Archive: March, 2015

How Wes Anderson’s cinematographer shot 9 scenes

Doesn’t get much better than Nico + slow motion as Margot (Gwyneth Paltrow) gets off the bus in The Royal Tenenbaums.

We are not colonists

Gita Jackson, writing for Boing Boing:

Where would avant-garde cinema be without Maya Deren, whose authorship of her own work was challenged—as women’s authorship is almost always challenged? If the current Fine Arts climate can support both Kara Walker and Ryder Ripps, I am sure gaming can handle both Merrit Kopas’s Hugpunx and EA’s Battlefield: Hardline. The same corporations that sell us the idea of gamers as an imagined nation are experiencing a wave of diminishing returns on their franchises. What we see in gaming right now is not colonialism, but evolution: the changes that need to take place for the art form to survive and thrive.

Sass guidelines

I’m not 100% onboard with everything developer Hugo Giraudel recommends in this long set of recommendations for writing Sass. Yet there’s an incredible amount of solid advice here, especially the bits on numbers, measurement calculations, and selector nesting.

Our favorite typefaces of 2014

For the record, I’ve dabbled with Skolar Sans on a side project and use Nitti Grotesk all the time within Writer Pro. Both are outstanding choices.

Designing the hiring process

Michael Owens writes over at Medium about common patterns shared around hiring solid designers. The post gives a lot of feedback (from several different perspectives, many that are contradictory) on some of the most common evaluation methods, including design exercises, interview panels, and portfolio reviews.

Action figure

Wonderful Grantland piece profiling Rueben Langdon, one of the film and gaming industry’s premier motion-capture stuntmen:

For the next 12 hours or so, Langdon, Toney, and Austin leap, tumble, and fall. Between takes, they discuss their beats: Who should punch where, how they should punch, how long a combo is too long a combo, and other sundries of performed battle. Occasionally, they shuffle to the sideline and pull out some action figures, modeling their moves the way 10-year-old boys might when daydreaming in their parents’ basement, before cartwheeling back into the volume like the real thing.

What emerges is the grace of chamber music, of movements that, when they fall, seem to fall exactly as they should, telegraphed by some higher balance and sense of symmetry.

Codes, chaos, and the world of Heat

The Dissolve’s Scott Tobias writes on key themes in Michael Mann’s crime epic:

And that’s the other side of Heat’s symmetrical relationships: There’s Cop and Crook, Pacino and De Niro, Order and Chaos. We can admire Neil’s skill, as Mann does, while understanding that the criminal life he’s trying to lead—disciplined, elegant, orchestrated with multiple exits and down-to-the-second timing—is a folly from the start. It’s folly to bring an untested, unstable con on the armed-truck job. It’s a folly to steal bonds from a sleazy hedge-fund manager (William Fichtner) and expect him to buy them back without consequence. It’s folly to open up his home and heart to a woman he’ll have to leave in 30 seconds if he feels the heat around the corner. And it’s folly to seek revenge when self-preservation is the most rational option. “A man got to have a code,” Omar says in The Wire, but having a code, as Neil does, and actually abiding by it are two different things. Sometimes, the plan goes out the window.

A vision for our Sass

Felicity Evans writes a “manifesto” for well written Sass in A List Apart:

Yet alongside the wide-scale adoption of Sass (which I applaud), I’ve observed a steady decline in the quality of outputted CSS (which I bemoan). It makes sense: Sass introduces a layer of abstraction between the author and the stylesheets. But we need a way to translate the web standards—that we fought so hard for—into this new environment. The problem is, the Sass specification is expanding so much that any set of standards would require constant revision. Instead, what we need is a charter—one that sits outside Sass, yet informs the way we code.

The web’s grain

Frank Chimero, writing in one of the smartest pieces on responsive and future web design I’ve read in quite a while:

The web is forcing our hands. And this is fine! Many sites will share design solutions, because we’re using the same materials. The consistencies establish best practices; they are proof of design patterns that play off of the needs of a common medium, and not evidence of a visual monoculture.

Art of the Title: ‘Do the Right Thing’

Art of the Title on the iconic opening to Spike Lee’s film, featuring a then largely unknown Rosie Perez:

But while Ann-Margret looks delighted as she belts out her musical farewell, Perez looks anything but. She is hard and strong and determined. She never smiles. This is because much of her on-screen anger was real. The shoot for Do The Right Thing’s opening took place on a soundstage in Brooklyn which had a concrete floor, and Lee insisted on numerous takes, encouraging Perez to continuously bring more intensity to her dancing. Her back went out, she injured her knees. By the time they wrapped, she was using crutches.