In this Monday’s Link Roundup there are many treats. If you’re a graphic designer, I think you’ll love watching Print in Motion Winner: Medusa in Fragments. For those who admire good craftsmanship, don’t miss The Last Letterpress and Paper Store in Downtown Los Angeles. It’s a poignant video about what is being lost in our digital world.
- Memoir Writing Tips for Creating Story Structure and the Narrative Arc. “Memoir writers struggle with plot and structure for a very good reason: they think they know the plot. They assume that writing “what happened” is enough to create a memoir, and think that putting journal entries into the computer can be their memoir. A memoir is a story, created and constructed with skill and focus. It can be chronological or it might not be. Writing a memoir asks for you to dig deep into your biography and come up with scenes that bring a reader into your world fully and inspire them to keep reading–something about you and your story is relevant to their lives.Some tips for thinking about story and plot:”
- From Psalters to Downloads. “The MP3 is just the latest in a long line of ways of buying music. Tim de Lisle composes a short history …”
- Print in Motion Winner: Medusa in Fragments. [Video]“With so much stunning work being produced in the world of motion graphics these days, we wanted to invite the field’s artists to show off a bit. And so Print in Motion was born. We approached the competition with no real parameters other than to feature the most interesting and innovative work we could find, and to build a forum for designers eager to see—and be inspired by—what their peers are doing.We received many worthy entries, but eventually we whittled them down to 10 standouts, starting with this great piece titled Medusa in Fragments.”
- A Storytelling Lesson from South Park. [Video] “A while back I gave some tips for tightening stories. One of them was to watch out for “and then” syndrome. That is, if you find yourself saying “and then” a lot, what you have “may not actually be a story, but just a long sequence of events”…Then this weekend I came across this video of South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone making the very same point. Only more eloquently. (And profanely, of course.)”
- Nelson Mandela’s life in a digital museum. “For a look at the future of digital museums, check out the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory’s new digital archive composed of thousands of scanned documents from the African leader’s life…But instead of scanning them and dumping them online for scholars to peruse, the center, with Google’s support, created a virtual museum experience — highlighting certain pieces from the archives, putting them in the context of Mandela’s life and then enabling a visitor to the site to go deeper if they’d like.”
- The Last Letterpress and Paper Store in Downtown Los Angeles. [Video] “ink&paper is a portrait of Aardvark Letterpress and McManus & Morgan Paper, neighboring businesses working together to survive in a digital era. The film was directed by Ben Proudfoot, a film student at U.S.C., and he describes the making of the film in a brief interview below.”
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Posted in Monday's Link Roundup
Tagged Downtown Los Angeles, history, How to, ink&paper, journaling, letterpress, link roundup, Los Angeles, Matt Stone, Medusa in Fragments, memoir, music, Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, paper store, print in motion, South Park, storytelling, Tips, Trey Parker, video, Writing
In this week’s Monday’s Link Roundup, I was particularly touched by Bowl full of memories. Involved as I am at the moment in sorting through my late mother’s possessions, I’m acutely aware of the power of the stories evoked by even the simplest of objects. And for you wordsmiths, don’t pass up I like words. It’s one tasty treat!
- Wikipedia Didn’t Kill Britannica. Windows Did. “Print will survive. Books will survive even longer. It’s print as a marker of prestige that’s dying. Historian Yoni Appelbaum notes that from the beginning, Britannica‘s cultural project as a print artifact was as much about the appearance of knowledge as knowledge itself. Britannica “sold $250 worth of books for $1500 to middle class parents buying an edge for their kids,” Appelbaum told me, citing Shane Greenstein and Michelle Devereux’s study “The Crisis at Encyclopædia Britannica.”
- How the art of eavesdropping is fuelling boom in oral history. “Last week the British Library announced it is to work with local BBC radio stations to set up The Listening Project, a Radio 4 programme that will create an oral survey of the nation by putting together thousands of recorded conversations from across Britain. Selected daily excerpts will be broadcast on Radio 4 before news bulletins from the end of this month and an omnibus edition will be aired at the weekends.”
- Man Who Learned to Read at 91, Writes a Book at 98. “For 91 years, James Henry, a lifelong fisherman, did not know how to read and write and carried the shame of not being able to order from a menu. It had been his life’s ambition to read. Now 98, the Connecticut captain has achieved that, and more, penning a memoir of short stories about his life at sea.” [Thanks to Paula Stahel of Breath & Shadows Productions for alerting me to this item.]
- ‘Your Playlist Can Change Your Life’: Can music boost your brain? “Anyone who’s had a bad day, then flipped the car radio on and caught the first notes of a favorite song knows how quickly music can lift the spirits. But can that momentary burst of musical power be tapped more strategically to make you a better, happier, more productive person?”
