Homage to Todd Selby
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Keeping Symposium 2011 Debabelized
Bilingual Executive Assistant for Alltech's Director of Latin America Carla Woodley makes the rounds. In the translation booth: Maria Cecilia Navas, of Columbia, and Angelica Marquez, of Venezuela. (Photo by Mick Jeffries)
This is an article I wrote for Alltech's blog during their 27th Alltech Symposium, which was attended by over 2200 people from around the world and at least 400 non-English speakers. I was fascinated by Alltech's ongoing commitment to accomodate this segment of their client base by offering state-of-the-art translation services each year. So I wrote this article for their blog, thinking others might be similarly interested.
By Mick Jeffries
You don't have to know Carla Woodley to know that she speaks your language. And if not, she can definitely find somebody who does.
Woodley, the Bilingual Executive Assistant for Alltech's Director of Latin America is one of the principal coordinators of theSymposium's world class (literally) real-time translation services. A native of Panama who grew up in Texas, she's worked in this capacity for Alltech for over five years and helps coordinate a staff of nearly two dozen translators who keep the Symposium's international audience speaking the same language…. continue reading on Alltech's blog
Monday, May 23, 2011
For those who prefer the short version: Thor is great. I was surprised.
More thoughts follow.
I've said this to some of my kid friends, as we've gone, over the last several years to see big-screen renditions of things like Spiderman, Iron Man, and the X-Men: I have been waiting for these movies for my entire life. It is a feeling almost embarrassingly embued with emotion, a swelling in my throat.
That's because I grew up on Marvel Comics. At age 13 or so, my first magazine subscriptions (a custom I think of as fairly adult) were to The Uncanny X-Men and The Mighty Avengers. I can still clearly see the brown sleeves they would arrive in (the ads used the excited term "mailed flat!" which was so obvious that it was actually puzzling for a minute)
My imagination was cast in Kirby Dots, my curiosity enthralled by Marvel's fragile, flawed heros. DC's Superman? He was perfect, how boring. Marvel's Spiderman or Daredevil? They had humanity — expressed through frailty and flaws, an approach that has informed the fantastical canon ever since, from Buffy to Heroes to Kick Ass.
All along the way, through the years, the "bullpen" page (Marvel's popular term for a page containing fan letters, news updates, and the occasional awarding of a "no-prize" for astute readers who caught some continuity error in the mag) would frequently proclaim that Spiderman or The Avengers or countless other favorites were SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE! Or a TV SERIES!
And we "true believers" (again in the parlance of Stan Lee's institution) waited with excitement. And waited. And waited.
It rarely happened, and when it did — the short-lived TV series Spiderman, for instance — it was … pretty terrible. But we True Believers choked it down because we wanted — so badly — to see our heroes writ large. We KNEW they were great. The rest of the world would, too, if only somebody could manage to not butcher the mythos.
And in the last decade that has finally happened. Why? I think it's simple. Among us true believers are brilliant writers, actors and producers who, like me, grew up loving Marvel Comics. Now those people are in a position to bring the Marvel Universe in all its intricate glory to life, and not muck it up in the process.
The latest chapter in this — and the most surprising to me — is Thor, which, again to cut to the chase, is great. This came as a great surprise to me. In my comic-reading days, I was fairly non-plussed by the God of Thunder. In fact, I thought he was fine, and a great member of The Avengers. But I was never much of a reader of "the title" (meaning: the comic book "Thor, God of Thunder"). I think I was somewhat exhausted by the "thou's" and "thee's" of Thor's Asgardian medieval-speak. But he seemed like a decent superhero, along with his fantastically powerful hammer mighty Mjolnir, which could destroy shit, whip up hurricanes, and fly him around, too.
But upon first hearing of a movie version of Thor, I thought it was the first misstep in what has generally been a movie golden age for Marvel.
I was wrong. Thor is great, for several reasons I discovered as the movie played out before my eyes.
Reason 1: Thor comes from Asgard. He's a demi-god. Translation: it's a pretty exciting place to look at, and the wonder of modern eye-goggling special effects left me thinking that Jack Kirby himself would be just creaming over the glorious city of the gods. If you'd seen it in comic books, seeing it in movie form — especially Real D — is like seeing a dream made flesh.
Reason 2: Loki, Thor's step brother. In the comics, I never really got Loki. He didn't seem too powerful (especially for a demi-god) and his specialty seemed to be brooding and tricking people into fighting each other from time to time. What the movie showed me that Loki had is probably the single greatest real-world evil power there is. Namely: He is a motherfucking liar to beat the band. What could be more timely in an age of spin-control? Years after I read the comic, Thor (the movie) helped me finally get Loki's awesome power. He is a master motherfucking liar.
Reason 3: Royalty. I have to chalk this up to the royal wedding. I didn't much care about it, and then when it happened, my omnivorous curiosity opened up in the direction of the British Royal Family, and the ideal of a sovereign lineage. Any mythology — in the case of Thor, Norse — is magnitudes beyond this. The amazing thing that I never would have expected is that the movie makes it work. It's partially a tribute to __________________, who does an amazing job of portraying a god among mortals and just how unnatural that would be. ____________ carries himself with this uncanny swagger that seems so very appropriate. He's not so much a dick, as he just has no idea how to behave any other way.
The parade has been — sorry — Marvelous: Spiderman. The X-Men. Iron Man. None without issue, of course, but all showing boundless love and passion for the source material, I think. And all bringing to life the heros, the villains, the cities and circumstances of the world that I grew up paying rapt attention to, often at the cost of coolness. This has changed.
Once being in a superhero movie would have been a Hollywood kiss of death. Now you can levitate with milked-over eyes one year and pile up award trophies the next. Way to go, Halle Berry. You can have claws pop out of your hands, and then host the Academy Awards, like Hugh Jackman.
And that's a Marvel.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Monday, May 16, 2011
Friday, May 13, 2011
It's always a hustle — arranging 20 shoots, conceiving frames, and sorting and choosing afterwards. Along the way I always meet some of the most amazing people, doing wonderful things in Kentucky. This is my 3rd year doing this series and it's more delightful every time.
See the published series with accompanying articles in Business Lexington magazine.
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Thursday, May 05, 2011
I have always, my entire life, loved the US space program. Indeed, it's easily the closest that I could ever come to being construed as "a patriot." As a child, I spent untold hours poring over every word, every illustration, every World Book Encyclopedia entry I could find about astronauts and space exploration. That love has never particularly diminished and as far as I'm concerned the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo missions may well be the coolest things that the US has ever done, as an entity.
Fifty years ago today, all that magic started with a 15-minute journey by Alan Shepard, the first American (and second human) in space, perched atop a Redstone rocket in the Mercury capsule named Freedom 7. Which didn't have a window, by the way.
Monday, May 02, 2011
My last shoot for Business Lexington's "Leading Women of Central Kentucky 2011" portrait series was a family kitchen shoot. If I hadn't been thoroughly occupied trying to frame a shot, I probably would have taken my subject, Laura Boison, up on her offer to try my hand at rolling out some pasta. Look for her — not me — and the complete series in the upcoming issue. http://www.bizlex.com )
One of the things that I love about shooting the "Leading Women of Central KY" series (and really portraiture in general) is that the assignments take me to places I might otherwise never visit. Before last week, I'd been inside Lexington's skyline-defining Kincaid Tower once ever. Last week: Four times. It's absolutely mesmerizing to study this town's growth and architecture from the 23rd floor corner office. Pictured: looking for the light and setting a frame for Doris Bentson, President of the Langeley Group. Full series will appear in the next edition of Business Lexington magazine. http://www.bizlex.com