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2014 Winter Olympics Star Wars

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Stephen Smith
2014 Winter Olympics Star Wars
on Feb 13, 2014 at 3:57:33 pm

This funny gif is making its way around the world via e-mail. Check it out here: http://blog.zap2it.com/pop2it/2014/02/2014-winter-olympics-star-wars-vs-ski...

Stephen Smith

Utah Video Productions

Check out my Motion Training DVD

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Mark Suszko
Re: 2014 Winter Olympics Star Wars
on Feb 13, 2014 at 5:10:33 pm

"...Then I'll see you in HELL!"


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Mike Cohen
Re: 2014 Winter Olympics Star Wars
on Feb 13, 2014 at 5:14:08 pm

funny how the animated GIF is making a comeback - there is a Youtube version with sound also

Since we are on the subject, the AT-AT battle remains perhaps the best sci-fi battle ever filmed, aside from the original trench run of course.







I spotted this scene outside my condo the other day - those Rebels leave a mess everywhere:


And the fun doesn't end there:

http://indieminded.com/wp-content/uploads/SkiHoth_Art.jpg

https://i.chzbgr.com/maxW500/6878481664/h4E1E6D68/

https://i.chzbgr.com/maxW500/7945645056/h5DCA100C/

this must have been a promotional photo:
http://www.starwarz.com/tbone/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/987-600x300.jpg

This guy built a large diorama in his living room:
http://www.giantfreakinrobot.com/scifi/battle-hoth-unfolding-dudes-living-r...

Here's a funny cut scene from Empire:






This is kinda funny too:






Warwick Davis made his own little movie during filming of Jedi:






Ok, I'm going down the rabbit hole here:












This is interesting - this guy re-graded and altered some of the effects shots:






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Scott Roberts
Re: 2014 Winter Olympics Star Wars
on Feb 13, 2014 at 9:33:59 pm

I think Hoth has better hotels than Sochi, though, right?


Also, that Darth Vader pre-James Earl Jones voiceover video is great.


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Stephen Smith
Re: 2014 Winter Olympics Star Wars
on Feb 13, 2014 at 10:05:40 pm

[Scott]
I think Hoth has better hotels than Sochi, though, right?

Ha Ha, I love it. I have a buddy working at the Olympics and he has a lot of great stories of how bad the hotels and other things are.

Stephen Smith

Utah Video Productions

Check out my Motion Training DVD

Check out my Vimeo page


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Stephen Smith
Re: 2014 Winter Olympics Star Wars
on Feb 14, 2014 at 8:46:19 pm

By the way, my buddy shot the coach reaction in the .gif. Can't wait to hear all of his stories when he gets back home.

Stephen Smith

Utah Video Productions

Check out my Motion Training DVD

Check out my Vimeo page


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Mark Suszko
Re: 2014 Winter Olympics Star Wars
on Feb 13, 2014 at 10:34:41 pm

It's probably not very nice to say, but I'm kinda glad Bob Costas got sidelined from Olympics coverage. Over the years, I've become more and more frustrated by the overblown, wall-to-wall color commentary he does during the opening ceremonies. He really ruined several Winter Games Openings for me over the years, especially Sarajevo. I got wise this year and watched it live from a BBC2 streaming feed, and those Brits know when to add comment and when to stand back quietly and let the story tell itself. It is, after all, video and not radio, or descriptive narration for the blind. The jingoistic tone and crass, commercially-driven editing values of the NBC producers also don't set well with me... I think this is an area where the BBC and CBC do it right and do it better, all-around.


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Mike Cohen
Re: 2014 Winter Olympics Star Wars
on Feb 14, 2014 at 12:16:36 am

I agree with you Mark. Matt Lauer and (pick a Today Show co-host) and Al Roker are fine as daytime talk show hosts and occasional hard news reporters, but their commentary during the opening ceremonies and the Macy's parade. The point of these ceremonies is to showcase the local culture with lots of spectacle. Although they are given prepared descriptions to read, they go off script a bit too much. And I also agree that their pro-USA spin is at times disrespectful.

This morning I had the Today show as I ate my breakfast - it was live from Sochi. They had a nice interview with the three female half pipe winners, then they did a "learn Russian" segment, in which they not only botched the pronunciations but did so in a way that suggested English is better.

The best coverage was when David Letterman sent his mom to the Winter Olympics in 1994.






People upload all sorts of great stuff.


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Tim Wilson
Re: 2014 Winter Olympics Star Wars
on Feb 15, 2014 at 4:55:41 am
Last Edited By Tim Wilson on Feb 16, 2014 at 4:54:52 am

Man, I used to be insane for the Olympics. I think by now you may have some sense of what that means. LOL No, I mean INSANE.

