Michael B. Johnson, on Pixar’s practice of creating a complete prototype of every film before starting work on the actual movie:
We’d much rather fail with a bunch of sketches that we did (relatively) quickly and cheaply, than once we’ve modeled, rigged, shaded, animated, and lit the film. ‘Fail fast,’ that’s the mantra. With a team of 10-20 people (director, story artists, editorial staff, production designer and artists, and skeleton production management) you can make, remake, and remake again a movie that once it hits 3D will take an order of magnitude more people to execute. The complexity of the task does not ramp up linearly.
Johnson leads Pixar’s internal software tools team — his annual lunchtime talks at WWDC fill to standing-room only.
(Via Daring Fireball.)
One of my favorite ideas in Accelerando: a venture altruist.
This genius goes around telling people better ways to do things, making everyone else rich, for no fee. As a result, he gets comp-ed pretty much anywhere for anything.
R'lyehan tourist phrasebook:
Help. I am being devoured by your octopus.
My species does not breathe water.
No thank you. I do not wish a fungus.
I'm sorry, no. I have claustrophobia.
You seem to have a frog in your throat.
You seem to have a frog in your soup.
You seem to have a frog in your pants.
Would you like a lemon drop?
Such a beautiful turn of phrase:
…I think it [will] survive in a way far more like the way Cobol is still around today: as a zombie, unkillable and ready to eat the brain of anyone who wanders too close the legacy systems.
Really enjoyed an article on C.S. Lewis in The New Yorker (http://www.newyorker.com/critics/content/articles/051121crat_atlarge) -- partly, I think, because it articulated something that started to puzzle me when I was writing 'The Problem of Susan':
Yet a central point of the Gospel story is that Jesus is not the lion of the faith but the lamb of God, while his other symbolic animal is, specifically, the lowly and bedraggled donkey. The moral force of the Christian story is that the lions are all on the other side. If we had, say, a donkey, a seemingly uninspiring animal from an obscure corner of Narnia, raised as an uncouth and low-caste beast of burden, rallying the mice and rats and weasels and vultures and all the other unclean animals, and then being killed by the lions in as humiliating a manner as possible—a donkey who re-emerges, to the shock even of his disciples and devotees, as the king of all creation—now, that would be a Christian allegory. A powerful lion, starting life at the top of the food chain, adored by all his subjects and filled with temporal power, killed by a despised evil witch for his power and then reborn to rule, is a Mithraic, not a Christian, myth.
I was all set to pimp this episode of the UltraCreatives anyway. It's a great episode and I want to promote J.C. and Scott. This let's me do both at the same time. Then I get to the end of the episode and, sacred cow![pardon my strange Sigler reference], there's my promo! Cool.
UltraCreatives | 7th Son: J.C. Hutchins' Podcast Novel Trilogy: "UltraCreatives Interview #8: Scott Sigler"
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