CMU School of Drama

Recent Comments

Friday, August 29, 2014

It's all in the details: these miniatures changed movies

The Verge: Perhaps it’s having grown up in the ’80s and a hearty dose of nostalgia in the face of overwrought visual effects in modern movies, but there’s something indescribably powerful about the special effects in films like Blade Runner, Alien, and Dark City. It was an era before CG took over, a time when nearly a century of practical special effects culminated in whole armies of craft workers and artists that knew how to bring the audience to another world or dimension.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Announcing the Laser University Channel

Signshop: Learn how to do basic laser engraving techniques (such as color filling or using foil) by watching a video on the Laser University Channel on YouTube. See videos packed with CorelDRAW tips for laser owners such as how to scan artwork and make it into a laser-cutting project.

Facebook friends answer call to party -- in real time

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: At 3:55 p.m. Saturday, this message was posted on Charlie Humphrey’s Facebook page, along with a photograph of a tented party space at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts: “Be here. Now.”

To Work Better, Work Less

The Atlantic: Between 1853 and 1870, Baron Haussmann ordered much of Paris to be destroyed. Slums were razed and converted to bourgeois neighborhoods, and the formerly labyrinthine city became a place of order, full of wide boulevards (think Saint-Germain) and angular avenues (the Champs-Élysées). Poor Parisians tried to put up a fight but were eventually forced to flee, their homes knocked down with minimal notice and little or no recompense. The city underwent a full transformation—from working class and medieval to bourgeois and modern—in less than two decades' time.

Idiot-proof wake-up alarm: Screaming Meanie

Boing Boing: When I travel I often use earplugs at night (E.A.R foam are my preferred brand) to mute the sounds of strange places and get a good night’s sleep. Only problem is, the pathetic “eep eep” sound of a typical travel alarm cannot penetrate the earplugs. For years I have searched for a truly heavy-duty portable alarm, and finally found a good candidate at the Petro Truck Stop in Kingman, Arizona: The Screaming Meanie.

Watch a Time-Lapse of the Phoenix College, Nanolumens Install In the depths of the Great Depression President Franklin D. Roosevelt promised the American people a “New Deal.” From 1933 through 1943, a constellation of federally sponsored programs put millions of jobless Americans back to work and helped to revive a moribund economy. These programs produced a rich landscape of public works across the nation, often of outstanding beauty, utility, and craftsmanship.

North Carolina Film-TV Incentives Sliced Amid Conservative Tide

Variety: North Carolina legislators have ditched the state’s longtime film and TV incentives program amid a conservative push to cut back on such government support. “We knew that this would be an uphill battle and we were cautiously optimistic,” said Johnny Griffin, director of the Wilmington (N.C) Regional Film Commission. “The problem was that a lot of legislators were philosophically opposed to any incentives, period. So we were absolutely not surprised.” North Carolina has been home to 800 productions over the past three decades.

What's The Difference Between A Logo And A Symbol?

Co.Design | business + design: The misuse of the word "logo" is one of those things that gets many design-minded people practically purple-faced with anger (a sibling to debate over "fonts" v. "typefaces"). A logo, they say, is not the same as a symbol, which in turn is not the same as a combination mark.

Disney thinks it could turn drones into flying TV screens and puppet masters

The Verge: Disney has never lagged in animatronics or high technology for its shows and theme parks — they're more or less tiny, high-tech surveillance dystopias with classic rides, exorbitantly expensive food, and all your favorite TV and movie characters from childhood. But a handful of patent applications pointed out by MarketWatch are particularly interesting

Carnegie Mellon Photo Editing Tool Enables Object Images To Be Manipulated in 3-D

Carnegie Mellon News - Carnegie Mellon University: Editors of photos routinely resize objects, or move them up, down or sideways, but Carnegie Mellon University researchers are adding an extra dimension to photo editing by enabling editors to turn or flip objects any way they want, even exposing surfaces not visible in the original photograph.