You have to be pretty old to remember the Roone Arledge days of ABC Sports, but their Olympic coverage was some of the best TV ever made, sports or not. Al Michaels' "Do you believe in miracles?" call in 1980 is one example among many.

Peggy Fleming and Jean-Claude Killy exploding out of the screen in ABC's coverage of the 1968 Winter Games in Grenoble is still an all-time great TV memory for me.

As much as they SHOULD have stuck the landing on a summer Olympics held in the US, their coverage of the 84 Summer games was even better than it needed to be.

These are the Olympics in which Mary Lou Retton stuck the landing...on a BROKEN ANKLE...in an image that will FOREVER be equated with the phrase "stick the landing." The only short clip I found was from Bud Greenspan's exhaustive, and exhausting, documentary of those games...but for all the poetry of this, it was more exciting in the prose of real-time ABC TV. In any case. STUCK. THE. LANDING.




Look up some YouTube clips from the games that ABC covered. Even if you just stick with 84 Los Angeles...Mary Lou Retton, hurdler Edwin Moses (a personal all-time favorite: 122 consecutive wins!!!!), track god Carl Lewis (a long story, but he was NOT GUILTY, and a miracle to watch), marathoner Joan Benoit (not just her victory, but the margin of it was breathtaking) --take your pick; I could write posts almost this long about any one of those athletes. Grenoble 68 really was stellar too.

Here's one thing that strikes me about this Moses clip: as "late" as 1984 and NO BUGS ON THE SCREEN. Nothing but PICTURE. What a concept.

Al Michaels again.




Talking about ABC's Olympics coverage though, any of you other geezers remember ABC's Wide World of Sports? That got me hooked into the WIDE WORLD of sports early on -- track and field, weight lifting, cliff diving, skating, horse racing, auto racing, rowing, boxing, the ski jump (OF COURSE) -- all kinds of stuff EVERY WEEK, not just every four years.

For his role hosting that show for 40 years, for his Olympic coverage, even his thoroughbred racing coverage, and so much more, the voice of ABC's Jim McKay EQUALS sports to me. Here he is in the 1978 version of this opening.




I'm so very, very geezery about this, but in the same way that CBS set the gold standard for nightly news in the 60s, ABC really did do the same for sports for 20 years or so from the mid 60s to mid 80s. Maybe longer.

On the down side of all this, ABC perfected the addition of the human feature story to sports, most notably in the Olympics, but in Wide World Of Sports as well. It sometimes threatened to overwhelm the sports, and in today's Olympic coverage, all too often DOES.

That said, ABC treated treated the Olympics as sports AND as actual NEWS. This became an especially big deal in the 72 Munich summer games, when Israeli Olympians were taken hostage, and 17 people (police, hostages, hostage-takers) died in the next 16 hours.

The games paused for a day of mourning, and then the games went on, because they always do. It was a forceful reminder of what the games MEANT, which, in some ways, was more than life and death itself.

THEN.

Now, maybe not so much.

Even though it's impossible to think of the 72 Munich games without thinking of that tragedy, there were some performances for the ages.


Olga Korbut, "the Sparrow from Minsk," "the darling of Munich" was astounding...but she didn't win much anyway. Some bad mounts and missteps kept her out of the all around gold, and the crowd went CRAZY when she was given "only" a 9.8 in the uneven bars. I heard many many bad words in many languages. One thing that unites as humans: stupid refs, umps and judges.

With everything else that went on in 1972, in and out of the Olympics, even with some notable flubs in these games, Olga was STILL named Wide World of Sports' Athlete of the Year!!! Here's why. Jim McKay and Gordon Maddux with the call.

BTW, feel free to duck out before the Linkin Park slo-mo replay. No kidding. You only need the first 45 seconds or so of this....





US swimmer Mark Spitz. Not only did he set a record by winning 7 medals, he set world records in EACH EVENT. I've been a big Michael Phelps fan, and am now a big Missy Franklin fan (she has every chance of surpassing MP's career medal count, and I'm betting she will) ... but I feel safe saying that nobody will ever do again what Spitz did, the way he did it. Not just winning, but setting a world record in EVERY RACE?

(As a Jew, it was also recommended that he leave town as soon as his competitions were over. The games continued, but the world had already changed.)


Dave Wottle. I loved Dave Wottle....because his name is DAVE WOTTLE... but I also loved to watch him run. He set both college and amateur records, and had started with hair so long that he ran in a cap to keep it out of his face. Welcome to the 70s baby!

That was part of what I meant about Wide World of Sports being the WIDE WORLD of sports. Regular coverage builds FANS. I FOLLOWED Dave's track career. I SAW him set the world record in his Olympic trials in the 800 meters.

I really miss that. Is somebody regularly covering college and amateur track and field and I'm missing it?

