MacDirectory Magazine

Marc Madnick

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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Page 53 of 99

52 MacDirectory reVIeW Book from THE ground: from PoInT To PoInT OS X's original look and distill it down to a more consistent, symbolic 2D design. The fact that most of us eventually adjusted to 7's new look isn't surprising because we're actually quite adept at reading symbols as fluently as words. This, in fact, is the premise of artist Xu Bing's latest work, Book from the Ground: from point to point. Book from the Ground details a day in the life of a typical office worker using a vocabulary of pictograms, icons and emoticons; there's not a word to be found on any of the book's 128 pages. Each chapter journals an hour of his day, from waking up and burning his breakfast to some rather colorful dreams resulting from a long night out carousing. At work, he does what a lot of office drones do, sift through email (mostly from friends), check up on the latest news and weather, scan dating sites and make plans for lunch. And there's that frenzied hour putting together a PowerPoint presentation needed at an afternoon meeting. Will he make the sale? Will he find a restroom without a long line? (Even in a story without words, there is room for suspense and a bit of potty humor.) Reading Book from the Ground takes some patience at first. But you'll be surprised how easy it becomes to adopt Xu Bing's purely visual vocabulary and syntax. What you discover is how much of our life can be described in terms of things, actions, thoughts and feelings, and so many of those can be expressed in simple, understood images. Xu Bing's idea, of course, is not new. People started communicating with pictures millennia before letters and words came into play. What is new, however, is a world connected by technology, commerce and pop culture where these simple images have become a modern lingua franca. Book from the Ground is as much story as it is art, illuminating how the boredom of office work mingles with our innate drive to succeed. Does Book from the Ground succeed as well? Book from the Ground: from point to point by Xu Bing; $24.95, MIt Press ( 2014; 128 pages, IsBn: 978-0262027083 Book rEvIEwS By rIC gETTEr ouT of ordEr: SToryTELLIng TECHnIquES for vIdEo And CInEmA EdITorS Avid. Premiere. Final Cut. Mac users have a great selection of top editing tools. And there are some excellent books and videos to teach you how to use them. With the instant gratification of real- time nonlinear editing and the ease of a point-and-click interface, it's easy to forget one key fact: learning how to use and editing system does no more to teach you how to edit than mastering a word processor teaches you how to write. The art of editing lies in crafting a story from pictures and sounds. In Out of Order: Storytelling Techniques for Video and Cinema Editors, filmmaker, editor and author Ross Hockrow sets out to teach the essential skills editors need to bring a story to life. His perspective is fitting in these days where a single individual can fill virtually all the roles in a production company with little more than a camera, a computer, and an inspiring idea. Hockrow takes a very traditional, film school approach, for example showing how the concept of the arc applies not only to story and characters but each individual scene and how it can be cut. He explains the six kinds of conflict that can drive a story and the finesse of shot selection and pacing. Out of Order is clearly meant to be a textbook rather than a reference; the author insists that it be read through and mastered from beginning to end. However, in his effort to structure the strategy of storytelling he does tend to gloss over the important tricks and tactics editors need to know to deceive the eye and hide their craft from the viewer's attention. (These are still best covered in books like Thompson's Grammar of the Edit or Murch's In the Blink of an Eye.) Though the examples he uses are theatrical, the techniques Hockrow teaches can be just as well applied to great effect to an industrial project or a wedding video. (Producers and editors in these genres all too often forget that their audience when seeing a video naturally expects a story.) One needs a wealth of knowledge and not a little talent to master the craft of film and video editing and Hockrow's book provides an essential foundation in some of its most important aspects. Though the writer and director may have had the great vision behind the story, it is the art and craft of the editor to present it to the audience. Out of Order: Storytelling Techniques for Video and Cinema Editors by ross Hockrow; $54.99, Peachpit Press ( 2014; 240 pages, IsBn: 978-0-321-95160-1

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