master-of-his-craft

blargha-the-mighty-elven-warrior asked:

2 & 3 for the home library meme?

2. Favourite female writer.

Alice Munro. Canadian short story author and probably one of the best short story writers there are, period. If you ever want a master class in writing just get a pile of short story collections and lock yourself away for the weekend. 

Do that anyway. She’s amazing. 

3. Favourite male writer.

I should say Homer or Honore de Balzac but honestly, it’s American, Ed McBain (AKA Evan Hunter). He invented police procedurals and absolutely mastered his craft. 

From The Kiss:

“This was a city in decline. The cabby knew it because he drove all over this city and saw every part of it. Saw the strewn garbage and the torn mattresses and the plastic debris littering the grassy slopes of every highway, saw the bomb-crater potholes on distant streets, saw the black eyeless windows in the abandoned tenements, saw public phone booths without phones, saw public parks without benches, their slats torn up and carried away to burn, heard the homeless ranting or pleading or crying for mercy, heard the ambulance sirens and the police sirens day and night but never when you needed one, heard it all, and saw it all, and knew it all, and just rode on by.”

That is tight, beautiful writing. Every word is important and in just the right place and that paragraph tells you more then most authors can communicate in 2 or 3 pages. 

Just…*sigh*

2

I’ve loved doing the Star Wars films with all the fanfares and flourish and the galaxy far, far away. I actually feel like I’m still in it, that I never really left it, you know? Having worked on all of the six films, I’m just happy to be continuing to be part of the whole fun of doing it.

Course I haven’t seen the script…but I can’t imagine that there will not be some references to the existing stories that we know that would necessitate and make appropriate the use of some of the earlier themes. Which actually, for me, has been part of the fun of doing film after film because in each case I’ve been able to use the earlier material and develop new material that would co-exist with it and hopefully feel like a part of the fabric of the film.

Since I don’t know the story, I have to tell you and confess to you that I would always prefer not to read scripts and even not to hear stories and look at cue cards and so on, and wait for the moment of discovery with the audience of the film itself. So I’m as surprised as they are and I know where to put the surprise button, you know, having not been prepared by a script.

And of course doing the first film I, and I think our colleagues working on the film, had no idea that there was gonna be a second film, let alone a third or fourth. So I’m waiting anxiously like the audience around the world to find out what the surprises are and discover what my continuing role is going to be.

John Williams on Star Wars, the past and the future.

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A reminder that Bob Ross was a goddamn wizard.  

He painted fluffy pretty white clouds.  USING THE COLOR RED.

Most important though?  He was nothing if not very encouraging to anyone willing to try.  That’s what made him the best.

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Ulan

Johnoy Danao

Maliban sa aking gitara
Ikaw lang ang tanging nais makasama

Nais kong maging kumot
Sa katawan mo ako ang babalot
Kapag nanunuot na ang lamig, hihihi

Gawin mo akong unan
Ang sarap-sarap mo lang pagmasdan
Alam kong nagtu-tulugtulugan ka lang

Nadadama mo bang bumibilis ang pintig
ng puso kong nagpapahiwatig
Nakikita mo ba ang mga mumunting kidlat
Tuwing sa hugis mo ako ay lalapat

Yan ang utos ng…

[chorus]
Ulan, ulan, wag ka munang lumisan
Ulan, ulan, dalasan mo ang minsan
Ulan, ulan, wala kaming nais puntahan

Pagka-inip ay di uso
Walang plano ngunit sigurado
Wala na ‘kong hahanapin pa

Ikaw at ang aking gitara
Pinagkukunan ko ng ligaya
Pakinggan mo ang aking kanta

Hindi na kailangan magbitaw ng salita
Ano mang tumatakbo sa isipan
Pinamigay na yun ng ating mga mata
Dinggin ang paanyayang sumayaw sa aking kama

Sa saliw ng ulan…

[repeat chorus twice]

Wala kaming nais puntahan

Wala kaming nais puntahan

Wala kaming nais puntahan

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No matter your opinion of him, you cannot deny that George Carlin was a fucking wizard with words.  

2

Scene analysis: Joe vs. Tom (Halt and Catch Fire, S2E7)

I loved “Working for the Clampdown” because Joe was at the center of every major beat in this episode (finally!), and we got to watch him interact with almost every other main character. In each of these scenes we see different aspects of Joe – the shrewd businessman, the persuasive salesman, the master manipulator, the wounded beau still hoping for reconciliation, etc. – and Lee Pace knocks it out of the park in every instance. For admirers of Lee’s acting (and of fine acting in general), this episode is a particular treat: watching the richness, complexity and detail of his performance was like taking a master class in the acting craft, from how to use the broad brush of physicality and movement down to the tiniest of subtle, nuanced expressions and telltale little gestures, from his voice acting to acting without dialogue.  

One of my favorite scenes is the one where Tom comes charging into Joe’s dingy little workspace at Westgroup, all upset because he thinks Joe is trying to bribe him with a pack of lies. (Mark O’Brien is very good as Tom Rendon, but I’m going to focus primarily on Joe/Lee in this analysis.) Joe looks up and seems surprised (though I’m sure he was expecting this exact confrontation), then gives Tom a wide, innocent-looking (“oh hey, howya doin’?”) smile, and immediately turns on the charm when Tom asks indignantly about the packet he had left for Tom at his mother’s house. I love the little wink – both disarming and conspiratorial – that Joe gives as he points to the term sheet in Tom’s hand.