Anyway, my boy Dave came in LAST in the Olympic 600 meters. DEAD LAST. And he spent the first 500 meters of the 800 in DEAD LAST.

Until he didn't.

He just kept passing guys. It looked like a cartoon, or some Kurt Russell movie with Dean Jones as his coach and Joe Flynn coaching the Russians or something. LOL He just kept running, and just kept passing guys. Nobody ever said "He's roaring down the stretch!" because he never seemed to accelerate. He just kept passing guys.

What?

Here's Jim McKay with the call (sorry I can't remember the color guy's name):



It turned out that his splits were IDENTICAL! THAT'S why it looked so odd: he never accelerated!

You can't really call it "chugging along" since he was a world record holder who beat the rest of the world's best runners for an Olympic gold medal, but identical splits? And he was kind of chugging. LOL I love this guy.



Men's basketball, USA vs USR. This match between the Americans and Russians is one of the biggest Olympic controversies of all time.

Three seconds to go, US down a point to the Russians, our guy gets SLAMMED into the goal post heading in for a lay-up...shoots two foul shots...both go in! Hooray! We win 50-49, back when a basket really MEANT something. LOL

Oh, but wait -- confusion at the scoring table! Play the last three seconds again! Boooo.

Yaaay! We won again!

OOOPS. ANOTHER BOO-BOO. OUR BAD USA, SORRY, BUT YOU GOTTA REPLAY THOSE LAST THREE SECONDS ONE MORE TIME.

The Russians won, 51-50.

WHAT?!?

That's right! After losing TWICE, the Russians won! So to speak.

The only other time I've heard this much screaming in an auditorium was the first Beatles appearance on Ed Sullivan. This is pandemonium.





Not to trivialize the injustice of the athletes who were flat out ROBBED -- it really is stupefying to watch, but holy spit y'all, this was some rootin' tootin' TEE VEE!!!

How's this, though: the Americans refused to accept their silver medals. The IOC has touched base periodically to see if they've changed their minds, but they remain unanimous: you can keep 'em.


Almost as bizarre in its own way, the saga of Bob Seagren, ace pole vaulter. I've always felt like pole vaulting was just this side of magic. I've been watching it for well over 40 years, and still have no farking idea how they do it.

Man, Bob was absolutely amazing to watch, another guy I'd become a fan of after watching regularly on Wide World of Sports for a few years. He'd been burning up the AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) and NCAA with title after title, record after record. Then in the 1968 summer games in Mexico City, a heart-stopping competition. All three vaulters maxed at the same height! Unbelievable!

Seagren had fewer misses at lower heights though, so the scores are tallied, and Bob gets gold. Silver to West Germany, bronze to East Germany.

So, 4 more years of triumph in amateur competition, regularly televised on ABC, and Bob rolls into the Munich games as the favorite.

Ah, but a last-minute protest by the East Germans meant that Bob (and almost everyone else...but we knew it was all about Bob) weren't able to use the poles they'd been using. The East Germans claimed those poles had carbon fiber...which wasn't against the rules, but the East Germans didn't have ACCESS to it because they were...in, uhm, East Germany, so boo-hoo, it's not fair that we have to use crappy old poles.

And hey, maybe those new ones don't have even carbon fiber in 'em, but make everyone else use crappy old poles anyway!

(Read the full story about carbon fiber AND NOT here.)

And the Olympic committee CAVED! The new poles were banned. But they came to their senses, and the decision was reversed. OF COURSE the decision was reversed. It was never about the poles. It was about Bob.

But wait! The night before the competition, the decision was UN-reversed! "That pole we said was okay? BANNED! Sorry, Bob. Ya gotta use a brand new pole tomorrow...."

...and he came in second. Guess who won. An East German. No kidding. Not just ANY East German, either. THE SAME ONE WHO BOB BEAT IN 1968!

(There really were ways in which the East Germans were liked even less than the Russians.)

The irony: the only YouTube clips of Seagren at either the 68 or 72 Olympics are from GERMAN TV!

Bob also LOOKED the part. There hasn't been another guy to so thoroughly say "I AM AN ELITE AMERICAN ATHLETE" just by STANDING THERE since Bob until we get to Tom Brady. So here's a German film of Seagren and his German competitors in 68.




Man oh man.

I just mentioned some great sports stories, following one of the most terrible news stories in the past 40 odd years of terrible news stories....and the same group of people covered them. And did so MASTERFULLY.

Since my 5000-word tangent was set off by an observation on this thread of the weak HOSTING of these games, as opposed to the stellar COVERAGE of these games, I have to talk some more about ABC's Jim McKay. As he did on ABC's Wide World of Sports for 40 years, he was anchoring the 72 Munich Olympics, a role he filled for 16 different games.

