Happy birthday, Bugs Bunny! 73 today

July 27, 2013

On July 27, 1940, Bugs Bunny burst onto screens across the nation in his first Warner Bros. cartoon, “A Wild Hare.”

Lobby card for "A Wild Hare," Warner Bros, via Wikimedia

Lobby card for “A Wild Hare,” Warner Bros, via Wikimedia

Still wondering who was it said this.  Can you help me pin down the source?

Bugs Bunny is who we hope to be, but Daffy Duck is who we secretly fear we are.

Happy birthday, Bugs!

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The first on-screen appearance of Bugs Bunny, ...

The first appearance of Bugs Bunny as Bugs Bunny — 1940′s “A Wild Hare,” starring Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd.
Wikipedia image, from an unrestored version of the cartoon.


Dumb ways to die, and a catchy tune

June 25, 2013

Here’s a video I meant to post months ago — but I can’t find it now.  Martketplace had a story on it today.

The idea is, “don’t get hit by a train.”

Still from short movie PSA,

Still from short movie PSA, “Dumb Ways To Die.”

It’s a safety message from Australia.  Highest and best use of PSAs, if you ask me [most links added here].

A clever Australian public service ad campaign promoting train safety has swept a number of advertising prizes at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, the world’s biggest annual awards show for professionals in the creative communications industry.

In all, the rail safety campaign took home the most prizes ever awarded to one campaign in the festival’s history.

“We’re thrilled with the outcome of the campaign. The main reason for that is that it starts a discussion about train safety in a way that young people will associate. We’ve deliberately not been threatening or shown graphic imagery,” said Leah Waymark, general manager of corporate relations at Metro Trains, Melbourne’s private rail service.

Metro Trains helped to co-produce the three-minute video, “Dumb Ways to Die,” which was created to teach people to be careful around trains. Since its November 2012 release, the video has racked up more than 50 million YouTube views, sparked several parodies, and even spawned an iPhone game. Not bad for a safety warning advertising campaign.

See for yourself:

The vocals remind me of early Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians; I wonder if the artist has any other work out there worth listening to.

It won’t be popular for flash mobs, I predict.

Curious update, September 19, 2013:  This ad has been banned in Russia.  No kidding.

Controversy

Everyone fell head over heels in love with the campaign. Except Russia. (Naturally). The video was censored by the Russian government and viewers were informed that, “This content is not available in your country due to a legal complaint from the government.”   The Russian government convinced itself that this video promotes suicide in an attractive comic format and will entice children and teenagers to “push the red button,” “set fire to their hair” and “poke a grizzly bear with a stick.”

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Don’t miss the karaoke version!


How to tell testing is a monster in your local schools: “Test Menu”

June 18, 2013

This would be much funnier were it not so eerily close to stuff I’ve seen, even in great Texas school systems:

Details:

A :30 commercial created by The Canandaigua Film Society in Canandaigua, New York, to protest over-testing in schools in May 2013.

761

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Pixar’s 22 rules for a good story (how do they fit your organization?)

July 30, 2012

Pixar logo, with flourishes

From The Pixar Touch, a set of rules for writing a good story to translate to the screen.

Good rules to keep in mind for composition of stories in English, no?  Good rules of writing to keep in mind for any essay writing.

Where else do these rules apply?

Pixar story rules (one version)

Sunday, May 15, 2011 at 03:39PM

Pixar story artist Emma Coats has tweeted a series of “story basics” over the past month and a half — guidelines that she learned from her more senior colleagues on how to create appealing stories:

#1: You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.

#2: You gotta keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, not what’s fun to do as a writer. They can be v. different.

#3: Trying for theme is important, but you won’t see what the story is actually about til you’re at the end of it. Now rewrite.

#4: Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.

#5: Simplify. Focus. Combine characters. Hop over detours. You’ll feel like you’re losing valuable stuff but it sets you free.

#6: What is your character good at, comfortable with? Throw the polar opposite at them. Challenge them. How do they deal?

#7: Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle. Seriously. Endings are hard, get yours working up front.

#8: Finish your story, let go even if it’s not perfect. In an ideal world you have both, but move on. Do better next time.