Here's What Sin City Looks Like Before They Add Any Special Effects It takes a whole lot of special effects to bring a comic book to life on the big screen. So what does a movie like Sin City: A Dame for Kill look like before all the after effects are applied? The answer is basically nothing like the actual film.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

8 Misleading And Really Tough Questions You Could Be Asked In Job Interviews Knowing how to deal with tough interview questions properly can put you miles above the other candidates. Your body language, voice and content of your answers are all factors that play into you getting hired. This article will detail some tough and misleading questions that generally confuse potential employees and will help you get an insiders view on what employers are looking for in your responses.

Eagle-inspired Public Artwork Takes Flight with Gatorfoam

Signshop: Not unlike its artistic inspiration, community spirits soared at the June 7 unveiling of the new “Eagles in Flight” public artwork in Pitt Meadows, British Columbia, as part of the city’s 2014 Pitt Meadows Day and Centennial celebration. The cubed-shaped mural installed in the city’s Harris Road Park is a collaborative effort of Pitt Meadows’ resident and internationally recognized artist Brad Dinwoodie and community residents.

arboreal lightning by atmos studio responds to musical performances to enhance a series of musical performances, atmos studio has designed and installed an interactive tree-like network of LEDs in london’s camden roundhouse venue. titled ‘arboreal lightning’, the illuminated sinuous form responds to sound input, producing a dynamic lighting event to activate each show. the project was initially undertaken to complement the four-day ‘reverb festival of contemporary classical music’, aimed at showcasing technological innovations. the piece was commissioned in part by musician imogen heap, and will complement her on a year-long world tour.

Rock 'n' Roll's Company Town

WSJ: This town of 9,400 people in Amish country tells the story of the modern concert industry. In 1968, when Frankie Valli and his group rolled in for a show, two young brothers who did sound for local dances turned the Four Seasons into one of the first music acts to tour with its own speaker system. The brothers built a reputation on the road, but they never moved out of Lititz. Their company became an anchor for a cluster of businesses that now supply the sound and spectacle for many of the world's biggest acts.

New Grad? Learn These 4 Differences Between School And Work Now Everyone says that high school prepares you for college, and that college, in turn, prepares you for the real world. But there are some huge differences between school and work that you really need to drill into your head before you start going on interviews, because otherwise, you’re in for a really rude awakening.

Six Inventive Materials to Outfit a Space

EcoBuilding Pulse: Innovations that render everyday building materials more sustainable are exciting to follow, but they can be slow going and varied in scale. This week, we’re tracking developments across the industry in this product smorgasbord—from a finish that turns hardwood flooring into a VOC buster to a structural concrete masonry unit containing half the typical amount of cement, and to a slightly-more-sustainable way to manufacture glass-fiber furniture components.

Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival welcomes crowds to medieval re-creation

TribLIVE: Fans of “Game of Thrones,” “The Quest” or “Lord of the Rings” may never get to journey to the flat-screen worlds of Westeros, Everealm and Middle Earth. But beginning Aug. 23, they can immerse themselves in some of the gentler, less perilous aspects of those cape-and-crown kingdoms with a day trip to the Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival.

The Secret to Creating a Great Company Culture

PowerTips | Remodelers Advantage: On this week’s episode, Victoria gives you tips you can use to help ensure you have a fantastic company culture. And if you’re thinking, “why should I worry about that?” consider this: A great culture drives happy employees. Happy employees turn customers into raving fans. And raving fans, my friend, drive referrals.

Test: Amazon's Used Book Prices Are Consistently Low

Shopping - Consumer Reports News: College students shopping for used textbooks online this semester should first check out Amazon. In Consumer Reports' first-ever college-textbook shopping test of five popular websites for college textbooks, Amazon's used-textbook prices were consistently low. Barnes & Noble generally posted higher prices for used textbooks.

