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The TOTEM Poll: Totally Off Topic, Everything Media
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Old January 8th, 2004, 03:35 PM   #16
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See, those acting schools like the Actors Studio, are so busy getting their students to connect with their characters' inner souls, they forget to cover the basics. They ought to train actors on things like

Beverage Sipping 101
Deals with the trials of proper beverage sipping. The half cup. The full cup. The empty cup. Empathizing with the character's thirst.

Phone Management 101
Covers basics such as how people do not pick up 2 milliseconds after you're done dialing.

Music Listening 101
Covers how the perfect song for your character's emotion is not always playing on the radio at the appropriate time. Often times the song is not even one you know all the words to.

Computer Skills 101
Discussions of how normal people have to use the ENTIRE keyboard when typing. Includes workshops on mastering the mouse, which for some reason never appears to be used though it is required for computer usage. Also covers the strange phenomenon of computer programmers, hackers and general business users in film somehow working on Macs (e.g., banking software programming on a Mac in Office Space, or hacking an alien spaceship with a Powerbook in ID4).

And much, much more!
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Old January 8th, 2004, 03:40 PM   #17
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<<<-- Originally posted by Imran Zaidi : Computer Skills 101
Discussions of how normal people have to use the ENTIRE keyboard when typing. -->>>

I saw an interview with Sandra Bullock discussing "The Net". She said they wrote a simple computer program that would feed out a text file one character at a time when any key was pressed on the keyboard. What a surprise, that she wasn't really typing all that stuff! ;-)
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Old January 13th, 2004, 02:00 AM   #18
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Old January 13th, 2004, 03:44 AM   #19
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Yeah, I've seen those "type any character" programs in use. Actors dig not having to be accurate with their props.

Regarding Apple product placement: the company is VERY active in getting Macs on screen. And when the show ends, the gear gets sold off for half price--I've gotten a few nice toys that way.

But yes, they are usually in the wrong places like business environments. And we often end up covering the glowing Apple logos on late model Powerbooks because they are too distracting.

By the way, for "Office Space" fans, I've just learned that Mike Judge is finally doing another live action feature, "3001". Nope, I won't be working on this one though.
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Old January 13th, 2004, 10:00 AM   #20
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Old January 13th, 2004, 02:27 PM   #21
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In defense of actors: I once did an Amazing Stories in which the director thought it would be fun if my character was always eating. In all of my scenes, I was munching on a candy bar, a cookie, a hamburger, etc. This is all fine and good, until you remember that, at minimum, each scene required at least three takes -- a master, pickups for me and pickups for the actor I was talking with. In practice, we did as many as 30 takes for each scene (the shoot ran three days over schedule, which is a lot for a 1-hour episodic). I had spit bags available but, for many scenes, it simply wasn't possible to use them -- the scenes were too long and I had to swallow some time. At the end of each day, I was literally sick from eating dozens of candy bars, cookies, etc. For one sequence (which involved a monkey stealing french fries from my plate -- don't get me started!) I actually _ate_ 7 hamburgers (and spat out many more). Needless to say, I didn't get to take advantage of the production catering and spent more than my share of time at the honeywagon.

If you see actors "faking" drinking coffee, it's because the produce didn't want to provide catheters.
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Old January 13th, 2004, 11:04 PM   #22
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Okay, I have an answer to the original question. I can't promise it's the correct answer, in fact it's probably not, but it's the one that's commonly repeated here in New York. Those blue cups are an institution in New York City to the point that when someone goes to get coffee, people will say "no blue cups," meaning "get real coffee." All the street vendors and people like that have the blue cups because supposedly they were overproduced on a massive scale years ago and the distributor has been trying to get rid of them ever since, to the point of practically giving them away. You always see those cups in cop shows in New York City, probably because it's considered local color. Every New Yorker would be distracted if the cup looked like anything else. You also have to assume it's the most readily available prop anyway because those damn cups are everywhere. I couldn't imagine why they would be used in a film set anywhere else, and in fact, I can only ever remember seeing them in shows that take place in New York City. They were drinking them tonight on Law and Order, as a matter of fact.
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Old January 13th, 2004, 11:09 PM   #23
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That's an interesting side note, Marco. I've never noticed them. Anyone have a pic?
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Old January 13th, 2004, 11:36 PM   #24
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Ah, Marco, thank you! I suspected that such might be the explanation!
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Old January 14th, 2004, 01:55 AM   #25
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Oh yeah, those! They've got that sort of "Ancient Greece" theme pattern on them in blue and white. I think of them as diner cups, the ones you get when you get a coffee to go in NYC.
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Old January 14th, 2004, 08:38 PM   #26
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<<<-- Originally posted by Charles Papert : Regarding Apple product placement: the company is VERY active in getting Macs on screen. -->>>

The February issue of MacWorld has a feature on the 20th anniversary of the Mac with some interesting celebrity columns. Rpber Ebert writes
Quote:
Macs turn up in movies all the time - not so much because of product placement, but because so many movie people use them and like them. A historian of the future, counting all the on-screen computers between 1983 and today, would likely conclude that Macs represented 90 percent of he computer market.

Alas, this is not so. But since any reasonable person would choose a Mac over a PC, Apple's market share does provide us with an accurate reading of the percentage of reasonable people in our society.
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