why not post anothr fun shot!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Our Hero in Trouble!

Okay, now I'm getting worried.
Will I finish...Will I get this printed!
Tune in tommorow at 9:30 on Saturday for the exciting conclusion!

In the Lab: Printer Not Working

Why are we smiling?
I don't know...Dave is not picking up his cellphone.
Its Friday..we are the survivors.
We will survive Words and Images.

Class Perv

Um, when did this become official?

Saturday, May 5, 2007

How to make an 8 Step Process into 10 Steps --in only 6 Steps!

Panic and Call Dave Patchke
Its Friday and you are at work. You have never made a booklet. Your pages are in spreads in InDesign. Google Dave and find his number on the UBalt website. Explain to Dave who you are. Dave will tell you about the InBooklet feature. Thank Dave and plan to give him a hug at school tommorow.

InBooklet Feature
Use the feature and print.

Asssemble Booklet and Panic Again
Notice you have blank pages. Notice you can't get your pages in the right order. Notice this whole situation of figuring which page should go with which takes way to much brain power.

Go to the Graphics Lab
Run into Jill Blum at the Lab who tells you that your pages need to in multiples of four.

Final Panic
You will need to redesign 2 pages and writie copy very fast.

Print your Booklet
With 10 pages, your booklet has all the right pages. Proceed home to cut, spray and staple. Plan to make major revisions for Phase Four.

Hollywood Snarky

Bert Bender’s
How to Open a Summer Blockbuster Film in 8 Easy Steps:

Source Material
Find out what’s hot in the book clubs. Don’t underestimate the blue hairs when choosing suitable material. Try the New York Times bestseller list although tricky--steer clear of material considered elitist, or too intellectual for a big tub of popcorn family. Scour the canon of classic children’s books. Bite-size plots and instant audience recognition make these gems an easy sell. Old movies, ripe for a remake, are a goldmine. Many old B&W’s and are in desperate need of COLOR and CG to bring them to a hyper PlayStation generation. Once you select your source material, securing the rights is a pure business transaction. Prepare a 2-3-sentence pitch and bring lots of cash.

Hire the Writers
Writing the screenplay is best done by committee. Do not make the mistake of hiring a single writer. Your movie is not an Oscar contender--you are not looking to challenge and/or inspire your audience with pithy prose. Committees cater to the lowest common denominator. They do not offer ”a vision”, or have grandiose ideas of artistic expression, and/or panic attacks. Committees are used to compromise and will reach their deadlines. A successful screenplay should include snappy one-liners for the trailer and the poster. The plot should move quickly and allow the bulk of the film to be told in explosions and sex.

Book the Talent
Laughingly referred to within the industry as “The Talent”, your director and actors are in fact tools--tools of the trade. When hiring a director, look for a hungry, young, up-and-comer. Pick someone who has cut his teeth on commercials and music videos and is desperate to break into the movies. Be sure to yank the chain a few times—make sure your ‘director’ knows who is really calling the shots. Hire actors with marquee value that you can get at a cut rate. “Just over the hill” or an eager “next hot thing” are often good bets. The combination of aging action hero, stud-ly comic buddy and hot young chickadee ready to get naked at the drop of a hat is a winning combination in any film formula.

Marketing Campaign
Marketing is tasked with creating a need. That need is your film. And, like a great strip tease, the final product is best revealed in provocative, building increments. Start with the teaser trailer, sweepstakes emails, and a high on form, low on content “coming-soon” website. The best campaigns start at least one year before release date—plan ahead. Be sure to secure corporate partnerships. Tie-ins will make or break your picture in the marketplace. Saturate the field. Align your film with big-dog fast food chains, car companies, breakfast cereals etc. A thick, inescapable fog of coverage including TV, radio, print, and give-away chotkis should descend over your target audience beginning 6 weeks before release.

Shoot The Film
Move quickly. All problems can be solved in post.
For more information refer to Bert Bender’s Bestselling Sequel, “How to Shoot a Summer Blockbuster in 3 Easy Steps”

The Preview Screening
The preview screening is like a good wash and press. This is where the final wrinkles and pesky subtitles still screwing with your picture will be ironed out. Assemble a preview audience using call-in radio give-aways that simultaneously build hype and excitement and promote your feature. Hire a local marketing firm to run the screening and poll the audience. Find out what is working: Is the music carrying the plot? Are buttons being pushed? Does the audience audibly cheer when the hero kicks enemy in the groin? Is it loud enough when the tanker rams the flaming gasoline factory?
Collect comment cards and edit film accordingly.

Intensify Marketing Campaign
The Nazis had a word for it – Blitzkrieg! Lightning Warfare. Attack the audience with your message. Hit ‘em hard and fast and with mind numbing repetition. A numb mind is a receptive mind. You should have a stash of one-liners to use in the copy of your posters, postcards, t-shirts, key chains, hats, coffee mugs etc. Begin booking your “hot” actors on morning, day and late night talk shows. Rehearse the talent to repeat the one-liners at will. Trailers, TV spots, radio, print, billboards, plastic figurines, and toilet paper. Make it so they can’t breath, think, ingest food or expel waste without clearing their schedules for your opening weekend.

Open Film
Sit, back and wait for the numbers! Watch your film open on multiple screens in every multi-plex, shopping mall, or strip mall theatre from sea to shining sea. Big numbers on opening weekend are the key to securing your film franchise for another two pictures, additional cross promotion including DVD and video game sales, and overseas box office success. Make quick “congratulatory” phone calls to director and actors. Ignore the reviews.