Los Angeles Darkening Outlook as Home for TV

Variety: Los Angeles is in grave danger of losing even more TV drama series because of the limits of the state’s production tax incentive program, a new report asserts. FilmL.A. disclosed Wednesday that Hollywood has seen a 34% decline in TV dramas shot in Los Angeles since 2006-07 from 73 to 48 currently. Additionally, 13 of those 48 one-hour shows are receiving the state’s production tax credit — which did not exist in 2007.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's Ballet Under the Stars showcases next generation

TribLIVE: “I would stack them up to any ballet in the country,” said Suzanne Kendig, who was joined by her husband, Thomas, for the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's annual Ballet Under the Stars on Aug. 17 at Hartwood Acres.

A Legendary Sign

Signshop: Some signs are legendary, and the Banshee identity sign for the new roller coaster at Kings Island amusement park in Mason, Ohio lives up to the mythological creature it was named after. Hardly a harbinger of doom, the Banshee sign actually proved to be a good omen for Exhibit 3 Fabrications, LLC ( of Erlanger, Kentucky.

SAG-AFTRA Members Approve TV Contracts

Backstage: SAG-AFTRA members overwhelmingly approved the union’s new contracts with producers. With over 92 percent voting in favor, the membership approved the three-year contracts covering theatrical, primetime, and basic cable television production under the 2014 SAG-AFTRA Codified Basic Agreement and the 2014 SAG-AFTRA Television Agreement. Only 16 percent of the union’s some 137,000 eligible members voted.

Fine-Art Students Get Lessons in Business

WSJ: The Juilliard School, the Berklee College of Music in Boston and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music have embraced programs or courses aimed at developing students' business acumen alongside their artistic skill. Entrepreneurship is also a hot topic in courses at the Rhode Island School of Design and the Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, while the certificate program in design entrepreneurship at Pratt Institute of New York has been in such high demand that the school is expanding the program to accommodate more students.

3 Questions Amazon's CEO Asks Before Hiring Anyone

The Muse: Amazon has forever changed the way people shop online, but it wasn’t always the juggernaut that it is today. In fact, once upon a time it was just a tiny startup with a big vision. So, how did it end up as the giant online retailer that it is now? It’s hard to say, but one thing founder Jeff Bezos was very intentional about was how he hired for the company. In fact, in his 1998 letter to shareholders, just four years after Amazon was founded, Bezos wrote, “It would be impossible to produce results in an environment as dynamic as the Internet without extraordinary people… Setting the bar high in our approach to hiring has been, and will continue to be, the single most important element of’s success.”

How Shadowing Coworkers Can Make You Better At Your Job

Fast Company | Business + Innovation: Work4, a social recruiting company, discovered the key to making employees more productive and improving communication between departments was to answer this question.

Review: Front Porch's 'Parade' marches to obvious conclusion

TribLIVE: Alfred Uhry and Jason Robert Brown's “Parade” is a musical I wish I could love. With themes of justice delayed and denied and the abundance of intrigue and political posturing surrounding a historic murder trial, the possibilities for drama would seem to be endless.

CHAUVET, Santana, and Buddy Guy — Lighting Legends!

CHAUVET® Professional - Lighting Insights Newsletter: Ask any music critic to make a list of the most influential guitarists of all time, and it won’t take long before the names “Santana” and “Guy” appear. Carlos Santa and Buddy Guy have garnered 16 Grammy Awards between them and for one magical night this summer, the two guitar virtuosos performed on stage at The Greenwich Town Party under the light of 22 Legend 230 SR Beams from CHAUVET Professional.

Sound mixers and sound editors honored at Emmys

Dolby - Lab Notes: When the lights go down on the Nokia Theatre stage in Los Angeles for the 66th Primetime Emmy® awards ceremony on Monday, August 25, millions of people across the United States will tune in to NBC to see whether their favorite TV shows and actors receive the coveted awards. But for sound mixers and sound editors, the big awards action took place at the Creative Arts Emmys ceremony, held on Saturday, August 16, at the same location.