- 15 Books That Should Be On Every Grammar Geek’s Bookshelf. “People writing “your” when they mean “you’re” makes you cringe. The song “The Way I Are” makes your hair stand on end. You can’t read user comments on websites anymore because you can feel brain cells dying off just trying to make sense of them. You, dear friend, are a grammar geek. As such, there are books that constitute required reading for those of your ilk. After you’re done editing this article, proceed to your nearest bookstore and purchase these must-have titles for rolling in the depths of grammar.”
- I like words. “When copywriter Robert Pirosh landed in Hollywood in 1934, eager to become a screenwriter, he wrote and sent the following letter to all the directors, producers, and studio executives he could think of. The approach worked, and after securing three interviews he took a job as a junior writer with MGM. Pirosh went on to write for the Marx Brothers, and in 1949 won an Academy Award for his Battleground script.”
- Bowl full of memories. “…we are defined by so much more than our possessions, despite our rampant consumerism. Yet I believe that for each of us, there are one or two objects that resonate so much, they indeed cut to the heart of who we are.”
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Tagged Academy Award, application, BBC Radio, benefits, Book, Britannica, British Library, Encyclopædia Britannica, grammar, How to, letter, Life stories, memoir, memories, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, music, Resources, Robert Pirosh, Tips, Wikipedia
As usual, this Monday’s link roundup is pretty eclectic. For music buffs, check out MIT’s Oral History Project which looks at 100 years of music at MIT. For fans of singer, songwriter Kathy Mattea, don’t miss her interview with Graffiti Magazine about her latest album Coal. She talks about the importance of place and family in the writing of the songs. And for any of you thinking about using speech recognition software, you might be quite surprised by Jon Morrow’s 20-minute video. I certainly was.
- Canadian Genealogy Centre. The Centre, under the auspices of Library and Archives Canada, states that its mission and vision is: “to facilitate the discovery of our roots and family histories as a basic part of our Canadian heritage. To encourage the use of genealogy and the resources available in libraries and archives as tools for life-long learning.”
- Eyeless in Gaza. “Joe Sacco is one of the world’s leading exponents of the graphic novel form…writers often get called “unique”. But Sacco’s work truly is, combining as it does oral history, memoir and reportage with cartoons in a way that, when he started out, most people – himself included, at times – considered utterly preposterous.”
- Music at MIT Oral History Project. “For over 100 years, music has been a vibrant part of MIT’s culture. This history covers a wide variety of genres, including orchestral, chamber, and choral musical groups, as well as jazz, musical theater, popular and world music…Through in-depth recorded audio interviews with current and retired MIT music faculty, staff, former students, and visiting artists, the Music at MIT Oral History Project is preserving this valuable legacy for the historical record.”
- Kathy Mattea on coal and frog gigging. “The Grammy-winning West Virginia native talks to [Graffiti Magazine] about her new album, ‘Coal’… I’ve gone through music I had long since forgotten; I’ve discovered the roots to a lot of music I’ve been doing for a long time…I uncovered a lot of family stories; my own history. I mean it has been profound; really a life changing experience.”
- Software helps share stories. “A team of researchers with the Montreal Life Stories project and the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling (COHDS) have been able to turn a wish list of possibilities into a software program capable of organizing, classifying and eventually sharing recordings of memories and experiences. Stories Matter is a free, adaptable software program capable of working with Macs or PCs.”
- Does Speech Recognition Software Really Work? “One of my favorite posts from around the web last week came from our own Associate Editor Jon Morrow. He recorded a 20-minute video post for Problogger about how he works with speech recognition software to do all of his blogging.”
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Some of you may be unaware that including favorite pieces of music in your travel, birthday, wedding or life story videos is illegal if that music has a copyright. It doesn’t matter if the only people who are going to see your production are family and friends. It doesn’t matter if you’ve bought the CD and are using only a few clips. It doesn’t matter if you’re never likely to get caught. The truth is that using someone’s original work and not paying for it is essentially stealing.
So what’s the solution? You can get permission to use the music from the copyright holder. This is not for the faint hearted. It can be a lengthy and expensive task – hardly something you’d want to do for Uncle Jack’s retirement video.
There are several other possibilities. What I do is hire a local musician to compose and play original music for my videos. He’s excellent and has been kind enough to give me a great rate. There are all kinds of struggling young musicians out there who would love to compose and play something that would work in your video. Check out your local music school, University fine arts department and the Internet.
Another solution is to use royalty free music available from a number of web-based companies. One I discovered and would certainly recommend is incompetech. It’s owner/composer/musician Kevin MacLeod offers a wide selection of his own work and makes it available for free or a modest $5 donation. You can’t beat that.
I’ve assembled a partial list of other royalty free music providers below. Just click on the site for further information. I haven’t used any of these, so I can’t personally vouch for them.
Photo by Olivier