Archive for October, 2016

Do they still play the blues in Chicago
When baseball season rolls around
A Cub’s Fan Dying Request/Steve Goodman


©2006 Scott W. Smith

Last night the Chicago Cubs won their first World Series game in 71 years. It was kind of a big deal for the Windy City. Tomorrow the Cubs host the Cleveland Indians in the first World Series game to be played at Wrigley Field since October 10, 1945.

And even though 71 years is a long time to wait to win a World Series game, the Cubs actually haven’t won an entire World Series since 1908. That’s 108 years ago for those of you keeping score.

Part of that team was immortalized in the Franklin Pierce Adams poem Baseball’s Sad Lexicon:

These are the saddest of possible words:
“Tinker to Evers to Chance.”
Trio of bear cubs, and fleeter than birds,
Tinker and Evers and Chance.
Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble,
Making a Giant hit into a double –
Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble:
“Tinker to Evers to Chance.”

Tinker to Ever to Chance is about Cubs players Joe Tinker, Johnny Ever, and Frank Chance who were the best double play combination of their day, and one of the greatest of all time.

Joe Tinker retire to Orlando, Florida where he died in 1948. Back in 2014, a year after I returned to my hometown of Orlando after a decade in Iowa I made this short film about Tinker Field—named after Joe Tinker.

I’ve had the good fortune to visit Chicago 15-20 times over the years for various reasons including shoots, edit sessions, anniversary celebrations, conferences, etc. and look forward to any opportunity to travel there. I think I’ll reflect on Chicago in my next post.

Best wishes to the Cubs and their fans. It’s been a long  wait. Seems like a fitting end to this post is to close with Steve Goodman’s A Dying Cubs Fan’s Last Request.

Related posts:
Screenwriting da Chicago Way (2.0)
Adam Mckay, Del Close, & Chicago
The Heart of Chicago
Second City of Chicago Turns 50
85 Bears, 50 Super Bowls & 1 John Madden

Scott W. Smith

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Sound Design (Foley)

In continuing a sweeping overview of various people and jobs that help make movies, today I’ve found five videos that explain and demonstrate sound design from the perspective of foley.

While Hollywood feature films will have a team working on sound design, the techniques that are shown here can be scaled down to smaller idependent productions.

P.S. One of my favorite sound design stories was a behind the scenes video or commentary on Cast Away where someone commented that they auditioned 100 photocopiers to find the right sound.

Scott W. Smith




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Film Editing

“For a writer, it’s a word. For a composer or a musician, it’s a note. For an editor and a filmmaker, it’s the frames.”
Quentin Tarantino

“The sad fact was the shark [in JAWS] would only look real in 36 frames not 38 frames. And that two frame difference was between something really scary and something that looked like a great white floating turd.”
Steven Spielberg

Scott W. Smith

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First and Final Frames

Jacob T. Swinney’s First and Final Frames videos show the collaboration of filmmakers. Unless it’s in the shooting script it’d be almost impossible to know in every film featured when these opening and closing shots came together to complete the arc of the story. I imagine the final results are the credit of either the screenwriters, directors, cinematographers, or editors (or some combination of those).

Scott W. Smith

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In less than an hour these hand picked videos I found on the Internet give you a sweeping overview of sound recording (mostly from the perspective of boom operating) for film & Tv—as well as webisodes, and video production in general. And, of course, it covers one of the most iconic pieces of equipment found on an set—the boom mic set-up which normally consists of a shotgun mic, boom pole, shock mount, windscreen/windshield, and an XLR cord or plug-on wireless transmitter.

And few things are as recognizable on a set as a boom operator with headphones on a set holding the boom set-up in the air. It’s a hard job— even when the boom poles these days are lightweight carbon fiber—and a learned skill. And on electronic news gathering (ENG), documentary, short films, corporate work, and low-budget features the audio person is often working solo meaning they are working the mixer as well as operating the boom.

It’s work that’s tough on the arms, hard on back, all for the sake of making the sound sweet to the ears. Hug a sound guy or gal today.

Scott W. Smith

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In keeping with Sydney Lumet’s quote that “moviemaking works very much like an orchestra” today’s post is a video that looks a little more into cinematography. Beyond having an appreciation for those that help translate screenplays into visual images, this video will help you think cinematically.

With an army of film schools grads, others workshops trained,  and perhaps even more self-taught all over the world—with their own cameras—teaming up with one of them is a great way to get your  words turned into short films, websiodes, and features.

Everyone aspires to do better work so keep an eye out for a cinematographer who has honed his or her craft working on award-winning corporate videos and commercials but would love to team up with someone like you to mix up their reel and help them move into more narrative work.

P.S. And for good measure here’s look at a few more lights and shadows by cinematographer Roger Deakins.

Related post:
10 Cinematography Tips by Roger Deakins

Scott W. Smith

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Here’s an overview of cinematography by RocketJump’s Creative Director Mike Symonds:

Scott W. Smith


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