Your Phone Is Key To The Future Of Concerts

⚙ Co.Labs ⚙ code + community: Imagining the future can be tricky, but one thing’s awesomely clear about the future of concert-going: It won’t include paying a “convenience” charge to print your own ticket at home. More and more, seeing your favorite band play live revolves around your mobile phone. Now Ticketfly, a venue and promoter ticketing platform, is announcing the acquisition of WillCall, a point-of-sale platform and consumer app that aims to define the new concert experience.

No Exit at bubble:PGH

Theater Reviews + Features | Pittsburgh City Paper: Recently, Carnegie Mellon School of Art students Max Hawkins and Robb Godshaw designed and built a giant white plastic bubble held up only by the output of a large air-blower. Not about to let a good thingamajig go to waste, a clutch of Carnegie Mellon Drama students calling themselves bubble:PGH have invaded the contraption and are presenting Jean-Paul Sarte's classic drama No Exit.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Spooky handmade puppets bring this short horror film to life

The Verge: Puppets are just about the creepiest things around, and that's why a new short horror film called "The Mill at Calder's End" looks like it will be a real winner. Hollywood puppeteer and special effects artist Kevin McTurk (who's previously worked on films such as Batman Returns, Jurassic Park, and The Aviator) is leading the project, which was funded on Kickstarter last year. The film's called a "Victorian ghost story," and McTurk says the work is inspired by such literary giants as Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft.

Mergers? No Thank You, Programmers Say It would seem that the media industry’s merger fever has broken, based on the comments made by top executives at programming companies during earnings calls in the past few days. When Rupert Murdoch called off 21st Century Fox’s bid for Time Warner it was time for other programmers to ask shareholders to have faith in corporate strategy to push stocks higher rather than dream of buyout profits.

College dorm shopping? Make a registry - Jul. 30, 2014 Move over brides and expectant moms: Now college-bound kids want to be showered with gifts also. Gift registries have long been popular for lots of big life events, and now we can add college to the list.

Freeman Gives Customer Service Training to Trade Show Installers

Successful Meetings: The most successful trade show exhibitors give superior customer service. Now, event production and marketing company Freeman wants them to receive superior customer service, too. It has therefore partnered with the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (I.A.T.S.E.) to develop and deliver customer service training to I.A.T.S.E. employees, who are involved in the production, equipment and construction of trade show installations, it announced last week.

The Rules of Networking on Social Media (Because Yes, People Still Break Them)

The Muse: When my first book, The FabYOUList, was published, my publicists recommended that I become more active on social media in order to build buzz and grow my audience. Never one to do things halfway, I quickly turned my personal Facebook page into a “Public Figure” page and signed up for Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and Google+.

How Workplace Happiness Affects Your Paycheck Studies have shown that when we are happy at work, we are smarter, more motivated, more competitive and, thus more successful. While it’s widely known that overall fulfillment allows us to enjoy more meaningful relationships and better health, few understand that it impacts a paycheck… significantly.

“Tamara” at Quantum

The Pittsburgh Tatler: It’s 1927. You’re in fascist Italy, in the splendid – one might even say, decadent! – villa of the famous poet and war hero Gabriele d’Annunzio (Fermin Suàrez), awaiting the arrival of Polish artiste and bohème supreme Tamara de Lempicka (Megan MacKenzie Lawrence), who is hoping to obtain a commission to paint d’Annunzio’s portrait. You’ve somehow found your way into the oratorio, a music room eclectically decorated with Persian rugs, masks, taxidermied animals, and (of all things) a large coffin. The talented musician Luisa (Robin Abramson) plays piano while the pious, pretty ballerina Carlotta (Cathryn Dylan) practices the dance she hopes will earn her d’Annunzio’s recommendation to Diaghilev, when – ta da! – Tamara arrives.