A writer who moved into broadcasting, he's the only person to win Emmys for both writing and performing in both news and sports.I loved Howard Cosell, including at these 72 games, but McKay was the anti-Cosell. He was shy, full of self-doubt, and bowed out of the 1960 games over what he calls a good old-fashioned nervous breakdown.

I felt strongly enough about Jim McKay in general, and his performance in the 72 games in particular -- 14 straight hours on the air, telling one of the worst news stories of the generation -- that I actually looked it up. Here's what the New York Times said years later:


He will be remembered best for how he anchored the coverage of the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Summer Games in Munich. McKay reflects on that here, as he has in other places. But the focus is not on repeating the terrible details, but on how he viewed his role on that day in September: the only conduit of news to the family of David Berger, a weight lifter from Shaker Heights, Ohio, who emigrated to Israel in 1970 for a chance to experience the Olympics.

David Berger was ''one of those helpless men, bound together, blindfolded, not knowing if or when he would be executed,'' McKay says.

''And I would be the person in the end who would tell the Berger family if their son was alive or dead,'' he adds. ''I had better be sure when I told them.''

When he looked into the camera lens -- ''the eyes of millions of people'' -- he says that he only thought of the eyes of the Bergers upon him.

''I know my eyes were heavy with sorrow, and I knew what I must say,'' he says. He pronounced the Israelis all dead, ''They're gone.'' The Bergers turned off their TV, and years later, they thought of the role that McKay played that day. ''He's a mensch,'' Benjamin Berger says. ''He's a real person.''



Now how's THIS for irony: here's a wonderful summary of the work that ABC Sports did to cover the Munich Massacre....hosted by Bob Costas.



Costas is perfect for that kind of thing. He has a unique grasp of history -- I'd love to talk sports history with him; I consider it an actual goal of mine -- plus he's intelligent, engaging....but as much as he knows about sports, he doesn't feel like A SPORTS GUY.

Brian Williams kind of doesn't feel entirely like A NEWS GUY either, and DEFINITELY not a sports guy. Not that they aren't really good at specific things, but they remind me of Dick Cavett. Especially Costas, who, like Cavett, you feel is an expert on anything he wants to be an expert on. There aren't enough people on TV you can call "erudite" anymore, and Costas could be the last of 'em.

A high compliment, but really, in the end, the long suit of all three is that they're conversationalists. They don't have the gravitas to be an ANCHOR.

Jim McKay had gravitas, but he was still gentle, AND he was a news guy, AND a sports guy...and a guy who used his humanity to infuse his sports presence, rather than try to rise ABOVE sports. Sure, Jim saw firsthand that there are more important things than sports, even during sporting events, but he embraced being A SPORTS GUY.

There's not yet anybody at NBC who is synonymous with SPORTS -- and I don't know that anybody wants that gig. Anywhere. I sometimes get the feeling that pretty much everyone in TV is trying to avoid being pigeonholed as just "a sports guy."

I do say "guys" in quotes, because the only individual human who I think could be today's Jim McKay -- omnicompetent, omnipresent, unimpeachably authoritative in an engaging way -- could have been Robin Roberts...

...and she didn't want to be pigeonholed as "just sports" either. Good for her! She was wasted on ESPN. She could be ABC's 21st century Walter Cronkite instead of its Jim McKay.

That said, I think Meredith Viera has been an ace in these games, stepping in on short notice. I hope NBC keeps finding ways to use her skills. I'd love if some of it could be in this direction....NBC's Big Bucket of Sports or something...but what are the odds that she views sports as a CALLING?

My point about this is that people (NOT just guys) my age remember when the word "sports" covered far more than it does now, for both broadcasters and viewers. Maybe now, it really IS JUST sports. I love so many improvements: more games, better understanding of them, ON MY PHONE. But I lament that the "world" of sports is anything but "wide" anymore.

Comcast appears to be getting more aggressive with the NBC Sports Network, though. A lot of the legacy nonsense programming has been taken culled, and they've given themselves something to build from. Goodness knows their tech and arts people are beyond state of the art.

But NBC still has a long way to go to convince me that they want to do what ABC did in The Good Old Days, to suffuse their entire organization with the Olympic spirit -- and their year-round programming calendar with actual Olympic SPORTS and ATHLETES that I can build relationships with throughout their careers.

To mix my sports metaphors, I don't feel like NBC is swinging for the same fences, and if they are, they're not sticking the landing.

As usual, I'm not the best guy to ask about this because I'm characteristically unhinged on the topic....and now that I think about it, nobody actually asked me about it. LOL Wasn't this thread about Star Wars pancakes or something?

Hey, and on top of all my cockamamie opinions, I should probably have looked some of this stuff up, so I especially apologize for factual errors on top of aforementioned cockamamie opinions.



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