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If I Had Power

June 2, 2017 Leave a comment

There are some things I would do with power. Some rules would be made about television commercials. Some rules about society in general would be made, too.

Television commercials for automobiles, directed at adults, must stop showing the vehicles in dangerous, high performance attitudes. Four-wheel-drifting on the salt flats is not how you should sell your van. It is not a performance vehicle, and there should not be scenes that make it appear macho to dangerously abuse the family car.

Television commercials for children’s toys and treats must stop making the crappy little plastic palaces and whatever, appear to be magical. Mnemonic devises, like clowns, dragons, and superheroes must not advocate for a toy or a treat. It is abuse of the little person’s mind, and when Mom gets the crappy toy, and it comes out of the box and does whatever it does, it is very little like the example in the commercial.

Television commercials for household products must stop making  everything look impossibly perfect. Sellers of cutters, choppers, and dicers must admit that the blades do not last forever. Perhaps they don’t last very long at all. And when a product is offered for $29.99…  “But wait! We’ll include a second gimmick at no extra charge! What’s more, at no extra charge we’ll include attachments to spin, curl, and cook with your gimmick.”

Go to hell, you TV hustlers. Nobody needs two tub scrubbers or two waffle irons. Just offer the damn things for $15.00 each, and see how it works out for you.

If only we had the television opportunity that they have in England. They can buy an annual license that gets them entertainment, news, and sports, commercial free.

We Geezers Were Men

March 23, 2017 3 comments

You probably don’t know this scrunched old man. When you a see an old person who looks feeble and weak, remember that person was not always that way. This old man is Jack Brabham, and he wasn’t always old.

jack

Jack Brabham was a simple mechanic in his youth. He sometimes worked on racing cars. He had a better idea: he designed and built his own racing car. When he wasn’t satisfied with the performance of his drivers, he decided to drive himself.

Many old people achieved great, daring, difficult tasks. Some people were driven by need. Some were driven by desire. Some of us just love a challenge. Australian Jack Brabham went after challenges as if they were necessary for life. For him, they were.

jack 2

Formula One Grand Prix racing is the ultimate level and maximum challenge above all other forms of automobile racing. Jack Brabham is entitled to be a geezer… and so am I, although my achievements were much smaller than his were. Jack Brabham was a world champion driver/designer/builder in that most exacting sport.

Writing Is Like Acting On Paper

August 19, 2015 Leave a comment

I especially like writing for television. I’ve always sketched just as much as I’ve written so I get to direct the scene with stage directions on paper. I have to say that I don’t know if my way is the best way or even a good way. I’m a grade ten dropout who was driving a courier car when I took a YMCA Guidance and Counselling test. It suggested that I be an artist or a writer and should expect – actually said expect – to excel in show business. It blew my mind. I was in my twenties and working three jobs to care for my wife and daughter. My counselor suggested I try to break into an advertising agency creative department as a faster way to earn a living.

I got out the yellow pages of the telephone directory, looked up Advertising Agencies and started calling them from A to Z. I gleaned a few appointments during which the flaws in my presentation were pointed out to me. After each rejection I rewrote and illustrated my presentation for the next appointment. Inevitably I was eventually in the right place at the right time. I had succeeded in getting through to the Creative Director of one of the most creative, award winning agencies. He said he had no need, but perhaps their sales promotion department could help.

I immediately hung up and called back to the promotion department. I got an appointment. The creative director had a writer away on vacation and another off sick and he needed a sales brochure for a client immediately. I had no idea what to do so I glanced at sheets of yellow typewriter paper on other writers’ desk on my way out. I went to my father’s office at night to use the typewriter. I wrote the brochure and sketched a layout and went back to the boss in the morning. He loved it and immediately put it into production and gave me another assignment for a name brand kitchen appliance company.

I soon rose to a level where I was writing and supervising production of television commercials for national brand products. What I had seen on those copywriters’ desks was texts with a line drawn vertically down the center of the page. On the left side in all upper case letters is the visual description of the scene while the right side of the line, opposite the description is the audio, be it narration or dialogue. Dialogue on paper is acting. First I assume the character of X. I become character Y for the response and so on.

Learning while working in advertising, I took the skills I acquired to another level. I created a television series using the same techniques that I learned and used in making television commercials. My storyboards and verbal descriptions helped make the scenes emerge just as I wanted them to. It was wonderful working with the actors in the studio. We would have lunch in the studio cafeteria most days. Coincidentally, I looked somewhat like Kenny Rogers in those days, and he was taping his show in an adjoining studio. We’d sometimes meet during lunch and took some kidding about our looks.

The series aired on a national network for more than thirty years.
https://search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?p=The+Waterville+Gang&ei=UTF-8&hspart=mozilla&hsimp=yhs-001