Church Lighting is Different — A Talk with Greg Persinger

CHAUVET® Professional - Lighting Insights Newsletter: All the world may indeed be a stage as Shakespeare wrote, but despite what some may think, the rules of theatrical stage lighting do not always apply to churches. At least that’s the view of LD Greg Persinger of Vivid Illuminations in Nashville; TN. Persinger knows whereof he speaks. The author of numerous church lighting articles, he has designed rigs for 75 houses of worship. In this far ranging interview the church LD, who will be conducting a seminar for CHAUVET Professional at WFX 2014 in Dallas, shares his views on the unique world of house of worship lighting.

Broadway’s ‘Motown’ to Close Temporarily and Return in 2016

Variety: Producers of the musical have made the unusual decision to close the tuner in New York — but only temporarily, planning to bring the show back to the Main Stem a year and a half after it shutters in January. Meanwhile, an ongoing U.S. tour — which just finished up its stop in Chicago — continues to hit the road while a U.K. production is on the books for summer 2015.

Carnegie Mellon students developing safety apps

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Just three weeks after Silje Vallestad launched the personal security app bSafe in her native Norway, the app had 50,000 users. By October 2012, one year after launch, it had 150,000 users in a country of 5 million, and nearly 10 percent of the country’s women ages 15 to 35. Ms. Vallestad immigrated to the United States one year later, formed a Palo Alto-based startup with 15 employees and launched bSafe in America in January. It’s since been taken up by thousands.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

12-Step Program—Key Questions In Critiquing Your Live Mix

Pro Sound Web: It’s OK to steal. Wait – allow me to rephrase that. It’s OK to steal from studio engineers. Live audio is a different beast compared to what happens in the studio, yet my live mix quality skyrocketed once I started reading the works of studio engineers Roey Izhaki, Bobby Owsinski, and Mike Senior. Last year, I stole…uh, found…a list of questions that studio folks ask in critiquing their mixes. The questions largely focused on emotion, energy, and clarity. It’s a great list but not quite suitable for the live world, so I embarked on creating my own list.

Lie-Nielsen Open House 2014 A lot of folks have e-mailed with questions about new tools on the horizon from Lie-Nielsen (I know most of you know what I’m talking about…); While Thomas Lie-Nielsen is eager to make those available he – understandably – won’t do so until they’re 100-percent perfect. So that’s all I’ll say on that front. Oh…except I got to try out both of said unnamed tools, and they will be well worth the wait.

The Home Depot Now Stocks 3-D Printers

Remodeling: The Home Depot is teaming up with 3-D printing hardware maker MakerBot to bring the future technology to the masses, at least the masses that live near 12 stores across the states of California, Illinois, and New York.

The New Work: The Nine Who Are Changing the AV Industry You know that person who is always just having a little bit too much fun to really be running a successful business? They never really gave up playing a musical instrument, or maybe they surf every morning before showing up to the office. They probably make a habit of cycling 100 miles at sunrise, race dirt bikes on the weekends, or indulge in some random act of sailing, golfing, mountain biking, hiking, or just walking the streets with an eye open toward the art and sound all around us.

Keke Palmer Will Be Broadway's Next 'Cinderella' Keke Palmer, who starred in “Akeelah and the Bee” and hosts BET’s “Just Keke,” will make her Broadway debut in “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella” on Sept. 9, succeeding Paige Faure in the title role.

In Northern Ireland, a Celebration of Samuel Beckett Beckett in the theater, Beckett in the church. Beckett amidst the ruins. Beckett in the pub, community college, cinema, castle and hairdresser. Beckett even at the butcher, where a sign proclaims “Happy Days Food Festival” alongside “Fermanagh Black Bacon.” Almost every public spot in this small town surrounded by lakes has been conscripted during the third edition of the Happy Days Enniskillen International Samuel Beckett Festival, which opened on July 31 and runs through Sunday.