#9: When you’re stuck, make a list of what WOULDN’T happen next. Lots of times the material to get you unstuck will show up.

#10: Pull apart the stories you like. What you like in them is a part of you; you’ve got to recognize it before you can use it.

#11: Putting it on paper lets you start fixing it. If it stays in your head, a perfect idea, you’ll never share it with anyone.

#12: Discount the 1st thing that comes to mind. And the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th – get the obvious out of the way. Surprise yourself.

#13: Give your characters opinions. Passive/malleable might seem likable to you as you write, but it’s poison to the audience.

#14: Why must you tell THIS story? What’s the belief burning within you that your story feeds off of? That’s the heart of it.

#15: If you were your character, in this situation, how would you feel? Honesty lends credibility to unbelievable situations.

#16: What are the stakes? Give us reason to root for the character. What happens if they don’t succeed? Stack the odds against.

#17: No work is ever wasted. If it’s not working, let go and move on – it’ll come back around to be useful later.

#18: You have to know yourself: the difference between doing your best & fussing. Story is testing, not refining.

#19: Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating.

#20: Exercise: take the building blocks of a movie you dislike. How d’you rearrange them into what you DO like?

#21: You gotta identify with your situation/characters, can’t just write ‘cool’. What would make YOU act that way?

#22: What’s the essence of your story? Most economical telling of it? If you know that, you can build out from there.

Presumably she’ll have more to come. Also, watch for her personal side project, a science-fiction short called Horizon, to come to a festival near you.

Tip of the old scrub brush to Farnam Street, who adds:

Still curious?Watch as Kurt Vonnegut explains the different shapes that stories can take.

Where else can you use this?

Consider the project you’ve got to lead, with one person from each department in your company.  What is your vision (the hackneyed but apt word) for how the project ends up?  Storyboard it — and keep in mind these 22 rules.  What’s the essence of your view of the project?  Can you tell it in a minute?  Get the story down to 30 seconds.  What are the stakes, if you get this project done well?  What are the stakes if you fail?   Everybody on the team knows the stakes?  Is your plan on paper?  Have you revised it?

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Happy birthday, Bugs Bunny! 71 today

July 27, 2011

On July 27, 1940, Bugs Bunny burst onto screens across the nation in his first Warner Bros. cartoon, “A Wild Hare.”

Lobby card for "A Wild Hare," Warner Bros, via Wikimedia

Lobby card for "A Wild Hare," Warner Bros, via Wikimedia

Who was it said this?

Bugs Bunny is who we hope to be, but Daffy Duck is who we secretly fear we are.

Happy birthday, Bugs!

More: 


Rachel Carson honored, explained in new movie

March 22, 2009

Watch for it on a screen near you.  Or buy the DVD.

“A Sense of Wonder” won praise at film festivals over the past few months, and now has premiered in a 100-city tour designed to get some attention for a near-documentary film, during National Women’s History Month.

Actress Kaiulani Lee painted her one-woman show on Rachel Carson on the big screen.  The movie tells the story of Rachel Carson and the tremendous growth of environmental consciousness and activism following her 1962 book Silent Spring. Karen Montgomery produced, Christopher Monger directed, cinematography was done by Haskell Wexler (two-time Oscar winner, for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and Bound for Glory).

(A screening is planned in Dallas on March 31 for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) — but it’s a private screening.  Only four other screenings in Texas have been scheduled.)

To find a screening near you, go to the “Sense of Wonder” interactive website, and click on “Screenings.”  From there, either click on the list of sites, listed by date, at “100-city tour,” or click on the interactive map to find a site near you.  You may also sign up to sponsor a screening.

The title for the movie comes from a passage Carson wrote, which worked into a title for her book, The Sense of Wonder:

If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life, as an unfailing antidote against the boredom and disenchantments of later years, the sterile preoccupation with things that are artificial, the alienation from the sources of our strength.

Junk science advocates continue their international campaign of calumny and falsehoods against Carson and restrictions on the use of DDT.  It would be good if this movie could get a circulation to persuade people to the facts of the matter.

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