This week, Eric sits down with Watchmen writer Cord Jefferson (The Good Place, Succession) to talk about what makes the show so singular in its unflinching look at race in America.
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By 1975, George Lucas knew exactly what he wanted Star Wars to look like, but what it would sound like was another story altogether. Lucas was tired of Sci-Fi’s typical synthetic and electronic cliches; he wanted a sonic world that felt organic and personal. So he hired a young sound designer named Ben Burtt, and sent him out into the world with a recorder and microphone.
Burtt would need to blend and manipulate his recordings in order to achieve original sound designs, customized in every way to help bring the Skywalker saga to life. Like a detective, Burtt would have to hunt for the perfect buzz, bark, or hum to make Star Wars come alive. And in the process, he and Lucas would help to change the way audiences experience sound in films.
With the success of STAR WARS, George Lucas finally had the independence and power to make movies exactly the way he wanted to make them—which was critical, because the sequels he planned were going to be even bigger and more challenging than the original. The artists of Industrial Light and Magic had barely finished the first film, but now they’d have to top themselves—designing a snow planet, imperial walkers, tauntauns, asteroid fields, a Cloud City, and a 12-mile long Star Destroyer.
From 1978 to 1983, ILM surged forward with the mandate to not only complete the original STAR WARS trilogy, but also expand the company itself. The ultimate mission: to push the edge of what visual effects could be, and ultimately lead cinema from its analogue origins, to its digital present.
When STAR WARS debuted in May 1977, it gave rise to a pop-cultural phenomenon unlike any the world had ever seen. The movie was so singular and iconic, and so technically ambitious — that it almost never came to be.
To bring Star Wars to the screen, new technology had to be invented and existing technology had to be utilized in ways never before imagined. None of the special effects companies in Hollywood could handle the blend of creativity and innovation necessary to bring director George Lucas’s vision to life. So Lucas built his own studio, and forever changed the way movies are made.
Libraries aren’t just for books. They’re often spaces that transform into what you need them to be: a classroom, a cyber café, a place to find answers, a quiet spot to be alone. It’s actually kind of magical. This week, we have stories of people who roam the stacks and find unexpected things that just happen to be exactly what they required.
Three people grapple with the question, “Are we alone?”
Blurring the line between animal and human.
Kevin Kelly was in Jerusalem. For reasons too complicated to go into here, he ended up sleeping on the spot where Jesus was supposedly crucified. After Kevin awoke, the thought came into his head: Live as if you’ll die in six months. So he did.
Original video: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/50/shoulda-been-dead?act=1
Downloaded by http://huffduff-video.snarfed.org/
Simulated worlds, Civil war reenactments, wax museums, simulated coal mines, fake ethnic restaurants, an ersatz Medieval castle and other re-created worlds that thrive all across America.
The radio version of an episode we did live on stage and beamed to movie theaters. David Sedaris, Tig Notaro, Ryan Knighton, and the late David Rakoff, in his final performance on the show.
The other half of this two-hour show was visual, including dancers, animation, and more. You can download video of the entire show.
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