Archive for September, 2012

Tintorero, HBO – Original music by

Bernard Herrmann – Psycho

Psycho is a 1960 American suspense/horror film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, John Gavin, and Janet Leigh. The screenplay by Joseph Stefano is based on the 1959 novel of the same name by Robert Bloch. The novel was loosely inspired by the crimes of Wisconsin murderer and grave robber Ed Gein, who lived just 40 miles from Bloch.

The film depicts the encounter between a secretary, Marion Crane (Leigh), who goes to a secluded motel after embezzling money from her employer, and the motel’s disturbed owner and manager, Norman Bates (Perkins), and the aftermath of their encounter.

Psycho initially received mixed reviews, but outstanding box office returns prompted a re-review which was overwhelmingly positive and led to four Academy Award nominations. Psycho is now considered one of Hitchcock’s best films and is highly praised as a work of cinematic art by international critics. It is often ranked among the greatest films of all time and is famous for bringing in a new level of acceptable violence and sexuality in films. After Hitchcock’s death in 1980, Universal Studios began producing follow-ups: two sequels, a prequel, a remake, and a television movie spin-off. In 1992, the film was selected to be preserved by the Library of Congress at the National Film Registry.

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Warm-Up: Ducks, Brass Monkeys, Apathetic, Sympathetic … Best Test!

It’s been told that some decades ago, Jerry Lewis “performed” the following exercise while filling in for Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show.

It was called The Announcer’s Test, originated in the early 1940s as a reading test for prospective radio talent. In that era, the “prospect” would read the progression for clarity, enunciation, diction, tonality and expressiveness.

And the prospect had to perform it PERFECTLY! No stumbles or stammers. Plus, it was to be read with FEELING and MEANING! Continue reading →

Behind the Music: Red Dead Redemption

15 Film Production Credits Explained


Ever wonder what all those strange credits are when they roll by at the end of a film? I used to, until I moved to LA, where I started meeting Best Boys and Dolly Grips with their kids when I took my son to the playground—yes, Hollywood, where you meet Gaffers and Armourers at your average Saturday night house party.

So I started asking questions, and here’s what I’ve learned:

1. Boom Operator

No, this job has nothing to do with explosives or pyrotechnics. The boom referred to is a long pole with a mic attached to it–the mic that picks up all the dialogue the actors are saying. The boom allows the mic operator to move with the action and stay out of the camera’s field of vision. Continue reading →

100 Riffs (A Brief history of Rock N' Roll)


El Valle de la Luna, HBO – Original music by

George Martin – Yellow Submarine

Yellow Submarine is a 1968 animated musical fantasy film based on the music of The Beatles.

The film was directed by animation producer George Dunning, and produced by United Artists (UA) and King Features Syndicate. Initial press reports stated that the Beatles themselves would provide their own character voices, however, aside from composing and performing the songs, the real Beatles participated only in the closing scene of the film, while their cartoon counterparts were voiced by other actors.

The film received a widely positive reception from critics and audiences alike. It is also credited with bringing more interest in animation as a serious art form. Time commented that it “turned into a smash hit, delighting adolescents and esthetes alike”.

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Audioslave – Be Yourself

Audioslave was an American rock supergroup formed in Los Angeles, California, in 2001 and disbanded in 2007. The four-piece band consisted of then-former Soundgarden lead singer/rhythm guitarist, Chris Cornell, and then-former Rage Against the Machine members, Tom Morello (lead guitar), Tim Commerford (bass/backing vocals), and Brad Wilk (drums). Critics initially described Audioslave as an amalgamation of Soundgarden and Rage Against the Machine, but by the band’s second album, Out of Exile, it was noted that they had established a separate identity.

Audioslave’s trademark sound was created by blending 1970s hard rock with 1990s alternative rock. Moreover, Morello incorporated his well-known, unconventional guitar solos into the mix. As with Rage Against the Machine, the band prided themselves on the fact that all sounds on their albums were produced using only guitar, bass, drums, and vocals.

After Audioslave released three successful albums, received three Grammy nominations, and became the first American rock band to perform an open-air concert in Cuba, Cornell issued a statement in February 2007 announcing that he was permanently leaving the band “due to irresolvable personality conflicts as well as musical differences.” The 2007 Rage Against the Machine reunion and tour involving three members as well as solo albums released that same year by Morello and Cornell cemented the supergroup’s permanent demise.

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The Power of the Pause: Let Your Listeners Absorb What You Say

I’d like to offer some thoughts about what I call the “power of the pause,” and how it’s importance in effective communication needs to be kept in mind when recording and editing voice tracks.
When I began narrating and producing audio for corporate/industrial clients over 30 years ago, much of it was instructional material. Stuff that was to be used to train people in the use of specialized equipment, procedures; and/or motivate people to improve their selling skills, etc.
Because this material by it’s very nature can be tedious to listen to, I learned very quickly the power of the pause.

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