Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Check it out (all proceeds go to the U.S. Postal Service):
Mark Twain wrote this long copy ad to promote a lecture he gave in San Francisco. He ran it in every San Francisco paper.
A Splendid Orchestra
is in town, but has not been engaged
were in contemplation for this occasion,
but the idea has been abandoned.
The Irish Giant! Who Stands
9 feet 6 inches
will not be present and need not be expected.
A Grand Torchlight Procession
may be expected; in fact, the public are
privileged to expect whatever they please
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Choose a San Francisco-based restaurant and rewrite their menu. This should include a brief history of the restaurant (short paragraph), renaming the menu items, and rewriting the descriptions for each dish. Also: consolidate the menu to four pages or less. Pick a restaurant you like that you've noticed needs some help with their menu. One example is a wine bar in the Lower Haight named Uva Enoteca. It has a menu with hundreds of wine, and none of them have any descriptions. A lot of wine lists assume that the person ordering is a wine expert, alienating occasional drinkers.
Or look at all the dim sum places in Chinatown with great food but ratty old menus with poorly written descriptions. The menu is your best chance to sell the diner on ordering a lot and making them confident in their decision. So make the most of it. Send me what restaurant you want to work on for approval. Thanks.
Monday, August 4, 2008
The most important parts of a piece of long copy are the intro and the conclusion. For the CD/DVD intro assignment, you should also have a title. If you don't have one yet, start working on it for the next round. It will also help you focus your thoughts.
I took a Rock N' Roll History class at the University of Florida with a journalist named William McKeen. This article he wrote about Elvis is a good example:
What We Talk About When We Talk About Elvis
© 2007, William McKeen.Intro
Appeared in American History magazine, August 2007
He's been dead for three decades and in some ways, death was a good career move. He continues to earn money — millions more each year than he did when he was alive — and new generations come to him, still transfixed by the quavering, shadowy voice singing "Mystery Train," recorded more than a half-century ago. Even in death, he still has the power to take us into the dark places of our souls, where we are surrounded by sorrow and loss.
When we hear Elvis sing “Good Rockin’ Tonight” or “Baby, Let’s Play House,” he is still young and beautiful and undeniably the King. We know how his story ends, but for that moment, when we hear that 20-year-old voice across half a century, he’s not really gone. He’s still with us, forever young, ready to be discovered by new generations of listeners, telling them of the promise that all of us once had.
Friday, August 1, 2008
This is an excerpt from the intro to Buena Vista Social Club, it's a good example of how a small anecdote can tell the whole story:
Just about everyone involved in the project remembers the moment that Rubén González showed up at Egrem for an "audition." Nick Gold, Juan de Marcos González and Ry Cooder watched from the control room as the diminutive, plaintive-faced González sat at the piano in the booth. The lights were dimmed. González caressed the keys, executing a tumbao progression. Without prompting, Orlando "Cachaito" López joined in on bass. After several minutes, the lights came up; González took it as a bad sign. "I thought they wanted me to stop playing," he recalled. Just the opposite: everyone in the control booth was keenly aware that the master still had "it."
-Ruben Martinez, journalist