Cirque’s Kurios represents a bold return to early days For Cirque du Soleil, what happens in Vegas winds up in Toronto. Kurios — Cabinet of Curiosities, the latest touring show from the Quebec company, opens at the Port Lands on Aug. 28. It’s a bold return to the early days of Cirque, filled with unique performers, a handmade style of design and a desire to entertain, rather than impress. But the show’s origins can clearly be traced to Sin City on a night 14 months earlier.

Both Sides in Metropolitan Opera Dispute Agree to Independent Financial Analysis

Lighting&Sound America Online - News: The threatened lockout at the Metropolitan Opera got a reprieve over the weekend, when the Met and two of the unions it is negotiating with agreed to keep working while an independent analyst examined the company's finances, The New York Times has reported.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Favorite Safety Glasses

Tools of the Trade: Our crew wears safety glasses every day so we want those glasses to be comfortable, tough, and not look too weird. With so many styles to choose from it can be difficult to figure out which work the best. After years of wearing safety glasses I can recommend a couple of reliable standbys and a more expensive pair I recently bought and am really happy with.

Behind every great performer is an even greater stagehand

Chicago Federation of Labor: The men of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees union, Local 2 are tough union guys. Just as tough as a road or steel worker crew. “I don't know any other job where 24 semis worth of stuff comes in at eight a.m., you set it up by four p.m., and have it loaded back on the trucks at two a.m.,” said Christopher Iovino, union steward for Local 2.

Why Brett Neveu's boxing drama is actually a family play There is nothing particularly warm, welcoming, or homey about the setting of Brett Neveu’s The Opponent, a two-character play about a young boxer sparring with an older trainer in backwater Louisiana’s Rock and Anvil Boxing Gym. The paint is peeling. The equipment is old. You can almost smell the mold and sweat.

Seven Signs You're Too Smart For Your Job

Liz R. | LinkedIn: My dogs Mojo and Magic are small dogs in a big-dog town. They behave like most small dogs. When we come home, they're overwhelmed by the awesomeness of our return and go crazy. After a few minutes they turn into cats and fall asleep on the arm of the chair. Naturally, they have to protect the household, so if there's any disturbance in the neighborhood -- say, for instance, that a squirrel napping in his nest two houses away turns in his sleep -- Mojo and Magic will bark their heads off.

Fab10 – What If The Future We Want Is Built by Us, Not Sold to Us?

Daily Inspiration: Over the last weekend we’ve attended Fab10, a festival celebrating 10 years of FabLabs around the globe. I came to Barcelona to personally check out the creative outburst of this proactive, ingenious and grassroots community.

L.A. Mayor: California Tax Credit Must ‘Compete With New York’

Variety: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said that he expects the authors of film and TV tax credit legislation to insert a figure “that is north of $400 million” per year, an amount that would put the state about on par with New York. “It will be close to $400 million or just north, right around there,” Garcetti said at Burbank Airport, where he had just arrived after a trip to Sacramento to lobby Gov. Jerry Brown and state legislative leaders on the need to pass legislation that greatly expands the existing program, which is currently at $100 million per year. He said that he expected the figure to be inserted into the legislation by Monday.

Interpreting ‘The Maids’ Through a Shifting Societal Lens Jean Genet’s creepy, sexy play “The Maids,” which had its premiere in 1947, has never gone out of fashion. But in the last several years, it has been riding a new wave of interest, with revivals in Europe and Canada and mash-ups like the Off Off Broadway ensemble Sister Sylvester’s forthcoming “The Maids’ The Maids,” whose cast, according to the company, will include two professional housekeepers.

GFCI Standard, BSR E1.19, Available for Public Review

PLSN: BSR E1.19 - 201x, a revision of the existing American National Standard, "Recommended Practice for the Use of Class A Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) Intended for Personnel Protection in the Entertainment Industry," is available for public review through Sept. 29.

Pics from CMU Drama