'I find it more helpful to think of Father Christmas as a total brand concept.'

December 20th, 2012

A visit to Father Christmas, or When Little Johnny's address was omitted from the Service Specification. Not a pretty sight.

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I've submitted the odd Smug Report, too.

July 22nd, 2012

Jeff Atwood's post about the response of Stack Overflow's users to a request for examples of New Programming Jargon includes some real doozies.

18. Common Law Feature

A bug in the application that has existed so long that it is now part of the expected functionality, and user support is required to actually fix it.

I have to admit that back when I was teaching myself Visual Basic for Applications, my work included multiple instances of Stringly Typed functions. Even now, I struggle against the temptation to leave Ninja Comments.

All in all, it's just as well that I'm not being paid to write code.

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Remember to compliment the director on his choice of a cowboy

February 26th, 2011

Advice for aspiring screenwriters on the language of the film set:

Once you get to the Promised Land of the set, you'll find that you don't exactly speak the language. The natives have a fascinating patois that they use to implement a very particular protocol. In an attempt to save you the confusion I've experienced in the past, here is my handy dandy guide to set lingo.


Abby Singer: The second-to-last shot of the day. Apparently from an A.D. named Abby Singer who routinely announced that a shot was the last of the day, only to learn that there was one more.


Linda Stills: Linda is a person, but her last name isn't Stills. She's the stills photographer. Crews can be large, and when you have three folks named "Linda," it gets annoying to ask for one on the walkie and get the wrong one. Beyond that, no one really cares what your name is. On a set, you are your job. If you're Linda and you're the still photographer, they call you Linda Stills. They'll call you Jim Hair and Ellen Crafty and Craig Writer. Seriously. The name on my trailer door says Craig Writer.


picture's up: There's a lovely kabuki aspect to the beginning of a shot. Once everyone's ready to shoot a take, the first A.D. says "on the bell!" That alerts the crew to prepare for a shot. "Picture's up" is followed by "roll sound" and "roll camera", which tells the sound and camera guys to get the tape and film speed going (given that one day all sound and images will go directly to a drive or chip, these phrases will eventually be as quaint as MOS). The camera operator will say "camera's set" to let you know he's speeding, the sound guy will say "sound speed" to let you know the sound is ready, and then it's time for the director to call "action!"

[Via the inside of my brain]

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