At first Tom is standing upright on the other side of Joe’s desk, but Joe remains seated even though Tom is looming over him at this point. The height difference eventually pulls Tom down so that he’s hunched over the desk, leaning his hands on the table – in other words, he’s being drawn into Joe’s space. However, even with Joe sitting down, the power balance is in his favor. 

Joe continues to sit and even lean back in his chair, his body language all self-assurance and ease. To Tom’s accusation that Joe is lying, he counters that the offer (and the numbers) are real, and that the only new piece of accounting in the term sheet is what Tom “would personally stand to make” from the Westgroup acquisition of Mutiny. Joe is all serious and no-nonsense as he tells Tom that rather than offering him a bribe, Joe just did the math for him. 

Sensing that Tom still needs some convincing, Joe tries a different tack and finally stands up, regaining his height advantage. But he maintains a disarming smile and a friendly tone in his voice, pointing out astutely that Tom could have told him all this over the phone, implying that Tom must have something else in mind by coming all the way out to see him in the Westgroup offices.

Tom (like the child that he is) retorts that since Joe invaded his space, he figures he’d invade Joe’s in return. He’s even pouting slightly as he says this. (Poor Tom – he has no idea how outmatched he is in this confrontation.)  

Now Joe moves in for the kill. Leaning in – as though he were sharing something confidential with Tom – Joe notes that Tom cares about Cameron and for good reason, because “she’s special”. He says all this in an almost avuncular voice, and with a look of utter sincerity and concern. Having thus preempted any suspicion Tom might have that Joe is either still angling for Cameron or trying to undermine her, Joe then appeals to Tom to not let Cameron make her decision “from a place of pure emotion.” (Sidenote: It’s a nice little sexist appeal – “Just between us guys” – to the male ego to save the woman from her own emotions, which are always coded female.) 

The pitch lands right where Joe intended it to, and Tom has no comeback other than to say that he’s not even going to tell Cameron that they spoke. Joe says simply, almost nonchalantly, “OK.”

But Joe knows his bait worked – Tom is now caught on his hook. As he watches Tom exit huffily from his office, Joe can’t help but break into a satisfied little grin.

What did you think of this scene?

Halimath's Pride

The story of Halimath Arnuanna is a cautionary tale relating the dangers of pride and arrogance, even in those who have again and again proven their superiority of skill. 

Halimath was a smith who had transcended all boundaries of metalworking in his craft. A true master with the hammer and tongs, each piece of precious metal commanded his complete attention, each blow of the hammer comprised his entire world. His creations were truly marvellous and inspired such awe in others. With each passing year, his skill grew ever greater. Elves travelled the world over to see his works of art. 

Centuries passed, and the grey elf decided that his life’s work should culminate in the creation of one truly magnificent artefact —preferably a sword—to be wielded in the cause of good. He had no doubts about his skill, and he had the costly metals and gems with which to make and ornament this sword. But the grey elves had banned the making of any more weapons of power. They wanted no reminder of the Elf war or the Fractioning, and they forbade Halimath to make such a sword. The elf would neither listen nor obey; breaking the laws of his land was but a small price to pay for the glory of the magic he would wrought.

Thus commenced Halimath’s destruction. The rituals the elf sought to enchant the blade were dark and arcane, their powers hardly more than he could contain. Halimath continued without regard, believing that the creation of the Sword of Justice would atone for any evils he committed while creating it. 

The first spell he cast almost cost him his life, so strong were the magics within it. This spell ensured life to the wielder of the blade for as long as the Sword was held. A second spell enchanted the weapon so that it could only be used on the side of goodness, and the third ensured the Sword would strike down the foes of the wielder with but a single blow.

Rumours of Halimath’s transgressions reached the ears of the grey elf elders. The wisest and most just of them, Andriana, confronted Halimath and demanded the truth. To her folly, she held up the Sword to emphasize her point.

The master smith flew into an insane rage at his creation being so touched.

His massive fist struck the frail elf woman, and she crumpled to the floor. Blood splattered across the blade in Andriana’s hands and stained the carpet beneath her still-breathing form. Halimath stared down at the woman in horror, his senses returning to him in the cold light of what he had done. He knew the other elders would never allow him to finish the Sword of Justice, and that thought alone consumed him. 

He grabbed the Sword and fled.

Shortly after, the grey elf elders discovered Halimath’s misdeeds. Though Andriana lived, the elders swore the blood oath against Halimath. They hounded the elf day and night, until they finally cornered him; though bruised in body and spirit, he was still unrepentant.

Halimath let out a great cry and raised the Sword of Justice in defiance against the elves who harried him. He leaped to attack, but the blade crumbled to dust in his hands. 

When the arrows pierced his body, Halimath fell dead

mentalfloss.com
How Chuck Jones Mastered His Craft
How did Chuck Jones become so good? Discipline, rules, and logic. In cartoons.

“Chuck Jones is one of the key animators and directors behind Looney Tunes. He created Marvin the Martian, Pepe LePew, Wile E. Coyote, and The Road Runner. His animated shorts are legendary for their wit and style, appealing to kids and grownups alike. So how did Jones work? What made his films special? In this nine-minute documentary, Tony Zhou explains the evolution of Chuck Jones as an artist.”

anonymous asked:

What do you think of the Raven King, John Uskglass?

Ah!  Now there is a /proper magician/; ever courteous, ever aspiring, ever elegant.  And such power… A master of his craft.  I’ll have you know that I was an honored member of the host that enabled his conquest and that I am still his servant and, of course, his confidential friend!