Vanity Fair's history of the making of The Blues Brothers is amazing, a story as madcap and improbable as the movie itself (though there's a lot more coke in the story of the movie). This is one of my favorite films of all time -- at one point I could quote the whole movie by heart (which created a lot of dissonance when I saw the DVD release and they'd added scenes -- it was like discovering extra rooms in a house I knew so well I could get around with my eyes closed).
Weiss calls Sean Daniel. “Good news,” Weiss reports. “The first draft finally got here.” It is not the typical 120-page draft. “It’s 324 pages,” Weiss says. “We have a lot of work to do.”
The script contains great scenes and inspired ideas but is written in a kind of free-verse style. It includes lengthy, Aykroyd-esque explications of Catholicism, recidivism—you name it. It gets meta, with separate story lines detailing the recruitment of all eight backup musicians.
“The script is never-ending,” Ned Tanen thinks. “It doesn’t really work. It’s like a long treatment or something”—a treatment being a detailed outline the writer produces before writing a script. The Blues Brothers is scheduled to begin shooting in two months.
Landis, script in hand, locks himself away. He cuts, shapes, tones. Then he cuts some more. Three weeks later, he emerges with a script that’s down to size and, as they say, shootable. More or less. It still lacks certain basics, such as stage directions.
Soul Men: The Making of The Blues Brothers [Ned Zeman/Vanity Fair]
Libretaxi is an open source project that lets anyone become a rideshare driver in less than a minute; it has more than 20,000 users worldwide, and is maintained by Roman Pushkin, who started the project in December 2016 and is now planning to quit his job and work on it full time.
Mister Alphabet is an action-figure designed to cleverly bend and contort into every letter of the Latin alphabet; the website is long on trademark warnings and arty Instagram photos, but short on details, like, “Is this an object of commerce?” and “If so, where does one buy it?” (via Kottke)
John Deere is notorious for arguing that farmers who buy its tractors actually “license” them because Deere still owns the copyright to the tractors’ software; in 2015, the US Copyright Office affirmed that farmers were allowed to jailbreak their tractors to effect repairs and modifications.
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All the filters in the world won’t save your smartphone pics from a shaky hand. To really step up your mobile photography game, you’ll need some kind of mount to hold it steady. You could buy a smartphone attachment for a conventional camera tripod, but who wants to carry that kind of gear everywhere they […]
The forced transition from analog to digital TV signals was probably met with relative indifference from people with Netflix subscriptions and the “I don’t even own a TV” snoots. But anyone living in the vast swaths of the country that don’t have guaranteed high-speed internet, broadcast TV is a perfectly valid (and 100% free) way […]